I’ve been confined for three weeks plus with a flu type virus and have had many opportunities to think about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We in North Carolina have been inundated with tons of rain over the last few weeks. As I looked out my window this morning, I asked myself, “Could these drops of water be God’s tears of sadness?” I know His heart must breaking as He watches His highest creation (mankind) behave in such an abominable way. During my lifetime, it has never ceased to amaze me just how low mankind has sunk. We are definitely sinking deeper and deeper in the muck and mudhole of life. The longer this old world stands, the deeper humanity sinks. According to the philosophy of this present world, it’s okay to rewrite scripture to suit our lifestyles, have no morals, kill babies, and force our opinions and beliefs on the world around us. Our freedoms in America have overstepped God’s intention for mankind. But I have to stop and remember one thing…not everyone is a Bible believing Christian. In our society today, Christians are an offense and an annoyance. Today’s world sees Christ followers as being nothing more than archaic, obsolete, out of date, old-fashioned, behind the times, antiquated, having seen better days, and oldfangled. But that’s okay, the truth will stand when the world’s on fire. And that’s exactly what’s going to happen to this earth as we know it. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 2 Peter 3:10”
CHRISTIANS, hold fast to the principles and precepts of God’s Holy Word. We all know and understand the fact that everyone will die someday, and it’s important how we live. Where do you stand? It’s mankind’s choice. God never forces himself on us…he gave us all a freewill. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve. Joshua 24:15 b” KJV
I often say, “I am just what I am…warts, carbuncles, blemishes, and all.” It has always bothered me how I was perceived by other people. I grew up in a fishbowl atmosphere as a “preacher’s kid,” but as of today, I have resolved to try to be just me. I’ve decided that I cannot please everyone. I’m weary from trying. I’ve spent my entire life trying to please people, when the only one I’ve needed to worry about is my Creator. God formed me in my mother’s womb and created me in His own image, and that’s good enough for me. My desire is that the radiance of Jesus will always reflect on my face.
I’ve never proclaimed to be perfect and I never will be. That night on May 22, 1946, for one instant I was perfect, a creation of the Heavenly Father. As soon as I hit the air in the delivery room at Cabarrus County Hospital in Concord, North Carolina, I entered a world of disease, sin, and decay (warts, carbuncles, and blemishes). So, no! I’m not perfect. Even though I entered this old sinful world as a perfect little creation, my life over the years has become a conglomeration of warts, carbuncles, and blemishes. But there will be a day when this life will be over, and I will obtain that perfect body again. It will be a glorious body…just like His. I like to refer to my failures and sins as warts, carbuncles, and blemishes, but God will make me perfect again someday and take all of that away.
When I was born that warm night in 1946, obstetric medicine had not progressed to the point it is today. In fact, Cabarrus County Hospital was still in its infancy. The hospital was only about ten years old. According to my birth record signed by Lance T. Monroe, M.D, I entered the world at 8:35 p.m. Prior to my birth, Doctor Monroe had come to the waiting room and informed my father that something had gone wrong during the delivery procedure. Daddy was informed that I would probably not survive. I was born frank breech and the delivery had progressed too far to do a caesarian, which they rarely did in 1946. Daddy was devastated when Doctor Monroe also told him that there was no way I could survive and probably not my mother. He then gave my father a choice, “Preacher Digh, do you want me to try to save your wife or the baby? We may have to take the baby (and these were his words relayed to me by my father) piece by piece” Daddy’s reply was loud and clear, “That’s not my choice to make. I want them both.” So, my father turned to God through prayer. He went out behind the hospital and fell on his knees, and when he returned to the waiting room, I had arrived…screaming my lungs out, I’m sure. I haven’t hushed since that day.
Yes, I came into this world sitting down and I think that makes a strong statement regarding my character and personality. I have remained seated in my faith and beliefs. I will not be moved. I’ve experienced times when I’ve failed God and created many warts, carbuncles, and blemishes on my testimony, because I’m not perfect. But…God has remained faithful.
So, here I am…seated as usual at my computer…warts, carbuncles, blemishes, and all…just typing away. I haven’t hushed yet. As long as I live, I will share Christ and what he has done in my life. I’ve always known that God has had a purpose for my living, therefore, I plan to fulfill that purpose.
Can you imagine the pain I would have felt if Dr. Monroe had taken me from my mother’s body…piece by piece. My brain was already formed, as was my nervous system. So I guess you can understand why I don’t believe in abortion. A child is a gift from God…created in his image, and we are commanded to value that life as my father did.
“ I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14
I’m reminded of some of the lyrics of that great old hymn by Horatio Spafford…It is Well With My Soul
My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
Throughout the month of January, all my books will be available on amazon.com or $0.99 (Kindle Version).
If you enjoy clean, southern, faith-based fiction, I urge you to dive into them. Each book is a mystery mingled with romance and history. In my writing, I attempt to portray life in the south through each plot and every characters. I include some dialect in the stories and even include a few pictures and recipes. But above all, Christ and His redemptive work on the cross is presented as a source of strength for each character.
The titles are Hope Returns, Terror on Waxhaw Creek, Fireflies on Waxhaw Creek, Family Secrets, and Unfailing Love.H was first published in 2008 and again in 2015. The storyline takes place in Rutherford County nestled in the foothills of the mountains of North Carolina. Hope Logan, the protagonist, returns to her grandparent’s old homeplace and finds a baffling mystery that had haunted her family for nearly sixty-five years. Anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness toward God consume her when she sets out to tackle the mystery. Because of three senior citizens and a handsome young pastor, her anger begins to fade as she discovers the meaning of faith and hope in Christ in the midst of adversity.
Hope Returns was first published in 2008 and again in 2015. The storyline takes place in Rutherford County nestled in the foothills of the mountains of North Carolina. Hope Logan, the protagonist, returns to her grandparent’s old homeplace and finds a mystery that had haunted her family for nearly sixty-five years. Anger, bitterness and unforgiveness toward God consume her when she sets out to solve the mystery that had surrounded her family for over sixty-five years. Because of three senior citizens and a handsome young pastor, her anger begins to fade as she discovers the meaning of faith and hope in Christ in the midst of adversity.
The Waxhaw Creek Trilogy includes Terror on Waxhaw Creek, Fireflies on Waxhaw Creek, and Unfailing Love. These stories revolve around a family, a church, and a group of Christian friends. A mystery and a puzzling crime unfolds in each of the books as the characters learn the meaning of true friendship and Christian love. In the series, each character encounters many daunting issues. A police chief and his family, a Native American teacher, a self-made business woman, and a pastor live their lives to the fullest in the Land of the Waxhaw, birthplace of Andrew Jackson.
Family Secrets takes place in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, in the little villages of Mint Hill and Wilgrove. The protagonist, Faith Simpson, returns from New York City to the place of her roots for the reading of her great-aunt’s will. Because of the stipulations of the will, she has to move into her great-aunt’s huge O’Gallagher mansion where she encounters a secret that is mind boggling. Since Faith had been a detective with the New York Police Department, she puts her skills to work as she sets out to solve the mystery surrounding the old house. Her quest for the truth takes her to Ireland to unravel it. Because of a handsome young Native American man and other friends, she is able to attack her problems. All the while, her faith in God is renewed and strengthened.
I have had a great life and am so grateful that God has blessed me in so many ways, yet throughout my life I have suffered disappointments. As a child I was never disappointed by my parents…they were the ones who were always there for me. I’m sure I disappointed them many times, but they always stood by me, no matter what. As a teenager, I was excluded from certain events because of who my father was…the pastor. I learned early in life to grit my teeth and deal with it. As I think back over my life, my first major disappointment was when my father took a different church in a neighboring county. I felt like my heart was being ripped out when we pulled up stakes and moved from one town to another. That first year at my high school was torture. I didn’t fit in anywhere. Then the next year a new school opened, and I seemed to carve out a place for myself and somewhat found happiness. My high school years were not a happy time for me. The year after I graduated I started dating my husband. Little did I see the hand of God on my life when we moved to that little community, but that handsome young man I was dating was my neighbor. It was a whirlwind romance, and soon we were married. The major disappointment that surpassed anything I had every experienced was what happened not long after the wedding…he was drafted and sent to Vietnam. Still, I failed to recognize the hand of God during that time. God protected him and he returned home safe after a year from that war-torn country.
After being married for 53 years, we have experienced many disappointments as a family over the years. With the help of the Heavenly Father, we have managed to press on. Yet through it all, my husband has never disappointed me, nor have my children. When dealing with hurt caused by disappointment, Jesus always steps in and heals our broken hearts. I’m reminded of this scripture, “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5″ No matter what our disappointment is, Jesus is always there for us…that constant abiding friend who never lets us down.
Staying in God’s Word helps us overcome anything.
Fall has left us and winter is here. The blanket of leaves in my yard have been blown, piled up, and burned. No longer do they cover the earth as if to keep the ground warm for the coming cold weather. I watched my husband as he diligently piled the dead leaves in heaps and prepared to burn them a few weeks ago. Isn’t that just like our lives? Yes, things that were once beautiful in our lives become less important and fall away just like those autumn leaves. Before we know it, those really important things in our lives are things of the past and are tucked away in our memory bank forever.
As I have grown older, I have come to realize just what’s important in life…Jesus, family, and friends. I spent my entire young adult life wrapped up in the organizations of the church…music, mission organizations, and Sunday School teaching. Now my life has slowed down, and most of those things are only distant memories. As I ponder those things my life was so controlled by, I realize I didn’t do all of those activities for the right reasons. I have to admit that many times I did them because it was expected of me, and much of it was done for self-gratification and not for the Lord. It’s taken me a lifetime to come to grips with that realization. I can’t go back and change things, so I will press on in the name of Jesus doing what He wants me to do. Age has slowed me down so much, but I know in my heart that God’s not finished with me. I have self-published five faith-based novels and am working on the sixth book. All of my writing centers around Christ and His unfailing love for mankind. Scripture tells us in “Little Is Much When God Is In It.” So, I will continue to bloom where I’m planted…writing and blogging.
Brothers, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things that are behind, and reaching forth to those things that are before…Philippians 3:13.
As I think about growing up in the south during the 1950s, I get a warm, fuzzy feeling in my heart. The home I grew up in was somewhat different from other homes. My younger years, until I was married, were always in the shadow of a church. Everyone was watching the preacher’s kids. Therefore, I couldn’t get away with a lot of mischief.
We had no television, so my main source of entertainment was playing the piano, riding my bicycle, playing with the neighborhood kids, and sliding down the red hills behind the church. And you could always find my little buddy, Socks, alongside me. He was a black cocker spaniel that loved to run with me. It was a sad day when Socks ran the wrong way into the path of a car. I didn’t have another pet that meant anything to me after that.
Another thing I loved doing was hunting with my daddy. We would turn his beagles out of the dog pen and head for the woods. Oftentimes, I would ride my pony, Sandy, and follow Daddy as he went into the woods. I went bird hunting with him often, but I never shot a gun. Daddy wouldn’t let me do that. I was the retriever. Daddy would dress the birds and Mother would cook them up and make bird stew. That was a real treat.
My best friend Ruth lived about five or six miles from me, and I only saw her on Sundays. I always loved going home with her after church. She had no television either, so we created things to do. Paper dolls were our main source of entertainment. Our imaginations would run wild as we created stories, and those little dolls would come alive as we spread them out on the rug in Ruth’s living room.
Another childhood memory I have is the Charlotte Transportation System. In those days, a big city bus would come out to where we lived in Mint Hill. A lady who lived near us took me to the Christmas parade when I was about eight-years-old in downtown Charlotte. What a joyous adventure it was to ride that big bus. As soon as we found our seats, I noticed a sign at the front of the bus hanging over the drivers head…”Coloreds to the Rear.” I leaned over as any curious little girl would do and ask, “What does that mean?” She explained that colored people had to sit at the back of the bus. That was my first introduction to the “Jim Crow” system. Under the “Jim Crow” system, African-Americans were relegated to a status of second class citizens. It was a horrible caste system in the south, that was so wrong. That kind of thinking was prevalent throughout the south during that era. Remember, it was the 1950s. I recall shopping in downtown Charlotte with my mother and seeing separate water fountains for blacks and whites. Those images were indelibly stamped in my mind and are still there to this day. As a child, I never understood any of that, because I grew up in a home where it was taught that blacks and whites were created equal. My father even preached in one of the African-American churches near our home.
Much has happened over the years in this great country we call America. I have seen many changes during my 72 years of living. My generation, “The Baby Boomers” or “War Babies” has come a long way since then. We never dreamed of carrying a phone in our pocket. We didn’t wear jeans or pants to school. We wore dressed made from flour or feed sacks and were proud of them. We never dreamed of a calculator to help with math problems, and a computer was unheard of during that era. 99% of our clothes were homemade and my mother didn’t even have an electric sewing machine…her’s was the old-timey pedal type. But, we were happy and those were truly the “good old days.”
Life is too easy today. As I sit here at my computer, I’m reminded that this blog is a creation of today’s society. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all the conveniences I have at my disposal today, but sometimes I long for that simpler time. People were less stressed and took the time to visit a neighbor. Now that’s what I’m talking about!
Charlotte Bus Station in the 1950s
Brief synopsis of my faith-based Novel, Family Secrets
Faith Simpson, a New York Police Department detective, grew up in North Carolina and was summoned back to her little hometown of Mint Hill for the reading of her great-aunt’s will and to settle her estate. Faith’s parents were tragically killed in a car accident when she was a child. Because there were no living relatives other than her great-aunt, she went to live with her at O’Gallagher Estate in the little town of Mint Hill. There she experienced isolation, mental abuse, and loneliness. Her only contact with the outside world was her friends at school. Because of the stipulations and demands of the will, Faith was forced to resign her position as a police officer and remain at her Aunt Irma’s huge estate. The entire storyline revolves around a secret her parents and her great-aunt hid from her. That skeleton in Faith’s closet involved her true parentage, a murder, and years of deceit and greed. Her quest for the truth took her across the Atlantic Ocean to Ireland to unravel the mystery of her life. Through Forrest Strongbow, a handsome young Native American man, and other friends, she was able to confront her problems. As a result, her faith in God was renewed and strengthened.
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