N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

Making a Difference

TOUGH WORDS

A close friend of mine sent me the writing below and ask that I pass it on. Just before we celebrate the 4th of July, our great Independence Day, I am happy to do so. They are definitely “tough words.”

As we look back at what it cost to free ourselves, as a nation, from England, in order to gain independence….our American flag stands for all the freedoms we enjoy and all that it has cost since then. This includes the freedom of speech…for those who speak out for or against a certain action.

The following are not my words, but I believe they speak the feelings of many Americans who love their sports and the players, but not some of their actions or attitudes. You be the judge.

“TO THE NFL (NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE) and ITS PLAYERS:

If I have brain cancer, I don’t ask my dentist what I should do. If my car has a problem, I don’t seek help from a plumber! Why do you think the public cares what a football player thinks about politics? If we want to know about football, then depending on the information we seek, we might consult with you, but even a quarterback doesn’t seek advice on playing his position from a defensive tackle!

You seem to have this over inflated view of yourselves, thinking because you enjoy working on such a large scale stage, that somehow your opinion about everything matters. The NFL realizes the importance of its “image” so it has rules that specify the clothes and insignia you can wear, the language you use, and your “antics” after a touchdown or other “great” play. But somehow you and your employer don’t seem to care that you disgrace the entire nation and its 320 million people in the eyes of the world by publicly disrespecting this country, its flag, and its anthem! The taxpaying citizens of this country subsidize your plush work environments, yet you choose to use those venues to openly offend those very citizens.

Do you even understand what the flag of this country means to so many of its citizens before you choose to “take a knee” in protest of this “country” during our national anthem?

You may think because you are paid so much that your job is tough, but you are clueless when it comes to tough.  Let me show you those whose job is really tough.

You are spoiled babies who stand around and have staff squirt GatorAid in your mouths, sit in front of misting cooling fans when it’s warm, and sit on heated benches when it’s cold. That’s not “tough” that’s pampered.

You think that you deserve to be paid excessively high salaries, because you play a “dangerous” game where you can incur career ending injuries. Let me show you career ending injuries!

You think you that you deserve immediate medical attention and the best medical facilities and doctors when injured. Let me show you what it’s like for those who really need and deserve medical attention.

You think you have the right to disrespect the flag of the United States, the one our veterans fought for, risked limbs and mental stability to defend, in many cases died for. Let me show you what our flag means to them, their families, and their friends.

You believe you are our heroes, when in reality you are nothing but overpaid entertainers, who exist solely for our enjoyment! Well, your current antics are neither entertaining nor enjoyable, but rather a disgrace to this country, its citizens, all our veterans and their families, and the sacrifices they have made to ensure this country remains free. You choose to openly disgrace this country in the eyes of the rest of the world, yet with all your money, still choose to live here rather than in any other country. People with even the slightest amount of “Class” will stand and respect our flag. Where does that put you? You want to see heroes… here are this countries heroes!

You can protest policies, the current government, or anything else you choose, that is your right. But when you “protest” our flag and anthem, you are insulting the nation we all live in and love, and all those who have served, been injured, or died to keep it free. There is nothing you can do or say that can make your actions anything more than the arrogance of classless people, who care about themselves more than our country or the freedoms for which our veterans and their families have sacrificed so much, to ensure you have the “right” to speak freely. Our country is far from perfect, but if you can point to any other country where your freedom and opportunities are better than they are here, then you just might want to go there and show respect for their flag!”

VIDEO “GOD BLESS AMERICA” Turn up sound


SAVING THE CHILDREN

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

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

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

woman in film about Winton's life

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

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

Nicholas-Wintonin-Prague-012-300x180

Young Nicholas Winton with a rescued child.

children in Winton's scrapbook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


SPEAKING OUT

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

Martin Luther posts the 99 thesis

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


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

St James the less in La Crosse WI

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

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

Priest at St. James the Less in La Cross WI

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 


“ASK NOT…” A quote Worth Remembering to bring LIGHT to the World

A famous quote by one of our former Presidents, John F. Kennedy:

“Ask Not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” 

 There is so much push-back about who is doing what to contain this terrible virus. No one ever seems to be doing enough.  There are comments directed at everyone in government from the President, State Governors to the City Mayors.  Yes, each of these should shoulder responsibility for the welfare of the general public. They were elected to do just that.  Governments around the world also shoulder responsibility to a world that is totally connected.

Yet, the WHEN something was done or not done may not help at this point.  It is what are WE doing now to protect ourselves, our family, friends, neighbors and anyone who might come to our yard or door?

WE must think further than someone doing something FOR US…to OUR DOING something or anything that WE can do.

So what is it that we should be doing?  I thought maybe I would try to list some things that is beyond what we all know about “washing hands, coughing or sneezing the right way and keeping our distances.”   Perhaps these are some things to think about that WE CAN DO.  Here are several suggestions:

  • Make phone calls to those we know are sitting at home alone.  These will be greatly appreciated and break the monotony of having no one to share thoughts with.  It also is emotionally and mentally beneficial to send picture emails of family, children, pets etc. that will brighten their day.  My roses are blooming in my yard and my 97 year old Uncle, in North Carolina, enjoys seeing what’s new at our house in Florida.
  • Gather up some colored pencils, drawing paper, coloring books, or anything you might have a supply of and leave it at your neighbor’s doorstep to help with home-schooling their children during this time.
  • Make a call to a medical facility, doctor’s office, police station, firemen, or other first responders to THANK THEM for all they are doing.  They should know that people care.  Each time we hear a siren, we know the medics are on duty…caring for those who may have an infection, putting their own lives at risk.

 

  • Light a  candle in your window to remind yourself to pray for those you know or don’t know around the world.

 

  • Last, but not least…don’t forget to mail off your contribution of money to help support the on-going financial needs of your church or charitable organization.  The local food banks and Salvation Army are ready to help those in need or homeless.

Food distribution center/ Local Food Bank

Remember that you may be only one…but you are ONE.  One person makes up many. All things that you can share to benefit others and to lighten the burdens will bring people together in the name of your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  During this hard time, YOU can make a difference and be the LIGHT TO THE WORLD… in whatever way you want to let your LIGHT SHINE to others.

Blessings from Bill and Nancy Boyer at Boyer Writes

Turn up your sound:

 

 

 


THE CURE….WAITING TO BE FOUND

As our great scientist, medical personnel and researchers fight each day to find a vaccine and cure for the Coronavirus, I would like to share with you the hopefulness that others had in their discoveries that shaped the future:

In part, From my book, Rain on the Roof:

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A BETTER WAY

Some ways are better than others. Man has observed in nature what God intended through His design, but it has taken people thousands of years to see what can be useful to everyday life. He wondered how to anchor things, lift objects or make things secure. We have seen it also in medical breakthroughs.  Through experimentation, people found a better way than what had been used previously or never known before. 

A very common, modern example is the scientist who was quite observant as he walked his dog. The label now given to his invention is Velcro:

“ Swiss electrical engineer George de Mesral invented his first touch fastener when, in 1941, he went for a walk in the woods and wondered why burdock seeds clung to his coat and dog. He discovered it could be turned into something useful.  He patented it in 1955, and subsequently refined and developed its practical manufacture until its commercial introduction in the late 1950s.

The fastener consisted of two components: a lineal fabric strip with tiny hooks that could “mate” with another fabric strip with smaller loops, attaching temporarily, until pulled apart. Initially made of cotton, which proved impractical, the fastener was eventually constructed with nylon and polyester. 

De Mestral gave the name Velcro, a portmanteau of the French words velour (“velvet”) and crochet (“hook”), to his invention as well as his company, which continues to manufacture and market the fastening system.” 15

 

After my husband’s knee surgery, his instructions were to keep ice on his leg. The ice packs neatly slid into a material packet secured with Velcro. It was easy and secure.Do you spend time observing nature? So often our lives are filled with the hurry and bustle of everyday life that we rarely observe what is outside for us to gain knowledge that God would have us know. He has set his world in motion. It is often a mystery that has to be unraveled. Ordinary people have been the creator of some special things.

Thomas Edison’s invention of the light bulb

Thomas Edison made this statement: “I never had an idea in my life. My so-called inventions already existed in the environment – I took them out. I’ve created nothing. Nobody does. There’s no such thing as an idea being brain-born; everything comes from the outside.”

He seemed to mean “outside” to be nature. Among many things, Edison was the inventor of the light bulb, phonograph, motion picture and the electrographic voter recorder even he was a school dropout.

” Edison continued working into his 80s. His rise from poor, uneducated railroad worker to one of the most famous men in the world made him a folk hero. More than any other individual, he was credited with building the framework for modern technology and society in the age of electricity. ” 16   

(Some may not know that Edison considered his profound deafness a blessing, because he could concentrate without interruption. He said he not only read books, but the whole library as he researched.  How amazed and overjoyed he would be to know about our new inventions of hearing aids.)

Sometimes things just float around in our heads that may be inventive or creative ideas. The poet, William Blake who lived from 1757-1827 made this statement: “What is now proved was once only imagined.” All things start with an idea…even with God, who wanted to create the Universe including earth with all its beauty. The animals, fish in the sea, the forests and man…then woman. He even said that it was good…”

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How many children would have been crippled for life without the great Jonas Salk who brought the world the great vaccine for polio?

We pray for all those working tirelessly in their labs today.  God bless their efforts and give them Your wisdom and knowledge. Amen

HOLY SCRIPTURES: “… and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft…” Exodus 35:31-33

PRAYER: Give to those who search for a better way a peaceful heart, mind and soul., knowing they are working for the good of all mankind. I pray in the Holy Name of Your Son, Jesus.

Peaceful background music for your day by Greg Howlett.  Turn up the sound.

 

Rain on the Roof link


FORTITUDE and LIVING LIFE

Recently I read a blog written by Stephen RM.  It spoke to me and I felt that I’d like to add some of my own notes to the specific suggestions made by him. I have entitled my part of this blog as FORTITUDE AND LIVING LIFE.   It is my hope that you enjoy this and give it some serious thought:

The Oxford Dictionary defines FORTITUDE as follows:

Fortitude refers to strength in the face of adversity or difficulty. … People who have fortitude are described in an admiring way for their courage and this word comes from the Latin word fortitudo, meaning “strength.”

There are some things in life that give us the ability to press on and enjoy life. Yes, it does have to do with the heart because how we think about life is our heart-felt desire to enjoy it.

Here are a few things that are suggested as things to do before getting to the elderly age of ____. You notice that no particular age was put in this space! Age is only a number since your birth. Pay little attention to it or what other say about being of a certain age because people have always put restraints on age….such as: “You are too young!” or “You do that at your age?” etc etc. Therefore, the advise of this writing is to think about these things before you get too much older to experience some of them.

Suggestions for a happy and fulfilled life:

1. Travel the World Together

Traveling with someone you love can bring you closer together and makes for scrapbook-worthy memories. (The nice thing about scrapbooks is that you get to enjoy these experiences over and over without whipping out your phone and trying to find the pictures you took somewhere! nwb)

2. Travel the World Alone

But hey, if you don’t have anyone to travel with right now – that’s okay too! Traveling alone is a completely different and rewarding experience that you should definitely do at least once. ( I knew a lady who was definitely a senior who traveled alone and she would find where the young people were bunking on a ship and mix and mingle. Good for her! nwb)

3. Be Mentored by Someone

Any successful person will tell you that they wouldn’t have gotten to where they are now if not for the help of a mentor. Take the time to find the right one for you and you’ll reap lifetime benefits. (A mentor might even be a teacher of something you have not tried. I had never tried throwing clay for ceramics, but my mentor taught me how. Now, I am proud of the little dishes that I use for myself or guests. nwb)

4. Mentor Someone

Pay it forward!

