A Prayer Against Destruction

Hey kiddos, we met together last night — New Year’s Eve 2021 — and we made predictions and spent time as a family praying for each other for the coming year. Your Solomon Grandpa made a comment last night that had me thinking way past the evening about how I can and should pray for each of you this coming year. Actually, it is a prayer we should all be praying for ourselves and each other. Your Solomon Grandpa reminded us of the Lord’s Prayer: Jesus, leading by example, prayed, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” To be completely transparent here, I have rarely prayed that boldly for the Lord to keep me from temptation. I ask the Lord to give grace to us so that we make right and careful choices. I ask the Lord to give us strength to be God-honoring. I ask the Lord for protection, but I focus more on physical dangers than spiritual dangers. Solomon Grandpa encouraged us to be more bold in our praying. Be bold in praying for protection from sin’s destructive path.

Dear God, don’t let me, my spouse, or my children follow a path that leads to destruction. Place Your protecting hand on us so that we do not fall into sin. Keep Satan from deceiving our hearts. Deliver us from the touch of evil in our lives.

None of us should assume we are immune from sin, its deception, or its brokenness. Salvation does not vaccinate us from sin’s dangers here on earth. We have to be vigilant. We have to know and apply truth even when it’s not popular, convenient, or easy. To the degree we believe we are strong enough to fight sin on our own is the same degree we are susceptible to sin and in danger of falling into its destructive path.

So pray diligently as I will be that God delivers us from sin’s destruction. Don’t be fooled with worldly thinking…even when it is reasoned and spoken by well-meaning Christians. Don’t be deceived with temporal pleasures that defy God’s ways…when when they are presented and accepted by so-called Christians. Don’t settle for temporary “easy and popular” over God’s forever “peace and joy.”

God, deliver me and my family from evil in 2022. We need Your truth in our lives to protect us from the deceit of sin. May we make Your truth our priority this year. Amen.

Reverential Curiosity, a blackout poem

Commentary on the poem is written below…

Curiosity is a good thing, and one that drives us to learn, invent, and discover new things. What do the curious find? Discovering that great Power that created the bright stars, endless sky, illumined moon, and blazing sun is the ultimate find; for God says when you search for Him, you will find a powerful Creator-God. “The heavens declare the glories of God.” If only we would do better at listening…

The Family Man, a blackout poem

See commentary about the poem below…

This ode to fathers describes the real superheroes of a successful generation. We need men who become dads to step up to be family men. Men who protect their own. Men who see the mundane matters. Men who are humble leaders. Men with integrity. Men who know how to work. We need Proverbs 31 men, too! The faithful family man—after years of doing this heroic, show-up-everyday-kind-of work—will feel  vulnerable and exposed; but a faithful family man who lives a full life, dies a whole man.

Lightbulb Moments, a blackout poem

See commentary about this poem below

More than ever, I am of the opinion that reading is one of those bare necessities in life. If someone can read, he can learn. Granted, learning can be done by example; but reading catapults a person to greater heights and imaginations. Reading opens doors, expands imagination, develops dreams, and highlights action. God spoke to us in a written language intending for us to learn to read. It is useful. It is necessary. It is little but everything. Learn to read, then read to learn. Reading will transport you and become one of your best friends.

Floating Vapors

I added a new page to the site: https://vapormarks.com/gallery-of-blackout-poetry/.

It’s a bit more creative than my posts. As you kids know, I love old books. They can be found in almost every room of my home and every wall of my office. Old books inspire me in some strange way. (You should be proud of me though — I did some purging a year ago and got rid of a few shelves worth.) But, in the purging, I set aside a 1902 set of books that include compilations of old stories and biographies. I decided to randomly take pages from these books and try my hand at some blackout poetry.

Poetry is like floating vapors. You never really know where the words are going to land on the paper; but as they land, they form meaning and become a life of their own. I simply took someone else’s “marks” and made them do a bit of “floating” on the page to form new marks.

The result has been a fun activity. Being creative is healthy and challenging. As I do more, I’ll publish them on this page. Each post includes the poem against the original wording, the words in new poetic format, and some commentary about the poem at the bottom. Although not all of the poetry relate or are meant just for you kids, much of their message is put together with you in mind. I’ll post them in “My Marks” with a bit of commentary, and I will also place them in the gallery.

I love how you all exhibit creativity. Keep it up in your various ways. It makes me smile to see it.