What can be seen in an old house?

I went back to this place a few days ago just to see what it looked like once again. This is the house of my great grandparents. I remember going to this house as a little boy for a family reunion. There was a farm trailer sitting in the driveway with table spreads on it just filled with all kinds of food. It was a vast amount of people there; I suppose all family members of mine that I would either; in time get to know or, we would part and possibly never see one another again.

This house sit at the end of the driveway. On the left of that driveway were houses and, on the right was an open field. We used it as a baseball field, especially on that day.

My great grandmother died in 1960. I was only nine years old. We seldom went to their house, that is ; the best I can remember. However, I did get to know many of the family members and seen them often as I continued to grow up.

As I entered the driveway to my great grandparents old house, I seen a great deal of changes that have occurred over the years.

That fact is the reason I’m writing this. While just looking at the picture of this house through the eyes of people like me that remembers it from years ago, it actually hasn’t changed that much but, the beauty that I remember around it has!

I completely realize that life unfolds as we move forward in time. I can actually say the very same thing about the house I live in. I live in the house I was born in. I use to be pasture around it with just the farm buildings we needed around it but, now the farm is populated with houses.

My wife is from Dayton, Ohio. When we go back to her hometown she often shows me a place where her grandparents had a dairy. Now, it’s all stop lights, roads and shopping centers.

Time has always brought about change however, what else has changed over the years since my great grandparents have past on and, in what direction?

My great grandparents had a number of children. I can name most of them, at least the family members that stayed somewhat close by but, if I try I might miss one or two. The number of children is not important as I consider looking into the change that happens in life. It’s up to each child or person to decide how their personal lives unfold.

In my rememberance my great grandmother was a very spiritual woman, a prayer warrior in her community. However, her husband, my great grandfather was not as spiritual as she was. It’s not that he was a bad husband or man but, he just didn’t put his focus in life on Jesus Christ. My great grandmother did!

As I grew up, I became an electrician. I use to go down in the area of their house and do work. As I would meet people and use my great grandparents as a reference to who I was, almost everytime I mentioned their name; this would be the response. ( She ), being my great grandmother was a praying woman.  Back in those days they often had what was called ( cottage prayer meetings ). Many times people would come to one person’s home and have gospel singing and preaching right there at the house. Many people actually got saved at cottage prayer meeting in those days.

As people would take turns having those meetings, the people that lived near by would come to that particular house to be a part of the singing and preaching. I assume that’s how so many people heard my great grandmother pray. Now, I want you to take notice of something here! Did you notice it was my grandmother and not my grandfather that stood out spiritually? Can we not look at that as somewhat of a shame? Why is it often so uncommon for ( the man ) ( the husband ) to take the spiritual lead in a home?

As we look at this; can you see how Satan can take the advantage, causing the children in any family to have a distinct choice of to whom to follow? I believe that my great grandparents had nine children. I could be wrong but, that’s not the important part of the point that is being made. I would quess that my great grandmother seen to it that her children went to Church very often, at least every Sunday. With that being said, there’s a great difference in going to Church because you are made to go or, because you choose to go.

Time has a way of destroying the beauty of things around us. That is true with people as well as things. For instance; let’s say my great grandmother had all nine of her children lined up on a single pew on any Sunday morning. Do you see the beauty in that picture? But, just how much of that beauty is a true picture? Where were the hearts of the children?  I know, because I’ve been there! I know that very often, where ever a child’s heart is at that time; that can change a time moves foward, and that change, for the better or worse.

With that fact being known, you can see very well the spiritual mindset of families, what’s real, what’s not as the chimes of time ring out. Just like the noticeable decay of things, buildings and even communities; we can very well see the spiritual decay in the lives of the extended families. and that, of one that at one time had such a very powerful witness for Jesus Christ.

I’d like to make a point here. When I went to the old house of my great grandparents, I also decided to got to their grave site which is just a few miles away. When I found their graves in the graveyard of Mill Creek Baptist Church, I noticed something. My great grandfather lived fifteen years after my great grandmother died. He died in 1975. Guess what? I read that on the tombstone! That means that someone had to care enough to have the ( death date ) added on that tombstone fifteen years after his wife had passed away. As I walked around in that graveyard I noticed that some of my relatives didn’t have a ( death date ) although they had passed away some time after their husband or wife had. Can we see this also as adecay in the spiritual mindset of our family descendants, a lack of concern, a ( what’s in it for me mindset )?

As people, we have a basic understnding that ( the chimes of time ) is going to ring out, there is no stopping what we call time. However, we do have a choice how we use the time that is given us by the God of this universe. Let’s consider something here. Let’s say that I’m correct that my great grandparents had nine children. Let’s say they all stayed within a few miles to the old house in the picture. Let’s say that all nine children averaged having five child a piece and, their children also stayed in the same area and they all averaged having two children a piece. Let’s also say that they all became members of Mill Creek Baptist Church just as their mother, grandmother and great grandmother was. How many members would there be at that Church today? Let’s say that everyone of these people also had the same powerful prayer life that this mother, grandmother and great grandmother had; what would the Mill Creek community look like today?

As I stood and looked at this old house, a house that use to be the home of a very Godly woman, one that strived to be all she could for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As I noticed the massive changes all around this old house I also wondered, What is the spiritual mindset of this plase today? How many of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, even now beyond that actually picked up the ( mantle of Jesus Christ ) that she laid down in 1960 and took it foward for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?

All any person has to do is to look around, you can easily find the answer to that question! Is it possible that on the very same ground that my great grandmother use to exalt Jesus Christ in powerful prayer, being a powerful witness to her own children and beyond; that now, as the chimes of time have rang out, that now the only time his name is mentioned is in a slang manner? ( Cursing his name )?

If that happens to be the case, can we blame my great grandmother for that? I mention that because I like to bring things down to a very personal, individual level. That because, it’s all about ( you ) and the personal choices you make, physically and spiritually.

As a great grandson of Nanny Shotwell, a powerful prayer warrior for Jesus Christ, a great witness for his saving grace, what have I done to help advance the spiritual power of Mill Creek Baptist Church community or, the community to which I now live? Can we take that question and relate it to each generation before me? My mom, being her ganddaughter, my grandmother, being her daughter; what did we each do to maintain the spiritual level of life that is her legecy? You can look at yourself, your mother or father, which being her possible grandson or granddaughter and then, her son or daughter. What did they do to continue her spiritual legecy that she so powerfilly set forth?

At our very best, everything we own or, are physically a part of upon this earth will eventually decay away. It will become someone elses and, what they expect it to be as the chimes of time ring out. All things will grow old and become worthless as time moves foward. With this being the case, it’s not so with the spiritual aspects of our lives. Just as Nanny Shotwell was a prayer warrior, a witness for Jesus Christ, it can be just as powerful in your life as it was hers, never growing old or corrupt in any form. It can be just as new in you as it was in her from the very beginning.

Let’s consider a point. As the chimes of time moved foward; there was a couple that got married. They had a son, his name was ( Bunnie ). Not far away was another couple that also married. They had a daughter. they named her ( Nanny  ). One day, the young man and, this young lady came together and now, they are going to start a family. Do you realize that this young man and, this young lady is actually no different than Adam and Eve in the very beginning? 

If God the Father had created both, Adam and Eve, then he simply walked off; there is no way that coulple could have known God even existed. God had to reveal himself to them, teaching them, instructing them in righteousness. Can we say the same about the couple that came to be called Mr. and Mrs. Bunnie Shotwell? Didn’t God the Father have to use someone to reveal himself to that couple? In that sense, didn’t he reveal himself to them? Now, I understand that there is one basic difference. In the lives of Bunnie and Nanny Shotwell; someone else could have shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. However, isn’t it the responsibility of ( the father ) and ( the mother ) to be the spiritual guide to their own children? 

The point is that as each family begins, as they begin having children it becomes their place to instruct those children in righteousness. Nanny Shotwell did just that! I’d like to show you a verse  the Lord laid on my heart when I made that statement. 

                                                                            ( Genesis 4:25 )


I’d like to try and make a spiritual point from this verse as it relates to Nanny Shotwell, my great grandmother. Most people that has any knowledge of scripture know that Adam and Eve has two sons in the beginning. Cain, being born first and, Abel was born second.  Within these two boys we see a picture of each of us being born first in the flesh and, by God’s grace, one day being born again; which is the second birth. That being ( Abel ). He was the spiritual seed of Adam and Eve. He was the one that was to carry the story, the truth about the need of God’s redeeming grace foward as ( the Chimes of Time ) moved foward. If we, as individuals are not careful, we will allow ( Our Flesh ) destroy ( The Spirit ) that can live within us.

We see in this picture that the fleshly man ( Cain ) overtook ( Abel ) and killed him; leaving this world without anyone to carry the ( salvation story ) to the next generation. When God gave Eve another ( man child ) ( Seth ) she seen a great possibility that he could be ( that seed ) that would take the ( message of salvation ) ( God’s redeeming grace ) to the next generation.

In relating this to ( Nanny Shotwell ) she became at least one of those seeds in the family of her mom and dad. I can’t speak for any of the rest of the children but, I know she did. As a picture of this, we know that Bunnie and Nanny Shotwell had more that one Child. But, what did they all do? We know that each of them were born in the flesh. However, to ever be of any use for the power of God, they each had to make a spiritual choice to be ( born again ). At some point, as my great grandmother prayed for God to show her children the ( saving, redeeming grace of God ) one of her children became the very first one to be born again, to begin a journey for Jesus Christ. 

I can imagine ( Nanny Shotwell ) shouting from the top of her voice: ( GOD SHE SAID, HATH GIVEN ME A CHILD ) ( TO CARRY ON THE REDEEMING GRACE, SAVING GRACE ) to show forth the very power of the blood of Jesus Christ. As I say this; it’s very possible that more that one of my great grandmother’s children excepted Christ as their savior, maybe everyone of them, which would be a great blessing. However, through the facts of life; ( the born again ) experience had to take place in order for the gospel to go foward. Not one of ( Nanny Shotwell’s ) children could depend on her salvation to save them. 

That’s the point I’m making concerning the passion of Eve in relating her to my great grandmother. Someone, has to experience the grace of God in each generation in order for the message to move foward. The sad truth is; just because you join Church, say you believe in Jesus Christ and get baptized does not mean you are going to live a life ( dedicated to Christ ) ot even be a witness for him.

I’ll give you a personal example of this. My dad and I went out on visitation one night and visited a family member of ours. The man in this household had passed away. He, I believe, had been a deacon in a local baptist Church for many years. As his wife invited us into their home, she had a lady visitor there. The lady told us her name and said that they had been life long friends. As we went through the greeting process, began to fellowship with one another, I asked the lady visitor if she had been born again? I desired to know if she knew Jesus Christ as her savior.  

She expressed the fact that she had never been saved! In her conversation as we talked she had shared with us that she was sixty-nine years old. As I sit there, looking in her eyes, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, explaining that she was a sinner in need of Jesus Christ, she listen to my every word. She even admitted that she knew she was a sinner. This lady sit there with tears running down both cheeks. However, she would not except Jesus Christ as her savior. When I finished, this is what I desire for you to see. This lady said these words ( I’m sixty- nine years old ) and I have never heard that story. 

I replied. ma’am how long to you think it will be before you hear it again? When my dad and I had a word of prayer and went out to the car, I sit there for a minute, looked at my dad and said. Can you believe that? We just left a home of a deacon of a baptist Church, sit there and fellowshipped with his wife and one of her life long friends and, they have never told her about Jesus Christ!

Friends, it doesn’t take but one generation and, ( this world is going to hell ). What if ( Seth ) hadn’t been born and, it would have been left up to ( Cain ) to carry the message of ( God’s redeeming grace ) to the world? If you go back and see the lives of ( Seth ) and ( Cain ) in Genesis; and you happen to be a descendant of ( Bunnie and Nanny Shotwell ), who would you say you are nore like, ( Cain ) or ( Seth )? 

I feel impressed by God’s Spirit to call one more family member’s name here. One son of ( Bunnie and Nanny Shotwell’s ) was named ( Berkley ). As a young boy, a young man and, as my own spiritual life unfolded; I had the priviledge of working around this man a few times. When I became a pastor, uncle Berkley use to come to my Church very often at the evening service and sing for us. ( What a blessing! 

I could say a lot about him but, Over the years I would think ( I’d like to pattern my life after this man’s walk )! I actually made a casette tape once with my Church singing gospel music on it. On the beginning of that tape I simply talked to him about ten minutes and shared that with him, just how much a blessing he was to me. One Sunday morning when I got up it had come a little snow. I went to Church anyway. My mom and dad was the only other people that came that day. We just prayed and was going to leave. My dad looked at my mom and said: ( let’s ride down to Berkley’s for a while.

I gave that tape to them and asked them to give it to him. The next time I seen my mom and dad, they told me that as soon as they gave it to him he put it into his casette player and, they listened to it. The said that he was very blessed by the tape and sit there and shed tears of joy!

I share that story; not to bring any praise to myself or to him. I simply desire to make this point. If you notice, I didn’t say that about my granddad or grandmother did I? That statement is not meant to take anything away from them but, the fact speak for themselves. It will do that in their lives, my life and, even your life. If we walk a spiritual life, people around us will notice it. If we walk like ( Cain ) that will be noticed as well!

The fact that children are born to a Godly parent or parents does not automatically make them servants of the ( Most High God ). that is a personal choice. One of my favorite points I always try to make is this. There is a difference in the ( Holy Ghost ) and the ( Holy Spirit ). I’ll go back to ( Bunnie and Nanny Shotwell ) to make my point. Let’s just assume that both of my great grandparents were ( born again ). Again, this is not to be seen as harsh but, simply to make a spiritual point. If both of my great grandparents were born again then, that means that they both had the ( Holy Spirit ) within them. However, That Spirit within any person must become ( the Ghost of God ) to be seen by the world! 

( Nanny Shotwell ) allowed that Spirit to be seen. She placed the will of God within her above her own personal fleshly desires and, it was noticeable. In the case of her husband, most of the time, we seen ( Bunnie Shotwell ). We can’t be a judge of what’s in a man’s heart. I proclaimed for the sake of argument that they both were ( born again ). The question is; are you the ( Ghost of God )? When people see you, what do they see? Do they simply see you or, can they see ( God in you ).

If you ever come to Roxboro, North Carolina. Highway 501 is main street in our little town. If you ride north out of town on 501, you see a little store on the right hand side of the road. It’s called S.P. Gentry’s Store. It’s in the Mill Creek area. Just beyond that store on the left you will see ( Hayward Bailey Road ). If you turn there, about a quarter mile on your right, if you’ll look out behind all the things that is now built up in front of that house, you will see the home of Bunnie Nd Nanny Shotwell ). 

In that little house, my great grandmother raised her children in the nurture and admonition of our Lord and Savior ( Jesus Christ ). As far as I know, all of those children and their spouses have passed away. Possibly, a great number of her grandchildren have passed as well. However, what you see there now is still for the most part her descendants. If you get a chance to stick around for a while, you can decide. Is this place still a shining light for Jesus Christ or, what do you see the most? 

I personally don’t live on that end of the county. I live on the other side. If find 158 west toward Yanceyville, North Carolina, go out about five mile out of town to the ( Thee Hester Road ) on the left. My wife and I call that area our home.

My wife and I live in the house I was raised in. My mom was a granddaughter of ( Bunnie and Nanny Shotwell ). We actually have the same situation around us as you see there. We are all family, descendants of ( Bunnie and Nanny Shotwell ). I share that simply to make a point. Whether you ride down Hayward Bailey Road or, down Thee Hester Road; what you will find is a lot of ( Hell deserving Sinners ). Each of us has to make a choice of whether we will allow God to work through us or, we simply live for ourselves.

I’d like for each person that reads this to understand this very important fact! When Eve made this statement ( God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel ). She was making the point and, very passionate about it, that someone has to be willing to take ( TRUTH ) to a lost and dying world!

My great grandmother was determined to see to it that ( the truth ) did not stop on her watch. I thank God for that fact! Some of her children seen to it that ( that same truth ) didn’t stop with them. Some of her grandchildren seen to it that ( that same truth ) didn’t stop with them, my mom was one of them. 

I as ( Bunnie and Nanny Shotwell’s ) great grandson am determined that (  very same truth ) will not die on my watch! As long as God allows life to remain in me; I will shout from the housetops that Jesus Christ died and rose again that I might have life. My desire is that I always be his ( Ghost ) meaning that: ( He can be seen far above my sinful flesh )! 

I’d like for you to consider one more fact before I close. From the creation of Adam and Eve until the flood of Noah was somewhere around two thousand years. Seth and his family, we see in scripture carried the ( redeeming power of God ) to the world. However, after two thousand years, that voice became less and less. It was to the point that when the flood came, only eight people were on that Ark.

Today, some two thousand years since that flood; look at us now! We have a Church on every corner, often multiple pastors in them. Many of those Churches are filled with people but, just many of them are proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ? We often don’t consider this but, ( the Ark of Jesus Christ ) has been in the process of being built for over two thousand years. Many people over that period of time have given themselves, sacrificed their lives as in, allowing the ( Ghost of God ) to be seen in them. However. just how many are truly born again in the world we live in today? How many people actually proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ with their mouth?

When Jesus Christ shouts in the rapture ( come up hither ), God just shut the door of ( the Ark of Jesus Christ )!  Are you, as an individual ( born again )? Do you know Jesus Christ and his saving grace? If you answer this question ( yes )! Then I beg you to allow God’s Spirit to be seen in you Just as our Praying Great Grandmother did! Become a voice for the power of God, You become ( His Ghost ) that the people around you might see him in you!

As long as we have life within us, it’s never too late to do a work for Jesus Christ! If you decide to ride and see the house at the beginning of this article, the home of my ( great grandmother ). As you stand and look at it, also look at the potential! Isaiah was a man that stood and cried ( WOE UNTO THEM )! However, In ( Isaiah 6:5 ) God came down and spoke to him. At that point he said ( WOE IS ME )! In ( Verse 8 ) 0f that chapter; notice what Isaiah says:


It becomes awfully easy for me to sit in judgement of those around me, when in fact, it’s not my brother, nor my sister, Lord, but me that stands in need of prayer!  As the ( Chimes of my time ) slowly comes to and end in my life; Lord help me to be a light for your saving grace! Lord. help me to pray like my great grandmother did!



Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7



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