UNDER TONES

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ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

A swampy mass of algae filled water,
Crusted with swarming gnats and flies,
Deemed a place to avoid,
Yet within the muck and slime,
A plethora of lily pads abounds,
Reaching the sky with enchanting, elegant blooms,
Even as we walk the perils of earth,
Through danger, evil and the pull of sin,
God looks at us and finds beauty,
Our ugliness has been shrouded by a greater love,
The blackness of our souls has been purged,
We are restored,
Made new,
Through His power,
Through His cleansing,
Through His Son.

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THE PLOT THICKENS

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The plot was well underway from the day they left Bethany until they reached Jerusalem. Mary heard murmurings of it within the crowds. Some thought Jesus was the Messiah, but there were those who couldn’t believe it. This was just another prophet to them. Yes, He performed some pretty spectacular miracles – He walked on water – He changed water into wine – He even fed the crowds with a mere pittance of food, but this man was claiming to be the Son of God. That was too much to comprehend.

Word spread, dissention mounted and by the time news got to the Sanhedrin, the high priest and others had already determined that this man had to be stopped. Now all they needed was a reason to have Jesus put to death. So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”

Caiaphas, the high priest declared, “You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.”

He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.

Jesus would be the scapegoat.

Mary watched as Judas began to weaken in his faithfulness to her Son. She knew there was something different about this man. She had the feeling that he was more concerned with the money they collected than anything else. Would Judas be the one to sell her Son out? Would this end before the work was finished? Time would prove her right. All the pieces of God’s mysterious puzzle for our redemption, were being set into place.

It wouldn’t be long before these questions would be answered.  The plot was coming to its final climax.  As it unfolded, the prophesies of old were also coming to pass.  It was all part of a greater story – one that shows us that God is in control of everything in our lives.  He has already planned it all out.

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LIGHTS & DARKS

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ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER

The sky glows with brightest reds tonight.
They soon will dissipate – clear out of sight.
The brilliant colors once shone brightly
Are now replaced with dark unsightly.
A black intensely hovers over and
Dips into oblivion ever.
Blessed peace has flown away,
Erased by nights lone dismal grey.
It crushes mind and faith and spirit.
It covers all the sins that fear it.
Just when it seems that all is lost
A new day dawns amidst the frost.
The crystal glow, the diamond cloak
Spreads over fields of pine and oak.
The sun begins to kiss the earth
With love it gives new life and birth.
The Son has risen now to save –
To move us from death’s ugly grave.
With love He’s given life to me.
A life of light to set me free.
KATHY BOECHER

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JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA

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I may be getting ahead of myself with Joseph of Arimathea, but I think he began to follow Jesus before the crucifixion took place.  He was a well respected member of the community, wealthy beyond most standards and a leader in the Sanhedrin. A native of Arimathea, he now called home Jerusalem. He undoubtedly knew that his life was soon coming to an end, because he had a tomb waiting for his arrival. He and Nicodemus were followers of Jesus and believed Him to be the long awaited Messiah.   He was educated in Moses and the Prophets and knew all the signs of the coming Savior. Because of tensions amongst the leaders of the Sanhedrin and the popularity of Jesus,  Joseph followed Him in secret.

Joseph, being witness to the death by crucifixion of Jesus, boldly approached Pilate and asked for the body so he could give it a proper burial. Pilate consented even though most criminals were left to rot on the cross to be devoured by predators and birds of prey. It was meant to serve as a lesson to those who would think to disobey Roman law.

Joseph and Nicodemus carried the body to the tomb and prepared it with 75 pounds of spices which Nicodemus donated. This in itself was a symbol of great wealth. They were, after all, burying a mighty King – the Son of God.

Joseph knew that he was defying Mosaic law by touching a corpse, but he did so with complete confidence. He was taking a huge risk by doing this act, but he was honoring a fallen soldier who had given His life for the salvation of the world.
May we have the same honor and courage for our Christ – when we are faced with persecution because of Him – when we need to stand up for our beliefs – when our lives depend on it. Joseph came out of hiding to bury His Savior.

On the third day, Jesus conquered death by coming back to life and changing the world forever.

 

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PROGRESSIVE GRANDMA

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I never thought it would happen, but it has.  Technology has overtaken our lives and I mean that in a good way.  Today, children are learning their lessons on specialized classes performed by their teachers from thee “comfort” of their own homes.  These teachers are used to a classroom setting. They’re used to order and regimentation.  They are not used to having their own families looking over their shoulders while they’re teaching.

Conference calls have replaced staff meetings.  Zoom has taken the place of informal get togethers. Most social media is at an all time high, because we are people who need people.  We’re the luckiest people in the world ….. whoops, sorry , I got caught up in the moment.  Isolation is not a normal thing.  We feel frustrated when we can’t get into an app or link up to a link.  Some of this is totally new  for most of us.

With the influx of COVID19 our lives have changed significantly.  The theatre where I   work is striving to keep a positive face and make classes available to those who want to jump on board and participate via the internet. The classes are free and available to various age groups.  Yesterday was my first experience teaching a class this way.  Needless to say, I’m going into uncharted areas. It should be the easiest thing in the world and it is for anyone under thirty, but for us old timers, it’s brand new.

The class was designed to last for thirty minutes, was geared for grades K-5 and I was going to teach how to create a believable character.  Four eager students arrived on time, but the teacher was about ten minutes late. This wouldn’t happen in a regular teaching environment.  Of course I was about a minute late for an after school class once and one of the students replied, “We thought you died and went to heaven.”

I had some basic fears about this new technology for me.  I was a bit frightened about the up close and personal aspect.  I mean I’m almost 78 years old. I possess a roadmap of lines upon my face.  I worried they would see every imperfection, every nose hair and the teeth that were missing from my aging mouth.  Fortunately once I got onto the site, I didn’t realize I had to hit a button to show my face.  I didn’t and therefore all they knew about me was my voice.  I was redeemed from all potential ridicule.

I have another class tomorrow and hope to show up on time.  Since this is a class about building a character, my face will also arrive so they can actually see a face doing what I will try to teach them.  Once the class started to roll along, I felt better about the entire experience and I look forward to more.

I do worry about those teachers who are now confined to their homes with their own children hounding them for attention and the perils and frustration of those educators.  It can’t be easy for them.  They’re used to their students.  They aren’t used to being with their kids 24/7.  Teachers need a place to escape to right now, just as everyone else that has been cloistered and will be for a long time. At least they’re tech savvy.  I’m just an old woman trying to stay in the realm of the living.

 

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THE FRONTIER ARTIST

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Instead of featuring one of Paul’s masterpieces, I’m including a few of them today.  What seems like a lifetime ago (about three weeks ago) Paul was reenacting a frontier artist at the Rum River Art Center’s Artathon. The event was cut short because of COVID19, but an article about the event appeared in our local news shortly thereafter.

Paul often claims that he was born in the wrong century.  He would’ve loved being a part of the old west, the exploration, the pioneering and the entrepreneurial spirit.  Instead he was born a hundred years later, which I’m glad of because otherwise I would never have married the guy.

The thing about that older time period was there was no Instagram, no photo shop, no cameras, no selfies and no internet.  People relied on artists to depict the unexplored parts of the country for them. They also commissioned artists to paint portraits of themselves.  The beauty of unexplored landscapes are personified by Bierstadt, Russell and Seth Eastman.  There were many of them who forged their way alongside surveyors, pioneers and explorers to depict what was going on in an unexplored country.

Paul’s character is named, “Hawkeye.”  He dresses in period costume – which suits him well. He gives a short demonstration in the form of an art lesson, and then tells the story of the plein air painters that went along on excursions to discover America.

Fortunately he is still able to go outside to paint, as long as he’s six feet away from anyone else.

