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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pentecost...... What did the word mean to the Jews? What does it mean for me?

Pondering the third mystery of the Glorious mystery of the rosary in prayer today, the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. My mind drifted to the meaning of Pentecost for a Jew, I knew "Pentecost" was a Jewish feast day.. What does the word mean? We've given it a new description in many Christian circles. We have folks who call themselves Pentecostal, we have Pentecostal Churches and we know the Holy Spirit fell on the Church on Pentecost... So, while pondering the word Pentecost, I began wondering what did the Apostles, Mother Mary and all the men and women (120) in the upper room who were Jewish, how did they relate to the feast of Pentecost as a Jew and what was its meaning? What did this mean or did it mean anything for the Holy Spirit to fall on the Early Church on the Feast of Pentecost? Wow! What I discovered! 
Pentecost
PENTECOST ("fiftieth")
The traditional festival of Pentecost as the birthday of the Torah = "the time our Law was given", when Israel became a constitutional body and "a distinguished people," remained the sole celebration after the Exile.
Also, Pentecost has a connection to the grain harvest, which lasted seven weeks and was a season of gladness (Jer. v. 24; Deut. xvi. 9; Isa. ix. 2). It began with the harvesting of the barley (Men. 65-66) during the Passover and ended with the harvesting of the wheat at Pentecost, the wheat being the last cereal to ripen. Pentecost was thus the concluding festival of the grain harvest.
The grain harvest lasted seven weeks and was a season of gladness (Jer. v. 24; Deut. xvi. 9; Isa. ix. 2). It began with the harvesting of the barley (Men. 65-66) during the Passover and lasted 50 days...ending on Pentecost.
Pentecost was thus the concluding festival of the grain harvest, just as the eighth day of Tabernacles was the concluding festival of the fruit harvest
Okay... We celebrate Easter for 50 days in the Church...The Easter season begins with the Easter Vigil, which is celebrated after night falls on the evening before Easter Sunday. Then counting 40 days and we celebrate Jesus Ascension into heaven, Acts1:3: after his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
10 more days and the promise of the Holy Spirit falls on the Church. Acts 2:
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.
Is God not awesome and a God of bringing His Word to life... The symbolism of the Old Testament feast days have a new meaning.. Was it an accident or coincidence that God the Father took 50 days after the resurrection to pour out the Holy Spirit upon the Church on the day of Pentecost?
The Feast day of barley begins around PASSOVER ... The Sacrifice of the Perfect Lamb
The Feast day of Wheat ends on Pentecost... The Eucharist
Pentecost the time the Law was given", when Israel became a constitutional body and "a distinguished people," remained the sole celebration after the Exile. 
Pentecost the Body of Christ His Church became a constitutional body and a "distinguished people."
And 120 in the upper room were ready for the harvest.
Pentecost: remained the sole celebration after the Exile. Yes...indeed we celebrate ...we are no longer in bondage... Christ paid the price and we are set free... Amen!
The traditional festival of Pentecost as the birthday of the Torah
The festival of Pentecost begins the Birth of the New Testament.
As we are getting closer to the season of Lent and understanding:
The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and lasts until the final Saturday before Easter, Holy Saturday. Lent is a penitential season. It recalls the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert, and the 40 years the Israelites wandered in the desert. Lent focuses on the events leading up to Christ’s passion, and finally on the Passion itself.
And
Easter: Easter Vigil though Pentecost
The Easter season begins with the Easter Vigil, which is celebrated after night falls on the evening before Easter Sunday. The season of Easter is a joyous, celebratory season. It begins with celebrating Christ’s resurrection and ends by celebrating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus. Christ’s ascension into Heaven is celebrated just prior to Pentecost. The Easter season last 50 days, from Easter Sunday through Pentecost.
My question......was this a coincidence the Church has these days all planned out as they fall? Amazing....
Getting excited .... Season of Lent about to begin.. Feb.18th Ash Wednesday ...  the Liturgical Seasons of the Church... The seasons bring the Old Testament and the New....to Truth and Life..

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Scared Art Can Speak to the Heart

A few years ago while visiting our son in Tampa, FL., he offered to take us to the Ringling Museum in Saratoga, Fl.. A fascinating museum about the history of the circus and the; "behind the scenes" workings of how one gets a circus from town to town. The museum is mostly about the "worlds largest circus".... Ringlings and Barnum Bailey Circus.
Before TV and the radio, the circus was what every town in America looked forward to. The circus came to entertain a town for a day, or several weeks. It was a BIG money maker and can be compared to what Hollywood and the movies are to us today, when it comes to BIG money, the circus many moons ago was the entertainment industry on the rails traveling from town to town.
The museum is located on the bay in Saratoga and also was the home and property (many acres) to John and Mable Ringling. We toured the Circus museum and the beautiful mansion in which the Ringlings lived in, which was over looking the waters of the bay. We really recommend you visit this museum, if you are ever in Florida.
Toward the end of tour (long day) we finally arrived at the, John and Mable Art Museum. Wow! We learned Mr. Ringling was a Big collector of art.
The museum's art collection currently consists of more than 10,000 objects that include a variety of paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, photographs, and decorative arts from ancient through contemporary periods and from around the world. The most celebrated items in the museum are 16th-20th-century European paintings, including a world-renowned collection of Peter Paul Rubens paintings. Other famous artists represented include Benjamin West, Marcel Duchamp, Diego Velázquez, Paolo Veronese, Rosa Bonheur, Gianlorenzo Bernini, Giuliano Finelli, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Frans Hals, Nicolas Poussin, Joseph Wright of Derby, Thomas Gainsborough, Eugène Boudin, and Benedetto Pagni. A big treasure chest many folks, including us never knew was there.
One of my favorite things I discovered in the Art Museum was the works of Peter Paul Ruben (1577-1640) 
John Ringling purchased in 1926, some of Ruben's works, from the collection of the Duke of Westminster at Grosvenor House, London the great works of a prestigious series, painted on huge tapestries, called: "The Triumph of the Eucharist." This is the only original paintings outside of Europe of Rubens.
My favorite three of the series were: The Defenders of the Eucharist, The Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek .... and The Gathering of the Manna. Looking at these beautiful pieces of art...what do you think the artist is trying to show us? Who is in the painting and what do you think inspire Ruben to paint them? Can we learn a precious mystery from above ...that points us to the Truth of God in his art-work called; The Triumph of the Eucharist, The Gathering of Manna, The Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek? 
To be honest with you, these pieces of art were the finally icing on the cake that spoke to my  that I was ready to follow my Lord into the Catholic faith. It was the hardest thing I ever did, but my Lord knew what He was doing, even when I did not understand..
Just think.. a painter who lived 450 years ago planted seeds in my ... ️Wonder if he knew his works would have an impact on someone's life who lives in the 21st century?
Shows me how sometimes in this life our works can have eternal blessings for future generations, even if we have doubts. It doesn't have to be big like Ruben's works... It can be as small as living your life everyday for Christ in the small ways.. and being the mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, wife or husband that plants Christ seeds......so your kids, loved ones, strangers, friends and family see Christ seeds. It's up to he Holy Spirit to water them and grow them.. We have a choice in what we "paint" in this life.. What painting do you want to leave your children and the ones you love after you are gone? Something to ponder.. 
Want to know about the Ringling Museum click:
http://www.ringling.org

Painting Below
The Book of Genesis in the Old Testament recounts the story of the patriarch Abraham meeting with the king and priest Melchizedek. In a battle between some kings of the day, Abraham's nephew Lot had been captured by the victors and taken away captive. When Abraham heard what had happened he raised an army, pursued the captors of Lot and rescued him along with rich treasure. Upon returning home Abraham was welcomed by the Melchizedek who blessed him and gave bread and wine to the victorious army. Abraham in return gave a gift of a tithe (10%) of his booty to Melchizedek. This was seen as recognition of Melchizedek's position as a priest of the God of Israel.
Rubens’s 17th century tapestry is a representational portrayal from the Old Testament foreshadowing the coming of Christ and the bread that comes from heaven..the Eucharist.

  

Painting Below.....This painting depicts the story told in the Old Testament ( Exodus 16: 14-35) of the Israelites receiving food from heaven as they wandered in the desert. God spoke to Moses and promised that he would send bread to the starving Israelites. One morning, manna - small round loaves of bread - dropped from heaven and the Israelites were saved from starvation. They continued to be supplied with manna from heaven for the next forty years until they came to the borders of the land of Canaan. God is still feeding His children with the manna from heaven... called the Eucharist...




Painting to the Above

This painting shows seven saints, all of whom were considered to be defenders of the doctrine of Transubstantiation an integral tenet of the Catholic Church. From the right the figures represent - (1) St. Jerome, noted for his translation of the bible from Hebrew into Latin; (2) St. Norbert, a German archbishop and saint, who preached against dissenters who attacked the Christian sacraments and official clergy; (3) Thomas Aquinas, a medieval theologian of the Dominican order, who is a Doctor of the Church. (4) Ste. Clare, the founder of the Poor Clares, was a Franciscan heroine who repulsed the Saracens at Assisi by confronting them holding the Host in her hands; (5) Gregory the Great, who established, as Pope, the form of the Roman liturgy; (6) St.Ambrose, renowned as both theologian and statesman of the Church, who in an age of controversy, was instrumental in crushing Arianism, a doctrine concerning the relationship of God the Father to Christ which was considered heresy and in direct opposition to orthodox teaching about the Trinity; and (7) St Augustine, perhaps the Church's most celebrated and influential theologian.
Painting:
Seven Saints, including the four Latin Doctors of the Church, progress with great dignity from right to left, their heads seen in different views in a fashion similar to the heads of the Four Evangelists. The Dove of the Holy Ghost hovers protectively over the saints in the very center of the composition emitting golden light that illuminates the procession. Above the dove, a putto holds two trumpets to herald the message of the Church Fathers.
Leading the procession are Sts. Ambrose, Augustine and Gregory the Great, all wearing elaborate gold copes. The first two are crowned with boishop's mitres, while the third wears the papal tiara. In the center of the procession, St. Clare carries a monstrance and looks directly out at the viewer. Rubens has shown his patroness, the Archduchess Isabella as St. Clare garbed in the black and white habit of the Discalced Carmalites, clothes she wore at the Convent of the Discalzas Reales in Madrid when she was a girl and later as a widow after her husband the Archduke Albert had died in 1621.
St. Thomas Aquinas follows, a large book under his arm wearing a gold chain from which is hung a blazing sun. Behind Aquinas is a monk in a white habit who is probably St. Norbert. Last in line is St. Jerome the fourth Doctor of the Church dressed in red as a cardinal, intensely reading from a large book. In the center of the bottom of the composition, below the apron of the "stage" is a burning lamp (the lamp of truth), open books and writing supplies of ink pots and quill pens, all in reference to the writings of the Church Fathers.
All seven saints were known as defenders of the Eucharist, particularly the Four Doctors of the Church who developed the doctrine of transubstantiation and defended it against heretics.
Historical Context:
The cycle of eleven paintings of The Triumph of the Eucharist was commissioned by the Archduchess Isabella who was the daughter of Philip II of Spain and the Governor of the Spanish Netherlands. It was planned as a gift for the convent of the Descalzas Reales in Madrid in 1625 where it still hangs today. This Franciscan Order of Poor Clares was one with which Isabella was closely associated.
The series is a mixture of allegory and religious propaganda intended to promote the worship of the Eucharist (ie the bread and wine consecrated as the body and blood of Christ and distributed at communion) which had been strengthened recently by the Council of Trent and which constituted an important element in Counter Reformation Catholicism.
This was a time of great concern on the part of the Catholic church as it attempted to correct not only the abuses of the clergy but also to reaffirm its tenets / dogma in the face.

Prayer is CPR

PRAYER-CPR
While praying at Church this past Sunday, the Lord put a "word" in my spirit about prayer and Tuesday, while praying the "Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary" the Lord continued to teach me and build on what He showed me Sunday, concerning prayer.
He spoke to my  Sunday and said;
"Prayer is like CPR, it gives breath and life to the  of those who are dying." Wow!
Pondering this I'm reminded of my CPR training and watching others administer it to a dying victim. It can become very, very, tiring and stressful physical and mentally administering the chest compressions and breathing breaths for someone, until help arrives. I've personally never had to use my training, and have thought if I ever did... Would I have the strength and would I remember everything I was taught to save a life? The key to CPR and saving ones life is to not stop administering it, until help arrives. Even if you think it is hopeless. And if it takes awhile for the help to get there... Those administering it to the dying, it becomes a battle, a tough hellish battle to keep going, and to not give up. I remember as a child, my dad was a witness to a little African American boy, who was struck by a car. It was in the middle of nowhere and it took over an hour for help to arrive. He immediately went to the child and started CPR and he was the only one on the scene who knew how to perform CPR. He never gave up, on this little boy. But, sad to say, the child did not make it. My daddy came home exhausted and felt so defeated he did not survive. It must of been a nightmare for him.
Prayer is like CPR my Lord planted in my .. Oh, how I sometimes give up and think it's not working. My Lord, says CPR is like prayer....do not give up until the help comes, even when you are tired and it's been a loooonnnngg time, and you just don't think another breath would help. TRUE Prayer is like CPR, because it is work for those who are dying. You must not stop.. The best way to give CPR is if you have a team of others to help.. When you get tired...pass it on to the another person. Rotate and never give up. CPR is like prayer..prayer needs to be teamwork.
Tuesday, while praying the "Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary" and mediating on the 1st mystery.... Jesus praying in the Garden, before they came and arrested Him.. What did He do? He asked His Apostles to keep watch and pray for Him. What did the Apostles do? They were tired, they could not stay awake. Jesus went to them three times, and woke them up..."Please pray the hour is almost here." 
Here in the Garden of Gethsemane: (1st Sorrowful Mystery) we have Jesus, (God in the Flesh) who is asking for prayer. Why?
Wasn't it good enough that He, King of Kings, Lord of Lord who healed the sick, rose folks from the dead, open the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf to hear? Why would Jesus need His Apostles to pray? The scene in Gethsemane (Luke 22: 39-48) in many ways had become a CPR experience.. They just could not compress and breath another breathe of prayer.. They were tired... Makes one wonder if things could of been different had they prayed?
We know He had to go to the cross and we know the events surrounding His passion and death on the cross had to unfold.
We know this was the Father's plan.
We know Jesus asked the Father in the Garden to take this cup away, but, only if it was the will of the Father..
Jesus knew it was not the Father's will. He sweated blood..
Do you think if His Apostles had prayed as Christ had asked them, maybe Christ's human nature would not have been in so mush distress? The CPR of prayer could have helped our Lord not feel alone and abandoned, as He was scourged at the pillar; (Mark 15:15: 2nd Sorrowful Mystery), crowned with thorns; (Mark: 15:16-17: 3rd Sorrowful Mystery), Jesus carrying His Cross (John: 19:16-17: 4th Sorrowful Mystery), and Jesus dies on the Cross; (Mark: 15;21: 5th Sorrowful Mystery)...
Luke 23:34: Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
Romans 12:4-5
For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
1 Corinthian 12:26-27
Many Members, One Body
And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it.
John 17:20-21
Prayer for all Believers
"I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. "The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one;… Jesus
Jesus is our mediator to the Father, but just like He asked His Apostles to pray for Him, He needs us to pray for each other...we are connected to His Body.
You, me, and those who are in heavenly place... We are connected to Him (His Body) here and for eternity.. I can ask you for prayer, I can even ask Mother Mary or any Saint in heaven to pray for me.. We are all connected and we should never, ever give up the CPR of praying for each other.
Those in Heavenly place are alive, they are not dead and I believe they are now great prayer warriors...more than ever.
It's a great mystery to understand how we are all connected to the Body of Christ.
Many will say... How can those in heaven hear our prayer request? They are dead.. Really? I thought they were alive...now and for eternity.. That's what the word of God teaches. We have eternal life..those who put their  and trust as Jesus Christ their Lord as Savior.. They died to this world and are born into eternal life....forever!
Well, to be honest it's a mystery.. All, I know is I've been woken from my sleep to pray for someone.. They did not call me or send me a text.. It was the mystery of being connected to the Body of Christ that woke me from my sleep.
Why me? Who am I to have any power to pray for someone? I am nothing. Jesus is the mediator... Why doesn't He just pray for them? Why does He use us?
A friend shared with me an example, in helping me understand the "mystery" and need for the "Communion of Saints".. Those who are in heavenly place praying for us....why? Jesus is the mediator.
Yes, He is...but we are apart of a great family.. We are apart of the family of "The Kingdom of God" and we are all connected and there is power and strength in numbers.
Let's say, you need to put a fence up around 3 acres of property. You need to first dig holes and place post in the ground to hold the fence. You can choose to put up this fence all by yourself or you can ask others to help you.
If you do it by yourself, it's going to be a long, hard process ...but you will in time get it done.. It might kill you doing it..but, hey, you choose to do it alone.
If you do get others to help, you take turns digging the holes for the post, someone goes and gets food and drink when you are hot and hungry, someone holds the post as another shovels the dirt back into the hole... There is power in numbers and strenght and our Father did not create us to be alone.. He desires we work together..in prayer and love...all of us.
Prayer is the CPR that gives life to a world that is dying.. Don't stop, help is coming.
We need to never give up, and if we get tired and don't think we can keep up the breathing and compressions, we can use the buddy system. We can pass our prayer on to others and even those in heavenly places.. We are the Body of Christ and nothing can separate us...not even death..
Romans 8:37-39
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
CPR is like prayer and when we are tired, we need to pass the prayer to someone else.
And when renewed ... start where you left off.
Since I have come to understand the Communion of Saints.
I trust them.. They will not forget, they will not get tired, they will not use my request for prayer as gossip.. They will continue praying until the prayer is answered..
Revelation: 5:7-9
He came and received the scroll from the right hand of the one who sat on the throne.
When he took it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each of the elders held a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the holy ones (Saints) They sang a new hymn.
If Jesus needed the prayers of His Apostles... So we need the prayers of the Body of Christ.

Also, prayer is like CPR for us. We need to find the time to use prayer for us, to talk to Jesus, get to know Him. Forget about the needs and wants.... in time the CPR gives our hearts, minds and bodies a relationship in the quite of the storms of life and He breathes breath in areas we need and compresses our heart to truly understand what love really means. It's not about us anymore. It's about how MUCH He loves us and how he desires to spend time with us. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Our Lady of Sorrows

Have you ever meditated in prayer the roll the Virgin Mary played in being the mother of Christ?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014,while pondering "Our Lady of Sorrows" and ending my day, I read the following from the Magnificat and the following stood out and touched my   
"The picture of Mary bowed down with sorrow on Calvary teaches us that on earth pain is the twin sister of love."
Pain is the twin sister of love, can we relate?
How many times in our own lives have we been deeply hurt by someone and the pain turns to hate, bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness? How many times in our life, have we stopped loving, because the hurt is so painful, we let the "drama" rob us of the true meaning of love?
What if you were arrested, beaten, scourged, spit on, crowned with thorns and mocked about being a king? Then you were forced to a hill, carrying a cross and they nailed you on it? Could you still love them?
"Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do." Luke 23:34
The Prophecy of Simeon
…34And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed-- 35and a sword will pierce even your own soul-- to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed."
Can you imagine the sword that pierced Mary's heart that day, her Son was crucified? If anyone had a right to hate the world and her role in which she was called by God, she did.
We know and have heard many, many times "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son."
But, what about Mary and the role she played in God's plan for salvation? He chose her and called her and she said "yes." Luke 1:38 "I am the Lord's servant,"
"And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. So Mary said, " Yes, I am a servant of the Lord; let this happen to me according to your word.
My question... What can we learn from Mary? and Who is God calling you to love, through the trials of pain...
Pondering the role in which God called Mary and knowing God calls us all? Our love is so shallow and it's so hard to love when we are hurt, and yes, pain is the twin sister of love and if we can't get pass the pain, we will never understand what unconditional "love" really means? God's love is truly unconditional, we did not earn it, we did not deserve it. You will find no scripture in the Bible why God loves you. He has no reason or criteria to love us. If we ignore Him in our lives or crucify Him on a cross, He still loves us.
What about Mary? If you crucified her only Son, would she still love this world?
"All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren" (Acts 1:14). In these simple words the author of Acts records the presence of Christ's mother in the upper room during the days of preparation for Pentecost. Could you of been there, had they crucified your Son?
I'm beginning to understand through the eyes of Mary, how little I know about love, how to love and be loved. She's pointing me to her Son. Pain is the twin sister of love. But, the world tells us to run from pain, to medicate pain, to get even, to have the last word, to be right...to be self righteous... Our world tells us we need to find ourselves, love ourselves and grow in self. Did Jesus? Did Mary? Had they protected self where would we be today? Unconditional love is a hard lesson to learn and I'm a "mother too" and I'm learning from the eyes of Mary that she loved from the cradle to the cross.
Ponder this...
But in her anguish, where could Mary turn her gaze as she stood beneath the cross? Upon Jesus? Ah, it was precisely the sight of her divine Son that caused her the most intense suffering….
Her one consolation at the sufferings of her Son was the knowledge that through his death we would be redeemed. Mary offered her Son willingly for our salvation; yes, the sacrifice she made in union with him was so great that Saint Alphonsus says of it, “Two hung upon one cross.”… closing thoughts, just maybe a mother can understand this and a dad.. Being a parent, God has taught me so much about unconditional love, and our love is not to stop with our children.. He calls us to love everyone and that's when we are truly challenged. It's so easy to love those who fit in our box. Stepping out of our box, will challenge us with God's help to truly understand Agape Love... It's so hard to step out of our secure box, so many battle scars.... but God can't teach us what love really is, unless, we embrace the pain and take it to the Cross.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Whatever Happened to John Lewis Grogan 1870- 1909?

This is a first time to post family genealogy on my blog, but it is an important topic of mine. I know history has been lost by other family members, that I have never met. Due to the death of my great-grandfather John Lewis Grogan, January 10, 1909 in Abilene, Texas, my grandfather Dexter Lewis Grogan, only being 2 months old at the time, never got to share in the Grogan Texas Timber legacy, which his father was apart of in it's humble beginnings. You will find much information in cyberspace about the Grogan family who traveled from Georgia to Texas around 1897 to start a mill and were very successful in their endeavors. You will also find that my great-grandfather is listed in the Grogan genealogy tree as one of several sons of; Richard Wilbourn and Nancy Lewis Grogan. This is all you could find on Ancestry.com,  until I added pictures and facts related to my great grandfather, which I gathered from our family history and new facts I have discovered. 

Searching on Ancestry.com, I felt like a detective and many times started questioning the direction I was going, but in the end I know I am right and sad to say, John Lewis Grogan was a forgotten soul.

About a year ago, I was disturbed by the "NO" history and "NO" facts that were "not" floating out in cyberspace, about my father's grandfather, my great-grandfather; John Lewis Grogan. I guess it would have not mattered, had he not been apart of the "humble beginnings" of a "lumber and mill legacy" in Texas. Sad to say, he was all by "himself" on Ancestry.com with no wife or children to claim and history could have thought he was a single man that died a young death. The only history and documents found about him, was the fact in which he was the son of Richard Wilbourn Grogan and Thersia Nancy Emaline Lewis; parents who traveled from the state of Georgia with a flock of kids, some grown and married, and started a mill in Cass County, Texas in 1890. The legacy of this family continued to grow through out the history of Texas and today the company is still a working and profitable business.

My grandfather, Dexter Lewis Grogan went to his grave, feeling left out and disconnected from his father's family and never getting the opportunity to share in this legacy. You will never find any write up about him, being the grandson of Richard Wilbourn Grogan and Thersia Nancy Emaline Lewis or the son of John Lewis Grogan, the Grogan family who came from Georgia that started the "Grogan legacy" of Texas Mills and Lumber.
It was also very difficult to find information about John Lewis Grogan's first wife who died in 1906 leaving him to raise three children. I found their marriage certificate, and they married in 1893 in Cass County, Texas and I found her grave marker, with this information; 
 "Birth: Oct. 26, 1873
, Death: Feb. 14, 1906
, Inscription:
Wife of John L. Grogan, Burial:
Sweetwater Cemetery 
Sweetwater, 
Nolan County
, Texas, USA
 Plot: 28."

John Lewis Grogan and Mollie Jenkins had three children; Clarence Grogan, Mildred Grogan Van Braden and Denson Shumpart (Jack) Grogan. I could not find any records about what happened to Mollie, or how she died (death certificate). I could not find any records about where she was born or where she came from. Strangely, I could not find any information about the birth of her children with John Lewis Grogan, only dates on which they were born, in census records taken through the years, as they lived with their grandparents, grandmother and aunts and uncles. One census even recorded they were the children of Henry N. and Ida May Grogan in 1910. This 1910 census also listed their grandparents Richard Wilbourn Grogan and Thersia Nancy Emaline Lewis and Richard was listed as "head" of the household. This census was taken in Abilene, Texas 1910, the same year Richard Wilbourn Grogan died and also one year before, "1910" Richard Wilbourn Grogan and Thersia Nancy Emaline Lewis son John Lewis died in Abilene, Texas in 1909. Searching the census records through the years before the children of John and Molly were adults. I found; Jack, Mildred and Clarence listed living mainly with their grandmother Nancy Lewis Grogan. Funny thing, the information about the children did not add up with the previous census records. Sometimes they were listed as being born in Texas and sometimes Louisiana. Their dates of birth varied on the records and the place where their mother Molly was born changed with the years. She was listed as being born in Tennessee,  Georgia and Mississippi.   

From stories told by my grandfather Dexter Lewis Grogan, his father and grandfather, relocated to Abilene, Texas to start up a mill. But, in my research, and I am speculating with facts, John Lewis Grogan could have relocated before the marriage took place with my great-grandfather (John Lewis Grogan) and great-grandmother (Kate Rives). Why? Because John Lewis Grogan's 1st wife Molly Jenkins is buried west of Abilene in Sweetwater, Texas. 

Texas was growing and folks needed lumber. The Grogan's were working hard and they were ambitious in their endeavors to supply lumber to as many parts of Texas as they could, some traveling to Magnolia, Texas. My guess is the start-up of the mill in Cass County had been profitable and they set their sights and dreams to other regions of this; vast, young state, called; "Texas." Sad to say, after the death of John Lewis Grogan and his father Richard Wilbourn, all company operations, from what I can tell, ended in Abilene, Texas.

My great-grandma Kate Rives Grogan left Abilene, Texas after the death of her husband John Lewis Grogan and moved back to Vivian, LA with her parents; Edward V. Rives and M. Ellen Rives.

John L. Grogan and Kate Rives were married in October 29, 1907 in Cass County, Texas, 1 year and 9 months after Molly Jenkin's death (Feb.14, 1906.) Dexter Lewis Grogan was born in November 13, 1908 and his father died January 10, 1909. Dexter was shy of being 2 months old when his father died. Boy, this must of been some hard years for the Grogan family. Business was going well, but personal family life was having it ups and downs. 

Dexter shared many stories with family concerning the facts; his half-siblings Clarence, Mildred, and Jack would come and stay with him and his mother, during the summer in Vivian, LA and they would connect many times through-out their lives. My Aunt Kate Grogan Kennedy who lived in Pinehurst,Texas for many years, has shared many stories through the years about; Jack and Clarence picking her father Dexter up in a limousine. This was during the late 60's and early 70's, and they would pick Dexter up at her house and they would go out on the town for the evening into Houston.

