The Sound of Silence


In music this indicates “silence”. Since I was  young boy, I knew this rule when annotated on my Trumpet score. It usually indicated a certain number of measures-rest. To be prepared for my next entrance, it was necessary to continue to “count” beats/measures. No one ever wished to mis-count and “honk” early. As first chair, it was my responsibility to quietly count the final measure AND nod with each beat. We never had a problem. We need to develop a system of procedures in my country as we move through the challenges of a totoally new “America”. We wanted change and change can bring pain. WE need to “keep the count” and TACET!  Them move on , in unison. That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates. AMEN

My Daddy was a Carpenter

Samuel Wade Austin was born on this day in Titus County Texas in 1901. He lived his entire life of 84 years within blocks of where he had been born. He graduated from Mount Pleasant High School with very good grades. He could have continued a career in baseball had he not lost the index finger of his right hand in a power saw in his father’s carpenter’s shop. He was in line for a full baseball scholarship at the University of Texas, but married my mother in order to provide a home for her siblings. Her father, upon the death of my grandmother, decided to move to Dallas and leave three very young children in her care. It all worked out since the accident took away his ability to control  a ball. Sam and Mattie Austin had been married  nearly two years when she gave birth to a very large baby boy who died soon after birth. Sam began building houses with his father and soon was in business for himself. Austin and Austin built very fine homes, some of which are still occupied and bear a Texas Historical Notification. Well respected and loved by all who knew him, Sam Austin died, the victim of Alzheimer’s at the age of 84.  He was a very good man who loved his GOD, his family and his country. He was a Democrat and would be greatly disappointed in his party today. The people who remain and who loved him as I do, wrote these memories of my Dad:

My Papaw was the epitome of a godly man and a source of love for his family. When I met Papaw, I finally knew what a  father’s love was really like. I remember he smelled so sweet, and now I know it was his tuhbacki!(Days Work chewing tobacco);  his nicknames for all of us like, “Sugarfoot”, “Miss Pretty”, “Madam Queen” and “SuzyQ”.  His love of Max Brand, Zane Grey and Louis L’amour paper back westerns. His honor and respect for his  father, step-mother, half-brothers, family and in-laws. His tattered bible that was the basis of  the preacher’s sermon at his funeral. Each visit included trips to the “Queen” and Hayden’s store down the street: Wax Coke bottle candy, wax lips and fake cigarettes are among my memories. I would sit in his chair, that faced their bed, overlooking the backyard and would try to fit my bottom in the impressions he’d left. He loved to talk to “Bird”, a parakeet that was caged by his radio and chair.(he swore the bird talked back, but no one else ever heard it) He listened to WBAP and it was always on a  football or baseball game. He made the best breakfast. Ever. I tried making his chocolate chip cake, and I may have come close, but nothing will ever compare to his.  A carpenter during the work-week, a fisherman on Saturday, a cake maker on Saturday night, a pancake maker on Sunday morning and a man of God always.
His prayer of grace before meals always began the same, “Gracious Lord, pardon our sins and make us thankful for these and all our blessings. Be with those who are sick and sad and in distress and be with those who are traveling and keep them safe.” (these the only words we can recall. We would love to have the rest and have it made into vinyl letters to place on the wall in our dining room.) I do recall one particular Sunday morning’s blessing that seemed to go on and on until my second daughter said, “AMEN, Papaw, AMEN”. He was careful to stick to the ‘script’ after that.
Sam Austin loved people and they reciprocated. My Daddy was a carpenter and I miss him, still, but I’ll see him, again, someday. That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.  AMEN

It’s a Done Deal

Pastor Pete Briscoe at Bent Tree Fellowship, here in Carrollton, laid some truth on me today. He proudly announced, “The CROSS WORKED!”  All the hope-a-hope we go through is a waste of time!  He also pointed out that,  regardless of the teaching of some, “GOD is not universal”. There are two people on earth today, only two. One has life eternal and one has death forever. Of course we all have a death ahead of us, but many of us will experience eternal death and damnation. It is simply a matter of choice.  Pastor Pete dropped another beauty on us. He drew two stick-figures on a white board that brought it all into focus. His half-hour message is worth your time. You can worship with Pete at Go to Sermon 3, “To sin or not to sin”. It will lift your spirit and solidify your assurance. That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN

Fallacy of Freedom

The First Amendment has limits, but our youngsters have been carefully taught otherwise. From our first breath, we have a natural ability to demand what we want. Disregarding need, we demand to be served!  The “character” fabric of our nation is in tatters. We see the horrors of riots and are thankful that they are happening elsewhere. The danger of all this instant information is that is carries  a ‘Fallacy of Freedom’. There is a fine line (a RED line set by GOD) as to just what our Freedom of Speech guarantees. Without deep and abiding love for my fellow man, I have no idea as to when I cross it. I have always known the truth of every matter, haven’t you? It is very simple. I don’t know all I should know about whatever I ‘think’ I know, therefore I should keep my mouth shut and cease acting out. However, I know what “acting out” entails and for me it means crossing GOD’s RED LINE is a BIG NO-NO, donchaknow. Really. As far as I am concerned, “Fallacy of Freedom” is controlled by the condition of my heart in caring for others. As far as I am concerned, it’s a “spiritual thing”. It is not my “natural spirit”, but it’s the “Holy Spirit” and I wasn’t born with it the first time. In very simple terms, had I not been ‘Born Again’ through the soul-cleansing blood of My LORD JESUS CHRIST, I would be in for a world of eternal hurt! That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates. AMEN

The Age is Correct

After receiving over 30 phone calls welcoming me as a man who will soon be eligible for Social Security, I checked my birth certificate. Yep, I am 86!  Why am I being called?  Is it something that comes from ObamaCare?  Even though our congress is attempting to replace the travesty, it seems to still be lurking in the shadows. I finally answered a few of the calls and was greeted with, “Is this Mr. Austin?”. Then they welcomed me since I am about to turn 65. When I tell them I’ve been retired for over 20-years, they all say, “Well, you are not qualified for my offer” and hang up. Sounds like telemarketing, donchaknow. I tried that for a very short period of time and surrendered my call-booth rather quickly. I pray that these calls for enrollment in medicare are legit, really. I just wish I could get on a “NO-CALL” list. Oh, and on the subject of my telemarketing experience….the site was raided and shut down three days after I quit. WHOOOEEE, Praise GOD! My heart wasn’t in it anyhow. I don’t seem to ‘audition’ too well. I recall being called for a “shoot” back in Houston. I had some publicity stills made and in one of them I was wearing a ‘belly shirt’. (I had much less girth back in the show), so when the producer met me, slim at that time, I could tell he was not pleased. He really wanted the fat guy. My check cashed, but I don’t think the results ever made it to production. (I could do that shoot with flying colors today, donchaknow, really) GOD is really Good! My phone hasn’t rung with the medicare welcome since I began writing to you. Thanks a bunch! And, that’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.  AMEN


Packer Jack and Me

I worked during the summers at various radio stations. There was always a need for on-air cover for vacationing personalities. In the summer of 1966, I was working shifts at KHFI in Austin. I had the late night gig from 6PM to Midnight. I had a mellow music format in direct competition to KLBJ and “Packer Jack”. I hosted “The Voice of Austin” and Jack didn’t care for the competition. He had owned Austin radio during the evening hours for a while and I can honestly say that I enjoyed the bit of stress my program gave him. It is good to have competition, donchaknow.  He would call me, from time to time, but we never had that ‘coffee’.  I never identified myself, except to make breaks with “This is the Voice of Austin”. Jack had no idea, so he simply would say, “Hey, Austin Voice, how’s it goin’?”.  We both had good programming and I will always have respect for the other “voice”. Today’s internet provided the name Jack Wallace for the voice I knew. It’s interesting that with all the years on radio and, even though my name is in the Nevada Broadcasters “Hall of Fame- 2002”, Wikipedia mentions that I worked at KDWN, Las Vegas and left to join “the Zoo” in Galveston. WRONG! In the late 70’s, I rode the ferry from Galveston to Bolivar’s “Funny Farm” while working nights at KODA-fm in Houston, but that’s about as close as I ever came to “the ZOO”. By the way, that summer of 1966, was a very tragic one. Our radio/television studio was just blocks away from the Texas Tower and Charles Whitman. Not a favorite time of my broadcasting career. Oh, the evil that men do! Really.  That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates. AMEN

The Aging Process

Life is the ‘hyphen’ between DOB and DOD for every human being. Life for the believer is the “hyphen after DOB since there is eternal Life after DOD. GOD created me within this temporary shell, to GLORIFY HIM. GOD calls this temporary shell ‘HIS TEMPLE’. There is a benediction in the back of the Broadman Hymnal. We used to sing it as our worship service began: “The Lord is in his Holy Temple, let all the earth keep silence before him”. I led the choir, but it really never penetrated as to just what the Lord’s Holy Temple really was. It was never the building in which we gathered. It was and is the ‘shell’ in which I reside. The building is filled with ‘Holy Temples’, donchaknow. But, wait….every ‘temple’ within the building may not be ‘Holy’. Inside each heart, GOD must reside since GOD is Holy and He has said, “Be Ye Holy as I am HOLY”. We must chose to do so, not in our own power, but through the indwelling of GOD’s HOLY SPIRIT. GOD’s HOLY SPIRIT enters as each of us is ‘Born Again’. It’s a building process.  The night Nicodemus came to Jesus with burning questions, he was told that he must be born again. In the Gospel of John(John 3:7 KJV), JESUS said, “Marvel not when I say that ye must be born again”. So, the dear old hymn at the very back of the Broadman Hymnal wasn’t talking about the building, but the people therein. That brings me to the central theme of this conversation: GOD’s HOLY TEMPLE(s) are AGELESS and that’s a HOOT, donchaknow. It’s time to shout-out with JOY in the HOPE within us! Hey, World! Come On IN! There’s still room at the Cross and there’s always a welcome chair at the Table of MY LORD..Forever!  Really! Talk about a “Lifetime Warranty!!” And that’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.    AMEN

The Sound of Silence

For too long, I spent time “Talking with GOD”, but I wasn’t “Listening”. I suppose we’ve all wasted those hours.  Assuming that HE was simply being quiet was my big mistake, donchaknow. I have come to realize that all my chatter didn’t amount to a whole lot of response. Once I began to ‘read’ what GOD has already written, did the ‘Silence’ stop. Just a few minutes in study of HIS WORD and “LISTENING” to what IT says, results in an overwhelming flush of spiritual power. My prayer-time is so much more enriched by simply combining it with “hush-up-and-listen”. (In ‘txt’ talk it’s  ‘hual’)  Therefore, henceforth, the only chatter that matters has a bunch of ‘hual’. Really. Today is one of those days. I recently did all the lab work at my doctor’s office.  He called on Monday, for me to come in for further conversation.  Yesterday it rained and I do not do well with COPD and high humidity, so I postponed his  request of further consultation until today.  I’ve had a quiet time about it and am at PEACE.  All of us who have reached the “Golden Age” (whatever that may be), face these moments.  After ‘hual’, I am rather excited to walk through whatever since  I will not walk alone.  After all, I AM “Too Anointed to be disappointed and Too Blessed to be depressed.”   Dang the cotton-pickin’ torpedos, Full Speed Ahead!   That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN

The “V” is for VICTORY!

 “The Lord hat appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love.” (Jeremiah 31:3)

Valentine’s Day means Love! The air around us is filled with Cupids and full hearts. It may be the first and only day that it is expressed, but it IS shared once, at least. The “V” in Valentine means much more to me. It stands for VICTORY for LIFE. On a horrible cross, my sins were washed away by the shedding of the precious, innocent blood of JESUS CHRIST. No greater LOVE has been given to mankind than that. Today, HE is the world’s VALENTINE!  You have to accept HIM to receive VICTORY and LIFE ETERNAL, donchaknow. Really! Happy Victory, Valentine! That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN

If a golf club can….

TaylorMade has a golf club with forgiveness built in. It’s pretty hard for me to do that. For some reason resentment simply hangs on. Or is it that I hang on to it? Recent events have convinced me to come over to the brighter side. While enjoying the beauty of Pebble Beach this past weekend, TaylorMade’s commercial put it all into focus. If a golf club maker can build a forgiving spirit into a driver, what does a Gracious GOD do in me? Golfers must be lining up for this new club, ’cause every time they tee off, they must ask for ‘forgiveness’. Why not drive with it built in?  Isn’t it a glorious thing that every true believer has it built in, too? Love and Forgiveness must not be impossible, otherwise it wouldn’t be expected, donchaknow. Really! That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.  AMEN