…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.
A close friend of mine sent me the writing below and ask that I pass it on. Just before we celebrate the 4th of July, our great Independence Day, I am happy to do so. They are definitely “tough words.”
As we look back at what it cost to free ourselves, as a nation, from England, in order to gain independence….our American flag stands for all the freedoms we enjoy and all that it has cost since then. This includes the freedom of speech…for those who speak out for or against a certain action.
The following are not my words, but I believe they speak the feelings of many Americans who love their sports and the players, but not some of their actions or attitudes. You be the judge.
“TO THE NFL (NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE) and ITS PLAYERS:
If I have brain cancer, I don’t ask my dentist what I should do. If my car has a problem, I don’t seek help from a plumber! Why do you think the public cares what a football player thinks about politics? If we want to know about football, then depending on the information we seek, we might consult with you, but even a quarterback doesn’t seek advice on playing his position from a defensive tackle!
You seem to have this over inflated view of yourselves, thinking because you enjoy working on such a large scale stage, that somehow your opinion about everything matters. The NFL realizes the importance of its “image” so it has rules that specify the clothes and insignia you can wear, the language you use, and your “antics” after a touchdown or other “great” play. But somehow you and your employer don’t seem to care that you disgrace the entire nation and its 320 million people in the eyes of the world by publicly disrespecting this country, its flag, and its anthem! The taxpaying citizens of this country subsidize your plush work environments, yet you choose to use those venues to openly offend those very citizens.
Do you even understand what the flag of this country means to so many of its citizens before you choose to “take a knee” in protest of this “country” during our national anthem?
You may think because you are paid so much that your job is tough, but you are clueless when it comes to tough. Let me show you those whose job is really tough.
You are spoiled babies who stand around and have staff squirt GatorAid in your mouths, sit in front of misting cooling fans when it’s warm, and sit on heated benches when it’s cold. That’s not “tough” that’s pampered.
You think that you deserve to be paid excessively high salaries, because you play a “dangerous” game where you can incur career ending injuries. Let me show you career ending injuries!
You think you that you deserve immediate medical attention and the best medical facilities and doctors when injured. Let me show you what it’s like for those who really need and deserve medical attention.
You think you have the right to disrespect the flag of the United States, the one our veterans fought for, risked limbs and mental stability to defend, in many cases died for. Let me show you what our flag means to them, their families, and their friends.
You believe you are our heroes, when in reality you are nothing but overpaid entertainers, who exist solely for our enjoyment! Well, your current antics are neither entertaining nor enjoyable, but rather a disgrace to this country, its citizens, all our veterans and their families, and the sacrifices they have made to ensure this country remains free. You choose to openly disgrace this country in the eyes of the rest of the world, yet with all your money, still choose to live here rather than in any other country. People with even the slightest amount of “Class” will stand and respect our flag. Where does that put you? You want to see heroes… here are this countries heroes!
You can protest policies, the current government, or anything else you choose, that is your right. But when you “protest” our flag and anthem, you are insulting the nation we all live in and love, and all those who have served, been injured, or died to keep it free. There is nothing you can do or say that can make your actions anything more than the arrogance of classless people, who care about themselves more than our country or the freedoms for which our veterans and their families have sacrificed so much, to ensure you have the “right” to speak freely. Our country is far from perfect, but if you can point to any other country where your freedom and opportunities are better than they are here, then you just might want to go there and show respect for their flag!”
VIDEO “GOD BLESS AMERICA” Turn up sound
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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
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
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 5:6-7
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
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
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.
The truth of the butterfly is much like the truth of the Christian new birth. There was a time in my life when my senses about God and His Son were as dormant as it is in a caterpillar that doesn’t know it is to become something designed by God. Many Christians have this feeling.
The fact is that very caterpillar has to die before it can become a butterfly. The same is true with our old life.
Science tells us: “In order to be able to become a butterfly, the caterpillar has to fall apart completely, decompose down to its very essence, devoid of any shape or consciousness. It literally dies. There is nothing left of it. And from this liquid essence, the butterfly starts to put itself together, from scratch.”
There are many different caterpillars that make a unique type of butterfly in color and design.
People are also different. God will take our special personalities and use us how He chooses. His plan is to take your life and mine and make us in his honor. Just as the butterfly, He unfolds a new life in us. The old life will pass away, like that of the caterpillar. God’s goal is to make every Christian’s life more beautiful than could ever be imagined. The butterfly is our example.
Will the butterflies of various colors be with us forever?
A German study gives some difficult news of fewer butterflies than ever before…down by two thirds:
“Our study emphasizes the negative impact of the conventional, industrialized agriculture on the butterfly diversity and shows the urgent need for ecologically sustainable cultivation methods. Additional field studies may aid in identifying individual factors responsible for the insect die-back and in implementing appropriate countermeasures,” (Science Daily).
It is difficult to think that such beauty could someday be extinct from the earth, as have many of God’s other creatures.
Will the Christian be always on the earth to see it through rough times?
Apparently not, for God has promised the most beautiful place that He is preparing for us. When this will happen, we do not know. We are only told to watch and be ready. We are not promised, however, that we will not go through horrific times on earth before Christ’s coming. We are only promised that He will be with us and courage will be ours.
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36
Can we imagine that all the perfect parts of nature will be in this new, heavenly place that God is preparing? We will also be joined by those we have loved on earth…including our beloved pets. We are told also the lion will lay down with the lamb in perfect harmony.
I can only imagine the heavenly gardens with all the colorful butterflies that only heaven can produce! A new heaven…and this new earth made perfect by God with no more sin, fighting, or tears.
As scientists warn about global changes, the Holy Scriptures also gives fore-warnings about the ways of the world. We are not to be caught unaware… as we watch our earth decline…scientifically and within the lives and actions of people and nations world-wide.
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:15-17; NIV).
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:22; ESV).
God’s promise about heaven and earth to John in a vision on the Greek Island of Patmos, is recorded in Revelation 21:1-6
“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.
To the Butterflies…Thank you for your lesson of life to us.
Video: Background music for your special pleasure. Turn up sound.
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.
Recently, a Catholic friend of mine sent to me an amazing video of the sermon given by Fr. James Altman of LaCrosse, 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.
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
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.)
Do you ever wonder if God would talk with you in an audible way, how the conversation would go? Some people have had the rare experience. I never have, but just the same I do talk with Him. It is usually in the shower or in bed at night. We are told, however, to always be in a prayerful state.
Since He knows all languages and the odd expressions that most cultures have when carrying on a conversation, I’m certain that it would be the same with us in this generation. No Thee or Thou, as in the Bible…for King James didn’t realize that in our times we would be far beyond these expressions. He probably would be mortified to think that a conversation with God could be on such a “common” level. He would probably think our conversations were disrespectful!
Recently a friend sent me this video. He called it “moving.” I call it “Relevant,” for God will definitely meet us where we are…regardless of who we are. The next time you pray, think about this particular conversation.
Enjoy it now…and be moved!
Turn on your sound…Click below… Wait for the download to show up below your screen and then click on the your download to watch.
May you be blessed this day with some beautiful music as you listen for the quietness of God’s presence in your heart.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Video of beautiful, relaxing background music with nature photography:
Turn on your sound.
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)
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.
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.
PIANO PERFORMANCE OF THE MOONLIGHT SONATA: Arranged by Georgii Cherkin Classic FM Orchestra Conductor: Grigor Palikarov Soloist: Georgii Cherkin – piano
Children the world over are God’s beautiful creation. They are meant to be loved, encouraged, taught and become the wonderful adults we hope them to be. They will be our next teachers, ministers and priests, doctors and nurses, leaders, mechanics, scientists, great artists and inventors. They will be what their God-given talents can make them…..IF….they are taught, loved and shown the way by the examples of adults. What we instill in them will bring us joy, laughter and peace… or the very opposite.
WHAT A CHALLENGE FOR US! We are the adults. They are the followers. I remember a young man in a 5th grade class I was teaching, who mostly wanted to draw. He had a talent that I pray he is using today. At least that was what I encouraged his mother to do for him…“Find him the best art teachers you can find. Let him do what he loves most and bring him along a path of art adventure in his life. What other children will do, he may have no interest in doing. Let him be who he is. Let him use the talent God has given him.”
For your pleasure, I want to introduce to you a young child, approximately 9 years old, from Russia. His name is Elisey Mysin. In 2019, he mesmerized the audience in the city of Naberezhyny Chelny when he performed Mozart’s Concerto No 3 in D. Major.
Thank God for children…the talented and the less talented…they are all His gift to us!
Turn up your sound.
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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.)
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
IN HONOR OF THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD….ON THIS EASTER
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SPIRIT AND YOUR FIGHT AGAINST THE WORLD-WIDE PANDEMIC
CHRIST IS RISEN HE IS RISEN INDEED
This blog will be different. We are sharing several videos of real people …and in doing so…honoring the brave people around in the world who would like to be out in public, dancing in the streets or attending a great concert of Easter music. Even if this is impossible this year, we know that the day will come when we will laugh, hug, and be a part of an active, vibrant world again.
As you watch the videos, think of Christ being in the crowd. Think of His ministry among the EVERY-DAY PEOPLE. Christ went out to be with people where they were in their everyday lives. Whether we ride the underground, shop in the grocery, dance in the streets or sing and play in an orchestra, He is with us in the 21st century.
