The glory of a brilliant flower is facing its final days,

At first it pushed its way through the soil as a tiny sprout,

Each day it grew into a plush ad beautiful plant.

The blossoms that once graced her have now fallen away,

Leaving a colorful stalk of leaves,

Summer has taken its toll on her as she wilts under the hot sun,

Soon she will shrivel and die,

Much like us,

We come into this world, pushing our way through a tiny canal,

Screaming as we enter life,

We grow, we mature into individual beings with something unique to offer,

As summer comes, we have come to the pinnacle of our growth,

In autumn, we give the world our best impression,

By coloring it with our talents, abilities and knowledge,

Our last hurrah of sorts,

When Winter arrives,

Our bodies begin to falter,

Our hearing wanes, our eyesight fades, our skin loses its luster,

We struggle to survive, but death does not escape us,

We all die,

It’s a fact of life,

But for those who believe that God has prepared a new paradise for us,

Life never ends,

Like the plant that drops its seeds back into the soil and lives to see another day,

We too will continue the circle of life,

An eternal life that lasts forever.

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“All good things arrive unto them that wait–and don’t die in the meantime.”  Mark Twain

“God writes a lot of comedy … the trouble is, he’s stuck with so many bad actors who don’t know how to play funny.” Garrison Keeler

“We ought to give thanks for all fortune it is is good, because it is good, if bad, because it works in us patience, humility and the contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country.”  C.S. Lewis

Joy, Patience and faithfulness are formidable character traits, but when you add words like hope, affliction and prayer, you see there is more to them than meets the eye.  How often do we give thanks when our hopes have been dashed? How do you grow patient when everything around you is moving at a snail’s pace? How’s our prayer life? Do we just reach out to God when we need Him, or do we have numerous conversations with Him throughout the day?

God is not simply an aging old man in the sky, managing His kingdom like a puppeteer pulling all the right strings.  He definitely has a sense of humor, because He created me.  He looks after us as a loving father cares for His children.  He wants the very best for us and has a blueprint all drawn out for what He has in store for us.

He’s also demanding of us.  He wants our obedience, because He’s our Creator.  He wants us to share our love and trust in Him with those in desperate need of the Gospel.  He’s given us the command to love one another as we love ourselves.  He wants us to know that nothing we do is going to pay for our inability to live up to His expectations, but He also provided a way out for us.

We don’t just automatically become joyful when we turn things over to God.  Sometimes it takes Him a long time to answer.  Sometimes He does that to build character and patience, other times He’s refining us.  Sometimes He looks into the future and knows what’s best for us.  Maybe the thing we’re praying for isn’t for our good.  Many times He doesn’t answer at all, but He guides us through the path that He’s pre-determined for us.  He gives us discernment, wisdom and the ability to make the right choices.

God feeds us when we get a daily diet of His Word.  He nourishes our bodies and souls with the love He exhibits for us on those pages.  Plan on filling yourself up with his truth and He will bestow on you hope, patience and faithfulness.




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There are so many times when I simply need God’s strength.  I cannot go through difficulties without it.  He sends His Spirit to give me comfort when I waiver.  He lifts me with His mighty hand when I feel I can go no further.

In life’s daily walk, we are faced with difficult decisions, trust issues, anger, fear, integrity, hopes, goals and with each of these, we can not survive alone.  Even when we have a spouse who supports us, we need the all knowing, ever present Creator to sustain us.

As I begin this day, Lord, give me the assurance that you will be with me through it.  Lead me as you will, for I know your purpose for my life is in your hands.  Protect me from those who betray or desert me and give me strength to overcome the world and my sinful flesh.   I trust in your design for my life.  Amen!



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Within the mountain’s early dawn, His majesty is seen,

The skies fill up with brilliance, and glorious golden sheen,

His breath is seen in morning mist, His voice through eagles’ song,

His power displays in sunlit rays, He shines the whole day long,

His love for us unspoken, but seen in every rock,

He leads us like a shepherd protects his wandering flock,

I am so weak and fragile, like many a stubborn sheep,

My trust oft wanes, my fears o’er take, I toss through dream filled sleep,

My tears won’t stop, may faith grows weak, I stumble all the way,

But He’s right there, surrounding me, protecting me each day,

I’ll never grow to understand His unconditional love,

But thank Him that He grants it from His throne high up above,

My God, you are my fortress, my strength when I am weak,

You carry me through deserts, you lead me when you speak,

Through pastures green and waters clean, fulfilling every need,

You fill my heart with gratitude, my soul your Word does feed.

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Thank you, Lord, for giving me breath and life and for your gift of the Holy Spirit which has been working within me since my baptism. Each day you provide all that I need for my physical and spiritual needs. You hug me with your mighty arms and protect me from the evil one. You have a plan for my life even in my old age.

Thank you for sending your Son, Jesus. He lived a perfect life, showing by example how we should lead a servant’s life – always putting others before ourselves. My gratitude overflows because He took my place on the cross. He died so I might live and He conquered death by returning to life proving to me that I will also share eternity with Him.

Lord, thank you also for the trials I face each day. Thanks for planting confidence in my heart so I can overcome them. I have never suffered starvation or abuse, but I pray for those who have, so they may find peace through you – especially for those who are dying defending your name.

God, I have no gift to lay at your feet, but you treasure me more than gold. I cannot save myself, but you love me so much that you made my salvation possible. All I can do is give you my heart forever ad trust completely in you for my strength, my hope, my daily bread, my salvation. I know it is in the best possible hands! Amen.

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Golden fields of grain,

Wave freely in the hot August breeze,

Soon it will all be gathered,

Before the fields freeze,

The fruits of the harvest will soon grace our table,

The grapes will be gathered by hands strong and able,

Huge silos are filled for the long winter days,

When cattle surrender to winter’s cold gaze,

Our Lord will protect each one that calls on Him,

His bounty of plenty, He always plants within,

Our souls will be fed with the food that He gives,

His love does endure for as long as we live,

When death overtakes us, He’s still by our side,

With new bodies we’ll flourish, our pain will subside,

With our Jesus we’ll walk and we’ll never more stray,

Redeemed we will stand on that last judgment day.


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Original art & poetry by Paul & Kathy Boecher©

A life once filled with loneliness, a heart that seemed like stone,

Has turned to Christ and all at once, that life is not alone,

To walk without the Son of God is like an empty day,

Time that has no purpose, where thoughts get in the way,

The road through life is burdensome and sometimes can run out,

But when we walk with Jesus, the journey has no doubt,

For He alone can guide us. His tenderness is real,

He washes all our sins away, redemption He did seal.

We walk like children through this life. We’re never satisfied,

But Jesus loves us even so, through Him we’re gratified.


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“In God we trust – trust your friends – trust the people with whom you do business – believe that your family will always be there for you – know that those who instruct you are people of integrity and common sense.”  How much truth do these sayings hold?.

In business today, it is very difficult to trust. With the use of internet to conduct everything from business to social media, there is very little face to face contact, leaving no room for reading body language or emotions. We can only assume we’re being told the truth. A handshake is rarely evident until a deal is closed and even then we don’t finish business like we did in years gone by.

In our case, friends have always been few, but ones we can depend on. Many who claimed to be friends when our business was thriving, went by the wayside as soon as success left our door. The ones that remained faithful are still friends today.

Most families are separated by miles and they’re busy building their own lives. Today, both spouses work in order to meet the everyday demands of living. Their time is precious to them. That’s not a bad thing and we’ve always given them their space, but when we need them for something, we know we can call them. Not all families are like that. Many leave the nest and are rarely seen again.

Our pastors, teachers, mentors and leaders should be those you can put your complete trust in, but even in those positions of merit, we often hear stories of shepherds leading their flocks astray with false teaching. We discover that teachers or others in authority can use their station to take advantage of those they teach or put them in compromising situations. Mentors should be looked up to, but they often fall short. As to our athletic heroes, movie icons, television stars, their fame has often tainted them and their ability to motivate or stand as good role models is pathetic. Our leaders have lost track of the fact that they have been elected to work for our good, but special interest groups often capture their attention first.

When we trust in ourselves for wisdom, our narcissistic nature often grabs hold of us and we think we’re the only ones we can trust. Some folks worship false gods, the internet, money & success, good works and on and on, but there is only One that we can trust to mold us, punch us, toss us around, help us, comfort us, raise us up when we’re down and give us hope – all for our benefit.

Even when life is coming at us from all sides, His love never changes. He is unconditional with it – He lavishly disperses it on us – sometimes you don’t like His path and determine to take your own. When that doesn’t work, you know He’ll be waiting for you with open arms.

To me, He’s the only One you can trust completely.


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R E S P E C T !


Picture a world where life had no value; a place where brother fought against brother to the death; where unborn lives were snuffed out in an instant; where seniors were deemed useless and exterminated after a certain age; where children killed someone just for the fun of it. What a horrible place that would be and yet we are living in the midst of such a world.

Whatever happened to respect for human life? Whatever happened to consequences for bad actions? Whatever happened to the laws of God? The Ten Commandments were given to man to be a law for our lives and yet they seem to be stomped on daily, as life takes a back seat to pleasure and selfishness.

I am ashamed of what has happened within my own country. Guns are being blamed for taking lives rather than the people who pull the trigger. Children see violence as a thrill rather than it having any consequences. Abortion is a cop out for taking responsibility for poor choices, with no conscience about the murder of an unborn life.

Lord, help our nation to begin to look to your Word for answers again instead of within themselves. We need your law as well as your Gospel in our lives. Help us to remember to teach our children the value of life and the consequences of bad actions.  We must return to you and your law if we are ever to survive as a nation.  Amen!


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Poor, old Charlie Brown – never could cut a break. One of the world’s most favorite cartoon characters, created by Charles M. Schulz had a daily struggle with the same kinds of problems we often face. If it wasn’t being chosen last on the baseball team, it was trying to get his kite to soar in the air. In these cute comic strips, we can often see ourselves and some of the difficulties we encounter in our daily walk.

God doesn’t promise us a perfect life. There will be problems and they could easily overwhelm us. In a way we should look at these interruptions as “good grief.” They keep us on a steady track with our Creator. When things are going well with us, we often forget to communicate with Him. When the path is cluttered, we don’t waste any time reaching out to God for answers.

Lord, I need to be reminded to pray when I am thankful as well as when I need your help. Sometimes I can’t even find the right words to say. When that happens, I know you will still hear what is in my heart. Thanks for placing good grief in my way. It reminds me that you are in charge of my life. Amen!

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