Tag Archive | faith

The Battle Rages On – Constant Warrior




Floundering in the dark

searching for the light

Scattered thoughts disgorge

from a miasmic mind

too burdened to contain them

emotions escape through tears

Unrestrained anxiety

irrational fear

unwarranted consternation

Pounding chest, heaving

threatening to fragment

anticipating failure

and pain

Soul seeking solace

confronts the unseen

stands in trepidation

against enshrouded foe

A weary warrior

voice raised in supplication

beseeching favor through faith

Repudiating the disquietude

emancipating fragile psyche

reclaiming, regaining, reasserting

gathering the detritus

of unconsumed peace

forging it to armor

sheltering beneath

until the storm subsides


Crystal R. Cook

Please Promise Me

Please Promise Me


Please promise me you will never change. Tell me you will still be you no matter what the world throws your way. Assure me you will guard your heart against the trials, the sorrows, the detours and the roadblocks you will stumble upon as you travel through life.

Please promise me you will always look for rainbows after every storm, tell me you will search for the good when it is buried beneath the bad, and tell me you will always see the beauty of the tiny flowers beneath your feet when everyone else sees only weeds.

Oh, please promise me you will never let your voice be silenced when the crowds try to drown it out. Promise me you will walk alone if everyone around you chooses to stray from the path. Promise me you will turn away when temptation beckons, and promise me, please promise me, if you have to change it will be only for the better, like the little caterpillars who trade their legs for wings.

Promise you will believe in yourself when something or someone makes you doubt, tell me you will lean on faith when you are weary and share your strength when you are strong. Promise me you will never forget to pray. You must promise you will never forget what a precious treasure you are.

Promise me, please promise me . . .


Coffee Shop Blessing – So Many Angels In Our Midst

Francois Boucher

Francois Boucher

I am becoming increasingly convinced my coffee shop is a place where angels gather. I’ve been witness to many unexpected and very much needed blessings while standing in line for a caffeinated concoction. Yesterday was no exception, it was however, exceptional.

Hot, hot, hot. While beautiful, the day was sticky, sweaty, and a little miserable to be quite honest. I almost didn’t go in, I feared someone might see the beads of sweat trickling from my forehead and conclude I had a tropical ailment of some sort.

My desire for the relief and happiness a venti iced coffee would bring won out, as I knew it would. I was relieved, and a little grossed out to see most everyone else eagerly waiting in line was glistening with the heat of the day as well.

The man in front of me seemed to be melting. He was a big guy. Big. I would hazard a guess at 6 feet tall and certainly well over 200 pounds, most likely a fair bit more. He was fidgety. One step to the side, two steps back, one forward, etc..

He looked down at me, my non-statuesque height of 5’3 left me feeling like a little girl in comparison. He said, “She wants a vanilla bean with extra caramel. You ever hear of such a thing? I’ve never heard of such a thing.”

I smiled and said it sounded too sweet for my taste, just coffee and cream with a touch of sweetness for me. He held up the dollar bills in his hand, “She gave me seven dollars and didn’t even tell me what size to get, you believe that?”

“I guess you can get her any size then, I’d go for the big one.”

He started chuckling which led to a full blown belly laugh, “I see, you want me to go and make her really happy today, alright,”

He began telling me all about their day at the mall, what his wife was buying and why, his unfortunate happenstance of bringing her on a day Macy’s was having a sale. I laughed and said, “Isn’t Macy’s always having a sale?”

With that, the belly laughter returned. There was silence between us as he ordered and then it was my turn. He’d stepped outside for a moment to sneak a smoke as I heard him tell the barista. When he returned, surprisingly and thankfully smelling smoke free, he began humming a tune. It was lovely.

I told him the tune he was singing would be stuck in my head for the rest of the day. His already wide grin grew. “You’ll like this.” he said as he stepped closer to me. He began to sing to me. My second coffee shop serenade.

It was beautiful, positively beautiful. It was about love and devotion, a sweet blend of gospel and soft R&B. When he’d sang a few lines he asked, “You hear that one before?” I told him I hadn’t but I loved it. He said he was going to let me in on a secret. He was writing it.

He looked me in the eyes and asked, “You know who that’s about?” I said, “I think I do.” He laughed, “That’s right, it’s about my Jesus, my Lord and savior,” and he began to sing it again. He grabbed the venti vanilla bean frap with extra caramel for his wife and shuffled out the door still singing.

I really think that little coffee shop is a place where angels come to gather.

Crystal R. Cook

Less of me . . .

I’ve been sitting here, staring at a blank screen, contemplating just what it is I want to write and how to write it, I’m not having much luck. When this happens to me, it’s a sign telling me I am not supposed to organize, plan, or prioritize my thoughts. I’m just supposed to write, so I shall.

I’ve been thinking, sometimes a dangerous occupation for a mind as random as mine, seriously, things can get a little crowded in there. I need change. I need more. Actually, I need less, less of me and more of my creator. I’m not having a crisis of faith, my faith is strong. My convictions are firmly planted and my hunger for God is great, but I’m not doing anything to feed that hunger. Not enough to satisfy it by any means.

I realize I’ve been standing still, waiting for God to come to me instead of actively seeking him. I’ve been sitting in the stagnant waters of what I’ve already learned when I could have been wading through the vast ocean that lay before me. I’ve become complacent, that’s a nice way of saying lazy.

I read headlines and hear sound-bytes about the state of our country, our world, our people, and my heart aches. Society has accepted the once unacceptable, demanded we all embrace the changes or be labeled. Racist, homophobe, hypocrite, it really doesn’t matter what your heart or your faith dictates, only what the politically correct, offended by everything but what they believe say is truth, justice, right, and wrong matters now.

imageChristianity has been skewed, true Christianity. I am talking about the born-again, the ones who believe the only way to salvation is through Christ Jesus, the ones who read and heed the word of God. Not the sweeter, softer, watered down and altered versions of the word, but the actual teachings of Christ, all of it, not just the pretty parts, not just the parts used to either justify or condemn, but all of it.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. — Isaiah 5:20

The hard to swallow stuff, the parts that make people uncomfortable, the parts that convict your spirit to take action. The Bible is the past, present and future. We were meant to learn from it, not argue over it and alter it to better suit our tender sensibilities. It is a guide to salvation and so many are going to miss out on that gift, the one Jesus bought and paid for as he died on the cross. What ungrateful recipients we’ve become.

The seven deadly sins were once the things we were taught to avoid, now they seem to represent the American Dream, at least what the American Dream seems to have become. We are all guilty to one degree or another of at least a few, there’s no denying it. We are sinners. The most righteous among us are sinners, isn’t that precisely why Jesus laid down his life? He was nailed to a cross because he believed in us enough to make that sacrifice. Did you read that part about the nails? They pierced his flesh, they broke his bone, and instead of cursing those who hammered him to a cross, he asked His Father, our God, to forgive them.

I cannot write those words without shedding tears. Jesus was flesh and blood, the same as you and I, he felt the same pains we feel, the same sorrows, the same joys. He spread nothing but hope and he was persecuted for his devotion. Jesus is more than stories in an old book, more than a myth as some people call him. He is not a fictional character from someone’s imagination. History cannot deny he walked the Earth, scholars cannot disprove the accounts transcribed detailing his life. He lived.

Because He lived, because He died, I have a path to glory before me and one day I will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, so long as I don’t stray from the path of His word, His teachings. I have to remember to place God’s will on a pedestal far higher than my own. Salvation is not guaranteed, it is earned. Salvation is not a right, it’s an honor.

It’s not enough to be a good person, I don’t think everyone knows that. I know not everyone knows that, at least they refuse to believe it. If they did, they would have to be accountable for their every action, their every thought, they would have to repent when they fell short of the Glory of God, which is inevitable. There will be many standing before The Lord on Judgment Day who lived good lives, helped those less fortunate, loved and even worshiped God, but they will not gain entrance because they thought how they lived was enough.

Repentance and forgiveness are not suggestions, they are conditions. There are those who call themselves Christian who will never inherit the Kingdom of The Lord because they didn’t bother to read the rule book. They didn’t study or bother following the lesson plan. There really isn’t a learning curve here. The instructions are clear if you bother to read them.

Crystal R. Cook

Casting Out & Letting Go

Nightmare in a bottle - Crystal R. Cook

I put my nightmare in a bottle
and I cast it out to sea,
I watched it ebb and flow
as it drifted back to me.

I filled it up with pebbles
from the sandy shore,
so certain it would sink,
I threw it out once more.

I waited and I watched
until it surfaced once again,
I snatched it from the water
and cursed it for its sin.

All the night I tossed it
into that lonesome sea,
through salty tears I prayed,
I would at last know peace

When the sun cracked the horizon,
I was spent of all my strength,
that nightmare in the bottle,
lay in the froth beside my feet.

I turned and walked away
as the tide began to grow,
it took away my nightmare,
and I did not watch it go.

My mother always told me to let go and let God, I’ve found this isn’t always easy to do. We tend to hang on to the very things we need to release, keeping ourselves bound to them.

We clutch them close and try to fix them on our own, we let them go only to take them right back. Instead of releasing them and moving forward, we nurture our pains and we feed our sorrows.

We wear our burdens like armor then ask God why we must bear the weight of them. The answer is so simple, yet so easily cast aside . . .

He is waiting for us to lay them at His feet and walk away.

Crystal R. Cook

Eye of the storm


Words in red
twisted, eliminated
misconstrued and abused

The master canvas
crumpled and creased
ripped into pieces
used as a crutch

Forged into weapons
of self-righteous wrath
in a pointless war

Brother against brother
mothers in anguish
children in fear

Faith is punished
belief is crushed
beneath boots
of misguided
soldiers and
false profits

Pretend gods
are worshiped
from altars of lies
the Son is denied

Judgments are passed
without jury
the accused have no
recourse or defense

Criminals without
crime sentenced
to silence
shunned for swimming
against the tide
refusing to melt into
the mindless mass
society has become

In the eye of the storm
no one seems to see
the damage
that’s been done

There may be
nothing left
when the blind
finally open
their eyes

Crystal R. Cook