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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LOOKING OUT THE WINDOW – PART FOUR – A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW

This is the final episode of looking through a window. It seems rather fitting, as we are now in the season of Advent. Our focus should be on the fulfillment of God’s promise to all people, when He sent His only Son to become human flesh and dwell with us.

It was the Christmas of 2019. Our children from South Carolina were coming to town to share in this wonderful holiday with us and our family here. All the decorations were in place. Our little tree was filled with all the ornaments we’d collected over the years. There was snow scattered across the yard, filling the trees with a diamond glimmer. We’d looked forward to this amazing time with family for months and it was finally here. We’d all meet at church and then go on to my youngest daughter’s home for dinner and celebration. Unfortunately, the plans changed when my body announced the presence of another kidney stone. It seems almost like an annual event, doesn’t it?

My Christmas Eve was spent in a hospital bed, surrounded by those I love and a staff of caring doctors and nurses. Suddenly it was time for the visit to end. Each family member filed out of the room, leaving me with a kiss on the forehead to treasure for the rest of the night. What once was a room filled with laughter and sharing, was now silent and empty. The nurse turned down my lights, allowing me to get some needed rest, but there was none. All the joy that filled the room earlier continued to resonate in my heart. Sleep did not come. I kept thinking about that very first Christmas and the commotion the Holy Family experienced when they arrived in Bethlehem. The town was buzzing with activity. Families that originated in that little town were gathering to be counted in the census. The inns were bursting at the seams. There was nothing available for Mary, Joseph and the Child of God that would be born that very night. Settling for a small spot set aside for mother sheep and their newborn lambs, the couple went through the birthing process. The Lamb of God was born that night – the unblemished Lamb who would take away the sin of the world

As I recollected the story of Jesus’s birth, I looked out of my huge hospital window at an expanse of a foggy sky and a barely visible landscape covered with mist. My heart was longing to being home in the arms of my husband, but something I hadn’t planned on happened instead. Out of the murkiness of that thickening haze, appeared a small light. It continued to grow and fill the sky with a warmth that permeated the gloom of that moment. I thought of the Star of Bethlehem and what the shepherds must’ve felt as they gazed upon it. A warmth I can’t explain covered me within and without.

Most folks might think I was imagining all of this, but I don’t believe that was a figment of my creative mind at all. God gave me extreme comfort in that moment. I do believe that miracles happen all the time. We simply need to open our eyes and hearts to them. In fact, I can probably list a Christmas miracle for every year I’ve been alive. So here we are again. Another Christmas season approaches. Our family will all be together again. There will never be another Christmas like the one of 2019, when the Star of Bethlehem paid a visit to me in the hospital, bit each Christmas will remind us of the miracle that was born on Christmas Eve.

May you experience all the miracles God has in store for you this Advent season. Don’t stop looking out of your window either. You might be surprised by what you see.

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LOOKING OUT THE WINDOW – PART THREE

When I started writing this series on November 13, I had full intention of continuing to part three on the 15th. That was the day I had already scheduled to have my king-sized, one centimeter kidney stone blasted from as an outpatient. Instead, I remained in the hospital for four more days with sepsis, a slow recovery and feeling as though I was approaching the gates of heaven. So, here I am again. The stone is gone. As a friend of mine who shares this malady said, “I thought about making a necklace out of those nasty things.” For some unknown reason, I am one of those who mass produces these killer biproducts. Today, I decided it was time to get back in the groove. For those of you who put up with my daily words, thank you for your prayers and know that I thank God daily for all of you.

Getting back to windows – I remember a story about a woman who watched her neighbor hanging freshly washed sheets on the clothesline to dry. The woman wasted no time criticizing her neighbor for her lack of laundering skills, because the sheets still looked dirty. Little did she realize that it was her own unwashed windows which were causing the problem. Our point of view is so important, isn’t it?

Today I have the pleasure of feasting my eyes on the renewal of our landscape with a beautiful coating of fresh snow. Yes, my windows are dirty, but the dancing snowflakes and swirling movement captured by the wind, makes it look like one of those glass snowballs we used to gaze upon as children. Everything looks so freshy cleansed by the life-giving water in this form. Like those snowflakes, we’re all unique in our design and creation. God has already planned out our futures and His plans are to bring eternal life to everyone.

