Monthly Archives: May 2021

Diving Into A Sea of Books–Coffee with Jesus

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As an avid reader, I get excited about the great number of books out there to read, either for entertainment, education, inspiration or with some books, all three. The quantity available in print, audio, and e-books reminds me of the vast amount of life in the oceans, so I call these book reviews “Diving Into A Sea of Books”. As with diving into an ocean looking for interesting objects, diving into books means you come across mixed results: over her, a book you don’t bother to finish, over there, a “treasure”—one that you like so much you can’t wait to reread it, and over there, a book you read and think, “Meh”.

Coffee with Jesus by David Wilkie tells about the conversations various characters have with Jesus as they meet for coffee. The characters include Kevin, Carl, Carl’s wife Lisa, Ann, Pastor Joe, and the accuser of the brethren, Satan, who as always, tries to stir up trouble.

Coffee with Jesus is done in comic-strip format, which allows you to read one strip or several, and still leave with a message to think about and get a chuckle out of as well. The characters bring up such issues as politics, taxes, work, child-raising, differences in churches, getting along with co-workers, Jesus’ early years, Christmas, and other topics. Jesus engages with them in an easy conversational style—sometimes gently teasing them, other times speaking in a matter-of-fact style, and other times answering with His divine authority. Sometimes Jesus reminds them that He is in control, and that whatever they are questioning, it’s not for them to be concerned about, because He’s got it, and when the time comes, He’ll deal with it. 

I like to pick up Coffee with Jesus when I’m looking for that deft blend of thought and humor.

Coffee with Jesus book, published by InterVarsity Press, is a creative project of David Wilkie and Radio Free Babylon.

©P. Booher

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The Abby Chronicles–Watching My Human Exercise

Here I am, ready to write my story!

Chapter XXIII

The younger human moves around on the bed before she gets up. She calls this exercising. I exercise when I chase my tail or play with my toys. The younger human doesn’t have a tail to chase, or toys to play with—poor human!—so she exercises instead.

When I first saw her doing this I thought something was wrong. But she does this almost every morning, so nothing is wrong.

She starts by raising one back leg to her chest several times, then the other back leg. She raises her back legs up straight in the air, one leg at a time, several times. She moves her back paws in circles, then to-and-fro, like I do when I’m swishing my tail. Some days she moves her front legs up-and-down, up-and-down in the air. I laugh inside so she doesn’t know I’m laughing, but some days it’s hard not to meow-laugh out loud. It’s so entertaining!

©P. Booher

 

 

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Unless the Lord Builds

Enjoy reading this post from David’s Daily Dose. It’s worth the time.

David's Daily Dose

Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.

Psalm 127:1 (NIV)

As I’ve mentioned before, my wife and I are compulsive watchers of the HGTV (Home and Garden Television) network.

The other night we saw a rerun of Holmes Makes It Right that gave me nightmares! If you haven’t seen it, the show stars Mike Holmes, a veteran contractor and home inspector, who helps homeowners fix major issues with their properties.

On most episodes Mike runs into even greater difficulties than expected. Invariably, it turns out an unqualified person did work on the property that was not up “to code.” Such shoddy craftsmanship poses a hazard–hidden inside walls or under floors for years. “Just one spark,” says a scowling Mike, “and the whole house could have been ruined.”

Heaven has a reality show as well. It’s called, Unless the Lord Builds the House. On the show, God…

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Just Half-An-Hour (or how to get myself to do work I don’t want to do)

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One day last week I was perturbed that I had yard work to do. Usually I enjoy being outside in the warm weather, but not that day. I think the reason it bugged me is that I wanted to do some writing on the computer. But a look at the tall grass and weeds around the shoots of the peony bush confirmed I needed to spend time trimming and weeding.

At the moment the tug-of-war between the two activities escalated in my mind, the thought came, Give the trimming and weeding half-an-hour. If you don’t want to do anymore, that’s fine, you can quit. You’ll have been able to make some progress on it, anyway. But give it half-an-hour.

With that thought, along with a prayer for God to work on my attitude, I grabbed the grass shears and set to work. An hour-and-a-half later, I stopped, happy to have a nicer-looking front yard as my reward.

Since then I decided to use this tactic with other tasks which I need to do but don’t want to do. A half-hour is long enough to allow for some progress but not so long that a lot of time is tied up in a project I don’t want to do in the first place. At the end of thirty minutes, I can reevaluate where I stand. I can either continue, or quit and do something else.

©P. Booher

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Friday Photos–A Walk on the Trail

All photos: Author’s collection.

P. Booher

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Hang in there!

I wanted to pass this along.

Knowing Jesus in Confusing Times

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(Image courtesy of quotesgram.com)

Waiting for something can be quite difficult. The more important that something is to us, the harder the wait usually. Maybe it is that long-awaited get-away vacation or the opportunity to reunite with an old friend. Perhaps, like often happens here in the Northeast US, the waiting for warmer temperatures seemingly takes forever. The wait for these types of things, hard as they can be, hold the promise of something positive when they do arrive.

But what about the waiting when the outcome or result is not known? I am thinking know about those of us who spend time praying for the healing of family, friends, co-workers, etc. We pray, seeking God’s mercy for these folks, but often we see little to no change for the better.

If this describes you, may today’s short blog entry serve as encouragement for you to hang in there. Reading…

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Timely Lyrics

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As I reflected on the things this past year has brought—wearing masks in public, phrases such as “lockdowns” and “social-distancing”, distrust, uncertainty, anxiety—I thought of lyrics that are so appropriate for these times:

                                                        Just as I am, tho’ tossed about,

                                                       With many a conflict, many a doubt,

                                                       Fightings and fears within, without,

                                                       O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

(Third stanza of “Just As I Am”, words by Charlotte Elliott, music by William B. Bradbury. Copyright: 1849). 

 A hymn I might regard as “old” speaks to the conditions of people today. There is nothing old about “conflict, doubt, fightings and fears within, without”; they are always around; that fact doesn’t change. Just the same, the One Charlotte went to for relief doesn’t change either; the Lord Jesus is steadfast; faithful. As Charlotte counted on Him, so can I.

©P. Booher

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Friday Photos, and a Hymn

I thought I’d try something a little different for Friday Photos.

Photo Credit: P. Booher
Photo Credit: P. Booher
Photo Credit: Author’s Collection.
Photo Credit: S. Craig
Photo by Johann Piber on Pexels.com

This Is My Father’s World

by Maltbie D. Babcock

This is my Father’s world,

And to my list’ning ears,

All nature sings, and round me rings

The music of the spheres.

This is my Father’s world,

I rest me in the thought

Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas–His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world,

The birds their carols raise,

The morning light, the lily white,

Declare their Maker’s praise.

This is my Father’s world,

He shines in all that’s fair;

In the rustling grass I hear Him pass, He speaks to me ev’rywhere,

This is my Father’s world,

O let me never forget

That though the wrong seems oft so strong,

God is the Ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world,

The battle is not done,

Jesus who died shall be satisfied,

And earth and heav’n be one.

Copyright 1901

This Is My Father’s World is one of my favorite hymns. I read a comment somewhere that some people think it’s a “soft hymn” because it speaks of nature. Consider the last verse, though: it speaks of “the battle is not done”, so since there is yet fighting to do, this hymn is not “soft”!

P. Booher

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A Mini-Retreat And a Dilemma

A week ago Sunday while feeding the birds and squirrels, I noticed a limb had come off a wild-cherry tree. The limb jutted into the yard, a problem because we have people mow that section of the yard for us. The limb hadn’t been down long; the beautiful pink blossoms were still on the leaves. I thought, “Well, I need to take care of that. I know what I’ll be doing the next day or so if the weather’s nice!”

Although the mowers had come earlier in the week, I wanted to take care of this little project soon. Not only because of the mowers, but also with spring here, every day brings new growth and ground cover, which makes it harder to see where you are walking while trimming a tree. Warmer days, more ground cover, and the abundance of rocks make that area attractive to snakes–another incentive to get started!

The next day , I took my trusty pruning saw (I don’t have the physical strength to use a chainsaw), my ice tea, chair, lopping shears, and cart to the limb and settled in to work. The weather was pleasant–temperature around 65 degrees, low humidity, and sunny. The birds sang cheerful accompaniment as I sawed, clipped and picked up the fallen sticks. I got the smallest part of the limb (the part which protruded) cut off, but decided I wanted to cut more off Tuesday.

Tuesday, I gathered my supplies and walked up the hill. The weather was perfect–warmer and than Monday, but still with low humidity. I took the pruning saw and cut two foot-long pieces from the limb and picked up some stray twigs, being careful to watch where I put my feet, in case a snake had come out of hiding. When my legs and back started complaining, I sat down, drank some ice tea, and enjoyed my time in God’s creation. With the warm breezes, blue sky, bird songs, and the knowledge that I was on my own schedule and didn’t have to answer to anyone, it truly was a mini-retreat.

As the afternoon progressed, the gentle breezes became gusty winds, and I realized I had a bit of a dilemma with my wood-cutting project. Part of the limb was caught on the main tree by a piece of wood, and when the rest of the limb came down, it didn’t fall on the ground. It came down on a rotted branch sticking out from the limb, and the branch was on a rock, so the branch was in the air between the limb and the rock. I wanted to get more of the 5-inch to 6-inch round limb cut off, but every time I cut more off, the whole dangling limb swayed slightly. Since the limb was curved, I wondered how much more I dared to cut off. If the limb fell, would it fall straight down, or would it roll off the rock when the rotted branch broke under the weight, and come towards me?? I didn’t know what particular law of physics would apply in this case, but I did know from watching my father cut trees down that you can’t always tell how a tree will go. The wind picked up even more, making the situation more uncertain. Dilemmas, dilemmas!

I finally solved this particular dilemma by calling an end to the project. I had cut the limb back far enough that the mowers could cut the grass without any problems, and that was my original intent. God, through nature, could take care of the rest.

©P. Booher


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