COMING in JUNE 2017!

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After a busy weekend Adam and Thaddeus was ready for a nice quiet day to sit back and relax. But the day of relaxation quickly turned into a situation of trying to help a brother in need. How much do you love your brother?

BROTHERLY LOVE

COMING in JUNE 2017!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

I want to take this time to wish all the mothers out there a very happy and Blessed Mother’s Day weekend.

I could sit up all day and night and tell you stories of things my mother had said or done but I’m sure you could too about yours. One thing that will always be etched in my mind was when my father pastored a church in Thomasville, Alabama and my mother worked at a convenient store in Camden.

Camden was several miles and across the river from Thomasville (Google Map it sometime). In September of 1979 Hurricane Frederick was barreling down on the gulf coast and my mother had to work the same night that the hurricane was to make landfall. She closed the store up and drove to the place that was the designated storm shelter in Camden but she didn’t see anyone. But the thing that mattered most to her was her family and home. And these are the words of how she told it that night.

“I put my Bible in my lap and prayed, ‘Lord, I’m going home one way or another. To one place or another. Either way before the sun comes up and this storm passes I’ll be at my earthly home or my heavenly home but I’m going home.’ I started heading home in the middle of the storm. When I got to the bridge crossing the Alabama River I drove in the middle of the road and the wind and rain beat down so hard on the car and rocking it I stopped in the middle of the bridge and prayed again. ‘Lord, I’m going home one way or another.’”

I remember quite well waking up in the middle of the night and getting up and walking into the living room. The power had went out several hours prior and all we had to see with was oil and kerosene lamps. I saw the flicker of a lamp in the living room and walked in there while the storm was raging outside and there sat my mother with her Bible in her lap reading by the light of an old kerosene lamp.

One of the greatest visual sermons my mother ever preached was the story of the ten virgins and how they “trimmed” their lamps. She demonstrated that if you will trim the wick on the lamp before lighting it you’ll have a brighter glow and a cleaner burn.

Okay, now wipe your eyes and let me tell you about my “other” mother. I was born December 31, 1967. My oldest sister was born September 14, 1956. So naturally when both my parents had to work to make a living it was Barbara Ann who took care of us younger ones. By the time she was 11 years old, when I came along, she was able to cook full meals and have them on the table when our parents got home from work. She was the one who got up with me in the middle of the night, changed my diaper and gave me my bottle and rocked me back to sleep. I was always told when I was stubborn she would take me outside on the swing on the front porch and swing me and sing to me. She has told me on several occasions that my favorite song was “Daydream Believer”. She said I would go right back to sleep every time she sang that song to me.

I later found out that Daydream Believer peaked at number one on the Billboard charts in December 1967. I still love that song and know every word to it. Right before Barbara passed away I sat next to her bed and sang that song to her.

One of the funniest times I remember was when me and my best friend Jacob would go with our older sister’s to the grocery store, and of course we would always try to embarrass them. We had done it to Jacob’s sister once and she turned blood-red from embarrassment. The story would go something like this.

We’d get to the register to check out. There would be people standing in front of us and people standing behind us in line.

Jacob: “Mama, can I have some candy?”

Me: “Mama that wouldn’t be fair. If he gets some candy I want some too.”

Jacob’s sister: “Be quite. I’m not your mama.” Blushing.

Jacob: “Mama, why are you so ashamed of us?”

Me: “I told you that she was embarrassed and ashamed of us.”

Of course it worked so well embarrassing Jacob’s sister we decided we would try it on Barbara.

Jacob: “Mama, can I have some candy?”

Me: “Mama I want some candy too.”

Barbara: “No! shut up and stop asking or I’ll whip both of you right here in front of everybody.”

Yep, Barbara got us that day. We both knew, and there was no denying the fact that we were not going to embarrass my sister. But in reality she really was a mother to me.

And of course I can’t forget the mother of my son.  My loving bride that has been by my side for the past 30 plus years.  There is not a day that goes by that I don’t tell her that I love her, even when we get frustrated with each other (more like when she gets frustrated with me).  I may not have another chance so I want to remind her every day that I love her.

So if you still have your mother call her, visit her and tell her how much you love her, not just on this Mother’s Day weekend but call and visit every day. One day she won’t be there, and like my mother before she passed away, she may forget who you are. So it’s very important to tell them now. Make and keep those memories and share them with your children and grandchildren so that it can be passed down from generation to generation.

