16 March 2006

Little Sorrel

120 years ago today, at 6 o'clock in the morning, a great warrior passed to his reward. Little Sorrel, Stonewall Jackson's famous, faithful horse, died after breaking his back at the Confederate Soldiers Home at Richmond’s Robert E. Lee Camp. While Little Sorrel's stuffed hide has been on display at Virginia Military Institute's Jackson Memorial Hall for decades, his bones were cremated and interred (http://users.erols.com/va-udc/sorrell.html) on VMI's parade grounds on 20 July, 1997. I, along with about a dozen young men from my church, were there to witness this historic event. I was recently in Lexington and snapped the picture above showing the marker at Little Sorrel's grave. Luther Hopkins' words in his book, From Bull Run to Appomattox, are a fitting tribute to Jackson's trusty steed:

“The horses that were alive at the close of the war were, for the most part, tenderly cared for, and have long ago joined their comrades on the other side. I hope they are all grazing together in the green fields of Eden.”

13 March 2006

A Quiver Full

Last summer we received the glorious tidings that my son, Zachary and his wife, Jessica (on right) were expecting their first child this April. After praying for a child for five years, God had answered. Then, just a few months later, we found out that one of our daughters, Josie (on left) and her husband, Andy, were expecting their first this coming June—Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Of course, Grandpa and Grandma were about to bust (it appears that Jessica is too) and thanked God for His mercy and grace. But hold on a minute, there’s more. Yes, more. A few weeks ago, our oldest son, Rod and his wife, Patricia, informed my wife that they were expecting their fourth child this September. This news was shared in the presence of our oldest daughter Megan who, upon hearing the news, whirled around and said, “Well, I guess now is as good a time as any, Vernon and I are expecting in September too!” All of our married children are expecting new additions within the same calendar year. My lovely wife and I will be experiencing, by God’s grace, the birth of four grandchildren this year. So in addition to the blessings of having six children, by year’s end we will also be able to boast—with humility, of course—that we also have 10 grandchildren. Four bedrooms and 3 baths suddenly seem so small!

But we consider all this God’s blessing. Unlike many moderns and “elites” who consider children a burden, we agree with God’s word that the more children, the better:

“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” ~ Psalm 127:3-5

Large families were once considered to be a source of strength and industry in our society, but now, strange looks, scowls of disapproval, and mocking comments (even from professing Christians) are often the response to large families. What an abomination! The abortion “me only” mentality has a firm grip around the collective throat in many areas of our country. Fortunately, a remnant of those who look at children as the means of a godly heritage remain.