When My Spirit Rises

When my spirit rises
Unencumbered and free
No weight or worry accompanies me
Interesting that I value things
When in the end the spirit flies
Leaving them all behind
How much I worry and fret
But this too shall pass when I am gone
My spirit rises out of this shell
A virtual butterfly reborn
From caterpillar to chrysalis
Reborn in the image of God
Spirit Creator Redeemer Savior
Knowing there is no place for the earthly
In the spirit world beyond
I can’t take it with me
But then again… Why would I want to?
When my spirit rises
Leaving it all behind

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

This is a poem I posted a year or two ago.

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Shedding Religion… Finding God

IMG_0170 (2).JPGThe older I get the simpler life becomes
I feel sort of like a tree shedding it bark
End of life // is not too far in the future;
makes me stop and think…
“What is really important and true?”
The older I get
the more focused faith becomes;
Moving beyond religious trappings
guilt, fear, and control;
(Knowing those
were nailed to the cross for me.)
Understanding God’s grace in my life
brings me peace;
Knowing I am blessed
to have lived this long
in good health.
I let go of all those things
I once felt obligated to do;
Understanding that the metaphors,
taken so literally by some,
Are there to guide me along the way…
not to prove right or wrong.
I let go of “streets paved with gold”
and “mansions over the hilltop…”
knowing God is Spirit;
No need there
of physical things
we hold so dear.
I believe the image of God
is not flesh and blood
nor what I put on or take off,
but rather an attitude of spirit
that is loving and compassionate.
I came to the realization
that all those prayers I prayed
demanding results
never got past the ceiling.
I realize prayer is meant
to change me // not them
Prayer brings me closer to God,
as I focus on my needs
and the needs of others.
Infomercial religion has no appeal to me
…nor or to God…
There is no place for peddling the gospel
for personal gain…
nor to exert control over the faithful.
Hamster cage religion
leaves me frustrated
and going in circles;
Faith and action bring a feeling
of authenticity and connection.
Church should be uplifting…
an encouraging fellowship
full of good news
connecting us with God
showing us how to love as Jesus loved.
To me the Bible is my guide …
not my God…
words of truth to live by.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

The Making of Me

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Not sugar and spice;
Sometimes not even so nice;
Flesh and blood I am…
a body that will not last.
Just like the junk we buy…
I too am disposable.
Dust to dust and ashes to ashes
has me covered from beginning to end.
Maybe the evolutionists got it wrong?
We all came from dust and ashes;
Water just facilitates our staying alive.
God must have had fun
making mud pies…
Ending up with me!
What we can’t explain
Is that elusive Spirit
living part time
in my dust and ashes;
Quietly slipping back to its origins
As this body reaches its end…
The image of God // the soul-spirit
lives on… returning to the
handler of dust and ashes

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Photo taken at the Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton, Alberta Canada

Amaya, at d’Verse, talked about the different views of the origins of matter and of you and me. Essential elements and forms of matter have been recognized by different people, cultures and religions all the way through the centuries. People looked at the stars and developed astrological explanations of matter.  Instead of looking at the astrological aspects, I decided to go straight to the heart of matter… Me!

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

 

Light

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Capturing Light
Ever try capturing light in a box
Close the lid tightly to contain it
Light in a box is a paradox
There’s no source there to maintain it
As you snap the lid shut
Think you have it at last
The rays disappear in an instant
For rays alone do not make light
With rays there’s no way save them
For light you see of every kind
From Rabbi, priest, or committee
Does not come from their simple minds
It comes from a source that’s emitting
Reflecting is all we can ever do
Our creator’s the source of our light
When it comes right down to me and to you
The best we can do is to shine bright
Light is not something to capture and hold
Thinking surely we can improve it
How disappointed we will be
Finding blackness boxed up all through it

Painting – Capturing Light : Dwight L. Roth

Power All Around Us

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The forces of nature are astounding! Whether it be an erupting volcano or a powerful waterfall, we can only stand in awe of the forces at work in the world around us. This past year we watched fires destroy a whole town in California, mudslides carry houses crashing down the slopes, and Tornados that flatten everything in their path.

And then we see the power of creation in opposite ways in the beauty of birds, flowers, butterflies. and rainbows. The God of creation must have had a wonderful time when he created all these things that make us marvel. I find it very hard to believe that this all happened out of nothing or from an exploding star.  The earth is a very special place!

God of creation
Revealed in power and grace
Leaving us in awe
Purpose in every detail
Makes my faith an easy choice

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Painting and Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Privilege

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Give me comfort not truth
It suits me better and eases my mind
In my fine house
Behind the gate
Just down the lane
I close the door
I don’t feel your pain
Give me comfort not truth
Salve my guilt
Hide my shame
In my fine car I’m not to blame
I drive on…
Can’t be soiled or stained
Give me comfort not truth
Save my soul
Free my mind
As I drop a five in your plate
for the bottom line
I close my eyes
My heart is blind
Give me comfort not truth
Oh… what tangled webs we weave
Don’t tell me you love me
Just please don’t leave
Give me comfort not truth
As I consume Earth’s wealth
Never blinking
Fill me up…
My car, My truck, My boat, My SUV…
…Isn’t life grand!
Give me comfort not truth
Tell me what I want to hear.
God loves me more than he loves you
Maybe next year he’ll help you too
Give me comfort not truth
Vote for me // I’m God’s man
Tell ‘em to get a job
No more helping hand.
We’ll send our young solders to fight in Iran
Give me comfort not truth
My views are always best
ABC & NBC FOX & CNN
I’ll close my mind and just pretend.
Give me comfort not truth
We are the “chosen ones”
We are blessed
We deserve it,
This “Christian Nation”
No aid for them
In their situation
Give me comfort not truth
Could I be wrong?
No, it would be too hard to change
This good life will always stay the same!

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Today at d’verse HA challenged us to look at privilege and how it affects us as individuals and as a society. I wrote this poem a couple of years ago when thinking about this very thing. I came to the conclusion that few want to hear or face the truth. They would much rather be comfortable.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

 

Are You Really There?

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When life begins to implode on you, it is tempting to begin questioning everything you believed. When prayers are not answered and God seems absent, it really sends you for a loop! This is what happened to me many years ago.  In time, all worked out and life got back on track. It was during this time that I wrote this poem.
My God… MY God… Why Have I Forsaken You?
“I will never leave you nor forsake you”
This promise I had learned
Then my God why am I forsaking you
Are you really there?
Is there method to all the madness
or are you just a good feeling
that comes and goes
to those who wish it so
You seem so far away
Too distant to hear my cry
Too removed to feel my pain
Answers don’t come life goes on
mixed with tragedy trouble and heartache
I have lost all hope
My life sits on the edge there’s no one here for me
No one to share the pain
Still I pray…
Are you really there?

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Photo Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, HA asked to write a confessional poem that revealed something of ourselves that we may or may not normally have written. I wrote this poem many years ago when, at mid-life, I went through a time when everything in my life seemed to be falling apart!

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Finding God

 

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Somewhere amid the rules and regulations
The desire for correctness
The literal interpretation….
Underneath it all we hope to find God
Buried in the guilt and shame
Of imperfection // fallenness
We lie…
Controlled by our fears
Manipulated by our insecurities
Underneath it all we hope to find God
In creeds and sacraments of blood and wine
In stories of suffering // blessing // and chosenness `
We struggle to make right our wrongs
Knowing that…
Underneath it all we hope to find God
Our prayers ascend on wings of faith
Hoping to find an opiate for our pain
A clearing and focused mind
That can see and feel that…
Underneath it all we hope to find God
We open our heart to redeeming grace
Finally realizing // it’s not what we do
Not what we say verbosely to others
It is in forgiving others // and ourselves
That we find love and acceptance
And underneath it all we find God

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Stain glass window from the WUM Church in Weddington, NC

Advent of Innocence

Advent Painting - Piercing the Darkness

Advent of Innocence
Today is the first Sunday of Advent in the Christian Faith. Emmanuel, God with us, was the prophesy of the promised Messiah. A time when God himself would take on the human embodiment to show us what it would be like to live and love in a life contradictory to the norms and darkness of the day. It is interesting to me that the Messiah came to us in the innocence of a tiny baby. The future life and sacrifice of Jesus brought forgiveness, grace, and peace to all who choose to believe.

The Word made flesh
Advent of innocence brings
Light piercing darkness

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Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Shared with the Frank Tassone Haikai Challenge. Join us at: https://frankjtassone.com/2018/12/02/haikai-challenge-63-12-2-18-advent-and-or-hanukkah-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/

Our Job

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The world is “going to hell in a hand basket”
Some believe the end is near
Others say, “What’s the use…there is nothing we can do.”
So… what do we do in the face of violence and hate?
Some think it is to protest // to force change
Others say it is “vote the bums out of office”
Still others seek separation and revolution
French philosopher, Jacque Elull said,
The job of the Christian in this world
Is not to fight, but rather to call into question
The actions of those in power
(Especially those who claim to be Christian)
For to let their actions go unchecked is to give assent
The Germans who opposed Hitler’s policies
Realized this it was too late to speak up
Challenging what is happening forces them to think.
It might not bring the change we want
But it does not allow them to believe what they do
Is right, acceptable, or just…
Stand with the “lest of these” who cry out for change
Our job as citizens is to call into question the actions of our leaders
Our job as individuals is to “Love God and Love our Neighbor”

Make the world a better Place!

Photo: Dwight L. Roth