N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

Stories of Courage

Do you think you missed God’s Miracle?

Everyone on earth has heartache in one form or another.  We pray during these trying times.  Sometimes we beg God to “Just do something!”    Other times, we ask that big question, “Why?”   Friends will say, “We’re praying for you.”    Others will only mutter, “What a shame.”    Down deep we want to have a miracle to change a particular thing that is affecting our lives so greatly.

If we got that miracle, what would it do for us?   If we do not see a miracle, do we think that maybe God never heard in the first place…or He really isn’t the God of Love that we believe Him to be?   So many hard questions…so few answers.

Perhaps it was not by coincidence that I found this testimony of a man whose miracle was different from what he expected.  It was different from what his family, especially his mother or father, expected.  He found peace and a joy in life despite his circumstances.   Thank you, Scott, for sharing your story.  Now, through my blog, I am sharing it to the world for those who feel that perhaps they have missed God’s miracle.

The Accident and more on God’s grace:


A Lesson from History on DETERMINATION of the Free World!

AMERICANS AND THOSE WHO HONOR THE MEMORY OF THOSE WHO DIED ON 9-11 FROM COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD.

DON’T FORGET TO FLY YOUR FLAG THIS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 11   

________________________

Who were the Doolittle Raiders?   Many young people today will not be able to tell you.

Take a good look at these men. This was their last reunion picture taken as all are now in their 90’s.

As of 2014, the remaining four Doolittle Raiders

As of 2013, the remaining four Doolittle Raiders

Here is their story of courage and determination.   What we want to remember about these men from World War II is that the Doolittle Raiders sent a message from the United States and the Free World  to its enemies:

We will fight.  No matter what it takes, we will win. 

 

DURING THE WAR

It was December 7, 1941.  Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in a sneak attack. It took 132 days of planning since that attack, but on  April 18, 1942 the Doolittle raid took place.  There were 80 Raiders when they carried out one of the most courageous and heart-stirring military operations in this nation’s history. Of the 80 Raiders, 62 survived the war.  They were celebrated as national heroes, models of bravery.

Raiders as young men

Raiders as young men

The 16 five-man crews, under the command of Lt. Col. James Doolittle, who himself flew the lead plane off the USS Hornet, knew that they would not be able to return to the carrier.  They would have to hit Japan and then hope to make it to China for a safe landing.

 

After Japan’s  attack on Pearl Harbor, with the United States reeling and wounded, something dramatic was needed to turn the war effort around.

Even though there were no friendly airfields close enough to Japan for the United States to launch a retaliation, a daring plan was devised.  Sixteen B-25s were modified so that they could take off from the deck of an aircraft carrier.  This had never been tried — sending such big, heavy bombers from a carrier.On USSrnet april 1942

 

 

But on the day of the raid, the Japanese military caught wind of the plan.  The Raiders were told that they would have to take off from farther out in the Pacific Ocean than they had counted on.  They were told that because of this they would not have enough fuel to make it to safety. The men went anyway.

planes of Raiders

THE RESULTS OF THE RAID

They bombed Tokyo, and then flew as far as they could.  Four planes crash-landed; 11 more crews bailed out, and three of the Raiders died. Eight more were captured; three were executed.  Another died of starvation in a Japanese prison camp.  One crew made it to Russia, where they were imprisoned.

Captured by Jananese AFTER WWII

Beginning in 1946, the surviving Raiders have held a reunion each April, to commemorate the mission.  The reunion is in a different city each year. In 1959, the city of Tucson, Arizona, as a gesture of respect and gratitude, presented the Doolittle Raiders with a set of 80 silver goblets.  Each goblet was engraved with the name of a Raider.              1946 Reunion of Raiders

Raider in front of plane

Every year, a wooden display case bearing all 80 goblets is transported to the reunion city.  Each time a Raider passes away, his goblet is turned upside down in the case at the next reunion, as his old friends bear solemn witness.  In the wooden case is a bottle of 1896 Hennessy Very Special cognac which was the year  Jimmy Doolittle was born.

There has always been a reunion plan.  When there are only two surviving Raiders, they would open the bottle, last drink from it, and toast their comrades who preceded them in death.Gobblets turned upside down as Raiders pass away

As 2013 began, there were five living Raiders; then, in February, Tom Griffin passed away at age 96.  Bailing out of his plane over a mountainous Chinese forest after the Tokyo raid, he became ill with malaria, and almost died.  When he recovered, he was sent to Europe to fly more combat missions.  He was shot down, captured, and spent 22 months in a German prisoner of war camp.

(A side note about Tom Griffin and his character is also of interest. According to the Cincinnati Inquirer:  “When his wife became ill and needed to go into a nursing home, he visited her every day.  He walked from his house to the nursing home, fed his wife and at the end of the day brought home her clothes.  At night, he washed and ironed her clothes. Then he walked them up to her room the next morning.  He did that for three years until her death in 2005.” )

 

Raider David ThatcherOf the original 80, only four Raiders remain: Dick Cole (Doolittle’s co-pilot on the Tokyo raid), Robert Hite, Edward Saylor and David Thatcher.  As mentioned, all are in their 90s.
The reunion at Fort Walton Beach, Florida marked an end to public reunions.   Florida’s nearby Eglin Field was where the Raiders trained in secrecy for the Tokyo mission. The Raiders  have decided that there are too few of them for the public reunions to continue.

Last official reunion

Last official reunion

Sometime in 2014, the remaining Doolittle Raiders will get together informally and in privacy.

 They will open the bottle of brandy and toast their fellow-Raiders once again for a job well done and for their sacrifices and determination over 72 years ago.

 

All free men and women must remember these men of valor who suffered and died for the cause of freedom.   In our troubled world of aggression and brutality, it would be good for those who would want to destroy the free world  to take a lesson from  American fighting men as well as those in all free countries who gave so much.

DETERMINATION was then and DETERMINATION to stay free is now.

 

 


Passion for what we love…can bring unexpected results

He was a young orphan who ran away from an abusive situation.  For years he lived on the streets in Korea, but one day he heard a man sing and it spoke to his heart.  Perhaps he too could learn to sing.  His singing grew into a passion and the possibility that he might be able to pull himself out of the sadness of his life by the talent God had given him.

Hear the story of this young Korean man.   Listen to his beautiful voice…and pray that his life may be changed by his courage to sing.   For your Sunday listening…..


Choosing to die…that another may LIVE

Dying that another may live is the greatest gift that anyone can give or receive.  This is what our Lord Jesus Christ did for us. His sacrifice for the sins of the world…and for every person is hard to put in words.  Maybe we can understand it better if we put it in a different context.  We hear so much today about the rights of a woman to have an abortion…if she so desires.  It is especially stressed by some, that an abortion would be acceptable if the health of the woman was at risk.  Some women know that risk and are willing to take it that her child might live.   Let me share a true story of one such woman.

Liz Joice and her husband, Max, found out they will have a child after thinking they will not be able to do so.  The mother refuses a test and treatment that may harm the fetus. She loses her own life in this choice, but gives the gift of life to her child and to her husband and family.  Having made this comparison to the greatest sacrifice of our Lord  to  that of a mother and a child, here are some details as told to the news media about Elizabeth Joice and her baby, Lily.

Cancer survivor Elizabeth Joice was told the chemotherapy that helped her beat sarcoma in 2010 would also leave her infertile, so when she and husband, Max, got the news that she was in fact pregnant, he said, “It very much felt like a miracle,” he tells CNN.

The happy news, however, was short-lived. Just a month into her pregnancy, Joice’s cancer returned, and though surgeons removed tumors from her back, there was no way of knowing how far the cancer had spread without a full-body MRI scan. But the dyes used in the scan could harm the baby, meaning she’d need to end the pregnancy before undergoing the procedure.

Joice opted to continue with her pregnancy but began having trouble breathing in her third trimester; an X-ray revealed tumors in her lungs.  Jan. 23 brought both joy and devastation.   Joice had a baby girl, Lily, via C-section, but “there were tons of tumors…” her doctor tells ABC News. “It had spread all over her abdomen.”

Tumors were also found in Joice’s heart and pelvis. She died six weeks later, on March 9.  Still, her doctor remembers the first time she saw Joice hold her baby. “The joy on her face was just incredible,” she says.

“She said, ‘This is worth itI would do it all again to have this child.'” 

Elizabeth Joice died to save her child, Lily Joice.   Jesus died to give us life…and to give it abundantly.  “No greater love has any man (or woman) than to lay down his (or her) life for another.   (as paraphrased from John 15:13)


“Lift your leg, Honey”…the Difficult Truth

elderly coupleIt was an early morning and I was waiting for my husband to have his therapy since having surgery for a knee replacement. A car pulled up next to me and a gentleman moved from the driver’s side to that of the passenger.
“Lift your leg, Honey” I heard him say.
She tried to respond, but it was obvious that she was having a great difficulty getting anything to move.
Finally, he was able to pull her out of the car, but did so as gently as he could. As they proceeded into the medical building, he talked quietly to her as she shuffled her way inside.

With my laptop computer in front of me, I continued writing Chapter 20 of my new historical fiction book. Looking up from where I was parked, the door in front of me was opening. It was easy to see the same couple come out the door to return to the car. It took him a few minutes to get her seated once again.

Something inside me responded, as it usually does, when I am supposed to reach out to someone, even if they are complete strangers.  I have learned over the years that this little something that I feel inside…almost a nervous feeling, is …I believe…the Holy Spirit of God.  “You are the voice of compassion that I want to use  today…so say something.” I know that either I respond to this urging, or the moment will pass me by. That has happened in the past and I’ve always regretted it.

Rolling the window down on my passenger side, I said loudly, so he could hear me, “Sir!” He stopped and looked in the window at me.

“You are a good husband.” I said.
He smiled and said, “I have been doing this for 8 years.”
“What disability does she have?” I asked.
Dementia” he replied.

(The word “dementia” means “a chronic or persistent disorder of the brain that makes for memory disorders, personality changes and impaired reasoning.”)  This was of course is why she was having trouble moving. Her mind had forgotten how to do things that are automatic and normal to most of us.

The gentleman had such a pleasant look on his face…a tired look, but a calm look.
He said, ” I do this because I love her.”   He had faced a difficult truth about his love..his companion for life. Things would not get better and he knew it.

He went on to say that she would do the same for him and they had been married over 50 years.
“But if the roles were reversed, she would have a very hard time because she (or you) would not be able to lift a man’s weight. I have to lift her a great deal.”
He went on to say, “I take her out to eat and to our church on Sunday. People say to me that I should put her in a nursing home, but I don’t want to do this because I know they cannot take care of her… like feed her…as I would.”
I told him that my prayers would be with him and they will be. This man has a woman he loves and a very hard decision to make as her health deteriorates.

I have one thing to say as I end  this blog.

If you are young, you may think that nothing like this will happen at the end of your life. You work out; eat right and have lots of friends…maybe even family members who love you. You may even be saying, “I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.”
What one does not realize is that when youth is gone and muscles and bones begin to deteriorate, as well as the processes of the mind, we can only depend on those closest to us.

My advice would be this.

Don’t take family…mother…father…sister or brother for granted. Most of the time they will be the only ones to make the calls to the assisted living or rehab center to make sure that you are ending your life with caring people..and not being abused just because you are now old and cannot fend for yourself. You must have an advocate in your behalf.  If you ignore those who love you now…or only see them once in a while, it may be that you will not have them to depend upon when you most need someone to care.

The gentleman of whom I have been writing  smiled and thanked me for my words. He opened his car door to drive home and start the same pattern all over again.

“Lift your leg, Sweetheart. We’re home.”


War is Hell…and the soldier asks “Who will love me?”

War is hell…anyway one looks at it. For every soldier that has fought, there has been the thought in the back of the mind…”Will I ever get out of this situation? Will I die here…and will my life have counted for something?” They listen to their commanders; do their duty; feel fear and sadness…and hope and pray for the best.

Yes in all the wars, some have turned their backs on country and comrades.. running away from a situation…with only their tortured thoughts to live with for the rest of their lives. Others can be proud that they faced each obstacle whenever and from wherever it came.   They marched into the unknown to rescue their own.  They faced the enemy not knowing if it would be their last day.   Many gave their all and we must not forget them.

As the 4th of July is approaching, we think of liberty and what it means.

Every now and then I find an old movie that is worth watching.   This was the case when I turned to  Born on the 4th of July  starring a young  Tom Cruise.  It is a violent movie with nudity and the worst of language, but a gripping reality of the Vietnam War and all that the young men went through, especially after they came  home.  Cruise stretches his acting ability to the limit in this dramatization of  a patriotic young man who loses it all in the horrors of battle.  It is a  realistic look at what  the families go through in coping with the aftermath of the veteran’s home-coming.

Movie “Born on the 4th of July”

A line in the film  that stood out to me was when this  young Marine cried to his father about his condition, asking ” Who will love me?” 

Not unlike the young men coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, he felt he was half a man because he was now paralyzed from the waist down  with no hope of walking or having a family.  War  is raw…crude…and real.

It is hopeful that our military, who stayed the course and did their duty,  will have the proper home-coming.  Vividly portrayed,  the Vietnam vet continued to deteriorate emotionally with flash backs.  To add to the insults, the crowds spit on them and jeered at them, even during the 4th of July parades.  Politics had changed in the U.S. about the war even while the men were away fighting.

Many of these men signed up to fight communism before it took over the world.  They bled for what they thought was the enemy to our country’s future.    Torn apart, physically and emotionally, there seemed to be no future.   The Vietnam vet often  turned to drugs and alcohol for relief.    Broken in spirit, the question  remains,  “Who is going to love me?”

For anyone facing a devastating situation, there is only One who gives that unconditional love.

” For God so loved the World that He gave His only Son  that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

 This film reminds me that if I see  an older man with long hair,  somewhat shabby … in a wheelchair…or walking the streets with the homeless, it may be a Marine who once served proudly.  They came back to an embittered country and never got over it.   Other Vietnam vets returned to live productive lives, but never received the thanks due to them until more recently.

  Living with a tortured mind is a difficult thing. One evening, when my children were young, my front door flew open and a man yelled in the door, ” Is Charlie here?!”  He slammed the door and disappeared into the night.   He did not seem to see that we were sitting there.      I am sure that this man, who was living out a previous  war… thousands of miles away at another time.    (“Charlie” originates from the abbreviation VC for “Vietcong.” In the NATO phonetic alphabet, used in radio transmissions, the words for V and C are “Victor” and “Charlie”.   Victor Charlie for the Vietcong was soon shortened to Charlie.)

Our sons and daughters have given much in all the wars that America has fought.  Who will love them and care for them in their time of healing and need for excellent care?   It is a simple question that needs answering. Another question is “Who in military command and the U.S. government will be honest and as well as loving and comforting to the families of those who were flown home for their funerals?”  Often the family simply wants to know how their son or daughter died and was everything done possible to save them?  It is the least that can be given to them in their grief.

VIDEO  



For Lent: “Hope…when there appears to be no Hope”

If we asked ten people what is meant by the word, “Hope”, we would probably get ten answers.  It seems illusive….something that we can’t get a handle on…but we still hope. Norman Fried writes about hope and concludes, ” Through hope we discover faith and the pursuit of redemption. Hope sets us on a path toward attaining our goals; it helps us determine strategies for living and it transforms our will into action. And when all hope seems lost, faith asks us to look inward and to think differently. Faith teaches us to look for new ways to live in a life filled with pain. It guides us to develop new pursuits; to achieve new victories. And through our pursuits, we encounter God’s ways and we are challenged to unite with Him; only to find ourselves cleaving to both. In the end, we learn that religion is the confluence of two parallel forces; man’s wish to create a livable world, replete with the hope of grace and dignity, and man’s need to honor and accept what is unlivable through sacrifice, faith and love.” Some words that he uses stand out to me.

  • “…pursuit of redemption”    In the long run, we all want to be redeemed.  We look for an eternity of bliss with an eternally loving God.  Redemption, however, is the moment we put our trust in the Savior.  Redemption does not just start in the future, but is a daily existence.  God sent His only Son to redeem the world.
  • “…determine strategies for living”    Hope is all important to the very way we live. None of us want to come to the end and be filled with regrets.
  • “…challenged to unite with Him”     Many things are important to us: family career, dreams and goals.   Perhaps the most important thing that we can hope for is to feel His presence with us moment by moment.  In this season of Lent, we ask God for that presence and to be united with Him.
  • what is unlivable through sacrifice, faith and love.”    We look at the tragedies of the world, past and present, and wonder how people did live through the unlivable.  Truly it was the ability to hope even through harsh struggles.

Job spent hours listening to his friends who brought no comfort.   I wonder at this patience!    (Through most of the Book of Job)     Yet, this man of faith continued to believe in the one strength he had and the hope that he knew to be God’s gift to him during a terrible time of his life Even in more modern times, history tells stories of hope under the worst conditions. One such battle of WWII would appear that there was no hope.  “The Battle of Stalingrad was the largest battle on the Eastern Front and was marked by brutality and disregard for military and civilian casualties. It was among the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare,  with the higher estimates of combined casualties amounting to nearly two million. The heavy losses inflicted on the German army made it a turning point in the war. After the Battle of Stalingrad, German forces never recovered their earlier strength, and attained no further strategic victories in the East.” The film, Enemy at the Gates, has some dialog between Nikita Khrushchevand Danilov, the soldier who believed that if they published fliers for the Russian people to read about  heros of the motherland, it would bring hope. In particular, he wrote of the Russian marksman, Vassili Zaitsev, who became the center of the writings.   Danilov told Khrushchev the following: Here, the men’s only choice is between German bullets and ours. But there’s another way. The way of courage. The way of love of the Motherland. We must publish the army newspaper again. We must tell magnificent stories, stories that extol sacrifice, bravery. We must make them believe in the victory. We must give them hope, pride, a desire to fight.” Without hope, men have little for which to live.  Regardless of the country from which one comes, the politics of the time, or the belief system that they hold, the human race must have hope.    It is not enough to use the word, but to actually believe in a hope that is greater than our understanding.   The video below is  in honor of all who had hope where there appeared to be no hope. Omer Meir Wellber and Russian National Orchestra. Pietro Mascagni – Intermezzo from “Cavalleria Rusticana”. ( A response from my friend, Mark.   Thanks.   Romans 12:12 from the Holy Scriptures: “Rejoice in HOPE, be patient in AFFLICTION and faithful in PRAYER.”)


IRENA SENDLER…a Christian woman…saved thousands of Jewish Children

My friend, Ginnie, sent me an email telling me about a remarkable woman.  She is known in Poland and is one of the Righteous Gentiles honored in Israel, but for many she is an unknown.  Sentenced to death for saving lives is hard to believe, but miraculously she was rescued from prison.

PBS has done a full documentary on the life of Irena Sendler is what they had to say about the film.

“Irena Sendler: In the Name of Their Mothers is the story of a group of young Polish women, who outfoxed the Nazis during World War II and saved the lives of thousands of Jewish children.

Irena Sendler, a petite social worker, was not yet thirty years old when Nazi tanks rolled into Warsaw in September of 1939. When the city’s Jews were imprisoned behind a ghetto wall without food or medicine, she appealed to her closest friends and colleagues, mostly young women, some barely out of their teens. Together, they smuggled aid in and smuggled Jewish orphans out of the ghetto by hiding infants on trams and garbage wagons and leading older children out through secret passageways and the city’s sewers. Catholic birth certificates and identity papers were forged and signed by priests and high ranking officials in the Social Services Department so that the children could be taken from safe houses in Warsaw to orphanages and convents in the surrounding countryside.

The scheme was fraught with danger. The city was crawling with ruthless blackmailers, and the Gestapo were constantly on the look out for Jews who had escaped from the ghetto. “You are not Rachel but Roma. You are not Isaac but Jacek. Repeat it ten times, a hundred, even a thousand times,” says Irena, who knew that any child on the street could be stopped and interrogated. If he was unable to recite a Catholic prayer he could be killed.

Magda Rusinek tells us how she taught the children “little prayers that every child knows in Polish. I would wake them up during the night to say the prayer,” says the Sendler collaborator who had joined the Polish Resistance as a teenager. “And then I had to teach them how to behave in a church, a Christian Church.”

“They treated me like their own child,” says Poitr Zettinger, recalling how the sisters would warn him when the Gestapo came to the convent. “They would tell me when I should hide so I’d run up to the attic. I’d hide in a cupboard there.” William Donat, a New York businessman, describes the conflicts inherent in the extraordinary situation. “I was baptized and I was converted and, became a very, very strong Catholic. I was praying every day for perhaps a little more food and for Jesus to forgive me for the terrible sin that I had been born a Jew.”

Sendler and her cohorts kept meticulous records of the children’s Jewish names so that they could be reunited with their parents after the war. Donat was one of the few whose parents survived.

In 1942, as conditions worsened and thousands of Jews were rounded up daily and sent to die at the Treblinka death camp, less than hour outside Warsaw, Sendler and her cohorts began to appeal to Jewish parents to let their children go. Sixty years later, Irena still has nightmares about the encounters. “Those scenes over whether to give a child away were heart-rending. Sometimes, they wouldn’t give me the child. Their first question was, ‘What guarantee is there that the child will live?’ I said, ‘None. I don’t even know if I will get out of the ghetto alive today.”

Indeed, Sendler and her colleagues were taking an enormous risk says Wladyslaw Bartoszewski of the Polish Resistance. “No work, not printing underground papers, transporting weapons, planning sabotage against the Germans, none of it was as dangerous as hiding a Jew. You have a ticking time bomb in your home. If they find out, they will kill you, your family and the person you are hiding.” Magda Rusinek describes one harrowing escape with a small child. “The street was blocked so I ran through gates I knew were still open with him under my arm. And we just managed to get to the apartment when they blocked it. So it was seconds. Absolute seconds.”

Sendler describes, as though it were yesterday, how the Gestapo came to her apartment on her Saint’s Day, October 20th, 1943. Desperate to hide the list of hidden children and their Jewish names, she looked out her window. “There were two Germans walking around. Nine were coming up the stairs.” At the last moment, she tossed the list to a friend who hid it under her arm. Irena was taken to the notorious Pawiak prison where she was tortured for refusing to give up information about her co-conspirators and their work. She escaped as she was being led to her execution, thanks to friends who had managed to bribe a guard at the last moment.

Irena and her colleagues continued their work. With the help of the Polish Resistance and some 200 convents and orphanages in the city of Warsaw and throughout the countryside, they managed to save the lives of at least 2,500 Jewish children.
Suppressed during the Communist regime in post-war Poland, and for decades afterwards, Sendler’s story finally comes to American audiences through interviews, rare stock footage and evocative re-creations shot on location in Warsaw. A few years shy of her hundredth birthday when interviewed by director Mary Skinner, Sendler’s lucid account of her life and work is a testament to the human capacity for moral courage in the face of depravity and evil during history’s darkest times.”

Below is a preview of the documentary.  To order the full documentary, see this link: COMPLETE DOCUMENTARY FILM of IRENA SENDLER


A Wounded Warrior and His Dog Tuesday

My readers will notice that many times I will write  and show videos about people and their dogs.  These are not just any dogs, but ones with great ability to feel compassion, love and learn from their masters. .whether the person is disabled, wounded, or just in need of love.

My husband and I  have a special place in our hearts for our Golden Retriever named, Gracie. Of course, the true-life  story you are going to see on this video is not only about a man who gave a full measure of  service to his country, but found through his Golden Retriever, named Tuesday, a bond that most likely saved his life from depression and despair. Tuesday gave him purpose and a renewed spirit after his devastating head injury on the battle field.

Our animals are a gift from God. Treat them with love and gentleness.


The Real Florida…and Florida Cracker Culture..

I live in Florida, USA.   Most people who travel here are looking to visit the theme parks like Disney or Universal Studios.   These are not the real Florida.  The real Florida has a wonderful history.  There are thousands of acres that are being preserved by the ranchers who still own the land.

The video below is worth seeing if you want to understand something about the history the  present day men, women, and children of the real Florida.

It is a land of horses, brought here by the Spanish in the 1500’s.  The horses drive the cows…some of special breeds from India.  Dogs help with the round-up…and 4th and 5th generation children ride the range with the grandparents.

The environment is vast, wild, peaceful and filled with wild-life of all kinds: turkey, hogs, eagles, alligators and more.   This is the real Florida.    History has shown that the men who worked the miles of Florida from coast to coast were sturdy, rugged individuals.  We must not forget the women who shared this land with them.  They had their babies here with nothing more than a mid-wife and prayer that they would survive.   These people were often referred to as Florida Crackers .   They were also the Florida cowboys.  Yes, before the wild-west cowboys, the Florida cowboys were here!

What were the Florida Crackers? (see video below)

  • Crackers were self-reliant, simple and tough (mostly Scots Irish) immigrants who settled the backwoods of Florida.
  • Came to Florida by the promise of independent living and cheap land e for raising cattle
  •  Crackers battled everyone from the Seminole Indians and the British army
  •  They also battled malaria from mosquitoes and wild animals.
  • Living among the palmetto and scrub, they survived on turtles, possum, frogs, grits, cornbread and greens and whatever else they could catch.
  • Historians will tell you that “cracker” originally meant “a braggart.” Some use the term today to describe country folk or someone who was born in Florida.
  • The word “cracker” actually came from the sound of a whip made when rounding cattle.

What was the Florida Cracker House?

  • wood-frame construction, an elevated first floor,
  • a large attached front porch, a revealed fireplace, horizontal wood siding in both the exterior and interior,
  • A wrap around porch with an overhang was key to beating the sun outdoors.  The windows usually had netting or shutters to keep out bugs and other creatures
  • Rocks or bricks made of oyster shell and lime served as pilings to keep the shelters off the ground.
  • Crackers often built their homes of cypress wood, which  has inherent anti-rot and anti-insect properties.

 

VIDEO OF THE REAL FLORIDA (Longer version video)


WHO went there first? A question to be pondered.

Recently my son, Steve, sent me some pictures that can actually  give one a  sweaty palm.   I even stand way back from  the glass in elevators rising inside a hotel lobby.   Take a look at this link below and afterwards tell me if you had the same reaction?

My question to ponder is one that I thought of as I looked a the tiny boards and the bolts holding them to the rocks thousands of feet in the air.   WHO WENT THERE FIRST?   What kind of person would risk everything to make a trail for others or for themselves?   How many people actually fell doing this?    It is hard to say…or actually how old this trail is.  Nevertheless, someone took the risk.

This leads us to think of all the risk-takers of the world. ….the FIRST to strap on a seat to the moon.   Going even further back, the FIRST person who took their ship toward what looked to be the “dropping off edge” of the earth.    The person who FIRST risk taking a medicine that might bring healing to the world….or the FIRST person to dive to the lowest part of the earth.   We could go on thinking of the ones WHO FIRST DID IT….whatever it was.    Courage, patience, determination had to be built into the character.

SO TAKE A HIKE with us to  a place in  China called Mt. Hua Shan… or the “Heavenly Stairs” to a tea-house.  After getting there, you will ponder some more questions along with me….and maybe exactly how will you go back!?   CLICK HERE

 


LOVE and SACRIFICE….tells what a person is made of

THERE ARE NO WORDS FOR THIS BLOG.   NOTHING…JUST NOTHING…WILL ADD TO THE PICTURES YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE ON  LOVE AND SACRIFICE.

FOCUS ON THE MAN IN THE FIRST PICTURE. IT’S HIM THROUGHOUT THE SERIES OF PHOTOS SHOWN BELOW.  GOD BLESS HIM.
W

(credit to Tim Dodd for some photographs)

Taylor and Danielle celebrate Christmas together.

Taylor and Danielle celebrate Christmas together.


Faith and Prayer…It Works…ask a homeless man turned computer engineer

My son sent me a wonderful story that has several morals:

  • Don’t judge people by their looks or surroundings
  • Never give up…but also give others a chance
  • God has someone who will help you and a purpose for your life
  • Hard-luck does not always have the last word.
  • Life has many twists and turns and some are surprising.

For the last week of Advent…something a little different.


PEARL HARBOR … Why We Fight…

Why We Fight is a series of seven documentary films commissioned by the United States government during World War II whose purpose was to show American soldiers the reason for U.S. involvement in the war. Later on they were also shown to the general U.S. public to persuade them to support American involvement in the World War II . Most of the films were directed by Frank Capra…

For those interested in history….and would like to know more about the early history of the people of the  United States, this film is for you.  It also shows why the American people, who came as immigrants from all over the world, were determined that freedom would be the most important thing to our people.  It was true during WWII, as we remember today the attack on Pearl Harbor and all the brave men and women who died in this war.   The true spirit of the American people will stand for what is right and defend those who are attacked and cannot defend themselves.    This documentary tells in a most effective way…why we fight.   Recommend it to some young person you know before this history is no longer known. 

Turn on sound and enlarge picture for best viewing.


ADVENTURES of C.S. Lewis- The Lion, Witch, and Wardrobe

C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis

Love an adventure?  It has been our privilege to visit  England,”the land of C.S. Lewis”, who was not only a great Christian scholar and author…but a man with enormous imagination.

Many people  find the adventures of the Narnia Tales an escape from the world of political squabbling  and the horrors in the world.

Nothing is truly new in history…whether real or imaginary. Lewis knew that the battle between good and evil continues!    We have been forced to endure the same battle when it comes to allowing WWII veterans to see their memorial or giving some continued help to the families of fallen heroes…a number who are arriving home to their final resting place today.   Maybe an adventure can help those who are “madder than hell” about the recent events and totally sick of it all. 

 

Lewis with his wife, Joy.

Lewis with his wife, Joy.  Their personal story is told in the movie, “Shadow Lands”.

Previous blogs, we wrote about    “The Children on the Train”  about children sent from Germany, Austria,  and other parts of Europe to Great Britain to get away from the Nazi invasions in World War II.   The second blog was on C.S.Lewis, Christian professor at Oxford and his writings on faith and his mystical writings of the Chronicles of Narnia.  Now, we want to encourage you to read the Chronicles of Narnia or view the videos with the children in your life…or even the adults.  It may help clear your mind…for adventure can do that. 

cs lewis ch of narnia

 

One of best-loved of these chronicles isThe Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”.  A brief summary for those who may not be familiar :   Four children are sent from their London home to the country estate of an eccentric professor to make sure of their safety during World War II. The house is very dull, except for a large, ornate wardrobe discovered by young Lucy during a game of hide-and-seek. Venturing inside of it in the hopes of finding a hiding place, Lucy is transported to a snowy alternate universe: a magical world called Narnia.   Here the adventure begins!


Crowley Maritime…Titan Salvage…Amazing Feat!

Titan Salvage Crew

Titan Salvage Crew

We have watched with amazement at the engineering feat of those who brought the Costa Concordia upright.

Exactly who are those wonder-workers behind the raising of the Costa Concordia?  Months of preparation and finally the recognition that this was a grand achievement that required great courage, skill, or strength.   

Here are some facts about the company that hires the engineers and workers to do this mammoth  job:

THE PARENT COMPANY IS CROWLEY MARITIME:

  • Crowley was founded in 1892 by Thomas Crowley, the grandfather of current  President and CEO Thomas B. Crowley, Jr.  Mr. Crowley purchased an 18-foot Whitehall rowboat to provide transportation of personnel and supplies to ships anchored on San Francisco Bay.  Services expanded in 1920 to include bay wing and ship assist services in the Los Angeles Harbor.  Bulk petroleum transportation joined the list of company services in 1939.
  • n 1958, Crowley moved into Arctic transportation with an agreement to resupply the U.S government’s Distant Early Warning Line on the Alaska coastline. ( They had some trouble with antitrust laws in Alaska and were fined $800,000  in 1987.)  In 1989, Crowley tugs were first on the scene of the crippled tanker Exxon Valdez  in Prince William Sound, Alaska. 
  • Beginning in 1968, utilizing the earlier pioneering experience in the Arctic, Crowley began summer sealifts of equipment, supplies, buildings and production modules to Prudhoe Bay . Since then, 334 barges carrying nearly 1.3 million tons of cargo have been successfully delivered to the North Slope, including modules the size of ten story buildings and weighing nearly 6,000 tons.
  •  In the 1970s, Crowley began transporting cargo between the U.S. and Puerto Rico…expanding into the Caribbean; Central and South America.  The service primarily consisted of ships and large, triple-deck barges, some of which were 730 feet in length, carrying cargo in trailers and containers.
  • In mid-1994, the top leadership of the corporation changed for only the second time in more than 100 years. Following the passing of his father, Thomas B. Crowley, Jr. was unanimously elected president, chairman of the board, and chief executive officer. (In 2011, Crowley was fined $17,000,000 and plead guilty to one federal price-fixing charge for conduct arising out of illegal agreements between Crowley and its competitors in the Puerto Rico freight market.)
  •  Crowley bought Marine Transport Corporation, a petroleum and chemical transportation company; Speed Cargo Services, a non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC); Apparel Transportation, a Central America logistics services provider to the apparel industry, Yukon Fuel Company and Service Oil and Gas, which are Alaska-based fuel distribution and sales companies, TITAN SALVAGE, a worldwide salvage and emergency response company, Jensen Maritime Consultants, a Seattle-based Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering firm, and Customized Brokers, a Miami-based customs clearance company specializing in perishable, refrigerated cargoes.
  •  The Company is predominantly owned by members of the Crowley family and company employees, and its shares  do not trade on any national securities exchange or in any market. Revenue in 2012 was nearly $1.8 billion.    Their home office is in Jacksonville, Florida, USA and employs 5,300 people. 

As mentioned above, a part of this company is TITAN SALVAGE that was responsible for the raising of the Costa Concordia.   Here are some facts about Titan Salvage:

  • Costa Concordia

    Costa Concordia

    Founded in 1980 by David Parrot, TITAN began as a one-tug towing firm.  In 1982, TITAN’s tug NESTOR and her crew were hired as sub-contractors to assist a Dutch firm on a salvage and wreck removal operation in the Caribbean. When the job became economically unfeasible for the Dutch firm, TITAN took it over and completed it. This success was a milestone for the company, marking it the first of a long series of salvages and wreck removal projects. Throughout the 1980s, the company acquired more tugs, barges and cranes, enabling it to build a regional salvage and wreck removal business in the Caribbean.

  • Uprighting the ship

    Uprighting the ship

    Dick Fairbanks joined TITAN in 1988. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering and years of experience accumulated during his tenure with General Electric’s Marine Steam Turbine Division.  TITAN has been flying its highly trained salvage teams, and chartering vessels of opportunity near the site of a casualty since 1992. 

  • Costa Concordia upright salvage6Crowley Maritime Corporation acquired TITAN Salvage, a worldwide salvage company based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in 2005. At the time of the acquisition, Tom Crowley Jr., chairman, president and CEO of Crowley Maritime, said, “The new company will take advantage of the experienced personnel, specialized equipment and proven track record at TITAN, and the large tug and barge fleet, diversified business lines, and financial strength of Crowley, to grow the business.”Costa Concordia upright salvage5
  • The tragedy that should not have happened!

    The tragedy that should not have happened!

    Since its founding in 1980, Titan has forged a solid reputation for total commitment to serving the maritime industry’s emergency response needs.  In addition to marine salvage and wreck removal services, TITAN excels at marine firefighting, vessel/ship lightening, underwater fuel removal, damage stability and other rapid marine emergency response services for the maritime industry. All are offered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. During the last five years, Titan has performed more than 70 major salvage and wreck removal operations, and more than 300 projects overall, including some of the largest and most difficult wreck removal operations ever accomplished.  

  YES, YOU HAVE…AND CONGRATULATIONS ON UP-RIGHTING THE COSTA CONCORDIA!       IT IS AN AMAZING JOB!     


Remembering The Battle at Gettysburg 150 Years Ago

Flag

From July 1 to July 3, 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg was the site of one of the deadliest, largest battles of the American Civil War (1861-1865). It was also considered the one battle that made the American South (Confederates) close to winning.    Historians are still dissecting and debating what actually happened there.

SOME HISTORICAL FACTS:

  • Lincoln, the 16th president of the U.S., was serving his first term in office.
  • The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, under command of Gen. Robert E. Lee, fought the Union Army of the Potomac, under newly appointed commander Maj. Gen. George Meade.
  • After the town of Vicksburg, Mississippi, fell to Union troops, Lee was driving his men north in search of a much-needed victory on Northern soil when the two armies clashed at Gettysburg.
  • The Union won the battle–considered the turning point of the war by most historians–but the human costs were high for both sides, with about 51,000 total casualties. Lee and his army retreated south across the Potomac River after the battle, and the war continued for almost two more years

gettyburg

LITTLE KNOWN FACTS:

  • During the war, many of the soldiers fighting for the Confederacy did not have shoes, as most of the shoe factories were in the North. Some confederate troops found out there was a shoe factory in Gettysburg, but on arrival to get supplies for their men…they e n     countered thousands of Northern soldiers there.
  • The oldest person who fought in the Battle at Gettysburg was John L. Burns, a resident of Gettysburg, was 70 years old when the battle started.   Hearing the sounds of war, and being a former soldier, he grabbed an eighteenth century flintlock rifle and ran out to take part . On the way to the battle, he found a wounded soldier and traded his gun up.  After volunteering his services, he was sent to the front line.  Three bullets struck his arms during the battle, and he was abandoned as the Northern soldiers abandoned the position.  Southerners found him, and he lied to them, claiming non-combatant status so he could receive medical attention instead of being shot.  Yes, shot; in keeping with the rules of war at the time, any soldier not in uniform was technically a spy and could be killed on the spot.  He outlived the battle by seven years, even though it was unusual in his day to live as long as he had when the battle started
S
People attending the dedication ceremony of the national cemetery at Gettysburg Battlefield, outside Gettysburg, Pa., in November 1863. Abraham Lincoln, hatless, is seated left of centre.
Credit: Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

AFTER THE BATTLE at GETTYSBURG

GettysburgLincoln“A ceremony was scheduled to dedicate the Soldiers National Cemetery, where Union dead were being gathered. It was to be held about four and a half months after the battle on November 19, 1863.

The main speaker was noted orator Edward Everett. He delivered a two-hour speech, very normal for the time when an oration was an entertainment event. A hymn was sung as musical interlude, then Lincoln rose to give “a few remarks.” They were very few – ten sentences taking only about two minutes. No photographs show Lincoln speaking, as photographers were surprised by his quick finish. Reports speak of no, or very thin and scattered, applause.

But the ten sentences quickly came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, providing guidance for a nation redefining itself in the middle of a war that threatened its very existence.”

HAPPY 4TH OF JULYflying flags


LEADERS and THE CONSTITUTION with surprising PERSONAL NOTES

constitution and feather pen“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America….”

A Democracy will only be as good as its LEADERSHIP.   This was true in the beginning of our country and is true today.

After the War for Independence was over, the very thing that had held the confederation together was now struggling to endure.   This new United States….this Union was in terrible danger.    They had to prove that this step that had been taken was correct.  The world needed to also see that this was true.

AN OVERVIEW OF CHALLENGES TO THE LEADERS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

  • TIME-FRAME     There were several committees appointed: One to draft the Declaration of Independence and the other to  form a confederation.   There was back and forth discussion in congress for over a year.  They prepared a plan…and then  amended it, sending it to the states for ratification  This took three years to get the approval needed.
  • A UNIFORM POLICY:   Whether it was a matter of commerce; raising funds to run a government or other matters, it was most difficult to get all states involved to see things in the same light.   Selfishness abound from every angle.   “A uniform policy was necessary, and while a pretense was made of acting in unison to achieve a much desired end, it is evident that selfish motives frequently dictated what was to be done.” (Max Farrand)

Example:   If a state happened to be a coastal state with ports of entry such as North and South Carolina and Virginia…taxation or not of other states who used their ports would be a way of cutting off their life-blood.    There could not be an interference with the “arteries of commerce.  “Virginia and Maryland had come to a working agreement regarding the navigation of Chesapeake Bay….requesting the cooperation of Pennsylvania and Delaware.” Sounds good?     Hold your horses!   The Article of Confederation specified that Congress  must first consent.   This had not been done.

Having given this small example of only this many states and only a problem within commerce to build a nation, one can see how this type of problem multiplied by many such matters could cause a great deal of grief; confusion and even a stalemate. Public opinion was to be added into the equation.  A French representative put it this way in a letter he wrote home about this young, fledgling country and those who governed:   “….there is no expectation and no intention that anything should be done by the convention beyond preparing the way for another meeting and the report has been hurried through before sufficient states could be represented…”    

It is amazing to us in the 21st Century, 2013…looking back at the 1780’s…that anything was accomplished at all.   Yet, the men who stepped forth to lead….and I emphasize the word LEAD… were up to the task.   They had to call a meeting…with a fixed time to meet in Philadelphia.  With the approval of congress, it was set for the second Monday of May, 1787.

  • WHO WERE SOME OF THE MEN WHO LED THIS YOUNG NATION?

The men shown below are not all the leaders or signers of the Constitution, but are a few, interesting men who were not afraid to be leaders.  As we look at their lives, we may be surprised that they would not fit into political correctness today….as some were holders of slaves…fought duels…and met with other problems.  For some, their personal lives and problems could have been a detriment to their willingness to help forge a nation.    Not so.   They were TOUGH…DEDICATED..PATRIOT LEADERS.

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton born  1757 , on the island of Nevis, British West Indies. In 1777, Hamilton became General George Washington’s  assistant. In 1788, he convinced New Yorkers to agree to ratify the U.S Constitution. He then served as the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury, from 1789 to 1795.

Personal facts: Hamilton died of a gunshot wound that he sustained during a duel with Aaron Burr.

Aaron Burr

Aaron Burr(Born on February 6, 1756, in Newark, New Jersey, Aaron Burr was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1791. In 1800, he ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. presidency, and became vice president instead. After the duel with Alexander Hamilton,  he was charged with conspiracy, which ruined his political career.) 


George Washington

George Washington

George Washington was a soldier and presided over the convention that drafted the Constitution, which replaced the Articles of Confederation and established the position of President.  He became the first President of the United States (1789-1797).   Washington had a vision of a great and powerful nation that would be built on republican lines using federal power. He sought to use the national government to preserve liberty, improve infrastructure, open the western lands, promote commerce, found a permanent capital, reduce regional tensions and promote a spirit of American nationalism.  Of him was said, “…first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”

Personal facts:   Mount Vernon was Washington’s  home and he  freed all his slaves in his final will.

Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry was an attorney, plantation farmer and politician who became known as an orator during the movement for independence in Virginia in the 1770s. He served as the post-colonial Governor of Virginia  from 1776 to 1779 and from 1784 to 1786.  Henry led the opposition to the Stamp Act of 1765 and is remembered for his “Give me Liberty, or give me Death!” speech.

Patrick Henry gives speech for Liberty

Patrick Henry gives speech for Liberty

Personal Facts:  In 1771 Henry and his wife Sarah moved into their Scotchtown plantation in Virginia, along with their children.  Sarah developed a mental illness and deteriorated rapidly, becoming dangerous to herself and others, she was clothed in a ‘Quaker shirt,’ an early form of strait jacket.”

It was recommended that she be moved to the public hospital in Williamsburg.   After inspecting the facilities, Henry  “saw that if he agreed, his wife would be locked into a windowless brick cell containing only a filthy mattress on the floor and a chamber pot. There she would be chained to the wall with a leg iron. Appalled by what he saw, he instead prepared a private, two-room apartment for her in the basement of Scotchtown. Each room had a window, providing light, air circulation, and a pleasant view of the grounds. The apartment also had a fireplace, which provided good heat in the winter, and a comfortable bed to sleep in.”    She died in the 1775.    “Because of her illness  (then thought to have been caused by being ‘possessed by the devil’ ) she was denied a religious funeral service or a Christian burial.  Henry buried her thirty feet from the home they shared and planted a lilac tree next to her grave to remember her. The tree still stands there, a few steps from the door to her basement.”

Scotchtown Plantation of Patrick and Sarah Henry

Scotchtown Plantation of Patrick and Sarah Henry


Dr. James McClurg

Dr. James McClurg

When Patrick Henry refused to attend the Philadelphia Convention, Virginia’s legislature selected Dr. McClurg as a delegate. Dr. McClurg thus became one of three physicians  involved in crafting the U.S.Constitution.  McClurg advocated increased executive powers while at the Convention, but returned to Virginia in early August. He never returned, worried that his “vote would only operate to produce a division, & so destroy the vote of the state.”   He never returned, and thus did not sign the final draft of the Constitution.  President Washington later considered nominating him as Secretary of State, after [Thomas Jefferson] resigned.

Personal Facts:  

Dr. McClurg was one of the most distinguished physicians in the colonies, educated (and later professor) at the College of William and Mary; studying also at the University of Edinburgh and in London and Paris.  His Experiments upon the Human Bile and Reflections on the Biliary Secretions (London: 1772), was translated into several languages.  He was appointed professor of anatomy and medicine at his alma mater in 1779, and also served as a surgeon in the state navy. Dr. McClurg achieved renown in Richmond for his efforts to stop various epidemics, including the yellow fever in 1798. He had some set-backs in his career when he received criticism in connection with the botched toxicological work in the celebrated trial concerning the murder of Judge George Wythe, whom he initially thought suffered from cholera, not arsenic poisoning

John Blair

John Blair

John Blair’s  greatest contribution as a Founding Father came as a judge on the Virginia court of appeals and on the U.S. Supreme Court, where he influenced the interpretation of the Constitution in a number of important decisions. On September 24, 1789, Blair was nominated by President George Washington to the Supreme Court of the United States.(for information on today’s Supreme Court justices.)

Personal Facts:    Contemporaries praised Blair for such personal strengths as gentleness and benevolence, and for his ability to penetrate immediately to the heart of a legal question.

James Madison

James Madison

James Madison…student of history; scholar in politics and hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being instrumental in the drafting of the United States Constitution  and a key  author of the Bill of Rights.  He became the 4th President of the United States; was a slave holder  who inherited his plantation known as Montpelier, and owned hundreds of slaves during his lifetime to cultivate tobacco and other crops. Madison supported the three-fifths compromise that allowed three-fifths of the enumerated population of slaves to be counted for representation.

These two writings on the Constitution only give a taste of what was involved in producing this great document.   A suggestion would be to do your own study and research on a great work that is often taken for granted; thought of little and those men without whose courage and dedication to carefully think-through, pray-through and give this Constitution to us…we may not be the United States of America today.       Other great tests were to follow:   The Civil War being one, which Boyer Writes will address at a different time.

A COMPLETE TRANSCRIPT OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED SATES OF AMERICA


Margaret Thatcher- Woman who saved the Falklands

Thatcher when a young girl

Thatcher when a young girl

As a young girl, she had no idea that her life would be so amazing.  Now, Margaret Thatcher is dead at 87, but she was woman of her time.

 

Regardless of your politics, I think most will agree that if a woman is passionate about something in life….and is fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time, she can go after it!

It was not easy to be Prime Minister of one of the world’s great countries, Great Britain. She was not terribly close to the Queen.  It certainly was not easy on her family (as seen in the movie trailer below).  She had the terrible pressures of a failing economy. Nevertheless, Margaret Thatcher is truly a person to be admired.  Not many can fill the shoes of such a challenge.Margaret Thatcher3

Her life only proves that some women have the ability to lead through the good and tough times.   She dealt with Northern Ireland and the Revolutionary Army and the Falkland Islands.(pictured below)

Margaret ThatcherArmy invades Falkland Islands

Margaret ThatcherDeng Xiaoping 1997HongKong

She arranged for the British Colony of Hong Kong to go back to the Chinese.

Much, much more could be said about this woman.

Thatcher speaks to Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto

Thatcher speaks to Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto

She is seen here with Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto who was assassinated.  Being a Prime Minister or head of any country is putting one’s life in harms way.  Yet, she was unafraid to speak out and to act as she thought best.

How ironic that she and one of her best political friends, President Ronald Reagan,  both ended their lives with the devastating disease of Alzheimer.

Today, Boyer Writes honors her in pictures and with the video of 1990 when she was unafraid to stand before the men of Parliament, both liberal and conservative.     Below is a real clip of Margaret Thatcher and the British Parliament.  She will be remembered.

If you did not see The Iron Lady, starring Meryle Streep as Margaret Thatcher, here is a movie trailer that gives highlights of her life.   It is worth viewing the entire film.


Respect….is it a thing of the past?

elder1When I spent time in Asia, I found that the culture truly does respect their elderly and senior citizens.   They give them the best seat and guests often will be placed next to the oldest person in their home.  I found it somewhat odd that in Japan so many of the older women dye their hair and still seem to honor those of us with hair that is snow white.older woman

Nevertheless, it makes us wonder why in the United States, people seem so impatient with the elderly.  “They drive too slowly…and maybe should not be driving at all.” some would say.   Behind those weak knees, bent bodies, and the slow movement on walkers is a life-time of knowledge and experience.   That very person that drove too slowly and seemed too long in turning, may have also been the one who carried a buddy to safety during World War II.   The woman with the wrinkled face could have been the nurse who kept your Grandfather alive… to come home and someday hold  you on his knee.

older lady“Honor your Mother and Father” was written for a reason.   We may not give credit to those who deserve it. We hope respect is not something of the past.   Just be careful when you decide to honk your horn at that old guy or gal….it may come back to haunt you.

(My friend, Kelly, often sends me videos with a real truth. )   See what you think. Turn on your sound, enlarge the picture and watch closely.

CLICK HERE     RESPECT YOUR ELDERS


Suicide…the act of Simply Giving Up

This writing does not propose to have the answers to that problem or hurt that you have …whether emotional, mental  or physical…. that may be planting the thoughts of suicide in your mind.   My life has been given to Christ, with its ups and downs…disappointments and joys…but I know that not all have found this rest.

I write because I am led to write.  Who knows why I awake at 3:00 am and know that for some reason I need to write about this subject. It is the last thing that I would want to tackle.  Nevertheless, I write today, not as a counselor or a psychiatrist, but as a person who cares.

Someone will read this who needs to know that their particular pain has an answer. The answer is not in suicide.    The answer may be as close to you as your breath.    If one simply gives up…they will never know what would have  or could have been.  One does not know what is around the corner.  You must live to find out.

There are two stories  that I know of that may help:   A man had decided he did not want to go on.   He went up stairs and looked out the window.   Across the top of the houses was a steeple of a church.   It was that cross rising high into the sky that made him stop and truly think about what he was thinking of doing.  A simple thing….but it was his turning moment.

Another man felt that he had lost everything.   His wife was leaving him and taking his life flashed across his mind.   The thing that made him stop was the thought of what would his death do to his son.    He had not actually lost everything for he had his son.

When things seem the darkest….when you just want to go to sleep forever….forget the word “forever” and just go to sleep.    Rest the mind….rest the heart….and after the rest, look for a new beginning.      Focus on the little things that matter and reach for something bigger than you have known.

Simply ask for God to give you that one ounce of strength that you do not think you have.     Psalm 139:8  “If I go up to heaven, you are there. If I make my bed in hell, you are there.”     No matter what we do, we will face God.   This may be a terrible thought…but one worth thinking.

I am not going to “preach” to you, but here are THOUGHTS TO CONSIDER:

(Nehemiah 8:10 )Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
This verse did not say “your joy” for you may not feel any joy at all.   It said, “…the joy of the Lord” which will be your strength in anything that is in your life too difficult to handle.

Colossians 1:11-14  May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

My suggestion would be to go to a quiet place…maybe the shower….or another spot…and call to God to help you to know that you are loved by Him.   Ask Him for peace.  Ask Him for grace and forgiveness.  Ask Him to give you the strength you need.   He will hear you….and then rest.   Harming yourself is not the answer.  Giving up is not the answer.  It never will be.


A Blind Muscian says “Who Cares…Big Deal”

We did not ask to be born. We did not pick our parents. The hand we were given can be harsh or some surprisingly bright, whatever the odds. Meet a young man who is making “lemonade” of the life that was to be his. Perhaps most of all, meet his father who gave this son everything that was possible to show him he had potential. This definitely could be a FATHER’S DAY story, but it is also a young man’s story. Patrick could have been aborted before his birth had his parents chosen to go that route. We thank God that he wasn’t. Otherwise, the world would have missed a talented, intelligent human being.

This is his story:   Patrick Henry Hughes was born with a rare genetic disorder that left him without eyes and physically disabled. But he was also blessed with exceptional musical talent—able to play the piano as a toddler and now, at age 19, a nationally known pianist, singer, and trumpeter who has performed at the Grand Ole Opry and the Kennedy Center. Currently he’s a member of his college marching band, playing while his devoted father pushes him in his wheelchair. With determined optimism and courage, Hughes has made “I am potential” his mantra and defied the impossible at every turn.Now, for the first time, Hughes and his father share the full account of his extraordinary journey. In I Am Potential, Hughes recounts the eight critical lessons he has learned that are at the heart of his success, including “When Life Gives You Lemons, Accept Them and Be Grateful” and “Do All You Can to Change What You Can.” Uplifting and revealing, I Am Potential is remarkably inspirational for anyone facing challenges in their own life.”

Well, you really have to see it to understand. I introduce you to Patrick Henry Hughs.  Look at each video below in order and you will see what Patrick has truly given to the world….not only his talent, but his sense of humor.

Patrick and a special relationship with his father.

Patrick gives to others by performing  for a benefit for children with disabilities:


Patirck at home, just doing his thing.


“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phillipines 4:13


The Life Changing Tangled Cord….and a Tribute to our Wounded Warriors on Veterans’ Day

Michael Davenport paints with his mouth

Special note from Boyer Writes:Over a year ago, I wrote this blog and then I received a comment from someone who knows Michael Davenport personally.  It reminded me that today, Nov. 11, 2012 is Veteran’s Day and there are many veterans who have given their all for their country.   Many are now learning how to use their new limbs and wrestling with what they can do in life.   I decided to share this blog again to encourage them through this young man. Michael Davenport, had a terrible accident but  he was able to rise above his circumstances, as difficult as it was.  Michael was not a veteran, but has much to share by his life experience and courage.

Michael Davenport was big fan of the University of Georgia football team and  faced with a world in which he never expected to be a part.  Michael  is now disabled.

 At the age of 13, while playing in his yard and holding a copper wire, he became entangled in a live electrical cord.

The accident left him with no hands and only a prosthetic arm .  Everything had to be re-learned.   His life, before  the accident, had been one of heavy drinking,  but now a decision had to be made.   He would have to face life the way it would be.  It was like being born into a new body…one that he must learn to use all over again.

This was his opportunity to start over; to find a passion and to trust in God to lead his life.  He had to learn to write with his new hand and in  doing so, he  found out that he had  artistic ability.   Drawing the University of Georgia mascot, the Bull Dog, he began to sell them to tourists at ball games.  This brought him an income that he needed.  He found also that the football fans and others have became his followers.

It has not been an easy road, but Michael continues because  he believes God gave him his life for a reason.   He believes this is the challenge that he wants to leave with all young people: “Follow your dreams.”

(note from Boyer Writes)   Michael, our prayers are that you will continue to grow in your new life.   Regardless of our abilities, God makes a way as we trust Him. We do not know what each day will bring, but we can trust each day to the One who knows.

I wonder if anyone ever told Michael Davenport how especially proud they are of him…for all he has tried to do in the face of such  personal devastation?   I have a friend who is trying hard to break the cycle of caffeine, nicotine, and sugar addiction.  As he was walking on a road, he was hit by a car and  broke his neck…ultimately having to cope with the addiction  of pain killers.   There are so many people who need a word of praise and the simple words, “I am proud of you for what you are trying to do.” He has made an appointment with a doctor and is on the right path. Picking up the phone this morning, I decided it was time to say those words to my friend.  Maybe he has never heard them.    Who do you know that may need encouragement or a simple word of praise?

(A reader wrote this note about Michael after reading this blog.  Thank you so much.)

“I have known Michael Davenport for many years now. We had not seen each other in a while and he came to visit me a few days ago. I was once again reminded of what an amazing person he is.  I think we all could learn a little bit from the way he views his life and the manner in which he choses to live. Michael branches out from the canvas by giving motivational speeches to others who also have a disability. You might also find Michael in your neighborhood drawing cartoon characters for children where he uses his god given talent as a tool to pass along the message to tell children to “follow your dreams, stay in school and don’t do drugs”. To say that Michael is a kindred spirit with an amazing story and incredible talent would surely be an understatement. I consider him to be a wonderful friend who always seems to have a smile on his face. I am very blessed to know Michael Davenport and he truly is a wonderful compliment to Athens, Georgia.

Video showing Michael and his artistic talent using his mouth:


A DAY OF MOURNING FOR THOSE WHO DIED ON 9-11 “Never Forgotten!”

IN MEMORY

We will always remember those who perished.   We should never  become complacent about those who killed these people and what their mission was that day.

2,976 victims will not be forgotten!

The video below is difficult to watch.  Evil is evil and should not be called anything differently.   Gallant rescuers did their best and gave their lives.  They, too, will not be forgotten.  Those who fought in the aircraft were  brave beyond belief.  In  doing so, they  most likely saved the Capitol of the United States.  September 11  is a terrible day, as are all days, for those who lost loved ones.   They will never be forgotten!