According to my grandfather Dexter Lewis Grogan, John Lewis Grogan's brothers went to his mother Kate Rives Grogan and bought her out of the family business after his fathers death. What amount? We will never know, it's lost family history. But, this is not about the wealth and the riches in which he never got to be a part of, this story is about a family who never recognized a son born to John Lewis Grogan. It's about history that never got told about Mollie Jenkins and John Lewis Grogan and their children and their marriage, and John Lewis Grogan being apart of a Texas legacy and start-up of a mill in Cass County, Texas.

The following family keepsakes found among Dexter's belongings after his death are pictures with his half siblings and their visits. We also found a letter his father John Lewis Grogan had written to his mother, Kate Rives dated; August 28, 1907. Now remember Molly Jenkins died Feb. 14, 1906, which tells us a year and 6 mos. had passed, since John Lewis Grogan was widowed. Kate Rives married John Lewis Grogan, October 29, 1907, just 2 months after he wrote her this love letter. Their son Dexter Lewis Grogan, my grandfather was born November 13, 1908. John Lewis Grogan and Kate Rives had been married a little over a year when Dexter was born. Sad to say, Kate Rives Grogan, was married, had a baby and lost her husband and was widowed within 15 months.


Notice in the upper left corner of the stationary it lists John L. Grogan as the President of Grogan Manufacturing Company.


This letter is on a business stationary of the “Grogan Manufacturing Company.” It claims the company was incorporated in 1902, and the two addresses on the stationary are; Bivins, Texas and Atlanta, Texas. Phone No. 43-3 RINGS, Manufacturers of Yellow Pine Lumber, We Make a specialty of pine grades.

J.L. Grogan, President
T.M. Cochran, Vice President
W.R. Grogan, Treasurer
Geo L. Grogan, Secretary
R. W. Grogan, Manager

It reads as followed;

Bivin, Texas 08/28/07
Miss Kate,
My Dearest--- I have been thinking of you so often and wanting to see you so bad, thought would write you a few lines this morning, but I had so much rather see you and hear your kind voice but guess I cant to day.  (His punctuation and knowing how to end a sentence is interesting).
The letter continues and is very hard to decipher. It is a love letter in which John is expressing missing Miss Kate very much and cannot wait until they meet again. They also had a phone conversation the day before and Miss Kate told John; “she was very lonely without him.”

This letter is proof that the history of “Grogan Manufacturing Company” has ignored or maybe innocently lost information about its "humble beginnings" and how it was originally formed, concerning its officers in charge of the company.

 Picture of John Lewis Grogan and Kate Rives, Texas City, Texas before they married


    John Lewis and Kate Rives Grogan home in Abilene, Texas


     John Lewis and Kate Rives Grogan home in Abilene, Texas

      John Lewis and Kate Rives Grogan home in Abilene, Texas
                                                              Dexter Lewis Grogan 
                               Dexter Lewis Grogan at home in Vivian, LA.
                     Dexter Lewis Grogan at home in Vivian, LA.



 Dexter Lewis Grogan
                                Dexter Lewis Grogan

                 Dexter Lewis Grogan and Jack Grogan 1917
 Dexter and Mildred Grogan, Aug 14, 1923, taken in Vivian, LA after they all returned from Clarence Grogan's wedding
  Mildred Grogan, and Clarence and Jack's wives; Aug 14, 1923, taken in Vivian, LA after they all returned from Clarence Grogan's wedding.



   Dexter Grogan, Mildred Grogan and Jack Grogan; Aug 14, 1923, taken in Vivian, LA after they all returned from Clarence Grogan's wedding.




  Jack Grogan, Dexter Grogan and Clarence Grogan Aug 14, 1923, taken in Vivian, LA after they all returned from Clarence Grogan's wedding.

Dexter Grogan, Jack's wife and Jack Grogan, Aug. 14, 1923, taken in Vivian, LA after they all returned from Clarence Grogan's wedding.

Two other items I found to validate this story on Ancestory.com was the the census of 1910 in Abilene, Texas.
Richard Wilbourn Grogan: head
Thersia Nancy Emaline Lewis: wife
Henry N. Grogan: son
May I. Grogan: daughter-inlaw
Clarence Grogan: grandson
Mildred Grogan: granddaughter
Denrow Grogan: grandson, my question..who is Denrow? Born in 1903.. Now remember these documents are all hand written and the writing hard to decipher.

Then I found the death certificate of Denson Shumpart Grogan
Born 1903, died 1982, parents: John L. Grogan and Molly Jenkins. From what I understand, this birth date matches Jack Grogan's birth date found on several census records. I also found a census record with the name "Denrow Grogan" once, and that was the 1910; Abilene, Texas census. This was the census I discussed earlier. This must have been Jack's given name, and he went by Jack. I might be wrong, but the name Denrow dropped out of site and the children were always listed as Jack, Clarence and Mildred on all other census records. 

John Lewis Grogan is no longer a bachelor in cyberspace and hope my grandfather Dexter, would be proud I connected him to the Texas Grogan Lumber Empire.

