LUKE SIX – BLESSED WORDS

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READ LUKE SIX
This chapter is filled with so much meat. It begins by discussing the Pharisees insistence on not working on the Sabbath. Such things as eating some gathered corn from the field or healing the sick from their infirmity were considered labor by the elders of the church. Jesus quickly set them straight by stating that He was the Lord of the Sabbath. Those words must’ve stung deeply, as they were seen as a threat to the church itself.

By this time, Jesus had chosen all twelve of His disciples. They indeed were helpful to His ministry, as many of our own church elders can be of help to our officiating pastors. Jesus was a man and because of that He got tired and hungry. He needed time to pray, to rest and take nourishment just like we do. On the other hand, He is also God and could’ve easily provided for those needs, but it wasn’t part of His mission on earth.

We see in this chapter that Jesus prayed a lot. As our example, we can glean much from this. God is available to hear our prayers at a moment’s notice. We don’t always take advantage of that.

Jesus and his band of disciples covered a lot of territory. The crowds were growing. People came to be healed, out of curiosity and because the message was one they had longed to hear.

The Beatitudes are listed in this chapter. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh,” was one of them. These were akin to the proverbs of old, but they carried an entirely new meaning. He said things like, “Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.”  These words were foreign to them, but they certainly held their attention.

Jesus must’ve been an exemplary speaker. His voice would have to carry to great lengths to reach the many in His audience. Imagine the voice of God speaking directly to them and us. He was nothing extraordinary to look at, yet he commanded the crowds. When He told them not to judge others, but to forgive them as we will be forgiven. He told them to be good fruit and to build their lives on the foundation of God. By doing so they would not be shaken.

Jesus was bringing that foundation back to the people. He came to establish His kingdom in our hearts. Let us continually stay rooted in His Word so we continue to flourish and spread the Good News of salvation to all people.

We are definitely living in troubled times.  The church is being attacked on a daily basis.  The devil is using every tool in his toolbox to take advantage of us.  Don’t let Him in.

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BIG GIRLS DO CRY

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The feminist movement did great things for women.  It allowed them to leave the ties of housekeeping behind and venture into a whole new world.  It was a world which challenged their abilities, their brain power, their industriousness, their ingenuity, their organizational skills, their talent and their compassion.

Yes, I said compassion.  Now where in the world does that word fit into the world of commerce?  Up until then, compassion was woven into the fabric of nursing or caring for others.  The corporate world was and still is, filled with money driven men who were trying to change the world.  Not a lot of compassion was necessary  When women became part of that world, things changed a lot.

In the beginning men said women’s place was in the home, raising a family, tending to the chores of the day and caring for her husband.  The game was on.  Women started attending colleges for things other than secretarial or medical skills.  They proved that they could work under pressure and handle the stress of corporate life.  It wasn’t an easy road, because these same women still had the responsibilities of running a home, but they managed to do both.

Today women are deeply imbedded into politics.  They hold positions of power in the medical field, the corporate world, high finance and industry.  They have proven to be equal to men, but still fight the battle of equal pay. I’m sure that day isn’t far off

In the process, families have become accustomed to both parents working.   The material things that were put on the back burner until they could be paid for are now staples in most homes.  The home fires still burn, but most of the management of that place is being carried out by hired workers.

In the meantime, women have become equal with men.  In my opinion, they always were in God’s eyes.  Woman was created to be a partner for man.  I’m sure there are statistics that prove that men are the hunter/gatherers and women, the caregivers, simply because of the way they are made up physically.  Women are sensitive, intuitive and have the ability to listen.  The tenderness of their hearts is something that continues to exist, even though they try to put on an armor of toughness.  Women cry.  Yes, so do men, but women seem to do it more often.

As women take on some of the roles of their counterparts, they’re expected to be tough,  put their emotions aside and act like a man.  However, even in a society that wishes to determine their own gender, men are men and women are women.  The differences were designed to compliment each other.

