N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

Books by Nancy W. Boyer

Peace in a Distress World

And Christ said in the Holy Scripture:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am...” John 14

“It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8

Commit your life to Christ and be peaceful in His promise as you listen to this beautiful music. Blessings from Boyer Writes


The Law and Compassion

In my last post I highlighted two men who found unity beyond race or differences. They found instead a great friendship. I want to once again share with you a speech made to hundreds of young people at Liberty University about the law and the meaning of the law. Our young people need to hear messages like this, as they evaluate what is right in our country; what to participate with in legal, peaceful protest and how the law is important in our lives.

The law is what keeps our democracy what it is…for all people. It is what separates us from the nations that are run by the Communist philosophy or dictators. It is what gives all people a level ground when facing an allegation of wrong doing. Our Constitution gives it the proper place. Our federal, state and local laws, when applied correctly, are all we have to keep us from complete tyranny or utter chaos.

Trey Gowdy’s speech illustrates, from his experience, as a prosecutor and with his personal knowledge of an American policeman. Today we are extremely concerned about those few law enforcers who over react, causing great harm or death. For most law enforcers, it has become another day of wondering if they will make it back home in the evening. We owe a great deal of gratitude to those who are brave enough to step out each day into that unknown world of violence and crime…doing their job with compassion. Their instantaneous decision making is beyond what any of us would want to experience when faced with someone who may take a life. These decisions will have grave consequences for many involved.

Here is what two, great Americans had to say about the law:

The clearest way to show what the rule of law means to us in everyday life is to recall what has happened when there is no rule of law.     Dwight D. Eisenhower

It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.  Martin Luther King, Jr.    

The following video has two speakers at this university. This post is only interested in sharing with you the speech by Trey Gowdy. If you want to continue hearing Senator Tim Scott’s talk to the students, that is good, but only as an added bonus.)

Video Turn up your sound. Give it a moment to start.


UNITY…National and Private Concerns

If you were totally frustrated by the Presidential debate recently, you were not alone. I think most people who stayed tuned in wanted to hear two men who could courteously present their reasons they would make a difference as the President of the U.S.A. That is not what we got from either candidate. There was not any subject that they could find the tiniest bit of unity for the people of America.

How would you have liked to have been sitting in the Moderator’s seat? At one point, I thought it would not be unheard of if he simply got up and walked out! He might have wanted to keep his job however.

People want a Candidate for the Presidency who can lead with genuine ideas and determination as well as expressing these to the millions of Americans who will be voting.

Americans also want a Congress, Governors, and Mayors of both parties who will work together to heal the nation of violence and to help us regain jobs, for our economic good, as we heal from the Coronavirus. We want to see some ability for UNITY…even when strongly held positions are different. What is good for American should be above any divisions.

To REFUSE by some party members of the government to even meet and talk with a Candidate for the Supreme Court about her ideas and beliefs, that will effect our Nation for decades, is much like the school yard kids who can’t do anything but keeping the fight going. It is no wonder that people throw up their hands and shake their heads when they talk about what is happening in Washington!

We are hopeful that both Presidential Candidates have heard loud and clear from their advisors and the people of our nation… that the Office of the Presidency needs respect from the person who holds it and the one who wishes to attain the position.

You may be saying, ” Who in their right mind would ever want to take on such responsibility!” However, throughout our history there have been those who brave the difficulties and throw themselves into the ring of fire!

Recently I found an interview by two American leaders who have found friendship and a sense of unity. They shared their thoughts with a panel from CBS. One is a black man. The other is white. Both are from the same state…South Carolina. They were together when a young man walked into an African American church in Charleston,S.C. and sat with people who prayed for him and invited him to stay for their Bible study. Afterwards, he shot most of the people in the prayer group. It was a horrible time. The Uncle of this black leader had been a member of this particular church for over 50 years.

Who are these friends? Senator Tim Scott and Trey Gowdy

Senator Tim Scott, who served as the junior United States Senator for South Carolina. A Republican, Scott was appointed to the U.S. Senate by Governor Nikki Haley, the then Governor of South Carolina, in 2013.

Trey Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor who served as the U.S. Representative for South Carolina’s 4th congressional district from 2011 to 2019.

Give them a moment to speak to you about their unity and what it means to them.

Senator Tim Scott and Trey Gowdy Turn up sound


The Beauty of Fall

At last…we here in Florida…have a day that feels just a little like Fall. The states further North are certainly enjoying this cooler time and looking forward to the glorious Fall colors. It is the time when orange pumpkins dot the hillsides in the Blue Ridge and other places. Get out the scarves and enjoy a walk!

My last post was about Japan and the Fall there is among the most beautiful. Enjoy from Boyer Writes!

Video


God’s Beautiful World

From time to time, I think it is good to reflect on the beauties of the world rather than spend so much time on the difficulties and tragedies that exist. It is good for the soul and especially good for the emotions and good mental health. The Holy Scripture tells us of the beauty of God’s creation for which we are caretakers. His glory is seen in all the earth.

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. Psalm 24:1,2

Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and to drink of clear water, that you must muddy the rest of the water with your feet? Ezekiel 34:18

For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12

Therefore, today, I’d like to take you to a place that my husband and I have enjoyed in the past...JAPAN. Even though we did not visit this particular place, Tsumago, we did have the opportunity to see the Fall leaves and Mt. Fuji.

Mt. Fuji

In Tsumago, Japan, the restoration effort over the last fifty years or more has been to restore the buildings as they would have been hundreds of years ago. From the 1950’s, they started to get rid of all concrete buildings and as a reformer said, “We must reverse the trend to Americanize the village…”

This is what they have done and brought back the old crafts that have been part of their heritage. Great cypress trees grow there that could reach to a thousand years old. However, the cutting of the trees has led to much younger trees that Japan has now made a national treasure. No cutting is allowed without a permit.

It was in 1950 that the inhabitants of Tsumago decided to take matters in hand and restore the historic buildings in this once busy village. Like its neighbor, Magome, it was an important stop on the Nakasendo road during the Edo period, one of the five paths used by merchants and knights on the Tokyo-Kyoto route. The results of the restoration are quite surprising when you visit Tsumago, the “time machine” effect works perfectly due to a blend of careful renovations and strict rules (such as cars not being allowed in the main street, and invisible electric cables, because they are buried underground. ” (Taken from Japan Experience)

Tsumago, Japan

The video, below, also shows how people of Tsumago came together to make their town historically correct as they removed many of the eye-sores such as advertisement signs and unsightly wires and poles. The Japanese have great respect for their customs, history and nature. They make an effort to use the woods of their forests respectfully and to keep God’s beautiful world a thing of joy for many generations to come. Deciding to slow down the pace of life and reflect on the great beauties around us is a wonderful example and lesson to learn.

Turn up your sound. ( Click and watch on You Tube if says “blocked.”)


JUST A PLACE TO SLEEP

During the Coronavirus, and before the virus, people have found that making ends meet is not always easy. Sometimes it means just finding a place to sleep.

Even people who have jobs, that they don’t want to lose, will continue to work and live at night in their cars. Others do what they can by sleeping and living in a low priced hotel. Some are alone. Others have families and have to find a place to sleep with little children and to find something for them to eat. Veterans who have bravely fought in wars often find themselves homeless. Nether are highly educated people exempt from this calamity of life.

A working woman sleeps in her car (credit unknown)

Among the homeless are also the emotionally disturbed and drug addicts. Do some make a life decision to camp on the streets and not look for work? Has the habit become sitting on the side of a road with a sign or waiting for someone kind to come to the rescue? The answer to this is “yes”, but not all. Some people would give anything to go back to a normal way of living. Poverty is a reality whatever face it has.

As we look at the American history after the Great Depression, Lyndon Johnson made his “war on poverty.” This allowed people to have food stamps to help get by. Help is given to women with children. Are there those who abuse the system? Yes, is the answer again. There are many other programs that have reached out to the less fortunate, whether they are church-related or governmental. Restaurants often donate their foods to food banks. Soup kitchens are prevalent. Even though these places are usually well-known by those who are homeless, the place to sleep at night, during all kinds of weather, and bathrooms available for use, are serious concerns to the person and to public health.

Food Kitchen (Credit unknown)

Because we have some of the same concerns here in the U.S., the Episcopal Church Women in Leesburg, FL started a food drive that brought in hundreds of pounds of food as well as thousands of dollars to buy needed food and items for the poor. This included school supplies for the children.

Episcopal Church Women donate to the Food Bank (photo credit St. James Episcopal Church)

Our Episcopal church also has once a year sponsored medical and dental personnel to go to poverty-stricken foreign countries. What if a homeless person in the U.S. is sick or has a toothache? There are volunteers all over the country who give of their time to address medical and dental needs of those who can’t afford the care. Americans, for the most part, are a generous and giving people.

The homeless and poverty-stricken are not all lazy people who live on the street. There are people who have health needs that they can’t afford. This is especially true in Appalachia. It has been… and IS an on-going problem that must be addressed by our country’s leaders, whoever is in Congress or the White House. Poverty, for whatever reason, is with us. Like any grave concern of a nation, it has to be addressed.

The homeless all have different faces. Some are on the streets. Others are in their cars, still holding down the only job that they have. Who is to point the finger? Unless a person has had to live this experience, there is little understanding of it.

Perhaps the video below can give us a better understanding of real people, in parts of America, who were willing to share their situation in being without a place to sleep and other concerns.

When you turn over tonight in your warm, clean bed, think to pray and be thankful.

“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. “— 1 John 3:17

Turn on your sound.


America Prays

On this day, Saturday, September 26, 2020, Americans assembled in Washington, D.C. to pray for our nation. Remembering the words of God when He said in the Holy Scriptures:

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Chronicles 7:14

Washington Monument
Vice President of the USA, Mike Pence, welcomes prayers for the nation
U.S. Capitol

For the entire Prayer March in Washington, Turn on sound, Click on this link below.


LIVING TREASURE

We have heard many comments about our senior citizens during the Coronavirus as being “vulnerable, high risk” and other adjectives. Probably no greater words could be said about those who are our Fathers, Mothers and Grandparents than “Living Treasure.”

This is what the Japanese call their seniors. This is what we should be calling our own seniors. The Japanese even have a day in September each year called “Respect for the Aged Day.” Their children are taught from the beginning of life to show complete honor and respect to the elderly. Can we say that about our young people in America? The teachings, if there, have not been heeded by those who are now out night after night destroying the businesses of their seniors.

My experience, when in Japan, was that the children there still have great respect for those who are much older. My hair was grey (inherited from my father who was grey at 30). Many of the older, Japanese women dye their hair black, but not all. Actually, I have been happy with being snow white on the top. It saves alot of beauty parlor expenses.

As for the seniors of Japan, I began to research some traits that they share because they have some of the longest living citizens in the world.

In Japan, those 65 and older now account for more than one in five of the population, making it the world’s most elderly.  And their numbers continue to grow. (Global Post)

This is what I found that they believe is important and probably accounts for their longevity.

  • Self Determination On living alone, “No one gives me orders.”
  • Sit on the floor to eat or work (In America, our elderly mostly would have trouble getting off the floor.)
  • Drive until they are 95 years old.
  • Physical activity and MOVEMENT: bending, carrying, digging in gardens, biking, hiking etc.
  • Socialization: Staying connected with family and friends (Singing, games, gardening, having fun with festivals)
  • Eating correctly: Vegetables, fish etc. (Grows fresh vegetable in small gardens.)
  • Religious beliefs (They acknowledge divinity in most of nature.)
  • Traditions (Keeping their history and abilities alive to the following generations who are willing to learn.)
  • Creativity: paintings, woodworking, artistic endeavors of all kinds, poetry
Japanese painted porcelain tile, given to me by husband who was stationed in Sasebo, Japan as a U.S. Navy Chaplain

When you read over this list, it does include Socialization. The importance of this cannot be over-emphasized. The Japanese believe this has a great benefit to mental and emotional health. We know this is true and probably the most devastating thing that has happened to seniors during the 2020 virus was the isolation from family and friends in nursing homes and assisted living areas.

Recently we were told of a man confined to an isolated health care because of the virus. His wife was unable to visit as has been the case for months, until our Florida Governor finally removed that directive. Even still, some facilities have been slow in responding.

After pleading with his wife to get him out, which she had no power to do so, he became gravely depressed, stopped eating and died shortly afterwards. How tragic this is for this man and his family. There has to be a better way to control disease. Protecting our elderly should not be at the expense of their will to live.

An even more shocking situation in Japan and even at times in the States…perhaps around the world…is the fact that some seniors who find themselves destitute will commit crimes, such as stealing or shop-lifting to be arrested. Why? Because in jail, they have three meals a day, a warm place to sleep and people to talk with. This has become such a problem in Japan that some jails have wings that are strictly for the elderly. The police say that loneliness is a big issue. They are sometimes helped by other inmates when they have problems such as bed-wetting. Hard to believe? Perhaps we need to take a hard look at reality.

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The Holy Scriptures tell us this about our responsibilities:

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:8

“Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise),  “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Ephesians 6:2,3

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Americans must take notice of the importance of not only physical health, but emotional health. Total isolation has been the CAUSE of many elderly deaths We are told that fresh air, space and masks are good choices to prevent the spread of disease. Most facilities have outdoor patios and can take the temperature of visitors, if they are really thinking of the needs of their patients. Isolation is definitely NOT the best solution.

My dear Uncle John will be 98 in December and lives alone in his home in North Carolina. He is a living testimony to the difference in being confined in a medical facility, which he was for a short time, as compared to living in his own home that he has had for over 50 years. Everything is familiar. Friends stop by to see how he is doing with social distancing. Family members can come, which is important to him. As long as he is able, this is where he wants to be. I think he would say, as well as other seniors, the key is to KEEP MOVING! I thought of Uncle John when I heard the Japanese man on the video below. Their independence of thought, and inter-dependence on those around them, life is what we make of it.

Our elderly have given the world much in their contributions to our modern way of life. Many young people of Japan are moving away from the villages and agricultural pursuits to find work in the cities. The specialties that has been passed down from generation to generation may be lost unless the young people see the value in learning the skills, which often take years to learn.

We, here in America, are losing daily the seniors we call “The Greatest Generation.” These were the men and women who went off to war in order to keep freedom and democracy a way of life. Our elderly today, are certainly our “NATIONAL TREASURE.” This should not be forgotten.

This video below is a glimpse into the lives of seniors in Japan, who are dealing with aging. Perhaps we can rearrange our living style and learn something from them.

Turn on your sound. Written English translation (Ignore any commercials…they are short or you can click passed them.)

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A few young people have seen the value of the traditions and have come back to open bed and breakfasts or shops using the skills that have been handed down for generations.

Noriaki Tsujino is one of only 20 professional craftsmen in Japan who makes wagasa. (Photo: Freestate Productions Link included)

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Relaxation and Peace

For your weekend, the beautiful music of relaxation and peace with outstanding photography. Fall is in the air!

Blessings, Boyer Writes

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Click this link and turn up your sound.


FINDING HOPE and PURPOSE

Years ago I found a little book with words and pictures drawn by Trina Paulus. She published it in 1972. Why I have hung onto this book for so long is anyone’s guess.

However, in this day of cut throat elections of 2020 and the depressive feelings of being closed in…I think I know why this book has a message.

There are climbers for “being on top” in our world today. We often teach our children that they must push for success rather than finding their true purpose. People follow this philosophy, believing that they will find happiness and contentment in life…even if it is, at times, at the expense of others.

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Grab a rope and hang on…for we are going to make a very high climb as I share some portions of this enchanting book with you. Perhaps we, together, can find a lesson for our own lives.

As we pray for and look for hope for the world, the title of this book is HOPE FOR THE FLOWERS. The Author begins this way:

“Once upon a time a tiny striped caterpillar burst from the egg which had been home for so long. “Hello world,” he said. “It sure is bright out here in the sun.”

So the caterpillar begins to eat the leaves in which he was born. After much eating, he stopped and wondered if there was more to life than just eating. Climbing down the tree, he decided to look around and see more of the world. He found grass, dirt and bugs that he had never known about. Eventually, he saw a long line of other crawling caterpillars, all heading in the same direction. They were all heading to a large pile of more caterpillars pushing and shoving.

The caterpillar in this story is named Stripe. Stripe was”pushed, kicked and stepped on from every direction. It was climb or be climbed upon. No more “fellow caterpillars” on Stripe’s pile…they became only threats and obstacles which he turned into steps and opportunities.”

As they tried to climb to the top, Stripe finally asked a fellow-climber, “What’s at the top?”

Nobody seemed to know, but Stripe had a conscience because he said, “How can I step on someone I’ve just talked to?”

He also found, along the way, a beautiful caterpillar named Yellow. She talked with Stripe, but he lost track of her until one day when he stepped directly on her head. It was then that Stripe began to believe that climbing on top of other caterpillars hour after hour was an unhappy experience. To try to reach some mysterious place made him say, “…no matter what is up there, it isn’t worth it!” After telling Yellow he was sorry, he saw Yellow begin to cry.

She said, “I didn’t know how badly I felt about this life until then. Now when you look at me so kindly, I know for sure I don’t like this life. I just want to do something like crawl with you and nibble grass. This was how much she liked Stripe.

Stripe said, “I would like that too.” They had found not only another way to live, but to love and made a decision to give up this monumental climb to the top.

As with many decisions, doubts set in and Stripe decided to leave Yellow and try the climb once more. During the pushing and shoving, he saw a climber falling back down from the top. He barely made out the words being said, “…butterflies alone!” He didn’t know what this meant. Meanwhile, Yellow came each day to the high pile of climbers and watched to see if she would see Stripe…to no avail.

One day, Yellow saw a grey-haired caterpillar hanging on a branch upside down. Asking if she could help, the caterpillar replied, “Oh no, my dear, I have to do this to become a butterfly.”

Doing a little research, Yellow found out that a butterfly drinks the nectar from the flowers and carries the seeds of LOVE from one flower to another. She learned that “without butterflies, the world would soon have few flowers.”

To think that inside herself, as a fuzzy caterpillar, there was a change going to happen. She could be eventually a flying, beautiful butterfly! This was hard to understand.

She longed to tell Stripe that she had found that she could have a completely new life. However, she didn’t know where he might be on the pile of caterpillars. She was told that once she had her new life, she could fly and find him…giving him the good news. It would take time.

Finding new patience and purpose, she continued to give attention to all that she had to do in order to make this wonderful new life a reality.

Stripe, in the mean time, has become ruthless in his climb. He stepped on those around him and said, “Don’t blame me if you don’t succeed! It’s a tough life….”

Then one day as he neared the top of the pile, Stripe heard something more than ruthless from one of his climbing-mates,

“None of us can get any higher without getting rid of them.”

The bodies of caterpillars that were in the way began to fall as others pushed them off the pile.

One caterpillar yelled, “THERE IS NOTHING HERE AT ALL!”

Another yelled, “QUIET, FOOL! THEY’LL HEAR YOU DOWN THE PILE. WE’RE WHERE THEY WANT TO GET. THAT’S WHAT’S HERE!

Stripe could see that those who knew the truth wanted to keep others from knowing that all their climbing would led them to nothing.

Just at that moment, a beautiful yellow butterfly was circling the pile of caterpillars. There was something about her that look familiar. Stripe knew immediately what he had to do…as he began his long climb DOWN, looking into the eyes of each climbing caterpillar.

“There’s nothing there.” he warned them.

He had never noticed before that each one had something beautiful and different in their eyes. He let them know that to get to the top, one had to fly, which they could each one do if they only knew and waited for their potential. There was something inside that could give them freedom and peace. THEY COULD BE THE HOPE FOR THE FLOWERS.

Stripe and Yellow Together again!

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When we find our purposes as individuals…and as a country….we might also bring hope to the world.

(With respect for the Author, Trina Paulus, and her words/drawings, I will share the Amazon website below, in case you want to read the entire book.


THE MEANING OF ONE LIFE

We may hear someone say, “Well, you have one life to live!” It’s an off-the-cuff remark of which people pay little attention. However, maybe we should.
Life is short. It is something that no one should take for granted because the next breath could be the end. Living in the moment is rare, for often we live in the past or in the future with our thoughts.
How we live, whatever time we have, is what makes the difference.

I want to share with you a short summary of the life of one man that none of you will know. His first name was Grafton. We buried Grafton yesterday in an all black cemetery in Florida. He was 95 years old. Having emigrated to the U.S. from Barbados, he wanted to serve God even though he only had a 4th grade education. During this time, he worked in the groves as a fruit picker. He had no problem with hard work, but wanted to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Being poor was often a problem with where to live or having enough to eat, but he managed to make ends meet. Sometimes it was with the help of those who cared about him.

After getting some education and a license to preach by the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Grafton reached out to the black community to preach and be of service in their church. As is their practice, the AME Bishop appointed Graftron to be pastor of a specific congregation in Central Florida. Often, after his first Sunday in the new congregation, he arrived home and received a phone call from the Bishop, who said ” Don’t go back. They don’t want you.”

Why? Because he was different from the African Americans here in Florida. He was from another country and he had a slight accent. Was this any reason to reject his open heart to serve God? Of course not, but unfortunately, people of all races have their prejudices. What was he to do? He found a white minister who was willing to give him a position as “Visitation minister” to the shut ins and those in the nursing homes. What happened? Some families complained and didn’t want him to visit “Grandmother” because he was black.

A friend said to the minister who hired him, “You mean you gave a black man a job to go visit white women?!” “Yes.” “Well, there IS a God in heaven!!” was the reply.

For a period of time, he drove about 200 miles to a congregation that would accept him. This was a hardship, but he was willing to go where he was accepted and appreciated.

Grafton was one life given to God to serve Him. Yet, he was unwanted…much as our Savior was unwanted. Grafton was not crucified, but it is certain that his heart, at times, was torn in half by the people around him…who “just didn’t want him”…both black and white.

Those friends who did accept him and brought him into their homes for meals knew that they had found a real “Gentle Giant” with a heart of gold. He was over 6ft 5in or more and had a smile that warmed the heart. He was one life…humble and caring. He was God’s child.

Grafton

The minister, who hired Grafton, was my husband, Bill. Some years ago, Grafton told Bill that when the time came for him to die, “Please give me a good send-off!” Yesterday, Bill did just that, with prayers and thanksgiving for a special life and a special man. Grafton was laid to rest beside his wife, who also was a minister of Jesus Christ.

At the grave-site…an all black cemetery…there were only twelve people…all white friends who loved him. In this day of racial division and concerns, it seems appropriate to say that love is still available to all who want to give and receive it…regardless of who we are. We are all God’s children with one life to live. A young, white woman came to the funeral, with a photo in hand of Grafton and her when she was younger. She said through her tears, “He was my friend.” What a lesson for all of us that friendship can be a real blessing in life when we put away our biases.

In Honor of Grafton… One Solitary Life…who served the resurrected Savior.
This is a poem about the life of Jesus Christ. Although the author is frequently cited as “unknown” the poem is actually attributed to James Allen Francis.


He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant. He grew up in another village, where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was 30. Then, for three years, he was an itinerant preacher.

He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a home. He didn’t go to college. He never lived in a big city. He never traveled 200 miles from the place where he was born. He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but himself.

He was only 33 when the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied him. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his garments, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave, through the pity of a friend.

Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race. I am well within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned–put together–have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that one, solitary life.

VIDEO: One Solitary Life Turn on sound

POST NOTE: After this blog was posted, I received a note from one of my readers. She also addressed that people with a disability are also not given respect. She tells of a student named John who was an Albino. (Definition of albino: a person or animal having a congenital absence of pigment in the skin and hair which are unusually white and the eyes which are usually pink.)

” John, who was studious, nice, thin, not athletic at all. He was an albino.  His hair was white, his eyes were almost pink.  I liked him, and most kids did.  A lot of the boys, who were considered “tough guys,” gave him a hard time.   If any of us saw that we’d go after those kids and try to save John.  We lived close to that family. His father died, and his Mom did her best.  She had edema and had problems moving around, but John took care of her.  It was such a sad situation and he did his best.  John was intelligent and received outstanding grades in school.    Just prior to graduation, his mother died.   John hung himself.  He couldn’t go on any longer.  It boggles my mind when I hear about people who torture others because of their color or any disability, etc…”


OUR WINDOW for REPENTANCE

The Holy Scriptures gives a message to us for the healing of a nation:

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2nd Chronicles 7:14

Yes, there have been many marches on Washington for various reasons, but this one is to PRAY for our nation. The picture below shows the crowds coming together for a common cause.

Robert W. Kelley/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Overhead view of the crowd assembled on the Mall during the civil rights March on Washington DC, August 28, 1963.

AN IMPORTANT DATE FOR YOUR 2020 CALENDAR can begin the healing described in Holy Scripture.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2020 PRAYER MARCH in Washington, D.C.

America is in trouble. Our communities are hurting, our people are divided, and there’s fear and uncertainty all around us. Let’s join together and do the most important thing: pray!” Franklin Graham

THE ROUTE MAP:

If you can’t go to Washington, you can PRAY! All people of the world are asked to pray with us. Our world is connected!

Also on SEPTEMBER 26, 2020

A message on repentance and the window to Save America

VIDEO Narrated by Jonathan Cahn who is a Messianic Jew. (A Messianic Jew is one who believes Jesus Christ is the Messiah.)

The Return, National Day of Prayer and Repentance – Building up to it Cahn shares a powerful message on the power of prayer, repentance, and revival, to change history – from King Solomon to Abraham

Turn up sound


Another Statue Being Removed?

Statue in Sarasota, FL…Celebrating WWII end

We were fortunate to live in a wonderful, little town named Venice, Florida for a number of years where my husband was a Christian minister. The next city, north of Venice is Sarasota…also a beautiful town on the Gulf of Mexico. Standing near the beach is a patriotic statue of the famous picture of a sailor kissing a nurse in celebration of the end to fighting in WWII.

In fact, when this photo was made, the whole population of New York was celebrating in the middle of the streets. Every time I rode by the statue in Sarasota, I thought how great that we are still reminded of the wonderful military and medical personnel that served and died in WW II.

Unfortunately, the statue was sprayed with red paint and the city is considering removing it all together. Why?

Is it pressure from various groups? Have we stopped celebrating our World War II victory? Is this like so many statues that depict history that are being damaged, removed or defaced? Removing this statue is a slap in the face to our bravest men and women.

Vandals, You couldn’t find a better place for your thoughts?

A letter written to the Sarasota mayor and commissioner:

“It commemorates the celebration of VJ Day and the end of World War II,” Rep. Vern Buchanan wrote in a letter to the mayor and city commission. “This representation of that moment more than 75 years ago reminds us of an important time in our country’s history and honors the ‘Greatest Generation’ who served and sacrificed.”

The 25-foot “Unconditional Surrender” sculpture depicts an iconic photograph taken in Times Square in Aug. 14, 1945, showing a Navy sailor named George Mendonsa kissing Greta Zimmer Friedman, a dental assistant, in the street. (Taken from the article written by Michael Riuz)

Pictures of the Sailor and the Nurse….George Mendonsa and Greta Zimmer Friedman in the younger and older years. George died at 95 and Greta died at 92. Thank you for your lives and years of service!

We hope for the sake of all those Gold Star families and brave veterans who fought for freedom, Sarasota will reconsider its removal. San Diego has the same statue…refurbished it…and made it permanent. At least we hope it is still there! Keep celebrating the brave and the free.

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UPDATE AFTER THIS BLOG WAS POSTED: UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER STATUE WILL STAY ON SARASOTA WATER FRONT:

The announcement came in an tweet from the Florida Congressman and well before Sarasota’s elected officials were poised to discuss the issue. (Most likely because the citizens of Sarasota were in an uproar!)

VIDEO

Click to view video


SAVING THE WORLD for the CHILDREN

When will people look around them and say that the world is worth saving because there are innocent, little children living on every country of the earth? They don’t deserve wars, riots in their neighborhoods, drive-by shootings or any other form of brutality.

Take a long, hard look at this little boy. He is in Yemen and he is starving.

A child in Yemen
(BBC credit)

I was so touched by this child who is very sick, but when he saw the BBC camera, he was just barely able to give a little smile. (Photo from TV)

Pray for this little boy…that somehow he will get the help and food that he needs.

This BBC video showed the catastrophe happening in Yemen today. The people in the communities are still being bombed. The people have little or no food. People are walking around with the virus, saying that they won’t go to the hospital because “they will kill you there!” This is because the rumor has spread that the medical staff and doctors do “mercy killings” if you arrive there with the virus. The government, however, is denying that there are many virus cases at all…saying that they have less than 10 people who have died of Coronavirus. The people know that is a lie.

When asked by the BBC reporting staff, who were wearing masks while interviewing the people, why the people in the crowded streets were not wearing masks? They said that they didn’t have to wear masks because “Allah will protect them.” Ignorance, governmental control and war has left these people and their children in a desperate situation.

To try to understand why there is a war in Yemen in the first place, this excellent graphic given below is your best resource for understanding what is happening in the Middle East, specifically Yemen.

“The economic devastation that pushed millions to the brink of famine and created the worst cholera epidemic in living memory is no accident of war: It is the product of deliberate policies by the warring parties.

The Saudi-led coalition, with its warplanes, blockades and vast economic power, bears a large share of the blame. But the Houthis are also at fault. They have manipulated relief aid, recruited child soldiers and planted vast numbers of land mines, according to aid workers and human rights groups.

Peace talks in Sweden in December offered a faint glimmer of hope for an end to the war. A shaky cease-fire in the key port of Hudaydah is holding.

But if politics fails, many fear that Yemen could lapse into even worse fighting. Famine could become a reality. And millions of civilians would pay the heaviest price, yet again. (Watkins and Walsh)

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The Holy Scriptures are very clear when it comes to harming children:

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Luke 17:2

Not only are the children of Yemen being harmed, the children of America are also being harmed by what is happening in our society today. This is not to neglect writing about the sadness in all the other countries of the world. It is not to forget the fact that there is terrible trafficking of children. The more we allow anarchism to continue in our country…motivated distrust between races and an extended close-down of schools and businesses…our families and their children are going to suffer… as it tears into the fabric of our democracy. We must save our society for the children!

These are the things that need to be taught to our children and reminded to our young people:

  • They are not in the starving as the children of Yemen. We have well-stocked food banks if there is a need.
  • They are not forced to work long hours in factories as our early emigrants.
  • They haven’t lived today through a food famine in the U.S., like the children in Ireland during the Potato Famine.
  • They are not in the middle of a Great Depression like their great-grandmothers and fathers endured.
  • The children of this generation also haven’t had to live in the Martin Luther King, Jr. era when injustice was confronted head-on.
  • They need to be reminded in school and at home that because of King and others, the Civil Rights laws and changes gave opportunities to excel to all minority children.
  • All children need to know that Americans can learn to live in peace together…most people are not racists.

Why do some American young people behave badly? Perhaps they should give this some thought for if their country collapses, they may be like the children of Yemen. Yet, some continue doing these things:

  • Roaming the streets night after night
  • Destroying property
  • Setting fires
  • Attacking police
  • Shouting at people trying to peacefully eat in a restaurant.
  • Acting like they are for a “cause” when they can’t explain what the cause is all about when asked to explain their actions.
  • Shooting at children in the playgrounds and front yards
  • Being a terrible example to their younger brothers and sisters.
  • Not taking jobs that are available, even after so many lost jobs due to the virus…for work signs are still out there.
  • Sitting around waiting for hand-outs for things they should work for…like cellphones and Nike tennis shoes etc.
  • Not listening to parents, church leaders or their church clergy on how to behave…that is…unless those leaders are NOT saying anything.
These children are our Future Generations. Our prayers go out for them because the future will be theirs.

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LET’S TAKE A MOMENT and LOOK at what AMERICA COULD EVENTUALLY EXPERIENCE IF WE LOSE ALL LAW AND ORDEROR IF WE ARE ATTACKED, LIKE 9-11, AND IT THROWS US INTO WAR! IT WOULD NOT BE MUCH DIFFERENT THAN THAT OF THE PEOPLE OF YEMEN.

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Saving our people and our planet must be a high priority in every country. There is no choice. We must SAVE OUR WORLD FOR OUR CHILDREN! Can we do that, even with our best intentions…or the best of leaders…without TURNING TO GOD? WE HAVE BEEN TOLD THE ANSWER and it is the ONLY ANSWER FOR OUR CHILDREN TO BE SAFE.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14

Report by Derek Watkins and Declan Walsh of the N.Y Times…Just 2 years ago.

CLICK ON THIS LINK BELOW

(Credit Information for link given above:)

1. Civilian strike locations from Human Rights Watch and our own reporting.

2. Data on coalition air raids from the Yemen Data Project.

3.Control map data from the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project.

4.Data on Yemen’s G.D.P. from World Bank. Locations of strikes on fishing and agricultural targets from Yemen’s Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation and

5.Ministry of Fish Wealth, via a report by Martha Mundy at the London School of Economics. Additional work by Larry Buchanan.

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HAPPINESS PROHIBITED

When I think I’ve heard it all, I found out this morning that I haven’t!! So, with a HAPPY smile on my face, I am writing this post to make your day!

This is another “hair salon” story….“Oh, No …please spare us!” you are thinking.

It appears that this salon operator wanted to hire someone for her salon. She went to get the advertisement printed and was eagerly looking for the right person to respond.

Here is what Alison Birch said happened when she tried to list the job ad. She was looking for a part-time qualified hairdresser at her AJ’s Unisex Hair Salon in Stroud, England. (And I thought only crazy things happened in American salons that were news worthy!)

“The position called for someone with five years’ experience of working in a salon, who is “confident in barbering as well as all aspects of hairdressing.”And the advertisement stated, “This is a busy, friendly, small salon, so only happy, friendly stylists need apply.”

She claims the man at the job center said to her: “I’m sorry, but the word happy is a discriminatory word and we aren’t allowed to use it, as somebody who is not happy will be discriminated against.”

According to Birch, he then asked: “Should we change the word in case somebody thinks that they can’t apply for the job because they are not a happy person?”

“Was I being a bit sensitive, and is the word happy discriminating? Or has this whole world all gone mad?” Birch said.And plenty of Birch’s customers agreed with her outrage over the job center’s “ridiculous” stance on her advertisement.

Karen Evans commented: “The world has gone absolutely mad.

“Does this mean that every descriptive word is discriminating… happy, tall, smart, elegant? Good luck with your search.”

Julie Thickins added: “I thought this was a joke, realizing it clearly isn’t has left me absolutely speechless… what has the human race come to?” (Taken from South West News Service in England)

Hair salon in England

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I’m sure my readers will remember the ads in years past when someone is looking for the perfect person to meet. Well, if those ads still exist…no one could say that they are looking for a “TALL and HANDSOME MAN.” Certainly that would be discriminating against the men out there that are “SHORT and UGLY.” (Which reminds me that my female, English students in Mongolia said they just wanted to marry a man that was “CLEAN and SOBER.” Poor, dears, they didn’t realize that they were putting the Mongolian men who were DIRTY and DRUNK in a discriminated-against category.)

It also occurred to me that when I patted my Golden Retriever this morning and said, “Bella, you are such a BEAUTIFUL girl….and a GOOD girl too.” I surely was discriminating against all the BAD, UGLY dogs in the world.

BEAUTIFUL Bella

A special note from Boyer Writes:

Good luck, Ladies in England, on hiring a HAPPY person for your salon. You deserve happiness for happiness should not be prohibited! Yes, You are right… “The world has gone crazy!”


The Cost of Beauty

I am writing this blog in honor of my Mother, Alta, who owned her small beauty salon. She began working as a stylist after she left home at the age of 16. When she had her salon in North Carolina, she had some wealthy patrons among the tobacco heirs. Mostly, her clients were the average person. Those were the “good old days.”

She would be horrified to know what small business owners are going through today. We lost my Mother at the age of 93, long after she retired. Her last few months were in an assisted living and nursing home.

On a previous blog, I wrote that I thank God that she didn’t have to be without family to cheer and visit her as many have these last few months. Just today, I have learned that our Governor in Florida is once again making visits for families possible with proper precautions. We mourn for those who died all alone during this time.

What does all this have to do with the COST of beauty? I will quote what a small business owner in California, like my Mother, had to say about a very wealthy member of our Congress and the Speaker of the House.

It appears that the business owner has released to the public a scene from her security camera, showing the Speaker with a wet head and no mask over her nose or mouth, moving through the inside of the salon, after having her associate called in that she was coming in for a “wash and blow.” Like most salon owners, the owner rents out the chairs to stylists, and can’t control who their customers may be.

Oh, yes, the owner, Erica Kious, is being rebuked that she didn’t get permission to release the security clip, but she felt obligated to do so because of the fight that small business owners, like herself, have had to go through during this pandemic. She also is being shown in the press as a person who “set up” the Speaker…even though the Speaker is the one who asked to come in for the style. Kious’ response to the battle, “I’ve had a camera system in there for five years….I didn’t go in there and turn cameras on as soon as she walked in and set her up. So that is absolutely false.”

Her response also for why she released the video of the Speaker was this:

“This is for everybody,” she said. “I am sharing this because of what everyone in my industry, and my city, what every small business is going through right now.”

These battles will continue and the Press loves it, but there is much suffering going on in the small-business arena. This blog is not to write in depth here about the many small business owners who have had their businesses burned to the ground by so-called “protesters.” That could be another post.

The fact remains that those who are doing this without regard to the hard work put into developing a business is despicable. Their real names are not “protesters”, but “anarchists” and “criminals.” There is certainly NO BEAUTY in what they are doing. I wonder why the young people/or older, who go out night after night to destroy, have not learned anything about RIGHT and WRONG. No cause…or position in thought…can justify this in any way. People have died. Having hair done, or some have laughingly called “hairgate,” is small potatoes. The real point is destruction and the shut-downs.

As my readers know, history is a big teacher. The Nazi regime brought about a similar situation before WWII when they went out to destroy the hard-earned businesses of the Jews. We know how this ended…with millions incarcerated…and murdered. Whenever a mob picks a leader and gets into power, someone will be the scapegoat. There will always be a reason to blame someone for the crisis. Beware…beware…America!

A typical, high-end salon…not that of Erica Kious

( I continue with the article, in part, by Brook Singman, with an interview of Erica Kious, the small business owner of the salon in California. )

There were rules and regulations to go by to safely reopen, which I did, but I was still not allowed to open my business,” she said, noting that she installed plexiglass partitions between sinks and seating areas, and ensured that all salon chairs were six feet apart, along with proper air circulation from open windows. “They never let us open,” she said, while adding that she is unable to reopen outside because her salon specializes in hair color, and using chemicals outside is prohibited. ( “…Salons in San Francisco had been closed since March and were only notified they could reopen on Sept. 1 for outdoor hair styling services only. )

“We have been shut down for so long, not just me, but most of the small businesses and I just can’t – it’s a feeling – a feeling of being deflated, helpless and honestly beaten down,” Kious, said.

“I have been fighting for six months for a business that took me 12 years to build to reopen,” she explained. “I am a single mom, I have two small children, and I have no income.”

Kious said that the area where her salon is located has turned into “a third world country,” saying that “every other storefront is completely vacant and shut down and boarded up.”

“And because of the shutdown, and the store closures, we’ve lost people, my clients, and my employees, and that is due to the politics in San Francisco,” she said, adding that the homeless population is “everywhere” and “defecating” all over the city...

“It has gotten so extreme,” she said. “It is so night and day from what it was a year ago, that everyone is fleeing.”

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It is understandable that this shop owner is upset about her business shut-down and what it has done to her years of work. Stylists, like my mother, stand on their feet for long hours, use chemical dyes to make women look younger etc, but it is how they earn their living for their families. They try desperately to go by the rules placed upon them during this pandemic. No wonder she is furious that the standards of personal engagement are for some but not all. She has lost customers due to the shut-downs that she may never regain but also because people are fleeing from the cities due to the violence and destruction. In American, small or large businesses should not have to board-up except for extreme weather…not a climate of fear brought on by people. Our son just returned from California where the hotel he was staying in was boarding up their windows because of “protesters” outside. They also warned their customers, “… you might not want to go out there.”

Every woman wants to be beautiful. There is no problem with dying the hair if it helps take some years off…but women who can’t get this done by a professional because of regulations…regardless of what they can pay or who they may be…can take themselves down to the local beauty supply store, if it’s open, and buy a box that does the trick!

All small businesses have to be reopened as soon as possible. Large department stores are also closing, leaving thousands without jobs. These hardworking men and women need to have their livelihood restored. Congratulations to Erica who braved the possible backlash of revealing those who preach to us through the media and do something different in real life. Most people I know have turned a deaf ear to all they have to say.

Thanks, Mother, for all the years that you worked so hard in your salon to be a provider for your family and also for being a good citizen. I wish there were more like you…with respect for people and property.

We, as women and men, thank the salon workers and owners…as well as the small barbershops around the country, who are finally opening with proper caution. The COST to you and your small business has been great. We won’t forget you. Hang in there!


FEAR or COURAGE?

Are you killing your inner-self? I can hear it now…”What in the world are you talking about?” I’ll explain.

This morning I read an article sent to me by the Blue Zone, which addressed something similar to this question. It was written by Richard Leider, founder of Inventure – The Purpose Company. I would like to share, in part, some of this with you. (The full link can be read by clicking his name.)

But first, have you had these thoughts in the last few months?

  • I don’t see anything in the near future, but mostly staying at home.
  • If I leave my house to shop or eat out, I might come back with the virus.
  • Should I even give a hug/or kiss to a family memberor refuse a handshake to a person who offers it?
  • What if I need to go out of state, would it be worth it?
  • If I am invited to someone’s home, should I take the chance of going?
  • What would I do if a mob should surround my car or harass me in a public place like I’ve seen on TV?

These are only a few things that may have been in your brain that has basically caused you to put your life on hold. I know many of these same questions have crossed my thoughts. I found out that the virus could be a definite trigger that stops our growth as human beings. It is then up to us to mentally decide if we are going to allow this to happen to us.

According to Richard Leifer, you have stopped living and your life is on a plateau…not moving forward…in limbo because of a “trigger.”

Before the virus and a loss of much of your freedoms, things were moving along…and forward and then it happened (the trigger)…you hit the plateau. Everything seemed to stand still. Nothing was what it used to be.

Leifer says: “…things seem like they’re under control. You have good work, good health, enough money, a solid base at home, a network of friends and colleagues with whom to share your life. At times like these, you may actually feel like you do have this whole thing figured out! Or at least you’re satisfied with the way things are.But then, inevitably, a trigger knocks you off the plateau; you leave the flat area and take a turn into a new zone, limbo.”

What exactly is a “trigger?”

…a trigger is a wake-up call—a conscious choice or an external event that disrupts the comfortable status quo of our lives. It’s a moment when the game changes, and we have to adapt to the new game.

“Triggers can be positive but most often are negative. Of course, the pandemic, economic recession, and racial unrest are all triggers. In addition, there are the personal triggers:

  • Do you know someone you care about who has just heard from a doctor with an uncertain medical diagnosis? You are concerned.
  • Do you know people who have lost their jobs after decades of stability? They don’t know which way to turn or where to start, and you share that anxiety with them, wanting to help but not knowing how.
  • Do you know someone who has been caught by surprise by an unexpected death or divorce? All of a sudden, the stability of a long-term relationship has been replaced by the unfamiliar, unwelcome experience of learning how to live alone for the first time in a long time.

These are the moments when we feel like our lives are out of control.”

If we could say “YES, MANY OF THOSE ARE MY THOUGHTS” to any of the questions given above…you may be in a limbo state and that is not comfortable.

What is a LIMBO STATE?

Being in limbo is all about learning to cope with the “in-between times.” As a result of a trigger, we’ve ended one period of stability or even one phase of life, and looking forward we don’t yet see another one beginning. We’re forced to live in the question “What’s next?” The door behind us has closed, and we haven’t seen the new doors that lie ahead. Or sometimes, although we see the new doors, we’re not yet ready to make the choice to open them.”

We are often thinking how things used to be before the virus hit and everything changed. Our country, as a whole, has been put into a spirit of fear.

“Being in limbo can be scary in the way uncertainty often is. It feels like being between two trapeze bars – hanging on to one while seeing or reaching for the other with no safety net. And it can be even more debilitating. Limbo can become a form of resignation, a kind of prison sentence to accept the way things are as the way things have to be.”

Am I in limbo?

THIS IS WHERE WE ASK OURSELVES…do we plan to live our lives in this isolated prison? Many say, “Hell NO!”…and take no precautions, which may not be smart thinking.

I’ll give an example from our recent experience to moving forward. My husband and I felt like we just needed to get out. We decided to go for a lunch together at a restaurant that we know is careful about social distancing and sterilizing tables. We chose a time early before the lunch crowd arrived. Wore our masks until we ate…and had a very nice lunch. Another example is that a friend of ours ask us out to their house for a meal. They have not been sick and neither have we, so we accepted their gracious invitation. Both couples are extremely tired of isolation and we have made a decision to go forth with our lives…carefully and thoughtfully. There could be more illustrations, but everyone has their own decisions to make on what is proper for them and their family.

Making these small, forward moves brings us one step further OUT OF the limbo state and a beginning to climb out of the plateau flatness of life. Probably the most profound thing that Richard Leider wrote is the following:

“The worst-case scenario for those who succumb to limbo is “inner kill”—the condition of dying without knowing it. People with inner kill often feel that they either don’t have enough or aren’t good enough. They get stuck living in comparison with others or with some idealized, unattainable version of themselves.You have inner kill when you’ve stopped maturing, growing, or ripening, and, when you’ve given up on yourself, or when you find yourself always taking the easy, safe way. ”

As far as our virus concerns and isolated living, we may fit into what he said by comparing what we are doing to live through this time as to what others are doing. Did you ever say, “Look at those people…they aren’t wearing masks…or they are standing too close to someone!!” I am guilty because I am concerned…but does that help? The answer is “NO.”

We must remember that people will make their choices and we have to make ours. There is no way under heaven to control the masses…or an individual. The media, especially at this pre-election time, will be certain to point out what society should be doing or fails to do. Those who speak for medicine often change their thoughts from week to week. That is because everyone, including these experts, are still trying to figure things out. Nothing will be fairly stated online or on media because of varied viewpoints…so why listen?

Therefore, once again it is up to us to do the best we can with what knowledge we have. Of course, being bombarded day to day doesn’t help in the “out of control” feelings that most have…when they see society out of control. A limited amount of this permeating into our brains might be a good idea.

Leider leaves us with a good challenge: The question isn’t whether we’ll be hit by triggers or get kicked into limbo. We will—all of us, at every phase of life, in all kinds of ways. The question is how we’ll react when triggers come, and we find ourselves in limbo. Do we retreat? Or step into the uncertainty? Respond out of fear? Or move forward with courage?

The Holy Scriptures gives us this a blueprint for living a life without fear and full of courage.

 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7


BEAUTIFUL MUSIC

FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE. BLESSINGS FROM BOYER WRITES


THE SINS OF THE FATHERS and PROMISES

If you are asking the question WHY would anyone feel that they can destroy property, attack innocent citizens or make the United States of America into a country of rioting and vandalism? You are not alone. Probably many Americans and people around the world are scratching their heads and asking….WHY?…WHY?…WHY?

This blog does not intend to answer that question, but there is a THEORY to why people of all colors and backgrounds…young and older…are acting the way they are.

One young woman cried out to the rioting people to” break glass…take all you want…for it is REPARATIONS for the past!” Is there any truth in what she said? NO, of course not! There are other ways to solve problems… of the past, present and future than to destroy the hard-earned businesses of people of all colors. Blaming a generation for the sins of past generations solves nothing. She is falling into the hands of the anarchists who would destroy our country.

Does she really understand how far the search for fairness to all people living today has come? Does she know that through people like Martin Luther King, Jr. that people began to see the wrongs and our government passed the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights for all people? This behavior is only an excuse to do the wrong thing, which results in hurting all people.

You ask, “What theory are you speaking of in all this madness?”

It might be summed up in one Scripture Verse from the Holy Bible:

The Holy Scripture talks about the “sins of the fathers” to the third and fourth generations and even Shakespeare uses this quote in his writing of The Merchant of Venice: “The sins of the father are to be laid upon the children.”

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In the small towns of America, there are people, whose early families were immigrants…not slaves, who believe that the “sins of the fathers” should be remembered and MADE RIGHT, as much as possible. I’m going to share with you a true story of a place in the mountains of which I am quite familiar.

Our former VA home was close to the famous Blue Ridge Parkway of the Appalachian Mountains. While living there, I read an article about a man who knew about the slaves that worked the area on the Langhorne farm in Virginia. This was before the Civil War and there was an unmarked burial place near the lovely little village of Meadows of Dan. When the article was written, there was only a small wooden split rail fence where the bodies of the slaves had been buried This also included some small children of the slaves. When the Park Service was building the Blue Ridge Parkway, the land became part of their domain. The headstones had been torn out and thrown in the woods. Nothing remained to show who was buried in this specific spot, but some of the old timers of the area knew.

One afternoon, I went looking for the rail fence, which turned out to be at the entrance to the Parkway at Meadows of Dan. Parking at the local church, I walked over to the area. Nothing was there to identify the graves of the slaves who had lived, worked, and died here. Only a small, rail fence circled the area.

“What a shame that there is nothing to identify it,” I thought to myself. The millions of people yearly, who ride the Parkway, will zoom right by this historical, sacred spot. Most people will travel on to visit places where the old timers settled, like the old Mabry Mill right down the road, but they will never know the history of this place where a plantation owner buried those who labored for him.

In this age of monuments being torn down of the famous men of the Civil War era and the present day stressful problems of racial disharmony, it was heartening to know that there were white people who had been trying to convince the Park Service to do the right thing for many years. Unfortunately, as is the history of all bureaucratic, government agencies, slow or forever slow is the story. It definitely was in the case of these slaves having a proper monument.

After six months away from the Blue Ridge, I rounded the curving entrance to Meadows of Dan and there it was…..the old slave cemetery that I had written about in my book, Old Timers of the Blue Ridge. Now, it actually had a marker! A large, beautiful granite headstone stood inside the split rail fence. 18

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My husband and I stopped, walked up to the monument and the last words stood out to me…FOREVER FREE! Yes, they have gone on to be with God, Who made all people…black, white, and every shade of color. They are free at last, but are we living free from the past? Is it possible, no matter how hard people try… to be removed, in this modern world where hate runs deep, from the “sins of the fathers?” This is a question of gigantic proportions!

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Hurrying home to check the internet, I had to know the story of how this monument was placed here in the year that I was away from Virginia. This is what I found out: Matt Burnett, an old time resident of the area, had been one of the workers who tore out the headstones for the Park Service and he asked Bob Heafner to make him a special promise. That was thirty-three years ago.

“Burnett asked Heafner if he would make sure that people would someday KNOW ABOUT THE FORGOTTEN SLAVES hidden in plain sight next to a road traveled by millions.

Heafner was young then, a businessman and a publisher who knew people in Meadows of Dan and up and down the parkway. Surely, Burnett thought, Heafner could find a way to place a monument or memorial to those people, so that their lives wouldn’t remain buried in the past….Heafner discovered a will that stated James Steptoe Langhorne had at least five slaves and perhaps owned more than 10 at one time. He also found the names of five other African-Americans who were probably buried in the cemetery. Three of them died enslaved, with history having no record of their last names:

Charles (a child who died in 1858),

John (who was 19 when he died in 1858)

and Ellen (a 1-year-old who died in 1862).

The two other people Heafner documented died after the Civil War:

Guss Langhorne (another 1-year-old who died in 1871)

and Susan Langhorne (born a slave, died free in 1871 at age 28). It is unclear why the latter two had the Langhorne name. 19

It took a number of people to finally get results of placing the granite stone where it should have been long ago, including finding the granite company owner who was willing to make the stone.

This grave site was part of a history of the South. The mountain people strongly defend their history. People come far and wide to see the reenactments of the Civil War between the North and the South near Ararat, VA. The important points of this story are that the Blue Ridge people also believe in keeping their promises and doing right by the slaves that are buried in this cemetery regardless of the actions of the people of the past. Throughout our country, especially in the South, there are many people who feel the same way. They definitely should not be condemned for the “sins of the fathers” when they were not born during this terrible time of history.

Who exactly was James Steptoe Langhorne of Meadows of Dan, the land owner where the slave cemetery is located?

“According to family history, Henry let his son James Steptoe Langhorne choose one of the plantations, and after touring them all, James Steptoe, age about 22, looked out over the 13, 000 acre “Langdale” plantation in Meadows of Dan, Virginia, and said it was the most beautiful sight he had ever seen! In fact, he is credited with giving that area its name, Meadows of Dan—located in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, on the Dan River. He chose to settle there, but was blinded by retinitis pigmentosa – an inherited family disease– within just a couple of years—and never actually saw his beloved land again! James Steptoe Langhorne, called “Grandpa Steptoe” by his grandchildren, married Elizabeth Rachel Omohundro and together they had eight children, and adopted at least two more. Of course, on a 13,000-acre plantation in 1822 Virginia, Grandpa Steptoe owned slaves. It doesn’t matter how abhorrent and embarrassing this practice might be to me today, it is a part of our history. ” It was from Patrick County, VA that he built his massive plantation along with the slaves who worked it. He also gave land and built at least two churches. The Meadows of Dan Baptist church is where he and his wife are buried. His father and original family were emigrants from Wales, arriving in 1666. (credit Helen Houlshouser…relative to James Steptoe Langhorne)

If you are traveling the beautiful Blue Ridge, stop in at the little slave cemetery at the corner of the Meadows of Dan exit. Spend a few minutes considering the long-reaching meaning of who is buried there and give a “thank you” to one of the many merchants down the road in Meadows of Dan that helped promote the erection of the slave memorial stone. We especially thank the man who kept his promise, Bob Heafner.

“Slavery was common in Patrick County. According to county historian Tom Perry, as many as 2,000 slaves were part of Patrick County’s 9,000 residents in 1850. The majority of those enslaved people were owned by the prominent Reynolds and Hairston families. The Reynolds were the founders of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart’s father owned 28 slaves, according to Perry. Slavery was less prevalent up on the mountain in Meadows of Dan, where five families owned slaves, according to an Appalachian State University research project commissioned by the park service.” 20

Even though time has passed and we live in a new era, those who came out to see the placing of the new marker at the Meadows of Dan, know that it is important to the families of those who may have buried relatives in this grave site. There is a new Database of identities of 3,200 slaves through the historical society of VA that can help people find their descendants. Information can be found beginning with the American colonies in 1619 through unpublished private documents.

The most important thing is to remember the men, women and children who worked the land by force. We must also not forget that African Americans and slaves from other areas were not only those who suffered great injustices. Native Americans endured the Trail of Tears and other horrors. The white settlers who had emigrated from Europe suffered at the hands of the Native Americans and the lawlessness of other Americans. Present day merchants, white and black, suffer when a life-time of work and businesses are destroyed by rioting. We could go on and on.

One may ask, “So where do we go from here? Will people never get over this tragic piece of history?” Because slavery in America may have caused many problems of today, this is a good question. How many generations will be affected by those who did terrible deeds of bringing slaves to America, as well as the off-spring of those who bought and sold them? How many generations will have to find new and better ways to compensate for the sins of the past or is that possible?

The great repentance of a rude, profane Slave Trader, John Newton gave us the beloved song, “Amazing Grace.” In 1748 he wrote “On that day, the Lord sent from on high and delivered me out of deep waters.” Only God’s amazing grace could “Save a Wretch like Me, ” he wrote. 21

The Fathers of our nation and the rich owners of slaves often had children with those they owned. Some of those children have embraced their lineage…become educated, successful and brought honor to generations after their enslaved fore-fathers. Reunions are held by those who can trace their legacy from a white slave owner to their slave mother. Healing is needed in our nation. Maybe owning the past is the answer as the Germans have had to own the Holocaust.

The Sins of the Fathers will only be healed when we find a way to remember that all people are sinners and need the grace of God to combat the past and bring forgiveness to the present. Listen to this promise God has given to all of us.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and WILL HEAL THEIR LAND. 2nd Chronicles 7:14


FORMS and a GLASS OF WATER

It occurred to me that we are constantly being asked something about ourselves on paperwork or in person. In an age when no one is supposed to ask anything about your religion, race, family background or political persuasion, I find it interesting that we continue to be asked personal things, regardless. This is quite disturbing to some and others go along with it because they feel there is nothing that can be done about it…so why bother to complain. Why worry?…for it is just one more exasperating part of life. Bureaucracy has always been a pain.

How we deal with our everyday stresses greatly effects our own emotional welfare. From from buying a house, applying for a job, filing out the income tax forms, medical questions and much more, we all feel the pinch…and are glad when it is completed.

Lets look at this more deeply at putting our information on the tiny, little line provided on a form. Actually, what does it matter what race we are, for aren’t we all from the “HUMAN race?” Who really needs to know? If we decided to put “human” next to that line, they probably would reject it…as if they didn’t know what a “human” is.

As for politics, I just go vote for the person I think will be most likely to do the job…and do it when things get tough for all people. Yet, when I vote, I have to tell them that I’m one party or another. If I register in my state as an “Independent,” I have only the national election in which to vote because it is considered a “closed primary” for other local elections. That doesn’t seem fair.

Did I say the word, “FAIR?” The possibility of the unfairness of any election to be a problem is not a new problem. Somehow when the election rolls around, we wade through it because it is the American thing to do. Usually, however, I also have to show some identification that I am an indeed an American, not a dog or cat or illegal immigrant…unless that changes. I know who I plan to have my Golden Retriever vote for in that case. Don’t ask me though, for privacy is an important part of who I am. I would hate to have “protesters”…or worse, outside my house! Unfortunately, violence has become such a part of our nation that simply holding up a sign for any candidate can become deadly. God help us!

You look at the medical records, that are supposed to be private. Does it matter to the doctor that I am male or female…well, maybe… if he is concerned about my ovaries. What does a person do that is not certain if he is female or male in his own thinking? I also suppose that when the form asks “male” or “female”… that there should be a box saying “other” …or “trying to decide.” That might be confusing to the medics unless they have to check.

Yet, “other” might appear on some applications. This is true if you just can’t fit into the category provided. Oh, yes, I jest a bit about things that may not be a laughing matter to some. My apology is in order, for we must not offend or even joke about any serious matter! I do have real concerns about a child that is growing up being told that they can “choose” what sex they want to be. This is happening, as I know you are aware. At least, let them grow up as male or female and then they can decide on this issue…if that is important to them.

This leads me to wonder, who exactly makes out these forms? They must stay up nights trying to figure out what to put down just in case someone might not know how to answer! Correctness is important to those who need to know. It is the RESPONSIBILITY of those who hold the pen or click the key on the internet. Someone on the other side will decide for you IF you have to reapply…so get it right!!

Therefore, I looked up: FORMS Don’t ask me why. It is just one of those quirks I get when I’m laying awake at night thinking. Sometimes the things that pop into my head actually makes me laugh. Laughter is a good thing because it is at a premium these days…unless someone just gets hysterical from worry.

Back to FORMS. Is “form” a noun or a verb? If it is a form you fill out, it is a noun. If it is “form” in making something…like forming a round cookie ball, it is actually to form, which is a verb. That is just extra information in case you just couldn’t live without knowing. The teacher in me comes out.

One of the forms that I came across was from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. I never realized it could get so complicated and sometimes expensive. Tough luck for those who come with almost no money to apply.

Reader,don’t get bored. Stick with me. This part is for those readers who may be thinking of doing it the right way. These are a few, but NOT ALL:

  1. Job offer Becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card Holder) Through a Job Offer Form filing fee: 
  2. Granted an Asylee status: Becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card Holder) Through Asylee Status An asylee is a person who meets the definition of refugee and is already present in the United States or is seeking admission at a port of entry.
  3. Refugee: Becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card Holder) Through Refugee Status
  4. Naturalization: Becoming a U.S. Citizen Through Naturalization Form filing fee: $640 Naturalization is the process to become a U.S. citizen if you were born outside of the United States. If you meet certain requirements, you may become a U.S. citizen either at birth or after birth.
  5. Citizenship through Parents. Citizenship Through Parents Form filing fee: $1,170 Congress has enacted laws that determine how U.S. citizen parents convey citizenship to children born outside of the United States. Generally, you may obtain citizenship through your U.S. citizen parents when you are born, or after your birth but before you turn 18.
  6. Temporary Workers Visa E Visas (E-1, E-2, and E-3) for Temporary Workers Form filing fee: $460 The E visa category includes treaty traders and investors who come to the United States under a treaty of commerce and navigation between the United States and the country of which they are a citizen or national.
  7. SMART PERSON: You may be eligible for an employment-based, first-preference visa if you have an extraordinary ability, are an outstanding professor or researcher, or are a multinational executive or manager. EB-2: Employment-Based Immigration– Advanced Degree or Exceptional Ability Form filing fee: $460 You may be eligible for an employment-based, second preference (EB-2) permanent worker visa if you are a member of a profession and you have an advanced degree or its equivalent, or if you have an exceptional ability.

Well, that was fun. I bet it won’t be fun filling out those forms. If you are busy thinking which category you fall under, just know they will document everything about you. However, because you are willing to be honest, open and agreeable to doing things the “American Way,” you may be able to be an American citizen…but the time of waiting is unknown. A wall won’t be long enough for those who ignore the correct method, but those people will be looking over their shoulder their entire life.

As far as forms go, we, Americans have it all figured out. You can fill out your forms online, in Braille, or various other methods. Don’t forget to read the fine print. It usually tells you “under penalty of law” which means that they will take you away from your family or your firstborn…which ever they can get. I’m teasing, of course. I’m not certain who they will send to get you since the police force might be minimized by the time they read your incorrect form. Oh, bureaucracy, it is the dream…or nightmare… of all who live in this wonderful world!

Perhaps I have been too hard on the ups and downs of filling out forms in our democracy. There are many other forms of government control that would not even ask you to fill out a form…because they don’t care who you are, what you think or why you want something that calls for a form,…for it doesn’t matter to them. You will simply be a speck…without rights or privileges. There are a few governments that incorporate a form of democracy with some form of socialism, such as in Sweden or Norway. Each has inherit dangers to how much control is actually given to the government hierarchy.

Next time I have to fill out a form, I will remember to thank God that I have the opportunity to participate in my own needs that require a form. What if we lived under the tyranny of most of the governments listed below.

Have you ever thought of how many different FORMS of GOVERNMENTS there are? You might want to look up some of these when you have an extra hour or two. Here is the list that I came up with…in alphabetical order.. certainly not in order of the most important to the rights of the average citizen.

Since we have an election coming up, it might be good to see if any of our candidates are leaning toward any one of these forms of government. No person is freer than in a democracy. and it is why we sing…. “I am glad to be an American….where I know I’m free…” Now, if only the American anarchist could learn that song!

Life and all its complications may be difficult to manage IF we try to hold on to them. So much of life, especially now, is filled with personal and national stress. Furthermore, there is not much we can do about most of it. We can’t totally control the virus. We can vote in the election and who will win will be up to the nation as a whole. The police are trying to control the rioting and looting as much as they are given support by local governments. Young Americans need to be taught by family, clergy and teachers the basics of right and wrong. Where this failure happens, the young people will not learn. This should certainly keep us up at night.

Let’s look at the Holy Scripture because there is a lesson here and also in the video below about our stresses and concerns.

To the Samaritan Woman at the well, Jesus said,  “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,  but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  John 4

We, most of all, have to learn to put all things in God’s hands. He knows the beginning from the end. He is all powerful and we must look to Him…personally and nationally. Whether it is filling out a simple form, or a not so simple form…or something much more stressful…we would do well to learn a lesson about A GLASS OF WATER.


WORK FORCE

This morning I ate my breakfast. As usual, I poured my non-fat milk over the beautiful, round blueberries that floated atop my cereal. This has been a habit for some time since I’m told that blueberries are really good for us.

Why talk about breakfast and blueberries? The reason is that we give little thought about these great fruits that are readily available to us in the grocery stores or the people who picked them. Aside from the hefty price on some of these “little darlings,” they are usually readily available most of the year. This may not be so true in the future…as some vegetables and fruits have been rotting in the fields. Why? The workforce is declining…as with other things in industry. (My doctor told me the other day that he is having a hard time getting inserts for his foot patients. No, shoe inserts have nothing to do with blueberries…but the labor force does.)

After I listened to an aspiring medical student, Gianna Ninno, who has picked blueberries since she was a young child with her family, I thought it was time to write something about these “heroes” of the marketplace. They are usually minority…both American and from other places.

Her statement, “The people who pick the berries can’t actually afford to buy them in the stores.” This puts a new slant on the farm workers that make it possible for me to enjoy my blueberries each morning. All I can say is “THANK YOU!”

I thank them for their labor, but also the fact that they are willing to put their lives on the line to do the job. During the virus epidemic, it was revealed that many of the farm and factory workers were showing growing numbers of contacting the COVID-19. This was especially true in the meat packing houses.

When we lived part of the year in Virginia, USA, I noticed that most of the workers there were not Americans, but immigrants that get short term visas to be part of our labor force. They lived in the small accommodations provided by the farm owner and rode to work in crowded vans. This, of course, was an invitation for sickness. Now, that travel bans have occurred, it is questionable if they will be able to help Americans with their harvest. We worried about paper goods during the first days of the Pandemic, but the foods we eat may be the next shortage. It might be wise to start a garden in your backyard, if you have the room.

Whatever money the farm workers make usually is wired home to their families in various countries. When the picking season is over, the farm owners fly them back home until the next season. It was explained to us that all of the paperwork was done correctly with the government. They are issued short-term work visas. These workers are appreciated because they are very hard workers.

The immigrants don’t receive welfare benefits from our government. Some of our own citizens are obviously unwilling to do the back-breaking work that these people are eager to do in order to take care of themselves and their families. Unfortunately, to their health and welfare, there has been a cost. We hope that they will be able to return as long as they are here legally and the farmers can afford them.

Photo/Megan Farmer

The laborers of the fields need the honor and wages due them. What does the Holy Scripture tells us about this?

“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

The video that you are about to see was made by a young woman who wanted everyone to know that many of our American, minority farm workers have a similar plight to those who come from out of the country. She is trying hard to earn extra money in order to finish her medical school education by doing the work that many others avoid. I will let her give you her story in this short video.

As for me, I will continue to enjoy my blueberries each morning as long as they are available. I now appreciate even more their beautiful, round, blue shape and their wonderful taste because I understand better that there are special human beings willing to work extremely hard to get them to me.

I bet you won’t think of a blueberry the same.

Click the link. (from ABC News If you are trying to watch on a phone, unfortunately, her video may not come up after the ad…which by the way, I’m not endorsing. Sorry if this happens…watch on your computer if possible.)

https://abcnews.go.com/video/embed?id=72363462


FREEDOM…FEAR…FAITH

Most people are familiar with World War II Holocaust where millions of Jews died terrible deaths, but may not be aware that there have been a number of other genocides in modern history. One man, whose family immigrated to America, learned it all too well in recent years. His name is Daniel Yessian. He is trying, through his music, to ‘SPEAK FOR A LOST GENERATION.”

Daniel Yessian

A shy young boy, born here in America, found a love for music through the encouragement of an older musician. As he grew, music would take him to places that he never dreamed of to find again his heritage…in Armenia.

Daniel had a natural ear for music, often imitating what he heard a teacher play. As time went on, he found a love for jazz and formed his own small band. Then something happened that would eventually change his life. He was asked to write music for commercials, which he found exciting and gave some pocket change that seemed like a God sent. He married, had children, and continued playing.

His family members were baptized into the Armenian Christian Church and it was through their priest that he was asked to compose some music that would be played for the Commemoration of the tragedy endured by the Armenian people in 1915.

A Short History:

The Armenian genocide was the systematic killing and deportation of Armenians by the Turks of the Ottoman Empire. In 1915, during World War I, leaders of the Turkish government set in motion a plan to expel and massacre Armenians. By the early 1920s, when the massacres and deportations finally ended, between 600,000 and 1.5 million Armenians were dead, with many more forcibly removed from the country. Today, most historians call this event a genocide: a premeditated and systematic campaign to exterminate an entire people. 

The Armenian people have made their home in the Caucasus region of Eurasia for some 3,000 years. For some of that time, the kingdom of Armenia was an independent entity: At the beginning of the 4th century A.D., for instance, it became the first nation in the world to make Christianity, its official religion.

But for the most part, control of the region shifted from one empire to another. During the 15th century, Armenia was absorbed into the mighty Ottoman Empire.  The Ottoman rulers, like most of their subjects, were Muslim. They permitted religious minorities like the Armenians to maintain some autonomy, but they also subjected Armenians, who they viewed as “infidels,” to unequal and unjust treatment. Christians had to pay higher taxes than Muslims, for example, and they had very few political and legal rights.

In spite of these obstacles, the Armenian community thrived under Ottoman rule. They tended to be better educated and wealthier than their Turkish neighbors, who in turn grew to resent their success.

This resentment was compounded by suspicions that the Christian Armenians would be more loyal to Christian governments (that of the Russians, for example, who shared an unstable border with Turkey) than they were to the Ottoman caliphate. (note: Russia also had as a primary religion…Christianity through the Russian Orthodox Church and not Muslim.)

These suspicions grew more acute as the Ottoman Empire crumbled. At the end of the 19th century, the despotic Turkish Sultan Abdul Hamid II – obsessed with loyalty above all, and infuriated by the nascent Armenian campaign to win basic civil rights – declared that he would solve the “Armenian question” once and for all.

“I will soon settle those Armenians,” he told a reporter in 1890. “I will give them a box on the ear which will make them…relinquish their revolutionary ambitions.” (History.com)

Footnote: Today, Turkey refuses to admit that anything happened to the Armenian people even though there are skeletons to prove it and some 100 year old survivors, who remember this terrible history as children. Turkey calls it “relocation.” The truth being that they moved the Armenians out before they murdered them because they didn’t want the bodies to be in their territory. Only a few escaped to tell the story.

Daniel Yessian believed he would honor his ancestors and those who died in the Armenian genocide if he could compose a musical trilogy with photography of the history of the Armenians. He had never traveled to Armenia, but found it a wonderful experience of getting to know the land and people who suffered so much…but survived to this day. This Trilogy was based on FREEDOM…FEAR…and FAITH.

_________________

If you would like to watch a remarkable film with the complete story of Mr. Yessian’s journey to bring his composition to the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra. It is available on Amazon Prime…An Armenian Trilogy. It is worth your time to look it up and watch.

AN IMPORTANT THOUGHT

In this film, Mr. Yessian wonders if there will be more genocides to come. This is a very important thought for all of us to contemplate. How much do we know or remember about the genocides in more recent history? How much are our young people learning today about past history that must not be repeated? Even today, in various places in the world, there is great persecution going on that may not make the national news.

REFRESHING OUR MEMORY OF HISTORY AND GENOCIDES

These pictures represent only a very few of the atrocities during the 19th and 20th centuries. It is, however, important to remember what people have endured and pray that there will be no more. Where one group of people stand against another, it is entirely possible that it will happen again. Mr. Yessian also says, “We are nothing without each other.”

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Video: A trailer, ARMENIAN TRILOGY, concerning the music composed in commemoration of the Armenian people who perished.

by Daniel Yessian.


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..
.


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.


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