N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

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THIS IS THE DAY

In previous posts, I have shared with you the music of John Rutter. He had a special commission to write a song for an occasion in which the world would be looking for every moment to be perfect. What a responsibility!

I can only imagine the nights that he must have struggled over the exact song…a perfect song for this ceremony. The Queen would be there and everyone who could have managed to receive an invitation. This was the day! As with all his other music, he puts God’s words and love as the main focus of his composing. In this special event, he wanted God to be honored and for the world to receive a message of God’s tender care. Using Psalm 118, he expanded on a familiar gospel chorus…adding special words.

Finally, he finished his composition for the organ and voices of the choir boys and older singers. This special day would be at Westminster Abby, one of the most beautiful Cathedrals in the world.

I’m certain that at some point before the ceremony, Rutter had to present this song to His Royal Highness (HRH) Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton for approval. What if they decided it was NOT what they desired for their big day.., after all his work and prayers? Thankfully, this beautiful song was right on target and with a thumbs up…the rehearsals began!

You will notice that this song is not one of flowery love between a couple. It is about God’s love and the responsibility of the couple before God. The words are words of encouragement that God will be with them. He will be their defender and protector. Yet, they must also “praise Him.” They must be strong and put their trust in Him. We pray that this is what they are doing in life, for it was a ceremony before God… not to be taken lightly amidst the grandeur.

Here are the words, in part, to this special song, This is the Day by John Rutter. He used the Holy Scripture in many parts. (source: Musixmatch)

This is the day
The day which the Lord hath made
We will rejoice and be glad in it.This is the day
The day which the Lord hath made
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
This is the day.
O praise the Lord of heav’n: praise him in the height.
Praise him, all ye angels of His: praise Him, all His host.
Praise Him, sun and moon: praise Him, all ye stars and light.
Let them praise the Name of the Lord.
For he shall give his angels charge
Over thee: to keep thee in all thy ways.
To keep thee in all thy ways…


The Lord himself is thy keeper
The Lord is thy defense upon thy right hand;
So that the sun shall not burn thee by day
Neither the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil:
Yea, it is even he that shall keep thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in:
From this time forth
From this time forth for evermore.
He shall defend thee
He shall defend thee under his wings..
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Be strong, and he shall comfort thine heart,
Shall comfort thine heart…
Put thou thy trust in the Lord
Thy trust in the Lord.

What about your day? Each day God gives you is a special day and you too should rejoice and be glad in it. Thank Him today for your special day. It may be simple and plain…nothing royal…but it is YOUR DAY!

This day belongs to the Lord! Let’s celebrate and be glad today. Psalm 118:24

For your enjoyment, here is the beautiful music by John Rutter, THIS IS THE DAY. Turn on your sound.


IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT US

If you are staying at home on Sunday morning because your church is temporarily closed down or you don’t attend a church at all, here is a great sermon for your listening pleasure. I say, “listening” because it is not a visual video, as many that I put on my blogs, but simply a recording.

This message is given by Thomas Whartenby, who was brought up as a Roman Catholic… has been the minister of Galax Presbyterian Church for forty plus years and is a Vietnam veteran. His wife, Mary Elizabeth, is the church organist and choir director. Their ministry is in a small community situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, USA.

I was privileged to include him in my book, Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge.

Why is it important to hear Dr. Whartenby’s message?

As a people and a nation, we are extremely self-centered. Yes, there are many caring people among us, but as a culture there is much to be improved. I can only speak for our country, but I would guess that it might be the “new normal” for most of the world. Of course, included in this, is the added pressure of isolating and how to take care of OURSELVES when there is such a need to reach out to others. We are warned nationally and locally about “distancing,” which only makes self-centeredness more prevalent. It is hard to know when to think of SELF as far as health is concerned and believe that we are doing it for others. The problem is that the “others” don’t know that our standoffish actions are for them.

Life has also become a blur of activity….just get me there FIRST…BEFORE ANYONE ELSE! We saw it previously in Christmas shopping and then rushing to load up on goods when Covid-19 hit the world. Some people actually fought in the stores! ME FIRST…NOT YOU!

As we look at history, much of “what’s in it for me” has come about with the industrial revolution, increase in technology, ability to hear and see through the media an emphasis on having more and more. Life has become a rush to acquire, get ahead, and forget about what is really important. Patience is a long-lost virtue.

We want things and service NOW...no waiting! Almost everything we do is “How does it effect ME?” In some cases, it is how can I get something for nothing? Our young people and children, unfortunately, are modeling these behaviors and attitudes.

The Holy Scripture has something to say about this problem. Dr. Whartenby, “Tom”, gives a fresh understanding of why we want self-gratification. He puts in modern terms thoughts that make sense to all of us.

It will be worth your time of 30 minutes to listen. I am including this link for those who believe that we all need a new look at what this title means….IT IS NOT ALL ABOUT US.

CLICK THIS LINK. With the arrow, YOU MAY MOVE FORWARD AT ANY TIME TO THE SERMON.

MUSIC…More than a Frill

What does music do to our souls? John Rutter, the composer whose music I shared in my previous blog, has a theory about music and especially the music sung by small or great choirs. Because we enjoy music that has beautiful harmony, Mr. Rutter thinks it is a lesson for all mankind…to be in harmony with one another.

What a desperate prayer this is for the world as we know it today. To even consider harmonious living in a time of destruction and cruelty is almost “asking for the moon.” Yet, this is what God wants from us and only through Him and the love He demonstrated for us through His Son will we have this glorious blessing of peace and harmony. We look for the day that our churches and community choirs will once again gather in fullness to sing His wonderful praises.

BRIEF HISTORY OF JOHN RUTTER: Born on 24 September 1945 in London, John Rutter is the son of an industrial chemist and his wife. He grew up living over the Globe pub on London’s Marylebone Road… As a chorister there, he took part in the first recording of Britten’s War Requiem… He then read music at Clare College, Cambridge, where he was a member of the choir. While still an undergraduate he had his first compositions published, including the “Shepherd’s Pipe Carol” which he had written aged 18.

In 1981, Rutter founded his own choir, the Cambridge Singers, which he conducts, and with which he has made many recordings of sacred choral repertoire (including his own works)… He frequently conducts many choirs and orchestras around the world.

In 1980, he was made an honorary Fellow of Westminster Choir College, Princeton, and in 1988 a Fellow of the Guild of Church Musicians. In 1996, the Archbishop of Canterbury conferred a Lambeth Doctorate of Music upon him in recognition of his contribution to church music.

Rutter’s compositions are chiefly choral, and include Christmas carols, anthems and extended works such as the Gloria, the Requiem and the Magnificat. In 2002, his setting of Psalm 150, commissioned for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, was performed at the Jubilee thanksgiving service in St Paul’s Cathedral, London. Similarly, he was commissioned to write a new anthem, This is the day, for the Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011, performed at Westminster Abbey during the service. (Taken, in part, from a conversation with Bruce Duffie)

At the end of this blog, you will see the words, OLDER POSTS. In case you missed it, click on this to hear another of his beautiful musical pieces with words. It will be worth you while.

Listen to what he has to say about choral music and then below his message is one of his most excellent works of art. Tune your heart to be blessed.

Turn up your sound.

Turn up sound. THE LORD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU

Conducted by John Rutter Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, The Mark Thallander Foundation Choir Festival


A BREAK FROM ALL THE STRESS

This is a short blog to give you a rest from all the difficulties of life. Listening to and thinking about too much in the news with total negativity can make your mind, not only depressed, but filled with dread and doubt about our lives on planet earth. God has something better for you to think about…HIS LOVE ND HIS CREATION! The music is LOOK AT THE WORLD by the great Christian composer, John Rutter.

FOR YOUR TOTAL ENJOYMENT AND REASSURANCE FROM BOYER WRITES

GOD BLESS YOU!


TO MASK or NOT MASK

How hard is it to wear a mask until this Corvid-19 pandemic is under control?

Apparently, very hard for some of the uncaring of the world! Maybe that is a little harsh. Let’s say that not all unmasked people are uncaring, but simply feel healthy, confused over statistics given out by authorities, or haven’t given it too much thought because they feel invincible. They also think the masks are a “pain to wear, especially during the summer in hot weather and difficult to talk through! I agree, but this is not the point. Health, life or death is the point.

People all over the world have designed their own masks. Whether they are effective or not is debatable, but they are definitely creative! At least they are wearing them.

Even the little children of Kenya know there is something that might hurt them and try to construct a mask to ward off this disease. Kindness is needed by so many people. Perhaps someone from the U.S.A or another part of the world could send them a large supply of real masks. (Photo and contact for Lorenz Omondi in Kenya)

Children in Kenya
Colorful mask
High style mask
Vegetable mask
Mask to match the wedding dress

Further reasons may vary for not wearing the mask. Some think that they DO NO GOOD. This has not been proven…so the encouragement to wear them has been mainly left up to individual responsibility.

Now, because many people have not been responsible, it is becoming more mandatory to do so. Why be so cocky about doing something so simple? We are fighting an enemy that we can’t see… an invisible virus? Who made any of us ALL-KNOWING and arrogant that we can put ourselves and others in more danger than is necessary? There will be much more that we will know after the virus is gone. Nevertheless, there may be more to come….and then will we debate the mask issue all over again? Give me…and us a break!!!

What then is the reason for not wearing a simple mask during this pandemic?

IT IS SELFISH, DISREGARD FOR LIFE!

It is hard also to imagine that Covid-19 parties among the young is not a prescription for disasters waiting to happen. Also, We might as well stop looking at the figures…for their validity comes and goes depending who is counting. Some places get their reporting figures correct…others don’t. The results of testing are also taking far too long. A person could be negative one day, exposed the next, and positive before the first results even get to them…whatever the findings.

We also might as well stop thinking that we are the ALL-KNOWING when it comes to deciding what is right for the most vulnerable, people around us, our families and ourselves…except to protect them the best we can. For now, wearing the face mask is what we are being ask to do. We are not asked to do some monumental task…just put it on the face and around the ears!

It is not too much to ask all people, old and young, to be more cautious and decide that it is not worth playing Russian Roulette with the lives around us. When this is over, you can ditch the mask and hope to never see it again!!

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Ever hear a verse from the song, Russian Roulette?

As my life flashes before my eyes
I’m wondering will I, ever see another sunrise?
So many won’t get the chance to say goodbye
But
it’s too late to think of the value of my life

( Charles Harmon / Shaffer Smith/ Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group)

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The “Value of Life” is extremely important to Christians and many other religions. However, even with some Christians, I think they have not thought through their actions when it comes to being considerate of others. Each person will make the decide if they MASK OR DON’T MASK.

Sometimes governments seem to actually loose their heads over the issue of masks. It was hard to believe that in Oregon there was a mandate that only white people had to wear masks. This was quickly reversed after the outcry. No wonder people put little faith in a great number of elected officials.

A week after issuing an order that required only white people to wear masks, leaders in Lincoln County, Oregon, have reversed the policy because of “ horrifically racist commentary” according to the county’s website. (The News Tribune)

What are some of the thoughts on TO WEAR OR NOT TO WEAR?

The CIDRAP, which is the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, wrote an article adding to the doubt of how effective the masks might be. Since no one really knows at this point, there were requests to remove the article from the website. The reasons were as follows:

(1) We don’t truly know that cloth masks (face coverings) are not effective, since the data are so limited.

(2) Wearing a cloth mask or face covering is better than doing nothing.

(3) The article is being used by individuals and groups to support non-mask wearing where mandated.

(4) There are now many modeling studies suggesting that cloth masks or face coverings could be effective at flattening the curve and preventing many cases of infection. (Article from U. of Minnesota/ Dr. Brosseau and Dr. Sietsema experts on respiratory protection)

The other day, because of boredom from staying at home, we decided to go a favorite restaurant. Our policy has been about once a week to find a good place that we expect are following good health practices and support these people who are working hard to keep their businesses from going under.

Expecting to see the usual spaced seating, which is required, we were amazed to see that none of the servers or the owners were wearing masks at the place chosen for this week. As we gave our order and were served, the “required distancing” was hard to maintain…but would have been a little more tolerable if they had on their masks. What was the story here?

Later, the restaurant was called and asked their policy on mask wearing. They said they do not wear masks, but do “social distancing.” This, of course, is actually impossible to maintain when leaning over the table to serve the food.” The restaurant employee was told, “The masks are for your protection from the public as well as the public from your employees.”

It would be unfortunate for this restaurant to lose customers because of their policy. Until the virus is under control or they change their policy of “no masks for employees,” we will not be back. It is a guess that others will make the same decision. It is simply the respect for each other…and good business sense in this difficult time.

Maybe that is the word I am looking for….RESPECT.

Recently I read an article about Dr. Michael Saag in Alabama. He is a survivor of the virus that he contacted on a trip out of town. This is what he had to say, in part, about people choosing to disrespectfully NOT WEAR MASKS. Remember, he is speaking from personal experience about the sadness of this disease because he has experienced it.

“For Saag, the fight is personal. In early March, both he and his adult son came down with the virus after a trip to Manhattan when the epidemic was raging there. First came a cough, followed by fever, a headache, body aches and what Saag called “fuzzy thinking,” or an inability to concentrate.

“The mornings I’d feel fine, thought I was done with it. And then every night it would come right back as if it was just starting all over again,” he said. “The hardest part of the night was that feeling of shortness of breath and not knowing if it’s going to get worse.”

During eight suffocating nights, Saag wasn’t sure whether he’d survive without a ventilator. It never came to that. He is now fully recovered and feels closer than ever to the people he treats.

“When I talk to a patient and I say, ‘Hey, I’ve had it too,’ it’s like we’re connected in a way that I really, honestly haven’t felt with patients ever before — and I’ve been doing this 40 years,” Saag said.

Outside the examination room, Saag has participated in news conferences and done media interviews to encourage basic public health practices, but he knows many people just aren’t listening.

He said it is disheartening to see a widespread disregard for safety measures and worries about Alabama’s future at a time when the virus is posing more of a threat than ever.

“I’m just thinking, `Oh, my goodness. We’re going to be in trouble very soon,’” Saag said...

Dr. Michael Saag spends much of his time treating patients fighting for their lives and working with colleagues who are overwhelmed and exhausted by the relentless battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

But he enters a different world when he walks out the door of his Alabama clinic: one where many don’t wear masks, keep their distance from others or even seem aware of the intense struggle being waged against a virus that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives nationwide and made so many — including the doctor — seriously ill. The disconnect is devastating. “It’s a mixture of emotions, from anger to being demoralized to bewilderment to frustration,” Saag said (Article by Jay Reeves with Associated Press)

What Dr. Saag is experiencing in Alabama is true in most states…certainly in mine, which is Florida. The lack of concern by young families and the lack of being an example to their young families, especially the teenagers, is truly amazing…until they experience what Dr. Saag has experienced…or they lose Grandma or Grandpa. The story then becomes personal.

How important are your children and grandchildren to you? After you are older and there is another pandemic, how will they protect you…and their families?

Be an example to your child.

IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK to simply have a mask in the car for everyone to use for a short while when in public?

WEAR THE MASK! IT WON’T KILL YOU…BUT THE VIRUS MIGHT!

While you are home and enjoying the pleasure of a “mask free” existence, here is a special relaxing video for you to hear and count your blessings. God bless you and be well.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

For your pleasure:


Trapped in the Midst of Wealth

Do we have any idea what is happening in the concrete jungles of the world? Hardly! We only hear the names of big cities…Paris, London, Moscow, New York….and more. What is actually happening in these great metropolises is anybody’s guess. They are only names…without real understanding of the hard working people in their midst.

In these great cities of steel and stone are real people who are trapped in a cycle of over-population, rising costs, air pollution and the rush for investors to take every inch of land in order to build…and build. These great towers rise high and gleam in the sky…the symbol of wealth and prosperity….or DOES IT?

Take a look at our large cities and you might get an answer if you have something to compare the life of those living there and the lives of others around the world. It could make us decide that life in many American towns, even with the great improvements that need to be made, is good and should be appreciated. We must not forget that for most our blessings are great! Perhaps this blog will help us put things into perspective.

You are going to have the opportunity to follow the lives of some select people in a towering city of gigantic, concrete high rises and see what things are really like….HONG KONG. This story can be played out in any large city in the world as desire for more and more constitutes the creed in the world.

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 1 Timothy 6:9

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is by far the largest source of foreign direct investment in China, totaling U.S.$76 billion by the end of 1995. Mainland money is also pouring into Hong Kong, with Chinese companies investing as much as U.S.$60 billion in the territory in recent years. (Rand)

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM…IN ALL THIS PROSPERITY?

“In glitzy and prosperous Hong Kong, thousands live in conditions deemed an “insult to human dignity”. Low-income residents who can’t keep up with soaring property prices have no choice but to cram into homes barely bigger than a coffin or wire cage. More than 200,000 Hongkongers survive in the cramped and squalid conditions of so-called coffin houses and cage homes. “(RT documentaries)

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF HONG KONG and ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE

Starting out as a farming fishing village and salt production site, it became an important free port and eventually a major international financial centre. The Qing dynasty ceded Hong Kong to the British Empire in 1842 through the treaty of Nanjing, ending the First Opium War. (Wikipedia)

The treaty of Nanking in 1842 ceded Hong Kong to the British. Their big ships and military might meant China had little choice at the end of the first opium war. It was given to them in perpetuity. … It was this, the New Territories, that in 1898 the British pledged to give back in 1997 (Newsweek)

Hong Kong exists as a Special Administrative Region controlled by The People’s Republic of China and enjoys its own limited autonomy as defined by the Basic Law. (Investipedia)

The cause of the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests was the proposed legislation of the 2019 Hong Kong extradition bill…and demands for democratic reform…and the fear of losing a “high degree of autonomy” in general. (Wikipedia)

Hong Kong Protests

Hong Kong is officially known as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Hong Kong has one of the world’s most thriving economies and is a hub for international trade and investment. A cosmopolitan city, Hong Kong weaves Western and Asian influence into a world-class center of business, culture, and trade. (Hong Kong Atlanta)

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One would think that the power and influential of Hong Kong would have economic problems figured out for the workers of this vast empire. However, the desire for wealth doesn’t mean that the average, working citizen can live with any dignity. The economy of any nation is extremely important, but the workers who are the steam behind the engine must not be overlooked.

I’ve asked why most of the workers in our country and others are the poorest of the poor…the most vulnerable to disease that spreads to others? Why are they mostly the only ones willing to work? Why, even during the pandemic in the U.S., did many of these workers, mostly Spanish or Asian, continue working in the slaughter houses while others collected unemployment, refusing to return to work as long as the government paid out?

The answer is simple…they did not want to lose a job that was their only life line. This is also the reason for the workers interviewed in the video below. We must not forget that Hong Kong is still under the thumb of communistic China. You will see in one episode where the men refused to be photographed in fear of losing the only thing they had…a job and a tiny place to live, not much bigger than your average large dog cage in the USA. Fear is a great motivator in survival.

Governments and companies should look seriously at the Holy Scripture and its promises to the worker in Psalm 128:2. The worker is promised something from God if the bosses over them do not interfere.

“You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.”

 God rewards those who work hard. They deserve to be rewarded and blessed with a good and decent life. Authoritarian powers often cancel out God’s purposes. The world will suffer and men’s actions and greed will eventually be held accountable…not only in the East…but the West.

New York City

“You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your brothers or one of the sojourners who are in your land within your towns. You shall give him his wages on the same day, before the sun sets (for he is poor and counts on it), lest he cry against you to the Lord, and you be guilty of sin. Deuteronomy 24:14,15

This video, Trapped inside Hong Kong’s cage houses” proves what over-crowing and rising costs leads to completely being trapped for these Hong Kong’s workers. When watching this, keep in mind that the same thing can happen in any large city in the world today.

Turn on your sound.


Who are You?

You were brought into the world and given life. Whether you are now old or young, you are still you. Have you ever asked yourself, “Exactly WHO AM I?”

What special gifts do I have? How am I different from my closest relative? Knowing WHO I am is a most important question. People often spend their entire lives searching for the answer to that question. Some feel bewildered… while others feel confident in their own skin.

I found the answer to “Who Are You?” as I searched the Holy Scripture and saw that this question was also asked of the Apostle John. He must have been extremely confident to announce who he was, because in some cases, he went against the religious hierarchy of the day. It is evident that his confidence only came from God, who had given him a job to do. He simply knew that he knew.

How about us? His purpose for each of us will only be revealed when our hearts are ready to listen to the small still voice that we can’t seem to make go away. It is His Holy Spirit drawing us into His love. The answer then to the question, “Who are you?” is this:

WE ARE TO BE WHAT GOD HAS SENT US TO BE...A CHILD OF HIS. WE ARE TO BE A LIGHT IN A DARK WORLD.

“What if I have missed it?” you may say. He wants you to know that you have not missed it.

We measure everything in our time frame. Time is irrelevant to God. “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” 2nd Peter 3:8

He sees your heart as it is today. If you ask forgiveness for any past things that do not measure up to God’s purpose for you, He will forgive and remember them no more. The Holy Scriptures promises us that. We have to trust that fact.

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“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” Isaiah 43:25 (Old Testament)

Then He adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” Hebrews 10:15 (New Testament)

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In the Gospel of John, the Apostle John, as mentioned above, was “sent by God” to let the people know that the Messiah had come. His reputation had gone before him…so much so, that the priests and Levites, who were descendants of the Tribe of Levi, were sent from Jerusalem to ask him “WHO ARE YOU?”

St. John knew exactly who he was…a MESSENGER from God that the Jews should know the truth…that their MESSIAH, of Whom they had been waiting and looking for since the days of the prophets, was living and walking among them. He said that he, John, was only a “VOICE”….”crying in the wilderness.” His message was simple. “Make straight the way of the Lord.”

St. John was born in the late 1st century (circa 5 B.C.), Saint John the Baptist was a Jewish prophet who preached the imminence of God’s final judgment. It is believed that he was born somewhere in Judea, located near Jerusalem, Israel, according to the New Testament. A priest of the order of Abijah, John the Baptist gained recognition as a prophet, had several disciples and baptized a number of people, including Jesus Christ, according to scripture. Christians believe that John the Baptist was the last great prophet before Jesus Christ came to earth. He was reportedly beheaded circa 30 A.D. (Biography)

We are living in a wilderness today. One of the meanings for “wilderness” is an inhospitable region. Inhospitable means harsh, difficult, unfriendly or unwelcoming. Doesn’t that describe much of our world today as one faction raves against another.

This is why we have had wars throughout history. People, in kingdoms and governments, were, and are, filled with greed, ambition, power…and it overcame them to the point that they never found the true person that God wanted them to be.

Many led others to think that they should follow their ideologies rather than God. A few examples come to mind: Napoleon Bonaparte, having made himself an emperor of France, died in exile on the remote, British-held island of Saint Helena at age 51. Adolph Hitler, after losing WWII, committed suicide at age 69 and Saddam Hussein was captured, tried and hanged for his crimes…age 51. They did not have very long lives by today’s longevity. (history)

Each of these men were once the little boy that God wanted to have a good life, but they chose to neither listen to nor accept the Holy Words of God. They thought they knew better about who they were, but they didn’t. Their eyes became blinded to God’s truth through their own choices.

Back to our original question…Who are you? You are to so live your life that you will be a voice to the harshness of this world…for good, not for evil.

Being the messenger of God’s love and hope does not mean that one has to be a minister, who preaches in a church, on a mission field or some other Christian group. St. John was not seeking a prominent position or popularity, but to be faithful to the message he was given by God to share with the world.

We may only be the voice of hope to someone who shares with us their difficulties in life. Just be ready for that encounter! Remember, God’s timing may take you by surprise. It may be at the grocery parking lot; when walking in your neighborhood and meet someone you haven’t seen in a while or a fellow worker.

You may say, “I’m too shy to open up to someone about faith” or “I think religion is their business” or “That seems a little bold to me.” Yes, you are right. Some of us are by nature on the shy side, but God has promised to supply the boldness needed.

Even if we believe that everyone’s business is their own…especially about “religion,” we must remember that sharing God’s love is not talking about a particular “religion,” but about your own personal walk with Christ. As a Christian, you are called to be ready to give the hope that is within you. Peter 3:15 also talks about your shyness and that you may be afraid.

John was known as the “beloved disciple.” We all want to be loved. How wonderful to be the loved of Christ, who speaks of you to His Father in heaven. We must all ask ourselves as Christians, “Are we faithful to being what God wants us to be?” It is never too late to surrender ourselves to His perfect love.

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Dedicate this day, this hour, your next breath to being His in all walks of your life…and you will find that you are what He wants you to be. He will lift you up and give you the voice, heart and soul that He wants of you.

You will truly know exactly who you are…a child of God.

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The following is a trailer of the life story of a young boy, from Argentina, who was also called of God to be His voice. His name is Luis Palau. He made his voice the voice of hope to the Spanish speaking people around the world, especially in Columbia. The full length is extremely moving and is available on Amazon Prime.

Turn on your sound.


The Wondrous Cross

Who was Isaac Watts? An English writer and theologian, beloved for his talent for writing poetry and songs, he became famous during the early 19th century. Even at an early age, he was know to use his ability to rhyme quite readily:

Watts was once asked why he had his eyes open during prayers, to which he responded:

A little mouse for want of stairs
ran up a rope to say its prayers.

He received punishment for this, to which he cried:

O father, father, pity take
And I will no more verses make

In later years, Watts wrote some of our most loved hymns:

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,

Joy to the World

Our God, Our Help in Ages Past

He also wrote a book on logic. At his death, Isaac Watts’ papers were given to Yale University in the Colony of Connecticut, which nonconformists (Puritans/Congregationalists) had established.  (Wikipedia)

The Crucifixion

Mixed with Holy Scripture, these are the words that Isaac Watts wrote in one of the most loved Christian hymn.

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

by Isaac Watts
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,

Acts 5:30 “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross.”

My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Luke 9:24-25  “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?”

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!

Galatians 6:14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

 Luke 21:3-4 And He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.”

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!

 Matthew 27:29 And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”


About Jesus in Psalm 22:16 For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet.

Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

About Jesus in Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

John 19:2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him;

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;

Revelation 5:12-13 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”

Love so amazing, so divine,

 Ephesians 3:19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. (Taken from “Scripture and…” blog)

Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Beautiful music for your pleasure…with the first hymn by Isaac Watts.

Turn up sound and move the red line completely back to the beginning.


The SWEETER the BETTER

We may be worrying about the silent killer lurking within the person just around the isle from us in the grocery store. Have they been exposed to the virus or not? Why do they think they don’t have to wear a mask? Don’t they care about the most vulnerable who also must grocery shop?

We fill our grocery carts with those most “essential” items. What do we have on hand? Will the store run out of these basic things…like flour and SUGAR! We most likely will reach for the SUGAR because we can’t be out of that when we decide to bake our next cake or cookies. My husband loves the Hershey chocolates, wrapped in an individual treat size. Can’t go home without those!

We all know that ONE, tiny wrapped chocolate is never enough. Why is this? Self control may not be a strong point in our makeup…but there may be something chemical that makes us reach for just one more…one more…oh…just one more won’t hurt!…or will it? Believe me, I know from experience how difficult it is to turn down any great dessert…as probably you do also unless you are very disciplined. For some, “THE SWEETER, THE BETTER” as we found out one time when a friend brought us an extremely sweet apple pie. It is a shame to say that it went into the trash. I have found, however, that with some recipes that call for 2 cups of sugar, it really only needs 1 cup to not change the taste.

I also know that the body will adjust to the craving for sweets after a person stops eating these delightful, enjoyable treats. When I was teaching in Mongolia for two months, we ate primarily Russian food. After all, when Russia invaded and occupied Mongolia, they commanded a change in almost everything. That is called “Re-education.” Actually, in their case, reeducation is a euphemism for brainwashing efforts aimed at instilling certain beliefs in people against their will. (word finder)

The Russians removed Mongolian religious temples, required students to learn in their schools the Russian language. Of course over 70 years of occupation, Russian food became the main food of choice…except if the Mongolians were out on the Steppes near the Gobi and no one knew that they were eating “Mongolian style.” I also had the privilege of seeing a Mongolian Ger (tent) out in the countryside and being served REAL Mongolian BBQ. These very hospitable people also enjoy their National Drink of Airag (mildly fermented mare’s milk…an acquired taste is necessary for outsiders) and Buuz, a dumpling.

While I was teaching English to my Mongolian students, I ate less because eating borscht (beetroot and tomatoes) or Kasha (type oatmeal) was not my favorite. I lost 25 pounds. On returning to the States, my dear husband sent me out to buy new clothes…which was a real loving gesture and my Mother took one look at me and said, “I have my daughter back.” That hurt…was I that fat? I guess so…but now it felt like I was skin and bones.

I say all that because after coming home, when I ate my first, small piece of chocolate, it tasted like I had just put a whole sugar bowl in my mouth!! It is also amazing how quickly that problem went away. The brain knows the chemical is back.

Chocolate has a chemical called serotonin. What exactly is serotonin? Some call it the “happy.” chemical in the body. Everyone wants to be happy…right…but at what cost?

As a neurotransmitter, serotonin helps to relay messages from one area of the brain to another. … This includes brain cells related to mood, sexual desire and function, appetite, sleep, memory and learning, temperature regulation, and some social behavior. (Medical News Today)

What are some of the other chemicals in our basic chocolate?

Chocolate has a significant amount of sugar. In addition to sugar, chocolate also has two other neuroactive drugs, caffeine and theobromine. Chocolate not only stimulates the opiate receptors in our brains, it also causes a release of neurochemicals in the brain’s pleasure centersTheobromine, formerly known as xantheose, is a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant, with the chemical formula C7H8N4O2. It is found in chocolate. (Article by Thomas Carguilo)

Now we know the chemistry behind one of our favorite foods. Like all things, what should we decide to do about it? Moderation…or throw all advice about sugar out the window? I’m sure we probably will choose the moderation path because of the terrible dangers of diabetes, high cholesterol or tooth decay. How about you? (Maybe watch the video before making that big decision.)

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What does the Holy Scripture say about our bodies?

For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. Corinthians 6:20

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CAN WE LEARN SOMETHING FROM HISTORY ABOUT FOODS?

VIDEO: The following short, 10 minute video, is a great history lesson about the time of The Tudors and their total misunderstanding about sweets…in particular SUGAR. It is quite informative…and the young lady who narrates is quite impressive…or some would say “really cute.”

She is Dr. Suzannah Rebecca Gabriella Lipscomb, a British historian. She was appointed to a personal chair as Professor of History at the University of Roehampton in 2019. One man said, “If she had been my history teacher, I would have paid more attention.”

By the way, don’t make this “required reading” for your wife, husband or friend if you are into all things healthy, as I would hate to loose a reader or start a family dispute. So…sit back with your cup of hot chocolate and enjoy!


DIVERSITY and AMERICA

We are at a critical time in our country. This is a pure understatement! Nevertheless, most of the Americans that I know believe that we are ALL extremely blessed to be citizens of this country. Ask any person who has lived under tyranny or in a communist state, how many rights and privileges they could call their own.

We are a DIVERSE people. Some of our ancestors came here because they wanted to come. They left everything to be part of a free country… a part of the “New World.”

Other of our American citizen’s ancestors were brought here in chains. This was tragic and it has been a long struggle for them over generations. Our Native Americans also suffered great loss. The generations of today have much to be grateful for as they pursue an even better life. The greatest country…with the greatest privileges must be protected, not destroyed.

We are a FAMILY of Americans and we never should forget this. Just like in many families, there will be those who disappoint us with their lack of caring, rebellion, selfish actions toward the family. Our American children are going to emulate what they learn from us…of all races and all creeds…hopefully for the better… unless they choose otherwise.

Here in America, there are more rights for all Americans than anywhere around the world. Why do we see the eagerness to cross our borders? Because we stand for LIBERTY and opportunity given here for a better life is the answer. It is for all of us to build on these rights and NEVER allow them to slip away.

Yes, we are as diverse as our country itself is diverse. As we spread from sea to sea, the beauty and bounty of this land must not be underappreciated by any of us.

Charlie Daniels shows it best in his video. “My Beautiful America.” May he rest in peace…as he passed away on July 7, 2020.

GOD BLESS AMERICA and heal her wounds.

Turn on your sound:


Numbers Have Meaning

Numbers have great meaning for all of us. We remember the number of our street address, zip code, social security and phone numbers…even if we have trouble recalling the exact date numbers of important events. The same is true in the Holy Scriptures. Numbers have meaning.

Having read the first chapter of Matthew, I noticed that it took 14 generations from the time of Abraham for God to bring His Son Jesus, the Messiah, into the world. I’m not certain why that number stood out to me, but I decided to look up the meaning of the number 14. I wanted to find out what it meant in the Biblical sense, rather than those who study numerology or try to read the stars. Here is what I found:

“So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.” Matthew 1:1 – 17

Number 14 is a symbol of salvation and rescue. Jesus finished his life in flesh on 14th day of first month, and made his sacrifice for the sake of all people. Number 14 is a double of God’s power and completion.  Matthew 1

The 14th day of the month was the start of Passover or when Israel as a nation was started. Most references to 14 in the Bible are about a Passover that was being celebrated. Exodus 12:6

The Ultimate Sacrifice: On the 14th day of the first month in 30 A.D. Jesus Christ, God manifested in the flesh, the only begotten Son of God the Father, and the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world, was crucified as the perfect sacrifice to save mankind from sin. Jesus’ death on Passover completed His ministry in the flesh.

Seven represents completion – thus 7 + 7 = 14, indicating a double completion…Jesus’ ministry in the flesh was completed. Jesus sacrifice of Himself ended or fulfilled the need for animal sacrifices, which the Jews had been doing to cover their sins. (from Bible Study online)

The Crucifixion by Gabriel Metsu

If you had no thoughts about the number 14 until now, it will probably go without saying that you will notice this number more in your everyday life. Regardless of numbers, it is important to see that God’s importance on numbers and their meanings only shows us the perfection numerically or scientifically that He shows in His creation and His perfect plans given through the prophets.

Earth…only one of the life forms in creation of the universe

What were God’s scientific plans when creating life?

Group 14 (IVA) | | Group 14 of the periodic table is often referred to as the carbon group. It is located in column 14 of the periodic table and houses the elements carbon, silicon, germanium, tin, lead…Many molecules contain carbon. In fact, there is an entire field of chemistry that deals with carbon-containing compounds, known as organic chemistry. Pure carbon can manifest in multiple forms such as diamonds, graphite and graphene, and Bucky balls (fullerenes). When mixed with iron, steel is formed. An isotope of carbon, carbon-14, is used to date organic specimens. Carbon is also used in semiconductors and resistance heaters. Carbon is the fundamental element in all Earth-based life. (from Chem Teacher)

Carbon

Here’s one for all you people who love tattoos: “The tattoos of Otzi the Iceman, a 5,300-year-old corpse found frozen in the Alps, were inked from carbon, according to a 2009 study in the Journal of Archaeological Science. Small incisions in the skin were made, and charcoal rubbed in, perhaps as part of an acupuncture treatment.” (from Live Science)

Doctors Eagarter and Zink take samples of Otzi the Iceman Photo Credit: Marco

 Nearly 10 million carbon compounds have been discovered, and scientists estimate that carbon is the keystone for 95 percent of known compounds, according to the website Chemistry Explained. Carbon’s incredible ability to bond with many other elements is a major reason that it is crucial to almost all life. (Live Science)

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To understand other numbers found prominently in the Bible, we need to look at some of God’s prophecies that led up to the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
    One who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
    from ancient days. Micah 5:2

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I am poured out like water,
    and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
    it is melted within my breast;
 my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
    and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
    you lay me in the dust of death.

 For dogs encompass me;
    a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my hands and feet—
I can count all my bones—
they stare and gloat over me;
 they divide my garments among them,
    and for my clothing they cast lots.
Psalm 22: 14-18

 

Casting lots at the foot of the cross

THE NUMBER 3: “‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews then said, ‘It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?’ But He was speaking of the temple of His body” (John 2:19-21).

“‘Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.’ But He answered and said to them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as Jonah was THREE days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.’” Matthew 12:38-40

This number 3 is repeated throughout the Bible as a symbol of completeness. God’s attributes are three: omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. ... On the third day, the earth rose from the water, symbolic of resurrection life.

The number 3 is also powerful in that it denotes the Godhead is a trinity … God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

THE NUMBER 7: The number 7 is the number of completeness and perfection (both physical and spiritual). It derives much of its meaning from being tied directly to God’s creation of all things. … The word ‘created’ is used 7 times describing God’s creative work (Genesis 1:1, 21, 27 three times; 2:3; 2:4) God also rested on the 7th day from all his work and he saw that it was “good.”

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However, we look at numbers, we may find them of interest but God wants us to leave His timing of events in our futures up to Him. He has told us to fear not, to trust Him and not predict the future on our own. Some people have tried to prove to the masses that they had figured out God’s timing. They think their great minds have somehow received a revelation. They even circled a number on their calendars to when Christ will appear once again as a 2nd coming to the earth. Really?

There are certain to be some even today, who are predicting with our world-wide virus, trashing of cities and continued wars, that the end is certain to be near. Even some clergy are telling people to “store up…at least for three months…as if they are certain that the great trials of the end days are upon us. They are probably going my this verse of Holy Scripture:

“Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away. “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” Matthew 24

Unfortunately, they looked at the first part of the verse and did not believe or ignored the last portion, which we will address later.

As far back as the 1844’s there was a real person, William Miller, who believed that he had calculated the END and Christ’s coming again.

This is their story:

Tens of thousands of people in Massachusetts expected the world to come to an end. They were followers of William Miller, a man who claimed to know the date of Jesus’s second coming. Many “Millerites” sold all their possessions to prepare for the day when Christ would return to earth, gather them up to heaven, and purify the rest of the world in an all-consuming fire. As the date approached, a great comet blazed across the Massachusetts sky, and the number of believers grew. On October 22nd, the Millerites donned white robes and climbed mountains or trees to speed their ascension into heaven. (Miller went on a speaking tour about his prediction…gaining between 50,000 and 100,000 believers.) ….

As the year of the expected apocalypse neared, believers in the prophecy began to give away their belongings, abandon their crops, and sell their land. In the town of Harvard, one man sold his cows at great sacrifice because there would be no one to care for them when he was “gone up.” Women in the Worcester area cut off their hair, removed the ruffles from their dresses, threw or gave away their jewelry, and, in some cases, everything they owned. Others broke up all their furniture declaring that they would no longer have use for tables or chairs or beds. Wanting to be suitably attired for heaven, Millerites made long white garments for themselves that they called their “ascension robes.”Believing that Christ would return on a mountaintop, they climbed up Mt. Wachusett to await the coming of the Lord. One respectable but arthritic old man from Harvard who could not make it up the mountain stationed himself at the very top of the tallest apple tree in his orchard and waited out the night. In New Bedford, a whole family perched on the branches of an apple tree dressed in their white robes.When the prophecy failed, most abandoned Miller’s apocalyptical teachings and returned to their original churches. (Mass Moments)

The Holy Scriptures tells us the truth about the coming again of Christ?

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 2nd Timothy 3:1-5

 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray... Matthew 24

We have one good friend who likes to ask “WHY? HOW CAN THAT BE? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?” when studying the Holy Scriptures or doctrines of the church. There is nothing wrong with questioning. This is how we grow in our faith.

The video below may help answer the questioning of the intellectuals, engineers and all other inquisitive people like ourselves, concerning one scripture, Mark 13:32. This is when Christ says “only the Father” knows the day or the hour…not even the angels or God’s Son. He doesn’t mention the Holy Spirit, but says “ONLY THE FATHER” knows, which would also indicate the Spirit also did not know. He is speaking, of course, about the coming TRIBULATION on the earth and/or THE COMING AGAIN OF CHRIST. Actually, we all have many questions concerning faith and the future. I agree with my husband when he says, “I don’t know…I’ll just ask when I get there.”

God does not give us a NUMBER or DATE for the end times, also known as The Tribulation, or His coming again! He only asks us to watch and be ready in our hearts.

“But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Mark 13:32

Video: Turn up your sound


IN GOD’S HANDS

Martin Luther was a man who trusted God enough to speak out for the truth of God’s word… that salvation is by faith alone and not by works. His words, posted on the church door, would have been considered a crime against the hierarchy of the Church at that time. Yet, he put that concern in God’s hands. Here is one of his special quotes for us today.

“I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s Hands, that I still possess.”

Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Luther posts his 99 Theses for all to read

Put all your concerns in God’s Hands.

For your listening pleasure:


INDEPENDENCE DAY… GOD BLESS ALL THE PEOPLE

INDEPENDENCE, FREEDOM and our DEMOCRACY.

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY from Boyer Writes

GOD BLESS ALL THE PEOPLE

OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM


TOUGH WORDS

A close friend of mine sent me the writing below and ask that I pass it on. Just before we celebrate the 4th of July, our great Independence Day, I am happy to do so. They are definitely “tough words.”

As we look back at what it cost to free ourselves, as a nation, from England, in order to gain independence….our American flag stands for all the freedoms we enjoy and all that it has cost since then. This includes the freedom of speech…for those who speak out for or against a certain action.

The following are not my words, but I believe they speak the feelings of many Americans who love their sports and the players, but not some of their actions or attitudes. You be the judge.

“TO THE NFL (NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE) and ITS PLAYERS:

If I have brain cancer, I don’t ask my dentist what I should do. If my car has a problem, I don’t seek help from a plumber! Why do you think the public cares what a football player thinks about politics? If we want to know about football, then depending on the information we seek, we might consult with you, but even a quarterback doesn’t seek advice on playing his position from a defensive tackle!

You seem to have this over inflated view of yourselves, thinking because you enjoy working on such a large scale stage, that somehow your opinion about everything matters. The NFL realizes the importance of its “image” so it has rules that specify the clothes and insignia you can wear, the language you use, and your “antics” after a touchdown or other “great” play. But somehow you and your employer don’t seem to care that you disgrace the entire nation and its 320 million people in the eyes of the world by publicly disrespecting this country, its flag, and its anthem! The taxpaying citizens of this country subsidize your plush work environments, yet you choose to use those venues to openly offend those very citizens.

Do you even understand what the flag of this country means to so many of its citizens before you choose to “take a knee” in protest of this “country” during our national anthem?

You may think because you are paid so much that your job is tough, but you are clueless when it comes to tough.  Let me show you those whose job is really tough.

You are spoiled babies who stand around and have staff squirt GatorAid in your mouths, sit in front of misting cooling fans when it’s warm, and sit on heated benches when it’s cold. That’s not “tough” that’s pampered.

You think that you deserve to be paid excessively high salaries, because you play a “dangerous” game where you can incur career ending injuries. Let me show you career ending injuries!

You think you that you deserve immediate medical attention and the best medical facilities and doctors when injured. Let me show you what it’s like for those who really need and deserve medical attention.

You think you have the right to disrespect the flag of the United States, the one our veterans fought for, risked limbs and mental stability to defend, in many cases died for. Let me show you what our flag means to them, their families, and their friends.

You believe you are our heroes, when in reality you are nothing but overpaid entertainers, who exist solely for our enjoyment! Well, your current antics are neither entertaining nor enjoyable, but rather a disgrace to this country, its citizens, all our veterans and their families, and the sacrifices they have made to ensure this country remains free. You choose to openly disgrace this country in the eyes of the rest of the world, yet with all your money, still choose to live here rather than in any other country. People with even the slightest amount of “Class” will stand and respect our flag. Where does that put you? You want to see heroes… here are this countries heroes!

You can protest policies, the current government, or anything else you choose, that is your right. But when you “protest” our flag and anthem, you are insulting the nation we all live in and love, and all those who have served, been injured, or died to keep it free. There is nothing you can do or say that can make your actions anything more than the arrogance of classless people, who care about themselves more than our country or the freedoms for which our veterans and their families have sacrificed so much, to ensure you have the “right” to speak freely. Our country is far from perfect, but if you can point to any other country where your freedom and opportunities are better than they are here, then you just might want to go there and show respect for their flag!”

VIDEO “GOD BLESS AMERICA” Turn up sound


EXPLORE, DREAM,DISCOVER

When you HESITATE…think on this thought from a wise man:

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do, than the things you did do. So THROW OFF THE BLOW LINES! SAIL AWAY from the safety harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. EXPLORE, DREAM, DISCOVER!”

Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 to 1910), known by pen name Mark Twain.

Excellent writing is a talent. For some writers it is a pastime of enjoyment. Most likely I fall into this last category. Yet, it is always my hope that somehow, with practice, I may eventually find my way into a “talent.”

Mark Twain is a man who had talent although he didn’t know it at first. He had many words of wisdom, with a touch of humor and a home-made flare.

He started out poor, living in the South of the United States with all its history of racial inequality, but it didn’t keep him from making his own friends regardless of color.

Twain was a product of his times with a mind for writing that eventually brought him fame and fortune. Best known for his books about the adventures of young boys, which reflected his own upbringing. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were among the best known works in children’s literature.

What makes a truly, outstanding man? He usually never starts out to be anything but what he is at the time. God has given men and women minds that can be used to discover the world and learn from it. This is what Twain set out to do…even when he was challenged by a man with a duel, which could have taken his life. The wise thing to do was to walk away…and he did…to live another day…and another…and many years to come. Perhaps even this part of his life is a lesson for all to learn when the odds are not in our favor.

The 70th birthday of Mark Twain was a lavish affair held at Delmonico’s restaurant in New York City. In introducing Twain, friend William Dean Howells, in quoting Twain, said, “Now, ladies and gentlemen, and Colonel Harvey, I will try not to be greedy on your behalf in wishing the health of our honored and, in view of his great age, our revered guest. I will not say, ‘Oh King, live forever!’ but ‘Oh King, live as long as you like!’” (PBS Ken Burns)

His life story proves that he lived what he wrote in that he did EXPLORE, DREAM, DISCOVER

Perhaps as we look into the life of Mark Twain who lived in the late 19th and early 20th century, we can learn something for our 21st century.

BELOW ARE 2 VIDEOS: Twain’s Life and His Famous quotes

VIDEO 1 THE LIFE OF MARK TWAIN

VIDEO TURN UP YOUR SOUND

It really didn’t matter to Twain whether he was sitting with the poorest of the poor or in regal company. He was always totally down to earth. Here are a few of his most famous quotes:

VIDEO 2

A FEW FAMOUS QUOTES BY TWAIN…THE HUMORIST


Defending America From Anarchists

What does the word ANARCHIST mean? According to the dictionary, it is “One who uses violent means to overthrow the established order.” (Merriam Webster)

No one I know wants to see the “established order” overthrown. It is horrifying to see businesses burned to the ground when we can only imagine how hard the people worked to finally hang a sign “OPEN” on their doors!

Burning and looting of businesses

To even consider that people can run loose in our American neighborhoods shooting at little children, as happens in Chicago and some other places, is beyond what the average person can hardly believe is happening. Yet, over 100 people were killed in that city over one night. Call it gang violence or anything else…it is a form of “anarchy” when law and order is allowed by those in charge to disappear and call it a “new normal.” That indicates that we “just have to put up with it.”

Police are now being told by some local governments to “stay out of it.” Some places have designated zones where the police are off bounds. When a man was shot and another was critical, the police tried to go to their aid, but was attacked by the mob and they never reached the victims. In these cases, there is no control at all. No peace-loving person is safe…nor is any child.

A child’s sign says it all…for Chicago, New York and many cities

Even if there are people who believe that protesting is their right, which it is as long as it is peaceful, those anarchists who use that protest to strike at the very heart of our country should be called out for what they really are.

Written on St. John Church …BHAZ in today’s meaning… has to do with a place taken by force

200 year old, historic, St. John’s Church, known as the “Church of the Presidents,” was damaged as D.C. Firefighters found a fire in the basement of the church. A large fire also burned outside the church. Unfortunately, the people who set these fires call themselves “Protesters,” but in truth once they become violent to property or persons, they have become anarchists. Every president since James Madison has attended a service at St. John’s. It is a historic site to be protected as is any other American piece of history.

(Photo credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Because Boyer Writes is a Christian blog, I most often would not post a video that some would feel is centered on a political position. However, regardless of who my readers think should be the next President of the United States, I believe it is time to speak out about whoever is elected to the highest office in our land, MUST restore law and order. We cannot have domestic terrorism in America any more than we can have the terrorists from other countries.

I think that every American has the privilege to vote for the person whom they believe to be best qualified to not tolerate the anarchists who would destroy our country. Will that person be perfect in all decisions? Of course not.

However, it will be his or her job, Democrat or Republican, to see that our country is safe from this kind of violence. Voting our beliefs is still one of our greatest freedoms. Let’s pray that it will be the right choice in November. Our future lives depend on it!

Don’t forget those who died to keep our freedom and democracy

So why speak out about anarchists through this blog?

I could not sit with hands folded when I saw the anarchists had spray painted on the beautiful Christian cathedral in Washington, D.C. or were tearing down Christian statues.

In San Francisco, at the Golden Gate Park, the statue of the Christian missionary, St. Junipero Serra was torn down. During the 1800’s there were instances of mistreatment of Native Americans, which gave the anarchists their reasoning for tearing down the statue. We should be learning from the history that we abhor, not destroying it.

Archbishop Gomez of LA had this statement about the priest:

“He preached God’s compassion, fought for the dignity of women and the rights of America’s native peoples, and he was probably the first person in the Americas to make a moral case against capital punishment.”

St Junipero Serra stands tall before being torn down

A vandalized statue of St. Junipero Serra in San Francisco is seen June 19, 2020. The Spanish Franciscan founded several missions in what is now California. (CNS photo/David Zandman via Reuters) 

At the risk of being accused of something I don’t intend, I believe it is my duty to share with you, the reader, one of the most precise, well-thought through videos on this subject. As I write or as you watch your TV to the unfolding of events, the anarchists are planning their next move.

You may not agree to all that is said in this video and that is your privilege and mine. Thank God for free speech in America…while we still have it.

VIDEO: Turn up your sound and click this link: (please note, if you are not commercial free …give it a minute to move passed the commercials..as it will soon load.)

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-polls-republican-gop-operatives-possible-drop-out


GOD’S MESSAGE TO ALL PEOPLE

Have you ever thought about eternity and what there is after death?

Does Jesus Christ and God the Father love ALL people?

Do you believe that you will be with God in heaven when you die?

These thoughts and questions may have, at one time or another, been the questions of all of us if we think seriously about spiritual things. Some have stronger faith than others, but God wants all people to know His eternal love and how to have assurance about the future…even about death

I believe this blog, with the message given of hope, could be the answer to these questions. The man, featured in this blog, faithfully brought to the world, without hesitation, what he believed God had told him to present to people everywhere. He took this message to the far ends of the earth.

His message never changed whether he was meeting with the poor and disenfranchised of the world, the rich and famous or Presidents and Monarchs. It was the message God gave to him to present to the world. It is the same message God is giving to us today.

Set some time aside to hear God’s message. It could change your life as it has done for thousands of others. It is the message that He LOVES YOU…no matter WHO you are; WHERE you live or what SKIN COLOR you have. It was not only the message to masses of people in previous years, who sought out God’s words for their lives, but how much we need God’s message today as our nation and world struggles with riots, protests, burning of property, tearing down statues of history, sickness and death. Those who listened to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Billy Graham found in their words...HOPE.

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“In the midst of outer dangers I have felt an inner calm and known resources of strength that only God could give. In many instances I have felt the power of God transforming the fatigue of despair into the buoyancy of hope.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“Each of us experiences clouds in life—sometimes slight, but sometimes dark and frightening. Whatever clouds you face today, ask Jesus, the light of the world, to help you look behind the cloud to see His glory and His plans for you.”
― Billy Graham

Dr.King and Billy Graham
Billy Graham lived to be almost 100

VIDEO: Turn up your sound.


SAVING THE CHILDREN

In the midst of evil, one man would not give up on saving the lives of hundreds of children in Czechoslovakia. His name is Nicolas Winton.

What this man did was remarkable and courageous. The parents of Prague were crying for help from any country before the invasion they knew was coming. Only England responded and said to send the children to them.

The heart wrenching decisions that the Jewish parents had to make in order to save their children is told in a film about Winton’s life.  It is definitely worth watching…as we learn of not only the parent’s courage, but that of a man who could have walked away from the situation. He left his job with the London Stock Exchange to do what he believed to be most important…save young lives.  Many of those parent would die in the concentration camps.

woman in film about Winton's life

In the film, Nicky’s Family, a mother puts her two daughters on the train for England.

It is 1939 and Europe is on the brink of war. Hitler has invaded Czechoslovakia, threatening the lives of the Jewish population. Nicholas Winton, a young British stockbroker, decides he will do everything possible to save the lives of as many Jewish children as he can. This film, transmitting on Holocaust Memorial Day, tells the extraordinary story of how Nicholas Winton rescued 669 children from the clutches of the Nazis, bringing them by train to Britain. (Berta film)

Nicholas-Wintonin-Prague-012-300x180

Young Nicholas Winton with a rescued child.

children in Winton's scrapbook

A few of the hundreds of children he saved in Prague.

Shortly before Christmas 1938, Winton was planning to travel to Switzerland for a skiing holiday. He decided instead to visit Prague and help Martin Blake, who was in Prague as an associate of the British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia then in the process of being occupied by Germany, and had called Winton to ask him to assist in Jewish welfare work. Winton established an organization to aid children from Jewish families at risk from the Nazis. He set up his office at a dining room table in his hotel in Wenceslas Square. In November 1938, following Kristallnact in Nazi-ruled Germany, the House of Commons approved a measure to allow the entry into Britain of refugees younger than 17, provided they had a place to stay and a warranty of £50 was deposited for their eventual return to their own country.  (Wikipedia)

An interesting fact of Winton’s early life is as follows: Winton was born on 19 May 1909 in Hampstead, London. His parents were German Jews who moved to London.  The family name was Wertheim, but they changed it to Winton in an effort at integration. They also converted to Christianity and Winton was baptized as a Christian. (History)

After World War II was over, Nicolas took up his own life and it wasn’t until his wife found an old scrapbook in the attic that she knew of the hundreds of children that he had helped save. This is probably the greatest example of his humility.

The life of this man, who with determination, skill and fortitude, proves how one decision can change a world. Generations have learned that they are alive because their grandparents were saved as children.

Sir Nicolas Winton lived to be 106 years old and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth.

The trailer below will make you want to see the entire film. It is available on Amazon Prime…Nicky’s Family.  May the world learn from his great example of giving of self and determination. We certainly need it today.

 


THE HUMAN MIND….GOD’S GIFT

Our minds are a controlling factor to our emotions, critical thinking and ultimately…our actions.  It has come to my attention recently that we are rarely in control of our minds…even if there are millions of cells making up our every thought. By the very nature of our modern society, we are allowing this.   Why is it that we should give over to others to program into us what our minds will retain?  Am I saying that we should “stick our heads in the sand?”  Not at all.  We do, however, have choices.

science of connecting cells

We are influenced by what we hear and see. Most every household has a TV that is turned on hours upon hours of the day.  People who are alone, especially the elderly, use the TV to give them company.  Depression can set in rapidly in these cases.

The people who spend much of their time watching and listening much of what is programmed today are allowing themselves to be conditioned into a type of mind control. A steady dose of truths…or lies are being filtered into our brains that are becoming part of our very being.

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What was it like before TV?

A city life in past history would be filled with noises, the smell of the deli down the street, a woman hanging out her clothes from a window, as she calls to a neighbor on the street.   The loading and unloading of produce or goods for the stores would fill the air with noise. old time market place A person would move around these things, filtering out what they wanted to be around or what they wanted to hear. Life could get tough in a crowd, but this would be the learning of “street smarts.”

In the country, a person may get up early to milk the cow. A mother starts making her bread and encouraging a young one to do their chores. Life would surround a person with the clinging of the cow bells, the birds in the trees and the cat or dog that moved around the barn.  Life was simple and calm.

farm life2

When the industrial revolution hit our world, many things changed.  People moved out of the country to find good jobs. Life became more complicated and people were on the move.  Almost everything became a faster pace. The automobile was invented…and the wife/mother moved from baking bread to the TV dinner.  Basically, life would never be the same.

Ships and airplanes moved us around the world. Our sense of security was shattered as enemies became not only domestic, but foreign. Our minds and hearts were broken with two world wars and continued fighting around the globe throughout the decades.  Fear had become a mind set…as it continues today.

TV watching

The mind has a hard time catching up when it is inundated with other people’s beliefs to what we should be and do. The real term is propaganda and we fall for it. We are made to feel less of a person if we disagree with the norm. Our young people “can’t live” without the best kind of shoes or cell phone.  God never intended for us to store all these thoughts of inadequacy in this great gift He has given mankind.  The mind is an incredible thing. We may feel like we have no control over everyday life that enters its billion cells, but we do have to a great extent.

This may be the primary reason that we will have to make decisions for ourselves. We can CHOOSE to turn off the TV more hours of the day.  It may also be a time where we deliberately look for uplifting stories or documentaries that give us encouragement rather than despair. It is really our choice, but we are addicted. Why do I say “addicted?”

Just try to change the routine that you have become accustomed to for year after year.  It is hard to make a change, but your mind and emotions may be saved grief, depression and more if you decide to make some changes. I speak from experience.

It is only natural to want to tune in to who has committed the most damage in one of our big cities…how many more cases of virus are killing our people…or what is happening in politics? It all is becoming TOO MUCH! Our minds are tired.

It is only natural also for families to use TV…with all its junk as a babysitter.  Just think what those little minds and hearts are absorbing!

A doctor friend told me recently that he tuned in with his toddler to one of the kid’s programs on TV and saw that even tiny children are being indoctrinated about sexual life styles as being just fine. Isn’t a parent suppose to decide what is good for their child?  He was shocked…as should be all parents who take the time to pay attention. The young mind is eager to absorb.

tv family watching

So what do we do?  We first of all must be deliberate in our decision making for ourselves and our families.

I remember something I noticed while visiting a family one time years ago. There was a teenage son…or perhaps early teens…who was sitting and reading. I asked his mother what he was doing and she said that he was suppose to read a chapter in Holy Scripture each day before doing anything else.  At the time, I thought that was a strict requirement.  Yet, that parent was giving a young mind a discipline that perhaps he would follow the rest of his life. Whether he understood its importance at the time, may be questionable…but he was exposed to the commands of God for a good and happy life.

God has told us to raise up a child in the way that he/she will go and when they are old, they will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)  For those who have tried to do this, we are praying and believing His promise. It may be that we will not know or even see the fulfillment in our lifetime. Yet, we can trust.

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What actually does the Holy Scripture tells us about things that we find ourselves thinking about…perhaps over and over?  We need comfort today and for the future…and here are a few words from God to give our minds just that:

ABOUT ANXIETY

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6,7

Bible reading

ABOUT FEAR

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

bible reading older lady

ABOUT COURAGE

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”  Deuteronomy 31:6

African American family

ABOUT HUMILITY

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:6-7bible reading by child

 

ABOUT GOD’S SPIRIT

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Galatians 5:22-23

bible reading young woman

ABOUT PROTECTION

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day … Psalm 91:1-16

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Today….look at nature in God’s beautiful world. See Him in the smile of a friend.  Do something you love to do.  Give your heart a fresh start in a new day that is only yours moment by moment.  Your MIND is your gift from God…PROTECT IT.

Video:  Turn up sound. Push red line back to start from beginning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Life LESSON of the Butterfly

The truth of the butterfly is much like the truth of the Christian new birth.  There was a time in my life when my senses about God and His Son were as dormant as it is in a caterpillar that doesn’t know it is to become something designed by God. Many Christians have this feeling.

The fact is that very caterpillar has to die before it can become a butterfly. The same is true with our old life.catepillar becomes a buterfly

Science tells us:  “In order to be able to become a butterfly, the caterpillar has to fall apart completely, decompose down to its very essence, devoid of any shape or consciousness. It literally dies. There is nothing left of it. And from this liquid essence, the butterfly starts to put itself together, from scratch.”catepillar becomes a buterfly3

There are many different caterpillars that make a unique type of butterfly in color and design.

People are also different.  God will take our special personalities and use us how He chooses.  His plan is to take your life and mine and make us in his honor.  Just as the butterfly, He unfolds a new life in us. The old life will pass away, like that of the caterpillar. God’s goal is to make every Christian’s life more beautiful than could ever be imagined. The butterfly is our example.

large-blue-butterfly-caterpillar

Different types of caterpillars  (photos by Country Life)

peacock-butterfly-caterpillarswallowtail-butterfly-caterpillar

 

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Will the butterflies of various colors be with us forever?

A German study gives some difficult news of fewer butterflies than ever before…down by two thirds:

“Our study emphasizes the negative impact of the conventional, industrialized agriculture on the butterfly diversity and shows the urgent need for ecologically sustainable cultivation methods. Additional field studies may aid in identifying individual factors responsible for the insect die-back and in implementing appropriate countermeasures,” (Science Daily).

The World from Space

It is difficult to think that such beauty could someday be extinct from the earth, as have many of God’s other creatures.

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Will the Christian be always on the earth to see it through rough times? 

Apparently not, for God has promised the most beautiful place that He is preparing for us. When this will happen, we do not know. We are only told to watch and be ready. We are not promised, however, that we will not go through horrific times on earth before Christ’s coming. We are only promised that He will be with us and courage will be ours.

 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36

Can we imagine that all the perfect parts of nature will be in this new, heavenly place that God is preparing? We will also be joined by those we have loved on earth…including our beloved pets. We are told also the lion will lay down with the lamb in perfect harmony.

I can only imagine the heavenly gardens with all the colorful butterflies that only heaven can produce!  A new heaven…and this new earth made perfect by God with no more sin, fighting, or tears.

As scientists warn about global changes, the Holy Scriptures also gives fore-warnings about the ways of the world. We are not to be caught unaware… as we watch our earth decline…scientifically and within the lives and actions of people and nations world-wide.

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:15-17; NIV).

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:22; ESV).

new heaven and new earth

God’s promise about heaven and earth to John in a vision on the Greek Island of Patmos, is recorded in Revelation 21:1-6

“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.

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To the Butterflies…Thank you for your lesson of life to us.

3 butterflies on weed b (3)

Butterflies by N.Boyer

butterfly blue (2)

Video: Background music for your special pleasure. Turn up sound.

 


SPEAKING OUT

Most clergy are hesitant to take on those who are in a higher position than themselves.  This was not the case with the Great Reformers of the Protestant Reformation.  Many of them were burned at the stake for opposing the hierarchy of the church. One of these reformers was Martin Luther.

Martin Luther posts the 99 thesis

The German theologian Martin Luther lived from the end of the 15th through the middle of the 16th century. He is most well-known for his 95 Theses, which he famously nailed to a church door to officially announce his philosophical separation from the church. He called for reform in the practices of the church itself, but even more so, in the ways that people thought about their relationship with God. Luther caused a great divide among believers of Christian Europe, and his words have rippled through history in unforeseen ways. Today, there are over 80 million Lutherans around the world and over a billion Christian Protestants, all because of Martin Luther’s influence.


Recently, a Catholic friend of mine sent to me an amazing video of the sermon given by Fr. James Altman of LaCrosse, WI

St James the less in La Crosse WI

It is rare to have a Roman Catholic speak out against the words of an Archbishop.

Yet, this young man may be the one to lead the way among Christian groups, whether Catholic or not, to speak up for right and wrong according to the Holy Scriptures.  He uses what we know best…the Ten Commandments to address to his congregation (and now the world) God’s message to this age in which we live.

Priest at St. James the Less in La Cross WI

Fr. James Altman preaches about the riots sweeping the nation and comments on Archbishop Wilton Gregory. It takes courage to speak out when public sentiment is against such speech. The rule of mobs and the potential for persecution or even death does not give many the “guts” to proceed.

 

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Whether you are a Catholic, Episcopalian, as I am, a Baptist, Pentecostal or any other denomination of the Christian faith, hear this message from a courageous priest. Perhaps there will be other Christian leaders who will lend their voices to his. As people of this nation and the world, we could use another Great Reforming.

For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7

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Turn up your sound and enlarge the screen. (Be certain to push the red line back to the beginning if it is already moved forward.)

 

 

 

 

 


STRONG BELIEFS

We, as Christians, are walking a fine line on what we should or should not believe to be a way of life that is pleasing to God, while maintaining our own beliefs for our children and future generations.   In the Holy Scriptures, we are told specifically how to live. It is spelled out in the Ten Commandments and other Biblical texts.

The Early Church told the believers to live a life pleasing to God.  There were many cultural taboos that we think nothing of today. Men and women are less restricted in worship, dress etc. We, however, divide ourselves between conservative and liberal even within our congregations…whether Protestant or Catholic.  Some faiths find it extremely important to protect and teach their children a way in life that will bring happiness and peaceful contentment.

We have dear friends in many walks of life.  Some of them have lifestyles of which we would consider not according to Holy Scripture. However, we believe that how they live and walk before God is their choice. We all have the same choice.

As a retired educator, who was the Principal of a Christian school at one time, I know that all schools have to uphold the law.  The recent law passed by the Supreme Court will make it difficult for many Catholic and Protestant Christian schools to maintain what they believe, as they are now required to have a diverse faculty who will teach their students. During the time of hiring, no questions can be asked that would indicate in any way a school was showing discrimination.  Most Christians that I know would not question a person about their private life, but a school administration has an obligation to the children’s education and to the parents of the children.  I’m certain that “What do we do?” is a big topic of discussion in every Christian school board room.

We have good friends in Virginia who have a wonderful school for their Mennonite congregation. We have visited them many times, even though we were not Mennonite and received a warm welcome.  They are very careful with their children…not even allowing TV watching as a principle of their belief.   Will they and other Christian schools and universities have to close in order to maintain the principles of their faith and beliefs?  What about the many Catholic, Protestant and Jewish/Hebrew Schools or all the private schools of varied faiths? It probably would be without saying that there will be expensive law suits, even if there would be little evidence to prove discrimination. Most small schools do not have excessive amount of funds. The fact is that the average school, with little endowment, do their best to give scholarships to those unable to pay, meet their expenses and have to promote all types of fund-drives.    If they believe they have to close because they can no longer proclaim their own specifics of faith, will home-schooling become the only way to maintain the teachings of their belief without breaking the law…. is the question?

 

Amish children

Catholic school girls

Mennonite boys team in VA school

Mennonite college students

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Article Credit: To shed further light on the ruling for Christian institutions and others, here is a recent article on the subject written by Elizabeth Dias for the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — For conservative Christian groups, Monday’s Supreme Court ruling protecting the rights of gay and transgender workers was not only the latest sign that they are losing the American culture wars over sexuality. It also caused widespread concern that it could affect how they operate their own institutions.

Many faith-based organizations, like schools or nonprofits, do not allow LGBT people to work there, citing religious beliefs that sex should only be between a man and a woman who are married.

“No question it is going to make it harder to defend our religious freedom, as far as an organization being able to hire people of like mind,” said Franklin Graham, who leads Samaritan’s Purse, a large evangelical relief group.

“I find this to be a very sad day,” he said. “I don’t know how this is going to protect us.”

The employment of LGBT workers in religious institutions has been an issue across the country. In recent high-profile cases, teachers at Catholic schools in Washington state and Indiana have said they were forced to leave because of their sexual identity.

In a 6-3 ruling Monday, the Supreme Court determined that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars employment discrimination based on race, religion, national origin and sex, also applies to many millions of gay and transgender workers.

The ruling would have “seismic implications” for religious freedom and would potentially set off years of lawsuits for religious organizations, said Russell Moore, president of the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.

“There’s a common assumption in secular America that as the culture changes that evangelicals and Roman Catholicism and other forms of religion will morph and change along with it,” he said. “I don’t think that is true.”

He added, “Most evangelicals and Catholics and others who hold to a traditional Christian ethic are countercultural.”

The Association of Christian Schools International, which provides services to about 2,700 schools in the United States, is reviewing the implications of the case and reiterated its position that sexual activity must only be between a man and a woman who are married. The group’s president, Larry Taylor, said that “the impact on the hiring policies of religious institutions that teach the biblical view of marriage” and that “uphold a standard of conduct consistent with our faith” is “not yet fully understood.”

For religious conservatives, the ruling was especially pointed because it came from a bench that leans conservative and because Justice Neil Gorsuch, whom they had championed as a hero for other causes like abortion, wrote for the majority. Unlike the 2015 Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide during the Obama administration, this ruling came from their allies.

In his opinion, Gorsuch recognized the existence of several religious freedom protections, including the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 and a 2012 Supreme Court ruling that recognized a “ministerial exception” in employment discrimination laws.

But he signaled that Monday’s decision could lead to a fight over the validity over those protections. “How these doctrines protecting religious liberty interact with Title VII are questions for future cases too,” he wrote.

In his dissent, Justice Samuel Alito suggested that some existing religious protections could unravel. “The scope of these provisions is disputed, and as interpreted by some lower courts, they provide only narrow protection,” he wrote.

He also said the ruling left open questions about access to restrooms and locker rooms. “For women who have been victimized by sexual assault or abuse,” he wrote, “the experience of seeing an unclothed person with the anatomy of a male in a confined and sensitive location such as a bathroom or locker room can cause serious psychological harm.”

Some religious groups, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, had filed amicus briefs in two sets of cases that were before the court, arguing that Title VII did not address gender identity. The 1964 law “prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.”

“I am deeply concerned that the U.S. Supreme Court has effectively redefined the legal meaning of ‘sex’ in our nation’s civil rights law,” the president of the Catholic bishops’ conference, Archbishop José H. Gomez, said in a statement. “This is an injustice that will have implications in many areas of life.

“Protecting our neighbors from unjust discrimination does not require redefining human nature,” he said.

But what conservative religious groups may see as a religious freedom issue, secular and progressive religious groups see as an excuse to discriminate.

The Interfaith Alliance’s policy director, Katy Joseph, called it “a watershed moment for equality,” and the executive director for the American Humanist Association, Roy Speckhardt, said it was a sign that “even with the religious right entrenched in Washington, D.C., progress can still happen.”

Forecasting a coming fight over religious liberty, Americans United for Separation of Church and State urged a unified strategy. “The progressive, inclusive faith and secular communities must come together to make clear that religious freedom is a shield that protects, not a sword that licenses discrimination,” the group’s president, Rachel Laser, said in a statement.

Even as more Americans have embraced the cause of gay rights, sexuality remains one of the most divisive issues in Christian communities. This year a group of leaders in the United Methodist Church, which has roughly 7 million members in the United States, announced a plan to formally split the church because of “fundamental differences” over same-sex marriage.

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, president of the Council of Bishops for the United Methodist Church, said Monday that she appreciated the Supreme Court’s decision.

“We have faithful followers of Jesus who both stand on very opposite interpretations of LGBTQ issues,” she said. “My hope is that at some point we will look at ways that do honor and respect people for all that God has called them to be and do.”

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While you think about these strong beliefs or go about your work, here is some beautiful music for your background pleasure. Turn on your sound.


Just Checking In

Do you ever wonder if God would talk with you in an  audible way, how the conversation would go?  Some people have had the rare experience.  I never have, but just the same I do talk with Him.  It is usually in the shower or in bed at night.  We are told, however, to always be in a prayerful state. praying hands

Since He knows all languages and the odd expressions that most cultures have when carrying on a conversation, I’m certain that it would be the same with us in this generation.   No Thee or Thou, as in the Bible…for King James didn’t realize that in our times we would be far beyond these expressions.  He probably would be mortified to think that a conversation with God could be on such a “common” level.  He would probably think our conversations were disrespectful! old man praying

Recently a friend sent me this video.  He called it “moving.”  I call it “Relevant,” for God will definitely meet us where we are…regardless of who we are. The next time you pray, think about this particular conversation.

old man praying2

Enjoy it now…and be moved!

Turn on your sound…Click below… Wait for the download to show up below your screen and then click on the your download to watch.

Just Checking In

 


LIFE IS FRAGILE

My Mother made a beautiful stitched picture that hangs on my wall. Every time I look at it, I think of her fingers carefully pulling the needle and thread. The message was important to her and it should be for all of us today.

 

stictching by Alta

History also is most important to us because it teaches us so much.  We can look at what has happened in the past and in some ways project the future…unless we refuse to learn. Most present-day issues are sensitive and hard to discuss, but we must think about these things.

What kind of “fragile” times are we going through and what has history taught our last generations?

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Let’s take a hard look at now and then.

  • Everyone has become fearful of the possibility of becoming sick or dying from our recent virus.
  • Governments have taken control world-wide more than we can remember in our modern history.
  • Life and travel has completely changed.
  • Tragedies have led people to respond with demonstrations as they let their concerns be known. This is the democratic way, according to our Constitution, and should be respected.

    Protests 2020 3

    A mostly peaceful demonstration in the U.S.

  • More tragedies have occurred for business owners, of every race and creed, whose livelihood has been ruined by the breaking and looting, which should have never been connected with those wanting peaceful demonstrations. Some organizations have as their goal to bring down democracy and pit our citizens against one another.

    protest looting broken windows 2020

    Small business store fronts smashed and looted.

(Let’s look at those in other parts of the world who are fighting to keep their democratic way of life.)

  • People in Hong Kong are facing further governmental crack-downs from mainland China as Beijing proposes new legislation. ( “China stunned Hong Kong when it announced it would impose a national security law on the city. Many worry this could spell the end of Hong Kong’s unique freedoms…”whole story on BBC News

Hong Kong

After 156 years of British rule, Hong Kong exists as a Special Administrative Region controlled by The People’s Republic of China with its own limited autonomy as defined by the principle of “one country, two systems.” (Wikipedia)

 

Why even mention the present day problems?  It is because these are only a few of the world’s problems that makes “Life Fragile” for all of us, in this country and around the world today.

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What can we, the present generations, learn from history?

  • The slave owners and slave ship captains were the ones responsible for the sins of the past…not people living today. By making slavery the sin of those living today only makes our society more fragile. Unfortunately, history cannot be relived, as much as we would like to correct the wrongs of the past.  Looking at and condemning the actions of the past by individuals or governments is one thing…to place it on the shoulders of those not responsible is another.

We talk of the need for “being together and unified” and  for everyone to work together to rid all injustices in society.  Yes, the present and future are our responsibilities. To rectify present problems is an honorable goal that most would want to see accomplished, but talk is cheap if we continue to blame those who are not responsible for past injustices.

Slave ships

Slave ship

Mass blame only leads to disruption and a society sickness within groups of people, leadership, the media, and our communities in general.

( Let’s think also about German history.)

  • The Nazi regime blamed an entire group of people. They were the builders of the death camps, designed to eliminate the Jews from their culture.  I had the honor of taking young Americans to Auschwitz to remember this tragic time during World War II.  It is an experience one never forgets. Even the Jews, themselves, could not believe that their businesses were being destroyed and that they would be rounded up to die, simply because they were a particular group of people.  Society has a way, through the evils of leadership, to turn against one another.  Interestingly enough, Hitler continued to use the expertise of his Jewish doctors and dentist.  How could he not have known the value of the individual?  Mass hysteria became the weapon of choice, as well as propaganda through the German media, leaflets, and posters against people as a whole.

 

Nazi death camp

Nazi death camp2

Jewish women in a Nazi death camp

The German youth today, or their parents, are not responsible.  We will make life more fragile if we try to pin on innocent people what tragedies were espoused when they were either tiny children or not even born.

  • Past generations of Native Americans had the horror of walking to their death on the Trail of Tears, which is a despicable part of our own history of governmental policies. The white, mostly of European descent, who rode their wagons through the tribal territory to settle the West were often murdered and scalped.  No living Native American had anything to do with this tragedy. 

     

  • We must not forget the hundreds of Japanese Americans, who were placed by our government leaders during World War II in the U.S.Internment Camps because of being Japanese.  The generations today of U.S. Government officials had no part in this. 

    Japanese internment

    American interment camp for Japanese in WWII

  • Because some policemen have acted in evil ways against defenseless people, ALL men and women wearing the badge can not be blamed or demonized for the acts of others… for many have dedicated their lives to helping safe-guard our communities.  Without them, those who mean harm will be let loose on those who will see a greater need to protect themselves. In this case, those wishing for more gun control may find their proposals will fall on deaf ears.

     

Are we getting the picture?

Blaming ALL people for the actions of some only leads  to an extremely fragile society. It leads to the persecution of the innocent and instability of our nation and the world today. 

Our last question:  Can destroying the representations of history remove it from memory?

the destruction of statue of Buddah in Afghanistan

180-foot-high Buddha statue in Bamian, central Afghanistan on Dec. 18, 1997, left, and after its destruction on March 26, 2001. (Muzammil Pasha, Sayed Salahuddin/Reuters)

tearing down of confederate statue at UNC

Police stand guard after protesters tore down the “Silent Sam” Confederate statue at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, which was considered destruction of state property.

 

Condoleeza Rice

 

Condoleezza Rice, former 66th Secretary of State, explained her view about destroying history to the Washington Examiner. She believes that the Confederate statues and associated names of schools and universities should be used as teaching tools. It is as a way to understand history even as we learn not to celebrate it.

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This is why we, the Believers in Christ and of the dignity of all people who were created in the image of God, must not forget to pray.  We must pray for each other, all mankind of every nationality and the government leaders around the world, who have the power to turn our world upside down.

We are a fragile world.

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”  Nelson Mandela, former Pres. of South Africa

If my people will humble themselves

 

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