…The tapestries had a historic state visit to London in September 2010. They were sent by the present Pope to be exhibited at the V & A Museum.
If you are staying at home on Sunday morning because your church is temporarily closed down or you don’t attend a church at all, here is a great sermon for your listening pleasure. I say, “listening” because it is not a visual video, as many that I put on my blogs, but simply a recording.
This message is given by Thomas Whartenby, who was brought up as a Roman Catholic… has been the minister of Galax Presbyterian Church for forty plus years and is a Vietnam veteran. His wife, Mary Elizabeth, is the church organist and choir director. Their ministry is in a small community situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, USA.
I was privileged to include him in my book, Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge.
Why is it important to hear Dr. Whartenby’s message?
As a people and a nation, we are extremely self-centered. Yes, there are many caring people among us, but as a culture there is much to be improved. I can only speak for our country, but I would guess that it might be the “new normal” for most of the world. Of course, included in this, is the added pressure of isolating and how to take care of OURSELVES when there is such a need to reach out to others. We are warned nationally and locally about “distancing,” which only makes self-centeredness more prevalent. It is hard to know when to think of SELF as far as health is concerned and believe that we are doing it for others. The problem is that the “others” don’t know that our standoffish actions are for them.
As we look at history, much of “what’s in it for me” has come about with the industrial revolution, increase in technology, ability to hear and see through the media an emphasis on having more and more. Life has become a rush to acquire, get ahead, and forget about what is really important. Patience is a long-lost virtue.
We want things and service NOW...no waiting! Almost everything we do is “How does it effect ME?” In some cases, it is how can I get something for nothing? Our young people and children, unfortunately, are modeling these behaviors and attitudes.
The Holy Scripture has something to say about this problem. Dr. Whartenby, “Tom”, gives a fresh understanding of why we want self-gratification. He puts in modern terms thoughts that make sense to all of us.
It will be worth your time of 30 minutes to listen. I am including this link for those who believe that we all need a new look at what this title means….IT IS NOT ALL ABOUT US.
Do you ever wonder if God would talk with you in an audible way, how the conversation would go? Some people have had the rare experience. I never have, but just the same I do talk with Him. It is usually in the shower or in bed at night. We are told, however, to always be in a prayerful state.
Since He knows all languages and the odd expressions that most cultures have when carrying on a conversation, I’m certain that it would be the same with us in this generation. No Thee or Thou, as in the Bible…for King James didn’t realize that in our times we would be far beyond these expressions. He probably would be mortified to think that a conversation with God could be on such a “common” level. He would probably think our conversations were disrespectful!
Recently a friend sent me this video. He called it “moving.” I call it “Relevant,” for God will definitely meet us where we are…regardless of who we are. The next time you pray, think about this particular conversation.
Enjoy it now…and be moved!
Turn on your sound…Click below… Wait for the download to show up below your screen and then click on the your download to watch.
My Mother made a beautiful stitched picture that hangs on my wall. Every time I look at it, I think of her fingers carefully pulling the needle and thread. The message was important to her and it should be for all of us today.
History also is most important to us because it teaches us so much. We can look at what has happened in the past and in some ways project the future…unless we refuse to learn. Most present-day issues are sensitive and hard to discuss, but we must think about these things.
What kind of “fragile” times are we going through and what has history taught our last generations?
Let’s take a hard look at now and then.
- Everyone has become fearful of the possibility of becoming sick or dying from our recent virus.
- Governments have taken control world-wide more than we can remember in our modern history.
- Life and travel has completely changed.
- Tragedies have led people to respond with demonstrations as they let their concerns be known. This is the democratic way, according to our Constitution, and should be respected.
- More tragedies have occurred for business owners, of every race and creed, whose livelihood has been ruined by the breaking and looting, which should have never been connected with those wanting peaceful demonstrations. Some organizations have as their goal to bring down democracy and pit our citizens against one another.
(Let’s look at those in other parts of the world who are fighting to keep their democratic way of life.)
- People in Hong Kong are facing further governmental crack-downs from mainland China as Beijing proposes new legislation. ( “China stunned Hong Kong when it announced it would impose a national security law on the city. Many worry this could spell the end of Hong Kong’s unique freedoms…”) whole story on BBC News
Why even mention the present day problems? It is because these are only a few of the world’s problems that makes “Life Fragile” for all of us, in this country and around the world today.
What can we, the present generations, learn from history?
- The slave owners and slave ship captains were the ones responsible for the sins of the past…not people living today. By making slavery the sin of those living today only makes our society more fragile. Unfortunately, history cannot be relived, as much as we would like to correct the wrongs of the past. Looking at and condemning the actions of the past by individuals or governments is one thing…to place it on the shoulders of those not responsible is another.
We talk of the need for “being together and unified” and for everyone to work together to rid all injustices in society. Yes, the present and future are our responsibilities. To rectify present problems is an honorable goal that most would want to see accomplished, but talk is cheap if we continue to blame those who are not responsible for past injustices.
Mass blame only leads to disruption and a society sickness within groups of people, leadership, the media, and our communities in general.
( Let’s think also about German history.)
- The Nazi regime blamed an entire group of people. They were the builders of the death camps, designed to eliminate the Jews from their culture. I had the honor of taking young Americans to Auschwitz to remember this tragic time during World War II. It is an experience one never forgets. Even the Jews, themselves, could not believe that their businesses were being destroyed and that they would be rounded up to die, simply because they were a particular group of people. Society has a way, through the evils of leadership, to turn against one another. Interestingly enough, Hitler continued to use the expertise of his Jewish doctors and dentist. How could he not have known the value of the individual? Mass hysteria became the weapon of choice, as well as propaganda through the German media, leaflets, and posters against people as a whole.
The German youth today, or their parents, are not responsible. We will make life more fragile if we try to pin on innocent people what tragedies were espoused when they were either tiny children or not even born.
- Past generations of Native Americans had the horror of walking to their death on the Trail of Tears, which is a despicable part of our own history of governmental policies. The white, mostly of European descent, who rode their wagons through the tribal territory to settle the West were often murdered and scalped. No living Native American had anything to do with this tragedy.
- We must not forget the hundreds of Japanese Americans, who were placed by our government leaders during World War II in the U.S.Internment Camps because of being Japanese. The generations today of U.S. Government officials had no part in this.
- Because some policemen have acted in evil ways against defenseless people, ALL men and women wearing the badge can not be blamed or demonized for the acts of others… for many have dedicated their lives to helping safe-guard our communities. Without them, those who mean harm will be let loose on those who will see a greater need to protect themselves. In this case, those wishing for more gun control may find their proposals will fall on deaf ears.
Are we getting the picture?
Blaming ALL people for the actions of some only leads to an extremely fragile society. It leads to the persecution of the innocent and instability of our nation and the world today.
Our last question: Can destroying the representations of history remove it from memory?
Condoleezza Rice, former 66th Secretary of State, explained her view about destroying history to the Washington Examiner. She believes that the Confederate statues and associated names of schools and universities should be used as teaching tools. It is as a way to understand history even as we learn not to celebrate it.
This is why we, the Believers in Christ and of the dignity of all people who were created in the image of God, must not forget to pray. We must pray for each other, all mankind of every nationality and the government leaders around the world, who have the power to turn our world upside down.
We are a fragile world.
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Nelson Mandela, former Pres. of South Africa
Video: Turn up sound
If you are trying to make a family decision about the care of your elderly parents, THINK TWICE…MAYBE MORE than twice!!!
It is not easy when elderly people are at home with the rest of the family, who are also at home. Children are not in school; parents may be working from home and the stress goes on until life can go back to some normality.
What about the parent that you have loved so long and they have loved you? If they are dealing with the beginnings of physical or mental decline, it may be that you are thinking, “What do we do? I don’t know if I can give them proper care. I only want what is best.” for him/her/ or them. No one doubts the love between families, but this pandemic has changed family dynamics all together.
Not everyone has the built-in options of home health care professionals, but placing a family member in an assisted living care is also extremely expensive. For those who could afford such arrangements, is this truly the best answer. Think about it. Because these facilities have a “no visitors” policy, it may be the last you would be able to see your Mom or Dad face to face..or they see you, for some time to come. It may not only be a permanent separation, but a death sentence to those unable to cope with such loneliness. It is not unusual for the elderly to stop eating when depression sets in.
As we know, years ago and in many other countries, the elderly lived within the same house as the rest of the family. They had interaction, care and to die was not a lonely experience. This blog does not intend to give you an answer to this difficult decision that perhaps you or a friend may be going through concerning your elderly loved ones, but it does give some food for thought.
Think what you would want for yourself as you continue to climb the AGING ladder.
This is an informative article written by Sara Harrison in Wired.
“IT TOOK SIX weeks, several long, frustrating phone calls, and a consultation with Apple Care before Laurie Jacobs got her 89-year-old father up and running on FaceTime. Jacobs, who is a geriatrician by training and is now the chair of the Department of Medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, was worried about how her parents were coping during the pandemic. They live in a long-term care community, but they felt isolated and lonely. Over the phone, Jacobs couldn’t tell how her mother, who has some cognitive decline, was feeling or if she was walking comfortably. “The communication at a distance is very difficult,” she says. “You don’t always get the whole picture with an older adult on the telephone.”
And, like so many other Americans in quarantine, her parents were running out of things to do. “They seemed bored and somewhat depressed by the lack of stimulation, so further ways for them to interact was very important,” says Jacobs.
The Covid-19 pandemic presents a doubly complicated situation for older people: Not only are they at higher risk of contracting the disease, and more likely to develop severe infections and die from it, but they are also the most likely to struggle with—and suffer from— the consequences of prevention strategies like social distancing. For people with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or severely reduced mobility, social-distancing guidelines can be impractical and nearly impossible to follow, making prevention and treatment even more complicated.
Seniors, especially those above age 80, have been hard hit by the virus. That’s in part because they often have comorbidities like diabetes and hypertension, which make them more likely to be hospitalized. Doctors aren’t sure why those conditions make the effects of the virus worse, but both conditions are associated with greater expression of the ACE2 receptor, a protein on human cells that the coronavirus latches onto to start replicating.
Many older adults also have chronic, low-grade inflammation, a state called “inflammaging,” in which the body is unable to control the release of cytokines, small proteins that are supposed to help modulate the body’s immune response. This dysregulation could put seniors at great risk of “cytokine storms,” a condition reported in severe Covid-19 cases during which a patient’s immune system spins out of control and starts damaging healthy organs.
Seniors are also more vulnerable because of immunosenescence, a slow deterioration of the immune system that is a normal part of aging. When people are young, the immune system has a big reservoir of T-cells and B-cells ready to fight infections. These are called “naive cells,” meaning they haven’t encountered any bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens yet. When those naive cells encounter an infection, some of them learn to recognize that pathogen and become ready to fight it off if the body gets exposed to it again. “As we age, we lose that reservoir of T-cells and B-cells,” says Wayne McCormick, head of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Washington. “It’s hard for us to make new ones, although some people seem to retain that capacity better than others.” That means the person’s body may mount a less robust immune system response than it would have done when they were younger.
Immunosenescence also means that diseases present differently in seniors, which may make it difficult for their doctors or caretakers to recognize a Covid-19 infection. While many Covid-19 cases include fever, for example, in seniors the symptoms might also be due in part to dense living conditions, under staffing, and a lack of personal protective equipment. And recently, health authorities have realized that the virus is spreading rapidly in work communities where employees are housed in crowded conditions, share long commutes on shuttles, or cannot easily socially distance, like meat packing or farm work.
Whether they live in a long-term care facility, nursing home, or in a family home, many seniors have unique needs that make it impossible for them to socially distance. Some need help eating, washing, going to the bathroom, or moving around. “You can’t do that using Facetime,” says Eric Widera, a professor at the University of California San Francisco who specializes in geriatric and palliative medicine.
Yet for older adults living in their homes, social distancing can cause isolation and loneliness. Most of the places people would go to socialize—senior centers, libraries, churches, temples, or synagogues—are closed. Families are discouraged from visiting. “We’re worried it’s going to cause a wave of true loneliness,” says Widera, which can lead to serious health problems including worse cognitive function, higher blood pressure and heart disease.
While older adults are the most likely to catch Covid-19, they also may be less likely to benefit from a vaccine. Because seniors don’t raise the same immune response that younger adults and children do, they generally don’t respond as well to vaccines. They also aren’t always included in clinical trials. “If you look at the last many decades of research, the vast majority of randomized control trials do not include older adults. And if they do, they don’t include frail older adults, who are at risk for this,” says Widera. “That’s one of our worries: That we’ll be looking at potential treatments, vaccines, but not actually testing it on the people who are at the most risk of developing this disease.”
For people with dementia or other kinds of cognitive decline, things get even more complicated. Widera points out that people with dementia may not remember they need to wash their hands more often or refrain from touching their face. And dementia patients often wander. In communal living or care facilities, they might walk in and out of other patients’ rooms, down the hall, or into common living areas, all of which increase the likelihood of catching and transmitting the disease. Diagnosing Covid-19 in those patients could be even harder, too. “People with cognitive impairment may not be able to report their symptoms very well,” says McCormick. “Even if they had a cough an hour ago, they may not remember that they did.”