Interesting reads I found concerning the Grogan family:

JOHN KENNETH GROGAN, "KEN" 85, passed away peacefully May 31, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. He was born September 6, 1924 in Conroe, Texas. He was predeceased
by his mother, Eunice Arthur Grogan, father, Clarence E. Grogan, and sister Jeanette Grogan Bowden. Past generations of the Grogan family were Texas pioneers in the timber industry; and history dates back to the America Revolution. Ken grew up in Houston, graduated from Lamar High School in 1942, and attended Univ. of Texas. He was in the lumber and steel business until he moved to Florida in 1981 where he owned Cable Construction.He is survived by his loving wife, Bette Grogan, of 43 years. He is survived by his brother Gene Grogan and wife Jane Grogan of Boerne, Texas. Also, survived by twin daughters, Melissa Grogan McCaffrey, and Melinda Grogan Grant, step-children Kathy Burnett and Ron Rowell, cousins Jacqueline Grogan and David Grogan of Houston.Memorial services held June 4, 2010 at St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Orlando, Florida. Any contributions to VITAS Charity Fund Hospice Care.org.Ken lived life to the fullest-Rest in peace-God Bless. This was my grandfather's half-brothers son and his nephew.

 Cass County records reveal that R. W. Grogan, W. R. Grogan, and T. M. Cochran had a sawmill just across the state line in Miller County, Arkansas, in 1897. The company lumber yard was one mile into Texas on the tracks of the Kansas City Pittsburg & Co Railway Company. A company tram connected the sawmill to the lumber yard. The obituary for George L. Grogan, in The Gulf Coast Lumberman, noted that his father, R. W. Grogan established the Grogan Lumber County in Cass County in 1890 and the Grogan Manufacturing Company in 1902. The first mill was in Arkansas. A timber deed note of 1902 stated that the Grogan mill in Cass County would be erected and running that year. The Cass County operation was known by the two above names as well as “the Grogan's Sawmill” on the March 1910 edition of the United States Geological Survey map. A company tramway connected the mill with the Texas & Pacific tracks at Bivins. The sawmill was then situated about mile and a half northwest of Bivins. Grogan Manufacturing appeared in the January 1905 and 1907 editions of the Reference Book of the Lumbermen's Credit Association as a manufacturer of lumber. An article of The Gulf Coast Lumberman, in 1954, reported that the timber supporting the Grogan Manufacturing Company sawmill at Bivins had been cut out by 1908. In June 1908, the Grogans leased the old Bivins Lumber Company place on Mornen survey for loading and tramming and leased (later bought) J. W. Liles property, near Bivins, to build another sawmill. The same article notes that Grogan Manufacturing Company built a larger plant near Linden, in Cass County, in 1908. The Linden plant would continue for many years.

My dad, John Herman Grogan, father was Dexter Lewis Grogan. Dexter Lewis Grogan was born in 1908 in Abilene, Texas. His parents were John Lewis Grogan and Kate Rives, married October 29, 1907. John Lewis Grogan died Jan. 10, 1909 in Abilene, Texas.

John Lewis Grogan parents were Richard William Grogan and Nancy E. Lewis Grogan. They married August 3, 1866 in Milton, GA.

According to stories concerning,
“THE GROGAN-COCHRAN MILLS" told to Ann Meadows Menefee by Lois Cochran Meadows & Bill Cochran, Sr."In 1886, Richard W. Grogan, his wife Nancy, their family & son-in-law Terrell McKinney Cochran, came to Queen City, Texas from Alpharetta, Georgia. Laura, the oldest child, had married Terrell McKinney ("Mack") Cochran. Richard & Nancy's sons were John Lewis Grogan, W.R. Grogan, J.G. Grogan. The daughters were Laura, the oldest, Mary Grogan, and Fannie Grogan.In 1902, Richard Grogan, his sons & son-in-law Terrell organized the Grogan Manufacturing Company in Bivins, Texas. In 1910 Richard W. Grogan died. The Grogan-Cochran family wanted to expand the operations & secure additional "natural resourses". Terrell McKinney Cochran & his two sons, Virgil & Alfred Cochran came south & reported back to the other family members that Liberty & Montg. Co., Texas "were rich in natural resources".The Grogan Manufacturing Company then built a new sawmill in Gladstill, 3 miles south of Cleveland, Texas. This sawmill operated for several years! Along with the original name, a new company, the Grogan-Cochran Lumber Company, based in Tamina, Texas, was formed in 1917. With this new company, a large amount of fine timber land was purchased. A new mill was built on the site which is now known as "The Woodlands". This mill cut out it's last timber in 1927 and was located adjacent to the now-existing "Lamar Elementary School". Over the years, these mills were established & operated by the "Grogan-Cochran" families in Bivins,Texas, Gladstell Texas, Grand Lake Texas, Magnolia Texas, & Tamina, Texas. The area around Tamina, Texas was sold by the Grogan & Cochran families to George Mitchell, in 1964. This area became popularly known as "The Woodlands". Nearly 50,000 acres were sold! This area of sell included land in nearby Waller, Montg, Grimes, & Liberty Counties.The original officers of the Grogan-Cochran Lumber Company were as follows:George Grogan: President, J. G. Grogan, Sr.: Vice President Henry Grogan: SecretaryTerrell McKinney Cochran: Alternate Officer Alfred Cochran, D.D.S.: Alternate Officer Virgil C. Cochran, Sr.: Alternate Officer John Cochran Alternate Officer During the 1920's, Terrell McKinney (Mack) Cochran, with his sons, owned & operated their own sawmill at Grand Lake Switch, Texas, just 3 miles south of Conroe.When George Mitchell purchased the above-mentioned land in the 1960's the principal stockholders of the Grogan-Cochran Lumber Company, located in Conroe, Texas, were as follows:Mrs. Evelyn G. AndersonMrs. Bebe C. BengeMrs. Lucille CochranG. R. Grisham, Jr. J. G. Paul Grogan William David Grogan Hattie Bell C. Hooper Juanita G. La Four Fannie Pearl C. Surratt.”


Update: December 2014, I traveled to Atlanta, TX to find my great-grandfather’s grave, John Lewis Grogan. I had found a picture of his headstone and the name, location of the cemetery he was buried in, on the website….. www.findagrave.com

Traveling with my brother James Gordon Grogan (Jamey) to Atlanta brought back many childhood memories. My parents were antique collectors and Atlanta was one of their favorite places to find antique treasures. We also visited a great aunt there many, many times. She was my great-grandmother Kate Rives Grogan Murray Spell’s sister. Her name was Aunt Vassar Rives Teat and she lived in a big Victorian home on the old main street.  I always thought she was an old maid with no children, but learned in doing my research she was widowed at a young age and never remarried or had children. One time when visiting her with my parents, I was rocking in a small little rocking chair that I’ve learned later in life is called a “Nursing Rocker” and I was having such a good time rocking. Aunt Vassar asked me if I wanted it…. Ummm, being maybe 11 or 12 did not really know what to say to that offer. But, before we left I was the owner of a family heirloom. To this day I still have the “little rocker” and nursed both my babies in it.

Arriving in Atlanta, TX with my brother did bring back many memories. It was the first time since I was a child that I had returned. The old section of the town had not changed much from what I could remember. And there it was, Aunt Vassar’s home was still there. The GPS had taken us right in front of her home and the cemetery was a few blocks behind where she lives. Wow!

We had been so close to my great-grandfathers grave many times. Guess my dad was never told his grandfather was buried in the old cemetery of Atlanta.
As we arrived in the cemetery my brother spotted John Lewis Grogan’s grave right away. It was a large stone and from the picture we found of it, it was not hard to spot. Other large Grogan headstones also surrounded it. Many of John Grogan’s siblings were laid to rest in the same area. His parents are buried almost next to him.
But, the highlight of the trip was seeing a grave next to my great-grandfather’s grave. It was a little girls grave and he was her daddy and Molly Jenkins was her mamma.. John Lewis Grogan and his first wife Molly had lost a little girl.
Her tombstone read:
Ruby Lee
Dau. Of
John & Molly Grogan
Oct. 11, 1904
Oct. 17, 1907

Ruby Lee was only three years old.

Standing there and adding up the facts..
John Lewis Grogan lost his first wife “Molly” near Abilene February 14, 1906.  Ruby was only 16 months old.
John was widowed with four children and 20 months later buried his little girl, Ruby.
October 17, 1907; Ruby died and October 29, 1907, John Lewis married my great-grandmother Kate Rives.  Twelve days after John buried his little girl, he married Grandma Kate.
 I stood at both their graves and wondered if my Grandma Kate was at Ruby’s funeral. Did she comfort a man who in many ways had found wealth in a family business that was growing in a new frontier called Texas? But, also a man that had buried two loved ones in such a short time.
How did John Lewis Grogan’s parents and siblings view this young beauty who had enter his life after so much tragedy had struck him on a personal level? Why had we never been told this family history? Did my grandfather Dexter know all of this? Had Dexter ever visited his grave? Did Dexter and his half-siblings; Clarence, Jack and Mildred ever speak of little Ruby again? And did Jack, Mildred and Clarence ever speak of their mother Mollie again and did Dexter know about their mother?

Also, to conclude our trip to the cemetery… one last thing that was interesting. I knew from research that John Lewis Grogan had a brother named, “James Gordon Grogan.”  My brother is named “James Gordon Grogan” and that is just weird. And no he was not named after John Lewis Grogan’s brother.
A few graves from John Lewis Grogan’s grave stood a huge gravestone for “James Gordon Grogan” his brother. Just eerie that my brother has the same name and now we are looking at Jamey’s name on a tombstone of his great-uncle; “James Gordon Grogan.”
Jamey was named after my father’s Aunt Vassar (her nickname Jug) husband, James.  Aunt Jug was named after her Aunt Vassar, her mother’s (Grandma Kate Rives Grogan Murray Spell) sister. The same great aunt Vassar we visited in Atlanta as a child. And Jamey was named after our mother’s father, who was our grandfather; Jesse (Jack) Gordon Swilley.

I wish I could talk to my great-grandmother Kate today. Boy, I have so many questions I would love to ask her. Life went on for her after the death of her first husband John Lewis Grogan. She married a “Murray” next, who was also a widow and he died a few years after they married. Then she married a Thomas “Tom” Spell, and he owned the local grocery, hardware and dry goods store in Vivian, LA. They would have two children together; my Aunt Vassar (Jug) and Aunt Mary Ellen.

My Granddaddy Dexter has six half siblings from two different fathers.

Little Ruby's Headstone, right




To conclude and finish up this posting on my blog ...



John Lewis Grogan and Kate Rives had one son together "Dexter Lewis Grogan." Dexter’s middle name "Lewis" was taken from John Lewis Grogan’s, mother’s maiden name, she was Nancy Lewis. Dexter’s first born child was named after himself and his second born son was named after his father "John" (John Herman Grogan, my dad) Dexter Lewis Jr. continued the name to his first and only son. And Dexter Lewis Grogan, second son continued the name "John" to his first born child and added the Lewis name.. "John Lewis Grogan" so, we've got another John Lewis, he also named his first born son "John." Sad, to say generations now have ceased the tradition.


Great Grandma Kate Rives Grogan Murray Spell holding her first great-grandson named after her first husband; John Lewis Grogan.
Standing beside her is Dexter Lewis Grogan's wife and proud first time grandmother Edith Grogan, 1954





Dexter Lewis Grogan holding his first grandchild, named after his father John Lewis Grogan.
Can you imagine how special this day was for Grandma Kate? Her first love and husband she lost at such a young age, is now holding a new generation that will carry on the John Lewis Grogan name. 1954