LUKE SIX – BLESSED WORDS

sermon-on-the-mount-1965_i-G-38-3821-9W1YF00Z

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Advent, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on LUKE SIX – BLESSED WORDS

BIG GIRLS DO CRY

imagesPCM0TA92

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.

 

 

 

Posted in inspiration., Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on BIG GIRLS DO CRY

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!

Continue reading

Posted in America, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

THE HANDS OF MY SAVIOR

I often think about the hands that reached up to his mother from the manger. Those tiny, dimpled hands were perfectly formed by His Father before His birth. As He grew, those little boy hands undoubtedly got scuffed and bruised just like any other human boy. As He learned His earthly father’s trade, His hands would ache and become blistered after a day of shaping a piece of wood. When He later began His ministry, His hands touched people and they were healed. He placed His hands on them and evil spirits were drawn out of them. When He entered the temple and saw how corrupt it had become, those same strong hands turned over the tables of those who had distorted His teachings and turned it into a den of thieves.

In Gethsemane, I can imagine His hands clasped tightly in prayer, pleading for mercy. His knuckles turned white as He prayed for His people – praying that this cup of death would pass from His lips.  When the vigilante crowd appeared, under the direction of one of His own trusted disciples, Judas, He used His powerful hands to heal Malchus who had lost his ear by Peter’s sword.  They then bound those healing hands and led Him to a court of frightened men who felt their church was in jeopardy because of this man.

His was led to the cross. His blood-spattered hands carried His own instrument of death to Golgotha.  The soldiers cut through His hands with long, iron spikes, pinning Him to the cross. His hands lifted up to God that day and He died there for you and me, but that wasn’t the end for my Savior. He rose again three days later and proved that He is God, but even then, He had to prove to His disciple, Thomas, that He indeed bore the scars of His bitter death.

 

Help us, Lord to lift our hands up to you in thanksgiving and prayer and be reminded of all that you did to lift us up to heaven with yours.  Amen!

Posted in grace, Jesus, Sacrifice | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CAN THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH?

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER

Traffic sounds rumble early on a frosty morning.  The crash of box cars echoes from the tracks.  People running here and there with so much to accomplish and so little time.  You become invisible in a sea of bodies rushing – only to scream through the day – tear through traffic to get home again and do it all over tomorrow.

The news is filled with hatred between races, murders, theft, horrendous crimes that only a demented, twisted or broken mind could concoct.  There are stories of sexual deviation, infidelity, promiscuousness.   We hear of hit men being ordered to assassinate – bodies dismembered and left to rot – lack of respect for life at every avenue.

WHERE IS THE PEACE?

Children go to school with thoughts in their minds of being bullied, teased or humiliated.  They struggle to maintain grades so they can go on to college and succeed in the future.  They grow up believing that the only way to get ahead is to put yourself first.  They also enter those school doors wondering if they will be faced with a lockdown or worse.

WHERE IS THE PEACE?

Young men and women are faced with possible sexual harassment, unwanted pregnancies, abortion, depression and anxiety.  The incidence of drug and alcohol use  has become part of their daily existence.  They are constantly pushing to do their best, with no time to enjoy the ride.

WHERE IS THE PEACE?

Wars rage, weather disasters continue, political leaders dictate, government grows, the average man is lost in it all.  Our rulers buy into the games of politics.  Instant news has caused all sense of honesty to take a back burner to hot scoops with no research.  People lose their reputations and lives because of it.

WHERE IS THE PEACE?

Churches offer entertainment today, to increase their membership.   Scandal and abuse has entered the holy walls of Rome and right here at home. The word “sin” has become offensive to most people.  Finding a church that’s a place of healing, consoling, growth and the truth of God’s Word is becoming more and more difficult.  We all like to hear positive things about ourselves, right.  This world, after all, is all about me.

WHERE IS THE PEACE?

When Jesus came as a tiny baby in a smelly barn, surrounded by dirty animals and nothing but a mud floor, He didn’t use His Godly powers.  He came as a human being so He could experience the things we do.  The difference was, He had no sin. His mission was to live, learn, teach, die and save the world from the sting of sin and death through all of it.  His death led to His resurrection and the promise that we too will be raised from death and live eternally with Him in heaven.

He came to live a life of poverty in a insignificant little town from which nothing good ever came.  He worked hard alongside His stepfather as a carpenter.  He knew about agriculture, animals, planting and often used that knowledge to teach others about His Father’s kingdom.  He also knew the scriptures, because He wrote them.  He could do miracles, but they weren’t His primary purpose.  He came to carry the sin of the world upon His shoulders – to suffer extreme torture – die the death of a criminal and be humiliated before men.

WHERE IS THE PEACE?

The peace lay in that makeshift crib on the night of His birth. The heavenly hosts announced it to the shepherds who came to see Him. This was the promised Messiah they had waited for so long.  The peace is that little, helpless babe, nursing at His mother’s breast.  As many mothers will tell you, there is nothing like looking into the eyes of a newborn.  That baby would bring peace to the world.  All of His life is an example of how we should live and serve others.

He’s coming again to take all believers to heaven and condemn those who don’t.  I think we’re all ready for peace on earth.

THERE IS THE PEACE!

Posted in America, peace, war | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A QUIET, YET POWERFUL, SUPER HERO

With the Super Bowl right around the corner and the Winter Olympics taking up time on the other channels, we are being inundated with superheroes of all kinds.  We put our hopes and sometimes our treasure into counting on their strength and vigor to win the prize. Soon that prize will be forgotten, and the medals and trophies and rings will take a backseat to reality.  Those we place on pedestals are often set up for an eventual fall.

Our true Hero is less ostentatious.  He can’t be seen, except in the creation around us.  He can only be heard in the wind as His breath rustles through the trees.  We cannot touch Him, but we can be sure of His presence in every aspect of our lives.  He’s with us during the difficulties we face – the disappointments – the trials – the sickness – the good times as well as the bad.  He is kind and gentle, yet the power of His Word is invincible.  He is not a blue genie who will grant our every wish, but He does hear our prayers and answers them according to what He thinks is for our best.  We have Him available at a moment’s notice.  He loves us more than we love ourselves.  He never changes and He gave the ultimate gift to us for our place in heaven.  His name is Jesus, my Savior and King.  That’s what I call a real Superhero.

Do we place upon a pedestal the heroes of our time?
We sometimes make them idols. Do we think they are divine?
When they show that they are human, they quickly tumble down.
They lose that place of honor. They no more wear a crown.

They thought they were invincible – that they could do no wrong.
They took the road most travelled – they sang their own sweet song.
The accolades enticed them. Their greed did overcome.
They tested all the limits. To their pride they would succumb.

The only superhero that fills our every need,
Is Jesus, Christ our Savior. For our souls His wounds did bleed.
He gave His life to save us – from sin to set us free.
He conquered death to give us life for all eternity.

The superstars and champions may give us all a thrill,
But the Son of God won’t let us down. Our every need he’ll fill.
So look to Him for lasting peace. The victory he has won.
He is our true redeemer- role model – Number One!

Kathy Boecher©

Posted in Jesus, Poetry by Kathy Boecher | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

READY, GET SET . . .

My eyes open to the first morning light.

My mind fills with many thoughts, yet the chaos within is a driving force,

Pulling me to give up before I even start..

A new day, filled with obstacles, detours, roadblocks.

A new week, with new beginnings, old worries, empty wishes.

If only I could cast off the worries of yesterday – the reminders of past mistakes –

The desires for the future and the wandering into unknown territory.

Looking at things beyond my control is not an easy task.

Only God can see the future and what’s in store for me.

With that assurance I can look forward rather than back,

Because I know He is in control.

 

Posted in Poetry by Kathy Boecher | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

I’M SORRY – AGAIN

Almost every human being who has had children will look at this picture and melt. I recall many situations when one of my children felt sincere remorse for a wrongdoing and came to ask for forgiveness.  How can you turn away from that?  How can you not be forgiving?  Unfortunately, we are not all forgiving.  Only God can do that perfectly.  Only He knows the cost of redemption. Still, we are His children – His creation – He loves us unconditionally.  This is a love we neither deserve nor can we earn by anything we do.

Grace and forgiveness go hand in hand.  They are the gifts God doles out to those who place their trust in Him – those who come with true sadness in their hearts and minds for the wrongs they’ve done – those who truly repent and ask for God’s cleansing.

I’m sorry, God.  How many times I’ve said that during my life.  I often wonder if He gets tired of hearing those words.  After a while you’d think He’d give up on us, but He doesn’t.  Like a loving parent, He is always available.  Our forgiveness is guaranteed.  It was won for us at the cross of Calvary, where His only Son took the weight of every sin and gave His life as payment for our redemption.  He then overcame the grave to prove to us that we need have no fear of death, because we will also rise to heaven.

As each year passes, I can’t help but be amazed by this grace – this perfect reaction from my Father, God. Even during difficult times, I am confident that He’s in control. There are days when I pray for heaven to come quickly, but I know that God isn’t finished with me yet.  I pray that he will use me to show others what a gracious God He is.

The world is not the place for me.  I long to be in heaven.
When thoughts like that invade my mind, I need to be forgiven.
God didn’t make me to want death.  He chose me as His own.
He crafted me and knew me before my life was sewn.
Each intricate piece he whittled.  Each vessel put in place.
He had a plan set just for me.  He knew the dreams I’d chase.
And even as my days grow short, and time is running out,
I feel His presence in my life.  Of this I have no doubt.
To live for me is Jesus, no matter where I roam.
I will rejoice to meet Him when He comes to take me home.

KATHY BOECHER

 

 

Posted in Poetry by Kathy Boecher | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

HOW STRONG ARE YOU?

ISAIAH 41:10 ESV  “fear not, for I am with you;
    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

The Winter Olympics are officially underway.  As usual strength is the common denominator for all the athletes.  Will they be able to stand up to the competition?  Will they fall victim to fatigue, mental anxiety, fear?  Or will they triumph over their fellow athletes and excel by winning a coveted piece of metal?

As we go through life our strength is being tested by the minute.  How much more of this COVID virus can we endure?  How will we face the illness if we get it? How can we withstand the isolation and see hope in an unknown future?  Will we ever pass the tests placed before us?  Can we overcome the fear and anger that daily fills our world? Can we overcome grief when it comes?  How can we make it through another day without fearing death?

Those questions are real and raw.  They touch each one of us at some time or another.  They cause us to lose hope and put fear into our hearts.  So where is our hope?  Where can we go to find comfort and strength to carry on?  In the Bible verse above, God clearly tells us that He isn’t going to give us more than we can bear.  He will give us the strength to withstand anything, because He is God.  He is omnipotent and He has already determined our destiny.

You are strong, because God is. 

He is your power source. 

He will never lead you into a situation that you can’t handle. 

Even your death isn’t the end of life. 

Trust in Him.  Put your faith and hope in Him. 

He created you to be unique and different than anyone else on this planet. 

He knows the path you will take. 

He loves you unconditionally and with Him you are more than a winner.

His plans are always for your good.

He will provide answers when you need them.

He is your God, your Brother, your Redeemer, your Friend!

 

 

Posted in aging, America, anxiety, Christian daily devotion, corona virus | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

MAKING WAVES

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

In life we have a quiet voice, that whispers more than screams,

We open up our mouths to speak, our thoughts, our hopes, our dreams,

We take the easy path it seems, when push turns into shove,

We’re stifled by the maddening crowd, when we exhibit love.

 

The trail we leave behind in death, will fade like ripples do,

Eventually our memory, will be forgotten too,

But while we walk upon this orb we still have time to give,

To open up our arms and hearts, to love, be loved and live.

 

Like waves our lives will come and go, they rise and then they fall,

They only last for a brief time, but we can fill them all,

With never ending promises which always are fulfilled.

God’s truth and understanding, His blood for us was spilled.

 

Our lasting heritage will be, not what we did in life,

But how God lived within our hearts and carried us through strife,

How He alone has shown the way, to heaven’s brilliant light,

And gave to us a legacy, to share from dawn to night.