Patients with dementia also have unique challenges if they end up in the hospital. Covid-19 symptoms can worsen their confusion and delirium, as can being in an unfamiliar setting like a hospital room. These patients may be terrified when they’re separated from their family or their usual caregivers and are being tended to by staff covered head-to-toe in protective gowns and masks. With nurses trying to limit patient interactions to reduce the need for this protective gear, patients are often isolated for much of the day.
Martine Sanon, a professor of geriatric and palliative medicine at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, says that usually they encourage family members to be part of the care team and to help orient and comfort their loved ones, but with limited protective equipment, and with fears about spreading the virus, those options aren’t available. “The families have been tremendously wonderful,” she says, often using FaceTime to play favorite music in the background or to call patients by a familiar nickname. “That does help.”
At Hackensack University Medical Center, Jacobs says usually they try to use non-pharmacological methods to help soothe distressed and confused patients. “The way we manage that usually in the hospital is basically staff sitting with a patient, reorienting them, using music, using touch,” she says. But with Covid-19, it’s too dangerous to have someone sit with a contagious patient all day. Instead, the hospital now relies on medication to calm patients down.
While mortality rates are higher for older adults with Covid-19, many do survive. What recovery looks like for them is more complicated. “That’s the other shoe to drop,” says William Greenough of Johns Hopkins. Older adults are likely to be weaker and to recover more slowly after a hospitalization, he says. With so many hospital gyms, rehab, and physical therapy facilities closed, that’s going to make their progress even more difficult.
None of these issues—loneliness, immunosenescence, difficulty recovering from hospital stays—are new problems, and none are unique to the virus. But the novel coronavirus exacerbates the many challenges older patients already face. “Covid-19 intensifies and complicates everything,” says Greenough.
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
There is an interesting story about a sock company, Renfro Sock Corporation of Mt. Airy, N.C, that is just down the mountain from where we lived part-time in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. As we took the narrow road that snaked down the mountain from Virginia into North Carolina, we often noticed their building near one of our favorite “mom and pop’s” eating places. Renfro, it turns out, is now producing masks by the thousands!
Our hats are off to this company and others that are helping out people in need during this pandemic. As people cover their faces, the Coronavirus will be slowed down considerably.
“Renfro Corp., a sock manufacturer based in Mount Airy, North Carolina has produced a mask to help minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus. Around 60,000 masks will be provided at no cost to low-income residents through faith-based organizations in and around Winston-Salem.” (from
SHORT VIDEO ON RENFRO Turn up sound:
As seen in this video, Renfro’s emphasis on MADE IN AMERICA, is most important if we are to have the medicines and equipment needed without dependence upon other countries. We have the know-how, so let’s do it!
Boyer Writes is taking a deep breath from blogging/listening to continuous news coverage and will relax the next few days. Hopefully, you will do the same, but we would like to share one more thing with you before signing off.
Companies, like Renfro, are patriotic and family oriented. We found, while living in this area that patriotism is strong in the Blue Ridge. Renfro is reaching out to the community. People in America pull together.
Those who left the mountains to serve our country were patriots as well. It is our privilege to share with you a musical story from the mountains that may have been typical of many in the N.C. and VA areas in the Blue Ridge. (Home Free – Go Rest High On That Mountain – Vince Gill )
The TV has been buzzing with the news that the city of Jacksonville, Florida, USA and others have opened their beaches for certain hours after the complete shut-down due to the Coronavirus. People were asked to “social distance” and to “not group together.” After weeks of confinement and lost jobs and businesses, people took to the beaches like they had been caged animals. This could tell us something about the need to socialize…the need for fresh air and the beauty of nature. It could also tell us that we Americans really don’t like to be told what to do…even if it is for our own good.
This was evident, when groups of people went out in different cities to protest the “stay at home” mandate. Their main goal was to get America back up and running again so they could go back to work and feed their families, pay their mortgage or car payments. Nevertheless, most didn’t adhere to wearing a mask in public, as asked to do. They crowded together while they shouted their demands with little concern for their own health or welfare of others. They were willing to “take a chance.”
Americans like their freedom of speech and nothing is being said against that, but one would hope that there would be, along with the speech, common sense, dedicated carefulness, and a little less selfishness toward others. Nonetheless, “taking a chance” is part of the indiscriminate, so-called invincible young. “What could possibly hurt us?” they may be thinking. “Doesn’t that apply to the elderly or those sick? Hey, we work out! Even during the stay at home rule, we jogged miles each day. So, we’ll take our chances.”
Let’s just say, it is the American way…for life, sickness or death. The roots go back to the American Revolution, when we fought for independence and government control from England. Just as the people of Hong Kong are standing their ground against Communist dictatorship and oppression, Americans don’t sit still too long…for good or for bad. It is of great concern when a mayor or governor begins to tell the people to watch out for their neighbor and “report” any violation of the coronavirus mandates set up for general guidelines. Would we sit still for that kind of instruction?
It reminds me of the time I visited a place in Poland. I had taken American students to Europe under President Eisenhower’s program, Student Ambassadors. As we entered this large house that had been divided up into small apartments when the Communist took over, an older woman was peering out a small window in her door. I asked about this to our guide. She said, “Oh she is a left-over from the old Communist days when her duty was to report who was coming or going! She still thinks she has to keep watch.” Are we slowly moving in that direction in our country…or our world? This is certainly a chilling thought.
Unlike the protester holding the sign above, we know the Coronavirus is real and not imagined. That is most evident by the sickened and deaths. Life, however, is full of taking risks. The protester is taking his own risks. We make decisions everyday that will turn out for the good or the bad in our lives. This is what personal freedom is all about. Whether our government gives advice for personal protection, or family, friend or neighbor weighs in, it is still up to us to govern our activities. Some things will kill us. Our decisions might be made out of fear, which may kill us mentally and emotionally. Most people are like herds of sheep. They follow what others may be doing instead of thinking what is best for themselves or their family members not old enough to make decisions on their own.
What to do? Pray…be rational…act carefully…be considerate of others and yourself may be a few suggestions. As I contemplate on the famous words of President Roosevelt, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself,” I believe he was right to warn the American people of this dilemma…FEAR.
The Holy Scriptures tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind
Power is a word that we don’t often associate with ourselves. We think of powerful people in business or industry…or in the political realm. You are powerful over more things than you may imagine…your health, finances, professional choices, love relationships and more. This verse says God has given you power.
We have been told recently that many people are dying from the coronavirus because of their underlying health reasons. These may have been related to overweight, diabetes, heart-disease, drug addiction etc. which have put them in a weaken state. In many of these cases, it was personal choices to not care for their health which they could have had power to correct. In other cases, it was lack of proper nutrition.
Have you ever heard people say that God is punishing us with disease and our lives as a world or nation? I really cringe when I hear these comments because God is a God of love and concern for His creation…including men and women. He will not interfere in our own decisions , whether it is from lack of knowledge or carelessness.
Our world has a natural science…in our environment and our personal lives. If we eat too much, we get fat. If we ignore safety rules, we have accidents. Behind the obesity comes the health problems. We also learned about our own power through other tragedies, such as the Great Dust Bowl of 1930’s. Men had power to do the right thing for the land, but did not understand science or did not look into the consequences of their actions. In either case, the results were financial ruin and the spread of disease.
The Dust Bowl was not only one of the worst droughts in United States history, but is generally thought of as the worst and most prolonged disaster in American history…The prolonged drought was made much worse by a fundamental misunderstanding of high plains environment, and the utilization of methods which called for a thin layer of dust to be purposefully exposed on the surface for large parts of the summer. Dust transmits influenza virus and measles and combined with the economic depression, the Dust Bowl period brought a significant increase in the number of measles cases, respiratory disorders and increased infant and overall mortality in the plains. 11
God has given us love..from Himself and for each other. When difficulty comes, we find out what we are made of because we strike back at fear. The medical teams and first responders who move around the sick and dying are showing God’s love whether they realize it or not. Some may say, “It is my job.” Even here, a person could decide that taking the risk of their own lives is not for them and walk away from the challenge. They could turn their backs on the years they had put into preparing for their profession because of fear. Most do not.
The neighbor who reaches out to those needing help during the crisis is showing, not fear, but love…God’s love. We know that we are His Hands…and we are His Face of encouragement.
To have a sound mind is also to have self-control, which has its origin from a Greek word:
The Greek word for self-control is sōphronismos, which means “saving the mind” or “moderation”. Since the word SELF-CONTROL contains the word “self”, I am quick to interpret this to mean something I have to do. However, within the context of verse 7 of Timothy, we see that “God gave us a spirit of…self-control.” 12
We, then can depend upon God to give us these three things instead of fear, Power, Love, and a Sound Mind. It is His promise to you and me when we trust Him now and in the future. It is more than “Taking a Chance,” it is FAITH and good sense.
(This writing was taken from the book, Faith and the Pandemic by N.W. Boyer to be released soon by Amazon.)
FDR’s 1st Inauguration Address…A Voice from the Past, after the Great Depression… A message appropriate for TODAY. (From HistoryMatters.com The full text and a 3 minute portion of the speech. Roosevelt’s Speech
IN HONOR OF THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD….ON THIS EASTER
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SPIRIT AND YOUR FIGHT AGAINST THE WORLD-WIDE PANDEMIC
CHRIST IS RISEN HE IS RISEN INDEED
This blog will be different. We are sharing several videos of real people …and in doing so…honoring the brave people around in the world who would like to be out in public, dancing in the streets or attending a great concert of Easter music. Even if this is impossible this year, we know that the day will come when we will laugh, hug, and be a part of an active, vibrant world again.
As you watch the videos, think of Christ being in the crowd. Think of His ministry among the EVERY-DAY PEOPLE. Christ went out to be with people where they were in their everyday lives. Whether we ride the underground, shop in the grocery, dance in the streets or sing and play in an orchestra, He is with us in the 21st century.
Christ is with us in our homes now and with those ministering to the sick in the many hospitals around the world.
This may be a different Easter, but one of thanksgiving to God for His mercy and healing power. It is also a time of spiritual healing. The WORLD has been given a chance to draw close to God and know His love, forgiveness and healing power.
Form BOYER WRITES….BLESSINGS AND HAPPY EASTER
Germany works by Verdi, Wagner and Bizet
England Handel’s Zadok the Priest
Copenhagen playing Griegs Peer Gynt.
Ireland Joining in to the Irish fun and music
South Korean Gracious Choir Hallelujah Chorus by Handel’s Messiah
(The Messiah, 260-page oratorio, written by Handel in 1741, in just 24 days He was in his 50’s and had suffered two strokes. Later, he went blind.)
On the Friday of the crucifixion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, Boyer Writes presents the Requiem by Mozart
What is a Requiem?
Compositions written to honor the deceased, often in the form of a Requiem Mass. As early as the late 15th century, Requiems were composed using melodies from Gregorian chant.By the 18th century, composers began to create Concert Requiems that required large orchestras that were too large to be used at ordinary funeral services and were more like an oratorio.The 20th century saw the emergence of the War Requiem, or compositions to honor those killed in war. These Compositions will often contain secular text along with the religious text of the Requiem Mass.Over 2,000 requiems have been written by hundreds of composers over the years.a version of the mass performed to commemorate the dead.
Requiem by Mozart, performed by the National Orchestra of France, directed by James Gaffigan Turn up your sound
It will be a different Friday before Easter this year. Perhaps we should prepare our hearts for it more than ever! We, as Christians, always have referred to this special day as GOOD FRIDAY. A reason for saying it is “good” is because it is the beginning of the journey of our Savior to the cross, Who gave Himself for the people of the world. The Friday had to come before the glorious Easter Day of RESURRECTION. So, how do we prepare these few days before Friday…especially if there are some who don’t understand this special day of Christian worship?
For my readers throughout the world who may not be Christian, this may help you understand the Power of the Cross in Christianity. Please read with an open mind. Ask God to speak to you and give you His truth of salvation. May you find, through the power of the Holy Spirit, your trust in the Savior Who came to be punishment for all your sins and mine.
THE PROPHECY OF CHRIST’S CRUCIFIXION was given to the Jews within their own Hebrew scriptures. Not only does the New Testament give this account, but parts of the Old Testament give the crucifixion as a prophecy of the events to happen. One of these is in Psalms 21, “My God, my God why have You forsaken me…O my God, I cry out by day and you answer not. I cry out by night and there is no relief for me. All my bones are racked. My heart has become like wax melting away within my chest. My throat is dried up like baked clay, My tongue cleaves to my jaw. They have pierced my hands and my feet…” Psalm 68 “…in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”
THE HISTORY of the STATIONS OF THE CROSS:
In many churches and cathedrals around the world, there are pictures of the Stations of the Cross. Having originated in Jerusalem, the pictures are to duplicate Jesus’ trip on the Via Dolorosa before his crucifixion. Jerusalem fell to the forces of Saladin, the first sultan of Egypt and Syria in 1187. Forty years later Saint Francis of Assisi, a Franciscan, came back to Jerusalem and proclaimed certain holy places as places of Christian devotion. During the 15th and 16th centuries, they built outdoor shrines which later were introduced as stations. Faithful Christians read the gospels as they visit these stations to remember the suffering of the Savior…usually on Fridays. There are traditionally 14 pictorial stations mounted on church walls. The resurrection station is sometimes included as the last station because without the resurrection of Christ, there is no gospel.
Pictures of selected Stations of the Cross from around the world:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that Whosoever believes on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
In the past, on Good Friday, concerts are given around the world. Often these are requiems of a somber nature. This year, because of the Coronavirus, the depictions throughout Europe and other part of the world will not be reenacted. The great concert halls will be empty. Yet, we must not allow this to change our focus on the great sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We will turn to our TV’s and recordings and bow our heads as we remember the terrible day on the cross. In just a few days after Friday will come the great morning of RESURRECTION. Prepare your hearts now with the beautiful music I’d like to share with you today…Laudate Dominum by Mozart, sung by Aksel Rykkvin
(After the music…come back to see the pages of the Stations of the Cross.)
- TURN UP SOUND and enlarge picture for best viewing.
- 2nd link showing the description of the Stations of the Cross
Click this link below and follow each station by clicking on “next”:
A famous quote by one of our former Presidents, John F. Kennedy:
“Ask Not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
There is so much push-back about who is doing what to contain this terrible virus. No one ever seems to be doing enough. There are comments directed at everyone in government from the President, State Governors to the City Mayors. Yes, each of these should shoulder responsibility for the welfare of the general public. They were elected to do just that. Governments around the world also shoulder responsibility to a world that is totally connected.
Yet, the WHEN something was done or not done may not help at this point. It is what are WE doing now to protect ourselves, our family, friends, neighbors and anyone who might come to our yard or door?
WE must think further than someone doing something FOR US…to OUR DOING something or anything that WE can do.
So what is it that we should be doing? I thought maybe I would try to list some things that is beyond what we all know about “washing hands, coughing or sneezing the right way and keeping our distances.” Perhaps these are some things to think about that WE CAN DO. Here are several suggestions:
- Make phone calls to those we know are sitting at home alone. These will be greatly appreciated and break the monotony of having no one to share thoughts with. It also is emotionally and mentally beneficial to send picture emails of family, children, pets etc. that will brighten their day. My roses are blooming in my yard and my 97 year old Uncle, in North Carolina, enjoys seeing what’s new at our house in Florida.
- Gather up some colored pencils, drawing paper, coloring books, or anything you might have a supply of and leave it at your neighbor’s doorstep to help with home-schooling their children during this time.
- Make a call to a medical facility, doctor’s office, police station, firemen, or other first responders to THANK THEM for all they are doing. They should know that people care. Each time we hear a siren, we know the medics are on duty…caring for those who may have an infection, putting their own lives at risk.
- Light a candle in your window to remind yourself to pray for those you know or don’t know around the world.
- Last, but not least…don’t forget to mail off your contribution of money to help support the on-going financial needs of your church or charitable organization. The local food banks and Salvation Army are ready to help those in need or homeless.
Remember that you may be only one…but you are ONE. One person makes up many. All things that you can share to benefit others and to lighten the burdens will bring people together in the name of your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. During this hard time, YOU can make a difference and be the LIGHT TO THE WORLD… in whatever way you want to let your LIGHT SHINE to others.
Blessings from Bill and Nancy Boyer at Boyer Writes
Turn up your sound:
This morning I sat down at my piano. My expertise is minimal, but nevertheless, I love certain songs that I attempt to play. My former music teachers, both when I was age 10 and the one I had most recently, would be happy about my efforts. None the less, we as humans know our abilities and our short-comings.
One thing that is difficult for many, myself included, is to truly trust God through troubled times. I mean really…really trust. “Into Your hands, Dear God, I put my trust. Keep me well and those I love.” Yet, we know that many people have prayed that same prayer and may have someone at this moment clinging to life. It is a true, heart-felt prayer…but one, too often difficult to actually believe with ALL our heart. We are frail. We are weak. Only God is strong and all knowing.
Today, I would like to share with you two songs. One is called ALL I ASK OF YOU from the Phantom of the Opera. When in New York, my husband and I were able to see this wonderful production, but this song has a really special meaning to me each time I play it. I’d like to share it with you.
When our Golden Retriever, Gracie, was fourteen years old and very sick, we knew her time on earth was running out. We called our vet, who graciously said he would come to our house and put her to sleep. Her bed, where she laid comfortably, was next to my piano. She always liked to be close to me when I played. I looked over at her, knowing what was about to happen, and I said, “Gracie, this song is for you.” She looked at me with that loving look and as I began to play, she gave a long sigh and closed her eyes. Now, I can never play “All I Ask of You” without remembering that sigh. About an hour later, with prayers over her, for God’s beautiful animals, she breathed her last. She was gone, but forever in our hearts.
Some of the words to All I Ask of You are these:
” No more talk of darkness… forget these wide-eyed fears. I’m here. Nothing can harm you. My words will warm and calm you. Le me be your freedom. Let daylight dry your tears. I’m here with you, beside you to guard you and to guide you… Let me be your shelter. Let me be your light. Your’re safe. No one will find you…your fears are behind you…”
Of course these words were being sung to someone who loved another person. Yet, I could not think that they also apply to our relationship with God. He wants us to know that He is here with us; to dry tears and to always be our shelter.
The second song is one made famous by Elvis Presley. It is ONE PAIR OF HANDS. Thanks to a dear friend who brought this song to my attention during this Coronavirus. If you are a young person reading this, you may not have heard of Elvis, but many thought he was quite the rage in years past. For certain, with his music, you could understand the words. Many of them were love songs. We danced to his songs and listened to his great voice. Unfortunately, he died of a drug overdose, which was such a tragedy and a waste of his talent and a life that could have been a blessing for many years. Ironically, he first started singing in his church.
The words to “One Pair of Hand” are shown on the video below. While listening, ponder this….Christ wants you to place your life and those you love firmly in His Hands.
Turn up your sound.
As our great scientist, medical personnel and researchers fight each day to find a vaccine and cure for the Coronavirus, I would like to share with you the hopefulness that others had in their discoveries that shaped the future:
In part, From my book, Rain on the Roof:
A BETTER WAY
Some ways are better than others. Man has observed in nature what God intended through His design, but it has taken people thousands of years to see what can be useful to everyday life. He wondered how to anchor things, lift objects or make things secure. We have seen it also in medical breakthroughs. Through experimentation, people found a better way than what had been used previously or never known before.
A very common, modern example is the scientist who was quite observant as he walked his dog. The label now given to his invention is Velcro:
“ Swiss electrical engineer George de Mesral invented his first touch fastener when, in 1941, he went for a walk in the woods and wondered why burdock seeds clung to his coat and dog. He discovered it could be turned into something useful. He patented it in 1955, and subsequently refined and developed its practical manufacture until its commercial introduction in the late 1950s.
The fastener consisted of two components: a lineal fabric strip with tiny hooks that could “mate” with another fabric strip with smaller loops, attaching temporarily, until pulled apart. Initially made of cotton, which proved impractical, the fastener was eventually constructed with nylon and polyester.
