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Showing posts from January, 2010

It was dead of winter...

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My inspiration came the day I visited Isaac's house in Slate Springs, Mississippi in 2007. It was dead of winter and, at the time, I was writing The Mississippi Boys, the manuscript almost finished. I gave my new book its title that day—Isaac's House. It had been hard for me to say goodbye to The Mississippi Boys, and it was settled, I didn't have to. I would write Isaac's House, and behind it, Joab.These are my people. Not the Paynes, for they are my fictional family. But the Clarks—T.G., Jonathan, Albert Henry, Isaac, Joab and Samuel Clark. T.G., Jonathan, and Albert Henry all died in the Battle of Gettysburg. Isaac joined the Confederate Army when he came of age and fought until the war ended. I'm still learning about Joab, and Samuel was my great-grandfather, only two years old when his father and brothers went to war.
I returned to Isaac's house in Slate Springs in July 2009. Standing on the old front porch that day, thoughts of this man—a Confederate who s…

Cool Waters of Confession and Forgiveness

Across the gravel road from the barn was a vast piece of land neatly rowed. I took off my shoes and sank my feet into the warm, dusty loam, walked across the turn row and down a row of cotton. The tractor drivers had plowed the loamy fields, turning the fertile soil, and the tiny plants had responded. They were only about six inches high. But in a couple of months, the stalks would be as tall as I, full of blooms, squares and bolls. This was my father's cotton field. He worked long and hard to build and maintain the plantation for someone else. He knew everything about cotton from the tiny seeds to the weighty bales. The smell of the soft white fiber will be with me forever. (And so will the memory of my father.)
From House Not Made With Hands, chapter 16.


When I think about walking those dusty Mississippi roads barefoot, I remember the times I've felt a need for the Lord to wash my feet, refreshing me in the way. The vulnerability is there, but so is the daily cleansing. A tre…