Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Jan. 15,1929-April 4, 1968
Our nation honors today a man who reflected the values he lived by. His life represented all the things this country fought for, men and women died for, people marched, demonstrated and stood for. Our country knows well the violence, death, destruction, prejudice and bigotry that marred its history. This man took up the fight for civil rights and liberties so all can enjoy the rights and freedom that comes with walking the streets without fear or retaliation, prejudice, injury or death because of their color. Eating in a public restaurant at any table, attending the school or college of their choice without being bussed across town, riding in the front of the bus instead of walking to the back, serving in the military, all of the things this man hoped to realize in his lifetime, but did not. He marched not to the beat of a drum, but with chants and voices raised, and thousands followed.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a man who did not cower to those who mocked him, distrusted him, despised what he stood for and tried to change. He was a man of honor, of faith, one who loved God, and relied on Him in everything he did. He was a pastor, but he was also a rising political leader with a dream, and a vision. He stood before 250,000 thousand people who came to hear him deliver his, ‘I Have a Dream’ speech in Washington, D.C. He won the Nobel Peace Prize, yet gave it up for the cause of peace to further the work he started.
It was not just for the people of color that he stood up to protect. Preaching about the love for all men and women, tolerance, acceptance and forgiveness from a pulpit was his platform for the message he hoped to deliver, the dream he wished to share. Marching down the streets in Birmingham, Alabama was his way of demonstrating it with those of the same color and standing with those who had the same dream, that one day we all could get along, no matter our color, faith or lifestyle, and no matter our political differences and perspective. But, Martin Luther King’s dream was shattered. Down through the years we’ve become more a nation of distrust, division and disruption. There are those who choose to act out their prejudices and disfavor with violence and acts of terror. Hate is demonstrated in many forms. Evil will find a way to rear its ugly head. Martin Luther King Jr. did not live to reach the finish line of his march. He was shot down, by the bullet of an assassin on April 4th, 1968 in Memphis, Tenn.
Can we work together, unite for the cause of peace, live together in harmony? We have nothing more to lose that we have not already lost. But, we have everything to gain, what we hope to achieve, yet have not realized, if we have a dream.
Joyce E. Johnson (2017)
I lay out my heart, and with pen I write
my thoughts and words like a transcript of old
letters mailed out when we thought them to be
the thing that became such a welcomed sight.
I hope and pray that you read this and find
how sincere my effort in finding a way
to express my feelings, for you’re still on my mind.
I didn’t know then, but our relationship drained
what friendship we’d nurtured, and tried to revive
only suffered more loss when I moved away,
and we lost all contact. There was nothing to gain
but live with regrets of things done or said.
A distance measured in miles we can relate,
but one of the heart is harder to maintain.
It suffers setback and grows further apart,
and now we see with a bitter reminder
there’s no going back, for there is no restart.
Joyce E. Johnson (2017)
Posted for the Daily Post Weekly Writing challenge
My spruce tree shivers from a winter’s blast
heavy branches drooping under fallen snow.
The air so cold, seems still and quiet, a serene like setting on a frosty night.
I snuggle down under the comfort of quilts, and feel the warmth of restful sleep.
I wake to the sun, warm and bright that pushes through my window with light.
The morning wears on and temperatures begin a slow climb from the subzero degrees,
and the arctic blast of air dissipates and leaves.
I shed a layer of fleece and insulated outer wear,
sweats and heavy jackets, and opt for short-sleeved tees.
Where else but here are there such shifting weather scenes,
where temperatures fall to record lows, and snow is measured in the feet
then hours or days after we slosh through winter’s thaw,
and it feels almost balmy, like a warm spring day.
We wish away the season, and hope it’s really gone,
but know it’s wishful thinking for it soon returns like dawn.
It seems a predictable pattern, so we never put away
snow shovel, gear or blower
stored beside the garden rake.
Joyce E. Johnson © 2017
Footnote: Our temperature in Loveland, Colorado, Friday, (1-6-2017) registered at -17 below 0 degrees at 8:00 a.m. Today, it registered a high of 50 degrees above 0 at 2:00 p.m.. That is typical for our area here in Colorado. 🙂
I see the sun rise
and I am hopeful, inspired;
life and energy flows through my soul,
my spirit is renewed and there is rest.
With these thoughts in words I must write,
and set my sights
on an opportune chance
for fear it is gone, or recovered no more.
I’ll not let the sun set into the night
on a weary mind and idle hands,
for if time passes too quickly I pray
the moment is gone forever this day.
Joyce E. Johnson (2017)
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 Old Testament Bible, NIV
I want to wish everyone a very happy, blessed new year. I hope the new year is good to you, that the sun will shine on all you do, that you prosper in health, and whatever plans, goals or resolutions you make will bring you success, peace of mind and happiness. JEJ
The Sea of Galilee, Tiberias, Israel, May, 2001, Photo credit: Joyce E. Johnson
Nothing but chaos, crowds and noise
greeted the young couple, desperate to find
a quiet place, warm and dry
for the birth of their child, the newborn king.
Foretold and promised generations ago,
news of his birth was heard throughout the lands,
and the star in the east that lit up the sky
guided men of wisdom across desert sands.
Shepherds fled their flocks
frightened by angels that came nigh
announcing the news of Jesus’s birth.
To the king they hurried, and in haste found
the tiny babe chosen to rule and reign
lying in a feeding trough upon a cold bare ground.
Hope and redemption was born that night
where cattle grazed, and sheep and goats brayed.
No throne or palace was awarded this king,
yet people came from all around
seeking the savior born that day.
Now in a world where chaos, crowds and noise
leaves hearts searching and seeking one to follow,
where joy, comfort and peace
is eternal, lasting and hallow,
there waits the savior born that day
to reign in hearts that just believe.
Joyce E. Johnson (2016)
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today, in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:10-14 NIV, New Testament Bible.
I would like to take this time to thank all of my blogger friends, followers and visitors who have visited my blog site through 2016, and wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year of peace and joy in 2017. The amazing friends and opportunities I have, and the positive comments received are what makes blogging fun, rewarding, and an inspiration to my writing. Blessings to all. JEJ
I took this shot from across the street of our downtown historic Rialto Theatre. The wind was blowing hard, but the temperature was only about 30+ degrees. Still, we knew the big freeze and frigid arctic blast was on its way into town. Thursday evening was the only good night before the snowstorm hit to walk around downtown, browse through shops and antique stores, then go to dinner at an old-fashioned diner where their specialty is their famous burgers, fries and shakes. Dinner was delicious as we sat by the window looking out onto the street at the traffic pass by under brightly colored Christmas lights. It brought back memories of years gone when we sipped shakes at the corner drug stores and drive-ins.
Although our town is well over 100,000 in population right now, it was only about 28,000 when we moved up here twenty-three years ago. But, the town has tried to maintain a small town atmosphere in the historic district just two miles from home. There is a nostalgic feeling to the old district, and the ‘spirit of Christmas’ past, present and future in a Charles Dickens like setting. The foothills to the west of town and the towering Rocky Mountains thirty-five miles further west give Loveland the feel and look of an old-fashioned Christmas post card people used to send to family and friends that today can only be found in antique stores. One of our favorite things to do is browse and shop for nostalgic things, toys and collectibles that I could imagine wrapped up under someone’s tree. Like family traditions kept and adopted down through the years, or things contemporary, old or new every town and place celebrates Christmas in their own way. Merry Christmas to you and yours from Loveland, Co.
Joyce E. Johnson (2016)
Winter is coming.
He looked my way, his mouth full.
“Wait please! One moment.”
“Let me get my camera.”
A quick shot. Then time to flee.
Joyce E. Johnson (2016)
This is my post for today’s one word prompt for The Daily Post word prompt.