Allen and Martha Johnson’s 50th Anniversary Tribute

This was the last song in a 50th Anniversary Tribute video I edited for Mr. and Mrs. Johnson 4 years ago. The entire family gathered to celebrate this milestone for such a fantastic, Christian couple.

Mr. Johnson was a great warrior for Christ, and enthusiastically shared his love for God with anyone who would listen. He always had a pocket full of tracts, and helped lead many people to The Lord.

He also kept a pen in his pocket that played Rocky Top! He was almost as enthusiastic for the Vols was he was for The Lord.

He began to show signs of Alzheimer’s and the family watched in despair as his jovial, sharp mind and quick wit began to deteriorate. It is the cruelest disease I can think of, as the sweet memories of a lifetime, all slowly disappear, along with recognition of where you are, what is happening, and even who your loved ones are.

He finally was released from this torment, to go home to his precious Lord at 3;10 pm, Friday, January 9th, 2915. My heart was broken, as my wife’s heart was shattered to see her daddy breathe his last breath.

We are all left to wonder why, sometimes, yet we know that His ways are higher than our ways, and we will never understand fully in this life. But we can be assured that Allen was greeted with, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” And those of us who trust in The Lord will see him again someday.

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The Last Breath

Allen and Martha Johnson

Allen and Martha Johnson

My mother and father-in-law Martha and Allen Johnson were married for 54 years and were a great example of a Christian marriage and lifestyle for their 3 children, and 7 grandchildren. They also touched countless lives in a positive way through their various ministries.

Mr. Johnson began showing signs of Alzheimer’s a couple of years ago, and it’s been a heart wrenching experience watching him slowly go through the process of losing his sharp mental faculties, and then go downhill so quickly.

He recently lost his appetite, and had a hard time even remembering how to feed himself or many other basic functions. He rapidly lost muscle, strength, motor skills, and the ability to walk. Since joining the family for Christmas dinner, until January 9th, his health so rapidly deteriorated, that hospice was called in on the 8th, and as his children, their spouses, and grandchildren were gathered in his room to say our last goodbyes, at 3:10 pm on January 9th, we all silently watched and listened to him take his last breath on this earth.

Though there were anguished sobs, tears, hugs, and sadness, there was also joy, relief, and rejoicing for his release from his suffering and pain, and his certain home in heaven.

I was so affected by this event I couldn’t, (and can’t) stop thinking about it, but writing helps sometimes, so I wrote a poem dedicated to Allen Johnson. He was the biggest warrior for Christ, and Vol fan I’ve ever known. We miss him.

 

The Last Breath

 

In and out without a thought,

Until it’s lost, or finally caught,

Our breath, throughout the course of our lives,

Effortless, yet Life from it derives;

 

A few sweet moments, take it away;

Those you recall ’till your dying day.

Like your first glance of ocean’s tide,

Or the face of your lovely bride.

 

Or we hold it when we dive deep,

For pearls in the sea, or when we sleep

And dream our deepest, darkest dreams

And wake relieved, or to our screams;

 

Gulping deep into our lungs-

Grasping, unlike foreign tongues,

The meaning, immediate or death,

That one next vital,  life-giving breath.

 

And on and on, and on it goes,

We gaze at stars or wriggle our toes

In sand. And life slips through our hands

And interrupts our best laid plans.

 

While ten thousand breaths go unnoticed.

Their pricelessness, we haven’t the remotest

Clue. Forgetting we’re a breath away,

Just shows our eternal naïveté.

 

Until we approach the very end,

Holding on to a loved one or friend,

And, with every ounce of our vitality,

Still cling to this earthly mortality.

 

But finally one more breath is just too much,

And the sound of tears and a gentle touch

Are your last – as your soul’s released

To eternal joy and heavenly peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Danny Boy Duet

Dad got out the harmonica I gave him for Christmas in 1981, (he had the date written inside the front cover), and played a couple of songs for us during our post Christmas brunch visit. He’s only played for us a handful of times over that period, or altogether for that matter, so it was a rare treat.

One of mom’s favorite songs for him to play has been Danny boy. I remember she always would cry when she heard Andy Williams sing it on TV when we would watch one of his specials together.

Somehow, we’ve never thought to record him playing before, and I wouldn’t have this time either if Debbie hadn’t reminded me. We’ve never tried to do this before, (obviously, since it’s kind of rough) so it’s not a rehearsed and polished performance by any stretch of the imagination. It’s just an impromptu duet that sprung from my wife’s suggestion that we record my dad playing. (And me whistling along).

So, just another window into the Henderson clan that folks might not have known about. Dad was a song leader at the Ft. Oglethorpe Church of Christ for probably around 20 years. He’ll be turning 80 next year, so hopefully, I’ll be gathering songs, stories and memories to share with family and loved ones to commemorate the occasion.

 

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Local Motorcycle Club Never Underestimates the Power of a Teddy Bear – WDEF News 12

Local Motorcycle Club Never Underestimates the Power of a Teddy Bear – WDEF News 12.

I love doing positive stories all the time, but this one was so special to me.  For one thing, we were the only news outlet invited to accompany the Unwanted Motorcycle Club for their delivery of Teddy Bears to the children at T. C. Thompson Children’s Hospital on Christmas Eve. That made it less crowded and circus-like without multiple outlets fighting for a shot in a crowded room.

But especially getting to see the look of joy on the faces of the children (as well as their parents!) when they received their gifts, was priceless.

Then also, having been a child who spent a lot of time in the hospital, (and around Christmas once too, in an oxygen tent, as that’s the time our family discovered my severe allergies and asthma when I had an allergic reaction to our first and last live tree), I could relate to how much it must have meant to them to get that special treatment.

These are a big hearted group of guys, doing a sweet thing for the neediest kids at a special and memorable time in their lives. And with this marking their 10th year of delivering the gifts to the kids, they are carrying on a wonderful tradition.

The big check they gave was a combination of funds raised through their poker runs and the Terry Yates Memorial fund. Mr. Yates was also a police officer with a big heart for helping others, whose life was cut short in a motorcycle accident.

Please remember the sick and the less fortunate particularly at Christmastime, but all throughout the year, and volunteer or donate what you can to help out this or one of the many other causes which do so much good in the community.

After all, loving others and especially the “least of these”, is what it’s all about.

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Ashley and Debbie Ceremony Highlights

This video is the first play video on our wedding DVD, which leads to the main menu. I converted the background video to black and white, to create a better contrast to the cutout still elements, (also used as artwork for the DVD case cover), which are layered over the video.

Obviously, our wedding was shot in 4:3 aspect ratio, as I wasn’t sure about all of the cameras involved, (since I couldn’t shoot and be the groom at the same time!) and being 4 years ago, was just not comfortable making the switch to 16:9 for an event such as this. Therefore, I created the softbox for the 4:3 video to sit within the 16:9 background.

Also, credit must go to School Days Photography owner Jerry Johnson, who shot the photos, and allowed us to incorporate them into our video production as well.

I don’t usually go to these lengths, but I wanted ours to be extra special. Of course, if someone else wanted something similar, I could create something along these lines for them as well.

We also had multiple photo montages, a Love Story, a live action/photo voice over music video bonus segment, as well as approximately 10 extra chapters of honeymoon videos, including a zipline adventure, snorkeling with sea turtles and in a sunken volcano, a luau, and a tour of Maui by boat.

Which is to say, we can create any kind of video you’d love to have, share, enjoy watching again and again, and someday show your kids and grandkids! Just remember, the photos and the video are the only items from your wedding that are going to last, so please, don’t skimp on those to cover the pigs in a blanket.

Visit http://www.warpspeedvideo.com for more info.

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The Reckless Kind

Roger Allen Wade doing his sound check at Track 29. He’s a great singer/songwriter and a really down to earth, friendly guy. I recommend you see him when he plays in town, which he does fairly often.

This is was just a quick iPhone clip shot while I was there doing a shoot for News 12 and our preview series sponsored by Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union.

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The Darker The Night

The darker the night, the brighter the stars,
The deeper the grief, the thicker the scars,
The stronger the love, the sharper the pain,
The greater the loss, the more grateful for gain.

The bluer the sky, the sweeter the song,
The righter the right, the wronger the wrong.
The fiercer the storm, the more peaceful the calm,
The closer to God, for our soul is a balm.

The fewer the friends, the grimmer is life,
The tougher the struggle, the more precious your wife,
The harder the fall, the rougher the rise,
The deeper the trust, the more bitter the lies.

The blacker the hate, the more we destroy,
The fuller the love, the grander the joy.
The nearer the Reaper, the harder to draw breath,
The clearer God’s heaven, the more welcome death.

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