As the years went by, under the guiding hand of God my writing became a ministry and a high calling and God's gift to be invested for His profit. I constantly look to the Lord for His inspiration and creative enabling.
In itself, creative writing is an honorable craft to be proud of and developed. People may misunderstand and view poets and authors unfairly as ivory tower dwellers, eccentric, and not in touch with the real world. People think we are dreamy-eyed mystics who still write with quill pens and live in garrets. There are many myths about artists in general and poets in particular that make it difficult to be taken seriously. Sometimes when I reply to an inquiry about what kind of writing I do and admit that I don't write novels, people seem to act disappointed that I'm not a “real” writer.
I have spent a lifetime writing about our contemporary world from a Christian worldview in modern language. I have addressed today's issues and concerns in every changing season of my life. I have tried to continually improve my writing skills and discipline myself to write better poetry as well as prose. I am somewhat of a nonconformist since I don't follow any classic or traditional format.
My style of poetry is contemporary free verse, but I separate myself from many modern poets. In contrast to some of them, I don't simply dance around on paper with words and sounds for their own sake and make the reader search for the meaning, if there is any. I try to create a meaningful, user-friendly poem with a point that is not so obscure.
Eventually I published several anthologies of my poetry under separate titles: “Life, Stop Crowding Me; Heaven and Nature Sing; Songs of My Pilgrimage; and Divine Applications.” My book “Living It Up!” is a combination of prose and poetry. The first three titles are combined into one volume as a Trilogy collection under the title: “Celebrate This Moment.”
I titled my recent collection of contemporary verse “Latter Rain: Wordsmithing Verse in my Vintage Season.” God is still generously raining His goodness, mercy, graces, blessings, and new adventures on me in my summit years. I consider this season of my life as my “vintage” writing time taking my cue from wine making. Vintage wine is defined as “exceptionally fine wine from a good year.” I hope that my current writing is "the best wine saved until last" from a mature harvest in the sense of Psalm 103: 5. “[God] satisfies your years with good things so your youth is renewed like the eagle's.” I hope that my overall writing is “the best of its kind because of [my] antiquity!”
I have used my poetry in the production of my radio broadcast ministry. Poetry is meant to be heard with the ears as well as read in print where it is “listened to” with the eyes. I've had a desire to pass on the craft of versification to others who want to release the poet within themselves for the glory of God and for ministry, so I've taught poetry workshops at Writers' Conferences. I used as a resource my published book, “Release the Poet Within! How to Launch and Improve Poetry Craft and Ministry.” It is relevant for the seasoned poet and the beginner.
I began my writing ministry with poetry and thought I would never be a writer of books because such longer and more involved writing required a different kind of discipline. As it has turned out, God had plans for me to expand my writing stewardship to somewhere around 35 published books so far. A number of my books are translated into other languages.
A writer who is a Christian must view himself and his creative work with the proper perspective. I must be aware first of all that I write to glorify God with “verses to the King.” That is what David the Psalmist called what he wrote. The Psalms are a poetic songbook. Manly and strong and powerful as a military leader and his country's king, he is equally known as a poet and musician. David wrote about the issues and concerns of life, as poets do.
WHEN I COMPOSE A POEM
When I compose a poem
it is first of all a hymn, a psalm
to Jesus Christ, Lord of my life
as King David did
when he penned the psalms.
When I write a poem
it is an intimate slice
of my private, inner world
that is hidden from view
a part of my soul
that not all may care to see
but that’s okay with me
my thoughts are not for everyone
just for a selected few.
When I express my heart in verse
I become vulnerable
I lift a veil and take the risk
of exposing my soul to another.
When I venture to share my poem
I offer a song of my heart
of my personal pilgrimage
meant only for the ears
of one with ears to listen
someone whose heart may respond
to sing in two-part harmony.
"Your decrees are the theme of my song wherever I lodge."
"He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
[Jesus] Matthew 11:15