Woodshed Wisdom
By Freeman Martin

Editor’s Note: As many of you know, we’ve been working for quite some time to publish our first book of Woodshed Wisdom stories. The devil has been working overtime and doing everything in his power to prevent this from happening. That was to be expected because we know he’ll do whatever he can to stop anything and anybody, including a Christian publishing company, from giving glory to God.

However, I’d just like to boldly and publicly stand up today and tell you that the devil is no match when it comes to God’s power! Our first book, Woodshed Wisdom, Vol. 1, is very close to becoming a reality. Just this week, I have signed off on the manuscript, photos, cover design, etc. With that being done, I am under conviction to once again re-start the writing process. Below this note you’ll find my first effort in that direction.

Also, I have been told by my publisher, Tate Publishing & Enterprises, that we can reasonably expect to be able to start ordering books from their warehouse by the first of October with a shipping time of approximately three weeks. What a wonderful praise to the Lord that it looks like anyone who wants the book, or prayerfully, several of them, will be able to read it and/or give it as a gift just in time to honor the Lord during the season that we celebrate His birth! To Him be all the honor and glory forever. Amen


Pneumonia? Are you kiddin’ me? Who gets pneumonia in the summer time? Inquiring minds want to know. At least this inquiring mind did. But that’s exactly what we heard Dr. Mitch Dillman say two weeks ago after examining my weak-as-a-kitten, coughing-like-a-jack-hammer, pain-wracked wife.

But then reality set in as he explained what our life was going to be like in the immediate near future. First, a shot in the hip with a big ol’ horse needle that surely must have been borrowed from the vet’s office. Next, antibiotic capsules as big as your thumb to be taken every twelve hours, around the clock. And cough medicine (don’t call it syrup, that’s for pancakes) that also could be used for motor oil. Plus enough liquids to bring the lake levels back up to full stage. And, oh yeah, complete ‘house arrest’ with no visitors for the next two weeks while you’re contagious.

If you know my MHB (mill hill bride), you’ve got a pretty good idea of the situation that I had on my hands. What Doc should have said was, “Set off a Lysol bomb in your house. Then park all the cars, stop all the trains, ground all the airplanes. Get you some plow lines and tie this gal up hand and foot till you bring her back to see me.”

Growing up at Rte. 4, I can remember on the fingers of one hand how many times I was taken to a doctor. In fact, only one time made a lasting impression. And it was to a dentist who I thought surely must have used vise grips and channel lock pliers to jerk an abscessed tooth out of my mouth one Saturday afternoon after office hours. And the resulting dry socket that made my jaw look like a blimp and hurt like a ball peen hammer upside the head for the next month.

But in the cold winters of a farm boy’s memory, there was only one remedy when you got sick. No doctor’s appointments, no waiting rooms, no trips to the hospital ER. No chest x-rays and prescriptions emailed from the doc’s laptop in the exam room to the local drugstore and picked up at the drive-thru window. Even as I write those words, my Rte. 4 mind is still trying without success to wrap itself around modern medicine.

For the Martin boys and girls, it was just gobs and gobs of Vicks Salve stuffed up our nose and down our throat till we gagged. And a big piece of one of Daddy’s old flannel shirts saturated with that miracle balm, held over a whistling kettle on Mother’s wood burning cook stove till it was blisterin’ hot, and then tied around our chest.

You have to remember this was before inside bathrooms and showers with hot and cold running water. So you carried that ‘aura’ wherever you went for several days. Stray dogs and cats would run the other way. The cows would hurry over to the other side of the pasture. And chickens would jump up on the choppin’ block, stretch out their neck, and wait for the axe to fall.

And even after we confessed to Mother that a miracle healing had indeed occurred, and begged to be allowed to go back to school, she would sweetly say, “Just wear your flannel undershirt a couple more days.” Even before the word ‘why’ could form on my lips, she would say, “Just in case.” Until I was 18 years old, I thought Justin Case was the name of our family doctor. Turns out she knew the Great Physician. And His name was, and is, Jesus Christ. I know because I heard her talking to Him many mornings over that old cook stove.

But now, hit the fast forward button. Back to my MHB. After a truckload of chicken soup, vegetable soup, chicken pot pie, casseroles and other homemade get-well-soon goodies from family, friends, Sunday School class and church members were slipped under the garage door, accompanied by another truckload of prayers sent up to Mother’s (and our) favorite healer, the healing process indeed began. For the patient and for the care-giver.

Now, we’re sittin’ in Dr. Dillman’s exam room again. After his cautious “How are we feeling today?” greeting, my MHB replied, “I feel like a brand new person!” But it was the next words out of Doc’s mouth that I won’t soon forget. In a soft, almost reverent voice, he said, “It was the Lord and the good medicine.” Hallelujah! I think I hear the choir singing.

Have you been to the Great Physician’s office and received His healing prescription? He’s on call 24/7/365 and, the best part, you never have to wait. He even makes house calls. And it doesn’t matter to Him how contagious (sin-sick) you are. In fact, He was eatin’ dinner one day with a bunch of His patients (Matthew 9:10-12) and His office staff.

When He heard some puffed up, know-it-all Pharisees ask His disciples what in the world Jesus was doing eatin’ with sick folks, He gently and tenderly took ‘em to the Woodshed where the next words out of His mouth taught ‘em a lesson they (and all of us) should never forget. Healthy people don’t need a doctor, just the sick. And He wasn’t just talking about sniffles and sneezes, either.

So, for the really important stuff, like getting’ healed from the contagious disease that Adam and Eve spread all over all of us, call on the Great Physician. For the colds, flu, and even pneumonia, keep some Vicks and an ol’ flannel shirt handy.

Justin Case.