N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

History

The SWEETER the BETTER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What does the Holy Scripture say about our bodies?

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

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CAN WE LEARN SOMETHING FROM HISTORY ABOUT FOODS?

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

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

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


EXPLORE, DREAM, DISCOVER

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

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

Mark Twain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO 1 THE LIFE OF MARK TWAIN

VIDEO TURN UP YOUR SOUND

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

VIDEO 2

A FEW FAMOUS QUOTES BY TWAIN…THE HUMORIST


Defending America From Anarchists

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

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

Burning and looting of businesses

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Photo credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

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

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

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

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

So why speak out about anarchists through this blog?

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

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

Archbishop Gomez of LA had this statement about the priest:

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

St Junipero Serra stands tall before being torn down

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

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

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

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

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


SAVING THE CHILDREN

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

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

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

woman in film about Winton's life

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

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

Nicholas-Wintonin-Prague-012-300x180

Young Nicholas Winton with a rescued child.

children in Winton's scrapbook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


THE HUMAN MIND….GOD’S GIFT

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

science of connecting cells

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

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

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What was it like before TV?

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

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

farm life2

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

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

TV watching

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

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

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

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

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

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

tv family watching

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

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

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

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

ABOUT ANXIETY

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

Bible reading

ABOUT FEAR

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

bible reading older lady

ABOUT COURAGE

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

African American family

ABOUT HUMILITY

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

1 Peter 5:6-7bible reading by child

 

ABOUT GOD’S SPIRIT

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

bible reading young woman

ABOUT PROTECTION

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


SPEAKING OUT

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

Martin Luther posts the 99 thesis

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


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

St James the less in La Crosse WI

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

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

Priest at St. James the Less in La Cross WI

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 


LIFE IS FRAGILE

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

 

stictching by Alta

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

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

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

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

    Protests 2020 3

    A mostly peaceful demonstration in the U.S.

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

    protest looting broken windows 2020

    Small business store fronts smashed and looted.

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

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

Hong Kong

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

 

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

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

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

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

Slave ships

Slave ship

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

( Let’s think also about German history.)

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

 

Nazi death camp

Nazi death camp2

Jewish women in a Nazi death camp

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

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

     

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

    Japanese internment

    American interment camp for Japanese in WWII

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

     

Are we getting the picture?

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

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

the destruction of statue of Buddah in Afghanistan

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

tearing down of confederate statue at UNC

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

 

Condoleeza Rice

 

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

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

We are a fragile world.

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

If my people will humble themselves

 

Video: Turn up sound

 

 

 

 


Life Histories…Will We LEARN?

“THOSE WHO FAIL TO LEARN FROM HISTORY ARE CONDEMNED TO REPEAT IT.”

  Winston Churchill to the House of Commons, 1948

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This famous quote is one to strongly consider as we think about our nation and the world today.  We thought we had conquered most of the world’s diseases, then the Coronavirus moved around the world. 

We thought we had crossed through the problems of discrimination after the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther, Jr…then came more deaths for many people of all colors. We are faced with problems today that could be disastrous for us all. There are those who simply want their voices heard, justice done and then there are the anarchists among us who want to destroy peace and accomplishments of many. What we thought had been attained through new laws of the land against racism and civil rights for all can be destroyed within an instance if lawlessness is allowed to continue. We ask ourselves, “What is next and what has happened to the democratic way of life? Where is law and order?” 

There are forces at work to disrupt anything peaceful.  Some are outsiders, who mean no good will. These forces will take advantage of every tragic event to move our civilization toward something even more tragic. What would that be is not fully known, but the loss of lawfulness, the democratic way and the sanctity of all men and women could be only a starter.

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What exactly is “sanctity?”  It has to do with being sacred or morally upright and correct.”  Is nothing sacred anymore?  Does the hard work of people building businesses, which support our communities…for all races…make it right to “smash…grab…and run”… while laughing about it?!

The values that were taught in most families…about stealing or destroying seems to mean nothing to many who have been given so much by the previous generation? There were marches in Selma; men and women of all colors who went off to war to fight for world freedom.  Do they understand the sacrifices of history? If not, do we blame ourselves for not teaching it more in schools or in the home?  Will these young adults who believe they are changing the world teach their own children the meaning of sacrifice and sanctity? Do they “care less” when it comes to destroying and looting?

broken glass2

A man records the broken glass during protests

Yes, there are voices that need to be heard, but all people, through our Constitution and laws, have been given a right to freedom of speech when voicing complaints…and should and can be heard without destroying the center of their own universe.  (“…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress…”) There is no right given to plunder, steal or take the property of another.

We have also seen how situations can turn from bad to worse when people are singled out because of who they are…minorities…police…the calling of disparaging names because of one’s belief on a particular subject. The victims of violence should be able to mourn their dead. The victim’s memories should be honored, not exploited.

While government officials argue about what to do in this crisis, the “rape” of hard-working American men and women’s businesses goes on…destroying the lives of many.

Jueenhan Moon Reuters Photo credit

BREAK, GRAB, STEAL during protests Photo credit Jueenhan Moon Reuters

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Do not forget history.  It teaches us everything…to do and not to do. It tells us how fragile governments can be when those who believe their ideas are the only ideas, regardless of who they hurt, begs the possibility of raising up leaders to push the world into a brink of despair and even war. We have seen it in our best teacher…HISTORY.

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 Let’s take a look back.

There were good people in Germany before World War II who saw that the path on which their country was heading would lead Germany and other countries into chaos.  Even within the high-ranking military and Christian churches, there were dissidents who stood against Hitler. There were actually six attempts to do away with Hitler, but each failed.

1944 Plot:  …”At the center of this plot was Claus von Stauffenberg, a dashing colonel who had lost an eye and one of his hands during combat in North Africa. He and his co-conspirators—who included Tresckow, Friedrich Olbricht and Ludwig Beck—planned to kill the Führer with a hidden bomb concealed in a briefcase and then use the German Reserve Army to topple the Nazi high command. If their coup was successful, the rebels would then immediately seek a negotiated peace with the Allies. ( Full story of 6 plots  History.com)

 When the bomb exploded, more than 20 people were injured and three officers were killed, but Hitler escaped one more time.  Because of this attempt, more than 7,000 people were arrested and 4,980 people were executed by the Gestapo.” (History Collection)

picture of Hitler and Strassenberg who attemted to kill Hitler

At Rastenburg on 15 July 1944. Stauffenberg at left, Hitler center, Keitel on right. The person shaking hands with Hitler is General Karl Bodenschatz, who was seriously wounded five days later by Stauffenberg’s bomb. Wikipedia

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Anarchy is raising an ugly head in today’s modern world.  The very word, from the Latin word, anarchia, and the Greek, anarchos, has the meaning of “no rule.”  (Wikipedia)

We, as a nation of people, have a choice to stand for what is right and honorable…or loss control. Don’t forget “Kristallnacht” (The Night of Broken Glass)  when storefronts belonging to the Jews were shattered. Glass littered the streets and vandalism occurred. Sound familiar?

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I leave you with a compelling life of a survivor of one of history’s darkest hours.  At first it began slowly and then the blaming of an entire group of people began.  The innocent were accused…and the rest is “history.”  We pray that this part of our present day history will not be another dark hour.

Hannah Pick Goslar
Life of Hannah Elizabeth Goslar Pick:
  • Born in 1928 in Berlin. Hannah’s father was Head of the Prussian Press Bureau and adviser to the Minister of Interior of Brandenburg, Germany. In 1933, with the rise of the Nazis to power, Hannah’s family fled to Amsterdam.
  • There, at school, Hannah met Anna Frank, also a refugee from Germany. 
  • In October 1942, while giving birth, both the baby and Hannah’s mother died.
  • On June 20, 1943, Hannah, her younger sister, Gabi, her father and grandparents were sent to the Westerbork transit camp.
  • Hannah and Gabi were separated from their father and sent to the orphanage in the camp. There, she worked cleaning the toilets 
  • In 1944, Hannah, her father and sister were transferred to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where she had to do forced labor.
  • When she was told that Anna Frank was also imprisoned there she managed to establish contact with her and even tried to give her a package of food and clothing, which someone else stole.

    Hannah Goslar and Ann Frank

    Ann Frank and Hannah were friends in Amsterdam

  • Hanna’s Father and Grandparents were murdered in Bergen-Belsen.
  • On April 11, 1945, the camp inmates were evacuated. Hannah had contracted typhus.
  • In June, the Soviets handed Hannah and her sister to the Americans and they were returned to Amsterdam.
  • Hannah went to Israel in 1947 and lived in Kfar Hasidim. She worked as a nurse in a pediatric ward at the ‘Bikkur Holim’ Hospital in Jerusalem.  (from Yad Vashem)

    Young Hannah Pick Goslar

    Young adult Hannah Pick Goslar

In Hannah’s own words:

Video  Turn up your sound.

 


DESPITE CIRCUMSTANCES…USING GOD’S GIFT

It is amazing that people who have been greatly blessed with a special gift can continue to use that gift even after they physically find it almost impossible. The determination, courage, and faith that it takes to continue…to press on regardless of the circumstances is inspiring indeed.

One of my favorite pieces of music by Beethoven is the part of the The Piano Sonata No. 14 in C minor “Quasi una fantas,” which we know as the Moonlight Sonata.

It was completed in 1801 and dedicated in 1802 to his pupil, the Countess Giulietta Guicciardi The piece is one of Beethoven’s most popular compositions for the piano, and it was a popular favorite even in his own day. Beethoven wrote the Moonlight Sonata in his early thirties, after he had finished with some commissioned work; there is no evidence that he was commissioned to write this sonata…The name “Moonlight Sonata” comes from remarks made by the German music critic and poet Ludwig Rellstab.  In 1832, five years after Beethoven’s death, Rellstab likened the effect of the first movement to that of moonlight shining upon Lake Lucerne. Within ten years, the name “Moonlight Sonata” (“Mondscheinsonate” in German) was being used in German and English publications. Later in the nineteenth century, the sonata was universally known by that name. (Wikipedia)

Countess Giulietta Guicciar Moonlight Sonata dedication

By the love letter Beethoven wrote to Giulietta, it was obvious that he was in love with her. However, it appears that her father objected to a marriage for the two. Beethoven was not rich enough nor had a position he considered suitable for his daughter.  This great piano virtuoso would not have his love, for she eventually married another man.

Beethoven’s love letter to the Countess:

My Angel, My All, My Very Self,
Just a few words to-day, and only in pencil . . . Can our love endure otherwise than through sacrifices, through restraint in longing.  Canst thou help not being wholly mine, can I, not being wholly thine.  Oh! gaze at nature in all its beauty, and calmly accept the inevitable – love demands everything, and rightly so.  Thus is it for me with thee, for thee with me, only thou so easily forgettest, that I must live for myself and for thee – were we wholly united thou wouldst feel this painful fact as little as I should . . .
Now for a quick change from without to within:  we shall probably soon see each other, besides, to-day I cannot tell thee what has been passing through my mind during the past few days concerning my life – were our hearts closely united, I should not do things of this kind.  My heart is full of the many things I have to say to thee – ah! – there are moments in which I feel that speech is powerless – cheer up – remain my true, my only treasure, my all !!! as I to thee.  The gods must send the rest, what for us must be and ought to be.

Thy faithful,
Ludwig

Young Beethovenolder Ludwig van Beethoven

 

 

 

 

 

The young Beethoven and a painting of Beethoven after his illnesses and the loss of his hearing.  What could be more devastating than for a composer to not hear what he was playing…Yet, he continued to use the gift God gave him.

“Beethoven died in his apartment in Vienna, on 26 March 1827 at the age of 56, following a prolonged illness. Beethoven’s funeral was held three days later, and the procession was witnessed by a large crowd. He was originally buried in the cemetery at Wahring, although his remains were moved in 1888 to the  Vienna Central Cemetery.” 

In this short, dramatic movie clip, given in part here, Beethoven could hear nothing of what his genius and gift from God had allowed him to compose.  The strings of the orchestra moved, but for Beethoven, where was no sound.  The audience heard it, however…and finally, he was given the applause that he could at least see. He finally saw with his eyes their appreciation for his beautiful music.

Turn up sound and click link and then click the back arrow to return for a piano performance of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/7qWbcosJdtU?controls=0&start=360

PIANO PERFORMANCE OF THE MOONLIGHT SONATA:  Arranged by Georgii Cherkin Classic FM Orchestra Conductor: Grigor Palikarov Soloist: Georgii Cherkin – piano

 

 


Military Sunday…COST of Freedom

Our National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. and in various churches, this Sunday, May 17, 2020, will be honoring our brave military who have served faithfully for our freedom and democracy.  We must remember that there was great cost.

fallen brought home with honor

 

What exactly is FREEDOM and its COST to us today?

This might be the time to ask ourselves some hard questions, as we have been told recently that we must forfeit many of our freedoms for the “good of all.”  We have to ask ourselves what will be the great cost to our democracy and freedom, as we see many private decisions slowly drifting…or rapidly falling into someone else’s hands to make choices for us….such as when we can work, run our businesses, shop, go to school etc. etc. ?

We, as citizens, appreciate warnings to potential danger and given a heads-up to prepare individually and within our community…just as we do when a devastating hurricane is approaching Florida or any part of our country.

I can never remember our local news saying “You are mandated to board up your house and stay inside because you could die from this approaching storm!!” 

They just inform us and expect that as responsible people we will prepare and do what is right for us and the neighbors around us.  Is EVERYONE always responsible?  NEVER...not in the past and not in the future. Some houses blow away and people are sometimes killed, but we then try to help as much as possible to rebuild lives.  One thing is certain, people are generous, helpful and outright heroic in many situations.  Most do not expect government handouts unless they are in dire need. Faith based organizations hand out food with these disasters and as they are doing now.

This is DEMOCRACY…and personal responsibility. This is what our military men and women have bravely fought to maintain.

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No governments… local, national, or international are able to have perfect answers when they begin dictating to the masses.  State and community rules/regulations that help our society are expected, when they don’t interfere with with our Constitutional rights that will be discussed later.  The individual is the patriot, the guy next door…like all of our military.

Our honored military have sacrificed so much for their country’s freedom. Do you think they were afraid?  Of course they were, but they knew without freedom we would have nothing to live for.  They went…They served…and they are loved for it!   Are people afraid today? Yes, for certain, if they are about to lose everything they have worked hard for over the years or if they have elderly parents who are facing things alone.   Wars were fought to keep our independence, starting with the Revolutionary War.

  • WHY did the U.S. and other freedom loving countries get involved in the wars listed below?  There is a simple answer….

TO PROTECT OUR FREEDOM TO MAKE OUR OWN WAY OF LIFE AND DECISIONS WITHOUT INTERVENTION FROM A DICTATORSHIP...whatever the name may be.

  • Why should we be concerned today?  I’m certain you are pondering your answer.
  • There is also another question that we should be asking ourselves:

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How do countries slowly, or not so slowly, lose their independence and freedom of choice?

“Although regimes vary widely, most dictators have at least a few things in common. They don’t come to power through free, constitutional elections. They often take control during coups d’etats, revolutions or…

states of emergency.

Once they have control, they have absolute, sole power.”  (Encyclopedia Britannica)

  • What about deaths brought on by men who cared nothing about freedom for their citizens…only about their own power?

(Deaths caused by three of the worst dictators: Joseph Stalin 43,000,000 Mao Zedong 38,000,000+ Adolf Hitler 21,000,000)

  • What about the dictators of today’s communist countries to whom we are giving much of our allegiance…wealth and intellectual property?

At the present time, we know there are gulags around the world where thousands are languishing and dying because they have no voice and are arrested with no recourse for protesting or speaking out about their government’s activities.  (The term, gulag, is a prison camp where conditions are extremely bad and the prisoners are forced to work very hard. The name gulag comes from the prison camps in the former Soviet Union.) Collins dictionary

Auschwitz2

AUSCHWITZ WORLD WAR II

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Military conflict has taken place during every year of the 20th Century. There were only short periods of time that the world was free of war. The total number of deaths caused by war during the 20th Century has been estimated at 187 million and is probably higher.  (from Imperial War Museums)

20th and 21st Century’s major wars:

  • The First World War 1914–1918
  • The Second World War  1939–1945  
  • The Korean War  1950–1953

Slide presentation:  (Give each picture a moment to change)

 

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  • The Vietnam War, 1955-75
  • The Gulf War, 1990–1991
  • The War in Afghanistan 2001–2014
  • The Iraq War and Insurgency, 2003–2011
  • The Global War on Terrorism, 2001–present

 

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Our freedom today in America and around the world is due to those who were willing to stand up and go into harms way to defend freedom.  This is why we honor them today in our churches, who still have church services…via the internet and TV broadcasts.  Because most churches place the physical health of their congregations as a priority, it was only the wise thing to do until they were able to assemble together again.  How to do this was up to the church to decide what was best to continue giving people the opportunity to worship.   Faith is alive and well, even if it is a family gathering around the TV at home. Underground churches have had to find creative ways to worship God in the past and present throughout the world.

A minister was arrested in Florida for not closing his church, which caused infection to spread from those not knowing they were carrying the Coronavirus. This act of defiance by the pastor, which was totally unwise at the time, lead the Governor of Florida to make this statement as the right to worship was being challenged by the local authority:

“I don’t know that [governments] would have the authority, quite frankly, to close a religious institution.” Governor DeSantis said in deciding not to shutter churches in Florida. “The Constitution doesn’t get suspended here.”

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  • What does our U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights guarantee us?

Our Constitution, through Amendment 1, guarantees FREEDOM of RELIGION, SPEECH, PRESS, PEACEABLE ASSEMBLY and petition of grievances.  Many young men and women have been willing to die for this freedom.  Many have!

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

US. ConstitutionBill of Rights

 

To all our military…from all wars…we THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND YOUR DEDICATION TO FREEDOM!

American flag held high

Honoring those who serve

Footnote:

My husband ,who is a retired U.S. Navy Chaplain, will be presenting the sermon from St. James Episcopal Church in Florida.  This will be taped ahead of time to be aired on  Sunday, May 17.  If interested in watching, it can be viewed on YouTube any time on or after May 17.  (Go to YouTube and type St. James Episcopal Church, Leesburg, Florida to view and choose the service for May 17.)

 

 


TAKING A CHANCE

The TV has been buzzing with the news that the city of Jacksonville, Florida, USA and others have opened their beaches for certain hours after the complete shut-down due to the Coronavirus. People were asked to “social distance” and to “not group together.” After weeks of confinement and lost jobs and businesses, people took to the beaches like they had been caged animals. This could tell us something about the need to socialize…the need for fresh air and the beauty of nature. It could also tell us that we Americans really don’t like to be told what to do…even if it is for our own good.

Reopening of Jacksonville FL beach during coronavirusclup)

Jacksonville, FL beach photo from April 17, 2020, by Action News Jax SkyCam network

This was evident, when groups of people went out in different cities to protest the “stay at home” mandate.  Their main goal was to get America back up and running again so they could go back to work and feed their families, pay their mortgage or car payments. Nevertheless, most didn’t adhere to wearing a mask in public, as asked to do. They crowded together while they shouted their demands with little concern for their own health or welfare of others. They were willing to “take a chance.”

Americans like their freedom of speech and nothing is being said against that, but one would hope that there would be, along with the speech, common sense, dedicated carefulness, and a little less selfishness toward others. Nonetheless, “taking a chance” is part of the indiscriminate, so-called invincible young. “What could possibly hurt us?” they may be thinking. “Doesn’t that apply to the elderly or those sick? Hey, we work out! Even during the stay at home rule, we jogged miles each day. So, we’ll take our chances.

Let’s just say, it is the American way…for life, sickness or death.  The roots go back to the American Revolution, when we fought for independence and government control from England.  Just as the people of Hong Kong are standing their ground against Communist dictatorship and oppression,  Americans don’t sit still too long…for good or for bad.  It is of great concern when a mayor or governor begins to tell the people to watch out for their neighbor and “report” any violation of the coronavirus mandates set up for general guidelines.  Would we sit still for that kind of instruction?

 It reminds me of the time I visited a place in Poland.  I had taken American students to Europe under President Eisenhower’s program, Student Ambassadors.  As we entered this large house that had been divided up into small apartments when the Communist took over, an older woman was peering out a small window in her door.  I asked about this to our guide.  She said, “Oh she is a left-over from the old Communist days when her duty was to report who was coming or going! She still thinks she has to keep watch.”   Are we slowly moving in that direction in our country…or our world?  This is certainly a chilling thought.

Protester holds sign in Colorado photo by AP David Zalubowski

Unlike the protester holding the sign above, we know the Coronavirus is real and not imagined. That is most evident by the sickened and deaths. Life, however, is full of taking risks. The protester is taking his own risks.  We make decisions everyday that will turn out for the good or the bad in our lives. This is what personal freedom is all about. Whether our government gives advice for personal protection, or family, friend or neighbor weighs in, it is still up to us to govern our activities. Some things will kill us. Our decisions might be made out of fear, which may kill us mentally and emotionally. Most people are like herds of sheep. They follow what others may be doing instead of thinking what is best for themselves or their family members not old enough to make decisions on their own.

What to do? Pray…be rational…act carefully…be considerate of others and yourself may be a few suggestions. As I contemplate on the famous words of President Roosevelt, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself,” I believe he was right to warn the American people of this dilemma…FEAR.

 

 

The Holy Scriptures tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7:

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind

POWER

Power is a word that we don’t often associate with ourselves. We think of powerful people in business or industry…or in the political realm. You are powerful over more things than you may imagine…your health, finances, professional choices, love relationships and more. This verse says God has given you power.

We have been told recently that many people are dying from the coronavirus because of their underlying health reasons. These may have been related to overweight, diabetes, heart-disease, drug addiction etc. which have put them in a weaken state. In many of these cases, it was personal choices to not care for their health which they could have had power to correct. In other cases, it was lack of proper nutrition.

Have you ever heard people say that God is punishing us with disease and our lives as a world or nation? I really cringe when I hear these comments because God is a God of love and concern for His creation…including men and women. He will not interfere in our own decisions , whether it is from lack of knowledge or carelessness.

Our world has a natural science…in our environment and our personal lives. If we eat too much, we get fat. If we ignore safety rules, we have accidents. Behind the obesity comes the health problems. We also learned about our own power through other tragedies, such as the Great Dust Bowl of 1930’s. Men had power to do the right thing for the land, but did not understand science or did not look into the consequences of their actions. In either case, the results were financial ruin and the spread of disease.

The Dust Bowl was not only one of the worst droughts in United States history, but is generally thought of as the worst and most prolonged disaster in American history…The prolonged drought was made much worse by a fundamental misunderstanding of high plains environment, and the utilization of methods which called for a thin layer of dust to be purposefully exposed on the surface for large parts of the summer. Dust transmits influenza virus and measles and combined with the economic depression, the Dust Bowl period brought a significant increase in the number of measles cases, respiratory disorders and increased infant and overall mortality in the plains. 11

Dust Bowl scene by Getty pictures

LOVE

God has given us love..from Himself and for each other. When difficulty comes, we find out what we are made of because we strike back at fear. The medical teams and first responders who move around the sick and dying are showing God’s love whether they realize it or not. Some may say, “It is my job.” Even here, a person could decide that taking the risk of their own lives is not for them and walk away from the challenge.  They could turn their backs on the years they had put into preparing for their profession because of fear.  Most do not.

The neighbor who reaches out to those needing help during the crisis is showing, not fear, but love…God’s love. We know that we are His Hands…and  we are His Face of encouragement.

SOUND MIND

To have a sound mind is also to have self-control, which has its origin from a Greek word:

The Greek word for self-control is sōphronismos, which means “saving the mind” or “moderation”. Since the word SELF-CONTROL contains the word “self”, I am quick to interpret this to mean something I have to do. However, within the context of verse 7 of Timothy, we see that “God gave us a spirit of…self-control.” 12

We, then can depend upon God to give us these three things instead of fear, Power, Love, and a Sound Mind. It is His promise to you and me when we trust Him now and in the future. It is more than “Taking a Chance,” it is FAITH and good sense.

 (This writing was taken from the book, Faith and the Pandemic by N.W. Boyer to be released soon by Amazon.)

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FDR’s 1st Inauguration Address…A Voice from the Past, after the Great Depression… A message appropriate for TODAY.  (From HistoryMatters.com  The full text and a 3 minute portion of the speech.    Roosevelt’s Speech

 

 


A History of Pandemics

All of us understand that we are in the midst of a world-wide pandemic, which has caused great grief around the world.  Yet, we might not be familiar with the other Pandemics that have been endured throughout history.

In every pandemic, the world, with great loss of life, has moved through them.  In all their horror, people come out on the other side to live again.  We will live again…perhaps not exactly as before…but life will go on.  They WILL find it.We also may want to educate ourselves on other times in history that sickness and disease have ravished the earth.  it (The following information is taken from MPH Online, which is an independent online resource for public health information.)

  • ANTONINE PLAGUE (165 AD)

Death Toll: 5 million
Cause: Unknown
Also known as the Plague of Galen, the Antonine Plague was an ancient pandemic that affected Asia Minor, Egypt, Greece, and Italy and is thought to have been either Smallpox or Measles, though the true cause is still unknown. This unknown disease was brought back to Rome by soldiers returning from Mesopotamia around 165AD; unknowingly, they had spread a disease which would end up killing over 5 million people and decimating the Roman army.

painting-of-antonine-plague

Painting of the Antonine Plague in Rome

  • Plague of Justinian (541-542)

Death Toll: 25 million
Cause: Bubonic Plague
Thought to have killed perhaps half the population of Europe, the Plague of Justinian was an outbreak of the bubonic plague that afflicted the Byzantine Empire and Mediterranean port cities, killing up to 25 million people in its year long reign of terror. Generally regarded as the first recorded incident of the Bubonic Plague, the Plague of Justinian left its mark on the world, killing up to a quarter of the population of the Eastern Mediterranean and devastating the city of Constantinople, where at its height it was killing an estimated 5,000 people per day and eventually resulting in the deaths of 40% of the city’s population.

Justinian Plague

Painting depicting the Justinian Plague

  • The Black Death (1346-1353)

Death Toll: 75 – 200 million
Cause: Bubonic Plague
From 1346 to 1353 an outbreak of the Plague ravaged Europe, Africa, and Asia, with an estimated death toll between 75 and 200 million people. Thought to have originated in Asia, the Plague most likely jumped continents via the fleas living on the rats that so frequently lived aboard merchant ships. Ports being major urban centers at the time, were the perfect breeding ground for the rats and fleas, and thus the insidious bacterium flourished, devastating three continents in its wake.flea

  • Third Cholera Pandemic (1852-1860)

Death Toll: 1 million
Cause: Cholera
Generally considered the most deadly of the seven cholera pandemics, the third major outbreak of Cholera in the 19th century lasted from 1852 to 1860. Like the first and second pandemics, the Third Cholera Pandemic originated in India, spreading from the Ganges River Delta before tearing through Asia, Europe, North America and Africa and ending the lives of over a million people. British physician John Snow, while working in a poor area of London, tracked cases of cholera and eventually succeeded in identifying contaminated water as the means of transmission for the disease. Unfortunately the same year as his discovery (1854) went down as the worst year of the pandemic, in which 23,000 people died in Great Britain.

  •  FLU PANDEMIC (1889-1890)

Death Toll: 1 million
Cause: Influenza
Originally the “Asiatic Flu” or “Russian Flu” as it was called, this strain was thought to be an outbreak of the Influenza A virus subtype H2N2, though recent discoveries have instead found the cause to be the Influenza A virus subtype H3N8. The first cases were observed in May 1889 in three separate and distant locations, Bukhara in Central Asia (Turkestan), Athabasca in northwestern Canada, and Greenland. Rapid population growth of the 19th century, specifically in urban areas, only helped the flu spread, and before long the outbreak had spread across the globe. Though it was the first true epidemic in the era of bacteriology and much was learned from it. In the end, the 1889-1890 Flu Pandemic claimed the lives of over a million individuals.

  • Sixth cholera pandemic (1910-1911)

Death Toll: 800,000+
Cause: Cholera
Like its five previous incarnations, the Sixth Cholera Pandemic originated in India where it killed over 800,000, before spreading to the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe and Russia. The Sixth Cholera Pandemic was also the source of the last American outbreak of Cholera (1910–1911). American health authorities, having learned from the past, quickly sought to isolate the infected, and in the end only 11 deaths occurred in the U.S. By 1923 Cholera cases had been cut down dramatically, although it was still a constant in India.cholera

1911 cholera

1911 Cholera Pandemic

 

Map. Cholera spread during the seventh pandemic.

  • FLU PANDEMIC (1918)

Death Toll: 20 -50 million
Cause: Influenza
Between 1918 and 1920 a disturbingly deadly outbreak of influenza tore across the globe, infecting over a third of the world’s population and ending the lives of 20 – 50 million people. Of the 500 million people infected in the 1918 pandemic, the mortality rate was estimated at 10% to 20%, with up to 25 million deaths in the first 25 weeks alone. What separated the 1918 flu pandemic from other influenza outbreaks was the victims; where influenza had always previously only killed juveniles and the elderly or already weakened patients, it had begun striking down hardy and completely healthy young adults, while leaving children and those with weaker immune systems still alive.

1918 flu in Kansas

FLU PANDEMIC 1918 in Kansas

  • ASIAN FLU (1956-1958)

Death Toll: 2 million
Cause: Influenza
Asian Flu was a pandemic outbreak of Influenza A of the H2N2 subtype, that originated in China in 1956 and lasted until 1958. In its two-year spree, Asian Flu traveled from the Chinese province of Guizhou to Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United States. Estimates for the death toll of the Asian Flu vary depending on the source, but the World Health Organization places the final tally at approximately 2 million deaths, 69,800 of those in the US alone.

Red Guard in China 1967 flu

Red Guard in China wear masks during 1967 Influenza

  • FLU PANDEMIC (1968)

Death Toll: 1 million
Cause: Influenza
A category 2 Flu pandemic sometimes referred to as “the Hong Kong Flu,” the 1968 flu pandemic was caused by the H3N2 strain of the Influenza A virus, a genetic offshoot of the H2N2 subtype. From the first reported case on July 13, 1968 in Hong Kong, it took only 17 days before outbreaks of the virus were reported in Singapore and Vietnam, and within three months had spread to The Philippines, India, Australia, Europe, and the United States. While the 1968 pandemic had a comparatively low mortality rate (.5%) it still resulted in the deaths of more than a million people, including 500,000 residents of Hong Kong, approximately 15% of its population at the time.

  • SARS Coronavirus (2003)

    An acronym for severe acute respiratory syndrome, the SARS coronavirus is a viral respiratory disease that caused 774 deaths across 17 countries, the majority of which were in mainland China and Hong Kong.

    The outbreak occurred in Guangdong, China, in late 2002, but the Chinese government tried to cover it up by discouraging press coverage, delaying reporting of the outbreak to the World Health Organisation (WHO), and reporting false numbers—all of which resulted in international criticism. As a result, neighboring nations did not get sufficient warning to prepare for a possible health crisis.

    At the end of January, a fishmonger checked into the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital in Guangdong, where he infected 30 medical staff. From there, the virus spread to nearby hospitals. A doctor named Liu from the hospital in Guangdong then traveled to Hong Kong in February; he proved to be the super-spreader who would go on to infect much of the city. Apart from seeing various family members, he also stayed in the Metropol Hotel. 23 other guests of the hotel developed SARS, while Liu’s brother-in-law eventually died of the disease. Liu checked himself into the Kwong Wah Hospital and later died in the Intensive Care Unit.

    A large proportion of those infected were either medical staff or family members of those who were ill. Reportedly, at least 99 medical staff were infected while treating a single patient who had visited a guest at the Metropole Hotel. A global health alert was issued by WHO about the new infectious disease in March 2003.

    The following months were a dark period for Hongkongers. Schools were all cancelled indefinitely, the streets were largely empty, and people could only watch as infected numbers increased daily. Among the residential estates, Amoy Gardens was hit particularly heavily: in just Block E of the estate there was an outbreak of over 200 cases. Residents were transferred to quarantine camps, and it was later found that the virus spread through droplets from the drainage pipes because the apartments shared a sewage system.

    The symptoms of SARS are similar to flu and may include fever, muscle pain, lethargy, cough, and sore throat. The only common symptom that all patients had was running a fever above 38 degrees Celsius. Its average incubation period is four to six days, and patients are most infectious during the second week of illness, so if detection was early and the carrier was quarantined by day five of their illness they rarely infected others.

    It wasn’t until June that Hong Kong was removed from WHO’s list of affected areas. There is still no vaccine for SARS; clinical isolation and maintaining personal hygiene remains the most effective means to stop it spreading.   (from History.com)

 

pandemics-hong-kong-sars-2003

SARS pandemic 2003 Hong Kong

  • HIV/AIDS PANDEMIC (AT ITS PEAK, 2005-2012)

Death Toll: 36 million
Cause: HIV/AIDS
First identified in Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976, HIV/AIDS has truly proven itself as a global pandemic, killing more than 36 million people since 1981. Currently there are between 31 and 35 million people living with HIV, the vast majority of those are in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 5% of the population is infected, roughly 21 million people. As awareness has grown, new treatments have been developed that make HIV far more manageable, and many of those infected go on to lead productive lives. Between 2005 and 2012 the annual global deaths from HIV/AIDS dropped from 2.2 million to 1.6 million.

HIV AIDS PANDEMIC timeline quilt

HIV AIDS PANDEMIC “TIMELINE QUILT”

 

HongKong wholesale market H7N9 bird flu virus 2013

Bird Flu N7N9 2013 Hong Kong Wholesale Market destroy bird carriers.

  • COVID-19 ( CORONAVIRUS)

Beginning in December 2019, in the region of Wuhan, China, a new (“novel”) coronavirus began appearing in human beings. It has been named Covid-19, a shortened form of “coronavirus disease of 2019.” This new virus spreads incredibly quickly between people, due to its newness – no one on earth has an immunity to Covid-19, because no one had Covid-19 until 2019. While it was initially seen to be an epidemic in China, the virus spread worldwide within months. The WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic in March, and by the end of that month, the world saw more than a half-million people infected and nearly 30,000 deaths. The infection rate in the US and other nations was still spiking.

With the coronavirus pandemic, people all over the world have become more aware of the best practices during a pandemic, from careful hand-washing to social distancing. Countries across the world declared mandatory stay-at-home measures, closing schools, businesses, and public places. Dozens of companies and many more independent researchers began working on tests, treatments, and vaccines. The push for the human race to survive the pandemic became the primary concern in the world.

The outcome of the Covid-19 pandemic is impossible to predict, at the time of this writing. But we can learn from pandemics in history to determine our best courses. These are our teachers – the Spanish flu, the AIDS pandemic, and more.”

Hospital worker in US

Heroic hospital workers in the U.S. and world-wide

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Every pandemic originated somewhere. The lack of scientific knowledge and communication problems contributed to the wide-spread of the diseases around the world in our past history.  Perhaps we will never know the complete truth about how the Coronavirus of 2020 started. With all our technology, there should have been only moments before we, on the other side of the world, should have known and been told.  Fingers will be pointed and the truth or lack of it will most likely be denied.

However, It can not be stressed enough that in our century the responsibility  ALL COUNTRIES have when a serious health problem arises, to quickly warn the world! No knowledge must be withheld if we are to save lives and be victorious over the next pandemic…and there will be a “next one.” 

I have chosen to include this VIDEO  from the EPOCH TIMES,  “Documentary: Tracking Down the Origin of the Wuhan Coronavirus”   by the seasoned, investigative reporter, Joshua Philipp. Because of the controversy about the actual origin of the pandemic in China, it is worth listening to those who have information not available to the general public. You can choose for yourself if it has merit.

All countries have a need to protect their citizens.  Give yourself an hour to concentrate on the words spoken here by members of the scientific community, intelligence officers and ask God to show you the truth for your future and that of the world.  Pray for the Leaders in all countries who shoulder a great burden for all of us. 

Turn up your sound.


Preparing for Friday before EASTER

It will be a different Friday before Easter this year.  Perhaps we should prepare our hearts for it more than ever!  We, as Christians, always have referred to this special day as GOOD FRIDAY.  A reason for saying it is “good” is because it is the beginning of the journey of our Savior to the cross, Who gave Himself for the people of the world.  The Friday had to come before the glorious Easter Day of RESURRECTION.   So, how do we prepare these few days before Friday…especially if there are some who don’t understand this special day of Christian worship?

For my readers throughout the world who may not be Christian, this may help you understand the Power of the Cross in Christianity.  Please read with an open mind. Ask God to speak to you and give you His truth of salvation. May you find, through the power of the Holy Spirit, your trust in the Savior Who came to be punishment for all your sins and mine.

 

THE PROPHECY OF CHRIST’S CRUCIFIXION was given to the Jews within their own Hebrew scriptures.  Not only does the New Testament give this account, but parts of the Old Testament give the crucifixion as a prophecy of the events to happen.  One of these is in Psalms 21,My God, my God why have You forsaken me…O my God, I cry out by day and you answer not. I cry out by night and there is no relief for me. All my bones are racked.  My heart has become like wax melting away within my chest. My throat is dried up like baked clay, My tongue cleaves to my jaw.  They have pierced my hands and my feet…”  Psalm 68 “…in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”

 

THE HISTORY of the STATIONS OF THE CROSS:

In many churches and cathedrals around the world, there are pictures of the Stations of the Cross.   Having originated in Jerusalem, the pictures are to duplicate Jesus’ trip on the Via Dolorosa before his crucifixion.  Jerusalem fell to the forces of Saladin, the first sultan of Egypt and Syria in 1187. Forty years later Saint Francis of Assisi, a Franciscan, came back to Jerusalem and proclaimed certain holy places as places of Christian devotion. During the 15th and 16th centuries, they built outdoor shrines which later were introduced as stations. Faithful Christians read the gospels as they visit these stations to remember the suffering of the Savior…usually on Fridays.  There are traditionally 14 pictorial stations mounted on church walls.   The resurrection station is sometimes included as the last station because without the resurrection of Christ, there is no gospel.

Pictures of  selected Stations of the Cross from around the world:

Inside Stations of the Cross in Immaculate Conception Hong Kong

Inside Stations of the Cross at Immaculate Conception in Hong Kong

outdoor stations of the cross

Outside Stations of the Cross

  

 

 

 

 

crucifixion of christ statue

      Jesus dies on the cross (Sculptor unknown)

 

Jesus taken down from cross Rubens artist

Jesus is taken down from the cross. ( Rubens)

 

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that Whosoever believes on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

In the past, on Good Friday, concerts are given around the world.  Often these are requiems of a somber nature.  This year, because of the Coronavirus, the depictions throughout Europe and other part of the world will not be reenacted.  The great concert halls will be empty.  Yet, we must not allow this to change our focus on the great sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  We will turn to our TV’s and recordings and bow our heads as we remember the terrible day on the cross.  In just a few days after Friday will come the great morning of RESURRECTION.   Prepare your hearts now with the beautiful music I’d like to share with you today…Laudate Dominum by Mozart, sung by Aksel Rykkvin

(After the music…come back to see the pages of the Stations of the Cross.)

  • TURN UP SOUND and enlarge picture for best viewing.

 

  • 2nd link showing the description of the Stations of the Cross

 

 

 

Click this link below and follow each station by clicking on “next”:

 

http://www.bspenance.org/wayofthecross/station1.html

 

 


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.

_______________________

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

 

 

 

 


Survival and Leadership

People are worried about the world-wide Coronavirus, even though we are told “Don’t panic…be calm…wash your hands etc”  Grocery stores are beginning to have empty shelves and items ordered online are showing “Not Available.” Hard to believe, in certain places like Costco, actual fights have broken out over certain goods.   Should people take a deep breath and look at history for encouragement and to God for peace and assurance?  The answer is a resounding YES!

The world has gone through many trials.  It might be good to remember that our country and the world have faced hard times before. There were great costs and great loss of life, but the world went on and survived.   Not only World Wars, which we survived, but great economic terrors of the Great Depression, which we survived.  The whole world has gone through great and terrible pandemics, and the world survived.

What do we learn from history really?  No Presidental leader or leaders in government can do everything except stand strong, and together, against the severe problems faced. Perhaps it would be good to know some words from a President who faced great challenges in our nation years ago…Franklin D. Roosevelt.

“When Roosevelt took office, nearly a third of America’s workforce was unemployed. Many banks were closed and tottering on the brink of collapse. Business confidence was broken, the nation was rudderless. At his death, the US was the richest and most powerful nation on Earth, the position it has held ever since. Few historians doubt that Roosevelt deserves a large part of the credit for this achievement…” ( Max Hastings of the Independent)

We have much to be thankful for with our strong economy and our medical forces that spend around the clock vigil.   Let’s take a look back at history.

Franklin D Roosevelt

 

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933   (in part)

“I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our people impel. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper.

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days…

With this pledge taken, I assume unhesitatingly the leadership of this great army of our people dedicated to a disciplined attack upon our common problems.

Action in this image and to this end is feasible under the form of government which we have inherited from our ancestors. Our Constitution is so simple and practical that it is possible always to meet extraordinary needs by changes in emphasis and arrangement without loss of essential form. That is why our constitutional system has proved itself the most superbly enduring political mechanism the modern world has produced. It has met every stress of vast expansion of territory, of foreign wars, of bitter internal strife, of world relations.

It is to be hoped that the normal balance of executive and legislative authority may be wholly adequate to meet the unprecedented task before us. But it may be that an unprecedented demand and need for undelayed action may call for temporary departure from that normal balance of public procedure.

I am prepared under my constitutional duty to recommend the measures that a stricken nation in the midst of a stricken world may require. These measures, or such other measures as the Congress may build out of its experience and wisdom, I shall seek, within my constitutional authority, to bring to speedy adoption.

But in the event that the Congress shall fail to take one of these two courses, and in the event that the national emergency is still critical, I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me. I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis—broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.

For the trust reposed in me, I will return the courage and the devotion that befit the time. I can do no less.

We face the arduous days that lie before us in the warm courage of the national unity; with the clear consciousness of seeking old and precious moral values; with the clean satisfaction that comes from the stern performance of duty by old and young alike. We aim at the assurance of a rounded and permanent national life.

We do not distrust the future of essential democracy. The people of the United States have not failed. In their need they have registered a mandate that they want direct, vigorous action. They have asked for discipline and direction under leadership. They have made me the present instrument of their wishes. In the spirit of the gift I take it.

In this dedication of a Nation we humbly ask the blessing of God. May He protect each and every one of us. May He guide me in the days to come.”

(Source: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, as published in Samuel Rosenman, ed., The Public Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Volume Two: The Year of Crisis, 1933 (New York: Random House, 1938))

FOR YOUR PEACEFUL WEEKEND LISTENING   from Boyer Writes

 

 


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!”  


Raphael and the Tapestries

You will have to hurry if you want to see the magnificent tapestries designed by Raphael.  In honor of his birthday, they will only be on display at the Sistine Chapel in Rome until February 23, 2020. It was my privilege to visit Rome and see the Sistine Chapel, which is a once in a life time experience. As a student of history, I marvel that during WWII the great works of art were not completely destroyed or confiscated by the enemy invaders.  Thanks to the bravery of the men of the Church and regular citizens, of whom lost their lives, we have these beauties to enjoy today.  The Monuments Men movie gives a great understanding to the importance of protecting our history and the works to whom great men dedicated their lives.  It is my hope that you will enjoy this writing and those who are shown as contributors.  NWB

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A dozen tapestries designed by Renaissance artist Raphael are currently on view in their original home—the Sistine Chapel—for the first time in more than 400 years. But there’s a catch: The fragile works, commissioned by Pope Leo X in 1515 to complement Michelangelo’s famed frescoes, will adorn the chapel’s walls for just one week.  The exhibition offers a rare chance to see the tapestries, which depict scenes from the lives of St. Peter and St. Paul, in their intended space rather than behind conservation glass. The last time the Vatican held a similar exhibit was in 1983, the fifth centennial of Raphael’s birth. According to Henry Kamm of the New York Times, only eight of the ten main tapestries made it into this display. At the time, one of the remaining works was on loan to a museum in New York; the other was undergoing restoration.

Now, in honor of the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death, the full set of ten masterworks and two border tapestries has returned to the Sistine Chapel for a limited engagement. As exhibition curator Alessandra Rodolfo tells Reuters’ Philip Pullella, the last recorded instance of all 12 tapestries being hung in the chapel together dates to the late 1500s.   (Smithsonian Magazine)

Raphael’s tapestries hang at the floor level surrounded by the magnificent ceiling paintings by Michelangelo.

ABOUT THE TAPESTRIES:

(CNN and Staff Writers)

For the first time in centuries, 10 magnificent tapestries designed by Renaissance master Raphael will hang together on the walls of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City.
The tapestries are usually only displayed on rotation in the “Raphael Room” at the Vatican Museum, according to the Vatican. 
But from this week until Sunday Feb. 23rd,, they are being brought together to mark the anniversary of Raphael’s death.
“We wanted for the celebration of 500 years of Raphael’s death to give the opportunity to share the beauty that is represented by the tapestry together in this beautiful, universal place that is the Sistine Chapel,” said Barbara Jatta, director of the Vatican Museums.
Pope Leo X commissioned Raphael to design the tapestries in 1515.Michelangelo had just finished his elaborate work on the ceiling and the pontiff wanted to ensure the lower walls weren’t bare.
Raphael painted 10 intricate images that depicted the lives of Saints Peter and Paul, now known as the Raphael Cartoons.(cartoons means a full-scale preparatory drawing)  The cartoons were then sent to the workshop of master weaver Pieter van Aelst in Brussels to be woven into tapestries.
At Aelst’s workshop, they were cut into vertical 90 centimeter-wide strips so the weavers could place them under their looms to recreate the image in thread.
The first tapestries were delivered to the chapel in late December 1519, however, Raphael died months later and did not see all the tapestries completed and together.
After Pope Leo X’s death in 1521, some of the tapestries were even pawned to pay off Leo X’s debts.

Self-Portrait Raphael (1483-1520) Oil on Panel, courtesy Uffizi Gallery, Florence

THE HISTORY OF THE TAPESTRIES:  

RAPHAEL-WEAVING TAPESTRY MAGIC FOR THE SISTINE CHAPEL.     (in part)

…The tapestries had a historic state visit to London in September 2010.  They were sent by the present Pope to be exhibited at the V & A Museum.

The four were commissioned in 1515 from the artist Raphael (Fafaello Sanzio da Urbino 1483-1520) especially for the Sistine Chapel. This was the first time in 500 years that the tapestries had hung alongside the original cartoons that Raphael had painted for the weavers so they could  complete this fabulous series of sensational textiles. There are ten in existence, but some scholars speculate that originally sixteen may have been planned.From the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries in Europe most rulers or heads of important families were continually on the move. Tapestries were a way of having instant decor. They added prestige to any setting and practically helped with droughts in stone castles or chateaux, which were evolving with extended periods of peace from places of refuge into being country houses. Their narrative subjects were very attractive and they usually featured scenes from mythology, from the Bible, or of hunting and court life.At the time these were manufactured, weaving was considered the most important art form and expression of cultural development. They demonstrated the wealth and status of the ruling families of Italy, Europe and England and, had the advantage of being easily transportable.

The tapestries made for the Sistine Chapel to Raphael’s designs were woven between 1516 and 1521, They are of wool, which has been intertwined with silk and gilt metal wrapped thread. They were made in the workshop of Pieter van Aelst at Brussels the main centre for tapestry production in Europe at that time.

It would have been no mean feat. The weavers would have been constantly challenged working to Raphael’s painted cartoons, without the benefit of being able to enter into any sort of dialogue with the artist himself who had no part in their production. The technical difficulties were mind boggling and the finished tapestries are a tribute to the level of expertise,  experience and considerable skill the weavers had attained. One of the reasons Raphael gained the commission is that he had successfully designed the grotesque style painted decoration for architect Donato Bramante’s Gallery in the Vatican Palace .The painting of the walls and vaults of the loggia were completed by pupils under his supervision and are a high point of Renaissance art.He proved, through his attention to detail an ability to produce a design that could be transmitted to another medium. The tapestries exist because of one man, Pope Leo X (1475 – 1521) who commissioned them. He knew the richness of these amazing textiles would compliment, and not be overwhelmed by the painted glory perfected by Michelangelo when completing his ‘art above.’

POPE LEO X:  Born into the famous Medici family at Florence, whose patronage of the arts at Florence the cradle of the Renaissance world, Leo X was already celebrated as a prince of peace and acknowledged as connoisseur of music when he ascended the papal throne. His classical education had been thorough and included poetry, literature and music alongside theology, philosophy and the ancients.His love of culture and the arts did not conflict with his worship. And, his interest in the humanities meant that he sought to actively combine, in religious harmony, the past and present while helping to plan the future of the church at Rome.Part of his role as Pope and leader of the Christian church, as the sun rose on the fifteenth century, was to encourage his countries cultural development. As tapestry was considered societies most prestigious art form it is no surprise he chose to hang them in the Sistine chapel.The tapestries illustrate scenes from the lives of St. Peter and St. Paul long regarded as the founders of the Christian Church. They were at the source of the Pope’s authority and power.

HOW THE TAPESTRIES WERE MADE AND PRESERVED:

The Raphael Cartoons were design drawings made up of a mosaic of hundreds of sheets of paper glued together which was then fixed to the wall. Raphael and his assistants would have painted them in situ. Then they would then have been rolled for transport to Brussels to Pietr Van Aelst’s studio where they would have been cut up into strips for use by the tapestry weavers. The tapestries have had a turbulent history. They were pawned to pay for Pope Leo X’s funeral and recovered for the coronation of Hadrian VI (1522-3). They were stolen during the Sack of Rome in 1527, and after many adventures returned to the papal collection between 1544 and 1554. They were looted again during a French occupation of Rome in 1798 and purchased by a second hand dealer very cheaply. They were bought back again in 1808 and restored to the Vatican collection.

As part of the journey associated with every aspect of the design commission, the cartoons arrived in England after King Charles I paid £300 in 1623 to obtain them.He bought them as designs for tapestries and as painters by his time were being recognized for their individual talents, they would have proved a good investment for the crown. It was at the end of the seventeenth century when they were framed as paintings in their own right. It was Queen Victoria who sent them along to the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1865 and they have been in the public domain ever since. Originally they had woven borders showing scenes from Leo’s life, also believed to have been designed by Raphael. However the cartoons for these did not survive.

As Mark Evans who produced the splendidly detailed and scholarly catalog for the exhibition held at London in 2010 said ‘despite the toll of time those who have the good fortune to admire these beautiful tapestries five centuries after their creation can confirm the challenge to make them was triumphantly met”.

SHORT VIDEO: Turn on sound.  After watching, be certain to scroll down to the 360 tour video of the Sistine Chapel. 

http://

360 VIRTUAL TOUR OF THE SISTINE CHAPEL  (The tapestries are not shown here…only the great art.  It will move slowly around the room for a closer view of Michelangelo’s amazing works. View at your leisure. )


Growing Older…Yes, WE ALL ARE!

Everything in advertisement these days is how to stay young and beautiful.  Who wouldn’t want to do that?!  Well, not so fast, perhaps those that have lived a good, long life have a few things to say about aging. We will explore the subject that no one wants to write about, talk about, or experience…aging.  We all grow a little older each day…each hour…each minute.  Some tell it better with the graying of the hair, a larger mid-waist, or a few wrinkles…or alot as the case may be.

I live in Florida and all the billboards for senior living look like this:

 

or this:

All are always having so much fun!!   Frankly, I’d rather find a good bench and enjoy the view with my special person!

 

 

 

NEVER would a billboard show the other side of aging…a woman alone with few if any relatives near by.

 

 Yet,  many older people are finding a life filled with wonderful memories and FEW, if any regrets about their lives.

  It is not all downhill as some would like to think.

The funny thing, however, is that we rarely think of ourselves as getting older.

 

You notice that I never say OLD, but OLDER because it is the natural part of life for everyone…from crib to the knee replacement!

THE AGING PROCESS

 

My next 31 Day Devotional Book will be published soon,.  Hopefully, you’ll take a look when it comes out.  Rain on the Roof.  (booksbyboyer.org)

 

 

I’d like to share a portion of one chapter which relates to this topic:

“What exactly is the meaning of “grace” or doing something with “grace”?” We would all like to think that we can be that kind of person when it comes to seeing our lives slide away and we can begin a possible countdown on two hands. There are those who might make it to the 100 mark, but the quality of life in these people is usually limited. There are exceptions, however. Some Centenarians have some real words of wisdom for all of us.

One man said, “I enjoy robbing the government by continuing to get my pension!” Another Centenarian said about getting older and reaching 100, “It is only a number. You live for the day and a little shot of whiskey occasionally helps,” he said with a smile.

Fond memories seem to play a great part of enjoying the end of life. We all have the heartaches, but it is the happy times that we can and should reflect upon. Building another good memory at any age is the key. It is a great thing to be able to say, “I really did so many things, knew so many people and I believe I mostly did everything that I wanted to do.”

If you are growing older, it is not only the physical body that begins to become more frail, but the mind and emotions can also take a toll. Some of this is genetic or poor health or a disease that is not avoidable. Nevertheless, for those of us who are fortunate enough not to have some of these disabilities, it is up to us to feed the brain with optimism and good thoughts. It is too easy to complain or become “an old fogy” that no one wants to be around or that is old-fashioned or intellectually dull.

Doing the things that make us happy is most important as we age…whether that is writing, as I do, or watering a beautiful flower that has been grown and nurtured by your own hands.

An English lady maintains her wonderful memories of her family as if they are all still around her. With a laugh, she says that sometimes people will hear her talking to herself…but it isn’t really to herself…but to the children that she remembers and cared for through their lives. “They think I am crackers when I talk to myself, but I’m not…just remember the ones I love.”

If you have been in a nursing home for the aged, it is quite depressing, at times, to see so many elderly sitting and doing nothing. Often they are sleeping from medication given to them that can take away quality of life. This is when an advocate is so important to keep watch over a parent or grandparent who may not be able to fend for themselves when it comes to care. Years ago, the elderly stayed in the home of the children until their death. Because of this, they had someone with them who truly cared about them and their welfare. How important it is to speak to those sitting in the Assisted Living facilities and let them know that they are recognized as a special person who has lived a very long life. Each of them have stories to tell if we will take time to listen.

Taking time to listen is exactly why my husband and I interviewed veterans of past wars to write their stories in the book, Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge. 30 Most had never had an interview and were most appreciative to know that the service they gave to their country would live on in a book. This was especially true of an elderly man who fought in Korea with frozen feet. His miracle was that just before surgery to remove his legs, the blood flow came back. Our veterans are quickly passing away, as are the Holocaust survivors of World War II. With grace, many have shared their lives and stories of courage with us. In our present day, those who now sit in wheelchairs, will soon be gone from us. Some have made the trip back to the places where so much happened in their lives to preserve freedom for future generations. Never forget to thank them “for their service.”

Asked if the Centenarians “have any regrets,” most had only a few. Some wished that they had told someone they loved them more or worked harder at a vocation. Time moves swiftly as we grow older. We look back at a full-time career, a number of children in the home, pets to care for and after retirement it is hard to imagine how we fit all that into one 24 hour day! We should want to live those hours as gracefully as possible at any age.

The word ‘grace’ literally means ‘favour.’ In Hebrew, it is CHEN from a root word CHANAN – to bend or stoop in kindness to another.
In Greek it is CHARIS and has the idea of graciousness in manner or action. It comes from a root word CHAIRO to be cheerful, happy. 31

Perhaps this is the key to those who have lived life longer than most…to accept each day with gratefulness and cheerfulness. It is a lesson for all of us to learn to live in GRACE.

On a spiritual level, it is to LIVE and MOVE and have our being (or EXISTENCE). Acts 17:28 It is the GRACE of God that saves us.”   N.W. BOYER

It spite of illness, in spite even of the arch-enemy sorrow,one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change,insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in a small way.   (Quote by Edith Wharton (An American novelist and the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1921.)

VIDEO  Turn up sound


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:

 


Americans Liberate Flossenburg Concentration Camp…the site of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Execution

If you missed the last blog about the 75th Liberation of Auschwitz, I would highly recommend that you go back and view it.    Link: https://boyerwrites.com/2020/01/28/75-years-since-liberation-are-we-turning-our-backs/

 

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In this blog, I am writing about the non-Jews that knew the risks they were taking when defying the Nazi Regime. We honor them and the”righteous gentiles” who risked everything to hide the Jewish families during World War II.  One of the men who stood up again Hitler was Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a  German Christian pastor.

 

 Few twentieth century theologians have had a bigger impact on theology than Bonhoeffer, a man who lived his faith and died at the hands of the Nazis. For Bonhoeffer, the theological was the personal, life and faith deeply intertwined—and to this day the world is inspired by that witness.  (Google Books by Diane Reynolds)

…Apart from his theological writings, Bonhoeffer was known for his staunch resistance to Nazi dictatorship,, including vocal opposition to Hitler’s euthanasia  program and genocidal persecution of the Jews….Bonhoeffer’s efforts for the underground seminaries included securing necessary funds… By August 1937, Himmler decreed the education and examination of Confessing Church ministry candidates illegal. In September 1937, the Gestapo closed the seminary at Finkenwalde, and by November arrested 27 pastors and former students.

It was around this time that Bonhoeffer published his best-known book, The Cost of Discipleship, a study on the Sermon on the Mount, in which he not only attacked “cheap grace” as a cover for ethical laxity, but also preached “costly grace.” He was arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo and imprisoned at Tegel prison for one and a half years. Later, he was transferred to Flossenburg Concentration Camp.  (Flossenburg concentration camp, located outside Weiden, Germany, close to the Czech border, was established in 1938, mainly for political prisoners. Once the war began, however, other prisoners and Jews were housed there as well.Apr 11, 2008)

After being accused of being associated with the July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler,he was quickly tried, along with other accused plotters, including former members of the Abwehr (the German Military Intelligence Office), and then hanged on 9 April 1945 as the Nazi regime was collapsing.   21 days later Adolf Hitler committed suicide.  (Wikipedia)

Quotes by Bonhoeffer:

 

Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him.

On the cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers.

For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God.

So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes.

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We must finally stop appealing to theology to justify our reserved silence about what the state is doing

for that is nothing but fear. ‘Open your mouth for the one who is voiceless

for who in the church today still remembers that that is the least of the Bible’s demands in times such as these.

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The U.S. LIBERATION OF FLOSSENBURG:

At approximately 10:30 hours on April 23, 1945, the first U.S. troops of the 90th Infantry Division arrived at Flossenburg KZ,. They were horrified at the sight of some 2,000 weak and extremely ill prisoners remaining in the camp and of the SS still forcibly evacuating those fit to endure the trek south. Elements of the 90th Division spotted those ragged columns of prisoners and their SS guards. The guards panicked and opened fire on many of the prisoners, killing about 200, in a desperate attempt to effect a road block of human bodies. American tanks opened fire on the Germans as they fled into the woods, reportedly killing over 100 SS troops.

Additionally, elements of the 97th Infantry Division participated in the liberation. As the 97th prepared to enter Czechoslovakia, Flossenburg concentration camp was discovered in the division’s sector of the Bavarian Forest. Brigadier General Milton B. Halsey, the commanding general of the 97th Division, inspected the camp on April 30, as did his divisional artillery commander, Brigadier General Sherman V. Hasbrouck. Hasbrouck, who spoke fluent German, directed a local German official to have all able-bodied German men and boys from that area help bury the dead. The 97th Division performed many duties at the camp upon its liberation. They assisted the sick and dying, buried the dead, interviewed former prisoners and helped gather evidence against former camp officers and guards for the upcoming war crimes trials.

One eyewitness U.S. Soldier, Sgt. Harold C. Brandt, a veteran of the 11th Armored Division, who was on hand for the liberation of not just one but three of the camps, Flossenburg, Mauthausen, and Gusen, when queried many years after the war on his part in liberating them, stated that “it was just as bad or worse than depicted in the movies and stories about the Holocaust. . . . I can not describe it adequately. It was sickening. How can other men treat other men like this’”   (portion of an article By Colonel John R. Dabrowski, US Army Heritage and Education Center)

Piles of Shoes: As US forces approached the camp, in mid-April 1945, the SS began the forced evacuation of prisoners, except those unable to walk, from the Flossenbürg camp. Between April 15 and April 20, the SS moved most of the remaining 9,300 prisoners in the main camp (among them approximately 1,700 Jews), reinforced by about 7,000 prisoners who had arrived in Flossenbürg from Buchenwald, in the direction of Dachau both on foot and by train. Perhaps 7,000 of these prisoners died en route, either from exhaustion or starvation, or because SS guards shot them when they could no longer keep up the pace. Thousands of others escaped, were liberated by advancing US troops, or found themselves free when their SS guards deserted during the night. Fewer than 3,000 of those who left Flossenbürg main camp arrived in Dachau, where they joined some 3,800 prisoners from the Flossenbürg sub-camps. When members of the 358th and 359th US Infantry Regiments (90th US Infantry Division) liberated Flossenbürg on April 23, 1945, just over 1,500 prisoners remained in the camp. As many as 200 of them died after liberation. ( U.S Holocaust Memorial)

 

 

REMEMBER THE LIBERATION AND DIETRICH BONHOEFFER 

Ambassador Grenell lays a wreath at the Dietrich Bonhoeffer memorial in Flossenbürg Concentration Camp

 

Video of the Remembrance of the U.S. Army Liberation of Flossenburg concentration camp where Bonhoeffer was executed. (filmed in 2019)

Turn up sound:

 

 


75 Years Since Liberation…Are we turning our backs?

The survivors of the concentration camp, Auschwitz, were liberated by the Soviet Army on January 27, 1945. What they found shocked the world and yet, even today, the Jews of the world are still being persecuted. Why?  The horror of these and many other photographs only tell part of the story.  Does the world want to endure such atrocities again?

It is difficult to look at this picture, but it is included in this particular blog because we must NEVER FORGET the tragedy forced upon the millions of Jews and non-Jews during this period.

A Liberator Remembers:

MOSCOW (AFP) — It was the silence, the smell of ashes and the boundless surrounding expanse that struck Soviet soldier Ivan Martynushkin when his unit arrived in January 1945 to liberate the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz.

As they entered the camp for the first time, the full horror of the Nazis’ crimes there were yet to emerge.

“Only the highest-ranking officers of the General Staff had perhaps heard of the camp,” recalled Martynushkin of his arrival to the site where at least 1.1 million people were killed between 1940 and 1945 — nearly 90 percent of them Jews. “We knew nothing.” But Martynushkin and his comrades soon learned.

After scouring the camp in search of a potential Nazi ambush, Martynushkin and his fellow soldiers “noticed people behind barbed wire. ‘It was hard to watch them. I remember their faces, especially their eyes which betrayed their ordeal,’ he said. The unit found roughly 7,000 prisoners left behind in Auschwitz by fleeing Nazis — those too weak or sick to walk. They also discovered about 600 corpses. Ten days earlier, the Nazis had evacuated 58,000 Auschwitz inmates in sub-zero conditions over hundreds of kilometers towards Loslau (now Wodzislaw Slaski in Poland). Survivors later remembered the “death march” as even worse than what they had endured in the camp. 

Prior to that retreat, Nazi units had blown up parts of the camp, but failed to destroy evidence of their genocidal work. Among items discovered by Martynushkin and other Soviet troops were 370,000 men’s suits, 837,000 women’s garments, and 7.7 tons of human hair, according to Sybille Steinbacher, a history professor at the University of Vienna.

January 27, 1945 — now commemorated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day — had begun as a normal day for the 21-year-old Martynushkin and his company, until the order was given to move towards the Polish town of Oswiecim, where Nazis had set up a network of concentration camps.

That led to the machine gun commander and his peers taking Auschwitz, liberating its survivors and discovering the nightmarish crimes that had been committed in the camp.  (Moscow AFP)

OSWIECIM, Poland (AP) — On Jan. 27, 1945, the Soviet Red Army liberated the Auschwitz death camp in German-occupied Poland. The Germans had already fled westward, leaving behind the bodies of prisoners who had been shot and thousands of sick and starving survivors. The Soviet troops also found gas chambers and crematoria that the Germans had blown up before fleeing in an attempt to hide evidence of their mass killings. But the genocide was too massive to hide. Today, the site of Auschwitz-Birkenau endures as the leading symbol of the terror of the Holocaust. Its iconic status is such that every year it registers a record number of visitors — 2.3 million last year alone.

Auschwitz today is many things at once: an emblem of evil, a site of historical remembrance and a vast cemetery. It is a place where Jews make pilgrimages to pay tribute to ancestors whose ashes and bones remain part of the earth.

AP Pictures of Auschwitz 75 years later: 

Pictures show places where prisoners were crowded into tight spaces, wired prison and crematorium where they were gassed and burned.

Has the world not learned the lessons of history? Is it repeating history by “turning it’s back” on the Jews or any other group of people enduring hate and torment?” If so, this is a warning that should not be ignored. Charges have been made that modern-day Iran is the “most anti-Semitic regime on the planet.”

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Holocaust survivors and world leaders that the world turned its back on Jews during the Holocaust, teaching the Jewish people that under threat they can only rely on themselves.

Speaking at the World Holocaust Forum’s memorial to commemorate the 75th liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp at Yad Vashem, Netanyahu said the world was similarly failing to unify against Iran, which he charged was the most anti-Semitic regime on the planet.

‘Israel is eternally grateful for the sacrifice made by the Allies. Without that sacrifice, there would be no survivors today. But we also remember that some 80 years ago, when the Jewish people faced annihilation, the world turned its back on us,’ Netanyahu said.”   (article by Raoul Wootliff and Toi Staff Jan.2020)

Over and over, we hear “NEVER AGAIN”…Yet in one form or another, genocide is part of many cultures and places around the world. We must not forget…and we must not turn our backs on any place where the people are helpless victims to the evils of their leaders.

“It was my privilege to take American high school students to Auschwitz and because we went to see this place of evil, their lives will never be the same…and neither is mine.”  N. Boyer of Boyer Writes

VIDEO OF THE 75th YEAR SINCE LIBERATION OF AUSCHWITZ from the location at AUSCHWITZ in Poland

(This video is full length. It is worth watching even if it can only be watched in short intervals.)  Turn up sound:


What Do You Know about TESLA?

For those who read the Stock Market Reports, and you have invested in the electric car, Tesla, you may be delighted to know that Tesla’s stock has “gone through the roof.”

According to (Reuters) – Tesla Inc shares surged on Wednesday, 2020, and the company became the first publicly listed U.S. automaker to cross $100 billion in market valuation, more than Ford Motor Co and General Motors Co combined. 

Elon Musk

Tesla was founded in July 2003, by engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, under the name of Tesla Motors. The company’s name is a tribute to engineer Nikola Tesla.  Tesla Motors was joined by Elon Musk, J. B. Straubel and Ian Wright, all of whom are retroactively allowed to call themselves co-founders of the company. Musk is the current chief executive officer.(Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

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WHAT DO YOU REALLY KNOW ABOUT TESLA?  THIS IS THE QUESTION. 

It might be surprising to some of my readers and to Mr. Tesla, who died penniless and deserted by most scientists, that his name is now famous.  He was an emigrant to the United States and contributed much to the world as we know it today.  As with any great mind, their dreams often hit roadblocks.  Personal life is usually difficult, as with Albert Einstein.  Einstein’s relationship with his wife led to a divorce when he drew up a plan for her to sign if she was to continue to be his wife. It said in part that she should not talk to him unless he asked to talk and to expect no intimacy. She walked out, thinking that she must have been crazy to have married him in the first place. (Another blog to come on Einstein.)  For now, it is probably true to say that most genius dreamers are loners and hard to understand. Their real lives are inside their heads.

Ask any high school student, or even a college student, if they know about Tesla and they probably would have no idea of Tesla outside of a car. No, we are not talking about Tesla, the car, or the adventures in space with Elon Musk, but of a man who brought electrical history to our lives.  As a teacher of history, I cringe to think what our young people may be missing…such things as the meaning of “socialism.”  They may reply, “Oh, yes, I love the social media…use it everyday!”   I digress.

NIKOLA TESLA :  Tesla  was the son of an Orthodox priest, he was from Serbia.  He had a great imagination, often saying that he saw great “flashes of light” and was always fascinated by lightning and electricity.   Even as a young man he believed that electricity had a type of frequency that the world didn’t understand.  Sometimes looking into spiritualism, he believed that the day his mother died she said goodbye to him through a type of frequency wave.   He also dreamed of taping the sun’s energy and thought of a world wireless communication.  Wouldn’t he be surprised at the power of our modern day communications?

In a nutshell, As a Serbian engineer and physicist, he made dozens of breakthroughs in the production, transmission and application of electric power. He invented the first alternating current motor (AC) and developed AC generation and transmission technology. His temper may have gotten the best of him when he walked out on his first American employer, Thomas Edison, who refused to give him a fair payment.

NIKOLA TESLA

 

 

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LIFE OF NIKOLA TESLA   (from history.com)

Nikola Tesla was born in 1856 in Smiljan, Croatia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His father was a priest in the Serbian Orthodox church and his mother managed the family’s farm. In 1863 Tesla’s brother Daniel was killed in a riding accident. The shock of the loss unsettled the 7-year-old Tesla, who reported seeing visions—the first signs of his lifelong mental illnesses.

Tesla studied math and physics at the Technical University of Graz and philosophy at the University of Prague. In 1882, while on a walk, he came up with the idea for a brushless AC motor, making the first sketches of its rotating electromagnets in the sand of the path. Later that year he moved to Paris and got a job repairing direct current (DC) power plants with the Continental Edison Company. Two years later he immigrated to the United States.

Tesla arrived in New York in 1884 and was hired as an engineer at Thomas Edison’s Manhattan headquarters. He worked there for a year, impressing Edison with his diligence and ingenuity. At one point Edison told Tesla he would pay $50,000 for an improved design for his DC dynamos. After months of experimentation, Tesla presented a solution and asked for the money. Edison demurred, saying, “Tesla, you don’t understand our American humor.” Tesla quit soon after.

After an unsuccessful attempt to start his own Tesla Electric Light Company and a stint digging ditches for $2 a day, Tesla found backers to support his research into alternating current. In 1887 and 1888 he was granted more than 30 patents for his inventions and invited to address the American Institute of Electrical Engineers on his work. His lecture caught the attention of George Westinghouse, the inventor who had launched the first AC power system near Boston and was Edison’s major competitor in the “Battle of the Currents.”

Westinghouse hired Tesla, licensed the patents for his AC motor and gave him his own lab. In 1890 Edison arranged for a convicted New York murderer to be put to death in an AC-powered electric chair—a stunt designed to show how dangerous the Westinghouse standard could be.  (The execution using AC power went very poorly for the man being executed…as Edison predicted.)

Buoyed by Westinghouse’s royalties, Tesla struck out on his own again. But Westinghouse was soon forced by his backers to renegotiate their contract, with Tesla relinquishing his royalty rights.

In the 1890s Tesla invented electric oscillators, meters, improved lights and the high-voltage transformer known as the Tesla coil. He also experimented with X-rays, gave short-range demonstrations of radio communication two years before Guglielmo Marconi and piloted a radio-controlled boat around a pool in Madison Square Garden. Together, Tesla and Westinghouse lit the 1891 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago and partnered with General Electric to install AC generators at Niagara Falls creating the first modern power station.

In 1895 Tesla’s New York lab burned, destroying years’ worth of notes and equipment. Tesla relocated to Colorado Springs for two years, returning to New York in 1900. He secured backing from financier J.P Morgan and began building a global communications network centered on a giant tower at Wardenclyffe, on Long Island. But funds ran out and Morgan balked at Tesla’s grandiose schemes.

Tesla lived his last decades in a New York hotel, working on new inventions even as his energy and mental health faded. His obsession with the number three and fastidious washing were dismissed as the eccentricities of genius. He spent his final years feeding—and, he claimed, communicating with—the city’s pigeons.

Tesla died in his room on January 7, 1943. Later that year the U.S Supreme Court voided four of Marconi’s key patents, belatedly acknowledging Tesla’s innovations in radio. The AC system he championed and improved remains the global standard for power transmission.

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WHAT WAS TESLA LIKE AS A REAL PERSON…OTHER THAN A GENIUS INVENTOR?

  • -Tesla rarely slept, and claimed he never dozed for longer than two hours. The inventor also said he once worked for 84 hours straight without any rest, according to John O’Neil, author of the book “Prodigal Genius: The Life of Nikola Tesla  (Cosimo Inc., 2006).
  • Later in his life, Tesla frequented parks in New York City, often rescuing injured pigeons and nursing them back to health. A special PBS report on Tesla’s life and legacy claimed that when the inventor took up residence at the Hotel New Yorker, “he had the hotel chef prepare a special mix of seed for his pigeons, which he hoped to sell commercially.”
  • Tesla was a vegetarian, but eventually limited himself to a peculiar diet of only milk, honey, bread and vegetable juices, according to Marc Seifer, author of Wizard:The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla   (Citadel Press, 1996). Later in life, he was consumed by an extreme aversion to germs, and would only eat food that had been boiled, reported PBS.
  • Tesla allegedly had a photographic memory, and could memorize entire books, according to Margaret Cheney, author of  Tesla: Man out of time  (Simon and Schuster, 2001).
  • According to Seifer’s book “Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla,” the inventor claimed that repeatedly squishing his toes helped to stimulate his brain cells. In fact, Tesla reportedly performed his toe exercises nightly, 100 times for each foot.    (article by Denise Crow, Sci-Tech Editor 2014 livescience.com)

Caricature of Tesla and Albert Einstein

 

Sadly, great minds do not always get the recognition that they deserve.  Part of Tesla’s life was living high and keeping company with the great minds of his day. At one point, an organization of Electrical Engineers decided to give him a special recognition for his accomplishments.  He was invited to the event, but was found sitting outside feeding pigeons instead.

Many believed that he had become a “mad scientist” as he reached out with his proposed inventions to the world.  He believed that he could achieve world peace as like his father, he hated war.  Little did he understand that  Nazi Germany had other plans.  Tesla proposed to them and other countries that he had a new invention for war. He believed he could wipe out an army with lightning bolts…perhaps from the sky.    Even though he hated the thoughts of war, he believed that though his work he could “link all nations for peace.”  In 1943, the White House scheduled a meeting to discuss what he proposed.  That meeting never took place because of his death.

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FUTURE WORRIES OVER TESLA RESEARCH    Will Tesla’s research papers on future weapons have any effect on our lives today?

Some worried that since the U.S. had not taken possession of Tesla’s research and paper, but sent them back to his home country where he had started his research, that his ideas for the future could have gotten into the wrong hands.  It seems that in 1960, the Soviets attempted to produce a Beam Weapon.  Where did they get this idea?   Perhaps this article may fill in the story about Tesla’s Beam Weapon:

“Tesla inherited from his father a deep hatred of war. Throughout his life, he sought a technological way to end warfare. He thought that war could be converted into, “a mere spectacle of machines.”

By 1937 it was clear that war would soon break out in Europe. Frustrated in his attempts to generate interest and financing for his “peace beam,” he sent an elaborate technical paper, including diagrams, to a number of Allied nations including the United States, Canada, England, France, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia. Titled “New Art of Projecting Concentrated Non-Dispersive Energy Through Natural Media,” the paper provided the first technical description of what is today called a charged particle beam weapon.

What set Tesla’s proposal apart from the usual run of fantasy “death rays” was a unique vacuum chamber with one end open to the atmosphere. Tesla devised a unique vacuum seal by directing a high-velocity air stream at the tip of his gun to maintain “high vacua.” The necessary pumping action would be accomplished with a large Tesla turbine.

Of all the countries to receive Tesla’s proposal, the greatest interest came from the Soviet Union. In 1937 Tesla presented a plan to the Amtorg Trading Corporation, an alleged Soviet arms front in New York City. Two years later, in 1939, one stage of the plan was tested in the USSR and Tesla received a check for $25,000.

Tesla hoped that his invention would be used for purely defensive purposes, and thus would become an anti-war machine. His system required a series of power plants located along a country’s coast that would scan the skies in search of enemy aircraft. Since the beam was projected in a straight line, it was only effective for about 200 miles — the distance of the curvature of the earth.

Tesla also contemplated peacetime applications for his particle beam, one being to transmit power without wires over long distances. Another radical notion he proposed was to heat up portions of the upper atmosphere to light the sky at night — a man-made aurora borealis.

Whether Tesla’s idea was ever taken seriously is still a mater of conjecture. Most experts today consider his idea infeasible. Though, his death beam bears an uncanny resemblance to the charged-particle beam weapon developed by both the United States and the Soviet Union during the cold war.

Nonetheless, Tesla’s dream for a technological means to end war seems as impossible now as it did when he proposed the idea in the 1930s. 

One of the more controversial topics involving Nikola Tesla is what became of many of his technical and scientific papers after he died in 1943. Just before his death at the height of World War II, he claimed that he had perfected his so-called “death beam.” So it was natural that the FBI and other U.S. Government agencies would be interested in any scientific ideas involving weaponry. Some were concerned that Tesla’s papers might fall into the hands of the Axis powers or the Soviets.

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Tesla just before his death

AFTER HIS DEATH, RELATIVES STEP IN FOR TECHNICAL PAPERS AND PAPERS DISAPPEARED:

The morning after the inventor’s death, his nephew Sava Kosanovic´ hurried to his uncle’s room at the Hotel New Yorker. He was an up-and-coming Yugoslav official with suspected connections to the communist party in his country. By the time he arrived, Tesla’s body had already been removed, and Kosanovic´ suspected that someone had already gone through his uncle’s effects. Technical papers were missing as well as a black notebook he knew Tesla kept—a notebook with several hundred pages, some of which were marked “Government.”

P. E. Foxworth, assistant director of the New York FBI office, was called in to investigate. According to Foxworth, the government was “vitally interested” in preserving Tesla’s papers. Two days after Tesla’s death, representatives of the Office of Alien Property went to his room at the New Yorker Hotel and seized all his possessions.

Dr. John G. Trump, an electrical engineer with the National Defense Research Committee of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, was called in to analyze the Tesla papers in OAP custody. Following a three-day investigation, Dr. Trump concluded:

His [Tesla’s] thoughts and efforts during at least the past 15 years were primarily of a speculative, philosophical, and somewhat promotional character often concerned with the production and wireless transmission of power; but did not include new, sound, workable principles or methods for realizing such results.

Just after World War II, there was a renewed interest in beam weapons. Copies of Tesla’s papers on particle beam weaponry were sent to Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. An operation code-named “Project Nick” was heavily funded and placed under the command of Brigadier General L. C. Craigie to test the feasibility of Tesla’s concept. Details of the experiments were never published, and the project was apparently discontinued. But something peculiar happened. The copies of Tesla’s papers disappeared and nobody knows what happened to them.

 

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WHAT RESEARCH FROM TESLA DID TITO or PREMIER KHRUSCHCHEV POSSESS?

In 1952, Tesla’s remaining papers and possessions were released to Sava Kosanovic´ and returned to Belgrade, Yugoslavia where a museum was created in the inventor’s honor. For many years, under Tito’s communist regime, it was extremely difficult for Western journalists and scholars to gain access to the Tesla archive in Yugoslavia; even then they were allowed to see only selected papers. This was not the case for Soviet scientists who came in delegations during the 1950s. Concerns increased in 1960 when Soviet Premier Khrushchev announced to the Supreme Soviet that “a new and fantastic weapon was in the hatching stage.”

Work on beam weapons also continued in the United States. In 1958 the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) initiated a top-secret project code-named “Seesaw” at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory to develop a charged-particle beam weapon. More than ten years and twenty-seven million dollars later, the project was abandoned “because of the projected high costs associated with implementation as well as the formidable technical problems associated with propagating a beam through very long ranges in the atmosphere.” Scientists associated with the project had no knowledge of Tesla’s papers.

In the late 1970s, there was fear that the Soviets may have achieved a technological breakthrough. Some U.S. defense analysts concluded that a large beam weapon facility was under construction near the Sino-Soviet border in Southern Russia.

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PRESIDENT REAGAN ANNOUNCES PLAN:

The American response to this “technological surprise” was the Strategic Defense Initiative announced by President Ronald Reagan in 1983. Teams of government scientists were urged to “turn their great talents now to the cause of mankind and world peace, to give us the means of rendering these nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete.”

Today, after a half-century of research and billions of dollars of investment, the SDI program is generally considered a failure, and there is still no realistic means of defense against a nuclear missile attack.

For many years scientists and researchers have sought for Tesla’s missing papers with no apparent success. It is conceivable that if Nikola Tesla knew a means for accurately projecting lethal beams of energy through the atmosphere, he may have taken it to the grave with him.    (from Life and Legacy Index)

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EINSTEIN’S WARNING ABOUT THE FUTURE:

Since President Reagan Strategic Defense Initiative against potential nuclear attacks, much has happened since them in Research and Development.  However, after decades of R&D, particlebeam weapons are still very much at the research stage. Since most of the highly technical countries would not look highly on releasing the knowledge of their possession of technology inventions, it remains to be seen if or when they will be deployed as high-performance military weapons.  We pray that this will not be used by nation against nation.

Tesla may not have heard what Albert Einstein had to say about his or anyone else’s weapons of war:

“I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” – Albert Einstein.

Albert Einstein

 

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Most people in the world hear the news of terrible fighting, human atrocities, and wonder why the great inventions of the past have not led us into a more peaceful world?

Science should be a help, not a hindrance to this goal. Yet, with all our knowledge and brilliance, the world continues to slide down the slippery slope that may seem like complete destruction.  We, the ordinary people, can only look on with amazement and continue to say our prayers to a loving God who made the universe and those of us with brilliance minds.  It may be concluded that only our Creator will know how to bring us out of the messes we make or invent. The geniuses will continue to be among us with their dreams for mankind.

As Shakespeare said, ”  “Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.” (Twelfth Night)

 

WHAT DOES THE HOLY SCRIPTURE SAY ABOUT NOT BEING AFRAID OF WARS OR END TIMES…should our inventions be used in this way?

MATTHEW 24:6-7  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

LUKE 21:36  But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

MATTHEW 24:21-22 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

REVELATION 20:7-10 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog**, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

2 PETER 3:3-4  Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”

MATTHEW 24:36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.

JOHN 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

**(Difficult passages in which scholars of the Holy Scriptures vary in their opinion of who, or what area,  is the modern “Gog and Magog” countries that is in Revelation.   See maps below:

Zondervan Atlas of the Bible  (Modern Day Turkey)

New Moody Atlas   (Modern Day Turkey)

Gog and Magog shown as Modern Day Russia


The Sleeping Giant Awakens

As we approach the Christmas season, the frenzy of shopping…Black Friday after Thanksgiving… and all that happens at this time of year, it is easy to forget December 7th when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and awakened the United States, now known as “the sleeping giant.”

As we placed the American flags in the yard this morning, it may have brought a question from some neighbors passing our house to retrieve their mail from the local mailbox.  “Why are they flying the flags…isn’t it Christmas?”

Yes, it is a busy time of year, but we must never forget the thousands who died on this dreadful day in Pearl Harbor.

Aboard the USS Arizona alone, 23 sets of brothers perished.

It would have been understandable that after the attack and the counter-attack of the first atomic bombs to be dropped on any nation, to let the Japanese fend for themselves.  Yet, the American way is to help rebuild and in doing so helped Japan to become the great nation they are today.

In this case, Congress acts swiftly!

Having spent time in modern Japan with other American educators, as guests of the government, it would be appropriate to write of Emperor Hirohito who gave the people of Japan the possibility of a new life when he gave his speech of surrender.

…In 1945, one week after atomic bombs had obliterated the cities of Hiroshima and then Nagasaki, radios across Japan crackled with another shocking announcement, one that would come to change the course of Japanese history perhaps as much as did the atomic bombs “Little Boy and Fat Man”. At noon, Emperor Hirohito spoke directly to his subjects for the first time in his reign. His announcement would shock Japan, but it would also transform it, altering in a few short minutes the entire mission of the Japanese nation in ways that it, and the world, still feel today.”  (The Atlantic)

 

 

Yes, the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was many years ago and this attack brought great suffering to all those involved, as war always does. The death toll was massive.  Not much is said about this date of December 7, 1941, that according to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as “a date which will live in infamy.” We would expect that every present-day high school student was made aware of its importance on this day of remembrance.

The sleeping giant had surely been awakened. As with any deliberate attack, such as this and even more recently, 9-11, the American people will always rise to the occasion.  Not only did the attack bring the United States into the war of World War II, but it gave the whole of Europe the help that it desperately needed to defeat the Nazi threat of world domination.

The video below is on the attack with historical pictures:


Frozen Legs Miracle…A Veteran’s Story

9-11 flags (2)Boyer Writes honors all Veterans

THANK YOU for your service to our country!

  While living part-time in Virginia, my husband and I were honored to interview a number of veterans of the Blue Ridge Mountain area.  Many had never been interviewed about their service and were happy to finally tell their stories. This led to the writing of our book entitled Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge.

Their stories were amazing.  We were honored to meet Sharon Plichta and her husband who served in Vietnam. Sharon was a military nurse who earned the Bronze Star for her bravery caring for the wounded under fire.

SH74B3~1

Sharon receives Bronze Star

The veteran that I’d like to share with you from this book is Myron Cardward Harold of M.C., as he was called.  He served in Korea with the U.S. Army’s 40th Division, 22nd Regiment.  He was 21 years old as he fought across Heartbreak Ridge.MCYOUN~1

Here is a part of the chapter featuring this soldier of Valor in Korea:

Myron C. Harold, better known as “MC” has an amazing story of bravery when he served his country in the United States Army during the Korean War. He was a Staff Sergeant who almost lost both his legs. The fighting had been so terrible in the middle of winter on what is known as Heartbreak Ridge and they were walking and fighting at night through the mountains. His legs were beginning to freeze and he was picked up in a truck and taken to a field hospital at the Yalu River.
When he arrived at a medic station, the soles of his shoes were worn out and flapping. By this time, both legs had frozen. The surgeons said, “We must take these legs off now. It can’t wait. We must do it now.” MC was prepared to face whatever he had to in order to live.
He says he does not remember getting to the medics. Now they were about to remove his legs and send him back to the Blue Ridge Mountains, where they had large fruit orchards that his father had started years before.
The surgeon that day in Korea wanted to help MC stand on his legs one more time before performing the operation. When he did, MC recalls with tears in his eyes, “It felt like a shot had gone all through my body.”   Immediately the surgeon recognized that the blood had started flowing throughout MC’s legs. Removing the legs would not be necessary. “That was my miracle,” MC said with tears in his eyes.

After returning from Korea, MC and his son grew many acres of apples in the Blue Ridge. Today, as an elderly man, he is a resident at the V.A. hospital in Virginia.  He had survived to tell his story of God’s miracle in a land far away. MCANDS~1

Other veterans of the Blue Ridge interviewed served in Vietnam, Korea, and World War II.   They stand proud with all their comrades in arms who have faithfully served.

They are:

  • Rob Redus ( In submarines…Vietnam)
  • Dr. Tom Whartenby (Vietnam)
  • Clinton Moles (World War II)
  • Leonard Marshall (Survived the sinking of the USS Gambier  by the Japanese)
  • Troy Davis (World War II and recently passed away in Spain)
  • Elmo McAlexander as an Army Medic during the Cold War
  • Frank and Sharan Plichta (Vietnam)
  • Paul Childress (World War II under Patton and guarded Dachau prisoner)
  • Tommy Ellis  (Served in the Marines and regularly is in an Honor Guard for those veterans who pass away.)   Roy McAlexander also has served hundreds of the fallen at funerals.

Men and Women of Valor (3)To those who may be interested in the many stories of honor and courage in Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge Click here           

 

 

Video below:  God Bless the USA