LED LIKE SHEEP

I’ve often voiced my opinion about the news media and how it’s changed over the years. Gone are the days of Edward R. Murrow, David Brinkley and Walter Cronkite. Who even remembers Paul Harvey? He was the one who put his own spin on the news of the day – perhaps leading up to our current bend in journalism, but he always had a moral to the end of his story. Today we have Wolf Blitzer, Tim Russert, George Stephanopoulos, Harris Faulkner, Sean Hannity and a plethora of others. Our television sets our filled with news outlets and hundreds and thousands of opinions. By the time it reaches our screens and our eyes and ears, we don’t always know what to believe.

I recently saw a photograph of a group of people standing in a food line during the Great Depression, when the only place the hungry could turn to was government funded meals. I thought how easy it would be for us to become a nation of sheep and how we are still relying on our government to take care of us. With each passing year, it seems that the endless wallet of Washington is not only a necessity, but a open invitation to spend someone else’s hard earned dollars.

The same is true of our own government. It has become so convoluted over time, that the numbers of individuals working for the government are staggering. There’s bound to be corruption in this portion of America, just as there is in any other facet of life. The average American is the guy who works hard to care for his family’s needs. He spends time cooking on a grill in the backyard, cuts his grass, goes to church and may have a beer with friends. He is not really knowledgeable on the workings of the country other than what he sees on his computer, phone or TV set. He didn’t go to school to study politics or journalism. Maybe he never got a college education. He’s mostly interested in his own family unit and how they are affected by their government and the news of the day.

When we become so reliant on the government to foot the bill, we’re in fact being led like sheep to the slaughter. When we depend on the news to be nothing but the truth, we’re also setting ourselves up to fall off a cliff. So is it better to hide from both those entities and not get involved to save us from becoming depressed and hopeless? I’ve been an advocate for limiting time spent watching the news. Still being uninformed isn’t really the answer either. We need to trust someone for the truth. We owe it to ourselves to search for it. We can’t expect someone else to think for us – to form our opinions – to become sheep. God gave us a brain so we could come up with solutions – find a better way of doing things – learn what is true and become discerning in life.

As soon as we let go of that thought process, we’re taking one step closer to the end result – a human LAMBSLIDE, right into a pit of destruction. Trust in God and His ability to bring order from chaos. Trust in yourself to search for the truth without the influence of others. You will find that truth in God’s own Word to us – the Bible.

 "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."  John 14:6 ESV

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PHEASANT TAILS

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Birds of a feather will flock together, especially when it’s cold,

The thermometer reads below zero, and the white stuff gets quite old,

They forage and search for corn off the cob, but nary a speck remains,

What’s left in the world for this lovely bird, but to rely on his brains,

He takes off for a much warmer climate, he’ll show off his feathers there,

Returning again when the mercury soars, to strut his stuff without care.

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

DOES NECESSITY LEAD TO INVENTION?

I wonder how Thomas Edison would’ve felt, had he given up just at the brink of discovery.  I wonder if Alexander Graham Bell ever dreamed that his telephone would some day lead to instant communication to anywhere in the world.  So often we’re right at the edge of discovery – the rim of invention – the dawn of a new frontier and we give up.

If this were the case, the “mother of invention” would never have given birth.  She would still be sitting there wondering what to do with herself. In our country the opportunities are endless.  We have the freedom to pursue our dreams, to experiment, to look beyond our own environment.  We don’t have to go far to see the need for innovative thinking and an entrepreneurial spirit,  It starts with asking questions – Who, what, where, when and why – the five “Ws” that used to constitute good journalism, but that’s an entirely different post.

Once we’ve answered those questions, we’re opening the doors to discovery.  God tells us to come to Him with our requests and to pray without ceasing.  The things we pray for may be just on the cusp of being answered, but we often give up before God has shown us His plan for our lives.

As we celebrate Labor Day today, take a look at all the inventions which have come to fruition in just the last decade.  Do you think there’s anything more we can invent?  I do.  The world is full of ideas, dreams and problem solvers.  We just have to look for them.  It doesn’t hurt to ask God to intervene either.

HAPPY LABOR DAY!

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TIME FOR A CHANGE

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Signs of autumn are in the air. Leaves are slowly losing their grip and soon will be ready to tumble. Acorns are piling up and seeds of all kinds are nestling into the earth to start the regeneration of life to come. The air is fresher, the colors brilliant, the crops are ready for harvest and the smell of apple pies penetrates our nostrils.

It can also be looked at this way. No more warm days of summer; no more lazy days on the beach; birds escaping in hoards to warmer climates; and tons of yard work and/or shoveling to do. The way we look at things in life can have a great effect on how we live it. A negative observation often leads to negative behavior and attitude. Lord, help me to look at things the way you intended them to be – as a gift from you, with no strings attached. May I find beauty in all of your creation.


Seasons of life are just seven, yet sometimes they last even more,
Our last destination is heaven, but think of what's passed on before,
Each chapter is full, each page covered too,
The people pass through are many or few,
There's laughter and sadness, and tears fill our eyes,
Our goals are oft met, but the time often flies,
What we have accomplished upon this sad earth,
Will not be remembered or have any worth,
What matters is this and not a bit more,
That God was there with us, and will be evermore.
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PUTTING WHITE CLOTHES AWAY

Some of our young women have never heard about this rule of fashion. In the early 1900s, women were going through a lot of radical changes. They gained the right to vote. They became aware that they could do more than have babies and run a household. Their independence was leading right up to the sexual revolution of the 1960s,

There were always definite rules of fashion in those days, particularly attributed to women of wealth. There was a certain sleeve length that should be worn for various occasions. Different shoes for different events. Dress length also became a factor as hemlines slowly rose. Gloves and hats were part of every young debutante’s wardrobe. The rule for not wearing white after Labor Day or before Memorial Day, may have been due to the time of the year more than anything. Once Autumn made its appearance, the streets became littered with leaves and dirt which would easily attach themselves to those pretty white shoes. The whites of summer were intended to reflect the sun and keep you from sweating profusely. Usually those whites were made of cotton or linen, to further lighten the weight of the garment.

Fashion trends change and many of the old rules get swallowed up by new, but I still adhere to not wearing white shoes in the winter.  However, if you live in the frozen Tundra of Minnesota, white shoes would act as the perfect camouflage during our snowy months.  Add to that a pair of white pants and jacket and you could become invisible as you shovel the sidewalk and freak out your neighbors.  If you needed a little time to yourself, you could easily hide from the kids.  The advantages to wearing white in winter are countless.

In the cold months of winter we choose to wear darker colors, however, when you’re a young mom you have to be aware of shortcuts.  For example doesn’t it make more sense to have your kids wear dark colors in summer so that all the dirt and grime from their outdoor activities wouldn’t show up quite as much?  Think about it – you’re camping with your children.  Grass stains and water marks from fishing in a creek along with S’mores served at the campfire definitely are not pretty.  It would certainly be to mom’s advantage to dress them in dark clothes all year round.

So forget about traditions like this.  They don’t really accomplish much and besides, what difference does it make?  They probably wouldn’t adhere to them anyway.  Today our young women are faced with much more difficult challenges.  Sometimes we just have to break the rules.

HAPPY LABOR DAY WEEKEND, EVERYONE!

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THE GREAT ESCAPE

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER ©

Nestled in the bluffs along a river that borders two states,

Buildings from another century dotting the landscape,

A peaceful tranquility that escapes the noise of the big city,

Seemingly untouched by the darkness of turmoil and strife,

Unscathed by the ravages of time,

A plethora of steepled houses of worship intermittently entwined,

Still attended every Sunday by diligent souls looking for peace,

Even when we escape to yesterday, there are the dark corners,

We cannot hide even in these magical moments of old,

Our lies exposed before God, yet He is the One who provides redemption,

He is our rock, our salvation and our peace from the ugly world around us,

Our uncluttered sanctuary.

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SQUIRRELYMPICS 2021

It’s that time of year again. Autumn is right around the corner and critters are stocking up for the wintry cold of Minnesota. In the process they’re creating lots of entertainment for us. I purchased some squirrel food to deter them from invading the bird feeder, but as soon as they polish that off, they head straight for the bird food.

Actually we don’t discourage them from being around. I mean we provide meals and lodging after all. What do we get in return? A lot of entertainment is sure to follow. In fact this year, we’re looking forward to the Squirrelympics events, including the balance beam, walking the wire, 20 yard dash, gymnastics, weight lifting and survival techniques. Can you picture the scene? The squirrels have been given numbered t-shirts and are ready to roll. A team of judges (birds, cats and an assortment of other critters including us) are equipped with score cards which will determine the winner of each event.

Here comes #1 FLIP – His gymnastics on the bird feeder pole are astounding. He reaches the pinnacle of the feeder, attaches his rear feet to the roof and hangs backwards and upside down to get his food. When he’s had enough, he does a triple flip down to the ground. Oops, better get a helmet next time, Flip. Look at that five of the judges have voted a perfect ten while the other five gave failing marks for the descent. Oh well, it could be a bronze at least. Here comes #2 STUBBY – This little fellow lost his tail last year. We didn’t think he’d be back to participate, but there he is. He will be walking the wire, carrying a small branch with a walnut on each end. This is a balancing act to behold. Since Stubby is minus his tail he has to rely on pure grit and determination to get him across the wire. And he does it with ease, finishing his routine by placing a nut in each cheek. A perfect score for Stubby. That is all but one of the judges. He seems to be wearing a squirrel tailed hat. Hmmmm. Don’t worry though, Stubby finishes with an 8. Highest score so far.

NUTSY is up next, wearing #3. This little critter is really fast. He is sure to do well in the 20 yard dash. But wait, Nutsy has just discovered a pile of acorns near the starting line. Will he be able to overcome his natural hunger? Will he go on to prove he’s the fastest squirrel on four legs? There goes the starting gun and he’s off. Those acorns will have to wait for another day. Wait a minute, he’s turning around. He’s running the wrong way. Oh no, he’s heading for the acorns. Come on, Nutsy, you can beat this. You’re a much better squirrel than that. Oh, well, he’s not listening to my warning. He loses to his cousin, FLASH, who has beaten him by 20 yards. Looks like a Gold for #4. He’s not even going to wait for his ribbon. He just did a 180 degree turn and is headed for the acorn pile. Too bad! Nutsy has won the really big prize.

And so it goes in our backyard at this change of seasons. Yes, we name the animals that pass through our yard. We’re very creative after all. We also have nothing better to do.

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CLOSED CAPTIONING MISHAPS

I started using the closed captioning feature on our TV set because of my hearing loss. Since my husband doesn’t suffer from the same malady, it seems the perfect solution. Reading the captions can take something away from the performance, because of the time it takes to read them. Fortunately there is a plus side to this. Some of the captions are more entertaining than what’s taking place in the action.

For example on one news report a while back, the reporter was talking about a politician who had been on the job for only six months before resigning. The caption read, “She was on the John for six months.” I imagined that if she had been on the John for six months, she more than likely got fired.

As you may know, I love watching old mystery television series. On a recent English performance of a Miss Marple series called, “A Body in the Library,” the word body took on a whole new meaning. At one point there was a potty in the library. At another, the potty was in the diaper. I never did find out how the potty got there or who it was, because I was laughing so hard at the misinterpretation of the closed captions. Can you imagine being the person responsible for writing the closed captions? Especially when the performers have a heavy English dialect or some foreign influence to their speech. It would be understandable to exchange “body” with “potty” because of the way the word is spoken. I can picture the interpreter trying to figure out as they go, what is being said. Of course it’s probably done by computers, undoubtedly use\ing phonetics to repeat the word on the screen. There might even be a real person in there trying to come up with more entertaining entertainment, especially if things are getting boring and need to be kick started. It would be fun to find out who actually does this job and how it’s done. In the meantime I can only imagine.

The fact that I’m losing my hearing is not only frustrating, but causes me to realize that I’m not a spring chicken anymore. My doctor suggested the loss was caused by years of working with young children. The high pitch of their voices played a number on my ear drums. Again, I will not let my age get in the way of my sense of humor. I can still laugh about some of my own interpretations of what someone says to me. My husband is used to my infirmity and has always been very kind about it, but it has to be frustrating for him as well. Hearing aids are not an option for a number of reasons. The fact they are so expensive, leads the list, but I’ve also seen people who wear them struggle to sift through outside noise as well as the voice they’re trying to hear. So instead, I will watch my TV shows with closed captioning and laugh at the most inopportune time. I will mistake what someone says to me for something else and laugh about that too. I think I’ll be OK as long as what I laugh at isn’t inappropriate.

Of course if I’m watching the news, I will probably just turn it off. Some things are better left unheard.

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THE BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD

1 Samuel 17:47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

As our world swirls around us in a sea of turmoil, it’s difficult not to get depressed or troubled over it. Even knowing that God is in control isn’t always enough for those of us who have seen the destruction of mankind and his wars. Our memories serve a purpose. They allow us to ponder over the entire situation before action is taken. In the heat of attack upon our own nation, however, we tend to think differently about responding without action. On December 7, 1941 suicide bombers attacked an American naval port in Hawaii, causing the US to enter into WWII. On September 11, 2001, we were stunned to see planes crashing into buildings and fields within our borders and thousands of lives lost. When we’re under attack by an enemy and see the resulting carnage right under our noses, we react immediately. Our reactions are based on revenge, but also in defense of our country.

War is never a final solution to any problem. Usually it leads to more of them and eventually to a lot of rebuilding, restoration, endless meetings by governments trying to come to a settlement, and trillions of dollars spent over time. There is always going to be collateral damage.

We are fighting a much greater battle than with any Taliban or ISIS soldier. Our war is a constant, daily combat with the devil. He has been let loose to do his dastardly work among us. How do we respond? Do we take up arms against him and his minions? Do we fight with every ounce of strength in our body? Do we give our lives to save others from his control? The devil is an unseen enemy, but one we will have to confront in our lives. Yes, and even those who feel they are “right” with the Lord are going to meet this enemy with strength beyond our own ability.

The battle has already been waged, fought and won by Jesus, Christ, the Savior of the World. When He laid down His life for us, He was carrying the weight of every sin ever committed. He suffered the bite of the scourge, the spit of an angry crowd, the humiliation and scorn of a common criminal. Yet He had never committed a sin. As His body rested in the tomb on the day after His horrible crucifixion, He was putting the devil in chains – leashing him, but still allowing him life until the day of final judgment. Jesus’ victory over death is our guarantee of a release from the grave and life everlasting. The battle is won and it belongs to the Lord.

We can fight our earthly battles with fervor, resolve, patriotism, whatever, but we can never win our own salvation. Jesus is our champion, our soldier, our victor over death. With that in mind we can face any enemy or situation that Satan throws our way.

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REDEEMED FROZEN HEARTS

ORIGINAL ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

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,

Frozen landscapes soon 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,

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THE FRONTIER ARTIST

PAUL T. BOECHER – 1800s FRONTIER ARTIST

The man in the picture is my husband, Paul.  You’ve seen much of his art on my site,, along with my poetry.  Not only is he an accomplished artist and sculptor, he’s a teacher, a naturalist, a business man, an evangelizer, a true cowboy without a horse, a devoted husband, father and grandfather.  He’s done many different things in his 79 years.  One of his favorite things to do was to re-enact a frontier artist from the early days of the settling of our country.

In those years, so long ago, there were no smart phones, no computers or internet and no cameras.  To let people know what lay beyond the average person’s eye, artists were commissioned to go along on expeditions to paint what was discovered along the way.  Can you imagine experiencing great mountain ranges or the bubbling paint pots and geysers of Yellowstone for the first time?  Can you picture camping close to Native American villages and visiting unknown cultures?  The raging waters of wide and perilous rivers, the uncharted terrain, the stories, the people – all of it was being experienced by these early explorers as they traveled across the land.

Paul has always said he was born in the wrong century. He likes every opportunity to witness God’s magnificent handiwork.  Nature has been sort of a sanctuary for him, having been born and raised in the inner city of Milwaukee and residing on the second floor of the family business – a funeral home.

Those early explorers didn’t carry bottled water or have air conditioned homes to return to at night.  They slept on the floor of the plains – got their water from a nearby stream and hunted for their food.  Times have changed, but I don’t think the American spirit has died.  It’s just getting used to all the comforts afforded it in the past couple hundred year.

As we look ahead to this weekend and the ending of summer, let’s not forget those who built this great country of ours.  We honor our veterans and those currently serving, but let’s remember those who forged ahead, without fear, to discover just what a gift this land is.  Thank God for America.  We still honor our flag.  We still hold to the truth of the Constitution.  We can travel across the vast horizons and behold the glory and majesty of our land –  freely. 

As vehicles get packed for a weekend of camping, summer fun, recreation and travel across this great nation, let’s keep in mind those early explorers as well.  They had no idea what they’d face the next day, but they were compelled to see what lay ahead.  God still has great plans for our land.  I’m sure of it. 

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WHEN THE WALLS COME TUMBLING DOWN

With all that’s going on in our world right now, I had hoped to write a post with encouraging words about how God has this all in the palm of His hand and we’re going to get through it. Those words don’t mean much when you have to greet a son or daughter at the airport as their flag draped coffin is lowered from the plane. It doesn’t mean much when the winds of a hurricane reach 175 mph and destroy everything in its path. When we’re close to being in another war – when our lives are being controlled by a virus – when all hope seems to be turning sour – those words don’t carry much clout.

We all go through trials and it may seem that God is no where to be found. Has He deserted us? Is He punishing us for bad choices and behavior? Are we getting our comeuppance? Why does God allow these trials if He’s a righteous God? Why does He create weather that destroys and insurmountable events that crush our spirit? Well, God isn’t like that. If I were to receive what is coming to me, I would’ve been living on the street, dumpster diving, begging for a crust of bread. If I were to get what I deserved, I could count on no future – no hope – no salvation.

God is a God who forgives our sins, because He loves us. He is patient – kind – selfless – caring and more than tolerant of the sin that infests our world. He has the power to wipe out the entire human race, but instead His plan includes the greatest love story ever told. Many would think and say that there is no God and that if there was, He has forsaken us. Yet the truth is that His intention was that we live in paradise with Him and enjoy all the benefits of His kingdom. His love has no strings attached. We are unable to work our way to salvation. Even so, He laid out a plan for our redemption that relied on the greatest sacrifice ever.

His plans are always good and the results are always amazing. We may not see it when we’re struggling through the mess we’re living in, but it’s all part of a plan He drew up at the time of Creation. Through God, we have hope for a future. We have a promise that we know will never be broken. We have life eternal waiting for us. In the meantime, this simple message needs to be shared with others. We have an obligation to share this good news so that they will have hope even when it seems like there’s none.

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HEAR OUR PRAYER, OH, LORD!

POETRY BY KATHY BOECHER

A golden sun is shining outside my window pane,

The sky is blue, the grass is green yet it’s just not the same,

The beauty that surrounds us can swiftly blow away,

In just one second life can pass into another day.

The winds will rage and seas will crash, while floods turn life to death

Man’s resentment towards his brother, can snuff out any breath,

In fear our journey is shrouded, we try to find our way,

But only God can set us right and by our side will stay.

Whenever we remain troubled, when nothing will suffice,

It’s  time to turn our thoughts to Him for wisdom and advice,

Danger and  death invade our minds, but He has conquered both,

 He guides us through the worst of times, renewing faith and growth.

Posted in Poetry by Kathy Boecher | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

THE MIGHTY MOOSE

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER

His powerful muscles are apparent in a body strong enough to carry the weight of his gigantic antlers.  His antlers resemble open hands reaching up to heaven.  As with all of God’s creatures, those six foot wide horns are set upon his head for a purpose.

He proudly displays them to win the attraction of those of the feminine gender.  Yet they can be used in battle, or to push his way through a dense forest with ease.  They can be used as scoops to overturn large rocks or timbers so that he can feed on lichen and rich moss.

As he fights for attention, those mighty paddles become like giant jousting lances.  In order to gain the love of a fair maiden, he will use them against his foe.  May the best moose win!

I wonder if I’ll ever see another animal like me,

I am so big and muscle bound, there’s not another one around,

Who can my prowess overtake, who looks like me for heaven’s sake,

I am the mighty, handsome moose, I’m not the slightest bit obtuse,

I wander through the forests tall, with ease I tower o’er them all,

When darkness comes to fill the night, I remain fearless at the sight,

Other creatures look up to me, some oft mistake me for a tree,

But soon they learn that I am not, a bully or a juggernaut.

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FOLLOWING IN OUR TRACKS

WATERCOLOR WITH LINER BRUSH & POETRY BY KATHY BOECHER ©

Thinking of all the tracks we lay while stumbling through each day,

It soon becomes apparent that those lines get in the way,

We struggle through each obstacle, we rarely look behind,

But in those trials and roadblocks, great lessons we can find.

The imprint that we surely make will be another’s road,

It will be simpler then for them to carry every load,

Our history may not be grand, but we can leave a mark,

With memories of days gone by and dreams we thought to spark.

The future generations can then follow in our way,

With lessons laid and roads now clear, they make it through each day,

Our stumbling and our failings will certainly leave a scar.

But through our own shortcomings we can guide them to a star.

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DO YOU REMEMBER?

This photograph, reminiscent of the iconic flag raising at Iwo Jima, depicts a story of courage under fire like we’ve never seen before. On 09/11/2001 our nation was ravaged by a group of those intent on destroying our existence. Twenty years later, we’re still under the cloud of that fateful day. What have we learned from watching disaster unfold on our television sets, knowing that lives were being shatter within our own borders? That day will be honored again in two weeks. Has anything really changed? Twenty years can erase a lot of bad memories, but we must never let the images of that day be erased from our history.

In twenty years why did we lose respect for our government? Why did we see an unfolding of corruption within law enforcement? Where has our trust in humanity gone? Most of those in their young adult lives today, never knew the spirit of patriotism that boiled in the hearts of Americans when this attack occurred. As babies and young children, they were oblivious to the feelings of betrayal, hatred and loss. In twenty years, we tried to protect those children from this kind of hurt. We provided ways for them to live life to the fullest. To shield them from unrest. To protect them from those same feelings. In doing so, we may have created a generation that doesn’t know how to react to crisis. A generation that takes all our freedoms for granted. A generation that feels entitled to everything the government owes them.

As time went by, old wounds were soon forgotten. Things returned to normal – or did they? Focus on internal affairs began to fester. Who caused these issues? Who did this to us? Forgetting that we have many enemies in the world and within our own borders, we became obsessed with blaming others for all the bad that was happening around us. We forgot that God was still in control. We now face that same enemy. The same people bent on destroying our nation are coming out of the woodwork and if we let them, they will succeed . . . again. Our prayers for America, for our leaders, for our fellow man and woman are vital. We should turn our hearts to the only One who can create order in confusion and bring reason and understanding in situations that make no sense at all.

