LUKE SIX – BLESSED WORDS

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READ LUKE SIX
This chapter is filled with so much meat. It begins by discussing the Pharisees insistence on not working on the Sabbath. Such things as eating some gathered corn from the field or healing the sick from their infirmity were considered labor by the elders of the church. Jesus quickly set them straight by stating that He was the Lord of the Sabbath. Those words must’ve stung deeply, as they were seen as a threat to the church itself.

By this time, Jesus had chosen all twelve of His disciples. They indeed were helpful to His ministry, as many of our own church elders can be of help to our officiating pastors. Jesus was a man and because of that He got tired and hungry. He needed time to pray, to rest and take nourishment just like we do. On the other hand, He is also God and could’ve easily provided for those needs, but it wasn’t part of His mission on earth.

We see in this chapter that Jesus prayed a lot. As our example, we can glean much from this. God is available to hear our prayers at a moment’s notice. We don’t always take advantage of that.

Jesus and his band of disciples covered a lot of territory. The crowds were growing. People came to be healed, out of curiosity and because the message was one they had longed to hear.

The Beatitudes are listed in this chapter. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh,” was one of them. These were akin to the proverbs of old, but they carried an entirely new meaning. He said things like, “Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.”  These words were foreign to them, but they certainly held their attention.

Jesus must’ve been an exemplary speaker. His voice would have to carry to great lengths to reach the many in His audience. Imagine the voice of God speaking directly to them and us. He was nothing extraordinary to look at, yet he commanded the crowds. When He told them not to judge others, but to forgive them as we will be forgiven. He told them to be good fruit and to build their lives on the foundation of God. By doing so they would not be shaken.

Jesus was bringing that foundation back to the people. He came to establish His kingdom in our hearts. Let us continually stay rooted in His Word so we continue to flourish and spread the Good News of salvation to all people.

We are definitely living in troubled times.  The church is being attacked on a daily basis.  The devil is using every tool in his toolbox to take advantage of us.  Don’t let Him in.

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BIG GIRLS DO CRY

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The feminist movement did great things for women.  It allowed them to leave the ties of housekeeping behind and venture into a whole new world.  It was a world which challenged their abilities, their brain power, their industriousness, their ingenuity, their organizational skills, their talent and their compassion.

Yes, I said compassion.  Now where in the world does that word fit into the world of commerce?  Up until then, compassion was woven into the fabric of nursing or caring for others.  The corporate world was and still is, filled with money driven men who were trying to change the world.  Not a lot of compassion was necessary  When women became part of that world, things changed a lot.

In the beginning men said women’s place was in the home, raising a family, tending to the chores of the day and caring for her husband.  The game was on.  Women started attending colleges for things other than secretarial or medical skills.  They proved that they could work under pressure and handle the stress of corporate life.  It wasn’t an easy road, because these same women still had the responsibilities of running a home, but they managed to do both.

Today women are deeply imbedded into politics.  They hold positions of power in the medical field, the corporate world, high finance and industry.  They have proven to be equal to men, but still fight the battle of equal pay. I’m sure that day isn’t far off

In the process, families have become accustomed to both parents working.   The material things that were put on the back burner until they could be paid for are now staples in most homes.  The home fires still burn, but most of the management of that place is being carried out by hired workers.

In the meantime, women have become equal with men.  In my opinion, they always were in God’s eyes.  Woman was created to be a partner for man.  I’m sure there are statistics that prove that men are the hunter/gatherers and women, the caregivers, simply because of the way they are made up physically.  Women are sensitive, intuitive and have the ability to listen.  The tenderness of their hearts is something that continues to exist, even though they try to put on an armor of toughness.  Women cry.  Yes, so do men, but women seem to do it more often.

As women take on some of the roles of their counterparts, they’re expected to be tough,  put their emotions aside and act like a man.  However, even in a society that wishes to determine their own gender, men are men and women are women.  The differences were designed to compliment each other.

Women do have a softer side.  Our emotions are often worn on our sleeves.  Our compassion is evident in the way we work with others and live with them and should be considered a medal of honor.  It’s not an attack on your character to say you can cry if you need to.  There will be days when the pressure of work gets in the way of family – when the demands of travel take you from those you love – when the extra hours of work keep you from kissing your children goodnight.  It’s OK to feel bad about those things.

God made tears for a purpose.  They come out when we grieve, when we’re frustrated or angry and even when we’re happy. The silent tears you pour into your pillow each night do not go unnoticed.

There’s someone who understands those feelings.  Jesus wept.  He knows all about sorrow.  He understands our pain.  He is also our comforter.  He hears our prayers and dries our tears, but He allows us to  bring all our burdens to Him, so he can carry them for us.

 

 

 

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WISDOM

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

Dear, Lord,

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

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A STRONG WOMAN

Most mothers don’t feel strong at the end of the day. They’ve spent the last hours finding and serving nutritious meals for the family. Her children have scheduled duties and she works around their schedules in order to accomodate them. She gives her time, talents, love, care and encouragement as they grow into adults. She watches their progress and prays for them daily. Many mothers now are multi-taskers. They not only care for their families, but hold jobs outside the home. There is little time to spend on herself but she does this willingly because she’s a mother.

We often take our mothers for granted. We don’t always appreciate the little things they’ve done to make us into the people we’ve become. What we considered pushing and prodding was only for our benefit in the long run.

We are not merely clones of our parents. We’re individuals who are an extension of them. We share the same DNA, many of the same physical features and often the same values. I was blessed to have a wonderful mother, but not all have been so lucky. Memories are made by mothers along with tradition, good manners, positive thoughts, rules for living, morality, faith and love. They are also the epitome of strength.

To all of the mothers out there, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY and may God bless this day for you as well of all the days of your life.

“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Proverbs 31:28-29

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MOTHERS OF ALL SIZES AND SHAPES

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Two lonely hearts once met and on that meeting found,

That God already knew that life would soon abound,

The two began a quest to build a monstrous nest,

They scavenged anything that seemed to meet the test,

This nest awaited eggs, the couple sat and waited,

The dad would find a meal to keep the mom abated,

As mother’s often do, she left her eggs alone,

She had to stretch her wings, but dad would take the throne,

And so between the two of them, a family came to be,

The little chicks sat all alone and screeched for subsidy,

The parents swooped and dove for those within their custody,

Soon they would learn to fly, yet questions still remained,

Would all of them survive, would life still be maintained,

And with each passing day, they left their mammoth home,

With fledgling wings now fluttering, completely on their own,

Yet in the nest on high, the smallest one remained,

Too weak to flap his wings, his strength had all but waned,

But mother’s love endured, she saw to this one’s needs,

She nurtures and protects him, with love she intercedes,

Today that little bird has flown to heights unknown,

Because of mother’s love, he soars now on his own.

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FORGOTTEN LUNCHES AND LOST SOCKS

As the mother of three adult children and the grandmother of three adult children, you wouldn’t think I’d be thinking about forgotten lunches and lost socks. The truth is, these things have haunted me for most of my existence. Now there are only two of us living under the same roof. I don’t have to pack lunches, but I still have nightmares about forgetting to do so and being laden with guilt because of it. Apparently guilt is something we have difficulty overcoming as adults. What could we have done better? Did I give good advice or lead them down another rabbt hole. Did I instill a strong work ethic or did I take it too far? Did I sacrifice, give in to keep the peace, or did I just give up at times? A mother’s mind takes you down those roads quite often.

Socks don’t seem to get separated as often as they did when all those additional feet were being clad, but that’s been taken care of with the innovative thinking of young people who now wear one of each. Why didn’t I think of that? A whole new fashion statement was born out of lost socks.

Being a mother is so much more than worrying abut these petty things, but I bring them up to illustrate that once you become a mother, you never, ever stop being one. I still wake up in the middle of the night worrying about each one of them. When I don’t hear from them in a while, I wonder if they’re sick or going through some difficult times. I’m not the kind of mom who needs to be involved in her childen’s lives, but they are still a physical part of your being until you no longer inhabit this earth. I wonder if that issue ever goes away. Will I still be concerned about them in heaven, or will I finally have learned to cast my cares on the Lord in all things? Guess I’ll have to wait to find the answer to that and all of the questions I had while living.

The role of the mother has changed within my lifetime. I was born in a time when women had very few options in life. She could get married, have children, maybe get a job when they left the nest, but usually they consisted of secretarial work, teaching or becoming a nurse. Today the sky is the limit for women. Many are the bread winners of the family. Most are extremely overworked and under appreciated. As for me, I think one of my greatest accomplishments has been to be a mother. On the flip side, you never stop being one. It is one of the greatest gifts God has given to women.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. It’s also Lost Sock Memorial Day. Both of these days are reminders for me of what life was as a mom and how important the little things were and continue to be. So Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there. Think of what you have to look forward to when your mothering days are done. Ah, but they never are done.

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MOTHER’S DAY CHUCKLES

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YOU CAN CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS, BUT …

“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 they 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 – 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 now 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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LEADER OF THE PACK

My mother passed away several years ago, but if there was something she passed along to her daughters, their daughters and future daughtrs it was a steely backbone, a great sense of humor, the ability to persevere in times of difficulty and true grit. In other words, she was a woman of spunk.

She passed that down to her two daughters.

Great Granddaughter Kaeli Oquist

The leader of our pack is now in heaven and I can’t wait until we are all rejoined there again. This amazing woman gave us many gifts over time. She instilled courage, integrity, faith, hope and love. She endowed us with strong wills which have gotten us into trouble some times, but have helped us to succeed in others. I remember a line from the “Mary Tyler Moore Show,” when Lou Grant said to her, “You’ve got spunk.” That would also apply to our maternal leader. She had no idea what would come after her, but she would be happy to know that we all have a little of that spunk in us too.

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DISCIPLINARIAN, ENCOURAGER, TEACHER, GIVER, UNSELFISH AND BRAVE

Since It’s Throw Back Thursday I’ve decided to post one of my older pieces, from May 9th, 2014. I sure have been doing this blogging thing for a long time.

There are many moms who don’t find much to celebrate on this holiday – those who keep the home fires burning while their husbands are serving their country in far off places – moms who raise their families while dad’s job requires him to travel – moms who have lost a child through miscarriage, illness or tragedy – mothers with special needs children – those with children that have turned to a life of crime or addiction. 

When we give birth. we’re giving life to another human being.  That comes with tremendous responsibility, energy and dedication.  We aren’t always going to be the perfect “Leave it to Beaver” mother.  There are days when our home looks like a tornado went through it.  There are times when we just can’t settle another dispute between siblings or we just don’t have time to get out of our sweats and put on some makeup.  We may feel unappreciated, misunderstood, frustrated or unable to do it all. There are moments when we just plain get tired of the job, but we go on.

Motherhood is one of the most under-rated professions known to mankind.  Moms are purveyors of comfort, deliverers of love and encouragement, merchants of morality and learning, solicitors of peace and understanding.  They are the vessel of God’s handiwork.  Mother’s need a pat on the back each and every day of the year.

So once a year we honor mothers. We spend money on cards and flowers. We share time with them. We let them know they are important to us. The other 364 days we tend to forget to place her in the highest of esteem or let her know how much we love her. My mom passed away several years ago, but I still think of her often. I’m also reminded of her last years of life and being able to spend some actual quality time with her. I will treasure that time forever.

Psalm 139:13, “For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.”

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THE OUTDOOR ARTIST

The sun can be unrelenting as it beats on your back,

Placing shadows on canvas where they don’t actually belong,

The sweat of your brow bleeds into your eyes,

A clumsy onlooker tips over your water or bumps your arm,

You long to move your immovable legs,

Your hands begin to cramp,

The brush seems to either glide effortlessly,

Or has to be guided with pain staking strokes,

Each minute in a competition can be a complete rush,

Or a total wipeout,

You continue,

For a full day and then another and another,

Until finally you’ve completed three works of art,

Was it worth it?

Is life worth it?

We each struggle daily to achieve,

We encounter road blocks, difficulties, unknowns,

But with each hour, each minute, each second,

We continue on,

We strive,

We work,

We gain satisfaction or disappointment,

But we go on,

To make art,

To do whatever we do,

Because it is worth it.

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THINGS I WISH I HADN’T SAID AS A MOM

When it comes to Mother’s Day, I have a lot of regrets as to how I raised my children, but at the same time I thank God for helping me through the process. There were things I wish I had not said or done, but that’s all over and done. Now they have adult children of their own and most likely have used many of the same idioms on them. It seems like a passing of the gauntlet in a way – reaching from one generation to the next. All ten of the phrases listed in the attached image have been used in my lifetime. In honor of Mother’s Day, I have a few more:

  • Clean your plate. Don’t you know there are children starving in China? For one thing, this would be totally politically incorrect today. Also how would my cleaning my plate help anyone who was starving – especially if I cleaned it?
  • Money doesn’t grow on trees – Apparently my third child never figured that one out. She thought all we had to do was write a check and today, writing a check is pretty much obsolete.
  • I’m going to pull over right now and let you walk the rest of the way home – They didn’t seem to be phased by this either, especially when we were nearing the driveway. Today this would be interpreted as child abuse.
  • Someday you’ll have a child just like you – divine retribution. Chances are this will happen. It seems we continue spawn clones over the centuries..
  • KNOCK IT OFF – This one seems to be timeless and has absolutely no value at all.
  • Don’t sit on cement. You’ll get piles. – this isn’t used much anymore. I suppose most people don’t know piles is another word for hemorrhoids, but I don’t recall ever sitting on the sidewalk, because I though piles was something completely different. I had visions of piles of something growing out of the cement and into my body. Oh the imagery.
  • Go ask your father – This one only brings confusion, because dad has already told them to ask mom. It also leads to deception when the child says, “She/he said it was OK.”
  • If I told you once I’ve told you a thousand times – Really? I wasn’t keeping count, but now that you mention it, it could be more like a hundred thousand times.
  • If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you? This is a touchy one today. Kids have a ton more emotional issues in this age of technology, you might become an accomplice to murder. Not saying that kids are more depressed these days, but statistics might prove me wrong and that isn’t funny. In other words, I would definitely avoid using this phrase ever.
  • Sticks and stones will break your bones, but names will never hurt you – Who thought that one up? I wondered how my mom would’ve felt to be called “fatty boom boom” or “lame brain” Names do hurt often more than sticks and stones, but they hurt too. Life ain’t easy. Just pick yourself up, brush yourself off and start all over again.

I’m sure there are many more of those phrases and I’d love to hear some of them from you. The think is, our words can shape young minds. They can encourage, inspire and convey love, but they can also belittle, humiliate and actually give kids the wrong idea. Just as in our relationships with others, our conversations with our kids have to be meaningful and well thought out. Most of the time, we act in the moment and that can create some problems in the future. The beat will go on and you can count on your children, grandchildren and all future generations will rely on some of the above statements to make a point. It’s called parenting.

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GOD IS MY SUPER HERO

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER ©

Do we place upon a pedestal the heroes of our time?
We sometimes make them idols. Do we think they are divine?
When they show that they are human, they quickly tumble down.
They lose that place of honor and they no more wear a crown.

They thought they were invincible – that they could do no wrong.
They took the road most traveled on – they sang out their own sweet song.
The accolades enticed them. Their greed did overcome.
They tested all the limits. To their pride they would succumb.

There is just one super hero that answers our every need,
It is Jesus, Christ our Savior. For our souls His wounds did bleed.
He gave His life to save our own – from our sin He set us free.
He conquered death to give us life, now and through eternity.

The superstars and champions may give everyone a thrill,
The Son of God outshines them all. Our every need He will fill.
So look to Him for lasting peace. The victory he has won.
He is our true redeemer God- Role Model and Number One!

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WHO IS YOUR SUPER HERO?

Well from the image I’ve chosen this morning, it would seem there are more heroes than there are those in need of them. Add to this photograph – moms & dads, police officers & fire fighters, doctors & nurses and the average guy on the street who hides his cape under his shirt. It seems we’re all in search of someone or something to get us through each day. We often place our trust in those ideals, in hopes of finding answers to our problems and those who will fight our battles for us.

In a few days, we’ll be celebrating Mother’s Day – a day which honors those who have given birth, adopted a child or raised a family that may or may not have been hers. We place these women on a pedestal and honor them for their perseverance, their dignity, their encouragement and for standing up for us.

It seems we all want someone to fight in our place. To stand up for us. To have our back. Some search for those astounding heroes in their circle of friends, their clique or gang. Some seek out heroes in their leaders or spiritual guides. Some look to themselves for heroic deeds to be done. The fact is there is really only one true hero and He is available to all of us, with no questions asked. He is not a genie that pops out of a lamp at our command. He isn’t one who will give us every desire of our heart. He isn’t going to make life easier for us. He created us with a free will. We are His masterpiece, even when we don’t feel like it. He is always available and ready to listen to our prayers.

