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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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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Summer vacations – ah, the days of swimming at the lake, long walks, lazy days, fun times with family. I remember one family vacation in particular when our two oldest were in high school and our youngest just entering her tweens. We looked forward to that trip and planned it for months. It”s always important to choose a place that everyone will agree on. Our happy place is out west. Our kids grew up following their dad through nature on trail hikes. They enjoyed cross country skiing. Our youngest would be carried in a papoose like device on my husband’s back. I love the outdoors too, but much prefer sleeping in a bed rather than on the hard ground inside of a bag. We resembled the Clark Griswold family as we loaded up the car with everything but the kitchen sink. That might have been in there too, for all I know. The trip began by making our way out of the crowded city to miles and miles of prairie. The cries of “are we there yet,” permeated the inside of our vehicle. We tried to fill the empty space with camp songs, old spiritual songs, television theme songs – you name it, we sang it.

Eventually the landscape began to change. The flatlands of Minnesota and North Dakoka gave way to the beginnings of the National Park system. I never realized there was another “Badlands,” in North Dakota. Teddy Roosevelt National Park was a surprise in its beauty and majesty. Animals of various types would crossroads without a care and mountain sheep could be seen traversing across the crags and bluffs. For the most part the trip was a beautiful feast for the eyes. Not to mention the peaks and valleys we experienced emotionally.

Traveling for two weeks in a van with five people who love to do different things, eventually turned into a monumental quest to make it to the coast. At that point – when the sun looked like it had taken a vacation of its own – we began to get on each other’s nerves. No matter what we tried, we were turning into a bunch of crabby people who weren’t getting along much. 

Sometimes the things we plan for in life don’t always turn out the way we want. Our expectations are high in the beginning, then we fall prey to disappointment. Our natural tendency is to feel sorry for ourselves and try to plan things that won’t discourage us. As with most things in life, we like to maintain control over our path.  By doing so, were setting ourselves up for disappointment. When we do that, we become discouraged – we cave to disappointment – we even lose hope.

Still, even in the roughest of times – or the hiccups of every day – God tells us not to be discouraged. He has wonderful things in store for us. The truth is, we aren’t going to have smooth sailing in this world, but our future life in eternity will be a breeze!

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What does Memorial Day mean to you? For most folks, it indicates the beginning of summer. It may be a family holiday – a trip to the lake – waterskiing and picnics. It could mean a chance to get away from the hum drum and reality of the everyday to PARTY! The celebration of Memorial Day began in 1865, after the end of the Civil War – one of the costliest of wars our country has ever been involved in. 620,000 lives were spent in the service of this conflict. The day was established sometime later, as people would honor their dead service members by decorating their graves. It was referred to as Decoration Day. After WWI, our nation honored all soldiers who gave their lives in service to their country. The day in May was chosen because flowers would be in bloom and available for adorning the graves. Flags are flown at half-staff, but only until noon – at which the time it would be raised to honor all soldiers who died in combat. The official time of remembrance is at 3 PM across the country.

Somehow, time changes the way we celebrate – the way we thank and honor those who served in this sacrificial way. Today is just another day off for many. It is a day for fantastic holiday sales. It’s a chance to plant your garden – take on a task that requires some physical endurance. Most of the time, it’s just another day to celebrate. Maybe we need to think about this. Maybe we’ve lost sight of the cost of war. Our lives in this country are taken for granted. We enjoy freedoms beyond the wildest dreams of other lands. Have we forgotten how to honor her, because we expect so much from her? America has always been a land of opportunity. People still believe she is the best place to live. Even though there have been flaws in her system over time, she remains our country, and many lives were spent to defend her.

The picture of the poppies, associated with Memorial Day, is reminiscent of a poem written in 1915, by Canadian officer and surgeon, John McCrae. As he gazed upon the field of Flanders and observed a beautiful field of the lovely, red flowers, growing up among those who shed their blood in defense of their country.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


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Spring has sprung and summer in the midwest is bound to be tomorrow. We’ve been having a pretty good entrance into the season we all look forward to in Minnesota. I recall summers on the lake and sailing regattas on Saturdays. The beautiful white sails would fill with air and race to the finish line in a succession of billowing synthetic fabric. The above painting was painted by Paul, on the river at Hudson, WI, where sailing is in full bloom right now.

