Saturday, March 26, 2011

Time For Spring Harvesting!

Spring has come to our mountains here in East Tennessee!  This means Turkey harvesting season is just a few days away, and I so look forward to harvesting some fresh, nature fed, turkey meat!  It has been in the mid seventies a few days already.  Of course that means I have to look for my mesh-net head gear to keep the gnats and mosquitos and other little insects out of my eyes and ears so I'll feel comfortable enough to hunt.  Here are a few pictures to show what's happening in the forest right now.

This is a picture of a trail where I've mowed near the cabin showing the thickness of the bamboo along the creek - which is great for turkeys to graze near so they can hide in it if danger occurs.
I'm not really sure, but I think this tree is called a white birch.  It was so beautiful against the blue sky that I had to get a picture for you.

I took this picture as I traveled home from Sunday School last week.  This mountain is called Starr mountain, and it appeared to me that someone had deliberately set the woods on fire.  I'm told by some of the mountain folk that the turkey hunters do this every year - mainly because the turkeys love to feed on the green shoots that will soon be uncovered.  Also the bugs and worms and other insects are a part of natures provision for the wild turkey.
Here is a bug working on a rotting log.  He is called the Southern Pine Beetle and has wreaked havoc on our forests here in the southeast.  I hear that the turkeys love to feed on these bugs.

More rotting logs which have fallen as a result of the beetle's work - then heavy rains soften the ground - then heavy spring thunderstomrs with strong winds can finish the work.  I've seen a flock of at least 15 wild turkeys in this area!  Warms my heart!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mother's 90th Birthday

Family members getting ready to celebrate!

A part of the crowd fellowshipping during the program.

David Beaty, Don Stovall, Sissy Stovall, Frances

Friends came from near and far.

Marshall Roberson, long-time minister friend and his wife Dorothy (Jennings) Roberson honored us by their presence.

Well known retired persons who have influenced the church like Sister Bernice Woodard, former writer for the Church's official publications (extreme left) and Ruth Crawford, retired missionary sitting next to Bernice.

Our family: (left to right, back row) Lowell, Fred, Wilmon. Front row: Donice, Mom and Bonita.

Lowell and his wife, Janis, singing one of the songs he wrote, "He's Got It All Under His Control".

There were five generations of my family. Back row L to R is Kimberly Lawrence (my grand-daughter) Me, Frankie Durham (my daughter) Front row L to R Hailey (my great-grand-daughter) and her great great grand-mother, Bonnie.

What a wonderful time we had yesterday, the 19th of March! From two o'clock until five o'clock we rented space at the Mountain View Inn and had a birthday party for Mom's 90th. The five of us bought food and invited 100 plus friends (103 of which actually showed up) to help us celebrate the life of this wonderful woman. It would be almost impossible (?) for me to name all of them. Successful ministers, song-writers, singers, musicians, retired church leaders, and some still active ministers were in attendance. A letter was read from the General Overseer (Presiding Bishop) of the Church of God, the church in which Mom has held credentials since 1950. People were there who had attended her very first Revival! Some came from Colorado, from Texas, from Louisiana, from Georgia and Tennessee. Evangelists and Pastors spoke of the glowing accomplishments of this Lady Minister. Her children rose up and called her blessed! Her friends spoke with sincerety of the godly life this woman has lived. How we thank God for the many many people who honored her by their presence on this special occasion. WE LOVE YOU MOTHER!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Alabama Visit

The setting sun was so beautiful from the front porch!

Well, maybe it was just a little bright! Here is Frances sheilding her eyes as she looks out over ther fields to the west.

We were sitting on the front porch of this beautiful home.

Wow! I can hardly believe it but Frances and made this short trip with me down to Athens, Alabama Thursday night and home this morning without being totally worn out! This has been really good for me, at least. We went to visit our good friends that we had met in 1989 in Nairobi, Kenya - Rob and Kathy Davis. He has a small farm with pond, horses, and dogs on 20+ acres out in the country. We loved their place, but of course the best part was being with these good people and reminescing about our times in Kenya. Their son, Tristan, was in for a few days from Colorado. I'm so thankful that she is making such good improvement with her heart rhythm. The medicine change about two weeks ago seems to be working better than anything has so far. Keep praying saints!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Good Morning World!

Yes folks! That's me...50 years ago!

I'm reminded of a story I heard of a preacher in a remote part of the foot-hills of Appalachia who went down to the local 1,000 watt radio station and purchased himself a daily 15 minute radio broadcast. The radio station's 1,000 watts could cover the whole county...well...almost the whole county - except for a couple of valleys hidden by the mountains. His total audience was possibly 30,000 people. Each morning as he sat before the microphone, his radio greeting was - "Good Morning World!!!"

I'm feeling the excitement that the preacher felt with his new venture. I've been off the computer too long - and now to be able to get back here and actually post a blog - feels like I'm in touch with the world again! I'm aware that there are only a half dozen or so who will read this but -- "Good Morning World!"

Now that I'm back I'll have to learn to operate this new laptop. It won't let me manipulate my pictures here in the same way that I was able to manipulate them with the old computer. Before i could right click on a picture and then cut - then paste it at the location desired. Now I cannot "cut" them. Oh well. Look on the positive side. At least I'm back!

I have had 5 tons of rock delivered to the cabin to cover up the muddy place developing where we get out of the vehicles. I need to do some work to the landscaping there. Plus, I need to open the doors and windows and let it air out. I have hardly been there this winter - partly because the gas heater has to be replaced. I also need to pull that old couch out and burn it. Did you ever try to sleep on a couch that was so structured that it poked you in the rib cage all night? ☻ Last time a visitor slept there, I found him on the floor next morning! Ah well...I'll turn that couch into fuel for the camp fire!

Keep listenin' to th' radio. We'll be back.

About Me

My photo
Cleveland, TN, United States
I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.

TheCabin on Day One

TheCabin on Day One
Fred Alton