LUKE SIX – BLESSED WORDS

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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.

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BIG GIRLS DO CRY

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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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WISDOM

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

Dear, Lord,

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

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ALONE TIME WITH GOD

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Where is the quiet place that you are longing for?

Is it in those empty times when waiting to do more?

Can you find contentment in the solitude of living?

Or does is come in simpler ways, like doing and forgiving.

God comes to us in many ways and most times when it’s silent,

But listen hard and you will hear His voice in every moment.

He whispers when we’re troubled, he soothes when we’re in pain,

You’ll see Him in creation, his voice is clear and plain.

He’s in the heat of summer and when the leaves do fall,

And in the cold of winter, you’ll hear His personal call.

When spring’s refreshing waters wash most everything in sight,

You’ll hear is voice assure you of His overpowering might.

Within the busy moments of life’s demanding pressures

He opens up His altar and He shares His greatest treasures.

Each moment He’s available to answer every prayer,

Just open up your heart to Him and He will be right there.

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THE PRAYER CLOSET

“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:6

My novel, “Until Our Dying Day,” is still in the editing process and may not ever be published until my dying day, but one of the female protagonists uses the woods as her prayer closet. When things become overwhelming for her, she ventures out the back door and into the forest to talk with God. As time progresses, her husband has a stroke and requires her constant care, so she moves her prayer sanctuary to a closet in an upstairs bedroom. We may all need a quiet place just to be with God for a while – a place where we can express our frustration, our fears, our sadness, our depression, our anger to the only One who understands what we are going through. Putting yourself alone with the Creator of the universe can give you such a sense of peace, knowing that He is truly listening to you in that moment.

I don’t have a woods to run to . I do have a large closet which could be converted into a prayer room, but right now it’s full of clutter – much like I am. Even though my husband and I are the only ones who inhabit our house, there are times when I want to scream a prayer or let God know I’m angry. I need a woods, a closet, a space dedicated to those moments – outside the earshot of anyone else. Of course our prayers can be said within any room or any place, but the fact that we have access to God at the drop of a hat is really astounding to me. I tend to talk to Him a lot throughout the day. The tiny conversations we have are usually one sided and concern my needs. We’re invited by God Himself to reach out to Him and He will hear our prayers. We shouldn’t feel as though we’re taking advantage or giving up by going to Him. He loves hearing from us, no matter where we are.

The beauty of a prayer closet is that you are in a quiet place, thinking only about your talk with Him. You don’t have anyone else to answer to. Your focus is tuned into His Words back to you and His Word spoken to you through the Bible.

When Jesus came to earth in the flesh of a man, we had God physically with us for a time. He is coming back again and we can look forward to meeting Him face to face. He faced the temptations thrown at Him in the wilderness and used scripture to support Himself. We have those words today, to get us through – to overcome the devil and all his wickedness. When we pray, it should be a time dedicated to God alone, whether it’s with fellow Christians in church, or in that quiet place we’ve designated for that purpose.

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I GOT SHOT

I grew up in a day and age when vaccinations were commonplace. Before we entered school we were already immunized against small pox, DPT and later Polio, Measles and Mumps. For a while there, I was a pin cushion. When my husband entered the Air Force he was again stabbed with an assortment of live bacteria to protect his immune system against diseases he might, but probably wouldn’t encounter. So for us, getting a shot isn’t anything new. However, there has been a lot of confusion over this newest of vaccines against COVID19. By the time everyone is vaccinated, the vaccine itself will probably be obsolete. Since I’m not a scientist, but often feel like a sheep being led to the slaughter, it’s really not up to me to make any evaluation. However, last Friday, my husband and I spent our date night doing our part for America and we got our COVID shots.

That night I had a series of dreams which included a herd of buffalo stampeding by the thousands and falling off a cliff. I dreamt of growing additional body parts, becoming encrypted with a chip which would decipher all my thoughts, words and deeds. I felt remorse over getting the shot, but felt a bit patriotic for doing so. The next day, I was exhausted. I thought it might be a side effect from the shot, but now believe it was because of all the dreams and sleeplessness of the night before. I don’t have any additional appendages. I’m still upright and alive. I didn’t fall off a cliff, although I still wonder if herd immunity is nothing more than a herd of the blind following the leader who also happens to be blind.