 

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ONCE UPON A TIME . . .

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There once was a land filled with prosperity and bounty – a place where the majority of its inhabitants had forgotten how to love one another – an expanse of human life that was creating a network of relationships from the confines of their homes.  There was no need to touch one another.  You could simply send a smiley face or a few hearts to show you cared.  Those who had not experienced the good life – those who lived in the streets – those lost and forgotten souls, were drawn deeper into their own shells.

Suddenly life changed. People retreated to their homes as a pandemic struck the world.  Some said it was a punishment from God, while others considered it a temporary inconvenience.  Through their doors they withdrew.  This was now their safe place.

The land had become empty. Not only were the numbers decreasing, the face to face contact was now done on an electronic device.  Most businesses were selling their wares on the internet, leaving no need for workers to stock shelves or greet you with a smile.  Those who relied on entertaining and teaching others were submitted to a cloistered existence. For those who love people – the extroverts, the compassionate, the friendly – this was devastating.  For those who loved their privacy, it was a boon, but not for long.

All over the world people were cocooning.  Their outer world was now their inner domain. They felt limited, alone, frightened and longed for life the way it once was.

Every day was filled with bad news.  The picture painted for the future was dark indeed.  It was beginning to seem that their former existence would never return again. Out of the darkness, out of desperation, because of loneliness they began to use the one tool available to them.  In order to connect, they emailed, texted, sent emojis, Zoomed and used other electronic means to communicate, to teach, to learn.  Eventually the air waves couldn’t handle it and it all came crashing down.

The world was no longer the same.  Everyone felt the hope being sapped from them.  Even in the confines of their homes, surrounded by family, they felt alone.  The planet had suddenly become dark.

There in the midst of the darkest hour, a small light began to shine in the sky.  It was no bigger than the tiniest star.  It approached the earth with astronomical speed, cutting through the ebony skies and piercing the murkiness which enshrouded the firmament. It was the same light that filled the sky over two thousand years before.  A star like none other.  It glowed with warmth and hope.  As it approached, people began to venture out of their sanctuaries.  They weren’t afraid.  They hugged and embraced.  They talked to each other.  They felt the community of being together once more.

The brilliance of that once tiny star had now illuminated the shadows.  A voice spoke from the light.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

And the voice disappeared into the brilliant light and left.  However the darkness was broken and remnants of it remained.  The people heeded the message.  They cared for each other like they had never done before.  Those who had much shared with those who had nothing.  The sick were tended and the hungry were fed. The elderly gave wisdom to the youngers.  The children helped with the physical needs of their elders. Neighbors ate together at their picnic tables.  People talked to each other again, marveling at the sound of a human voice connected to a body.  They were physically connected once more.

The world changed on that day, because the light came back into the world and with it came love which had been hidden for so long.

 

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A NEW MESSAGE

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Jesus grew up with the traditions and teachings of the children of Israel. He made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem each year. He worshipped and studied intensively at the temple. His wisdom seemed to be growing daily and now that He was considered Rabbi, Mary couldn’t help but wonder at his knowledge. His words now resonated with the people and the scriptures were coming alive through Him. It was as if he had written them himself.

He talked about a kingdom not of this world. He spoke as if He had already experienced it. His words about the fulfillment of the law was fascinating to them. When He talked of complete payment for sin – life after death – sharing in God’s inheritance – the audience listened with rapt attention. Many thought he was the Messiah, the King they longed for, the second David, come to rule and make them the powerful nation they once were.

The crowds grew so large, He had to go to the top of a mountain to speak. They waited eagerly and hung on every word. Most of these people were used to the old laws, but Jesus had different things too tell them. He said to them, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” His purpose was finally becoming known to the thousands who hungered for his message. Jesus had come to pay the ransom.

He related to those starving minds and us, that this world is only temporary. He taught us how to pray – not as those who made hypocrites of themselves, but in the quiet moments of our lives, in silent supplication and humility before God. He told us not to worry about things – not to store up treasures on earth – to look forward to our time in eternity – to ask God for what we need and then be confident He would answer. He told us how to love each other – even those who persecuted or hated us.
His message was healing balm for a wounded world – a message Mary needed to hear as well.

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DO NOT BE AFRAID

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Sounds so simple, doesn’t it?  “Don’t be afraid,” is a common phrase to use when you’re a parent trying to make life easier for your child – when you want to encourage someone to try harder or follow their dreams – when you’re trying to convince yourself that everything is going to be all right.

How can that phrase ease our minds and set us free from worry when we’re being inundated with news of thousands losing their lives to a pandemic? How can we draw comfort when we are confined to our homes and our routines have been turned upside down?  Here we are at the beginning of our third week of isolation.  It looks like it could go on for a long time.

Fear seems to be one of those emotions that leads to other ones – like anxiety, depression, loneliness, isolation, self-pity, thoughts of suicide and on and on.  So how does one nip it in the bud?  Fear starts at the beginning of life.  When we enter the world, we’re forced through a difficult time pushing our way through a canal much too small for our body. We struggle through the opening and gasp our first breath, our lungs fill and our voice is heard.  That first sound is cry.  That alone should tell you that life is no picnic.

When we take our first steps, we’re risking falling and hurting ourselves.  Once again, we’re facing the unknown and fear sets in. When we learn to drive – experience our first kiss – when we fall in love – when we face financial difficulty, disease or loss of a loved one – when life is filled with negativity – when we can see no hope for the future – when we age and when we die – we’re experiencing fear, whether we believe it or not.

Today our fears are caused by numbers, statistics, financial roller coaster rides and not having enough.  We’re afraid because we’ve never experienced anything like this before in our lifetime.

Today is the beginning of a new week.  We should be able to look forward to it with positive thoughts, but it’s not easy when you’re cloistered, restrained, and fearful.  Still, those of us who are following the guidelines expected of us now are looking for solutions.  We must not let fear overtake us.  God will get us through this.  Maybe it’s a leap of faith to believe that, but God wants us to place our complete trust in Him.  By doing so, we’re allowing Him to do his best work.

Don’t be afraid!

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TAKE ME AWAY

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ORIGINAL ART & INSPIRATION BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

As I travel through life’s darkest moments,
When all around me is unfamiliar ground,
When the sound of silence engulfs me and pierces through the lack of noise,
There in the midst of it all,
There with wings unfurled,
With pinions uncut,
With strength and dominion,
He will lift me out of the darkness,
He will protect me from the dangers of life,
He will cover me with His power, strength and love
I will not fear the terror of night,
Or the dangers that lie at every corner,
He will comfort my tangled soul,
He will shield me from all harm,
And I will soar like the eagles.

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THIRSTING FOR CHURCH

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It’s Sunday – a day I would normally be sitting in a church pew alongside my husband, daughter and granddaughter. It’s been a time away from the physical contact we used to enjoy. We’re now confined to our homes.  Yes, we still have access to daily Bible study.  We can see videos of our pastor as he preaches his sermons.  We can even listen to the beautiful hymns and sing along with them.  In fact we have an abundance of those things.  I am receiving Bible studies from old and new churches, my synod organization, fellow Christians with words of encouragement and even had the chance to share time on Zoom with some of our church friends.

Still in this time of social distancing there is so much missing.  We no longer have the ability to hug each other, to share joys and sadness with a physical touch or to encourage each other with face to face contact.  Zoom is nice, but it’s not the same as being there.

Another thing that’s missing is taking part in the Sacrament of Holy Communion.  This beautiful rite is a reminder of our need to confess our sins daily, repent, taste God’s perfect love, His forgiveness and our ultimate salvation.  I really miss the Lord’s Supper.

As we are coming to the end of the Lenten season and soon will ponder on Jesus Passion, it seems impossible to not be worshipping corporately with fellow believers. Sure the church is just a building, but it’s much more. It’s a gathering – a joining – a celebratory time – a time to encourage, enrich and focus on God’s Word.

When I was a little girl, my mom played a game with us.  She’d have us fold our hands with our fingers folding inward.  The two pointer fingers would come together and point up.  She then would recite this little poem – See the church and see the steeple.  Open the doors and see all the people.  You’ve probably played that game too. Now when we fold our hands, we do so normally.  When the doors are open, there are no people, but God is still there.  He’s with us in our isolation also.

This time of aloneness will be over soon. I pray it will be sooner rather than later, but even though we’re apart, we’re joined by a loving God who will get us through this.  Once more we’ll be able to hug.  We’ll be able to laugh and cry together.  We’ll sing together and praise Him through our hymns and prayers. We’ll lift our hands in praise and know that we’re together in all things, even when we’re apart.  Until then, let’s thank God on this Sabbath day, for his consistency in an ever changing world.

 

 

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WHAT, ME WORRY?

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Many years ago, a now familiar character appeared on the cover of Mad Magazine. He was created by a versatile commercial artist named Norman Mingo. This man had worked for many years in the comic book industry. His name isn’t recognizable, but the one image that made him famous is the one you see pictured here. Alfred E. Newman became the mascot for “Mad” for many years. I don’t remember much about the magazine, but who could forget the owner of that face?

We all worry. It’s part of our makeup. I think women probably worry more than men – especially mothers.

It’s easy to tell someone not to worry, but not so easy to actually do it. When we’re faced with mounting bills or difficult decisions our natural tendency is to fret about it. When we have children, we worry about their welfare and safety. Some folks worry about getting married and fear they might become a growing statistic. Some fear failure. Others seem to have no fear. We get anxious when we face difficult health issues. We get nervous about a lot of things. Most of us have experienced it at some point in our lives.

Right now we’re all more than a little worried.  How long will this pandemic go on?  Will we ever be able to hug our family and friends?  Will our workplace reopen?  Will we have enough food and supplies to get us through?  What if we go into another depression? Fear is at the top of our list these days, but we have a prescription for that.

Jesus told His followers not to worry.  He said to cast all our care on Him.  He reminds us that God has a plan, even when things appear hopeless. When God tells us not to worry, we should listen.  We know we can count on Him, because He always keeps His promises. The greatest one being fulfilled on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Lord, it’s hard not to be afraid at times. Life is difficult. Sometimes things get harder as I trudge through it, but I know that you are always faithful to your word. You talk about my anxieties in the Bible and assure me that you will be with me no matter what. I trust in your unchanging commitment and protection.  Amen!

“Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
ISAIAH 41:10

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LAMB OF GOD

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A lamb goes uncomplaining to its death.  The pure, free from blemish sacrifice would atone for the sins of man.  Today blood sacrifices are unnecessary because the true Lamb of God, Jesus, came to take our place – to be the final sacrifice that washed away every sin and all the guilt connected with it.  Jesus was sinless, yet He was willing to carry the sin of the world to the cross – to defeat the devil and the tight hold he had on humanity – to overcome death, be resurrected, to live again in paradise as He has promised will happen to us.

When bruised and injured we do fall, before our Father’s throne
And look upon the lamb once slain for all sins to atone,
Our pain is nothing next to His, our wounds are all but naught.
The blood He shed, His torturous death were all with insult fraught,
But still the Son of God went forth in dignity and strength,
He took our place and bore the cross until His dying breath,
Three days went by. He shunned the grave and rose to life again.
He did this so I too could claim a life in heaven with Him.
Sweet Jesus you have walked the road that I deserved to go.
You did this oh so willingly and You knew just what to do
So when I’m feeling battered and pulled in many ways,
Remind me of the walk you took and please accept the praise.

KATHY BOECHER©

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METAMORPHOUS

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Spring is emerging at a much slower pace this year.  Something has caused all the humans to become cocooned for a while.  When the veil is lifted, there will be a glorious vision waiting for us.  To be together, to enjoy each other’s company, to laugh, hug and touch.  Our short existence in that shell will open soon and we will be free to fly.
ORIGINAL ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Trees turn into blazing colors, leaves weave tightly on the ground.
Tapestry of gold and crimson, clearing way for sight and sound,
Soon the barren trees stand empty, lifeless, worn and spent of life,
Skeletal they stand before us, facing winter’s call to strife,

Branches reach to touch the heavens, empty now yet full of hope,
They’ll return in springtime glory, with persistence in their scope,
Life is merely a transition, it returns to life again,
When we trust the Great Physician, broken hearts and souls will mend.

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GOOD HAIR DAY

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I love unusual holidays.  March 26th is known as “Good Hair Day,” which is nearly impossible when we’re cooped up for over three weeks and can’t get to a salon or barber shop because they’re all closed.  We could resort to doing our own haircuts or dye jobs, but who knows how they may turn out.

I remember cutting my children’s hair to save the expense of a professional, but they all wound up looking alike.  I never used a bowl to get the right shape, but it looked that way.  They all resembled the Beatles.

I also did a lot of experimenting with my own hair.  Actually, I used hydrogen peroxide to lighten my hair in high school.  Eventually I looked like a Q tip.  When I got married, I turned to boxed coloring kits.  In one week, I went from blond to green, to red, to brunette and back to blond.  My husband could brag that he had gone to bed with a blond, brunette and redhead all in one week.  The truth is, I made a mistake on the first color which resulted in many trips to the drugstore to rescue my many colored tresses.  I learned then not to trust those over the counter hair colors.

Now that we’ve been sequestered, things are proceeding as usual for us.  My husband cuts his own hair (what’s left of it,) and I make sure he hasn’t missed any.  I don’t color my hair anymore so that isn’t an issue.  Fortunately I had a haircut before all this began so I should be good for a while.  Then I wonder what people will look like after this whole thing blows over.  Men who were prematurely going bald will now have ample comb overs.  Women will be braiding, ratting, teasing instead of combing in some gel and their done.  I’m sure there will be a run on salons and barber shops.  Additional hair stylists will be called into battle to remove all unwanted hair and make people look well groomed again.  Or we might become a civilization of abominable snowmen.

Today, we can raise our glasses or a pair of dull shears and celebrate Good Hair Day.  There may not be many of them left.

 

 

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FRIDAY PRAYER

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Dear, Heavenly Father,

I know that you will hear my voice as well as those who are currently suffering with CoVid19 in one way or another.  I want to thank you for carrying me through a peaceful night of sleep – for giving me another day to enjoy –  for giving me hope to look forward instead of back.

All of us are more than a little fearful right now, because of the spreading of this disease and the lives that are being taken.  We grieve for our friends and those we don’t know.  We think about death now more than we did yesterday.  We wonder if we will succumb to the virus.  Our thoughts turn to our families and extended families even though we aren’t able to touch them or be near them.  The entire world is being affected by this cloud of darkness and the unknown.

Our leaders are doing the best they can, but this is something that really is out of their hands.  We would like to think we have control in a situation like this, but we find ourselves helpless.  There is no cure – no vaccine – no amount of distancing that will provide an end.  It’s natural for us to feel this way.  Anxiety and depression are at an all time high.

Still, in spite of our fears, we know that in a changing world – where nothing is constant – only You remain the same today as you were yesterday and will be tomorrow.  We can depend on that.  We can’t depend on hoards of food or material things.  We can’t put our trust in anything outside the walls of our own homes.  We can put our faith in only One thing right now and that’s You.

You are the Great Physician.  Your knowledge and wisdom will be used to turn this chaotic situation into something good that will change hearts and minds and put life into perspective.  Because of that, we can be sure that our world will continue.  Things will return to normal, but they will be ever changed because of this.

Please give those who are trying desperately to find a cure and hold this virus at bay, the strength and brain power to solve the problem.  I pray that we will learn to love each other more – care for each other’s needs – hold each other in prayer – learn to serve you more.  We can and will beat this thing only with your intervention.  We pray for that and all things through your dear Son, Jesus. Amen!

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JULIE’S FRIDAY FUNNY

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TWO SHIPS PASSING IN THE NIGHT

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ORIGINAL ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Like ships in the night, we pass through this life,
We’re tossed and oft crushed by the waves,
We sometimes sail peacefully then there comes strife,
It seems not a single one saves.

We enter a harbor protected and safe,
It cradles and calms all our fears,
A sweet sanctuary, a place to call home,
Unbound by sheer terror or tears,

Still waters there greet us, He’s waiting to meet us,
The Savior and King of the world,
No more shall we struggle our path is made clear,
His cloak of salvation unfurled.

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CLOUDS

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ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Like a giant vacuum, sucking vapor from the earth,
Descending down from heaven, like angels in their mirth,
Billowing up so very high, the sky can barely hold them,
Sprays of multi-colors rise, kisses and enfolds them,
Cotton candy on a stick, with gossamer wings that fly,
Mottled pink and mauve connect, confection for the eye,
Striated up above the world in a myriad of shades,
They act just like a fortress, of powerful palisades.
When night time comes they disappear from our imperfect vision,
But when the sun returns again, they come back with precision,
God’s own strong hand has placed them there so we would find some peace,
He also opens up the sky and shares in their release.

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WORLD WIDE TIME OUT

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So how has your world changed in the past few weeks?  Are you enjoying the new horizons within the confines of your home?  Is your time filled with surprises?  How’s that stress level? Are you enjoying the freedom of not having to get dressed each day and fight the traffic to get to work?  What’s it like to be with your family 24/7?

We’re coming to the end of our second week of social distancing and have been ordered  to hang in there for another two weeks.  Maybe taking this in two week increments will make it more tolerable. For me, things haven’t changed much.  I’m retired.  I work mostly from home.  I am one of the chosen who matches the criteria for dying from the Corona Virus. I’m finally getting used to being in the same house with my spouse.  I’m also one who loves being with other people. I enjoy talking to them and hearing their laughter and their voices.

For those with children, this has got to be quite a challenge.  Not only are they now their providers and caregivers, but they’re required to counsel them, make them feel safe, teach them from home, get to know them in a whole new way.

So it is a whole new world we’re living in.  We’re being called upon to make changes to our lives and to battle an invisible enemy which seems to appear stronger than any we’ve ever fought before.

No matter how dark times may seem, we must remember that we are not alone in this battle. We are in it together.  This literal world “time out” has caused some really great benefits.

  • Families are getting reacquainted.  We’re dining together at the kitchen table. The thing it was actually designed for is being used for that purpose rather than being a catchall for everything we choose to drop there.
  • We’re discovering why we love our families all over again.
  • We’re beginning to realize that nothing should be taken for granted.
  • We’re becoming frugal.
  • We’re caring for those who can’t care for themselves.
  • Love is a word that means something.
  • Us old timers are beginning to see the advantages of technology as we venture into the world of Zoom and video conferencing.
  • Those of us who miss going to church and the fellowship we receive there are now able to receive daily devotions and sermons by email or online.  A group; of us met yesterday on Zoom.
  • We’re seeing a surge in innovation as necessity for masks and ventilators are being created in new ways.
  • We’re consciously washing our hands.
  • Even though we miss the physical contact we’re virtually hugging each other with positive thoughts.

These are just a few of the positive outcomes of this horrid pandemic.  More will come to be as people realize how important we are to each other.  Jesus said it best when He gave the greatest commandment to love one another.  We will get through this.

 

 

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