This is Joshua's dad, Pastor Doug. I received this “MEMORY” posted on my TIMELINE last week on FB.
I need not re-invent the wheel-this is a POWERFUL TESTimony and word from God!!
AS I reread this, I was struck by its sincerity and truth contained therein. I was also saddened to learn that my son had valid aspirations of being a professional baseball player or a “pilot in the Air Force.” I never took or had the time to learn this as his father.........................................
REGRETS-I'VE HAD A FEW!!!!!
In closing, may I remind each of us to “BLOOM WHERE WE ARE PLANTED!!!”
To quote AGAIN from my second favorite book, THE DISCIPLINES OF LIFE:
“THIS is OUR place which has no one to hold it but ourselves! The last dejected effort often becomes the winning stroke!!!!”
This Is My Home
The above drawing is an exact drawing of my cell. Well, it is not my actual cell; it is someone else’s. However, they all look the same.
I live in this box twenty-three hours a day. I have mentioned in a previous Joshua’s Journal that we (DR inmates) are allowed out of our cells for one hour a day to shower, use the phone, and speak with other inmates.
The only thing missing in this drawing is the television. The man who drew this picture was executed many years ago. Since then, the prison has installed televisions outside of our cells, right along the chain length fence.
If you will notice, the jack on the wall has four plugs for us to plug our headphones in. The top plug allows us to listen to the television. The next three plugs are for radio stations; One rock station, one country station, and one soul station.
On the left hand side of the cell is a bookshelf. All items must be stored on these shelves. Books, hygiene products, food items, and so on. No personal items are allowed on the floor other than tennis shoes, shower shoes, and boots. An inspection team comes around to our cells four times a week to make sure everything is in order.
A toilet, sink and coat rack is left out of the drawing. I cannot give you the reason why it was left out, but my guess is that the artist drew the picture while sitting on the bed.
This is my office. This is my studio. Every writer, musician, and creator has a place where he or she does his/her work.
I was watching a television program the other day and the performer Alicia Keys was giving an interview in her recording studio. The place was beautiful. It had floor to ceiling paintings of Marin Luther King Jr., and Whitney Houston. She had a half of million-dollar baby grand piano in the middle of a huge room. The place was immaculate and beautiful. Millions of dollars had been spent for her to compose her music in luxury.
During the interview, I thought about other artist and their places that they go to do create. The writer Stephen King mentioned in his book, “On Writing” that he has a basic room with a table, chair, computer, pad, pen, and a stereo system. For hours each day he locks himself in this room, listens to rock music and writes.
I also thought about my father. His office/studio is the fast food restaurant Hardees. Multiple times a week he will sit in the dining area, order a coffee or small snack and go to work. While others around him are eating and carrying on conversations, my father waits for the Holy Spirit to arrive then types what he hears.
I also thought about the Apostle Paul. Many times he was locked away in horrible prisons. Prisons so bad that they would make today’s death row look like a five star hotel. There he was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write letters that were so precious that they make up two thirds of the New Testament.
2 Timothy 4:13 (KJV)
13 The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.
I don’t believe that the place where a person works make a difference. I don’t need a million dollar studio with paintings of famous people all over my walls. I don’t need expensive pens or a top of the line stereo system to produce life-transforming art. All I need is a notepad, pencil and the Holy Spirit. Anything extra is frivolous in my opinion.
Exodus 4:2 And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.
When God calls you to do something, He will always use something that you have. What’s in your hand? If you don’t have what you need, then maybe you have the wrong vision. TD Jakes says that God will ALWAYS give you provision for the vision.
The above picture is a drawing of the outside of my cell. This is what my cell block looks like. It has two tiers. Each cell block has twenty-six cells in it. The window next to the painted G-3 is where a guard sits 24 hours a day. He/She never enters the cell block unless all inmates are secured in their individual cells.
Have you ever seen those old prison movies where the inmate sticks out his mirror to see what is going on outside of his cell? Well, we don’t have mirrors but we stick out our CD’s and use the backs of them for mirrors. It is not as good as a mirror, but it works (smile).
This is my home. Only God knows how much longer I will have to live here. When I was a little boy, I wanted to grow up and become a professional baseball player.
However, after watching the move Top Gun with Tom Cruise in it, I changed my dream to being a pilot in the Air Force. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined that I would be sitting on Georgia’s Death Row at the age of 34. I don’t remember ever wanting to be a writer of God’s Word, and I definitely didn’t want to grow up and become a convict.
But, I am here. This is my home, and for right now this is my life. One thing that I can testify to is that God NEVER gives up on His children. As long as you have a beat in your chest and breath in your lungs, God can still use you. It does not matter if you are in a prison, or nursing home. If you will make yourself available to God, He will open doors that NO MAN can shut.
Rev 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
Earlier this evening I was thinking about a woman named Joni Eareckson Tada. Most of you have probably heard of her. She is probably in her fifties now. But when she was nineteen years old, she jumped into the ocean thinking that the water was deeper than it really was and she broke her neck and became a quadriplegic for the rest of her life.
She endured many years of therapy, hoping to get back use of her arms and legs. Her treatments failed, but instead of giving up she taught herself how to write and draw pictures by using her mouth. She would put a pen or pencil in her mouth and write books that are now published and she drew pictures that are in art museums around the world.
She REFUSED to allow her condition dictate her future.
Life is hard dear friend. I don’t care if you are black or white; rich or poor, young or old, educated or uneducated…Life is hard.
I like to give people insight into my life hoping that I can inspire someone to continue. Hopefully something I wrote today, or the drawings you saw will provoke you to take a look at your own life.
Many of you will go outside and walk around today. You may walk around Wal-Mart, the park, or just in your backyard. Be thankful that you can walk around. The furthest I will be able to walk today is eight feet. Then I will have to turn around and walk another eight feet.
My landscape never changes. The drawings that you saw today are what I will be looking at until God says otherwise.
Am I ecstatic? Nope. Am I content? Absolutely! As I have mentioned many times before, this is where God has me right now. This is my life. This is my journey, and this is my home. Thank you for allowing me to show you around. Have a good day.
70 Stone Rd.
McDonough, GA. 30253
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