One of my best friends . . . the friend who has been my friend for longer than anyone . . . Joe Laughlin . . . is gravely ill and in a hospital in the Houston, Texas area.
On behalf of his wife, Riva, and family . . . I ask for your prayers. Joe could use them right now.
Joe would hardly ever ask me to pray for him. But when he did, after he was diagnosed with cancer, he asked me to pray "industrial strength" prayers. Prayer closet kind of prayers. The kind of prayers that you spill-your-guts-out to God.
He was my first guitar teacher. He pretty much taught me how to hold a pick, how to hold a guitar, how to strum a guitar, how to finger a "real" G-chord, and how to sing using a guitar. His motto was always "less is more." My love for Martin guitars came from him.
Joe is one of the best "unsung" guitar players I know. If it were not for his infernal shyness . . . he could have had a good career as a studio musician. He knew he was good, real good . . . but felt God called him to be a chemistry teacher in public schools. He was shy when he performed, not wanting to draw much attention to himself, which was hard to do since he is 6'4" and was well over 300 lbs for many years. I personally believe he is the best acoustic finger style hymn player on guitar I have ever heard.
Joe isn't perfect in my book. I've never been madder at any one individual in a my life on several occasions. But he has been my adopted "big brother" since I975. He is one of the friends-to-the-end I have in my life.
Prayers for Joe are very much appreciated . . . industrial strength prayers.
God's grace, and dear friends, still amazes me . . . ><>
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