LABOR DAY

It is good for a man to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his toilsome labors under the sun during the few days of life God has given him, for this is his lot. Ecc 5:18.

Thank God for the job you have and the satisfaction you gain from it.

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ARE YOU ACTIVE OR PASSIVE?

Passivity is a term best described as being a couch potato. The Oxford Dictionary describes it as, “acceptance of what happens, without active response or resistance.”

Lately I’ve found myself going to the couch more often than I’ve ever done. I don’t think it’s because I would rather work than enjoy life. I just grew up feeling that I had to be doing something all the time.

Being passive in our current times means sitting on the fence without taking any action. In other words let others’ opinions take over and submit to their way of thinking without really having a voice. Today we see this happening when we must be so careful not to offend anyone, while we are being offended and say nothing about it.

I’ve been avoiding the news for the past several weeks, filling this time with other things. Unfortunately I’m spending more couch time while letting the world pass me by. Aging can do that to a person, because we feel entitled to time for ourselves alone. Still God wants us to be active in our lives no matter what our age.

When we have opinions, they should matter just as much as the next guy. When we try to solve problems, we shouldn’t become frustrated or angry if the solution doesn’t occur immediately. Answers don’t always come right away. Patience will lead to results in due time. God knows what He’s doing and He has everything mapped out for us.

Do we remain complacent and let others fight over the firestorms that occur in every day?  Do we stand up for the truth?  We owe it to ourselves to research every piece of news that comes to us.  If we don’t, we’re looking at a short future for our country. We need to do our research and look for facts rather than fake news.

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;  for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” 

James 1:19-20

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WHERE BLOOD WAS SHED

ART & POETRY BY KATHY BOECHER©

These delicate, translucent blooms are not much seen today,

A glimpse of what once used to be in fields along the way,

In sunny spots they flourished there, with shades of pink and red,

Reminders of when blood was shed and soldiers that fell dead.

Upon those fields the men who died, thought nothing of their lives,

They gave their last breath willingly, their purpose still survives,

The blood they shed filled fields with red, but new life came to be,

Their lives weren’t spent on emptiness, they set so many free.

Now poppies grow within those fields, sweet, dainty, fragile blooms,

Those flowers grow where others don’t, upon those deadly tombs,

Displaying life where there was none, where others fear to tread,

An everlasting monument and tribute to the dead.

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AGING WITH PURPOSE

Does becoming a senior citizen mean that our days of usefulness are over? I hope not. So far I’ve been blessed with a sound mind, except when I’m dreaming or creating a new piece of work; and I’m physically sound, except for the extra 40 pounds I’m lugging around.

God has words concerning the elderly throughout the Bible. Some of the wisest men lived well into their hundreds. I think that age is not looked on with the same respect that it was in ancient times or with certain cultures today. In these times of unrest and uncertainty, we need the wisdom that the older generation has to offer. Being mentors to the young – sharing our life experiences – lending words encouragement and inspiration – lifting up those who feel they’ve failed – are all ways in which we can still be useful in our senior years.

I am blessed to have friends that are in their 80’s and approaching their 90’s. I believe the knowledge and experience they’ve gained in their lifetimes can still be of great benefit to society today. Let’s not underestimate what they can contribute or look at them with anything less than respect.

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JULIE’S FRIDAY FUNNY

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GENERATION REDEEMED

It seems every generation has been tagged with some sort of nickname. For example; the roaring 20s, the dirty 30s, the swinging 60s and the disco 70s. Other terms are also associated with each age; such as the Greatest Generation, The Baby Boomers, The Silent Generation, the Me Generation and Generations X, Y and Z.

Whatever we’re perceived as, the important thing is how God looks at us. Our sinful nature guarantees that we were conceived in sin and God should look at all of us as unworthy to approach Him. Thankfully God doesn’t work that way. His love is beyond our understanding and because of that love we have been washed clean of all our ugliness by the death and resurrection of His Son.

The beautiful message of the Gospel, assures our forgiveness if we only believe it. Isn’t it wonderful that in this world, where evil and selfishness prevail, those who have faith in the most important gift of God can still be part of the “Redeemed Generation.” Because of His grace alone we will inherit His heavenly kingdom. Through our faith alone, which is also a gift from God, we receive the promise of eternal life. Through His inspired Word, we have the perfect handbook for life provided by the King of Kings. It isn’t complicated.

Thank you, Holy Father, for all your amazing gifts. Help us to show our gratitude by being like your Son. May we be servants, friends, helpers, workers and sharers of your love. In Jesus name, we pray. Amen!

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CHANGE OF SEASONS

It’s September and many schools are now in session. Whether the students will learn via the internet or in school classes, its an exciting time for them. It’s been an extremely long spring break for most, having been in a state of suspended animation. They have been longing for face to face contact and re-establishing old friendships.

It’s September and the changing of seasons is beginning to show itself in nature. Bales of hay now fill fields where grain used to grow or in corn fields that have been plowed over for the winter – fodder for the animals to sustain them through the shorter days ahead. Leaves begin to change colors and God’s pallet is filled with the most amazing hues.

It’s September and the squirrels are shaking the branches of the black walnut tree outside our window. Some are hidden for future use. Some are placed in semi-perfect view for the next day. When they tire of cracking through the tough outer skin, they tend to raid the bird feeder for more immediate satisfaction. Flocks of birds are gathering and changing their flight pattern to the south. Flowers are showing off right now as if expressing their last hurrah before they return to the earth.

It’s September and as we age, we also realize that the winter of our lives is getting closer each day – that soon our journey on earth will end and we will rest eternally in God’s own hands. That should bring us great comfort, but death still seems ominous, because it indicates an ending to many of us.

It’s September and in this season, we experience more physical issues. Falls occur because of vertigo or instability. Muscles atrophy because of lack of exercise. Bodies break down from the inside out. Memory is dulled somewhat and the things that happened only moments ago get lost, as memories of years gone by are as vivid as if they were happening right now.

It’s September and from the onset, we Minnesotans start to think of winter snow and frigid temperatures instead of living in the moment. Maybe God gives us these changes in seasons so that we take more than just a minute to enjoy them.

It’s September. Live it.

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SINGING THE BLUES

This painting was done on an extremely hot and humid day, several years ago. The poem was composed on a freezing winter day. The two time periods emphasize the hues of blue that pierce through the heat of summer along with the bone chilling cold that comes with the length of winter. Putting the two together seems appropriate for this transition of the seasons and overcoming some of the blues of the times.

ART & POETRY BY KATHY BOECHER©

Lipid pools of open water, gently piercing through the glass,

Leaving pock marks on the surface, praying that this soon will pass,

Such a constant blend of color, only one remains to be,

Dripping,

Gliding,

Thawing,

Dying,

Water now o’er takes it all,

To the depths of life eternal, falling from this mortal coil,

Blues and purples blend together, melting into deeper hues,

Making one have thoughts of heaven, or to simply sing the blues.

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DIGGING UP DIRT

When my son was just a young lad, we gave him some Tonka trucks which allowed him to spend hours digging up dirt and moving it from one place to another. Not only did it fill the time, but he nearly excavated a small portion of our backyard. I also enjoy digging in the dirt and attacking the weeds – pulling and tugging as the long roots are lifted from the earth. There’s something about digging in the dirt that gives great satisfaction.

We’re in prime time dirt digging right now and the mud being slung is probably going to hit record numbers before it’s all over. With the year we’ve been having so far, I don’t know if I’m ready for all the back and forth. 2020 will go down in the history books (if we ever see them again,) as a year everyone would rather forget.

We’ve seen it already in the investigations occurring on a regular basis in Washington, DC. Anger, hatred and malice fuels this activity and turns a simple dig into a huge excavation with holes everywhere.

Debates can be good, but who knows what will happen in this election? We have an incumbent president, who has achieved success by telling everything like it is – whether it hurts another person doesn’t seem important. On the other hand, we have a candidate who has difficulty communicating in full sentences and often drifts off to other topics. To top it off, we have social media, which is filled with personal opinions without fact checking. We have a news media that seems to be hell bent on creating turmoil, so they have something to write about. We have the entertainment industry, spewing their opinions and using their popularity to change people’s minds.

Digging up dirt is usually intended to make room for something new and different. When we’re talking about slander and character assassination, it takes on a whole different meaning. Instead of building up, it is designed to tear down.

