Poetry: A Broken Vessel Made Whole

Photo by Rafał Rudol on Unsplash

 

A Broken Vessel Made Whole

by Robert M. Starr

 

I touched the wood with a trembling hand

And felt the blood of a crucified man.

 

He was guiltless, innocent, without sin,

Yet He hung on the cross, dying at the hands of men.

 

I thought of the ones who had put Him there,

And my heart knew the bitter pain of despair.

 

I knelt at His feet, filled with shame;

He looked down at me and called my name.

 

The suffering in His voice was more than I could bear,

For I knew that I had put Him up there.

 

His head was covered by a crown of thorns;

His brow was bleeding and His flesh was torn.

 

A sign proclaimed Him king of the Jews,

But I knew in my heart He was my King too.

 

I felt His love reaching out to me,

Offering life for eternity.

 

My eyes met His; peace flooded my soul,

For a broken vessel was now made whole.

 

 

About Robert M. Starr

Starr is a native Texan who feels more at home in wild places than cities. Starr “lies for a living” by writing the kinds of fictional stories he likes to read, and he also writes the occasional bit of poetry. Starr’s two published novels, Until Shiloh Comes and A Walk in the Wilderness, have won awards. Starr’s new release, The Mountain Valley Wrangler, is a traditional western. Starr’s poem, “The Cross that Reached to Heaven” will appear in Issue 3 of Lost Pen Magazine. Visit Starr on Amazon  and Goodreads.

 

 

Love Loves Me: A Testimony

Love Loves Me:  A Testimony

by Talisha Walton

 

I confess, in all honesty, I’ve always had an intense desire in my heart to find true love. I wanted someone who’d truly love me—unconditioned. I coveted love from someone who’d accept me with all of my flaws, look pass all of the mistakes I’ve made, and love me anyway, exactly as I am. For years I sought to find this elusive love in others, especially men, but to no avail. I certainly found something else, though, and the result of that finding, left me a bad and bitter, broken-hearted mess. It didn’t take long for all of that bitterness and brokenness to become pure hatred and uncontrollable anger toward others. I even hated myself and had began to believe that I wasn’t worthy of having a love that is true because I wasn’t being true to loving myself. If I didn’t love me, than why should anyone else? Sadly, but true, looking for love is what drove me to hate in the first place. It was the primary cause of my self-hatred, and hating myself had done the most damage of all. It had caused my heart to become a slowly crumbling stone in my chest. 

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I came from a broken home, and I was raised by an unstable and damaged mother who failed me numerous times; however, we’re best friends now. I grew up without my father. He chose to walk out on my mother before I was born and declined every chance given to get to know me; however, may God rest his soul. As a result of his absence and carelessness, I often felt confused, rejected, abandoned, and unloved. My mother abused drugs and alcohol all throughout my childhood; however, she’s drug free now. I was often teased, bullied, and even rejected by my peers because of it. We were constantly evicted from our apartments; she’d buy drugs instead of paying the rent to keep a roof over our heads, and it always left us with no other choice but to live with relatives. By the time I became a teenager, I found myself walking in her shadow, and well on my way to becoming just like her. When I became pregnant at the age of sixteen, I began to notice a similar pattern forming. I came into this realization and knew it was time to make the pattern, at the least, distinct, if not extinct. I knew, even in the condition of having a stony heart, that if a change wasn’t made, the cycle of a loveless life, with all of its failures, would surely repeat itself. A determination to become a better person grabbed ahold of me, but quickly developed into only a longing to do so.

In my eyes, my life was worthless. The process had already begun. I was becoming a victim of my poor upbringing, unfortunate circumstances, and the constant betrayal of the people in my life who claimed to love me, but would leap at any and every given opportunity that presented itself, to hurt me. I couldn’t understand why it seemed like the chances were always taken by the ones who I was really hoping would remain true to me. I thought, then, that if I was more like them, I’d be loved and accepted as one of them. Therefore, I gave up and caved in to all of the endless pressures lowlife had to offer; it was the only thing that surrounded me. I became efficient in every attempt to ruin the life of anyone, all because I had a bad one. I was an alcoholic delinquent who stayed out all hours of the night and was regularly involved in unspeakable acts. I rarely, if barely, attended school and I was down to do whatever I had to do to get my hands on just a little love, and by this time, even if it wasn’t really love, but still—it evaded me.

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I ultimately decided, since I couldn’t have love in my life, I’d settle for hate and I quickly fell in lust with it because being with hate, made it easier to hide all of the feelings I had for love. I eagerly took hate by the hand, we went out, and made it a priority to hurt anyone and everyone. Hate introduced me to so much more and soon after, I quickly became a force to be reckoned with. All of the hatred I let inside made me cruel, vindictive, selfish, uncaring, unforgiving, and unapologetic, but much deeper inside, I still wanted love. I was truly just a lonely, lost, and loveless soul with trust, abandonment, and psychological issues who had successfully driven every single person, in my wreck of a life, out of it. I had lost all of my faith, I had no hope for a future, and I no longer believed in love. I finally came to the conclusion that love didn’t exist and if it did, then it definitely didn’t have any interest in ever loving me, so I made the difficult decision to abandon my pursuit to find it—for good. The moment I did, though, Love found me.

What I finally discovered is, I was wrong about love. Love isn’t any of those things I thought I wanted and needed. True Love isn’t even what I thought I coveted and isn’t truly an emotional feeling, at all. True Love, as it turns out, is truly an actual person, and this Person has always known me, although I never knew Him. This Person has always loved me, too, and it’s a true fact that this Person loves me so much, He chose to die so He could save my life. It was when, I finally admitted I was lost, that Love came and found me. He even forgave me and removed my stony heart, then created in me a new one. He made me a new Creation. He showed me, not what, but Who He truly is, and Who He has always been. I accepted Love in my heart by making an everlasting covenant with Him, He showed me how to forgive others, and then myself. He taught me how to love myself, and then others. I believe in Love, now. God is Love, and now, I know Him. I am in Him and He is in me. It is undeniably true, I love Love, and Love—loves me.

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About  Talisha

image1Talisha Walton is an author of Christian books. Writing has always been her passion, but she has a more intense passion to inspire believers to dig deeper and experience life as Christ intended through a personal relationship with Him. She stands firm on the fact that it’s completely natural to live a supernatural lifestyle while leading a normal life, operating fully in the gifts of The Holy Spirit and Talisha writes about such a lifestyle to enkindle a strong desire in others to seek after the hidden things The Lord spoke of in His Word. Jesus said that we would do even greater things. Such a lifestyle isn’t considered paranormal, but indeed supernatural. It isn’t at all magical, but is surely filled with miracles. Kingdom life is a spiritual life, not metaphysical. Learn more about this author at WriteousAuthor.com.

 

How to contact Talisha:

Blog: www.writeousauthor.com

email: writeousauthor@outlook.com

Twitter: @WriteousSeries

Facebook: www.facebook.com/WriteousSeries/

Amazon Authors Page: www.amazon.com/author/talishawalton

Interview with John Finch, founder of The Perfect Father Ministries

A few weeks ago, I was honored to be invited by John Finch to write a story/testimony about the importance of fathers for the Encouraging Dads Project. John was kind enough to return the favor, and accepted to be interviewed for the Christian Creative Nexus.

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John is the founder of The Perfect Father Ministries, the umbrella ministry that houses the Encouraging Dads Project, and The Father Effect  book and movie

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I know you will enjoy reading about him and his tremendous vision and ministry. I also invite you to watch the 15-minute preview of the The Father Effect video at the end of the interview.

 

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John Finch

Welcome, John! It’s great to have you with us. Can you begin by telling us a little about yourself?

I have been married to an amazing cajun girl for 23 years and have 3 daughters ages 11, 16, and 18. I just turned 50 years old and love to golf when I get the chance.

How did God reveal your need to deal with your father and Father issues? How did it change you and your family?

I realized I had a father wound from my dad committing suicide some 30 years earlier and I struggled with abandonment.  After years of trying to life on my own, my life was falling apart and God rescued me from myself. I had been struggling with alcohol, my relationship with my wife and kids was not what it should have been, and my only hope was Jesus. Finding the life-changing power of God’s forgiveness for my dad has changed my family, my life, and my legacy in ways I never imagined.

How did that result in the establishment of The Encouraging Dads Project and The Father Effect book and film?

I knew the things that I struggled with and the issues I had with my dad were not unique to me and that others needed hope and healing like I had experienced with God.  I thought most men were like me and would rather watch a movie rather than read a book, so I decided to make a movie. The Encouraging Dads Project came about as a result of making the movie.  I met many dad that felt like they weren’t a good enough dad and felt beat up. So, we needed a way to encourage and support dads.

Do you have a background in writing or film making? If not, how did you accomplish them?

I do not have a background with writing or film.  With some encouragement from others, I just learned the film business on my own. I spent countless hours on YouTube and at the Apple store.  Fortunately for me, I was blessed with a great co-writer on the book.

How did people respond to the Project and the book/film? What was the effect on men/boys? Women/girls?

We have been blessed with a tremendous response to the film and book. God has continued to use both to help others find healing and hope from their own father wounds and create an awareness with dads about the significant and life-long impact they have on their kids. I receive emails all the time about how God continues to use the book and movie to help men and women understand how their dads molded and shaped them into who they are as adults and help them forgive their dads.  

What challenges did you encounter launching and managing these projects?

It’s always much harder than you originally imagine. It took 5 years to make the movie and I learned a lot about patience and trust in God. The hardest prayer for all those years was that His will be done, not mine, and in His time, not mine. It’s more difficult and time consuming than most comprehend to make a movie and write a book. Trying to connect with people of influence and get the projects in the right hands was the most difficult.

How did you maintain your faith and focus during those trials? Did you ever want to give up? What keeps you motivated now?

My faith grew more through this process probably than ever before because of the patience and trust God taught me.  He taught me just to trust Him through it all. He is still teaching that. I wanted to give up literally a hundred times, but it was amazing how God would show up and show me His hand was still in the projects. I continue to learn things about how I can be a better dad and husband and I am just blessed to be along for the ride on the bus God is driving. Hearing all the stories of how God has used the book and movie to help others keeps me motivated every day.  This is the mission God has given me and I will continue to do it for the rest of my life.

If someone is inspired by your story and wanted to start a ministry, what advice or tips would you give them?

Find a mentor who has a ministry and can help guide them through the process.   If you can find that person, it could shorten the learning curve and, hopefully, help them not make all the mistakes most make.

When you think over the last few years, what do you see as the biggest blessing?

Without a doubt, I would say the forgiveness God showed me for my dad.  It has radically changed my life and legacy in every way.

Where do you see your ministries going in the next 5-10 years?

I pray I continue to have the opportunity to share the stories about the power of forgiveness and do other film projects and write a few more books.  

Anything else you’d like to share?

The epidemic of fatherlessness and absent fathers is much, much bigger than anyone really knows, so we need to continue to spread the word and message of hope and healing. It is the cause of most of our major social issues – addiction, teenage pregnancy, prison inmate populations, gangs, etc.  We can change many lives of the generations to come by helping change the lives of dads now.

John, it’s been a pleasure hearing your story and seeing how God has inspired you to touch people’s lives in the hopes of fostering healing and reconciliation to our earthly fathers as well as our Heavenly Father. God bless you and your family, and I pray that you continue to share your passion and gifts with the world.

Readers, thank you for being with us today. Please leave your comments below, as well as check out the video excerpt. I hope that God touches you today.

The Father Effect Repost: Fathers, Never Forget Your Importance

Thanks to John Finch of The Father Effect, a ministry that seeks to support fathers in their God-given role as well as foster restoration of the father-child relationship, for the chance to write this article-testimony for them.
Click the link to read the post, and be blessed!

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https://www.thefathereffect.com/single-post/2018/04/18/Fathers-Never-Forget-Your-Importance
Also, stay tuned! An interview with John Finch himself is scheduled for posting on the Christian Creative Nexus blog soon!

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