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Author Archives: Rev. Bud Budzinski

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September 8, 2020

Several years ago, we took a family vacation to Cherry Grove (Myrtle Beach).  One of the planned events was to go fishing off the Cherry Grove pier.  It was early evening, a nice breeze blowing and hopefully the fish would be biting.  We got our equipment, walked out on the pier and saw quite a few folks fishing.  We set up in open spots about halfway down the pier, our son-in-law, youngest daughter and I fishing and my wife and oldest daughter observing.  We fished for awhile and a few folks here and there caught a few and then someone caught a large skate (ray), and everyone was excited.  Then folks on the other side of the pier started catching some larger fish so our youngest daughter wanted to switch to that side.  She did and pretty soon she caught a small fish and we were all excited.  A few minutes later she called to me: “Dad, I have something, but I cannot reel it in.”  About that time, I noticed how bent her pole was and was pretty sure she had hooked one of the pier posts.  However, I ... Read More »

September 4, 2020

I can remember early on one of my first tastes of freedom. Many of you have hear the phrase: He or she can fall in an outhouse and come out smelling like a rose. I can relate to that, but I really didn’t smell like anything… well, maybe sweaty. In a past devotion, I mentioned working for my Grandpa’s neighbor Joe on his farm and especially his sawmill. One day I was working for him and he asked if I was willing to work for him on a new project. He was going to have his son takeover the farm so his wife and him were going to build a house on some land they had further south and in the woods. I agreed to help (the thought of helping build a house was exciting) but my excitement abruptly ended. He explained that one of the initial projects was to build a septic tank. (My thought was that I always wanted to be known for building a septic tank.) He picked me up from my house early one morning and we headed to the site. Some digging had been done ... Read More »

September 2, 2020

As I have said before, I prefer the mountains to the ocean but have had some great vacations at the ocean. This particular time it was my wife and I and our two daughters on vacation at Virginia Beach. Our oldest daughter, elementary school age at the time, wanted to walk along the beach that evening. It was dusk when we started, and it soon got dark but the lights from the hotels lit up the beach (plus we had a flashlight). It started out to be a relaxing walk, just her and I and talking and then we saw something move. It startled us but then we realized it was just a few crabs. We watched them for a while and then kept on walking and there were more. Well, one of us had the bright idea to throw pebbles and them and make them move. It was fun to see them skedaddle and clear the area where they heard the noise of the pebbles landing. It was getting late so we decided to turn around and head back to our hotel. In front of us were hundreds of ... Read More »

September 1, 2020

Why did you get up this morning? Did you have plans? Or is it just another day? Are you going to work? Do you like your job? Were you looking forward to the day? Was there anything exciting going on? Were you in a good mood? Bad mood? Were you feeling positive? Were you negative? Critical? Uplifting? Were you ready to take on the day? Or did you just want to get back into bed? Did you have goals? Do you have goals for your life? Do you have a purpose? “My wife and I have just returned from an emergency trip to the United States to be with my father. He is very ill. He suffers from Lou Gehrig’s disease, a muscle crippler for which there is no known cause or cure. We were called home, not knowing if he would be alive when we arrived. He was and still is. Yes, even though he has made significant improvement, we know, and he knows, that his time is nearing. Dad is a man of extreme faith. An able teacher and a strong leader, he never left any doubt as ... Read More »

August 31, 2020

Over the last few months so many folks have told me how much they have missed church. Yes, most folks can watch worship services on social media, but that is not the same. Folks especially miss the camaraderie, the social aspects of church, having communion together, talking before service and after service (hopefully not during service 😉), shaking hands, hugs and sharing a smile or a laugh. I miss this too and I believe it is so important to worship together, although it has been a blessing to be able to livestream worship services. There is joy in community! “Thorin and company had stopped in Rivendell in June of the previous year, and now, on May 1, eleven months later, Bilbo and Gandalf finally arrived back at the elvish haven. The elves were overjoyed at their arrival, and as soon as hobbit and wizard descended into the wooded valley, they came out to greet them and led the across the River Bruinen into the refuge of Rivendell, where the two road-weary travelers rested for a week before continuing on their journey. Elves loved beautiful things – poetry and song and ... Read More »

August 29, 2020

My day began with a message and text that a classmate and friend of mine had passed away. Way to young. Throughout the day I had 27 requests for prayer for health issues, jobs, relationships, etc. I concluded the day officiating a wedding for an awesome older couple who found love once again and are always smiling when they look at each other. It was so reassuring. That’s what we need: more love in this world. A love that will get us through life, comforting us when we hurt, smiling with us through the good times, picking us up when we are down. God’s love! Life is to short to remain in the darkness. Help us to love, Lord, before it is too late! Ever consistent God, you are faithful, always steady, and trustworthy. God, you are Protector, keeping us safe from enemies that would reign over us. God, you are Caretaker, mindful of the human condition and its fragility. In our pain and grief, you come to us with an embracing love. There is no suffering that you do not know or share. Your presence heals us and grants ... Read More »

“The Devil Went Down to Georgia …”

“The devil went down to Georgia (Wisconsin, North Carolina, wherever you are), he was looking for a soul to steal…”  A line from one of my favorite Charlie Daniels songs and one of my top songs ever.  In addition, a couple of my favorite Charlie Daniels quotes are:  “I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ… if I can’t take him with me, I don’t want to go” and “I don’t want to go anywhere where Jesus can’t go.” Some 14 years ago, I stood watching my university students file into the classroom for the opening session in my ‘Theology of Faith’ class.  That was the first day I saw Tommy.  He was combing his long flaxen hair, which hung six inches below his shoulders.  I know what’s in your head, not on it, that counts; but at that time, I was unprepared for Tommy and wrote him off as strange – very strange.  Tommy turned out to the atheist in residence in my course.  He constantly objected to or smirked at the possibility of an unconditionally loving God.  We lived in relative peace for one semester, although at ... Read More »

August 27, 2020

Please post on FB and Web.  Thank you. A few thoughts and ponderings for today.  My wife and I had a wonderful get together today with a person who was an integral part of my past.  We did a lot of catching up and I mentioned how many times I applied for jobs and was turned down because of my past and she had helped me find a job.  I said I was almost going to give up and she replied: “Never give up!”  Wise words and I am glad I did not give up. The other day I was trimming around the farmhouse and came across an old wooden bucket.  It was cracked and there were weeds growing through a crack in the bottom and through a few cracks in the side.  It was of no use anymore, so I tossed it. “There’s a beautiful art form in Japan called kintsugi.  Instead of throwing away broken pottery, the pieces are carefully glued together using a lacquer mixed with gold.  The cracks are not covered over – they’re revealed, celebrated.  It is our many cracks that make us human.  We ... Read More »

August 26, 2020

Early in my faith journey, I had a very hard time understanding how God could love me – no matter what!  As I laid in a hospital bed, not knowing if I would walk again, Mr. Senn told me I needed to surrender everything to God and that would be the beginning.  Then Mr. Ralph told me that prison will dehumanize you but if you trust in God, God will lift you up from the dregs of society.  The incredible thing, even miraculous, was that I listened. “There is no thing, no one, no struggle, no mistake that could make God give up on us.  A couple we met through church, named David and Nancy, have over the years mentored Lia and me.  After church one day during a particularly low moment for me, they shared with me some wise words paraphrasing the brilliant author Philip Yancey.  They said that ‘there is nothing that can make God love you any more or love you any less.’  Amen. I have had moments in life in which I felt that what I had done was unforgivable.  That I was unlovable.  But the ... Read More »

August 25, 2020

Some thoughts and ponderings today.  30 years ago, today I lost a student in a tragic car accident.  I still think of him, especially when the A’s play (he was a big fan).  A friend the other day commented that him and I have been on borrowed time for quite a while.  He is right.  We are fortunate.  I would like to say that mine was just dumb and bad luck and that his was from doing dumb things, but I would be wrong, LOL!  Life is precious and we need to try to enjoy it while we can. There have been more people coming by the church to chat and that has been good (we social distance).  People are lonely and weary.  We, for the most part, are people who need social interaction but are creating our own prisons in fear of going out and living, fear of the COVID, fear of violence.  In other words, living in fear.  One person today made a comment though that has been on my mind since our chatting.   The person said I am tired.  Not sleepy tired but tired of all of ... Read More »

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