Vivien R. Kesterson, my mother, passed away Last Wednesday, the 2nd. That morning was the climax of a short, but uncomfortable threshold. Monday evening she was transferred to a Hospice House. She wanted out of the nursing home she’d been in for the prior thirty days and she got her wish. She died quietly thirty six hours later, the victim of old age. In the eight weeks that I spent more time with her than I had the previous three years, I learned how resolute, strong, and astute my mom was despite her failing physical carriage. My mother changed dramatically in the last half of her 94 plus years. She lived her last fifteen of those years in the same apartment, and supported by a circle of friends both there, and from her church family at Eustis’ Epiphany Celebration. She was strong, independent, smart, and easy to like, but hard on casual friendships. You just had to have something special to be her real friend. She didn’t pull many punches when it came to opinion—hers.
An avid reader, she was my gift when it came to the love of the written word. As time drew nigh for Vivien I came to realize that your heart can be angry with loved ones for reasons not readily apparent. But, when they leave us finally, all that is cancelled out and you can feel glad for the release from this world and the promise of a better one to come for them . . . and hopefully for yourself.
I’d like to share some wisdom and frank observation from a man I respect and owe much to, John Eldredge. John’s, Ransomed Heart Ministries and his wonderful book, Wild at Heart, freed me from a life of doubt on many fronts and a displaced perspective that had been my troubled journey for over 35 years. Thanks to him, I came to know God in the truest sense and I came to know myself in a much better way—kicking an addiction and discovering the truth about my misconceptions. John Eldredge’s God given introspective set me free along with thousands of others he has touched over the years.
Will Everyone I Love Be There?
The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. Then he sent some more servants and said, "Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner...Come to the wedding banquet." But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. (Matthew 22:2-5)
Now for a sobering truth, more sobering than any other we have considered.
To be honest, we must understand that not everyone lives happily ever after, not in any tale. This promise of the happy ending—or the new beginning—is only for the friends of God. Many people do not want the life that God offers them.
Remember—he gave us free will.
He gave us a choice.
We seem to forget—perhaps more truthfully, we refuse to remember—that we are the ones who betrayed him, not vice versa. We are the ones who listened to the lies of the Evil One in the Garden; we chose to mistrust the heart of God. In breaking the one command he gave us, we set in motion a life of breaking his commands. (You have loved God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength? You have loved your neighbor as yourself?)
The final act of self-centeredness is seen in those who refuse to come to the wedding banquet of God (Matthew 22:2-3). They do not want God. They reject his offer of forgiveness and reconciliation through Jesus. What is he to do? The universe has only two options. If they insist, God will grant to them what they have wanted—to be left to themselves.
To be rescued from an eternity apart from God—this is why the rescued ones fall before him at the Great Feast in songs of gratitude and worship. Yes, we will worship God. It won't be like a church service, but we will worship him. We will adore him.
But that day has not yet come.
Until then, the invitation of life stands.
I have set before you life and death...Now choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)
A Look Into An Important Part Of My Past
Excerpts from an article from the Oxford American Magazine by Bryan Crews
Beginning in the 1960s, the folklorist George Mitchell spent the better part of two decades canvassing the rural reaches of the American South in search of the blues. His legendary career is one marked by passion and drive. As a young man, Mitchell roamed the back alleyways of Atlanta, his hometown, and later worked as a photographer for the newspaper in Columbus. On the weekends, George and his wife, Cathy, would drive around rural Georgia seeking musicians to record, often crossing stringent racial divides in the process. Like many folklorists who wandered the Southern states making field recordings, Mitchell spent a significant amount of time in Memphis and the Mississippi Delta. It was there he recorded and befriended blues giants Fred McDowell, Sleepy John Estes, and Furry Lewis, among others.
Captivating as his Delta recordings certainly are, it is Mitchell’s work documenting the uncharted, wildly singular blues culture of Georgia’s Lower Chattahoochee Valley that remains, arguably, his most lasting musical contribution. In many ways, these recordings are the only documentation of a once-thriving American musical tradition drawing its last defiant breath.
Along with his contemporaries, and fellow Georgians, Fred Fussell and Art Rosenbaum, George Mitchell’s work preserved an important aspect of Georgia’s vast musical landscape. Over the years, his field recordings have been issued by a number of labels, including Arhoolie, Rounder, Testament, Southland, and Swingmaster. Most recently, Fat Possum reissued a comprehensive box set entitled The George Mitchell Collection. Mitchell has also authored several photography collections, including the book Mississippi Hill Country Blues 1967, documenting his and Cathy’s first trip to the Delta.
When did you first hear the blues?
The earliest experience I had that introduced me to the blues was at my friend Roger Brown’s house. We were turning the dial on his tiny little radio looking for the latest Elvis songs, like people in eighth grade were doing back then, and we suddenly heard a voice and I stopped--Turn that . . . what is that? Who is that? It was a black radio station and they announced, “This is Muddy Waters,” and I thought, Man, I love that sound. I loved it so much that I started listening to it—stopped looking for Elvis songs, started looking for Muddy Waters songs, Howlin’ Wolf songs, Sonny Boy Williamson songs. Only two places you could hear ’em was WAOK—Piano Red, a great Atlanta blues artist, was a disc jockey—and WLAC in Nashville. I had my little radio with wires up in the trees and everything out back where I could pick up a place at night that would play nothing but blues. And they played a lot of people like Slim Harpo, John Lee Hooker, Lightnin’ Slim—oh, I just loved that music.
Here's a 42 minute threshold for some rare classic blues
The George Mitchel Collection Blues – Blues-Blues 42 minutes
Can't Hep It! I was in Walmart again.
Enuff Said. Enjoy our late Indian Summer weekend.
Rednak Luvs Ya!
Who said Xmas?
Amazon link to Rednak Chronicles
Bonus - - - New World Order – The Word
Hold on I'm Comin'!