Women do have a softer side.  Our emotions are often worn on our sleeves.  Our compassion is evident in the way we work with others and live with them and should be considered a medal of honor.  It’s not an attack on your character to say you can cry if you need to.  There will be days when the pressure of work gets in the way of family – when the demands of travel take you from those you love – when the extra hours of work keep you from kissing your children goodnight.  It’s OK to feel bad about those things.

God made tears for a purpose.  They come out when we grieve, when we’re frustrated or angry and even when we’re happy. The silent tears you pour into your pillow each night do not go unnoticed.

There’s someone who understands those feelings.  Jesus wept.  He knows all about sorrow.  He understands our pain.  He is also our comforter.  He hears our prayers and dries our tears, but He allows us to  bring all our burdens to Him, so he can carry them for us.

 

 

 

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WEEDS & ANTS & DIRT, OH, MY!

“Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief,
    officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest”

Proverbs 6:6-8.

My husband will tell you, I get way too involved in my garden. I spend hours on just one bed and by the time I’m done, I feel pretty good about it.  Being in the garden is my chance to clear my mind and focus on the important things in life – like the One who created a perfect garden with NO WEEDS!

Yesterday was a beautiful day to take them on.  For some reason they keep coming back – kind of like old sins that nag at us.  I was pulling bricks from a small path when I intruded on a colony of carpenter ants.  No, they weren’t wearing little tool belts, but they came on with the force of a burly construction worker. Soon the disturbed little creatures were on the defense.  I had invaded their space and they were angry..

I brushed ants off my clothing, my gloves and any exposed flesh.  I was soon crawling with them.  They were now invading my space! It got me thinking about how closed we can sometimes be until we have to take a stand on something.  Our lives move along with normality until something gets in the way of our thinking, our planning, our goals.  Then all of a sudden – we go ballistic.  Our faith is being challenged – our beliefs stomped on – our core values pushed aside by some idea, philosophy or the devil himself.

It got me thinking about the Proverb regarding the ant.  They work hard for their survival.  They meet obstacles and overcome them.  They’ve no taskmaster or ruler, yet they aren’t the least bit lazy in going about the job of gathering food and storing it for the winter.

We should be like the ant in continuing our work, despite obstacles.  Our work will be blessed by our Creator.  He’ll watch over us as we struggle and give us relief.  He’ll show us which direction to go, by giving us choices.  He’ll provide for every single need, but still it’s up to us to repent of our wrongs and have faith in Jesus, Christ, our Savior that we are forgiven, despite the devilish weeds that continue to infest our lives.

Let’s get to work!

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MY WORLD FILLED WITH CRITTERS

We have a new squirrel to add to the mix of critters that come to visit each day. As with most of our visitors, we gave this one a name. He’s now referred to as Jake – from State Farm. He’s an extremely chubby fellow, mostly from the waist down. I don’t know if there’s any significance to the fact that he seems to be wearing a belt. Perhaps it’s a scar from a battle he undertook in search of food. It might be a birth defect. It could be part of his genetic makeup, but if I didn’t know better, Jake looks like he’s wearing khakis. He has made it his life endeavor to raid our birdfeeder to a state of emptiness before the birds actually make a appearance.

We’ve had a number of squirrels over the past five years that we’ve lived here. Numbers have decreased as changes occur around us. Our Little Farmhouse on the Highway, which once was a sort of sanctuary has undergone some huge changes to the very highway that it almost sits upon. The road is undergoing a facelift, with wider lanes and exit ramps to accommodate for more traffic. The noise along with the removal of trees, has slowly interfered with the critters’ habitat. Since we also sit close to a river that pours into the Mississippi, these changes have infringed upon the habitat of many – including us. The jackhammer, the cement trucks, the drilling and other assorted sounds have added tremendously to the traffic sounds which continue to prevail.

Occasionally we will hear the familiar sound of a cardinal, a wren, a finch or a warbler. We still have a slew of feral cats that stop by now and then. Somehow the sounds of the city are overtaking our little farm. Maybe it’s time to get a cow. While we think about that, we’ll continue to enjoy the squirrels, birds, chipmunks, rabbits, cats and other wildlife that play outside our dining room window. God has blessed us with these little treasures that are available just for our enjoyment.

“A voice says, “Cry!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:6-8

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SUNDAY SERENITY

ART & INSPIRATION BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER

God set this day aside for a day of rest.  He had a pretty busy week prior to the final day of creating the world, the universe, every living thing.  He established night and day and placed all the stars, planets and constellations in the heavens.  He divided the land from the sea and carved majestic landscapes, gardens and flourishing plant life within them.  Then He created man in His own image and gave him a lifetime companion from the man’s rib

For most of us, we’re lucky to get through a 40 hour work week, take care of household duties, make meals and spend time with family.  We often complain when we have to put in overtime hours.  Some of us can’t stay awake much past nine o’clock.  When Sundays roll around, we’re ready for some rest.

If you really want to find some quiet time – a time to connect with the King of creation – spend an hour or so in His house.  He’s waiting for you in His holy sacraments.  He speaks to you through the Bible. The beautiful music, the glorious sanctuary, all the trappings of a church enhance the experience, but the truth is this is a time reserved just for you to be with God.

Why not try it?  Once you make up your mind to give God that early Sunday morning time, you will find true rest.  The coming week will take on new meaning.  You can face it with the confidence that God lives in you, through His Holy Spirit.

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PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORIES

Dust covers the now stagnant and aging photo albums on my coffee table.  My youngest daughter still loves searching through those picture books – hoping to find memories of her own childhood. When it became easier to put them on a computer, it seemed a waste of time to save the albums.  Still there was the tactile, the tangible, the sensory, the very physical experience of touching, smelling, visualizing, remembering the situation in which those photos were captured. It was like recapturing a memory from the past and bringing it back to life.

As I think how things have changed so much in my lifetime, looking at old photographs is right up there with reading a physical newspaper or hard cover book.  There’s something missing when we look at those things through the eyes of a screen which has no emotion, no feelings, no connection.

I have an old wooden cigar box filled with pictures from a bygone era.  Most of those pictured are unknown to me, but they represent another time and place.  The ladies in their long dresses, sitting on the ground at a picnic – the derby and straw hats worn by a group of young men gathered at a bar and raising beer glasses in a toast – the stoic faces of those pioneers who trudged across an unknown continent in search of a new life.  Those faded, black and white, sometimes sepia toned images are a piece of history to be preserved. I hadn’t thought much about those old pictures until our oldest daughter recently asked to look through them.  It was then that I realized the importance of hanging on to them.

As time wears on and life changes, we need to cling to the old with a tight grip.  Our history is the beginning of our future.  We not only learn from our past mistakes, but we can use the experiences to guide us to a better life ahead.  When any part of our past is erased, there is a void. It’s almost like taking a portion of your existence away.

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SATURDAY STILLNESS

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER

 
Words intertwine through the tapestry of my mind, 

As the flying shuttle weaves its way through my thoughts and emotions,

Each new thread engages the fabric of my being, 

I am pushed, enveloped, integrated, tied in knots at times. 

Each word I write is a part of the finished product,

The person I’ve become through life’s complex twists and turns. 

Each thought has shaped my relationships, my goals and dreams, 

But the One creating the tapestry knows what He’s doing,

Even when I go off track, He knits me carefully back into His perfect design,

He alone gives me words and thoughts to use for His glory. 

He keeps me silent when I need to be.

Help me to be still and know that you are God.

Lord, make me an instrument for you! 

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FRACTURED FRIDAY

There’s something about Peter Pan that always rings true for me. I never wanted to grow up. It’s not that I’m irresponsible. In fact, I’d consider myself quite responsible. Yet the idea of remaining childlike has always appealed to me. When we’re children, all we want to do is become adults. I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that when we grow old, we wish we were young again. Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to be accountable? If, like Peter Pan, we had our own place – our own followers – our games to play and time to frolic? Wouldn’t it be amazing to make our own rules and carve our own path? Sometimes it seems like that’s what may be happening to the youth of today, but that just an old grandmother talking.

As we grow up, we’re taught to put away childish behavior, to forget about nonsensical things, to live by the certain standards, but maybe those standards have been tainted from one generation to the next. Growing old is not for sissies, but it can be filled with joy and laughter if we let it. We don’t have to isolate. We don’t have to hide from others. We don’t have to grumble and complain about every ache and pain. We definitely don’t need to impose our feelings on the younger generation when that’s what we’re longing to be.

We must remember how to play – how to get enjoyment from the little things – how to feed on the beauty of God’s creation. Yesterday, a small bird landed on my husband’s shoulder. That was amazing. I thought he had become an animated cartoon. We need to take time to stretch our imaginations again. Children have the great ability to picture things in their minds and make up stories to accompany them. Kids love to explore and learn. Somewhere along the line we lose the ability to be children. We become bitter because of something that has distressed us. We lose our ability to look ahead when our final years approach.

Yet there is still so much to be hopeful for. We have a home waiting for us in eternity, where we will never grow old, feel pain, discouragement or anger. That place is not Neverland, but heaven. While we’re going through these remaining days, let’s never forget how to be young.

C.S. Lewis, who wrote the Chronicles of Narnia, had this to say about aging:

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

“You see, I don’t think age matters so much as people think. Parts of me are still 12 and I think other parts were already 50 when I was 12….”

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”

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THROWBACK THURSDAY – PERSISTENCE

God gives us some good advice in James 1:3 & 4. He tells us to hang in there; to hold on to our beliefs; to trust in His wisdom. It isn’t always easy to do that, especially when our lives are packed with tough times. More often than not, we can feel defeated before we even start to move forward.

  • Don’t let outside influences affect your walk each day.
  • Be confident that God has a plan, and He is making it happen on His timeline.
  • Trust in your own good judgment and with His help, don’t give up.
  • He knows what you need even before you do and He’s the one who will help you fulfill the desire of your heart if He thinks it’s good for you.

When we’re young we listen to our parents’ advice because we trust them. When God tells us something, we can have faith that He is going to make good on His Word. He is the perfect Father.
Here is your pep talk for today. You can do all kinds of amazing things when you have God with you. You are an important member of His family. He loves you so much that He sent His own flesh and blood to suffer and die on your behalf. He then rose from the clutches of death and went back to heaven to get your room ready for you.

He’s also going to make sure we’re ready for that place by refining us. Refining requires going into the fire at times. Life isn’t perfect. We’re going to have difficulties. There’s even a plan for all the junk we encounter. All our cares, worries and losses are designed to temper us into pure gold. God will be with us in every struggle – carrying us when times get too hard to endure. Don’t despair – don’t lose faith – never give up and trust in God.

STICKTOITIVENESS – Noun – Informal, North American origin – Synonyms: determination, resolution, firmness of purpose, purposeful

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WEDNESDAY WISDOM

“Millions of trees in the world are accidentally planted by squirrels who bury nuts and forget where they hid them. Do good and forget. It will grow someday.” Anonymous

We can learn so much from nature. Consider the squirrel. He becomes exceedingly busy in the season of Autumn – storing up nuts for the winter to come. His brain is small, but his instinct is telling him to plan ahead. Maybe planning requires a little more than instinct – especially if you forget where you put something. I was talking with my husband about this very thing this morning as we looked at the bird feeder in our yard and watched the squirrels on their usual raid of sunflower seeds and peanuts. By the way, we have the healthiest looking squirrels around. We’ve named one of them Jake, from State Farm, because he looks like he’s wearing khakis. His belly is so full there is a line around his waist. It looks like he’s actually wearing pants. But as usual, I digress.

As we look at the birds we can also learn. Their brains are no larger than a pea, but because of God’s divine creation, birds will carry seeds to different areas and save them for later. Instead, those seeds are nurtured by the Creator of all things and bring forth more of the same. My scientific and avid outdoorsman, husband tells me that blue jays are known for transporting small acorns and planting them in a straight line – resulting in a string of oak trees in the future. I learn something new from my husband every day.

When we plant, we don’t always reap results. Sometimes it takes longer than our lifetime to see them, but there is usually growth at some point in time. The seeds we plant today will be nurtured by God and bear fruit in their season. It may not be a tree or a flower or a beneficial stalk of grain, but something will come from the seed eventually. God encourages us to plant every day. Those seeds consist of kind words, helping others, staying firmly rooted in His Word and being flexible enough to bend when necessary. Our brains are much bigger than the birds and squirrels, but we don’t always use them to their fullest capacity.

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A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

“Eventually all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.  The river was cut by the world’s Great Flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time.  On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words and some of the words are theirs.  I am haunted by the waters.”  Norman Maclean

Cutting through the raging waters, waiting for the perfect time,

Stealing comfort where we find it, carving out a place sublime,

When upon a deep division, faltering we flail and drown,

When we have a firm foundation, we will surely come around,

Sailing through the roughest waters, leaving caution to the wind,

Caring not for intervention, even when our hearts have sinned,

United we can have it all, when we split we surely fall,

We must learn to live together, listening to the Savior’s call,

Don’t let go of His great wisdom, Never falter from the Word,

God will captain your adventure, all your armor He will gird.

Life’s too short to drift and flounder, we can do this if we try,

When we place our faith in Jesus, He will lift us up to fly.

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WHAT WAS FUNNY – AIN’T

My life has spanned almost seven decades. I’ll soon be entering my eight. I’ve seen the comedy routines of Vaudeville – the situation comedies that required an active imagination through the radio – early TV and movies containing slapstick and the like – along with some of the SNL shows that created a whole school of comedians. I’ve laughed at things that may not be that hysterical, but they tickled my funny bone at the time. I realize that we’re living in a changing world and that we have become over sensitive about being sure not to offend someone, but at the same time there seems to be a decline in the moral fiber of our people. Anything goes when it comes to how we choose to live – love – self indulge – care less about our fellow man and simply being kind to each other. To that, the younger generation would possibly say I’ve grown old and intolerant.

I have grown old, thanks to modern health care, science and acquired knowledge about exercise and diet. I’ve grown old because God still has a purpose for me to be alive. I’ve grown old accepting those truths. As the people I’ve befriended over the years age and seem to be reaching their heavenly goal faster than me, I haven’t quite figured out why some pass away while others linger on. Like most things in life, this is something that I will never understand until I actually reach heaven.

One of my many mantras over this time of living has been a quote from Monty Python’s, “In Search of the Holy Grail.” Through English humor and satire, we were given many funny memorable quotes. One stood out for me. Picture this, the Black Plague has destroyed most of the population of Europe. Streets are lined with dead bodies. Someone had to be responsible for disposing of those bodies, so the death cart would go around and pick them up. The call to “Bring out your dead,” was answered by, ‘I’m not dead yet. Actually, I’m feeling much better.” Being dead to most of us is not a good thing. We want to live forever – even the youngest of us. The actual thought of death is pretty scary for most folks, but the thought of leaving our loved ones behind is even scarier.

With a world that needs wisdom and guidance, there are people who are living longer. I think this is God’s plan to help us guide the future generations in a sure and steady path – to give them advice and lessons we’ve learned through the years – to share things like respect, honor, patriotism, love for one another and basic truths which were established from the beginning of time. It may seem that the world is going to hell in a handbasket, but there are still those who hold to the truths of a divine plan for each of us. I will try to adjust my writing, my thinking, my conservative philosophies, to an ever-changing world. I will also hold on to the things I believe in and share those thoughts with the up-and-coming adults – even if they don’t want to hear it.

I’m not dead yet. I don’t know when I will be, but I am confident that this world isn’t the end. That makes me feel a lot better!

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SUNDAY SANCTUARY

Where is your sanctuary? Is it hidden in nature like the one pictured? Is it a beautiful landscape overlooking a magnificent sunrise? Maybe you find shelter and safety in the inside of a large cathedral with all the trappings of Solomon’s Temple? It could be a simple country church with benches for pews and a wooden cross on the altar. Wherever you receive comfort, peace and solitude, you are within a shelter. When God is there with you, you are in His sanctuary.

At the end of a busy week, after all the chores of Saturday have left you spent, it just seems logical to spend Sunday in thanksgiving and praise to the Creator of the universe. Yet, when we grow old, our eyes may be failing us and the light from the stain glassed windows can cause distraction and even a migraine headache – when your ears are growing less effective, and words become mumbles – when your aging is getting in the way of your worship, you often have to make do with online services. The fact of the matter is God’s sanctuary isn’t always found in a building. When you allow Him into your heart, you become a sanctuary in a way.

I love the fellowship time of corporal worship. You can share some of the burdens people are struggling through and perhaps encourage or be encouraged as well. We need to interact with each other. A church is a place where sinners gather to praise, thank and learn about God. It’s also a place of encouragement for all of us. When I can’t attend, I feel something is missing. Still the Spirit of God remains with each of His children. He never leaves us.

Wherever you are today, take time to praise God for your life. Thank Him for all His blessings. Study His Word. Trust that He is with you all the time.

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SATURDAY SOLACE

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

PEACE IN THE VALLEY

Trees absorb the swirling power of a raging creek after a storm,

They stand at attention and then bow as they receive a cold splash of refreshment,

Branches whisper to each passing droplet,

As if speaking a silent prayer to the Creator of all things,

The artist lovingly caresses his paintbrush,

Filling it with glorious colors, dancing across the canvas, trying to imitate,

With abandon, with love, passion and the desire to replicate,

Still there is nothing that replaces the real thing,

These once tiny droplets, these tears from God,

Press on and become a flood within the rocks and roots,

They nourish, they feed, they revive and restore,

Only the Creator of all things can carve a river through the stone,

Only God can provide a peaceful valley for the river to reside,

Find your peace in Him.

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FRACTURED FRIDAY

Today is Friday and time for a fractured fairy tale poem. i can relate to the story of the princess and the Pea. There are those of us who can’t stand that bothersome little thread within our sock that creates constant annoyance. Maybe you have a tag in your shirt that tickles the hairs on your neck. Whatever the disturbance, the story of this delicate princess must prove herself to be actual royalty by being unable to sleep with a pea placed under her mattress. I don’t know who came up with these silly fairy tales, but I imagine it was a parent that needed some sleep. I’ve changed the story into a poem. Enjoy1

She knocked upon the massive door and waited for assistance,
A servant came and bade her in, admiring her persistence,
The prince was there to greet her, but never would he guess,
This poor drowned rat would marry him, she really was a mess.

Believing she might be a prize, the wife he longed to wed,
He set his servants to her aid and set her off to bed,
The queen, his mother, told her son, she had a simple test,
Which soon would help discover if she was a true princess.

A single pea would lie upon the bed made for her slumber,
The servants added featherbeds and pillows without number,
More mattresses were added too and even patchwork quilts,
The bed grew so much higher that to reach the top took stilts.

For days on end she stayed the course, her strength was running low,
She longed for just a single wink, a little nap would do,
When suddenly there came a shock which crushed the pesty pea,
Whatever made that pea explode would finally set her free.

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THROW BACK THURSDAY – PATIENCE

Since it’s throw back Thursday, I’m digging into the archives to bring you today’s post on patience. Even though we think we’ve got things covered, patience is not always easy.  As we face difficulties, hope for a better future, try to determine a path for life – our quest often gets in the way of the final destination. 

ORIGINALLY POSTED A FEW YEARS AGO

We live in a world of instant everything. We can get information just by inputting data into a computer. We’re transported to far off places with the flick of a remote. Our diet may consist of fast food, microwave meals or even a feast including instant potatoes. It’s easy to become impatient, because we’re used to having all our physical needs taken care of in a nano-second.

The future is another thing we want to know about – right now. Where will I be in a year or two? How much money will I make? Will I die? I think most of us would like to know what’s going to happen in the future. It’s too bad the answers that lie ahead aren’t clearly carved out in stone or written in the sky by God himself.

Our impatience often gets in the way of what’s really important – the here and now. Will I take time to ask someone how they’re doing and then wait to listen and really care? Will I do my best to help others? Will I ask God for forgiveness? Will I believe that He’s already forgiven me? Am I ready to overlook the faults of others? Will I take time to dig into God’s Word? Will I share God’s love with others? Will I take the log out of my own eye before judging?

These things don’t require a lot of time. You can even get the Bible on your smart phone now. This age of instant everything can help us in our daily walk with God. He promises to take care of all of our needs – past, present and future in Isaiah 40:29-31. Verse 31 gives a most descriptive version of this.

“But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

What does the future hold for us? If we trust and believe in God’s plan for our lives, it means never having to wait again.

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CALM AFTER THE STORM

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

The sky declares the glory of the Lord,

His power rises in the turmoil of a storm,

He stirs the clouds with His little finger,

And they obey,

Gathering into multitudinous troops,

They bow before Him,

They join together to fill the heavens with insurmountable energy,

They retreat at the sound of His voice,

He calms the weary after the tirade is unleashed,

and tranquilizes the sea below,

He directs all to dissipate and be still,

He erases the clouds at His will,

He mutes the trembling thunder,

And hushes the wind,

His strong arms turn a terrorizing tempest,

Into peaceful bliss,

God is in the heavens,

All is well with the world.

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WEDNESDAY WISDOM – STORMS

Standing alone in a storm as wind tears through the trees is not only frightening but lacks wisdom. Our bodies grow tense, the adrenaline flows, and all our emotions explode into a procession of fear.

The branches entangle and caress one another. A shot of electricity fills the sky.  Clouds open and heavenly water hits the exposed skin of the earth.  It swallows each drop with a thirst indescribable. The pores open and accept their satisfying drink.

Flowers and freshly planted shrubs toss and fold – petals falling – life descending. The loud crack of thunder tests your eardrums just to make sure you’re paying attention.

Your own skin is pounded by the tempestuous wind – hammered by the force of God’s tears – twisted by the unknown and unrelenting. Will it never end?

When pursued by the storms of life we react the same way. We tense up, we grow anxious, we lose faith, we may even  give up. This is the time to turn to the Creator of the Universe. He alone controls the depth of the seas, the heights of the mountains, the volume of precipitation, the devastation that comes with a wind that is sent to clear out the remnants of what once was good, but now has withered and died.

PRAY! Talk to Him again. There is an open line of communication. We’re no longer bound by the wall established when man thought he knew better than God. Life changed then but has once again been reversed. We have been restored, refreshed and renewed by the living water of Jesus, the true Son of God – true God and true Man.

Our storm has been calmed. Our life has returned. Our hope for a future has been re-established.

O Lord God of hosts,
    who is mighty as you are, O Lord,
    with your faithfulness all around you?
You rule the raging of the sea;
    when its waves rise, you still them.

Psalm 89:8-9

Posted in anxiety, Nature, SCHOOL SHOOTING, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

TEAMWORK TUESDAY


Team of paper doll peopl

Being part of a team is great when everyone on the team has the same goal in mind. Tuesday is my day to work with a team of senior citizens who are not ready to be old. That being said, I will turn 80 in a month. I still believe that growing old has been overrated for decades. It used to be that most folks didn’t live beyond the retirement age, but today we’re much healthier, vibrant and wise in the ways of living. That doesn’t mean we’re done for. We still have a lot of living to do along with a lot of knowledge to share.

Every Tuesday, I meet with a group of writers to brainstorm things that will be accumulated into a script for a radio show. Everyone comes with their ideas and stories. We play off each other and eventually come up with a script that will appeal to those of our age along with those who are getting close to our age. We all have the same goal in mind. We want to share some of our funny life experiences in a way that we can laugh at some of the funny situations that arise when you take another trip around the sun.

We all need to have a purpose in life. When we feel we are insignificant, we lose some of our purpose for living. Every human being on the planet deserves to have value and purpose. So, I’m off to another team building meeting and a couple of hours of solid laughter and enjoyment.

Lucy, from Charles Schultz cartoon, said it beautifully when she demonstrated the power of many to Linus.  She held out her hand and said, “These five fingers – individually they are nothing – but when I curl them into a little ball, they become a force impossible to reckon with.” (paraphrase.) Lucy is always a little extreme in her definition of things, but it does make a good point.  When we try to accomplish big things, the job is much easier when everyone pitches in.

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MONDAY MOTIVATOR

ORIGINAL ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Life can be but a mere whisper or it can be a consuming fire.
The way we approach it will define who we are and where we’re going.
If we go through life without any focus,
If we don’t set goals or make wise decisions,
If we try to accomplish anything alone – we are bound to stumble.
If we use each moment with purpose,
If we wake each day knowing that Jesus is our partner,
If we light the world with our enthusiasm,
We will turn that fire into a raging blaze.
Our spirit will soar on wings of eagles.
We will succeed in ways we never imagined.
 
Trust in the Lord always and lean not on your own understanding.
Posted in Art & Poetry by Paul & Kathy Boecher, Christian devotion | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

LAST MOTHER’S DAY MESSAGE

Last week I posted something every day about mothers. Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I didn’t post a word. I basked in the love of my family, even though we weren’t all together, I know that I was in their thoughts as much as they were in mine. The above cartoon speaks volumes about motherhood. I still do this if someone is sitting in the front seat of the car with me – no matter how old they are or whether they are part of my family or not. It’s like one of those mother things that’s emblazoned on our hearts. Another thing is making sure they have their lunches packed for school. I still have nightmares about that, and my kids haven’t carried a lunch to school for more than 40 years.

Being a mom is one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me – besides the promise of eternal life and a wonderful spouse. As we look past all the gifts, flowers, beautiful cards and chocolates, there is so much more to this special day. We set one day aside for the benefit of moms when they should be celebrated every day. The same is true of fathers. Showing our love is so much more that the gifts. It is thrilling to know that you have made an impact on your child’s life, especially when you have been so impacted by theirs. So, Happy Mother’s Year to all you moms out there. May God continue to walk with you on this journey and give you strength, fortitude, patience and perseverance, because it’s worth it!

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WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A MOTHER

My days of being a mother are long gone, but the memories linger on.  Every once in a while, one of those recollections resurfaces and I wonder how I ever made it through the whole motherhood thing. I then tell myself (which I do a lot now in my old age) that it was a good sense of humor. My firstborn was like the blueprint for the other two. How she ever turned out to be so normal and sensible, is beyond me.  I had no clue on how to raise children, other than the occasional babysitting job and serving as a nanny one summer.

Our second child arrived only 20 months after the first, so my quest was to get the first one potty trained before I’d be washing diapers for two.  Believe me, washing diapers was the most primitive thing I ever did in my life and young moms today have no idea how lucky they are. Our third child was an unexpected delight.  By the time she was born, both of the others were in school and again I thougtt I’d be able to get a job and pitch in on the cash flow, but it was not to be.  God wanted me to be a mom, so I decided to be the funniest mom I could be.

As our children grew I would often tell them funny stories with silly endings.  I’d dress up like a doctor when they were sick.  I would put a pair of glasses on the back of head, to let them know I was watching their every move.  I drove into the McDonalds drive thru with a funny nose and glasses on my face, just to get a reaction.  The kids roared when the server got a look at my face.  Once I purchased some cream puffs (stretching our meager budget to the limits.)  The kids and their father took one bite and turned up their noses.  I broke off part of mine and threw it into my husband’s face, which led to an all out food fight.  Guess who had to clean up?

A sense of humor has always been my mantra through this earthly walk. It seems to have gotten me through many difficult situations. I truly believe God has a great sense of humor too. We are His creation, and he delights in us – most of the time. Children are a blessing from the Lord.  The Bible tells us that the man who has many has a full quiver.  What it doesn’t talk about is what having kids does for moms.  They give you stretch marks, aching backs, sleepless nights and the ultimate ability to worry about almost everything. Above all, they make every minute of of our lives worth living.

Posted in Mother's day, motherhood | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments