Columns/Opinions

Thu
24
Sep

"Remember you’re loved this week and a Child of God" by: Betsy Monico

   Can a loss ever be a win? Well, I fully confess to not being the most competitive person. 
   I often claim victory when everyone else seems defeated. Gosh, I like green participation ribbons! 
   My personality screening many years ago revealed to me, not by a surprise, that I am a Sanguine. 
   Us Sanguines mix, mingle, help, and always desire for everyone around us to be happy. 
   In another study, I gained the honor of being an otter! Otters play and create amusement; however, we often leave tasks unfinished and drop the ball. 
   We drop it because we are too busy tossing the “whatever” up into the air, entertaining others, and amusing ourselves to even recall our initial objective. 
   Otters love and master life’s circus rings well. This “circus ring” can drive others crazy too. 
   It is our nature to create chaos, but we sure can try to overcome our limitations and branch over to the other side of responsible living. 

Thu
24
Sep

"Having Christ-centered approach makes Bible study more powerful" by: Caleb Gibson

   There are three major ways to understand a passage in the Bible.  
   I’m sure we could list more, but for this column, we will just look at just three. 
   In scripture there is a story and there is a meaning behind the story. Always allow the Holy Spirit to guide your study and teaching. 
   The first way to teach a story is to find one primary overall meaning of the text. 
   This is when you read a passage and do exegesis, which is defined as critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially of scripture. 
   This is when you ask the question, “What was the author’s intended meaning?” 
   For example, Jay Smith wrote a summary on BibleHub.com on the book of Jonah. 
   He said, “The purpose of this book is to show that God is a merciful and gracious God. Although the wicked city of Nineveh deserved to be crushed immediately, God was patient towards them.” 

Thu
24
Sep

"‘Broken Heart Gallery’ showcases importance of curating friendships, love" by: Jessica Shepard

  With COVID-19 still putting the hurt on our silver screen options, I had to struggle to pick something new between romantic and romantic-comedy movies this week; which had me settling on the rom-com - “The Broken Hearts Gallery.”
   And I have to confess that I had reservations on this genre altogether because it’s hard to find the perfect mix of storyline, jokes and skilled actors.
   But, Gallery takes post-collegiate look at the modern dating scene and offers several different views at relationships in motion.
   The Broken Hearts Gallery is a romantic comedy film written and directed by Natalie Krinsky, in her directorial debut.
Executive produced by Selena Gomez, the film stars Geraldine Viswanathan, Dacre Montgomery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Molly Gordon, Phillipa Soo, Nathan Dales, and Bernadette Peters.

Thu
24
Sep

"Pilson: It’s fitting that October is National Seafood Month" By Nicole Pilson Coastal & Marine Resources Texas A&M AgriLife Matagorda County

   Alright, I know September isn’t quite over yet (also, it flew by!) but I want y’all to start looking to October. While it’s traditionally a time for ghouls and pumpkins, it’s also a time for seafood.  
   October is National Seafood Month, which is pretty fitting considering the U.S. is recognized as a global leader in sustainable seafood - for both farmed & wild-caught. 
   If you’re a commercial fishermen or have a farm, you know we have some of the most rigorous and transparent environmental standards in the world.  
   And to the rest of us who enjoy the fruits of these labors, I have a challenge for you! 
   It is probably safe to say that most of have shrimp, fish, or crabs fairly regularly as part of our meals- we do live on the coast with tons of access to fresh seafood, after all.  
   But how often do you think of or check where your seafood comes from?  

Thu
24
Sep

"Would your child’s car seat pass inspection?" From Gabrielle Washington, M.S. Matagorda County Extension Agent Family and Community Health

   During the pandemic parents have lots on their mind, but car seats may not be at the top of the list. Most parents think they are using their car seat correctly, but unfortunately, most car seats are used incorrectly. For a car seat to best protect your child, it must be the one that fits your child, your vehicle, and one that you will use correctly every time you travel. 
   National Child Passenger Safety Week celebrated September 20-26 provides an opportunity for parents to make sure they are transporting their children safely. 
   Sadly, car crashes continue to be one of the leading causes of death for children. 
   Securing your children properly in an age- and size-appropriate car seat in the back seat of your vehicle — is the most effective thing you can do to protect them in the event of a crash. 