De Mestral gave the name Velcro, a portmanteau of the French words velour (“velvet”) and crochet (“hook”), to his invention as well as his company, which continues to manufacture and market the fastening system.” 15
After my husband’s knee surgery, his instructions were to keep ice on his leg. The ice packs neatly slid into a material packet secured with Velcro. It was easy and secure.Do you spend time observing nature? So often our lives are filled with the hurry and bustle of everyday life that we rarely observe what is outside for us to gain knowledge that God would have us know. He has set his world in motion. It is often a mystery that has to be unraveled. Ordinary people have been the creator of some special things.
Thomas Edison made this statement: “I never had an idea in my life. My so-called inventions already existed in the environment – I took them out. I’ve created nothing. Nobody does. There’s no such thing as an idea being brain-born; everything comes from the outside.”
He seemed to mean “outside” to be nature. Among many things, Edison was the inventor of the light bulb, phonograph, motion picture and the electrographic voter recorder even he was a school dropout.
” Edison continued working into his 80s. His rise from poor, uneducated railroad worker to one of the most famous men in the world made him a folk hero. More than any other individual, he was credited with building the framework for modern technology and society in the age of electricity. ” 16
(Some may not know that Edison considered his profound deafness a blessing, because he could concentrate without interruption. He said he not only read books, but the whole library as he researched. How amazed and overjoyed he would be to know about our new inventions of hearing aids.)
Sometimes things just float around in our heads that may be inventive or creative ideas. The poet, William Blake who lived from 1757-1827 made this statement: “What is now proved was once only imagined.” All things start with an idea…even with God, who wanted to create the Universe including earth with all its beauty. The animals, fish in the sea, the forests and man…then woman. He even said that it was good…”
We pray for all those working tirelessly in their labs today. God bless their efforts and give them Your wisdom and knowledge. Amen
HOLY SCRIPTURES: “… and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft…” Exodus 35:31-33
PRAYER: Give to those who search for a better way a peaceful heart, mind and soul., knowing they are working for the good of all mankind. I pray in the Holy Name of Your Son, Jesus.
Peaceful background music for your day by Greg Howlett. Turn up the sound.
The title given this blog, Lipstick and Beds…for Troubled Times, may sound odd, but it has some true meanings. When we are having to decide how to avoid depression, cabin-fever and stress, it may be that we have to look long and hard at ourselves and our actions.
There are some things that Mayo Clinic tells us that may help. They call it generic terms like “mindfulness” and the often practiced “meditation.” I would like to add prayer to their thoughts on these subjects. First, I would also like to share that to help with stress, it is also important to maintain a routine. Here are a couple examples from real life:
- Before my Mother passed away at age 93, she lived a short time in an Assisted Living here in Florida. One thing that impressed me when we had our daily visits was the fact that as she prepared to go to the dining room, she carefully put on her lipstick and nicer clothes. Her hearing was almost gone at that time and she often said she could not converse with the people at her table. Most of them had a hard time hearing her also, even if she talked. Nevertheless, she wanted to look her best and by doing so she maintained her own emotional health and stayed the kind of person that she had always been…neat and beautiful.
Having shared this, I’d say to some of you who may be sitting around in your pajamas all day, glued to the constant news about the virus.GET UP, take a long shower, put on clean clothes, take a walk and if you are a lady, put on your “lipstick.” Mental and Emotional health has a great deal to do with our daily activity…or lack of it… as some are becoming total coach potatoes while eating Bon-bons all day!
The worst thing in the world for you to do is to let yourself or the things around you become a mess. Good grief, some people could even begin to look like the TV program “Hoarders” from lack of personal care!
- If you are a young adult bored out of your mind, wanting to go hang out with the crowd that you love, remember the Admiral Willian H. McRaven who spoke to a college graduating class of the University of Texas, who said, “MAKE YOUR BED!” It was his way of saying that you should take pride in the things around you for it will give you a good start to any activity. He later wrote the book, Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…and Maybe the World. ” Having said this, it may be the time to clean out your closet, throw out things that are years old or bag up to give away when you can finally go somewhere. Don’t forget your time to spend outside looking at nature. Even if it is a few minutes or a jog up the block, keeping distances, it will do you a world of good.
What about STRESS?
Everyone, when unable to do things as we are used to doing, begins to experience some type of stress. It may be quite observant in some who will find themselves raising their voices to those around them or less for others who simply store it away inside. We used to say that this type is those who get ulcers, but it may be something like not being able to sleep at night…or feeling a knot in the stomach.
Are you with me so far? I would imagine you are and would like to think about some things to help the situation.
So let’s take a look at some suggestions (in part) from the Mayo Clinic:
What about Meditation?
Meditation has been studied in many clinical trials. The overall evidence supports the effectiveness of meditation for various conditions, including:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
Preliminary research indicates that meditation can also help people with asthma and fibromyalgia.
Meditation can help you experience thoughts and emotions with greater balance and acceptance. Meditation also has been shown to:
- Improve attention
- Decrease job burnout
- Improve sleep
- Improve diabetes control
- Pay attention. It’s hard to slow down and notice things in a busy world. Try to take the time to experience your environment with all of your senses — touch, sound, sight, smell and taste. For example, when you eat a favorite food, take the time to smell, taste and truly enjoy it.
- Live in the moment. Try to intentionally bring an open, accepting and discerning attention to everything you do. Find joy in simple pleasures.
- Accept yourself. Treat yourself the way you would treat a good friend.
- Focus on your breathing. When you have negative thoughts, try to sit down, take a deep breath and close your eyes. Focus on your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Sitting and breathing for even just a minute can help.
You can also try more structured mindfulness exercises, such as: (remember that you can also pray in any position)
- Body scan meditation. Lie on your back with your legs extended and arms at your sides, palms facing up. Focus your attention slowly and deliberately on each part of your body, in order, from toe to head or head to toe. Be aware of any sensations, emotions or thoughts associated with each part of your body.
- Sitting meditation. Sit comfortably with your back straight, feet flat on the floor and hands in your lap. Breathing through your nose, focus on your breath moving in and out of your body. If physical sensations or thoughts interrupt your meditation, note the experience and then return your focus to your breath.
- Walking meditation. Find a quiet place 10 to 20 feet in length, and begin to walk slowly. Focus on the experience of walking, being aware of the sensations of standing and the subtle movements that keep your balance. When you reach the end of your path, turn and continue walking, maintaining awareness of your sensations.
Meditate and Pray Anywhere…Any time
Research indicates that engaging your senses outdoors is especially beneficial. For more structured mindfulness exercises, such as body scan meditation or sitting meditation, you’ll need to set aside time when you can be in a quiet place without distractions or interruptions. You might choose to practice this type of exercise early in the morning before you begin your daily routine. (The same is true of course when we spend time in prayer.)... Over time, you might find that mindfulness becomes effortless. Think of it as a commitment to reconnecting with and nurturing yourself.
In these suggestions from Mayo Clinic, we heard also the words “commitment” and “connecting” which I would also suggest is important to use this time of fewer distractions to connect or reconnect with our God and His Son, Jesus Christ. It is a time to strengthen faith. I write as a Christian Author and whenever I write, I “preach” also to myself. We all need to become more committed and feel the daily presence of the Holy Spirit within our lives. So…make the bed, put on the lipstick…comb the hair…and breathe deeply. God is with you everyday and all the time!
Peaceful, stress-free Christian music by concert pianist for your background music Turn up sound
People have heard the music of great hymns of faith, but may not know what was the story behind the writer and why it was written. For you, as promised, I bring 5 hymns that will give you the message of comfort and courage needed at this time. These are stories of lives changed as they found Christ as Lord and Savior through the difficulties or joys that they experienced.
from Boyer Writes May you be blessed.
Turn up your sound.
Today we are going to talk about miracles. We all pray for miracles to provide a cure for the coronavirus. There are some who have been in the army for relief and help to provide the miracles of healing and the immediate needs for the people of our country. We all know of the great pressure upon our medical personnel around the country.
Today, we salute our U.S. Army Corp of Engineers for their amazing quick response to provide thousands of hospital beds to relieve hospitals.
“Since its founding in 1802, the USACE has often played a central role in times of crisis; its mission is to provide engineering services that strengthen national security and reduce risks from disasters. Recently, that has meant stepping in to speed recovery after the attacks of 9/11 and the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The novel coronavirus presents a different kind of challenge. It requires national mobilization, not the localized efforts that those specific traumas demanded. Rather than responding to a disaster, the USACE is racing to help avert one by providing enough hospital beds to keep the health care system afloat.”
For each time, I write a blog, I’d like to share with you stories of courage and encouragement as well as some exerts from my book, Rain on the Roof. We start today with a story that is meant to help us understand that God does do things that we do not understand…but brings us hope that miracles still do occur.
There are some people in this world who will experience something they do not understand….something miraculous. This is the story of a young girl, Akiane Kramarik, now a mature young adult, who experienced something that she knows God gave to her. It was a special gift and talent. Her mother was an atheist, but became a believer in Christ as she saw God’s working in her daughter’s life. For Akiane, it was not without a struggle to understand what God was doing in her life.
May you be blessed this day with her story. May your life be filled with hope, faith and belief that God knows us each one…our talents, our failures, our fears and He is always with us through the good and the hard times. In this difficult time of the coronavirus, let’s believe that there are miracles that we do not know of…some things that only God knows about.
The Holy Scriptures have given us this promise:
” Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid: for the LORD thy God, He goes with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” Deuteronomy 31:6
I present to you the story, in her own words, by the artist, Akiane Kramarik
Turn up your sound.
Since so many were unable to get to worship services today, I am pleased to put on a wonderful sermon of hope in this time when many could use some hope for the future.
The sermon is brought to us from the Episcopal National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. by Bishop Marianne Budde.
Mariann Edgar Budde serves as spiritual leader for 88 Episcopal congregations and ten Episcopal schools in the District of Columbia and four Maryland counties.
Turn up your sound, click picture below and do not move the red line. This will start at the sermon.
For just a little while, let us leave the news of sad, renewed statistics and listen to those who are willing to put their lives on the line for the ill …OUR MEDICS and our MILITARY
There is more than one type of army. In recent days, ARMIES of MEDICAL PERSONNEL have put on their uniforms to help the sick and dying. Our grateful appreciation and THANK YOU to those in the medical fields working long hours under dangerous circumstances. They want to protect, heal and go home to their own families and lives.
When the people in the military put on the uniform, they also were saying, “This is my country, my people, and my world to protect in all circumstances.” Some went into the infantry; others to be medics,; some went to sea and some became pilots. The chaplains shared faith and encouragement. Others gave their talent to music. We, at Boyer Writes, also say, “THANK YOU” to our young and older military who decided to serve in so many areas.
For your weekend… the music of the West Point Band and West Point Glee Club: Mansions of the Lord from We Were Soldiers.
“Mansions of the Lord” is a hymn written by Randall Wallace and set to the music of Nick Glennie-Smith. Here are the words being played and sung by the United States Military Academy Band and Glee Club in the video below:
To fallen soldiers let us sing
Where no rockets fly nor bullets wing
Our broken brothers let us bring
To the Mansions of the Lord
No more bleeding, no more fight
No prayers pleading through the night
Just divine embrace, Eternal light
In the Mansions of the Lord
Where no mothers cry and no children weep
We will stand and guard though the angels sleep
All through the ages safely keep
The Mansions of the Lord
As we continue to do our best to live under the guidelines of “staying well” and other good sense matters, we are also inundated with the concerns about hoarding, the Stock Market and possible government bailouts. This is a world-wide problem and no one has the perfect answer for any of it. Yet, some make their voices known, either to agree or disagree with certain positions being taken.
Nikki Haley, the former United Nations Ambassador has just resigned from the Board of Boeing because of the discussion of bailing out the planemaker. See her letter and reasoning here:
Everyone would like a stimulus check, but only a certain number will get government help. Even if it is for a good cause in the economy, a bailout to anyone, big business or private individuals, comes from somewhere…those who have worked hard and paid their taxes.
The thing to remember is that there is NO FREE LUNCH. It wasn’t in the past and it won’t be in the future. Nothing is ever free. Even the politicians who promise free education, free health care, free anything…there is nothing free. This does not take a genius to understand this truth…yet, many hope on…passed reality.
Does the Holy Scripture say anything to us about finances…need or faith in the midst of crisis? Let’s look at a few verses that can help us weather the storms as we look for peace. In doing so, we must not forget to pray for those making decisions that effect our lives.
To be content:
- Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Phillippians 4:11-13 (Words to the Phillippians by the Apostle Paul)
Help those who need help through generosity:
- As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19
Anxiety only raises blood pressure
- “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these… Matthew 6:25-32
God’s blessings to all our readers!
Background music for your day:
Because the world needs comfort and courage, it is good to remind ourselves what the Holy Scriptures have to say…especially as many places of worship are temporarily closed.
If you are Jewish, you will want to remember the words of your prophets in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament).
If you are Christian, you may want to remind yourselves of both the words in the Old and New Testaments.
Other faiths have words that are meaningful to them, but for now, we, at Boyer Writes, can only say,
“Be blessed…be strong…and comfort yourselves and others because God is near!”
From the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament
“Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant.”
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
“Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted.”
From the New Testament:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.”
—2 Corinthians 1:3
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This tender picture shows that even our pets can give comfort in the time of difficulty.
Background music of peace and calm: Turn up sound
You will have to hurry if you want to see the magnificent tapestries designed by Raphael. In honor of his birthday, they will only be on display at the Sistine Chapel in Rome until February 23, 2020. It was my privilege to visit Rome and see the Sistine Chapel, which is a once in a life time experience. As a student of history, I marvel that during WWII the great works of art were not completely destroyed or confiscated by the enemy invaders. Thanks to the bravery of the men of the Church and regular citizens, of whom lost their lives, we have these beauties to enjoy today. The Monuments Men movie gives a great understanding to the importance of protecting our history and the works to whom great men dedicated their lives. It is my hope that you will enjoy this writing and those who are shown as contributors. NWB
A dozen tapestries designed by Renaissance artist Raphael are currently on view in their original home—the Sistine Chapel—for the first time in more than 400 years. But there’s a catch: The fragile works, commissioned by Pope Leo X in 1515 to complement Michelangelo’s famed frescoes, will adorn the chapel’s walls for just one week. The exhibition offers a rare chance to see the tapestries, which depict scenes from the lives of St. Peter and St. Paul, in their intended space rather than behind conservation glass. The last time the Vatican held a similar exhibit was in 1983, the fifth centennial of Raphael’s birth. According to Henry Kamm of the New York Times, only eight of the ten main tapestries made it into this display. At the time, one of the remaining works was on loan to a museum in New York; the other was undergoing restoration.
Now, in honor of the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death, the full set of ten masterworks and two border tapestries has returned to the Sistine Chapel for a limited engagement. As exhibition curator Alessandra Rodolfo tells Reuters’ Philip Pullella, the last recorded instance of all 12 tapestries being hung in the chapel together dates to the late 1500s. (Smithsonian Magazine)
ABOUT THE TAPESTRIES:
(CNN and Staff Writers)
The four were commissioned in 1515 from the artist Raphael (Fafaello Sanzio da Urbino 1483-1520) especially for the Sistine Chapel. This was the first time in 500 years that the tapestries had hung alongside the original cartoons that Raphael had painted for the weavers so they could complete this fabulous series of sensational textiles. There are ten in existence, but some scholars speculate that originally sixteen may have been planned.From the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries in Europe most rulers or heads of important families were continually on the move. Tapestries were a way of having instant decor. They added prestige to any setting and practically helped with droughts in stone castles or chateaux, which were evolving with extended periods of peace from places of refuge into being country houses. Their narrative subjects were very attractive and they usually featured scenes from mythology, from the Bible, or of hunting and court life.At the time these were manufactured, weaving was considered the most important art form and expression of cultural development. They demonstrated the wealth and status of the ruling families of Italy, Europe and England and, had the advantage of being easily transportable.
The tapestries made for the Sistine Chapel to Raphael’s designs were woven between 1516 and 1521, They are of wool, which has been intertwined with silk and gilt metal wrapped thread. They were made in the workshop of Pieter van Aelst at Brussels the main centre for tapestry production in Europe at that time.
It would have been no mean feat. The weavers would have been constantly challenged working to Raphael’s painted cartoons, without the benefit of being able to enter into any sort of dialogue with the artist himself who had no part in their production. The technical difficulties were mind boggling and the finished tapestries are a tribute to the level of expertise, experience and considerable skill the weavers had attained. One of the reasons Raphael gained the commission is that he had successfully designed the grotesque style painted decoration for architect Donato Bramante’s Gallery in the Vatican Palace .The painting of the walls and vaults of the loggia were completed by pupils under his supervision and are a high point of Renaissance art.He proved, through his attention to detail an ability to produce a design that could be transmitted to another medium. The tapestries exist because of one man, Pope Leo X (1475 – 1521) who commissioned them. He knew the richness of these amazing textiles would compliment, and not be overwhelmed by the painted glory perfected by Michelangelo when completing his ‘art above.’
POPE LEO X: Born into the famous Medici family at Florence, whose patronage of the arts at Florence the cradle of the Renaissance world, Leo X was already celebrated as a prince of peace and acknowledged as connoisseur of music when he ascended the papal throne. His classical education had been thorough and included poetry, literature and music alongside theology, philosophy and the ancients.His love of culture and the arts did not conflict with his worship. And, his interest in the humanities meant that he sought to actively combine, in religious harmony, the past and present while helping to plan the future of the church at Rome.Part of his role as Pope and leader of the Christian church, as the sun rose on the fifteenth century, was to encourage his countries cultural development. As tapestry was considered societies most prestigious art form it is no surprise he chose to hang them in the Sistine chapel.The tapestries illustrate scenes from the lives of St. Peter and St. Paul long regarded as the founders of the Christian Church. They were at the source of the Pope’s authority and power.
HOW THE TAPESTRIES WERE MADE AND PRESERVED:
The Raphael Cartoons were design drawings made up of a mosaic of hundreds of sheets of paper glued together which was then fixed to the wall. Raphael and his assistants would have painted them in situ. Then they would then have been rolled for transport to Brussels to Pietr Van Aelst’s studio where they would have been cut up into strips for use by the tapestry weavers. The tapestries have had a turbulent history. They were pawned to pay for Pope Leo X’s funeral and recovered for the coronation of Hadrian VI (1522-3). They were stolen during the Sack of Rome in 1527, and after many adventures returned to the papal collection between 1544 and 1554. They were looted again during a French occupation of Rome in 1798 and purchased by a second hand dealer very cheaply. They were bought back again in 1808 and restored to the Vatican collection.
As part of the journey associated with every aspect of the design commission, the cartoons arrived in England after King Charles I paid £300 in 1623 to obtain them.He bought them as designs for tapestries and as painters by his time were being recognized for their individual talents, they would have proved a good investment for the crown. It was at the end of the seventeenth century when they were framed as paintings in their own right. It was Queen Victoria who sent them along to the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1865 and they have been in the public domain ever since. Originally they had woven borders showing scenes from Leo’s life, also believed to have been designed by Raphael. However the cartoons for these did not survive.
As Mark Evans who produced the splendidly detailed and scholarly catalog for the exhibition held at London in 2010 said ‘despite the toll of time those who have the good fortune to admire these beautiful tapestries five centuries after their creation can confirm the challenge to make them was triumphantly met”.
SHORT VIDEO: Turn on sound. After watching, be certain to scroll down to the 360 tour video of the Sistine Chapel.
360 VIRTUAL TOUR OF THE SISTINE CHAPEL (The tapestries are not shown here…only the great art. It will move slowly around the room for a closer view of Michelangelo’s amazing works. View at your leisure. )