“Everywhere and the Same Time” pretty much describes GOD and since JESUS and GOD are one, then JESUS was there in the beginning. HE, too, knows everything about everything and everybody. Can you imagine having the Devine power to know every person and to know what every person is thinking or doing. Being the ultimate ‘mind-reader’ nothing mankind does is a surprise. That premise would indicate that with free will, nothing man does is preventable, but there is one little card that GOD/JESUS/The HOLY SPIRIT can play and that is conviction and invitation to repentance. We witnessed a plethora of ‘magic and mind-reading’ by professional entertainers over the twenty-plus-years in Las Vegas. These headliners performed astonishing feats right in front of our eyes. We couldn’t but gasp in awe, but none of these had the Omnipotence of JESUS CHRIST. A few of these magicians were professing Christians and they knew the truth of my statement. Others probably never gave thought to thanking GOD for life. When Mother came to live with us, we were treated to ring-side seats at “Beyond Belief”, featuring Siegfried and Roy and their white tigers at the Frontier. One of the tigers had just presented the duo with a precious white tiger cub and as they were completing the first act, Roy came off stage with the cub in his arms, walked over to our booth and allowed Mother to hold the cub. She accepted and refused to give it back. She said, “NO! you give it and I keep it!” the audience went nuts as this tiny little lady truly wanted the cub. We finally convinced her that he was only allowing her to pet the tiger and with a ‘humpfff’, she relinquished the cub. The audience booed, all in fun. (I would wager that Roy didn’t repeat the bit again and I know Mother never forgave him). JESUS met many on his Ministry Journey and really wasn’t surprised by any of them. He played the ‘anticipation’ card when told that his good friend, Lazarus had died. He delayed returning to Bethany and allowed the suspense to build before having the covering stone rolled from the tomb and with tears flowing down HIS precious face, called, “Lazarus, Come Forth!” And Lazarus did! All the while JESUS was setting up the event in order to make a strong statement as to HIS GODLY Power! Some in attendance believed, but some (not a surprise to Our LORD) walked away thinking the man was filled with demonic power. Sadly, there are those today who believe in the tricks of magic on the stages of Las Vegas and refuse to believe in the power to save by GOD’s ONLY SON. Tragic? AMEN
I know you have heard the collection of “Bloopers” made by broadcasters and I have shared mine. On KPDN, Pampa in the late 50’s I totally shattered the airwaves when, instead of saying, “Mead’s Fine Bread Time is……Remember, always demand the best in bread”, I said, “…brest in bed” (there was a very pregnant pause before I could continue with a segue into music.Once, on televsion in Bryan, I commited the unpardonalbe broadcast sin when I got my consonants mixed when I tagged a bank commercial for “City National Bank”..I really ‘shhlipped up, royally. Troy will recall the night I made a grand entrance and walked to the sports desk through a door, when closed, had a big “MEN” sign on it. (Just to name a few) But, the one I love most was by my dear friend and fellow broadcaster, Tru Hawkins. The Sands in Vegas had Bobby Berosini as one of their star attractions. His act featured Orangutans and it was hilarious. We had a commercial for the Sands and it had a tag line; “Now Starring Bobby Berosini and his Orangutans”. Tru opened the mic and in his best ‘announcer’s voice’ said, “Now Starring Bobby Berosini and his Orange Youtins”. Kdawn’s phones were lighting up for nearly an hour. Tru’s blooper will long live in radio history in Las Vegas. To his credit, Tru was a good sport whenever it came up and it did come up a lot. Robert Goulet lived in Vegas and would come by on Sunday afternoons when I was playing music on KORK. He loved to select my playlist and comment on each of the recordings. Bob really goofed on the National Anthem for one of Ali’s championship fight and it followed him for years. The first Sunday he was my ‘guest’, and his only stipulation was that I never mention that goof-up. I understood how he felt since I ‘rewrote’ The Lord’s Prayer once while singing for a wedding in College Station. Every broadcaster learned from ‘bloopers’ and the most painful thing about it is that it reminds them of their human weakness. That brings me to the real reason for this Blog: Praise GOD, there will be no more night and no more pain and no more suffering of any kind and no more “Bloopers” in Heaven”! AMEN
One of my most fun times is sharing a meal with friend and family. We are fortunate to have some of our family nearby for rejuvenation, now, but it wasn’t until Vegas that I began to enjoy occasional ‘eating out’ with other men. Dr. David C. Brown was our Pastor at Desert Hills and he always had IHOP ‘Buy one get one free’ coupons. We had some great times talking theology and sharing great pancakes. Tony Forehand was Co-pastor with David, beginning as Youth Minister and finally Co-pastor with David. He and I enjoyed breakfast at the “50’s Diner” on Flamingo Road. Tony is now Pastor at Grace Baptist Church, a church he organized in North Las Vegas some ten years ago. After a career in the Air Force and stationed at the “secret place in the desert”, Tony and his wife made ‘Jesus’ Ministry’ theirs. No matter how hard I tried, my good friend would only grin at my attempts to get facts about Area 51. I miss my ‘Tony Talks’ a lot. Now, I have a new buddy named Chuck, who is our HOA president, an honorable man and former teacher, who loves Bojangles’ chicken tenders as much as I. His friendship and my Clan have been a great comfort, but I still miss those ‘Tony Talks’, donchaknow?
For the beauty of the and family and good friends, LORD, Thank You! AMEN
I am pleased that you were skilled enough to avoid injury, or worse, when your vintage plane became troubled. I know there was a wee small voice whispering, even over the adrenaline rush, “Harrison? It’s time for a soul-check”. I am certain you considered doing just that as you bumped along the fairway, but then when all the tatter and turbulence ceased, you probably forgot the whole thing and thought, “How fortunate I am this good at flying”, or such. Reports are that you are ‘mending’ and your son says that you are very strong and will soon return, good as new. Your ‘spokesman’ simply brags on your courage and witnesses laud your ability to control things in the face of disaster. The neighbors of that golf course may not have been fans, but I assure you they will not miss another of your pictures. You may be at peace within your soul, Harrison, but if you have fallen to false teaching, I can assure you that GOD has spared you for a reason. My prayer is that you will bring HIS sunlight into your soul, today. You think you have been a beacon of good up until now, but you’ve not scratched the surface of blessing others. Oh, and by the way, you might give Tom Brady and call and suggest it best to have wings and an engine the next time he flies off a cliff, but then again, you did and look where it got you. The BIBLE says where two or more are gathered in HIS name, HE will hear and answer their prayer. I can assure you there are more than two lifting your name right now, because HE LIVES and CARES for YOU and so do millions of others. May the LORD bless you and keep you, Harrison. AMEN
I awakened this morning (PTL) and was greeted by barely clothed young girls doing some sort of ‘hoochie’ and young men bragging about being ‘drunk’ and having so much FUN! Where are parents or guardians or someone with some sense of ‘upbringing’ today? Is this what bringing up a child by a village accomplishes? For Pity’s Sake! We even have gunshot victims among the masses. I want you to check with my adults who now have young adults of their own. I will not speak for them,but I can assure you that they were on a pretty tight string and would have never been caught dead cavorting and displaying skin like i saw this morning. Not only should parents be accountable for this debauchery, but anyone who sold intoxicating beverage to any underage youngster( and there were a plethora of those) should be placed in stocks on the city square and lashed on bare buttocks by the parents who DO care. Mardi Gras doesn’t hold a candle to the disgusting action of our youth while enjoying a study break provided by the ultimate sacrifice of my Lord and Savior, JESUS CHRIST. I pray for empty beaches and sober teens today. AMEN
