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Shameless

Shameless

 

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You expect me to be ashamed,

To deny what I have become

And to only accept what the world has to offer.

I forsake the world’s treasures.

I reject the evildoers.

I shall not be ashamed.

 

Shame?

No, I feel none.

I refuse to accept the notion

That my beliefs should conform and not conflict

And that I must be ashamed of myself,

Ashamed of the cross,

Ashamed of My Savior.

 

Shame?

The shame is on you.

Shame on you for your cruel opinions.

Shame on you for your doubt and unfaithfulness.

Shame on you for your unbelief.

 

Shame?

As for me,

I shall remain shameless.

I reject any notion of shame.

 

Lamentations in the Storm

Lamentations in the Storm

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Losing Grip of the Legacy

In Real Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Somewhere

Some place

Some men are gathered together

In some secret board room

Sipping soy lattes and other caffeinated drinks

Brewing over one of the most diabolical schemes

Of our very own age and time

And for the ages to come.

They plan on making a more marketable Martin.

They plan on making a more appealing Martin.

They plan on making a more consumer friendly Martin.

They want to do away with Martin

Who organized the Poor People’s March.

They want to do away with Martin

Who wrote Why We Can’t Wait.

They want to do away with Martin

Who spoke for nonviolence

But who spoke against injustice.

These men will take the March on Washington

And make more appealing to Madison Avenue.

These men will take “I Have a Dream”

And make commercials for the NRA, Tea Party

And whoever else can pay for pricey Super Bowl ads.

These men will take the Birmingham Bus Boycott

And use it for curriculum for peaceful demonstrations

To cut down on Occupy, PUSH and any other coalition for change.

These men will use Martin’s words.

These men will use Martin’s image.

These men will use Martin’s likeness.

These men will use Martin’s reputation.

These men will use Martin’s legacy.

These men will use Martin.

They will do it to make monuments.

They will do it to make statues.

They will do it to make commercial ads.

They will do it to make made for TV dramas.

They will do it to make independent films on multiculturalism.

They will do it to make money.

This will be a New Age Martin.

He will be a Martin of YouTube.

He will be a retweeted Martin.

He will be a pinned and posted Martin.

His airbrushed image will grace profile pics.

His editorialized words will become status updates on patriotic holidays.

He will be something new and improved.

He will be something worthy of every advertising dollar invested in him.

Yet, He will be nothing like

The minister who led direct action in the South.

He will be nothing like

The man who sacrificed family and congregation to make a difference.

He will be nothing like

The martyr who died by an assassin’s bullet.

He will be an entirely different Martin.

We will only know him as MLK.

Few will recognize what has become of Martin Luther King.

We will only do service projects in his memory.

We will only volunteer in his memory.

We will only plant trees in his memory.

But we won’t change a damn thing in his memory.

We will swallow it down as they shove it down our throats.

We will take it in as they squeeze segments of his life

Somewhere between reruns of “Amos and Andy”

Or right after footage of an unbiased jury finding another person

Judged by the color of their skin

And not the content of their character

With more film to come at eleven.

It sickens me.

It saddens me.

But I am only left with one question.

Who will be next?

 

 

to buy more poetry by Rev Bruce visit https://sellfy.com/p/KWJU/ 

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Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly. – Psalm 31:9 (KJV)
My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes. – Psalm 6:7 (NIV)

 
Many people have asked me why I wrote my inspirational book of poetry Broken Pieces.  I can’t help but smile because it is dear to my heart.  I was down.  I was down and reading both Jeremiah and Psalms intensely as my daily devotion.  I was starting to think that the Word was even getting me down as I read the weeping prophet and David’s pleas for God to not turn His face from him and to incline His ear to him.  That’s when it hit me.
 

God does not leave us helpless.  That is especially comforting for those of us who reside on this side of the cross.  He offers us the Comforter, His Holy Spirit.  We have God dwelling within us.  He knows our moans and groans as well as what they truly mean to us.  He is with usWe are not without comfort when we have the Helper.
 
I had to share it.  I could not keep such a blessing to myself.  I found poetic inspiration and let it spill onto the page.  I felt the Spirit driving me to write and complete Broken Pieces as a testimony of all that God can do with our broken pieces.  We are all right as long as we stay in the clutches of the Potter’s hands.
 
In His Hands
A poem from Broken Pieces by Bruce Jackson

In His hands,

I am but clay

At the mercy of the Master’s touch.

As He crafts me into His desire,

He shapes and molds me to His liking.

He forms me with His hands

And designs me as His workmanship.

He knows the flaws of my very existence.

He cuts away that which is useless.

He creates in me a clean heart

And purifies me through the fire,

Testing how well I will hold together.

He names me and makes me a new creation.

He touches me with His breath

And I live.

I am His masterpiece in the making.

I am but clay in His hands.

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  Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel,
 “Because you despise this word
  and trust in oppression and perverseness
  and rely on them,
 therefore this iniquity shall be to you
  like a breach in a high wall, bulging out, and about to collapse,
  whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant;
 and its breaking is like that of a potter’s vessel
  that is smashed so ruthlessly
 that among its fragments not a shard is found
  with which to take fire from the hearth,
  or to dip up water out of the cistern.”
– Isaiah 30:12-14 (ESV)

The prophecy was presented to the rebellious nation from God.  He shared about the entire nation having this iniquity . . . like that of a potter’s vessel that is smashed so ruthlessly that among its fragments not a shard is found with which to take fire from the hearth.  Huh? This national syndrome of iniquity would cause this entire nation to become like broken fragments of a potter’s vessel.  In other words, their sin would cause them to be smashed so ruthlessly that they would be broken into pieces.

Our lives can be like that.  We can live so far from God that we don’t even realize that we are out of touch with what God wants for us or what He desires from us.  We can get out of touch with God and end up totally off track.  We can think that we are headed somewhere and truly find ourselves off track.

In some cases, it is no fault of our own.  We try to do right and try with all of our might to do well.  We just always seem to end up with the short end of the stick.  Mama dies.  Daddy walked out on us.  Friends drift away.  Jobs and careers change.  Family falls apart.  The home team keeps losing (or, in some cases trades away the franchise player for some draft picks to be named later.)  It’s outside of our realm of control.

However, there are also those times when we simply just don’t do right.  We want to point our sanctified finger at the children of Israel for being stiff-necked and disobedient, even defiant. 

But who are we to do such a thing?

Have you done every single thing that God has said for you to do? Uh-huh. Me, too. 

Have you missed an opportunity to share the Goods News of Jesus Christ with some wayward soul? Yep.  I’ve been there, too.

You see, if we keep it one hundred, we can honestly say that we haven’t done all of what God has said for us to do.  We have let God down more than we have let God in.  We have tried to uphold what we have chosen to believe rather than holding onto every Word of God.

I wrote Broken Pieces based upon being in such a place in my life.  Even having many of the trappings of a happy life, I still felt broken.  I still felt like the little that I was able to do was not getting done what I needed to do or that I had been called to do.  I was just going through the motions.  You have to pay a heavy and high price for going through the motions.  It can be more costly than the search for success.

Order or download a copy of Broken Pieces.  The poems and prayers included speak of how our lives can be mended from the fragments of failure.  As I state in the book’s description: The pieces of our lives do not have to remain broken. He can put together the broken pieces.

Broken Pieces is available in print or e-Book formats.

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12  Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:
13  therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.
14  And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters’ vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit.

Isaiah 30:12-14 (KJV)

Being broken is a circumstantial condition.  We feel broken due to the culmination of our circumstances.  Based on what has transpired, we feel a sense of brokenness.  We even take on the state of brokenness by taking personal ownership of living shattered and fragmented lives as badges of our broken lives of torment and terror.  We live as broken men and women.

I have been forgotten like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel. – Psalm 31:12 (ESV)

We do not have to live that way.