Posted in Art & Poetry by Paul & Kathy Boecher | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

RESTING IN GOD’S WARMTH

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER

The glory of God’s majesty spilled through my window this morning,
Is it a foreshadowing of good things to come?
Alone I sit in its warmth
Wrapped in its glistening light,
Soaking in the rays of heaven,
Feeling God’s presence,
Delighting in His perfection,
There is nothing like looking beyond the snow,
The ice,
The crystallized frost which coats the windows,
Into the depth of God’s warmth,
His comfort,
His strong yet gentle arms,
I rest in the knowledge that even though the thermometer registers below zero,
My heart is warmed by the heat of God’s sun drops,

Posted in Art & Poetry by Paul & Kathy Boecher | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

THE HIDING PLACE

ART & POETRY BY PAUL T. & KATHY BOECHER©

We often seek to hide from God – our sins are much too great,

We tremble at the thought of Him, but He will simply wait,

Until the darkness is too much for us to comprehend,

We’re in so deep, our broken hearts think they will never mend,

But He provides a way for us, His hand is in all things,

He lifts us with His might and strength, Salvation to us brings,

When time for us runs out we think our sins will be revealed,

For all the world to know about, we think our fate is sealed,

But God has different plans for us.  His love will last forever,

He sent his Son to pay the price.  It was His chief endeavor,

He’s with us every moment.  We cannot hide from Him,

How great His love and mercy, our very souls did win,

He washed us clean from all our sin, the victory now is won,

We never have to hide again.  His work has just begun.

So turn your heart to Jesus.  Delight in His great love,

For us He’s granted pardon.  Our home waits up above.

 

Instead of running away from God or trying to hide, run to Him for His restoration.

Posted in aging, America, anxiety, Art & Poetry by Paul & Kathy Boecher | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

JESUS LOVES ME!

On the outside, most of us look pretty normal, but once we get to know each other, the flaws jump out at us like a frog sitting on a hot frying pan.   We can make ourselves look good by taking off some weight, by doing something that will benefit another, or by living frivolously.  Most people are fooled by that disguise, but God can look right into our very souls to determine what’s motivating our behavior.  How comforting to know that despite all the yuck going on inside us, He still loves us.  He doesn’t want us to suffer.  He doesn’t want us to be depressed or unhappy.  We are His creation and He loves us more than we can possibly imagine. 

There is no escaping Him, His direction of our lives or His amazing forgiveness.

Once in while I think we can become our own worst enemy.  We try to accomplish too much, we work harder than we should, we struggle to make payments, we try to be the perfect parent, we set our goals too high, we forget what is really meaningful in our lives.

It all depends on how we look at things.  If we realize that with God all things are possible, the stumbling blocks of life are merely bumps in the road.  If we trust that God has a plan for everything that happens to us, we can be confident that nothing can stop us.

Lord. You have permitted me to live a long life and it’s taken me all of that time to understand that I have put way too much pressure on myself.  Help me to turn things over to you.  You have kept your promise to keep me safe in all my endeavors – to be with those I love – to comfort the hurting and to lean on you.   You love me, even though I’m often unlovable. Be with me again today.  Amen!

Posted in aging, Inspiration | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

SIX INCHES OF FRESH SNOW – WHERE?

Six inches of snow isn’t unusual in my neck of the woods.  We’ve had a steady stream of the white stuff over these past few months.  We no longer go to regular jobs each day, so it’s just a slight inconvenience when we have a snowstorm.  We also have the luxury of having kids that live nearby and come and plow us out when necessary.

You can imagine my surprise when our daughter in South Carolina texted me that they were having a winter storm in her town.  This is really a rarity in the south – especially because they don’t have the necessary equipment to clear roads and being without electricity can also be a problem.  I asked if they even owned a shovel.  She responded that they didn’t, but the snow would probably melt in a day or two. They both work from home so they can wait it out.

On the same day, there was a report of an underwater volcanic eruption that might cause Tsunami winds to attack the west coast.  The weather can create all sorts of havoc in our world.  Since we live right in the middle of the country, we might become the new garden spot of America.  (I’m kidding of course.)  Our weather is changing.  Our climate is in a constant state of flux.  God never changes,

Change comes in the form of weather, environmental, industrial and population growth, but we are a unique species.  We may not always like it.  We may even blame God for our circumstances, but we eventually adapt to change.  Yet God never changes.

God controls our world.  He is in charge of the direction of the wind, the elements of snow and frost, cold and heat, He churns the seas and stirs the lakes with one breath.  The storms that destroy and damage are not because God is mad at us or frustrated with us.  He only cares about us.  Even in those difficult storms He is there to provide help, love, encouragement, strength to get through them and a way out.  He will be with us no matter what, because He never changes.

Psalm 146:16-17  He gives snow like wool;
    he scatters frost like ashes.
He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs;
    who can stand before his cold?

As the world changes, we change – we find different ways of dealing with things – we use our intellect to find solutions – we adapt. We can never outdo the Creator of the Universe.  We cannot outthink Him or find solutions without Him.  He’s in every area of our lives.  He will be with us through all Eternity,  His love endures forever and we can count on that because God is the same today as He was yesterday and will be tomorrow.  He never changes. 

Job 36:27-28  For he draws up the drops of water;
    they distill his mist in rain,
 which the skies pour down
    and drop on mankind abundantly.

 

Posted in aging, America | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

PRESS ON

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 vow 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 us through all these highways in life to prepare us for our final and complete change.  Old age is the portal to that place – but it doesn’t mean the end of our 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 us – some because change is required for our 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 and those I love 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.  Amen!

 

Posted in aging, America, Christian daily devotion, fears | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

THROUGH THE STORMS OF LIFE

Some folks think that becoming a Christian means gaining complete freedom from all our troubles. Not true. In fact, God never promised any of us a rose garden. Well, He gave us a perfect garden, but that was quickly lost when man thought He was smarter than God. We’re going to have difficulty in our lives until we pass into eternity. However, our troubles here on earth don’t have to overwhelm us or send us into a deep depression.

Some “Christians” believe that if you have trouble in your life it is because of something you’ve done to put yourself out of favor with God. God’s mercy is beyond our wisdom. He has placed these trials in our lives to make us stronger and yet completely dependent on Him for help.

Thank you, Lord, for daily strengthening me with your truth. May your gift of peace give me hope to endure each day.   I am confident that you are at my side in all the storms of life as a captain piloting a ship through troubled waters. You are in control and have the ability to conquer the waves that cover me from time to time.  You alone are my source of life and my guide through all of it.  Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

JESUS, SAVIOR, PILOT ME

Lyrics by Edward Hopper

Jesus, Savior, pilot me
Over life’s tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treach’rous shoal;
Chart and compass come from Thee;
  Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

As a mother stills her child,
Thou canst hush the ocean wild;
Boist’rous waves obey Thy will
When Thou say’st to them, “Be still.”
Wondrous Sov’reign of the sea,
  Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

Though death’s valley I may pass,
Still Thy grace will fear surpass;
In Thy presence I will rest,
And, while leaning on Thy breast,
I will hear Thee say to me,
  “Fear not, I will pilot thee.”

 
   
   

 

Posted in aging, God | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

LIFE OR DEATH – TUG OF WAR

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER

The promises of streets of gold and no more tears to shed,
Hope for peace and quiet times – no more fear of falling dead,
The feast that goes on day and night and never fails to please,
A life of independence and of everlasting ease.

Times of quiet contemplation and ever present peace,
Days that wander into nights and joys that will just increase,
The perfect habitation, a heavenly, tranquil space,
A place where you can talk to God and look Him in the face.

Yet life still holds its treasures, it’s so hard to say goodbye,
The people we’ve grown close to, will grieve us when we die,
No more are we connected, beyond fading memories,
That will remain for quite a while, but wither with the trees.

The things that we accomplish here, while we are still alive,
Are still of use as God’s own tools, to help others survive,
Our final rest will come at last when we turn back to dust,
But God has not forgotten us, in that we too can trust.

So use me, Lord and let your love be evident in me,
And while I live and breathe each breath, inspire and set me free,
To do your everlasting will, to serve you without fear,
To treasure life with all its faults, and know that you are near.

Posted in aging, America, anxiety, Art & Poetry by Paul & Kathy Boecher, death | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on LIFE OR DEATH – TUG OF WAR

DON’T WORRY – I’M FINE!

Disclaimer – This post is not intended to offend anyone – only to illustrate.

There are days in my life when worry overtakes me. I often wonder why it’s so much a part of who I am. It might be said that I’m the typical Jewish mother – even though I’m not Jewish. Jesus was, however, and so was His mom, so this may be why He spent a lot of time talking to His people about the dreadful trait of worrying. By the way, Jewish mothers do not have a corner on worry. We gentiles are just as likely to be concerned for our kids. I believe it’s actually a part of a woman’s DNA to fret about things over which she has no control.

It’s easy to tell someone not to worry, but that isn’t going to stop them from doing it. In fact, it might even lead to more worry just thinking about it. Besides, we may not have experienced what the worrier is going through. When you don’t have personal knowledge of something, it’s difficult to advise someone else. Your credibility will definitely come into question.

Jesus walked in our shoes. He knows all our frailties and shortcomings. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus invites us to, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” He isn’t just talking about physical rest. He’s telling us that He gives comfort for our souls as well. He actually allows us to lay our burdens on His large shoulders and He will carry them for us.

I will undoubtedly continue to worry until I die, but my worries don’t have to depress me or dominate my thinking. Thank you, Lord, for giving rest to my weary mind and body, but mostly for relieving the doubts, worries and fears of my soul. Remind me that you are in control of all things and let me rest in that knowledge. Amen!

Posted in aging, anxiety | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

MAN’S BEST FRIEND

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

 

Some days require walking, a trek into the woods,

A quiet, little respite, from cares of every day,

To have a good companion is also very good,

To walk right there beside you, and never from you stray.

 

A warm and furry buddy, who follows every step,

He always listens to you and never says a word,

He trusts in your direction to keep him safely kept,

He stays so closely by you and never is deterred.

 

When life is overwhelming, when we have lost control,

We have a great companion, who fills our every need,

He walks right there beside us when troubles take their toll,

And when our walk grows weary, His strength will intercede.

Posted in Art & Poetry by Paul & Kathy Boecher, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

CAN’T SEE THE FOREST?

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER

I’ve recently been trying to hide from the events of the world by not tuning in the news.  My thinking is that if I don’t have that extra weight hanging on my shoulders, it will free me from the burden.  The truth is, we can’t hide from the world no matter how hard we try.  Even if we were to bury our heads in the sand, someone would come along and kick the sand, causing us to take notice.  We can try to run away to a different place.  We can seek greener pastures. We can flee the city streets, the guns, the drugs and crime, but we are not going to eliminate those things by running from them.  

We do have a means whereby we can escape without ever leaving the comfort of our own space.  Instead of burying our heads, we should look up and reach out to the One who has already carried our load of sin to the cross.  He died for us.  He paid the price.  He redeemed us with His blood and purchased our freedom from death by returning to life and ascending into heaven.  We can look forward to the same after our own death.

God made a promise to His people, right after they fell into sin.  He kept His promise.  He never fails to do so.  We can take that truth to the bank and count on it.  Jesus told His followers to be in the world, but not of it.  That means, we shouldn’t hide from things that occur around us.  We need to be aware, so we can become active in the solving of some of its problems.  It also means that we should not become part of the problem, by participating in the ugliness the world offers.  We can’t escape the news.  It’s part of our world today.  It’s available 24/7 with commentaries and opinions nonstop.  We don’t need to be glued to it every second of that time.  We should remain informed.  We should also be looking for ways to fix it.  We can do that by searching God’s Word for the answers.  He has also promised to be with us in all that we do.  We can be assured of that.

So get your head out of the sand, open your eyes and look up instead of down.  The real joy in this life is waiting up there.

Majestically standing in rows just like soldiers,

With arms reaching up to great heights of the sky,

The trees 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.

 

 

Posted in aging, America, Art & Poetry by Paul & Kathy Boecher | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

ARE YOU IN A RUT?

Are you trapped in a life that seems to be stuck?  I woke up this morning feeling that way.  The sun was streaming through the window and I felt that I must’ve overslept. I woke up wondering what would be my plan for the day?  I thought about it for about two seconds and realized I haven’t really had a plan for a long time.  I get up every morning about the same time.  I brush my teeth (those I have left,) I take my pills and wash my face.  I then spend devotion time with my husband.  After that I take an hour or more working on my blog.  I may or may not have breakfast. By the time I’ve cleaned up the kitchen from the breakfast I did or did not have, it’s time to throw a load of wash in the machine.  By then it’s almost time for lunch.  That’s my morning.  In the afternoons, I will work for an hour or so on my writing, scheduling appointments for myself or my husband and reading.  I then watch some old television show and think about what to prepare for supper.  Once a week I change things up a bit and go grocery shopping.  As for housecleaning, I have a whole different attitude about that now.  This is the life of a retired woman nearing 80.

We never know for sure what each day will bring.  It could provide good news that might affect our financial situation, or it could mean a test result you hadn’t planned on from your doctor’s office.  There will always be interruptions in our same old, same old.  I’ve actually learned that more about that since retiring.  Each day will be filled with some kind of surprise or another.

We could take that information and live like Eeyore, from Winnie the Pooh.  We could walk around with the proverbial cloud hanging over our heads, expecting only the worst or we could plan for those hiccups as turning points in our lives that lead us back to God in prayer.  I, for one, dont like Eeryore’s attitude.  He’s stuck in a rut that has no rescue, because he feels safe there.  There are lots of Eeyore’s in the world right now.  The negative naysayers – the politicians who are trying to control our lives – those who don’t care about laws and order – those who think only of themselves – those who sit in judgment of others – those who feel things will never change – those living in fear of the next pandemic.

On the other hand, we have those who trust in the future and God’s plan for it – who look forward to how they can make a difference in an evil world – who push forward with confidence and hope – those who want to bring joy to a stressed, depressed and hopeless place.  

When you feel that your life isn’t going anywhere – when you feel you’ve come to a dead end – when your career, your marriage, your faith is hanging in the balance – remember that God is the same today as He was yesterday and will be tomorrow.  He has a plan already designed for us.  It’s a future filled with promise and hope for a life everlasting in paradise.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18     “ So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

 

 

Posted in aging, America, anticipation, Christian daily devotion, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

IT’S HARD TO BE HUMBLE

Back in the ’80s, Mac Davis wrote a song called, “Lord, it’s hard to be humble.”  Everyone thought the lyrics were nonsensical, because to be humble means putting yourself on the low end of the totem pole.

Being humble in the 21st century is old fashioned.  We’re told to be proud of our accomplishments – to hold our heads high when we do something that isn’t really out of the ordinary.  We should pat ourselves on the back for simply getting out of bed each day.  Our kids are given awards just for participating in an activity.  We receive bonuses at the end of a year for doing our job and nothing more.  We are told to expect honor because we deserve it.

Humility is seen in someone who is willing to put others before himself – to even give up their lives for them – to do it without receiving acclaim.  Jesus left His throne in heaven.  He became a human being – with emotions and feelings, but without sin.  He led a life of poverty.  He was born of an unwed mother – lived in squalor – was rebuked by the church – mocked and spat upon – nailed to a cross as a common criminal – suffered and died – rose from death on the third day.  He did this, not because He had to, but because of His great love for us.

Let’s start this year with hope for change in the ways of this world,  by learning from our Savior.  When He gave His followers the Beatitudes, the first blessing was to those who were poor in spirit.  That doesn’t mean physically poor.  It means those who show true humility.  We need to tear away the pride that covers our hearts and think of others as He thought of us.

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” 

C.S. Lewis

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

WINTER SCIENCE LAB

Winter blahs, cabin fever, vitamin D deficiency, and wind chill index are all negative terms used for winter. In Minnesota we take winter to a new level by throwing out terms like Winter Carnival, Ice Palace and ice sculptures. In this land of the Norsemen, our hearty people cut a hole in the ice and either jump into it after sitting in a sauna, or sit next to it with a fishing pole waiting for dinner. I guess weather is all in how we look at it.

When you live up north you find ways of enjoying it, such as turning your backyard into a hockey rink; sledding down a steep hill; blowing bubbles into the polar vortex; or curling up with a good book.  If you Google “winter science experiments,” you’ll discover many ways of exploring nature in a whole new way.  With sub zero temperatures, amazing things happen to bubbles that are released into that cold air.  This is a fun activity for you to do with your children, get some fresh air and enjoy God’s creation.  Make sure you stay bundled up while you’re trying these tests, so you don’t get frost bit.  

Just think! In a few months we’ll be complaining about the rain or the water leaking in from the roof which carried too much snow. God gives us our environment as a blessing. Whether we’re happy with it has nothing to do with the gift. We had the opportunity for perfection, but that opportunity was blown when Adam and Eve let their guard down and believed the lies of the devil. It ain’t perfect, but we do have the God given talents to make the best of it. God provides the beauty and the elements.

Posted in Family, God, parenting, snow, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments