Archive for the ‘thoughts’ Category

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.

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

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I  will sing a new song to you, O God; . . .I will make music to you– Psalm 144:9 (NIV)

Poet or psalmist? Which is it? Oh, yeah… spoken word, poetry or psalms?

Today, much like in the past ages, people are caught up in titles.  They live by labels.  For some people, they are precisely who or what they think their titles say that they are to everyone else.  Even if it doesn’t fit them, they attempt to live up to the title by what they wear or drive and how they talk as well as who they hang around.  That’s just how some people go about it.

I am an author who writes poetry among other things.  As an author, I am convinced that some people will call me whatever they care to call me because of what I do.  Some will say that I am a poet, while others will simply call me a writer.  Then, as with most things, there are those folks who fully dress it all up and make it into a big deal by calling people like me: “inspirational writers” or “spiritual scribes.” The one that caused me some alarm was psalmist.  I had to do some more research before I could even stand to hear it come from another person’s lips.

Psalms are defined as “sacred song; a hymn” or ” a sacred song or poem used in worship.” Imagine one of my pieces used as a call to worship.  Or, if possible, picture a choir swaying and rocking in their elaborate and ornate robes as I clutched the mic and spit a flow of one of my more upbeat poems to a raucous drum beat with a twinkling piano and an eerie organ piped in as we praise God. Would that be a psalm? Would that make a psalmist? Or, would I still be a poet?

David and Asaph were psalmists in my mind.  Moses and Solomon were even credited with composing at least one psalm.  Marvin Sapp has a release entitled “Diary of a Psalmist” and many other gospel artists call themselves psalmists.  Even though the definitions of psalmist tend to loosely define the title as a composer or writer of a psalm, I just can’t see myself using the title.  If someone called me a psalmist, would I stop in the midst of praise and worship to correct them with my personal reservations about why I don’t prefer to be called one? No.  I don’t have a lot of time for that.  Would I refer them to this post to get my opinion or views on the title? No.  I will just praise Him and keep on praising Him as a poet, writer, author or psalmist.  No matter what they call it, I call it praise, worship and expressive joy.

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We Live

I basically wrote this piece from the heart, not the head.  Simply, it is entitled: “We Live.” Let the words speak to you and see if you can identify with any of its haunting truth.  Also, “Ghetto Survival Kit” is a more politicized piece below.

We Live

Whether we discuss it or not,
Whether we get into it or not,
Even if we can’t stand to talk about it too long,
We struggle here and there.
We lose some and win some.
We bleed.
We cry.
Yet, we live.

Whether we discuss it or not,
Whether we get into it or not,
Even if we can’t stand to talk about it too long,
We survived the slave ship.
We endured the lash of the whip.
We saw Mama sold down the River.
We survived the plantation.
We fought that other man’s war.
Through it all,
We still live.

Whether we discuss it or not,
Whether we get into it or not,
Even if we can’t stand to talk about it too long,
We were up during the Reconstruction.
We had little during Jim Crow.
WE had even less during the Depression.
We had all to gain during the Civil Rights Movement.
We shared a dream with Martin.
We felt the anger and agony of Malcolm.
We cried for JFK and Brother Bobby.
We were given hope with Obama.
We live.

We live on.
Through the years and ages,
We have lived strong.
Despite the trials and tribulations,
We have lived well.
With God by our side,
We have come thus far.
As we look towards tomorrow
And recall the days of the past,
We live on.
We live.
We live.

Ghetto Survival Kit (A Community Briefing)
This is an A.P.B., Community!
This is an A.P.B., Family!
All People Beware!
All People Beware!
Taxes are going up.
The stuff is going down.
The jig is up.
The people are powerless.
That means that they have less power than the rest.
The Rest?
Who would be the Rest?
The Rest are the politicians with pockets full of blood money.
They get it from the dope crossing borders and entering city streets.
They get it from filling ghetto street corners with houses of grease.
They want it.
They get it.
They want it at all costs.
They get it all costs.
How much will it cost you?
No, not them.
How much will it cost you to fill a mayor’s belly?
How much will it cost you to line a councilman’s pocket?
How much will it cost you to keep them full?
With prices and rates like these,
Hesaven should be taking online orders and charging admission at the gates
Because they surely overcharge you down here in this hellhole.
Is there a rage in Harlem?
Is something afoul in Denmark?
Is there no balm in Gilead?
Don’t trust their lying and flattering lips.
Don’t let them near the children.
They want to destroy us all for their own gain.
They want it all for their own gain.
Let God judge them.
You just keep away from them.
You just be sure to keep an eye on them.
You just make sure to stay guarded from them and their speeches and pitches.
Keep them at a distance as you escape from their clutches.
Stand afar off and see them for who they are.
In times like themes,
You need every bit that you got to keep from losing all that you got.
In a place like this,
You have to strive to survive.
In a place like this,
You lose when you start listening to their words.
You win when you stay clear of their wicked ways and wearisome words.
Survive if you can.
Survive how you can.
Do all that you can to stay alive.
Just survive through it all.
Just survive.

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Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me…- Matthew 11:29 (KJV)

Grandma M.A. used to always say: “You learn something new every day.” My Grandma was right to a certain degree. You live and you learn.  It happens the more we live.   It becomes apparent to us.

Key Question: Does your learning about Christ lead to you living like Christ?

For all that we learn about Christ, we should be living like Christ.  Our days should be filled with getting filled and fueled by the Spirit to live by the Spirit, leading to us living like the example set by the Savior.  In other words, we need to add some “can-do” and “how-to” with our “know-how.”

It boils down to accepting the challenge to be more like Christ.  Our living can be a mere existence or it can truly be an abundant life.

As He was so we are to be.- Andrew Murray

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 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.-Psalm 119:11 (KJV) 




 Denzel Washington has truly been redeemed.  “The Book of Eli” has served as a true artistic redemption for Denzel in the eyes of many who had felt he had lost some of his luster after “Training Day.”   

Denzel had captivated our attention with his stirring portrayal of Malcolm X in Spike Lee’s “X” and wowed us to tears as an endearing father in “John Q.”  He even won us over as the cocky attorney in “Philadelphia” and the unconventional reporter in “The Pelican Brief.”  Denzel had our hearts and keep us going back for more, movie and movie.  And then came “Training Day”. . . 

 Fast forward from “Training Day” to “The Book of Eli.” It’s like night and day.  If you thought Denzel took you to the limits in “Training Day” with his cinematic portrayal of a dirty L.A. cop, then you really can’t categorize the stunning and suspenseful Eli that Denzel depicts in “The Book of Eli.” In case you were done on Denzel after “Training Day,” he will leave you lost for words in ‘The Book of Eli.” 

Why did we not get a lot of reviews and trailers regarding “The Book of Eli?” Hollywood is the answer.  When you consider the way 2004’s ‘The Passion of Christ” and “The Chronicles of Narina” were treated by Hollywood reviewers and film critics.  Think for a moment and recognize that we cannot seek the world’s approval while advancing the Gospel of Christ.  We desire the world to accept Him and His Word, not for us to be accepted by the world.  I praise those who venture out the cinematic norm to share movies with messages that cause us to reflect and return to the Word of God once again.  if you haven’t seen “The Book of Eli,” rent it or borrow it on DVD from someone.  It’s a great flick.  

By the way, let Denzel go on making movies in peace.  Truly, he has been redeemed. 




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 I felt driven to share some of my pieces of poetry as I prepare to publish my fourth book of poetry, Words from the Underground.  I find these to be pieces that will set the tone for my most secular poetry work that I have done to date.  These words are words from my heart based upon what I have seen, heard and even experienced in ministry, service and just plain life.  They open the vast world of the urban streets that remain unknown to many who may never venture into such places otherwise.  May God bless you.

Missing Motivators


I counted them on my fingers.

I counted them one by one.

I counted them out loud

Until my counting was done.

I counted them one by one.

I counted them until I was done.

I counted them and counted on them,

But now I find none.


The Beauty in the Beast


The beauty in the beast

Remains hidden deep within.

The beauty rests inside.

It is a mystery of its beauty

Lives beyond normal sight.

It is the beauty of the beast

That rarely is seen.

To know its beauty is

To know the beast.

Both of these poems will be available in my upcoming summer release, “Words from the Underground.”

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Open my eyes so that I can see the wonderful truths in your law.-Psalm 119:18 (NIV)

Bible study should lead to life-changing action on the part of the reader.  What the Bible teaches and tells us about life should help us as we live daily, seeking to live in truth.  In essence, the Bible should help to open our eyes to God’s truth.

A thorough study of a book of the Bible using Bible study methods should lead to discovery and understanding.  On the front end, prayer should prepare us for our personal Bible study time.  As we pray, we must seek the Lord for guidance in getting distractions out of the way and allowing us to get the meat, the solid food, of the Word of God.  The end result should be an understanding of the Word that allows every individual to deepen his or her personal relationship with God.  The goal is to learn more about God through the Word so that we can live differently here on earth and look forward to an eternity with God.

Michael Smith says it best with the lyrics that simply say:

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see You
I want to see You

To see You high and lifted up
Shinin’ in the light of Your glory
Pour out Your power and love
As we sing holy, holy, holy

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And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought;  Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.  And he taught daily in the temple. . . Luke 19:45-48 (KJV)

I am a royal mess.  I mean it.  I literally keep my desk, car and “area” of the house a real mess.  I’m just messy and unorganized.

I keep things in an uproar.  Chaos is essentially where I thrive.  I keep mounds of paperwork (who said automation is modern) and I am not thrown off when things are not altogether “in order.” Yet, I live and work with orderly people who care enough to share with me how bad I can be while exercising my lived-in practices.  I decided during this long weekend to do something about me and my mess.

(What does that have to do with Jesus and casting folks out of the temple?)

Just like Jesus, I had to go into where the mess existed.  Jesus had to go to where it was and do something about it right in the midst of it.  Jesus spoke out against all that He saw going on there. (In fact, the disciple whom He loved adds some details about Him making a whip for driving folks out of the temple.[John 2:15]) I won’t dare repeat the things that came to mind, but the closest I can get is mea culpa.  (Oh, Lord, help me and have mercy today.)

Jesus got up close and personally involved in cleansing the temple.  He spoke out against the “swap meet” for God’s people in God’s house, referencing two major prophets – Isaiah and Jeremiah. (Uh Oh, those are some powerful prophets!) Needless to say, as I got deeper into clean-up time, I wasn’t quoting the Scriptures as much as I could hear my grandmother’s voice in the back of my mind saying: “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” (Really? Is that so? I could argue against her theology but I respect the deceased and I think she probably would have a better perspective on it than I would.  You think?)

Okay. Where was I ? (You know I said I am unorganized.) Anyhow, it’s like Jesus when I get to moving and ordering things around.  I changed the entire environment.  I can’t say that I did everything that I need to do, but I definitely made some real, genuine progress. 

Jesus taught in the temple.  That goes along with His proclamation as a “house of prayer.”  Here’s the real deep part for you.  I didn’t teach as much as I learned.  You see, I learned that my mess was interfering with the “pursuit of happiness”  [Not the Will Smith flick with his son; that was the Pursuit of Happyness, I believe] for my family and people who I work with (when I “work”).  It also let me know that if my daughter didn’t have to ride in my car, she would gladly ride in something else.  I learned how being me and letting things go and get out hand can lead to me hurting others.  That is not good.  That is not a Christ-like existence.  I had to make a change to make my relationships better off.  I will definitely keep you posted. (Keep me in prayer.)

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Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself.- Proverbs 26:4 (NIV)
Yes, it is true that Jesus said that we are not to call our brother a fool. The caveat to that teaching is a study of context that speaks about the anger in which we use such words rather than simply inserting some euphemism that says what we meant in code. Jesus was teaching about judgment and anger in Matthew 5:22. However, the Proverbs are clear about identifying the foolish actions that separate the fool from the wise and prudent. Obviously, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, we see it as a duck. If it acts foolish and sounds foolish… It is what it is.
The words of Solomon teach us that fools act differently. In fact, Solomon teaches us through Proverbs that a fool is wise in his own eyes. Answering a fool according to his folly requires you to get on that fool’s level. In other words, what you are doing is addressing the fool by the same foolish ways that he uses. I picture it like this: a wise man and a fool get into a verbal argument, hurling insults at one another and calling each other fools. How do you identify the wise man from the fool? Exactly! The precise problem is what it projects to others, especially the fool himself. You just justified his argument to some degree by what you did in response to him. Such actions on our part kill the power of our witness.
With those who choose to go about things foolishly, I say simply show them another way by example. If they are foolish, they’ll keep doing what they’ve always done just for the sake of it. If they have any degree of common sense, they’ll see how you go about things differently and at least inquire of what makes you different. Keep in mind that you can win someone over by killing them with kindness, showering and smothering them with lovingkindness. Catch more flies with the sweet honey of your lips rather than poisoning them with the venomous vinegar.

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 …The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.- Jn. 6:63 (NIV)

What Jesus shared with His disciples at this point in His ministry caused some to walk with Him no longer.  They walked out and walked away from Jesus.  They left Him for good because they could not handle what He was saying about being the Bread of Life that gives eternal life.  Yet, they found it hard to accept.  That’s when Jesus drops the real bomb.  The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe (John 6:63-64, NIV).   How much harder was that one to handle? He hit them with a direct blow to their ego-centered theology.  After all, they were hanging out with the Master.  You don’t get much closer to having arrived than that, or so they thought.  That was at least until Jesus shared His spiritual insights about where they stood spiritually with what He was saying to everyone.

Is there something that you struggle with that comes out through the red letters of your Bible? What “hard saying” of Jesus do you find yourself tripping over from time to time? Don’t worry.  You are not alone.  The choir director struggles with it.  The youth director has issues with some of them.  Some of the mothers of the church still question a few of those “but I say” statements of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount.  The Sunday school teacher tries to find an easier way to say it much like the preacher who wants to build up and feed the flock rather than break them down.  You are certainly not alone.  We all still have some growing to do.

 What can you do? You can start by realizing that Jesus wants to grow in Christ.  He desires that start with the perfecting process.   He wants us to start.  Once we get started, He can supply us and sustain us, even strengthen us and support us.  He wants us to get started, though.  And where do we start? Speak life.  Do like Jesus.  Share words that give life.  Speak positive things that give life to individuals, especially those who live in hopelessness and despair.  Start by speaking life, sharing something positive with someone who may not have hope to hold onto for themselves.

“Be like Jesus.”- Bob Briner

“Your calling is to live like Christ.”- Andrew Murray

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