You know there was a time when I could sing. And even though the time may have passed, I still have a song in my heart. And, this morning I thought I would share one with you.

My Father is omnipotent, and that you can´t deny;
A God of might and miracles, ´tis written in the sky.

It took a miracle to put the stars in place;
It took a miracle to hang the world in space.
But when he saved my soul,
Cleansed and made me whole,
It took a miracle of love and grace.” (John Peterson)

Love, Mercy and Grace. That’s GOD the Father who made us all for a purpose. May you have a miraculous day today, serving a Loving, Omnipotent Maker. And that’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates, donchaknow. AMEN

A Bunch of James

James the Sign PainterMy first breakfast here at Colonial Village, was table 32. Tom, James and James welcomed me and we’ve become close friends. Tom was a decorated paratrooper in WWII. James did too many jobs to describe here. My other James moved to assisted living yesterday. This James was the sign painter. His daughter and son-in-law drove out from Midland to help him move his furnishings, shelves and stacks of cardboard. James made hats and life-size jukeboxes from cardboard.  The jukebox was so real-looking, it was used in a local university play. James will  be missed and the other James and Tom and Lou and Art and I will miss him most. Please put James on your prayer list. His mind is a terrible thing to waste, donchaknow. That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN

Every Whichaway

James 5:19-20 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.(NIV)

The day I felt the loss of a sense of balance was the day I placed my Blue Eagle, 150cc cycle on Craig’s list.   Then the day I pulled out into oncoming traffic and survived without mishap, I knew it time to become the permanent passenger. “The wandering from the truth” was noted by family and, even though it irritated, I knew it was for the best. I do not find it comfortable to  have my shortcomings pointed out by others, but Mattie and Sam didn’t raise a dummy. Having someone else in charge can be a bit frightening.  I have noticed that they seem to be going a bit too fast, especially on curving roads.  I’ve learned to be ‘tacit’ and hold on to something.  I realize James was addressing the danger of continuing in a sinful state, but it also applies to losing my way when driving.  I also find that that lack of responsibility provides opportunity to suggest the right direction when the one doing the driving is a bit confused. It’s best to be patient and wait for them to realize their mistake before asking, “Where are we going?”.  You must know just when to do that, donchaknow.  GOD makes it possible for us to be ready to share the truth, lovingly without a hint of judgement.  For that I am most thankful and a much better passenger.  That’s what I get from my Box of Chocolates.   AMEN

A bit of a brag, if you please

Thankful is a permanent state of mind for me.  I do not deserve the wonders of GOD’s GRACE and blessings.  I am totally undeserving of it all.  For those of you with whom I ‘performed’, Thank You!  For those of you who have blessed my life with your unlimited, unending friendship, I am humbly grateful. For my entire family, natural and extended, what a Joy you have been in my life. For my children and their children, I thank a Loving GOD every minute of every day.   Now, comes the ‘bragging bit’:  GOD couldn’t have presented me with a greater bevy of beautiful babies!  All grown and contributing greatly to society,  my “Honor Roll” contains the names:

Martha and her beautiful daughter, Kim; Steven and Kim and their precious children-Ilysa, Trammel and Quincy; An d’Lis, Darren and their two sons, Jordan and Jason; Jeanie and Alan with their twins, Marilyn and Austin.

I now live alone, however never ‘alone’.  I have a most supportive family located very near my single room here in Colonial Village.  I have made very special friends in just the few days and with those added blessings, how could I but shout and sing, “Glory to His Name”?  It is my mission to spread as much Joy to this World, beginning with my neighbors (some of whom have no one to be joyful with). There are some beautiful spirits abounding in CV, but there are some do not see it.  I am attempting to organize a chorus with the plans to perform on July 4 and December 24.  I am learning to be an encourager for so many who have lost the joy of music.  I am detemined to overcome, “I can’t sing”.  I am convinced that a knowing and loving GOD gave  us a voice and HE will smile when each of my singers lift their voice in Praise and Pure Happiness.  Whoever will may come and make joyful noise, in key or out.  GOD will tune, donchaknow.  Pray for The Golden Voices of Colonial Village.  I will appreciate it and GOD will bless  you for the effort.  That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN



A Person of Interest

I think this to be an extremely interesting subject.  It is a pablum-like description used by law enforcement.  It doesn’t call someone a ‘suspect’, but it might as well.  Innuendo is injurious.  The slightest suggestion is all that is necessary to ruin one’s reputation. If you have been the victim of ‘identity theft’, you know how it feels to be forced to prove who ‘you’ are when someone has taken advantage by ‘claiming’ to be you. I have a person of interest who is still somewhere out there, attempting to use my identity to steal and cheat. I have a file that fills an expanded file-folder that represents months of effort to prove who I am when the POI simply used my personal identity to open bank accounts all over. This same person has been successful in using ‘me’ to have satellite television installed in two more cities since the first near-disastrous attempt.It would be easy to truly despise this man, but he, like others who perpetrate crime on innocents, will pay a most severe price, unless he does what my ‘Most Special Person of Interest’ teaches.  I pray for those who find it satisfying to take what is not theirs. I pray for those who have no conviction and regret. GOD has said that HE is the Judge and for me to leave it up to HIM.  Now, that describes my most special POI, donchaknow. There’s an old country song that says it very well. “Please release me, let me go”.  When animositiy and feeling the need for revenge or ‘getting even’, comes along, I can sing that simple phrase and all of that garbage lifts and never falls back. My “Special Person of Interest” takes care of it and that’s that. Praise GOD, HE never fails!  That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN

Is it the “Ch”?

Chicago seems to get most of the news when it comes to firearm violence, but Charlotte must be running a close race.  It seems that every morning reveals another bevy of gunfights.  If not that, it’s some rumbling at one of the public schools, including elementary. The Internet reports over 50,000 incidents of gun violence and all that seems to do is result in more rhetoric about “Gun Control”.  Too bad that we will never really know what a difference “Parent” control would have made.  I believe there to be a lack of taking serious ‘addressing’ of some posteriors over the past few years.  Freedom of speech must have a limit when it comes to ‘smart mouth’ and personal freedom must have a limit also.  Something other than peanut allergy has come our way and it is not getting better.  It would be of interest to assess the number of handgun violence occurring nightly in cities whose name begins with “Ch”. donchaknow. I had a Police Special .38 back in my ‘Guard’ days at Lone Star Steel.  While taking a few shots at the plant rifle range, I discovered it best to use a 20-gauge than the pistol.  I also learned that the westerns at the Texan on Saturdays didn’t tell the truth as to the effective range of a handgun. I also learned that grown men could lose toes while demonstrating their “Fast Draw”.  A pistol on one’s hip was ‘manly’, but best to be left there. That’s what I get from my Box of Chocolates, donchaknow.  Thank the Good Lord, I got my pistol-packing days over with over 40 years ago.   AMEN

Another Day at the Rodeo.

Sam Houston State Teachers College is no Sam Houston State University.  Back when SHSU was SHSTC, there was an event held that not only drew thousands of visitors, it raised the price of everything from gasoline to grape soda.  Each Sunday in October there was a rodeo held in the arena at Huntsville State Penitentiary, attended by thousands. They parked all over folk’s yards, trashed our town and left without a bit of consideration for those who resided there.  Sam Houston students rather disliked the rodeo and the rodeo’ers.  They saw a great show, however. There was very little to care for on the part of the inmates.  A time spent in the infirmary, from getting bashed around by wild bulls, was a small price to pay for a few days rest under clean white sheets. Rodeos were held every Sunday in October from 1931 until late 1980.  The deterioration of the arena and the half-million-dollar cost of refurbishment, was too much for the facility to remain. Attempts to resume failed and the whole thing became a historical memory.  For all the students attending Sam Houst0n, the cessation was a joyful time to enjoy a good meal at a good price in downtown eateries.  The rodeo got some positive press as it was featured in the movie, “Urban Cowboy” with John Travolta, Debra Winger and Scott Glenn.  It was during the filming of that movie that a disguised John Travolta attended our show at the Tower Theater in Houston. My friend, Ed Geldart, played Travolta’s father in the film. I never had a desire to attend a rodeo, ever.  Even though UnAmerican, that and auto racing has no interest for me, at all. That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN

Hardened Hearts

Once the concrete sets it’s too late. I’ve learned that our hearts can become hardened long before our arteries. If the glass is half-empty chances are depression is right around the corner. A hardened heart is the direct by-product of smelling only bad smells. I believe in the miracle of a mind on GOD’s positive promise plateau, donchaknow. That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN

“En” vs. “Dis”


Prefixes and suffixes are fascinating, donchaknow.  They change a word totally.  For example, Courage is something we admire and seek to show. It can be found in sports, war, danger or simply in silence.  JESUS was quietly courageous HIS entire life.  HE had the power to do anything to anybody, anywhere and anytime, but HE chose meekness and humility instead.  What I am thinking about now is what “en” and “dis” do to the meaning of “courage”.  You know how often I quote Pastor Adrian Rogers, well here is one of his best:

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;  Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Someone has well said that discouragement is a darkroom where the negatives of fear and failure are developed.

Some people are encouragers and others are discouragers. Have you ever met a discourager? They’re like a drink of water to a drowning man. They can brighten up a room by leaving it. They leave you drained and depressed.

But an encourager leaves you full and refreshed. God has cornered the market on encouragement. All encouragement comes from God. You’re never more like God than when you’re encouraging people and never more like the devil than when you are discouraging people.

Find a needy person and enrich him; a lonely person and include him; a misunderstood person and affirm him; an undiscovered person and develop him; a failing person and restore him.

I grew up in the shadow of a an expert in encouragement.  Samuel Wade Austin was a magnet for folks who simply needed a friend who would walk through fire with them.  From the time I became aware of the qualities of my Dad, I was amazed at the affection and sense of loyalty the various men of his ‘crew’ showed him.  I also witnessed that same spirit in my wife’s father, William Chestley(Pete) Broussard.  What a witness of positive these men were.  Pete had men who followed him from job to job, all over the world.  Dad had men who never failed to report wherever there was a house to build. My mother kept count of the number of quality homes he contracted and completed.  Including many that bear the State of Texas Historical seal, there were over 200 (sometimes there would be 20 at-a-time).  He also supervised crews building army camps all over the south. I have made every effort to be just such an encourager.  I’ve not done as well as I would have liked since I suffer just a bit of depression, but I have tried.  If there is one thing I leave behind, it is that memories will have more smiles than frowns.  And that’s what I get from my Box of Chocolates.  “There’s Power in the Blood of the man called JESUS!”  AMEN

Hearing is Believing

I have met the enemy and he is deaf! Three previous instruments couldn’t compare to the ones I had demonstrated at Sam’s Club yesterday!  Just as soon as I can, these will be my choice. When Paul Jay threw that  switch, Heeeelawsie!  The Sounds of life are so sweet. That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.  AMEN