Light vs. Darkness

...and don’t participate in the unfruitful actions of darkness. Instead, you should reveal the truth about them.~Eph. 5:11 (CEB)
     This is the season where we are seeing preparations for what has become one of the biggest celebrations of the year...Halloween. The store aisles are filled with all kinds of decorations in orange, black, purple and green, where houses, jobs and even some churches can transform their entire worlds into haunted works of architechture designed to shock and frighten those who dare to enter. Over time, Halloween costumes have become increasingly violent and bizarre, from simple cartoon characters to mass murderers.
     Where did the tradition of Halloween come from? Is is just a harmless celebration with plenty of candy and treats, or there a more sinister origin? As worshipers, can we participate in these activities and still lead others to Christ?

     Do your own research and learn about the real origins of anything you do before getting involved with it, even if it goes on in a church building. We are living in a time when it's important to know, discern, and understand that everything we do impacts our lives...and the lives of those around us.


Speak Easy! Pt. 2 - Styles of Poetry

Poetry...A medium for telling the truth with utmost precision in the use of words incorporating distilled language and high speech with minimal word use and maximum impact.
~Anansi Workshop

     In continuing our discussion in learning about different types and styles of poetry, let's begin by stating that there are over 50 classifications of poems with new ones always being created! Some of the most popular types include:

· Acrostic poetry -poetry in which certain letters, usually the first in each line form a word or message when read in a sequence. Many of the Psalms and Proverbs are acrostic Hebrew poems.

· Haiku - Japanese poetry composed of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables, usually containing a season word. Americanized Haiku can be about any subject, but still has the same structure as Japanese Haiku.

· Lyric Poetry - Poetry that expresses the thoughts and feelings of the poet. Many songs are written using this type of writing.

· Rhyme Poetry - Poetry that has the repetition of the same or similar sounds of two or more words, often at the end of the line.

· Narrative Poetry - Poetry that tells a story.

· Free Verse Poetry – Poetry that does not rhyme, but flows freely. Spoken Word Poetry is usually done in Lyrical, Narrative, or Free Verse styles.

     Of all the above styles, Lyric, Rhyme, Narrative and Free Verse poems are the types that are most often written, read or spoken in poetry venues and churches because they are the among easiest to understand. Also, within these styles of poetry, there are several variations among them all!

     So, what if you feel that God is leading you to write poetry? How do you get started? One way to start writing poetry is to keep a journal and "free write" for five minutes about whatever you are feeling at that moment. Even if it doesn't make sense, you may get the beginnings of a poem from what you have written. Another way of getting started is to write what is called an "I Am" poem, which is a series of statements and declarations about yourself to get in touch with what inspires or motivates you to write. Remember to write out complete thoughts, and remember not to judge anything that you write, especially while you are in the midst of writing! It's best to write and put your journal away, and read it later from an objective standpoint. Never discard anything that you write, because several weeks, months or years from the time you wrote, you may find something of value that you didn't see at first!

     Now that you know how to get started, what are you waiting for? Set aside a time when you can concentrate, and write from your heart. In our next blog, we will learn more about how and where to present your poems.

   Please enjoy this narrative poem by Jackie Hill of P4CM Poets...

                       2 http://ettcweb.lr.k12.nj.us/forms/iampoem.htm