The Doors are Opening 

Allow me to share my heart with you. I have spent years trying to push, shove, bang on and unlock the doors I wanted to open. I just knew, these doors led to rooms that God wanted me inside of. On the other side of these doors were those opportunities that led to popularity, acceptance and success. If I could only figure out the combination to these locks or somehow get the key to just unlock this door! Hours and days and weeks and months and years wasted. Standing in the hallway while listening to God say to me, "Dan, that other door over there is open". Yeah, but surely this is the one. Everyone I know went through this door. This is the way.

I have found out lately, several doors are opening. I didn't push them, I didn't have a key, I didn't even know these doors existed. I sit here at my desk today, overwhelmed at the opportunities laying before me. Why? I honestly don't know. I climbed the ladder of Gospel Music success all the way to the top. God said, "you can stay here or you can move up even more." Huh? Up where? How? 

I have had many heroes in my life, who influenced me to become more than what I was. That's what I want to do. I want to influence another young person who was told they are never going to amount to any thing, just how stupid that statement is. I want to share with a kid, young person or an adult who has gone through or is currently going through an impossible situation, they CAN do it. 

I read posts, comments and press releases from us, "Gospel Music artists", with our hype. We are following the way of the world. More sales, more radio play, more dates, more of those things that make us appear to be what we aren't. My prayer today is that God would lead us to where he wants the message that he has given us to be heard. It may not be where we think it should be. It may not be to as many people that we believe should hear it. 

I know, I'm with you. Surely, God wants us singing in the coliseum, on the satellite or on the huge Christian TV network. Absolutely, God wants US to win that award, He wants our group to be the next big thing. I know, I know. I'm relaying to you, i have...I'm guilty. But listen, It was Gold City in a church that would seat maybe 75 people, it wasn't during the concert when I was influenced that day. It was at the back door, with nobody around, when they treated me like I was somebody. That's where I was inspired. That's when I realized, I can be one of them. Not a Big Gospel Singer, but a man with a message for someone else...God loves you too. Go inspire, go change, go influence someone, if just one at a time.

Surprise Momma! 

I Haven't seen my momma in two years. I've trying to plan this surprise. I didn't think we were going to be able to make it happen. The Engine in the van started making racket on Sunday in West Virginia. After the service on Sunday morning, I changed the oil in the engine, and as I did, I believed the noise was coming from the front of the engine, but didn't know the exact location. So, I needed to take the belt off to make sure. After removing the belt and starting the engine, I proved the noise wasn't coming from the engine itself. So, we left it to the Lord and headed for Florida. We still didn't know the source of the exact problem. I figured it would raise it's ugly head eventually.

Two days and 1000 miles later in Ormond Beach, FL, I stopped at an Advance Auto to ask about pricing a fan clutch. Just in case it was the fan. The guy offered to come out and listen to see if he could find the problem. Turned the key and…Nothing! Low battery! Well, I guess we've figured the cause of the problem. He said to go next door to the Mercedes shop. He can jump it and tell you for sure. They came over and brought their testers and battery box. Still nothing. So, I ran back into Advance and got their battery box and it fired right up! The Mercedes guy stands there scratching his head. He says that it is the alternator, he puts his tester on the system and says, "I don't get it." I do…"ANGEL POWER"!

We did make it…..

A huge thank you for those of you who made this happen: Corey Laney and the Heritage Quartet, Joe Chioda and the Streets of Gold Crew, Jason, Gracie and Lisa Horrocks, Eagle Man, The Jennings Run 1st Church of God in Weston WV, Advance Auto in Ormond Beach, Fl and the kind mechanic at the Mercedes shop in Ormond Beach. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You! 


Tobacco Stick Mike Stand - The Complete Story 

The Tobacco Stick Microphone and Stand. The Complete Story.

When I was 4, my parents divorced. My daddy was an alcoholic, but the state of Michigan gave him custody of me and my younger brother. He married my step mother and the fighting began. They argued and screamed and got physical. The physical abuse, to me and my brother, not to mention the verbal and emotional abuse, was overwhelming to a young boy. What helped us cope was being in touch with my grandmother, (daddy's mother) who lived in Kentucky. She sent letters and said how she loved us, "a bushel and a peck". 

It got bad enough that the teacher and principal at school took me to the police station to report physical abuse, complete with marks on my back. The state then stepped in and decided I should be taken from the home and placed into a foster home. Which, for the experts in the child services division, was my step-grandparents home. However, the apple does not fall far from the tree and I went from the student's home to the teacher's home. Just a taste of what it was like included; eating paper till you puked, switching your legs till they bled and bleeding from your busted lip.

After my saviors in the state decided they had fixed the problem, I was placed back into my parents home and circle was complete. It didn't take long for my daddy to realize that it was time to go. We packed a suitcase and boarded a Greyhound in Detroit bound for grandma's house in Leitchfield, KY. What a difference the love of God makes in a home. It didn't take long for God's plan to set in motion. Soon, Daddy was divorced from my step-mother, had re-dedicated his life to God and had re-married my mother. 

Grandma's living room was small and full of interesting collections. One was her collections was of Gospel music cassettes. A box that was chocked full of curiously unknown singers that I had never heard of. The Happy Goodman Family? Interesting. "They're reinforcing the stage", said the man, as the hammer banged on the stage. "We're in four automobiles and a pickup truck", one of them said. Then the lady said, "if your not a child of God, you can become one, while you sit here and listen to this". What? I'm not bound to be an alcoholic? I'm not going to prison or be someone destined to be a murderer or a child molester? Really? All those things I'd been told I was going to do or be, because of being physically, mentally and emotionally abused as a child, was NOT TRUE? I can be a child of God if I just ask?

So, when the preacher set the tent up across the street from Grandma's house and began playing some of the same music on those cassettes, I was hooked. I was going to be a Gospel Singer, just like the Happy Goodman Family! Though, we were as poor as you can get, we had everything a child could want. We moved into an old farmhouse out in the country, next to an old tobacco barn. One day, I was searching for something to do. I found some tobacco sticks and some twine that they use to tie the tobacco leaves to the sticks to hang in the barn to dry. I took four sticks and made four microphone stands. I took the twine, that were cut into pieces about two feet long and tied them together to make microphone cords. I took two large cardboard boxes and made speakers. I then cut a long stick into four shorter sticks for microphones. There I was, the kid in the field next to the old farmhouse, singing to the top of his lungs. I didn't care who saw me. I didn't care who heard me (I'm sure the cows across the street enjoyed it). I had my Father, I had my Mother, I had my Brother, and I had my sound system, complete with stands. From that afternoon until dark, I WAS THE HAPPY GOODMAN FAMILY!

That was 35 years ago. Wow! Today I'm looking back on a wild ride that has taken me to the very top of the Gospel music success ladder. I've been given the wonderful opportunity to stand on stage with some of my greatest heroes; Brock and Fay Speer, Ronnie and Eric Hinson, Ed O'Neal, Bill Gaither, Guy Penrod and Tim Riley. God has been good to Dan Keeton. 

God has, many times, encouraged me to build a tobacco stick microphone and stand. I gathered a pile of tobacco sticks several years ago and laid them in the garage. That's where they have been for years. I was looking for something in the garage a few weeks ago and God said, "Hey Dan, look at that pile of tobacco sticks. Wonder what you could use them for". That's when I knew. So, after a few hours, I had a tobacco stick microphone stand, complete with a "WORKING" microphone. That's right! I have sung on it several times now. They might not remember my name or what I said or sung. But, they remember the guy…. sang on a "STICK". 

Some day, I promise you. I will sing with Howard, Sam, Rusty and Vestal, and I just might use my STICK!

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