[Masthead] A Few Clouds ~ 93°F  
Feels like: 102°F
Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016
Sweet hour of prayer (08/21/16)
When I was a student at Intermountain Bible College in Grand Junction, Colorado back in the 70s, I attended a wonderful church there in town. The people of First Assembly of God welcomed me with open arms, even though I was a newcomer from a college of another denomination...
Thanks so much for reading! (08/14/16)
The other day, my granddaughter, Kori, and I were getting out of the car at the bank, when a car pulled in to the space next to us. The driver rolled down the passenger side window and with a big smile on her face she called out, "Oh, I read your column every Sunday. I really look forward to reading it every week."...
It's all about the family (08/07/16)
Last month, my brother, Paul, sent me a copy of an Ancestry DNA report he had received about our family's heritage. The report said that my brother's DNA revealed that we were 61 percent Scandinavian, which we expected. The other 39 percent was French with a mixture of other European ancestry, including Irish...
No place like home (07/31/16)
I've had the privilege of traveling to most of the United States over the years. I haven't been to the far northwestern states or the far northeastern states. But maybe someday I'll be able to do that and visit there as well. There are so many beautiful places to visit here in America that a person could spend their lifetime traveling across this country and still not see all that this great land of ours has to offer...
Step on the dance floor and live (07/24/16)
My granddaughters, like a lot of little girls, love to dance. And they love to dance for Lynn and me. We are their "mega-fans." There are some songs that I have added to my play list on my smart phone that are there simply for the girls to dance to...
Take time for rest (07/17/16)
My wife and I just returned from vacation. We spent our time on the lake in the north woods of Minnesota. We enjoyed the company of my sister, Cindi, and her family; and my brother, Paul, and his spouse. It was a great time of reconnecting and reminiscing with my siblings...
Looking for our latest dog (07/03/16)
Buster had been a part of our family for almost 16 years. He was an old dog, and his health had been declining for a while now. He was almost deaf, his legs and hips were arthritic, he had heart failure, and a horrible cough. But, we all loved Buster...
When few gather, He is there (06/26/16)
Years ago when I was a student in Bible College in Missouri, I was asked to go and preach at a church in a small town in the Ozarks. A friend of mine accompanied me on that journey. She was to provide the special music and lead worship. We drove through the snow covered hills on that Sunday morning, and following the directions we had been given we found the little church we were scheduled to minister at...
Tell them that you love them (06/19/16)
We celebrated my middle granddaughter's 5th birthday this week. It doesn't seem possible that Kori is already 5. She will be starting kindergarten in just a few short months. It doesn't seem that long ago that I had the privilege of holding her for the first time as a newborn...
Aprons full of love (06/12/16)
My mother and my grandmother both wore aprons a lot when I was growing up. Mom wore one of her aprons when she was working in the kitchen. But my grandmother had her apron on almost all the time. She took it off to go to church or at other times when she left the house...
Rocks aren't for throwing (06/05/16)
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...
Kindness goes a long way (05/29/16)
It really does pay to be nice to people. Sometime it could actually save your life. Deacon Richard Stanard shared a story on his Facebook page that proves this point. A lady working at a meat distribution factory had an unfortunate incident happen to her one day...
Church and food just mix (05/22/16)
An elementary school teacher had asked her students to bring in something for "show and tell" that was a symbol of their religion. A Jewish boy brought in a Star of David. A Muslim boy brought in a prayer rug. A Catholic girl brought in a rosary. A Methodist girl brought in a casserole, ready to feed the class...
Help in times of distress (05/15/16)
Life Happens! That is a statement that I make quite often when things don't go the way that I think they should. "Oh, well! Life happens!" When Asaph, the psalm writer, felt overwhelmed, he comforted himself with God's "songs in the night." Psalm 77:1-9 says:...
Thanks, teachers and Mom (05/08/16)
If you can read this, thank a teacher! Teacher Appreciation Week just came to a close, but all of us should show appreciation to teachers all year long. We are all the products of the efforts of a whole host of educators. I want to express my appreciation to teachers from my past, from kindergarten on through college and beyond...
Through eyes of a child (05/01/16)
Little second grader, Emily, walked by herself to school every morning and back home again in the afternoon. Her family just lived several blocks from the school, and Emily knew the route quite well. On this particular morning, the sky was beginning to get cloudy as Emily made her way to school; but as the day went on it started to get windy and it began to thunder and lightning...
Sheep rule on Navajo highways (04/24/16)
I was driving across a lonely stretch of highway on the Navajo Reservation in northern Arizona when a herd of sheep suddenly appeared from behind an outcropping of rocks on the right side of the road. I stopped to allow the sheep to cross the road in front of me, but they just kept coming...
Memories of Pekin (04/17/16)
When the weather would warm up, Mom would load my sister, Cindi, my brother, Paul, and me into the car and we would head out to the small town of Pekin, North Dakota. Pekin was a small farming town on the eastern plains of the state. Mom and her siblings grew up on a dairy farm not far from Pekin...
Beyond the grave (04/10/16)
I've stood by the side of many graves over the years. Most pastors do at one time or another. We help families and loved ones say their goodbyes. But then sometimes we are part of the families that are saying farewell. In 2010 we stood at my mother's graveside in North Dakota as she was laid to rest...
Let Easter live all year long (04/03/16)
Last Sunday most of us celebrated Easter, and people celebrate this holiday in a variety of ways. So many people forget about the religious significance of Easter, just like they do with Christmas. And to them Easter is about baskets filled with brightly colored eggs, chocolate rabbits and jelly beans, and of course the Easter Bunny...
Streams of mercy (03/27/16)
"Come Thou Fount" is one of the first hymns I learned to sing with the traveling choir from Inter-Mountain Bible College. I was a student at this school in Grand Junction, Colorado in the mid-1970s, and we sang this hymn just about every weekend as we traveled across Colorado....
Words of praise are uplifting (03/20/16)
I was sitting in my recliner with my youngest granddaughter, Jojo, and I needed to get up to get something from the other room. That turned into quite an ordeal with Jojo there next to me, but I managed, finally. As I stood to my feet, my sweet little granddaughter said, "Good job, Papa!"...
Hope springs forth (03/13/16)
Recently, one afternoon, my granddaughters and I were driving out in the country. The girls love looking for cows and horses and goats when we are out driving, and we saw a lot of those that afternoon. But, they really got excited when they saw a patch of daffodils growing in a field; a blaze of bright yellow in a field of green...
It's my birthday (03/06/16)
Today, March 6, is my birthday. It is also my late brother Bob's birthday. I was born on his 12th birthday. And it's also the birthday of Michelangelo, one of the greatest artists who ever lived. And it's basketball great Shaquille O'Neal's birthday; and Victorian poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning's birthday; and film and TV actor Lou Costello's birthday; and star of the ABC-TV show "Nashville" Connie Britton's birthday...
Passing along a blessing (02/28/16)
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...
Time off from the kids (02/21/16)
My wife asked me to watch a video on Facebook this week that caught her attention. A lady hangs up the phone in tears and runs through her house sobbing, trying to find her husband. She's trying to speak through her sobs and all that comes out is "My-my-my mother!"...
The man inside the shell (02/14/16)
When an elderly man died in a nursing home in Nebraska, people thought that he had nothing left of any value. Later, when the nurses were going through his few possessions they came across the following poem. It impressed the nursing staff so much that copies were made and distributed to everyone who worked there...
Hungry will be fed at church (02/07/16)
I am a member of the Bedford County Ministerial Association, and I look forward to the fellowship I have with the men and women of the clergy here in the area. We brainstorm about ideas for community ministry, working with other ministers and churches for a common goal of preaching the gospel, or involvement in various service projects...
Volunteer and help the needy (01/31/16)
In one of my favorite gospel stories about the Kingdom of God, Jesus talked about the importance of taking care of others. In the 25th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew we read these words: "Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in: I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'. ...
Hand up for those in need (01/24/16)
Several years ago my wife and I visited San Francisco. We spent four days touring the "city by the bay," two days riding on a double-decker tour bus and two days on foot walking up and down Fisherman's Wharf and the surrounding area. We rode on a tour boat out in the San Francisco Bay, and passed under the Golden Gate Bridge on the water, and went past the old historic prison island Alcatraz...
Reviewing our books (01/17/16)
I try to be a good person. I work hard at it, and I pray about it all the time. I want others to see me as a good example, and I want my Heavenly Father to be able to say one day, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." I read some thoughts in a devotional guide this week that challenged me to strive harder to be a good example....
Let God lead (01/10/16)
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: "Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown." And he replied: "Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way."...
Use time wisely each day (01/03/16)
Let's start off the New Year with the beautiful lyrics to Karolina W. Sandell-Berg's song "Day by Day." Day by day, and with each passing moment, Strength I find, to meet my trials here; Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment, I've no cause for worry or for fear...
A new New Year's (12/27/15)
I am actually excited about celebrating New Year's Eve with my wife this year. Lynn won't be at work. For as long as I can remember she has had to work on New Year's Eve, waiting to deliver those New Year's babies. Lynn is a labor and delivery nurse...
Greatest story ever told (12/20/15)
I want to invite you to join me and my family and our friends at Cannon United Methodist Church for a Candlelight Communion Service on Christmas Eve at 6 p.m. The church is located at 1001 Cannon Blvd. here in Shelbyville. This communion service will be a good way for you and your family and friends to reflect upon the real meaning of Christmas as you continue your celebration of the birth of Christ...
Giving is truly a blessing (12/13/15)
I want to invite you to join me and my family and our friends at Cannon United Methodist Church for a Candlelight Communion Service on Christmas Eve at 6 p.m. The church is located at 1001 Cannon Blvd. here in Shelbyville. This communion service will be a good way for you and your family and friends to reflect upon the real meaning of Christmas as you continue your celebration of the birth of Christ...
Weather and more (12/06/15)
I was standing in line at the bank earlier this week and the older gentleman in front of me turned around and said, "We sure have had some nice weather lately." It was raining that morning, and I assumed he wasn't talking about the weather that day, but maybe the previous week's weather...
Giving thanks (11/29/15)
Johnson Oatman, Jr. wrote a song that was published in 1897. It's a well-known gospel song that maybe you sang in church recently. When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one,...
Scooting around (11/22/15)
Life is sometimes chaotic at the Dezotell house. But that's okay, because it's my three granddaughters that are in the center of the chaos. We love them dearly, but Lynn and I spend a lot of time trying to calm the chaos. Our son, Michael, lives with us, and he is a big help with the girls too...
The way to escape your fears (11/15/15)
Many of the fears and phobias that 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...
Sudden changes (11/08/15)
Unexpected things happen to us quite often. For example, my wife broke her ankle last week. That, of course, was not expected. Lynn had gotten up early on Thursday morning to get our granddaughters ready for pre-school. She went out to the garage to throw something into the trash can, but she failed to turn the light on and she missed the last step...
Flo-itis: It won't go away (11/01/15)
I have recently been diagnosed with a progressive disorder called "Flo-itis." Flo-itis is a condition that causes the sufferer to see a brunette woman in a white uniform selling insurance every time he or she turns on the television. It is not a terminal disease but it is quite annoying...
Comfort foods for fall (10/25/15)
I like fall weather. I like it a lot. I like the cooler temperatures, and the changing colors of the leaves on the trees. And I like all the wonderful tastes associated with fall weather as well. Pumpkin comes to mind. I like all things pumpkin flavored...
Organ is Mom's melody (10/18/15)
My mother used to play the organ, and I was one of her biggest fans. She learned to play the organ when she was a child, but she never had an organ of her own as an adult until she was in her sixties. Mom's second husband bought her one. She sure was proud that she finally had her own musical instrument to sit at and play her favorite songs...
Pumpkin fun, in your own county! (10/11/15)
Kori and Jojo were sitting in a 16' x 8' box of dried corn kernels having the time of their lives. Kori looked up at me with a huge smile on her face and said, "This is the best day ever!" Lynn and I took the girls to the new Over the Hill Farms Pumpkin Patch last weekend on 41-A North, and they were thrilled with all the activities they had there for kids their age (2 and 4)...
Dance -- and make a difference (10/04/15)
Several years ago I received a message on Facebook from a lady named Denise. She asked me if I was the "Doug Dezotell" that attended South Junior High School in Grand Forks, North Dakota. I replied to her message assuring her that I was that guy. Denise then sent me a message by email that I will never forget. I want to share that with you...
Don't pick on nurses (09/27/15)
Kelley Johnson is a registered nurse. She is also Miss Colorado. And just last week, Miss Johnson was named second runner-up in the Miss America Pageant. But surprisingly she has garnered more attention than the winner of the pageant, Miss Georgia, Betty Cantrell...
Don't quit but keep on trying (09/20/15)
When I was a little boy I tried to do all sorts of things. I would see someone else doing something, and I would tell myself that I wanted to do that too. (Sometimes that got me in trouble.) I would watch someone playing a musical instrument, and I'd want to learn how to play that thing too, whatever it may have been...
I know who holds tomorrow (09/13/15)
The American people, especially the people from the Gulf Coast, just recognized the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. There were so many lives lost, families uprooted, homes and livelihoods destroyed all along the Gulf. A man by the name of Mike Dowdy tells the story of an encounter he had with one of those families that had been uprooted...
A lesson in grace (09/06/15)
One of the truisms of life is that you can't judge a book by its cover. And to that point, I wanted to share a beautiful story with all of you. This is especially for all of you teachers, active and retired. As Mrs. Thompson stood in front of her fifth grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children a lie...
The trek of our descendents (08/30/15)
I am the grandson of immigrants. My mother's parents came to the United States from Norway at the end of the 1890s. They purchased land on the fertile plains of eastern North Dakota. My Norwegian grandparents settled there on that wide-open prairie and established what would one day become a prosperous farming enterprise...
One thankful American (08/23/15)
Back in the 70s, when I was a Bible college student in Southern California, I made a trip to Tijuana, Mexico with a group of classmates. This "field trip" was for one of our college courses entitled Cross Cultural Communications. It was to be a life-lesson for us...
Labels of life (08/16/15)
Sometimes I think people need to come with warning labels. There are those people who should have a label telling you "approach at your own risk." Others warning, "Dangerous! Highly Explosive!" Then there are those who should have a label reading "Whining at high decibels may harm your hearing."...
The annoying tale of Ovaltine (08/09/15)
As some of you may know, my three wonderful, delightful, adorable, smart and amazing granddaughters live in our home with Lynn and me. Jolie, Kori and Charli are ages 2, 4 and 6 respectively. I am honored to be called "Papa" by my three little girls, and I am honored to be among the ranks of "Grandparents" everywhere...
Bad to worse (08/02/15)
Have you ever had one of those days when everything just seemed to go wrong? From the time you woke up in the morning until you manage to crawl into bed at night, one thing after another goes wrong, and your whole day is just messed up. I hate it when that happens...
You're never alone (07/26/15)
A woman heard that her friend had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. So she made the long trip to the city where her friend lived to be with her. When she arrived at her friend's home she threw her arms around her and pulled her close. They both broke down crying, and they just stood there holding each other, tears streaming down their cheeks...
Peace in suffering (07/19/15)
On any given day there are so many people who are suffering in one way or another. People experience hardships in life; family troubles, physical ailments and frightening medical diagnoses, financial despair, loss of a loved one, or serious accidents and tragedies...
People watching (07/12/15)
I enjoy watching people. I guess you could call me a people watcher. I like watching people when I go shopping, whether it be at the grocery store or the supercenter or the mall. When I go to the store here in Shelbyville, I like to watch the folks that are there shopping around me...
Things to learn (07/05/15)
Things to learnAs we get older it's nice to stop and reflect on the things that we've learned throughout life. If we do that from time to time, we can all come up with a long list of lessons learned. I came across such a list this week. It was compiled by Omer B. Washington. Here are some of the things Mr. Washington says he's learned over the years. Maybe you've learned some of these things too...
Shuttling 'round and 'round (06/28/15)
I had the privilege of making a quick trip out to northern Arizona last weekend to attend a board meeting for a ministry I have been a part of for more than 20 years: Native American Outreach Ministries Inc. (NAOMI). The board also celebrated the more than 20 years of service that the founding director had provided to this ministry and to the many, many Native American children whose lives she had touched...
Perfectly imperfect (06/21/15)
Our granddaughter, Kori, turned 4 this week. We celebrated her birthday with family last Sunday. She had the most beautiful smile on her face all day as she celebrated and played with her mama, her sister, her half-brother, her cousins, and her aunts and uncles and grandparents...
Chillin' in the Smokies (06/14/15)
It is always good to get away for a while, to take a break, to step away from the routines of life for a period of time. Some people call this a vacation, others refer to it as a holiday. Many people plan their "away-time" during the summer months. For many of us with school age children or grandchildren, we make plans to get away after school is out for the year...
Sons of Dodo (06/07/15)
Have you ever heard of the son of Dodo? Probably not. Maybe you have heard of the dodo bird, the extinct, flightless bird from the island of Mauritius. He's long gone. Or you may have heard of the now retired Brazilian soccer player, Ricardo Lucas, who was nicknamed, Dodo...
Let there be love (05/31/15)
There's an old love song that was recorded by Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, The Four Aces, Connie Francis and others. The lyrics go: Love is a many splendored thing; It's the April rose that only grows in the early spring. Love is nature's way of giving a reason to be living,...
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...
Doug Dezotell
Memories and Musings
Doug Dezotell is pastor of Cannon United Methodist Church and a former staff writer for the Times-Gazette.