I Had To Give A Warning To A Church Member

I had to warn a church member today.  It was for his own good.

Have you ever had to warn anybody – for their own good?

Mr. Church-member just bought a new house in Mitchell County, North Carolina.   I can’t exaggerate the beauty of the sunset photos he’s taken from his front porch, but – but I had to warn him.  Today he ran into my in-laws as he was out and about.  I jokingly told Mr. Church-member, “Be careful what you say in Mitchell County.  It’s not Las Vegas.  What happens in Las Vegas supposedly stays in Las Vegas.  In contrast, what gets seen or said in Mitchell County gets told to the entire county – and beyond.  Everybody knows everything about everybody.”

For the beauty of the earth – and for all the people we get to talk about, whether we live in a small town or mountain county or big city, we give you thanks, O God.

News From Mitchell County: Somebody Died And . . .

Somebody died in the county.  Somebody is always dying in the county.  And very rarely do my in-laws not know the person who died in the county.

What is interesting about this particular death is what people said about the deceased.  They said, “She looked the best she had ever looked.”  Either she looked pretty bad while she was kicking or we’ve got some funeral home workers to nominate for the Funeral Home Hall of Fame.  Maybe somebody needs to move to LA and do makeup for the stars.  Probably pays better.

The next time you look in the mirror early in the morning with your bad breath and see the “morning you”  do not despair.  If you die that day, and if you can get them to take your body to Mitchell County for the touch up work, you’ll look “the best you’ve ever looked.”

Urban Wildlife/Mountain Wildlife: News From Mitchell County

Vicky and I are excited about the wildlife in our backyard.  We have beautiful Bluebirds, two Hawks,

head-to-the-side Robins, wild turkeys,

hardworking Carolina Wrens, cute Chipmunks, eat my wife’s plants Bunnies, ever present Squirrels, an occasional fence jumping deer, slithering Snake, and an outdoor, grill disturbing Raccoon. Those Raccoons all look like convicts.  Guilt is written on their faces.

Now if you think that’s a lot of wildlife think again.  It may be a lot of wildlife for an urban area but it’s nothing compared to what my in-laws enjoy.  They live in Mitchell County in the mountains of North Carolina.

Here’s a list of their wildlife along with some interesting information provided by James, my father-in-law.  (I’m his favorite son-in-law, by the way.)

Black Bears

They have to put rocks on their trashcan to keep bears out – especially if there aren’t acorns on the trees.  If there is an acorn shortage guess what the Bears second choice for dinner is.  Answer:   what is in your trashcan.  When it frosts, when trees in are in bloom, there’s not a big crop of mesh – of berries and acorns and beechnuts.  Bears have to eat so…….

Bears hibernate in late November or early December.  They go into hibernation fat and come out skinny in March when grass starts to grow.  They come out as hungry as a Bear can be.

 Wild Turkeys 

 WT’s are a  pest.  They eat everything in your garden, particularly the corn.  Once my brother-in-law got knocked off his motorcycle by a WT.  It was a freak collision.  The WT was probably coming in for a landing.  Must have been one stupid bird to hit my brother-in-law.


Brook Trout, Speckled Trout, Rainbow Trout, and Brown trout.  Brown Trout is the hardest to catch.  It’s meat is pink and real tasty.  According to James Willis, my father-in-law, Brook and Brown are the best to eat.


Up to 10 pt deer.  Amazing.


You hear “yep, yep, yep” mostly at night.   It’s just their nature to yep.  They  destroy young calves, run in packs just like wolves  –  anywhere from 12 to 15.  Their skin is valuable.


Muskrat skins also valuable.

Mallard Ducks



Burrow clay field or bank and they tunnel.  Hibernate just like a bear, live off fat system.


And I thought Vicky and I had a lot of wildlife.

“God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.”  Genesis 31:1

Devotional – “Forty Charlie”: Giving Thanks For Our Ancestors

Pioneer Charles McKinney is one of the more interesting people to inhabit North Carolina.  In his journal, Jacob Carpenter, who lived in Avery County (died March 10, 1920), colorfully and memorably describes McKinney, who became known as “Forty Charlie.”

Charles McKinney, age 79 died May 10, 1852; he was a farmer; live in Blew Ridge; had 4 womin married I; lived in McKinney Gap; all went to fields to make grane, all went to crib for corn; all went smke house for mete; he cided 75 or 80 hogs a year; and womin never had no words having so many womin. If it ware these times, thar wuld be hare pulled; Thare ware 42 children belongin to him ; They all went to prechin together, nothin said; he made brandy all his lif; never had no foes; got along fin with everybodi (who) nod him.

According to family tradition, Charles McKinney was born in Scotland, was conscripted into the British Army to fight in the American Colonies, and decided to remain in the colonies.

Four wives and 42 children.  May he rest in peace.

Who are the interesting people in your family tree?

Take time today to thank God for your ancestors.  And don’t forget to thank God for the ones who brought you into the world.