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james-forten1

This month I am commemorating Black History Month and this week I am featuring James Forten. As I was researching history regarding Book IV of the Locket Saga, Sailing Under the Black Flag, I came across this amazing man and included him as a major character in the book. I hope you enjoy our second week’s focus for Black History Month.

James Forten was born on September 2, 1766 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was born a free black man. Over the course of his lifetime, he made significant impact upon the fortunes of the American capitalist system and the livelihood of his contemporaries.
He was the son of Thomas and Sarah Forten and was the grandson of slaves. He grew up in Philadelphia and attended Anthony Benezet’s Quaker school for “colored” children. By the time he was eight years old, he was working for Robert Bridges’s sail loft with his father. A year later, his father was killed in a boating accident. This tragedy forced the nine-year-old James into the additional responsibility of supporting his family.
Forten’s Military Service.

During his early teens, he worked as a powder boy during the Revolutionary War first in the army and then on the ship, the privateer Royal Lewis. In Book IV of the Locket Saga: Sailing Under the Black Flag, he was powder boy for the protagonist Jonathan Mayford.
Most people don’t know that on privateer ships, every member of the crew from the captain down to the deck hands were considered equal. This equality on the Royal Lewis must have left a strong impression on James Forten because it certainly influenced his character.

Prisoner on the Jersey

Forten may have been raised free, but he could certainly empathize with the slaves who had come to America on slave ships.

As told in this fourth book of The Locket Saga, Forten was captured by the British and held prisoner on the Jersey a prison ship. As the story goes, Forten had arranged to be smuggled off the ship in Gustavua Conyngham’s trunk when he allowed Daniel Brewton, two years younger than he was, take his place in the trunk. It was not until March 25, 1782 that Forten was released.

He would never forget the smell of the prison ship. Years later, he was repairing a sail when he smelled that sickening familiar smell. By then, the slave trade was illegal and Forten threatened to press charges because he knew that the ship had been used in the slave trade.

Making His Fortune

After his mother nursed him back to health, Forten boarded the Commerce, a merchant ship. The ship went to London and he worked there for a year.
In 1785, he returned home to resume his previous job. Pleased with his work and dedication, Bridges appointed him to the foreman’s position in the loft.
In 1798 Bridges decided to retire, and wanted Forten to remain in charge of the loft. His desires were realized. Eventually James owned the business, and employed almost 40 workers.
James married Charlotte VanDive, a woman of Native American, African American, and European blood on December 5, 1805. In 1806, he purchased a brick house at Third and Lombard Streets. Charlotte gave birth to all nine of their children here. In addition to a good home, James ensured that each of them received a good education.

James Forten’s Legacy

James Forten newspaper clippingEventually, James Forten became interested in politics and avidly campaigned for and supported the issues of temperance, women’s suffrage, and equal rights for African Americans. In the year 1800, he was the leader in organizing a petition that called for Congress to emancipate all slaves. Given the fact that this was a presidential election year, rumor had it that a few of the presidential candidates (among them Thomas Jefferson) were none too pleased with a Negro man advocating for the emancipation of slaves. His activism was further recognized when he wrote and published a pamphlet denouncing the Pennsylvania legislature for prohibiting the immigration of freed black slaves from other states. Many consider him the “Father of the Abolitionist Movement.”
In 1817 Forten joined with Richard Allen to form the Convention of Color. In the 19th century Allen was the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Interestingly, the organization argued for the migration of free black slaves to Canada, but vehemently resisted any movement for a return to the African continent.
James Forten’s early years had been devoted to providing for his widowed mother. As an adult, he focused on acquiring a vast economic fortune and rectifying the brutal injustices that had been perpetrated upon his fellow African Americans, poor people, and women. He believed in liberty for all people and he fought against slavery and for equal rights all of his life. He died on March 4, 1842.

Read Book IV of the Locket Saga: Sailing Under the Black Flag and other books in The Locket Saga

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Spoiler Alert: If you like a good whodunit, and haven’t read: When God turned his Head by Cygnet Brown, you will want to read the book before reading this post as the book was based on the research of the facts of this event.

The John Codman Murder

 

skeleton in chains

Slavery, the biggest skeleton in America’s Closet

In my research for the Locket Saga, I have found numerous amazing historical accounts of African Americans in America’s early history. This month, in honor of Black History Month, I want to share some of the accounts that I found from our history and how they relate to the Locket Saga series.
This week, I want to share the account of the slaves of John Codman who played an important part in my first novel in The Locket Saga: When God Turned His Head.

Slavery Was Not Just in the Southern Colonies

slave-sale-posting-P

Most people don’t know that Negro slaves were owned in the 1700s, not just in the south, but in every British colony. Most wealthy families owned slaves. Although the nature of slavery in the North differed somewhat from the slavery of the South, there were slaves living in Boston, and in other Massachusetts towns, until 1783, when slavery was legally abolished in Massachusetts.
Boston merchants became rich from their ties to shipping and industries like rum-distilling that were inextricably linked to slavery. The bulk of the sugar imported into North America in the eighteenth century, including the sugar merchants brought back on their ships to be sold to shopkeepers and distillers of rum, came from Caribbean plantations worked by slaves. Robert Howard, the man who first owned what later became known as the Paul Revere House, owned at least one slave, and possibly as many as five. He was a wealthy trade goods merchant of goods that were produced by forced African slave labor in the Caribbean and West Indies. Although Paul Revere never owned slaves, his maternal grandmother had been part owner a slaved named Nulgar.
African slaves in the north, as in the south, were often discontented with their condition and sought to improve it whenever they could. Although free Africans lived in Massachusetts at the time, getting freed was not an easy matter. A law passed in 1703 required slave owners to post a £50 bond for each slave they freed. This bond served as a guarantee that a freed slave would not become a financial burden on the own.
In 1755, John Codman, a former ship’s captain, was a wealthy fifty-eight-year-old slave master and landowner in Charlestown a slave owner was found dead in his bed. It didn’t take long for the authorities to realize that foul play had been involved and that the man had been poisoned.
Because there was both an investigation and a trial, a considerable record exists which allows some insight into the conspirators’ thoughts and motivations.
On July second, the day after Captain Codman’s death, a coroner’s jury found that he died from poison feloniously procured by Mark.

The Investigation

The investigation uncovered the fact that six years earlier, they set fire to his workshop, hoping by the destruction of this building that he would be obliged to sell them, they, in the year 1755, they conspired again to gain his end through poison. At the trial, when the judges asked Phoebe about Mark’s reason for poisoning Codman, she only replied that “he was uneasy and wanted to have another master” and that “he was concerned” for the well-being of herself and Phyllis, another Codman slave. The judges did not press Phoebe for details.
Although it is uncertain whether John Codman was a habitually violent or cruel master, the record does show that Codman, in a fit of rage following the death of his wife in 1752, struck a slave named Tom so hard in the face that one of his eyes was seriously injured. Therefore, the other slaves of the Codman household were subjected to episodes of violence in addition to the inherent trials and tribulations of slavery.
Mark was unhappy because he was separated from his own family. For a time, Codman had allowed Mark to live in Boston with his wife and children if Mark hired himself out for work and provided his master with his wages. However, in February 1748, Boston city officials “warned him out” of Boston and Codman forced him to return to Charlestown and refused to allow his family to join him. Around the same time, Codman either sold or gave one of Mark’s children.
Six years before Codman’s murder, Mark had desperately attempted to compel his master to sell him to another person. In 1749, hoping that he might be sold to a new master who would be kinder and enable him to rejoin his family, Mark and several other slaves burned down Codman’s blacksmith shop and workhouse. Mark hoped that the financial distress would force Codman to sell him. Codman refused to sell any of his slaves.
The idea that they could get away with poisoning Codman came from the idea that the slaves believed that a Mr. Salmon had been poisoned to death by one of his slaves, without anyone discovering of the crime. Mark attempted to get poison first from Kerr, Dr. John Gibbons’ servant, and then to Robin, Dr. William Clarke’s servant. The poison was galena, or plumbum nigrum, a native sulphuret of lead, probably used for a glaze by Charlestown potters.
Kerr refused to give Mark the poison, but Robin got it for Mark two different times along with some arsenic. This poison, Phoebe and Phyllis kept in a vial and from time to time mixed into Codman’s water-gruel and sago and at times was innocently administered to him by one of his daughters. They also mixed with his food some of the ‘black lead,’ which Phyllis seems to have thought was the efficient poison, though it appeared from the testimony that he was killed by the arsenic.
Quaco, — the nominal husband of Phoebe, the servant of Mr. James Dalton, of Boston, and implicated in the murder— was examined before William Stoddard, a justice of the peace, and on the same day Robin was arrested and committed to jail. Later in the month, Mark and Phyllis were questioned by the Attorney-General and Mr. Thaddeus Mason.

The Verdict

 

The jury found both Phyllis and Mark guilty of murder and petit treason. Petit treason, as distinct from high treason, was the charge brought when a servant was accused of killing his master; a wife her husband; or a clergyman his canonical superior. According to the indictment, only Phillis was charged with murder and petit treason. Mark and Robin were charged with being accessories before the fact. Apparently, the jury found Robin not guilty, as he is not mentioned in the record of the judgment. Mark was found guilty of the greater charge for reasons which are not specified.

The Sentence

burning at the stake

Criminal conspiracies were taken very seriously by the Yankees of Massachusetts. According to later accounts, the judges sentenced Phoebe to be transported to the West Indies, although oddly her name does not appear anywhere in the indictment or record of judgment. Mark was hung, and his body tarred and suspended in chains for all to see in Charlestown. Although, in When God Turned His Head, Phyllis was hanged, according to court records, she was burned to death. This case has become well-known as one of only two times in American history when a woman was sentenced to be burned to death. The only one other case in Massachusetts history was when Maria, also an African servant, attempted to murder her owner by setting his house on fire. It is likely the other conspirators were sent to the sugar colonies in the Caribbean to work the fields, a standard form of punishment at the time.

Mark’s Mention later in The Locket Saga

Mark’s body remained chained on the Charleston Neck for twenty years. In my second book of the Locket Saga, Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, there is a scene where Elizabeth Thorton was spooked by the knowledge that Mark’s body was hung in chains on the Charleston Neck. This was based on an account written in Paul Revere’s autobiography where he wrote “After I had passed Charlestown Neck, and got nearly opposite where Mark was hung in chains,” he was referring to this well-known local landmark along his route through Charlestown (present-day Somerville).

How Can We Relate Today?

The slaves may have been found guilty, but the system was just as guilty for its role in the man’s murder. This story reminds us that there were no innocents in the country as it related to the chattel slave system. The northern colonies was just as inhuman and brutal as that which was later condemned in the South.  They were motivated by the same greed that is rules the world today. It also reminds us that everyone desires freedom over slavery and that many will do whatever it takes to reach that place.

The Locket Saga 5 books

When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, as well as the other books in The Locket Saga series can be found

In Print at Lulu.com check out Cygnet Brown’s Author Spotlight page at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cygnetbrown

On Amazon Kindle, The Locket Saga series page at

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076ZSK5PB/ref=series_rw_dp_sw


October 30, 2017

My Research Uncovers Story

During the past several weeks I have been researching for the first draft of the next book that I am writing which I will be writing during November 2017 in NaNoWriMo. This book is about Andrew Mayford, the son of Jonathan Mayford, Lacey’s younger brother. During this past week, I found a legend that I had never heard before about how the Welch Prince, Madoc came to America in 1170, over three hundred years before Columbus founded the West Indies.

The Welch Account

Madoc sailed west from Wales in 1170, allegedly becoming one of the first Europeans to reach the Americas. At the death of Madoc’s father, Prince Owen Gwynedd of Wales, saw his brothers struggling over the throne. He desired no part in the conflict, so Madoc sailed west across the ocean with a small fleet of ships. Sometime later he returned to Wales, telling of an unknown country, pleasant and fertile. Convincing some of his countrymen to accompany him, he set sail again and never returned. This is the story as it presents itself in Wales.

The American Account

The story does not end here, however. With the colonization of the Americas, the legend of Madoc was renewed. It became common belief among the early settlers that Madoc’s explorers had intermarried with local Indian tribes. Their descendants were said to still reside somewhere in the country. Stories emerged among the colonists detailing encounters with the Welsh-speaking descendants of Madoc. According to historian Reuben T. Durrett, the Madoc tale was especially popular among the early settlers of Kentucky and was often told on long winter nights.

 

The Falls of the Ohio area became connected with the Madoc mythology. A story related to early settlers by local Indians meshed with the Madoc legend. A tribe of “White Indians,” remarkable for their light hair and blue eyes, was said to have resided in the falls area at one time. However, hostilities broke out between the “White Indians” and another neighboring Indian group. A final battle between the two tribes occurred on Sand Island at the Falls of the Ohio where the “White Indians” were massacred. Contemporaries to this account soon connected the story of this “White Indian” tribe with the Madoc legend, believing they had found the descendants of the Welsh voyagers.

Further Discoveries

Further discoveries seemed to confirm this conclusion. A large burial ground was found on the North side of the Ohio, opposite the Falls, with the haphazard arrangement of the skeletons indicating they may have been the remains of the “White Indians” who were massacred. Earthen fortifications discovered at Devil’s Backbone were also believed to be the work of the “Welsh Indians”. Most intriguingly, an account circulated of six skeletons found near Jeffersonville, Indiana in 1799. Each skeleton was said to have been encased in a brass breast plate emblazoned with the Welsh coat of arms. Where  this armor is now unknown, if indeed, it ever existed at all.

True or Not, A Wonderful Story

Perhaps the story struck a chord with a group of people who were inhabiting a new country—a people who were delighted to find something familiar in a strange land. Perhaps the story also served as an explanation for evidence of advanced civilization among the Indian societies of the Americas—evidence that did not mesh with the prevailing view of the Indian as barbaric and uncivilized.

Whether this story is true or not, I think that the Madoc legend is a good story that was included as one of the main forms of entertainment at the time. The Madoc legend is a compelling story with an element of mystery. Like the tale of the lost colony of Roanoke and Viking civilizations, the ending is unknown. One can only imagine what might have happened to Madoc and those who sailed with him and incorporate them into this or her own stories. This is exactly what I intend to do.

 

 

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August 31, 2017

WGTHH not the First Book I started

When God turned his Head was not the first book of the Locket Saga that I started. I actually started Soldiers Don’t Cry several years before I started When God Turned His Head. I started writing When God Turned His House, based on a conversation that Rachel and Elizabeth had with Phillip and Gerald when they were talking in the parlor of the Mayford house the night that Phillip and Gerald arrived. Rachel mentioned that Elizabeth was only her half sister and that her parents had been indentured servants.

Death by Chocolate

death by chocolate

I know that this sounds crazy to people who have never written a novel, but I became curious about the lives of their parents. Who were they? What was their story? This was over twenty years ago, before a lot of information was out on the internet so I went to the library to see what I could find out about indentured servants. Not much, but I did find the story about the John Codman murder, who did it and why. I learned how the murder was conducted and included many of the actual events from the murder including the way Codman took the poison (in his hot chocolate).

 

 

I then started asking “what if” I wondered what would happen if I not only gave Codman a wife, but also gave him a daughter. Then wondered, what about Elizabeth’s father? Who was he? Where did he fit in the picture? I made quite an elaborate back story to all that happened before the murder. Drusilla, Elizabeth’s mother, had known Kanter Thorton when they were still on their way to America. Kanter had proposed marriage to her but then she married Codman and he married someone else. She had a daughter and he and his wife had three sons. He loved his wife, but he still feelings for Drusilla. He couldn’t understand how one day she seemed to be in love with him and a week later she was married to a man who treated her like chattel.

 

This brought me to the idea that John Adams who would have been a young lawyer at that time would make an interesting addition to this story. I put him and his cousin Samuel Adams into the story. After all, they did live in Boston at the time. I thought it would be interesting to compare the difference between Kanter’s marriage and Drusilla’s marriage. I decided that I wanted to have this occur in a church, the Old North Church to be exact.

yes, that John Adams, the one who later because our 2nd President

 

I studied a lot about Boston during that time. I even had a map of the area during the mid-1700s. I studied how different the culture was from the culture today. I even discovered that a Mrs. Hiller was quite the entrepreneur at that time. She was so interesting that I made her Rachel’s dame school teacher, one of Mrs. Hiller’s many enterprises. She was also a real dressmaker as she was in the story. The idea that she was anything more than just a resident of Boston at the time was sheer imagination on my part.

 

There was some involvement of Dr. Clarke’s slave Robin too, but of course, I am not going to spoil this story for you. You’ll have to read it for yourself.

 

To learn more about this story, it is regularly lways available free on Kindle Unlimited all the time. Through tomorrow Soldiers Don’t Cry is available FREE through KDP select. Pick up both today and HAPPY READING. Check them out here! https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007SM23IK

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The Dream

When people ask me where I got the idea for my Locket Saga series, I tell them that I had a dream where a young woman and a young man were sitting on a rustic wooden bench made from a log split in half in front of a log cabin wall and he used the old line, “Haven’t I seen you before?” To that she answered, “matter of fact, I think we knew one another as children.”

 

After that I woke up and wondered how that might be incorporated into a story.

A Story From Parkman’s Works

A few months later, I was at the library and was reading a dusty old history book about America during the French and Indian war called Parkman’s Works. I love old history, especially stories that are not well known by the general public, so while I was reading, I discovered an incident that occurred  in 1763 where a military wagon train was going to Fort Schlosser. At one point the wagon train was on a narrow wagon road sandwiched between a tall hill on one side and the two hundred foot gorge of the Niagara River.

Hostile Indians came over the hill and literally pushed the wagon train over in to the gorge. The wagons, horses and men all thrown into the gorge shattering and scattering wagons and provisions and crushing the bodies of the horses and men on the rocks below. The drummer boy also went over the cliff, but on the way down his drum strap caught on a bush and stopped his descent. He pulled himself up to safety. The only other person to survive was the scout, a Mr. Stedman who was on his horse at the front of the wagon train. When he saw the Indians, he spurred his horse to safety.

Mixing up Fiction with History

This was the start of the Locket Saga, I used the concept of “what if”. What if the drummer boy was the same boy that met the girl later? Of course, it would have to be during the American Revolution that they met again, and rather than have the scene exactly as it was in my dream, I would make them meet again in Boston and to create conflict, I would have her be a patriot and he be a British officer. After I read the book Traitors, Turncoats, and Spies, I decided to make the conflict even deeper and made Elizabeth a spy and smuggler for the Patriot cause.

The story became Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues.

 

Soldiers Don’t Cry now FREE on Kindle

If you have not read Soldiers Don’t Cry, you’re in luck because beginning today, Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga continues will be free on Kindle. Download your copy now.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ATWT80W

When God Turned His Head

If you know anything about the Locket Saga, you know that Soldiers Don’t Cry isn’t the first book in the series. You know that the first book in the series is When God Turned His Head. To discover how When God Turned His Head became the first book, read my next installment of this blog on Thursday August 31. Follow this blog to read about how When God Turned His Head was written. And while you’re at it, pick up your Kindle copy today https://www.amazon.com/When-Turned-Head-Locket-Saga-ebook/dp/B007RHXTTI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1503241811&sr=8-1&keywords=when+god+turned+his+head

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There are a lot Marys in the Bible and it is easy to get confused about what Mary does what? Here is a true or false questionnaire based on what the Bible says (and only what the Bible says) about the various Marys. Take this quiz and see how good your knowledge of the Marys of the Bible really is.

Will you live forever with the one who died to save you?

Which Mary is this?

 

  1. T or F Mary Magdalene was a Prostitute-

FALSE According the Bible, Mary had seven devils, but nowhere does the Bible say that she was a prostitute.

  1. T or F Jesus Mother Mary was a virgin.

TRUE-the Bible says that Mary asked the angel how it was possible for her to have a child since she had never known a man.

  1. T or F The name translated into Greek in the New Testament-Mary- is the name Miriam or the Latin name Marie

TRUE-Mary, Jesus mother was Miriam while the other Marys were Marie.

  1. T or F Mary of Caesaria was sister to Lazarus and Martha.

FALSE- Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha was from Bethany.

  1. T or F After Lazarus died, Mary went on the road to meet Jesus while Martha stayed behind.

FALSE– It was Martha who met Jesus on the road. Mary did not see Jesus until he arrived at the house.

  1. T or F Mary Magdalene washed Jesus feet with her hair and a Spikenard ointment

FALSE Mary of Bethany, Lazarus and Martha’s sister was the Mary who washed Jesus feet with her hair and Spikenard.

  1. T or F If Moses’ sister Miriam would have been in the New Testament rather than the Old Testament, she would have been called Mary.

TRUE-As stated in question 3, Miriam was translated Mary in the New Testament. Jesus Mother Mary was Hebrew so her name was actually Miriam.

  1. T or F Mary Magdalene was the first person to see Jesus alive after the Resurrection. She was the woman from whom Jesus cast out seven demons. The name Magdalene indicates that she came from Magdala, a city on the southwest coast of the Sea of Galilee. After Jesus cast seven demons from her, she became one of His followers. Luke 7:37, Luke 8:23, Luke 87:36-50

TRUE-She saw him early in the morning. She didn’t recognize him at first. She thought he was the gardener.

  1. T or F-Mary Magdalene had seven devils cast out of her.

TRUE-

  1. T or F Mary Magdalene was a Prostitute-

FALSE According the Bible, Mary had seven devils, but nowhere does the Bible say that she was a prostitute.

  1. T or F Jesus Mother Mary was a virgin.

TRUE-the Bible says that Mary asked the angel how it was possible for her to have a child since she had never known a man.

  1. T or F The name translated into Greek in the New Testament-Mary- is the name Miriam or the Latin name Marie

TRUE-Mary, Jesus mother was Miriam while the other Marys were Marie.

  1. T or F Mary of Caesaria was sister to Lazarus and Martha.

FALSE– Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha was from Bethany.

  1. T or F After Lazarus died, Mary went on the road to meet Jesus while Martha stayed behind.

FALSE– It was Martha who met Jesus on the road. Mary did not see Jesus until he arrived at the house.

  1. T or F Mary Magdalene washed Jesus feet with her hair and a Spikenard ointment

FALSE Mary of Bethany, Lazarus and Martha’s sister was the Mary who washed Jesus feet with her hair and Spikenard.

  1. T or F If Moses’ sister Miriam would have been in the New Testament rather than the Old Testament, she would have been called Mary.

TRUE-As stated in question 3, Miriam was translated Mary in the New Testament. Jesus Mother Mary was Hebrew so her name was actually Miriam.

  1. T or F Mary Magdalene was the first person to see Jesus alive after the Resurrection. She was the woman from whom Jesus cast out seven demons. The name Magdalene indicates that she came from Magdala, a city on the southwest coast of the Sea of Galilee. After Jesus cast seven demons from her, she became one of His followers. Luke 7:37, Luke 8:23, Luke 87:36-50

TRUE-She saw him early in the morning. She didn’t recognize him at first. She thought he was the gardener.

  1. T or F-Mary Magdalene had seven devils cast out of her.

TRUE-

  1. T or F-Three Marys stood at the foot of the cross when Jesus was crucified. Mary, the Wife of Clopas, Mary Magdalene, and Mary Jesus’ mother.

TRUE– In John’s gospel we read that “there were standing by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene” (John 19:25)

  1. John Mark’s Mother was also named Mary. She was the sister of Barnabas.

TRUE-(Colosians 4:10)

  1. Mary was a very common name at that time in that culture.

TRUE-The Bible mentions nine Marys in the New Testament and Miriam in the old (which is the same name in Hebrew). This gives us a total of ten Marys mentioned in the Bible.

  1. T or F-Three Marys stood at the foot of the cross when Jesus was crucified. Mary, the Wife of Clopas, Mary Magdalene, and Mary Jesus’ mother.

TRUE– In John’s gospel we read that “there were standing by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene” (John 19:25)

  1. John Mark’s Mother was also named Mary. She was the sister of Barnabas.

TRUE-(Colosians 4:10)

  1. Mary was a very common name at that time in that culture.

TRUE-The Bible mentions nine Marys in the New Testament and Miriam in the old (which is the same name in Hebrew). This gives us a total of ten Marys mentioned in the Bible.

 

Any comments? Disagreements? I would love to hear what you have to say about this little pop quiz.

To get a little more green into your life, (saving money and healthy plants) read my free e-book Using Diatomaceous Earth around the House and Yard, it is available through Smashwords in e-pub (Nook), mobi (kindle) or pdf formats. and to keep up with all my writing and events that I will be attending sign up for my free newsletter at http://eepurl.com/bPpzXX

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Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


Crucifixion_Icon_Sinai_13th_century

Last week I talked about how we share in God’s sorrow, but we are able to share in his sorrow because we share in his love. In I Corinthians, chapter 13, in the King James it speaks of charity, but in the Greek the word is agape which means unselfish love that is higher than any other type of love. I think the best illustration of this love, of what agape love is, can be found in the writings of the Apostle John.

In The Gospel of John

, Chapter 17 Jesus prayed to the father. He said that he wanted all of his followers (including future ones) to look to him not just for direction, but for guidance in the same way that he takes His guidance from His Father. He wants us to be one as he and his father are one. He says that if we are one (in his love), then the world will believe.
How sad it is that Christians around the world and especially in the US are more concerned with maintaining the divisions (denominations) than they are at seeing what each sect has in common with one another. Our determination of whether we are Christian or not is: whether or not Christ is Lord of our lives. If we choose not to do what Christ wants for us as believers, then perhaps we should reconsider whether or not we should call ourselves followers of Christ.

The Book of First John

In the book of I John, this same writer tells us that we need to love one another. He says that if we do not love our brother whom we can see, then we cannot love God either. We are lying to ourselves if we say otherwise.
This book also says that God is Love. If God is in us, then we will love one another.

II John

In this book John has a prayer. He prays that the people that he is talking with prosper and be in good health. I pray that for everyone, including those who do not know Christ as I know Christ. To prosper to me includes prospering in knowing Christ, and I wish that for everyone.
My daughter and many of her generation believe that everyone has a right to believe what they want. It’s the philosophy of tolerance. And although we have the right to believe, we do have to face the consequences of what we believe. I can believe that a hurricane coming will not harm me, but if I do not seek shelter, I will get hurt and probably die.
If I am in a canoe on a river and someone warns me that there is a waterfall and that if I don’t get out of the water, I will certainly fall to my death, I shouldn’t want to stay in that water. If I want to survive, then I need to get out.
All of us from the day that we are born are on the river of sin. John 3:16&17 says that Jesus came to draw us out of that river of sin. Each of us has a hurricane headed toward us that if we don’t get out of the way, it will destroy us. Accept the hand that Jesus is offering. Believe that he is and that he rewards those who diligently seek him.

The Revelation

In Revelation 3:7-13 John had a vision and in it Jesus tells him about the Church at Philadelphia, the righteous church that is not under persecution.
This church should be the example in which all Christians should want to be included. The first thing that we must realize is that the name Philadelphia means brotherly love. This church has a little strength and it has kept Christ’s Word, and it has not denied his authority over their lives. To those of this church, to those who overcome the pull of division and Satan, he will make a pillar in God’s Temple. Jesus said that he would write the name of God on him and the name of the city which is New Jerusalem and will write on him Christ’s own new name.

My Thoughts On Aging

Today’s my birthday. Some people get hung up on the fact that they are getting older (It beats the alternative, I always say.) I really don’t worry about getting older even though the calendar says that I am a year older than I was yesterday, I am in fact just a day older than I was yesterday. I do know however that my life here on earth is limited, but when this life here on earth ends, I am assured that I have another, better life waiting for me when I get there. My life here is temporary, but my life there is eternal and age won’t matter anymore. I just hope that I make the most of the time that I have left here and that I will bring a few others with me into His Glory.

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Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.

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