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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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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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Keeper of My Heart

I needed to read this, and thought I’d pass it along.


Sometimes darkness creeps up on my soul, entering the crevasses of my heart and troubling my mind.

I notice the spinning thoughts, the obsession with problems, and the oppressive spirit that weighs me down, and I know it is time –

  • Time to walk outside into the whirling, drifting colors of fall;
  • Time to allow my mind to wander through drifting clouds and dive into the endless blue sky;
  • Time to listen to a rippling steam or the brush of sea on sand;
  • Time to be still in the wonder of God’s creation and remember –

My Creator planned and pieced this mighty creation.

My Father has not forgotten His creation, nor has He lost me in its vastness.

My Sovereign Lord is still on the throne, and He is attentive to His children.

My Omnipotent God will honor His promises and keep His covenants, and my life is inextricably…

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There Is Life After High School

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I don’t have fond memories of my school years. I was picked on from about second grade through eleventh grade. I never knew what would bring the teasing on–perhaps being the only person in second grade to have to wear glasses? (This was long before contact lenses.) Or maybe it was my shyness–often I couldn’t think of anything to say in peer-to-peer conversation, so I was quiet. (When you are in school, any little difference from what is considered “normal” makes a person ripe for picking on.) Maybe the teasing of the moment revolved around my non-existent athletic ability (if a team had to pick me, the kids groaned and I wished for the ground to swallow me).

For today’s kids, cyber-bullying is an ever-present possibility. At least when I went to school BBC (Back Before Computers), I had a break after school hours, weekends, and summertime. No smartphones, no texting, no tablets, no internet, no cyber-bullying.

When I was sixteen or seventeen my dad told me, “This is the best time of your life!” I was horrified. I remember thinking, If this is the best time of my life, you mean the rest of my life will be worse than this?

Many years later, my answer to my question is NO, my life now is better.

My life taught me this: after you graduate, you realize your world is so much bigger than what some kids put on Facebook or any of the other social media out there. The world celebrates youthfulness, but getting older allows you to realize the things people say about you don’t have to cut to the quick anymore. You put boundaries in place, shrug it off, and live your life. You gain maturity and a saving grace–perspective. You can gain faith in the God Who loves you deeply and want to give you new opportunities and confidence.

To any young person reading this who lives in dread of bullying and wonders if things will ever get better, my answer is YES, things will get better. Hold on, don’t give up. When I was sixteen or seventeen life didn’t look good, and I went through some dark periods, but I can tell you: There is life after high school.

Author’s Note: To anyone reading this who thinks, I want to check out of this life; it’s not worth it., please talk to a friend, a pastor, someone you trust, or a counselor. Call a suicide-prevention hotline. Your life matters.

In the USA, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting Talk 741741. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s website is: It has many resources available, for those considering suicide, for family and friends who want to help someone, or for people who want to get involved with suicide prevention. The AFSP has local chapters, and sponsors the Out of the Darkness Walk. Due to COVID-19, some walks have been canceled, but some local walks in memory of loved ones are held.

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P. Booher


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Darkness Cannot Overcome The Light

Thought this is such an encouraging post.

Mustard Seed Living

“And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.” (Genesis 1:3-4)

Weary Christian ~ The Darkness Cannot Overcome You

Before time began, God spoke light into existence. He ordered light and dark ~ day and night, and He continues to do so. Darkness may not go where God says it may not, and even the tiniest pinprick of light can penetrate and push back the darkness, in nations, in families and in the battle-weary soul. Do you feel battle weary today? Do not forget who, and Who’s you are! You belong to the Light of the world, and as His, you are the light of the world. (See Matthew 5:14-16)

Reading through Isaiah, I came this morning to chapter 8, where I find a people who felt overwhelmed, blinded…

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Friday Photos–Country Kittens


Duchess–“Why did you shine that light in my eyes? I’m sleepy!”




Duke–“I’m so sleepy!”


Duchess–“I’m alert now!”

A friend adopted Duke and Duchess awhile back.  They played vigorously with each other, toys, and the furnishings, fell asleep where they were, then woke up and were at again. They had fun; we had fun watching them. Nothing like watching kittens for stress relief!

All photos: Author’s

©P. Booher


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