What is your point of view today? Do you look at things from a positive or negative view? This snow could be viewed as a problem for those on the road – an inconvenience – a backbreaking experience or we could just sit back and enjoy the beauty of the moment. I choose the second option today.

“And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7 ESV

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BOUNTY OF BLESSINGS

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Colors of autumn –  scarlet, amber and gold,

God’s palette enlivens the fields we behold,

Each seed that was planted, its fruit has been sown,

A bountiful harvest among dirt and stone,

His Word bears good fruit, a banquet sublime,

Waits for us in heaven when it becomes time,

But while we continue to walk on this earth,

His truth to the world will offer rebirth,

Time soon will run out. there’s much work to be done,

Tell the world about Jesus and the victory He’s won.

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LOOKING OUT THE WINDOW – PART TWO

When we were living in our last house, I had created a monster of a garden on the face of a hill that sat in front of our house. Maneuvering across that hill to weed and pamper the perennials I’d planted over several years, was quite a fete – one that would be out of the question now. There were times that I felt my neighbors’ eyes focused on me as I traversed the hill and would often lose my footing and sometimes ended up rolling down that embankment. It was as if the neighbors were waiting for something disastrous to happen to me, or like judges at the Olympics, they were holding up score cards to indicate my agility.

Well, those days are long gone. I still have a garden, but there’s no chance of rolling down the hill. Now I’m just lucky I can stand up after sitting down for so long. Yesterday I began a series on looking out of our windows. My last sentence referred to our point of view. If you are the one being observed through a window, your point of view is going to change quite a bit by the situation. Maybe you’re not too concerned about what people think about you or what you’re doing, but the imagination of the viewer can certainly create interesting stories.

In 1954, James Stewart appeared in an Alfred Hitchcock movie called, “Rear Window.” He was temporarily disabled and forced to stay in his apartment in a wheelchair while he recovered. In the process, he became engrossed in the view from his window. He even named some of his neighbors for what they represented to him. The opera singer, the newlyweds, Miss Lonely Hearts, the couple on the fire escape and the composer. Oh, yes there was the little white dog too. He was privy to all their activities from the view he observed each day. As the story progressed, there was one neighbor that caused him great concern. He believed that the man had done something horrible to his wife and was about to dispose of her body. Stewart even convinced his housekeeper and his girlfriend that there as something fishy going on. Binoculars weren’t sufficient, so he resorted to using the telescopic lens on his camera to get a closer look.

Most of the things we see from our side of the window is totally innocent and without much fanfare, but what happens within our imagination can muster up the darkest thoughts. Even though we have no evidence, our brains can conjure up stories that have no basis in truth. So, what’s your point of view? Are you on the inside looking out or on the outside looking in? Are you using this time to reflect on your own life or putting your imagination to work? One thing about windows is that not only are you getting and outside view, but the reflection you see is showing you who you really are.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

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LOOKING OUT THE WINDOW

My maternal grandparents owned a farm. The house was charming, but I often wondered how a family of ten could inhabit the space comfortably. It was a two-story home with no bathroom until much later on. I would often spend summers in that place. Through my time there I discovered hiding places, old chapter books, romance magazines and an amazing view out the window, while sitting on a window seat. Maybe that’s where I developed my love for looking out the window. The road leading to the house was lined with tall lodgepole pine trees which stood like sentries guarding the way. I intensely watched as farm hands worked the land, birds nested in the arms of those trees and furry critters scurried here and thee. All this was observed while cuddled up on that window seat, with a book in my lap.

This habit of looking out the window has been a constant in my life. Today, we live in an old farmhouse with four tall windows in the dining room. I usually write my daily blog from this spot. I don’t have a window seat, but I still can enjoy the beauty of God’s creation, without having to leave the house. In spring and summer, the birth ad new life appears in the form of green grass and flowers. In Autumn, the colors come to life and invade the trees like the palette of an incomparable artist. In winter there is a blanket of glistening snow to gaze upon.

There is something magical about looking out the window, until we start seeing the ugly side of life. I guess it all depends on our point of view.

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FRIENDS FOREVER

I used to drive into town from the suburbs almost every day of the week. I’m usually like a deer with eyes fixed on the headlights. I don’t often notice what’s going on in my periphery vision. My eyes usually stay focused on the road ahead. Each day, however, I couldn’t help but notice an older fellow walking down the side of the road with his Golden Retriever. They appeared to be long-time friends. The man would throw a stick ahead of him – the dog galloped to retrieve it. He would stop to rest, and his dog lay his head in the man’s lap. It was clear they cared very much for each other.

Occasionally the man would be pedaling on an old, dilapidated relic of a bike. The dog’s leash was held tightly in his hand and the dog kept up a steady pace ahead of his master. The man deliberately cranked away on the pedals, but it was apparent he wasn’t going to go very fast. The bike wasn’t made for racing just getting him from one place to another. The dog often pulled the weight of the bike and the man, but he didn’t seem to mind. The two worked as one as the wheels pushed forward.

One day I saw the two of them sitting on a bench sharing a sandwich. They seemed inseparable. As time went by I began to realize that the lonely man was blind. His dog was a dedicated service animal. I don’t live in that neighborhood anymore, but the memory of the special bond that connected man and dog is still very vivid to me. The dog had become the eyes the man had lost, and the man became the nurturer and friend the dog needed.

It’s good to have someone to rely on when we need help – when we can’t do things on our own – when we feel alone or lost. God is available 24/7. He wants to get us through the tough times. His desire is for our complete happiness. Call on Him. He’s waiting to hear from you. Don’t miss the amazing connection.

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THOUGHTS ON AUTUMN

I choose to think of the seasons of the year as a calendar representative of our days on this planet. In the Spring, new life begins. We’re nurtured, attended to and loved. This is the childhood of living. The time to play and learn as well as grow and flourish. As we approach Summer, our senses become alive with all kinds of emotions and determination. We think we know it all, even though a lifetime of learning is waiting in our future. The heat of this season emulates our independence, our feeling of invincibility and our desire to achieve. In Autumn, we are at middle age. We have reached the pinnacle of living. Our skin dries out, we become wrinkled and weathered, but we still are alive with the brilliance of hopes and dreams. In Winter the temperature turns cold, the snow flies and we hunker inside to stay warm. The lifeblood within us is fading. Still, we press on, because we know that Spring will come again and renew us with eternal life.

Relish the seasons. Enjoy every second you’re given, by the Grace of God. Each day we are blessed with second chances. Use your time to put Him first in your life and He promises you the benefits of Heaven.

“The harvest, which is our life as we now live it, is the result of seeds planted at an earlier time”
― Jim Rohn, The Seasons of Life

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THICKET

ORIGINAL ART & POETRY FROM PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

A mass of weeds and undergrowth, beclouds the path ahead,

Broken limbs and fallen branches, left for naught but the dead,

Slippery slopes where water danced, now are dried and barren,

Yet the calmness of this refuge, peace to say a prayer in,

When we desire the hand of God, and nothing will suffice,

When life won’t go the way we wish, when there’s no good advice,

A quiet thicket in the woods, a peaceful quiet place,

Can lift our saddened hearts to Him, and His eternal grace,

When we are lost and broken down, when there’s no place to go,

When life becomes impossible and bitterness we sow,

There is no place, but God’s strong arms to lift our spirits high,

He shelters us from worldly pain, relieving ’til we die,

And then a paradise He gives, with no adversity,

A place where peace and quiet reign, for all eternity.

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HONORING OUR VETS

America gained its independence with a rag tag army of farmers and tradesmen. These ill-prepared troops went up against the most powerful fighting force in the world and won.  Throughout our history the cost of war has been well over a million souls.  Today we honor those who have served their country and returned home to waiting arms, anxious spouses and children and often times no jobs, no gratitude for their service and little help in regaining the life they left behind.  To be a veteran should be one of the greatest honors, Those fellow citizens fought to defend us and to make the world a better place, but is it?

During the Civil War, about 500,000 lives were lost – the greatest losses ever in America’s past.  Brothers fought brothers and families were broken apart because of differences in opinions.  Today, we seem to be in the midst of another civil war.  Instead of being united as a nation, we have been inundated with sometimes violent protesting, ugly words of hatred and so much more. During the many wars that followed, we rallied as a nation. We came together. We are no longer a rag tag army, but a world power with great strength.