In addition to my parents, there are several men and women who have had a positive impact on my life. I am grateful for the opportunity to acknowledge them. At the onset, I must acknowledge all the accompanists who unselfishly made some very good concerts and performances possible. These are and were most precious, some sacrificing the opportunity to ‘sing’ whenever accompaniment was needed. GOD BLESS! There is a long list of kin, lead by my mother’s sister, Aunt Myrtle (donchaknow) Jones of Idabel, Oklahoma whose heart was bigger than the sky and whose hugs were like a feather pillow. Then there was my dad’s dad, D. T. (Buster) Austin who was constantly building something for me and was a genius with a hammer and saw. Pastors who made a difference began with R. L. Lamb who baptized me in 1937 at First Baptist Church, Mount Pleasant, Texas; William Andrews and Bailey Stone at First Baptist Church, Bryan, Texas; Jim McIlroy at First Southern in Vegas; David C. Brown, a Preacher’s Preacher and dear friend at Desert Hills in Vegas; Tony Forehand, my Saturday morning breakfast buddy,now at Grace Baptist in Vegas; Jerry Barber and Jeff Kiziah and the Men of Harvest for the caring look through my window. Raymond Hollingsworth in Amarillo, Texas for giving me a second chance in broadcasting. Dexter Riddle, Charles Lindsay and George Conrey for making me complete the course and inspire me to teach. Knox Kinard for taking a chance on a rookie teacher. H. Wilson(Cheesy)Cook for being honest to a fault; Jesse(Red)Burditt for just being himself; Travis B. Bryan, Jr for casting a long shadow in the lives of so many; Dr. Paul Hensarling and his encouragement; Dr. Earl Jones for too many reasons to count; William C(Pete)Broussard for his loving heart; William C Broussard, Jr. for being a ‘straight arrow’; Martha, Steven, An d’ Lis, Jeanie, Kimberly, Kim, Alan, Darin, Ilysa, Trammel, Quincy, Jordan, Jason, Austin, Marilyn, Melanie, Steve, Seth and SaraBeth in whom I am well pleased; Susan, OH dear Susan, a Proverbial Jewel and the wind beneath my wings; Sonny and Judy Broussard and my Carolina Clan with their open arms and hearts; For following Matthew 28,Don and Sai Hill (Thailand) and Justin and Natalie Barber(Asia) AND YOU, my Circle of Friends. But through all my years, I must give Thanks to my Loving GOD and precious SON, JESUS CHRIST, without whom I would be nothing. Of course, as I post this, I will think of some who should be listed such as Troy and Janet Dungan and Bob and Veva Huffaker for loving us, warts and all. Finally, to Chuck, Anne, Teresa, Don and Jennifer, for the joy of unselfish serviceto over two hundred neighbors. To GOD be the Glory! AMEN
When I was growing up in East Texas, the Masonic Lodge was considered a most honorable organization. Only Masons knew of the secret ritual and Shriners were respected supporters of hospital care for children. Our Pastor at Mount Pleasant First Baptist Church was the Worshipful Master of the Temple Lodge. Young sons and daughters were encouraged to participate in DeMolay and Rainbow Girls. My father and mother were active in their Lodges. My dad had a memory that was surprising. He knew all the rituals of both the Masonic Lodge and Eastern Star. As Worthy Patron, he was in demand all over Texas for induction of officers in various Lodges. When I reached the age of 21 Daddy began to ‘hint’ for me to join Temple Lodge. I had no idea of what that entailed, but once I began the learning process, I was troubled, deeply troubled. None of Masonry is written down. There were specific Masons allowed to teach each step, verbally. Mine was one of the most respected ‘teachers’ in the Lodge. There are degrees in Masonry and each is attained by displaying one’s knowledge of the ‘rites’ before the main Lodge. I had reservations with all the memory work, but being an obedient son, I progressed all the way to Master Mason. Temple Lodge was comprised of the movers and shakers of Mount Pleasant with Pastors, Deacons and Public School Administrators and successful Businessmen. It was the thing to do. I know I disappointed by parents when, even though they paid my dues for years, once I achieved Master Mason, I never attended a Lodge again. I have no way of knowing the spiritual condition of anyone other than myself. I have been forgiven through the blood of JESUS for my mistakes. I have long been in prayer for the souls of those precious ones who participated in like ‘secret orders’. The BIBLE teaches “By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them” and I can assure you the fruit on the trees within the Orchard of Sam and Mattie Austin had the limbs weighted down. Praise GOD for whom THOSE Blessings Flow! AMEN