Forgiveness & Freedom

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Forgiveness is the door through
the wall of separation
allowing us to exit
our bitter cage of choice.
Grace is the understanding
that frees us from ourselves,
opening the door of restoration
replacing bitterness with love.
Offering forgiveness to others
comes with no guaranties.
Forgiveness is the door we walk through
…to free ourselves

***

Today is open link night at d’Verse. The inspiration for this poem came as a spin-off from a post I read earlier this week. You can read it here:     https://essenceandlife.wordpress.com/2019/09/13/forgiveness/

Join us at: https//dversepoets.com

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

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”

Faith

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Faith

My faith in God is not something to be proved. Rather it is something to be believed and lived. Faith is a belief about truth, with a little experience that helps reinforce it. I have found faith to be rather elusive at times in my life.

When all is well faith comes easy, but when “life happened”, as it does to all of us, it threw me for a loop! I was spiraling downward fast with no answers in sight.  My prayers went unanswered. Things seemed out of control. There was no way I could fix things. The only thing I had left was faith that God was in control, and things would work out for my good. Even then I had my doubts. I was frustrated and angry.

Through it all, I found prayer was what I needed to change me, not others. In time, and with help from some good counselors, life finally got back on track. I learned a lot about myself and about God. It definitely changed my understanding of faith. A lot of what I thought was faith was mostly culture and religion, but my belief in God and his eternal providence and grace is still strong.

Burning through blackness

Spring sun rises // Dark is light

Grace for the graceless

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Mish asked us to write a Haibun about some aspect of faith. It has to be written from our experience.  A Haibun has a concise prose segment followed by a  seasonal haiku. Come join us at d’verse.

https://dversepoets.com/

 

Peace for You and Me

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My wish for the new year is that we could learn to live in peace with one another. We have had a year of division and strife in this country and around the world. Power and control seem to be what many desire. But for me, I would love to see the world learn to be more accepting of others loving each other as God loves, extending the hand of grace to all. We can blow ourselves to kingdom come, but real Peace does not come from power, rather from Love and Compassion.

Peace

Can peace come from a heart of fear?

From the hand clinched tightly in defense

Trying to save what is already lost

No…

Only from a heart of Love!

Selfless love that is sacrificial

Knowing that it may mean

the end of one’s self

for the sake of another

A heart that does not grasp

But rather opens the hand of God

to one in need

So that all may live in Peace

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Reposted from my book Ebb and Flow

Grace

What has touched your heart through the years that you will always remember? I thought perhaps I would not repost this poem this year, since I had done so in previous years. But then our poetry challenge for today at d’Verse~Poetry Pub was to use the word Grace. I could not think of a better poem to express Grace than this one, so here it is once more.

Christmas Grace

What do you want for Christmas she asked?

A chemistry set would be a real blast

When Christmas came, this angel of grace

Was at our door with every gift in place

 

We were just poor preacher’s kids, our die was cast

Waiting for Christmas was always a great task

But we knew our selected gift of choice

Would make us shout from the top of our voice

 

What do you want for Christmas this year?

She would get it no need to fear

Just a hammer of my very own

Would make my day when you come to my home

 

Money was scarce and gifts were few

But, at our house we always knew

That no matter what the circumstance

There was no worry, uncertainty, or chance

 

What do you want for Christmas this time?

A Louisville slugger would suit me just fine

Then I could be like Henry and Donn

A bat of my own yes, that’s the one

 

Ruth and Edgar were one of a kind

No children of their own they did not mind

Bringing smiles and joy to their preacher’s kids

And that helmet they brought me surely did

 

What do you want for Christmas, she asked?

She never let a Christmas pass

Every year until I left home

My gift of choice would become my own

 

I will never forget that act of grace

And the joy and smiles she brought to my face

I learned of God’s love and his saving grace

And his only son Jesus who took my place

 

And now each Christmas I hear that voice

“What do you want for Christmas, it is your choice?”

