So, it seems that I am going to be this guy called the "Love Doctor" for the rest of my life, and I thank each and every person who shows me love and hollers at me and my Boo where ever we are. As a matter of fact on the couple of occasions when people have approached me about running for elected office, I good heartedly reply "Why would I want to be elected to office with limited terms when I get to be the Love Doctor for life."
Well, as the oldest member of the New Orleans Cohort of the first class of W. K. Kellogg Foundation's Community Leadership Network fellows, with a bunch of fabulous new passionate and interesting people in my life, the question "How'd you get that name?" has come up a lot lately... and then when people find out I published a book, I get "What is the book about?" And it really is a long story. So since my more recent and and perhaps even longer term readers and friends may not really know how I got to be this guy called "Love Doctor" in his home town, I'm providing the story.
The story comes from the introduction of His Way Works, my book published that was originally published in 2003 which I'm happy to say is now in its second printing.
And yes the new banner design is an indication that I'm back writing as the Love Doctor regularly again. Even my writings about community, music, food, travel, festivals, and other events will be in this column... because its all about love... and in my case its always shared with my Boo, my wife's nickname, which is something else my new friends get a kick out of.
So here, from His Way Works is what the "Love Doctor" is all about
The “love doctor” was not my idea nor are the basic ideas expressed original. Kim Brown gave me the name when she suggested that her brother,Terry Jones, allow his life long friend who was earning his living self employed as a photographer, to write a relationship column based on his gift with words, and a long still happy and passionate marriage with his childhood sweetheart. The ideas are simply considerations of what works (can be sustained long term) or doesn’t work (what eventually falls apart) in a universe created by a loving God.
Kim felt strongly about the value of my observations about situations in her life and having been a classmate of my wife’s sister had intimate and first hand knowledge about the successful long shot “y’all too young to get married” couple who at that time had raised honor students, created their own successful and well respected business, and who were black recreational sailors (an extreme rarity), and known for other interesting adventures, like organic gardening of fruits and vegetables and bee keeping in their back yard... without a single complaint from the neighbors.
Terry Jones, the publisher of Data news is sly. I chose that last word carefully, as to not cast any negative on the character of my friend, but if you know Terry, you also know that if he’s talking to you, you are involved in a deal that is going to advance one of his causes. I have learned much from my friend. He plays three dimensional chess all the time as a second generation publisher of a prominent New Orleans weekly newspaper. This time, he squirmed just enough at the idea that I gave him an exclusive and without getting paid.(I get paid now!)
The “love doctor” is and has been an outlet that I cherish, based on the “don’t hide your light” principle. We had figured out that His way worked because we had no other guidelines to trust. I really believe that our never having a psychology course helped. I had come from a difficult marriage and was unwilling to repeat any of the pain of that experience, so I paid attention. I have been almost paranoid about the state of my relationship with my wife, never allowing it to slip into boring co-existence. Even though we had married young, we both have a craving for adventure and the experience of new things and have always figured out ways to have the most fun with and without our children, on the kind of budget that a single income allowed.
In most of my writing and speaking I refer to my wife, Anne, as “Boo”. She is my partner and best friend, biggest supporter and toughest critic. She is a gorgeous woman who loves me but will not be ruled. I kind of had to leverage her into being a stay at home mom. I am grateful to her every day for accepting life without some of the frills, for the opportunity to teach, motivate and love our children each and every day.
Which brings up an interesting consideration. Everyone who knows Anne and me knows that we are prone to intersperse “honeymoons” with family vacations. Some even wonder how parents can leave children with grandparents for three four seven or more days, without guilt or “missing” them. Well the truth is we don’t have any guilt... none at all. Anne was with our children everyday, all day and their stays with their grandparents cemented deep and caring personal relationships which have bound family closer. Even as adults they never need our prompting to visit and assist.
As you read my writings some may wonder how my “Boo” feels about having so much of our lives open to the public. I asked her permission and she gave it based on the idea that we would be failing the Master if we didn’t share with others just how well truth and love work as the basis for treating one another, the children, our parents, our customers and friends (often the same people). She used to read each and every one, but she gets bored now because it’s the same stuff I have talked about all our lives... and implemented.
So here we are, thirty two (now 43) years of marriage, twenty seven (now 40) years of business, twelve years (25) of columns, four years of radio, and a year (did 8 years) of television, and I’ve finally figured out what my first book is going to be about. Its funny, because I always knew that it would be drawn from my columns, but a purpose and focus confounded me until I settled on that title, “His Way Works!”, because that is all I have ever really tried to do, point out ways to make lives better by making decisions based on truth and love... obeying God, and doing things His way. My experience has proved it for me!
Actually, the benefits of His system really don’t even require you to believe... just act like you do, just follow the principles, understand as much as you can about your situation and treat others as you would like to be treated. He gave us a brain and if we use it to set the right priorities and understand that everything we get comes from people around us we will begin to understand the power of loving (empowering) those around you. The icing of my middle age is the discovery that I get so much more out of life because folks around me are more confident, prosperous, considerate of me, productive and have so much more to give, than if I would not have been supportive of them (loved them).
Please enjoy my writings in the spirit of traveling through a discovery and witnessing of the power, joy and prosperity that comes from doing things His way. One of the things that trips many people is because the benefits of a well lived life only accrue over time. If you do not have faith, you will not be willing to climb the hill, because you really cannot predict what’s on the other side but faith provides that when you to the top there the strength you developed in the climb will make you more able to enjoy it..
This book is a selection from over five hundred Love Doctor columns that I have written over the last twelve years. I have included an index at the end to point you in the right direction if you would like to explore my writings on a specific area of life.
So, while I haven’t included every column, I’ve included what I consider to be some of the best. Some were written some time ago, when I was a bit more brazen, so hopefully you will enjoy the journey from brash young father to a more serene young grandfather. In any event, I have enjoyed sharing our simple but very productive and fulfilling lifestyle over the years, and the number of readers, listeners and viewers who express that my words have helped them see more clearly has been all the encouragement I’ve needed to continue.
The book starts with my first column, on advice and should give you an idea of the kind of humorous common sense approach I use to address most of life’s challenges.
If I brighten your day, awaken your dreams, save you from unnecessary conflict or help you be better for your kids. It will be because God has used me. His way works! I’m just a happy fellow with common sense and a gift for gab who communicates how well it still works in our everyday lives.