This pandemic has put my creative juices into overdrive and my imagination has always been a little over the edge anyway, so nothing new is really going on. Since I grew up being punctured with various vaccines, I don’t feel this is any different than what I grew up with. I’ll let you know further when the rash clears up and I stop coughing.

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SATURDAY SILLINESS – AGING

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AGING WITH A PURPOSE

OK, maybe you really aren’t into muscle bound firemen or knitting, but you are growing older every day and there should be a purpose for all of it. Every event in our lives has led us to this point. All the struggles, roadblocks and disappointments have brought you here. You might as well make the most of each one of those barriers. We have become weaker physically, but so much stronger in our readiness for heaven. We can hardly wait for this chapter to end, but there are still some opportunities to enjoy the time we have left.

My husband and I have been going through this process of aging since we were fifteen years old. We became friends in high school and still find humor in most everything we do. I truly believe that’s what has kept us going in even the worst of times. We laugh together. We joke with each other. We find humor in the little things of life. I was the first to show signs of aging. Coming from along line of wrinkled women, I began to shrivel up at the age of thirty. The irony of wrinkling I guess. He has always had a young face and even now he looks younger than me. Of course he has a full beard which covers most of his face. His eyes still twinkle like a man of twenty. Especially now since he’s had the cataracts removed.

He used to make me laugh with silly antics, like gearing up with scuba diving equipment to tackle a leaky basement. He’s worn his underwear on his head – not because he didn’t know any better – just to make me laugh. Thank heavens it was always clean. Our laughter has taken on new form these days. For example – we live in a two story old farm house. He still uses the upstairs to sleep. I have difficulty getting up those steps, so I sleep downstairs. He has reverted to coming down the stairs backwards because it’s easier for him. Since he has years of hunting under his belt, he knows how to enter a room quietly and has often scared the bejeebers out of me in the process. Lately, as he comes down the stairs, he’s started to make beeping sounds kind of like a truck going in reverse. The surprise element is no longer there, but at least now we have something else to laugh about. He’s also developed a new way to play croquet. He set course up so that there is a seating arrangement at every hoop. That way you can sit and talk for a while in between shots.

Let me tell you, I’ve done my share of funny things as well, but we’ll save that for another day. My point with this post is to let you know that once you become an aging adult, it doesn’t mean you go into hibernation for the rest of your life. Humor can keep us going indefinitely. At least it’s been the glue that makes life interesting. Even when the highlight of your week is getting your first COVID19 vaccination at the same time – our Friday night date.

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WORKING TOGETHER

ART & INSPIRATION BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

The Mark Twain story of how Tom Sawyer got his friends to do his work for him, is that of an entrepreneurial young man.  He made the job so appealing that his friends were even willing to give him something in exchange for a shot at that worn out fence.

Some would call Tom a con artist.  Maybe he was.  I think he was simply using common sense. When something looks like fun, chances of wanting to participate are much greater than if it looks like work.

Do you suppose if we made homework look more like a video game, kids would be more willing to do it?  Or how about chores around the house?  If mopping the floor or dusting the furniture was completely choreographed with show tunes and flashy dances, would we be more willing to do those things?  What about team work?  Could we use these same tactics to build communication skills and problem solving?

Get out those paintbrushes and mend the fence.  If we start working together and sharing the responsibility, maybe we can get through some of the messes of today.  It’s worth a shot.

“In America, we hurry–which is well; but when the day’s work is done, we go on thinking of losses and gains, we plan for the morrow, we even carry our business cares to bed with us…we burn up our energies with these excitements, and either die early or drop into a lean and mean old age at a time of life which they call a man’s prime in Europe…What a robust people, what a nation of thinkers we might be, if we would only lay ourselves on the shelf occasionally and renew our edges!”
– The Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain

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ALL THINGS LIVING

When my now 25 year old grandson was about three, he created his first book. He loved listening to his grandpa talk about nature and would often search under rocks to observe the insects. Because he started learning about the value of life, even at that young age, when I actually stepped on an ant he was devastated. I had killed a living thing. This young man is now teaching English in South Korea. We’re very proud of him and his journey as we are with all of our grandkids, but this ant adventure got me thinking about how we really do need to enjoy all of God’s creation, even the tiniest of them.

