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.
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
The bald eagle symbolizes America. It resides in North America, but this word reaches beyond this side of the earth. As such, I see some similarities between our national symbol and what is transpiring today. I will give this word loosely and hope that the Lord gives you wisdom as you read it.
The bald eagle is not obviously bald. Its white head contrasts with its dark body. Psalms 68:14 also contrasts Zalmon in a similar manner. It was a dark, volcanic mountain covered with snow. In this scripture passage, it was snowing when the kings of the earth were scattered by Him. It was a sign of timing.
Eagles can fly roughly two miles high in the air. The eagle has pinpoint eyesight and can see its prey from far away. Satellites, ditto, only they are not bound by biology, but technology.
They feed on schools of fish. Fish symbols were drawn to identify Christ followers during the persecution by the Roman Empire.
Their numbers are increasing because they are a protected species.
The numbers, precision, and protected status of others are overwhelming to those of us crying out for help. There are no man-made answers. There are some strong citizens doing what they can, but it is so widespread that only God can cleanse and heal our nation. Only God can restore our national symbol of the nation to us in a foundational way. Only God can deliver us from the eagles’ talons. Only God can transform the predator side of our national symbol into a symbol of hope and restoration of our republic.
The Psalms 68 passage note of my NASB study bible states that the battle had already been won before the Israelis had suited up for battle.
Ezekiel, the prophet, spoke for the Israelis then, and for Christ followers hurting now, no matter where we live. Verses 34:8, 10, 14-15, 17, 25-26, 28 speak encouragement for the days ahead:
“As I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “surely because My flock has become a prey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock;…Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will demand My sheep from them and make them cease from feeding sheep. So the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore, but I will deliver My flock from their mouth, so that they will not be food for them.”’”….“I will feed them in a good pasture, and their grazing ground will be on the mountain heights of Israel. There they will lie down on good grazing ground and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. “I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest,” declares the Lord GOD….”As for you, My flock, thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Behold, I will judge between one sheep and another, between the rams and the male goats….I will make a covenant of peace with them and eliminate harmful beasts from the land so that they may live securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. “I will make them and the places around My hill a blessing. And I will cause showers to come down in their season; they will be showers of blessing….“They will no longer be a prey to the nations, and the beasts of the earth will not devour them; but they will live securely, and no one will make them afraid.
Psalms 16:9 NKJV Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope.
A caesura in poetry is a break, or rest, in the rhythm of the poem. Punctuation can mark it, but it can also be indicated by a phrase or clause.
The caesura can break up the monotony of a line. It can also emphasize what is next or what has gone before.
As we pen our poems, a rest between drafts breaks the rhythmical work. It allows us to come back to our poems refreshed.
It allows us to come to the table hopeful in crafting poems that will make a difference. It permits those whom God sends to read them a message from Him to slip through our rational minds into our spirits. Like when Jesus spoke in parables.
The book of Genesis begins with a chaos of darkness. Then God hovered over the waters, created the light, and separated the light out of the darkness. And He saw it as good.
An angel of God blocks the Egyptians with a cloud of darkness on their side and a fiery light on the Israelite’s side. He sets the scene for a miracle using dark and light from the same cloud the night of their deliverance.
Ezekiel sees a valley of dry bones. The bones are so dry, no blood or marrow is inside them. Then God steps in, raises and breathes on them. He creates an army out of dead dry bones. He separates death from life.
Josiah shatters the idols of Judah. The darkness of Manasseh and his son Amon’s reigns, according to Halley’s Bible Handbook, obliterates the thought of God. Josiah separates the darkness of demons from the holiness of light.
Mary Magdalene looks into the tomb of Jesus, crying because His body is missing in action. She turns around and asks Him, where is her Lord’s body? She is focusing on the darkness of death until she hears His resurrected voice say her name, “Mary.”
The American colonies rebel against the darkness of British tyranny. A revolution ensues with a home-grown Continental army of soldiers. They are far outmatched by the most powerfully polished nation on earth. Fighting for the light and hope of freedom keeps the soldiers from giving in and giving up.
To rebuild a person, place, thing or idea, it starts with the death of the old and the resurrection of the new. As the Cambridge Dictionary defines it, it is “to build something again that has been damaged or destroyed.”
Our purpose is to work in keeping with the gifts and talents that God has given us to rebuild. We do our best, despite the obstacles, and leave the results to God. If we control the results, we invite distraction from starting new projects and invite an unholy manipulation of God’s work. Our projects fly to the destinations that God alone knows.
We bring to light Father’s business. Once we release our offering to the Lord, He uses every small and large offering to weave a tapestry of beauty. He weaves in the mistakes that are made along the way.
Rebuilding from a scale that incorporates both a worldly stage and individual lives, the work of our hands benefits ourselves and society by making us vessels of God’s love to each other. Stepping out in faith — be it personal, cultural, or political — we achieve God’s purposes. That was how the West was won and how it will be won again.