“The recent rash of mass shootings has left the nation stunned but, sadly, not speechless. The usual media and political suspects are saying the usual things, using the bodies of the innocent as a sickening ideological soapbox.
We’re not going to do that here. These gruesome murders are not about, nor caused by, politics. Rather, they are the unavoidable and perhaps unstoppable product of a deeply diseased culture. A culture which has become the perfect growth medium for psychopathy.
“Loners” are no longer alone when in their online worlds. They can communicate without actual human contact. They can find reinforcement for their darkest and most twisted thoughts and fantasies. They can give the worst demons of their psyches an artificial, external life in cyberspace… free to express hatred and anger anonymously and without consequence. And on the Internet, madness can hide in plain sight.
After all, who’s going to notice or care about garden variety insanity in a world which routinely describes everyone as murderous: baby killers on one side, Earth-destroying Nazis on the other. The stakes are absolute, the “other” is the enemy, and words are just words…until they become actions.
The social mechanisms which formerly prevented these massacres have crumbled the bonds of family, friendship, and faith…a shared sense of community, optimism about the future, moral certainty and personal responsibility.
Instead, we now live in a crowded world of communal loners, all staring at their phones instead of the world and people around them. Politicians and media figures preach an unsubtle and dangerously divisive message of absolutes: you are either on this side or that, either all good or all evil. There is no middle ground – only calls for action. Calls that the wrong people are hearing.
We live in a culture in which too many feel they have no meaning or importance, but believe that one spectacular act of madness can give them the instant celebrity which defines success in a sick society. And so they kill to feel alive…to experience an illusion of power at the expense of the powerless. And even knowing the likelihood that they will be killed during their heinous act, they believe they will live eternally in the electronic ether, washed in the blood of the sacrificed.
Gun control can not and will not change any of this. The phenomena of mass shootings is, in fact, unstoppable absent a wholesale change in our culture, our way of life, and our society’s unhealthy obsession with an inhuman and inhumane electronic world.
The good news is that the vast majority of people still retain values strong enough to keep them morally centered in our crumbling culture. The bad news is that unless those values can regain cultural dominance, and unless we can replace combativeness and angry confrontation with honest conversation, mass murder will continue to be our inescapable new normal.”
- You shall have no other Gods but Me.
- You shall not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it.
- You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
- You shall remember and keep the Sabbath day holy.
- Respect your father and mother.
- You must not commit murder.
- You must not commit adultery.
- You must not steal.
- You must not give false evidence against your neighbor.
- You must not be envious of your neighbor’s goods. You shall not be envious of his house nor his wife, nor anything that belongs to your neighbor.
We have to begin somewhere to heal our society. It’s bigger than any law or any revision of laws…for it has to start in the heart. It will take all Americans working together for a peaceful life for us and our children.
For all those who have suffered great loss, we, at Boyer Writes, dedicate this video. Turn up your sound and quietly listen to the words.
Everywhere we look, there is difficulty in the world. People hardly agree on anything. If we say what we truly think about someone or any particular subject, we are in jeopardy of being called some name we know we are not.
Many people I know have decided to stop watching the news or talk shows. One person told me, “I just listen to music or read a book instead.” If they feel that way for themselves, they certainly feel that their children don’t need a daily dose of what our world is becoming. How can one explain to a child why people are fist fighting at Disney…or why people are rioting in the streets around the world?
Where is love in all this? Maybe one person that so many generations grew up with had the answer to a truly difficult world. His name is Mr. Rogers.
He was a Christian and a Presbyterian minister who knew God’s love was the way and the only way to reach beyond prejudice, politics or wars among ourselves.
He certainly understood Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan. It was his way in trying to help children understand that we need to be kind to one another no matter whether we like a person or don’t like their actions. Kindness was at the top of all his program messages. The only way to get that back in our world is to find it within our own hearts and to teach it to our children by our examples.
Mr. Rogers wrote all his songs. One of his special songs that he sang was It’s You I Like. The words were special because he thought they were important for a child to understand about his or herself.
Written by Fred Rogers | © 1971, Fred M. Rogers
It’s you I like,
It’s not the things you wear,
It’s not the way you do your hair
But it’s you I like
The way you are right now,
The way down deep inside you
Not the things that hide you,
Not your toys
They’re just beside you.
But it’s you I like
Every part of you.
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings
Whether old or new.
I hope that you’ll remember
Even when you’re feeling blue
That it’s you I like,
It’s you yourself
It’s you I like.
A movie has been made where Tom Hanks plays the part of Mr. Rogers. It will be a re-introduction to children and the world to a man and his message. Mr. Rogers probably never gave too much thought that his words could last long after his life. What a sermon to the world!
Whether you agree with everything said in this video below or not, it is definitely worth a watch. Enjoy….especially the children. They are beautiful in every way….and the future of our world.
Every year the U.S. celebrates Father’s Day. It is a time to recognize all those fathers who have spent time with their children…passing along the values and traditions of the family.
BLESSINGS TO ALL from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia Have a relaxing day!
VIDEO (Turn up sound)
We are told to “humble” ourselves before God and pray that our land may be healed.
My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2nd Chronicles 7:14
Most would say that they don’t think we should be so humble that we do not stand up for ourselves. Where exactly does humility and ego play a part in our lives? This is a big question. As individuals we form nations and surely we can’t always be humble and allow our country to be at risk from others. Almost everyone would agree today, however, that our land (nation) is in desperate need of healing. Peace on earth can never be attained unless individuals humble themselves and pray for that healing individually and collectively.
Just what does being humble mean?
Here are a few sayings that help us better understand “HUMILITY”:
Seven Characteristics and possible “Power” of a Humble Person
- You can defuse arguments when you are humble. A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)
- You can handle unfair treatment peacefully when you are humble. You can respond to unfair treatment without becoming bitter. Godly humility means you do not feel a need for vengeance or revenge.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
3 You do not have to put on a “false front” when you are humble. You don’t need to act like a big shot. The better you know God, the less you have to prove.
4 You can eat “humble pie” without being crushed when you are humble. When you are humble, you can respond to and learn from criticism without becoming defensive—whether it is deserved or not deserved. Likewise, you can be aware of your failures without being emotionally devastated.
5 You can ask for forgiveness when you are humble. Even if you think you are only one percent wrong, you can easily apologize for what you did wrong.
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24)
6 You can talk with the right attitude when you are humble. You can talk courteously and lovingly, regardless of the situation — even if you need to be firm or take strong action.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29)
7.Being humble does not mean being a wimp Humility does not mean groveling.
(by Doug Britton)
Watch this video that indicates how puffed up and proud we are as people. A person that was not homeless poses as one and reverses the scenario. Instead of begging or asking for money, he is giving away money to those he speaks to. It is astonishing that all photographed, except one, did not get the point of what he was doing. Instead they became proud and belligerent…still thinking of him as homeless. One even swore at him and another boasted of what he owned. If this is any indication of the average person’s thoughts and beliefs, we, as Americans, are in big trouble. Not only Americans, but anyone who sees themselves as “better”…proud and with no humility. How would you react in this situation?
click to WATCH VIDEO (Inside Edition) Enlarge screen for best viewing
A few years back, I wrote some words about a funny and intelligent man named Ben Stein, who is a Jew. I am a Christian and I thought I would resurrect some of what he, as a Jew, feels about Christmas.
First, I will do a little comparison. Mr. Stein is famous and a writer. (He is the one in the Santa hat.) I am not famous but also a writer, retired educator,wife, mother, Grandmother called Nanny, and a photographer, who believes God gives me a thought here and an inspiration there.
We are both celebrating. Mr. Stein celebrates Hanukkah and I celebrate Christmas, the birth of the Savior and the Messiah. Ben may be still investigating that point. I hope so.
Yes, it is only a few days until Christmas Eve. The door is open and all is beautiful inside our church, St. James Episcopal Church in Florida. The bright red poinsettias flank the altar and the tall candles will be lit. A statue of Mother Mary, holding Jesus, is off to the side.
Mr. Stein may be worshiping at his synagogue. I’m certain it will be also inspiring.
At this Advent time , I celebrate the birth of my Savior and look for His return as He promised. One thing for certain that Mr. Stein and I have in common at this holiday season is what is important and has value. He has written about his appreciation for the sacrifices made by the military, the police, the firemen, medics, and others who serve. We both hold them in great esteem.
One of the beauties of this season is the Star of Bethlehem that shown over the manger long ago. My kitchen and porch have a beautiful Moravian star to remind us and the neighbors of the real meaning of Christmas.
It is also good to remind ourselves of those men and women who do not want to destroy all that Christmas represents even if it is not their own faith.
In 2005, Mr.Ben Stein had this to say about Christmas to CBS News:
“I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees “Christmas trees”. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are: Christmas trees.
It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, “Merry Christmas” to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a crèche, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away. “
As I put up my manger scene, Mr. Stein, I dedicate this video to you. Here’s hoping that you have had a very Happy Hanukkah!
Never stop writing. For the rest of us, a little education on this Jewish celebration is a good thing.
The one National Holiday in the U.S.A that transcends all religious faiths…and simply says “Give Thanks” is being pulled away by the greed of America. That holiday is Thanksgiving. Blame it on the economy if one wants to…getting good buys etc…but there probably is no excuse. Those who work for the stores that open on Thanksgiving Day can hardly say that they won’t show up for work because they value family and tradition over their needed paycheck. Some have tried and have been fired. (as in the Pizza Hut manager)
Is Black Friday shopping not enough that a new word is being introduced for shopping on Thanksgiving as “Grey Thursday”? ( It even has a sad and dismal sound to the name.) Just how sad may be told by the story below multiplied by thousands.
The national news carried a story of a woman who had taken her daughter on Thanksgiving Day to a store….waited for hours to be one of the first in line…and finally fed a “Thanksgiving?” lunch to her little girl in the car. Her comment to the reporter was “I am doing it for her.” Doing what? At her young age, she is learning that shopping is more important than anything on our special day of Thanks here in America. Sad, abusive, crazy, ridiculous, unthinking….could be a few words to describe this form of parenting.
I can remember years when I was a single parent, with little income as a teacher, going to garage sales, starting back around Halloween, and finding the best Christmas gifts to wrap and put under the tree for my three children to have on Christmas morning.( Of course, Grandparents made up for some nice things as well.) The children always seemed happy and appreciative with their gifts. We know that the Holy Scriptures tell us in Proverbs 22:6 ” Direct your children onto the right path,and when they are older, they will not leave it.” This is true for our 2013 Thanksgiving when 10 happy people held hands , giving a word of thankfulness, and eating together around a table, that I can now afford, and sharing this time together with family and friends. Handing down tradition takes time and years that are not to be wasted fighting crowds and materialism with children…or for them.
Taryn Luna, of the Boston Globe, wrote “More frequently, anti-Thanksgiving-shopping advocates are making their views known through social media networks. Jordana Bishop of Raynham started a Facebook group called “Boycott Shopping on Thanksgiving Day.” The group’s page plays off Santa’s “naughty or nice” list by assigning retailers to one of the two categories based on whether they plan to be open or shut. Bishop said people should realize that when they patronize stores early, it means workers stocking shelves and manning registers are losing out….”
What is all this doing to employees? Ellen Galinsky also writes, “As a society, we’ve agreed that most of America’s workforce should have key holidays — in this case just one day — to be with family and friends, or just to take a breather from work. Holidays are also up there with vacation days as critical to keeping employees healthy and productive, more so than ever. Our research at the Families and Work Institute shows that the nation’s workforce is more stressed than ever, increasing significantly in recent years. Nearly one-third (32%) of employees report that their work has a primarily negative impact on their lives off the job by draining energy, so they don’t have enough left over for their personal and family life. Our research also shows that those who take vacations and holidays return to work more energized and productive…”
We ask the question…What decision will Americans make to save Thanksgiving now and for future generations? It is a decision…and a big one. Our culture and our society hangs on the decision each family member makes. We are a nation worried about violence, mental illness, terrorism…and how we react to these things may be as simple as our thankfulness, values and instead of greed….appreciation for all the things we are blessed with in this country.
Again, we decide. Should we make a list of places to avoid and “shop elsewhere”? Call it a boycott, if one wants to do so. It is up to us…the people…
Here is a helpful list of stores to consider when shopping for your holiday gifts:
Major retailers that did not open on this Thanksgiving 2013, but encouraged employees to be with family, include:
- Burlington Coat Factory
- Barnes & Noble
- Home Depot
- Radio Shack
- Sam’s Club
- TJ Maxx
Stores that DID stay open on Thanksgiving…in case you want to “boycott”.
(compiled by Hayley Peterson | Business Insider ) Kmart, Big Lots, Ace Hardware, Family Dollar, Old Navy, Michaels, Toys R Us, Walmart, Best Buy, Macy’s Kohl’s, JC Penny, Sears, Belks, Office Max, Staples, Target, Dick’s sporting Goods.
(Some even stayed open 40+ hours starting on Thanksgiving) Overnight Scheduled stores: Belk, Best Buy, Costco, Dick’s Sporting Goods, GameStop, JC Penny, Kmart, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Old Navy, Office Max, Sears, Target, Toys Are Us, Walmart
There were some people who would have loved to be at a family dinner table on Thanksgiving. They would also be thankful just to be alive….our men and women in Afghanistan and around the world. A special meal is traditionally made for them where they are…and in some cases the officers serve the enlisted. Nothing…nothing would take the place of being with family…not even a mall.