This story is to show others what God will do if you are obedient. Remember this word "Obedient." I've wanted to sing as long as I can remember. My mother would sing country and gospel songs around the house as far back as I can remember. I was always a music lover. I was told before I could walk or talk mom would turn on music on the radio, they would hold me up and my little legs would go with the music. As I got older I sang along with the country singers on the radio, with singers like Hank Williams Sr, The Chuckwagon Gang and singers on the Mid Day Merry Go Round on WNOX out of Knoxville, Tennessee. In the summer we would gather with neighbors and friends on the front porch. Mom would play the guitar and we would sing. It would be a mixture of gospel and country music. As I entered into my teen years, Rock and Roll was the big thing . By this time we had moved up north to Illinois, as Mom was ill, and we went to live with my older brother Bob and his wife Loretta. Dad died when I was 9 years old and Mom was having a hard time. But that's another story. As a teenager I wanted to be a Rock singer. At 16 I was given the opportunity to record a love song. I took the time to learn the song. It was a beautiful song, but I thought it would cramp my style, so I turned it down. Keep in mind, God had a plan for me. I was being molded along the way for bigger and better work for Him.
At 17 I got saved. I worked for the Lord for about a year. A word to those leading and rearing young Christians, choose carefully what you say to them. I will not go into detail at this time but a minister I believed in caused me to leave the Church with a statement he made. (Another story later)
A few years passed and I began to sing from time to time in night clubs and bars but never went anywhere with my music.
As years came and went I spent time talking with God, most of the time when something went wrong and I needed His help and that was quite often.
Years passed and I lost business after business, my home and finally my family. I had not turned my back on God, but I wasn't being obedient to God. There is that word again "Obedient." Remember this powerful word.
I wandered around from here to there for a while then decided to return to Tennessee, after loosing everything I owned and loved. I had been striped like Job.
In 1992 I married a woman that had sung Gospel music for 35 years.
In 1993 going through the mountains on I-40 east on our way to visit my brother in-law in North Carolina. I popped in a gospel tape of the McKameys. "Under His Feet" was playing and the tears began to stream down my face. The Spirit was so strong in the car that day. You needed to have been there and experienced what I felt that day to know what I mean. I gave my life back to God.
When we returned from North Carolina, my wife Dela and I began to sing in churches around our area. I bought a guitar and Dela taught me a few cords, and I would sing with the guitar. Sometimes I would play but most of the time Dela would play when we sang.
Well, Satan got upset. He had lost me again and he thought he could get me back. "Wrong"! I'm getting ahead of my story.
In 1994 I had a heart attack. With a bad heart, asthma and emphysema I am now on disability.
My wife Dela became very sick with cirrhosis of the liver. She got worse and worse. The last 2 years were the worst, as at times she didn't know how to feed herself; Sometimes she would ask me how to go to sleep and ect. If you have never dealt with someone with this type of disease it is hard for me to explain.
Dela finally went into a coma and passed away. I went through a very bad time, depression and such. I didn't know what I was going to do. But I felt it was time I took control and got back into life.
I asked a lady friend, Linda, to have dinner and conversation with me. This was part of Gods plan for me and her, as we fell in love that night as no other two people have ever fell in love. I believe God put us together with all my heart. We got married within 6 months, April of 1999. But I'm a little ahead of my story. God had been telling me for about 4 years to stop smoking cigarettes. He had a job for me and that job was to sing for him. In order to do a good job it required me to stop smoking as I had smoked since I was 13 years old. I have asthma and emphysema. I had said several times "Lord take away the craving for cigarettes." You know this is not what God was looking for. Quitting smoking was very difficult for me. In January of 2000, a friend of mine Dillard Craig said he had quit smoking. I asked him how he did it. He said he had the flu and ever time he would try to smoke it would make him sick. As I was driving home from his house that night. I began to talk to God, I said "God, have these cigarettes make me sick so I don't want them." My dear friends, be very careful what and how you ask God to do something. Within a week I was in the hospital dying with my asthma and emphysema. But the night before I went into the Hospital I told God I would not smoke anymore. I was obedient and have stayed obedient. That is what God wants from us.
When I showed the Lord I could be obedient let me tell you all that has happened to me in the last few years.
I have won 21 National awards with the Tenn. Country Music Association, Gospel Division. I have won 9 International awards with the North American country Music Association, Gospel Division. I came in third in Ed McMahan's Christmas Star Search. I have toured four states, been on several TV and Radio Programs. I have my own radio program Syndicated World wide out of Sevierville, TN., I have been given 5 Editors Choice Awards and 2 Bronze Poet of Merit awards with the International Library of Poetry. My poetry was chosen for publishing in the "Incandescent Jungle" by the International Library of Poetry. They chose my poem "A Star Was Born" to be put on a compilation album called "Sound Of Poetry". They have published 15 of my poems on CD called "Visions". I was invited to go to Disney World in Florida to read my poetry and to receive the Poetry of Merit Award and I have been nominated for International Poet Of The Year. I received the Shakespeare Trophy of Excellence and was selected as Famous Poet for 2005. I have been published with Noble House of London, Paris & New York and American Poets as well as Cyberwit's International. I have 10 CD's and have written several of the songs on these CD's. I have written over 200 poems and I have other songs which do not have music to them yet. March 11, 2005 I received "Who's Who In Poetry " from the International Library of Poetry and my poem "A Talk With Jesus" is the first poem in the book. I received Christmas Album of the year March 13, 2005, for "Happy Holidays". This award was with North America Country Music Association International. As you can see, God has been good to me. This is what God will do for you too, if you are simply obedient to his wishes. Put him first in your life and he will use you for his work. Just let him.