"Happiness is one more ride on the Tilt-a-Whirl" by: Jessica Shepard

   Just like with the fair and rodeo in the spring, the fall Rice Festival also holds a certain place in my heart.
   I have many happy memories of unlimited armbands being $10 and rides that seemed like they could touch the sky along with carnival workers trying to shout over the din.
   Sounds, that, depending on the ride, music or electrical generator being used could leave your ears ringing when you got too close.
   And the scents – funnel cakes, cotton candy, fresh squeezed lemonade and a unique blend of generator fumes or gasoline that includes, when the wind drifts just right; livestock.
   Over the years I have seen many attractions come and go.
   But, there are old standards and standbys that guarantee people lining up.
   The Ferris Wheel, Tilt-A-Whirl, swing riders and, of course, the carousel always had the longest lines.
   Other rides required riders to be a certain height or were limited to smaller children.


"Dow continues winning streak despite gloom" by: John Sample

   I don’t know how you are going to enjoy your Columbus Day week but it should be a toast to the stock market. 
   The Dow Industrial average is on the longest winning streak this year.  
   One can look back to mid-August when crude prices and the Chinese equity market hit bottom.  
   There were predictions of $20 oil and a collapse of the Chinese economy stifling growth worldwide.  
   Guess what happened on the way over the cliff?  
   Of course, stock prices climbed the wall of worry.
   To emphasize how things have changed, even basic materials are starting to turn.  
   Glenncore announced last week that it would cut back on zinc production.  
   Finally common sense may come back to Vale, BHP, Rio and Freeport.  
   Who knew that supply and demand were related?
   As an investor, mark your calendar on August 24.  
   You are going to be able and look back at the bounce back from the bottom.  


"The Lord gave us a home we should care for" by: Sister Maria del Rosario Resendez

   Pope Francis’ newest encyclical is named Laudato Si which translates to Praise be to God.  
   We have been studying this encyclical since it came out and it is very interesting. 
   In it he tells us how important it is for us to take care of the environment.  
   God made us stewards of this world and it is all our responsibility to take care of it.  
   The pope encourages us to look after the world and remember that we are leaving it for future generations.  
   He wants us to take care of the earth because we respect it and also to care for it out of love. 
   We can remember during his visit to the United States he did mention the climate and the care for the earth.  
   I can say that after reading the encyclical I do try harder to recycle and to take my reusable cup with me places that I know will offer coffee or snacks for us to enjoy. 
   Then I read a book like Zoo by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge.  


"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.  


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