Tag Archives: #lifelessons

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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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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PUTTING JESUS BACK WHERE HE BELONGS

A friend sent this to me today and I thought others might enjoy it as much as I do. Out of the mouths of children…

++++

A father wanted to read a magazine but was being bothered by his little girl. She wanted to know what the United States looked like. Finally, he tore a sheet out of his new magazine on which was printed the map of the country.

Tearing it into small pieces, he gave it to her and said, “Go into the other room and see if you can put this together.”

After a few minutes, she returned and handed him the map, correctly fitted and taped together. The father was surprised and asked how she had finished so quickly.

“Oh,” she said, “On the other side of the paper is a picture of Jesus. When I got all of Jesus back where He belonged, then our country just came together.”

So, when we get Jesus back

where He Belongs—

Our country will come together!

(Author Unknown)

Tom Tatum – Author – 2018

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

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

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EVERYONE’S LIFE STORY IS WORTH SHARING

No matter how famous or

unknown we might be,

everyone has a life story worth

sharing. Although yours and mine

may not be as unique or as

interesting as some others, we can

rest assured that our life stories

are equally as  important as all of

 the others because every life story

begins exactly the  same way.

“God created…”

 

Tom Tatum – Author – 2018

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

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor 

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LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE BRIGHT

You may never know who they are, but somewhere in this great big world

there is someone who will be uplifted by the light that shines from within you.

Let your light shine brightly and be a blessing to someone who needs you.

Tom Tatum –Author 2017

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

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

BLESSING FOR TWO

Tom Tatum – Author 2017

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

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor

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ANGEL AND THE SILVER DOLLAR

There are times in life when we find ourselves in situations that we can’t explain while it is happening. I experienced such a moment when I was a young boy. It wasn’t life threatening, but it was certainly surreal. It was a special moment—one I can still visualize it as if it happened yesterday. However, it occurred fifty-six years ago.

So, what brings about such moments as this? Well, it’s simple when we understand that sometimes in life there are forces far more powerful than ourselves helping us accomplish feats that are beyond our abilities. Allow me to explain the moment I experienced.

When I was a youngster, I was very shy. I never liked being the center of attention—NEVER! I just wanted to do my own thing without any fanfare from others.

At age eleven, I had the honor of being one of fourteen players selected for the 1960 Orangeburg Little League All-Star baseball team. That in itself was a major milestone for me because there were many talented twelve-year olds who also played during the regular season. I was very fortunate to have some of the coaches recognize my ability to play baseball. However, unknown to them, their confidence in me set in motion the unusual event that was about to unfold.

allstarteam1960

What I didn’t know at the time was that this was going to be a defining moment in my life—both athletically and spiritually.

I was the starting centerfielder in the first Little League All-Star game in Barnwell, SC. To say starting the game surprised me would be an understatement. Anyway, I took the field with butterflies flying around in my stomach to the point I felt as if I was going to hurl my lunch before the game started, but, thank goodness, I didn’t.

The game had gone great for our team and we had a one-run lead in the bottom of the last inning. Then, momentum swung to the other team and they had men on second and third base with one out. I stood in centerfield with a lump in my throat and prayed, “Lord, please don’t let the batter hit the ball to me.” That’s not exactly what an “all-star” player should be thinking at such a time.

Unfortunately, for me, God didn’t respond to my innocent-childlike prayer the way I had hoped He would. On the very next pitch, the batter hit a hard line-drive straight toward me—the most difficult trajectory and direction for an outfielder to catch the ball.

I ran toward the ball and caught it just above my shoelaces for out number two. The runner on third base tagged up and headed toward home plate. If he scored, it would tie the game. If my throw was off-target, the runner on second base could also score and we would lose the game. Without hesitation, I reared back and fired the ball toward the catcher. It was a perfect strike, and the runner was out by two strides. It was a double play, and the game was over. We won the game!

I couldn’t believe my eyes! I had never thrown a runner out at home plate from centerfield in my life. The fans went wild and cheered louder than I had ever heard before. As I ran off the field, my teammates gathered around me and celebrated the moment—the victory and the throw! Though there were not thousands of fans in the stands that night, it sure sounded like it to me. To say the least, I was happy for what happened, but I also wanted to hide.

I was shocked by what I had just accomplished. The moment was truly surreal. I thought, “Did I really do that? Was I dreaming? How did that ball leave my hand and hit the catcher’s mitt for a perfect strike from centerfield?”

That’s when I paused and said, “Lord, You didn’t answer my prayer the way I wanted, but thank You for blessing me with an angel to guide my throw to home plate.”

After the game, the father of our pitcher came over to me and congratulated me for my unbelievable throw. He said, “That was a great throw, Tatum! An awesome play like that deserves a reward. This is for you.” That’s when he placed a silver dollar in my hand—the only money I ever received for playing baseball.

silverdollarcoin

I’m sure you can imagine the joy I felt that night, but I knew I didn’t make that throw on my own. An angel assisted me on the field that night, and yet, I received a silver-dollar reward for “our” effort.

It is the special moments in life that make you smile, and this moment has put a smile on my face for over fifty years. Have I ever told my grandchildren this story? Sure, I have! Many times, and I smile every time I tell the story. In fact, I’m smiling right now!

Here’s the amazing finale to the story. I tried throwing a ball in similar situations at practice more than a hundred times and never made that play again. Without any pressure of a real-game situation, I couldn’t repeat the “magical” throw.

I’m sure the Lord has more important concerns than helping a young boy throw a ball to home plate, but I also know I could never have made that throw on my own. Then again, what if…

Jesus looked at them and replied, “This is impossible for mere humans, but for God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26

So, what do you think happened that night? Did I suddenly have powers far beyond my abilities or did an angel assist me? No one could be that lucky.

I’m sure you have also had similar moments in your life. Would you care to share one of your special moments when you accomplished something beyond your capabilities?

Blessings to you and yours, and have a great day!

Tom Tatum – Author – 2017

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

Twitter: @TomTatumAuthor LinkedIn: TomTatum1

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