N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

Leaders

Another Statue Being Removed?

Statue in Sarasota, FL…Celebrating WWII end

We were fortunate to live in a wonderful, little town named Venice, Florida for a number of years where my husband was a Christian minister. The next city, north of Venice is Sarasota…also a beautiful town on the Gulf of Mexico. Standing near the beach is a patriotic statue of the famous picture of a sailor kissing a nurse in celebration of the end to fighting in WWII.

In fact, when this photo was made, the whole population of New York was celebrating in the middle of the streets. Every time I rode by the statue in Sarasota, I thought how great that we are still reminded of the wonderful military and medical personnel that served and died in WW II.

Unfortunately, the statue was sprayed with red paint and the city is considering removing it all together. Why?

Is it pressure from various groups? Have we stopped celebrating our World War II victory? Is this like so many statues that depict history that are being damaged, removed or defaced? Removing this statue is a slap in the face to our bravest men and women.

Vandals, You couldn’t find a better place for your thoughts?

A letter written to the Sarasota mayor and commissioner:

“It commemorates the celebration of VJ Day and the end of World War II,” Rep. Vern Buchanan wrote in a letter to the mayor and city commission. “This representation of that moment more than 75 years ago reminds us of an important time in our country’s history and honors the ‘Greatest Generation’ who served and sacrificed.”

The 25-foot “Unconditional Surrender” sculpture depicts an iconic photograph taken in Times Square in Aug. 14, 1945, showing a Navy sailor named George Mendonsa kissing Greta Zimmer Friedman, a dental assistant, in the street. (Taken from the article written by Michael Riuz)

Pictures of the Sailor and the Nurse….George Mendonsa and Greta Zimmer Friedman in the younger and older years. George died at 95 and Greta died at 92. Thank you for your lives and years of service!

We hope for the sake of all those Gold Star families and brave veterans who fought for freedom, Sarasota will reconsider its removal. San Diego has the same statue…refurbished it…and made it permanent. At least we hope it is still there! Keep celebrating the brave and the free.

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UPDATE AFTER THIS BLOG WAS POSTED: UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER STATUE WILL STAY ON SARASOTA WATER FRONT:

The announcement came in an tweet from the Florida Congressman and well before Sarasota’s elected officials were poised to discuss the issue. (Most likely because the citizens of Sarasota were in an uproar!)

VIDEO

Click to view video


The Cost of Beauty

I am writing this blog in honor of my Mother, Alta, who owned her small beauty salon. She began working as a stylist after she left home at the age of 16. When she had her salon in North Carolina, she had some wealthy patrons among the tobacco heirs. Mostly, her clients were the average person. Those were the “good old days.”

She would be horrified to know what small business owners are going through today. We lost my Mother at the age of 93, long after she retired. Her last few months were in an assisted living and nursing home.

On a previous blog, I wrote that I thank God that she didn’t have to be without family to cheer and visit her as many have these last few months. Just today, I have learned that our Governor in Florida is once again making visits for families possible with proper precautions. We mourn for those who died all alone during this time.

What does all this have to do with the COST of beauty? I will quote what a small business owner in California, like my Mother, had to say about a very wealthy member of our Congress and the Speaker of the House.

It appears that the business owner has released to the public a scene from her security camera, showing the Speaker with a wet head and no mask over her nose or mouth, moving through the inside of the salon, after having her associate called in that she was coming in for a “wash and blow.” Like most salon owners, the owner rents out the chairs to stylists, and can’t control who their customers may be.

Oh, yes, the owner, Erica Kious, is being rebuked that she didn’t get permission to release the security clip, but she felt obligated to do so because of the fight that small business owners, like herself, have had to go through during this pandemic. She also is being shown in the press as a person who “set up” the Speaker…even though the Speaker is the one who asked to come in for the style. Kious’ response to the battle, “I’ve had a camera system in there for five years….I didn’t go in there and turn cameras on as soon as she walked in and set her up. So that is absolutely false.”

Her response also for why she released the video of the Speaker was this:

“This is for everybody,” she said. “I am sharing this because of what everyone in my industry, and my city, what every small business is going through right now.”

These battles will continue and the Press loves it, but there is much suffering going on in the small-business arena. This blog is not to write in depth here about the many small business owners who have had their businesses burned to the ground by so-called “protesters.” That could be another post.

The fact remains that those who are doing this without regard to the hard work put into developing a business is despicable. Their real names are not “protesters”, but “anarchists” and “criminals.” There is certainly NO BEAUTY in what they are doing. I wonder why the young people/or older, who go out night after night to destroy, have not learned anything about RIGHT and WRONG. No cause…or position in thought…can justify this in any way. People have died. Having hair done, or some have laughingly called “hairgate,” is small potatoes. The real point is destruction and the shut-downs.

As my readers know, history is a big teacher. The Nazi regime brought about a similar situation before WWII when they went out to destroy the hard-earned businesses of the Jews. We know how this ended…with millions incarcerated…and murdered. Whenever a mob picks a leader and gets into power, someone will be the scapegoat. There will always be a reason to blame someone for the crisis. Beware…beware…America!

A typical, high-end salon…not that of Erica Kious

( I continue with the article, in part, by Brook Singman, with an interview of Erica Kious, the small business owner of the salon in California. )

There were rules and regulations to go by to safely reopen, which I did, but I was still not allowed to open my business,” she said, noting that she installed plexiglass partitions between sinks and seating areas, and ensured that all salon chairs were six feet apart, along with proper air circulation from open windows. “They never let us open,” she said, while adding that she is unable to reopen outside because her salon specializes in hair color, and using chemicals outside is prohibited. ( “…Salons in San Francisco had been closed since March and were only notified they could reopen on Sept. 1 for outdoor hair styling services only. )

“We have been shut down for so long, not just me, but most of the small businesses and I just can’t – it’s a feeling – a feeling of being deflated, helpless and honestly beaten down,” Kious, said.

“I have been fighting for six months for a business that took me 12 years to build to reopen,” she explained. “I am a single mom, I have two small children, and I have no income.”

Kious said that the area where her salon is located has turned into “a third world country,” saying that “every other storefront is completely vacant and shut down and boarded up.”

“And because of the shutdown, and the store closures, we’ve lost people, my clients, and my employees, and that is due to the politics in San Francisco,” she said, adding that the homeless population is “everywhere” and “defecating” all over the city...

“It has gotten so extreme,” she said. “It is so night and day from what it was a year ago, that everyone is fleeing.”

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It is understandable that this shop owner is upset about her business shut-down and what it has done to her years of work. Stylists, like my mother, stand on their feet for long hours, use chemical dyes to make women look younger etc, but it is how they earn their living for their families. They try desperately to go by the rules placed upon them during this pandemic. No wonder she is furious that the standards of personal engagement are for some but not all. She has lost customers due to the shut-downs that she may never regain but also because people are fleeing from the cities due to the violence and destruction. In American, small or large businesses should not have to board-up except for extreme weather…not a climate of fear brought on by people. Our son just returned from California where the hotel he was staying in was boarding up their windows because of “protesters” outside. They also warned their customers, “… you might not want to go out there.”

Every woman wants to be beautiful. There is no problem with dying the hair if it helps take some years off…but women who can’t get this done by a professional because of regulations…regardless of what they can pay or who they may be…can take themselves down to the local beauty supply store, if it’s open, and buy a box that does the trick!

All small businesses have to be reopened as soon as possible. Large department stores are also closing, leaving thousands without jobs. These hardworking men and women need to have their livelihood restored. Congratulations to Erica who braved the possible backlash of revealing those who preach to us through the media and do something different in real life. Most people I know have turned a deaf ear to all they have to say.

Thanks, Mother, for all the years that you worked so hard in your salon to be a provider for your family and also for being a good citizen. I wish there were more like you…with respect for people and property.

We, as women and men, thank the salon workers and owners…as well as the small barbershops around the country, who are finally opening with proper caution. The COST to you and your small business has been great. We won’t forget you. Hang in there!


Who are You?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Turn on your sound.


Numbers Have Meaning

Numbers have great meaning for all of us. We remember the number of our street address, zip code, social security and phone numbers…even if we have trouble recalling the exact date numbers of important events. The same is true in the Holy Scriptures. Numbers have meaning.

Having read the first chapter of Matthew, I noticed that it took 14 generations from the time of Abraham for God to bring His Son Jesus, the Messiah, into the world. I’m not certain why that number stood out to me, but I decided to look up the meaning of the number 14. I wanted to find out what it meant in the Biblical sense, rather than those who study numerology or try to read the stars. Here is what I found:

“So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.” Matthew 1:1 – 17

Number 14 is a symbol of salvation and rescue. Jesus finished his life in flesh on 14th day of first month, and made his sacrifice for the sake of all people. Number 14 is a double of God’s power and completion.  Matthew 1

The 14th day of the month was the start of Passover or when Israel as a nation was started. Most references to 14 in the Bible are about a Passover that was being celebrated. Exodus 12:6

The Ultimate Sacrifice: On the 14th day of the first month in 30 A.D. Jesus Christ, God manifested in the flesh, the only begotten Son of God the Father, and the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world, was crucified as the perfect sacrifice to save mankind from sin. Jesus’ death on Passover completed His ministry in the flesh.

Seven represents completion – thus 7 + 7 = 14, indicating a double completion…Jesus’ ministry in the flesh was completed. Jesus sacrifice of Himself ended or fulfilled the need for animal sacrifices, which the Jews had been doing to cover their sins. (from Bible Study online)

The Crucifixion by Gabriel Metsu

If you had no thoughts about the number 14 until now, it will probably go without saying that you will notice this number more in your everyday life. Regardless of numbers, it is important to see that God’s importance on numbers and their meanings only shows us the perfection numerically or scientifically that He shows in His creation and His perfect plans given through the prophets.

Earth…only one of the life forms in creation of the universe

What were God’s scientific plans when creating life?

Group 14 (IVA) | | Group 14 of the periodic table is often referred to as the carbon group. It is located in column 14 of the periodic table and houses the elements carbon, silicon, germanium, tin, lead…Many molecules contain carbon. In fact, there is an entire field of chemistry that deals with carbon-containing compounds, known as organic chemistry. Pure carbon can manifest in multiple forms such as diamonds, graphite and graphene, and Bucky balls (fullerenes). When mixed with iron, steel is formed. An isotope of carbon, carbon-14, is used to date organic specimens. Carbon is also used in semiconductors and resistance heaters. Carbon is the fundamental element in all Earth-based life. (from Chem Teacher)

Carbon

Here’s one for all you people who love tattoos: “The tattoos of Otzi the Iceman, a 5,300-year-old corpse found frozen in the Alps, were inked from carbon, according to a 2009 study in the Journal of Archaeological Science. Small incisions in the skin were made, and charcoal rubbed in, perhaps as part of an acupuncture treatment.” (from Live Science)

Doctors Eagarter and Zink take samples of Otzi the Iceman Photo Credit: Marco

 Nearly 10 million carbon compounds have been discovered, and scientists estimate that carbon is the keystone for 95 percent of known compounds, according to the website Chemistry Explained. Carbon’s incredible ability to bond with many other elements is a major reason that it is crucial to almost all life. (Live Science)

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To understand other numbers found prominently in the Bible, we need to look at some of God’s prophecies that led up to the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
    One who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
    from ancient days. Micah 5:2

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I am poured out like water,
    and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
    it is melted within my breast;
 my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
    and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
    you lay me in the dust of death.

 For dogs encompass me;
    a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my hands and feet—
I can count all my bones—
they stare and gloat over me;
 they divide my garments among them,
    and for my clothing they cast lots.
Psalm 22: 14-18

 

Casting lots at the foot of the cross

THE NUMBER 3: “‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews then said, ‘It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?’ But He was speaking of the temple of His body” (John 2:19-21).

“‘Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.’ But He answered and said to them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as Jonah was THREE days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.’” Matthew 12:38-40

This number 3 is repeated throughout the Bible as a symbol of completeness. God’s attributes are three: omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. ... On the third day, the earth rose from the water, symbolic of resurrection life.

The number 3 is also powerful in that it denotes the Godhead is a trinity … God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

THE NUMBER 7: The number 7 is the number of completeness and perfection (both physical and spiritual). It derives much of its meaning from being tied directly to God’s creation of all things. … The word ‘created’ is used 7 times describing God’s creative work (Genesis 1:1, 21, 27 three times; 2:3; 2:4) God also rested on the 7th day from all his work and he saw that it was “good.”

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However, we look at numbers, we may find them of interest but God wants us to leave His timing of events in our futures up to Him. He has told us to fear not, to trust Him and not predict the future on our own. Some people have tried to prove to the masses that they had figured out God’s timing. They think their great minds have somehow received a revelation. They even circled a number on their calendars to when Christ will appear once again as a 2nd coming to the earth. Really?

There are certain to be some even today, who are predicting with our world-wide virus, trashing of cities and continued wars, that the end is certain to be near. Even some clergy are telling people to “store up…at least for three months…as if they are certain that the great trials of the end days are upon us. They are probably going my this verse of Holy Scripture:

“Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away. “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” Matthew 24

Unfortunately, they looked at the first part of the verse and did not believe or ignored the last portion, which we will address later.

As far back as the 1844’s there was a real person, William Miller, who believed that he had calculated the END and Christ’s coming again.

This is their story:

Tens of thousands of people in Massachusetts expected the world to come to an end. They were followers of William Miller, a man who claimed to know the date of Jesus’s second coming. Many “Millerites” sold all their possessions to prepare for the day when Christ would return to earth, gather them up to heaven, and purify the rest of the world in an all-consuming fire. As the date approached, a great comet blazed across the Massachusetts sky, and the number of believers grew. On October 22nd, the Millerites donned white robes and climbed mountains or trees to speed their ascension into heaven. (Miller went on a speaking tour about his prediction…gaining between 50,000 and 100,000 believers.) ….

As the year of the expected apocalypse neared, believers in the prophecy began to give away their belongings, abandon their crops, and sell their land. In the town of Harvard, one man sold his cows at great sacrifice because there would be no one to care for them when he was “gone up.” Women in the Worcester area cut off their hair, removed the ruffles from their dresses, threw or gave away their jewelry, and, in some cases, everything they owned. Others broke up all their furniture declaring that they would no longer have use for tables or chairs or beds. Wanting to be suitably attired for heaven, Millerites made long white garments for themselves that they called their “ascension robes.”Believing that Christ would return on a mountaintop, they climbed up Mt. Wachusett to await the coming of the Lord. One respectable but arthritic old man from Harvard who could not make it up the mountain stationed himself at the very top of the tallest apple tree in his orchard and waited out the night. In New Bedford, a whole family perched on the branches of an apple tree dressed in their white robes.When the prophecy failed, most abandoned Miller’s apocalyptical teachings and returned to their original churches. (Mass Moments)

The Holy Scriptures tells us the truth about the coming again of Christ?

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 2nd Timothy 3:1-5

 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray... Matthew 24

We have one good friend who likes to ask “WHY? HOW CAN THAT BE? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?” when studying the Holy Scriptures or doctrines of the church. There is nothing wrong with questioning. This is how we grow in our faith.

The video below may help answer the questioning of the intellectuals, engineers and all other inquisitive people like ourselves, concerning one scripture, Mark 13:32. This is when Christ says “only the Father” knows the day or the hour…not even the angels or God’s Son. He doesn’t mention the Holy Spirit, but says “ONLY THE FATHER” knows, which would also indicate the Spirit also did not know. He is speaking, of course, about the coming TRIBULATION on the earth and/or THE COMING AGAIN OF CHRIST. Actually, we all have many questions concerning faith and the future. I agree with my husband when he says, “I don’t know…I’ll just ask when I get there.”

God does not give us a NUMBER or DATE for the end times, also known as The Tribulation, or His coming again! He only asks us to watch and be ready in our hearts.

“But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Mark 13:32

Video: Turn up your 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:

 

 


Try…try…and TRY AGAIN!

Thomas Edison is quoted as saying:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” 

 In case you are a little rusty on history, Thomas Edison was one of our great American inventors.  The lights that we can see around the globe from outer space can be attributed to a man who literally lit up the world. The music that we enjoy was first recorded by this man.  We, in Florida, benefited from his concrete houses when hurricanes tear through our state.  These inventions and so many more are those of an inquisitive mind who did not mind hard work.  Edison liked to say, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” 

Who was Thomas Edison?Thomas Edison

“People often say Edison was a genius. He answered, “Genius is hard work, stick-to-it-iveness, and common sense.”

Thomas Alva Edison was born February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio (pronounced MY-lan). In 1854, when he was seven, the family moved to Michigan, where Edison spent the rest of his childhood.

“Al,” as he was called as a boy, went to school only a short time. He did so poorly that his mother, a former teacher, taught her son at home. Al learned to love reading, a habit he kept for the rest of his life. He also liked to make experiments in the basement. 

(It is surprising how many people who have touched the world with their creativity were home-schooled or allowed to skip school.   Some may not know that the great movie maker, Stephen Spielberg, was often taken out of school by his mother to attend concerts, see the great art galleries and more when he was a child.)

Al not only played hard, but also worked hard. At the age of 12 he sold fruit, snacks and newspapers on a train as a “news butcher.” (Trains were the newest way to travel, cutting through the American wilderness.) He even printed his own newspaper, the Grand Trunk Herald, on a moving train.

At 15, Al roamed the country as a “tramp telegrapher.” Using a kind of alphabet called Morse Code, he sent and received messages over the telegraph. Even though he was already losing his hearing, he could still hear the clicks of the telegraph. In the next seven years, he moved over a dozen times, often working all night, taking messages for trains and even for the Union Army during the Civil War. In his spare time, he took things apart to see how they worked. Finally, he decided to invent things himself.

After the failure of his first invention, the electric vote recorder, Edison moved to New York City. There he improved the way the stock ticker worked. This was his big break. By 1870 his company was manufacturing his stock ticker in Newark, New Jersey. He also improved the telegraph, making it send up to four messages at once.

… Edison moved from Newark to Menlo Park, New Jersey, in 1876. There he built his most famous laboratory. He was not alone in Menlo Park. Edison hired “muckers” to help him out. (Old English word meaning low-level laborers) These “muckers” came from all over the world to make their fortune in America. They often stayed up all night working with the “chief mucker,” Edison himself. He is sometimes called the “Wizard of Menlo Park” because he created two of his three greatest works there.

The phonograph was the first machine that could record the sound of someone’s voice and play it back. In 1877, Edison recorded the first words on a piece of tin foil. He recited the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” and the phonograph played the words back to him. This was invented by a man whose hearing was so poor that he thought of himself as “deaf”!

Edison phonograph

Starting in 1878, Edison and the muckers worked on one of his greatest achievements. The electric light system was more than just the incandescent lamp, or “light bulb.” Edison also designed a system of power plants that make the electrical power and the wiring that brings it to people’s homes…

Edison light bulb

In 1885, one year after his first wife died, Edison met a 20-year-old woman named Mina Miller. Her father was an inventor in Edison’s home state of Ohio. Edison taught her Morse Code. Even when others were around, the couple could “talk” to each other secretly. One day he tapped a question into her hand: would she marry him? She tapped back the word “yes.”…  (Practical…but not so romantic)

Edison built a laboratory in West Orange that was ten times larger than the one in Menlo Park. In fact, it was one of the largest laboratories in the world, almost as famous as Edison himself. Well into the night, laboratory buildings glowed with electric light while the Wizard and his “muckers” turned Edison’s dreams into inventions. Once, the “chief mucker” worked for three days straight, taking only short naps. Edison earned half of his 1,093 patents in West Orange…

Not only did Edison improve the phonograph several times, but he also worked on X-rays, storage batteries, and the first talking doll. At West Orange, he also worked on one of his greatest ideas: motion pictures, or “movies.” The inventions made here changed the way we live even today. He worked here until his death on October 18, 1931, at the age of 84.

(from the National Park Service)

ThomasEdison-lab

Edison would certainly say, “Try…try…and try again.” for whatever you try to accomplish with your God-given abilities.

(turn up sound for video)


A Tragedy… She says…He says

Ford-sits-before-Senate-Judiciary-CommitteeKavanaugh-sworn-before-testifying

Dr. Christine Ford-sworn-before-testifying-committee

Senate Judiciary Committee hearing of Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford on misconduct and the Supreme Court Appointment  (Getty photos)

Are you ready to regurgitate yet?  (a fancy word for “throw up”)  If you watched any of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings with Dr. Ford and Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, you may have felt a little queasy….and in the end decide that it all comes down to  “He said, she said…or She said, he said.”    Nothing was gained except to know there will never be real proof to who is telling the straight facts of an alleged crime over 30 years ago.

One thing is for certain, both lives will never recover from the scandal…nor will their families’.   Death threats on both side…horrendous stress and the need for security in a safe place has taken over their lives. It is definitely a tragedy.

So what makes most people sick while watching this parade of senators asking questions after hearing the statements of both Kavanaugh and Ford?   It is the way that the politicians lined up on both sides to do the most damage possible.  Yes, it was obvious that most were not truly seeking the truth, but showing to those back home just who they were lining up for or against.  Why?  Many senators have elections coming up and the people back home are going to hold them accountable.

It is no wonder most people can’t stand politicians. How refreshing it would be to not know before someone speaks…or asks questions…which side of the aisle (Democrat or Republican) they represent.  The lines of division are clear and vivid even to the casual observer.

After all was said and done, it still was the “He says…she says” drama.  People on the committee and at home were then to sit in judgment to something no one can prove at this late date. We have definitely sunk to a new low, with graphic details being spoken in the committee chamber and over every news media.   Whatever happened to the burden of proof being placed on the accuser to prove?  Whatever happened to “innocent until proven guilty”?

It is not the first time in American history that the reputations of those seeking office have been hung out to dry.  Privacy and common decency are definitely out the window.  Perhaps two of the saddest things brought out in the hearings was that the Kavanaugh’s daughter had to have an explanation about what was going on with her father. She wanted to pray for Dr. Ford, which he called “Quite mature for a 10-year-old.” The look on his wife’s face was one of great sadness.

I am a great believer that women who are abused or experience traumatic assault need to have every opportunity to bring the perpetrator to justice.  Dr. Ford has had to hire security and move to a safe location!  No woman should have to have this kind of abuse because they say they are following their conscience to speak out about what they consider a terrible crime against themselves.  Dr. Ford will be a face to remember for those who have suffered sexual assault…and we know there are many.   Reputations are permanently out the window for both of these people who have spent years building careers. There are NO WINNERS here regardless of what happens in the Senate vote.

Here are a few “moments in history” to ponder:

  • John C Fremont was a presidential candidate in 1856. He was a target because he was Catholic and there were those who were suspicious of Catholics. ( My, how far we have come!)
  • Ralph Nader, in 1966, was smeared because he campaigned for car safety. General Motors went after him to find damaging or embarrassing incidents. His phone was tapped and prostitutes were hired to trap him.  Nader went to court and used the proceeds from the lawsuit to start the pro-consumer Center for Study of Responsive Law.  (Maybe something good can come out of the despicable.)
  • In 1988, Gary Hart ran for president. After an embarrassing extramarital affair, Hart withdrew from the race in May 1987. In the meantime, the New York Post wrote in BIG, BOLD letters, “Gary, I’m no womanizer.” (from Wikipedia)

(This may be a lesson to all men and women that their lives will come back to haunt them…especially when they are parading it openly on FaceBook and other media.)

The attempt to discredit is not only personal, but companies and countries are at fault also.  In 2011, China launched a smear campaign against Apple. The campaign failed.  I’m sure that we could find many more examples.

teens drinkingMuch was said in the Kavanaugh/Ford hearings about the abuse of alcohol…and how it may have contributed to the alleged assault Dr. Ford described. We know that young people start drinking early and the college-aged youth seem to think there is no fun without liquor being a part of the equation.
It is not only the young.  Many older people find themselves a prisoner of alcoholism, wishing that they could change the fact.  The example we set for our youth is important for their future and ours.  How many parents have a talk with young men about their responsibility to girls and women?  Acting like a gentleman can have great advantages…and keeping hands where they should be and their pants zipped is a part of character development.
Excessive drinking clouds the mind with what is right or wrong.   Perhaps this old chart from 1800’s says it like it is:
Called The Drunkard’s Progress
   Step 1. A glass with a friend. Step 2. A glass to keep the cold out. Step 3. A glass too much. Step 4. Drunk and riotous. Step 5. The summit attained. Jolly companions. A confirmed drunkard. Step 6. Poverty and disease. Step 7. Forsaken by Friends. Step 8. Desperation and crime. Step 9. Possible Death.
1280px-The_Drunkard's_Progress_1846
As sickening as many politicians can be, one way or another, the committees in our government will go on…thinking they are doing their job, speaking for and protecting our laws…but little do they know that they are looking like someone the average person would never want to be….a blind-sighted politician who will do anything for a vote. They play games with peoples’ lives and often withhold information until it is the most appropriate time to bring down the sword upon one’s head…hoping the damage will be done.  Unfortunately, it often is.

 

 


Women and the Power of Preservation

History tells us of women who were saviors of many things and leaders when men were expected to carry the torch.  As my husband and I plan to travel to our country’s Capital, Washington, D.C.,  I felt it was important to also find out something about Mt. Vernon, which was the home of our first President, General George Washington.

Probably the home, which had fallen into disrepair would not be here today if it had not been for the efforts of a woman from South Carolina.  As she sailed down the Potomac River, she saw the mansion and could not believe that the people of our nation would allow this historic place to disintegrate in front of the world. This woman was Louisa Dalton Bird Cunningham who told her daughter, Ann,  of the disgraceful situation.   In fact, there had been plans to demolish Mt. Vernon.

 

 

Never heard of Louisa or Ann Cunningham?   Most likely you have not.  You probably have not heard of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association either, but they are women who should be honored for restoration efforts.   This is the story, according to Wikipedia:

Ann Pamela Cunningham (August 15, 1816, Rosemont Plantation, South Carolina – May 1, 1875) is credited with saving George Washington’s beloved home Mount Vernon from ruin and neglect. In a letter to Ann Pamela, Cunningham’s mother described the crumbling condition of the estate as she saw it in 1853 while on a steamship heading down the Potomac River. Cunningham was in her 30s and, having been crippled in a riding accident as a teenager, decided she would initiate a campaign to save the estate. She raised funds to purchase Mount Vernon by launching an unprecedented appeal for donations through newspaper articles directed toward “the Ladies of the South” and founded The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association of the Union, the group that still owns and manages Washington’s estate, and served as its first regent. The group purchased Mount Vernon for $200,000. The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association is the oldest private preservation organization in the United States.   It is directed by a Board of Regents, comprised solely of women, who represent nearly 30 states.

Mt Vernon today

Restored Mt. Vernon today

We congratulate these women for their efforts to restore rather than destroy our history.

VIDEO  (Turn up sound)

 


Welcome Home!

freedom for Americans from N. Korea May 2018

We at Boyer Writes welcome home to the United States the three Americans who have been imprisoned in N. Korea. Kim Hak Song, Tony Kim and Kim Dong Chul are welcomed here by President Trump as they set foot on American soil.

We can only imagine the heartbreak of the family of Otto Warmbier, who was released earlier, only to die from his mistreatment.

Otto Warmbier

Otto Warmbier with N. Korean guards before his release.

“American detainees in North Korea have been an especially delicate issue between the two countries. One of them, Otto F. Warmbier, an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in 2016 for trying to take a propaganda poster while on a trip to North Korea. He died last June shortly after being released in a coma, having spent 17 months in captivity.

His parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, recently filed a lawsuit in the United States accusing North Korea of kidnapping and fatally torturing their son, and last week they appeared at the United Nations to speak out about human rights abuses in North Korea.

“They used him as a political pawn for as long as they could,” Mr. Warmbier said of his son, “and when he was of no value to them, they essentially sent him home to our family in a body bag.”   

What is the background of the men released?   (All information taken from The New York Times, article by Choe Sang-Hun )

 

 

  • Kim Dong-Chul:    He was a businessman who had been sentenced to 10 years of hard labor in April 2016 after being convicted of spying and other offenses. A month before his trial, Mr. Kim appeared at a government-arranged news conference in Pyongyang and apologized for what he described as his attempted theft of military secrets in collusion with South Koreans. The South Korean spy agency has denied any involvement. Mr. Kim’s predicament was not known until January 2016, when the North Korean government let CNN interview him in Pyongyang. At that time, Mr. Kim identified himself as a 62-year-old naturalized American citizen who lived in Fairfax, Va. He said he had once run a trading and hotel services company in Rason, a special economic zone near North Korea’s borders with China and Russia. He said he had been arrested in October 2015 while meeting with a former North Korean soldier to receive classified data. (NY Times) 
  • Tony Kim:   Mr. Kim also known as Kim Sang-duk, was arrested in April 2017. He had spent a month teaching accounting at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, a Christian-funded college, and was trying to board a plane to leave the country when he was arrested, according to university officials.

    Mr. Kim, who is in his 50s, studied accounting at the University of California, Riverside, and at Aurora University, and he worked as an accountant in the United States for more than a decade, according to his Facebook page.

  •  Kim Hak-Song   He was arrested on May 6, 2017. He volunteered at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, doing agricultural development work at its research farm.  According to CNN, Mr. Kim, an ethnic Korean, was born in Jilin, China, near the North Korean border, and emigrated to the United States in the 1990s. After becoming an American citizen, the network said, Mr. Kim returned to China and studied agriculture in Yanbian before moving to Pyongyang.

    We must not forget the families of other prisoners in Korea at the many political and re-education camps that can be very brutal.  Continue to pray for those still being held in places around the world, including Iran.

    We rejoice to be living in a free country.   We now share with you the moment of the prisoners arrive in the United States with our Secretary of State, Mr. Pompeo.

2VIDEOS: (credit Fox News and Sky News Correspondent Mark Stone )  (Turn up sound)

  • The arrival of the three Americans to the USA

 

  • Over the years, there have been N. Koreans who have dared to try to escape N. Korea.  This video tells some of their stories and the hardships they endured before making their way to freedom.   You will notice that the N.Korean Ambassador to the UK says there are no camps…only “re-education camps…not camps, but places.”   The people who lived in these “camps…or places” give a frank picture of what happens to a person once there.  One may ask, “If the South and North Korea are once again unified, will these “places” be destroyed?   Will threats and intimidation go away?  Will the N. Koreans be truly free?

 

 

LINK for information on N. Korean Prison Camps (Wikipedia)


Ellis Island and Immigration

In January 2018, I wrote about Ellis Island where so many of our Immigrants saw the new land of hope and promise for the first time.  I thought it might be a good thing to look at them again and their struggle.  I highly suggest that if you have not seen The Emigrants featured on PBS, that you settle in for a long, but fascinating presentation.  If you are a descendant of one of those immigrants, you will never think of them the same.

TO ELLIS ISLAND:   The trip was terrible in most cases as the ships came into the New York harbor.  Isolated on an Island called Ellis was a building of hope for freedom from about every imaginable circumstance.  Yes, this was my relative and possibly yours unless your relatives were brought by force on a slave ship.

The following pictures are from the New York Public Library, photographed by A. Sherman.

immigrants arriving Ellis Island 1916

Herded off the ships and onto Ellis Island, where they had to answer questions and be examined for diseases, the people were part way to a new life.

Arriving Ellis Island

What exactly is the history of Ellis Island?  (Taken from History by Evan Andrews)

“On November 12, 1954, the once bustling immigration inspection port at Ellis Island was shut down after more than 62 years in operation. Opened in 1892, the small island in New York Harbor served as the processing center and point of entry for more than 12 million new arrivals to the United States. The island has since become a storied and often controversial symbol of the plight of the immigrant, and it is estimated that more than one-third of all Americans can trace their lineage to someone who passed through its doors.”

 

 

Even after arriving and allowed to enter the city and the country, living conditions were harsh.  Many died.  Others faced persecution from others who did not understand them, their language or their culture.  For those who managed to adjust to a new way of life, generations would follow them.

A Couple facts of interest about Ellis Island:

  • Used for Hangings:  Long before it became a way station for people looking for a new beginning, Ellis Island—named for its last private owner, Samuel Ellis—was known as a place where condemned prisoners met their end. For most of the early 19th century, the island was used to hang convicted pirates, criminals and mutinous sailors, and New Yorkers eventually took to calling it “Gibbet Island” after the wooden post, or gibbet, where the bodies of the deceased were displayed. It reverted to the name “Ellis Island” in the years after the last hanging in 1839, and later served as a Navy munitions depot before being repurposed as a federal immigration station.
  • Three unaccompanied children were the first immigrants: Ellis Island accepted its first new arrivals on New Year’s Day 1892, when the steamship Nevada arrived with 124 passengers from Europe. The first would-be immigrant to set foot on the island was Annie Moore, a teenager from County Cork, Ireland who had crossed the Atlantic with her 11 and 7-year-old brothers en route to reuniting with family in New York. A U.S. Treasury Department official and a Catholic chaplain were on hand to welcome Moore, and Ellis Island’s commissioner awarded her a $10 gold piece to mark the occasion. Today, a statue of Moore and her brothers is kept on display at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.

Annie Moore by Jeanne Rynhart

Moore became the public face of the immigrants who had passed through Ellis Island, but it turned out that the face put forward was a case of mistaken identity.

For years it was thought that Moore had married a descendant of the Irish nationalist Daniel O’Connell, moved to New Mexico and met a tragic end in a 1923 streetcar accident in Fort Worth, Texas, that left her five children orphaned. For years, the woman’s descendants were invited to ceremonies at both Ellis Island and Ireland.  (from History)

Take a look at these pictures and the faces of those who came from all over the globe:

 

 

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Today we live with concern over illegal immigrants who have not come here legally.  We worry that they have a belief that they should overthrow the very country that welcomes them or destroy the American belief of freedom of choice.  It is a difficult decision on how and where to limit those who come.  It probably was also difficult in the early 1900’s when so many fled persecution, famine, and no future.

Those who first came had to prove themselves that they truly wanted to be Americans and live by the laws of this country.  Nothing was perfect in receiving these previous immigrants.  Some slipped through and did not contribute to society.  Even today we are being forced to make difficult choices concerning the future of many.

Those in charge of immigration during the early years took a chance.  Our country and the people of Europe in modern times have taken a chance with some difficult results.   It sometimes takes years for people to assimilate into the American way of life and our society.  They have to want to do so.  It can be done, however, if those who come want to truly be American and give their best efforts and talents to being a part of a free nation even with all its blemishes.  Had there not been those in charge of receiving the first immigrants…our ancestors.. and taking a chance on them, we would probably not be living here today.

The American values are not often the values of people of other countries.  We may ask ourselves many questions with mostly unknown answers.

  • Do the immigrants of today look at the Statue of Liberty or the meaning of Ellis Island the same as those who first came?
  • Does it truly stand for Liberty for All?
  • Will they be willing to immigrate legally and follow those who do so?
  • Will they be grateful for a land of opportunity and contribute to society?
  • How do we protect our borders from drug dealers and criminals?

Probably the hardest question of all for us today is:  What about the children born here or brought here by illegal means?   What to do about the young people who have known no other life but living in America and were taken by the hand to cross the border by an adult who knew they were breaking our laws?  crossing the border

 

Difficult… most difficult decisions will be coming to our nation.  Prayers are needed for our government leaders to have wisdom as we struggle with these issues here in the United States and abroad.  Is the Immigrant struggle today different from those of the past?

 

Click on this link:  Tells of the making of the film, The Emigrants  

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A Rugged Man becomes a Building Block

Blue Ridge Mts

The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with Buffalo Mt. in the background

The mountain churches of the Blue Ridge have some extremely interesting history, especially the Rock Churches that were built by the dedication of one rugged man who found Jesus Christ as his Savior and went on to make the Blue Ridge Mountains his mission field.

Bob Childress

The following video tells the story of Bob Childress as told by narration and his Grandson, Stewart Childress, who carries on the ministry in these hills.  My husband, Bill Boyer,  has been privileged to be a part of the ministry here as needed and called on when we live here for a few months of the year.

You are invited to come and see the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains on your next trip to Virginia in the U.S.A and worship in one of the six churches called Rock Churches because each one is built from the rocks of the mountain.  You will be given a warm, southern welcome.

  • Bluemont, in Patrick County, built 1919, rock-faced 1945-1946.
  • Mayberry, in Patrick County, built 1925, rock-faced 1948.
  • Buffalo Mountain, in Floyd and Carroll Counties, build of fieldstone in 1929.
  • Slate Mountain, in Floyd and Patrick Counties, built of fieldstone in 1932, expanded in 1951.
  • Dinwiddie, in Carroll County, built of fieldstone in 1948.
  • Willis, in Floyd County, built of fieldstone in 1954.

Here is the story in brief form to wet your appetite to read the full story in The Man Who Moved a Mountain.   by Richard Davids.

Book Man Who Moved a Mountain

 

VIDEO: Turn up sound   (from DanTraveling)

Another book about the Blue Ridge Mountains    Old Timers of the Blue Ridge and More by N.W. Boyer

Coming out this Fall will be a new book by N.W. Boyer   Spencer’s Mill


Hymn to the Fallen

John Williams composed the Hymn to the Fallen.  The video below shows only a few memorials of those whose lives were cut short by a war.   Today we hear threats and concerns about the possibilities of war.  In many parts of our world, a war is a reality.  The people, who suffer under these circumstances, know every day what war is about.  They bury their dead. They cradle children in their arms who are dead or dying.

Today we hear threats and concerns about the possibilities of war.  In many parts of our world, a war is a reality.  The people, who suffer under these circumstances, know every day what war is about.  They bury their dead. They cradle children in their arms who are dead or dying.

man carries child in Syria

Man carries child in Syria  Photo by Reuters

 

War is the hell it always was.  No new war will ever make the pain or tragedy any less.  We must remember this.  Our leaders must remember this.  Those who would announce that they intend to harm a country that is living peacefully must remember this.

US dead come home

Even though we have memorials around the world for the Americans who died in past wars, we should not forget all the Americans who have lost their lives in more recent years:  according to the Military Times:  Listed below are the most current statistics according to their database. (*These statistics may not reflect exact figures.) Pictures of the fallen are shown by clicking on the blue words.

Total: 6894

Do you know where our American heroes are buried?  Yes, some were brought back to the United States.  Others lie in graves by the thousands in places far from home.  Take a moment to reflect on exactly where they are.

VIDEO:   For your Sunday meditation and prayers:  Hymn of the Fallen


56 Men Paid the Price for Independence

flag-on-barn

Happy 4th of July from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia

There was nothing HAPPY for the 56 men who signed the American Declaration of Independence at the birth of our nation.  Do you know what happened to some of them?

It was brought to my attention today in our church service that there was a price for freedom that these men  paid. Some suffered right away when they were captured by British troops and others suffered later through loss of fortune or brutal acts against them.  They may have known that they were risking their lives to take such a public stand.  Counting the cost is difficult to do before one acts.  Regardless of how their contributions in becoming signers of the Constitution effected them and their families, we know from history that their lives were not a bed of roses.  Declaration-of-Independence

Standing up for freedom and democracy is not popular, even today, with those who would be against it and wish to destroy it. The following gives us an account of a few of these men who made the choice to stand up and be counted:

  • Five signers were captured by the British as traitors    They were considered prisoners of war while actively engaged in military operations against the British.  George Walton was captured after being wounded while commanding militia at the Battle of Savannah in December 1778, and Thomas Heyward, Jr., Arthur Middleton, and Edward Rutledge (three of the four Declaration of Independence signers from South Carolina) were taken prisoner at the Siege of Charleston in May in 1780.  Richard Stockton of New Jersey was the only signer taken prisoner specifically because of his status as a signatory to the Declaration, “dragged from his bed by night” by local Tories after he had evacuated his family from New Jersey, and imprisoned in New York City’s infamous Provost Jail like a common criminal.

Revolutionary War Battle of Lexington 002.jpg

  • Twelve of the signers of the Declaration of Independence had their homes ransacked and burned.   Their property was subject to seizure when it fell along the path of a war being waged on the North American continent.
  • Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured.  Abraham Clark of New Jersey saw two of his sons captured by the British and incarcerated on the prison ship Jersey. John Witherspoon, also of New Jersey, saw his eldest son, James, killed in the Battle of Germantown in October 1777.
  • Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts.   
  • Properties of  William Ellery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett,  Thomas Heyward, Edward Rutledge, and Middleton were looted.     The British needed supplies and these stately homes were a good source.  Little concern during war time is given to the family that dwells therein.

    Home of Thomas Heyward in Charleston SC

    Home of Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Heyward, in Charleston, S.C.

  •  Some homes of the signers, such as Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin, James Wilson, Benjamin Rush and Robert Morris were occupied by the British during the war.  They also were unfortunate victims whose property fell in the path of an armed conflict being waged on American soil.

 

  • Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died of poor health.  Francis Lewis represented New York in the Continental Congress, and shortly after he signed the Declaration of Independence his Long Island estate was raided by the British.   While Lewis was in Philadelphia attending to congressional matters, his wife was taken prisoner by the British.
  • John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children, who were adults at the time,  fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year, he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead.   John Hart of New Jersey, had been  Speaker of the Assembly.

Founding Fathers

Morris and Livingston suffered similar fates.  Lewis Morris saw his Westchester County, New York, home taken over in 1776 and used as a barracks for soldiers, and the horses and livestock from his farm commandeered by military personnel of the Continental Army.  Shortly afterwards his property was appropriated, looted, and burned by the British when they occupied New York.  Morris and his wife were eventually able to reclaim their property and restore their home after the war. Philip Livingston lost several properties to the British occupation of New York and sold off others to support the war effort, and he did not recover them because he died suddenly in 1778, before the end of the war.

Constitution We the People

For your further knowledge:  FIFTY FACTS ABOUT THE SIGNING OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE  and the listing of all the signers by states. 

All of our country celebrates today the wonderful independence that we have as a nation.  It is by God’s grace that we can enjoy all that is part of our United States today.   We must never forget the founding fathers who risk everything to make it happen and those who have come afterwards to fight for and preserve that independence and freedom.

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GOD BLESS AMERICA

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY from BOYER WRITES to ALL OUR READERS

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Remember to fly your flag!

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Sensible Words…finally

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President Trump and Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg has had some harsh words to describe our now President Trump during the campaign, but recently he has begun to sound more like his pragmatic side.

Who exactly is Michael Rubens Bloomberg?  He has been a Democrat…a Republican..and is now an Independent.   According to Wikipedia,  in brief Bloomberg was born in 1942. He is an American businessman, politician and philanthropist.  He is a billionaire, raking as one of the richest people in the world. However, he has joined The Giving Pledge where billionaires will give away at least half their wealth. He is the owner of Bloomberg L.P., a global financial services,  mass media, and software company.   Bloomberg served as Mayor of New York City for three terms. michael Rubens Bloomberg

Recently Lang of ABC News wrote an article that you may have missed.  She told what Michael Bloomberg, who did not vote for President Trump,  had to say about the now President Trump and what the politicians and the country should do.  It is a far cry from other things he has said, but his words are probably some of the most sensible and best advice that the country can have at this time.

Regardless of what your personal opinion of Mr. Bloomberg may be,  Boyer Writes felt it was important to pass this along to all our readers… for his recent words should be put into practice by everyone.   It is what our democracy is all about.

This is Lang’s article in its entirety:

“Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said America should “get behind” President Trump because “the public has spoken, whether you like the results or not,” during an appearance on ABC’s “The View.”

Bloomberg said that opposing a president just because of one’s alignment with another party is the wrong approach. He referred to a 2010 interview with The National Journal in which Mitch McConnell,  at the time the Senate minority leader, said, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

“That’s my country. That’s my kids and grand-kids,” Bloomberg said of his reaction to McConnell’s statement. “You have to make it work. We have an election — whoever wins, you got to get behind.”

“He’s our president, and we need this country to be run well. I didn’t vote for him,” Bloomberg added. “Let’s just all hope that Donald Trump is a good president of the United States.”

Also a businessman and philanthropist, Bloomberg said Americans should direct their energy toward changing the outcome of the next election rather than fighting the current administration.

He said people in other countries “try to tear down the government and have a revolution” when their candidate doesn’t win but Americans should be more strategic.

“We should sit back and say, four years from now, how do I get my woman or man elected? And that’s very different,” he said. But Bloomberg said people should still fight policies they don’t agree with.

“You can protest. You can elect other officials, write letters, make phone calls,” he said. “But in the end, the public has spoken, whether you like the results or not.”

Bloomberg joked that Trump had “a little help from the Russians” in the 2016 election.

As for whether the result of Tuesday’s special election in Georgia has serious implications for the future of the Democratic Party,  Bloomberg warned people not to read too much into it.

But he said “one thing” the congressional race, won by Republican Karen Handel, showed was that “all the money in the world can’t buy an election.”

“The public is a lot smarter than people give them credit for,” Bloomberg said.

In the end, he said, it was Trump’s “Make America great again” message that resonated with voters.

“I don’t know what the ‘again’ means,” Bloomberg added. “We’re better today than we have ever been. Still, that’s the key.”

Post note:   We may want to think about that last sentence.  Are we in America truly “better today than we ever have been“?     Think about these words:

  • Divisiveness
  • Crime
  • Health and Addiction
  • Loss of employment
  • Race Relations
  • Respect for Law Enforcement, School Officials and Parents
  • Faith and Church Attendance
  • Patriotism 
  • World turmoil and terrorism

You decide if we measure up to other generations.  It is for certain that we must come together to make changes to all of these areas…through sensible thoughts, words and actions.   Yes, we must work together to make changes…starting within ourselves.

VIDEO:  Make me an Instrument of Thy Peace  (Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi) sung by The Canadian Tenors

 


The fury…and Responsibility

Throughout history, there has been religious groups spreading their mayhem into lands where innocent people have been brutalized.  One only needs to read the Holy Scriptures to find what happened when the Jews took revenge on their enemies.  The Muslims invaded territory after territory with slaughter.  The Christians were also brutal during The Crusades.  On and on it goes if we look into Genghis Khan and tribal warfare around the world.

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Christian Crusades

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Muslim Warriors

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Genghis Khan

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Christians were burned at the stake during the Inquisition.  Today, in the Middle East,  they are being murdered for their faith.   Jews were murdered by the millions in World War II.

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There has never been a peaceful world since sin and evil began.  Will there ever be peace or will the fury remain?   We’ll attempt to answer this at the end of this blog.

Great anxiety is happening as nations in our modern day time deal with the potential of nuclear warfare and even the possibility of space warfare as more deadly inventions are developed.  Should people be more than a little anxious…you bet they should be!  Who then is responsible for the fright that people feel?    Is it the actions of a new administration which swears to protect the people?    Is it our own imaginations and thoughts that pity the people who try to flee to a safer place regardless of their religious beliefs and actions of tyrants?

An article was written recently that had a number of responses from readers.  A reader challenged the author with the following words about the raw nerves and anxiety of people concerning extreme vetting of refugees who may or may not be Muslim because the entire world is worried about terrorism in all forms.  He wrote the following,  giving specific examples of why extreme vetting may be the only answer to finding out the motives of people who  come to a country other than their own:

“…the US isn’t responsible for anxiety about Muslim refugees. Who is actually responsible? People such as Somali Muslim migrant Mohammad Barry, who in February 2016 stabbed multiple patrons at a restaurant owned by an Arab Christian; Ahmad Khan Rahami, an Afghan Muslim migrant who in September 2016 set off bombs in New York City and New Jersey; Arcan Cetin, a Turkish Muslim migrant who in September 2016 murdered five people in a mall in Burlington, Washington; Dahir Adan, another Somali Muslim migrant who in October 2016 stabbed mall shoppers in St. Cloud while screaming ‘Allahu akbar’; and Abdul Razak Artan, yet another Somali Muslim migrant who in November 2016 injured nine people with car and knife attacks at Ohio State University. What’s more, all of the Islamists who murdered 130 people in Paris in November 2015 had just entered Europe as refugees. In February 2015, the Islamic State boasted it would soon flood Europe with as many as 500,000 Muslim refugees. The Lebanese Education Minister said in September 2015 that there were 20,000 jihadists among the refugees in camps in his country. Meanwhile, 80% of migrants who have come to Europe claiming to be fleeing the war in Syria aren’t really from Syria at all. So why are they claiming to be Syrian and streaming into Europe, and now the U.S. as well? An Islamic State operative gave the answer when he boasted in September 2015, shortly after the migrant influx began, that among the flood of refugees, 4,000 Islamic State jihadists had already entered Europe. He explained their purpose: ‘It’s our dream that there should be a caliphate not only in Syria but in all the world, and we will have it soon, inshallah.’ These Muslims were going to Europe in the service of that caliphate: ‘They are going like refugees,’ he said, but they were going with the plan of sowing blood and mayhem on European Crusader streets. As he told this to journalists, he smiled and said, ‘Just wait.’ On May 10, 2016, Patrick Calvar, the head of France’s DGSI internal intelligence agency, said that the Islamic State was using migrant routes through the Balkans to get jihadists into Europe…”

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Radical Muslim Jihadist

 

Most people that I know have a great deal of empathy for those people caught in war and are persecuted for their beliefs. They are not against people for their religious beliefs as long as they are ones of peace and tolerance.  Unless the reasons for coming to America or any other country are for these reasons, people neither want to be enslaved to another religion or murdered for their beliefs. We are all responsible to not allow that to happen. Unfortunately, it will be hard for us to know exactly who those with evil in their thoughts really are unless we actually hear or observe someone spouting these thoughts and goals. We’ve been told “See something…say something.”   Otherwise, we are at the mercy of those professionals in our countries who watch out for us.

 

 

How many  people eager to arrive on our shores and settle in among us are a risk to our safety? This is a difficult problem…as it is in Europe and throughout the free world.
One priority in vetting, should be looked at.  Many people who have been willing to risk their lives in helping the American forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places by serving as language translators and in warfare intelligence, must not be thrown back in the “lion’s den”.  Most of these are Muslim.   They should also, when allowed to immigrate with their families, should not be settled in dangerous communities of the U.S. as some have been.   Read one story of a father of a fallen soldier who is fighting for the translator of his son. 

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Translator’s  face, blurred for his protection, was an Afghan interpreter who worked for the U.S. military. He poses with Afghan commandos in front of a controlled explosion. He worked closely with American Jonathan Schmidt, in the dark tan shirt and a baseball cap (in the center). The translator was with Schmidt when he was killed in a 2012 firefight.  He is now seeking a U.S. visa.

Courtesy of Phil Schmidt

So is there any hope?     Will there be peace on earth?   It begins with us for certain and every individual.  The Holy Scriptures tell us some  disheartening news:

 “And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled, for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places.”   Matthew 24

“Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy.”   Proverbs 12:20

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.”
  Romans 12:17-19
Most Americans are not against the immigration of peaceful Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists or any other religion faith.   America is made up of many faces, beliefs, and origins.  As we are told, “A house divided against itself will not stand.”    We must stand for the rights of our American people and live with our neighbors who truly come to live with us in peace.  These…and these only  will be welcomed with open arms.
We, as adults, and leaders of every country must work together to assure that our future generations can live in peace as much as is possible.  We owe it to them.

Does the moccasin fit?

“You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view,  until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird  1960

Other quotes may be about walking in a man’s shoes or his moccasins.  Regardless, we do not understand why people say what they do or act a certain way until we have some understanding of where he is coming from or his experiences in his life’s story.

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John Robert Lewis and 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

I found this true recently when I heard that Representative  John Robert Lewis and others would boycott the swearing in of our new President of the United States.   Under our Rights as a nation, which I wrote about in my last blog, these people have every right to do so.  Peaceful protest is welcome in our nation…note the word is “PEACEFUL.”    I believe that it is in North Korea, as in other dictatorships, that the people are ordered to assemble to show approval of their leader.  Not doing so is definitely not an option.   No one is forced to attend the inauguration.

All of this led me to do some research on Representative Lewis of Georgia.  Where had he walked in his past?  Many may not agree with his political views or his decision to not be a part of a peaceful swearing in of a new President, elected by the people of the United States.   Nevertheless, where his  “shoes” have walked may help us understand him.   I point this out because we all need to see people more carefully from their viewpoint.

Here are some historical facts about  John Robert Lewis:

  •  Lewis was born in racially segregated  Troy, Alabama on February 21, 1940, and  was one of ten children.
  • The Lewis children were raised in a religious atmosphere and as he saw discrimination, his parents tried to keep him from becoming involved.
  • While listening to the radio, he heard  Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist minister, who  inspired him…even thinking that he may also be called to go into the Christian ministry.
  • Lewis was only a teenager when he heard about the bus boycott being led by King, Abernathy and members of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), as well as sit-in protests of restaurants where African Americans were not allowed or made to ride in the rear of the buses.
  • He was inspired to be a part of the protests, but first decided to get an education. He enrolled in  the American Baptist Seminary and at Fisk University in Nashville, whose student bodies were primarily  African American.
  • Lewis later joined the  demonstrations, knowing that he was heading into uncharted territory and danger.  The federal Civil Rights Act was not passed until four years later in 1964, but Lewis had already been jailed and beaten many times. He also suffered a fractured skull.

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr is joined by John Lewis and others.

  • August 28, 1963, March on Washington, 250,000 African Americans and white people staged a peaceful march for equal opportunities.   Lewis became director of  Voter Education Project (VEP). From 1970 through 1977, Lewis organized southern African American voters.  In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed Lewis to be director of US operations for ACTION, a federal agency for economic recovery programs at the community level.
  •   Later, Lewis became part of the Atlanta  City Council and was eventually elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

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  • His passion for  Civil Rights has led him to say,  “Do not give up, do not give out, and do not give in. We must hold on and we must not get lost in a sea of despair.”

(Taken from Encyclopedia of World Biography)

CONCLUSION:  (On the week before the swearing in of the new President of the United States…2017)

Of course, John Robert Lewis will not give up, in 2017, his life-long walk of protest and boycott.  It is where his shoes have walked and his “moccasins” fit comfortably there.  He has breathed dissent for all these decades. He would feel he had let down all those who walked with him in the past and the protesters of the future.

Sometimes, we must understand, people have difficulty  not living in the past because of what they have lived and suffered speaks so loudly.  The loudness of this experience, when facing the future, may drown out the very objective of those who marched…to judge ALL men and women “by their character”…thus bringing racial harmony. Even after  Americans of all races voted in twice the first African American President, racial divide and discontent is exacerbated by those who cannot move on.  I think I am beginning to understand what fuels the fires of distrust and opposition…it is one’s own experience.  Perhaps our new, incoming President should keep “moccasins” in mind before he tweets out his rebuttals to his opponents.


Smooth Transitions…not so fast.

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History is often not emphasized in some elementary and high schools around the country.  Unfortunately, those protesting on college campuses might want to go back in class and take a refresher class, mandated by the University.  It might be more productive and open some eyes that this election is final and transitions may or may not be smooth as hoped for.  It is all part of our democracy.  If we give ourselves a chance to recompose with new leadership, students may finish exams and actually get through their education.

president-abraham-lincolnHere are some transitions in history  that we can consider. john-quincy-adams-president

  • 1828   John Quincy Adams had to run away from a mob.  (“Ladies fainted, men were seen with bloody noses and such a scene of confusion took place as is impossible to describe.”)   Whole Story on the mob
  • 1860   States seceded from nation after Abraham Lincoln’s election
  • 1932    Hoover and Roosevelt called each other names.
  • 1952    Truman and Eisenhower were suspicious of tricks.
  • 1969    Lyndon Johnson said Nixon had “blood on his hands” concerning Vietnam.
  • 1980    Reagan felt sorry for Carter. “Though he profoundly disagreed with Carter on policy issues, Reagan harbored no mean-spiritedness toward Carter… It’s usually the loser that is full of sour grapes.” (Ed Meese)
 (Taken from The Atlantic Krishnadev Calamur.)”The presidential election of 1828 was a rematch between John Quincy Adams, the incumbent, and Andrew Jackson, who’d been deprived of the presidency in 1824 by the “corrupt bargain.” The campaign was nasty, even by today’s standards. Jackson’s marriage came under intense scrutiny, as did his ownership of slaves. When the election results were announced, Jackson had won, his supporters stormed the White House, and Adams had to escape through the back.The 1860 election led to what was perhaps the most significant presidential inauguration in American history: Seven Southern states states seceded between the 1860 election and Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration in March of the following year. James Buchanan, the man who Lincoln succeed, believed that while states didn’t have the right to break away, the Constitution did not empower the president to prevent them.

Nine years later, more drama: Andrew Johnson, the highly unpopular outgoing president, did not attend the inauguration because his successor, Ulysses S. Grant, had refused to sit next to him in the carriage. Johnson remained in the White House during the ceremony.

president-herbert-hooverPresident Franklin Delano RooseveltIn the 1932 election, President Hoover (left) called his challenger, Franklin D. Roosevelt, (Right) a “chameleon on plaid.” Roosevelt described the man he’d succeed as a “fat, timid capon.” Their first meeting at the White House was awkward, as was the period running up the inauguration by which time the U.S. economy was in such shambles that Hoover had become a reviled figure.  

president-harry-s-trumanTwenty years later, Harry S. Truman  prepared to hand over the reins of the presidency to Dwight Eisenhower.  The two men had once been allies, working together in the last days of World War II, but had fallen out over what Truman regarded as Eisenhower’s silence on Senator Joe McCarthy. “He has betrayed almost everything I thought he stood for,”Truman said. The transition itself didn’t go well, either. “Ike and his advisers are afraid of some kind of trick,” Truman wrote in his diary. “There are no tricks.”

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president-lyndon-b-johnsonIn 1969, President Lyndon B. Johnson,  who’d decided not to run for a second term of his own, gave way to Richard Nixon, the former vice president. In the dying days of the presidential campaign, Nixon nixed any prospect of LBJ reaching a peace in Vietnam, where the war had been waging for years. Nixon, LBJ had said, had “blood on his hands.” But he still cooperated with President-elect Nixon, believing the threat from the Soviet Union made a smooth transition necessary.
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president-jimmy-carterPresident Carter met with Ronald Reagan after the 1980 election that swept Reagan to the White House. A news article from the time describes Carter saying: “We have a very good working relationship.” Personal relations between the two men were cool, however. Carter acknowledged as much in an interview two years later. In his book The Unfinished Presidency: Jimmy Carter’s Journey Beyond the White House, Douglas Brinkley, the historian, describes  the sniping between the Carter and Reagan camps during the transition, as well as an alleged slight directed at Rosalynn Carter by Nancy Reagan. About the meeting between the two men, he wrote: “Reagan left the meeting impressed by Carter’s ‘graciousness’ and ‘mastery of detail.’”president-ronald-reagan

Descent and protest is part of our free speech in America.  Destruction and violence is a different story and should be prosecuted.  It is a difficult job for police and those in charge of keeping the peace…and as much as possible bringing about a peaceful transfer of power.  Setting the tone for this should be a priority for our Educational Institutions, out-going politicians and Americans in general.

 

 

Change is inevitable as it has always been in the past…smooth or not smooth is what we make it. 

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The Out-Going Family

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The In-Coming Family

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Hang in there.   This too shall pass and life will go on…even if students think theirs have come to an end. Now, you are smarter than that!

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The Fabric of America

My writing has taken me into a new series called, The Blue Ridge Mountains.  It is a collection of books that celebrate the life and work of the people who live in and around the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway of Virginia and North Carolina.  In researching my stories of the books, it has been my privilege to interview a number of people whose roots go back generations.  Many small, family grave plots can be seen in the hills. Some have a small flag or stone that reads that the person was a Civil War member of the Confederacy dating back into the 1800’s. They are proud of their history and do not think of their confederate flag as a symbol of racism or bigotry, but of the bravery of the men who fought against those who had invaded their land and homes.

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Hearing their stories has brought to mind how tied the people are to their mountains and their history. The “Yankee” troops that marched through these valleys and hills during the Civil War, marched on afterward to return to their northern states.

The people of the South pulled themselves up to endure rebuilding and hardship, becoming a strong part of “one nation under God”.   Slavery was no more.  The long road to equality began far after the ships arrived with its human cargo from Africa.

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As an retired educator, I know the emphasis that I put on history in the classroom, but it has almost become, in recent years, politically incorrect to talk about slavery…even the Emancipation Proclamation which freed them.   It appears that the climate of the country is to bury our heads about the past. Remembering it no more must be the road to the future. I think that this way of thinking is wrong for we should learn from our past.   In all fairness, the nation must have believed that they had passed racial tensions and elected an African American President twice to follow in the footsteps of Presidents like Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. When we see violence in our streets and children who can’t walk to school in our large cities without the fear of being shot, one wonders if we have learned anything from the strife of the past.

We have a fabric in America that is woven from many different threads and backgrounds. Most school children today probably do not know that there are descendants of Thomas Jefferson, the writer of the Declaration of Independence, who meet each year to celebrate who they are and to tell their stories. Many are highly educated because education was placed as a priority. (See video at end)

thomas-jefferson-3rd-pres-of-u-s-1801-1809Who exactly was Thomas Jefferson?  He certainly was a man of great contradictions. A graduate in law from the College of William and Mary, he at times defended slaves seeking freedom, but owned a large number of slaves himself.  He represented Virginia in the Continental Congress…drafting the law for religious freedom…served as a governor and became the U.S. Minister to France…served as Secretary of State under President George Washington.  He penned  “all men are created equal.” and had a strong belief in states rights.

Jefferson also became the 3rd President of the United States. There were many issues to deal with, as there are today, for this nation.  Jefferson’s were concerning trade and pirates. He doubled the size of the country with the Louisiana Purchase.  Not only was there controversy with slavery, but he began the removal of Indian tribes to the newly organized Louisiana Territory….but signed the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves.  (Yes, a difficult, but talented man to understand in the midst of a growing, new nation. )  Jefferson’s talents were in mathematics, surveying, horticulture and mechanics.

He was a Christian well versed in linguistics and spoke several languages.”Baptized in his youth, Jefferson became a governing member of his local Episcopal Church in Charlottesville, VA.  Influenced by Deist authors during his college years Jefferson abandoned “orthodox” Christianity.   In 1803 he asserted, ‘I am Christian, in the only sense in which Jesus wished any one to be.’ Jefferson later defined being a Christian as one who followed the simple teachings of Jesus.”

He was the founder of the University of Virginia after leaving public office.

