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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WE NEED EACH OTHER

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER

The road is full of stumbling blocks, we see them every day,
Our path is filled with hiccups which toughen up the way,
Our journey to eternity is filled with indecision,
We struggle through all daily tasks, requiring supervision,
The signs that lead to nowhere, just clutter up our walk,
We can’t decide which way to go, we simply talk the talk,
But when we walk with Jesus, our road is made quite clear,
The things that seemed impossible, lose all their haunting fear,
Our daily walk is easy when we simply trust in Him,
We’ll reach our destination and in the end, we win!

Paul & I will be celebrating 58 years as husband and wife on Monday. It’s hard to imagine that so many years have passed so quickly. A lifetime of ups and downs and what seemed to be impossible odds, yet a time of blending two lives into one. The trumpeter swans are said to mate for life. You will often find them swimming together in pairs. I’m not sure what their life span is, but it seems God watches over them as He cares for all His creation. God not only creates amazing environments for His handiwork, but he gives them a partner to share their lives with. Now that autumn is among us, we can see His beauty everywhere – even on a cloudy day.

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AM I MY OWN WORST ENEMY?

As Christians, we’re told to trust God in all situations – to carry our burdens to Him – to be still and know that He is God. That sounds almost like a copout – like the easy way out of a situation. It isn’t so easy to do though, is it? We go through life trying to fulfill certain goals – build relationships – help people – do the right thing – be all that we can be, but when push comes to shove, we think we should be able to handle whatever on our own.

If someone told you that they would take all your troubles on their own shoulders, wouldn’t that be a wonderful offer? How could we resist such a great deal. God makes that promise to us every single day and still we try to muddle through the muck alone. The devil is a sneaky creature when it comes to getting into our heads. He uses our weaknesses to maneuver our thinking as well as our actions. He wants us to believe that we’re foolish to trust in someone we can’t see

I came across the lyrics to a Christina Aguiler song called, “It’s Not Easy Loving Me.” The words really fit when it comes to our relationships with others, but even more so when it comes to our connection to God. I don’t think it was written with that intention, but our first Love should be God and the rest will fall into place.

It’s not so easy lovin’ me
It gets so complicated
All the things you gotta be
Everything’s changin’
But you’re the truth
I’m amazed by all your patience
Everything I put you through

And when I’m about to fall
Somehow you’re always waiting
With your open arms to catch me
You’re gonna save me from myself
From myself, yes
You’re gonna save me from myself
Oh, yeah

Don’t ask me why I’m cryin’
‘Cause when I start to crumble
You know how to keep me smilin’
You always save me from myself
From myself, myself
You’re gonna save me from myself

I know it’s hard, it’s hard
But you’ve broken all my walls
You’ve been my strength, so strong

And don’t ask me why I love you
It’s obvious your tenderness is what I need to make me
A better woman to myself
To myself, myself
You’re gonna save me from my, myself

Today, resolve to let God take the reins in your life. He has promised to carry your burdens and He will. Instead of turning into yourself for healing, turn to the One who created you and your uniqueness. He is more powerful, more intelligent, more available than anyone or anything else you could ask for in time of need.

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble,you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
    and your right hand delivers me.” Psalm 138:7 ESV

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THURSDAY’S CHILD

I was born on June 19, 1942. I looked up the day to see which day of the week it was, and I was born on a Friday. If you’re old enough to remember the old nursery rhymes, the poem “Monday’s Child,” was designed to help children learn the order of each day of the week.  When I was younger and learning these rhymes, I had a tendency and still do, to wonder about such things. Who makes up these words? Here is the poem in its entirety.

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursdays child has far to go,
Fridays child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for his living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay;

“Thursday’s child has far to go.” I suppose this could be because the week is almost over and it seems like the end is finally near, but it will return again next week.  It might have to do with not being able to accomplish what we set out to do on Monday.  Maybe Mother Goose simply couldn’t think of anything else to write that rhymed. The fact that I wonder about such things, gives one pause.

Some folks like to analyze these old verses. For example, some believe that Thursday’s child might be the child with special needs. Some think that it refers to the obstacles children run into during the week and by Thursday, they’re ready to throw in the towel. David Bowie and Reeves Gabrels wrote the music and lyrics for

Thursday was one of the most difficult days for our Lord, Jesus.  On that day of Holy week His Holy Supper was instituted.  He discussed  His coming death, behaved like a servant and washed His disciples’ feet –  foretold the betrayal of one disciple and the denial of another – prayed to the point of sweating blood in the garden where He often went to pray – replaced a man’s ear without surgery – was arrested for preaching the truth – was accused of blasphemy, placed before a kangaroo court and treated brutally by his accusers.