I love digging in the dirt.  I think it started when I was a little girl making mud pies. I’d form the dirt into little cakes, place them on a china plate and cover them with sprinkles.  The dog enjoyed the topping, but it stopped there.  As my years went by, I took a vacation from making mud pies, but when our children grew I took to the dirt again.  I terraced an entire hill over the course of 24 years and planted an assortment of perennials so the grass would never have to be cut again from that steep incline. I often became one with the dirt as I traversed across the expanse.  My neighbors watched, hoping I might tumble down and provide some entertainment.  I unwillingly obliged a few times.

As I was pulling some nasty little weeds, I happened to observe a tiny ant trying to move a leaf almost three times its size.  It amazes me how God provides strength and determination to the very smallest of His creation.  The ant struggled and finally picked up speed until he came to an obstacle, which was a tough one for him to overcome.  He pushed and came at the road block with fervor but lack of strength.  In the meantime, another ant saw an opportunity and sped over to steal the leaf.  The two appeared to take each other on, but the conflict lasted only a couple seconds.  Suddenly the two of them were behind the leaf, side by side, pushing  it over the bump and on to its destination.

I wondered what they said to one another and how quickly they resolved their problem.  I learned some valuable lessons from those little creatures.  They not only communicate with each other, but they know how to solve problems without killing each other.  They instead chose to work together for the good of both of them.  Their work ethic is also amazing.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we could be more like those little insects?

My grandson no longer considers me a murderer, but he did have a good point. Everything under heaven has been created by God for a purpose. Even the tough obstacles we face each day. If God takes care of the smallest of His creatures, how much more can he do through us? When we help others or they are of help to us, we’ve got the perfect partnership, especially when God is the CEO.

“Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.
Without having any chief officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer
    and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
    When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber,
     a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
    and want like an armed man.
”  Proverbs 6:6-11

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LONGING FOR SUMMER

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Thinking of warm summer days, I pulled these paintings out of the archives for your enjoyment. Another look at life on the river.

Like ships in the night, we pass through this life,
We’re tossed and oft crushed by the waves,
We sometimes sail peacefully then there comes strife,
It seems not a single one saves.

We enter a harbor protected and safe,
It cradles and calms all our fears,
A sweet sanctuary, a place to call home,
Unbound by sheer terror or tears,

Still waters there greet us, He’s waiting to meet us,
The Savior and King of the world,
No more shall we struggle our path is made clear,
His cloak of salvation unfurled.

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GOD CAN MELT THE EARTH

Psalm 46:6  – “Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; – Bible Gateway. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall, he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

What a picture! All around us there are wars and rumors of wars. People continue to fight over borders and greed turns men into vultures, but all God has to do is open His mouth and everything will be gone. This is power no man can comprehend. So they try to figure things out on their own.. They rely on their reason and intellect to solve the problems of this world. Wouldn’t it be easier to let the Lord of the Universe and all creation, take the reins? With Him as our champion, we have nothing to fear. Help us to come to you,

Heavenly Father, for all our earthly needs. Help us also to be comforted by the fact that you ARE in control and this world is only our temporary home. AMEN!

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IT’S GONNA BE A GREAT DAY!

When you reach the winter of life, every day is a gift. Even in times of crisis, in days of distress, mourning, loss, anger, there is good in each of them. Being in the season of Lent, we are to look inward. We should become aware of our sinful nature and hearts that have grown cold over time. We should ask God for forgiveness and to give us a fresh start. It is a time of repentance, humility, sacrifice, and realizing how much we need a Savior. Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness before beginning His ministry and this can serve as an example for us for observing this season if we’re doing it for the right reasons.

Matthew 6:16-18 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,  that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

As followers of Christ, we should try to live as He did when He walked the earth. Because we are by nature sinners, this is next to impossible but through His unconditional love, we have the knowledge that He has done it all for us. Still we should observe this season with reverence to our God and out of obedience to Him.

We are now in a time when we need to hear the Gospel message more than ever. We feel like lost sheep in search of green pastures. We long for face to face contact – touch – fellowship – friendship – family. We are a hurting people in need of something far greater than any vaccination – a balm for healing our hearts, our sadness, our longing, our feelings of hopelessness. If we’re going through the motions of giving up, fasting, worshipping publicly, in order to look good in the eyes of our fellow man, we’re mistaking the true meaning of repentance. In fact, the act of church attendance is not what’s going to save us, nor is our sincerity, our pride, our knowledge, or our acts of contrition. Only the sacrifice made by Jesus/God Himself will bring about our salvation.

Yes we should look inward. We can study God’s Word for the truth. We can share the love that God has shown us with others. We can be grateful for each morning we’re given. Our time on this planet spans a very short period of time. What we do with those moments are important, but they aren’t going to buy a place in eternity. Only Jesus can make every day a great day, because He has given us eternal life.

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GETTING BY

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

With every passing day, I feel you close beside me.

You watch each step I take, and perfectly you guide me.

And when my feet should stray – when things get in my way –

You pick me up and carry me through each and every day.

Temptations all around – distracting and confusing,

The world deters my thoughts, but through it you are using,

My simple mind, my childlike faith, my heart, my soul, my all,

To share your love with others – to hear your righteous call.  

My life is just a breath, but it will never end.

You’ve given up your life for me.  You are my dearest friend.

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DOES BEING A CHRISTIAN GUARANTEE SMOOTH SAILING?


Why do bad things happen to good people? It’s a hard question to answer in a world that’s full of ugliness, hunger, pain, inhumanity, brutal death or hardship. It’s especially hard to answer for a Christian, because it may be assumed that we go through life without any of that, or that we are oblivious to it.

I wonder why some people have it all and others just scrape by. I hurt inside when I think of all the blood shed in countries living under cruel oppression. My heart aches when I hear of acts of a deranged mind taking the lives of others. Tears fall when a young person dies. When undeserved pressures plague those who trust in God, I wonder where God is in all of this.

God is in control of everything that happens in our universe. He placed the stars in the heavens and created all life that exists here. He planted each seed to grow and nourish His children. He provides for our daily bread – even when it’s just a crumb. On the other side of the coin – from the beginning of time, we’ve been disobedient to God. What we deserve is punishment, but God loves us and doesn’t want us to suffer. He provides a way for us. That WAY is Jesus. The ransom required was paid in full by Him. Our sin no longer holds us in chains. He’s given us the victory.

This world isn’t our permanent home. What’s waiting for us on the other side of eternity is where life begins. We’ve been given this time to grow our relationship with God. It’s a time for us to share our love for Him with others – to serve Him, by serving others – to face difficulties with Him as our counselor – to look forward to freedom from all the troubles of this world.

God is faithful and His love endures forever – even in times of trouble. That’s truth we can count on!

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MAKE ROOM FOR JESUS

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

In our busy lives, time can become so full of things to do and plans to be made, that we often forget time for our Savior. What if He hadn’t left the comfort of heaven, the power of His throne, the majesty of His domain to die for us? Be sure to find time for Him. He has so much to offer.

Fears, depression, loss of hope, destitute, paralyzed,

Lost, lonesome, anxious, set aside, deterred,

Uncertain, worried, in the wilderness,

Yet, even then, we are surrounded by the love of God,

His might acts as a protective shield,

His power defends us against all enemies,

All of our negative thoughts disappear,

Our hope is restored, our faith renewed,

Knowing that we will never walk alone,

We will feel His presence,

As He enfolds,

Caresses,

Spreads His powerful wings over us,

He conquered death itself,

So we,

Could,

Live.

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THE GOOD OLD DAYS

I have to admit, Paul and I go way back. Maybe not this far, but our time together has been filled with ups and downs and wonderful memories like most marriages that occurred in the fifties and sixties. Marriage is looked upon in a different way today, but for us old fogies, we knew what was ahead, in spite of of innocence and foolishness. We muddled through the good and the bad, because it meant something to us – something that would last a lifetime. Reality has shown me that had we known what we would’ve endured in all our time together, we might have had second thoughts about ever entering into marriage, but aren’t the really important things in life worth fighting for?

Paul claims to be an 1800s man living inside of twentieth century body. He loves the primitive things in life like camping, hiking, trips of retreat into the woods, whittling on a stick and watching the clouds go by. He loves making things out of nothing. His inventive spirit led him through a life in the advertising business where his ideas were put to good use, but his heart would be much happier on the back of a horse riding through the mountains. I’m a city girl. Having moved several times during my young life, I longed for a home that would be in the same location with all the amenities. I preferred a vacation at the Holiday Inn to sleeping under the stars. I liked the idea of civilization and consistency.

Somehow the two of us managed to find common ground. The good old days, however, were not always so good. There were bills to pay, babies to care for, a mortgage, a few job changes, staying at home as a mom, finding the way through some very dark times. Yet our commitment to each other was always there.

This post isn’t about marriage really. What I hoped to convey is that the good old days are going to be days of today for our children and grandchildren. Every generation thinks theirs is the best. Each generation knows that isn’t true. There are always going to be flaws in the image. Our memories of what life was, soon get glossed over and we forget about the crud that occurred some 40, 50 or 60 years ago and we move on. When we walk with Jesus, every day is good even in times of trouble.

THESE ARE THE GOOD OLD DAYS!

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HOW MAJESTIC IS HIS NAME . . .

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER

Over the clear, pure waters of a natural spring – His hand is there.

Within the pinnacles and crags of each mountain – His gentle whisper is heard.

In the quiet of a desert – the turmoil of a sandstorm – He is the oasis that gives relief.

The wind can stir and be still at His command – fires and floods cannot consume Him.

The ocean offers no threat to Him, though waves rage and overpower others.

He knows my inner being. He can sense each pain in my heart. He feels my pain.

He has suffered with me and yet He has brought me peace in suffering.

He loves me with an enduring love unknown to man – perfect – without conditions.

He is my God – the Everlasting Father – the King of Grace.

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A SMALL GALLERY SHOW

ART BY PAUL BOECHER

Today I’m sharing some of Paul’s work simply for your enjoyment. No words can describe, so I will leave that up to you.

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YOU HAVE SUCH A FEBRUARY FACE

February in Minnesota, usually conjures up what is commonly known as “Cabin Fever.” Since we went into lockdown almost a year ago, this February is just more of the same. Cabin fever has been the norm for most of us during this time. February can create long faces or give the glory of God’s creation a fresh new look with lots of snow to play in. That is if you can still play.

When you’re a child, fresh snow that’s perfect for making snow forts and snowballs is delightful. When you’re beyond 70 it brings added aches and pains, anticipation of more and sadness that you can’t help in the removal of it. When our lives reach the winter of our existence, it’s even harder to put on a happy face. For one thing, our faces have been frozen into blank expressions. Our eyes have lost their sparkle. Our bodies just can’t keep up anymore.

This year I don’t think the elderly are the only ones that feel that way. We’re all experiencing the effects of a long winter season – much longer than any of us had ever anticipated. For a year we’ve been promised relief in a couple weeks or a month or two. We’re in a sort of desert period at the moment – spending time in the wilderness. This should be a time for us to contemplate, create, make future plans, look at our lives – repent of our wrongdoing and turn our cares over to God. Instead we’ve turned into impatient, frustrated, angry and often hostile individuals.

In spite of the pandemic, I think we all struggle through the mounds of crud in our lives every single day. We often face obstacles one right after the other, but God does have a purpose for all of it. Still it isn’t easy getting through those difficulties alone. When God is our strength, we can endure just about anything.

Dear Consistent God,

You have blessed me with another day of life. I thank you for that and for the opportunity to share my love for you with others. You are the only reason for living, because you give purpose to everything we do here on this planet. You’ve already established a plan for my life and for all your creation. I am part of that big picture, just as everyone of my fellow men and women. We cannot make it through the seasons of life without you. You alone are our strength and inspiration. Your love comes with no strings – it’s unconditional and forgiving. Thank you for all your blessings. AMEN!

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THE FIELDS ARE RIPE

ART & POETRY BY KATHY BOECHER©

His life was a mess. He was tattered and torn, still he slowly approached the door,

He had lost every hope. He was broken and worn. Yet he felt there had to be more,

With all of his might, with his life now exposed, he trembled within and without,

His right hand now raised, with fist tightly closed, he knocked for someone to come out.

His hand shook in fear as he heard a voice speak; “What do you want, my son?

His heart beat so fast and his courage grew weak. He stuttered, “I shouldn’t have come.”

