Then Job answered the Lord and said:

“I know that you can do all things,
    and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
    things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
 ‘Hear, and I will speak;
    I will question you, and you make it known to me.’
 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
    but now my eye sees you;
    therefore I despise myself,
    and repent in dust and ashes.”

Job 41:1-6


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I thought it was time for something funny for a change.  I’m tired of posting sad commentaries.  It’s time to get down to some serious humor. This is an old post, but reflects some of the things you may be going through as you do that final family vacation for the summer.


Gone are the days when we’d pack three children, a dog and half  our worldly belongings into the car and take off for a family vacation.  Oh the joys of the open road – where you can leave all your troubles behind and just enjoy the blessings of God’s creation . . . well almost.

Our Christmases were often spent driving from Minneapolis to Milwaukee during a blizzard and icy road conditions. We’d pack up the playpen, (one of those devices that would now be considered child abuse,) Christmas presents (often homemade) and enough snacks to satisfy everyone for the 5-6 hour trip.

Our first camping excursion taught me how to put up a tent, build a fire, cook over it and wash dishes in the open air.  I’d never been camping in my life, but my husband loved it and wanted his children to experience the rich rewards.  The tent was set up, car unloaded, we ate under the tall pines and it was lovely – until a tornado came spinning through our campground in the middle of the night.

The children were fast asleep when the tent started to sway in the wind.  My husband scurried outside in his underwear to secure our habitat to a tree, as I held it up from within, with water dripping down into my armpits.  The kids slept through the entire thing.

There were the really long distant trips which required a certain amount of courage and stamina on the part of all of us.  Spending hours in a vehicle with sweaty bodies, cheese curds growing moldy under your feet and tension building to the boiling point, was often more than one person could handle.  Still we persevered, through mountains, valleys and long stretches of nothing.

We’d sing old songs until our voices cracked.  We played the alphabet game so many times, that we finally started doing it backwards to make it more interesting.  My husband, true pioneer that he is, seemed to be driven by some uncontrollable force to pack in as many miles in one day as possible.

One day we spent in a car dealership, waiting for our car to be repaired after someone rear ended us.  The relationship of our family to the Griswolds was becoming evident with the dawn of each new day.  Luckily, the dog was not tied to the rear bumper and Aunt Agnes was not strapped to the top of the car, but we had our share of similar disasters.

Family time together can make for some wonderful memories.  Through those times, we  had an opportunity to learn more about each a chance to enjoy each others’ company, but as for me, I much preferred doing it in a Holiday Inn.

Time you spend together is never wasted.  BTW, this was before smart phones and other electronics.  “Never leave your children to their own devices,” a quote from my husband.

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When life engulfs you with anger and rage – when you struggle with fear and temptation,

Turn your mind to the glory of God’s written page – He will heal you and give you salvation.

Though your days seem relentless, your nights never end – your hope is in Jesus, your brother and friend.

He’ll give you His peace with a love overflowing – your burdens He’ll carry for you,

A peace that’s eternal, no tears, no regrets – He’s paid the full debt that was due.

So look heavenward, leave the world far behind, and focus on Jesus the King,

His arms are wide open – He hears every prayer – and surely His peace He will bring.



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“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”  Ronald Reagan

During this time of social unrest, global rumblings, world politics and a stage filled with actors that seem to have no direction, I often wonder what kind of legacy have we created for the children of the future.

These little ones are getting a distorted picture of what our world can be.  They’re exposed daily to tragedy, hopelessness and fear.  They cannot even attend school without going through secured doors.  The norm of their existence is peppered with negative news, bullying techniques on both sides, fear mongering, hatred and a social media that defines them.

Children are the future.  They are the ones who will lead us some day.  They need to know the cost of freedom.  They need to be reminded that this place is worth preserving and that God is always at the helm.

I am genuinely concerned for my grandchildren and their children.  As monuments are removed and destroyed; as art depicting battles from the past are eliminated from our public buildings; as words are revised and rewritten pertaining to the blood shed for the freedom we enjoy; as history is eliminated from the classroom –  future generations will never understand what the cost was.

