A friend shared a devotion with me and as I was reading it, the words, “If the mountain were smooth, we wouldn’t climb it.” pierced my heart into inspiration! Truly a God moment. I love these moments because I know with certainty, the Holy Spirit has a message for me to communicate with my fellow earthlings. So be inspired with this poetic mustard seed… and keep climbing! Ubuntu

“If the mountain were smooth, we wouldn’t climb it.”

Exactly!

Mountains have rough edges

uneven landings that shape the character of their very existence

it was never created to be smooth

it was created to be rugged in some places

textured along the way

tall in stature

dimly lit

yet bold on all sides

mountains layer upon one another

generally uninhabited 

yet awesome to wonder 

sound familiar?

like life

it too, was never meant to be smooth

each of us

were climbing our life’s mountains 

with their rocky terrains

their detours of pressing on 

with varied colorations that caused us to 

shift, stop, breathe, sob, laugh …

you know life’s drill

you get the view

and then we came to the landing of COVID 19

what the heck?

its rocky crevices 

filled with

masks

and long walks to stay active

cautions to hold back hugs and kisses

quiet frankly

it’s unknown end

yet, like climbing the mountain

we must

keep climbing

keep wearing our masks

keep saying 6 feet apart

keep doing all things necessary

to keep all humanity safe

we will reach the top

one firm foot step at a time

then we will look back 

at the rocky terrain 

and appreciate

every step made

with every diligent act

because we will be at the top

looking down at the mountain-ness climb

that wasn’t as bad as we made it out to be 

if

we lean into the mountains majestic wonders

keep climbing

one firm foot step at a time 

because the mountain was never created to be smooth

the rough places give us footing to make the climb 

Inspired by God

When I gaze upon the majestic moon and the stars that surround its glow

there is nothing I or man can add to its beauty

When I look up at the white puffy clouds

and the rainbow that always takes us by surprise

there is nothing we can add to it

When I sit on a beach and marvel the sand for which God says 

He knows the number of every grain

and the ocean that spreads 

so much wider than my limited view

I can’t help but

bow my head in adoration 

because there is nothing I can add to it

When rain drops sprinkle the earth

because I Am speaks it forth in His perfect timing

I am truly amazed at the water and how it is always on time

and there is simply nothing I or man can add to its beauty

When I think of the early morning dew that awaits our senses

in all of its glimmer and nourishment to the earth

there is nothing we can add to it

When I think of each budding tree

every flower petal 

each grain of soil

all the creations that walk, crawl, leap, and fly upon the earth

including me

and including you

there is nothing we can add to its beauty

except, Love

BANG!

Consequences

the balance of one’s life

their alpha and their omega 

shattered between the 

silence of pre-meditated thought

and five pounds of pressure

BANG!

Consequences

lives shattered between the silence of humanitarian love

and the megaphone of displaced hate

disrupting the balance

like a stillborn life that never gets a chance to smile

or 

like a baby’s first cry before the umbilical cord is cut

BANG!

Consequences

that moment when aluminum, steel or even plastic

composed of four groups

all lined up

like children waiting against the wall 

for instructions from their teacher for recess or lunch

or to make the next headline news

yes that moment when 

the frame group

the cylinder, extractor, and the crane group

the barrel and the sight group

the trigger, timing hand, and hammer group

CLICK CLICK

BANG!

Consequences

intended to steal, kill and destroy

the life of another 

to shatter a family

to stunt a legacy

to dismantle a community

to etch an indelible memory in the storybook of America

BANG!

Consequences

the balance of life is interrupted y’all 

unless

unless

unless

the moment

before 

CLICK CLICK BANG!

becomes

a step back moment

a humanity matters moment

a reconsideration of applying the pressure moment 

a lifting of the finger from the trigger moment

to preserve 

and not destroy 

the balance of life

……….

This poem was inspired at the June 2018 Poetry Writing Group Meeting; we were tasked with thinking of something we valued (I chose “balance”) and something in the headline news that we could use the value chosen to speak to, to give life to.  (I decided to use the balance of life to speak to gun violence in schools.)

Written by Angela Riddick, Poetic Mustard Seeds. Copyright 2019. All work is protected

when I got quiet

I noticed quiet

when I sat still

I noticed quiet

when I forgot the cell phone

I noticed quiet

when I saw the beautiful full blossomed lavender tree

amongst all the not-yet blossomed trees

I noticed quiet

when I placed my bare feet up

facing the clouds

reclined my back towards His grip 

I noticed quiet

when all around me was

as still as an artificial flower 

I noticed quiet

when the extremely faint sounds of sirens, car horns, and airplanes taking off 

became almost impossible to hear

I noticed quiet

It wasn’t until I heard the whisper to go outside

instead of remaining in

to find “that park” I happened upon

parked my car

took off my shoes

reclined

grabbed my book

rested my mind

and read

did I notice quiet

I owe you an apology, quiet

because

I MISSED YOU

 

Written by Angela Riddick, Poetic Mustard Seeds. Revised and copyrighted 2019. Originally inspired and written in 2013 on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

50+ years ago

a bright-eyed wishful young woman

who was denied

who was emotionally scarred

traveled and she stood

not in spirit

but in Grace

and in person

50+ years ago

a hopeful young man

kneeled towards strength

as he watched Dr. King deliver

what he hoped

were more than just a 

soliloquy of grandiose words 

50+ years ago

amongst thousands

stood

your children

my children

“our” children

beaming at the possibility

of being included

in the success of America’s tomorrow

50+ years ago

a man was obedient

to God using him as a vessel

to wake America up

from its slumber of

mistreated humans

misguided principles

missed-opportunities

towards a hopeful greatness

50+ years ago

on a sweltering day

in Washington

heat did not matter

distance did not matter

but dedication did matter

and their dedication 

are the backs on which you and I stand

so …

50+ years later

what are you dedicated to?

does anything in your life

anything?

turn the arc

toward justice

and peace

and fairness

and economic wholeness

for every American

or

do you rob mankind

do you shackle all of us 

and our environment

of what it has the potential to be … by

refusing obedience 

refusing to travel beyond your self

refusing to give beyond good measure

refusing to go the distance

and refusing to stand for what matters most

in person 

and not just in spirit

50+ years later

i ask

what will you dedicate yourself to today?

and what are you standing for?

“Doesn’t your reverence for God give you confidence? Doesn’t your life of integrity give you hope?” Job 4:6 NLT

Inspired by God on the last Friday of the year. Angela Riddick, Poet. Poetic Mustard Seeds. All work is protected by copyright. 12.28.18

If it were the last Friday of the year, what would you be doing?

Would you have called out to work, like maybe you did earlier this year and you really weren’t sick?

Would you be paying a payday loan back because you just could not wait until Friday?

Would you have gotten up early and said thank you to God for opening your eyes on this last Friday of the year?

I mean, really, on the last Friday of the year, what would you be doing?

Would you stop on the street to help someone less fortunate from all the blessings you received this year?

Would you let somebody over in traffic for all the times you cut others off?

Would you visit someone in ICU that you did not know?

Would you donate the things you no longer use or need to someone who is in dire straights?

I mean really, if it were the last Friday of the year would you make any sacrifices for anybody like Jesus did on Good Friday ———————— for everybody?

Would you stretch your arms wide so that you could hold someone else up, on both sides?

Would you be your brothers keeper and wash someone else’s feet?

Would you endure just a little pain, maybe not by a nailed scarred hand

but perhaps by a nail scarred Friday, giving more than you received on this here last Friday of the year?

Would you curse someone (even silently) on this last Friday because of all the crap you endured in this last week?

Or would you tell someone you love them and really mean it?

If this were the last Friday of the year, and you were not guaranteed to see the first Friday of next year, what would you do to end your life on an extremely high and loving note?

Happy New Year, if the creek don’t rise!

Inspired 3:33 am 12/11/18 by Psalm 23 NKJV. Poetic Mustard Seeds. All work posted is protected by copyright.

The Lord is my shepherd, because You said You would never leave me nor forsake me

I shall not want, because You said if I would just trust You, You would take care of every detail in my life

He makes me to lie down in green pastures, because there is no sun-burn grass in Your valley

He leads me beside the still waters, because only You know when I need total refreshing

He restores my soul, because You know how hard this life can be at times

He leads me in the paths of righteousness, because You know that righteousness is the only path that will lead me to a full life

For His name’s sake, because it was never about me and always about You

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, because these are perilous times we live in

I will fear no evil, because again, You said you would never leave me nor forsake me

For You are with me, ALL OF THE TIME

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me, because, You know what is best for me and You alone are my biggest cheerleader 

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, because my character means more to You than any of the conditions You allow me to go through

You anoint my head with oil, because You know what lies ahead in my valleys

My cup runs over, because You have every solid thing I need

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me because again I say, You said wherever i am, there You are

All the days of my life, because You know the number of each one

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord because there IS NO other place for me or that I would rather be

Forever. Yes, forever because You are the ultimate ride or die. 

Inspired by God and written by Poetic Mustard Seeds on 10.17.17. All work posted is protected by copyright.

I wasn’t always saved

but some one was watching and Some One was keeping me

I’ve always had a big heart, yet I was selfish too

Even though I had a varied vocabulary, I cursed like Peter

My focus was on creating my kingdom and not living for God’s Kingdom

I was short tempered and got angry easily

because I wasn’t always saved

but some one was watching and Some One was keeping me

I was nice yet I could be cruel at the snap of a finger too because I had that gear

When I could not have my way, I metaphorically and literally at times

stumped my feet and made my own way

not even the least bit concerned about God’s way

I wasn’t always saved

but some one was watching and Some One was keeping me

I always loved helping people, but I never saw it as ministry and God’s practicum for purpose

Sadie said “don’t’ live a life of regrets”

so now I am grateful for the life I lived before God saved me

because He was keeping me all along the way

He knew those watching me would see my transformation and His Glory simultaneously

He knew my heart would expand, growing big enough for His Kingdom assignments

because some one is always watching

Like Paul, He knew He would give me some blinding time so my selfishness would turn into self-less-ness and

He knew Pastor James Marshall would be along my journey to teach me about managing my emotions so I and my tongue would leave less and less dead bodies along my way

He knew that one day my way would be less of a concern and His way would be more of my deepest desire

He knew that to be in authentic relationship with Him, for me to know Him from the mountaintop

I had to grow in the valley of life

so that I could live a life worth honoring

I am still in the valley growing

with honor and sold out, Jesus freak, not turning back

service to and reverence for God, the One Who keeps me

Psalm 23:3 states “He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.”

some one is always watching

Is your life a life worth honoring

but more importantly

do you bring honor to His name?

“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” Psalm 46:10

You see I —— am every day people

Yeah yeah yeah

just like the song says

but like the name of the group

“Arrested Development”

that was my current situation

for 5 straight weeks

home recovering from knee surgery

and … while it healed

the Master Healer did surgery

on my mind, the rest of my body and my spirit

because He knew my knee

wasn’t the only part

needing reconstruction

You see I —— am every day people 

Yeah yeah yeah

He took me, His child

less mobile

what some might call broken

in pain a lot of the time

under the comfort of medicine

He allowed to be made

with little company

everybody else at work …   and He arrested me

in a good way for His development

He revealed parts of my future

He re-ignited my passion for poetry

He brought me lots of challenges

and He showed me how to remain calm

no matter the circumstance

You see I —— am every day people 

Yeah yeah yeah

in those first 5 weeks of recovering

I saw my neighbors in a new light

I saw the stress of the job — lessen

my confidence went to a new level

and my laughter began to come from unfamiliar bellies

Yeah, I Amazon shopped

but I was cautious about what I bought

because He was doing a new thing in me

my family became more precious as I became aware

that I am one of His princesses

You see I —— am every day people 

Yeah yeah yeah

while my nurses nursed me back to good health

God arrested me

He said and I quote

“I’m giving you new knees for the new work I’m sending your way!”

Arrested Development!

that is what took place

You see I —— am every day people 

Yeah yeah yeah

and so are you

look up the song “Everyday People”

by Arrested Development

check out the original video

and get quiet

cause’ He is waiting on you

He has things He wants to whisper

in only “your” ear

because He uses … everyday people

so allow Him to arrest and develop you

for the time is near!