Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised...

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Looking For a Right Way

By Doyle Davidson

On a cold winter day playing on a gravel pile this 5 year old country boy met Jesus. He remained with me and led me, the wisdom of God in me, until like the Apostle Paul I met him in the road and laid my life down.  I marvel how God led me in my profession; meeting and working with people of influence and giving me the wisdom of God in difficult circumstances.

Working in Tennessee

I graduated from the University of Missouri’s School of Veterinarian Medicine in May of 1962. But while in my fourth year of vet school I met Sam and Donald Pascal. They were well known horse trainers. At that time they were training a Tennessee Walker named Beloved Belinda and they were training the horse for a friend of mine in Sarcoxie.  Dr. Ebert, the Director of Clinics for the University of Missouri and a member of the American Equine Practitioners Association, had recommended me to them saying “this guy has the most potential of anyone that will graduate from the college.”  With that recommendation they wanted to talk to me and invited me to come visit them in Tennessee during Christmas of my last year in school.  They offered me to become their veterinarian. I passed the Tennessee State Board in June and moved to Tennessee. I became the veterinarian for the well-known Tennessee Walkers Ebony’s Masterpiece, Setting Sun, and many others. But Patti, my wife, began having some serious respiratory problems so I remained there until the National Celebration, (Tennessee Walker Championship around Labor Day) when Ebony’s Masterpiece won the world championship, then the next day Patti, Kathy and I left for Missouri to stay until I was able to take the Texas board and then move to Texas. While I was in Missouri I worked for Dr. Nelson White of Sarcoxie.  
Meeting Carl Miles

I was at the Flying W Appaloosa horse sale in Sarcoxie, Missouri when I met and talked to Carl Miles. Carl Miles owned three ranches in Texas; Celina, Abilene, and Stephenville and a famous Appaloosa stallion, Joker B. Joker B was in several movies and sired more winning colts than any other appaloosa stallion[i]. Cee Bar Ranch, the operation in Celina, had 300 brood mares and 6 stallions. Because of my recommendation from the University of Missouri and others, Carl offered me the position of being the veterinarian for his ranches in Texas and for Joker B. We had an agreement I would become his vet once I passed the Texas Board. God had provided a position for me that would have been coveted by even seasoned veterinarians and I was just out of school.

I passed that board in February 1963 and moved to McKinney that same month. I obtained a position with a local veterinary hospital in McKinney once they learned I would be handling Cee Bar Ranch.  
They knew with that kind of a client I would not be there long and in January 1964, less than a year of working under another practice, I went out on my own and bought a piece of property on US Highway 75 north of McKinney. It had a house on the property which I made into an office and my practice took off. Later that year, on July 4th I visited Carl Miles at Cee Bar Ranch. He had just sold that operation and was moving it to Stephenville and Abilene. For five hours I rode with him as he drove around his ranch looking at his horses.  He talked to me about joining up with his racing and show horse division and moving to Abilene. Carl offered to build me a new clinic and a research center for equine there.  This was a strong temptation for a 31 year old veterinarian just a couple years out of school.  After those hours riding around in his Lincoln, while parked on a hill overlooking the ranch, I said, “Carl, I have great respect for you and I appreciate your offer, however you and I would never get along in the development of your racing and show horse division because I do not agree with your approach.” Carl, who was 20 years older than me, who always showed me great friendship and even remarked he had a love for me, responded almost as a father to a son, “Doyle, what am I going to do with you? What are you going to do?”  I said “Carl, I will be OK.” Years later Carl remarked publicly that if he would have listened to me, he would have saved himself several million dollars.

With my association with Carl Miles, Joker B, and Cee Bar Ranch many doors to other equine farms and ranches were opened to me throughout the United States.  God was in my life and did all this for me. Cee Bar Ranch in Celina was sold and became the Dorfman Quarterhorse Ranch, an operation where John Carter was the ranch manager and trainer. John became a friend of mine and a client. 

My Friend Jim Bray
Soon after I opened my practice in Texas I met Jim Bray, owner of Wildwood Farms in Celina and became his veterinarian.  Jim and I became very close friends. He and I along with our wives had dinner frequently together in Dallas.  Jim was associated with EK Gaylord Sr. as well as Jr.  His office was on North Central Expressway in the building that housed Channel 11 television. We owned several horses together.  Years later when I sold my practice Jim and I remained good friends; he was a man of integrity, honest with me. He attended my home bible studies. We talked about the Lord frequently in the latter years and he had great respect for what I was doing in the ministry. I recall the last time I visited with Jim in his office.  He had been hospitalized and was frail, weak. The conversation between the two of us was meaningful to me.  Jim went to heaven not too long after that and I am convinced he is with the Lord.   

The ‘Lame’ Lame Horse

By 1965 my reputation was becoming known in the horse circles. I received a phone call from a stable in Dallas explaining that they had a horse that was lame. I always do a good history of whatever I was looking at and after some questions they remarked they noticed the lameness when they rode him. The owners of the stable had a riding ring so I asked them to saddle him up and put the normal tack on that they ride him with. This horse had been examined and x-rayed on his front legs but they could not find one thing wrong with him. I said mount up and go out into the ring and show your horse for me.  This happened to be a three-gaited American Saddlebred. I asked them to walk the horse. I couldn’t see any abnormalities in his movement.  I then called for them to trot the horse. As soon as they started him trotting he began limping in his front leg.  They trotted him half way around the ring. The horse was wearing a full bridle; that is a snaffle and a curved bit. I asked for them to drop the reins on that curved bit and trot him.  He trotted off with no lameness.  I then said, “Pull up the curb.” He started limping. I said, “Drop the curb”, the lameness disappeared. I remarked, “There is nothing wrong with your horse, he just doesn’t like the bit.” Some mouths dropped. My reputation and my practice expanded significantly with that event and they became my clients.

Two College Boys

I had a registered Angus ranch that I worked with in this area. The ranch owners had hired a man with a master’s degree and another with a bachelor’s degree to run their ranch.  These men called me at one point and conveyed that their cows were aborting not long after conception.  I went to the ranch and did some short examinations. God was with me. I then asked when they had fertilized their pasture last. They answered they had fertilized about four or five days prior.  I asked what kind of fertilizer had they put down and did they have any pasture they had not fertilized? They responded with what they had used and that no, they had fertilized them all. College boys don’t always know what they are doing, but God does.  I turned around and pointed to a large cloud leading in the west, leading a front moving toward us.  I said to them, “You see those clouds? You two better pray that it rains.” They must have because it rained 2 to 4 inches that night. The abortions stopped within a couple of days. Not everybody that graduates from college with a degree or with two degrees or three degrees know what they are doing; but God knows all things.  That was just the wisdom of God.  Those two college boys were somewhat converted that day. 

121 Veterinary Hospital

By this time my horse practice was rapidly expanding. I was considering purchasing a tract of land on Highway 380 to build my veterinary hospital, but while in my car parked on the land my belly went into turmoil. It was like a churn stirring in my spirit with these words, “No you won’t buy this land. You are not to build your hospital here.” Great fear came with those words. My decision was made on the spot and in August of 1967 I relocated to a temporary office on a three acre plot of land I had purchased two or three years before and there built a new state of the art veterinary hospital. It was located on Highway 121 just west of US 75, a prime location. It was the first veterinary hospital built by Dave Bloxom’s company, Fabcrete. The facility included a large animal surgery room equipped with a modern large animal surgery table.  It also housed a recovery stall and three other stalls were built just a few feet from the surgery room.  The table was on wheels so we could wheel the horse from the surgery room to the recovery room.

With the new facility and its location my practice and reputation grew rapidly. During these years I had the privilege of being the attending veterinarian for some very expensive horses; some worth six figures and more. In May of 1968 another practitioner became a partner with me. I was experiencing much financial success.  By 1969 I owned a 50 acre farm in Texas and a 143 acre farm in Sarcoxie located on Center Creek.  I also owned five American Saddlebred brood mares and a small herd of cattle. Yet with all of this success I knew in my spirit I was going to have to sell out and preach the gospel.

New Castle Oklahoma

Early 1969 I had a man call me from New Castle, Oklahoma.  He had worked on a Black Angus ranch in Texas and knew of some things that I could do as a veterinarian.  One of them was a simple little piece of surgery that I learned from someone else, and I was discussing this with him along with a major problem with their herd. They were registered Black Angus and they were experiencing a prolapsed uterus at about the last 10 or 12 days of gestation. The cattle would abort the fetus and the uterus would prolapse at the same time.  As I discussed it with them I started asking questions about their feeding program.  They told me they were giving so many pounds of alfalfa hay the first trimester, increasing it to so many pounds a day the second trimester, and increasing it again the third trimester. God has been with me all my life and it occurred to me as I was talking to the gentleman on the phone they had an irritant probably causing the abortion and prolapse.  I know God was the one that was giving me that wisdom. I told him they needed to reduce their amount of alfalfa hay the last trimester, I also told them that it could be cantharides beetles in their feed but they didn’t want to hear me.  They wanted me to come up and do some surgery that they believed would stop the prolaspe and the abortion.  I told them that wouldn’t work.  A few days later the manager of the ranch called me. He had a master’s degree from the University of Kentucky and worked for a very powerful man. Those kind of people can be demanding.  I told him I did not have the time to come up there to New Castle. He replied, “Do you know who this man is?” I replied frankly, “No, and I don’t care.”  We talked a few more minutes and I then said, “OK, I will be up there a certain day at 7:00 AM and have the coffee hot!” I knew what they were trying to do to me.  When I arrived they said we have here two cows, we want to see you do the surgery.  I said, “No, not until I have my coffee”.  I didn’t even drink coffee most mornings but I wanted in that man’s office.  As we went in they gave me a cup of coffee and with the cup of coffee in my hand I said, “Now give me your feeding records I want to look at them.”  Back in those days I didn’t trust God like I do today.  I was pretty sure I knew why those cows were aborting and prolapsing.  The wisdom of God is never wrong.   After I studied their feeding records for about an hour I stated, “Let's go to the hay barn.”  The man replied, “No, I want you to do the surgeries.” I responded, “Not until we go to the hay barn.”  We went to the barn and I pointed to a bale and asked them to open that bale of hay.  They did. There was nothing there. I said, “Open the second one.” They did. Nothing there. I had them open a third one. They did and there were dozens of cantharides beetles between two flakes of hay.  I said “There is your problem”.  They were not convinced.  I had them open another bale, and then another.  The Lord was with me for on the next bale there was a large number of cantharides beetles.  By now they began to look at this veterinarian from McKinney 121 Veterinary Hospital and wonder. I said “Do you want to open another one?” Sure enough they did. I am not sure how many they opened that didn’t have any beetles but then they opened one full of beetles.  They were not looking for the beetles but I was.  I was convinced. I then remarked, “Now let’s go do the two surgeries”. I did my surgeries, drove home and never heard from them again. God was with me then as he is today.

The Arena

Along with my hospital, practice and my other investments I also owned what came to be 33 percent of a small corporation in Howe, Texas. I entered in as a silent investor and hoped to keep it that way, however circumstances dictated that I become the president. I saw later that was God’s plan for my life.  The corporation owned 12 acres of land with a large indoor arena.  The arena was 150 feet by 360 feet and had seating for 3,500. It was used for horse shows, rodeos, concerts, wrestling matches etc. One of the concerts was for an upcoming singer by the name of Willie Nelson.  The wrestling matches featured wrestlers like Fritz Von Erich and Johnny Valentine. 

Fritz Van Eric became a friend of mine.  In June 1969 he and I had some personal conversations about our lives.  We trusted each other. At one point there was a business venture he and I were discussing. He remarked to me, “If the deal is with just you and I, I will go in with you 50/50 but if it includes the others it will be 51/49”.

The Feedlot

While working at my hospital in 1968 two men walked in looking for me.  I introduced myself. One of the men was Bobbie Cavnar.  He was president of Meat Producers Inc., a subsidiary of DH Byrd Enterprises. They had a feedlot in Melissa, Texas, with 12,000 head of cattle and they wanted me to be their veterinarian.  I explained to them I had no experience as a feedlot veterinarian, I was primarily an equine practitioner. They remarked they knew a very close friend of mine, M. Allen Anderson, who ranched Santa Gertrudis cattle in Frisco, Texas.  They assured me that Allen had convinced them of my honesty and my willingness to admit if I didn’t know what the problem was with an animal sickness, but that I would make every effort to find out.  That was my reputation.  After considerable discussion over two or three visits with me I agreed to be a consultant by the hour and oversee their veterinary needs.  Boy was I dumb. Frankly what I did every Friday afternoon was to meet with the feedlot manager, he would get in my car and we would drive up and down all of the alleys where the cattle were feeding. Being a horseman and a cattleman all my life, I enjoyed watching the bovine eat.  I rarely got out of my car. Bobbie was very particular and aggressive as the president of Meat Producers Inc. and this was one modern, well planned operation. The entire vaccination program was handled by employees of the feedlot under Bob Cavnar’s supervision, with consulting from me. I was a very busy man but it was enjoyable on Friday afternoons to ride in the car and discuss the feedlot with the manager.  After about three months the day came where I was confronted with actions of the cattle that I was unfamiliar with. Each cattle pen held 125 cattle.  You could get over into the pen with them, clap your hands and some of them would fall over with convulsions. It was happening in several pens as I walked through. I was certainly not prepared medically to deal with these problems.  I used all of my knowledge attempting to determine what was wrong with these cattle. 

Cavnar was leading in this situation. He contacted a feedlot expert in California and wanted me to talk to him.  I spoke to him by phone while he was waiting for a plane in the Phoenix Airport. After describing to him the situation the doctor said, “Try this.” I answered him, “I did.” He replied, “Try this.” I answered again, “I did.” He responded, “Try this.” “I did.” After a while of this he retorted, “I have got to catch a plane, glad this is your problem.”

Cavnar then arranged a conference call with Quaker Oats because I thought their food might be too hot (had too much protein). They were feeding them Milo and cooking it because it would release more protein quicker along with the digestible nutrients. I thought it was food intoxication, but Quaker Oats did not have any answers.

Then Bobbie had a pharmaceutical house of Iowa get involved.  They sent a field man down, he happened to be a hotshot veterinarian. He took Patti and me to dinner in Dallas and asked me if I would like a drink. I said yes, so he began pushing them on me thinking I would be weakened with alcohol and then agree with him. That he could not do. I proposed a situation to him. We had barrels located on the north and south of the feedlot where they threw the vaccine bottles and then burned them in those same barrels.  I projected, “Do you think it is possible the vaccine bottles are being cooked like an incubator and the viruses are being released into the smoke?”  He said it couldn’t be the vaccines.  He gave up. The next day or two he went back to Iowa.   

With everything Cavnar tried he fell on his sword.  Here we were, Cavnar had exhausted all his ideas and here is a veterinarian that doesn’t know anything about a feedlot. So then Bobbie started talking to me. “Do you know anyone at the universities?” I believed I knew everything Missouri knew, so I started out speaking with professors at Texas A & M, then Oklahoma State, Auburn University, Kansas State, Colorado State, Iowa State, and the University of Minnesota with no answers. I even called a pathologist I had at the University of Missouri who used to upbraid me every chance he got while I was in school. I was an irritant to him. When I was in his classes I always wanted to know the reason he believed what he was proposing. During one of those classes I asked him a question and his responded, “Oh you’re the one that always wants to know why!” While we were discussing the feedlot he would suggest an action and I would respond, “I’ve already done that doctor.” He suggested another action and I responded with the same, “I’ve already done that.” This went on for several rounds until he finally blurted out, “You are too far from me, I can’t help you.” (I wasn’t surprised). I called Iowa State and got a hold of a professor of bacteriology.  When he found out I was mostly an equine practitioner he almost spit up the bits. He said “You are the bravest young man I have ever talked to.” We discussed a whole lot about bacteriology and he found he had a student on the line that he had great respect for. Toward the end of our conversation he remarked, “You are one of the best students I ever talked to. You will find out what this problem is because I can see you won’t quit.”  During the time I was contacting all the universities I went to the feedlot to talk to Bobbie.  I was met with his crew that informed me that Bobbie had left the organization and was no longer there.  At that moment everything fell upon me and I was left without any support. But God was with me.

Then as if I woke up, I was reminded about a veterinarian named CR Mackey from Greely, Colorado. After explaining to him the situation and that I was an equine practitioner not a feedlot man, he said to me, “Doctor you are the boldest man I’ve ever talked to.” I replied, “No doctor, I am the biggest fool you ever talked to.” We talked several times and he confided in me, “I have always had some ideas that I’d like to try. Would you try them? ” I asked him “What are they? If I believe they are rational. I will try them.”  He shared some things with me that involved vaccines that he believed could work. I said, “Ok, I will give it a try. How about I give it to 1000 of them?” Guess what? The bizarre symptoms left those animals in those pens.  I did another 2000 more. By that time things were beginning to settle down and all the symptoms disappeared. I don’t think one of those 12,000 cattle died.  With the exit of Bobbie Cavnar they brought in a feedlot manager from California. After I talked with him two or three times I resigned as their consultant. God delivered me and I never went back out there after that. I knew later this was a spiritual problem and God had delivered me out of it and then sold my practice. 

As a sort of epilogue to this story, just a year later in July of 1970 I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and started speaking in tongues in bed at midnight.  I lived in Sarcoxie and worked on my farm until June 1971, at which time I went to South Florida and managed a small animal clinic. In May 1972 I returned to North Texas and lived in Argyle.  A lady that attended my home bible study there started talking about a man named Bob Cavnar.  At one point I said, “What does this man look like?” She described him and I said to myself that this has to be Bobbie.  There were some Charismatic meetings at Moody Coliseum in Dallas and I attended one of them. There to my surprise was Bobbie Cavnar leading the meeting.  After the meeting I went looking for him and someone told me where he was at. I went to that location and Bobbie said, “Doc is that you?” and I answered, “This is me, Bobbie!” He said, “That feedlot was full of demons!” I couldn’t disagree.  I saw him half a dozen times after that in 1974 or 1975; I also spent a couple of hours with him in his home in North Dallas.  I was seeking a right way for me and my family to go.  We spent about two hours talking and he said to me, “Pray, and if God would like you to join us you are welcome.” I thanked him and said I would, however that was not the way God wanted me to walk.  The last time I saw Bobbie was in a restaurant in North Dallas.  At that time I had my ministry in Plano and was on radio and television. God had two people involved in the business and professional world that worked together in the flesh and both ended up in worldwide ministries.

Selling Out

I had become a successful businessman with a few investments. But in 1969, even in the middle of dealing with the feedlot, there was only one investment I was unhappy with and while driving down the highway one afternoon, I said out loud to God, “If this is you that has been bugging me all these years, if you will sell my share of this corporation, I will do whatever you ask”.  The very next day while stopping at a Dairy Queen for something to drink I ran into the other share holders and they asked me about my share of this corporation. “Would you sell your part?” they asked. I responded, “Do you want to buy it?” They replied, “Perhaps...” I said, “If we could agree, when would you want to buy it?”  They said “1:00 PM today.” I was on my way to Denison, Texas to treat a horse; it was about 11:00. We discussed the price, I said I will meet you at the bank at 1:00 PM. The whole transaction was completed that afternoon. I was a happy man.

But two weeks later while driving down the same highway again, the Lord spoke to me, “Sell your hospital and veterinary practice and obey me.”  I answered him, “I didn’t say I would do that,” and the Lord replied, “You said if I would sell your share of the corporation, you would do whatever I ask.” I answered back, “Well it didn’t include that!” Our conversation was somewhat lengthy. I finally said to God, “Nobody will buy it!” He replied, “Your partner will.” I said, “No, he is a good veterinarian, but he can’t run a business.”  The Lord said “I’ll make him buy it,” and he did. After that there was no way I could back out, I knew I was had and had to do what I said I would do. After that discussion the only thing I could do was sell it. I sold the hospital along with my practice and on January 2, 1970 Patti and I drove away from my hospital with a tear on my cheek. Patti was an unhappy girl. Over the next couple of years I divested myself of all my investments. I sold my first farm April of 1970 and the mare Patti of Oaks in 1971.

Laying Down My Life

For the next ten years I laid down my life and followed the Lord Jesus, him teaching me. God led me into the wilderness of Argyle and Carrolton. He taught me, humbled me, and proved me as in Deuteronomy 8:

1 All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers.

2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.

In June 1970 God visited me again and instructed me to pray for the United States of America, which I have done faithfully ever since. 

In 1977 I moved back to McKinney and began attending the First United Methodist Church. I became President of the Fellowship Class, a bible teacher and was certified by the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Churches to be a lay speaker.

The Temptation

In February of 1980 I was offered a chance to buy back my hospital which was in receivership for a very good price. For three days I asked God what he wanted me to do.  For three days God would ask, “Do you want it?” After three days of his questioning I woke up and said, “Oh! It is not important what I want, it’s what YOU want!” Then he stopped talking.  I kept asking, “What do you want? It’s not what I want.”  He wouldn’t answer. This went on for a while then he finally responded, “I don’t want you to have it.” Fear came on me. I could have missed what God wanted for me! I heard it once said about Jesus when he was tempted the plan of God could have been missed, he could have yielded to the devil. The plan for my life could have been stopped that day.

Six weeks later while driving west on Highway 380 in Denton County God told me to go to Plano and speak to the people of Plano.  I replied what do I say to them? He said read in Acts where Paul went to Antioch and you will understand.  That is where my public ministry began, 34 years ago.

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