Columns/Opinions

Thu
05
Nov

Protect your finances from ‘Cyberthieves’

   You’ve no doubt heard reports of personal data being stolen and used for financial fraud.
   How can you defend yourself?
   Here are a few suggestions:
   First, create different passwords for your financial services, social media, and email accounts – and give your passwords some length and complexity.
   Also, watch out for fake websites.
   When making financial transactions, be sure you’re on the site of your bank or financial institution – and not on a false one established by hackers.
   Here’s another tip: Don’t share too much personal information on social media.
   Keep your address, birthday and even travel plans private.
   And try to limit use of public Wi-Fi, such as that found in hotel lobbies.
   Finally, be on the alert for “phishing” communications, which masquerade as notices from banks or financial firms you do business with.

Thu
05
Nov

"With friends, family, determination, God, we can do more than we can fathom" by: Betsy Monico

   I helped move my oldest the past two days. Never have I yearned for bedtime more or thought about how much I love my children. 
   Therefore, I will pitch in when needed – even with moving! My thighs ache and feel fatigued from traveling up and down her stairs. 
   I also gracefully maneuvered up and down a step ladder more times than I can count to patch up and paint a few blemishes from her LED light strip. 
   I can say this though – she left her apartment in great shape. Her “Type A” personality, inherited from her Dad, served her well. I crashed last night with her puppy dog, Max, before she chose to retire. 
   She warned me that if I woke up and could not find her, she was cleaning out her garage. I celebrated her diligence, but snoozed on. 
   For me personally, our weekend moving adventure gave me both full blown tears and uncontrollable laughter. To say anything less than the full spectrum of emotions would be a complete lie. 

Thu
05
Nov

"We want good behavior - this comes from how God wants people to live" by: Garlan Van Dyke

   You’ve heard it before folks, Jesus really is your friend. 
   It goes all the way back to the Garden. 
   God loved Adam and Eve. 
   Provided them everything they needed. 
   Things went awry of course. 
   A few years hence and everyone was running away from God. 
   It was not because God was mean, but because people have a penchant for being their own god.
   Look around the world and you can see the effects of sin – rebellion against God, our own attempts at godhood. 
   Two thousand years ago God decided it was time to help out His creation. 
   Jesus came to the earth. To those who believed on Him, through our present age, He gave the right to become God’s children. 
   We couldn’t be reconciled to God without Jesus. 
   God of the universe? That’s our Father!
   God’s people wear His name, certainly. 
   That means a number of truly great things. God’s name indicates His love for us. 

Thu
05
Nov

"‘Boundaries’: Book can guide us in how to practically love in world full of needs" by: Caleb Gibson

   The book, “Boundaries,” by Dr. Henry Cloud and John Townsend is one of my favorite books. 
   This book helps us to know when to say yes and how to say no. I read this book five years ago and recently reread it. 
   We as Christians struggle with boundaries because we are called to love like Christ.
   The first part of this book caused us to ask the question, “What are boundaries?” 
   It helps us to know what it looks like, how they are developed, and some common myths. 
   The next part of this book deals with boundaries in application. 
   Here they place the idea into application. 
   This is about boundaries and your family, friends, spouse, children, work, the digital age, yourself, and God. 
   The final part of this book is about developing healthy boundaries. 
   They deal with some resistances to boundaries, how to measure success, and a day in a life with boundaries.

Thu
05
Nov

"Reel Res: ‘Spell’ is an unnerving mash-up of several movie plotlines" by: Jessica Shepard

   When I first saw the trailer for “Spell” I was over-eager and excited to see it all play out on the big screen.
   I mean, come on, it debuts at theaters just before Halloween with the promise of Hoodoo/Voodoo in Appalachian Kentucky with a seemingly sweet old lady?
   Plus, I rather liked the idea of watching a predominantly Black cast – something that’s been fairly rare in horror/thriller movies for years.
   The storyline takes liberties and borrows themes from other gritty backwoods scare fests like “Misery,” “The Skeleton Key,” and “The Hills Have eyes” – while relying on creaky floorboards and jump scares.
   If you’re expecting true terror rather than just unsettling creepiness, you’ll be a little disappointed.
   It’s definitely in the B-movie category, but the ending is so much more satisfying than I was hoping for.

Thu
29
Oct

"Juggling family schedules for holiday season a careful balancing act" by: Jessica Shepard

   With the end of October this weekend, we’re looking forward to the holiday season and end of the year.
   Considering how COVID-19 has taken over this year, I’m hoping that it’ll have faded out of existence by 2021.
   But, that’s just wishful thinking and I’m not a medical doctor or professional on virology.
   All I know is that I’m tired of the pandemic sucking all the fun out of my usual expectations and traditions.
   Right now, the family is working out Thanksgiving dinner logistics and how to handle Christmas.
   As it stands, we’re looking at having Thanksgiving dinner the week before the actual calendar date for Thanksgiving.
   Christmas is still a hot mess of conflicting schedules, so, we’ll work on it more this weekend.
   I mean, we’re mostly trying to coordinate between my brother and sister’s jobs – and given that both of them are 90% working from home it should be easy, right?

Thu
29
Oct

"Adapt to your changing world is key to successful investing" by: John Sample

   October is proving to be a scary month for investors. 
   Hopefully, when the election is over, the market can focus on the economy rather than politics. Most signs in the economy are better than projected. 
   That is the good news, but it must overcome the fact that Covid-19 cases have increased to levels not seen since this summer. 
   How we react will have a huge impact on our recovery. Another shutdown could send equities markets into a tail spin. 
   The arrival of vaccines can’t be soon enough. That assumes anyone will take the vaccine. No one seems to blink about taking their yearly flu shots, so there is hope at least.
   I have said before that I am a value investor. I noticed while reading the Wall Street Journal that Ted Aronson was closing his value-based firm AJO as it has underperformed the market for far too long. 

Thu
29
Oct

Protect your family from long-term care costs

   With luck, you can remain physically and financially independent throughout your life.
   But if you lost some of this freedom, could you become a financial burden on your family?
   This question could come up if you ever need some type of long-term care, because it can easily cost $100,000 per year for a private room in a nursing home, according to Genworth, an insurance company.
   If you aren’t prepared for these costs, your family members – such as your grown children – might have to step in at great cost to themselves.
   To prevent this from happening, you could “self-insure” against the expense of long-term care by devoting a portion of your investment portfolio specifically to this purpose – but that could take a lot of money.
   Your other choice would be to purchase a long-term care protection vehicle.
   A financial professional can help you choose one that’s appropriate for your needs.

Thu
29
Oct

"Let your heart and your words be acceptable in God’s sight" by: Betsy Monico

   I witnessed a true competition last night in our home gym. 
   It brought out goosebumps, high-blood pressure medicine, and probably created a line at the concession stand for more popcorn. 
   Our high school volleyball team won their final district match. It was a big win against an old rivalry.  
   This particular team has not been in our district for many years; therefore, the race for the playoffs subsided and the dust somewhat settled. 
   The fierce events that took place when I was younger all calmed, died off, as well. They got totally out of hand and needed to die! Our last “homecoming bonfire” ended back in the day over this war.
The “friendly” 10-mile distance often brought us all closer and still does for many reasons; however, the pranks gradually transformed into larger incidents and multiple misdemeanor crimes I have been told. 

Thu
29
Oct

"Whatever healing, health we experience is a blessing from ‘Calvary’s tree’" by: Caleb Gibson

   Is healing in the atonement? 
   Christ’ death on the Cross is so pivotal because it is a place we should look back at and worship the Lord. 
   That is really something we should all do when we face sickness. We are called to take our eyes off of our current condition and look to Jesus. 
   So does the Cross also include physical healing for our bodies today? I believe there is a clear answer from the Scriptures on this question.
   Isaiah 53 is such a great chapter. It is one chapter I pray more Jews would read and understand what Jesus did for them. 
   Isaiah 53:3-5 tells us, “But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds.” (HCSB). 
   Now, from this some in the cessationists camp believe that Isaiah 53 is only talking about spiritual healing. 

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