Have we lost our strength of the heart? I beg that we can take time today and I hope every day to thank those who were willing to put their lives on the line in defense of this great nation.  It’s the perfect day to put aside our political differences and express that feeling to those heroes. Many suffer from PTSD, lost limbs, lost jobs and income. Lives have been disrupted by their service.  Many families have been destroyed by mental problems, behavior changes and even divorce.  Somehow our veterans seem to suffer more when they return home from war than they did while engaging in battle.

There are times we may think there is no longer any sanity regarding politics, government or civil dissension, but we still have the right to speak our mind and the freedom to address our feelings.  As a believer in God, I have faith that the words of the Bible are true.  This book shows us our sin and declares our salvation through God’s love for us.  We aren’t worth that kind of sacrifice, but God thinks otherwise.

“Greater love has no man than this; that he lay down his life for his friends.”  John 15:13

Today can begin the renewal of a distracted nation.  We should set aside our differences and think for a moment the cost of our freedom and those who fought to preserve it.  Also thank God for allowing us to live in a country that still respects the rights of its citizens.

“Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.” Ronald Reagan

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HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD

Since today is Throwback Thursday, I thought I’d share an old post from 08-24-15. This story from the Bible has always amazed me. To imagine bones coming back to life creates visions of Stephen Spielberg’s creative mind. It seems an impossible story, but it’s true, as is everything that appears in this amazing book. Nothing but the voice of God, Himself.

In 1999, an adventure/horror movie called “The Mummy” hit the big screen and we were witness to the dead coming back to life – embalming garb and all.  Flesh began to cover near skeletal bodies – muscle replaced withered flesh – blood flowed through lifeless creatures once more and it scared the heck out of us. There’s a similar story in the book of the prophet Ezekiel.  His vision of a field of dead bodies inspired by God was returned to flesh and blood.  God’s breath brought new life from death.  This part of the Bible is one of those seemingly impossible stories, but it certainly gives us a clear image of how God can restore life. The people of Israel had a long history of being held in captivity.  They often became slaves to the religion and culture of their captors.  This example of God’s restoration is to assure us that we’ll receive new life, even when our bodies have been broken and die.

Are you in a point in your life right now where you feel there’s no hope?  Do you struggle with a severe illness or disability?  Is your pattern of existence a day to day battle to simply get by?  Are you in a broken relationship?  Have you gone a long time without a job?  Do you live with addiction?

God doesn’t promise a life without problems.  In fact, when man separated himself from God by his disobedience, we all became inheritors of sin, but God, in that very moment of betrayal, provided a way out for us.  The promise was a Savior who would bring eternal life to those who follow Him. We’re all broken, but there is hope.  That promise God made so long ago still lives today, just as we’ll someday live again with perfect bodies – with no pain – no sorrow – no tears – NO SIN!

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WEDNESDAY WISDOM – INFO OVERLOAD

When I was a kid I loved this saying –

“The less you know, the more you study – the more you study, the more you know – the more you know, the more you forget- the more you forget, the less you know – so why study?

It made perfect sense to me, and I often feel that way today.

Sometimes I think our lives are too full of information.  It’s at our fingertips – within our vision and it can be heard in seconds.  Unfortunately, sometimes the information is so fast, that many of the details have been skipped over and we jump to conclusions before really knowing all the facts.  We can go into a mob mentality in a fraction of a second and make judgments before we have even heard the evidence.

It’s important for us to be informed – to learn – to study, but it’s also vital that we get the truth.  The world is flawed – we can all agree on that.  The Word of God isn’t.  The messages it has to offer have more wisdom and knowledge than we can learn in a lifetime.  Every time you open it, you will find something pertinent to what is happening in the world, in your life and in your relationship with your Creator and others.

Psalm 56:8-11 “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?  Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

Truth, comfort and peace in a time of turmoil and insanity.

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STOP THE NOISE

CACOPHONY – A harsh discordant mixture of sounds.

Another mid-term election is already in progress. It began many months ago and has ramped into a frenzy of accusations, name calling, hatred, anger and just plain annoying noise. Like the constant dripping of a leaky faucet, we’ve been inundated with some of the meanest words I’ve ever heard. This thing called “voting” seems to be our only remaining right as citizens of the United States. We should be eager to cast our ballot, because of that. Our voice is heard on Election Day, but is it?

