N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

Children

TO MASK or NOT MASK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IT IS SELFISH, DISREGARD FOR LIFE!

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

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

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

________________________

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?

Be an example to your child.

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

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

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

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

For your pleasure:


SAVING THE CHILDREN

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

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

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

woman in film about Winton's life

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

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

Nicholas-Wintonin-Prague-012-300x180

Young Nicholas Winton with a rescued child.

children in Winton's scrapbook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


Awe…the Children!

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.

Child pianish Elisey Mysin from Russia

Thank God for children…the talented and the less talented…they are all His gift to us!

Turn up your sound.


NEW BOOKS by N.W.Boyer

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!    

(Click on any of these links to view each book.)


STAYING AT HOME…YOU’RE NOT ALONE

People around the whole world are feeling the pressure of the “stay at home” regulations.  States in the U.S. and many countries are trying to open slowly, but safely…  while waiting for the danger of the coronavirus to pass and a new vaccine is discovered.

After resting a while during the weekend from writing, I decided to think about some people I know and their plight with being confined.  Then I’d like to turn our attention to something a little more light-hearted.

staying home 2020

Photo by Juan Gomez

My blogging friend in England is keeping a running journal of his days in quarantine.  He is situated out in the country and not in the big city of London.  Nevertheless, whether staying in a packed apartment building in New York City or out in the countryside, the feeling is the same.    What do I do with myself today?

Planning for “staying put” is not easy on anyone.  My English friend is pressing ahead, however, and working out plans for his future business which has been a great tour guide in the past.  He may be expanding, possibly into Scotland.  He thinks that entrepreneurs do their best during critical times…they come up with ideas!  Right on…go for it, Stephen!!

Our son is working from home these days with conference calls from Japan, Australia, Germany or other places that are his business concerns, besides the United States.  His airline just cancelled his booked trip to Australia.  Frustrated plans, I’m certain, but a better day will come! Some things are totally out of our hands.

His good friend, who is from Switzerland, has planned a wedding in Venice, (not Venice, Florida)  which he is still hopeful will happen in August…but who knows?   He’ll cross that bridge when he gets there.

Not flying..parked airplanes Nick Oxford/Reuters

More difficult for others are those who are in retirement homes and nursing facilities and can’t have their loved ones visit.  We have talked to two people recently who are told that they can’t go out of their rooms. Can you imagine the mental anguish for those confined to one room and four walls? Not enough can be said about their situation. It is not only difficult for the elderly, but for their families who love and miss being with them.    Keep making those regular calls to these friends and family because they REALLY need you.    This too will eventually end for those so confined, but the waiting and loneliness must be almost intolerable.

Another friend of ours is trying to make it especially helpful for the children.  They are making water slides and fun games for the children to play outside.  Even our dogs feel the cooped up problem when they whine and push their wet nose against our arms. they seem to be begging to go out.  “Hey, when is my walk…outside??!! 

  The nicest young boy in our neighborhood is being home schooled, but occasionally he is seen zooming up and down the street on his little scooter.  Hey, a guy can only learn so much!    To his Mom, who is trying to work from home and be a teacher as well, I can only smile and say, “Mom, you are investing in the future of the world…for he may be the scientist or doctor to kill off a future virus!  Hang in there!”  

So having empathized as much as I can with all of you stranded, isolated, stay-at-homers,  I’d like to end with a little humor.  We all need a chuckle!

Here are some talented singers who know exactly how you have been feeling because they feel it too.   They composed their song while staying apart to dramatize life in the last weeks…going on months.  We expect that they will sing again TOGETHER before long.   Thanks, Guys,  for your creative spirit!!

     HISTORY IS THE WITNESS…THIS TOO WILL PASS. 

VIDEO FOR THE WAY YOU AROUND THE WORLD MAY FEEL OUT THERE. Remember, you are not alone.     Turn up your sound


Animal Lessons…a new book series

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.  cat and dog eating

 

All animals, domesticated or wild, feel better when they have a full tummy.

bird eats orange

A bird finds an orange treat

squirell eats a strawberry

A squirrel is happy for a hand-out!

snail eats stawberrry

Wow! Some little creatures bite off more than they can swallow.

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!

  View The Moody Musical Cat 

Moody Musican Cat Front

  View The Moody Musical Cat 


Are the Values of Family, Friendship and Faith lost?

     A reader and friend sent me this blog concerning terrible events that have happened just this week.  It is worth a read.   For the most part, what he says makes sense because many of our young adults, who commit mass murders, have lost the emphasis on family, friendship and faith…if they were ever taught such by their parents or guardians. Yes, there will be the mentally ill that have lost all sense of values, but there has to be a start toward teaching and expecting that our young adults will grow up with any understanding of right and wrong in society and toward other human beings.
Below is the blog sent to me written by

“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.”

Boyer Writes’ footnote:
As to most things I read, I don’t always agree with every sentence.
Mr. Jarlsberg says “Gun control will not fix any of this.”  I believe only the military needs a machine gun and that should be on a battlefield.  Furthermore, no one needs guns with the ability to shoot hundreds of rounds rapid-fire as have been used in these terrible incidents.
Anyone who enjoys being a hunter knows it only takes a shot or two to bring down the hunted. I personally could never kill a bird or any animal…but that is me.  Some special type guns are not needed by society, but their ability to have a weapon for self-defense is a right, if they feel a need for it.  Children don’t need to be near any of these weapons because daddy is not going to send them out to hunt for their next meal like in the old days on the frontier.
So what do we do to instill in our children, who will be the next generation of young adults the value of family, faith and friendship?  It may seem silly to some, but parents might want to think about reading the 10 Commandments before a meal or bedtime so that children understand God’s formula for doing the right thing, which leads to a happy life and a respect for others. Of course, the parent will need to explain what is meant by God’s laws of conduct.   This might be, however, a start to re-introducing faith into our homes, even if they are not churchgoers.  Most every religion would adhere to these teachings. In case you can’t recite them all without looking them up, here they are:
  1. You shall have no other Gods but Me.
  2. You shall not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it.
  3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
  4. You shall remember and keep the Sabbath day holy.
  5. Respect your father and mother.
  6. You must not commit murder.
  7. You must not commit adultery.
  8. You must not steal.
  9. You must not give false evidence against your neighbor.
  10. 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.


Our Difficult World

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.
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 Day…and the Reindeer

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.
christmas-tree-near-fireplace_0

 

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!


Belief…and the magic of Christmas

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.

Trinity Episcopal in Mt Airy NC

Trinity Episcopal Church in Mt. Airy, N.C. Winter snow of 2018

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!


Diabetes in children…a Mother’s Plea

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.”

photo of sierra Greenlee's daughter who died of diabetis

From Boyer Writes:   In loving memory of Arya Logann Greenlee, the daughter of Sierra Greenlee as posted on her site.

More information from Mayo Clinic


The “All In or All Out” Theory

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.

abandoned churches

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.

empty pews

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.  baptism of infant

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.


To All Fathers

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)

 


Remembering Our Children

 

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.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

  • 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. 


The Miracle of Birth…Welcome Moke

gorillas_calaya_and_moke_649a9476

Moke is born at Smithsonian Zoo

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….”NEVER AGAIN”

Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial Hall of Names in Israel

Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Hall in Israel

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.

Yad Vashim Children's Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem

Yad Vashem Children’s Memorial

 

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.

Auschwitz memorial at Yad Vashem

Auschwitz pictures at Yad Vashem (Photo credit Getty Images)

 

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.

shoes-yad-vashem

 

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.

Holocaust plaque St Annes Church Poland

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.


Tragedy and Gun History in the USA

bullets

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.

 

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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)

 

In Memory of Each Child and Teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary link

 


WHAT’S NEXT…Mr. Rogers?

Dr-seuss-ew

Many of us grew up listening to and enjoying the books of Dr. Seuss.  The books were rhyming and fun with colorful pictures.  For many younger children, it was a time to listen to a mother or father’s voice reading to them words that they could not have read at such a young age.  Our teachers in elementary schools read them to us. We laughed and giggled because they were fun.

I have a question.  With all our political correctness and emotional responses to what is acceptable and what is not…are we going to take the fun out of childhood also?

What will be next…Mr. Rogers and the re-runs of his TV shows that most young children stayed glued to every day in his “neighborhood”? He let children know that there were good things in life and he shared those things, people and ideas with them.

Are we all going crazy as a nation?     Yes, I know that is more than one question, but here is the reason why I write this into my blog.

More than one First Lady has spent their time going to schools to read the books by Dr. Seuss.   Recently, in her efforts to enrich the lives of American children, a number of the Dr. Seuss books were sent to a public school in Cambridge, Massachusetts to celebrate National Read a Book Day by our First Lady.  A collection of 10 was sent to one school in each state.  Some of the titles were “The Cat in the Hat”; “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”; “Wacky Wednesday”; “Green Eggs and Ham”; and “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”  

Liz Phipps Soeiro, a librarian at the Cambridge school, wrote this as part of her so-called thank you to the First Lady the following:

“I work in a district that has plenty of resources, which contributes directly to ‘excellence,’…My students have access to a school library with over nine thousand volumes and a librarian with a graduate degree in library science… Another fact that many people are unaware of is that Dr. Seuss’s illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes…”

Soeiro went on to name the books ( If I Ran a Zoo and  And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street) that she particularly found offensive and called them “racist mockery” in the art in each book.

COME ON…IS THIS FOR REAL?    Talk about divisiveness and lack of appreciation from one of our school educators…with a “graduate degree in library science” no less.  Oh, but I must not omit that after all this rejection, Soeiro did say this, “I am honored that you recognized my students and our school. I can think of no better gift for children than books; it was a wonderful gesture, if one that could have been better thought out,” 

Maybe Soeiro should read or listen to a Dr. Seuss book that I think is special,  Horton Hears a Who.   In this book, he says “every person counts no matter how small”  and “every voice counts”.   Doesn’t sound to me that he has “racist” or “harmful stereotypes” in mind.  In fact, if you read about his life, even his political cartoons that he drew in earlier years were against historical evils. (see link below)

Because of the views of Liz Soeiro, will there be librarians, bookstores or online book companies quickly pulling down these two books because they are offensive to this person?  Let’s hope the sales will go up and parents will curl up with a good Dr. Seuss book this very evening and read to their children.  Perhaps we should all go out and find the nearest used bookstore and hoard them because publishers might get caught up in this lunacy.

Who actually was Theodore Seuss Geisel?  (Dr. Seuss)   His life was not easy…filled with much heartache, but this link tells it like it is. He was also given a special Pulitzer Prize for his contribution to children’s literature.     The Life of Dr. Seuss  (taken from Biography)

In my heading, I mentioned…What’s Next…Mr. Rogers?.  Some of you may be too young to remember him.  So here he is.  A man who brought happiness each day to all children and to remind them that they are special.    Let’s don’t take away their happiness.

 

FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE… I give you a Dr.Seuss book:  HORTON HEARS A WHO.

 

 

 


To Be THANKFUL…is to be RICH

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.

Ethiopia street children

Ethiopian boy cleans shoes to get his next meal

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.”

Ethiopia

Ethiopian girl…Uncertain future

 

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:


Out of the Mouth of a Baby

Claire-Ryann

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

claire_ryann_and_dad amazing talented child singer

Claire Ryann and her father

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.

 

 


Creativity….and Finding Your God-Given Talent

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.

universe-and-hands

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.


Reaching Out Isn’t Easy…but Some Will

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.

Rochel Groner comforts an autistic boy on long flight

“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 Bruce Henderson

Thank you, Rochel.   You are a special person with a caring heart.  There should be more people like you in the world.

mother and son holding hands

I am reminded of what the Holy Scriptures tell us about a little child. “People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” — Mark 10:13-16

 

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”

 


Fancy (aka Blossom) Finds a Home

Once there was a little boy who lived in a far away place with many Golden Retriever dogs.  They were his best friends besides his mother, father, and little sister.  One day he saw that his big mama dog had nine little pups.   They were all squirming together in a blue box.  This little boy’s mother took very good care of them. pups in box sm   They were so furry, warm and little.  He loved holding them and watching them being fed by their own mother.pink blossom l green clover purple violetsm  Out of all the puppies, the little boy had a favorite.  The name that the family gave her was “Blossom”.  She was the lightest color of all the pups and they put a little pink collar around her neck to identify her from all the other pups.

The puppies grew and grew.  The little boy played  with all of them, but Blossom kept coming to him and laying around the family’s feet.  She definitely was his favorite.  Sometimes she would get really sleepy or she did the puppy thing and wet her bed or did other unmentionables, but he still loved her. Jackson holding Fancy Blossom would lick his fingers and sometimes his nose.  Her little nails were razor sharp. She would jump and play, making him laugh.  She would try to climb up on him, making him her best friend also.  Then she would lay her head on him and settle down… nice and calm like. He would rub her belly that was warmer and smoother than anything he had ever felt.  However, the calmness did not last long for Blossom wiggled to get free. She  had to explore the world and tussle with the other eight puppies in her litter. Jackson holding Fancy2Jackson holding Fancy3

One day some people came to see the puppies.  They told the boy’s mother that they wanted  a sweet dog for their very own because their Golden Retriever named Gracie, who was fourteen years old, had gotten sick  and gone to be with God.  The lady said they would never forget their Gracie girl, but hoped they could find another special girl puppy  to take home with them out of the nine pups at his house.  He thought that they could find a girl because there were four of them and five boy dogs…but he hoped it would not be his Blossom. Fancy sm The man picked up Blossom very carefully and then he handed Blossom to his wife, who let Blossom sleep on her shoulder. Fancy sleeping on Nancysm

It made the little boy  sad to know that maybe they would pick his favorite dog.   If his Blossom had to go away, he wanted her to have the very best family in the world.  The way the man and lady handled her made him think that they would love her….maybe as much as he did.  They would not get her that day because she was too young and had to stay with her mother for some more weeks.  She also had to get shots from the doctor who was called a Veterinarian.  When the boy’s mother put all nine puppies in her car to see the doctor, it was a fun time at his office because everyone wanted to see the adorable, new pups.

Finally the day came when the man and woman came back to the boy’s house.  They lived a long way and had to drive many miles to get their new pup.  His Mother had told him that Blossom seemed to be the right one for them and  would go to a far away place and live with them.  She told him that she was certain that Blossom would be taken care of and loved in her new home just like they had loved their other dog, Gracie, for so many years.  That made him feel a little bit better.  He learned that Blossom would not have her name they had given her, but would be called Fancy.  She would now be their Fancy girl.   Her real, long name would be Fancy Continental Girl because her new family lived near Fancy Gap, Virginia and their house was on the Continental Divide.  He was not certain what all that meant, but probably would learn someday.

He heard the car coming and the man and woman walked in the door.  They had a big bag in their hand.  The lady said it was a surprise for the family and needed his help in handing out some nice things for everyone.  She let him give out the surprises to his father, who got a big jar of home-made pickles from Peggy down at the Mayberry Country Store.  His sister got a very little dog that looked something like his Blossom.  His mother had a package of little blankets for the new baby expected at their home.  In fact, the new baby was going to come live with them on August 27 which was also the lady’s birthday.  She thought that was really great!    He wondered if there was anything for him.  She handed him the bag and he opened it to find a big stuffed dog that looked a lot like his nine dogs.   Hugging it close to himself, he gave the lady a big smile.    He knew it  would not chew on his fingers with the little, sharp teeth like  Blossom did and maybe he would sleep with it that night to make him feel a little better.
Jacson and stuffed puppy Bethany's son

The lady and man put his Blossom in the car and everyone waved “Goodbye”.   That night the little boy did go to bed with his furry dog that looked  so much like his favorite dog, Blossom.   Just like the couple that came to his house, Jackson knew he would never forget his special dog, Blossom, who was now called Fancy.  Maybe he would find another favorite dog someday that would stay with him forever.  If so, he would probably call her Blossom.

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The story above is true and we at Boyer Writes are glad to share that Blossom (now Fancy) is in her new happy home….that is when everyone gets enough sleep after the 2 am whimper says,  “Don’t forget I’m just a pup who needs to hit the grass outside.  If you don’t listen, I will hit the blanket in my bed.”

We definitely listen to her and hope the day will come when we all get enough sleep, especially my husband who always takes her out at night.  He’s not afraid of the bears or other animals, like skunks, around our mountain house.  Needless to say, they sack out together a good deal of the time. Bill and Fancy sleeping

As I am writing this at my computer, Fancy is sleeping again, curled up at my feet, just as she did at the little boy’s house. Fancy headshot sm

When not sleeping, Fancy is eager to play with the ball, chew on her bone and ride in the truck.  We went to see our dearest uncle John, who is 93 and still plays golf. Fancy and Uncle John 2 Fancy took to him right away but decided not to go in the house with my cousin’s two big cats.

We hope you have enjoyed our journey to find our new puppy and the adorable little boy and his family that we will never forget.  Here are a few pictures of life with Fancy Girl:

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PATHETIC PETTINESS…open letter to reporters and journalists

I’m not certain about the thoughts of most of my readers, but as for me, I am SICK of the small minded, pettiness of those who write articles and internet posts, trying  to make something out of nothing.   Therefore, I write this open letter blog to whomever has some integrity as a writer left and might decide to make a change.

I will give a few examples of my complaints, but first I want to say that when we traveled one year to Switzerland, it was our pleasure to meet an elderly Swiss man who had decided that life was too short to even buy a newspaper…let alone watch TV.

Instead, he chose to enjoy his friends, climbing in the mountains on a regular basis and tending his lovely garden…all at the age of 90.   His home was one of European style with large pictures of his ancestors lining the staircase.   I think his belief was that we in the world have gone “mad” and one has to seek out better things. 

My first advice:   Get a grip on your profession, reporters and journalists!    Just this week in  England we have at least 22 people killed and more than 100 injured, including 12 children at a concert that was suppose to be full of life and fun.  One terrorist added another evil act on innocent adults and children.  We are warned in Holy Scripture what will happen to anyone who harms a child in anyway. This man has met his Maker.

Saffie Rose Roussos died Manchester England 2017 Terrorism

Saffie Rose Roussos died by terrorism in Manchester, England 2017

Take a look at this lovely girl’s face.  She is Saffie Roussos who was 8 years old. Her teacher said she was a “beautiful little girl.”  Saffie  died because of these senseless attacks around the world.

Yet.… Some reporters write not about the lives or families of people such as Saffie Rose Roussos,  but choose pettiness instead.

Give an example, you may say….Okay, we can do that:   How about the numerous articles and pictures that came out about what a person wears on her head at  the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, a very holy place to Jews…or if the skirt was an inch or two above the ankles…or if “fake feminism” was being shown because the President’s wife walked slightly behind him.   Petty…Petty…Petty

gettyimages-Ivanka Trump Wailing Wall 2017

Ivanka Trump touches the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City, May 22, 2017. credit REUTERS/Heidi Levine/Pool

Who cares about those things?!

The next global attack may be where you are standing with your camera.   You will then never have an opportunity to show your true gift of writing or make the world a better place because you revealed through your camera or your pen the things to which most people do not have access.  My second and last advice:   Don’t degrade your profession.  Set  yourself a higher standard.

When our President was  given an opportunity to speak  to over 50 Arab nations about the real problem that we on  earth are facing together ( including you), I hardly think it is time to nit-pick at such minor things.  At least someone is speaking to the Middle Eastern countries about joining together to stop terrorism.  Saffie had a right to live and grow up and to contribute her talents to the world.   Yet, you continue to show the pettiness that more and more of us are beginning to abhor and call “PATHETIC”. 

Yes, the old Swiss man was right…”It is all news that does not brighten my day.  Why should I bother to listen to it or to read it?”

Nevertheless, we do…unless we decide not to.