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As I reach the end of my years, I find I have a lot of good information stored up in this old decrepit mind of mine. If I don't write it all down, it may vanish and no one will have the advantage of my thoughts. This is why this blog exists. I love the Lord, Jesus with all my heart and soul. I know I'm undeserving of all He's done for me, but I also know that His love is beyond my comprehension. I've always wanted to write. I never kept diaries, but tucked my thoughts in my head for future reference. I use them now in creating stories, plays, poetry and my blog. I continue to learn every day. I believe the compilation of our time spent with God will have huge affect on the way we live. I know I'm a sinner and I need a Savior. I have One through Jesus, Christ. My book, "Stages - a memoir," is about the seven stages of life from the perspective of a woman. It addresses all the things girls and women go through in life as they travel it with Jesus, and it is available on Amazon.com.
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- T – I am thankful for TURKEY. This year I’ll be gorging myself with three turkey offerings at three special locations. The first with family at our house almost two weeks ago; the second with my church family last Sunday; and tomorrow with my daughter’s extended family.
- H – I am thankful for HOPE – This is the name of our church, but also the word used to express my gratitude for all that God has done for me.
- A – I am thankful for ABUNDANCE – Every day is a gift of bounty from the Lord. In times of sadness, fear and loss or times of joy, good times and peace, I know that God has blessed my life abundantly and the best is yet to come.
- N – I am thankful for my NATION – I live in a country in which we are free to express our opinions, worship as we please, still live the American dream and work together to defend and preserve her. I’m proud to be an American.
- K – I am thankful for the KIND HEARTED– Those who protect our city streets, who tend to our illnesses, take care of those less fortunate, defend our country and do so because they want to.
- S – I am thankful for my SAVIOR who SACRIFICED Himself for my SALVATION.
- G – I am thankful for God’s Word, the Bible, the instruction manual for how to live.
- I – I am thankful for INVENTORS working to make our lives easier.
- V – I am thankful for VICTORY OVER DEATH, won by Jesus.
- I – I am thankful for the INDWELLING OF GOD through His Holy Spirit.
- N – I am thankful for NORMALITY. When I see what’s happening in our world, I wonder what normal is. I would hope that it included morality, love, kindness, the example of Jesus as a guide, stability, honesty, value for life, service for God, lack of greed and conceit.
- G – I am thankful for GOD – my Creator, Savior & King.
Originally posted 11/22/16
ORIGINAL ART & INSPIRATION BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©
Alan Seeger was an American poet who lived and fought as a French Foreign Legion soldier during World War One. Being witness to many of his friends dying around him, obviously created thoughts of his own impending doom. He died in the war at the age of 28.
The poem was not only beautiful, but prophetic.
I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air—
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.
It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath—
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.
God knows ’twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where Love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear …
But I’ve a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.
John F. Kennedy favored this poem. The youngest president of his time, also went through the ravages of war and suffered with injuries from it throughout his life. When he returned from his honeymoon with his new wife, Jackie, he read this poem to her, which she later would memorize and say to him.
Both of these young men met with tragic endings to their lives, but we will all some day meet our death. It is inescapable, but for those who know the grace of God, it is less frightening.
When our first grandson was a child of three, he had a complete grasp on the value of life. As I stomped on a pesky little ant as it scurried underfoot, he immediately called me out for taking the insect’s life. Of course I felt terrible, but in that instant I knew he understood how important life is, and how we need to be aware of even the smallest in God’s creation. In that same year, he wrote and illustrated a book on ants and how they work together and how industrious they are. Not to brag, but my firstborn grandchild is a genius.
Life is precious. Beginning at conception, a life starts. It safely rests and grows in its mother’s womb and after a period of gestation pushes its way into the world – a world filled with danger, hatred, anger, lust, greed and sins of every sort. Each one of those sins is equal in God’s eyes. Even that newborn has been born with sin in its soul. Our original sin is a result of what happened in the Garden of Eden.
In spite of that, our God has promised to overlook our sin through the sacrifice of His only begotten Son. Because we have been made clean, we’ve been promised eternity in paradise – a life without any sin and perfect in every way. While we walk this earth, we are still sinful. When we die our redemption is sealed and we will never die again.
Yesterday I posted about the importance of teaching our children to respect each other. Everything we do as parents in the raising of our children is going to affect their future behavior. Those who live in abusive situations, don’t have the advantage of learning what correct behavior is. They become victims trapped in a web of lies and deception and eventually are made to feel guilty themselves.
A dear fellow blogger pointed this out to me in her comment on my post yesterday. She felt that my post might send the wrong message to those who’ve been abused and not heard when they speak of their abuse. This wasn’t my intention at all, but I certainly understand where she’s coming from.
When allegations of the abused come out ‘en masse, as they have recently, it serves as an opening for those whose voices have been silenced because of fear. Yet there are those who are lying about their abuse in order to receive compensation or notoriety. Those implications can and do cause lost reputations, but more. They’re making it more difficult for the real victims to be heard. Crying wolf serves no purpose in the solution to this problem. It simply allows the perpetrators to continue their abuse.
I am deeply sorry if I offended anyone with my words yesterday, especially those who feel there is no way out for them. I would not want to be a stumbling block for anyone. It is imperative that victims of any kind know there’s a place of refuge for them. If you struggle with abuse, a loss of dignity or innocence or any other assault on your life, you have a champion who will listen and defend you. Jesus is there for every one of us. He died for everyone – even the abusers, the most horrendous of humanity, and you and me. All we need to do is believe in Him.
Life is precious. Don’t let it be snuffed out by those who would harm you!
ORIGINAL ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©
A light streams through resistant clouds. It brings a glimpse of heaven.
As once in darkness bathed in shrouds, it’s filled with hope once given.
The light came forth in darkness, so many years ago.
And shone upon the Son of God, in humble manger low.
He could have come in glory, with angels at His side,
but humility is what He chose, when with us He’d abide.
Oh, sweet and loving Jesus. You came to give us life.
You promised to be with us in all our earthly strife.
You walked alone to Calvary and hung upon a tree –
You suffered pain and shed your blood. You did it all for me.
How can I thank you, Jesus, for bringing me Your light?
Use me and let me praise you, through all Your holy might!
It was a wonderful time to be alive. Americans were living in a self-proclaimed “Camelot” with a charismatic leader and his lovely wife. All was well with the world.
On this day in history the President of the United States and his First Lady, left Washington, D.C. bound for Houston, Texas to begin a series of campaign appearances for Governor John Connelly.
That evening JFK and Jackie attended a dinner held by the League of United Latin America Citizens. This was probably one of the first times that a president officially acknowledged Latinos as an important voting block. The crowd zealously chanted, “Jacqueline, Jacqueline, Jaqueline. The First Lady addressed the gathering in Spanish.
By the end of the evening of social events and speeches, Jackie was exhausted, but still able to lay out her clothes for the next day – the stunning pink suit with matching pillbox hat; a navy blue blouse and handbag; short white gloves. The outfit would be stained with her husband’s blood the following day.
The events following this dinner overshadowed it because the following day the President was assassinated. Not only did the world lose a great man that day, but our nation became bruised as it grieved over its lost leader.
In the next few days we’ll hear many words spoken about JFK and his presidency. Those of us who experienced that day will never forget it. It’s engraved in our minds as deeply as 9/11. Tragedy has come to our country many times before, but we as a nation will survive as long as we let God take the reins.
I know that many would like to have us believe that we are no longer a Christian nation, but I think there are still enough of us to make a difference.
Lord, protect our country and all of her leaders this day and every day. You have promised to be faithful to those who put their trust in you and I know that you are still in the hearts of many in our land. Hear our cry and heal our nation! Amen.
ORIGINAL ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©
Colors of autumn – scarlet, amber and gold,
God’s palette enlivens the fields we behold,
Each seed that was planted, its fruit has been sown,
A bountiful harvest among dirt and stone,
His Word bears good fruit, a banquet sublime,
Waits for us in heaven when it becomes time,
But while we continue to walk on this earth,
His truth to the world will offer rebirth,
Time soon will run out – there’s much work to be done,
Tell the world about Jesus and the victory He’s won.
I’ve been thinking about all the sexual harassment and abuse we’ve be inundated with for the past few months and trying to put together a meaningful take on it. I know that no matter what I’m going to say will offend some folks, while others will completely understand and support my thinking. I don’t like rejection, which is why I have difficulty submitting any of my work for publication. I’m generally a nice person who doesn’t like to make enemies, but these are some of my thoughts.
Ever since the 1960’s sexual revolution, when women burned they bras, because they refused to be encumbered by anything, we’ve seen a lack of modesty. Over the decades this death of innocence has become the norm. Young girls in their tweens are wearing clothing that accentuates their blossoming bodies and think nothing of it. Virtue, humility, demureness are words seldom acknowledged today.
At the same time, young boys are exposed to half dressed, voluptuous women in the movies, on TV, on the internet and at their schools. Things that were taboo at the turn of the twentieth century are appropriate today. Bank tellers, cashiers, news reporters, women in business have no qualms about wearing revealing clothing in the workplace. It too has become the norm.
The family unit has changed radically over time. Often children have more than two parents. Many times, there is only one parent laying the ground work. In any case, the children are getting mixed messages on how they should behave.
Fathers have taken on a different role as well. They used to be the spiritual leaders, sole bread winners, disciplinarians, counselors, and providers of a financial future for their family. Today dads are often not even in the picture.
I have totally digressed from my intended topic, but I feel all of this has a bearing on the events taking place all across our land. How we teach our children to respect themselves and others will determine how they behave in the future. Parents have them under their roofs for such a short time, but in that time they’re behavior is being shaped.
Most importantly, it’s up to the parent/s to be the role model for their children. Unfortunately kids don’t come with an instruction manual and often parenting is a matter of learning as you go. Here are things that we should be talking with our children about as soon as they can understand.
- ThGod is the head of the family and He should be shown the respect He deserves.
- Modesty – they will imitate what you wear, by the way, because you are their hero.
- Respect for parents, self and others.
- Manners should be reintroduced into the curriculum for child rearing.
- The should learn what is inappropriate behavior from others, including words and touch.
- Talk about sexual immorality.
- Encourage your children to vocalize their fears, their uncomfortable feelings, their misconceptions, their ability to trust.
- Keep the lines of communication open all the time – I’m talking face to face. Build that relationship early on.
- Be available, encourage, give them the tools they need to deal with social issues
Here are some Bible passages that might help.
1 Peter 3:3-4 talks about modesty. Phillipians 2:3 refers to respect. Regarding sexual immorality refer to 1 Corinthians 6:18. Exodus 20:12 and Romans 12:12 talks about honoring others.
It’s hard to imagine that we’re raising a clone, but actually that’s what happening in those 18 years of their lives. Their first hero is their parent. You are setting the bar. Are you living up to your responsibility?