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Author Archives: Rev. Bud Budzinski

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July 2, 2020

Please post on FB and Web. Thank you. I recently had the pleasure of seeing some waterfalls in northern Wisconsin and the UP (Michigan Upper Peninsula). We did a lot of hiking around Copper Falls and during, and near the end, we were very tired and were running on fumes. But the beauty of the waterfalls kept us going, anticipating more scenic nature around each bend in the trail. I also was fascinated how over the years the river has carved various indentations and new paths into the rock. After years and years of pounding, the rock gave into the river and soon new formations were made. It was quite impressive. “After any adventure, rest is often the thing we need the most. It’s the same with life: when we’re caught up in difficult seasons – the kind where we need a constant supply of resilience and persistence – we can so easily feel worn down and tired out. And when that happens, every challenge intensifies. Psalm 121 was written for all the weary among us, the stressed, all of those who’ve been running on fumes for far too long. ... Read More »

July 1, 2020

I begin this devotion with an apology. I apologize for not letting you know I was taking a break or going to the garden. Thank you for your concerns and love. I am ok, just needed some spiritual renewal and took a vacation. Again, thank you for caring and I pray that the devotions continue to help and that they are God centered. “I grew up around water, doing a lot more fishing than swimming. We had a creek (it had trout and was a great place to play) that went through the back of our maple syrup farm and then there was the North Fork, Black River, Mead Lake, Rock Dam, Otter Lake, Mud Lake, Miller Dam. We also camped a lot, so we were around other bodies of water. The Wisconsin River was huge but then I saw the Mississippi. I remember going smelting on Lake Superior and for the first time I saw a body of water where you could not see the other side. Tremendous. Then I experienced Lake Michigan and again, wow! But then I saw the Atlantic and did not realize that the ocean ... Read More »

June 20, 2020

Our oldest daughter was studying and doing an internship in Santiago, Chile for a semester. I went to visit her, she met me at the airport, we went to a quaint hotel and got settled in. I asked her what we were going to do the next day and she said we were going to the zoo and then the other was a surprise. We got up early the next day, had breakfast and began the day. I asked Angela how far the zoo was from where we were staying, and she said not far. At that point I did not realize our daughter was a poor judge of distance. We walked and walked and walked and crawled and creeped and I started hallucinating and… we finally got there: the Zoologico Nacional de Chile (Chilean National Zoo). It was awesome but what she didn’t tell me was that it was built into a hill (San Cristobal Hill). The zoo was really neat with a lot of species including Chilean native animals and birds. It was thoroughly enjoyable. So much so that you did not realize you were constantly climbing. Then ... Read More »

June 19, 2020

It was an exciting day. I loved to wrestle. We were at a Regional Tournament and I had pinned my first opponent. I was preparing for my next match against a wrestler from McFarland (I had no idea where that was, and he probably didn’t know where Thorp was 😊). I saw him walking over to the mat and my draw dropped. Coach asked me what was wrong, and I said: “Coach, look at that guy!” “You will do fine, you’re a good wrestler!” “But Coach, he is like a Greek god or like a sculpture, there is no fat anywhere and he has muscles on top of muscles!” “Get focused, Budzinski, you will do fine!” “You’re right Coach!” I was back 47 seconds later. To this day, I still don’t know what hit me! They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep ... Read More »

June 18, 2020

I heard a song today on that good old theological station called Willie’s Roadhouse. The song “Old Violin” was sung by Donny Young, more commonly known as Johnny Paycheck. I had never really listened to the lyrics closely but for some reason I did this time and it was quite depressing. “Well, I can’t recall, one time in my life, I’ve felt as lonely as I do tonight. I feel like I could lay down and get up no more; it’s the damndest feelin’, I never felt it before. Tonight I feel like an old violin, soon to be put away and never played again; Don’t ask me why I feel like this, hell, I can’t say, I only wish this feelin’ would just go away…” “I have on my table a violin string,” wrote the author Rabindranath Tagore. “It is free to move in any direction I like. If I twist one end it responds, it is free. But it is not free to sing. So, I take it and fix it to my violin. I bind it and when it is bound, it is free for the first ... Read More »

