Christian Author, Nancy W. Boyer

Death and Life

JUSTICE…May NOT be this side of the grave!

László Csizsik-Csatáry

László Csizsik-Csatá

Someone died this week, August 10, 2013, who should have died much sooner.  Laszlo Csatary  was 98 when he passed away in Poland, waiting for a trial that never came.

Csatary had lived in the West  since WWII…even ran an art gallery in Canada, where he had become a citizen until Canada got wind of his connections to the Holocaust.  Interesting that he fled back to Poland where his war crimes had been committed. Later he was arrested in Hungary.  There were many ghosts to meet him there…some still living after torturous conditions in the camps.

According to an AP writing,Holocaust survivor Edita Salamonova, whose family was killed in the Auschwitz death camp after their deportation from Kosice, said she remembered Csatary well.  “I can see him in front of me,” Salamonova said. “A tall, handsome man but with a heart of stone.”Salamonova remembered Csatary’s presence at the brick factory… and would make sure to keep out of his sight when he was around.”

nazi death camps women

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“Hungarian authorities said Csatary was the chief of an internment camp set up in a brick factory for around 12,000 Jews in Kosice — a Slovak city then part of Hungary — in 1944, beating them with his bare hands and a dog whip regularly and without reason. He had also been charged with “actively participating” in the deportation of thousands of Jews to Auschwitz and other Nazi death camps….On  June 2, 1944, Csatary rejected a request by one of the deportees to allow a ventilation hole to be cut into the wall of a railroad car on its way to a death camp and crammed with around 80 people.”Nazi War Criminal  Laszlo Csatary3

We would like to know that all war criminals had  their lives cut short by a swift justice that was handed down to them by high courts.  That is, unfortunately, not the case.  We are told by Efraim Zuroff, one of the last Nazi hunters and director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Jerusalem Office, that they were  “deeply disappointed” in Csatary’s death ahead of his possible trial in Hungary…“It is a shame that Csatary, a convicted … and totally unrepentant Holocaust perpetrator who was finally indicted in his homeland for his crimes, ultimately eluded justice and punishment at the very last-minute,” Zuroff said in a statement.

Csatáry tries to hide his face.

Csatáry tries to hide his face.

We would question whether Csatary truly eluded justice and punishment …..for his day is coming.   No earthly court sentenced him to a  shorter life when it should have, but his secret hours and sleep may have been one of nightmares and torment…for the “wicked have no rest”.   The Great Court and Judgment Day is Coming from which he and no other person will escape.  Many people do not want to consider this part of the Word of God because it is not comfortable to consider.  Nevertheless, if we are to believe even one word of the the Scriptures as truth, we cannot dismiss this part.  The other side of the grave will have much more than we can imagine.

The New and Old Testament Holy Scriptures tell us the following…let those who have ears to hear…hear….

Revelation 20:11-15 “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

Ezekiel38:17-23   “Thus says the Lord God: Are you he of whom I spoke in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel, who in those days prophesied for years that I would bring you against them?  But on that day, the day that Gog (may refer to most of the middle eastern countries surrounding Israel) shall come against the land of Israel, declares the Lord God, my wrath will be roused in my anger.  For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, On that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel.  The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground.  I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Lord God. Every man’s sword will be against his brother.  With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many people who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur.  So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

We serve a just God…a merciful God to those who repent….a kind and generous God…whose patience will not endure forever.


ABANDONMENT …. Where are the fathers?

My last post showed the beauty of birth as we know it can be in the human and animal world.  Sometimes, however, it is not the act of giving birth, but the place that the birth takes place for humans that leads one to ask….why?

slums India

Poverty and the sexual drive do not mix when it is in conditions that cannot support life.   Recently, I was appalled to see a video that could have been made in many parts of the world…even in some less impoverished parts of the United States…but with the same problems….no money…no decent place to live…no fathers who take responsibility.   The question is not only “why?”, but why would a person who fathers a child ABANDON that child…or another question:    Why would a woman who is receiving no help keep allowing that same man to come back for more of the same?    It is certainly baffling.

slums4slum3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pictures that you see here are from areas around the world. There has always been some poverty in the United States.  Because of the economic down-turn and the loss of jobs, there is more.   Women who have baby after baby with no father to help provide is common in certain areas.

For the most part, we sit in our existence of plenty compared to these parts of the world.  The average person here really does not know what the rest of the world is like.  Even those who get government assistance to help feed the family, may still try to find a cell phone or a special electronic game because the children want it.  Hunger or malnutrition may exist, but it is rare that anyone will starve here.  There are community food banks run by churches and organizations and shelters for those without homes.  Some take advantage of these and others do not.   Yet the problems here are similar in some ways to the devastation seen in other places.   Again, we ask…..“Where are the fathers….who fathered these children?” 

Mother Teresa went to the most poor of the poor in India.   People I know go to Haiti on mission trips to try to help. Natural disasters do happen and wars make people flee for safety.  The very wealthy are trying, through their foundations, to eradicate disease and bring pure drinking water to those who need it around the world, but this does not change behavior.    Behavior is defined as:

  1. The way in which one acts or conducts oneself, esp. toward others.
  2. The way in which an animal or person acts in response to a particular situation.slums2

Again, we wonder if behavior is not changed, how can anything else be changed?   Men who have little self-worth to impregnate a woman and walk away…wherever he lives…in whatever country has degraded  human worth.  The woman who becomes an enabler to the one who abandons will, unfortunately, die in her own filthy bed.     Until behavior is changed, this situation around the world will only become worse…and the few who care can not prevent it from happening.

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Birth_ the Miracle of Life

In Spring, we see the buds on the trees and then the flowers.   In the Fall, we see the cycle of life once more with the trees going into a time of rest…just to begin the cycle of life once again.   It is the same with other forms of life and in each case it is a miracle given from God, the Creator.

Much was said about the new birth of a king to be recently.  It was as if the world stood still for a few days…waiting…waiting.   There was finally rejoicing as the new parents showed this new, fresh life for the first time.   Yes, his baby boy may make a difference to the world, but somewhere another of God’s creatures is giving birth with no fanfare at all.   None the less, it is a beautiful thing to behold and we are once again amazed at the way the body can produce something that at first seems to be only a mass…but after the struggle, it slowly makes its way out of its protective enclosure. It then appears as  pure elegance. The tender care of both mother and father…with quick adaption to a new life of fresh air and the effort to stand.    Truly, it is the miracle of life.

One may even think of this miracle as a metaphor, in miniature, of our own life…with its glory and our own effort to live and “stand” until the end.

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A PLEA to MOTHERS who don’t want their babies or CAN’T KEEP THEM

babiesA horrifying, graphic video surfaced in China recently that led me to write this to all pregnant women  who don’t want their babies or for some reason cannot keep them.   This message is also for the fathers of the child who often “ride into the sunset”, leaving a woman to struggle with this situation alone.

You may be  a young woman who  finds yourself pregnant…. whether from a one-night stand; a longer relationship or you are  in a country where  there are rules that families should only have a certain number of children.    Whatever the reason, this is not a judgment call….but A PLEA to you as a human being…maybe even a good human being who  finds yourself in a  situation that is tearing your life apart.   Reach out to an adoption agency.  

There will be people around you who will want to send you to someone to abort this baby. This may seem a  simple way out, but psychologically, it may haunt you the rest of your life. Those people will not have to live with this burden as a mother will.  I will add here that there are women who have had an abortion and through faith in God and prayers for forgiveness, they  have found peace.

Whether you are a  teen or a woman of any age that is terrified about your situation… not knowing what to do… seek help in finding a safe, good home for your child.   By doing so, you will have made a good thing out of  what could be a tragic decision.

There are families who will fly to China, Russia, Africa or to one of the states here in the USA to gladly give your  child a chance at life.   This is what they dream of …wish and pray for…and plan for.   JUST GIVE THEM A CHANCE TO LOVE  THE BABY YOU CANNOT KEEP.

MIRACLE RESCUE

(To understand the unfortunate penalties on this social issue in China, go to the following link .Chinese policies and abortions)



ACCEPTANCE…How important is it to you?

girl with cigarette

We all want to be accepted. It really doesn’t matter who we are or what we have in common with someone else…just accept us for who we are and don’t worry about the rest! Is this true?   It seems to be the socially and politically correct thing in the world today.   Just accept everyone…or most everything.   We can get  philosophical and remind ourselves of some of the things that we think of as acceptance:

ACCEPTANCE OF RELIGIOUS BELIEFS: catholic

  • Catholic Christians.. Understanding beliefs and practices of the Catholic Church, acceptance is key to being a committed and devoted catholic.   That may include family planning; going to confession; repenting of sins and church attendance. This also is true of the emphasis other Christian groups place on their particular brand of Christian faith and commitment. worshipers
  • Jews… some similar beliefs in that they accept the Ten Commandments as a way to live and have a good and fulfilling life (Mcdowell and Stewart, 1983).Torah_scrollsislam_prayer_ms
  • Muslims.…acceptance of Allah as their higher being and the teachings of the Koran.

Whatever a person’s religious beliefs, they believe that acceptance of these parts of their faith is important to show structure and commitment in everyday life.   Let’s look at some other types of acceptance?

teens

PERSONAL ACCEPTANCE   How people accept one another has a direct effect on the individual’s self-esteem and well-being. Does this have to be true?  We are told that this need for approval  will have a direct impact on a person’s life.  Some may even cause psychological disorders.  Examples are:  approval by parents; acceptance by work associates; peer pressure in schools ; living up the religious up-bringing or teachings and many more relationships.

We have to ask ourselves a  very important question.

Is total acceptance what we really want and is it good for us?    On the surface, it seems to be a good thing…but maybe not.

  • Is it best to be totally accepted by a peer group, whether work; at school, or socially?   What are their values?
  • Are there dangers to relationships  that keeps us in bondage to a person… such as a battered wife who feels there is no recourse?   We could elaborate on this where a male is concerned.
  • Is staying true to religious tenants that do not bring us to a peaceful, loving God, what we really need or want?

All of this seems complicated…and often we make it so.  The thing that is most important is the ACCEPTANCE OF ONE’S SELF. After all, we live with ourselves moment by moment.  We are told that we should not be so self-centered.  Why not?  Of course, we do not mean self-centered to the neglect of others or so wrapped-up in ourselves that no one else matters.

“Self acceptance (or self-centered, as we mean it)  is being happy with who you are now. It’s an agreement with yourself to appreciate, validate, accept and support who you are at this moment.”   If you find that things in your life need change, then work toward that…evaluating WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU.

ACCEPTANCE…NOT RESIGNATION  People may asked how they can accept something or someone that has brought great pain in their life…death of a loved one; a divorce; sickness.   All these things may not be able to be changed.  They are what life has given. There is a difference between acceptance and resignation.   Realization that one can not change the past or the sadness of the present has a lot to do with acceptance.   This is living in reality…not in fantasy or wishful thinking.

“Accepting whatever the loss is, does not mean you are forgetting the loss or that you won’t ever feel sad again, but it’s a turning point that means better things are to come.” 

man thinkingAll of this is just food for thought as you may be asking yourself how important is  acceptance to you.   You may also be thinking about relationships, beliefs, and what works for you in your life.   Some things may worry you.

There is only One who fully accepts us just as we are and gives us the courage to face life daily.   We are told in the Holy Scriptures ( Philippians 4:6)  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

  In this video, we see that there are some unusual bonds of acceptance…and just as in humans…those bonds that seem like a good thing may turn out to give an outcome not anticipated.    I watched this video several times and heard words that I think also have to do with human behavior when it comes to acceptance…and a need for a relationship.  You will hear these words in the dialog:  obsession, bonds, controlling, complex emotions and intimacy.   All of these pull us into a need for acceptance…to our good or to our detriment.  In your own life, you will have to be the judge. 


A Warring World…PEACE, PEACE and There is no PEACE MEMORIAL DAY TRIBUTE

On this MEMORIAL DAY,  Boyer Writes honors all those who responded to the call of duty to country and all freedom stands for….especially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

After viewing the slide presentation, you may want to look at the different wars throughout history where and when the United States has sent troops to fight.   We are just one country.  Multiply this country and all wars in its history by all countries in the world and their fighting history….to make us one big, warring globe.

There are reasons, of course.  Some fight for their independence.  Others fight to maintain their freedom.  Many fight to rule over the weak, sick,and impoverished.

There are those who fight and murder in the name of God…religious wars.   Read your history and you will not be surprised for it happened when Muslims fought Christians; Christians fought in the Crusades; nations have tried to rid the world of Jews.

The Holy Scriptures tell us that we will call for “Peace….Peace….but there is no peace…”    Those who make predictions believe that before the coming of Christ to the earth a second time, there will be the greatest of all wars….in the Middle East.   This is not something for optimism.   Nevertheless, we are also told to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem”….and the world.   We cannot control governments, groups, or individuals  who hate and destroy…but pray we can do.

General MacArthur, the great general of World War II made this statement about war.  

” I pray that an omnipotent providence will summon all persons of goodwill to to the realization of the utter futility of war. We have known the bitterness of defeat, the exultation of triumph, and from both we have learned that there is no turning back. We must preserve in peace, what we won in war.

The destructiveness of the war potential, through progressive advances in scientific discovery has in fact now reached a point that revises the traditional concept of war. War, the most malignant scourge, and greatest sin of mankind, can no longer be controlled, only ABOLISHED! 

We are in a new era. If we do not devise some greater and more equitable means of settling disputes between nations, Armageddon will be at our door…” 

A MEMORIAL DAY TRIBUTE  

( Click on arrow; turn on sound and enlarge picture for best viewing.  Music by St. Olaf Choir)

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 Choose and click on a war listed to read information.

unknown soldier


Political Correctness NO MORE ! Hate and Terrorism on the Street and in History

terrorist in England

BLOOD ON HIS HANDS and holding the weapon that he had used to kill a man in cold blood on a  street in London.    THIS IS A TERRORIST AND ISLAMIC EXTREMIST (Boyer Writes decided not to show this video for this is what he wanted…even asking people to video tape it.   The news will show more than enough.)

We do want to show you the  young man that they murdered:  25 year old Drummer Lee Rigby 2nd battalion of The Royal Fusiliers    Our deepest sympathy to his family and loved ones.

25 year old Drummer Lee Rigby 2nd battalion of The Royal Fusiliers

25 year old Drummer Lee Rigby 2nd battalion of The Royal Fusiliers

People around the world  were shocked when terrorists  flew planes into the Twin Towers and the United States Pentagon  on 9-11.  Buildings came tumbling down,; planes crashed…killing  thousands of innocent people…including people who died from the terrorists’ own country and their own religion.

Yet, there was a difference…these men were not only terrorist but fanatics…evil, misguided  people who claimed their deeds would take them straight to paradise.   How people can get this far from truth in the name of religion is totally unbelievable.   No one can comprehend it.

Our British friends, across the great pond, have just experienced the same terror in miniature…a single soul murdered …walking on a street in daylight….minding his own business…hurting no one.   The terrorist ask for people to make pictures…knowing that they would probably die when they planned to attack police as they come to the scene. (Thankfully, the police only injured them…keeping them from their journey to “paradise”…or eternal damnation.   Perhaps their interrogation will shed some light on their sources.)

This is the picture of hate…Islamic extremist… evil.   People must call it what it is and not dance around the issue in the name of political correctness.   We would call on all peace-loving Muslim leaders to call press conferences and condemn these attacks; setting their congregations straight on what God wants for the people on earth as we live together.   It is strange that there is so much silence in this area.

SHOCKING….DISGUSTING….EVIL…..at 9-11 in New York…at Fort Hood as well as other places…and in London  this week.    Extremism in the name of religion did not start…or will not stop here. History is full of it.

HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW about TERRORISM?

I took a test, offered by the Christian Science Monitor, to see exactly how much I know about terrorism and history.  Unfortunately, I failed miserably.   You may want to see if you can do better.  You will make your selections and get a score at the end.  It is eye-opening. 

   All questions on Terrorism


Armed Forces Day in the United States

A Thank you to our Armed Service 

In the United States, Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May.

First observed on 20 May 1950, the day was created on 31 August 1949, to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches under the Department of Defense.

  • U.S. Army
  • U.S. Navy
  • U.S Marine Corps
  • U.S. Air Force
  • U.S. Coast Guard

folding flag

The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated by parades, open houses, receptions and air shows. In 1962,President John. F. Kennedy  established Armed Forces Day as an official holiday. The United States’ longest running city-sponsored Armed Forces Day Parade is held in Bremerton, Washington.  They will celebration 65 years this year.  

Fly your flag this weekend and remember to thank our service men and women wherever they have served.   They have given so much…time away from families….their health and their limbs and in many cases the ultimate sacrifice.      They are the ones who are called upon when our country’s freedom is threatened.   They are our Armed Forces.    There are not enough words to thank them.

flying flags


The Wretch Who Could Finally See

 John Newton is well-known in Christian circles, but may not be someone you have heard of….or at least you think you haven’t.   If you have ever been to a memorial or funeral, chances are you have heard the song he wrote about his life.   Yet, you may not have known anything about the man himself.   Here’s a summary of John Newton’s life  in a few sentences:

  • Newton was born in London July 24, 1725, the son of a commander of a merchant ship which sailed the Mediterranean.
  • In 1744 John was impressed into service on a man-of-war, the H. M. S. Harwich. Finding conditions on board intolerable, he deserted but was soon recaptured and publicly flogged and demoted from midshipman to common seaman.
  • ship English slave ship2Finally at his own request he was exchanged into service on a slave ship, which took him to the coast of Sierra Leone.    Being a servant of a slave trader, he was brutally abused.
  • Rescued later,  John Newton ultimately became captain of his own slave ship, but his life was about to change. ship English slave
  • John Newton drawing
  • His mother died when he was a child and Newton had no real religious convictions.
  • However, on a homeward voyage, while he was attempting to steer the ship through a violent storm, he experienced what he was to refer to later as his “great deliverance” which was his conversion to Christianity. He wrote in a journal ( May 10, 1748) that he believed  “Lord, had mercy upon us.”   This, he believed, was his moment of grace and God had begun to work in his life.
  • He continued in the slave trade for a time after his conversion; however, he saw to it that the slaves under his care were treated humanely.
  • He married and began educating himself; teaching himself Latin and other subjects.
  • Newton also met and came to admire John Wesley, founder of Methodism. Newton’s self-education continued, and he learned Greek and Hebrew.
  • From 1755 to 1760 Newton was surveyor of tides at Liverpool, where he came to know George Whitefield, deacon in the Church of England, evangelistic preacher, and leader of the Calvinistic Methodist Church. Newton became Whitefield’s enthusiastic disciple.
  • Deciding to become a minister, he applied to the Archbishop of York for ordination and was refused.
  • Newton persisted in his goal, and he was subsequently ordained by the Bishop of Lincoln and accepted the curacy of Olney, Buckinghamshire.
  • In 1780 Newton become rector of St. Mary Woolnoth church, in London. There he drew large congregations and influenced many, among them William Wilberforce, who would one day become a leader in the campaign for the abolition of slavery. Newton continued to preach until the last year of life, although he was blind by that time. He died in London December 21, 1807.  Calling himself  a “wretch”  he was secure in his faith that God’s amazing grace would lead him home.

John Newton book

 

  • BEST KNOWN FOR WRITING THE WORDS TO THE HYMN  AMAZING GRACE which showed his feelings about his life and God’s grace toward him.   (a portion of which is written here).

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That sav’d a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev’d;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ’d!

Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares,   I have already come;’Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,And grace will lead me home…

Pain and suffering was part of  John Newton’s life and pain and suffering is in our world today.  Newton would probably be amazed at how many times his beautiful song, often played with bagpipes, has been sung and played at memorials of those we lovingly remember…..as shown below.

 



COMFORT…in the TIME OF TROUBLE

boston marathon ambulancesPsalm 46: 1-3

God is our hope and strength,
a very present
help in trouble.

Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be
moved,
and though the hills be carried into the midst of the
sea;

Though the waters thereof rage and swell,
and though the
mountains shake at the tempest of the same…

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medical boston marathonPrayer for Comfort and Hope

Grant unto us, Almighty God, in all time of sore distress, the comfort of the forgiveness of our sins. In time of darkness give us blessed hope, in time of sickness of body give us quiet courage; and when the heart is bowed down, and the soul is very heavy, and life is a burden, and pleasure a weariness, and the sun is too bright, and life too mirthful, then may that Spirit, the Spirit of the Comforter, come upon us, and after our darkness may there be the clear shining of the heavenly light; that so, being uplifted again by Thy mercy, we may pass on through this our mortal life with quiet courage, patient hope, and unshaken trust, hoping through Thy loving-kindness and tender mercy to be delivered from death into the large life of the eternal years. Hear us of Thy mercy, through Jesus Christ our Lord – Amen.

Prayer written by George Dawson

Concert Music in Honor of those whose lives were taken.


Holocaust Remembrance Day…A Grave- Digger makes a Difference

Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial Hall of Names in Israel

Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial Hall of Names in Israel

Today, Sunday, April 14. 2013 begins Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day .  It doesn’t seem like any time since I took Student Ambassadors to Poland and we visited Auschwitz. None of us will ever be the same.

Steven Spielberg has made it his mission to record the lives of survivors so that future generations will understand what hatred, prejudice and war can do to people.Once the people who fought WWII and the Holocaust survivors have died, their voices will be silenced forever….except for these recordings.

In this same group of Student Ambassadors, there was one young Jewish man who wanted to find the apartment building where the Israeli Olympic team had been murdered.  We looked and looked; finally finding a small plaque to remembered the event.  Given the gravity of this terrible tragedy, it seemed far too small. This was the same young man who had impressed me with his sincerity and dedication to the memory of over 6,000 Jews and some Christians, who lost their lives in concentration camps, death marches and more during World War II.  Gently he laid a wreath of flowers in the spot at the base of a wall where hundreds had been shot in this one concentration camp called Auschwitz.

After returning from that trip, I felt that the students in our Florida county needed to know as much about the Holocaust as possible.  With financial help from the community and parents of students, we raised enough funds to place in every school library tapes, books and age-appropriate material about the Holocaust.

Holocaust plaque St Annes Church PolandRecently I read about a grave-digger who was told to bury all the Jews in the woods. These were those shot on a death march.  Instead, he buried them in  St. Anna’s Roman Catholic Church in Swierklany, Poland.    This is only after he had carefully copied all the numbers from each victim’s arm.  Some seventy years later and with research from Yad Vasham in Israel, some relatives now know that Christians carefully buried the bodies of their loved ones.  A new memorial has been erected with a cross.   The new plaque at the previously unmarked grave in Swierlany, Poland now reads: “In memory of the death march victims from Aushwitz-Birkenau,” and lists the victims concentration camp numbers or names. ‘  The caring of one grave digging man, who believed differently from those he buried, made all the difference over 70 years later to a family who simply wanted to know what had happened to their loved one.

Today as the sirens wail, they stop in the streets and cars stop on the highways …wherever they are…to remember again. We too must never forget!

If you have not seen Auschwitz in Poland, the film below gives a walk-through with Rick Steves of what is left and what visitors can see today.  It is not our purpose here to try to re-create the horrors that went on here.  Probably the closest to that would be to watch Schindler’s List, produced by Spielberg, about a Christian man who saved many Jews by taking them to work in his factory.


Chaplains Make a Difference “Would you care to say a prayer with me?”

My husband was a chaplain in the Navy for many years.  He is still called upon to do military funerals and this means a great deal to him. He often stops by a table in a restaurant and thanks an older veteran or a young service man for their “service to our country”.  A dear friend of ours has served on a number of tours to Afghanistan and other areas of the world as a Christian chaplain.  Some chaplains, however, who served faithfully and  given more than could be expected, have never received the highest honor our nation has to offer, but one will finally have that honor….62 years late. ..thanks to fellow soldiers who are senior citizens now.

Chaplain Emil Kapaun

Chaplain Emil Kapaun

Writings  by Sharon Cohen  and Lawrence Grayson tells us the story of  Chaplain Emil Kapaun in what is called the “Forgotten War”…Korea.  In the light of recent events of North Korea’s threats, it would be good to not forget what our troops suffered there and sacrificed to make what is now South Korea the vibrant nation that it is today.

On Easter morning, March 25, 1951, the Catholic priest mounted the steps  of a partially destroyed church, and turned to face his congregation,  some 60 men – gaunt, foul-smelling, in tattered clothing.

Fr. Emil  Kapaun raised a small, homemade, wooden cross to begin a prayer service,  led the men in the Rosary, heard the confessions of the Catholics, and  performed a Baptism.  Then, he wept because there was no bread or wine  to consecrate so that the men could receive the Eucharist.”

“The Rev. Emil Kapaun was weak, his body wracked by pneumonia and dysentery. After six brutal months in the hellish camp, the once sturdy Kansas farmer’s son could take no more. Thousands of soldiers had already died, some starving, others freezing to death. Now the end was near for the chaplain.Lt. Mike Dowe said goodbye to the man who’d given him hope during those terrible days. The young West Point grad cried, even as the chaplain, he says, tried to comfort him with his parting words: “Hey, Mike, don’t worry about me. I’m going to where I always wanted to go and I’ll say a prayer for all of you.”
Lt. Robert Wood wept, too, watching the Roman Catholic chaplain bless and forgive his captors. He helped carry Kapaun out of the mud hut and up a hill on a stretcher after Chinese soldiers ordered he be moved to a hospital — a wretched, maggot-filled place the POWs dubbed “the death house.” There was little or no medical care there. Kapaun died on May 23, 1951.
These two soldiers — and many more — never forgot their chaplain. Not his courage in swatting away an enemy soldier pointing a gun at a GI’s head. Not his talent for stealing food, then sneaking it to emaciated troops. Not the inspiring way he rallied his “boys,” as he called them, urging them to keep their spirits up.Chaplain Emil Kapaun4The plain-spoken, pipe-smoking, bike-riding chaplain was credited with saving hundreds of soldiers during the Korean War…”Chaplain Emil Kapaun3
What was Fr.  like as a person?
Roy Wenzl tells us. “Father Emil Kapaun was considered an unusual man even before the 8th Cavalry’s 3rd Battalion was overrun at Unsan.
Many devout Christians believe, for example, that they must overtly preach Christianity, but Kapaun by all accounts never lectured, never forced it. What he did instead was scrounge food for soldiers, write letters to their families, pass his tobacco pipe around for a few puffs, and run through machine gun fire, rescuing wounded. If he brought up religion in foxholes, he asked permission first: “Would you care to say a prayer with me?”
He treated Protestants, Jews and atheists the same way he treated Catholics — and he treated Catholics like loved ones. Some GIs did not like some chaplains. They loved this one
.…Survivors at Unsan broke out and fought south through the hills. Most were captured. Chinese soldiers stole their watches, rings, helmets and boots. Some of them thought this was the end, that they’d be shot now. The enemy in Korea frequently murdered prisoners. Sgt. Herb Miller, his ankle shredded and bleeding, rode away from slaughter on Kapaun’s back.Lt. Walt Mayo, who had saved Kapaun the first time he was captured at Unsan, escaped from the perimeter with his friend Phil Peterson, running across a road covered with dead Chinese. They were captured three days later. Mayo, who spent four months in a German prisoner of war camp in World War II, would spend 34 months in a camp more deadly.”

After all these years, with pressure on Washington and so many hundreds of Korean veterans dying, the honor due this chaplain is finally happening.

This brave chaplain will finally receive this country’s Medal of Honor.  Two lieutenants who served with him, now age 85 and 86, will join in the ceremony to honor Chaplain Kapaun.  “What he did and what he meant is so important,” Dowe says. “It’s worth finding a way to carry that forward. … I can only say I’m glad it’s happening. It’s a shame it couldn’t have been sooner.”Chaplain Emil Kapaun2

  Ray Kapaun, a family member, says, ” This day would never have arrived without their (fellow soldiers’) persistence. Some didn’t live to witness the ceremony, but others will finally see their beloved chaplain given the recognition they’ve called for so long.
Under extreme circumstances, this Chaplain would ask a soldier if he could minister to their needs…physically or spiritually.    How often do we have that same opportunity when a person is in trouble, sick or dying, or simply sad.  How difficult we find  to step out of our comfort and just ask.  How often is the opportunity not taken……to say…..  “Would you care to say a prayer with me?”

York: The Shambles and International Market

IMG_0403The aromas are almost magical…spices simmering in large pots of onions, mushrooms, and sausages.  Today we visit the International Food Market in York, England.   Located close to the famous Shambles District of the city, people mill around with their families deciding which delicacy should be theirs….breads, chocolate-covered donuts, olives  and much more from every ethnic part of the world.

The Shambles, for hundreds of years, had been the place of meat butchers.  Even then, people would have come to this area to find their fresh meat.  The narrow, cobble-stone streets are now shops with a historic sign or place of some main event that had happened here….such as the martyred young wife and mother, Margaret Clitherow (shown below), who refused to give up her faith that was not sanctioned at the time.

IMG_0420
160px-Margaret_Clitherow In 1586, she was arrested and called before the York assizes for the crime of harboring  Roman Catholic priests. She refused to plead to the case to prevent a trial that would entail her children being made to testify, and therefore being subjected to torture. As a result she was executed by being crushed to death,  being the standard punishment for refusal to plead, on Good Friday 1586. ( I will write more about her another time.)

Now, enjoy the special International Market of York, England.


The CRY of Mothers for help for the mentally ill

The author of the article below made an amazing statement that caught my attention after the tragedy in Connecticut.  She said, ” I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help”   Being a teacher for many years and a parent, my heart was sick that such a thing could happen to innocent, little children.   That is why I want to share this article below taken from the Blue Review, a nonprofit journal based at Boise State University.    Help must come and our country must heal with help from God as we deal with those who have mental disorders.

The complete article below:

Friday’s horrific national tragedy—the murder of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in New Town, Connecticut—has ignited a new discussion on violence in America. In kitchens and coffee shops across the country, we tearfully debate the many faces of violence in America: gun culture, media violence, lack of mental health services, overt and covert wars abroad, religion, politics and the way we raise our children.     Liza Long, a writer based in Boise, says it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.

“Three days before 20 year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, then opened fire on a classroom full of Connecticut kindergartners, my 13-year old son Michael (name changed) missed his bus because he was wearing the wrong color pants.

“I can wear these pants,” he said, his tone increasingly belligerent, the black-hole pupils of his eyes swallowing the blue irises.

“They are navy blue,” I told him. “Your school’s dress code says black or khaki pants only.”

“They told me I could wear these,” he insisted. “You’re a stupid bitch. I can wear whatever pants I want to. This is America. I have rights!”

“You can’t wear whatever pants you want to,” I said, my tone affable, reasonable. “And you definitely cannot call me a stupid bitch. You’re grounded from electronics for the rest of the day. Now get in the car, and I will take you to school.”

I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.

A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9-year-old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.

That conflict ended with three burly police officers and a paramedic wrestling my son on to a gurney for an expensive ambulance ride to the local emergency room. The mental hospital didn’t have any beds that day, and Michael calmed down nicely in the ER, so they sent us home with a prescription for Zyprexa and a follow-up visit with a local pediatric psychiatrist.

We still don’t know what’s wrong with Michael. Autism spectrum, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant or Intermittent Explosive Disorder have all been tossed around at various meetings with probation officers and social workers and counselors and teachers and school administrators. He’s been on a slew of antipsychotic and mood altering pharmaceuticals, a Russian novel of behavioral plans. Nothing seems to work.

At the start of seventh grade, Michael was accepted to an accelerated program for highly gifted math and science students. His IQ is off the charts. When he’s in a good mood, he will gladly bend your ear on subjects ranging from Greek mythology to the differences between Einsteinian and Newtonian physics to Doctor Who. He’s in a good mood most of the time. But when he’s not, watch out. And it’s impossible to predict what will set him off.

Several weeks into his new junior high school, Michael began exhibiting increasingly odd and threatening behaviors at school. We decided to transfer him to the district’s most restrictive behavioral program, a contained school environment where children who can’t function in normal classrooms can access their right to free public babysitting from 7:30-1:50 Monday through Friday until they turn 18.

The morning of the pants incident, Michael continued to argue with me on the drive. He would occasionally apologize and seem remorseful. Right before we turned into his school parking lot, he said, “Look, Mom, I’m really sorry. Can I have video games back today?”

“No way,” I told him. “You cannot act the way you acted this morning and think you can get your electronic privileges back that quickly.”

His face turned cold, and his eyes were full of calculated rage. “Then I’m going to kill myself,” he said. “I’m going to jump out of this car right now and kill myself.”

That was it. After the knife incident, I told him that if he ever said those words again, I would take him straight to the mental hospital, no ifs, ands, or buts. I did not respond, except to pull the car into the opposite lane, turning left instead of right.

“Where are you taking me?” he said, suddenly worried. “Where are we going?”

“You know where we are going,” I replied.

“No! You can’t do that to me! You’re sending me to hell! You’re sending me straight to hell!”

I pulled up in front of the hospital, frantically waiving for one of the clinicians who happened to be standing outside. “Call the police,” I said. “Hurry.”

Michael was in a full-blown fit by then, screaming and hitting. I hugged him close so he couldn’t escape from the car. He bit me several times and repeatedly jabbed his elbows into my rib cage. I’m still stronger than he is, but I won’t be for much longer.

The police came quickly and carried my son screaming and kicking into the bowels of the hospital. I started to shake, and tears filled my eyes as I filled out the paperwork—“Were there any difficulties with… at what age did your child… were there any problems with.. has your child ever experienced.. does your child have…”

At least we have health insurance now. I recently accepted a position with a local college, giving up my freelance career because when you have a kid like this, you need benefits. You’ll do anything for benefits. No individual insurance plan will cover this kind of thing.

For days, my son insisted that I was lying—that I made the whole thing up so that I could get rid of him. The first day, when I called to check up on him, he said, “I hate you. And I’m going to get my revenge as soon as I get out of here.”

By day three, he was my calm, sweet boy again, all apologies and promises to get better. I’ve heard those promises for years. I don’t believe them anymore.

On the intake form, under the question, “What are your expectations for treatment?” I wrote, “I need help.”

And I do. This problem is too big for me to handle on my own. Sometimes there are no good options. So you just pray for grace and trust that in hindsight, it will all make sense.

I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.

According to Mother Jones, since 1982, 61 mass murders involving firearms have occurred throughout the country. Of these, 43 of the killers were white males, and only one was a woman. Mother Jones focused on whether the killers obtained their guns legally (most did). But this highly visible sign of mental illness should lead us to consider how many people in the U.S. live in fear, like I do.

When I asked my son’s social worker about my options, he said that the only thing I could do was to get Michael charged with a crime. “If he’s back in the system, they’ll create a paper trail,” he said. “That’s the only way you’re ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you’ve got charges.”

I don’t believe my son belongs in jail. The chaotic environment exacerbates Michael’s sensitivity to sensory stimuli and doesn’t deal with the underlying pathology. But it seems like the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally ill people. According to Human Rights Watch, the number of mentally ill inmates in U.S. prisons quadrupled from 2000 to 2006, and it continues to rise—in fact, the rate of inmate mental illness is five times greater (56 percent) than in the non-incarcerated population.

With state-run treatment centers and hospitals shuttered, prison is now the last resort for the mentally ill—Rikers Island, the LA County Jail and Cook County Jail in Illinois housed the nation’s largest treatment centers in 2011.

No one wants to send a 13-year old genius who loves Harry Potter and his snuggle animal collection to jail. But our society, with its stigma on mental illness and its broken healthcare system, does not provide us with other options. Then another tortured soul shoots up a fast food restaurant. A mall. A kindergarten classroom. And we wring our hands and say, “Something must be done.”

I agree that something must be done. It’s time for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health. That’s the only way our nation can ever truly heal.

God help me. God help Michael. God help us all. 

Music for Advent:    Rhema Marvanne is a 7 year old with a talent from God.

 

The beautiful voices of choir boys


Suicide…the act of Simply Giving Up

This writing does not propose to have the answers to that problem or hurt that you have …whether emotional, mental  or physical…. that may be planting the thoughts of suicide in your mind.   My life has been given to Christ, with its ups and downs…disappointments and joys…but I know that not all have found this rest.

I write because I am led to write.  Who knows why I awake at 3:00 am and know that for some reason I need to write about this subject. It is the last thing that I would want to tackle.  Nevertheless, I write today, not as a counselor or a psychiatrist, but as a person who cares.

Someone will read this who needs to know that their particular pain has an answer. The answer is not in suicide.    The answer may be as close to you as your breath.    If one simply gives up…they will never know what would have  or could have been.  One does not know what is around the corner.  You must live to find out.

There are two stories  that I know of that may help:   A man had decided he did not want to go on.   He went up stairs and looked out the window.   Across the top of the houses was a steeple of a church.   It was that cross rising high into the sky that made him stop and truly think about what he was thinking of doing.  A simple thing….but it was his turning moment.

Another man felt that he had lost everything.   His wife was leaving him and taking his life flashed across his mind.   The thing that made him stop was the thought of what would his death do to his son.    He had not actually lost everything for he had his son.

When things seem the darkest….when you just want to go to sleep forever….forget the word “forever” and just go to sleep.    Rest the mind….rest the heart….and after the rest, look for a new beginning.      Focus on the little things that matter and reach for something bigger than you have known.

Simply ask for God to give you that one ounce of strength that you do not think you have.     Psalm 139:8  “If I go up to heaven, you are there. If I make my bed in hell, you are there.”     No matter what we do, we will face God.   This may be a terrible thought…but one worth thinking.

I am not going to “preach” to you, but here are THOUGHTS TO CONSIDER:

(Nehemiah 8:10 )Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
This verse did not say “your joy” for you may not feel any joy at all.   It said, “…the joy of the Lord” which will be your strength in anything that is in your life too difficult to handle.

Colossians 1:11-14  May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

My suggestion would be to go to a quiet place…maybe the shower….or another spot…and call to God to help you to know that you are loved by Him.   Ask Him for peace.  Ask Him for grace and forgiveness.  Ask Him to give you the strength you need.   He will hear you….and then rest.   Harming yourself is not the answer.  Giving up is not the answer.  It never will be.


2 Things that MAY save your life….Car Keys and Wasp Spray

One never knows when an emergency will happen.   It may be a fall….a heart attack…a car accident…or an intruder.     We all want to be prepared, but exactly what to do to get help is sometimes illusive.    Recently, I was sent two good ideas that could save my life or yours. I want to share them with you.

Let’s start with an intruder in your home.   Many of us have burglar alarms, but those may not be on 24 hours a day. Get several cans of wasp spray and have them around close at hand throughout the house or in your office.  Of course this should be out of reach of children.   What advantages does this simple,  inexpensive can of spray have?

The cans typically shoot 20 to 30 feet; so if someone tries to break into your home, “spray the culprit in the eyes”. “That’s going to give you a chance to run from the house and call the police.”

Car Keys:
Put your car keys beside your bed at night and carry them in a pocket during the day.
How will this help?
If you hear a   noise outside your home or someone trying to get in  the house, just   press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off. The horn will continue to sound until it is turned off.   It’s a security alarm system that you probably   already have and requires no installation. Test it. It will go off   from most everywhere inside your house. It is also useful going through parking lots to your car. However, one must have it in hand and not buried in a purse or pocket.   Anyone trying to bother you will probably not stick around if the car alarm is going off.

It has also been suggested that carrying car keys in a pocket can be used in an emergency when someone can not reach a phone.    Should this be a heart attack or some other sickness that calls for immediate help, it would be good to remember the panic button on your keys.    Usually someone will take notice.

All of this may seem like common sense. If  one consciously remember these things, it may be a life saver. Pass them along to friends and family.     Be safe and smart.  (Footnote: A reader wrote in that he preferred pepper spray to wasp spray, giving other sites that agree. One thing is certain, it is easier to carry pepper spray in a purse or pocket.  The main reason for this blog is to help each of us consider how to be safe.  It is up to you about choices. )


Hurricane Sandy Reaps Havoc in the United States

HURRICANE  SANDY October 2012

Boyer Writes sends prayers and thoughts to all those who have lost much in the storm.  Hurricane Sandy was a storm that skipped Florida and ended up in the north mixed with snow and ice.   Throughout the hurricane season, Floridians know to be prepared for any storm that may come.  For this hurricane  season to be almost over, those living up north would have never guessed that they would have to deal with such a monster.

For all of our readers outside of the United States, this is some of what is happening here.

Water entered the New York subway system.

Millions without power.

Fires burn homes amid the storm.

Winds up to 90 mph and a storm surge of water.

A number of deaths .

First Responders, Fire and Rescue Workers,  move in to help.

Blessings on all of them!

Travelers Stranded   Over 15,000 flights cancelled from around the world

New Jersey was hard hit as the storm moved north toward the Great Lakes and Canada. The lasting results of this storm is not known at this time. A video below gives some of the news reports.

30 Heartbreaking Images Of Breezy Point After Hurricane Sandy « Photo Galleries « Fresh 102.7.


A Hero Indeed…Neil Armstrong

American Hero, Neil Armstrong

Some people go down in history because they have been the best at what they have accomplished.  Others go down in history because they have not given the world anything good.   Good is all that can be said about this man….Neil Armstrong.   Those of us who remember his walk on the moon and the day he died, can be  especially grateful.  The moon will never look the same to us.

 

 

Here are the pictures that you may not have seen.   ( Friday, Sept. 14, 2012)

 

A footnote:  A Reader wrote to me this information which I did not know: ” I’m pretty sure the urn used for Neil Armstrong was made of salt.  They are designed to decompose rapidly….”
Arthur P. Hilbish L.F.D.

Pictures by NASA/Bill Ingalls

Folding flag ceremony

Presenting flag to family

Preparing remains for burial

Ceremony on US Navy ship


A DAY OF MOURNING FOR THOSE WHO DIED ON 9-11 “Never Forgotten!”

IN MEMORY

We will always remember those who perished.   We should never  become complacent about those who killed these people and what their mission was that day.

2,976 victims will not be forgotten!

The video below is difficult to watch.  Evil is evil and should not be called anything differently.   Gallant rescuers did their best and gave their lives.  They, too, will not be forgotten.  Those who fought in the aircraft were  brave beyond belief.  In  doing so, they  most likely saved the Capitol of the United States.  September 11  is a terrible day, as are all days, for those who lost loved ones.   They will never be forgotten!


Music for Sunday “In Honor of Neil Armstrong”

Neil Armstrong was not afraid to risk his own life to reach for the stars as shown in this picture from the Hubble telescope.  He truly took the first step for mankind. 

Boyer Writes dedicates this video presentation to the life and  memory of

Neil Armstrong

Astronaut Neil Armstrong

American -First to Walk on the Moon- July 20, 1969

__________________________

Psalm 19:1

The heavens declare the glory of God;

the sky displays His handiwork.

________________________

(For best viewing, turn up sound and enlarge video picture)

Footsteps of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin around the American flag on the moon


Friday of Holy Week: Christ Crucified

IT IS FINISHED

As I walked outside the main gate of Auschwitz in Poland, a man sat by the roadside.  He carefully held a piece of wood.  It was a part of a birch tree and carved in the middle was the face of Christ.  Large, sharp thorns  had been placed across the forehead.  This man looked at me with the hopes that I would buy this from him, which I did.  The workmanship was extraordinary, even though crude.   It said so much about this man and what he had made, but more so about this  place where he sat.

Just inside these gates, millions of innocent Jews had been put to death.  This man had made the carved face of a Jew Who was put to death and no one could find any wrong in him. As Pilot said, ” I find no case against him.”

THIS WAS A SUFFERING JEW CARVED ON A TREE OUTSIDE THE GATE OF SOME OF THE WORST OF HUMAN SUFFERING.

Jesus also sat outside the gate where he would be taken before a mob, mocked, and put to death.   He prayed for the people of the world who would believe in Him, saying His hour had come and His work on earth was finished.  Even though He knew the suffering that He was to endure, His thoughts were of protection and love for those who believed the words He spoke and saw the miracles He performed.   Jesus said:

“Holy Father, protect them in your name that  you have given me so that they may be one, as We are One….

I have given them Your word and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world…I ask not only on behalf of  these but also on behalf of those who will believe in Me…

Father, I desire that those also whom you have given Me  may be with Me where I am… to see My glory which You have given Me because You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”

Inside the gate of Auschwitz, just a few feet from where the man was sitting…many years before… horrors  happened.     One of the things that I saw in one of the torture chambers was a wall where someone had scratched a cross. We know that Christians suffered and died there also.  Nothing in Auschwitz can be romanticized.      Neither can the crucifixion of Jesus.

Even though great art masters have painted  beautiful portraits to inspire us, the crucifixion was real torture given perfection by the Romans.  The preparation for a glorious Easter Sunday when Christ rises from the dead is a solemn time.  This is why the altars of the churches are stripped bare of all ornamentation or flowers.  There was nothing  lovely  about death.

   The video below is realistic with the music asking a question, “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” Perhaps we need realism when we actually consider what Christ endured.


2nd Writing for Lent “Skin for Skin”

Most anyone will do anything to save their skin.  We hear, ” It is no skin off my nose!”  or “He gets under my skin.”   We refer to it so much because it is important.

What is it about skin?   It is the very thing that holds one together.   The bones and all the organs have to be covered with skin.  Skin has its own value.  It is a waterproofer;  gives us skin tone; regulates body temperature and permits the sensation of touch, heat and cold. In fact, the skin, totaling about 20 sq. ft., is the largest organ of the body.

Satan said to God about Job, “Skin for Skin!  All that people have they will give to save their lives. But stretch out your hand now and touch his bone and his flesh and he will curse you to your face.”   The Lord said, “He is in your power, only spare his life.” ( Job 2:4-13)  So Satan inflected sores on Job from the sole of his feet to the crown of his head.

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs,  a written history  of the fate of those  who were willing to lay down their lives for their Saviour ,  is the story of what was done to the skin of men. It was burned and tortured in many ways.

Satan was wrong.  They did not curse God. They did not always understand why this was happening to them, but they were willing to stand firm and endure the pain.

Throughout Christian history, the tribulation and persecution of believers came in many forms.    Sometimes it was a political motive. It was often done by the very church that the believers honored. Other times it was simply evil and Satan demanding his pound of flesh.

They believed  that what they knew deep in their hearts was more than anything that could be done to them.   Job knew this. The apostles knew this.  Joan of Arc knew it also, as was depicted in the film Joan of Arc starring Ingrid Bergman.   She said because God spoke to her through voices that only she could hear, “ I do what I can without knowing how.”   In the end, she was burned at the stake for heresy because she would not deny what she heard from God.
The martyrs often had to listen to their own souls even though family or friends counseled them to surrender to  popular thought or authority rule.   They were humble.  They were not proud. Often they were ordinary people, like you and me.  They simply believed.  Skin was not all important…God was

VIDEO  Joan of Arc   The struggle to listen to and obey God.    (Turn on sound)


A Short Film Winner- The Porcelain Unicorn

A friend, John O’Neil, whom my husband and I  met recently shared with me a most moving video clip that had won First Place in the “Tell it Your Way” contest out of many entries.   Having written a number of  stories in this Boyer Writes on the lives of those who lived through World War II and the Holocaust,  I felt it would be appropriate to present this story of two people and how their meeting changed their lives.

This article written in the New York Times by Stuart Elliot gives the details:

September 24, 2010, 2:30 pm
Director Selects Winner of Philips Consumer Contest
By STUART ELLIOTT

“Ridley Scott, known for directing movies like “Blade Runner” and “Gladiator,” has chosen the winner of a contest to create short films that was sponsored by Philips.

Mr. Scott picked a film called “Porcelain Unicorn” as the winner of the Tell It Your Way contest. The name, echoing the long-time Burger King slogan, “Have it your way,” underlines the nature of the contest, which is in the genre known as consumer-generated or user-generated content.

“Porcelain Unicorn,” which can be watched on YouTube, was the brainchild of an American director, Keegan Wilcox. Mr. Wilcox, a producer and director at ELA Advertising in California, wins prizes that include a week working at Ridley Scott Associates and the promotion of his short by Philips in venues that include a section of the Philips Web site.

Mr. Scott selected the short from among more than 600 entries in the contest, which was inspired by online commercials for Philips, under the title “Parallel Lines,” created by the London office of DDB Worldwide, part of the Omnicom Group.

A People’s Choice Award was also presented in the contest, to a short called “Baby Time,” by a French director, Cedric Petitcollin. “Baby Time” can also be watched on YouTube.

There is also a YouTube channel devoted to the contest. The entries were winnowed to 306 semifinalists, which a panel of judges narrowed to 10 finalists. The public then voted on YouTube to select five of those 10 shorts for the final round of judging, during which Mr. Scott chose “Porcelain Unicorn” as the winner.”

VIDEO


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