Author: Nancy W. Boyer

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An Unusual Tour of St.Paul’s Cathedral, London

st paul's cathedral London

If one has had the opportunity to worship at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, it is most likely that this part of the Cathedral was not seen.    The construction of such a place is even more dramatic when one has climbed to its highest peeks.   For your Sunday, enjoy this unusual tour.  After the tour, return and be inspired by St. Paul’s Cathedral music.

MUSIC AT ST.PAUL’S CATHEDRAL   Psalm 150 sung with full choir and orchestra

Psalm 150: Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise Him in the firmament of His power.

Praise Him for his mighty acts: praise Him according to His excellent greatness.

 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet: praise Him with the psaltery and harp.

 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance: praise Him with stringed instruments and organs.

 Praise Him upon the loud cymbals: praise Him upon the high sounding cymbals.

 Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.

 

Released Detainees have gone where?

Just 90 miles from the state of Florida, USA, is Guantanamo Bay detention facility.  This has been a prison for those persons expected of being a part of the 9-11 attack on the United States.  Most people don’t know anything about them: where they are from or how dangerous they are to the free world. Over a period of time, many have been released…(to where?)…one may ask.

President Obama has called for the closing of the facility. Here are some facts that should interest everyone about those released.  As of March, 2016, 147 detainees have  been released by Mr. Obama.  It is known for certain that at least 6 of those set free have returned to terrorism and military activity.  There are 91 detainees still being held at Guantanamo Bay.

Another question one may ask is  “How many of those released, that we do not know about their activities,  are re-engaged in terrorism toward the  entire free world? How many of them have been directly or indirectly a part of the terrorist plots around the world?”
It also may be interesting to know some facts about where these released people from Guantanamo have gone.  The New York Times has identified  58 countries  as the places the released detainees have been sent.  Whether they stayed there is not known.   Perhaps one or more of these former prisoners  are living in your country and in your neighborhood wherever you live worldwide. There is little optimism that time spent at Guantanamo Bay has rehabilitated any of the prisoners. Those for maintaining the facility believe that it keeps terrorists away from the planning of more destruction and death worldwide.   Those opposed keeping it and agree that it should be closed, think that it only hardens the prisoners to become more radical in their beliefs.

Reading this list of countries where the released detainees were sent should make everyone in the world concerned about their homeland’s national security.

Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Yemen, Oman, Algeria, Britain, Morocco, Sudan, Kuwait, Albania, Tajikistan, France, Kazakhstan, Slovakia, Russia, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Georgia, Qatar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bahrain, Spain, Jordan, Turkey, Bermuda, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Somalia, Tunisia, Iran, Ghana, El Salvador, Italy, Libya, Mauritania, Ireland, Portugal, United State, Australia, Senegal, Canada, Bangladesh, Maldives, Sweden, Uganda, Hungary, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Latvia, Denmark, Estonia, Egypt, Montenegro, Chad.

Guantanamo Bay detainee

Information and Credits:   GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA –  ( Image has been reviewed by the U.S. Military prior to transmission.) U.S. military guards move a detainee inside the American detention center for “enemy combatants” on September 16, 2010 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. As of 2016, 91 detainees remain at the detention center, which was opened by the Bush administration after the attacks of 9/11. The facility is run by Joint Task Force Guantanamo, located on the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay on the southeastern coast of Cuba. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compassion goes the Extra Mile

Judge Lou Olivera and Sgt. Serna

Left: Judge Lou Olivera  Right: Sgt.Joseph Serna, Special Forces

What would make a prominent judge spend the night in jail with a man he hardly knew?   The only answer to that is a compassionate heart for those who have served and served well…but have problems.

Sgt. Joseph Serna  of North Carolina was a Green Beret.  He had four combat tours in Afghanistan as a Special Forces soldier.   His army career had stretched over two decades. Because of a roadside bomb and a suicide bomber, he almost lost his life three different times.  In Kandahar, his armored truck careened into a canal and his fellow soldier, Sgt. James Treber, saved him.

“I felt a hand come down and unfasten my seat belt and release my body armor,” Serna recalled. “Sgt. Treber picked me up and moved me to a small pocket of air. He knew there was not enough room for both of us to breathe so he went under water to find another pocket of air.”  Unfortunately, Sgt. Treber died and Serna survived.

