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As you read this, we will all be looking down the barrel of another summer ending. Sure, we all still have a week or two until we have to report back to the classrooms, but somehow seeing the final days of July on the calendar always gives me a bit of the blues. I start looking around my house and seeing projects I never completed (or never began.) I glance at the calendar and wonder if there is a chance to fit in one more thing, one more quick weekend trip, one more date night before I have to buckle down and get back to work. I look at my bookshelf and consider whether or not I have time to read one more book. Somehow these summer months slip away so quickly that it’s always over in the blink of an eye. more
On the cabinet door above his desk Tom Mensch, Director of Bands for Whitehouse ISD, has a simple piece of white paper with black text that says “Never glance at the size of the mountain, always dwell on Jesus.” Five minutes with Mensch and you will quickly know where his life is centered. With an existence that often resembles the first tune up for the band after a long summer vacation, there is always peace in his heart. more
It is a story from decades ago that I’ve retold countless times. Its punchline--wadded up into a few words--sums up the conundrums that hit us daily with tornadic force. more
“Wake the neighbors! Get the word out! Come on, crank up the music, climb a mountain and shout! This is life we’ve been given, made to be lived out … so live out loud.” +++ more
I grew up in a bubble. All of my friends were white. The majority of them were Christians, predominantly Southern Baptists who were very involved in their churches. Most of my friends’ families looked just like mine: happily married parents, a sibling or two, a dog, all living under the roof of a three bedroom two bath house. When they were involved in recitals or football games, their parents came to cheer them on, usually arriving in a sensible used car. Basically, Whitehouse used to look like a scene straight out of Southern more
As the preparations have already begun for a new school year, it won’t be long until the humid morning air will share its space with the sound of the Tiger Marching Band. It is almost time for band camp and Troup bands will see two new leaders in Bobby Castillo and Ryan McInturff. more
Authorities usually offer specifics when asked about origins of expressions. “The more things change, the more they stay the same,” however, is not one of them. Attempts to pinpoint its first use are baffling to some and invite “waffling” for others. Most linguists agree that the idiom began as a French expression in the mid-19th century. Hardliners maintain that its genesis is biblical, birthed by the scripture about “nothing being new under the sun.” more
“Wake the neighbors! Get the word out! Come on, crank up the music, climb a mountain and shout! This is life we’ve been given, made to be lived out … so live out loud.” +++ more
When I was a kid, my mom did not buy too many sweet things. Don’t misunderstand. We ate plenty of sweets, but they were almost always homemade. To this day, it is rare to walk into my mom’s kitchen and not find a Tupperware cake cover that holds a plate of cookies, a pie, some sort of brownies or a cake. Store bought cookies, cakes, pies and the like were few and far between when I was young. The one exception to this rule was ice cream. While we did make homemade ice cream occasionally, we usually had store bought in the freezer nearly all the time. more
I remain a fan of the Trinity Railway Express, provider of commuter rail service between Fort Worth and Dallas. (I deserved a recent TRE tongue-lashing that resulted from my poor judgment. Further, I failed to follow my own lectern-dispensed admonitions across the years about the importance of knowing when to run.) “If you’re running to catch a train, don’t. There’ll be another one soon,” I’ve advised. “But, if you are running to avoid getting hit by a train, run like the wind.” more
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