MY LIFE’S PROGRESSION – Part Three (click the pix to read more)

Following my discharge from the Army, I worked as a Dispatcher in the Town of Big Stone Gap, VA, Police Department. That lasted a little over a year. During this time I “found” my future wife, Teresa Brickey. After a courtship and engagement of one year (we were old-fashioned; we allowed time to “get acquainted” before we married, just to be sure (NO, we didn’t live together during that time – that was a “no-no”– and her dad had a shotgun)). We were married in 1962.

Six month before we married, I moved to Erwin, TN, another small town, and started work as Chief Engineer at a (the) radio station there. In the eighteen years at that job in Erwin, I stepped through the ranks up to Station Manager.

Erwin was the headquarters of the Clinchfield Railroad that carried only freight (no passenger cars), primarily coal, from the mines in SW Virginia and Kentucky to Spartanburg, SC. From there, other railroad lines carried it throughout the South.

Eventually, in the late ‘70s – early ‘80s the Clinchfield was sold to the Southern Systems and moved the Erwin offices and shops to Savannah, GA and Jacksonville, FL (the Clinchfield is now part of the CSX Rail System).  Plus, in the early ‘50s, four other major local employers shut down operations. That pretty much made Erwin a ghost town! But, creativity in the economic development people there started bringing in other diverse industries and today Erwin is making a good comeback.

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Following marriage, we decided to wait a few years before starting a family. Teresa went to Cosmetology school and became a hair dresser, eventually owning two beauty shops. She was very talented and quite successful in that field.

Then we found out that we, medically, could not have children! So, we applied to adopt a child. In TN at the time, adoptions were done through a State agency. A year later we were bless with a little five-month-old girl whom we named Tracie. You can read her story at THIS site.

Over three years later, our naturally-born son, Marty, made his appearance, to the surprise of the doctors! But Marty has always been able to make things happen – even after his delivery!

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During the years we spent in Erwin, we were involved with the Erwin Presbyterian Church. It was there that we experienced an enhanced relationship with the Lord. More on that later.

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In 1978, I left the radio station; I felt that I had gone as far “up the ladder” that I could in that field, at that location. I went to the local telephone company as a Microwave Technician and spent nearly three years in that (well-paying) position. Then in 1982, I got a call to go to Florida!

 

 


MY LIFE’S PROGRESSION – Part Four (click the pix to read more)

At the time I was working at the telephone company, we visited Teresa’s sister who lived in St. Petersburg in Florida. The two girls had birthdays in October so we got together for a joint celebration. While there, I became interest in the local Christian TV station.

Months later (June), I started feeling an urge to move from the current job (I NEVER was known to be one who “job-jumped”; I was by nature a “long-timer” in work positions).  On a Friday I sent an application to that TV station. I received a phone call on the next Monday (yes, three days later!) and was told about an opening at their new “sister” station in Cocoa. I flew down, was interviewed and hired as Manager of Engineering, and I moved my family down.

Really, I didn’t want to live in Florida; I had never liked it. I didn’t like the heat, I didn’t like the sand (gardening was difficult), I didn’t like the flat lands (no mountains to look at!) – BUT, I felt this is where I should be. SO, I “agreed” with my family that I would go “temporarily”. That turned out to be 28 years!

After a year at the Christian TV station, I was hired at the Kennedy Space Center. For all the years that I was at the radio station in TN, I had wanted to get a job at NASA. That appeared to be an exciting thing to do. I applied several times but was turned down. NOW, years later, having forgotten that ambition, I was working there in communications, which later turned into computers! I was employed there until age 65 when I chose to retire after 19 years (2002) to work full-time in our ministry.

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Many things happened in Florida; good and bad. Months after our arrival our 15-year-old daughter contracted cancer, and four months later, it was in remission. At age 18, cancer reappeared and, after a year of fighting it again, she passed away in July of 1986.

Teresa and I were ordained into the Gospel Ministry in 1995 and formed a ministry, KingsWay Christian Ministries. It was designed to be primarily a teaching ministry – not a church – where we conducted seminars, retreats, conventions and the like. It was successful over the years.

Still having a desire to live in the mountain, we explored the possibility of moving the Ministry back to the general area from which we had come (“- – – country out of the boy – – -“). For a number of years we looked in the areas in which we were familiar but really didn’t find anything (available) to use for what we wanted to do there. Then, someone suggested Waynesville, and the Maggie Valley area

– – – but, wait!  I cover that inthe next section!


MY LIFE’S PROGRESSION – Part Five (click the pix to read more)

In an effort to move our (KingsWay Christian Ministries) to the mountains of North Carolina, we spent time looking for a suitable place. For over 10 years we looked around but to no avail. Then someone suggested that we check out the Waynesville/Maggie Valley area in Western North Carolina, 40 miles west of Asheville.

We went there a number of times and looked around and it did look promising but still, nothing was available at those times. So, we decided to make a dramatic move to the area, for a year, to be in position to deeply explore all possibilities. Plus, by being there, we could establish a “footprint” to help get established and hopefully, accepted, by the people there.

We were making some progress but winter hit the area and we suffered through some “snow-ins”. In addition, Teresa and I had several ailments; colds, flu, etc. And, Teresa came down with the shingles! That pretty much stymied us for several months.

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At Easter, we went to visit her mom, who lived two hours away in Virginia. While there she had excruciating pains in her abdomen. The next day she went to the doctor and after a series of tests, she was diagnosed with cancer. She had surgery in early May (about a week after Easter) and that removed the bulk of the cancer. However, a small percentage of it was “microscopic” and could not be removed by the surgeon.

It was a rare type of cancer that had no chemo treatment available. She tried what was available but that only made her sick. After 7 months of valiantly trying to overcome, she died in November of 2006. She was buried in Virginia. We had lots in the local cemetery there and she was buried beside our daughter who had died 20 years previously.

In addition, her insurance company found a loop-hole in her policy; they claimed “pre-existing condition” and refused to pay. I tried the legal route for a year but that was futile.

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For the time, that ended our attempt at ministry in Waynesville!

After spending a month with her 86-year-old mother, I stored our furniture and other belongings and we both came to Florida; she to her other daughter’s home near Tampa and I returned to our former home in East Central Florida, that was now owned by our son, Marty.

Now on to Part Six – – – .

MY LIFE’S PROGRESSION – Part Six (click the pix to read more)

After my return to Florida it was my strong intent (and personal desire) to return to North Carolina and resume the work we had started there. After all, I had not died and the need was still there! I intended to go back, rent a “cabin” and “wait on the Lord”. That seemed the noble thing to do. My furniture is up there – a sure thing, right?

Day after day and week after week, one thing and then another kept interfering with my plan for the return trip. After two years had passed my son suggested to me that, since I was encamped here and helping him to manage the household chores, cook, fellowship, etc., what is the urgency to get to that mountainside cabin, to hear the Lord; that I could hear Him just as easily from here?!

I thought that was wisdom, so here I am – waiting.

Well, not really waiting. I DO have the WEB site(s)!

Last year (March 2009) at Marty’s suggestion (he IS in the commercial WEB design business), I rebuilt the old KingsWay site into a blog site, and it has experienced a “runaway”! Since then (in a year), there have been over 18,000 visits from more than 150 different Nations around the world! 

(Note: As of  May, 2011, that  total has now risen to be in excess of 33,500 visits!)

I had also begun a “personal” WEB site (this one!) in which I could discuss current events and affairs of the world that, unlike “Reverend Wright”, would not be appropriate coming from a Christian site. My intent is the same, just that I try to keep the “holy” material on that site and politics, personal  opinions & comments and such on this one.

People are finding and reading the posts. I have received e-mail from many – some in countries where Christianity is prohibited, like Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, North Korea, Vietnam, etc. They are even asking for permission to use the material they find on the site in their own (underground) churches (which, of course, is granted)!

SO, perhaps “the World” is my new Waynesville! Who knows? But here I am (along with other contributing authors) cranking out  the Godly messages and posting them for the World to use, as they wish.

(Note:  In October 2010, after I had sold my furniture, etc. in an auction in the spring, I moved back to Western North Carolina, not to Waynesville but 40 miles northeast of Asheville, in Spruce Pine.)

And I’m still waiting – – – – –

And waiting – – – – –


I’m 77 (2013); my Granddaddy True lived to 93. I have chosen to emulate him!


(This is my original statement – you may quote me): When you approach the “upper tier of years” one begins to wonder about the future!

My “future” is secure, I will join Jesus “in the clouds”! Care to join me there (at the appropriate time, of course)? You can start here: Salvation.