Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Shedding Our Bark — Roth Poetry – Reblog


Shedding Our Bark

57m ago

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The Willow trees in our back yard were only saplings when we moved here nine years ago. They are extremely fast-growing trees which are now at least thirty feet tall. As I sat in their shade, I observed the wide splits in the bark. The old years growth sheds away as the tree expands. Eventually it falls away back into the soil. We are like trees. Those who grow the most continue to shed things they no longer need; negative attitudes, hurts, ideas, stereotypes, resentment, and bitterness, etc. Some are trapped in their own bark unwilling to let go and change for the better. How are you at shedding your bark?

Growth brings expansion
Stretching us //sometimes to our limit
Breaking us out of our comfort zone.
Growth causes cracks in our perception
Finding, perhaps there are other ways
Of thinking or feeling that may be different.
Growth brings change
Change is often painful
Forcing us to cast off old ways of thinking;
To have growth, we will have to change.
With change comes new strength;
New strength moves us beyond the present;
Fulfills our dreams for today…
Knowing tomorrow, we will again
Expand, stretch, and shed our bark.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Ubuntu!


Ubuntu!

 

Guest Minister

Today at church our guest minister was Dan Hollard, a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Bozeman, Montana. Our pastor for the past 25+ years has been Rev. Jean Johnson. Jean is on disability leave right now … in a rehab facility in Great Falls, MT.

Pray for Jean

Join me in prayer for Rev. Jean Johnson’s release from pain and ability to enjoy a well-deserved retirement.

Sunday Surprises

Meantime, it’s a surprise each Sunday to see who is in the pulpit and to hear a different kind of message. Today’s message was titled, “Spirit of Peace.” I think Dan Hollard must have spent some time in Africa, because he put on an authentic African accent and told us the story of Ubuntu (Oooo-boon-too).

He based his message on the scripture of Matthew 25:35 “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.”

Here’s what I heard through my filter and took away this morning:

lunch table

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

There was a woman in Africa named Dorothy
Who embodied the spirit of Ubuntu
She was all about community and humanity.
Her kitchen was open to all … she’d welcome you.

She lived the spirit of Matthew 25:
If you see someone naked, clothe them.
If you see someone hungry, feed them.
We’re all one; you should never loathe them!

Dorothy was like a mother to all
Who entered her village; she’d invite
The hungry and poor to dine in her kitchen.
The sense of community was pure delight.

Like Nelson Mandela who invited his captors
To enjoy his inauguration feast,
Dorothy welcomed one and all –
Didn’t label anyone as one of the “least.”

Instead she lived a life that demonstrated
“I am who I am because of who we are.”
She knew “We are all connected.”
Her love lifted all people to “par.”

Everywhere in the world what we need
Is more Dorothys who live out Matthew 25.
Regardless of religion or color or creed,
We need Ubuntu to spread far and wide.

We must fill our world with love and joy.
We must fill the world with God’s peace.
We must feed the hungry and show respect
And love to all. Come and join my feast!

Shalom!

Ubuntu!
Have a Matthew 25 Sunday.
“I am because we are.”
We are all connected.
colorful dancers

pexels-photo-887349-2
See you tomorrow.

 

Fun with My Writers’ Group


Every first and third Friday our Madison County Writers’ Group meets in Ennis, Montana. We may have just two participants, or we could have eight or ten. Last February during our third Friday meeting, there were just two of us. I recently came across my notes from that meeting.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

We begin our meeting each time with a prompt we draw from a bag. Anyone can add prompts to the bag at any time. On this particular Friday, Steve drew the prompt, “Writer’s Block.” We had ten or fifteen minutes to write on that prompt and then share with one another what we had written.

I decided to write a Haiku. It ended up as a 5 stanza poem… each stanza a syllabic count of 5-7-5 syllables. What would you have written with the prompt “Writer’s Block”?

Let me share mine with you.

Writer’s Block can trap
You and me in wordless haze
Floating in nothing

Nothingness can hold
You and me in dilemma
Pen in hand stands still

Stillness can reveal
Treasures in the quietness
You just can’t force it

Forcefulness is great
If you adamantly feel
Thoughts begin to swirl

Swirling thoughts spin out
With contemplation and ease
The Block disappears

We had so much fun sharing our ideas on Writer’s Block that we decided to draw another prompt. This one was “Words.” We gave ourselves another ten minutes.

This time since I was on a roll with the Haiku rhythm, I wrote a 3 stanza poem. Sharing it later with my husband, Bob, he asked, “What determines if your Haiku is going to be one stanza or 3 or 5?”

“You write what you have to say,” I told him. “When you have said it, you stop. The thoughts dictate the length.”

Here’s what I wrote to the prompt, WORDS:

When words just fail me,
I sit back and dream awhile.
Dreams don’t have to speak.

When dreams are wordless,
My imagination spins –
Motivating scenes.

Let pictures emerge.
Print them on your mind and soul.
Eventually: WORDS!

These kinds of dreams come to us as writers, but they come to painters and potters and musicians as well. It’s a capacity of the human brain that needs to be cultivated.

A productive life is one that can get beyond writers block, can use words to express inner feelings, and can listen with heart to the unspoken words of those around them.

I hope you are a proponent of the kind of arts education that promotes such critical thinking. Let your curious mind fly free.

Be a wise consumer of words and thoughts and dreams! Do you have a Writers’ Group? If so, tell me about it. If not, think about forming one. It’s such fun to share your creative thoughts with others face to face, not just on WordPress.

See ya tomorrow. Cheers!

Holding Hands


Everything I ever needed to know
I learned in kindergarten!
Never stop holding hands!

Bob helped me down the steep Mount Baldy hillside

Holding hands is underrated
It’s akin to holding hearts
When you stop holding hands
That’s when the trouble starts

Dancing with your loved one
In the kitchen or bedroom
Keeps your relationship fresh
As when you were bride and groom

Expressing how I love you
In words both clear and sweet
Helps our love stay fresh as
The day you swept me off my feet

You know, I never ever want to
Take our love, Honey, for granted.
Hand-holding, dancing, expressing –
Grows our love right where we’re planted.

80th birthday bouquet

No need to buy me flowers
Although a rose or two don’t hurt
Just hold my hand, kiss me, and
Remember how I love it when you flirt!

My sweet husband of 57 1/2 years
Never stop holding my hand!

I wish you love

See you tomorrow

Sleepless Moon


Sleepless Moon

moon over snowcapped mountain

Photo by Frank Cone on Pexels.com

Who can sleep tonight
With the moon shining so bright?
Go beller at it!

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See ya later

 

In Search of the Uncluttered Life


Last Sunday’s “Do the Math”
sermon topic was
“In Search of the Uncluttered Life.”

It was inspired by the passage in Luke 12:32-40 and delivered
by Rev. Steve Hundley at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church.
You’ll see why I named it, “Do the Math” … Read on!

green and white press drill on table

“Things are in the saddle
And they ride mankind.” *
They are the stuff of storage –
The things that tie and bind.
.
We are the generation
Who invented the garage sale.
We’re buried in acquisitions
That make us stress and wail.
.
Many wealthy and blessed people
Complain about all they’ve got.
They live in an “If Only” state –
Sometimes wishing away what they’ve bought.
.
Life is hard, whether rich or poor.
Jesus says, “Sell your possessions
And give…” and be ever-ready
For my return. Release your obsessions.
.
Jesus asked what seems unreal.
We can’t be ready 24-7.
But, we don’t want to be asleep
And miss the only bus to Heaven!
.
The scripture seems to expect
Too much of us … be ever ready!
Jesus doesn’t ask us to be sleepless.
He asks us to be loving, trusting, steady.
.
He asks us to unclutter
Our lives from stuff and worry.
He asks us to replace distractions,
The things that make us rush and scurry.
.
Set aside the stressful things
That keep us from feeling God’s love.
Be ready to receive the riches
That God pours on us from above.
.
Look for God’s presence today.
Set your eyes on the eagles and clouds.
Be amazed by God’s creation;
Set aside the clutter and crowds.
.
Be surprised by the daily joy
God places in your path.
Add peace and subtract the stress.
Think about it; do the math!
.

* A quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Steve Hundley’s Pastoral Prayer:

This is Your world, O Lord,
that glows with the radiance
of mountain wild flowers
and towering trees,
with the warmth of human
compassion and kindness.
.
Yet there is another world
that is Yours as well:
a world of brokenness
and barrenness,
of sickness and isolation,
of suffering and lonliness.
.
We thank You, O God,
that You are Lord,
over not only this beautiful world,
but also its brokenness.
Remind us that it was
this broken world that
Christ died to redeem…
that it is to this broken world
that the Cross reaches out its arms.
.
Receive us, we pray,
from the darker and needier side
of our existence this morning.
Let the hurt and resentment
in us be taken up
into Your love and acceptance.
.
Let our lonliness be swallowed up
by Your Presence with us here.
Let our illness be touched
by Your healing power,
and our troubled spirits
by Your peace.
.
Turn our personal worlds
of suffering and confusion
into the world of Christ,
where all things are seen
differently in the Light
of His wonderful face.
.
Grant that the conversation
of our own worlds
will enable us to care
about the worlds of others –
the poor, the hungry,
the broken-spirited,
the sick, the dying,
the disenfranchised,
the imprisoned, or those
just seeking a better life.
.
Save us from thinking that
the beautiful world we live in
is ours, or that the broken
and lonely world we live in
is the only one there is.
.
Keep ever before us,
the Cross of Christ,
by which these two worlds
are united,
and the Spirit of the Resurrection,
in which we are promised
that the beautiful world
will outlast the broken one.
.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord
we pray.
And all God’s people said,
Amen!

Thanks for joining me here at WordPress
and reading the sermon notes and prayer.
I  hope they spoke to your heart.

They certainly spoke to mine!
Hear Angels w Heart
See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

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