3crosses

From the first time I read the following story I've never forgotten it. It's an amazing allegory which teaches us that our carnal dreams must die before God's heavenly dreams for us can come true-For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-10

The Three Trees

 Once upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up.

The first little tree looked up at the stars and said: “I want to hold treasure. I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I’ll be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world!”

The second little tree looked out at the small stream trickling by on its way to the ocean. “I want to be traveling mighty waters and carrying powerful kings. I’ll be the strongest ship in the world!”

The third little tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and women worked in a busy town. “I don’t want to leave the mountain top at all. I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me, they’ll raise their eyes to heaven and think of God. I will be the tallest tree in the world.”

Years passed. The rain came, the sun shone, and the little trees grew tall. One day three woodcutters climbed the mountain.

The first woodcutter looked at the first tree and said, “This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me.” With a swoop of his shining axe, the first tree fell.

“Now I shall be made into a beautiful chest. I shall hold wonderful treasure!” the first tree said.

The second woodcutter looked at the second tree and said, “This tree is strong. It is perfect for me.” With a swoop of his shining axe, the second tree fell.

“Now I shall sail mighty waters!” thought the second tree. “I shall be a strong ship for mighty kings!”

The third tree felt her heart sink when the last woodcutter looked her way. She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to heaven.

But the woodcutter never even looked up. “Any kind of tree will do for me,” he muttered. With a swoop of his shining axe, the third tree fell.

The first tree rejoiced when the woodcutter brought her to a carpenter’s shop. But the carpenter fashioned the tree into a feedbox for animals.

The once beautiful tree was not covered with gold, nor with treasure. She was coated with sawdust and filled with hay for hungry farm animals.

The second tree smiled when the woodcutter took her to a shipyard, but no mighty sailing ship was made that day. Instead, the once strong tree was hammered and sawed into a simple fishing boat. She was too small and too weak to sail on an ocean, or even a river; instead, she was taken to a little lake.

The third tree was confused when the woodcutter cut her into strong beams and left her in a lumberyard.

“What happened?” the once tall tree wondered. “All I ever wanted was to stay on the mountain top and point to God…”

Many, many days and night passed. The three trees nearly forgot their dreams.

But one night, golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feedbox.

“I wish I could make a cradle for him,” her husband whispered.

The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and the sturdy wood. “This manger is beautiful,” she said.

And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world.

One evening a tired traveler and his friends crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake.

Soon a thundering and thrashing storm arose. The little tree shuddered. She knew she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through with the wind and the rain.

The tired man awakened. He stood up, stretched out his hand, and said, “Peace.” The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun.

And suddenly the second tree knew he was carrying the king of heaven and earth.

One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten woodpile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man’s hands to her.

She felt ugly and harsh and cruel.

But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth tremble with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that God’s love had changed everything.

It had made the third tree strong.

And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God.greentreescape

That was better than being the tallest tree in the world.

The next time you feel down because you didn’t get what you want, sit tight and be happy because God is thinking of something better to give you.

Author unknown

easterbird 

The Love Song

 

Have you found a better song than you sang yesterday?

Do you know a better way for tomorrow?

Can you live with today?

 

So many songs to hear-

Songs of hope-

Songs of fear

Making all so very unclear

Many songs to deceive

And yet-

One song to set free!

 

There’s a song that sounds

Higher than the heavens

Lower than the seas

Filling time with heavenly air

Blowing in every breeze.

 

There’s a song that never ends

It goes on and on

The words are true-

Meaning love, joy, and peace

The music flows from the heart

It must be sung or it will depart.

It’s the love song

Jesus wrote for you…

 

I wrote this poem several years ago and as you can see it has no specific rhyme scheme. Nor does it use one particular form. It is what is called free verse which you can read more about here. For me, this is the best way to write poetry because a poet can use his or her creativity a little more freely and  flow more naturally with the feeling they desire to express through their writing.

The following piece is a very short example of free verse also. Despite the lack of ending rhymes, rhyme schemes, or specific meters, imagery and metaphors help to create an intriguing and lovely poem.

FogThe fog comes

on little cat feet.

It sits looking

over harbor and city

on silent haunches

and then moves on.

by Carl Sandburg

 

 

 

 

 

Free verse relies on natural speech patterns, not pre-constructed forms of poetry. It may seem like a modern invention yet it has been used since Bible times. In fact the Song of Solomon (Song of Songs) was written in free verse also. If you'd like to try it for yourself go to this site.

Hope you're still excited about your quest2write. If you have a point of view that can inspire someone else, then that should be enough to keep you writing whatever you write-essays, poems, novels, articles, stories, columns, memoirs…let your writing voice be free!

 

springtreeIn view of the fact that this is National Poetry Month I’ve chosen to post about poetic forms. The Cinquain will be highlighted this week. Though there is an assortment of styles, I’ll only list a few of my favorite ones. Here is the best definition I could find for Cinquain – refers to a class of poetic forms that employ a five line pattern. It was in the past used to describe any five-line form but now refers to one of several forms that are defined by specific rules and guidelines. Adelaide Crapsey invented the American Cinquain.

Here is an example of her 22 syllable Cinquain-

TRIAD

These be
Three silent things:
The falling snow…the hour
Before the dawn…the mouth of one
Just dead.

by Adelaide Crapsey

Below are other variations

Butterfly – a nine-line syllabic form with the pattern two, four, six, eight, two, eight, six, four, two

Crown – a sequence of five cinquain stanzas functioning to construct one larger poem

Didactic- 1-title; 2-two word description; 3-three action words (possibly ending in ing); 4-four emotion words; 5-synonym for title.

Mirror- a form with two 5-line stanzas consisting of a cinquain followed by a reverse.

A few years ago I attempted my first didactic one. Unfortunately I misplaced it so I tried to reproduce it from memory. The first two lines are from the original.

Gratitude

Thankful Attitude

Heart Open Wide

Filled with God’s Peace

Praise

I believe poetry needs to move people in some way when they read it. Therefore it needs to make us feel or think deeply about something important or special. Recently I was contemplating on the word euphemism ( the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant; also: the expression so substituted.)

Then I started musing on the fact that there are good and bad euphemisms. The bad kind are what I call the politically correct words like abortion which is used instead of murder. As a result of this line of thought I wrote the following:

Euphemism

Whitewashed substitute

Disguise, veneer, aestheticism

Politically correct offshoot

Anti-realism

The above example has a rhyme scheme of a-b-a-b-a. But a cinquain doesn’t have to rhyme or be so serious. It can be a simple style with 5 lines and a cohesive subject, thought or feeling.

Spring

Sun Shine

Green Grass Growth

Birds singing on high

Life!

 

I hope you liked this little post on one of the simple forms of poetry. If you’d like to read more cinquains go to visit poetrysoup.com.

 

 

 

 

roadhighwayWhat does conflict mean? Two good definitions are: mental struggle resulting from incompatible or opposing needs, drives, wishes, or external or internal demands; the opposition of persons or forces that gives rise to the dramatic action in a drama or fiction.

Without conflict what would the story be? You could say it makes the story because it builds tension and interest in the character’s situation-which drives the reader to keep reading. Writers have several types of conflict to choose from and can use more than one kind. Here are the main ones and an example of each:

MAN VERSUS MAN-The movie 12 Angry Men is about twelve jurors deliberating over the innocence or guilt of a suspected murderer. Each one has their own agenda or perspective which creates plenty of tension as a result.

MAN VERSUS NATURE-Books like The Perfect Storm, Jaws and Robinson Crusoe are in this category. The main conflict is man struggling against the forces of nature to survive.

MAN VERSUS SOCIETY-The Scarlet Letter, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Hunger Games

MAN VERSUS SELF-Landon in A Walk To Remember had an internal struggle with himself when he first started spending time with the preacher’s daughter Jamie. Because she was a Christian she was treated as an outcast and sometimes made fun of by Landon and his friends. But as he learned more about her and realized how special she was, the real conflict within him began.

Gone With the Wind is a good example of a novel that possesses a panorama of several conflicts. Scarlett O’Hara has conflict with herself (internal) with Rhett and with society-nineteenth century civil war era.

Just as conflict or trouble is a part of life it is a part of fiction. And just like bad circumstances in life can move us in a different direction-(they can be our stumbling blocks or steppingstones) so conflicts can change the characters we have created. And hopefully when the story is written there will be a happy ending.

 

 

 

The word Decalogue is used as a synonym for the ten commandments. It basically means ten rules. In some literature a character may write a list of ten things that are personal or special to them. Two books that have characters' decalogues are 'Because of Winn Dixie' and 'A Separate Peace'. You can read more about writing a decalogue for your character here.

