Uncommon Courage

EXCEPTIONAL  (caps mine)

Nottoway is the largest existing antebellum mansion.  That it  still exists, may be due to the bravery of the original mistress of the house, Mrs. Emily Randolph.  (Click on Nottoway and Faithful Unto Death images to enlarge).



Winds of change were sweeping across the country and there were rumors of war.  With the election of Abraham Lincoln the southern states started to secede and demanded the right to rule themselves.  Compromise failed, and southern cannons fired on Fort Sumter, starting the Civil War.  Fathers, husbands, and sons left to fight the war.  The women were left alone.  They thought they would be gone about three months, win and come back and pickup where they left off.  “The women of that period,” notes one historian, “were put upon a pedestal like a porcelain doll.  They were raised to be perfect ladies.  But with that first shot at Fort Sumter, those porcelain dolls stepped off the pedestal, and became women of steel and iron.”

In April of 1862 the Union took New Orleans and took to the river in gunboats.  When Emily saw the boats stealthily coming down the river, she put a dagger in the belt of her gown.  She went to the gallery to watch this unknown foe.  (The children all thought their heads would be cut off).  She stood there alone with her hand on the dagger and faced the whole of Captain Farragut’s Union Navy.

The senior officer was so impressed with her bravery, he presented her with his own pistol in order to defend her home and family.  The order was given to leave the Confederate lady and her land alone.

What touched my heart about this woman was that even though she was used to affluence and respect in her social circle, she had substance!  Her courage was exemplary for her children and  her home. How much more courageous should we be for our families in showing an uncompromised stand for Jesus?  Think of Queen Esther who didn’t count her life dear unto herself but stood before the king for her people the Jews.  For we aren’t armed with just a manmade dagger, but have “the whole armor of God,” (Eph. 6:10-18).


Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. and destroyed two prosperous Roman Cities, Pompeii and Herculaneum.  The ash that buried the two cities greatly preserved them and their way of life was frozen in time.

Perhaps you have read about the Roman guard in Pompeii whose stellar example of duty and steadfastness speaks across the centuries to our hearts.  The archaeological remains of this soldier still clutching his spear as Vesuvius is erupting, faithful at his post of duty, well, I don’t have words to describe the admiration I have for him.  How much more should we be courageous to make a stand for the Lord and earnestly contend for the faith, once delivered to the saints, even though there is opposition?   I’ve read about this in the Bible and heroes of the faith.  Now I witness it first hand.  We used to have a book with this account in it and while searching for information about him, I found this account written by Spurgeon, and am sharing it here.  Everyone who names the name of Christ must be true and loyal to Him, first and foremost.  He is the Captain of our Salvation.

“Every one has heard of the lone soldier at the Herculaneum gate of Pompeii, who stepped under an arch to shelter himself from the hot ashes, and there remained close by the gate which he was set to guard, and was found there spear in hand, faithful unto death.  His martial voice rings in our ear, and bids us, even if alone, abide in our appointed place come what may.”

Poynter’s:  Faithful Unto Death

The Lord told Joshua, “Be strong and of a good courage: …” as He gave him his commission.  Joshua 1:6  Then again the Lord tells him in verse 7, “Only be thou strong  and very courageous…”

Peter said it like this, “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind …”.  Did you ever have a parent tell you when you were a child to “straighten up?” I will share something that happened to me (confession is good for the soul).  I guess you could say a fiery dart was hurled at my soul, and I cried out in my heart, “O God!”  You know the enemy of our soul likes to cause us to be fearful.  I would say, it was one of those sniveling cowering, panic cries, if you know what I mean.  Immediately! I mean IMMEDIATELY, my Lord answered me.  It was so real, as He spoke to my heart, and said, “Gird up the loins of your mind!”  Guess what?  Yup, you’ve got it.  I gird up the loins of my mind!  Then just as immediate, on the heels of that admonition,  was a promise from the Psalms.  I felt better, strengthened, energized and encouraged.  Hallelujah!

I know you have heard this before, “You can’t help it if the birds fly over your head, but you don’t have to let the birds build a nest in it.”  I wonder how many people let the birds build a nest in their hair?  YUK!  Don’t allow fear to do this to you.  Be strong and very courageous!

Psalms 46:1-3

(1) God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

(2) Therefore will not we fear,

though the earth be removed,

and though the  mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

(3)  Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled,

though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.


 This video, to me, shows one very important reason why we must persevere.  There are children watching us; people are watching us.  Are we a beacon of hope for them?  Do we stand courageously and uncompromising to those around us?

I appreciate an unprecedented stand for Jesus my husband has made.  Men of this caliber are rare.  Jesus is First.  If he can stand for Jesus without compromise, so can we.

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