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Archive for the ‘On Fire’ Category

I know that it has been awhile since my last post, but we have had a lot of things going on. This is a letter that Mens Health ran in it’s June edition. It speaks for itself. The video at the end is touching, and you can truly see a fathers love. Listen to the letter that was written to the father at the end, it says the same thing I was thinking. This is just an ounce of love given by an earthly father compared to the endless love of our heavenly Father. 

What My Father Means to Me

My name is Richard E. Hoyt Jr., and I have cerebral palsy. I cannot speak or walk. To write this story, I’m using a computer with special software. When I move my head slightly, the cursor moves across an alphabet. When it gets to the letter I want, I press a switch at the side of my head.

I am half of Team Hoyt. We are a father-and-son team, and we compete in marathons and triathlons around the world. Our goal is to educate people about how the disabled can lead normal lives. We started racing in 1979. My high school was having a road race to raise money for a lacrosse player who was paralyzed in an accident. I wanted to show this athlete that life can go on, so I asked my dad if he would push me. My wheelchair was not built for racing, but Dad managed to push me the entire 5 miles. We came in next to last, but in the photos of us crossing the finish line, I was smiling from ear to ear!

When we got home, I used my computer to tell Dad, “When I’m running, I feel like my disability disappears!” So we joined a running club, had a special running chair built, and entered our first official race. Many of the athletes didn’t want us to participate, but the executive director of the event gave us permission. Soon we were running three races a weekend, and we even did our first double event–a 3-mile run and a half-mile swim. Dad held me by the back of the neck and did the sidestroke for the entire swim. We wanted to run in the Boston Marathon, but we were not allowed to enter because we had not done a qualifying run. So in late 1980, we competed in the Marine Corps Marathon, in Washington, D.C., finishing in 2 hours, 45 minutes. That qualified us for Boston!

A few years later, after a road race in Falmouth, Massachusetts, a man came up to my dad and said, “You are quite an athlete. You should consider a triathlon.” Dad said, “Sure, as long as I can do it with Rick.” The man just walked away. The next year, the same man said the same thing. Again, Dad said he’d do it, but only with me. This time the man said, “Okay, let’s figure out what special equipment you’ll need.”

So on Father’s Day in 1985, we competed in our first triathlon. It included a 10-mile run, during which Dad pushed me; a 1-mile swim, during which Dad pulled me in a life raft with a rope tied around his chest; and a 50-mile bike ride, during which he towed me in a cart behind him. We finished next to last, but we both loved it. Soon after, we did our first Ironman Triathlon. We’ve now competed in more than 950 races, including 25 Boston Marathons and six Ironmans. During every event, I feel like my disability has disappeared.

People often ask me, “What would you do if you were not disabled?” When I was first asked, I said I’d probably play baseball or hockey. But when I thought about it some more, I realized that I’d tell my father to sit down in my wheelchair so I could push him. If it weren’t for him, I’d probably be living in a home for people with disabilities. He is not just my arms and legs. He’s my inspiration, the person who allows me to live my life to the fullest and inspire others to do the same.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. And thank you.

-Richard E. Hoyt Jr

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Update

I have updated my graphics page, I included some of the slides that were in the presentation for one of our Sunday night services. It was a wonderful service to hear others singing praises, and some faces you just had to focus on because of the praise that was so evident in their expressions. I was thankful to be asked to be a part of it, and very humbled in seeing that my pictures were not needed in this service. The singing was beautiful, the scripture readings and the prayer readings all contributed to a glorious praise to our Father.

This service was two Sundays ago, so I am late in my writing about it. But I think that we need something like this, not annually, but on a more regular basis. It was very uplifting, and I want to thank Marty Puckett for listening to his heart with a desire to praise God. He knew that there was a stirring and I know that he prayed and listened. It was very pleasant to be in true praise and journey with your brothers and sisters, it was so uplifting.

D.

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Light & Day

I thought that I would put these videos on today. The group is The Polyphonic Spree, the lead singer used to be in a group called The Tripping Daisies, he has been called gay because of his movements and overall happiness, the group has been called a cult because of the robes. There has been more judging for this happy little troupe, I don’t know if any of the rumors are true, I just know that they are happy and they sing uplifting songs, and at times praise God. I think that no one can understand how they can be happy all the time. That seems to get on peoples nerves, they look for any weakness in them and can’t wait to point out any contradiction. Sound familiar? I admit they are easy targets, maybe because they are not worried what the world thinks. I ask you to watch their video and listen truly to your thoughts, did they make you feel good, or uncomfortable? The 2nd video has finishing commentary by Dr. Dorian while The Polyphonic Spree plays in the background.
D.

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Daddy’s Girl

Daddy’s Little Girl 

We have 7 kids total, four of them are my biological children. I never want to seem unfair to them, they are all great kids, but I want to tell you of one of my daughters for fiery Friday. Brittany Shaye will be sixteen this year, is starting to drive and she has a boyfriend. I had told her before that she can date three years after I am buried, but I guess she got tired of waiting. She is a good kid, and that is why none of this is really bothering me. She has a fire in her for God, she has a heart that is always seeking to comfort, support, protect, and a desire to lift others up to God.

She called me to tell me about William, and asked me if I was okay with them going to the movies. After all the grief I had given her about dating, and that I was pretty sure that if she didn’t follow the first rule that the second rule would be enforced, she could not date until she reached the age of 35. I surprised both of us when I told her I trust her judgment. She was expecting a lecture, I was ready not to dash that expectation. But as she was asking me all the memories rushed in of how she is. Her strength in her belief, her stance to please God first. I did trust her judgment, and it was nearly painless.

She is not afraid at school of doing the right thing, she is good about avoiding peer pressure, she knows Bible verses AND takes them to heart seeking Gods guidance. She is doing very well in school, and she is going to be a teacher after college, as she attends college I have faith that she will carry the same principles with her. Some parents told us wait until your kids reach the teenage years, they will be totally different. They were right, they are stronger. We are blessed with all of our kids, biological and step. We did not do it, but through the grace of God. They have two sets of parents that love them and wants the best. But Brittany stands out today to me.

She is entering what some perceive as an awkward age, she is in the midst of her teenage years, and her fire is building. I know that others have been touched by her words and actions. Today I want to help keep that fire going in her.  You are loved Brittany Shaye Williams!

Dad and Nee-Nee

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My Wife My Blessing

My Lovely WifeIt’s Fiery Friday, and I love to tell about people that God uses. My wife Noreen, which will be refered to as Nee-Nee from here on out, is literaly a life saver to me. She came into my life at one of my lowest times, I was going through depression, I was working 12+ hour days, I just went through a divorce, and I was struggling with an addiction that was hard to shake.

I was praying looking for a way out, for guidance. It was the closest thing I could associate to hell. One day at work a lady came in and sit by me, she carried the conversation for the most part, but I felt an overwhelming comfort that I had not felt in a long time. A month or two later we were working and I thought that I would ask her out, I knew that she too had just gone through a divorce so I really did not know what to expect. The first question she asked me was what church did I go to. Oh, I hated that question, going to Church of Christ there are so many misconceptions about us that I always felt on the defensive. So I was explaining that it is just a title, I believe that we should be united..she stoped me there, and told me that she attended the Church of Christ in another town where she lived, and that she was praying for a Christian man, her ex-husband tried to keep her from going to church and she had a difficult time with that, and knew that God comes first. She wanted that relationship.

We were praying for the same thing. Praise the Lord! Isn’t it wonderful how He works? She is an answer to my prayers, how could I take her for granted? For the 7 yrs that we have been together I only had a few anxiety attacks without telling her what I was experiencing she would just know. She would hold me and the attacks would just melt away. You can see God in her, everyone she meets is immediately drawn in by her bubbly personality, and she immulates a love that is overwhelming. She made me see things in Gods works that I overlooked, or was blind to. She never has to shout that she is a Christian, people know. When someone needs prayer without hesitation they ask her for it. She relies on God and when we got this job and I was complaining about a 24/7 work load, she smiled and said ‘You know I feel this is were God wants us. This is a place that we can grow, and prayerfully where God will use us so others might see Him.’ Because of my past I sometimes see people that are users, she sees people that are in need.

My kids took to her quick, they love her and when it is hard for the twin boys to show affection, they always throw their arms around her. I have never doubted that she is a blessing, an answer to a prayer in a desperate time. We understand that God is our first love, and Nee-Nee is part of His love.

Thank you Nee-Nee, I love you more then 2x infinity..I said it first.       Surprise  

D.

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