Saturday, December 29, 2018

12)The Year is Dead by Robert Best

The year is dead. Your time draws near.

Cold saps, wind bites and darkness drains.
The trees are stripped, the birds have fled.
The year is dead.

Winter kills. It strikes the homeless,
The fuel poor, the underfed.
The year is dead.

So homeward bound and batten down.
And find a place to lay your head.
The year is dead.

Embrace the feast, the fire and friends,
To warm your heart and ease your dread.
The year is dead.

But some may find themselves alone
With no one there to share their bread.
The year is dead.

Then raise your voice and fill the air,
Sing out with life and not despair.
Those that you love are in your heart
And while it beats you cannot part.

The year is dead. Your time is here.
The year is dead. Long live the year.


Robert Best works in IT and lives in Wales. He loves running about in the hills, archaic stick sports, and traditional folk music. At some point he may actually finish one of the many novels he's started but until then you'll struggle to access any of his artistic outlets unless you make a habit of checking out the folk clubs in South Wales. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

11)Бежал из подъезда--Kate Romashko

Бежал из подъезда, как очумелый.
На улице -20.
В окно разглядывала полночь, а там ты машешь рукой:
Проклевывался, как весной росток несмелый -
"Давай не стесняться?"
Дарил мне все свое время и иногда цветы
Вместе с душой.
Две пары колготок и мужские перчатки.
Синяк на ноге.
Мокрые спины и горящие глаза.
Костер в глубине леса, в котелке елового чая остатки.
Звездное небо.
Несмотря на все мои противоречия, я всегда с тобой была "за":
Обнимала на ципочках -
Такого холодного с улицы,
Такого горячего сердцем и нежного, как воздушное безе…
Смотрела как кромки деревьев
Под тяжестью снега целуются,
Пока с неба сыпалось драже.
Щеки красные.
Руки холодные.
Скорее бы пить какао, домой.
Я открою окно
И шагну сквозь пространство
Жить с тобой: той бесконечной зимой.

English Translation: 

You ran like crazy out the front door into the
Minus twenty outside
I peered through the window at midnight
And you waved 
Like a timid spring shoot 
"Let's not be shy."  
You gave me all of your time and sometimes flowers
Flourishing in your soul
Two pairs of leggings and men's gloves
A bruise on my leg
Wet backs and burning eyes
A bonfire in the deep woods,  
In the kettle the remains of spruce tea
A starry sky
Not counting all my self-contradictions, 
I was always "yes" with you,
Embracing you on tiptoe
So cold from the weather outside
Yet so warm and tender in your heart, like an airy meringue
I watch how the hems of the trees
Kiss under the weight of snow
While the sky sprinkles powder on us
Red cheeks
Cold hands
I wish to go home, to a cup of cocoa
I open the window
To step through time and space
To live with you in my mind 
In that unending winter.

Kate Romashko is a poet, visual artist, and photographer with a big imagination who loves the earth and wants to be an inspiration for others.   Check out more of her poetry on Facebook or check her vegan-eco-cooking blog on Instagram.  


Tuesday, December 25, 2018

10)Wise Men by James Metelak

From far-off
Bearing gifts
Following the star
A promise
An expedition
Across desert sand
A caravan

They came to a manger and

But first, they came to the border and
Were detained

What child is this?
Citizen.  American.
Her smile 50+ -star-bright light.
This is the only place she’s ever known.
She’s got a touch of the divine Sophia
In her eyes.
Central Asian and Mexican raised in Harlem.

Poll straws fall, fearmongers scream
We need a wall.
To protect us from messiahs and unsavories and extraterrestrials and moms.
No room at the inn
Where 10 room houses for 2-person families
Are normal.

The face of a child
Can you look in his/her face and say
That Yemenis and Afghanis and Congolese and Hondurans and Rohinga
Are less than? 
That they contain some defect:  genetic, cultural, economic, educational,
That says “our privilege is not for them.”
Will you take the door in your hand and
Shut it in the face of the orphan
Knocking at the door,
Praying for a family.
Shut it in the face of the homeless family
Living in a blue-tarp-tent camp.

The wall already exists

My month’s work
Is worth less than a day’s minimum wage work in the US
Just on the basis of geography
I’m the same person
With the same skills, same education
Teaching the same subjects

And where did we get this privilege? 

Venimus Vidimus Vicimus
A cross (centuries) of pistolas y colonialismo
21st Century client corporation state slaves
Countries systematically economically raped
And we wonder why the boys join gangs
What other options were there in San Quentin pre-deportation?  Survive.
And when the markets and lands are dominated by foreign corporations
There’s no capital left for a struggling nation
And in such a place of systematic oppression
The Maras provide their final solutions.  Survive.
The coyotes will take your money and your innocence.
And your kids will lose their identities
After the flight to Egypt
But at least you won’t worry so much about bullets.  Survive.
Run the desert.  Survive. 
Survive.  Turf wars and barbed US Aid funds.
Survive.  That’s what makes them wise. 