Most of us will never experience such suffering.   Our days may have ups and downs, but they will be nothing like the Thursday of Holy Week.  When we arrive at the end of our week, let’s be reminded of the great cost paid for our redemption.  Because of Jesus love, we all have the promise of being full of grace.  Heaven is waiting for those who believe that the price for our ransom has been paid by God Himself.

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WHEN WILL THE RIDE END?

Life is like a roller coaster sometimes, isn’t it? You reach peaks throughout your journey and suddenly find yourself in the pits. I feel a little like Forest Gump this morning. I never have liked roller coasters. In fact, the idea of climbing those tracks to reach the top is more than just scary. There is the occasional bump along the way – the anticipation as to what’s on the other side – and then the excitement and fitfulness when you plunge back down to the bottom. There are the detours, the hiccups, the roadblocks and the downright tragedies that occur on that very roller coaster we call living. When we reach the end, we’re so glad that it’s over, anything looks better. We just want to get off.

It seems as though our lives have been subject to such ups and downs, twists and turns, joys and fears for the past few years. A worldwide pandemic turned joyful faces into masked marauders. Isolation turned extroverts into introverts. Anxiety and depression became the moods of the day. As we return to normal, we discovered that normal isn’t normal anymore. We don’t have a clue as to what’s normal.

Aging is like that too. With retirement we find a new way of living. If we’ve saved and prepared for it, we have many choices for adventure. If you’re living day to day on Social Security income alone, you soon find out that your working life isn’t over. To top it off, your body is falling apart. You aren’t capable of doing what you did at age 30. The roller coaster is now on a fast track to the end.

What does God have to say about this dilemma? Looking at Psalm 40, I found some encouragement in the entire Psalm, but particularly in verses 1-3.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
    out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
    making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
    and put their trust in the Lord.

We are bound to face challenges each day. Man’s self-destruction occurred in the Garden of Eden when our first parents ate from the forbidden tree – but take heart. Our God loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to pay the price for our sin. We’ll still have a rough ride from time to time, but there will be plenty of times to enjoy the ride.

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A QUEEN LAYS HER CROWN AT JESUS’ FEET

Queen Elizabeth II on her 90th birthday

I must admit, I didn’t tune in to the Queen’s funeral. For the past few months, I’ve been trying to stay away from current events and the news. Our world is filled with so much bad reporting, false news and stories of hate, violence and crime, that it’s enough to depress the average guy. When you’re going through your own trials, the last thing you need is all that extra baggage. I do remember when she became the Queen of England though, and how beautiful she was. I was a child of ten at the time of her coronation.

As her reign lasted for 70 years, she witnessed changes in our ever-changing world – wars, technology, the coming and going of many political and world leaders. The inventions during that time period have been immense and she experienced all of them. She always stated that she was chosen by God to be the Queen of England and that she would devote her life to Him and her subjects. She did. She often spoke of giving our hearts to Jesus. She wept at her husband’s funeral and saw the passing of many public figures – an amazing woman.

What surprised me most was a conversation she recently was said to have had with an acquaintance. She supposedly said, “I wish Jesus would come back in my lifetime, because I would place my crown at his feet.” Such a tribute to her Savior. Now she is with Him and has given Him that very throne, which she borrowed for so many years.

MAY YOU REST IN OUR SAVIOR’S STRONG ARMS, DEAR QUEEN ELIZABETH II

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ARGH!

Well, the word for today is “ARGH,” because it’s “Talk Like a Pirate Day.” Who doesn’t like Pirates? Other pirates, I guess, along with those they pillage and plunder. The kind of pirate I’m talking about is the Errol Flynn or Johnny Depp, who portrayed the adventurous life of a pirate with all the swashbuckling and rum swilling. Whenever I did plays with kids, one of the favorites was a pirate play. I imagine it’s because of the adventure and complete drama of those stories. It could be attributed to walking the plank or hobbling around on one leg or using a hook to carve your meat. Whatever it is, it still draws us in. So, to all ya wannabee pirates out there, be spending the day talking like one – or wearing a patch over yer eye – or searching fer buried treasure – or wearing a parrot on yer shoulder – or doing other piraty things. I highly recommend it for a fun diversion. You might get a chuckle out of these cartoons too.

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SERENDIPITOUS SUNDAY

ART & POETRY BY KATHY BOECHER

One day the world is fresh and green and just like that it’ fades unseen,

Like chaffs of grain or husks of corn, they pass from life, we grieve, we mourn,

The wind will sweep them far and wide, they may remain but often hide,

Unexpected change of season doesn’t stand the test of reason.

Do you think it’s accidental or by chance coincidental.

You may call it beneficial, heaven sent or providential,

Seasons are anticipated, but could make you feel sedated

Colors change to red and gold, snow will follow with the bitter cold.

Serendipitous is the term that’s often used to make us squirm,

A word that sounds so odd and strange, it conjures up unwanted change,

Instead, our thoughts can understand, that beauty lingers in the land,

Each season has its chance to shine, the unexpected will be mine.

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END OF SUMMER DAZE

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

The chatter and noise of children at play,

Summer breeze of relief from the sun’s burning ray,

Red Umbrellas and blue shade a sweat covered brow,

Things to climb on and hang from, in the sweet here and now,

Days of youth pass so quickly like whispers they fly,

In a breath they are here and soon quickly they die,

But the sounds on a playground give us pause to reflect,

On the sweet days of childhood so pure and direct,

Of the bright hues of summer and the heat of the day,

When we set time aside to just have fun and play.

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MY WALK, HIS WAY

POETRY BY KATHY BOECHER

WANDERING

My steps have slowed, my pace has too. A desert waits, I know it’s true,

I cautiously approach its ebb, I put away all fear and dread,

I trust as if a child would do, step by step I keep plugging through,

Though now my trust no longer holds, I feel it tug as it withholds,

My faith is being tested.

My breath is shorter than before.  I wait a minute to restore,

Breathe in, breathe out don’t falter here. If you should live another year,

Don’t stop believing you can do, whatever God has planned for you,

Your age is showing on your sleeve, roll it up and just believe,

My hope is being tested.

I always walk a step behind. Thank God, I see and am not blind,

Though years have taken me this far, my heart will follow each bright star.

Corruption, greed and fear of death, cannot destroy or take my breath,

My God is always at my side, for me He once was crucified,

My fears are all arrested.

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FROWZY FRIDAY

“Frowzy,” is a word that originated in the seventeenth century, but no one seems to know where it came from. The definition of the word means to be scruffy or unkempt. The picture above is of a frowzy me, taken during the first year of the COVID epidemic. As you can see, I was not at my best at that time and certainly could be labeled “Frowzy.” A lot of us were walking around in sort of a dazed condition in those days. Somehow, many of us haven’t changed our expression much. For some reason, the pandemic created a lot of zombie-like expressions. The lack of smiling faces might be due to the fact that the lower portion of our faces were covered up and it was unnecessary to smile at people. In fact, there weren’t many people we could smile at, even if we wanted to.

The pandemic changed lives – not only the loss of life or the results of the disease but the isolation from family and friends and the implementation of working at home online. In a way we forgot how to socialize. You can see the consequences of this everywhere. Even within families, the space around us has widened and we don’t communicate like we do. Hiding behind the mask along with staying at home has caused an adaptation that really has hurt us as a nation. We’ve grown untrusting, suspicious, hermit-like and fearful. The disease seems to be dwindling, but every once in a while, there seems to be a temporary uptick and the fear sets in again. Once again, our suspicious minds go down another rabbit hole.

As God’s creatures, we learn to adapt to our circumstances, but often times it’s not for the better. It’s time to come out of the security of living within four walls and beginning to socialize again. God created us to depend on Him in all circumstances, but He also saw a need for us not to be alone. So, take off that frowzy mask and replace it with a huge, genuine smile. Show your pearly whites.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.  For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 ESV

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THEATRICALIZING THURSDAY

My word for the day is “Theatricalizing.” This is what I do. I am a theatricalizer – or a Thespian – a playwright -a performer – an actor – and old to boot. This has been my chosen profession for most of my 80 years. I’m now involved with a group of 55+ theatricalizers. The group started about three years ago, right before the pandemic hit and sent most elderly people into isolation. I also happen to be one who enjoys her alone time, so that part of the pandemic didn’t bother me. We then discovered this new-fangled technology called Zoom. For the first year we met online and shared ideas on how to implement some of the problems the elderly face as they enter and go through the aging process. There’s much more funny material in that process than most of us going through it think there is. The fact that we can laugh at our own failures, lack of strength, disintegrating bodies and all the health issues that go along with it, was the impetus for our creative venture.

