Saturday, January 28, 2012

Branches

I took this photo in Nova Scotia last summer (in a cemetery actually!). The more I look at it, the more it reminds me of my Family Tree research right now. Lots of branches and lots of directions all at once!!

I started my tree when I was 17, even before the TV series Roots came out and made genealogy more popular. AND long before Ancestry and all of the online resources that are available now. It meant LOTS of paper & notes, trips to cemeteries (which most were not in great shape - thornbushes and blackflies!!), reading old books, researching at the NS Archives, and asking every relative about their families. This literally has created a room full of information - my office.

Now I LOVE all the information that is available online and my research very quickly accelerated, at breakneck speed, to the point that it HAS to be organized into a more efficient system (one someone else could actually find what they were looking for!!), or it will just be seen as piles of useless paper. Worse yet, I will be labeled a hoarder!! (Yes, I have inherited that gene!!) So now my task is to sort, identify, label, digitize, and file years of information. Where to start? One pile or box at a time.

Sometimes things can feel out of control. Things left undone DO pile up. They don't just disappear. In fact, they more often continue to grow and become a huge issue, a lot bigger than if we had handled it sooner. I heard someone say, "Clutter is a result of decisions unmade." Everything not put in it's place, really is because a decision on where to put it was not made at that time. BUT there comes a time to deal with it - no more procrastination - just do it!!

So what is on your "To Do List"? Is there something you have been putting off until another day? Is there someone you need to call to get more information? Are there some things in your "office" that need to be cleaned out, or purged completely? Make plans to deal with it today. Make a new "To Do List"!! Make it realistic - NOT: Clean my office. That's too broad. Break it down into small tasks - ones that take an hour or an afternoon - and then schedule them into your calendar. You'll feel so much better when you can cross each one off as completed.

My first task to getting organized? Make a list of one-hour tasks. Then do one each day this week. No procrastinating!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembering




James Robert
Martin
(1894 - 1955)


My grandfather was a soldier in WWI. He joined the No. 10 Halifax Siege Battery and was shipped out to fight in France. He fought in the trenches and he endured being gassed. Thank God, he was not injured. He returned safely to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada where he became a Halifax city policeman.

Many did not return. Many lost family members and close friends. The cost was great. WAR is not easy for any generation. Our veterans were willing to serve our country and to fight for the freedoms we now enjoy, but it came with a cost. It still does. War is not just something to remember on November 11th every year. That’s good, but we still have war.

Today’s wars may be more “advanced” and less brutal, but they still cost those involved – dearly!! It is so easy to turn on the news, see that latest report being broadcast, and turn the channel. Why bother watching it if you don’t have anyone over there? No personal connection to the reality facing many military families and their close friends.

Did you know that there are veterans today who are not from WWI or WWII or Korea?? The Gulf War is already more than 20 years ago (1991). The current conflicts in the Gulf and Afghanistan are ongoing. Soldiers are still dying today. Families are still watching every news cast, praying that their loved one will return home safely. They needs our prayers and our support.

Do you pray for our troops in the hotspots of today’s world?? Just because it has not been officially recognized by many as a “war” doesn’t mean that they are not in danger. Here’s my challenge: PRAY for those who serve in our military. PRAY daily for their families. REMEMBER them for their bravery and willingness to go. REMEMBER those who have fallen. PRAY for the families who have lost loved ones (recently or years ago). When you see a “Support Our Troops” sign – PRAY. It’s the best support we can give them.

Selah

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Reformation - A Personal Connection

"The Reformation" began with Martin Luther seeing changes needed in the church of his time (1517). This was not achieved easily. I have the DVD movie, "Luther" (2003 version) and there is a scene in it that has stuck with me. After Luther had his revelation that "the just will live by Faith" (Romans 1:17) and "we are saved by grace, not works" (Ephesians 2:5-6), he made a public declaration of his findings (nailing them to the door). He also wrote the Hymn: "A Mighty Fortress is Our God."

Martin made a stand on his beliefs and would not back down. It caused uproar and conflict in the church. This "revolution" caused a revolt and much bloodshed, many dying for their new found revelation. Luther was shocked and discouraged - Why can't they just accept it? Here's the line: "Did you think it would be accomplished without a cost?"

It did cost them, and dearly, but how could they go back? He stood before the Emperor of the German provinces and said, "Unless therefore, I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture... I cannot and will not retract... Here I stand, I can do no other. So help me God, Amen." The Protestant Reformation was birthed and it spread throughout the provinces and across Europe. Over the years, the princes or rulers of the provinces either embraced it, or tried to crush it.

During a period of persecution, some of these protestants were offered an opportunity to relocate in the New World under British rule. They were guarenteed freedom to worship and a new beginning. They grabbed it. From 1749-1752, a total of 1,615 "Foreign Protestants" from Gemany, Montbeliard (a french province) and Swizerland traveled by ship to Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1753, they founded their own community in Lunenburg. These were some of my ancestors - descendants of the original Reformation. This is a valued part of my Christian heritage.

Life was not easy, but freedom was worth the cost. Can you say the same? What would you "give up" in order to have freedom to worship God? He may not ask you to move physically, but is He asking you to "re-move" something that has hindered you from worshipping Him as you could? In the next few days, let GOD reform an area of your life. It will not be without cost, but it will be worth it!

Selah