Why I Slept In on Black Friday

Thanksgiving . . . a wonderful time with extended family and friends; seeing people you haven’t seen for a while; stuffing yourself with turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, and all the varieties of pie that you smelled baking the day before; staying up late playing card/board games; talking; watching cinema; laughing as old, old stories are swapped back and forth of great memories; giving thanks to the One who has provided for America, and making the Thanksgiving day another great memory in the hall of fame . . . to wake up early the next day and get beat up in a department store?

Unfortunately, this post is not about Thanksgiving, so I can’t give a large rundown of all the great ways my family celebrated it! Yet, this post can be linked to Thanksgiving because Black Friday is always the day after it. Don’t you think it odd that one day, we are supposed to be giving praise and gratitude to God for the greatness of His bounties and blessings and for who He is, and the very next day we are supposed to be trying to buy as much as we can before the next person does? Do you find irony in the fact that one day you are saying how grateful to God you are for what you have, and the next day, you are chucking those things out in your frenzy to buy things new?

I am not against shopping. I am also not against shopping smart, looking for deals, sales, markdowns, etc. Am I even against going to a store the day after the fourth Thursday in November? No.

Do I think it ungrateful or miserly to partake of the Black Friday rush to buy all you can, can all you get, and sit on the can? Generally, yes. Am I saying you have to sleep in on Black Friday? That’s what I did, but no, I’m not saying you have to. I am saying, rather, that if you go to a department store on Black Friday, be careful! Be careful of others who may push you, but be more careful that you do not push others. Remember Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.

Personally, I find it easier to sleep in. Let others get the best deals. Don’t worry; you will still have plenty of deals before Christmas. Don’t buy into the advertising frenzy that can take this nation by storm. Follow me, if you want to, and sleep in next Black Friday. It’s also healthy and natural after all that turkey you’ve eaten and fellowship you’ve had with others.

Merry Christmas to come!

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Thanksgiving Ideas from The Williams House

Here are two story snippets around food! The audio recording tells of the great Thanksgiving Feast the Williamses eat in the story.

Before long, supper was served, and many were surprised by the meal. There was steaming roast beef and cold ham, meatloaf, a large dish of cheesy potatoes, freshly baked bread, blueberry muffins (the large kind with real blueberries in them), and for dessert, a type of Danish tart with white frosting on the top and a wonderful cream inside. Mrs. Williams had apparently kept busy while the children had been preparing for the play. Mr. Williams had been detained with work and was not able to make it home till late that evening after the children had already been put in bed. Though the children missed his presence, they knew that they would be able to tell and probably even perform the play for him soon. They chatted about this as they feasted and laughed, filled with insane merriment after their sober concentration for their performance.

You may purchase The Williams House here at Xulon or here at Amazon

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Happy Thanksgiving from Conservative Cornerstones

Happy Thanksgiving from Conservative Cornerstones!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I hope you enjoy the above video. Remember to dedicate time tomorrow to be thankful to God for everything that He has done for you and for America. May America remember and turn back to the Lord, and may God bless your day!

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Running Late

This is for those familiar with my book Treasure on the Southern Moor. To learn more about it, please visit my bookstore, or my Treasure on the Southern Moor site.

Treasure on the Southern Moor; Chapter 2: A Rushed Beginning; Pgs. 33-36

.     Several oak trees surrounded the small brick house. Their wet limbs stretched over its roof as though reaching for the dry inside. Had it been early autumn, acorns would have been raining down around the house and hitting the slate and thatch roof with solid thuds. The roof was made of half slate and half thatch because Mr. Underwood had become a good deal poorer in the last several years than he had once been and only had money to put slate over those areas that always seemed to leak. The leaks had stopped, and as it was early spring and not autumn, there were no acorns hitting the roof. Plymouth had nearly forgotten autumn in all the recent storms and bad weather. It was spring they all longed for, and it was spring that was coming. The town of Plymouth was only a half-mile away from the Underwood’s house, down a short country road that snaked through the woods and led quite suddenly into the town streets. The country house knew nothing itself of the town, for it was well-hidden and out of sight among the several oak trees.
.     Adrianna Underwood was sweeping. She was sweeping because she had been brought up well and knew that a house should not be left until the floors were swept – and her father had told her to sweep them anyway. And she did what she was told to do because she had been taught how to behave well, and generally she did behave well, for she was that sort of girl. She was ten years of age.
.     This morning, she had risen at the crack of dawn. When she had, she found that the rain had lessened, only pitter-pattering on the roof and making a quiet splash on the puddles outside. The air was crisp, and she knew it was going to be a good day. I can’t tell you how she knew this, but if you have ever woken up in the early morning air into a diminishing rain and increasing sunlight and known what a good day it was going to be, then I’m sure you know what Adrianna felt like. She had washed and dressed as soon as she had risen, putting on her simple, peach-colored dress with a teal-colored sash around it. That had been hours ago. Now the rain was gone completely, and beams of sunlight had taken its place among the trees, spilling through bows and limbs and lighting in patches on the ground. A morning thrush was singing outside, and the smell of baking bread came out through the open door.
.     The truth is that Mrs. Underwood had died nearly ten years ago, right after Adrianna was born, and Mr. Underwood had then left sailing the high seas. He had settled down in Plymouth, though as no one knew much of where he had come from and as he had become poorer, many of the townsmen and women looked at him with suspicion. He was too poor to have servants and yet rich enough to have his own land, and therefore Samuel Underwood had to be looked upon as a gentleman, though no one knew where he had gained the money and status to own the land. Mr. Underwood made it a point not to speak much about his past years of sailing. The reason for this was that he knew that the life of a sailorman was generally not one of keeping estates and raising a family and having tenants and setting up city shops or anything else that might be regular in the life of an Englishman. All Plymouth knew was that Mr. Underwood knew a lot about ships and docks and rigging and sails and things that any respectable landsman (and especially townsman) would know nothing about.
.     Yet Mr. Underwood knew there was such a thing as the respectable gentleman that could be found on the seas, and there were some of his old friends that knew so, too, and remembered. Adrian and Adrianna did not remember a thing about sailing the seas, as Adrian was only one when Captain Underwood became Mr. Underwood, and Adrianna just born. They had grown up around the docks, though, and knew as much about ships in harbor as a sailorman does about ships out at sea.
.     “Oh, I do wish we had more time,” said Adrianna as she turned from the window, putting down her broom and looking forlornly about the room.
.     “Oh, come along,” said Adrian, not unkindly. He was packing a white canvas sack, the same one he had used to bring his father dinner the night before. “We haven’t time, and there isn’t any,” He fingered the inside of the sack, which had been drying in front of the fire for some time. It was only very slightly moist now.
.     “Are we really going away?” asked Adrianna for the hundredth time that morning.

Audio Continuation of Story; Pgs. 36-38

You may purchase this book directly here at Xulon or here at Amazon

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A Night in the Attic Before Thanksgiving

This is for those familiar with my book The Williams House. To learn more about it, please visit my bookstore, or my Williams House site.

The Williams House; Chapter 5: Uncles, Aunts, Nephews, and Nieces; Pgs. 126-129

.     It was a long time later when several people started to file into their bedrooms. The uncles and aunts did a good job at tracking down their own children and preparing them for sleep. As for the Williams children, they were soon directed for sleep themselves, only the boys could not seem to settle down at first.
.     “Let’s talk for a little while,” whispered Will. “Everyone will probably sleep in, anyway.”
.     “No one can hear us, that’s for sure,” said Johnathon. “Do you think it’s snowing yet?”
.     “I think it is,” said Will. “This will probably be the first time Oliver, Tabitha, Orla, or Isaac have seen and felt this much snow.”
.     “You mean they’ve never been sledding?” asked Timothy.
.     “Neither had you till we moved here,” said Will.
.     “I say,” said Johnathon, “it is great to sleep in the attic. What an adventure!”
.     “Isn’t it, though,” said Will and Timothy.
.     “I ate too much sugar to go to sleep, though,” continued Will. “What books do we have up here?”
.     A lamp was turned on, and the boys shuffled around a little. The dim light shined murkily out and shone on several books on a shelf and scattered elsewhere throughout the attic.
.     “What about on the shelf by the chimney,” said Will who was still in bed.
.     Johnathon walked over to the shelf, putting his hand on the warm stone that was radiating heat into the room. “Several good titles here,” he said as he started going through them one at a time. Then he started listing them by author to save time. “We have Burnett, Nesbit, Dickens, Dodge, Stephenson, Lewis, Henty—”
.     Will interrupted and suggested one of the titles, and soon Johnathon had brought over the book.
.     “Do you think it’s all right?” asked Timothy.
.     “We might as well do something if we’re already wide awake,” said Will, “and it could help us to fall asleep.”
.     Johnathon and Timothy slunk back to their makeshift beds and rolled themselves up in their covers, exchanging excited glances with one another. The wind continued to blow against the side of the house, and they could tell it was definitely sleeting now, yet the attic was warm from the chimney and furnace vent, and the murky light of the lamp cast a dim light about the long expanse of the room.
.     Will started reading, imitating perfectly an old British accent, as though telling his life’s long tale. It was nearly an hour later when the murky glow of the lamp shone down upon three sleeping forms, Will still holding the book in his hands.
.     “Wake up, wake up!” whispered a voice, shaking Will from side to side.
.     Will sat up with a jerk, looking about the room in a single glance. A dim grayness was lighting up a little of the outside. “What time is it?” he said as he looked for the clock.
.     “Seven,” said Timothy, “and you left the light on last night. I just switched it off.”
.     “Oh, thank you, Cap!” said Will. “But why wake me? Everyone will probably be asleep for a couple more hours.”
.     “Look outside,” said Timothy. “It’s white.”
.     “So it is,” said Will strangely as he rose from bed. “Just look at it shine.” Then Will looked over at Johnathon and saw him still sleeping. A mischievous gleam entered Will’s eye, and he mouthed and motioned to Timothy. They both crept over to the window and opened it. Then they reached out to the short ledge and took some of the snow off from it, quickly closing the window with a slight squeak. Both cringed, but Jonathon only stirred slightly and then resumed his normal breathing.
.     Will crept over to Johnathon’s bed, raising his hand and throwing the snowball plop onto Johnathon’s face. Yes I know, this is the second time that Johnathon has woken up coughing and spluttering in this story. Let us hope it is the last. In any case, after the laughter and explanations, all three boys moved over to the window and looked out, gathering as much snow on the outer sill as possible.

Audio Continuation of Story; Pgs. 129-130

You may purchase The Williams House here at Xulon or here at Amazon

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Discourse with the Gamekeeper – Added Scene

This is for those familiar with my book Treasure on the Southern Moor:

.     Adrianna stepped below the main deck, descending down the ladder that took her to the middle of the gun deck. She would always see Mr. Heath there around that time inspecting the gun ports. Sunlight was filtering through the open holes and shinning on the freshly oiled cannon. Adrian used to always have to walk with her down this way especially after the three week storm. Yet, over the last couple weeks, she had ventured down by herself.
.     Once she stepped below the gun deck down to the supply deck, she was once more reminded of the night, seeming so long ago and yet still fresh in her mind when the loyal crew defended the ship against Mr. Northrup and his men. Most everything had been put back to its original place, but some of the barrels still formed a half barricade just to remind the faithful crew what almost befell them. Adrianna smiled at the molasses barrel.
.     The sounds of the crew members talking above were muted, yet the sounds of the creaking of the ship sounded louder and more threatening. Adrianna shuttered, as she always did, at thinking how it must have sounded for Adrian in the storm, when he would go down to the supply deck to fetch something for the cook or another crew member.
.     Then, lifting the hatch to the cargo deck below, Adrianna descended into darkness, down into the deep of the Southern Moor. She went quickly aft, feeling the ceiling with her fingertips until she caught hold of a lantern, which she promptly lit. Then, she continued her way aft past the pump house and toward the stable door. No matter how long they stayed aboard ship, Adrianna could never get used to the way the walls sloped outward on this deck. There was more ceiling than floor, and it always looked as though the ship would tip over at any moment, though it never did.
.     The stable door was unlocked, but Adrianna always knocked.
.     “Come in, come in!” said a voice from inside, and Adrianna knew it to be the gamekeeper.
.     “Thank you, Mr. Ducks,” said Adrianna. “May I see the ox?”
.     “I suppose you may,” said Jemmy Ducks, “yet remember what I said about getting too attached to it, ma’am. I hardly had the nerve to do my duty the first time I was gamekeeper aboard ship – I became such close friends with the animals.”
.     “I know, and I suppose you’re right,” said Adrianna. “Poor things,” she continued, “stuck down here every day and every night, without any hope of living in fresh sunlight again. Do you think?”
.     “I’m afraid we must eventually,” said Jemmy Ducks. “That is, after all, why they were brought with us, miss – to provide us with a few more square and honest meals, and I suppose the crew does need it.”
.     “But it’s nice to tend them in the meantime,” said Adrianna.
.     Then, in the far distance above them, they could hear the bell toll, and a very faint voice was calling out, “Land ho!”

To learn more about Treasure on the Southern Moor, please visit my bookstore.

You may purchase this book directly here at Xulon or here at Amazon

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Mr. Williams Monologue – Added Scene

Hello reader! If you have read The Williams House, the below is meant to be spoken to you.

“Come in, come in on this cold November night. Where do you come from? I say, you’ve had a long road to travel. Please, come to our fireplace in our great family room. Would you like some tea? The kettle was singing only a couple minutes ago. Timothy, take <YOUR NAME>’s coat and hang it in our back hallway. Some of the youngers are already in bed as they were rather tired, and the olders will have to be in bed soon as tomorrow is of course a school day.

“What’s that? Oh, yes, our two leaf piles; rather gigantic, but we’ll be burning them this Saturday. It took two Saturday’s work just to pile them up, though it was mostly the children that did it. Do you like honey or sugar as your sweetener? Honey is my favorite sweetener as well, good! It’s local honey. I think there are also some popovers that are warm. Would you like some?

“Well, we’ve lived in this house for four years now, I should think – came over from England’s shores, you know. You could probably guess the accent. . . .”

He and you talk for two hours time until the fire in the large brick fireplace has died to embers. The older children: Lilly, Ann, Will, Johnathon, and Timothy have went to bed, and your own eyes have become droopy after your second mug of tea. Mr. Williams’s voice tolls on in your head until you realize that he is ushering you to the back hall for your coat. You bid him goodbye, and he bids you safe travels on your journey.

“Have a good night, sir/madam, and safe travels!

You may purchase The Williams House here at Xulon or here at Amazon

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An Exhaustive Blog

Hello everyone! I’ve decided to change the dynamics of this blog ever so slightly. As stated previously, I consider this to be my parent website that oversees all my other websites. But, I have an apology to make! I haven’t exactly been using it as the top site that gives you all the information you need.

From now on, every blog post I make on any of my other websites, I plan to publish here. Therefore, if you want to keep up-to-date with ALL of my blog writings, all you have to do is follow this blog! However, if you only want to keep up with one topic, say, The Williams House, then you can just follow the Williams House Blog. It’s a win-win! If you want a list of my other websites, look at this page.

~This is a housekeeping message from the proprietor.

Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

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The Common Means of Grace

Q. 88.
What are the outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption?

A. The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption are, his ordinances, especially the Word, sacraments, and prayer; all which are made effectual to the elect for salvation.
~Westminster Shorter Catechism

Friends, there is no better way to pursue the Lord than in pursuing the means He has given to us. He has given us His Word, the sacraments, and the blessing of prayer. In these means, He promises to sanctify us, as Jesus says in His High Priestly Prayer: “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” John 17:17.

There is no better way to follow the Lord than in following the simple, ordinary means that He has given to us. These means are old as Christianity itself, and they work always just as well. In these common means, we pursue the Lord’s strength and blessing, and He works in us through His Spirit to purge away the dross and refine us in truth.

Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

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Recent Readings from My Two Published Books

Hello everyone,

So, I’ve shared my main YouTube channel with all of you several times, but I haven’t mentioned much about my audio readings on this blog because I use them for my websites The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor. But I don’t want you to miss all the fun! Here are a few of my audio recordings:

Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

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