Here and Now

Another thing I have learned, here at the Village, is that most live in the past. I will constantly hear of husbands or wives who have passed away. Reliving youth or career and how good those ‘old days’ were are very popular. The future is a dark corner where the unknown lurks. Yesterday and tomorrow are longed for, but NOW is “Woe is me”. What is past and what is ahead are two days that are totally lost. We’ve done the past and can’t do the future, but we can do the NOW.  Right here, right now, I can make a difference in doing something that will glorify GOD and make today a better place for myself and others. Right there, where you are, if you are concerned with yesterday and stressed over tomorrow, Get REAL! Come on, MAN! I am not selling a beverage, but there was an alcoholic product slogan that fits…”You Only Go Around Once in Life”.  GUSTO for now is good, donchaknow. GOD has blessed us with ‘here and now’ and we’d best not waste it!

That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.       AMEN

That’s Why The Lady Is A Champ

GOD insists that a man be the spiritual leader around his house, but our amperage is less than capable.  GOD made dirt, took a handful, created man, gave him specific duties and the ability to perform them, but HE didn’t include discernment of the danger of seduction. GOD recognized a need for man, so HE anesthetized him, took one of his bones and made a woman. GOD waked the man and when man opened his eyes he fell head-over-heels in love and sang the very first love song. GOD knew the power of seduction and warned the man of its danger. GOD had given man and woman everything they needed to spend their entire lives glorifying HIM, but HE gave them free will to make choices of action and I believe the Lady became the Champ right then. Man went around doing stuff, inspired by  the lovely creature at his side.  The lovely creature loved man so much, she began to look for things that would make his life better. GOD provided every need, warning them of the terrible danger of eating one certain fruit. Every day, as they walked around the tree, she couldn’t ignore the beauty and aroma of the luscious fruit so, as the man moved on to the next task,  she paused, reached up and took just one and the first delicious bite of siful weakness was more than she could resist.  The woman couldn’t wait to share her find with the man. GOD had installed discernment, and the man knew not to eat of it, but the allure of the woman kicked in his natural desire and(I believe) that was the first “Big Bang”!  The turmoil of life began right then and the woes of motherhood and discernment of man’s weaknesses, made the Lady the Champ. (Here’s where my opinion comes into play) I believe, even though it takes two, the woman faults the man for the nine month experience, resulting in painful childbirth and man is unable to deal with, and overcome, the consequence of blame.  I believe that’s why The Lady is The Champ, donchaknow. Take it or leave it, that’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.     AMEN or “OH MY!”


Please Help Me I’m Falling

Television has some commercials that show an elderly person sprawled on the floor and “Help me! I can’t get up”.  As a member of that august body, I can feel for them.  I’ve not taken a fall but once and that was when I failed to follow an abrupt turn at the bottom of the stairs.  Thank GOD, I haven’t lost my balance and fallen like some of my neighbors. It’s not unusual to hear a loud thump, especially in the early morning. Fortunately, there isn’t the appearance of an emergency vehicle each time. Christians fall a bunch, but scripture assures us that even if it’s the last fall here on earth, GOD never drops us. HE has super hands, donchaknow.

When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. (Psalm 94:18-19NIV)

I simply do not ‘pack up’ well.  I am totally disgusted with my clutter, but it escapes me as to what I do about the whole mess. Relocating is not the problem, the problem is preparing. My daughters graciously come to my rescue, accepting my shortcomings and that still doesn’t prevent anxiety, donchaknow.  If I could snap my fingers and say “Gig ’em” and suddenly be transported to my next stop, I would have done that before now, so this passage in Psalm is most applicable to me. We all go through this at some time or another and, unfortunately, we fail to apply the truth. we have a built-in “worry button” and only FAITH in GOD’s WORD can disconnect the turkey buzzard. The simple reason for our distress is that we fail to spend time with HIM. That’s the reason I reach in every day. Those mountains made out of mole hills keep jumping into my field of vision. My Box of Chocolates contains delicious delicacies made by the loving hands of My Master, donchaknow. You have a box of chocolates, made especially for you. It’s on the shelf marked, “THE HOLY BIBLE”.  AMEN


The Slowly Closing Door

In July 1905, arriving at 13809 Falconcrest Drive in Highland Creek, Charlotte,  I stepped out of my brother-in-law’s car, and thought to myself, “This is the last house for me. This is IT!”

Famous last words are sometimes left hanging and I try not to hang on to the past. Mistakes are there and even though most are forgiven, there still is a whisper of hurt.  GOD assures us that once amends have been attempted and repentance has been included, there is little need to visit there, but…… . Sin Shouts.  I do have time to contemplate now and as a special door comes to a close, I wonder.  Over thirty-years-ago, the door to the future opened widely to a beautiful garden. I walked that garden and stopped to smell the roses. The path was easily followed, but there were times when I strayed and probably stepped on budding flowers, not purposefully, but I did so just the same.  I must have done that enough to leave falllen petals behind and cause pain and resentment to build a fence all around. Actions  speak louder than apologies. I can’t go back . I can only stand here, sadly,  and watch the door gradually closing.  I share this painful truth, not for any other reason than to say, “Stop! Stand still and listen to what GOD has revealed in your quiet time with HIM.”  If you’ve been remiss in spending quiet time, correct that mistake. As I stopped to smell the roses, I should have stood still and applied lessons learned. I should have  considered my next step and weighed it’s consequence, donchaknow.  It’s tragic to be part of the team closing the door through omission. But, wait!  Without looking back, there is a new path ahead.  There is a beautiful vista with fresh flora, placed just for me to care and enjoy. A new garden! Perhaps this one will support gardenias and tulips, along with the roses. I love gardenias and tulips. Mercy and Grace, abounding!  I shall be warmed by the good memories and get excited by those to come. This curtain falls, but there’s another one slowly rising, just ahead.  Praise GOD! That’s what I get from my Box of  Chocolates.    AMEN

It Ain’t Necessarily So…But

“I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.” Psalm 116NIV

Answered prayer isn’t always what I expect, but that doesn’t stop me from praying. I even lift a few wants and I must be cautious on those, donchaknow. My granddaughter is a living example of answered prayer. Diagnosed with cancer a few years back, hers was a result that astounded the medical profession. Thank GOD, her follow ups are the same. This miracle lady has been blessed with intelligence and conviction. She has very high marks from every supervisor. She is one who would be rehired without hesitation. She has just been given the perfect opportunity to be witness with those who have turned life-corners in the wrong direction. She begins as a Probation Officer next month and our family is praising GOD for the wonderful answer to prayer. We were prepared for whatever came, simply because we TRUST in an OMNIPOTENT GOD, donchaknow!  HE never makes a mistake and HE certainly didn’t make one this time. GOD IS SO GOOD!  He gave me KIM! That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.    AMEN


Joe and Gloria

I must share folks who have had an impact on my life. For those who wade with me, whenever you find a title with proper names, chances are you have found one. I realize the most interested will be close friends and family, but when the spirit moves, so do I.

Joe and Gloria have left us. He has been transferred to another facility and Gloria has retired.  The Corporation, of which Colonial Village is a property, has a record of moving management around and it saddened all of us that they did so with Joe.  The Regional Manager was upfront with the change and even though there were unhappy faces at the meeting, it proved to be an improvement in on-the-job responsibility for Joe. He and Gloria have a home here, (Gloria grew up here) and with more days off for him, they come for a visit often. I am relieved that the move has proven a good thing for my friend, but I shouldn’t be surprised since there was a bunch of praying when we were told. It would appear that the couple sent to replace them, will be good for us also. That’s a win-win-reason for us to Glorify a Loving and Gracious GOD, donchaknow. Never doubt your prayers will go unanswered, and a few go your way. That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN.

They called him “Flop”

My grandfather Austin was a master finish carpenter. He had a huge, well equipped shop behind the house. It was there that he created patterns for homes that graced winding stairs, porches, cornice and builtins. I have a small side table he built nearly a century ago. Many an hour did I spend in Papa’s workshop, just nailing boards together. Sometimes I would climb a very tall ladder and gather squab (baby pigeons) for dinner. Papa could eat his weight in squab, whole fried perch, possum and Momma’s “POHDOO” (delicious bread pudding). (yes, possum!) I couldn’t handle the greasy possum, but I could match him on that bread pudding. On the facing of the door to the shop was an interesting symbol. It had been painted in white with pretty good letters. It looked like this:


“Your Uncle Jack did that when he was in high school”, Papa explained. I could understand the symbol as “J A”, but, FLOP? Papa smiled and said, “Jack could never keep his hair from flopping on his forehead”(hereditary).  I loved my Uncle Jack and even though he wasn’t the most dependable man,  he loved his family and we loved him, warts and all. One of the biggest mistakes was when he took a five-and-a-half pound bass my Dad caught, out to a friend’s house to show it off. We never saw that ‘John Bass’ again. Uncle Jack didn’t dare come around my Mother for a long time. It seems he and his friend ate that bass for supper. Fortunately, I have a picture of that monster, somewhere. Sadly, Jack Austin suffered the temptation of whiskey and died before he was fifty. He may not have been the most successful of men, but my Uncle Jack was not a flop to me. Never without a funny story and a healthy guffaw at his own tales.  That was my Uncle Jack Austin and that’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.     AMEN

Free and Clear

Picture 9After a good night’s sleep and a superb breakfast, how can I but shout out loud? Today is the first day of the rest of my life and my life is a HOOT!  Before leaving the Village, I have encouraged my neighbor, Wanda, to proceed with our Old Time Radio series. We had a ‘reading’ yesterday and for a cast of six, we had two show up. One was there out of curiosity and the other out of excuses. Wanda made overtures to specific prospects and the results are yet to be determined. Our first OTR production of a 1950 radio script of “Father Knows Best” was a whopping success and interest was high, but things have settled down, back to the ‘ho-hum’ routine of bingo and three-meals-a-day. I thought I might share a ‘selfie’ of total comfort and peace. Que Cera! I see the nearby curtain lifting to reveal a new home, and even though it will be with some regret to leave my neighbors here at the Village, I am needed elsewhere and have answered another call. This is a great day, donchaknow. GOD has more for this wader, so I roll up my pant-legs and and go wading!  That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.    AMEN

Give Unity A Hand

A hand is an interesting study.  It can demonstrate the basic problem of people who are controlled by ‘self’.  It is a perfect example of the isolationism that will destroy our nation. It will demonstrate just what ails a nation gone astray. It has caused disunity in families, companies, armys, navys, associations and just about every organization, especially church bodies. But, when the members love one another, it can make a fist of bonding and togetherness, dedicated to the proposition that all opinions matter in the power of GODLY love for one another. Maybe it’s alright to lift HOLY FISTS in peace and unity of PRAISE.  That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN

The Brotherhood of Man

Peace on earth is a 24-7 thing. Peace on earth is humanly impossible. There is a song we used to sing that ended with, “….and let it begin with me”. It never has, nor will it happen. Unity that leads to total peace requires complete surrender of “I”. “ME” can’t happen until we lose “I”, donchaknow. That’s where GOD comes in, through the power of the Cross. Holy Hands, across the abyss of sin is our only HOPE and through those grasps must flow love, outwardly and unceasingly.

There is strength in the name of the Lord
There is power in the name of the Lord
There is hope in the name of the Lord
Blessed is He, who comes in the name of the Lord”

That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates. AMEN and AMEN

(For a positive report of taking on the over-regulated government, read this week’s Congressman Mark Walker of North Carolina’s “The Walker Report”.  Praise GOD for persistence.)