A fresh, crisp morning,

The sun barely peaking over the eastern horizon,

Boats being readied,

Sails hoisted,

The chatter of excited voices,

The race is about to begin,

Early summer days,

Filled with billowing, white sails,

Memories of a younger life,

When caution was thrown to the wind,

Now our days grow shorter,

Our time is running out,

The wind has been knocked out of us,

Yet we continue to sail.

Posted in Art & Poetry by Paul & Kathy Boecher, Inspiration, Nature, purpose, seasons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments



Dear, Holy God,

You have safely brought me through another week.  I began with anxious thoughts. You were there to give me rest.  I failed to accomplish everything I intended to do, but you helped me realize that it wasn’t as important as I thought it should be.

As I waited for answers on what to do next, what would happen tomorrow, how would I be able to handle difficult decisions – health issues – those whom I love going through tough things – You were there right beside me.  You never left me, even though I often forgot to turn to you for comfort.

Why do I try so hard to figure things out for myself when I know that you’ve got it all under control?  Why do I find it difficult to let go and let you do what you have already planned for my life? Maybe it’s because of my weakness or maybe it’s so that I will realize how much I really need you in everything I do.

Thanks and praise to you for answered prayers – for giving hope and allowing me to look forward again – for not giving up on me – for strength when I thought there was none to be had.  Thank you, dear heavenly Father for your constant attention to every detail of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray.


Posted in anxiety, Art & inspiration from Kathy Boecher, God, prayer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


Today, I’m looking ahead to the future and can only speculate on what the world will be like. Ever since man was created, there has been this passion to compete with God – to be a creator, divine, perfect in every way. We’ve seen an uptick in this idea in the past fifty years or so. As time grabs hold of us, we become more aware of the mistakes of the past and feel a need to improve, alter, correct or even reshape mankind. It is apparent in the current craze to change a person’s gender. Why can’t we simply accept the way God created us? Is it because we think we know better than God? Is it because we want to control things? The matter of life or death of a fetus has under the hand of man’s opinion for some time now. Eventually, the aging adult will be able to choose life or death for themself if they feel like it. Why do we have this incessant desire to be in control of everything?

Technology is allowing all kinds of changes in our world. What will the future look like? We’re just on the cusp of artificial intelligence with robotics and tools like Alexa, smart TVs and phones. We can turn on our home security from thousands of miles away. We can start the shower before we step into it, and it will be just the right temperature. We can turn on the lights, the faucets, have our meals prepared for us, choose the right wine to go with it and feed the dog while we’re at it, without ever having to move a muscle. Why do we feel it necessary to tap into artificial when we already have access to God-given intelligence?

I have visions of how mankind may evolve over the next hundred years. Heads will grow larger, because of all the information that’s being fed into our brains. Eyeballs will change. Our hands will look a lot different too. Long fingers will replace short, stubby and thick knuckles. The tip of those fingers will undoubtedly be larger because of all the overuse of them. Backs will hunch over as spines become victims of scrolliosis. Our hearing will be totally useless, because of the use of permanent earbuds. As robots take care of our every need, we will also become fat, unfit versions of Jabba the Hutt. We will become totally reliant on our artificial intelligence and have no need for the ability to think. Hmmm. What an interesting picture. Communication between us will cease to exist. We will become isolated and lonely. Anxiety will be at an all-time high.

So, enough of this gloomy picture. Some of these things are already happening. Last night, my husband and I went to get a pizza. It was before the rush hour, so we can usually get good service as well as good food. As I looked around at the people that were seated, I couldn’t help noticing that 90% of them were glued to their phones. Who knows? They may have been texting each other. Another example occurred many years ago when my husband was outdoors painting. A fellow stopped to admire his work and Paul replied that it’s always good to get into God’s creation to get the full effect of its beauty. The fellow laughed and said, “I don’t believe in God. The Internet is my God.” How sad that society has replaced God with a man inspired entity.

There are some humorous situations and problems we all face when dealing with this trend.
With progress comes change. With change, the devil jumps in a takes a foothold. If we are to be honest with ourselves, change can also be good, but we need to stay on top of it and do all things in accordance with God’s wisdom and knowledge. He will never change. I hope that you will bear with me as I keep repeating this thought. In a world of constant change, it’s good to know that our God is consistent.

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At this time of year, we’re attending graduations, watching our children go on to the next step of their education or to fly on their own merit. “Live up to your potential; don’t give up; set goals; be all that you can be.”  Good advice to give our children, right?  Even before they’re born, we start thinking about their futures and what they will be when they grow up.  Let me tell you from experience, growing up is over-rated.

I always found that no matter what toys we got for our children, they got more enjoyment playing with the box it came in.  The things we give our children usually are a result of what we think they want.  It’s really fun to see them use their imaginations to create something out of nothing. Remember that parenting requires a great deal of responsibility. We must not shirk that duty or look for substitutes for our love. Buying them what they want rather than what they need is one of those things we feel necessary to obtain their love and honor.

When I was a kid, we’d cut paper dolls out of the Sears catalog and dress them with pictures of clothing from the same book.  We’d make mud pies and feed them to the dog.  We’d set up a lemonade stand or hang a sheet across the clothesline and use it as a makeshift stage to perform shows for the neighbors. We used old boxes to create forts or communities to share with our friends. We ate outdoors. We didn’t always wash our hands. We played until the sun went down and returned home dirty and sunburned.

My children grew up on Sesame Street and video games, but they always found adventure outdoors.  One of them found great delight in scaring me to death with a 6-foot snake or a variety of other critters.  We were constantly bandaging scuffs and bruises from their journey into the unknown. Kids today aren’t much different, but our world is.  We’ve evolved into a society that fears for their children’s safety – not only in their own neighborhoods, but also in their schools.  Therefore, we try our best to protect them.  To compensate we provide safe things for them to do within the confines of our homes.  However, the world always sneaks its way into children’s minds even when we think they are safe.

We still must have open communications with our kids.  It’s probably the most important time for us to establish our relationship with them.  It’s also a great time for them to develop their imagination, creativity and communication skills. My thinking may be old fashioned, but I still believe God places children in our lives for a purpose.  The most important being that we’re responsible for letting them know about their Savior.  Can we accomplish that by putting them in touch with technology from the minute they can sit up and use motor skills to operate a computer?   Knowing what you believe in is extremely important to them.  You are their heroes. Technology should never take your place as a parent.

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:7

Posted in aging, Family, parenting, technology, Technology and Kids | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments


Hi, my name is Kathy and I’m a technoholic.  I never thought I would have to admit this.  I Thought I could keep it hidden from the rest of the world, but the truth has finally hit me.  I’ve decided to come clean and bring everything out in the open. They say confession is good for the soul, so here goes.

I grew up in a time when technology was just getting off the ground.  I went through vinyl records, 45’s, 8 tracks, cassettes and CDs.  Every new phase brought a new kind of excitement.  My youth was spent in front of a console radio that expelled a green light upon which I focused and became hypnotized as I listened to Inner Sanctum and the Shadow.  Howdy Doody was my after-school friend as I raced home to watch his antics on our brand new 10-inch television.  Before eating supper, we’d tune in to Kukla, Fran and Ollie – a show filled with puppet shenanigans designed to keep us fastened to the box as mom made our meal. Each year became a new adventure as my addiction to technology festered.  I couldn’t get enough of it.

When I entered my teens, I felt proud because I had the only portable radio to take to the beach.  Later that would turn into a boom box.  Eventually it would be replaced with other devices.  When the internet was born, I thought I had reached the peak.  Everything was there instantly.  No need for a Thesaurus or Dictionary.  It was right there.  Time passed and came the Ipad, Smart Phone and Smart TV.  I can’t imagine it getting any better than this, but there’s always a need for more, isn’t there?

I haven’t even begun to dive into the games, although I had a brief affair with Packman in the 1980s. I never thought I would be replacing personal communication with texting, but it was the final step.  I now realize that I’ve run the gamut, and nothing will ever satisfy the desire for more technology.  Every day is a battle. I’m getting old and have become a chair potato. My knees are creaking, by back is aching and my backside is getting bigger and bigger from being fastened to that chair. I’m ready to quit.  But I can’t, I have to write my blog for today!!

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The word, “illiterate,” is an adjective used to describe someone who is unable to read or write. It can also mean uncultured or ignorant of various subjects or activities. I never thought of myself in those terms until technology came into being. Don’t get me wrong. I would be lost without my computer. My phone has become an extra appendage which goes with me everywhere. However, I am not in tune with all the mechanics of this wonderful new invention. So, in that respect I could be called illiterate. It used to be that illiterate meant you couldn’t read or write. Now we don’t even need to read and write. However, if we don’t read or write, we can’t use it?

I use the Internet to do research, but how can I be sure that what I find is true or just someone’s opinion? If I was independently wealthy, I could self-publish all my writings, but who would read them? I could set up a website or pay someone to do so, but that would require cataloging everything I’ve produced over the years, and it would take more time than I have left. Technology is like a cancer. It wheedles it’s way into our brain cells, invades our thinking, our mentality, our theology, our daily life, work, habits and everything else that affects our living. Unfortunately, there is no cure for it and the more you use it, the more it spreads.

Technology has opened many new doors to our minds. We can watch church online. We can get a degree online. We can train our children, pets, spouses, neighbors and friends online. We can create a beautiful picture of who WE are to the world through social media, while in the shadows, our lives may truly be falling apart. Who are we trying to impress? It has also made a clear path for Satan to move into young and old minds with all sorts of evil. As with any innovation there will always be choices. Someone needs to monitor what we’re looking at – but wait, they’re probably already doing that. In 1949, George Orwell published a book titled, “1984.” It was a science fiction evaluation of what would happen in the future. The book investigated how minds could be manipulated to accept various truth and facts. 1984 has come and gone, and just look at how the world has changed since then.

Like I said, I don’t consider myself illiterate. I’m just a creature of habit – a reader – a writer – someone who still writes in cursive – who knows that in spite of all the changes in history and the last hundred years, our God still remains the same.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s episode of Technology 103.

Posted in acting, God, morality, responsibility, technology, Technology and Kids | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments


This week, I’m tackling the subject of technology. In just another month I’ll be celebrating my 81st birthday and let me tell you about all the changes of seen in my lifetime. That might take another 80 years to do. I’ve always had difficulty with change. As a kid, I had to adjust to many moves and changes, even though my family was solid and cared about staying together. My sister will attest to the fact that we slept in the same bed for a number of years, but often in a different living area. We started out on the top floor of a four-story apartment building. There are many memories attached to that particular apartment – like the ice man who delivered a block of ice which turned into an ice cube by the time he got to our place. There was the delivery of our very first television set with a 10″ screen in a huge console and the delivery guy that almost lost it by the time he arrived. My sister threw my pet turtle from that 4th floor and actually thought it would survive.

Every few years we’d move to another apartment in that building, but instead of moving up, we moved down. Eventually, we made our dwelling place in a basement apartment which was designated for the caretaker of the building – my dad. We made several more moves over the course of my childhood. Maybe that’s why I hate the thought of moving again. That dislike for change has definitely affected the way I feel about it. Today, we have 45″ and up “smart” TVs which have built in computers. Everything is supposedly smart, but to me it required a total remake of the way I live. I was trained to use a keyboard when in high school. I’m grateful they haven’t changed that, because I can still type like a whiz. Today you don’t even need to type. You can talk to your computer, and it will type for you. In many cases, Siri and other artificial intelligence gadgets have become our only means of communication.

Nowadays we live in a world controlled by the world wide web. The internet has replaced the encyclopedia – the library – over the fence conversation – coffee klatches – family, friends and other relationships – live entertainment venues and pretty much everything pertaining to life as we once knew it. I suppose if someone really wanted to destroy us, all they’d need to do would be turn off the power for more than a day. Everyone would go nuts. One of the advantages of this new lifestyle is that we can always turn it off or unplug it. I know people who find it hard to leave their devices and I fear I have become one of them at times. Our memories start to wane as we get older. We depend on these gadgets to stir them up again. I guess I’ll just have to learn to accept change, although I know that the real Creator of the Universe is still in control of all of it – and He never changes.

Stay tuned for more on the subject as we look at technical support.

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It’s Sunday again. Seems like the weeks pass by like minutes these past few years. One day runs into another, but Sunday is special in so many ways. Especially today. We are going to church. We haven’t attended in quite a while – even though we have been communing at home as shut-ins and watching online services. This will be the last Sunday with our current pastor, who recently took another call. The call will not require him to move his residence, do he and his wife will still be in the area. He will be serving a huge congregation and will also be able to transition into retirement when the time is right. To say we will miss him is an understatement. We have grown together as shepherd and sheep – brothers and sisters, family- friends and have had the pleasure of his knowledge and wisdom for many years.

Saying goodbye will not be easy, but we know that it is for the best. God’s divine calling always serves His purpose and is for our good. It will be somewhat of a rebuilding process for our church, but we are confident that God will lead that too.

Sundays are like new beginnings also. We’re starting a new week, another seven days of living, opportunities and time to share God’s grace with others. I often wonder why we’re still walking on this earth, but God apparently isn’t done with us yet – or perhaps we need more tweaking. As we look ahead to each new day, each new week, every new year – let’s never forget about the love that God showers on us every day. Approach those new times as adventures – part of a journey – and most definitely a gift of God.


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The week has dragged on far too long, it’s time to get away,

You pack the car and sing a song when Friday comes your way.

You fight the traffic and the heat, you long for the serene.

You need a place to hide away, a different kind of scene,

When you arrive at the front door, you can’t believe your eyes,

The mice now live within your space, it’s not a real surprise,

The fence has seen its better days, the roof is leaking too,

Mosquitos fill the air at night, to get a taste of you,

The rooms are small and crowded, you think it holds such peace,

A place where you can get some rest, your troubles to release,

A cabin in the woods is great, a tent will also do,

Get further from the noise of life and touch the morning dew,

A sleeping bag under the stars will fill the space within,

But I prefer my bed at home or at nice clean inn.

Posted in America, Art & Poetry by Paul & Kathy Boecher, creation, Nature, summer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment



Wallowing in the quietness of God’s beautiful creation,

Breathing in the scent of flowers and freshly mowed grass,

Observing wispy cloud formations, trying to make something of them,

Lost in the peace of the stillness.  Like Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole,

Surrounded by the unknown, but enjoying the ride,

Every second an adventure – each thought full yet empty,

A noisy plane soars through its flight path, a pesky mosquito seeks an opening,

The sounds of a lawn mower, a power saw, a child laughing,

An occasional passing car with radio blaring heavy bass tones,

Penetrates the moment, bringing you back,

Back to reality.  

The stillness has been shattered, but only temporarily.

Posted in Art & poetry by Kathy Boecher, Nature, seasons, summer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments


Today is National NASCAR Day. Though I’m not an avid fan of NASCAR, I feel like I’m living on a racetrack right now. We live on a major highway – well we don’t physically live on the highway, but lately it’s felt pretty much like we do. Construction has been under way for two years now and we are right in the middle of it. I’ve talked about the urgency to accommodate the department of transportation whenever we get a letter from them. In fact, we have had to call on our kids to take care of our needs, only having to wait at least another few weeks, if not months, for any apparent progress on the racetrack in our backyard.

In the meantime, many of my beautiful plants are popping up where a new sound barrier will eventually act as a backdrop. So, there is that. Even in the din of pounding drills, heavy construction equipment and whizzing cars speeding in excess of the speed limit – there is beauty. God’s creation changes everything. We might get weighed down by the oppression of change. We feel we must depend on others to help us. We get depressed when simple tasks become impossible because of limitations on our bodies. We feel guilty when we have to ask for help. We put pressure on ourselves and look ahead to eventual change and moving someplace where all those difficult tasks will be taken care of.

I’m not very good when it comes to change. I manage to stuff all of those things into the back of my mind and continue on trying to forget about them. Maybe this is one of the perils of growing older, but it isn’t uncommon to feel those pressures at any age. I personally hold it all inside and then it comes out in a big explosion of tears, frustration, angry words and even stressed relationships. How do we handle these life changes? If you’re a real adventurer, you’ll stick it out and be perseverant – pressing on for the eternal prize. If you’re just getting started in the journey, you may be reluctant to take risks. You might succumb to the pressures in life and fall into depression. When you reach those middle years – when everything is supposed to be smooth sailing – the bottom might fall out and you have to go back to square one. As long as your body lets you, you can stay the course and continue.

There is another solution, which is often overlooked by most of us. Instead of trusting in our own actions, goals, aging bodies and work ethic that includes hard work and dedication – maybe we should turn our eyes towards heaven and trust in the One who offers to carry us through anything. Still, we struggle by trying to fix things ourselves. Eventually, we will die. There will be no more problems – no tears – no frustration – no physical pain – only peace and complete satisfaction. Let it go. Run the race while you’re living and trust that God will take care of the big stuff. Then we can make it to the finish line without regret, fear, danger – only perfection.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1

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“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9 ESV

We don’t know how long Adam and Eve walked through the Garden of Eden before sin entered their hearts. We do know that when they disobeyed God, they were immediately cursed with guilt. Being flawed means that because of that disobedience, mankind was now doomed to a life of shame and defectivity. Sin entered the creation of God taking away the image of perfection and replacing it with a soul that was damaged, infected and blemished.

With that distance placed between us and God, there is no question that we try to hide our sins. If we were to lay out everything that haunted us from the past, there would be no one who’d want to associate with us. In addition, our relationship with our God has become dysfunctional. So, what are we to do? We can try to forget those sins and change our behavior, only to fail again. We can hide our past discretions but the fear of someone finding out becomes like a dripping faucet – constantly and relentlessly reminding us that we’re flawed. We might try to numb those feelings of guilt by taking drugs or imbibing in alcohol. Unfortunately, all those things are simply masking the problem. No number of lies can change the facts.

Take heart! Even though our sins darken our minds and souls, God made it possible to have a perfect relationship with Him. Instead of our works and good deeds, which are worthless in His sight, He sent His only begotten Son to live among humanity with a sinless soul. He would teach the people, heal them, revive them, encourage them and promise a future in eternity. This perfect, unblemished Lamb of God, died for all people – even sinners like you and me. When we humbly approach Him and repent of our wrongdoing, He forgives our sins. Grace is unconditional. There is nothing we can do except lay it all out before God. He has the solution. He alone can forgive our past and He will give us a future with Him, even when we sin again and again and again.

Yes, as long as we dwell on this planet, our hearts will continue to sin. Jesus died once for all people and all sin, but it is our responsibility to ask God to create a new life within us. With Him, we can change our ways, repent, confess and repeat. With gratitude for all He’s done for us, we can share that promise of forgiveness with others who have fallen into the pit of despair.

Posted in aging, Family, forgiveness, repentance, sin, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments


There has been an appalling lack of integrity in the past fifty years. We see it in business dealings. It rears its ugly head in our colleges and universities. It even infiltrates the youngest of minds on the playgrounds of elementary schools. The word means “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.” I don’t know precisely when this happened, but the devil is very insidious in his work on earth. He doesn’t usually cause turmoil in a notable way. It often takes years of backsliding for him to accomplish his desires to latch onto us.

In ancient times – like the 1930s and 1940s, there was a love of country and patriotism which has not been matched since. Two world wars had occurred. The time was ripe for loving our country. Over the next few decades, we became aware of scandals in government – racial inequality – discrimination – hatred – sexual revolution. See how Satan manipulates minds over time, rather than knocking us over the head with his evil plans? In the current century, we have an almost upside-down set of principles – good is now evil – everything is offensive to someone, but no one talks about our offensive behavior towards our Creator, God. Sin has virtually been erased from our vocabulary. There seems to be no one in government that we can trust. Our churches are floundering. The internet has in many cases replaced our ability to communicate in person. Integrity has been replaced with dishonesty, deceitfulness and chicanery. Instead of working together, we are often looking out for numero uno.

The common thread here is the evil of our enemy, the devil. The truth is that he was defeated a long time ago, when Jesus shed His blood and died so we could obtain eternal life. The fact that He rose from death and conquered the hold of the grave, gave Him the victory over the devil. Even though he is still allowed to prowl the earth in search of souls, his defeat is assured. In the end God won and so do we who trust in Him.


The air chokes with death and the scent of it.
Deep in the bowels of the earth, the demons dance for joy,
Hatred, twisted minds,
Overtly wounded souls disperse the winds of time,
Testing of integrity,
Past sins,
Reputations at risk,
Life is filled with this,
The ugliness of sin and the greatest liar ever,
Breath is snuffed out like a waning candle,
In an instant and without warning,
This is our reality,
Yet within that reality is small glimmer of hope,
A tiny fracture of light in the distance,
A light that gains strength as you draw near it,
A brilliance that never dies,
Hope remains intact,
It is our God,
Who never changes,
Though the world is slowly being devoured by evil,
Though it seems impossible to understand,
Though nothing is sacred anymore,
Though Satan seems to have the upper hand,
Even when life takes a back seat to death,
We must hang on to that glowing ember,
It is the only beacon in a blackened world,
For without it we will be swallowed up,
Trust in God, not man.


Posted in aging, America, Internet, Poetry by Kathy Boecher, sin | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments


Art by Paul T. Boecher©

A tangled mass of long spindly fingers, reach out desperately,

Longing for the life-giving, thirst-quenching desire to go on,

Roots, once deeply entrenched, now surface and meander through the muck,

Facing obstacles unknown, yet pushing forward, yearning for more,

Even though submerged in hopelessness,

Life can thrive when the roots run deep,

All the tangles, obstacles and bumps in the road will lessen,

When they are nurtured, loved and preserved by their Creator.


Posted in aging, Art & Poetry by Paul & Kathy Boecher, Family, God's plans, parenting, wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


It was the first time the world had ever experienced rain. Up until this time in history, the earth had been covered with a canopy of moisture to nourish and sustain it. When God finally lifted it, it was as if He was releasing an accumulation of His own tears onto His creation.  The storm covered every living thing with complete destruction.

God is so patient. He waited a long time to let those tears fall.  Eventually all the abuse towards Him became more than apparent. He finally had enough. He needed to give His creation a wakeup call. When He ordered the man to build the ark that would carry Noah and his entire family, along with two of every species of all living things, He knew that at least part of His original creation would remain. A fresh start was planned for the only family on earth that still believed and trusted in God. He would eliminate the rest. Through this remnant, He would repopulate the earth with new life. He gave the people time to come and ask for forgiveness – to repent for their evil deeds – to leave their life of sin and return to Him, but it went unheeded. Noah and his family were the only human beings that knew God meant business, so they followed His instructions and survived.

When the time was right, the storms came. God spared no one except the Noah clan. One thing remained within that family. Though they were devout and honored God, they still carried their original sin – inherited from Adam and Eve. No amount of cleansing on their part, could possibly wash that sin away. Still God made a new world for them. He provided for their every need and stayed with them for the rest of their lives.

We continue to face storms in our lives every day.  We worry, we get angry and frustrated, we give up, we lose patience.  This world, even with all its beauty and splendor, is an ugly place. Sometimes we feel that the cloud hanging over us will never pass.  Life can be an ongoing storm if we let it. When Jesus suffered and died on the cross, he healed the split between His Father and us.  Because of His resurrection, our deep contusions and abrasions have been eliminated.  Through His passion we have been washed in the flood of forgiveness.  Now when storms come into our lives and it looks like they will never end, we can rejoice and dance in the rain. Thanks be to God for giving us the final victory through His only begotten Son.

“So they shall fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun; for he will come like a rushing stream, which the wind of the Lord drives.” Isaiah 59:19 ESV

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When we take on the position of “mother,” we are accepting one of the greatest challenges life can give us. We’re given nine months to hold onto this precious life growing within in us – a time for mother/child bonding which can only come from such an intimate time. We’re allowed about 18 or so years to nurture, care for, instill values, share our dreams with and give our hearts to them. When they take flight, at that particular juncture, we hope they are ready to face life with confidence and courage. Though we have watched them leave the nest our hearts and souls follow them. We have become a piece of them, which they in turn will share with someone else as time goes by.

You never stop being a mom. Though grey hair has replaced what used to be, a mom will always think of her children and their welfare. When she puts on the brakes, she will extend her arm over the passenger seat to protect you, even if you aren’t there. She will dream about forgetting to pack your school lunch and wake up in a cold sweat. The tables will turn eventually, and mom will become the child rather than the caregiver. What goes around comes around. The seeds we plant as parents, will always return a great harvest and history will repeat itself.


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Two lonely hearts once met and at that meeting found,

That God already knew new life would soon abound,

The two began a quest to build a monstrous nest,

They scavenged anything that seemed to meet the test,

This nest awaited eggs, the couple sat and waited,

The dad would find a meal to keep the mom abated,

As mother’s often do, she left her eggs alone,

She had to stretch her wings, but dad would take the throne,

And so between the two of them, a family came to be,

The little chicks sat all alone and screeched for subsidy,

The parents swooped and dove for those within their custody,

Soon they would learn to fly, yet questions still remained,

Would all of them survive, would life still be maintained,

And with each passing day, they left their mammoth home,

With fledgling wings now fluttering, completely on their own,

Yet in the nest on high, the smallest one remained,

Too weak to flap his wings, his strength had all but waned,

But mother’s love endured, she saw to this one’s needs,

She nurtures and protects him, with love she intercedes,

Today that little bird has flown to heights unknown,

Because of mother’s love, he soars now on his own.

My husband spent one year following the nesting of two osprey. He and a small group of men took photographs, wrote about their findings, observed the activities in the nest, and Paul created the above painting to document the daily discoveries. They originally intended to make a book out of their daily meetings, but that never came to fruition. Collaboration doesn’t always work, but we wound up with a lovely painting as a result. The poetry seems appropriate for Mother’s Day.

Posted in Art & Poetry by Paul & Kathy Boecher, Family, Mother's day | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments


“Do not tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don’t tell them where they know the fish.”  Mark Twain

His dad was the first to teach him how to fish. It was a wonderful bonding experience for them in the rather mundane life they shared in the city – in the hustle and bustle – within the funeral business 24/7. The retreat of the lake led to beautiful moments just sitting in a boat waiting. His dad told him to keep his bait warm, by placing it in his mouth – advice he never actually did, but I’m sure it got him thinking for a second or two.

Sitting on a clear, glasslike surface, with only the sound of frogs croaking and crickets making noise, they would spend hours, sitting quietly, waiting and waiting for that one big one that everyone else talks about. As with most things Paul ever did as a boy, he studied up on it fervently. He wanted to know everything about it. He learned which bait worked the best, how to cast with a fly rod, how to fish with a cane pole. Most of all he learned to listen – not only to the sounds outside the boat, but the words from his dad from inside. His dad was a rather quiet man, with a somber side, but he also had a great sense of humor and shared that with his son. Together they spent much quality time on the lake.

He’d often venture out on his own, when dad couldn’t be there with him. During those times, his catches often consisted of seaweed, an old boot, another fishing lure, a snake and even a fish within a fish. He had a fish on his line that looked pretty good, but not only to Paul, but another larger fish was interested in having him for dinner too. As the small fish neared the boat, the larger fish swallowed up the smaller one. Paul was sure he’d lost it for good, but to his surprise, both fish made it into his fishing net.

There was another incident when he started to reel one in. As he pulled it from the water, there was nothing but a thin pink, snake like thing, which seemed to grow and stretch as it came closer. It turned out to be the tongue of a giant bull frog. Imagine the length and elasticity of that thing. When Paul let him go, I have visions of a fat bullfrog with his tongue dragging behind him.

Paul’s fishing days have been limited by health issues recently, but we live very close to two rivers, so that could change in an instant. In the meantime, like his namesake, he has become a fisher of men. His outgoing personality along with his love for Jesus is very contagious. Wherever we are – out to eat, at a movie, at a garage sale, in a park walking – somehow the topic often turns to the Lord and it isn’t long before he’s sharing his zeal with others.

He continues to use his fishing background to witness for Jesus. Of course, he knows that God is actually the One who changes hearts, but he truly enjoys planting seeds or setting a bobber.

Posted in aging, Christian living, falth, Family, God's plans, grace, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments