SATURDAY SOLACE

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

PEACE IN THE VALLEY

Trees absorb the swirling power of a raging creek after a storm,

They stand at attention and then bow as they receive a cold splash of refreshment,

Branches whisper to each passing droplet,

As if speaking a silent prayer to the Creator of all things,

The artist lovingly caresses his paintbrush,

Filling it with glorious colors, dancing across the canvas, trying to imitate,

With abandon, with love, passion and the desire to replicate,

Still there is nothing that replaces the real thing,

These once tiny droplets, these tears from God,

Press on and become a flood within the rocks and roots,

They nourish, they feed, they revive and restore,

Only the Creator of all things can carve a river through the stone,

Only God can provide a peaceful valley for the river to reside,

Find your peace in Him.

Posted in Art & Poetry by Paul & Kathy Boecher, peace | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

FRACTURED FRIDAY

Today is Friday and time for a fractured fairy tale poem. i can relate to the story of the princess and the Pea. There are those of us who can’t stand that bothersome little thread within our sock that creates constant annoyance. Maybe you have a tag in your shirt that tickles the hairs on your neck. Whatever the disturbance, the story of this delicate princess must prove herself to be actual royalty by being unable to sleep with a pea placed under her mattress. I don’t know who came up with these silly fairy tales, but I imagine it was a parent that needed some sleep. I’ve changed the story into a poem. Enjoy1

She knocked upon the massive door and waited for assistance,
A servant came and bade her in, admiring her persistence,
The prince was there to greet her, but never would he guess,
This poor drowned rat would marry him, she really was a mess.

Believing she might be a prize, the wife he longed to wed,
He set his servants to her aid and set her off to bed,
The queen, his mother, told her son, she had a simple test,
Which soon would help discover if she was a true princess.

A single pea would lie upon the bed made for her slumber,
The servants added featherbeds and pillows without number,
More mattresses were added too and even patchwork quilts,
The bed grew so much higher that to reach the top took stilts.

For days on end she stayed the course, her strength was running low,
She longed for just a single wink, a little nap would do,
When suddenly there came a shock which crushed the pesty pea,
Whatever made that pea explode would finally set her free.

Posted in Humor, Poetry by Kathy Boecher, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

THROW BACK THURSDAY – PATIENCE

Since it’s throw back Thursday, I’m digging into the archives to bring you today’s post on patience. Even though we think we’ve got things covered, patience is not always easy.  As we face difficulties, hope for a better future, try to determine a path for life – our quest often gets in the way of the final destination. 

ORIGINALLY POSTED A FEW YEARS AGO

We live in a world of instant everything. We can get information just by inputting data into a computer. We’re transported to far off places with the flick of a remote. Our diet may consist of fast food, microwave meals or even a feast including instant potatoes. It’s easy to become impatient, because we’re used to having all our physical needs taken care of in a nano-second.

The future is another thing we want to know about – right now. Where will I be in a year or two? How much money will I make? Will I die? I think most of us would like to know what’s going to happen in the future. It’s too bad the answers that lie ahead aren’t clearly carved out in stone or written in the sky by God himself.

Our impatience often gets in the way of what’s really important – the here and now. Will I take time to ask someone how they’re doing and then wait to listen and really care? Will I do my best to help others? Will I ask God for forgiveness? Will I believe that He’s already forgiven me? Am I ready to overlook the faults of others? Will I take time to dig into God’s Word? Will I share God’s love with others? Will I take the log out of my own eye before judging?

These things don’t require a lot of time. You can even get the Bible on your smart phone now. This age of instant everything can help us in our daily walk with God. He promises to take care of all of our needs – past, present and future in Isaiah 40:29-31. Verse 31 gives a most descriptive version of this.

“But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

What does the future hold for us? If we trust and believe in God’s plan for our lives, it means never having to wait again.

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

CALM AFTER THE STORM

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

The sky declares the glory of the Lord,

His power rises in the turmoil of a storm,

He stirs the clouds with His little finger,

And they obey,

Gathering into multitudinous troops,

They bow before Him,

They join together to fill the heavens with insurmountable energy,

They retreat at the sound of His voice,

He calms the weary after the tirade is unleashed,

and tranquilizes the sea below,

He directs all to dissipate and be still,

He erases the clouds at His will,

He mutes the trembling thunder,

And hushes the wind,

His strong arms turn a terrorizing tempest,

Into peaceful bliss,

God is in the heavens,

All is well with the world.

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

WEDNESDAY WISDOM – STORMS

Standing alone in a storm as wind tears through the trees is not only frightening but lacks wisdom. Our bodies grow tense, the adrenaline flows, and all our emotions explode into a procession of fear.

The branches entangle and caress one another. A shot of electricity fills the sky.  Clouds open and heavenly water hits the exposed skin of the earth.  It swallows each drop with a thirst indescribable. The pores open and accept their satisfying drink.

Flowers and freshly planted shrubs toss and fold – petals falling – life descending. The loud crack of thunder tests your eardrums just to make sure you’re paying attention.

Your own skin is pounded by the tempestuous wind – hammered by the force of God’s tears – twisted by the unknown and unrelenting. Will it never end?

When pursued by the storms of life we react the same way. We tense up, we grow anxious, we lose faith, we may even  give up. This is the time to turn to the Creator of the Universe. He alone controls the depth of the seas, the heights of the mountains, the volume of precipitation, the devastation that comes with a wind that is sent to clear out the remnants of what once was good, but now has withered and died.

PRAY! Talk to Him again. There is an open line of communication. We’re no longer bound by the wall established when man thought he knew better than God. Life changed then but has once again been reversed. We have been restored, refreshed and renewed by the living water of Jesus, the true Son of God – true God and true Man.

Our storm has been calmed. Our life has returned. Our hope for a future has been re-established.

O Lord God of hosts,
    who is mighty as you are, O Lord,
    with your faithfulness all around you?
You rule the raging of the sea;
    when its waves rise, you still them.

Psalm 89:8-9

Posted in anxiety, Nature, SCHOOL SHOOTING, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

TEAMWORK TUESDAY


Team of paper doll peopl

Being part of a team is great when everyone on the team has the same goal in mind. Tuesday is my day to work with a team of senior citizens who are not ready to be old. That being said, I will turn 80 in a month. I still believe that growing old has been overrated for decades. It used to be that most folks didn’t live beyond the retirement age, but today we’re much healthier, vibrant and wise in the ways of living. That doesn’t mean we’re done for. We still have a lot of living to do along with a lot of knowledge to share.

Every Tuesday, I meet with a group of writers to brainstorm things that will be accumulated into a script for a radio show. Everyone comes with their ideas and stories. We play off each other and eventually come up with a script that will appeal to those of our age along with those who are getting close to our age. We all have the same goal in mind. We want to share some of our funny life experiences in a way that we can laugh at some of the funny situations that arise when you take another trip around the sun.

We all need to have a purpose in life. When we feel we are insignificant, we lose some of our purpose for living. Every human being on the planet deserves to have value and purpose. So, I’m off to another team building meeting and a couple of hours of solid laughter and enjoyment.

Lucy, from Charles Schultz cartoon, said it beautifully when she demonstrated the power of many to Linus.  She held out her hand and said, “These five fingers – individually they are nothing – but when I curl them into a little ball, they become a force impossible to reckon with.” (paraphrase.) Lucy is always a little extreme in her definition of things, but it does make a good point.  When we try to accomplish big things, the job is much easier when everyone pitches in.

Posted in aging, America, ART & POETRY BY THE BOECHERS | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

MONDAY MOTIVATOR

ORIGINAL ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

Life can be but a mere whisper or it can be a consuming fire.
The way we approach it will define who we are and where we’re going.
If we go through life without any focus,
If we don’t set goals or make wise decisions,
If we try to accomplish anything alone – we are bound to stumble.
If we use each moment with purpose,
If we wake each day knowing that Jesus is our partner,
If we light the world with our enthusiasm,
We will turn that fire into a raging blaze.
Our spirit will soar on wings of eagles.
We will succeed in ways we never imagined.
 