With the coming election, we can count on being bombarded by negative advertising, news stories that bring up things from a long time ago and a public that is being led into making a decision based on these dirty stories.

The truth is hard to take some times, yet when that truth is bent on someone’s downfall, it’s downright nasty. We need to do our homework as voters. We can’t sit idly by and listen to the lies and twisting of the truth and base our decision on those things. It’s our obligation to make our own wise decisions, based on facts.

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” Matthew 16:26

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NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK

FIELD OF TOASTED MARSHMALLOS

ORIGINAL ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

A misty, early morning, among the bales of hay,

New life appears and spreads its wings to welcome in each day,

The atmosphere with crystal glow is dusting every bale,

With morning mist and precious dew, with love it does avail,

A tranquil breeze, a breath from God, exhales as it inspires ,

Awakening every living thing, each flower He attires,

With beauty far beyond our view, with colors never seen,

He gives new life to everything and gives it pure and clean,

A drowsy doe arises and sees the waiting feast,

That lingers in the misty morn, to soothe the savage beast,

A bounty there beyond her scope, to last her for the day,

There’s more than she can handle, but that won’t get in her way,

A misty, early morning, among the bales of hay,

Where living things will wander and in its bounty play.

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YOU ARE NOT ALONE


ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

One nation under God,” is what our founders said,
But something happened on the way. They now say God is dead.
I know our God lives on. He stands at heaven’s gate.
And He will bring our nation back from greed, and lies and hate.

Under our pow’r alone, we cannot run the race.
He sent His dear Son, Jesus, to die and take our place.
Because He is our God, He’ll never let us stray.
He holds our hands and leads us into His holy way.

In this new day and age, we strive to do what’s right,
We try not to offend; we try with all our might,
But when the road is paved with misery and fears,
Our hearts must stay with Jesus, to overcome the tears.

God is not dead at all. He lives in you and me,
If we remain in Him our conscience will be free,
So join your hand with Jesus throughout this earthly life,
He’ll give you strength and hope. He’ll take away your strife.

When we turn back to God, His arms are open wide.
He doesn’t look at our mistakes, instead He looks inside.
So let’s get back to basics and remember who we are.
Though life may change, our God remains, He’s carried us this far.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
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I WALK IN DANGER ALL THE WAY

We’re surrounded on all sides by danger. It seems to be our constant companion these days. If we go beyond our homes and venture into the unknown, if we take a step out of our comfort zone, if we let our fears over take us, we’re suddenly submitting to the dark side.

So what’s the solution to this constant cloud that hangs over us? We could hold ourselves captive by confining ourselves to the safety of our homes. It would seem the smart thing to do, but if you’re my age and have issues moving with ease, you could fall and injure yourself or simply spend your life in the peace and quiet of the couch – which you could easily fall off of and wind up with a broken limb.

Danger doesn’t have any limits. It can seek us out where ever we are and in a blink of an eye our situation is changed. I’ve had a few dangerous situations in my life. There was the time I was faced with a gun pointing at my head as two thieves robbed the place I worked. I gone into shock during a routine surgery and had an out of body experience. I’ve experienced danger every day of my existence, but knowing that I’ve been covered with God’s protection has given me the armor I need to survive.

That doesn’t mean I will throw caution to the wind or live foolishly. Although I’ve often done that too and am met with even more dangerous situations. My husband was once on a painting adventure in a thickly wooded area on the Mississippi River. He was approached from behind by a vagrant. He turned to face the man. The fellow looked at his face. It was apparent that he saw something more than an elderly man. He ran off in great fear. Paul says he would like to see what that man saw, but he knows that his guardian angel is fierce.

We do have protecting angels and I know from personal experience that mine must look like a mess by now. Those dear angels have had an arduous journey as my protectors, but not only are there the few that look after me, but a whole army of them have been placed around each one of us. Plus we have access to God through our prayers. I call that the greatest defense against danger anyone can have.

Psalm 34:4 ESV “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.”

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WHEN YOU’RE AN ARTIST . . .

ORIGINAL ART & POETRY BY PAUL T. & KATHY BOECHER©

A grove of trees, a cloud filled sky, a building set in the midst of nature,

Anywhere the road takes you can become the perfect destination for a painting,

When you’re an artist, your paintbrush, your imagination and your skill find it,

When you know all about color and light – shadows and definition,

Your hand responds to the invitation.

You find beauty in all things, because you take the time to enjoy,

to see the details of life – the important things – not the clutter,

You can sort through the garbage and darkness and find it,

When you’re an artist.

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WE ARE FAMILY

I’ve been doing this blogging thing for six years now. I started the process of writing a daily article about my walk through life, my faith, aging, humor, politics, opinion, more humor, art and poetry and again more humor. Through this platform, I’ve created a sort of journal of things I face on a daily basis and hopefully my experiences and thoughts can help someone to get through their lives a little easier.

Along the way, I’ve made some very close friends – friend I’ve never met, but feel totally connected to them. Kindred spirits, you might call them, but they’ve become more than that. I consider many as part of my extended family. There’s Julie at Cookie crumbs to live by. Julie is like my younger sister. I love her ability to teach me new things about history and world events. She’s not only smart, but a passionate follower of Christ, a loving wife, devoted mother and grandmother. There’s Mark Rackley at Hatrack4 who is a story teller par excellence. His stories always lead back to his faith in God. The movie producer, Mitch Teemley has shown us his gift as a writer, a performer, humorist, movie maker, husband and father. Insanity Bytes is a favorite too with her feisty opinions and common sense answers for what’s happening in our world. David Kitz and his wonderful interpretation of the Psalms, gives daily comfort. Lady Quixote/Linda and her husband both suffer from PTSD and overcome anxiety with their relationship to God. Oneta Hayes gives us so much wisdom through her life experiences and Citizen Tom is a great resource for political information.

There are so many more in this vast family of writers. Those who share their stories and bring so much to the table. A veritable feast awaits for those who can find time to read all of them. Like our own families, each one is unique. Each one has a special flavor to add to he recipe. Each one has difficulties in their lives and yet they have a positive influence on our lives.

Our church family is like that too. Each one is different. We all have our special gifts and things we can offer to serve our Lord. Some fall away for a time. Some are zealous and show great joy when they worship while others choose to be humble and quiet. Like the human body, we’re made up of all different kinds of parts, working together for a common goal.

If our world began to think that way, I believe we’d be less angry, hateful, negative and be able to solve problems without so much violence. When we realize that each person God has brought into this world is an important part of the whole picture, our vision should become clearer. I hate the phrase, “We’re all in this together,” but we are all bound together by the Creator of the universe. He has a great plan for this family of His. Even in times of chaos, we can count on that.

WE ARE FAMILY!

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Prayers for Robbie — Captive Dreams Window

Robbie’s been in the hospital. She went in to the emergency room late Tuesday night after not feeling well for several weeks. They were going to do emergency surgery. However, they weren’t able to get it scheduled, so it was done Wednesday. She had an incarcerated Ventral Abdominal Wall Hernia. This results when a portion […]

Prayers for Robbie — Captive Dreams Window
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WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND

Times haven’t really changed much in the world’s short existence. Since the fall of man there has been a love of self that far surpasses a love for God. We are a selfish people. Not only that, we don’t like people telling us what to do. Maybe that’s why our relationship with God suffers. God’s Word is a reminder of our sin, but isn’t that a necessary element to our salvation.? Surely we don’t deserve His mercy, but He gives it to us anyway with no cost to us.

When history tends to repeat itself, we should learn from it rather than erasing it from the books or tearing down reminders of those events. King Solomon had everything a man could want. He was wealthy beyond compare. He could live the lifestyle he chose. He had many wives, many servants and an abundance of everything his heart desired, but still he felt there was something missing. None of it meant a thing without a hope for the future.

When we look at the world today, we can see many similarities to historical events that covered the sands of time. Each generation has been witness to injustice, lack of freedom, intolerance, wars and rumors of wars, riots, looting, protests and unrest. The destruction caused by severe weather and that created by man’s foolishness and hatred are equally difficult to handle. We haven’t changed much since the world began, but we still have hope for what’s to come when we die.

For the believer there is confidence of a new place, where tears no longer fall and pain doesn’t exist – where there is no hate, no fear, no destruction.

