Firewood in woodpile under the sunshine Woodpiles background. Stacked firewood background, light brown firewood texture outdoors.


Life Today!

©2019 | Bill C. Dotson

Arthur and Betty ‘Cookie’

WOODPILES…are something virtually every person living is familiar with. I first experienced them as a very young boy as the young’uns were usually selected to bring in a log or two for the stove for cooking or heating. Anyone with a log-burning fireplace has one. Some are neatly stacked, while others are simply a pile. O well! If you don’t cut your own, you buy it from a wood peddler or a store that carries the wood. They sell it by the cord or portions thereof. A full cord measures 4’ x 4’ x 8’, with a volume of 128 cuft. You can now buy small bundles all wrapped and tidy. We have a gas log-burning fireplace. No wood to purchase and none to haul in.

But there is a ‘Woodpile’ that is actually a living one. Arthur and Betty ‘Cookie’ Wood are the patriarch and matriarch of this very large family. They were married for 71 years with Cookie, at 96, recently passing into the arms of Jesus. Arthur, as she called him, is 99, and as ‘sharp as a tack’. So was she. Their ‘Woodpile’ as it is lovingly referred to, consists of 4 children, 16 grandchildren and 31 (1 on the way) great grandchildren. That does not count the in-laws. Now, that’s a ’Woodpile’, folks!

“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate (Psa. 127.4,5 NKJV).

A true matriarch

Cookie was a true matriarch. She loved the Lord fervently and wanted all her family to know him and love him too. And that goes for anyone she met. Cookie simply personified unconditional love. Her family and everyone else that knew her adored this Godly wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and true friend. Art, as I know him, loved her well. And he has devoted his life to being the man God wanted him to be. An imperfect couple who loved and worshipped the perfect Father have created a ‘living legacy’ that will endure for several generations.

The psalmist says: “Yes, may you see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel” (Psa. 128.6 NKJV). Can you imagine the joy Cookie and Art have experienced all these many years as their glorious ‘Woodpile’ expanded? And you can be assured that they both continually prayed for each one by name. Plus they have spoken into each of the lives about what matters for eternity. That is simply what matriarchs and patriarchs do! They blessed each as often as possible.

I have to admit that several years back after meditating on the Psalm, I started praying that God would allow Joanne and me to see our two daughters’ children and to bless them. We have been richly blessed with five. But at 81, I have gotten greedy, yes greedy! I am boldly asking Him to allow us to see and bless our great grandchildren. It won’t match the size of the ‘Woodpile’ but they’re the ones God has chosen to give us. It’s not a selfish prayer, as Cookie and Art would tell you. As the high priest of my family, I/we want to anoint/dedicate them unto the Lord.


When I was writing the book From Faith to Faith, I reached out to godly men in my life to share a testimony on their thoughts about fatherhood for the book. One of them was Art Wood. I understood then, and now even more, that the blessing of his/their family came from his desire as recorded in the New Testament. Art said this in the middle of his brief testimony. While flying back from a men’s conference in Montreat, North Carolina, it was so loud in the small plane that we were all involved with books and other things. I found my life verse: 3 John 4. “My greatest joy is to know that all my children love the Lord” (or “walk in the way” in some translations). Art, Cookie, well done! Mission accomplished; scripture fulfilled!

Before you think claiming a life verse is all there is to ensuring it will happen. Art would tell you that many obstacles presented themselves. But he and she were prepared to stay the course, trusting in the promises of God, but understanding they were responsible for their part—it’s called obedience. What about you as a father and maybe grandfather? Is this the desire of your heart? Would you be overjoyed to see this fulfilled in your immediate and extended family? What are you doing and in whom are your trusting to see this fulfilled? Dads, you are your family’s patriarch and high priest. God has given you the privilege and authority. Use them wisely. It’ll make a difference now and for eternity.

And I have to say Joanne and I are receiving this ‘greatest joy’ in our family. So grateful to God! I know Art and Cookie are, Big Time!

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Dads! Love! Listen! Lead!
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Dads! Love! Listen! Lead!

Abiding Fathers is a Biblical fatherhood discipleship ministry committed to helping men be the dad…God wants them to be. It’s a movement of God that is “International-Relational-Generational”. Join with us. We need you!

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