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.
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)
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.
LET’S TAKE A MOMENT and LOOK at what AMERICA COULD EVENTUALLY EXPERIENCE IF WE LOSE ALL LAW AND ORDER…OR 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.
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.
After much confinement and trying to teach children at home during the Pandemic, most of my readers who are parents or have grandchildren, whom they rarely see, are excited about the possibility of getting back on track with school and education.
Some families are choosing to take things slowly with a “wait and see” attitude…continuing home schooling or online teaching…while others will be relieved to see the big, yellow bus come their way. We ask prayers for any bus driver who will have to enforce “distancing” and “mask wearing!” Everyone, however, is eager to get back to “normal”…or whatever “normal” may be!
As parents gives last minute instructions, they may be saying things like “Be sure to wear your mask and don’t get too close to anyone!” Good luck on that happening. No, it hasn’t been easy all these months and the problems that will arise will be new and varied. I can only imagine the stress parents have been under because my children are all grown and out on their own…trying to make a living, like everyone else. Parenting is a new challenge. God bless them everyone!!
Having been surrogate teachers, Moms and Dads might make this comment: “At least, the teacher, who is educated in higher math, science and history will be able to do a far better job than those of us who never intended to teach these subjects. After all, I work in the restaurant business, drive a truck, stock shelves… or work as a bank teller for a living. My child just didn’t know how to interact me or with a teacher on a screen…especially my little kindergarten child.”
Well, Dear Reader, if you are looking for relief, this blog post may not give you very much because we are going to consider the new concepts of learning that your child will encounter when you wave “goodbye and have a nice day!” You will find that there is a bias that runs deep within most school systems.
If you want your child to have the best learning experience possible and you can’t afford a private or Christian school that has a fantastic reputation for learning, what are you to do? What exactly are most schools around the country deciding for you what is the correct approach to teaching your beautiful child? Here are some big questions that might have never crossed your mind.
How will they learn?
What will their minds be filled with that you may not agree with?
How will you counter those things as a parent?
Let’s talk curriculum and learning!
The curriculum established in a school is the heart of what is to be learned in the classroom, along with social interaction. I speak as an educator, who knows quite a lot on this subject because of my many years of teaching students and supervising other teachers. CREATIVITY in teaching was my strength. It is what I believe to be the joy of teaching for most excellent teachers. This freedom is fading away…and in some cases…COMPLETELY GONE.
It appears that the changes in “how and what to teach” that is being forced upon teachers in education today are laced with ulterior motives. Through teacher in-service training, the fast- changing rules and regulations are taking place… and they WILL effect your child.
Each year there are teachers who leave the profession because they are not being allowed to creatively teach…as one more rule and regulation is added to how they are to teach the student’s curriculum. They know if they are to keep their jobs, their hands are tied and they worry about what the student is actually learning or being indoctrinated academically. The ability for a student to find solutions to problems, looking at both sides of an issue and in general…learning about critical thinking is not being stressed. How much debate is allowed in the High Schools or Middle Schools is “debatable.” Students are also concerned about being called names if they don’t take the popular positions espoused by news media and more. Every teen wants to fit in…and it takes real courage to oppose the norm. Ask Jonathan Isaac, the young man who was highlighted in one of my previous blogs. He is an adult now, but somewhere in his youth, he had to learn to decide what was right for himself. He choose to stand during the National Anthem…even if he had to do it alone.
If you want your child to actually learn the major parts of our U.S. history, science and literature… and be well-rounded in the basic areas of learning, you may want to read Paula Enck’s interview with a teacher. She is writing this article to give parents and others in the world a heads up to what is happening in our American world of education.
Here, in part, are some of her eye-opening statements from the 4th grade teacher about her experience and what is being expected of other teachers:
A world without textbooks or homework and where getting the wrong answer is celebrated may sound like an elementary student’s dream, but if such a fantasy becomes a reality, it would damage a generation of young minds. That is, however, exactly what is happening in many public elementary schools.
Recently, I spoke with a fourth-grade teacher from the midwest, who shared her experience witnessing the shifting of curriculum from history and science towards overt political indoctrination, all to the detriment of students’ learning. To protect this person’s privacy, she will remain nameless.
In supervising fourth grade, she teaches a little bit of everything: math, reading, language arts, social studies, and science. Recently, her school district, like many others, switched to an “integrated curriculum.” On paper, an integrated curriculum sounds like a fair idea. Students learn subjects by exploring their intersections to deepen understanding. In practice, however, the curriculum all but eradicates history while working to push politics on impressionable children.
As the teacher reports, “It says ‘integrated curriculum,’ and some of its science, and some of its social studies but it really isn’t. It’s more of a push for the progressive movement.” Indeed, it’s a movement that has fundamentally altered her curriculum. As the school district’s new curricula are online, outsiders have the ability to dictate curriculum to teachers. The result? This teacher’s science and history classes were gutted...
History Deemed Expendable
(the interview continues) “I used to do a whole unit an Abraham Lincoln, and for some reason, it’s just all of that is gone, based on an integrated curriculum. When you look at our curriculum, they’ve removed everything that was in the textbook. They say, ‘Don’t use the textbook, and you don’t need to teach that anymore.’
Throwing Out Textbooks
This teacher’s district, like many others, has not just done away with history and science, but also textbooks in general. The frustrating part of being a teacher in elementary grades is that they have no foundational skills. The textbooks that were used went through the different states and regions, the government, Abraham Lincoln… As far as studying history, we kind of lost all of that because I was told, ‘Please discard all of your textbooks.’ … I asked why over and over and over again and was told that we now have an integrated curriculum, so do not use textbooks.
Ditching all books for computers teaches students to disregard the information that can be found in books, the teacher noted. Instead, they are being taught that everything can and should be learned online. Despite this push towards the internet, the students are not taught how to evaluate online sources for accuracy. In youth and inexperience, it can be easy to mistake a valid source of historical or scientific facts with a poor alternative. This is a recipe for ill-prepared children armed with a legion of bad facts.
Values in teaching history
The kids are missing out on learning why there was a civil war in the first place. They don’t learn the true meaning of slavery and how it got resolved because it’s just disappeared from the curriculum.
The only thing I can teach in social studies was a little bit of government. There wasn’t anything anymore about the Civil War; that was completely gone...I spoke to a friend, who’s a fifth-grade teacher, and her Revolutionary War unit was gone. She used to do a great job on the colonists of America.
Science Replaced With Propaganda
Before the integrated curriculum began, this teacher engaged her students in an array of scientific studies. In the new curriculum, however: My last unit of teaching was just a long unit on petroleum and how bad it was. It would talk about oil spills. We’d have an experiment that kids have to mix tempera paint and oil to simulate an oil spill, so when that happened, the kids would see how awful it was on plants and animals. In reality, these are few and far between, where we have oil spills and causing great damage. But they take something that was awful happened back in history, we’ll take that and say, ‘This is why no one should ever use oil or gas.’ They’re trying to tell the kids that you are bad if you think that you should drive a car or a school bus without it being with renewable energy.
I’m teaching renewable energy in the 4th grade and feeling that is there should be a debate on it, and it should be taught both ways. Instead, it’s video after video after video how we killed animals, how it’s bad for the environment. It’s one-sided education instead of the time for debate.
That is what it’s really changed in the elementary school year. It’s a one-sided script. Science class under this curriculum mandate is not science, but political propaganda. Students have lost out on foundational skills that would benefit them greatly in middle and high school...
They’re not looking at the different levels of electricity. They’re not looking at anything about the water cycle. It’s all in the electronics area or it’s always on the Internet. Nothing is about reading a book and learning about following directions anymore… Science is taught in a very progressive manner. No longer the kids ever going to see a textbook in schools. It’s called ’21st-century learning’ so therefore without a textbook now...
Beloved Projects on the Chopping Block
It was so much fun doing state reports. Now, sadly to say, I’m told not to, because there’s no time for it. That it would be a waste of time. It was probably the best thing about 4th grade. They say, ‘What are you doing, teaching states? Why are you letting the kids do a state report?’ I said, ‘It’s reading, it’s writing, it’s research.’ There is so much to learn, and now I’m not allowed to do that because of the integrated curriculum.
These state projects were not just social studies. They taught kids valuable research and communication skills. The cross-section of skills that coalesced into a beloved annual tradition is how an integrated curriculum should function. Now it’s gone, and so is the teacher’s ability to be creative in working with her students.
(Boyer Writes note: As an educator, before my retirement, I taught a number of grades in both elementary and middle school. 5th grade was my favorite where I was able to do exciting things to enhance the curriculum required. We learned in Social Studies about the Constitution, History of American wars fought, the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the slaves, and had one on one interviews with World War II veterans and Holocaust Survivors. The students took notes, wrote a report about their conversations and presented them, as a public speaking exercise, to the class. A teacher friend told me…”No more planting a Victory Garden or doing those things for we must be on the same page and chapter in every classroom. There is no time.”)
Parents None the Wiser
With the removal of important foundational skills and basic subjects, one would think the school district parents would be up-in-arms about the schools’ curriculum shift. Conservative parents especially should be fighting the school’s attempted indoctrination of their children. However, they are unable to have opinions on their children’s education, because they have no idea what’s happening.
The parents don’t know what’s going on because it’s all at school. We hardly give homework anymore…. I just disagree with a lot of things, but they keep it in school so that the parents don’t have to worry. The parents question very little and they just assume the teacher knows what they’re doing.
With limited homework, parents lack a window into what is being taught to their children. Likewise, the students are losing an important aspect of early education — drilling foundational subjects, like basic math, in order to better understand in the future.
Getting the Wrong Answer…and Growth Mindset
The in-school application of a so-called “growth mindset” actually keeps students from learning and growing. The way of teaching is to get them to get the answer first, and then some of the kids won’t know how they got there because they’re always in a group setting. We have to work together. We’re always talking about cooperative learning. I feel that too much cooperative learning now. We don’t have the skill base anymore.
We test them, but by the time we’ve tested them, they really have never learned anything in the first place. We know they’re at the bottom and they stay at the bottom because nobody sitting there saying, ‘Well let’s just skill and drill.’ They’ve left out all the basic skills. They left out drills. No longer can a teacher do things like math flashcards, because that’s not acceptable. Some principals think that that would belittle the children if they see that they’re not getting their math facts fast.
… ‘We can’t identify the kids that are low achievers.’ So they try to pretend that that’s why we need cooperative learning. Just give the answer. Don’t let them say the wrong answer and feel bad about it.
They come up with this new math, and just say, ‘Getting the wrong answer is good because that helps your brain grow.’ So we’ve got this growth mindset, which is fine but we’re really allowing kids to get wrong answers and not be curious about how do we get to this right. The fear of belittling or saddening students is directly keeping them from learning and thriving academically.”
School should be a happy experience for all students. The greatest complement to a teacher is when a parent says, “My child just can’t wait to get to school.” It is then that a teacher knows she or he is doing something right. Learning is taking place because the child loves coming to school to be able to learn.
There could be some sad days at school. It is going to be part of human kind that some students will try to bully other children. Perhaps they also experience this in their own home. In these situations, the teacher must have a close connection with all students and be on top of any concerns that keeps a student from enjoying school, learning or being a target of any other student. Real learning can only be achieved in this atmosphere. There has to be proper discipline for learning to take place. It is the beginning of the child’s understanding about the real world.
Teaching values to children should also be a part of every grade-level curriculum. This does not mean religious training, unless in a religious school, but simple every-day living values of honesty, sportsmanship, caring, empathy and more. A parent should know that this is also part of the curriculum. After all, social interaction is part of going to school…everything from being polite to a classmate to the janitor who cleans the building.
As has been mentioned, Teachers should be able to be as creative as possible while achieving with their students the curriculum goals. This will mean juggling the curriculum to help those who don’t have as strong foundation as other children. The children who are accelerated in their learning should not be held back with those unable to keep up. This will lead to boredom and a slow-down in what they are able to achieve. To think that all children learn equally is a complete falsehood. No shoe fits all. To try to make the curriculum one way is not only foolish, but totally irresponsible. Only an excellent teacher, who is unbridled by the authorities in her teaching abilities, will be able to accomplish the best achievement for all students. If they are not able to do this, they should find a job elsewhere. Keeping poor teachers on year after year is a disgrace to the educational system. The Teacher’s Union should not stand in the way of a dismissal when it is in the best interest of the child.
Principals and Academic supervisors play a great part in choosing the correct curriculum within their schools. A good Principal is worth his or her weight in gold if they give the teachers the opportunity to express their individual teaching style. One wonders how people, with great authority in decision making for students, get into these positions. It has a simple answer… Often IT IS POLITICAL.
Sometimes it is the supervisors, unions, or national or state educational groups who want to plant their seeds in the schools to fit their agenda. We must not forget that training the young minds for the future can be the downfall of a country. One example of political power is the push to rid the system of charter schools, which are making a contribution to the specific education needs of our children. Much of this is assertion of power or personal ladder climbing at the expense of our children. Should I say more?
During new regulations concerning the virus, parents may not have as much leeway to enter classrooms in order to observe the kind of atmosphere and learning that is taking place in the classroom. Regular conversations, however, between a parent and child about what is being taught in the classroom is essential. In doing so, a parent will get a sense if their child is experiencing a joy for learning. They will know if he or she is learning to think on their own and are gaining an understanding of the history that has made America strong and other countries collapse. It is essential that they learn the difference between Democracy and ideologies such as Communism. This will be a crucial life-skill needed in the their future.
Those agreeing with “Cancel-Culture” wants to change the date of the Founding of our nation from 1776 to 1619 to reflect the timeline that slaves were brought to America instead of the time the Declaration of Independence was signed. This is called the 1619 Project (Jake Silverstein of the New York Times) In reaction to this is what Cabot Phillips wrote in his article:
“…We must not stand idly by while our education system is hijacked, and our children misled and brainwashed to hate our nation instead of loving it.Last month, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., proposed a bill that would prevent federal funds from being used to teach the 1619 Project in public schools. Bold steps like this must be taken, and Americans must demand a say in what’s being taught in our schools. Without action, our education system will continue to indoctrinate students with anti-American propaganda, and future generations will think our culture and way of life is nothing worth preserving.”
As mentioned previously, the proposals for changing the curriculum of K-12 and College is changing faster that anyone can imagine. Be alert, parents, and do your best to protect your children. Remember, YOU are the greatest teacher that your child will ever have. Most will emulate your thoughts and beliefs. Let them know what you believe is right for them to know and understand. It will not be enough to leave their education and their future in someone else’s hands.
Blessings for this new school year. It may be different, but may it a great one! Boyer Writes
How hard is it to wear a mask until this Corvid-19 pandemic is under control?
Apparently, very hard for some of the uncaring of the world! Maybe that is a little harsh. Let’s say that not all unmasked people are uncaring, but simply feel healthy, confused over statistics given out by authorities, or haven’t given it too much thought because they feel invincible. They also think the masks are a “pain to wear, especially during the summer in hot weather and difficult to talk through! I agree, but this is not the point. Health, life or death is the point.
People all over the world have designed their own masks. Whether they are effective or not is debatable, but they are definitely creative! At least they are wearing them.
Even the little children of Kenya know there is something that might hurt them and try to construct a mask to ward off this disease. Kindness is needed by so many people. Perhaps someone from the U.S.A or another part of the world could send them a large supply of real masks. (Photo and contact for Lorenz Omondi in Kenya)
Further reasons may vary for not wearing the mask. Some think that they DO NO GOOD. This has not been proven…so the encouragement to wear them has been mainly left up to individual responsibility.
Now, because many people have not been responsible, it is becoming more mandatory to do so. Why be so cocky about doing something so simple? We are fighting an enemy that we can’t see… an invisible virus? Who made any of us ALL-KNOWING and arrogant that we can put ourselves and others in more danger than is necessary? There will be much more that we will know after the virus is gone. Nevertheless, there may be more to come….and then will we debate the mask issue all over again? Give me…and us a break!!!
What then is the reason for not wearing a simple mask during this pandemic?
IT IS SELFISH, DISREGARD FOR LIFE!
It is hard also to imagine that Covid-19 parties among the young is not a prescription for disasters waiting to happen. Also, We might as well stop looking at the figures…for their validity comes and goes depending who is counting. Some places get their reporting figures correct…others don’t. The results of testing are also taking far too long. A person could be negative one day, exposed the next, and positive before the first results even get to them…whatever the findings.
We also might as well stop thinking that we are the ALL-KNOWING when it comes to deciding what is right for the most vulnerable, people around us, our families and ourselves…except to protect them the best we can. For now, wearing the face mask is what we are being ask to do. We are not asked to do some monumental task…just put it on the face and around the ears!
It is not too much to ask all people, old and young, to be more cautious and decide that it is not worth playing Russian Roulette with the lives around us. When this is over, you can ditch the mask and hope to never see it again!!
Ever hear a verse from the song, Russian Roulette?
“As my life flashes before my eyes
I’m wondering will I, ever see another sunrise?
So many won’t get the chance to say goodbye
But it’s too late to think of the value of my life”
( Charles Harmon / Shaffer Smith/ Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group)
The “Value of Life” is extremely important to Christians and many other religions. However, even with some Christians, I think they have not thought through their actions when it comes to being considerate of others. Each person will make the decide if they MASK OR DON’T MASK.
Sometimes governments seem to actually loose their heads over the issue of masks. It was hard to believe that in Oregon there was a mandate that only white people had to wear masks. This was quickly reversed after the outcry. No wonder people put little faith in a great number of elected officials.
A week after issuing an order that required only white people to wear masks, leaders in Lincoln County, Oregon, have reversed the policy because of “ horrifically racist commentary” according to the county’s website. (The News Tribune)
What are some of the thoughts on TO WEAR OR NOT TO WEAR?
The CIDRAP, which is the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, wrote an article adding to the doubt of how effective the masks might be. Since no one really knows at this point, there were requests to remove the article from the website. The reasons were as follows:
(1) We don’t truly know that cloth masks (face coverings) are not effective, since the data are so limited.
(2) Wearing a cloth mask or face covering is better than doing nothing.
(3) The article is being used by individuals and groups to support non-mask wearing where mandated.
(4) There are now many modeling studies suggesting that cloth masks or face coverings could be effective at flattening the curve and preventing many cases of infection. (Article from U. of Minnesota/ Dr. Brosseau and Dr. Sietsema experts on respiratory protection)
The other day, because of boredom from staying at home, we decided to go a favorite restaurant. Our policy has been about once a week to find a good place that we expect are following good health practices and support these people who are working hard to keep their businesses from going under.
Expecting to see the usual spaced seating, which is required, we were amazed to see that none of the servers or the owners were wearing masks at the place chosen for this week. As we gave our order and were served, the “required distancing” was hard to maintain…but would have been a little more tolerable if they had on their masks. What was the story here?
Later, the restaurant was called and asked their policy on mask wearing. They said they do not wear masks, but do “social distancing.” This, of course, is actually impossible to maintain when leaning over the table to serve the food.” The restaurant employee was told, “The masks are for your protection from the public as well as the public from your employees.”
It would be unfortunate for this restaurant to lose customers because of their policy. Until the virus is under control or they change their policy of “no masks for employees,” we will not be back. It is a guess that others will make the same decision. It is simply the respect for each other…and good business sense in this difficult time.
Maybe that is the word I am looking for….RESPECT.
Recently I read an article about Dr. Michael Saag in Alabama. He is a survivor of the virus that he contacted on a trip out of town. This is what he had to say, in part, about people choosing to disrespectfully NOT WEAR MASKS. Remember, he is speaking from personal experience about the sadness of this disease because he has experienced it.
“For Saag, the fight is personal. In early March, both he and his adult son came down with the virus after a trip to Manhattan when the epidemic was raging there. First came a cough, followed by fever, a headache, body aches and what Saag called “fuzzy thinking,” or an inability to concentrate.
“The mornings I’d feel fine, thought I was done with it. And then every night it would come right back as if it was just starting all over again,” he said. “The hardest part of the night was that feeling of shortness of breath and not knowing if it’s going to get worse.”
During eight suffocating nights, Saag wasn’t sure whether he’d survive without a ventilator. It never came to that. He is now fully recovered and feels closer than ever to the people he treats.
“When I talk to a patient and I say, ‘Hey, I’ve had it too,’ it’s like we’re connected in a way that I really, honestly haven’t felt with patients ever before — and I’ve been doing this 40 years,” Saag said.
Outside the examination room, Saag has participated in news conferences and done media interviews to encourage basic public health practices, but he knows many people just aren’t listening.
He said it is disheartening to see a widespread disregard for safety measures and worries about Alabama’s future at a time when the virus is posing more of a threat than ever.
“I’m just thinking, `Oh, my goodness. We’re going to be in trouble very soon,’” Saag said...
Dr. Michael Saag spends much of his time treating patients fighting for their lives and working with colleagues who are overwhelmed and exhausted by the relentless battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
But he enters a different world when he walks out the door of his Alabama clinic: one where many don’t wear masks, keep their distance from others or even seem aware of the intense struggle being waged against a virus that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives nationwide and made so many — including the doctor — seriously ill. The disconnect is devastating. “It’s a mixture of emotions, from anger to being demoralized to bewilderment to frustration,” Saag said (Article by Jay Reeves with Associated Press)
What Dr. Saag is experiencing in Alabama is true in most states…certainly in mine, which is Florida. The lack of concern by young families and the lack of being an example to their young families, especially the teenagers, is truly amazing…until they experience what Dr. Saag has experienced…or they lose Grandma or Grandpa. The story then becomes personal.
How important are your children and grandchildren to you? After you are older and there is another pandemic, how will they protect you…and their families?
IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK to simply have a mask in the car for everyone to use for a short while when in public?
WEAR THE MASK! IT WON’T KILL YOU…BUT THE VIRUS MIGHT!
While you are home and enjoying the pleasure of a “mask free” existence, here is a special relaxing video for you to hear and count your blessings. God bless you and be well.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
For your pleasure:
In the midst of evil, one man would not give up on saving the lives of hundreds of children in Czechoslovakia. His name is Nicolas Winton.
What this man did was remarkable and courageous. The parents of Prague were crying for help from any country before the invasion they knew was coming. Only England responded and said to send the children to them.
The heart wrenching decisions that the Jewish parents had to make in order to save their children is told in a film about Winton’s life. It is definitely worth watching…as we learn of not only the parent’s courage, but that of a man who could have walked away from the situation. He left his job with the London Stock Exchange to do what he believed to be most important…save young lives. Many of those parent would die in the concentration camps.
It is 1939 and Europe is on the brink of war. Hitler has invaded Czechoslovakia, threatening the lives of the Jewish population. Nicholas Winton, a young British stockbroker, decides he will do everything possible to save the lives of as many Jewish children as he can. This film, transmitting on Holocaust Memorial Day, tells the extraordinary story of how Nicholas Winton rescued 669 children from the clutches of the Nazis, bringing them by train to Britain. (Berta film)
Shortly before Christmas 1938, Winton was planning to travel to Switzerland for a skiing holiday. He decided instead to visit Prague and help Martin Blake, who was in Prague as an associate of the British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia then in the process of being occupied by Germany, and had called Winton to ask him to assist in Jewish welfare work. Winton established an organization to aid children from Jewish families at risk from the Nazis. He set up his office at a dining room table in his hotel in Wenceslas Square. In November 1938, following Kristallnact in Nazi-ruled Germany, the House of Commons approved a measure to allow the entry into Britain of refugees younger than 17, provided they had a place to stay and a warranty of £50 was deposited for their eventual return to their own country. (Wikipedia)
An interesting fact of Winton’s early life is as follows: Winton was born on 19 May 1909 in Hampstead, London. His parents were German Jews who moved to London. The family name was Wertheim, but they changed it to Winton in an effort at integration. They also converted to Christianity and Winton was baptized as a Christian. (History)
After World War II was over, Nicolas took up his own life and it wasn’t until his wife found an old scrapbook in the attic that she knew of the hundreds of children that he had helped save. This is probably the greatest example of his humility.
The life of this man, who with determination, skill and fortitude, proves how one decision can change a world. Generations have learned that they are alive because their grandparents were saved as children.
Sir Nicolas Winton lived to be 106 years old and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth.
The trailer below will make you want to see the entire film. It is available on Amazon Prime…Nicky’s Family. May the world learn from his great example of giving of self and determination. We certainly need it today.
Children the world over are God’s beautiful creation. They are meant to be loved, encouraged, taught and become the wonderful adults we hope them to be. They will be our next teachers, ministers and priests, doctors and nurses, leaders, mechanics, scientists, great artists and inventors. They will be what their God-given talents can make them…..IF….they are taught, loved and shown the way by the examples of adults. What we instill in them will bring us joy, laughter and peace… or the very opposite.
WHAT A CHALLENGE FOR US! We are the adults. They are the followers. I remember a young man in a 5th grade class I was teaching, who mostly wanted to draw. He had a talent that I pray he is using today. At least that was what I encouraged his mother to do for him…“Find him the best art teachers you can find. Let him do what he loves most and bring him along a path of art adventure in his life. What other children will do, he may have no interest in doing. Let him be who he is. Let him use the talent God has given him.”
For your pleasure, I want to introduce to you a young child, approximately 9 years old, from Russia. His name is Elisey Mysin. In 2019, he mesmerized the audience in the city of Naberezhyny Chelny when he performed Mozart’s Concerto No 3 in D. Major.
Thank God for children…the talented and the less talented…they are all His gift to us!
Turn up your sound.
I’m happy to share with you two of my new books that are now online at Amazon. It has been a time to consider my writing and what type of contribution I can give to those readers who are experiencing these weeks and months of virus sadness and weariness.
First, for all those who have lost loved ones to this dread disease, please know my heart and prayers are with you. To those whose lives have been turned upside down through financial distress or ruin, my prayers are for you each night. My hope is that my books, shown below, will be helpful and inspirational to face life anew.
- The book I decided to write during these troubled times is first for children and parents, who want their children to understand what the world is facing. Getting out my paints, I challenged myself to illustrate and as a retired educator, to remember what my students age 9-12 would understand and enjoy. I decided to use our Golden Retriever, Bella, as the main character.
The book for adults, young adults and even teens is: (links) FAITH DEVOTIONAL BOOK 5 or FAITH and the WORLD-WIDE PANDEMIC. Both books have the same content, but different covers. Take a look and see what you think:
(link) GERMS! OH NO!
Very young children love to be read to and shown pictures…especially of animals. If there is a pet in the home or the family takes trips to the great outdoors, animals are always in the mix.
Our family dogs and cats give us love and attention and love is mostly what they crave …next to a big bowl of food.
All animals, domesticated or wild, feel better when they have a full tummy.
Food changes all moods…human and otherwise. This led me to think about how animal books could teach very young children how to behave. Parents, you will like this first in a series on “animal lessons” as you try to feed, put to bed or teach sharing with your child.
Here is my newest book for a little one that you may know…The Moody Musical Cat.
It wasn’t food that changed his behavior, but music. Surprise! Surprise!
“The recent rash of mass shootings has left the nation stunned but, sadly, not speechless. The usual media and political suspects are saying the usual things, using the bodies of the innocent as a sickening ideological soapbox.
We’re not going to do that here. These gruesome murders are not about, nor caused by, politics. Rather, they are the unavoidable and perhaps unstoppable product of a deeply diseased culture. A culture which has become the perfect growth medium for psychopathy.
“Loners” are no longer alone when in their online worlds. They can communicate without actual human contact. They can find reinforcement for their darkest and most twisted thoughts and fantasies. They can give the worst demons of their psyches an artificial, external life in cyberspace… free to express hatred and anger anonymously and without consequence. And on the Internet, madness can hide in plain sight.
After all, who’s going to notice or care about garden variety insanity in a world which routinely describes everyone as murderous: baby killers on one side, Earth-destroying Nazis on the other. The stakes are absolute, the “other” is the enemy, and words are just words…until they become actions.
The social mechanisms which formerly prevented these massacres have crumbled the bonds of family, friendship, and faith…a shared sense of community, optimism about the future, moral certainty and personal responsibility.
Instead, we now live in a crowded world of communal loners, all staring at their phones instead of the world and people around them. Politicians and media figures preach an unsubtle and dangerously divisive message of absolutes: you are either on this side or that, either all good or all evil. There is no middle ground – only calls for action. Calls that the wrong people are hearing.
We live in a culture in which too many feel they have no meaning or importance, but believe that one spectacular act of madness can give them the instant celebrity which defines success in a sick society. And so they kill to feel alive…to experience an illusion of power at the expense of the powerless. And even knowing the likelihood that they will be killed during their heinous act, they believe they will live eternally in the electronic ether, washed in the blood of the sacrificed.
Gun control can not and will not change any of this. The phenomena of mass shootings is, in fact, unstoppable absent a wholesale change in our culture, our way of life, and our society’s unhealthy obsession with an inhuman and inhumane electronic world.
The good news is that the vast majority of people still retain values strong enough to keep them morally centered in our crumbling culture. The bad news is that unless those values can regain cultural dominance, and unless we can replace combativeness and angry confrontation with honest conversation, mass murder will continue to be our inescapable new normal.”
- You shall have no other Gods but Me.
- You shall not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it.
- You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
- You shall remember and keep the Sabbath day holy.
- Respect your father and mother.
- You must not commit murder.
- You must not commit adultery.
- You must not steal.
- You must not give false evidence against your neighbor.
- You must not be envious of your neighbor’s goods. You shall not be envious of his house nor his wife, nor anything that belongs to your neighbor.
We have to begin somewhere to heal our society. It’s bigger than any law or any revision of laws…for it has to start in the heart. It will take all Americans working together for a peaceful life for us and our children.
For all those who have suffered great loss, we, at Boyer Writes, dedicate this video. Turn up your sound and quietly listen to the words.
Everywhere we look, there is difficulty in the world. People hardly agree on anything. If we say what we truly think about someone or any particular subject, we are in jeopardy of being called some name we know we are not.
Many people I know have decided to stop watching the news or talk shows. One person told me, “I just listen to music or read a book instead.” If they feel that way for themselves, they certainly feel that their children don’t need a daily dose of what our world is becoming. How can one explain to a child why people are fist fighting at Disney…or why people are rioting in the streets around the world?
Where is love in all this? Maybe one person that so many generations grew up with had the answer to a truly difficult world. His name is Mr. Rogers.
He was a Christian and a Presbyterian minister who knew God’s love was the way and the only way to reach beyond prejudice, politics or wars among ourselves.
He certainly understood Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan. It was his way in trying to help children understand that we need to be kind to one another no matter whether we like a person or don’t like their actions. Kindness was at the top of all his program messages. The only way to get that back in our world is to find it within our own hearts and to teach it to our children by our examples.
Mr. Rogers wrote all his songs. One of his special songs that he sang was It’s You I Like. The words were special because he thought they were important for a child to understand about his or herself.
Written by Fred Rogers | © 1971, Fred M. Rogers
It’s you I like,
It’s not the things you wear,
It’s not the way you do your hair
But it’s you I like
The way you are right now,
The way down deep inside you
Not the things that hide you,
Not your toys
They’re just beside you.
But it’s you I like
Every part of you.
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings
Whether old or new.
I hope that you’ll remember
Even when you’re feeling blue
That it’s you I like,
It’s you yourself
It’s you I like.
A movie has been made where Tom Hanks plays the part of Mr. Rogers. It will be a re-introduction to children and the world to a man and his message. Mr. Rogers probably never gave too much thought that his words could last long after his life. What a sermon to the world!
Whether you agree with everything said in this video below or not, it is definitely worth a watch. Enjoy….especially the children. They are beautiful in every way….and the future of our world.
Christmas Eve was silent as a baby was born in the manger. He was wrapped carefully by his mother, Mary, in faraway Bethlehem. Here in the United States and around the world, many families go to church on Christmas Eve to sing “Silent Night” and to remember this special event.
Afterward, parents tucked their children safely in bed…hoping they would go to sleep… as they wait for a special visit from Santa Claus. The stockings are hung and the presents are hidden under the tree.
Santa must be very tired when all is said and done. Guiding his sleigh around the world on Christmas Eve was no easy job. What every Santa needs on Christmas is to find some peace and rest. Here on earth, the presents he brought have been unwrapped. The aromas from the stoves cooking Christmas dinner drift around the houses of the neighborhoods. We know the elves have closed up shop, but it leads us to wonder about something else.
“When Santa finished driving his sleigh to the homes of all the good little boys and girls around the world, what did he do with the reindeer?
On Christmas Day, Santa let his reindeer have some fun. He took them to the races!
What races? The reindeer races in Lapland and Finland, of course. Want to see?
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OUR READERS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Christmas is a time of celebration and belief…belief in the true Christmas when the Savior of the World was born…belief in the joys that surround Christmas. Many of these joys come in different forms. It may be the decorating of the Christmas tree with all the old ornaments that have been carefully put away for another year. It could be baking of a special pie or the wrapping of a present for a special person. The choirs that sing our once a year music and the garlands and wreaths that are hung… bring a light and hope to our lives and in our churches. Some of those lights are bathed in sunlight and swaying moss from the trees, as here in my home state of Florida or in the beautiful snow-covered churches further up north.
Some say that Christmas is for children. We know it is a special time for them, but the true meaning of Christmas is for everyone.
“For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
To have the faith of a child…to be able to hear the ringing inside a small bell when grown-ups have ceased to hear it because of disbelief…is the theme of one of the most loved and cherished of Christmas films, The Polar Express. available online
Recently, my husband and I sat down and watched the entire film. It had been many years since we had seen it, but the “magic” was still there. Tom Hanks plays various parts with different voices, which is analyzed in the video below to the meaning behind the characters presented in this great film.
At this special season, Boyer Writes would suggest that you gather your children or grandchildren around to enjoy the full-length film. You are never too old to bring the joy of belief into your life. In today’s world, we all need to seek to believe in the sacred meaning of Christmas and also in the joys and magic of Merry Christmas that we may have left behind in our childhood!
From time to time we hear or read about a tragic thing happening that could have been prevented…with a simple test. For all parents who may read my blog…or grandparents who have small grandchildren, this blog is a heart-breaking plea from a mother who has just lost her precious child. Please pass this along…for it may save a life.
Sierra Greenlee writes:
“I have avoided this post for a while, it is long but hang in there I promise it is important. I would like to share with you the worst night of my life. Not because I want your pity, but because I would like to inform you of an issue that is very important and no one really thinks about.
In the wee hours of March 22, 2018, it was like any other. I got off work and I headed to pick up my daughter. She had spent the last week with her dad and I was ready for my snuggles. I was excited to hear about her week and I was dreaming of the late morning breakfast and playtime we would have when we woke up.
When I got to the babysitters she had carried her to my car, my daughter was completely knocked out she had had a hard day. In an offhanded way, I asked if she was breathing, joking. Until I put my hand on her little chest and I felt no movement. In that moment I completely freaked out. I couldn’t finish a thought. I knew I needed to get her back inside and start CPR. I was so mad and terrified. I was yelling at everyone who got in my way or tried to say something.
I ran her back inside and laid her down and started CPR on her little limp body. In my head, I knew I needed to remain calm but I couldn’t, I was yelling at my babysitter and trying to think about doing chest compressions and breathing and freaking out the entire time.
Finally after what seemed like an hour which in actuality was probably only 15 minutes EMS got there and took over. For the next hour while they tried desperately to bring me back my baby I called my parents and her dad, I paced, I cried, I prayed. At times I felt like an outsider watching this awful event unfold. I had always had these nightmares but it was never supposed to happen, not to me. It was the most surreal moments in my life.
After an hour of watching them pump my little girl’s chest and breathe for her, they loaded her up in the ambulance and we followed behind. As we drove to the hospital the worst thoughts flooded into my head. I thought of the fact that the last time I had seen my baby awake she was begging me not to go to work and I went anyway. I was thinking about what it would mean for me if she was gone. I thought of what it would be like to plan my child funeral and all the things I would miss out on. I prayed to God that if only he would spare my baby I would do whatever he wanted.
When we got to the hospital they lead me to the small room off of the waiting room and started asking me all of the questions they ask when you go to the hospital. I foolishly thought this is a good sign. They want to admit her. I was there for maybe 10 minutes before a doctor came in say down beside me and said the words that would forever change my world, he said “We did everything we could but unfortunately we were unable to revive her and she did not survive.”
That one little sentence devastated my entire being. Everything I was was in that little girl. She was my absolute pride and joy. If you asked me how I was doing it would usually go something like I’m good, my daughter…. But in that moment I couldn’t feel anything it was like my heart had stopped too. I was an empty shell. The shock was overwhelming.
When they took me to her little lifeless body laying on that big hospital bed I lost it. I wanted to hold her and lay with her. They let me. I held her as the heat slowly left her body and her skin became cold to the touch. If I wasn’t holding her I was running my hands through her little hair. Singing her favorite song.
After about 30 minutes or so they came to me and told me they had run some tests and it appears she had had undiagnosed Type 1 Diabetes and her blood sugar level was in the 500’s. I could not comprehend this information. How could my baby have Diabetes? She had gone to her wellness checkup only the week before and they told me she was healthy. How could she have died from a disease that I know thousands of people manage?
For those of you who do not know an average person’s blood sugar should not be above 100 and my child’s was 5 times the healthy amount. At 300-400 you start to go comatose. My baby had slipped into a coma and her little body was unable to fight it’s way out, and it gave out. There were no signs leading up to this it was unexpected. Diabetes does not run in either of our families and so we had no idea.
Later I found out that Diabetes is not something they test for in small children. They don’t typically test until they are school age and show signs. Unless of course, it runs in the family.
The signs for Diabetes in toddlers are they drink a lot and pee a lot and are tired. These signs are easily missed and overlooked because most toddlers do these things. The test is a simple blood sugar test that you have to request at their wellness checkup.
So I beg you to ask your child’s doctor to test for it. I beg you to become aware of the signs and symptoms of childhood Diabetes. I beg you to share this post and story with everyone because no parent should ever have to hear the words “I’m sorry but unfortunately she did not survive.” Thank you.”
Recently I read an article written by a man who calls for people to “Quit Church”. The title is stirring and probably got a number of people to read his book with that same title. His whole point was to either give it your all…or not at all! Leave and Get out…now!
I’m sure he believes that this will stir people to support fully all that Christ would have them be and the end results would be that they would be totally committed and there would be no deficit in the church budget and the air conditioning will keep running during the hot summer months and their neighbors will be won to Christ…but he may have convinced the marginal believers to do as he said…QUIT!
If his advice is taken by those with a weakness of faith, eventually churches may look like the one shown here.
We must not forget that only a few church members from all types of churches and denominations, grand or small country gatherings, are often the ones who reach out to the homeless, addicts, victims of disasters and many other needs around the world. When the government or Red Cross is slow at trying to handle the matter, they step in. A hand-full of Christians run many of our hospitals and great universities were started by a few Christians who wanted a better life for everyone. None of them quit even though at times they may have felt that their faith to accomplish was weak and wanted to give up.
There will always be those who warm the pews and others who get fully involved. These people will be at every meeting, on as many committees as possible and are always available. Others will run the other way from such activities for whatever reason. Do we want them to leave forever? How will they replace God in their lives? The emptiness deeply felt and the void will surely be replaced with something else.
God does His work in the heart and the church is sometimes the only safe place that a person may have during times of trial or personal torment. Sometimes it is the stranger who is not a church member that walks into a church and sits on the pew all alone…seeking something…anything to help him or her find a way. They often don’t know that Christ’s Holy Spirit is there waiting in the quiet.
A handful of Christians may have reached deep into their pockets to keep that door open…just for this person sitting alone. It is what they have done as unto the Lord. Not everyone will do this, however, and the church leaders expect this even if they wish that it were different.
When the Church was first founded by the Apostles they had to give it all that they had…and most died a martyr’s death because of it. There is not a pastor alive who would not like to see his church pews filled to overflowing and not have to worry about church politics or any other matter. If only preaching the gospel could bring all people to give their full efforts, it would be grand. Unfortunately, a pastor or priest does not often see the fruits of their labor. Years later, someone may have remembered what they heard or felt in the church service even though their life was less than totally committed at the time.
Sometimes people will say “I’m not getting involved because I have been there and done that in my younger years.” They may have not been told that being a prayer warrior is also being involved. Not everyone can manage to be out-front all the time.
Yet, the minister continues to work with what he or she has and with those who decide to crawl out of bed on Sunday morning and make their way to a pew and to the altar for Holy Communion. Maybe that person never heard a word he said in the sermon, but he finds solace in the grace of the wine and bread, God reaches out to the heart whether the church is full or not.
It is entirely possible that God doesn’t care about church membership or even the church buildings in which we worship. These have been handed down by people who built them to honor God and to not forsake the assembling together as Christians, which we are admonished to do in the Holy Scriptures.
As a church body, we have what we have…those human beings who may be strong or weak. If the church closes because of lack of involvement or funds to operate, then it will close. Others will open even if they are fellowships within homes where they were started by the first Christians. Quitting is still not an option.
Perhaps Chris Sonksen of California who advocates quitting if you can’t step up to the plate, can think about some of these points. He says his organization gives “personal coaching to more than 200 churches and impacts thousands of leaders” with his book Quit Church ( if you can’t give it all). Has he lost sight of the fact that God can reach down and touch a life that is less committed? We would emphasize again, that it may be the open church door that still stands open where one can sit quietly and find relief from a noisy, violent, and often unfriendly world. The Christian church founders, through their courage, brought Christian faith to the world. They never quit when their faith wavered, but encouraged the believers to be “strong in the faith” through every problem.
I remember hearing a minister years ago standing before his congregation and telling them, “I have nothing to say to you today because I am in a desert place.” He then served Holy Communion and I have never forgotten his honesty. Should he have resigned (or quit) his call to ministry at that point? Of course not. He needed the prayers of the people for the rough time he was going through. No, quitting is not an option. How many times must it be said? We pick ourselves up through God’s grace and continue on. He will show the way.
Let’s talk about children. Your child or grandchildren may be the next “apostle” to the world. Removing them from church worship is also not an option because you don’t think you can give your all. Are we going to teach them to QUIT in other areas of their life…if they are somewhat reluctant to give it their all? Are you going to show them by your example that religious faith is not important because your faith is weak? Should we instead teach them that not everyone has the same spiritual foundation or strengths and there is hope for everyone. The theory of “All in or All out” is actually not realistic. We hardly do anything to that extent in life. Nothing is all black or white.
For many people, they baptized their children when they were only an infant. Did that promise you made at that time to raise them in spiritual grace mean only if you yourself were in perfect harmony with God? I doubt it. You have an obligation and vow that was taken for that little one.
I share with you now some special young people who have a message. They are imagining what it will be like when they finally see God face to face. We all will, you know. They also have dreams of the future. Encourage them to love God…even more than you think you do. Help them to take up the banner of faith…even when we may be lacking. These children, like those in our churches, are the future. Don’t quit on them.
Every year the U.S. celebrates Father’s Day. It is a time to recognize all those fathers who have spent time with their children…passing along the values and traditions of the family.
BLESSINGS TO ALL from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia Have a relaxing day!
VIDEO (Turn up sound)
More of our children have been lost to a mentally ill teen when he opened fire in another of our American schools. The sadness and loss of beautiful people with great talents is hard to comprehend.
We dedicate this blog to them…from the smallest child in elementary school to our teens and young adults in high schools and colleges and the teachers/adults… along with their grieving families and friends.
Consider these statistics and it does not include mass shootings at social clubs or other locations such as theaters, restaurants, businesses, health facilities, homes, streets or churches. Some who read this may not want to be reminded, but it is an extremely sad truth about the state of mental health in our nation.
COLLEGES AND HIGH SCHOOLS:
- 10 Killed – May 18, 2018 – Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas.
- 17 killed – February 14, 2018 -Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
- 9 killed – October 1, 2015 Umpoqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon
- 32 killed – April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA
- 9 killed – March 21,2005 – Red Lake High School, Red Lake, Minnesota.
- 13 killed – April 20, 1999 – Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.
- 27 killed – December 14, 2012 – Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. 20 children, ages six and seven, and six adults, school staff
(There could be more that we did not find listed.) credit to CNN
TOTAL 117 young people and faculty in just a few years. Too many gone…who had so much to give to the world, but didn’t have a chance to grow up.
VIDEO: This performance is by talented young people. (credit: Web Family Music)
Turn up sound.
IN MEMORY OF ALL THOSE LOST IN OUR SCHOOL’S CLASSROOMS.
Perhaps you missed the arrival of Moke at the Smithsonian Zoo in Washington, D.C. Who is Moke, you may ask, and why is this birth important?
Western lowland gorillas are critically endangered with only an estimated 100,000 left. Calaya, a western lowland gorilla, who has just given birth to her first offspring, a male named Moke, at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, DC. The arrival of Moke, which means “junior” or “little one” in the Lingala language of Africa, is the zoo’s first such gorilla birth in nine years. (Credit BBC news…Smithsonian)
This is what we learned from two videos posted below. Be sure to watch both. In fact, I would recommend to gather around your young children and let them see the miracle of birth…for it should not be a mystery.
Video 1: History of Calaya and the silverback gorilla who is the father of Moke
Video 2: The actual birth of Moke
As I watched this birth video, it was impressive to see her so gently clean her newborn and tenderly lay it in the hay. It appears that she will be a good mother.
We wish the new mother, Calaya, and her new baby, Moke, the best of health and long life.
Holocaust Remembrance Day is a time to remember and proclaim “NEVER AGAIN.”
Having just posted about the horrors of Syria, which may be another Holocaust if a solution is not found to bring peace to the area, it is fitting to think about World War II and all those who perished under the Nazi dictator, Hitler. It is estimated that over six million men, women and children died in the death camps. Memorials can be found around the world. One special one is the children’s memorial, Yad Vashem, in Jerusalem. The day my husband and I visited this memorial, there were little lights on the ceiling and the name of each child was read aloud continuously.
It doesn’t seem like any time since I took Student Ambassadors to Poland and we visited Auschwitz, one of the death camps. None of us will ever be the same. I, as a Christian, walked beside a young Jewish student who laid flowers at the very wall where so many were executed. I noticed that he wore his shorts but respectfully put on a tie and sports jacket as he approached the wall.
As we traveled, this same young man also wanted to find the apartment building where the Israeli Olympic team had been murdered by terrorists. We looked and looked; finally finding a small plaque outside an apartment building to remember the event. Given the gravity of this terrible tragedy, it seemed far too small.
Our student group spent time looking at the ovens where the bodies were burned. One amazing fact was that the home of the military commander and his family was right next to the grounds of Auschwitz. We saw the place where he was executed after the war by hanging. Eye glasses, shoes and suitcases were piled high in glass cases. One could see the torture chambers where a cross was scratched into the wall…indicating that not only Jews were interned there, but political prisoners and Christians.
Steven Spielberg has made it his mission to record the lives of survivors so that future generations will understand what hatred, prejudice and war can do to people. Once the people who fought WWII and the Holocaust survivors have died, their voices will be silenced forever….except for these recordings. Just as our World War II veterans are passing away by the hundreds each day, so are the survivors of the Holocaust.
It was my privilege to have the veterans and survivors come to my classroom of 5th graders and talk to each one of the students about their experiences. Because each person’s story was different, the students took notes that they wrote us and presented orally to the class the following day. Those students are adults now. Many have finished college and have families of their own. I pray that they have not forgotten that experience and are passing along what the Holocaust was and why we can never let this happen again.
After returning from that trip, I felt that the students in our Florida county needed to know as much about the Holocaust as possible. With financial help from the community and parents of students, we raised enough funds to place in every school library tapes, books and age-appropriate material about the Holocaust.
I read about a grave-digger who was told to bury all the Jews in the woods. These were those shot on a death march. Instead, he buried them in St. Anna’s Roman Catholic Church in Swierklany, Poland. This is only after he had carefully copied all the numbers from each victim’s arm. Some seventy years later and with research from Yad Vashem in Israel, some relatives now know that Christians carefully buried the bodies of their loved ones. A new memorial has been erected with a cross. The new plaque at the previously unmarked grave in Swierlany, Poland now reads:
“In memory of the death march victims from Auschwitz-Birkenau”
and lists the victims’ concentration camp numbers or names. The caring of one grave digging man, who believed differently from those he buried, made all the difference over 70 years later to a family who simply wanted to know what had happened to their loved one.
Today on Holocaust Remembrance Day, as the sirens wail, in some places people will stop in the streets and cars will stop on the highways …wherever they are…to remember again. We too must never forget!
It is not our purpose here to try to re-create the horrors that went on here. Probably the closest to that would be to watch Schindler’s List, produced by Spielberg, about a Christian businessman, Oskar Schindler, who saved many Jews by taking them to work in his factory.
Oskar Schindler (28 April 1908 – 9 October 1974) was a German industrialist and a member of the Nazi Party who is credited with saving the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust by employing them in his enamelware and ammunitions factories in occupied Poland and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. (Wikipedia)
VIDEO: This music is played in honor of John Williams and his contribution to the telling of this story of the Holocaust and the saving of many lives. (Turn up sound)
The Music from Schindler’s List, written by John Williams.
Almost everyone I know in Virginia owns a gun or has a permit to carry one. These are upstanding, law-abiding citizens, church goers who love people and America. There is no doubt in my mind, if gun control laws should be changed in the USA to try to prevent the terrible tragedies we have seen recently and throughout the years, they would stand their ground to maintain their “Constitutional Right” of the 2nd Amendment. Yet, each time the mentally ill or a person with evil intent goes on a rampage, harming innocent children and adults in our country, the debate over guns begins again. The reason, of course, is that everyone wants an answer to what may be unanswerable.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE FACTS ABOUT GUN VIOLENCE IN AMERICA?
Mass shootings are considered any shooting where more than 3 people are shot. This does not include the injured whose lives are often forever changed. Neither does it account for the emotional harm or fear that Americans experience. After mass shootings, most Americans try to go on with their everyday lives. To change what they do in attending a movie, club, or sporting event because of the fear of terrorism or criminal activity, would be giving in to the perpetrator. That would not be the American way.
Here are a few examples of mass shootings from the 1980’s to the present:
- McDonalds 22 died
- Columbine High School 59 died
- Virginia Tech 32 died
- Sandy Hook Elementary 28 died …very small children and teachers
- Orlando nightclub 49 died
- Church Shootings: Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. 9 dead and 1st Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX 26 dead
- Las Vegas 58 died
- Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla., 17 died…children and teachers
In the 1990’s 159 people died and in 1994, there was an assault weapons ban. During the 2000’s, there were 20 incidents of mass shootings taking the lives of 170 people.
Many cities in the USA, like Chicago, Baltimore and Philadelphia experience single shootings every day…sometimes every hour. Gangs are armed and the Assault Weapons Ban has done little good when criminal elements are at work. As far as mass shootings, since 2010, the U.S. has experienced at least 40 incidents, killing over 350 innocent people.
Law enforcers who try to control areas and situations are also victims. The number of deaths of law enforcers has also increased because of gangs, border crimes, and local offenders. Their job of trying to keep our communities safe is a most difficult one. Their weapons are essential in apprehensions…and hopefully, do not have to be used. One can take a look at the listings on memorials and see the terrible effect on those who serve and their families.
Slides of Some Memorials to our Police who have died in the line of duty by a violent offender.
GANG VIOLENCE and Drugs
When little children are involved, it is even harder to understand the motivation for violence. Gang members, who shoot from their cars at random, aim at little children walking to or from school. Adults take a chance with their own lives as they often accompany the children. We know for certain that there will be a great judgment for those who harm children. (Mark 9:42 in the Holy Scriptures “And whosoever shall offend one of [these] little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone was hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.”) See memorial to Sandy Hook children and victims at end of the video.)
The law enforcers, FBI, and even parents cannot be everywhere at all times. Schools, theaters, concert halls, sports events and even churches are having to up their security. This is not only about the fear of terrorist attacks but for the insane or criminal element who would plan to do something terrible to average citizens. Unfortunately, it was not enough for the Florida High School even though teachers were told to not allow the shooter on campus with a backpack and the FBI had been notified of his social media postings with no real results.
I was a teacher for years in Florida and we were trained on lockdown situations, but how in the world is a teacher suppose to confront a perpetrator bent on killing as many as possible, and ask him/her to “take your backpack off campus”. Throughout the nation, most school employees have taken training courses on what to do if attacked. Others have called for the arming of teachers.
After the church massacre in South Carolina of an African American congregation, some citizens who keep their eye on odd behavior have armed themselves. Others opposed carrying weapons into the house of worship. If so, some states require a sign outside stating their opposition to bringing weapons inside the church.
Here is a quote around this issue: “Before the Sutherland Springs shooting, several major church groups in Texas, including leaders of the United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, had advised their membership to ban weapons from services. Citing the Catholic doctrine that the real presence of Jesus Christ exists inside the sanctuary,… dioceses in major cities, including Dallas, San Antonio and Houston, banned guns. But in the aftermath of Sutherland Springs, church leaders of various denominations have faced pressure to reconsider their positions on weapons. In November, just a day after the shooting in South Texas, the Diocese of Dallas said it would not formally lift its ban on the open or concealed carry of firearms inside its churches, but it advised its parishes to consider removing outdoor signs that advertised the prohibition on guns out of fear it would make the churches more vulnerable to attack. But the move effectively allowed the carry of weapons, since state law requires any business banning guns to install a public sign formally stating that policy…” (taken from article by Holly Bailey)
How tragic is it that one can’t feel safe in their place of worship or at school!
One article that I read in my research said that there are so many guns in America, both criminal elements and the law-abiding, that no decision on gun control will help the situation. The criminals are fully armed. The insane usually can find a way to get a gun, which may be within the home of people with good mental health.
Various organizations have opposed labeling anyone as a “mental risk”. We ask people to get psychological help if depressed or have other concerns, but some may be hesitant to go to a psychiatrist for treatment. Why? The fear is that government may eventually require names of patients who are seeing the physician…just to determine if John Doe is a security risk to the community or nation. What about HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability andAccountability Act) which is an act to protect your privacy? It may be a good thing to read who HIPPA allows having information on you.
Do the mentally ill have rights under the HIPPA laws? According to Mental Health America is the following statement: “While providers generally follow their clients’ wishes, there are emergency situations when a provider may disclose relevant, protected health information to an outside party, including family members or law enforcement. These special circumstances include times when a provider believes there is an imminent threat of harm to self or others, or where an individual is deemed “incapacitated,” lacking the ability to make one’s health decisions, and sharing information is in the best interest of the client’s care”. (Mental Health America link)
Parents may not look at their minor teens as a public security risk, but feel that their odd behaviors are “going through a phase” which they expect will eventually be outgrown. In the Sandy Hook incident, the mother allowed her son to have weapons, which was used to kill her and the children of Sandy Hook Elementary. Some feel that even beefed up mental health improvements could have some problems. Others wonder if they can trust the government to guarantee their Constitutional rights. It is all most complicated.
Police recommend over and over “Say Something if You See Something”. Our hat is off to the young man who photographed the threat made as a comment about “being a professional school shooting” online and talked to the FBI. This young man had no connections and lived in another state from Florida. Yet he spoke up, saying “I just couldn’t let that go by.” Teens communicate almost exclusively through social media. They are aware many times of who is sending out signals of desperation, hatred, and intents. Parents also need to keep an open conversation and awareness with their children.
Another call is for a renewed effort on mental health. It will also take people beyond government or medical intervention to change the mental attitudes in American. The clergy can bring faith and understanding. Parents should get off their phones and get involved in real, everyday conversation with their children. All people in communities should keep their eyes open and be unafraid to speak out when needed. We are all in this together. Nevertheless, the debate goes on about gun control and mental health because the grief is real and most Americans hope that there can be an answer to the insanity.
VIDEO ON THE HISTORY OF GUNS IN AMERICA (Turn up sound)
My last blog was about stress in today’s society. This was about our modern, rich society that does not know how to budget time, relax enough…and perhaps even has difficulty with being THANKFUL.
This is a very short blog because I want you to concentrate on the video. Afterward, be truly THANKFUL for all that you have. TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TO BE THANKFUL. Shakespeare in his character, King Lear, Act 1, reminds us of the following when it comes to thankless children: “…How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child!”
If you are a complainer, STOP complaining after viewing the videos below. You have very little if anything to complain about.
We all have so much and rarely think about or realize that some countries have street children who have nothing and very little hope for the future. To them, it is no problem to lie or steal. It is how they survive. They do not know if they will have the next meal. If you were in this condition, you would probably do the same. I am appalled to learn that Ethiopia has only one major soup kitchen for thousands.
Jeremy Snell writes about his experience in Ethiopia: ” Korah is one of the poorest slum areas in all of Addis, Ethiopia. It was once considered the outskirts of the city and was the place where all the outcasts (the sick, lepers, homeless, and unwanted) resided. It is hands down the worst living conditions I have ever witnessed. They have no clean running water, and their streets are a mixture of mud, feces, and trash….One of the most astonishing things about Ethiopia is the number of kids and people who make their living cleaning mud and dirt off of people’s shoes. I don’t really know how to feel about it all. The other day, I got my shoes washed by a street kid down the road from where we are staying.. they charge 3 burr per cleaning.. which is equivalent to 25 cents.. and my shoes have never been cleaner. It’s probably one of the most humbling experiences of my life. I can’t even imagine having to do that for a living. This young boy was working near the university we were visiting. Poverty is such an indescribable idea to grasp. I don’t think it’s something we can truly understand unless we’ve experienced it.”
In comparison, you are not only rich in possessions and food, but you are truly rich in your soul if you are thankful. Stop now…and thank God. Do what you can to support legitimate help organizations. Samaritan’s Purse is a worldwide relief Christian organization. Click here to see all their videos on efforts to help.
If you can’t wrap your mind around the street children of Ethiopia because it is too far away from your existence, then think about your fellow Americans who in a blink of an eye lose everything they have worked for during a life time. All need your prayers and help.
The Street children of Ethiopia video:
They asked Jesus, “Do you hear what these children are saying?” “Yes,” Jesus replied. “Haven’t you ever read the Scriptures? For they say, ‘You have taught children and infants to give you praise.'” New Living Translation
Video by a very young Claire Ryann (about 3 years old) This child cannot read words on a script card. Her memory and clarity is more than amazing. Out of the mouth of babes not only comes the story of the Gospel of Christ, but shows the abilities God gives a little child. Perhaps this is why we are to become as “little children” if we are to enter the kingdom of heaven.
We often hear that a person who is creative is highly developed on the right side of the brain. An analytical person uses the left side most frequently, so science tells us. Hopefully, there are some of us who use both sides of the our brains. We are told that we use a small percentage of what the brain is capable. It would be fascinating to know what we really could accomplish…should we put our mind to it!
My talents, or lack of, are definitely in the organizational arena, but I know that I am the happiest when I am creating something special. This could be in the realm of art, design or simply setting a table for dinner. Food preparation is also a creative skill that many have developed to our culinary delights. Some of us dabble in many of these areas, but find that there are a few that give the most pleasure.
What are your skills and talents? Perhaps you should think seriously about what areas God has given especially to you , that others say they cannot attain. It would be a shame to waste these or not use them in the way our God, the Creator, wanted for you. You are a unique individual and in that way, you are quit special with many gifts and talents.
When we think of creativity, we also think of the word “creation” for the word actually means: “the action or process of bringing something into existence.” For God Created the World would be one example.
Recently I wrote a blog about a young artist in England who said that his biggest thrill was to actually put something on canvas and know that it is the only one in existence…for only he made it.
Recently, I set aside some of my writing and dived into learning more about video creation. I know that it is easy these days to whip out a camera and push the record button. Actually producing a video with special effects and creative skills is a challenge. Understand me, the video below that I’m sharing, is simply a use of a video producing program that I have been trying to understand. Hopefully, as time goes on, I will accomplish something more profound. I would love to learn animation, so I’m open to any suggested programs that some of you think are great for a novice.
In this video, I am showing some of my abstract art work, and also promoting the books that I have written over the last few years.
Thank you for sharing in this beginner’s efforts at video production:
Turn up sound.
Little acts of kindness can go a long way, but how often will someone step out of their own comfort zone to do something that will mean a great deal to others? Reaching out does not seem to be a strong point for most people. It sometimes takes courage and certainly takes selflessness.
I read this article recently, written by Bruce Henderson of the Charlotte Observer, and felt it was worth including in my blog. Would you have done this? Rather, would you have just sat in your seat, gritting your teeth, and expecting someone else to take care of the situation? Be honest with yourself as you answer.
Rochel Groner made a decision that impacted the life of a little boy and many others. Race or religion did not matter or the fact that they were strangers. She decided to reach out.
“She’s a shy Jewish woman from Charlotte. He’s a little boy, apparently African and Muslim, who was screaming aboard a transatlantic flight.Their July 14 encounter between Brussels and New York made the eight-hour flight go easier for their fellow passengers. The virtually wordless connection – neither spoke the others’ language – also offered a lesson in compassion that has circulated widely online.
By her account, Rochel Groner, 33, is among the least likely people to make a public display. “I’m the type of person who would let somebody step on my foot for like a half- hour before I would say something,” she says. But about an hour into the flight, a return home after Groner and her husband Bentzion chaperoned teens to Israel, Groner heard sounds of distress behind them. Not cries from a baby. Not a bored teen.
“It was just kind of a shrieking without any words,” Groner says. “I recognized it right away as a child with special needs.”
Groner knew this not through training, although she used to teach elementary school, but from experience. She and her husband run Friendship circle, which pairs teen volunteers with children with special needs such as autism. They also run ZABS Place, a Matthews thrift boutique that employs 28 young adults with “special talents.”
Social connections work a special magic, Bentzion Groner says. As a 16-year-old diagnosed with leukemia, he says, visits and gifts from friends “literally changed everything. I’m a big believer in that. It’s something that we as adults forget, that friendship could be a life changer.” And so it was over the Atlantic aboard Brussels Airlines Flight 501.
As the wailing continued, tension mounted. Sleeping passengers woke up, startled by the noise. Others stirred, restless and increasingly irritated. The phone between the attendants’ station and flight deck kept beeping. After 15 minutes, Rochel Groner could sit still no longer.
“I kind of felt this responsibility, like, I know what this is, but I’m not sure if anybody else knows what this is,” she says. “You cannot fly for eight hours with someone crying, you just can’t.”
Autistic people, in particular, dislike enclosed spaces, Bentzion Groner said. They need to be in control of what’s around them. The boy’s identity and condition are unknown. The airline didn’t respond to an Observer email.
Groner got out of her seat. She asked for a pen from a flight attendant, grabbed a nausea bag and threaded her way down the aisle. The boy looked to be about 8 and wore an African tunic and pants. He stood at his seat and sobbed, tears streaming down his face. His mother, who wore Muslim clothing, sat beside him. Groner put her hand out. The boy looked at her, stopped his wailing, and took it. They walked into the aisle and plopped down together on the floor near an emergency exit.
“I put him in my lap and gave him a firm hug and I just started to rock him,” she says. His body had been tensed. Soon, “you could feel his muscles start to relax.”
Groner doodled on the nausea bag, tracing the outline of her hand as the boy watched, absorbed. Groner talked and smiled at him, and grabbed more nausea bags. At one point, the boy traced his own hand. So it went for another hour or two. A travel pillow, some orange juice and cookies helped calm the child. The boy spun a fidget spinner and held it to his cheek, soothed by its rhythm. He even smiled and laughed.
The rest of the trip went smoothly, Groner said, although one crew member suggested to her husband that she didn’t need to intervene. Another attendant thanked her after the flight, and so did several passengers. The boy’s mother, in a few words of English, also thanked Groner. She did not get their names. Groner believes God put her on the flight.
“Everybody’s been on a flight with a screaming child, and this is another way to defuse the situation,” she says. “Just ask: is there something I can do? Smile, don’t scowl.”
by Bruce Henderson
Thank you, Rochel. You are a special person with a caring heart. There should be more people like you in the world.
All acts of kindness: “…Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40 …and in doing so, we will feel and know our Savior’s love.
VIDEO: Voices of children “I feel my Savior’s Love”