Of course we should always take responsibiity for our own actions, but isn’t it great to know that we have the most super Hero ever? He created us in His image. He gave us a manual for living through His Holy Word. He had a plan for our lives before we were ever born. He came to our world to save us from our sins and give us a promise of eternal life. He opened the curtain of darkness that separated us from Him. He lives. He is real. He walks with us each day and gives us rest when we’re weary. He loves us with a love we can’t begin to understand. He is the only perfect Super Hero. And He doesn’t need a phone booth to do His work.

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FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE

Mondays are kind of like the recurring Ground Hog Day movie.   We go through life, thinking this is as good as it gets – go to bed and repeat the same from day to day.  Mondays have a way of squeaking back with a vengeance, week after week after week. The day itself has taken on a rather negative connotation. We’ve just come off a weekend of recreation and rest and it’s time to face the real world again.  You may have over extended yourself, your body aches, you’ve over-indulged, you haven’t accomplished nearly all the things you set out to do.

Maybe you’re stuck in a job that has no spark for you.  The only reason you continue there is because it’s a paycheck and you’d rather not go through the rigorous interviewing process again.

Maybe you’ve just graduated and you’re in that interviewing process.  You’ve sent out at least a million resumes, only to discover they are now on file somewhere in cyberspace.  You may be “retired” and have to work to supplement your Social Security income.  Whatever you have been required to do during the week, can be a drain on us or it can be a spark to ignite us.  It’s really up to us to determine which way it will go.

Weekends are a time of regeneration, refreshment, renewal and sometimes even restoration.  The work week can be brutal even if you love your job.  That’s why it’s called work.  Eventually the weekend ends and you have to drag yourself out of bed and start a new day.

Maybe we need to change our perspective.  Maybe we need to challenge ourselves to making Mondays a day of new beginnings, fresh starts and opportunities.  Having a negative attitude about one particular day is going to set the tone for the rest of them. Wouldn’t it be better to use that day as a starting point, rather than just another manic Monday?  Welcome this day, because it might be the beginning of a fabulous week.

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FACETS – A GALLERY

A painting is a reflection of an image, much like a photograph, but as with any art form, bringing the image to life is the responsibility of the artist. In the above images, you can seem some multi-dimensional art by Paul Boecher. He started his career as a sculptor when he was only seventeen years old. His first creation was chiseled out of piece of a limestone cornerstone of a convent that was being torn down in Milwaukee. While the rest of our art class was making plaster molds, he had his own little section of the room to work on his masterpiece. This led to further work in wood sculpting. His journey took him to many businesses in Minneapolis and Northern Minnesota. He created some wonderful pieces that still remain in homes, backyards, cabins, churches and commercial buildings. This is just a small sampling of the chiseling he’s done during his lifetime.

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THE RIGHT DIRECTION

William Shakespeare once said, “All the world’s a stage and all the men merely players. They have their exits and their entrances and one man plays many parts. His acts being seven.”If that’s the case, I could be nearing my final curtain, but I believe that God’s will for my life will prevail.

If I still have something to offer this world, He’s going to let me stick around for a while. I pray that He will always be my Director, guiding me tenderly and with discipline, so that when I finally reach my last curtain call, I will be ready to serve Him on a totally new level

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A MISTY MAY MORNING

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Golden glow arises at dawn, kissing the trees awake,

Brilliant tints inhabit the sky, shades for heaven they make,

A ripple effect explodes there, shadows and light descend,

The chill in the air refreshes, all sadness soon will mend,

A new day appears as promised, God’s love it will provide,

When life leaves scars on our heartstrings, and tears fall from our eyes,

The Lord has made His covenant, life will go on today,

He carries us through the waters of trouble and dismay,

He lifts us when we’ve fallen down, He heals our broken hearts,

He generates hope and wisdom, and gives us a fresh start,

Each day becomes a heritage to pass on to our sons,

New life comes after our last breath, through what our Lord has done,

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HAPPY MAY DAY

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SOMETHING NEW FROM SOMETHING OLD

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

The air is screaming out, “it’s spring,” our hearts are filled with joy,
Warm thoughts of love will now inspire the minds of girl and boy,
New life explodes in every tree, the grass has turned to green,
The birds are singing their love songs, results will soon be seen.

Now it’s time to clear the cobwebs, to dig into the mess,
Our spring cleaning starts in earnest, as soon as we get dressed,
What lays beneath the surface dirt, may serve another’s need,
Hold it for yet another day, this is no time for greed.

An auction or a yard sale looms, within that pile of trash,
We’ll make it shine like it once did and turn it into cash,
It might not look like much right now, but given its full measure,
What’s junk to us can often be some other’s perfect treasure.

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STAND UP?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I’ve always thought it would be fun to be a stand up comic. I never followed through with that dream, because of my fear of rejection. It seemed easier to perform in a cast of players. If nothing else the whole ensemble is responsible for the success or failure of a production. Now I’m approaching my 79th year of life and stand up is still calling to me. Unfortunately, now I don’t know if I can stand up anymore.

I did some writing a while back for a woman in her 70s who was a regular on the stand up circuit. I admired her stamina, her zeal, her courage and her guts. It was during that time that the embers began to kindle. If she could do standup, why couldn’t I? Well time passed and I never seemed to have an opportunity to express myself in this way. Now I have made a committment to doing so. My little senior theatre group has produced two recordings so far. Because the pandemic has not yet been able to do in house performances, we turned it into a radio show. We’re currently in the planning stages for the next season of shows. One of them involves a holiday cruise for the Jewels of de Nial.

One of our players was an opera singer in her early career. She will be showing off her talent in that area during this show as she has been called on to be the entertainment for the night. Another of the performers is a writer. She enters a contest to write a holiday song and will perform it as well. I thought this might be the perfect place to test my stand up skills.

So as I sit here trying to come up with a routine, I ask that you all wish me luck. I’m about to embark on a new career – maybe. Unless the hecklers show up, or the drunks in the audience have something to add. I might have a heart attack during my performance. I could pass out on stage. They may start throwing things at me. I guess it won’t be the first time. As FDR once said, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.” This show won’t come to fruition until January, 2022. I wonder if I’ll still be around. Stay tuned!

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LET’S GO FISHIN’

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

When life seems overwhelming and you start right in to wishin’

That nothing takes away your dreams or stifles your ambition,

When worldly stuff gets in the way of all of life’s sad condition,

It’s time to get away from things that give you tunnel vision,

Don’t let those thoughts  discourage you, just give yourself permission,

To launch the boat and cast the line – Give up and just go fishin’.

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GIVE A MAN A FISH . . .

In the past few months we’ve been led to believe that the government is our only hope for the future. We have grown reliant on those stimulus checks. We justify them as being part of our tax dollars put to work for the betterment of the nation. When you’re retired and living entirely on Socal Security, a free check every few months is a true godsend. When you’re poor, the same is true. When you’ve become reliant on the government for welfare checks, medical care, etc. we tend to expect all those perks. I don’t imagine anyone returned their stimulus checks to the US Treasury department. We all like free stuff. We play the lottery in hopes of winning money that will secure our future. We gamble at the casino to accrue a few extra bucks. We enter the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstake with visionsn of winning and never having to work again.

The old proverb, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,” makes a lot more sense. When we become so reliant on some one or some thing to pay our way, or give us a free education, or provide for daycare, or protect our environment, or provide for abortion, or eliminate racism – sexual identity – we are becomng enslaved to the very source providing all of those goodies. We are beholding to them.

Here are few variants to that proverb:

  • “Gve a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Give a man a poisoned fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
  • “Don’t give him a fish and you feed yourself. He’s a grown man and should be able to figure it out for himself.”
  • “Teach him to fish and he’ll need graphite fishing rods, tackle box, fishing line, expensive reels, lures, tackle box, silly hat and vest, minnows, fishing boat with motor, a trailer to carry the boat, lots of vacation time, beer and no wife.”

All kidding aside, are we really better off having our government involved in every area of our lives? Nothing comes without a price tag. We are each responsible for our own lives, but we’re also asked to care for our neighbors and rightly so. We don’t do that nearly enough. In fact most of us don’t even know our neiighbor’s name. Our isolation began a long tme before the pandemc, when people began expecting the government to do what we don’t want to do.

If we really care about the poor, or those being oppressed, or those without specific skills, we help them to learn how to make a living, provide jobs, financially help them, encourage them that they have a future, reinforce their value and love them. Don’t enslave them to powers that be. We can all be thankful for that possibility.

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