A SENSE OF PLACE

This week has been a busy one for my husband, Paul, as he prepares to launch a one man show of his art on Saturday, January 12, 2019.  For those of us in our seventies, any kind of exertion can be both painful and stressful.  Because of his German perseverance, work ethic and attention to detail, this has been quite an undertaking.

Cataloging the over fifty pieces of art work, pricing it and deciding which pieces would best suit the title of his show, took a great deal of mental calculating.  Not to mention making sure everything was properly framed, placed to catch the light, and moved from our house to the gallery.  Twenty years ago, this would have been a piece of cake.

I started to recall my attempt at directing a play again last year, after a two year hiatus.  Somehow those physical demands, along with the mental strain and emotional attachment all played heavily on an aging person.

Paul’s show is called  “A Sense of Place,” and will include some of the writings I’ve done, inspired by his work.  Between the two of us we have more than a hundred years of experience under our belts.  I realize that in order for us to enjoy our final years together, we must accept the fact that we can’t do the things we used to do.  We are still viable human beings though and have a lot to offer the world around us.  Our sense of place has changed, but we still know there is a place for us in the mix.

Paul will rally from all the physical and mental strain and be at the top of his game when his show opens, because that’s just the way he is.

Dear, Lord, you’ve blessed my husband with so much talent.  He not only is a fine artist, but He loves you and gives you the glory for his abilities.  I pray that you will bless this work of his and that many will find enjoyment from it.  Help us both through this chapter of our lives and give us the strength and endurance to finish the race.  Amen!

 

Advertisements
Posted in aging, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

THROW BACK THURSDAY

FROM POST ORGINALLY WRITTEN ON 5/11/17

chaos

ORGANIZED CHAOS

As we travel this road called life, we will encounter chaos.  It is not the way God intended our path to be.

He created perfection.

He created order.

In the middle of nothing, He melted the darkness and made light.

He stirred the winds and His breath established land masses from the seas.

He designed a perfect environment for every living thing.

With one word, He said and it was.

He placed His ultimately crafted humanity within it all.

And then there was chaos.

Every day we’re exposed to the chaos of this world.  We see it in our government, our places of employment, our child rearing, our education, on the streets – everywhere.  We argue among ourselves over how it should be – how it could be – why it isn’t the way we think it should be and still solutions seem non existent.

Our world tells us that we shouldn’t rely on our Creator – to think for ourselves, depend on meditation, inner-peace, self.  Yet,  as children of the Creator, we have no choice but to depend on Him.

The spider whips up a snare for her dinner without knowing why.

The unlikely caterpillar spins a cocoon so that beauty will emerge.

A soon-to-be-mother goes through months of discomfort, swollen body, forgetting what her feet look like, to bring forth new life that presents its own form of chaos.

Chaos, like necessity, gives rise to order.  As we look around us and wonder over all the confusion, unrest, bedlam and mass hysteria, we could drown in depression and anxiety.  We could be swallowed up by it, but never forget that God is in control.  He never changes even though everything around us does.

In the flurry of chaos, He gives us the ability to think clearly.

In the storms of life, He provides tranquility and peace.

In the depths of hopelessness, He gives us sure hope and promise.

On our earthly journey, when faced with difficult decisions,

He gives us strength,

Certainty

Choices.

He brings order out of chaos.

He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord‘s, and on them he has set the world.  1 Samuel 2:8

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

VIEW FROM ABOVE

3e07d5e21782542c43bbf7689d30de5b

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

As this mighty bird surveys the world from far  above,

He wonders how it all became filled with hate not love,

So much confusion down below, folks unsure of where they should go,

Played out each day for us to see, in newspapers and on TV,

No one gives in or will let go, the stubborn will holds tightly so.

If only they would learn to trust, in God the Mighty One,

Things might get back on track again and with it we could run.

