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Author Archives: Rev. Bud Budzinski

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If you want to change your life – really change – look up!

The other day I saw a video of a person walking into a light post and it knocked them to the ground. I hope they are all right. Why did they walk into the light post? Because they were focusing on their smartphone and oblivious to everything around them. When I was younger, the higher the tree stand I was in the better it was. As I have gotten older, I do not go as high in the tree. When you are up that high, the deer do not see you or scent you as much. Over the years, it has amazed me how much animals and people have walked pass me, having no idea that there was a person above them. I have seen so many great things happen when animals do not realize there is a person around. You get to see nature at its best. How many times do we get focused on our problems that we are oblivious to what is going on around us? So focused on our anxieties and worries that we forget that God promises to be with us and promised us the ... Read More »

May 26, 2021

The other day I saw a video of a person walking into a light post and it knocked them to the ground. I hope they are all right. Why did they walk into the light post? Because they were focusing on their smartphone and oblivious to everything around them. When I was younger, the higher the tree stand I was in the better it was. As I have gotten older, I do not go as high in the tree. When you are up that high, the deer do not see you or scent you as much. Over the years, it has amazed me how much animals and people have walked pass me, having no idea that there was a person above them. I have seen so many great things happen when animals do not realize there is a person around. You get to see nature at its best. How many times do we get focused on our problems that we are oblivious to what is going on around us? So focused on our anxieties and worries that we forget that God promises to be with us and promised us the ... Read More »

May 12, 2021

I was returning from vacation in North Carolina recently and stopped at one of my favorite places, Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Meadows of Dan. They have a little gift shop and wonderful restaurant, and it is a beautiful place to visit. I was looking in the shop and was a little surprised to see Christmas ornaments for sale as it was May. But as I looked at the Christmas ornaments, I got to thinking: Why shouldn’t we celebrate Christmas throughout the year? Why shouldn’t we celebrate giving? I remember Mrs. Oberle, my Junior High English teacher, having us read John Greenleaf Whittier, who wrote: “Somehow, not only for Christmas, But all the year through, The joy that you give to others, Is the joy that comes back to you.” Amen. That will preach 😊! It was only four days before Christmas. The spirit of the season had not yet caught up with me, even though cars packed the parking lot of our local discount store. Inside the store, it was worse. Shopping carts and last-minute shoppers jammed the aisles. Why did I come to town today? ... Read More »

“There ain’t no good chain gang …”

I was driving down the road the other day, listening to tunes and pondering life when these two songs came on, back-to-back.  The first song: “Breakin’ rocks in the hot sun, I fought the law and the law won. I fought the law and the law won…”  The second song:  A young cowboy named Billy Joe grew restless on the farm, a boy filled with wanderlust who really meant no harm.  He changed his clothes and shined his boots and combed his dark hair down, and his mother cried as he walked out “Don’t take your guns to town, son, leave your guns at home, Bill.  Don’t take your guns to town.”  I have to tell you; I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  It brought back memories but also made me reflect on life (been doing a lot of that lately). Talking about memories, if you ever were through the Central Wisconsin area (around Black River Falls) in the early 80’s, you would have witnessed my work (and others).  As part of being incarcerated at the Black River Falls Correctional Institution, one of the jobs was to prune dead ... Read More »

April 21, 2021

Shortly after we moved to North Carolina, the father of one of my students found out that I loved to fish. One day we went out on Kerr Lake and we got a few here and there. We then decided to go back in on a tributary. I asked him why he was not getting closer to shore and he said because he did not want a snake to drop into the boat. I laughed but I was not going to fall for his joke. Well, I guess he sensed my skepticism, and he went on to explain that snakes would sun themselves or rest on tree limbs and, occasionally, when a boat would come to close, they would drop into the boat. I still did not believe him, and he knew it. We then moved closer to the shoreline and in a few minutes, he pointed to a limb hanging over the water. Do you see it? I really wanted to say no, but there was a snake on the limb. We moved another twenty yards or so and there was another snake sunning itself of a limb. That ... Read More »

April 7, 2021

I was driving down the road the other day, listening to tunes and pondering life when these two songs came on, back-to-back. The first song: “Breakin’ rocks in the hot sun, I fought the law and the law won. I fought the law and the law won…” The second song: A young cowboy named Billy Joe grew restless on the farm, a boy filled with wanderlust who really meant no harm. He changed his clothes and shined his boots and combed his dark hair down, and his mother cried as he walked out “Don’t take your guns to town, son, leave your guns at home, Bill. Don’t take your guns to town.” I have to tell you; I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It brought back memories but also made me reflect on life (been doing a lot of that lately). Talking about memories, if you ever were through the Central Wisconsin area (around Black River Falls) in the early 80’s, you would have witnessed my work (and others). As part of being incarcerated at the Black River Falls Correctional Institution, one of the jobs was to prune ... Read More »

A Meaningful Conversation with God

When I was going to school both in Milwaukee and Chicago my mom used to call me at least once every other day to see how I was doing. Our conversation would usually go something like this … “How are you doing son?” “I’m doing fine mom. How are you and dad?” “We’re fine. I hope you’re taking care of yourself. Be careful.” “Okay mom. I’ll see everyone another time. Bye.” “Okay son. Bye.” Truthfully I thought this was how conversations were supposed to go. In my household, dad and mom did not have many long conversations with the children unless it was about something important or serious. These conversations, to me anyways, were just a part of life. If my mom knew I was okay and I knew my family was okay, that was the whole point of the phone call. Suddenly there was a time in my schooling where I felt very isolated from everyone else. I was about 4 hours away from home and even though I had friends in the Chicago area, many of them were working at local churches or were focused on their lives ... Read More »

Today I am emerging from the fog …

I woke up in a fog the other day and had been in one ever since.  Have you ever been in a dense fog?  I have been in a few dense fogs, especially in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the mountains of Costa Rica and the Cloud Forests of Costa Rica.  But the worst fog I have ever experienced came on our farm.  I had come back from North Carolina to do some deer hunting on the home place.  This particular day I was hunting on our neighbor’s land (I had permission) and the rain started coming down.  There was snow on the ground, and it was starting to get dusk and I was probably ¾ of a mile from the house.  Visibility was starting to get poor so I thought I would head in early … but it wasn’t early enough.  The fog came in strong and thick, and I couldn’t see but a few feet ahead of me.  Nothing looked familiar and was not sure what direction I was going.  I finally found the creek that goes through the back of our property but wasn’t sure which way to ... Read More »

March 31, 2021

I had a conversation with someone the other day and we talked about how we were both always amazed how Spring brings growth.  He was telling me how his wife had planted some seeds, and, in a few days, they were sprouting.  All they needed was light to warm the soil and water to help them grow.  I always look forward to Spring when the maple sap flows, when the ground warms and especially when it is time to plant a garden.  I love planting and especially get excited when the first radish seeds start sprouting.  It is just so awesome.  But without the water, there would not be much growth… “One of the blessings of my time was the opportunity I had to study Hebrew.  For those who truly love reading scripture, I encourage you to read it in its original language, for, as cliché as it may sound, so much can be lost in translation.  On almost the first day of Hebrew class we explored the creation story in the original words it was written.  I will never forget reading how ‘Adam’ (man or human) was formed from ... Read More »

March 27, 2021

I woke up in a fog the other day and had been in one ever since.  Have you ever been in a dense fog?  I have been in a few dense fogs, especially in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the mountains of Costa Rica and the Cloud Forests of Costa Rica.  But the worst fog I have ever experienced came on our farm.  I had come back from North Carolina to do some deer hunting on the home place.  This particular day I was hunting on our neighbor’s land (I had permission) and the rain started coming down.  There was snow on the ground, and it was starting to get dusk and I was probably ¾ of a mile from the house.  Visibility was starting to get poor so I thought I would head in early…  but it wasn’t early enough.  The fog came in strong and thick, and I couldn’t see but a few feet ahead of me.  Nothing looked familiar and was not sure what direction I was going.  I finally found the creek that goes through the back of our property but wasn’t sure which way to follow ... Read More »

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