Say No (poem by me)

When he advances
Even in subtle ways,
Be ready with your “no.”

Even if it’d help your finances,
Say no to the raise,
When he advances.

When it seems innocent though,
Business travel for a few days,
Be ready with your “no.”

Stand firm and take your chances,
Reject his invitation always,
When he advances.

In your heart you know,
You see it in his gaze,
Be ready with your no.

Regardless of the circumstances,
Don’t delay or tiptoe,
When he advances
Be ready with your “no.”

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”—Ephesians 6:10

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Nations in His Hands (poem by me)

This world belongs to the Lord,
And all the people who live in it,
The Lord has lifted Africa in His left hand,
He has lifted Australia in His right,
Let’s see what the Lord has done,
Let’s sit in silence and wait for Him
to display His mighty wonders,
We will be awestruck.

 

A Mourning Lament Outline

So you want to write a lament poem to mourn someone you loved? You can just follow your heart, but if you don’t know where to start…then start with this outline derived from David’s lament for Saul and Jonathon (2 Samuel 1:19-27).

I. Introduce your loved one as a symbol using two lines. Here is the example from 2 Samuel 1:19. (The gazelle symbolizes an important figure.) 
    “A gazelle lies slain on your heights, Israel.
    How the mighty have fallen!”

II. Use four lines to explain how his or her death will affect the world. In the case of Saul and Jonathon, their death would cause their enemies to rejoice. See 2 Samuel 1:20 below.
“Tell it not in Gath,
    proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon,
lest the daughters of the Philistines be glad,
    lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice.

III. Use four lines to give details of the death. In 2 Samuel 1:21, David curses the place that the death occurred.
“Mountains of Gilboa,
    may you have neither dew nor rain,
    may no showers fall on your terraced fields.
For there the shield of the mighty was despised,
    the shield of Saul—no longer rubbed with oil.

IV. Use eight lines to describe your loved one’s character. David describes their fierceness, skill, and bravery in battle (2 Samuel 1:22-23).
“From the blood of the slain,
    from the flesh of the mighty,
the bow of Jonathan did not turn back,
    the sword of Saul did not return unsatisfied.
Saul and Jonathan—
    in life they were loved and admired,
    and in death they were not parted.
They were swifter than eagles,
    they were stronger than lions.

V. Use four lines to describe the good he or she did in their lifetime. David recalls the riches that Israel enjoyed while Saul was king (2 Samuel 1:24).
“Daughters of Israel,
    weep for Saul,
who clothed you in scarlet and finery,
    who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold.

VI. Use four lines to describe how you loved the person. David and Jonathon were close friends, and this becomes evident as we read 2 Samuel 1:25-26.
“How the mighty have fallen in battle!
    Jonathan lies slain on your heights.
26 I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother;
    you were very dear to me.
Your love for me was wonderful,
    more wonderful than that of women.

V. Using the last two lines, repeat one of the lines in the first stanza. For the first line of his last stanza, David repeats the 2nd line of the first stanza. Then he adds another short line to close out this last stanza (2 Samuel 1:27).
“How the mighty have fallen!
    The weapons of war have perished!”

This versatile outline can be used to write laments for any event that caused you to feel abandoned such as a breakup or divorce. There is no better place to get inspired than God’s own Word. If you wrote a masterpiece and would like to have a chance at getting it published, see Draw Near’s guidelines.

Psalm 42 as a Lament

Writers, here is some inspiration for the upcoming publication. Let’s consider Psalm 42 as a lament. In the first verse, note the author’s utter desperation.

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
under the protection of the Mighty One d
with shouts of joy and praise
among the festive throng.

Here is his encouraging self-talk as he reminds himself to trust in God.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

By day the Lord directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

Then the author pours out his problems and honest emotions because God can handle it (and He already knows our heart anyway).

I say to God my Rock,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?”
My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

How desperate are you for deliverance from your situation? Will you trust Jesus to take you out of it? Be completely honest about your problems and emotions. Write several laments as poems. Then write them as essays. Then write them as prayers. Write letters to those who have sinned against you. Then submit your most powerful piece of writing to Draw Near. Make sure it follows all of the guidelines for Draw Near’s next publication. (Please participate in this writing exercise even if you never plan to submit. This cathartic artistic expression of your negative emotions can be healing.)

Call for Submissions (Themed)

Draw Near is currently accepting nonfiction submissions for a new free ebook. This publication will consist of themed short writings and poetry. Writings can consist of poems, prayers, essays, letters, or other forms under 1,000 words. Please keep in mind that Draw Near is a Christian publisher. Do not submit inappropriate writing. Everyone is welcome to submit. Only quality writings that relate to the theme will be accepted.

THEME: Laments A lament is an expression of sorrow or regret. Lament your broken heart, broken dreams, prodigal children, habitual sins, injustice in the world, abuse, death of a loved one, or whatever else you deeply feel. Please include one verse of Biblical lament that corresponds to your writing in the New International Version format. (Biblical laments can be found in Job, Psalms, Lamentations, Habakkuk, Micah, Malachi, and more.) The purpose of this publication is threefold. 1) Encourage readers to freely open their hearts to God. 2) Inform readers they are not alone in their grief. 3) Express negative emotions in a healthy way. Please end your writing on a hopeful note that God will (or has) brought you out of this dark period of your life. (Many thanks to Molly woundresser for sharing her inspiration for the theme.)

Carefully read the following guidelines before submitting.

  1. Email your essay, poem, or other writing to songofsolomon8@outlook.com. Submit in the body of the email or as an attachment (.doc, .docx, .pdf). Avoid using special fonts and formats (such as centering, italics, etc). Include the title and “by” line in the email. (A pen name is okay.)
  2. You may include a short biography (optional). If your work is selected, Draw Near will share your bio in a blog. The bio must be in third person and consist of no more than three sentences. One link to your personal website or social media is acceptable. (The name that appears in your “by” line should be identical to the name in your bio.)
  3. New or old writings will be accepted. Draw Near will accept work that you have published on the internet (on your website or a public forum). However, we are not interested in manuscripts that have already been accepted for publication by other publishers. Simultaneous submissions are accepted. Please notify us immediately if your writing is accepted elsewhere.
  4. You are welcome to submit multiple writings; however, it is unlikely that more than one writing will be selected.
  5. The deadline is December 15, 2019.
  6. Unfortunately, you will not be paid for your submission. Please submit only if you wish to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ. All submissions will be considered and acknowledged. However, Draw Near will only accept quality writing that adheres to these guidelines for publication.
  7. PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT RIGHTS!!! By submitting a creative work:
  • you certify you are the author of the creative work.
  • you agree to give the publisher rights to publish your creative work in a single publication.
  • you authorize the publisher to make this publication available in print and electronic formats.
  • you agree to allow the publisher to post this publication on this website and other websites designed for hosting print and electronic formats.
  • you retain the copyright to your work.
  • you will be credited for your creative work (either as your real or pen name).

Still interested? Send in your writing to songofsolomon8@outlook.com today!

The Dark Side of Spring (poem by me)

Daffodils in bloom,
Achoo! Tissue;
Let’s go to the park,
Sudafed pill;
The grass turns a lush green,
Flonase spray;
The sun grows intense,
Kenalog injection;
Bunnies grow numerous,
Zyrtec tablet;
Woodpeckers are pecking,
Herbal tea;
Spring has a sharp spear,
I’ll retreat indoors.

*Anybody out there feeling my pain and suffering from allergies too? I hope you have a great spring anyway.

Love One Another (poem by me)

If you drive up in an beatup hoop-d, I’m gonna love you,
If our skin colors don’t match at all, I’m gonna love you,
Even if you turn away from me, I’m gonna love you still.

If you open your mouth and tacks fall out, I’m gonna be your friend,
If you wear a potato sack dress, I’m gonna be your friend,
Even if you stay on the couch all day, I’m gonna be your friend.

If your unfaithful spouse divorces you, I’m gonna sit with you,
If you get fired from your longstanding job, I’m gonna sit with you,
Especially if you become ill, I’m gonna sit with you.

I may not be Jesus, but I have His hands and feet,
That’s why…
I’m gonna love you,
I’m gonna be your friend, and
I’m gonna sit with you.
We’ll be together even after the end.

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” —John 13:35