Our minds are a controlling factor to our emotions, critical thinking and ultimately…our actions. It has come to my attention recently that we are rarely in control of our minds…even if there are millions of cells making up our every thought. By the very nature of our modern society, we are allowing this. Why is it that we should give over to others to program into us what our minds will retain? Am I saying that we should “stick our heads in the sand?” Not at all. We do, however, have choices.
We are influenced by what we hear and see. Most every household has a TV that is turned on hours upon hours of the day. People who are alone, especially the elderly, use the TV to give them company. Depression can set in rapidly in these cases.
The people who spend much of their time watching and listening much of what is programmed today are allowing themselves to be conditioned into a type of mind control. A steady dose of truths…or lies are being filtered into our brains that are becoming part of our very being.
What was it like before TV?
A city life in past history would be filled with noises, the smell of the deli down the street, a woman hanging out her clothes from a window, as she calls to a neighbor on the street. The loading and unloading of produce or goods for the stores would fill the air with noise. A person would move around these things, filtering out what they wanted to be around or what they wanted to hear. Life could get tough in a crowd, but this would be the learning of “street smarts.”
In the country, a person may get up early to milk the cow. A mother starts making her bread and encouraging a young one to do their chores. Life would surround a person with the clinging of the cow bells, the birds in the trees and the cat or dog that moved around the barn. Life was simple and calm.
When the industrial revolution hit our world, many things changed. People moved out of the country to find good jobs. Life became more complicated and people were on the move. Almost everything became a faster pace. The automobile was invented…and the wife/mother moved from baking bread to the TV dinner. Basically, life would never be the same.
Ships and airplanes moved us around the world. Our sense of security was shattered as enemies became not only domestic, but foreign. Our minds and hearts were broken with two world wars and continued fighting around the globe throughout the decades. Fear had become a mind set…as it continues today.
The mind has a hard time catching up when it is inundated with other people’s beliefs to what we should be and do. The real term is propaganda and we fall for it. We are made to feel less of a person if we disagree with the norm. Our young people “can’t live” without the best kind of shoes or cell phone. God never intended for us to store all these thoughts of inadequacy in this great gift He has given mankind. The mind is an incredible thing. We may feel like we have no control over everyday life that enters its billion cells, but we do have to a great extent.
This may be the primary reason that we will have to make decisions for ourselves. We can CHOOSE to turn off the TV more hours of the day. It may also be a time where we deliberately look for uplifting stories or documentaries that give us encouragement rather than despair. It is really our choice, but we are addicted. Why do I say “addicted?”
Just try to change the routine that you have become accustomed to for year after year. It is hard to make a change, but your mind and emotions may be saved grief, depression and more if you decide to make some changes. I speak from experience.
It is only natural to want to tune in to who has committed the most damage in one of our big cities…how many more cases of virus are killing our people…or what is happening in politics? It all is becoming TOO MUCH! Our minds are tired.
It is only natural also for families to use TV…with all its junk as a babysitter. Just think what those little minds and hearts are absorbing!
A doctor friend told me recently that he tuned in with his toddler to one of the kid’s programs on TV and saw that even tiny children are being indoctrinated about sexual life styles as being just fine. Isn’t a parent suppose to decide what is good for their child? He was shocked…as should be all parents who take the time to pay attention. The young mind is eager to absorb.
So what do we do? We first of all must be deliberate in our decision making for ourselves and our families.
I remember something I noticed while visiting a family one time years ago. There was a teenage son…or perhaps early teens…who was sitting and reading. I asked his mother what he was doing and she said that he was suppose to read a chapter in Holy Scripture each day before doing anything else. At the time, I thought that was a strict requirement. Yet, that parent was giving a young mind a discipline that perhaps he would follow the rest of his life. Whether he understood its importance at the time, may be questionable…but he was exposed to the commands of God for a good and happy life.
God has told us to raise up a child in the way that he/she will go and when they are old, they will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6) For those who have tried to do this, we are praying and believing His promise. It may be that we will not know or even see the fulfillment in our lifetime. Yet, we can trust.
What actually does the Holy Scripture tells us about things that we find ourselves thinking about…perhaps over and over? We need comfort today and for the future…and here are a few words from God to give our minds just that:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6,7
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7
ABOUT GOD’S SPIRIT
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day … Psalm 91:1-16
Today….look at nature in God’s beautiful world. See Him in the smile of a friend. Do something you love to do. Give your heart a fresh start in a new day that is only yours moment by moment. Your MIND is your gift from God…PROTECT IT.
Video: Turn up sound. Push red line back to start from beginning.
Children the world over are God’s beautiful creation. They are meant to be loved, encouraged, taught and become the wonderful adults we hope them to be. They will be our next teachers, ministers and priests, doctors and nurses, leaders, mechanics, scientists, great artists and inventors. They will be what their God-given talents can make them…..IF….they are taught, loved and shown the way by the examples of adults. What we instill in them will bring us joy, laughter and peace… or the very opposite.
WHAT A CHALLENGE FOR US! We are the adults. They are the followers. I remember a young man in a 5th grade class I was teaching, who mostly wanted to draw. He had a talent that I pray he is using today. At least that was what I encouraged his mother to do for him…“Find him the best art teachers you can find. Let him do what he loves most and bring him along a path of art adventure in his life. What other children will do, he may have no interest in doing. Let him be who he is. Let him use the talent God has given him.”
For your pleasure, I want to introduce to you a young child, approximately 9 years old, from Russia. His name is Elisey Mysin. In 2019, he mesmerized the audience in the city of Naberezhyny Chelny when he performed Mozart’s Concerto No 3 in D. Major.
Thank God for children…the talented and the less talented…they are all His gift to us!
Turn up your sound.
Being a country girl from North Carolina, I sometimes go back to my roots…shed the classical music that I love…and listen to the songs or Southern words of a “Good Old Boy…or Man.”
Here is one for you with the salute to the many States of the United States and the freedom that we enjoy. It is no wonder that so many from so far want to be a part of the “Land of the Free.”
Are we perfect?…by no means, but what we don’t like we can say so without the threat of being locked up to suffer alone with no way out.
Are we always “united” in all ways?…no, but we still are the United States of America…with all the diversity that can be in one land.
Our thanks to our forefathers who came from countries around the world to search for a new way of life…away from dictators to their lives and from persecution for their faith. Our thanks to our brave men and women who stand ready to defend this country against all foes. For those Americans who have given everything in foreign lands to maintain freedom for all, we give them our heart’s gratitude and our prayers.
Today I give you, the reader, a tribute and a pledge to MY BEAUTIFUL AMERICA by Charlie Daniels.
Very young children love to be read to and shown pictures…especially of animals. If there is a pet in the home or the family takes trips to the great outdoors, animals are always in the mix.
Our family dogs and cats give us love and attention and love is mostly what they crave …next to a big bowl of food.
All animals, domesticated or wild, feel better when they have a full tummy.
Food changes all moods…human and otherwise. This led me to think about how animal books could teach very young children how to behave. Parents, you will like this first in a series on “animal lessons” as you try to feed, put to bed or teach sharing with your child.
Here is my newest book for a little one that you may know…The Moody Musical Cat.
It wasn’t food that changed his behavior, but music. Surprise! Surprise!
In Christian services around the world, people sing the great hymn, “It is Well with my Soul.” Most have no idea who the writer of the words was or what was his background.
His name is Horatio Spafford with music composed by Philip Bliss in 1873.
The question you may ask, after hearing about his life’s story in the video below, is how could he have ever penned those words?
Anyone who has gone through times of trial or the most disastrous events in their lives know that they have to find something or Someone greater to cling to in order not to lose sanity or their faith in God.
Some people may never quite get to a point in faith to say “It is well.” The author of this hymn also went out on a limb in his personal beliefs. Nevertheless, in the end, his great song has been a lifeline to many as they find out that Christ is the only answer to our sufferings because He knew suffering well.
Here are the words to It Is Well With My Soul by Horatio Spafford.
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, (it is well),
With my soul, (with my soul)
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul. (Refrain)
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! (Refrain)
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. (Refrain)
But Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul. (Refrain)
And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
A song in the night, oh my soul! (Refrain) ( from Wikipedia)
Here is Horatio Spafford’s story and the tune to his song. (turn up sound)
May you be blessed in your soul.
One of my favorite kinds of music is the sound of the classical guitar.
Michael Lucarelli was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He began his music education on the electric guitar after hearing the group Led Zepplin. Later, Michael discovered the classical guitar and began his studies with Peruvian Guitarist Ricardo Linares. Mr. Lucarelli went on to receive his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Utah and his Master of Music from the University of Arizona in Guitar performance. (biography)
The beautiful cathedral, in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, shown in the video below is the Cathedral of St. Mary Magdalene where Michael Lucarelli gives his concert. Here are some facts about this church:
It took 9 years to build the cathedral The property for the cathedral was purchased in 1890 under the leadership of Father Lawrence Scanlan, who became the first Bishop of Salt Lake in 1886. Even though the groundbreaking happened in 1899, construction only began a year later in 1900 and completed in 1909. The main architect, Carl Neuhausen from Germany, never saw the completed project. It was originally painted white and green. Please note all the amazing colors today. Cardinal James Gibbons, the Archbishop of Baltimore, dedicated this cathedral, under the patronage of St. Mary Magdalene. Mary Magdalene was known for her faithfulness as a disciple of Jesus Christ. The first renovation began in 1917 by Bishop Glass, who had a strong artistic sense. He had studied in Europe in 1899 and acquired oil paintings for the renovation because he wanted to make it more European. The building was rededicated in 1993, after 82 years of its opening. (taken from Temple Square blog)
SACRED MUSIC by Michael Lucarelli AVE MARIA
My recent blog was on depression and the search for help in a society gone totally beyond the limits of real sanity was formidable. I was amazed at the clicks on this particular blog worldwide. This must say something about those who find this topic a need in their lives. Today, I want to post the opposite of stress…and that is stress release. How does music play a part in healthy bodies, mind and even our souls?
Recently, I saw a video on those suffering with early dementia and Alzheimers. The therapy was in music. Singing brought the memory of words flowing out of the mind. Even the faces of the people dealing with this very difficult condition were filled with a happiness and joy as they sang.
A good article is by Cassandra Shepherd on the neuroscience of singing.
“The neuroscience of singing shows that when we sing our neurotransmitters connect in new and different ways. It fires up the right temporal lobe of our brain, releasing endorphins that make us smarter, healthier, happier and more creative. When we sing with other people this effect is amplified.”
I am convinced that music is either grating or a soothing medication. How often do we try to enjoy a meal at a restaurant and the music is too loud with little melody and sometimes ridiculous words. So much for the peaceful, relaxing meal. Forget a healthy, mentally stimulating conversation. Don’t be afraid to ask kindly a server to lower the music. After all, you are the customer who will either return or not.
Words, sounds and life, in general, can bring on stress, which we must fight each day. Determine to make your life different as well as those who are around you. Tell a waitress or friend that they are doing a good job or that they have a great smile. They won’t forget it and you may have just given them the thoughts to live a happier day. This has nothing to do with music, but the power of kind words also is a stress releaser.
A suggestion for your peaceful day is to intentionally fill your space with lovely music. If you can only listen, then do so. If you can see beautiful pictures to go with the music, absorb that also. Here is one of my favorites.
Who would have dreamed a matronly, middle-aged Scottish woman could have the nerve to leave all behind, forgetting her appearance and walk onto a stage to sing for a better life? Susan Boyle did. The sneers and raised eyebrows were quickly put to rest when she opened her mouth to sing. God had given her a great talent and she was going to let all know that what was under the facade was not what one could see…but if they listened, they could hear it.
Isn’t this so true of the way we look at people? We look on the outside, but God looks at the heart. He also bestows on people many gifts that can be used for His glory. Some people find that gift and use it wisely. Others never venture into the unknown possibilities…and the gift goes unused.
One day I drove to see a man that I had been told was a great stained glass maker. Wanting him to make something for me, I ventured out onto a long road that seemed to lead to nowhere. Soon I saw a little hut and a man who looked like “old father time” walked out. My first instinct was to just drive away. Had I done that, I would have missed some of the most beautiful glass work I had ever seen outside of a cathedral. When having a conversation with him, I learned that he prayed for his customers and God always brought him enough people to pay his bills and live comfortably. He loved his little place in the woods where he could produce for others beautiful glass art of which he had a great talent.
So it was with Susan. She never felt at ease with people, but she did with music. Her background had given her little self-confidence, but her music did. That was how she was able to rise above it all and face the audience with her talent on that first night on stage with the world watching. After the pressures of winning the talent show became too much, she had to back away for a while. Crowds of people, media comments and the burden of it all drove her into seclusion to find a renewed health. Once again she overcame and her albums of beautiful songs hit top sales.
Susan says, “ I’m a champion for those who don’t have the confidence to do things and don’t have a voice; the ones people tend to ignore…”
Find your gift…for all of us have something that God has given us. Seek it, pray for it…and use it.