 

 

Posted in art, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS

bccaa321629e2195e0b20bbfd60a90ea

In Shakespeare’s play, “The Tempest,” the term “Strange bedfellows,” was coined in reference to a drunken jester, named Trinculo.  He was been shipwrecked on Prospero’s magic island.  He seeks shelter from the storm and comes upon the petrified body of Caliban.  Trinculo crawls into Caliban’s cloak and suddenly realizes that what he thought was a fish is actually a living human being.  Strange bedfellows thus was the result of unexpected partners coming together in the face of tragedy.

Today the term has evolved into political factions becoming strange bedfellows.  And strange they are, but when you think about it, in America, these elected officials are supposed to be the employees of the citizens of the United States.  Yet, because of differences of opinions and in search of getting votes, it all boils down to taking sides.

Wouldn’t it be nice if these men and women, who have achieved the positions they hold through the confidence of those who voted for them, would do what they’re being paid to do?  I’m not schooled in politics.  I have no degrees in political science.  I’m just an average American citizen who doesn’t understand the entire process.

The congress and the senate have been elected to be the voice of the people – not the special interest groups that control some of the biggest businesses in the country.  When our country was founded, President Washington had no desire to be president, because he thought the position would just become another monarchy.  The greatness of America came to be, because the population was willing to fight for its precepts.  Have we become so willing to let someone else do the work while we sit back and complain about it.  Our voice must be heard again, for I fear our patriotism is dying a quick and painful death.

As we witness the breakdown of the democratic process – the demise of a two party system – the corruption that infiltrates both sides of the aisle – the average American Joe has got to take a more active part in the future.  We must put a stop to name calling, accusations, fear mongering, corruption and hatred in our country.  The only way that’s going to happen is if we call on God to help.  He has promised to be with those who call on His name.  It’s time to admit that without Him, we can do nothing.  With Him, all things are possible.

Posted in politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

STIRRING THINGS UP

8d8b57b5a1d2e7dff468087642af2af2 (2)

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER

 

The rain ceases as quickly as it started,

Light glistens on the still water like precious gems,

Shadows from the tree lined shoreline dot the peaceful river,

A lone craft glides silently through,

Never realizing the trail of stirrings that follow,

We may enter this world in silence,

But we create pathways as we go through life,

Never knowing what an impact we’ve made,

Yet every day, with every breath,

With every word,

With every action,

We are touching another human being in some way,

Let the ripples you create make a difference,

Allow God to move mountains through you.

 

Posted in art, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged | 3 Comments

TECHNOLOGICALLY CHALLENGED

albert-einstein-fear-technology-surpass-human-interaction-generation-idiots

Yesterday, as we prepared for Paul’s upcoming one man art show, I felt quite organized.  Together we categorized the large body of work he will exhibit – listing each painting by name, year painted and medium used.   I wrote them down on a physical piece of paper, which would later be typed and printed to determine a price of each item.  Then it came time to put it into a word document. I did so without too much strain, being rudely corrected in my spelling as I went on.  I’m beginning to believe that computers develop their own voice through their point of view of their user.  In fact they have their own annoying personalities too.  I had one computer several years ago which would actually say, “It’s not my fault!” when an error occurred.

After that was done I began to pull some poetry and prose I’ve done with the inspiration of Paul’s art.  Digging through old files and Word Press, sent me to several that would work.  Then it was time to do some printing.  For once, I thought, this was going to be a piece of cake. I turned on the printer and it needed toner, so it was off to the office supply place to get some.  My car had a little trouble starting.  It also displayed the “service engine” light.  I got it started, made it to the store, purchased the right toner (because I’d written it down on a piece of paper so there would be no question,) brought it home, inserted it into the computer and hit “print.”  An error message appeared.  After several attempts, it wouldn’t do a thing.  The fact that I’d spent almost half a day trying to muddle through all this, made me wonder what we ever did before all these bastions of assistance were ever invented.

I was reminded of a day when we were driving, following the directions of the GPS on my phone.  The pleasant voice guided us to our destination, but then I couldn’t turn off the app.  I placed it back in my purse and asked my husband, why  their always has to be a glitch with these electronic devices and why don’t we communicate anymore.  All of a sudden, that same pleasant voice came from my purse saying, “Some days are just like that.”  Well, driving down the road being told how to get there is one thing, but when your phone begins to sympathize with you, it makes you wonder.

I’m big on communicating the old fashioned way – with words coming from the mouth, body language – the use of emotional intonation and being able to actually hear and feel what the other is talking about.  Being in close proximity of another person allows for true conversation to begin.

I also believe we (including me) rely too much on technology.  What if the internet just crashed one day?  All the information we used to store in our brains is now subject to being hacked, spammed, or lost in a cloud somewhere.  Our dependence on this sort of technology becomes greater and greater every day.  I don’t know if kids still pass notes in school, but if they do, they probably transmit them through their phones.  There’s something more mysterious about hand writing a note and hoping that no one opens and reads it before it reaches it’s destination.

So hear I sit, trying to figure out how to make my printer functional.  I think I’ll just put everything on a memory stick and take it to the local print shop for them to complete the job.  It will take less time.

 

 

Posted in technology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

LOVE BIRDS

fullsizerender

 

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

The sun is setting slowly in the west, as these two try to do their very best,

To find a quiet place to share alone, to treasure more than any pure gemstone,

They may seem quite unqualified for that, but for each other they will go to bat,

 

They stay together as a couple does, they fight the perils in their  life because,

They mate for life and pledge to make it so, a family together they will grow,

Their love withstands the filtered sands of time, because God made these two with love sublime.

 

Posted in art, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

HEART REPLACEMENT

a8aa5071938196d4aa9ba2ddac8eb3d8

“I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.”

Leonardo da Vinci

In the Bible we hear a lot about hardened hearts.  It’s the process whereby a person turns away from God and thinks he can manage his life in his own way.  Every day, we may resolve to change and try to do better, but happenings in the world turn our hearts to stone again.  We may be faced with financial issues or health concerns.  We struggle daily against the pull of the devil.  We think we’ve got this.  We believe we’re in charge of our own destiny.  We try to convince ourselves that we’re the captain’s of our own domain, when we’re nothing more than a barnacle hanging on for dear life.

In today’s world, one can have their heart repaired.  Replacement parts are available to make it function properly.  You can even have a new one installed if it becomes necessary.  Who ever would’ve thought that could’ve happened a century ago?

But no one on this planet can remove hatred from the heart – or anger or bigotry or prejudice.  No one can turn a rebellious heart into a servant.  There is no surgery that will make the heart glad, hopeful or joyful.  There is only One who can make a heart new again and that’s the Creator of all things.

We’re at the end of the first week of the new year and all the resolutions for the future may have already fallen apart.  The diet, laying off the alcohol, quitting smoking – all those nasty habits that we allow to rule our lives – are no different than they were at the end of last year.  Our resolutions, our hopes and dreams, our goals, our promises are nothing compared to how God can soften even the hardest of hearts.

Some of that softening requires bumps and bruising.  Some of the reshaping is going to hurt.  The making of a new heart is not going to be easy and even if we have another person’s heart beating in our chest, we need God to make it right again.  He gives us a new heart, when we believe in Him alone – when we put all other things below Him – when we surrender our will to Him and allow Him to do what He does best by trusting in His plans for our lives.

ARE YOU READY FOR A NEW HEART?

 

Posted in Inspiration, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

WINTER WHITE

8c5192b258914661b8f42decb5743838

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

The air hovers above snow laden roof tops. Smoke rises from chimneys,

Twirling,

Swirling,

Forming clouds in a clear, crystal, blue sky.

Even the sun is haloed by glistening white diamond-like droplets.

A bleak look of desolation fills nearly empty streets as people huddle within their shelters for a long respite.

The light covering of new fallen snow, refreshes what was once before.

Some might call it paradise.

Posted in art, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged | 5 Comments

EMPTY SEATS – FULL HEARTS

emptypews

Two years ago we moved to a new location and decided upon attending a new church as well.  We had come from a huge congregation, with a Christian school and great church attendance.  At first we thought we might commute to that old church, because of the great fellowship, thought provoking sermons, and constant digging in the Word through Bible study.

However, the thought to change memberships came when our granddaughter said, “If you go to Hope Lutheran, close to us, we’ll come to church with you.”  Well, that was all we needed.  Our daughter had been raised in Christian education and has a solid foundation, but she hadn’t been attending church for a while.  It was a no brainer.  We transferred our membership. Since that time, our granddaughter has become very involved in the youth ministry, she was confirmed at the same church in which she was baptized and she’s become a volunteer where ever she’s needed.

Our daughter has become a willing worker as well.  She’s in the choir, volunteers for many of the activities and attends church regularly.  Does this make her and her daughter any better?  No!  Church attendance shouldn’t be an obligation, but a time to worship with those who believe the same things you do. It’s a chance to get together on a social level, sharing our life problems and challenges.  When you go to church, you become part of the body of Christ – part of a family.  Our new church is undergoing some regrowth and we look forward to being a part of it.

I read a post today which troubled me, because it was partially true.  It spoke to the fact that there are bigots, hypocrites and those who look and seem to have it all together.  There are those who come from tough backgrounds, bruised and scarred by the world.  There are those who go simply because the feel they have to.  All of those things are true.  The church is made up of sinful people – including those in leadership positions.  It supposed to be a house of worship, yet things like adultery, thievery, hate, anger, rage, slander and gossip occur at that place as well.

We must always be on guard that the teachings we’re receiving are directly from God’s Word, the Bible.  So we remain vigilant and watchful.  We need to study the Word on our own.  When difficult situations arise, the pastor and elders of the church should be notified so they can be of assistance.

We often focus on the negatives, but each of us holds a special position.  We need to focus on the good that comes from corporal worship.  We must  accentuate the positive and look for the things that unify us and make us part of this extraordinary body.

Here are ten things we have in common:

  • We are all sinful human beings, who have been given the gift of eternal life.
  • Our sins have been forgiven.
  • We all believe the same.
  • We know that heaven is real and we have an assigned seat there.
  • We care about each other and carry each other’s burdens.
  • We want to use our talents to serve the Lord, however the Lord has blessed us.
  • We are grateful for our salvation and want others to know about this free gift.
  • We need to be part of an organization that brings people together with one goal in mind.
  • We enjoy praising God with our songs and prayers of thanksgiving.
  • We do God honor by coming together in His name.

There are many more reasons to gather together.  Each of us has something unique to bring to the mix.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this also applied to our government?

Posted in church, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

SURVIVOR

5f64890edec23a46e436f5aefe0f2548

He sits majestically in his tattered nest, surveying the remnants of his environment.  A tornado ripped through the night before, cutting trees in two, uprooting some and destroying hundreds of nests in the rookery.

This Great Blue Heron survived the turmoil – the devastating wind – the fierce torrential rain.  Now he sat, staring out over the destruction below.  Many of his  friends had vanished or died.   The aging bird had been spared, remaining behind and lonely.  Would he be able to pick up the pieces of his former life?

If God’s eye is on the sparrow,  He certainly would provide for this valiant victim of the river.  He would rebuild day by day, with the help of the Creator, but today he was simply a survivor – crushed by defeat, yet unaware of hopelessness.

Posted in art, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged | 3 Comments

A BRIGHT IDEA

blog-epiphany2012

The entire story of Christmas is filled with mysterious events, which can only be believed by faith in the One who made them happen.  The story of God’s taking on human flesh, being born of a virgin mother, following the lineage of King David, a King Himself yet born in poverty.  A continuing story that took that little babe through childhood and manhood only to suffer and die on a cross of torture to pay for the sins of the world.  It is a tale as old as time, because it demonstrates God’s love for His creation and the lengths He goes to in order to preserve it.  When Jesus rose and conquered death, He gave us His assurance of an eternal life with Him.

