"EU uneasy with Greek reach to Russian, Chinese" by: John Sample

   The Greek debt situation holds the markets hostage for yet another week.   
    The dynamics are interesting at least to me. Greece reached out to both Russia and China for support last week. 
    The implications of the EU losing a member to the likes of Russia or China could tip the financial balance across the pond.    As I have noted before, China understands that the next war is not military but economic.   
    It is no mystery why China is literally building islands to extend their territorial waters that holds promise of substantial oil reserves.    
   China has been active in South America lining up natural resources necessary for future economic expansion.  
    It actually makes tuning on financial networks almost palatable if nothing more than trying to figure out what is coming next.

"Bible reminds us how God comforts our pain" by: Rosario Resendez

   “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
   This verse tells us that God sends to us people to comfort us when we are going through hard times. 
   In this way, ee is comforting us through the people around us.
   On May 20, my grandmother passed away. 
   We knew it was coming, we saw all the signs, but like I always say, we can prepare ourselves all we want, we will never be ready.

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"There is no expiration date on Jesus' goodness" by: Betsey Monico

   The fair ended for us yesterday when we packed up, said goodbye to our lambs, and headed home.  
   I make that sound so easy. It is quite a task because of all of the junk we carry up there.  
   It was such a good week.  
   We had good weather, good food, and a good time.  
   If I was asked to write a “Top 10 World’s Greatest Fair List” my No. 1 would be the time I get to spend with people.  
   It is a family affair with cousins, parents, and everyone involved.  
   My “golden” friends usually keep tradition in check and gather up at the Emmons camp.   
   We swing and catch up.  
   We have been swinging there as long as I can remember.  
   We laughed this year about the old days when we all slept on the floor.  
   There were sleeping bags and girls lined up tight.  

"Speaking of water" by: Mike reddell

   I’m writing this as the rain from Tropical Bill is falling here just south of Bay City.
   I mention my location here because I’ve learned that the rain could be falling in one part of Bay City and nary a drop in another part of the city.
   This column isn’t about the storm, but it is about water.
   Once Bill has passed us – and hopefully dumped some rain on the Colorado River north of the Highland reservoirs – summer will return and lots of people in Matagorda, Wharton and Colorado counties will resume their thoughts about future water supplies.
   I’ve now met a lot of those folks through two Tri-County water summits – the most recent at Prasek’s in Hillje last week.

"Merits of fine arts can't be overstated" by: Jessica Shepard

Jessica Shepard | Life's Lemonade

   As a former fine arts student of Bay City ISD, I applaud the efforts those educators are taking to bring an honors curriculum into our schools.
   I lettered in choir and spent a total of nearly eight years in choir throughout my career as a student of BCISD.
   Choir and my choir directors spoke to me on a level where subjects like science, physical education or math were failing.
   The fine arts gave me a chance to express myself in not only the least expensive way, but, in a way that was tailored to my needs.
   Without choir, I might not have been able to overcome my chronic asthma and the need for an emergency inhaler at all times.
   Without choir, my social anxiety would have been much worse than it is now.
   Choir gave me a way to voice my emotions, no pun intended.

"Correction could offer opportunity" by: John Sample

   This weekend brought news of a failure in the negotiations over a solution to the Greek debt crisis. 
   As a consequence the current pull back in the various stock indexes will continue as markets cannot stand uncertainty. 
   It did not help a bit that the long argued Trade Pact went down to defeat in Washington. 
   The potential rise in the value of the dollar against all other currencies will continue to make it harder for US companies to compete. One can only expect that we may be closer to a correction than we have thought.
   Never forget that a correction is not the end of the world. 
   Actually, a correction for me is a real opportunity. 
   Value investors come alive when markets correct as they start sifting through the wreckage to find the overly punished. 
   It is really an opportunity to find long-term investments. 

"A retreat with the Lord can be spent listening" by: Rosario Resendez

   This past week I was on a silent retreat.  
   During this time we silence ourselves so that we can better hear the word of God in ourselves. 
   That week I also gave up TV, my phone, my tablet, and the cord to my laptop as it doesn’t work without being plugged in.  
   I was proud of myself going over and beyond what was expected of us so I can silence myself and not be tempted by technology and social media. 
   So Sunday evening I gave up my electronics along with my fellow sister in formation.  
   We all laughed and were excited to get the silent retreat started.  
   This was all done at 6 p.m. Sunday, by 9 p.m., I was pacing my room not knowing what to do with my time. 

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"God always with you, even when times are bad" by: Betsy Monico

Today was one of those days that you just have to love! 
   My driver’s ed student was cruising cautiously on Texas 75 just south of Streetman when she nailed her first armadillo.  
   I have taught her not to swerve if something comes out in front of her, but to reduce her speed, keep her hands on the wheel, and hit it if necessary.  
   I have not shared with her that I usually close my eyes right before I make contact with whatever is in my way and scream.  
   I will keep that personal tip of mine to myself. 
   When she flipped the armadillo, we laughed so hard.  
   I do not know why we would laugh at the loss of life, but we totally lost it!  
   All she could say between the laughter was “You told me never to swerve.” 
   That is true! She followed my instructions.  

"Remembering a packed summer" by: Jessica Shepard

   School is out, summer is in full swing and my friends are all going on vacation.
   Everyone is either just out of town or scattered to the four winds.
   Colorado, a Caribbean cruise and more local trips to New Braunfels or somewhere similar.
   Still, some are stuck working like I am.
   Being inside while working is better than outside by a long shot.
   But, still, I feel like being out in the sun would be more of a tease than anything else
   Especially since we live so close to the beach – Bay City is definitely close to the beach.
   A little drive with the windows rolled down and radio blaring would be the perfect therapy for a cooped-up office worker.
   Technically, I don’t even need to be on the sand, just listening to the waves crashing on the shore is more than enough.
   A girl can dream, right?

"Giving advice I didn't follow" by: Mike Reddell

   I have sage advice for our county’s recent graduates: Listen more and lighten up. 
   That’s it. Lecture over. Have a good time with your life. 
   Well, maybe there’s more to the story than that. 
   Since I’m a member of the older generation, I feel obliged to share advice I didn’t follow. 
   But I sure wish I had listened better at 18 and I wish my sons had paid more attention to what I told them when they were 18. 
   Instead, we all took the clichéd road less traveled – several times. 
   Of course, there was a reason that road is less traveled - it ends up with deep ruts, some sections without any trail at all and a few bridges out. 
   I guess the jury is still out on rejecting one piece of my father’s advice. 


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