During this time of self-isolation, I continue to write, but I also stop to paint when I truly want to relax. My art is nothing like a professional, but I love the freedom it gives to paint whatever is in my mind. Usually it has something to do with God’s nature…a flower, tree, or anything beautiful. As we sail along on this time of testing, we know that life will continue.
Nothing ever stands still…not time, events, or even our own living breath. Each moment we live is different from the last. We will move forward and it will be ours to find the peace God wants us to have. It may be in reading our favorite books, working in the garden, painting or sewing some special thing. We should also make this time to sit down to read God’s Holy Scriptures, an inspiring book or to be consistent in praying. We have the choice of how we will face these times.
One of the things that my husband and I have enjoyed has been the ability to travel. We may not be doing much of this in the time to come, but we remember with fondness some of our favorite trips. Going to Japan ranks very high on the list.
First time I went to Japan was as an educator, invited by the Japanese government. The second time was with my husband who had at one time been to Japan as a U.S. Navy Chaplain. It was great to return together. Being a part of another culture has always intrigued and delighted me. There is so much to learn. Perhaps the thing I come away with from getting to know different parts of the world is how much we are really alike. We work, play, and often make our faith a honored part of living.
I’m sharing with you a video by the artist, Akiane Kramarik, who has an amazing God-given talent. Akiane has taken her art around the world and in doing so, as a young woman has gained insight into the beauty of all people. It is even more true as we know that the whole world is trying to rise above the difficulties of the time. As we have heard many times, we are in this TOGETHER.
On this trip, she talks about visiting Japan and what it meant to her. She stresses that we have a need to SAIL FORWARD…even before she had any knowledge about a world-wide pandemic about to happen. You will notice that the people of Japan are going about their daily business in large groups. Such were the “good old days.” Go with me now on a tour of Japan with Akiane. At the end, she will demonstrate her incredible artistic talent.
This blog post is also presented as a gift to all Mothers around the world and especially those who have found it difficult to see family, whom they love, during the coronavirus…and especially on this MOTHER’S DAY!
In Honor of my Mother, Alta, who died at age 93.
Here I am with Mother when we were both young!
Video: Turn up the 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.
While we try to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, most feel a sense of isolation. This may be from family and loved ones or from neighbors with whom we usually have close contact. Now, things are different.
This blog is an idea blog. Let’s all pull out the Christmas candles that go in our windows; light them up at dusk and bring a message of hope and faith to our neighbors or those who may ride by our homes. We’ll light the candle each night until this virus has been conquered. How wonderful if, as we look out our windows, we see lights throughout the neighborhood! It will be a sign of courage, hope, and prayers for all. We also remember the medical personnel who are literally “burning the candle from both ends.” Hold them close in your prayers.
We can start with our neighborhood. As you pass the message around and Boyer Writes readers from around the world light a candle of hope, we could look like this from space!
Thinking too big?! I think not. All things start with an idea. This is mine! Unpack those candles and make things brighter for all. Blessings from Boyer Writes
Video: Turn on your sound.
Christmas is often called the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” This may be because when the Virgin Mary gave birth to the Savior, the world looked for many things to be made right through a strong leader. Most believed that the Messiah would bring peace and a new world order. He would come in glory to accomplish this task.
How disappointing for those who refused the humble birth. How could it possibly be? Yet, God’s ways are mostly not our ways. He chooses to accomplish His purposes even if they do not fit what we expect.
We often hear the question, “What would Jesus do?” As we look to Him for our daily answers to human problems, we are looking for a man’s point of view…even a Holy, Incarnate Man as He was. My question in this blog post is different. What would the Mother of the Son of God do?
This woman, who was young, was told by an angel a shocking message for her and her fiance, Joseph.
“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored!”
The Gospel of Luke says that the angel Gabriel came to Mary to tell her that she would give birth to a son. The angel told Mary that she should call her son Jesus. The angel also said that Jesus would save people from their sins. Mary asked the angel how she could be pregnant since she was a virgin.
After the birth, the angel appeared again:
An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
Mary, like any Mother, watched her Son, Jesus grow and learn. She was there when he performed miracles and saw him be betrayed and given into the hands of those who would crucify him. Her sorrows were practically more than she could endure.
The Ressurection and the Ascending into heaven by her Son followed as part of her life. Throughout it all, this woman knew that God was in control.
So…back to the question...If Mary had to face some of the family sorrows that we face today, what would she do? We think of this perfect Mother, highly venerated, who would do no wrong. Yet, she was as human as any of us. Would she advise us to look at the Holy Scriptures when the father waited and waited for his son who had left home? Would she say to never give up hope? Would she point to this father (and perhaps a waiting mother) who finally saw his prodigal son coming from afar who had seen the error of his ways?
Would she have forgiven when children neglected their older parents and simply be grateful for those who are loving and caring, like her Son who asked a disciple to care for her as he died on the cross? Does this mean that a person not a member of the immediate family might be more caring and loving than the blood relation?
When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. (John 19:26-27)
All these are hard questions, but as a Mother, she would understand things from a woman’s (and Mother’s) point of view.
Even the first miracle that Christ performed had to do with a problem of a social nature. At the wedding in Cana, Mary was concerned about the fact that the hosts had run out of wine. Jesus felt that His time to reveal His power or that He was the Messiah had not come, but He listened to His Mother’s request for help. He turned the water into wine, which the guests realized to be the best wine. Mary knew Jesus’ power to step into the lives of others in small or great issues. He also wants the best for us regardless of the circumstances.
You may also have some questions for Mary if you could speak to the Mother of the Savior and if she could hear you from heaven. I certainly do. Here is what Mary would do and say… “Take it to Jesus for it is in Him that God with the Holy Spirit answers prayers. He is the beloved Son of God.”
Life is complicated for so many of us. We pray that at this time when we see the beautiful pictures or works of art representing the Mother and Child that we will remember that her faith was strong and unwavering. Her pain was real and so was her joy as she trusted in God to work through the events that seemed beyond help.
Happy New Year from Boyer Writes.
VIDEO: Turn up sound
Very young children love to be read to and shown pictures…especially of animals. If there is a pet in the home or the family takes trips to the great outdoors, animals are always in the mix.
Our family dogs and cats give us love and attention and love is mostly what they crave …next to a big bowl of food.
All animals, domesticated or wild, feel better when they have a full tummy.
Food changes all moods…human and otherwise. This led me to think about how animal books could teach very young children how to behave. Parents, you will like this first in a series on “animal lessons” as you try to feed, put to bed or teach sharing with your child.
Here is my newest book for a little one that you may know…The Moody Musical Cat.
It wasn’t food that changed his behavior, but music. Surprise! Surprise!
In a world filled with strife, wars and all kinds of bickering and discontent, we must not lose perspective. God is watching and in control…even if we are unable to do so. Look up and around you…see what He has done. Don’t lose hope. Place your daily walk in HIs hands.
VIDEO (Turn up sound)
Training of U.S. Navy Seals
Life is extremely hard at times. As shown above, the training of U.S. Navy Seals is some of the toughest in the world. Most people will not have to endure this type of hardship, but some things in life could parallel to what one has to do to survive physically, emotionally or mentally. Sadly, we find out too often that one of our Seals has been killed. All the training in the world can’t prevent such tragedies…whether Seals or other branches of military service.
Take a few minutes and listen to some excellent advice on how to face “the sharks” that come your way. It will not be easy. Life is not easy. Nevertheless, the rewards can be great. The character that is built can last a life time.
So…what does “making the bed” have to do with it? Listen to an excellent speech and find out.
Naval Adm. William H. McRaven
For anyone who reads my blogs and wants God’s help for living another day, this is my prayer for you. (by Phillips Brook)
Give me strength to live another day. Let me not turn coward before its difficulties or prove recreant to its duties. Let me not lose faith in other people. Keep me sweet and sound of heart, in spite of ingratitude, treachery or meanness. Preserve me from minding little stings or giving them. Help me to keep my heart clean and to live so honestly and fearlessly that no outward failure can dishearten me or take away the joy of conscious integrity. Open wide the eyes of my soul that I may see good in all things. Grant me this day some new vision of Your truth. Inspire me with the spirit of joy and gladness and make me the cup of strength to suffering souls.
In the name of the strong Deliverer, our only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen
Let me introduce you to one of the world’s greatest pianists…
Despite his great talent, Vladimir suffered from insecurities. Let his story be an inspiration to you, the reader.
Sometimes life gets rough along the way. We are not certain what the future will bring or if we have the courage to face it. Yet God knows and all He wants is the best for us. He wants for us to use the talents that He gave us. We were never promised life would be easy, but did promise that his Holy Spirit would lead, guide and comfort us. He gives courage to continue on.
The family moved to New York City in 1940, and four years later, he gained U.S. citizenship. Horowitz completed his last recording for Sony Classical four days prior to passing away. He died of a heart attack on November 5, 1989, in his adopted city. His body resides in the Toscanini family tomb in Cimitero Monumentale, Milan, Italy.” Shown below (info taken from Bio)
One of his most memorable performances took place in Moscow in 1986. Horowitz had overcome so much and lived another day to be his best. He played a full concert to a packed house, but one of the pieces he played, Schumann’s Traumerei , struck a cord with the audience. One can see on the faces memories of the suffering that so many had endured during WWII. Being a Jew, Horowitz knew only too well the horrors of the Jews who lived and died during this time. He tenderly plays…perhaps for them.
Notice, on the following video of the Moscow concert, a man in the audience with tears running down his face. One comment about the performance and the Russian’s tears speaks of the history of what the audience may have been thinking:
“This piece of music was played on the radio at the end of WWII. The studio didn’t know what to play…it was over. Millions were dead. The guns were silent. So they played this piece. I’d guess from the date of this performance, and the white hair of that gentleman, that he might have been one of the young soldiers or just kids, who heard that silence, then this piece on the radio. I’m old enough to remember the silence in the US, and we were LUCKY, just 250,000…so I know why he was in tears.”
Throughout history and in more modern history, there is a lesson of rising above rejection. Let’s look at the meaning of rejection and how it affects our lives.
Rejection: The noun rejection can refer to the actual act of rejecting something or to the feeling one has after being rejected. In other words, you might have feelings of rejection after experiencing the rejection of others.
When we are finding love in our lives, we may have experienced rejection when someone turned us down for a date…or even a marriage proposal. Rejection is also felt when a person may ask for a divorce. It could even mean when family members decide not to be part of the family unit. These are all hard experiences. Many people experience; feel terrible about it and then decide that life must go on and rise above it.
In history, we read about the lives of very famous people who have experienced rejection in the public arena and made amazing comebacks. Here are a few to consider:
Abraham Lincoln is one of our most famous Presidents. His heart-aches, illnesses, and rejections should encourage anyone to keep trying. This list is long, but worth reading:
- 1832 Lost job Elected company captain of Illinois militia in Black Hawk War
- 1833 Failed in business
- 1834 Elected to Illinois State Legislature
- 1835 Sweetheart died
- 1836 Had a nervous breakdown
- 1842 A jealous man challenged him to a duel. Abraham Lincoln traveled to Alton to meet James Shields in a duel. Friends of both opponents negotiated a truce, and the duel was averted.
- Reelected to Illinois Legislature and received license to practice law
- 1837 Led Whig delegation in moving Illinois state capital from Vandalia to Springfield. He became law partner of John T. Stuart
- 1838 Defeated for Speaker, but was nominated for Illinois House Speaker by Whig caucus Re-elected to Illinois House (running first in his district)
Served as Whig floor leader
- 1839 Chosen presidential elector by first Whig convention and admitted to practice law in U.S. Circuit Court
- 1840 Argues first case before Illinois Supreme Court
Re-elected to Illinois state legislature
- 1842 Admitted to practice law in U.S. District Court
- 1843 Defeated for nomination for Congress
- 1844 Established own law practice with William H. Herndon as junior partner
- 1846 Elected to Congress
- 1848 Lost nomination (Chose not to run for Congress, abiding by rule of rotation among Whigs.)
- 1849 Rejected for Land Officer Admitted to practice law in U.S. Supreme Court
Declined appointment as secretary and then as governor of Oregon Territory
- 1854 Defeated for U.S. Senate
- 1856 Defeated for nomination for Vice President
- 1858 Again defeated for U.S. Senate
- 1860 ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A few other modern-day Presidents had their setbacks before winning the Presidency.
Former California Gov. Ronald Reagan ran for the 1976 Republican presidential nomination. Incumbent President Gerald Ford beat him in the crucial New Hampshire and Florida primaries. Though Reagan was able to win some of the later contests that year, Ford edged him out at the convention.
In his first race for office, Bill Clinton narrowly lost to incumbent Republican House member John Paul Hammerschmidt of Arkansas. He later became attorney general and then governor. But he lost his first gubernatorial reelection race in 1980.
George W. Bush also entered political life by challenging an incumbent House member. In 1978, he ran against Texas Democrat Kent Hance, who mocked the Yale graduate as a clueless preppy from Connecticut. Hance won.
Photo by Eric Draper, Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library
- Barack Obama ran in an Illinois Democratic primary against Representative Bobby Rush. Like George W. Bush, he found that an Ivy League education was not necessarily an advantage. Representative Rush exploited Obama’s Harvard law degree to suggest that he was out of touch with the district. Rush smashed him by a two-to-one margin.
To all aspiring writers, take hope from some of the best and most successful.
Rejection Letters from publishers:
JK Rowlings got 12 rejections before making a billion dollars on Harry Potter.
Dr. Seuss’s rejection said “Too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling.”
William Golding wrote The Lord of the Flies, selling 15 million copies. His rejection letter said, “An absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull”
As all can see, perseverance is always the best policy if we believe we have something to give to this world. I write because I enjoy it and it’s challenging. I may never have a great book published that the world will remember or make a fortune. That is not my goal, but joy in what I do is worth all the effort. In fact, my mind is completely absorbed, when I am writing, from the disappointments that could bring me down.
Rising above your rejections, whatever they may be, will bring renewed life and hope into your world. Never give up!