..To the sound of a different drum

Thank GOD for ‘individuality’! I just spent three days with my Austin family in Bryan, and even though we all march to the sound of a different drum, we are united by the common thread of love and respect. It isn’t easy for their mother and I to not interfere with their life choices, but THANK GOD, they have all come through honorably and successfully. Too many years shouting ‘Hurt!’ will become a marching song without surrendering to the will of our Omnipotent GOD. Praise HIM for bringing about changing hearts and willingness to forgive. Regardless of the forget, forgiveness will always win out when we place our Faith in the LOVE of JESUS CHRIST! I shall always be blessed by a loving son who lit one little candle. I would love to show you the reasons for my pride and joy, but I respect their privacy too much to follow through. Any photos taken will probably be shared on Facebook by the takers. I am reminded of the great old song (one that was on ‘the charts’ some years back) “It is no secret, what GOD can do”…..I am convinced that with more people ‘forgiving’, things would be so much better, but that will most likely be the case in Eternal Presence, donchaknow, really. That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates. AMEN

Make Believe is Unbelief

Have you ever, quietly and sincerely, thanked GOD for everything and everybody, good or bad, liked or disliked, rich or poor, ugly or attractive? Have you ever began with “YOU’? I came face to face with ‘me’ and took a look through GOD’s eyes and here’s what I learned:
I was at the top of the list of ‘deplorables’. I was in the champion’s list of bad, disliked, poor (in spirit), and ugly. As a matter of fact, I led the whole bunch. I say I ‘was’ (and still am) hitting 1000, without JESUS. It suddenly occurred to me that “Greater is he that is in the world, without HE that owns the world”. I’ve had some great times when I should have been on my knees in gratitude to HIM who provides, but I soaked in ‘self’ and missed the real Blessing, donchaknow, really. I’ve shared how doors opened and I walked in confidently. I’ve shared how great all that turned out, but it breaks my heart that, at the time, I failed to give GOD and HIS SON, credit. That was sinful arrogance and total disobedience to HIM, yet there is Mercy and Grace and that’s what I am living under. Praise GOD, a prodigal no more! As we approach the celebration of the Greatest Gift to mankind, here is what I believe: IF you do not have JESUS in your heart; if you’ve never asked HIM in, then you’d better do it, otherwise your heart belongs to the god of the world. That is really BAD, no ifs or buts about it, and it isn’t Santa’s List of Good or Bad that is important! That’s not what I get from any Box of Chocolates, that’s what I get from GOD, through HIS WORD. AMEN

My Lionel Train

Other than the my most precious Christmas gift from GOD, I recall my Lionel Train with whistle and smoke. It was made more special when my Daddy got down in the floor to run it. On a short, oval track, this little engine and its three cars, controlled by a transformer connected by two wires clamped to the track. It gave me hours of enjoyment. Of course, I had no idea as to the cost of one. According to Lionel History, the one I had cost a whopping $42.50 and today it would cost over $1100.00. No wonder I had to wait six years to have Santa put one under our tree. Sadly, I never truly considered just how big a sacrifice my parents made, just to provide things I ‘wanted’. It always seemed to be easy since I never did without. I seem to recall giving my son that train, but perhaps that, like many memories, was more a wish than an actuality. I do know that had I kept all the toys and such in good shape, none of us would have to go to work, donchaknow, really. The only thing I now have from my early days is a table built by my grandfather that is just over 100-years old. A bit rickety and in need of repair, but still in use. Photographs from long ago have already been distributed to my children, along with memories recorded by our family. Do you remember a time when the real reason for celebration was foremost in people’s minds? I do, and I wish that everybody did, really. That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN

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It has been years since I bought a new suit. I  believe it was over 15 years ago, at least. At that time, I recall being most upset that my waste-line had changed drastically. I never thought about my girth until, when my son saw me a few years ago, he began to exercise faithfully. I now would make a very nice Santa. I’ve tried to ‘walk’ as directed, but with only just less than a third lung capacity, it is very painful and I do not do well with pain, so leave it to be said that I would never be featured by any of the national Men’s Wear commercials. That brings me to my point:

Why are all the models so skinny they disappear when they stand sideways?  What does that say to most of the ‘portly’ gentlemen?  What difference does it make? None, of course. I put it in the same category as Santa flipping his sleigh for a sports car or the Lincoln commercials when Matthew Mcconaughey dresses to the nines only to walk out to a swimming pool and fall in backwards. What does that say, any how? It must say something for the advertising agency to give him a choker of a contract, donchaknow, really. Oh well, so much for all this about waste-lines and wasted time. I will share my discovery of some very good Netflix fare from BBC. I’ve shared Wallander and re-runs of their Sherlock Holmes, but there are two more you might check out: “Foyles War” and “The Crown”. “Bully!” as they say over tea and crumpets. Well, I’d best check the chestnuts. That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN


Busy Work

Back in my teaching days, my biggest disappointment was all the ‘busy work’ required of teachers. The biggest headache for me was “Lesson Plans”. Lesson plans are possible for regular curriculum, but for a choral director they are illicit. If anyone ever read them,  I am certain mine were a bit unsettling, they simply said, “Sing in preparation for performance”.  I could list the selections we were working on, but I doubt that meant much to whomever read the things. Every one of my classes was important and I attempted to keep them fresh and of interest, however rehearsals could be pretty boring, donchaknow. The only thing that contributed interest was the next performance. For that, the ‘present’ was the most important time. As I write this, I find it interesting that ‘right this moment’ is called ‘present’. It is the only time we have to prepare for the future. To most folks, the future means ‘next week’ or ‘next month’, but to the Believer, every ‘present’ is a gift from GOD and an opportunity to prepare for the ‘eternal future’, by doing that which glorifies HIM.  All the time spent preparing for any other future than that eternal is a waste, dochaknow, really.  GOD has a choir, I wonder why public schools and most churches don’t? ‘Tis a Puzzlement.  That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.  AMEN

The Night the Band Got In the Play

It’s funny what comes to mind while sitting down to share in this blog. In the late ‘40s, the Mount Pleasant Tiger Band uniform consisted of black, billed cap, gold jacket, black/Sam Brown belt and black pants with gold strip down the leg. Worn with a white shirt, black tie, black shoes and socks, we simply thought we were resplendent. When new, the uniform held it’s body well, but with continued wear, it had a tendency to sag, especially when wet (and it did rain a lot in East Texas). We usually sat in assigned seats in the grandstand unless it was a well-attended game, then we sat in folding chairs on the sideline at the twenty-yard line. I don’t recall who we were playing, but I do recall the night the final tackle was made in our midst. Music, chairs, instruments, hats and all went flying. I just knew my cornet was ruined, but only the wooden instruments were damaged most. The wooden folding chairs were destroyed and after we gathered all the music, horns and whatever, we spent the rest of the game in our school bus. Talk about miserable!!! That one play did more damage than you could imagine. Appearance and rehearsals were delayed until the damaged instruments could be replaced or repaired. Fortunately, there never was another contest that required sideline seating. I also vowed that I would never take another school bus trip, but that certainly didn’t pan out, donchaknow, really. Now, I realize our greatest fear was that our instruments would be damaged that night, but never gave thanks that there were no serious injuries. Until now. It’s good that GOD has patience for waiting on me.  That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN