How hard is it to wear a mask until this Corvid-19 pandemic is under control?
Apparently, very hard for some of the uncaring of the world! Maybe that is a little harsh. Let’s say that not all unmasked people are uncaring, but simply feel healthy, confused over statistics given out by authorities, or haven’t given it too much thought because they feel invincible. They also think the masks are a “pain to wear, especially during the summer in hot weather and difficult to talk through! I agree, but this is not the point. Health, life or death is the point.
People all over the world have designed their own masks. Whether they are effective or not is debatable, but they are definitely creative! At least they are wearing them.
Even the little children of Kenya know there is something that might hurt them and try to construct a mask to ward off this disease. Kindness is needed by so many people. Perhaps someone from the U.S.A or another part of the world could send them a large supply of real masks. (Photo and contact for Lorenz Omondi in Kenya)
Further reasons may vary for not wearing the mask. Some think that they DO NO GOOD. This has not been proven…so the encouragement to wear them has been mainly left up to individual responsibility.
Now, because many people have not been responsible, it is becoming more mandatory to do so. Why be so cocky about doing something so simple? We are fighting an enemy that we can’t see… an invisible virus? Who made any of us ALL-KNOWING and arrogant that we can put ourselves and others in more danger than is necessary? There will be much more that we will know after the virus is gone. Nevertheless, there may be more to come….and then will we debate the mask issue all over again? Give me…and us a break!!!
What then is the reason for not wearing a simple mask during this pandemic?
IT IS SELFISH, DISREGARD FOR LIFE!
It is hard also to imagine that Covid-19 parties among the young is not a prescription for disasters waiting to happen. Also, We might as well stop looking at the figures…for their validity comes and goes depending who is counting. Some places get their reporting figures correct…others don’t. The results of testing are also taking far too long. A person could be negative one day, exposed the next, and positive before the first results even get to them…whatever the findings.
We also might as well stop thinking that we are the ALL-KNOWING when it comes to deciding what is right for the most vulnerable, people around us, our families and ourselves…except to protect them the best we can. For now, wearing the face mask is what we are being ask to do. We are not asked to do some monumental task…just put it on the face and around the ears!
It is not too much to ask all people, old and young, to be more cautious and decide that it is not worth playing Russian Roulette with the lives around us. When this is over, you can ditch the mask and hope to never see it again!!
Ever hear a verse from the song, Russian Roulette?
“As my life flashes before my eyes
I’m wondering will I, ever see another sunrise?
So many won’t get the chance to say goodbye
But it’s too late to think of the value of my life”
( Charles Harmon / Shaffer Smith/ Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group)
The “Value of Life” is extremely important to Christians and many other religions. However, even with some Christians, I think they have not thought through their actions when it comes to being considerate of others. Each person will make the decide if they MASK OR DON’T MASK.
Sometimes governments seem to actually loose their heads over the issue of masks. It was hard to believe that in Oregon there was a mandate that only white people had to wear masks. This was quickly reversed after the outcry. No wonder people put little faith in a great number of elected officials.
A week after issuing an order that required only white people to wear masks, leaders in Lincoln County, Oregon, have reversed the policy because of “ horrifically racist commentary” according to the county’s website. (The News Tribune)
What are some of the thoughts on TO WEAR OR NOT TO WEAR?
The CIDRAP, which is the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, wrote an article adding to the doubt of how effective the masks might be. Since no one really knows at this point, there were requests to remove the article from the website. The reasons were as follows:
(1) We don’t truly know that cloth masks (face coverings) are not effective, since the data are so limited.
(2) Wearing a cloth mask or face covering is better than doing nothing.
(3) The article is being used by individuals and groups to support non-mask wearing where mandated.
(4) There are now many modeling studies suggesting that cloth masks or face coverings could be effective at flattening the curve and preventing many cases of infection. (Article from U. of Minnesota/ Dr. Brosseau and Dr. Sietsema experts on respiratory protection)
The other day, because of boredom from staying at home, we decided to go a favorite restaurant. Our policy has been about once a week to find a good place that we expect are following good health practices and support these people who are working hard to keep their businesses from going under.
Expecting to see the usual spaced seating, which is required, we were amazed to see that none of the servers or the owners were wearing masks at the place chosen for this week. As we gave our order and were served, the “required distancing” was hard to maintain…but would have been a little more tolerable if they had on their masks. What was the story here?
Later, the restaurant was called and asked their policy on mask wearing. They said they do not wear masks, but do “social distancing.” This, of course, is actually impossible to maintain when leaning over the table to serve the food.” The restaurant employee was told, “The masks are for your protection from the public as well as the public from your employees.”
It would be unfortunate for this restaurant to lose customers because of their policy. Until the virus is under control or they change their policy of “no masks for employees,” we will not be back. It is a guess that others will make the same decision. It is simply the respect for each other…and good business sense in this difficult time.
Maybe that is the word I am looking for….RESPECT.
Recently I read an article about Dr. Michael Saag in Alabama. He is a survivor of the virus that he contacted on a trip out of town. This is what he had to say, in part, about people choosing to disrespectfully NOT WEAR MASKS. Remember, he is speaking from personal experience about the sadness of this disease because he has experienced it.
“For Saag, the fight is personal. In early March, both he and his adult son came down with the virus after a trip to Manhattan when the epidemic was raging there. First came a cough, followed by fever, a headache, body aches and what Saag called “fuzzy thinking,” or an inability to concentrate.
“The mornings I’d feel fine, thought I was done with it. And then every night it would come right back as if it was just starting all over again,” he said. “The hardest part of the night was that feeling of shortness of breath and not knowing if it’s going to get worse.”
During eight suffocating nights, Saag wasn’t sure whether he’d survive without a ventilator. It never came to that. He is now fully recovered and feels closer than ever to the people he treats.
“When I talk to a patient and I say, ‘Hey, I’ve had it too,’ it’s like we’re connected in a way that I really, honestly haven’t felt with patients ever before — and I’ve been doing this 40 years,” Saag said.
Outside the examination room, Saag has participated in news conferences and done media interviews to encourage basic public health practices, but he knows many people just aren’t listening.
He said it is disheartening to see a widespread disregard for safety measures and worries about Alabama’s future at a time when the virus is posing more of a threat than ever.
“I’m just thinking, `Oh, my goodness. We’re going to be in trouble very soon,’” Saag said...
Dr. Michael Saag spends much of his time treating patients fighting for their lives and working with colleagues who are overwhelmed and exhausted by the relentless battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
But he enters a different world when he walks out the door of his Alabama clinic: one where many don’t wear masks, keep their distance from others or even seem aware of the intense struggle being waged against a virus that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives nationwide and made so many — including the doctor — seriously ill. The disconnect is devastating. “It’s a mixture of emotions, from anger to being demoralized to bewilderment to frustration,” Saag said (Article by Jay Reeves with Associated Press)
What Dr. Saag is experiencing in Alabama is true in most states…certainly in mine, which is Florida. The lack of concern by young families and the lack of being an example to their young families, especially the teenagers, is truly amazing…until they experience what Dr. Saag has experienced…or they lose Grandma or Grandpa. The story then becomes personal.
How important are your children and grandchildren to you? After you are older and there is another pandemic, how will they protect you…and their families?
IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK to simply have a mask in the car for everyone to use for a short while when in public?
WEAR THE MASK! IT WON’T KILL YOU…BUT THE VIRUS MIGHT!
While you are home and enjoying the pleasure of a “mask free” existence, here is a special relaxing video for you to hear and count your blessings. God bless you and be well.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
For your pleasure:
Do we have any idea what is happening in the concrete jungles of the world? Hardly! We only hear the names of big cities…Paris, London, Moscow, New York….and more. What is actually happening in these great metropolises is anybody’s guess. They are only names…without real understanding of the hard working people in their midst.
In these great cities of steel and stone are real people who are trapped in a cycle of over-population, rising costs, air pollution and the rush for investors to take every inch of land in order to build…and build. These great towers rise high and gleam in the sky…the symbol of wealth and prosperity….or DOES IT?
Take a look at our large cities and you might get an answer if you have something to compare the life of those living there and the lives of others around the world. It could make us decide that life in many American towns, even with the great improvements that need to be made, is good and should be appreciated. We must not forget that for most our blessings are great! Perhaps this blog will help us put things into perspective.
You are going to have the opportunity to follow the lives of some select people in a towering city of gigantic, concrete high rises and see what things are really like….HONG KONG. This story can be played out in any large city in the world as desire for more and more constitutes the creed in the world.
But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 1 Timothy 6:9
Hong Kong is by far the largest source of foreign direct investment in China, totaling U.S.$76 billion by the end of 1995. Mainland money is also pouring into Hong Kong, with Chinese companies investing as much as U.S.$60 billion in the territory in recent years. (Rand)
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM…IN ALL THIS PROSPERITY?
“In glitzy and prosperous Hong Kong, thousands live in conditions deemed an “insult to human dignity”. Low-income residents who can’t keep up with soaring property prices have no choice but to cram into homes barely bigger than a coffin or wire cage. More than 200,000 Hongkongers survive in the cramped and squalid conditions of so-called coffin houses and cage homes. “(RT documentaries)
A BRIEF HISTORY OF HONG KONG and ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE
Starting out as a farming fishing village and salt production site, it became an important free port and eventually a major international financial centre. The Qing dynasty ceded Hong Kong to the British Empire in 1842 through the treaty of Nanjing, ending the First Opium War. (Wikipedia)
The treaty of Nanking in 1842 ceded Hong Kong to the British. Their big ships and military might meant China had little choice at the end of the first opium war. It was given to them in perpetuity. … It was this, the New Territories, that in 1898 the British pledged to give back in 1997 (Newsweek)
Hong Kong exists as a Special Administrative Region controlled by The People’s Republic of China and enjoys its own limited autonomy as defined by the Basic Law. (Investipedia)
The cause of the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests was the proposed legislation of the 2019 Hong Kong extradition bill…and demands for democratic reform…and the fear of losing a “high degree of autonomy” in general. (Wikipedia)
Hong Kong is officially known as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Hong Kong has one of the world’s most thriving economies and is a hub for international trade and investment. A cosmopolitan city, Hong Kong weaves Western and Asian influence into a world-class center of business, culture, and trade. (Hong Kong Atlanta)
One would think that the power and influential of Hong Kong would have economic problems figured out for the workers of this vast empire. However, the desire for wealth doesn’t mean that the average, working citizen can live with any dignity. The economy of any nation is extremely important, but the workers who are the steam behind the engine must not be overlooked.
I’ve asked why most of the workers in our country and others are the poorest of the poor…the most vulnerable to disease that spreads to others? Why are they mostly the only ones willing to work? Why, even during the pandemic in the U.S., did many of these workers, mostly Spanish or Asian, continue working in the slaughter houses while others collected unemployment, refusing to return to work as long as the government paid out?
The answer is simple…they did not want to lose a job that was their only life line. This is also the reason for the workers interviewed in the video below. We must not forget that Hong Kong is still under the thumb of communistic China. You will see in one episode where the men refused to be photographed in fear of losing the only thing they had…a job and a tiny place to live, not much bigger than your average large dog cage in the USA. Fear is a great motivator in survival.
Governments and companies should look seriously at the Holy Scripture and its promises to the worker in Psalm 128:2. The worker is promised something from God if the bosses over them do not interfere.
“You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.”
God rewards those who work hard. They deserve to be rewarded and blessed with a good and decent life. Authoritarian powers often cancel out God’s purposes. The world will suffer and men’s actions and greed will eventually be held accountable…not only in the East…but the West.
“You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your brothers or one of the sojourners who are in your land within your towns. You shall give him his wages on the same day, before the sun sets (for he is poor and counts on it), lest he cry against you to the Lord, and you be guilty of sin. Deuteronomy 24:14,15
This video, “Trapped inside Hong Kong’s cage houses” proves what over-crowing and rising costs leads to completely being trapped for these Hong Kong’s workers. When watching this, keep in mind that the same thing can happen in any large city in the world today.
Turn on your sound.
You were brought into the world and given life. Whether you are now old or young, you are still you. Have you ever asked yourself, “Exactly WHO AM I?”
What special gifts do I have? How am I different from my closest relative? Knowing WHO I am is a most important question. People often spend their entire lives searching for the answer to that question. Some feel bewildered… while others feel confident in their own skin.
I found the answer to “Who Are You?” as I searched the Holy Scripture and saw that this question was also asked of the Apostle John. He must have been extremely confident to announce who he was, because in some cases, he went against the religious hierarchy of the day. It is evident that his confidence only came from God, who had given him a job to do. He simply knew that he knew.
How about us? His purpose for each of us will only be revealed when our hearts are ready to listen to the small still voice that we can’t seem to make go away. It is His Holy Spirit drawing us into His love. The answer then to the question, “Who are you?” is this:
WE ARE TO BE WHAT GOD HAS SENT US TO BE...A CHILD OF HIS. WE ARE TO BE A LIGHT IN A DARK WORLD.
“What if I have missed it?” you may say. He wants you to know that you have not missed it.
We measure everything in our time frame. Time is irrelevant to God. “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” 2nd Peter 3:8
He sees your heart as it is today. If you ask forgiveness for any past things that do not measure up to God’s purpose for you, He will forgive and remember them no more. The Holy Scriptures promises us that. We have to trust that fact.
“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” Isaiah 43:25 (Old Testament)
Then He adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” Hebrews 10:15 (New Testament)
In the Gospel of John, the Apostle John, as mentioned above, was “sent by God” to let the people know that the Messiah had come. His reputation had gone before him…so much so, that the priests and Levites, who were descendants of the Tribe of Levi, were sent from Jerusalem to ask him “WHO ARE YOU?”
St. John knew exactly who he was…a MESSENGER from God that the Jews should know the truth…that their MESSIAH, of Whom they had been waiting and looking for since the days of the prophets, was living and walking among them. He said that he, John, was only a “VOICE”….”crying in the wilderness.” His message was simple. “Make straight the way of the Lord.”
St. John was born in the late 1st century (circa 5 B.C.), Saint John the Baptist was a Jewish prophet who preached the imminence of God’s final judgment. It is believed that he was born somewhere in Judea, located near Jerusalem, Israel, according to the New Testament. A priest of the order of Abijah, John the Baptist gained recognition as a prophet, had several disciples and baptized a number of people, including Jesus Christ, according to scripture. Christians believe that John the Baptist was the last great prophet before Jesus Christ came to earth. He was reportedly beheaded circa 30 A.D. (Biography)
We are living in a wilderness today. One of the meanings for “wilderness” is an inhospitable region. Inhospitable means harsh, difficult, unfriendly or unwelcoming. Doesn’t that describe much of our world today as one faction raves against another.
This is why we have had wars throughout history. People, in kingdoms and governments, were, and are, filled with greed, ambition, power…and it overcame them to the point that they never found the true person that God wanted them to be.
Many led others to think that they should follow their ideologies rather than God. A few examples come to mind: Napoleon Bonaparte, having made himself an emperor of France, died in exile on the remote, British-held island of Saint Helena at age 51. Adolph Hitler, after losing WWII, committed suicide at age 69 and Saddam Hussein was captured, tried and hanged for his crimes…age 51. They did not have very long lives by today’s longevity. (history)
Each of these men were once the little boy that God wanted to have a good life, but they chose to neither listen to nor accept the Holy Words of God. They thought they knew better about who they were, but they didn’t. Their eyes became blinded to God’s truth through their own choices.
Back to our original question…Who are you? You are to so live your life that you will be a voice to the harshness of this world…for good, not for evil.
Being the messenger of God’s love and hope does not mean that one has to be a minister, who preaches in a church, on a mission field or some other Christian group. St. John was not seeking a prominent position or popularity, but to be faithful to the message he was given by God to share with the world.
We may only be the voice of hope to someone who shares with us their difficulties in life. Just be ready for that encounter! Remember, God’s timing may take you by surprise. It may be at the grocery parking lot; when walking in your neighborhood and meet someone you haven’t seen in a while or a fellow worker.
You may say, “I’m too shy to open up to someone about faith” or “I think religion is their business” or “That seems a little bold to me.” Yes, you are right. Some of us are by nature on the shy side, but God has promised to supply the boldness needed.
Even if we believe that everyone’s business is their own…especially about “religion,” we must remember that sharing God’s love is not talking about a particular “religion,” but about your own personal walk with Christ. As a Christian, you are called to be ready to give the hope that is within you. Peter 3:15 also talks about your shyness and that you may be afraid.
John was known as the “beloved disciple.” We all want to be loved. How wonderful to be the loved of Christ, who speaks of you to His Father in heaven. We must all ask ourselves as Christians, “Are we faithful to being what God wants us to be?” It is never too late to surrender ourselves to His perfect love.
Dedicate this day, this hour, your next breath to being His in all walks of your life…and you will find that you are what He wants you to be. He will lift you up and give you the voice, heart and soul that He wants of you.
You will truly know exactly who you are…a child of God.
The following is a trailer of the life story of a young boy, from Argentina, who was also called of God to be His voice. His name is Luis Palau. He made his voice the voice of hope to the Spanish speaking people around the world, especially in Columbia. The full length is extremely moving and is available on Amazon Prime.
Turn on your sound.
Most clergy are hesitant to take on those who are in a higher position than themselves. This was not the case with the Great Reformers of the Protestant Reformation. Many of them were burned at the stake for opposing the hierarchy of the church. One of these reformers was Martin Luther.
Recently, a Catholic friend of mine sent to me an amazing video of the sermon given by Fr. James Altman of LaCrosse, WI
It is rare to have a Roman Catholic speak out against the words of an Archbishop.
Yet, this young man may be the one to lead the way among Christian groups, whether Catholic or not, to speak up for right and wrong according to the Holy Scriptures. He uses what we know best…the Ten Commandments to address to his congregation (and now the world) God’s message to this age in which we live.
Whether you are a Catholic, Episcopalian, as I am, a Baptist, Pentecostal or any other denomination of the Christian faith, hear this message from a courageous priest. Perhaps there will be other Christian leaders who will lend their voices to his. As people of this nation and the world, we could use another Great Reforming.
For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7
Turn up your sound and enlarge the screen. (Be certain to push the red line back to the beginning if it is already moved forward.)
“THOSE WHO FAIL TO LEARN FROM HISTORY ARE CONDEMNED TO REPEAT IT.”
Winston Churchill to the House of Commons, 1948
This famous quote is one to strongly consider as we think about our nation and the world today. We thought we had conquered most of the world’s diseases, then the Coronavirus moved around the world.
We thought we had crossed through the problems of discrimination after the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther, Jr…then came more deaths for many people of all colors. We are faced with problems today that could be disastrous for us all. There are those who simply want their voices heard, justice done and then there are the anarchists among us who want to destroy peace and accomplishments of many. What we thought had been attained through new laws of the land against racism and civil rights for all can be destroyed within an instance if lawlessness is allowed to continue. We ask ourselves, “What is next and what has happened to the democratic way of life? Where is law and order?”
There are forces at work to disrupt anything peaceful. Some are outsiders, who mean no good will. These forces will take advantage of every tragic event to move our civilization toward something even more tragic. What would that be is not fully known, but the loss of lawfulness, the democratic way and the sanctity of all men and women could be only a starter.
What exactly is “sanctity?” It has to do with being sacred or morally upright and correct.” Is nothing sacred anymore? Does the hard work of people building businesses, which support our communities…for all races…make it right to “smash…grab…and run”… while laughing about it?!
The values that were taught in most families…about stealing or destroying seems to mean nothing to many who have been given so much by the previous generation? There were marches in Selma; men and women of all colors who went off to war to fight for world freedom. Do they understand the sacrifices of history? If not, do we blame ourselves for not teaching it more in schools or in the home? Will these young adults who believe they are changing the world teach their own children the meaning of sacrifice and sanctity? Do they “care less” when it comes to destroying and looting?
Yes, there are voices that need to be heard, but all people, through our Constitution and laws, have been given a right to freedom of speech when voicing complaints…and should and can be heard without destroying the center of their own universe. (“…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress…”) There is no right given to plunder, steal or take the property of another.
We have also seen how situations can turn from bad to worse when people are singled out because of who they are…minorities…police…the calling of disparaging names because of one’s belief on a particular subject. The victims of violence should be able to mourn their dead. The victim’s memories should be honored, not exploited.
While government officials argue about what to do in this crisis, the “rape” of hard-working American men and women’s businesses goes on…destroying the lives of many.
Do not forget history. It teaches us everything…to do and not to do. It tells us how fragile governments can be when those who believe their ideas are the only ideas, regardless of who they hurt, begs the possibility of raising up leaders to push the world into a brink of despair and even war. We have seen it in our best teacher…HISTORY.
Let’s take a look back.
There were good people in Germany before World War II who saw that the path on which their country was heading would lead Germany and other countries into chaos. Even within the high-ranking military and Christian churches, there were dissidents who stood against Hitler. There were actually six attempts to do away with Hitler, but each failed.
1944 Plot: …”At the center of this plot was Claus von Stauffenberg, a dashing colonel who had lost an eye and one of his hands during combat in North Africa. He and his co-conspirators—who included Tresckow, Friedrich Olbricht and Ludwig Beck—planned to kill the Führer with a hidden bomb concealed in a briefcase and then use the German Reserve Army to topple the Nazi high command. If their coup was successful, the rebels would then immediately seek a negotiated peace with the Allies. ( Full story of 6 plots History.com)
When the bomb exploded, more than 20 people were injured and three officers were killed, but Hitler escaped one more time. Because of this attempt, more than 7,000 people were arrested and 4,980 people were executed by the Gestapo.” (History Collection)
Anarchy is raising an ugly head in today’s modern world. The very word, from the Latin word, anarchia, and the Greek, anarchos, has the meaning of “no rule.” (Wikipedia)
We, as a nation of people, have a choice to stand for what is right and honorable…or loss control. Don’t forget “Kristallnacht” (The Night of Broken Glass) when storefronts belonging to the Jews were shattered. Glass littered the streets and vandalism occurred. Sound familiar?
I leave you with a compelling life of a survivor of one of history’s darkest hours. At first it began slowly and then the blaming of an entire group of people began. The innocent were accused…and the rest is “history.” We pray that this part of our present day history will not be another dark hour.
- Born in 1928 in Berlin. Hannah’s father was Head of the Prussian Press Bureau and adviser to the Minister of Interior of Brandenburg, Germany. In 1933, with the rise of the Nazis to power, Hannah’s family fled to Amsterdam.
- There, at school, Hannah met Anna Frank, also a refugee from Germany.
- In October 1942, while giving birth, both the baby and Hannah’s mother died.
- On June 20, 1943, Hannah, her younger sister, Gabi, her father and grandparents were sent to the Westerbork transit camp.
- Hannah and Gabi were separated from their father and sent to the orphanage in the camp. There, she worked cleaning the toilets
- In 1944, Hannah, her father and sister were transferred to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where she had to do forced labor.
- When she was told that Anna Frank was also imprisoned there she managed to establish contact with her and even tried to give her a package of food and clothing, which someone else stole.
- Hanna’s Father and Grandparents were murdered in Bergen-Belsen.
- On April 11, 1945, the camp inmates were evacuated. Hannah had contracted typhus.
- In June, the Soviets handed Hannah and her sister to the Americans and they were returned to Amsterdam.
- Hannah went to Israel in 1947 and lived in Kfar Hasidim. She worked as a nurse in a pediatric ward at the ‘Bikkur Holim’ Hospital in Jerusalem. (from Yad Vashem)
In Hannah’s own words:
Video Turn up your sound.
Recently, a person asked my husband, a retired Navy Chaplain and Episcopal priest, to come over to bless his house. To be perfectly honest, I had my hesitations. We were only briefly acquainted with them and there was the natural concern about whether they had contact with anyone with the Coroavirus during this Pandemic. The gentleman said that his family was well. Our county had fewer cases of the virus than some in Florida, but regardless, it was a concern. My husband assured me that I need not go to the house blessing, if I felt uncomfortable. He would go alone. So, I began to pray… and out of the blue…
I read this statement by a father about his son serving in an ICU.
“This is a photo of my son, Dr Dillon Keenan McCarty MD. He is a third year Internal Medicine resident working the night shift staffing Baton Rouge General ICU along with another 3rd year resident and 3 respiratory therapists taking care of an unheard of 42 severely ill COVID patients on ventilators. They are making some hard decisions . He has always been one to not back down from a fight and was made for this time. Health care professionals are at an extremely high risk of catching this disease and some patients in his unit are young. Over 70 doctors in Italy died caring for patients in this epidemic. On this Palm Sunday, I am reminded of Isaiah 6 :8 where Isaiah has a vision of God, yet feels unworthy to the task. And I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.’
Pray for all our providers young and old for their courage and health. Matt McCarty MD”
Sometimes I don’t know if my writings, through Boyer Writes blog, mean anything to anyone, but this father’s words certainly meant something to me. I wrote in one of my devotional books about trying to decide whether to go to Mongolia and every time I sang a hymn with the words, Here I am, Lord, written by Dan Schutte, I knew my answer. I had to go because God was leading me there. When the Holy Spirit is speaking, a person can not get it out of their mind. God is the “hound of heaven.”
(chorus) Here I am, Lord. It is I Lord.
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, where you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.
This house-blessings was in my own neighborhood…for crying out loud…not at the ends of the earth!!! If I would go to Mongolia, Ukraine or Guatemala to serve God, why would I hesitate to go in my own home town? Fear is a strong factor in our lives…even if we call it “precaution.” Don’t be fooled, the evil one who would want a house and family NOT to be blessed, will heap as much fear upon us as it takes!
Putting on our masks, we went on our way. The House Blessing turned out to be a special time for this family. Each room and family member were prayed over in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As my husband and I left the house, a large, bright rainbow appeared in the sky…a blessing from God to us all.
Today, I share with you this song. May God lead you…for He has much for all of us to do.
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.
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.
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:
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
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)
- 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
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.”
- 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!
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.
To all our military…from all wars…we THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND YOUR DEDICATION TO FREEDOM!
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.)
I’m happy to share with you two of my new books that are now online at Amazon. It has been a time to consider my writing and what type of contribution I can give to those readers who are experiencing these weeks and months of virus sadness and weariness.
First, for all those who have lost loved ones to this dread disease, please know my heart and prayers are with you. To those whose lives have been turned upside down through financial distress or ruin, my prayers are for you each night. My hope is that my books, shown below, will be helpful and inspirational to face life anew.
- The book I decided to write during these troubled times is first for children and parents, who want their children to understand what the world is facing. Getting out my paints, I challenged myself to illustrate and as a retired educator, to remember what my students age 9-12 would understand and enjoy. I decided to use our Golden Retriever, Bella, as the main character.
The book for adults, young adults and even teens is: (links) FAITH DEVOTIONAL BOOK 5 or FAITH and the WORLD-WIDE PANDEMIC. Both books have the same content, but different covers. Take a look and see what you think:
(link) GERMS! OH NO!
The world is looking for a breath of fresh air and sun! Today in Florida, the beaches are opening with sunny weather at about 85 degrees. Looking for everyone to enjoy and take precautions to be safe and careful. Enjoy!!
For your weekend, Boyer Writes shares with you THE DEEP LOVE OF JESUS…played at the beach. May you be blessed.
Words to Oh, the Deep Deep Love of Jesus
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me
Is the current of your love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To your glorious rest above
‘Tis heaven of heavens to me
And it lifts me up to glory
For it lifts me up to thee
Spread his praise from shore to shore
How he loves us, ever loves us,
Changes never, nevermore
VIDEO Turn up sound and enlarge screen for best viewing
This blog is a solemn tribute to the HARD WORKERS of our country, who produce the foods that are so readily available in our markets. When all seems lost from weather or any action that hurts the bottom line…they keep the faith and instead of giving up…they continue to know that the fields they look upon are God’s field…and HE CAN INTERVENE.
Everytime we go to buy groceries, think about those past and present who worked fields and NEVER GAVE UP…even in the hardest of times. Shelton portrays the heartache of those who felt there was no hope. Thank God for those who kept the faith and came through with God’s help.
Video Turn up sound:
“The recent rash of mass shootings has left the nation stunned but, sadly, not speechless. The usual media and political suspects are saying the usual things, using the bodies of the innocent as a sickening ideological soapbox.
We’re not going to do that here. These gruesome murders are not about, nor caused by, politics. Rather, they are the unavoidable and perhaps unstoppable product of a deeply diseased culture. A culture which has become the perfect growth medium for psychopathy.
“Loners” are no longer alone when in their online worlds. They can communicate without actual human contact. They can find reinforcement for their darkest and most twisted thoughts and fantasies. They can give the worst demons of their psyches an artificial, external life in cyberspace… free to express hatred and anger anonymously and without consequence. And on the Internet, madness can hide in plain sight.
After all, who’s going to notice or care about garden variety insanity in a world which routinely describes everyone as murderous: baby killers on one side, Earth-destroying Nazis on the other. The stakes are absolute, the “other” is the enemy, and words are just words…until they become actions.
The social mechanisms which formerly prevented these massacres have crumbled the bonds of family, friendship, and faith…a shared sense of community, optimism about the future, moral certainty and personal responsibility.
Instead, we now live in a crowded world of communal loners, all staring at their phones instead of the world and people around them. Politicians and media figures preach an unsubtle and dangerously divisive message of absolutes: you are either on this side or that, either all good or all evil. There is no middle ground – only calls for action. Calls that the wrong people are hearing.
We live in a culture in which too many feel they have no meaning or importance, but believe that one spectacular act of madness can give them the instant celebrity which defines success in a sick society. And so they kill to feel alive…to experience an illusion of power at the expense of the powerless. And even knowing the likelihood that they will be killed during their heinous act, they believe they will live eternally in the electronic ether, washed in the blood of the sacrificed.
Gun control can not and will not change any of this. The phenomena of mass shootings is, in fact, unstoppable absent a wholesale change in our culture, our way of life, and our society’s unhealthy obsession with an inhuman and inhumane electronic world.
The good news is that the vast majority of people still retain values strong enough to keep them morally centered in our crumbling culture. The bad news is that unless those values can regain cultural dominance, and unless we can replace combativeness and angry confrontation with honest conversation, mass murder will continue to be our inescapable new normal.”
- You shall have no other Gods but Me.
- You shall not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it.
- You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
- You shall remember and keep the Sabbath day holy.
- Respect your father and mother.
- You must not commit murder.
- You must not commit adultery.
- You must not steal.
- You must not give false evidence against your neighbor.
- You must not be envious of your neighbor’s goods. You shall not be envious of his house nor his wife, nor anything that belongs to your neighbor.
We have to begin somewhere to heal our society. It’s bigger than any law or any revision of laws…for it has to start in the heart. It will take all Americans working together for a peaceful life for us and our children.
For all those who have suffered great loss, we, at Boyer Writes, dedicate this video. Turn up your sound and quietly listen to the words.
We at Boyer Writes welcome home to the United States the three Americans who have been imprisoned in N. Korea. Kim Hak Song, Tony Kim and Kim Dong Chul are welcomed here by President Trump as they set foot on American soil.
We can only imagine the heartbreak of the family of Otto Warmbier, who was released earlier, only to die from his mistreatment.
“American detainees in North Korea have been an especially delicate issue between the two countries. One of them, Otto F. Warmbier, an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in 2016 for trying to take a propaganda poster while on a trip to North Korea. He died last June shortly after being released in a coma, having spent 17 months in captivity.
His parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, recently filed a lawsuit in the United States accusing North Korea of kidnapping and fatally torturing their son, and last week they appeared at the United Nations to speak out about human rights abuses in North Korea.
“They used him as a political pawn for as long as they could,” Mr. Warmbier said of his son, “and when he was of no value to them, they essentially sent him home to our family in a body bag.”
What is the background of the men released? (All information taken from The New York Times, article by Choe Sang-Hun )
- Kim Dong-Chul: He was a businessman who had been sentenced to 10 years of hard labor in April 2016 after being convicted of spying and other offenses. A month before his trial, Mr. Kim appeared at a government-arranged news conference in Pyongyang and apologized for what he described as his attempted theft of military secrets in collusion with South Koreans. The South Korean spy agency has denied any involvement. Mr. Kim’s predicament was not known until January 2016, when the North Korean government let CNN interview him in Pyongyang. At that time, Mr. Kim identified himself as a 62-year-old naturalized American citizen who lived in Fairfax, Va. He said he had once run a trading and hotel services company in Rason, a special economic zone near North Korea’s borders with China and Russia. He said he had been arrested in October 2015 while meeting with a former North Korean soldier to receive classified data. (NY Times)
- Tony Kim: Mr. Kim also known as Kim Sang-duk, was arrested in April 2017. He had spent a month teaching accounting at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, a Christian-funded college, and was trying to board a plane to leave the country when he was arrested, according to university officials.
Mr. Kim, who is in his 50s, studied accounting at the University of California, Riverside, and at Aurora University, and he worked as an accountant in the United States for more than a decade, according to his Facebook page.
Kim Hak-Song He was arrested on May 6, 2017. He volunteered at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, doing agricultural development work at its research farm. According to CNN, Mr. Kim, an ethnic Korean, was born in Jilin, China, near the North Korean border, and emigrated to the United States in the 1990s. After becoming an American citizen, the network said, Mr. Kim returned to China and studied agriculture in Yanbian before moving to Pyongyang.
We must not forget the families of other prisoners in Korea at the many political and re-education camps that can be very brutal. Continue to pray for those still being held in places around the world, including Iran.
We rejoice to be living in a free country. We now share with you the moment of the prisoners arrive in the United States with our Secretary of State, Mr. Pompeo.
2VIDEOS: (credit Fox News and Sky News Correspondent Mark Stone ) (Turn up sound)
- The arrival of the three Americans to the USA
- Over the years, there have been N. Koreans who have dared to try to escape N. Korea. This video tells some of their stories and the hardships they endured before making their way to freedom. You will notice that the N.Korean Ambassador to the UK says there are no camps…only “re-education camps…not camps, but places.” The people who lived in these “camps…or places” give a frank picture of what happens to a person once there. One may ask, “If the South and North Korea are once again unified, will these “places” be destroyed? Will threats and intimidation go away? Will the N. Koreans be truly free?
LINK for information on N. Korean Prison Camps (Wikipedia)
Almost everyone I know in Virginia owns a gun or has a permit to carry one. These are upstanding, law-abiding citizens, church goers who love people and America. There is no doubt in my mind, if gun control laws should be changed in the USA to try to prevent the terrible tragedies we have seen recently and throughout the years, they would stand their ground to maintain their “Constitutional Right” of the 2nd Amendment. Yet, each time the mentally ill or a person with evil intent goes on a rampage, harming innocent children and adults in our country, the debate over guns begins again. The reason, of course, is that everyone wants an answer to what may be unanswerable.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE FACTS ABOUT GUN VIOLENCE IN AMERICA?
Mass shootings are considered any shooting where more than 3 people are shot. This does not include the injured whose lives are often forever changed. Neither does it account for the emotional harm or fear that Americans experience. After mass shootings, most Americans try to go on with their everyday lives. To change what they do in attending a movie, club, or sporting event because of the fear of terrorism or criminal activity, would be giving in to the perpetrator. That would not be the American way.
Here are a few examples of mass shootings from the 1980’s to the present:
- McDonalds 22 died
- Columbine High School 59 died
- Virginia Tech 32 died
- Sandy Hook Elementary 28 died …very small children and teachers
- Orlando nightclub 49 died
- Church Shootings: Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. 9 dead and 1st Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX 26 dead
- Las Vegas 58 died
- Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla., 17 died…children and teachers
In the 1990’s 159 people died and in 1994, there was an assault weapons ban. During the 2000’s, there were 20 incidents of mass shootings taking the lives of 170 people.
Many cities in the USA, like Chicago, Baltimore and Philadelphia experience single shootings every day…sometimes every hour. Gangs are armed and the Assault Weapons Ban has done little good when criminal elements are at work. As far as mass shootings, since 2010, the U.S. has experienced at least 40 incidents, killing over 350 innocent people.
Law enforcers who try to control areas and situations are also victims. The number of deaths of law enforcers has also increased because of gangs, border crimes, and local offenders. Their job of trying to keep our communities safe is a most difficult one. Their weapons are essential in apprehensions…and hopefully, do not have to be used. One can take a look at the listings on memorials and see the terrible effect on those who serve and their families.
Slides of Some Memorials to our Police who have died in the line of duty by a violent offender.
GANG VIOLENCE and Drugs
When little children are involved, it is even harder to understand the motivation for violence. Gang members, who shoot from their cars at random, aim at little children walking to or from school. Adults take a chance with their own lives as they often accompany the children. We know for certain that there will be a great judgment for those who harm children. (Mark 9:42 in the Holy Scriptures “And whosoever shall offend one of [these] little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone was hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.”) See memorial to Sandy Hook children and victims at end of the video.)
The law enforcers, FBI, and even parents cannot be everywhere at all times. Schools, theaters, concert halls, sports events and even churches are having to up their security. This is not only about the fear of terrorist attacks but for the insane or criminal element who would plan to do something terrible to average citizens. Unfortunately, it was not enough for the Florida High School even though teachers were told to not allow the shooter on campus with a backpack and the FBI had been notified of his social media postings with no real results.
I was a teacher for years in Florida and we were trained on lockdown situations, but how in the world is a teacher suppose to confront a perpetrator bent on killing as many as possible, and ask him/her to “take your backpack off campus”. Throughout the nation, most school employees have taken training courses on what to do if attacked. Others have called for the arming of teachers.
After the church massacre in South Carolina of an African American congregation, some citizens who keep their eye on odd behavior have armed themselves. Others opposed carrying weapons into the house of worship. If so, some states require a sign outside stating their opposition to bringing weapons inside the church.
Here is a quote around this issue: “Before the Sutherland Springs shooting, several major church groups in Texas, including leaders of the United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, had advised their membership to ban weapons from services. Citing the Catholic doctrine that the real presence of Jesus Christ exists inside the sanctuary,… dioceses in major cities, including Dallas, San Antonio and Houston, banned guns. But in the aftermath of Sutherland Springs, church leaders of various denominations have faced pressure to reconsider their positions on weapons. In November, just a day after the shooting in South Texas, the Diocese of Dallas said it would not formally lift its ban on the open or concealed carry of firearms inside its churches, but it advised its parishes to consider removing outdoor signs that advertised the prohibition on guns out of fear it would make the churches more vulnerable to attack. But the move effectively allowed the carry of weapons, since state law requires any business banning guns to install a public sign formally stating that policy…” (taken from article by Holly Bailey)
How tragic is it that one can’t feel safe in their place of worship or at school!
One article that I read in my research said that there are so many guns in America, both criminal elements and the law-abiding, that no decision on gun control will help the situation. The criminals are fully armed. The insane usually can find a way to get a gun, which may be within the home of people with good mental health.
Various organizations have opposed labeling anyone as a “mental risk”. We ask people to get psychological help if depressed or have other concerns, but some may be hesitant to go to a psychiatrist for treatment. Why? The fear is that government may eventually require names of patients who are seeing the physician…just to determine if John Doe is a security risk to the community or nation. What about HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability andAccountability Act) which is an act to protect your privacy? It may be a good thing to read who HIPPA allows having information on you.
Do the mentally ill have rights under the HIPPA laws? According to Mental Health America is the following statement: “While providers generally follow their clients’ wishes, there are emergency situations when a provider may disclose relevant, protected health information to an outside party, including family members or law enforcement. These special circumstances include times when a provider believes there is an imminent threat of harm to self or others, or where an individual is deemed “incapacitated,” lacking the ability to make one’s health decisions, and sharing information is in the best interest of the client’s care”. (Mental Health America link)
Parents may not look at their minor teens as a public security risk, but feel that their odd behaviors are “going through a phase” which they expect will eventually be outgrown. In the Sandy Hook incident, the mother allowed her son to have weapons, which was used to kill her and the children of Sandy Hook Elementary. Some feel that even beefed up mental health improvements could have some problems. Others wonder if they can trust the government to guarantee their Constitutional rights. It is all most complicated.
Police recommend over and over “Say Something if You See Something”. Our hat is off to the young man who photographed the threat made as a comment about “being a professional school shooting” online and talked to the FBI. This young man had no connections and lived in another state from Florida. Yet he spoke up, saying “I just couldn’t let that go by.” Teens communicate almost exclusively through social media. They are aware many times of who is sending out signals of desperation, hatred, and intents. Parents also need to keep an open conversation and awareness with their children.
Another call is for a renewed effort on mental health. It will also take people beyond government or medical intervention to change the mental attitudes in American. The clergy can bring faith and understanding. Parents should get off their phones and get involved in real, everyday conversation with their children. All people in communities should keep their eyes open and be unafraid to speak out when needed. We are all in this together. Nevertheless, the debate goes on about gun control and mental health because the grief is real and most Americans hope that there can be an answer to the insanity.
VIDEO ON THE HISTORY OF GUNS IN AMERICA (Turn up sound)
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)
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2ndChronicles 7:14 in the Holy Scriptures
Individuals do terrible things. Groups of people do terrible things. Nations do terrible things. The numbers of attacks on people of the United States speak for themselves. (chart below) Throughout the world, it is even worse where men, women and children, including Americans, were brutally attacked as they went about their everyday life. Sandy Hook Elementary School was an attack on little children and teachers. Columbine was a high school filled with young people. VA Tech also had young people. Again, the Scriptures warn us: “And whosoever shall offend one of [these] little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone was hanged about his neck, and he was cast into the sea.” Mark 9:42
We, who claim the name of Christ, must humble ourselves…pray…and ask for the healing that this world needs. If we don’t, who will?
- We, here at Boyer Writes, ask that you send a prayer request if you would like prayer…write to email@example.com
- Use only first names in anything you write and the State or Country where you live.
- We will pray for each one of the requests. That is our promise.
WE ASK EVERYONE IF YOU READ A COMMENT TO PRAY A SINCERE AND FERVENT PRAYER. MAY ALL THESE PRAYERS COME FROM AROUND THE WORLD TO OUR LORD IN HEAVEN THAT WE MAY HAVE THE HEALING SO DESPERATELY NEEDED.
To chisel in stone a creation takes more than the idea…but also the sweat and toil that goes with it. To carve any statue or a part of a building took hands and a hammer…with usually a price to pay. Recently I watched where statues that were carefully created are being removed and stored in some place to possibly be forgotten. Our children will not be able to see the beauty of a carved work of art, regardless of who may be represented in the statue.
In the Middle East, ISIS destroyed works of art carved into hillsides and in temples and museums. Gone from the earth because of dissent, mistrust, and complete disrespect for beauty or labor in stone…never to be seen again.
If ISIS could take over cities in Europe or the Vatican, would they also destroy the priceless statues and antiquities that were made in the name of the Christian faith, as they have done in the Middle East to museum works of art that are thousands of years old? See video link of destruction
The amazing works of art and marble statues could have been lost forever during World War II if it had not been for those who hid them or those who discovered them when it was ordered that they should be destroyed if Hitler should lose the war. The most famous true story of this is when the American army sent art experts to find where the Nazi regime had hidden them. This is better known by the film called Monuments Men.
Perhaps the greatest sculptor in stonework in history was Michaelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, 1475-1564. He aimed high for perfection in all that he made out of stone and in the paintings that he painted. He had the greatest influence on art in the Renaissance period and beyond. Not only did he produce some of the greatest stone works of art, but his masterpieces upon the walls of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican are beyond beautiful and inspiring.
The word Renaissance means “Rebirth”. His story in the video below is not only his search for meaning in life, but about his ability as a sculptor to make stone into an almost breathing piece of life. His life as a sculptor and artist, after hundreds of years, should be an inspiration to all of us to protect the monuments in stone that speak of history, faith, and of artistic beauty… that if lost…can not be replaced. Consider…if for no other reason, the hands that chiseled and the sweat that poured to make something wonderful for the world to enjoy is worth protecting and preserving. Perhaps we need a new “rebirth” period in our modern age.
AMEN and AMEN
John Williams composed the Hymn to the Fallen. The video below shows only a few memorials of those whose lives were cut short by a war. Today we hear threats and concerns about the possibilities of war. In many parts of our world, a war is a reality. The people, who suffer under these circumstances, know every day what war is about. They bury their dead. They cradle children in their arms who are dead or dying.
Today we hear threats and concerns about the possibilities of war. In many parts of our world, a war is a reality. The people, who suffer under these circumstances, know every day what war is about. They bury their dead. They cradle children in their arms who are dead or dying.
War is the hell it always was. No new war will ever make the pain or tragedy any less. We must remember this. Our leaders must remember this. Those who would announce that they intend to harm a country that is living peacefully must remember this.
Even though we have memorials around the world for the Americans who died in past wars, we should not forget all the Americans who have lost their lives in more recent years: according to the Military Times: Listed below are the most current statistics according to their database. (*These statistics may not reflect exact figures.) Pictures of the fallen are shown by clicking on the blue words.
Do you know where our American heroes are buried? Yes, some were brought back to the United States. Others lie in graves by the thousands in places far from home. Take a moment to reflect on exactly where they are.
VIDEO: For your Sunday meditation and prayers: Hymn of the Fallen
Could it be possible that this Jesuit Priest sees things far clearer than most on the difference between two major religious faiths? Would he be so convinced of his viewpoint that he felt the need to warn the Pope about his concerns?
A friend sent me this article of an interview given by Father Henri Boulad to the National Catholic Register.
The article is written by Edwin Pentin. It begins: “In an interview with the Register, Egyptian Greek Melkite* Jesuit Father Henri Boulad explains why he believes Islamist terrorists are applying what their religion teaches them, and why the Church fails to address this because she has fallen prey to a leftist ideology that is destroying the West.”
If you are interested in reading it, you should read it in its entirety…including the last part of the article: “Are there genuine and workable possibilities for reform of Islam and can dialogue ever be effective?”
(*The term “Melkite” (/ˈmɛlkaɪt/), also written “Melchite”, refers to various Byzantine Rite Christian churches and their members originating in the Middle East. … When used in an ecclesiastical sense, it refers specifically to the Melkite Greek Catholic Church as an ethnoreligious group. ( pertaining to ethnicity and religion) from Wikimedia
All the world knows that nuclear power can be useful or totally destructive. The threats of nuclear war loom mammoth in the thoughts of world leaders and what it means to all people on our planet. This video perhaps explains best where our nation and the world may be at this time in considering how North Korea plays into the nuclear picture:
To understand more about the life of North Koreans, the following link was made by two French journalists that were given the tours and propaganda that went with it. Some who managed to escape and defect speak out in this link. CLICK FOR LINK
We often say “thank you for your service” to those who have served in our military as veterans or those on active duty. Very important also are those who go into harm’s way to cover and photograph the scenes that we would never see. These can be heart-breaking scenes of the dead, wounded or dying…especially when there are children involved.
Who are these people who give so much of their time and lives to documenting vivid accounts of life, death or critical situations? They are journalists and photo journalists. We owe them a great deal of gratitude. They keep us informed and in doing so, often pay a great price.
Take a long, hard look at these faces. 804 journalists have been murdered and killed worldwide since 1992. (JPC..Committee to Protect Journalists ) This, of course, does not include the women journalists who have been raped or men brutalized while covering world events. Neither does it include those who are still in captivity in various countries. They should not be forgotten and every effort should be made to have them released.
Pictures of some of the Journalists who have died
20 Deadliest Countries as of 2014 (according to CPJ) If you click on any of the blue words, you can see a list of each person, by name, who died and how.
Today, I would like to feature only one such photo journalist. Chris Hondros, who was killed by a rocket propelled grenade in 2011, while in Libya on an assignment.
Chris’ parents were immigrants from Greece and Germany. They first came to New York and then moved Chris to North Carolina when he was a child. He earned a degree in English Literature from N.C State University and went on for his Masters from the School of Visual Communications in Ohio. Because of his great interest in world events and world conflicts, he photographed throughout the world in Iraq, Liberia, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Iraq and many more places.
Throughout his career, Chris received many awards for his work and in 2004 he was a Nominated Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Spot News Photography for his work in Liberia. He after was a guest speaker and writer about his experiences. Journalism will miss this man of many talents and his bravery to reach out to the world…that we may know truth through his documentation.
Pictures photographed by Chris Hondros (All Getty Images) in this slide presentation:
News about the number of immigrants coming into the U.S.A. and other countries is a big topic in today’s headlines. Some are seeking a better way of life. Others are looking to come for education. Some want permanent citizenship.
The question is how does it help us or in particular…how does it help the country they are leaving? Over the years many immigrants have come on student visas and then decide to stay. The education that they received and the knowledge that they now possess could bring much benefit to their home country…even if it is such things as clean water and inventions or technology for better infrastructure and everyday living… medical needs…thus more jobs with better pay. The list of country improvement that might be possible would be too long to share in this blog. We all have seen pictures of Ellis Island and the immigrants coming from around the world. (See slides of Ellis Island pictures)
Yes, our country is made up of immigrants from all over the world…since our beginning as a nation. Each one had a reason for wanting to come. In most cases they were not wanting to blow up America or take over our country. They may have been seeking religious freedom, but were not planning to bring religious bondage with them to those already here with different religious beliefs. They did not consider those different from themselves as infidels to be murdered. Of course, we know that there are many immigrants in our modern times who also are seeking the same things that our previous immigrants wanted. They wanted to live freely in a land with opportunity.
There will always be those immigrants who are fleeing persecution and would possibly die if they stayed in their homeland. Certainly, these must have special consideration. As a people, we are for the most part open minded and compassionate. The European nations have also opened their doors and hearts to fleeing immigrants. Hundreds of thousands have flooded their lands with little vetting. Now, they are having to reconsider their immigration policies. They are taking a very hard look at what it is doing to their lives and their economy.
We want people to enjoy our country and visitors come here by the thousands every day. Yet again, as far as making the U.S.A their permanent home, there are some serious questions that might need to be explored. One is the following:
What actually are the statistics of the impoverished in the world, who would, if they could, seek a better life?
Recently I was sent a video that tries to tackle the issue of immigration and its effect on our nation as well as the country from which they come. The speaker uses visual aids to make his points…which may be some very good points to consider when thinking of our world-wide populations. See what you think.
Video (Turn up sound)
Besides all the topics in this political season, immigration is still a big bear. It rises up on its hind legs and screams at us “How dare you think of being in my territory!”
Yet, we are soft-hearted, wanting all to have opportunity. We know and love our history in the U.S.A. which tells us about people of every race and religion who carried their meager belongings onto Ellis Island and settled throughout our country. Some of these fled great persecution. All hoped for was peace and a place to live and raise their families quietly. It is no different today. Why then is there so much furor over this very topic of immigration?
The answer may be one of these:
- We like our culture where all nationalities can flourish here.
- We like our choice of religious faith. We don’t want people to come here with the goal to change us.
- We wish we were not a “nanny state” that rewards people for little work since our emigrants of the past had to work hard to even exist. (We have watched the Mexican laborers working in the fields of VA and no one works any harder than they do.)
- We’d like to have control of our borders.
- We want immigrants to be vetted and come legally.
- We’d don’t want to feel threatened by those who claim to hate what we stand for.
I’m sure there are more reasons that we could list…but space is short…for you will stop reading and you’d never get to the informative, factual video presented below for all our thinking.
Within these reasons, we stated that we “like our choice of religious faith”. This is where the rub comes when considering immigration. One of our treasured freedoms in America is the freedom of religion and immigrants bring theirs with them.
First and foremost, we must state here that we are entirely for any immigrant bringing his or her own faith with them and worshiping as they see fit. It is another thing for any emigrant or group of immigrants to have as their goal to change the Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses…and any other faith into the Muslim faith. It is also another thing to have them want to change our laws of the land to include their beliefs, which may include the belief of Sharia law.
(In another blog I told of our wonderful neighbors in Florida who were born Muslim and practiced their faith, while appreciating that we are Christians, without trying to change us.) Having said this, we are certain that there are many Muslims just like these neighbors. Unfortunately there are those also who want religious change in America. If you want to know more about the many facets of Sharia Law, this site is recommended: Sharia Law in America
One may say, “Why write about the Muslims’ belief in Sharia and not another faith?” Good question, but other faiths are not calling people “infidels” because they practice faiths other than the Muslim religion. No radical branch of Buddhists, Jews or Christians are beheading anyone. It is fairly simple to see why people of many faiths are concerned about mass immigration of Muslims to the United States or to Europe, who adhere to Sharia Law. In some cases, assimilation into the culture of the chosen country is often not a part of the immigrant’s plan or encouraged by the leaders within the community, leaving Sharia Law as their focus.
The title of this blog is Demographics and the Future. We start with the meaning of demographics? It is “statistical data relating to the population and particular groups within it”. Population growth or lack of growth plays a big part in people continuing to enjoy the history,culture, and religious beliefs of which they have always been a part.
We now have to take a long, hard look at demographics, in this world of change, as it relates to population and immigration of Muslims from Muslim countries to countries where religious preferences and laws are not Muslim. What then will it mean to the culture and future of any country?