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Death and Life

Thanksgiving and the lowly sweet potato

sweet-potatos-in-gardenIt’s orange…and odd shaped. Not the world’s most beautiful vegetable, but one may be surprised at the good it does in this world of violence and discontent.   One report spoke of a third world country where children were going blind.  After the families switched from growing white potatoes to the sweet potatoes, the children’s eyes greatly improved. World Vision shows sweet potato story

 

 

 

 

 

World Vision is a Christian organization that has helped people find hope, health, and a lively hood.   Click here to read the inspirational stories of World Vision

sweet-potatoes2Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamins A, B6,  vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin D, Iron, magnesium potassium, natural sugar.   If you know what all these vitamins help in a healthy you…then you are probably thinking about the heart, skin, immune system, and much more.

In our previous blog, we talked about relaxation and it is our wish at Boyer Writes that you are feeling rested and “full-filled” as you enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner with friends or family.  As you gather around the table, take a moment to give each person there a chance to say the things of which they are most thankful.  Even if a person is not considered religious, they usually have something to share because everyone knows at least one thing that is a blessing in life.

Just in case you want to add sweet potatoes to your meal, here is a special recipe for you and exactly how to make it.  HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

Click to see video….Ahhhhh the gourmet classic sweet potato


What’s in your food…and where did it come from? READ THE LABELS

super market

Thanksgiving is almost upon us.   The kitchen workers will be busy making our favorite meals for friends and  a family gathering.  Before any of this can happen, we have a trip to the grocery store to make.  Some of the facts on this blog may make one decide to grow a garden really quick….but it is too late. If we plan to eat out at a restaurant…then we have even less control.   Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping.    READ THE LABELS.  

Yes, it takes time to read labels, but you may be surprised at how much of your food is not really produced in the U.S.A or if it is how much of it has made a trip to China and back again.

This is not a pretty or sanitary blog.  It is one of warning.  It is the reality of the deception that is often brought upon the unknowing public.

Where is your food coming from and how safe is it?

Sanitary conditions are totally out of the picture and rarely checked in much of China. What comes to us here in the U.S.A from the slaughter houses or processing plants in other countries, is often a mystery.   (Just a side note: Probably the sickest I have ever been was when I ate in a hotel restaurant in Beijing. Now, I have an idea why.)

Here is an article sent to me that I think is worth reading for it may be very important to your health.

Chinese slaughter house

Chinese slaughter house

Check your food labels and consider these facts:

  • Smithfield Farms, the largest pork
    producing farm in the USA was sold in September to China with the
    unanimous support of its stockholders!! This is the process:
  • The hogs will still be raised in the U.S.A
  • Slaughtered and packaged in China and sent back.
    This includes labels: of Morrell, Eckrich, Krakus, Cudahy,
    Premium Hams, Cook’s, Gwaltney.
  • The same with many chickens. They are shipped to China for processing.
    When they come back all that needs to be labeled is that they WERE RAISED IN THE USA.
  •  The chickens will be all processed and most sold to fast food restaurants for sandwiches,
    along with schools and supermarkets.
  • The China slaughter and processing standards are no where equal to the U.S.A
    What to do:  buy only U.S.A and Canadian clearly labeled.Starkist Tuna…now owned by Korea…in conflict with U.S.A for not producing records on quality.What to do:   Avoid fish that comes from China.
  • Albertson’s  had a 4 day special of 4 bags of frozen tilapia for price of one.  Label read “farm raised”…on back in small print “China”Fish farms in China often are fed raw sewage according to Food Inspectors.  Food color is added and flavorings before shipping to the U.S.A and Canada.Green Giant frozen vegetables are from China.
  • What to do?   Buy Arctic Gardens or Birdseye Garlic:   buy only garlic clearly marked from U.S.A or Canada. China is the largest producer of garlic in the world next to the U.S.    Their garlic is grown in people or chicken poop.
  • Honey     Buy only local honey which is also good for allergies.    Honey is shipped in huge containers from China and repacked in the U.S.A
  • “Our Family”  brand of Mandarin Oranges …from China     Buy Liberty brand.Go to the local farmers’ markets in season and keep a wary eye open the rest of the year.Cosco  sells canned peaches and pears in plastic jar from China.What to do?      Buy GOLD BRAND OR THE DOLE IS FROM CALIFORNIA.“Pacific Salmon” from High Liner and other frozen fish products….from China and Indonesia  with no real regulations on what is fed to fish.    Many Chinese feed fish contain growth hormones and expired antibiotics from humans.    Besides China, beware of products from Vietnam and Philippines.  Steinfeld’s Pickles ….from India
  • No-Name brand canned mushrooms …from Indonesia
  • PRC  also includes Hong Kong
  • Buy American..or Canadian when possible…It’s your health.
  • If the above was not enough….this will break your heart….dogs in China rescued from the slaughter-house. (See article..DOGS RESCUED.)

Hot as Hell? A question too hot to answer.

The pit of hell?   No, the Kilauea Volano in Hawaii All photos by the U.S. Geographical Society

The pit of hell?          No, the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii All photos by the U.S. Geological Survey

IS THERE A HELL?  Everyone would like to know…but most do not want to approach the subject or even speak of it….unless it is in a profane way.  Nevertheless, it is a subject…unlike heaven…that brings up fears and distrust.  One could rationalize that if there is no hell….why would there be a heaven?    Who wants to be forever in eternity with the most evil in this world.  Would it then cease to be heaven?  I am so glad that God is in charge for we most likely will not have a definite answer until we breathe our last.   The closest we have come to knowing what happens after life is the “near death” experiences of those who returned to life as they had known it and spoke of the great peace; the bright light…and not wanting to return.   Surely if they were headed toward hell there would have been fear not peace.

When recently I watched the slowly moving lava of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii on various programs, this question of hell was not in my mind.  Then I saw the amazing pictures taken by the U.S. Geological Survey and immediately the thought raced through my mind “That looks hotter than hell!”    But who knows what hell is like…or how hot it really may be…or if it is literal or a terrible state of mind?  Looking at these pictures certainly makes one shiver at the idea that being thrown into such a pit could possibly be a reality.  Such is the cause of nightmares!    As I write, this just happens to be All Hallows Eve which traditionally was to honor all saints and martyrs in the Christian faith …more commonly known today  as Halloween here in the United States…but that is another subject.

Many religions speak of hell and look at the subject in different ways.  Although we are not trying to cover every religious belief in this writing, below are some words from those who speak for their faith. lava pushes into Pahoa, Hawaii.4

lava pushes into Pahoa, Hawaii. Kilauea VolcanoCHRISTIANITY   The Holy Scriptures of the Christian faith has many verses concerning hell.   The art of the early Christian painters was often painted to interpret the Scriptures as many in the masses did not read.   The agony…the torture…the gruesome scenes would be enough to scare anyone!  The love of God is what leads us to salvation…not fear…we are told.  Yet, in both the old and new testaments of the Holy Scripture, hell is spoken of. (See a few listed at the end of this writing.)

 JUDISM  The Jewish faith also acknowledges hell…but a different type of hell as expressed by Rabbi Aaron Moss:

“The Jewish mystics described a spiritual place called “Gehinnom.” This is usually translated as “Hell,” but a better translation would be “the Supernal Washing Machine.” Because that’s exactly how it works. The way our soul is cleansed in Gehinnom is similar to the way our clothes are cleansed in a washing machine. Put yourself in your socks’ shoes, so to speak. If you were to be thrown into boiling hot water and flung around for half an hour, you might start to feel that someone doesn’t  like you. However, the fact is that it is only after going through a wash cycle that the socks can be worn again. We don’t put our socks in the washing machine to punish them. We put them through what seems like a rough and painful procedure only to make them clean and wearable again….   So too with the soul. Every act we do in our lifetime leaves an imprint on our soul. The good we do brightens and elevates our soul, and every wrongdoing leaves a stain that needs to be cleansed. If, at the end of our life, we leave this world without fixing the wrongs we have done, our soul is unable to reach its place of rest on high. We must go through a cycle of deep cleansing. Our soul is flung around at an intense spiritual heat to rid it of any residue it may have gathered, and to prepare it for entry into Heaven. Of course, this whole process can be avoided. If we truly regret the wrong we have done and make amends with the people we have hurt, we can leave this world with “clean socks.” That’s why our Sages said, “Repent one day before you die.” And what should you do if you don’t know which day that will be? Repent today.”   lava pushes into Pahoa, Hawaii

HINDUISM   The Hindu believes in various levels of hell.    Naraka  is the Hindu equivalent of hell  where sinners are tormented after death.[ It is also the abode of Yama ,the god of Death. It is described as located in the south of the universe and beneath the earth. The number and names of hells, as well as the type of sinners sent to a particular hell, varies from text to text; however, many scriptures describe 28 hells. After death, messengers of Yama  bring all beings to the court of Yama, where he/she weighs the virtues and the vices of the being and passes a judgement, sending the virtuous to Svarga  (heaven) and the sinners to one of the hells. The stay in Svarga or Naraka is generally described as temporary. After the quantum of punishment is over, the souls are reborn  as lower or higher beings as per their merit.  In a few texts, a hell is described as a bottomless pit of darkness where souls are trapped for eternity and deprived of rebirth. “

lava phot US Geological Survey Volcano eruption June 2014ISLAM     According to islamreligion.com, there are different levels of both paradise and hell.  “Hell is an infernal place of punishment for unbelievers and purification for sinful believers.  Torture and punishment for the body and the soul, burning by fire, boiling water to drink, scalding food to eat, chains, and choking columns of fire.  Unbelievers will be eternally damned to it, whereas sinful believers will eventually be taken out of Hell and enter Paradise. Paradise is for those who worshiped  God alone, believed and followed their prophet, and lived moral lives according to the teachings of scripture. Hell will be the final dwelling place of those who denied God, worshiped other beings besides God, rejected the call of the prophets, and lead sinful, unrepentant lives.”

 

BUDDHISM:   In only a few words, this is the basic belief of the buddhist: “There is a hell realm where sinful beings are born, and suffer, and the heaven realm where meritable beings are born. Buddhists believe in reincarnation. This means you will keep going through the cycle of life over and over again until you reach enlightenment (a state of mind where you are completely peaceful and in harmony with the world around you). Depending on how you lived your previous life, you will be reincarnated to a life suiting how you treated others before. When you reach Enlightenment you will go to Nirvana.  Nirvana could be called the equivalent of the Christian idea of Heaven. Buddhism is in actuality a Way of Life, in strict accord with the Laws of Nature. Life in Buddhism denotes a unit of mind, which is a unit of dynamically fluctuating energy. Buddhism acknowledges several planes of life, animal, humans, form and formless existences; heavenly realms and hell realms. They exist in the form of energy. However, whether in heavenly or hell realm, form or formless existences, these beings must finally escape from Samsara into Nirvana (enlightenment). Buddhism is about mind culture and only with development of mental development can craving be eradicated and production of kamma be halted.”

 

None of the above may convince you that a loving God would hurl those souls into such a terrible place, but throughout history the wisest and smartest of men and women have studied the words they feel were given to man by God.  If there is no hell, not to worry.  The worrisome part is not truly knowing for the Holy Scriptures tell us a “a great gulf is fixed” between the living and the dead.   No one from either place…heaven or hell…has returned to tell us the actualities.

As a Christian, I turn to the Holy Scriptures that gives us some insight to faith….for if we can believe God for His salvation, we must also believe Him for other matters.    I only believe it will be a fearsome or delightful experience to look into the face of our maker…and have to give an account.

SCRIPTURES FROM THE HOLY BIBLE (Old and New Testaments):

Hebrew: sheol (or hell)  Numbers 16:33 So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly.

Luke 16:24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’

Revelation 14:11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”

After reading all this, do you feel despondent, sad, discouraged….on this Halloween?    If so, I have some good news as you turn to God for His answers to life and death.    THE PROMISE OF GOD in Romans 8:37-39     “Nay in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present or things to come…nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. “

Click for more individual study

 

 

 


Do not forget Ukraine! An amazing story… “baptism by fire”

Seigrey P (not real name) in happier days.

Sergey P (not real name) in happier days.

 

The young man shown here is a University grad in Ukraine.  He also has cerebral palsy, which makes it difficult for him to talk or move.  Nevertheless, his story that you are about to read is true and gives an amazing detail of a man who was kidnapped but continued to risk his life, despite his disabilities, to help others escape the violence in Ukraine.  We will call him Sergey and blur his face for security reasons.  Below is a partial report of his experiences written by a fellow Ukrainian for a local media outlet:

________

“Where would I go?  I was born here. I love Donetsk; it’s my homeland. I am Ukrainian. No, of course I don’t want Donetsk to become part of Russia! And if it did, I would leave  Ukraine. But for now, why would I leave? I want to do something good [while I can].

Once someone asked if anyone could drive a person from Snizhne to Krasnoarmiisk. I came up to them and said: “I want to do it, only I don’t have money for fuel.” I have been driving people for two weeks, now.

In my 35 years of life  I couldn’t find a job because of my disability. In the ordinary times I simply didn’t have much to do. But in times of this unfortunate war, it turns out that I am capable of doing something….

Yesterday I was greatly frightened.

I was in Shahtarsk yesterday. I went there to pick up an elderly man. This was when the DNR [Donetsk People’s Republic] bandits captured me. They held me at gun point. Their first question was somewhat stupid: “Are you a Baptist?” Shocked and frightened, I said, “no.”

I asked what did being a Baptist have to do with anything? And they said: “These are our main sworn enemies, they are the agents of America.” They threw me inside my car and drove off with me sitting in the back seat, the two of them were sitting in front. They threatened to take me to the regional administration building.

There was a bus full of children and elderly women moving behind us. There were also criminals on that bus, who were carrying guns. It seemed to me that they [the bandits] were fleeing Shahtarsk and needed a live shield [the children and elderly women].

They were taking elderly women to Donetsk, accompanying them on the bus. And it seemed that they were using it as a way to escape. I was captured, so I couldn’t pick up that elderly man yesterday. Gun pointed to my temple. I told them that I was scared. One of them fired a shot in the air and asked: “How about now, are you scared now?”

The scariest thing was when I arrived in the Pisky village. I had to drive though the fields, because roads are blocked with checkpoints everywhere now; they don’t let you through. I saw elderly women walking. I asked: “Will I get to Pesky this way?” They got in my car and showed me how to get around the mines. And then they said: “Stop here and continue on foot.” I went afoot. I saw mines and trip-wires everywhere.

I found an old woman, 96 years of age; the roof of her house was destroyed. She was sitting in the cellar, knee deep in water. She had been living in that cellar for four days. She was trying to get in touch with me for a week. We walked 3 km on foot toward my car. Missiles were scattered across the whole of Pisky, and there were flare pistols twisted into the ground. The war is going on there.

Only now I know what the expression “ baptized by fire” really means.

They don’t care anymore. When I was taking people out of Snizhne, thirteen people managed to fit inside my car. I couldn’t even fathom it would be possible. There were only eleven of them to begin with, but they told me that there were two more people in Shahtarsk who needed to be picked up. I asked them: “How?”

As I approached Shahtarsk, two elderly men were waiting there. They said that they would be able to fit in. I told them: “Where?! You can’t! It’s impossible.” They started crying as I drove away. I came back for them and they got into the car! I don’t know how.

One of them had a passport with a Lviv registration. (Passports are being checked at every checkpoint.) We were doomed! Somehow he managed to lie down under the women’s legs, and they didn’t find him. I ended up bringing them to Sloviansk. I think that it wasn’t me but someone from above!

Earlier this week, I was transporting a young lady from the regional children’s hospital. She had just given birth to a baby. I was bringing them to Kramatorsk and all the roads were blocked. An old man who was passing by showed us the way and we drove through. Further on, there were mines. She was crying the whole way through, afraid that we would be blown up by a mine.

Somehow, through the fields, we had managed to drive out onto the Konstantynivska route. It took us two hours in order to get out of Donetsk and get onto this route. Yasynuvata (Donetsk Oblast) was blocked; you couldn’t drive through it. When we finally reached Kramatorsk, her dad started hugging me with tears in his eyes. I can’t even imagine, for what? I am only a connector between the steering wheel and the pedals…”

_____

Boyer Writes believes that those who serve as  a “Connector” in a desperate situation are angels  from God.  Continue to pray for the people of Ukraine and this brave young man who has not let his disability keep him from doing what he knows is right when others are in need. We must not forget what the people of Ukraine are going through.

It is also interesting that the enemy of the Ukrainian people made a point to this young man by calling the Christians in the area “Baptists”, which we know as a denomination.  While I was in Ukraine, I found that the Christians of Ukraine had opened orphanages and did nothing but help the Ukrainians whose families had often broken apart by alcoholism and the children had no one to care for them.  Why they are considered someone to get rid of is hard to understand.  Of course, we also do not understand why an aid worker to Syria…who was there to only help the poor and destitute…could be brutally beheaded.

With such events happening around the world, the spotlight on this aggression and violence in Ukraine may fade from the media, which  obviously  is wanted by the invaders.   It must not be allowed to happen.  Experiences like this one must be kept alive.

 

 

 


Just a few beers..and CHOICES

So often we hear the sad stories of both young and old not making it home because of an accident where there was a DUI (Drinking Under the Influence)  involved. The heartache that goes with these reports is probably indescribable. So what is the problem with “just a few beers”…probably nothing…if a person knows when too many is definitely too many.

I remember one date I had in my youthful years…and he definitely was not able to drive anyone anywhere. The choice I made that night was not an easy one…because it was not only embarrassing, but a definite let-down to a night that could have been a happy one. I asked another guy that I knew was not drinking that night to take me home.  He did.

Recently I saw a Budweiser commercial that had a good message of choice…even if it was a bit sad. It had a lesson in CHOICES:

  • The CHOICE not to drive.
  • The FACT that some made a CHOICE to drive…and did not make it home.
  • There may be those at home WAITING…and counting on you to return. It would be best to think  before it becomes just a few…or a few too many.

Watch this video and see what you think. (or better still…watch it with a young person.)


The Sullivans…”Sticking together” in the Agony of War

 

On board USS Juneau (CL-52) at the time of her commissioning ceremonies at the New York Navy Yard, 14 February 1942.

On board USS Juneau (CL-52)  New York Navy Yard, 1942.

 

Two ships have been named after the Sullivan brothers because of the terrible loss of all five brothers who joined up together to fight in World War II :  (Sullivans (DD 537), commissioned in 1943 and the USS The Sullivans (DDG-68) was commissioned in September 1993.)

The brothers are shown in the picture at left: Joseph, Francis, Albert, Madison and George Sullivan.    All men from Waterloo, Iowa were serving on the same ship that went down  following the 13 November 1942 Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.

It was later learned, through survivors’ accounts, that four of the brothers died in the initial explosion. The fifth, George Thomas, despite being wounded the night before, made it onto a raft where he survived for five days before succumbing either to wounds and exhaustion or a shark attack.

The brothers received the Purple Heart Medal posthumously and were entitled to the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with four engagement stars and the World War II Victory Medal. They had also earned the Good Conduct Medal.

One can only imagine the grief felt by their family members.   Their parents were Mr. Thomas F. Sullivan and Mrs. Alleta Sullivan.  Mr. Sullivan was a brakeman on the Illinois Central Railroad. They were your typical Irish Catholic family.  Their family motto was “We stick together” .  That was what made them ask permission to serve together on the doomed ship. 
 
The brothers had one sister, Genevieve Sullivan who was close to her brothers.

The last of the Sullivan children, Genevieve Sullivan joins the Waves in 1943.

The last of the Sullivan children, Genevieve Sullivan joins the Waves in 1943.

Albert Leo Sullivan’s wife, Katherine Mary Sullivan had a son named James Thomas, who was  twenty-two months old at the time of his father’s death. James Sullivan, later joined the Navy and served on the ship named for his father and uncles.   His daughter is shown in the picture below.

 

 Kelly Sullivan Loughren is the granddaughter of Albert Leo Sullivan, the youngest of the five Sullivan brothers who lost their lives together aboard USS Juneau during World War II.  She is a teacher.

Kelly Sullivan Loughren is the granddaughter of Albert Leo Sullivan, the youngest of the five Sullivan brothers who lost their lives together aboard USS Juneau during World War II. She is a teacher.

Following the loss of their sons, Thomas and Alleta  toured the United States. They spoke in plants, ship yards, and public events to help support the war effort. Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered a Ship to be named “The Sullivans” and in 4, April 1943, The Fletcher Class Destroyer, USS The Sullivans launched with Alleta attending the event.

USS The Sullivans DD-537)

USS The Sullivans DD-537

USS The Sullivans DDG-68

USS The Sullivans DDG-68

Directed by Lloyd Bacon Produced bySam Jaffe Robert Kane

Directed by Lloyd Bacon
Produced by Sam Jaffe
Robert Kane

A movie was made of the story of these brave men and the grief, dedication and sacrifice of this Irish family.  Five head stones are placed in their memory at Arlington National Cemetery.

 

Guidelines in part from the Navy Personnel:

” …In the Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin for July, 1942, it was stated that the Bureau considered it to be in the interest of their families that brothers not be put on the same ships in wartime, and added that “in view of the above, commanding officers will not forward requests for brothers to serve in the same ship or station.” Other than the foregoing announcements, no policies were put forth on the subject. The question of the advisability of coercive action to force the separation of brothers was considered, especially after the death of the five Sullivan brothers as a result of the sinking of the U.S.S. Juneau on 13 November 1942. However, no such action was taken.

On 15 November 1944 Bureau Circular Letter 345-44 was issued. It stated that in case a family had lost two or more sons in the armed forces and had only one surviving son, consideration would be given to application either by the family or the surviving son for the latter’s retention in the United States, unless he was engaged in non-hazardous duties overseas. On 14 April 1945 Bureau Circular Letter 107-45 broadened the rule to provide that if two or more members of the family had been lost consideration would be given to the return to the United States of all remaining members of the family….”

 

A VIDEO TRIBUTE TO THE FIVE SULLIVANS


Rescue Dogs of 9-11

9-11 Rescue DogsWe know that many people put their lives at risk to go into the smoking pieces of debris  at Ground Zero on 9-11.  Many of these first responders died and later many others became ill.   We also know that there were a number of rescue dogs that helped find remains.  We honor these brave men and women as well as the canines who helped on that terrible day.

Resting from a long day!

Resting from a long day!

Resting from a long day!

9-11 Rescue Dogs2

9-11 Rescue Dogs39-11 Rescue Dogs6

 

At the time this video was made, Abby was the last living Rescue Dog from the training center.  There is, however , another dog, Bretagne  is the longest living rescue dog from 9-11.    In the pictures above are search dogs that have passed away.  We owe them great honor and gratitude.

Bretagne the golden retriever who is now 15 years old and the longest surviving rescue dog today. (2014) shown in this picture with her handler.

Bretagne shown on 9-11 is 15 years old in 2014

Bretagne shown on 9-11 is 15 years old in 2014

 

     SEE VIDEO OF ABBY  with her handler  

 


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