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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