Dear Jamey my beloved boy,
On this Christmas Day in the Year of Our Lord Jesus 2006, you are far away from me in physical distance but you are now and ever in my heart, my arms, and like in this photo in my lap enjoying a joyous time with your loving father.
I love you son, and I always will. Always remember that Truth, no matter what some folks may say to the contrary. Here in this photo, you see me reading a favorite book to you, an activity which is very apparent we both much loved to share together, and which I have a video of that book being read to you which I will share with you later.
All at Godspeed, my son. That may mean in a twinkling of an eye or a generation away. That is a hard concept for a boy -- or a man -- the concept of patience, of waiting on the Lord.
Yet you may not remember that I used to also read to you the poem IF by Rudyard Kipling. As a boy I memorized that poem as a simple guide to manhood. In that poem a key couplet ,
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools...
...You will be a man my son."
Though it is not always easy my son, tell the Truth, even when knaves, who may even be your kin, twist your words to hurt you. Why? Because the Truth is a word that is used to describe our Lord Jesus Christ, and by telling the Truth you will be honoring our Lord Jesus.
Jesus warns us that if we give our life to Him we will be persecuted as he was, and as hard as it is to understand whether a boy or a man why we would want to follow Jesus and suffer persecution from foes, friends or family, it is something someday I will explain to you.
We have not been able to share a Christmas together since a.d. 1999. I regret that situation of our separation more than I can adequately express, and regret that I did not see the storm approaching that swept you away, or stole you away like the Bible story of David at Ziklag.
One of the few consolations that I have as a father is that I was faithful in reading to you from your Great Grandmother Ruth Renwick Conger's Red Leather and Red Letter King James Version Holy Bible, and faithful in teaching you to pray to God the Father who art in Heaven, His name and His Son's name Jesus are hallowed, that is to say are to be honored above all names.
This grainy picture of you clutching your hands in prayer like your Papa did and does, with your little stuffed dog from the nice neighbor lady Mrs. Paula Zehring beside you, and your Poo Bear at the end of the table is a joy to me that I pray that you never forget to pray to your Father in Heaven as your father on Earth is praying for you. I had that picture printed and put in my pocket watch so when ever I checked the time, I thought of the beauty of my son praying to Our Father.
You son are one James, and your father is James too, and in James 1:2 in a translation other than the King James says "Count all joy your trials and tribulations..." and in James 1:4 "...for it leads to a perfecting of the faith."
Yet, James my son, it would be wise for you to uplift your language comprehension and abilities by reading the King James Version Holy Bible instead of the New International Version or other translations. The translation is far more faithful, and the wordsmanship of the prose is almost poetic. Your life will be enriched if you read from the King James Bible.
You will hear pastors and music ministers tell you otherwise, to forget your father, or ignore what he says about the King James Version that your father faithfully read to you near daily when the two of you were together, but your father can give you powerful facts that should more than satisfy any curiosity you may have of why to read and study the King James Version over other less faithful translations.
I will forever remember when after the first three months we were separated back in a.d. 2000, I finally was able to be with you again in the back yard of the home of Clyde and Joanie Bingman just around the corner from Mrs. and Mrs. Bushrod Washington on Popkins Lane. For various reasons that are common to children who have been separated from their father for an extended period of time, you were not willing to be with me or talk with me.
By the way, in case you do not remember, the background in the top photo where I am reading to you is the living room of the Bingman house. The one where you are praying is our dining room in our home in Belleview, and the one with the stick pony is our living room in our home in Belleview. For reasons best known to God, and suggested in His scriptures, that Belleview house was flooded by Hurricane Isabel after it was no longer the home of you and me.
So while you were playing in a plastic car, I sat in the grass and began reading "Our Red Renwick King James Bible". Within a minute of my faithful and impassioned reading of God's Word, you got out of your toy car and came to sit in my lap as I continued to read to you from our King James Bible. What a joy you are, my boy! James' joy, that's my Jamey boy!
This photo is from Independence Day in the Year of Our Lord 2000, the Millennium Year, when your Papa traveled on a Journey with Jesus, by George! a Prayer Pilgrimage All Across America, and prayed for you each and every day, in every one of the lower 48 states, while imagining you were safe at our home. This stick pony is one I brought back for you from western Wyoming. Come back to this site in the future and I will add a map or two to show you the exact location where this pony used to call home.
Notice the straw hat in the first photo and in this one. In both photos it has a "crest" showing George Washington kneeling in prayer, with a Red, White and Blue patriotic hat band, and lots of state pins. In this photo you see what a nice new shape the bill has. In the first photo, the bill is a bit droopy.
You may not remember but you and I used to play "musical hats" while I was reading you story books, and "our" straw hat is "a bit" worse for wear. Though through the storms of weather and the storms of life the past six years, I have lost most of what I once owned, yet I have been blessed by Our Father in Heaven to somehow hold onto "our" George Washington in Prayer straw hat... (It ain't much, but it is yours!)...
...and of course, I have been able to hold onto my ever, forever love for you, my beloved boy, and that my son is something you can forever hold onto in your heart.
God bless you my son, and a most joyous and Merry Christmas!
I love you, now, then, and forever,