My Mother made a beautiful stitched picture that hangs on my wall. Every time I look at it, I think of her fingers carefully pulling the needle and thread. The message was important to her and it should be for all of us today.
History also is most important to us because it teaches us so much. We can look at what has happened in the past and in some ways project the future…unless we refuse to learn. Most present-day issues are sensitive and hard to discuss, but we must think about these things.
What kind of “fragile” times are we going through and what has history taught our last generations?
Let’s take a hard look at now and then.
- Everyone has become fearful of the possibility of becoming sick or dying from our recent virus.
- Governments have taken control world-wide more than we can remember in our modern history.
- Life and travel has completely changed.
- Tragedies have led people to respond with demonstrations as they let their concerns be known. This is the democratic way, according to our Constitution, and should be respected.
- More tragedies have occurred for business owners, of every race and creed, whose livelihood has been ruined by the breaking and looting, which should have never been connected with those wanting peaceful demonstrations. Some organizations have as their goal to bring down democracy and pit our citizens against one another.
(Let’s look at those in other parts of the world who are fighting to keep their democratic way of life.)
- People in Hong Kong are facing further governmental crack-downs from mainland China as Beijing proposes new legislation. ( “China stunned Hong Kong when it announced it would impose a national security law on the city. Many worry this could spell the end of Hong Kong’s unique freedoms…”) whole story on BBC News
Why even mention the present day problems? It is because these are only a few of the world’s problems that makes “Life Fragile” for all of us, in this country and around the world today.
What can we, the present generations, learn from history?
- The slave owners and slave ship captains were the ones responsible for the sins of the past…not people living today. By making slavery the sin of those living today only makes our society more fragile. Unfortunately, history cannot be relived, as much as we would like to correct the wrongs of the past. Looking at and condemning the actions of the past by individuals or governments is one thing…to place it on the shoulders of those not responsible is another.
We talk of the need for “being together and unified” and for everyone to work together to rid all injustices in society. Yes, the present and future are our responsibilities. To rectify present problems is an honorable goal that most would want to see accomplished, but talk is cheap if we continue to blame those who are not responsible for past injustices.
Mass blame only leads to disruption and a society sickness within groups of people, leadership, the media, and our communities in general.
( Let’s think also about German history.)
- The Nazi regime blamed an entire group of people. They were the builders of the death camps, designed to eliminate the Jews from their culture. I had the honor of taking young Americans to Auschwitz to remember this tragic time during World War II. It is an experience one never forgets. Even the Jews, themselves, could not believe that their businesses were being destroyed and that they would be rounded up to die, simply because they were a particular group of people. Society has a way, through the evils of leadership, to turn against one another. Interestingly enough, Hitler continued to use the expertise of his Jewish doctors and dentist. How could he not have known the value of the individual? Mass hysteria became the weapon of choice, as well as propaganda through the German media, leaflets, and posters against people as a whole.
The German youth today, or their parents, are not responsible. We will make life more fragile if we try to pin on innocent people what tragedies were espoused when they were either tiny children or not even born.
- Past generations of Native Americans had the horror of walking to their death on the Trail of Tears, which is a despicable part of our own history of governmental policies. The white, mostly of European descent, who rode their wagons through the tribal territory to settle the West were often murdered and scalped. No living Native American had anything to do with this tragedy.
- We must not forget the hundreds of Japanese Americans, who were placed by our government leaders during World War II in the U.S.Internment Camps because of being Japanese. The generations today of U.S. Government officials had no part in this.
- Because some policemen have acted in evil ways against defenseless people, ALL men and women wearing the badge can not be blamed or demonized for the acts of others… for many have dedicated their lives to helping safe-guard our communities. Without them, those who mean harm will be let loose on those who will see a greater need to protect themselves. In this case, those wishing for more gun control may find their proposals will fall on deaf ears.
Are we getting the picture?
Blaming ALL people for the actions of some only leads to an extremely fragile society. It leads to the persecution of the innocent and instability of our nation and the world today.
Our last question: Can destroying the representations of history remove it from memory?
Condoleezza Rice, former 66th Secretary of State, explained her view about destroying history to the Washington Examiner. She believes that the Confederate statues and associated names of schools and universities should be used as teaching tools. It is as a way to understand history even as we learn not to celebrate it.
This is why we, the Believers in Christ and of the dignity of all people who were created in the image of God, must not forget to pray. We must pray for each other, all mankind of every nationality and the government leaders around the world, who have the power to turn our world upside down.
We are a fragile world.
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Nelson Mandela, former Pres. of South Africa
Video: Turn up sound
May you be blessed this day with some beautiful music as you listen for the quietness of God’s presence in your heart.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Video of beautiful, relaxing background music with nature photography:
Turn on your sound.
It is amazing that people who have been greatly blessed with a special gift can continue to use that gift even after they physically find it almost impossible. The determination, courage, and faith that it takes to continue…to press on regardless of the circumstances is inspiring indeed.
One of my favorite pieces of music by Beethoven is the part of the The Piano Sonata No. 14 in C♯ minor “Quasi una fantas,” which we know as the Moonlight Sonata.
It was completed in 1801 and dedicated in 1802 to his pupil, the Countess Giulietta Guicciardi The piece is one of Beethoven’s most popular compositions for the piano, and it was a popular favorite even in his own day. Beethoven wrote the Moonlight Sonata in his early thirties, after he had finished with some commissioned work; there is no evidence that he was commissioned to write this sonata…The name “Moonlight Sonata” comes from remarks made by the German music critic and poet Ludwig Rellstab. In 1832, five years after Beethoven’s death, Rellstab likened the effect of the first movement to that of moonlight shining upon Lake Lucerne. Within ten years, the name “Moonlight Sonata” (“Mondscheinsonate” in German) was being used in German and English publications. Later in the nineteenth century, the sonata was universally known by that name. (Wikipedia)
By the love letter Beethoven wrote to Giulietta, it was obvious that he was in love with her. However, it appears that her father objected to a marriage for the two. Beethoven was not rich enough nor had a position he considered suitable for his daughter. This great piano virtuoso would not have his love, for she eventually married another man.
Beethoven’s love letter to the Countess:
My Angel, My All, My Very Self,
Just a few words to-day, and only in pencil . . . Can our love endure otherwise than through sacrifices, through restraint in longing. Canst thou help not being wholly mine, can I, not being wholly thine. Oh! gaze at nature in all its beauty, and calmly accept the inevitable – love demands everything, and rightly so. Thus is it for me with thee, for thee with me, only thou so easily forgettest, that I must live for myself and for thee – were we wholly united thou wouldst feel this painful fact as little as I should . . .
Now for a quick change from without to within: we shall probably soon see each other, besides, to-day I cannot tell thee what has been passing through my mind during the past few days concerning my life – were our hearts closely united, I should not do things of this kind. My heart is full of the many things I have to say to thee – ah! – there are moments in which I feel that speech is powerless – cheer up – remain my true, my only treasure, my all !!! as I to thee. The gods must send the rest, what for us must be and ought to be.
The young Beethoven and a painting of Beethoven after his illnesses and the loss of his hearing. What could be more devastating than for a composer to not hear what he was playing…Yet, he continued to use the gift God gave him.
“Beethoven died in his apartment in Vienna, on 26 March 1827 at the age of 56, following a prolonged illness. Beethoven’s funeral was held three days later, and the procession was witnessed by a large crowd. He was originally buried in the cemetery at Wahring, although his remains were moved in 1888 to the Vienna Central Cemetery.”
In this short, dramatic movie clip, given in part here, Beethoven could hear nothing of what his genius and gift from God had allowed him to compose. The strings of the orchestra moved, but for Beethoven, where was no sound. The audience heard it, however…and finally, he was given the applause that he could at least see. He finally saw with his eyes their appreciation for his beautiful music.
Turn up sound and click link and then click the back arrow to return for a piano performance of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.
PIANO PERFORMANCE OF THE MOONLIGHT SONATA: Arranged by Georgii Cherkin Classic FM Orchestra Conductor: Grigor Palikarov Soloist: Georgii Cherkin – piano
The world is looking for a breath of fresh air and sun! Today in Florida, the beaches are opening with sunny weather at about 85 degrees. Looking for everyone to enjoy and take precautions to be safe and careful. Enjoy!!
For your weekend, Boyer Writes shares with you THE DEEP LOVE OF JESUS…played at the beach. May you be blessed.
Words to Oh, the Deep Deep Love of Jesus
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me
Is the current of your love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To your glorious rest above
‘Tis heaven of heavens to me
And it lifts me up to glory
For it lifts me up to thee
Spread his praise from shore to shore
How he loves us, ever loves us,
Changes never, nevermore
VIDEO Turn up sound and enlarge screen for best viewing
This 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.
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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.
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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
Being a country girl from North Carolina, I sometimes go back to my roots…shed the classical music that I love…and listen to the songs or Southern words of a “Good Old Boy…or Man.”
Here is one for you with the salute to the many States of the United States and the freedom that we enjoy. It is no wonder that so many from so far want to be a part of the “Land of the Free.”
Are we perfect?…by no means, but what we don’t like we can say so without the threat of being locked up to suffer alone with no way out.
Are we always “united” in all ways?…no, but we still are the United States of America…with all the diversity that can be in one land.
Our thanks to our forefathers who came from countries around the world to search for a new way of life…away from dictators to their lives and from persecution for their faith. Our thanks to our brave men and women who stand ready to defend this country against all foes. For those Americans who have given everything in foreign lands to maintain freedom for all, we give them our heart’s gratitude and our prayers.
Today I give you, the reader, a tribute and a pledge to MY BEAUTIFUL AMERICA by Charlie Daniels.
Even here in Florida, we are experiencing a cold snap…so for all the readers who are experiencing more extreme cold…get your cup of hot chocolate and sit by the fire. Enjoy the cozy times.
This music is for you from Boyer Writes.
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 Christian services around the world, people sing the great hymn, “It is Well with my Soul.” Most have no idea who the writer of the words was or what was his background.
His name is Horatio Spafford with music composed by Philip Bliss in 1873.
The question you may ask, after hearing about his life’s story in the video below, is how could he have ever penned those words?
Anyone who has gone through times of trial or the most disastrous events in their lives know that they have to find something or Someone greater to cling to in order not to lose sanity or their faith in God.
Some people may never quite get to a point in faith to say “It is well.” The author of this hymn also went out on a limb in his personal beliefs. Nevertheless, in the end, his great song has been a lifeline to many as they find out that Christ is the only answer to our sufferings because He knew suffering well.
Here are the words to It Is Well With My Soul by Horatio Spafford.
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, (it is well),
With my soul, (with my soul)
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul. (Refrain)
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! (Refrain)
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul. (Refrain)
But Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul. (Refrain)
And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
A song in the night, oh my soul! (Refrain) ( from Wikipedia)
Here is Horatio Spafford’s story and the tune to his song. (turn up sound)
May you be blessed in your soul.
One of my favorite kinds of music is the sound of the classical guitar.
Michael Lucarelli was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He began his music education on the electric guitar after hearing the group Led Zepplin. Later, Michael discovered the classical guitar and began his studies with Peruvian Guitarist Ricardo Linares. Mr. Lucarelli went on to receive his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Utah and his Master of Music from the University of Arizona in Guitar performance. (biography)
The beautiful cathedral, in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, shown in the video below is the Cathedral of St. Mary Magdalene where Michael Lucarelli gives his concert. Here are some facts about this church:
It took 9 years to build the cathedral The property for the cathedral was purchased in 1890 under the leadership of Father Lawrence Scanlan, who became the first Bishop of Salt Lake in 1886. Even though the groundbreaking happened in 1899, construction only began a year later in 1900 and completed in 1909. The main architect, Carl Neuhausen from Germany, never saw the completed project. It was originally painted white and green. Please note all the amazing colors today. Cardinal James Gibbons, the Archbishop of Baltimore, dedicated this cathedral, under the patronage of St. Mary Magdalene. Mary Magdalene was known for her faithfulness as a disciple of Jesus Christ. The first renovation began in 1917 by Bishop Glass, who had a strong artistic sense. He had studied in Europe in 1899 and acquired oil paintings for the renovation because he wanted to make it more European. The building was rededicated in 1993, after 82 years of its opening. (taken from Temple Square blog)
SACRED MUSIC by Michael Lucarelli AVE MARIA
“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. )
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Phillipians 4:6
Video (Turn up sound)
Who would have dreamed a matronly, middle-aged Scottish woman could have the nerve to leave all behind, forgetting her appearance and walk onto a stage to sing for a better life? Susan Boyle did. The sneers and raised eyebrows were quickly put to rest when she opened her mouth to sing. God had given her a great talent and she was going to let all know that what was under the facade was not what one could see…but if they listened, they could hear it.
Isn’t this so true of the way we look at people? We look on the outside, but God looks at the heart. He also bestows on people many gifts that can be used for His glory. Some people find that gift and use it wisely. Others never venture into the unknown possibilities…and the gift goes unused.
One day I drove to see a man that I had been told was a great stained glass maker. Wanting him to make something for me, I ventured out onto a long road that seemed to lead to nowhere. Soon I saw a little hut and a man who looked like “old father time” walked out. My first instinct was to just drive away. Had I done that, I would have missed some of the most beautiful glass work I had ever seen outside of a cathedral. When having a conversation with him, I learned that he prayed for his customers and God always brought him enough people to pay his bills and live comfortably. He loved his little place in the woods where he could produce for others beautiful glass art of which he had a great talent.
So it was with Susan. She never felt at ease with people, but she did with music. Her background had given her little self-confidence, but her music did. That was how she was able to rise above it all and face the audience with her talent on that first night on stage with the world watching. After the pressures of winning the talent show became too much, she had to back away for a while. Crowds of people, media comments and the burden of it all drove her into seclusion to find a renewed health. Once again she overcame and her albums of beautiful songs hit top sales.
Susan says, “ I’m a champion for those who don’t have the confidence to do things and don’t have a voice; the ones people tend to ignore…”
Find your gift…for all of us have something that God has given us. Seek it, pray for it…and use it.
It is my pleasure to present Susan Boyle in a tribute to her remarkable life. Enjoy!
Video Turn up sound
Here is a wonderful piece of relaxing music for you to enjoy. Enough said.
Blessings to all my readers!
Boyer Writes presents Christmas music for your inspiration.
O Come, O Come Emmanuel
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)
Was your path filled with a crowd today? Sometimes it is good to find a quieter, better path to bring thoughts into a quiet place of the soul. Try it! Make a new path for yourself, wherever it is taking you. Look around you. The world is filled with beauty that so many do not take the time to soak into the spirit. Distractions and worries cloud the heart, mind and life is less than it can be. Find a new path to enjoy as the busy season approaches us. You are in control. Make it your time to reach out and really see…yes, really see…the glories of God.
Video to help you in your thoughts today. Click and then enlarge to full screen for best viewing. (by Tim Janis)
Not too many years ago, I was privileged to take a group of senior high students to Eastern Europe. While in Poland, we went to Auschwitz Concentration camp. It was an experience never to be forgotten. I had one Jewish student with our group. He found a flower vendor and I watched as he gently laid the flowers before the wall within the camp where so many were executed. He wore his Bermuda shorts, but carefully dressed in a sports jacket and tie. I could see that his effort was to show honor and respect for those who lost their lives there. I also took him to the spot where the Munich massacre took place at the 1972 Summer Olympics. This was when a Palestinian terrorist group took eleven Israeli Olympic team members hostage and killed them along with a West German police officer. Most people want to forget such atrocities. Yet history replays itself over and over again as we lose our compassion for one another.
The Israeli Olympic team members’ families tried unsuccessfully to convince the International Olympic Committee to mark the 40th anniversary of the killings by holding a moment of silence during the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. The Committee refused. Often people are reluctant to lay the blame where it belongs. Each isolated case of human suffering has its opposing views, but the insanity of it is that the world never seems to learn.
Human suffering comes in many forms. In our present day, we see it all over the world. It is often brought upon people by the corruption of governments and political struggles. More recently, as we watch the long lines of people who are walking hundreds of miles toward the USA border, we know that each has their own story. Some for the search for a better life and some for evil and disruption. A mob gives no indication of what the intentions may be. Many are walking in flip-flops or carrying children. There are motives that most of us here will never know. Regardless of what the reasons may be, our borders must be secured and laws must be reformed to encourage a proper way to emigrate to a better life. The road to legal emigration is often a long one and those taking the proper path should be recognized. Desperation colliding with law and order is, unfortunately, a reality of our times.
If the situation in their countries is so terrifying that they are trying to find a safer place, it is understandable. However, they probably do not want to go to Chicago or to some other parts of our country for we have problems of our own.
If it is work that the people seek, there are ways to find this particular path. During our time in Virginia, we got to know some of the farmers and growers. Each year large groups of workers are brought to our country legally. It was explained to us that the Virginia growers take care of all the legal paperwork, provide transportation to the farm from whatever country they come from, provide a place to live (usually a small trailer), a truck or car to use with a temporary license on the weekends and much more. Multiply this by all the growers in California and Florida. We, in the US, employ large numbers of people…all legally. Are there undocumented workers here? Of course, but their employers should be held accountable to the laws of the land.
When the harvest season is over, the workers return to their country with pay for the family left behind. It is a proper and legal way of doing things. It was our observation that these workers are excellent at their jobs and work long hours. We watched the trucks they loaded with pumpkins, apples, broccoli, cabbages and other products. In fact, I took the picture of the men shown below. Even though we did not speak their language, they often smiled as we came by. After dark, the trucks rolled to the processing plants. It is not an easy life by any stretch of the imagination. The farm and orchard owners told us that without the migrant help their farming business would fold. Yes, we need the emigrants and the temporary, migrant workers…but we need all involved to follow the laws…including the farm and business owners.
Countries of Europe have opened their borders to the suffering around the world. In the beginning, it was a noble thing to do, but the problems have been severe as many refused to assimilate into the culture of the country they had chosen. Often the local police would not go into the areas because they had their own laws of living. On a vacation to England, we were told that people who had lived in an area all their lives were basically forced out by the influx. No one wanted to buy their homes, so the emigrants moved in. The worry in the USA is that mass influx will bring on similar situations.
There are many legitimate questions: Where will they live? Who will feed them? What will the drain on our overall economy be with welfare and medical issues? If the border is not secured, when will the next wave come….and the next and the next? There is no easy answer.
Does securing our borders mean that Americans do not have compassion? Of course not. We are probably the most generous people in the world to help out…and to give out needed supplies and support when emergencies arise. We give millions, if not billions, of foreign aid. Just as it is not up to one family to support all families, this country can not support all countries. Neither can our military fight all battles even as they try hard to fight terrorism and the forces of evil in far away places. Now, we are thinking that it may be necessary to use military strength at our own borders?! How bizarre can things get? Probably more than we know.
The emigrants of the past, particularly from all parts of Europe, helped build this country. We have not forgotten our history. Neither should we forget the sins of the past when people were brought here as slaves to work the soil. It is likely that the “sins of the fathers” will always stay with the sons…as the racial unrest continues to this day. Generations to come will feel what we did then and what we do now. Yes, suffering is a very sad thing no matter when it has occurred and to whom.
Our parents who lived through World War II finally saw the sufferings that human beings went through when death camps were opened and surviving prisoners were set free. The millions who did not make it died there and as we think of the problems of today and in the future, we must never forget the history that led up to these terrible atrocities. Suffering has no boundaries.
God must weep in heaven when men harden their hearts to the suffering of others. Yet, He does not treat us like robots. He gives us free will to decide right and wrong. In making tough decisions, our leaders and citizens must never forget what history has taught us about suffering…or we shall live it again. That is an international promise.
Shindler’s List is probably one of the most moving films ever made. The video that you will see took place in 2017 in Budapest at one of the largest synagogues in Europe. It is a concert where Csongor Korossy plays the violin of the music from that film. I believe that John Williams, who composed this piece of music was truly inspired. Notice the faces of the people in the audience… especially the elderly who are most likely remembering someone that they lost. The youth have heard the stories from their families. Those tragic histories must not be lost in our memories. Neither can the fact of how quickly people, of all faiths and heritages, can be tortured or abused for who they are, where they come from or what they believe. Even in our news this week is the tragedy of those killed in their own synagogue of worship while dedicating the names of their little children.
Until God comes with the angels in heaven and with His Son to rid the world of evil and wipe away all tears, there will be suffering. However, we are not left without hope. We have a promise of good things to come.
…And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the former things have passed away. And the One seated on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then He said, “Write this down, for these words are faithful and true.”… (Berea Study Bible…Revelation 21:4)
Video A Concert…not the movie (Turn up your sound)
Dedicated to the victims at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA.
The JOY OF LISTENING to calm the soul
In memory of those lost in Hurricane Florence and those in Distress
Beautiful nature photographs by N.W. B. (See right side /”Visit Site”)
Music and Nature are a perfect combination for your listening pleasure. May you make time to contemplate on both. The road of life may seem long, but actually it is quite short…so enjoy it and be glad.
VIDEO (turn up sound) by Mark Knopfler