You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. – Psalm 139:3 (NIV)

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains. – Psalm 107:14 (NIV)

O LORD, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant; you have freed me from my chains. – Psalm 116:16 (NIV)

He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. – Psalm 147:3 (NLT)

I wrote Broken Pieces out of my own agony and pain.  As I look back at it, I realized that what I penned in pain was not just for my own sake.  I published this collection and Lamentations in the Storm as I wandered through a deep fog of misery and melancholy much like Broken Pieces.  Both poetic works reveal that we do not have to live broken lives once god has set us free.  These poems and prayers express the depth of life in despair and how faith can carry you through in order to endure through life’s trials.

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In the wake of Dr. King receiving an honor only bestowed upon the likes of presidential recipients with names like Lincoln, Washington and Jefferson in this great nation of ours and as throngs of people take to the streets for the “little guy,” I humbly submit this poem that shares some thoughts on how the MLK image gets a bad name instead of what the man’s legacy truly should be to us who still live here today.

Martyring Martin

 

Someone made a martyr out of Martin

Before they made him a hero.

They sought to make a mockery of Martin.

They tried to make more of him being a man

Than a man with a vision

Or a man with a heart for his people,

Even all people.

I have heard it said

That Martin was foolish

But I saw him as faithful.

I have seen many use his name

Without any regard for what he did

Or what he stood for

As a man

Or as a minister.

 

Someone forgot that Martin made a difference

And gave a voice to the oppressed.

Someone forgot that Martin stood up

For those who had been beaten down.

Someone neglected that Martin gave of himself

And asked and encouraged others to do likewise.

Someone overlooked that Martin saw the value of people.

Martin spoke words of wisdom

That overflowed with compassion.

Martin walked in the shoes of the poor

And stood tall against the establishment.

Martin lived as a giant among men

Despite what they said about him

And in spite of what they did to him.

 

Someone lied on Martin.

Someone talked about Martin.

Someone slandered Martin.

Someone threatened Martin.

Someone attacked Martin.

Someone attacked his home

And threatened Martin’s family.

Someone accused Martin of false things

And false sayings.

 

Someone beat Martin.

Someone arrested Martin

And kept him behind bars

Like a common criminal.

Someone stabbed Martin.

Someone shot Martin.

Someone murdered Martin.

 

 

Someone has to say something

Beyond Martin having a dream

And speak out amid the silence.

Someone has to honor Martin

Worthy of his name.

Someone needs to share memories of Martin.

Someone has to recite Martin.

Someone has to live like Martin.

Someone has to speak like Martin.

Someone has to see things like Martin.

Someone has to dream like Martin.

 

They murdered Martin

But we must live the dream.

They made a massacre of Martin’s life

But we must not leave Martin as a martyr.

 

We must make Martin more than a memory.

We must make Martin memorable.

We must make Martin more than a monument.

We must make Martin monumental.

We must remember the dream.

We must dream the dream.

We must live the dream.

We must be the dream.

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My painfulness often inspires my poetry.  Sadly, if I experience something that bothers me or gets me down, I find more inspiration to write.  It is my hope that I am able to shed some light on such circumstances for some aspiring poet who wonders why he or she may not feel so inclined to embrace the valleys and low points as much as the peaks and the mountaintops.

Selected Poems of Langston HughesMaya Angelou: PoemsI believe that other poets and authors have inspired my writing and poetry.  Among them, I would have to say that Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Dorothy West, Henry David Thoreau, William Shakespeare and Claude McKay are some of my favorites.  I have enjoyed reading them and their various styles of literature.

My poetry is posted on various sites on the web, including but not limited to:

Here is a poem that has been published in my book Words from the Underground:
Smoke Screens
They appear to be little more than detrimental detours.

Yet, they are detrimental nonetheless.

Our expectations exclude them,

While our conclusions include them.

We do not see them but after the fact.

They disappear as swiftly as they appear.

Some attribute their ways to magic.

Others say they are derived from madness and mayhem.

They are smoke screens.

They exist to serve only as illusions.

They are smoke screens

And they leave us spellbound.

When you least expect them,

You find yourself in their midst.

Your best option is to pay them no mind.

They will choke you with their smoke.

They will engulf you from head to toe.

They will keep your head spinning.

Don’t pay them any mind.

You may not expect them.

You may not avoid them.

Pay them no mind,

For they truly do exist.

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