Thu
17
Sep

"Learning the art of hiding behind my beard" by: Mike Reddell

   Sometimes a football game can just crawl.
   Take the Bay City-Wharton game last Friday.
   The Blackcats emerged victorious by 42-31, but the third quarter was roughly six hours long.
   OK, it wasn’t that long, but an endless stretch of penalty calls – many against Bay City – in a game that featured mostly passing tends to slow the clock.
   Truly, the announcer was giving area scores of games nearing their end in the fourth quarter.
   As I looked up at the scoreboard that showed the game we were in was halfway through the third stanza, I became restless – that feeling you’ve stepped into an alternate reality.
   You know, that feeling we all feel 24/7 living in the year 2020.
   The game did end - somewhere in the 11 o’clock hour.
   In these pandemic times, we don’t cross paths with each other as we did before.
   When we do we often don’t know who we’re seeing behind the masks.

Thu
17
Sep

"Online wedding good, 2020 apocalypse bingo bad" by: Jessica Shepard

   After attending my first-ever online wedding, I can say that I might have overthought it last week when I was in the middle of preparing myself.
   I did choose the Facebook Live option so that I could watch without worrying too much if I accidentally turned my phone’s camera or mic on by accident.
   Plus, I didn’t really feel up to dressing nicer than my usual Friday casual wardrobe choice – let alone wearing makeup and figuring out what to do with my hair.
   And I know that if I had attended in person or even with the camera, my friends wouldn’t have minded what I chose to wear or how I looked.
   Though I can’t say the same for their audience and that’s an anxiety trigger that’s hard to get rid of.
   So, I made do and enjoyed the Floridian garden wedding from the comfort of our dining room in Texas.
   My absolute favorite part was then they read off their vows to each other instead of plain old traditional lines.

Thu
17
Sep

"There’s much to enjoy on the ride up but nothing goes up forever" by: John Sample

   We gave back over 10% off the market highs a couple of weeks ago and we have already recaptured half of that back. 
   So much for those predicting a bear market. 
   Don’t get me wrong, a bear market could actually happen. 
   You only have to look at Apple. 
   It is currently trading at a 30 PE and it composes 6% of the S&P 500 stock index. 
   For those bulls on Apple their target prices would push this stock to a 10% level. 
   With such a significant weight on the index, a drop in the stock value would send the indexes plummeting. 
   We all enjoy the ride up, but nothing goes up forever. 
   Never forget that we have been at this bull market for 12 years. 
   That is almost historic.

Thu
17
Sep

Open enrollment choices can have financial impact

   If you work for a medium-to-large employer, you’ve got some decisions to make.
   It’s Open Enrollment time, when you can review your benefits package and make changes.
   And your choices can have a big financial impact on your life.
   Start with your health insurance.
   Look for changes in your existing plan, such as whether the provider networks have changed – and make sure your own doctor is still in-network.
   Also, check to see if you can reduce your premiums by taking part in a wellness program or health-risk assessment.
   Also, review your employer’s group life insurance policy – is it still enough for your needs?
   And the same question applies to your disability insurance – if it’s not enough, you may need to get additional coverage.
   And don’t forget to review your 401(k) plan.

Thu
17
Sep

"Your relationship with God must be a priority to have a full life" by: Betsy Monico

   Sunday afternoons I typically grab my computer to write my column and then tuck it away for the week. Well, not today. After I finish this, I am going to tackle my “Google Classroom” and get my lesson plans posted. 
   Since I took the plunge and reentered a classroom just a few weeks ago, I have thankfully managed to stay at least one day ahead. 
   Our district set us up well to manage the 2020 schoolyear; however, most educators need a magic wand and for a few extra hours to appear daily to get our tasks accomplished. 
   A fellow teacher just texted me. She is working on her virtual classes too. We both got some coffee and agreed to pray for each other. I have learned more the past few weeks and been more challenged professionally than I have in many years! It reminds me of my first year in the classroom at Agnew Middle School. I moved into that portable building out by the gym and often thought I had bitten off more than I could chew.

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