Friday, February 01, 2008

Captive Roses

beautiful, long stemmed,
perfect blooms, captive blooms
in the vases, of gifts of love
from her, from me, from them
giving in love, captured on
the digital screen, the memory card,
the ether emulsion
of this new age
images of beauty,
preserved in the camera
to be shared, remembered
into the future
long after the bud fades

February 1, 2008
Captive Roses

All of my poems are copyrighted by Raymond A. Foss, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. All rights reserved. Contact me at Ray Foss for usage. See all 30,820+ of my poems at Poetry Where You Live.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Quick Call

My phone ringing, too early for work
a quick call, bringing a smile to my face
My wife, calling to wish me well,
a good day today, a promise of a quick return
from grad school this afternoon
“I love you’s” exchanged over the air
reaching eager hearts
a quick call changing my day,
for the better

January 31, 2008

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Using Our Gifts

spending time in the vineyard, the field,
the orchard, using our gifts, to be messengers,
to be brothers, sisters, to be hands and feet
to be the light in the world, the light to the nations
in our time, in our place, to be the word, the hands
of the savior, the loving hands of God, healing,
lifting, comforting our neighbors, all of them,
lending a hand, a kind word, good works,
and the message of redemption, of saving grace
using the gifts we have been given, all important
to the work of the church, of spreading the good news
to all the nations, all the world

January 30, 2008

Daggers of Ice

A cascade, a crescendo
a waterfall
a torrent
daggers of ice,
hanging from the rusty
fire escape, menacing, hanging
frozen fury, captured, preserved
on the metal rails, the black paint
peeling under the stilettos
not quite vertical lines, frozen motion
yearning for the ground
angles from the wind, the storm
sound too frozen, in the drip, drip,
staccato in the melting,
of the daggers of ice

January 30, 2008
from a memory, a photograph long lost
of the old fire escape at the rear of
Thompson Hall, UNH, Durham,
removed long ago

Parted – haiku – 1

seas gave way, parted
chosen people were set free
their enemies drown

January 29, 2008

The Bush – haiku – 1

non-consuming flame
God spoke from within the fire -
Moses listened

January 29, 2008

The Ark – haiku – 2

Two by two they came
into the ark, safe and dry
watched by Noah

January 29, 2008

The Ark – haiku – 1

Gather two by two
all the animals come nigh
safe in the ark; Flood!

January 29, 2008

Sacrifice – haiku – 1

The Lamb died for me
He bore all my sin, my shame
sacrifice of love

January 29, 2008

Forgiven – haiku – 1

saved, forgiven
my sins all washed away
I rise, for He did

January 29, 2008

Nails – haiku – 1

piercing His hands, feet
pinned to the rugged cross
our savior, bled, died

January 29, 2008

Victor – haiku – 1 – v2

Death no more sting, rule
the stone was rolled away
Rose victorious

January 29, 2008

Victor – haiku – 1 – v1

Death no more sting, rule
the stone was rolled away
He rose, a victor

January 29, 2008

Effervescent Light – 1 – v2

Light, diffused, piercing the dark
fireworks, crescendo
turning the night to day
explosive, glorious

So is God’s love
manifested in the Son’s rising
Champion over sin, death

January 29, 2008

Effervescent Light – 1 – v1

Light, diffused, piercing the dark
fireworks, crescendo
turning the night to day
explosive, glorious

January 29, 2008

A light to the nations – haiku – 1

Effervescent light
infusing the darkness, world
bubbling with hope

January 29, 2008

Light – haiku – 2

A ray of His light
piercing the darkness around
So we are to be

January 29, 2008 17:59

A Well

A well spring of living water
giving life to the body,
the spirit, as of God,
living within us, the Word
living in us, through us
life giving water, coursing
through us, in us
our veins, our beings
imbued, permeated,
saturated, with living water,
if we but drink

January 29, 2008 17:58

A Gallon of Milk

I received this in an email this morning. I didn't want to load up in boxes of people who would flame me, and I wanted to send it as widely as I could, so I am sharing this with the world. May this simple message speak to us all. If you like it, forward it; if not, that's okay too. Ray


This will give you the chills........

GOOD chills.

A young man had been to Wednesday Night Bible Study.

The Pastor had shared about listening to God and obeying the Lord's voice

The young man couldn't help but wonder, "Does God still speak to people?"

After service, he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the message.

Several different ones talked about how God had led them in different ways.

It was about ten o'clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just began to pray, "God...If you still speak to people, speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to obey."

As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought to stop and buy a gallon of milk.

He shook his head and said out loud, "God is that you?" He didn't get a reply and started on toward home.

But again, the thought, buy a gallon of milk.

The young man thought about Samuel and how he didn't recognize the voice of God, and how little Samuel ran to Eli.

"Okay, God, in case that is you, I will buy the milk." It didn't seem like too hard a test of obedience. He could always use the milk. He stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started off toward home.

As he passed Seventh Street, he again felt the urge, "Turn Down that street."

This is crazy he thought, and drove on past the intersection.

Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street.

At the next intersection, he turned back and headed down Seventh.

Half jokingly, he said out loud, "Okay, God, I will."

He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop. He pulled over to the curb and looked around. He was in a semi- commercial area of town. It wasn't the best but it wasn't the worst of neighborhoods either.

The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark like the people were already in bed.

Again, he sensed something, "Go and give the milk to the people in the house across the street."

The young man looked at the house. It was dark and it looked like the people were either gone or they were already asleep. He started to open the door and then sat back in the car seat.

"Lord, this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake them up, they are going to be mad and I will look stupid." Again, he felt like he should go and give the milk.

Finally, he opened the door, "Okay God, if this is you, I will go to the door and I will give them the milk. If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want to be obedient. I guess that will count for something, but if they don't answer right away, I am out of here."

He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could hear some noise inside. A man's voice yelled out, "Who is it? What do you want?" Then the door opened before the young man could get away.

The man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He looked like he just got out of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn't seem too happy to have some stranger standing on his doorstep. "What is it?"

The young man thrust out the gallon of milk, "Here, I brought this to you." The man took the milk and rushed down a hallway.

Then from d own the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen. The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had tears streaming down his face.

The man began speaking and half crying, "We were just praying. We had some big bills this month and we ran out of money. We didn't have any milk for our baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me how to get some milk."

His wife in the kitchen yelled out, "I ask him to send an Angel with some. Are you an Angel?"

The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had on him and put in the man's hand. He turned and walked back toward his car and the tears were streaming down his face.

He knew that God still answers prayers.

THIS IS A SIMPLE TEST.... If you believe that God is alive and well, send this to at least ten people and the person that sent it to you!!!!!!!!

This is so true. Sometimes it's the simplest things that God asks us to do that cause us, if we are obedient to what He's asking, to be able to hear. His voice more clear than ever. Please listen, and obey! It will bless you (and the world). Phil 4:13

This is an easy test - you score 100 or zero. It's your choice.

If you aren't ashamed to do this, please follow the directions. Jesus said, "If you are ashamed of me, I will be ashamed of you before my Father."

Not ashamed...Pass this on.

Like I said above, forward or not; it is your choice.

All of my poems are copyrighted by Raymond A. Foss, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. All rights reserved. Contact me at Ray Foss for usage. See all 27,390+ of my poems at Poetry Where You Live.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fishermen Leaving the Sea

He who would call himself living water,
called the fishermen out of the sea,
away from their boats, the fishing nets
to live itinerant traveling lives
to walk the dusty roads, the pathways
of the region, following him, studying
at his feet, by his side;

Drinking in water, lessons, experiences
as he walked the land, touched the lepers,
healing the sick, the lost, the tormented
Living with him, without roof or bed,
nomadic missionaries on the dusty roads
fishermen away from the sea
living not by bread alone
drinking in the living water
so they too could be poured out
like a libation, soothing
other restless souls
after he was gone

January 29, 2008

Deep Pools

Deep pools of living, loving water
so is our Lord, overflowing with hope
hope that we will come to him,
will ask, seek, accept his offer of love
that we will want that relationship
personal and face to face
with the creator, sustainer, savior
that we will drink from the endless well
drink in the light, the life-giving warmth
the saturating water, permeating our dry bones
giving life where there was death, despair
renewing, restoring us, calling us
to be with him, in him, in the world only
turning our backs on the will of this world
the temptations, the wilderness, dry and barren
to fall into his deep pools of love

January 29, 2008

Monday, January 28, 2008

Judging - haiku – 1

He will come to judge
both the living and the dead
All may be saved

January 28, 2008

A Dove - haiku – 1 – v2

A dove heralded
the end of the cleansing flood
the ark on dry land

January 28, 2008

A Dove - haiku – 1 – v1

A dove heralded
the end of the cleansing flood
ark rested – dry land

January 28, 2008

The Three – haiku – 1 – v3

Three criminals hung
crosses, heavy and final;
For two, not the end

January 28, 2008

The Three – haiku – 1 – v2

Three criminals hung
crosses, heavy and final;
One rose to save us

January 28, 2008

The Three – haiku – 1 – v1

Three criminals hung
crosses, heavy and solid
One rose to save us

January 28, 2008

The Stone – haiku – 2

Risen from the dead
sin lost its hold on mankind
Christ healed the breach

January 28, 2008

The Stone – haiku – 1

stone rolled away
an empty tomb revealed
He was alive, light

January 28, 2008

The Curtain – haiku

Curtain torn apart
life came out of the light, Christ
Darkness fell on earth

edited July 30, 2019
The Curtain – haiku – v2

January 28, 2008
The Curtain – haiku

All of my poems, photographs, and videos are copyrighted by Raymond A. Foss, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. All rights are reserved. Contact me at Ray Foss (  for usage. See all 51,130+ of my poems at Poetry Where You Live.

Christ, curtain, earth, Faith, God, haiku, hope, Jesus, Jesus Christ, life, light, Messiah, poem, poetry, redeemer, resurrection, sacrifice, salvation, savior,

#Christ #curtain #earth #Faith #God #haiku #hope #Jesus #JesusChrist #life #light #Messiah #poem #poetry #redeemer #resurrection #sacrifice #salvation #savior

Darkness – haiku

This prison, this earth
Testing for eternity
Free will is darkness

January 28, 2008

Torn – haiku

Heavens opened
A voice from on high, blessing
the tear healed then

January 28, 2008

Pierced – haiku

His side pierced
stabbed by centurion –
a wound for doubters

January 28, 2008

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Tempted – haiku

Tempted by Satan
Tempted in the wilderness
He stayed true to God

January 27, 2008
Matthew 4:1-11

Sermon, "Follow the Leader", by Pastor Ruth L. Foss, January 27, 2008, prepared for worship - Sanbornville, United Methodist Church, Wakefield, NH

Matthew 4: 12-23

“Follow the Leader”

How many of you remember playing follow the leader when you were a child? (pause) I sure remember. As a matter of fact…I still get into a good game of it with my daughters. It gets silly after a while when they realize that I know how to follow their lead. I also liked playing “Simon Says” when I was little…and still do now. It’s all about following the leader. In today’s scripture from Matthew…we see these fisher men playing follow the leader. Jesus came by and said “Follow Me”…and they immediately got into the “game.”

Following the leader…what kind of leader was Jesus any way? He wasn’t the type of leader that took things by force…He taught love and patience. He didn’t have a large army of fighting men ready to take over the city…He had a band of fishermen and a tax collector. He even hung out with sinners…prostitutes…tax collectors and the like (for shame!). So what type of leader was He? Why did these men stop what they were doing…walk away from their lives and families they had…just to follow this man…this prophet…of their time?

Well…one thing that they may have felt was the urgency of Jesus’ ministry. We have to remember…just before this time…Jesus had been in the desert for 40 days and was tested there by the tempter…now we don’t know if it was actually Satan that tempted Him there but we assume it was Satan…all it tells us is that it was the “tempter…the devil.” Now that His time of tempting was over it was time for Him to get on with His ministry…a ministry of Redemption.

This was what He came to earth for…to be that Redemptive “bridge” over the gap that was made in the Garden of Eden…to Redeem humanity back to the life that was lost there. Jesus immediately started to teach in the synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing disease and sickness among the people. (Redeeming Grace…was redeeming them …saving them… from their disease and sickness… giving them…a new start in life…that could and can only be found through Him)

So…why would these men…who obviously were making some kind of living…stop what they were doing and follow this man who came with the message “Repent, for the kingdom of God is near”? My thought on this is that they knew there was something different about Jesus. It could have been that they could see the Holy Spirit at work in Him somehow. Maybe the way that they were called by Jesus…the urgency in His voice…a glint in His eye…made them realize that what He was doing was far more important than anything else they could be doing in their lives. Whatever the reason…they followed Him immediately…without question. All Jesus said was “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”…Ray wrote a poem a while ago called “And Follow Me,” and it makes me think of what those words actually meant. It reads:

Follow me, on my journey
My ministry, around the Sea
Galilee, your homeland,
No longer fishermen,
Now you will be fishers of men,
Harvesters for the kingdom
Of the good news,
The news of m coming,
My fulfillment, my mission
Of service and saving
Of spirit and law,
Of water and the Word
Fishers of another sort fishers of men
When you leave all
And follow me.

I wonder if they really knew what following would mean?

So…Jesus was the leader of these first disciples. What kind of things…what kind of actions…did He model in this position…what did He do to make Him such a leader of men? Well first…Jesus didn’t take the world by storm…He did the opposite…He showed mercy and love. There are countless stories throughout the Gospels that talk about Jesus’ compassion for those around Him. From healing the sick…teaching about kindness (remember the Beatitudes? Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven…Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted…Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth…sound familiar?)…teaching about how things should be and how we should act in life (His parables were wonderful lessons on that). Jesus was the model for His disciples that He had then and those who would follow. (Follow the Leader)

As a matter of fact…in one of His healings…instead of telling the man he was healed…He actually got His hands dirty…not figuratively…but actually got His hands dirty. It is the healing story of the blind men. When Jesus healed this man…He bent down...picked up dirt…spit into it…made mud…put it on the man’s eyes (that healing touch) and healed him.(John 9:6) (Follow the Leader)

Jesus was not about Himself…Jesus was all about the Redemption…of those around Him. Redemption…what is this word redemption…what is meant by this word…how does this word relate to Jesus and His ministry? I know that we are redeemed from sin by His death on the cross and through accepting Him as my Lord and Savior I am redeemed but how did this play out in His ministry to others on earth?

The word Redeem…In the On-Line Dictionary by Farlex it states:
2. redeem - restore the honor or worth of

Some Synonyms are reestablish, reinstate, restore - bring back into original existence, use, function, or position;

I really like this definition…restore to honor or worth…reinstate…reestablish…restore. (WOW!)

Through the blood of Jesus…I…we…are reinstated with God…our relationship…has been reestablished with our Creator. When Jesus did all of His Miracles of healing He was redeeming them…restoring them…back to fullness so that they could reestablish their life in the society that they lived in. (Glory…we are redeemed!) (Follow the Leader)

So…we as Christians… are the Redeemed…the Disciples of Christ…what are we to do to carry on with…to continue…Jesus’ ministry of redemption? What can we do to bring about restoration to those around us? How can we Follow Jesus’ example and reestablish…restore…the lives of those around us?

This week…I was reading the Upper Room Disciplines 2008. It’s a book of daily devotions and I have found it a wonderful way to begin my day. It helps me set my sights on above for my day. It helps me to contemplate God’s word. If you haven’t taken a look at this devotional book I would recommend it to anyone who wanted to draw closer to God and what God wants us to be in this world. It goes by the The Revised Common Lectionary for the week. The one that really struck me was the one on the Matthew scripture from this morning’s reading. It is by Kenneth Walters Sr. who is an Associate Professor of New Testament at Haggard School of Theology at the Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, CA. He writes:

(read quote)

We are to be out there…alongside Jesus in His redemptive ministry. We are to be the hands and feet of this “radical” ministry. Not just as individuals but also as communities of faith…put our faith into action. (Follow the Leader)

We are to reach out to those around us…where they are not where WE want them to be. Jesus went to where people were…He could have just sat in the temple…waiting for people to come and hear this wonderful teacher who speaks with authority…but Jesus was not about that…He was about the doing not the being the Son of God. (Follow the Leader)

Following the leader…it’s a fun game if we are willing to give up the lead and let someone else lead for a while. If we are not willing to relinquish the command there is no sense in being in the game. I would like to end my Sermon with a song by Rhonda Vincent…some of you may have heard me sing this at the Hymn Sing one night (Which by the way is tonight). It is a song that I feel was written for this Matthew scripture. It is called “Fisher’s of Men”.

(Sing Song)

May we join Jesus in His Redemptive ministry…come along side with the original and follow His lead in life. May we help restore people where they are instead of where WE think they should be. May we be true “Fishers of Men.”


(preached in our living room, January 27, 2008, because the snow storm kept her from getting to Sanbornville)

Sinking – haiku

With faith, He walked
Peter walked on water
his doubt made him sink

January 27, 2008
Matthew 14:22-33

All of my poems are copyrighted by Raymond A. Foss, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012. All rights reserved. Contact me at Ray Foss for usage. See all 20,620+ of my poems at Poetry Where You Live.

Walk on Water – haiku

eyes focused on Him
Peter walked on water;
wind shook his faith

January 26, 2008
Matthew 14:22-33

Follow This Leader

They left all, on the shore, in the boats
left all to follow Jesus,
to leave behind family, lives
to follow the preacher, the prophet,
the man on the shore

We too are called, right where we are
where we live, where we work
to leave our lives behind
to abandon our own plans,
our own wills
to leave the boats,
what we have known
and be fishers of men

January 27, 2008
Matthew 4:12-23
and the sermon, “Follow the Leader”,
by Pastor Ruth L. Foss, January 27, 2008