DAD’S MESSAGE TO ME 38 YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH

With Father’s Day 2018 approaching, it is natural for many of us to think about our dads. Some of us only have cherished memories of days long gone, and others are blessed to still have the opportunity to visit and/or talk to their dads on earth.

I happen to fall into the category of having fond memories of my dad from long, long ago, so I want to share a true story about a message I received last week—thirty-eight years after his death in 1980.

Before I share the story, I have a simple question. Do you believe in God-winks—those surreal situations where you experience something akin to divine intervention?

Some folks tend to brush-off such situations as mere coincidences, but if you’re a person of faith, you probably understand how special God-winks can be. I certainly do because I’ve experienced them—many times in recent years. I feel sure some of you have also had such experiences

For those who do not believe in God or God-winks, please keep reading before your close your mind completely to the possibility that God-winks may be far more than mere happenstances.

+++++ The Story +++++

I was twenty-seven when my father had his first heart attack and could no longer work—he was forty-nine. Unable to exert himself physically, he started tinkering with lightweight metal sheeting—copper, tin, etc. in his workshop.

After Dad’s fourth heart attack in 1980, God called him home to the big workshop in the sky. Dad was fifty-four-years young.

I struggled to understand why God called Dad home at such a young age. Dad had so much more goodness to give others. I prayed many times for God to help me understand, but all I received was silence. I soon became frustrated—one might even say angry, which severely challenged my faith. The big unanswered “WHY?” question clouded my sense of being for many years.

A few months after Dad’s funeral, my mother asked me to get rid of things in Dad’s workshop. The task proved to be more emotionally difficult than I could have ever imagined. Still in a state of numbness from Dad’s passing, I packed items in a few boxes and gave some to family and friends.

I kept a few of Dad’s tools only to have them stolen in 2005 when some “kindhearted soul” stole my truck with Dad’s tools on-board. Those tools held many memories, and every time I used one, I thought of Dad and smiled.

Now, fast-forward to 2011—the year I felt the “call” to write my first novel, If Tigers Were Angels: With God All Things Are Possible. Trust me when I say, I had never in my life had any desire to write a manuscript, let alone publish a book. However, “something” kept prodding me to write the story. I tried to ignore this strange “calling” only to find myself involuntarily pounding away on the keyboard one evening. The rest is history as new ideas kept popping into my head and I couldn’t stop writing, even though I had no idea where the story was going—something was leading my thoughts from one chapter to the next.

The result of this mysterious joint effort produced a story about a middle-aged man who received messages from God through an unlikely source—a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. If you care to get a better understanding of the story, please go to the Amazon.com “Look inside” feature about the book.

In the last chapter of my novel, I describe an actual encounter I had with a real Tiger Swallowtail when I suffered writer’s block in the middle of writing the story. It was one of the most surreal moments in my life to that point. The book’s cover photo is the actual Tiger that appeared that day. My experience is one I hope I never forget.

In late May 2018, I started cleaning out my garage. A task long overdue, but in the process, I found a box marked Dad’s Stuff. The box had remained closed since 1980 and I had no idea what was inside. I hesitated to open the box for fear of revisiting some sad times. However, I felt compelled to open it—pushed, as if some force was urging me to break the seal.

The first item I saw in the box was a copper figure of a Tiger Swallowtail perched on a leaf (see photo). My eyes quickly swelled with moisture as I thought of Dad having made the Tiger. I wondered if Dad had received messages from a Tiger after his heart attacks. Could it be that the “call” I sensed to write my novel came from Dad? Could Dad have made the Tiger to convey a special message to me thirty-eight years later? Could Dad’s copper Tiger be a “God-wink” moment for me?

The naysayers of the world will likely say it was a silly coincidence and I’m a fool to think otherwise, but I believe that’s wrong. I have no doubts it was a special moment of divine intervention and ranks as the most surreal moment in my life. I’m feeling blessed to have discovered Dad’s special gift and understand his message of inspiration.

My only regret is it took me so long to find Dad’s gift that was literally right under my nose for years. After struggling for thirty-eight years to understand the answer to my “Why?” question about Dad’s early departure, I am finally at peace. I sincerely believe God used Dad’s copper Tiger as a messenger to tell me who guided me through the writing of my novel—it was Dad. It’s nice to know you’re still watching over me. Thank you for your guidance, wisdom, caring, and love!

Happy Father’s Day, Dad, and to all who are blessed to wear the title—FATHER.

+++++ The End +++++

If you have been kind enough to follow my blog, aTimeinLife, I am truly thankful for your support. I hope you have found the blog’s content inspirational, motivational, and heartwarming—maybe even interesting. If you’re not following my blog, I invite you to signup—it’s free!

Blessings to all…

Tom Tatum – Author – 2018

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

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THE ULTIMATE PRICE FOR FREEDOM

Freedom is not free and many have paid the ultimate price securing and defending a nation. May we never forget their sacrifices to support a cause far greater than themselves—a nation. Let the Stars and Stripes continue to wave in their honor.

May they rest in peace and dwell in God’s house of many mansions.

Memorial Day 2018

Tom Tatum – Author – 2018

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

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NEVER, EVER GIVE UP!

In his attempts to improve the impractical light bulb designs previously developed by others, Thomas Edison was successful in finding several hundred more ways that didn’t work. However, he learned something from each “successful” failure. Edison believed in himself and felt he would eventually find the solution, so he kept trying.

Finally, the day came when a bright light within a tube of glass would change the world—Edison’s dream to make a commercially viable light bulb became a reality.

We should be thankful Edison kept trying—look how far we’ve come since his successful “bright” day.

May we all strive to be like Edison…

Never, Ever Give Up!

I came.

I tried.

I failed.

I tried again—and I failed.

Again, I tried.

I failed again.

I tried a 100 more times.

I failed a 100 more times.

I tried once more.

I finally succeeded!

If you believe in yourself,

Never, Ever Give Up!

Tom Tatum – Author – 2018

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

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GOD’S MIXING AND BAKING SOMETHING FOR YOU

When God doesn’t answer our prayers quickly, we may become anxious and wonder why He’s taking so long. We may even wonder if He listened to our prayers. It is during such times that we must be patient. We must also understand and accept that God’s answers may not be what we asked of Him.

However, one thing is for sure—we can always be confident knowing that God’s “mixing and baking” something for us. We must have faith in God’s timing—it is always perfect.

My friend, John Kneece, shared the following “down to earth” prayer from a Facebook post by Justin Cross. Although we don’t know the name of the original author, the message it presents is certainly on point.

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One Sunday morning at a small southern church, the new pastor called on one of his older deacons to lead in the opening prayer.

The deacon stood up, bowed his head, and said, “Lord, I hate buttermilk.”

The pastor opened one eye and wondered where this was going.

The deacon continued, “Lord, I hate lard.”

Now, the pastor was totally perplexed.

The deacon continued, “Lord, I ain’t too crazy about plain flour. But after you mix ‘em all together and bake ‘em in a hot oven, I just love biscuits.

“Lord, help us to realize when life gets hard, when things come up that we don’t like, whenever we don’t understand what You are doing, that we need to wait and see what You are making. After You get through mixing and baking, it’ll probably be something even better than biscuits. Amen.”

Author Unknown

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Thanks to John and Justin for sharing this reminder to be patient while God is mixing and baking His answers to our prayers.

May God’s answers to all your prayers be “something even better than biscuits.”

Tom Tatum – Author – 2018

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

LinkedIn: TomTatum1

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UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

Some pictures truly are worth a thousand words, and this one ranks high on the list of those that do.

The unconditional love portrayed in this print (Who Do You Love) by artist, Fred Morgan, warms my heart twice each day. The print hangs on the wall of my bedroom, so I have the pleasure of seeing it first thing every morning and last thing at night.

Every brushstroke radiates kindness, tenderness, and warmth between old and young. The rugged exterior of the man seems to belie the delicate beauty and innocence of the children. Yet, that contrast actually allows the warmth of their hearts to explode from the surface of the canvas in a perfect expression of unconditional love.

You see, I am the grandfather of five and this print serves to remind me how important it is to share the same unconditional love with my grandchildren as this “ole man” is doing—and it works.

I hope the print has this same effect on you. If it does, I encourage you to visit the website below to view more of Mr. Morgan’s paintings. Each print depicts warmth, kindness, and love.

https://www.art.com/gallery/id–a2213/frederick-morgan-posters.htm

Enjoy every moment and have a great day—share some unconditional love!

Tom Tatum – Author – 2018

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

LinkedIn: TomTatum1

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NEW RULES TURNING GOLF UPSIDE DOWN

This is Chip Shotmaster of GOLF TV reporting to you from the headquarters of the TUSGA, one of golf’s new governing associations. TUSGA President, Slice Hook, no relation to Captain Hook, just made an announcement about two significant changes to the rules of golf that will turn the golfing world upside down—literally. These changes are to go into effect immediately.

Both changes were unanimous decisions by the TUSGA board of directors after having received numerous complaints about the antiquated scoring method used to determine winners in golf.

The now defunct method created too much emotional stress for the players in today’s “participation trophy” society. These changes will create more opportunities for lesser skilled players to receive first-place trophies.

In addition to scoring changes, golf’s callous, politically incorrect term used to define player capabilities is unacceptable. The policy of ranking player’s abilities based on their average scores is cruel and demeaning. The concept known here to date as “handicap” is no longer applicable.

The two rules are as stated below:

Mr. Hook added, “The TUSGA board members noticed a substantial increase in the number of birdies, eagles, and albatrosses being shot by players around the world and felt it was their duty to protect all fowl. By making the highest score in golf the winner as is done in all other sports, we believe fewer players will have the desire to shoot these fine-feathered creatures of the sky. It’s a win-win situation for the fowl and the less talented players around the world. We will be putting pressure on the PGA, R&A, USGA, and LPGA organizations to implement similar changes to the rules of golf.”

Chip Shotmaster: “Mr. Hook, many people may not be aware of your organization. Can you tell our viewers what the acronym, TUSGA, means?

Slice Hook: “Sure Chip. TUSGA is the Total Unlimited Scoring Golf Association. It’s an organization devoted to bolstering the efforts of less talented golfers and protecting wildlife at the same time. These two recent changes will also lower the cost per stroke for all golfers and make the game more affordable for all who love the game.”

“Mr. Hook, won’t these changes also increase the time required to play eighteen holes of golf?”

Slice Hook: “That’s one of the wonderful side effects these changes will have on the game, Chip. They allow players to consume most of a day to play one round. We expect many players might start pushing to make golf a nine-hole event—at least that’s what the TUSGA is considering in the future.”

Chip Shotmaster: “Thank you, Mr. Hook. Folks, that’s the golfing news of today. The TSUGA is definitely turning the golfing world upside down. Now, back to the studio with Kitty Woods for more details on how these changes will impact the 2018 Masters.”

Kitty Woods: “Thank you for that report, Chip. Now, for more on the Masters…”

Tom Tatum – Author – 2018

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

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CHRIST IS RISEN! HALLELUJAH!

CHRIST IS RISEN!

HALLELUJAH!

Tom Tatum – Author – 2018

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tomtatum

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

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