My Heart is in the Mountains

Hello! Today I am pleased to unveil a short story that I have been working on for a long time. Between studying, writing, and editing three times, this has been a lot of work. But now I can say that I have successfully completed a short story that I can be proud of, so all of that editing was worth it. I hope you enjoy this story as much as I enjoyed writing it! Anyway, without further ado, I present to you…

My Heart is in the Mountains

One summer evening in 1837, as the sun was shining brightly through the trees of the Appalachian foothills, a Cherokee girl named Ama sat with her family on the grass beside their cozy home made of chestnut logs. Ama, her grandparents, her parents, her two sisters Tallalla and Ahyoka, and her brother William were all enjoying dinner together. Ama’s baby sister Jane was sleeping in a wrap on Mother’s back. As they ate, they all listened attentively to Ama’s grandfather who spoke somberly in their native tongue of how the white men had taken and settled more than half of the Cherokee land, had sold the remaining portion in the Cherokee Land Lottery, and had forced their family to move from their home near the Chattahoochee River to the home they had now.

“Then, two summers ago, some of our own tribesmen signed a treaty to have us removed from our homeland forever. I am certain it will happen soon,” he said with disappointment in his eyes. “Nothing has been the same since the white men came.” Ama looked up at her wrinkled yet strong grandfather. She could not help but agree with him.

“We must forgive the white men, though,” Ama’s grandmother reminded wisely, “for that is what God would want us to do.” Everything was quiet for a few minutes as they all thought about forgiveness. Ama and her family were Christians, having learned about their God and Savior at one of the many missionary schools that had been built throughout the Cherokee land. “It was the white men who told us about God,” Grandmother said thoughtfully.

“That is true,” Grandfather said firmly, his face as stern as always. “But I wish that the white men would act like Christians and not just say that they are Christians.” Ama thought about that. Often the white men did not act like Christians around the natives. The white men even called the Christian Cherokees “savages.”

“Are they really going to make us go to Indian Territory, Grandfather?” William asked, looking up from his bowl of soup.

“They will. Just wait,” Grandfather said assuredly. Ama’s eyes grew big at those words. She could not imagine having to leave her homeland, the land that had belonged to her ancestors for centuries.

——————————————–

Harvest time arrived, sending Ama and Ahyoka to the colorful trees on the hillside where they gathered nuts. Ama loved the sound of the dry leaves crunching under her bare feet and the feeling of the cool wind blowing through the trees. She also loved to hear the crack of the hickory nuts, acorns, and chestnuts as they they fell from the tall trees. All of these delights made harvest time Ama’s favorite season.

This year though, the delights of harvest time were cut short. One day, as Ama was helping her family pick beans in their garden, neither she nor her family knew how close they were to calamity. Ama picked the beans off the vines and placed them into the colorful basket that she had woven and dyed with the juice of strawberries and blackberries. The ground was wet from recent rainstorms, and Ama loved to feel the soft, cool mud ooze between her toes.

“Ama,” Mother said, “please go down to the river and see if the acorn meal is ready.” Ama hurried to do as she was told.

Moss, tree roots, and leaves covered the path to the river. Short plants tickled Ama’s feet as she ran fleetly down the forest trail. She ran carefully to prevent her cloth dress from being torn by thorns along the path. Buckskin did not get torn as easily, but cloth dresses were one of the sacrifices the Cherokees made to try to be like the white men and befriend them. After running down the mountainside trail about five minutes, Ama turned to go down the rocky slope of the mountain. The slope was slippery from the rain, and Ama grabbed onto young, flourishing chestnut and sassafras trees as she skidded down.

At the bottom, she balanced upon the slippery rocks until she reached the river. She smiled as she heard the sound of the nearby waterfall. Dipping her feet into the cold water and trying to keep her balance on the slimy and even more slippery river bottom, Ama reached her hands into the water and picked up the basket of acorn meal that had been lying in the river. She tasted the meal to see if the tannins, a bitter substance in acorns, had been removed from the acorn meal by the power of the river current. One taste was all she needed to know that the acorn meal was not ready. She set the basket down in the river again and left. Often Ama would play in the river with her siblings, but today was not a day for play. After climbing up the mountain, she ran back up the trail.

