N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

Encouragement

America Prays

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

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

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

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


LIVING TREASURE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Holy Scriptures tell us this about our responsibilities:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Relaxation and Peace

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

Blessings, Boyer Writes

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

Click this link and turn up your sound.


FEAR or COURAGE?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What exactly is a “trigger?”

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

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

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

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

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

What is a LIMBO STATE?

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

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

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

Am I in limbo?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


THE SINS OF THE FATHERS and PROMISES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charles (a child who died in 1858),

John (who was 19 when he died in 1858)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Standing Alone

Recently I read about a young man named Jonathan Isaac, who was the only person who stood in respect of the flag and the National Anthem at one of the Orlando Magic games.

This made me wonder how much courage this took and if this young man would get any repercussions by teammates or others for having decided to do so. All the other team members and coaches, with the blessings of the owners, “took a knee” while some held a clinched fist in the air.

Jonathan Isaac stands alone for the National Anthem at Magic game Photo credit (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)

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How important is the National Anthem to the people of a country?

To not acknowledge the real purpose of the National Anthem flag could be seen as a form of disrespect. In today’s world, there are many who fervently espouse their cause, whatever it may be, by using the National Anthem of the United States as their rallying point.

Therefore, I ask again…how important is this anthem we sing? Let’s start with a definition:

national anthem (also state anthemnational hymn, national song, etc.) is generally a patriotic musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions, and struggles of its people, recognized either by a nation’s government as the official national song, or by convention through use by the people. (Wikipedia)

If then, it evokes history, traditions and struggles of its people,” should it not be given great respect?

This song, our National Anthem, and our flag are part of a great American history. Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the words as he observed the flag flying over Fort McHenry, after a battle with the British in the War of 1812.

The 200th anniversary of the “Star-Spangled Banner” occurred in 2014 with various special events occurring throughout the United States. The men and women who died for freedom, under this flag, are great in number. To sing and honor the flag and our Anthem is, without question, one of our greatest privileges. Certainly, those in the battle for independence and battles since for world freedom have seen great struggles. Many had to stand alone.

1812 Flag that flew over Fort McHenry at National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institute

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Is it really important to stand during the singing of the National Anthem?

Some may not realize that there was a federal law concerning the appropriate way to honor the singing of the National Anthem and the associated flag ceremony. I bet you didn’t know how many revisions there have been to that law and what is considered appropriate by most citizens when the Anthem is played. Here are the highlights of the law:

….When the U.S. national anthem was first recognized by law in 1931, there was no prescription as to behavior during its playing.

….On June 22, 1942, the law was revised indicating that those in uniform should salute during its playing, while others should simply stand at attention, men removing their hats. The same code also required that women should place their hands over their hearts when the flag is displayed during the playing of the national anthem, but not if the flag was not present.

….On December 23, 1942, the law was again revised …to stand at attention and face in the direction of the music when it was played…

On July 7, 1976, the law was simplified. Men and women were instructed to stand with their hands over their hearts, men removing their hats, irrespective of whether or not the flag was displayed and those in uniform saluting. ..

….Because of the changes in law over the years and confusion between instructions for the Pledge of Allegiance versus the National Anthem, throughout most of the 20th century many people simply stood at attention and they would hold their hand (or hat) over their heart.

****After 9/11, the custom of placing the hand over the heart during the playing of the national anthem became nearly universal. (Wikipedia)

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Peer pressure and the concern about NOT looking like a person who doesn’t stand with some worthy goal, people sometimes became more hesitant. Even people in leadership positions felt that they, too, had to made some kind of statement of “unity” with those who opposed respectfully standing. As leaders, who love our country, one would think that they would believe that HONOR and RESPECT was important.

This is the reason that I am writing this post to also honor the young man, Jonathan Isaac, who was willing to be his own person and to show his appreciation for his country. Standing alone for, especially for a young person, is not an easy matter.

Mike Bianchi wrote in the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper the following about Isaac:

“Jonathan Isaac certainly shouldn’t be vilified. He has nothing to apologize for, and doesn’t have to “knee” to show he cares about human kind. He won the Magic’s Community Service Award last year.”

Bianchi sent on to explain what Isaac is doing with his wealth and commitment to his Savior, Jesus Christ. He lists a few of this activities as feeding underprivileged children; raising money to fight for literacy; relief in the Bahamas and taking students to the African Art Gallery to learn about African American history.

Jonathan Isaac also made a statement to the press: “We are all sinners and the answers to all the world’s problems, not just racism, is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

May Jonathan be blessed with many years of serving humanity and his country in whatever way he will be lead in the future. With his faith and belief in America and his fellow countrymen and women, we will most likely hear more about him in the future.

Jonathan, you are NOT STANDING ALONE. There are many who happily stand with you.

Turn on your sound.

The National Anthem is for ALL AMERICANS. GOD BLESS THE U.S.A.


A BREAK FROM ALL THE STRESS

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

FOR YOUR TOTAL ENJOYMENT AND REASSURANCE FROM BOYER WRITES

GOD BLESS YOU!


Who are You?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Turn on your sound.


DIVERSITY and AMERICA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GOD BLESS AMERICA and heal her wounds.

Turn on your sound:


THE HUMAN MIND….GOD’S GIFT

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

science of connecting cells

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

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

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What was it like before TV?

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

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

farm life2

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

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

TV watching

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

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

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

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

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

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

tv family watching

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

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

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

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

ABOUT ANXIETY

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

Bible reading

ABOUT FEAR

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

bible reading older lady

ABOUT COURAGE

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

African American family

ABOUT HUMILITY

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

1 Peter 5:6-7bible reading by child

 

ABOUT GOD’S SPIRIT

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

bible reading young woman

ABOUT PROTECTION

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Life LESSON of the Butterfly

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

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

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

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

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

large-blue-butterfly-caterpillar

Different types of caterpillars  (photos by Country Life)

peacock-butterfly-caterpillarswallowtail-butterfly-caterpillar

 

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Will the butterflies of various colors be with us forever?

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

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

The World from Space

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

new heaven and new earth

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

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

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

3 butterflies on weed b (3)

Butterflies by N.Boyer

butterfly blue (2)

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

 


BIG DECISIONS…for Grandmother and Grandfather

If you are trying to make a family decision about the care of your elderly parents, THINK TWICE…MAYBE MORE than twice!!!   

It is not easy when elderly people are at home with the rest of the family, who are also at home.  Children are not in school; parents may be working from home and the stress goes on until life can go back to some normality.

What about the parent that you have loved so long and they have loved you?  If they are dealing with the beginnings of physical or mental decline, it may be that you are thinking, “What do we do?  I don’t know if I can give them proper care. I only want what is best.” for him/her/ or them. No one doubts the love between families, but this pandemic has changed family dynamics all together.

Not everyone has the built-in options of home health care professionals, but placing a family member in an assisted living care is also extremely expensive. For those who could afford such arrangements, is this truly the best answer. Think about it.  Because these facilities have a “no visitors” policy, it may be the last you would be able to see your Mom or Dad face to face..or they see you, for some time to come.  It may not only be a permanent separation, but a death sentence to those unable to cope with such loneliness. It is not unusual for the elderly to stop eating when depression sets in.

As we know, years ago and in many other countries, the elderly lived within the same house as the rest of the family. They had interaction, care and to die was not a lonely experience.  This blog does not intend to give you an answer to this difficult decision that perhaps you or a friend may be going through concerning your elderly loved ones, but it does give some food for thought.

Think what you would want for yourself as you continue to climb the AGING ladder.

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This is an informative article written by Sara Harrison in Wired.

IT TOOK SIX weeks, several long, frustrating phone calls, and a consultation with Apple Care before Laurie Jacobs got her 89-year-old father up and running on FaceTime. Jacobs, who is a geriatrician by training and is now the chair of the Department of Medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, was worried about how her parents were coping during the pandemic. They live in a long-term care community, but they felt isolated and lonely. Over the phone, Jacobs couldn’t tell how her mother, who has some cognitive decline, was feeling or if she was walking comfortably. “The communication at a distance is very difficult,” she says. “You don’t always get the whole picture with an older adult on the telephone.”

And, like so many other Americans in quarantine, her parents were running out of things to do. “They seemed bored and somewhat depressed by the lack of stimulation, so further ways for them to interact was very important,” says Jacobs.

woman looking out the window

The Covid-19 pandemic presents a doubly complicated situation for older people:  Not only are they at higher risk of contracting the disease, and more likely to develop severe infections and die from it, but they are also the most likely to struggle with—and suffer from— the consequences of prevention strategies like social distancing. For people with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or severely reduced mobility, social-distancing guidelines can be impractical and nearly impossible to follow, making prevention and treatment even more complicated.

Seniors, especially those above age 80, have been hard hit by the virus. That’s in part because they often have comorbidities like diabetes and hypertension, which make them more likely to be hospitalized. Doctors aren’t sure why those conditions make the effects of the virus worse, but both conditions are associated with greater expression of the ACE2 receptor, a protein on human cells that the coronavirus latches onto to start replicating.

Many older adults also have chronic, low-grade inflammation, a state called “inflammaging,” in which the body is unable to control the release of cytokines, small proteins that are supposed to help modulate the body’s immune response. This dysregulation could put seniors at great risk of “cytokine storms,” a condition reported in severe Covid-19 cases during which a patient’s immune system spins out of control and starts damaging healthy organs.

Seniors are also more vulnerable because of immunosenescence, a slow deterioration of the immune system that is a normal part of aging. When people are young, the immune system has a big reservoir of T-cells and B-cells ready to fight infections. These are called “naive cells,” meaning they haven’t encountered any bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens yet. When those naive cells encounter an infection, some of them learn to recognize that pathogen and become ready to fight it off if the body gets exposed to it again. “As we age, we lose that reservoir of T-cells and B-cells,” says Wayne McCormick, head of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Washington. “It’s hard for us to make new ones, although some people seem to retain that capacity better than others.” That means the person’s body may mount a less robust immune system response than it would have done when they were younger.

Immunosenescence also means that diseases present differently in seniors, which may make it difficult for their doctors or caretakers to recognize a Covid-19 infection. While many Covid-19 cases include fever, for example, in seniors the symptoms might also be due in part to dense living conditions, under staffing, and a lack of personal protective equipment. And recently, health authorities have realized that the virus is spreading rapidly in work communities where employees are housed in crowded conditions, share long commutes on shuttles, or cannot easily socially distance, like meat packing or farm work.

assisted living care

Whether they live in a long-term care facility, nursing home, or in a family home, many seniors have unique needs that make it impossible for them to socially distance. Some need help eating, washing, going to the bathroom, or moving around. “You can’t do that using Facetime,” says Eric Widera, a professor at the University of California San Francisco who specializes in geriatric and palliative medicine.

Yet for older adults living in their homes, social distancing can cause isolation and loneliness. Most of the places people would go to socialize—senior centers, libraries, churches, temples, or synagogues—are closed. Families are discouraged from visiting. “We’re worried it’s going to cause a wave of true loneliness,” says Widera, which can lead to serious health problems including worse cognitive function, higher blood pressure and heart disease.

While older adults are the most likely to catch Covid-19, they also may be less likely to benefit from a vaccine.  Because seniors don’t raise the same immune response that younger adults and children do, they generally don’t respond as well to vaccines. They also aren’t always included in clinical trials. “If you look at the last many decades of research, the vast majority of randomized control trials do not include older adults. And if they do, they don’t include frail older adults, who are at risk for this,” says Widera. “That’s one of our worries: That we’ll be looking at potential treatments, vaccines, but not actually testing it on the people who are at the most risk of developing this disease.”

older man praying

For people with dementia or other kinds of cognitive decline, things get even more complicated. Widera points out that people with dementia may not remember they need to wash their hands more often or refrain from touching their face. And dementia patients often wander. In communal living or care facilities, they might walk in and out of other patients’ rooms, down the hall, or into common living areas, all of which increase the likelihood of catching and transmitting the disease. Diagnosing Covid-19 in those patients could be even harder, too. “People with cognitive impairment may not be able to report their symptoms very well,” says McCormick. “Even if they had a cough an hour ago, they may not remember that they did.”

man coughing

Patients with dementia also have unique challenges if they end up in the hospital. Covid-19 symptoms can worsen their confusion and delirium, as can being in an unfamiliar setting like a hospital room. These patients may be terrified when they’re separated from their family or their usual caregivers and are being tended to by staff covered head-to-toe in protective gowns and masks. With nurses trying to limit patient interactions to reduce the need for this protective gear, patients are often isolated for much of the day.

Martine Sanon, a professor of geriatric and palliative medicine at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, says that usually they encourage family members to be part of the care team and to help orient and comfort their loved ones, but with limited protective equipment, and with fears about spreading the virus, those options aren’t available. “The families have been tremendously wonderful,” she says, often using FaceTime to play favorite music in the background or to call patients by a familiar nickname. “That does help.”

At Hackensack University Medical Center, Jacobs says usually they try to use non-pharmacological methods to help soothe distressed and confused patients. “The way we manage that usually in the hospital is basically staff sitting with a patient, reorienting them, using music, using touch,” she says. But with Covid-19, it’s too dangerous to have someone sit with a contagious patient all day. Instead, the hospital now relies on medication to calm patients down.

While mortality rates are higher for older adults with Covid-19, many do survive. What recovery looks like for them is more complicated. “That’s the other shoe to drop,” says William Greenough of Johns Hopkins. Older adults are likely to be weaker and to recover more slowly after a hospitalization, he says. With so many hospital gyms, rehab, and physical therapy facilities closed, that’s going to make their progress even more difficult.

None of these issues—loneliness, immunosenescence, difficulty recovering from hospital stays—are new problems, and none are unique to the virus. But the novel coronavirus exacerbates the many challenges older patients already face. “Covid-19 intensifies and complicates everything,” says Greenough.

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Besides all the upset for the average family during this Pandemic, the saddest part, as described in this article, are those who have spent their entire lives raising and loving families…their children, grandchildren and other family members.
Yesterday, I called a man who is in his 90’s at a Veteran’s Hospital in VA to be certain he got some books I sent him.  I asked, “How’s your family? Do you hear from your son?” He answered, “They are so busy, you know.” 
man sees himself in the mirror
Think about all the meals that Grandma made for the family in your life time!  Think about the Grandfather who taught you to fish! Thinks about the trips planned and enjoyed together…and so much more.
Senior couple sitting on a bench
Think about how you have watched them slowly become older, but still having fun! They don’t deserve to have their last days being sad and lonely.
elderly kiss
Ben Franklin said, “Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.” 
More and more, the people in their younger years of 50-80 are making plans for themselves.  If they have a nest-egg/and or affordable insurance, they will decide exactly how they will spend the last years of their lives.  This takes a great deal of pressure off the decision making of their family because they have already put it down in writing…with wills,  exact funeral plans and living wills about hospital visits.  They don’t want to wait for the children to make decisions for them. If your elderly parents have good mental ability, suggest that they go this route for it is highly recommended.
You ask yourself, “Where did the time go?”  Now, too many are isolated with no recourse because plans weren’t made and there was a fear of thinking about death and dying.
  Do whatever you can to make a bright spot in their days. 
If you are so lucky to have a parent with you at home, cherish these moments…even the difficult moments.  You will not have them forever…nor will they have you. 
If your loved one is already in a nursing home or assisted living, call them regularly, sent them cards, books or drawings from the grandchildren…so they know that you still care.
showing grandma the baby
REMEMBER, SOMEDAY YOU WILL BE MUCH OLDER!
As you pray, God will give you guidance.

 


Sailing Forward…The Test of Time

During this time of self-isolation, I continue to write, but I also stop to paint when I truly want to relax.  My art is nothing like a professional, but I love the freedom it gives to paint whatever is in my mind.  Usually it has something to do with God’s nature…a flower, tree, or anything beautiful.  As we sail along on this time of testing, we know that life will continue.

Nothing ever stands still…not time, events, or even our own living breath.   Each moment we live is different from the last.  We will move forward and it will be ours to find the peace God wants us to have.  It may be in reading our favorite books, working in the garden, painting or sewing some special thing. We should also make this time to sit down to read God’s Holy Scriptures,  an inspiring book or to be consistent in praying.  We have the choice of how we will face these times.

One of the things that my husband and I have enjoyed has been the ability to travel. We may not be doing much of this in the time to come, but we remember with fondness some of our favorite trips.  Going to Japan ranks very high on the list.

First time I went to Japan was as an educator, invited by the Japanese government.  The second time was with my husband who had at one time been to Japan as a U.S. Navy Chaplain.  It was great to return together.   Being a part of another culture has always intrigued and delighted me. There is so much to learn.  Perhaps the thing I come away with from getting to know different parts of the world is how much we are really alike. We work, play,  and often make our faith a honored part of living.

I’m sharing with you a video by the artist, Akiane Kramarik, who has an amazing God-given talent. Akiane has taken her art around the world and in doing so, as a young woman has gained insight into  the beauty of all people.  It is even more true as we know that the whole world is trying to rise above the difficulties of the time. As we have heard many times, we are in this TOGETHER.

On this trip, she talks about visiting Japan and what it meant to her.  She stresses that we have a need to SAIL FORWARD…even before she had any knowledge about a world-wide pandemic about to happen. You will notice that the people of Japan are going about their daily business in large groups.  Such were the “good old days.”  Go with me now on a tour  of Japan with Akiane.  At the end, she will demonstrate her incredible artistic talent.

This blog post is also presented as a gift to all Mothers around the world and especially those who have found it difficult to see family, whom they love, during the coronavirus…and especially on this MOTHER’S DAY!

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In Honor of my Mother, Alta, who died at age 93.

Here I am with Mother when we were both young!

Nancy and her mother Alta

 

Video:  Turn up the sound


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


MASKS and PATRIOTISM

Renfro SocksThere is an interesting story about a sock company, Renfro Sock Corporation of Mt. Airy, N.C, that is just down the mountain from where we lived part-time in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.   As we took the narrow road that snaked down the mountain from Virginia into North Carolina, we often noticed their building near one of our favorite “mom and pop’s” eating places. Renfro, it turns out, is now producing masks by the thousands!

Our hats are off to this company and others that are helping out people in need during this pandemic.   As people cover their faces, the Coronavirus will be slowed down considerably.

“Renfro Corp., a sock manufacturer based in Mount Airy,  North Carolina has produced a mask to help minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus. Around 60,000 masks will be provided at no cost to low-income residents through faith-based organizations in and around Winston-Salem.” (from

 

Walt Unks Journal Renfro socks to mask2

Andrew Viator wears Renfro Mask

Owner of a company in N.C., Andrew Viator, wears a Renfro Mask.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHORT VIDEO ON RENFRO  Turn up sound:

As seen in this video, Renfro’s emphasis on MADE IN AMERICA, is most important if we are to have the medicines and equipment needed without dependence upon other countries.  We have the know-how, so let’s do it!

Boyer Writes is taking a deep breath from blogging/listening to continuous news coverage and will relax the next few days. Hopefully, you will do the same, but we would like to share one more thing with you before signing off.

Companies, like Renfro, are patriotic and family oriented.  We found, while living in this area that patriotism is strong in the Blue Ridge.  Renfro is reaching out to the community.  People in America pull together. 

Those who left the mountains to serve our country were patriots as well.  It is our privilege to share with you a musical story from the mountains that may have been typical of many in the N.C. and VA areas in the Blue Ridge.  (Home Free – Go Rest High On That Mountain  – Vince Gill )

 

Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge by N.W. Boyer

 

 

 

 


Rebuilding…How and When?

The last post on Boyer Writes was the sermon given from the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. by Bishop Marianne Budde.  If you missed it, please click on the “Past posts” to hear.  You will believe it is worth your time.

Now, we ask…after the virus is gone, how and when will we recover?   Will people who lost jobs or finances or loved ones be able to pull together their determination and faith to begin again?  It is a big question that most have no answers for, but great hopes for the future. We will rebuild.

Today, I want to talk about rebuilding even if it is a bit ahead of the curve. We only see down the path and not around the bend that will eventually come into our sight.  Yet, the future awaits much for us if we have the courage to move around into the unknown.

We know we will have to rebuild much of what was great before the virus hit the world.  Businesses, especially the small ones, were hit hard as were their employees.  The rebuilding of the economy and the nation, as a whole, will take time, but it will happen.

The National Cathedral was hit hard during a 5.8 earthquake in August 23, 2011, causing $34 million in damage.  Yet, they did rebuild with great effort and patience.  Natinal Cathedral after Earthquake

A history of the Cathedral:  “On September 29, 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt laid the foundation stone of the Washington National Cathedral and sent laborers to work with these words: “Godspeed the work begun this noon.” It would take workers 83 years to complete the $65 million Protestant Episcopal church, but even under construction, it quickly became a place of national prominence. In its centennial year, the National Cathedral has accumulated an impressive guest list. Every president of the United States after Roosevelt has visited the cathedral, as well as Queen Elizabeth II. Martin Luther King Jr. preached his last Sunday sermon there, and the cathedral was the site for funerals, such as for presidents Reagan, Ford and Senator John McCain. 

The cathedral is an architectural marvel. The sixth-largest cathedral in the world, it rises 676 feet above sea level, making its top the highest point in the District of Columbia. Its center tower is as tall as a 30-story building, and it’s decorated with 110 gargoyles and 288 angels. Its stained glass windows — including one with a piece of the moon in it — and a sculpture of Darth Vader on the northwest tower, are main attractions for visitors.”  (from National Public Radio)National Cathedral DC outside

“The full name of this landmark Episcopal church is the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul (in the City and Diocese of Washington). Although it is a significant date in the Cathedral’s timeline, it is one of many. The history stretches back to 1792 when Pierre L’Enfant under George Washington set aside land for a non-denominational house of prayer for national purposes as part of his Plan for the Federal City. It was over 100 years before some committed Episcopalians put forth the resources, pursued a charter and purchased land to live into that mission. Construction didn’t begin until September 29, 1907, when President Theodore Roosevelt laid the cornerstone. Bethlehem Chapel, the oldest worship space in the Cathedral, opened for services on May 1, 1912; the 300-ft. Gloria in Excelsis tower was dedicated in 1964; and the Cathedral was finally finished in 1990, after 83 years of construction, with President George H. W. Bush present for the laying of the last stone. It cost approximately $65 million to build and it weighs 150,000 tons…The majestic 530-ft. cruciform-shaped Gothic cathedral, made primarily of Indiana limestone, is remarkable, with flying buttresses on the east and west facades, 112 gargoyles, 215 stained-glass windows, 762 boss stones, 288 angels on top of the two west towers and an organ with 10,650 pipes. The 26-ft.-dia. window, “The Creation,” above the main entrance on the West Façade, is one of three such windows. This one was designed by Rowan LeCompte, fabricated by Dieter Goldkuhle and was installed in 1976.”  (Martha McDonald for Traditional Building)National cathedral inside stained glass

Through the efforts of men who knew how to renovate and rebuild, the construction began…just as it will as we begin to rebuild the lives of people here in the United States and around the world.

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Did we answer the question…how or when will we rebuild lives?  No, but we will and we will have the answers.   The Holy Scripture says, ” For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  Jeremiah 29:11-13

In relation to rebuilding, I want to share with you the rebuilding of the National Cathedral after the earthquake hit. You will appreciate the skill and hard work of those involved.

There will be two videos on this post. (After viewing the first, don’t forget to click back and view the second.)  They are as follows:

Video 1The timelapse video of rebuilding the inward and outward parts of the National Cathedral:  Click on the link below

Rebuilding the National Cathedral

Video 2 turn up sound:   THIS IS FOR YOUR INSPIRATION AND BELIEF THAT OUR COUNTRY AND AROUND THE WORLD WILL RECOVER AND REBUILD…JUST AS THIS BEAUTIFUL PLACE OF WORSHIP WAS REPAIRED FROM A FORCE OF NATURE NOT EXPECTED!

The beautiful stained glass windows are seen with scaffolding around them during the rebuilding.  Time-lapse photography by Colin Winterbottom. Music by Danyal Dhondy

Turn up sound and Click this link for your inspiration:

Music and the National Cathedral

 

 

 

 


No Free Lunch

As we continue to do our best to live under the guidelines of “staying well” and other good sense matters, we are also inundated with the concerns about hoarding, the Stock Market and possible government bailouts.  This is a world-wide problem and no one has the perfect answer for any of it.  Yet, some make their voices known, either to agree or disagree with certain positions being taken.

Nikki Haley, the former United Nations Ambassador has just resigned from the Board of Boeing because of the discussion of bailing out the planemaker.   See her letter and reasoning here:

niki haley letter to resign during virus

Everyone would like a stimulus check, but only a certain number will get government help. Even if it is for a good cause in the economy, a bailout to anyone, big business or private individuals, comes from somewhere…those who have worked hard and paid their taxes.

The thing to remember is that there is NO FREE LUNCH.   It wasn’t in the past and it won’t be in the future. Nothing is ever free.  Even the politicians who promise free education, free health care, free anything…there is nothing free. This does not take a genius to understand this truth…yet, many hope on…passed reality. girl eating lunch no free lunch

Does the Holy Scripture say anything to us about finances…need or faith in the midst of crisis?  Let’s look at a few verses that can help us weather the storms as we look for peace.  In doing so, we must not forget to pray for those making decisions that effect our lives.

To be content:

  • Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.  Phillippians 4:11-13   (Words to the Phillippians by the Apostle Paul)

Help those who need help through generosity:

  • As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.  1 Timothy 6:17-19

Anxiety only raises blood pressure

  • “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these… Matthew 6:25-32

God’s blessings to all our readers!

Boyer Writes

Background music for your day:


Comfort…a Special Word

Because the world needs comfort and courage, it is good to remind ourselves what the Holy Scriptures have to say…especially as many places of worship are temporarily closed.

If you are Jewish, you will want to remember the words of your prophets in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament).

If you are Christian, you may want to remind yourselves of both the words in the Old and New Testaments.

Other faiths have words that are meaningful to them, but for now, we, at Boyer Writes, can only say,

“Be blessed…be strong…and comfort yourselves and others because God is near!”

From the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament

Hebrew Bible

“Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant.”
—Psalm 119:76

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
—Psalm 27:1

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”
—Psalm 55:22

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

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
—Psalm 23:4

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
—Lamentations 3:22-23

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
—Psalm 46:1

“Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted.”
—Isaiah 49:13

From the New Testament:

Open Bible

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
—John 14:27

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.”
—2 Corinthians 1:3

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
—John 16:33

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
—Matthew 5:4

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
—Romans 8:37-39

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This tender picture shows that even our pets can give comfort in the time of difficulty.

dogPatient

 

Background music of peace and calm:  Turn up sound

 


Wake Up, Young People…the Future is YOURS!

It is not often that I make any part of my blogging offensive…or in this case, politically offensive, as most politics is!  However, after years of study, teaching and travel, it is alarming to me that our young adults may have not been taught by adults, parents and teachers, enough HISTORY to make rational judgments as they get into the exciting position of having an actual vote.

Our country and states are gearing up for the “get out the vote”day…whether it is Super Tuesday or another time. Those running for office must be really tired of “running,” but not as much as we are from seeing them run!

Over and over again, we have heard the statement “Let me be clear!” It better be clear …more than clear, if we look at the nations of the world throughout history and what happened to them if they went down the road of total government control.  It is pretty forward and simple:

Socialism is the first step toward Communism…and what a dismal record it has! The voice of the people will eventually be taken away and personal freedom perish. Communism, that started with people rising up for an attempt for change, equality and fairness, never got what they wanted. The leaders promised the world to them and then brought the world down on the heads of those who simply wanted better lives.  Sounds good at first, but doesn’t work because the power-hungry leaders (or dictators) can’t make it work. The first thing that happens is that anyone with a voice of protest or even appears to be anti-government will be taken care of one way or another. We know about some of those leaders from our history books: Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Castro… and many more in places around the world like China.

Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves because this blog is about our young people and what they know about history.  Our youth are enthusiastic, energetic and wonderfully young! God bless them all, but the picture probably is not really clear for them.     Yet, the message MUST BE MADE clear for our young adults if their future is to be one of freedom and opportunity!

The New York Times just printed an article written by Patricia Mazzer and Sydney Ember which proves the point of what I am writing about as they interviewed some of our young voters. Here is what one 18-year-old had to say which may be a reflection of many young people:

“Socialism is a supposedly scary term that we’ve talked about so much, but we really don’t understand,” said Nolan …, 18, a chemistry major at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he cast a ballot early Wednesday, before its primary next week. In a society where technology is so important, where it takes fewer people to produce more things, we’re going to have to have a more socialistic society, where the government needs to step in more,” he said. “The government is going to be required to do more, and it’s something we should welcome, not be afraid of.” 

Are they still teaching about these uprisings for social justice and the results, Nolan?  As a young chemistry student, you have the world ahead of you in science…to explore, to invent, to bring something wonderful to society…unless the government tells you differently.  Think about it! 

OK, any young person reading this blog,  I’m old enough to be your Grandmother, but I have observed a few things as I taught young people, traveled with them to foreign countries and heard their dreams and hopes just like yours!

Young Adults

Intelligent, young adults whose future is theirs!

 

Examples of Socialism that became Communism…the Results: 

As I traveled with students and around the world, I saw the results of socialism that became communism. In many cases, it was heartbreaking…and this is just the tip of the problem with this form of government.   I’d like to share with you what I experienced from firsthand knowledge:

  • When I took young people to Eastern Europe, we visited Russia.  There were large department stores with almost nothing to show on any floor…a table here and there with little to sell.

 

  • A dump truck with grain was in front of our bus and the grain was flying all over the road.  Asking my Dutch driver why the Russians didn’t cover it, he laughingly said, “The government will pay them the same no matter how much they deliver. They don’t care.”

 

  •  Almost every few miles, there were ramps built for cars to drive on, in order to fix whatever was broken.  Parts, of any kind, were extremely hard to get and the people had to make do. Most of the equipment was not for the people but for the Soviet military that continued to move aggressively into neighboring countries.   Things like refrigerators and other household goods, looked like they were from the 1950s.

 

  • As we were leaving Russia for Poland, the bus passed lines and lines of cars waiting on the side of the road. “What are they doing?” I asked.   “They have a one day pass to go into Poland to shop because that is where the supplies are plentiful, which they can’t get in Russia.”

 

  • In Poland, we met an elderly woman who had a fine business and a large home. Her story was when she and her husband were invited to South America to help with an agricultural project, their home was taken over by the government because the authorities believed it was too big for two people.  The house was divided up into several tiny apartments for more people to live in because it was “only fair.”  She had no freedom to complain.  After the fall of communism, she was told by the new government that she and her husband could “buy it back.”

 

  • Also while we were in Poland, we visited Auschwitz Concentration Camp where one of my Jewish students laid a wreath for the millions murdered.  We all know that when a government decides that some people are not wanted what happens to them. There are people around the world who are disappearing or hidden away in some horrible prison…many being political prisoners.  (A political prisoner is someone imprisoned because they have opposed or criticized the government responsible for their imprisonment. Wikipedia)

 

  •   When I was in Ukraine, I taught in a beautiful little place called Donetsk at a thriving University. Only recently, Russian-backed troops took over the University and sent staff and students home. Donetsk Christian University now houses the military. 

 

  • A friend of mine that I met at the Ukraine University writes us that the Russian government is now having committees formed by the government to decide if certain churches or Christian organizations can continue to have permission to be open in Russia.

 

  • Recently, I viewed a documentary about the one-child policy in China (now a 2-child policy) and the kidnapping of young boys in that country to be sold.  Couples are forced to get permission from the government to have children. If not, the unborn child should be aborted, as have millions of babies in China…even until the 8th or 9th month.  Should the couple refuse, they said that they knew eventually they would have to sell the child because the government would then come in and take away everything in their home, leaving them totally unable to function.  They told a handler, who deals with the government and those who can pay to buy a child, that they hope he could “find a good home for the child…perhaps somewhere in the West.”  The young couple interviewed talked about the trafficking and selling of children and teenage girls to become mothers, for more trafficking of babies. (UTube “China’s Stolen Children”)

 

  • During the Nazi invasion of Norway, all radios were confiscated from the people. A lady we visited there told us that they raided her home and removed her radio. With any aggression the first thing to go is communication.  Even now, we know that what news comes out of a communist country is tightly censored, which makes one question the real numbers relating to the Coronavirus.

These are only a few of the tragedies that happen when a country thinks it would be better off becoming a socialist country.  Some may say, ” What about the good things that are part of European governments, that consider themselves to be socialists? They get free health care etc. etc.”  Yes, and their taxes are huge!   As to health care, I was once told by a European that it is true that they can get “free” health care, but if you want the best or quickest care….you “pay under the table”, so to speak.

What About Reform?

Is our American government perfect?  Of course not. We need reform in many areas. Reform in areas, like health care, immigration and policies of all kinds, should be seriously looked at by our freely, elected government representatives…that is when they decide to get to work on reforms rather than fighting one another!   No government is perfect because people are imperfect, but some are greater than others.   Ask any veteran who fought to give us freedom of speech and openness of the press, freedom of religion and a right to be, do and live our own lives without government intervention…or fear of imprisonment or torture. It is what we have in America…at least for now…and how blessed we are!

Again, I would admonish our young voters to “Wake up, do your homework and give yourselves a great future that you will work hard for and deserve!”  


Tribute to the SALT of the EARTH

This blog is a solemn tribute to the HARD WORKERS of our country, who produce the foods that are so readily available in our markets.  When all seems lost from weather or any action that hurts the bottom line…they keep the faith and instead of giving up…they continue to know that the fields they look upon are God’s field…and  HE CAN INTERVENE.

 

Everytime we go to buy groceries, think about those past and present who worked fields and NEVER GAVE UP…even in the hardest of times.  Shelton portrays the heartache of those who felt there was no hope.  Thank God for those who kept the faith and came through with God’s help.

Video  Turn up sound:

 


What Would Mary Do?

Christmas is often called the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”  This may be because when the Virgin Mary gave birth to the Savior, the world looked for many things to be made right through a strong leader.  Most believed that the Messiah would bring peace and a new world order.  He would come in glory to accomplish this task.

How disappointing for those who refused the humble birth.  How could it possibly be?   Yet, God’s ways are mostly not our ways.  He chooses to accomplish His purposes even if they do not fit what we expect.

We often hear the question, “What would Jesus do?”  As we look to Him for our daily answers to human problems, we are looking for a man’s point of view…even a Holy, Incarnate Man as He was.   My question in this blog post is different.  What would the Mother of the Son of God do?  

This woman, who was young, was told by an angel a shocking message for her and her fiance, Joseph.

“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored!”

The Gospel of Luke says that the angel Gabriel came to Mary to tell her that she would give birth to a son. The angel told Mary that she should call her son Jesus. The angel also said that Jesus would save people from their sins. Mary asked the angel how she could be pregnant since she was a virgin.

Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.”

 

After the birth, the angel appeared again:

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

 

Mary, like any Mother, watched her Son, Jesus grow and learn.  She was there when he performed miracles and saw him be betrayed and given into the hands of those who would crucify him.  Her sorrows were practically more than she could endure.

 

The Ressurection and the Ascending into heaven by her Son followed as part of her life. Throughout it all, this woman knew that God was in control.

So…back to the question...If Mary had to face some of the family sorrows that we face today, what would she do?   We think of this perfect Mother, highly venerated, who would do no wrong.  Yet, she was as human as any of us.  Would she advise us to look at the Holy Scriptures when the father waited and waited for his son who had left home?  Would she say to never give up hope? Would she point to this father (and perhaps a waiting mother) who finally saw his prodigal son coming from afar who had seen the error of his ways?

Would she have forgiven when children neglected their older parents and simply be grateful for those who are loving and caring, like her Son who asked a disciple to care for her as he died on the cross?  Does this mean that a person not a member of the immediate family might be more caring and loving than the blood relation?

When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. (John 19:26-27)

All these are hard questions, but as a Mother, she would understand things from a woman’s (and Mother’s) point of view.

Even the first miracle that Christ performed had to do with a problem of a social nature. At the wedding in Cana, Mary was concerned about the fact that the hosts had run out of wine. Jesus felt that His time to reveal His power or that He was the Messiah had not come, but He listened to His Mother’s request for help. He turned the water into wine, which the guests realized to be the best wine. Mary knew Jesus’ power to step into the lives of others in small or great issues. He also wants the best for us regardless of the circumstances.

You may also have some questions for Mary if you could speak to the Mother of the Savior and if she could hear you from heaven.  I certainly do. Here is what Mary would do and say… “Take it to Jesus for it is in Him that God with the Holy Spirit answers prayers. He is the beloved Son of God.”

 

Life is complicated for so many of us. We pray that at this time when we see the beautiful pictures or works of art representing the Mother and Child that we will remember that her faith was strong and unwavering. Her pain was real and so was her joy as she trusted in God to work through the events that seemed beyond help.

Happy New Year from Boyer Writes.

VIDEO:  Turn up sound

 

 


Be Not Afraid

To any of our readers who may be struggling with a situation or some troubling difficulty, I share with you this song.   It was written by a young man struggling with God’s call to him to go into Christian ministry as a priest.  We all have our moments in life when we need God’s guidance.  Look to Him for the perfect way for you.

Be Not Afraid by Bob Dufford

Blessings


Surviving Brain Surgery

She is a redhead, filled with enthusiasm and a love of life. She was my neighbor in Virginia.  Little did she ever dream that she would have that lovely red hair pulled back 5 inches from her forehead to her ears, to allow doctors to make an incision and remove a large brain tumor.  This is her true story, written in her own words, to give encouragement to anyone facing a similar situation.  It is not an easy story to tell, but one that should be passed on to those who may lack courage or have difficult decisions to make in this regard.

back of head red hair

 

Looks Can Be Deceiving  by Patricia Paige

“When we meet someone for the first time, we immediately become aware of their appearance. We notice their height, their hair or their eyes. One such example is found in First Samuel Chapter 16. When Saul had lost God’s favor to rule over Israel, He sent Samuel on a specific mission. He traveled to the home of Jesse, and from his sons, God told him he would find “the chosen one.”

As Samuel looked at Jesse’s older sons, he considered their height and strong features, but God rejected all of them. He told Samuel that God does not judge someone by their outward appearance. He looks upon the heart. Samuel sent for Jesse’s youngest son, David: “And, the Lord said, Arise, anoint him; for this is he.”

When you look at me, you might notice my red hair, my blue eyes or my smile. Sometimes, looks can be deceiving. What God knows, but you cannot see, is that in August 2014, I had surgery to remove a brain tumor.

I’ve had headaches most of my adult life, including migraines. I didn’t believe the headaches I’d been having for the past several months were any different. These headaches would always completely disappear. My journey began quite uneventfully on a beautiful day in June. When I’d awakened that morning, I’d felt really energetic. Except for this morning, my hearing was muffled. Have you ever been swimming underwater in a pool? You hear the voices and laughter, but the sounds seem diminished. I continued my busy day. After accomplishing a few errands, I’d purchased groceries, and prepared an early supper. However, throughout the entire day, my hearing remained muted.

After my husband and I had eaten, I’d filled a plate and popped on the travel lid. My purse and keys were on the counter. Suddenly, I felt nauseated and started having stomach cramps. Later, I would look back on this event and realize this was God’s divine intervention in my life. If these symptoms had not occurred exactly when they did, I’d have been driving down a four-lane highway.

Thankfully, I’d gone into the small half-bath near the kitchen. Nausea only worsened as did the stomach cramps. When my massive seizure began, I was close enough to the wall to lean my head against it. Honestly, I don’t believe I could have remained upright at this point. My next symptom was extremely bright, revolving lights. Have you ever been to a carnival where colored lights are pulsating and blinking in a circle?

I never lost consciousness, but believed my head was literally going to explode. Searing pain raged throughout my entire skill. On and on the cycle continued with nausea, severe cramping, blinking lights, and headache. Several times I thought I was going to die. It would have been a release from the excruciating pain. I am so thankful to my husband for placing cold, wet washcloths on my forehead and back of my neck.

Why, you ask, didn’t my husband call for an ambulance? My symptoms were waxing and waning, so we both assumed it would be over any minute. Besides, some of our friends had recently suffered a nasty stomach bug, which had included a severe headache. A similar illness perhaps? As suddenly as the symptoms had appeared, they disappeared. I felt completely normal again. I could walk and talk without any problems. My speech and balance were fine.

However, this experience troubled me. Were these symptoms of something more serious? I phoned the office of a neurologist I trusted and had known for several years. In the meantime, I went to my family physician. My vital signs were within the normal range. When I described this frightening incident, he expressed concern. I told him of my upcoming appointment with neurology. He was relieved I would be seeking additional medical treatment.

My headaches were becoming worse; occurring more frequently. The neurologist thought I was having “cluster headaches.” She also ordered an MRI (brain scan) to rule out anything else.

Returning home few days later, I had a phone message from the neurologist. She asked that I return to her office early Monday morning. This was Friday afternoon so I knew it wouldn’t be good news.red headed woman2

“You have a brain tumor” are words you never want to hear from your doctor. My suspicion had become all too real. I just sat there and didn’t respond. I was in shock. She asked if I’d heard what had been said. She asked again. I shook my head signifying I understood. I sat motionless; silent.

She showed us an x-ray of the tumor. It was a moderately large Meningioma. This type of tumor grows within the first three layers (the meninges) that are located between the skull and the brain. Although they are usually benign, I would require surgery to remove it. When she asked where I wanted to go to, I asked, “Where would you send someone in your own family?” That’s how I was referred to the Chief of Neurology at a hospital accredited as a Level I Trauma Center.

The next few days were a blur. My headaches were more intense, and I was increasingly sensitive to bright lights. I’d wear my sunglasses even indoors. My family continued to be supportive, encouraging and funny. Hey, look, our daughter would say, “Mom’s wearing sunglasses in the house. She must think she’s a Movie Star!”

The following information is taken from a Facebook post: “Last night, I read the pathology report on Mom’s tumor. It gave the exact measurements. I used a ruler, pen and paper and made a sketch. Then, using the materials at hand, I fashioned a replica of it using many, many rubber bands. If you’ve met my Mom, then you know that she’s a short, small-boned, cute, redheaded woman. What I’m trying to explain is that this tumor is HUGE! No wonder Mom is keeping a bad headache.”

Two MRI’s and two neurologists have now confirmed that this tumor is indeed a benign meningioma . Next week, I have an appointment with the doctor who will perform the surgery. With his guidance, we’ll formulate a plan.

The surgeon was very professional, yet more than willing to take the time to answer all our questions. In my prayer time, I’d made a request of God. I’d asked Him to put me in the hands of Christians during my surgery. No one, not even my family, knew about my request. On our way out of the office, one of the associates touched my shoulder. She said, “You’re going to be fine. I’ll be in the room during your surgery, and I’ll be praying for you.”

Relief! Precious, wonderful relief. We were in the hallway before I broke into tears. My husband hugged me and said, “It’s going to be okay.” I explained the petition I’d made earlier. This is God’s way of showing me, “He’s got this!”

We were told to check the surgery schedule as we exited the hospital. The doctor who’d be performing my procedure did not have an opening until the middle or latter part of September. This was the first week in August. Waiting several weeks seemed like a very long time. I remembered that Almighty God held me in the palm of His Hand, and I was at peace.

I was on a “prayer chain” at my home church as well as several others throughout our community. These Christians were asking for my healing, and for the grace to see my family through this journey.

My health continued to deteriorate. My painful headaches were even stronger, and my energy level was beginning to drain. By now, I was unable to accomplish even the simplest of household chores. I began noticing that my balance was affected. Most days, I walked like I’d been drinking. I’d hold on to walls and furniture to prevent myself from falling.

One day I received a phone call from the hospital. It had only been two weeks since my appointment. The woman on the phone worked with the neurosurgery scheduling department. She asked if I wanted to have my procedure performed on August 22. Talk about a no brain-er (excuse the pun!) Absolutely!

As my husband and I sat in the surgical waiting room, we were joined by our daughter, granddaughter and grandson. This was the quietest my family has ever been. Usually we’re talking, teasing and laughing.

A nurse came to take me back, and told my husband and daughter they could join me after I was prepped. The hugs with my grandchildren were bitter-sweet because of the seriousness and uncertainty of brain surgery. Of course, I didn’t want to leave my family, but I knew where I’d be spending eternity. And, this was incredibility comforting. My family sat beside my bed. None of us knew what to expect. We were in a holding pattern similar to an airplane waiting for take-off.

My surgeon joined us and inquired if we had questions. The anesthesiologist arrived and introduced himself. Did we have questions? He then asked if they could pray for us. I don’t remember the words he said, but I knew they were heartfelt. It was surreal. Never before have I been so grateful to be a Christian surrounded by other believers.

According to my daughter, my surgery went well. Because I’d bled more than expected, I’d received two units of whole blood. I’d be in recovery, then ICU for several hours, transfer to a room, and finally discharge. That was the plan. In life, things do not always go as we’d anticipated.

When I first became aware of my surroundings in ICU, I was unable to speak. For a woman who has been extremely verbal all of her life, this proved to be difficult. As the hours passed. I became increasingly angry. My anger was not directed at God. My distress was due to my circumstances. I remember clenching my fist into a ball and pounding it on the bed. This could not have been beneficial especially since this was the arm where the IV was attached. I began shaking inside and sobbing. Tears were running uncontrollably down my cheeks. None of the nurses could tell us why this was happening.

Later that night, our daughter phoned a friend who teaches speech therapy at the college level. She explained that my condition was called expressive aphasia. This occurs when there is a disconnect between the brain and the mouth. The words I was trying to express were simply stuck in my brain. Apparently, when the brain is touched, interesting things happen.This would improve with time.

My tumor had grown from the left side of my skull toward the right. In fact, it had wrapped around the large cranial nerve in the middle of my skull. Think of it like an octopus whose tentacle is holding on tight. While my surgeon was unable to completely remove this part of the tumor, he’d gotten into close proximity. My brain needed to rest and reboot.

Because I couldn’t speak, the nurses brought pad and pen and asked that I write down what I wanted to say. I held these items in my hands, but I couldn’t write words. All I could do was to make attached ovals in a solid row. Row after row after row. Finally, I stopped trying.

I spent two days in ICU before transferring to what they referred to as a “step down” room. I’d stay there for the remainder of the week. At this point, I’d transfer to an inpatient rehabilitation center near the hospital. This was an intensive 7 day a week program focused on physical, occupational, and speech therapy. In the beginning, each of these were challenging. I had deficits in all three areas.

Occupational therapy proved to be extremely difficult. When offered a child’s large-piece puzzle with wooden handles to grasp, I managed to put together only three pieces. Twice daily the therapist would encourage me to work with my hands to improve eye/hand coordination. Problem-solving skills slowly started to improve and were more consistent.

Physical therapy concentrated on regaining my equilibrium, muscle strength and stamina. At this point, I was using a walker with attached wheels. Therapy incorporated the use of large balance balls, safe places to walk for short distances, exercises and stairs with railings to prevent falls. We had all learned and mastered these skills in early childhood.

Obviously, speech would be problematic. It would take time not only to learn how to communicate, but how to lessen the disconnect in my brain. Because I’d always gestured with my hands when I talked, occupational therapy was the missing link in regaining my speech. These therapies would continue when I returned home.

During this entire time, my vision had been extremely blurred. It was like trying to visualize objects or people through a thick fog. I was also experiencing drowsiness and fatigue. I’d accepted these as side-effects of my surgery. Thankfully, they were not!

The high dosage of seizure medicine they were giving me to keep my brain calm was reacting negatively with a muscle relaxer. I’d used it to relieve muscle spasms due to Fibromyalgia. I had not taken this particular medication in over a year, and then only once or twice daily.  However, my medical chart showed I was taking it three times daily. I explain this in detail as a precautionary tale for others. Review your medical records carefully with your primary care physician to correct any discrepancies before you are hospitalized. In any case, it is of utmost importance that your medical records are correct.

Arriving home, there were other obstacles. Patience has never been one of my strongest virtues especially when I’m in a hurry or stressed. It was difficult to remain calm, breathe slowly and deeply, then retrieve the actual word I wanted to express. Sometimes, I’d become angry and raise my voice. My poor husband was the target of all my see/saw emotions. Thankfully, he is a Godly man who really loves me. I’d say an entirely different word than the one I’d intended. Sometimes I’d just point to an object and call it a thing-e. Occasionally, this still happens.

When I first began my journey back to health, I did not realize it would take this long to recover or be so life-changing. These were the times that I found solace in the writings of Corrie Ten Boone: “When the train goes through a tunnel, and it gets dark, you don’t throw away your ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.”

I’ve always had empathy for people with cerebral palsy or those who have had traumatic brain injuries or strokes. Until my experience with expressive aphasia, I did not fully understand how challenging it is for them to try to speak. Now I do. Those words and thoughts remain locked deep inside their brains. Every day, they ride on a roller coaster of emotions. These brave people endure disappointment, frustration, anxiety and depression.

As a believer, I did not expect my life to be any easier because of my profession of faith. I did trust in God’s promise to never leave me. He is faithful as we continue to walk together down this crooked path called life.

I accept that everything that comes into my life is allowed by a good God. Why does He choose to heal some people and not others? I can’t answer that question. He alone can see into the future. God already knew I’d have a brain tumor, surgery and difficult recovery. I believe He has a plan and a purpose for each of us. I’m using the miracle God granted me as a testimony. It is my desire to provide inspiration and encouragement for those facing a similar or other serious surgery.”

Note from Boyer Writes in 2017:  God made a way for Patricia Paige to survive her brain surgery through prayer, family support and the medical team that skillfully brought her through to live a productive life. She is most grateful that the doctors understood her feminine concerns and left her red bangs to be brought forward so that people would not even notice that she had gone through such major surgery.

Whatever your challenges may be, give yourself to our Lord and ask Him to make a way for you to come through your difficult circumstances.

Boyer Writes footnote in 2019:  Patricia Paige was a pen name for a lovely person whose real name is Wanda Robinson. She wrote about this part of her life a number of years ago. God made a way, through doctors and support of family and friends, for Wanda to have five more years of life.  In 2019, she went to be with her Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ and her wonderfully supportive husband, Wade. It is in her honor that I re-post her writing.

 


Is It Well With Your Soul?

In Christian services around the world, people sing the great hymn, “It is Well with my Soul.”   Most have no idea who the writer of the words was or what was his background.

Horatio Spafford

Phillip Bliss

His name is Horatio Spafford with music composed by Philip Bliss in 1873.

The question you may ask, after hearing about his life’s story in the video below, is how could he have ever penned those words?

 

 

Anyone who has gone through times of trial or the most disastrous events in their lives know that they have to find something or Someone greater to cling to in order not to lose sanity or their faith in God.

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Some people may never quite get to a point in faith to say “It is well.” The author of this hymn also went out on a limb in his personal beliefs. Nevertheless, in the end, his great song has been a lifeline to many as they find out that Christ is the only answer to our sufferings because He knew suffering well.

Here are the words to It Is Well With My Soul by Horatio Spafford.

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know
It is well, it is well, with my soul. 

Refrain
It is well, (it is well),
With my soul, (with my soul)
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul. (Refrain)

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! (Refrain)

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. (Refrain)

But Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul.  (Refrain)

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
A song in the night, oh my soul!  (Refrain)  ( from Wikipedia)

Here is Horatio Spafford’s story and the tune to his song.  (turn up sound)

May you be blessed in your soul.