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Author Margo Simmons is an Aliquippa native like myself. I wish to share with all of you her debut novel,”Handicapped Dreams!” She is a woman of enormous talent;she is also a songwriter as well as an Iraqi war veteran. Please check out here work on Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Handicapped-Dreams-Margo-Simmons/dp/1500383066/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412530506&sr=1-1&keywords=handicapped+dreams

Author,Margo Simmons

Author,Margo Simmons

Dr.Craig Keener: the most voracious North American biblical scholar!

"The Death of Cleopatra" by Edmonia Lewis. (1867)

“The Death of Cleopatra” by Edmonia Lewis. (1867)

Edmonia Lewis was one of the first African-American woman to acquire fame as a sculptor. One can easily determine the reason for this when this piece examined. The Death of Cleopatra is a massive demonstration of refusing to release life;although Cleopatra seems content and serene,there is a haunting theme that is regulated by her posture that suggests her battle with death is just commencing. Her hands appear to be convenient auxiliaries of pulsating life;they are swollen and tempered with magnificent blood flow. Even more radiant are her breasts,which are erect and puffed,as if immensely desiring to be fondled,just to remind the ancient queen that life is worth living for. An epic battle is in place,but the queen will surrender her breath to death;she will sing in silence for eternity. The dramatic moment has been captured beautifully. 

Ms.Lewis was quite famous during her lifetime;she sculpted a bust of Ulysses S. Grant and met Civil War Colonel Robert Gould Shaw(commander of the 54th Massachusetts who was killed in action).  She also made a substantial amount of money from her pieces,some as much as $50,000 dollars! (That’s quite a lot for a woman of her time and stature.) This is a remarkable example of her talent as an artist. What a grand example of unblemished marble that has captured a fascinating woman from the Golden Age of the Ancient World…

(This piece resides at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington,D.C.).

 

The Battle of Gettysburg inhaled the largest amount of casualties of any battle in the Civil War with a little over 51,000. It also produced 63 Medals of Honor. (That is an unprecedented statistic!) Today,on July 3rd,2014,I pay homage to a few of the fallen soldiers who sacrificed their lives and spirit in pursuit of the noblest of truths,patriotism. May we NEVER forget their bravery. (These photos are courtesy of the Heinz History of Pittsburgh,Pa.) Gentlemen,I am unable to write any words that can express my appreciation for your valor. Thank-you… 

Under the command of Colonel Francis Mahler, the predominately German-American 75th Pennsylvania fought off Confederates north of town. After a halting advance through fenced farm fields, the regiment reached a wheat field and charged toward enemy troops. Mahler’s horse was killed, leaving the colonel on foot to direct fire toward the approaching Confederates. As the rebels enveloped his men, Mahler was shot, dying from his wounds four days later.

Under the command of Colonel Francis Mahler, the predominately German-American 75th Pennsylvania fought off Confederates north of town. After a halting advance through fenced farm fields, the regiment reached a wheat field and charged toward enemy troops. Mahler’s horse was killed, leaving the colonel on foot to direct fire toward the approaching Confederates. As the rebels enveloped his men, Mahler was shot, dying from his wounds four days later.

After relieving Hooker of his command, the president offered the position to Major General John Reynolds. Knowing the Commander-in-Chief often took a role in army affairs, Reynolds answered that he would take the post if there would be no executive interference. When Lincoln could give no such guarantee, Reynolds turned down the commission, which went to George Gordon Meade. Tactical placement of the 1st Corps was left to Reynolds. As his men encountered advancing Confederates, Reynolds was shot in the back of the head. He was dead before his men could ease him down from the saddle. Reynolds was buried in Lancaster on July 4, 1863.

After relieving Hooker of his command, the president offered the position to Major General John Reynolds. Knowing the Commander-in-Chief often took a role in army affairs, Reynolds answered that he would take the post if there would be no executive interference. When Lincoln could give no such guarantee, Reynolds turned down the commission, which went to George Gordon Meade. Tactical placement of the 1st Corps was left to Reynolds. As his men encountered advancing Confederates, Reynolds was shot in the back of the head. He was dead before his men could ease him down from the saddle. Reynolds was buried in Lancaster on July 4, 1863.

Captain Alfred Sofield and his men of the 149th Pennsylvania found themselves in the crossfire of rebel infantry and artillery. As they took cover in a ditch by the Chambers- burg Road, an artillery shell landed under the captain, and, by one account, “literally cut him in two, leaving his heels in contact with his head.”

Captain Alfred Sofield and his men of the 149th Pennsylvania found themselves in the crossfire of rebel infantry and artillery. As they took cover in a ditch by the Chambers- burg Road, an artillery shell landed under the captain, and, by one account, “literally cut him in two, leaving his heels in contact with his head.”

Colonel Strong Vincent took initiative and directed his brigade up the slope of Little Round Top to defend the hill against the on- slaught of Law’s Brigade. The colonel climbed onto a boulder and cried out, “Don’t give an inch!” but a bullet struck Vincent, breaking his right thigh bone. As the colonel was carried from the field, reinforcements arrived and Little Round Top was saved; however, Vincent fell in and out of consciousness over the next five days, and then succumbed to his wound. His pregnant widow, Elizabeth Carter Vincent, gave birth to their baby girl two months later, but she would lose daughter Blanche Strong Vincent nine days before the child’s first birthday.

Colonel Strong Vincent took initiative and directed his brigade up the slope of Little Round Top to defend the hill against the on- slaught of Law’s Brigade. The colonel climbed onto a boulder and cried out, “Don’t give an inch!” but a bullet struck Vincent, breaking his right thigh bone. As the colonel was carried from the field, reinforcements arrived and Little Round Top was saved; however, Vincent fell in and out of consciousness over the next five days, and then succumbed to his wound. His pregnant widow, Elizabeth Carter Vincent, gave birth to their baby girl two months later, but she would lose daughter Blanche Strong Vincent nine days before the child’s first birthday.

General Samuel Kosciuszko Zook recovered from a wound sustained at the Battle of Fredericksburg and returned to his brigade’s command to fight at Gettysburg. At the Wheatfield, when Zook rushed his men to shore up an exposed flank of the 3rd Corps, he was felled by a bullet to the abdomen. He died painfully in a rudimentary field hospital.

General Samuel Kosciuszko Zook recovered from a wound sustained at the Battle of Fredericksburg and returned to his brigade’s command to fight at Gettysburg. At the Wheatfield, when Zook rushed his men to shore up an exposed flank of the 3rd Corps, he was felled by a bullet to the abdomen. He died painfully in a rudimentary field hospital.

Color Sergeant Benjamin Crippen of the 143rd Pennsylvania stopped several times to shake his fist in defiance, even as his outflanked regiment gave up ground to the oncoming enemy. An easy target, the six-foot-one flag bearer was felled by his pursuers. Although the state colors were recovered, Crippen’s body was not. Crippen’s likeness in stone, clenched fist raised, now stands on the battlefield as the regimental marker of the 143rd.

Color Sergeant Benjamin Crippen of the 143rd Pennsylvania stopped several times to shake his fist in defiance, even as his outflanked regiment gave up ground to the oncoming enemy. An easy target, the six-foot-one flag bearer was felled by his pursuers. Although the state colors were recovered, Crippen’s body was not. Crippen’s likeness in stone, clenched fist raised, now stands on the battlefield as the regimental marker of the 143rd.


First off,NEVER go to a Hollywood director for Biblical authenticity! This entire documentary,directed by james Cameron,is grossly inaccurate;however,I will deal with,what I feel,is a major flaw in this production. Simcha Jacobovici is a prominent Israeli filmmaker(who narrates this production) who,I assume,is fluent in Hebrew(although one wonders how he is capable of this egregious error in linguistics).

Here is the example of my contention:

 

Jacobovici places the Exodus from Egypt at 1500 BC;however,the pharaoh believed to be ruling at the time,Ahmose(according to the update archeology),actually ruled more earlier,1550-1525 BC;he never addresses this and simply moves his reign ahead to fit his theory! (Just an honest mistake,I guess…complete with no EVIDENCE or SUPPORT for this claim!)

 

Here is the clincher: The Hebrew word for “brother” is “Ah”( אח). The word “Mose”,in Hebrew( מֹשֶׁה)is Moses.Somehow(without ANY linguistic explanation),Jacobovici argues that the word “Ahmose” means “brother of Moses”. Linguistically,you cannot draw such a conclusion!(I learned these “tricks”from “Rabbi Shalom Bell” in the Jewish synagogue in Ambridge during my Hebrew studies with him in my college years.) Egyptian Hieroglyphics,when translated correctly,would have the name of this pharaoh read as follows,”Yahmes”;”Ahmoses” is clearly a Semantic error! “Yahmes” has no Hebrew equivalent. However,in ancient Hebrew,”Ah Mose” means born of “iah”,or “iah” is born.(Iah was an ancient Egyptian lunar deity.)The syllable “Ah” in “Ahmose” is theophoric for the deity “Iah”. (You with me so far?) This is a commonality in Egyptian Hieroglyphics. Consequently,the name “Moses”, is the English equivalent of the Greek Septuagint variant(Μωυσῆς)of the traditional Hebrew spelling of “Mosheh”! As I have demonstrated,Semantics and Linguistics can certainly turn subjects on their heads. With this contention,I am NOT asserting that the Hebrew Exodus did not take place;I am demonstrating that the dating and placing of events simply have been altered by this horrid production. Study your Bible,folks!

  

Happy Birthday to Mr. William Shakespeare(April 23,1564-April 23,1616.) Your contribution to the English language is unsurpassed and shall shine for eternity!
(A “few” of my favorite lines…)
“The course of true love never did run smooth.” (A Midsummer Night’s Dream:Act 1,Scene 1)

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” (The Tempest:Act 1,Scene 2)

“Sonnet 30″
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unus’d to flow,
For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,
And weep afresh love’s long since cancell’d woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanish’d sight:
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restor’d and sorrows end.

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” (Measure for Measure:Act 1,Scene 4)

“God has given you one face and you make yourselves another.” (Hamlet:Act3,Scene1)

“But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou her maid art far more fair than she:
Be not her maid, since she is envious;
Her vestal livery is but sick and green
And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.
It is my lady, O, it is my love!
O, that she knew she were!
She speaks yet she says nothing: what of that?
Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
I am too bold, ’tis not to me she speaks:
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,
As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.
See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!” (Romeo and Juliet:Act2,Scene2)

“There’s place and means for every man alive.” (All’s Well That Ends Well:Act4,Scene3)

“Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under ‘t.” (Macbeth:Act I, Scene 5)

Shakespeare

Did Jesus really rise from the dead? Is there evidence for this? Is the testimony of Saint Paul reliable? Is their evidence “OUTSIDE” the New Testament for the Resurrection? Do you believe or disbelieve in the Resurrection? What is your evidence? What methodology should we use to interpret and understand ancient historical documents? How do you download and process your own doubt? Why do I ask this? It is critical to your thinking process! Once again,Dr.Habermas delivers his infamous lecture on this critical subject of apologetics! (This is the most updated version I have come in contact with.)

“Passover”

I wish to extend to ALL of my Jewish brothers and sisters a BLESSED Passover Holiday…please pray for the PEACE and PRESERVATION of Israel. (Passover commences this evening at sundown.)

5 “בַּחֹ֣דֶשׁ הָרִאשֹׁ֗ון בְּאַרְבָּעָ֥ה עָשָׂ֛ר לַחֹ֖דֶשׁ בֵּ֣ין הָעַרְבָּ֑יִם פֶּ֖סַח לַיהוָֽה׃

6 וּבַחֲמִשָּׁ֨ה עָשָׂ֥ר יֹום֙ לַחֹ֣דֶשׁ הַזֶּ֔ה חַ֥ג הַמַּצֹּ֖ות לַיהוָ֑ה שִׁבְעַ֥ת יָמִ֖ים מַצֹּ֥ות תֹּאכֵֽלוּ׃

7 בַּיֹּום֙ הָֽרִאשֹׁ֔ון מִקְרָא־קֹ֖דֶשׁ יִהְיֶ֣ה לָכֶ֑ם כָּל־מְלֶ֥אכֶת עֲבֹדָ֖ה לֹ֥א תַעֲשֽׂוּ׃

8 וְהִקְרַבְתֶּ֥ם אִשֶּׁ֛ה לַיהוָ֖ה שִׁבְעַ֣ת יָמִ֑ים בַּיֹּ֤ום הַשְּׁבִיעִי֙ מִקְרָא־קֹ֔דֶשׁ כָּל־מְלֶ֥אכֶת עֲבֹדָ֖ה לֹ֥א תַעֲשֽׂוּ׃

5 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, there shall be a passover offering to the Lord, 6 and on the fifteenth day of the same month is the festival of unleavened bread to the Lord; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. 7 On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not work at your occupations. 8 For seven days you shall present the Lord’s offerings by fire; on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation: you shall not work at your occupations.”
(Leviticus 23: 5-8,NRSV)

"Passover" by Palma il Giovane,circa,1581.)

“Passover” by Palma il Giovane,circa,1581.)

Photo of Georgetown,Pa. Photo taken around 1908. (Photo is courtesy of the Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation.)

Photo of Georgetown,Pa. Photo taken around 1908. (Photo is courtesy of the Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation.)

With all the recent excavations and information published on Fort McIntosh, and all the admiration and respect it has collected the past few centuries, it comes to no surprise that it has constructed a loyal following to local and national historians as well as its citizens who have continued to reside near the remains. Indeed, it has attracted and influenced folklore, history, reenactments, books and even songs written about its remarkable “emblem” engraved on the heart of America; but yet, there remains another fort , though worthy of enviable mention, it has been forgotten by even the most talented and respected historical authors of recent time.

The most illustrious and charismatic local historians of Beaver County: Bausman, Agnew, Albert, and Warner have even successfully managed to halt its progress into the minds of the most sincere and avid students of local preservation and research. By far, its role played during the American Revolution and other episodes is well akin and grounded in the precious and natural development of our area. The name of this fort was “Reardon’s Bottom”, in Georgetown, Pa. In the pre-dawn creation of Beaver County, Georgetown held a very political and strategic location for numerous walks of folks. It was a major hub for fur traders, trappers, and a supply depot for river travelers; it was even considered a crossover to go “west” as well deep into the Northwest Territory. Even in the creative journals of Lewis and Clarke, they mention a fort in the area of Georgetown as well as military correspondence, and frontier river journals. Example: Fort Pitt.

In April of 1777, the Continental Congress ordered Gen. Edward Hand to arrive at Fort Pitt and take command of the troops already established there( which was the 13th Virginia Regiment ) and to obtain recruits and raise a militia in the surrounding region, noticeably southwestern Pa (during this period, Reardon’s Bottom would have served as an outpost and defense location against hostile Indian attacks in our region). As a duty to his knowledge and position of the area, (Fort Pitt) a report was delivered to him of all the fortified posts along the Ohio River ; the names of most of these forts are rather well known: Fort Armstrong, Holiday’s Cove, Fort Henry, and Fort Randolph; one was on the list that was completely oblivious: “Reardon’s Bottom.” But this post is “officially” documented in military correspondence of generals and officers of the Continental Army in our region. Its geographic location is about 40 miles from Fort Pitt with one officer and perhaps 15 men; the notice is dated June 3, 1777. Also, in the autumn of 1782, a gentleman named Christopher Hays composed a letter to Gen. William Ervine to inform him on his arduous process of surveying the “frontier land” of the western boundary of Pa. He writes: “we expect to strike the Ohio river about Thursday between Fort McIntosh and Raredon’s Bottom(Reardon’s Bottom).

This precise piece of correspondence is candid evidence that a fort was in full operation at Georgetown, Pa. Yet the date of the fort itself is surrounded on all its sides by folklore and obscurity. Some historians claim that it was originally built by the French when they arrived in the territory. This claim would uphold a substantial amount of truth considering the fact that they would have countless incursions from hostile Indians inhabiting the areas along the Ohio river and neighboring woodlands. To further substantiate these claims, more further military correspondence is needed: (1) According to Rev. Bausman , “in 1786 Benoni Dawson built a “fort” on the site of Georgetown, and his son, Thomas Dawson, one on the other side of the river some years later. These were doubtless, as we have said, strong log cabins…” (2) In John Reardon’s application for a Revolutionary War pension dated September 7, 1833, listed his service from March 1, 1776, October 31, 1776; he was stationed on that part of the Ohio river building “blockhouses”(these were local houses of defense that all frontier families occupied when the occasion arose).

To better appreciate the purpose of the Fort, it must be understood that Beaver County, at that time, was largely “frontier” territory and was an important location for the Continental Army. Though a generous amount of trapping, trade, and blacksmithing occupied our region, there were no roads,wagon trails or railroads in the area yet. And since Georgetown was already a flourishing water route, it was easier and much cheaper for the early settlers to journey through the region by way of Georgetown, primarily because of the attraction of keel boats and canoes which it supplied and obtaining the essentials of the forts by the Beaver and Ohio rivers;this made it a paramount objective to the Continental Army generals. One must solely rely upon his own inquisitive imagination to fully augment the dangers that our descendents endured in our region. The origin of our history, though obscure and discombobulated among its auditors, is a transcended odyssey through adventure and informative credibility among its apostles. It is the candid consensus of local historians that the “original” site of the fort lay at the south bank of the Ohio at the mouth of Mill Creek or Nash Run. As a result of the word “Bottom” they have convinced themselves that the fort was located along the river at the mouth of a stream; there is no physical evidence to support this conjecture. The ancient site of the historic relic is veiled in the tapestry of the brush, trees, and earth that is Georgetown; though, purported still, by a few of its inhabitants, patiently anticipating rediscovery.

Despite its location, or the spelling of its name, it is without question that Reardon’s Bottom was a significant structure, occupied by the Continental Army, and defended and saved the lives of countless citizens of our locality. The imminent role that Georgetown played in the early phase of the American Revolution is unprecedented in the annals of the heroic contribution made to the birth of America and the infancy development of Beaver County.

 

Inebriated Verse!

During the period of Great Lent,I absolutely love sharing poetry;it presents a form of penance because the soul is thirsty for a new creation;however,I prefer mine to be in a constant mode of servitude to verse,lest I,God forbid,cease to appreciate the beauty (and appreciation)of emotion inebriated with ink…   

 

“Jesus of the Scars” by Edward Shillito

 

If we have never sought, we seek Thee now;
Thine eyes burn through the dark, our only stars;
We must have sight of thorn-pricks on Thy brow,
We must have Thee, O Jesus of the Scars.

The heavens frighten us; they are too calm;
In all the universe we have no place.
Our wounds are hurting us; where is the balm?
Lord Jesus, by Thy Scars, we claim Thy grace.

If, when the doors are shut, Thou drawest near,
Only reveal those hands, that side of Thine;
We know to-day what wounds are, have no fear,
Show us Thy Scars, we know the countersign.

The other gods were strong; but Thou wast weak;
They rode, but Thou didst stumble to a throne;
But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak,
And not a god has wounds, but Thou alone.

Charles Lutyens, "Crucifixion," 1984. Oil on canvas.

Charles Lutyens, “Crucifixion,” 1984. Oil on canvas.

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