SEASONS

img_0001

ORIGINAL ART & INSPIRATION FROM PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Each day holds its own beauty and glory, but many of them can be filled with trial, pain, discouragement and all the negatives that come along with living.  God reminds us that each day was created by Him.  We therefore should consider them as another chance for us to share the wonderful news of the Gospel with others.

Fall is the perfect time for seeds and bulbs to go into the ground.  They are sometimes placed by human hands or machines.  Seeds can be carried by the wind or birds and animals.  God provides the natural mulch which covers and protects them over the cold winter months.

During this time of dormancy, God may use them as food for foraging animals or He might allow them a needed rest so they can be ready for rebirth in the spring.

When spring arrives they burst their little heads through the softened, moisturized soil and once again come to life.

Summer can take its toll on these infant lives as the heat of the sun and countless storms batter against them.

Our days are like that too.  For a time we grow dormant.  We find ourselves wearing out and caving under the pressure of life.  We struggle to survive.  We sometimes give up and fall apart.  The enduring winter seems as though it will never end and then we receive the tender touch of our Lord and Savior and are again reborn through Him.

Dear Lord, thank you for giving us the seasons to enjoy.  Your beauty is everywhere in every day and in every breath we breathe.  Help us remember that no matter what trials come to us – you are there.  When things are running smoothly – you are there.  When we think there is no hope – you are also there.  I praise and thank you for your faithfulness.

Posted in art, Christian daily devotion, inspiration., Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

HAS THE DREAM DIED?

martin-luther-king-jr_-1968

quote-from-every-mountainside-let-freedom-ring-and-when-this-happens-and-when-we-allow-freedom-to-martin-luther-king-jr-307452

Have we changed at all in these past 50 years?  Is that mountainside ringing out freedom for all races and religions?  Are we still battling the hatred and anger against one another, rather than learning to live together as brothers?

When Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke these words our country was consumed with racism.  The call for freedom went unheeded for a long time and the people came together to raise the call again.

Today we hear the cry, “black lives matter” or “all lives matter” and still the problem of racism fills our streets with protests, acts of violence on both sides and more of a rift than there ever was between law enforcement and the common man. Now it seems that evil has replaced good and being part of any service vocation is now frowned upon.

Respect for life is not limited to the black race.  We have problems with unborn lives not mattering.  There is concern for the homeless, the poor, the aging.  Christianity is taking a huge hit  and the “church” has become an extension of society by falling to popular social issues and looking for a place to be entertained rather than to be forgiven.

So many strides were made in the last half century towards reunite our nations and I’m sure Dr. King would be sad to see what is going on today. Freedom never comes without a cost.  Thankfully I have a Savior who has immersed Himself in all the yuck of this world and taken it to the grave to be buried at the foot of the cross.  Now there is true freedom – not because of what we’ve done, but what He did for the world.

To soar with the eagles no matter how high,
To reach all my goals or at least I can try,
To try and to fail but never give up,
to turn to my God to fill my cup,
To speak what I feel without fear of dissension,
To believe what I choose without intervention,
To live without fear and to follow my dreams,
To love and be loved with a peace that redeems.
The only thing needful for freedom that’s true
Is to love one another as Jesus loved you.

KATHY BOECHER©

 

Posted in Christian daily devotion, Dreams, Martin Luther King, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SACRED TEARS

sacred-tears

As we grow older, we expect to attend more and more funerals.  This life is short, but for those who have been purchased and ransomed by God’s own Son, it doesn’t end there

Today we’re attending a funeral of a young man, aged 31, who left a wonderful wife and two darling little girls behind.  He also left his parents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles and a whole congregation who watched him grow into a man.  He was the son of our pastor and wife.  Many tears will be shed – not for Tim, but for those he leaves behind.  We know that this child of God is now in paradise enjoying the benefits of heaven.

Still hearts are broken and tears will fall.  In this sadness, I ask that God gives comfort to this family.  The grief will eventually wane, but the memories of this man will live on through his great legacy – his wife and children.

When we are sad, when hearts are breaking,

We need to be wrapped in the protection of God’s holy wings,

Each pinion gently lays over us – cuddling and nurturing,

The softness and strength are overwhelming,

He breathes His presence upon us and gives new life,

He speaks and we are comforted,

His touch is gentle yet full of amazing power,

His steadfastness feeds us – nourishes our souls – guards us from all evil,

His love is unfailing.  A love so great that it’s indescribable,

His compassion is equal to His might,

We will never be alone as long as He is with us,

Whether in hopeless moments or times of joy,

Lord, be in our hearts, minds and understanding.

