Sin is an Escape Room (Poem by Me)

Ev’ry sin is a kind of escape room,
Sometimes Satan leads you in a wrong door,
Sometimes you are in the room from the womb,
People spend years in there staring at the floor.

Then a friend lifts your head,
Instead it could be a blunt confession,
Or a heartfelt prayer opens your eyes to see,
Else a verse frees you from the oppression.

You wait for the doorway to be unbarred,
Refuse to take the devil’s communion,
Sneak courageously past the demon guard,
And run for your dear life from loss and ruin.

In the Spirit of the Lord, there’s freedom*,
He restores what the locusts have eaten**.

*See 2nd Corinthians 3:17.
**See Joel 2:25.

My Deliverer (poem by me)

I hated the smell and despised the cost,
Abhorred each drag and the years it stole,
It announced to the world that I was lost
Every toke took a little piece of my soul.

One stupid choice I made years ago,
Made me a slave to my foolishness,
As a teen, how little did I know,
About addiction’s pure ruthlessness.

Then one day, the Lord set me free
My habit was no match for His power
He broke the chains that bound me
He is my fortress, and my strong tower.

If you are chained by some certain sin,
Make today the day you call out to Him.

“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.” —Psalm 107:13

The Pinnacle of Life (poem by me)

I’ve viewed the world from atop tall towers,
Kissed passionately in the pouring rain,
Received oversized vases of flowers,
And shared a bottle of midnight champagne.

I have peered down through clouds on mountain peaks,
and dived from boats in crystal clear oceans,
landed places a great sojourner seeks,
and drank my fill of intense emotions.

I have been ferried to primitive isles,
sipped of pure nature without phones or cars,
witnessed wild horses running free for miles,
Pitched a tent and wished on thousands of stars.

Still nothing compares or is quite the same,
to the moment the Lord God called my name.

“I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” —Ecclesiastes 1:14

*Draw near is now accepting personal essays about childhood. Read the details here: https://drawneartochrist.com/call-for-submissions/.

Perspective (poem by me)

While Noah was seeking refuge,
I was enjoying the deluge,
When you're a great white shark like me,
A flood just increases your territory.

Thanks to man's dirty dealings,
The rain gave us vaulted ceilings,
Within a forty-day time span,
The flood opened up our floor plan.

Each one of us hosted delicious feasts,
Until the floodwaters decreased,
We felt more than a little defeated,
When the excess water retreated.

Why it had to end, we may never understand,
But we heard that it worked out for Noah and his clan.

*Draw Near is now accepting poems for Blessed Creation:
A Christian Poetry Collection. Details here: Call for Submissions.

**"Perspective" is a fictional poem that seeks to show that world events 
can be seen as either a curse or a blessing based on the perspective. 
A flood that plagued mankind is a historical event recorded in Genesis 6-8. 
There is a bit of controversy surrounding whether or not sharks survived the 
flood. A great website named Got Questions addresses difficult questions 
using Scriptural support. Read their answer to whether or not sea creatures 
survived the flood here: http://www.gotquestions.org/fish-flood.html.

On Writing Poetry (by me)

I have not written many poems lately because I am currently reviewing poetry submissions for a new project called Blessed Creation: A Christian Poetry Collection. This publication will provide writers the opportunity to spotlight an aspect of God’s creation with their poetry. If interested, please visit the Call for Submissions page. In today’s blog, I want to share my process for writing poetry.

I usually start my poetry writing process with a memory. If I am not inspired by a memory, it could be a dream, a beloved animal or flower, an art piece, a sermon, or someone I saw on the street… Really the possibilities for inspiration are endless! From this inspiring idea, I develop and jot down one or two lines for the poem.

Next, I try to decide if what form the poem should take. (See http://www.shadowpoetry.com to learn more about poetry forms.) If my primary purpose is to communicate a concrete message, I will often choose free verse. Mangling a message to fit into a rhyming or syllable form simply will not do. However, I love expressing flexible ideas through rhyming poetry forms like a sonnet or rhyme royal. Rhyming poems can be fun, beautiful, and complex. I personally prefer to use near rhymes instead of obvious rhymes to make it sound more sophisticated. (Visit http://www.rhymezone.com to access near rhyme suggestions for your own poetry.) Syllable poetry forms like haiku and sijo are useful to capture the short attention span of new readers. (Visit http://www.wordcalc.com if you don’t like counting syllables by hand.) When no poetry form seems suitable, I simply invent my own poetry form! Creative people create. We can’t help it. Once the form is selected, I can add more lines to the poem until it is complete.

Once the poem is finished, I reflect on the message of the poem. For me, there is always a balance to be struck. I review and ask myself questions like:

  • Does the poem honor God?
  • Is it original?
  • Was I transparent and “for real” about my true emotions?
  • Would it be considered offensive or judgmental?
  • Does it reveal God’s heart for His people?
  • Is it too syrupy sweet?
  • Does it glorify sinful practices in any way?
  • Does it speak truth according to the Word of God?

If I don’t like my answers, it is time to rewrite the poem to ensure the integrity of my work as a Christian writer. In obedience to what God has called me to do, one thing is certain—I keep writing. My readers here on this site really encourage me to fulfill my calling as a writer. I could not continue day in and day out with your supportive likes and comments (which I can read although they do not publicly post). (If you seek an encouraging poetry community, you can find one at http://www.poetrysoup.com.)

That’s it! I hope the review of my writing process helps you in some way. If you landed here because of your interest in writing but do not consider yourself a Christian, please visit Draw Near’s About God page. Additionally, I am happy to read and reply to emails if you simply have questions or concerns about the Christian faith. (See the Contact page.) Maybe there is a more significant reason you landed on this page. Thanks for reading and God bless!

French Cafe (poem by me)

I own a petite cafe in South France
Overlooking the sparkling azure sea
The apron-clad staff serves some top cuisine
But mainly fine china filled with black tea.

Chef Christopher becomes so furious
No one orders his finely prepared food
Because he poured his heart and soul in it
But the customers are not in the mood.

I console him and say the tourists stress
About the growing size of their own waist
They say his creamy dishes look divine
Even when they refuse to take a taste.

I tell the chef to breathe in the sea air
And remember his wage is more than fair.
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ANALYSIS

"French Cafe" was written as a light fictional poem, but there is more here 
to chew on. On the spiritual level, it echoes the sentiment of the 
parable of the workers in the vineyard. Matthew 20:13 states, 
“But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. 
Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius?'" Shouldn't we appreciate the 
opportunity to serve Christ rather than allow pride to stir up anger over 
disappointments? Although we may not all enjoy a creative career on the 
coast of France, we do all have blessings we can choose to focus on in 
our lives. Thanks for reading "French Cafe" and its analysis. Have a 
blessed day!   

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Draw Near is now accepting poems for Blessed Creation:
A Christian Poetry Collection. Details here: Call for Submissions.