During this time of self-isolation, I continue to write, but I also stop to paint when I truly want to relax. My art is nothing like a professional, but I love the freedom it gives to paint whatever is in my mind. Usually it has something to do with God’s nature…a flower, tree, or anything beautiful. As we sail along on this time of testing, we know that life will continue.
Nothing ever stands still…not time, events, or even our own living breath. Each moment we live is different from the last. We will move forward and it will be ours to find the peace God wants us to have. It may be in reading our favorite books, working in the garden, painting or sewing some special thing. We should also make this time to sit down to read God’s Holy Scriptures, an inspiring book or to be consistent in praying. We have the choice of how we will face these times.
One of the things that my husband and I have enjoyed has been the ability to travel. We may not be doing much of this in the time to come, but we remember with fondness some of our favorite trips. Going to Japan ranks very high on the list.
First time I went to Japan was as an educator, invited by the Japanese government. The second time was with my husband who had at one time been to Japan as a U.S. Navy Chaplain. It was great to return together. Being a part of another culture has always intrigued and delighted me. There is so much to learn. Perhaps the thing I come away with from getting to know different parts of the world is how much we are really alike. We work, play, and often make our faith a honored part of living.
I’m sharing with you a video by the artist, Akiane Kramarik, who has an amazing God-given talent. Akiane has taken her art around the world and in doing so, as a young woman has gained insight into the beauty of all people. It is even more true as we know that the whole world is trying to rise above the difficulties of the time. As we have heard many times, we are in this TOGETHER.
On this trip, she talks about visiting Japan and what it meant to her. She stresses that we have a need to SAIL FORWARD…even before she had any knowledge about a world-wide pandemic about to happen. You will notice that the people of Japan are going about their daily business in large groups. Such were the “good old days.” Go with me now on a tour of Japan with Akiane. At the end, she will demonstrate her incredible artistic talent.
This blog post is also presented as a gift to all Mothers around the world and especially those who have found it difficult to see family, whom they love, during the coronavirus…and especially on this MOTHER’S DAY!
In Honor of my Mother, Alta, who died at age 93.
Here I am with Mother when we were both young!
Video: Turn up the sound
After a trip to Greece this year to follow the “Footsteps of St. Paul”, the inspiration came to share my photography and words of Holy Scripture that St. Paul spoke to the early churches. He and the men and women during the years of spreading the Gospel through missionary journeys suffered greatly the persecution that eventually led to his beheading in Rome. Because of them, we have the writings of the Holy Scriptures today of the good news of the Christian faith.
Follow with me now some of his words to the Jews in the Synagogues, the faithful in the churches and to us, the modern day church. I have included archeological finds and ruins as well as the amazing monasteries of Meteora.
This devotional is now available on Amazon in paperback and e-Book form.
All books written by N.W.Boyer for adults and children (click on each book for more info)
The Blue Ridge Mountains, steeped in history and hard working people, is a special place. It is our privilege to live here part of the year and in doing so, we have seen the beauties of the land and its people. My recent book, Old Timers of the Blue Ridge and More, is a collection of stories behind generations of families who have worked the land and farmed the fields. The fog rolls in over the mountains from North Carolina into Virginia. It is a silent mist that cools the summers and brings the breeze that is felt daily.
Below is a video that I have produced with many of the photographs that I have taken of these wonderful mountains in the years that we have been here. I hope the sights and peaceful sounds will fill your day with God’s love and joy.
Even now, in early August, the fields are ready for a summer harvest and the corn is growing high. The peach juice drips down the chin with every bite. The aroma of peach pie baking in the oven is in the air.
The migrant workers, along with the farm owners, work late into the night to harvest and package the produce, moving it on to our groceries far down the mountain. The rumble of the tractors and the rhythm of the trucks pass our house as they move on to the Painter warehouse, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, to be processed.
Take the winding road down the mountain until you find acres and acres of apples, peaches and more at the Harold Orchards in Ararat, Virginia. They have been farming this orchard for generations. H.C. told me that without the workers who come in from Mexico, his business would go under. Many of these workers come year after year to bring in the harvest.
It is our privilege to honor these hard-working farmers who produce the crops of corn, cabbage, broccoli, apples, peaches and much more. Without them or the workers they hire, our grocery stores would be dependent on foreign providers.
Thank you, Gentlemen. You are the best!
VIDEO: BLUE RIDGE: Photographed and produced by N.W. Boyer (All rights reserved).
Turn on sound.
credits: music “On Golden Pond”
If you have never traveled to Japan, you will enjoy this overview of the city and country life. At the end of the video are some steps in Tokyo that my husband and I climbed and listened to a piano concert by a very young girl, who could hardly reach the floor with her feet. The students of Japan have a great emphasis on learning some form of music. The high school that I visited has a whole wing of baby grand pianos and the students were practicing. I learned another impressive thing about the Japanese education. Two young men were sweeping the halls and scrubbing the floor outside their classroom. I asked if they were being punished for something. The reply was, “Oh no, they are taking turns in having pride for their school.”
The calmness of Japan and its beauty is something we will not forget. Take a ride on the bullet train, walk the streets, and enjoy nature at its best.
It is a bright, sunny day in Virginia and the tractors are moving slowly by our home loaded with pumpkins for the market. Yes, it is almost Fall…and one can feel it in the air. Soon the leaves will begin to radiate their yellow, orange and gold. The little yellow finches have long flown away where their tiny bodies will not feel the cold to come. The mountain people have canned their fresh fruits and vegetables for those long winter months. The sky is blue…blue…blue…for the rain has driven away the mist and fog. It is soon going to be Fall. The little bears that we saw walking down the road are finding their place to hibernate and the coats on the deer that cross the Blue Ridge Parkway are changing from a gold to a spotted grey…winter coats provided by Mother Nature. As I was writing this, a tractor drove by with people loaded on it… going to the pumpkin patch. Yes, everyone is enjoying a new season.
A few years ago, Bill and I flew to Japan in the Fall. The red of the Japanese maples was beyond belief as they glimmered against Mt. Fuji. It was a time we will always remember. This is why I’d like to share these beautiful scenes of Japan. Wherever one is in the world, if Fall is part of your seasons….enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! You are blessed of God to witness the cycle of life.
The mountains of Virginia have been buried in snow and shortly the mountain will awaken to the warmth of the sun. I’d like to introduce you to Photography by Boyer. Throughout the summer, I will be sharing my photographic adventures. At times, it may even be a travelogue through pictures. If you are interested in photography and would like to be notified when pictures are uploaded on my photography blog, just send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com ) or follow on Photography by Boyer.
See the photography of the beautiful Blue Ridge during our stay in 2015 on this link:
It happened in a thrift shop…where I stopped to look for frames for my art. Her bright smile greeted me with a genuine compliment on my skirt and the turquoises-colored jewelry I was wearing. It wasn’t a second later after I said “thank you” that I had this strong impulse to go back to her and to give her my earrings (which had been a gift to me from a friend). These impulses to go to a total stranger are rare, but when they come…I know that I have to follow through.
I said, “Excuse me, but I am supposed to give you these earrings…don’t ask me why…but you are to have them.” Tears began streaming down her face as I asked if she was “OK”. She actually threw herself on my shoulder and sobbed. A DRAMA was going on here in the middle of a thrift shop..in Florida…USA.
“My husband has been in an accident and is now in a nursing home as a paraplegic. I am going there but I’m living out of my car and came here for some shoes.” As she spoke these words, I knew she needed help getting to where she had to go. This was a drama playing out in the lives of a person whom God wanted to know that He had not abandoned her and that she had hope. Placing the earrings in her hand, I shared with her that each time she looked at the earrings, she would remember that God was with her.
Those impulses that seem so odd to us…that we want to ignore…may be most important to someone like this woman. Acting on them is the hard part…the rest simply falls into place. I read somewhere that we are the only hands and feet that God has to use on this earth.
So where does the “chicken and insurance” come into this story. Only as it relates to a video that we watched about Rick Steves ( a traveler and television personality) who found in his travels that “all are precious” everywhere in the world.
His take on how the world views need was interesting. The rich part of the world looks at need as what is difficult to get. They focus on the extras that are needed, like insurance. The impoverished part of the world rejoices and throws a party if they have a chicken once a week. Strange…that we should see our needs so differently. The thrift shop lady, at that moment, needed gas money to get where she needed to be. THE DRAMA GOES ON. God, help me never to stop being a part of it!
This is BIKE WEEK in the small town near my home in Florida. Tens of thousands will be riding into town with hair blowing in the wind and sometimes “their woman” on the back. It is great for a faltering economy because the restaurants come alive and the local vendors make in a few days what they can’t in months.
I have also found out that bikers come in all definitions:
- Some are wealthy and sport a BMW bike…some not.
- Some are obnoxious….ready to have too many beers…and others not.
- Some have lots of faith and want to share it with others (see bikers at prayer above)…others do not.
- Many are patriotic vets, sporting their branch of service…others have not served.
- Bikers ride for charities and are generous…etc. (You get the point.)
No one is going to put this group in a box. They ride and they like to feel free.
Did you ever think it might be great to just get away from it all…something like a biker may do? Just take a long trip to who knows where…seeing what you can see and meeting whomever you can meet? If you are a guy, let your hair and beard just grow. No one is going to care…for you are a biker.
Christoph Rehage did just that. The fact is that he walked everywhere he went, but in the video below, he gives us a time-lapse view of the places he went…as on a bike. For bikers, it would have been some ride!