Be with us in life so that we will know you fully when we meet you after death.

 

Posted in Christian devotions, Heaven, peace, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

WHY DID GOD ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN?

22-quotes-about-grief-670x300

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’s 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, and the payment he made for our transgressions.

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!

Posted in Christian daily devotion, hope, life after death, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

BESIDE STILL WATERS

fullsizerender-10

ORIGINAL ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

 

Slowly crossing the sands of time –  into a pasture green sublime,

I’ll rest my feet and wet my lips, with waters clear and cold that grips,

Through danger I will walk with Him.  He guards me from each foolish sin,

He takes my hand and leads me now, to comfort me and show me how.

to live my life and live it right and when I stray He sets me right,

When my own final hour comes near, I’ll face my death with no more fear.

I’ll trust in His unfailing love – which He bestows from up above.

With Him in paradise I’ll live.  He promised me He did forgive

each one of my transgressions.

 

Posted in art, Christian daily devotion, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

ANOTHER FUNNY PARENTING STORY

the-completed-pinata

This is another actual event that occurred when I was doing a “sort of good job” being a parent. Many of the events that happen during this time of life are really hilarious after the fact, but my thoughts of ever achieving the Mother of the Year Award, quickly waned after this one.  Funny things happen to me all the time. Either that or I’m not all there and everything just seems funny.

My youngest daughter brought an assignment home to finish for her art class. It was made of paper mâché and when it dried completely, she was able to paint it. She was very proud of her work. It was really cute and she put extra effort into making it worthy of a good grade.

Everyone turned in for the night and the little paper mâché sculpture sat unconcerned on the kitchen counter.

It was one of those nights when I semi-woke up and wandered aimlessly into the kitchen. I wasn’t fully conscious. This wasn’t unusual since I was often found sleep walking. The house was dark. There wasn’t a sound to be heard except the growling coming from my stomach. Even though I was in a dream state, I felt the pangs of hunger.

My hands reached out in the darkness and landed on the dog art. Slowly I lifted the innocent victim to my lips. I opened my mouth and my eyes. It looked like dark chocolate, but it didn’t smell like it. It didn’t smell like anything. My pearly whites wrapped themselves around the morsel and bit down.

It was one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever tasted. I immediately woke, spit the tidbit into the garbage, rinsed my mouth out with water and went back to bed.

The next morning I was sharply awakened by screams coming from my youngest child. I ran to see what happened and there she was with the decapitated dog in her hand.

I had a hard time explaining the truth to my family and to her teacher.  Imagine have to explain that I had eaten her homework.

This event took place about 35 years ago. But we still laugh about it. Finding humor in unlikely situations can make you look like a real idiot or it can help you keep your sanity.

 

Posted in Children, Humor, parenting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

LAUGH WITH YOUR CHILDREN

f-scotland-queen-a-20140906.jpg

This isn’t what I was thinking when I searched for an image to go along with my post, but it does address what I’m saying.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Queen of England yucking it up with her kid, but there it is.

As we continue to look at parenting this week, I can’t help mentioning the subject of laughter and humor.  Parenting is no laughing matter, but if you don’t have a good sense of humor, you will soon wind up in the loony bin along with a lot of other parents.

I remember an occasion when I’d purchased some yummy looking cream puffs as a special treat for the family.  They burned a pretty good hole in the weekly budget.  Upon the first bite, it was obvious that they weren’t as good as they looked.  What ensued would raise some eyebrows.  I don’t know who exactly started it, but whipped cream was flying all over the place and cream puff shells became ballistic missiles.  We eventually took the hilarious pie slinging outside, but in the meantime our dog was having a blast in the house with the uneaten dessert.

This isn’t something I’d normally condone, but we laughed and laughed for quite a while during and after this episode.  It was spontaneous, genuine laughter that left our sides and faces hurting.

I’m not advocating food fights, but I strongly encourage laughter in your home. It’s good for kids to see your humorous side – your ability to have fun – your humanity.  Of course there still has to be that balance of being the one in charge or the family clown.

It makes us feel good to laugh.  There’s nothing like the sound of a child’s laughter, other the toothless guffaw from an older adult.  Somewhere in between, we sometimes forget the power of a good laugh.

