Stop and celebrate!

Stop and celebrate!
by Joel Howard

Its only when I take a breath
And turn to what I've done and left
Its only when I stop to breathe
That I know what compassion means

Self-compassion, gratitude
Honoring Jesus, following through
Building a monument, remembering the past
Teaching others, that's what lasts

Today I celebrate 100 poems
Since November, 2018
Poems about the depths of our souls
Stories about the things untold

Songs about our friends and brothers
About our need for each other
Cries to shout in gratitude
And from the depths of the miry pit

I will not once again believe
That "just one more" will make me see
Pushing on, striving ahead
"Quick to fix" only leads to dread

Reflection my companion will be
Silence my velocity
The speed of heaven, the speed for me
Bowing down at Jesus' feet

This is to my friends and family
Who've cheered me on and said, "just keep writing!"
This is to my mentors who
Never cease to tell good news

To Mom and Dad, Pete Scazzero
Brene Brown and Joe and Lois
Kevin, Henri Nouwen and Diego
To my precious wife who's ever faithful

This is to my precious children
Every poem will be for them
This is to the faithful readers
Who laugh, cry and sob beside me

This is to prophetic gifting
To testing and testing each one's word
This is to a prayerful congregation
Lamenting, praising, always heard

This is to my uncles and aunts
To my father and mother in law
Brothers and sisters
This is to our precious leaders

Pastors, elders and fellow laborers
This is to a brand new day
Brand new manna for the hour
This is to the voice of God

May the prayer of Joel be true
Pour out your Spirit on young and old
Captivate the world and then
Raise a holy church again!

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