Pros: renews hope for America, makes history interesting, easy reading, short
Cons: wish there was more!
The Bottom Line: One of the most exciting stories of history I have read-a first in a long line. Want to get your kids excited about history?-it's a great start.
WARNING: The following is a very long review. In light of some very difficult and disturbing things that have happened to my family recently, I am taking the time to write about it as it directly relates to the book I am reviewing. If you do not want to read a long review, then by all means skip it, and do not waste your breath criticizing its length. You were already warned.
--------------------- It has been a long arduous month. Many things have broken down, we have been stranded, we have experienced frustrations almost beyond endurance. Just when we thought we could not go forth another step, we became the target of a silent deadly substance- carbon monoxide.
Against all odds, despite the medical community's assertion that complete rest was in order to begin the long recovery period, we were not allowed to rest. The malfunctioning heater that had launched this attack upon our family HAD to be replaced IMMEDIATELY.
Mountains of paperwork, estimates, and research all had to be done while in the state of bare lucidity in order to get a grant that we so desperately needed to secure heating for our beleaguered little family. Knowing how close we had come to possible death or permanent disability was a sobering thought. However, the God that we have given our lives to serve was faithful to preserve us against all odds again.
When life gets particularly difficult, one thing that helps me to handle the pressure is to play with color. My Father is always so kind to me to provide some means to do that. In one recent situation I was able to fufill a vision I had of a peacock neck piece I had always wanted to make.
I just so "happened" to find an old friend who raises peacocks and was willing to get me lots of feathers for very little money. Considering that the usual price is $1 a feather, it was a miracle.
Very carefully I designed this piece, aiming to wear it for my birthday- a long awaited event which is to take place this Saturday- the last day of the month.
Each feather was carefully hand sewn into place. I have been so blessed by my Father to find colors of iridescent makeup to match this precious neck piece. As the pressure has become almost unbearable, my tiny bit of spare energy has been renewed as I talk to my Father about wearing my precious peacock feather neck piece for my birthday. I have looked forward to this day for a long time.
In addition to this neck piece, I have designed a dress and a long golden coat, with gothic sleeves. Both are made of a very rare fabric that have been treasures to me along life's rocky road this year. Treasures that were mere pennies, yet usually cost a lot of money.
WHAT WAS THAT?
This past weekend, my exhausted little family decided to spend some time relaxing. After living through so much treachery, we finally had a heater, (thanks to a dear state representative who really put out for us to get one). Our car was miraculously repaired by our son, when the mechanics all said it was impossible. The massive repairs were holding their own until those scenarios came to an end.
We needed to rest. All of us.
Saturday morning, I had finally sunk into a deep sleep, my snoring husband beside me. All at once I found myself sitting straight up in bed in complete unison with my husband.
"What was THAT?!?"
"I bet it was our little daughter flinging marbles at the door again."
"No WAY- she CAN'T be up this early! She did not go to sleep until MIDNIGHT!
My disheveled husband lumbered over to the closed door. As he opened up the door, he was greeted by the impish grin of our little toddler standing in her doorway.
She was banging something against her doorway true to her "never sit still" format.
My husband rolled his eyes and scolded her (which as is typical of most daddy's sounded more like a verbal caress) for being up. He put her back into her bed, put up the gate, looked around for whatever made that big thump and marble dropping sound, and then went back to bed.
We laid down once again to try to get some desperately needed sleep. There were marbles in her room, but something was tugging at my consciousness. That thump sounded way too loud for even our little toddler to make.
I brushed off the strange feeling I had and proceeded to go to sleep again.
That day was less than relaxing. Time seemed to ebb by, yet nothing was accomplished. The stress that had built up over the last few months was rendering us useless. We tried to catch up on the huge mound of work, yet nothing seemed to congeal.
After a rather difficult night where my husband got sick, I spent the next day in bed with the family trying to unwind and support our dear dad (my husband) who has given of himself so much that there has been very little left.
Our little daughter reached out her hand.
"Can we pray, Daddy?"
Always moved by this precious little girl's trust in the protection of Jesus, we all joined hands.
"Dear Jesus, can you please keep the Oscars away? And the bad men, and help Daddy not be sick, OK? And help the family to know that they are good girls and you love them?
Tears came to all of our eyes. Oscars are her word for monsters. We all needed to know that we were loved by God.
TRY TO RELAX, JUST TRY IT!
Feeling warm and content that my family was finally returning to some sort of normality, I did something I have not been able to do for a long time. I entered my sewing room (just recently converted from our daughter's bedroom) to work some more on my precious birthday outfit.
" Thank you, God for this haven of rest you have given me. I just feel like nothing can hurt me in my own little room. It is so quiet and safe, like hiding in You."
I had no more than breathed this prayer of sentiment to my Father, when I looked up at the sewing machine. Next to the machine was something that made me start to faint.
Like being trapped in a surrealistic nightmare, the horror of what I saw would not register completely in my mind.
Finally, shaken out of my initial shock, I called my husband into the room, my hands shaking.
"HONEY! COME HERE! I think someone shot a bullet through our house....."
"HAHAHA. Very funny. You are quite the......"
He stopped short when he saw my face and then the gaping hole in the wall.
In unison, our heads turned as if watching the bullet in slow motion make its journey through our house again. We both saw the bullet hole that went through the opposite wall. Trying to maintain composure, we were attempting to process what had just happened to us.
THE TENSION BUILDS
The next few hours were a blur. Calling of neighbors, alerting of the police, interviews with the troopers- all of the while, our little toddler was escalating more and more into anxiety about the bad men that were trying to shoot us in our own house.
Yesterday, while having the house graced by visitors from several government offices, I began to wane in my faith and positive attitude. I was trying not to slam things around my room as I cleared a path through my former sanctuary.
God is the best Father a person could ever want. I have had no end of tirades, using language that would make some street people blush, and accusing my Father of every conceivable lie in fits of rage. So kindly and patiently, He awaits the end of my emotional outburst, quietly asks me if I am done and then continues to treat me with love and favor as if I never said or did such bad things. That kind of love is unlike any kind I have gotten from my earthly parents.
However, I did not even have the strength or motivation to engage in such childish outrage. I just sank into a bit of a melancholy passivity as I rearranged the mountains of fabric and debris in my room.
JUST LIKE GEORGE WASHINGTON
As I was trying to shove stuff into piles to make room for the many officers that needed to gain entry into my former little haven, I stood up in front of my fitting mannequin. On that mannequin was the golden coat and peacock breastplate that I had been working on for my birthday. I happened to notice that it was right in the line of fire.
My heart sank. This could NOT be happening to me. After all, the bullet had severed hangers that dresses were hanging on, it surely shot a hole in my birthday outfit.
With a heavy heart, I twirled the mannequin around. My brow furrowed in confusion. No holes.
I twirled the mannequin around again. This time I began to laugh. There were no holes.
Somehow, that bullet had taken a direct path, heading right for my peacock birthday outfit, made a curve AROUND the thing, and then headed straight into the other wall, where it continued on its path through our house.
I started to laugh, and then laugh harder.
In his amazing humorous loving way, my Father replayed for me what I had been saying about this being a haven and being safe and thanking Him for my sewing room.
I thought a minute.
We all were safe. The bullet had not hurt any of us. Most hilariously, it made a path AROUND my precious peacock outfit- a small detail that had even been taken care of.
Wasn't that amazing. God protected not only us, but our wiring, our furniture, our new heater, and even my PEACOCK OUTFIT that was right in the line of fire.
I started to chuckle and think of my new "bullet proof" peacock breastplate. Then I began to think of how God has protected us through all kinds of peril, and something occured to me.
I suddenly had a very keen bond with one of history's greatest men- GEORGE WASHINGTON.
OKAY, HOW DOES THIS TIE IN WITH GEORGE WASHINGTON?
Permit me to take you back in time a bit.
The time was about 14 years ago in the spring. My husband and I were attending a statewide educator's conference. Being used to many of the boring speakers at such events (I came from a family of educators), I was trying to examine the list of speakers to sort out who we should make sure to catch.
Several people had told us to make sure that we heard Richard Wheeler (self-dubbed Little Bear) speak. He was a rather unusual history teacher, and we HAD to catch his presentation.
So, not overly impressed, we headed over to the room where "Little Bear" was supposed to be speaking.
The room was packed. Being a cafeteria of a school, it was fairly large. The room was filled almost to capacity. Surely this person was popular.
We all sat surrounded with the dull hum of idle conversation until the front door opened of the room. All fell silent as a rather pecular man entered the room. He was adorned in a British Uniform, carrying what looked to be a musket. He was not just dressed as an officer, he WAS an officer.
In full regalia, this interesting man had everyone's undivided attention. He began to tell of his past as a history collector. He told of the massive collection of books and references that he had amassed since childhood. He also told of the stories that had been removed from the school system in an effort to convert the education system into a secularist (which is a religion) form of indoctrination.
He felt that his job was- as a bard was to previous centuries- to preserve and retell the true history of this nation in ways that would kindle the interest once again of its citizens.
Hmm. A religious fanatic who twists history? I was unsure, but willing to watch, anyway.
The story that Little Bear (a name adopted from his American Indian heritage, I believe) began to tell was the most fascinating and strange story about George Washington that I had ever heard.
WHAT LITTLE BEAR SAID
In true bard fashion, this man began to weave the most engaging tale. In short, George Washington was fighting as a British soldier during the French and Indian War. He was in the most raging battle of his life.
People were getting shot to death all around him. Horses were shot out from under him. Almost all of his company were killed, yet he remained standing.
Later that night around the campfire, someone noticed the holes in George Washington's coat. When he stood up, musket balls fell out, yet, there was not a mark on George Washington.
There was even one in his hat.
Later in time, a very prominent Indian chief called a meeting with Mr. Washington and told him that he personally shot him many times (being an expert marksman) and that the Great Spirit told him that George Washington was to be the first great leader of a great empire to be remembered for many years to come.
In fact, it was well known throughout the colonies and the later country that this story was true. It was not a legend, but documented many times by prominent historians.
At this point, there were just colonies- not even near the Declaration of Independence yet.
THE SEARCH BEGINS
Okay, so the room was completely silent. Not a movement was heard for over an hour. Never had we heard such a tale about the first President of our country.
Falling prey to the Anti-Christian bigotry we have all been indoctrinated with for many years, my first thought was that this man was lying. He was trying to twist history to support his Christianity.
Little did I know how very wrong I was.
Since I was a young child, I have been an avid student of history. Since I could first read, I collected and read many many old books, some of them being school primers.
My parents were avid flea market patrons, and while they browsed the antiques, I read any old book I could find.
I always interviewed people to learn anything I could about their historical roots, and what they saw in their part in history. I have never tired of it. I did not care about their viewpoint whether it agreed with mine or not. I only wanted to gather as much information as I could to learn about history from all sides.
I had never learned this story about George Washington.
However, now with this new development sticking in my craw, I set out not to discover for myself- I set out to prove this man WRONG!
What I found shocked me.
THE STORY THAT WAS HEARD AROUND THE COUNTRY
Not only did I find several accounts of this story from accurate and respected historical sources, but I also found another account from an award winning former newspaper journalist, television host, and commentator that even further shocked me.
Based upon documented sources, this author had compiled historical accounts of the early days of the founding of the Republic of the United States of America.
As I thumbed through this large book, I happened to open to a page of an account where George Washington was on his way to sign one of the founding documents of this country. His horses pitched over a ravine and were suspended in midair.
Witnesses all said that it was yet an ADDITIONAL proof that Divine Providence had rendered George Washington indestructible until he finished doing what God had called him to do.
Okay. This was a secular book. I was starting to be fascinated with the stories that we have been deprived of for many many years. Had history classes been inclusive of stories like this, perhaps more children would have sat fascinated like we did in that educator's meeting. I know it prodded me to do my own research. It also gave me renewed hope for America.
THE BULLETPROOF WASHINGTON
After all of the years I looked into this, I had a friend in another part of the US looking into this also. She said that she discovered that at one time the Smithsonian had the coat on display, but I never had proof of that. The coat has since been "lost" and denial of its existence (perhaps to cover up so someone would not lose their job...if it even was really there) is the current status.
I not only discovered quite a few respected sources of this story, but also of the vision that George Washington had of the future of the United States. A good part of which has come to pass. It used to be on a plaque at a Midwestern museum (I think the one where the Lincoln car is, but I am not sure). I am not sure if it is still there.
My dilemma was that when I would discuss this with people, they would all want to read about it and learn for themselves. I did not know where to send them. My research was for personal reasons, so I did not document my findings very well. There was no internet back then, and I never imagined having such a large forum in which to present this story for people to examine for themselves.
Many of the sources I had looked up had been misplaced and I began to get frustrated.
This frustration quickly ended when I found another lover of history had compiled a book about this very thing. THE BULLETPROOF GEORGE WASHINGTON by DAVID BARTON.
I have seen David Barton on several occasions and he is a very soft spoken man with a passion for history. Like Little Bear, he has been raised up as a bard to this generation to remind them of where we REALLY came from. The stories of positive influence and divine intervention which he has compiled are strength builders.
You can mock it if you want to, but until you have walked in my shoes or the shoes of countless others who KNOW the importance and wonder of divine intervention, you will never know how vital such accounts can be to the endurance of those caught in tumulutous times.
WHAT IS THIS BOOK LIKE?
THE BULLETPROOF GEORGE WASHINGTON by David Barton is a small book. It is copyrighted from 1990, so it is not new. The book I have is the first edition, fifth printing. The book was printed by Wallbuilder Press. I paid $6 for it several years ago. Its primary purpose is to give a good background to the French and Indian War battle that surrounds the incident to which I have referred.
Although it is a mere 60 pages in length, this book gives a wonderful window into a glimpse of history from a delightful perspective. There are quite a few illustration plates taken from historical sources of many events that are told in the book.
The book itself was compiled from over 40 sources, many of them taken from personal letters and many published over 160 years ago.
Here is an excerpt from Barton's introduction:
"The historical sources utilized for this work are diverse and range from personal records of the participants in the battle to details provided by Benjamin Franklin in his autobiography, as well as the research of prominent historians of earlier periods. I have included some excerpts from the original texts, some of which were published more than 160 years ago. When woven together, they not only provide an accurate and well-documented account of the battle, they also supply exciting and informative reading."
There are maps of the battle, plates of the different stages of the battle, and a long list of resources given as well as a timeline in this book.
BRIEF ACCOUNT-BEGINNINGS OF WAR
In this book we start reading about the beginning of the French and Indian War. Started in 1754, it was the battle between France and England for the colonial supremecy. With the passing away of many of the original colonists, many of the jealousies, prejudices, and antagonisms had passed away. The sense of common danger had begun to unite them for the first time ever.
This danger was not from the Indians as so many have built up, but from the French who were trying to take over at this time. Interestingly enough, many of the Indian tribes often had very warm and friendly relationships with the colonists. The battle was not between them and the colonists, but they had to choose which side to join to protect not only their nation, but the nation of the colonists too.
(I want to note here that I do not ascribe to the term Native American as I feel it is derrogatory and degrading to the great American Indians. You do not have to agree, but I have very strong feelings about this, hence you will not see the term Native American in this review)
When the battle started heating up between the French encroaching upon the British colonies, a friendly warning was sent from one of the colonies to the French to basically stay out or else.
George Washington was a surveyor at the time and was asked to make the long and trecherous journey to speak with General St. Pierre and deliver the message from the governor Dinwiddie. Through friendly greetings to the Southern Huron tribe, George Washington was helped to find this Fort and speak with the French General.
Through rejection of this effort to maintain peace, the French heated up the pan for war. They built a Fort where Pittsburg PA currently is- it was called Fort Duquesne (Dew-Cane).
ELEVEN WEEKS, George Washington traveled through very rough territories much of it in the dead of winter. He was a rugged man who endured countless tests and trials and his courage impressed many.
In short, there were troops set up by Dinwiddie in VA and Washington was made the Colonel in command. There were battles, Washington brought the troops through with little damage.
Eventually, the Virginia governor made some lousy decisions, and Washington quit to go back to agriculture on his land. He had enough of the politics within the government.
There were many treaties made with many Indian tribes and representatives of many nations were at the Albany Convention which sought to equalize the control of the colonies over themselves, the King's control from England and the Indian nations would be honored.
Britain rejected it. They wanted CONTROL.
Eventually, the reverenced British troops were sent over to fight the battle. These men were pretty much "legends" to the "inexperienced" colonists. They had the arrogance as such too.
Despite Washington and Benjamin Franklin's assertion that they wanted to stay friendly with the Indian tribes and enlist their help, General Braddock was nasty to them and they eventually left and joined the French.
Unfortunately, Washington and Franklin were regarded with prejudice along with the Indians. They were considered second-class people, unworthy of Britain's consideration. Braddock was very arrogant, as were many of the British.
Despite the fury of the Indian tribes which tried several times to help the colonists and British and were treated with rudeness, George Washington never lost their respect.
The battle heated up at Fort Duquesne. Washington, eager to be trained under a "true" war hero joined the British troops to engage the French in war at Fort Duquesne. He was struck so severely with a raging fever that he almost died.
GEORGE THE INDESTRUCTIBLE?
Not fully recovered from this, he entered the battle very weak. In short, the battle was a disaster. The British arrogance prevented them from hiding behind trees and fighting as the French and Indians were.
The idiot General Braddock even beat his own men with the sword if they tried to hide behind trees.
Hundreds of men were killed, including Braddock, leaving a mere 30 men- one of them George Washington. According to Barton's account, Washington had four holes in his coat from musket balls. No tomahawk, musket ball or arrow could touch him. Indians had testified singling him out to kill and their weapons would not hit him, yet every single other person they aimed at was killed.
Finally, many of them became convinced that this man was guarded by some invisible force and they talked about it for years to come.
In this book are excerpts from personal letters written by Washington to his mother, Governor Dinwiddie, and his brother. In these letters, Washington claims that it is the prayers of his mother and the divine intervention of God that saved his life so that he might serve Him.
There are accounts from prisoners who were captured by the Indians watched the most horrible cruel tortures as the other prisoners were burned to death by hot pokers. They heard the stories from the chiefs who tried to murder Washington and were completely perplexed that they could not get anything to penetrate his body.
Although only 30 men were left, the Indians and French could have easily wiped them completely out, but they were so overwhelmed at the riches and the wounded who were excellent torture victims that they stayed behind. They eagerly chopped off the scalps of the wounded, torturing them even further, and could not carry all of the "booty" back, because there was so much.
Another miracle. Another way in which these 30 men survived.
INDIAN ACCOUNTS HONOR GOD WITH THIS EVENT
This was not a deduction of the "churchy" colonists who made this into something divine. There are three accounts of different Indian cheifs who testified about George Washington's "indestructible nature".
The most remarkable came from a very highly respected chief near the junction of Great Kanawha and Ohio rivers. This chief convened a council with Washington 15 years after the battle to tell him what happened.
"I am a chief and ruler over my tribes. My influence extends to the waters of the great lakes and to the far blue mountains. I have traveled a long and weary path that I might see the young warrior of the great battle. It was on the day when the white man's blood mixed with the streams of our forest that I first beheld this chief (Washington). I called to my young men and said, mark yon tall and daring warrior? He is not of the red-coat tribe--he hath and Indian's wisdom, and his warriors fight as we do--himself alone is exposed. Quick let your aim be certain, and he dies. Our rifles were leveled, rifles which, but for you, knew not how to miss--'twas all in vain, a power mightier far than we, shielded you. Seeing you were under the special guardianship of the Great Spirit, we immediately ceased fire at you. I am old and soon shall be gathered to the great council of fire of my fathers in the land of shades, but ere I go, there is something that bids me speak in the voice of prophecy. Listen! The Great Spirit protects that man (pointing a finger at Washington), and guides his destinies--he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as founder of a mighty empire. I am come to pay homage to the man who is the particular favorite of Heaven, and who can never die in battle."
Eighty years after the battle, a gold seal of Washington containing his initials was found on the battlefield. It had been shot off of him by a bullet. It is in possession of one of the family. True to the Indian's prophecy, Washington was never wounded in any battle.
WITH WHAT TONE IS THIS BOOK WRITTEN
Because I know that most of you will probably never read this book, I have included a lot of quotes in it for you to see. The book itself is really easy to read.
The writing style is friendly, interesting yet presents the facts in such a way that you can not help but become involved at some point, if you are at all interested in stories of what really happened in the past. It is short and easy to get through.
David Barton has intelligently compiled the bare minimum of pages, with everything you would want to know about this circumstance. It is not an exhaustive account of the French and Indian War, but instead it is a well rounded account of the events that led up to the battle which first began to make people aware of the divine call upon George Washington's life.
There are a lot of references listed (none of which I read the accounts in when I originallyresearched this some years ago- so there are more sources not listed in the book) so you can look further into this if you desire.
WHAT IS DAVID BARTON'S PURPOSE
David Barton has written many books about different historical events. He has also made cassette tapes available with many of his presentations that he has given around the country. He has devoted his life to reintroducing this generation to the stories and accounts that used to be found in student textbooks until the early 1900's. He believes that it is urgent that today's youth be told the TRUTH about the United States Heritage.
He gives tours of the Capitol building explaining its heritage where the truth is still out for everyone to see in pictoral accounts, and engravings. It is not uncommon for members of either house of Congress to join one of his tours. One can not be around David Barton for long without being deeply affected by the "bard" and his vast historical knowledge.
Many senators, judges, and congressmen seek his help and expertise on historical matters. It is not uncommon for them to need use of books from his personal collection. David Barton is no novice.
As a student of history for many years, I am thankful that people like David Barton and Richard "Little Bear" Wheeler have devoted their lives to ressurecting the truth which has been ignored for so many years for this generation.
WHERE CAN YOU FIND THIS BOOK?
THE BULLETPROOF GEORGE WASHINGTON by David Barton has been available from www.amazon.com, www.christianbooks.com, and several other mainstream booksellers. I do not know who still carries it at the moment, but there is sure to be a list at the end of this review supplied by Epinions that will give more sources for this book. The average price is $5.
You may be skeptical as I was when I first heard this story. I understand. Been there. Done that. However, I can tell you that God does intervene in people's lives who trust Him. The stories that I have to tell about our lives alone are amazing enough to illustrate this to all but the hardest of hearts, the most recent of them the bullet that we were protected from.
The story of George Washington told in this book is remarkable. However, it is only one in the long vast history of his life and of the world, where unexplainable events clearly indicate that an unseen power is delivering people daily from perilous events and times.
I do not attempt to explain why everyone is not saved from every bad thing. I only know that there are a lot of good miraculous stories out there and that they offer hope to those who hear them that there is a God that cares what happens on the earth, and who looks out for those that call upon His name.
MORE MISSING PIECES
Did you happen to know that one of the primary reasons for the split of the colonies from England was NOT TAXES?
It was slavery.
George Washington tried to make slavery unacceptable way back before Independence, it was England that enforced it. It was not until later when many of the Founding Fathers passed on that slavery was made a requirement for states to join the Union by some greedy men.
To eliminate these historical threads and miraculous stories from the fabric of society and the history of the United States makes for a very weak cloth.
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