Dear, Father, God,

You alone are in control of this planet and every part of the universe. In spite of our hard headedness, our weakness and our foolishness, You’ve always been there for us. We ask that you watch over our country – our United States of America – and be with us as we face our enemies. We have gone astray. We’ve not placed our trust in You. We often give up before we even start, but you still love us. You promise to be with us and we know that you always keep your promises. Help us remember that you also created our enemies – that we’re told to care about them as You did when you offered salvation to all people. Bring back a love for our country. Lift us out of the quagmire of hate, blame, fear, hate and deception. Show us the right way to go. You are our fortress, our rock, our hope for the future and will always be faithful to us, even when we forget to serve you first. Deliver us from those who hate us and would destroy us. Give us understanding and discernment. Send Your Holy Spirit to ignite a new fire in the hearts of Americans to defend what so many have died for. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen!

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I’M MAD AND SO AM

The pot is being stirred again. Not by those who love this country, but by those who would love to see her fail and be overtaken by our enemies.  In the last several years we’ve experienced a malady much more powerful than COVID.  We play the “blame game”, because we don’t want to be the cause of anything that might result from our reckless behavior.  People who used to be known for their radiant smiles, now have down turned lips and sad eyes.  The wearing of masks has taken care of that.  Who wants to look at a sad face anyway?

The blame game is played by all of us when we don’t take responsibility for our own actions.  When we choose to think that our ideas are the only valid ones – when we can’t look beyond our own guilt – when lemons aren’t turned into lemonade, but handed to us raw so we can taste the bitterness – we have no one else to blame, but ourselves.  Those of us who truly love America and want to see it the way it used to be are frankly getting tired of all the bullying and negative thinking that’s invaded our nation.  This insidious tool is making us a nation of mad people. “I’m mad – you’re mad – we’re all mad here.”  We all need to share in the blame and actually mean it.

There is so much anger festering right now.  I’m sure the Israelites experience much the same when they wandered in the wilderness for forty years.  We, however, aren’t used to being patient.  We want things done instantly.  Two years is a lifetime to us.  The road rage that’s occurring, the ability to smile through adversity, the power of positive reinforcement, the lifting up of our fellow man, have all been lost because we’ve been inconvenience.

When a leader takes responsibility for a botched up event, he needs to be respected, but when he’s saying the words and not acting on them, how can we respect?  When a friend says something unkind about you and your beliefs and you sit back and take it, you’re showing kindness, but you’re opinion of that person has changed.  When our children are being indoctrinated about historical events – when patriotism is a myth and an antique of a misguided nation – when blood is shed to protect our freedoms – when tolerance leads to the ridiculous – when we can’t even be civil to one another – when we are bullied into getting a shot to protect everyone else – when we shame someone into believing they are the problem – that’s the time for all of us to wake up and stop blaming each other for all the bad that’s going on in the world.

Satan was defeated when Jesus suffered on a cross, died and rose from death. Yet God in His mercy has allowed him to prowl the earth creating more death and destruction.  He knows his time is running out so he’s pushing hard right now.  We must remember that God still controls Satan.  He still loves us beyond measure.  He wants us to love Him back and serve him while we’re here on earth.  He is giving us this time of grace to let others know that hope is not lost.  He is using you and me for this purpose.  He will deliver us from evil, but we must return to Him and ask Him to.

A war within is beginning to stir.  The thought of another Civil War is even whispered about.  We have so many differences that divide us, I wonder if we really are a United States of America.  Yet God is consistent in all that He does.  He never changes.  His Word is truth and we can count on His help when we simply get down on our knees and pray.

Psalm 24:1-10 1The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; 2for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. 3Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? 4The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. 5They will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God their Savior. 6Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob. 7Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 8Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. 9Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 10Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty- he is the King of glory.

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CHANGE OF SEASON

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER

The earth rotates as God first set it in the sky,

The winds are His, He controls whether we live or die,

Painting our world on a majestic canvas,

With colors from His endless paint box,

He carves the trees into skeletal versions of themselves,

He releases His rain on parched grass and plantings,

He uses His powerful breath to breathe life into all things,

His power is amazing,

His majesty – beyond our comprehension,

His mercy – undeserved,

His love – unconditional,

Our salvation – a truth to sustain us in our darkest hours,

He is God.

He created us.

He lived with us and died for us,

His heart is totally in love with us,

He conquered death and we will too,

His resurrection makes us new,

Submit to Him,

Rely on Him,

Turn to Him in all trouble,

Don’t give up on Him,

For He has already won the war,

We are His and He is ours,

Take His hand and let Him lead,

He is sheep will always feed,

Filling every earthly need,

For our lives His heart did bleed,

Leading us home to heaven’s door,

Where we will lift Him and adore,

Where our old sin will be no more,

Amazing grace we do implore.

Posted in Art & Poetry by Paul & Kathy Boecher | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

IN A WORLD . . .

PENCIL SKETCH FOR SET DESIGN BY PAUL BOECHER – POETRY BY KATHY BOECHER ©

The air chokes with death and the smells of it.
Deep in the bowels of the earth, the demons dance for joy,
Hatred, twisted minds,
Overtly wounded souls disperse the winds of time,
Testing of integrity,
Questioning,
Doubting,
Past sins,
Guilt,
Repentance,
Reputations at risk,
Life is filled with this,
The ugliness of sin and the greatest liar ever,
Breath is snuffed out like a waning candle,
In an instant and without warning,
This is our reality,
Yet within that reality is small glimmer of hope,
A tiny fracture of light in the distance,
A light that gains strength as you draw near it,
A brilliance that never dies,
Hope remains in tact,
It is our God,
Who never changes,
Though the world is slowly being devoured by evil,
Though it seems impossible to understand,
Though nothing is sacred anymore,
Though Satan seems to have the upper hand,
Even when life takes a back seat to death,
We must hang on to that glowing ember,
It is the only beacon in a blackened world,
For without it we will be swallowed up,
Trust in God, not man.

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

THE SILENCING OF A NATION

My dear blogging friend, Julie Cook – cookiecrumbstoliveby.wordpress.com – has a beautiful site which often expresses her disappointment with what’s happening in our country. Unfortunately, it seems when we have an opinion these days, it’s often seen as stirring the pot or creating more dissension. We still have the right to freedom of speech in the United States. By producing a blog, we’re also placing ourselves on a soap box and may or may not reach someone or open their eyes to the things that are really happening around us. We have a responsibility to choose our words carefully. I have been known to get up on my platform from time to time and have been trying to get off of it, because it doesn’t seem to make any difference except for getting something off my chest – which, by the way, is OK too.

When our founders laid out the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for all Americans, I’m sure they didn’t realize the depth to which political correctness would take us. It truly has descended into a totally different realm in the past few years. I’m almost afraid to say anything. The words we use today are under constant scrutiny and subject to disdain in some way or another. As part of the older generation, I’ve never seen anything like it. As a writer, I’ve had to edit beyond comprehension in order to satisfy those who might criticize. Still aren’t these rights to voice opinion still available to all Americans? It seems we’re going from one extreme to another. When a boulder must be removed from a campus, because it once was black, that in my opinion is nonsense. When we can’t use certain words that might make someone else feel uncomfortable, but when there is no problem with discussing gender neutrality, promiscuity, pornography, sex trafficking, rape, murder, incest, child abuse or drugs, there’s something amiss.

There are things that offend me too. I still should be able to speak my mind about those things, but I choose not to – or at least try to keep it to a minimum. I don’t care what happens in someone’s bedroom. I don’t need to change my standards because someone is offended by them. I still believe that God is in control of the rotation of the earth and the number of stars in the sky. He is almighty and my only hope for salvation, and if I express that, I’m deemed a threat to society.

The image I’ve chosen today reveals the truth about what happens when we try to silence all thinking except the popular opinions of the day. We’re better than that. We’re a country different, unique and built on Judeo/Christian values. Those values are under attack. We ALL have the right to speak.

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