Have you ever thought about eternity and what there is after death?
Does Jesus Christ and God the Father love ALL people?
Do you believe that you will be with God in heaven when you die?
These thoughts and questions may have, at one time or another, been the questions of all of us if we think seriously about spiritual things. Some have stronger faith than others, but God wants all people to know His eternal love and how to have assurance about the future…even about death
I believe this blog, with the message given of hope, could be the answer to these questions. The man, featured in this blog, faithfully brought to the world, without hesitation, what he believed God had told him to present to people everywhere. He took this message to the far ends of the earth.
His message never changed whether he was meeting with the poor and disenfranchised of the world, the rich and famous or Presidents and Monarchs. It was the message God gave to him to present to the world. It is the same message God is giving to us today.
Set some time aside to hear God’s message. It could change your life as it has done for thousands of others. It is the message that He LOVES YOU…no matter WHO you are; WHERE you live or what SKIN COLOR you have. It was not only the message to masses of people in previous years, who sought out God’s words for their lives, but how much we need God’s message today as our nation and world struggles with riots, protests, burning of property, tearing down statues of history, sickness and death. Those who listened to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Billy Graham found in their words...HOPE.
“In the midst of outer dangers I have felt an inner calm and known resources of strength that only God could give. In many instances I have felt the power of God transforming the fatigue of despair into the buoyancy of hope.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
“Each of us experiences clouds in life—sometimes slight, but sometimes dark and frightening. Whatever clouds you face today, ask Jesus, the light of the world, to help you look behind the cloud to see His glory and His plans for you.”
― Billy Graham
VIDEO: Turn up your sound.
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.)
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.
It seems that each night in the news, the reporters not only bring the devastating news of the sick and dying, but also show the large refrigerated trucks that are lined outside the largest hospitals. There is certainly no assurance in seeing these trucks. The public knows that those who die must also be taken care of in some orderly way. Yet, we see it over and over…and we are made to feel even more concerned about our own safety…whether in life or death. The heart-breaking stories of loved ones who can not be with their families in their last moments on earth is almost too much to hear.
Sometimes it is good emotionally, to remove ourselves, at least temporarily, from the continuous news of despair. Perhaps this Sunday is a good time for quiet music instead
or as we turn to our TV to listen to remote worship services.
(We have enjoyed the National Cathedral services in Washington, D.C. at 11:15 EST and special music at 4 on YouTube)
So what or who can we turn to in this time of waiting and confinement? I’d like to share with you, and the ones you may know who have family members who are sick or who have died, my writing, in part, on the ETERNAL PROMISE:
The word “eternity” seems so far away. It is an unknown time or place and the human mind can’t comprehend its actual meaning. Most people have some anxiety about dying and perfect peace may not be part of their thinking on this subject.
It may not be just about entering eternity, but needing peace when making some of life’s greatest decisions. This was true of Bob Dufford as he struggled with his becoming a priest. He thought of the Mother of Christ, who may have been fearful as she followed what God had in store for her. This gave him inspiration to write these words:
Be Not Afraid
You shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thirst.
You shall wander far in safety though you do not know the way.
You shall speak your words in foreign lands and all will understand.
You shall see the face of God and live.
If you pass through raging waters in the sea, you shall not drown.
If you walk amid the burning flames, you shall not be harmed.
If you stand before the pow’r of hell and death is at your side,
know that I am with you through it all.
Blessed are your poor, for the kingdom shall be theirs.
Blest are you that weep and mourn, for one day you shall laugh.
And if wicked men insult and hate you all because of me,
blessed, blessed are you!
Be not afraid.
I go before you always;
Come follow me,
and I will give you rest. 27
Promises are made and many times broken because we are frail in our human spirit. No bride or groom goes to the alter believing that their lives will come shattering down with a divorce. Little children may say, ” Please let’s go today. Will you promise?” Sometimes the parent must change the plans, but somehow in a child’s mind the promise has been broken. This is why they beg us to “promise.”
There is an eternal promise that will never be broken. It is God’s promise that all will be well in eternity. He is going to make a special place for us. He even says that he is telling us the truth. “There are many rooms in my Father’s house, and I am going to prepare a place for you. I would not tell you this if it were not so”. John 14:2
The Holy Bible is made up of many eternal promises. Some people memorize these verses. It is a good idea because what you hide in your heart can never be taken away from you. A few of these are listed below, but only make a dent in what we can believe from God in the Holy Scriptures:
- Psalm 100:5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
- James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
- 2 Samuel 7:28 Sovereign Lord, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant.
- Nahum 1:7 The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.
- John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.
…There is an old hymn, Standing on the Promises, that was written by Russell Kelso Carter. This hymn was published in the book Promises of Perfect Love, Philadelphia, 1886
Some of the words are these:
Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises I now can see
Perfect, present cleansing in the blood for me;
Standing in the liberty where Christ makes free,
Standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord,
Bound to Him eternally by love’s strong cord,
Overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword,
Standing on the promises of God.
We have the eternal promises of God to lead us through our lives. His promises are true and will never fail. May God be praised!
HOLY SCRIPTURES: Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10
PRAYER: Thank you, God, for your promises. I trust in You and pray for all those going through our difficult times . In Christ’s name, Amen
(Taken from Rain on the Roof by N.W.Boyer)
Christ has given His life for Us, Rose from the Dead and promised us eternal life. Where there is suffering, we turn to Him as OUR VISION of HOPE. Below is a video of a church and a singer, with his accompanist. The church is empty…as are ours today, but the promises of God are the same and He is with us wherever we are.
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.
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.
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
Sometimes it is important to just take a deep breath and listen to something beautiful because the world is too filled with noise…and hype! I like the definition of “hype” which is:
“…to promote or publicize intensively, often exaggerating its importance or benefits.
Today we move away from the HYPE and into peace. Listen to something beautiful…which probably means turning off the TV…or at least for a while.
This outstanding photography and peaceful music is for you! Enjoy!
“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26
Video Turn on sound
There is a full moon tonight as I look out my window in Florida, USA. It led me to think about a little known fact of something that happened on the moon in 1969 when an American astronaut, Buzz Aldrin took with him a consecrated wine and wafer to take part in the first Christian sacrament ever performed on the moon. (The History Channel “Eight Little Known Facts About the Moon Landing,”)
When Apollo 11‘s Eagle lunar module landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had to wait before venturing outside. Their mission ordered them to take a pause before the big event.
David Mickelson wrote this article that includes Aldrin’s description of the events:
So Aldrin used some of the time doing something unexpected, something no man had ever attempted before… He took part in the first Christian sacrament ever performed on the moon—a rite of Christian communion.
Aldrin openly described his Communion experience on the moon in print several times, including an August 1969 interview with LIFE magazine, an October 1970 Guideposts article, and his 1973 book Return to Earth. The following account of his motivations and preparation is taken from Aldrin’s 2009 book, Magnificent Desolation.
“Landing on the moon is not quite the same thing as arriving at Grandmother’s for Thanksgiving. You don’t hop out of the lunar module the moment the engine stops and yell, “We’re here! We’re here!” Getting out of the LM takes a lot of preparation, so we had built in several extra hours to our flight plan. We also figured it was wise to allow more time rather than less for our initial activities after landing, just in case anything had gone wrong during the flight.
According to our schedule, we were supposed to eat a meal, rest awhile, and then sleep for seven hours after arriving on the moon. After all, we had already worked a long, full day and we wanted to be fresh for our extra-vehicular activity (EVA). Mission Control had notified the media that they could take a break and catch their breath since there wouldn’t be much happening for several hours as we rested. But it was hard to rest with all that adrenaline pumping through our systems.
Nevertheless, in an effort to remain calm and collected, I decided that this would be an excellent time for a ceremony I had planned as an expression of gratitude and hope. Weeks before, as the Apollo mission drew near, I had originally asked Dean Woodruff, pastor at Webster Presbyterian Church, where my family and I attended services when I was home in Houston, to help me come up with something I could do on the moon, some appropriate symbolic act regarding the universality of seeking. I had thought in terms of doing something overtly patriotic, but everything we came up with sounded trite and jingoistic. I settled on a well-known expression of spirituality: celebrating the first Christian Communion on the moon, much as Christopher Columbus and other explorers had done when they first landed in their “new world.
I wanted to do something positive for the world, so the spiritual aspect appealed greatly to me, but NASA was still smarting from a lawsuit filed by atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair after the Apollo 8 astronauts read from the biblical creation account in Genesis. O’Hair contended this was a violation of the constitutional separation of church and state. Although O’Hair’s views did not represent mainstream America at that time, her lawsuit was a nuisance and a distraction that NASA preferred to live without.
I met with Deke Slayton, one of the original “Mercury Seven” astronauts who ran our flight-crew operations, to inform him of my plans and that I intended to tell the world what I was doing. Deke said, “No, that’s not a good idea, Buzz. Go ahead and have communion, but keep your comments more general.” I understood that Deke didn’t want any more trouble.
So, during those first hours on the moon, before the planned eating and rest periods, I reached into my personal preference kit and pulled out the communion elements along with a three-by-five card on which I had written the words of Jesus: ‘I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me.’
I poured a thimbleful of wine from a sealed plastic container into a small chalice, and waited for the wine to settle down as it swirled in the one-sixth Earth gravity of the moon. My comments to the world were inclusive: “I would like to request a few moments of silence … and to invite each person listening in, wherever and whomever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours, and to give thanks in his or her own way.” I silently read the Bible passage as I partook of the wafer and the wine, and offered a private prayer for the task at hand and the opportunity I had been given. Neil watched respectfully, but made no comment to me at the time.
Perhaps, if I had it to do over again, I would not choose to celebrate communion. Although it was a deeply meaningful experience for me, it was a Christian sacrament, and we had come to the moon in the name of all mankind — be they Christians, Jews, Muslims, animists, agnostics, or atheists. But at the time I could think of no better way to acknowledge the enormity of the Apollo 11 experience that by giving thanks to God. It was my hope that people would keep the whole event in their minds and see, beyond minor details and technical achievements, a deeper meaning — a challenge, and the human need to explore whatever is above us, below us, or out there.”
The atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair may have wanted to ban NASA astronauts from practicing anything religious on earth or in space while on duty, but Holy Communion happened just the same because of one man who wanted to honor the God of the Universe in the one way that he knew how. Advised to say little about it, Buzz Aldrin made history that day with this simple act of faith. Thank you, Mr. Aldrin, for reminding us, as people or a nation, that without God, we “can do nothing.”
VIDEO: A re-enactment of the event: Short clip (with subtitles…no sound) showing Buzz Aldrin performing communion on the moon (from “Mare Tranquilitatis”, Episode 6 of “From the Earth to the Moon” miniseries).
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
To any of our readers who may be struggling with a situation or some troubling difficulty, I share with you this song. It was written by a young man struggling with God’s call to him to go into Christian ministry as a priest. We all have our moments in life when we need God’s guidance. Look to Him for the perfect way for you.
Be Not Afraid by Bob Dufford
Throughout the world, no song is more inspiring than the beautiful Amazing Grace. In Christ, our Savior, His grace and forgiveness is a perfect gift to all mankind.
For your ever enjoyment and inspiration from Boyer Writes:
“The recent rash of mass shootings has left the nation stunned but, sadly, not speechless. The usual media and political suspects are saying the usual things, using the bodies of the innocent as a sickening ideological soapbox.
We’re not going to do that here. These gruesome murders are not about, nor caused by, politics. Rather, they are the unavoidable and perhaps unstoppable product of a deeply diseased culture. A culture which has become the perfect growth medium for psychopathy.
“Loners” are no longer alone when in their online worlds. They can communicate without actual human contact. They can find reinforcement for their darkest and most twisted thoughts and fantasies. They can give the worst demons of their psyches an artificial, external life in cyberspace… free to express hatred and anger anonymously and without consequence. And on the Internet, madness can hide in plain sight.
After all, who’s going to notice or care about garden variety insanity in a world which routinely describes everyone as murderous: baby killers on one side, Earth-destroying Nazis on the other. The stakes are absolute, the “other” is the enemy, and words are just words…until they become actions.
The social mechanisms which formerly prevented these massacres have crumbled the bonds of family, friendship, and faith…a shared sense of community, optimism about the future, moral certainty and personal responsibility.
Instead, we now live in a crowded world of communal loners, all staring at their phones instead of the world and people around them. Politicians and media figures preach an unsubtle and dangerously divisive message of absolutes: you are either on this side or that, either all good or all evil. There is no middle ground – only calls for action. Calls that the wrong people are hearing.
We live in a culture in which too many feel they have no meaning or importance, but believe that one spectacular act of madness can give them the instant celebrity which defines success in a sick society. And so they kill to feel alive…to experience an illusion of power at the expense of the powerless. And even knowing the likelihood that they will be killed during their heinous act, they believe they will live eternally in the electronic ether, washed in the blood of the sacrificed.
Gun control can not and will not change any of this. The phenomena of mass shootings is, in fact, unstoppable absent a wholesale change in our culture, our way of life, and our society’s unhealthy obsession with an inhuman and inhumane electronic world.
The good news is that the vast majority of people still retain values strong enough to keep them morally centered in our crumbling culture. The bad news is that unless those values can regain cultural dominance, and unless we can replace combativeness and angry confrontation with honest conversation, mass murder will continue to be our inescapable new normal.”
- You shall have no other Gods but Me.
- You shall not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it.
- You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
- You shall remember and keep the Sabbath day holy.
- Respect your father and mother.
- You must not commit murder.
- You must not commit adultery.
- You must not steal.
- You must not give false evidence against your neighbor.
- You must not be envious of your neighbor’s goods. You shall not be envious of his house nor his wife, nor anything that belongs to your neighbor.
We have to begin somewhere to heal our society. It’s bigger than any law or any revision of laws…for it has to start in the heart. It will take all Americans working together for a peaceful life for us and our children.
For all those who have suffered great loss, we, at Boyer Writes, dedicate this video. Turn up your sound and quietly listen to the words.
“The Gregorian chant is the oldest musical manifestation of the Occident (countries of Europe and Americas) and it has its roots in the songs of the old synagogues, since Jesus Christ`s times.
The first Christians and disciples of Christ, were converted Jews who, persevering in prayer, continued to sing the psalms and songs of the Old Testament. As the Greeks, not Jews or Romans, were also becoming Christian, elements of the music and the Greek-French-Roman culture were being included to the Jewish songs. “
As the birds have been singing outside my window this Spring, I enjoyed hearing God’s little creatures sing along with this peaceful Gregorian Chant. For your listening pleasure …for peace and joy!
Illumination-Peaceful Gregorian Chants– Dan Gibson’s Solitude
VIDEO (Turn up the sound. There is a slight delay in the opening…so give it a moment. )
It is interesting how someone can come to the United States and have a completely different perspective on the word “democracy.” We, who live here, become used to how things work in our free society. The thoughts of a foreign visitor, who is used to a much different society, brings a new dimension to the very meaning of the word…democracy. We ask the question then…
“How much does religious freedom play as an encompassing part of democracy?”
A visiting Chinese professor may have great words of wisdom concerning this matter. Clay Christensen, a professor at Harvard Business School, found friendship with this visitor, who was on a Fulbright Scholarship to the United States, and shares with us his words. Pay close attention to his final statement. It is quite chilling.
Short Video: Please turn up your sound and click the link below:
There are some times of the year that are fascinating not only to the young at heart, small children, but to our furry friends.
This Christmas music is dedicated to them…with all our love!
Slide presentation: A special dedication to our military and their dogs
For your listening pleasure!
Turn up sound (Favorite Christmas music with the Hallelujah Chorus)
Sometimes all we want or need is quiet…rest…and PEACE. In today’s world, there is no real peace unless we actively look for it. We have to make a peaceful place to be quiet, wherever that might be. Therefore, I ask you to find that place and remember the promise given and the beauty of the world through the music that is shared with you now. Rest…my friend….rest.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)
Click Video (Turn on sound…and relax)
If you have been to a major department store recently, you will see that the Christmas decorations are already out…and it is not even Halloween! This may also seem that a blog of this type is way ahead of the season, but even though it mentions the birth of Christ, it is actually the message of “giving of ourselves” even if it does make us go a little out of the way.
How often we don’t want to stop what we are doing to help out, but throughout the Holy Scriptures we are shown that going out of the way is God’s way. Remember those who crossed over to the other side of the street, but a man needed help. Only the Good Samaritan stopped to give assistance. There was a reason that he was named “Good”. Then there were the beggars and the blind, but Christ reached down to heal and give new meaning to a life. Just a moment of our time can change things more than we realize for someone else.
Think of this as you go about your weekend for I’m certain something will come your way that will make you stop and think that you can reach out and be helpful. We can GIVE of ourselves.
Video (Turn up the sound)
Having just finished writing and publishing a book on veterans who fought against tyranny around the world, I began to wonder if our recent generations truly understand what these wars were all about. If you have a teen in your house or an appreciator of history, this is the time to share this blog.
My book, Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge, not only gives the stories of World War II veterans, but of those in the Korean and Vietnam wars. (Click on book at far right for more information)
Therefore, as difficult and as unentertaining as it may be….for it seems the world only wants entertainment, I plan to run a series of three blogs introducing the reasons for each war mentioned and the results of great battles and great loss of life on both sides of the wars.
History is to be learned from…or we will live it again…with even worse consequences. Here is a quote worth pondering:
“I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” – Albert Einstein.
There were several versions of his quote: Supposedly, Professor Albert Einstein was asked by friends at a dinner party what new weapons might be employed in World War III. Appalled at the implications, he shook his head. After several minutes of meditation, he said. “I don’t know what weapons might be used in World War III. But there isn’t any doubt what weapons will be used in World War IV.” “And what are those?” a guest asked. “Stone spears,” said Einstein.
This quote (or at least a version of it) dates back to the 1940s when the first nuclear weapons were being developed. Although Albert Einstein didn’t actually develop the atom bomb, his work did make such a device possible. Albert Einstein did not work directly on the atom bomb. But Einstein was the father of the bomb in two important ways: 1) it was his initiative which started U.S. bomb research; 2) it was his equation (E = mc2) which made the atomic bomb theoretically possible. (Snopes Fact Checking)
Anyone who turns on a TV today is worried that some person or government will go too far and trigger the next great war. Life as we know it could come to a screeching halt from a computer hacker based anywhere in the world. Every phase of our lives, from our energy and water supplies, banking, grocery stores, hospitals, fire and police, cell phones, nuclear plants and much more are controlled by the electronics of today. Einstein was a genius, but even he may not have seen that nuclear devastation may not be the only end of life as we know it. Regardless, the wars that we have fought with our allies in the past were for one purpose…to keep the world free from tyranny and to give us “peace on earth.”
Yes, PEACE…what a wonderful word. The Holy Scriptures tell us… “Peace, Peace and there is no peace.” (Ezekial 13:10) and yet we are told not to lose hope for Christ said… “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14.27
Yet, so often we are afraid…afraid of what the future may hold. We cannot forget the sacrifices of those who believed that FREEDOM was worth dying for. We, or the next generations, must not forget their stories and what they represented to us who are left to lead and to guide our nations. We have freedom of choice because of them.
Below is the first in a historical series to come: World War II…Korea, and Vietnam
VIDEO with narration. Turn up sound