National pride has almost become extinct. The word “pride” has now take on a totally new meaning.   Now we opt for self-gratification, instant everything and a country that will bend easily to our own agenda, rather than one that serves all.

What do we tell these young people as they come out of colleges and high schools?  How do we excite them for a future of success and accomplishment, when there seems nothing to be proud of anymore”   We owe it to them to re-instill a love of country.  America is worth the fight.  Those of us who lived through several battles over the years, will attest to the fact.  There are scars.  There are still open wounds.  Lives have been spent out of love for her, and the freedoms we hold dear are worth the battle.

We need to rekindle the flames of patriotism.  We need to pray for our leaders.   We must ask God to intercede so that there is something left for future generations to hand on to their children.

There is hope for the future.  God has provided for our eternal life with Him in heaven.  In the time we have remaining, as parents and grandparents, we need to leave a United States for future generations.  This means, putting aside our own interests and joining together as one nation, under God.

Dear God, heal our land.


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Today, Paul is beginning a three day paint out in Hudson, Wisconsin.  A group of talented artists from the area, will be painting a picture a day on site.  Each painting will be of some location within the town or on the river.  At the end of the three days, their art will be exhibited in the Seasons on St. Croix Gallery in downtown Hudson, WI. on Monday, August 21 at 6:30.

This magical little town on the St. Croix River is full of unique sites.  The river is still filled with sail boats and other types of watercraft.  People quietly stroll down the streets or on the beach – some alone, some hand in hand.  Quaint shops line the main street.  It’s an escape from the madness of society for just a few days.  Oh that it would go on forever.

If only it were so easy.  To pack up our troubles and cares – to get in the car and head out for unspoiled lands – to escape for a while.  This is the beauty of being an outdoor painter.  There are difficulties to encounter – like inclement weather, wind, rain, heat – finding just the right spot that will capture a story for your painting – making sure your paints remain wet – and countless other obstacles.  The rewards far outweigh the interruptions.  Being in nature brings you closer to your Creator.  Being outdoors lends itself to peace.  Breathing fresh, clean air and focusing in on natural and man made beauty can calm the savage beast.

Just like in life, we go through bumps in the road  We face difficulties at every turn, but in the end we come up with some semblance of stability and order.  There are times when we can tune out the world and enjoy the beauty of God’s splendid creation.  If we walk with God, we won’t lack for respite.  He puts things back into perspective.  With Him we can decompress and find tranquility.  Even if it’s only for three days.

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As we prepare for the coming solar eclipse, we’re being warned not to focus directly on it.  If we do, we’re allowing for damage to the retina and possible blindness.  I wonder if it would make any difference to our spiritual blindness, if we were to simply not look at all the ugliness around us – to put on blinders, so to speak – to shield our eyes from the state of the world.

Our planet is full of so much hatred – so many opposing beliefs – so much anger and division – so much sin.  The truth that we are all sinners has somehow become blurred.  We don’t want to hear that we’re imperfect, but the truth is, we have all fallen short of the glory of God.  Sin is an ugly word.  It isn’t politically correct.

Many folks think that if they lead a good life and help others or do good deeds, they have paid the price for their own salvation.  The thought that they might need help in that area doesn’t enter the picture.  We’re taught to be self-sufficient and independent.  We might learn that positive thinking is the answer.  We sometimes turn down a different path in search of something that will clear our minds and take away the madness that surrounds us.

What we really need is a Savior – a Redeemer – Jesus.  Without His perfect sacrifice, we are nothing but dark, deeply disturbed, perverted and separated from God.  With Him, the path for eternity has been opened for us.  We cannot work our way into heaven – only Jesus could do that.  First we need to recognize that we need Him.

In times like these, I wonder just how long our God will be patient.  As each day fills with bad news, illness, financial needs, hatred, war, abuse and division, we seem to be falling further and further away from Him.  These are the times when we must learn to depend totally on the One who came for the express purpose of saving us from the results of sin – eternal death in hell.

It’s time to turn back to God.  He has already provided the way to heaven.  He can certainly change the direction of the evil that is infecting our world today.  It’s time to stop looking for the fault in others, when a giant plank is lodged in our own eyes.  It’s time to remove the plank.

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