Our next meeting will be Tuesday, the 11th, which is right after our state convention. Lynn Simpson, our 2d Lieutenant Commander, will bring us a report since he will be attending. There will be a grave dedication in Morgan on the 15th and our camp has been invited. You do not have to be in uniform to take part. We will talk about it at the meeting. Markham Dossett has been our representative with the McLennan County Veteran's Association for several years but has informed me that he will have to give up the post. We need someone to be our representative. They meet on the first Tuesday of the month at the VFW post on Sun Valley Drive in Hewitt. You do not have to be a veteran to represent us. See you Tuesday.
SPEAKER FOR NEXT MEETING
The Sons of Confederate Veterans monthly meeting will be Tuesday, June 11th at Poppa Rollo's Pizza, 703 North Valley Mills Drive. Meal will be at 6:00 PM and the program at 7:00 PM. The speaker will be Mr. Bill Boyd. His topic will be "White Slavery". Visitors are welcome. For more information visit www.scv-waco.org.
Lt. Commander Statement
Last week I attended Brother Len Patterson’s funeral over at Trinidad, Texas. Brother Len was the Chaplain of the Army of the Tran-Mississippi. I got acquainted with Len, as did most of you, through his weekly e-sermons that he sent out over all the US. If you printed them off they were never longer than a page long but they were very inspirational. Occasionally I would pass them out at the SCV meetings. On Memorial Day Saturday 2011 he spoke at a gravestone dedication ceremony for some of my Confederate relatives in Killeen. It was soon after that his health began to fail him but he faithfully produced his weekly sermons, never missing a week. His last sermon was sent out 5 May. He passed away two weeks later. I would like to share with you his last sermon.
Lynn A. Simpson
How Big Is Our Goldfish?
At one time or another you have probably seen a goldfish in a goldfish bowl. A goldfish living in such an environment will only grow to a couple of inches in length, weigh no more than an ounce or so, and with proper care, may live six or eight years. However, a goldfish living in open water can grow to almost two feet in length, weigh nearly ten pounds, and live for decades. A goldfish cannot grow beyond the environment in which it is forced to exist. The same can be said of things other than goldfish.
Some years ago, I began pastoring a small church in a town in North Texas. When I left the church about six years later, it was still a small church. A few of the faces had changed, but the attendance was about the same. Before leaving, I told a deacon that if ten percent of the people that had visited the church had stayed with us, the church would be packed to the rafters. This is true of many churches, as well as other types of groups and organizations. And the problem is often the same. Somebody wants to be a big fish in a little pond.
We call them "control freaks." Their opinions, ideas, and decisions may not be debated or questioned. There can be no discussion or compromise, it's "Their way or the highway." And, since very few people will accept being controlled, they leave. Like a goldfish in a goldfish bowl, the church, group or organization is being forced to exist within the small confines of one man's opinions and decisions. It will not grow. It will not prosper. And, it will not accomplish the cause or purpose for which it was founded.
Jesus said, "And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant." (Matt 20:27) Find a church that is growing, and you'll find a pastor and deacons who are servants. Find an SCV camp that is increasing in membership (and we do have some), and you'll find officers and members that are servants. They are servants to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and they are servants to the Charge, which states the purpose for which the SCV was founded, and our defining characteristic. So, the question is, how big is our goldfish?
May our Lord bless each of you in His service, and in service to our just and most worthy Confederate Cause.
Bro. Len Patterson, Th.D
Army of Trans-Mississippi Chaplain
Sons of Confederate Veterans
On May 27th, just past, the Sons lost one of our beloved Compatriots, Bro. Len Patterson, Th.D, Chaplain, Army of Trans-Mississippi. Each week Bro. Len would E-mail a little sermonette to those who subscribed, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The following is his writing for March 10, this year. Enjoy.
The Roller Coaster
Pontchartrain Beach, an amusement park on Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans, had a roller coaster, it was called The Zephyr. Now I haven't been on one of those contraptions since I was a teenager growing up in the Crescent City, but I still remember what it was like. Slowly, the string of cars would clime to the top of the trestle. It would make a clacking sound, as the chain on the track below strained to pull the cars to the summit. When you reached the top, you could see for miles. It felt like the top of the world. Then came the descent. The cars began to pick up speed. As people screamed in delight and fear, The Zephyr flew, faster and faster, in a headlong rush for the bottom.
I've always loved and studied World History, and to me, the roller coaster is illustrative of the empires and world powers that have come and gone since the beginning of recorded civilization. They begin in obscurity and slowly rise to world domination. They are on top of the world for a brief period of time. This is their "Golden Age." Then comes the descent, and a headlong rush back to obscurity. This has been the case over and over, and there are no exceptions. The Psalmist writes, "Put them in fear, O Lord: that the nations may know themselves to be but men." (Ps. 9:20)
Today, the United States is experiencing it's "Golden Age." It's on the top. It is THE world power. Even our president is referred to as "The leader of the free world." But, the first cars are already passed the summit, and the "descent" is coming. The works of corruption, immorality, and tyranny are doing to the U.S.A. what it has done to all the other world powers that have come and gone. Again, the Psalmist writes, "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." (Ps. 9:17)
At a Texas DEC meeting some years ago, a Compatriot stood and said, "Our ancestors tried to save the South. But, we're trying to save the country." I believe the only thing that will save this country is a return to the Representative Republic that our forefathers founded on this continent, and a renewed commitment to Jesus Christ, the God of our forefathers.
My prayer today is that the Sons of Confederate Veterans will preserve and persevere. That we will preserve the ideas and ideals that our Revolutionary forefathers fought to establish, and our Confederate forefathers fought to save. And, that we as a unique Confederation will seek our Lord's guidance and will, and follow Him. The Psalmist also tells us, "And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee." (Ps. 9:10) Amen!
Bro. Len Patterson, Chaplain
Army of Trans-Mississippi
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Good advice. Rest in peace, dear Brother.
Hayden Moody, Chaplain
The Battles of New Hope Church, by Russell W. Blount, Jr. This short book covers the portion of the Atlanta Campaign where Sherman moved away from the Western and Atlantic Railroad, his only supply line, in order to attempt to outflank Joe Johnston's Confederate Army of Tennessee. Johnston manuevered to block Sherman's forward progress at New Hope Church. This led to three hard fought battles at New Hope Church, Pickett's Mill, and Dallas. The Confederates got the best of the first two battles, while the third was a bloody repulse for the Confederates. The book is written in the present tense, which I found to be a bit awkward for a while. The maps are detailed, though a bit cluttered. Overall, however, I thought they were satisfactory. This is an excellent account of this important part of the Atlanta Campaign.
The Yankee Invasion of Texas, by Stephen Townsend. This book was the author's Ph.D dissertation. There were five Federal attempts to invade Texas. The first resulted in the loss and recapture of Galveston at the end of 1862. The second was the Texas Overland Campaign of fall, 1863. The third was the attempted capture of Sabine Pass in September, 1863. The fourth was the Union movement against the lower Texas coast, with an emphasis on blocking the flow of goods across the Rio Grande into Mexico. The fifth was the Red River Expedition. This book is about attempt number four, probably the least known of the five. In Washington President Lincoln had a number of concerns about Texas. He was worried about the commercial traffic across the border. He was besieged by Texas Unionists who tried to get him to invade the state by reporting vast numbers of Union supporters waiting to rise up against the Confederacy. He was also concerned about the Imperial French presence in Mexico. The Union commander in Texas, Major General Nathaniel Banks, decided to invade south Texas at the Rio Grande and certain points along the southern Texas coast. This is the subject of this book. This obscure campaign makes a surprisingly good story. This book is highly recommended.
Sacrificed at the Alamo: Tragedy and Triumph in the Texas Revolution, by Richard Bruce Winders. The author is the official historian at the Alamo. This is a very short, but well focused book concentrating on the political-military aspects of the war which affected the fall of the Alamo. The author's main point is that the squabbling in the divided Texian provisional government doomed the men at the Alamo. In fact, Travis and his men had not given themselves up for dead, yet. They died expecting that the Texian government was going out of its way to send them aid. It does not make their sacrifice any less heroic, but it is a sad episode. This is a very good book.
June 15-Bosque County grave dedication
July 4-Rose Chapter meeting