A Bud of Hope for the New Year

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At the base of each drying leaf

Is a bud full of life and potential

Waiting patiently for summer’s heat

Or winter’s cold to pass

Knowing Spring will bring renewal



Behind all that crushes you

Makes you feel devastated

Hopeless and distraught

Lies a bud of strength and potential

The creator’s promised hope

Waiting for you to recognize

That your spring has arrived

Once more

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Carol Anne commented on this post from my archives, and I thought it would be a great one as we look forward to the new year!

I took the photos this morning in my yard.

On a Cold Winter’s Night

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City lights twinkle

In darkness twenty below

Shoppers rush to stores

Arms full cheeks aglow

Christmas Eve arrives

Must find one last gift tonight

Boots laced to the top

Wool scarf around my neck tight

Step into the wind

New snow crunches under foot


Watercolor Painting – Dwight L. Roth

Christmas Grace

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What do you want for Christmas she asked?

A chemistry set would be a real blast

When Christmas came, this angel of grace

Was at our door with every gift in place

We were just poor preacher’s kids, our die was cast

Waiting for Christmas was always a great task

But we knew our selected gift of choice

Would make us shout from the top of our voice

What do you want for Christmas this year?

She would get it no need to fear

Just a hammer of my very own

Would make my day when you come to my home

Money was scarce and gifts were few

But, at our house we always knew

That no matter what the circumstance

We need not worry about chance

What do you want for Christmas this time?

A Louisville slugger would suit me just fine

Then I could be like Henry and Donn

A bat of my own yes, that’s the one

                                  Ruth and Edgar were one of a kind

No children of their own they did not mind

Bringing smiles and joy to their preacher’s kids

And that helmet they brought me surely did

What do you want for Christmas, she asked?

She never let a Christmas pass

Every year until I left home

My gift of choice would become my own

I will never forget that act of grace

And the joy and smiles she brought to my face

I learned of God’s love and his saving grace

And his only son Jesus who took my place

And now each Christmas I hear that voice

What do you want for Christmas, it is your choice?”

There is nothing I need that will bring me more joy

than the gift of God’s Grace to a little boy

(Written as a tribute to Ruth and Edgar Honsaker,

who helped make our Christmases a little brighter.)

Photos; from the family album

Reposting my Christmas Poems this week

We are remembered most by how we touch the loves others!

Hardtack and Chocolate Drops

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Chocolate Drops and Hardtack

Growing up in a preacher’s family meant that I got in on all the background preparations that went on at Christmas. This was especially true when getting ready for our annual Christmas program.

We lived in a poor coal mining community of Southwestern Pennsylvania. The Christmas program created a special time for everyone, especially the children. They knew that after the program ended everyone got a special treat to take home.

A week prior to the program my father shopped for all the goodies that went into the Christmas boxes. He came home with a variety of candy, English walnuts, and Brazil nuts. We all participated in the job of sorting the candies and filling one hundred boxes.

The small cardboard boxes came flattened and needed to be pushed into a rectangular shape and closed on one end. The long narrow side had a string inserted so it could be carried like a miniature suitcase. On the outside were colorful pictures of Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus, the Shepherds, and the Wise Men. The boxes were about the size of an Animal Crackers box of the past.

On Saturday we all gathered around our big dining room table and began filling the boxes. Into each box we put a couple of chocolate drops, some colorful hardtack, English walnuts, Brazil nuts and Hershey Kisses. We folded and locked the flaps together and carefully packed them into several large cardboard boxes.

As the program commenced, the atmosphere grew tense with excitement. Parents watched their little ones recite their piece, all dressed up in housecoats and holding shepherd staffs. When the program ended, my father announced that we had one last thing to do. Several adults passed out a box of candy, a big red apple, and a big navel orange to everyone.

The service ended and we all went home with a treat and a smile.

Printed in the Old Mountain Press winter anthology 2017

read on Amazon Kindle

A Christmas story from my Childhood.

Amethyst Photo: Dwight L. Roth   (I did not have a photo of the candy, so this was as close a representation as I could get)

A Child is Born…

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No Room at the Inn

Travelers came knocking on the door of the inn

After traveling all day tired, hungry, and thirsty

The donkey needed fed and they needed a bed

A full inn afforded them nowhere to lay their heads

Pregnant Mary needed a place to deliver

Water broke and waves were coming on strong

No time to look elsewhere for a private room

The inn was no place for a delivery room

Travelers standing around gawking at the sight

Of a newborn baby coming ready or not

The kind Inn Keeper suggested, “Perhaps the stable…

A private place to deliver away from prying eyes?”

The animals provided warmth from their exhales

He did what he could to make them comfortable

Brought water and a blanket as Mary screamed in pain

He was not the villain in this story as portrayed

Rather a compassionate keeper avoiding gossip’s scandal

Why do we think they should have been entitled

Unknown travelers from afar, they had no reservations.

Thankful for a private spot it all came about

A child was born in private who would soon

In the course of time change the world

A Savior who is Christ the Lord!


I am reposting some of my Christmas poems from other years!


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Isaiah 9:6

For unto us a child is born, Unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of peace.


Painting “Piercing the Darkness” 2014 – Dwight L. Roth