Thursday, August 4, 2016

Summer Travels

Just before leaving for ASI in Phoenix, Congresswoman Diane Black, U.S. representative for Tennessee's 6th congressional district since 2011, stopped by to say "hi." I was impressed! Well, admittedly, she was also hoping that me and my neighbors would vote for her in the primary which was held the same day that I flew out to Arizona.  After my son took this picture, she asked if he was going to vote. Sorry, he's not registered Diane!  On her next visit, another time , maybe we can talk politics as I have a few suggestions to improve society!

Our summer pastors meeting at ICC ended this past Wednesday, the same day I left for ASI. Our workshop/seminar presenter for our days together was Dave Klindenst and his wife Marquita. Dave is a "Resident Evangelist" for the Iowa/Missouri Conference focusing on the St. Louis metro area. He presented topics on presenting Christ through public evangelism, and how to be effective in cultivating interests, and having a successful program. Great tools to build the Kingdom with!

Marquita is an RN and has worked in the areas of home health, quality assurance and research. She is also, like Dave, a gifted presenter and the ladies present at ICC enjoyed her sharing in their group meeting.


Each summer my wife's pastor/missionary younger brother, Darron, his wife Ruth, and their four sons, are afforded a much appreciated furlough from their ministry as missionaries in the East Indonesian Union. This summer's visit with family included a special moment; the baptism of Darron and Ruths youngest son Nathaniel in the Caney Fork River, not far from ICC.  Also pictured are all of the 11 cousins from our family, Darron and Ruth's, and Malinda's sister's family, Jeff and Darla Wolf, of Woodbury. Even in the hot afternoon, the cold waters of the Caney Fork River, near the dam, provided a beautiful covering of mist for the baptism.

Some know I have a "love" for American history, and, on my recent trip to speak for the Harbert Hills Academy reunion, I stopped by a couple of the local historical sites around Columbia and Savannah, TN. Columbia is the city where the 11th President of the United States, James Polk, lived with his family for a few years as a young man.  The house in Columbia is 200 years old this year and while simple in design and not large by the standards of some southern mansions, it was considered a stunning home in the 'western wilderness of frontier towns which Columbia was considered in the early 1800's. A former Governor of Tennessee, after retiring from the Presidency, James Polk and his wife moved to a home in Nashville, where Polk died within three months.  He and his wife are buried on the grounds of the State of Tn. Capital.

Entry  foyer of Polk home
Rear view of Polk home

Among other achievements in his presidency, Polk is credited with greatly expanding the U.S. territorial holdings, adding Oregon, and after a brief war with Mexico, California and New Mexico. He also engineered a treaty with England, who had laid claim to much of the N.W. territory, including Oregon, and through negotiation, avoided war with Great Britain, and established the modern boundary lines separating the U.S. from the N.W.  Canadian border.

Polk home kitchen

It has been my goal to, given opportunity, visit the Shiloh battlefield near Savannah, TN. On the morning of  April 6, 1862, 40,000 Confederate soldiers poured out of the woods and struck a line of Union soldiers occupying ground near Pittsburg Landing on the Tennessee River. The overpowering offensive drove the surprised Federal army from their camps and threatened to overwhelm Ulysses Grant's entire army.  A couple of bits of trivia regarding the battle is that the highest ranking American military officer ever lost in battle,  a full General, Sydney Johnston who commanded the Confederates, was shot, possibly accidentally by his own troops, as he was leading a charge. It's also a battle which witnessed the greatest number of artillery pieces, 50 to 60 cannons,  ever in North America, amassed together in battle and assaulting the Union position.

While it seems the Confederates would win the battle with an early successful offensive,  the day after pushing the Federal troops back, a large number of Union reinforcements, arriving in the cover of darkness, counter attacked and overpowered the southern troops. The two day battle resulted in more than 23,000 casualties, a record in carnage and death that would be surpassed later in the war, by the losses at Gettysburg and Antietam. Over 600,000 died in the Civil War, the greatest loss of American lives in any conflict before or since. A terrible and tragic struggle which divided the nation, pitted family and neighbor against each other, but from which, the conviction that all men and women are created equal and that slavery would have no place in the country was given birth.

Peaceful on a July morning.

Army of Tennessee Highway

A historical reproducing of the Shiloh Methodist Church

Shiloh has many fascinating memorials, none more interesting than the Confederate Monument.  Erected in 1917 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, it's designer titled it "Victory Defeated by Death and  Night." Placed near  the site of the Federal surrender, on the 1st day of the battle, and for the day only, a great morale boost for the Confederates. The imagery  on the monument is quite symbolic, romanticizing in it's depiction of loosing the battle,  the "Lost Cause" of the south. Each part of the monument is steeped in numerous layers of imagery involving the fate of the southern troops in the battle.

The monument to Tennessee's fallen troops.

I authored this blog post while in Phoenix for ASI. Elder Dan Jackson will be meeting with Conference President's in the morning for a review of this year's Year End Meetings. I will likely
share some of the information from that meeting on this month's edition of Haley Comments. Till then, God's best to you and yours!