Father Figures (…God) (…Time For Dedication To Him)

I had to step back to a previous series of articles.  My Father in Heaven has watched over me for almost fifty years now.  There are the times where His intervention is obvious and magnificent…and there are those times He has my back and I am oblivious.  What every son wants to do is please their father.  But with God, it’s a little more difficult deciphering what it is He wants you to do.  Yes, we have the Bible to lead us…but what about those “personal” items.  What does God want from “me”?

A couple years ago, it occurred to me that God has pulled me from the grave more times than I deserve.  And I racked my head trying to figure out why.  Then it finally made sense.

I have a story to tell…a testimony of you will…and a mighty powerful one.  I’ve seen it all…good and bad…lots of the world…and God has walked me through it all.  Now it’s time for me to tell everyone else my stories.  The most powerful of all the testimonies I have to offer…how a man that is struck down in his prime draws closer to God…rather than cursing him.  It’s as counterintuitive as anyone could imagine…but it’s the truth.  My faith is stronger in weakness than in health.  Though I have daily struggles…I thank my Father in heaven for another day with my wife, my children, my family and my friends.  I thank you Father for all of the blessings you have bestowed upon me.

I am currently in a personal struggle that has what seems an obvious answer…but to ensure I’m not being influenced by the AADD…I’m praying and seeking advice that what I’m about to do is for my Father…and not for me.  As most of my friends and family know…I am disabled and unable to maintain steady work due to the arm long list of issues I deal with daily.  That’s not a complaint…I’m here long past what the Vanderbilt’s statistics would grant me.  In an attempt to keep my brain intact, I’ve tried to maintain a few hobbies.  I’m long past the point where any progress has been seen in these hobbies.  I’ve describe my life to Heather as nothing but one big uncompleted project.  The Adult Attention Deficit Disorder continues to get worse regardless of the power drugs used to try and keep it at bay.  Other physical issues also complicate my ability to make much progress on the hobbies that have been eating up every inch of my ten foot by ten foot “office”.

So, I have a decision to make.  Acknowledge that it’s time to give up some of my hobbies that require mental and physical dexterity and turn my focus to my writings.  That is…give my time to God. He put an obvious use for keeping me around here right in front of my face.  I’ve ignored Him too long.  It’s my belief that He knows some tidbit in one of my stories (testimonies) is needed for someone else out in the world.  As arrogant as that may sound…I have so much to share…so many situations where a Holy influence is the only answer to my questions.  I feel it’s my mission to share all that I can in the time God has given me.

I welcome your opinions.  May God bless you.


How I Got Here (Part 2)

Just a short post tonight (or rather this morning)…

So, the last gym class that I would have was during my sophomore year in high school.  That’s not to say that I wasn’t an active kid. Quite the opposite.  Under several different names, Ted Roberts (drums), Mark Moore (bass guitar), Jerry Fontaine (lead guitar/vocals), Wayne Burns (frontman/vocals), myself (keyboards/vocals) and numerous stand-in guests formed a rock band and played occasional gigs at parties, bars, and venues I still haven’t been able to describe.  To be honest, almost every one in the band got a workout playing “roadie” duties except for the drummer.  It was amazing how much time Mr. Ted could waste dilly-dallying while the rest of us hauled not only our own gear in…but his drum kit, too.  I only pick on him because he’s one of my best friends…and he deserves it.

After graduating high-school, I reconnected with my friend Chuck Ransom who had been attending Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, TN.  He was back in LaVergne and living just a few houses down the street from me.  Chuck and I met in the first grade…and are friends…forever.

Chuck had met a young lady and decided he needed to do some exercising and try to get his body looking a little better than it was.  Chuck, just like myself had taken on the sedentary lifestyle both in vocation and home life.  Our plan was to work-out with some free weights and run laps around the block.  A pretty simple plan for our start.  I sat out on an overcast day, cool temperature but not cold…I’m going to “run” around the block.  I barely made it to the end of our street.  I invented the phrase “sucking dirt” on that day back in 1980-something.  We’re talking the distance of no more than ten houses before I simply couldn’t breathe.  I didn’t stop.  I walked.  I walked fast.  I walked slow.  I considered crawling at one point.  I tried running again (dumb idea).  I did what it took to make it around our chosen path and back to the refuge of my bedroom.  A room that at times I would describe with four-letter words followed by the word hole.  But at this moment…it was the Taj Mahal.

Anyone remember the Fat Boys?  I’m young. I’m thinking, “I’m overweight, been sitting around too long…I’ll try again.”

I’m nineteen years old (technically still a teenager)…and the genetics of countless generations have begun the transformation.  Nineteen and invincible, right?

Just a few more years…we’ll see.



How I Got Here (Part 1)

Well, if you’ve read any of my older posts you’ve been able to piece together the idea that I’ve experienced some “out of the ordinary” ordeals.  What I want to do with this series is explain how I got to the point I’m at in life right now.

To begin with, I have always been a scrawny kid.  I think I weighed 145 lbs when I graduated from high school.  I was not an athletic type.  No football, no baseball, or basketball.  It was great growing up during the 70’s and 80’s…you didn’t have to participate in all the organized crap kids are forced into today.  I “was” pretty decent at riding a bicycle. (Yes..that was a lousy joke).

As you might imagine, the class I hated the worse during school…gym.  Utterly despised it.  I kinda enjoyed dodgeball (the younger generation reader might need a dictionary to figure that one out).  Do the kids even get to play dodgeball anymore?  (Ok…off the soapbox…we’re telling a story here Doug).  The reason I liked dodgeball was not that I could throw the ball that well…it was that I could hide behind everyone (thus survive the longest).  That would leave me and a fellow named Eddie I believe.  Eddie threw the ball like he hated it…or maybe the whole world.  When I finally was knocked out…it was usually by him.  Logic, survival instincts…those were the lessons I was learning…not learning how to move, and exercise…all that was just necessary.

There was one instance somewhere between 7th and 8th grade where I took on Superman powers.  Not sure how it happened…uncanny will power is a possibility…but I didn’t drop.

That particular day, I’m guessing us boys were a little extra loud and rowdy as were dressing for gym.  As we exited the locker room, Mr. Melvin Daniels (one of about four gym teachers) decided we would do push-ups because of our rowdiness…and should you fall you’d get the pleasure of being paddled by this arrogant a$$hole.  Of course, these were not normal push-ups…these were torture push-ups.  He had us stay in the up and/or down position for whatever time frame satisfied his ego.  To my surprise, I outlasted many of the jocks, and sub-jocks (guys in better physical shape than myself but not involved in any school sports).  As I said, my will power was not going to allow that man the satisfaction of beating me.  It’s my understanding that he eventually became either a principal or vice-principal.  Yeah.

One of my other feared gym activities was running.  It didn’t matter if it was inside or outside…the same problems followed me.  I simply was not an athlete.  After just a few laps, I’m bent over in pain from what’s now labeled “side stitches“.  It’s that horrible feeling you get that feels like major cramps in your side along the diaphragm.  Ugh.

The last gym class I would endure was my sophomore year in high school.  Wouldn’t you know it…while playing volleyball inside the gymnasium…I managed to fall planting the weight of my upper body on my left hand causing a hair-line fracture up one the bones in my forearm.  It’s been too many years to remember which bone.  It did make playing the keyboard in our high school band rock band rather difficult with that big clunky cast on my forearm.  To add insult to injury…when I went back to Smyrna Hospital to see the doctor who had treated me…his response was “I cast that?” Confidence is high.

One last note before I close this edition…several years earlier (most likely 5th or 6th grade) I was sitting on the top of my neighbors chain-link fence.  Just bored…rocking back and forth…my brainless activity for the day.  Wouldn’t you know it…I fell backwards off the fence landing with my left hand, wrist and forearm twisted up under my back.  Yes, the fall hurt and I had endured a sprain (given in the instant swelling).  The fall didn’t scare me…at that instant fear helped build the excuse I would tell my dad so he didn’t beat me for being on the fence in the first place.  “I tripped and fell.”  Yep.


Until next time…may God bless you and keep you safe.  I know I’m not the only scrawny and clumsy kid out there.  Stay safe.



Medical Summary

Just a quick update on the medical front…

After feeling like complete crap since around October 2016, finally discovered I have hypothyroidism. My primary care doc has started me on Levothyroxipine (0.075) for an initial six (6) weeks to see how I fair. I would say that it’s helping a little…but I’m still needing to take a large amount of pain medications.
While dealing with this thyroid issue, I’ve also put on an extra twenty (20) pounds of weight. This is not helping my heart as I’m getting some edema in my feet & ankles. I’m also more short of breath with mild exertion.
My hope is that these last two (2) issues resolve themselves as the thyroid therapy progresses.

My scheduled check-up with the transplant team is May 16th…which is quite convenient. I would ask for prayers that these issues are minor and can be resolved as I recover my ability to move (exercise) more (or rather…again).

The alternatives are not pleasant to think about…but my mind does it anyways. Trying to keep a old tune in my head… “stay on the sunny side.”


So, as i was choking down my twent pills tonight…I said to mysef, “I’m so tired of this taking all these pills.”
Then it immeditely occurred to me there many families out the saying, “I’m so tired of my loved one not being with us anymore.”