The Great Escape

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to[c] his own glory and excellence,[d] by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,[e] and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities[f] are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter ESV)

When we get tired of all the evil around us; when we are faced with the struggles that come with life on earth, these are the characteristics provided by our Lord Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit.  So, let me list them again for our edification:

Faith, Virtue, Knowledge, Self-control, Steadfastness, Godliness, Brotherly affection and LOVE.  I promised myself that I would be fruitful and share the Joy and Hope that is in Christ.  I’ve not done the best job, but  with GOD’s help, it isn’t too late.  As we see sin rear its ugly head through hatred and violence,  wouldn’t it be a HOOT if we, who know the Truth, would share the Truth in our Walk; in our Talk and in our Going In and Coming Out, in every endeavor, every moment of every day?  Since GOD isn’t mocked and never makes a mistake, what more do we need to guarantee success than that provided by His Still Small Voice?  Won’t you join me in prayer for healing in every heart?  I am certain that the prayer from the cleansed hearts of those called by GOD’s name will not be in vain.  The Time is Now, The Need is Great!  Amen?  AMEN

Little Miss Muffet

I have no idea as to why this old nursery rhyme came to mind. I was really thinking about lonliness and how feeling all alone can be devastating.  The only company Muffet had was a spider.  I’ve not experienced the spider, but I have two dogs.  The Internet shows a ‘Tuffet’ to be a padded stool with ruffles. I’ve never experienced being seated on one, but am very experienced sitting in a chair. As a matter of fact, I spend many hours in this particular chair.  It is also my bed.  COPD prevents my lying on my back and with the breathing machine, called a BiPAP, all the tubing makes it uncomfortable to lie on my side. My wife and my doctor tell me that it is all in my head, but it’s my head and I’d rather not lose it, donchaknow. Now, back to lonely Miss Muffit; she is enjoying clabbered milk (that tells me that she is rather odd to begin with) when ‘along came a spider who sat down beside her and frightened Miss Muffet away.’  I trust she ran where there were people. I can’t imagine how terrible it would be to be frightened and alone.  It is mid-day here in my home. Both dogs are sound asleep (Mattie T is near my chair making little ‘gruffing noise’. She is probably chasing one of those pesky squirrels that eat the bird food from the feeder in our back yard).  MAX is asleep in his favorite chair, on his back with his legs straight up in tne air. Goodness!  No wonder everything else is snoozing. It’s time for my mid-morning siesta, so Later! 

Oh, by the way, just know that I am never lonely ’cause, aside from my pups, JESUS has promised to never leave me alone!  It’s in the BOOK, donchaknow.  AMEN

His name was Howard

It must have been in the summer of ’43. My granddad had made an airplane that was supposed to fly, propelled by what resembled a beaver’s tail. Of course it didn’t fly, but it was ok to play with. My Dad was friends with Henry Guines. Henry was manager of the Hughes Tool warehouse in the Talco oil field. Talco was about twenty- miles from My. Pleasant and we drove there with Henry one Sunday afternoon. I had my new airplane and while Dad and Henry toured the warehouse. I sat on the front porch.  The warehouse was near the back fence of the oilfield I looked up and saw a dirty Chevrolet coupe heading our way.  It stopped right at the porch and a tall, slender man got out. He was dressed in khakis with a snap brim hat and tennis shoes.  He walked up and sat by me. “M y name is Howard, what’s yours?”  I told him and he saw my airplane, “That’s a neat airplane, will it fly?”  Before I could answer he took it and held it up and said. “I love airplanes and will build a big one some day.”  We talked about how my granddad would surprise me with some gadget or other and he said “You are a very fortunate young man. Be certain that you respect what your family does for you, O K?” I said I sure would. Howard handed me my plane and stood up, ” I am glad to know you, Jimmy Austin. Is Henry inside?”  “Yes,sir. He’s in there with.my Dad .”  “Great”, he said and went in.

On the way home,  Daddy asked what did Howard and I talk about.  I told him that we talked about flying and Henry said, “That is Howard Hughes’ true love, Jimmy.  He owns my company and is talented enough to do whatever he wants.”

When we were playing at the Desert Inn in Vegas,  I was reminded of the very nice young Howard Hughes I met so many years before and the Howard Hughes who became so totally unhinged.  At some point in life, he changed from a kind gentleman to a paranoid recluse.  How sad life can be without Hope.  How fortunate we,  who have it, are.  GOD grant us the opportunity to share the secret.   AMEN

Thanks for dropping by

This Blog is a continuation of a daily email to over seventy family, friends and former students. It began in 2012 and just recently I began daily ruminations here at WaterWader.  It would appear that my subscriber list has dropped. I’ve never really determined the number of the “Family Circle” who actually followed my wanderings, but now that there is a counter of the number of ‘hits’, it appears that number has decreased considerably.  I am blessed by the sharing of my thoughts and interpretations.  As a true believer in what GOD has inspired in HIS Holy Word, waterwader is my way of following The Great Commission. I will continue to do so here and I am blessed by those of you who visit from time to time.  The Bible says where two or more are gathered in GOD’s name, there He is also. You and I are in good company today, donchaknow.  Here are the words of a hymn that will reassure us:

“I’m so glad I’m a part of the Family of God,
I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
For I’m part of the family,
The Family of God.”            AMEN

Now, I lay me down to sleep….

Since we all will some day wake in a different place, this little nursery rhyme really leaves one wondering. I do not need to ‘ask the Lord, my soul to take since I’ve already covered that fact and have his blessed assurance that “it is well with my soul”.  Perhaps it is time to truly Love One Another, regardless of any “Physicality” or “Spirituality”.  To simply be satisfied with my own Spiritual condition ignoring that of others first, is simply not what JESUS commanded.  If I continue to carry animosity in my heart, regardless of the reason, I cannot expect GOD to be pleased and when GOD is displeased, OH Boy!

We are smack dab in the middle of serious problems at home and abroad.  Social media and the Internet contribute to many of our problems.  There is a plethora of negative out there and most of it is simply erroneous.  Doing research for myself has convinced me that the Spiritual condition  and Personal Belief of anyone else is not my business.  To make it my business can lead to mistaken judgement.  GOD is the only Judge and since it is up to HIM, I can only PRAY FOR everyone else.  I have so many ‘logs’ in my own eye I do not have time to see the splinter in another’s eye.

Someone once said, “Pointing your finger at someone else only points three back at you”.  I just read my “Self-promise” and am now busy at self-improvement.  Have a great day filled with GOD’s blessing by doing HIS will by LOVING ’em ALL!  OK?  OK!

Be Prepared

We see evidence of a healthy Girl Scout presence with boxes of cookies on card tables outside grocery stores but not much evidence of Boy Scouts. I know troops exist or did exist until there was a furor over sexual preferences.  It is tragic that things get so bad that we lose an organization that was so good. I was a member of Titus County Troop 203, earning 20 merit badges and serving as Junior Assistant Scout Master over a five-year period. We had two troops in my town and would join with them and troops from other East Texas and Southern Oklahoma towns for a week’s camp, usually on Little River in Oklahoma.  Scoutmaster of 201 was Ed Enoch, a former Army Ranger in WW II.  Head man of 203 was Alan Wheeler.  Ed had lost  his right leg, below the knee and wore a ‘cork’ leg .  After our first day of activities (usually ‘war games’ with small paper sacks of flour. If one was hit with a bag, they would be covered with flour and were “killed” and out of the game. The object was to place a flag at each ‘army’s’ headquarters and the first army to steal the other flag won the war), anyway after our first day, we would gather ’round a campfire,  for our leaders to explain camp-rules. Ed would be seated in a camp chair with his right leg crossed over his left.  After giving us the strict orders of procedure, he would say, “Now, if anyone of you breaks any rule or causes us any problems, let me demonstrate just how dangerous that would be”, and at that moment he would reach around and bring an ice pick from behind him and jab it through the cork leg, continuing his lecture.   It always made an impression and brought misbehavior to a minimum, donchaknow.  I had no idea as to the ‘personal preferences’ of any of the leaders of the groups  I belonged to.  I had been taught the right thing to do and the right way to live by Sam and Mattie Austin.  There was never a danger of me being influenced into an alternate lifestyle.  Oh, sure, there was a lot of bragging by the ‘older scouts’ of their ‘conquests’, but that mostly embarrassed the rest of us. As a music major in college, I was aware of some of the guys choice, but I was conscious of the words in our Scout Oath and, for the most part, did all I could to live up to them. They’re worth repeating today, “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to GOD and my country; to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times and to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”  Now you follow that; live your life ‘prepared’ and adhere to the Scout Law: “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.”  And base all these tenants on  ‘Faith Base in GOD” and you pretty much can relax and know that that young man, when older, will do what is right and help make our country strong, donchaknow. OH, and one thing that is a bummer:  Girl Scout Cookie boxes are much smaller for a larger price, but they aren’t the only one. Amen?  AMEN

The TONEfederates

ToneFederates 1952 002The year was 1952. These four students had completed successful tours to high schools and musical events all over East Central Texas as The TONEfederates, Ambassadors of  Sam Houston State Teachers CollegeInow a University) in Huntsville, Texas.  L to R: Charles Ryan-Lead(Baytown, TX), Quay Weygandt- Tenor(Huntsville, TX), Jimmy Vann-Baritone(Rodessa, LA) and Jim Austin-Bass(Mount Pleasant, TX).  Virginia Irvin, a member of the Music Department, created and coached the group for the purpose of promoting the school, performing at high schools from the Gulf Coast to deep East Texas. Their smooth blend of Barbershop, gained them notoriety and resulted in “feature billing” in the Houston Barbershop Cavalcade, first performed at the Houston Music Hall and later in performances from Texas to Louisiana. The group shared ‘star-billing’ with the Buffalo Bills, International Champion Quartet of the SPEBSQSA.  Jimmy Vann was dating Roxy Lee at the time and her father, Virgil Lee, owned the Tomball Texas Telephone Company.  After hearing  the quartet at his Rotary club, he  took on the responsibility of promoting and funding the group for three years.  This group accompanied the Girls’  Choir of the college, directed by Virginia Lee, in their tours of schools brought about a bit of pressure in maintaining passing grades in all their courses(I had to ‘babysit’ my Psychology instructor’s grandson in order to earn a “C” which was my average, by the way) .  Touring with the quartet, Girls’ Choir, Bearkat Band and A Cappella Choir resulted in the biting of  the “performance bug” for me.  Up until three years ago, I had performed as a teacher, music minister, member of perfroming groups, soloist, broadcaster and actor in venues from coast-to-coast.  You can’t ask for more than that, donchaknow.  I thank GOD, daily, for keeping those groups safe over thousands of miles, both on the road and in the air.  Talk about a “Bucket List” !  GOD is GOOD!  Amen?  AMEN!

Caution!

 Believers Beware!  Joy and Peace and Prosperity are NOT guaranteed by GOD.  Holiness and Righteousness are not automatic. Deception and Lies are the statutes of Satan and his horde. Neither Beauty nor Handsomeness is important to GOD and since HE loves the scent of burning goat, a lovely voice does not Praise make. Would you attend a worship service if the Pastor wore overalls?  Would you welcome the unwashed, homeless to your Worship Service?  Where, in the Bible, does GOD guarantee our life on this earth will be without problems and trial?  Well, there are Millions who are enjoying constant ‘good news’ every Sunday and walking out assured that “It is Well With MY Soul”.  Above these pulpits should be a sign that reads,”Caution, Lies are Spoken Here!”  When you discover anything other than “JESUS CHRIST and Him Crucified, Buried and Risen” is preached, RUN!!  Here’s what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 6: 14 – 18 (ESV)

14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?15 What accord has Christ with Belial?[b] Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

” I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

17 Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”

There are those who will disagree, but I believe anything “Man-Made” is outside the Promise of GOD.  Salvation PLUS anything is a LIE! There are two television series running now that do not follow my interpretation of scripture. Those who are responsible for these productions have professed to be ‘Christians’, but I believe their productions contain Lies. One depicts JESUS as a seeker whose mission is explained by John the Baptist!  Another has John baptizing and as he lifts the person from the water, he announces, “This water has cleansed you from sin”? What is wrong with these examples? Are they true to Scripture?  Of course NOT!  JESUS states in the Gospel of John, “GOD and I are ONE”. The Bible teaches that GOD isn’t confused and “wondering”. JESUS always knew what HE was sent to earth to do. Baptism doesn’t SAVE, only the Cleansing Blood of CHRIST JESUS saves!  WE must know the TRUTH THAT SETS US FREE, and be courageous enough to ask questions and expect Biblical answers from all who expound as teachers and preachers. I miss this great Hymn: “There is a name I love to hear; I love to sing its worth. It sound like music to my ear, the sweetest name on earth.

OH, how I love JESUS! Oh, how I love JESUS! Oh, how I love JESUS, because HE first loved me!”  GOD Be Praised!

AMEN

Choices to Follow

There are choices open to us at election time. Complacency is counted on by politicians; That and emotions. We were trained to do research all through school and some into the university system. We have the ability to follow instructions and we certainly know when we are short-changed. We who earn, must be earnest and diligent on the job. We must take a test to qualify for sales license or drivers permits. We study in order to make the best choice, except when it comes to elections. Every politician who takes the seat behind the desk is ‘chosen’ as replacement by government or by election. We have a very important decision facing us in 2016. Since the Bible says:

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, ..”.(part of Romans 13 ESV)

It behooves us to do our ‘homework’. GOD has instructed all Believers to honor those in authority. Through intense research and prayerful meditation, I believe GOD, through the Holy Spirit, will guide our hands in the voting booth. It is not my intent to suggest any one candidate, but it is my prayer that GOD be in charge of which button I punch, donchaknow.

Elections are very exciting to me. I’ve not always “Let Go and Let GOD..”, but I shall do so in 2016. Without HIM I am in ERROR.  AMEN

Unexpected

GOD places unique gifts in some most unusual individuals. The BIBLE says that our gifts are from GOD to edify fellowship and PRAISE HIM through the utilization of same. Free Will can be applied in an abusive manner by misusng our gifts and that leads to disaster. It is my belief that our ‘gift(s)’ is/are innate abilities for which we have not trained, but those innate abilities may be honed through meditative study. Because our gifts are intended to complete worship, it would mean that our body of believers are continuing to build, based upon the willingness of each member or worshiper to utilize the GOD given Gift. Perhaps there are some who have not discovered their unique gifts and perhaps, even though an individual has realized his/her gift, the body of believers fails to accept that fact. I believe the failure is due to appearance or prejudice. I have been blessed by some very unique believers; one comes to mind. His name was Bobby. He and his family were members of a little country church a few miles from my home in East Texas. Bobby had Down Syndrome. He was eighteen years old and loved to sing hymns. I was assisting with a summer revival and during the song service, Bobby would sit on the front pew and accompany the hymn on his guitar. When the sermon began, I would go down and sit by him. We became very good friends over the course of the revival. Bobby hugged me right after the final service and said, “Thank You, Jim Austin.” I thought he was expressing his enjoyment of the revival. He then said, “You are my friend and we will sing together again in heaven.”  Glory, Glory! Bobby was simply tolerated by most of the church members, but in that moment, I knew I had been in the presence of angels. Bobby passed away within a year. I look forward to the glorious day when we do sing together, forever. I have made it my business to accept any and all who wish to participate in my choral groups. After that hug and loving epiphany by Bobby Ward, I can only think of the title of the book written by Dale Evans, “Angel Unaware”. They are all around us and it is up to us to accept their “Gift(s)”, otherwise they could apply them in the wrong way, donchaknow.

“Trust and Obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in JESUS, but to Trust and Obey”  Amen?