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(Story behind picture of Lucy Cottrell was the daughter of Dorothea (Dolly) Cottrell, a house servant at Monticello who, after 1826, became the property of George Blaetterman, a professor at the University of Virginia. About 1850 Dolly and Lucy Cottrell went to Maysville, Kentucky, with the professor’s widow, who freed them five years later. In this daguerreotype Lucy Cottrell is holding Charlotte, daughter of Blaetterman’s foster son.)

Jefferson must have taken it literally that all of his hundreds of slaves belonged to him to do with as he liked.  After the death of his wife in 1782, he had a relationship with Sally Hemings and fathered at least one of her children. This may have been the beginning of those who now have Jefferson as part of their heritage.  Nevertheless, despite the events in his life that makes him controversial, he is consistently ranked as one of the countries “Greatest Presidents”.   Presidents are often making decisions to foster their own legacy.  History will play out whether the time in office points to greatness or the lack thereof.

Video.  Turn on sound and enlarge for best viewing.

 


Is American history being destroyed?

Recently, I have been interviewing the “old timers” of the Virginia mountains about their backgrounds and family history. Each person believes that his family history and heritage is important.  I have also been compelled to photograph the old barns in the mountains because once these beautiful structures have rotted and fallen to the ground, they will be no more.

Could this be what is happening to the overall history of America because one would not like to deal with the difficulties and sometimes ugly truth?

Let me explain why I am asking if American history is being destroyed:

  • After the terrible tragedy of murders of African Americans in their South Carolina church by a young white man draped in a flag of the Civil War, there has been a serious backlash of all things related to that period of history. The Old Timers say that the flag represents their southern roots. Others say it is “racist”.

Southern states, such as Texas,  have  gone so far as to remove elegant statues of the  leaders of our country  that have stood for years on places like college campuses. It appears that political correctness is blinding the eyes of our young and those teaching our young about history.  Schools in Texas have been renamed because they have previously had the school named after Civil War generals such as Stonewall Jackson and others.    To read the full account of this dismantling of American historical figures, including a President, I give you this link.   Removing History in Texas

After reading this, I still have some questions on whether we are doing ourselves or our future generations any favors by trying to rewrite or remove history. One may even call it “sanitizing” history, which may be totally impossible to do.

  • Let’s take a look at getting rid of things that are displeasing.  Should we rename the capital of the United States from Washington to something else?  

  •  After all, George Washington, our first President, was a slave holder all his life…in fact, over 300 slaves. He wrote in his 1799 will that they would be freed or returned to other slave holders after Martha Washington’s death.    Read more about Washington’s Mt. Vernon.

 

  • The state of Virginia, I have learned, had laws that we would think by today’s standards totally unjust to people’s freedom of choice.  Such a law was that a white person could not marry an African American. Other states also had this law.   See for yourself the legal battle of Mildred Jester and Richard Loving vs the State of VA 

 

  • History is sometimes hard to swallow, especially when it comes to those we hold in high esteem.  One of these people is Thomas Jefferson, a writer of the Declaration of Independence and owner of hundreds of slaves.  How many people would know about the fact that whole generations are now part of the United States population because Jefferson, a Virginian, fathered a number of children by a favored slave named Sally Hemings, who he also took with his family to London and Paris.

    Sally Hemings  and Thomas Jefferson

    Painting of Sally Hemings

Elizabeth Hemings was her mother, whose parents were an English Sea Captain and an enslaved African woman.   My, these men certainly did get around regardless of any laws…especially if slaves were considered property.

Now, the question….if we are dismantling history, should we tear down beautiful Monticello as we are doing with statues?   (See video at end of the descendants of Thomas Jefferson)

I think any reasonable person can see that history cannot be destroyed or removed just because it  sometimes goes against everything we believe to be right.  Let’s leave something for our children to understand how we rose above the problems regardless of their beginning.

Should we destroy  Mt. Rushmore because two of the men there were slave owners?  

Mountrushmore faces

On left, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson

 I read recently that ISIL (ISIS) has destroyed by 2015 over 24  monuments that were thousands of years old because they did not agree with them.  Places You’ll Never See because they are no more.

Even world history is important.   The Germans probably will never remove Auschwitz as sickening as it is to remember. It must not be forgotten.

Surely freedom loving Americans do not want to destroy their heritage..for good or for bad. The people of American saw the wrongs in their history…and abolished slavery by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.  Many of our laws have preserved the rights of individuals. More will most likely continue to be passed.

 Leave history  alone. It should not be replaced or removed.  Make it better, but leave it as a testament for what needs to be improved and what people fought for or against.   History is history.  People have  good and bad qualities. Many leaders are also gifted and talented. Pulling down their statues or calling names of those who want to preserve them in history will not change that reality.

Watch the following video that is most informative:

CBS Video of the Descendants of Thomas Jefferson 

After posting this blog, I had my reader, Stephen from England, send me a comment, which I would like share:

“We have the same issues here. Personally though we should move with the times, I don’t think we should re-write or erase history. Perhaps none have influenced the world as us British and no doubt in that there was lots of good and bad.

It’s hard to take the blame for the sins of the father. Such is human nature, there is little in the way of thanks for science, law, discovery, what might be labelled generically as Western Civisikstion. Though lots of blame for things such as conquest, war and the like.

Can anyone really judge either way for events before their own lifetime. Should I be grateful for the Romans for laws and demanding reparation for bring enslaved by them? Should I add the Danes, Vikings, French and even Irish to the list. It goes without saying that I have totally forgiven Germany for the events of the world wars. And those wars were far more bloody, more selfish and in no way as defensible as wrongs both our nations have committed much further back.  Whilst not reveling and glorying in the worse aspects of our past, we shouldn’t hide from them. They are part of our story just as they are parts of the story of those who suffered in those situations.

Recently over here an African student studying at Oxford has led a high profile campaign to have the statue of Sir Cecil Rhodes removed from a college in Oxford. This is on account of him colonizing much if Southern Africa. Of course today few would ever think of such a thing but I dint think we can judge him by modern standards. Interestingly this African student is said to be studying thanks to a bursary set up long ago by this same Cecil Rhodes.

Perhaps a good example of how no one being all bad and also someone being hypocritical in hating someone and yet being happy to profit from the more positive aspects of this man…. Almost like others might have done 100 years ago!”


The 19th Amendment …coming a long way!

VA Slims  You've come a long way baby“You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby” may have been an advertising hit, but we know now about the end results.  Those Virginia Slims looked cool, modern and gave women the ideas that they no longer had to have a life of drudgery, but a life of freedom.  No one talked about the cancer and suffering that would  come along with this new life.  No matter how misleading these words may be, there were other women who did come a long way, but it was a difficult road.

Women have fought for the rights to do whatever men can do for a very long time.  Most people if asked what the 19th Amendment is probably could not tell you.

The 19th Amendment (1920) to the Constitution of the United States provides men and women with equal voting rights. The amendment states that the right of citizens to vote “shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

police and women

Practicing civil disobedience to get attention to a cause or problem is nothing new.  The women who wanted equality to men in the political area by casting a vote began in the mid 19th century.  They marched, lobbied and stood where they were forbidden to change the Constitution of the United States of America. Theirs would be a radical change and some women even became militant, going as far as hunger strikes.The records of the National Archives and Records Administration reveal much of this struggle:

In July 1848 Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, NY, and launched the woman suffrage movement. Many of the attendees to the convention were also abolitionists whose goals included universal suffrage. In 1870 this goal was partially realized when the 15th amendment to the Constitution, granting black men the right to vote, was ratified.women vots

Little by little our Constitution and laws of our land have been changed to make freedom for all a realization.   Years ago no one would have thought there would ever be changes to our laws such as gays or transgenders being part of our military.  States are fast changing  rules that have been long-standing to include all people in restrooms and public facilities of their choosing.  Age, appropriateness or family choice may seem to be going out the window for many. These are highly controversial as every generation has had to experience. Not everything that is brought to the public’s attention by demonstration or law suits means that change will happen. It will mean that leadership will have to decide on what is the right thing. Remember, we choose our leaders. The people’s votes are the best thing.

We have seen by the votes of Americans that most are compassionate, believing that all people should have the chance to be anything they can be, whether it is the President of the U.S.A.or some other goal.   Gender or race should not stand in the way.  The credit for this modern day thought can be traced back to those, like the women suffragettes or those in the civil rights movement, who were unwilling to stand back and let things remain the same.  A prominent African American also took up the cause:

417px-Frederick_Douglass_portrait spoke out for women

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass, a former slave and leader of the abolition movement, was also an advocate for the right of women to vote.  He attended the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, and in an editorial published that year in The North Star, wrote, “. . . in respect to political rights, . . . there can be no reason in the world for denying to woman the elective franchise, . . .”

The rights and liberty of all people is a given in most thinking, but when one challenges whether we as Americans are giving serious thought to ethics and character of those wanting to serve as leaders to the masses, it becomes an unpopular stance.  Trustworthiness should be a major factor in decision making. Unfortunately it is difficult to detect.  One knows that their choice may be a correct one or it may turn out to not be, for political talk is cheap.

The marchers for Women’s rights were straight forward.  The put their high top shoes and petticoats out where all could see.  Carrying their signs, they knew that they would not be unnoticed. 1869 would turn out to be a big year for the leaders of the movement for women to vote. Susan B. Anthony and others organized the National Woman Suffrage Association and the following year the ratification of the 15th amendment petition was sent to the Senate and House  and they were granted the privilege of being heard on the floor of Congress.

susan b anthony

Susan B. Anthony

Many of the women who had been active in the suffrage movement in the 1860s and 1870s continued their involvement over 50 years later. Mary O. Stevens, secretary and press correspondent of the Association of Army Nurses of the Civil War was one such woman. In 1917 she asked the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to help the cause of woman suffrage

Today we hear strong statements made about the fact that nothing is getting done in Congress.  It is interesting to point out that when opposing viewpoints were dividing the Women’s Movement, they were actually able to rise up from their differences and to become one.

1912 women for voting

Collecting signatures for Women to Vote

This is how it happened according to our National Archives:    The ideological and strategic differences that grew among suffrage leaders during and immediately after the Civil War formally split the women’s movement into two rival associations. Stanton and Anthony, after accusing abolitionist and Republican supporters of emphasizing black civil rights at the expense of women’s rights, formed the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) in May of 1869. The American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA), founded 6 months later by Lucy Stone, Julia Ward Howe, and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, protested the confrontational tactics of the NWSA and tied itself closely to the Republican Party while concentrating solely on securing the vote for women state by state. In 1890 the two suffrage organizations merged into the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Stanton became its president, Anthony became its vice president, and Stone became chairman of the executive committee.In 1919, one year before women gained the right to vote with the adoption of the 19th amendment, the NAWSA reorganized into the League of Women Voters.   ( I would add here that I have a close friend who has been active in the League of Women Voters.  Thanks, Beth.)

Because states had to approve their own ratification, there were delays.  For instance: Early in 1919, the House of Representatives passed the 19th amendment by a vote of 304 to 90, and the Senate approved it 56 to 25. Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan were the first states to ratify it. Tennessee delayed in 1920, but finally reaffirmed its vote, delivering the 36th ratification for final adoption.  After the amendment became part of the law of the land, Maryland did not ratify until 1941, and  did not transmit the ratification document to the State Department until 1958.

Yes, it takes time for many to decide what is right.  It is even harder for Americans to get on the same page in their beliefs and commitment of conscience because we are such a diverse society.    Our modern day America is no different than the days it took our country to do what was right for women and minorities.     No matter how hard it is, look for the candidate that you feel will best represent you and you can trust with your future and the future of your family. Most of all, as we trust God who has calls us to “humble” ourselves and pray, He will “heal” our land…and our world.

Prayer:  “Oh God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”  The Book of Common Prayer 1979 p.815

Women in the 1800’s stood up and spoke their mind for themselves and those of us in their future.  They let nothing stand in their way. Voting is now one of our special rights because of the courage of others.  Let’s hope that this will be remembered in November. Every woman (and man) should take advantage of this privilege.

 

men opposed

In the free, modern world, there would be few to oppose the women’s right to vote.  To those men of the 1800’s,  “We’ve come a long way, baby!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Do political candidates tell the TRUTH?

2016 political candidates

Americans are voting across the nation for the candidates who will face each other in November 2016. At this time, it is down in number to a “precious few”. Most voters just want the candidate they support to tell the truth…and nothing but the truth. This is the case whether a person votes Democratic or Republican.  It is hard to tell who one can actually trust to be honest.Character, on both sides, seems to be out the window.  The spin on truth begins on almost any question asked. Hardly ever is the exact question answered.  It is then left up to the voter to decipher and analyze  the answer. Will the person really telling the truth, PLEASE STAND UP!   We’d like to know who you are.

Perhaps the most troubling has been the more recent comments made to millions of American viewers about Patricia Smith, whose son died in the Benghazi attack, that her statements of being lied to by the State Department and the President  were “wrong”. Life and death matters deserve the entire truth and not called a “Fog of War”.

 

The video below is an interview of Patricia Smith who has not  been told the truth by those government officials responsible for giving family members the comfort of reality even though the reality may be very difficult.  Real people, with real hurts and concerns, need to be respected and told straight-up the truth. If things went wrong, as they surely did in Benghazi, then the truth should be told, especially to the families.

Politicians are often so concerned about the next election that they brush aside all honor.  They are voted into office, often with a pledge to be “the most transparent in history” to those who elected them.  The people need to hold every person in office  to that pledge.

It is most surprising that the Americans can look so far past the character and moral values of those they elect, especially when that person or persons are holding some of the highest offices of the land.  Truthfulness may not be expedient, but it is all we have if we are going to trust those in charge of our military, our nuclear capabilities, our economic future and our security against terrorism.  At this point, people I talk to say, “It may come down to the lesser of two evils.”  How sad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


You’ve got to be kidding! Choosing our Destiny

Everyone agrees…the new low in electing a president of the United States is upon us in 2016.  What would George Washington or Abraham Lincoln think?  Thank God they are not around to see the decline of their office, The Presidency.  Many men have run for the office of the President of the United States. Some succeeded and others failed.  None…NONE…sunk so low in their speeches and their personal presentation to the American people as what we have seen in debates and rallies around the country.  Ronald Reagan gave a speech for Barry Goldwater in 1964. Goldwater did not win. However, the speech given by Ronald Reagan may be a genuine trophy compared to what we are exposed to by  politicians seeking this highest of all offices.

All anyone can say, after a dose of ridiculousness and insult to our  intelligence is  “You have got to be kidding!”   People I know have turned off the T.V. and refuse to listen.  We have put on more music and less gab. One person’s analysis of the latest debates was “I feel sick.”   When the political  writers can only talk about a speck on a candidate’s lip or the candidates can sink to speaking of the anatomy, it is time to turn to a true era of what choosing a candidate for President is all about.  Take the time to listen to the video below.  It is worth it.

VIDEO   (turn on sound)


Rising Above Rejections

Throughout history and in more modern history, there is a lesson of rising above rejection.   Let’s look at the meaning of rejection and how it affects our lives.

Rejection:  The noun rejection can refer to the actual act of rejecting something or to the feeling one has after being rejected. In other words, you might have feelings of rejection after experiencing the rejection of others.

When we are finding love in our lives, we may have experienced rejection when someone turned us down for a date…or even a marriage proposal.   Rejection is also felt when a person may ask for a divorce.  It could even mean when family members decide not to be part of the family unit.   These are all hard experiences.   Many people experience; feel terrible about it and then decide that life must go on and rise above it.

In history, we read about the lives of very famous people who have experienced rejection in the public arena and made amazing comebacks.   Here are a few to consider:

Abe Lincoln Rail SpliterAbraham Lincoln is one of our most famous Presidents.  His heart-aches, illnesses, and rejections should encourage anyone to keep trying.  This list is long, but worth reading:

  • 1832   Lost job   Elected company captain of Illinois militia in Black Hawk War
  • 1833   Failed in business
  •  1834   Elected to Illinois State Legislature
  • 1835 Sweetheart died
  • 1836 Had a nervous breakdown
  •  1842  A jealous man challenged him to a duel.  Abraham Lincoln traveled to Alton to meet James Shields in a duel. Friends of both opponents negotiated a truce, and the duel was averted.
  • Reelected to Illinois Legislature and received license to practice law
  • 1837  Led Whig delegation in moving Illinois state capital from Vandalia to Springfield.   He became law partner of John T. Stuart
  • 1838  Defeated for Speaker, but was nominated for Illinois House Speaker by Whig caucus   Re-elected to Illinois House (running first in his district)
    Served as Whig floor leader
  • 1839  Chosen presidential elector by first Whig convention and  admitted to practice law in U.S. Circuit Court
  • 1840  Argues first case before Illinois Supreme Court
    Re-elected to Illinois state legislature
  • 1842  Admitted to practice law in U.S. District Court
  • 1843 Defeated for nomination for Congress
  • 1844  Established own law practice with William H. Herndon as junior partner
  • 1846  Elected to Congress
  • 1848  Lost nomination  (Chose not to run for Congress, abiding by rule of rotation among Whigs.)
  • 1849  Rejected for Land Officer    Admitted to practice law in U.S. Supreme Court
    Declined appointment as secretary and then as governor of Oregon Territory
  • 1854  Defeated for U.S. Senate
  • 1856  Defeated for nomination for Vice President
  • 1858  Again defeated for U.S. Senate
  • 1860  ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A few other modern-day Presidents had their setbacks before winning the Presidency.

-Reagan_on_horsebackFormer California Gov. Ronald Reagan ran for the 1976 Republican presidential nomination. Incumbent President Gerald Ford beat him in the crucial New Hampshire and Florida primaries. Though Reagan was able to win some of the later contests that year, Ford edged him out at the convention.

 

 

 

 

Bill-Clinton-cigar-AP-by John GapsIII

Photo by John Gaps III

In his first race for office, Bill Clinton narrowly lost to incumbent Republican House member John Paul Hammerschmidt of Arkansas. He later became attorney general and then governor.  But he lost his first gubernatorial reelection race in 1980.

 

 

 

George W. Bush also entered political life by challenging an incumbent House member. In 1978, he ran against Texas Democrat Kent Hance, who mocked the Yale graduate as a clueless preppy from Connecticut. Hance won.

  • P20914-13.jpg

Photo by Eric Draper, Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library

  • Barack Obama

    Photo credit: AP Photo/Manuel Balce CenetaIn 2000

  • Barack Obama ran in an Illinois Democratic primary against Representative Bobby Rush. Like George W. Bush, he found that an Ivy League education was not necessarily an advantage. Representative Rush exploited Obama’s Harvard law degree to suggest that he was out of touch with the district. Rush smashed him by a two-to-one margin.

 

 

To all aspiring writers, take hope from some of the best and most successful.

Rejection Letters from publishers:

JK Rowlings got 12 rejections before making a billion dollars on Harry Potter.

Dr. Seuss’s rejection said “Too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling.”

William Golding  The Lord of the Flies

William Golding wrote The Lord of the Flies, selling 15 million copies.  His rejection letter said, “An absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull”

(Credit about these 3 authors from a young writer, Christian Mihai, who is following my novel, The Seeds.  Thanks, Christian)

As all can see, perseverance is always the best policy if we believe we have something to give to this world.  I write because I enjoy it and it’s challenging.   I may never have a great book published that the world will remember or make a fortune.  That is not my goal, but joy in what I do is worth all the effort.  In fact, my mind is completely absorbed, when I am writing, from the disappointments that could bring me down.

Rising above your rejections, whatever they may be, will bring renewed life and hope into your world.   Never give up!


The World at a Cross Roads…a Historic Speech or Prophetic?

Some are calling the speech made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a historic call to the freedom-loving countries of the world to wake up and see that there is a cross roads facing the world today.

Mr.Netanyahu was warmly welcomed with many standing ovations during his speech to the joint session of Congress.  This, being in spite of the fact, the President and Vice President of the United States refused to attend the speech…as did others within the democratic party. This fact alone may have looked to the Iranians as a “spit in the eye”to the Israeli Prime Minister. Most believe that the President of the United States does not have to agree with all that another leader thinks is the best route to peace. However,would it not be appropriate to the  dignity of the office of the President to show respect to another democratic leader and listen to his views? The American people also require an open forum for knowledge…and who is better to know about the Middle East than those who live there?

All this was happening as the Secretary of State was in Switzerland negotiating with the Iranians, who said a loud “NO” to time limits on their move to have nuclear capabilities. It is hoped that the Iranian people also saw the enthusiasm of the listening audience to Mr. Netanyahu’s speech…unless blocked by the government.

Fact by fact, Mr. Netenyahu laid out the reasons that the particular deal being worked on by this administration with Iran will never work. Israel is keenly aware that Iran has plans to “wipe them off the face of the earth” and the “Great Satan”, as the United States is called, would be next.

Below is this “historic” speech…or perhaps prophetic. It is shown in its entirety. (If not interested in the people arriving…slide forward to the speech.)