HOWDY! Meet Paul of Tarsus, “Rebellion Becomes a Cause”

Another Bible Verse that teaches “Getting Along Without Conflict” comes from Apostle Paul.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”      Galatians 5: 22-23

Have you ever considered just how important this man was?  Have you read any of his letters to the seven churches full of Gentiles?  Gentiles, like “US”?  Without Paul’s journeys, only Jews would be welcome in Heaven!  According to Thomas Neary, “Paul’s missionary journeys took place within the political structure of the Roman Empire. This was one entity at the time that had conquered formerly independent nations. So he traveled in Israel, Syria, modern day Turkey, Malta, Cyprus, Crete, Italy and possibly Spain, but they would have been defined by the cities he references and the provinces of the Roman Empire they were part of at the time with the exception of Israel.”

His missionary journey began the sharing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the World! It is quite possible that had he not done so, you and I would never hear this Truth.  If you study the entire story of the life of this great man, you will see just how powerful his faith truly was.  Paul lived after Jesus was on earth. He never met him, AND, he was instrumental in leading those who were set on destroying what Jesus preached, until one day on the road to Damascus, he met Jesus!  At that very moment, Paul’s life changed and Paul began the task God had chosen for him at conception.  Paul’s life changed from being a pursuer of Christians to being a follower of Christ. His life was never the same.  His earthly comforts were always in doubt as was his personal well-being.  But, Paul, even while imprisoned, facing execution, never failed to LOVE others!  What Paul did has been multiplied, over and over, in lives all around the world.  He has reaped the reward of “Good and Faithful Servant” and I can’t wait to meet him, one day soon.  The life of Paul of Tarsus, a Roman by birthright, leaves one breathless as to how a man can be used for good, who began life doing harm.  Some nicknamed him, “The Lion of Judah”, for good reason and his story is worth researching for all Christians.

And that’s what I get from My box of chocolates.     AMEN

HOWDY! “Turmoil Transformed”

Isn’t it  amazing?  Have you ever considered the depth of intellect and power in Scripture?

As we confront pandemonium daily, just a quick perusal of God’s Word brings it all into perspective:

(Audio for Driving, Please)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)      It takes faith to believe and effort to internalize the truth in what God says about everything we face daily.    Too many are floundering around in the world, panicked and without hope.  Too many are depending on government and charity.  Governments come and go.  Charity takes the back seat to self-preservation and besides, when we are totally supported by either, we become slaves.   Never in my lifetime have I experienced such turmoil.  Hardship hits businesses, schools, churches and it’s all due to a little bug.   Perhaps time alone, with God, is good for us all.   Perhaps it is a personal call on our ‘private line’.  Perhaps we are all being summoned back ‘home’, where we belong.  We’ve tried everything else, why not try “Romans”?   May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

Sounds like good sense to me.  We could use some of that “Holy Spirit” right now! 

TURMOIL TRANSFORMED INTO TRANQUILITY!

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

HOWDY! “In Times Like These”

(Audio for Driving)

The Bible promises everything we need as believers.  God calls us “His Chosen People”.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”(Colossians 3:12)  While the world panics and spins out-of-control, we who have the Hope Eternal, must stay calm.  I have no problem with ‘wash-your-hands’, since I do that regularly.  I do miss a hug now and then, but since I do not wish to wear a mask, I shall refrain.  I do seem to be among the most susceptible to anything that attacks the respiratory system, therefore it is with constant care, I shall overcome this travail.  If you really want to know the depth of my concern it has to do with sports and worship.  My heart goes out to those athletes who are suddenly in a holding pattern and as I watched Pastor Jeffries sermon on the tube last Sunday, I was interested in how First Baptist Dallas would look when limited to 500 in a huge worship center.  They did a great job when many more than that number showed up. They opened every center they had and kept within the law.  What interested me most was Pastor Jeffries continuation of the Tribulation series from the Book of Revelation.  He had watched a movie called, “Contagion” the week prior and was interested in how that story depicted just how people responded to a make-believe tragedy that really was close to the one we are experiencing now.  He thought of the way people responded and compared it to the way people were behaving now.  He shared just how, years ago when the world was at war with Germany and Japan, just how people calmly accepted ‘Rationing’ simply because our military needed more than we did as they sacrificed their lives for our freedom.  Pastor Jeffries said, “I couldn’t help but compare what was happening back then, when people calmly accepted what was the right thing to do, as I watched people fighting over toilet paper at Walmart!   What has happened to America?”  

That’s a very good question.  What?  Is it because there are just too many of us who have lost compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience?  If that’s how “Christians” behave, what does that say about this ‘Christian Nation’, today?   We should be ashamed, donchaknow. Really.

And that’s what I get from My box of chocolates.     AMEN

HOWDY! “23rd Psalm”

(video/Text for home & Audio for driving, please)

“The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.  He renews my strength.   He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.  Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.  Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.  You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.  You honor me by anointing my head with oil.   My cup overflows with blessings.  Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.”

 

HOWDY! “Recipe For The Good Life”

(for driving if you please)

“…..make every effort to respond to God’s promises.  Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.  The more you grow in this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (2 Peter 1 : 5-8)

Amazingly shared by a simple fisherman, yet Peter grew in faith and determination by following what he share with us.  I think about each of these as personal goals for my life and it becomes easier and much more personal as I do so.  

I think of ‘moral excellence as “Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk” of Jesus and that takes constant effort.

Knowledge goes deeper than any classroom or research effort.  It requires constant study of God’s Word and to miss a single day means to start over.

Ah, this “Self-Control”, now that’s one this old boy has to focus on every second.  Sometimes is takes up my whole daily meditation. And then I come to:

Patient Endurance!  I have the greatest respect for anyone who can handle this daily, don’t you?

And then, once I make it this far, comes godliness ( I find it interesting that to achieve even a small bit still leaves me with a small “g”, and

Once in a while I get to brotherly affection and I have to pause and make a list. (And the list gets longer each time).

Just about the time I get to loving everyone, I find resentment creeps in and I have to start over, but the time with my Lord, makes me realize the other stuff that attempts to occupy my time is detritus!

And that’s what I get from My box of chocolates.     AMEN

 

HOWDY! “Never Be Without a Song!”

(Audio for Driving or Scanning Social Media)

Singers know singers when they hear them. Singers envy singers who ‘out sing’ them, too. I sang pretty good in my day, but there is no ‘record’ of my songs. Oh, I made a recording of favorite hymns once, intended to be. the first of a set of three albums. “Never Alone” was recorded in 1969 at Austin Custom Records in Austin, Texas. I was there for a Texas Music Educators” convention, staying with my good friend, Bill Arhos. Bill’s wife, Sylvia, was a very talented musician, herself. We decided to make an album over dinner and she agreed to accompany. I called the recording company and we did the recording the next day. The engineer had blocked two-and-a-half hours. We did fourteen tracks in less than an hour. “Never Alone” was supposed to sell for $5.00, proceeds going to Professor Arthur Smith’s ‘Bible Chair’ at Texas A&M. It languished. (I gave many away and still have one or two). Needless to say, the other two albums were never made. They were to be songs from musical theater, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “For You Alone”(one of my favorite songs I was asked to sing at weddings). That, and a trip to Australia, will never be crossed off my bucket list. Now, back to my reason for sharing this blog. Of all the good singers that made up the play-list of my radio days, four stand out. Sonny James, Sara Brightman, Johnny Hartman and Matt Munro. They were each “Heart-singers”. They used God’s gift of song, as a personal gift to others..no strings attached. You probably wonder, since most of my songs were given away in church, why would I not include singers of worship in my list. Well, I could never tell the difference between singing for the Lord and singing for personal gain. I’ll leave that decision up to the ONE who gave them their gift in the first place. I will say that Cynthia Clawson, Bill Gaither, Jan Prince and George Beverly Shea probably brought a smile to God’s face, also. It is my belief that the greatest gift a person can give another is a precious song sung from the heart. 

And that’s what I get from My box of chocolates. AMEN