Below is a Decalogue that I wrote a few years ago.

tree1

TREES ARE MAJESTIC EXAMPLES OF GOD’S NEVER-ENDING CREATIVIE POWER. THERE ARE LARGE TREES, LIKE THE GREAT SEQUOIAS IN CALIFORNIA,( THAT ARE WIDE AS A ONE CAR TUNNEL). AND THERE ARE SMALL TREES LIKE THE MUSTARD TREE…AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN. PLUS THERE ARE TREES WITH HUGE LEAVES. AND THERE ARE OTHER TYPES WITH NEEDLE SHAPED LEAVES. THEY COME IN ALL COLORS, shapes AND SIZES. YET, EACH VARIETY OF TREE HAS MUCH IN COMMON WITH THE OTHER ONE. IN MANY WAYS, CHRISTIANS CAN BE COMPARED TO TREES TOO. BELOW IS A DECALOGUE OF TEN THINGS BY WHICH CHRISTIANS SHOULD RESEMBLE TREES.

 

1.)   STAND STRONG…IN THE GRACE OF GOD THRU FAITH-Romans 5:2) as a child of god we don’t have to, Nor can we, stand alone.

2.)  GROW DEEP ROOTS to stand strong a tree needs deep roots.; Also true for a Christian. Learning to trust god and realizing he is worthy of our love helps us to keep rooted in him.-Jeremiah 17:7,8

3.)  GIVE SHELTER…TO OTHERS IN NEED. If we allow the spirit of god to keep our roots watered  and let the word feed us, then our leaves will always be green and ready to help someone in need.

4.)  DON’T BEND IN THE WIND. The winds of adversity will surely come to a child of god but we don’t have to succumb to the devastation that it brings with it. Our god is greater in us than the enemy is in the world. Also, we can’t yield to false teachings or false doctrine because it would eventually uproot us from the true word of god.

5.)  REJOICE IN THE LORD…”then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the lord” I Chronicles 16:33; “and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” Isaiah 55:12 If the trees do it how much more should we be doing it?!

6.)  SOAK UP THE SUN AND RAIN “The presence of the “son” and the refreshing “water” of the Holy Spirit are what we need to keep us growing and maturing.

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. Jeremiah 17

7.)  BE FRUITFUL When we allow him to feed us, water us, and shine on us we will produce good fruit. And there are many types of fruit bearing trees in the world. So we should not try to judge our fruit by others or visa- versa…judge others by ours. But keep in mind that the word does say ”Every good tree brings forth good fruit …a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit…by their fruits you shall know them.”

Matthew 7:16-20

8.)  LET GO OF THE PAST. The wind of the spirit is able to whisk away or clean out all the unforgiveness, hurt or bitterness in our lives.  Sinful debris from our past will only get in the way of our growth and fruitfulness.

9.)  SHARE YOUR SEEDS…OF FAITH AND GOOD WORKS. Our faith is revealed by our works. “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven” Matthew 6:16

10.)HOLD YOUR HEAD HIGH…AND REACH FOR THE SKY.  If you’re a child of the king of glory then you have every right to lift up your head, heart and mind and look for the promised redemption of his children at his appearing. I John 3.

Why don't you write a Decalogue today? Some examples could be:

Ten things I love about spring.

Ten reasons I love…

Ten places I want to…

Share here if you like. :)

3gkidsswingCharacters in fiction aren’t real-right? But who are the characters in your story-I mean the people in your life? In your life you should be called the hero or heroine which is usually the same as a protagonist or main character in literature.

If the paragraph above has completely confused you then I’ll try to explain the purpose of this post in clearer language. People need people and books need characters. Where do writers get their ideas for characters for their work? In reality they get them from people in everyday life. Art has to imitate life-right? If we want our story or novel to be realistic then we must use the raw resources of human examples, along with imagination, to create something fresh and vivid.

A writer can’t just study the personality and details of someone’s life(unless it’s their own) and then weave that person into the plot and setting of their work. Such actions could get a writer in trouble with whoever they attempted to Xerox and place in their manuscript. I’m not saying some writers have never done this before but if they were found out it wouldn’t’ be a happy ending.

In addition, if they used the person to invent a villain for their work, then legally it would be libel. Though we need antagonists to produce conflict and suspense, we don’t have to steal to obtain them. Instead we can construct a new character out of the building blocks of different traits from a variety of people we observe every day. It kind of sounds like a Frankenstein theme but hopefully your new creation will come out better looking.

A story or novel always needs somebody that encourages the protagonist in their quest for whatever goal they are seeking to reach. They are called supporting or sidekick characters. The simple word for them is friends. Since friends are important they shouldn’t be made into cardboard or stereotypical characters. In other words, they should have a well rounded personality and not a flat or one or two dimensional kind.

In real life people are not like The Big Bad Wolf who is absolutely evil. Nor are they like Cinderella who is good and perfect in every way. Both types are called static characters because they stay the same throughout the storyline. The Wolf doesn’t change and become a forest ranger that protects the people and animals in the woods. Neither does Cinderella become an evil princess who chops off the heads of her stepmother and stepsisters.

The opposite of static characters are dynamic ones. During the course of the story they experience a dramatic change in their attitude or belief system. Something happens that motivates them to possess a different point of view or mindset about themselves, others, certain issues or their environment. Consequently, the main character or protagonist should be dynamic and not static so they will be more memorable and will move the reader to applaud and cheer them forward.

Let’s review the types of characters we have mentioned so far:

Protagonist- usually the main character or hero

Antagonist- the enemy or villain of the story (can also be nature, society or self)

Supporting or Sidekick character-may be used in variety of ways: 1) confidant/friend   2) contrast to hero to make him shine (sometimes called the foil)  3) as comic relief

Finally I’d like to discuss the Symbolic character. This kind of character represents a deeper meaning in the story or novel. Their actions and/or words reveal a universal theme or abstract idea. Atticus (the father) in ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ was a symbol of morality and reason because he taught his children and others that prejudice was wrong. Katie (the mother) in ‘A Tree Grows In Brooklyn’ symbolized tenacity in pursuing the ‘American Dream’. Of course there are many others out there for you to explore and sometimes there are more than one or two symbolic characters in a novel.

Many characters make up a story or novel just as many people make up the world. Just as every person is unique in actions, feelings, expressions, speech, beliefs, and appearance so characters should be too. If you need a little inspiration in your quest to create your own characters then check out this page.

Because I Could Not Stop For Death

Because I could not stop for Death–

He kindly stopped for me–

The Carriage held but just Ourselves–

And Immortality.

We slowly drove–He knew no haste

And I had put away

My labor and my leisure too,

For His Civility–

We passed the School, where Children strove

At Recess–in the Ring–

We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain–

We passed the Setting Sun–

Or rather–He passed us–

The Dews drew quivering and chill–

For only Gossamer, my Gown–

My Tippet–only Tulle–

We paused before a House that seemed

A Swelling of the Ground–

The Roof was scarcely visible–

The Cornice–in the Ground–

Since then–'tis Centuries–and yet

Feels shorter than the Day

I first surmised the Horses' Heads

Were toward Eternity

Dickinson

Chances are you’ve already read at least one or two other poems written by 
Emily Dickinson, one of the most famous poets of the nineteenth century. 
Her unique style is filled with dashes, distinctive vocabulary and imagery.
 Much of her poetry was written in four line stanzas with an ABCB rhyme scheme.  
Over half of her poems were written during the years of the American Civil War
 which may be the reason for some of the tense feeling in her work.
 Emily was born in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1830 to a prominent, though not
 wealthy family. She rarely left her family home and by most accounts was a 
recluse with only a few close relationships. Dickinson wrote lyrical poetry 
that contained universal themes such as nature, identity, death, love and 
immortality. When she died only ten of her poems had been published.
 In my opinion, most of the poems I have read written by her seem unclear 
or hard to understand. (Though many people have tried to decipher or interpret
 them). Truthfully I think she is well known mainly because her life and style 
of writing are shrouded in mystery. And another reason could be that she was 
one of the first female poets of her day ever published. Despite my lack of 
zeal for her work the following poem is one of my favorite.

 He Ate and Drank the Precious Words
 
He ate and drank the precious Words --

His Spirit grew robust –

He knew no more that he was poor,

Nor that his frame was Dust –

 

He danced along the dingy Days

And this Bequest of Wings

Was but a Book — What Liberty

A loosened spirit brings!



The following poem is by another well-known poet of the twentieth century.

The Mystery

The river hemmed with leaning trees 
Wound through its meadows green; 
A low, blue line of mountains showed 
The open pines between. 

One sharp, tall peak above them all 
Clear into sunlight sprang 
I saw the river of my dreams, 
The mountains that I sang! 

No clue of memory led me on, 
But well the ways I knew; 
A feeling of familiar things 
With every footstep grew. 

