HOWDY! “Scriptural Script”

“In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm 56:4) For all Americans who doubt that there is a GOD of The Bible, consider these words and check your legal tender. Why on earth would anyone put this phrase on every item for purchase and not believe it? Obviously all of us do not believe ALL scripture, but I would like to know exactly what part you do believe, if any. I am most certain that we lack internalizing all scripture. We’ve lost our “Loving” feeling. Or perhaps we’ve really never had it. It’s not for me to say, donchaknow. I can only speak for myself and for me and my house, we serve the Lord.

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

(beginning tomorrow I will take us through memorable years in the classroom)



HOWDY! “Who, ME?!”

REALLY?

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.(Acts 20-24)

I have continued to remind myself (and you) of my life wading upstream and the Grace and Mercy of a Loving God, sustaining me and forgiving me, all at the same time. I am ‘wading’ through whatever I have felt important in my files. So much has been lost over the years. I have nothing but vague memories of the National Tour II that consumed nearly four years. Of my years in Television and Radio, there are scripts and writings, a few photos and an award from Nevada Broadcasters. My bi-vocational service at various churches in Mount Pleasant, Huntsville, Cedar Bayou, Bryan, Pampa, Amarillo and Nevada, covered the major part of my life. The only churches I never served were Catholic, Pentecostal or Church of Christ. I sang for a dozen Texas State Conventions held on the Campus of Texas A&M; Boy Scout Jamborees; announced the Annual Cotton Pageant at A&M for years; Judged beauty contests and worked public address announcements for years. I was blessed with fine young musicians while teaching at Bryan and for a year at Northside Christian Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina where we performed a special Christmas concert at the Biltmore Estate in Ashville From the Bryan High School Choir, over a tenure of 14 years, we placed 12 in All State Choir; 148 medal winners in UIL solo competition; 212 members in All Region Choir; won 5 Sweepstakes Trophies in Region III contest; brought home 6 Superior awards and the SFA A Cappella Choir was honored as the “State Honor Choir” in 1964 and “Honor Choir of Region III” in 1971. Couple all this with a great career in broadcasting and a twenty-six city, National Tour of a hit “Broadway” Show…well, you get the picture. It has been my privilege to do my best at blessing lives utilizing the gifts given my by my Father. As time goes by, I can’t but praise God for all the wonderful years of serving, not for any glory on my part, but only to say, “Praise God from whom all Blessings Flow”. I’ve floated on many, for sure. And that’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates. AMEN

HOWDY! “Welcome Home!”

Sam and Mattie Austin 119 South Church Mount Pleasant, Texas

This is the last picture I have of my folks, taken while we were on tour break. We had spent a few days painting 119 South Church and had just finished Sunday lunch. This was in the final stages of alzheimer’s disease for my Dad. It was the last time he and I really had a conversation. (Note the cap on the shelf at the left of the photo. It was there for him to wear as he ‘inspected’ our work. The house was my final home base before I left for college and it was the ‘headquarter’s’ for the annual Tabb Reunion where my son and I spent hours cranking Mattie Tabb’s home-made Peach Ice Cream. My parents were solid in belief and open to anyone who graced our door. 119 South Church is a monument to Sam Austin and his integrity. It was completed my senior year by good friends who made up my Dad’s crew on every fine home he built. (Some bear “Texas Historical” markers. Those men worked all day and would come over around 6:30PM to spend three or four hours “helping Sam and Mattie and Jimmy build their home”. It took nearly a year of ‘volunteer’ work and was truly a labor of love. I learned the importance of that and always felt that the opportunities God gave me had that same ingredient of respect and integrity. This house was sold to a lady who had been our maid for years. She and her husband never missed a payment and provided a home for a bunch of her off-springs. It doesn’t look the same today, but it’s still standing and still providing shelter in the storm of life. I will always think of 119 South Church as “Down Home”. A house where Love Lived, donchaknow. Really

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

HOWDY! “For The Good….”

Back in my “Talk Radio” days in Vegas, there was a faithful listener named Peabody, who always called in with a gem. The first time we chatted, he said. “For the Good of the Station and all who go forth here, let there by light and compassion and peace and truth.” I never forgot that. All the years I hosted “Talk of the West”, I consciously listened and responded respectfully to my listeners, even when they were somewhat ‘off the wall’. Here are some other tidbits my friend shared:

“The tongue is a very small part of the body, but it can start a fire that consumes everything it touches.” “To understand the other guy, it’s best to listen to what he’s saying'”. “Before you strike out in anger, put yourself in the other fellow’s shoes. It could be that something you did or said just might have made them “too tight”. “Youngsters do some things right, so look for the good things and praise them for it”. “The next time you hold a grudge, hold hands. It will shock to see how communication improves.” “The mess we made today will still be there tomorrow, unless we clean it up tonight”. I miss Peabody. Other than these little gems, all he was interested in was his corn and ‘taters. I bet he was a Deacon in his church, donchaknow. Really.

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

HOWDY! “ZAP!”

WOW! Sunday evening, just as the Tiger/Eli/Phil/Tom golf match concluded, our village internet took a lightning hit twice! It felt like it hit our townhouse directly. Fortunately, not, but it surely did feel like it. Television signal remained, but my iPad and computer connection left the building. (I always shut my desktop down whenever there is a chance of an electrical storm, so it wasn’t hit and the television made it, but all outside contact, even my CallCaption was lost. Bummer. So, here it is at 3am and my computer is connected, CallCaption works on my house phone, but I must go through the entire setup again for my iPad. You know when the ‘boom’ and the ‘flash’ occur at the same time, well, you know to duck! That was something, I tell you. Got my attention. Good to be back and still ticking, donchaknow. I see that many businesses are attempting to open. I pray for all of you who are ‘going out’, but I shall continue to stay in for a few weeks. I do plan on attending the SFA Class of ’70 celebration, God Willing, and continue to ‘wade upstream’. (I believe I have been expunged by Facebook, again. Those ‘sneaks’!

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

HOWDY! “Good Neighbor”

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if folks were ‘Good Neighbors”? State Farm Insurance Company was “Good Neighbor” for years, but things certainly have changed. I once worked for the “Farm” and during my tenure, I attended a company golf tournament/meeting in Austin. Citizen Band was the thing back then. As I neared Austin, my radio come alive with calls for “Good Neighbor”. That came as a surprise since that was my handle. Lo and behold, there were numerous of us who responded. All agents and all “Good Neighbors”. I always thought Paul’s message to the church of Rome to be appropriate for State Farm: “Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.” (Romans 15:2) And now, today’s from Paul: “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10) When I was taking care of my insured, I always thought about scriptural reference to being a “Good Neighbor”. I did my very best, donchaknow. Really. Why do you suppose State Farm changed with less emphasis on being a good neighbor? Could it be the focus isn’t on Godliness in business practice any more? No surprise when you think about it. Godliness isn’t the practice anywhere anymore. We live in a time when our own President has to resort to Tweets to get truth out.

What a revolting development! And that’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates. AMEN

HOWDY! “Devil’s Division”

Godly thought doesn’t divide a nation, but that’s not modern thinking, is it? Conflict Consumes and Common Sense exits the stage. After all is said and done, what’s left? A House Divided by SIN, period. In his letter to the church in Corinth, Apostle Paul wrote: “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.So, here we are in a pandemic, joy has been consumed by a virus and we’re just totally ‘ticked’. Whose fault is it? Who do we truly believe anymore? One thing I know….our elected representatives are at the mercy of ‘public opinion’ and that is most fickle. The more I study our situation, the more I am convinced the “Swamp” is Bureaucracy. The travesty of our times is caused by simple employee malpractice. Why do we allow individuals so much power when ‘appointed’, not ‘elected’. ‘Tis a Puzzlement! So, the division that is detrimental to the common good is that protected by tradition. What we need is a year furlough for 90% of the people behind ‘appointed’ desks.

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