Monday, January 30, 2006

Freemasonry the fellowship of men

Blessed new week my fellow brothers. As I spoke before, I went to Havana, IL #88 for three E.A. degrees on Saturday....Well...Only one candidate showed up. So as they say the show must go on. I sat in a chair. The chair that has the easiest and least amount of duties. I was the Mashall. This was the first time I have been in a lodge as a master mason (besides my raising of course) My first time traveling as well. This fraternity is truly the greatest in the world. I had a great time watching the candidate go through and I made acquaintances with about 15 new friends/brothers. We had some of the best catfish filets that I have ever had. And along with the food a lot of great story telling. I love it. I always have loved listening to other peoples adventures highs and lows dreadful or gleeful real life events. It was brotherly fellowship at its best. An older mason told me once "I have met 1000 men I would have never met had it not been for masonry" This is so true. Now that I went to this lodge on Sat I met those men listened to their stories shared some of my own. What a great way to enrich your life. Oh yeah that's so-and-so the from Havana lodge that used to be a police officer and remember that story he told about.....

On a different note. I bought an apron to take with me to lodge. I bought it off of eBay and it was a good price and very high quality. I am impressed. This guy who sells them is a brother and he sews them himself. All of the symbols are embroidered not a print. I gave $65 for the apron.

Well until next time...
Fraternally yours

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Link to my Lodge of Distinction

Lewistown Masonic Lodge 104 of Illinois, U.S.A.

Another thought for today. I beleive that part of a traveling masters wages are the lessons learned from seeing things from a different view. From the meating of new brothers. The wealth of knowledge that newly found brothers can give. Just listening to life stories gives great insight.
Fraternally yours

Masonic Traveler Masters Wages.

As I stated before, I will be traveling to Havana Lodge for three E.A. degrees on Saturday. I am planning on making a conscience effort through out life to be a traveler. It is one of the rights of a Master Mason. "To receive Masters wages and travel freely" I think a lot of people never do this. I will go "cold" to a unfamiliar lodge. I want to go throught the inspection. My teacher (he is also a District Deputy Grand Master) says when I do to ask them questions back after they have asked all of theirs. He says this is your right and duty to make sure you are not entering a clandestine lodge. He said its fun to see the looks on their faces when you start asking them questions.

On the subject of reading material. I bought a book called "THE FREEMASONS" By Jasper Ridley Arcade publishing, New York, 2001.
It is a good book so far. It is a book written from facts pulled from historical texts and publishing. A very good read about the old world Freemasonry. Ridley is not a mason but was allowed to spend 60+days in the Grand Lodge on England library and archives.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Profile updated

Hello brothers and fellows, I have updated my profile page so take a look. I am improving myself on a daily basis by being "on the level" with myself and fellow man. I have recently quit smoking. I quit on Jan 13th after 14 years of 1 pack per day. I threw them into our wood burner and never looked back. I credit masonry for this. I had tried to quit many times before but I allowed my will to be weak and gave myself excuses to start back up. This time was different because I had to be a man, I had to be truthfully with myself, I had to release myself from the vices of life, I used the square to square my actions and truth to be true to myself by keeping my will strong and standing behind my decisison.

I am going to attend an E.A. ceremony this weekend. The Havana, IL lodge is bringing in three canidates starting at 8:30am with a fish fry afterwards. I am looking forward to sitting in the lodge as a M.M. and watching. Seeing what I looked like when I went through. It is great to support local lodges. I have been told and believe its true that the greater number of people in lodge on any degree leaves a greater impression on the candidate. Especially on the E.A. degee.

Well, enough for one day!
fraternally yours

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason

I just got back from the lodge. I was Raised today. What a great experience! I am so glad I did not go through the blue lightning. I would have missed out on all of this. Only three things in my life to date have had more importance than today. First, meeting and marying my wife. Sencond, the gift of my children. Third, my son beating cancer. I received my burial apron, a hat, a knife, the "Monitor", two lapel pins and the Lords prayer art psoter. I am excited to travel to other lodges. I Love the Fraternity, the brotherhood anf all it has to offer. As I was transformed today, I was improved as a man, a father, a husband and a brother.
Fraternaly yours
Jason A Hinds M.M.
Lewistown #104
Lewistown, IL

Friday, January 20, 2006

A few hours before my Master Mason Degree

A few hours until I am raised to M.M. I am not nervious like I was with the F.C. Before the F.C. degree, I had obviously not recited anything in front of the lodge. But since going through my E.A. catechism, I am not nervious about reciting the F.C. catechism. In fact, I have told my instructor that I want to go on to get my M.M. proficiency. I am excited about tomarrow. We are having breakfast at 8:00 and then it all will start. I have chosen not to go into any apendant bodies at this time. I want to go through all of the chairs and become a C.L.I. or G.L.I before moving on to the york or scottish rites. I may however join the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm. As this body will not consume my time like the Scottish or York Rites will. Good nite my brethren. Next time I write I will write you as a Third Degree!

Monday, January 16, 2006

What Masonry has done for me.

Freemasonry has changed my life. It has given the tools to make me a better man. To interact with mankind by always squaring my actions. The most often used tool that I have been given is the square. It has made me stop and think about the situation and what can I do to interject Faith, Hope, Charity...Brotherly love Relief and Truth into every action. I am beging to see the secrets of Masonry. I have been looking deep into my life and what Masonry offers me. Masonry os a perfect fit at this point in my life. I strongly believe in God, but I also believe that God has given us hundreds of roads by which to reach him. As the bible states our God is an all loving God a compassionate caring and forgiving god . I was brought through school in a Baptist private school. So I am very well red on the bible. I just cannot bring myself to believe that God is vengeful, retaliatory and secretive. I think of my Baptist upbringing and all of its teachings. Here goes, Catholics are going to Hell, Muslims Hell, Buddhists Hell, every religion on earth different than the Baptist/Episcopalian teachings are wrong(by their teachings). Here is what I find wrong. Let me paint a picture for you please consider and let this sink in.

A boy is born in the eastern hemisphere to Buddhist parents. The boy is brought up in the religion that his parents practice. This boy makes a choice at age 11 to join the monastery and devote his life to religion, prayer and meditation. Years pass the boy is a man. He is true and honest to his faith and his god. His life is a devotion to this god serving in the monastery. The man now grows weak. Death the great equalizer of all men encompasses him and takes him away.

A boy similar to above is in the western hemisphere. His parents are Baptist. He is raised in their faith. He becomes more and more interested. He goes to college and becomes a pastor. He is a great pastor. He inspires his congregation, he loves his god and the work he toils in for His name. This man like the previous grows old. And Death leaves him to dust.

Here is where I have a problem. Remember I mentioned above that about God being a loving all caring compassionate forgiving God? That is if your not Baptist. Explanation...Under the Baptist interpretation the monk will go to Hell the pastor will go to heaven. Now lets see...We have two men who devoted their whole lives to the service of their god. But Baptist will tell you that the monk goes to Hell. I Just cannont see God being that vengeful hateful non-loving to take a man who has devoted his life to prayer good works and god and say to him "I'M SORRY BUT YOU SHOULD HAVE CHOSEN CHRISTIANITY SPECIFICALLY BAPTIST, SO THEREFORE SINCE YOU MADE A BAD DECISION I HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO CAST YOU INTO THE BOWLS OF HELL TO LET YOU CONTEMPLATE YOUR EVIL AND NON-CONFORMING LIFE"

Tell me what's wrong here people.
This is why I love Masonry. I can get together with any denomination any faith and have a intelligent informed conversation with another man. No brimstone just humanity at its best.

Master Mason Degree 5 days away.

My Master Mason Degree is 5 days away. I am completly prepared and ready. I have studied and peerfected everthing from the Catechism to the steps and proper walking techniques. I am so excited and can't wait. It will be on this Sat January 21st at 8:00am Breakfast at 7:00am in Lewistown Illinois lodge #104. If any reading are interested please come and join in. Our regular stated meatings are the second Thurs of every month at 7:30 dinner at 6:30. I think I will now create a sepatate blog for the thoughts that I have up to this point.