Poetry: Into the Storm

Poem by Jenise Cook

Photo by Jenise Cook (Pixabay)

 

 


Sometimes the signs lead me into the storm.

You hold me when I lean into You

as You lead me on the right path,

shining Your light in the dark.

Gripping Your shepherd’s staff

Your voice guides me for

You are the way

and the truth;

life and

hope.


Some thoughts about this poem:

The form of this free verse is sometimes called “sonnetina” or “decastitch”.  This free-verse poem is inspired by a photo I took which you can download for free on Pixabay.com.

The north-central highlands of Arizona (where I live) possess wide open spaces where thunderstorms embellish the views with abandon. When I first opened this image on my computer I gasped, pleased at the result. I asked it to speak to me. The image encouraged me to express hope in the midst of life’s storms.

Sometimes, the circumstances of life require me to walk through stormy times. I don’t like it, and yet I know that I don’t walk alone. The Lord Jesus Christ, my Good Shepherd, walks with me. Always!

What has inspired you to keep walking through life’s storms? Let us all know in the Comments.


About Jenise Cook

Cook is an author, copy-editor, photographer, and creative maker. A recovering native southern Californian, she lives in rural northern Arizona with her fine artist husband. They enjoy hiking and camping. Jenise is often on Twitter. You can find a list of her published works on: www.JeniseCook.com.


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Poetry: Because My Classroom Flooded Again

Poem by April Ojeda

Photo by Zoltan Tasi (Unsplash)

 

 


Jonah rises, 

Homeless again. 

Flooded and flushed 

From out my rain-drunk, sunken roof. 

Another blind, unbridled deluge

Chases me on like some 

Holy messenger.

 

Jonah rages 

At the storm-swept sky, 

Pushes, unnatural in panic, 

Far, far away from belligerent crowds

That don’t deserve you 

And don’t adore you 

Like I do.

 

Jonah rouses, 

Safe passage granted. 

Charity of stranger friends, 

Of humble allies devoid of agenda,

Signifying that all life bends 

To your design, 

Eventually.

 

Jonah reaches 

Nineveh, born again. 

Nothing about this is easy, 

But I’ve tasted death and run from life

And choose the God who 

Rescues lost hope 

Relentlessly.

 

 


About April Ojeda

Ojeda is a teacher and writer from the Oklahoma Panhandle. Her work has appeared in Lost Pen Magazine and Heart of Flesh Literary Journal. She lives and works in a fast-spinning world, so she writes poetry as a means of prayer and of untangling the threads of daily life. She lives with her family in West Texas and finds her greatest inspiration in the outdoors.


For more inspirational content, please visit our Lost Pen Blog page. To download Lost Pen Magazine, visit our Magazine Issues page.

Masterpiece or Mosaic

Devotional by Carole L. Haines

Photo by Aaron Cloward on Unsplash

When I was younger, I had big dreams of becoming more than I actually became. I pictured myself as a masterpiece in the hands of the Master, a beautiful sculpture intricately fashioned or a canvas painted with the natural beauty of a forest-enclosed waterfall. I certainly didn’t expect life to go the way it did. 

My life has been ordinary. But God delights in transforming us—ordinary vessels—into extraordinary vessels of His glory.  

God brought me to a verse that birthed in me a new perspective during one of my most bewildering and troubling trials. It’s tucked inside the Bible story of David and Absalom’s troubled father-son relationship. The story is found in 2 Samuel 14. Please take the time to read the whole story; it is quite intriguing. But for our purposes, I will just reveal a specific verse and what it means to me. 

“All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.”

2 Samuel 14:14 NLT

When I first came upon this verse, I was in a place where I felt my life was ruined. Waves of misfortune and loss had crushed me by blows, sweeping over me one after another, after another. I nearly drowned in the sorrow and confusion. I was surprised to wake up alive each morning. I thought grief and loss would kill me. With everything I had gone through, I wasn’t sure I really wanted to live anymore.  

When I asked God to take me home, He said that only one death was necessary: His. He wanted me to live and to tell others how He had rescued me and given me new life.

But God truly does not just sweep life away. Neither does He give up on us—He never leaves us nor does He forsake us. He could have prevented some or all of the things that happened, but He didn’t. He let me go through them, and THAT was a hard truth to embrace.

You see, God does not always save us from our fears but saves us through them. In this way, we learn He is faithful in our griefs and losses. 

“Instead, He devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from Him.”

I love the use of “Instead” in this verse. It’s a hope word meaning that God was active during my trials, devising a way out on my behalf and not simply an indifferent bystander. He had gone before me and was waiting for me to give Him the broken pieces of my life. So, I placed into His hands all the shards and jewels of my life. He took that precious offering and is making a beautiful mosaic instead of my idea of a masterpiece. I am a display of His grace and kindness. He can do the same for you. 

Give Him all the broken pieces of your life. Yield to His love and grace. Then stand back in wonder as He makes the most beautiful mosaic out of all your shattered dreams.


About Carole L. Haines

Haines has been writing devotions, poetry, songs, etc. for the last ten years on her blog. One of her ministries is to make crosses out of broken glass, pottery, and other materials, to give to people in crises. The message behind them is that God can bring beauty out of brokenness. For more information, visit Haines here. See her previous LPM posts here and here.


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Christ Our King and Hope, in Poetry

Poems by Ryan Diaz
Photo by  Ismael Paramo on Unsplash

CHRIST IN PARADOX

The God of Golgotha;

Enthroned on a skull.

The conquering king-

With a crown of thorns.

The perpetually loved

And forsaken son.

The eternal God,

Who made flesh his home

And learned to reign

By giving up his throne.


Photo by KEEM IBARRA on Unsplash

AMEN

Born on a bedside

Nursed in the dark

Forgotten in the morning

Hidden in the heart.

Shared like a secret

Screamed in despair

Sung like a song

No Sound fills the air.

Carved out of questions

Stitched with a hope

Shaped by the faith

Of men trying to cope.


About Ryan Diaz

Ryan Diaz is a poet, lecturer, and theologian from Queens, NY. He holds a BA in History from St. John’s University, and he is currently completing a MA in Biblical Studies. Diaz’s writing attempts to find the divine in the ordinary, the thin place where fantasy and reality meet. Diaz’s work has been featured in Scribble, Ekstasis, Wingless Dreamer, In Parentheses, Tempered Runes Press, and The Washington Institute. He currently lives in Queens, NY, with his wife, Janiece. For more information, visit Diaz on Instagram.


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Poetry: Burden Racing

Poem by Maed Rill Monte
Photo by  Braden Collum on Unsplash

The world being 

an auction of methods

and a competition of weights.

Unsatisfied, in seeing much.

Hearing many, knows the minimum.

Somewhere near, even within,

the Spirit leading: there, there.

Far to the back, old and rugged 

and all-permeating: the Cross, the weight

to choose. To boast

of none, but it. To lose

it all, but it.

Shouldering the Cross,

a racetrack comes to sight.

Something tells I’m born to run;

set these feet on glory road.

No horizon light but an inner light;

no score of trumpets but a quiet thought.

Face set like flint, presses on.

The Way to the narrow gate found;

not a walk in the park

but a work of sacrifice—

so the serpent sheds skin on occasion

and even the forbidden tree

let go of one fruit.


About Maed Rill Monte

Maed Rill Monte is a poet hailing from Ormoc City, Philippines. He started crafting poetry at seventeen, influenced by G.K. Chesterton, Edgar Albert Guest and many others. He lives with his family, books, and an unnamed dog. For more, visit him on Facebook or contact him at maedrillmonte@gmail.com.


For more inspirational content, please visit our Lost Pen Blog page. To download Lost Pen Magazine, visit our Magazine Issues page. 

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