Brush Arbor Days

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Brush Arbor Days
When Time Was Young


"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exort with all long suffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." {II Timothy 4:2-4}

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"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.  He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepth thee will not slumber."  {Psalms 121}
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"Assemble Yourselves Together"

{Joel 3:11}


When I was still a young lad, I had the opportunity of attending an event now gone with the tide of history, maybe never to return. It was a Saturday evening, and we normally stayed home, but were instead going to Saturday night church. Rather than put on our best church clothes like we did on Sunday mornings, we men decked ourselves out in our finest work clothes. Oh, we were poor folk, and that meant sorting through bib overalls and looking for a pair of shoes without holes. But we managed to get ourselves together.

We all piled into the old Willis, and down the old dirt road we went. I imagine all that could be seen of us was the dust. We arrived at the edge of the woods and walked back until we reached a clearing. We were supposed to be going to church, I thought, but what I beheld was straight out of an old time picture passed down by great grandma, only this was real, and it was standing before me. A real live 'Brush Arbor!’

Now, for those unfamiliar, a 'Brush Arbor Days Meeting' was normally non-denominational. It wasn't held in a modern gothic cathedral-sized palace we call a church. It was a makeshift shelter, was built out of logs, sticks, and brush found in the woods. A floor was created out of straw or sawdust, depending upon your location. We had a straw floor, being mostly farmers. The construction of the shelter was half the fellowship of it all, because the entire community of churches took part, and it normally required several days.

Once the meeting began, you'd see Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, and Lutheran, Nazarene and Episcopalian as well as every other name listed among the participants. If your ears have never feasted on an old-fashioned choir made up of these various churches, then imagine the spirit being so heavy the air nearly turned blue. We heard at least three fire-filled sermons from three different denominational pastors before this young boy fell asleep. Well, you've only begun to imagine what it was like!

The meeting went on until daylight, and we kids would stay awake as long as our young eyes could manage. Then we built a pallet under or behind a stretch of plank benches, out of the way, to catch a wink of sleep. Such meetings as these are why jails and prisons were so small back then. It was during this meeting that an old farmer, a neighbor down the road, spoke to me. "Son," he said, "you will grow up...maybe move to the big city."

Then he reached down and picked up a hand full of straw, and as he held the straw in one hand and an old worn bible in the other, he spoke of values. He said, "Son, you may find gold, jewelry, luxury, and earthly comfort in those big cities. Many of these things have great worth, in terms of money. But don't leave behind the precious things, those things which will outlast time itself." He stretched forth his hands, holding the straw and the bible. "Long after those things found in the big cities are dust; those things experienced here, at an Old Brush Arbor Days Meeting, will stand, for they are ageless.”

Why am I doing all this reminiscing? The old farmer may well have lived out his life believing this little boy wasn't hearing a word. But oh yes sir, I was all ears! The wisdom of his words radiates in my soul even today, and what he had to say, when added to those precious moments at the Brush Arbor meeting left a lasting impression. No cathedral, temple or coliseum-sized tabernacle, with all of there riches, could stand as its equal.

Today, we have done exactly what he said not to do. We have left behind the greatest of all treasures. Our technological toys will one day either be recycled or fill junkyards. But those things of the spirit are of eternal value, and will stand throughout the endless ages. I would trade all that I own, and all the years I might have remaining upon this earth if I might but return once more, to a Brush Arbor Days meeting, and drink of those waters of life, which reach down to the depth of a man soul, and refresh him.

In that crude Brush Arbor construction in the woods, a little boy bowed the knee and came face to face with the living God. There with wooden planks for benches, straw for a floor, and crates for a podium, we tread where angles walked. During those precious moments, we stood together as 'Christians,' void of our denominations. No one considered in their hearts, this minister, or that singer, is 'not of my faith.'

And because of this, the Spirit of God descended upon us, and we were uplifted, together, as brethren. All the riches accumulated by all the world’s kingdoms, throughout time could not equal one moment, nor aspire to the glory, majesty, and sweetness of the night we fellowshipped together in the woods at an old-fashioned Brush Arbor Day meeting.

If ever we could recapture these treasures as a people, the South would rise again to become the greatest nation since King Solomon's time, and even nature itself would blossom forth in majestic approval.

God save the Confederacy
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"Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." {Psalms 50:14-15}
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