Monthly Family Update – August 2020
Here are the contents of this month’s newsletter:
- Hate is too great a burden to bear: My Past as a Racist
- More Nice Endorsements for “The Best Medicine”
- Want to Read “Best Medicine” before everyone else?
- Vaccine Study
- Answers to last month’s prayers
- Prayer requests for this month
- Past Issues
1) Hate is too great a burden to bear: My Past as a Racist
A dear friend, Clarence Shuler, is writing a book about racial reconciliation with Gary Chapman, Ph.D. Many of you know of Dr. Chapman from his “Five Love Languages” books. Gary actually led Clarence to the Lord when he was a young man.
Clarence and I are in a writers’ group together which we call “The Stinklings,” after “The Inklings” which was attended by C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Sometimes we call ourselves “The St. Inklings,” but I digress. At one of our discussions, I shared my background growing up as a racist. Clarence asked me to write about that, and I have. It was not easy to do at all. But, I’m grateful to the Lord for how He began the process of changing me from the inside out.
I grew up in a segregated Southern town, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I loved and cherished my parents, but the sad truth is that both were racists. My sense is that they were both raised that way also. As a result, through my childhood and as an adolescent, I developed a festering hatred of those of other races.
I remember that when my Robert E. Lee High School was integrated, I joined others in doing and saying hateful things to young men and women whose only crime to me was the color of their skin. My prejudice and racism, and the hatred they spawned, was part of me, my heart, and my belief system, and thus my thoughts and actions.
After choosing to become a follower of Jesus while attending college, I began to notice that His Spirit was changing me from the inside out in ways I could have never imagined.
I was the starting Scrum Half on the varsity Rugby team at LSU. We were an all-white and very successful team. My second year on the team, after walking with Christ only a few months, I was on the practice field one day when several new team members came out of the locker room. One of them was black.
What happened next shocked me to my core. Despite his skin color, I didn’t feel the prejudice, hatred, or repulsion that characterized my past way of viewing all black people. Instead, what I felt absolutely shocked me—an immediate fondness, empathy, and sympathy for this black player—even an affection for a man whose skin color would have, before I met Jesus, caused immediate aversion and antagonism.
I instantly thought back to how I felt on my first day on that same practice field—how scared and uncertain I was. I wondered if I would I be accepted or not, would I make the team or not, could I play at the college level or not? And I did not have to add on top of these concerns, the very real likelihood of being judged and hated solely on the color of my skin. What was this young man feeling? I couldn’t even begin to imagine.
At that moment, I knew for sure that Jesus’ Spirit inhabited and had begun to change me. My heart formerly filled with a selective hatred had been replaced by one of love. It was proof to me of Ezekiel 36:26: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
I suddenly understood in the deepest recesses of my soul that the closer people of all races and backgrounds get to the cross, the closer they will get to one another. It was a sweet assurance from Jesus that I was His and that He had me.
The words of Martin Luther King rang true to me that day: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
On October 6, 2020, my first book about my practice days in Kissimmee (1985-2001), “The Best Medicine: Tales of Humor and Hope from a Small-Town Doctor,” will be released. You can pre-order it here. Some nice endorsements are coming in. I thought you might enjoy seeing a few:
With grace and humor, Dr. Walt Larimore delights the reader with an honest and heartwarming journey of discovery. From his early days as a young doctor, this memoir takes a poignant look at what it means to be a Christian physician, friend, husband, and father. “The Best Medicine” is an enjoyable view of life through Dr. Walt’s compassionate eyes. I’m looking forward to the second installment!
Jan Drexler, Bestselling author of Hannah’s Choice (Journey to the Pleasant Prairie series)
After reading “The Best Medicine,” I could settle for calling author Walt Larimore an engaging storyteller. But he’s more than that. Dr. Larimore connects with people through their stories and truly cares about their life experiences. In “The Best Medicine,” he shares a delightful assortment of stories with us in such a way that I felt as if I was sitting across the table from him, not reading a book. I laughed. I cried. And I found myself caring about people I’ve never met.
Beth K. Vogt, Christy Award-winning author of the Thatcher Sisters Series
I laughed, I cried . . . really! Such a good book! This should be required reading for family medicine residents, probably even all medical students. It paints a real (but entertaining) picture of a man who, by growing in his relationship with God, grew in his ability to be a real physician, husband, father, and friend. I can’t wait to read the next volume!
James D. Collier, MD, Former Assistant Surgeon General for Healthcare Operations, United States Air Force
I’m astonished and grateful for these endorsements and kind words. And, if you would like to read “The Best Medicine” before it’s released in early October, see the next item.
3) Want to Read “Best Medicine” before everyone else?
If you’d like to read a free early release of the book, and would be willing to post a review on four websites (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christian Book Distributors, and Goodreads – it’s super easy and I’ll show you how), drop me an email at email@example.com and I’ll send along the details.
4) Vaccine Study
Barb and I have been chosen to participate in a COVID-19 Vaccine study and we readily volunteered. We’ll get our first injections on Tuesday, August 4. It’s a Phase III trial of the Moderna vaccine being developed in conjunction with the NIH. About 30,000 volunteers will be in the trial. Half of us get the placebo and half of us get the vaccine. We’re praying for the latter!
5) Answers to Last Month’s Prayers
- Once again, we will be home for the month and have no travel plans for the rest of the year.
- Most of the month, I continued writing the second book about my practice years in Kissimmee. The tentative title has been changed to “The Best Gift: More Tales of Humor and Hope from a Small-Town Doctor in Old Florida.” I appreciate your prayers for this continuing labor of love.
- Barb’s sister Sue, and two cousins came in for the July 4th Thanks for praying for our time together. It was a sweet time, and we had several opportunities to share faith stories that seemed well received.
- Thanks for praying for Barb and me as we led a day-long training session for the leaders of our Fall Semester of the Re-Engage Marriage Enhancement program at Academy Christian Church on July 25. It went very well, and we now have 6 trained couples to lead the ministry this fall.
6) Prayer Requests for Upcoming Events
- We’ll begin this semester’s Re-Engage on Wednesday, August 12. We’d so appreciate your prayers for these marriages each Wednesday.
- Most of this month I’ll finish writing and editing “The Best Gift.” I’ll also be farming out pieces of the book for review by some of the “characters” in the book. I appreciate your prayers for this.
- I waiting to review a contract from a publisher for the book about my Dad’s WW2 exploits. Would you join us in praying that it will actually materialize?
- I’ve contracted with a wonderful writer/editor to help improve the WW2 book. You can learn about Mike Yorkey here. I’d love your prayers for Mike as he reviews and begins work on the manuscript.
7) Past Issues of our family newsletter
- July 2020
- More Great Endorsements for “The Best Medicine”
- 2020 Walk for Life
- Today’s Christian Living “Ask Dr. Walt” column
- Another Amazing Blessing I Received
- 5 MILLION WORDS!?!?
- June 2020
- Some Good News About My Dad’s Book: “War Horses”
- Second Great Endorsement for “The Best Medicine”
- 2020 Walk for Life
- What a Blessing I Received
- A Publishing Milestone – my 1000th Publication
- May 2020
- First Endorsement for “The Best Medicine”
- Today’s Christian Living “Ask Dr. Walt” column