Archive for June, 2014

TBT (THROW BACK THURSDAY)

PLEASE NOTE:

 While we’re working to solve delivery issues with our main server, you’re receiving this edition of Woodshed Wisdom from my email account, freemart61@hotmail.com. If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel to use my email account. Even so, you may still log on to our website, woodshedwisdom.com, to view or use any of our website pages such as Comments, Books, Donate, Prayer Requests, etc.

 We apologize for any inconvenience this temporary delivery issue may cause. And at some point in time you may receive a repeat post from our website server when our delivery issues are solved. Now, here comes another ‘wheelbarrow load of woodshed wisdom.’ Be blessed.

 

Woodshed Wisdom, by Freeman Martin

(TBT) THROWBACK THURSDAY

I enjoy seeing all those grainy, old black and white pictures that people post in the social media. I’m sure you’ve seen ‘em if you spend any time at all in front of your monitor or on your pods and pads. And even as I see these words pop up on my screen, I’m in the ‘throwback’ mode. If Mother and Daddy could read these words right now, they’d probably think their number 4 child had fallen out of the barn loft and landed on his head. Seriously, folks – just thinking the words ‘pods and pads and posts and social media makes this ol DRCB (Dirt Road Country Boy) wonder if he can get back up on the main road anytime soon.

Most of the TBT pictures I’ve seen involve babies, cars, or weddings. Can anybody out there splani-fy that for me? Coming up on our 50th anniversary, my MHB (Mill Hill Bride) has organized a search party to find our wedding album. You know that book of about a dozen or so black and white eight-by-tens that were never suitable for framing? That’s why they put ‘em in a notebook and pack ‘em away in the attic or garage. Can I just chase one rabbit down a side road, please? Growing up back home at Route 4, Seneca, SC, we never even heard the words attic or garage. Except for when Daddy’s pulpwood truck broke down. Then he’d have to call Uncle Tack or one of the other neighbors to take him to a garage or a junk yard to find a replacement part for the one that broke. And that kind of garage wasn’t connected to the ol’ farmhouse in any shape or form.

And speaking of vehicles, I see a lot of cars featured on TBT. Sure do wish I had a grainy black-and-white Kodak Brownie snapshot of my ’47 Chevy Fleetline. Or better still, if I still had it, and kept it running, it would sell for enough to buy lots of taters and maters for me and my MHB for a long time. Or how ‘bout that ’57 Ford Fairlane 500, 2-door hardtop? What a beauty! Baby blue and white, no posts when you rolled the windows down…yes, I said, rolled the windows down. And that AM radio tuned in to Randy’s Record Mart in Gallatin, Tennessee, or to WOWO in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Kids today have words for things like that. I think they’d probably call my ’57 Ford a chick magnet. I know from personal experience. After I quit running and let my MHB catch me, we traded that beauty (the car) for a ’57 VW. I think I just felt a memory overflow my eyes and run down my face.

Not to say that I don’t like TBT. I think it’s good. Sometimes those grainy black and whites throw us up on the Pulpwood Truck Time Travel Machine (PTTTM) and haul us back to something we had forgotten. Something we once had that brought us joy, laughter, and fun. And then we moved on down this road we call life with all of its curves, uphills, downhills, potholes, detours, and construction. Tempus Fugit – that’s the only two words I remember from Miss Judith Beatty’s Latin I class back at SHS. Time marches on and waits for no man.

We get caught up with ‘keeping it between the ditches’ on this road called life, while the memories of what we once had are crowded away, pushed into a faraway corner of our cerebellums by jobs, children, grandchildren, parents, death, debt, divorce, disease, high gas prices, taxes, etc., etc., etc. But if we focus on nothing but the short-term memory, we stand a chance to let these head-aches, heart-aches, and belly-aches we run into on this road called life run us off the road and into the ditch. And when we’re stuck in the ditch, it’s so easy to forget just how good God has been to us.

I remember a story we heard many times in VBS (Vacation Bible School) about a little boy who grew up on a sheep farm way back yonder many years ago. He made himself a sling-shot and got to be pretty good with it. As one big ol’ bully found out. This little guy had a bunch of brothers, too. His daddy had eight boys and he was the youngest. Probably picked on like crazy! I love those VBS stories. Side road, please. Get those boys and girls in VBS. They’ll never forget the stories they learn. Not to mention the cookies and Kool-aid!

Anyway, this little boy grew up watchin’ his daddy’s sheep. After all, he was the baby of the bunch. And his big brothers always had lots of other more important things to do, of course. I’ll bet they had some knock-down, drag-out fights amongst themselves while they were growin’ up. But Somebody had their eye on the little guy – the runt of the bunch of Jesse’s boys. He even fought and killed a lion and a bear. And, you know what? It made him strong. Sorta like basic training for the fight of his life. He even became a pretty good singer. And a musician, too. And man-oh-man, could he play that harp! Another side road – he also became a pretty good writer. And a king, too. I’m sure you’ve heard of a book he wrote. The title of it is PSALM.

And one day while he was using his head for something besides a hat rack, David sat down and remembered where and what he had come from. I don’t know if it was a Thursday or not. If it was, it might be the first TBT in recorded history. He made a list to jog the memory of his fellow Israelites and to remind them just how good God had been to them.

 

A Psalm of David.

103 Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Do you see yourself and your loved ones in some of those verses that David wrote? Me and my MHB are in just about every word on that page. Didn’t I tell you he was a pretty decent writer? And now can you remember just how good God has been to all of us as we look back down the road called life? So here’s a thought. Put five dollars with it and get you one of those expensive lattes or frappes or whatever they call ‘em.

Please, Lord, that’s a side road for another day. I don’t have time to go there now. But maybe, just maybe, on some future TBT, we can all remember that He’s had our back every step of the way, through every detour and pothole, even while we were fightin’ the ‘lions and bears,’ like He did with little David. And rememberin’ how He had His arm around us back then will help us get up out of today’s ditches and move on down the road called life.

In fact, here’s my TBT for today – words penned by Johnson Oatman, Jr. over a hundred years ago. I think I’ll just load all four stanzas into my VBS musical ‘water bucket’ and splash around in it all day.

1. When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. 

 (Chorus) Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God hath done; Count your blessings, name them one by one,  And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

 2. Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly, And you will be singing as the days go by.

 3. When you look at others with their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold. Count your many blessings, money cannot buy Your reward in heaven, nor your Lord on high.

4. So amid the conflict, whether great or small, Do not be discouraged, God is over all; Count your many blessings, angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

 Note to self – make every day of the week Throw Back Time. 

 

*********

Donate

If you have been blessed by this trip to the Woodshed and would like to share your blessing, please pray daily for this ministry to touch lost souls who don’t know Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives.

Secondly, if you feel led by the Holy Spirit to help take Woodshed Wisdom to the world through the internet and would like to make a regular monthly gift or a one-time gift, or both, please designate whether it is a one-time gift or recurring monthly gift, and send your gifts by mail to:

WOODSHED WISDOM

c/o Freeman Martin 310 Andrew Pickens Dr. Seneca, SC 29678

One-time gift of $ _____________, plus monthly gift of _______________.

One-time gift of $ _____________.

Monthly gift of $ ______________.

My prayer is that God will be glorified in all that you and I do, and that you will be richly blessed for your gifts to take the Word around the world through the internet. And don’t forget to forward Woodshed Wisdom to a friend.

Share

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE NAME

PLEASE NOTE:

 

 You’re receiving this edition of Woodshed Wisdom from my email account, freemart61@hotmail.com. If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel to use my email account. Even so, you may still log on to our website, woodshedwisdom.com, to view or use any of our website pages such as Comments, Books, Donate, Prayer Requests, etc.

 

We apologize for any inconvenience this temporary delivery issue may cause. Now, here comes another ‘wheelbarrow load of woodshed wisdom.’ Be blessed.

 ++++++++

 

 Woodshed Wisdom

By Freeman Martin

 

Have you ever heard somebody say, ‘I’d liked to have been a fly on the wall while that was going on.’ Well, I never found myself wantin’ to be a fly, but sometimes I do wish I had a little more techno-sense. I would have had a hidden camera rollin’ and one of them high-falootin’ infra-red remote microphones aimed right at my back porch.

What in the world was going on, you ask, on my back porch? Thank you for asking. It was the First Ever M.H.K.B.F.F.R. Before you call the guys in the white jackets to come get me, let me see if I can ‘splani-fy’ what was happenin’ on my back porch. For lack of brain power, I’ve just assigned those initials – MHKBFFR, Mill Hill Kids Best Female Friends Reunion.

When they make the movie, and they should, the opening script will be “Long ago and in a galaxy far away…,” or maybe it’ll be “Once upon a time, there lived on a mill hill in the South three little girls who became best friends.” Come to think of it, I like that one better. Even though mill hills, in the sense they were known in those days, really are long ago and far away. Can I get an Amen on that?

I know, get off the side road and back up on the back porch. OK, those three cute and cuddly little mill hill girls, Ann, Judy, and Helen, became the best of friends, having the time of their lives doing what mill hill kids did back then, or so I’m told. Character building and mentally challenging activities like ridin’ bikes, climbin’ trees, throwin’ rocks at boys who were ridin’ bikes, and even slippin’ off and hidin’ in a culvert to take a drag off of one of their daddys’ unfiltered cigarettes. Side road, please. Can you just imagine how that would have turned out if they had these modern day e-cigs?

Anyway, what’s remarkable is these three little mill hill girls grew up, left the mill hill, went off and got married. One of ‘em even became my MHB, but that’s beside the point, other than the fact that this MHKBFFR took place on my MHB’s back porch. What is remarkable is that these three grown-up mill hill girls each had a little girl of their own, Linda, Kim, and April. And as this MHKBFFR unfolded on my back porch, you had the three original mill hill girls PLUS their daughters, who are in their own galaxies far and away from the mill hill world. And they’re all together for the first time in about fifty blue moons. So, now do you understand why I’m wishing I had a little more techno-know-how!

Of course, I’ve watched two of the three daughters grow up, Kim in my own house, and Linda just across town. But Miss April arrived at this back porch reunion all the way from Texas by way of Tennessee. And, boy howdy, did they all do some talking. That’s like saying that a duck likes water. Hello! What should I have expected when three sets of mothers and daughters get together for the first time ever in recent memory?

And as April was tracing her roots from Texas back to the mill hill, I heard a comment that sent me day-tripping back down that dirt road toward my roots on the farm. She said, “I was born in April, so they named me April.” Uh, oh, I’m in a full gallop down that dirt road now. And I’m wondering why Daddy and Mother didn’t use that same naming system back there on the farm in the 50’s. With nine kids, we could have covered almost all the months of the year. Even with a couple born in the same month, that could have been easily solved with something like, November #1 and November #2.

But, no, they had to start with their parents (our grandparents) and work their way through aunts and uncles and cousins, naming this farm nine for favorite family members. That’s how I came to have three last names that, even today – three score and ten later, I have to explain how they got out of order….favorite uncle first (Freeman), mother’s maiden name (Brown) second, and family name (Martin) last.. I’ve spent more than one intense session at the woodshed when one or both parents overheard me say, “They shook the family tree and some nuts fell out!”

But I’m proud of all three of my names. And so thankful for family tradition. But it sure caused Mother some headaches when we had stepped on her last nerve and she had to call the roll to get to the one she wanted. And when she landed on it, you knew that if she called you by the three names listed on your birth certificate, you might be headed for the woodshed!

Something landed in my inbox the other day called the Top Ten Girl Baby Names in the U.S and its counterpart, the Top Ten Boy Baby Names in the U.S. Interesting how naming babies has changed in seventy years. Check it out. In the pink corner, you have bouncing baby girls named Sophia, Emma, Olivia, Isabella, Ava, and Mia in the top six. Those are all very lovely names, but I was left scratchin’ the old bald top wonderin’ if it’s the modern day movie star influence, or maybe we’ve gone way, way, way back in our heritage, like to 1492, and started naming girl babies after the different Queens of Spain who loaned ol’ Columbus some gas money.

Just kiddin’….no hate mail, please. As I said, they’re very sweet names. In fact, #7 in the girl group is my oldest sister’s (and my Grandma Martin’s) name – Emily. Good to see some things don’t change. Rounding out the top ten for the girls were Abigail, Madison, and Elizabeth.

On the blue side, the Top Ten names for boy babies sounds like I’m reciting the books of the Bible that we had to memorize in Vacation Bible School back home at Return Baptist Church. Yes, we actually did something constructive, before we got expelled from VBS for drinkin’ all the kool-aid and eatin’ all the vanilla cream-filled, three-packs-for-a-dollar cookies. Coming in at #1 on the boy baby list was Noah, and rounding out the list was Daniel. In between were Liam, Jacob, Mason, William, Ethan, Michael, Alexander, and Jayden.

Regardless of their names, I hope and pray that these and all other boys and girls grow up to know the One Name that’s above every name that’s ever been or ever will be. A name that someday will cause every person all over this world to take a knee. And someday this Name will be on the tip of everybody’s tongue ‘cause it’ll be a household word and every person in the world will be talking about it. It won’t just be the first name on somebody’s top ten list. It’ll be the ONLY name whereby men, women, boys and girls can go to Heaven.

Philippians 2:9-11

New King James Version (NKJV)

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

At our church we have this humongous pearly white banner with gold letters on it that comes down out of the ceiling. It only has one word on it – JESUS. When it descends from above, even my goose bumps have goose bumps. And the short hairs on the back of my neck stand at attention. Right now it serves to remind us that, indeed, when God calls time, the One named Jesus will descend from Heaven to Earth just as He left. We’ll look up when we hear the shout and the trumpet. But if you don’t already know the Name that’s above every other name on earth, it’ll be too late.

You won’t even have time to have goose bumps.

+++++

Donate

If you have been blessed by this trip to the Woodshed and would like to share your blessing, please pray daily for this ministry to touch lost souls who don’t know Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives.

Secondly, if you feel led by the Holy Spirit to help take Woodshed Wisdom to the world through the internet and would like to make a regular monthly gift or a one-time gift, or both, please designate whether it is a one-time gift or recurring monthly gift, and send your gifts by mail to:

WOODSHED WISDOM

c/o Freeman Martin

310 Andrew Pickens Dr. Seneca, SC 29678

One-time gift of $ _____________, plus monthly gift of _______________.

One-time gift of $ _____________.

Monthly gift of $ ______________.

My prayer is that God will be glorified in all that you and I do, and that you will be richly blessed for your gifts to take the Word around the world through the internet. And don’t forget to forward Woodshed Wisdom to a friend.

Share

THREE LITTLE WORDS

Woodshed Wisdom

By Freeman Martin

 It was an innocent question really. One that I’m sure she had asked thousands of times before she posed it to us. And by now her words were rather flat from over usage and sorta flung over her shoulder in our general direction. But, in her defense, the waitress – excuse me – the hostess had no way of knowing that the three words her brain had been programmed to ask everybody coming through the front door, would light the fuse of such a mental explosion.

 

 By now, your curiosity is about to kill the cat, so allow me to let the cat out of the bag. My Mill Hill Bride and I, on a recent date night, were greeted with the aforementioned three words upon entering one of those nice places where a fellow can take his MHB on a date night. Whadda you mean, you haven’t had a date night since JFK and Jackie moved into the big white house? And you wonder why your ice tea ain’t sweet anymore? Well, you’ve gone and done it again – got me chasin’ a rabbit down a side road. But seriously, folks, this was definitely not a Vienna sausage and Saltine cracker place.

 

 When we’re on a date night, the menu for her must be, without exception, some part of a chicken that’s cooked completely without a hint of salt and with some kind of green and yellow rabbit food on the side steamed until it’s soft and mushy. For me, just be sure you mention cornbread, sweet taters, grits, or shrimp. Or all of the above if you want a generous tip.

  

I’m not saying that the ol’ DRCB (dirt road country boy) and his MHB (mill hill bride) are above their raisin’, but this place had cloth napkins – and they weren’t even white. And – you’re not gonna believe this – they were folded up and stuck in your water glass. But I’m getting the cart before the horse. We only saw this after we’d been waitin’ about 30 minutes and that little black thing-a-ma-jig in my back pocket started vibratin’ and squawkin’ like a mad setting hen.

 

 So I take my date’s hand in one of my hands (remember when you used to do that on a date?) and this squawkin’ box in my other hand, and we make our way back to where the lady was that was rolling up some more of those colored napkins. Lo and behold, she was puttin’ two forks and a knife in every roll-up. And they were real shiny and heavy.

 

 Do you wanna know how you can tell when you’ve taken your special date to a special place? Yep, you’re absolutely right – when they’ve got enough colored napkins to stick one in every water glass. And they’ve got enough forks for everybody in the place to have two a piece rolled up inside some more colored napkins.

 

 Whoa! Hit the brakes. This mental mule-train is out of control goin’ downhill. What were those three words – the question that the hostess asked? Yeah, I know, you’re ready to slap me with a wet dishrag if I don’t get to the point. So sharpen your number two lead pencil and get out your Blue Horse writing tablet – here it comes. TABLE OR BOOTH? You heard right. That’s what she asked. And, quicker than you can say ‘jackrabbit in the swamp,’ it turned an old man into a barefooted boy walking down that dirt road toward the ol’ farm house.

 

 Back home at Route 4, we never heard of anything called a booth that you sat down at to eat supper. For us, it was one big long heavy oak table, two benches and two chairs. So, when the lady turned around and repeated her question – table or booth – it took a well-placed elbow nudge from my date between ribs number two and three to bring me back from my trip down memory lane. Table, by all means, a table, I wanted to shout. “OK,” she said, it’ll be a few more minutes while we get one cleaned off.” I guess she thought we looked like ‘booth’ people, whatever that is.

 

 Suppertime back home was always with the family gathered around that big table in the kitchen, the only room in the ol’ farmhouse that was hot as blazes in the summertime and even hotter in the winter. And not a thermostat in sight on either the fireplace or Mother’s wood-burning cook stove. But when supper was over, there was still work to do. It was time to get up from the table, clean it off, wash and dry the dirty dishes, do homework if we had it, and get ready for tomorrow.

 

 I’m reminded of another family, gathered around the supper table, and when it was over, there was work that had to be done, something to be cleaned up, to get that family ready for all their tomorrows:

 

 John 13:1-9
New King James Version (NKJV)

 

13 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?”

7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”

8 Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!”

Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”

9 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”

 

And just like ol’ Simon Peter, it’s hard for me to understand why Jesus wants to wash my feet. But then, like Peter, when I stop to think about it, I want Him to dump His whole bucket of soap and water all over me, from my head to my toes. Because, unless I let him clean me up good and wash away all the dirt and grime from this world, I won’t be ready to eat supper with Him at that great Banquet Table that He’s getting’ ready right now for all who will have Him wash their feet. And, if I let Him clean me up, He’s promised that He won’t stick me in a booth somewhere over against the side of the wall. No, sir-ree, it’ll be the big table with the rest of His family.

 

Now, that’s a date I definitely don’t won’t to miss.

 

Donate

If you have been blessed by this trip to the Woodshed and would like to share your blessing, please pray daily for this ministry to touch lost souls who don’t know Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives.

Secondly, if you feel led by the Holy Spirit to help take Woodshed Wisdom to the world through the internet and would like to make a regular monthly gift or a one-time gift, or both, please designate whether it is a one-time gift or recurring monthly gift, and send your gifts by mail to:

WOODSHED WISDOM
c/o Freeman Martin
310 Andrew Pickens Dr.
Seneca, SC 29678

One-time gift of $ _____________, plus monthly gift of _______________.

One-time gift of $ _____________.

Monthly gift of $ ______________.

My prayer is that God will be glorified in all that you and I do, and that you will be richly blessed for your gifts to take the Word around the world through the internet. And don’t forget to forward Woodshed Wisdom to a friend.

Share

THREE LITTLE WORDS

Woodshed Wisdom

By Freeman Martin

 

It was an innocent question really. One that I’m sure she had asked thousands of times before she posed it to us. And by now her words were rather flat from over usage and sorta flung over her shoulder in our general direction. But, in her defense, the waitress – excuse me – the hostess had no way of knowing that the three words her brain had been programmed to ask everybody coming through the front door, would light the fuse of such a mental explosion.

  

By now, your curiosity is about to kill the cat, so allow me to let the cat out of the bag. My Mill Hill Bride and I, on a recent date night, were greeted with the aforementioned three words upon entering one of those nice places where a fellow can take his MHB on a date night. Whadda you mean, you haven’t had a date night since JFK and Jackie moved into the big white house? And you wonder why your ice tea ain’t sweet anymore? Well, you’ve gone and done it again – got me chasin’ a rabbit down a side road. But seriously, folks, this was definitely not a Vienna sausage and Saltine cracker place.

 

 When we’re on a date night, the menu for her must be, without exception, some part of a chicken that’s cooked completely without a hint of salt and with some kind of green and yellow rabbit food on the side steamed until it’s soft and mushy. For me, just be sure you mention cornbread, sweet taters, grits, or shrimp. Or all of the above if you want a generous tip.

 

I’m not saying that the ol’ DRCB (dirt road country boy) and his MHB (mill hill bride) are above their raisin’, but this place had cloth napkins – and they weren’t even white. And – you’re not gonna believe this – they were folded up and stuck in your water glass. But I’m getting the cart before the horse. We only saw this after we’d been waitin’ about 30 minutes and that little black thing-a-ma-jig in my back pocket started vibratin’ and squawkin’ like a mad setting hen.

 

 So I take my date’s hand in one of my hands (remember when you used to do that on a date?) and this squawkin’ box in my other hand, and we make our way back to where the lady was that was rolling up some more of those colored napkins. Lo and behold, she was puttin’ two forks and a knife in every roll-up. And they were real shiny and heavy.

 

 Do you wanna know how you can tell when you’ve taken your special date to a special place? Yep, you’re absolutely right – when they’ve got enough colored napkins to stick one in every water glass. And they’ve got enough forks for everybody in the place to have two a piece rolled up inside some more colored napkins.

 

 Whoa! Hit the brakes. This mental mule-train is out of control goin’ downhill. What were those three words – the question that the hostess asked? Yeah, I know, you’re ready to slap me with a wet dishrag if I don’t get to the point. So sharpen your number two lead pencil and get out your Blue Horse writing tablet – here it comes. TABLE OR BOOTH? You heard right. That’s what she asked. And, quicker than you can say ‘jackrabbit in the swamp,’ it turned an old man into a barefooted boy walking down that dirt road toward the ol’ farm house.

 

 Back home at Route 4, we never heard of anything called a booth that you sat down at to eat supper. For us, it was one big long heavy oak table, two benches and two chairs. So, when the lady turned around and repeated her question – table or booth – it took a well-placed elbow nudge from my date between ribs number two and three to bring me back from my trip down memory lane. Table, by all means, a table, I wanted to shout. “OK,” she said, it’ll be a few more minutes while we get one cleaned off.” I guess she thought we looked like ‘booth’ people, whatever that is.

 

 Suppertime back home was always with the family gathered around that big table in the kitchen, the only room in the ol’ farmhouse that was hot as blazes in the summertime and even hotter in the winter. And not a thermostat in sight on either the fireplace or Mother’s wood-burning cook stove. But when supper was over, there was still work to do. It was time to get up from the table, clean it off, wash and dry the dirty dishes, do homework if we had it, and get ready for tomorrow.

 

 I’m reminded of another family, gathered around the supper table, and when it was over, there was work that had to be done, something to be cleaned up, to get that family ready for all their tomorrows:

 

 John 13:1-9

New King James Version (NKJV)

 

13 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?”

Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”

Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!”

Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”

Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”

 

And just like ol’ Simon Peter, it’s hard for me to understand why Jesus wants to wash my feet. But then, like Peter, when I stop to think about it, I want Him to dump His whole bucket of soap and water all over me, from my head to my toes. Because, unless I let him clean me up good and wash away all the dirt and grime from this world, I won’t be ready to eat supper with Him at that great Banquet Table that He’s getting’ ready right now for all who will have Him wash their feet. And, if I let Him clean me up, He’s promised that He won’t stick me in a booth somewhere over against the side of the wall. No, sir-ree, it’ll be the big table with the rest of His family.

 

Now, that’s a date I definitely don’t won’t to miss.

 

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If you have been blessed by this trip to the Woodshed and would like to share your blessing, please pray daily for this ministry to touch lost souls who don’t know Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives.

Secondly, if you feel led by the Holy Spirit to help take Woodshed Wisdom to the world through the internet and would like to make a regular monthly gift or a one-time gift, or both, please designate whether it is a one-time gift or recurring monthly gift, and send your gifts by mail to:

WOODSHED WISDOM c/o Freeman Martin 310 Andrew Pickens Dr. Seneca, SC 29678

One-time gift of $ _____________, plus monthly gift of _______________.

One-time gift of $ _____________.

Monthly gift of $ ______________.

My prayer is that God will be glorified in all that you and I do, and that you will be richly blessed for your gifts to take the Word around the world through the internet. And don’t forget to forward Woodshed Wisdom to a friend.

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D-DAY

Due to computer problems this past weekend, some subscribers did not receive the following important message, and the attached Woodshed Wisdom post entitled “D-Day.” If you did receive it, please excuse the repetition. God Bless.

Freeman Martin

 

 A MESSAGE TO WOODSHED WISDOM READERS:

What is it about the power of distractions to interrupt or disrupt our lives? Where do distractions come from? What does one do about increased responsibilities brought on by distractions such as issues of health, age, family, financial, jobs or other matters? Am I the only one who’s ever been distracted? All these and many more questions about distractions have been a large part of my conscious thinking in recent days and weeks.

In the belief that I’m not the only person who’s ever lost focus on our goals due to some kind of distraction, I’m going to be real transparent here. Almost five years ago, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, we started writing stories about God’s grace and protection from our perspective of growing up in a large family on a Southern farm in the hard-scrabble days of the 1950′s. Again, under His leadership, we started posting these stories on the internet under the most appropriate title of ‘Woodshed Wisdom.’

Many of you who are reading this right now have told us you also had similar experiences, and you were blessed by reading these stories. That was confirmation of our two-part prayer at the start that God would bless others, and that He would be glorified. And did He EVER come through with an answer to that prayer! We even heard from you and other people far and wide who clamored for a book about these stories of Woodshed Wisdom. And, again, God blessed us with a Christian publisher, and Woodshed Wisdom, Vol. 1 became a reality. Full speed ahead, right? ‘If God be for us, who can be against us?’

So what’s all the mental energy about distractions, you might ask? Well, in the last 18 months, my wife and I have seen some of the greatest distractions ever in our soon-to-be 50 years of marriage. And here’s a wild guess. We just might not be in that boat by ourselves, but even the slightest distraction that goes to the top of our to-do list can take our focus. Some would say, ‘just handle it and move on.’ I’m here to tell you, that takes a very strong person. Not many people, even among believers, can claim that kind of strength. On our own, our weakness is great, but God’s strength is greater (Phil.4:13).

Even when distractions require extra attention and time and some lifestyle adjustments, and rightfully so, the devil must be very happy when, in our weakness, we allow those adjustments to take our focus away from God would have us to do or be in our lives with the talents and abilities He has bestowed upon each and every one of us. He PROVED to me beyond doubt that HE would bless others if I just do what He called me to do – tell others about Jesus through the written word.

In recent months, in my weakness, I have allowed my keyboard to go silent. And that must make the devil very happy indeed. But can I just say, ‘don’t be too rough on me.’ He’s still working on me (and maybe you, too.) And in that regard, the Holy Spirit led me, on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, to write some thoughts around the theme of God’s people making D-Day type decisions.

Throughout this time of praying and listening to the Lord, He’s convinced me of this one thing. A D-DAY DECISION IS A DAILY DISCIPLINE! For my own benefit, if for no one else, I’m going to re-emphasize that thought. We have to get up every day and make a decision to move forward, under God’s strength, not ours, doing what He calls all believers to do – tell others about Jesus. And, in doing so, the devil’s distractions can become the devil’s frustrations.

Therefore, here’s my D-Day decision. As often as humanly possible, on whatever God lays on my heart, you will see a resumption of Woodshed Wisdom posted on the internet to those of you who are subscribers. And, God willing, there will be more books. In fact, “Woodshed Wisdom, Vol. 2″ is set for publication toward the end of this year.

So if you will, please suggest that your friends become subscribers. All they (or) you need do is just click the Subscribe button on our homepage (woodshedwisdom.com) and enter their email address. And while you’re on our homepage, if God leads you to be a part of reaching the world in His name through your gifts to this ministry, over and above your tithes and offerings, please click on the Donate button, and follow the instructions. Your gifts will be appreciated and crucial to the success of this ministry. We may never know till we get to Heaven how many lives are touched by your support. Thank you in advance and may God richly bless you!

Here now our weekend thoughts entitled D-Day (although it could also be called ‘D-Day Down on the Farm).

 

Woodshed Wisdom By Freeman Martin

It was June 6, 1944. Many people stayed up all night listening to the radio for news about the Normandy Invasion, which has come to be known as D-Day. In the seventy years that have spanned across our life-scapes since then, this military operation, this D-Day, has come to represent important or significant decisions in our personal, professional, and even in our private lives; time to put into action all the planning and preparation. Or, as a great general would say, “Troops, it’s time to storm the beaches.”

Or, as General Daddy used to say to a bunch of country boys who had never seen a beach, unless you count the banks of Coneross Creek back home on the farm at Rte. 4, when the ‘maters needed hoein,’ the wood needed to be cut, the pole beans needed plantin,’ or the fields needed plowin,’ and all he heard coming from his workers (us) was ‘lame-brain’ excuses, he’d say, “OK, Boys, time to quit talkin,’ and start walkin’.

But wait a minute! Already I’m chasin’ a rabbit down a side road…let me get back up on that tar-and-gravel main road and these ramblin’ thoughts for today. I have a feeling that Cecil and Iva Belle Brown Martin were also awake for most of that night, June 6, 1944, albeit for a different reason.

What else besides D-Day would keep a family up all night on a South Carolina farm seven decades ago? Thank you for asking. Here it comes…pay attention, class. Although it was a very important date in the life of our country, it wasn’t so much the news from Normandy that kept Mother and Daddy (and the rest of their farm family) awake that historical night, as it was the bawlin’ and squallin’ of their #4 child who was exactly ninety days old that D-Day in 1944.

Already I can see some of you letting your minds take you around a curve on this dirt road story. You’re thinkin’, “What were they doing? The country’s at war, things are probably gonna get real tough, and they’ve already got four-on-the-farm. Shouldn’t that have been a D-Day for them?”

Well, I say all that to say this. They had five more after me and my life today was molded in large part due to the privilege, honor, and blessing of being born into this farm family of nine brothers and sisters. Did we fuss and fight, gripe, belly-ache, complain, throw rocks at each other? Oh, yeah! And probably a thousand and one other things that earned us multiple trips to the Woodshed.

Bingo! There it is…THE WOODSHED. You can put what I’m going to say now with a buck-fifty, and it might get you a cup of coffee, but here ‘tis. I believe that our Mother and Daddy made a D-Day type decision before #1, sister Emily, was born, and steadfastly refused to waver from it all the way through almost 50 years of child-rearing until #9, sister Anne, was born.

And make no mistake; raising that many kids must have taken nerves of steel, tempered with hearts of love. Did they struggle? You betcha! Sometimes, I’m sure it was like chargin’ up heartbreak hill; other times, and there were some, it was like eatin’ cold watermelon or homemade ice cream in the shade on a hot summer day. But it all revolves around rearing the next generation with respect and integrity.

And, yeah, there was that ‘drug’ problem…being drug to church twice on Sunday, once on Wednesday, and every night of those seven-day Spring and Fall Revivals. They made that choice for us. And every choice we’ve made throughout life can be traced back to that choice. And when we didn’t think it was smart to follow their choice, I’d say something like, “Well, Ralph’s momma and daddy don’t make him go to church every time they open the doors.”

And Mother would sweetly reply, “Just ‘cause Ralph Nix jumps into the fire, do you think I’m going to let you jump into the fire, too?” Kids say crazy things sometimes to test their parents’ better choices. Actually, if somebody opened the church doors just to go in and sweep the floor, Ralph’s Momma and Daddy probably had him there, maybe even doing the sweepin’!

Sadly, as a nation, I think our fishin’ poles are out of the water when it comes to making D-Day-type choices. Has that choice itself made us better people….a better nation? I’ll leave you to draw your own answers to that question.

But there was once an old man who challenged his people, his fellow countrymen, to make a D-Day-type decision for their better future. His brothers and sisters had been down many muddy, dirt roads while wandering around like chickens with their heads cut off for forty years. They were fixin’ (in Rte. 4 language, that means getting ready) to move to a place where they could have cornbread and milk (or honey!) for every meal if they should choose to do so.

And there was this one ol’ man who challenged his people not to forget the One who had ‘put up with all their shenanigans’ for forty years. Remember the One, he said, who had promised, protected, and provided for them, even when they decided to ‘jump into the fire.’ His name was Joshua and his words to his people are at the heart of all choices for all people in our world today.

Joshua 24:15, New King James Version (NKJV) 15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

We all have to make a choice. Not choosing is not an option. The most important choice any of us will ever make is what we choose to do with Jesus. Have you made that choice?

If not, today is D-Day.

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