5. Leave a Legacy

 Leave something behind that will outlive you – a non-profit organization, a movement, a sustainable business – your imagination is the limit!

6. Go Skinny Dipping

I’m not certain I would want to find a nude beach in America, but If you visit Japan, they have wonderful springs…No swimsuits and separate areas for male and female…who bring their children. An eye-opening experience for someone from a different culture. nwb

7. Give Back

Living for something beyond ourselves gives us a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Bless others with your blessings!

8. Start Journaling

Write down your thoughts now, reread them years later, and you’ll be amazed to see how far you’ve come. ( You have a story…tell it! It will be a joy to those you love to read after you are heaven-bound. nwb)

9. Fall in Love

Seriously, anyone should definitely fall in love at least once. Even if doesn’t end in happy ever after. (Our first love will probably not be the love of our life. I personally found my TRUE LOVE after I was a single parent with three children. After 38+ years of marriage, I am eternally grateful! nwb)

10. Attend a Religious Event (that’s not your own)

Whether you’re religious or not, try exploring other faith denominations and get different perspectives on spirituality. (Not everyone will be comfortable in a place of worship outside of their belief. It is important to look at what you believe in your worship of God and find joy in true faith. It will be your comfort on your death-bed. However, to be aware of what others believe is important to our understanding of life. As a Christian, I have had opportunity to travel and learn from the Buddhist students that I taught. It was a good experience, but in the long-run, it strengthened my love for Christ, my Savior. nwb)

11. Build Your Expertise

Be an expert at something. If someone mentions your name, there should be a skill that they can always count on you for. (I trained to be a teacher. After retirement, I became a writer and now this is more a part of my identity than that of an educator. Interestingly, as I write, I still believe that some things written are a form of teaching. nwb)

12. Live or Travel in a Developing Country

If you’re from the western part of the world, the best way to understand cultures different from your own is to immerse yourself in it. Live in a handful of developing nations and see their world through their eyes. ( How true this suggestion is! Nothing can top my experience of traveling in Mongolia, Ukraine, and Guatemala. All had different cultures and languages. At first it is somewhat intimidating, but in hind-sight, an excellent experience. nwb)

13. Be Happy Alone

Learn to love yourself and find happiness in your own company. It’s one of the most freeing things you could do for yourself. (How very true!! nwb)

14. Commit to Healthy Habits

Start building healthy habits as early as you can and you’ll find more things to do as you grow older.

15. Become a Multi-Hyphenated Individual

With our fast-evolving world today, it’s absolutely possible to have more than one career. Be the doctor-lawyer, or award-winning author-speaker you always wanted to be. (Taking on another interest does not always mean a change of career, especially if it requires great expense or time-consuming study. It is a broadening of interests that keep us alive and young in thought and mind. Try, as I did, to go to an art class with very young students. I could have been their parent, but I was accepted by them and learned that having a nose ring wasn’t the end of the world! nwb)    Thanks Stephen RM 

Be happy in your heart because it brings about great FORTITUDE as life moves on.

 

VIDEO OF BACKGROUND MUSIC FOR YOUR DAY:


Wake Up, Young People…the Future is YOURS!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Young Adults

Intelligent, young adults whose future is theirs!

 

Examples of Socialism that became Communism…the Results: 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

What About Reform?

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

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


Rain on the Roof… New Devotional Book by N.W. Boyer

 

We are happy to announce the publication of a fourth in a series of Christian devotional books.

RAIN ON THE ROOF is a perfect devotional for anyone who would like to increase in their faith or looking to find faith.

The thirty one days of readings include historical and real life stories, original photographs by N. Boyer, Holy Scriptures and selections from The Book of Common Prayer.

You may find this book available at the following locations:   (CLICK to view)

BOOKS BY BOYER ONLINE SITE   www.booksbyboyer.

AMAZON


No Greater Love

Today in the U.S. we are celebrating Valentine’s Day.  It is a day to give our special someone a note of love, flowers, or a delicious box of candy.  It may be overrated, but it helps the bottom line at the stores and it is always appreciated by the recipient of such thoughtfulness. Valentines-Day

Today, I want to write about the greatest of all loves.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”

  John 15:13

When Christ laid down His life in payment for all sins, He paid the greatest price possible.  It is in His sacrifice that we know the GREATEST OF ALL LOVES. 

There are those who decide to give their lives to sharing this love with others. In some cases, it costs them their own lives.   We have all heard of martyrs that lived long ago and are often described as saints today.  Did you know that there are modern-day martyrs who have risked everything to bring God’s love and compassion to people around the world?

The man I will write about is an American, whose story is found below:

LIFE OF BROTHER JAMES:
Brother James was born into a family of farmers near Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA, on September 21, 1944. He attended grammar school and then went to Pacelli High School in the city of Stevens Point, where he met the Brothers for the first time. In September 1959 he entered the Juniorate in the state of Missouri. After three years there, he was admitted into the Postulancy program and then entered the Novitiate in August 1962, when he took the habit of the Brothers and the religious name Brother Leo William. Later, like so many other Brothers, he went back to using his baptismal name.

He was assigned to Cretin High School in Saint Paul, Minnesota for three years. There, besides teaching classes in Spanish, English, and Religion, he supervised school maintenance and he coached American-style football.
In August 1960 after making perpetual vows, he was sent to Bluefields, Nicaragua. He taught there until he was assigned to Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua in 1974, where he was the Director. Under his leadership, the school population grew from 300 to 800 students. Brother Santiago also accepted the task of supervising the construction of ten new rural schools. His religious superiors ordered him to leave Nicaragua in July 1979 during the time of the Sandinista revolution. It was feared that since he worked for the Somoza government he might be at risk. For that reason, he returned to the United States and again taught at Cretin High School in the fall of 1979 and he participated in the Sangre de Cristo renewal program in the state of New Mexico in 1980.
He was sent again to mission territory, this time to Guatemala, in January 1981. He taught at the secondary school in Huehuetenango and he also worked at the Indian Center, where young indigenous Mayans from rural areas studied and trained in agriculture.
In the afternoon of February 13, 1982, he was shot several times by three hooded men and he died instantly. Attempts to identify the assassins were unsuccessful. After funeral rites in Guatemala and in Saint Paul, Minnesota, he was buried in the parish cemetery in Polonia, Wisconsin.
His character and personality:
His own writings and other declarations pertaining to him, before and after his death, show us his character and personality. Before leaving Pacelli High School to go to the Juniorate, the Brothers that knew him wrote that “he was very generous, pious, honest, docile and that he was very well-ordered and tidy; he did not smoke, he received the sacraments weekly, he got along well with his classmates; he devoted two and one-half hours per week to house chores.”
A Brother who was his Director in the Scholasticate and at Cretin High School, his first community, recalled him as “an intelligent person, although not an intellectual, jovial, easy to relate with, preferring physical work to sports, with a deep faith and love for his religious vocation, but with a certain tendency to come late to class and community prayers.”
His Call to Missions:
While he was still in Nicaragua, his old desire to work on the missions was obvious. From Nicaragua, he wrote about the satisfaction he felt while working for the very poor. Responding to the question if he felt afraid about the shootings that were taking place around him, he wrote: “Are you kidding? I never thought I could pray with such fervor when I go to bed.” In one of his last letters, before he died, he showed that he was aware of the situation in Guatemala and the possible personal consequences for him. He wrote in January 1982: “I am personally weary of violence, but I continue to feel a strong commitment to the suffering poor of Central America. … the Church is being persecuted because of its option for the poor. Aware of numerous dangers and difficulties, we continue working with faith and hope and trusting in God’s Providence.” He went on to write: “I have been a Brother of the Christian Schools for nearly 20 years now, and commitment to my vocation grows steadily stronger in my work in Central America. I pray to God for the grace and strength to serve Him faithfully among the poor and oppressed in Guatemala. I place my life in His Providence. I place my trust in Him.” This Brother of the Christian Schools was martyred on February 13, 1982, at the age of 37, in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. This was the day before Valentine’s Day.

MILLER-BEATIFY-ARTIST Brother James Icon

Brother James Icon was painted by Artist Nick Markell of Minnesota. He painted the Brother in overalls with a gold nimbus encircling his head and a lamb in his arms. He spent a month painting with acrylic wash and gold leaf in his apartment while listening to Gregorian chant.

 

Video:  Turn up sound (unmute if needed)


Frozen Legs Miracle…A Veteran’s Story

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

THANK YOU for your service to our country!

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

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

SH74B3~1

Sharon receives Bronze Star

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

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

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

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

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

They are:

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

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

 

 

Video below:  God Bless the USA


Dog Heros of 9-11

The heroes of 9-11 were many.  They were not only first responders, people with amazing courage and compassion for fellow citizens, but the many dogs that worked tirelessly at Ground Zero.

A friend sent me this article written by

“Search and rescue dogs are some of the unsung heroes of 9/11… However, these determined animals were indispensable to the rescue efforts and saved countless lives. What’s more, they brought back a sliver of hope to a nation under attack and reeling from the horror. One Twitter user gave canines the attention they deserve in an incredibly profound and viral thread that once and for all proves that dogs really are our best friends”rescue dog of 9-11 Riley (2)

 

9-1 dog Bretagne

“Some of these heroic dogs were awarded The Dickin Medal which, according to BBC Radio 4, is the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross. One of the dogs who received the medal was the aforementioned New York Police Department dog Appollo; the award was meant to recognize the dutiful efforts made by all SAR dogs during 9/11…

Two guide dogs were also awarded the medal for leading their owners more than 70 floors out of the World Trade Center immediately after the attacks in New York. Since 1943, over 60 animals have been awarded The Dickin Medal, including pigeons, horses and a cat (not just dogs). They were recognized for their services which led to people’s lives being saved during wartime.”

Boyer Writes gives honor to all the Hero Dogs of 9-11

The video below is the story of Michael Hingson, a survivor on 9-11 and his dog, Roselle. (Turn up sound)

 


Hurricanes…the Victims and Help

As of today, Hurricane Dorian has stayed almost stationary, only moving slightly, while pounding the people, buildings and all on the Bahamas for 45 straight hours. It may continue to move up the Eastern coastal areas of the United States with great concerns for many.  We are totally grateful to the hundreds of workers with their fully equipped trucks waiting to restore power, as needed. These have come from as far as Canada to Daytona Beach, Florida. The Red Cross and other first responders are coming to help.

Keep all those who are suffering today in your prayers while we, in the inland areas, move around mostly in comfort and safety. The bands of rain continue to blast as the hurricane passes.

It is not only the devastation of any hurricane for the humans in the path, but also the animals.  One woman in the Bahamas decided to do something about this. This short video tells of her compassion.

Click for short video. Turn on sound

 Compassion for Animals

If you are one of our readers and not in the U.S. and would like to see what has been happening in the Bahamas, here is another link.

The Tragedy of the Bahamas

 

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An Alternative to Stopping Crime

Walmart has had some really bad things happen recently, but they have one customer who is fearless, a kind of John Wayne, and good all-around guy.  I know he is my favorite cowboy.

I thought Steve Harman, who is also one of our favorites on any TV program, would like this if I passed it along…so here goes.  Have a great week.

From Boyer Writes

Click this link:  https://www.youtube.com/embed/dsq_jZiB1_U


Our Difficult World

Everywhere we look, there is difficulty in the world. People hardly agree on anything.  If we say what we truly think about someone or any particular subject, we are in jeopardy of being called some name we know we are not.

Many people I know have decided to stop watching the news or talk shows.  One person told me, “I just listen to music or read a book instead.”   If they feel that way for themselves, they certainly feel that their children don’t need a daily dose of what our world is becoming. How can one explain to a child why people are fist fighting at Disney…or why people are rioting in the streets around the world?

Where is love in all this?   Maybe one person that so many generations grew up with had the answer to a truly difficult world. His name is Mr. Rogers.

He was a Christian and a Presbyterian minister who knew God’s love was the way and the only way to reach beyond prejudice, politics or wars among ourselves.

He certainly understood Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan.  It was his way in trying to help children understand that we need to be kind to one another no matter whether we like a person or don’t like their actions.  Kindness was at the top of all his program messages.   The only way to get that back in our world is to find it within our own hearts and to teach it to our children by our examples.

 

Mr. Rogers wrote all his songs. One of his special songs that he sang was It’s You I Like.  The words were special because he thought they were important for a child to understand about his or herself.

Written by Fred Rogers | © 1971, Fred M. Rogers


It’s you I like,
It’s not the things you wear,
It’s not the way you do your hair
But it’s you I like
The way you are right now,
The way down deep inside you
Not the things that hide you,
Not your toys
They’re just beside you.

But it’s you I like
Every part of you.
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings
Whether old or new.
I hope that you’ll remember
Even when you’re feeling blue
That it’s you I like,
It’s you yourself
It’s you.
It’s you I like.

A movie has been made where Tom Hanks plays the part of Mr. Rogers.  It will be a re-introduction to children and the world to a man and his message.  Mr. Rogers probably never gave too much thought that his words could last long after his life.  What a sermon to the world!

Whether you agree with everything said in this video below or not, it is definitely worth a watch.  Enjoy….especially the children.  They are beautiful in every way….and the future of our world. 

 

 

 

 


Memorial Day Words by Gen. MacArthur…Relevant Today

In 2015, I posted this tribute to those who serve. I think it is good for another year and maybe many more to come….for we must not forget.

On this MEMORIAL DAY,  Boyer Writes honors all those who responded to the call of duty to country and all freedom stands for….especially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

After viewing the slide presentation, you may want to look at the different wars throughout history where and when the United States has sent troops to fight.   We are just one country.  Multiply this country and all wars of all countries in the world ….to make us one big, warring globe.

There are reasons, of course.  Some fight for their independence.  Others fight to maintain their freedom.  Many fight to rule over the weak, sick, and impoverished.

There are those who fight and murder in the name of God…religious wars.   Read your history and you will not be surprised for it happened when Muslims fought Christians; Christians fought in the Crusades; nations have tried to rid the world of Jews.

The Holy Scriptures tell us that we will call for “Peace…Peace….but there is no peace…”    Those who make predictions believe that before the coming of Christ to the earth a second time, there will be the greatest of all wars….in the Middle East.   This is not something for optimism.   Nevertheless, we are also told to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem”….and the world.   We cannot control governments, groups, or individuals who hate and destroy…but pray we can do.

General MacArthur, the great general of World War II made this statement about war.  

” I pray that an Omnipotent Providence will summon all persons of goodwill to the realization of the utter futility of war. We have known the bitterness of defeat, the exultation of triumph, and from both we have learned that there is no turning back. We must preserve in peace, what we won in war. The destructiveness of the war potential, through progressive advances in scientific discovery has in fact now reached a point that revises the traditional concept of war. War, the most malignant scourge, and greatest sin of mankind, can no longer be controlled, only ABOLISHED! We are in a new era. If we do not devise some greater and more equitable means of settling disputes between nations, Armageddon will be at our door…” 

 

 

A MEMORIAL DAY TRIBUTE   

( Click on arrow; turn on sound and enlarge picture for best viewing.  Music by St. Olaf Choir) Warning: disturbing scenes of war wounded)

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 Choose and click on a war listed to read information.

unknown soldier


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)


The Bond of Love

The love we develop for the animals of the world is a bond that is hard to explain.  It is one so strong that even after the animal is no longer alive, the love is still there and the memories.   We know it is true with our beautiful Golden Retrievers that we have had the joy of knowing and loving during their life span.

Gracie in kitchen Howey

Our Gracie Girl

They are loyal and ready to do the job they were trained to do.

9-11 Bretagne and Denise Corliss

Bretagne, the last known 9/11 rescue dog, is pictured with owner Denise Corliss

 

Do the animals feel the same bond?   It is hard to say, but we hear of those who have traveled miles to get back to a home where they once lived and were loved.  They have the special senses that God has given them…smell, sight and a keenness far beyond human abilities.  Their survival skills are many, but just as human infants, they often must rely on care and intervention to make it to adulthood.

Our military often owe their lives to the bravery of the dogs who have fought alongside them.

soldier and military dogdogsoldier1

Recently I watched a story of love and care by one of a Marine stationed in Syria. His story and bond to a little dog caught up in the brutalities of war is worth sharing in this blog.

Video:  Turn up sound

 


Acts of Kindness

President George HW Bush called for a “kinder nation” and from time to time we will see evidence that there are many kind people in the world.  The shame is that most stories we see on TV or on the internet are of the violent and outrageous.

I began looking for some actual videos of kindness…or pictures to prove that it does not matter to what nationality or race one belongs…KINDNESS is kindness…and it crosses all boundaries.

I read about a woman on an airline who had a crying 2-year-old and a 5-year-old.  A woman offered to help and hold a child throughout the flight.  The mother was so grateful.

woman holds boy for mother on airline

A woman holds a little boy for a mother flying with 2 tired children.

I understand this well in that I had three children on an airline from California to Florida.  My daughter, who was a baby, cried off and on the entire trip. My sons tried to ignore it and curled up on the floor to sleep. That, in itself, was a no-no.  I’m certain the other passengers were beside themselves with hostile thoughts, but no one wanted to reach out to help and make things better.  We all lived through it…but barely.  One does not realize that it is sometimes impossible to silence a tired, upset child who is used to his/her routine, safely back at home in the bed.

Another act of kindness was a young 13-year-old  who went outside in the rain with an umbrella to help an elderly gentleman get home.  There is definitely hope for the next generation.   This young man made his mother proud…and he should be also.

boy helps elderly man to his door

I happen to be an animal lover.  It is easy to love all animals.  It is not so easy to love the down and out who may or may not have made their own bed and are now lying in it.  Nevertheless, these are exactly the kind of people to whom Jesus Christ reached out …the beggar, the harlot, the unclean and pathetic.  He calls us to do the same…not just during Christmas when we have a warm, cheerful heart… but always.   We may be the only face of “Christ” that they will see…or the only hands and heart that shows God’s love.

 

Below is a video that calls for people of all walks of life to reach out to a fellow human being…or an animal that is in distress.   Saving a life or making one just a little better is what we need today…this Christmas…and always.  Bring your kindness to someone today.

Mathew 25:40  “…Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto Me.”

Video

 

 


In Honor of All Veterans

American flag held high

HONORING THOSE WHO SERVE

Bill welcomes vetsbest

Retired Chaplain William Boyer greets Veterans

wreaths and Military Science studentsbest

Our future veterans show respect and honor

 

This post is in honor of all veterans and their families who have given so much for the country they love, the United States of American.  God Bless You!

Funeral of John McCain, Washington DC, USA - 01 Sep 2018

A Military Honor Guard carries the casket of late Senator John McCain, a  prisoner of war, after a funeral service at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.   01 Sep 2018  Photo by REX/Shutterstock (9843284ac)

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VIDEO:   Passengers on an airline witness the bringing home one of our bravest and finest.  Thank you to all USA Veterans, for your service.

IN HONOR OF Green Beret WO1 Shawn Thomas


The “All In or All Out” Theory

Recently I read an article written by a man who calls for people to “Quit Church”.  The title is stirring and probably got a number of people to read his book with that same title.    His whole point was to either give it your all…or not at all!  Leave and Get out…now!

I’m sure he believes that this will stir people to support fully all that Christ would have them be and the end results would be that they would be totally committed and there would be no deficit in the church budget and the air conditioning will keep running during the hot summer months and their neighbors will be won to Christ…but he may have convinced the marginal believers to do as he said…QUIT!

If his advice is taken by those with a weakness of faith,  eventually churches may look like the one shown here.

abandoned churches

We must not forget that only a few church members from all types of churches and denominations, grand or small country gatherings, are often the ones who reach out to the homeless, addicts, victims of disasters and many other needs around the world. When the government or Red Cross is slow at trying to handle the matter, they step in.  A hand-full of Christians run many of our hospitals and great universities were started by a few Christians who wanted a better life for everyone. None of them quit even though at times they may have felt that their faith to accomplish was weak and wanted to give up.

 

There will always be those who warm the pews and others who get fully involved. These people will be at every meeting, on as many committees as possible and are always available. Others will run the other way from such activities for whatever reason. Do we want them to leave forever?   How will they replace God in their lives?  The emptiness deeply felt and the void will surely be replaced with something else.

God does His work in the heart and the church is sometimes the only safe place that a person may have during times of trial or personal torment. Sometimes it is the stranger who is not a church member that walks into a church and sits on the pew all alone…seeking something…anything to help him or her find a way.  They often don’t know that Christ’s Holy Spirit is there waiting in the quiet.

empty pews

A handful of Christians may have reached deep into their pockets to keep that door open…just for this person sitting alone.   It is what they have done as unto the Lord.  Not everyone will do this, however, and the church leaders expect this even if they wish that it were different.

When the Church was first founded by the Apostles they had to give it all that they had…and most died a martyr’s death because of it.   There is not a pastor alive who would not like to see his church pews filled to overflowing and not have to worry about church politics or any other matter. If only preaching the gospel could bring all people to give their full efforts, it would be grand.  Unfortunately, a pastor or priest does not often see the fruits of their labor.  Years later, someone may have remembered what they heard or felt in the church service even though their life was less than totally committed at the time.

Sometimes people will say “I’m not getting involved because I have been there and done that in my younger years.”  They may have not been told that being a prayer warrior is also being involved. Not everyone can manage to be out-front all the time.

Yet, the minister continues to work with what he or she has and with those who decide to crawl out of bed on Sunday morning and make their way to a pew and to the altar for Holy Communion.   Maybe that person never heard a word he said in the sermon, but he finds solace in the grace of the wine and bread, God reaches out to the heart whether the church is full or not.

It is entirely possible that God doesn’t care about church membership or even the church buildings in which we worship.  These have been handed down by people who built them to honor God and to not forsake the assembling together as Christians, which we are admonished to do in the Holy Scriptures.

As a church body, we have what we have…those human beings who may be strong or weak.    If the church closes because of lack of involvement or funds to operate, then it will close.  Others will open even if they are fellowships within homes where they were started by the first Christians.   Quitting is still not an option.

 

Perhaps Chris Sonksen of California who advocates quitting if you can’t step up to the plate, can think about some of these points.  He says his organization gives “personal coaching to more than 200 churches and impacts thousands of leaders” with his book Quit Church ( if you can’t give it all).  Has he lost sight of the fact that God can reach down and touch a life that is less committed?  We would emphasize again, that it may be the open church door that still stands open where one can sit quietly and find relief from a noisy, violent, and often unfriendly world.  The Christian church founders, through their courage, brought Christian faith to the world.  They never quit when their faith wavered, but encouraged the believers to be “strong in the faith” through every problem.

I remember hearing a minister years ago standing before his congregation and telling them, “I have nothing to say to you today because I am in a desert place.”   He then served Holy Communion and I have never forgotten his honesty.  Should he have resigned  (or quit) his call to ministry at that point?  Of course not.  He needed the prayers of the people for the rough time he was going through.  No, quitting is not an option. How many times must it be said?  We pick ourselves up through God’s grace and continue on.  He will show the way.

Let’s talk about children.  Your child or grandchildren may be the next “apostle” to the world.  Removing them from church worship is also not an option because you don’t think you can give your all.   Are we going to teach them to QUIT in other areas of their life…if they are somewhat reluctant to give it their all?    Are you going to show them by your example that religious faith is not important because your faith is weak?  Should we instead teach them that not everyone has the same spiritual foundation or strengths and there is hope for everyone.  The theory of “All in or All out” is actually not realistic.  We hardly do anything to that extent in life. Nothing is all black or white.

For many people, they baptized their children when they were only an infant.  Did that promise you made at that time to raise them in spiritual grace mean only if you yourself were in perfect harmony with God?    I doubt it.  You have an obligation and vow that was taken for that little one.  baptism of infant

I share with you now some special young people who have a message.  They are imagining what it will be like when they finally see God face to face. We all will, you know.  They also have dreams of the future. Encourage them to love God…even more than you think you do.  Help them to take up the banner of faith…even when we may be lacking.  These children, like those in our churches, are the future.  Don’t quit on them.


To All Fathers

Every year the U.S. celebrates Father’s Day.  It is a time to recognize all those fathers who have spent time with their children…passing along the values and traditions of the family.

BLESSINGS TO ALL from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia   Have a relaxing day!

VIDEO    (Turn up sound)

 


Small Towns Remember MEMORIAL DAY

Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia are small towns with people who will never forget those brave men and women who left their farms and home places to fight for our country and freedom in the world.  Throughout the rolling countryside and along the blue colored ridges of the mountains… filled with cattle, fields, and beautiful wildflowers, one will find small family graves with an American flag.  This will always indicate that the person buried there served in an American war.

Military Memorial at Galax, Virginia

On this Memorial Day, the young Military Science students and the older men and women of this Blue Ridge area remember the Fallen of all wars and pray prayers for the many POW-MIA’s who are still missing.    (Slide show below)

 

 

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As my husband and I joined in this day of Remembrance,  I’m in the midst of writing a new book about American military veterans, entitled  Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge, which should be on Amazon by July, 2018.

Men and Women of Valor Book Front copy

  My interviews with those who went to serve during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and more recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been eye-opening.  These are people of great courage and fortitude.  Millions did not return, but for those here in the Blue Ridge, these men forged new lives and continued to make our FREE America an even better place.

One chapter in my book will feature the Childress family in the Blue Ridge who had four men in the military at once during World War II.  Paul (upper right picture and with wife and baby) served in Patton’s Command in France.

 

Francis Childress

The women of the Blue Ridge served as well, including Francis Childress, a cousin to Paul.  Other chapters will take notice of a female military nurse who was awarded the Bronze Star.  The Bronze Star Medal is a decoration awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces for either heroic achievement, valor, heroic service, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service in a combat zone.

As I read memoirs and listened, I learned that fighting on Heart Break Ridge in Korea with legs frozen, slipping out of camp at night in France during World War II to find food for hungry soldiers, spending weeks in the confines of a submarine, fighting off boredom and jungle heat in Vietnam or losing limbs in Afghanistan or Iraq were difficult and in most cases horrible experiences.  It was their part of life that they were willing to share with me and I am grateful because I will never look at a veteran again in the same way.

This is why I write this blog to encourage you to take an hour or so on Memorial Day from your interest in sports events, picnics or other activities to give our military the honor they so deserve.  Your freedom today is what they did to keep us free.  It is important that our children and grandchildren are taught history and the meaning of our national Memorial Day.  I was amazed to see that since the last Memorial Day ceremony of 2017, in the small town of Galax, VA. that 90+ people had died who were veterans in this part of the Blue Ridge.  We are rapidly losing those who fought in World War II and their stories should be told.

 

To those whose lives and deaths were the ultimate sacrifice….there is not enough thanks in heaven or earth to give to you…but we will try.

To the gravely wounded warriors who have come home and forged new lives, we give you honor.   We have contacted this brave warrior for an interview that will shed light on all those who have suffered so much.

On April 7, 2011, J. B. Kerns, a combat engineer, and fellow Marines moved into the notoriously dangerous Ladar Bazaar in Afghanistan to attempt to clear it of improvised explosive devices. A soldier near Kerns stepped on a pressure plate and triggered an IED. (Credit to Roanoke Times full story)

Thank you to all veterans…men and women.  We give tribute to all the wives and families that were left behind to faithfully live and wait for their loved ones to return home.

VIDEO    Turn up sound    (Credit “American Soldier” by Toby Keith)


Doing the Right Thing…Regardless of Cost

Hiram Bingham IV rescuer of Jews

Hiram Bingham IV at Marseilles harbor, circa 1940

 

There is one person in our American history whom you probably do not know. His name is Hiram Bingham IV.  Some may recognize the name of his relatives, however.

 

Hiram Bingham IV’s descendants found documentation about his bravery and decided to let the world know what he would not.   A Distinguished diplomat, Hiram lost his job as a diplomat from the State Department for daring to go against regulations.  Yet, years later he was honored by the same U.S. State Department.   Colin Powell presented the family with the honor entitled Constructive Dissent in 2002.  A U.S. stamp was made in his honor and his son, Robert Bingham Sr, has written a book called Courageous Dissent.

Hiram Bingham IV Stamp 2006

 

Hiram Bingham story by Robert Bingham

These are some words of Hiram’s son, Robert, taken from an interview and from the Hiram Bingham website concerning him:  1)Harry’s personal motto, taught to his children, was relevant: “Give the Best that You Have to the Best that You know.” During the Holocaust, saving lives was “the best that he knew.”
2) He believed there is a “spark of divinity” in each human being. He saved not only luminaries but also many ordinary refugees. It was painful for him to remember the long lines of individuals outside the consulate desperately seeking exit visas. He once told me he thought they were “treated like cattle.” He could not talk about his experience without displaying agony and a deep frown on his face.
3) His family’s missionary “zeal” may have augmented his motivation: Hiram the 1st led the first missionaries to Hawaii in 1918 (he was depicted as Abner Hale in Mitchener’s “Hawaii”); Hiram II was also a missionary in the Sandwich Islands who single-handedly translated the entire Bible into written Gilbertese; Hiram III was a public servant who also became an explorer (who discovered Machu Picchu in Peru) and later became a US senator of Connecticut. Hiram IV neither converted souls nor entered politics, but, with equal zeal of his forbears, he “quietly battled to save lives” from the Holocaust…”

 

This story of a man who stood for those who could not stand for themselves.  It says much to all of us today.   There are times when we have to do the right thing regardless of the cost.  Coming from a Christian background, Hiram Bingham believed that every human has worth. He knew what he had to do…and did it.

After his death, Hiram Bingham IV was also awarded posthumously the Medal of Valor along with Sir Winston Churchill and Pope John Paul II. More than 450 supporters of the Simon Wiesenthal Center gathered for the 2011 Humanitarian Award Dinner.

 

 

 

Now that you have read about the awards and honors, you may be asking, “How exactly did he save the lives of so many people?    The video below will give you the full details.

As we have just had the Holocaust Remembrance Day,  this would be a worthwhile story to share with your family to remember history and one who bravely did what was right.


Holocaust Remembrance Day….”NEVER AGAIN”

Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial Hall of Names in Israel

Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Hall in Israel

Holocaust Remembrance Day is a time to remember and proclaim “NEVER AGAIN.” 

Having just posted about the horrors of Syria, which may be another Holocaust if a solution is not found to bring peace to the area, it is fitting to think about World War II and all those who perished under the Nazi dictator, Hitler.  It is estimated that over six million men, women and children died in the death camps.   Memorials can be found around the world.  One special one is the children’s memorial, Yad Vashem, in Jerusalem.  The day my husband and I visited this memorial, there were little lights on the ceiling and the name of each child was read aloud continuously.

Yad Vashim Children's Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem

Yad Vashem Children’s Memorial

 

It doesn’t seem like any time since I took Student Ambassadors to Poland and we visited Auschwitz, one of the death camps.  None of us will ever be the same.  I, as a Christian, walked beside a young Jewish student who laid flowers at the very wall where so many were executed.  I noticed that he wore his shorts but respectfully put on a tie and sports jacket as he approached the wall.

Auschwitz memorial at Yad Vashem

Auschwitz pictures at Yad Vashem (Photo credit Getty Images)

 

As we traveled, this same young man also wanted to find the apartment building where the Israeli Olympic team had been murdered by terrorists.  We looked and looked; finally finding a small plaque outside an apartment building to remember the event.  Given the gravity of this terrible tragedy, it seemed far too small.

Our student group spent time looking at the ovens where the bodies were burned.  One amazing fact was that the home of the military commander and his family was right next to the grounds of Auschwitz.  We saw the place where he was executed after the war by hanging.  Eye glasses, shoes and suitcases were piled high in glass cases.  One could see the torture chambers where a cross was scratched into the wall…indicating that not only Jews were interned there, but political prisoners and Christians.

shoes-yad-vashem

 

Steven Spielberg has made it his mission to record the lives of survivors so that future generations will understand what hatred, prejudice and war can do to people. Once the people who fought WWII and the Holocaust survivors have died, their voices will be silenced forever….except for these recordings.  Just as our World War II veterans are passing away by the hundreds each day, so are the survivors of the Holocaust.

It was my privilege to have the veterans and survivors come to my classroom of 5th graders and talk to each one of the students about their experiences.  Because each person’s story was different, the students took notes that they wrote us and presented orally to the class the following day.  Those students are adults now.  Many have finished college and have families of their own.  I pray that they have not forgotten that experience and are passing along what the Holocaust was and why we can never let this happen again.

After returning from that trip, I felt that the students in our Florida county needed to know as much about the Holocaust as possible.  With financial help from the community and parents of students, we raised enough funds to place in every school library tapes, books and age-appropriate material about the Holocaust.

Holocaust plaque St Annes Church Poland

I read about a grave-digger who was told to bury all the Jews in the woods. These were those shot on a death march.  Instead, he buried them in  St. Anna’s Roman Catholic Church in Swierklany, Poland.    This is only after he had carefully copied all the numbers from each victim’s arm.  Some seventy years later and with research from Yad Vashem in Israel, some relatives now know that Christians carefully buried the bodies of their loved ones.  A new memorial has been erected with a cross.   The new plaque at the previously unmarked grave in Swierlany, Poland now reads:

“In memory of the death march victims from Auschwitz-Birkenau”

and lists the victims’ concentration camp numbers or names.  The caring of one grave digging man, who believed differently from those he buried, made all the difference over 70 years later to a family who simply wanted to know what had happened to their loved one.

Today on Holocaust Remembrance Day, as the sirens wail,  in some places people will stop in the streets and cars will stop on the highways …wherever they are…to remember again. We too must never forget!

It is not our purpose here to try to re-create the horrors that went on here.  Probably the closest to that would be to watch Schindler’s List, produced by Spielberg, about a Christian businessman, Oskar Schindler,  who saved many Jews by taking them to work in his factory.

Oskar Schindler (28 April 1908 – 9 October 1974) was a German industrialist and a member of the Nazi Party who is credited with saving the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust by employing them in his enamelware and ammunitions factories in occupied Poland and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.   (Wikipedia)

VIDEO:     This music is played in honor of John Williams and his contribution to the telling of this story of the Holocaust and the saving of many lives.    (Turn up sound)

The Music from Schindler’s List, written by John Williams.