Columns/Opinions

Thu
24
Dec

"What qualifies as Christmas movie?" by: Jessica Shepard

 Growing up, nearly all of my Christmas movies were stop motion animated or animated period.
   Henry Selick crushed my usual requirements for a Christmas movie to feature Santa, elves or Christmas trees by saying that his directed film, “The Nightmare before Christmas” was officially a Halloween movie.
   Well, that’s not fun.
   And I still pretty much watch it year round when the mood strikes me.
   It just gets extra air time between October and January.
   But, it also has me thinking about what qualifies something as a Christmas movie and to form my own standards.
   I’m from the generation that’s seen Chevy Chase’s National Lampoon mishaps and Tim Allen’s “Santa Clause” adventures.
   I’ve watched Bruce Willis as John McClane thwart a robbery covered in blood and dirt while delivering the now famous “Yippee Ki Yay” adage.

Thu
24
Dec

"Vaunted Santa Claus market rally yet to materialize" by: John Sample

    The holiday season is in full swing at least here in the Hill Country, as everyone’s nose is running and it has nothing to do with the cold. 
   Go figure the grass is still green here. We are enjoying the beginning of cedar season. 
   It just wouldn’t be Xmas without people getting sick. I just completed a weekend with the grandkids and I can safely say that the Holidays are wasted on old folks like me. 
   But it was fun and we started some new traditions. That is what grandkids do for you. 
   You would think that the older and wiser would be passing along the knowledge but it is the young doing the teaching. Getting to go to Star Wars at 9:30 in the morning with your granddaughters was remarkable. 

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Thu
24
Dec

"Make room for Christ child in your home, heart" by: Sister Maria del Rosario Resendez

   Christmas is tomorrow and as I sit here and think about the incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ 
   I think about how some don’t understand why God would become human. 
   Why would God penetrate through time and become one of us? 
   Recently I heard a story told to us about a man and the birds, Paul Harvey reads this story on his radio show every Christmas and I would like to summarize the story here. 
   There was a man who just couldn’t bring himself to believe in the incarnation of God. Why would God become a baby born in a manger? 
   This man wasn’t a scrooge, he was a good and generous man but he just couldn’t wrap his head around God becoming man. 

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Thu
24
Dec

"Rejoice! Jesus made us holy" by: Caleb Gibson

   There was once a group of blind men who touched an elephant to learn what it was.  
   One man touches the leg and concludes, “Elephants are like trees.”  
   “Oh no,” says the man gripping the ear. “Elephants are like huge fans.”  
   “You’re both wrong,” says the man feeling the tail. “Elephants are like snakes.”  
   I believe that this is the picture many of us get when we try to describe the word, “Holy.”  
   We may have a part of what it is but not the whole picture. 
   One of the main reasons we don’t understand this meaning is because we put the emphasis on the outward rather than the inward.  
   Holiness is not what you wear, what you drive, or how long you pray.  

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Thu
17
Dec

"No Christmas cheer arrives for equities market" by: John Sample

   With the holiday season in full swing, I suppose it was just too much to hope for the Santa Claus rally to give us a holiday boost in the equity markets. 
   On the contrary, last week brought news that the Third Coast junk bond mutual fund was closed. 
   In plain terms, that meant there was no liquidity and investors could not get out. 
   What happened was that Third Coast invested in very risky C-rated bonds. 
   When the news got out that maybe things were bad, you couldn’t get all the investors that wanted out the door essentially collapsing the fund. 
   As one would expect the entirety of the junk bond mutual fund and ETF sectors were smeared with Third Coast’s activity.
   In sincerely feel sorry for investors but I have often noted in this column time that you cannot get greedy looking only at the potential yield any investment might show today. 

Thu
17
Dec

"Christmas cards nice reminder about Christ’s coming" by: Sister Maria del Rosario Resendez

   Christmas is almost here! I always say that if January flies on by then the whole year flies on by.  
   Seeing that Christmas is just around the corner I stand by my theory. 
   I’m trying as hard as I can to get everything done before Christmas.  
   I’m writing my Christmas cards as fast as I can. 
   Am I the only one that still tries to put in a personal message in the Christmas cards ,or do other people still do that as well? 
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Thu
17
Dec

"Help someone out, just as Jesus can help you" by: Betsy Monico

   My daughter just started my column for me. 
   There was a nice centered title that read “Christmas is coming.”  
   She indented the first paragraph and began telling about how it was all about Jesus. 
   I have had several experiences recently that have reminded me I do not have small children anymore. 
   My oldest now has her license and took the whole crew to school last week for the first time without me. 
   I stood in the carport and watched them all leave. It was really strange! I have carried them everywhere with me. It has always been 4 plus 1. Them and me. 
   Last week, the equation changed. It was just 4. They did not need me to be the plus 1. I cried and smiled. 

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Thu
17
Dec

"No matter how down you are, God always present to lift you up" by: Caleb Gibson

   As we read the Bible, we need a proper context of each story.  
   We may read one verse and get a different understanding if we did not consider the context of the verse. 
   For instance, Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 
   “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.” (John 15:1-2). 
   Many people get very nervous about this verse. The whole goal of this passage is so that we bear more fruit and glorify God. 
   If you want a plant to grow, you don’t cut it completely off, but you water it. 
   Remember vines are not like trees. 

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Thu
10
Dec

"The joy of being right" by: Jessica Shepard

   According to Facebook and several close friends, its finals time for college students.
   It only serves to remind me just how close we are to the end of this year already. It’s creeping up faster than anyone has planned.
   Well, at least in this household.
   What started out as an adventure in hanging outside Christmas lights, turned into a whole afternoon of yard work instead.
   Which, I’ll admit, was more work than I wanted to do.
   I’m not a fan of raking leaves or hauling broken limbs and various bush appendages to the burn pile we have.
   In fact, they didn’t even make it that far and are currently occupying a spot on our driveway.
   However, the highlight of this round of chores was remembering that we have an electric leaf blower and mulcher combo.
   But, I prefer the blow setting.
   In theory it was going well enough until the wind started picking up and then it was me versus Mother Nature.

Thu
10
Dec

"Market makes positive moves" by: John Sample

   The market made three-digit moves throughout last week ending in positive territory. 
   Most of this came on Friday when the jobs report came out supporting a belief that the economy is growing and salaries are increasing. 
   That was the good news. 
   At the same time, OPEC got together and Saudi Arabia basically disassembled the cartel. 
   Ten various members agreed to disagree. 
   Saudi Arabia is more about punishing Russia and Iran over the US. 
   Unfortunately this is analogous to a hand grenade and we are close enough to the target to get burned.

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