WHAT’S ON THE OTHER SIDE?

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ORIGINAL ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

We do not know what’s waiting beyond the other side,

With faithful hearts believing, a new life will abide,

Our fears and tears will pass away, like drops of gentle rain,

We will be clothed in bodies new, and will no more feel pain,

God loves us all so very much, He gave up His own Son,

To die and pay the ransom from the sins that we have done,

He washed us clean with His own blood, we now are free at last,

The darkness of that other world will soon be gone and past,

We thank you, dear, Lord, Jesus for this most precious prize,

At heaven’s gate we’ll meet you and look you in the eyes,

Your consolation waits for us, beyond that great expanse,

Where broken bodies are made whole, where we will sing and dance,

We’ll live in life eternal, where trouble is unknown,

Come quickly dear, Lord, Jesus and carry us on home.

 

 

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LIFELESS – LIFE FILLED

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ORIGINAL ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

 

This place that we have loved, this lonely withered space,

Has faltered with the winter snows and cannot rise again,

Without that inner life, that comes from heaven’s place,

Our lives will be diminished and scorned as dead terrain,

Within the ashen colors, inside the lifeless trees,

The damage has been sown, there is no longer gain,

Tempests are replaced with a quiet gentle breeze,

 

Though life has been drained from it, the fight will not be lost,

The battles will remain, but victory has a cost,

The precious blood of Jesus has paid for every sin,

And wrapped us with the will to live and new life to begin.

 

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WHAT SEASON ARE YOU IN?

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According to King Solomon and many other notables, we hear that there is a time for everything in this world – a time to be born – a time to die.  What about all the years in between?

How about the time you experience your first kiss, or get dumped by the one who kissed you?  How about going through childbirth and realizing that the pain was nothing compared to what happens next?  What about the days you felt alone and had no one to talk to? How about the dumb decisions you made that led you away from the truth?  We all go through different seasons, in different ways, with many different solutions or results.  Which season are you currently in?

When you’re a toddler, your mind is that of an explorer – one who wants to know about everything – where it comes from, what it tastes like, what you can do with it, how you can benefit from it.  Especially how it can benefit you.

As a teen you continue to learn, but now you know everything – or at least you think you do.  You challenge every adult in your path, you spread your wings, you try to be independent, but you realize you still need a roof over your head.  Again, how will it benefit you personally.

When you reach young adulthood, we’re in transition from knowing it all to realizing we don’t know nearly enough and that 4 year college degree won’t cut it so you continue the never ending pursuit of knowledge.  You may find the love of your life at this time and continue to wonder how life is going to benefit you, so you get married and have a family.

At this point in the seasons of life, you realize (or should) that it no longer is about you.  You are now the one who is supposed to be responsible for other lives.  Some succeed while others fail miserably, but life goes on.

In middle age, the youngsters are now in their teens and don’t need you anymore, because they know everything, so you begin to refocus on yourself.  This is the time of the mid-life crisis, career changes, divorce, re-identifying yourself.  Once more it’s all about you.

As you near retirement, you look forward to days in the sun, travel to exotic places, being waited on and cared for more than any time in your life.  Guess what?  It isn’t all about you then either.  Now your time is spent sitting in waiting rooms, visiting specialists,having every possible test done to determine how to make you last longer.  You may work out at the gym twice as hard with half the results.  Your digestive system can’t tolerate Big Macs anymore.  Your days grow shorter and you spend more time in sleep. Isn’t it funny how we start out sleeping more than we’re awake and wind up in the same condition?

Finally that last season arrives.  It’s one no one wants to face.  It’s that final step that takes you into the unknown, but if you’ve grown to know your Savior over those earlier seasons, you know something better awaits you on the other side.

Every season has its pluses and minuses, but I think God intends for us to experience each one with gusto.  For example, in my current season, I now have more time to spend with those nearing death – to comfort and support them.  I can do some meaningless chore for them which they can no longer do.  I can spend quality time with my grandchildren and adult children.  I can pursue some of the interests I never had time for before.  I can continue to live until God calls me home.

So is life really meaningless?  I don’t think so.  I think it’s a time devoted to getting us ready for that last season – Heaven!

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CHARACTERS OF THE PASSION – MARY OF MAGDALA

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She came from a small village on the shore of the Sea of Galilee called Magdala.  The town was a thriving community which made beautifully colored dyes and even more resplendent textiles. Because of its location, it was the perfect place for exporting their wares.

Mary left her life in that town to follow Jesus.  We know little about her, but the world has twisted her story – her profession – her relationship with Jesus, so much that the real story is often hidden in the quietness of her existence as a disciple of Christ.  She probably was a woman  of means.

She undoubtedly witnessed many of the miracles of Jesus.  She must’ve heard His sermon on the mount – His parables – His talk of death and forgiveness of sins – His promise of eternal life.  Like the others, she left her world behind, gave it all up and followed Him.

The Gospels are unclear if Mary Magdalene was the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair and then anointed them with expensive oil.  It could have been her, but she isn’t named.  We do know that this Mary was indeed repentant of her past sins and extremely grateful for Jesus’ forgiveness and healing her from something that was deeply troubling to her.

We also know that she didn’t run away when Jesus was arrested.  She followed the blood spattered trail of the Via dolorosa and watched, with tears welling in her eyes, as He was brutally beaten, spat upon and abused verbally.  His already tortured body sank under the weight of the cross.  If only she could carry it for Him as He had taken her burden from her shoulders.

She loved Jesus, but not in the way the world has described her relationship with Him.  Jesus was her Savior and her thoughts of Him were only gratitude and adoration.  She stood below the cross with Jesus’ mother, Mary, comforting her as her Son hung from that cursed tree.  She listened as Jesus said the words to his mother, “Woman this is your son.”  Then to John he said, “This is your mother.”  Even in these final hours of his life His concern was not for Himself. He wanted to be sure that His mother would be cared for.

Mary Magdalene stayed with Mary after Jesus died.  She was the first to see the empty tomb.  She hastened to tell the others that Jesus was gone.   She feared that His body had been stolen by the Roman soldiers.  Imagine her excitement when she saw Jesus again in a newly restored body.  He was alive as He said He would be.

In the following years, she went right along with the other disciples, preaching the good news of Christ’s resurrection, His dominion over death and the bounty of eternal life, which belongs to all of us if we simply believe and follow Christ.  Mary followed Him with a repentant heart full of gratitude for what He’d done for her.

Are you readty to follow?

 

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WRITERS’ FUNNIES

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Anyone who edits is indeed worthy of the gold. Especially when I send my things by email on my phone.  They should be sainted actually.

 

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YOU CAN CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS …

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“You can choose your friends but you sho’ can’t choose your family, an’ they’re still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge ‘em or not, and it makes you look right silly when you don’t.”  Harper Lee

Most of us wouldn’t trade the family we have.  Not only are we committed to them by the bond of blood, but we’ve kind of grown used to each other over time.  Whether yours is functional, dysfunctional or just plain weird, you don’t have a choice when in comes to your relatives.

You start out as two people joining as one.  From there it just gets better or crazier, depending on your point of view.  We can become tightly bonded or go our separate ways, but there is just something total different between lifelong friends and family members.

The choices made for friends can change the way we think, improve the way we want to be and may even alter the way we live – but family is what really defines who we are.  We spend a lifetime with our mate – if we’re lucky – and at least 18-20 years with each of our children during their growing up – again, if we’re lucky.  During those short years we can influence what they believe in, how the communicate, behavior, prejudice, how they solve problems, what they will become.

Not a long time when you think about it. How much can you cram into that offspring in 18 short years?  Most of your time is spent correcting, disciplining, and simply getting through each day.  If you choose to have a family, you first need to know that it’s not always going to be a picnic.  There will be days when you simply want to turn in your parenting badge.  There will be times when you become overwhelmed, distraught, frightened, worried, overbearing and ….. the beat goes on.

Once you’ve made the decision, however, you’re committed or should be.  LOL!  Just kidding.  Actually having a family is one of our greatest accomplishments as a couple.  We traveled the parenting road with three children – each unique in personalities, weaknesses, strengths and dreams – but together we learned to work as a team, rely on each other in times of trouble and grow up together.  Having the Lord as the head of our house was the glue that really sealed us together.

