from Duncan’s War (chapter 2)
…Try as they might, the gloom lingered throughout the rest of the meal. Then Duncan heard it: the faint skirling of Ancient Grier’s pipes drifting down the brae and into the cottage.
“There now, Grier approaches fit to wake the dead from here to Dumfries,” said Duncan’s mother, clearing the table.
“He’ll tell us stories,” said Jenny hopefully.
Duncan‘s father’s eyes clouded slightly.
“Won’t he, Father?” Jenny persisted.
“After prayers,” said her father shortly.
Ancient Grier halted outside their croft, the piping now sounding loud and alarming. Duncan‘s heart beat faster. The wailing of pipes always made him wish he had a two-fisted broad sword in hand and a pack of English or Covenant breakers to throw himself at; he wasn’t overly particular which.
He and his sisters, Angus toddling behind, ran to the door and threw it open. A path of light fell on the old man, his face red and cheeks bulging as he blew air into the sheep stomach of his bagpipes. Lit up against the dusk, he marched in place as he played, until with a deflating screech, not unlike the sound of a goose at the chopping block, the tune came to an end.
“Peace be on this house!” said the old man as they welcomed him i
nto the cottage.
After brief conversation about spring planting, goat kids and lambs, they sat down around the table. Duncan‘s father said solemnly, “Let us worship God.” He then led the family in a prayer full of devotion and hope, his voice rising and falling with passion as he prayed. When he finished, he took the family Bible in his great hands and opened it slowly and carefully as if it were some rare and delicate treasure, easily broken if misused.
“Hear the Word of our Lord from the Proverbs of Solomon, the sixteenth chapter,” he said, reverence and firmness in his voice. “‘Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.'” Duncan‘s father paused, eyeing his son over the sacred pages…
from STAND FAST In the Way of Truth (chapter 8)
…John Neilson of Corsock made his choice. After the Restoration in 1660, Neilson refused to bow to the adulterer King Charles II, the usurper of the “crown rights of the Redeemer in his Kirk.” For Neilson’s stand, the king’s dragoons forced him from his ancestral castle in Glenkens, Scotland. Destitute, with his wife and children, he “took to the heather.” Hunted by the scourge of the Covenanters, James Turner, captain of the king’s garrison in Dumfries, Neilson not only lost all his lands and wealth for his loyalty to Christ’s Crown and Covenant, his wife died of exposure in their flight. Finally taken at Rullion Green, Neilson was marched to the Grassmarket in Edinburgh on December 14, 1666. Before his voice was drowned out by the ominous drum roll, he spoke boldly before the king’s henchmen. “If I had many worlds I would lay them all down, as now I do my life for Christ and his cause.”
This clear-sighted Scots laird was no fool. He gave what he could not keep to win what enriches for all eternity. Young man, be like this saintly man. Start by knowing your heart when it comes to money, and stop daydreaming about it…