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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FORGET ABOUT IT!

Fear is mentioned many times in the Bible. The phrase, “Do not be afraid” was spoken, when God’s angels announced the birth of the Savior to shepherds. The Psalms are loaded with references to fear in King David’s prayers. The epistles are also full of encouraging words about not being afraid.

Each day we face one kind of fear or another. We might fear growing older – we could fear taking a test we aren’t prepared for – we might be fearful of a medical diagnosis – we may be anxious about not doing well at a job interview. Our fears are real and God knows that. That’s why He continues to speak the words, “Do not be afraid,” throughout scriptures.

This human emotion is one that faces every human being at one point or another. When people are afraid, they sometimes turn inward and don’t want the help of others. There are times when fears or phobias become so overwhelming they affect the way we live our lives. Our anxious moments can limit us – destroy our inner strength – paralyze us at times.

Over the past century, their have been studies on how to deal with these maladies through psychotherapy or medication, but the real prescription is in God’s Word. When He tells us not to be afraid, He is encouraging us to depend on Him in times of trouble. He’s reaching out His strong hands to lift us up out of the pit of despair.

We are so loved by Him that we can believe He is going to keep His word. He will never leave us – He will lift us up – He will give us the strength to carry on – He has provided an answer for our sinful condition. Praise be to Him for being our rock and fortress. We never have to be afraid of anything again! REALLY! So forget about it.

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WHERE IS MY PEACE?

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER

Where do you find contentment when all around seems lost,

In city streets so dimly lit, at an expensive cost,

In valleys green where water pours through rivers pure and clean,

In the darkness of the soul within, is that were you find peace?

In a sanctuary built of stone, where your problems you release,

Do you see it in the people that you greet most every day,

Is it in the quiet laughter of a child alone at play,

Is in in the calm serenity of music, art or dance,

Or does it come from looking at your love’s sweet, smiling glance,

Don’t search in darkest corners, you’ll never find it there,

The light that shines from heaven, will take away your care.

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WINTER WARMTH

ART & POETRY BY KATHY BOECHER

Shortened days – lack of sunlight.
Fields are white and streets now glazed.
In the icy silence of a stolen breath,
Through wild anticipation of lost moments soon remembered
Anxiously we wait for one who promised he would come.

In a manger – in a stable – gently laid upon the hay,
His return will be in glory, as a king he will arrive.
Through his power and his wisdom he will judge and cast away
All the evil and deception of the one whose only drive
Is to make an Interruption in the path we’ve chosen.

Light in darkness – sweet redemption – all my sins he melts away.
He brings life from deep depression – cradling in his arms each day.
In darkest hours I make confession of my guilt. I bare it all.
He forgives and grants me healing. He is there to take the fall.
I know He will always catch His dear children.

Frozen landscapes now are hidden. Only pastures green remain.
He will lead me by still waters ’til He comes to earth again.
No fear of death will e’er surround me. I know it cannot sting me now.
I’ve given him my one possession – it is my life I do endow.
Take me, oh Lord and use me to thaw hearts to find your gentle warmth.

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SLOW TO ANGER

Anger is a powerful emotion. Not only can it be harmful to the person on the receiving end, but also to the one administering it. We seem to be on a road to self destruction when we see that fuse getting shorter and shorter – when the pressure cooker is about to let off steam – or Wiley Coyote once again sets a trap for himself.

What has happened to our world when the way to settle disagreements has come to this? The tongue is just as lethal as any weapon. The pen can be equally harmful. Words cannot simply be deleted. They leave an indelible mark on the receiver’s heart. When we allow anger into our lives, we are closing the door to logic, understanding and compromise.

Anger can eat away at us like a cancer. It’s a slow death with a great deal of pain involved. It starts small and grows into an uncontrollable force. Like all our other emotions, we have to put a cap on this one or it will destroy us.

Lord, God, you have every right to be angry with me and my behavior. I don’t deserve the wonderful forgiveness you grant through your Son. You are slow to anger. Help me to choose my words wisely. To think before I speak. To hold myself accountable. May I use your amazing example for guidance on how to control my own temper. Amen!

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WHAT’S ON THE OTHER SIDE?

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Your hand created all that is, it’s right before our eyes,

You breathed the breath of life in us, the earth, the sea and skies,

Every tiny cell and atom, lay in your strong control,

You crafted each and every thing, perfection was your goal,

The animals, the fish, the birds, on earth did now abide,

You made a man out of the earth, a woman from his side,

A garden was their dwelling place, beauty beyond compare,

There was no sin or death on earth, and God was always there ,

And then the devil entered in, he tempted and they sinned,

Their disobedience led to death, their fate blew in the wind,

But Jesus came and took the load of sin upon the cross,

Defeating Satan once for all, our gain became his loss,

No longer do we fear our death, we know it’s not the end,

There’s everlasting life beyond,  He is our one true friend.






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SEARCHING FOR BLESSINGS

We’re living in a time of humongous things – huge issues – gigantic problems – overwhelming health concerns – political unrest and division. How on earth can we see any good in our world today? There are times I’d rather just go back to sleep rather than face another day of conflict. Yes, the little things have grown into huge things and often overtake us.

Maybe it’s time to start searching for the little things. What makes you happy? How can you be of help to someone else? Will your words make a difference in the life of someone? Can a random act of kindness touch your heart as well as the one that act is bestowed upon? Can a simple thing like saying please or thank you – I love you – I respect your opinion – alter someone’s thinking? Counting our blessings may seem futile when everything around us seems to be caving in, but I believe it is the perfect way to get out of the pit of sadness, depression or feeling total frustration.

I’m not saying we should go around with a Pollyanna attitude – smiling, being positive, never showing our true feelings. I’m suggesting that we look for the blessings in our lives. By doing so, we will not be overcome by the big things. That may be easier said than done, but if we look hard enough we will find the little things that make a difference.

There are days I’m just thankful to be able to breathe – to laugh – to enjoy a meal – to read a book. There are the small successes of creating a piece of poetry, a story or a piece of art. There are the smiles – the tears – the conversations – the listening – the watching of God’s amazing creation. Seeing how the simplicity of life eventually turns into a thing of beauty, will prove to be one of the greatest things we can give ourselves.

It seems to me that once we learn how to enjoy the little things, we will be able to handle the big things. Once we put away all the noise of discontent, we might have a chance of being contented.

We will have trouble in this world. There is no doubt about that, but we have been blessed by God in so many ways. It started with a little baby in a manger.

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ORIGINAL ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Where is the quiet place that you are longing for?

Is it in those empty times when waiting to do more?

Can you find contentment in the solitude of living?

Or does is come in simpler ways, like doing and forgiving.

God comes to us in many ways and most times when it’s silent,

But listen hard and you will hear His voice in every moment.

He whispers when we’re troubled, he soothes when we’re in pain,

You’ll see Him in creation, his voice is clear and plain.

He’s in the heat of summer and when the leaves do fall,

And in the cold of winter, you’ll hear His personal call.

When spring’s refreshing waters wash most everything in sight,

You’ll hear is voice assure you of His overpowering might.

Within the busy moments of life’s demanding pressures

He opens up His altar and He shares His greatest treasures.

Each moment He’s available to answer every prayer,

Just open up your heart to Him and He will be right there.

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FILL ME UP, LORD

There is a story about a professor who used a large jar to make a point in his classroom. He filled the jar with rocks and asked his students if they felt the jar was full. When they replied that it indeed was, he added some small pebbles to the jar. The pebbles filled the empty spaces the rocks had left. He then went on to fill the jar with sand. His point was to clearly illustrate that if the sand had been placed in the jar first, the other things wouldn’t fit.

In other words, the rocks represent the important things in life – like our jobs, family, spouse, health, etc. The pebbles are things that we enjoy that fill our lives with satisfaction, like hobbies, friendships, house. The sand is equal to the fillers like social media, television, Internet, material possessions. These things often get in the way of spending time on the rocks and pebbles. In fact they often overtake them.

This story is used to help people learn to manage their time, but I feel it’s a good parable for all of us. We are the vessel and all the rocks, pebbles and sand fill our lives as we live it. There eventually is no room for anything else to come in. However there is an element that can still be added and that’s water. To be completely full, we need that water to nourish and feed our souls, bodies and minds – to wash away the dirt that overtakes our moments – to polish the rocks and pebbles and care for them.

If we were to set ourselves aside for a moment and focus on the important things – our real treasures, families, spouse, friends – there would be adequate room for all of them. There would be time to be with them and knit them into your being.

As we are living in such turbulent times, we need to look to the living water that is so gladly delivered by our Lord and Savior, Jesus. He is the way, the truth and the life that will sustain us as we traverse the mountains of deception, hate and anger. We need to let Him in to truly fill us up with hope and peace.

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TOO MUCH EXCESS BAGGAGE

There are days in my life when worry overtakes me. I often wonder why it’s so much a part of who I am. You could say, I’m the typical Jewish mother – even though I’m not Jewish.

Jesus was, however and maybe that’s why he spent a lot of time talking to His people about this dreadful trait. It’s easy to tell someone not to worry, but that isn’t going to stop them from worrying. Besides, we may not have experienced what they are going through.

Jesus walked in our shoes. He knows all our frailties and shortcomings. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus invites us to,

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

He isn’t just talking about physical rest. He’s telling us that He gives comfort for our souls as well. I will undoubtedly continue to worry until I die, but my worries don’t have to depress me or dominate my thinking. I boldly thank God for giving rest to my weary mind and body, but mostly for relieving the doubts, worries and fears of my soul.

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A LIFE RESTORED

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER

What happened to days of our untethered youth,

When what was required depended on truth?

When worries were few and troubles unknown,

What happened from then to the now that has grown?

Our days filled with moments both carefree and fun,

Too quickly we find nothing under the sun,

That satisfies fully or gives us true peace,

We watch as our hope and delight now decrease.

Time passes in torrents. In storms it does fly,

Our laughter we mourn and often we cry,

Our tears fill up rivers, our moans sear the air,

Our hearts often give up in complete disrepair.

We come to our God with bruises and scars,

Of bludgeoning wounds which surpass all the stars.

And then God completes the work that He’s done,

Our youth then returns as the victory is won.

We come to Him broken and clinging to life,

We come when no longer we can bear the strife,

We finally let go and let God do His best.

With Him in our place, we can pass every test,

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WHEN TWO SIDES UNITE

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER

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

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SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP

I’ve always loved stories with a moral – parables like Jesus told and those of philosophical folks who have experienced life to the max. The story of the farmer’s donkey may be familiar to most of you, but I didn’t actually hear it until I was exploring pieces for my speech students to use in competition. This little story is full of so much meat. I can’t find the author of the piece, but who ever wrote it, must’ve been a great motivator.

The story is about a donkey who fell into a well. His owner, the farmer, felt the donkey wasn’t worth saving and since he planned to close up the well anyway, he decided to fill it with dirt while the donkey was struggling to get out. Most animal lovers at this point will be appalled, but aren’t we all susceptible to this kind of treatment every day?

With each shovel full of dirt, the donkey would shake it off and take a step up. The farmer even recruited his friends to pour on more dirt, but the persistent donkey continued to shake it off and step up. Eventually he climbed out of the well, because he had built his own way out.

The moral is obvious. As we go through this muddy life there will be problems. There will be roadblocks and obstacles and it will seem like we will never be able to dig our way out. If we just let the dirt fall on us we will soon become buried in it. We will suffocate and die. If we desire to live, we’ll figure out a way to overcome the deterrent.

Our country is in a state of division and anger right now. It’s time to shake it off and step up. I certainly don’t recommend getting into politics, but we still have a voice as Americans. If our voices are silenced because of a coup to destroy our democracy, we will quickly be overcome by the dirt that’s falling on us. Taking away our rights to speak freely is like shoveling on more dirt.

Both sides are equally guilty of pouring on the hate and divisiveness. There needs to be a point where we can all come together again. It begins with first going to God and praying for our nation. Then we must begin to communicate again, without anger and malice towards one another. We must be reasonable and not always on the defense. No walls will ever come down if we keep on building them stronger and higher than before. Tempers flare and reason goes out the window.

Trying to dig ourselves out of a pit of despair is physically and mentally difficult, but God gives us the means whereby we can overcome the world. It is by His hands alone that the future has been carved. He knows what lies ahead and He has a plan for everything that happens in our lives. Trusting in His unfailing grace, we can shake it off and step up

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PAID IN FULL

Wouldn’t it be nice to have all of your debts cancelled? Today you receive notification that every debt you’ve ever incurred up until now has been paid in full. No more student loans. No more car or mortgage payments. You have a clean slate. What would you do?

Some of us might go out and rack up more debt. Some might live debt free for a time and then realize they “need” something that requires taking out a loan again. Others might never go into debt again. Chances are we are all somewhere in the middle on this.

When we look at the greatest price for our freedom was paid for on a cross of torture, we may feel remorse for the cost. We might feel guilty for what caused it to be. We may even try to forge a different path in life because of it. There is really no way we can take credit for that freedom, because it was a gift of love that caused it to be.

Those who believe that Jesus came to live among the people of the world – to teach, heal, inspire and perform miracles – also know that He came as an example of how we should live. He taught us that revenge was not ours to distribute. He taught us to be slow to anger and careful with our choice of words. He preached that we should love each other in spite of our differences. He taught us to honor our governments, for God has set them up to bring order out of chaos. He told His followers that His kingdom was not of this world. He gladly gave His life to pay for the sins of the world. He resurrected from death and now sits at the right hand of His Father in glory. He gives us the assurance that we can face death with the knowledge of eternal life in paradise.

With that gift, +He also gave us a mission to fulfill. To share the good news with others. To put aside our differences and replace them with love for one another. Somehow that simple message has been cancelled out just like the statues and monuments of old – the commandments delivered by Moses – the laws of our land – even the respect of the elderly and those in authority.

Jesus paid our debt in full. We no longer need to fear death, but we must not fear living either. He gave us all we need to get through this cancel culture of ours. He gave us a lifeline that will be with us through eternity.

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FADING FAST

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER

“The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.”  Psalm 90:10 – Holy Bible

 “All the world’s a stage,  And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances and one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.”  William Shakespeare

Days in life grow shorter. They’re fleeting gasps for air.
The span of seven decades at times were hard to bear.
The memories of yesterday are clearer than today.
The necessities of life grow dim – our lives soon pass away.

The bard referred to life of man as being seven stages
The Bible also speaks of life as holding seventy pages.
I’ll soon be seventy eight. Will I reach eighty three?
I have so much to do. Will God still work through me?

When years go by and time runs out we could be terrified,
But God has plans for all of us. For us his Son has died.
He’s given us salvation, a pass to heaven free.
He’s promised us a better place. It’s there for you and me.

Our years in life may vary, but one thing stands secure.
Our time of grace upon this earth is always very sure.
Lord, help me use these latter days to show my love for you –
By sharing you with others and the wondrous things you do.

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LET US BOW DOWN

It’s only been a couple weeks since Christmas came and went. Some have packed away the lights and decorations. Most folks have taken down their trees and set them outside to be carried off by the waste management team. This most miraculous, mysterious event in the history of mankind has served its purpose for the time being. At least that’s what the world would have us believe, when in fact Christmas isn’t just a day. It’s the birthday of a King – the release from the bondage and chains of sin – the hope for eternity. Still, we carefully wrap it up and tuck it aside for another year.

We live in a time when we need this celebration to fill us with hope, peace and joy for a lifetime. Jesus came for all people. He is the hope of all generations, whether they are black, yellow, red or white. He chose us to share heaven with Him. What an honor.

Let us never forget – even though everything around us seems to be collapsing – though we have lost our ability to trust anyone for the truth – though we are living in confusing, difficult times – our Jesus, our God will always remain the same. His consistency is what we need to get through the muck of everyday life. Trust Him alone. Honor Him with your voice and prayers. Kneel down and adore Him, for He is our only hope, and know that you are a redeemed child of the King.

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NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

There is nothing new under the sun.
Things we do wrong have already been done
The sins of today are nothing new.
Most men have observed this to be true.

All we experience has been done before.
The hopes we aspire to aren’t new anymore.
The trials we face and the battles we’ve won,
Have been conquered by another one.

The beauty we long for – the time that we crave
Will go along with us when we enter the grave.
It may seem defeatist to go on this way,
But still there is something to brighten our day.

Though life may seem futile and desperate for some,
There’s hope for all creatures. It’s already come.
It came straight from heaven, the work has been done.
Now all things are new when lived under the SON!

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TEARS FROM GOD

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER
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The tears of God come rushing down to moisturize the earth,

The water fills the hardened ground with life and brings new birth.

The seeds that we have planted, lie dormant in the ground,

Until His precious water quenches souls without a sound,

He breathes His life into them and they flourish more each day,

Without God’s intervention, they’d perish or give way,

To each and every evil weed that strangles and destroys,

To temptation and those crafty lies that Satan oft deploys,

God’s garden is protected by His own beloved Son,

Who came to give all paradise, the victory He has won.

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SATURDAY PRAYER

DEAR, HOLY, GOD:

The first week of the new year has come and gone and with it, the tears from last year have spilled over the edge and into this one. You are completely aware of all the sadness that our country has experienced and continues to hang on to. I guess I was gullible enough to hope that we might have learned something from all those tears, but perhaps we still have much to sort through before we finally get it.

You know all of this, Lord. You keep track of every little detail of our lives – even our tears. You feel our sadness. You created us in your image and even though you are all powerful, you empathize with us because of your infinite love for us.

As much as I love my country, I feel so much sadness right now. Not only because of the state of affairs in this land, but because we have become so divided. This is something that’s been going on for a long time and I don’t expect it will be fixed any time soon, but I also have faith in your omnipotence.

My tears can be collected for many years to come. You have shown me, through your compassion, that you can make them disappear in an instant because of your power. You alone can turn the storms of life in to life giving water. I praise you and honor your holy name through Jesus, your precious Son. Heal my land. Heal our hearts and minds. Bring us back to you. AMEN!

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WHAT IS TRUTH?

“Tell me I’m clever, Tell me I’m kind, Tell me I’m talented, Tell me I’m cute, Tell me I’m sensitive, Graceful and wise, Tell me I’m perfect – But tell me the truth.” Shel Silverstein

When seeking the truth, we might not always get what we want. We may be searching for it in the mess of the media.  We may long for it in the smile of a child. We might even see it in the face of love.  Truth is a word that means honesty – purity – without embellishment.  When truth is tarnished, how can we be sure of it? We’re told to be discerning, but it’s difficult to do so when you can’t tell the good guys from the bad.

We can learn what truth is from experience.  We soon discover that everything we hear is not true.  Even things we were taught as little children – like, “you can do amazing things if you just try” – become slanted by the voice of bully who can take the wind right out of your sails.

We suffer when the slings and arrows of untruth embed themselves in our hearts.  We are exposed daily to lies and deception.  Where on earth is it?  The truth is, it no longer exists in common knowledge.  Somewhere along the line the ninth commandment given to Moses has been forgotten.

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

In my 78 years of living, I’ve been amazed to see the decline of truth in almost all areas of our lives.  There is really no truth in advertising.  We’re now simply entertained by commercials.  We often don’t even remember the brand.  In every day dealings, people lie to make friends, to influence others, to make themselves look good.  We’ve seen an increase in lawsuits over the past 50 years – ranging from serving coffee which is too hot, to health care, to who knows what else.  It’s become a national trend to sue our neighbor. Not to mention the untruths seen in the media, on the internet and in every day conversation.

So what is truth?  Pontius Pilate asked that question when Jesus stood before him to be judged.  It is an age old query posed by philosophers and theologians.  The most scholarly in our world can’t see to come up with the right definition, because we’ve become numbed by the fact that a little white lie never hurt anyone.  We’ve seen how sneaky the devil is in selling us stuff like that.

Truth in God’s terms isn’t a part-time activity. We can rely on His truth – the only truth which exists anymore.  Jesus, said of Himself, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Who do you trust?  There is none other we can trust, than the true Son of God.  His Holy inspired Word, the Bible, gives evidence of this truth.

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YOU CAN RUN, BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

When life gets tough we sometimes feel we have to run away.

We look at things much differently with every passing day.

It seems too complicated to stay and go the course.

We give in to selfish thinking, we give up to remorse.

This force can pull us far away. It takes away our hope,

It leads into a web of fear where we can’t even cope.

It pulls us in – devours us – and spits us out again,

It doesn’t care about us. Our souls it might obtain.

To fight these awful feelings which leave us all alone,

We have to change these hearts of ours, that now have turned to stone.

“Come follow me,” our Savior says, “come walk with me today.”

“I’ll take your hand and lead you and help you find your way.”

You can’t escape the woes of life ’til death is at your door,

But when you trust in Jesus, He’ll give you so much more.

Stop running from the Prince of Peace, instead run to His arms.

He’s waiting just to help you and rid you of life’s harms.

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