Our children are grown now and have families of their own.  They’re facing many of the same things we did as young parents.  I don’t envy them, trying to get through these tumultuous times, but every generation has trouble.  When God is your guide, you can overcome anything.  With God all things are possible – even raising a family.

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MAJESTIC IS HIS NAME

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“May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works, who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke!”                    Psalm 104:31-32

ORIGINAL ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

The glory of the Lord is painted throughout His creation,

Wafting down from the heights of heaven as an eagle,

Upon whose tremendous wingspan touches every cloud,

Carving through granite mountains with the touch of a finger,

Glistening in the silver lined clouds,

Reflecting across still waters,

Racing through the wind to places of majesty,

This is God’s handiwork,

This is His voice,

His Touch,

His view,

His creation,

Only He can make a mountain,

Only He can piece together a valley,

Only He can fill empty spaces with refreshing water,

Only He can create colors of such beauty,

Only He.

 

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WRITERS’ FUNNIES

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This is so true.  Some of the greatest ideas come in our dreams, but how on earth do we remember them.  Wouldn’t be great to be able to plug in a USB port directly into our brain?

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CHARACTERS OF THE PASSION – PONTIUS PILATE

Pontius Pilate played a pivotal role in the crucifixion of Jesus, even though he had no reason to declare him guilty.  The evidence brought against this criminal had nothing to do with Roman law.  The only possible reason Pilate could have used against Jesus, was any treachery directed against his boss, the Roman emperor

I wonder if Pontius Pilate had any idea what Jesus was saying when he heard the accused firmly state that he indeed was a king.   As Jesus declared His defense in the matter by stating that He indeed was a king, but that His kingdom was not of this world  Pilate’s ears must’ve perked up.

This tiny bit of evidence would’ve condemned Jesus in the eyes of the state.  However, being eager to engage our Lord in some philosophical pander, He asked Jesus, “What is truth?” The Romans were always anxious to show off their ability to reason things out.  Jesus responded to the ruler that His purpose was to bring the truth to the world – truth which had been diluted and polluted over the centuries before His birth – truth which the devil had undermined with his many lies.

Pilate’s wife had warned him about killing this innocent man, because of a dream she had, but Pilate needed to placate the crowd.  The cries of “Crucify Him,” would not otherwise be silenced.

Satan has been manipulating the truth to fit his own agenda since the beginning of creation.  He continues to do so today.  We can’t always see the workings of his hand.  It’s often sugar coated and presented to us in a beautiful package.  He even uses God’s own words to finagle his way into our hearts.

Those blatant untruths have permeated the church today as they did in Jesus’ lifetime.  This often happens when the body of believers tries to rewrite scripture to fit their own needs and desires. We must constantly be on guard.  God’s Word is the only truth we need for every area of our lives.  When we allow the devil to sabotage that truth, we are opening the door for all kinds of deception.

Dear, Lord, you gave your life in defense of your Father’s truth.  You continue to make your Words available to us today and we often misuse them.  Help us study and re-study your amazing scriptures.  Help us see how those words support themselves.  Keep us always on track.  Allow the truth to permeate our souls and give us the fortification we need in this deceptive world.  Help us to fight off the devil and his lies.   Amen!

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PATH TO ANGELS’ WINGS

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ORIGINAL ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

After Paul found out he had macular degeneration, I was concerned that his paintings might be affected.  I WAS WRONG.

 

A blue-grey sky, rolls swiftly by, the clouds enwrap its glory,

The road is paved with gilded stones, that tell an endless story,

A husky mule, a rugged man, set out to see what nature brings,

They take the path less travelled and fall on angels’ wings,

The beauty of the landscape, enriches this sweet scene,

As light reflects on every rock, new life will reconvene,

An eagle watches from afar – takes in your every move,

While you may falter, He is there to guide you and reprove,

When days grow long and life wears on, we search for simple things,

So take a road less traveled and fly on angels’ wings.

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WRITERS’ FUNNIES

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