IMG_20160730_073625_hdr_kindlephoto-1368820881Born in 1931 at Rocky Branch, Texas

This is a most interesting study. Don is a two-time resident of the Village. He has had three wives, all deceased, and was married in our dining room the last time.  Don has not taken himself off the “eligible” list, even though there has been much discouragement by his neighbors. We recently had a wedding between ninety-year-olds and Don was to be the best man. He spent hours stressing over what to wear and was the driver of the two to Jefferson, Texas for their license. In his excitement, he left the license on the top of his car and drove all the way back to Longview before he realized it wasn’t with them. More hours of stewing and fretting, but when he and the groom-to-be returned to Jefferson, the license was already in an envelope to mail. Neighbors finally convinced the two to hitch before a Justice of Peace here in Gregg County and that took Don of the hook. The two are now happily married and alternately residing in one of two apartments. Don has been relieved of best-man duty and has once again made himself available. (I hear there is interest on the part of one of our ladies, so we shall see…). I have great affection for Don and he and I talk about spiritual things a lot. He assures me that he also has a ticket to ride and that’s the most important issue, donchaknow.  That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.     AMEN

Aunt Goldie

I just read the passage where JESUS said that it was difficult for a rich man to enjoy Eternal Life.  I know some folks who are very well off and I’ve been told by some that they spend sleepless nights worrying that someone would steal their wealth.  I come from a long line of solid folk who never were wealthy, but never went without needs met. One particular Aunt was my Aunt Goldie (Tabb) Bell.  She and my Uncle Rab never had much, but they reared a family of fine folk. After she lost my Uncle Rab and all her children were grown, Aunt Goldie and my cousin Sam, would take off in his old Ford and, with just a few dollars, travel the entire United States. They would drive until the tank was nearly empty, stop, buy $2 worth of gas, take a spit-bath in the restroom and ask everyone who stopped if there was some day’s-work around. They were pretty successful at finding something to do and spent most nights sleeping in the old Ford. Aunt Goldie even was a contestant on game shows, appearing twice on “The Price is Right”. She won prizes and took the money instead. Sam worked some, but most of their monthly income was from Social Security. The Bells never had much, but what they had was adequate and I bet there are some well-off folks who didn’t enjoy life as much.  For the last years of her life, my Aunt Goldie was bed-ridden, but she never failed to laugh and enjoy our visits. “Generous to a a fault” would describe the Tabbs and Aunt Goldie Bell lived it, day by day, well into her ninetieth year. When I feel a bit blue, I am lifted by the thought of just how my life has been blessed with gentle, kind, faithful folk. I shall never be wealthy, but in the more important things, I am very ‘well-off’, donchaknow. After all, I am part of The Family of GOD and my Daddy is rich!  That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.     AMEN

Fill ‘er Up!

We’re driving down the road and checking our gauges, all is well except our tank is about empty. I have been there and recall praying that there be a friendly service stop soon. Rest assured, I made that exit!  Driving down life’s road, it is dangerous to be near empty in ‘Spirit’, but it happens too  often, right?  Paul warned the Church in Ephesus to keep their spiritual tank FULL.

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” – Ephesians 5:18

If we place the word “Sin” in this passage, we get a crushing picture of conflict in spiritual condition.  What if there still be a bit of sin in our lives?  Does that mean that there is danger of “GODLESSNESS”?  Does Paul say that GOD is “All or nothing at all?”  OUCH! That hurts, donchaknow. Maybe this is a good day to sing this little song, “Into my heart, into my heart, come into my heart LORD JESUS! Come in today, come in to stay. Come into my heart, LORD JESUS”.  That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.     AMEN

Unity of Shame

I have a problem with what folks consider happiness and joy. I love a good laugh as much as anyone, but when it comes to exuberance, I believe we miss the boat. There is no perfect man nor woman in our leadership pool.  We act like that isn’t so, but my BIBLE says that we all have sinned and fall short.  ALL means ALL. Our nation has long been blessed with what can only be Merciful Grace from a Loving GOD. We certainly have not been loyal and truly obedient to HIM. The majority acts like there is no reason to even consider HIS WILL and that is worrisome, yet to the remnant, TRUTH is revealed and it’s up to us to follow it. I have made it a daily project to study my neighbors here at the Village. A few are gloriously happy and upbeat, but most simply exist. Loneliness is devastating to everyone, but to the elderly it is tragically in control. Our history reveals the turning of too many corners. Even though we consider our nation to be the strongest and most blessed, we are comparing it to the rest of the world and the rest of the world is barely breaking the ‘poor’ scale. Shame on those who should know better. We should be standing firm on FAITH in the MERCY and GRACE of GOD, not leaning on the shoulders of sinful mankind. The Bible has a verse that suggests to those who will , “Look to the Author and Finisher”. Shame on us for failing to do so, every second of every day. That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.     AMEN


JESUS said that Heaven was “childlike”.  When we all were young, we had dreams of lemonade trees and chocolate hail stones, but all of our wildest imaginings will never quite be as glorious as our eternal life with HIM.  Even at my age – ripe old age, donchaknow – I am a bit childish in my wants.  I love airplanes. I have wanted to fly an airplane all my life. I even tried to join the Army Air Corps (now the Air Force), but I saw “Onion”!  I wanted to fly lighter than air planes or gliders, but never took the time. I finally settled on building radio control ‘birds’ and plastic models. I tried balsa models, but they never looked right. And then came drones!  For a long time I desired a drone. I had good places to fly one in North Carolina, but was convinced that I could be a dangerous pilot. Now, on my own, I am proud to announce that I have my own drone. I justified the purchase by thinking of the fun my grandson, Austin and his Dad, would have. Once I get to The Colony, I will fly my own drone and it has video and ‘return home’!  I shall return to my childhood for just about 8-minutes at a time. I am very excited to experience flying by remote control again. As much as that joy will be, it cannot hold a candle to the flite reservation I have through my LORD JESUS CHRIST. A drone may be a wonderful toy, but soaring like an eagle is the ultimate HIGH, donchaknow.  Get your ticket to ride and come along when the flite leaves. The price of the ticket has the ultimate discount of “FREE”!  It’s already paid for by FAITH. That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.      AMEN



Holler “Calf Rope”!

When I was a youngster, every disagreement that lead to a scuffle, was usually ended when one of the ‘scufflers’ yelled “Calf Rope”(‘I Give UP’).  The contest ended with one victorious and the other a loser.

We are conditioned to never give up. Surrender is a dirty word, yet in Romans, Paul lists a bunch of things to ‘give up’. Every one of them is caused by sin.

Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” (Romans 6:13 KJV)

So, giving up is good when the giving up is to GOD, donchaknow. The entire chapter is good to meditate on. Take time to read Romans 6 and listen to what GOD has to say to you. It will be well worth the few minutes of your time. I believe it may further convince us that it is really good to yell “Calf Rope” to GOD. That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates. AMEN

The Beginning and The End

We stumble around, looking for answers to the mystery of our lives. We look in books, in periodicals and on the internet for something that men write, it doesn’t satisfy the need so the search continues. In the Gospel of Hebrews, Paul gives us the perfect place to find answers to our problems. “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…” Hebrews 12:2

Since GOD wrote and ends the whole story, why are we searching elsewhere?  Is unbelief so prevalent?  You know the answer to THAT.  YES!  The world is lost. Natural man is in turmoil. Evil lurks around every corner and darkness of the soul prevails. BUT, and this is a good BUT-with FAITH, we can walk through all the duress and difficulty. We can look to our LORD JESUS for our safe passage. AND, even if death or devastation comes, our souls will rejoice and live forever under HIS WINGS. Life’s Story will only have a happy ending for those covered by the soul-cleansing blood of JESUS CHRIST. Faith began with GOD and through HIS SON, it lives in me, right now and forever!  That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN

Ready, Set, GO! (post 501)

I haven’t been listening well enough to hear this lately. As a younger man, I always knew there was another goal to cross; another project to complete; another chance to win. As an older man, I get used to thinking that I am out of the race, but the Apostle Paul wrote: “..Let us run with patience the race that is set before us”(Hebrews 12:1) and since I am still around, that mean’s me! Here at the Village, it is very easy to simply coast through the day enjoying three-meals-a-day and a comfortable place to vegetate. But, since I am still here and there’s a new day every morning, then there’s still a race to be won. I should know that since two of my neighbors just took out a marriage license at the age of 91. Now, you tell me that ‘it’s all over’!  The key word in Paul’s orders is ‘patience’. That means that we stick to the task, regardless of the mileage and regardless of the terrain. We just do it, but first we’d best know what ‘it’ is. That’s the patience part, donchaknow. We’re all in GOD’s Track Meet and the race is still on. We still must pass and grab the baton! See you at the Finish Line!  That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN




As For Me and My House

Joshua met oppostition and declared, “You serve whomever you choose, bur for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord”.  Serving GOD has its downside. Regardless of how one feels, there are many more who disagree and will do whatever it takes to change your mind.  I am an avid football fan. Football is the sport of choice and the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Aggies and Philadelphia Soul are my favorites. I have received flak from some and unfortunately, there are members of my immediate family who have other teams as their favorite, but toleration, even though it demands effort, toleration is evident in my response. I am big about my druthers and accept the error of the other’s ways, donchaknow. Even with the approach of another NFL and College season and the culmination of another Arena Football season, I shall stand firm on what GOD says and prayerfully cast my vote in the coming election. Flawed though the process may be, it comes down to a choice. GOD granted me the freedom to make up my own mind and in studying HIS WORD, the choice is clear. The path we are trodding is extremely dangerous and the outcome is critical. Now, with only two candidates, I am at peace with my decision to cast my one vote and leave the results up to GOD.  HE is my HOPE, my only Hope. I pray that there be no mistake this time, ’cause the clock is ticking.  That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.    AMEN

The Holy Spirit Has Left the Building

I do not believe The Holy Spirit is in an empty church. I believe The Holy Spirit is brought in by those who believe and live a Christian life.  Satan and his minions ‘believe’, but they certainly are not Christlike.

Dr. Carl Bates said years ago: “If the Holy Spirit were to suddenly die [now, of course, you know that’s impossible. He cannot die] but “if the Holy Spirit were to suddenly die, most of our churches would meet next Sunday and go right on and never know the difference.”

I believe The Holy Spirit visits worship where those who have Him in their hearts, gather.  I’ve always thought that people in attendance are each individual ‘churches’ and their whole is where GOD resides.  Spiritual power cannot be created, regardless of the shouting and posturing. Sometimes all the noise overcomes the ‘still small voice’.  The touch of The Master is like a feather stroking one’s heart. There is a great old hymn that says, “Take the name of JESUS with you”. Unless another has already entered in HIS name, HE’s not there until you arrive. That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN