Thursday, May 31, 2018

Indian Names

Ye say they all have passed away,
That noble race and brave;
That their light canoes have vanished
From off the crested wave;
That mid the forests where they roamed,
There rings no hunter's shout:
But their name is on your waters-
Ye may not wash it out.

American Indian
NC Wyeth

'Tis where Ontario's billow
Like Ocean's surge is curled;
Where strong Niagara's thunders wake
The echo of the world;
Where red Missouri bringeth
Rich tribute from the west;
And Rappahannock sweetly sleeps
On green Virginia's breast.

Ye say that conelike cabins,
That clustered o'er the vale,
Have disappeared as withered leaves
Before the autumn's gale:
But their memory liveth on your hills,
Their baptism on your shore,
Your everlasting rivers speak
Their dialect of yore.

Cherokee Town
Picture courtesy of the
 Museum of the Cherokee
Walhalla, South Carolina

Old Massachusetts wears it
Within her lordly crown,
And broad Ohio bears it
Amid his young renown;
Connecticut has wreathed it
Where her quiet foliage waves.
And bold Kentucky breathes it hoarse
Through all her ancient caves.

Wachusett hides its lingering voice
Within its rocky heart,
And Allegheny graves its tone
Throughout his lofty chart.
Monadnock, on his forehead hoar,
Doth seal the sacred trust:
Your mountains build their monument,
Though ye destroy their dust.

Mount Wachusett, New Hampshire
Ancestral home of the Nipmuc Indian tribe.

"Indian Names"
Lydia H. Sigourney
American poet
Known as the
 "Sweet Singer of Hartford"

Remembering The Trail Of Tears

180 years have passed since the infamous "Trail of Tears"
when the government of the United States of America forcibly
removed members of what was then called, "the five civilized
tribes" -Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole-
 from their ancestral homelands in the Southeast U.S. to 
exile in Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma).

Nightfall On The Trail Of Tears
Max  D. Standley

This week, a group of ten cyclists from the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah,
Oklahoma will begin their journey to "Remember The Removal" by retracing
the footsteps of their ancestors on the Northern Trail of Tears. 

The three week, 950-mile journey will take the cyclists from
Oklahoma to Cherokee, North Carolina  where they will meet up with 
 another group of cyclists representing the Eastern Band of the Cherokee.
Both groups will then depart for New Echota, Georgia- once the capital
of the Cherokee Nation-and from there travel through several states,
visiting museums and graveyards and other memorial sites 
connected to the Trail of Tears before returning back to
Tahlequah on June 21st.

I think this bike ride will not only be a strenuous challenge to
the participants, but, makes a powerful statement of the importance
of remembering America's past.  Much of our history as a nation
has been filled with violence and tragedy, especially in regards to
the often brutal and inhumane treatment of the American Indians.
The argument I often hear is that there was "cruelty on both sides
of the conflict" between the Indians and the ever increasing advance of 
 white settlers on the land, and while I am not disputing this, 
I am more than convinced, as in the case of slavery,  that
 the idea of forcibly removing tribes like the Cherokee from their
ancestral homeland, was never in the plans of God for America.

I have Cherokee ancestry and it has long been a dream of mine
to walk the original Trail of Tears someday to honor my heritage.

May God bless and keep safe these cyclists on their journey. 

Original Homelands Of The Five Civilized Tribes

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Flower Of Liberty

Remembering  traditional Decoration Day
historically observed on May 30th.

What flower is this that greets the morn,
Its hues from Heaven so freshly born?
With burning star and flaming band
It kindles all the sunset land;
O tell us what its' name may be-
Is this the Flower of Liberty?
It is the banner of the free,
This starry Flower of Liberty.

In savage nature's far abode
Its tender seed our fathers sowed;
The storm-winds rocked its swelling bud;
Its opening leaves were streaked with blood,
Till lo! earth's tyrants shook to see
The full-blown Flower of Liberty!
Then hail the banner of the free,
The starry Flower of Liberty.

Behold its streaming rays unite,
One mingling flood of braided light-
The red that fires the southern rose,
With spotless white from northern shows,
And, spangled o'er its azure, see,
The sister Stars of Liberty!

The blades of heroes fence it round;
Where'er it springs is holy ground;
From tower and dome its glories spread;
It waves where lonely sentries tread;
It makes the land as ocean free,
And plants an empire on the sea!
Then hail the banner of the free,
The starry Flower of Liberty.

Thy sacred leaves, fair Freedom's flower,
Shall ever float on dome and tower,
To all their heavenly colors true,
In blackening frost or crimson dew-
And God love us as we love thee,
Thrice holy Flower of Liberty!
Then hail the banner of the free,
The starry Flower of Liberty.

"The Flower Of Liberty"
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Mid-Week Meditation

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it,
for death or life."
Proverbs 18:21

Jesus Himself admonished his listeners:
"For by your words you will be justified and acquitted,
and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced."
Matthew 12:37

"Before we pass on something we have heard someone else
say, we should first ask ourselves, "Is it true or is it kind?"
If the answer is no, then it is better for us not to
 repeat what we've heard."
-Attributed to Abigail "Dear Abby" Van Buren

The recent "tweet" by comedian Roseanne Barr which
caused ABC to cancel the re-boot of her television show
can in no way be linked to her support for President Trump,
no matter how much the mainstream media wants to see a 
 connection in order to justify their continuous, despicable campaign
to brand him as a white supremacist and a racist.

Although what she did is indefensible,  Roseanne Barr 
 apologized for her remark about former Obama White House
adviser Valerie Jarrett.  However, I seem to recall reading
"tweets" and "postings" as well as hearing remarks made
while on-the-air from media pundits and other celebrities
  about President Trump and his family that were not only false,
 but, absolutely disgusting, and yet, the media ignored what was
said, or made some kind of lame excuse for the vindictive and
 nasty commentary.  They still do.  Furthermore, at last report, both
Joy Behar and Jimmy Kimmel, two of the worst critics of
Donald Trump and the Trump family, are still employed by ABC.

I believe the real reason why Roseanne Barr was given the ax
by the network was due to the fact that she is a very vocal supporter of
President Donald Trump, and therefore considered an anomaly both
 in Hollywood and with the political Left.  

Freedom of speech is one of the greatest freedoms we
have as Americans and should never be abused, nor should
the abuse of this precious freedom be tolerated or condoned
by anyone, regardless of race, religion, social status, or politics.



A Psalm of David

Lord, Who shall dwell in Your tabernacle?
Who shall dwell on Your holy hill?

He who walks and lives uprightly and blamelessly,
who works rightness and justice and speaks and thinks
the truth in his heart.

He who does not slander with his tongue, nor does
evil to his friend, nor takes up reproach against his neighbor.

In whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he who honors
those who fear the Lord, who revere and worship Him;
who swears to his own hurt and does not change;

He Who does not put out his money for interest,
to one of his own people, and who will not take a
bribe against the innocent. He who does these things
shall never be moved.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Full Moon Tonight

May's full moon is called the Full Flower Moon due to the abundance of flowers
bursting into bloom at this time of the year.

In the Cherokee language, May's full moon is called Anisguti,
 or the Planting Moon, a time to prepare the soil and plant seeds saved
 from last season.  Crops like corn, beans, squash, potatoes, watermelon,
tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and sunflowers are sown at this time.
 A traditional Corn Dance is also held during the time of the Planting Moon.

Nature's Treats
By Virginia Stroud
Cherokee-Muscogee-Creek artist

Monday, May 28, 2018

A Monument For The Soldiers

Korean War Veteran's Memorial
Washington DC

A monument for the Soldiers!
And what will ye build of it?
Can ye build it of marble, or brass, or bronze,
Outlasting the Soldier's love?
Can ye glorify it with legends
As grand as their blood hath writ
From the inmost shrine of this land of thine
To the outermost verge of it?

And the answer came: We would build it
Out of our hopes made sure,
And out of our purest prayers and tears,
And out of our faith secure:
We would build it out of the great white truths
Their death hath sanctified,
And the sculptured forms of the men in arms,
And their faces ere they died.

Vietnam Women's Memorial Statue
Vietnam Veteran's War Memorial
Washington DC

And what heroic figures
Can the sculptor carve in stone?
Can the marble breast be made to bleed,
And the marble lips to moan?
Can the marble brow be fevered?
And the marble eyes be graved
To look their last, as the flag floats past,
On the country they have saved?

And the answer came: The figures
Shall all be fair and brave,
And, as befitting, as pure and white
As the stars above their grave!
The marble lips, and breast, and brow
Whereon the laurel lies,
Bequeath us right to guard the flight
Of the old flag in the skies!

New Jersey Vietnam Veterans War Memorial
Holmdel, New Jersey

A monument to the Soldiers!
Built of a people's love,
And blazoned and decked and panoplied
With the hearts ye build it of!
And see that ye build it stately,
In pillar and niche and gate,
And high in pose as the souls of those
It would commemorate!

Korean War Veterans Memorial
Atlantic City, New Jersey

A Monument For The Soldiers
James Whitcomb Riley
American writer and poet

The Deeds They Wrought Were Not In Vain

These hearts were woven of human joys and cares,
Washed marvellously with sorrow, swift to mirth.
The years had given them kindness. Dawn was theirs,
And sunset, and the colors of the earth.

The grave site of Jonas Cattell
Revolutionary War Hero
Cattell Family Burial Ground
Deptford, New Jersey

These had seen movement, and heard music; known
Slumber and waking; loved; gone proudly friended;
Felt the quick air of wonder; sat alone;
Touched flowers and furs and cheeks. All this ended.

A memorial to the American patriots of  the community of Greenwich,
Cumberland County, New Jersey, who, years before the start of the
 Revolutionary War, threw their own "tea party" by stealing and 
burning a shipment of British tea headed for Philadelphia.
The monument to commemorate their daring and courageous
defiance in the face of tyranny was erected in 1908 by members of
the Cumberland County Historical Society.

There are waters blown by changing winds to laughter
And lit by the rich skies, all day. And after,
Frost, with a gesture, stays the waves that dance
And wandering loveliness. He leaves a white
Unbroken glory, a gathered radiance,
A width, a shining peace, under the night.

"The Dead"
Rupert Brooke
English poet known for his
sonnets about war

In Memoriam

"No one has greater love than to lay down
his own life for his friends."
John 15:13

The origins of what is now observed as Memorial Day
in the United States of America began in the post-Civil War South
when ladies in Columbus, Georgia placed flower arrangements on
the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers buried in
the city's cemetery.  This observance was later called
Decoration Day and in the years to follow, became a
special observance in many communities across America.

 In 1968,  Congress passed the Uniform Monday Act.
This legislation, which went into effect in 1971, 
officially moved this commemoration to be
observed on the last Monday in May, thus
creating a three day extended weekend.

Daisies gathered for Decoration Day
May 30, 1899

Today Memorial Day weekend is often called,
" the unofficial start of summer"  with many people
heading for the beach, or attending a parade or  
 celebrating with backyard barbecues.  

 I think all the commercialized hype on display in
raucous parades with stores and car dealerships
 promoting their "holiday weekend super sales" 
 should be held off at least until the 4th of July.

Memorial Day should be a time of more solemn reflection,
to remember those American men and women who
gave their lives for my freedom.


Sleep sweetly in your humbled graves,
Sleep, martyrs of a fallen cause;
Though yet no marble column craves
The pilgrim here to pause.

In seeds of laurel to the earth
The blossom of your fame is blown,
And somewhere, waiting for its birth,
The shaft is in the stone!

Meanwhile, behalf the tardy years
Which keep in trust your storied tombs,
Behold! your sisters bring their tears,
And these memorial blooms.

Small tributes! but your shades will smile
More proudly on these wreaths to-day
Than when some cannon-moulded pile
Shall overlook this bay.

Stoop, angels, hither from the skies!
There is no holier spot of ground
Than where defeated valor lies,
By mourning beauty crowned!

Graves of Union and Confederate Soldiers
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

"Ode For Decoration Day"
Henry Timrod
Poet Laureate for the Confederacy
His poem was first sung during Decoration Day 1866
at the Magnolia Cemetery Charleston, South Carolina

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Fourth Sunday Meditation: A Friend So Faithful

"For we have become fellows with Christ (the Messiah)
and share in all He has for us, if only we hold our first newborn
confidence and original assured expectation in virtue of which
we are believers, firm and unshaken to the end."
Hebrews 3:14

Lost No More
Greg Olson

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!

O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Do your friends despise, forsake you?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He'll take and shield you;
You will find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.

Soon in glory bright unclouded
There will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.

This beautiful  hymn was originally written by the
 Irish poet Joseph Medlicott Scriven, and was based
on his poem, "Pray Without Ceasing" which he wrote to
his ailing mother, whom he left behind in Ireland after
migrating to Canada in 1845. 

The poem, which was anonymously submitted
for publication, was later set to music by Charles Crozat Converse,
who renamed it  as "What A Friend We Have In Jesus".

Although it took thirty years for Scrivens to receive full credit for his work, 
 he had no idea at the time that the poem he wrote to comfort his sick mother
 would later become a classic Christian hymn, translated into many languages,
and beloved of believers around the world.

"What A Friend We Have In Jesus"
 Joseph Medlicott Scriven
Music composed in 1868
  Charles C. Converse