September 26, 2004

Ya Gotta GO on A Faith And Freedom Tour

Everyone who is educating their children should try to find a way to go to a Vision Forum Faith and Freedom Tour… They are absolutely blockbuster. There is nothing better for learning history than to go to the actual places in which they occurred.

Monticello, my favorite place on the tour. Wonderful buildings. Great site.

Doug Philips Lecturing in front of Mt. Vernon

George Washington the Surveyor

One of my favorite places in Virginia is Mount Vernon. I love it because I see a man creating over a span of forty years a home place full of activity, hospitality and industry. I like the way the buildings are arranged. I like the way the main house sets on the hill overlooking the Potomac. I like the shape of the house and how it is fitted for having large groups of visitors for lodging and for meals.

I like the way the outbuildings are arranged for efficient exercise of the prosperous purposes of the farm.

This home schooled boy lost his father at age 11 and went on to became a surveyor then a planter and then the most powerful man in the nation and perhaps the best President the country ever had.

He humbly acquiesced taking the Presidency making provisions for the power of others in the process. When elected President, said,

“I walk on un trodden Ground.”

In a way, so are we who are involved in family integrated churches that turn sharply away from the highly programmed professionally run seeker driven churches of our day. It is not completely untrodden ground that we travel, but it has been un trodden for quite a while.

Mount Vernon
A small building for each service the farm needed. There were three hundred slaves who needed shoes so there was a cobbler who worked in a building. One million fish were caught each year so there was a salt room for the preparation of fish. There was a blacksmith. Wash house. One year there were 11,000 gallons of liquor produced. He produced wheat, corn…

Wise Thinking Regarding Home place Development
I like the expansion of the house and how it demonstrated forethought yet the understanding of the resources at hand. The house started with about a 1200 square foot footprint and grew through two major stages to around 9000 sf. He started with a small house, expanded it twice. He had a wise modular plan. I have known people who use this strategy and it allows them affordability while growing at the pace of their prosperity instead of ahead of it (through debt).

This is Stonewall Jackson’s home. See the original footprint of the home on the left (brick). On the right is the addition. It started small and was expanded as finances would allow. A very smart way to engage in home ownership

There was a twenty year stretch at Mount Vernon where he and Martha did not eat alone because there were always visitors. They averaged over 700 overnight visitors each year.

Martha Washington built wonderful relationships among her visitors.

In a letter from Martha Washington to her friend Mercy Otis Warren, Dec 26:1789, (displayed in Williamsburg Visitors center) she writes

“I am determined to be cheerful and to be happy in whatever situation I may, for I have learnt from experience that the greater part of happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions and not upon our circumstances.”

We went to the home of Patrick Henry - the place where he raised his six children from his first wife.

The Actual Floor that Patrick Henry (and other founding fathers) Walked

Fruitfulness and Multiplication
I am sorry to say that in the area of large family, Patrick Henry makes Dan Garner, with only a measly 11 children, look like a lightweight. His first wife bore him six children and went insane, dying at a young age. She died there in the house we visited. Patrick remarried, moved to a new home in Red Hill Virginia… and went to have a total of 17 children.

Devotion to family
Patrick Henry was an unusual member of our founding fathers for many reasons. First, as George Washington was known as “the sword” of the revolution, Jefferson was “the Pen” of the revolution and Patrick Henry was “the Trumpet” (the orator) of the revolution. It is interesting to note that he slipped into relative obscurity after the revolution. Patrick Henry went back home and spurned all other overtures for continued fame and fortune through political position and travel. He stayed home. In some ways he became the forgotten founding father. His grave site was left unkempt and overgrown until only recently when the governor of Virginia allocated funds to clean it up and repair it for visitation..

Formational Years Under Great Preaching
One principle that family heads need to understand is that importance of the local church you choose during your children’s formative years. My own father made a powerful decision for our young family, when he took us out of a liberal Methodist church in and took us to a Bible teaching church. The effect was landmark in every one of our lives. I am confident that if we had stayed in the old church, our family history would be very different. Patrick Henry was nurtured under the best preaching that Virginia had to offer. His oratorical skills were first inspired by the Great Awakening preacher, Samuel Davies. His mother took him to a Presbyterian church from age 12-22 to hear Davies preach.

Think of how many children there are in our church that are in this same formative period. This makes it obvious that the kind of church we make together, as the formational environment for our children looms in significance.

And how did young Patrick’s mother help her son understand the preaching of the day? On the way home, she would make him recite the sermon contend and would go the extra step to have him give the proper inflections and emphases he heard from Davies sermons.

I played the role of the pastor of the church Patrick Henry gave his famous address, “give me liberty or give me death.

One encouraging note
Patrick was not a good student as a boy. He was like most boys… liking the outdoors and not appreciating books all that much. He failed in two businesses by age 22, as a shopkeeper and a farmer. After that he studied law under the forces of his own motivation and continued to be self taught. From this time forward, Patrick Henry’s motivation rose dramatically. The lesson: Sometimes a youth without any strong literary or oratorical motivations during their youth will later turn on. Youthful affections or inclinations are not always the indicator for the future.

Robert E. Lee’s Grave at Washington and Lee University in Virginia

September 18, 2004

Highly Principled Weddings

September 18, 2004

This was our second wedding as a church… Oh the happiness! Kevin Page and Rebecca Garner

This was a highly principled wedding. Many protections and projections were made regarding the formation and purpose of this wedding. There was careful selection for kingdom purposes…NOT a couple doing their own thing.

Of all of the things a church does, one of the most important things it ever does is to participate in the formation of marriages.

It matters how you form marriages. If you (or your church) forms them poorly (with the methods of the world) you will make worldly marriages that will bankrupt the storehouse of blessing for the following generations.

Kevin and Rebecca’s preparation and formation should be an example for all who are witnessing this marriage.

First of all, Daniel Garner protected his daughter Rebecca from multiple failed romantic relationships, by first of all rejecting modern dating practices and adopting practices of what is called courtship. Second, he became the protector of his daughter and the gatekeeper who held back unworthy suitors. This is a very important role- that fathers do not play anymore - and we need to bring it back in the normal practices of the church.

Second, Kevin was highly principled by waiting till he was ready to be married before he pursued marriage. He did not express any interest in Rebeccca nor did he try to win Rebeccas heart until he had the full approval of her father and other wise counselors. Kevin refused to trifle with Rebecca, honored Rebecca’s father and then honored Rebecca by insuring his readiness for marriage. I know… I was there.

The kiss at this wedding (and it was a real corker) was Kevin and Rebecca’s first kiss. In this way, Kevin worked to keep his bride pure.

Both fathers and grandfathers addressed the couple during the ceremony and the fathers signed their marriage covenant along with the bride and groom.

Patriarchs, Daniel Garner and Dick Page sign the covenant

How thankful I was to know that all our little ones were watching how all this was done.

Here are brides to be, my daughter Claudia and Sophie Albright enjoying the moment. I trust God for the future of Trinity Baptist Church for many principled marriages for the glory of God.

September 04, 2004

Dove Hunting

September 4, 04 Dove Hunting
Opening Day I had a first time experience (Dove hunting) and the opportunity to watch a true Patriarch (with a capital "P") in action. Don Bowen, the 68 year old father of Don Bowen, elder at Trinity Baptist Church invited three fathers and sons to go on their yearly family first day of the season dove hunt.

The Bowen Men - Father on far right, Sons in Middle and grandsons scattered about
We drove to Cheraw South Carolina to a 50 acre cornfield where we were to hunt. I watched this man bring together about 30 fathers and sons directing them to God, and demonstrating exemplary manhood. I watched him relate to his grandsons, giving them jobs to do and responsibilities. I watched him express kindnesses toward his sons.

Here you have a full output of testosterone… Don and Danny Albright, Jerry and Jonathan Mestas, Daniel Brown, Scott Brown, David Brown, Patrick and Brandon Bowen.

David Brown drawing a bead on a pesky Dove.