Not otherwise above its crag 
Could lean the blasted pine; 
Not otherwise the maple hold 
Aloft its red ensign. 

So up the long and shorn foot-hills 
The mountain road should creep; 
So, green and low, the meadow fold 
Its red-haired kine asleep. 

The river wound as it should wind; 
Their place the mountains took; 
The white torn fringes of their clouds 
Wore no unwonted look. 

Yet ne'er before that river's rim 
Was pressed by feet of mine, 
Never before mine eyes had crossed 
That broken mountain line. 

A presence, strange at once and known, 
Walked with me as my guide; 
The skirts of some forgotten life 
Trailed noiseless at my side. 

Was it a dim-remembered dream? 
Or glimpse through ions old? 
The secret which the mountains kept 
The river never told. 

But from the vision ere it passed 
A tender hope I drew, 
And, pleasant as a dawn of spring, 
The thought within me grew, 

That love would temper every change, 
And soften all surprise, 
And, misty with the dreams of earth, 
The hills of Heaven arise. I mourn no more my vanished years
    Beneath a tender rain,
    An April rain of smiles and tears,
    My heart is young again.

John Greenleaf Whittier
 whittier

Whittier was born December 17, 1907 in Havervill, Massachusetts. He was a 
Quaker, newspaper editor and abolitionist. He is remembered well for the 
patriotic poem 'Barbara Frietchie' and a number of poems which became hymns.
 A well known quote is from his poem Maude Miller, “For of all sad words of 
tongue or pen, the saddest are these ”What might have been!”

His poetry, at least the majority of what I have read, feels vibrant and clear.
To me Whittier’s work has a deeper substance to it than Dickenson’s poems. 
Years ago I’d read one of her other poems which became a favorite of mine. 
Likewise, one of Whittier’s was special to me. Yet, years later I’d forgotten 
both the poems and couldn’t remember who wrote them either. But recently I 
discovered them again. When I read Whittier’s I felt like I’d found an old 
treasure that had been lost years earlier. In contrast, after I read Dickenson’s
 poem again I couldn’t understand why I’d thought it was so wonderful in the 
first place.
 Below is my favorite Whittier poem:


             MY Psalm


The west-winds blow, and, singing low,
    I hear the glad streams run;
    The windows of my soul I throw
    Wide open to the sun.

    No longer forward nor behind
    I look in hope or fear;
    But, grateful, take the good I find,
    The best of now and here.

    I plough no more a desert land,
    To harvest weed and tare;
    The manna dropping from God's hand
    Rebukes my painful care.

    I break my pilgrim staff, I lay
    Aside the toiling oar;
    The angel sought so far away
    I welcome at my door.

    The airs of spring may never play
    Among the ripening corn,
    Nor freshness of the flowers of May
    Blow through the autumn morn.

    Yet shall the blue-eyed gentian look
    Through fringed lids to heaven,
    And the pale aster in the brook
    Shall see its image given;

    The woods shall wear their robes of praise,
    The south-wind softly sigh,
    And sweet, calm days in golden haze
    Melt down the amber sky.

    Not less shall manly deed and word
    Rebuke an age of wrong;
    The graven flowers that wreathe the sword
    Make not the blade less strong.

    But smiting hands shall learn to heal,
    To build as to destroy;
    Nor less my heart for others feel
    That I the more enjoy.

    All as God wills, who wisely heeds
    To give or to withhold,
    And knoweth more of all my needs
    Than all my prayers have told.

    Enough that blessings undeserved
    Have marked my erring track;
    That wheresoe'er my feet have swerved,
    His chastening turned me back;

    That more and more a Providence
    Of love is understood,
    Making the springs of time and sense
    Sweet with eternal good;

    That death seems but a covered way
    Which opens into light,
    Wherein no blinded child can stray
    Beyond the Father's sight;

    That care and trial seem at last,
    Through Memory's sunset air,
    Like mountain-ranges overpast,
    In purple distance fair;

    That all the jarring notes of life
    Seem blending in a psalm,
    And all the angles of its strife
    Slow rounding into calm.

    And so the shadows fall apart,
    And so the west-winds play;
    And all the windows of my heart
    I open to the day.

 

What do you think of my opinion of Dickinson’s work? Do you agree or disagree? Why? What do you think about My Psalm? What kind of thoughts or emotions does it evoke in you?

 

 

 

 

 

DCIM100MEDIAONCE YOU READ THIS BLOG POST YOU MAY ASK WHAT'S IT GOT TO DO WITH THE QUEST TO WRITE. FOR ME EVERYTHING BECAUSE I'M ADDICTED TO WRITING ABOUT THE TRUTH OF GOD'S WORD-THE MOST POWERFUL FORCE ON EARTH.

WHEN A PERSON IS ADDICTED TO SOMETHING(DRUGS, ALCOHOL,LUST, ETC..) THEY LIVE FOR THAT VERY THING. IT CONSTANTLY CONSUMES THEIR THOUGHTS AND DESIRES. AND THEY OFTEN FEEL THEY ARE UNABLE TO SURVIVE WITHOUT IT.

THE ADDICTION SEEMS TO OVERRIDE ANY COMMON SENSE . AS A RESULT THEY ALLOW THEMSELVES TO BE PUT IN DANGEROUS POSITIONS. IN A WAY THE ADDICTION POSSESSES THEM. IT’S LIKE ANOTHER FORM OF SLAVERY (SELF-CHOSEN). SOME SYNONYMS FOR “ADDICTION” ARE: HABIT, COMPULSION, DEPENDENCE, NEED, OBSESSION AND CRAVING.

WHY OR HOW DO ADDICTS GET IN SUCH BONDAGE? THE SINFUL NATURE CONVINCES THEM THAT THEY WANT OR NEED MAN MADE HIGHS TO TAKE CARE OF THE HURT, PAIN, ANGER, LONELINESS,FEAR OR EMPTINESS THAT PLAGUES THEIR SOULS. THE HUNGER AND THIRST FOR SOMETHING GREATER THAN THEMSELVES IS DROWNED OUT BY THE PULL OF THE FLESH.

YET THE TRUTH IS THAT THE ADDICT BEGINS TO REALIZE THAT THE PILL, OR NEEDLE OR BOTTLE…ONLY ADDS TO THE VICIOUS CYCLE OF THE SAME PROBLEMS. THEY DON’T GO AWAY BUT BECOME MORE COMPLICATED. AND OFTEN THE ADDICT WILL TRY STRONGER DRUGS OR POSSIBLY OTHER ADDICTIVE HABITS, THINKING THAT IS THE SOLUTION. UNFORTUNATELY, THEY WILL NEVER FIND IT UNTIL THEY LOOK BEYOND AND ABOVE THEMSELVES…TO THE CROSS OF JESUS CHRIST.

WHAT DOES THE CROSS REPRESENT? UNMISTAKABLY JESUS’ LOVE FOR ALL.

Romans 5

6For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

10For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

11And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement…

21That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

THE GRACE OF GOD (CONVICTION) REVEALS TO US THAT WE ARE SLAVES TO SIN AND ARE IN NEED OF DELIVERANCE. AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD LETS US KNOW THAT WE’VE BEEN LOOKING IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES FOR HELP.

10For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. II Corinthians 7:10.

JESUS DECLARED THAT HE CAME TO THIS EARTH AS A LOWLY MAN TO SEEK AND TO SAVE THE LOST. HE ALSO SAID THAT HE CAME THAT WE MIGHT HAVE LIFE AND HAVE IT MORE ABUNDANTLY. PLUS, HE PROMISED THAT HE WOULDN’T LEAVE US COMFORTLESS BUT WOULD SEND THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH (HOLY GHOST) BACK TO US AFTER HE ASCENDED BACK TO HEAVEN.

IN JOHN 7:37  HE EXPLAINS, 37In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

38He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

39(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

IF YOU ARE HUNGERING AND THIRSTING FOR SOMETHING MORE THAN YOU’VE EXPERIENCED SO FAR, THEN JESUS CAN FILL YOU UP WITH JOY, PEACE AND LOVE. ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS TAKE HIM AT HIS WORD. HE’S NO RESPECTER OF PERSONS. HE’S THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER. IF YOU SEEK HIM WITH ALL YOUR HEART THEN HE WILL HEAL, CLEAN AND FILL UP THAT HEART. IT’S TIME TO GET ADDICTED TO JESUS. HE WON’T LEAVE YOU EMPTY, HURTING AND DEAD.

BEING ADDICTED TO JESUS IS BEING ADDICTED TO LOVE.AND YOU CAN DEPEND ON HIM. HE PROMISED IN HIS WORD THAT HE’D NEVER LEAVE OR FORSAKE HIS OWN.

From the cowardice that shrinks from new truth

From the laziness that is content with half-truth

From the arrogance of the one who thinks he knows all truth

Oh God of Truth deliver me!

Today I’d like to blog about a few poetic sound effects- Alliteration, Assonance, Consonance, Onomatopoeia, Rhythm, and Rhyme Scheme.
If you will notice the first, second, and seventh line in this beautiful poem, you will see the use of alliteration.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
Robert Frost

This next partial poem shows an example of assonance-The repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds, especially in stressed syllables, with changes in the intervening consonants, as in the phrase tilting at windmills.

Daffodils
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:

William Wordsworth

The next lines of this well known poem contain both assonance and consonance for sound effects. Consonance is the repetition of consonants or of a consonant pattern, especially at the ends of words, as in blank and think or strong and string. (Different from alliteration because only consonants are used.)

Starry Night and Farmers Fence and fieldThe Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary
While I pondered weak and weary
Over many a curious volume of forgotten lore
While I nodded, nearly napping,
Suddenly there came a tapping
As if someone gently rapping, rapping
At my chamber door
Tis a visitor, I muttered,
Only this, and nothing more.

Edgar Allen Poe

The poem above also uses another sound device called onomatopoeia-(The formation or use of words such as buzz or murmur that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to.) The words tapping and rapping are example of it.

Here is a small list of them: chug-chug, clink. clatter, crash, bang, bow-wow, bang, sniff, snort, splutter, squeak, whack, wheeze, whir, honk and hoot.

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Next on our list is rhythm which gives musical quality to a poem.
rhythm: the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line.
meter: the number of feet in a line.
Metrical foot- Any of various fixed combinations or groups of stressed and unstressed (or long and short) syllables comprise a foot. The prevailing kind and number of feet determines the meter of a poem.

The most common feet in English verse are the iamb, an unstressed followed by a stressed syllable; the trochee, a stressed followed by an unstressed syllable; the anapest, two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed syllable; and the dactyl, a stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables. To learn more about rhythm in poetry go to-www.english.emory.edu/classes/Handbook/meter.html

Last but not least is rhyme scheme which is the pattern of rhyming lines in a poem. Letters are used to indicate which lines rhyme. For example “abab,” indicates a four-line stanza in which the first and third lines rhyme, as do the second and fourth. The following poem is a sonnet which has the rhyme scheme “ababcdcdefefgg”.

Sonnet 18 by Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
and summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
To learn more about different types of rhyme schemes go to-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhyme_scheme

Poetry doesn’t have to rhyme or have a specific meter. This kind is called free verse. Another type, blank verse, has a metrical pattern but does not have rhyme. Just as there are all kinds of poetry there are all kinds or types of poets. Are you a poet and don’t know it-yet? Why not try it and find out. You don’t need a “poetic license” to practice.;)

Diamond_cut_shiney[1].
Words can have many facets to them, much like a glittering diamond. Denotation is the literal or dictionary meaning of a word. Connotation is the emotions or suggestions that the word may evoke in a person because of a social, cultural or personal attitude toward it. As a result these attitudes may be positive or negative.
A few examples of connotation follow below:
Child-kid, brat
Fox-sly, sneaky
Meek-timid, weak
Old-feeble, outdated
Thrifty-cheap, miserly
Challenging-difficult, hard
Childlike-childish, immature
When a writer ignores the importance of a words’ connotation, or layers of suggestion, it may result in a reader misinterpreting his attitude, opinion or tone toward his subject. Word choice is everything if you want to get the right message to your audience.
Just as the facets of a diamond enhance its beauty or brilliance the connotation enhances the writer’s work, giving it a greater dimension, depth and clarity. Consequently, good writers make special use of the connotations of words in various ways including figures of speech such as metaphors, similes, and personification.

The elderly man had a thrifty wife who purchased day old bread.
The aged man had a penny-pinching spouse who bought stale bread.
The old man had a stingy woman who paid for moldy bread.

Study the three sentences above for a moment. As you can see each has an adjective for the man, the woman and the bread. Elderly, aged and old are synonyms; thrifty, penny-pinching and stingy are also synonyms-as well as day old, stale, and moldy bread. Yet, look how different the tone of the sentences! Can you see how important it is to use the word with the right shade of color for your essay, poem, short story or novel to sparkle in the eyes of your reader? So let’s continue on in our quest to write, searching for the perfect word-that diamond in the rough.


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