Friday, June 15, 2012

Stained Glass

The poem below was written one morning in church as I looked at the stained glass windows in the sanctuary.  It occurred to me my life resembled the picture before me.  The words fell into my mind and onto my paper.

The poem is part of my first book, The Book of Pages About Crossing Bridges.  If you like it, you might like the book.  Today I post it for a friend so she, too, can see the whole picture through a writer's eyes.

Stained Glass
cast down, but not forsaken . . .  2 Cor. 4:9

Shards of glass

cast down carelessly
dreams shattered
paradigms shifted

colored by
time, circumstance
events undeserved
stained, changed

and then

carefully chosen
cautiously handled

placed in perfect order
welded together
by crimson
dried, strengthened
new creation

story unfolding
light singing through
impacting the darkness
by a filtered Son

with every broken, jagged edge
I will praise You.

To order a copy of 
A Book of Pages About Crossing Bridges or a Friend Named Jesus, 
please visit my website:  Writer's Pages

Facebook:  Author Kris A. Newman

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Edge of the Bridge

It's been kind of an exciting bit of time.  For a writer, anyway.

A couple of chance meetings, a couple of tentative sendings, a couple of calls here and there.... and suddenly I'm working on a feature piece for a magazine and have my books offered in three different markets - four if you consider that one of the markets will take the books on the road.

I just keep shaking my head.  Is this really happening?

I have you to thank, to begin with.  You blog readers who have clicked this page more than 5,000 times.  You made me think the net of my audience could be, and maybe should be, shaken wider than my friends and co-workers.  So, thanks.

I have my professors to thank, too.  Those people who kept writing A at the tops of papers.  Let's not forget my classmates who gave my voice permission.  Those people who inhabit the halls of St. Kate's from one building to another.  Those people who asked my opinion and agreed and challenged and shared.  Iron sharpening iron in a most creative way.

I have random connected friends to thank, too.  The people I have met here and there along the way who answered my nagging questions, gave me numbers and dropped names.  One whole entire circle started with a book in a backseat.  Someone asked,"Is this a good book?"  Someone answered, "Yeah."  Small talk strung over weeks and ending with my books being offered through Pentecostal Publishing House online and at Family Camp in Minnesota and Wisconsin.


Another event, another conversation, more small talk, "we are adopting a child from foster care."  "Thank you for taking care of foster kids."  One phrase lead to another until the words, "we have to talk!"  Interviews conducted, writing commencing, feature piece shaping. 

The Poetry Bridge in Minneapolis looks over the Sculpture Garden at one end.  Just a little beyond the bridge is a brass piece of a bell and a rabbit jumping over it.  I don't remember what it's called, but I can see its whimsy frolic through my memory.  It's just a fun piece.  The rabbit leaping an impossible height.  Behind the rabbit and bell is the unimaginably large spoon and cherry daring the world to defy its existence.  The sun and clouds reflected in red, the pond held at its base.  Fun.

That's the view from that edge of the bridge once you cross it.

That's how I feel today.  Like I'm looking over the edge to a place where impossible things become easy to believe.  A spoon and cherry can garishly throw themselves into the sky.  A rabbit can hop over a 5 foot bell.  Anything can happen! 

I don't believe in random, really.  I believe my steps are ordered by God.  My writing has a purpose.  My words will validate the existence of someone and minister grace to someone else.

I'm at the edge of the bridge again, but this time I'm above the impossible, full of faith, excited to see what's next and confident that He who has begun a good work in me will continue it.

Thanks, God.


To order a copy of A Book of Pages About Crossing Bridges or a Friend Named Jesus, please visit my website:  Writer's Pages

Facebook:  Author Kris A. Newman

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Dyin' Inside - Blog Contest Winner

Following is another winning entry from the Blog Contest.  Originally posted by Mark Showalter on his blog which can be found here:  Mark Showalter's Blog

Thanks to Mark for making a showcase for talent!

I’m the kind of girl who hates to cry
I cover up with a laugh but really I’m dyin’ inside
I’d stay up late into the night
Crying because I couldn’t face the light,
I was dyin’ inside
Dyin’ inside

Mia put down her pen and began strumming on her guitar; her lips moved as she silently mouthed the words of this first verse of a song she was writing. If there was one thing she knew, it was pain. Not physical pain, but a constant pain she kept inside.

Her parents had no idea how she felt, and she didn’t know how to approach them with something like this. She’d never felt very special. She’d always been overshadowed by the achievements of her younger brothers and sisters. It hurt, knowing that her parents weren’t as proud or as happy about what she was interested in. What hurt even more was the fact that when she expressed an interest in music, neither of her parents seemed to notice, whereas when her younger sister expressed an interest in it, they went out of their way to teach her what she wanted to know.

She picked up her pen again and began writing.

Do you know what that feels like?
People not seeing through your disguise?
I’m waiting for someone who’s brave enough to see
That through this mask that something’s killing me
I’m dyin’ inside
Dyin’ inside

Mia brushed away another tear and picked up her phone and read the text message. It was from Tammy.
'Hey,' it said, 'how are you doing?'

'Heyyy Tammaayy I’m doing okay I guess,' Mia quickly texted back.

'That’s great!' Tammy replied.

Mia pressed her lips together and kept writing the song. Then, another text came, and the personalized ringtone sang, “I love you more than the sun and the stars that I taught how to shine…”

'Is everything okay?' Ashlynn, the youth pastor’s sister, had just texted her.

Another text from Ashlynn: 'I just felt an overwhelming urge to pray for you. I just wanted you to know that I’m here for you whenever you need anything!'

Mia felt tears welling up in her eyes as she continued writing.

I’ve fooled everyone with a laugh and a smile
I try to shake these feelings for a while
But then I heard Someone whispering my name
You said, “Come here child, I’ll hold you tight
“I’ll give you peace to deal with this hectic life,
“I’ll give you strength so that you can keep holding on tight,
“I’ll give you hope so that you will keep going on,
“I’ll give you life so that you can stop dyin’ inside.”
Dyin’ inside

'Thanks, Ash! I’ve actually been battling feelings of inadequacy and bitterness.'

After a short pause, Mia quickly sent another text. 'Sorry, I sound like I’m whining!'

'It’s okay, girl! Never feel ashamed to tell me what’s really bothering you, came the reply. But I think God wants you to know that He’s holding you right now. Even when you can’t feel it. He’s always got your back! And I do too!'

Mia continued writing the song.

So know I can finally see
And I finally accept and believe
That Jesus has got my back
He’s got it through the attack
But for anyone who is struggling with life
For anyone who’s dyin’ inside

'Hey, Mia!' Greg, a friend from her church who was like the older brother she never had, texted her. 'Got some pretty amazing news: you don’t have to die anymore. Jesus is right by your side. Just keep holding on! P.S. Hebrews 13:5 “…I will neither leave thee nor forsake thee.” P.S. 2… I really don’t know why I just told you that…but I hope it helps!'

The amazing part was that Mia hadn’t even told him about how she’d been feeling.

Another verse was added to the song:

You don’t have to die anymore
He’s here to calm all your storms
So go on, run into His arms
Where He’ll keep you safe from all harm

Her phone rang. At first she ignored it, trying to think of what seemed to be missing, until she heard the lyrics from the personalized ringtone: “…If you’re a ship and you’re lost in the ocean, I’ll be the wind in your sails, give you motion, I will guide you home…”

She answered it.


“I wanted to say this so that you could hear it, instead of just reading it through a text,” the person on the other line said. She recognized the voice and smiled. It was Jackie, her friend back in Wisconsin.
“Hey, what’s up, Jackie?”

“Remember that melody line that you sang right before you moved?” Jackie asked.


“I had an idea. It’s just a few lines, but I’ve got something.”

“Okay, let’s hear it.”

Those last four lines were the end of her song:

Now I’m not saying life won’t be hard
But I know that God is never far
He’s always been by your side
He’s always been holding you tight

Soon after hanging up with Jackie, her phone rang again. Mia sighed and smiled through tears that she hadn’t realized had been falling down her cheeks, wondering if she’d ever get some peace to actually play through the whole song and answered the phone.

“Hey, dad!”

“Hey, Mia,” her father said. “I just wanted to say that I’m proud of you. Love you!” then hung up.

Mia cried. She’d never felt so happy. God knew exactly what she’d needed. And His timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

And she was finally able to play through the song.