PRESS ON

 

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We go through many changes in our short existence.  When we’re born, we struggle from the safety of our mom’s womb into an unknown and difficult world.  We take our first steps as a leap of faith.  We grow into our teens thinking we are prepared for everything life has to give us and take chances that we maybe shouldn’t.  We make amendments to our lives when we get married and soon learn that we are no longer one person anymore.  We learn to pledge to put our mate first in our lives.  As years pass, we become involved in careers and that opens new doors and new opportunities for alteration to our future.  We grow old and think that there is nothing more to change – NOT TRUE!

It seems that God has taken you through all these deviations in life to prepare you for your final and complete change.  Old age is the portal to that place – but it doesn’t mean the end of your metamorphosis.  He still has a purpose for us, even though we think things should finally be settling down.

At this point in life, changes are still being made – some of them with the influence of those who love you – some because change is required for your benefit – some due to financial burden – others because of our changing, tired and worn out bodies.  Whatever the change – whatever the struggle – whatever new thing that comes along and drastically amends our lives – we still have the faithfulness of a God who will remain with us through all of it.  He will never leave us.  He will provide for all our needs – physical, emotional and spiritual.  He will give us the strength and courage to move into uncharted areas – even in our old age.

Lord, I praise you for all you have done for me.  You have offered me your consistency in an ever changing world.  Whatever has happened in the past – no matter how difficult – you have sustained me.  You continue to lead me in the paths of righteousness and provide all that I need for my life.  You teach me daily to lean on you and promise to be with me throughout eternity.  I pray that you will continue to hold my hand through the remainder of my years and finally lead me to paradise with you – where there will be no more changes.  In Jesus name I pray.

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PEACE IN THE VALLEY

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ORIGINAL ART & POETRY BY PAUL T. & KATHY BOECHER©

When life seems overwhelming and the hope for peace has drifted,

We struggle with the discontent and pray for burdens lifted,

But our days on earth are numbered, our time is soon gone by,

We fill our hours with wrong pursuits and then we simply die,

But when you travel with the Lord, your outlook quickly changes,

The goals you set, the plans you make, He often rearranges,

We have no clue to what’s ahead, but in His master plan,

We know what He’s prepared for us can’t be achieved by man,

His blueprint for our path is often filled with strife,

We struggle on and trust in Him throughout our earthly life,

Our dreams are often shattered, we wonder where is God,

We fail to trust,  we oft give up, when through this life we plod

But when it all is over, when breath departs our frame,

In confidence we rest in Him who took away our shame,

The shelter of that valley soon brings great calm and rest,

To be with all the saints of God, the brightest and the best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WHO’S OUR LEADER?

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Right now our nation is at a critical point in its history. We are about to enter another presidential election.  We’ve been given a choice of two candidates who have become icons over the past several months.  Mud is flying faster and more defiantly than I’ve ever seen.  Words of anger, hatred, same old – same old, ya da, ya da, ya da.

Decisions have to be made, but who knows the answers?  Do we elect a business man with no experience in politics – a man who has proven himself in the corporate world – someone who has said things that have been in the hearts and minds of folks who are fed up with politics as usual, or do we put our faith in possibly the first female president in our history.  I recall a similar situation eight years ago when we elected the first African American president.

It seems to me that in our desire to fulfill our one final right as Americans, the right to vote, our choices aren’t that great.  Do we choose someone who has a track record in politics, but has been surrounded by scandal throughout her history or do we elect a brash, showman with no experience, but a pretty good sales pitch?

As I ponder over this dilemma, I can’t help but wonder how much stock we put in the President of the United States.  This elected official is nothing more than an employee of the American people, yet the status of the office has gone way beyond that.  Along with status comes power and often pride and foolishness.  So who will be our leader?

Our first president, George Washington, didn’t want the job.  Personally I can’t imagine why anyone would enter the political arena at this time.  Still we are a nation of order and we need someone to lead us.  God wasn’t too keen on an earthly king for His children.  He wanted them to rely on His leadership.

May I suggest a simple concept?  How about we return to the true leader of the Universe?  Maybe if we went back to our roots and began to place God on that pedestal instead of mere men or women, we’d have a much better chance of being great again.

“Behold, God is with us at our head, and his priests with their battle trumpets to sound the call to battle against you. O sons of Israel, do not fight against the LORD, the God of your fathers, for you cannot succeed.” 2Chronicles 13:12

 

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WALKING IN THE SHOES OF A TWEEN

Originally posted by atimetoshare.me 7/28/15tween-girl-rolling-eyes
It’s been over sixty years since I donned my first pair of saddle shoes and poodle skirt. Years have melted away, but a few days with my thirteen year old granddaughter,  have caused me to realize that we have a lot in common.

Tween years are like awakening the caccoon and releasing the butterfly. It’s a life filled with extremes – playing with Barbies or wanting to snag a date. Going from carefree to making the right choices –  thinking you know more than those who care for you – feeling invincible and having no fear except for spiders and strange sounds in the night –  laughing your head off one minute and crying like a baby the next – watching your body go through changes on a daily basis.

To top it all off, you’re living in a world where anything goes. Morality means taking birth control pills so you don’t have to endure an unplanned pregnancy. Going to church is outdated. Parents are spread too thin to spend time talking or doing things with their children.  It’s a fearful time in an uncertain world.

Come to think of it, I’m beginning a new chapter in my life too. It’s called old age and many of the symptoms are like those of my granddaughter. For example, I often feel caccooned. Some days I suffer with being too warm, while others require more  layers. I love doing silly things that my contemporaries find childish, but I’m not yet ready to kick the bucket. I think I know more than those younger than me, but I still have a lot to learn. I look in the mirror expecting to see my radiant smile, only to be greeted by my mom’s reflection.  I go to bed wondering how I got through the day and rise with renewed zeal most of the time.

Life is a roller coaster, particularly during pivotal stages, but we get through it pretty much unscathed.  The human spirit – created by God Himself – is an amazing equalizer. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, even when our lives change.

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BACK FROM LUNCH

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Well a week ago, I was trying to sneak in a quick post to indicate that I would be offline for a while, because I was running a 9 AM to 3:30 PM musical theater camp.  Needless to say, I never completed the post, but I did get a few good comments on it and quite a few likes.

We’re also in the process of selling our house, which means “perfection” for showings 24/7.  Add to that the possibility of adding a new roof, a building inspector that found a million things wrong, two hot offers immediately after listing, no internet, having to get new phone service, internet service and direct television service and did I mention internet.  I’m truly amazed at how much I’ve grown dependent on this tool of the devil.

Fortunately, I had the distraction of working with 13 delightful children for most of last week, while my husband bore the brunt of all these other issues.

In the midst of this, I read Chuck Swindoll’s biography of Joseph from the Old Testament just to fill the void of not blogging.  What a lovely book.  If you have the opportunity, take time to read it.  God used Joseph, the favored son of his father and turned this young shepherd into the prime minister of Egypt – pharaoh’s number one guy.  In spite of the suffering he went through in his young life, God found a way to turn the betrayal of his brothers, the false accusations hurled by a seductive married woman and time in prison – He used all of this to better Joseph’s life.

The ugliness of a brutal world surrounded him, but because Joseph remained faithful to the God of his father, his misfortunes turned into wealth and power beyond his comprehension, but he never once took credit for any of it.  He only honored God.

When we go through difficulties in this life, when we run into roadblocks on a daily basis, when we think there is no end to pain or heartache, we often come to the end of the rope.  We wonder why all this calamity is coming our way.  We sometimes give up.

Joseph may have flaunted his status with his brothers, along with his colorful robe and even though his dreams made them seethe, but God used this scalawag to bring the people of Israel to the land of Goshen, where they’d thrive for many years.

God works in us in the same way. He pushes us around sometimes like a lump of clay, or tosses us into the fire to refine us, but we must remember this – if we place our trust in Him and His holy will – He can do amazing things for us.

I know he’s planning great things for us, but even so, I wilt into fear – give way to doubt and angst – I think I’m trusting and letting go, but then I begin to worry or fret once more.

Dear, Holy Father, there are those with much greater problems than mine.  Many of my friends are suffering with difficult illnesses, family breakdowns, broken marriages, loss of faith, mental and even physical abuse.  Sin has caused all of this to occur, but you sent your Son to take away our sin, so we can rest assured that you’ll be with us through all of it and you are preparing a mansion for us in heaven.  Only you can make something good out of something hopeless.  Help me to reaffirm that thought in my heart and mind.  Amen!

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OUT TO LUNCH

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LORD, HEAR MY PRAYER

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We live in a time of extensive strife – everlasting discontent – endless wars – devastation caused by them – mindless acts of man – meaningless destruction which harms innocent victims .  It sometimes feels overwhelming.

The headlines and top stories of the day consist of violence, hatred, anger, tragedy and the ugly side of life.  A day doesn’t go by when we don’t hear about man’s inhumanity to man.  Is there any hope for this world wracked with sin?

We often become so wrapped up in our own little realm of sorrow, we forget to pray for those outside of it.  We forget that God is still in control and try to mend things ourselves.

Today, remember to pray for the world we live in.  There is always going to be trouble in it, but we can be confident that God has it in the palm of His hands.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”John 14.27

Lord, You tell us that you will not only provide peace for our souls and minds, but eternal peace.  As this world spins more and more out of control, remind us that you have a plan for everything.  Give us the comfort of knowing that our real peace comes from you. Amen!

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LIFT UP YOUR EYES

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ORIGINAL ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER

Majestically standing in rows just like soldiers,

With arms reaching up to great heights of the sky,

The pines tower over the rocks and the boulders,

They almost touch heaven and don’t even try,

What if we would turn our heads and our eyes,

To the mighty Creator with voices and cries,

Would He heed to our voices and answer our prayers,

Would He take away all of our fears and our cares,

Sometimes it may seem that He’s too far away,

That He’s too much to do than to hear what we pray,

Prayers don’t go unanswered when we ask from within,

He listens to us and forgives all our sin,

So lift up your eyes, to the sky up above,

God knows what you need and He’ll answer with love.

 

 

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LION OF JUDAH

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Originally posted by atimetoshare.me on 7/19/14

 

Daniel was thrown into a pit filled with lions and was able to survive with the protection of God. David killed a lion with his bare hands to save a lost sheep from destruction.  There are other examples of this amazing creature in both the Old and New Testaments.

Lions are referred to as stealthy, vicious, eager to devour and strong. Lions are the second largest cats in the world and when they kill they usually use their sharp canine teeth to tear at the throat and eventually strangle their prey.  When they are hungry they show no mercy.

God also references the devil as a lion in 1 Peter 5:8 with a vivid picture of a lion lying in wait for its prey.

Lions work in teams to surround, confuse and attack. They finally gain control and asphyxiate their victim. This is a really good example of what the devil does to us each day as we struggle through problems, personal relationships, even when we’re involved in the work of the church. Sometimes it.  Sometimes it seems that Satan works even harder God’s house, because that’s where he’s threatened the most.  .

We must constantly be on guard against his malicious grip on us.  We never know when he will strike or how he will do it.  He sneaks his way into our thinking, our relationships, our government, every aspect of our lives.  He even gets in the way of our worship. He is eager to sap us of our strength – to suffocate us.

God help me each day, each hour, each minute to arm myself with your Word. May it be my defense against the evil one who is waiting at every turn to destroy my faith in you.  Remind me that you are not only my protector, but that you have brought Satan down, through your death on the cross and your resurrection.  Amen

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