As one of nine children growing up on a farm at RFD (Rural Free Delivery), Route 4, Seneca, SC in the 50’s, I, and the rest of my siblings, especially my brothers, had many opportunities to learn the errors of our ways as Daddy applied the ‘board of education to the seat of our learning.’ And many times, these board meetings were held out behind the woodshed. And, like most boys in pre-teen and early teen years, those lessons were never learned on the first trip to the woodshed. In fact, it was our mule-headed stubbornness that took the re-enforcement of many trips to the woodshed over the years to learn, appreciate, and remember some valuable life lessons.
And for some people, myself being chief among those, our Lord must take us to the woodshed spiritually to teach us what He wants us to know, how He wants us to act, and what He wants us to become according to His Master Plan for our lives. And much like those young boys back home on the farm, it has taken me many trips to the woodshed over the years under God’s leadership to learn to appreciate the ‘wisdom of the woodshed.’
During the past several years, it has been my privilege to sit under the blood-washed, anointed preaching of Dr. David Gallamore, pastor of Rock Springs Baptist Church, in Easley, SC. The consistent (and in my mind persistent) message from Pastor David throughout many, many sermons is to use whatever God has gifted us with to be and to become what He has created us to be and become for His honor and glory.
Again, it has been the re-enforcement of listening to God’s call on my life for about forty years, combined with Brother David’s clarion call to do it now or take a chance that God might remove his gifts and give them to someone who will act, has lead us to share the lessons of the woodshed, hence the name of our devotionals, Woodshed Wisdom! Our goal is only that God be glorified and someone is blessed by our daily trips to the woodshed.
There are so very many people that I need to thank for this project becoming reality. First and foremost, I thank God that He never turned His back on me during the last forty years, and that He always held that door open (Rev. 3:8, NIV) no matter how many times Satan tried to slam it in my face.
And, when I was just a boy, my grandmother, Mrs. Emily Compton Martin, or “Miss Emily,” as she was affectionately known in the community, would have me read the Bible to her over and over again as a daily routine. She blamed her cataracts and her failing eyesight for these sessions, but I’ve come to realize her true mission! I praise the Lord today for the memory of her instilling in me the love of the scriptures, and I think she’ll get a kick out of reading Woodshed Wisdom! with the rest of the Saints gathered around the Throne.
Also, this effort would simply have been impossible without the love and support of my wife, Helen, who was my high school sweetheart, although my country-boy shyness wouldn’t let me tell a mill-hill girl how much I liked her till later. She has been my soulmate and life partner since I got over my shyness long enough to meet her at the altar of Utica Baptist Church on Aug. 29, 1964. (I think she would have come looking for me if I hadn’t shown up at the church). Whenever we have read a good book or an inspirational message, her constant remark would be “You can do that, too.” Through thick and thin, God has blessed us with a wonderful marriage, two adult children - Kim and Jeff, and three precious grandchildren – Kirby, Casey, and Sarah-Parker.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY – GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE!