WISDOM

” The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”  Proverbs 9:10

Dear, Lord,

You know all things.  Nothing is hidden from you. You are the only consistent in our lives.  I pray that you guide our leaders to proceed with dignity and fairness.  Two people have been dragged through the mud and may never recover from what’s happened over the past few weeks.  Please give the men and women in the position of passing judgment, the wisdom to do your will.  Help us all to accept what is happening and what will happen because of these events.  You are also with every one of us. You’ve judged each of us with fairness and abundance of grace, giving us a freedom we don’t deserve.  May your Word be upheld.  May your will be done, in Jesus name.  Amen!

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THE YEARS BETWEEN – INSTALLMENT FOUR – HEALTH CONDITIONS

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We know that people suffered from many skin issues. I imagine it being caused by exposure to the sun and other outdoor elements. Some of it may have been caused by bugs, irritating the eyes as they worked outside. Many times they would pour oil on their heads to keep the bugs away. (anointing with oil.) There are accounts of those with Leprosy, sores and boils. Different names to a lot of the ailments we know today. Many times this disease would cause the loss of limbs and slow death of the body.

There is reference to female problems such as an issue of blood one woman was healed from through her faith in Jesus. Depending on the culture, many women were brutalized sexually. Sexual organs mutilated as an act of dominance.  It’s hard to believe, but this still goes on in certain areas of the world.

We hear about Peter’s mother-in-law being healed of a fever that had been plaguing her for some time. She immediately got out of bed and served Jesus. Fevers were common in this time and were considered an actual disease, rather than just a symptom. In fact the Talmud refers to fever as ”fire.”

We know there were physicians. Dr. Luke ministered to Paul when he was in prison – caring for his wounds as well as taking dictation for the book of the Acts of the Apostles. This was all done as Paul awaited his execution by beheading.

Several people were healed from deafness, blindness, vocal impairment, lame bodies and demon possession.  All of them by miraculous acts of Jesus and later his disciples.

Today there are cures for most of these things, but people still suffer being blind or losing their hearing. Some never learn to talk. Others have limbs which can be repaired, but there are still scars. As to demon possession, I have mixed feelings on that subject. The devil has been defeated, so he should have no control over us, but still there is mental illness which I suppose could be considered a form of demon possession.

In the Roman empire there were those who experienced epilepsy and the seizures which accompanied it. Even the rich and famous weren’t excluded.

As we know, the Jews had strict laws regarding sanitation and cleanliness. They weren’t immune to sickness however. They lived in a community of mixed cultures, so there was no shortage of germs. People were coming and going through Galilee on an ongoing basis, so they would bring disease with them.

Since pain, suffering and death are all are result of man’s fall into sin, there is no escaping it.  We can all expect to die, but we have the blessed assurance from God that He has taken on all our sorrows and is preparing a place for us in His heavenly realm after death.

Jesus may have seen many of his friends and relatives die at an early age from some disease. He would’ve seen suffering that we don’t see today, because of the advances in medical knowledge. He had the power to heal everyone, but the time was not yet right. Boys were confirmed in their faith at twelve and weren’t considered to come to the of age of manhood until they were thirty – precisely the age of Jesus when he started His walk to our salvation.

We all may wonder if Jesus did anything miraculous when He was a child, but the Bible is very clear on that. When He performed His first miracle at the wedding of Cana, He told His mother that His time had not yet come – but then he changed water into the best wine ever created.

I believe that Jesus, the child, knew He was divine, because He’s God. I also believe He chose not to show that side of Himself until He reached the age of manhood. His childhood gave Him the experience of life as a human being. He experienced acne, growing pains, puberty, temptation and at the same time, He grew in knowledge and wisdom, never falling into sin.

This was all in preparation for the work He came to earth to do.

 

 

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LIFT ME UP

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ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

As I travel through life’s darkest moments,

When all around me is unfamiliar ground,

When the sound of silence engulfs me.

and pierces the every day sound,

There in the midst of it all,

There with wings unfurled,

With pinions uncut,

With strength and dominion,

He will lift me out of the darkness,

He will protect me from the dangers of life,

He will cover me with His power, strength and love,

I will not fear the terrors of night,

Or the dangers that lie at every corner,

He will comfort my tangled soul,

He will shield me from all harm,

And I will soar with the eagles.

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ARCHAEOLOGIST OR PALEONTOLOGIST?

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Most of you know my husband, Paul, is an established artist.  He’s worked in most mediums throughout his career — Oil, chalk pastel, watercolor, acrylic.  He’s also an accomplished sculpter, having done his very first significant piece in granite when he was a Senior in high school.  Through his career, he was in the advertising business and created logos and marketing and branding strategies for various companies. He began his own business and it was successful for over twelve years.  Art has played a significant part in his life.

What you may not know about this remarkable man, is that he loves nature and the outdoors.  From early on, he’s been a natural explorer – learning all the elements of survival in the wilderness – how to start a fire – how to provide food from natural sources.  He worked as a naturalist for a few years in one of our county parks.

Paul also wears a lot of different hats when he’s working.  For that job, he wore his Indiana Jones hat.  As he led children on tours of the park and sighted various birds and signs of animals, the kids would keep their eyes more focused on that hat, than in what he was trying to teach them.

One child asked him if he was Indiana Jones’ father?  Another called him Louisiana Jones.  Yet another asked him if he was a paleontologist, to which Paul responded, “No, I’m just a dinosaur.”

Isn’t it funny how a hat can make a difference in how people look at us?  It also puzzles me how we can form opinions about people based on what they wear or how they look.  Looking at things at face value doesn’t give us a really clear picture of the entire situation or the people we meet.  We form opinions based on what we see rather than actually getting to know them.

In our world today, we’re given “facts” before they’ve been investigated.  A news flash comes across the screen and we naturally want to know what’s up.  We want all the details before they even become available and often we’re given those details – true or not.  But I digress.

Investigating and discovery are part of who we are.  We are naturally curious.  As a young girl, I thought it would be great to be an archaeologist, but I had no idea it would require digging and sifting through mounds of sand and dirt.  I would have to put myself in danger in order to find some little hint of another civilization.  Still I think we all have that inane desire to know what came before us.  What were previous cultures like?  How did they live, dress, play, educate themselves?  What was the government like and what kind of obstacles did they face that we can learn from?

Maybe all the hopes and dreams of the past weren’t really much different than they are today.  Politics haven’t really changed in the history of the world.  We sometimes think they’ve gotten worse, but there really isn’t anything new under the sun.

So, with all this silly rambling, I will leave you with this thought.  Don’t begin writing a blog post without a purpose.  Make sure you make a point. Which I didn’t do,  but it was fun getting outside the normal box of every day, for just a little while.

 

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THE YEARS BETWEEN – INSTALLMENT THREE – THE GOVERNMENT

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Picture this – a fierce leader, who has complete control over the citizens of his country.  He also holds many foreign nations under his thumb and in captivity.  He is murderous, deceitful, vindictive, suspicious, conniving and any other negative term you might want to add.  This man thinks nothing of killing some family members, because they don’t agree with him or he thinks they’re plotting against him.  He has no value for life.   When he hears that a new leader has just been born, he creates mayhem and despair by killing all the babies in the area, younger than two years old.  They called it the Massacre of the Innocents.

We think we have problems with our leaders.  This guy was about as low as they go, but a typical politician trying to impress Rome and still make his subjects think he was on their side.  Yet they called him great – Herod, the Great.  Why?

Part of his claim to fame had to do with the many building projects he completed in Judaea.  He expanded the second temple at Jerusalem.  He built a fortress city at Masada.  He may have been great in creating impressive buildings, but his true nature was revealed in his ability to rule using scare tactics, subversion, and devious means.  Sounds almost like organized crime, doesn’t it?

This is the man who ruled during the time of Jesus’ birth.  The one who directed the Magi to seek out this king and let him know where he was, so he could also go and worship him.  Another underhanded trick to get his mitts on this child and dispose of him before he became a threat to his tyrannical regime.  This is when the order was sent to kill the babies.

Herod, the Great died in 4 BC at the age of 69, leaving his three sons to carry on his legacy.

Throughout Jesus’ life, the Herods continued to rule in Israel.  Herod Antipas was tetrarch of Galilee and Perea from 4BC to 39AD.  He’s the Herod who married his brother’s wife, Herodias.  Herodias’ daughter danced for Herod and he enjoyed it so much he promised her anything her heart desired.  Under her mother’s urging, Salome requested the head of John the Baptist.  He is also the Herod referred to in the arrest and trial of Jesus and His eventual crucifixion – one of the co-conspirators in Jesus’ death.  During His ministry, Jesus referred to Antipas as “the Fox,” because of his nefarious dealings.  He knew what kind of man this Herod was.  He knew all about him.

These were the kinds of people who were governing during Jesus’ life.  Though Jews were allowed to worship as they wished, they were still under the scrutiny of the government.  This constant watchfulness, put the Jews on edge and they felt like prisoners in their own homes.  They were also being over taxed for all the building improvements being made to impress Rome.

This political climate surged through the land during the time of Jesus’ life.  The fact that Mary and Joseph fled Bethlehem and hid in Egypt was because of the fear of Herod’s edict to kill every male child under age two.  This tyrannical regime carried on during the remainder of his life.

Our governments can have a huge bearing on the way we think and live as we grow into adulthood.  Our Jesus always would’ve been respectful of the governing rulers, because it was a command from God, His Father.  He would be caught in the middle of many arguments and discussions with others regarding their leadership.  As is today, we talk politics with other.  We state our feelings, because we live in a democracy, but we are still part of God’s kingdom as royal brothers and sisters of our Savior Jesus.

In our dealings today, with those who lead us, we still must respect them and honor their choices, because God instituted government as He did everything else.  We can still voice our opinions though and I’m not too sure they were able to do that in Jesus’ day without some repercussions.

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ALONE AT LAST

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ORIGINAL ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©,

Weary of the noise of media attention,

Exhausted by the often untrue claims,

Troubled hearts desire greater intervention,

Longing for refreshment from the flames,

Looking up is what we need for our salvation,

God alone brings peace from all our shames,

Quieting the dissidence and excitation,

Giving love instead of naming names,

Sin no more holds constant consternation,

Through His Son our guilt no longer blames,

He has paid the price of our redemption,

All our fear of death He tames.

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HAS THE DREAM DIED?

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ORIGINALLY POSTED 1/16/17

Have we changed at all in these past 50 years?  Is that mountainside ringing out freedom for all races and religions?  Are we still battling the hatred and anger against one another, rather than learning to live together as brothers?

When Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke these words our country was consumed with racism.  The call for freedom went unheeded for a long time and the people came together to raise the call again.

Today we hear the cry, “black lives matter” or “all lives matter” and still the problem of racism fills our streets with protests, acts of violence on both sides and more of a rift than there ever was between law enforcement and the common man. Now it seems that evil has replaced good and being part of any service vocation is now frowned upon.

Respect for life is not limited to the black race.  We have problems with unborn lives not mattering.  There is concern for the homeless, the poor, the aging.  Christianity is taking a huge hit  and the “church” has become an extension of society by falling to popular social issues and looking for a place to be entertained rather than to be forgiven.

So many strides were made in the last half century towards reunite our nations and I’m sure Dr. King would be sad to see what is going on today. Freedom never comes without a cost.  Thankfully I have a Savior who has immersed Himself in all the yuck of this world and taken it to the grave to be buried at the foot of the cross.  Now there is true freedom – not because of what we’ve done, but what He did for the world.

To soar with the eagles no matter how high,
To reach all my goals or at least I can try,
To try and to fail but never give up,
to turn to my God to fill my cup,
To speak what I feel without fear of dissension,
To believe what I choose without intervention,
To live without fear and to follow my dreams,
To love and be loved with a peace that redeems.
The only thing needful for freedom that’s true
Is to love one another as Jesus loved you.

KATHY BOECHER©

 

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WHAT DO I SEE?

 

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ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Within my reflection just what do I see?

The confident woman I wish I could be,

But deep down inside of my sin stricken soul,

I still feel defeated and not totally whole.

The devil rejoices each time that I grieve,

He loves it when I forget to believe,

That God is my confidence, strength and my power.

He’s right here beside me each day and each hour.

When He sees my reflection – just what does He see?

He sees His Son, Jesus who set my soul free.

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PROVISION

ORIGINALLY POSTED 07/07/2016

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ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Three precious eggs hatch one by one,

The first to arrive receiving the most attention,

Slowly the others burst through their encrusted habitat,

Longing for nourishment.

Clinging to an unstable life,

Tucked into a nest of remnants from the river’s edge,

Soft, yet not completely comfortable,

So do we enter life,

Not knowing what lies ahead,

Not feeling as snug as we did in the womb,

Desiring constant attention and sustenance,

Through it all,

God provides.

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THE YEARS BETWEEN – INSTALLMENT TWO

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The sun slowly rises in the east, as women rise from their slumber to prepare for another day.  They meet at the well early in the morning to gather the daily supply of water – water which will cleanse them and their household and with the help of some lentils and vegetables, provide a nice meal for supper.

The men tend their livestock.  They fork hay into the manger and begin the process of gathering fresh milk from the cows and goats.  The children stay nestled tightly in their beds for a while, but soon they also will be called upon to help with the daily chores.  They’d eat a small breakfast and pack a lunch to take with them as they went about their many jobs.  Those who tended the flocks of sheep, stayed with the flocks all the time – only returning home for supplies from time to time – and maybe a bath.

A spinning wheel and loom sits in the open space of the house.  Wool from the sheep will be spun into cloth which will keep them all warm during the colder weather.  Fresh bread is already baking in the oven. The smells of morning are everywhere.  Even in a town of such insignificance, life goes on.

This little town of Nazareth held no more than 2000 people.  The only merit to it was the fact that it was located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, so it was situated to provide overland passage to Egypt – a fair stop-over for those who were taking their wares to market.

There were a few craftsmen – carpenters, cloth dyers, tailors and each had a way of exhibiting their occupation.  Carpenters would wear wood chips behind their ears.  Dyers of cloth would wear colorful cloths.  Tailors would pin needles to their clothing.  None of these was worn on the Sabbath, because they didn’t work on that day.

Here in this little “nothing good ever came from it,” town, Mary and Joseph settled with her firstborn Son, Jesus.  There would be other children, fathered by Joseph, but there was something different about Jesus – the perfect child.  Can you imagine what His siblings thought of Him?  The boy could do nothing wrong – it wasn’t in His nature, yet He was fully human.  How could that be?  It isn’t surprising that they didn’t believe in His divinity when He was living under their roof.  Did Jesus know He was divine at that time?  He did all the same things they did, yet never once sinned.

Jesus was a loving son.  He worked hard.  His hands were calloused and sore from shaving wood and crafting small cooking utensils or pieces of furniture.  He played the games children played at the time – a form of hopscotch – twirling tops – board games that resembled checkers.  His real devotion, however, was in studying the Scriptures.

I often wonder how children related to each other in those days.  Were there bullies who would taunt others and make them look foolish?  Were there those who hid in the shadows so as not to stir them up?  In our world today, there’s no question that children can be hateful and mean.  Was it the same then?  We are told that Jesus grew in favor of God and man, so He must’ve had some degree of popularity with his peers.

His life in Nazareth was ordinary.  He ate, played, worked, slept, studied and did all the same things every other child did. There was no money for furthering an education, so they made do with what they had available to them.  The stories handed down from one generation to another –  the tales from far off lands regarding what was happening in the world – the Holy Scriptures of God, which told them what was expected of them in this life.  In all of it, He offered exemplary behavior and respect for those in authority.

The perfect child was the “good” that came from Nazareth – the Son of God and Mary’s boy – lived an uneventful life until He began His ministry – which would change the world forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SANCTUARY

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ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Deep within the tallest pines, with dark night’s haze enshrouded,

A hidden place encased in webs of silver threads beclouded,

A quiet sanctuary, a place to run and hide,

A place to lick the wounds of hurt and safely stay inside,

Away from life’s diversions, a cave to call your own,

Where you can hide your troubles and bury them alone,

A place like that does not exist when you believe in God,

For He will never leave you, no matter where you trod,

He’s by your side through all your pain, through joy and suffering too,

He knows you need His presence to help you see it through,

You simply can’t escape Him, He’s in the air you breathe,

Give in to His protection, His blessings He’ll bequeath.

 

 

 

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WALLY’S FRIDAY FUNNY

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JULIE’S FRIDAY FUNNY

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THE YEARS IN BETWEEN – INSTALLMENT ONE

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“The more we study, the more we know. The more we know, the more we forget. The more we forget, the less we know. So, why study?”  Anonymous

When we’re just beginning to learn, it seems kind of pointless to go through the motions because of the results.  I feel this way as I begin this journey through the years in between twelve and thirty.  There have been countless stories, observations and speculations regarding what occurred during that time.  Some said Jesus went to India to study Buddhism. Others said he went to England.  When we don’t have any facts, we tend to make things up, because enquiring minds want to know. I believe these days were not revealed for a reason.  Each of the significant events in Christ’s life are recorded.

In the last story of his youth, at the age of twelve, the Word says this:

“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.”                   Luke 2:52 ESV

His family was in Jerusalem at that time, because they were a traditional Jewish family, who went there to celebrate the Passover.  During these first few years of Jesus’ life, He would’ve become accustomed to making the journey.  At the age of twelve, it followed Jewish custom for a male child to have the church take over in His education of the scriptures. It was a confirmation of what He’d learned at home.  The entire event was an indicator that His family was devoted to God and they taught their son all the truths of their religion.  It also shows us the human side of Jesus.  Because He is true man as well as true God, it was necessary for Him to go through the same things we experience in life.

At the announcement of His birth, both Mary and Joseph were confused by the event to occur in nine months, but they acted in faith and accepted God’s will for their lives.  So Jesus grew in his mother’s womb.  He developed into a baby with ten fingers and toes.  He felt the comfort and closeness of His mom.  He knew her voice before he was born.  He was becoming human – yet He was still God.  Of course this is one of the great mysteries of the Bible, but because we believe the Bible is true, we accept with the same faith of Mary and Joseph. When Jesus was born, there were so many questions, but Mary pondered them in her heart.

At Jesus’ presentation at the temple, Simeon said,

“Behold this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”  Luke 2:34-35 

Again Mary kept those words in her heart for future reference.

Jesus went through the trauma of the birthing process.  He was presented as was the custom at the temple.  He was confirmed in His faith at the proper age of twelve and He continued to study the scriptures under the direction of those well versed in them. They were amazed at His understanding and knowledge.

As a small child, I imagine He felt the discomfort of teething, growth spurts, bumps and bruises and all the things every young child endures as they grow.  At twelve He would begin puberty – study and learn things – endure emotional ups and downs – apprentice with Joseph in the family carpentry business.  His life from age twelve until thirty, would be like that of any other Jewish boy, growing up at that time in history.

He saw the poverty surrounding him.  He learned how life under Roman rule would affect those he loved.  He continued to pore over the Scriptures and live an average life.  His humanity was being made known to men.  He grew in favor with them. He was preparing for the time when His Godhead would be revealed.

So as I go through this series I hope to give a clear picture of why this was the perfect time in history for God’s own Son to come and live among us – to appreciate our plight – to experience every emotion – to love us, to teach us and to die for us so that we could be His own forever.  His resurrection proves that He is God.  Now we look at the culture in which He lived as a man.

Stay tuned for Installment Two.

 

 

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THE BATTLE IS REAL

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For the past week or so, I’ve been doing some research for my series on the missing years of Jesus’ life.  It seems that somehow, when I start something like this, I suffer from some seriously bad dreams.  Last night was no exception.  Without going into detail, I felt the very presence of the devil in those dreams.  Eventually I woke up in a cold sweat, with great difficulty breathing and pressure on my chest.  I was able to get out of bed and compose myself. At first I thought I was having a heart or asthma attack, but this was a different kind of attack.

I told Beelzebub to get lost and asked Jesus to give me peace.  Soon my chest pain left, but I was still filled with a sense of doom.  It took a while, but eventually the Lord’s presence filled the room and I was able to fall back to sleep.  This morning I woke at peace.

I tend to dream when I’m working on something that requires mental stability and digging into God’s Word.  The creative side of my brain seems to work overtime.  But the dream got me thinking. Should I continue my research?  Should I leave this subject alone?  I almost decided to shelf the whole thing, but then I realized I just needed to put on my armor.

Yesterday, while reading David Kitz blog post, I thought about how important it is for us to write our words for God’s glory and not our own.  Especially when we’re talking about God.  Often the wrong interpretation can be taken.  Since I’m relying on God’s Word to direct me, I know He will be with me in the work.  Still the enemy would have us believe that what we’re doing is wrong.  We are in a battle with the forces of this earth and the one who leads it, but we know truly that God has already won the victory.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against  the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.  Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,  for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” 

Ephesians 6:10-20

I will continue to work on this project and you can expect the first installment tomorrow, but for today you must excuse me.  I’ve got to get dressed!

 

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PHEASANT TAILS

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ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Birds of a feather will flock together, especially when it’s cold,

The thermometer reads below zero, and the white stuff gets quite old,

They forage and search for corn off the cob, but nary a speck remains,

What’s left in the world for this lovely bird, but rely upon his brains,

He takes off for a much warmer climate, he’ll show off his feathers there,

Returning again with the mercury, to strut his stuff without care.

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THE YEARS IN BETWEEN – PREFACE

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As an actor, playwright and author, it’s important for me to know many details about a character.  I like to know where they lived – what was happening in his world – what was the political climate – what does the script say about the character – what do others think of that person – does he have any unusual habits or idiosyncrasies?  What was the costume of the era.  There are so many facets of a human being that affect who they are and how they come across to others.

In Jesus’ case, we have a whole segment of his life which remains unknown.  From the time He remained at the temple to teach the scholars about the scriptures until the day of His baptism by John the Baptist, we have lost 18 years of his growing into a man.  We can make some judgments based on the history at that time.  We can speculate.  We can make our own story.  We can go to the scriptures, as He did, and realize that during those years of growing in strength and stature and becoming well liked by those He met, are all we need to know about those missing years.

For Mary, she was pondering every detail in her heart.  Storing them away for future recollection.  I think about my first born child and the baby book that included every detail of her birth – her length and weight, the color of her eyes, hair or lack of it, her first steps, gifts she received at her birth – first medical exam and countless other details.  However as time went on, and motherhood took over, the comments in that book became fewer and further apart.

We don’t always fill in the blanks of a life.  Sometimes there are memories of special events or funny situations – unusual happenings and areas of concern, but for the most part, our growing up years can be quite uneventful.  It is my belief that Jesus was and still is the true Son of God – but also true man without sin.  He had miraculous powers, but He didn’t abuse them.  He had great compassion for those He came into contact with and put no one on different level than another.  He showed anger, pain, frustration, patience, calm, peace and every emotion known to man, yet He never fell into sin.  He was the perfect example of how we should live as servants, encouragers, inspirers, teachers, leaders in the workplace, at home and within our own country.

This study is merely a character analysis, in light of the events happening during Jesus’ time as a man.  There may be some speculation included from time to time, but I in no way wish to alter the truth of God’s Holy Word.  Come with me as we take a walk back in time and try to discover more about the Savior of mankind and His time.

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REFRESHMENT

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ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Even in the frostiness of winter, we might see this confused bird making a pit stop at a root bound tree – seeking a bit of moisture and a resting place for just a little while.

Root bound and parched,

Replenished only by the restorative,

Power of water,

Each tendril pushing,

Burrowing into the,

Coolness of life sustainment,

Lapping up,

Refreshing,

Renewing,

Thirst quenching,

Provision of God,

Our dried up bones long for the comfort,

That comes from the fountain of God,

Only He can renew, restore and revive,

Dead, thirsting souls,

Through His love we are nurtured,

Brought back to life and thrive,

And even when our days on earth are ended,

We are assured eternal life,

Where we will thirst no more.

 

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THE SIMPLE TRUTH

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The simplicity of the Gospel often boggles the mind.  We are expected to believe something extraordinary – inconceivable – impossible.  We delude ourselves into thinking there has to be more to it than just a childlike faith, but the truth is that God in His infinite wisdom laid out His plan for humanity so many years ago – simply.

We were created by Him – we need His divine intervention because we were corrupted by the devil – He loves us so much that He came to us in human flesh to teach, admonish and die for us – He rose from death showing His power over it – He returned to heaven to prepare a perfect place for us to spend eternity with Him.

We aren’t used to such an incomprehensible love in our world.  Today, everyone seems to be from Missouri and has to be shown before they believe.  I guess that’s why God is God and we aren’t.

Too simple, some might say.  There has to be more to the story than that.  Isn’t there something we should be doing to speed up the process – to help God along with the work that needs to be done – to work our way into heaven?

It’s not about us.  It’s about the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent Creator of heaven and earth.  When human reason gets in the way it gets complicated.  We cannot even begin to understand what God has in mind for us.  All we can do is believe that He has our best interests at heart.  He loves us with a love that is beyond our wildest dreams.  He designed us perfectly, but because of man’s desire to be on an even keel with Him, reason got in the way of that perfection.

Let’s forget about reason and just accept as children accept what their father tells them is true.  God loves us so much that He put Himself in our place to take our sins to the grave.  We can now rejoice in His salvation.  Because of that truth, we are set free of the bondage of this world and its ugliness.  We have the hope of everlasting life with our Creator. Very simple!

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TIME FOR A BATH

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Bath time for little ones is a time of great enjoyment, because it means undivided attention from a parent who needs to be on hand to make sure the child is safe. It works that way when an elderly parent needs help bathing too. This very personal time is a way to show compassion for those we care about.

Jesus demonstrated His love for His disciples when He washed their feet. He placed Himself in a position reserved for servants. Can you imagine how much grime a person would pick up walking in sandals through all kinds of filth each day? Streets weren’t paved – they were littered with garbage – cluttered with dirt and animal dung – a breeding place for disease. It was a necessary daily task to clean them thoroughly – getting deep into every nook and cranny and under each toenail.

We are exposed to similar dirt in our lives, but it goes much deeper than a need for surface washing. The only way our sin can be eliminated is through the cleansing that comes from Christ alone. When He washed His disciples’ feet He was demonstrating the internal cleansing He would provide for the entire human race.

When He died for us, the ugliness of sin was washed away. Through this ever so personal act, He also established His bond with us. We now have that perfect relationship with the Father – the one He always intended for us.

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GRACE

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ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

He’s like a whisper on a silent night,

His lofty wings protect me in His sight,

A voice so quiet yet it roars,

My heart ignites, my spirit soars,

He is my strength, my confidence,

Through Him alone lies my defense.

God of Creation, Redeemer mine,

Your power and your majesty divine,

Through your Holy Spirit, my soul has been freed,

You’ve given me more than I ever could need.

The Father of all things now lives in me,

He’s erased all my sin and iniquity,

He leads me and guides me in all of my ways,

His strength gives me courage for all of my days.

My Savior, my Counselor, Redeemer and friend,

When I walk with you, I cannot comprehend,

All the things I can do. For your strength lives in me,

I am blessed by your love. Your grace sets me free.

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