And again, to all you mothers out there. I pray you have a wonderful, joyous and happy Mother’s Day!

Love you all!

TATERS & FISH

The “itch” hit me a couple of months back when in the dead of winter we had a warm beautiful day.  Ever since then I had been wanting to go fishing.  Just like hunting I told my wife that I wanted to go fishing more this year.  I could count on one hand how many times I’ve been fishing in the last three to four years.  I went as far as getting all my reel and rods out and started cleaning them up and re-lining them.

I woke up early that Saturday morning.  Slight to no chance of rain, a beautiful warm day. The weather conditions were going to be perfect for a day outside.  Whether you got out riding a motorcycle, having a yard sale, going to a yard sale, doing yard work or going fishing. I chose to go fishing.  I got up, got dressed and then woke my wife and offered to take her out for breakfast.  Usually I cook breakfast on weekends and let her sleep in since she gets up during the weekday and fixes breakfast for me.  Most of the time I will wake up early and get up, fix myself a cup of coffee and watch the ‘Rifleman’ with Chuck Conners in the den.  Lately though I’ve started watching fishing shows.  You know, having the “itch” and all.

Anyway my wife got up and got dressed and we drove down to Luverne to have breakfast. Our place of choice is a little restaurant, or diner if you prefer, called ‘Taters’.  It used to be called ‘Matties’ but it was taken over by new owners.  I like the name ‘Taters’ better too. “Taters” or for anyone north of the Mason/Dixon Line that might be reading this, “potatoes” are by far my most favorite vegetable.  I love potatoes so much that I don’t even like calling it a vegetable because to me it seems like it’s an insult to it in some kind of way.  I prefer to call it the “other” meat.

We go into ‘Taters’ and as always, met with a welcoming smile.  Being a local they pretty much already know what you’re going to drink except my wife, it may be coffee, soda or tea.  It all depends on the mood she’s in for the day.  At each table or booth they always have an encouraging Bible verse on each napkin dispenser.  On the wall is words and quotes of faith, hope, love and family.  They always have gospel music playing on the radio.

We enjoy our meal and talk with other patrons, locals, as well as friends who may venture in.  Of course sometime it can get too loud in there as it gets crowded but that’s all part of the small town diner you’ll experience here in the south.

After about four cups of coffee and my wife’s one cup and a tea to go I’m still having my “itch”.  I can’t get to the water fast enough.  By the way did I mention that Tater’s has really good coffee?

When we get back home I start grabbing my reel and rods and all my fishing gear and throwing it into the truck.  My wife tells my son that we are going fishing and he’s talking and texting with his fiancé.  They decided they wanted to go fishing as well.  Great, we’ll make it a family affair and enjoy everyone’s company.

After a couple of stops to pick up some bait and other supplies as well as a soda we make our destination.  I am about to get my cure for my “itch”.  We get settled in and ready to fish and the first reel I pick up won’t cast.  That’s alright, there are four of us and I brought about nine reel and rods along.  The second one I cast out and it fell a few feet short, a few yards, okay it barely hit the water.  I reach down and pull on the line and it won’t move.  I take the cover off and look to see what was hanging the line and low and behold I realize of all the reels that I had prepared I had to pick up the one I forgot to re-line.  Situation taken care of now I am ready to catch me a string or cooler full of fish and have some fresh fish to eat.  Everyone is getting nibbles and bites and I’m going after the big ones.  I want to haul in that monster Bass, the kind you would be proud to hang on the wall and brag about in years to come.  I’m loving this moment in my life.  I’ve finally got a chance to go fishing, got my family and future family around me.  Those that I love the most enjoying the day with me.

Finally getting settled in for a second time and everyone and everything is nice and quiet. Looking out over the water I reflected back to times I’ve spent with my dad and older brothers and my son out fishing.  I finally come to the realization of where my dad would get his words of wisdom from.  Experience.

After about four hours of fishing and only one little bream fish caught, which I did not catch, we decided the fish weren’t biting enough but the mosquitos and the turtles were. We still enjoyed the day and each other’s company.

And just like my dad gave me, I now give you my words of wisdom to my son and anyone else that will listen: If you plan a fishing trip for the day don’t EVER drink four cups of coffee and a soda before going.

Have a great day and take a loved one fishing this spring and summer and if you’re ever in Luverne, Alabama stop in at “Taters” and have a bite.  You’ll be glad you did.

A Big, Big Thank You.

I want to thank each and every one of you that have purchased my new novel (ebook) Mistaken Identity.

Since its release date of January 4th  it has went to #1 on the Smashwords Christian Fiction Bestsellers list.  I was a little skeptical to begin with as it lingered at number 2, then it dropped to number 3 and then to number 4.  I told my wife that it will probably continue dropping as more books are published by other authors.  She reminded me that I am always telling her to be positive and now I was the one being negative.  To say the least I always, ALWAYS get the last word in, “Yes dear.”

We continued asking people to read it, write a review and rate it; which I ask of you as well if you haven’t read it yet.  It is more of a novella than a novel as it is a quick read with less than 40,000 words but that is also why we have it priced so cheap at $1.99.  Less than a soda and a bag of chips.  I have a link to the Smashwords website where you can download it or you can now download it from your favorite book reader on your phone or tablet.  Ebooks are also great gift ideas as you can purchase a copy and send to a friend or relative for a birthday or other special occasion.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/694176

The second ebook in the Thaddeus Taite series, ‘Brotherly Love’, will be coming out later this year, probably sometime around June, if all goes accordingly.

I also want to take the time to give a big shout out and thank you to my dear friend Beth Rogers with Around The Loop Publishing (ATL Publishing) for all her hard work and dedication to helping me with this book and all the others.  If you would like to see all that she does here is a link to her website:  http://aroundtheloopdesigns.com/index.html

If you’ve read Mistaken Identity and liked it please pass the word around to others, I would so greatly appreciate it and please rate it and leave a review as well.

Love you all and have a very BLESSED day!

A REDNECK RECLINER

One of the worst weeks in my life was when I broke two, yes 2, recliners in one week.

My loving wife and I decided that we would go all out for our living room several years ago. We decided to buy a whole new living room suit. When we got to the furniture store my wife eyeballed the first sofa setting by the door. She said, “That’s the couch I want.” We didn’t even know the price of it she just decided she wanted it. I’m sure it was meant to be because they had it setting right next to the front door as we walked in.

Did they know we were coming or something? Did my wife call ahead and tell them we were coming? I don’t think any of those things but it must have been destiny for us to walk into that furniture store that day and the very sofa my wife wanted was right by the door. Of course a good furniture store who prides itself on getting that quota for the month and having good sales has a way of putting the nicer, more expensive furniture right in the window or at the front door. I wouldn’t say it was the most expensive sofa in the store but I did find some nice ones hidden amongst all the others that was a lot cheaper. “We’ve got our couch, now let’s go find some recliners that would match it.” My loving bride said.

Where we used to live we had a rather small living room. We decided before we left the house that the best thing for us to do was to just get a sofa and two recliners. That would be all we would need in that tiny living room. We had determined that if we got a whole living room ensemble we wouldn’t have room to walk around or move. So a sofa and two recliners were it.

As we looked at all the recliners we both had mentioned to the salesperson that we wanted our chairs to match. He was quick to point out a nice overstuffed recliner that would match our sofa perfectly. “And we already have another one in the back just like it. So you won’t have to wait a week or longer to get a matching one from the manufacturer.” He said with a smile.

“Really?” I thought.  Is that the “only” recliner you have in the back that matches all these recliners you have out here on the floor? Reluctantly we agreed and wound up buying the not-so-cheap-overstuffed recliner. He did have a good sales pitch though.

The next day they delivered our new  living room set. The large couch with throw pillows and our overstuffed matching recliners. As the men struggled to move the sofa in first I told them to just set it down and my wife and I would rearrange it how we wanted. Then the two recliners. Them things were so big and overstuffed even the two big guys that brought them up the steps and into the house struggled to get them in. As we contemplated how to move our new furniture around we had come to the realization that we really did have a small, small living room. Very small. Once we got everything situated the best way we could figure out we quickly found out that if we both sat in the recliners and let the footrest out then there would be absolutely no walking room whatsoever. Yes, that’s how small our living room was.

When the home was built back in the mid-70’s furniture wasn’t as large and plush as it is today. So there wasn’t any reason to have an extremely large living room, or any other room for that matter for a modest home.

