Spook would fetch

I just read a news item about a huge house cat named Spock.  It sounded like one we had in Vegas.  Spook, too, was a Main Coon. Spook was rather large and wild looking, but Spook was just simply unconcerned, not dangerous.  She didn’t approve of our Pom, Prince, nor did she have anything to do with our Siamese, Pearle.  Her big thing was to fetch a length of elastic in which my mother had tied a knot.  It was Spook’s favorite toy and was quite often a present laid on my chest in the middle of the night.  The first time, I tossed it into the hall outside our bedroom, only to have it returned to my chest. I played fetch with Spook for just a few tosses and she would then take it downstairs to play. Spook was supposed to be my step-daughter’s pet, but she preferred me.  I think cats and birds look for the one person who really doesn’t like cats or birds, and make them their target.  We also had a cockatiel bird named “Rainbow”, who loved tortilla chips and clipping Pearle’s whiskers. Somewhere I have a picture of Pearle sleeping with a paw over her nose. She continued to sleep that way, even after Rainbow was no more.  Incidentally, Rainbow was supposed to be a male talker, but laid an egg once…’twas a puzzlement. If any of you have ever had a Main Coon, I bet you could tell some interesting tales.  I believe GOD made pets to teach us things.  Cats, to teach individuality, dogs to teach loyalty and birds to make us glad they stay and poop outside.  That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.  AMEN

The Prayers that GOD despises

The Bible says:

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the LORD will not hear me” Psalm 66:18
“He that turns away his ear from the hearing of the law, his prayer shall be an abomination.” Proverbs 28:9

These two scripture verses should give the shivers to all who think that GOD hears their prayers.  “Hearing the law” is not listening to any other law than that of GOD.  “Iniquity in my heart” covers a plethora of sins.  A sinful heart that has not been cleansed by the shed blood of JESUS CHRIST cannot utter prayer that GOD will even listen to.  As a matter of fact, I believe prayers, that fall outside these perimeters, anger GOD.  Under no circumstance do I wish to do that, donchaknow.  Therefore, based on this supposition, there is a lot of prayer energy wasted.  There are many people who are angry with GOD since HE appeared to not listen to their prayer.  Their supplication didn’t have the result that they hoped, so they blame GOD, or even question HIS existence. These two verses explain why and there will those who may read this wading and still not heed what it says.  That is a regrettable fact.  I wish it weren’t so.  I wish that all would accept the Free Gift of eternal life in the presence of GOD.  There is a great old hymn that says, “For You I am Praying. For You I am Praying. For You I am Praying, I’m Praying For YOU.” …and I AM.  That’s what I get in My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN

The IRS “R” on US

Just this past week, I received four phone calls on our unlisted phone, from some lady threatening me with a lawsuit by the IRS.  I was told that I had to call a 204 area code number and follow instructions or else.  Each time the area code was the same, but the last 7 digits differed.  I had received such a call over a month ago and after having ‘up-close-and-personal’ experience with the Feds, I admit to a jump in blood pressure .  After hanging the phone up, I thought, “The IRS never ‘called’ me on the phone, they just sent an obviously notice with federal markings all over the envelope.  So I visited my browser and found that the scam was not uniquely my own.  I had a relative, by marriage, who retired from supervisory capacity at the IRS.  I attempted to discuss the bureau with him a few times, but he simply looked far away and continued smoking his pipe.  Indifference with an attitude of superiority would best describe Bill.  My first encounter was with a Federal Marshall with a big white cowboy hat, knocking on my door in Bryan. He had a document in his hand and said, “I am here to collect the $49.55 you owe the IRS.”  I had no idea just what the procedure was, but I recovered by asking, “May I see the notice?  We never received one.”  He backed up an said, “I must be at the wrong house, please excuse me, sir.”  And I did. While living in Vegas, our Hilton Hotel paycheck was ‘seized’ by the IRS in an attempt to collect  back taxes which I knew I owed and had been in negotiation with the IRS to pay.(things were not as accelerated then as today)  We immediately called the number and person with whom I was dealing and the funds were released. That case had been going on for years. My first ‘summons’ was while living in Houston. I was given a time to discuss ‘my file’ with an agent in nearby Hempstead, Texas. When I arrived, on time, I was told, “Have a seat”.  I had that seat for over 40-minutes and when summoned to a cubicle, I was asked, “What brought you to this office, today?”  I didn’t respond as I wished.  I simply said, “It must be a mistake if you don’t know”.  I left.  So, when I got my first threat, I had reason to be alarmed.  I believe the IRS to be a horse racing full-speed with the reins trailing and me hanging on the saddle horn, praying very seriously.  I believe GOD will take care of THEM, in every way. (I am changing my address to an old tenthouse in the woods with a dog, two white horses, two black horses and old oily rags) That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.  AMEN

Now it’s watching ” Johnny FALL”

There seems to be a bunch of folks who never did anything dumb or bad. They are mostly sitting in some studio, wearing thousand-dollar-suits with teleprompters, expounding on the mistakes of others, and liking it.  Not but two years ago, the entire sportsworld was in awe of a young athlete wearing a big “2” on his jersey, who along with his young college team, became a legend, over night.  Superlatives were created by the media and immediately he was projected into the most prestigious group of college athletes in the world. He was not Johnny Manziel anymore, but Johnny Football.  He was bigger than life and his excitement generated billions of dollars of improvement of the sports facility at Texas A&M University.  He immediately was the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy and become the first Freshman to do so. His play in the Aggie-Crimson Tide game, solidified the whole deal and Johnny Manziel/Johnny Football became Johhny Heisman.  He probably should have stayed another year at Aggieland, but decided to enter the NFL draft along with his favorite wide receiver, Mike Evans.  He did some dumb things and with all the media’s 24/7 coverage, it became big news. His value was not as it should have been and even though selected late in the first round, it didn’t have the hype or thrill I expected.  Now, after still another mistake or two, this once heroic football player is being treated like a pariah.  I really do not think the whole Cleveland Brown organization was in favor of the choice.  I do know that the media has just about done what Dandy Don Meredith once described and “Stick a fork in’em, he’s done”!  Shame on folks who take great pride in watching the stars fall.  I feel very badly for a bunch of men who throw themselves into the professional arena with a bulls eye on their backs, especially do I feel for the young ones who fail to hear the warnings of those who have been there. Maybe it’s hard to hear their  good advice with all the negative shouted by all the rest of us.  I do think that somewhere, back in their younger days, a bit more mentoring by parents would perhaps have saved all the pain.  GOD bless those with talent with more “Spieth-like” home life.  That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.    AMEN

Doors

I am reminded of the picture of JESUS standing outside a door, inspired by the scripture verse in Revelation 3:20(NIV): “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”   If you look closely, there is no outside knob on the door.  It must be opened from inside.  I have opened that door many times in many locations.  It seems I was always having to start over where JESUS was last seen.  I know HE is always with me, but the natural man seems to be able to ignore HIS presence, donchaknow. I suppose, like me, you have stood at many doors, yourself in anticipation of change and improvement, but most of those doors didn’t make things better, at all.  Outside a Worship Center, the best door I ever opened was the one at the Choral Room. I knew that was the door for me and I was at my best there, but alas my stiff neck and determination to “do it my way”, led to difficulties and escape. Regardless of the unpleasantness brought on by conflicts with authority, my labor of love was rewarded hundreds of times over by the students who loved choir as much as I did.  I had little problems with Travis Lipscomb and H. Wilson “Cheesy” Cook, but except for a few administrators for whom I substituted, it wasn’t until 2000 when I met a jewel.  Dr. Yavonne Walker was among the best elementary administrators I have ever met.  She believed in hiring the best and letting the best ‘do their best’, without interference.  I probably returned to my original most creative state there in North Las Vegas’ Fitzgerald Elementary.  For the first year-and-a- half, she was the boss and I soared just like I did in Bryan.  It was a HOOT!  Then, she developed hip-trouble and after surgery, was assigned elsewhere.  The last semester at Fitzgerald was like Bryan, ’59 -’72, all over again.  When the school was repainted with lead-based paint, it sent my COPD over the top and I was transferred to another school. That’s another story. Door after door has been my life and I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything, but could have mellowed some times, donchaknow.  That’s why my theme song now is “Wherever HE Leads, I’ll Go”. That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN

“Never Alone”, even though we are

Each morning I begin with a scripture for the day and read Adrian Rogers’ “Love Worth Finding”.  I wish I could write like that.  Regardless of the number of people around, there are times when I feel totally alone for whatever reason.  That’s what my mother called her “dark place”.  I must not be smart since whatever was clouding my mind always disappears when I turn my eyes toward JESUS.  Would I only do that first and forever, donchaknow.  Here is a wonderful lesson from Pastor Rogers:

All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” – Matthew 28:18-20

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:

Do you know what worry is? Worry is a mild form of atheism. It’s acting like God doesn’t exist. The great missionary David Livingstone took the Gospel to Africa and actually discovered and unlocked much of Africa. He lived a life of loneliness and danger. On January 14, 1856, surrounded by hostile people beating war drums like they were going to attack the next morning, he wrote in his journal: “Felt much turmoil of spirit in prospect of having all of my plans for the welfare of this great region and this teaming population knocked on the head by savages tomorrow.”

Sitting at his campfire, he knows what’s out there in the dark. Then he writes, “But I read that Jesus said, ‘All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth, go ye therefore and teach all nations, and lo I am with you always, even to the end of the world.’ This is the word of a gentleman of the most strict and sacred honor. I will not cross furtively as I had intended. Why should such a man as I flee? I shall take observations for latitude and longitude tonight. Though it may be the last, I feel quite calm now. Thank God.”

ACTION POINT:

Follow Livingstone’s example. Practice the presence of the Lord this coming year. You’re going to be tempted. Know that Jesus Christ never leaves us, never forsakes us. When the devil comes and knocks at your heart’s door, simply say, “Jesus, please go answer the door.”

I love this. when sin and trouble knocks, “JESUS, please go open the door”.   Now, that’s something good I get from My Box of Chocolates.    AMEN

 

Costas, Tark, Larry and Conrad

In the mid-eighties, Bob Costas had a five-minute sports report, sponsored by State Farm, that ran on many radio stations, coast to coast.  The programs were recorded and sent to each station from a production company in St. Louis.  The producer, somehow, got my name and offered me an assignment to record interviews with sports celebrities who were always appearing in the casino sports books.  My job was to prepare and ask the questions, recorded on a cassette and send it to them.  They then would edit my voice out and  Bob would record the same questions for the final production.  I enjoyed meeting the ‘stars’ and getting well-paid.  There were three interviews that I will never forget.  These celebrities were totally above doing interviews, but when I told them who they were for, they agreed.  The Running Rebels of UNLV were National Champs and their coach was bigtime. I interviewed Jerry Tarkanian in his palatial office atop the Thomas&Mack Colesium on the college campus.  The interview took a long time simply due to the fact that ‘Tark’ was on the phone with everyone from Federal Officials to Press Agents.  The next one was a HOOT.  Conrad Dobler was billed as the “dirtiest player”  in the NFL.  He was proud of the title and admitted to biting and spitting on opponents, as well as tripping and punching.  The one who impressed me the most was Larry Bowa.  He was managing the Las Vegas Stars, minor league baseball team, and was noted for a short temper and cold shoulder to the press.  I believe he and Billy Martin were at the top of the list of managers who were tossed out by umpires, numbers of times.  I was offered ‘double’ the usual talent fee if Larry would give the the time-of-day.  Since KORK was the flagship of the Stars and since they would call on me to sing the National Anthem whenever someone cancelled, he had to give in.  We had a great time. He was full of stories and had quite a sense of humor- just no love for the press.  I never got to meet Costas, but if his ego is a big as reported, I bet he would be a tough interview, himself. Fame has a Freakish effect on folks, donchaknow.  I wish all those who are, happiness and fulfilment.  That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.  AMEN