The noise of every day bantering between supposedly upright candidates,

Is like a deafening pounding in the ears,

There is no respite and won’t be until it’s over,

Or will it?

We wonder,

Who

Will

Win?

The only thing we know for sure is,

We won’t.

I cannot stand in judgment,

EVERYONE ON THIS PLANET IS GUILTY,

Of being a sinner.

We are not qualified to judge,

I hear the prattle, the babble, the puffing up of self,

I don’t hear sensibility, only ugly accusations and dirty laundry,

I see a rerun of the last election,

Egos,

Special interests,

Overly excessive spending for negative advertising,

Money that could pay off part of the national debt.

Yet even in all this turmoil there is hope,

There is refreshment in the peace of God’s redemption,

He has promised to heal the land of those who put their faith in Him,

Only He can judge.

Only He can save.

Only He can win.

Soon it will be over.

The rhetoric will die out.

We will grumble and complain, or we’ll rejoice that our candidate won.

We will endure more years of who knows what.

We will get through this, because in the end God wins.

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THANKSGIVING THOUGHTS

ART & POETRY BY KATHY BOECHER©

This year is going much too fast. It seems the older we get the swifter the journey. Our bodies are telling us to slow down, but our minds are still in high gear. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I thought I’d share some thoughts about the blessings God has bestowed on me not only this year, but throughout my life. I first would like to give thanks Gor His presence in my life and the knowledge that I will someday see Him face to face. I want to thank Him for the gift of family. Both my husband and I have been nurtured in His Word throughout our lives. This past few days has given us a view of the benefits of that nurturning. He has gifted us with three amazing children, the loves of their lives, and three astonishing grandchildren. They have started us on a new journey – getting organized and preparing for the future. It was an amazing weekend with all of them. They are definitely servants of God and we are richly blessed.

The poetry I wrote several years ago, expresses the love of family and the gifts God continues to bestow on us through them.

You temper us along the way,

To make us perfect day by day.

At times it seems like waiting is the only thing to do.

We think our prayers aren’t answered, but that just isn’t true.

Our future you have crafted, we know your plans are great.

You pave the way to prosper us, you teach us how to wait.

Through waiting you grant patience to a heart that’s filled with pain.

You’ve conquered death.  Eternal life is now our very gain.

Oh thank you, God for Jesus, on this day in every hour.

For taking on our hardships and turning them to power.

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DON’T MESS WITH MY PSYCHOLOGICAL CLOCK!

Here we are again, back to normal time – whatever normal means.  The thought of getting an extra hour of sleep used to appeal to me. When we had a dog, they never seemed to get the memo. Their wakeup clock was set for the same time every day. I’ve become an early riser over the years, and my hours of awake time usually run out by 9 PM, so now I’ll be ready for bed 9 PM but it will actually be 8 PM. The question is, will I be tired at 8 PM?  I suppose it all balances out over time, but this twice a year changing of the clock seems so senseless to me.  They’ve begun stretching the time a little each year.  At this rate, we might be on actual time in 2042 or so, which would make me over a hundred and I don’t think I want to wait that long. Will I get hungry at the same times? Since I’m almost always hungry, it won’t make much difference, but my body may have another opinion.  Will I arrive early to church?  Well, we used to be the first ones there, so that shouldn’t be a problem.  We may just have to wait for an hour until someone arrives to unlock the door.

I guess the early thinking on this subject was designed for those in agriculture.  With days stretching out to longer time periods of daylight, they would make use of the extra hour to sow, harvest and reap.  Now most of them get up with the cows, which will be an hour earlier.  The cows can’t change their time to be milked, but farmers will need to get up earlier to take care of that chore. Have we become slaves to time?  Maybe so.  Maybe this is just another government attempt to keep us focused on the mid-term election.  Like we really need to watch another political ad, right?

Well, here it is, 8:30 AM and the sun has apparently risen. By 4 PM the sky will turn dark, and I’ll feel like crawling back in to bed, but we can’t miss the football games. That’s a whole other post.

So, we’ll complain about the change of time again. We’ll take at least a week of getting used to the change.  Our minds tell us one thing, but the clock on the wall holds a completely different story.  We’ll scoff at the first person who came up with this antiquated idea.  We’ll accept it and live with it.  Something like sheep staying with the herd.  Baaaaaa!

Posted in change, daylight savings time, Humor | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

GOD IS NOT DEAD!

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER

One nation under God,” is what our founders said,

But something happened on the way.

They now say God is dead.

I know our God lives on. He stands at

heaven’s gate.

And he will bring our nation back from greed,

And lies and hate.

Under our power alone, we cannot run the race.

He sent His dear Son, Jesus, to die and take our place.

Because He is our God, He’ll never let us stray.

He holds our hands and leads us into His holy way.

When we turn back to God,

His arms are open wide.

He doesn’t look at our mistakes,

Instead, He looks inside.

So, let’s get back to basics and

Remember who we are.

Our God’s not dead. He lives

And reigns in hearts both near and far.

Posted in aging, Art & Poetry by Paul & Kathy Boecher, death, Faith, redemption | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

FRIDAY WISDOM FROM VICTOR HUGO

Victor Hugo is probably best known for his novels written during the French Revolution. “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Les Miserable” have been made into popular movies over time. He was considered a romantic. He was also an artist and a poet. In my opinion he had a way of knitting words together in a very special way. The craftsmanship and love of the written word is apparent in his work. He was also an advocate against the death penalty. He lived most of his life in France and died in Paris. He witnessed the perils of the French Revolution nd wove them into his stories and poems. His lifestyle wasn’t much different than the artists of his day.

France at the turn of the 18th century was under an oppressive government.  There were despicable working conditions – extreme punishment for stealing a loaf of bread – prisons and workhouse were full – sin ran rampant.  Out of the ashes of that existence rose the French Revolution.  A few became many, just as happened during the American Revolution.  Victor Hugo wrote this story of redemption to show that there was hope even in the darkest of situations.

We, as Americans, have had a long history with the people of France.  We’re bound by the cords of democracy.  They came to our assistance in the early days of our country’s existence and sent troops to help us establish a free country.  We not only owe them a debt of gratitude but should consider them our brothers. Is it time for another revolution?  Perhaps the cry for freedom must be heard around the world once more.

In the musical,”Les Misérables,” the song, “Who am I,” resonates with the doubts and fears of a man who has lost sight of God in the struggle of his life but finds the truth of redemption later on.  Let’s not wait to discover who we are.  We’re redeemed by the God of the Universe, so freedom is truly ours.

Posted in aging, America, Poetry, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

THROW BACK THURSDAY – FAMILY

This is one of those old church photographs, taken some forty years ago. Things have changed a lot since those days, but there are few things that are especially noticeable. Paul has more hair than the rest of us. We all had home-styled haircuts as you can see by the bangs on all of us. Most of that heavy black hair on Paul is gone or turned to a salt and peppered look. As I look at this photo, the one thing we all have in common is smiles that reflect our love for each other.

We will be gathering this weekend as a family all together, once more. Our daughter, Amy (our firstborn – pictured standing) will be flying into Minneapolis today to check in on her aging parents. We plan to spend some time with the other two as well. Because these times of decision are coming upon us – change of health situations, needs to work, financial issues and a future that will continue on with some more changes – a family meeting will occur. I feel so blessed to have all my family involved in the plans we’ll be making for our remaining lives. Both of us turned 80 this year. For the most part, you’d consider us vibrant, senior citizens. We love what we do with our time. Both of us are creative people with pretty good minds. Although some might consider us a little off the wall. There have been ongoing health issues this past year and we’re all in agreement that our current living conditions are not right for us anymore.

My prayer today and throughout this weekend is that we can all move forward as a family – that Paul and I remain open-minded and agreeable – that we approach these tough decisions with God’s help and at our center, as He always has been – that we listen with open ears and receptive hearts – that we enjoy our moments of laughter together. I know that God will guide our choices and our future, because He has always been at the head of our family.

Joshua 24:15 “And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Posted in aging, Family, God | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

WEDNESDAY WISDOM

There are going to be days when you don’t have much to smile about. Days when, if you do smile, people will wonder why you are. Those are the days when you need to smile the most. Getting over a hurdle can be more than a physical obligation. It takes every ounce of courage and faith you can muster. The problem arises when you lose that smile and fall into a deep depression. It’s so much harder to pick yourself up and start over again.

God gives us a reason to be joyful even when we don’t always feel that way. He has given us His gifts of grace, love, peace, confidence and faith. He walks with us through our darkest hours and is there to encourage us through each of them. He knows the pain of sorrow and sadness. He gave up His throne in heaven for a while, so that He could experience every one of those emotions. His compassion for us is endless, even when it looks like He may not be at hand to answer our prayers. He is always available. He will never leave us. He will protect, defend and comfort us in our times of need.

We do have many reasons not to lose that smile of ours. It tells a lot about us. We are loved. We are one with our Creator. We are assured a home in heaven for eternity. What don’t we have to smile about?

Posted in armor of God, depression, Faith, Inspiration, Jesus | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

FOR ALL THE SAINTS

William W. How (1823-1897) Was called both the “poor man’s bishop” and “the children’s bishop,” He was known for his work among the destitute in the London slums and among the factory workers in west Yorkshire. He wrote a number of theological works about controversies surrounding the Oxford Movement and while rector in Whittington, attempted to reconcile biblical creation with the theory of evolution.  How wrote some sixty hymns, including many for chil­dren. His collected Poems and Hymns were published in 1886.

Today is All Saints Day – a day set aside to honor those who have passed on into heaven. It’s interesting to me that on All Hallows Eve, 1517, Martin Luther – the reformer – chose to nail his list of 95 theses to the castle church in Wittenburg, Germany. The list contained issues he had with the Catholic church of his time. The church had become corrupt. The truth of the Gospel had been hidden from the people and they felt compelled to buy their way into heaven – not realizing that this was a gift from God. I imagine Martin had been thinking about this for quite some time. He was a monk in the church and in searching through the scriptures, he discovered the truth of God’s grace. His inability to do enough to earn his salvation haunted him for many years. He prayed incessantly, confessed his sins daily, often ranting on and on for hours concerning each of his indiscretions. His guilt was oppressive. When his eyes were finally opened to the truth, he couldn’t help himself. He had to share that knowledge with everyone. So, he chose to oppose the church and post his list of grievances. This was also the time of the Renaissance; the invention of the printing press and many more innovations. All of these things made it possible to spread the word throughout the land.

As we celebrate this All Saints Day, let’s remember those who are waiting for our arrival in heaven. They are enjoying the benefits of being heirs of God as we will also when our final breath is drawn. Let us also pray for the church today – that the truth and purity of God’s Holy Word to us remains the same.

For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest—

Refrain:
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress, and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well-fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light—

Oh, may Thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
And win with them the victor’s crown of gold—

And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave again, and arms are strong—

From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—

Posted in Bible, Heaven | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A THEATRE COSTUMER’S LAMENT

Six years ago, my costume wardrobe was huge. I still have a few boxes up in the attic of the garage, but for some reason, when I’m called upon to locate a costume or find one for myself, I come up empty.  This poem sort of reveals the dilemma of a retired theatre person.

Clothes for a pirate, a sword and hat too –
Some mermaids, a puppy, a high button shoe –
A cowboy, a jail bird, and Winnie the Pooh.
Hair of all sorts even red, orange and blue –
Moustaches and sideburns, there’s beards in there too.
The choices are many so what should I do?

I could dress up like Elvis or old Captain Hook,
I might even try something else from a book.
There’s Buffalo Bill, Twiddle Dum, Tweedle Dee,
White Rabbit, Mad Hatter – oh what shall I be?!
My mind is just spinning. I can’t get a grip.
It might be much better if I just took a trip.

Decisions – decisions! It’s hard to decide.
Batman or Robin – Dr. Jekyll or Hyde.
I’d be a great Scarecrow or Tin Man, it’s true.
A Cowardly Lion would be all right too.
Why is it so hard to make up my mind?
With all the great choices, there should be one find.

The reason is simple I’ll give you a clue.
All of the costumes begin at size two.
They don’t go beyond small, medium or large.
And I’m pretty close to the size of a barge.
I’m glad Halloween only comes once a year.
I have nothing to wear. Think I’ll go shed a tear.

Posted in acting, Art & poetry by Kathy Boecher, holidays, Poetry by Kathy Boecher | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments