Columns/Opinions

Thu
17
Dec

Investment lessons from 2020

   Over the past year, we’ve learned a lot about the social, political, and physical forces that have affected everyone. 
   But as an investor, what lessons can you learn from 2020? 
   Lesson one: The markets generally look ahead. 
   Even though the pandemic has hit the economy hard, the financial markets, after plunging, recovered from the initial shock. 
   That’s because they’re anticipating a stronger economic recovery in 2021. 
   Lesson two: Opportunities often exist for investors, especially in times of market stress. 
   Smart investors look for opportunities and take advantage of them when appropriate. 
   Lesson three: Stay invested. Investors who jumped out of the market when it fell likely missed out on the rally that followed. 
   We probably won’t see anything like 2020 again. 
   But some of the investment lessons we learned are applicable in every year – so keep them in mind in 2021 and beyond. 

Thu
17
Dec

"True Christmas spirit means loving, caring for others" by: Betsy Monico

   We climbed mountains his week. We caught up on assignments, both for virtual kids and those still in class. 
   It took true teamwork. I tattled on the individuals present for my study session and requested a coordinated plan for next semester. 
   All parties agreed. 
   I strongly believe in education and the value of schoolwork, even in these trying times of Covid; therefore, we cannot give up, slow the pace, or allow anyone to quit. I preach this daily in my classroom. 
   The major goal here last week was to get Monico No. 4 her permit. 
   We had several options. The closest one, the miracle one, ended up landing right in front of us at the last minute. 
   We were nearly ready, but forced to act quickly. If you have never helped a kiddo get a permit or license, just wait. 
   I took driver’s education class in school and went to Corsicana to gain my hours behind the wheel. 

Thu
17
Dec

"While the Gospels tell Christmas story, entire Bible a Christmas story" by: Caleb Gibson

   What is the true meaning of Christmas? 
   The Gospel of Matthew has the Christmas Story. 
   The Gospel of Mark has the Christmas Story. 
   The Gospel of Luke Has the Christmas Story. 
   Yet the gospel of John does not contain a Christmas-themed story. John does summarize the story, but we do not have these main characters. 
   John doesn’t talk about the wisemen, the shepherds, Mary, Joseph, or the angels. 
   What is beautiful is how John summarizes the true purpose of this season.
   John 1:14 tells us, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Notice this emphasis of the Word. 
   Grace and truth are on the side of Jesus. 
   Remember the words of Charles Wesley’s Christmas hymn, “veiled in flesh, the Godhead see.” 

Thu
17
Dec

"Reel Reviews ‘Fat Man’ has an unexpectedly violent, modern Santa story" by: Jessica Shepard

   Everyone, young and old knows the basic mainstream story of Santa and how he delivers gifts to children worldwide. 
   Following tradition, the good kids get toys and bad kids get lumps of coal. 
   I mean, that’s the basic gist of what Santa does during Christmas, right? 
   Though, what happens to the kids that aren’t motivated by getting a lump of coal to do better and get gifts instead next year? 
   This movie kind of explores that with unexpected violence and bitterness from old Mr. Clause. 
   “Fatman” is an action film written and directed by Eshom Nelms and Ian Nelms and starring Mel Gibson, Walton Goggins, Robert Bockstael, Chance Hurstfield, and Marianne Jean-Baptiste. 
    David Gordon Green and Danny McBride serve as executive producers of the film. 
   The movie is rated R for bloody violence, and language and clocks in at 100 minutes of total run time. 

Thu
17
Dec

"Let’s look to 2021 for smooth sailing, starting with local oyster mariculture" By Nicole Pilson Coastal & Marine Resources Texas A&M AgriLife Matagorda County

   Happy December- we made it! WHAT. A. YEAR. 
   Twenty-twenty has felt like something out of a horror/sci-fi movie and I can’t say I would give it too many good reviews. 
   But amongst the fire and smoke, a lot of great things have emerged from the ashes. 
   I think we have all learned the true value of quality time with our loved ones, learned to be more gracious and patient, and how to be flexible in a constantly-changing world.  
   It has been a weird time in our lifetimes, one we surely will not forget… but let’s take a look at some of the good that has come from this infamous year. 
   In the midst of an incredibly active and destructive hurricane season, we saw the triumph of the human spirit as neighbors and strangers came together to help each other out. 

Thu
10
Dec

"Getting schooled in effective pandemic communications" by: Mike Reddell

   I got schooled last week in the field of public communications.
   I will confess that the Bay City Sentinel has complained about the dearth of COVID-19 information on the Matagorda County Emergency Operation Center (EOC) Facebook page.
   When the COVID-19 pandemic broke back last spring, the EOC page was the place to go for information about new COVID-19 cases, recoveries and deaths.
   That’s changed in recent times, as EOC officials have directed us to the State Department of Health Services (SDHS) website found on MRMC Home Page.
   So, EOC doesn’t carry updates as they once did, but rather shares MRMC articles – as the Sentinel does – and, recently, COVID-19 articles that run in the other paper in town.

Thu
10
Dec

"Spam messages get weirder as holidays draw closer" by: Jessica Shepard

   If you’ve had an email address for the last 20 years, then you’ve fallen victim to spam email messages at some point or another.
   For me, it seems that they get worse and more viral as the holiday season draws to its climax.
   That means the nearer we get to Christmas and New Year, the more I seem to have to wade through before getting to something that’s actually important.
   When I was in college, it was just easier to make mass deletions of emails and to feign innocence at something missing for a class or whatnot.
   Since then, email services and systems have gotten little better at filtering out words like “sale” or “limited time only.”
   But, those spam mailers have gotten more creative by using emoticons or making subject lines so long that it overloads the general system scans.

Thu
10
Dec

Are you still planning to retire early?

   The pandemic has disrupted a lot of people’s retirement plans.
   If you were thinking of retiring early before COVID hit, can you still do so now?
   Actually, even without a crisis, it’s a good idea to review your important life goals from time to time.
   So, you’ll need to consider a few factors when thinking about early retirement.
   First, what sort of retirement lifestyle do you foresee?
   The more expensive it is, the more challenging it will be to afford an early retirement.
   Also, try to estimate the income you’ll get from all your sources, including Social Security, your 401(k), IRA, and other investments.
   The less you withdraw each year, the longer you can make the money last.
   Finally, think about why you originally wanted to retire early.
   Do you still feel that way?

Thu
10
Dec

"Even in these tough times, Jesus winning, interceding in our behalf" by: Betsy Monico

    Once upon a time, I planned absolutely everything in advance.  
   When an event was scheduled at our home, I carefully created a day by day, step by step strategy. 
   I stuck with it too. 
   My house was much more in order than it is now and we entertained often.  
   I cannot actually pinpoint what changed, but I have a few ideas.  
   For one, I gave up, slap gave up! I got tired. Secondly, cancer slowed me down to a much gentler pace.  
   The floors and decor ceased to matter.  
   I just wanted to breathe, live, and enjoy my children.    
   Lastly, our four grew up and got more and more involved. My time at home to primp and prepare vanished.   
   We began spending more time in the car.  
   I graduated to their taxi driver.  
   They often questioned that concept when I mentioned my promotion and love for bright yellow vehicles.  

Thu
10
Dec

"We don’t depend on chance, we depend on and trust the Lord" by: Caleb Gibson

   Is every dice throw the Lord’s will? 
   One scripture that may be hard to understand is found in the book of Proverbs. 
   It says, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.” (Proverbs 16:33) (HCSB). 
   What does this mean? 
   Does God control every throw of the dice? Remember the 8 ball? 
   This “magic 8 ball” would be able to tell you things. 
   As you would shake it, a phrase or word would appear like: as I see it, yes, it is uncertain, or don’t count on it. 
   You may ask questions like: does pineapple belong on pizza, does she like me, will the Texans win a Super-bowl within ten years? 
   To me, if God controlled every decision and every 8 ball shake, I would be carrying that thing around everywhere.
What is God is trying to tell us in this verse? 
   Even the foolish things of this world, such as dice throwing, can be used by God to do great things. 

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