We wrote a series of episodes with characters named Ruby, Pearl, Crystal and Jade. All of these comprise our current company along with our new director. We haven’t yet named her, but you can bet she will be named for some gem. The Jewels of deNial is the name of our troupe. We do our show as if it were a live radio broadcast, which allows us to use a script while still having the ability to act it out. Our latest episode is about Medical Mishaps. We’ve all endured going to the ER. Maybe some have traveled by ambulance. Then there’s the long wait in the ER and the many forms which must be filled out while you’re bleeding profusely or half dead. The nursing staff, the medical team, the joys of being on a ward and sharing a room with three whackos is part of this adventure. It becomes so heightened that Pearl, Ruby and Crystal stage a breakout.

There are many of you out there that have had similar misadventures regarding the health care realm. The various pills and the inability to open the bottles – the boxed colonoscopy sent through the mail – the failed attempts at staying fit – and many more such situations occur in this episode. The greatest part of it is that we are given an opportunity to continue doing what we love as we age. We’ve been taking our show on the road and presenting it at various senior centers, assisted living venues and at our home base theatre right here in Minnesota. We’ve been received with a great amount of laughter for the relatable humor, and we benefit also by the roar of the crowd.

Psalm 92-12-15 “The righteous flourish like the palm tree
    and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
 They are planted in the house of the Lord;
    they flourish in the courts of our God.
 They still bear fruit in old age;
    they are ever full of sap and green,
 to declare that the Lord is upright;
    he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

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WHITHERSOEVER WEDNESDAY

I love exploring unusual words and I particularly love the way some words sound as they roll off the tongue. The old English language is especially poetic and probably why many people use the King James version of the Bible. This language, though sometimes difficult to understand, has a lyrical tone – a not-so-often used – is reserved for special occasions and is set apart from the common language. It makes it seem more important and worthy of the One who is speaking it.

The word, “Withersoever” is used 35 times in various versions of the Bible. It is defined as “Wherever.” We tend to shorten beautiful words in the English language, which I believe gives them less power. When someone pledges their faithfulness, they might say, “Whithersoever thou goest, there will I follow. The formality of the word makes it sound official, doesn’t it? Words are used to communicate ideas, needs, plans, solutions and countless other reasons. To attach a whithersoever to a sentence would probably raise a few eyebrows today, but that’s because we tend to shorten a lot of words simply to save time,. Someday “whithersoever.” might become WSE in text language.

I personally read the ESV Bible for easier reading, but there’s something about the King James Version that seems to set it apart and gives it the honor it deserves. Therefore, whithersoever thou goest today, knowest that the King of Glory is at your side to guide thee through the outermost wanderings both hither and yon.

The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. Proverbs 2:1

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TEMPESTUOUS TUESDAY

This week I’m looking at words we don’t use very often, but they have a profound impact, nonetheless. Now that I mention it, the word “nonetheless” doesn’t get used on a daily basis either, but I’ll save that for another day. The word “tempestuous” stirs thoughts of chaos and things getting so out of control that we don’t know how to handle them. The storms of life are to be expected, but why do they always come at the same time? Why does it seem so difficult to navigate through them? Where is the captain of the ship? I actually wonder about that last statement. The captain is usually carousing with the passengers, so who is at the helm?

We don’t plan for disasters. We don’t look forward to financial problems. We aren’t ready to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but so often we expect to do so. Instead of waiting for something to happen, we must be proactive in the process. We can wait for the proverbial rescue, but unless we do something, chances are the answers will slip right past us without our even recognizing them. God gives us most of the necessary solutions through His Word, the Bible. He has also given us a brain, so that we can work through these things with His help.

The real guide for living comes in our daily communion with the greatest Navigator ever. So, forget about the weather channel and look to the skies.

“He stretches out the north over the void
    and hangs the earth on nothing.
 He binds up the waters in his thick clouds,
    and the cloud is not split open under them.
 He covers the face of the full moon[b]
    and spreads over it his cloud.
He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters
    at the boundary between light and darkness.
The pillars of heaven tremble
    and are astounded at his rebuke.” Job 26:7-11

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MAUDLIN MONDAY

The image of Emmett Kelly is what I remember most about the circus clowns of the old days. Emmett expressed the epitome of maudlin. Maudlin describes itself as self-pity, over sentimental and often tearful. Later in my life, clowns took on a whole new image and instead of being funny, they became scary and evil. Emmett made us laugh with his apparent sadness – now clowns have become an evil force. Isn’t it funny how things change over time? The things that once were fun and safe have been corrupted and become just the opposite.

The word “maudlin” popped into my head this morning. Maybe it’s because of circumstances going on in my life right now. Maybe self-pity is creeping into my head and making a sad clown out of me. Tears can fall at any moment, and they usually do. There are times when we must put on a mask to cover the pain behind it. There are moments when we are required to be strong in adversity, but the only way to do that is to create a different face. There are days that we would rather crawl back into bed and forget about the rest of the week. Certainly, God doesn’t want that for us. Yet having experienced humanity Himself through His Son, Jesus, He knows what those maudlin emotions can lead to. Words like depression, anxiety, stress, hopelessness, suicidal thoughts might soon follow..

Jesus willingly took all our burdens, our worries, our maudlin thoughts to the cross and buried them in the tomb. When He rose again, His mission on earth was accomplished. He defeated death and the devil and gives us all the hope of a perfect destination after this one.

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?”

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A PHOENIX RISING OUT OF THE ASHES

ART & POETRY BY KATHY BOECHER

Hidden in the ashes, trampled by the steel

Lay the sons and daughters of that day.

In the years that follow, our hearts may never heal.

We mourn their loss – We try to deal – We turn to God and pray.

Freedom was taken, terror stole our soul,

But America was built for more than this

Strong hearts united, with a mutual goal,

Rebuilding, renewing, restoring the mess.

This day is not forgotten. It’s seared upon our souls.

We put our faith in God’s eternal care.

We trust in His salvation, we know he mends the holes

That come from the destruction in the air.

Our hearts must stay united, no matter how we feel.

We look beyond the prejudice and fears.

Our only hope is Jesus. He is the one who heals.

He erases all our sorrows and wipes away our tears.

Posted in America, anxiety, Art & poetry by Kathy Boecher | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

HOW SOON WE FORGET

One of the most dramatic photographs that appeared right after the destruction in New York on September 11, 2001, shows the skeletal remains of the Twin Towers . The towers are silhouetted in the midst of smoke, ash and death. Today we’ll talk about that day. Many young children won’t remember. Even young adults will not relate to this event, because it isn’t often reflected upon in schools. The memory is still very fresh in the minds of those who lost loved ones – families of first responders – a city filled with dense and rancid ash – but, like what happened at Pearl Harbor, it must be remembered by all Americans.

Our freedom was attacked by terrorists. They somehow breached the system and were able to crush lives and the spirit of loyalty to country in just a short time. How could such a thing happen in the USA? The war on terrorism ensued and more lives were lost. Over the last twenty-one years, this event changed our mission statement. We grew further and further away from our Creator, when we needed Him the most. With a worldwide pandemic happening only nineteen years later, it was just another blow to our faith in government – our relationships – our patriotism – our God. It seemed our world was changing so much in that short period of time. Events seemed to be turning upside down. Respect for law enforcement – lack of taking responsibility for our actions – people were now isolated from friends and churches. It seemed we were falling backwards rather than pushing forward with the American dream.

I pray that our nation remembers the cost of our freedom. I pray that we return to God as a nation. I pray that we don’t need another wakeup call, but I fear that might be the only way we return to our only hope in life. Patriotist was born out of faith in God. Let’s not forget Him either.

Psalm 91:1-2
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

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RUSHING WATER

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Water can be a rushing creek, tumbling over rocks and tree limbs. 

It can be a raging sea tossing a small vessel in every direction. 

It can be a quiet lake with refreshment and coolness on a hot summer day. 

We cannot survive without it. 

God created the waters and then divided them, revealing masses of land rising up out of them. 

He filled the water with life. 

He gives us life through water and keeps our bodies alive by abundantly supplying it for us.

Man has polluted water over time, but God continues to replenish and cleanse it.

He has washed away our sins through the gift of baptism. 

Without it, we would dry up and cease to exist. 

Praise God for water!

Posted in Art & Poetry by Paul & Kathy Boecher, creation, redemption, strength | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

FALL ON YOUR KNEES

When we first moved into our new, old house, I discovered I was spending a lot of time on my knees. The old farmhouse we chose to inhabit had been restored and most of the interior structural work was done. All the walls were freshly painted, new cupboards installed, windows replaced. It was ready for us to move in. There was still the general maintenance of getting into a prayer position to clean both old and new wood floors. I’ve always scrubbed floors, by getting into a kneeling position, but these 80-year-old knees are having a difficult time doing so these days.

