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Educator and poet, Armando Troche sets the stage with an original spoken word performance aptly entitled “Beyond Materialism.”

What really separates us from an animal?
What I’ve gleaned is that we are one part physical
One part spiritual
One part is temporary
One part is eternity

So with our physical side
It needs material
It needs supplies
It needs resources
But it’s not everything
We are much more
Life goes beyond

When my time is up
And this chapter closed
I will approach a shoreline

There separating heaven and earth
I will be held in a balance
My worth weight
And the only thing that I could take
Are the deeds I’ve done
The lives I’ve touched
The love I’ve shown
And how much I’ve grown

To my great-aunt
Mrs. Nancy Rhodes
God bless
She was the first in this bloodline to open the door
Before it closed I just happened to slide in

To my Uncle Roger
Thank you for all the surprise visits
You continue to make me smile

My body may be buried
But beyond materialism my spirit lives
It sees
It speaks
It breathes

I enjoy my now
But happier, still will I be.

Beneath materialism
Beneath the clothes
The flesh and bones
Is a spirit
A trust gifted to us by the great being
A seed planted by the creator of all things
It lies within us dormant
Patiently waiting to be watered with the words of God

Veiled in My immemorial being
And in the ancient eternity of My essence, I knew My love for thee;
Therefore I created thee,
Have engraved on thee Mine image
And revealed to thee My beauty.”

The words of God feed and fuel the spirit
Allowing it to germinate
Allowing it to pollinate the world
Filling it with virtue
It’s roots will establish
And what is to come next but a mighty stronghold
A sanctuary for all that is good

Because materialism has claimed too many lives
It takes too much of our attention
There is an army on the rise
Some of you are already enlisted
Its ranks continue to swell
So too does its capacity
To win
They’ve learned to not divide and conquer
But unite and conquer
They march
Cycle after cycle
They march
Sharpening their methods as they go
If they approach don’t fret
They speak of peace
They come guided

Beyond the walls of materialism there is a kingdom
Steadily extending its borders
Walls aren’t going up
Walls are coming down
To encompass all
This vision
Requires a pure mind
A discerning eye

This system being erected as we speak
Is fit for all
It will benefit all
It’s the responsibility of all
But it’s not built on wishes
Effort is needed
Work needs to be done
Sacrifice is made
Joy is felt
The choices we make will determine our destiny
Mitakuye Oyasin

Beyond materialism
Our leaders of men
They’ve been sent at different times
We’ve called them by different names
But they’re all guided by His Holiness
They all stand together serving the same cause
Emitting the same light
They hold and deserve
The highest stations no man can touch
Their names are revered
Their names are revered and rightfully so
Their sacrificial lives have inspired generations
Their holy books have gathered a faithful mass
Congregations of countries have pledged their allegiance
This is not man-made

Beyond materialism
Beyond the flash and fads
The hustle for money
The push for product
The drive of consumption
The technology, toys
The news and noise
The oppression, the racism
The gossip, the backbiting
The estrangement and apathy
The bills, the chores
The constant maintenance of day-to-day
Life takes on a very different meaning

I searched for knowledge
Because a friend of mine
Stirred me awake
Octavio Gonzalez
Wherever you are
May God protect you
Your words served me well

In 2003 I became much more driven
Much more observant
Much more reflective
Much more astute
And I started to look within books
Within movies
Within friends
Within nature
Within churches
Most importantly I searched within myself

Beyond materialism I found something praise be to God
It was a response to my efforts
The solutions that I received
Completely satisfied my soul

“Say: God sufficeth all things above all things,
And nothing in the heavens or in the earth but God sufficeth.
Verily, He is in Himself the Knower, the Sustainer, the Omnipotent.”

Beyond materialism that ageless voice is calling us to prayer

I hope to see you there
I hope to see you there.

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  • Mark David Vinzens
    Oct 15, 2017
    The Grand Army of the Light is on the rise. They take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit and fill their heart and mouth with life, not death. Let it rain, let it rain: open the floodgates of heaven. Get ready to be filled with the Spirit. The water level is rising, but the ark of salvation is always above the sea of tribulation: surrender your life to God's luminous breath. The light of Christ is flowing through me: "I am a hole in a flute that the Christ's breath moves through- listen to this music." ...(Hafiz, The Christ's Breath)
  • Hooshang S. Afshar
    Oct 14, 2017