Expectations and Faith

EER_0771

After seventy-two years of observing the way Faith and Expectation works, I have come to the conclusion that we put way more expectations on our faith than the writers of our scriptures ever intended. The following is something I have been mulling around in my mind for a couple of years. This is the best way I can express what I personally have experienced. You may see it differently and that is OK. To me faith is simple and easy to understand. Many have made it complicated and demanding, filled with unrealistic expectations.

I’ve prayed but had no answers;
Believed in miracles // still waited my turn;
Had faith to move mountains
but the mountains remained;
Read the promises of comfort in times of trouble…
Believed I would find peace in the storm;
Yet saw only blackness and overwhelming sorrow.
Believed Jesus would carry me when I could not go on;
Instead, fell flat on my face crying to God for help.
Discovered there is a time for everything under heaven;
Everything in due season // sometimes sooner // sometimes later.
So, when you pray don’t expect expected answers;
You will usually wait for things to take their course.
Don’t lay on God expectations beyond what might happen;
Leave the miracles for the unexpected occasion.
Don’t let your faith become a denial of reality;
Most illnesses take their course // healing may or may not come;
Most troubles will blow over in due time with scars to show;
And yes, you will feel scared to death through it all.
So, hang on for a wild ride on this roller coaster we call life;
And, if in the end we are blessed with a loving caring family
and friends //consider them a blessing from God.
They will sustain us and walk with us
through the valley of the shadow of death.
If not, we will endure to the end…
When our spirit rises to rejoin our creator.

*********************
It is interesting to me how different most prayers are from this example Jesus gave his disciples!

Matthew 6:9 –
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11
Give us today our daily bread.
12
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one…

NIV – Gateway Bible.com

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Just Imagine

EER_0683 (2)

I am always amazed at the imagination we have and how far mankind has come over the centuries…. then I look at nature!

Imagine
The thrill of the imagination
Takes us places we can never go
Beyond this earthly home
Out into the solar system
Wrapping our minds around the
Concept of a galaxy in a world far far away
Imagine going into the depths of the earth
All the way to China as we used to say
…Our way of saying very deep
Imagine riding with Voyager
As it continues to sail out into the universe
Beyond our solar system to worlds unknown
Having paid its dues in 2012 sailing on
Singing I’ll fly away oh glory I’ll fly away
Who are the imaginers of the present
With visions beyond this realm
Pushing the outer limits in ways yet to be
Not content to live in Earth’s isolation
Rather seeking ways to imagine
The reality of a Star Trek generation
That will stretch our imaginations even more

All of our achievements amount to very little when compared to the world around us, and the universe… which is beyond imagination!

I cannot imagine that it all just happened with a Big Bang!!

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Hand-Me-Downs

ChristopherSwallowing the coke bottle 001

When our son was young he had a cousin who was three years older. We were just starting out in our marriage and were grateful for any hand-me-downs that came our way. My sister gave us the clothes that her Brian outgrew. This little stocking cap and a sweater to match were some of our favorites.

As I thought about the concept of hand-me-downs, it struck me that all of our creations are really hand-me-downs borrowed from those who have gone before us.

Hand-Me-Downs

What have we created that has not already been

Songs, art, music, style, design, color, people & more

All hand-me-downs from what already exists

Rearranging blocks in a pile // building creative towers

Finding ideas // resources from what has gone before

Nothing new under the sun…

What’s old becomes new // What’s new becomes old

The cycle of life // our DNA

Never really new // simply rearranged from his and hers

Even cloning takes something to start with

Many scoff at the idea of Creationism

But, everything we have, are, and ever will be

Is simply hand-me-downs from our Creator

***************************************************

B&W Photo: Dwight L. Roth

The Image of God

EER_0084

In our world life is valued above everything else. We protect our children in their formative years only to let them go on their own as they get older. We grow old and wonder what we have accomplished in life. Then we look at our children and grandchildren and we know. They are our legacy. Our love and care is reflected in them just as the creators love and care is reflected in us. And our life goes on.

My Life Goes On
If I should find this my last day
Looking back on my work and play
Life is the place where joy and sorrow meet
A roller coaster ride of ups and downs
Struggles pain and joys abound
Making me stronger standing my ground
Becoming the man who bears my name
The image of my creator reflected in my face
Not perfect but full of love and amazing grace
A shadow of the divine embracing a much better place
Life goes on be it here or there
In our children in their children
His face is everywhere
Reflections of love immeasurable power
Strength for today and hope for each hour
Passing on down through the thread of life
So fragile so dear so full of strife
If this were to be my last day
With sorrow’s leaving I would surely say
I’m not gone I’m here to stay

*****************************************************

Photo: Dwight & Ruth

New Life in the Garden

EER_0206

Today is Easter Sunday and a time to celebrate new life. Spring is such a wonderful time of the year in so many ways. Flowers are starting to bloom, and today I saw my first butterfly of the season. The petals of the flowers are a wonder in themselves, so thin and fragile, yet so gorgeous. The lilac’s fragrance is better than any manmade perfume.  The butterfly had a piece out of his beautiful gossamer wing. Like us, his deficiency does not seem to stop him from enjoying the new flowers blooming in my backyard. I can see God’s handiwork everywhere around me on this beautiful day of life new and renewal. Do we realize how blessed we all are when we see these special gifts. Take time to smell the flowers.

Fragile

So amazing that something so beautiful can be so fragile

Petals of soft silk

Translucent wings of spectacular design

EER_0197

How wonderful that flowers

Here today and gone tomorrow

Can bring such joy and wonder

Our reminder of new life

Cycling before our eyes

The glorious sun captured in the petals

EER_0195

So fragile that even a touch can destroy

Left alone can remind us of God’s hand

In everything we see and do

How can one believe it all just happened

From noisy matter or condensing water

**************************************

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

When My Spirit Rises

What happens when you die?  There are lots of ideas regarding heaven or hell, or perhaps you believe that’s it and nothing happens. Some believe we are reincarnated and come back to live life again on the earth. I believe my spirit will return to God who gave it life. The body is only a temporary shell that our spirit lives in during our time on the earth. The Bible is full of metaphors that describes heaven as a magnificent place with golden streets, rivers, trees, and precious stones set into the walls. It talks of the throne of God and Jesus at His right hand. But if God is Spirit then I believe we return to the spirit world of God and whatever else that entails.  The thing that amazes me is how attached we have become to this earth , knowing all along that we can’t take it with us.

When My Spirit Rises

When my spirit rises

Unencumbered and free

No weight or worry

Accompanying me

Interesting that I value things

When in the end the spirit flies

Leaving it 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

eer_0701

Photos: Dwight & Ruth Roth