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

Advertisements

Sisters

EER_0112 (2)

Sisters share the love

Mutual bond like no other

Sisters always care

EER_0113 (2)

Memories made remembered still

Long after they both are grown

EER_0114 (2)

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

The World in Black or White

EER_0288 (2)

I want life to be black or white
Everything easy and I am right
But it really doesn’t work that way
Life is full of contradictions they say
Why can’t life be black or white
Perhaps I wouldn’t be so uptight
But grays are part of every life
I’ve known pain that cuts like a knife
The world wants things in black or white
Good or bad we have to fight
To protect our perfect way of life
Seems it causes bitter strife
To always think in black or white
Fills me with fear and causes me fright
Extremes affect the way we think
And leaves our nations on the brink
Why can’t we realizes we need the grays
Shadows bring accents in many ways
Creativity and paradigm shifts
Would not be possible without the mix
Must we think only in black or white
Judging our brothers when “they don’t do right”
Or can we simply love their flaws
The grays and shades are part of us all
Black or white makes everyone halt
Shutter and cringe at every fault
Blends are the creations we all need
To love our brothers, and not to bleed
But I guess as long as there are two
Black or white will judge them too
Love the differences don’t get up tight
Live in peace and let’s not fight
Recognize that if we want to survive
Black and white will not keep us alive
Thinking we are always right
Life will surely be a fright

*********

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Memories

Grandma Roth and Christopher 001 (2)

Memorial Day brings back memories of all those loved ones who have passed on.  Hopefully memories are good ones that can be recalled with warm feelings. My mother loved our boys and enjoyed being a part of their life. My father died at age 70, but she live on to be 93. She enjoyed watching them grow and seeing them become parents to her great grandchildren. We look back with fond memories of those days.

Memorial Day brings

memories of lost loved ones.

Always in our hearts

**********

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Sweet Friendship

Chris's family Easter 2010 085 (2)

Remember the days when just being close to a girl/guy
Made the day a little brighter and smiles a little bigger?
Fun days when carefree spirits shared the swing
Then took off to look for another adventure in the woods.
Oh for the days of youth // when life was a lightness of being;
Formative times of learning about life and love and relationships
Laying the foundation for future responsibilities
and more permanent bonds of commitment.

Chris's family Easter 2010 071 (2)

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

No Greater Love…

synagog where shooting took place (2)

Yesterday we heard of another shooting in a Jewish place of worship in San Diego, California. One of the women there stepped in front of the gunman and took the bullets protecting her rabbi who was helping children escape. It is so sad that we still have not learned to live in harmony with one another. When will we ever learn?

No Greater Love
Than to give one’s life
So that another might live
No greater cowardice than
Taking the life of
Men women and children
In their place of worship
Hate destroys the soul of society
Love overcomes standing up to hate
Often at great personal sacrifice
Love wins in the end…
Love is of God

Photo: USA News

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/her-final-good-deed-woman-hailed-as-hero-after-taking-bullets-to-protect-rabbi-during-synagogue-shooting/ar-BBWnlPuocid=spartandhp/

The Silent Voice of the Spirit

Chris's family Easter 2010 012.jpg

Easter brings a time of reflection on what the meaning of the death and resurrection of Jesus means to us who are part of the Christian faith. For me it reinforces the power of God’s love in my life. Some get bogged down in rules and rituals and debates over theological interpretations, but for me the gospel boils down to Love and Grace… God’s Love for me and Grace that goes beyond all my sins.  I wrote this poem earlier this year which sums up and focuses on the way all this plays out in my life.

The Silent Voice of the Spirit
In the recesses of the mind
Where reason and conscience lie
Right along side the knowledge of good and evil
There comes a sound // not in words
But a silent voice speaking to me
Not with scream nor shout
But with a still small (silent) voice
Heard above the noise of loud voices
Clamoring for my attention
Heard above the noise of city streets
Roaring trucks and honking taxies
Above social media smart phones
Spewing out trivial pursuits
The silent voice always there.
The other option…
Some call it mystical
Others hear nothing
But I hear the silent voice of God
Speaking into my soul…
The voice that says, “I love you my child.”
“No matter what you might do,
I love you!”
“Be all you can be!”

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Furry Little Gift

IMG_5745

Over the weekend I found some old slides of our kitten we got back in 1993. He had a lot of love to give us, and we had much to learn from him. Boxes, bags and newspapers were his favorite things. He would play hard and then take a nap. Then he was back at it for a second round. Problem was he racee up and down the stairs at !0:30 at night, right after we went to bed.  He was with us for the next fifteen years. We loved him dearly.

Play hard // take a nap
A balanced life // play and rest
A lesson to learn

IMG_5746

No care in the world
For us // cares overwhelming
Learn to live and love

IMG_5749

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Beyond the Dark Door

IMG_4029

What lies beyond the dark door?
We do not know // still we move on…
Climbing the staircase one step at a time;
Moving toward our anticipated transformation.

 

Make the most of each step // rise higher and higher;
Enjoy the warmth of sunshine on your face;
Take time to smell the flowers lining the way.
When you reach that dark door of the unknown.
Step confidently through into the light of the future.

 

Embrace whatever your next life holds…
Knowing God who brought you this far
Will continue to surround you with Light and Love

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

Painting: Dwight L. Roth