Thursday, October 16, 2008

Oh My, We've Been Tagged!

How sweet of you to tag us! Of course, you are our only follower, except for our daughter who periodically looks at our blog. The instructions are for us to write six random things about ourselves. I don't know how to link so I'll leave it here for future reference.

1-Frank-I had six bypasses after returning from Ecuador on a Mission trip. We climbed old volcanoes and hundreds of rickety steps to reach the native people there and minister the gospel of Jesus. Sort of out of breath on the equator, but so was everyone else.
Pamela-Had a massive brain aneurysm that resulted in surgery in 1997. Lost short-term memory but retained her love for her Lord. Sometimes she worries that I will leave her alone, but I assure her that she is 'stuck with me'.

2-Frank-Most content while working in the woodshop whittling or creating with wood.
Pamela-Happiest in the kitchen cooking a new 19th century receipt.

3-Frank & Pamela- Greatest accomplishment? Raising three beautiful children, loving three in-laws, nurturing 5 (soon to be 7) grandchildren, giving our hearts to 17 foster children and hundreds of kids in youth and children's ministries.

4-Frank & Pamela-We both sing in an acapella group, Civil Folks, and enjoy 19th century instruments and technique.

5-Frank-My specific hobby out of many interests is collecting 19th century hand glazed pottery.
Pamela-Creating dolls and collecting rare 18th & 19th century examples.

6-Frank-I love ministering to people with song. God's anointing is what makes the difference in every note I sing and I give Him the credit and the glory for all that I am.
Pamela-Is a gifted pianist. Her hands float ont he keyboard under God's anointing. There is not a song that she cannot play after she hears it once. Even after the aneurysm. This is one blessing God has given her that keeps her spirit going.

Okay, that's six, but there is so much left to write about us.

We have been blessed more than we deserve and God is not finished with us, yet.

Sarah, you've been re-tagged! (Can one do that? We love hearing about your beautiful family. Heck, I even wear your husband's pants from a CWR forum purchase!)
Hilary, you have been tagged! (Write a blog or at least reply in our comments section.)

With love,
Frank and Pamela

Monday, October 13, 2008

FALLing In Love!

Falling In Love, the perfect theme for the perfect wedding. On Saturday we had the honor of presiding over the wedding of two dear young friends. Pam and I inspired some of the decor for the event, mostly involved in making the florals.

It was held in a rural setting at the Bride's great-grandmothers farm. the barns were cleaned and freshened, months ago Cosmos flowers were planted in the fields, an arch was built over the altar area, but most importantly, God was especially invited and showed up as the guest of honor.

To me, it was the most spiritual wedding I have been involved with, and one of the most beautiful.

A harpist sat in the side cow shed of a barn and played I Exalt Thee as the bride entered on the carpet of grass, her bouquet a splash of orange and chocolate roses accented with Goldenrod that grew nearby. It was such a special moment. Pam joined me and we sang The King of Who I Am in acapella fashion. The rest of the ceremony was simple, but contained an element not found in most weddings, the visitation of the Holy Spirit.

Just thought this blog would like to know that there is some peace in this world of chaos in which we live. I just wish you could have experienced this peace.


Friday, October 3, 2008

My New Table Cloth

Well, you are looking at a project I have wanted to do for a couple of years now. I finally created what I call a 'table cloth'. It is a small version of a 'floor cloth' that was in fashion in the early 1800's up to about 1850 and then went completely out around the 1920's.

Floor cloths are made of thick cotton canvas that is cut to size (this one is 14" by 27") and primed twice. Then I add two coats of the gold background color (gold was the color most frequently used), several layers of stencils, two protective varnish coats and two coats of handrubbed Carnuba and beeswax that gives it a brown antique glazed appearance. Next I polish it to a beautiful sheen.

The one pictured is made for the center of the dining table, at the back door, or as a wall hanging. Many have been in use for years without dulling the sheen. It will be making its way to our website in the next few days.

It is so relaxing to make them. Each one will be different because in addition to stencils I use a lot of handpainting to make each unique. We've already been asked to do a Living History demonstration at the Cannonball House in Macon, Georgia.

My next project will be a 5x7 foot floor cloth for our Grand Hallway. I'll be using documented historic stencils for that one. Will take about two weeks to complete, but my bride is worth the effort.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fall and Winter Means,...Soup!

I just posted this on a recipe forum and thought I would add it here, too.

Well, in the Fall and Winter we eat soups frequently. My faves are Cream of Potato and Vegetable Beef.

Cream of Potato
Peel white potatos and onions in equal amounts and dice. Boil them in chicken broth that comes up nearly halfway of the vegetables. Season with sea salt and cracked pepper. When done, leave broth in the pot and mash with a potato masher (I like ours chunky) and add about 1/2 to a pint of whipping cream.Your family will beg for more!

Vegetable Beef
Cut stew beef meat into spoon size chunks and brown in your pot with a little olive oil.
Add the cut up veggies of your choice. I use:potatos, tomatos, carrots, celery, onion, 2-3 ears of corn from the cob or 1 can of cream corn

The following are MUST HAVES to make the soup extra delicious:
2 cups of okra (A southern staple. If you don't have okra use File'. This is dried and powdered Sasafrass leaves.)
brown field peas (The little brown ones thicken the soup and give it a rich flavor and color.)minced garlic (About a heaping tablespoon.)Italian spices (I like the flavor that these herbs impart.)
fresh nutmeg (I grate about 1/2 teaspoon.)
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the whole pot on slow heat. Several hours on a woodburning stovetop.
Serve with Southern Style Cornbread.
Don't worry about leftovers, there won't be any!


Prescribed by the Great Physician

You know, just when you begin to feel sorry for yourself, God will send someone your way to brighten your day. A friend sent me this last year and I kept it in my archives, perhaps it will help you, too.



The next time you feel like GOD can't use you, just remember...
Noah was a drunk
Abraham was too old
Isaac was a daydreamer
Jacob was a liar
Leah was ugly
Joseph was abused
Moses had a stuttering problem
Gideon was afraid
Samson had long hair and was a womanizer
Rahab was a prostitute
Jeremiah and Timothy were too young
David had an affair and was a murderer
Elijah was suicidal
Isaiah preached naked
Jonah ran from God
Naomi was a widow
Job went bankrupt
Peter denied Christ
The Disciples fell asleep while praying
Martha worried about everything
The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once
Zaccheus was too small
Paul was too religious
Timothy had an ulcer..AND
Lazarus was dead!

Now! No more excuses! God can use you to your full potential. Besides you aren't the message, you are just the messenger. In the Circle of God's love, God's waiting to use your full potential.

1. God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.
2. Dear God, I have a problem, it's Me.
3. Growing old is inevitable ... growing UP is optional.
4. There is no key to happiness. The door is always open.
5. Silence is often misinterpreted but never misquoted.
6. Do the math .. count your blessings.
7. Faith is the ability to not panic.
8. Laugh every day, it's like inner jogging.
9. If you worry, you didn't pray . If you pray, don't worry.
10. As a child of God, prayer is kind of like calling home everyday.
11. Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.
12. The most important things in your house are the people.
13 When we get tangled up in our problems, be still. God wants us to be still so He can untangle the knot.
14. A grudge is a heavy thing to carry.
15 He who dies with the most toys is still dead.

Be blessed on this beautiful day,

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Nearly Useless Things In Life

Working on my sermon and got to thinking about things that were useless or nearly so in life and wife and I came up with this list in short order. It's a shame that there are so many useless things, but, you know not one person is useless. Everyone is of great value and God cares for each one of us even as He does the sparrows of the air.

~A necktie
~Salt in a sweet recipe
~A fruit tree that doesn’t bear fruit
~A left shoe for a man with just a right foot
~11 ½ inches when you need 12
~Page numbers in a Bible
~Paint on a rotten barn
~A fence that doesn’t connect at the sides
~Unopened letters
~Wind chimes in a hurricane
~A truck with no tires
~A donkey that won’t move
~Faith without works
~Open toed shoes
~Holey underwear
~A wet match
~A burned out light bulb
~A rusty razor blade
~A thong swimsuit on a fat man
~A toad stool, toads don’t sit!
~The Russian alphabet to a Redneck
~A lawnmower on an iceberg
~A bull fighter at a sheep show
~One knitting needle
~Salt that loses its flavor
~An overeducated student
~One drop of gas when your tank is full
~A dusty Bible

What a pity to see an old dusty Bible. That means the possessor has not been intimate with the truth of God's Word in a while. The Bible and its message is still worthwhile, but a dusty Bible is a sad scenario for its owner. Read it while you can, absorb it for your future. I do hope some of this means something to someone, it did to us...

Friday, September 26, 2008

AAR Letter From The Cannonball House

Macon, Georgia
July 30, 1864

Dear Aunt Civility,

It has been too long since my last post and I felt the urgency to right and tell you of the happenings here in town.

As you know, Judge Holt and Miz Mary invited us to stay a spell with them. We were able to bunk with Cora and staff in the kitchen. It was warm and inviting, cool because of the hand cast brick right out of the Georgia clay. The judge has appropriated a new wood cookstove, the most modern available kitchen item, no more bending our backs over the open hearth. He said it come from over at Rome and since they are not making as many cannons now as they did in the early war I suppose they will go to making kitchen contrivances.

Goodwife Pamela did her womanly duty and near 'bouts wore that stove out! She was cooking cabbage with sweet apple slices throwed in for flavor and a bit of pork rinds she had rendered last Fall. Cora had some wonderful salt that they said come all the way from the Meditatin Ocean, wherever that is over in the Far East I believe. Anyhow it would crunch in your front teeth like that salt up north. We are starving for some salt, Henry dug up the smokehouse floor and Cora and Goodwife biled it down and strained it and dried it to get a little bit of flavor. It was mostly grit but the gray substitute was fine season for our food.

She cooked Johnny cakes on the top and Cherry Tarts in the oven part. Took nearly a cord of wood for the three days we stayed. Of course, there was mint tea, you know it grows wild right out side the door, and Cora had a bit of English tea that she had horded away. It was so special. I felt like a king! Goodwife made a Apple cake that just dripped off your lips when you tried to eat it. Boiled eggs, good ripe tomatoes, Pear Chutney from last Fall's tree and coffee rounded out the meals. I don't know what kind ofcoffee it was, good though. I think I heerd somebody say it was parched cornmeal since the Blockade want allow anything to come through. Judge has give Cora some new pewter plates and they come in handy to feed us all on.

A sweet new girl with bright, glowing eyes give us some chewy jellies that tasted like peach drops we used to get in Charleston! Her name was Dorene. I think she is Italian or injun or somethin. She stays here at the Holt's all the time, but she ate with us in the kitchen! As a matter of fact, the hole clan ate with us one meal! It was divine, a pure celebration. Today, them Northern Aggressors fired a cannonball from acrrost the river and it hit a column on the front porch, come through the winder and rolled to a stop on the grand foyer floor! Nobody was hurt but I hear Moris had to go change his britches! They talkin' 'bout calling the place The Cannonball House now. Well, annyways, I was telling you ‘bout the Yanks. After awhile two of them boys showed up at the door. The biggun was hurt bad so Goodwife bandaged him up, we was scared if we didn't help, they would kill us. You know they say that the Yankees kills folks and eats 'em, don't you? Why, I got a scar above my waste and in the middle of my belly where a Yankee shot me while I ’uz a baby boy! Least, that’s what Mawmaw tolt me. Well, they just barged on into the kitchen and saw that she was cookin' so they demanded some food. She was cooking the last of the vinegared beef into a stew with taters and two poor old carrots. One helt out a half of a canteen and the othern a tin mug that was filthy. No Sothron boy would eat out of a dish not fit fer the dawgs!

Well they was eatin' and all of a sudden like, four of our boys showed up at the door! Goodwife didn't know what to do cause she sure didn't want no war right here in the kitchen so she prayed to the Good Lord for guidance. You know what she said to me later? She said she heerd a voice that said "Feed my sheep." So, she gave them all the rest of the stew and the soppin's and sent em to the dining room. You should have seed there eyes when they seed them Yanks. Funny thing is, that prayer must have worked, because all them fellers just sit down with each other and acted like they was brothers or sumthin. All except one, I swear I think he was a girl. His hips was too wide, smelt too clean! Said he was George, though! I think they all about tired of the war.
They all et and talked awhile, shared pipe terbacky and one wrote a letter to his girl back home with my turkey quill. Then they left as peaceable as they come. I reckon they killed each other when they got to the road.After awhile a big old wagon unloaded and it was a bunch of old people from the Home in town. They stumbled and creaked in and ate ever last drop of that Apple cake. Twadn't a crumb left for me! But they were much obliged. One woman had been to California for the Gold Rush but she hightailed it back to Georgia just in time to see the Cherry Blossoms this Spring.

Well, Aunt Cil, it is getting hot today. Hot Georgia sun is bout to burn me up and I smell hog lard bubbling, it might be me. Think I'll warsh in the new tin tub and dry off with some Rosemary from the herb garden. I got me some new drawers and one dollar and twenty-two cents. We are going to Sunday meetin' tomorrow out at Richland Church, they say people's getting saved left and right. Lord knows, they's a lot of younguns needs to get saved right now.

With love and devotion, I remain your obedient servant,

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Three Most Important Things In My Life

I've been thinking a lot lately about things in a different light. What I'd do differently, where I'd go, how I'd react...

I got to thinking of the three things that are most important to me.

1-God. Without Him I could do nothing and I would be nothing. If I had not known Him how sad my life would have been. Depressed and angst, unfulfilled. With Him I have all the things that I need, everything that I need! I can die a complete man now, because I am completed by knowing the Father, not just knowing about Him.

2-My wife. Your mother is a breath of fresh air. I know you don't see her the way I do, never have, never will. She is the sun and the moon for me. I would be a dead chump today if it had not been for her love and care. She lost so much in 1997, but she has gained so much, too. I cannot even imagine life without her, ever, because she has been a part of my life for nearly 40 years. That's a long time, but just a skip in time.

3-My children. What if I had never met any of my three children? I have been completed by them. They are all good people, good humans and they come from a good place in my heart. I know I don't appreciate them as much as I should, I don't tell them how proud I am of their accomplishments like I should, I know I've failed them miserably many times, but,...hello kids, it's me, just plain old me. I know that knowing you has made my world round and has given me the greater purpose of my earthly life, to raise God's children so that they can keep on keeping on.

Oh, I could list in-laws, grandchildren, parents, sisters, brothers, other kin, but without you, Pam, Hilary, Nathan and Dennis, I would live in a dismal world in a small place in my own mind. You have freed me to be me. And, thanks God for Your hand in my life.

The road's been rough, with many a winding path that leads to only Who knows where...God knows where...


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Friend In Need

Today I got an e-mail, sort of like a devotional, but definitely a plea for help from a dear friend. All I could respond to him was found in Jeremiah 29:11..."For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

You know, it really isn't important if we know the plan as long as God has it all under control. He knows the plan for our lives and we need to let Him have His way. That doesn't mean that we don't try to live good, be honest and work to show ourselves approved. It means, we can lay back in His arms like we were laying on a smooth running current of water. Then, bask in His love and let His grace and strength float us above each day. Lord, I do want to see you.

It has been a beautiful day to live.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Great News From Baltimore!

Our only daughter had her sonogram today and they discovered no problems with our new grandbaby! Praise God! We have been so worried since they found a cyst on its brain. We know that nothing is impossible with God!

We are so thankful for our three children, our 17 foster kids and the hundreds of kids who have come through our doors through ministry.

Next time you see your son or daughter, look at them in a different way. Give them an unexpected hug and a kiss. After they recover,...just enjoy the moment. There aren't many more times that we can show unconditional love to our children.

Peace be with you,

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A New Day

Well, today we were honored for 33 years of active ministry. Along with Pamela and myself was our youngest son, his wife, our grandson and Papa, Pam's father.

The pastor roasted me a little, very many kind words were spoken, a few 'jabs' were slung at me (in jest) and love filled our hearts. Thanks to all of you for your kindness.

You know, ministry is not a job, it is an opportunity. I would never have chosen this as a career, but I'm so glad I didn't have a choice, God made it for me.

I sang a song today, God Leads Us Along.

Some through the water, some through the flood,
Some through the fire, but all through the blood.
Some through great sorrow but God gives the song;
In the night season and all the day long.

God surely has seen us through each day and every 15 minutes of time.

More to blog later.