June 17, 2020

The other day someone asked me if I was burning both ends of the candle. I thought about it and then I pondered where that phrase came from. To burn the candle at both ends is an expression that implies that an individual is attempting to live at a pace that places a great deal of strain on his or her physical and emotional resources. The fear associated with this type of activity has to do with the fact that burning the candle at both ends implies that the individual is rapidly using up those resources without taking the time to replenish them. As a result, there is some concern that this type of activity will eventually result in collapse and possibly permanent damage from which the individual will never fully recover. This particular English saying is often traced back to the early years of the 18th century and had to do with waste. Choosing to burn the candle at both ends as a means of generating more light right now would in fact produce a short-term effect that many would find desirable. At the same time, this choice to ... Read More »

June 16, 2020

I have heard several comments about the quarantine (SaferAtHome) and that it feels like being in prison. It may seem that way but even in quarantine there are a lot more freedoms than being in prison. But the more I thought about it, there are many things that make us feel like we are in prison, especially when we feel like the walls are closing in on us. These thoughts made me think of a story I read one time and I finally found it. I would like to pass it on to you as a devotion. “As one who has served time in prison and has since spent most of my life working in them, I’ll never forget the most unusual prison I’ve ever visited. Called Humaita prison, it is in Sao Jose dos Campos in Brazil. Formerly a government prison, it is now operated by Prison Fellowship Brazil as an alternative prison, without armed guards or high-tech security. Instead, it is run on the Christian principles of love of God and respect for men. Humaita has only two full-time staff; the rest of the work is done by ... Read More »

June 15, 2020

I do not remember her name. I remember she was a nurse in training at the hospital. I do remember what she said. I have not forgotten that. The doctor had come in to take off the bandages from my right hand and made the comment: “Let’s see if the hand is like new!” It wasn’t! Gangrene had set in. My hand smelled, looked terrible and two of my fingers hadn’t took hold from being sewn back on. It was a mess and I was in shock and tears and pain. The doctor and nurse cleaned up my hand, rebandaged it and the doctor left. As the nurse was leaving, she looked at me and said: “Just because your hand won’t be like new doesn’t mean that you can’t be like new!” Wow, so profound. She saw something in me that I was not yet able to see. “With a strong forearm, the apron-clad blacksmith puts his tongs into the fire, grasps the heated metal, and places it on the anvil. His keen eye examines the glowing piece. He sees what the tool is now and envisions what he wants ... Read More »

June 14, 2020

There was a knock on my office door and the person looked troubled. “Can I help you?” The person went on to tell me that their child was having various kinds of emotional and physical problems and had been hurting oneself. They had seen doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists and nothing had helped. The person then asked if I would do an exorcism. Now I knew from the conversation that the person was serious, but this was way out of my knowledge and comfort zone. I replied that I would do some research, get back to the person but would try to help. After the person left, I got on the phone with a friend of mine, a priest in the community: “Can you help me with an exorcism?” “Why me, Bud?” “Well, you know the movie, The Exorcist. Jesuit priests helped…” “Bud, that was a movie!” Well, I had a lot to learn. He did say that the Vatican had official guidelines on exorcism, and he shared that with me and together we worked out a plan. I was not sure what to expect, but I got together with the ... Read More »

June 13, 2020

To this day it is one of the most memorable and beautiful experiences I have ever had… and it almost didn’t happen. My oldest daughter and I had been filling in short term for a United Methodist missionary and his family when they went back to the United States. We had been there a couple of weeks and then three friends from North Carolina joined us. We were remodeling and building a camp and building dorms for a Christian retreat center and gathering place in southern Costa Rica. The little town was called Villa Briceno or Camp 37 as it was 37 kilometers from Panama. A remote area but a beautiful area, not seen by many tourists. I was asked what we were going to do on our day off and I said sleep. We had been hosting a number of work teams and it had been hectic. I told our small work team that they could choose, however there was not much to do in the area, but I did have use of a small pickup. One of the Costa Ricans working with us mentioned the Austrian Rain Forest ... Read More »

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