Columns/Opinions

Thu
08
Nov

"A bit of disagreement over Christmas tree styles" by: Jessica Shepard

   Currently at home, we’re working on finalizing a theme for our Christmas tree this year.
   By that I mean mom and I are arguing over colors and ideas while she can’t make the end decision.
   A few weeks ago she and my sister settled on some sort of metallic theme featuring rose gold and maroon.
   I wasn’t a fan of the color scheme or idea at all and loudly voiced my opinions.
   After all, for the past three or four years we’ve done this icy and frozen tree with shades of blue, silver and white.
   I’ve loved every moment of it up until mom decides to put her silly beads on the edges of the limbs.
   And I know it’s a traditional sort of thing, but I’ve never liked it and have always thought it looked stupid and ridiculous.
   I’m always thinking, why ruin a good ornament display with “extra” beading like you’re over-frosting some poor cake.
   Naturally, since its mom’s house and her tree, she gets what she wants.

Thu
08
Nov

"What will your vote mean as it concerns stock market?" by: John Sample

   By the time you read this, you survived the onslaught of political ads that rival the invasion of locusts. 
   I hope your candidate was successful and you are happy with all that will occur because of the election. 
   The outcome on the national level as it concerns the stock market will be fun to watch and to speculate as to the direction. 
   Some implied that a Democratic takeover of the house will cause a minor correction of less than 5 percent and a Democratic takeover of the House and Senate would result in a real correction of 10 to 15 percent.
   With money on the sidelines due to rising interest rates, a money manager indicated that they would invest after the correction. My point is that much may be made of the impact, but I dare say that little of consequence will occur over the next six to nine months. 

Thu
08
Nov

"When someone is down, offer to carry their mat" by: Betsy Monico

   Thankfully, Saturday morning I knew what direction to take this week with my column. 
   Before I crawled out of bed, I exchanged texts with a fellow football momma. 
   Her son was injured Friday; and sadly this injury will most likely keep him out for the rest of the year. 
   Luckily, he is in 11th grade and will play again. Supporting his team from the sidelines though will seem like eternity. 
   His mom claimed that others would have to “carry the mat” for him until the Lord fully heals him.  
   Tears fell down my face when I read her words. 
   I love that our football program yearly adopts a motto and verse. “Keep it simple” will never lose its pizazz. This year, the theme is “carry the mat.” 
   It comes from Luke 5:18-20 and says “Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 

Thu
08
Nov

"Help people out when they are in need by holding their arms up" by: Caleb Gibson

   The very first battle that Israel faced after escaping Egypt was the battle at Rephidim. 
   The word “Rephidim” in Hebrew means “resting places.” Israel was at rest when trouble arrived. 
   The enemy doesn’t want you to rest. He does not want you to lean on God’s strength, he wants you to rely on your own strength.
After Israel had left Egypt they saw many miracles.  
   The Scriptures explain how they found themselves in a battle with the Amalekites. 
   As Israel’s army went towards the Amalekites, Moses went up the hill.  
   Why did he do this? Was he afraid and wanted to be far away from the battle? 
   No, we discover that as he was up there, he began to hold his hands to the sky.
Exodus 17:11 tells us, “So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed.” 

Thu
08
Nov

"Reel REviews: ‘The Nutcracker and the Four Realms’ visuals stunning" by: Jessic Shepard

   I have been a fan of the original “Nutcracker” ballet since it came on TV every holiday season during my childhood.
   Naturally, I went into “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” with high hopes and expectations.
   Outside of the stunning and decadent visuals, there’s hardly any dancing and the story is very confusing.
   That being said, if you don’t know the original story, then you’ll enjoy the film.
   The movie is a retelling of E.T. A. Hoffmann’s short story, “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” and Marius Petipa’s “The Nutcracker,” about a young girl who is given a locked egg from her deceased mother and sets out in a magical land to retrieve the key. 
   The film stars Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Foy, Eugenio Derbez, Matthew Macfadyen, Richard E. Grant, Misty Copeland, Helen Mirren, Jayden Fowora-Knight, Anna Madeley, and Morgan Freeman.

Thu
08
Nov

"Agriculture and county’s economy" By Aaron Sumrall, PhD County Extension Agent Agriculture & Natural Resources

   A late county agent friend of mine was frequently quoted as saying, “Agriculture affects you if you eat, wear clothes, or lives in a house.” 
   Just from my simple understanding of math, pretty much all of us should fall into at least one of those categories so by default we are all directly involved in agriculture. 
   Though we all may be part of the agriculture wheel, many of us do not understand how agriculture may be influencing the world right outside our door. 
   Matagorda County is synonymous with the concepts, practices, and economics of agriculture. 
   Did you know that agriculture in Matagorda County is responsible for more than $265 million annually and is the county’s main employer? So how does that break down?
   Crop production in Matagorda County is responsible for more than $130 million of the total, with primary crops being cotton, corn, grain sorghum, soybeans, and rice. 

Thu
01
Nov

Bonnen files to become Speaker of Texas House

   EDITOR’S NOTE: State Representative Dennis Bonnen, House District 25 announces his decision to become Speaker of the Texas House.
   
   I am announcing today that I am a filed candidate for Speaker of the Texas House. 
   After thoughtful consideration with my family, I have decided to heed the call of many of my colleagues to enter this race. 
   I am truly humbled by their support. Throughout my career in the House, I have always emphasized my respect for the institution as a whole as well as the unique position each member has to serve their district. 
   I look forward to the many conversations to come with members across the state. 
   My desire, which I believe I share with the vast majority of my colleagues, is that this process come to a conclusion with a House ready to do the people’s business with strength, resolve, and unity in the 86th Legislative Session. 

Thu
01
Nov

"Heading into holiday season with uncertainty" by: Jessica Shepard

   October is winding down while I write this and we’re at the last few weeks of the year.
   Finally, 2018 will be over and 2019 can hopefully lead off on a better foot forward. 
   Not that I’ve had too many issues this year, it just seems to be more intense than 2017.
   It sort of feels like there’s less room to breathe and step back to take a moment and just be still.
   Though, that might also be due to Hurricane Harvey disrupting so many scheduled events last year.
   Either way, we’re headed into the holiday season and unsure of how things will play out.
   Thanksgiving was easier last year since my brother was still living at home and we only had to coordinate with my sister’s work schedule.
   Now, since he lives in Dallas and she’s still in Bryan, it’s harder to get them to sync up and come home at the same time.
   We might actually end up with a split-week Thanksgiving and I’m not sure I can handle that much turkey.

Thu
01
Nov

"Is this a correction, or the beginning of a Bear Market?" by: John Sample

   Another week and the fear factor is in full swing just in time for Halloween. The market is below where we were at Independence Day this summer. 
   Some would suggest the market is concerned about the upcoming election, tariffs or rising interest rates. 
   I would suggest that this market needed to take a breather after attaining all-time high levels. 
   The debate will continue as to whether this is a correction or a move into a bear market. Some are going so far as to predict a recession. 
   That will in fact come in time but you have over a year to prepare. 
   The inevitability of a recession is the fact that the Federal Reserve has yet to provide a soft landing when they raise rates to rein in inflation. That would leave one with what to do in the interim. 

Thu
01
Nov

The key to consistent investing? Paying yourself first

   Consistency is a key ingredient of success in many activities – including investing. 
   And one technique that can help you become a more consistent investor is paying yourself first.
   Many people mistakenly wait until they’ve got some extra cash before they start investing – but as you know, it’s pretty easy to spend whatever amount you’re holding. 
   Instead, try this: Each month, have your bank automatically move some money from your checking or savings account into whichever investments you’ve chosen. 
   By putting the investment process on autopilot, you’ll find it much easier to stick with it.
   Even if you can’t afford to invest a lot, you’ll help yourself by putting away something each month. 
   For example, you can typically invest relatively small sums into an IRA, although some accounts do have required minimums. 

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