On the twelfth day after Christmas, we celebrate the Epiphany – or manifestation of the Divine to the Gentile nations as the magi came to worship the child of Bethlehem.  Following the same bright star which the shepherds saw, they found the child with His mother and step dad in a house in Bethlehem.  The King of Kings was revealed to the entire world upon that day.

We’ve kind of gotten away from celebrating this special holiday.  For some it simply means it’s time to take down the Christmas tree and put away the decorations for another.  For others it can be the final celebration of the Holy Nativity.  Shakespeare wrote a play entitled, “The Twelfth Night,” which was performed at the end of the Christmas season.  The song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” was written, based on  a children’s verse which carried down through generations probably originating in France.  Each day represents another gift given during the twelve days between Christmas and the celebration of the Epiphany feast.

Many versions of the lyrics have been made over the centuries.  The song remains a favorite in the Christmas carol repertoire.  It’s more of a game to test your memory, I think.  Each gift is symbolic of gifts intended for a King.

The beauty of this holiday, in my opinion, is that God opened up His salvation to the entire world, when the Magi came to visit His Son.  It wasn’t reserved only for the Jews.  They came expecting to find a worldly king, like so many thought the Messiah would be.  They brought gifts of great value – Gold; Frankincense – a sweet aroma that would be used in the temple to send as an offering to God; Myrrh – a spice used in the embalming process.  Each significant for the Lamb of God.

Carrying on some of the old traditions of Christmas has diminished, because of the commercialization of the holiday.  Now the focus has changed to how big our gifts are, how much we spend, what WE get out of it and everything but the true message of the birth of Christ.  This little baby was born so we could live forever.  He would take our sins upon His own shoulders and free us from guilt and shame.  He died and rose again so that we could do the same.  He shines as the Light of the World through all eternity.  It was a plan only He could come up with.

HAPPY EPIPHANY DAY!

 

 

Posted in Faith, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

WALLY’S FRY DADDY, FRIDAY FUNNY!

suspicious-fry

Image | Posted on by | 2 Comments

JULIE’S FRIDAY FUNNY

1749437024-yoda

Image | Posted on by | 1 Comment

PROVERBIAL THOUGHTS

17116-proverbs-4-18

The sun peeked through the morning mist today.  What started as tints of red and gold, exploded into a kaleidoscope of color.  Soon pinks were blending into mauve and the hazy cloudiness made it look like surreal.

We’re experiencing a January thaw in my town.  Most years our January has us older folks going into a semi-hibernation. We breathe slower, our hearts calm down, we sleep more – even when we don’t need to. We take less showers, because we don’t want to experience the chill that comes with getting wet.  We don’t go anywhere unless it’s vital.   We wonder if the pipes will freeze again or the furnace will hold up.  We don extra clothing, except for the stout hearted who choose to run around in shorts all year long.

This year, however, God has blessed us and will continue for at least another week, with temps in the 40s.  Immediately our minds wake up.  We feel refreshed and eager to get back at some of the chores left undone in the fall.  We are energized even though we know it won’t last.  When all is said and done, we’ll go back into the freezer once more. Old aches and pains return.  You want to do nothing.

Why does God place these challenges in front of those He loves. We know we can’t control the weather.  Men and women have been trying for centuries to have a consistent temperature every day.  Scientists, astrologists, biologists look for answers, but we know that God has completed the work, but we need to have faith in this plan to make our world come back to life.

No matter what the temperature – no matter how hard we try to control it – no matter how much we want to be in charge – we’re not.  Only God can cause the winds to blow and the snows to fall.  Only God can execute the perfect plan for our lives.  He gives us the wisdom we need to fulfill the things that God wants us to do.  His wisdom can be found in the Bible.  Every time we open the pages of that wondrous book, we are going to be able to apply it in our own lives.  That’s why it’s been on the best seller list for so long.

When we plan for our future, we need to make wise choices even as we grow old.  There is no expiration date on the Word of God.  This year, make it part of your daily pattern to search the scriptures.  My mother in law literally dug into the Word so much, that the pages of her Bible were torn, withered and written upon.  We still hold onto this book of hers, because it has power beyond imagination and its just waiting for all to open it and devour it.  Wisdom lies within its pages – wisdom that can only brought to our hearts with the aid of the Holy Spirit.

“Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.”

Posted in Bible, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

KEEP YOUR EYES WIDE OPENED

fullsizerender (9)

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

He sits there as if he were part of the tree.  His eyes pierce through the darkness as the sun cuts a path through the forest.  Deep, intent eyes, in search of breakfast – what is in that mind of his?  The way God designed this lofty bird, was so unique yet also functional.  Being able to turn his head completely around, allows him to seek his prey and be selective in his choices.

God allows us to see the things around us too, but sometimes we miss what’s right in front of us.  We can be misled by the bling and glitz that covers the path.   We’re drawn into the web of sin, like an innocent fly is drawn to a spider’s web.  What looks so deliciously desirable, becomes our nemesis.  The devil prowls like a lion, seeking to devour God’s people.  He wants as many as he can get to join in his misery.

The limbs of the now barren tree, provide a resting place – a location to be on the lookout for predators and prey – a place to blend in.  We often try to hide or camouflage our sins and even believe we can, but God knows us inside and out in spite of our sinful ways.  When we realize what He’s done for us, we receive perfection through Him. All we need do is repent and ask Him for forgiveness and it’s done.

Like that owl is held in the palm of God’s hand and given provision, we too experience God’s benefits simply because He loves us.  Some days it seems like He isn’t even there.  Some times we feel completed void of His presence. There are months when we feel forsaken and forgotten.  Yet God holds us tightly to His bosom.  He breathes new life into us.  He grants the forgiveness of our sins.  He loved us so much that He died so we could live.  He is always there to call on, to provide for us, to comfort us and forgive us. Keep your eyes wide pen.

Posted in art, Inspiration, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

HOW ARE THOSE RESOLUTIONS WORKING FOR YOU?

Funny-Jokes-for-New-Years-Eve-Resolution1

Sad, but true, most of us make resolutions to change our lives in some way or another, only to fall victim to the same bad habits within a day or two.  In some ways, it’s kind of like our relationship with God.  With every day, we come to Him and ask forgiveness for our sins and within a short time we’ve sinned again.

Is it part of our human makeup to break our promises? Do we sincerely repent in one minute and within the next, we’re right back at it with a vengeance?

Paul, the apostle of Christ, knew this was a problem for all of us.  This man, who once was a devout Jew on the warpath for all those who followed Jesus, became a follower himself.  His acts of terror towards Christians was well known across the land.  After spending 3 years being educated by the One he was persecuting, he knew that our human behavior is coated with sin – that original sin, passed down from the time of man’s fall from God.

In Romans 7:19 he talks about this failure to do good. It’s that flaw in our human character.

“For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.”

Alone, we are incapable of doing any good.  Even though our sins have been forgiven – once for all – by the blood of Christ – we daily need to come to God with repentant hearts to be reminded that our sins are forgiven.  I think, for most of us, it is hardest for us to forgive ourselves.  God paid the ransom, yet we still need the reassurance that we have been made right with Him.

God has provided the way out for us through Jesus’ death and resurrection.  This gives us a gigantic hope for the future – a future of eternity in paradise.  We also know that we can come directly to God, confess our sins and be assured that they’ve already been forgiven.

We are human beings, just like Paul was.  As hard as we try, there is nothing we can do to personally achieve salvation.  God, in His unconditional love for us, makes it possible.

So maybe you’ve already broken one of your resolutions to do better this year.  I don’t even bother making them anymore, because I know I won’t keep them.  But isn’t it great to know that we have the King of grace and mercy walking right beside us, every minute of every day?

Posted in New Year, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

THE SANDHILL CRANE

FullSizeRender (15)

ART & INSPIRATION FROM PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

This majestic bird is known for the strange sound that comes from deep inside their throat.  Since they travel in large flocks, during migration across the plains, the noise becomes a raucous cacophony at times.  Their numbers, their size and their voices are often a defense mechanism for them.  Predators like the fox, wolf, lynx and cougar would easily devour them and many are consumed to complete the circle of life.

I find it so cool to see how God in His great love for His creation, provides for and protects the birds of the air, the fish in the seas and the animals that walk the earth.  We are also His creation and His love for us is immeasurable.

O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Here is the sea, great and wide, which teems with creatures innumerable, living things both small and great.

There go the ships,and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it. These all look to you,to give them their food in due season. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things. When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.

PSALM 104:24-30

Posted in art, Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

HE KNOWS US BETTER THAN WE DO

Michelangelo's__God_,_from__the_Creation_of_Adam_

Michelangelo’s vision of God on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

When I was a child, I had a picture of who God was and what He thought of me.  I have since changed my thinking, but then I saw Him as an old man, with great strength and physical power – kind of like a super hero, yet I’d been taught He was more like a loving Father, with enough power to overcome any problem.

I imagine Michelangelo used that interpretation when painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling.  Certainly, he was a believer in God.  His devotion is evident in the work he was commissioned to do for the church, but did Michelangelo see God as angry and accusing as I did?  A child’s vision of the Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent can be very frightening if we don’t factor in the very great love that He has for His creation.

It took me many, many years to see that side of God.  I was raised in a conservative Christian church.  I went to parochial schools.  I learned the Catechism, studied the Bible, was well versed in the Ten Commandments, but I couldn’t understand how this amazing God could love a worm like me.

Maybe it was partially because I had a very strict father, who bore a similar demeanor to that Michelangelo rendition of God.  Maybe it was because I never felt worthy of forgiveness. Maybe it was some deep seeded sin that ate away at me, which I couldn’t forgive myself.  It might have been a law preaching pastor who scared the bejeebers out of me.  His fiery words of hell and damnation far outweighed the beauty of the ending Gospel message – “but by the grace of God you are saved.”

Whatever the reason, those years set the stage for my future walk with God.  Each of us has a turning point – when we actually get it – when we realize there is nothing we can do to achieve our own salvation – when God gets through our tough shell of resistance and puts us on the right track.  It might be an awakening like Martin Luther realized as he struggled to try and please God.  Maybe it’s a “Road to Damascus” experience like Saul lived through before his conversion.  It could be the words of a hymn or a Bible passage.

Fearing the Lord, to me meant being afraid of Him instead of being in awe of Him.  I thought that if He knew me so well, He knew how bad I was.  If He was always present, He would see me  do something I shouldn’t do.  If he was omnipotent, He could wipe me off the face of the earth with a single word.

Thankfully, God didn’t give up on me.  All the things I had been storing away in my memory bank for those early years, became useful to me as I found my way to Him.  You see, God has already found us and accepted us. When He looks at our hearts, He sees Jesus and not our sinful selves.

Laying a strong foundation is an essential gift parents can present to their children.  It’s based on God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Even if they don’t get it right away, the Word has power to turn them back some day.  We owe it to them to lay the groundwork.

Posted in God, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

NEW DAY, NEW LIFE

FullSizeRender (13)

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©  Sketch with colored pencils drawn en plein air – the feather is part of the sketch.

A baby osprey surveys the life that lays ahead of him,

His eyes are wide with wonder and his vision never grows dim,

The artist captures all of this with pencils in a sketchbook,

Within the lines and colors, he draws so we can take a look.

 

This little bird, just broken forth, holds the world within his sight,

Soon he will grow and learn to fly and soar to heaven’s great height,

Like every life exists to be something special in this life,

He’ll try and fail a hundred times and take on many a strife.

 

Yet even he, though small and frail, remains in the Father’s eyes,

The God of our Creation, protects from His  throne in the skies,

If He safeguards this tiny bird, much more He’ll watch over us,

We are His prized possession, on that we sincerely can trust.

 

 

Posted in art, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment