Joel 2.28: "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions."
My son, Joel Lamar Rozier, was born June 20, 1977 in Augsburg, West Germany. We were so happy to have a new addition to our home. Joy (Joel's sister) was kind of jealous. He took away some of the attention that she had all to herself. One day, after Joel had been crying, Joy said, "I don't like him, take him back to the hospital."
Joel was almost six months old when we flew back to the United States. Germany was okay but it was not the United States.
Joel had the blondest hair, the bluest eyes, and the cutest dimples! He sure was a pretty baby boy! His mom doted on him. I did too. As a young child, Joel didn't begin to talk as soon as Joy. He babbled and when he talked, his mom and I could understand him. He also had a hard time of distinguishing colors (slight color blindness).
He celebrated his fifth birthday at the airport in Los Angeles, California. We had driven cross country, with a brief stop in Roswell, New Mexico, where my mother-in-law lived. We also stopped and spent two days near Phoenix, Arizona where my first cousin, Master Sergeant Lee Johnson (retired, U.S. Air Force) was stationed.
I got a kick out of Lee. he took me around town and showed me some of the South Georgia style barns he had built. Lee could build and fix anything. Often, he made more money doing this than what the Air Force paid him. we had a very good visit with lee, Charlotte, and the boys. We were stationed in Germany at the same time and visited each other there.
Joel started kindergarten, and his speech impediment was such that other kids made fun of him. He wouldn't talk in school. He went through speech therapy for several years which helped much.
Joel was eight when I became a single parent. He missed his mom but he went on and whatever he tried he did it with all his might. Joel is a whiz on computers and also has a wonderful business head.
When Texas Instrument put out their home computer, we got one. I built a computer desk and began to learn how to program. My typing skills are more or less hunt and peck, so I had to go slow on all those "$Q/?" symbols (on a program).
One morning, I went downstairs, and there dressed in one of my old Army T-shirts was Joel. He was sitting at the computer console with the instruction book nearby. He would look at the book, type a few symbols, and grin. He was hooked and only seven years old. He became a whiz, and with his mathematical abilities, soon knew a lot more than I did about computers.
He was also developing his business instincts. i would find my granola bars missing---he would take them to school and sell them for a quarter. Joel collected, bought, sold, and traded many items over the years...comic books, baseball cards, video games. He's always had two nickels to rub together.
Joel was also very diligent about his school work. He would get up in the morning, get himself dressed, make his breakfast, and go catch the school bus, "the cheese wagon" we called it. From the 7th through the 12th grades, he only missed two days of school (that was in his senior year when he had an awful virus). During this time, we were going through some rough times.
One day, i was down and out. I was severely depressed; I was broke, and it seemed like troubles came one after another. Joel came to me and said, "Dad, I've got $25. You take it and go out to eat and buy something for yourself." That gesture blessed me more than any words could tell.
I was teaching the children about interest. Eva had $10, and I told her if she would let me borrow it, I would repay her $11. Joy had $20 and I told her I would repay her $22. Joel had a least $30, and I told him I would repay him $33. He thought for a minute and said, "How much interest would you give me for loaning you $37.53"---all that he had.
The Lord has blessed my son with many talents including musical. He is very good at all the wonderful electronic musical instruments he has. He is always buying, trading, selling and upgrading his equipment. I wrote a song, "When Will the Answer Come", about prayer and he put the music to it. When it is played, you can feel the presence of the Lord.
When Joel graduated from high school in 1995, his day was made when his mom came. Her presence made him very happy. Like many young people, he was lost after high school and didn't know what direction to take. I prayed earnestly for him, that God would lead him in the right path. Shortly thereafter, he worked at a retail store where he made a solid reputation for himself. He was hard working, dependable, courteous and honest.
One day, he found almost $300 in the store. he turned it in. He also found a very valuable watch and turned that in as well. After working there for awhile, he tried some other things, but he wasn't satisfied.
I remember taking him down to the cemetery where my dad and other relatives are buried. I said, "Son, Daddy was 40 when he died, my Grandpa was 43." I pointed out some of my other relatives and then said, "Son, I want to tell you something about our family. First of all, we believe in God, secondly we believe in our family, and thirdly, we love our country. If you stick with these three things in life, you will never go astray."
Shortly thereafter, Joel entered Waycross Junior College and graduated concentrating his studies in math, computers, and business. After this, he went to Valdosta State University and graduated in December 2004 with a degree in Business Administration with a major of Marketing.
As a teenager, Joel was born again. He has compassion in his heart for others. He knows how to pray, and God has given him wisdom.
I can't live my son's life. I have told him I've lived mine, and he has to find his way. I also told Joel despite all the hurts in his life, Jesus can wipe away all the tears.
When I was his age, I had no earthly father. I've told Joel and my daughters, that as long as I'm alive I would be there for them. I also prayed like my Daddy did and said, "Lord, I've only got one son. I dedicate him to you. Use him as you see fit." I'm proud of Joel---a fine young man!
Proverbs 5.1 "My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding."
Update....Joel helped me with my book, My Walk with the Lord. This story appears in it...He and his sisters were raised by me in a single parent home..Despite being deprived of a mother's presence, my children were taught about Jesus and his love. Pray Joel gets the right job.
Copyright 2005 Irvin L. Rozier, Captain (Ret) US Army