Christ is with us in our homes now and with those ministering to the sick in the many hospitals around the world.
This may be a different Easter, but one of thanksgiving to God for His mercy and healing power. It is also a time of spiritual healing. The WORLD has been given a chance to draw close to God and know His love, forgiveness and healing power.
Form BOYER WRITES….BLESSINGS AND HAPPY EASTER
Germany works by Verdi, Wagner and Bizet
England Handel’s Zadok the Priest
Copenhagen playing Griegs Peer Gynt.
Ireland Joining in to the Irish fun and music
South Korean Gracious Choir Hallelujah Chorus by Handel’s Messiah
(The Messiah, 260-page oratorio, written by Handel in 1741, in just 24 days He was in his 50’s and had suffered two strokes. Later, he went blind.)
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:
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”:
A famous quote by one of our former Presidents, John F. Kennedy:
“Ask Not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
There is so much push-back about who is doing what to contain this terrible virus. No one ever seems to be doing enough. There are comments directed at everyone in government from the President, State Governors to the City Mayors. Yes, each of these should shoulder responsibility for the welfare of the general public. They were elected to do just that. Governments around the world also shoulder responsibility to a world that is totally connected.
Yet, the WHEN something was done or not done may not help at this point. It is what are WE doing now to protect ourselves, our family, friends, neighbors and anyone who might come to our yard or door?
WE must think further than someone doing something FOR US…to OUR DOING something or anything that WE can do.
So what is it that we should be doing? I thought maybe I would try to list some things that is beyond what we all know about “washing hands, coughing or sneezing the right way and keeping our distances.” Perhaps these are some things to think about that WE CAN DO. Here are several suggestions:
- Make phone calls to those we know are sitting at home alone. These will be greatly appreciated and break the monotony of having no one to share thoughts with. It also is emotionally and mentally beneficial to send picture emails of family, children, pets etc. that will brighten their day. My roses are blooming in my yard and my 97 year old Uncle, in North Carolina, enjoys seeing what’s new at our house in Florida.
- Gather up some colored pencils, drawing paper, coloring books, or anything you might have a supply of and leave it at your neighbor’s doorstep to help with home-schooling their children during this time.
- Make a call to a medical facility, doctor’s office, police station, firemen, or other first responders to THANK THEM for all they are doing. They should know that people care. Each time we hear a siren, we know the medics are on duty…caring for those who may have an infection, putting their own lives at risk.
- Light a candle in your window to remind yourself to pray for those you know or don’t know around the world.
- Last, but not least…don’t forget to mail off your contribution of money to help support the on-going financial needs of your church or charitable organization. The local food banks and Salvation Army are ready to help those in need or homeless.
Remember that you may be only one…but you are ONE. One person makes up many. All things that you can share to benefit others and to lighten the burdens will bring people together in the name of your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. During this hard time, YOU can make a difference and be the LIGHT TO THE WORLD… in whatever way you want to let your LIGHT SHINE to others.
Blessings from Bill and Nancy Boyer at Boyer Writes
Turn up your sound:
This morning I sat down at my piano. My expertise is minimal, but nevertheless, I love certain songs that I attempt to play. My former music teachers, both when I was age 10 and the one I had most recently, would be happy about my efforts. None the less, we as humans know our abilities and our short-comings.
One thing that is difficult for many, myself included, is to truly trust God through troubled times. I mean really…really trust. “Into Your hands, Dear God, I put my trust. Keep me well and those I love.” Yet, we know that many people have prayed that same prayer and may have someone at this moment clinging to life. It is a true, heart-felt prayer…but one, too often difficult to actually believe with ALL our heart. We are frail. We are weak. Only God is strong and all knowing.
Today, I would like to share with you two songs. One is called ALL I ASK OF YOU from the Phantom of the Opera. When in New York, my husband and I were able to see this wonderful production, but this song has a really special meaning to me each time I play it. I’d like to share it with you.
When our Golden Retriever, Gracie, was fourteen years old and very sick, we knew her time on earth was running out. We called our vet, who graciously said he would come to our house and put her to sleep. Her bed, where she laid comfortably, was next to my piano. She always liked to be close to me when I played. I looked over at her, knowing what was about to happen, and I said, “Gracie, this song is for you.” She looked at me with that loving look and as I began to play, she gave a long sigh and closed her eyes. Now, I can never play “All I Ask of You” without remembering that sigh. About an hour later, with prayers over her, for God’s beautiful animals, she breathed her last. She was gone, but forever in our hearts.
