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 LOWLY CHILD

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER

A child just turned a woman, became the chosen one,

To hold the Son of God within – to be her firstborn Son,

An ordinary child was she – a lowly servant girl,

Extraordinary things would happen, for her and all the world,

Through Mary’s contemplation of this exalted state,

She knew that God was faithful, and she would simply wait,

She trusted every word she heard through Gabriel’s angel voice,

A message from Jehovah, God, had blessed her with this choice,

Her faith remained, yet she was scared, what would her family say,

She thought of her intended groom, and her own wedding day,

But still within that quiet night, acceptance filled her soul,

Though fear remained she trusted God, to use her for His goal.

To bring to man forgiveness from every single sin.

Fulfill His word of promise and make all clean within.

Oh for a faith like Mary had, to trust without a doubt,

That she would be the vessel for what God would carry out,

He uses those like you and me, to work His glorious will,

We’re all just ordinary folks, but He can use us still,

The Holy Spirit will be there, igniting flames of trust,

Within the hearts and souls of men, for He is good and just.

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MARY’S FAITH

Luke 1:38  “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

I don’t know about you, but to have the faith that Mary exhibited when she was told she would be impregnated with God’s own Son, is more than a little hard to imagine. The news itself was impossible from a human standpoint.

It’s easy for us to understand her question, “How could this be?”

Yet the answer was far beyond belief. Even so, Mary accepted the news from the angel Gabriel. She would carry the Messiah in her womb for the next nine months – endure the birth pains – hold the helpless child in her arms – watch him grow into a little boy – see Him scuff his knees while at play, blister His hands as he shaped wood aside His stepfather and to be surrounded by poverty and need. She would see his passion for His heavenly Father as He spoke in the temple as a young man of twelve. She would watch as He grew into a man and preached the scriptures with authority. Eventually, she would see her Son suffer torture and humiliation, hang from a cross, suffer and die to pay for the sins of the world. She would also rejoice with His followers as Jesus rose from the dead on the third day.

She was just a child herself when she heard Gabriel’s message. Still the faith of a child is what God wants from all of us, isn’t it. Mary accepted her future, her destiny, her mission with exactly that kind of faith. Oh that the Holy Spirit would create that kind of belief in our hearts too.

A child just turned a woman, became the chosen one,

To hold the Son of God within – to be her firstborn Son,

She wasn’t someone special – a lowly servant girl,

But God had special plans for her and also for the world.

Through Mary’s contemplation of this exalted state,

She knew that God would come to earth to wipe away all hate,

To bring to man forgiveness from every single sin,

Fulfill His word of promise and make us clean within.

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JULIE’S FRIDAY FUNNY

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OH, COME, EMMANUEL

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

The world in pain and trouble lay, temptation all around,

But in a lowly feeding trough. a Savior could be found,

Born of a virgin, meek and mild and God’s own precious Son,

He took on earthly flesh and blood, with Him we would be one.

A stable filled with animals, would be his nursery,

His death would be upon a tree, He died for you and me,

His humble life was troublesome, He had no place to rest,

Yet in his short eventful life He gave to us His best.

When we feel lost and in distress, our hearts can jump for joy,

Because the man named Jesus, Christ, was born a baby boy,

He lived a life of poverty, experienced our pain

He rose again from death’s strong grip eternal life to gain.

So as we gaze upon that bed, that mass of smelly hay,

We see the God/Man, Jesus, Christ, who for our sins did pay,

He should have been upon a throne, but chose to live as we,

He died to pay the ransom price, the cost to set us free.

Emmanuel means God with us, He lived up to His name,

He didn’t come to win success or monetary gain,

He came to give us paradise, a gift beyond compare,

So when we die He’ll welcome us, within those gates up there.

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LOOKING FOR THE MIRACLES


I love the old movies about Christmas. You know the ones that make you feel all soft inside – cause you tear up or strike a familiar nerve. Movies like, “A Christmas Carol,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “White Christmas.” These movies are packed with family values, love for one another, charity, peace on earth and all the good things associated with Christmas. The strand that ties them all together is that life isn’t always perfect. Life for most people has its glitches and roadblocks.

