Friday, October 31, 2008


1.1.09 - 12:00 PM - Nashville, TN

Peace, Love, and Chocolate

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Honoring The Fallen

The past month has seen a lot of death, especially in my world. I really appreciate all the kind comments you (the readers) left on my last entry. I love it when we honor the memory of our loved ones. That being said, I'd like to honor my friends as well. Please, copy and paste the links below in your browser to read more about these outstanding individuals.

Debra Dee Ortiz
May 23, 1990 - September 29, 2008
I had the honor of teaching Debra when she was a freshman and sophomore at Canyon High School (Canyon, TX). She always had a big, beautiful smile on her face. She was one of the most kind-hearted, sincere, hard-working, unselfish students I ever got to teach. Although I didn't get to work with her on a regular basis, she was always there in the band, working hard to achieve all the goals she had set for herself. It seems like she always had a kind word to say, even when other people didn't. I will miss her contagious smile and the dedication she had for everything she did. Blessings to her family.

Marc R. Schoch
March 7, 1987 - October 21, 2008
At the end of marching band season in 2004, I had all the members of the drum line sign an old drum head and I kept it as a reminder of how great it was to teach those kids that season. One of the reasons it was so great for me was Marc Schoch. Marc was always at the top of the section. He worked hard on a daily basis. He always had this great energy about him that told me he was going to be the best he could be and bring other people along with him. He was one of my private students as well. I loved teaching Marc. He always listened well and took instructions to heart. In the spring of 2005, he was a featured soloist in the marimba trio "Stubernic" and he completely nailed it. Now that I think about it, I think he was one of the ones who started calling me 'Papa B.' What a great kid and a tragic loss! Blessings and comfort to the Schoch family.

Billie Wayne Lemons
ca. 1955 - October 12, 2008
Billie was a great friend of the Brannon family and a wonderful example to me. He taught me to be bold in my faith. He taught me how to sing from the depths of my soul. He was the one who told me "lead songs as if you had written them." He changed the way I viewed life. He was always full of joy and his smile was one that always brought comfort. He was a great mentor, teacher, motivator, father, son. He played football for Texas A&M back in the 70's and spent a season with the Cleveland Browns. His son (and my friend), Devin, followed in his footsteps... sort of. Devin played football at Texas Tech (and did very well there) and spent a little time in the NFL with Chicago, Miami, and Washington. Although he never really saw any playing time, he still got there, which is not something most folk can say they did. Billie's dad, Wayne Lemons, did the eulogy for my mother's funeral back in 1989. The whole Lemons family is close to the Brannon family. That's why I'm so saddened to have heard about Billie's sudden death. I can still hear his beautiful tenor voice singing "People Get Ready" with the Harvesters 4 when I was a teenager... and younger. Oh, how I will miss him! Blessings to his family, which is just like my extended family.

Peace, Love, and Chocolate

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

More Tragedy

I'm sure some of you have heard about this, but most of you have not. Even so, I have bad news. As most of you know, I taught in Texas before I moved to Nashville. One of the schools I taught was Amarillo High School. At AHS, I had a student named Marc Schoch (sounds like 'shook'). Marc was one of my best students when he was in high school. He always worked hard, took instruction well, and made great improvement on a daily basis. I received a phone call yesterday that Marc's roommate at Texas Tech University found him dead in his dorm room from an apparent suicide.

Marc is the second one of my students who has lost their life in the past month. Debra Ortiz was a band member in Canyon, TX when I was an assistant band director there. She was killed in a terrible car wreck on her way to Amarillo College (as a freshman) September 29th. I didn't work as closely with Debra as I did with Marc, but she was a fantastic student and a beautiful individual.

Please, pray for the Schoch family and all the people who knew and loved Marc that we will find some peace and comfort in this unmentionably tragic time. Also, pray for the Ortiz family and Debra's loved ones as they still mourn.


Romans 15:13 - 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.

Monday, October 13, 2008

At The Cross

Sometimes your world is bright with laughter.
Sometimes it's stained with tears.
Sometimes it's overflowing with non-stop worship.
Sometimes it's clouded with fear.

No matter what this life brings,
Whether for gain or loss,
You will always find joy, peace, and rest
When you meet Him at the cross

Peace, Love, and Chocolate

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A Fresh Start

This is a word that I felt appropriate to share until I can come up with my own words. I'll write something original soon enough. Just waiting for the right thing to write. Hope you read, enjoy, and get something good out of this. I didn't write it. My friend, Paul, did. It's a great outline of how we all have been called to live. The key word is...



Colossians 3 (English Standard Version)

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Colossians 3

Put On the New Self

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Rules for Christian Households

Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

Peace, Love, and Chocolate