“Old Scots and Provenance”

“Now the Lord had said unto Abraham, Get thee out of thy country, and from they kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee.

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be  a blessing.

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee ALL families of the earth shall be blessed.

So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot (his nephew) went with him; and Abram was seventy five years old when he departed out of Haran.

And Abram took Sarai, his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance (possessions) that they had gathered, and the souls (all their families and those that were with them) that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land (the Canaanites were still there).

And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed I will give this land: and there bulided he an altar unto the Lord who had appeared unto him.

And he removed from thence ( left from there) unto a mountain on the east side of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Haion the east; and there he bulided an altar to the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord.

And Abram journeyed, GOING ON still toward the south.”  Genesis 12:1-9

Can you imagine what courage and faith that move would have taken, Abram being seventy five years old

Taking everything you own and just simply leaving, not knowing where you are going or when you will arrive there, but knowing the true God, the God who no one else in your family even believes in, has sent you on that journey. Can you imagine the questions he was bombarded with once he announced their departure?

Can you imagine the shock and disbelief other members of his family probably expressed at his new found belief in a God they did not worship?

And we’ll get into that a little be later, but the account of Abram is the beginning of Christian provenance, one of my favorite words, which simply means, “the place of origin or earliest known history of something”, “the beginning of something’s existence; something’s origin”, and the most important for our discussion here, “a record of ownership of a work of art or an antique, used as a guide to authenticity or quality”.

I LOVE history, and documentaries, and I tell you why, even those some much through out time has been atrocious and heart sickening, victims of cultures, societal rungs, and not one people but ALL people have been persecuted or victimized in some way. But what you find in all of this is that victims become victors and the spirit of perseverance will always win in the end, changes come through hard fought battles but those changes change things forever and those changes ensure a better future from the next generation.

I do simply adore antiques shows and I love hearing the stories and especially the history of those items, one reason is because I am an antique, caught you off guard with that one didn’t I? :), and the stories and family history of possessions that were handed down from family members throughout the years, often stories of triumph and dedication with all too often the person now owning that item that meant so much to another, looking stunned as the true worth is revealed to them at which they reply with horror, “We’ve been using it as an umbrella stand” or “I had been using it as a door stop.”, or in reference to a work of art that is now found to be a masterpiece, “I always found it creepy and weird so I had never hung in on the wall, I guess I will now.”

Suddenly once worth is realized it changes everything and it changes our perspective and our appreciation of what we had thought to be worthless or useless to us we now know to be of value.  My lovely niece had given me the most interesting Christmas gift, a DNA test, I had wondered, pondered, and questioned so many things and people have  away of making you question even those things that you shouldn’t.

It was a precious gift, and as I waited and waited to make the discovery, I had always wondered about some of the names and the reasons for them, and I was truly blew away by the results, all the ancestral roots I thought may be there were not and ones that I have never dreamt of, by made so much sense upon realization of family idiosyncrasies in my family that I found perfectly natural until I realized how many others did not have these same habits, such as you use coasters, you take your shoes off as soon as you enter the house and your guests take their shoes off, you say Good Night and platting hair and braiding clover bloom headbands for children, things that all came from my mother, and it is so precious, I even have photos of my daughter and her wearing those clover crowns that Mom had made as we had been on one of our many walks and suddenly it made so much sense why a woman from Kentucky had a midwestern accent and speech pattern, she came from prairie women, prairie women who had roots in countries that still hold some of these customs.

The biggest shocker that I had sorta expected with some of the names, such as a need to double “Mac” a grandfather, a source of constant curiosity for me for years, that too made sense when I learned the percentage of scot that evidently runs through our veins, as I whimsically mused to my husband and daughter that OMG I can totally see it now, skipping through the highlands of Scotland, to which I was met with near hysterical laughter, and my husband who is never at a loss for a good thought provoking statement to ruin my fantasies and bring my back to reality, calms from his obvious amusement and says. “Oh I can see you… running with a giant sword, screaming, “There can be only one!””

I really need to work on their perception of me!

I really don’t know what to make of it when your husband compares you to a fictitious  Highlander, although I do feel I could give Christopher Lambert a run for his money in the unusual accent department, The Husband and I clearly need to talk 🙂

The more I dug and the more I searched, I came across, something like fourth, fifth great grandmother, Sarah, as I pondered why on earth she moved from her location to marry Wesley, and move almost 700 miles away from her family, as further research showed that she had also named her son Larkin, which literally means, “fierce, rough”, I then could almost envision her, young, headstrong clad in her Victorian garb stamping her feet in defiance as she proclaimed, “Mother, Father, I love Wesley, I shall marry him!”

Sorta like the really bad part in “Fiddler on the Roof” when Reb Tevye’s daughter marries outside the faith, I myself thought, “Sarah, what were you thinking? Would the family had not been better off had you stayed where you were?  Was this some sort of rebellion? Had she read too many novels of the day? Had she thought to find the adventure in the North Carolinian mountains that escaped her New Hampshire day? Or did she just fall in love with Wesley? Why did she want her son to be fierce? Why not name him something like Humphrey, meaning “peaceful warrior’? Why Sarah, why?

I will never know the answer to that question, but whatever the reason, Sarah knew she had to go, go in search of her new life and at the end of the day had she not taken that chance and had the ladies from the prairies not also taken chances by moving in the name of love, to marry and start their families, their generations, in lands that in that time period may as well have been a million miles away because often they never saw their first families again.

Even though I can set here now generations down the road an playfully question their logic, in truth, I know had they not chosen those paths and made decisions that I am sure, at the time were seriously questioned by those who loved them, I simply would not exist, and how many more would not exist? And my family as with all families has it’s dark and bloody moments and bad apples and wayward seed and even one lineage that was effectively exterminated by the powers that be, or rather were.

But it is for ALL of us, the same story, all of mankind, triumph, tragedy, rinse and repeat, but we hang on and it all began with those who went when they knew in their heart of hearts that they had to go, for whatever reason, for something so much greater than them.

As God told Abram, GO. God was establishing that provenance, He was  moving them away from the paganism, the falsehood and into new land and into a blessing and not just them but all those who would come after them and server him as children and children of the children of the Most high.

And here my dear friends is some serious provenance.

“And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood (Euphrates) in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, the father of Nachor; and they served other gods.

And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and LED him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed (increased his family), and gave him Isaac.

And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau, and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.

I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and AFTERWARD I brought you out. And I brought your fathers OUT of Egypt; and ye came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea. 

And when they cried unto the Lord, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt; and ye dwelt in the WILDERNESS a long season (time).

And I have brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you.

Then Balak, the son of Zippor, King of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam, the son of Beor to curse you.

But I would not hearken (listen to) Balaam, therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand.

And ye went over Jordan, and came unto Jericho and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, and I delivered them unto your hand. 

And I sent the hornet before you, which drave (drove) them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword nor with thy bow.

NOW therefore, fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and PUT AWAY the gods (false idols) which your fathers served on the other side of the flood (Euphrates) and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, CHOSE you this day whom ye will serve, WHETER the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood  (in the homeland) or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:2-15

God had given the a complete lineage, a complete provenance of where they had came from and most importantly why and He let them know assuredly that He had delivered them every step of the way, even in  the face of numerous named enemies.

But then they were left with a choice to be made, if they thought it not good to serve the Lord, even after seeing and witnessing the mighty works of Him, they had that right, but those who were wise, as Joshua was, made it clear that no matter what any of the others decided to do, they would go on and they would serve the Lord.

We all have a heritage and we all have branches that we would soon break off those family trees in the earthly realm, but there is so much greater, we belong to a spiritual family also and there are only two families, we can belong to the household of God or we can be children of the devil, there are no other options, only two and not choosing makes us belong to the wrong one by default.

Hebrews 11:8-10:” By FAITH Abraham when he was called to go out to a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, NOT knowing whiter he went (where he was going).

By FAITH he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange (foreign) country, dwelling in tabernacles (living in tents) with Isaac, and Jacob, the HEIRS of the SAME promise; For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”

Now for the last bit of provenance, the Glorious Holy one for which all of His children are named:

Ephesians 3:14,15: “For this cause I bow my knees unto the FATHER of our Lord Jesus Christ, of WHOM the WHOLE family IN heaven AND earth IS named.”

So I ask you today, are you being led, led to something so much greater in God, it doesn’t matter what family of earth you are from, it doesn’t matter who came from where or who did or didn’t do what all that matters now is that you do realize you have another family a family that wants you to bring all that you are and all that will come with you and join us, all the children, all the promised seed of Abraham, all of us, from EVERY nation, EVERY kindred, and EVERY language! You belong in the kingdom of God as the Bible makes so clear that everything in heaven and earth is already named for Him.

Doesn’t matter how old you are or how young your are, Abram was seventy five years old, god wants you right where you are, and believe me, He already know right where you are, but He leaves that choice up to you, you don’t have to accept His invitation but oh what you will lose out on if you don’t, you will lose on on a relationship with the very one who created love, companionship, and community and you will never know “who” you even really are until you know who you are in in Him. He loves so don’t duly, most of us ask one question when we accept Christ, myself included, “WHY on earth did I wait so long?” Once you experience His love you wish desperately you had made that decision sooner and you  WANT everyone to feel that love too.

Have a beautiful blessed day, Thank you for taking time out of your day and reading, I gotta split now, got a sword to sharpen, just kidding! My real sword is sharpened by the one who gave it to me and I thank Him everyday for his mercy, his love and glorious grace!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

If you have never heard this, please check it out! And KNOW who Jesus created you to be and you CAN be who He created you to be!