It will be a different Friday before Easter this year. Perhaps we should prepare our hearts for it more than ever! We, as Christians, always have referred to this special day as GOOD FRIDAY. A reason for saying it is “good” is because it is the beginning of the journey of our Savior to the cross, Who gave Himself for the people of the world. The Friday had to come before the glorious Easter Day of RESURRECTION. So, how do we prepare these few days before Friday…especially if there are some who don’t understand this special day of Christian worship?
For my readers throughout the world who may not be Christian, this may help you understand the Power of the Cross in Christianity. Please read with an open mind. Ask God to speak to you and give you His truth of salvation. May you find, through the power of the Holy Spirit, your trust in the Savior Who came to be punishment for all your sins and mine.
THE PROPHECY OF CHRIST’S CRUCIFIXION was given to the Jews within their own Hebrew scriptures. Not only does the New Testament give this account, but parts of the Old Testament give the crucifixion as a prophecy of the events to happen. One of these is in Psalms 21, “My God, my God why have You forsaken me…O my God, I cry out by day and you answer not. I cry out by night and there is no relief for me. All my bones are racked. My heart has become like wax melting away within my chest. My throat is dried up like baked clay, My tongue cleaves to my jaw. They have pierced my hands and my feet…” Psalm 68 “…in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”
THE HISTORY of the STATIONS OF THE CROSS:
In many churches and cathedrals around the world, there are pictures of the Stations of the Cross. Having originated in Jerusalem, the pictures are to duplicate Jesus’ trip on the Via Dolorosa before his crucifixion. Jerusalem fell to the forces of Saladin, the first sultan of Egypt and Syria in 1187. Forty years later Saint Francis of Assisi, a Franciscan, came back to Jerusalem and proclaimed certain holy places as places of Christian devotion. During the 15th and 16th centuries, they built outdoor shrines which later were introduced as stations. Faithful Christians read the gospels as they visit these stations to remember the suffering of the Savior…usually on Fridays. There are traditionally 14 pictorial stations mounted on church walls. The resurrection station is sometimes included as the last station because without the resurrection of Christ, there is no gospel.
Pictures of selected Stations of the Cross from around the world:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that Whosoever believes on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
In the past, on Good Friday, concerts are given around the world. Often these are requiems of a somber nature. This year, because of the Coronavirus, the depictions throughout Europe and other part of the world will not be reenacted. The great concert halls will be empty. Yet, we must not allow this to change our focus on the great sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We will turn to our TV’s and recordings and bow our heads as we remember the terrible day on the cross. In just a few days after Friday will come the great morning of RESURRECTION. Prepare your hearts now with the beautiful music I’d like to share with you today…Laudate Dominum by Mozart, sung by Aksel Rykkvin
(After the music…come back to see the pages of the Stations of the Cross.)
- TURN UP SOUND and enlarge picture for best viewing.
- 2nd link showing the description of the Stations of the Cross
Click this link below and follow each station by clicking on “next”:
HE IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED.
2019 has been a year of great sadness around the world with disasters, wars, people fleeing oppression and other events: the burning of one of the world’s great Christian cathedrals and the deliberate burning of black churches in the U.S. Our soldiers still serve and die on foreign fields. There are a great many things to be concerned about in our world.
Nevertheless, we turn our hearts this Easter Sunday to the Great Hope for the world in the resurrection of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. On this Easter, we rejoice in the glorious hope for through His giving of Himself that we may be saved and the looking for His return to the world.
The grave could not hold Him. Hallelujah!
Blessing to all Boyer Writes readers! N.W.Boyer
(VIDEO: Turn up the sound) Hallelujah Chorus
Recent elections in the United States have brought about a seating and an unseating of power…regardless of the political position. Each one, man or woman, is reaching for a position of power. Most say that they only want to speak for or “represent the people.” We all know that this only happens sometimes because the push begins to see who can be heard the loudest or what agendas can be met for whatever side of the aisle one belongs. There is also the far-reaching, continual look into the future for when he or she will be re-elected…or plans being made to unseat some “terrible foe.”
Votes on issues will be made in both parts of Congress, the Senate and the House of Representatives,…that is unless one does not want to offend anyone and never votes up or down, but only “present.”
( Voting Present as a Legislative Tactic. … When a bill or amendment is up for a vote, a Representative may vote “aye”, “no”, or “present”, which is a refusal to take sides. Wikipedia)
It’s most disgusting to the average voter who sent their representative to Congress and would truly like to see work being done for the good of all, but it is the best that we have. Dictatorial power is not a choice any of us want and men and women throughout our history died to defend against it!
This leads me to think it might be time to re-blog one of my previous posts that takes us across the waters and into a teaching history once again. Of course, money and wealth play a big part in this post, but it also shows us the results when one person or one group has too much power. For your pleasure…or displeasure, I once again present:
ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTIONS ABSOLUTELY
“The dogs will lick your blood….” shouted Friar Petra to HenryVIII, King of England. “It will be as the prophet Elijah told King Ahab and his wife Jezebel” (I Kings 21:19-23) The congregation sat stunned and later this fearless man of God paid for that bit of news to the King when the Friar was executed.
Much is known about this King of England who broke with the Catholic Church to fulfill political control of all aspects of life in England. He did not want the authority of Rome to tell him what to do, whether it was marriage, divorce, or remarriage. All religious offerings and property should be under his control. Ask his six wives who endured his wrath, or those followers of Martin Luther who were burned at the stake. This ailing king’s three hundred pounds, obese body was also dragging an infected leg that finally brought him to his death. It is said that his casket gave way under the weight while being carried over rough roads to Windsor where he was to be buried. The body cavity, in those days, was stuffed with straw, but through the crack, the fluids drained….and truly the dogs did lap his blood as had been prophesied.
The life of this man is well-known and written about in many books of history. He was one of the most corrupt, using his authority to bring dishonor on everything he touched. Touching he did….and a great deal of it. He was tortured in mind and soul about his need to produce a male heir to the throne. Most of his wives either produced females; saw young infants die, or had one miscarriage after another. Power and corruption was not only a male failing of this king, but a female one also. Ann Boleyn, the Spanish beauty with beautiful dark eyes, made plans to get rid of Katharine of Aragon, the King’s wife of twenty years, who could not produce a child.
Henry VIII’s only male heir to the throne was born when he was married to Ann Boleyn. Prince Henry was a follower of the Protestant teachings as was his stepmother, Katharine Parr. Unfortunately, he died at age fifteen from tuberculosis and measles. In giving birth to another baby, a girl, Katharine Parr died soon after from birth complications.
What tragedy did this corrupt leader bring to his people and his nation? During his rampage on Christian believers and the churches, great collections of books were destroyed as churches were burned along with their believers.
What does the life of King Henry teach about leadership? The need for WISDOM and COMPASSION is part of RESPONSIBILITY, which all elected or non-elected leaders should remember. The suffering that corruption brings when power corrupts absolutely is not to be under-estimated!
Of course, King Henry was never up for an election. In today’s world, not everyone is happy with the results of any election. For some, there will never be a coming together or a hand-shake for promoting a happy, new beginning. Nevertheless, We wish them all well…if new beginnings can bring needed hope for our country with a different House and Senate in our U.S. Government.
Maybe Shel Silverstein said it best about new beginnings…should any elected person want to reach out to the opposing side and listen:
There are no happy endings.
Endings are the saddest part
So just give me a happy middle
And a very happy start
Power gained can also be power lost when one “falls from power” as did King Henry with his excruciating death. Yes, “absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Turn on your sound for a video tour of Hampton Court Palace, Henry VIII’s home of wealth and opulence as well as total corruption and indulgence. No happiness here!
Eternity is a word without a real meaning. If we look it up, the closest definition would be something like this: “…a state to which time has no application; timelessness.” The simple words would be “forever and forever” which is definitely difficult to understand.
Almost all religions have a belief in an eternity. Some think that they have to work for it. Others believe that it is a gift of God, through His Son Jesus Christ. Another faith thinks that life just begins again and they hope that they will return as a more elevated human and not one of the lowly animals or insects. The whole concept is so broad and “endless” that the mind cannot comprehend. The question then is whether we should even be concerned about something in which we do not have a real answer? I think so. We plan ahead for many things: Our wedding day, our place of residence, our finances, our grave-site…but why not think about the eternal? Somehow I think it should be thoughts of joy instead of foreboding…especially when we have had loved ones who have gone before us.
We know we were born. We also know that we will all die eventually. Our love for each other draws a great well of desire to want to see each other again in eternity. Do we have the perfect answer to eternity…no…not in ourselves, but yes, in the Holy Scriptures we have promises. We are told, “...to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” (2nd Corinthians 5:8) That verse alone should give us great hope. We are promised a resurrection of the body, just as Christ was resurrected. When I decided on cremation after death, my thought was to wonder how all of those dust pieces were going to be put back together. How juvenile a thought was that! If He can sling the stars into orbit and match up molecules, He will have no trouble with the resurrection!
As a Christian, I believe in eternity. It may be hard for an atheist who thinks when one dies it is the end of everything, but I have always felt that if there could possibly be any truth in this belief, I would have lived a happier life because of my own joy in believing in God and the comfort it has given me. How sad and morbid to believe that there is no one who will enjoy eternity with the Maker of our most glorious universe. Those who have had a near-death experience recall a wonderful feeling of love. They speak of seeing someone that appears to be God waiting for them in a bright light. According to some records, surprisingly, 75% of those thinking they were dying as atheists have told of this same experience.
Recently, I saw a special on the amazing new parts of the universe that have only been identified by the most powerful telescope sent into space. The most familiar and powerful so far has been the Hubble Space Telescope. Nevertheless, there is “a new kid” in the making.
The newest and most powerful telescope is the James Webb Space Telescope. It is to be the successor to the Hubble telescope and will be launched in 2021. Here are a few facts concerning the future launching:
The James Webb Space Telescope will be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket. The launch vehicle is part of the European contribution to the mission. The Ariane 5 is one of the world’s most reliable launch vehicles capable of delivering Webb to its destination in space. The European Space Agency (ESA) has agreed to provide an Ariane 5 launcher and associated launch services to NASA for Webb. (Nasa)
Why do I digress from writing about eternity to telescopes? It is with delight that I think those who are experiencing their eternity are having a perfect understanding of the formation of the universe and all there is on other planets. If there is life on other worlds, our loved ones would have the joy of knowing this. (Forget about the Hollywood version of the “little green man with a pointed head.”)
Thinking of the possibilities makes “eternity” seen a little shorter than “forever”…mainly because it would take forever to know all there is to know, which is impossible without the mind of God. Could it be that He will provide His mind for us to know and understand all these glories, that we have only slightly seen through the telescope, and be able to experience the glories for eternity?
(A side-thought: I can’t imagine that we will be going from planet to planet as on some fast-moving whirlwind because the Scriptures also says that there will be a place of peace. He promises that the lion will lay down with the lamb. Could that mean that at the Savior’s return to earth that He will also bring those with Him who have died and bring absolute peace onto a new earth? )
And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them. Isaiah 11:6 (NASB)
Jesus also prayed a prayer to his Father in Heaven, who made the universe that He wanted us to know the glories of the universe: “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” (John 17:24)
Regardless of what eternity may mean, we will draw our last breath and then we will know it all. TO GOD BE THE GLORY
VIDEO (Turn on sound)
Besides all the topics in this political season, immigration is still a big bear. It rises up on its hind legs and screams at us “How dare you think of being in my territory!”
Yet, we are soft-hearted, wanting all to have opportunity. We know and love our history in the U.S.A. which tells us about people of every race and religion who carried their meager belongings onto Ellis Island and settled throughout our country. Some of these fled great persecution. All hoped for was peace and a place to live and raise their families quietly. It is no different today. Why then is there so much furor over this very topic of immigration?
The answer may be one of these:
- We like our culture where all nationalities can flourish here.
- We like our choice of religious faith. We don’t want people to come here with the goal to change us.
- We wish we were not a “nanny state” that rewards people for little work since our emigrants of the past had to work hard to even exist. (We have watched the Mexican laborers working in the fields of VA and no one works any harder than they do.)
- We’d like to have control of our borders.
- We want immigrants to be vetted and come legally.
- We’d don’t want to feel threatened by those who claim to hate what we stand for.
I’m sure there are more reasons that we could list…but space is short…for you will stop reading and you’d never get to the informative, factual video presented below for all our thinking.
Within these reasons, we stated that we “like our choice of religious faith”. This is where the rub comes when considering immigration. One of our treasured freedoms in America is the freedom of religion and immigrants bring theirs with them.
First and foremost, we must state here that we are entirely for any immigrant bringing his or her own faith with them and worshiping as they see fit. It is another thing for any emigrant or group of immigrants to have as their goal to change the Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses…and any other faith into the Muslim faith. It is also another thing to have them want to change our laws of the land to include their beliefs, which may include the belief of Sharia law.
(In another blog I told of our wonderful neighbors in Florida who were born Muslim and practiced their faith, while appreciating that we are Christians, without trying to change us.) Having said this, we are certain that there are many Muslims just like these neighbors. Unfortunately there are those also who want religious change in America. If you want to know more about the many facets of Sharia Law, this site is recommended: Sharia Law in America
One may say, “Why write about the Muslims’ belief in Sharia and not another faith?” Good question, but other faiths are not calling people “infidels” because they practice faiths other than the Muslim religion. No radical branch of Buddhists, Jews or Christians are beheading anyone. It is fairly simple to see why people of many faiths are concerned about mass immigration of Muslims to the United States or to Europe, who adhere to Sharia Law. In some cases, assimilation into the culture of the chosen country is often not a part of the immigrant’s plan or encouraged by the leaders within the community, leaving Sharia Law as their focus.
The title of this blog is Demographics and the Future. We start with the meaning of demographics? It is “statistical data relating to the population and particular groups within it”. Population growth or lack of growth plays a big part in people continuing to enjoy the history,culture, and religious beliefs of which they have always been a part.
We now have to take a long, hard look at demographics, in this world of change, as it relates to population and immigration of Muslims from Muslim countries to countries where religious preferences and laws are not Muslim. What then will it mean to the culture and future of any country?