To us a child is born
A daughter is given
Under a streetlight in
An alley on a Tijuana street
Her mother didn’t make it to the border
But can you say
She’s not one of us? 
Can you not see the light in her eyes?
The gift that she is?
The gifts that she holds inside?

They come
From far-off
Bearing gifts
Following the star
A promise
An expedition
Across desert sand
A caravan

James Metelak is a poet, photographer, and singer-songwriter based in Kyrgyzstan, and the editor/curator of the Headpiece Blog.  Check out more of his work at  

Monday, December 24, 2018

9)Аллелуйя--Алексей Путилов (Hallelujah--Alexei Putilov)

Performed by Peace Church, Kaliningrad.  
Song written by Alexei Putilov.  

Alexei Putilov is a singer-songwriter from Shymkent, Kazakhstan.  He has loved writing songs, music, and singing bass in choir since he was a teenager.  He works as a carpenter but his life motto is:  "All instruments are a gift from God.  Develop your talents and use them!"

Sunday, December 23, 2018

8)The Holy Spirit by Jamie Musselman

From the Artist:  The idea actually came to me in a dream.  I made one attempt at making this sculpture a reality several months ago and failed, but the image kept coming back to me.  I don't usually work in three dimensions, as painting is my preferred medium, so I was a bit daunted.  However I just suddenly found myself working on this project again, without any definite plan, just letting things happen and working with it.  It was as if the Spirit was guiding me in the process.  The bird represents the Spirit residing in the heart.  He is silver to signify great worth, something incredibly precious.  The Holy Spirit is one of the greatest gifts that God has given to those who trust in Him, but in order to be able to receive this incredible gift, Jesus first had to come live on this Earth and pay the price to erase the sin that separates us from God.  Maybe it would have been amazing to walk as a disciple with Jesus, but what's amazing now is that we can have the Spirit of God residing inside of us. 

The heart is mainly paper mache.  The bird is made of polymer clay. Both are coated in acrylic paint.  The nest is made of twine and raffia.

Jamie Musselman is an artist studying Studio Arts and Spanish at Purdue University.  Check out more of her work at

Saturday, December 22, 2018

7)Maria Durch ein Dornwald ging by Kathryn Nellis

Kathryn Nellis is a painter, writer, musician, and creative genius. She studied at Gordon College and in Orvieto, Italy, and currently works as a self-employed artist and art teacher in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Friday, December 21, 2018

6)Dads by Stephen Carradini

Dear Joseph,
This year, thinking about Christmas,
I’ve been thinking about how similar we are.
We’re both dads.

That’s probably where the superficial similarities stop, to be honest.

But I think you dreamt a life.
I wonder if your dreams
Close-held, deep ones, real ones
suddenly just didn’t seem important.
Did you feel the unexplainable joy
and describable life confusion
of the first-time father?
Did being the earthly father of the son of God
make that harder or easier or the same?
Did your son, the Son of God, upend your life a bit?

Did you wonder what God wanted of you, giving you such a son?
Did you long for the Messiah?
Did you long for the Messiah, knowing he lived in your house?
If you did (and I think you did), how did it feel,
to know the new world was breaking through, one day at a time?
To see your dream grow up, Friday to Saturday to Sunday?

I ask because God gave me a son
And I feel the indescribable joy
And the describable life confusion

But I ask also because I know your Son
And I am still wondering what he wants of me
Even as I feel the new world breaking through
One day at a time

Stephen Carradini is an Oklahoman in Arizona who writesteaches, and sings.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

5)Rab’bin Gayreti by Sara Yildiz and Saten Aghekyan

Sara Yıldız is a student, violinist, and singer from Van, Turkey.  She likes listening to music and volunteering. 

Saten Aghekyan loves singing, worship and serving others.

The Song is by Adrienne Neusch.  Her songs can be found on Youtube, Amazon, Spotify, and Itunes

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

4)Winter Photography by Matt Brasher

An Oklahoman Engineer with 3 boys and wonderful wife, Matt Brasher enjoys spending time with family and friends, loves church, and enjoys hiking, caving and backpacking.  He also likes capturing the beauty in stormy weather and landscapes.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

3)Dressember Poem by Joanna Marshall

We choose to
Share stories,
Show the world,
There is an injustice

This injustice
Slaps you in the face.
More than 35 million
People enslaved.
Could be your sister,
Your brother,
Your daughter,
Your son,

We are the voices
Of the voiceless
For the unpaid
For the exploited
For the vulnerable.
For the silenced

So we choose.
We choose to dress
On Christmas,
In the winter,
Through snow shoveling,
That we may
Through our dresses.

Dresses and scarves
Layers of leggings
We shiver.

We choose.
We stand.
We commit.



Dressember is an awareness movement that tries to highlight the reality of modern-day slavery.  You can learn more @

Joanna Marshall is a Math Education major at Purdue University who  takes pictures, writes poetry, and crochets.  She's looking forward to finishing her degree soon and enjoys serving in church.

Monday, December 17, 2018

2)Joseph by Audrey Gragert

Joseph was for me an afterthought in the Christmas story for a very long time. Mary was the one having the baby and, of course, the whole story is really all about Jesus. After having a son of my own and both being able to see him with his father and doing without for long periods of time, I realized that Joseph was quite an amazing person, both in who he was as a person and the role he played for our Lord. 
As a person, he was wise, kind and entirely obedient to God. When his fiancee told him she was pregnant by someone else, he decided to break up with her. This was the wise thing to do, after all, it looked as if she had demonstrated a lack of morals and she was not even a little bit sorry about it. We all know she rejoiced that she was carrying our Lord. Yet, he was kind and tried to go about it quietly and when God told him to marry her, he did just that. When he was ordered to move his family in the middle of the night, he did so and when he was told to return, he did so. Whenever God spoke to him, he listened and obeyed without question. 
The way fathers interact with their children is so different from the way mothers do. It is a beautiful thing. Seeing my husband play with my son and hearing my son's laughter is one of my greatest joys. Our Lord had a mother to nurture him and a father to romp with, he had brothers and sisters to play with. His childhood was fuller than I realized. God could have supported Mary and Jesus without any man in the picture, but he chose both a mother and a father for our Lord. It is amazing to me the way God sent our Lord to us, both how extraordinary it was and how ordinary. He sent our Lord to us as a baby to a mother and father, yet the mother was a virgin and both she and Jesus' adoptive father were such beautiful examples of faith and obedience.

Audrey Gragert is a Studio Art graduate of CSU Chico (California) and one of the most joyful people I have ever met.  She is currently a homemaker and mother stationed in Guam!  Check out her portfolio at Deviantart 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

1)Christmas Cards by Katerina Borets

Katerina Boretz is a painter and recent"teacher of the year" from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

25)Grace "The Art of Saying Yes"

How many times do you say ‘No’ a day? How many times do you say ‘Yes’ a day?
A while back, I was reading Sadie Robertson’s Book Live Original.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget the main message: “Imagine what would happen if You just said yes.” In the book, she recalled an entire day where her grandfather said yes to every question asked him.

When I first read it, I thought “That seems kind of silly.” Yet the longer this thought has been in the back of my head, the less silly it becomes and the more intriguing it is. How different would your life look right now if you’d have simply said “Yes” more? Would you have a completely different job? Be married? Be dating? Live in a different state or even country?

I know that there are times we must say no, I myself often have to! I’m not telling you that you should say yes to every single question asked you throughout your entire life.
But I want to challenge myself.  Maybe to say yes to every single thing asked me for an entire day. I think in the near future I’ll do that, and then record my results here.

How often do you say yes to you?

I often times say no to myself, and that’s probably a good thing concerning a piece of cake or expensive boots. Quite frankly sometimes it’s exhausting to have so much self control. For instance, I got my hair cut this weekend! I took a total of six inches off, so it’s not like I went to a pixie cut, but it’s a pretty big adjustment for someone who’s had hair down to her waist for 2 years. Though it may sound silly, it was not easy making the final decision to cut it.

I really despise making decisions. Big or little, I overthink it and generally give myself a headache. But you know what? I’m actually starting to slowly get better.

How?   I’ve started saying “Yes” to myself.

“What if I cut my hair? Would it look good? Would people like it? Would I regret it? Should I spend the money?” I found myself freaking out about it, so I just said yes. I just did it, I asked myself, “What’s the worse that could happen?” and went for it.

On a more serious note, in August I took a position at a camp I’d never been to. I didn’t know a single soul there. It was honestly the first time I really did something all on my own. All of my previous endeavors someone I knew had done them before me. I knew what to expect.
But this time I was all on my own.

It was big and it was scary, and I could have just said no and played my life on the safe side, but where’s the adventure in that?

Instead of saying no, I simply said yes.

It did end up being quite intimidating: my stomach hurt for the first week I was there because I was so stressed out trying to learn everything and make good first impressions. However, as the days and weeks passed, I became adjusted and able to relax. The months then flew by and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I enjoyed my time at camp: waking up everyday looking forward to going to work is an amazing feeling! In the end, I’m so very glad I didn’t play it safe.

When I find that I have a difficult decision ahead of me, I try to breath and imagine, “If I say yes, what’s the worst that could really happen?” If the result isn’t catastrophic, I generally go for it.
Do you have a big decision coming up? I would encourage you to say “yes” and see what happens!

Are you stuck in a rut, a boring life routine? Maybe seek out a decision to make. Change things up, that job you’ve always wanted? Go apply! Dream vacation? Put away a little money each paycheck! Always wanted to dye your hair? Go to the store and buy a box of color!

You got this. Just go for it. You never know, simply saying “yes” could be the best decision you ever make.

That’s what life’s all about in my opinion: jumping in, trusting God, and seeing what happens.

Happy Adventuring!


Grace is a young blogger, camp counselor, and adventurer from Southern Michigan.  She's passionate about horses, writing, tacos, camp, Jesus, and Jeeps.  
Check out her blog  

Friday, January 5, 2018

24)Zulfira Saniyeva: Two Original Christmas Songs

1-я Рождественская--Зульфира Саниева

The song is in Russian.  The chorus goes like this:  

White snow falls
The birth of Christ has come to us
Once again, a candle is lit inside our hearts
The Christ considered you and I as friends
All that was has passed
The earth embraces him warmly
What are you waiting for?
Come close
And find eternal life 

Праздник Рождества--Зульфира Саниева

Also in Russian.  This one goes like this

We always celebrate the birth of Christ
Soon and very soon 
He's bringing his joy on New Year's

Once again, the kids at home believe in miracles and presents in the morning
And we also as children renew our faith 
The kingdom of God is coming soon
We'll enter in with Jesus Christ 
Christmas!  Christmas!
Happiness and joy He brings.

Zulfira Sanieva is a singer-songwriter from KZ.  She loves life, God, and music.   

Thursday, January 4, 2018

23)Billy Lie: Holiday Photography from Japan

"Humble yourselves, therefore, before God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you."  1 Peter 5:6-7

Billy Lie is a photographer from Surabaya, Indonesia living in Tokyo.  He likes traveling and photography, and inspiring and blessing others through it.  Check out more of his work on Instagram @billylie08.  

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

22)Jamie Musselman "Christmas for Life"

In the beginning, I made a choice
Choosing to ignore God’s voice
Time after time, you’d think I’d learn
The reward for the shortcut of sin is a burn
Again and again I choose my own way
I lead myself further and further astray
I take what I can to fill in the hole
That overwhelms the depths of my soul
And when I’ve done all I can to cope
I sense  there might still be hope

He's here:
That mysterious baby under a star

Two thousand years, seems so far away
That His short life should affect us today
And there’s nothing that we can do to repay
That radical love of our Father and King
He chose to leave his paradise throne
And as a homeless rabbi, Earth’s streets to roam
And looming before Him, there stood a cross
For our gain would be the result of His loss
In light of this, what am I to do?
Called to do more than just sit in a pew
Called to live by His example
To demonstrate His love, so ample

Remember that Christmas is not just a day

It brought us the truth, the life and the way

Jamie Musselman is a visual artist and painter from Indiana.  Check out more of her work at RedBubble or watch her draw on Youtube.  

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

21)Kendall Faust "Between Lions and Men"

Name: Kendall Faust
Birthplace/Current City: Pensacola, FL
Prime Occupation: Videography Fun Fact: Could consume crawfish everyday.

Monday, January 1, 2018

20)Joanna Marshall "Healing in the Drips"

Freedom doesn’t come
In an instant.
It doesn’t come
Like a reality show makeover

It comes slowly.
One chain link breaks after another
One burden removed at a time
Unsteady and slow.
Miraculously healing
The starved soul.

One painful conversation
Steeped in prayer
Brings a moment of joy.

To later be reminded
Of a bigger scar
A wound carved deep.

The rain just keeps drizzling.
Dripping relentlessly.
Agonizingly eroding.
Saturating this cracked ground.


These flood waters
Are here like snails
With leaden feet.
The floods run deep.
Uniting with a spring
In the depths of the soul.

Not stretching apart.
But stitching together.

These flood waters
Knit together with the spring
Form a new path
Washing these wounds.
Saturating and cleansing.

Freedom doesn’t come
In an instant.
It comes in a drizzle.
A slow drip.

Joanna Marshall studies math education at Purdue; she enjoys snapping photographs, chatting in Spanish, and poeting in her spare time. Check out more or her work at her website,, or follow her on Instagram