In the winter months I would sometime find myself on my knees while taking the dog outside. Sliding across the snow and eventually falling into it was a common occurrence. After a few years I finally went to see an orthopedic doctor in hopes of bringing some relief to my aching knees. He indicated that my x-ray showed the knees of a seventeen-year-old. I asked him if he had the right x-ray. After a cortisone shot, they felt better, but the thought of getting down on my knees has taken a back seat lately.

When I reach heaven, I will have a new body and won’t need to worry about my seventeen-year-old knees. I will continue to have conversations with God on a regular basis, but then I will be able to meet Him face to face.

Going through the ritual of getting down on my knees to pray has become a moment-to-moment conversation with God. I guess it doesn’t really matter to Him what position we take when we pray as long as that conversation continues on a regular basis. We often say our prayers in rote, and they lose so much of their actual meaning. When we rattle off certain prayers without really thinking about it, they become worthless words and meaningless action in God’s eyes. We aren’t getting much out of the situation either. When we pray, (and I don’t get on my knees to do so) our first inclination should be to thank God and give Him praise for all He has done for us. Our petitions should include the needs of others as well as our own. This time should be filled with reverence to God and gratitude for all He has accomplished in your life so far. It’s also a perfect time to confess your sins to Him. He already is aware of them, but through your praying you’ll find comfort in the fact that they have been forgiven on the day His Son died for all. Jesus made it possible for us to go directly to the source of our healing. His death and resurrection cut the middleman out of the picture.

Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the One who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference. ~ Max Lucado

Posted in Faith, God's will, prayer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

AN ACTOR’S LIFE FOR ME

Hey diddly dee, an actor’s life for me. Disney’s Pinocchio decided that an actor’s life was just the kind of life he wanted. What was the appeal? All actors know that you can hide behind a mask of sorts and display characteristics that you normally would never exhibit. You can become another person for a little while and then go back to being yourself when you’re finished. My acting career took off when I was about five. I realized I could become the center of attention if I danced, twirled my baton or sang in front of people. I didn’t have a very good opinion of myself as a child. When I became a chubby teenager, my acting skills helped me get through adolescence because that mask I had earlier created was becoming a necessary part of my persona.

I grew up falling in love with the movies and early television shows. Theatre became a huge part of my existence, but it wasn’t until much later in life that I realized I had a special place in my heart for it. Going back to college in my forties, wasn’t really in the plan, but at the time we were financially able. I was eager to get a drama program started at my kids’ high school. It led to a 13-year gig as the volunteer drama director for my own children as well as many others. It was an amazing experience, which got me back into something I always loved doing and sharing my experience with young thespians.

I always told my students that being on stage was a chance for them to become someone else for a while, but that they should never forget who they were – that they had value and purpose – that they had more talent than they realized – that the skills they learned in acting would help them in whatever career they chose to pursue. Not only would they have confidence performing before others, but their communication skills would improve. They would learn how to work as a team to solve problems. Those tools are invaluable in any line of work.

Some of my students went on to careers in theatre, but most of them didn’t. Getting that big break is never as easy as it sounds. Having a backup plan is always a good idea, but the lure of theatre is very addictive. At 80 years old, I’m still involved in it. I probably will die onstage someday, and it won’t be a scene from Shakespeare,

So, celebrate Actors’ Day today. Go to a play in a local theatre. Watch an old movie and see how acting styles have changed over the years. Get involved in some acting yourself. It’s a great way to meet new friends, try something new and pull you out of your shell.

“The learning process continues until the day you die.” Kirk Douglas

Posted in acting, confidence, SELF ESTEEM, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

A LOVE LETTER FROM GOD

This poem was written a number of years ago but might be a good way to send your children off to school. When there are so many dangers they must face each day – when they need encouragement – when they hope to be accepted and loved – God’s Word is always available to lift them up in all circumstances. This isn’t a message just for children, but all of us as we walk through each day. We are loved!

Do you know how precious you are to me?
Do you not feel my presence every second of every hour?
Do you know that I want to take your problems, your worries, your fears and place them all on my own back?
Can you see my hand working in your life – helping you to make hard decisions – leading you from temptation and pulling you closer to me every day?
Do you know I want you to prosper?  I have a plan designed just for your life.  It may not be what you want or expect, but it will be abundant.
Do you know that I am the only one who really loves you with an everlasting and divine love?

Do you know that I paid the ransom for the sins that have held you captive for so long? There is no need for guilt, I cover you with my protective wings.  The price was paid once for all.

Do you know that I was not afraid to lay down my life for you, because I can conquer death?

Do you know that I am waiting for you in heaven?  There will be no tears, no sadness, only joy.

Your room is ready!  Do you know?

KATHY BOECHER©

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