At last…we here in Florida…have a day that feels just a little like Fall. The states further North are certainly enjoying this cooler time and looking forward to the glorious Fall colors. It is the time when orange pumpkins dot the hillsides in the Blue Ridge and other places. Get out the scarves and enjoy a walk!
My last post was about Japan and the Fall there is among the most beautiful. Enjoy from Boyer Writes!
From time to time, I think it is good to reflect on the beauties of the world rather than spend so much time on the difficulties and tragedies that exist. It is good for the soul and especially good for the emotions and good mental health. The Holy Scripture tells us of the beauty of God’s creation for which we are caretakers. His glory is seen in all the earth.
The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. Psalm 24:1,2
Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and to drink of clear water, that you must muddy the rest of the water with your feet? Ezekiel 34:18
For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12
Therefore, today, I’d like to take you to a place that my husband and I have enjoyed in the past...JAPAN. Even though we did not visit this particular place, Tsumago, we did have the opportunity to see the Fall leaves and Mt. Fuji.
In Tsumago, Japan, the restoration effort over the last fifty years or more has been to restore the buildings as they would have been hundreds of years ago. From the 1950’s, they started to get rid of all concrete buildings and as a reformer said, “We must reverse the trend to Americanize the village…”
This is what they have done and brought back the old crafts that have been part of their heritage. Great cypress trees grow there that could reach to a thousand years old. However, the cutting of the trees has led to much younger trees that Japan has now made a national treasure. No cutting is allowed without a permit.
“It was in 1950 that the inhabitants of Tsumago decided to take matters in hand and restore the historic buildings in this once busy village. Like its neighbor, Magome, it was an important stop on the Nakasendo road during the Edo period, one of the five paths used by merchants and knights on the Tokyo-Kyoto route. The results of the restoration are quite surprising when you visit Tsumago, the “time machine” effect works perfectly due to a blend of careful renovations and strict rules (such as cars not being allowed in the main street, and invisible electric cables, because they are buried underground. ” (Taken from Japan Experience)
The video, below, also shows how people of Tsumago came together to make their town historically correct as they removed many of the eye-sores such as advertisement signs and unsightly wires and poles. The Japanese have great respect for their customs, history and nature. They make an effort to use the woods of their forests respectfully and to keep God’s beautiful world a thing of joy for many generations to come. Deciding to slow down the pace of life and reflect on the great beauties around us is a wonderful example and lesson to learn.
Turn up your sound. ( Click and watch on You Tube if says “blocked.”)
For your weekend, the beautiful music of relaxation and peace with outstanding photography. Fall is in the air!
Blessings, Boyer Writes
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Click this link and turn up your sound.
This morning I ate my breakfast. As usual, I poured my non-fat milk over the beautiful, round blueberries that floated atop my cereal. This has been a habit for some time since I’m told that blueberries are really good for us.
Why talk about breakfast and blueberries? The reason is that we give little thought about these great fruits that are readily available to us in the grocery stores or the people who picked them. Aside from the hefty price on some of these “little darlings,” they are usually readily available most of the year. This may not be so true in the future…as some vegetables and fruits have been rotting in the fields. Why? The workforce is declining…as with other things in industry. (My doctor told me the other day that he is having a hard time getting inserts for his foot patients. No, shoe inserts have nothing to do with blueberries…but the labor force does.)
After I listened to an aspiring medical student, Gianna Ninno, who has picked blueberries since she was a young child with her family, I thought it was time to write something about these “heroes” of the marketplace. They are usually minority…both American and from other places.
Her statement, “The people who pick the berries can’t actually afford to buy them in the stores.” This puts a new slant on the farm workers that make it possible for me to enjoy my blueberries each morning. All I can say is “THANK YOU!”
I thank them for their labor, but also the fact that they are willing to put their lives on the line to do the job. During the virus epidemic, it was revealed that many of the farm and factory workers were showing growing numbers of contacting the COVID-19. This was especially true in the meat packing houses.
When we lived part of the year in Virginia, USA, I noticed that most of the workers there were not Americans, but immigrants that get short term visas to be part of our labor force. They lived in the small accommodations provided by the farm owner and rode to work in crowded vans. This, of course, was an invitation for sickness. Now, that travel bans have occurred, it is questionable if they will be able to help Americans with their harvest. We worried about paper goods during the first days of the Pandemic, but the foods we eat may be the next shortage. It might be wise to start a garden in your backyard, if you have the room.
Whatever money the farm workers make usually is wired home to their families in various countries. When the picking season is over, the farm owners fly them back home until the next season. It was explained to us that all of the paperwork was done correctly with the government. They are issued short-term work visas. These workers are appreciated because they are very hard workers.
The immigrants don’t receive welfare benefits from our government. Some of our own citizens are obviously unwilling to do the back-breaking work that these people are eager to do in order to take care of themselves and their families. Unfortunately, to their health and welfare, there has been a cost. We hope that they will be able to return as long as they are here legally and the farmers can afford them.
The laborers of the fields need the honor and wages due them. What does the Holy Scripture tells us about this?
“You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your brothers or one of the sojourners who are in your land within your towns. You shall give him his wages on the same day, before the sun sets (for he is poor and counts on it), lest he cry against you to the Lord, and you be guilty of sin. Deuteronomy 24:14-15
The video that you are about to see was made by a young woman who wanted everyone to know that many of our American, minority farm workers have a similar plight to those who come from out of the country. She is trying hard to earn extra money in order to finish her medical school education by doing the work that many others avoid. I will let her give you her story in this short video.
As for me, I will continue to enjoy my blueberries each morning as long as they are available. I now appreciate even more their beautiful, round, blue shape and their wonderful taste because I understand better that there are special human beings willing to work extremely hard to get them to me.
I bet you won’t think of a blueberry the same.
Click the link. (from ABC News If you are trying to watch on a phone, unfortunately, her video may not come up after the ad…which by the way, I’m not endorsing. Sorry if this happens…watch on your computer if possible.)
SUN.…Have you walked outside the air-conditioning and just felt the warmth of the summer sun on your face? There is something relaxing about drinking in the gift of God…bright, calming sun.
FLOWERS…Today we are going to think about all the beauty that summer brings…FLOWERS. My rose garden is a delight. When I reach for a new, glorious bud or an open bright, red bloom, I can truly say that all other thoughts leave my mind. They are perfection as they raise their long stems toward the heavens.
Oaks….The trees that shade us from the hot, summer sun and give the birds their perch…we honor you for you will probably still stand long after we are gone to God above.
BIRDS…The song of BIRDS are clearly heard each morning. Occasionally, I am at the right place and time to photograph a bird…not just any little bird…but the unusual, big birds.
BUTTERFLIES... Plant some seeds in your garden. You will be amazed at how fast they will grow into colorful blooms that the butterflies love. After they bloom, collect the old blossoms for the seeds. Shovel some dirt over the old flowers and watch them come up again. Giant sunflowers will do the same.
Rain that showers down the blessings of a fresh day. Filling our lakes and rivers that run into the oceans blue.
WAVES…If you love the sound of the waves lapping on the shore, the stretch of Beaches and the soft, smooth sand, you have found the perfect summer. Here, in Florida, we also have sand dunes. Once I encountered a 6 ft. alligator coming up the beach and slowly making his way into one of the sand dunes. He seemed to pay no attention that humans were sharing this lovely spot with him. THE JOY of SUMMER CAN BE ALL YOURS!
LOOK AROUND YOU AT GOD’S CREATION.
Enjoy the summer video below.
VIDEO FOR YOUR PLEASURE Turn up your sound
This is a short blog to give you a rest from all the difficulties of life. Listening to and thinking about too much in the news with total negativity can make your mind, not only depressed, but filled with dread and doubt about our lives on planet earth. God has something better for you to think about…HIS LOVE ND HIS CREATION! The music is LOOK AT THE WORLD by the great Christian composer, John Rutter.
FOR YOUR TOTAL ENJOYMENT AND REASSURANCE FROM BOYER WRITES
GOD BLESS YOU!
The truth of the butterfly is much like the truth of the Christian new birth. There was a time in my life when my senses about God and His Son were as dormant as it is in a caterpillar that doesn’t know it is to become something designed by God. Many Christians have this feeling.
The fact is that very caterpillar has to die before it can become a butterfly. The same is true with our old life.
Science tells us: “In order to be able to become a butterfly, the caterpillar has to fall apart completely, decompose down to its very essence, devoid of any shape or consciousness. It literally dies. There is nothing left of it. And from this liquid essence, the butterfly starts to put itself together, from scratch.”
There are many different caterpillars that make a unique type of butterfly in color and design.
People are also different. God will take our special personalities and use us how He chooses. His plan is to take your life and mine and make us in his honor. Just as the butterfly, He unfolds a new life in us. The old life will pass away, like that of the caterpillar. God’s goal is to make every Christian’s life more beautiful than could ever be imagined. The butterfly is our example.
Will the butterflies of various colors be with us forever?
A German study gives some difficult news of fewer butterflies than ever before…down by two thirds:
“Our study emphasizes the negative impact of the conventional, industrialized agriculture on the butterfly diversity and shows the urgent need for ecologically sustainable cultivation methods. Additional field studies may aid in identifying individual factors responsible for the insect die-back and in implementing appropriate countermeasures,” (Science Daily).
It is difficult to think that such beauty could someday be extinct from the earth, as have many of God’s other creatures.
Will the Christian be always on the earth to see it through rough times?
Apparently not, for God has promised the most beautiful place that He is preparing for us. When this will happen, we do not know. We are only told to watch and be ready. We are not promised, however, that we will not go through horrific times on earth before Christ’s coming. We are only promised that He will be with us and courage will be ours.
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36
Can we imagine that all the perfect parts of nature will be in this new, heavenly place that God is preparing? We will also be joined by those we have loved on earth…including our beloved pets. We are told also the lion will lay down with the lamb in perfect harmony.
I can only imagine the heavenly gardens with all the colorful butterflies that only heaven can produce! A new heaven…and this new earth made perfect by God with no more sin, fighting, or tears.
As scientists warn about global changes, the Holy Scriptures also gives fore-warnings about the ways of the world. We are not to be caught unaware… as we watch our earth decline…scientifically and within the lives and actions of people and nations world-wide.
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:15-17; NIV).
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:22; ESV).
God’s promise about heaven and earth to John in a vision on the Greek Island of Patmos, is recorded in Revelation 21:1-6
“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.
To the Butterflies…Thank you for your lesson of life to us.
Video: Background music for your special pleasure. Turn up sound.
“All that glitters is not gold.”
Do you know where this term originated? For our Thanksgiving post, I’d like to share with you a bit of history…and say that this is a most true statement. We think of solid gold that has great value, as in jewelry or other ornaments. Sometimes we even speak of people as being “worth their weight in gold.” Gold is a precious commodity. Nations have fought over it. Great gold pieces have been stolen from one land to another. Gold miners hoped to strike it rich and bet everything in their lives to seek its source. Yet, there are some things that are even more wonderful than gold.
“The original form of this phrase was ‘all that glisters is not gold’. The ‘glitters’ version long ago superseded the original and is now almost universally used.
“Shakespeare is the best-known writer to have expressed the idea that shiny things aren’t necessarily precious things. The original editions of The Merchant of Venice, 1596, have the line as ‘all that glisters is not gold’. ‘Glister’ is usually replaced by ‘glitter’ in modern renditions of the play…
Various different ways of expressing the idea that ‘all that glitters/glisters is not gold’ were in general circulation well before Shakespeare’s day and it was a common enough notion to have been called proverbial by the 16th century. The 12th-century French theologian Alain de Lille wrote:
“Do not hold everything gold that shines like gold”.
Geoffrey Chaucer also expressed the same idea in Middle English in the poem The House of Fame, 1380 –
“Hit is not al gold, that glareth”.
Nevertheless, it is Shakespeare who gave us the version we now use.” (The Phrase Finder)
So often the color, yellow, is associated with gold. The sun shines a ray of golden light onto the earth to bring us the things that do not sparkle, as may real gold, but can be enjoyed by both rich and poor. It is God’s gift to share with us the beautiful golden colors of Fall and throughout the universe with the golden twinkle of a star. A stripe of gold may adorn a small bird, a little flower, a sunset and many other things on earth. Even the color on my “golden” retriever, Gracie, is a special beauty…and she did not glitter…but oh, was so precious. We have “golden” anniversaries and friendship that we would not trade for even a tiny speck of gold. We are blessed beyond the price of gold with God’s love to us through His Son, Jesus Christ. Yes, not all gold glitters..or in Shakespearean days, “glisters.”
Boyer Writes brings you one of the most beautiful works of photography in this video entitled: “Sun Paints us Gold” by Tim Janis
Even here in Florida, we are experiencing a cold snap…so for all the readers who are experiencing more extreme cold…get your cup of hot chocolate and sit by the fire. Enjoy the cozy times.
This music is for you from Boyer Writes.
My last blog was in honor of a dear friend who passed away five years after brain surgery. It led me to think about those who were more fortunate to live a very long, productive life…even to 100 years or more.
One of those centenarians was 107 years old Raffaella Monne from a village in Sardinia. She had a great statement, which is part of a very interesting book called The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner. This is what she said that she would like to tell people today:
“Life is short. Don’t run so fast you miss it!”
National Geographic was part of the research on why some people live longer in different parts of the world. All these so-called “Blue Zones” had several things that were important to them:
- Diet: Mainly of home-grown vegetables, nuts, fish and sometimes meat. They were not strict vegetarians.
- Strong family and friend support system…taking time to chat and relax.
- Worked hard and walked a great deal, but slowed down to take a daily nap…less stress was important
- Strong faith in God and belief system
- Let the past be the past and live happily…with something interesting to wake up to each day.
Throughout the book, the American or Western lifestyle is challenged because of not only our unhealthy lifestyle, but the stress that brings on pre-mature disease and death. It is not hard to look around us at even the young who are carrying loads of fat on their bodies.
In the parts of the world that had a history of longevity, as soon as the Western-style businesses with fast foods became part of their lives, the death rate began to go up. I highly recommend that for a more thorough understanding of the things listed above, that you give this book a read. I am grateful that a friend recommended it to me. The Blue Zones
Dr. Amit Sood, MD of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. had this to say about missing life. “A Mind in Hurry hurries past the present. I am in a hurry when I am getting late. I am in a hurry when I am on time. I find myself hurrying even when I am before time. Hurry for me has become a habit.”
Determine to slow down…for it could be the best thing you ever did. Take a moment to look at the beautiful clouds, a rainbow, a bird on a branch, a small colored leaf or a child’s sweet smile. Say a prayer to God and thank Him for all these things. Breathe a fresh breath of life.
Raffaella, of Sardinia, had wisdom beyond her 107 years…for not missing life. We could call her short statement a God-sent, for we all would like not to miss the good things that life has to offer… simply by rushing around too fast to even notice.
“Life is short. Don’t run so fast you miss it!”
Music for a stress-free living from Boyer Writes
We look around us at pollution of our waters and land. There is much political debate about how the gases in our air will change the world. When our animals are suffering from lack of polar ice or fires in the Amazon, that provides not only habitat, but the air we breathe. Some of the world’s cities are blanketed with smog. It will take a worldwide effort to change much of what we have brought upon ourselves.
The question remains: How long does the world have to make changes that should have been made long ago?
Strangely, I found a video of one indigenous person here in the U.S.A. who has his own view of the situation. This Native American believes his ideas and those of the Hopi Indians in North America are the right ones. He even sees them as “prophetic.” He believes that when the first Europeans came to America to settle the land, they didn’t give honor to the pure water and sacred places of the earth made by the Creator and now we are paying for it.
Katherine Locke is quoted in the Navajo Hopi Publication as saying the following about the court fight and water rights that the Hopi Nation must have to sustain their life around the Little Colorado River Basin:
“The adjudication is designed to quantify each claimant’s water rights, both federal and state law rights and to determine claimants’ priority to the limited water in the Little Colorado River basin. This case does not involve claims to Colorado River water, which is outside the basin.
The Hopi Tribe’s water rights will be tried in several phases, the first to determine the Hopi Tribe’s past and present uses of the Little Colorado River basin. The second phase will begin in December 2019 and the court will hear testimony about the amount of water necessary for the Hopi Reservation to serve as a livable and permanent homeland for future generations. A third phase, which will be set for 2020 or later, will focus on the ranch lands south of the Hopi Reservation.
“Water sustains Hopi life,” a press release from the Hopi Tribe said. “There are many competing demands for water. The judicial proceeding will determine water rights for our children and grandchildren.”
The Hopi Tribe said during the trial, the long history and unique culture of the Hopi Tribe in Arizona will be presented by both witnesses and documents.
“Over a millennium, the Hopi Tribe has endured enormous hardships to sustain its way of life and developed a unique agriculture to sustain itself in a harsh and dry environment,” the Hopi Tribe said. “There is still a long road and many trials ahead before resolution of all claims. At each step of the way, the Hopi Tribe will continue to seek a just resolution of claims with its neighbors in the Little Colorado River basin.”
My thoughts are that environmental problems should be looked at with great concern for all of us. History tells a real story of what we have done to our lakes, rivers, streams and even our oceans. Our air didn’t become unpure overnight. All have been in the making for decades. What we have considered being an advancement to society, the industrial revolution may have become the world’s downfall. Factories belch black smoke and people around the world wear masks. It can’t come soon enough to clean up after ourselves of man-made pollution. We must find and initiate the answers before it is too late.
The Hopi Native American in the video below also believes that we have lost our understanding of the spirit within us and the spirit of all living things made by the great Creator of us all. He may well have a point.
Video on thoughts from a Native American (Turn up your sound)
If you are working, sleeping, reading a book, or doing something special, I highly suggest you turn off your phones, TVs with all the bad news, and relax with the video below. Less stress may even lengthen your life.
This morning, I went out and looked at my sunflowers with tiny bees (or insects..hard to say) enjoying their breakfast. God’s world of nature is totally relaxing. I thought you might like to see a picture…enlarged for viewing details.
Many of the pictures shown in the video below, with the beautiful music, are of Fall leaves. For all of us here in Florida and elsewhere in the country…and the world that have sweltered through the summer, a breath of Fall air would be a wonderful relief.
God’s blessings to all of you. from Boyer Writes
Video of relaxing music:
The troubles we encounter sometimes bring us to wonder if there is any way out. Life, in many cases, is not fair. Standing our ground; never giving up hope, and sometimes just plain fighting back is the only way.
I recently saw the video below and it reminded me of this fact. In this case, a baby elephant had been separated from its mother and was attacked by a large number of lions. It is breath-taking to watch. He is a tough little guy and the odds certainly are against him. Nature is harsh and relentless. Survival is not always possible in nature, but within the animal and in man there is the God-given spirit to fight off the offender and not only survive, but to live…truly live another day.
Isn’t that the case with difficult situations? We just have to “tough” them out. Solutions are not always easy. To find a solution may be through our own searching or through the help of others…but there usually is an answer to the heart-ache or trial that besets us. Whatever yours may be, don’t give up. Remember, there is usually someone wanting to help you by lending a hand.
In our video, the 14 lions attack an elephant from behind…climbing on the elephants back…trying to bring him down. You may notice that the elephant had a strategy. He led the lions into the water…chasing them back…dropping back into a safer area…and continuing this fight time and time again. Toward the end of the film, the elephant’s strategy has worked, but he returns to the same place of danger. We are left fearful that he will be attacked again. Perhaps one thing we know is that if we are moving away from the dangerous things in our lives and then return again to the same place, it may not be the smartest move. I’ll have to tell you that it was reported that in the end he was reunited with his elephant family.
The lions attack from behind and hang on, hoping to wear the elephant down. Isn’t it the case when life’s troubles attack? They often come from behind when we are not expecting them. As they hang on, we are made weary or even in some cases become sick from the anxiety. Troubles may be something of our own makings, such as a wrong decision or even drug or alcohol abuse. Then again, it may be family or work difficulties.
The “fight back” is not revenge or plans to get even, but one that will get the “monkey off the back”…(or the lion in the elephant’s case) and to find peace and rest. Some things you can’t change for they are out of your hands. If this is your situation, stop beating yourself up about the matter. God knows far better than you how to change something that you can’t. Therefore, seek Him out in your thoughts and prayers. Put your life in His hands.
Just for fun, it might be good to get a cool lemonade, sit back and sing along:
IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMER TIME
You’ll notice that the words are supposed to be romantic even if it is 99 degrees outside. I don’t know where you are, but in Florida…holding someone’s hand in hot weather means a sweaty palm and hot between the fingers! So, if you want to be romantic with Tootsie Wootsie, head for the air conditioning.
Most people will also not know that “Tootsie Wootsie”, who is the loved one in “Good Old Summer Time”…or a term of endearment to many…is really a demeaning Australian term for a woman. Of course, we know that we would never mean anything demeaning to the women we know, or especially to this cute little girl in our video below. We’ll not let that term in this summer time song get under our already hot skin. We’ll just go with the flow!
So here goes, sip your lemonade and sing to the top of your lungs. Your dog will probably howl, your kids will run to their rooms and your wife or husband will look at you like you are nuts…and maybe even the neighbors if you have your laptop out by the already too warm water in the pool. Keep smiling and keep going on for summer is here whether we like it or not…and August is a long time from now. It is what it is!
Turn up your sound and click here. 2 videos:
Eternity is a word without a real meaning. If we look it up, the closest definition would be something like this: “…a state to which time has no application; timelessness.” The simple words would be “forever and forever” which is definitely difficult to understand.
Almost all religions have a belief in an eternity. Some think that they have to work for it. Others believe that it is a gift of God, through His Son Jesus Christ. Another faith thinks that life just begins again and they hope that they will return as a more elevated human and not one of the lowly animals or insects. The whole concept is so broad and “endless” that the mind cannot comprehend. The question then is whether we should even be concerned about something in which we do not have a real answer? I think so. We plan ahead for many things: Our wedding day, our place of residence, our finances, our grave-site…but why not think about the eternal? Somehow I think it should be thoughts of joy instead of foreboding…especially when we have had loved ones who have gone before us.
We know we were born. We also know that we will all die eventually. Our love for each other draws a great well of desire to want to see each other again in eternity. Do we have the perfect answer to eternity…no…not in ourselves, but yes, in the Holy Scriptures we have promises. We are told, “...to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” (2nd Corinthians 5:8) That verse alone should give us great hope. We are promised a resurrection of the body, just as Christ was resurrected. When I decided on cremation after death, my thought was to wonder how all of those dust pieces were going to be put back together. How juvenile a thought was that! If He can sling the stars into orbit and match up molecules, He will have no trouble with the resurrection!
As a Christian, I believe in eternity. It may be hard for an atheist who thinks when one dies it is the end of everything, but I have always felt that if there could possibly be any truth in this belief, I would have lived a happier life because of my own joy in believing in God and the comfort it has given me. How sad and morbid to believe that there is no one who will enjoy eternity with the Maker of our most glorious universe. Those who have had a near-death experience recall a wonderful feeling of love. They speak of seeing someone that appears to be God waiting for them in a bright light. According to some records, surprisingly, 75% of those thinking they were dying as atheists have told of this same experience.
Recently, I saw a special on the amazing new parts of the universe that have only been identified by the most powerful telescope sent into space. The most familiar and powerful so far has been the Hubble Space Telescope. Nevertheless, there is “a new kid” in the making.
The newest and most powerful telescope is the James Webb Space Telescope. It is to be the successor to the Hubble telescope and will be launched in 2021. Here are a few facts concerning the future launching:
The James Webb Space Telescope will be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket. The launch vehicle is part of the European contribution to the mission. The Ariane 5 is one of the world’s most reliable launch vehicles capable of delivering Webb to its destination in space. The European Space Agency (ESA) has agreed to provide an Ariane 5 launcher and associated launch services to NASA for Webb. (Nasa)
Why do I digress from writing about eternity to telescopes? It is with delight that I think those who are experiencing their eternity are having a perfect understanding of the formation of the universe and all there is on other planets. If there is life on other worlds, our loved ones would have the joy of knowing this. (Forget about the Hollywood version of the “little green man with a pointed head.”)
Thinking of the possibilities makes “eternity” seen a little shorter than “forever”…mainly because it would take forever to know all there is to know, which is impossible without the mind of God. Could it be that He will provide His mind for us to know and understand all these glories, that we have only slightly seen through the telescope, and be able to experience the glories for eternity?
(A side-thought: I can’t imagine that we will be going from planet to planet as on some fast-moving whirlwind because the Scriptures also says that there will be a place of peace. He promises that the lion will lay down with the lamb. Could that mean that at the Savior’s return to earth that He will also bring those with Him who have died and bring absolute peace onto a new earth? )
And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them. Isaiah 11:6 (NASB)
Jesus also prayed a prayer to his Father in Heaven, who made the universe that He wanted us to know the glories of the universe: “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” (John 17:24)
Regardless of what eternity may mean, we will draw our last breath and then we will know it all. TO GOD BE THE GLORY
VIDEO (Turn on sound)
The JOY OF LISTENING to calm the soul
In memory of those lost in Hurricane Florence and those in Distress
Beautiful nature photographs by N.W. B. (See right side /”Visit Site”)
Music and Nature are a perfect combination for your listening pleasure. May you make time to contemplate on both. The road of life may seem long, but actually it is quite short…so enjoy it and be glad.
VIDEO (turn up sound) by Mark Knopfler
Today I want to introduce my readers to a man who has found his direction in a most unusual way. I write about him because in my previous blog, I talked about “New Directions.” This man has followed his passion after leaving a profession as a sailor and it has led him to more than he could have ever imagined. His name is Caras Ionut (or Ionuţ Caraş in the Romanian language ) His specialty is manipulating photography in a surreal style.
“In his work, he uses his own photographs, which he inserts, composes and colorfully adjusts in a suitable way. In his dream works, physically impossible scenes arise, such as a little girl hanging on a swing hundreds of feet above the ground, an elephant riding a bicycle, a little girl riding on the back of a huge fish, and the like. Ionut often puts man in his paintings. Often they are small children, but also special people not fit into the standard society. Roamers, beggars, comedians, and so on. Their image is enhanced by a dark landscape with old trees, dark sky, mist, mountain scenery or rainy weather. Often, the element of umbrella, ships, water, rocks or birds (such as ravens) is repeated in his work. Ionut’s inspiration for his works draws from his dreams in the night, from the colors of autumn and winter. He works as a professional photographer and a retoucher, offers courses and tutorials for those who want to learn how to digitally manipulate photos… Many of his images have been used for book covers, audio cd, bank advertisements, website materials, local publications, prints, and many other uses. He now has many clients…such as Stephen King and others…” (Wikipedia)
Below are three sets of slides for you to enjoy. Take your time and study them for the creative side is excellent. I’m not certain if the child he often incorporates in his photography is his own, but the combination of the “impossible” with the real is somewhat chilling, but very interesting.
- THE IMPOSSIBLE
- DRAMATIC NATURE
- THE WARMTH OF ORDINARY PEOPLE
Look around you for the beauty that is in YOUR path…
Credit: All photography by Caras Ionut
Our home in Virginia, USA, is just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. We have deer strolling throughout our yard at most any time of day. They are beautiful and besides the fact that they eat our day lilies, we love them! Here is a picture of the most recent one. We’re not certain why she has a split ear, but she seems healthy enough Perhaps she got it caught on a barbed wire fence.
We’ve had rabbits, birds and a bear with three cubs during our time here. It is the deer that are graceful that is truly lovely to watch.
I’m sure that should one of them have a fawn in our yard, as did this man, I would not have the patience to see it through to adulthood…but I thought this video might brighten your day. It is somewhat lengthy, but it has a good ending…and worth the watch.
My growing up home place was in the Brushy Mountains outside Wilkesboro and N. Wilkesboro, N.C. Keep this city name in mind for there is a treat at the end of this blog.
After high school, I left with my parents to live in Florida. I never expected that I would one day go back to the mountains. Since Fall is my favorite season and unfortunately, in Florida, we only get a few brown leaves in mid-winter, we have to be in the mountains to enjoy that season. Don’t misunderstand for I’m not complaining about the beautiful green, citrus fruit, or warm weather in Florida. It’s still a great place even with the frequent hurricanes.
Riding just a little further up the mountain to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, my husband and I felt it was a wonderful place to enjoy at least for a few months of the year. Winter is a little too cold for us “flat-landers”, as we are sometimes called. The time we stayed on after the Fall to see the first snow, we bundled up like we were in Alaska to take our dog, Gracie, out for her final evening bathroom break. She would stand and stare into the woods, sensing the deer were close by. Their eyes would sometimes shine in the dark…and the wind biting at our noses sent us racing back inside the house.
Nevertheless, I think that the “country girl” was still in me. Coming back to Virginia and North Carolina, it was evident that I had a great affinity for the way of life and the people of these mountains.
Why do I say this? I only know that the people have a warm disposition and a sense of humor that I have not found to such a degree anywhere else around the world. I have been fortunate enough to visit or teach in places like Mongolia, Guatemala, Ukraine, Switzerland, France, and Japan. Still, these hills and the valleys, where a person can look deep into a ravine, keep calling me back. Fourteen cousins and my Uncle John still call the VA-N.C. mountains and foothills their home…so it’s probably a genetic “family thing” as well.
The Blue Ridge has it all…steep mountain cliffs and valleys, rolling hills filled with vegetable crops and orchards of delicious fruit.
The bear, deer, rabbits, and other “critters” also make it their place of residence. The humming- birds fly to the sweet-smelling sugar water put out in the gardens and the rabbits help themselves to whatever… wherever. Speaking of bear, one came up to our front porch to push over and have her fill at our feeder. No longer do we provide such a delicacy.
From my window, I can hear the cows, donkeys and lambs in the fields. At night the stars are clear and brilliant. When the moon is full, the coyotes roam about making their distinctive sound while looking for something to bring back to their little ones in the den.
The Spring along the Blue Ridge Parkway is filled with wild-flowers and the white and pink rhododendron bushes line the road. Small barns, churches, and family graves stand as a testament to those who have lived here in generations past. Some mountain people with roots back to the Civil War, still proudly fly their Confederate flags and dare anyone to tell them that they can’t. They also just as strongly hold to their “guns and their religion.” They are a proud people, that I have found, will come to one’s help at anytime or any hour.
Someone may ask why I am writing about the Fall when it’s Spring and Summer is just around the corner? Perhaps I’m giving an invitation to make your plans now to see this glorious place. Not so long from now, the leaves will flutter about and turn to a deep orange and red. The pumpkins will lay over acres and acres of the hillsides turning the farms into a special hue of gold. The tractors will slowly make their way from the fields to the barns. Sometimes those same tractors take family or friends on flatbeds to enjoy the countryside. Visitors from far and wide stop and take in the breath-taking views of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
It’s also the Fall that brings the people to these mountains.
Maybe my next book will be for all these visitors who come this way … to give them heads up and a little advice to what it’s like to visit or live in the mountains. I’m thinking it will be titled, “What Everyone Needs to Know Before Visiting or Planning to Live in the Blue Ridge Mountains.”
This might be a part of this new book.
“Don’t come thinking that you’ll be treated like in New York City…or Paris…or somewhere. You’ll have to slow down, enjoy English laced with a warm, Southern drawl, and be greeted just like you are family. When you go to a small, family-run restaurant, walk right in, greet the people sitting there with “Hey there. How’s everybody? Got anything good to eat in here?” (Not “Hi There”…for it’s N.Y City sounding to their ears..and remember this is “Rebel” territory.)
They’ll know you aren’t from the Blue Ridge, but they’ll be friendly- like and greet you with some jolly response. Don’t worry if someone comes over to your table and asks your name or finds out what brought you to these parts. When you finish eating, look around, wave and tell everyone, “Goodbye…see you next time!” They’ll appreciate it.
When you drive back to where you are staying and a truck rounds the corner giving you a “one finger wave,” (NOT the middle)… just wave back. They aren’t flagging you down…but saying “Hello.”
Want to know more? Be looking for my book title sometime in the near future on the internet. As I close this blog, I think I will let the Kruger Brothers sing what it’s like to be in “Carolina in the Fall”….and I would also add… Virginia. Hope to see “Y’all” up this way someday.
VIDEO (Turn up sound)
While much of the nation has been piled with snow, the eagles have weathered it all until their little ones could be hatched. Here is the great event from the live cam above Washington, D.C.
God’s world is so amazing. We give thanks for all its glory. Welcome to our world, little eagles…for you make it a better place!
Video Credit: Turn up sound Cheryl Loheit. © 2018 American Eagle Foundation
When we are in Virginia, we receive an email telling us when the Space Station will be flying over our home and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Because we have no street lights, it is quite clear and the Station can be seen moving on the path above our heads.
The video I’m sharing with my readers today shows a working relationship between the U.S., Russia and Japanese astronauts. It is a good thing that they are professionals and want to do their work and experiments without political interruption. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
The tour of the Space Station is given by Sunita Pandya Williams, an American astronaut and U.S. Navy officer of Indo-Slovenian descent. She formerly held the records for total spacewalks by a woman (seven) and most spacewalk time for a woman (50 hours, 40 minutes). Sunita was assigned to the International Space Station as a member of Expeditions 14 and 15. In 2012, she served as a flight engineer on Expedition 32 and then commander of Expedition 33. (Wikipedia)
Thank you, Sunita Williams, for your great tour. As we watch from the ground, we know better what the crews in the Space Station are experiencing amid the stars. Long live international cooperation!
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).
Often we hear a philosophy or belief in a specific culture that makes a great deal of sense. For instance, the Japanese believe that when a person turns 60 years old, they are able to start a new cycle of life. They call this special age, kanreki.
It is a time for people to arrange things in a proper place. Some Americans may call it “getting things in order…or even downsizing.” The Japanese think it is a time of celebration and the beginning of a new life cycle, so they celebrate the 60th birthday by giving gifts that are red and having a party. The gift could be a red shirt, scarf, or even red underwear.
Now the color red is a vivid color that has energy and stands out from other colors. Perhaps this infers that this new phase of life should be taken on with a new enthusiasm and with new prospects for the future.
According to Japanese Society, “achievements are celebrated and a lifetime’s troubles are forgotten as the celebrated individual enters a new stage of life with all the joy and possibilities of a newborn.”
Perhaps we Americans should think more along this line and have more fun. We often hear people say things like “Getting old..or older…is not for the faint-hearted.” This seems pretty pessimistic to me. Life is not over…it is just a new chance at a new beginning.
The Japanese also refer to this year as a Year of Reflection.
60-year olds are expected to use this year as a year of reflection. They are to look at their lives and achievements and use this time as a good opportunity to plan the direction in which they would like to move as they begin their second sixty-year cycle of life. Beyond the Kanreki, they celebrate the Koki (70 years old), Kiju (77 years old), Beiju.(88 years old), Sotsuju (90 years old), Kajimaya.(97 years old), Hakuju (99 years old), and Hyakusai No Ga (100 years old). (from online Japanese culture)
As a Christian, we would say to be “Thankful” for a long life and give God honor for all He has blessed us with in life. The Japanese think it is a time to forget the past and move on…leaving it behind. This seems like a very good philosophy of life. If you are passed the age of 60, you can still celebrate…for you have lived longer. If you are not age 60 years old, dedicate your life to the beauty of living…for the years that you may have before you.
Another thing I read about recently was the way the Japanese look at a snowflake. It is a perfect example of symmetry and each one is different. The pictures below were made by Wilson Bentley.
As you can see, each snowflake has a different shape. We could compare them to the fact that every human is made differently and wonderful. The snowflake is beautiful as it floats from the sky to the ground. The time of its forming until it melts on the ground is a short time. So is life. The days of men and women are numbered and short, but much of life is beautiful…especially if we try to see that beauty. Your life was specifically formed to be only you. Each one of us will live and each one will die…as the snowflake sheds beauty on the world until it is no more.
Even the Japanese cherry blossoms come only for a short time in all their glory. Sometimes they even look like snow drifting …drifting…gently drifting. Shortly they will reach the ground, sharing their beauty one more time.
Try to share your special beauty with someone around you today. Celebrate Life!
Enjoy Kyoto in the Snow video. Turn on sound.
(Taken by Althea Pan)