Columns/Opinions

Thu
26
Sep

"Life is much more fun when we realize we share it with God" by: Betsy Monico

   So much of my time is spent in the car. 
   We live ten miles out of town. My budget-friendly goal is to only make the trip once a day; however, we often travel it several times a day because of various activities. 
   Last week, I pulled out onto highway 488 with a clear coast. About the time I got my speed up to 65, I looked in the rearview mirror and immediately panicked over my “tailgater.” 
   It was a big truck on a mission to get where he was going rapidly. I refused to speed up. 
   The jeep is my favorite vehicle, but not safe to speed in. The truck finally blew past me when we reached a passing zone. 
   I was thrilled. I felt like he was “pushing” me to do wrong.
I immediately knew this would be my topic for the week. 
   Sometimes we all need a good pushing and a dose of encouragement. 
   On the contrary, like with the big truck dangerously on my tail, “pushing” may not be good! 

Thu
26
Sep

"Go in kindness when asking the Lord for answers to life’s questions" by: Caleb Gibson

   One day Billy Graham was asked by a reporter, “I’ve many preachers that are better than you, why has God chosen you to be the evangelist to the world?” 
   With a shy, retiring smile Billy Graham replied back, “When I get to heaven, that is going to be my first question.” 
   We all have a purpose, and out of all our many reasons for living, love is at the top of the list.
God is love. That is the description of Him. Jesus once told His Disciples, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35).
How are we known as disciples of God? We are known by our love.
It’s great to have football again. As a fan it can be easy to look at the coach and criticize the way he does things. 

Thu
26
Sep

"Reel Reviews: ‘Downton Abbey’ geared towards fans of the series than newcomers" by: Jessica Shepard

   Last week, the Boys and Girls Club held its annual red carpet fundraiser featuring “Downton Abbey” in its debut weekend.
   I have to admit that I’ve never seen more than a few episodes of the famed TV series during its six-season run that ended in 2015.
   But, not only was it a new release, it was also a fundraiser, so I attended and found myself quickly lost in British humor and a family of characters I had no point of reference for.
   In fact, it’s much better suited to fans of the series or someone more invested in it than I am.
   Still, I had a few good laughs and enjoyed it as an overall historical fiction period piece.
   Downton Abbey is rated PG for thematic elements, some suggestive material, and language and has earned over $72.2 million while taking over box offices worldwide.

Thu
19
Sep

"County Judge talk includes recovery, economic development" by: Mike Reddell

   Matagorda County’s costs arising from Brazoria County’s separation from the 23rd District Court are about $145,000, County Judge Nate McDonald said at his state of the county address last week.
   A bill was approved earlier this year allowing Brazoria County to form its own district and to split from the 23rd District’s longtime trio of counties, leaving only Matagorda and Wharton counties.
   The additional burden was foreseen, but McDonald said that instead of an additional $10,000 to $15,000, the total so far is $145,000.
   “We have to pay for his staff and for visiting judges. The costs are real and there,” McDonald said of Matagorda County’s new share of the 23rd District costs.  
      The discussion was part of McDonald’s explanation of the county’s recently approved fiscal 2019-2020 budget.

Thu
19
Sep

"A damp week leads to yearning for fall weather" by: Jessica Shepard

   So, we’ve got some rain in the forecast finally, along with loads of flood warnings.
   And while that is something to certainly celebrate this late in the summer, the rest of my internal monologue is only mildly annoyed.
   Can’t we invent some sort of weather machine to make it more of a deluge and spread the storm out over several weeks?
   Also, somewhat along the same vein, but can we have a wind machine of sorts to keep a good breeze going during the heat of the day?
   I mean, I’m not really complaining about anything but a minor inconvenience.
   But, isn’t that something we all fall prey to?
   I really only have to worry about my poor Ford Focus with flash flooding – especially in our low-lying areas.
   On the flip side, that means I get to take mom’s Jeep out if I need to run errands or go to interviews.
   And that’s definitely a bonus.
   The sunburned grass will no doubt be happier, too.

Thu
19
Sep

"Strike on Saudi refineries puts markets on edge against puts world on edge" by: John Sample

   Just when you thought we were going to set new record highs in the equity indexes and average, a drone strike in Saudi Arabia’s oil refineries put the markets on edge and crude prices soaring. 
   It is remarkable how times have changed. 
   A decade ago this action would have a significantly negative impact on the US economy. 
   This attack will have an impact on the Pacific Rim where most of these countries import a vast majority of the oil from Saudi Arabia. 
   China has acknowledged such. 
   Moreover, no one knows if there will be any counter measures against Iran who has been accused to be the source of the drone attacks.
   If that wasn’t enough, the UAW has decided to go on strike against GM. 
   The Federal Reserve is going to meet this week which could mean another interest rate decrease. 
   The 10 year yield is holding at 1.8% after being as low as 1.4% only a couple of weeks before.   

Thu
19
Sep

Can “AI” help you become a better investor?

   Artificial intelligence, or AI, is now part of all our lives.fIt’s used in social media, our navigation systems, and many other applications.
   But can it help you become a better investor?
   Many large financial services firms do use AI to select investments for specific funds.
   And as an individual, you could invest with an AI-powered “robo-advisor.”
   But investing is highly personal, so you may do better by working with a human financial professional.
   For example, a robo-advisor probably can’t help you talk through tradeoffs as you prioritize your goals or provide you guidance on the options for a 401(k) when you change jobs.
   And it takes another person to know you well enough to understand how you might react to events such as sudden market drops – and help you keep your portfolio objectives in mind.

Thu
19
Sep

"Expecting rainbows to continue - just like God’s promises to us" by: Betsy Monico

   Going back to last year. I sang a song all day long in my head from my childhood days at Lakeview Church Camp. 
   It talks about passing it on. I chose a particular dinner because someone passed on their delicious enchilada recipe to me. 
   “Pass it on” has been on my mind all day. I feel like I must pass the rainbow miracle on tonight. Here it goes:
Never in my life have I seen as many rainbows as last week. Our local community sure did need them. 
   Sometimes we need a miraculous sign in the sky that God is still with us, still on the throne, still can be trusted, and still is in control.  
   Sadly, I know it is not just my community either. 
   What is it about a rainbow that stops us in our tracks? They appear after a storm. 
   They splash a touch of indescribable color into a seemingly dark and gray sky. They superficially pop up out of nowhere. 
   Monet and Van Gogh took time to paint their masterpieces. 

Thu
19
Sep

"Thankful for the technology we have today and New Covenant" by: Caleb Gibson

   Technology has sure advanced. 
   When we think about the old west, we may think of Jesse James, Dodge City, ranchers, boots, and duals. 
   Yet one thing we may not consider is the fact that they didn’t have the comforts that we have today. Their houses had no indoor bathrooms, running water, or a/c units. 
   They longed for what we have today. 
   In a similar way, the people of the Old Testament desired what we have now in the new covenant. Pastor Andrew Farley said, “We have a better deal than any Old Testament believer.” 
   Psalm 51 is what David prayed to God after the prophet Nathan confronted him about his sin. 
   In a way, Psalm 51 is us listening into the room of David as he is sorrowful and prays to God. 
   David cried out, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10). 

Thu
19
Sep

"Reel Reviews: ‘Hustlers’ an unexpected role for Jennifer Lopez" by: Jessica Shepard

   “Hustlers” is a crime drama film written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, based on New York magazine’s 2015 article “The Hustlers at Scores” by Jessica Pressler.
   The film stars Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo, and Cardi B.
   It’s rated R for pervasive sexual material, drug content, language, and nudity and is ranked number two in theaters worldwide, raking in just over $37.6 million last weekend.
   Former New York City-based stripper Dorothy (Wu) is invited for an interview with Elizabeth (Stiles), a journalist working on a story involving Dorothy’s former friend and mentor, Ramona Vega (Lopez).
   In 2007, Dorothy, known by her stripper name as Destiny, is working at a strip club to support her grandmother, but is continually frustrated by her inability to attract paying clients.

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