Thank you for stopping by my blog.

I write day after day because I discover extraordinary lessons from ordinary life experiences. I record my visual portraits of everyday life filled with something sacred in hopes that my reflections might bring an insight that blesses my readers.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Deep Roots

Deep roots make lasting family ties

     My mother’s roots came from Kentucky.  Beginning forefathers were named Childers and Hammock.  One of my most memorable stories my mother would tell me is when her grandfather, who was the Sheriff of Rock Castle County, was gunned down on the porch of a church where he was hanging his guns before he entered the church service.  I have tried to visualize that day so many times. 
     Since I was a child, the Childers and Hammocks celebrated Memorial Day at the cemetery in Middletown, Ohio.  I remember my great aunts decorating the graves and sharing stories of their loved ones.  As a child, I loved listening to my ancestor’s antics and accomplishments.  After singing some hymns accompanied by guitar and banjo picking uncles and cousins, we would go to Armco Park and have an all day picnic.  Apple stack cakes, fresh green beans with ham hocks, scalloped potatoes, crisp country friend chicken, creamy potato salad, home made breads, and collard greens were just part of the menu.  It was one of my favorite holidays because of the stories, the food, and the banjos.  I loved singing old hymns with my family.  There were so many cousins that came from Cincinnati, Washington DC, and nearby areas that I could not know all of them.  Since mom was one of nine children, there were many first and second cousins.
     This memorial day we gathered in Springboro, Ohio at my cousin Billy Hammock’s farm.  It is no longer a family tradition to go to the cemetery.  Younger cousins don’t even understand how important decorating family graves were in the 50’s and 60’s.  Yet, our family still comes together to share wonderful food,  tell stories, chase little cousins, calm crying babies, and gather on the porch to hear Billy tell tales of our families who fought in the wars to maintain our freedom.  Civil War stories are the best when Billy recounts the roles of our relatives in the war. Names like Enoch, Eli, and Levi are repeated through the generations.  It is still a blessing to gather together, to pray together, and sing those old hymns.  Tears stand in eyes as we share stories of recent aunts and uncles and cousins who have gone on to be with Jesus.  It is a blessing to have deep roots in our family but our deepest and sustaining roots are in Jesus of Nazareth.

     The featured photo is a 1913 gathering of brothers and their dad.  It is obvious there is dramatic flair back then.  I cherish this old photo because it shares some of my family’s other interest. (Snickering by me)  So, as in any family, there is tomfoolery and partying as well as the deep roots that have kept us celebrating Memorial Day together.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How Can You Make Your Voice Heard?

Standing Up For Nine Year Olds

“In Germany, they first came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist; then they they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.  Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Trade Unionist.  Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.  Then they came for me—and by that time no one was left to speak up.”  Martin Niemoller

Many of us are familiar with Pastor Niemoller’s famous quote, but I think it is as timely in today’s world as it was when it was published in 1947. Niemoller was imprisoned in the Sachenhausen and Dachau for being outspoken against Nazism.

He speaks from heart knowledge as well as history.  He warns mankind to show a sense of responsibility to their fellowman and not forget our past life lessons.  We have so many injustices in our world this day.  Sometimes I feel overwhelmed.  I ask myself, what can I do?  I am only one.  Who will listen to me?

I read of ISIS taking nine-year-old girls to abuse and use for their pleasure. 
You can walk into any mall and buy a pair of NIKE running shoes for what they are buying a Christian or Yezidi girl from 1-9 years of age — $172 dollars. And she’s yours. For whatever you want, for as long as you want, to make do whatever you want. Sit with that. Yeah, we’re all done living in a world where a pair of shoes can last longer, have more worth, be treated with more value, than a fondled, raped and discarded 9 year-old-girl."
The United Nations reports this week that at least one young girl’s been “married” over 20 times —" and forced at the end of each violation to undergo surgery to “restore” her virginity.
If you take time to read this entire article, you may too feel a need to have a louder voice for nine-year-olds.  I have a nine-year-old granddaughter.  I cannot imagine her having to endure what these children suffer each day. Please take time to read this article, to pray, to decide what each of us could do to stand up for these children. Can you imagine our world without nine year olds?