OGSB Author’s Easter Post

 

A Scene at an Inn in Caesarea

“I don’t think he carried a sword; a knife surely and he had tools too. He was a carpenter you know?”

The innkeeper was the kind who liked to talk. He had asked a curious question, ‘Did Jesus carry a sword?’ as he served bread and wine.  Although tired, I’d been walking for a long time without seeing anyone. It had been a while since I talked to a living thing. The life of a tutor of my training is one of constant travel and some conversation seemed fine. He had offered a meal and a room. He said he knew about Jesus, I was intrigued. Being dead and buried, then walking around preaching gets a lot of attention. The innkeeper believed Jesus to have been a firebrand.

“But you were one of his chosen, weren’t ya?” The innkeeper pressed his question doggedly. “I saw you once in Jerusalem.”

“No not chosen, but for a long while I traveled with them,” I said. “Now, Peter carried a weapon and he was well trained. Matthew, the tax collector, because of his work he carried weapons. He knew how to use his staff too. Tax Collectors are not well liked. Their weapons were inside their cloak, like mine. You saw my staff too. But Judas was always talking about some sort of fighting and weapons. Judas listened to Jesus talk and never heard a word of what he said about peace. He was not revolutionary, but Judas was. He wore his sword outside his garment and would have made us an armed band of ruffians, but Jesus always steered us from violence.”

“The preacher,” the innkeeper asked, “what was he like? Some of those pious ones come in here often. Their soft hands and need to tell people what to do, don’t make them popular with none of my clients.”

“Oh, I am a man of words and yet they never seem to completely describe Him.  Soft and pious are not words I would ever use talking about Jesus though?”

“Tell me then. What was he like?”

I was curious about his insistence to know more. Was he trying to get me to speak against the guards? Funny fellow. “Jesus was a man who worked with His hands.” I said. “I’ve seen his spit in the dirt and make a blind man see with the mud. He didn’t go wash like the priests, he brushed His hands together and moved on. He washed before eating surely.”

“I figure them stories to be tall tales.”

“They weren’t,” I was bragging maybe, “He did a lot more things like that. He made madmen sane, cured women’s problems, he once cast demons into a bunch of hogs and made them run into the river and drown.”

“You saw that?”

“Yes.”

“He wasn’t just a little prissy priest like the one comes in here and wants free wine?”

“No, he was powerful,” I argued, “Some of the furniture He and Joseph made was heavy, sturdy stuff.”

“My father was like that. He wasn’t a carpenter by trade, but he had calloused hands and could make all kinds of things to work in the fields.” The innkeeper offered more wine, but I covered my cup. He leaned over the table and waited.

“You would have liked him my friend.” I suggested.

“Think so?”

“Jesus was very strong, had the shape of a gladiator or one of the Legion and a similar stride. He was always erect, would look you in the eyes when he talked.” I told him.

“What was that dust up at the Marketplace. I heard he went crazy.” The innkeeper goaded.

“The Marketplace? I was there, it wasn’t a marketplace, it was the Temple, sacred space. It was God’s house and He said God was his father. They had started really being competitive, holding things to buy in his face. Money was being changed loudly and the livestock stink was intense. He had enough of their behavior, took a coil of rope and ran the lot of them off the property. He looked like a gladiator for a moment, they were afraid of Him.”

“He was a revolutionary, no?”

“No, he was not trying to overthrow Roman law or desecrate, he was cleaning out unclean and bad behavior at the Temple. It’s much too beautiful for all the trading and material things. He was a gentle man. He had wisdom of the ages and would take time to listen, then explain the scriptures, give us entirely different understandings of what God’s word said and what the prophets wrote. His words had such impact, such meaning. He would comfort you, encourage you and promise to empower you to do exactly what was right. Jesus, was a man who looked like the Greek statues of gods, spoke like the final authority and had the ability to make you comfortable in your own skin.”

“What of these followers, the cursed Legions and the Priest hate them. That Roman Saul, he has become obsessed about the movement.”

“Now he is called Paul, I know him, we had the same teacher, Gamaliel, who is partial to the teachings of Jesus. Gamaliel is worried about him. I told him the other day, ‘If Paul could have met Jesus, somewhere alone without a crowd where the little rooster didn’t think he had to play that role; it would have been different.’”

“But Jesus disappeared? Right?”

“He ascended into Heaven is how Peter described it. I was not there.”

“What are you guys left behind ‘sposed ta do?”

“Just what I’m doing,” I smiled, “Blessings on you. All He asked of us was to tell others about Him. Treat others with respect and be good examples.”

The shopkeeper was distracted by others in the in, “I’ve gotta get to work. You gonna be around?”

“Just for the night. I have a young man to tutor in Tyre.”

“Wish you could stick around.”

“Keep your ear to the ground. The disciples preach, there are many followers who teach. They get together, eat, visit and study the Old law and what Jesus taught. The word is not for just the Jews anymore. You can live after your death as a follower of Jesus.”

“Hadn’t heard that.”

“Now you have. Jesus said, ‘Seek and ye shall find.’ But it has to be your decision. I must rest for tomorrow. Blessings again.”

“Good talkin’ with ya.”

Authors: W.D.Edmiston, J North, Spencer Allen.

OGSB Authors.com

Yes, Virginia – citizens do need the same guns as the military!

This Virginia grab at guns seems to have made an impression on the left. Don’t let that fool you. It reminds me of the Civil War battles at Gettysburg at Big Round Top and Little Round top. A superior force of Genral Lee’s troops led by Sgt. William Oates attacked a New York 15th Regiment and a detachment of Berdan’s Sharpshooters under the command of 1st. Sgt. Wyman White.  At Big Round top Oates troops charged several times and were pushed back. Significant to this story is that when they regrouped, they were told to attack the rear flank of the Union troops. They were ordered ahead before the men could refill ammuniton pouches or even their canteens. They were battle hardened troops with a lot of experience. Oates wanted to stay at Big Round top and establish a defensive position. But a too-confident superior ordered them after the Union Troops. The marched with older muskets and flintlocks and a few captured Springfield’s which were slow to reload.

At the next position, Little Round Top, White’s men had retreated and taken up even better positions. It was a carnage of unbelievable proportions. The battle of Gettysburg was decided right there when the Southern troops were in full retreat. The New York citizen regiment’s under Sgt. White’s command – all of them Sharpshooters were carrying newer percussion cap rifled muskets which reloaded much easier. The men too were chosen because they passed the test of ten succesive shots into a bullseye at 600 yards in a five inch pattern; not a hair more would pass. Once they passed that test, these citizen soldiers were sent to the front lines. The far smaller group, so armed, untested and little training beat back and almost destroyed the entired CSA regiment commanded by Oates’ superior force.

It was still true in Fallujah years later, expecting the citizen soldiers there to be a fairly easy fight the US military leaders almost got our asses kicked. Our guys found dozens of training, gun handling and tactical classrooms. The citizen soldier was tough, prepared and ready to defend their position.

The moral to the story? There is no reason for us to think all we need are hunting firearms.  The defense of our Second Amendment rights, or more precisely, the government’s restriction on doing a damn thing about them must be preserved. We cannot assume as did Sgt. Oates superiors, that we have them on the run and they will not keep running. These guys think they have a better postition and will make another stand. We, as citizens, can’t have our figurative weapons unequal, with empty canteens and be low on ammunition. In fact, our superior weapons of, truth, educating ourselves in the law, and acting as a government of the people must be backed up by another charge.  Soon. The government of Virginia need to know it’s not just a matter of mounting another charge.

The fact is, 1st. Sgt Wyman White did exactly that, when the Southern forces attempted another assault on Little Round Top. He ordered his men to charge down the hill.  Had Sgt. Oates of the CSA won at Little Round top, the Civil War would have been won by the South. We would be two nations. One with slavery as a functional part of their national identity. Yes, we need as good and as powerful weapons as those that will be brought against us. And we as a civilian militia should train ourselves to shoot, to argue with our government and make sure the people we send to Congress go there with the same attitude. And, no, that does not mean I would hope that the south would have won – not implied or suggested.  Slavery should never have happened in the first place.

The first amendment is protected by the second. When one goes away so goes the next. The government of Virgina was seeking to put the force of the United States Military and their weapons against their citizens. That is staggering and the founders took the power of the government away in order to make sure it never happened.

Sgt. Oates went home to Alabama and eventually became Governor of the State. 1st. Sgt Wyman White went home and became postmaster of his community. Years later, Oates wrote to White commending his courage, professionalism and said there should be a statue erected at Gettysburg to him. WDE

OGSB Authors Associate, Spence Allen has a new murder mystery due out this month. Sign up on our Contact Page and we will let you know when you can get a free eBook copy. ogsbauthors.com

 

I SEE PIGMENTS TOO

Photo – Tony Ross – Unsplash

“I see pigments of myself from the people I meet.” Kimberly Pauig kimpaulig.wordpress.com

Thank you Kimberly. Today Spence A. Allen, Associate Author of OBSB adds his thoughts to a complex world. WDE

Isn’t this a great way of expressing what we call the “take away” these days when we meet new people or ideas.  Some pigments are great memories that add brilliant hues, or some deep rich meaningful color. I’m a happy guy and the colors decorate my day like flags. Looking up the word pigment, I naturally expected it to mention color. But pigment also means the carbons and metals that occur in nature. Pigments of myself then would then be the very makeup of who you are; that you see in others. That’s rather profound. Certainly, we are all individuals, but we are made up of the same natural elements. That would mean that the only “color” differences we really face are not the things of which we are made, but mythical definitions we have “made up” about the value of other people. We make up the pigments of race like a small child makes up imaginary friends.

We are more alike than we are different. It reminds me of the quotation from Major John Bell Hood – played by Levon Hill in In the Electric Mist: “Venal and evil men are destroying the world you were born in. It’s us against them my good friend. Don’t compromise your principles or abandon your cause.”

 I take that quotation as an upbeat approach to good. We all have the same ability, if we ignore the venal and evil of this world, to achieve great success as a person. Not as a people, but singular as a person — an individual. We can be an island of content and goodness if we recognize the piments. We share them with those who do not compromise their principles or abandon their individual goals. We travel this earth alongside them, recognizing the beauty of our basic sameness, while allowing us both to reach our uniqueness.

Spencer A. Allen