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Advice for End Times


Advertisements abound in magazines, on the internet, and on television. “Make this investment!” “Prepare your portfolio!” “Buy gold.” “Diversify.” “Protect your riches, your retirement, your way of life!”

I believe in being a wise steward, but the fifth chapter of James begins with a warning to those who put riches first. While being well off is not a sin, making riches a priority over God is. It is clear from the scathing remarks in verses one through six that riches will not get me where I want to go.

After that warning, though, James offers some advice to believers (I know the advice is to believers because he called them ‘brothers’). His advice is for the time before the coming of the Lord, time that scripture tells us will become more and more challenging. Timely advice for sure.

Be patient. Twice in verses seven and eight, James tells believers to…

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The Kind of Worshippers God Seeks

I liked this, and thought I’d pass it along.

David's Daily Dose

Sally, from Theology of a Newfoundland Housewife shared a post yesterday, Praying Twice, about an enthusiastic singer at her church who was regularly off key. As often happens here on Word Press, this brought to mind my own memory of a monotone worshipper who God used to teach me a valuable lesson.

As a singer in my church’s choir, I always keep my eyes and ears open for potential members. One Sunday, as we walked in to the sanctuary (singing the first hymn), I noticed a man on the second row—singing and praising God with great fervor. “O boy, we’ve found ourselves a new member!” I said to myself. But when I passed by the gentleman, he was TERRIBLY off key. “How embarrassing,” I thought.

I know, that wasn’t very nice of me. God didn’t think so either. Because after we got to the choir loft, the Holy Spirit said…

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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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Hang in there!

I wanted to pass this along.

Knowing Jesus in Confusing Times

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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

Photo by Luis Quintero on

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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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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Gentle – for Five Minute Friday

David's Daily Dose

There are so many things that could be described as “gentle.”

The gentle cycle on a washer, or the old placid dog who has met many children, come to mind.

But when I hear the word gentle, it brings to mind someone (or something) that is so powerful it doesn’t need to be harsh. I believe meekness is the word I’m searching for.

Jesus certainly fits this description. The Bible tells us he was fully God, yet fully man. Now that’s power! Yet he chose to live the life of a servant, and die a horrible death (he didn’t deserve) to redeem all of mankind.

Perhaps that’s why one of his nicknames is, “Gentle Shepherd.”

Today, let’s all be kinder and gentler than necessary—for Jesus’ sake.

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An Angry Jesus?

I thought this post from Pastor Chuck of Knowing Jesus in Confusing Times worth re-blogging.

Knowing Jesus in Confusing Times

Jesus Cleanses the Temple
(image courtesy of

No April Fool’s joke here, the Scriptures that describe the events leading to the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Jesus give us two examples of an angry Jesus.

When last we spoke, adoring crowds welcomed Jesus as He entered Jerusalem. The building excitement of His ministry seemed destined to conclude with Him being crowned King of the Jews. The events in the narrative of the following days do little to disprove the people’s belief that their earthly king was about to take his crown.

Picking up the story in Mark’s Gospel at Chapter 11, verses 12-19, we find evidence of an angry Jesus. It is now the following morning, and Jesus and His disciples are walking back to Jerusalem. Along the way, the author tells us Jesus was hungry and walked toward a fig tree, hoping to find something to eat. As He reached it, the…

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Friday Photos II–A Moment In Time

Yesterday I took an outdated pack of crackers to the back yard. The crackers probably would have been OK for me to eat, but I thought, “I want to be outside for a little while. I’ll throw the crackers out for whomever–ants, birds, or squirrels–will eat them.” So I went out back, and as I tore the crackers up and threw the bits on the ground, I stopped, soaking in the beauty and quiet of the winter woods. I walked towards the big pine tree, taking note of the patterns of the bark on the maple and cherry trees, and watching the creek as it wound its way. I thought how nature just “is”; it doesn’t have an agenda. The creek gurgled along; the deciduous and evergreen trees stood tall. As I went “sightseeing” in the back yard, the peace and quiet of that moment settled in me, and it remained there for a long time, even after I went back in the house. I could feel that peace smoothing over the rough edges of living in the tumult of man’s world.

Enjoy some “sightseeing” today! 🙂

All photos: author’s collection.

©P. Booher


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Change of Plans


You know what?

I bet having a baby was not on Mary’s ‘to do’ list for the year Jesus was born. Just a teenager, she was still looking forward to a wedding.

Then the angel came and spoke words that rocked her world, interrupting any plans she may have had. The angel’s announcement set her on a different course – for life.

I am always amazed at Mary’s response to the angel.

“Behold the handmaiden of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” (Luke 1:38)

In other words, “Lord, I’m all in for whatever You want.”

Acceptance. Submission. Obedience. Faith.

Often, the happenings in my life are not according to my plan. Sometimes, I just do not understand what God is doing.

I don’t see how God is working in the lives that intersect – sometimes crash – with mine. I can’t interpret the events that interrupt…

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