Some of the words to All I Ask of You are these:
” No more talk of darkness… forget these wide-eyed fears. I’m here. Nothing can harm you. My words will warm and calm you. Le me be your freedom. Let daylight dry your tears. I’m here with you, beside you to guard you and to guide you… Let me be your shelter. Let me be your light. Your’re safe. No one will find you…your fears are behind you…”
Of course these words were being sung to someone who loved another person. Yet, I could not think that they also apply to our relationship with God. He wants us to know that He is here with us; to dry tears and to always be our shelter.
The second song is one made famous by Elvis Presley. It is ONE PAIR OF HANDS. Thanks to a dear friend who brought this song to my attention during this Coronavirus. If you are a young person reading this, you may not have heard of Elvis, but many thought he was quite the rage in years past. For certain, with his music, you could understand the words. Many of them were love songs. We danced to his songs and listened to his great voice. Unfortunately, he died of a drug overdose, which was such a tragedy and a waste of his talent and a life that could have been a blessing for many years. Ironically, he first started singing in his church.
The words to “One Pair of Hand” are shown on the video below. While listening, ponder this….Christ wants you to place your life and those you love firmly in His Hands.
Turn up your sound.
It seems that each night in the news, the reporters not only bring the devastating news of the sick and dying, but also show the large refrigerated trucks that are lined outside the largest hospitals. There is certainly no assurance in seeing these trucks. The public knows that those who die must also be taken care of in some orderly way. Yet, we see it over and over…and we are made to feel even more concerned about our own safety…whether in life or death. The heart-breaking stories of loved ones who can not be with their families in their last moments on earth is almost too much to hear.
Sometimes it is good emotionally, to remove ourselves, at least temporarily, from the continuous news of despair. Perhaps this Sunday is a good time for quiet music instead
or as we turn to our TV to listen to remote worship services.
(We have enjoyed the National Cathedral services in Washington, D.C. at 11:15 EST and special music at 4 on YouTube)
So what or who can we turn to in this time of waiting and confinement? I’d like to share with you, and the ones you may know who have family members who are sick or who have died, my writing, in part, on the ETERNAL PROMISE:
The word “eternity” seems so far away. It is an unknown time or place and the human mind can’t comprehend its actual meaning. Most people have some anxiety about dying and perfect peace may not be part of their thinking on this subject.
It may not be just about entering eternity, but needing peace when making some of life’s greatest decisions. This was true of Bob Dufford as he struggled with his becoming a priest. He thought of the Mother of Christ, who may have been fearful as she followed what God had in store for her. This gave him inspiration to write these words:
Be Not Afraid
You shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thirst.
You shall wander far in safety though you do not know the way.
You shall speak your words in foreign lands and all will understand.
You shall see the face of God and live.
If you pass through raging waters in the sea, you shall not drown.
If you walk amid the burning flames, you shall not be harmed.
If you stand before the pow’r of hell and death is at your side,
know that I am with you through it all.
Blessed are your poor, for the kingdom shall be theirs.
Blest are you that weep and mourn, for one day you shall laugh.
And if wicked men insult and hate you all because of me,
blessed, blessed are you!
Be not afraid.
I go before you always;
Come follow me,
and I will give you rest. 27
Promises are made and many times broken because we are frail in our human spirit. No bride or groom goes to the alter believing that their lives will come shattering down with a divorce. Little children may say, ” Please let’s go today. Will you promise?” Sometimes the parent must change the plans, but somehow in a child’s mind the promise has been broken. This is why they beg us to “promise.”
There is an eternal promise that will never be broken. It is God’s promise that all will be well in eternity. He is going to make a special place for us. He even says that he is telling us the truth. “There are many rooms in my Father’s house, and I am going to prepare a place for you. I would not tell you this if it were not so”. John 14:2
The Holy Bible is made up of many eternal promises. Some people memorize these verses. It is a good idea because what you hide in your heart can never be taken away from you. A few of these are listed below, but only make a dent in what we can believe from God in the Holy Scriptures:
- Psalm 100:5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
- James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
- 2 Samuel 7:28 Sovereign Lord, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant.
- Nahum 1:7 The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.
- John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.
…There is an old hymn, Standing on the Promises, that was written by Russell Kelso Carter. This hymn was published in the book Promises of Perfect Love, Philadelphia, 1886
Some of the words are these:
Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises I now can see
Perfect, present cleansing in the blood for me;
Standing in the liberty where Christ makes free,
Standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord,
Bound to Him eternally by love’s strong cord,
Overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword,
Standing on the promises of God.
We have the eternal promises of God to lead us through our lives. His promises are true and will never fail. May God be praised!
HOLY SCRIPTURES: Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10
PRAYER: Thank you, God, for your promises. I trust in You and pray for all those going through our difficult times . In Christ’s name, Amen
(Taken from Rain on the Roof by N.W.Boyer)
Christ has given His life for Us, Rose from the Dead and promised us eternal life. Where there is suffering, we turn to Him as OUR VISION of HOPE. Below is a video of a church and a singer, with his accompanist. The church is empty…as are ours today, but the promises of God are the same and He is with us wherever we are.
Turn up your sound
As our great scientist, medical personnel and researchers fight each day to find a vaccine and cure for the Coronavirus, I would like to share with you the hopefulness that others had in their discoveries that shaped the future:
In part, From my book, Rain on the Roof:
A BETTER WAY
Some ways are better than others. Man has observed in nature what God intended through His design, but it has taken people thousands of years to see what can be useful to everyday life. He wondered how to anchor things, lift objects or make things secure. We have seen it also in medical breakthroughs. Through experimentation, people found a better way than what had been used previously or never known before.
A very common, modern example is the scientist who was quite observant as he walked his dog. The label now given to his invention is Velcro:
“ Swiss electrical engineer George de Mesral invented his first touch fastener when, in 1941, he went for a walk in the woods and wondered why burdock seeds clung to his coat and dog. He discovered it could be turned into something useful. He patented it in 1955, and subsequently refined and developed its practical manufacture until its commercial introduction in the late 1950s.
The fastener consisted of two components: a lineal fabric strip with tiny hooks that could “mate” with another fabric strip with smaller loops, attaching temporarily, until pulled apart. Initially made of cotton, which proved impractical, the fastener was eventually constructed with nylon and polyester.
De Mestral gave the name Velcro, a portmanteau of the French words velour (“velvet”) and crochet (“hook”), to his invention as well as his company, which continues to manufacture and market the fastening system.” 15
After my husband’s knee surgery, his instructions were to keep ice on his leg. The ice packs neatly slid into a material packet secured with Velcro. It was easy and secure.Do you spend time observing nature? So often our lives are filled with the hurry and bustle of everyday life that we rarely observe what is outside for us to gain knowledge that God would have us know. He has set his world in motion. It is often a mystery that has to be unraveled. Ordinary people have been the creator of some special things.
Thomas Edison made this statement: “I never had an idea in my life. My so-called inventions already existed in the environment – I took them out. I’ve created nothing. Nobody does. There’s no such thing as an idea being brain-born; everything comes from the outside.”
He seemed to mean “outside” to be nature. Among many things, Edison was the inventor of the light bulb, phonograph, motion picture and the electrographic voter recorder even he was a school dropout.
” Edison continued working into his 80s. His rise from poor, uneducated railroad worker to one of the most famous men in the world made him a folk hero. More than any other individual, he was credited with building the framework for modern technology and society in the age of electricity. ” 16
(Some may not know that Edison considered his profound deafness a blessing, because he could concentrate without interruption. He said he not only read books, but the whole library as he researched. How amazed and overjoyed he would be to know about our new inventions of hearing aids.)
Sometimes things just float around in our heads that may be inventive or creative ideas. The poet, William Blake who lived from 1757-1827 made this statement: “What is now proved was once only imagined.” All things start with an idea…even with God, who wanted to create the Universe including earth with all its beauty. The animals, fish in the sea, the forests and man…then woman. He even said that it was good…”
We pray for all those working tirelessly in their labs today. God bless their efforts and give them Your wisdom and knowledge. Amen
HOLY SCRIPTURES: “… and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft…” Exodus 35:31-33
PRAYER: Give to those who search for a better way a peaceful heart, mind and soul., knowing they are working for the good of all mankind. I pray in the Holy Name of Your Son, Jesus.
Peaceful background music for your day by Greg Howlett. Turn up the sound.
The title given this blog, Lipstick and Beds…for Troubled Times, may sound odd, but it has some true meanings. When we are having to decide how to avoid depression, cabin-fever and stress, it may be that we have to look long and hard at ourselves and our actions.
There are some things that Mayo Clinic tells us that may help. They call it generic terms like “mindfulness” and the often practiced “meditation.” I would like to add prayer to their thoughts on these subjects. First, I would also like to share that to help with stress, it is also important to maintain a routine. Here are a couple examples from real life:
- Before my Mother passed away at age 93, she lived a short time in an Assisted Living here in Florida. One thing that impressed me when we had our daily visits was the fact that as she prepared to go to the dining room, she carefully put on her lipstick and nicer clothes. Her hearing was almost gone at that time and she often said she could not converse with the people at her table. Most of them had a hard time hearing her also, even if she talked. Nevertheless, she wanted to look her best and by doing so she maintained her own emotional health and stayed the kind of person that she had always been…neat and beautiful.
Having shared this, I’d say to some of you who may be sitting around in your pajamas all day, glued to the constant news about the virus.GET UP, take a long shower, put on clean clothes, take a walk and if you are a lady, put on your “lipstick.” Mental and Emotional health has a great deal to do with our daily activity…or lack of it… as some are becoming total coach potatoes while eating Bon-bons all day!
The worst thing in the world for you to do is to let yourself or the things around you become a mess. Good grief, some people could even begin to look like the TV program “Hoarders” from lack of personal care!
- If you are a young adult bored out of your mind, wanting to go hang out with the crowd that you love, remember the Admiral Willian H. McRaven who spoke to a college graduating class of the University of Texas, who said, “MAKE YOUR BED!” It was his way of saying that you should take pride in the things around you for it will give you a good start to any activity. He later wrote the book, Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…and Maybe the World. ” Having said this, it may be the time to clean out your closet, throw out things that are years old or bag up to give away when you can finally go somewhere. Don’t forget your time to spend outside looking at nature. Even if it is a few minutes or a jog up the block, keeping distances, it will do you a world of good.
What about STRESS?
Everyone, when unable to do things as we are used to doing, begins to experience some type of stress. It may be quite observant in some who will find themselves raising their voices to those around them or less for others who simply store it away inside. We used to say that this type is those who get ulcers, but it may be something like not being able to sleep at night…or feeling a knot in the stomach.
Are you with me so far? I would imagine you are and would like to think about some things to help the situation.
So let’s take a look at some suggestions (in part) from the Mayo Clinic:
What about Meditation?
Meditation has been studied in many clinical trials. The overall evidence supports the effectiveness of meditation for various conditions, including:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
Preliminary research indicates that meditation can also help people with asthma and fibromyalgia.
Meditation can help you experience thoughts and emotions with greater balance and acceptance. Meditation also has been shown to:
- Improve attention
- Decrease job burnout
- Improve sleep
- Improve diabetes control
- Pay attention. It’s hard to slow down and notice things in a busy world. Try to take the time to experience your environment with all of your senses — touch, sound, sight, smell and taste. For example, when you eat a favorite food, take the time to smell, taste and truly enjoy it.
- Live in the moment. Try to intentionally bring an open, accepting and discerning attention to everything you do. Find joy in simple pleasures.
- Accept yourself. Treat yourself the way you would treat a good friend.
- Focus on your breathing. When you have negative thoughts, try to sit down, take a deep breath and close your eyes. Focus on your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Sitting and breathing for even just a minute can help.
You can also try more structured mindfulness exercises, such as: (remember that you can also pray in any position)
- Body scan meditation. Lie on your back with your legs extended and arms at your sides, palms facing up. Focus your attention slowly and deliberately on each part of your body, in order, from toe to head or head to toe. Be aware of any sensations, emotions or thoughts associated with each part of your body.
- Sitting meditation. Sit comfortably with your back straight, feet flat on the floor and hands in your lap. Breathing through your nose, focus on your breath moving in and out of your body. If physical sensations or thoughts interrupt your meditation, note the experience and then return your focus to your breath.
- Walking meditation. Find a quiet place 10 to 20 feet in length, and begin to walk slowly. Focus on the experience of walking, being aware of the sensations of standing and the subtle movements that keep your balance. When you reach the end of your path, turn and continue walking, maintaining awareness of your sensations.
Meditate and Pray Anywhere…Any time
Research indicates that engaging your senses outdoors is especially beneficial. For more structured mindfulness exercises, such as body scan meditation or sitting meditation, you’ll need to set aside time when you can be in a quiet place without distractions or interruptions. You might choose to practice this type of exercise early in the morning before you begin your daily routine. (The same is true of course when we spend time in prayer.)... Over time, you might find that mindfulness becomes effortless. Think of it as a commitment to reconnecting with and nurturing yourself.
In these suggestions from Mayo Clinic, we heard also the words “commitment” and “connecting” which I would also suggest is important to use this time of fewer distractions to connect or reconnect with our God and His Son, Jesus Christ. It is a time to strengthen faith. I write as a Christian Author and whenever I write, I “preach” also to myself. We all need to become more committed and feel the daily presence of the Holy Spirit within our lives. So…make the bed, put on the lipstick…comb the hair…and breathe deeply. God is with you everyday and all the time!
Peaceful, stress-free Christian music by concert pianist for your background music Turn up sound
People have heard the music of great hymns of faith, but may not know what was the story behind the writer and why it was written. For you, as promised, I bring 5 hymns that will give you the message of comfort and courage needed at this time. These are stories of lives changed as they found Christ as Lord and Savior through the difficulties or joys that they experienced.
from Boyer Writes May you be blessed.
Turn up your sound.
Today we are going to talk about miracles. We all pray for miracles to provide a cure for the coronavirus. There are some who have been in the army for relief and help to provide the miracles of healing and the immediate needs for the people of our country. We all know of the great pressure upon our medical personnel around the country.
Today, we salute our U.S. Army Corp of Engineers for their amazing quick response to provide thousands of hospital beds to relieve hospitals.
“Since its founding in 1802, the USACE has often played a central role in times of crisis; its mission is to provide engineering services that strengthen national security and reduce risks from disasters. Recently, that has meant stepping in to speed recovery after the attacks of 9/11 and the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The novel coronavirus presents a different kind of challenge. It requires national mobilization, not the localized efforts that those specific traumas demanded. Rather than responding to a disaster, the USACE is racing to help avert one by providing enough hospital beds to keep the health care system afloat.”
For each time, I write a blog, I’d like to share with you stories of courage and encouragement as well as some exerts from my book, Rain on the Roof. We start today with a story that is meant to help us understand that God does do things that we do not understand…but brings us hope that miracles still do occur.
There are some people in this world who will experience something they do not understand….something miraculous. This is the story of a young girl, Akiane Kramarik, now a mature young adult, who experienced something that she knows God gave to her. It was a special gift and talent. Her mother was an atheist, but became a believer in Christ as she saw God’s working in her daughter’s life. For Akiane, it was not without a struggle to understand what God was doing in her life.
May you be blessed this day with her story. May your life be filled with hope, faith and belief that God knows us each one…our talents, our failures, our fears and He is always with us through the good and the hard times. In this difficult time of the coronavirus, let’s believe that there are miracles that we do not know of…some things that only God knows about.
The Holy Scriptures have given us this promise:
” Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid: for the LORD thy God, He goes with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” Deuteronomy 31:6
I present to you the story, in her own words, by the artist, Akiane Kramarik
Turn up your sound.
Since so many were unable to get to worship services today, I am pleased to put on a wonderful sermon of hope in this time when many could use some hope for the future.
The sermon is brought to us from the Episcopal National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. by Bishop Marianne Budde.
Mariann Edgar Budde serves as spiritual leader for 88 Episcopal congregations and ten Episcopal schools in the District of Columbia and four Maryland counties.
Turn up your sound, click picture below and do not move the red line. This will start at the sermon.
For just a little while, let us leave the news of sad, renewed statistics and listen to those who are willing to put their lives on the line for the ill …OUR MEDICS and our MILITARY
There is more than one type of army. In recent days, ARMIES of MEDICAL PERSONNEL have put on their uniforms to help the sick and dying. Our grateful appreciation and THANK YOU to those in the medical fields working long hours under dangerous circumstances. They want to protect, heal and go home to their own families and lives.
When the people in the military put on the uniform, they also were saying, “This is my country, my people, and my world to protect in all circumstances.” Some went into the infantry; others to be medics,; some went to sea and some became pilots. The chaplains shared faith and encouragement. Others gave their talent to music. We, at Boyer Writes, also say, “THANK YOU” to our young and older military who decided to serve in so many areas.
For your weekend… the music of the West Point Band and West Point Glee Club: Mansions of the Lord from We Were Soldiers.
“Mansions of the Lord” is a hymn written by Randall Wallace and set to the music of Nick Glennie-Smith. Here are the words being played and sung by the United States Military Academy Band and Glee Club in the video below:
To fallen soldiers let us sing
Where no rockets fly nor bullets wing
Our broken brothers let us bring
To the Mansions of the Lord
No more bleeding, no more fight
No prayers pleading through the night
Just divine embrace, Eternal light
In the Mansions of the Lord
Where no mothers cry and no children weep
We will stand and guard though the angels sleep
All through the ages safely keep
The Mansions of the Lord
Recently I read a blog written by Stephen RM. It spoke to me and I felt that I’d like to add some of my own notes to the specific suggestions made by him. I have entitled my part of this blog as FORTITUDE AND LIVING LIFE. It is my hope that you enjoy this and give it some serious thought:
The Oxford Dictionary defines FORTITUDE as follows:
Fortitude refers to strength in the face of adversity or difficulty. … People who have fortitude are described in an admiring way for their courage and this word comes from the Latin word fortitudo, meaning “strength.”
There are some things in life that give us the ability to press on and enjoy life. Yes, it does have to do with the heart because how we think about life is our heart-felt desire to enjoy it.
Here are a few things that are suggested as things to do before getting to the elderly age of ____. You notice that no particular age was put in this space! Age is only a number since your birth. Pay little attention to it or what other say about being of a certain age because people have always put restraints on age….such as: “You are too young!” or “You do that at your age?” etc etc. Therefore, the advise of this writing is to think about these things before you get too much older to experience some of them.
Suggestions for a happy and fulfilled life:
1. Travel the World Together
Traveling with someone you love can bring you closer together and makes for scrapbook-worthy memories. (The nice thing about scrapbooks is that you get to enjoy these experiences over and over without whipping out your phone and trying to find the pictures you took somewhere! nwb)
2. Travel the World Alone
But hey, if you don’t have anyone to travel with right now – that’s okay too! Traveling alone is a completely different and rewarding experience that you should definitely do at least once. ( I knew a lady who was definitely a senior who traveled alone and she would find where the young people were bunking on a ship and mix and mingle. Good for her! nwb)
3. Be Mentored by Someone
Any successful person will tell you that they wouldn’t have gotten to where they are now if not for the help of a mentor. Take the time to find the right one for you and you’ll reap lifetime benefits. (A mentor might even be a teacher of something you have not tried. I had never tried throwing clay for ceramics, but my mentor taught me how. Now, I am proud of the little dishes that I use for myself or guests. nwb)
4. Mentor Someone
Pay it forward!
5. Leave a Legacy
Leave something behind that will outlive you – a non-profit organization, a movement, a sustainable business – your imagination is the limit!
6. Go Skinny Dipping
I’m not certain I would want to find a nude beach in America, but If you visit Japan, they have wonderful springs…No swimsuits and separate areas for male and female…who bring their children. An eye-opening experience for someone from a different culture. nwb
7. Give Back
Living for something beyond ourselves gives us a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Bless others with your blessings!
8. Start Journaling
Write down your thoughts now, reread them years later, and you’ll be amazed to see how far you’ve come. ( You have a story…tell it! It will be a joy to those you love to read after you are heaven-bound. nwb)
9. Fall in Love
Seriously, anyone should definitely fall in love at least once. Even if doesn’t end in happy ever after. (Our first love will probably not be the love of our life. I personally found my TRUE LOVE after I was a single parent with three children. After 38+ years of marriage, I am eternally grateful! nwb)
10. Attend a Religious Event (that’s not your own)
Whether you’re religious or not, try exploring other faith denominations and get different perspectives on spirituality. (Not everyone will be comfortable in a place of worship outside of their belief. It is important to look at what you believe in your worship of God and find joy in true faith. It will be your comfort on your death-bed. However, to be aware of what others believe is important to our understanding of life. As a Christian, I have had opportunity to travel and learn from the Buddhist students that I taught. It was a good experience, but in the long-run, it strengthened my love for Christ, my Savior. nwb)
11. Build Your Expertise
Be an expert at something. If someone mentions your name, there should be a skill that they can always count on you for. (I trained to be a teacher. After retirement, I became a writer and now this is more a part of my identity than that of an educator. Interestingly, as I write, I still believe that some things written are a form of teaching. nwb)
12. Live or Travel in a Developing Country
If you’re from the western part of the world, the best way to understand cultures different from your own is to immerse yourself in it. Live in a handful of developing nations and see their world through their eyes. ( How true this suggestion is! Nothing can top my experience of traveling in Mongolia, Ukraine, and Guatemala. All had different cultures and languages. At first it is somewhat intimidating, but in hind-sight, an excellent experience. nwb)
13. Be Happy Alone
Learn to love yourself and find happiness in your own company. It’s one of the most freeing things you could do for yourself. (How very true!! nwb)
14. Commit to Healthy Habits
Start building healthy habits as early as you can and you’ll find more things to do as you grow older.
15. Become a Multi-Hyphenated Individual
With our fast-evolving world today, it’s absolutely possible to have more than one career. Be the doctor-lawyer, or award-winning author-speaker you always wanted to be. (Taking on another interest does not always mean a change of career, especially if it requires great expense or time-consuming study. It is a broadening of interests that keep us alive and young in thought and mind. Try, as I did, to go to an art class with very young students. I could have been their parent, but I was accepted by them and learned that having a nose ring wasn’t the end of the world! nwb) Thanks Stephen RM
Be happy in your heart because it brings about great FORTITUDE as life moves on.
VIDEO OF BACKGROUND MUSIC FOR YOUR DAY:
Sometimes it is important to just take a deep breath and listen to something beautiful because the world is too filled with noise…and hype! I like the definition of “hype” which is:
“…to promote or publicize intensively, often exaggerating its importance or benefits.
Today we move away from the HYPE and into peace. Listen to something beautiful…which probably means turning off the TV…or at least for a while.
This outstanding photography and peaceful music is for you! Enjoy!
“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26
Video Turn on sound
We are happy to announce the publication of a fourth in a series of Christian devotional books.
RAIN ON THE ROOF is a perfect devotional for anyone who would like to increase in their faith or looking to find faith.
The thirty one days of readings include historical and real life stories, original photographs by N. Boyer, Holy Scriptures and selections from The Book of Common Prayer.
You may find this book available at the following locations: (CLICK to view)
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
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)
ABOUT THE TAPESTRIES:
(CNN and Staff Writers)
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.
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. )