Refuse to Cower!

As National Poetry Month 2024 comes to its end, we acknowledge poetry’s ongoing influence in our lives. Though I will continue to post poems, I will refrain from daily posts for now … maybe until next April? No, I’m pretty sure I’ll post again before next year.

I began the month with a lighthearted April Fools Day poem. And it’s worth mentioning on this day fifty-eight years ago, The Church of Satan was founded. Though I hesitate to draw attention to this founding, I recognize the pervasive lure toward New Age spirituality and away from traditional Christianity. Continue reading “Refuse to Cower!”

Hat Tip to Poe(try)

In the annals of literature, is there any greater nod to the actual art of rhythmic composition than Edgar Allan Poe? He is, in essence, the personification of poetry. As we observe this 24th day of National Poetry Month 2024, it’s a fitting occasion to mention Poe’s contributions and lasting legacy.

More than a decade ago, I wrote a post about Poe (1809-1849) on the date of his 205th birthday. Yes, he lived a long time ago! The man lived a short and somewhat varied life, dabbling in several different occupational endeavors. Rather than rehash an old post, I’m making something of a right turn by focusing on one specific poem he wrote. Continue reading “Hat Tip to Poe(try)”

Prompt Poetics

There are online websites and apps I’ve noticed which acknowledge April as National Poetry Month 2024. The dictionary.com app on my phone (which I use quite often) displayed an announcement promoting their support. When I opened the app this morning, I noticed they’ve sponsored a poetry challenge to celebrate National Poetry Month.

The challenge looks interesting, specifying only two rules which may be fun, but stringent. If you’re someone who enjoys making up new words, this challenge might get your 2-5 line poem published to their challenge webpage! Looks like an excellent way to awaken oneself to a new experimental format. Continue reading “Prompt Poetics”

Cut It Out!

As we enter the last half of April and National Poetry Month 2024, I’m enjoying the wonders of Spring re-emerging! The dandelions are out in force across our lawn and eastern meadowlarks are singing their melodic praises through my open window.

Even when there’s a hint of rain in the air (as now with a 35% chance forecasted), I savor Spring’s goodness … except for the birds that insist on nesting in the shelter of my front porch! Back in January or February, I tore down the nest they’d built last year, high and out of my reach. (I had to get out the ten-foot ladder.) How did I miss their efforts at rebuilding? Alas, I can’t say for sure, but build they did, and from the porch floor, I’m unable to see whether bird-eggs are present, so I’ll forbear – for now! Continue reading “Cut It Out!”

Resurrection! Such Good News!

Women stood at the Cross as Jesus Christ died. Women attended Christ’s body after He died. Women were first to arrive at the empty Tomb. We are truly blessed.

The Finished Life

People die. As unpleasant as it is, it’s a fact. Overall, our culture seems mostly inured to this sobering fact. Perhaps it’s explainable (in part) with how movies depict death. If there’s lots of blood splashed across the screen, our brains dismiss it. If the script wanders into sappy sentimentalism when a character dies, we may roll our eyes and chuckle.

Image by TC Perch from Pixabay

But death is real … and none of us escapes its clutches. In solemn contemplation of Holy Week, I’ve reflected on Christ’s sacrifice. The Resurrection may be (for many) a familiar tale, but its substance and straightforward details never cease to amaze. Continue reading “The Finished Life”

Golden Books

In my last post, I mentioned there are certain digital books I’ve read over the last year which I will eventually purchase in actual hard copy format. One might naturally ask the question, Why? Since I’ve read these particular volumes digitally, what’s the point in acquiring them as hard copies? The easy answer is because I’ve found hidden treasure during my initial readings … and I anticipate more richness with each subsequent reading.

Image by Petra from Pixabay

Like most people, I may read a novel once and quickly dismiss the story line. Even with non-fiction, the content is (all too often) forgettable. But some books, I think of them as golden. Certain books, and occasionally even a few specific authors, have found a unique place, burrowing into my heart, and thus have earned an esteemed position on my bookshelf next to other Greats. (Note well, I said Greats, not necessarily Bestsellers, many of which would never qualify as great – except on the publisher’s ledger.) Continue reading “Golden Books”

My “Lucky” Day

The Washington Post ran a story the other day about the expected surge in Las Vegas tourism traffic this week because couples have chosen to marry on the upcoming “lucky” day (12/31/23). The next time there’ll be a similar date with the repeating 123 numbers will be in 100 years! I’m reminded of an old Lawrence Welk/The Count meme … a one and a two and a three.

For Las Vegas – always eager to cash in on a unique (and possibly lucky) event – they’ve installed a small pop-up marriage license bureau inside the airport to accommodate arriving couples in their quest for the perfect wedding venue. In this city that’s billed as the “wedding capital of the world,” Las Vegas makes it happen for newlyweds, especially since the average wedding now comes with a hefty $30K price tag. Continue reading “My “Lucky” Day”

Culture As Report Card – Part II

In my previous post, I discussed how the culture has made an indelible mark on today’s Church. There’s a statement making its way around social media which addresses culture and the church. While there are various versions, the image (below left) is one I screen-shot from Facebook. 

Considering the number of places online where I’ve noticed this (and similar) expressions of concern, I think it’s safe to say many people are becoming more aware of the downward slide of the church. According to a 2019 Gallup poll, US church membership has declined sharply over the last two decades. An even more recent poll shows US church membership falling to its lowest level ever.

It’s difficult to identify the exact cause (or causes) of this decline. Some observers have even suggested the slide began in 1517 when a priest named Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the All Saints’ Church in Wittenburg (Germany). Luther was, after all, challenging church authority and doing so in a very public way.

Continue reading “Culture As Report Card – Part II”

Culture As Report Card – Part I

A pithy observation has tucked itself away within my memory. Though I can’t recall who said it (else I’d provide proper attribution), the comment begs for reflection and due consideration, especially as our social norms face new challenges almost every day.

Culture is the Report Card of the Church

Over the years, the terminology for a Report Card has morphed into something meant to sound less ominous:  Progress Report … Student Assessment … Quarterly Evaluation. Still, whatever it’s called, this periodic report often causes unnecessary dread for the person (or organization) being evaluated. Continue reading “Culture As Report Card – Part I”