"Life already is difficult: It would be harder without Christ" by: Caleb Gibson

   Jesus once said, “… I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10). 
   These words of Christ demonstrate to us the kind of life He wants for us. Because Christ is with us, we can have an abundant life. 
   While I was playing in a softball tournament, I overheard a couple of my teammates talking about salvation. 
   One of them had just gave his life to the Lord. 
   It was an awesome moment to hear him explain how he was done with his old life and ready to start his walk with God. 
   The other guy listening was very receptive to him, but he said something interesting that I did not catch until later. 
   He said, “Dude I’m so proud of you, but just remember that the devil knows what you did. He’s ready to start attacking you, just be prepared.” 
   As I thought more about this, I began to realize how we can make the Christian life seem harder than the unsaved life.


"People should be up in arms about schools’ condition" by - Jessica Shepard

   It never ceases to amaze me that people are still up in arms “demanding” to know why Bay City ISD Superintendent Keith Brown’s contract hasn’t been extended.

   Frankly, I’m tired of hearing about it among the gossipers and interlopers.

   I’m sorry, but, since it is an employment matter, those sorts of things aren’t made public to anyone and kept between the employer and employee.

   After all, we’ve already heard from some of the current board members on the subject.

   It also seems that the public wants a different answer or something other than some numerical formulae.

   To be honest, it’s turning some of the board meetings into a regular circus.

   The “audience with patrons” portion of the meetings are becoming a joke – with poster signs included!

   Truthfully, does the questioning of the board after a decision has been made actually do anything?


"Making it clear: I’m no gardener" by: Jessica Shepard

   This is the moment I get to update everyone on my mom’s gardening adventure.
   In reality, she just started – mostly by herself.
   Because I did let everyone know that I’m not participating this year.
   I don’t do exposure to sunlight, bugs, or the possibilities of snakes.
   With that being said, my mom finally got the tiller in working order and carved out some odd number of rows in the backyard.
   Though, I’ve also had to remind her about planting squash away from the cucumbers.
   If not for my own sanity, then at least to save us from wasting space on things we can’t eat.
   But, I’ve been assured that that incident was a one-time thing and we won’t be repeating it this year.
   I’ll just wait and see.
   Truthfully, the only thing I’m excited about growing or watching grow is grapes.
   We’ve got a small patch of leftover fencing that we’ll lead the vines along and hope for the best.


"Indexes make positive move" by: John Sample

   We are racing up on one of the least favorite days of the year. In case you have missed it, your 2015 taxes are due this week. 
   I just got over paying my property tax bill at the end of January. So much for living in a state that doesn’t have a state income tax. 
   Has anyone ever added up the sales tax and property tax bill you pay each year? 
   For most people, it is one of those hidden taxes, as it is in your mortgage payment, and you just pay the sales tax and never add it up. 
   You should keep your receipts for one year and add them up, it will shock you how much you have paid. 
   The one thing that income tax does tell you is that you probably had a good year if you are paying more than last year. 
   I have never understood investing to avoid taxes. You should be proud that you are paying. It says more about your success than any Rolex on your wrist.


Kimball runs for board re-election

Bobby Kimball

   When I first came to Bay City as a teacher and a coach, I found a community genuinely concerned about those who were going to educate their young people. 
   During the 40-plus years I have lived in Bay City, 38 years as an employee of BCISD, I have met many parents, educators, and friends who have served as mentors to me. 
   They care about the quality of education and about the future of our youth. 
   I would like to think I learned many great values from these fine people and would like to continue to serve the Bay City Independent School District and community. 
   Sandra, my wife, retired from BCISD after serving 32 years as a teacher and Matagorda County Director of Special Education. 
   My daughter, a graduate of BCISD is currently employed by BCISD.


"We draw all of our power from God" by: Betsy Monico

   Saturday night I passed my son and his buddy some dinner across the bar from my usual spot by the sink.  
   It was a thrown together meal, but I added some pizazz and a smile as I served it. 
   My son asked me a question. He said “Mom, how are you so positive all of the time?”  
   His friend said, “Yeah, how are you?”  
   I told them first of all I lost my Mom when I was young and that makes me appreciate the fact that I get to be a mother.  
   I am happy when I am woken up at night because of a nightmare or asked to fix another bowl of cereal because honestly, I am glad to be alive and to see my kids grow up. 
   The second reason I gave them was cancer. I got out “the” picture to show Tyler.  
   It is of me bald, gray, and so sick looking that you cannot even really tell it is me.  
   My eyes were not even recognizable. Six months of chemotherapy and radiation did me in, but cancer taught me a lot. 


"Our challenge is finding God in all things, all people" by: Sister Maria del Rosario Resendez

   This past weekend we were given the challenge to find God in everything.  
   I thought this meant that we are to find God in everything we see, such as the flowers, the sunset, nature in general.  
   Yet, at times, we have to look and try to find God in the things where we might not think to find God. 
   After all, He is present in everything. We are to look for God at work, in the relationships that we have, the results we achieve and the quality and attention we give to our work.  
   I remember I had read somewhere that not working while at work is a form of stealing.  
   If we are just sitting around doing nothing and getting paid for it, I guess that would be a form of stealing.  
   The business that we work for is still paying us and is under the impression that we are working, if we are not, then we are stealing.  


"We’re justified by faith alone" by: Caleb Gibson

   “For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.” (Romans 4:2). I love how this explains the simplicity of the gospel.  
   Here Paul is explaining that Abraham was not justified by works. He was justified by faith alone.  
   Today, we are like Abraham and are justified the same way. As we are discussing this grace message, there are many passages that can be confusing to understand.  
   As we dig deeper and look closer, we will begin to see the complete picture.  
   Now had this verse been by itself, there would be no problem.  
   The struggle arrives as we get to the book of James and hear something different. James 2:17 tells us, “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”  
   So clearly James is explaining how faith without works is dead, yet Paul said that we are not justified by works.  
   How do we understand this? 


"Trying to fathom how people knowingly trash the beach" by: Jessica Shepard

    I have always had a strange fascination with the beach.
   And though I hate sand, sun and cold water; over all, I love the experience.
   So long as the wind is blowing and I can get some shade, we’re good.
   Well, and if there’s lass seaweed.
   But, the ultimate bane of my beach experience has always been trash.
   It’s mind-boggling to see so much plastic garbage littering our beaches.
   Coke bottles, plastic bags, crates, discarded children’s toys – all among tons of Styrofoam, aluminum cans and glass bottles.
   I’m not even going to mention more than the disgusting array of cigarette butts or discarded so-called “disposable” diapers.
   And, I pretty much chalk it up to laziness of my fellow coastal enthusiasts.
   It’s great fun and, alright something accidentally blows away, but, what’s the excuse for the ring of refuse left behind when a family pulls up their chairs, towels and cooler?


"‘Fork in road’ over-used expression" by: John Sample

   One of the most over used and trite expressions is that we have reached a fork in the road. 
   This phrase seems essential when politicians are trying to convince us that they have the answer. 
   The next phrase that drives me crazy is when a person indicates that a candidate that they are not going to vote for, “scares” them. 
   We seem intent on demonizing the candidates that we are not in favor of voting for. 
   I long for the times when we used to debate both sides of an issue to make sure we actually knew what we were talking about. 
   It seems now that the candidate we vote for is a validation of our intelligence. 
   I seriously challenge someone to provide any national politician that has any real substance beyond self-promotion. 

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