Columns/Opinions

Thu
08
Apr

"Jesus could force us into our safe place, but we have free will to choose" by: Betsy Monico

   My column idea began Friday night at my parents’ house. 
   We celebrated the “Passover” later than originally planned with our second annual Seder. 
   Our Seder plate was full of symbolic foods. 
   We also laughed, visited, wrestled the dogs, and watched the fiasco of getting the chickens back into the coop for the evening. 
   My parents have mature chickens and some that are just “teenagers.” 
   Guess which bunch my Dad struggled with? It was the teens! Oh, I can relate. 
   I thanked the Lord that Dad was the one outside. 
   He would have probably chimed in and shared a few stories about trying to reel me in as a teen. 
   Chickens are so popular these days. We gave up years ago with ours. 
   We lost several sets to our lab and Jack Russell. After we finally beat the dogs enough and trained them to live in peace, we gave up.  

Thu
08
Apr

"Take time to sing to God today, allow music to affect your brain, emotions" by: Caleb Gibson

   Psalm 23:3 says, “He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For the sake of His name.” 
   When we work out we get our physical body healthy. 
   When we save money each week, we get our finances in good shape. 
   Just as it is good to take care of our physical body and finances, we need to have our soul restored. We need God to restore our soul daily. 
   The soul is the mind, will, and emotions. So, when God gives us peace, our soul is restored. 
   One way to restore is through music. The foundation of restoration is adoration. 
   As a whole, we use music a lot in church. Some churches use the organ to get things gaoing in the background. 
   Is music important? Some believe that emotion is not needed to worship God. 
   You may have heard it said, “worship is a lifestyle.” I agree with this phrase personally, but I also think it would be wrong to assume that worship is only a lifestyle. 

Thu
08
Apr

"Reel reviews: ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ features epic battles, lacking plot" by: Jessica Shepard

   I love big monster fights and I cannot lie!
   The latest Godzilla and Kong flick doesn’t disappoint on this front.
   There’s weapons, explosions and lots of beastly battling – but that’s really all there is to offer with this film.
   The storyline is weak, full of holes and really serves no purpose overall.
   Godzilla vs. Kong is directed by Adam Wingard and clocks in at 113 minutes total run time while being rated PG-13 for intense sequences of creature violence/destruction and brief language.
   A sequel to both Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) and Kong: Skull Island (2017), it is the fourth film in Legendary’s MonsterVerse.
   It is also the 36th film in the Godzilla franchise, the 12th film in the King Kong franchise, and the fourth Godzilla film to be completely produced by a Hollywood studio.

Thu
08
Apr

"Matagorda County Agriculture News and Happenings April/May 2021" Aaron Sumrall, PhD Matagorda County Extension Agent – Agriculture/Natural Resources Texas A&M AgriLife

   Howdy! Hard to believe it is already April Fools and month 4 of the new year. 
   This year has already been one to remember in many ways, both good and not so much! 
   Following the freeze that none of us want to repeat, in which Matagorda County agriculture producers lost an estimated $60 million in combined commodities, planting started. 
   Many were concerned about not getting fertilizer in the ground in a reasonable time due to the backup stemming from the freeze. 
   Planters, however, did follow quickly behind fertilizer with equipment running around the clock. 
   To date virtually all the corn is in the ground, grain sorghum is nearing completion, and cotton is rolling into planting smaller outlying locations. 
   New terraces now traverse the fresh rice fields with many already planted. 
   Cattle folks are gathering up all over the county helping one another in working calves, vaccinating, and moving to new pasture. 

Thu
01
Apr

"Beware this week of your ‘one notch too far’ tendencies" by: Betsy Monico

   Last night I did a good deed, not that I am bragging or anything! I walked over and turned off the water on the berries for my hubby. 
   I still had on my shoes and there was no reason not to lend a helping hand. 
   I also absolutely love making, baking, and especially eating fresh berry cobbler. Hopefully, I earned a nice batch of berries on down the road. 
   When I reached the water faucet, I utilized one of the greatest lessons my Dad ever taught me. “Righty, tighty, lefty loosey.” The practical tip comes in handy on nearly a daily basis. 
   My Dad also taught me how to drive a golf cart at some point during my childhood. 
   One night I must have begged to park it in the garage. I say begged because I cannot imagine him intentionally asking me to do such a thing. 
   I do not remember the details, but I do recall what happened when I ever so gently crashed the golf cart into the garage wall. 

Thu
01
Apr

"Repetition in worship songs helps get the word of God in our hearts" by: Caleb Gibson

   One of my hopes coming out of this pandemic is that many artists will have written new music. 
   That is something that will turn what was meant for our harm to turn out for our good. 
   In writing songs, some complain that songs are too repetitive. They believe that we need more theology in our songs. 
   I think this is true to a degree, I always enjoy more grace-based lyrics. But having repetition in music is actually something good. 
   Now I don’t have a problem when people criticize songs because I do it as well. Over the years I have definitely heard songs and talked about them with people. 
   Yet as I have gotten older, I have been less critical and more understanding that music can be metaphorical and artistic. 
   For me, specifically what crosses the line is when some teachers talk about Charismatic worship. 
   So, should we have repetition is our worship music? Here are three passages that teach us that it is good.

Thu
01
Apr

"Reel Reviews: ‘Come Play’ plot relies on jump scares, so-so plot that falls flat" by: Jessica Shepard

   There’s been this lull in new movies and it’s been a struggle to find anything worth watching.
   However, I am eagerly awaiting the debut of “Godzilla v. Kong” this Wednesday, March 30.
   That being said, I decided to give a relatively new scary movie a chance – which sadly failed for me.
   If you’ve seen “The Babadook” (2014) or “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” (2010) – then you’ve basically already seen this movie minus the smartphone caveat.
   Come Play is a horror film written and directed by Jacob Chase.
   The film is 96 minutes long and rated PG-13 for terror, frightening images, and some language.
   It stars Gillian Jacobs, John Gallagher Jr., Azhy Robertson, and Winslow Fegley.
   Oliver (Robertson) is a young non-verbal autistic boy who uses a smartphone to communicate with people.

Thu
25
Mar

"Easter is almost upon us, brings up memories of egg hunts past" by: Jessica Shepard

   I feel like we’re in this weird time vortex since we shifted clocks forward an hour.
   It just dawned on me that Easter is only about two weeks away and I’m still trying to catch up on my sleep!
   With COVID still impacting our lives, it’s made it harder for my siblings to get off work for the traditional family time.
   In fact, neither of them will be coming home for a while longer and that means we won’t get to dye and hide eggs this year.
   Though that means my sister might also ask for us to do so next year.
   We’ll just have to wait and see.
   I do have to admit that my favorite part of impending Easter celebrations is getting the chance to take photos at the annual Bay City Parks and Recreation Department’s egg scramble.
   There’s nothing as awesome and terrifying as a whole line of children armed with their baskets that descend upon the open field of harmless plastic eggs.

Thu
25
Mar

"Spring is here and things couldn’t be better or could they?" by: John Sample

   We have made it into the spring season and it’s time to get out in our yards and pay attention to the plants that survived the arctic blast last month.
   I was amazed this weekend driving through the Hill Country as the traffic was more like being in the city.
   I think everyone has decided enough is enough and it is time to get out after a year of hibernation.
   I have no idea if this is a local trend, but I did see social media posts of crowds enjoying the beach in Port Aransas celebrating Spring Break.
   I get the feeling that people are ready to do something and that has to help the economy.
   As I have stated before in this column, I see the Gross Domestic Product measure climbing to near 6% this year.
   We have not seen that type of growth since the housing recession.
   It just makes it hard to forecast any downturn in the equities markets.

Thu
25
Mar

PSA: Business owners’ issues go beyond ‘Mom and Pop’ label

If you own a small business, you typically don’t get a lot of recognition – so you may be pleased to learn that March 29 is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day.
   However, despite the mom-and-pop label, you can face some complex financial issues – so you’ll want to make the right moves.
   Of course, making it through the COVID-19 pandemic may have been your biggest recent challenge.
   Once you’re on the other side of it, think of how you can help maximize the benefits you get from your business – and perhaps even extend its longevity.
   For starters, if you haven’t already established a retirement plan, such as an “owner-only” 401(k), a SIMPLE-IRA or a SEP-IRA, start exploring your options.
   Also, review your investment portfolio.
   Much of your money is already tied up in your business, which entails some risk, so you may need to balance this out in your other investments.

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