Category Archives: writing
Sometimes there is a friend, early on, say, in high school, who writes in your yearbook.
Pages and pages, continued here and then over there, with a message that defies time and space.
Dispensing with the cursory, superficial gibberish, this friend heads straight for the truth with words so profound that, at 17 years old, you actually transcribe them so you can call on them again and again. Each time you do, they speak something new.
They planted a seed in me then, and now they reverberate through the ages. It’s as if Jesus Himself spoke to me through this friend.
Today, I have a special prayer for you: I hope that you find fulfillment, and that you are at peace with yourself and God. Because that is what I think is most important, what gives meaning and direction. His love is so great, Dear One, that the very thought of someone who loves me that much, in spite of the cursory lip service and lack of time I give Him makes me cry almost in shame and in joy.
There are so many pressures. After all, you will only be happy if you get straight A’s, hit .400, play at every game, go to every party, attend every Prom, lose 10 pounds, get accepted to five colleges, win a scholarship that covers tuition, room and board, and more or less win honor and glory in every endeavor.
But you don’t have to. Even if you hit .155 or sit in McDonald’s on Homecoming night, or fail every class, God loves you and is proud of you anyway. And that alone is enough to give you courage to stay up an extra hour studying, or keep running for office, or whatever. Someone who loves you so totally deserves never to be let down.
All of my love.
Imagine. A love like this
Journalism reports yesterday’s news.
Like the weather,
it needs no re-cap.
No sense keeping that around.
Fiction tells a good story.
Entertaining, but unless
those characters make a home with us,
one and done.
Poetry bears telling and re-telling,
reading and re-reading.
Poems speak newness,
reading into us, as we are new.
The one we are (the me who reads)
is new, with each reading.
holds no sway over today’s me.
Perhaps, a look and see
at how it affected me.
How I landed there. then.
But today lifts off into a new wind,
under new weather conditions.
Today the poem is a completely new flight.
New flight plan, same pilot.
There is no quenching living words,
they continue to speak:
to draw the heart out
to fill the soul up
to still, no activate, no ignite, no…
distill … can’t make up my own mind,
must let it make itself.
These are powerful words that propel me:
to places I’d never go otherwise,
with people I’d never meet otherwise,
that I came to the poem,
and it met me there
but didn’t leave me there,
didn’t leave me at all.
What is a poet
but one who lives a life that speaks?
Your life speaks.
as you write it —
see how it changes you,
as you write
as they read.
These days, being brave is not optional; it’s imperative. And the bravery I’m talking about doesn’t come from girding your loins and bucking up your confidence. It can’t be bought because it’s not for sale. But it is available. In fact, it’s essential to the life God wants you to lead. This is the message of Kelly Johnson’s new Christian women’s devotional book, Being Brave: A 40-Day Journey to the Life God Dreams for You. (Abingdon Press)
Her inspiration launches from a conversation with her young daughter who, sensing her mother’s frustration at not being able to solve the events of a day she found particularly overwhelming, said, “Mommy, I just need you to tell me I’m a brave soldier.”
We all need to put on our brave. But how? Where does it come from? Where can we find it? Where should we look? Johnson is clear: God names us brave. “The Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7
Johnson cleverly uncovers an acronym that she uses as the backbone of the 40 day journey. The building blocks of brave are being:
God’s spirit of Power helps us be bold and resilient. God’s spirit of Love helps us be authentic and vulnerable. God’s spirit of Self-discipline directs us to be engaged and empowers us. This devotional offers us the opportunity, through daily readings of scripture, story, prayer and reflection, to tackle what is holding us back and to discover what calls us forward. Our BRAVE says, Go on, take the Leap. I am with you in this.
As my mom used to say to me, “You’ll never know until you try.” When the stakes are low, that works, but when the stakes are higher, we need to hear someone tell us we’re brave. This devotional book will help you hear those words spoken to you in your own voice.
As I read TIME magazine’s powerful article detailing the stories of “the Silence Breakers,” whom they chose as this year’s Person(s) of the Year, I see this kind of BRAVE. In coming forward, they had everything to lose: yet, they were bold, resilient, authentic, and, while incredibly vulnerable, chose to engage with the world in a way that has ushered in incredible power. No timidity in sight. It’s why we believe them.
That’s what brave does. We don’t know what we can do until we try. After digging into Kelly Johnson’s book, you’ll be willing to try, too.
Find Kelly at her author page here.