Crags of broken granite, carved by the hand of God,

Thrusting from an ocean green, where none has ever trod,

The glory of the mountains, the power of the sea,

The valleys and the forests tall were made for you and me,

Lift up your eyes to heaven, prepare your heart this day,

And thank God for creation, don’t ever turn away,

He formed it out of nothing, He crafted it with care,

He used His perfect power and love He didn’t spare,

This marvelous creation, is more than we deserve,

It’s up to us as stewards to see that it’s preserved.

Posted in Art & poetry by Kathy Boecher, Climate change, creation | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


Have you ever felt that your heart would break, because of the sadness within it? Have you ever experienced a feeling of emptiness within that same heart? There are times when I think we all go through this struggle. There’s something going on inside of us that makes no sense. It triggers tears that won’t stop and thoughts of rejection, loss, loneliness and even a feeling of never recovering from it.

Some people call it a broken heart. Others refer to it as depression, anxiety and self-inflicted pain. Whatever it is, it is beyond our control. Sure, we have the brains to organize our thinking and the power to change the way we view things. We have strength that often goes beyond our wildest dreams, especially when we think we will never get through the situation. We are strong and courageous – at least we’re told to be so – but we need someone who knows the full scope of the problems that we’re facing. The only One, who created the Universe, – who breathed life into us – who gave us abilities to work through the problems of life – but also promised to be with us throughout the process. Our Holy God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is with us through all our ailments, our frustration, our fears and sadness. He sits beside us, comforts us, gives us rest, is in control of the outcome and leads us to a solution.

I have felt the emptiness of a broken heart. It’s hard to describe, because it isn’t like any other emotion. Knowing that God is our friend in all situations will help. He doesn’t want us to be sad. We are precious to Him. He sacrificed His own Son, so that we could reap the benefits of His eternal kingdom. Instead of trying to figure it all out by yourself, turn to Him for comfort, relief and the will to carry on. Remember, He will never leave you.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

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Having spent the last three years in and out of isolation, most of us are not crazy about timeouts. If you’ve been recovering from a long illness, you don’t want to hear that you should relax and take it easy – spend some quiet time – meditate. When you’ve put in extended hours at your job and someone tells you to slow down, you might feel inspired to push on, but your mind would rather take a vacation. Maybe you’ve turned to an artificial way to dumb down your feelings. You’ve gone from being a slave to one thing to exchanging it for another. There are times when we simply need to be alone in a quiet space with no one else around to interrupt our thoughts.

Do you have such a place? For us rustic Tundra people, we can count on at least half a year filled with snow, ice, treacherous roads, broken bones, colds, flu and on and on. We manage to survive, but usually succumb to cabin fever about this time of the year. How do we crush the feelings of being in bondage for all that time? Eventually, if there is more than one of you under the same roof, it becomes a time of tension, too much of each other, too much conversation, too much. As much as you love each other, you often get on the other’s nerves. When that happens, what do you do? Where do you go? How do you cope? Who will listen to you?

When Jesus began His ministry, He spent 40 days in the desert. During that time, He was tempted by Satan but used the Word of God to fight Him off. Many times, during His life, He would retreat to a quiet place and talk to His heavenly Father. His schedule was full. He grew hungry and tired. He needed some space. When we feel that way, we can go anywhere to be alone, but also know that God is right there with us. He will help us sort through the difficulties we’re facing. He hears our voice before we ever utter a word. He will guide us to answers to the things that tug at our hearts and souls.

Life on this earth will never be perfect, but if we remember what Jesus said to His followers as well as us, we can look forward to the hope and promise of heaven.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John16:33

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There was no question as to who Jesus was. He fulfilled every prophecy ever written about Him. He spoke with authority, He did miracles, He left His home in Heaven and took on the form of man, He died on the cross, He rose again three days later. He even told the people who He was and still He was rejected by men (another fulfilled prophecy.)

I wonder how we would receive Him if He came today. In this world of darkness, people are crying out for answers, for hope and for help. As we see people falling further and further away from Jesus and the truth of our forgiveness., it seems the perfect time for him to return to us. We don’t know when that day will come, but we still can open our hearts and souls to Him right now.

Dear, Lord, Jesus, help me and others to recognize you and not be afraid. Your love for us is incomprehensible and you give it freely. You are the light that fills a dark world with hope and promise. Teach us, through your Word, to know all about you, so we will be prepared for your final coming. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen!

Posted in aging, America, armor of God, Faith, Jesus, Lent | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on PROPHECY FULFILLED . . .


What is it about the past that’s so appealing? Looking back at historical events – from ancient times -to times of royalty and the Renaissance – to the foundation of our own country, are times that are compelling to many of us. We like to romanticize then, because they seem to be more of an innocent existence, but is that true?

At my house, we tend to watch movies about history. The western films and war movies seem to be the fare of the day most of the time. We recently got caught up in the TV series “1873.” This mini-series is a pre-quel to the “Yellowstone” series which we never watched. The story of “1873,” focuses on the family tree of the Duttons as they made their way through trying times, danger and the peril of an unknown country. As in most stories of the old west, we assumed this would be right up our alley. The poetic beauty of each episode was brilliantly carried from one to the next. Yes, there was violence, promiscuous behavior and the typical heroes and villains. The truth of that time was not much different than it is today. The well written scripts were often filled with family values and morality as well as the ugly side of life.

When the latest spin-off, “1923” began we were anxious to see where this story would take us. The first few episodes were a bit hard to follow, because they were filled with a number of different stories. I’m sure there is a reason for this. Possibly to do another mini-series for each of these story lines. The last few shows have been a total disappointment. Suddenly we were being exposed to sadistic behavior, pornography, dialogue that could be written by any fifteen-year-old with a bar of soap in his mouth, and all the other ugly things that go along with deviant behavior. Is this the past we grow so quickly disillusioned with? I know the “real world” is filled with this garbage, but we don’t enjoy viewing it.

The days of nostalgia aren’t so great. God witnessed the same sins done over and over again, yet He still loves us. As blackened as our hearts are and corrupt as our minds become, God considers us His children. Why? We certainly don’t deserve His unconditional love. We absolutely can do nothing on our own to redeem ourselves. Life seems to fall deeper into the pit of sin and darkness, but it is a symptom of the original sin in the Garden of Eden. s dark as that chasm gets and as degenerate as we become as a people, God loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son, so that we could enjoy the inheritance of heaven.

The promise of good winning over evil is real. Thank you, God, for making that possible!

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We watched a Billie Cystal/Alan King movie the other day called, “Memories of Me,” (1988.) It was intended to be a comedy. The drama of the movie was more intense for my husband and me. Within this comedy, we saw how a man was often embarrassed by his father when he was a child. Their relationship had deteriorated over time, but eventually they come to terms with each other. It got me thinking about how our children relate to us when they’re going through their growing up years. Do we cause them embarrassment with our actions, words and behavior?

We both felt this film hit home for us. I was the drama director at my childrens’ school. It was often difficult not to act as a parent, but there were times when I didn’t. I was known to go through McDonald’s drive-thru to order with a fake nose and glasses. I often went down the same one-way street the wrong way while driving the carpool. In later years they watched me receive a pie in the face on stage. There was the time my windshield wiper flew off and I had to substitute it with a puppet from the back set of the car. Another time, while driving a stick shift Jeep, the shifter lifted right out of its place as I made a turn. I quickly stuck it back in and proceeded on. There were many occasions when I certainly must’ve caused them to feel at least awkward.

My husband will never live down the Speedo he wore in our backyard pool. He chose many different ways of wearing his hair (from Sonny Bono to Bob Ross) and the wardrobe he chose – from white button-down shirt, tie and three-piece suit to flannel shirt and jeans. His stories pertaining to trips he took, hunting, nature, sitting around a campfire, had the tendency to grow larger and larger with each telling. These situations could have caused some humiliating moments for them.

Our kids were often witness to funny stuff in our home. We both love to laugh and can usually find humor in most situations. As we grow older, things aren’t as funny anymore. We need their company. We need their help. We need them. All of those things have been provided by them. It’s like the hands of time have reversed and we’re now the kids and they’re the caregivers. Thankfully we can still laugh at ourselves.

In the movie, the son realizes how much alike he and his father are. They’re both charming, entertaining, funny and likeable. The things we do as parents aren’t always acceptable to our children. We are supposed to be setting a good example. I hope that we were a positive influence on our children and that they can laugh at some of those “embarrassing” situations with compassion, as we continue to make our way through this life. Maybe they’ve already passed awkward moments on to their own kids.

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Wouldn’t it be nice if we could power wash our souls and make them clean? If only  we could wash away the ugliness within us – the evil thoughts, the anger that infests our soul – the fears and anxieties of the unknown – the moments of uneasiness when confronted with disease or illness.  If only it were that simple.

But, it is.  All of God’s people have been washed and renewed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.  He alone can cleanse us from the sin that assails us daily.  He paid the ultimate price when He sacrificed His sinless Son to take our place – to wash the scum of sin from darkly soiled hearts – to redeem us as a chosen people – to give us new life.

When we forget the cost of our redemption, we are crucifying the Son of God over and over again.  There is no other way to salvation than through Christ.  Our works cannot take the place of the blood of the Lamb. He is the only One who can wash us clean.

“It is a mistake to imagine that man can exhaust his destiny, or can reach the bottom of anything whatever. Alas! what are all these destinies thus driven pell-mell? whither go they? why are they so? He who knows that, sees all the shadow. He is alone. His name is God.” Victor Hugo

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When it seems that all is gone and the days stretch on too long,
There is hope and consolation in God’s perfect preservation,
He provides for every need, even when there’s naught to feed,
When miracles are required, He will give with love inspired,
His perfection does abound in creation all around,
Lift your hands to Him in prayer, He will answer you with care,
Maybe not as you expected, but in ways that He’s directed,
He will soothe your troubled mind, give you peace in all you find,
He will lift you to His breast, calming fears through every test,
He will breathe new life in you, when the present one is through.

Posted in Art & Poetry by Paul & Kathy Boecher, hope, inspiration. | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment



When death approaches our front door, it seems a dreadful thought,
But just imagine what’s in store. With angels we’ll be brought.
The gates of heaven opened wide, the throne of God we’ll see.
Our Savior at the Father’s side, a room for you and me.

Our bonds are freed – the chains are gone. The ransom has been paid.
No hopeless tears – a brand new dawn – no more to be dismayed.
A paradise awaits us beyond this murky strife.
No pain or sorrow will there be – a perfect holy life.

So set your eyes on Jesus. Don’t ever let Him go.
He is our own Redeemer. His blood for us did flow.
I love you, dear Lord, Jesus. my chains have been set free,
and when death comes I’ll tremble not, for you have died for me.

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Some of the most important events in the Bible take place in the desert.  Moses led the nation of Israel through a desert wilderness for 40 years.  Abraham sent Hagar and her son into the wilderness with hardly enough food to survive.  John, the Baptist spent his time preaching his message of repentance in the wilderness.  Jesus, the Messiah, was tempted by the devil in the desert and overcame him. The Apostle Paul endured 3 years in the desert with Jesus, before he began his public ministry.  Interesting too, that three years is the same amount of time Jesus spent teaching his twelve disciples. Each of those incidents strengthened the individuals going through them.

Usually, we think of a desert as a place of emptiness, with no chance of survival.  The literal translation of the word refers to a place without inhabitants – a world alone, away from civilization.  There are days when we need alone time to put things back into perspective and that’s why I think the Bible refers to the wilderness so many times. Even Jesus needed His time in the wilderness.

Do you focus too much on the meaningless and let the important things slide? Are you facing relationship problems, health issues, financial difficulties, anxiety, fear or worry? I don’t think there’s a time in anyone’s life where they don’t experience their own personal desert.  The wilderness can drain your spirit.  You can become so rundown that even death looks good to you.  Your body strains to survive.  You thirst and hunger.  It seems like the last place we would want to be – ever.  When you feel there’s no way out, it can even tempt you into hopelessness.

Remember that God is with you all the time. He arms us with His power and strength.  He guides us through the difficult times.  Sometimes He even punches us and remolds us so that we return to Him. He may even crush us, before He can restore us. He wants us to become totally dependent on Him and to realize that He has our backs. If you’re in the middle of a wilderness, hang on to it with all your might, because it’s for your good.  God will always provide a way out.

“Storms of every sort, torrents, earthquakes, cataclysms, ‘convulsions of nature,’ etc., however mysterious and lawless at first sight they may seem, are only harmonious notes in the song of creation, varied expressions of God’s love.” John Muir

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The word, “compunction,” isn’t one that we use in daily conversation, but it’s really a cool word. It’s a synonym for “Repentance.” This word originated from the Latin verb, “compungere,” meaning “prick sharply.”  We all have a conscience, whether we like to admit it or not. The conscience was built into us by God so we could be reminded or “pricked” into feeling ashamed or guilty. When we’re pricked, it leads us to confession, which leads to forgiveness, when you’re talking about your relationship with God.

Certainly, God didn’t want us to carry guilt in our hearts and minds. He also gave us the ability to choose to obey Him or go our own way. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, sin entered the world. We all inherited that sin gene. Because of that, we need a Savior. Jesus, the only Son of God, was the perfect solution. He is our high priest. He represents us before His heavenly Father and pleads our case. Since He is true man as well as true God, He was able to take our place as the perfect, unblemished lamb. In that moment, the debt of the sin of the world was paid in full.

We need to be prodded or pricked from time to time. Sometimes we don’t even realize that we’ve done anything wrong. The Word of God is filled with reminders of how God wants us to live. Turn to it on a daily basis. You might be pricked at first, but the good news of our salvation and forgiveness will warm your heart and give you knowledge that God is on your side.

Posted in forgiveness, Lent, repentance, sin | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments


Then Job answered the Lord and said:“I know that you can do all things,
    and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
    things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
 ‘Hear, and I will speak;
    I will question you, and you make it known to me.’
 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
    but now my eye sees you;
    therefore I despise myself,
    and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 41:1-6

The tradition of having ashes placed on the forehead on Ash Wednesday goes back a long way. Today it has become more of a habit. It is one of those outward things done to indicate repentance and humility. Repentance is a big part of the salvation process and the only thing WE can do to show our dedication to our LORD. God wants us to confess our sins and then repent of them. From there we should continue living knowing that our sins are forgiven. Maybe, like promises we make in other areas of our lives, we soon forget and they are all too soon broken.

When we give things up for Lent, it’s almost like making New Year’s resolutions. We try hard at first, but often slip back to our old ways and find ourselves back at square one . . . AGAIN. Our God is so merciful, that He continues to hear our prayers for forgiveness, even though the process of our salvation has already been paid for through Christ’s death and resurrection. So, is it wrong to try and give things up for Lent? It is a way for us to go and sin no more, or at least try to. Our sinful nature will continue to live within us until we die, but if we sincerely repent, God will forgive US over and over . . . AGAIN! His love endures forever.

Posted in Faith, Jesus, Lent | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


Wouldn’t it be nice if we could simply hit the reset button and start over with an absolutely clean slate? It seems to be the way we handle things today. When something stops doing what it’s supposed to do, we hit a button and reset the thing that’s out of order. If we could just do that with our hearts, our souls and our bodies and minds, we wouldn’t need someone to fix it for us. We wouldn’t need a Savior. The only problem with that way of thinking is that those issues will rear their ugly heads again and again and once again.

When we ask God to forgive us for our mistakes – our lies – our bad deeds – our SINS, the reset button is placed in motion. The difference here is that our sins and everything that is attached to them has already been forgiven. Every sin committed before the crucifixion of Jesus, during His lifetime and into the future was washed away through His sacrifice. This was done so that we would never have to put the reset button into use. It’s all been done for us, by Almighty God, the Father, through His only begotten Son, because of His unconditional love for all.

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,” 1 Peter 3:18

This wonderful, precious gift doesn’t give us the freedom to continue in our sin. Instead, we should feel the power of God within us, through His Holy Spirit, and change our past lives to show our gratitude for this wonderful blessing of forgiveness. Beyond that, we should be so full of joy that we want the whole world to know what Jesus has done for everyone. We follow Him and encourage others to join us in this new life,

On this Shrove Tuesday, instead of whooping it up and trying to get every possible bad thing out of your system, turn instead to the eternal Son of God – the One who makes Heaven available to everyone who chooses to follow Him.

Posted in aging, America, Lent, sin | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments


I’m old enough to remember when we celebrated President Lincoln’s birthday on February 12 and Washington’s on February 22.  As time went by, all presidents were celebrated on the third Monday of February.  As with most American holidays, it transformed into another day off for banks, government offices and schools.  It also became part of the great American ideal – How to make a buck off of another holiday.

We used to make flags out of construction paper, or silhouettes of George or Abraham.  Each of those presidents had his own day.  We were told wonderful stories about how Lincoln was born in a log cabin and self-taught.  He became a lawyer and eventually president.  If he could be a president, we thought we could too.  President Washington was more a statesman and hero of the American Revolution who never wanted the job of president. Those stories are no longer shared in the classroom.  History is being rewritten every day and instead of heroes, these men are now just dead presidents, with stories of scandal arising in a heartbeat.  It has come so far. that we no longer hold our elected officers in high esteem. Every one of our presidents has been the subject of criticism, disgrace and often a nasty smear campaign during the election process.

Today there will be marches in LA, NYC, and other large cities around our great land.  Those protestors may scream in dissention against our current administration.  This movement to get rid of the man who was duly elected continues to undermine our country.  It’s a different president, but he faces the same scrutiny as the last. How does this look to other nations?  How does it look to those who are in office now?  What kind of messages are we sending to the future leaders of America – our children? As a child, I learned to respect my leaders, but time has even distorted that part of our existence.

This day should be a day of honor for those who bravely have and will serve our nation in its highest position – not a day to put a black cloud over her.  Put your banners away and lose those ugly words of dissension.  Get a real job and go buy a car or something else that’s on sale today. In the meantime, we should be encouraging young people to fix our nation rather than break it.  We live in the best country in the world, and we are slowly destroying her from within.

“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Hebrews 13:17 ESV

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It seems this little month lacks in number of days, but there are plenty of things to celebrate. There actually are a lot of things going during this tiny month.  It’s been designated National Heart Month, Black History Month, National Weddings Month and it boasts of such celebrations as Ground Hog Day, Mardi Gras, Presidents Day, Valentines Day and believe it or not – Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day.

February tends to give us a case of cabin fever, of which I have now fallen victim. We’re growing tired of the cold weather.  We’re tired of shoveling snow.  Frankly we’re already sick of the political rhetoric being thrown at us. Tax time is in our future. Another winter storm watch is predicted. It’s no fun driving on icy roads, so we cocoon into our quiet, little retreats and watch television.  We’re already preparing for another presidential election and the list of investigations continues to grow. No wonder we’re depressed.

God tells us to turn our cares over to Him. It’s a lot easier said than done. In many ways, we want to hang on to our troubles. For some reason, we seem to think we need to be involved in our destiny, even though it has already been planned by the Creator of the Universe. He certainly knows more about the outcome than we do, and everything He does, is for our benefit.

My suggestion for February – give up watching the news for Lent.  Not really a sacrifice, in my opinion, but it will make us feel a lot better.

Posted in aging, depression, Faith, Winter | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments



It’s hard for us to fathom that anything could grow,

In cold and frozen ground that’s covered with fresh snow,

But not for our Creator God, the maker of all things,

The seeds that He has sown right now, will flourish in the spring.

Seeds come in many sizes, from minuscule to great,

When cast upon the snow-white fields, it never is too late,

For plants to rise from nothingness to trees that touch His face,

God breathes new life in little things, then nurtures them with grace.

Posted in aging, Art & Poetry by Paul & Kathy Boecher, grace | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments



When it seems that all is gone and the days stretch on too long,

There is hope and consolation in God’s perfect preservation,

He provides for every need, even when there’s naught to feed,

When miracles are required, He will give with love inspired,

His perfection does abound in creation all around,

Lift your hands to Him in prayer, He will answer you with care,

Maybe not as you expected, but in ways that He’s directed,

He will soothe your troubled mind, give you peace in all you find,

He will lift you to His breast, calming fears through every test,

He will breathe new life in you, when the present one is through,

When He looks down from above, all He sees is Jesus’ love,

His forgiveness He imparts, to our ever wandering hearts,

What He sees from up so high, is a life that never dies.

Posted in Art & poetry by Kathy Boecher, Encouragement, eternal life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


With the sighting of several “weather” balloons in the sky recently, I couldn’t help but wonder why we go into panic mode when anything unusual happens. Instead of making light of it, we tend to turn our attention to the dark side. I can’t imagine why balloons would create such an uproar, when there are drones all over the sky, taking pictures. Not to mention the space stations and their intergalactic cameras. Space junk may actually be entering our sky space. Who knows? Well, I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but every trick in the book seems to surface when a foreign object appears in the sky. Maybe some balloon vendor just lost his income for the day, when he released his cache of helium balloons. Maybe one of those giant balloons from Macy’s parade got caught up in the wind. Maybe a hot air balloon loaded with passengers, lost its ballast.

I saw a Bullwinkle balloon cartoon, with the headline, “Spotted In The Skies Over Canada,” and had a good laugh. When I showed it to my husband, he said this whole balloon thing was a serious matter. I reluctantly agreed with him, but really – must we always ponder things that go bump in the night with long faces? I much prefer to laugh when serious things get in the way of my joy.

Maybe I’m a cockeyed optimist, but we have enough problems right in our own backyards that often surpass anything that may be happening in the heavens. In other words, God has control of all things, including what’s in heaven and on earth. The last few years have made skeptics out of far too many of us. Maybe isolation kept the germs away, but it sure did a number on our sense of humor.

So, my prescription for today is to find something to chuckle about. It doesn’t have to be an all-out guffaw, even a smile will do. My point is that laughter is good medicine and God created smiles for a purpose, just like He created each one of us.

“All the days of the afflicted are evil, but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast.”.

Proverbs 15:15 ESV

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