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h. renell's Hearth Posts

Open Your Fingers

two hands reaching for the light
Photo by I.am_nah on Unsplash

Psalms 81:10 NASB
I, the LORD, am your God, Who brought you up from the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.

My favorite genre of books is writing advice and encouragement: some can fit all genres, others more specific. Most of my writing books are poetry related, with a few personal essays and fewer still flash fiction.

Most have one thing in common though – they are secular. I have read a few of this subgenre for Christian creatives. The Creative Call: An Artist’s Response by Janice Elsheimer and Art + Faith by Makoto Fujimura are good choices. The secular books are good for practical ideas and suggestions, but they advise calling on “the Muse” for idea inspiration. Would that be the nine muses of Greek mythology or automatic writing?

As much as I have read books to get ideas flowing, nothing beats typing posts on my laptop or writing poems on paper until ideas flow. (Writing prompts, just no). Some I can attribute to my own thoughts, but some clearly come from the Holy Spirit. My one and only Muse.

We are living in a time of metaphorical Egyptian bondage. It is time to open our mouths, or fingers, and let the Lord fill us, so we can praise Him with the written word during and after deliverance comes, when we are called. And be lights when deliverance comes.

FaithPoets' PavilionWriting

Divided States, Divided Children

Then the woman whose son was living spoke to the king, for she yearned with compassion for her son; and she said, “O my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him!” But the other said, “Let him be neither mine nor yours, but divide him.” So the king answered and said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him; she is his mother.”
1 Kings 3:26 -27 NKJV

On January 10, state Senator Linthicum of Oregon introduced the Greater Idaho bill, which would move 65% of Oregon’s eastern landmass into Idaho. A month later, two Idaho senators sponsored a non-binding petition to discuss the relocation of the Oregon / Idaho borders.

A citizen writing an op-ed piece in 2015 from the La Grande Observer noted that “They had switched their role in democracy from servant to lord.”

Moving from Missouri in 2013, I knew I was moving from a deeply red state to a deeply blue state, no middle purple ground here. However, I was surprised to find a red sea in a bastion of blue. Despite this fact, the slippery slope existed before I moved to Oregon.

Oregon is deeply divided – I have read three places where civil war could break out: Upstate New York, Michigan, and Eastern Oregon.

Other states are attempting to secede – Colorado and California, and maybe others. In the last decade or so, Colorado flipped from red to blue.

I believe the citizens of Eastern Oregon love her.

However, this is not just a states’ problem. This is a national problem. This is a problem kicked down the road for another day. This issue does not address the foundational issues that assaults every state.

The woman who stole the child, standing in front of King Solomon, did not want a righteous judgment. King Solomon had the God-given wisdom and creativity to discover it.

Just as the two women came before the King, so do we all need to come before the King of kings for answers beyond our capacity.

Oregon's Beacons

Strolling the French Way

French couple taking a stoll
A Stroll by the Seine, Paris by Henri Victor Lesur Public Domain

You have been cooped up in your writing room, hopefully for hours, in a state of flow. Or maybe not, maybe you have stared at the screen or paper not knowing what to scribble. Or maybe you need some inspiration, some window shopping for ideas. Take a stroll with me down memory lane on the French word flâneur.

A flâneur, or a “man-about-town” according to Merriam-Webster, was coined in 1854, during the reign of Napoleon III’s rebuilding of Paris. Eric Maisel, in A Writer’s Paris, writes it is a “French invention of strolling as an art form.”

Many of my haiku ideas were conceived strolling the beach in my neighborhood. Pegging the changing colors of the Pacific from day to day, like a kindergartner changing the weather chart, clears my head and rolls any stress off my back. Strolling sets my mind mulling over what I have written or read, and/or opens my eyes to the details around me.

Writing is an interior exercise, but strolling becomes an external exercise. We see our natural history roll right before our feet. Just as the ocean changes daily, observing your environment intimately will enlighten our routine stroll. It grounds us in the reality of our physical bodies and physical, concrete world—perhaps giving us ideas for metaphorical writing. For the introverts, and most of us writers are introverts, it is a way of blending in without interacting too much with others, so we can think and plan and observe sans cell phones.

Now you are ready to write those ideas down to start the process of flow. The wind of the Holy Spirit flowing through your mind with ideas to flow onto the screen or paper. He can supply the ideas, and we supply the unique expression of those ideas. We co-create.

It is through him that we are able to live, to do what we do, and to be who we are. As your own poets have said, ‘We all come from him.’ Acts 17:28 ERV


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