It is my pleasure to present Susan Boyle in a tribute to her remarkable life. Enjoy!
Video Turn up sound
There are some times of the year that are fascinating not only to the young at heart, small children, but to our furry friends.
This Christmas music is dedicated to them…with all our love!
Slide presentation: A special dedication to our military and their dogs
For your listening pleasure!
Turn up sound (Favorite Christmas music with the Hallelujah Chorus)
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)
Is sound able to be visualized? Technology has made it possible.
Some have said that even our voices and the speech that goes out of our lips and into the air…moves further and further out from us… until it goes into infinity. We can stretch our minds and wonder…Does it go into a black hole or up to the throne of God?
It is certainly a scary thought if every word or sound I utter should continue to travel and someday be gathered from outer space and brought back to let me hear my every word.
Please, God, help me to be more careful in anything I say…should you want to restore it…and ask me when I meet You Face to Face, “Are these your words?”
Want to visualize this music produced in our technical world?
Hungarian Rhapsody by Liszt
( Technical acknowledgment: andy fillebrown, Oct 2012, This video was made using Blender (http://blender.org). The MIDI file used to make the Blender model is by Bernd Krueger (http://www.piano-midi.de/midi_files.htm).
Boyer Writes wishes everyone a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving….whether it is in your culture to celebrate this day or not…we pass along love and thankful hearts to you our readers.
Music Video Turn up sound
We often hear that a person who is creative is highly developed on the right side of the brain. An analytical person uses the left side most frequently, so science tells us. Hopefully, there are some of us who use both sides of the our brains. We are told that we use a small percentage of what the brain is capable. It would be fascinating to know what we really could accomplish…should we put our mind to it!
My talents, or lack of, are definitely in the organizational arena, but I know that I am the happiest when I am creating something special. This could be in the realm of art, design or simply setting a table for dinner. Food preparation is also a creative skill that many have developed to our culinary delights. Some of us dabble in many of these areas, but find that there are a few that give the most pleasure.
What are your skills and talents? Perhaps you should think seriously about what areas God has given especially to you , that others say they cannot attain. It would be a shame to waste these or not use them in the way our God, the Creator, wanted for you. You are a unique individual and in that way, you are quit special with many gifts and talents.
When we think of creativity, we also think of the word “creation” for the word actually means: “the action or process of bringing something into existence.” For God Created the World would be one example.
Recently I wrote a blog about a young artist in England who said that his biggest thrill was to actually put something on canvas and know that it is the only one in existence…for only he made it.
Recently, I set aside some of my writing and dived into learning more about video creation. I know that it is easy these days to whip out a camera and push the record button. Actually producing a video with special effects and creative skills is a challenge. Understand me, the video below that I’m sharing, is simply a use of a video producing program that I have been trying to understand. Hopefully, as time goes on, I will accomplish something more profound. I would love to learn animation, so I’m open to any suggested programs that some of you think are great for a novice.
In this video, I am showing some of my abstract art work, and also promoting the books that I have written over the last few years.
Thank you for sharing in this beginner’s efforts at video production:
Turn up sound.
For your weekend listening pleasure….from Boyer Writes.
The joy of great music and art are readily available. In a world over-powered by sound and fury, it would be good to rest our minds with music from some of the great composers and literary figures in history.
- History of the music, Ave Maria:
“The original words of Ave Maria (Hail Mary) were in English, being part of a poem called The Lady of the Lake, written in 1810 by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). The poem drew on the romance of the legend regarding the 5th century British leader King Arthur, but transferred it to Scott’s native Scotland. In 1825 during a holiday in Upper Austria, the composer Franz Schubert (1797-1828) set to music a prayer from the poem using a German translation by Adam Storck. Scored for piano and voice, it was first published in 1826 as “D839 Op 52 no 6.” Schubert called his piece “Ellens dritter Gesang” (Ellen’s third song) and it was written as a prayer to the Virgin Mary from a frightened girl, Ellen Douglas, who had been forced into hiding.The song cycle proved to be one of Schubert’s most financially successful works, the Austrian composer being paid by his publisher 20 pounds sterling, a sizable sum for a musical work in the 1820s. Though not written for liturgical services, the music proved to be inspirational to listeners, particularly Roman Catholics, and a Latin text was substituted to make it suitable for use in church. It is today most widely known in its Latin “Ave Maria” form.” (taken from Song Facts)
- Franz Schubert’s inspiration:
” Franz Schubert’s inspiration was the epic poem of Sir Walter Scott, The Lady of the Lake, written in 1810. The poem tells the fictional tale of 16th century Scottish clans at war with each other and in rebellion against the king. Schubert wrote a cycle of seven songs based on the story, using the German translation of the poem by Philip Adam Storck.
The heroine of the poem is Ellen Douglas who has fled with her exiled father to a mountain cave to escape the pursuit of a rebel chieftain. While in the cave, Ellen sings a song praying to the Virgin Mary for help, accompanied by the harper Allan-bane.
This is in part the original text of Sir Walter Scott:
Ave Maria ! maiden mild !
Listen to a maiden’s prayer !
Thou canst hear though from the wild,
Thou canst save amid despair.
Safe may we sleep beneath thy care,
Though banished, outcast, and reviled—
Maiden ! hear a maiden’s prayer;
Mother, hear a suppliant child !
Ave Maria !” (Taken from the blog and harpist, Ann Sullivan)
Michael Lucarelli is a classical guitarist who has written compositions of his own. Having received his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Utah, he now teaches guitar there. His Master’s degree was from the University of Arizona. Born in Ohio, Lucarelli studied with Peruvian Guitarist Ricardo Linares.
- Performance Location:
Michael Lucarelli plays Franz Schuberts’s Ave Maria on classical guitar. Filmed at “the Cathedral of the Madeleine” in Salt Lake City Utah. The Cathedral of the Madeleine is a Roman Catholic church in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A. It was completed in 1909 and currently serves as the cathedral, or mother church, of the Diocese of Salt Lake City. The cathedral was built under the direction of Lawrence Scanlan, the first bishop of Salt Lake. (Wikipedia)
For your listening pleasure, Boyer Writes brings you Ave Maria performed by Michael Lucarelli Turn up sound.
HE IS RISEN!
Somewhere around the world, it is now Easter Sunday morning. Christ is risen…risen indeed! The grave could not hold him. He walked among His disciples and followers, showing them the scars in His hands. Because of His Resurrection, those who love and believe on Him, will also have a resurrection. Hallelujah!
In services and performances around the world, when the Hallelujah chorus is sung, the audience stands. It is said that this tradition began when King George II, attending the London premiere of “Messiah” in March of 1743, was so moved by the “Hallelujah” that he stood up and if the king stands, everyone stands. One can understand why King George was moved because it is truly one of the great compositions of music.
Handel’s Messiah…Hallelujah Chorus
For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
The kingdom of this world
Is become the kingdom of our Lord,
and of His Christ;
and He shall reign for ever and ever.
King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
Hallelujah! (Revelation 19) Worthy is the Lamb that was slain
and hath redeemed us to God by his blood,
to receive power, and riches,
and wisdom, and strength,
and honor,and glory, and blessing.
Blessing and honor, glory and power,
be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne,
and unto the Lamb,
For ever and ever! Amen. (Revelation 5)
The Choir of Wells Cathedral
Directed by Matthew Owens
Selections: ‘Hallelujah…Worthy is the Lamb That Was Slain… Amen
Each tells the story of the birth (Christmas), passion, death, and resurrection (Easter) of Jesus and of the eventual resurrection of humankind to the glory of Heaven.
Link to: Complete performance of Handel’s Messiah with great art of the Masters
CRUCIFIXUS by Antonio Lotti
Music and Art by the Masters for Good Friday
Antonio Lotti (5 January 1667 – 5 January 1740) was an Italian Baroque Composer.
Arriving from Germany, my son handed me a slightly squashed gift of marzipan that he had pressed into his suitcase to bring home as a treat for the Christmas season. (Delicious! Thanks, Steve!)
Arranging the marzipan along with the chocolate chip cookies and the tasty treat from my neighbor, I decided to look into the history of marzipan. ( My husband did not think this would be one of my more inspirational or exciting blogs…but I happen to be inquisitive…so here goes. Maybe I can “spice” it up a bit with some mouth-watering German goodies in between the information.)
My research on marzipan brought me to this article on the subject of marzipan written by Johann George Niederegger who was born in 1777 in Ulm and owned Maret Confectioners in Lubeck, Germany
Niederegger wrote: “…Marzipan was invented far away, where almonds and sugar are grown. Rhazes, a Persian doctor who lived from 850 to 923, wrote a book in which he praised the curative qualities of almond and sugar paste. When the crusaders returned from the Orient, they brought with them a host of spices and Oriental secrets.
In 13th century Venice, Naples and Sicily, spices and confectionery were generally traded in tiny boxes. The enchanting word “Mataban” (box) gradually came to be used for the contents of the box: Mazapane (Italian), Massepain (French.), Marzipan (German).
Did you know that even back in the 13th century, the renowned philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas reflected upon the indulgence of eating Marzipan? In his doctrinal teaching, he reassures inquiring and anxious clerics: “Marzipan does not break the fast.”
In his stories, the great novelist Boccaccio clearly describes the correlation between passion and marzipan. In those days, marzipan was topped with gold leaf to crown the sweet temptation.
Great Hanseatic merchant boats brought spices and other prized ingredients to the North. Initially, however, only apothecaries were allowed to trade with sugar and spices. Not until confectionery became a trade in its own right were so-called ‘canditors’ allowed to produce marzipan.
The first Europeans to indulge in marzipan were kings and rich people. It has been reported that Queen Elizabeth I of England, who lived from 1533 to 1603, was addicted to all things sweet. The saying ‘regal enjoyment’ was coined.
Later, at the French ‘Sun King’ Louis XIV’s sumptuous feasts, huge tables laden with marzipan were the order of the day. Marzipan reproductions of all sorts of fruits, poultry and game were created – anything you desired could be made.
In the first half of the 19th century, the general population were now able to sample the almond delicacy to their heart’s content in coffee houses. Now that sugar could be extracted from sugar beet, the costly luxury became slightly more affordable. Marzipan was also particularly popular and prized in Lübeck.
I would now like to tell you something about my life: as a young man, I left my home town of Ulm to become apprenticed to a confectioner, Maret, in Lübeck. In 1806 I was able to open up my own shop. I supplied my wares to kings and tsars. From then on, my reputation grew, thanks to excellent quality. My recipe for marzipan: as many almonds as possible, as little sugar as necessary – is secret, and has been passed on from generation to generation…”
Whether a sugary treat or the many Christmas traditions handed down from Germany to countries around the world, we can all enjoy Christmas music in any language.
The song on this video, Vom Himmel Hoch da komm’ ich her (Eine Version aus dem Jahre 1979) was written by Martin Luther during the Protestant Reformation. Luther wrote this hymn for his five year old son, Hans. It was not published until four years later. It was sung at the annual Christmas Eve festival at the Luther home. A man dressed as an angel would sing the opening verses. The children would greet him with the verse, “Welcome to earth, thou noble guest…” (Perhaps they even had the treats of marzipan at the festival.)
From Heaven above to earth I come,
To bear good news to every home;
Glad tidings of great joy I bring,
Whereof I now will say and sing.
To you, this night, is born a Child
Of Mary, chosen mother mild;
This tender Child of lowly birth,
Shall be the joy of all your earth.
‘Tis Christ our God, who far on high
Had heard your sad and bitter cry;
Himself will your Salvation be,
Himself from sin will make you free.
He brings those blessings long ago
Prepared by God for all below;
That in His heavenly kingdom blest
You may with us forever rest.
These are the tokens ye shall mark,
The swaddling clothes and manger dark;
There shall ye find the young Child laid,
By Whom the heavens and earth were made.
Now let us all, with gladsome cheer,
Follow the shepherds, and draw near
To see this wondrous Gift of God,
Who hath His own dear Son bestowed.
Give heed, my heart, lift up thine eyes!
What is it in yon manger lies?
Who is this Child, so young and fair?
The blessèd Christ Child lieth there!
Welcome to earth, Thou noble Guest,
Through Whom e’en wicked men are blest!
Thou com’st to share our misery,
What can we render, Lord, to Thee!
Ah, Lord, who hast created all,
How hast Thou made Thee weak and small,
To lie upon the coarse dry grass,
The food of humble ox and ass.
Were earth a thousand times as fair,
Beset with gold and jewels rare,
She yet were far too poor to be
A narrow cradle, Lord, for Thee.
For velvets soft and silken stuff
Thou hast but hay and straw so rough,
Whereon Thou King, so rich and great,
As ’twere Thy heaven, art throned in state.
Thus hath it pleased Thee to make plain
The truth to us, poor fools and vain,
That this world’s honor, wealth and might
Are naught and worthless in Thy sight.
Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Here in my poor heart’s inmost shrine,
That I may evermore be Thine.
My heart for very joy doth leap,
My lips no more can silence keep,
I too must sing, with joyful tongue,
That sweetest ancient cradle song.
Glory to God in highest Heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given,
While angels sing, with pious mirth,
A glad New Year to all the earth.
Most people will not know of Cecil Frances Alexander, who lived in the 1800’s. Her music, however, is played in Christian worship services, especially as a processional in many churches.
Who was C.F. Alexander?
“…The author of this text, Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895), was born in Dublin, Ireland, and began writing in verse from an early age. She became so adept that by the age of 22, several of her hymn texts made it into the hymnbook of the Church of Ireland. Alexander [née Humphreys] married William Alexander, both a clergyman and a poet in his own right who later became the bishop of the Church of Ireland in Derry and later archbishop. Aside from her prolific hymn writing, Mrs. Alexander gave much of her life to charitable work and social causes, something rather rare for women of her day. ” (Michael Hawn and Kristen Hanna)
“…. Money from her first publications had helped build the Derry and Raphoe Diocesan Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, which was founded in 1846 in Strabane. The profits from Hymns for Little Children were also donated to this school. She was involved with the Derry Home for Fallen Women, and worked to develop a district nurses service. She was an “indefatigable visitor to poor and sick …” (Wikipedia)
One of her most noted songs is “Once in Royal David’s City” which we will play here sung by King’s College Choir in Cambridge, England.
Once in royal David’s city
stood a lowly cattle shed,
where a mother laid her baby
in a cradle for his bed.
Mary, loving mother mild,
Jesus Christ, her little child.
After the death of her husband, three beautiful stained glass windows were made in honor of three of her most loved hymns: “Once in Royal David’s City”, “There is a green hill far away”, and “The Golden Gates Are Lifted Up”.
At this Christian season of Advent, Boyer Writes would like to share this beautiful song with you. The King’s College Chapel was started in 1446 and took over a century to build. It has the largest “fan” vaulted ceiling in the world and some of the finest medieval stained glass. Their Christmas Eve service is broadcast to millions around the world.
Video (turn on sound)
NAVIGATE THE CHAPEL (a virtual tour…and for best viewing, click on full screen)
No one was musical…not in his family or his town. Where did the ability plus hard work come from? No one knows except to believe it is a gift from God. The hard work part come when dedication makes practicing 5 hours a day a necessity. The gift from God is when it is so natural and the love and desire to be the best at what one does is deep in the heart.
I partly envy this young man, but fully understand the love he has because it was my desire at his age and even younger to play the piano well. At the time, I was a country girl who went off to a boarding school. It was a school in a small country town in North Carolina. I can still remember my piano teacher’s name….Mrs. Tollison. Because it has been over fifty years since I was there, she has long ago gone to heaven. Mrs. Tollison was a heavy set little lady. She never made her pupils feel anything but confidence. The other students at the school used to say, “If you can’t find Nancy, she is practicing the piano.” Unfortunately, when I left the school to rejoin my mother, who was a single parent, we lived in an upstairs apartment. No piano could be brought up the steps and the smaller versions were not available during this time. That was the end of piano lessons…so I took up art. After school, I would walk a very long distance to a large house where some Catholic sisters lived. They taught me art and practically a “hundred years later”…I still have the deer picture my art teacher taught me to draw. Did I have talent? Possibly….for my husband gave me a piano and said, “Maybe you will remember something.” Well, I’m not playing the music of the Old Masters, but my husband says he can identify most pieces. I’m sure if I practiced as much as I should the music would improve. Now, I work hardest on my writing….novels, books for young people and other subjects of interest. (See the right side of this blog.)
So today I share with you a young man on a 10,000 acre farm in Utah. His family now knows he has a special talent that is being cultivated through their support…starting with a generous grandfather who bought him his first piano. Blessings to you, Heston, keep up the good work. Never forget your teacher’s name….yes, the one fifty miles from your home and the professor of music. Someday when you are playing at Carnegie Hall, you need to put those people on the front row as your guests…and introduce them to your audience.
One thing further…
YES…your parents are proud of you and you are not letting them down by following your God given talent. (At the end of the video, you’ll see Heston’s tender heart toward his parents.) Thank them and God everyday for their support and the talent God has given you.
Video in Heston Warr’s own words:
This beautiful music has great meaning to me personally. I was trying to decide if I should leave the U.S. and go for about two months to Mongolia. Every time I heard this song and the words, tears came to my eyes and I knew somehow God was saying “Go”. I did go and He blessed me in so many ways that I ended up returning again the second time.
I’d like to share the music and words with you as you may be asking God if He would have you do something that may be out of the comfort zone…but you can’t get it out of your mind. Listen carefully to the words of the song and then pray.
The video is music sung by boys ages 10 to 20+. They are in the Dunblane Cathedral in Scotland.
With so much sadness and darkness in the world, we must lift up our voices and “Shine”to dispel the gloom and doom. Look at the faces, on the video below, of Christians in the Royal Albert Hall in London. They represent every age, race, and gender. Multiply their voices and faces of all Christian people world-wide who can bring light into the world. It is our duty and joy to share our voices of hope. As He has said, Christ is our only hope and redemption. Our only cry should be for all nations and what God wants for His world and His creation.
An Invitation to a new FOCUS: Join Boyer Writes with a new daily focus and see what it does to your life. We certainly understand that this may not be easy.
What is this new focus?
- Decide if you want your minds and life to be changed from a daily bombardment of darkness or to light and joy, where you can reach for inner peace and calm.
- This may mean deciding to switch off the TV news and discussion groups for a period of one month or longer.
- Even though this is not Lent, many times during the season of Lent, Christians choose to restrict themselves from certain things in order to draw closer to God.
- This invitation is to do a similar thing.
- Choose your own New Focus
- If you make this decision, please use the “Comment” on this post or write an email to Boyer Writes and let us know of your choice in order that we may pray for this new focus in your life. email@example.com (copy email and paste)
Fill our lands with your glory, Lord! Dispel the darkness. Shine on Us!
Turn on sound
The innocence…quality…and tenderness of the voices of children is what I am sharing with you today. As we grow older, the voice changes…as do the qualities of childhood. It is a beauty that is lost to age, but nonetheless a joy forever when captured before it is no more…as in this video.
One of my favorites is Going Home. (Lyrics shown below.)
The boys singing are from the U.K. and are called Libera. The singers are aged seven to sixteen and attend many different local schools in South London and come from a variety of backgrounds. Libera thinks of themselves as more than choirboys, but also as a boy band. Don’t miss the beautiful song that calls for God’s Mercy (Salva Me) and Abide with Me.
I leave you with this thought.
Ask God for mercy, and to know that He gives mercy and forgiveness. Certainly feel safe with Him. This song is about being saved from the darkness, chaos, from things that harm. To fly away and be saved from this darkness. To feel calm within the grace of God.
Sit back and quietly listen and enjoy in the frustrations of the day and in busy lives. You will not be disappointed. Lyrics to Going Home by William Arms Fisher, Music by Antonin Dvorak
Goin’ home. Goin’ home. I’m a-goin’ home.
Quiet-like some still day, I’m just goin’ home.
It’s not far, just close by, through an open door.
Work all done, cares laid by, goin’ to roam no more;
Mother’s there ‘xpecting me, father’s waiting, too,
Lots of folks gathered there, all the friends I knew.
Morning star lights the way, restless dream all done.
Shadows gone, break of day, real life just begun.
There’s no break, there’s no end, just a-living on;
Wide awake, with a smile, going on and on.
Going home. Going home, I’m just going home.
It’s not far, just close by, through an open door.
The Composer’s Story:
William Arms Fisher was a pupil of famed composer Antonin Dvorak, studying under Dvorak in New York City. A native of Prague, in 1893, Dvorak composed his most famous symphony, the Symphony No. 9 in E Minor “From the New World”. It was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and was an homage to the United States, which had just passed its 100th anniversary of being a country.
Contrary to popular belief, Dvorak did not base the symphony on any existing folk songs. Rather, he wrote original themes based on what he’d heard of Native American and African American music in the United States. The symphony was met with immediate success at its premier on December 16, 1893 at Carnegie Hall.
In a newspaper interview, for the New York Herald in 1893, Dvorak challenged American composers to look at their own country’s rich heritage of native music to draw their inspiration from. His full quote: “in the African American melodies of America I discover all that is needed for a great and noble school of music. They are pathetic, tender, passionate, melancholy, solemn, religious, bold, merry, gay or what you will. It is music that suits itself to any mood or purpose. There is nothing in the whole range of composition that cannot be supplied with themes from this source. The American musician understands these tunes and they move sentiment in him.” William Arms Fisher took up the challenge, starting by penning words to the Largo melody of the second movement of Dvorak’s symphony.