A Ghastly Holiday

“Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.
A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.”
Proverbs 18:1-2

Today is one of the most well-known holidays in the United States.
Tonight, all over the country – and all over the world – children,
not barring adults!,
will be going out onto the streets, dressed in costumes that range from
witches to zombies, mummies to Frankenstein,
and many, many, many others I’ll not take the time here to name.
In every way, the holiday celebrates evil…darkness…death…and satan himself.
And yet, so many Christians still celebrate this black day
as if it were meant to celebration of the coming of the Lord Jesus or something! 
Or perhaps they turn a blind eye to the evil they are participating in, simply because
it is fun…or good for the children.
I know many things that are fun I would never do…and many things
are good for children too, but we don’t let them have them.
Simply because….
these things are wrong.

Halloween has its roots deeply in the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain. 
This holiday was so important to the Celtic people that, apart from the rest of the 
United Kingdom, they continued celebrating it late into the centuries
and brought it to America because they felt that to not celebrate this day would
interrupt the cycle of life and certain rites of passage.
In the Celtic world Samhain marked the end of the summer, and the beginning 
of the darker time of the year…winter.
It also marked a day when spirits would walk the earth…spirits of ancestors…
who would come again to their homes and eat with their living relatives.
Evil spirits were also present, however, as Samhain was a day when the ‘other world’ 
was permitted passage into the present world. 
Thus, the creation of the ‘jack-o-lantern’, to protect ones home and family from 
these evil spirits.
This holiday continued to be celebrated by the Catholic church as 
“Hallowmas” 
(Is not that remeniscent of ‘Christmas’? – just as side note there.)
The Catholic of that day saw “Hallowmas” (celebrated on the same day as Samhain)
as a day to pray for the dead – for those in purgatory – and as a day
when those in purgatory would return as spirits to the earth to seek vengeance 
on those who had wronged them during their lifetimes.
To protect themselves from these spirits, the people would often disguise themselves in costumes.
Groups of poor – more often than not, children – would go 
from door to door collecting small cakes (‘soulcakes’) as a way of praying 
for the dead and for those in purgatory.
This much-celebrated holiday was brought to America chiefly by Irish/Scottish immigrants.
Prior to the 19th century there is no indication that Halloween was 
celebrated in America.
After the mass immigration during that century, and during the decay 
of more conservative (i.e. Puritan) beliefs in America,
Halloween was widely and readily accepted.
By the end of the first decade of the 20th century, Halloween was celebrated 
all across the nation.
So…gathering these facts together…
and considering openly where this holiday originated;
why would a follower of Jesus Christ ever be found to participate in the festivities on this day?
No one can choose for another – and 
do not presume that I will judge you for celebrating or for not celebrating. 
I have strong feelings on this – perhaps you can already see that,
but everyone must be convicted by the Lord Jesus personally.
As my Dad always says, 
“He who is convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.”

An Interesting Job

A friend asked me on facebook if our work was interesting. 
My response was that…sometimes…it can be very… 
interesting.

We work for the city; bidding on jobs as they become available.
The job is then awarded to the lowest bid.
Bids are gotten up by figuring up the costs on labor and materials for
accomplishing whatever the city wants done to the houses they are offering. 
But before we can bid, we have to see the homes, 
the neighborhoods, and determine exactly how much work a particular
job may require. 
This is when, I think, construction and renovations can get very interesting.
Mundane painting, repairs, etc. isn’t very interesting…
unless you’re interested. 🙂
But visiting homes in very low-income (and often low-pride) areas
can become very interesting.
It amazes me how little pride some people have.
Its my best guess that whoever painted the interior of this home
had to be very influenced (i.e. drugs)…
who would pain a home and leave the paint to drip down the baseboards?
Or pain the electrical outlets along with the wall?
Or leave brush marks (and smeared lipstick) all over the doors?

The bathrooms were the worst rooms in the house –
though by far not the nastiest bathrooms I’ve seen. 

Fist hole in the wall…maybe??
Note the painted light-switch cover – which was then scratched off
with someone’s fingernail or other object 
(not a construction tool by any means!)
The outside of the house was literally peppered with 
bullet holes.
Several windows were boarded up…and bullet holes 
covered the front door with multiple deep marks.. 
And why
Why do people have to live like this!
I thank Jesus for the Love and Life He is within –
and pray those people who live in such evil and wickedness 
will come to know Him too, and be 
freed from this awful, dark pit they have slipped into.

Home

There is no place I love being more than at home. 
These past few weeks, working away from the peace and quiet 
of my beloved little home with my dear family, has been very 
trying to me – in every way.
Today…and I pray the next couple or more weeks…
will be a time of much-needed refreshing.
Being Sunday today, I and my family went on a walk down 
to the barn. 
(I say ‘down’ because our house is up on a hill…over looking the hay 
field and towering above the little barn where we keep our goats…
tucked back in a deep ‘valley’-like place. 🙂

We haven’t had enough rain this year (or been home enough)
to keep the pond up properly…here you can see how low the water has
gotten without rain, and without us being here to siphon it from
the larger lake behind our place.

But we enjoyed getting out in the beautiful autumn air…
visiting our girls – and boys – and just being together, at home again.

I enjoyed it so much. 

Home is where I belong. 
I want to be here.
I think the Lord created me to be here.
Not to roam or wonder….

I’m praying much about our home…
my place here…
and my place beyond its almost-sacred walls….
where I am in a world contrary…
so contrary to me….
and everything I want to life for.
“My grace is sufficient for thee.”

A job finished.

Thank the Lord Jesus, He allowed us to finish our first HUD job yesterday,
October 26th 2012.

This is how the house looked when we first came….
All the patio doors you see here had to be removes, closed in, 
or replaced with new doors/windows.
Three more, which you can’t see here, had to be done the same way.
Everything up and ready to go home! 

It has been a difficult 8 weeks…but at the same time, its been 
8 weeks of togetherness, joy, and a lot of hard work for our family – 
all those things are certainly memory-makers! 🙂
We thank and praise Jesus for the opportunity we had to do this job. 
And I think we can learn much from having been here.

Even through all the struggles and pain…not to mention loss of time at home,
and a good deal of confusion…
we should learn to look more to our Lord Jesus…
to see His Hand in even the simplest things we live through during
the day-to-day. 
If we could look at things more like this…
see His Hand in our lives; and less of ourselves…
we could enjoy to the fullest the days He gives us – whether we’re doing 
what we think we ought to be doing or not.

Life is not meant to be all fun. 
Its not meant to be a game.
And its not meant to be lived for oneself.

Through each new experience we go through…
I am learning what life is really meant to be. 
Its to be lived in the Lord Himself – His Life in us, working His 
Works through us, and suffocating our flesh so that He can be glorified…
in even the littlest things that we usually would see no spiritual value in whatever.
Like the work we do for a living.

If we could trust Him like this. 
And see that life is hard…we have to work hard…we are going 
to have trials, trouble, and heartache….
But trust Him, anyways….

Then we could, like Paul, learn to be content in whatsoever state
we find ourselves in – even if the state we are in is contrary to us in every way.

We could enjoy the little things in life.
The things the Lord Jesus gives to us to enjoy and worship Him through.

The little things we pass by…
because we’re too busy with ourselves….
to busy worrying about ourselves….

We must have faith in Him, and believe HIM.
Nothing and no one else….
He alone can we put our trust in.

Then…
we can rest; in His Joy and His Peace…
in His Life.

Work

Work on our latest job has been progressing very well, thank the Lord.
Since we finished the painting job I posted 
about a bit ago, we have been working hard at Gatewood.
Our contract end date is coming on quickly.

We often leave at dark, or near to it, working
up to 7pm or later.
Building this porch, and vinyl-siding other areas of the house
has taken some time.

On days we can’t cook or take things with us, we buy supper. 🙂
I love pizza. 🙂

Framing on the porch.

After several weeks of being left at home everyday,
Missy finally insisted on being allowed to come with us. 🙂
She stays quiet for the most part, but is really tired when we go 
home at night. 🙂
“The ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He pondereth all his goings.”
Proverbs 5:21

Following the History of an accepted ex-inlaw

In 1922 at age 17 my paternal grandmother,
Carro Belle Crouch
married Jackson Franklin Brown.
(Pictured on left above.)

From left to right;
Lottie Crouch Rhymes, Dot Crouch, John Thomas and Meggie Crouch,
Carro Belle and Frank Brown Sr.
the three little boys
Frank Brown, James Rhymes, and Bobby Brown
They became parents 9 months later;
Jackson Frank Brown Jr. was born December 1922.
Six years latter Bobby Edwin Brown followed.
Before 1939 Carro Belle and Frank were divorced.
Wayne Allen Brown was born in 1933, after the divorce and 
the story has it, right after Carro Belle’s marriage to 
Theodore Roosevelt Lyons,
my Grandaddy. 
There are stories about what happened to Jackson Frank Brown Jr.
But I know he always lived in Georgia, and died August 16th 1943.
His sister, Mary, seemed to keep on good terms with the family however,
as in 1940 she is listed as a lodger with Carro’s parents,
John Thomas and Meggie Irvin Crouch.
Also living with them are the Blackwells (Tap and her husband)
and Marvins (Dot and her husband).
Mary worked with Meggie in the Columbus Textile Mill.
Mary was 36 years old, and still bore her name of Brown, and was 
listed as widowed.
Carro Belle, Meggie Crouch, and Ti
about the time Carro divorced Frank Brown.
I have been able to find some information on a
Mary L. Brown
who married Bryan Edumnd Henderson at age 20 in 1919
She died in 1955 after having several children.
I also have information on a Mary A. Brown
who died in 1997 in Bibb County Georgia, unmarried.
Could this Mary A. Brown, lodging with the Crouchs’ in 1940,
been Mary Henderson?
Or Could she have been Mary A. blank 
who married Frank Brown’s brother
 and thus bore the Brown name?
The search continues.

Of Trains

The other day, on the way to work,
Carra and I past an unusual train parked on the tracks
that cross the road we take daily.
There’s many tracks going through our part of the county,
but usually you only see cargo carriers. 

It so uncommon to find trains like this that we stopped and 
took a few pictures.

They were from Georgia, SC, and Florida.

The Georgia car was actually the dining car – you could see the kitchen
through the windows. 🙂

As a child

“Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 18:3-4
We think of these verses usually in the light of trust.
We must trust Jesus so implicitly that, like little children, we question not where He
leads us, or what He gives us, or what He tells.
How true this is.
But true child-trust begins with humility.
“Whosoever therefore shall humble himself….”
How much humbling it takes to become as a child.
How much pain we must endure to set our own opinions aside…
our own logic…our own knowledge and understanding.
Humility is the first and foremost position of a Christian.
It is this that Christ so labors to form in us –
but indwelling us; with His Own Humble Life!

A Scene

Its been quite sometime since I wrote a scene for my blog.
I like to do that sometimes; especially when I can’t concentrate enough to really write.
I’ll write a short, shaky-type scene that isn’t polished or perfected.
Sometimes it will actually get fixed up and incorporated into the story,
or either the Lord will use it to give me some idea for a later scene.
I only have a few minutes tonight (less than half an hour),
but I’m going to try to write a scene anyways, if the Lord will allow,
and Lordwilling I’ll schedule it for Tuesday (this is Sunday evening).
“What’s troubling you, lad?” I knew something was bothering him…Heimler had not been himself for days – testy and short tempered, he was acting more like a rash sailor than the well-mannered soldier I had always known.
“Nothing, sir,” he wouldn’t look at me. 
The young man rested back in his seat and pulled a small timepiece from his pocket.
“Where’d you get that?” I watched him.
“Bought it before we left London,” his words were short, “Savings from the card table at White Rock.”
“You’re on your way to being a professional gambler, Heimler,” I shook my head, “As professional a gambler as I was a professional criminal.”
“I’m not on my way to being a professional anything,” the young German grumbled and pushing his seat back angrily. Rising, he took a few steps cross the little room.
The dim flame of the candle in the lantern which hung against the dark wall cast a dull light in the tiny compartment I was now permitted to call my cabin, but Heimler was beyond the reach of this weak flame – across the room he looked more like a dark shadow than a man.
“I’ve never known you to act like this, Heimler,” I tossed my feet onto the table top and rocked my chair back on two legs, “What’s happened – loose a game of pharo?”
“Certainly not, sir,” the young German’s gaze was fixed on the aquatic blackness outside my cabin’s tiny window.
“Dice?”
Heimler only grunted.
“Bridge then,” I insisted.
“Can’t you blast think of me in any light except a gambler!” I had expected an explosion – but not quite so violent. The young German was more out of sorts than I had known, “I am human, sir, for heaven’s sake!”
“Then tell me humanly what’s the matter!” I slipped my feet off the table and stood from my seat, “What in the – “
“Abigail.”
The name was spoken so quickly and so low that I hardly caught it.
“Abigail?” I walked over to him, “You’ve quarled with her?”
The young German finally faced me, “Yes we’ve quarreled.”
I watched those German-blue eyes for several moments. Resting my shoulder against the wall I took a breath, “What about?”
Heimler looked back out towards sea, “She’s pregnant.”
“She’s what?” I was shocked – Abigail Reynolds….
“She’s pregnant,” Heimler growled, and his words which followed were not worth repeating. 
“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” I put a hand on his shoulder, “Heimler wait a minute; if she’s carrying your child then -“
“My child!” the young man snapped, stomping across the room again, “My child! That wench won’t let me see her with a shift on – much less get anywhere near to having a child by her!”
“And how do you know she’s pregnant?” 
Heimler turned round to me, “She told me is blast how – she told me herself! Started off with all these apologies – then she tried a crying jag before she finally confessed the -“
He was interrupted sharply by the sudden entrance of Norman Howe.  
The young German pulled a pistol on him, “Don’t you know how to knock, you fool!” he barked at him, “The master’s cabin is private quarters – not to be barged in on by just any tramp!”
“Any tramp except the Royal Navy,” Howe responded calmly, “Put that gun up, if you would, boy,” he took a seat at the table. 
I watched him. 
Howe was a man of quick sense, good reason, and a decent share of wit, but he was conceited – he was rich, filthy rich, and he had a name for himself in the Navy and the British court; besides being a very active member of Parliment. 
“Sullivan,” he spoke to me as the inferior he felt that I was, “Your Captain is pushing my patience, I advise you to do something about him.”
“Bennet is a man of his own manners,” I responded coolly, “As long as he doesn’t do anyone a harm there is nothing you can accuse him of. I’ve tried to talk to him, but he will hear no reason.”
Howe grunted and helped himself to my tea, “And this young chap,” he nodded towards Heimler, “I’ve seen him about deck picking fights with my men; if I were you I’d have him horsewhipped at once. The worst thing you can have on board a ship is men fighting with each other – demoralizes your force and divides them seriously.”
Heimler gave a short laugh and knocked my china tea cup out of Howe’s hand with the muzzle of his handpiece. It shattered in the captain’s hand, shower him with bits of glass and a good dousing of strong tea.
That’s all I have time for tonight. 
Its not very good…its based on the second book which is yet to be begun. 
Can you get any idea from this scene what the setting for the story is? 
I welcome any and all comments!

My Prayer

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, 
tune my heart to sing Thy grace; 
streams of mercy, never ceasing, 
call for songs of loudest praise. 
Teach me some melodious sonnet, 
sung by flaming tongues above. 
Praise the Mount! I’m fixed upon it, 
mount of Thy redeeming love. 
Here I raise mine Ebenezer; 
hither by Thy help I’m come; 
and I hope, by Thy good pleasure, 
safely to arrive at home. 
Jesus sought me when a stranger, 
wandering from the fold of God; 
He, to rescue me from danger, 
interposed His precious blood. 
O to grace how great a debtor 
daily I’m constrained to be! 
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, 
bind my wandering heart to Thee. 
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, 
prone to leave the God I love; 
here’s my heart, O take and seal it, 
seal it for thy courts above.
Robert Robinson