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Concerto No. 1 in A Sharp Major

The Musician Laura Spradlin survived a car wreck and a traumatic brain injury in 2014. After eleven surgeries she saw the Lord put her life back together and now plays basketball in college for the Ouachita Baptist University Lady Tigers. Majoring in music, she has decided to focus on music therapy to make a difference in the lives of special needs children. This Summer she teaches music at a school for such children, many of whom are autistic. First Day at School Tammy Mullins started a special school, for special children. Some of the children at the school have been bullied in other settings. Their first day at any…

Mysterious Shelby Farms: The Case of The Hidden Hospital

Shelby Farms Park covers over 4,500 acres in Memphis, Tennessee making it one of the largest urban parks in the United States. The land has hosted everything from a commune in the 1800s to a penal farm. For fifteen years I have run the roads, trails, woods, and wetlands in baking heat and bitter cold. The stories, rare photos, and never-before-seen videos are mine. You do not need to believe what I am about to tell you, you only need know that I was there. Hidden Treasures What if I were to tell you that a place exists, known only to trail bikers and runners of the deep…

Mysterious Shelby Farms: The Case of the Vacant Vikings

Shelby Farms Park covers over 4,500 acres in Memphis, Tennessee making it one of the largest urban parks in the United States. The land has hosted everything from a commune in the 1800s to a penal farm. For fifteen years I have run the roads, trails, woods, and wetlands in baking heat and bitter cold. The stories, rare photos, and never-before-seen videos are mine. You do not need to believe what I am about to tell you, you only need know that I was there. Who Discovered America? Apparently modern research, a survey of ancient maps, archaeological digs, and DNA testing have conclusively proven that EVERYBODY discovered America….

Mysterious Shelby Farms: The Case of the Paranoid Predator

Shelby Farms Park covers over 4,500 acres in Memphis, Tennessee making it one of the largest urban parks in the United States. The land has hosted everything from a commune in the 1800s to a penal farm. For fifteen years I have run the roads, trails, woods, and wetlands in baking heat and bitter cold. The stories, rare photos, and never-before-seen videos are mine. You do not need to believe what I am about to tell you, you only need know that I was there. That Certain Feeling You know that feeling. You are being watched. It is really more than a feeling, more like a sensation. The…

Mysterious Shelby Farms: The Case of the Lost Bride

Shelby Farms Park covers over 4,500 acres in Memphis, Tennessee making it one of the largest urban parks in the United States. The land has hosted everything from a commune in the 1800s to a penal farm. For fifteen years I have run the roads, trails, woods, and wetlands in baking heat and bitter cold. The stories, rare photos, and never-before-seen videos are mine. You do not need to believe what I am about to tell you, you only need know that I was there. Winter: Deep in the Muddy Woods Somewhere on the Blue/White Trail Sometimes your vision gets narrowed after so many miles. The pounding on…

Will Tattoos​ Be in Heaven?

Dateline: Somewhere in Texas, USA I already know the answer to the question. But the first thing I noticed about him was the Nazi symbols tattooed on his skin. A reminder that he had a past. I also noticed the cross symbol on the pocket of his prison uniform. A reminder that he has a future. You are looking at one of the most remarkable pictures you will ever see. Of the eight seminary graduates pictured, five are on the front row (and wearing identical clothes). In fact, a higher percentage of the inmates have graduated from seminary (100%) than the other Christian ministers pictured. Since some have a…

The Long March Home

The soldier’s march is long and hard but not because of miles, for he carries a weight that cannot be named. Every wound is not of bullet or bayonet, but often of deeds done and of deeds not done. What do you say when a Christian “leaves the faith?” What commentary exposits the deeper meaning when a pastor decides to abandon Christianity for another religion? Do you dismiss them with the formula that they were never one of us? Do you claim the Proverb that their training will bring them back to us? There is a quiet shame in not knowing whether to rage or repent. Such were…

Child of a lesser god

For why is all around us here As if some lesser god had made the world, But had not force to shape it as he would? Till the High God behold it from beyond, And enter it, and make it beautiful? Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892): Idylls of the King: The Passing of Arthur. Line 13ff. Source I first met Walter on a sultry, southern day with humidity so thick you could feel the wetness on your skin. He was lying in the dirt on the playground amidst a circle of screaming boys, them cheering every time he tried to stand and failed. Every attempt to arise was met…

A Famous Landmark Revisited

Sometimes life can be a field trip. I learned this lesson living in the Northeastern United States where every road seemed to lead to yet another place labeled “Washington slept here.” Being more of a history “opportunist” than an intentional explorer, I love it when I chance upon some place of historic note, however obscure. After preaching recently near Jackson, Tennessee my pastor friend mentioned that I was near the old Cotton Grove Baptist Church site. As a teacher of Baptist history, I knew the reputation of the place well but I had never been there. Of course, my mission was clear–after first concluding the business of the…

Death Was Our Unity: Memphis, Tennessee and the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1878

“Most cases, of whatever nature, were ushered in by a chill, followed by a fever, with a pulse and temperature to which the succeeding phenomena would correspond. The attack was so violent in some cases that death occurred within thirty-six hours.” Dr. Happoldt. Memphis, Tennessee 1878 (Source, p. 46) 1. A Forgotten Treasure A chance discovery by crack-library-director-zen-research-master Terrence Neal Brown has unearthed yet another tome of forgotten woe and heartache: a volume concerning the Great Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1878 that devastated the city of Memphis, Tennessee. Why bring this crumbling relic to my attention? Well, because my interest in all things catastrophic has been well known…

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