Holy Week

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We enter this holy week together
Christians and Jews recall God’s protection
Stories of hope and love for each other
Faith strained in the midst of dark hopelessness
Prayers rise and lift us beyond our distress
As we see the Sun/Son rise hope is renewed
New life is ours on the path now pursued

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse Frank Hubney asked us to write a seven line Chaucerian poem. It is in iambic pentameter and has a pattern of ABA BB CC. Hopefully this is close to the real thing!

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Unmovable Rock

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Spring is all around us, spreading pollen as leaves and flowers flourish. The joy of springtime is not inhibited by human crisis! Rocks remind us that what is solid is unmoved. As we lift prayers and hope for those working on the front lines of the Coronavirus, we must remember that the words on our coins are not just a nice saying, but rather the solid rock of our faith… In God We Trust!

Beauty rises high

above all // glorious Spring

Rocks remain solid

*****

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

 

Who’s In Charge?

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Through it all the animals roam freely
while humans withdraw in their dread and fear
not venturing out // where birds sing sweetly
Our furry and feathered friends worry not
going about their gatherings with cheer;
living lives daily with nary a thought.
Resigned to their fate, they’ve no ears to hear.
While superior beings listen in fear…
Newscasts shout, “Cornovirus is near!”
What makes us believe we should rule the world?
We read it on pages // good books are clear
we’re invincible // destined // brash and bold…
Perhaps, it’s now time to accept our state;
realizing we are not superior here;
and, like the animals accept our fate.
Live life with purpose making each day count.
Knowing in God we trust through every tear…
we face each tomorrow as tensions mount.

 

I see people racing to the store to buy up toilet paper, I notice all around me in nature is still the same. The birds sing the squirrels raid my feeder without a thought. We have a lot to learn about our place in this world and nature has many ways to help keep us in perspective.

 

 

God Speaks in Silence

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Where does one hear the voice of God?
Is it in large cathedrals with towering spires
or from preachers who peddle the Gospel
like a Television infomercial” // New and Improved.
Does it come through what we put on // or what we take off
Perhaps in the mass emotion of the moment
Like an engine revved up to 5000 rpms?
I believes it come in silence. when we listen
To a bubbling stream or birds singing in the trees.
It come in the silence of a flower
Smiling up at us // waving in the wind.
Perhaps in a silent loving touch // no words needed;
Or, from the silence of the written word
Enlightening our minds // opening our eyes.
Sometimes it comes as we share ourselves with others
Our passion // our faith // our love // our compassion.
In the silence of our minds God speaks;
As we listen // living in the Spirit
We become the silent word made flesh;.
The silent voice of God to those willing to hear.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

What Sustains Me

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Is it knowledge and understanding that keeps me strong
Or perhaps the intellectual freedom
To pursue my thoughts and expand my mind
Some say knowledge is truth and nothing more
But for me it is faith that sustains me

For most of us perspective is truth
Those things we heard from our mother’s knee
The sermons preached from the Holy Book
Or perhaps the trauma and turmoil of life
Eats and gnaws its truth into our soul
But for me faith is what sustains me

Many believe they have a handle on truth
And all others are wrong who disagree
How small heaven must be
How few there must be who find the way
But for me my faith sustains me

To believe in God’s unfailing Love
Beyond knowledge and understanding
To see that Word made flesh in human form
Sharing His love all around me
It may be truth or it may be perspective
But for me it is this faith that sustains me.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Expectations and Faith

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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

Anchored

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On top of Grandfather Mountain is a long metal swinging bridge. The winds coming across the ridge create extreme stress on the bridge. In order to keep the bridge stable, there are several heavy cables anchoring the bridge to the solid granite rock below. As a result, there is little chance of damage to the bridge. As we come to the last day of 2019, it is important to remember to stay anchored in 2020! What are your anchors?

New year has arrived

Every year has challenges

Stay anchored in truth

Remember what’s important…

Family // Faith in God // and Friends

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

 

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

Shedding Religion… Finding God

The 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