Once upon a time there was a man who was alive.

Location: Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States
St. Cuthbert and Disciples in a Boat


Happy Hogmanay everyone! And blessings on your coming new year!

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I'll be mine,
And we'll tak a cup o kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine,
But we've wander'd monie a weary fit,
Sin auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin auld lang syne.

And there's a hand my trusty fiere,
And gie's a hand o thine,
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne

Gloss, for those who donna ken:

auld lang syne: literally means "old long ago". Better translation is perhaps "times gone by"
be: pay for
braes: hills
braid: broad
burn: stream
dine: dinner/ evening time
fiere: friend
fit: foot
gowans: daisies
guid-willie waught: goodwill drink
monie: many
morning sun: noon
paidl't: paddled
pint-stowp: pint tankard
pou'd: pulled
twa: two


When first I was converted, and became single-minded, I used to think I would be like the little bird which pines for love of its beloved, but which can rejoice in the midst of its longing when he, the loved one, comes. While it sings its joy, it is still yearning, though in sweetness and warmth. It is said that the nightingale will sing her melody all night long to please him to whom she is united. How much more ought I to sing, and as sweetly as I can, to my Jesus Christ, my soul's spouse, through the whole of this present life.

Good Jesus, scourge me, wound me, slay me, burn me;
do with me here and now whatever in your goodness you decide;
that in the days to come I may know and feel
not evil but your love--and that, for ever!
To be despised, rejected, insulted by all,
for your sake, is sweeter to me
than to be called the brother of any earthly monarch,
honoured among men, and praised by all....

Richard Rolle, The Fire of Love

My mom bought me a new hat in the frenzy of after-Christmas shoppers: quite nice, comfortably odd, but not so much that my mother has social anxiety on my behalf when I wear it. If said hat is currently in or out of fashion, please do not inform me, as I enjoy being blissfully unaware of fashion. I should like to wear tweed or a kilt, but former item is scarce and the later has been ruled out my mother. Ah well.


This is a little site I set up to "publish" some of my otherwise unpublishable tales and such. It is rather difficult at the time to figure it all out, however, I am scribbling out a nice longish short of story whose elements can more or less stand on their own. The first chapter is on the site, with more to come- and not in any particular chronological order, of course.


"The night also is Thine."—Psalm 74:16.
Yes, Lord, Thou dost not abdicate Thy throne when the sun goeth down, nor dost Thou leave the world all through these long wintry nights to be the prey of evil; Thine eyes watch us as the stars, and Thine arms surround us as the zodiac belts the sky. The dews of kindly sleep and all the influences of the moon are in Thy hand, and the alarms and solemnities of night are equally with Thee. This is very sweet to me when watching through the midnight hours, or tossing to and fro in anguish. There are precious fruits put forth by the moon as well as by the sun: may my Lord make me to be a favoured partaker in them.
The night of affliction is as much under the arrangement and control of the Lord of Love as the bright summer days when all is bliss. Jesus is in the tempest. His love wraps the night about itself as a mantle, but to the eye of faith the sable robe is scarce a disguise. From the first watch of the night even unto the break of day the eternal Watcher observes His saints, and overrules the shades and dews of midnight for His people's highest good. We believe in no rival deities of good and evil contending for the mastery, but we hear the voice of Jehovah saying, "I create light and I create darkness; I, the Lord, do all these things."
Gloomy seasons of religious indifference and social sin are not exempted from the divine purpose. When the altars of truth are defiled, and the ways of God forsaken, the Lord's servants weep with bitter sorrow, but they may not despair, for the darkest eras are governed by the Lord, and shall come to their end at His bidding. What may seem defeat to us may be victory to Him.

"Though enwrapt in gloomy night,
We perceive no ray of light;
Since the Lord Himself is here,
'Tis not meet that we should fear."



Ah, Christmas approaches! This, after perhaps Easter, is the most glorious holiday of the year. How can one not be thrilled at the thought of the day? Our King came, lowly and humbly, but bound to wage a great battle. He was sent from His great heavenly seat to this sin-wracked earth, and was born of a simple Judaen girl in a byre in rural Israel. The lowliest of men, sheep-herds, praised Hm at His coming- but strange noble men out of the East sought Him, and a great star shone upon Him. In the Temple an odd old prophet blessed Him and prophesied His death and His mother's woe- and the salvation He would bring. And on one might go- He is beyond measure of words, being Word Himself! Let us hush our woes and still our hurried feet and give Him due reverence this Christ-mas.

Who is this King of Glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle!

Here is yet another example of liberalism's (in this case under the shadow of that great organ of propoganda, the New York Times) dislike of Tolkien (most liberals, anyway- there are of course plenty of exceptions): But for all the proto-multiculturalism of Tolkien's Middle-Earth, in the current climate it's impossible not to experience Peter Jackson's "Two Towers" as war propaganda of unnerving power {Yes folks, you are being secretly propogandized to support the BushWar. Really! In fact, all I could think of when watchng was, "Let's go slaughter some Third World people"- I couldn't get it out of my mind.}. The scene in which ranks upon ranks of enemy Uruk-hai warriors march in perfect order seems like a spine-chilling tip of the computer-graphics hat to Leni Riefenstahl's "Triumph of the Will." For such low, vile creatures, they have a lot of discipline. The enemy, whether Orc, Warg or Uruk-hai, is hideous and beastly, even monstrously humanoid but never simply human {who were those strangley human-looking folks swarming about Mordor?}.

On the intentional level, "The Two Towers" is a grand adventure tale, in which good and evil are comfortingly clear. But even without the accidental echoes — evil or "Evildoers?" Sauron or Saddam? And how many towers? — the movie would have its own double edge. Dehumanizing the other guy is the first step in training soldiers and fighting wars. The danger is that this is what makes not just warfare palatable but extermination itself. {I would like to know whom I am being trained to exterminate}

And let's not forget the inherent racism of the Lord of the Rings- Gandalf the White anyone? Or the obvious homophobia- Saramaun of Many Colours? And the big give-away: it's produced by Wingnut- Right Wingnut, we thinks, eh Precious?

Saw the Lord of the Rings, the Two Towers, last night. It was great: I was rather disapointed with the Ents, both in appearance and story line (save when they busted up Isengard), and felt that the Rivendell flashback/dreamsequence/secondary scene was unecessary and cumbersome. Everything else was excellent. Certainly, some parts bore no resemblance to the book- but they worked, and hey, they were cool. Gollum was incredible- simply incredible. The Frodo parts of the film, with the exception of the rather odd (and logically fallible) trip with Faramir, seemed to follow the book the closest. Helm's Deep was great- my buddy and I shouted along with Gimli, I will admit. Ai! I plan to watch it again soon.


Returned late last night from my backpacking trip in the Big South Fork of Kentucky/Tennessee (change of plans from the Smokies). 'Twas quite nice- a couple, er, misadventures, but the land up there is magnificent: wild, rough, and wet. Great soaring cliffs hundreds of feet above their broken feet, beautiful natural arches, deep yawning caves, roaring, tumbling waterfalls- and still fairly primitive. There are signs on the trails, but few bridges. We made almost a dozen fords, some quick and shallow, some deep and nasty. One in particular was nasty: It was on Laurel Fork, a fine, vigourous mountain stream. We dropped down to the ford and gazed upon it with some aprehension. After all, December is a rather cold month for wading mountain streams (yet colder considering there had been a snow- since melted- a few days before). But, like the brave (foolhardy!) souls we are, we forged on across the ford. While Barry slowly worked his way through the bone cold water, I untied my boots and pulled off my socks. Just as I finished taking a picture of my stalwart friend in the midst of the ford, he suddenly cried out: he had dropped his shoe, and it was floating, at a swift clip, down the roaring creek. Now, we were a good six miles and two mountainsides away from our truck, and night fall was nigh. So I raced across the creek, threw down my pack and jacket, and raced off through the woods, while Barry despondently sat down and- I don't know what he was doing. I crashed through the brush and fallen trees, and made for the bank. Catching sight of the shoe racing by, I ran for a curve in the creek, where the water increased speed and rapidity. I waded out into the water- knee deep- disregarding the bone chilling cold, and waited. At last the shoe came around the bend, and I shifted into its path. But och! it drifted behind a log, and, I assumed, was stuck there. So I clambered up the bank and thrust through the brush- only to see the inane thing slip from behind the log and make for the rapids. I knew that if it got past me there we would quite likely never see it again, so I made haste and splashed back down into the creek. By now my feet were quite numb, so the sharp rocks were little discomfort. I grabbed a stick- to short! I grabbed at another, and reached out just as the shoe was at the edge of the rapids. Success! I picked it up and waded back to the opposite bank, my feet and legs freezing, but my prize firmly in hand. I still had to reford the creek up stream and retrieve my boots and socks, but I could hardly feel my feet anyway...

An hour or so later we doused our quick campfire and headed on. That shoe dried out remarkably, and only a bit of the plastic melted. We were immediately faced with another creek crossing, but this one we avoided by scooting across an old fallen long. If you have never crept over a deep rushing creek, in December, with a twenty-two pound pack strapped on, you don't know what kind of fun you're missing. The other logs tossed odd-ways over our log were rather rough- as there was no bark on our log, and the snow being only lately melted made things a bit hairy. I nearly fell in only once, when my foot cramped up as I swung it up over the odd-ways log...

But once past the fords, the trail carried us above the creek. A beautiful trail, and all the more satisfying for having had an adventure to get to it. We camped in a hemlock and beech flat, with a great roaring cascade below us, and a high soaring bluff overhead. Simply wonderful. We had a bit of trouble coaxing a fire, but otherwise, a lovely shieling-place. As the sun sets early, I stayed up for a while (after enjoying the falls by moonlight) reading the Two Towers by candlelight.

Next morning we set off, after a bowl of grits and a cup of lemon tea while perched above the falls, and made good pace down the gorge, stopping frequently to enjoy the many waterfalls that dot the route. Eventualy we broke out into a quilt work of old fields at the head of the gorge- abandoned now for fourty years, they've grown up in thorn and pine and sycamore. We met Station Camp Creek and headed back west, up a new gorge. This creek was shallower and gentler than Laurel Fork, and the day milder, which was good, as we forded it several times. A lovely walk, aside from the rather deep mud in some places on the trail. We arrived at our desination around noon: a backcountry inn called Charit Creek Lodge. We stayed there for the night, and ate dinner and breakfast there- very nice! The lodge is nestled down at thejunction of Station Camp and Charit Creeks, beneath great bluffs on Hatfield Ridge. It is accesable only by foot or horseback, and has no electricity- only kerosene lamps and wood stoves. I had a misadventure with a wood stove and a pair of pants, but I'll save that story for another time.

After reaching the lodge, we struck off up Hatfield Ridge (now minus our packs) and, after climbing to a spectacular viewpoint, came to a fine natural arch, hidden back off the trail. It seems to be little known, as we saw no footprints in the sand beneath. From there, we wandered westwards around the bluffbase. Barry climbed up to a cave perched in the side of the bluff some thirty feet up (plus more when you count the span below the ledge you stand on to reach it), and nearly suffered horrible injury, no doubt. I did not follow, being content with his report. The cave- in sandstone, which is rather rare (I know of one other like it)- goes back quite a few feet, and boasts a nice little spring that has carved some curious rills and chutes in the rock. The stone on these bluffs is a mixture of yellows and grays and great black varnish-like streaks from seeps and springs- very lovely.

On Wednesday, we climbed up out of the gorge to our truck, and, after a bit of spectacular exploring northwards, struck off for home. But story of that, along with various other details, I shall leave for perhaps later. I should like to graciously thank Mr Jones Woods and his wife Joanne for their hospitality and putting us up for the night (we stayed with them Sunday night before heading off for the trail Monday morning), and for the wonderful food- a point of much praise for any weary traveller. Much thanks! I should also like to mention that Mr Jones, besides being a wonderful friend and fascinating character (heh heh!), has done just about everything one can do in sixty-something years. He has hauled old-growth with mules, built an airplane in his bedroom, carved whole horses, built cars from scratch, and been just about everywhere one can go on four wheels. They are a remarkable couple, and as nice as you can find. I did give them a nasty fright once in the Smokies, but that's another story....


I have been feeling rather spiritually dull over the past couple days- no particular reason I suppose, but rather a certain amount of weariness and various personal failures and sins of mine. Thus the scarcity of postings here. On occasion I will have times of, well, dullness, as I suppose most people experience, in which my devotion and meditation is not as it should be. This week has proved thusly. I trust, however, that by God's grace I shall be brought up from drudgery, and refined further.

Meanwhile, I have come across a fascinating fourteenth century Englishman, Richard Rolle, who authored some fine works on the contemplative life. He was a Catholic; however, he espoused beliefs and views one might consider almost Reformed, specifically, his focus upon faith and grace. He lived as a hermit of sorts, but was decidely evangelical in mission, and was even admonished for his involement with rather unreligious people. I shall try to find some of his works and post them, if I can find some modernized English- he wrote in Northern Middle English, which is rather difficult to decipher satisfactoraly without some sort of gloss or dictionary.


Chasing Hats has a new design. Looks nice, more of an "antiquitated" look. Also note the selection of poetry composed by Davey Henreckson and myself.


I spoke at my church to-night, with Hebrews 3:1 as my subject. It was very nice- considering I've never done such before, I was calm and spoke carefully, though I was rather frightful and nervous. But then, I was not worried at this, as I came across a wonderful passage in I Corinthians this afternoon where Paul writes of his fear, weakness, and trembling- and this before the Corinthians, who were not known for their moral outstandingness. The passage gave me much comfort- God oft actively uses His Word, I think, guiding us to much-needed words. I touched on some Reformed, Calvanist ideas- not really Calvinist, but Scriptural, but one unfortunatley must preface himself with labels. I had originally intended to glance over the bit about the heavenly calling, but realized, rightly I think, that such truths are desperately needed. And I of course did not bang it over anyone's head, considering the rather diverse assemblage of particular theologies present in my church. And many folks have simply not taken to very serious thought on these things. I also went against popular "evangelical" eschatology, in asserting Christ's actual return to earth, not in some secret, meet halfway and come back later affair, a la "Left Behind", but in His Return and reign and judgement. I very much wish we in the Baptist church could get off of these flawed "end times" views, for they simply don't fit with Scripture, unless one contorts the words to one's views. And, if one rightly sees our King as returning as King, is that not much more inspiring and grander? Not that one should to that view for this reason, but rather, because it is truth. And the truth I desire to speak, and live- by God's grace and working.

Here is the text/outline of my talk {if it seems rather fragmentary that's because I left some spots to on-the-spot}:

Hebrews 3:1- “Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts upon Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.”

{primary context passages: Hebrews chapters 1-12}

This is simply a lovely little verse. One of the beautiful elements of God’s Word is the great depth with which we may come to it, and find riches continualy within even the shortest passages: for the Word speaks through its whole in the workings of the portion. Thus shall we find in this little passage.

To whom is this verse addressed? It heads a longer passage, and as is often typical in Scripture, the passage has particular people in mind. In this case we find that it is addressed to “holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling”. Holy brothers- and by extension sisters- what finer address may we have! Those whom have called on the name of Christ Jesus and accepted Him, those who are also called believers- these the Scriptures call holy- not by any action of ourselves is our holiness, but by the work of Jesus, and the grace of God. And brothers of whom? We are brothers in Christ, brothers and sisters to each other- whether those here, or those in China, or Uzebekestan, or anywhere- all members of one Body. We count as our highest Brother Christ Jesus: Hebrews 2:11. We are one with Him, and He with us.

And what of the heavenly calling? It is called heavenly for it comes from the Father- and none less. It is the call, the choosing, that each Christian was given: a call to salvation, to brotherhood with Christ: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” {Romans 8:28-30} This is a wonder too great, truly, for us to comprehend: why should God call us? But there is no merit of ours in this! His calling is by mercy and grace, and no deed of ours affects it. How, in light of this, can we despair, or mourn over any lowly estate of ours, knowing these things!

And, in light of this glorious truth- a calling to salvation in Christ, and not merely salvation, but life in Him, and a hope of glorification when He returns to earth- in light of this, we see the second portion of the verse: “fix your thoughts upon Jesus”.

We are creatures of thought: active, continual thought, of one thing or another. I imagine we scarcely consider most of the thoughts that we have, and oft times we make little effort to bend our thought to some will- rather, we tend to think as we go. But we are called in Scripture to more than fleeting thought, or sinful thought- certainly, we are to put aside all sinful thought, and purge our souls of evil intention. “Be no longer conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed in the renewing of your minds,” {Romans 12:2}. Scripture tells us, and we should harken to this: for the mind of the world is dead and sinful, and not in accordance with the things of God. We also should not think too highly of ourselves- Romans 12:3. Rather, have a lowly, humble estimation of yourself in light of God’s love and grandeur. So we must have our minds, our thoughts, cleansed, purified. How then is this to be done? It is not enough to merely state a negative thing- one cannot think upon nothing. If we are not to think of sinful, wordly things, what then shall we think on?

Firstly, we must be cleansed- our soul, our entire essence and being. That our minds, our souls, may be cleansed, purified, must come through the Word: “for your Word is truth,” our Savior prayed. Let us pray that we be sanctified by Truth, by Word: and let us mean it, and earnestly seek and eat of the Word, which is Christ. It is a deep meaning: Christ, who is Truth, Word, Life, and Light, incarnate, brings cleansing, through the direct workings of Himself, through Holy Scripture.

What of our daily thought, the things that occupy our minds? Let us think upon all goodly things, esteemable things {Philipians 4:8}. There are many good things to think upon: and it is good things that we should think on, always- never allow your thought to grow evil and steeped in sinful things, for from the dwelling of the heart the man acts. Evil festers, and sin grows, in the deep recesses of the heart, of deepest thought, and though it linger there for long years, it will grow to outward evil and sin. But while evil thought breeds evil, good thought, thought upon God and His ways, breeds good. Through the workings of the heart, the soul, thought, does the man act.

But while believers have many good things to think upon- and I could spend many hours discussing them- there is One upon whom we are especially called to think upon, for He is the greatest of all things we may think upon, being the “exact representation of God”: God, in the form of Christ Jesus. Through Him, the Living Word, we are cleansed, and through the Recieved Word, Scripture, His Word, are we purified, as by purest water, scourged of sin as by the sharpest two edged sword. By Him are we brought to salvation, and light, and life. Upon His example, His perfect life are we to pattern ours.

In the verse just read, we are called to this: but how should we “fix our thoughts” upon Him? This is a higher thing than thinking upon, say, a lovely sunset, though that is a good thing upon which to think- and may, and should, lead to thought also of our Lord. But thought upon Christ should be a greater thing. It must be done in full faith. It must be done in reverence and earnestness, and not be flippant and vulgar. We approach our Lord, whether in thought or prayer, in a contemplative and holy manner, through the Spirit. We should possess knowledge- a knowledge unlike any other of which we may speak- of Him, which we come to as we grow daily in it, through the Scripture. CH Spurgeon wrote beautifully fitting words on the practise of thinking of our Lord:

“Our Lord would have all His people rich in high and happy thoughts concerning His blessed person. Jesus is not content that His brethren should think meanly of Him; it is His pleasure that His espoused ones should be delighted with His beauty. We are not to regard Him as a bare necessary, like to bread and water, but as a luxurious delicacy, as a rare and ravishing delight. To this end He has revealed Himself as the "pearl of great price" in its peerless beauty, as the "bundle of myrrh" in its refreshing fragrance, as the "rose of Sharon" in its lasting perfume, as the "lily" in its spotless purity. As a help to high thoughts of Christ, remember the estimation that Christ is had in beyond the skies, where things are measured by the right standard. Think how God esteems the Only Begotten, His unspeakable gift to us. Consider what the angels think of Him, as they count it their highest honour to veil their faces at His feet. Consider what the blood-washed think of Him, as day without night they sing His well deserved praises. High thoughts of Christ will enable us to act consistently with our relations towards Him. The more loftily we see Christ enthroned, and the more lowly we are when bowing before the foot of the throne, the more truly shall we be prepared to act our part towards Him. Our Lord Jesus desires us to think well of Him, that we may submit cheerfully to His authority. High thoughts of Him increase our love. Love and esteem go together. Therefore, believer, think much of your Master's excellencies. Study Him in His primeval glory, before He took upon Himself your nature! Think of the mighty love which drew Him from His throne to die upon the cross! Admire Him as He conquers all the powers of hell! See Him risen, crowned, glorified! Bow before Him as the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the mighty God, for only thus will your love to Him be what it should.”

Contemplative life is a joy, and a help to right living: when you quail in despair, or shrink beneath suffering, think of your Savior’s battle and victory upon the cross- Hebrews 12:2-3: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

When you come into temptation, think upon your High Priest who is able to sympathize with you, for He was tempted, but was without sin- and then be ready to approach the Throne of Grace, knowing His presence and comfort- Hebrews 5:2. When you look upon the beauty of creation, think of He Who holds it all together through His Being, by His powerful Word. In all things we may think upon Him, and His Word, for it is an element of Him- Hebrews 1:2-3 and John 1:3.

In this verse we find two great attributes of Christ, both laden with meaning and application for us. Firstly, we see our Lord called apostle. Apostle comes from the Greek words apo, meaning away, and stellein, meaning to send: so apostle means one who is sent away. We could scarcely ask for a better description of Christ’s earthly ministry. We read in Hebrews 5:5 that Christ did not take up the task of coming to earth, but was appointed to it, was called by the Father- sent away. He was sent away from His glory and splendour to this world, leaving that world, where His glory and might are not shielded as they were here. King of all things, captain of the host of stars, He veiled His splendour in the garment of a man, that He might carry out His Father’s will, and His great design. He became flesh, and dwelt among us, the first, and greatest, apostle: sent not from Jerusalem or Judah, but from the Heavenly Jerusalem! He made himself subject to temptation, that He might make Himself sympathetic to His people whom He would sanctify. So sent by His Father, He came, and walked upon the earth, ever approaching the great summation of His ministry: for in death we find Him as our High Priest.

The high priest was a vital part of the Old Covenant, offering up a sacrifice for the sins of the people. But his office was imperfect, for he had to continue offering sacrifice year after year: imperfect sacrifice, within a covenant that prefigured, that shadowed, a greater one, a perfect one. Through this old covenant we see the necessity of sacrifice, and of shedding of blood. But no beast nor man was perfect: none save the God-man, Christ, and He was the only One who could provide a perfect sacrfice: Himself. Thus He was called to the office of High Priest, a perfect High Priest, apart from the Levitical order. He is a priest in the order of Melchizadec- without beginning or end. While the Levite priest had to offer a sacrifice for his own sake, Christ is perfect, and needed no sacrifice to atone for Himself. He gave Himself in death as the final sacrifice, and through the shedding of His own blood He gave to His people the forgiveness of sins, and justification by His righteousness, holiness through his body- offered there on the cruel cross. {Hebrews 10:10}. And when the sacrifice had been presented, He was finished: He did not need to offer Himself up again, for with one sacrifice, it was finished forever! So He went and sat down at the right hand of the Father, signifying completion- forever finished, and viable forever for salvation in Him. His body is given as a “new, living way”, a curtain {Hebrews 10:20}, through which to enter, by His blood, the Most Holy Place, and draw near to God- for we have a High Priest who lives, and whose blood, whose sacrifice, endures forever!

So then, let us truly “fix our thoughts upon Him”. See Him as Apostle and High Priest- and as Life, and Light. Think upon Him, and dwell in Him. Let us eat of Him as He called us to- let us be drawn into Him, and thus unto the Father. Grow daily in that knowledge of Christ, of the mysteries of God-for we are made holy in Him! Call upon His name, and through Him find mercy in your time of need. For He was made like His brothers: and we are being made like Him, through the workings of the Spirit. As we think on Him, we aspire to be conformed to His image. And by God’s grace that is not an impossible goal, for one day we will see the summation of our hope, and we shall live with Him when He returns to claim His kingdom and bestow us with glory, and restore the fallen earth. Let us persevere and remain in the faith unto that day. Amen!


We journeyed into the wilds of Wayne County, to within a mile of the Alabama frontier, to-day, to gather Christmas greenery for the church. There is a spot above Buckatuna Creek where the land rises swiftly up to a ridge, limestone outcroppings and boulders crowning the hill-crest. Because of the steep hills and the presence of limestone, cedars, sugar maples, elms and the like grow abundantly here. The sugar maples were in full fall colour, very lovely. Down below the bluffs the creek meanders across a bottomland laced with large oxbow lakes. We walked out onto a neck of land between two of them and saw two good-sized bucks flee across a beaver dam. Quite a few wild ducks also flew up off the water. Aside from the occasional roar of Highway 84, the area is wonderful, and feels (if not sounds!) wild and remote. We gathered some big boughs of magnolia, holly, cedar, and a great ball of Spanish moss to use for hangings. I also plucked up an armful of a remarkable limish gray-green, beard-like lichen that grows on limbs out over the cypress ponds. I've never seen it away from oxbows and open sloughs and such, and am not sure of it's name. I picture an Ent having a covering precisely like this lichen, and much hope that Mr Peter Jackson found a similar sample for reference in constructng his Ents.