Share Your World | Hell’s Bells Nut Shells

Walnut shells on the garden bench left by industrious [hungry?] squirrels.

 What do you consider is the most perfect food for you? (It can be your favorite food to something extremely healthy.)

APPLES: Natural. Sweet. Healthy. Portable. Alkaline. Reasonably priced. Easy to sauce. Nice to crisp. Wonderful to pie. Tasty to cider. Pretty to look at.

 Are you focused on today or tomorrow?

I’m usually focused on both.  They are, after all, connected to each other in ways unbroken.  Like the flow of the eternity symbol [figure eight on its side] my mind glides effortlessly from today to tomorrow, and then back again to today.  I’m mindful of now, but with a sense of perspective about later.

• If you could interview one of your great-great-great grandparents, who would it be (if you know their name) and what would you ask?

The only great-great-great grandparent that I know of is the man who immigrated from Scotland to America.  He was, supposedly, from a well-off nobleman’s family [weren’t they all?], but being a minor son with no title to inherit, he decided to come here to make his fortune.

If I could talk with him I’d ask him: why did he came here? what did he do for a living when he got here? and how did this life differ from the one he left?

• What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

Here’s what inspired me last week: did you know that a rainbow can happen even if it’s not raining where you are?

I didn’t, nor did Zen-Den.

On Thursday night he drove home from where he works downtown, and noticed, as he drove along, that a rainbow in the sky seemed to end at our house.

When he got home, he walked inside the house and asked me when it’d rained.  I told him that it hadn’t rained here.

He said that it hadn’t rained on his drive home either… BUT there was a rainbow in the sky out front of our house now.

Of course, we both went running out the front door to see this rainbow– and by golly there it was.  Large and bright and colorful.

Now how amazing is that?

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Catch up with everyone else who is answering Cee’s Share Your World Questions this week by clicking HERE.

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That Place Where Genealogy & A Forgiving Spirit Meet

“It is a duty to forgive everyone that is indebted to us, under pain of the Divine condemnation… for an unforgiving spirit cannot possibly be a happy one.”

~ The Reverend William H. Sutherland, Ohio frontier circuit preacher | DDiv | my great-grandfather

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Good thought, eh?  I stumbled upon it when I was doing some random genealogical research.

[Amazing what a person can find online.]

The quote you see above comes from Charles C. Cole’s Lion of the Forest: James B. Finley, Frontier Reformer, a biography about Finley.  Like Finley, my great-grandfather was a frontier circuit preacher who travelled via horse or on foot to spread the word of God.  It was a difficult life and the pay was nominal.  Most men did the job for a few years and then moved onto something less strenuous, less religious.

However, my great-grandfather toughed it out and eventually went on to earn an advanced degree in theology.  Throughout his subsequent career as a reverend he rose within the ranks of the Methodist Episcopal Church* to become an elder of some sort.  [More research needed.]  But before he became someone of note within the church, he ruffled a few feathers out there on the circuit.

[Specifically, the feathers of Finley.]

As I understand it, Finley and my great-grandfather did not agree on what constituted Christian forgiveness.  Finley believed that a Christian could not forgive someone unless that someone had first repented.

My great-grandfather took a more progressive view and said that forgiveness was not dependent upon someone else repenting, but was an action that a good Christian took as a matter of course.  The responsibility to forgive was the appropriate behavior of the forgiver, regardless of what the person requiring forgiveness did– or did not do.

[You still with me here?]

I like learning that my great-grandfather, who is affectionately known within this house as The Old Coot, was not as coot-ish as I imagined him to be.  My take-away from this is that he had a good heart, and apparently the sense to know what to worry about and what to let go of.

Rather modern thinking, for an old-time religious fellow.  I’m impressed.

* In 1844 there was a schism within the U.S.A. Methodist church resulting in the denomination dividing into two factions: the Methodist Episcopal Church condemned slavery;  the Southern Methodist Church allowed slavery.  This schism foreshadowed the Civil War by about 20 years.