Before he could leave, he listened once more to the comfort he gained from the voice,

“Confess and have faith, I’ll open the door, it’s up to you now – it’s your choice.”

The words were too easy. There had to be more, but still he couldn’t resist

Unworthy to speak to this merciful man, he finally checked off his list.

“The path I’ve been on took me into despair, I don’t deserve anything good,

The folks that I’ve hurt, they no longer care. I’m alone and misunderstood.”

“I’ve nowhere to turn, I need to confess. I simply must empty my heart.

Please let me come in. I’m in such distress. My life could use a new start.” 

The door slowly opened, with hands stretched out wide. Wounds still remaining there,

And then he invited the poor soul inside and released him from all of his care.

“My child, I’ve been waiting for you to come home. Now stay right beside me today

For now and forever you’ll never more roam. In my house is a room – please stay,

With tears in his eyes, the man fell to his knees, he knew he was where he should be,

For once he was blind, but now he could see. With this man he finally felt free.

“Now don’t be afraid, just listen to me, I’ve something important to say,

Your road has been hard – I’ve been there, you see, but you have returned today.

I have heard your request, I know all your needs. All you had to do was come back.

I love you, my son, I’ve erased your misdeeds. Your soul is no longer black.”

God loves everyone and he wants every soul to dwell in heaven some day,

Simply seek, knock and ask – He will open the door and wash all our sins away,

Praise God for salvation and serve others too. He wants you to share this good news,

Go and love one another, lay your troubles on Him, you really have nothing to lose.

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

THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT

SATURDAY MATINEE AT THE MOVIES

What do you see in this photograph from the 1950s? To me, it’s a memory of Saturdays in my childhood. Each of those days would find me and every other kid in the neighborhood using our hard earned allowance to purchase a ticket to an all day matinee filled with fun – watching the same movie at least twice – newsreels – cartoons and previews of coming attractions. The theatre was packed with kids and we always met new friends by the time the curtain closed. There was almost as much interaction going on in the theatre seats as there was on the screen.

Movie theatres in those days were masterpieces. They were decorated with gilded cherubs and frightening gargoyles. The velvet curtain was red and spanned the entire width of the theatre. There was only one room which held a thousand screaming kids, tossing popcorn and consuming lots of sugar – a perfect prescription for chaos. By the time we were finished with our Saturday adventure, we undoubtedly left the building much slower than we entered. The soles of our shoes were coated with spilled soda pop and JuJuBees as popcorn stuck in our hair. What a day of fun.

It was the perfect, cheapest way to entertain your children on a Saturday. You didn’t have to worry about them being abducted. Just give them a dollar and they’d have the time of their life while their parents attended to shopping, house cleaning, fixer upping or just spending some quiet time alone.

I learned some valuable lessons in the seats of that old theatre. I watched episodic adventures that beckoned us to return the next week to see what would happen next. I enjoyed the technicolor movies the best and when Cinemascope came along it was like being right inside the screen. Great story plots unfolded, some not so great. Musicals took us to a different world where people burst into song and dance for no particular reason. The elaborate epics led to productions that continued to outdo each other. The noir mysteries were enticing too. I learned phrases like, “you dirty rat – I wouldn’t give you the skin off a grape – Well, you’re about as romantic as a pair of handcuffs – With my brains and your looks, we could go places.” I wasn’t sure what any of those phrases meant, but they taught me how to do a good Brooklyn accent. The beginning of my actor training. Watching all those stars like, Bogart, Bacall, Cary Grant, Hedy Lamar, John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, made me long to be a star myself one day.

When we got home from the movies, we’d spend the evening listening to the radio. I guess we were bound to entertainment as much as the kids are today. It’s just a slightly different media. Although I have to admit, I’ve returned to those old movies in this time of isolation. They give me a feeling of belonging I guess. Kind of like a security blanket. What goes around come around. I think I heard that in a movie.

Posted in corona virus, Humor, inspiration., Nostalgia, nostalgia | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

WHO CAN CHANGE THE CLIMATE?

In the book of Job, chapter 26 the suffering man Job speaks about the way God appears in nature and the power He controls, summing it all up in verse 14,“Behold, these are but the outskirts of His ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?”

Posted in America, Climate change | Tagged , | 3 Comments