"Have patience: Let God take the lead" by: Betsy Monico

   My son and I just made our way to town a bit later than usual. He was invited to a casual evening out at Sonic. I agreed to one hour. 
    I loaded up the computer bag and knew that I could finish the column I had started earlier. I can turn anything into my own personal home office with a cup of coffee and a laptop. 
   That brings me to the present moment. I am in the parking lot of McDonalds with my seat scooted all of the way back and my laptop is leaning back on the steering wheel. 
   My windows are rolled down and other than an occasional diesel engine that roars by and the voices I can hear from Sonic, it is quiet. 
   On the way to town, we talked about light bars, trucks, Rangers, new phones, and all of the other usual topics that he likes. We live 10 miles from town. 
   I used to curse the distance, but now I love it. 
   I get to talk to my kids without very many distractions when we drive back and forth. It is a blessing! 


"God empowers us to use talents" by: Caleb Gibson

   One day while Jesus was in a city, over five thousand people gathered around to see Him. 
   In fact, when they counted they only counted five thousand men, so this account of the people in not including the woman and children. This was way more than 5,000. 
   Now many people had traveled long distances to get a glimpse of Jesus.  
   The Lord knew they would need to have food. Imagine 5,000 people arriving at Bay City for an event. Our restaurants probably wouldn’t have enough food for them all. 
   So a young boy came to Jesus and gave Him his five loaves and two fishes.  
   Christ then took what the boy had and multiplied the food so that the entire group of people were too full to eat anymore. I love this story because it speaks about what God can do when we give him our abilities. 
   Many people think that they do not have enough talent, but the truth is that when we place what we do have in the Lord’s hands, he can multiply it.  


"Final quarter generally has been positive" by: John Sample

   Last Friday was an amazing day in the equities market.  
   The jobs report came in much lower than expected and downward revisions to previous months didn’t help stave off investor fears.  
   The various equities indexes opened down over 2 percent.  
   A funny thing happened though as the Dow reversed an almost 300-point loss to push to a 200-point gain.  
   I mentioned previously that September historically has been a less than stellar month. 
   Moving into October and the last quarter of the year has been the opposite.  
   Too bad historically low drops in October in previous years have contributed to October being labeled as a down month. 
   Quite the contrary. 
   Part of the reason for positive moves in October is the very nature of most corporate accounting.  
   It is the beginning of the fiscal accounting year. 
   New budgets are set and money can be spent.  


"We can’t go back, so we must learn from mistakes" by: Rosario Resendez

   I have been learning how to crochet for over a year now.   
   I say that I’m still learning because there are some things that I have still yet to learn how to do.   
   I don’t know everything there is to know about the skill and there are some patterns that I look at that I have no idea what is being explained.  
   Still I like to crochet.   
   I never knew how relaxing it could be, after a hard day to be able to sit and be able to create something out of yarn.  
   Now there are times that I miss a stitch, and then I have to unravel a lot of what I have done and start over.   
   Those times are rather annoying and I get a little mad.   
   Okay, I get really mad and I have to put my project down for a bit and then cool down.   
   Then I pick it up and start on it again, I don’t stop until I have used up all the yarn that I had to unravel.   


"It’s important to ‘check in’ with Jesus" by: Betsy Monico

   I have several jobs and titles in life. This past June,   
   I acquired a new one. I gained my new position without even applying when my 15 year old enrolled in a parent taught driver’s education course.   
   I became the parent who was going to teach the driver. (I laugh as I type that.)   
   Things these days are so fancy, even driver’s education. Back in the old days, we just took the class at school and carpooled to Corsicana to do the actual driving thing.  
   My daughter enrolled herself. All I had to do was pass her my credit card one night so that she could complete her purchase.  
   The next thing I knew, I was signing my life away and committing to be her instructor. (She highlighted where I needed to sign and even provided me with a pen.)  


"As believers we’re all beloved by God" by: Caleb Gibson

   “After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, 17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.’” (Mat. 3:13-17).
   Imagine hearing this voice. You hear God’s voice saying how much He loved His son.   
   I would have been awestruck.   
   Imagine someone fainting and falling in the water after hearing this.  
   Right after this baptism Jesus went to into the wilderness and fasted for forty days. Then the Devil tempted him with three temptations. 

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"Enjoying Pope’s visit, his message for Christians" by: Rosario Resendez

   This past week the pope was visiting in the United States. I thought it was awesome to have him here.    
   Pope Francis in my opinion is our faith in action. He shows us how we are supposed to be humble and full of joy. I couldn’t help but laugh every time I saw the little Fiat he was in traveling among the huge black SUVs. 
   The Pope’s visit to the United States was a big deal here at the convent too. We changed our daily schedule here so we were able to catch him on television.  
   I would have liked to see him in person but seeing all those people that went out to see him, I think I got a better view from our couch. 
   I loved the prayer service he held at Ground Zero in New York. The most powerful image that I will always remember what when he gave the sign of peace to the representatives of all the different religions in the world.  


"Lord’s love is steady, secure" by: Caleb Gibson

   Jesus was having breakfast with the disciples when he asked Peter, “do you (agape) love Me more than these?” (John 21:15).  
   Peter told the Lord, “Yes, Lord; You know that I (phileo) love You.” (John 21:15). Now Jesus did this a total of three times with Peter, the same amount of times that Peter had denied knowing Christ. 
   So what is this significance? As English readers we do not get the full explanation by simply reading the text in our language.  
   As we go to a commentary or a Greek text we can discover the amazing truth that is revealed in this discussion between Peter and Jesus. 
   When Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him, He used the Greek word, “Agape” 
   The Greek language uses different words to describe love. This agape is the God kind of love. It is self-sacrificing. 
   Phileo is a different kind of love; it means brotherly love. He wanted to show him that we cannot rely on our own will power. 


"Ask God to help us clean out old sins" by: Betsy Monico

 It is difficult for me to write tonight.  
   Three of my kids are jumping on the trampoline. I was just with them playing “steam roller” and football. 
   The entire time I was playing with them I had a running dialogue going in my head about normal sibling behavior. 
   I feel like they pick, fight, and can be entirely too rough with each other. I want to pounce on them quite often and fix it all, but then I remember that most of this is a normal family dynamics and that they do get along…sometimes! 
   You see, I want kindness around here all the time. I am a peacemaker. 
   I attempt to be a peacekeeper. I have to remind myself often that Jesus Christ is the only real peacemaker and peacekeeper. I am even learning in my 40s to be “okay” when things are not “okay.” 
   Another reason for my unsettled mind is that I saw “War Room.” 


"Where did water go?" by: Mike Reddell

   What happened to all of the water we were getting? 
   Seems like yesterday, when we were watching the torrents of water from Tropical Storm Bill tear through Matagorda County.  
   I thought about the wet spring and early summer as I surveyed the parched sections of lawn that the sprinkler didn’t seem to help much. 
   I also noticed those cracks in the ground that tell us it’s been awhile since we had some serious precipitation. 
   Matagorda County and part of Brazoria County were recently reclassified by the Texas Drought Monitor under moderate drought conditions.  
   Counties immediately around us are either designated as abnormally dry or no status at all.  
   No rain, at least in sight, temperatures around 100 and a heat index of 109 on Tuesday seems to be the perfect accents for the drought news.  


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