Our world is too full of pain, trials, misunderstandings, hatred, fear and every other negative out there.  So much energy is spent on it, that there’s barely time for a good belly laugh.  When we get mired in the humdrum of the every day, no amount of Botox is going to lift that face.

There are days when you think you’ll never survive. There are bills to pay, teeth to straighten, educations to plan for – did I mention bills to pay? The investment is huge, but the end result is more than worth it.

“There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

When God is at the head of the family, we’re giving our children the roots they need to stand firm against adversity, courage to live each day with confidence, the hope of a never ending life and wings to someday fly straight to heaven where we will all be reunited again.

 

 

Posted in Christian daily devotion, Humor, parenting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

DAYS OF OUR YOUTH

img_0191-2

ORIGINAL ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

 

What happened to days of our untethered youth

When what was required depended on truth?

When worries were few and troubles unknown,

What happened from then to the life I have sown?

 

Our days filled with moments both carefree and fun,

Too quickly we find nothing under the sun,

Will satisfy fully or give us true peace,

We watch as our hope and delight now decrease.

 

Time passes in torrents. In storms it does fly.

Our laughter we mourn and often we cry.

Our tears fill up rivers, our moans sear the air,

Hearts often give up and give way to despair.

 

We come to our God with bruises and scars,

Of bludgeoning wounds which surpass all the stars.

It’s then God completes the work that He’s done.

Our youth then returns as the victory is won.

 

We come to Him broken and clinging to life,

We come when we no longer can bear the strife.

At last we let go and let God do His best.

Through Him in our place, we can pass every test.

 

He gives us new life even though we are old,

Our time weathered bodies completely unfold,

Into perfectly formed and beautifully made,

He washes with blood for my sins He has paid.

 

Our new life comes quickly. The old passes by,

And we become new on the day that we die,

The breath comes from heaven and God’s only Son,

Old bodies renewed, His work is now done.

Posted in art, Christian daily devotion, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GRIEF

fullsizerender-11

ORIGINAL ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Eyes welling up with tears,

Hearts broken,

Aloneness,

Empty,

Cold,

Bitter,

Angry,

The light fades,

Days grow shorter,

Winter engulfs your world,

Sleep comes,

Followed by depression,

Fear,

Loss,

All these will soon pass away,

Life continues, even when death comes,

If you believe,

If you are connected,

If you know what God has accomplished for you,

Eternity awaits,

In the darkness,

One light,

One small glimmer,

Faith growing,

Confidence building,

Life goes on,

 

 

 

Posted in art, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

INVESTING IN YOUR CHILDREN

charlesrswindoll106981

I have a tendency to try and fix things.  When people are sick, hurting in any way, lacking confidence, wanting to succeed – I feel responsible for taking care of all of that.  I often overload myself with these cares and eventually it becomes overwhelming.

I’m a grandma now to three of the most amazing people you will ever meet. I know that every grandma feels this way, but  being a grandparent is like being given a second chance at fixing what you messed up as a parent.

Every parent regrets something about their child rearing.  They wish they’d spent more quality time with their children.  They hope they did enough to plant the seed of God’s Word in their hearts.  We blame ourselves for a child’s bad choices or rebellious natures.  Was I too hard on them?  Did I expect too much?  Did I love them enough?

Even after they begin a new life without you in it, the parenting will remains.  I still think about my children when they’re traveling, applying for a job, facing health, financial, or other worrisome issues.  It’s in my genes – remember, I’m the one who wants to fix it all, but of course I can’t.

Parenting and grand parenting, still relies on our dependence on God’s providence and intervention.  He has given us the benefit of His wisdom through His Word and gives us great comfort because of them.

I’ve been blessed to have my children living nearby, but a few years ago, our oldest and her family moved to another state.  There are so many times when a phone call or text message are not enough.  You need to physically be close so you can hug some reassurance into them – to let them know how much you love them – to see for yourself that everything is OK.

These words of how it feels when your kids grow up.

The moments have turned into days, the days turn into years.
We’ve watched you grow. We’ve seen success and now there come the tears.
I know I should be happy for all that lies ahead.
A new life to start – in God’s strong arms – so why do these tears I shed?
It’s so hard to say goodbye to those you call your own.
When they were young and starting out, who would have ever known,
that some distant day they would leave and cut a path alone.
I know The Lord will be with them, but my heart is breaking inside.
Take care of them, Lord, protect and sustain and with them always abide.

 

Posted in Christian daily devotion, God, parenting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment