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.
Would things have been different for Jesus had Pilate listened to his wife? Could He have avoided the terrible death of crucifixion? Pilate’s wife came to him, pleading that he not harm Jesus. In fact, she said for him to have nothing to do with Him. This was a strong statement. “Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.” Matthew 27:19
It appeared that she believed strongly in her dreams and what they may mean. She also “suffered” in them, so the dreams must have been terrifying. Regardless of how she got the word, she knew her husband might make a grave mistake. She had to warn him! She also calls Jesus an “innocent (or just) man”.
Who exactly was Pilate? Better known as Pontius Pilate, he was the fifth prefect of the Roman province of Judaea from AD26-36. He had served under Emperor Tiberius and according to various writing was probably a Roman equestrian. (The Equestrian Order is the Plebeian nobility. … Also referred to as the Equites, or Knights. In Roman antiquity, these were the wealthy, landed Plebeian merchant class granted a “Public Horse” by the State so they could act as the Republic’s cavalry. Wikipedia)
Pilate’s position gave him authority to grant or deny certain requests by the people. Pressure was building on Pilate from the crowds of people and the traditions of the time of releasing from prison someone on certain days. In this case, the mob wanted Barabbas to be released and Jesus taken.
“When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.” Matt.27:24
On releasing Barabbas to the mob and giving them Jesus to crucify, Pilate not only ignored the wise words of his wife, but made a terrible prophecy to future generations. He publicly and ceremoniously washes his hands and calls out to the people, “ His blood be on us, and on our children.” Did he have any idea what he was really saying? Probably not, but he wanted to rid himself of all responsibility. One can imagine what his conversation was like with his wife that evening!
Sometimes we are warned by those around us when we have major decisions to make…to be careful…to reconsider. We can choose to ignore and rush out on the limb because of fear; lack of self confidence…or even the pressures being brought about by work or relationships. It is an age-old problem for all of us.
Back to our previous question: Could Jesus have avoided the Crucifixion if Pilate had listened to his wife?
Maybe He could have for that moment, but not in the long run for God had a plan to save the world from sin and give forgiveness and meaning to our lives. He had told of this plan to the generations before by way of their prophets. The betrayal of Christ by Judas (discussed in the previous blog) and leading up to the events of the crucifixion, had been clearly told in what is now the Old Testament Holy Scriptures. We are told in the New Testament, “But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled” (Matt. 26:56).
If you are a Jewish reader, who has dismissed these prophecies as pertaining to Christ, Who you do not believe to be the Messiah, I challenge you to read the prophecies and their fulfillment written below… and ask God to show you His truth.
Jesus, Himself, had shown the Jews that followed Him that they had been shown by the prophets His death and purpose: “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24:25-27).
Let’s take a look at a few of the many Old Testament prophecies and their fulfillment in the New Testament: (Taken from Messianic Prophecies bible.com)
1. SOLD FOR THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER by Judas
Prophecy: Zechariah 11:12 And I said to them, “If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!” So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages.
Fulfillment: Matthew 26:14-15 Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests, 15 and said, “What are you willing to give me to deliver Him up to you?” And they weighed out to him thirty pieces of silver.
2. THE MONEY CAST TO THE POTTER
Prophecy: Zechariah 11:13 Then the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the LORD.
Fulfillment: Matthew 27:5-7 And he threw the pieces of silver into the sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. 6 And the chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood.” 7 And they counseled together and with the money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial place for strangers.
3. THE DISCIPLES FORSOOK HIM
Prophecy: Zechariah 13:7 “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, And against the man, My Associate,” Declares the LORD of hosts. “Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered; And I will turn My hand against the little ones.
4. SMITTEN AND SPIT UPON
Prophecy: Isaiah 50:6 I gave My back to those who strike Me, And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.
Fulfillment: Matthew 27:30 And they spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head.
5. DUMB BEFORE HIS ACCUSERS
Prophecy: Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.
Fulfillment: Matthew 27:12-14 And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He made no answer. Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?” And He did not answer him with regard to even a single charge, so that the governor was quite amazed.
6. WOUNDED AND BRUISED
Prophecy: Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
Fulfillment: Matthew 27:26, 29 Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged, he delivered Him to be crucified. . . . And after weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they kneeled down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
7. HANDS AND FEET PIERCED
Prophecy: Psalm 22:16 For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet.
Fulfillment: Luke 23:33 And when they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.
8. CRUCIFIED WITH THIEVES
Prophecy: Isaiah 53:12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.
Fulfillment: Mark 15:27-28 And they crucified two robbers with Him, one on His right and one on His left. 28 (And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with transgressors.”)
9. PRAYED FOR HIS PERSECUTORS
Prophecy: Isaiah 53:12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors. (emphasis mine)
Fulfillment: Luke 23:34 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.
10. GARMENTS PARTED AND LOTS CAST
Prophecy: Psalm 22:18 They divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots.
Fulfillment: John 19:23-24 The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece. 24 They said therefore to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be”; that the Scripture might be fulfilled, “They divided My outer garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.”
11. HIS FORSAKEN CRY
Prophecy: Psalm 22:1 For the choir director; upon Aijeleth Hashshahar. A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.
Fulfillment: Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? “that is, “ My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me ?”
12. GALL AND VINEGAR GIVEN HIM
Prophecy: Psalm 69:21 They also gave me gall for my food, And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
Fulfillment: John 19:28-29 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch ofhyssop, and brought it up to His mouth.
13. HIS SIDE PIERCED
Prophecy: Zechariah 12:10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born.
Fulfillment: John 19:34-37 but one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water. 35 And he who has seen has borne witness, and his witness is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. 36For these things came to pass, that the Scripture might be fulfilled,” Not a bone of Him shall be broken. “ 37 And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”
14. DARKNESS OVER THE LAND
Prophecy: Amos 8:9 “And it will come about in that day,” declares the Lord GOD, “That I shall make the sun go down at noon And make the earth dark in broad daylight.
Fulfillment: Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. (The Jews reckoned twelve hours from sunrise to sunset. This would make the sixth hour about noon, and the ninth hour near three o’clock.)
15. BURIED IN A RICH MAN’S TOMB
Prophecy: Isaiah 53:9 His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
Fulfillment: Matthew 27:57-60 And when it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given over to him. 59 And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.
Perhaps in her dream, the wife of Pilate saw all these things that would come to pass. She knew this innocent man’s crucifixion was nothing for which she wanted her husband to be responsible. Yet, if it had not been Pilate who turned a deaf ear to the pleas of his wife, there would have been another who would have condemned Him. God, the Father, had a plan for the world and for His Son to be the Redeemer and the Messiah. If she had seen more, she would have known that her terrified dream had a magnificent ending… the Resurrection after the third day. She would have seen that His followers recognized him and that He showed Thomas the nail scars on his hands.
Jesus said to Thomas, “… reach hither thy finger and behold My hands…”
VIDEO: turn up sound and share in a peaceful worship of a Greek Orthodox Christian Byzantine voices for Lent
We are in the middle of the Season of Lent…a time of reflection, repentance and waiting for the great and glorious Easter Day. Having recently attended an event with educated, talented and, yes, sophisticated people, I was struck by the attitude of a person I knew to be a regular church-going person…a professing Christian. It began as a friendly conversation that moved clearly into a belief in self-importance and frankly, snobbery. The person mentioned that they had left a certain congregation because “the people just didn’t have our same social class…mostly trailer park people.”
I came away wondering what Jesus would have thought about “trailer park people.” Many of the people we know, especially in the mountains that we visit each summer, might fit that category of housing…small places, double and single wide trailers, but they are some of the nicest people I know. Some of their dwellings may be humble, but they are definitely down to earth, courteous, loving and caring about others….the salt of the earth. If this person, that I mentioned above, had the opportunity to sit down beside one of my friends in a small cafe and really get to know them, she would find out what we know…they are are truly real people!
In fact, these are some of the very people that Jesus went out of His way to seek out. They weren’t the wealthy or the highly educated…or even the most moral. Most were not self-righteous or condescending about others. They did, however, have people who refused to socialize with them. The woman at the well, who had many husbands and was then living with someone other than a husband, could not understand why Jesus, a Jew, was speaking to her as a Samaritan. Yet, He never spoke down to her as if she was not worthy of God’s love. Most Christians believe that simply giving a drink of cold water in His name is the same as giving it for Christ.
How often modern day people…even Christian people…lift themselves up on a pedestal, thinking of themselves as better than others. I think it is time that all of us take a hard look into our hearts and see if any of these words apply to us:
- holier than thou
When speaking of others or refusing to reach to others, because of our own self-importance or superior feelings, is certainly not following the example of Christ even if we profess to be a Christian. We were not called to be a Christian by elevating ourselves above others. Ultra-sophistication can severely limit the joys in life and the people that He would bring into our lives because we believe that others do not quite make the grade.
We have been told that there is level ground at the Cross. Even the mother of the sons of Zebedee missed the mark when she asked for her sons be able to sit directly next to Jesus when He came into his kingdom. Why would she feel that they were any better or more important than others that followed Him? Jesus left it up to His Father in Heaven to make this decision. He also talked about those who wanted to be “great…shall be a servant.” (Matthew 20:26)
Think about it as you approach people in your walk of life. Those who think of themselves too highly may end up being rebuked by our Lord, as were His disciples.
For me personally, I’m looking forward to sitting with my friends who may live in humble circumstances …hearing their delightful stories and being enriched by their lives… and hopefully to enrich theirs.
VIDEO: Turn up sound
Judas Iscariot has become a name synonymous with betrayal and evil against the Son of God, Jesus Christ. No person would want to name their child Judas because of what the name represents. There has been debate about whether Judas, who had spent at least three years following Christ; seeing His miracles and hearing His words of wisdom and love, could actually be forgiven for what he ultimately did. The Holy Scriptures tells us that he took money from those willing to pay him for betrayal. This is the Blood Money of which we write. He knew that he was selling out an innocent person. ( Matthew 26:24 says that it would have been better for him that he was never born. )
Jesus knew who would betray Him and told Judas that what he was about to do, to do it quickly. Even though the other disciples seemed to have no idea what Judas was up to, it was clear that both he and Jesus knew this would happen.
What happened to Judas at that point? We are told that when he made his decision to betray an innocent person…the Messiah…that Satan entered into him. (John 13:27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him…”
Once a person has allowed Satan to take over, there seems to be no turning back. His mind was clear about the reality. He was doing a wrong and horrible thing to the innocent Son of God. He was about to do the very thing that would lead him to his own death and he was doing it with a kiss.
Afterwards, Judas was remorseful, but being remorseful does not necessarily mean that there was repentance. Rather than seeking forgiveness, “…he went away and hanged himself” Matthew 27:5
Yes, he had tried to give the money back, which those ready to kill Jesus would not receive. ( And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So they took counsel and bought with them the potter’s field as a burial place (Matthew 27:5-8) Aceldama (əkĕl´dəmə) [Aram.,=field of blood]
One may ask the question, “Is there anything that God will not forgive?” It appears so if there is not true repentance. We have good news of justification in the Holy Scripture about this subject and God’s washing of us clean with the sacrifice of his life for us. However, there will be those who will read this scripture and be disturbed by it because it does not fit the ideas of modern society:
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
One must remember that there is always repentance. Jesus met the woman at the well and told her everything that she had done wrong in life. He met others whose lives were out of control and he only said, “Go and sin no more.”
We are told that blaspheming the Holy Spirit is unforgivable: Mark 3:28-29 “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” We hear people swear using God’s or Jesus’ name in vain, but I’ve not heard anyone swear using the name of the Holy Spirit. Why? I don’t know.
People who are dying may ask for the last rites or prayers be said for them. This is a good practice for those who want to get things right with God before meeting Him face to face. This is most helpful. However, it does not take a priest or someone to pray over us to make this happen. As I have often said in my blogs, the shower is a great place to pray. God is anywhere you are.
So often people die tragically with no warning. This is why we should face each day with a prayer of confession and each night with a contrite heart before our Creator. God looks on the heart. In this time of Lent, before Easter, we lay ourselves and our actions before Him…knowing that He has paid the price for sin and has promised a glorious resurrection to those who trust and follow Him.
Do we have the answers to what will happen to those evil ones in the world, who attribute to the harming of others or those who shed innocent blood? The answer is “No” but God has told us to repent and He will remember our sins no more.
There are many who are guilty of “blood money”….blood actions… and God is the great and powerful Judge Who will one day ask for accountability. No one wants to be a Judas.
All we can pray is “God forgive me. Draw me nearer to You.”
Video. Turn on sound and enlarge.
Hymn written by Sarah F. Adams, 1841. Sung by the Sharon Singers of the Sharon Mennonite Bible Institute.
Mozart Statue in Vienna… It was erected in 1898 and moved to its current location in 1953, reflecting Vienna’s love of the music of Mozart.
Some of the world’s most beautiful music has been composed to bring us into a worshipful place. Ave Verum Corpus by Mozart is one of those compositions.
Mozart died less than six months after writing this music. He composed the motet while in the middle of writing his opera, Die Zauberflote, and while visiting his wife, Constanze, who was pregnant with their sixth child. The motet, which is a short piece of sacred choral music, typically polyphonic and unaccompanied, foreshadows “aspects of the Requiem, that is a mass for remembrance of those who died. The best-known part of the requiem mass starts with these words:
“Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine” or “Give them eternal rest, O Lord”
At this time of Lent, music played before Easter is usually mournful or sad because Christians are contemplating remembering the death of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Often a black cloth is draped across the crosses…to be removed on the glorious day of resurrection…Easter Sunday.
Turn on your sound and enlarge the picture for the best of King’s College choir at Cambridge and the Ave Verum Corpus by Mozart.
Blessings and peace to you from Boyer Writes
Throughout history, there has been religious groups spreading their mayhem into lands where innocent people have been brutalized. One only needs to read the Holy Scriptures to find what happened when the Jews took revenge on their enemies. The Muslims invaded territory after territory with slaughter. The Christians were also brutal during The Crusades. On and on it goes if we look into Genghis Khan and tribal warfare around the world.
Christians were burned at the stake during the Inquisition. Today, in the Middle East, they are being murdered for their faith. Jews were murdered by the millions in World War II.
There has never been a peaceful world since sin and evil began. Will there ever be peace or will the fury remain? We’ll attempt to answer this at the end of this blog.
Great anxiety is happening as nations in our modern day time deal with the potential of nuclear warfare and even the possibility of space warfare as more deadly inventions are developed. Should people be more than a little anxious…you bet they should be! Who then is responsible for the fright that people feel? Is it the actions of a new administration which swears to protect the people? Is it our own imaginations and thoughts that pity the people who try to flee to a safer place regardless of their religious beliefs and actions of tyrants?
An article was written recently that had a number of responses from readers. A reader challenged the author with the following words about the raw nerves and anxiety of people concerning extreme vetting of refugees who may or may not be Muslim because the entire world is worried about terrorism in all forms. He wrote the following, giving specific examples of why extreme vetting may be the only answer to finding out the motives of people who come to a country other than their own:
“…the US isn’t responsible for anxiety about Muslim refugees. Who is actually responsible? People such as Somali Muslim migrant Mohammad Barry, who in February 2016 stabbed multiple patrons at a restaurant owned by an Arab Christian; Ahmad Khan Rahami, an Afghan Muslim migrant who in September 2016 set off bombs in New York City and New Jersey; Arcan Cetin, a Turkish Muslim migrant who in September 2016 murdered five people in a mall in Burlington, Washington; Dahir Adan, another Somali Muslim migrant who in October 2016 stabbed mall shoppers in St. Cloud while screaming ‘Allahu akbar’; and Abdul Razak Artan, yet another Somali Muslim migrant who in November 2016 injured nine people with car and knife attacks at Ohio State University. What’s more, all of the Islamists who murdered 130 people in Paris in November 2015 had just entered Europe as refugees. In February 2015, the Islamic State boasted it would soon flood Europe with as many as 500,000 Muslim refugees. The Lebanese Education Minister said in September 2015 that there were 20,000 jihadists among the refugees in camps in his country. Meanwhile, 80% of migrants who have come to Europe claiming to be fleeing the war in Syria aren’t really from Syria at all. So why are they claiming to be Syrian and streaming into Europe, and now the U.S. as well? An Islamic State operative gave the answer when he boasted in September 2015, shortly after the migrant influx began, that among the flood of refugees, 4,000 Islamic State jihadists had already entered Europe. He explained their purpose: ‘It’s our dream that there should be a caliphate not only in Syria but in all the world, and we will have it soon, inshallah.’ These Muslims were going to Europe in the service of that caliphate: ‘They are going like refugees,’ he said, but they were going with the plan of sowing blood and mayhem on European Crusader streets. As he told this to journalists, he smiled and said, ‘Just wait.’ On May 10, 2016, Patrick Calvar, the head of France’s DGSI internal intelligence agency, said that the Islamic State was using migrant routes through the Balkans to get jihadists into Europe…”
Most people that I know have a great deal of empathy for those people caught in war and are persecuted for their beliefs. They are not against people for their religious beliefs as long as they are ones of peace and tolerance. Unless the reasons for coming to America or any other country are for these reasons, people neither want to be enslaved to another religion or murdered for their beliefs. We are all responsible to not allow that to happen. Unfortunately, it will be hard for us to know exactly who those with evil in their thoughts really are unless we actually hear or observe someone spouting these thoughts and goals. We’ve been told “See something…say something.” Otherwise, we are at the mercy of those professionals in our countries who watch out for us.
Courtesy of Phil Schmidt
So is there any hope? Will there be peace on earth? It begins with us for certain and every individual. The Holy Scriptures tell us some disheartening news:
“And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled, for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places.” Matthew 24
“Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy.” Proverbs 12:20
Fourteen years ago, Gracie, our Golden Retriever, came to us as a tiny puppy. She was named Gracie Star of Venice, but we only called her “Gracie”. As her health declined in the last few years, we knew that someday we would have to let her go. Today is that day. Only those who have been loved by a pet unconditionally know our sense of loss.
This blog is to honor our gentle, sweet Gracie as she lived life to its fullest, loving everyone that she met. So many blessings to all of our family, neighbors and friends.
Prayer for Gracie Star of Venice
This we know, Our Father in Heaven, that every living thing is Yours and returns to You. As we ponder this mystery, we give you thanks for the life of Gracie and we now commit her into Your loving hands.
Gentle God: fragile is Your world, delicate are your creatures and costly is your love which bears and redeems us all.
Holy Creator, give us eyes to see and ears to hear how every living thing speaks to us of Your love. Let us be awestruck at your creation and daily sing Your praises. Especially, create within us a spirit of gratitude for the life of this beloved pet, Gracie, who has lived among us and given us freely of her love. Even in our sorrow, we have cause for joy for we know that all creatures that die on earth shall live again in your new creation. You have promised that in this new creation the lion will lay down with the lamb. We believe that sweet, gentle Gracie will be there to lay down also. Amen (parts taken from Prayers and Liturgies for Animals)
FRIEND TO ALL
We will miss you, Gracie.
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)
Once a year, we as a nation stop to say we are “Thankful”. It may be a time of family sharing a carefully prepared meal or watching the parades or games on T.V., but we also stop to thank God for the many blessings given to us…especially our personal freedom to worship God.
To our readers around the world, Boyer Writes wishes you a blessed Thanksgiving and our thanks to you for being a Boyer Writes reader.
Video (Turn up sound)
It was three in the morning. As I looked out the window onto a dark mountain whose tiny night lights shined in the valley, I saw something spectacular. It was the heavens above…not the earth below. There are no street lights in the mountains to interfere with the glory of the heavens that a cold night reveals….millions of stars and planets. It certainly puts one into a more realistic perspective. Problems seem to disappear…and one has to truly wonder with the writers of the Scriptures, “What is man that You are mindful of him.” If God is big enough to make all this and still see the sparrow when it falls, then He can take care of me. I think of my Mother who passed away at 93 and wonder what she is experiencing in this great universe. Truly the Heavens declare the Glory of God.
One may ask, “How do I know there is a real God and how can I know that He knows and loves me?” This video may help you with that answer. Produced by outstanding scientific minds who know faith, this is truly a beautiful view of our world and universe.
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America was built by the courageous who wanted freedom. It has been continued by the courageous who have shed their blood and lives to maintain freedom. Americans must decide on being courageous if freedom will last. Don’t forget from where we have come and remember that the future depends on the now.
As a Christian who worships in the Episcopal Church, (that’s Anglican to you Brits), I am used to quiet, reverent worship and more traditional Christian music. My readers have probably noticed that I often post choirs from England because it is the music I love. When I heard this praise music and it being sung in so many languages, I felt it was time to think about being ONE voice…together...in a world that is so divided and torn.
The Holy Scriptures says in Philippians 2:9-11
“Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Someday politics will not matter… presidents, kings or queens will no longer rule but bend the knee like the rest of us. We will all stand before the throne of God and His Son, Jesus. He will hear us in our own language… or the language of heaven…whatever that may be. In His love and presence, we will be ONE with no more tears, sadness or evil ways. It is definitely something to ponder.
The song that is being sung is Revelation Song written by Jennie Lee Riddle. You may want to know the story behind the song. (Every country and the written language of the singers is shown. Turn on the sound. ) If this touches you, pass it along to others.
Whatever happened to SS. General Hans Kammler?
This is the question that many history readers are asking and will enjoy THE SEEDS novel that attempts to answer it.
THE SEEDS, a historical fiction novel by N.W.Boyer
THE SEEDS originated from a blog that I have written for a number of years called Boyer Writes. One post on World War II and the Nazis, who fled to Argentina and other places, seemed to be of great interest to my readers. I was amazed that one particular post called What Happened to General Hans Kammler? received hits every day for years. Some readers wrote me that they knew where General Kammler had lived or that he was an uncle who was elderly and had escaped prosecution. Readers even started to make comments back and forth to one another because they were certain that they knew the answer to the question of the General’s whereabouts.
Who was General Hans Kammler?
General Kammler, as portrayed in this book is entirely fiction. The accounts of him, based on historical facts is that Kammler, from 1944, was head of advanced weapons development in Nazi Germany, including the Me-262 jets, the V-2 rockets and perhaps even the exotic Bell Project.
This fascination about General Kammler also led me to explore the thoughts of where he might be hiding and thus, this novel evolved.
First, I gave it birth online with the help of pictures and videos found on the web. Many of the places described in the novel, as the World Seed Vault in Norway, sometimes referred to as the “Doomsday Seed Vault” or the people, places and cultures of the Middle East, are generally not known or understood by other parts of the world. This only increased the mystery behind the writing.
I hope you will follow or return often to this blog site to see what other books I have written. Thank you for reading.
See further information on THE SEEDS: Available on Amazon in paperback or on Kindle.
Besides all the topics in this political season, immigration is still a big bear. It rises up on its hind legs and screams at us “How dare you think of being in my territory!”
Yet, we are soft-hearted, wanting all to have opportunity. We know and love our history in the U.S.A. which tells us about people of every race and religion who carried their meager belongings onto Ellis Island and settled throughout our country. Some of these fled great persecution. All hoped for was peace and a place to live and raise their families quietly. It is no different today. Why then is there so much furor over this very topic of immigration?
The answer may be one of these:
- We like our culture where all nationalities can flourish here.
- We like our choice of religious faith. We don’t want people to come here with the goal to change us.
- We wish we were not a “nanny state” that rewards people for little work since our emigrants of the past had to work hard to even exist. (We have watched the Mexican laborers working in the fields of VA and no one works any harder than they do.)
- We’d like to have control of our borders.
- We want immigrants to be vetted and come legally.
- We’d don’t want to feel threatened by those who claim to hate what we stand for.
I’m sure there are more reasons that we could list…but space is short…for you will stop reading and you’d never get to the informative, factual video presented below for all our thinking.
Within these reasons, we stated that we “like our choice of religious faith”. This is where the rub comes when considering immigration. One of our treasured freedoms in America is the freedom of religion and immigrants bring theirs with them.
First and foremost, we must state here that we are entirely for any immigrant bringing his or her own faith with them and worshiping as they see fit. It is another thing for any emigrant or group of immigrants to have as their goal to change the Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses…and any other faith into the Muslim faith. It is also another thing to have them want to change our laws of the land to include their beliefs, which may include the belief of Sharia law.
(In another blog I told of our wonderful neighbors in Florida who were born Muslim and practiced their faith, while appreciating that we are Christians, without trying to change us.) Having said this, we are certain that there are many Muslims just like these neighbors. Unfortunately there are those also who want religious change in America. If you want to know more about the many facets of Sharia Law, this site is recommended: Sharia Law in America
One may say, “Why write about the Muslims’ belief in Sharia and not another faith?” Good question, but other faiths are not calling people “infidels” because they practice faiths other than the Muslim religion. No radical branch of Buddhists, Jews or Christians are beheading anyone. It is fairly simple to see why people of many faiths are concerned about mass immigration of Muslims to the United States or to Europe, who adhere to Sharia Law. In some cases, assimilation into the culture of the chosen country is often not a part of the immigrant’s plan or encouraged by the leaders within the community, leaving Sharia Law as their focus.
The title of this blog is Demographics and the Future. We start with the meaning of demographics? It is “statistical data relating to the population and particular groups within it”. Population growth or lack of growth plays a big part in people continuing to enjoy the history,culture, and religious beliefs of which they have always been a part.
We now have to take a long, hard look at demographics, in this world of change, as it relates to population and immigration of Muslims from Muslim countries to countries where religious preferences and laws are not Muslim. What then will it mean to the culture and future of any country?
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!
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On the week of the 4th of July…2016, we thank God for our freedoms. We celebrate our Independence Day…fought and won from one of our present day strongest allies, the United Kingdom. We honor the men who had the vision for a place to live, worship, and govern as we wanted ..and for those through the years who have died to keep that freedom.
So how did it exactly happen? When were we first able to criticize our government? Perhaps this video gives us a little understanding of the history of our Declaration of Independence and the cost to make this a country of freedoms.
Whether you are an American or live elsewhere, we at Boyer Writes wish a HAPPY 4TH TO ALL OUR READERS! Long live freedom!
HE IS RISEN TODAY AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER. AMEN
“For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures.” 1st Corinthians 15:3-5
This is the Thursday before the Crucifixion of Jesus. On Holy Thursday (also called Maundy Thursday), Christians commemorate the Last Supper—a Passover meal that Jesus shared with his disciples the night before his death, which we shared in our last blog. During the meal, Jesus broke bread and offered his followers wine, saying “This is my body, given up for you.”The arrest and flagellation of Jesus occurred before his trial. Condemned, he was led off to suffer crucifixion on the cross, a Roman means of torture and death.
Painting by Rubens
Credits: Video St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir “God So Loved The World” by John Stainer. Cathedral photographs St.Paul online.
The Last Supper with the Disciples
“Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He said, ‘Take this and share it among yourselves. For I tell you, from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’
And He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said, ‘This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.’
In the same way He also took the cup after supper and said, ‘ This cup is the new covenant [established by] My blood; it is shed for you. But look, the hand of the one betraying Me is at the table with Me! For the Son of Man will go away as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!” Luke 22: 17-22
Then He went to pray in the garden. “And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39
Credits: Photo on History Channel Actor, Choir Kings College
Palm Sunday is part of the Christian worship and the season of LENT. This was when Jesus rode on a borrowed donkey and the people laid before Him the palm branches and cloaks …honoring Him like a King. A King was what they wanted to free them of all the oppression in their day. So much like we, in the modern world, look for a leader to save us from our miseries. We may be looking the wrong way, for Jesus knew he must die first for the sins of the world in order to give the world the chance for a heavenly kingdom of total peace with mankind and God, the Father, Creator of the universe.
Count Down: Day 6 The Triumphal Entry, Day 5 Last Supper and In the Garden, Day 4 Trial Day 3 The Crucifixion Day 2 In the Grave, Day 1 Glorious Easter…Resurrection Day