Lucy and Joe

Full Family Photo

(1959 family photo; children, from oldest to youngest (from right to left): Eva, Harvey, Claude, Ray, Betty, Margarett, and Joseph; Mother: Lucy, and Father: Joseph)

Listen folks, this is all true.
It’s about the beginning of something new.
The adventure is common as some stories go.
But here the two main characters are Lucy and Joe.
The yarn they started was long overdue
And it’s hard to believe what these two would do.
Although they grew up together neither one knew,
They’d be together before life was through.
Joe was a dude, dark and thin, but not tall,
A handsome fellow and that’s not all.
Lucy was petite with light brown hair,
To say she was beautiful would be fair.
Joe popped the question when Lucy was twenty-one
And these two would be married before a year was done.
Their first child was a daughter
And the last was a son.
There were five in the middle
By the time they were done.
Three girls and four boys was the roll call.
T’was a beautiful family and that’s not all.
They started out with love on their side;
And for twenty-nine years they did abide.
Knoxville, Tennessee is where it all started.
But Tennessee and this family were soon to be parted.
With their seven children and no job to be found,
Joe began searching in towns all around.
South Carolina is where he began.
But Kokomo, Indiana is where the search would end.
Lucy left for Kokomo in 1943
With six kids, baby Joe on her knee.
They didn’t have much money but they were alive.
And by the love they had they were sure to survive.
This family was blessed to have beans, and some meat
Along with hard times they were sure to beat.
For Joe factory work was not on his side.
Lucy said he took ill in 1945.
They moved to Paoli in 1946,
Thinking the country would provide a fix.
But for the boys the country was a bore.
Simply the move didn’t help the score.
One by one they would return to the City.
The family soon followed with their dog and a kitty.
Kokomo was the place they thought fine
And they were all together in 1949.

Margarett Inez Bates

The Answer Depends

As a tale that is told,
We scamper and sigh.
We give then we take,
We create then we brake.
We submit then we run.
We cry it is done.
Tell me, how can this be?
Is life what we see,
An endless circle?
Yes or No?
The answer depends.
Some roads always end.
Choice is the deal,
Not just what we feel.
Pressure breeds thought.
Watch out – Don’t get caught.
The trap’s being set.
We dare not forget.
The past was a school.
Life’s not always cool.
Choose wisely!

Margarett Inez Bates

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; (Joshua 24:15)

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (Proverbs 18:21)

Have You Read the Book

Do you know why you’re here?
Have you asked, are you sincere?
Do you listen?
Do you wait;
Ponder and investigate?
With open ear?
Is your life on the line?
Are you struggling;
Walking blind;
Caught in fear?
“Listen Close,”
A voice doth say.
“Life is more than just a day.
And you must care!
Do you know on whom to call?
Have you read the book at all;
The Bible dear?
Give me you heart.
The voice doth speak,
I know your frame;
I know your weak.
But I’m here!
Jesus Christ is My Name
I am every day the same
And always near.”

Margarett Inez Bates

Father Said

You are not your own preserver,
You are not your own keeper.
Look to me, I will supply,
I’m not a man that I should lie.
Have not I told you in my word,
I would feed the little bird?
You by far are more to me,
Than any little bird could be.
So do yourself a real big favor,
Count on me and do not waver.
Forget the things that are behind,
Mistakes you made, when you were blind.
Remember, I have set you free,
So don’t look back but stick with me.

Margarett Inez Bates

Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat or, what shall we drink or, wherewithal shall we be clothed. (Matthew 6:3)

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? (Numbers 23:19)

This one thing I do, forgetting those things, which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things, which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13)

I Forgive Yesterday

Amid the mug of desperation
Once I stood in consternation
The sight unseen by many eyes
Defies imagination or disguise.
But though I saw and took it in
Then placed it deep
Yes, deep within
As I once more review the sight
I notice there was not much light.
Actions and responses were done in fear
The picture now is very clear.
As I pause again to take it in
I wish not to return again.
Instead I simply say,
“I forgive yesterday”
And with my head held high,
I’ll live today.

Margarett Inez Bates, 2002

Forgive and Go On

Forgive and Go On

When someone does you wrong,
Don’t fret, just go on.
When someone does
A dreadful deed,
Sometimes makes you even bleed.
Just forgive them and go on.
When someone takes
What you have won,
Just forgive them and go on.

Do you have hurts deep inside,
Cause someone took you for a ride.
Don’t fret, sigh, or cry.
Forgive and go on.

Margarett Inez Bates

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15)

Traits of the Self Life

Let’s Look at – The Self Life

 (Psalm 139:23-24) “Search me O God, and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts And see if there be any wicked way in me.” 

Listed below are some features and manifestations of the self life with which we are all probably familiar. The list may not be complete and should never be used to compare ourselves or others. Instead we should always remember. Jesus is our only pattern and even he grew and learned obedience.  

(2 Corinthians 10:12) For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend, themselves: but they measure themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

(Philippians 2:5-8) Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man. he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

(Hebrews 5:8) Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.  

A secret sense of pride: An exalted feeling of self worth. In view of personal success or position, and excellent mentors. Coupled with natural gifts which may be reflected by a stiffness and preciseness. 

Love of human praise: A secret fondness of being noticed, love of supremacy, drawing attention to self in conversation. A swelling time in speaking or praying. 

A stirring of anger or impatience: which, worst of all you call nervousness or holy indignation; a touchy, sensitive spirit; a disposition to resent and retaliate when disapproved of or contradicted; a desire to throw sharp, heated flings at another. 

Self-will,: A stubborn, un-teachable spirit; an arguing, talkative spirit; harsh, sarcastic expressions, with an unwilling, unyielding headstrong disposition; a driving commanding spirit; a disposition to criticize and pick flaws when set aside and unnoticed; a peevish fretful spirit. A disposition that loves to be coaxed and humored. 

Carnal Fear – A man fearing spirit, a shrinking from reproach and duty. Reasoning around your cross. A shrinking from doing your own duty fearfulness that someone will offend and drive some prominent person away; a compromising spirit. 

A jealous disposition, a secret spirit of envy in your heart; an unpleasant sensation when you seef the prosperity and success of another; a disposition to speak of the faults and failings, rather than the gifts and virtues, of those more talented and appreciated than yourself. 

A dishonest, deceitful disposition; the evading and covering of the truth; the covering up of your real faults; the leasing of a better impression of yourself than is strictly true; false humility; exaggeration; straining the truth. 

Unbelief; a spirit of discouragement in times of pressure and opposition; lack of quietness and confidence in God; lack of faith and trust in God; a disposition to worry and complain in the midst of pain, poverty, or at the dispensations of Divine Providence; an over-anxious feeling whether everything will come out all right. 

Formality and deadness; Having a lack of concern for lost souls; dryness and indifference; lack of power with God.

Selfishness: love of ease; love of money. These are some of the traits which generally indicate a carnal heart. As we consider this trait we must by prayer, hold our heart open to the searchlight of Holy Spirit, until we see the groundwork thereof. The Holy Spirit will enable us, by con-fession and faith, to bring our self-life to the death. We must not patch over. We must not be lenient. (Holy Spirit will help us, but we must get a true revelation. We must see the true picture.  

My Prayer:

“Save me from myself O Lord. I want to be lost in You. Oh, that it might be no more I but Christ that lives in me.” 

(Psalm 51:10) Create in me a clean heat, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.   

(John 6:32) And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  

(Psalm 89:14) Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy (God’s) throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.

(Deuteronomy 30:19 – I call heaven and earth to record this day against you that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest obey his voice and cleave unto him for he is thy life; and the length of days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.  

(Proverbs 26:3) As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.  

(Philippians 3:13- 14) Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

(Isaiah49:8-9)  Thus saith the LORD in an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritage; That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them tha are in darkness, Shew yourselees. They shall feed in the way, and their pastures shall be in the high places.

Two Ungodly Beliefs

1. “There is nothing I can do about it.”
2. “I’ve done all I can.”