Times change, but they just take on a different face. What was old becomes new again and Solomon’s wisdom regarding this is apparent in his writing in Ecclesiastes. We can’t change the course of human events, but we can determine where we will be once our lives come to an end. God’s kingdom is not of this world. It’s a perfect place that we can look forward to in eternity.

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SATURDAY PRAYER

Dear Jesus,

You were willing to leave the entire flock to find that one sheep who went astray.

You were wiling to give living water to an enemy of your people.

You spent quality time with those who needed your message of hope and forgiveness.

You came for sinners like me.

You willingly gave your life so I could live eternally,

You were willing to suffer so I wouldn’t have to.

Thank you for giving us this day – another time of your grace – to tell others about your love.

AMEN!

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OH WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MORNIN’

I’m a sucker for musical theatre. There’s nothing like someone bursting into song and dance for no particular reason. Music can ease some of the pain we face each day – whether it be physical or mental. Old Testament, David, was able to soothe King Saul’s troubled mind and body with the sound of the harp. We receive comfort from the old hymns we sing at funerals. Patriotic songs stir feelings within our heart for our country – no matter what’s going on in this horrible year. Songs inspire – excite – calm – bring out our emotional side and give us hope.

Rodgers and Hammerstein created the musical “Oklahoma,” when I was just a young girl of thirteen. It’s been a mainstay at many high school and community theatres for years. Like many other musicals, it’s been done to death, but you simply can’t forget some of the beautiful music that’s come from it. When Gordon MacRae road his horse across the prairie and through the corn, I fell in love for the first time.

Some days we wake to a cloud covered sky, filled with grey and gloomy thoughts. There are times when fog fills the air and it’s hard to see for more than a block or two. When blizzards, tornadoes, hurricanes and other destructive storms take lives and destroy property, we cry for all of it. When the sun is shining and the air is fresh and clean, it seems like nothing can get in the way of our enjoyment.

This year has been filled with all of the above days. We’ve been plummeted with snow, endured high dew points and come through some terrible storms. We’ve been isolated, scared, placed in harms way, seen destruction from the weather along with a movement that believes violence and hate are the only ways to solve their grievances.

It has been a year to erase from the calendar. Many would like to forget it completely, but as bad as it’s been, we have so many positives to take away from it. We’ve seen neighbors helping neighbors rebuild. We’ve seen innovative ways of offering classes to young and old alike. This year has set the medical field on a quest to find a cure for COVID19. Families have grown closer because of the quarantines. We’ve found a different method of worship – which seems foreign to most of us, but we are still able to worship. Out of chaos will come order.

Today, it’s a beautiful morning. The sky is blue, the air is clean and I’m going to spend it outside. When God allows us to sleep through the night and wake to another day, it’s a blessing. Make the most of each one of them.

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WHAT LIES AHEAD?

My first memory of singing in church is a hymn which has stayed with me throughout my life. Every time I sing or hear this hymn, it gives me confidence for the future. The words indicate that I’m just passing through this thing called life. I have a physical place to life, to be nurtured, to love and have compassion for others, but my real home is beyond my years here on earth. Without that conviction, I would be lost. My permanent address is heaven and there are days when I simply can’t wait to get there.

I have trudged through this journey called life for close to eight decades. The voyage has been cluttered with obstacles, bumps in the road, giant roadblocks and danger all around. There were times when I’ve been bruised, cut to the core, insulted, misunderstood and more. As I staggered into unknown territory, my heart raced with excitement. Each breath inhaled was either exhilarating or left me gasping. Never knowing – always searching – bracing for more.

The sands of time embraced me and I grew old, but my heart still longs for the next waiting road.

It will be like nothing I’ve ever experienced in this lifetime. It will take my breath away.
There will be no tears, no pain, no anxiety, no fear, no temptation, and no want – only perfection.

The weathered and leathered skin will again be supple and firm.
The aching joints will regain their strength and last forever.
Any disease that has infected my body will be eliminated.
I will appear guiltless before my Judge.

I don’t expect to be floating on a cloud and playing a harp. I’m sure God will still have work for me to do, but everything about it will stir my imagination, give me satisfaction and glorify the one who created me. What an awe inspiring adventure awaits me.

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JULIE’S FRIDAY FUNNY

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