Trust in the Lord always and lean not on your own understanding.
Posted in Art & Poetry by Paul & Kathy Boecher, Christian devotion | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

LAST MOTHER’S DAY MESSAGE

Last week I posted something every day about mothers. Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I didn’t post a word. I basked in the love of my family, even though we weren’t all together, I know that I was in their thoughts as much as they were in mine. The above cartoon speaks volumes about motherhood. I still do this if someone is sitting in the front seat of the car with me – no matter how old they are or whether they are part of my family or not. It’s like one of those mother things that’s emblazoned on our hearts. Another thing is making sure they have their lunches packed for school. I still have nightmares about that, and my kids haven’t carried a lunch to school for more than 40 years.

Being a mom is one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me – besides the promise of eternal life and a wonderful spouse. As we look past all the gifts, flowers, beautiful cards and chocolates, there is so much more to this special day. We set one day aside for the benefit of moms when they should be celebrated every day. The same is true of fathers. Showing our love is so much more that the gifts. It is thrilling to know that you have made an impact on your child’s life, especially when you have been so impacted by theirs. So, Happy Mother’s Year to all you moms out there. May God continue to walk with you on this journey and give you strength, fortitude, patience and perseverance, because it’s worth it!

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WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A MOTHER

My days of being a mother are long gone, but the memories linger on.  Every once in a while, one of those recollections resurfaces and I wonder how I ever made it through the whole motherhood thing. I then tell myself (which I do a lot now in my old age) that it was a good sense of humor. My firstborn was like the blueprint for the other two. How she ever turned out to be so normal and sensible, is beyond me.  I had no clue on how to raise children, other than the occasional babysitting job and serving as a nanny one summer.

Our second child arrived only 20 months after the first, so my quest was to get the first one potty trained before I’d be washing diapers for two.  Believe me, washing diapers was the most primitive thing I ever did in my life and young moms today have no idea how lucky they are. Our third child was an unexpected delight.  By the time she was born, both of the others were in school and again I thougtt I’d be able to get a job and pitch in on the cash flow, but it was not to be.  God wanted me to be a mom, so I decided to be the funniest mom I could be.

As our children grew I would often tell them funny stories with silly endings.  I’d dress up like a doctor when they were sick.  I would put a pair of glasses on the back of head, to let them know I was watching their every move.  I drove into the McDonalds drive thru with a funny nose and glasses on my face, just to get a reaction.  The kids roared when the server got a look at my face.  Once I purchased some cream puffs (stretching our meager budget to the limits.)  The kids and their father took one bite and turned up their noses.  I broke off part of mine and threw it into my husband’s face, which led to an all out food fight.  Guess who had to clean up?

A sense of humor has always been my mantra through this earthly walk. It seems to have gotten me through many difficult situations. I truly believe God has a great sense of humor too. We are His creation, and he delights in us – most of the time. Children are a blessing from the Lord.  The Bible tells us that the man who has many has a full quiver.  What it doesn’t talk about is what having kids does for moms.  They give you stretch marks, aching backs, sleepless nights and the ultimate ability to worry about almost everything. Above all, they make every minute of of our lives worth living.

Posted in Mother's day, motherhood | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

TO MOMS EVERYWHERE

POETRY BY KATHY BOECHER©

There are days when you grow weary, when your back will hold no more

When your eyes grow sad and teary, and you run for the back door,

Your dreams of sleeping in are crushed.  The coffee’s running out,

The oatmeal on the wall is mushed, you’ve lost the strength to pout.

When you fill the cart at Walmart, with things they should never eat,

You wish you were inside that cart, so you could rest your feet,

When day is done and dishes call; your patience has been spent.

You were a child once after all; to your mother please repent

Posted in Father's Day, Mother's day, Poetry by Kathy Boecher | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

I’M A GREAT GRANDMOTHER

Disclaimer – This is not a real baby, nor am I really a great grandmother so far.

The following post was written five years ago when my granddaughter was just starting high school and they had a program designed to help young women learn about parenting. The program included a robotic doll that responded with crying when hungry or whatever might be bothering it at the moment. I’m reposting it today for those who have not yet enjoyed the bliss of parenting. It is not meant to discourage or deter anyone. It’s just funny.

Originally posted in September of 2017.

As of yesterday, I am now the proud great grandmother of a baby.  I don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl.  I wasn’t there for the blessed event.  My husband transported granddaughter and her new child home from school yesterday, so I haven’t even had a chance to get a good look at him or her.

Of course I’m kidding. The child is simply a fake baby, provided by the school, to teach teens how to care for a child – how to be responsible for another human being – how to think twice about having one.  The interactive program is designed to teach teens parenting skills; inform them of possible dangers and how to handle them; to prepare them for early childhood and health occupations.

I wonder if this is a fair evaluation for these young people.  Are they really getting a clear picture of what this whole parenting thing is about?  They aren’t going through an actual pregnancy, complete with morning sickness, cravings and size distortion.  They aren’t experiencing emotional highs and lows associated with pregnancy.  They are not sporting stretch marks and varicose veins.  They don’t have to endure hours of contractions and water breaking.  They don’t have to go through a birthing process.  They simply get handed a baby and are told to take care of it.

In a way, I guess that’s what happens.  Getting pregnant is the easy part.  Going through a pregnancy is an inconvenience, but you know it will end.  The hard part comes when you’re handed the baby, take it home and go through the process of parenting.  There is no handbook or owner’s manual.  You’re on your own.  There are no two children exactly alike, so each experience is different.

We struggle through the yuck of changing diapers, cleaning spit up off our clothes, cuddling, comforting and nurturing, but the real parenting part has just begun.  Now the parent is responsible for another life.  Now they must find a way to provide for them.  Now they must decide how to discipline and teach them.  Now they’re embarking on a roller coaster ride that has so many twists and turns, they probably never would’ve boarded it in the first place.

Perhaps when they start giving out “terrible two” fake kids, or adolescents, there might be a little more truth to the whole situation.

Posted in Mother's day, parenting | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

FAMOUS LAST MOM WORDS

There is something about the language we use as mothers. I think it begins as a form of tradition. I’m talking about the “clean your room” phrase for one. Then there’s the one about not making silly faces or your face will stay that way. How about the one that says don’t do that or you’ll poke your eye out? When you get right down to it, things we say as parents are often re-runs of what our parents once said to us.

The thing about telling your kids to clean their room – along with all the other familiar phrases – is most often a waste of energy as well as the words we speak. Chances are, there will be a hundred distractions along the way. Such as the Barbie dolls with one limb missing and hair that has been permanently destroyed. There are the Lego blocks which beckon a child to build something in the midst of the rest of the mess. They might find a piece of clothing that hasn’t fit for three years and hope that it will. Or how about the half-consumed package of Oreo cookies? Maybe they’re still edible. Asking a child to clean his room is like inviting them to take a walk down memory lane.

As moms, we often say things that make no sense at all – especially to our children. When we hope to keep them from danger and say, “Don’t touch,” or “NO!” the words have no value unless the child learns through the actual experience. Actions do speak louder than words, but we as parents often feel we must set out warning signs along the way.

How often has a mother said, “Eat your vegetables. Children are starving all over the world.” I’ve never quite understood how eating all my vegetables is going to help someone who is starving in another part of the world. Here’s another one that comes from the Victorian Age if not the Stone Age. Children should be seen and not heard.” Kids are notorious for making noise and if they didn’t, we’d wonder if something was wrong with them. “Close the door. Were you born in a barn?” OK, the answer to that seems pretty obvious if you’re a cow or a horse, but I don’t know too many kids that were born in a barn, except for the Savior of the World.

There are so many instances in the life of a parent when we revert to what was said to us as children. It’s almost like carrying on a ritual from our past. Parenting isn’t easy. If it was, we’d see more children running around. However, it can be the most rewarding experience you will ever have. Thank God, there are still those out there that want that blessing bestowed on them.

Posted in parenting | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

WEDNESDAY WISDOM – SUPER HERO MOM

Fortunately, I was young when I had my children.   As we age our patience runs out – our energy wanes – our tolerance is pretty much dead – and our thoughts can’t keep up with the speed of technology, much less children. There were times I wanted to give up.  I often felt guilty- unworthy – unorganized – unqualified – unappreciated – inept.  I love my children, but there were days when I just wanted to run away.

We expect motherhood to be the most beautiful thing we ever do as women.  We think our children will be well mannered, smart, beautiful and perfect.  We expect every day to be smooth sailing. Our expectations soon turn into disappointments. There will be dishes in the sink – unmatched socks in the laundry basket – oatmeal on the walls – not enough time in the day to get everything done – times when you think the bathroom is your only sanctuary, until they find your hiding place, bring the dog and join you.

There will be nights when you pace the floor with a colicky child – cool down a fever – remake their bed. As they grow older you will wonder why they’re late and what they might be up to.  You may never sleep again. There are millions of other moms going through the same thing.  Remind yourself why you had a child in the first place.  Think about the end product and maybe that will help you cope with the here and now.

The responsibilities of raising children are huge.  Add to that a job outside the home, community commitments, church activities, grocery shopping, laundry, housekeeping, etc. There is the joy you’ll experience in seeing them create a house out of a box – transform your pots and pans into musical instruments – or create a valentine just for you. Think about the thank you hugs and the I love you that comes when least expected.  Think of their feeling of accomplishment as they tie their shoes or show their siblings how to.  The small things become the important when you’re a mom.

Motherhood isn’t for sissies, but it’s the most important job you will ever have as a woman.  Start each day praying for them and for yourself.  It is a tough job, but with God’s help you can do it!!

Posted in Family, Mother's day, motherhood, parenting | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

FROM WORRIER TO WARRIOR

I’d consider myself a worrier. It may have something to do with being a fixer as well. In my growing up years, I felt a responsibility for my baby sister. I took it on myself to tell her what to do and how to behave. I’m certain that she wasn’t crazy about my running interference in her life. In fact, she still recalls the mean things I did to her when we were growing up, but she loves me anyway. I don’t know why I felt it necessary to be her parent, because we had a mom and dad that wanted the best for both of us. I guess I’m just a natural born worrier.

That trait carried through to my life as a wife and mother. Again, I was always trying to fix things. When we become parents, our expectations change. We have been entrusted with this new life for a number of years and the last thing we want to do is mess it up. We are human beings so messing up seems to be common for most of us. When you become a mother, you also become a worrier. It seems totally natural to me. We take precautions to keep our kids safe – to teach them how to do things – demonstrate our love for them – guide them through the difficulties of life and give them a moral base for their own lives. This is the point when we become warriors.

In defending them like a mother bear protects her cubs, we are demonstrating a deeper love than worry can bring. We are showing our kids that we care about their safety, their relationships and their future social skills. However, we can’t take on all the giants that our children face. We must also teach them that they can defend themselves – not always physically, but through communication and understanding. Achieving that goal requires us to don the armor of God. It’s not an easy task to be a parent, but so worth it. There will be many battles along the way. There will be misunderstandings, words spoken in anger and things we can’t take back once they are said. There will be positive times when we applaud their accomplishments, praise their intelligence and show unconditional love. Even those times can be challenging if we don’t have a strong foundation to build on.

We become warriors rather than worriers when we place our cares on our Savior, Jesus. He can carry them and bury them with all the rest of our sins. The Bible gives so many examples of parenting – good and bad, so that can be a source for how to and how not to be one. No matter what you face as a parent, always remember that you have a partner in the process. God has promised to walk with us in every step of our lives. He will not let go of us when we turn things over to Him. He loves it when we come to Him as prayer warriors – parents – grandparents – brothers and sisters and all our relationships in life. He is the Father of all mankind and will love us with a far greater love than we can expect from anyone else.

Where will you start today? Are you going to become a worrier or a warrior? We have a champion already in Jesus. He battled the devil and won. Our salvation is assured. So why worry? Jesus is the answer to all our cares in this world. He even spoke to His disciples about this very thing.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27

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MOTHER’S DAY THOUGHTS

In a few days, it will be Mother’s Day Not a day goes by that I don’t think of this amazing woman. She helped to define and shape me throughout my life. She gave me confidence to be proud of who I was, even when I didn’t feel worthy. She gave me hope for the future. She disciplined, when necessary, but rarely laid a hand on me. The only time I recall a spanking from her was when she chased me through the house with a hairbrush to achieve the deed, only to have the brush break at the first blow – resulting in both of us laughing heartily.

Mom became a widow at the age of 59. She was a beautiful woman, with personality to match. She remarried and settled in Florida for a number of years until her second husband passed away. It was at that point that she began to feel the effects of aging and chronic back pain. Through many years of doctoring and the use of prescription drugs to decrease the pain, she became dependent on the drugs which were designed to help her. She became disoriented and unable to live on her. My sister attended to all the expenses and time involved in moving her. When she came to Minnesota, to live with Paul & me, she was 79. She resisted – she fought – she denied needing care – she finally gave in and stayed with us for a year until she got healthy again. She then moved to an independent living apartment and lived there for another seven years.

I am now the age she was when she came to live with us. It’s hard taking the place of the parent you called mom. It’s like reversing roles in a way, but I treasure that time I had with her. There were many trips to the ER – a few hospital stays – lots of doctor appointments – daily visits at first to make sure she was doing well. It’s tough to watch your parents grow older and more dependent upon you. As I look forward to my 80th birthday, I think about the day we celebrated her 80th. It was such a blessing to surround this woman with love on her special day. All of our children and grandchildren were on hand to sing Happy Birthday to Grandma Lou.

My hearing is failing. My body is showing signs of age, but I am forever grateful to the woman who carried me for nine months in her womb and throughout her time on earth. She was and remains, my mom. I know she is pain free now and enjoying the blessings of heaven, but she also holds a most special place in my heart.

The vision of your loveliness is etched within my heart,

My memories imprinted there, I don’t know where to start,

I know that I was loved by you, with an unending love,

You proved it in a million ways, when push turned into shove,

You looked beyond the cares of life, you leaped among the stars,

You dreamed the wildest dreams for me, you washed away all scars,

You were my special hero – the one I looked up to,

Leading me by example, showing me what to do,

The difficult years of childhood, you made seem like a breeze,

Because of your enduring love, and every tender squeeze,

Though you have long since departed, my heart remembers still,

The true, unconditional love, my waiting heart did fill,

I miss you every day, sweet mom, your smile I miss so much,

Your kindness and your gentleness, your sweet endearing touch,

I know my own days are numbered, God’s timeline won’t erase,

But we will meet again someday, in his own heavenly place.

Posted in Mother's day, motherhood, Poetry by Kathy Boecher | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

PRAYERS FOR UKRAINE

Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.”  
Ronald Reagan

 

I cannot begin to imagine what the Ukrainians are dealing with in their country. The United States seems oblivious to the wars that rage around us and seem eager to send money and arms, but not really providing any kind of peace for those going through the battle. We have our own battleground right here in the USA as crime spins out of control and it seems that the devil is having a field day. Our urgency to overcome two years of isolation has caused depression, thoughts of suicide and mental issues. That in itself is a war of sorts. Children are killing other children for no reason. The family has been torn apart. Our basic rights have been put into question. We see a battle for wealth, status, and fame every single day. However, our battles could easily be won if we return to your ways. We must begin to care about each other again.

We’re all in a spiritual battle. Some feel they can control their circumstances by themselves. Some try finding solace in a bottle or the drug of the day. Some escape to the internet as a means of forgetting about the world and all its troubles. When we put on the armor of God, we can stand firm in any battle we encounter.

Dear, Father, God,

You have shown us that your love for us is beyond our comprehension. You loved us so much, you gave the ultimate sacrifice for us. We can now stand firm in the knowledge that you will be at our side as we face the evils of this world. I pray for the people of Ukraine. They are displaced, fearful for their lives and long for a return to normalcy. When placed in such circumstances, we grow weak in our faith. Help us and those being ravaged by war put on the armor you provide to protect us all. May your Spirit fill the hearts of those who are losing heart. May you enliven all of us to care for one another – to love – to grieve for – to show compassion to – to depend on you to lead everyone in the right path. Help them and us to stand firm in our faith and call on you in every trouble. We often wait until there is no other choice available to us, but you are with us all the time. You have promised to protect us through the trials of life.

Thank you for sending Jesus to take our place on the battlefield raging within us. Help us to return to you and know that you have already planned a solution for all wars and rumors of them. I put my trust in you to deliver the people of Ukraine from the ravages of war. Keep all of us strong in our faith. Hear the prayers of your people, dear God. In Jesus holy name I pray. Amen!

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FIRST & LAST LOVE

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

My husband, Paul, studied Northwest Coast Indian Art when he was at the Chicago Institute of Art many years ago. Much of this style has carried into his paintings and sculptures over the years.  I love the two shown here, not only for the design elements, but because a heart can be seen if you look hard enough.  This post today honors a greater love than we can even begin to understand – God’s love for us.

His love is like none we have ever experienced here on earth.

His love is beauty beyond our wildest dreams.

His love is precious, merciful, compassionate.

His love is given freely without question.

His love doesn’t look at our past mistakes.

He is blind to our transgressions.

He loves in times of anger, hatred, self-pity, depression.

He loves it when we love each other.

His love is a gift – more precious than diamonds or gold.

His love is the greatest love ever known or experienced by man.

No kiss or caress can compare with the touch of our Savior, God.

He cuddles us in His strong protective arms.  He shields us with His strong wings.

He lifts us up when we fail.

He encourages us when we think we can’t go on.

He inspires us to go the extra mile.

He walks with us through all the joy, bliss and excitement of life.

He carries us through all the trials, burdens, hassles, fears and frustrations.

His love is like no other – it endures forever and ever!

Posted in Art & Poetry by Paul & Kathy Boecher, God, love | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

WEDNESDAY WISDOM

I guess you could say I was a child that grew up on “screen time.” My screen was an 8″ black and white TV, upon which I spent Saturday mornings wallowing in Looney Toons cartoons. I would then spend the rest of that Saturday at the movie theatre, watching technicolor movies with fabulous choreography and music. Today screen time is more apparent as kids walk around with a screen attached to their hand. However, you might say I was breaking ground for today’s generation.

One of my favorite cartoon characters was Sylvester, the cat. That poor creature spent his entire existence trying to consume Tweety Bird, but never accomplished the deed. Either Granny would whack him on the head with her broom, or his conscience (good or bad) would lead him into temptation or drive him away from it. Maybe this is how I was introduced to my own conscience. It’s an inner voice that’s built into us at our conception. Or as Victor Hugo once said, “Conscience is God present in man.” He also said, “The sewer is the conscience of the city.” Either way our conscience can often determine what our actions will be.

If you were Sylvester, your ultimate goal would be to eat a canary. Your good conscience would fight for Tweety and fill you in on all the bad that would occur if you succeeded in your goal. Your bad conscience would tell you to hang the consequences and go for instant gratification. It used to be that Sylvester’s good conscience won out. Today – not so much.

For me, my screen time has switched to looking out our window to feast my eyes on nature and the wildlife that surrounds me. The playful squirrels that eat our bird food while dangling from the bird feeder by one foot are amazing. The feral cats abound. I’m sure someone is feeding them, because they all look extremely healthy. The birds try to make a stab at the seed but must be satisfied with the remnants scattered on the ground. Since it is spring and everything is coming alive again, the view is most enjoyable. However, there is the ugly side of life too. The apparent passing of drugs on the street or human trafficking and a visual police presence. To top it off feral cats are mating on a catarondack chair. They should get a room!

So how does conscience play into all this? I guess what I’m wondering is whether the conscience has become so numbed by public opinion, a WOKEsociety, political correctness or is the world actually devolving into something I don’t recognize anymore? Good is now evil and evil is acceptable as good. Maybe we’re all living in a world of Looney Tunes.

Posted in aging, America, God, humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

PRESS THE PAUSE BUTTON

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could hit the pause button and stop the world for a while?  Some days are more chaotic than others, but right now we all need to slow down and take a deep breath.

We’re faced with news of terror in the world by an evil group of radicals that are intent on conquering the infidels.  War is waging in far off countries and there is nothing we can do about it, except offer our prayers. Our city streets are cluttered with crime and violence that never ends. Even our own neighborhoods and country roads are infested with violence. Our homes are nothing like the Father Knows Best or Leave it to Beaver of old.  Now single parents raise children and fight to survive, often causing children to grow up much faster than they should. They are left to raise themselves basically and don’t know how to deal with the pressures of life.

There is no longer a middle class.  You’re either rich or poor.  Entitlement has all but eliminated the desire to fulfill the American Dream.  Government has invaded every area of our lives beginning at our birth (and conception) to our death. Political correctness has become so much a part of our vocabulary that there’s bound to be something that will offend.  God has all but been eliminated from our conversation as a nation.  Peace is something you must obtain by taking a pill or meditating.

Hit the pause button.  Stop – listen to the beautiful message from God.  He has given us a Savior – a Redeemer – a Comforter – a King.  Jesus is exactly what we need right now and always will be.  He lived a perfect life, but still had human flesh.  He lived in poverty but had a loving family and was schooled in God’s Word.  He learned a trade, got hungry and tired, but still was God and King of the universe.  He suffered humiliation and pitiful scars, so that we could be heirs of His kingdom.  He conquered death and lives and reigns on the throne of God.

Life doesn’t have to fill our hearts with frustration, fear, anxiety, pain.  We have the most perfect peace through the promise that He will return again to judge the world. 

Come quickly, Lord, Jesus, Amen!

Posted in anxiety, compassion, war | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

SILENT, BUT DEADLY

I am part of the “Silent Generation” or more commonly known as a Traditionalist – or those born from 1923-1945. We all have our pluses and minuses, but many of us old timers seem to think that the Newbies are on the road to destruction. I have to admit I’m one of those old Fuddy Duddys myself at times.

I grew up in an age of discovery which brought us the first automatic washing machine, the first television set and beautiful gas guzzling cars. It was a time when war was in the past, but still held the threat of possible nuclear actions. We had regular air raid drills when I was in school, where everyone would hide under their desk and cover their heads. I’m not sure how that would’ve saved us from anything, but we did it. Everyone knew all the words to the National Anthem; Coke was something you drank from a bottle; recycling meant taking that bottle back for a two cents refund.

Our entertainment consisted of going to a movie on Saturday and spending the entire day watching the same movie over and over for a quarter. I grew up with Shirley Temple and Judy Garland and experienced some of the most fabulous musicals ever to hit the screen. Of course in those days, movies weren’t rated.  They didn’t have to be.  They were melodramatic, over acted and delightfully unlike reality.  Today everything is about reality.  Who wants to be entertained by things that happen every day.  BORING!

Disposable bottles, diapers and phones were unheard of. Fast food was a sandwich we made ourselves. Our “social media” was getting together at a friend’s house to talk. or actually physically playing outdoors until it was time for lunch and supper.  We also communicated face to face, without the use of technology.  I remember calling each other on a tin can with a string.  Don’t ask.

Now us old fogies struggle with technology, and we live much longer than our predecessors. We see the mistakes that are being made in our government, in the raising of children, in education and in society as a whole. Because we’re living longer, we worry that we won’t have enough money to make it through the month.  We skimp on prescriptions so we can eat.  Our minds are still functioning, but our bodies are screaming for us to slow down.  The aged do not get the respect they deserve either.  Whatever happened to the fourth commandment? Oh, my, I sound like an old woman. Wait – I AM!

In my opinion, we should be like our forefathers and die young. Then we wouldn’t have so much time to sit around and complain about the younger generation.  In the meantime, let’s find the good in our world while there’s still some left.  The more we focus on the negative thinking of the media, the internet, the world – we become crabby, stodgy, old folks.  As long as we’re living longer, we should make the most of the rest of our lives.

Posted in aging, America | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments