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Author Archives: Rev. Bud Budzinski

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My Life Was Saved By A Smile ….

I was going through some old journals and came across this story that a friend had shared with me when I was about to be transferred from the hospital to County Jail (and eventually prison). It is also a belated Valentine’s devotional and a reminder of how, during this Lenten season, we can seek to change. But will we? “Many Americans are familiar with The Little Prince, a wonderful book by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. This is a whimsical and fabulous book and works as a children’s story as well as a thought-provoking adult fable. Far fewer are aware of Saint-Exupery’s other writings, novels and short stories. Saint-Exupery was a fighter pilot who fought against the Nazis and was killed in action. Before World War II, he fought in the Spanish Civil War against the fascists. He wrote a fascinating story based on that experience entitled “The Smile” (Le Sourire). He said that he was captured by the enemy and thrown into a jail cell. He was sure that from the contemptuous looks and rough treatment he received from his jailers he would be executed the next day. ‘I was sure ... Read More »

February 8, 2021

I love umping (most of the time 😉). It is one of those passions and hobbies that I have enjoyed doing over the years and it is rewarding (most of the time 😉). I have mostly umped Parks and Rec (younger) and then through High School, baseball and softball. It is great to see the kids develop and I try to help them learn. Some advice I got from experienced umps when I was trained and then first started umping was: 1) when you walk out on the field you must realize that you are the only one that is going to be wrong on a close call; 2) be respectful and be as honest and fair as you can possibly be; and 3) no matter what call you make, own your call. “There’s no doubting the truth that 2 +2 = 4. There’s no faith necessary to believe it either. But if someone says that they love you, that’s a different matter. Do they really? What do they mean by love? Can we trust them? To believe that someone’s ‘I love you’ is true requires a little faith. But ... Read More »

Then we saw them, Monkeys…

I love going on workteams and especially love the workteams I have been on to Costa Rica. I have made so many friends, both from Costa Rica and workteam members. I have had great experiences and our missions and travels to Costa Rica even led our oldest daughter to pursue a career in International Relations. On this particular workteam, we were helping to build a church and other buildings. Some of the group worked on building the foundation for the church while a few of us were assigned to clear an area to build a bano (bathroom) for the church and to build a wall for the complex. We were handed machetes and shovels and told to clear the area so that we could dig down to lay the foundation. We began clearing and the first day went well. We felt like we had accomplished a lot but there was much more to do. We came back the next morning, ready to clear some more brush, vines, etc. and do some digging. About mid-morning we took a break, sitting on the ground or against a tree, when one of the ... Read More »

January 26, 2021

I love going on workteams and especially love the workteams I have been on to Costa Rica. I have made so many friends, both from Costa Rica and workteam members. I have had great experiences and our missions and travels to Costa Rica even led our oldest daughter to pursue a career in International Relations. On this particular workteam, we were helping to build a church and other buildings. Some of the group worked on building the foundation for the church while a few of us were assigned to clear an area to build a bano (bathroom) for the church and to build a wall for the complex. We were handed machetes and shovels and told to clear the area so that we could dig down to lay the foundation. We began clearing and the first day went well. We felt like we had accomplished a lot but there was much more to do. We came back the next morning, ready to clear some more brush, vines, etc. and do some digging. About mid-morning we took a break, sitting on the ground or against a tree, when one of the ... Read More »

January 18, 2021

One of the greatest memories of my football career was carrying the football. I averaged 54 yards a carry in my High School career! What, you never heard of me? I played center for thee Thorp Cardinals football team. In this particular game, I snapped the ball, our quarterback handed off to the running back and the back headed downfield. Just as he was going past me, the ball got knocked out and perfectly bounced into my hands. Did I say that I played center? I stood there for what seemed like an hour and then I decided to run the ball (fortunately in the right direction) and rambled on for 54 yards where I was tackled, 3 yards short of a touchdown. I was out of breath, ready to die but we lined up for another play and we scored and then got the extra point. I was so excited about my run as I walked over to the sideline (plus it would give me a chance to rest). But then coach yelled: “Budzinski, why did you stop short of the goal line?” “But coach, I had like ten ... Read More »

We need rain to grow …

I have always liked the rain.  I like listening to it rain, I like thunderstorms, I like the smell after it rains.   I have jumped in puddles after a rain (yes, even as an adult).  I like watching a garden and crops grow.  I like rain.  We need rain to grow… “The world was better without umbrellas.  I don’t know when or where it became a necessity for us to shield ourselves from the rain, to block downward movement.  I hear dozens of mother and father figures reminding me that without my umbrella I could catch a cold.  I know, I know.  But the little boy in me still wants to run free and uncovered, with rain falling down onto my head and with water splashing up from the puddles that I absolutely must jump into. Rain is different than ponds and rivers and oceans.  Rain can fly.  And we can too. We can fly.  We can fly, but we cannot become the Rain.  We can only become one drop sent from the Great Cloud above down to the earth to make things grow.  To fill up ponds and ... Read More »

December 31, 2020

When a new year comes, most of us tend to look back at the past year and reflect.  Of course, this year especially we probably will reflect on the obstacles and hard times we have been through and hoping and praying that they will end.  There is so much to reflect on, and all of our lives have been changed or affected in some way.  As I reflect, the past year, especially the last few months, has been about all of the sickness and death I have seen.  Funerals or memorial services that did not happen, those that did happen but limited attendance, folks unable to visit loved ones…  it just tears at me.  We want to see how folks are doing… more than a phone call or face time.  We want to give and receive hugs and kisses.  Just so much reflect and dwell on… “The elderly caretaker of a peaceful lonely cemetery received a check every month from a woman, an ailing person in a hospital in a nearby city.  The check was to buy fresh flowers for the grave of her son, who had been killed in ... Read More »

December 28, 2020

I was going down a path on the Maple Syrup farm when I noticed something move on the edge of the path.  I backed the UTV up and there was one of the largest turtles I had ever seen on the farm.  Not only was it big (roughly 20 inches long and 12 inches wide), but it was pitch black and looked mean.  I had never seen a black turtle.  I was intrigued so I got off the UTV to take a picture with my cell phone.  The turtle did not like that and lunged at me.  Now I was surprised because I didn’t think a turtle could move that fast.  So, I backed off, took my picture, the turtle still snapping at me, and went on my way. “When they returned from their scouting expedition in Canaan, most of the Israelites were pessimistic.  The land was fertile enough, but the cities and soldiers already in place presented significant obstacles.  It all just seemed too big a challenge to overcome.  In their fear, the scouts spread rumors and wildly exaggerated the risks, telling the people that the land was ruled ... Read More »

December 8, 2020

I have always liked the rain.  I like listening to it rain, I like thunderstorms, I like the smell after it rains.   I have jumped in puddles after a rain (yes, even as an adult ).  I like watching a garden and crops grow.  I like rain.  We need rain to grow… “The world was better without umbrellas.  I don’t know when or where it became a necessity for us to shield ourselves from the rain, to block downward movement.  I hear dozens of mother and father figures reminding me that without my umbrella I could catch a cold.  I know, I know.  But the little boy in me still wants to run free and uncovered, with rain falling down onto my head and with water splashing up from the puddles that I absolutely must jump into. Rain is different than ponds and rivers and oceans.  Rain can fly.  And we can too. We can fly.  We can fly, but we cannot become the Rain.  We can only become one drop sent from the Great Cloud above down to the earth to make things grow.  To fill up ponds and rivers ... Read More »

“Get busy living or get busy dying.”

We have a choice. Pastor Bud I could see the angelic, pale face looking down upon me. She looked sad and I could see fear in her eyes. I should have taken it as a warning… All of a sudden, I got hit from behind and it jolted me so hard I thought I was broken in half. Then someone hit me from the right side and I could see stars. Thoughts raced through my head… would I survive? My life passed before my eyes. The next shot I saw coming and I tried to avoid it but to no avail. My whole body shook. I no longer had control. I could not turn, I could not back up, I could not go forward. I could not steer my way out of this so, I raised my hands, pulled the red flag and surrendered. Lori and I had gone home to Thorp for the 4th of July and went to the Demolition Derby. We walked into the pits to see my brother who had prepared a couple of cars for the Derby. He saw me coming and came up and ... Read More »

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