Sgt. Serna earned three Purple Hearts, but returned home suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. This led him to drinking to excess and was picked up for driving while intoxicated.

This event landed him in the Cumberland County, N.C. court of Judge Lou Olivera. The Judge spent numerous times with Serna to evaluate his progress with these problems. Finally after being untruthful about one of his tests, the Judge sentenced him to a day in jail.

Sgt. Serna Special Forces

Sgt. Serna 

The next part is why I am writing this blog because there could be numerous writings on the problems that our Veterans have with stress after serving their country.  Here enters the Judge and his compassion for this young soldier.  Judge Olivera drives Serna to the jail.

“Where are we going?” Serna asked the Judge. The reply was, We are going to turn ourselves in.” What Serna did not know was Judge Olivera had decided that this prisoner would not spend the night or 24 hours alone.  He  decided to spend the sentence with the prisoner.  Judge Olivera is also a veteran of the Gulf War and he was so concerned about Serna that he did not want the isolation to trigger Serna’s PTSD.

As Serna sat down on the cot in his cell,  he heard the door rattle open again and saw Judge Olivera standing before him. Olivera sat down beside him. Someone came and locked the door. This was a one-man cell so we sat on the bunk and I said, ‘You are here for the entire time with me?’” Sgt. Serna said. “He said, ‘Yeah that’s what I am doing.’”

 

“They have worn the uniform and we know they can be contributing members of society,” Olivera said. “We just want to get them back there.”    

judge has compassion on vet

Judge Olivera

(Taken in part from an article by Yanet Yang of the Washington Post)

CLICK TO VIEW SOME OF THE SYMPTOMS OF PTSD

If you or someone you know has these symptoms along with alcohol or drug abuse, seek medical help immediately.  The sooner the help, the better the results.

 

The Seeds Novel, historical novel, by N.Boyer is finished

The Seeds, written by N.W. Boyer, is now finished.    To those of you who like mystery, intrigue, love, and suspense, this may be your opportunity for the best “curl up with a book” or blog that you have found in a while.  Each chapter is presented as the latest in the plot written around “What happened to SS Gen.Hans Kammler?”    This is a new online experiment with publishing a book chapter by chapter. Because each post shows the last chapter and certainly one does not want to know the ending without knowing the story, you, the reader, may simply click on any chapter off to the side of the blog to start at the beginning.

Written amid historical pictures and videos, this novel unfolds with exciting places and people from around the world. The primary setting is The World Seed Vault in Norway.    Sound interesting?   Here is your chance to follow and enjoy THE SEEDS.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE SEEDS     

An example of the graphics used in The Seeds (chapter 31) is the amazing interactive view of the art recovered after WWII from the salt mines.    Click to view.  Run mouse over paintings.

Slide presentation of some of the pictures  in The Seeds novel by N.W. Boyer

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Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday

 

queen Elizabeth and great grandchildren

For the Queen’s 90th birthday, she poses with  her Great Grandchildren: Charlotte, George;  Zara and Mike Tindall;  James, Viscount Severn and Lady Louise,  Savannah and Isla Phillips (photo by Annie Leibowitz)

Boyer Writes  would like to wish Elizabeth, Queen of Great Britain, a very happy 90th birthday. She has much to be proud of for she has outlived other monarchs whose portraits are hanging upon the majestic, great walls of her castles.  I’v often wondered how one would feel looking at the faces…of the famous and infamous gone before.  One bet she has talked to a few in the dark hours of the night when things were not going well.  As in any family, there are heartaches.The Queen has seen her share with her own children and the death of a daughter in law, who will always be the favored memory of those who followed her every move. 

One  sees our children grow up and wish that they will always  be successful in love and career, happy in all they do, appreciate us as parents and much more.  When they first came into this world as innocent, lovely babies they have no idea the world they will be facing as they grow.    Few families, the greatly honored and the unknown, live life without some major disappointments.  That is why one must look at all the blessings that comes with the unexpected.  We may be certain that Queen Elizabeth looks with pleasure on this picture of her and her newest Great Grand Daughter and George, who may be  England’s king one day long after Elizabeth is no longer alive.   Even as she did not expect to be the Queen, who knows if there will be a Queen Charlotte.  Life is strange in its twists and turns. 

Speaking of strange twists and turns, if you are a history buff and want to spend some time (or maybe a  shorter skip-through), seeing the video of the life of Elizabeth II below, it will be worth it.  So much of the world history is featured in this review of her early life and her reign as Queen.  She will be remembered as a young person for standing with her royal family and her country through World War II when there was so much sadness. From the bombings of England, millions of homes were damaged or destroyed.  The courage of her parents and their influence on her during this terrible time had made her who she is today.

For someone who has known few private moments in her life, compared to her duties with the public which she has taken as her life work, I would like to say that I am thankful that I am only the “queen” of my household. No trumpets have sounded for me nor  will they  at my funeral.  There is no mass fortune in my heritage, nor are there servants to cater to my every need.  I have no drivers to take me here and there, unless my husband drives.   I would not change a thing.  I like climbing into my truck, going wherever I please, without interruption.  I would like to live as long as Elizabeth has and be able to walk about the way she does without help.

God bless the Queen and may she see only more birthdays as long as her  life has meaning.

 

The Phone…an Instrument of Death

death at the wheel

It was a beautiful day in Florida and three friends were out for a ride in a BMW.  What did the medics and police find in the mangled metal?    A cell phone in the car with a Snapchat  video of the three that was taken just moments before the crash.  In this case, they hit a tree and not an innocent family  with little children, who would like to live long enough to have a phone.

texting

Florida, in the USA, is my home state. At present we have no laws against using one’s phone while driving, just warnings of the dangers.

comforting a child

Medics comfort child after auto crash

More people are calling for stronger measures for distractions by using a phone, whether talking, texting or photographing.  Nevertheless, even if we had them, it is most likely that such a law would be ignored by many.  One has to ask why people are so afraid of guns or drunk drivers, but those same  people who would never harm anyone with a gun or get behind the wheel when drinking, will text and use their phones as instruments of death.  It is absurd that one  will take such chances with their lives and the lives of others.   Many naive young people think they are in control, even while flirting with death. It never occurs to them, even after official warnings, that it could actually happen to them.

car crash2car crashes

Another Floridian made the news after killing four people while driving drunk.  He was given a slap on the wrist because he was “too wealthy to know right from wrong”.  (This type of punishment may encourage most teens that there are not many consequences to laws.) With the help of his mother, he fled the country only to get another slap on the wrist when charged as an adult.  Death that he caused by his behavior  had little meaning to this young man.

The phone is convenient and all of us use and love them. However, the  seriousness of death has not gotten through to many young people…and adults, unfortunately.

It is permanent!

 

The Beauty of the Earth

Driving from Florida to Virginia, it was evident that winter was almost over.  The snow is gone in the sunny south and Spring is just around the corner.  The tiny buds on the trees make a sea of different shades of green.  Driving up the Blue Ridge mountains, just over the North Carolina border into Virginia, the trees become less green with the change of altitude.  Nevertheless, the trees show their leaves are breathing to be free… bringing into view their glorious shades of color and new growth.

It is  hard to imagine that not so many  years  these mountains were stripped bare by logging.  It might be good to  remind ourselves that  magnificent trees throughout our country  were cut with no regards to the multitude of years that it took for them to grow. An example are the redwoods shown below.

cutting down the redwood forest.jpg

 

spring mountains Blue Ridge

The beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of VA and NC

Trees are probably the most resilient of living things.  Their life cycles go on and on with some  into the hundreds, if not thousands of years, until one day they crash onto the carpets of the forest bed.old tree

 They breathe life to everything around them.  They bring rain and moisture to the earth.  Birds love them as do the tiny creatures that make them their homes.blue birds in tree

 

 In fact, people love them so much, they build homes in them.

tree house design

TREE HOUSE

Golden Eagle Treehouse

TREE IN MIDDLE OF DECK…restful BLUE RIDGE

 

Trees provide shade, a place to rest and food.

deer and tree leaves

Further up the mountain, the dogwoods are starting to fan out their pink or white crosses of Easter, which we know is to be a continual spiritual season.

pink-dogwood

 Under the trees are  wildflowers blooming along the roadsides.  God’s beauty is certainly upon the earth.  Take time today to have a good long look at the trees around you.

 Your life will be calmer and happier than it was before you looked. 

16 of the World’s Most Magnificent Trees 

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