Christmas All Year ’round

Children look forward to Christmas each year

To toys and presents and Santa’s good cheer

But why do we leave Christmas in December

The joy of Christmas we should always remember

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The gift of God’s grace coming down to Earth

To live in our hearts and give us worth

So spread God’s love both near and far

Share Christmas joy where ever you are

Give of yourself and lend a hand

To both friend and stranger across our land

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The joy of Christmas is not in the getting

The true spirit of Christmas is in the giving

Show love and compassion to all you meet

The real joy of Christmas is really a treat

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Learning From Children

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Racism, hate, and discrimination are all  learned from the example of adults who show these attitudes. Children don’t think about skin color or ethnic roots. They just see one another  as God sees us, full of love and acceptance. Perhaps adults could learn a lesson from their children.

Sweet friends full of love

Not bothered by skin color

Love begins at home

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

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

The Greatest Gift

Christmas Love

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Christmas is not about
Angels
Christmas is not about
Wise men
Mary and Joseph
Baby
In a manger, cold
Not about Santa
Coming
Nor gifts or presents
Wrapped tight
Not shining bright lights
At night
Christmas is our sign
His love
Permeating Love
Filling
A universal void
Our hearts
Filled by the great I AM

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Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Disability

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Above you see a para-snowboarder with a prosthetic leg compete in the World Cup doing the same jumps as those who have two good legs.  Every day I read wonderful poetry and see photography from many of you, who share that you are overcoming your disabilities through writing or photography. Stereotypes and stigmas are fading as we learn to see the abilities in people rather than disabilities.  It is a beautiful thing to see what is being accomplished. Today on Public Television, I watched a tribute to Mr. Rogers who shared with children that people who have disabilities also have great ability. This poem was inspired as I watched that show.

Disability

You are not defined by your disability

But by your ability to overcome

Not by what other people see,

But //by what they forget

When they are with you.

When we move from words

Like retarded and crazy

To challenged, unique, and special

We then replace

Old stigmas and stereotypes

Stop dissing your ability

Find abilities that make you special

Do not let others define you

Choose your goals

Set out to achieve them

Use your abilities and drop the dis-

Only you can overcome dis-abilities

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Photo: whitelines.com

Utopia

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In 1967, when I was in college, a group called the Youngbloods recorded a hit song with the lyrics Let’s Get Together and Love One Another Right Now…  It came out just as the Viet Nam war was ramping up. A call to peace and love, it was a reflection of the flower child generation of the day. I saw on TV that there is a commercial that is using this song as a musical backdrop. The words are wonderful, but as you can see we still have not gotten the message. This poem reflects this same sentiment.  Listen to the song at the end of the poem.

Utopia

Think how great our world would be

If we supported one another more

And left the criticism at home

As we go out the door

 

Think how great our country would be

If we prayed for our president more

Seeking wisdom, guidance, and freedom from war

Where congress works for the people they serve

Instead of special interests making deals on the curb

 

Think how great our world would be

If people of all faiths could finally agree

Where those who believe differently

Embrace one another and agree to disagree

Listening to one another without controversy

 

Think how great our world would be

How much less stress we all would carry

If the networks broadcasted the good people do

Instead of murders killers and political brew

Think how much better the world would be

If following the Golden Rule was our creed

Loving one another with God’s love and forgiveness

Treating our brothers with care and acceptance

 

We all know this is only a dream

Our dangerous world sometimes makes us scream

But it is nice to think about, if only for a moment

A utopian world where Love is prevalent

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

Restoration

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We just passed Reformation Sunday celebrating Martin Luther’s courageous challenge of the Catholic Church. He believed that our faith not our religious works are what make us right with God. He brought a new perspective to God’s grace in our life.  We come to God in our brokenness and find restoration, wholeness, and a renewed relationship. As a result, the Protestant Reformation emerged and continues to this day. This is a tribute to our brokenness and God’s grace!

Broken

What do you see when something is broken

An object to discard

Or an object restored

Half-full or half-empty

Perspective is everything

Affects all of life

We all become broken

At some time in our life

Thinking we are beyond repair

But God sees us otherwise

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And restores us with his grace

His perspective

His Love

Are always there

We always have our place

In ways beyond

What we could ask or think

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Photos & Guitar Repair: Dwight L. Roth

Reposted from a year ago…