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13 Dec

A few years ago after my divorce, I bought a piece of property by a lake in Beech Grove, Tennessee. It was out there . . . almost what they call, “primitive.” It took almost an hour for me to get to work, but it was mine. The plan was to build a pile of money, we had a bunch of work coming, but somebody outbid my boss and we lost the account.

It was the middle of winter, and it was cold . . . in more ways than one. The peace and quiet was great, but I was alone out there, more alone than I’d ever been in my entire life. I learned a lot about myself during that time.

It was just an old shack I planned on fixing up. There wasn’t any power or running water and without income, I was in a constant state of desperation. I was trusting God but I remember countless times, crying out to Him, trying to understand why He’d put me there. It was a truly humbling experience.

Then one day an old dog showed up out of the blue, he had battle scars all over him. I shared my meal and he decided to stick around.

After a little while I had to put out the fire so he eventually followed me inside. You could tell he didn’t quite know how to function as a house dog, but he was grateful to come in out of the cold.

Work picked up a little but it was nothing to brag about. In between jobs I had to drive down the mountain just to get internet service, hoping maybe to land different employment or a day labor gig here and there. He had free reign but he’d always be there in the morning to send me off and be waiting for me when I got home.

I called him country.

The time came that I had to make a decision to tough it out or change plans; I was down to my last hundred and twenty-two dollars, and needed a throttle cable for my truck. I would have stayed but I had no choice, and I couldn’t take him with me.

I felt awful, we’d both already been abandoned, now I was doing it to him again. But he was familiar with grief so I figured he’d be alright.

Once I got situated I went back up there and stayed the weekend. I called out to him every once in a while hoping he’d come around, but I think he found his way into somebody else’s heart.

Thank God for dogs.


An Explanation for Expletives

5 Dec

As I was raising my kids, I was really careful about what kind of media I allowed in the house. When they’re small you worry about such things, their little minds are being shaped. I was okay with violence; I honestly don’t see a problem, especially raising boys, but profanity was off limits. They’ll eventually hear it all on the bus as they head off to school, but setting standards in the home is a crucial component to raising healthy adults.

As they get older they’ll struggle with it once in a while like most of us, especially during times of stress. Personally I think it makes you sound ignorant, and scripture warns against it.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

But to deny its existence in every day life, especially in this sin soaked culture, would be silly.

People are craving authentic. When I wrote, Boundless Devotion, I included some expletives within the dialog. Being a believer for the past thirty years, I’m certain that will marginalize some, but ultimately it’s a story of redemption.

There’s a, “method to the madness.”

I also included some heavy crime material so you may not want your first grader to read it, but I left the descriptive to the imagination. The protagonist and all of his allies are all duty bound and honorable, hence the title.

Here’s a portion of a speech I included from General Patten:

Be seated.

Men, all this stuff you hear about America not wanting to fight, wanting to stay out of the war, is a lot of bullshit. Americans love to fight. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, the big-league ball players and the toughest boxers. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. That’s why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war. The very thought of losing is hateful to Americans. Battle is the most significant competition in which a man can indulge. It brings out all that is best . . . etc etc.

Again, I don’t want to offend your conscience if you’re a brother or sister in Christ, but it’s a military crime Thriller. There is nothing willy nilly about it I did tons of research. It’s just where the journey took me . . . it was inescapable.

Read a sample here

What Is A Mother?

12 May


I don’t know about your experience, we all have different backgrounds; but my Mom was literally “the strongest person I ever knew”. She went through things no woman should ever have to face. From the time she was a little girl, it was a constant struggle; but she kept moving.

Juanita Brewer . . . superwoman extraordinaire.

“I don’t know how she did it.”

In high school she had friends from all over the map. She fit in with just about anybody because she was so awesome. I know that may sound biased; but you never met this lady. If you did you’d know what I was talking about. Mom touched everyone’s life that knew her. The older she got, the more friends she made, it was inevitable. She didn’t try, people just loved her.

She grew up in the fifties, she liked rock and roll and big band music. When she wasn’t working, doing laundry, folding clothes, washing dishes, teaching ceramics in the basement, cutting out coupons, food shopping or any number of things (she was unstoppable), we’d be sitting around together watching old movies. She knew every word to every song and man could she sing. She was always singing, I think it helped her to focus.

Mom was always very patriotic too, she grew up with the draft in full swing so she knew what that was all about, sacrifice and service. She loved this country and taught us to do the same. The values that made this nation great are what shaped her. America may have lost her way; but if things could go back to how they were when she grew up, how she described the people, we’d be well on our way back to superpower status in a hurry.

They knew how to live and thrive, no matter the circumstances! Nothing could get them down, they knew the dangers America faced collectively and refused to give up on our system of Government! They were involved knee deep and up to their elbows.

“She was an inspiration!”

There was also a community ethic, everybody knew what was right and what was wrong. There was no separation of ethics and public policy. There were cultural and familial norms you could almost set your watch by. When you sent your kids to school, if you let them run the neighborhood, you knew there were other adults around who were reinforcing your values.

How different we are now.

The struggles that she endured made her stronger because she “chose” to get better instead of bitter. She was a person of principle. She never lied, always kept her word. If she said she was gonna do something, it was as good as done.

If you got under her skin you knew you’d done something terribly wrong, almost like you crushed a rose under your foot into the pavement.

..an amazing woman my Mom.

Anyway, Happy Mothers Day to all of you out there raising little hellions (including my lovely wife). Just in case somebody is taking you for granted, hopefully this cheers you up a little bit. Keep going, your kids will remember every bit of your portion in their lives, right down to the last drop.

I promise.



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