Not long after we moved to where we live now one of our recliners broke and it was time to toss it. My wife and I found another one that would work perfect. It wasn’t a large overstuffed recliner like the one we had but it was good enough. At least it was a lot cheaper and we did have a much larger den to accommodate our large bulky furniture. I will never forget that fateful day when our other overstuffed recliner decided to let me down…literally.

Picture this in your mind if you will. I got a couple of cookies out of the cookie jar in the kitchen and walked into the den and sat down. When I leaned back in the recliner it just kept going…All the way back. And there I went all the way back to the floor…cookies in hand. I called my wife who was in the kitchen at the time to come and help me up.

Our wonderful black lab knows a few words.  She definitely knows what “ride” means and “bed”. Well, I called for help and she came to check on me lying on my back on the floor in the recliner. She sniffed me in the face to make sure I was alright then she helped…helped herself to my cookies. Took them right out of my hand and laid down in the middle of the floor and proceeded to eat them. My wife came in the den just as she saw Sam, the dog, checking on me and then taking my cookies out of my hand. Now she is almost doubled over laughing, while at the same time asking me if I am alright. Thankfully the recliner was overstuffed so there was no way I would have gotten hurt, except for my pride.

After we took that recliner out, we took our other, cheaper, recliner and put it where the broken one had been. So there we were all sitting around one evening a couple of nights later, talking and watching television and now everyone in the household knows the “only” recliner left in the house has to belong to daddy. I sat down and let the foot rest out, no problems, not until I went to let the footrest down. The wooden handle on the side breaks off right in my hand. Now I’ve got a second broken recliner.  All within a week.

But thanks to my smart, redneck ingenuity, I was able to fix a temporary handle for the footrest. And it works perfect, even today. Yep, now I like to call it my “Redneck Recliner”.

One day I’m going to break down and buy myself another new recliner. Another one of those large, bulky, overstuffed kind. One of those that would make a fat boy like me happy to take a nice long nap in while a game is going on television. But lately since I spend more time in the office writing and my wife usually watches television in the bedroom I think that is something that can wait. At least until I can save up enough money I can go and get that perfect recliner.

Oh, and one more thing. I didn’t tell you how I fixed the handle on the other recliner did I? Let’s just say vise-grip pliers is one the best inventions man has ever made. Especially if you have a broken recliner handle.

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WHY DO WE MOURN?

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4 KJV)

These past few weeks, especially this past week, we have seen several friends leave us. It has been a sorrowful time for those of us who hate to see them go. Even though we call it a “home going” or a “celebration of life” we can’t help but show sorrowful emotion for those that have gone on.

We know that from here on we can only hold them close in our hearts and not in our arms. Hear their voice in our heads and not in our ears. Think about the good times we’ve had with them. And laugh at something that was said or done. It was only after my parents had went on to be with the Lord that I didn’t realize how much of my father’s quirky quotes I could remember. Or the way my mother would get onto my father for saying such quotes. “Edsel!” Would be all she would say. It wasn’t just what she said but how she said it and the expression she gave. He would only laugh about it.

If I ever said, “Well, it’s like this.” My father would speak up and say, “And if you turn it around it’d be like that.” Once I heard him talking about a person being so lazy that they couldn’t shew chickens off a flatbed truck. I couldn’t sit here and tell you a lot of the sayings he had unless something triggered it in my mind.

When my dad died on May 23rd 2004 it was then that I realized that he didn’t die at all he just got a new birthday. A little over a year later my oldest sister, Barbara Ann (Tadlock) Wood, left us on June 10th 2005 after battling the dreaded disease called cancer. That’s why I always say we don’t need to win the war on cancer one day but we need to win it today. Three years later on May 29th 2008 my loving mother left us.

The reason I can remember dates so well is because I’ve always associated it with some other event in life. When I walked down the aisle of Highland Home High School to receive my diploma in 1986 little did I realize that on that exact same day 18 years later I would be “celebrating” my father’s life. His “new” birthday. Now when I think about it or if I talk about it you’ll always hear me say their old birthday and their new birthday.

Why do we mourn? Do we mourn because they left us? I don’t think so. Like all those that I know that have gone on before us, they’ve gone on to a better place. A reward of their labor on this old earth. No pain, no hurting, no worries, no bills (Haha). All that is behind them now. I think the reason we mourn is not that our loved ones have left us but that we can’t go. We all want to go to a better place and if we love our family, friends and most importantly, love the Lord and give our heart and life to Him then we can one day go to that better place.

God tells us in Isaiah, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55: 8,9 KJV)

I want to tell you all that has lost a loved one recently that I am so very sorry for your loss but I also want to tell you that I love you. Because if we never see each other again I want that to be the last thing you hear from me. I love you.

Now go and get ready to “CELEBRATE” your loved one’s “new” birthday.

HAVE YOU EVER PUT YOUR HAND TO THE PLOW AND LOOKED BACK?

Recently I watched a movie on television and the person on the run was always looking back. Looking over his shoulder for someone following him, stalking him or watching him. He was suspicious of everyone he encountered and trusted no one.

Ironically I’ve noticed, and I’m sure you have too, that plot seems to be in several movies. An ex-wife on the run from an abusive ex-husband, a person on the run from a biker gang or mafia, an escaped convict who’s on the run from the law. Always on the run and always looking back, all because of what they have done in the past. A mistake they made in life and it follows them for the rest of their life, or at least to the end of the movie when their past catches up to them.

Sometime don’t you wish real life was kind of like a movie? Then it would only take anywhere from an hour and a half to three hours to confront the problem, address it or fight it off (like they always do in the movie) and then you could go on living the rest of your life with no more regrets. The past would be where it’s at, in the past. By the time the final music or song is played and all the credits run life would be back to normal like it should be.

When I went to the funeral of Charles Frank “Paw” Motes, (My other daddy) the minister preached the message from Luke 9:62.

And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God (KJV)

He spoke of how Paw Motes loved the Lord and pressed ahead to the true calling he was called for. To be a servant. He never looked back with regret. He never had to look over his shoulder, watching out for someone he had wronged. He pressed ahead. Did Paw Motes make mistakes in life? I’m sure he did. We all do. We’re flesh and blood and human and that’s what humans do, they make mistakes.

In my confession I’ve made mistakes in my past I’m not proud of. I was young and stupid (if you want to chalk it up to that). Not too long ago I found out that I had hurt my best friend’s feelings real bad several years ago and now there’s not a day goes by that I don’t think about that, I love him so very much and would never do anything intentionally to hurt him. I know some of the mistakes my wife had made in her life before I met her or got to know her and she knows mine, but Lord, we’ve been married going on 30 years now. We should know some of the things we’ve done wrong in our past. We don’t have the perfect Utopian marriage we’ve hurt each other’s feelings in the past. And yes, we have come close to deciding, should we go on or should we just go on? But we’ve worked past it, loved each other all the more and now I’m focused more on the next 30 years and what they’re going to be like with her.

Our pastor had said many times we need to be like the mule and put blinders on so we can stay focused on what God has in store for us. Not what’s around us; not what is behind us but where we are going.

The woman in the Bible that was caught “in the very act” of adultery. Jesus said, “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” They all left one-by-one from the eldest to the youngest. He then asked the woman, “Where are thy accusers?” When she told him there are none, he simply said, “Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more.” People tend to leave out the “Go and sin no more part.” But the most important thing is, she was forgiven of what she had done. (John 8:3-11) That is the water that had done gone under the bridge and out to the sea of forgiveness and forgetting.

But a lot of people in this world would prefer to hold onto that water and keep it under the bridge so they can always bring it up. Know what happens to water when it doesn’t move? It gets stale. So does the people holding on to it. Their life becomes stale, their marriage becomes stale, and most importantly their spiritual life becomes stale. What’s more is that stale water begins to stink. People holding water under a bridge and not letting it go out to the sea of forgiveness becomes stale and start to stink. Then they began to make all those around them stink. It just becomes a stinky life.

I want fresh water. Water that’s always moving. Water that is cool, clear and refreshing. That’s what I want for me and my family; clear, refreshing water that soothes the soul. Jesus is that water. That water of life. The true Water of Life forgives and forgets.

He not only experienced it in his life and ministry he even told about it in a parable. What was the father doing while his son was away squandering his half of the inheritance? He was watching and waiting for his son to return. The love he had for his son coming home far out weighed the sin he committed toward his father and the inheritance that was given him. (Luke 15:11-32)

That’s why it is always better to not only forgive yourself of what you’ve done in your past but also to forgive others of theirs.

Love you all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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