I’m Here

Someone’s mind desensitized, turned toward evil and took many lives. This is not television anymore; it’s our daily life.

Someone else will inevitably say it’s God’s judgment on another “sin city”, but it’s not that at all.

Deep in the earth, hot molten bubbles and heaves, churning to an end. Under pressure places break loose, and earthquakes tremble and break open the earth. People die. Not only from earthquakes, forest fires, and hurricanes. People are dying everyday, and instead of searching for the answers, we put the blame on someone else. While we continue to ask why, the answer is smack right in front of us and we still refuse to believe it.

Let’s be honest: How much longer will the earth contain us? How much longer before it is over? Isn’t this what we are all thinking?

All images from Google

Mostly we blame God for not stopping the madness. “If he really loved people…”

But he does love…as he has always loved.

The point of all life is this: God gave humans their own choice. That’s how much he loved. He doesn’t want servants, robots or slaves…he wants relationship.

Don’t think for a moment this is retaliation from God because we aren’t obeying the rules. He cries at our rushing, our grabbing, our blaming and our hate.

He has patience we can’t begin to comprehend. He is incredibly compassionate. While he sees all, hurts from it all, he waits as if life will go on forever. He waits for us; he waits for love in return. He is beyond our imagination.

Is this so hard to believe?

When we see our own limitations, and those of others, is it so hard to believe there is the Almighty God who is unfathomable?

In my mind I imagine: There is a slithering death snake that haunts the whole earth hiding in plain sight to bite and devour any one of us who is unsuspecting. While our calendars are full of what we call life, and we can’t spare a moment of our time to rest, the snake strikes. He’s not going away anytime soon.

Each deadly day of more shootings, each moment of chronic physical pain, each day passes with a hole in the stomach from hunger, and someone’s shelter has been blown away…the hope fades…

But no…

God says I Am here. I’ve always been here. I will always be here.
Don’t think for a moment we can put blame on Him, since we have turned away.

There are no government programs, no gun control, and no laws that will stop this madness. Man will go on trying to control, but in controlling, he loses.

Turn back, listen for the voice of the One who loved first, created all, and let yourself be enveloped in His arms of grace.

Don’t fear in these times of sadness, don’t blame God or others, and don’t hide yourself behind text messaging. Find life in the One in which life resides.

 

 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11:28-30 The Message

 

Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

John 14:6 NASB

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A Moment in History: Remembering Rebecca Kellogg Ashley

On occasion I find a story that can’t be found in the classroom history books. I might not have known about Rebecca Kellogg Ashley–except that I love history.

I have lived in this town for fifteen years. My children started school in this district in 1998. I have never joined the local historical society, but I’ve learned much of the history of the area. I live just miles from where this history took place.

When we first moved here I met local Historian, Marjory Hinman who wrote a book called–Onaquaga: Hub of the Border Wars. That book graces my Iroquois Indian history shelf along with others.

During the 1700’s, the Oneida Indians lived as far north as the Albany area, spreading south, all the way to Windsor, New York. It’s beautiful country and from Cooperstown, the Susquehanna River flows down state into Pennsylvania and back up into New York. There was plenty of room for the tribes to enjoy the rich land, lakes and rivers.

Two tribes lived here: the Oneida and Tuscarora. It is the closest place where the Susquehanna comes to the Delaware River and has a low place in a bend in the river to carry across. Thus making it a great place for trading.

Deerfield, Mass. February 1704—

Rebecca Kellogg was captured at age eight, along with her brother, sister, and father. They were taken to the Christian Mohawk settlement near Montreal. She was adopted by the Haudenosaunee Mohawks, and there she married and had children.

Rebecca’s father and brother escaped, but Rebecca never returned to New England until she was thirty-three years old. She and her children visited her family, but never returned to live there. Apparently sometime during these years, her husband died. Rebecca began working tirelessly as an interpreter among native people in the Mission School at Stockbridge, Massachusetts where famous Rev. Jonathan Edwards was in charge of this Mission School.

In 1745 she married again, to a man named Benjamin Ashley. Rebecca was twenty years older than he, but it is possible they married, as it was the proper thing to do in those days.  Both of them accompanied Rev. Gideon Hawley to start a new mission at Onaquaga.

The Indians at Onaquaga adopted the white man’s ways of building and living in log cabins with stone chimneys, glass windows, and the people planted crops.

Public Domain
Chief Joseph Brant

Chief Joseph Brant had a farm with cattle at Onaquaga and married the daughter of an Onaquaga chief. If you remember in your history, Chief Joseph was highly educated, and a mastermind at military tactics. He chose to fight with the British against the Americans and Onaquaga was used as a base of his operations.

Susquehanna River at Onaquaga

During the years, 1748 to 1777 missionaries ministered to the people in the village. The Rev. Gideon Hawley left diaries containing valuable information after he left the settlement. He wrote a map of the village.

Little was written about Rebecca Kellogg Ashley’s work at the mission in Onaquaga. She knew the needs of the people because she had lived with them, she knew their language well, and had a heart for the Oniedas. Rebecca gave her energies into the service of others.

Rebecca Kellogg Ashley lived with the natives at Onaquaga many years and understood their needs completely. They fondly called her Wausaunia, which means the bridge.

Onaquaga Bridge
The bridge at Onaquaga.
Sign at the bridge.

There is no other white woman reported in that time of history, who lived among the Indians of Onaquaga. Rebecca spent the rest of her life there, and when she died in 1757 the people “lamented her loss.”

 

There is a stone marker on Dutchtown Road in memory. She is buried at the base of Onaquaga Mountain.

Rebecca Kellogg Ashley monument

Sadly, Gen. James Clinton came through in 1778 and destroyed the village of Onaquaga on the way to meet Gen. Sullivan at Tioga Point.