Who were our ancestors?
Learning as much as you can about your ancestors will inspire you to be a different person today. Hopefully a better person!
A quest into your ancestry will provide you with the tools to pass down information
to your children and grandchildren.
Genealogy is not just something that should be left to the "expert" in your SCV camp or UDC chapter. Their interest in YOUR ancestors can never be as intense as should be your own interest. Finding out the who, what, where, and when is powerful, especially when studying our own ancestors.
That said, the quest to learning your genealogy will take some work. There's nothing simple or easy about the process of unearthing years of history. Yet, the reward that will come from it is, as they say in all of those MasterCard commercials, PRICELESS.
To help you get started on your genealogy quest, whether you are already considering yourself to be an expert, or even if you are admittedly a know-nothing, we are offering a Genealogy Guidebook, a step-by-step instruction manual if you will. Follow it, and you will discover your ancestry - or take the knowledge you already have to a whole new level.
As we are starting the New Year today, no doubt with a multitude of New Year's "resolutions," beginning or resuming our genealogy quest should be a resolution that we undertake with great enthusiasm.
We are excited to help you by sending a copy of the Genealogy Guidebook to everyone who donates just $5 to Dixie Heritage.
Congressman John Sharp Williams on Sentiment
"We hear much about a "New South." There is no New South. What there is of change is a change in the direction of the energies of the people; and if there be anything great and good in the so-called "new" South, as far as I have been able to ascertain, it is always something whose growth has its roots in the soil of the Old South. Everything admirable in the so-called "new" South is built upon the old, as a house is built upon the rock of its foundation. We hear much about letting the "dead past bury its dead." No poet who was ever a philosopher, and perhaps no real poet, would ever have uttered that sentence. There is no such thing as a dead past.
We meet to celebrate the cause and the men of the sixties. What was the cause? Was it secession? Not a whit of it. Secession was merely the remedy, which was invoked for the assertion of a right, for the maintenance of a cause. It had been twice before virtually invoked in these United States, though the sword had not been drawn to support its invocation - once by New Englanders in opposition to what they considered the tyranny of the Embargo Laws, and once by the South Carolinians in denial of the constitutional right of a government for all the people to levy tribute upon all the people in order to make the capital of a part of the people more profitable, or the labor of a part of the people better compensated.
What was the cause then? Was it slavery? Not a whit of it. Slavery was undoubtedly the occasion of the quarrel and of the fight; but had the South been attacked in any of her other property and civil rights, she would have defended them just as readily; in fact, more readily than she did in this case. It was merely upon the side of slavery that our right to local self-government was attacked.
And yet, my friends, there are people who say that all this sort of talk is "sentiment," that what we want to do is to "come down to cotton and corn and pork," buying and selling, negotiating bank exchange; that everything else is "sentiment," and that sentiment is "rot." Let it be a point with you, young boys and girls, to remember that the only thing in this world which is not "rot," is sentiment."
Business is all right, so is moneymaking. Every man should be diligent in business. We have apostolic authority for that. Every man should want to make money in order that he may look all other men straight in the eye with the independence of true manhood, owing no man anything, saying with poor Bobbie Burns:
"Not for to hide it in a hedge,
Nor for train attendant,
But for the glorious privilege,
Of being independent."
But the man who subordinates his nature, who prostitutes his chief energies to the business of piling one dollar upon another, who forgets that there are flowers and poetry, a past and a present for himself and for his race, on earth and in heaven, who has narrowed himself to the point where everything but money-making and so-called business has become "rot," would be bored to death in the kingdom of heaven in twenty-four hours . . . a country without memories is without history, a country without history is without traditions, and a country without traditions is without ideals and community aspirations, and a community without these is without sentiment, and a country without sentiment is without capacity for achieving noble purposes, developing right manhood, or taking any great place in the history of the world."
(Rep. John Sharp Williams of Mississippi, Fall 1904 address to Memphis UCV, November 1904 Confederate Veteran Magazine, pp. 517-519)
Tavares, Florida on January 30th
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Old Clinton, Jones County, Georgia on January 21st
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Confederate artifacts returned to Savannah River
SAVANNAH, Ga. - Leather boots, the hilts of swords - even a stray earring - were among the nearly 30,000 artifacts recovered this fall from the wreckage of the sunken ironclad Confederate gunship CSS Georgia.
More than half of the haul retrieved during the $14 million government project, however, was of a much more mundane nature: nuts, bolts, washers, bent iron rails and other material that did not shed any new light on the lives of sailors serving aboard the vessel.
Altogether, 16,697 artifacts weighing a total of 135 tons were returned to a watery grave at the bottom of the Savannah River, said Jim Jobling, project manager for the Conservation Research Laboratory at Texas A&M University, which is tasked with cataloging, cleaning and preserving artifacts from the Civil War shipwreck.
"Anything I considered to be unique, I would say, 'I want this, I want this,'" Jobling said. "I picked through everything. No unique stuff went back in the river."
The CSS Georgia was scuttled by its own crew to prevent Gen. William T. Sherman from capturing the massive gunship when his Union troops took Savannah in December 1864. Remains from the Confederate ironclad were salvaged during the summer and fall as part of a $703 million deepening of the Savannah harbor for cargo ships.
Based on sonar images of the murky riverbed, researchers knew they would fine big chunks of the ship's armor, several cannons and large pieces of its engine.
What they hadn't expected were the loads of small artifacts their cranes scooped up: Small buttons, hilts of knives and swords, an intact glass bottle, leather boots, and an earring among them.
"You would think, 'Oh, we've got four cannons, some large pieces of machinery,'" said Julie Morgan, the Army Corps of Engineers archaeologist overseeing the project. "But those were just the things we were able to ID on the sonar. That whole site was just covered."
Returning artifacts deemed redundant or damaged to the Savannah River was part of the plan all along, Morgan said. That still left a sizable amount to study: More than 13,000 pieces weighing a total of 142 tons were sent to the lab at Texas A&M. Jobling, who went in prepared to spend two or three years on the CSS Georgia project, said the final haul could keep the lab's staff busy for a decade.
The more than 16,600 relics they decided not to hang onto were placed in 10 storage containers, buried underwater, and covered with mud. The containers were moved to a part of the river outside Savannah's busy shipping channel. The relics and their location were documented so they can be retrieved in the future if needed.
Storing them in water will help preserve them, Morgan said, while exposing them to dry air would accelerate their deterioration.
Morgan said she is not concerned that private treasure hunters will go after any of the artifacts. Experienced Navy divers who helped raised the wreckage struggled with extremely low visibility as well as powerful tides that limited diving time to about three hours each day, she noted.
"What we reburied, we made sure it was completely covered and sunk down in the mud," Morgan said. "Somebody would have to work pretty hard to get in there."
Liberals never cease to amaze me.
The Associated Press reported this week that South Carolina has estimated the cost or removing the Confederate Flag from the Capital Dome to a museum will cost $3.6 million - that number having just been dropped from its original $5.3 million.
To have the banner was taken down for the first time in 50 years in July, South Carolina liberals pulled the necessary votes by promising that the flag would be displayed in a history museum, along with other symbols of the Confederacy. What the liberals didn't tell anyone at the time was that they would pad the bill for doing so by about $3.5 million dollars.
The flag was costing the State NOTHING as it flew over the Capital Dome. But if liberals knew anything about fiscal responsibility they would be conservatives.
A LINK FOR YOUR INFORMATION
Here is a link I stumbled on this week. I am not endorsing the link, only passing it along so you can see what kind of information is floating out there:
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY WAS IMPORTANT TO OUR ANCESTORS
But it is NOT very important to the man who has been squatting in the White House for the last 6.5 years.
Uwe and Hannelore Romeike came to the Tennessee in 2008 seeking political asylum. They fled their German homeland in the face of religious persecution for homeschooling their children.
They wanted to live in a country where they could raise their children in accordance with their Christian beliefs. They specifically chose to build their new home in a Southern State.
The Romeikes were initially given asylum, but the Obama administration has now objected, paving the way for this Southern family of eight to be deported.
Right before Christmas the Supreme Court declined to hear the Romeike's appeal.
"I think this is a part of the Obama administration's overall campaign to crush religious freedom in this country," said Michael Farris, the Loudoun County, Virginia lawyer representing the Romeikes."The Obama administration's attitude toward religious freedom, particularly religious freedom for Christians is shocking," he said in an exclusive telephone interview. "I have little doubt that if this family had been of some other faith that the decision would have never been appealed in the first place. They would have let this family stay."
Had the family stayed in Germany, where homeschooling is illegal, they would have faced the prospect of losing their children. Like our ancestors, the Romeikes fled their homeland yearning for a place where they could be free.
Farris said the religious bias perpetrated by the Obama administration is "a denial of the essence of America." He said. "The Pilgrims left England to go to Holland to seek religious freedom. They came here to seek religious freedom and parental rights for their children. Had this administration been waiting at Plymouth Rock, they would've told the Pilgrims to go back home."
There are nearly 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States. The administration has no intention of deporting any of them. You'd think they would have better things to do than to harass a family who have moved into the country LEGALLY.
As for now, the Romeike family remains in their four-acre farm in eastern Tennessee. But it's only a matter of time before the Obama administration begins formal deportation proceedings.
Daniel Romeike, a soft-spoken 16-year-old boy with aspirations of one day becoming a mechanical engineer has said that he is afraid of what will happen when the family is deported. He fears being taken from his parents and placed in government custody.
But lest I get off onto a different "sermon" let me get back on topic.
In all of our efforts, whether in the form of charitable giving, of missionary church planting efforts, or of advancing our heritage through organizations like the UDC, SCV, MOS&B, LOS, or in independent efforts all of our work for the Lord has the possibility to fail to yield the hoped-for success. There is just no way to get around that unless we just decide up-front not to give or do anything at all.
In Ecclesiastes 11:6, which appears to deal either with charitable giving or financial support of ministry, we are plainly faced with the possibility that the gift will not bring about the fruitful and prosperous result that we hoped for.
"In the morning sow thy seed. and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good. " - Ecclesiastes 11:6
Yet we are encouraged to give anyway.
God recognizes that we are limited in knowledge as to what will happen (see Ecclesiastes 11:2 and 11:5) but we should use our best judgment and be generous.
The same is true in our labor. In Matthew 10:13-14, Jesus, in His instructions to the 12 Apostles, recognizes in advance that they will not have perfect knowledge as to what are the best families or towns to which they should direct their outreach efforts. Some of their efforts will be a failure.
And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet." - Matthew 10:13-14.
In such cases, the Lord told His Apostles to recognize that they are on an unfruitful field, and then cut their losses, shake the dust off their feet and move on to a more receptive
audience somewhere else.
If even the 12 Apostles were allowed to "fail" in their missions and experience some wasted effort, and if Jesus recognized this in advance and told them to be prepared to accept that, then do you suppose that we too are also allowed to experience a few missteps and failed efforts without having to hang our heads in shame about it?
In Acts 16, we see the Apostle Paul going forth to look for some promising places where the faith could be introduced and new churches could be planted. He didn't really know for sure where he was going. Had he just stayed in Antioch, praying for divine guidance as to where to go, he may have never made it anywhere much less to Philippi.
Sometimes we just have to go forth, taking life and opportunity one step at a time, trying out the various possibilities and opportunities to serve the Lord. As we do, we can decide which ones are fruitful and which are not. As we step forth, little by little, the divine plan, which could not have been foreseen from the beginning, will unfold before us.
And even though Paul received direct inspired revelations from God that resulted in a large portion of the New Testament. God Literally spoke to Paul and Paul literally wrote down the spoken words of God (i.e. The Inspiration of Scripture), God did not always give Paul a divine revelation to answer every question and to direct every step of His servant.
For example, there was no revelation from God to resolve the contention between Paul and Barnabas as to whether to take John Mark with them on their next missionary journey. They ended up "agreeing to disagree" on a point of practice which was not specifically addressed by any revelation from God's Word.
Then, in 1 Corinthians 16:12, Paul and Apollos had a difference of opinion on the question of whether or not Apollos should immediately go on a mission to Corinth. Here again, there was no direct revelation from God to settle the matter. Apollos used his best judgment and his Christian liberty, he decided not to go to Corinth, and Paul respected his decision rather than pulling rank and forcing Apollos to go.
Even in biblical times, God's men sometimes had to feel their way along, attempting this or that ministry to see if it resulted in an open door of fruitful ministry. If things did not work out, they would sometimes have to retrace their steps, change their plans and try something different.
In Romans 1:13 we see that Paul made definite travel plans to go to Rome, but as it turned out, he was unable to go and had to cancel the trip. We don't know how big a deposit he made with his travel agent or whether he was able to get all the deposit back. Possibly some time or money was wasted on this failed mission to Rome that had to be canceled. But the only way to avoid such waste, or the appearance of failure in the Lord's work, is to never attempt to do anything for the Lord at all.
In Acts 16:6 we see Paul traveling through Asia Minor, looking for open doors of opportunity and fruitful ministry. First he attempted to go to the province of Asia (the area around Ephesus in SW Asia Minor) but at some point the Holy Spirit revealed to him that this was not the time to go to Asia. (Paul did have a fruitful ministry there some years later, as recorded in Acts 19).
Then Paul assayed (or tried, or attempted) to go into Bithynia. By some means not explained to us, the Holy Spirit let it be known that he was not to go to Bithynia. We are not told how much money or travel time was wasted on this side trip to Bithynia. We don't know why the Holy Spirit had not let it be known earlier that Paul was not to go there.
The most fruitful and prosperous mission for Paul at that particular time was to cross over into Macedonia and Achaia, where he planted churches in Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea and Corinth. Paul did not know this in advance, and the plan did not become clear to him until he arrived on the coast at Troas, just across the narrow sea from Philippi.
Paul came to understand and fulfill God's plan for him by moving forward, taking one logical step at a time, using his best judgment and testing his opportunities along the way. Had he stayed at the home base in Antioch, waiting for God's will to become perfectly clear to him, he probably never would have never travelled anywhere and most certainly he would have never accomplished anything.
In some way that we cannot fully understand, Paul's seemingly failed and wasted mission to Bithynia was part of the process by which a sovereign God brought him to the place of best possible usefulness in the work of the Kingdom. It may have been a case of 2 steps forward, one step back, but that is a lot better than what is accomplished by some men and ladies who never take the first step forward in God's work, because they are afraid to "fail" and be laughed at by the judgmental hyenas who lie in wait to condemn anyone who is less than 100% successful in every project and every step of the ministry.
Can you imagine the abuse that would have been piled upon Paul, if he had to deal with the peanut gallery of censorious, sanctimonious fault-finders and accusers of the brethren that haunt all too many of our churches and heritage associations nowadays?
I can hear it now: "What happened, Paul? How come that mission to Bithynia was such a big failure? God must be punishing you for your secret sins!"
Then there are those who say, "What's the matter, Paul, don't you know the Lord doesn't love a quitter? Once you start something, you have to see it through. If God called you to Bithynia, you have to stay there until the job is done. You knocked on 10,000 doors and didn't get anyone - well, you just have to knock on 10,000 more doors!"
Maybe the Lord doesn't love a quitter, but the Lord definitely does not care for the
folks who never had to quit or give up on a dream they had for the ministry, because they never stepped out on faith and tried to do anything for the Lord, so all they do is sit around and stomp all over the other guy who tried to do something and failed.
There are some times when we have to be willing to quit! If we attempt a certain type of ministry in a certain location, and find that it is not bearing fruit, then there comes a time to quit, to shake the dust off our feet, redirect our resources somewhere else, learn from our mistakes and thereby do a better job next time.
Some of the finest church plants, SCV camps, and LOS chapters have been accomplished by men who previously failed somewhere else - their first attempt to plant a work was a miserable, wretched failure, but they learned from their mistakes, learned how not to do it, thus making their second, third, or fourth attempt a success since they made use of their experiences from the previous attempt(s) and avoided repeating the mistakes they made before.
The fastest growing denominations in America are constantly starting large numbers of churches and missions that last only a few weeks, months, or years and then fold up. They are willing to accept a seemingly high rate of failure because they know that if they want a net gain of 5 churches, they may have to plant 10 churches and see half of them fail. In the case of the Southern Baptist Convention, they are planting thousands of churches each year and seeing only a couple hundred of them survive past the first year. Before you get too critical of many SCV camps are started and then fold up after a few months to a few years? How many reenactments do not make it to the second or third year? Think about it!
My point is that there will be some money and effort wasted, some wild goose chases pursued, some heartbreaking failures. But the only way to avoid that is to sit back and do nothing, at all. And that would certainly be the death of any movement!
As Jesus told his followers in Luke 14:28, we must count the cost of any project. Money and talent should not be thrown away on impractical projects that have little chance of success. But Money and talent can only bear fruit when they are INVESTED. And as we invest them, the possibility of failure must be accepted.
In the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:3-8) the sower sowed his seed in 4 fields, and in 3 of those fields his effort was a failure because there was no harvest. In the fourth field, he had a generous harvest of thirtyfold or more. It would be wonderful if we had perfect advance knowledge of which fields will be fruitful, so we will not waste any effort on the
hard ground. But we don't have that knowledge, and our Lord understands that, even if some harsh, judgmental "brethren" do not understand.
So DON'T JUST STAND THERE - DO SOMETHING!
The only way to find out if your effort will be fruitful is to get out and try something.
Be like Paul - move forward, sensing and discerning where the opportunities lie. If we find ourselves on the road to Bithynia and realize that this is not the place of God's fruitful ministry for us, be willing to back up and try something else.
No man can do everything. Paul never made it to Bithynia, but he had a very fruitful ministry in other places. He didn't waste any time kicking himself for not planting a church in Bithynia, and the Lord sent other servants to Bithynia to get the job done (l Peter 1:1). Whatever the nature of Paul's "failure" in Bithynia, he didn't let it hold him back from a lifetime of tremendous success in the ministry. Sometimes, like Joshua marching around the walls of Jericho, we have to be willing to go around in circles for a while, before we are ready to make a direct attack on the enemy and find ourselves in the center of God's will. Just ignore the peanut gallery, the critics, the soreheads, the sourpusses, the wreckers and fault-finders who try to discourage you, and just keep on marching, brother!
In I Samuel 14 Saul's son Jonathan wins a HUGE military victory that saved the nation of Israel from seemingly sure defeat (the Philistine army had over 300,000 soldiers and Saul's army had dwindled down to about 600 that is SIX HUNDRED with no thousands, just 600). And in verse 6, we read that, "Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: IT MAY BE that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few."
Saul and his 600-man army are laying under a pomegranate tree in Gibeah and having a prayer meeting. They are praying for God to bless and save their nation. While 598 were "praying" for God's blessing, Jonathan and his armour bearer picked up a sword and actually gave God something to "Bless."
Be it in our churches, or in our heritage groups, too often we are like Saul's army, praying for God's blessing. All the while, God is wanting to bless us but He cannot bless our efforts until we first give Him an effort to bless. God cannot bless work that we are NOT doing.
So as we are about to enter a new year, my encouragement it to get busy for the Lord in 2016! Let us be busy doing good!
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Until next week,