To find the true miracles, we often have to dig deeper than the gifts of “The Christmas Story.” Ralphie’s dream of getting a Red Ryder B.B. gun, in spite of his mother’s objections, simply doesn’t result in the perfect, happy ending.

I think the true miracles of Christmas can be found in the simplest of things. Memories of those simple things are alive in my brain, more than any of the gifts I’ve ever received. I couldn’t tell you one special gift I asked for and got for Christmas, but I do remember the old scraggly tree we got at the last minutes in order to save money.

I recall my dad spending lots of extra hours working, so we could have special clothes to wear. I remember my mom spending hours curling my sister’s and my hair with rags. I think about the Christmases where homemade ornaments, knit scarves, mittens and doll clothes were all we had to give or receive. The smiles at receiving whatever was given always outweighed the gift itself. The time spent together is a miracle in itself.

When Christmas caroling one year, the little choir we were a part of was visiting an elderly man of ninety something. He didn’t answer his door, but peeked through the window as he heard the joyous voices. Almost like a little child, he pressed his nose against the pane and a small smile curled the edges of his mouth. He looked down to open the window slightly, so he could hear better. When his face reappeared, small tears had formed in the corners of his eyes. I considered that a wonderful miracle.

Sometimes we have to search hard for miracles. Maybe you’ve experienced the loss of a loved one this year. Perhaps you just lost your job and your debts far outweigh your assets. You might be struggling with addiction and feel there is no way out for you. There are many who are homeless, living under bridges with no warm blankets or clothes to push out the winter’s cold. How can there be even the tiniest miracle in any of that?

The most unlikely place for the King of Creation to make His human appearance, was in a lowly stable. Everything about that first Nativity of our Lord, was inconceivable – a virgin birth – born in Bethlehem as foretold by the prophets – true man yet true God- born to deliver the entire world from the chains of sin, guilt and death. None of it made sense, but these miraculous events were tucked away in Mary’s heart and undoubtedly remembered as they occurred.

There are times when we have to search hard for a miracle, but they do exist. I love those old movies, but I think Linus expressed it best. In “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” these were the words he recited:

“And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings o great joy, which shall be to all my people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ, the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men.” Luke 2:8-14

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AN EARLY CHRISTMAS TALE

POETRY BY KATHY BOECHER©

‘Twas right before Christmas and in our simple old house,
Not a creature was stirring except one small mouse,
He wasn’t too big, but the sight made me cringe,
A mouse in the house meant he’d surely infringe,

So off to the hardware store, money in hand,
We picked up a mouse trap, we thought it was grand,
Guaranteed to trap mice with no trace of the dead,
We hoped it would work then we went off to bed.

That night I heard nothing, just the sound of my breath,
It saddened my heart to put someone to death,
After all he had siblings, a mom and a dad,
And it was so close to Christmas, it made me feel sad.

There must’ve been mice in that stable of old,
They went there for refuge from danger and cold,
When they looked at the Christ child, a sight to behold,
A Savior had come as once had been foretold.

I smiled and I thought of that sweet little child,
And the animals watching so meek and so mild,
The trap is still empty, no sight of the mouse,
A timely reprieve for the guest in our house.

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COVID-19 YOU GOTTA LAUGH

At the time I posted this picture we were about three months into the pandemic. I was in denial, hoping that this was all a figment of my imagination – that I’d wake up and it would be over. For a while there we had weekly updates from the Governor – statistics of the living and the dead. I was beginning to feel like a character in a Monty Python movie.

By that time in 2020 people were already finding creative ways to pass the time. They were getting to know their spouses and children again – in close quarters every day. Dirty laundry, sitting in a heap began to multiply and grow like the virus itself. Some folks wrote parodies that were quite funny and entertaining. Some posted silly COVID19 cartoons (including myself) to try and keep things in perspective. Some of us used the ‘time out’ to complete undone tasks while others slipped into their own little cocoon and felt good about not having contact with others.

I even toyed with the idea of deep cleaning my house. That lasted for about an hour. Instead I became a fan of old movies on TV. I spent a lot of time learning how to become a Zoomer instead of a Boomer. The Technology I had been avoiding for so long was now a part of my life.

I started thinking about silly things, like how many empty coffee cans we were saving and why – how many plastic bags could you get into another plastic bag before throwing the whole lot away. I spent a lot of time sitting down during my waking hours. Everything I eat has gone to my hips and I’ve discovered that cropping doesn’t work to eliminate the extra baggage.

Whenever there’s a new announcement about the state of the pandemic, we’re told to hang in there for another few weeks. Those few weeks turn into months and somehow we feel like a child asking his parent when they’re going to get there and the reply is, “Pretty soon.” I’ve actually read that someone is suggesting wearing a mask at home. Personally, I would be dead in an hour if that were the case.

Now a vaccine is in the works. I wonder if this is designed to get rid of us old fogies. It would eliminate the surplus population, as Ebenezer Scrooge once said. There’s not much we contribute to society anymore. I wonder if we’ll have a choice?

So today I’ll think about cleaning my refrigerator. I’ll consider dusting the furniture. Notice, I said I’d think about it. I may even be so bold as to go grocery shopping. I look forward to a weekly happy hour via the internet to visit with dear friends. This and shopping are the highlights of my current condition. But I will hang in there with the rest of the world. It won’t be long now. Or will it?

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THE KING IS COMING

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

He was just a little baby, but like no other one,
He fussed and cried like babies do, but this was God’s own Son,
People came from miles around unto this unknown place,
Unlike all other kingly homes, in any time or space.

His Mother held Him gently and nursed Him at her breast,
While sheep and cows lay quietly, His bed was not the best,
When shepherds came to see Him, they knew Him right away,
He was the boy whom Angels hailed upon that glorious day.

The boy would grow into a man and worked beside His father,
He knew that He must do The work of God and not another,
When He became a rabbi, His words were straight from heaven,
He spoke with such authority of sins to be forgiven.

He lived among the people and felt each pain they bore,
He ate with them and healed them, His words meant even more,
He spoke of love and peace. He taught things new to them,
How we should forgive others, as He did for all men.

When on the cross at Calvary, my Savior died for me,
But rose from death as promised and from sin we are set free,
So as we come to Christmas with gifts for everyone,
Let’s not forget the Son of God whose work has just begun.

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IN THE WILDERNESS

Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth; The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

As we say hello to the last month of this eventful year, all of us are quite eager to get it done with.  The year 2020 will long be remembered as one to forget.  For the first time in a hundred years, a worldwide pandemic swept across cities and country sides with rampant disregard for anyone in its path.

We were subjected to impeachment hearings, presidential campaigns ad nauseum,  name calling, bullying and injustice.  Our city streets exploded with protests and violence, unleashing more hatred and anger.  Mandates came at us on a weekly basis – wear a mask, masks don’t help – every symptom meant you had COVID19 – death came to many too soon – schools were closed – small business and the entertainment industry were put on hold – economy would most likely tank – fear, anxiety, depression set in as families huddled together and got to know one another again.

So we have experienced just about every human emotion and we’ve gotten through another year.  There is hope on the horizon with vaccines that will help eliminate the pandemic.  There is optimism by some that our country is on a better path with the election of a new president.  We look ahead with anticipation to the start of a new year and pray that the next one will be better.

During this month, we are also looking forward to the celebration of Christmas.  We are on the cusp of a great adventure.  The King of Kings is born in a dirty stable, surrounded by smelly animals. The promised Messiah came to fulfill the covenant made with man in the Garden of Eden.  From the depths of poverty, in a land filled with anger, frustration, hopelessness, the Prince of Peace would emerge.  His birth would lead to a ministry beyond compare, a horrible death and resurrection from that death.  

As we make way for the Lord, let’s remember that He will come again in majestic glory.  We can count on it!

 

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FAMILY TREE

ART  & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Twisted and battered, weathered and worn, aged through the ravage of time,

Broken and tattered, beaten and torn,  victim of nature’s own crime,

Stands straight and tall, defeated yet strong, its outside is scuffed not dead,

Inside alive, though things have gone wrong,  new life will come back instead.

A small seed once grew up in that place, it flourished and it survived,

It grew tall enough to touch God’s face, will it ever be revived,

The Creator sees its inner part,  new life into it breathes,

In spring it returns to show it’s heart, with green, lush succulent leaves.

God sees our insides which once were dead, with the darkness of our sin,

He provides a way to bring us back, to cleanse our souls from within,

He gave His own Son to pay the price, to bring us to new life,

Wholly made new with His sacrifice, no longer burdened with strife.

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ANCESTRY, GENEALOGY, FAMILY HISTORY, OH MY!

There is a huge trend in finding out who we are and where we came from. Tracing the family tree has opened up a whole new industry. Family searches are made much easier than they used to be, when you had to rely on hand me down information from one generation to the next. Now the records are readily available, making it easier to reveal any rich ancestors, nare do wells or skeletons in the proverbial closet.

To find out about Jesus lineage, all we have to do is go to the Bible. There are lists and lists of begettings in both the Old and New Testament. When I was a kid and required to read through these lists, I found it difficult for a number of reasons. First, the pronunciation of all those ancient fellows was almost impossible. The lists would go on and on and I wondered what the purpose was for reading all those foreign names.

As with most family histories, there are many races and ethnicities, religions, lifestyles, professions, etc. In the case of Jesus, the Son of God and the virgin, Mary, we have a list that goes back to the beginning of time. I doubt there is any record any where that would make that possible for any other person, but it was necessary for us to see Jesus’ origins that trace right back to the very first man – Adam.

Jesus lineage is peppered with all kinds of people, from kings to shepherds – from rapists to murderers – results of incest, prostitution, and every kind of evil behavior known to man. It’s important for us to know that God took on human flesh when He came to save the world. It was part of the mission, to show that even though He had a human side, He was also without sin. He would be the perfect ransom because He was the unblemished lamb required to pay the debt that we couldn’t pay.

We can’t choose our relatives. Sometimes we might like to hide some of their misdeeds, or not make mention of them, but to be honest with ourselves, every one has some secret in their heritage.

I thank God that He chose to live among men as a man Himself. He became the second Adam – created without sin, but never giving in to it. His plan makes perfect sense, because His ways are always good. I know that he will reveal Himself again – maybe not in my lifetime – but He will come back, because He promised to do so.

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TAPESTRY

ART & POETRY BY KATHY BOECHER©

A landscape filled with a plethora of splendid textures,

A treasure trove just waiting to be wallowed in,

The roughness of a sandy hill leads to a path of prickly pines,

Winding and swirling into a pond of still, glasslike water,

Surrounded by a patch of fragrant, leaf-filled trees, towering to the heavens,

The wind makes itself known as you feel it wash over you,

Experience the compassion of God as you receive it,

Look to the heavens and see Him,

Trust in His sustaining love as He leads you,

Through soft, green pastures,

To refreshing, life giving water,

Touch His face through His magnificent creation,

Enjoy each moment.

Breathe it all in,

Don’t let a bit of it slip away,

This is where God lives,

In the patchwork of a landscape,

In the quiet of a meadow,

In the peace He places in our hearts.

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THE WONDER OF THE SEASON

This is the beginning of the holiday season. On December 10, the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah will start. The Christian season of Advent begins today. Both of these seasons involve light. The Menorah is lit, the Christmas lights decorate our trees and houses. It’s time to experience a special, wonderful time.

Hanukkah lasts for eight days and celebrates the re-dedication of the second temple in Jerusalem in 165 BC. Eight candles are lit to symbolize each of the eight days. Christians honor the birth of the light of the world, Jesus, His birth and the promise of the Messiah fulfilled.

When we enter this time of Christ’s birth and the wonder of the season, there is much that’s difficult to understand – angelic announcements to Mary and her betrothed husband, Joseph – a virgin birth – the King of Creation born into poverty in a lowly stable surrounded by animals – a chorus of angels singing praises to God for this amazing event as angels watched in amazement – God and man united and wrapped up in one tiny baby – a fulfillment of so many prophetic messages from the Old Testament, all pointing to the Savior of the world.

By today’s standards this is just a foolish story designed to give people hope in time of trouble. There is no truth – simply a fantasy created by men to lead the masses like sheep.

But it isn’t a fairy tale. It is truth that we can believe with the help of the Holy Spirit, who gives us faith. God created us. He loves us unconditionally, even though we don’t deserve His love. He took on human flesh to become one of us – to experience sadness, pain, anger, poverty and all that life throws at us, yet in all of it, He remained faithful to His heavenly Father. That doesn’t make sense either, does it? To top it off, he submitted to a torturous end, endured the scourge beyond the normal amount of lashes, suffered, was humiliated, spat upon and crucified. He died so that we don’t have to.

When we put reason in the equation, all of it sounds ridiculous. When we believe by faith that every word is true, we have come to understand the wonder of all of it. God’s love is immeasurable. He created a paradise for mankind and wants it for us again.

As we begin this season, let’s not forget who the light of the world truly is. He died, yet he rose from death. We will die too someday. When we place our trust in Him, our death will not be the end of the story, but the beginning of a new adventure. Let the light shine and never forget what that light represents.

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HOW OLD AM I AGAIN?

Acting our age isn’t always possible when you enter your golden years. When you think about it, acting our age is really an impossible task at any age. When we’re born we come out kicking and screaming and when we die, we do much the same thing.

As we reach the end of our journey on this planet, it seems to get more and more difficult to get out of bed each day. With all the challenges facing everyone this year, it’s hard for any of us (no matter what our age) to roll out of the sheets and tackle a new day. Much of our ZIP has been sapped from us in the past ten months. The idea of retreating to peaceful sleep might seem like the only solution.

I’ve decided that aging doesn’t have to be an ending, but more like a fresh start. We may be coming close, but we aren’t dead yet. If we are really honest with ourselves, we might live another twenty or thirty years. I imagine I will resemble a prune if that’s the case. I’m half way there already.

I do believe that each day needs to begin with God time. Whether this be time in meditation or prayer – reflection on the important things in life – writing thoughts down in a journal, we need to meet with our Creator and set the plan for the day. More often than not we instead focus on how WE will tackle the events of every day living. Ending the day in thanksgiving for the blessings we’ve received will also give us time with God. Life in the middle should be the same.

We don’t have to go it alone. What a wonderful thought. Even though it seems that our struggles are insurmountable – our goals unattainable – our dreams unfulfilled, we have the assurance that we don’t have to face life on our own.

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THE FINAL ACT

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER

 “Last scene of all…Is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.”  AS YOU LIKE IT, Shakespeare

Every life stage is composed of its own specific pattern,

In infancy, we demand,

We scream,

We cry,

As toddlers, the screaming becomes louder,

Demanding more,

Exploration,

Discover,

Our teen years explode with hormones,

Unleashing grown up passions,

Not yet ready to act upon,

The screams are there,

For different reasons,

You move into adulthood,

Securing your future,

Praying for success,

Driving,

Pushing,

Using every ounce of energy to make it,

To succeed,

To climb the ladder,

To make a difference,

The screams become internal,

Often hidden from others,

Yet still alive,

Middle age carries us into the beginning of aging,

You reach the pinnacle of your life,

You are at the peak,

Success may or may not have touched you,

You look forward to time with family,

Friends,

Hobbies,

Your family is growing too,

They leave the nest,

Your life is transitioning,

From youthful exuberance,

To lonely days,

Your joy turns to sadness,

You have too much time to wallow in the thick of it,

Those internal screams have become,

Weakened,

Tired,

Quieter,

Yet they exist in the recesses of your heart,

You become old,

The bridge leads to your end,

To the finality of life,

To death,

The screams persist,

You fight them,

You grow anxious for heaven,

Your body changes,

No teeth,

Thinning hair,

Body weakness,

Lack of energy,

Lack of everything,

Except for the hope of heaven,

That final destination,

Without tears,

Without aging,

Without pain,

A place where we become new again,

And stay young forever,

Your screams turn into praise,

AMEN!

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GOD IS, WAS AND ALWAYS WILL BE

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Our world is filled with sadness – depression all around,
Where can we turn for comfort when there’s none,
The darkness draws around us – no respite can be found,
We search for answers but they never come.

The days close in upon us, we feel that no one cares,
We walk in darkness and in hopelessness,
We lose our will to go on, our eyes are filled with tears,
We think we’ll never be free of the mess.

It’s then that God will rescue, when we are laid down low,
And come before His throne with saddened hearts,
He grants us His forgiveness, our sins He will let go,
The sting of death no longer He imparts.

A child will come and lead us, His promises are real,
The work has been completed through the Son,
Our God will not forsake us, through all the things we feel,
With Him we can face life with joy and zeal.

Many years ago He came to earth to be a man,
Experienced things that we now suffer through,
He was also there before our time on earth began,
And soon He will return for me and you.

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AGING WITH A SIDE ORDER OF HUMILITY

I’m beginning to realize I have a long way to go in accepting the fact that I’m old. I’ve been fighting it for some time. I’m not afraid of the aging process or the limitations it puts on me. It’s not because I’m totally vain and don’t want to see the effects aging has on my body. I know I will never be a size 2. I will never have unwrinkled skin. I will never be able to climb mountains or jump from an airplane and go free falling.

My issues come from the fact that I’m losing some of the simple abilities, like reaching a shelf that’s too high – fear of losing my balance and falling – not being able to do simple tasks which I never thought twice about before. I think men go through this as well, when they finally realize they can’t safely drive a car anymore. It’s like losing control of things that used to define us.

Yesterday was a good example of my frustration. Paul and I celebrated Thanksgiving by first attending church online. The message was inspiring and spoke of not trying to interfere in God’s plans. I was excited to have my husband home for this holiday for the first time in many years.

The day before, I made a cheesecake from scratch. Surprisingly the result was perfect. I followed the recipe to a Tee. All of the cold ingredients were set out to reach room temperature before I started. I fumbled as I cracked the eggs and had to scoop out some random shells. The sugar has been rarely used lately and was lumpy. There were little obstacles along the way – things that never would have caused me concern when I was 65. The cake turned out perfectly. I should’ve been proud of the result, but I wasn’t. I felt I was a failure because the task was such an ordeal for me.

Simple things like finding the right cake pan, having to get down on all fours to retrieve it from the far recesses of the cupboard and then getting back to an upright position, were challenges that never used to get in my way. As I prepared our Thanksgiving feast I had trouble reaching things from high shelves, keeping up with the dishes, making sure things would be just right. The meal turned out fine, but I was feeling sorry for myself for being so incapable.

I wondered how I ever put on a Thanksgiving feast for twelve or more people. I know it may sound silly, but one of the things that has brought me down during this “time out,” is discovering my limitations. And then I thought about that earlier sermon. Even in our aging, God is in control. He walks with us through every aspect of life. He’s there when our bodies start to fail. He holds us up when we have difficulty standing tall. He never leaves us, even in our golden years. From birth unto the grave, God is always there. Even after death, He has prepared a perfect place for us.

I was glad to have my husband with me too, encouraging me to ask him for help when I need it. I have a very stubborn streak and like to be independent, so those could be considered fighting words. He couldn’t understand why I felt incapable. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t understand. It was ridiculous. It should’ve been laughable, but I shed a few tears over it.

I have since decided to heed my husband’s offer to ask for assistance. I will eat a little more humble pie and less cheesecake from now on and start learning to accept this thing called aging with more grace. I know that this world is not my final home and that gives me peace.

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JULIE’S FRIDAY FUNNY

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GIVE GOD THE GLORY

When we have successes in life, it’s easy to pat ourselves on the back even though the good that has been done really had nothing to do with us.  Our work here on earth is as much of a gift as our redemption.  Whatever we do, should be to the glory of the One who made it possible.

Thank you, Lord, Jesus, for all you have done for us.  May our gratitude be shown through our deeds and help us to remember that all good things come from you. Amen

1 Corinthians 10:31  “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL MY FRIENDS. MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS YOU!

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GOD PROVIDES

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Fields of gold rolled into a vast expanse of provision,

God abundantly cares for every living thing,

He sustains those who call upon His name,

He cares for those who don’t,

He controls our coming and our going,

He is in the rising sun at dawn and in its setting at twilight,

Each living creature is under His watchful eye,

His presence, His knowledge, His power are everywhere,

His majesty is beyond our comprehension, His wisdom incomprehensible,

He created all life with intricate design,

Each nerve and fiber having purpose,

He crafted with an artist’s hand and intelligence unknown to us,

He knows our thoughts, our needs, our hopes and goals,

He sees our imperfections and wants to make them right again,

He even provided the solution for our sinful state,

Because He loves us still.

He gives us the victory over death, by allowing us eternal life.

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