A Saga

My younger brother was researching our family for years. When I became interested in the history of our family. I wanted to see who they were and what they did. My search took me in 4 different directions. There was my father and his parents. Then there was my mother and her parents. Two of the families are from France. One family is from Italy. Another is from Scotland and Ireland. And you wouldn’t believe some of the people in my family. In my mother’s family is the frontiersman Kit Carson and Daniel Boone. These men were Scots-Irish. Francoise Boutte was one of Jean Lafitte’s lieutenants. This family is from France. My dad’s family came to this country in 1637. They landed in Boston. My family fought for the British and against them in the American Revolution. They fought in the War of 1812. They fought in the Civil War on both sides. They fought in WWI. My dad and his brothers fought in WWII. My brother and I were in the Vietnam War. My 3 of my sons served in Iraq and Afghanistan. My great, great grandfather lost his eye and arm in the Civil War. He, his brother and sons walked to Louisiana in 1866 from Alabama. Almost all of that side of the family have red hair. This is a Scottish trait. With all the twist and turns my family faced, they kept on walking forward. Everything changed for them. And it still is changing. It is the only constant in this world that we can count on. That is why the saga of my family isn’t over yet. It is still being made and written down. Until we all go home. Until tomorrow.

www.joseph1637.com

joseph1637@juno.com

 

Weather we like it or not

The weather has changed. The wind is blowing out of the north. And the temperature is mild. It isn’t 100% humidity and 90 degrees outside. 2 years ago, the jet stream flowed down to Louisiana then went back north. That is when we had cold front after cold front. Normally a cold front in Louisiana is 90 degree weather and no humidity. But during that time we had hard freeze after hard freeze. The cold weather never stayed because we are too far south. But it was nice. I don’t want to live in 10 foot snow and subzero weather. But having cold weather come through is a nice change of pace. The only thing about cold front is that it is pushing rain. Up north, it would be snow, but here it is rain. Now we have a hurricane about to enter the Gulf of Mexico. As long as the high front is stationary, it won’t come here. But if a low front moves in, it will suck that hurricane right to us. I love the fall and spring time in Louisiana. The fall and spring flowers are in bloom and everything is green. Living in Louisiana takes getting used to. People who visit during the hot weather have difficulty with the heat. If you happen to visit during a hurricane, well good luck. So weather systems have come and gone. We lived through them all. And I never found a better place to live in than Louisiana. Come see for yourself. Until tomorrow.

www.joseph1637.com

joseph1637@juno.com

 

Heroes

We all have them. People who we see as an example of personal fortitude or integrity. Whatever the reason, we will honor them whether they are living or not. I have always thought that these 2 people were examples that anyone could appreciate. Their names are Horatio and Anne Spafford. They lived in Chicago during the Civil War. He was a successful lawyer. They were good friends of Dwight L. Moody. They had 5 children. He owned a large amount of real estate in 1871. When Chicago burned to the ground. They helped rebuilt Chicago. In 1873, their 4 year son died of scarlet fever. The Spafford’s worked tirelessly for several years to rebuild Chicago. They decided to take a vacation in Europe. While in New York, Mrs. Spafford and their 4 daughters went ahead on a separate boat. Horatio Spafford got news the next day that the ship had sunk. A telegraph came from his wife, which read, “Saved alone”. On the voyage over to meet his wife, Horatio Spafford asked the captain of the ship where the other ship went down. He showed him the spot. On the back of the ship, he wrote, a song which has become a standard in Christian music, “It is Well with my Soul”. They went on to have 3 more daughters. The Spafford’s eventually moved to Jerusalem in the 1880’s. There they found abject poverty and deplorable conditions. They opened soup kitchens, hospitals, orphanages and other charitable ventures. He died in 1888 in Jerusalem and is buried there. These people lived a life worth honoring. When no one said they had to do anything and could have lived in relative ease. But because of their faith in God and strong sense of urgency, they lived a life worth honoring as heroes.

www.joseph1637.com

joseph1637@juno.com

 

The Other Side

What do people, on the other side of life, think about us? I’m talking about those people who are gone from our lives. You think that they would be proud of us and what we have accomplished, for good or bad. Many members of our family gave their lives so that we could have a good life. Whether they gave their lives on the battlefield or working their lives away for their family. That is us. You know some didn’t last very long in this world. But they came knowing that their family would have an opportunity for a better life. Have you taken advantage of that opportunity that has been provided? Many people want better for their children. But has it cost you everything to achieve that goal? It is very rare that a man would die for anyone. And yet some would even consider dying for a good man. But there is no greater love than a man would lay down his life for another. And yet our family did just that for us. So what do you think they are talking about on the other side? The bible talks about a great cloud of witnesses that watch us. If they could talk to you, would you want to hear what they have say? It says in the bible in Ephesians 5:15-17 “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” (KJV).

www.joseph1637.com

joseph1637@juno.com

 

Cliché or Truth

I am marching to beat of a different drum. Is it a cliché or the truth? All my life I looked at things in this world differently. I have a dry sense of humor. I can tell a joke with a dead pan expression. I have a smile on my face most of the times. Sometimes it makes people nervous. I don’t care if they don’t like. I have a youthful face. Did you know that it only takes 2 muscles in your face to smile? And it takes all the muscles in your face to frown. I have always believed that a merry heart works just like a medicine. By the way that is a scripture. It seems that I laugh at the most inappropriate moments. But it is not really so. When something bad happens, I thank God. And if that isn’t peculiar enough, I believe that all things work together for good according to those who love God and are called according to His purpose. That is a scripture also. My life revolves around trusting and believing God. I am always thinking about what God is doing today. I want to be part of His life each day. I don’t think about money or making money or how I can get ahead in this world. I look for people who love God. I talk to all kinds of people. Looking for that connection or that spark that ignites my heart like nothing in this world can. I have found people that are amazing. Their faith just overwhelms me and I get excited about their testimony. I have met and talked to world leaders or national ones. And the one thing that they in common with ordinary people is their belief and faith. I firmly believe that where your treasure is, there is your heart also. Matthew 6:21.

www.joseph1637.com

joseph1637@juno.com

Gifts

We rescued a calico kitten. But before she could live in our house, she had to be accepted by Olivia. Olivia is a small black Yorkie mix, who is the mistress of the house. This is the second kitten Olivia accepted as one of her puppies. Olivia looked at Calli and began cleaning her like her mother would. The kitten fell in line right behind Olivia. Where Olivia went the kitten would follow. Olivia adapted Calli like one of her puppies. Calli would sleep with Olivia. Calli also eats dog food. Calli has learned to open doors. Our home of course is pest free. Olivia is afraid of lightning. She shakes violently. Calli would sit next to Olivia until she stopped shaking. Calli has grown into a passionate cat of God. She will do what God has called her to do with passion. She will always be in sight of me. If I move she will find me. She will sit beside me quietly and sleeps in my bed. One day I watched Olivia and Calli play. It is the job of a mother to teach her children. Olivia was teaching Calli how to hunt like a cat. It was one of the most amazing things I ever saw. I know that God sent that kitten to our home. Calli has grown and she is a beautiful orange, black and white calico cat. God gives gifts not to me but to everyone. Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (KJV).

www.joseph1637.com

joseph1637@juno.com

 

 

Pieces of the Past

I keep pieces of the past because of the uncertainty of the future. I have my great grandmother’s dresser. I also have my grandmother’s china hutch. I have my mother’s secretary desk. I kept them because they are a comfort to me and because they are beautiful. It still doesn’t replace them in any way. But reminds me of who they were and the life they led. We restored my mother’s buffet and let our oldest son have it. It is made out of walnut. Our other sons don’t quite appreciate those things yet. But I know that one day it will come to them. It is important that we remember the past because of the future. My great grandparent’s walked across this country after the Civil War to settle in Louisiana. They were cotton growers. Many of my family left their homes in Europe to come to America. Most of them had no money and carried the possessions on their backs. They were farmers, merchants, doctors, lawyers and even privateers (pirates). They built a life for themselves and their families. Many things were handed down from one generation to the next. My mother had a wedding quilt from her grandmother. It was over a 100 years old. My great grandmother’s dresser is 150 years old. I had it restored and one of my sons will get it. So that he can appreciate the effort his family from the past put into providing for his future.

www.joseph1637.com

joseph1637@juno.com

 

Trust Matrix

How far do you trust anyone? Do you include the people around you? To what level do you trust them? Depending on where you live and work really is the judge of how much you trust someone. Do you see the people around you as trusted friends that you can confide in? More and more I see that the trust matrix is being broken down. When I was young you could leave your doors to your house unlocked. That began to change drastically as the crime rose in our community. It wasn’t certain who you could trust. The murder rate in this country has risen drastically over the last 40 years. Of which I believe it is due to one event in 1973. It was the US Supreme Court decision for Roe vs. Wade. The decision to allow abortions in this country. You see there is no law protecting the sanity of life. If you can kill babies then why not adults also. The government has dug a hole that they can’t get out of. One of the greatest efforts of that decision is lack of trust one person has for the other. So it is black verses white. And Hispanic verses black. The lack of trust is so wide spread that nothing real or substantial is being done in this country. No one trust anyone. The media will tell you a half-truth to make you believe a lie. So how do we get back to trusting each other? Trust is always earned. It is developed over time by people who are consistent in their lives. There are trustworthy individuals out there. You are just going to have to find them on your own. And when you do trust it will build your security.

www.joseph1637.com

joseph1637@juno.com

 

Courage

You have heard stories about people who have displayed courage in their lives. My favorite stories about courage are the ones about King David when he was a young man. When he was actually king, his life wasn’t filled with these stories. As a young man, he had hope and a vision of what he could be. Like every young person, they look at what could be if only they would step up to the plate. Courage is never a great man doing something great. It is always an ordinary person taking a chance and doing what they think is right. Standing up for what they believe and not backing down even if it kills them. Courage is a value that is gone after by most everyone. And for sure, it will cost you something. If it doesn’t cost you personally, it isn’t worth anything. You should never discourage young people from making good decisions that will propel them forward in life. I have seen people with a vision that have changed the world. They did it a little at a time and they were changed forever. It takes courage, but you can’t get courage until you are willing to step out and believe. It is almost a catch 22. But when you take courage and use it to change the world, it is no holds barred. It is interesting if you want courage, you have to step out in faith to receive. It is amazing.

www.joseph1637.com

joseph1637@juno.com

 

Words

Words have meaning. When I was in college I took a course on words. It was an English class on the meanings of words. In the class we broke the words apart to find their origins. The American English language is composed of words from England, France, Germany, Russia, Poland, Italy, Greece, Israel, Africa, Middle East, China, Japan, Polynesia, Spain, Portugal and Native Americans. Our language is a mixture of all languages around the world as our country is. You know who invented the telegraph? The French in the 1850’s because Napoleon III wanted to talk to his troops in Turkey fighting the Crimean War. Today there are so many ways to talk to someone around the world. The capabilities grow every year. There seems to be no stopping it. It is the Age of Information. Words by themselves have no real power. But when they are spoken they come alive. So why is that? It is because we give words power. People sometimes don’t even understand how much power we give words. As the bible says life and death are in the power of the tongue. I have seen it. People say I can’t do it and they can’t. Or they says I wish I would die and they do. The spoken word has changed the entire universe. But it isn’t a broad sword to use on your enemies. You should think before you speak. And when you speak you should mean what you say. God has always meant every word He spoke. As He has said in the bible in Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (KJV).

www.joseph1637.com

joseph1637@juno.com