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Note: I’m late posting this article from Christmas Eve, but the message remains the same. I hope it helps you.

It’s Christmas Eve, 2017. Do you know what that means? It means that it’s almost January first!

I’m not a proponent of New Year’s Resolutions; not at all. Resolutions rarely work. I won’t bore you with all the scientific details, but there are actually physiological reasons for the failure of resolutions.

Resolutions rarely work because we stand up tall, square our shoulders, and declare to ourselves that we resolve that next year will be different because we resolve to accomplish something; and it’s usually the same something we declared last year. Then something happens. It’s called life. As life happens, those spoken resolutions fade into the blur of a fast-moving calendar and everything that comes with it. But for the most part, those resolutions are forgotten until December 31 of the next year.

I am a believer in having goals and that leading up to January is a good time to review, renew, and establish goals. What’s the difference? Honestly, I’m not totally sure; but hang in here with me.

I believe in establishing goals. Goals are life targets. However, there are problems with goals, too. Goals can be forgotten. I have an application on my devices called Evernote. The cool thing about Evernote is that you never lose anything you put into it. Word recognition makes it almost if not entirely impossible for anything to be lost. Scan a document in and it will recognize the words in that document. Simply type some words into the search bar and every note and document you have that includes that word will appear.

Recently in Evernote I typed “goals” into the search bar. Goals that I had typed into Evernote as far back as 2012 came to the surface. With those goals came some disappointment. I had typed them into a note and forgotten them. Why would I forget an important goal? Because life happened and, well, I forgot.

Why is it so easy to forget? Life! Looking back at my goals from 2012, I found one of my goals that I didn’t totally achieve but I didn’t forget it, either. I set a goal in 2012 to read fifty-two books. I do believe in reading, but fifty-two books is not a goal that I necessarily recommend. I didn’t forget that goal to read all of those books because it was always in front of me. Every day, my current book was there for me to pick up. On my desk there were always three or four books that were in the bullpen just waiting for their turn. As I started reading one book, I ordered another. I didn’t read fifty-two books in 2012, but I did read thirty-four, which is pretty good and most importantly, I never forgot the goal because it was in front of me.

Lately I’ve been thinking again about my goals and that 2012 goal to read fifty-two books. So, I’m approaching the year with a new, untested goal- tracking system. I bought myself a cheap journal. It’s one of the spiral bound type that almost looks like your typical high school composition book.

Here is the untested system.

First, I wrote my goals on the first two pages of the journal. Remember, some scientists say that the action of writing makes the information more concrete, mentally. Now every morning as I have my quiet time, I read from the Bible, pray, listen to a podcast, read a few pages from my current read, and I re-write my goals. That’s right! The plan is that everyday of this next year, I will rewrite my goals. I will also add notes such as, “goal completed” and “goal dropped”; or I may write a note to explain what I will do on that day to help myself achieve that goal. We’ll see how it goes.

W Clemet Stone said, “No matter how carefully you plan your goals, they will never be more than pipe dreams unless you pursue them with gusto.”

Finally, here are a few goal-setting pointers:
1. Write you goals down.
2. Read or rewrite your goals daily.
3. Be willing to edit your goal list. You may find that your priorities will change as the year goes by.
4. Act! Do something to make your goals a reality.

sandy hook crosses

Like you, I have been horrified and grieved over the last few days as a result of the massacre of little children and their teachers at Sandy Hook elementary school.

In spite of that horror I managed to somehow manage emotionally until, until the news stations began putting their names on the screen. Just seeing the names was almost too much to bear. Then it was pictures. We saw many of their faces in school pictures and family snapshots.

I live in Alabama. It’s a long way from Connecticut but not any more. Now it seems as though the people of Newton CT. are our next-door neighbors. Neighbors we care deeply about and our hearts are broken for them.

I have seen pictures of some of my neighbors in Newton who had just found out that their child was among the dead. I’m sure that the looks of horror and grief on their faces cannot even begin to tell the pain that they were feeling at that very moment and the pain that they will deal with for the rest of their lives.

Why did this happen? There are no clear-cut answers, but we do have a clue as to why our society as a whole is shattering beneath us.

Former Governor of Arkansas, Presidential candidate, Fox news personality, talk radio host and former Baptist preacher Mick Huckabee said this. “We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools,” Huckabee said on Fox News. “Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?”  The far left has done their typical howling at the very suggestion that an attack on Christianity had something to do with this tragedy.

Huckabee later explained that he in no way was suggesting that if their had been prayer in school that the shooting would not have happened.

The fact that prayer, mention’s of God and any symbol relating to him are being systematically removed for the public life of our country must be noted, noticed and declared.

We’ve heard much over the last few years about the war on Christmas. Most people, even Christians roll their eyes in their head in disbelief that anyone would make such a deal over something so trivial. Is it trivial? Is it??

Visit your favorite department stores in your local mall.  Look for even the word Christmas. Visit their websites.  I just did. I was surprised to find that the word Christmas was used on most of the sites but in very small insignificant ways.

It’s not trivial that our nation has turned its back on God.

Will we ever return as a nation to our Christian roots? I’m not optimistic. I will tell you this. If every person in the United States who claim to be Christian would stand up and be what they say they are some things would change, for the better.

Continue to pray for these parents who are hurting so badly and for the community that now has to begin the process of moving forward.

merrychristmas is an affiliate for and other retailers.  That means that if you visit amazon or other sites by using a link on this site, and make a purchase while there that will receive an affiliate commission.  I think it’s about 2%. That means that if you spend $100 that we will receive a commision of $2.  It doesn’t sound like much but it would still be a blessing.

If you use our link to get to an amazon product I recommend but then navigate to another product we will still get credit as long as you used our link to get to amazon.

Felicia and I do lots of shopping at amazon.  You can buy just about anything from amazon. Last year we made several Christmas purchases there including a rolling laundry hamper.  Amazon has always given us great service and we recommend them.

Below you will find a link to amazon and links to products at amazon that I recommend and for items that I do not have but have been researching the trends to help you come up with ideas.  Thank you for using for some of your online shopping.

 If you plan to buy a book for someone there is no place better to buy books than  Follow this Link to see the books I recommend page.

MY BOOK, THE EYE OF A NEEDLE. It’s a very encouraging book for those who are facing serious life challenges. 

APPLE iPAD: Esquire has listed this as the #1 item that kids want for Christmas. Oh by the way, adults love them too.  Felicia and both have iPads and we use and love them lots. 

CHRISTIAN FICTION: Great idea for the Christian lady in your life who likes to read. Gift Card – Who wouldn’t want an Amazon gift card so that they could shop after Christmas? I would!

Keurig B70 Platinum Coffee Brewing System.  This is the Keurig I have at my house. I love it and recommend whatever Keuring system fits your needs.

ALL Keurig Systems and Accessories. The Prices at Amazon are very competitive. 

Kindle Fire.  I use my iPad with a Kindle app for reading books. These readers are a great way to read. Get one for you and every member of your family.

All Kindle’s and Accessories   

VIZIO TELEVISIONS. Our Television is a Vizio and we have been extremely satisfied with it.

Apple MAC BOOK PRO 13.3 Inch.  This is the computer I use and I LOVE IT!!!!

Dell Optiplex Desktop Computer.       Nintendo DSI        LL BEAN Stuff

Converse Black Chuck Taylor Shoes             Wii Game Systems   

IPhone 5 Covers       MOSSY OAK Stuff       HARLEY DAVIDSON STUFF

BOSE QUITE COMFORT 15 ACOUSTIC NOISE CANCELLING HEADPHONES. If these were do so expensive I’d love to have some.

EVERYTHING BOSE; Bose is the leader in home audio. Their stuff is AWESOME.





LADIES HANDBAGS: Guy’s ladies like purses and they can never get enough.








The title of this blog is Real Issues. I named it that because my plan was to write a lot about just that, the real issues of life. Now I need your help.  I need you to give me subject matter. If you will help me what I plan to do is use your suggestions for this site and for chapters in a future book.

So, what are the real issues that you deal with, that you would like for me to address?

  • The Real Hard Issues
  • The Real Discouraging Issues
  • The Real Family Issues
  • The Real Financial Issues
  • The Real Christian Life Issues
  • The Real Child Raising Isses

I think you get the idea. I’m not looking for deep theological subjects. I can use those for another project. This is just the stuff that you deal with day to day.

You can respond in a couple of ways.

  1. As a comment right here on this post. It’s simple. Just click on the Leave A Comment Link at the top then on the page that you are taken to  there is a box close to the bottom for your comment.
  2. The second way is to email me at This Link.
If possible I would like to use your name and city so please give me that information. If you would rather that I not use your name just let me know and I won’t.
Your help will be greatly appreciated.



Here are some great Christmas shopping ideas. 

Here are some awesome books that readers in your life would enjoy getting for Christmas. is now being hosted at a new site. If you subscribed to this blog before I need you to do it again. The email signup form is in the column to the right.

This post is based solely on my observation and one quote. There are not statistics or hard evidence, just my personal concern.

My generation, the baby boomers are getting old. As a matter of fact I am on the tail end of that generation and I’m 52.

As a father, pastor and observer I’ve noticed what seems to be a trend among what are now young adults. For the sake of this post young adults are anyone who is old enough to be out of undergrad school and younger than 35.

My observation is that there are a lot of these young adults who are not adults at all. They refuse to grow up.

I’m blessed with three grown children. The oldest is my son Adam. Adam is thirty years old and is a challenged young man. He still lives with his mother and I because of his challenges. Despite his challenges Adam is heavily involved in our church, helps his mother keep the house clean, does the kitchen every night and volunteers at our local hospital.

My daughters are twenty-five and twenty-one. The oldest, is a college graduate, married, has a child, is a schoolteacher, and is involved in leadership at our church. The youngest is a graduate of a medical institute. She has a job as a medical assistant, has her own car, which she purchased and is paying for. She is engaged to be married (3 more weeks), and is involved in leadership at our church.

I am extremely proud of my children. They are mature, responsible ADULTS.

I know others who are. At our church there are many young adults who have worked hard to get educations or just went into the work forces and are working hard. I’m proud of them.

Then there are those who seem to be unable to grow up. I’ve know thirty year old men (boys) who are not challenged yet they still live with parents, don’t work or work just enough to support their McDonalds habit. They don’t contribute to society but they do know how to achieve at the latest video games. Instead of being responsible, going to bed at a decent hour and then rising in the morning to go to a job, they play video games or watch television until the wee hours of the morning. They then sleep the best part of the day away. When I see some of these young adults and ask how they are, their response is always, TIRED. Tired? How can you be twenty something, live with parents, have little responsibility and be tired?

I thought I was a slow starter but by the age of twenty-five I was married, had a child, had attended college to prepare for ministry and was the senior pastor of my first church.

I’m concerned about these young adults.

I’ve just started reading a new book.  The title is WRECKED- When A Broken World Slams into Your Comfortable Life by Jeff Goins. I haven’t gotten very far but this morning I read a paragraph in this book that talks about this very subject.

Goins says; “Words like “initiation” and “rite of passage” and “pilgrimage” tend to ring more true to our postmodern ears. But what is our pilgrimage? We have no great war, no epic struggle to embrace, no cause to call out the best in us.

So what do we do instead? Did you know the average age of a gamer is thirty-two? Now, I don’t see anything inherently wrong with diversion and games, but that is certainly telling about our culture, isn’t it? Instead of raising families or creating culture, we are sitting in our living rooms with our eyes glued to the television, simulating life. We are escapists, cowards, and thieves. We hid, occasionally stealing crumbs from the table of those living the good life. We are avoiding the truth that screams at us from the stillness: “There is more. You are more than this.” So we anesthetize the truth with busyness (or laziness, my addition) maybe if we just do more, this feeling of emptiness will go away. And we won’t actually have to do any real work.” [End Quote] Again that quote is from the book Wrecked by Jeff Goins.

I would be interested to know what you think. Click on the comment ballon at the top of this post and leave your input. Also if you like any post you see at you can share them on your social media networks by using the buttons below. THANKS!

Follow this link to Jeff Goins Book WRECKED.

Follow this link to my book THE EYE OF A NEEDLE.

In the spirit of openness  I want you to know that any links for products that you follow from my pages are affiliate links. That means that if you click on them and make a purchase that I will be paid a very small percentage of the purchase price. Thanks!

I’ve just in the last few days finished what I believe to be the best and one of the most important books I’ve ever read. That’s right, THE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ. The title, WRECKED, When A Broken World Slams into Your Comfortable Life, by Jeff Goins.

I must confess that I don’t know that much about Jeff Goins. I read the book because Michael Hyatt recommended it. I do know that Jeff is young. I’ve searched and searched for his actual ages and can’t find it but my best guest would be late twenties, maybe early thirties. I know that Jeff works for a mission’s organization that leads individuals on mission’s trips. I also know, now, that Jeff Goins is one of the most gifted writers I have ever read.

Jeff Goins

He is gifted with words, yes but also with a message.  I downloaded WRECKED to the kindle app on my iPad and began reading immediately. The book didn’t’ grab me right away and I even laid it down for a few days after reading the first chapter. I kept thinking about that upside down turtle on the cover (what an awesome cover design) and the title. So, I picked it back up and read. By the time I finished chapter two I was totally hooked. I read this book in a couple of days.

I guess I should just say, read this book and then shut up. I can’t. I’m overwhelmed with the message and with the artistry of the words.

There is no way I can tell you what the book is about in a short blog and do it justice.

I thought that I would share a few quotes that I highlighted in my Kindle app. As I scrolled through them (and there were many) I knew that I couldn’t decide which ones I should use so I decided to use just one.

“We’ve believed a lie. We’ve been told life is about us. That if we work hard enough, save enough money, and buy enough stuff, we will eventually be happy. Many of us have done just that, and we are anything but happy.” Jeff Goins

EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK. If we can’t get everyone to do it lets try to get it’s message into the hands of teenagers and young adults who think life is about living with mom as long as possible, taking on no responsibility and being master of a gaming system. What Goins calls extended adolescence.

Who else needs to read this book you may ask. Pastors, leaders, parents, teachers, college professors, politicians, and just about anyone else.

 I hope my recommendation for this book is not over the top. It’s just seldom that a book moves me like this one did. I understand that if I give something a high recommendation to something and you don’t agree with me that in your eyes I loose some credibility. I do not however have any reservations about recommending this book.  Get the book today. It’s available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle Edition.

There are several links throughout this post that will lead you to this book. Go there now.

In the spirit of total openness, my site is an  Amazon affiliate. That means that if you click on the link and buy this book that I will make a few cents in commission. This is not however why I am giving this book such a recommendation.  If you don’t want me to make .20 cents leave this site go to and buy this book anyway.




I would like to recommend this book to you. It was written by Renee Shipp who was the editor of my book The Eye of A Needle. She is also a member and a hard worker at the church whereI am pastor. It is a precious book that your children will love to have read to them for many bedtimes to come.

Hayden, Papa and the Plum Tree

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jeffscurlock —  January 18, 2012 — Leave a comment

Felicia and I married at the ripe old ages of seventeen and nineteen. She actually went through her senior year of High School a married woman. No, it wasn’t a shotgun wedding. There wasn’t a child on the way. Just two kids who decided that life held no meaning if they couldn’t be married. The truth we now know is that we were way too young to get married. We did survive those first couple of years as we tried to find adulthood together.

Two years after becoming a family and setting up household in our little house we had our first child. Felicia’s pregnancy was normal. There were never any complications except for the fact that she was big and pregnant in the months of July, August and September and we drove a car with a broken air conditioner and did not have the money to repair it. She was miserable. I’ll never forget those drives to church. Her dressed up, pregnant and sweating. I felt so bad but didn’t really know what to do except ask a parent to help me get the A/C repaired and I had way too much pride for that so she suffered.

It was decided from the beginning that our child would come into the world by C-Section due to a health condition Felicia had battled all her life. The neat thing about C-Sections is that you get to choose the date your child is born. Honestly I’m not sure what the date we chose was. I think is was Monday, November 2. We woke up Sunday November 1 like most Sunday’s and began dressing for church when it broke. You know! The WATER BROKE. We were not going to church that Sunday. We called the doctor and then headed to the Santa Rosa hospital in Milton Florida where we met the doctor and began preparing ourselves for the arrival of our baby.

We didn’t know what the gender of the baby would be. I don’t remember if we didn’t want to know or if that information wasn’t available in 1981. It’s not important now.

I waited in the waiting room with a few family members when Felicia went into surgery to have this baby. It didn’t take long but it seemed forever. I paced the floor, looked out the window at a beautiful, sunny November day and thought about how cool it was going to be, to be a dad. I was happy. Life was good. We were on our way to what we believed would be a normal life. I felt warm, and content. It was a good feeling.

I remember hearing my name. It was a female voice. I raced from the waiting room to the hall where a nurse stood holding my son. “You have a boy, Mr. Scurlock” she said. I walked closer to take a good look at my new son. The instant I looked at him I knew something wasn’t right. He just didn’t look right. I know babies are typically ugly. I know that babies sometime come out looking really weird and they grow out of it. But something wasn’t right and I knew it. He wasn’t deformed. I’m not saying he looked like the elephant man. I just knew in my heart something was amiss. Suddenly the happiness I had been experiencing all day turned to extreme concern. The nurse turned around to take Adam to the nursery and there I stood. I had family and friends around me and I don’t know what they were thinking. Did they see it? Did they have the same concern as me? I sat on a bench in that hallway feeling disappointment and concern flowing over me. It just washed over me like a hot liquid. I could feel my face burning. Its hard to explain. I began to tear up. I can’t cry! But I did. Our pastors wife leaned over me and said “isn’t God good?” She thought I was crying for happiness or out of relief. She didn’t know that my heart was breaking and on the inside I felt like my world was coming apart. I forced a smile, looked up at her and said “yes mam”.

We named him Charles Adam, Charles after my dad and grand dad. Adam because we liked it and it began with the letter “A” which was important. My grand fathers name was Charles Alto Scurlock. My father’s name was Charles Avon Scurlock and my sons name was Charles Adam Scurlock. The decision was made long before he was born. We also decided that we would call him Adam.

In 1981 the baby didn’t stay in the room with the mom. When it was time to bring the baby to the moms room the father was asked to leave, the hall was blocked and no one was allowed in. Not even the father. The only contact I had with my new son was peering at him through a nursery window.

I began to convince myself that my initial concerns were unfounded. He was just ugly! “All babies are ugly”. I attempted to reassure myself. Surely he would grow out of it. After all his dad was a striking, handsome man and His mom was beautiful. Of course you need to know that I’m just kidding about what I looked like but the mother of this child was a beautiful twenty year old girl. So, he don’t look normal (to me) but he will grow out of it. I stood there looking at my son through a window, feeling better about things. Suddenly there was a little oriental lady standing beside me. I soon discovered that she was the pediatrician on call. She introduced herself to me looked at me and with the warmth of an iceberg said, “Mr. Scurlock, I’m pretty sure your son is mentally retarded”. “What?” She began to explain to me that there were some physically characteristics that sounded an alarm. Oh Lord! I was right! I was right to be concerned the first time I saw him and I was wrong when I started thinking everything was ok. This cold hearted lady just told me that my son, Charles Adam Scurlock was most likely mentally retarded.

I remember bringing him home. I remember the day one of my friends came by to see my new son. Adam laid there in his bassinet looking up. I felt embarrassed. Did my friend see it? Did he see that his friend Jeff Scurlock had a mentally retarded son? Did he see that Jeff, the football player, the weight lifter, the musician had a mentally retarded son? I was deeply concerned for Adam but I was also selfish in my embarrassment. Now I’m ashamed of myself. But I was only twenty-one years old.

I still didn’t understand it. This doesn’t happen to people like me! This happens to dope heads, and people who live wrong lives. I’m a Christian. This doesn’t happen to good people!! This happens to people who marry their cousins! Not to me!!

How would my family react, my parents, my sisters, my brother, my cousins, my grand parents?

At three months we had more crushing news. A doctor who ran a battery of test told us that Adam had Cerebral Palsy . He said that Adam would have severe coordination problems. We were not sure that he would ever walk. His arms and hands were drawn in. Even if he did walk he would most likely never ride a bicycle or bounce a basketball. You know do all the things that a normal child would do. We also found out that Adam suffered from Congenital Hydrocephalus. A condition that restricts the flow of the fluid the brain creates. In a normal body this fluid drains out of the brain into the spinal canal and is absorbed by the body. When it doesn’t flow like it’s supposed to it causes all kinds of problems which include a larger than normal head. The remedy is a shunt. A tube that is placed in the body going from the brain to the bladder. We never had that shunt installed. After a prayer meeting at our church the doctor told us that the fluid seemed to be flowing ok and that we would wait on the shunt.

We won’t accept it, we decided. After all we are Christians. We believe in the power of prayer so we got busy praying.

My grand father the Rev. Asa Williams made a request of us. A friend of his, a lay speaker who focused on healing, T.W. Mcgraw was at the Calvary Assembly of God in Anniston Alabama. Grand daddy wanted us to take Adam and let brother Mcgraw pray for him. Honestly I didn’t want to drive several hours just to let one man pray for Adam but out of respect for my grand father and out of a heart of desperation I decided we would go. We were late getting to the service where Brother McGraw was speaking. As a matter of fact he was finished speaking and the service was wrapping up. We took Adam to the front of the sanctuary where Brother McGraw was standing. We told him who we were and why we were there. He was a gruff man but embraced us because he loved my grand daddy. After praying for Adam he gave us instructions. “I want you children to go home and change the environment of your home and this baby’s room. I want you to find every scripture you can that promises you hope and healing. Write those scriptures on paper a put them all over the wall’s. When you go into this baby’s room you quote those scriptures over him”. We did.

Adam was late on everything. Rolling over, sitting up and more, he was always late.

We celebrated his first birthday. He sat up in his high chair. His arms were no longer drawn in and he used his hands reasonably well. I wanted him to dig his hands into his cake so I sat his cake on the platter part of his chair and told him to dig in. He looked at the cake and looked at me, back at the cake and then back to me with a look. I knew he wasn’t going to do it on his own so I took his hands and thrust them into the cake and then to his mouth. Hoping he would get the idea. I was hoping for a Kodak moment. That was the day we discovered that Adam didn’t like dirty hands. When he was about four I bought him a hand painting kit. When he wouldn’t put his hands in the paint I did it for him. Trying to show him how to do it. He began to gag like he was going to throw up. Another reminder that he didn’t like dirty hands.

Before his second birthday we moved from Brewton Alabama to Lakeland Florida. I moved my young family there so that I could attend Southeastern College, an Assemblies of God school. I was going into full time ministry and this is where I would get my start.

It’s important to note that when Adam grew out of that newborn body that he did grow out of the lack of beauty. He grew into a handsome, blonde boy. He was so cute. HE was happy but he still had these challenges.

At twenty months Adam was still not walking. Our doctor in Lakeland wanted to have some genetic test done on Adam. We had already been through a battery of genetic testing at University of South Alabama. We found out some things that I don’t have the time or space to go into. Now we are in central Florida and doctors are requesting more testing. During that testing it was suggested that we have Adam attend a daycare for handicapped children. We decided that we would visit the recommend day care just to see. This day care was an awesome place for children who were severely handicapped Felicia and I knew our child was not going to this place. It was full of children who were much more severe than Adam and we were not about to put him there. Our intentions were to help him overcome his disabilities with love, nurture and a positive environment. Nurture over nature!

I had a real funny experience with Adam during the testing. He was about to have a CAT scan. He wouldn’t lay still enough for the test so they gave him an oral medication that would knock him out. It didn’t. It just made him drunk. You know, like and old wine-o. They had us wait in the waiting room for the medician to do it’s thing. Adam began singing happy birthday. It wasn’t his birthday or anyone we knew of. He just sang. He sang it loud and slow. Real slow. Strangers were laughing at him. It was really cute. Folks would walk by and he would throw his hand up and say, “Hey” really slow and draw out. It was so funny. Finally they decided to try the SCAN (even though he was still awake). They wedged his head between some braces so that he couldn’t move. I stood by the table to reassure him. He didn’t move his head but he cut his eyes over at me and said…”Hey Daddy”, this time real fast. It was hilarious.

We worked with Adam on walking. I noticed that he was very comfortable standing as long as he had something to hold on to. As a matter of fact he would walk all over our apartment as long as he could hold on to just one of my fingers. It occurred to me that Adam could walk he just lacked confidence. A light came on in my little brain! I took one of my belts and put it in Adams hand. I too grabbed the belt and held it so that he could feel my hand next to his. We began walking around the apartment. Adam didn’t notice when I started sliding my hand farther and farther from his. Eventually the belt is dragging the floor between Adam and be and he hasn’t noticed and he’s still walking. Then, I laid my end of the belt on the floor and he kept walk across the room away from me. He had not noticed that I was no longer assisting him as he walked across the room. I sat on the floor and when he was almost to the other wall I called his name, “Adam!” He wheeled around (unassisted). He looked at me and then the belt and then back to me. He dropped the belt that then threw his hands out in front of him thinking he needed to do it to be balanced. Then he began bending his legs to get to the floor. He was shocked. I said “Adam, no! Don’t sit down”. I held out my hands and said “come to daddy”. He cautiously took a step, then another and another until he fell into my arms. Felicia watched the whole thing and when Adam fell into my arms she began to celebrate. She clapped her hands, squealed and told Adam how proud she was. It motivated him. He stood up, walked again and then looked at his mom for more approval which she gave. That was the last day that Adam ever crawled or held onto furniture to get around. He was twenty-one months old.

Adam loved drums even as a crawling child. He loved to get pots and pans out of the cabinets, put them in a circle around him and with the wood serving spoons his mother loaned him, he would beat on those drums. It actually sounded like real drumming. When we would attend church he wanted us to sit on the front row so he could watch the drums.

After the genetic testing at the University of South Florida the verdict came in. “Charles Adam Scurlock has a condition called Sotos Syndrome” the report said.

Sotos syndrome (cerebral gigantism) is a rare genetic disorder caused by mutation in the NSD1 gene on chromosome 5. It is characterized by excessive physical growth during the first few years of life. Children with Sotos syndrome tend to be large at birth and are often taller, heavier, and have larger heads (macrocrania) than is normal for their age. Symptoms of the disorder, which vary among individuals, include a disproportionately large and long head with a slightly protrusive forehead and pointed chin, large hands and feet, hypertelorism (an abnormally increased distance between the eyes), and down-slanting eyes. The disorder is often accompanied by mild mental retardation; delayed motor, cognitive, and social development; hypotonia (low muscle tone), and speech impairments. Clumsiness, an awkward gait, and unusual aggressiveness or irritability may also occur. Although most cases of Sotos syndrome occur sporadically (meaning they are not known to be inherited), familial cases have also been reported.

It wasn’t good news but it wasn’t horrible. The prognosis was a little better than what the doctor told us at three months. And, at least now we knew for sure what we’re dealing with

Adam grew but we still dealt with issues. He was clumsy and he still wasn’t “Normal”. We still had to deal with people. Family and friends who treated Adam differently because he wasn’t “Normal”. It was heartbreaking to see relatives just tolerate Adam while those children who were “Normal” were celebrated. Many times Adam would try to have conversations with people who would pass him off because he wasn’t “Normal”. It was something we learned to live with. We still deal with it.

We bought Adam his first set of drums when he was 5. Not the toy store variety. I found a set of used drums and that was his Christmas present. Christmas morning he looked those drums over, climbed up on the stool and began to play those drums. I was shocked! This boy who the doctors said would be clumsy had Rhythm! Our family is very musical. I’m sure that genetics played a role in that rhythm and I’m sure that God gets all the glory.

We lived in Linden Alabama when it was time for Adam to start school. I was serving a church as their pastor and Felicia was a stay at home mom. The day I took Adam for his first day of school I was so tense. How would Adam respond? Growing up he would never let us leave him in a church nursery without a display of screaming and crying. Felicia and I couldn’t even sing in church without him crying because he wasn’t with us. How would he respond to kindergarten? I walked him to his classroom; he walked in and never looked back. We were told of any problems at that school. We thought we were home free. We would find out differently.

We moved to Florida where I was serving a church as an associate pastor. The school also had a private school which Adam attended. He was still in kindergarten. Adam was not really challenged at the school so the educational part of it was easy. I’m not saying that to be critical. It’s just a fact. The lady who taught that class did not push the envelope with Adam. I did find out from Adam later in life that at that school he received many paddling s from the administrator. Wouldn’t you think that if a child’s father is in an office down the hall that he would be notified before this child was paddled? I would! The man who served the school as administrator was not qualified for the position but when you’re working on shoestring budget you get what you can. In questioning Adam about the paddling’s I learned that it really wasn’t pure behavioral issues. It was behavioral issues that were fueled by his disability. The principle and the teacher had been made aware of Adam’s challenges but I wasn’t given the opportunity to intervene on Adams behalf or even say yes, paddle him. He was paddled because he wasn’t “Normal”. Understand something. I’m not one of those parents who thinks his children are always wonderful and need no correction. I’m not. I believe in corporal punishment. I also didn’t want Adam being treated differently because of his disability. The circumstance surrounding these padding’s is different. Writing this is blog is bringing out all kinds of emotions in me today. I’ve cried and now I feel angry. I am a Christian and I do believe in forgiveness but right this moment I’d love to bend that man over and hit him with a board a few times. Oh by the way. The pastors of that church are precious people to Felicia and me and we do not blame them for Adam’s problems at the school.

When we left that church Adam began attending a public school first grade class. This is when the real educational problems hit us in the face. I was determined that Adam was going to get the same education as everyone else and that no matter how hard we had to work we would succeed. School nights were spent with Felicia and I tag teaming to help Adam with homework which was school work he didn’t finish in class. It was horrible. He didn’t understand and we (knowing he was handicapped) didn’t understand why he didn’t understand. There were lots of tears. Much frustration.

We moved to Opelika Alabama to pastor a church. The first day that Adam was there I received a call from the principle. The First Day! “Mr. Scurlock, we need to have Adam tested to make sure we have him in the right class”. Adam was tested and it was determined that Adam needed to be in the “Special Education” class. It was a hard pill to swallow but one we knew was right. This was the point that we began to accept that all the nurturing in the world wasn’t going to make Adam “Normal”.

Adam loved school. We moved one more time during Adam’s school days. Baker Florida is where Adam finished his schooling. It was a good school but there were still problems.

Adam went through High School in a special education class taught by a precious lady who he still talks about today.

During middle school he played on a community league basketball team which I coached. In this recreational league every kid played at least one quater. Adam usually played the whole game just because he was so much taller than the other kids. He typically played forward because of his height. I watched him for weeks practicing a three point shot and he was getting pretty good at it. He wasn’t able to dribble the ball and move it in a game because of his coordination problems. In our last game, after we had the game well in hand I called a timeout. I instructed the team that Adam would move to guard. I told Adam to make sure he was behind the three point line. I instructed the other guard to pass the ball to Adam. “Adam, don’t dribble just shoot the ball”. The whistle blew the ball was in bounded and then passed to Adam. He broke his knees slightly and took his shot. Nothing but net! Adam hit a three point shot in the game. It was funny because he and I were still celebrating even though the other team had the ball at the other end of the court.

Adam continues to love sports. He plays on our church softball team and can hit the ball reasonably well however he can’t run. His attempt to run is a straight legged gait with little speed. He does run with all his might trying to get to first. If he does make it a pinch runner is put in his place.

I took him to his first Atlanta Braves game when he was about ten. It was the braves worst to first season. John Smoltz pitched that game against the San Francisco Giants. Adam has been a huge John Smoltz and Atlanta Braves fan every since.

He loves Alabama football. Don’t hold that against him. That’s my fault. We lived in Opelika for four years and tickets to Auburn games were easily gotten at the time. The team wasn’t doing well and Pat Dye was on his way out. Even though tickets were easy to come by I refused to ever take Adam to an Auburn game. I knew that if I did he would instantly become an Auburn fan and I just was not going to have that. We have attended some Alabama games through the years and Adam is truly a huge fan.

Adam turned thirty years old today. He still lives with us and receives social security benefits due to the fact that he is disabled according to the social security administration. He tried many jobs. People love him. He just couldn’t stay on task. If he could find a job where the only thing necessary was him talking to people he would be a huge success.

Adam turned thirty years old today. He is a tall man with big hands and an even bigger heart. He loves God. He plays the congas (drums) on the praise team at church. He is Gomer Pyle in our annual production of “Christmas in Mayberry”. He loves people. He never meets a stranger and he will talk your head off if you stand there long enough. He’s a normal looking, handsome man. You have to spend some time with him to start picking up on some of the flags. He has a driver’s license and a pickup truck. He manages his own money. As a matter of fact you can ask him any time and chances are he can tell you to the penny how much money there is in his bank account.

The only thing Adam doesn’t have is a girlfriend. This man wants a girlfriend so bad. He’s so lonely for that. We’ve prayed and still believe that one day a quality, normal lady will fall in love with Adam and he with her and they will walk off into the sunset together. I see men with a fraction of Adam’s personality, looks, manners and godliness with a wife. Surely there is someone for everyone. Adam just has to find his.

Adam loves family. He loves knowing he’s a part of a family. His grandparents are his prize. He loves them all very much. As a matter of fact my father told me that Adam is the only grandchild he has that calls him on a regular basis to check on him.

We live next door to Felicia’s parents and Adam loves to go watch TV with Maw Maw and Paw Paw.

Even though Adam still has some challenges, he is a testimony to the power of God and the power of love. We are people of faith and we believe with all our hearts that Adam is a young man with a touch of healing and the anointing of the Holy Spirit on his life. We also believe that God is not through working on Adam and shaping him into what he wants him to be.

We found out recently that our oldest daughter is expecting a child. Adam is so excited about being an uncle. This is going to be one blessed child to have Adam Scurlock as an uncle.

Adam is a jewel. He’s kind, considerate, loving and so much more. I’m sure if I had the patients I could write a book. Not now. I just wanted to remember thirty years of pain and triumph.



Happy 30th birthday Charles Adam Scurlock.