Archive for May, 2018

No Place to Hide

I wrote this 4 years ago, and things have gotten worse since then. Chaos seems to be feeding chaos. But… there is good in this world and I will continue to focus on it.

Marbles In My Pocket ~ The Official Blog of Charles L. Mashburn ~ Poems, Short Stories, and random thoughts from the author of "Be Still... and know that I am God"

I wrote this last Friday, but decided the introduction to it was a better write, so I wound up posting it (the introduction), in the form of the poem, Right or Wrong.

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I Growled A Kid

If ever there was just a boy, it was Billy Ray Mashburn. This little tale is priceless and true, and will be in the sequel to “Just A Boy”. (By the way, we are getting ever closer to publishing “Just A Boy”!

Marbles In My Pocket ~ The Official Blog of Charles L. Mashburn ~ Poems, Short Stories, and random thoughts from the author of "Be Still... and know that I am God"

My little brother Billy was a  character; everybody loved him, and he was one of the happiest kids you could  be around. I was often witness to his devious side, though; especially the way he would torment our youngest brother, Ken. You can read about that in my poem, He’s Aggravatin! Some humorous stories about Billy are, Tramp… The Rest of The Story, and Ken: I Had to Go!, and Making Billy Smile.

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For Should I Choose

We are what we are because of where we’ve been, what we’ve been taught. Unless… we overcome the past and its lies and untruths.

Marbles In My Pocket ~ The Official Blog of Charles L. Mashburn ~ Poems, Short Stories, and random thoughts from the author of "Be Still... and know that I am God"

We took a little weekend jaunt to another lake this weekend (I’ll give you some pics and details later), so I missed Brian’s dVerse prompt Saturday; Poetics: It’s A Matter of Choice. He encouraged us to write a poem about life’s choices. Sometimes our choices aren’t really choices at all; they’re results of how we are raised.

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Then… There Be Silence

Sometimes… it’s a struggle

Marbles In My Pocket ~ The Official Blog of Charles L. Mashburn ~ Poems, Short Stories, and random thoughts from the author of "Be Still... and know that I am God"

Our world can be dark, but there is light. Our world can be chaotic, but there is peace. I have found that the light and peace are always there, and all we have to do is turn toward them and focus on them. Too many souls quit the search and refuse to turn away from the chaotic darkness. I wish it wasn’t so.

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I Want To Be Like Billy

This is a repeat, but it bears repeating. God puts people in our paths to show us the way. I wish I could’ve realized it sooner; maybe I would have paid better attention. Fortunately, the lessons he showed me with the people he sent my way took root. It just took me awhile to realize it.

Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Psalms 25:4

God sends special people into our lives for us to learn from. Today, I’d like to tell you about three very special ones He sent my way.

Judge Billy Meck was my Sunday school teacher when I was ten. I didn’t spend a lot of time with him, but he left a lasting impression on me. I remember him as one of the kindest, perpetually happy men I’ve ever encountered. I want to be kind and always happy like Billy.

just us kids 2

In case you can’t tell, Billy Ray is the one on the right. The other two are pretty special too. (I’m the beanpole on the left. Kenny is the hot dog below me, and sister, Patsy is the beautiful little girl in the middle.

Another Billy who left a lasting impression on me was my little brother, Billy Ray Mashburn, who died at fourteen in a car accident two weeks before I graduated high school. Billy Ray could look at you with those big blue eyes—fighting back a smile, so as not to crack his forever chapped lips—and you couldn’t help but smile back at him. Billy Ray loved everybody and everybody loved Billy Ray. I want to love and be loved like Billy.

My oldest son, Billy (he goes by Bill these days, being grown up and all) is the Billy I admire these days. I don’t know anyone who can match his work ethic or his love for his family. He’s a good man, a good husband, and the most devoted father I have ever seen. I am so very proud of my son. I want to be a good man like Billy.

I’m working on it.

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Start-Overs

When we’re tired physically, mentally, or spiritually, we sometimes start to wonder what, exactly, we’re fighting for. We forget what our goals are and even why they became our goals. When tiredness of any kind comes upon us, we must learn to rest. When we’re tired, we make mistakes, and our judgement is not at its best, and that’s when we need to turn to God and give our burdens to Him so we can rest.sunrise

The best way to serve God is to begin anew each day, putting the past behind, the future on hold, and starting the day with hope. There are no do-overs, but every day is a start-over.

 

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

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Powerful Words

couple with crossThe following are excerpts from the new book of encouragements we’re working on. Sherry and I read two of them every morning as a method of editing. We’ve read devotionals, and then my encouragements, every morning since we’ve been together. It has made us and our love stronger in so many ways. Our faith in God and in each other grows more powerful each time we read His Word together.

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I cannot imagine facing the challenges and evil in this world without God. If I didn’t have Him, my rock, to lean on, this would be a very scary time to be alive. But I do, and so do you.

Unfortunately, we are too often easily distracted and often find ourselves deep into the battle without our shield—the Lord. It’s so easy to get swept up in the fast-moving current of worldly affairs, suddenly finding we’re in a battle that simply doesn’t matter. Many of the things the world thinks are so important, are of no importance at all to God.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2

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When we’re constantly seeking God’s knowledge, He’ll deliver us—even keep us—from the battles of this world. If we persistently seek Him and take refuge within the walls of His love, He will cause the things of this world to seem trivial and meaningless, which, by the way, they are.

Everything we do in the name of God matters, and everything going on in this world that isn’t of God, doesn’t matter. How do we know the difference? Ask Him. Seek Him through His Holy Word constantly, loving Him and praising Him as you do. He will reveal what is good and He will deliver you from what is evil. Seek first the kingdom of God.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

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Speaking of Gary Williams

What? … Oh, I know we weren’t speaking of him, but I saw a post his sister, Karen, put on Facebook, and it made me want to share this with y’all again. He’s a fine fellow, and he just loves to poke fun at me about some of the adventures (incidents) I write about. I don’t mind; the old fart is getting along in years, and his memory isn’t that sharp anymore, so I let him prattle on. I know he doesn’t mean any harm, and when it comes to being quick witted, he’s pretty much a non-threat. But enough about that; let me tell you how me and ol’ Gare squared off for the tennis championship one fine spring day.

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minion tennis I was a junior, and Gary was a senior (again). He’d been on the tennis team all six years he was in high school, and because of the longevity of his career, he was the best player on the team. Of course, everything is relative, and you have to understand that nobody played tennis at our little high school in those days—except girls… and Gary. He was the only guy on our tennis team, and thus, as I said, the best we had.

We did, however, have to play tennis in PE class. It wasn’t something most of us enjoyed—except Gary—but it was only for a few weeks each year, and we tolerated it. Gary hated it, because most of us—even some of the freshmen—could beat him. He was, by the way, undefeated in conference play. The school refused to haul him to away games, and none of the other schools in our conference would bring one guy to our campus just to play Gary. But! He never lost!

It was pretty comical when tennis season would roll around in PE class. We all had to wear the basic PE uniform; blue shorts and a white T-shirt, but not Gary. No way! He showed up in his starched white shorts and dazzlingly bright white polo shirt, with this red scarf around his neck. He kind of reminded us of Snoopy when he does the Red Baron thing, except—thank goodness—Gary wore pants.

Gary somehow fell mysteriously ill during PE tennis season his senior year. Rumor was he had mono, but we all knew he couldn’t possibly have that. It was common knowledge you got it from kissing girls, and there was no way Gary could have gotten it. Just sayin.

Due to an unfortunate miscalculation on his part, Gary showed up for the last day of PE tennis. He tried to fake a fainting spell and get excused but Coach Ramsey just grinned and said he’d have to play. It was the last day, as I said—the day we had our tournament—and as you might guess, I wound up playing against Gary for the championship. It wasn’t like we had a big double elimination tournament or anything like that; we simply blasted the ball around the court until most everybody got tired and took a seat on the benches beside the court. Gary and I happened to be the last two on the court.

I walked up to the net—Gary stood back at the serving line, eyeing me warily as I approached—and when I arrived at the net, I said, “One game for the championship?”

Gary looked over at all the other guys and Coach; they were all grinning at him, and he turned red as a baboon’s butt in the summertime, then yelled at me in his high-pitched voice, “You’re on!” It was more of a whine than a yell, but I’m trying to give him some credit for at least accepting the challenge.

I won’t bore you with the details, but I beat him pretty soundly. Not that I was any good at the game—I wouldn’t admit it if I was, because it wasn’t cool to be good at tennis in those days—but, truth be known, Gary was simply too big and slow for the game. He likes to tease me about how slow I was back then, but I heard one of the baseball coaches laughing one time and saying how Gary was slower than a moose in a mud bog. It was sadly true.

So there you go; the story of how I beat the school tennis champ at his own game.

 

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Nothing to Hide

Some good thoughts to ponder.

Marbles In My Pocket ~ The Official Blog of Charles L. Mashburn ~ Poems, Short Stories, and random thoughts from the author of "Be Still... and know that I am God"

People who live in glass houses have nothing to hide. It’s a profound thought, and leads me to ponder what the state of the world might be if we all lived our lives in such a way as to not have anything to hide. Unfortunately, the truth has been shoved aside, and the walls between us have gone higher, as deception and greed have converged to form a dog-eat-dog world wherein we trust no one. There is a better way, but fewer and fewer people seem to be interested in it these days.

 trust reflects truth

 
 
 
 
                                                                                                            Copyright © 2013 C Mashburn

 

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Some Peoples’ Cats

Speaking of Nashville Cats…

Marbles In My Pocket ~ The Official Blog of Charles L. Mashburn ~ Poems, Short Stories, and random thoughts from the author of "Be Still... and know that I am God"

The only cat I ever owned was an orange and white striped little ball of terror I named, Nashville after the 1966 hit song, Nashville Cats, by The Lovin’ Spoonful. The cat was cool in a terrifying kind of way.

Problem was, you see, I was not necessarily meant to own a cat. I played pretty rough with the little critter, and loved to scare the daylights out of him every chance I got. The roughhousing made him mean, and constantly scaring him caused him to be sneaky.

Nashville catAs the ornery little critter started growing up, he figured he owed some payback to humans, and I had to warn anybody who came to visit. Still, even when they knew it might happen, he still scared them pretty good. He’d hide behind the couch, or a curtain, and come flying out, pounce on a hand or foot, hiss, growl, then…

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