But the truth is I can do something about it.
If it involves me I must do more than scout it.
I must find the cause.
It’s not time to linger or pause.
With all my strength
And all my might,
I must push back the veil,
And enter the light.
I must spot the culprit.
I must push to endure.
The struggle is worth it,
Of this I am sure.
Father, Help me do an intricate examination
Of my thoughts, and inclinations.
And also check my tendencies
To do only as I please.
Help me not to hide.
Please stay close by my side.
Show me the recesses of my heart.
My desire is to be
A perfect piece of art.
I belong to you Father.
Shine the light of Your presence upon me.
I want you to examine
And tell me what you see.
Behold! Father spoke
And I heard Him say,
“This is the time.
This is your day.
My call is to come
And then obey.
Start listening
Change your words
And stop resisting.”

Margarett Inez Bates

Dying To Self
by Bill Briton

When you are forgotten, or neglected or purposely set at naught, and you don’t sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight, but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ. That is dying to self.

When your good is evil spoken of. When your wishes are crossed, your advice is disregarded, Your opinions ridiculed and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart, or even defend yourself, but take it all in patient loving silence. That is dying to self.

When you lovingly and patiently bear, any disorder, irregularity, any unpunctuality, or any annoyance. When you can stand face to face with waste and folly, extravagance or spiritual insensibility…and endure it as Jesus endured it. That is dying to self.

When you are content with, any food, any offering, any raiment, any climate, any society, any solitude, any interruption, by the will of God. That is dying to self.

When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation or to record your own good works or itch after commendation. When you can truly love to be unknown, That is dying to self.

When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met, and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy nor question God, while your needs are far greater and in desperate circumstances. That is dying to self.

When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself, and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart. That is dying to self.

A Christmas Prayer

Once upon a time,
In the month of December
So long ago its hard to remember.
In an old log cabin on Christmas day,
A family gathering
Was about to pray.
“Lord, bless our family and keep us together.
As we Love each other
In all kinds of weather.
We know that someday
The circle will be broken,
So help us each day with words that are spoken.
As we eat together, and share each other’s pain,
Help us Lord, not to complain.
Let us always reach out our hand
To aid and comfort any way we can.
Thank you for this, our daily bread,
And for listening
To what was just said.

Margarett Inez Bates

Christmas 1947

Of the past I oft remember,
though at times it was not great.
Very soft, I tread the memory.
Was it a school or was it fate?
Hard the chore to put together.
Puzzle pieces now I see.
Seven children seldom settled.
Next to last included me.
We were poor and pressed survival.
To make it through there was no line.
Many days we were not certain, but
Tomorrow for us the sun would shine.
Looking back the picture’s faded.
Most of life was somehow jaded.
Once in a while I see a glimmer,
Nine in all as I remember.
Pressing hard to find survival,
Every thing seemed a rival.
Times and places are sometimes scrambled.
Recollection is somewhat rambled.
But now and then I catch a memory
Of a bleak time, not just penury.
Although getting past was an endless struggle,
And pondering it long my mind would boggle.
Tomorrow did come, with God’s great blessing
In spite of hard times, need, and its dressing.
Our greatest Christmas was in forty-seven.
We were all together and it was like heaven.
Chicken and ham and lots of the other,
All of us seven and father and mother.
Our oldest sister and her husband
Brought their baby.
She was a treat
And I don’t mean maybe.
Of that special time, I oft remember
I believe it was our best December.

Margaret Inez Bates

Seven Children

Seven children, seemed unneeded,
Caught in fates sucking sound,
Running, moving, seldom settled,
Never planted on the ground.
Could it be that we were special,
Treasures each a priceless jewel,
Was our family just a school?
Yes, I believe families are special.
Within life dramas thus unfolds.
Although it passes our attention,
Through each part a storys told.
Listen close, the curtain is rising.
Once only a chance arrives.
Let’s remember this one statement.
Family only by love survives.
So we’ll press on in spite of turmoil,
Hurting or come what may,
Let’s hold firm onto each other,
Knowing it is worth the price we pay.
Without a doubt we all are precious,
Matchless no one can compare,
Forever we will be united and agree
Cause we were there.

Margarett Inez Bates