N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

Special Days and Times

OUR WINDOW for REPENTANCE

The Holy Scriptures gives a message to us for the healing of a nation:

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2nd Chronicles 7:14

Yes, there have been many marches on Washington for various reasons, but this one is to PRAY for our nation. The picture below shows the crowds coming together for a common cause.

Robert W. Kelley/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Overhead view of the crowd assembled on the Mall during the civil rights March on Washington DC, August 28, 1963.

AN IMPORTANT DATE FOR YOUR 2020 CALENDAR can begin the healing described in Holy Scripture.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2020 PRAYER MARCH in Washington, D.C.

America is in trouble. Our communities are hurting, our people are divided, and there’s fear and uncertainty all around us. Let’s join together and do the most important thing: pray!” Franklin Graham

THE ROUTE MAP:

If you can’t go to Washington, you can PRAY! All people of the world are asked to pray with us. Our world is connected!

Also on SEPTEMBER 26, 2020

A message on repentance and the window to Save America

VIDEO Narrated by Jonathan Cahn who is a Messianic Jew. (A Messianic Jew is one who believes Jesus Christ is the Messiah.)

The Return, National Day of Prayer and Repentance – Building up to it Cahn shares a powerful message on the power of prayer, repentance, and revival, to change history – from King Solomon to Abraham

Turn up sound


TOUGH WORDS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO “GOD BLESS AMERICA” Turn up sound


Military Sunday…COST of Freedom

Our National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. and in various churches, this Sunday, May 17, 2020, will be honoring our brave military who have served faithfully for our freedom and democracy.  We must remember that there was great cost.

fallen brought home with honor

 

What exactly is FREEDOM and its COST to us today?

This might be the time to ask ourselves some hard questions, as we have been told recently that we must forfeit many of our freedoms for the “good of all.”  We have to ask ourselves what will be the great cost to our democracy and freedom, as we see many private decisions slowly drifting…or rapidly falling into someone else’s hands to make choices for us….such as when we can work, run our businesses, shop, go to school etc. etc. ?

We, as citizens, appreciate warnings to potential danger and given a heads-up to prepare individually and within our community…just as we do when a devastating hurricane is approaching Florida or any part of our country.

I can never remember our local news saying “You are mandated to board up your house and stay inside because you could die from this approaching storm!!” 

They just inform us and expect that as responsible people we will prepare and do what is right for us and the neighbors around us.  Is EVERYONE always responsible?  NEVER...not in the past and not in the future. Some houses blow away and people are sometimes killed, but we then try to help as much as possible to rebuild lives.  One thing is certain, people are generous, helpful and outright heroic in many situations.  Most do not expect government handouts unless they are in dire need. Faith based organizations hand out food with these disasters and as they are doing now.

This is DEMOCRACY…and personal responsibility. This is what our military men and women have bravely fought to maintain.

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No governments… local, national, or international are able to have perfect answers when they begin dictating to the masses.  State and community rules/regulations that help our society are expected, when they don’t interfere with with our Constitutional rights that will be discussed later.  The individual is the patriot, the guy next door…like all of our military.

Our honored military have sacrificed so much for their country’s freedom. Do you think they were afraid?  Of course they were, but they knew without freedom we would have nothing to live for.  They went…They served…and they are loved for it!   Are people afraid today? Yes, for certain, if they are about to lose everything they have worked hard for over the years or if they have elderly parents who are facing things alone.   Wars were fought to keep our independence, starting with the Revolutionary War.

  • WHY did the U.S. and other freedom loving countries get involved in the wars listed below?  There is a simple answer….

TO PROTECT OUR FREEDOM TO MAKE OUR OWN WAY OF LIFE AND DECISIONS WITHOUT INTERVENTION FROM A DICTATORSHIP...whatever the name may be.

  • Why should we be concerned today?  I’m certain you are pondering your answer.
  • There is also another question that we should be asking ourselves:

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How do countries slowly, or not so slowly, lose their independence and freedom of choice?

“Although regimes vary widely, most dictators have at least a few things in common. They don’t come to power through free, constitutional elections. They often take control during coups d’etats, revolutions or…

states of emergency.

Once they have control, they have absolute, sole power.”  (Encyclopedia Britannica)

  • What about deaths brought on by men who cared nothing about freedom for their citizens…only about their own power?

(Deaths caused by three of the worst dictators: Joseph Stalin 43,000,000 Mao Zedong 38,000,000+ Adolf Hitler 21,000,000)

  • What about the dictators of today’s communist countries to whom we are giving much of our allegiance…wealth and intellectual property?

At the present time, we know there are gulags around the world where thousands are languishing and dying because they have no voice and are arrested with no recourse for protesting or speaking out about their government’s activities.  (The term, gulag, is a prison camp where conditions are extremely bad and the prisoners are forced to work very hard. The name gulag comes from the prison camps in the former Soviet Union.) Collins dictionary

Auschwitz2

AUSCHWITZ WORLD WAR II

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Military conflict has taken place during every year of the 20th Century. There were only short periods of time that the world was free of war. The total number of deaths caused by war during the 20th Century has been estimated at 187 million and is probably higher.  (from Imperial War Museums)

20th and 21st Century’s major wars:

  • The First World War 1914–1918
  • The Second World War  1939–1945  
  • The Korean War  1950–1953

Slide presentation:  (Give each picture a moment to change)

 

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  • The Vietnam War, 1955-75
  • The Gulf War, 1990–1991
  • The War in Afghanistan 2001–2014
  • The Iraq War and Insurgency, 2003–2011
  • The Global War on Terrorism, 2001–present

 

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Our freedom today in America and around the world is due to those who were willing to stand up and go into harms way to defend freedom.  This is why we honor them today in our churches, who still have church services…via the internet and TV broadcasts.  Because most churches place the physical health of their congregations as a priority, it was only the wise thing to do until they were able to assemble together again.  How to do this was up to the church to decide what was best to continue giving people the opportunity to worship.   Faith is alive and well, even if it is a family gathering around the TV at home. Underground churches have had to find creative ways to worship God in the past and present throughout the world.

A minister was arrested in Florida for not closing his church, which caused infection to spread from those not knowing they were carrying the Coronavirus. This act of defiance by the pastor, which was totally unwise at the time, lead the Governor of Florida to make this statement as the right to worship was being challenged by the local authority:

“I don’t know that [governments] would have the authority, quite frankly, to close a religious institution.” Governor DeSantis said in deciding not to shutter churches in Florida. “The Constitution doesn’t get suspended here.”

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  • What does our U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights guarantee us?

Our Constitution, through Amendment 1, guarantees FREEDOM of RELIGION, SPEECH, PRESS, PEACEABLE ASSEMBLY and petition of grievances.  Many young men and women have been willing to die for this freedom.  Many have!

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

US. ConstitutionBill of Rights

 

To all our military…from all wars…we THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND YOUR DEDICATION TO FREEDOM!

American flag held high

Honoring those who serve

Footnote:

My husband ,who is a retired U.S. Navy Chaplain, will be presenting the sermon from St. James Episcopal Church in Florida.  This will be taped ahead of time to be aired on  Sunday, May 17.  If interested in watching, it can be viewed on YouTube any time on or after May 17.  (Go to YouTube and type St. James Episcopal Church, Leesburg, Florida to view and choose the service for May 17.)

 

 


75 Years Since Liberation…Are we turning our backs?

The survivors of the concentration camp, Auschwitz, were liberated by the Soviet Army on January 27, 1945. What they found shocked the world and yet, even today, the Jews of the world are still being persecuted. Why?  The horror of these and many other photographs only tell part of the story.  Does the world want to endure such atrocities again?

It is difficult to look at this picture, but it is included in this particular blog because we must NEVER FORGET the tragedy forced upon the millions of Jews and non-Jews during this period.

A Liberator Remembers:

MOSCOW (AFP) — It was the silence, the smell of ashes and the boundless surrounding expanse that struck Soviet soldier Ivan Martynushkin when his unit arrived in January 1945 to liberate the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz.

As they entered the camp for the first time, the full horror of the Nazis’ crimes there were yet to emerge.

“Only the highest-ranking officers of the General Staff had perhaps heard of the camp,” recalled Martynushkin of his arrival to the site where at least 1.1 million people were killed between 1940 and 1945 — nearly 90 percent of them Jews. “We knew nothing.” But Martynushkin and his comrades soon learned.

After scouring the camp in search of a potential Nazi ambush, Martynushkin and his fellow soldiers “noticed people behind barbed wire. ‘It was hard to watch them. I remember their faces, especially their eyes which betrayed their ordeal,’ he said. The unit found roughly 7,000 prisoners left behind in Auschwitz by fleeing Nazis — those too weak or sick to walk. They also discovered about 600 corpses. Ten days earlier, the Nazis had evacuated 58,000 Auschwitz inmates in sub-zero conditions over hundreds of kilometers towards Loslau (now Wodzislaw Slaski in Poland). Survivors later remembered the “death march” as even worse than what they had endured in the camp. 

Prior to that retreat, Nazi units had blown up parts of the camp, but failed to destroy evidence of their genocidal work. Among items discovered by Martynushkin and other Soviet troops were 370,000 men’s suits, 837,000 women’s garments, and 7.7 tons of human hair, according to Sybille Steinbacher, a history professor at the University of Vienna.

January 27, 1945 — now commemorated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day — had begun as a normal day for the 21-year-old Martynushkin and his company, until the order was given to move towards the Polish town of Oswiecim, where Nazis had set up a network of concentration camps.

That led to the machine gun commander and his peers taking Auschwitz, liberating its survivors and discovering the nightmarish crimes that had been committed in the camp.  (Moscow AFP)

OSWIECIM, Poland (AP) — On Jan. 27, 1945, the Soviet Red Army liberated the Auschwitz death camp in German-occupied Poland. The Germans had already fled westward, leaving behind the bodies of prisoners who had been shot and thousands of sick and starving survivors. The Soviet troops also found gas chambers and crematoria that the Germans had blown up before fleeing in an attempt to hide evidence of their mass killings. But the genocide was too massive to hide. Today, the site of Auschwitz-Birkenau endures as the leading symbol of the terror of the Holocaust. Its iconic status is such that every year it registers a record number of visitors — 2.3 million last year alone.

Auschwitz today is many things at once: an emblem of evil, a site of historical remembrance and a vast cemetery. It is a place where Jews make pilgrimages to pay tribute to ancestors whose ashes and bones remain part of the earth.

AP Pictures of Auschwitz 75 years later: 

Pictures show places where prisoners were crowded into tight spaces, wired prison and crematorium where they were gassed and burned.

Has the world not learned the lessons of history? Is it repeating history by “turning it’s back” on the Jews or any other group of people enduring hate and torment?” If so, this is a warning that should not be ignored. Charges have been made that modern-day Iran is the “most anti-Semitic regime on the planet.”

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Holocaust survivors and world leaders that the world turned its back on Jews during the Holocaust, teaching the Jewish people that under threat they can only rely on themselves.

Speaking at the World Holocaust Forum’s memorial to commemorate the 75th liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp at Yad Vashem, Netanyahu said the world was similarly failing to unify against Iran, which he charged was the most anti-Semitic regime on the planet.

‘Israel is eternally grateful for the sacrifice made by the Allies. Without that sacrifice, there would be no survivors today. But we also remember that some 80 years ago, when the Jewish people faced annihilation, the world turned its back on us,’ Netanyahu said.”   (article by Raoul Wootliff and Toi Staff Jan.2020)

Over and over, we hear “NEVER AGAIN”…Yet in one form or another, genocide is part of many cultures and places around the world. We must not forget…and we must not turn our backs on any place where the people are helpless victims to the evils of their leaders.

“It was my privilege to take American high school students to Auschwitz and because we went to see this place of evil, their lives will never be the same…and neither is mine.”  N. Boyer of Boyer Writes

VIDEO OF THE 75th YEAR SINCE LIBERATION OF AUSCHWITZ from the location at AUSCHWITZ in Poland

(This video is full length. It is worth watching even if it can only be watched in short intervals.)  Turn up sound:


Dog Heros of 9-11

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

A friend sent me this article written by

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

 

9-1 dog Bretagne

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

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

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

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

 


The 4th of July and Amazing Grace

We, at Boyer Writes, wish all the lovers of FREEDOM and those who have served to give us lasting freedom, a very HAPPY 4TH of JULY!

Enjoy Music by: Jenny Oaks Baker is a Grammy-nominated American violinist and pianist, Condoleezza Rice who served as the 66th U.S. Secretary of State. Rice was the first female African-American to serve in this position. She also was the second female to serve as the National Security Advisor, after Madeleine Albright. (Wikipedia)

 


Christmas Day…and the Reindeer

Christmas Eve was silent as a baby was born in the manger.  He was wrapped carefully by his mother, Mary, in faraway Bethlehem.   Here in the United States and around the world, many families go to church on Christmas Eve to sing “Silent Night” and to remember this special event.

Afterward, parents tucked their children safely in bed…hoping they would go to sleep… as they wait for a special visit from Santa Claus.  The stockings are hung and the presents are hidden under the tree.
christmas-tree-near-fireplace_0

 

Santa must be very tired when all is said and done. Guiding his sleigh around the world on Christmas Eve was no easy job.  What every Santa needs on Christmas is to find some peace and rest.  Here on earth, the presents he brought have been unwrapped. The aromas from the stoves cooking Christmas dinner drift around the houses of the neighborhoods. We know the elves have closed up shop, but it leads us to wonder about something else.

“When Santa finished driving his sleigh to the homes of all the good little boys and girls around the world, what did he do with the reindeer? 

On Christmas Day,  Santa let his reindeer have some fun.  He took them to the races!

What races?   The reindeer races in Lapland and Finland, of course.  Want to see?

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OUR READERS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Countdown to Christmas…Day 4

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A real birth…a real Child born of a Virgin…a real Savior of the world.

Music video and dramatization   Turn up sound   (Josh Groban)

 


To all Animal Lovers…Merry Christmas

There are some times of the year that are fascinating not only to the young at heart, small children, but to our furry friends.

ddreindeer

DD plays Santa

This Christmas music is dedicated to them…with all our love!

Nancy DD and Gracie at Christmas

DD and Gracie with Boyer Writes author

 

Slide presentation: A special dedication to our military and their dogs

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For your listening pleasure!

Turn up sound  (Favorite Christmas music with the Hallelujah Chorus)

 

 

 

 

 


Belief…and the magic of Christmas

Christmas is a time of celebration and belief…belief in the true Christmas when the Savior of the World was born…belief in the joys that surround Christmas.  Many of these joys come in different forms.  It may be the decorating of the Christmas tree with all the old ornaments that have been carefully put away for another year.  It could be baking of a special pie or the wrapping of a present for a special person.  The choirs that sing our once a year music and the garlands and wreaths that are hung… bring a light and hope to  our lives and in our churches.  Some of those lights are bathed in sunlight and swaying moss from the trees, as here in my home state of Florida or in the beautiful snow-covered churches further up north.

Trinity Episcopal in Mt Airy NC

Trinity Episcopal Church in Mt. Airy, N.C. Winter snow of 2018

Some say that Christmas is for children.  We know it is a special time for them, but the true meaning of Christmas is for everyone.

“For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9:6 

To have the faith of a child…to be able to hear the ringing inside a small bell when grown-ups have ceased to hear it because of disbelief…is the theme of one of the most loved and cherished of Christmas films, The Polar Express.    available online

Recently, my husband and I sat down and watched the entire film.   It had been many years since we had seen it, but the “magic” was still there.   Tom Hanks plays various parts with different voices, which is analyzed in the video below to the meaning behind the characters presented in this great film.

At this special season, Boyer Writes would suggest that you gather your children or grandchildren around to enjoy the full-length film.  You are never too old to bring the joy of belief into your life.   In today’s world, we all need to seek to believe in the sacred meaning of Christmas and also in the joys and magic of Merry Christmas that we may have left behind in our childhood!


Remembering Pearl Harbor

This Christmas we will be having a guest who works here in Florida as a Safety Engineer at Universal Studios.   She is Japanese and a friend and business acquaintance of our son. We are happy that she will be a part of our Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus.  Who would have believed that Japan, after being such an enemy with the attack on our troops and ships at Pearl Harbor would rebuild and become a world power with our help?   Who would believe that the next generations would be our friends?

Several years ago, I was invited to Japan as an American educator from Florida by the Japanese government.  The first meeting that the Americans had with a Japanese diplomat surprisingly was a speech of apology for the war.  We were given a warm welcome to stay in the country, visit schools and have home stays with a Japanese family.   It was the country’s way of thanking Americans, after so many years, for helping rebuild the country after World War II.   It was a wonderful experience to be emersed in the Japanese culture.  Nancy and Bill with Japanese Counselate General in Miami

Today is December 7th when we remember Pearl Harbor and the price that was paid by so many in this attack…resulting in the thousands who died in battles with the Japanese and Germans. Many ended up in prison camps after the United States Congress voted to enter the war.   The dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan ended the war, but the horrors were profound.

The rebuilding process began and today Japan is a wonderful place to visit.  My husband and I went to Mt. Fuji during autumn and enjoyed the beautiful Japanese maples.  We hope to visit Washington, D.C. when the Japanese cherry blossoms are in bloom.Japanese Maple favorite for nancy and bill While we were in Japan, we went to the Memorial of the USS Arizona.  To know that the sailors who perished there are still entombed in their sunken ship was an emotional experience.

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The names of those on the USS Arizona are read by Bill Johnson at the Memorial at Pearl Harbor

 

Recently I found a video that was interesting as it gave some of the details of the attack on Pearl Harbor of which some may not be aware.

Video  (Turn up sound)


EVIL….We Must Not Forget

COM 2015 ANNIVERSARY

New York City remembers those lost in the 9-11 terrorist attacks

September 11, 2001 is a date that we must NEVER forget.   The world has known evil during World War II and the Holocaust and many other times when the innocent have been destroyed.   The attack on the World Trade Centers in New York City is also one of those times.

These are the devastating facts:

  • A total of 2,977 people were killed in New York City, Washington, DC and outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
  • At the World Trade Center (WTC) site in Lower Manhattan, 2,753 people were killed when hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 were intentionally crashed into the north and south towers, or as a result of the crashes.
  • Of those who perished during the initial attacks and the subsequent collapses of the towers, 343 were New York City firefighters, 23 were New York City police officers and 37 were officers at the Port Authority.
  • The victims ranged in age from two to 85 years. Approximately 75-80% of the victims were men.
  • At the Pentagon in Washington, 184 people were killed when hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building.
  • Near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, 40 passengers and crew members aboard United Airlines Flight 93 died when the plane crashed into a field. It is believed that the hijackers crashed the plane in that location, rather than their unknown target after the passengers and crew attempted to retake control of the flight deck.
  • Because of illness since the attack, a number of the rescue and first responders have also died.   Others, including the canine helpers, lived on but with some continued illness.

9-11 firefighters

Brooklyn Memorial to the First Responders

9-11 Bretagne and Denise Corliss

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

A Personal Note:  The men who flew the planes into the towers probably walked or biked by our house many times as they trained at a small airport in Venice, Florida.   A young pilot attending our church was in charge of training one of the men.  He could not understand why the student did not want to pay attention when he tried to teach the landing techniques of flying.  Finally, having enough of the attitude, he asked to be released from his duties as an instructor.   The student was given to someone else.  Later, the terrorists who had learned the basics in small aircraft went on to south Florida to learn more about flying large, commercial planes.   Had our U.S. government officials been sharing information on persons of interest with the local police force, these men who trained here to do their horrible deed would have been caught.  How tragic.

Just before 9-11, my husband and I went to New York to celebrate our anniversary. We took in a baseball game at Yankee Stadium. Sitting near us was a group of young firefighters, having a great time.  Little did they know that evil was going to take some of their lives within days.

We rode the bullet elevator to the top of the twin tower to get a spectacular view of the city.  It was a beautiful day and at around 9:00 am.   We were the only ones up on the top except for a woman who offered to take our pictures.  It was only from June until September that we could only imagine that there was probably another tourist standing where we stood to also enjoy the view….when the plane came in for the crash.  How tragic and how evil.

There were a number of planes up in the air at the same time on 9-11. Two went into the towers and one into the Pentagon.  Little did the terrorists flying over Pensylvania know that they had strong, American men on their airplane who loved American freedom and their lives. They were going to do anything to stop their plane from going into any other buildings where innocent people were living their everyday lives.     We’ll never forget the bravery when the words “Let’s Roll” were shouted and the plane was brought down in Pennsylvania instead of their planned destination.   Their bravery is beyond what we can say here.  To the families of all those who lost loved ones that terrible day, we promise that they will never be forgotten…not this year or any year to come.

9-11 shanksville Pennsylvania Jeff Swensen

9-11 Memorial at Shanksville, Pennsylvania

9-11 national memorial. at the Pentagonjpg

Evening 9-11 Memorial at the Pentagon in Arlington, VA

In 2017, my husband and I went back to New York City to once again walk around the memorial and read the thousands of names etched in marble.  With the sound of the water and flowers laid next to names with a birthday that day, it is beautiful. We also went to St. Paul’s Chapel which is situated next to where the twin towers stood.  Amazingly, with all the buildings falling and debris everywhere, it was not destroyed.  Even the steeple on the church remained.  St. Paul’s Chapel took care of the first responders through their long hours of working in the rubble.

9-11 St Paul's Chapel near One World Trade Center

St. Paul’s Chapel with the new One World tower behind

 

9-11 St Paul's chapel sign

The victims of 9-11 WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN.    We would urge all Americans and anyone making a trip to the USA to make this holy place a definite destination.

9-11 photos of victims9-11 national memorial.4jpg9-11 Never Forget

Men and women from many countries, nationalities and religious faiths were working in the buildings destroyed or riding on the planes on 9-11.  With that in mind, it was also an attack on the people of the world.   Those who might be tempted to turn a blind eye to what are the goals of terrorists should take a look at the video here as a reminder.

Video 1st video only from 60 minutes Over-time…”rare footage from Ground 0″   (turn on sound and give it a second or two to load)  1st video only   Click link below:

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/rare-video-from-ground-zero-on-911/


Enjoying a “Slow down” with a Historical Gift of Cherry Trees

It has been a few years since I strolled through the Fall leaves and sites of Japan.  The Japanese maples were at their most brilliant colors.  It has been my hope to return someday and see the glorious Spring in Japan when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.  I may have to wait and see them in Washington, D.C. These cherry trees were given in 1910 as a gift from Japan to the United States, in happier times before World War II.

History of the Cherry Trees in Washington you may not know:

  • In 1885, Eliza Scidmore returned from her first trip to Japan and approached the U.S. Army Superintendent of the Office of Public Buildings and Grounds with the idea of planting cherry trees along the reclaimed waterfront of the Potomac River.
  •  Mrs Scidmore, who was the first female board member of the National Geographic Society, was rebuffed, though she would continue proposing the idea to every Superintendent for the next 24 years!.

    Eliza_Ruhamah_Scidmore proposed planting cherry trees in DC

    Eliza Scidmore

  • Through persistence and some help from Mrs. Taft, the First Lady at the time, in 1909 the Embassy of Japan informed the U.S. Dept of State, the city of Tokyo intended to donate 2000 cherry trees to the United States to be planted along the Potomac.
  •   The first batch of 2,000 trees arrived diseased in 1910.
  • Japanese chemist, Takamine, who discovered adrenaline, was in Washington with Mr. Midzuno, the Japanese consul to New York.  Takamine asked if Mrs. Taft would accept an additional, healthy 2000 trees and she did. The first trees were planted.

    Original Cherry tree planted in Washington near stone Japanese lantern

    This is an original Japanese Cherry tree planted in Washington and is still standing today next to the Japanese lantern.

The Japanese Lantern is a stone statue in West Potomac Park.  It is lighted during the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival. A pair of lanterns were created in 1651, to mark the death of Tokugawa Iemitsu, who was the third shōgun of the Tokugawa dynasty.220px-Iemitu The lantern was formerly located at the Tosho-gu temple, in Ureno Park, where its twin remains today.  The lantern was given, by the governor of Tokyo, to the people of the United States, and was dedicated on March 30, 1954.   (Click here to see a panoramic view of the Tosho-gu temple in Ureno Park, Japan)

History of  Washington cherry trees continued:

  • The first “Cherry Blossom Festival” was held in late 1934 under joint sponsorship by numerous civic groups, becoming an annual event. The cherry trees had by this point become an established part of the nation’s capital.
  • In 1938, plans to cut down the cherry trees to clear ground for the Jefferson Memorial prompted a group of women to chain themselves together at the site in protest.  “This is the worst desecration of beauty in the capital since the burning of the White House by the British,” a woman chained to a tree proclaimed.  Roosevelt, who was President at the time, remained unmoved by the protests.  If the activists didn’t remove themselves, he said, “…the cherry trees, the women and their chains would be gently but firmly transplanted in some other part of Potomac Park.” The women finally left and the particular trees were taken out in the middle of the night to be transplanted in another place.

 

  • A compromise was reached where more trees would be planted along the south side of the Basin to frame the Memorial. These women would be happy to know that there are today 2,750 cherry trees in Washington, D.C.
  • However, World War II brought some problems. On December 11, 1941, four trees were cut down. It is suspected that this was retaliation for the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan four days earlier.
  • In hopes of dissuading people from further attacks upon the trees during the war, they were referred to as “Oriental” flowering cherry trees for the war’s duration.
  •  Suspended during World War II, the festival resumed in 1947 with the support of the Washington, D.C., Board of Trade and the D.C. Commissioners and has been an annual event since then.   (credit: National Cherry Blossom Festival, Wikipedia and Stacy Conradt)

Japanese Cherry Trees in Japan:

Japanese Cherry blossoms3Japanese Cherry blossoms4jpgJapanese Cherry blossoms and Mt Fujipg

 

For my reader’s pleasure, the music you are about to hear has been composed by Peter Helland of Norway.  His purpose was to help the listener to slow down, relax, and enjoy the peacefulness of his music.  Thank you, Peter, for we all need a rest in our often trying world. We also thank you for including the beautiful cherry trees in your video.  (It would be my suggestion to use this music, in its entirety, as background music for rest or something you can do while relaxing.  Enjoy!)

Music and pictures for “slowing down” and relaxation

Video  (Turn up sound)

 


Small Towns Remember MEMORIAL DAY

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

Military Memorial at Galax, Virginia

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

 

 

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

Men and Women of Valor Book Front copy

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

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

 

Francis Childress

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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


Holocaust Remembrance Day….”NEVER AGAIN”

Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial Hall of Names in Israel

Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Hall in Israel

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

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

Yad Vashim Children's Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem

Yad Vashem Children’s Memorial

 

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

Auschwitz memorial at Yad Vashem

Auschwitz pictures at Yad Vashem (Photo credit Getty Images)

 

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

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

shoes-yad-vashem

 

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

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

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

Holocaust plaque St Annes Church Poland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


What exactly is LENT?

Temptations_of_Christ 12 century mosaic st mark's basilica Venice _(San_Marco)

In St Mark’s Basilica in Venice is the painting of The Temptations of Christ

For readers who are not Christian or do not understand why Christians practice a somber period of time before the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, it may be good to give an explanation of LENT.

The word “Lent” is derived from Old English lencten, meaning ‘spring’, the lengthening of days after winter is over. This was a period of spring fasting known in Old English as Lencten-Fasten, or in its abbreviated form, as Lencten or Lent. The ecclesiastical name for this once mandatory period of fasting is the Quadragesimal Fast, or the fast of the Forty Days, in imitation of the forty days of fasting performed by Jesus in the wilderness.” (Encyclopedia.com)

Brooklyn_Museum_-_Jesus_Tempted_in_the_Wilderness_.

From the Brooklyn Museum is a painting of Christ in Desert during 40 days.

As Christians, we decide in our own ways, a time of reflection and serious thinking about the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus for our sins. Because Christ was born into mankind, he had to resist the temptations that men and women have had to face throughout history.  His ability to do so was no different from the soul-searching and agony that many of us face in difficult situations. That was because He was completely human even if He was the Son of God.

I would encourage our readers to take a few minutes to look for these opportunities to contemplate the life of Christ as part of your quiet times in LENT.

In the video below, the actors portray Jesus and His 40 days spent in the wilderness.  In this setting, Jesus was away from the crowds that followed Him and only had God, His Father to share His earthly conflicts.  It is during His time in the desert that Satan, dramatized here as the source of evil, appears to Christ and offers Him the kingdoms of the world and food for his hunger…with a condition.   Our own temptations often have compromises and conditions as well as consequences.

Parts of this video are difficult to watch, but there was nothing easy for our Lord and neither is resisting easy for anyone.   Perhaps understanding what Jesus the Christ went through will help us understand the season of LENT a little better.

Video   (turn up sound)

 

 

Credits:  The Bible TV Series,  Satan tempts Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4) extract by Tomas Viluckas 2014

 


The Fly-Over and the National Anthem of the U.S.A…Great Stuff!

In case you missed it…or didn’t plan to watch it…or for any other reason, you decided to turn the channel…here is one of the most beautiful songs for patriotic Americans and some history of the Heritage Foundation and the great pilots who did the Super Bowl Fly-Over.

The Fly-Over 2018:   

 “The Fly-Over this year was an interesting mix of aircraft flying over U.S. Bank Stadium.  There were four planes representing three generations of aircraft for the flyover:  F-16,   A-10 and P-51. They were flying in a diamond formation with the P-51 out in front, the A-10s even with each other on the side and the F-16 bringing up the rear.”  It was the United States Air Force effort to preserve and present planes of the past.  

The Heritage Foundation: ” Founded in 2010, it’s a nonprofit that brings together historic aircraft with contemporary fighters for public displays. Its charitable mission to make those planes available for events like this one. The flights are a living memorial to those who have served and are still serving.”  (click on link to learn more about the Foundation)

fly over for 2018

The picture above is a representation of the aircraft in the actual Fly-Over.

“It’s a really unique formation to take a look at, because you never really get to see those vintage aircraft flying with modern fighters.” 

“The heritage formation is unique. It’s usually just four modern day fighters that are all similar operating at similar speeds and used to doing a flyover together,” Maj. John Waters, the F-16 pilot, said.

“It’s a sign of strength and unity and the sacrifices that have been made… ”   (from SBNation by Ryan Van Bibber)

In honor of all branches of the military, we present:

The Military Honor Guard and THE NATIONAL ANTHEM    (turn up your sound…way up!  If blocked, click on YouTube link given.)


Is the State of the Union Address Important?

congress Getty photo

Photo by Douglas Graham/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images

Neighbor friends of mine have said, “I’m not watching it!”   Other elected officials from various states have decided to “boycott” the State of the Union address also…even if they have not asked those who elected them whether it was a good idea and did they approve?  Some Congress members have already decided that they will not stand or applaud even when what is being said is for the good of all Americans…simply because they are determined to be oppositional. That may be why many Americans see the Congress as a “do nothing” organization.

We ask at Boyer Writes the question: Is the State of the Union Message of any importance to Americans…the rich, the poor, the small business person and economists, the elderly, those who receive government aid, environmentalists,  our military, the immigrants…legal and illegal, who may be hoping to be citizens of the USA and all others who would put themselves in any category? 

We will address first the meaning of the State of the Union and its history…in case some should not know:

It is a Constitutional Duty.

“Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution provides that the President “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”

  • The Address is to be informative to the Congress and to every citizen of the United States…whether listening or not.   (Any elected official who does not show up to hear probably should be close to a T.V….just to be “informed”.)
  •  It is a part of our established history.  The President of the US has been giving this message in person to the Congress and the American people for 105 years since 1913 by President Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President.  With the advent of TV and the internet, it has been easier to reach the average person.  (Some may even ask why the average person should not be able to hear or know the direction of our country…just as the elected officials are informed?)

The Early history:  George Washington delivered the first annual address to Congress in 1790.  Thomas Jefferson discontinued the practice because he felt it was too monarchical, as similar to the “Speech from the Throne”.  He wrote it out and sent it to be read by a clerk.

There was controversy in 1913 when President Woodrow Wilson planned to reestablish the speech.  (Oh my, “controversy” also has a long history!)    There have been only a few exceptions by the U.S. Presidents of delivering the address in person to the Congress and to the American people, with the last being President Jimmy Carter in 1981.

  • Important enough to designate a SURVIVOR:   Whenever Congress meets together to hear the President speak, there is a designated survivor appointed. What does this mean?

“Since the ’80s, a designated survivor has been selected for the State of the Union. This is a member of the president’s cabinet who does not attend the event, in case a disaster or attack kills the president and everyone in the line of succession. The first designated survivor was Reagan’s Housing and Urban Development secretary, Samuel Pierce. The two cabinet positions most often selected to serve as designated survivor are the secretary of the Agriculture Department and the secretary of the Interior Department; both positions have been selected six times each. The only person to serve in the role more than once was George W. Bush’s Commerce secretary, Donald Evans.”   (taken from PBS News)

US-POLITICS-HOUSE

photo credit  BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Does history or tradition mean anything to the American people today?   Is it too old-fashioned to spend an hour before our TV sets or online to hear what the President has to say?

Do the personal opinions about the particular person elected to the office of President cloud a more important aspect of being American?   We must all remember that we are in it together for at least the 4 years the President will serve.  Decisions made by Congress will effect us all…and might be why they should be listening rather than protesting at this point.

Free speech (and opinion) is part of our right guaranteed in the Constitution.  The President is following the requirements of the Constitution to make this address.  That is why it is my opinion that we lay aside, for one hour, to check out what we may be up against for years to come…for good or bad.  Those who say, “I hate him and everything he stands for”… should remember that the State of the Union message is important for this reason. It is not a State of the Union on a Personality, but on our country and the future of our country.   If we don’t like the things said or the things proposed to follow in the next year or the next three years, try our other right…your VOTING RIGHT!   At least you will be able to say you’re informed.

Yes, We still have elections and the leadership choices are still made at the ballot box and not at the end of a gun as they are in some nations.  Thank God!    Therefore, in Honor of the office of the Presidency...whether you approve of the sitting President or not…here is HAIL TO THE CHIEF performed by the United States Army Band  “Pershing’s Own”.

 

Some information is taken from Wikipedia.    For more information on the State of the Union 


FACING ANOTHER YEAR…with JOY?

 

New One World Trade Center NYC

The years tick by like the clocks on our walls.  At this time we often look back to the joys or sadness that may have come our way.  Of course, this is not the approach that is best psychologically, but we all do it.   We have hopes and dreams which are part of the human spirit.  In order to reach for new goals, we may have to reflect on some of the things that have worked for us and those that have not.

In this blog, I reach out in my thoughts to those whose past year has brought great pain and need to know that they can be encouraged by those in their countries that stand beside them and behind them.  People are made by God for great endurance.

Throughout the Middle East, the Christians went to their place of worship in fear that they would be attacked and many were.  Yet they went.  Throughout the rest of the world,  Christians sang joyfully their songs of worship and praise for the birth of the Savior, Who is Christ the Lord.  Others mourned at the empty place at the table where their loved ones used to sit.  Many ran for their lives throughout the world when struck by Evil: ( Here is an interactive map that gives locations and stories behind the attacks.)

Recently I watched a moving account of the Boatmen in the New York area who responded when called by the United States Coast Guard for help at the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center.  I share this with my readers for a word of encouragement for the next NEW YEAR.

The video is also a message to any enemy of the people of the United States of America.  Be warned… the people WILL rise to defend and rescue as is so clearly shown in this presentation.  These were the STURDY NEW YORKERS…and you haven’t seen the MEN and WOMEN of the U.S. Mountains.  They have a strength all their own.  I know, for I was born in the mountains and have lived among them.  They are quick to action and try to never look back and say “I should have…”

May your New Year be one of JOY….ENCOURAGEMENT…and a true PEACEFULNESS.

VIDEO   (Turn up sound)


Coming home for Christmas…or not

We have all heard the song, “I’ll be home for Christmas”, but what if some of the people you love will not be there?  What if you were not invited to be with your family members in some other location?  You may have a family member in the military that is far away and the thing he or she would like most is to be with family,  but it is impossible. The song mentioned above is a heartbreak song for many.

There also may be family members who don’t want to share Christmas with you and have made that choice.  It is never easy to come to the realization that someone does not want to be with you on one of the most special times of the year…especially for Christians.   The question is…How does One deal with a reality at this time of year…or anytime, for that matter?

We really have one of two choices.  It can be to let our emotions and disappointment weigh us down OR turn our directions toward a time of thankfulness for all the other blessings that we have.

First, look around you.  Do you have other family members who are excited to be with you?  Lavish them with your love…for they have not turned away.   Do you have a roof over your head and food on the table?   Rest in your most comfortable chair and eat with gratefulness.  When the old, dark thoughts begin to come back and cloud your day, refuse them and look at the stars or the beautiful trees outside and realize that this life is too short to spend it in mourning…especially things that you can’t change.

Take someone by the hand and give them this message:

Christmas thought1

For us here in Florida, it may be down by the lake or through a green park, looking at the winter flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decorate a tree or a bush outside. Turn on some cheerful Christmas music…sacred or otherwise.  I never knew how anyone could come up with lyrics like “Grandmother got run over by a reindeer”…but maybe it is good to chuckle and then shake your head because we would never say something like that about our Grandmother.

Give your pet an extra pat on the head and a bone in his stocking.  What, no stocking for your dog!?   Find one.  Our beautiful 14-year-old Golden Retriever passed away this year, but I still strung lights around her memorial garden and whispered to her beautiful spirit, “These lights are just for you, Gracie”.  Surprisingly, a beautiful rose appeared on the bush above her little tombstone in the middle of winter.

Christmas 2013

Beautiful Gracie at Christmas 2015

If none of these spark your imagination or lift your spirits about missing family or friends, turn toward someone outside the family.   The scriptures tell us something that we should be doing, not only at Christmas but always.

James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

My husband and I have been surprised on returning to Florida from Virginia, how many people around us are either recent widows or in the last few years have become widowers.   We decided to visit them for a while to listen to their thoughts and feelings.  One lady has just recently lost her husband and will be having Christmas lunch with us.  I mention this to say that when we are feeling “blue” about family situations, it changes things when we reach out. Christmas on receiving

Don’t forget the different organizations that make it possible to help children who are in need.  Recently a child had written to her teacher that he only wanted Santa to bring a ball, some food and added…”I need a blanket.”   If that does not pull you out of doldrums, you may need to examine charities like Samaritan’s Purse that brings smiles to children around the world.   ( See Operation Christmas Child..Samaritan’s Purse)

Operation Christmas Graham Liberia

Christmas is not all about giving or getting.  I recently told someone that if I would receive a letter from my children saying anything of appreciation for me as their Mother, THAT would be “the best Christmas present of all.”    So often Christmas is hard on those who have had expenses throughout the year and the funds are just not there for presents of any kind.  Kind words and thoughtfulness is only the cost of a 50 cent stamp.

Christmas stamp

I close with this thought, with the help of a little friend, on the real reason for the need to choose a better outlook on the season:

True Christmas message

 

VIDEO     Winchester Cathedral Choir    (Turn up sound)


Memories of my Mother at 100 years old

 

This blog is in the honor of my Mother, Alta. If she had lived longer than 93, she would be 100 years old on December 6, 2017.  We miss her so much, so on her birthday, our son, Steve and husband, Bill,  and I will take a red poinsettia to her grave site.  It’s also appropriate for Christmas because this was also a holiday that she loved.

What does one say about a life that was lived so long?  My Mother was a lovely lady who grew up in North Carolina.  She was Alta Ellis West Barker Bishop.   Such a long name, but each part of the name was almost a life within a life.  As Alta Ellis, she was the daughter of a farmer in N.C.  Her Grandfather was a country doctor who ministered and saved lives during the American Civil War.  Alta grew up with five siblings.  Now there is only one of them with us today… my Uncle John who will soon be 95 and still playing golf.  Hopefully I have some of their Ellis genes.  My mother’s mind was sharp even until the day she died.  So was her ability to laugh and make jokes.  Her heart doctor came into her room to check on her and said,   “Mrs. Bishop, you are looking great!”    As he walked out, she turned to me and said,  “Boy, is he a salesman!”    Just that week she had consulted with her financial advisor and made her own decisions to enter Hospice for care if it was necessary.  She died a few hours later.

There are so many details in remembering the life of my Mother.

  • After graduating from high school at the age of 16, she left home to pursue a career in hair design and care.
  • She married and had her only child at the age of 21.  (That was me.)
  • Alta was a patriot. During WWII, she worked in a munitions plant to help the war efforts.
  • Always beautiful and glamorous, she opened her own hair styling business to give other women the same opportunity.
  • During those years as a single parent, she worked hard to support me and better our lives.
  • Two of her husbands died from illness and Mother always kept strong when facing adversity. I have tried to learn this value from her in some of my own difficulties.
  • As an older woman, she lived with my husband and me for a number of years and was a loving Grandmother to our children and proud to be a great-grandmother.  She always expected them to be loving, honest, appreciative and a part of the family.

We only have one birth mom. Alta was the one who gave me life.   She saw me through some difficult times… never blaming or demanding…letting me, as an adult,  make my choices for good or for bad.  Perhaps that is why I have followed the same policy with my own children.  In the end, I would never have knowingly hurt her.   This is why I honor her today with these few memories for they are too many to count.

Thank you, Mother, for all that you have meant to Bill and me…as well as all of our family.    I pray that my  soul may be happily united with yours when the time comes.  We miss you.

Slide show of Alta : Her love of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Virginia, her garden, the Florida beaches, her time cooking great meals for the family.

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These words may describe her best: caring, consistent, giving, genuine.  Just before her death, she asked my husband, Bill, to give her Holy Communion for she was ready to meet God. He did this and prayed with her.  Her Christian faith was strong.  We should all live our lives so that we may have this peaceful transition from this life to the next.

Probably her favorite scripture verse was John 3:16     “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believed in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

My Mother, Alta, wanted others to know the love of Christ that she knew…and the peace and joy knowing Him brings.   We lift up her memory and the Cross that she cherished.

(Turn on sound)


A Blessed Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Boyer Writes wishes everyone a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving….whether it is in your culture to celebrate this day or not…we pass along love and thankful hearts to you our readers. 

Music Video   Turn up sound

 


Total Eclipse…Ready or not..It CAME!

total eclipse sun and moon

UPDATE:   THE ECLIPSE CAME AND WENT.  BELOW IS HOW WE IN THE USA PREPARED FOR IT.  THE VIDEO HERE IS HOW ONE TOWN IN NORTH CAROLINA HAD FUN WITH IT.  ENJOY!

 

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Eclipse Preparation:

You may be saying to yourself, “Yes, the total eclipse is an exciting event…but what’s all the commotion about it?”

Well, I thought the same thing until I read an article by space.com.   The practical side of the event was something I had not thought of…so here goes to all my readers who may be faithfully waiting or those who may be caught unawares at the exact moment on August 21st.   If you live in the US and miss this event, you’ll have to wait 7 more years, until April 8, 2024, to see a total solar eclipse from a location in the contiguous United States.

If you are lucky to live between Oregon and South Carolina this year, you will be viewing the eclipse in the most narrow path of the totality.  Others in the U.S and outside the U.S will still have a view, but only a partial eclipse.

total eclipse

Here are some things that I learned from the article mentioned:

  • There will be big traffic jams heading toward the most direct path in the U.S.A…perhaps millions of visitors from all over the world.   We know what a minor accident on an interstate can do to your wait time.  Should you be out in traffic (not advised… if possible stay put) at the moment of the eclipse, you may need the following because of traffic:  FULL tank of gas, snacks, something to entertain children (and don’t forget they need eye protection when watching) etc. etc. 

 

  • You need SPECIAL, APPROVED GLASSES to view the eclipse. ..or you may cause great damage or blindness to your eyes.   Not all glasses will help you…certainly not regular sun glasses.  They must meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard. 

 

  •  If you are looking for the approved standard and not a fake,  “Purchase a pair from one of the manufacturers or vendors that have been approved by the American Astronomical Society.” They must be rated 14 or higher.  This includes any sales online.  (Click here to see the vendors)     (We plan to buy ours from Lowe’s Hardware since Lowes is practically my husband’s second home.)

Link:    Here is how you can tell if your glasses are safe. 

This is a list of times that you can see the total eclipse in its duration on August 21…that is if you live in these cities in the U.S.A.   (for 100 cities across the USA) 

Location Partial Eclipse Begins Sun Completely Obscured
Salem, OR 09:05 am PDT 10:18 am PDT
Idaho Falls, ID 10:15 am MDT 11:33 am MDT
Casper, WY 10:22 am MDT 11:43 am MDT
Lincoln, NE 11:37 am CDT 1:03 pm CDT
Sabetha, KS 11:38 am CDT 1:05 pm CDT
Jefferson City, MO 11:46 am CDT 1:14 pm CDT
Carbondale, IL 11:52 am CDT 1:21 pm CDT
Hopkinsville, KY 11:56 am CDT 1:25 pm CDT
Nashville, TN 11:58 am CDT 1:28 pm CDT
Talulah Falls, GA 1:07 pm EDT 2:37 pm EDT
Columbia, SC 1:13 pm EDT 2:43 pm EDT
Charleston, SC 1:16 pm EDT 2:47 pm EDT

Please note that this list includes only a small selection of locations where the total eclipse will be visible. You can look up more locations in our Eclipse Database or via the Eclipse Map.

total eclipse 2

You may want to gather your children or grandchildren around your computer and explain exactly what is happening when a total eclipse occurs.  Throughout the centuries the ignorance and lack of understanding science caused many fears and tales of dome and hysteria.   A blogger acquaintance of mine in England has written an interesting blog on this subject. ( See Stephen Liddell’s blog )

HAPPY VIEWING to ALL  from Boyer Writes

Video showing pattern world wide..click the lower arrow if doesn’t start.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lest we forget…Armed Forces Day

 

Thank you to all that serve

Take out your flag and raise it high for all to see, for today is Armed Forces Day.

“ARMED FORCES DAY. … On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days. The single day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense.”

We must never forget those who serve and the price they and their families pay.

Shawn Thomas and wife Coming Home killed in Niger

Shawn was married and the father of 4 small children. He was killed in Niger.

VIDEO:   Passengers witness  bringing home one of our bravest and finest.

IN HONOR OF Green Beret WO1 Shawn Thomas

 

angel flights

The Angels for Armed Forces® program provides free flights to military personnel and veterans, who need to access medical care.  It also provides flights for military family members who need to travel to visit injured service members and whose financial resources do not permit them to travel by commercial airlines.

These flights are conducted by AFNE volunteer pilots, many being veterans themselves, who share not only a love of flying, but also have a deep commitment to helping others. They donate their time, their airplanes, all expenses of the flight, and mostly, their hearts to serve their community and those in need.

Angel Flight NE entered into a memorandum of understanding with the USO in 2010 to mutually promote the Angels for Armed Forces® program.