There is nothing I need that will bring me more joy

Than the gift of God’s Grace to a little boy

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

Written as a tribute to Ruth and Edgar Honsaker,

who helped make our Christmases a little brighter

Photo: ebay.com.au

Check out the web site at https://dversepoets.com/

Bark

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It is difficult to communicate when you meet someone who is defined by their sad story of how life did them wrong. I have met people who cannot get past their pain and keep reliving it over and over again. Life is full of pain and suffering, but we cannot let that define who we are today. It is very difficult to get past the injuries done to us, but with God’s help we can do it. Looking beyond ourselves can help us move on. Find positive people to relate to and begin to emulate their positive focus. It is possible to find healing.

Bark

Silver Maple scraped and marred

Careless grass cutter bumping and scraping

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Deeply gouged places for worms to hide

Boring sapping the life from the tree

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Much like life’s bumps scrapes and gouges

Cutting deep exposing vulnerability of soul and spirit

Opening wounds for bores of hate and revenge to enter

Leaving us wounded hurting and damaged

In need of cleansing

Left unchecked results in death

Bug treatments cleaned out the wound

Allowing bark to gradually enfold the wound

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In time wrapping the gouges with new life

Just the treatment we need for our personal hurts

If left unchecked will certainly become our demise

The cleansing treatment of forgiveness seventy times seven

Washing our wounds in God’s love letting go the pain

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Healing grace covering scars as new life enfolds us

Bringing renewed hope and purpose as we continue

To grow into all that we are called to become

Not letting scars define us

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

 

 

 

Relationships

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Relationships

Relationships like railings have a central focus

Holding two similar yet different pieces together

When simply laid on the post they will soon fall apart

Some have nails of commitment holding them in place

And salt treatment to help them last twenty years

Many make commitments to stay joined for a lifetime

In time decay occurs around the things that brought them together

If left uncared for those things will not be strong enough

And the relationship will fall apart

I am afraid the song “Love Will Keep Us Together”

Is not enough

For when the decay begins

Love as it used to be goes right out the window

The song should read, “Work will keep us together

Relationships take hard work, compassion, and forgiveness

And most of all God’s grace to keep them together

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

 

Christmas Grace

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The photo above shows the hammer I got for Christmas almost sixty years ago!  When I was child my family had very little money to spend on Christmas. My father was a pastor and only got what people gave on the Sunday the offering went to the preacher. In our church there was a couple who had no children. They adopted our family each Christmas and asked each of us children what we wanted for Christmas. When Christmas came they had each of our requested gifts. I will never forget this act of grace and what it meant to me.

Christmas Grace

“What do you want for Christmas she asked?”

A chemistry set would be a real blast.

When Christmas came, this angel of grace

was at our door with every gift in place.

*

We were just poor preacher’s kids, our die was cast.

Waiting for Christmas was always a great task.

For we knew our selected gift of choice

would make us shout from the top of our voice.

*

“What do you want for Christmas this year?”

She would get it no need to fear.

Just a hammer of my very own,

would make my day when you come to my home.

*

Money was scarce and gifts were few.

But, at our house we always knew

that no matter what the circumstance,

we need not worry about chance

 

“What do you want for Christmas this time?”

A Louisville slugger would suit me just fine.

Then I could be like Henry and Don.

A bat of my own yes, that’s the one.

*

Ruth and Edgar were one of a kind,

No children of their own they did not mind,

bringing smiles and joy to their preacher’s kids

and that helmet they brought me surely did.

*

“What do you want for Christmas,” she asked?

She never let a Christmas pass.

Every year until I left home

my gift of choice became my own

*

I will never forget that act of grace

and the joy and smiles she brought to my face

I learned of God’s love and his saving grace,

and his only son Jesus who took my place.

*

And now each Christmas I hear that voice,

“What do you want for Christmas?” “It’s your choice?”

There is nothing I need that will bring me more joy

than that gift of God’s Grace to a little boy.

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

Written as a tribute to Ruth and Edgar Honsaker

who helped make our Christmases a little brighter.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth