Fran Haley of North Carolina inspired us to write verse in a syllable count that feels comfortable to us. I chose to write mine about traveling as I embark on a June adventure to Alaska with my husband, and made mine an acrostic as well.
Tasting the World
traveling adventures: such magic~
that spellbinds in small realms new places go explore!
Fran Haley of North Carolina is our host on ethicalela for the Open Write this week, and she challenged us to write anagrams.
Here in the Deep South, sweet tea came to mind. We drink it syrupy. What a fun challenge! I think of our rural farmland and the equivalent of sweet tea for little lambs, too (I just thought I should explain the second line). Mine makes absolutely no sense, but I had fun and will be on the lookout to try more anagrams when I see the swatches and pieces play out!
wee state ewe teats wet tease we set tea eat sweet sweet tea!
Allison Berryhill of Iowa is our host today at ethicalela.com for the June Open Write. She is challenging us to write word association poems by letting our eyes land on something in the room, then associating that word with another word, and another and another and then going back and adding words on each line to create a poem.
My words were: hydrangea island friend childhood poetry bicycles village pier
a hydrangea hopeful from her island garden my friend from childhood who also loves poetry~ we rode bicycles to the village crabbed off the pier
Happy Father’s Day to my father, the Reverend Dr. Wilson Felix Haynes, Jr., who shares a special memory of his own father today on my blog. I, too, have fond memories of my grandfather Haynes and his deep love of people – and animals (especially cats). Here is Dad’s story:
My dad, W. F. Haynes Sr., was a bi-vocational preacher, a railroad man pastor, a man of God in a blue-collar world. He was enamored that God called him to preach. He would often say, “I would rather be a preacher than the President.”
He felt genuine humility in his calling. Once I became a pastor, I would often go to my hometown of Waycross, where he would take me to lunch. Invariably, someone would come by the table and speak to me about the incredible impact of his life upon them and their family. I heard that repeatedly in South Georgia. Dad had a down-to-earth, casual way of connecting people to Jesus.
He was a prolific reader, even with limited vision in one eye. He read hundreds of books and sermons, especially those of Charles Haddon Spurgeon. He would read one early in the morning and reflect on it all day as he worked at his railroad job. Dad allowed his life to be steeped in God’s word; he had a knack for taking great truths and applying them to life situations. He was unique and authentic.
One particular episode defines my dad. After many years of preaching in the South Georgia area, he retired. A few years later, he was asked to preach the community Thanksgiving service on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving Day in Mershon, a rural village in Pierce County. He had served that vital congregation for ten years before retirement. All the nearby churches joined together on that occasion and there was a “crowd.” He was in his mid-eighties and well-loved among those people.
He called me and asked for an idea. I suggested that he might use the story of the early pilgrims as an illustration message. During that first winter, Gov. Bradford issued a meager 5 grains of corn to each person for a part of their daily meal. The Pilgrim band managed to survive that harsh winter. They learned more about agriculture in the ensuing year, and things improved significantly. Food became more plentiful. Thereafter, Bradford suggested that on the next Thanksgiving (Harvest Thanksgiving after the English tradition) that each family lay aside on the table 5 grains of corn as symbols of things for which they were grateful. So, I suggested that Dad relate that story and share 5 things for which he would like to express his gratitude. I also suggested that he use no more that 3 minutes on each point. My mother was famous for telling both of us to “preach about God and about 20 minutes.” Great advice! Dad gave great thought to this subject. He would preach parts of it to me via phone. I could feel the spirit at work in his preparation.
Since I was also preaching a community Thanksgiving service in another location, I could not go to Waycross to drive him the 22 miles to Mershon. Thankfully, my cousin, Porky Haynes, agreed to take Dad to Mershon for the service. He called me the next day to tell me about the experience, sharing the event with detail. Dad’s points were these: I am grateful for 1. Freedom 2. Family. 3. Church family 4. The Bible. And 5. MySalvation.
Porky went on to say: “Felix, I will tell you this: we worshipped God that night. When W. F. shared that last point, he said, ‘I am going to do something I have always wanted to do to conclude this sermon. He paused and started to sing, (preface)-I want you all to know this (lifted his voice in song), I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus, though none go with me, I still will follow. At that point, the whole congregation rose to their feet and joined in singing all the verses of the hymn (soft and a cappella).’”
Porky added, “I saw tears shed in that place and felt goosebumps. It was a powerful moment!” He shared this with me in such a way that I felt the power of authentic worship in hearing the story.
Come write with us! Allison will host three days, and Fran Haley of North Carolina will host two. We’d love to have you. I spun the online spinner and landed on Oar – so, here are Things You Can Do With An Oar:
Things You Can Do With An Oar
you can dream about it
you can dream about it and let loose about that one time you went canoeing down the Flint River from Sprewell Bluff to Highway 18 in Thomaston, Georgia and ended up in the same boat with Randy who’d tried to sing like Burl Ives
it was a church youth trip and you were both chaperones otherwise you’d have had better sense on an ordinary day than to row with Randy
Randy was an expert and you were blessed to be paired with him and his skill set
Randy thought he was a chief and you his squaw as he sat on the floor of the canoe on his knees giving you directions on the roles of the rowers
when you tried to tell him the boat was backwards he waved his hand at you dismissing your words
until you showed him the fanny cutout on the bench how it was rounded at the back and fannies did not fit this way
he acted perplexed scratched his head you know, I think they Installed those wrong
you rolled your eyes kept rowing as Chief got all quiet like he was preparing to come up on some tribal camp catching them by surprise with a peace pipe
(weren’t no peace pipe in this boat)
teenagers on the trip were noticing and whispering about this strange man
you just stared at your gold flip flops and prayed these three hours to the landing would fly by
and that Jesus kept control of your tongue on this church outing
until Chief lost his knee balance in this backward boat and flipped the canoe one gold flip flop lost forevermore
and in this dream you can go back to that moment and pretend that Jesus himself walked on water handed you back your oar and asked you what you thought you could do with an oar and looked the other way long enough for you to do it