up until I left home for college every Sunday was 'church day' for me, I never missed Sunday School or Church for 18-years. Perfect attendance for twelve years of public school until my senior year and that was for just a half-day to attend a university in consideration of accepting a scholarship in instrumental music. I played a cornet(trumpet). I was baptised in the baptistry of First Baptist Church at the age of six. I had no idea as to what my 'sins' were, but I knew I needed Jesus. There is probably no verse of scripture that I've not either read or heard read. Hymns were like my daily bread. As a public school choral teacher, it was just good sense to accept a bi-vocational music position in a church. Beginning with my home church, where I directed my church's adult choir performance of a Christmas Cantata at the age of fifteen, I was part-time minister of music for churches in Texas, Nevada and North Carolina. The only denominations I missed were Catholic and Church of Christ. In Texas I led worship in Huntsville, Bryan, College Station, Cedar Bayou, Pampa, Amarillo and Brenham. In Las Vegas I worked in three Baptist churches and in North Carolina, two more. It was in North Carolina, in 2007 that I discovered all those years attending church were simply 'jobs'. I was working and only 'worshiping' when I or my choir sang. I smoked up until I suffered a TIA in 1988. I was diagnosed with COPD and that limited my singing. I've not sung, other than all alone, in nearly twenty-years. I was in the hospital and rehab for over 40-days just over three years ago and it was there I got a very strong message. It became obvious that my prodigal days were over. I left rehab with a new vision of service. I thought God was reviving my singing voice, but not so. I had begun a blog called "Family Circle" for my family and former students back in 2000. I changed it to "waterwader" in 2005 and now here, from under the shadow of Kyle Field, just this year. I am led to witness to whomever visits, but especially to Aggies from Texas A&M. My summers pursuing a Master's Degree were totally enjoyable, especially since a thesis wasn't required. I have tried to recall my profs, but other than Dr. Paul Hensarling and Dr. Earl Jones, I draw a blank. It required extra hours in Education, Journalism and Management. With my Master of Education Administration and Public Relations specialization, I was entitled to a nice raise in pay by Bryan Public Schools. My final year teaching there was 1972. Today my home is the original one purchased in Bryan in 1963. My little corner studio is in the Master Bedroom of that house. I would have never thought to return here, but I learned years ago to 'wait on the Lord and He would deliver'. What Now? The love of family and many friends who were former members of my choirs. The daily sharing of what I have learned about TRUTH over all those years and to share the sweet, sweet Spirit that can only be found in Jesus Christ.
And that's what I get from My Box of Chocolates right here in my little corner studio under the shadow of Kyle Field.
James G Austin, MED/PR'69