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Sunday, May 24, 2015
It's all in a name (05/24/15)
I have been called a lot of things over the years. Some of them I don't like to repeat. But, there are a lot of names that I don't mind being called. In fact, most of them I really enjoy. People call me Brother, Brother Doug, or Brother Dezotell. Some people call me Pastor or Reverend, others call me Preacher...
Mom: True servant (05/17/15)
I have a bookmark that I keep in one of my devotionals that reads, "I am here among you as one who serves. Jesus." That simple note is a constant reminder to me that I too am to be a servant. As one of Jesus' disciples I am to follow His example, and be of service to others...
Poems for Mom (05/10/15)
(To all of you moms who are reading my column today, I wish you a wonderful, blessed and happy Mother's Day. I want to share some of my favorite poems about Motherhood with you. And may God bless you in abundance on this your special day.) Rudyard Kipling wrote the following poem about his mother, and it appeared as the dedication for his novel, "The Light that Failed." It was first published in 1890...
All things = prayer (05/01/15)
When you are in doubt...Pray. When you are discouraged...Pray. When you are concerned...Pray. When you are frustrated...Pray. When you are angry...Pray. When you are in a hurry...Pray. When you are resting...Pray. When you are content...Pray. When you are happy...Pray...
109 years of living a rustic life (04/26/15)
A dear friend of mine celebrated her 109th birthday this month. Irene Eskey, affectionately called Grandma, is a Navajo woman who has lived on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Northern Arizona all of her life. She has never had electricity or running water in her home, and that is just fine with her...
Lessons of the skinned knee (04/19/15)
I recently reconnected with an old friend on Facebook. Jim was my pastor at the church I attended in Tucson, Arizona in the 70s. He made quite an impact on my life at that time, and he was instrumental in me going on to Bible College to prepare for ministry...
Inside shoes, not out (04/12/15)
I need a new pair of house shoes, or as my mom used to call them, "slippers." I guess she called them that because they slip on easily. But, my house shoes have lived up to my mom's name "slippers" the past few months for other reasons. Not too long ago, we had a light snow, followed by freezing rain. I had a funeral scheduled for that day, so I went outside to see how iced over my car was. I was still dressed in my lounge pants and T-shirt, and, of course, my slippers...
Hear today's message (04/05/15)
Happy Easter Sunday! Jesus Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Let me share with you this morning from Matthew 28, from The Message, a modern paraphrase of the resurrection account. 1-4* After the Sabbath, as the first light of the new week dawned, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to keep vigil at the tomb...
Happy Holy Week (03/29/15)
Today is what is traditionally called Palm Sunday. It is the day that Christian churches recognize the entrance of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem the week of His crucifixion and His resurrection. The apostle Matthew records the events of "the triumphant entry" in the 21st chapter of his gospel writings. They are as follows:...
Growing old: A tough job (03/22/15)
I have made multiple visits to the doctor's office the last several months. Over and over again I've had bouts of bronchitis and stomach viruses, and the nurse gave me repeated shots of antibiotics and steroids, one in each butt cheek. It was uncomfortable to sit much of the time as my bottom was sore from the jab of needles...
Best Bible is the one you read (03/15/15)
I'm a reader. I thoroughly enjoy reading the newspaper, magazines, a good mystery or action thriller, and the news items that scroll across the bottom of the screen on Fox News and CNN. I assume you are a reader too. After all you're reading my column right now...
Snow fun without electronics (03/08/15)
One of my favorite pages in Sunday's Life and Leisure section of the Times-Gazette is "Small Talk." This photo page (see page 4B) features students and their responses to a question asked by T-G photographer Jim Davis. Last week, Jim asked nine students in the School Age Care Program if they were bored on their snow days the previous week. He asked them to tell him what bored them the most while out of school for six straight snow days...
Song: We need God's hand (03/01/15)
"Take My Hand, Precious Lord," was written by Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey, a man known as the "father of black gospel music." He wrote "Precious Lord" in response to his nearly inconsolable grief at the death of his wife, Nettie Harper, who died in childbirth, in August of 1932. And his newborn son, Thomas Andrew, Jr., died just two days later....
Let's help the hungry (02/22/15)
My daughter will stand in front of the open refrigerator and stare at the full shelves of food, and then walk over to the kitchen pantry, open the door, and stare at those shelves full of food and then whine, "We don't have anything to eat in this house!"...
Don't lose sight of the journey (02/15/15)
Photographer Eric Smith had snapped a series of photos near Redondo Beach, California, of a mother humpback whale and her cub. Looking back at the photos he had taken, he noticed in the background a man sitting on a sail boat with his phone in hand reading or texting, just feet away from the whales, not even noticing them...
Frustrations from the 'Philippines' (02/08/15)
I starting getting phone calls last Monday from friends asking if I had been to the Philippines lately. Or asking, "How was your trip?" Some of those callers knew I hadn't been there, because they just saw me days before. They told me they had gotten an email from someone claiming to be "me" and "I" was stranded in the Philippines without money, and "I" was asking them to send "me" money to help "me" get home...
Angry words leave scars (02/01/15)
Once upon a time there was a little boy who had trouble controlling his temper. One day his father took the little boy out to the fence in the backyard. He gave his son a box of nails and a hammer. The father told the little boy that every time he lost his temper he was to pound a nail into the fence...
Take time to bloom (01/25/15)
There is a story that's told about a butterfly and the cocoon. It goes like this: A man found the unopened cocoon of a butterfly, and he decided to watch it closely for several days. Then one day he noticed there was a small opening that appeared in the cocoon. The man sat and watched the butterfly as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole in the side of the cocoon...
Just pay attention, you guys (01/18/15)
One of my favorite moments in sitcom history, was in an old episode of "Bewitched." Samantha convinced her neighbor, Gladys Kravitz, that Gladys needed a makeover to spice up her marriage. Gladys was feeling that her husband didn't notice her anymore...
Time well spent (01/11/15)
For the last six and a half years I have had the privilege of serving as the pastor of Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church. But, my time as the church's pastor came to an end at the end of December. During my time of service at Mt. Lebanon, the congregation and I worshipped together, and we praised the Lord together. We studied the Bible together and we learned together...
Prayers from mom last a lifetime (01/04/15)
It was the spring of 1972 when a friend and I saw the movie, "The Last Picture Show," at the Empire Theater in downtown Grand Forks, North Dakota. This film was a coming of age story about several high school students in a small town on the plains of Texas. They talked about getting out of that town and exploring the world outside of Texas...
The song that moved Santa (12/28/14)
I had the privilege of playing Santa Claus at the Times-Gazette this year. It was a delightful experience helping to add some Christmas cheer to some young children's day. The Photos-with-Santa event was set up as a fundraiser for the T-G's Relay For Life team to raise money for the American Cancer Society...
Christmas memories never fade (12/21/14)
Christmas is a special time for most of us. My father, Fred Dezotell, loved Christmas. And he loved to decorate our house for Christmas too. He made sure that the outside of the house had bright, colorful lights strung from the roof and around the doors and windows. And the trees in our front yard were all aglow with multi-colored lights as well...
Be sure before you speak (12/14/14)
Have you ever heard something about someone else and you thought, "I want to tell so-and-so about this." Or maybe you know someone who does that. I heard a story about a man who ran into a fellow whom he knew to be a wise man. He stopped the gentleman and said, "Ya wanna know what I just heard about your friend?"...
Rocks aren't for throwing (12/07/14)
My father was a "rock-hound." He had hunted for rocks and stones and collected them for most of his life. Our backyard was decorated with the bigger rocks that he found, and he had boxes of stones of all shapes and sizes. Any time the family would go on a trip of any kind, Dad seemed to work in a visit to a rock-shop on the way...
Don't overlook small, great moments (11/30/14)
A New York City taxi driver tells this story about one of his most memorable fares. He arrived at the address he had been given and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes, he honked again. Since this was going to be the last ride of his shift, he thought about just driving away. But instead, he put his cab in park and walked up to the door and knocked...
Blessings are easy to count (11/23/14)
I have been blessed! And I am so grateful for all of the blessings that God has given me. There's an old hymn that I love to sing that reminds me to consider the many ways that I've blessed Johnson Oatman, Jr. wrote these words: When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed,...
My little princesses dress up (11/16/14)
My granddaughters love to play dress-up. And they love all things princess, from the fancy gowns to the shiny crowns. I imagine that most little girls are like this. I have three little "princesses" who do their best to keep me entertained. Charli, 5, and Kori, 3, will go upstairs to the playroom where their dress-up clothes are kept, and they'll return to the living room a few minutes later to present Nana and Papa with our own private fashion show...
Hymns of love (11/09/14)
My mother used to play the organ, and I was one of her biggest fans. When Mom was in her sixties, her second husband bought her a nice electric organ. Her beautiful instrument sat in a prominent place in the living room of her townhouse until it was ruined by floodwaters in 1997...
Look for good in everyone (11/02/14)
When I was a little boy, Dad saved his money and bought my mother a wringer washing machine. Mom was thrilled. She no longer would have to go to the Laundromat to wash clothes. We had clotheslines strung across a portion of the backyard where Mom would hang the wet clothes to dry in the breeze that was almost a constant on the northern plains...
Finding riches in poverty (10/26/14)
Giovanni di Pietro di Bernadone was born into the lap of luxury. He was the son of a wealthy Italian cloth merchant and an aristocratic Frenchwoman....
The best source to end fears (10/19/14)
Many of our fears and phobias we have as adults have been a part of our lives since childhood, brought on by some traumatic event that left its mark on our psyche. I have had a fear of long, narrow, steep stairs ever since early childhood. To this day I am not fond of going upstairs in a house. I'll avoid it if I can...
It's great to be on the T-G team (10/12/14)
In September of 2005 I had the privilege of joining the news staff at the Shelbyville Times-Gazette. The then editor, Kay Rose, and publisher, Hugh Jones, gave me the opportunity to do something I had only dreamed of doing for years: writing for a paycheck...
Anthony, and why I do what I do (10/05/14)
I met Anthony in the Desire Housing Projects in New Orleans shortly after his 17th birthday. In so many ways, Anthony seemed so much younger than those 17 years, and in other ways he seemed old for his age too. He had never been outside of the city of New Orleans before I met him...
The true source of victory (09/28/14)
I worked at a street ministry in Springfield, Missouri in the late 70s, a humble little storefront gospel mission called The Springfield Victory Mission. That old building was a shoe store before we cleaned it up and made it into a church for the needy...
Blessed in times of trouble (09/21/14)
I am one of those people who listen to the TV news channels throughout the day: CNN, Fox News, HLN, and sometimes MSNBC. I can even listen to them in my car on satellite radio. Many days at 4 o'clock in the afternoon I watch Channel 2 News, and then the show "Inside Edition," and then the 5 o'clock news, and then ABC News Tonight at 5:30, and then the 6 o'clock news...
Heed the signs of a heart problem (09/14/14)
My friend had quite a scare this week. She was sitting at her home computer just playing a game and her left arm and shoulder started hurting really bad. At first she tried to ignore it, like most people do, thinking it would go away. But, it only got worse...
School days, times two (09/07/14)
All three of my granddaughters started school for the first time in August. They were all so proud of their new outfits and their backpacks on that first day of school; Charli with her Frozen bag filled with her school supplies and her lunch. Kori and Jojo with their Minnie Mouse bags; Kori's with her napping mat, pull-ups, and sippy-cup; Jojo with her little bag filled with diapers, wipes, and her bottle...
Remembering Fred's Memphis Mardi Gras (08/31/14)
My friend, Fred West, organized the best Mardi Gras parade I have ever been to. It was really my favorite parade of all time. There was a marching band, brightly colored floats, a Mardi Gras King and Queen, balloons and beads, lots of multi-colored beads...
Hope for Heaven in peace (08/24/14)
Several years ago, I drove to West Virginia and sat by the bedside of a dear friend who was in the final days of his life. Fred had terminal cancer and his vital organs were shutting down. I sat with him in his hospital room and prayed while he slept, held his hand and prayed when he was awake, and I was just glad I could be there with my friend...
Find time to say 'I love you' (08/17/14)
We all love to be loved. That is part of the human condition. (Several years ago, I wrote a column on the subject of love, and I hope you'll bear with me and let me share that column with you once again. I hope you enjoy. And I hope you have someone to love.)...
A big time under a big tent (08/10/14)
Tents have always fascinated me. I wanted to be a Cub Scout and a Boy Scout when I was young so I could sleep in a tent. My brother and sister and I would arrange the dining room chairs together so we could drape blankets or sheets over them to make a tent in the living room...
Worshipping as one (08/03/14)
I love tent revivals. I love attending tent revivals, and I love preaching in tent revivals. There is something special about being out in the open air, under that large canopy, gathered with fellow believers, worshipping together as one. I love it!...
The best taste of them all (07/27/14)
I worked as an orderly at a nursing home when I was a teenager, and I met a woman there named Minnie. She had a great personality and she was a joy to care for. I would be called to come and help the nurse's aide move Minnie from her bed to her chair and back again. Minnie had only one leg so she couldn't help much in the transfer. But she made our job easier by being lighthearted and fun-loving...
Date night with the Laity Club (07/20/14)
My wife and I seldom get a "date night." Sunday through Wednesday nights we are busy taking care of our granddaughters, and Thursday through Saturday nights Lynn is working on the OB wing of Harton Hospital. But, Lynn and I try to attend the Bedford County Laity Club meeting on the second Sunday night of the month together...
Lord, let me laugh (07/13/14)
I believe we all need to laugh, or at least crack a smile, at least once a day. Hopefully more. I think we ought to laugh as often as we can. Laughter is the best prescription for what ails you sometimes. After all, Proverbs 17:22 says, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine."...
God cleans up after us, as we clean up after kids (07/06/14)
My wife has a saying that she repeats and I think of throughout the day as we are picking up toys and papers and crayons and sippy-cups from the floors and tables in our house. It goes like this: "Cleaning the house while kids are still growing is like shoveling snow while it's still snowing!"...
You're welcome, just as you are (06/29/14)
I recently came across a story that spoke volumes to me, and I wanted to share it with you today. It was recounted by David Wiggs in his message "Who Needs a Welcome?" The author said, "I saw him in the church building for the first time on Wednesday. He was in his mid-70's, with thinning silver hair and a neat brown suit...
Absorbed in reading the Word (06/22/14)
I'm a reader. I thoroughly enjoy reading the newspaper, magazines, a good mystery or action thriller, and the news items that scroll across the bottom of the screen on Fox News and CNN. Nowadays, I do much of my reading on my iPad or iPhone; all those emails, and Facebook posts, and my daily devotionals...
I am a father: I'm glad (06/15/14)
I am a father. I am a grandfather. I am married to the mother of my children. I have tried to be a good father. I have tried to be a good grandfather. I have tried to be a good husband to the mother of my children. I love my children. I love my grandchildren...
Whoever knew that potty time could be such fun? (06/08/14)
It's been a long time since my wife and I have potty trained a little one. And my memory is a little sketchy on the specifics of how we did it back then. But, we are working on potty training one of our granddaughters right now, and she's not really that interested in all the work involved...
Words to live by (06/01/14)
Charles Wesley published an 18-stanza poem in 1740 that spoke of his strong desire to give praise to God for changing his life. He wrote the poem to commemorate the first anniversary of his renewal of faith in Christ. Many Christian churches have this poem in their hymnbooks today, and it has become a favorite hymn for Christians around the world...
Honoring those who gave all (05/25/14)
Memorial Day celebrations were always special for my family when I was little. We would travel to my mother's hometown of Pekin, North Dakota to take part in the festivities. Families would gather in the local cemetery to honor those men who had served in the various wars. The veterans' graves would be decorated with little American flags, and all the graves would be decorated with colorful spring flowers...
On the run, and it's fun (05/18/14)
Jojo is walking and taking on the world by storm! She is our 1-year-old granddaughter, who Lynn says is not walking but "waddling." Jojo is short and round and as cute as she can be, and I guess she does kind of waddle. She struts around the house like a duck as she chases after her big sister, Kori, and her cousin, Charli...
Hats off to mothers! (05/11/14)
I have a book of poems, published in 1917, that my mother gave me years ago. It is poems written by her favorite poet, Edgar A. Guest. This book has been a treasure of mine, and I have quoted some of Guest's poems in a number of my sermons over the years...
Warmth makes all the difference (05/04/14)
One of my earliest memories of Sunday School is of the warm welcome offered to me Sunday after Sunday by Bethie Pond. As a small boy I was fearful of leaving my mother's side and going in to a Sunday School room without her. But then, Bethie became my greeter, my guide and my friend...
I'm one of those grandparents (04/27/14)
Jojo is walking and taking the world by storm! Our 1-year-old granddaughter, Jolie, or Jojo, has recently started walking, and she is exploring her world in new ways now that crawling is mostly in the past for her. It is so much fun watching her toddle across the living room chasing after her big sister, Kori, and her cousin, Charli, as they chase our little dog, Buster, through the house...
The One who got out (04/20/14)
A preacher told the story of one sleepy Sunday afternoon when his son was 5 years old and they drove past a cemetery together. The little boy noticed a large pile of dirt beside a newly dug grave. He pointed and said, "Daddy, look! One got out!" The preacher had to chuckle at his son's reaction, but he said, "Now every time I drive by a cemetery I think of the One who got out, the Resurrected Christ."...
Cruisin' to paradise (04/06/14)
Many folks in Bedford County are returning from Spring Break vacations this weekend. I know people who have been playing at the beach in Florida and on the coast in Alabama; and I have friends who have been on a cruise in the Caribbean. My wife and I recently returned from a vacation in the Caribbean too, and it was a great vacation for us and our friends, Dennis and Ina Pratt, from Memphis...
Awesome views of God's work (03/30/14)
I stood in awe on the balcony of my stateroom gazing out upon the vast expanse of the royal blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It was truly an amazing spiritual experience for me as I looked out upon the ocean before me, realizing the creator of it all was there with me...
Robin's a sign of spring (03/23/14)
There it was, hopping across the brown winter grass in my front yard: a beautiful robin, with its magnificent red breast. I got excited when I saw that wonderful bird. I've always heard that was a sign that spring was on the way. I'm like everyone else, longing for a break in the weather, ready for spring...
The kiss that makes it better (03/16/14)
My granddaughter, Kori, crawled up onto my bed the other morning and held her finger up to me and said, "My finger hurts." Then, with those sweet, sad eyes she looked at me and said, "Papa, kiss it!" How could I say no to that precious little girl? So, Papa kissed his little baby's finger...
Influence of parents shapes children's lives (03/09/14)
Someone once asked me what the most formative experience of my Christian life was, and I found that to be an easy question to answer. It had to have been the godly influence of a Christian mother. Alpha Margaret Tangen Dezotell Scott raised all of her 5 children in church and she set a godly example for us...
Tough times always make us stronger (03/02/14)
"Problems are like washing machines. They twist, they spin and knock us around. But in the end we come out cleaner, brighter and better than before." (Ain't that the truth!) I read that quote this week, and I like it! Life is filled will problems for all of us. Sometimes it seems like it rains down on us, one problem after another...
How those veggies have changed! (02/23/14)
There is a TV commercial that shows a little boy sitting at the dinner table with a look of frustration on his face, the voice of his mother booming in the background, "You can't leave the table until you eat your vegetables!" The next frame shows him still sitting there, aged many years, with grey hair and a long beard. The vegetables are still sitting there too...
He can do amazing things (02/16/14)
"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now I see." (John Newton) "Alas! and did my Savior bleed And did my Sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head For such a worm as I?" (Isaac Watts)...
Forgiven -- and welcome to return (02/09/14)
My friend, Bob Landis, opened our monthly council meeting at church with a devotional message on forgiveness. He read us a story that he came across a while back, and I wanted to share it with you. It goes something like this. A convict was about to be released from prison and he wrote to his family telling them that fact...
Celebrate life, start to finish (02/02/14)
The countdown had begun! In 10 days....in 9 days....in 8 days....in 7 days...in 6 days...in 5 days. On Friday she came to me and said, "Papa, in 4 days I will be 5 and you are invited!" My oldest granddaughter, Charli, celebrated her fifth birthday this week. She had been so excited leading up to the big day...
The great school of life (01/26/14)
I am going back to school this year. My application has been accepted, and I am now a student at Emory University's Candler School of Theology. I will once again be reading text books, writing papers, and taking tests. I will be living in a college dorm in Atlanta from the middle of July until the middle of August, and coming home on the weekends...
Moments of seeing new life (01/19/14)
The morning my granddaughter Koriana Lynn was born, I was getting ready to fly to Arizona for a board meeting at the Native American children's home I am affiliated with. Kori was born at about 4:30 a.m. at Harton Hospital in Tullahoma. My ride to the airport was coming to pick me up at 6:30 a.m. here in Shelbyville...
Help in getting healthy (01/12/14)
The most common New Year's resolutions here in the US involve people's desire to lose weight. There are a whole lot of ads on TV about new weight loss programs. Professionals are interviewed on news programs and talk shows about proper weight loss techniques...
Already time to celebrate in 2014 (01/05/14)
Alas, it is January 2014! January is that ominous month when so many people talk about starting things over. January 1st is celebrated around the world with revelry and wild parties, excessive drinking and lots of kisses. Dubai held the honors this year of holding the largest fireworks display in history as the clock struck midnight on Dec. 31 and it slipped into January 1, 2014...
Give, and not just at Christmas (12/29/13)
My granddaughters seemed overwhelmed on Christmas morning as they opened present after present, and then moved from one toy to another. Kori finally looked like she just didn't know what to do or which way to turn. Jolie just wore herself out and fell asleep...
Good news that will last forever (12/22/13)
The Prophet Isaiah wrote, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah's prophecy was fulfilled in the birth of the One we know as Jesus Christ...
Reach out to 'the least of these' (12/15/13)
I read a story about a time St. Francis of Assisi was traveling across the country and he saw a leper standing by the side of the road. The man's face and body were covered with open sores. St. Francis was so moved with the man's pitiful condition that he jumped from his horse, ran to the man, and hugged him close to himself. St. Francis began to weep and pray for the leper. When he looked into the man's face, St. Francis was suddenly looking into the face of Jesus...
'I just want to be with you' (12/08/13)
Early in the morning my granddaughter, Kori, opens my bedroom door just a crack and peers in at me lying in bed. I see her little head silhouetted in the doorway. Then I hear her sweet little voice saying, "Hi, Papa!" I usually greet her with, "Good morning, baby girl!"...
A year-around attitude of gratitude (12/01/13)
"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is 'Thank You,' it will be enough." --Meister Eckhart Many times, as I lead my congregations in prayer, I pray a simple prayer such as this, "Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!" We have just celebrated the annual Thanksgiving holiday, but thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day. It needs to be a regular part of our everyday lives...
Study the skies, and believe (11/24/13)
I remember the first time I drove across the desert southwest at night and noticed the sky filled with billions of stars. I pulled over along the road and turned off the lights on my car. There were no nearby towns or ranches; the moon wasn't visible; and there were no lights other than the sky filled with stars...
A gift that gives in return (11/17/13)
There are 38 shopping days until Christmas. Oh, boy! I am so excited! I can hardly stand it! Well, maybe I'm exaggerating just a little; maybe more than a little. I am not much of a shopper, and most of the time I am one of those last minute Christmas shoppers...
Look for the pony in life (11/10/13)
Sometimes we need an attitude adjustment. I came across a story on Church Funnies, about a family that had identical twin sons; but their only resemblance to each other was their looks. If one thought it was too cold, the other one thought it was too hot. If one thought the music was too loud, the other one thought it was not loud enough. They were opposites in every way but their appearance. The one son was a pessimist, and his brother was an optimist...
Here's your sign: Make it a good one (11/03/13)
I have seen some interesting signs hanging in different places over the years. One of my favorites is hanging near the cash register at the Bell Buckle Café (one of my favorite dining establishments). It says, "Don't try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and it annoys the pig."...
Kids add a 'spice' to all church services (10/27/13)
Riley asked her parents if she could sit with her friend Abby at church on Sunday morning, and she was told "No" because many times she doesn't pay attention to the sermon when she does. Her parents quiz her after the service to see if she was listening to the message that I preached...
Temptation escape route is easy to find (10/20/13)
A woman had started a new diet, and so she purposely chose a new route to drive to work so she wouldn't have to drive past her favorite bakery: the one with the windows filled with all kinds of scrumptious goodies. One morning she forgot and took the old route, and there on the right was that bakery looming up ahead, the neon sign beckoning to her. She could almost smell the wonderful aroma of baked goods...
Dysfunction at its finest (10/13/13)
There are eight of us abiding here in the "Dezotell Home for Dysfunctional Living." Eight humans and one dog; at least there is only one dog at this point. Someone once said that there's nothing that makes you more insane than family. Or more happy. Or more exasperated. Or...more secure...
The benefits of joy (10/06/13)
This week I was making funny faces at my five month old granddaughter so I could see her pretty smile and maybe even get her to laugh. My daughter laughed instead, and then she told my wife about the ugly faces I was making at Jolie. She then commented on the many times she has seen people make these funny faces at the baby, wondering if they knew how stupid they look...
Keep both eyes on the road (09/29/13)
I was walking through the parking lot of a grocery store in Murfreesboro this week when a car whizzed right in front of me to get into the parking space I was almost right in front of. The car missed me by just inches. The woman driving the car jumped out and headed at a near gallop into the store, never stopping to apologize or even acknowledge that I was there. I guess that she didn't realize that she nearly ran into me as I was walking in front of her...
Helping out: One of life's great thrills (09/22/13)
"Non nobis solum nati sumus." That is a famous quote from Marcus Tullius Cicero, the Roman politician and philosopher. For those of us who don't speak Latin on a regular basis it translates to English as, "Not for ourselves alone are we born."...
Silent, yet still there (09/15/13)
Years ago, following World War II, a short poem was found carved on a cellar wall in Cologne, Germany. The cellar was a place where many Jews had hidden during the holocaust. The words of this poem have been translated, "I believe in the sun even when it is not shining. I believe in love even when I cannot feel it. I believe in God even when he is silent."...
Heroes are in our midst (09/08/13)
On Sept. 11, 2001, many heroic Americans gave their lives as they bravely went to the aid of those trapped in the Twin Towers. Firemen and police officers responded without hesitation to the calls that went out for assistance. Many of them lost their lives...
Recliner filled with kids, love (09/01/13)
My recliner sure is getting crowded these days as all three of my granddaughters want to sit with Papa at the same time. If I'm holding Baby Jolie, it's not long and Sister Kori has to get in the act, and then along comes Cousin Charli. It's all the more fun for dear old Grandpa though...
Fill your mind with good things (08/25/13)
When I was in Bible college, I worked as an orderly in a nursing home. I got close to a number of the residents there and I would visit with them when I could during the work day, and sometimes I would come back on my off-hours to spend time with those folks...
Miss Nancy was a true saint of God (08/18/13)
One thing I do as a pastor is attend a lot of funerals. Sometimes I officiate at the services, and other times I am there as one of the mourners. Recently I attended the funeral of a sweet Christian woman who passed away just prior to her 96th birthday...
All that needs to be said (08/11/13)
"I'm speechless!" "I'm at a loss for words!" "I don't know what to say!" "Words can't explain how I'm feeling right now!" I've heard those expressions used many times over the years, and they are usually spoken right before someone goes ahead and speaks...many words...showing they know what to say and they know how to express their feelings quite well...
Positive lives leave an impact (07/28/13)
I received a phone call one day from a young man who got my name and number from someone he called a mutual friend. He asked if I remembered his mother, whom years ago I helped get into a drug rehabilitation program in Chicago. I didn't remember the name, but over the years I had helped so many young men and women get into Christian rehabilitation programs that it is hard to remember all of them...
Find your magic shoes (07/21/13)
"I still have my feet on the ground, I just wear better shoes!" That quote is attributed to Oprah Winfrey. Supposedly Marilyn Monroe said, "Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world." Oprah, and Marilyn before her, loved their shoes...
When it's time to fly (07/14/13)
Every time I get ready to go on a trip and fly somewhere across the country I get really excited. For weeks and maybe months in advance I tell people how excited I am. I recently flew out west, and I think my friends and family were getting tired of hearing, "I'm so excited," from me before the trip...
Blessings flow in the dust (07/07/13)
Psalm 113:9 says, "He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord!" That scripture tells the story of the Naomi House in Jackrabbit, Ariz., where Linda Thompson has been the foster-mother to hundreds of Native American children since the early '90s...
A story about blessing others down the line (06/23/13)
I came across a story (based on a song by Clay Walker) recently that touched me. It goes like this: A man by the name of Bryan Anderson was driving home late one night along a lonely stretch of highway when he noticed a woman standing by a car at the side of the road. She was an older woman and looked like she needed help...
Father's Day from a new perspective (06/16/13)
This Father's Day is a special one for me, because it is also my granddaughter Kori's second birthday. I have come to realize that one of the best things about being a father is that I have also gotten to be a grandfather. I am so proud to say that I am the grandfather of three beautiful and sweet little girls: Charli, Kori and Jolie...
Bible-thumpin' hurts yourself, helps no one (06/09/13)
According to news reports, Evelyn Mills Moore of Kings Mountain, N.C., and Ina Garrett of Selmer have one thing in common: their choice of weapons. Both women were arrested on charges stemming from beating someone with a Bible. Evelyn got into a scuffle with another woman and used both her fists and her Bible to beat the lady...
Doug Dezotell
Memories and Musings
Doug Dezotell is pastor of Cannon United Methodist Church and a former staff writer for the Times-Gazette.