Ama decided to take the long route home so that she could see the waterfall. Soon she was at the cliff, looking down at the waterfall. It was at the peak of its glory, having been fueled by all the rain. Little did Ama know that this would be the last time that she would ever see the waterfall or the river that she loved. She happily breathed in the cool, misty air. Seeing a sassafras tree nearby, she grabbed some leaves. Ama loved the delicious and nourishing taste of the leaves. After casting one more glance at the falls, Ama hurried up the last leg of the path.

As Ama ran out from the woods to the garden, her life was forever changed. There in front of her was her family, from Grandfather to little William, lined up like captives, for thus they were, with two blue-coated American soldiers pointing guns at them. Her mouth fell open in shock. Why would the white men do this to us when we have tried for decades be their friends? she wondered, not able to speak a word. She stared in awe at their unhindered meanness.

“Get in line, girl,” a third soldier said in English, pointing his gun at Ama. Ama stood by Ahyoka and reached for her hand.

“March!” A soldier commanded, in English once more, as the guns were pointed at their backs. Ama and her family watched in horror as an American family standing nearby clapped and cheered at their demise.

“Now the land we bought at the lottery is finally ours!” the strong father of the family cheered, then he, his wife, and their little boys and girls ran happily to Ama’s house to claim it as their own. Ama let her tears fall as they were marched down the dirt path. She did not even get to say goodbye to her home.

Ama’s family, along with many other Cherokee families, were packed into Fort Payne, an army base near Willstown. There, and in many similar stockades, the Cherokees were held captive until they could be sent west to Indian Territory. The following winter was the worst winter the Cherokees had ever known. Cold, hunger, thirst, sickness, and malnutrition were constant among the Cherokees. It was during this terrible winter that Jane, Ama’s baby sister, and many other Cherokees died from sickness and disease. Grief and sorrow prevailed among the Cherokees, but also an unyielding courage.

Spring came, but the Cherokees were not able to enjoy it, for they were still locked up in the stockades. Ama, covered in bites, sores, and scabs, lay on a blanket in the fort, and asked Grandfather, “Why do the white men refuse to be our friends? We are trying to accept their ways. We even made our own constitution and alphabet just like them. They promised that we could stay here; what changed?”

“They refuse to be our friends because they want our land and we fought with the Englishmen against them in the war long ago,” Grandfather said, his voice solemn and quaky. “But it is not all their fault. There were a few Cherokees who signed the removal treaty.”

Summer arrived, and everything outside the fort was bright and green. Inside the fort, darkness and sickness remained. That summer, Ama’s family heard that Cherokees in other stockades had been sent by riverboats to Indian Territory. They wondered when the looming day of their departure would arrive.

Two months later, word came to the Cherokees that their brothers’ trip by boats had been miserable and hot. More Cherokees had died. Chief John Ross asked that the remaining Cherokees be allowed to travel in cooler weather. The petition was granted. They would leave when the summer was over.

Harvest time came in all its beauty, but this year the Cherokees were not outside to greet it. Other people harvested from the Cherokees’ fields and ate from their bounty. During this time, a young lady covered in sores and clothed with a torn dress and moccasins, stepped out of Fort Payne. It was obvious that this girl had seen much for her years. She was Ama. She was much different than she had been the year before. Her wandering brown eyes gazed longingly at the dry leaves and colorful chestnut trees that she loved. She would never see them again. Behind Ama stood Ahyoka, weak, skinny, and malnourished. William and Tallalla stood nearby, looking as ragged as their siblings. Grandfather looked like he could be one hundred years old. Grandmother did not look much better than him. Father stood there bravely, his weathered hands resting on his son William’s head. Mother, who was much more wrinkled that she had been the year before, wiped tears from her eyes. Ama was certain that she was thinking about baby Jane, who had been with them the year before. There they all stood, looking longingly at the land around them–the land that had been stolen from them, the land they had to leave. Their eyes turned toward the path they would soon march down. None of them knew what lay ahead, but they were determined to face it together.

“Out!” shouted a gruff soldier in English as the other Cherokees were shoved out of the fort behind Ama’s family. Ahyoka gripped Ama’s hand fearfully as the two of them and the other Cherokees were herded onward like animals. Ama gazed once more at the beautiful world around her and felt once more the breeze blowing through the chestnuts. She tried not to think of how much she would miss this land, the land known by the white men as “Alabama” but by the Cherokees as “Our Land,” “Our Forefathers’ Land,” or simply “home.” With soldiers behind them, the Cherokees were driven from their land–onward, onward, toward the setting sun.

Ama looked at the hundreds of Cherokees, her brothers and sisters, who were all walking down the trail with her. Some of the youngest children and oldest men and women were able to travel in wagons, but not Ama’s family. Most of the Cherokees were forced to walk.

The sad, sick, yet brave Cherokees trudged onward. As the fall threatened to leave, cold winds blew, reminding them of the unpredictable winter ahead. One November day, Ama looked behind her. She could no longer see the hills where she had been born. Almost everyone around her was crying, including Ahyoka, who still clung stubbornly to Ama’s hand. Ama held back her tears. It was not her time to cry because her brother William, who had contracted measles a few days before, was still alive.

Three days later, measles claimed her little brother’s life. As Father quickly buried William in a small grave beside the trail, Ama freely let her tears fall. At least William does not have to handle the constant hunger and thirst anymore, Ama thought. As she looked around at her grieving family, she wondered how they would make it to the end of the trail.

As they kept traveling westward, a harsh, early winter overtook them. The Cherokees hardly had any food, for their provisions from Fort Payne had almost run out. The snow began to fall, freezing Ama’s feet.

The winter grew fiercer every day. More and more graves were quickly dug at the side of the trail as the Cherokees were forced to walk through thick snow, sometimes for three days straight, with nothing but skimpy clothes and thin blankets to shelter them. Ama’s beloved Grandfather had the privilege of leaving his misery during this time. He was one of the many who were buried at the side of the trail. Ama would often think of his parting words: “I am going to Jesus in heaven. I am leaving you behind in this sinful world. Tell our brothers who are still here of the hope that kept me going–that kept me alive–until this very minute when Jesus is going to relieve me of my sorrows. It is the only hope we have. Never let the Cherokee name die.” With these words he left, and received the promised eternal life that had been his hope during the terrible journey.

Although many of the Cherokees had become Christians back in the old land, they did so in order to be like the white men and get English lessons at the missionary schools. Those insincere Christians often continued to do pagan practices associated with their old religion. While facing the terrors of the trail, Ama’s family and the other true Christians shared the hope of salvation with their brothers. Some Cherokees refused God’s word, but others realized that their old religion gave them no hope. Many received Jesus because, as Ama’s grandfather had said, Jesus was the only hope that the Cherokees had. Physically, the harsh journey made Cherokees weaker, but spiritually, it made them stronger.

All of the Cherokees longed for the spring, and after many terrible months, it finally came. What a welcome sight it was to the poor, frozen Cherokees! For once in what seemed like forever, Ama heard her sister Ahyoka laugh among the spring flowers. Tallalla, as ragged as ever, thanked Ahyoka for a pretty purple  flower. Ahyoka gave a flower to Ama as well. Holding the spring flower was like holding a dream that had manifested itself after the long months of miserable cold. Those first days of spring were answered prayers.

The impoverished Cherokees finally arrived at Indian Territory. They made wooden houses and planted gardens, but no matter how similar their new houses and gardens were to the old ones, Indian Territory was not home. The Cherokees were extremely grateful to have shelter, food, and water, but they kept thinking of their real home back East.

One day, Ama, her sisters, and her mother were in their new garden, pulling weeds among the squash, cucumbers, and other vegetables. Ama looked out at the Ozark mountains in the distance and the flat, treeless plains all around her. She missed the hills and trees back home so much. She closed her eyes and tried to visualize her home–the river, the waterfall, the forest, and the cozy, warm log home. Ama could almost hear the roar of the waterfall and the crack of the hickory nuts, chestnuts, and acorns as they dropped with surprising force to the ground beneath.

She turned toward Mother, who was weeding with the newest member of Ama’s family, baby Kamama, wrapped up on her back. Kamama was such a blessing to her family since they had lost three loved ones in the past two years. Ama smiled at her baby sister and knelt to work beside Mother.

Ahyoka, who was weeding nearby, sang a cheerful song in the language of her forefathers and it flew like a bird throughout the garden. While with her family in a garden full of food, Ama almost forgot how terrible “nunna-da-ul-tsun-yi,” or in English, “the trail where they cried,” had been. But Ama could never forget what had happened to her family and their fellow Cherokees, nor did she ever want to forget. Ama looked over at her mother and said solemnly, “I have a home, good food, and my family here in Indian Territory; what more could I want? But I still think of and love the old land. My heart is in the mountains.”

June 25, 2018

One hundred and eighty years had now passed since Ama’s family had been forced to leave their homeland. The Cherokee land was full of people who never thought of the nation that had lived in the land for centuries before them. Another girl stood upon the cliff and looked out at the waterfall that Ama had loved. Her name was Faith.

“Isn’t it beautiful?” Faith rhetorically asked her sister Alison, shading her blue eyes from the sun.

“Oh, yes,” said Alison, her deep blue eyes and little brown freckles seeming to pop from her excited face. Then she deepened her tone of voice and called, “General Rose Wilkins is ready to kayak down the waterfall!” Thus saying, she ran away, her long, blonde ponytail swinging. Alison often liked to imagine she was random people doing various things, and usually Faith would play with her, but this day Faith just wanted to look out at the waterfall and the rest of the the beautiful Alabama world around her.

“Let’s go on to the river,” Miss Annie said. Miss Annie and her daughter Ashley were friends of Faith’s family.

A short boardwalk led to a dirt trail. They walked on the tree roots and moss on the very trail Ama had run countless times. Miss Annie, with her curly almost-black hair popping out of the back of her ball cap, led the way down the path.

“Try this; it is edible,” Alison said as they walked down the trail. “It is a sassafras leaf.” Faith took the leaf and bit into it.

“It is bitter,” Faith said, throwing the rest of the leaf to the side of the trail.

“You must have eaten a bad leaf,” Alison said. “They are not bitter! They are so delicious; I can not seem to get enough of them!”

Twenty minutes later, they arrived at the decent to the river. It was not a slippery slope as it had been in Ama’s day, because stone steps had been carved down the mountainside. Faith, her sister Alison, her brother Chris, her mom, and Miss Annie and Ashley, all carefully walked down the long staircase. At the bottom, they walked over the slippery rocks until they reached the river.

“Oh!” Faith called, stepping into the brown-hued water. “Even in the summer this water is cold!” Faith struggled not to slip on the slimy rocks that the river rushed over. “Mom, can we get into the water?”

“I can clean your clothes; go ahead!” Mom said. Faith carefully waded deeper into the water. Alison walked in silently, but her pursed lips and wobbly steps gave away that she was not thrilled with the slimy rocks and cold water.

“Oh boy, it’s cold!” Ashley said, gently sliding her legs into the water. She smiled tensely, showing the neatly-lined braces on her teeth. Chris walked into the water with ease, unlike the wobbly, chattering girls. Mom and Miss Annie sat at the edge of the river, dipped their feet in the water, and talked about various things.

For a long time the children played in the same river where Ama had played with her siblings. They laughed and swam in the cold water and climbed on two rocks that  stood tall in the midst of the river. Faith and Ashley eventually managed to completely submerge themselves in the cold water.

After about an hour, the children came out of the river. Faith looked down at the soaking wet blue dress she was wearing and saw that it was covered in stains. They sat down on the rocks beside the river and ate some snacks from two backpacks they had brought with them. After eating, they all walked up the trail to the waterfall, where they sat on some stone benches by the overlook and ate the rest of the food they had brought.

After finishing lunch, Faith walked over to the split-rail fence along the cliffside and looked out at the waterfall. Unlike Ama, no one was herding her family to captivity or forcing her to leave her home. But like Ama, the forests and hills of Alabama were her home. Unlike many girls her age, she did not forget the Cherokees or that they had lived in this land first. She remembered those who had loved the land even more than she did, those who had been forced to leave their homes, those who had walked the terrible Trail of Tears, and those who were now living in their Oklahoma reservation. As she looked out at the waterfall, she decided that she was going to tell their story.

Pet Photo Shoot #2

Hello! it is time for more pictures of cute pets. Today I want to introduce you to a cat you’ve never met before.

1. Montana Crow

Montana is our (sort of) third cat. He’s a stray who came to our house and claimed us as his owners. He’s really sweet, and would sit on your lap for forever if you let him.

Above: Montana being sweet. Below: Montana being playful.

Montana eating with his “sissy cat”, Texas. Eating is Montana’s favorite pastime.

2. Texas Cheyenne

Yes, I have to share some more cute Texas photos. Since it is winter, her fur is longer, softer, and fluffier than ever. Here she is with my sister.

Me with my ball of fur!

3. Dixie

Here are a few more cute pictures of my brother’s dog Dixie. She came to visit us again! Below is a picture of her with our little three-year-old friend who loves playing with Dixie so much.

Dixie loves to nap on the recliner. I think she considers it her throne.

4. Rendy

Are you wondering who Rendy is? He is our pet goldfish. We’ve had him for a month, and I just love him! Something about looking in the fishbowl at a cute, little fish with a tiny white mouth that opens and closes all of the time is so calming to me.

He likes looking into a little mirror that we taped to the side of his bowl.

5. Georgia Cherokee

Last, but definitely not least, is my Georgia (also known as Georgie or Cherry Pie). She thinks that she is the queen and can not stand anyone who defies her authority (especially Montana). Below is a selfie “she” took.

Here is what Georgia looks like from up above.

Georgia’s favorite thing to do is look in our door and beg for anything she wants at the moment. Isn’t she the cutest?

And finally, a picture of my two cats when they were cute, little kittens!

That’s all for the latest pet pictures! Thanks to my siblings for taking the photos. Good bye!

~Faith

The Reverend’s Daughter, Chapter 6 “Reunited”

Marilyn stayed busy going to school, attending church, and playing with the Reckley children. She enjoyed everything about Cumberland, except one thing–she missed her grandparents terribly. Often Marilyn would think of the things they had done together in Greensburg: shopping, taking drives in the country, and cleaning Uncle Crawford’s grave. She missed those times with a deep longing.

But one spring day, Marilyn got some good news. She came home from school and marched into the kitchen. “Hello, Mother. Hello, Dad!” she happily greeted, as she sat in one of the wooden chairs and set her red plaid school bag on the floor beside her.

“How was school today?” Mother asked, taking a tray of cookies out of the oven, a delicacy during war time.

“Oh, just fine,” Marilyn answered.

“How long till school is out, Marilyn?” asked Dad, looking at her over the top of his newspaper.

“One more month,” Marilyn replied sadly, knowing she would miss her friends at school.

“Oh, my,” Dad said, setting down his newspaper. “It’s coming sooner than I thought. We’d better make plans for your summer trip.”

“Summer trip?” Marilyn gasped, her mind spinning.

“Yes,” Dad replied. “Instead of visiting your grandparents for a week, your mother and I have decided that you may spend the whole summer with Mum and Pa.”

“Oh, Daddy!” Marilyn squealed, leaping out of her chair and hugging Dad fiercely. Dad returned to his newspaper as Marilyn gave Mother a quick squeeze before sitting down to eat two hot cookies and a half glass of milk. She ate far too quickly as she excitedly thought of her trip.

“Marilyn, slow down.” Mother reprimanded. “Eat like a lady.” Marilyn obediently slowed down, but her excitement continued to show as she swung her legs.

“Stop kicking the chair, Marilyn.” Mother chided again. Marilyn heard a faint snicker from behind the newspaper.

When school let out, Marilyn waited until the following week to leave for Pennsylvania. She wanted to attend the annual Sunday School picnic that Saturday. Marilyn loved the food and fun that the picnic had to offer. She also enjoyed watching Dad play baseball with the men and older boys, namely Delbert Cogill, Bob Wetzel, and John Clark. When Dad got up to the plate, even the ladies stopped what they were doing to watch. He was an excellent ball player, and regularly hit the ball far over the outfielders’ heads. As a youth, Dad had aspired to be a professional baseball player, but when he got saved, he gave up worldly things. Marilyn was proud of her dad’s decision to follow the Lord.

On Monday Marilyn’s parents took her on the long ride to Pennsylvania. Marilyn could not sit still. She slid from one side of the back seat to the other as she viewed the beautiful Allegheny Mountains around her. Finally they arrived in Greensburg. Marilyn was full of excitement and joy as she saw all the places that she remembered so clearly: the farmer’s market, McCurry’s Five and Ten Cent store, the corner on which Dad had preached, the cemetery where Uncle Crawford was buried, and finally the three-story apartment building where her grandparents lived. Marilyn pushed the heavy car door open, leaped from her seat, and ran up the sidewalk. She pushed open the big wooden door, and then scaled three flights of steps as quickly as she could. Knocking quite loudly on her grandparents’ apartment door, she bounced impatiently. When Mum opened the door, Marilyn sprang into her arms. “Little Marilyn,” Mum cooed, and to Marilyn it seemed that everything was right again.

Dad and mother stayed for one night. They left the next day so that they could be home in time for the Tuesday night fellowship. Marilyn was sad to see them go, knowing she would not see them for the rest of the summer. But Marilyn put those thoughts behind her; she was excited to spend her summer in Pennsylvania.

The days passed pleasantly in Greensburg as Marilyn and her grandparents formed a weekly routine. On Sunday morning they attended Sunday school and church. On Sunday afternoon, Marilyn spent time with Mum while Pa went to minister to the inmates at the Westmoreland County Jail. Then the three of them would go back to church for the Sunday evening service. Every weekday, Marilyn would stay home with Mum while Pa went to work at the glass factory. Almost every afternoon, Mum and Marilyn would walk to the corner market and buy groceries. On Wednesday night, they went to church for the prayer service. Saturday, when Pa was off work, the three of them would go clean Uncle Crawford’s grave.

Marilyn enjoyed playing with Garnet Shaw, a girl who lived in her grandparents’ apartment building. Marilyn and Garnet decided that they were going to learn to swim, so they each paid ten cents at the YMCA and swam for an hour every weekday morning. Both girls did indeed manage to learn how to swim.

When the summer was over, Marilyn was sad to leave her grandparents, but she was delighted to see her parents and the Reckleys again. It was great to be home.

That fall there was a new girl named Doris Marshall in the first grade class. Every day at lunch she would ask various girls for a bite of their sandwiches. Often she would ask Marilyn. One such day, Doris asked, “May I have a bite?” Marilyn looked down at her pickled hot pepper and cheese sandwich. Her parents bought jars of pickled hot peppers just for her, and she did not want to give up one single bite of her delicious sandwich.

“Yes,” said Marilyn begrudgingly, extending her sandwich to Doris. Doris took one bite. As she started to chew, her eyes got big, her face turned red, and she charged to the other side of the cafeteria where the water fountain was. Marilyn could not help but laugh inside. She was sure she would not have to give up any more precious bites to Doris.

One day Marilyn saw a poster announcing auditions for an upcoming school play. After talking to her parents about it, she decided that she would audition. Many of the other children were nervous, but not Marilyn. She sang at church often so she was not afraid to perform. Much to Marilyn’s delight, she was given the lead role in the play. Even though many of the children had trouble memorizing their lines, and Marilyn missed several practices due to sickness, the play was a success. Marilyn looked forward to the next year’s play.

Greater is He

You could think about the darkness
That creeps around at night
You could think of Satan’s army
And the battles that they fight

You could think about the terror
The dart that flies at noon
You could think of sin and sadness
Of trouble, grief, and gloom

But that is only half the story
There is another side too
The side of joy and valor
Of righteousness, of truth

Yehovah can stop Satan’s plans
With just a single word
Greater is He who is in you
Than he who is in the world

Cats

Someone said that cats are more trouble than they are worth, but I think otherwise. Some people are disgusted at how cats bring “presents” to their door, but I am just glad that the cats catch all of the rodents so that they are not populating in my yard! As for cat’s vet fees, we found an inexpensive country doctor. And cat food does not need to be anything fancy; I just give my cats dry cat food. And you do not need to bathe a cat; cats bathe themselves and keep decently clean. Furthermore, cats take care of their own business outside and instinctively use a litter box inside. You do not need to take them on walks or clean up after them. To sum up, cats are hardly any trouble, and any problems they do cause is totally worth having a cute, purring cat at your side.

This Life in Me is Not Mine

This life in me is not mine;
I have given it away.
This sinful world is not my home;
It’s just where I shortly stay.

Who knows what this life shall bring?
Some trials great and small?
Shall my life be full of peace?
My Maker knows it all.

Shall I have my dreams come true
Or shall I live amidst a war?
I just hope whatever comes
It’s what He created me for.

What if I walk through a furnace of fire?
I may not lose a hair.
My soul, my body, and my spirit
Are in His loving care.

He is the King of my life,
He will guide me wherever I go.
He will strengthen me all of the way,
Until He takes me home.

Yehovah Made Us Humans

Yah did not make us robots
To automatically move
To do everything He wants
He gave us the right to choose

Yah didn’t make us animals
Who do their every whim
He didn’t want us to follow instinct
He wanted us to follow Him

Yehovah made us humans
And though we trip and fall
We’re just the way He wants us
And He always loves us all

Yah wants us to love Him
With all of our hearts
But because He lets us choose
We messed up from the start

Yehovah shows His love for us
In that while we still sinned
He sent His son to die for us
For all to come to Him

Guest Post ~ “King of the Forest”

Everyone says that the lion is the king of the jungle. As for the king of the forest, that used to be me.

I was larger than the largest. My neighbors looked up to me.

The animals were satisfied with my bountiful harvest. Many came, and left full.

But now I have been struck with the incurable. Many tried to help, but failed. I am weak; the least are greater than me.

There must be a cure. Hope may be little, but it is still alive. Someday, hopefully, I will rise again. I am the American Chestnut.

~by S. Rose Williams

A New Beginning, Chapter 3

Hello! Here is chapter three of my story, A New Beginning. You can find the first two chapters here.

**************

One chilly night, while all of the children were sleeping, Mr. Walsh came inside with a load of wood in his arms. Mrs. Walsh was washing dishes. “George, what are we going to do with Nina?’ she asked suddenly.

“Well, I have been praying about her–”

“Yes, and so have I, but I do not feel any direction as to where she should go,” Mrs. Walsh said, her face showing an exasperated look. “I do know one thing though, she cannot stay here. She has been having the grandest of times with Annamarie and Katherine and she is quite taken by Susan and Charity. I do not want to tear her from them but it seems we must. I do not know what to do!”

“Elsie, do you realize you interrupted me?” Mr. Walsh asked.

“Oh, no, I did not,” she answered. “What were you going to say?”

“I was going to say that I have prayed about her and I think I know what we should do.”

“You do?”

“Yes, I think maybe we should send her to live with the Cromwell family.”

“Why, yes, the Cromwells! They mentioned at church a few weeks ago that they wanted someone to help them around their house. Nina would be perfect for the job. I shall speak to Mrs. Cromwell about Nina as soon as I can.”

“That sounds good, but there is one more thing: what if Nina refuses to go to the Cromwells? You know she is a very headstrong, opinionated girl. She tried to run away from me when I first found her.”

“If she does not want to go to the Cromwells, we can just explain to her that we cannot keep her and we do not want to send her to an orphanage. She simply will have to go.”

“That should work. She will certainly understand.”

“Good, we can tell her in the morning.”

**************

The next morning Nina woke up and looked around. She saw Mrs. Walsh flipping flapjacks over the fire. “Sorry if I am in your way, Mrs. Walsh,” Nina quickly said, grabbing her blanket and sitting up.

“Do not worry,” Mrs. Walsh said. “You were not in my way.” Then Mr. Walsh came through the door with another armful of wood.

“We never have enough wood to burn at this house!” He said jokingly, even though it was mostly true. So much wood was needed to keep the fire burning. Then Mr. Walsh turned toward Nina and said, “Nina, my wife and I have decided where we want to send you.”

“Where?” Nina said, looking up at Mr. Walsh’s tan, wrinkled face.

“The Cromwell family from our church said they could use some help around their house,” Mr. Walsh said. “You might be just right for the job.” Nina gulped. I do not want to leave the Walshes, she thought. But I should have known I would not get to stay here. She said nothing.

“We will take you to meet the Cromwells as soon as we can,” Mrs. Walsh said. “If they agree to take care of you, then so be it. If not, then you shall stay with us longer until we can find someone else to care for you. Does that sound good to you?”

“Yes,” said Nina, rather hesitantly.

Mrs. Walsh, sensing her hesitation, said, “Do not worry Nina. You will like the Cromwells. They are very nice.” Nina smiled rather weakly and headed out to the horsefield. She ran up to Ranger and stroked his nose, trying not to cry. She had really bonded with Katherine, Annamarie, and Ranger during their races across the field. It made her very sad to think of leaving them. The Walshes had been so kind to her and showed her a love she had not known since her parents had died.

Soon Annamarie came in and called cheerfully, “It is time for breakfast, Nina!”

“Okay,” Nina replied half-heartedly.

“What is wrong?” Annamarie said, wondering what was troubling her friend.

“Your parents want to send me to the Cromwells,” Nina said. “I shall miss you all terribly.”

“Oh, we shall miss you very much as well,” Annamarie said, tears rising to her eyes as the two friends hugged. “I hoped Mama and Papa would let you stay, but I guess it was not meant to be. We will see each other at church though, if the Cromwells were to take you in.”

Later at the breakfast table, Mr. Walsh announced, “Children, I believe we have found Nina a home. We are going to see if the Cromwell family will take in Nina.” The girls looked down at their plates sadly and picked at their food. “You girls should see yourselves!” Mr. Walsh chuckled. “Your faces look as though we are going through a famine, but we have an abundance of food in front of us.”

“We are just sad that Nina has to leave,” Annamarie said.

“Do not be sad,” Mr. Walsh said cheerfully. “We will see her at church, and maybe she could even come and visit us sometime. Now let us enjoy having her here instead of thinking about her leaving.” And everyone did just that.

Triumph

The devil thought he’d done it;
The devil thought he’d won.
He had conjured up a plan
To kill Yah’s only son.

He shared his plan with Judas
And with all the scribes and priests.
They all planned to do it
Before the Passover feast.

But Yehovah knew what was happening.
Yehovah was still in control.
He’d sent His Son for that very reason:
To save all of our souls.

Yeshua cried, “Your will be done”
Then He was led away.
After beating, mocking, flogging;
He was crucified that day.

After dying for all our sins
Our Savior went to the Father
Who gave him all glory and majesty
Honor and power forever

Yeshua took the keys to hell
And set all of us free.
What a wonder, what a joy
That he would die for me!

After three day and three nights
He rose and lives again.
The mortal coils of sin and death
Had no triumph over Him!

We’ve all been bad, we’ve all done wrong
But he came to seek and to save.
He loves us all so very much
He died and rose from the grave!

-Scripture References-

Luke 22:3
Matthew 26:3-5
John 12:27
Luke 22:42&54
Jude 25
Revelation 1:18
Luke 19:10
Romans 5:8