The Carpenter’s Bench

This picture shows a couple of tourists leaning against the ship’s “carpenter bench.” The cages beneath it might contain pigs, chickens, etc. As a member of the crew, when the ship began its journey, you would be called to assemble here.

Facing aft, you wait…for the Captain. Beneath you, the pigs squeal; the chickens cluck. This brings memories of your home on the farm. But that’s all they are…memories. The Captain comes forward and demands silence. The animals ignore the command but you and your mates comply. You learn this is HIS ship. HE is the law; HE is the judge. You WILL do as you are told. On this journey, your life will change, and you become profoundly aware of this…your new “world.”

Have People Whispered as They Pass You?

When Sandy and I had the opportunity to visit Beijing, China, in 2009, how could we not take a side trip to Tengchow, in the Shantung province, where Lotti Moon was a missionary! The residents probably looked at us in much the same way as they did Lotti in the 1870’s. However, while we stayed but a day, she made that province her home.

As our cab driver drives us from the airport to Lotti’s church (his church), he shares with us his testimony. In his visor, he carries a tract. On the seat beside him sits a Bible. In the glove compartment is a hymnal. Bro. Wong listens to Christian tapes and sings in the church choir. He asks us to pray for his daughter who faces university level decisions that will impact her future…which we do. When we ask him if people in Tengchow still know who Lotti Moon was, he replies that EVERYONE in Tengchow knows her. He continues to talk of her as if she is an active member of their church.

As of 2009, Lotti’s church in Tengchow had 1000 members. This growing fellowship required construction of a new building next to the original. The pastor was at a conference where ministers from the area addressed how to handle the volume of converts. By some estimates China is experiencing 400000 converts each week. This equals their birthrate. Twelve thousand people are entering the ministry each year which presents an education issue.

Lotti Moon is still having quite an impact in Tengchow; her story is one of service, commitment, sacrifice, and exhortation to greater involvement in missions.

You can view and download pictures of our trip and Lotti’s life. This is web page in Power Point format. The PPT file can be downloaded. A shorter version can be found here.

Available in Paperback

Friends have been asking about the hardcopy version of First Fury. Finally, it’s available. You can get it at Create Space and through Amazon. (Create Space gives  me a higher royalty.)

This has been a busy month. Both the eBook and hardcopy versions now have footnotes…as promised. If you have already purchased the eBook, the footnoted version should be downloadable at no cost.

I briefly talked about the book at a Kodak IS retirees’ breakfast this past Saturday and forgot to mention what it has to do with Kodak. Ann lived on the Erie Canal about a mile or two west of where Kodak Office now stands.

Now, as to Ann’s whaling adventure… During research in the Nantucket Historical Association library, I transcribed the letter from the Consulate in Peru to the ship’s owner. Check it out!

Slavery Divides Baptists

In the Baptist Beacon, I found the following summary. “In 1785 the Baptist General Committee of Virginia pronounced slavery ‘contrary to the word of God.’ Two years later the Ketockton Association called it ‘a breach of divine law.’ In 1790 the General Committee of Virginia adopted a statement calling slavery ‘a violent deprivation of the rights of nature, and inconsistent with a republican government; and therefore (we) recommend it to our brethren to make use of every legal measure, to extirpate the horrid evil from the land.’ By 1840 Northern Baptists and Southern Baptists disagreed over the issue with the southerners supporting the institution of slavery. Virginia Baptists called Baptists of the south to a meeting in Georgia…. Since 1845 we were no longer just ‘Baptists’ but ‘Northern’ and ‘Southern Baptists’.”

Corporate views changed dramatically in the south during the first half of the 19th century. As Baptists in the south dealt with the issue of slavery, some no doubt wavered in their acceptance of the practice when confronted face to face with its reality. Can people be property? How would you have reacted to a socially accepted belief (some arguments for slavery can be found here) when your personal experience called it into question? The short story at “The Southern Baptists” addresses just such a personal dilemma.