Wood, Hay, & Stubble Memories

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(Monkees - Daydream Believer)

1967 - And why should it not start with a dream?  The beginning of life is reinforced, first by the dreams of others, then by our own.  Perhaps our dreams will carry into the next existence.  So, goes the hope of the Daydream Believer!

(The Beatles- Revolution)

1968 - I await one more Revolution, that is, revelation, where selfishness is no more.

(The 5th Dimension - Aquarius)

1969 - I was sitting in the middle of an empty floor in a room with a wall of many windows and glass doors; the time – for the world it was the beginning of the age of Aquarius.  At two, the sun is shining through, I remember it was amazing.  What a year was I, 1969.  "Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun:" Ecclesiastes 11:7. 

(Anne Murray - Snowbird)

1970 - “When I was young, My heart was young then, too.  Anything that it would tell me, that's the thing that I would do.  But now I feel such emptiness within.  For the thing that I want most in life's the thing that I can't win...So, little Snowbird, take me with you when you go.  To that land of gentle breezes, where the peaceful waters flow.

(Lynn Anderson - Rose Garden)

1971 - A dog, a Rose Garden, and a wrought iron fence; a memory from the past, I cut my finger through that fence.  On a rose thorn, I mourn; I now know what that’s “four.”  He reaches for my hand…The roses are yours?  I bleed the same color and now you do too, touch me again and King will bite clean through.

(The 5th Dimension - (Last Night) I Didn't Get To Sleep At All)

1972 - Last Night, I Didn’t Get To Sleep At All.  A wooden bench as a baby gate, through the door dad enters the hall.  Dressed in fatigues aside goes his weapon of war.  My sister he holds now, mom and I are off to the store.  I met an angel this day, he saved me this year.  I was left alone in a running car and I knocked it in gear.  Strange as it was to see him standing alone, when he stopped the car short of the busy highway, I knew he was God’s own; cherub from heaven he fled as fast as he saved, no one else saw him, just the car start, stop, and stay.  They all say I did it, to my mom’s reappearance, but I know different, it was God’s divine brilliance.

(Paul McCartney Feat. Wings - Live and Let Die)

1973 - I'm not very proud of some memories, well proud is a lame descriptive for anything I feel, but especially memories; some I loathe.  I do not loathe them because I necessarily hate them; I loathe them because they're of the world and/or the flesh.  The world caused me to believe and act on things in my foolish youth that created false feelings, beliefs, and emotions in me.  That is what the world according to the media will do to you.  They will create a world in the imagination of your mind that is a lie, and you will model your world after the rudiments of their indoctrination.  Soon you will have adopted their manners, false feelings, and artificial emotions and substituted them for the authentic.  Then, your world will consist of talking about and watching the world of news, politics, and entertainment, and living your life after their principles in contradiction to God’s word.  That is their goal, and currently there is scarcely a person who is not a loyal subject of their domain.  My 7th memory is one of those memories.  "But if this ever changing world in which we're living makes you give in and cry, say Live And Let Die.

(Olivia Newton-John - Let Me Be There)

1974 - The next door babysitter’s father trapped my dog, he was peeing on their flowers.  She wouldn't call my dad; so, from the bedroom I used ours.  I watched through the window as he pulled up to their house, he exited, turned, grabbed something and spun about; in his hands was his .22 speed-master, that’s what he’d gotten out.  Then he told the guy, “LET MY DOG GO!” with a shout.  The guy refused, dad turned, and put back the gun used for show.  Then turned and hit the guy, a foot taller he had growed; than my dad, and as the guy hit the ground, dad jumped on top, and started to pound.  The guy’s wife came out, she hit dad’s head with a broom stick, and he turned and glared, and without missing a lick; in one stroke hit her, and knocked her too to the ground, then back to the fool that trapped my dog, and continued to pound.  We had to go to the police station, and my dad whispered on the way, “You did not see any gun, you did not see any gun,” what a memory, still vivid to this day.  This is the year we moved to Santee, SC and the Holiday Inn Trav-L-Park.  I remember as we moved that I saw my hippity-hop fall off the truck and I tried to get them to stop.  Do not Let Me Be There without my hippity-hop, but they wouldn't stop.

(Elton John - Philadelphia Freedom)

1975 - Liking a song is not the same as endorsing the singer’s lifestyle or political or religious views.  That will be a standard disclaimer for any song I like.  This was the real year the bi-centennial was celebrated, not 1976.  It was the anticipation and build up to the celebration that was exciting, not the celebration itself.  You really had to be there to know this truth.  Philadelphia Freedom was played so much that everyone was walking around in red, white, and blue.  But after July 4th, 1976, people had had enough and went back to whatever they called normal.

(Paul McCartney Feat. Wings - Silly Love Songs)

1976 - Got me a Farrah Fawcett poster this year, you know, the famous one.  I hung it on the back of my bedroom door.  When you are a kid and your babysitter is the TV, it is only natural that you absorb its customs.  I spent all most all my summer breaks in North Carolina with my Uncle Eddie.  I was sort of his un-adopted son.  They were racing motorcycles at this time, flat-track.  Working in the shop there was always Silly Love Songs playing on the radio.  They are iconic to me now for their ability to conjure memories (good, sad, and bad).  Oh, before I knew what I know now politically, Jimmy Carter was the only democrat I ever liked, but now I do not trust either (two sides of the same coin).  He may be Kennedy; you should compare their photos, pay close attention to their ears.

(Mecco - Star Wars)

1977 -  STAR WARS!  Changed my life, I saw this movie in the theater seven times in '77.  Do you know how hard it is to change your life back after believing in things that are not real (like space)?  It is pretty hard, I feel sorry for the children of the world being brainwashed by the false heliocentric earth model.  Disco was huge (although short lived), I can still remember how to do a great many disco moves, did a lot of dancing in my youth.  One of the hardest things facing the youth in this country is our promiscuity.  No one ever told me any different, and in the late 80’s, early 90's, I would learn just how awful my youth was in God.  However, at this time, the party was just starting, and the fantasy nature of the period was experienced in its fullness.  The downside being that the appetites that were engendered during this time would become a weight on the soul in the future, and constantly require divine providence to overcome.  You should raise your children in accordance with God's word, not many get such a second chance like I did.

(Gerry Rafferty - Baker Street)

1978 - Although I met Brock a few years earlier, and have many memories of our friendship, this particular one is most vibrant.  He would always talk me into walking about a mile to Baker’s Truck Stop because he loved their French toast.  I remember one time how excited he was that Baker Street, by Gerry Rafferty was on the jukebox.  He really liked this song.  Brock is the only person whom I would consider to have ever been my best friend.  We went to two different middle schools that played each other in sports.  He played center in football and I played defensive end.  He ran twenty yards down the field one time just to hit me; I was shocked and mad at first because the play was over, until I saw who it was.  There are a lot of fond memories of our friendship; these are two of the best of those memories.  Bad memories: Trouble, my dog was hit by a car and killed during Christmas.  It was my worst Christmas still to date.

(Blondie - Heart Of Glass)

1979 - For music, 1979 was a nexus point, that is, the ending of disco, and the beginning of pop and freestyle.  This was my first “cool guy” emulation.  I was spending the weekend with a friend and thought his older brother was the coolest guy.  He was about to join the navy and start seal training and I remember being at a skateboard park and he was there.  “Heart of Glass” was playing on the radio.  I saw him smoke a joint with some guys (not cool today), but it was a cool thing to me.  Thus began my era of error, down that path of revelry and lax.   In about seven years I will discover that I have a heart of glass; but now, I was enjoying sins of the flesh.

(Olivia Newton-John & ELO - Xanadu)

1980 - Although we moved to Shawnee Campground (after we bought it) from the Holiday Inn Trav-L-Park late in 1978, this is one of the two “golden years” of that venture.  I found an actual photo of the pool at Shawnee online.  I also left most of the friends I made during my elementary/middle school years at Clarendon Hall (home of the Saints), a private Christian school in Summerton (did not learn anything about God), and enrolled at Holly Hill Middle School.  Lots of new friends, lots of drugs, and lots of exploratory (well you know), and partying.  Sins that trail back to 1977, but they really come to a head in the 80’s.  If you dump your kids in the world, do not expect the world to guide them on the right path.  As fun as it seemed then, and as mentioned before, the weight of wickedness starting now would be hard to overcome.  Because of these times, temptations and the desire to fulfill lusts would strain normal relationships for the rest of my life.  Xanadu was just another worldly daydream in my faded memories of the past…welcome to the 80’s.

(Blondie - The Tide Is High)

1981 - A Kiss Only Enhanced Regret’s Bitter Sweet Taste:  A year of #1’s, and 1 girl I shunned, and to this day Cindi’s crush is still #1.  Like a fool I ignored her, even calling her cute penguin; yet she made me fall in love, with Tigers of Clemson.  We watched the Orange Bowl together, (for me, muddled friends untogether); yet of all the girls I’ve known, her friendship was purest altogether.  The Tide Is High in 1981, a #1 song, a #1 team, and a #1 crush rivaling any man’s dream.  I have botched many relationships, but none never begun; so, this #1 can never be undone.  That may be best in the paradigm of me, but still, I wish I had experienced more with a diehard Tiger girl named Cindi.  P.S. For you I will add GO TIGERS! even though I no longer track sports.

(Men At Work - Who Can It Be Now)

1982 - Cindi gave me the Men at Work cassette for my birthday.  The reason I never committed to any one girl at this time was because I was having a sinful time playing the field.  I do not even remember their names well enough for remorse over the sins of my youth.  That will change in about four years, but it begins here.  This will be my last full year of living in South Carolina.  My parents foresaw their economic collapse, and as such, my Uncle Eddie came down and started hauling back property to North Carolina.  This included my twin cam Cosworth Vega, my first car.  And Who Can It Be Now?  This is the first time I saw Lori, she came with Uncle Eddie.  It was love at first sight for me, and she would eventually become my first real long term love interest.  In the years to come, I will ache at each moment I think her.  “My toe hurts!” 

(Prince - Little Red Corvette)

1983 - I started training and showing Arabian horses full time this year.  I decided to live with my Uncle Eddie at their farm after leaving South Carolina.  I won my first high point award at Shadow Lake Farm exhibiting the stallion Bay Warrior.  I won many awards during the horse training years, but the belt buckle I won for the high point award in '83, is the only one I still have.  Lori would eventually purchase Bay Warrior from Uncle Eddie.  My relationship with Lori had not really started yet, but she loved Prince and Little Red Corvette, and by default, I listened to his music as well.  She went nuts over Purple Rain in '84.  I began my junior year at North Iredell High School (home of the Raiders) in '83 with all its attendant evils and lust.  Self is a god easily worshiped, yet powerless to redeem.

(Thompson Twins - Hold Me Now)

1984 - The relationship between me and Lori started progressing.  I also started training and showing one horse in particular, MH Magnum, a bay Arabian stallion.  I would do a lot of winning with Magnum.  The song “Hold Me Now” is probably third on the list of my all-time favorite songs.  The song has more to do with memories of my bond with Magnum than anything else.  He was like my horse even though I did not own him, and there was a connection that only existed between us.  There was a spirit in Magnum that was similar to the one that existed in Trouble (my dog) that was killed in '78, and I felt that it was so unfair and wept without consolation over Trouble.  I encountered the same spirit in another pet around 2006, which could mean something.  It is my belief that all three were of the same spirit.  Magnum and I became iconic around the farm and on the show circuit.  Who knows what awaits those that seek pureness (1st Consecution).

(Madonna - Crazy For You)

1985 - No longer am I entangled with the world, but in the 80’s, Madonna was my favorite pop artist.  She has more songs in my list than anyone (three total).  The only exception is in The Year of Tears.  I got a job at Dominos following the lead of Ronny (a.k.a. Pooty Head).  I met Mickey at Dominos.  Ronny and Mickey had attended North Iredell, but Mickey graduated a year earlier.  Mickey would become a close friend.  Mickey, Ronny, and me, more or less smoked a lot of pot.  “Crazy For You” was playing one night at Dominos when this guy’s girlfriend had an eye flirtation episode with me.  If my relationship with Lori was not hot, this girl was ripe for the picking, and her boyfriend knew it and was mad.  I’ve had many looks, gestures, and flirts in my life, but none more memorable as that one.  The '85 Madonna look was a look that most girls of the time mimicked, but none as well as this girl.  My relationship with Lori was getting serious, I wanted to marry her.  If time travel was possible; this is where carnal me would go.  October 26, is Lori’s birthday and the time Marty McFly is trying to get back to.  I would have given anything to go back to October 26, 1985, especially on October 26, 2015, that is, before considering the desires of the Tear Collector.  Now I try and forget those things that are past and press forward to eternity.  However, if I had never met Him, this is the time I would go back to – but now I know better.

(Madonna - Live To Tell)

1986 - This was my first experience with a lying woman (well, one I was dating or married to, I left family lies out of the previous years for their feelings).  I used to be very trusting by nature so, I tended to believe lies.  I caught Lori at Godfathers Pizza talking with another guy, but she denied anything, said they were just school friends that bumped into each other.  Hindsight will always make you say, “I should have known better.”  I got a job at Statesville Welders Supply, best job I ever had, and I quit it twice, so stupid.  It was also the first year Mike Krzyzewski took Duke to the Final Four, even to the championship game, but they lost to Louisville.  The reason I am pointing this out is because I would become a Duke Basketball fan after this, but not a diehard fan until after 1993, and my daughter Megan.  This is also the year that the space shuttle Challenger exploded.  I remember how moved I was at the occurrence.   If I knew then what I know now, and that they were sacrificed or it was faked, I would not have been so emotionally affected.  FYI, space travel is not possible and we have never been to the moon.  It’s all in the Bible, and governments know this to be true and are lying to you and have been covering it up for hundreds of years, but especially since Operation Fishbowl.  “Live To Tell” is a good song from the soundtrack, but the movie “At Close Range” was excellent, and surreal.  I remember how moved I was when I watched it for the first time.  I do not watch TV or movies anymore because of these types of false feelings, and a vow.

(Swing Out Sister - Breakout)

1987 - I got a job working at Sitting Rock Farms, I really wanted to progress more into professional horse training.  Lori was taking lessons at Sitting Rock, and they purchased a horse from them.  She would cheat on me twice in this year, first with a school mate, then with a guy at Sitting Rock after I quit them and tried to start my own ranch.  This was a hard year, she dumped me, my heart was broke, and I ran away to Reno, NV.  I got a job at the Silver Spur Ranch (the owner owned three casinos), and I apprenticed under a professional horse trainer in California.  I fulfilled the dream of becoming a professional horse trainer; I got good at it too.  I was winning 3,000 to 5,000 dollar purses at regional horse shows.  Swing Out Sister’s “Breakout” became my anthem for that year, and it encouraged me to strike out on my own and prove myself.  When I got to Reno I met the Tear Collector in an apartment in Sparks.  I read the Bible from cover to cover in about a week and did not eat anything while I did it.  It turns out that He will repeat this manner of heart break in the natural to draw me back when I get wayward from time to time in the future.  I was truly heartbroken over Lori, but through it I found Him that heals the brokenhearted (2nd Consecution).

(Paul Carrack - Don't Shed A Tear)

1988 - My year and a half in Reno was eventful.  It turns out that my life did not end after Lori.  I dated a few girls there, but nothing too serious.  I continued to work at the Silver Spur Ranch until show season ended in Nevada, and then I went over to Sonoma, CA to work directly with the guy I was apprenticing under.  My brother Travis was working at the main farm and the trainer said there was a problem with Travis’ work.  Turns out that the farm owner was infatuated with a girl that Travis was seeing, and he thought if he could get rid of Travis the girl would be all his.  There was nothing wrong with Travis’ work, and because they were being deceitful, Travis and I left and went back to North Carolina.  We drove from Sonoma to Statesville in 50 hours.  We left Dad in Reno, which was a bad thing to do.  “Don’t Shed a Tear” was a bitter and wrong way to get over a relationship; it’s easy for us to thumb our nose, but the truth is, I have never really gotten over Lori.  I was still struggling with my flesh, my desires, and leading a life that was not on the path of light.  When wrong things please the heart – the heart must be wrong. 

(Madonna - Like A Prayer)

1989 - I got my job back at Statesville Welders Supply, where I would stay until around 1996.  The owner suggested that I go to church.  So, I started going with my Grandmother to church at Fairview.  Ma'maw White is still to this day the only person I have ever known that had a genuine faith in the Lord.  I was fervent, but I was still smoking cigarettes, struggling with flesh, and walking in the natural.  I got involved with everything the church did after I was baptized and made an official member.  They gave me a Sunday school class and I even sang in the choir.  However, there was no power in the Baptist church outside of regeneration.  In other words, you can experience being born again there, but that is where you will stay, a babe.  Like A Prayer answered, I heard a radio broadcast, the Upper Room, talking about deliverance from things like smoking (which I needed), and more importantly, the baptism with the Holy Ghost.  So I went, walked up to the altar, got delivered in an instance from my addiction, and received the baptism with Holy Ghost as evidenced by speaking in other tongues and prophesying exactly like the Bible teaches.  Thinking I had discovered the holy grail of religion, I went back to the Baptist church and shared it with my Sunday school class.  The next day I was in the pastor’s office with the assistant pastor both telling me that the baptism with the Holy Ghost is not for them.  I had to leave that Church and I started attending the Upper Room.

(Michael W. Smith - Go West Young Man)

1990 - Go West Young Man, so I did, that is, to church, to Hickory and the Upper Room, until 1992.  I was living alone in a trailer on Jennings road in Statesville.  Just like Reno, I spent a week reading through the Bible (KJV) cover to cover because the Holy Ghost had opened my eyes to it (KJV) more perfectly, and He made it clear that this is the version (KJV) I was to read.  I cannot stress how specific He was about the King James Bible.  I also started listening to contemporary Christian music and my heart was singularly focused on God.  I heard an audible voice speak to me while driving as I was listening to a particular Christian singer and the voice told me to, "Stop listening to him," and I have never listened to that artist since.  I was also praying a lot in tongues and prophesying and miraculous things were happening to me.  One was David’s large place.  I was pinned to my bed one night and could not move, then I was transported in the spirit to a large place, to describe the exact feeling is close to impossible.  This I do know, the large place is a real and amazing place, and there are at least four verses in the Bible that confirm it.  Another miraculous thing was the Holy Ghost telling me about a trip. The Upper Room would go on ministry trips to Virginia, and it was considered a privilege to be asked to be a part of the team.  I was praying in the Holy Ghost and prophesying when the Spirit told me to pack my bags because I was going to Virginia.  They called to ask me to go, and I told them the Holy Ghost already told me and I was packed.  It really built up their faith and they talked about it for some time, and for several months I was walking on water.  I met Mary at the Upper Room, and after becoming friends, it progressed into more, even into aberrant errors of the flesh by the end of the year.  The deviant appetites engendered from '77 to '87, soon became a weight on my soul, and represented the biggest battle I would have in the flesh with lusts.  I would not have another miraculous physical manifestation (that was notable) until 2006.  Women!  Or, if you’re Adam, Woman! (Two Sides).

(Michael W. Smith - Place In This World)

1991 - I moved to Taylorsville and commuted to work.  It became my new Place In This World because it was closer to the ministry and those attending it.  God would rebuke me a lot this year.  In a church as fervent as the Upper Room, it wasn’t long before God exposed my relationship with Mary through personal rebukes from the Holy Ghost.  We did not heed His warning and continued on obstinately.  My focus left God and became selfish, and all the devils from my youth came back with force.  I wanted to get married, but her sisters and the pastor convinced Mary not to.  Every long term relationship I have had ended under this common theme, the influence of others.  They threw another guy at her and pushed Amy toward me.  Mary is probably the only girl I have ever been with that could keep pace with me spiritually and intellectually.  We were so much alike it was scary, and outside of Cindi, the only relationship based on friendship.  I know that God wanted me to be with Amy.  When I first came to the ministry, I felt an attraction toward her; it just was not my goal to be in a relationship with anyone other than God and she was young, so I ignored it.  The worst downside to Amy is that she was raised in the Upper Room because her parents were fervent members.  Religion was forced on her, she never had a real fervency.  This would cripple our marriage in years to come, but for now, we just wanted our flesh desires to be satisfied.  God’s Kingdom cannot be seen as long as we see only ours.  He offers a choice not an ultimatum, it’s not serve me or perish – it is serve me instead.  He looks down and sees us choosing our selfishness, and as God, it is His duty to tell us that everyone and everything in His Kingdom opposes voracity.  

(Vanessa Williams - Save The Best For Last)

1992 - For the most part, Amy truly was the best woman for me in the natural.  If I am to believe the Holy Ghost though, He is going to Save The Best For Last.  I began compiling this list of songs (years in anthem) about this time, and this song used to be for Amy.  The Upper Room ministry ate itself.  The leaders became so caught up in cutting and correcting everyone else, that they ignored their own faults.  Some of them were committing adultery and other things, so it fell apart.  I was dating Amy and her dad tried to run me off saying I would become a drunk and wife beater (something I have never been or done).  So, I ran him off and told Amy she could go with me or stay there.  She left with me, and I would marry Amy on May 11, of this year.  I believe God really did give me Amy.  I believe His hope was that my love for Him would help her, and He would say as much through the Holy Ghost throughout my marriage.  Now He just says she is dirty, lies, and dies.  Through the years our relationship would be affected by lusts more than faith, and because she was not a fervent Christian, we could never agree on religion, so the natural was all we had.  Every time I would try and return to God wholly, she opposed it in a worldly way.  She hated praying in the Spirit, and everything that was good from the ministry.  To her, the Upper Room was just a cult.  Yet, for the next several years she was exceptional in her affections toward me in the natural, and I did not appreciate it like I should have.  (Devisal - Aleph).

(Soul Asylum - Runaway Train)

1993 - I was working at Statesville Welders and training horses on the side.  There was always a radio at the barn, old and covered in dust, but from the early 80’s, we all listened to it and changed the station to suit our preference.  On Sundays, it was guaranteed that Uncle Eddie would have it on the stock car race.  Over the years people came and went, but currently a girl named Jessica was keeping a horse there, and she got me started on the new wave Runaway Train – Alternative Rock.  Megan was born on April 1st.  There were complications and in the womb she swallowed her meconium and it went into her lungs.  The pediatrician told me she was going to die, but none of this had sunk in until they took me into the nursery.  She was so pitiful looking and yellow because there was no blood circulating, and I collapsed and the nurses had to carry me out; the magnitude of the situation hit me like a rock.  I remember how everyone we knew was concerned and offering prayers and support.  Iredell Memorial could not help her, so Baptist Hospital sent a special ambulance and took her to Winston-Salem.  After three days on a respirator she wasn’t getting better and they recommended putting her on a heart lung bypass machine.  The problem was that there were only three hospitals in the region that had the machine, a hospital in Washington, Carolina’s Medical, and Duke University.  Washington and Carolina’s Medical did not have an open bed – so, Duke flew in a helicopter and took her to Durham.  She spent 10 days on the ECMO machine and got a lot better (thank God), then she returned to Baptist; in total, she spent 40 days in the hospital.  We could not have afforded to stay in Winston-Salem or Durham had it not been for the Ronald McDonald House (a most worthy charity).  So, this is why I became a diehard Duke fan, because when I lacked the faith, and was not walking in the Spirit, and the devil tried to steal, kill, and destroy, God made a way in the natural, and fought fire with fire, that is, devil with Blue Devil.  (Triune).

(Collective Soul - Shine)

1994 - Collective Soul is my all-time favorite group.  I like the song Shine, but it is not my favorite song.  We were renting a house in Union Grove at this time and my brother Travis was living with us.  I was listening to a lot of Rush Limbaugh and I found a white dove that I brought home as a pet and named it Ditto.  Everyone would say ditto to keep the time down when expressing how much they liked Rush’s show.  I eventually let the dove go because he would crap on everything.  Megan’s first Christmas was in Union Grove and I remember Travis throwing bells on the roof trying to imitate Santa landing and we did not know what was going on.  We did not have much but what we had Amy made good use of; we only had a little Ford Ranger to get around in and it was a manual drive with no air conditioning.  We would put Megan in the middle in the car seat, and I bought a Rubbermaid container I carried in the back to haul things like groceries (I still have the container).  Amy always made money go further, whether using coupons or only buying what was on sale.  I just do not possess that talent and waste money.  Eventually we bought a used Chevette that Amy drove.  Travis borrowed it one time and hit a deer with it.  Since he was an avid hunter, I thought he hit the deer on purpose.  We struggled but we never lacked, in my whole life I have never lacked; a blessing I attribute to God.  (Plot Thickens).

(U2 - Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me)

1995 - I do not like U2, but I really did like Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me.  The song is a remake, and I liked it because it was in a Batman movie, the one with Val Kilmer.  The majority of my marriage years are of a backslidden nature.  I was walking in the flesh, or as God’s word says:  “But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:   But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.” 1Co 7:32-33.  I was still training horses and I remember going to the State Fair and I saw Lori there (we did not speak).  It was the last time I saw her.  I do not remember all the classes, but I do remember getting thrown out of one halter class for a whelp mark I left on a filly.  Eventually, we bought a house at 416 S. Race Street in Statesville.  Jon, the owner of Statesville Welders, was very instrumental in helping us purchase the house.  This would be our home until 2010, and as far as my family goes, there are a lot of fond memories there.  When we left Statesville, we went to Hawaii to live, so, it made up for the heartache of leaving...a little.  Nevertheless, the love we had as a family at Race Street meant a lot, and with the exception of a bump in the road in 2002, I have always considered our family and my marriage as my greatest accomplishment in life until it ended.  Walking in the flesh caused me to objectify my wife in order to quench my inordinate affections, she had no spiritual life and I ignored mine from the get go in favor of the flesh.  We never tried to be holy in our marriage and opted to fulfill our carnal natures instead.  The Bible never says marriage is the cure for your lusts, but a way to overcome them through a help meet from God, but God still has to be first, and He just was not first in our marriage.  This does not invalidate any marriage in God’s eyes though.  The Bible absolutely never gives an excuse to remarry having a living spouse from a former marriage, NO WHERE!  

(The Smashing Pumpkins - 1979)

1996 - This is my last year training and showing horses.  I also quit Statesville Welders for the second and last time (so stupid!).  I started my own business, Davie RV Supply, an RV repair and convenience store in Mocksville.  The business was close to the interstate and because we spent so much time there we would have our daughter Megan with us.  We could not find her one day and I remember how frantic our search became as I screamed her name.  We feared the worst, that someone abducted her.  She got scared at our screaming and hid behind a candy rack, best lost and found story ever as far as I am concerned.  The biggest detriment to the success of Davie RV Supply (other than God not being in it), was that my partner was my dad, and his cynical nature.  Because he always thinks someone is doing him wrong, he imagined that we were not being honest with the finances and as such he started doing the RV repairs and accepting cash under the table.  I could not afford to keep going because I was buying the parts for the repairs and he was pocketing the cash from installing the parts and labor.  He physically attacked me toward the end; accusing me of doing what he had been doing all along.  We filed bankruptcy within a year of starting the business.  I bought a Great Dane we named Scooby Dee.  I kept her at the house until she about ate it, then moved her to the store.  Megan really loved her and would go out and play with her, and the dog got huge.  She got loose one night and a man hit her with his truck.  He came to the store the next day inquiring about his deed and I asked him if the dog was alive.  He said it was breathing but that he thought he had hit a bear and did not get out to check.  He asked me if I had insurance to pay for the damage to his truck as I was walking away.  I spun around and got up in his face and told him I would not say anything about my dog and he would forget about his #!1979$* truck.  He got in his truck and left.  Something ventured, nothing gained, memories can suck sometimes!

(Paula Cole - Where Have All The Cowboys Gone)

1997 - Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?  Team penning, a horsemanship sport I got involved in.  It was fun and different, but we could never get a team with enough cohesion to win.  My Dad and Uncle Eddie just about got into a fight after a mare I was using fell on me.  I had to break up the confrontation but Eddie was right, Eddie never selected the horses I rode, so my Dad’s complaint that Eddie put me on a horse that was dangerous were unfounded.  This was my last dealings with any kind of horse activities.  My daughter Rinthia was born on August 26th.  People ask about her name, so I am going to explain how it was given to me.  I asked God for a name and I was looking in the Bible, He showed it to me, that by removing the first two and last two letters of Corinthians there was her name.  Only God can answer in such a way that you know it is Him.  I started work at Statesville Roofing.  It was hard and long hours but we needed the money, so I endued and adapted.  I still had my CDL license so the first day I took a dump truck to a job in Lexington and I switched out the trucks.  I went up on the roof where an all Mexican crew was working and no one would talk to me and let me know what to do.  So, I grabbed a shovel and lit in to working, there was no way I was going to let them outwork me.  The second day they sent me with an American foreman to a job in Rock Hill, a huge warehouse and we went in a bus.  I remember everyone getting off the bus inside the warehouse and walking a long way and exiting a door, and I, last through the door saw no one except for the foot of one man clearing a 60’ ladder on the building.  I remember how scared I was climbing that huge ladder and I didn’t want to come down for lunch.  I worked hard both days and on the third day both foremen wanted me on their crews.  The Mexican foreman won because the project manager used to be his foreman.  I was the only American on the Mexican crew.  After two months they gave me my own crew and I became a foreman.  That which matters more than anything is something more than nothing.  I worked hard for my family.

(Goo Goo Dolls - Iris)

1998 - Emily was born on September 8th.  After much arguing (because I had already named the first two daughters) I got my way again and named her after my Grandma, and with the exception of Emily (I just liked the name Emily, like Iris), it was decided that her name would be Emily “Lamira Connie” White.  Working in roofing was hard and hot, and I would take out the bitterness at home sometimes.  I also fell back into smoking pot during the next couple of years, something I had not done since the 80’s.  I also was dipping snuff (Kodiak), and I can say that if ever God delivers you of an addiction and you take it up again, it will be up to you to stop it through the graces He already has provided the next time.  Needless to say I was totally carnal in my walk, and this even spilled over into areas of my marriage.  From this time until 2015, there will be a number of occasions where I will repent and seek God again and try and live unto the Lord.  The biggest hindrance to my efforts will turn out to be my wife, because as I try each time, she will withstand the efforts.  Religion for her was never about putting God first, but about programs and friends in the natural.  A lot of the things that eventually go wrong in our marriage could be my fault for walking in the flesh and succumbing to my carnal nature, I know that.  However, I think it could have all been averted if Amy had ever once became fervent in God and wanted to walk with Him.

(Sixpence None the Richer - Kiss Me)

1999 - I remember the next three years with the babies and Megan, and how much fun I had with them.  Amy and I moved out of the big bedroom upstairs to the bedroom downstairs, so the girls could have their own rooms.  I used to play with the girls in that big bedroom.  I remember listening to Sixpence’s Kiss Me on the radio while lying on the floor in that room and it stuck in my head.  I did not bring this up before, but Megan was hooked on Barney, she denies it now and gets mad if you bring it up, but she absolutely loved Barney.  It has always been a delight to watch things with the children that amused and entertained them.  I was also excited about the new Star Wars movie and I even read the book ahead of time in anticipation.  I did not take Megan to see it, but in years to come she will become a big sci-fi fan as well.  I wish I had spent more time with the children teaching them the way of God as I spent teaching them about all the worldly things.  Y2K was a big deal that turned out to be nothing, but a lot of people thought the world was going to end.  I have many found memories of the 90’s, and although I loved the 80’s, in the natural the 90’s were the most fulfilling time.  My family became established in the 90’s, and we were happy.  The hardest thing to endure is memories.

(Britney Spears - Lucky)

2000 - When Britney Spears hit the pop scene it was not hard to be captivated.  Those pulling her strings knew she would be influential.  Lucky is reflective of the trap artists are part of in this world, and sadly, cannot escape.  Try to escape and you get star wacked; which is why so many of them “appear” to die so young.  This was the year of the big election (or selection as it has come to be known), where essentially Bush and Gore tied.  They eventually gave it to Bush; some Jewish banker probably told them to do it, but in the end, this turned out to be the biggest Y2K glitch of the year.  The world did not end at midnight in ’99, when the ball dropped, and eventually everyone accepted it.  A syndicate purchased Statesville Roofing (New Millennial Roofing) attempting to make the world’s largest roofing company.  You cannot corner a labor market like an intellectual market, but they tried.  Anyway, they forced one of the previous owners to take a lower position because everyone else in the company did not like his blunt style of operating.  I wrote a letter supporting him indicating I disagreed with their move.  He was really smart but misunderstood, and most were just jealous of him more than anything else because he could see through their crap.  He will soon bring me into the office to work as an estimator, so this is my last year working in the field.  I learned a lot from Doug, especially in writing, he really built on what Jon had started at Statesville Welders.  He thrived in his new position, and expanded it to rival the new construction side.  Doug took over the roof repair division of the company and in due course, he got over everyone’s backbiting and tale bearing that influenced the new owners to make the move.  

(Lifehouse - Hanging By A Moment)

2001 - My daughter Katherine was born on March 8, and the most important thing I remember is that Grandma White got to hold her.  I lost the naming battle with Katherine, but manage to influence her middle name “Melody,” that is, Megan loved this name from the Little Mermaid and she wanted to include it in Katherine’s name.  Katherine is my last baby, and even now my heart aches at times wishing to direct her in a way to restrain her discomfitures in growing up.  She struggled more than my other daughters, and had it the hardest because they would pick on her the most because she was the youngest.  Duke won their third National Championship in basketball, and it was significant to me because I remember Elton Brand and William Avery leaving for the draft after reaching the final four in an earlier attempt.  Shane Battier has become one of my favorite athletes because he stayed until his senior year at Duke and it paid off.  That more than anything made this title great, and an example to others that money isn’t everything (they even retired his jersey).  We all were Hanging By A Moment in 2001.  I remember 911, everything stopped at work and we were all glued to a television in the conference room.  It was unbelievable, and it turns out that it was really unbelievable, as all the proof points to 911 being an inside job.  There is ample proof out there today to prove this false flag, and the government faked the pictures as they faked the moon landings.  It was all concocted to start a war so the rich could get richer and sacrifice the poor in the process.  I did not realize this truth until 2015, but there is no way I can now look back at this time with the same patriotic feelings I had then.  The government manipulated the masses for their gain, and to cover up their own faults.  I lie not, research it.  911 did unite the country patriotically, and it became a flag waving year in America.  I also overcame my addictions again, and quit smoking pot and chewing tobacco and started attending church.  It did not last long, the going to church, because I could not get Amy to go, and in a couple of years I started dipping again, but I was done with drugs until spice.

(Creed - My Sacrifice)

2002 - This was a very difficult year.  First, Grandma White died, and she was the only genuine person I have ever known, so the loss was great.  There is not enough room here to praise her accomplishments in raising her family, providing for them, the love and care for grandchildren, how well she could cook (no one has ever matched it), and her devotion to God, the last being the greatest.  Another tragedy was Amy having me arrested.  We had an argument, and her and her sister were being disrespectful.  Specifically, they were both in the bed in our bedroom and would not leave.  I told her if she did not leave I would cut the bed up, and she refused so I did, using my sawzall.  Her sister called her mother and in the calmest voice explained what was happening, and her mother told them to call the police.  When her sister called the police she went Hollywood, “OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, HE IS TRYING TO KILL US WITH A SAW AND THERE IS A BABY IN THE HOUSE!”  Next thing I know there are five cop cars outside and I am being taken into custody.  At the jail, the magistrate refused to lock me up for cutting up my furniture, she said I could do whatever I wanted to my property.  So, the dirty cops changed the report to attempted murder, and since it was a Friday, I spent the whole weekend in jail.  Another prisoner (McIntosh), who had killed a father and mother, and their five year old son threatened to kill me after the dirty deputies moved me (for no reason) into his pod and antagonized him into a rage (but God was on my side and would not let the murderer touch me).  I eventually got out on a Monday, and when the case went to trial my lawyer said it did not look good because there were two witnesses.  I told him that I did not believe my wife could lie under oath, and that if he would just trust me the charges would be dropped.  The charges were dropped, but she got a restraining order.  Looking back (from 2015 when I found out she was having an affair), it is possible that she was having an affair in 2002 with the neighbor; he was married so she may have eventually figured out that it could go nowhere.  I do not know if she did or did not actually have an affair with the neighbor, I just know that while I could not come home he spent a lot of time there with her while his wife was at work.  As I mentioned before, I am a trusting to a fault, so it is easy to lie to me.  The argument that started this began over My Sacrifice and renewed fervency in God; I was seeking Him again and trying to walk in the Spirit.  She was coming against this hard; she just hated anything to do with the Lord, unless of course it was fake religion that catered to her flesh.  We eventually reconciled, and I learned not to let my emotions get the better of me anymore, but in order to reconcile, I had to backslide again into a worldly mindset.  It was the only way we could get along.

(Liz Phair - Extraordinary)

2003 - I needed a vehicle really bad, and since the bankruptcy was still affecting my credit, my Uncle Eddie co-signed on a F150 that I drove until 2018.  This is the year the girls went to Myrtle Beach for the first time, I remember it so well because of how Emily was running around on the sand and having so much fun.  The image is forever etched into my mind and is Extraordinary.  From now to 2008, is the time that I considered the golden age of our family.  Although we had our difficulties, everyone loved each other and we were solid, helpful, and caring for one another.  The next five years are years I especially enjoyed with my family, and contain some of my most vivid and loving memories.  We spent more quality time together during these years than any other time, and I cannot express how much more important that is in hindsight than anything else you can do as a family.  I was also coming back into God’s fold as well, but this time I did it cleverly with a determination not to let Amy thwart the efforts.  I also started sharing this faith with the children, slow at first, but by 2005, all of them were thriving and sharing with each other about God.  God has given us so much in this nation and that gift should not be used selfishly, we should use it to serve Him more perfectly and each other in love.  “Freedom is not in and of itself a good.  How one conducts oneself once one obtains it (is it used to obey the divine will?) determines whether or not freedom is really worthwhile.”

(BarlowGirl - Never Alone)

2004 - Never Alone by BarlowGirl is probably my favorite Christian song and fourth all-time favorite song.  I tried hard during these years to influence the kids positively, even in music, and they liked listening to contemporary Christian music.  We went to Carowinds for the first time as a family; I still have the t-shirt commemorating the occasion.  When I lived at the Trav-L-Park, we used to take a bus load of kids every year to Carowinds, so it has always been a fun place to go, and I was glad I got to share that with my kids.  I started going to a new Pentecostal church that was meeting on Sundays at the community center.  I convinced Amy to go too because they were diverse enough to have kid activities, and that appealed to her.  The church was a satellite church for one in Cornelius, with over 2,000 members.  The pastor was somewhat carnal, and would usually spend more time talking about the TV shows or movies he had watched that week than meat from the word, and I remember how frustrated in the spirit I would get listening to him entertain the crowd.  It was good for the girls, they liked Sunday school, and our family benefitted from being able to make an attempt at being wholesome.  We loved doing things together during these years from watching family movies, to playing board games, to just teaching and learning from each other from the Bible.  Me and the girls would pray together and we had activities we would do to encourage Godly learning.  Amy did not want anything to do with it.  With all my heart I hope they do not forget these years, it may be the only thing that saves them.  “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  Pro 22:6.

(Aly and Aj - No One)

2005 - Aly & AJ have two songs in my list; The mid ‘2000’s is what I like to call “DBop,” because No One listened to more Disney music than us.  One of the most memorable moments from this year was going to see the Ice Princess movie in Hickory with the girls.  I did not really want to go see what I perceived to be a stupid movie, but it turned out to be really good.  We were still attending the church at the community center, and I enrolled at the Grace School of Ministry in Cornelius and started taking classes at night.  I will attend this school for the next two years.  To deal with the rigor of working 10 hours a day and going to school at night I would come home from work and take a nap.  If anyone in the house would wake me before it was time, I remember how mad I would get at them.  They almost feared waking me.  I really am sorry for the hardship it caused them.  One good thing came out of these years when I was walking with God again, and that was my daughter Megan was willing, and I prayed with her and laid hands on her around this time to receive the Holy Ghost and she did at the Lord’s hands.  It is the best thing to know that others, especially your family, believe enough to receive the gift.

(High School Musical - Breaking Free)

2006 - Breaking Free is another Disney release, and one of the most anticipated TV movies I think I have ever waited for was High School Musical, and it lived up to the hype.  It is really hard to put into words how great these years were in my mind as it related to my family, and I can only hope they felt the same in retrospect.  My daughters Rinthia and Emily were dancing competitively, and Rinthia was also competing in cheerleading competitions.  We went to one event where I screamed my head off cheering for Rinthia and as a result, Tilley’s received a spirit award.  The dance competitions were great to go to as well, and the year-end recitals left memories etched in my mind that are indelible.  After a competition in Lenoir we went to a dachshund breeder nearby and that is where I picked out and purchased Napoleon.  He stunk really bad all the way back to Statesville, and the first thing we did was give him a bath.  Napoleon was a smart dog, and had that spirit about him, and as he grew I could just look at him and he would listen to me without question, a feat that no one else could accomplish.  In the years to come the hardest thing to do with the dog was getting the girls to take him outside when he needed to go.  The year 2006 was perhaps one of our best years as a family.  “Every man, who has a family, is bound to make the maintenance of his family one of the ways, and one of the means of glorifying God.  But to pursue this as an end, is ruin and death.”

(Aly & AJ - Chemicals React)

2007 - We actually went to an Aly & AJ concert, and Chemicals React was the highlight of the show, the girls and I really enjoyed it.  This will be my last year at Grace School of Ministry.  I was under a lot of pressure from the school to quit using the King James Bible, and for Christmas 2006, my family gave me a New King James Version.  I had not had a physical manifestation of God since the early 90’s, but He made that NKJV bible so hot I could not hold it and He told me in the spirit not to use it.  There are not many things I have seen to a completion when it comes to school, but this one I did.  Prior to graduating however, this year had another tragedy.  Uncle Eddie was killed in a car crash, and my Dad and aunt Phyllis were seriously injured.  Someone at the scene outside of Augusta Georgia picked up one of their phones and dialed a number and they happened to get my sister Kristy.  They must have indicated that at least some had died, and as Kristy started notifying everyone without the whole story, we feared the worst.  It was a hard time, and in hard times, people are more sympathetic and prayerful, and the School of Ministry was no different, and I do remember their concern and it was appreciated.  Dad has never been the same since the crash due to the damage to his body.  I did a lot of my growing up with Uncle Eddie, and I doubt there is anyone out there that has had a better Uncle than he was to me.  One of the best things to remember is this, we would work hard on the farm, and as a kid, there was nothing more satisfying than when Uncle Eddie would stop at the Quick Stop, and we would get a Pepsi and a Moon pie.  Or, finishing a day’s work and getting take-out from Louie’s Pizza, the best pizza I have ever eaten in my life, not to mention all the horse showing, motorcycle riding, guns, and hunting I did on the farm.  I did every kind of job you can imagine there, and had every kind of fun you can imagine as well, those were good times, and the kind of good times you do not brag about once you find the truth.  (Good Times).

(Everlife - Faded)

2008 - I quit Statesville Roofing because of a difficult time I was having with one of the estimators they had rehired and placed in charge of everything.  I think he was giving me such a hard time because he wanted the office I was in.  I went to work for Dry-Tech Roofing and worked there for about 8 months.  I just was not happy both spiritually and mentally, so, I did what any dumb idiot would do, I joined the Army.  It upset my family, and the only way I could join was because of the war and the fact that they had raised the enlistment age.  The song Faded by Everlife is a great depiction of what was happening in my life at Statesville Roofing.  I was excited about joining the Army, I was going to join the Navy in ‘89, but I let Jon at Statesville Welders talk me out of it when he offered me the manager’s job.  The next seven years are going to be filled with some of the best and worst times of my life.

(Shinedown - Second Chance)

2009 - January 6, 2009, was my enlistment report date.  I spent 10 days in reception waiting to get classed, and then the next 10-11 weeks of Basic Training were the hardest of my life physically and mentally.  I was looking to grow spiritually as well, and I did try hard, but the Army is the wrong place to look for spiritual answers, in fact, it is a detriment to spirituality.  I got into a fight in my 6th week of Basic Training and because I was the one that did the damage, they were going to recycle me and make me do basic all over again.  I literally begged the company commander to not recycle me over the advice of the drill sergeants, and he did not; however, I did get a company grade article 15.  I graduated Basic Training at Fort Benning, GA, and then spent the next four months at Fort Gordon, GA, becoming a Signal Support System Specialist.  I started smoking spice at Gordon, but it only lasted for about a year because the Army figured out how to screen for it.  After AIT, I got the dream duty station for my first assignment, Hawaii.  Second Chance by Shinedown stuck with me, because my wife would drive to Fort Gordon on the weekends and drive me back to NC, and I remember hearing it a lot on the radio, and it was reflective of my current condition.  It really meant a lot to get to have weekend passes and go home and spend time with my family; we were not allowed to go more than 250 miles, so I was using an address in SC for the forms.

(30 Seconds To Mars - Closer To The Edge)

2010 - I arrived in Hawaii in October of 2009, and because my family could not come with me straight away, I requested to deploy.  They put me in the 25th CAB (Combat Aviation Brigade), and deployed me to Iraq.  We flew commercially to Kuwait, but then they shoved us into a C130, and I remember having no room and holding my assault pack on my lap immovable for 3 hours going to COB Speicher.  I ain’t going to lie, I was scared, it was my first deployment.  Amy sold our house on Race St., and about the time I was coming back from Iraq she was arriving in Hawaii.  While in Iraq I got the job as the Battalion Commander’s driver, and he sent me back in one of the chalks that arrived the same night my family did to Oahu.  The Colonel was plugged in and a rising star, and smart.  He had to pull strings behind the scenes to fast track some of the stuff that happened for us; there can be no other excuse.  The 2010 homecoming was great, that Christmas was too; everyone seemed to love Hawaii, and how could you not.  Closer to the Edge, is what I felt, a first experience of deployment can be unsettling, and I felt on the edge for sure.  Talking about a lot of Army crap is not my goal.  I did like being in the CAB (everywhere you went you were in a helicopter), I did everything I could to try and stay in Hawaii, but in the end they would only let me stay four years, and almost two of those I was deployed.  I will never forget Hawaii, and how much fun we had as a family there, it was the most real time of my life, and I loved every second of it.  If I could pick a place and time to go back to and stay with my family, it would have been late 2010 through late 2011 in Hawaii.  “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Php 4:8.

(Foo Fighters - Walk)

2011 - This year was almost the perfect year, I mean I had to deploy to Afghanistan right after Christmas, but we had a full year together in Hawaii as a family.  The only year that comes close to rivalling 2011 as a family would have been 2006.  If I knew then what I know now, I would have tried a lot harder to stay in Hawaii, or at least accepted my first choice of Fort Bliss over Fort Riley as the next assignment.  Our favorite beach was Nanakuli, a beach popular with the locals but not many tourists.  The 25th CAB knew how to take care of families, and they strived at making family time meaningful.  Don’t get me wrong, we had to work and train hard, but I did not realize how devoted the unit was to families until I went to Fort Riley, where they could care less about families.  Deployments and training were actually healthy for my marriage for the most part in Hawaii; that is, until Kansas where I was always training and Amy found someone to replace me with.  Walk is reflective of starting over each time when I would leave and return to my family.  My family made homecomings from deployments or training worth it all.  This will be our last good year at Scofield Barracks, because after I returned from Afghanistan I was in transition and clearing.  I did not get to keep any memorabilia from our Hawaii times other than a few pictures and I have always regretted that Amy kept it all.  I would hope that my children will remember me in the future and see the heartbreak I have had to endure, and this is just the beginning of sorrows.  Perhaps God knew this, He knew I would always hold to my family and my marriage without “Recede to receive,” the Spirit tells me – a diminishing fact, and I’m slow to react.

(Fireflight - Prove Me Wrong)

2012 - It was a long year in Afghanistan.  When we arrived in Kandahar, me and five others stayed behind for training while the rest of the Battalion pushed out to FOB Wolverine in chinooks.  After three days, me and the other five guys pushed out to Wolverine in a black hawk, and because there was no room, they stacked all our bags on our laps and the ride sucked just like Iraq.  I remember that the snow was knee deep at Wolverine when we arrived.  I picked up SGT rank in July of this year.  I needed points really bad, and I remember shooting my only 40 out of 40 at the range on the FOB.  It was great being in an aviation unit.  No bomb maniacs could ever get close enough to the FOB to cause damage; in fact, I had to fly frequently to Kandahar, and I got rocketed more in Kandahar than at Wolverine.  Our new NCOIC, SFC Mackey was hard on me at first, and cussed me like a dog on one occasion, but we eventually became real good friends.  I got to come back in one of the earlier chalks again, and it was a welcomed returned, and I loved coming home to my family.  Being alone now, I never have missed them so much, at least with a deployment or training I knew I was going to see them again.  I had a really low and depressing time in Afghanistan, and Prove Me Wrong drew a lot of tears out of me; I know it was God.  The next few years will be riddled with up and down moments with God, and it is during these times that I encountered the most problems from Amy; she just never wanted to serve God, just herself.  “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” Mar 12:30.

(Plumb - Need You Now)

2013 - We left Hawaii in June.  The first duty station Branch offered me was Fort Bliss, but I did not want to go to Texas, so I bucked it; well, they showed me by sending me to Fort Riley, which turned out to be far worse.  Fort Riley destroyed my family, and when I turned to post leadership for help, they ignored the evil that had occurred.  Anyway, we stayed with my wife’s parents during my transition leave.  I spent a lot of time seeking God and studying, and Need You Now by Plumb was the anthem of my heart during my leave.  We arrived at Riley the first part of August, I wasn’t in the unit two weeks until I was thrust into the field for a month straight training.  We came back for a couple of weeks, then were out again for 3 weeks, and then in late November the night after thanksgiving, I was deployed.  I was only back from Afghanistan for 10 months and was then deployed to Djibouti, Africa.  Infantry units have shorter deployments, and we were back in Kansas in July of 2014.  Fort Riley was a hard duty station, and conducive only to the officer ranks, they did not help the enlisted much at all.  I became promotable the first January I was there, but they never would send me to the school so I could get the points needed; you see the unit has to pay for that, and they wanted all their money for field training.  It really was a bad assignment, and as I continue you will see why.

(Hillsong UNITED - Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)

2014 - After coming back from Africa and spending only a month in Garrison, we were back out in the field again for a month straight.  We came back for a month and was out again, I saw my family every other month; and after that field rotation, we came back for the holidays, then in February 2015, we were at NTC for almost 40 days.  There just wasn’t much family time allotted at Fort Riley; I did take leave and we went to South Dakota once.  I highly recommend going to South Dakota for vacation, there is a lot to see, and my Favorite was the Crazy Horse Memorial – I did not get to keep any of that memorabilia either.  Mount Rushmore up close does not seem as big as it does when you look at pictures.  The whole area there is just breathtakingly beautiful.  I became really bitter during this time because of work, and I was using sex to cope with stress, (lustful and deviant).  I was up and down with God, and I allowed my circumstances to control me instead of yielding to and walking in the Spirit, and Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) captures this ebb and surge.  I became closer to my soldiers more here than in Hawaii (probably because Riley took my family away), and I made a good friend in Shorter, I really do miss them, especially now.  This is the last undefiled year of our marriage.  From August 2013 to April 2015, I probably only spent 5 1/2 months (of 20) total time with my family.  My wife would get a job in January of 2015, at the commissary.  Between June and August of 2015, she had advanced, and was on the radar of one of the managers who was using his influence to get her promoted, as well as making advances on her.  “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”  Heb 13:4.

(Lauren Daigle - First)

2015 - First, Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off  was originally my song for this year.  My daughter Emily had a dance competition in the spring and they used that song.  Up until Emily’s performance, the competition was stale, then Emily’s troupe hit the stage and it was probably the best performance I have ever seen Emily give; even her mistakes were perfect (and there is no video, only memories behind tears).  The judges loved them, and they set the bar off of their troupe’s performance.  My world in the natural fell apart in October when I found out my wife had been having an affair.  All those late night ridiculous work hours suddenly made sense.  I turned hard to God, He is my “go to,” Lauren Daigle!  This was a bad time, and I lost my whole family in Kansas, and since I was forced to leave, I have only seen Emily for two nights and one day since of all my children.  Amy convinced me, and we agreed together that I would sign with the Florida Army Reserves for a four year contract just one month prior, all the while she knew she wasn’t going with me.  She tried to pay off her new car that she also duped me into buying at the same time with our savings, but I caught it.  I kept the savings and gave 10,000 to Emily and 10,000 to Rinthia, but my wife threatened and scared them into giving it to her, in a sense robbing them.  I made the judge mad because I wasn't there and he threw everything at me he could.  He even counted the 20,000 she got back from the kids as a gift, making me liable for it again, but that is what thieves and liars do.  I lost a good job in Florida because Amy’s judge gave her 65% of my pay, and it just went against my principles to see an Adulteress profit from evil, so I quit.  I will not even work if that is what is needed in God for righteousness.  The end of the year was rough, and I cannot tell you how lonely and alone it has been, except through the next years tears.  “Happy endings are stories that haven’t finished yet.”  Mrs. Smith.  Trivia: the year I married my wife Duke won a national title...and this year too.

End of Wood, Hay, & Stubble Memories, next section is The Year of Tears accessed via the link below.
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