Archive for November, 2017


A friend said one time that on his last visit to the eye doctor, he decided to play a trick on the doctor. When doc asked him to read something on the eye chart, he would say, “What eye chart?” And then the doc said, “The one on that wall right over there.” To which my friend would say, “What wall?”

And just before the doc called the office of Assistance For The Blind, he would say, “Just kidding, Doc!” I’ll admit, that’s not the way it usually goes on a routine annual eyesight check up. Usually doc will say, Read the bottom line. OK, try line 7. No problem, how about line 5. Can’t see that one? OK, starting at the bottom, just tell me the first line you CAN see. 

How about your hearing? Have you found yourself turning your head to hear with your ‘good ear’? Or asking, “What was that you said?” Maybe it’s time for some audio assistance. Or maybe you’ve visited your cardiologist so often that terms life A-Fib, stints, and by-pass (and I’m not talking about the road around town to dodge downtown traffic) have become household terms.    

The longer God allows us to walk His earth, the more frequently our fearfully and wonderfully-made physical bodies require regular visits with our family doctor. Excuse me, in the new age lingo, I’m supposed to say Primary Care Physician. 

However, there’s something that we haven’t seen even if our eyesight is 20-20; something that we have not heard even if we can hear a pin drop from 400 miles away; and something we can’t even imagine … something that’s never entered into any person’s heart and mind … something we don’t have the ‘foggiest idea’ about … something we don’t have a clue about … like how good that little round piece of dough with a hole in the middle tastes when the hot now light is on before we’ve ever tasted it.  

With that in mind, we can begin to wrap our mind around the idea of Heaven, although we’ll never fully understand what God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9) until we see it for real.  

How’s your vision? Is it time for a visit to the Eye Doctor?



The red light on the phone in the hotel room blinked incessantly. But since we were just checking in, it couldn’t be for us. And in the business of checking in and settling in, the blinking red light captured no more of our attention. But through the night, though we were asleep, it constantly called for attention.

Seeing it still sending out its message when morning came, we sought an answer from the front desk. “No, Sir, you don’t have any messages. We don’t know why the light is still blinking. We think someone before you must have not answered their wake-up call. 

What would you do if you checked your Caller ID on your next incoming call and saw this message? Would it be a wake-up call? Would you hit the green Accept button immediately? Or would you just let it go to voice mail? Or maybe send one of those ‘too busy to talk right now’ or ‘can I call you later’ messages?

This scenario most likely won’t ever play out on your hand held device. But it very well could happen, and often does happen, if the ‘ears of our heart’ are listening for and accepting all calls from this Caller. Is He calling you right now? Our Savior stands with outstretched arms, constantly sending out this message, “Whosoever will may come.” (John 3:16)

Excuse me, your phone is ringing. Don’t you need to take that call?





QUICK! What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when I say ‘day after Thanksgiving?’ If you said Black Friday, you’re absolutely wrong.

Hear me out, please, before you say his mind has turned to sweet potato souffle.

I realize it’s good for business and many stores survive these days on what happens during the holiday shopping season beginning the day after Thanksgiving. And some places don’t even wait till the day AFTER Thanksgiving. They crank it up before the turkey and dressing gets cold.

But Black Friday – four o’clock on a cold and dark late November morning? If they can sell that theater-size flat screen television for 99-dollars from four to six am, why couldn’t they do the same from, say, three to five PM?

At least if people are going to run over small children and turn over shopping carts carrying babies, maybe the ambulances could get there a little better in the daylight.

Come to think of it, maybe Black Friday gets its name from the color of the bruises people suffer trying to get to something they don’t need on the day after they were thankful for all they have.

 I submit to you, dear readers, a better name for the day after Thanksgiving, the day before Thanksgiving, and all the OTHER 363 days of the year – are you ready for it? THANKS-LIVING!  And the icing on the pumpkin cake – you don’t have to stand in line on a cold dark morning… WHOSOEVER will may come –  any time, any day, anywhere. Remember, it’s not happy people who are thankful; it’s thankful people who are happy. And this ol’ country boy is happy and thankful that he’s not standing in line. 





A Thanksgiving Day Thank You Note

By Freeman Martin

Author’s Note: This was written several years ago. Since then our Journey has taken us many miles further down the road. When I ran across it today, the pleasant memories of this special lady flooded across the miles of our Journey like the gravy on our Thanksgiving turkey & dressing. I share it in the singular hope that it might add a taste of sweetness like cranberry sauce to your 2017 Thanksgiving Day family gathering. (Psalm 100:4)

In his Thanksgiving message to our church at Rock Springs Baptist, our pastor, Dr. David Gallamore, focused on Psalm 100, one my Grandmother’s favorite Scripture passages. Pastor’s message knocked the rust off a few of my dormant brain cells, and sent me back down that old dirt road to the Woodshed, remembering the impact of a sweet, simple, Southern lady, and a Thank You note to her that we wrote when our first book was being published. I share it again today with the prayer that it might cause a pause for all of us to give thanks for all our blessings. As the guys & girls sing about at church, God really has been so good. Thanksgiving Blessings to you and yours from the old dirt road country boy and his mill hill bride.

Dear Grandma,

In my lifetime, I’ve been negligent in writing so many thank you notes to people who have blessed me with their special gifts. But, as you used to say, this one ‘takes the cake.’ As you no doubt know by now, God has seen fit to orchestrate the release of my first book during the Thanksgiving season. And, since you gave your life on earth to the teaching profession, I must beg you to please excuse my English, but ain’t it wonderful how He works His plan in our lives to bring Him honor and glory.

But before I start chasing rabbits, back to my confession. This thank you note is about sixty years overdue. Boy howdy, my MHB’s (mill hill bride) blood pressure would be off the chart if I did that today! By the way, Grandma, one of my most treasured possessions is a picture of you wearing white gloves at the wedding of this country boy and his mill hill girl back there in ‘64.

Speaking of pictures, there are two of you in Woodshed Wisdom, Vol. 1. In one of them, you’re young and beautiful at age 21. In the other, which I also treasure, you’re even more graceful and beautiful at age 84. I believe the writer of Proverbs might have had you in mind when he wrote about the splendor of gray hair (Prov. 20:29). So, even though I never thanked you as a cotton-haired country boy, this rapidly balding ol’ man sends this heart-felt thank you note.

The memory of you in your rocking chair and me, sittin’ up straight, I might add, in a high back wooden chair on the front porch of your little house on the hill, is as fresh today as the ‘maters and ‘taters we grew and ate back there on the farm at Route 4. And even though I would much rather have been scarin’ some squirrels and rabbits and birds with my slingshot, I knew better than to argue when you said, ‘Go in the house and get The Good Book.’

Grandma, I know in my heart that had it not been for your insistence that I read to you from The Good Book, there quite possibly might not be a book today with my name on it. You always said you wanted me to read to you from your favorite Book because of your failing eyesight. But, oh, how I realize now that you knew and believed the truth that God’s Word would be a lamp to my feet and a light for my path (Psalm 119:105) to help me see the road ahead long after I no longer walked down that dirt road at Route 4.

Because of your vision, I know that the Bible is the greatest book ever written. I’ve also come to realize that you not only loved His Book, but you lived His Book. And that brought Thanks-living to every day of your life, holiday or not. Even though you were a pauper in the eyes of the world, you were rich in God’s eyes beyond human imagination. And to think that you chose a life of pouring that wealth all over a bunch of unruly farm boys and girls, just humbles my heart and soul today.

In fact, I woke up in the pre-dawn hours of this Thanksgiving morning with a song in my heart. I can’t carry a tune in a water bucket, but one of the memory verses you made me memorize was Psalm 98:1, ‘Sing to the Lord a new song for He has done great and marvelous things.’ You also taught us that the devil likes to make us think about what we don’t have, and there was a lot that we didn’t have back there at Route 4. But what we did have was a grandmother who loved the Lord and lived that ‘attitude of gratitude’ way of life, thankful for the air we breathed, the water we drank, and, even those ‘maters and ‘taters we ate.

Your ‘thanks-living’ way of life became your witness, always telling others how good God had been to you throughout your life. Grandma, that’s a lesson that’s taken me many, many years to learn, but one that I promise to remember in whatever books God allows me to write. Like you always taught us, ‘Whatever you love, you’ll tell others about.’ Yes, even cornbread and milk, but especially the Lord who provides it!

So, Grandma, as I close this long overdue thank you note on this Thanksgiving Day, so many decades removed from your front porch, I’m so thankful that I can still see you leaning back in your rocking chair with your eyes closed and a mega-watt smile lighting up the place as I read to you one of your favorite passages from the Greatest Book ever written:

Psalm 100 King James Version (KJV) 1 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Thank you, Lord, for my Grandma.

Emily Henrietta Compton Martin 1884 – 1970