Waiting for Mist to Rise

EER_0696 (3).JPGBeyond the mist the sun is smiling
Waiting for it to lift
The cool damp blanket of morning dew
Hanging on every stick
The flowers drink in the fluid of life
Standing shiny and slick
Lifting their petals in thanks to God
For the refreshing drink he gives
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When the fog sets in and clouds your view
Accept it with gratitude
Consider it a time of healing
Waiting for the sun to burst through
In those inner moments as things close in
Our view seems not quite so clear
Let faith grow strong // cement your bond
Know the sun will shine through

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

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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

Theory of Everything

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This week at d’Verse Poets Pub, we have been discussing theories of everything both real and imagined. When Darwin’s theory of evolution was presented it was greatly challenged by the Christian Church leaders. Those who believed in creationism could not accept this far out theory. The debate still goes on, with no one really able to prove their theory.  Yet one has to wonder, as we look at the world around us, how it all came about!

As I contemplate my existence
How it must have all come about
I find a thought persistent
In my mind and won’t come out

If as some believe we all came from the ocean
Organisms and fish learning to breathe on land
Evolving into monkeys, dinosaurs, and toucans
Then we are all the same both woman and man

In every drop of water and every living thing
The DNA strands in us and them should all be the same
But the opposite seems to be true it seems
DNA is different in every living organism, woman, and man

So how can it be possible to have such strange dichotomy
Millions upon millions of living things
All different yet with such unique anatomy
Not one of them the same whether on legs or on wings

With such a well-ordered plan and imaginative design
It seems intelligence beyond our comprehension
Has put in motion this world a one of a kind
And we all participate in this great dispensation

Photo: 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

My Faith

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Faith is the floodplain of Grace
Where I plant my roots to grow
Giving me the strength I need
To find meaning and purpose in life
Faith is the floodplain of Grace
Where conscience and moral values
Are cultivated throughout my lifetime;
Bringing meaning and purpose to life
Faith brings meaning and purpose to life
Sharing in a community of likeminded
Believers who support and encourage
One another to become all we can be
Faith is my connection to God
Community is the cement holding us,
The lively stones // the believers in Christ,
Together in love and fellowship
Faith is the floodplain of Grace where I am rooted
The source of who I am

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Happy New Years 2019

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A New Year’s Blessing
May your old year pass with peace and celebration
May you let all your worries remain in 2018
Hold your friends dear to your heart
Let loyalty and love be your coat of arms
Let your grief do its work in your soul
Never forget those who passed on
Keep your family precious and spouse revered
Treat everyone with dignity and respect
May your wishes become goals to attain
With God’s strength work toward that end
May you follow the light of the Spirit in your heart
Walk with God as you would your closest friend
Trust that all things will work out for your good
Be thankful for all of your blessings of life
May you live every day as the “Word made flesh”
May you be a light and a beacon to all
Happy New Year 2019

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Painting: 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

Light for the Soul

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Winter solstice brings
A dark day //with future hope
Dispelling darkness
See the candle burning bright
Light returns after the night

Men of old waited
In deep darkness for the Light
Their hopes never dimmed
A baby born in darkness
Brought us the Love of God’s Light

Though darkness remains
God’s Grace changes the hearts of men
Light shines all around
Through the lives of believers
In the soul’s dark night // Love Wins!

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Moon Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Truth and Light

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I was introduced to reverse poetry yesterday in our prompt at d’Verse Poets Pub weekly prompt. I really enjoy it and so I am trying it again with a poem I wrote a year or two ago. Reverse poetry writes the poem and then turns it around and rewrites it from the bottom up with a few minor changes. See what you think!

Desert of Truth (Reverse Poetry)

Light without fruit creates a desert
Overwhelming all // burning
Driving everything underground
Faith without fruit creates a desert
No shade // No water // No food
Just intense // overpowering repulsion
For all to avoid

Grace // Mercy // and Truth
Fruit to feed on
A well to drink from
Shade of protection to come under
Don’t let your life become a desert
Don’t let your truth become light to avoid
*
Let your Love reach out to all
*
Don’t let your truth become light to avoid
Don’t let your life become a desert
(Be) a shade of protection to come under
A well to drink from
Fruit to feed on
Grace // Mercy // and Truth

For all avoid
Intense //overpowering repulsion
No shade // No water // No food
Faith without fruit creates a desert
Driving everything underground
Overwhelming all // burning
*
Light without fruit creates a desert

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Proving Your Faith

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I believe it is contradictory to try to prove faith.  Some go to great lengths to prove that what they believe is right. Endless studies and theological discourses are done trying to disprove everyone else. Some feel if they can disprove evolution, for example that they will have accomplished a great milestone for Creationism. Still others pick and choose proof texts to support their particular beliefs. For me, this proves nothing. The proof of your faith is in living it. If what you say does not match what you do then you have nothing to offer anyone.

Proof is in the living //not in the proving

Faith is not based on proof //rather on belief

Proof is not disproving others

It is living the faith you choose

For it is in living that we convince others

That our words/work is not in vain

Yet we try so hard to convince ourselves we are right

Is it our doubt // or feelings of superiority?

Few are brought to faith by details of theology

Rather by the life of One who has lived selflessly

Faith is not supported by disproving science…

Which is ever changing as knowledge increases

Faith is not proven by what cannot be proven //

Stories of the past or imaginations of the future…

Recorded to uplift and reassure the faithful

Having little to do with drawing others to accept your Truth

Faith is a mystery // believing what can’t be proven

Accepting God’s Love and Grace

Living in that light each day of your life

Loving God //Loving your neighbor //Serving others

Faith is based on Love … not on Proof

Your faith in action becomes

“The Word made Flesh”