N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

Posts tagged “fear

FEAR or COURAGE?

Are you killing your inner-self? I can hear it now…”What in the world are you talking about?” I’ll explain.

This morning I read an article sent to me by the Blue Zone, which addressed something similar to this question. It was written by Richard Leider, founder of Inventure – The Purpose Company. I would like to share, in part, some of this with you. (The full link can be read by clicking his name.)

But first, have you had these thoughts in the last few months?

  • I don’t see anything in the near future, but mostly staying at home.
  • If I leave my house to shop or eat out, I might come back with the virus.
  • Should I even give a hug/or kiss to a family memberor refuse a handshake to a person who offers it?
  • What if I need to go out of state, would it be worth it?
  • If I am invited to someone’s home, should I take the chance of going?
  • What would I do if a mob should surround my car or harass me in a public place like I’ve seen on TV?

These are only a few things that may have been in your brain that has basically caused you to put your life on hold. I know many of these same questions have crossed my thoughts. I found out that the virus could be a definite trigger that stops our growth as human beings. It is then up to us to mentally decide if we are going to allow this to happen to us.

According to Richard Leifer, you have stopped living and your life is on a plateau…not moving forward…in limbo because of a “trigger.”

Before the virus and a loss of much of your freedoms, things were moving along…and forward and then it happened (the trigger)…you hit the plateau. Everything seemed to stand still. Nothing was what it used to be.

Leifer says: “…things seem like they’re under control. You have good work, good health, enough money, a solid base at home, a network of friends and colleagues with whom to share your life. At times like these, you may actually feel like you do have this whole thing figured out! Or at least you’re satisfied with the way things are.But then, inevitably, a trigger knocks you off the plateau; you leave the flat area and take a turn into a new zone, limbo.”

What exactly is a “trigger?”

…a trigger is a wake-up call—a conscious choice or an external event that disrupts the comfortable status quo of our lives. It’s a moment when the game changes, and we have to adapt to the new game.

“Triggers can be positive but most often are negative. Of course, the pandemic, economic recession, and racial unrest are all triggers. In addition, there are the personal triggers:

  • Do you know someone you care about who has just heard from a doctor with an uncertain medical diagnosis? You are concerned.
  • Do you know people who have lost their jobs after decades of stability? They don’t know which way to turn or where to start, and you share that anxiety with them, wanting to help but not knowing how.
  • Do you know someone who has been caught by surprise by an unexpected death or divorce? All of a sudden, the stability of a long-term relationship has been replaced by the unfamiliar, unwelcome experience of learning how to live alone for the first time in a long time.

These are the moments when we feel like our lives are out of control.”

If we could say “YES, MANY OF THOSE ARE MY THOUGHTS” to any of the questions given above…you may be in a limbo state and that is not comfortable.

What is a LIMBO STATE?

Being in limbo is all about learning to cope with the “in-between times.” As a result of a trigger, we’ve ended one period of stability or even one phase of life, and looking forward we don’t yet see another one beginning. We’re forced to live in the question “What’s next?” The door behind us has closed, and we haven’t seen the new doors that lie ahead. Or sometimes, although we see the new doors, we’re not yet ready to make the choice to open them.”

We are often thinking how things used to be before the virus hit and everything changed. Our country, as a whole, has been put into a spirit of fear.

“Being in limbo can be scary in the way uncertainty often is. It feels like being between two trapeze bars – hanging on to one while seeing or reaching for the other with no safety net. And it can be even more debilitating. Limbo can become a form of resignation, a kind of prison sentence to accept the way things are as the way things have to be.”

Am I in limbo?

THIS IS WHERE WE ASK OURSELVES…do we plan to live our lives in this isolated prison? Many say, “Hell NO!”…and take no precautions, which may not be smart thinking.

I’ll give an example from our recent experience to moving forward. My husband and I felt like we just needed to get out. We decided to go for a lunch together at a restaurant that we know is careful about social distancing and sterilizing tables. We chose a time early before the lunch crowd arrived. Wore our masks until we ate…and had a very nice lunch. Another example is that a friend of ours ask us out to their house for a meal. They have not been sick and neither have we, so we accepted their gracious invitation. Both couples are extremely tired of isolation and we have made a decision to go forth with our lives…carefully and thoughtfully. There could be more illustrations, but everyone has their own decisions to make on what is proper for them and their family.

Making these small, forward moves brings us one step further OUT OF the limbo state and a beginning to climb out of the plateau flatness of life. Probably the most profound thing that Richard Leider wrote is the following:

“The worst-case scenario for those who succumb to limbo is “inner kill”—the condition of dying without knowing it. People with inner kill often feel that they either don’t have enough or aren’t good enough. They get stuck living in comparison with others or with some idealized, unattainable version of themselves.You have inner kill when you’ve stopped maturing, growing, or ripening, and, when you’ve given up on yourself, or when you find yourself always taking the easy, safe way. ”

As far as our virus concerns and isolated living, we may fit into what he said by comparing what we are doing to live through this time as to what others are doing. Did you ever say, “Look at those people…they aren’t wearing masks…or they are standing too close to someone!!” I am guilty because I am concerned…but does that help? The answer is “NO.”

We must remember that people will make their choices and we have to make ours. There is no way under heaven to control the masses…or an individual. The media, especially at this pre-election time, will be certain to point out what society should be doing or fails to do. Those who speak for medicine often change their thoughts from week to week. That is because everyone, including these experts, are still trying to figure things out. Nothing will be fairly stated online or on media because of varied viewpoints…so why listen?

Therefore, once again it is up to us to do the best we can with what knowledge we have. Of course, being bombarded day to day doesn’t help in the “out of control” feelings that most have…when they see society out of control. A limited amount of this permeating into our brains might be a good idea.

Leider leaves us with a good challenge: The question isn’t whether we’ll be hit by triggers or get kicked into limbo. We will—all of us, at every phase of life, in all kinds of ways. The question is how we’ll react when triggers come, and we find ourselves in limbo. Do we retreat? Or step into the uncertainty? Respond out of fear? Or move forward with courage?

The Holy Scriptures gives us this a blueprint for living a life without fear and full of courage.

 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7


FREEDOM…FEAR…FAITH

Most people are familiar with World War II Holocaust where millions of Jews died terrible deaths, but may not be aware that there have been a number of other genocides in modern history. One man, whose family immigrated to America, learned it all too well in recent years. His name is Daniel Yessian. He is trying, through his music, to ‘SPEAK FOR A LOST GENERATION.”

Daniel Yessian

A shy young boy, born here in America, found a love for music through the encouragement of an older musician. As he grew, music would take him to places that he never dreamed of to find again his heritage…in Armenia.

Daniel had a natural ear for music, often imitating what he heard a teacher play. As time went on, he found a love for jazz and formed his own small band. Then something happened that would eventually change his life. He was asked to write music for commercials, which he found exciting and gave some pocket change that seemed like a God sent. He married, had children, and continued playing.

His family members were baptized into the Armenian Christian Church and it was through their priest that he was asked to compose some music that would be played for the Commemoration of the tragedy endured by the Armenian people in 1915.

A Short History:

The Armenian genocide was the systematic killing and deportation of Armenians by the Turks of the Ottoman Empire. In 1915, during World War I, leaders of the Turkish government set in motion a plan to expel and massacre Armenians. By the early 1920s, when the massacres and deportations finally ended, between 600,000 and 1.5 million Armenians were dead, with many more forcibly removed from the country. Today, most historians call this event a genocide: a premeditated and systematic campaign to exterminate an entire people. 

The Armenian people have made their home in the Caucasus region of Eurasia for some 3,000 years. For some of that time, the kingdom of Armenia was an independent entity: At the beginning of the 4th century A.D., for instance, it became the first nation in the world to make Christianity, its official religion.

But for the most part, control of the region shifted from one empire to another. During the 15th century, Armenia was absorbed into the mighty Ottoman Empire.  The Ottoman rulers, like most of their subjects, were Muslim. They permitted religious minorities like the Armenians to maintain some autonomy, but they also subjected Armenians, who they viewed as “infidels,” to unequal and unjust treatment. Christians had to pay higher taxes than Muslims, for example, and they had very few political and legal rights.

In spite of these obstacles, the Armenian community thrived under Ottoman rule. They tended to be better educated and wealthier than their Turkish neighbors, who in turn grew to resent their success.

This resentment was compounded by suspicions that the Christian Armenians would be more loyal to Christian governments (that of the Russians, for example, who shared an unstable border with Turkey) than they were to the Ottoman caliphate. (note: Russia also had as a primary religion…Christianity through the Russian Orthodox Church and not Muslim.)

These suspicions grew more acute as the Ottoman Empire crumbled. At the end of the 19th century, the despotic Turkish Sultan Abdul Hamid II – obsessed with loyalty above all, and infuriated by the nascent Armenian campaign to win basic civil rights – declared that he would solve the “Armenian question” once and for all.

“I will soon settle those Armenians,” he told a reporter in 1890. “I will give them a box on the ear which will make them…relinquish their revolutionary ambitions.” (History.com)

Footnote: Today, Turkey refuses to admit that anything happened to the Armenian people even though there are skeletons to prove it and some 100 year old survivors, who remember this terrible history as children. Turkey calls it “relocation.” The truth being that they moved the Armenians out before they murdered them because they didn’t want the bodies to be in their territory. Only a few escaped to tell the story.

Daniel Yessian believed he would honor his ancestors and those who died in the Armenian genocide if he could compose a musical trilogy with photography of the history of the Armenians. He had never traveled to Armenia, but found it a wonderful experience of getting to know the land and people who suffered so much…but survived to this day. This Trilogy was based on FREEDOM…FEAR…and FAITH.

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If you would like to watch a remarkable film with the complete story of Mr. Yessian’s journey to bring his composition to the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra. It is available on Amazon Prime…An Armenian Trilogy. It is worth your time to look it up and watch.

AN IMPORTANT THOUGHT

In this film, Mr. Yessian wonders if there will be more genocides to come. This is a very important thought for all of us to contemplate. How much do we know or remember about the genocides in more recent history? How much are our young people learning today about past history that must not be repeated? Even today, in various places in the world, there is great persecution going on that may not make the national news.

REFRESHING OUR MEMORY OF HISTORY AND GENOCIDES

These pictures represent only a very few of the atrocities during the 19th and 20th centuries. It is, however, important to remember what people have endured and pray that there will be no more. Where one group of people stand against another, it is entirely possible that it will happen again. Mr. Yessian also says, “We are nothing without each other.”

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Video: A trailer, ARMENIAN TRILOGY, concerning the music composed in commemoration of the Armenian people who perished.

by Daniel Yessian.


TAKING A CHANCE

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.

Reopening of Jacksonville FL beach during coronavirusclup)

Jacksonville, FL beach photo from April 17, 2020, by Action News Jax SkyCam network

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.

Protester holds sign in Colorado photo by AP David Zalubowski

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

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

Dust Bowl scene by Getty pictures

LOVE

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.

SOUND MIND

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.)

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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