As a young girl, I dreamed a dream that shook me. I never forgot it. There was a mantel over a fireplace. It was adorned with a mahogany and an antique stained mirror. The brick looked established but burnt. Family photos decorated the mantel. Black-and-white photographs of my great-great-grandparents were displayed. The beautiful, talented women posed. Standing at each corner of the mantel were two evangelists. These women were attired like traditionally dressed Pentecostal women.
They spoke about the holiness of God. They picked up and examined things off the top of mantel. My immediate family stood innocent as they looked. The scene quickly changed into a blurry, frightful scene. Curses began to be thrown off the mantel, one for each person’s weakness. The curses came one after the other with astonishing speed. These curses were arrows and darts thrown with the intention to destroy, or at least it seemed that way. We took off running, and soon we grew tired.
All of a sudden, I realized I had power in God’s Word to stop the curses. I opened my mouth, and my spirit began to speak. From on high, instruction came like a breeze: “Take the Word of God, strengthen your spirit, and beat each arrow and dart off with the Word of God.”
Ronnette grew up in middle America. Religion always played an influential role. Beginning with early childhood, she attended religious schools which spanned from Seven Day Adventist pre-school, through Catholic middle school, a Methodist undergraduate to an interdenominational graduate school.
Autumn is ministry through poetry. The book is more prose than poetry. The prose appears before each poem and is accompanied by scriptures. The poems are simple. The prose explains deeper thoughts which evolve by the poetic inspiration.
Autumn is a metaphor following the analogy of seasons. It is to reference fresh breeze blowing in the autumn of life. The season represents experiences, that have tested: who I am, what I love, and who I believe I was intended to become. As in nature, autumn marks transition from summer to winter, when daylight becomes noticeably shorter and the temperature cools. This is a period of maturity. The leaves start to change color from green to yellow, yellow to orange, orange to red, red to khaki and then brown. At this point, leaves start to fall from trees. They seem to die or dry up like an incipient decline. Quite the opposite—it is when trees start to spread their seeds. These poems don’t follow poetic rhythmic qualities of language. The poems are not sonnets. Most of the poems were written early in my life. The poems evolved from a gospel-centered, gospel-minded influence, understanding, and practice.
It is my prayer that seeds planted from my life and these poems will blow in the breeze, fall onto fertile ground, become deeply rooted, and grow up to bear much fruit in the lives of others. The goal is to motivate people toward a personal relationship or deeper relationship with Christ—not necessarily draw to religion but to create a deeper appetite for genuine relationship rooted and grounded in the Word of God.
The subtitle speaks of a mantle. The Holy Bible refers to mantles as forms of clothing or attire. In scripture, mantles usually were lifted up or fell upon people when they were called to duty or ministry.
In 2 Kings 2:9-15, Elisha asked his spiritual father, Elijah, for a double portion of his spirit. Elisha’s request would have allowed God’s strength demonstrated in Elijah to continue in him. Elijah knew that it would be difficult for this to be accomplished, so he told Elisha only God could perform it. Ultimately, Elisha’s request was granted when Elijah was taken up into the heavens. Immediately, Elijah’s mantle fell upon Elisha. When it did, Elisha hit the waters at the bank of the Jordon River, the waters split, and he cried out, “Where is the God of Elijah?”
This is certainly my cry. I want more evidence of God to prove Himself as the God of the scriptures. And I want people to recognize and identify with it. I lift my mantle and ask God for a spirit quickened to action. The urgency is now.
The Lord will perfect that which concerned me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth
forever: forsake not the works of thine own hands (Psalm 138:8–9 King James
May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for
us—yes, establish the work our hands (Psalm 90:17 King James Version).
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of power may be of
God and not of us. (2 Corinthians 4:7 King James Version)
For the purpose of this book, my mantle is ministry and proclaiming it through poetry, prose, and scripture.
Autumn: The Mantle Lifted is divided into Signature Poetic Theme sections.
These signatures are:
We borrow breath from God * We owe back * An investment has been made * God is looking for a return
What does God do for the believer * Quicken & make alive * Make Anew * Give new birth
A talent or gift from God must allow itself to be used * Played like an instrument * Flow with ingenuity, strategy & creativity * Be orchestrated or directed
In this instance, how am I been played? Reflecting, taking responsibility like a poet, taking a pose through prose to proclaim the written and manifest Word of God to create a collective desire to know and love Him better.
God puts us together, provides everything needed to please him and can make us into what gives him most pleasure by means of sacrifice of Jesus, the Messiah (Hebrews 13:21 MSG).