Columns/Opinions

Thu
05
Sep

"Book of Corinthians: ‘We live by faith, not by sight’" by: Betsy Monico

   This week’s topic has come up before. If I was an organized person, a writer who used folders, I could find an old column to copy and paste. 
   Because my desktop looks like my closet, that is not going to happen. 
   To save time and energy, I am starting from scratch…going back to the things I begged the Lord to heal me for in 2007. 
   That was the year that I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. 
   My treatment began in April. It continued on until December. 
   When school began that year, I had a second grader, one in kindergarten, and two still at home with me and at Best Friend’s daycare. 
   I do not remember much, but I do recall driving them to town and a Suburban full of car seats. 
   Banner helped me with the little ones. 
   When we went grocery shopping, she pushed a cart. Brazos held onto hers or mine. He was a flight risk…still is! 

Thu
05
Sep

"To change the world, you must first change your world" by: Caleb Gibson

   “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10). 
   Out of all the chaos and speed of life, God is telling us to be still. 
   Have you ever spoken the words, “I don’t have time to do that”?  
   You can probably fill in the blank and write down something that you just don’t have time to do.  
   I like what QotQuestions.org tells us, “Christians often interpret the command to ‘be still’ as ‘to be quiet in God’s presence.’ While quietness is certainly helpful, the phrase means to stop frantic activity, to let down, and to be still.” 
   When we rest, God is at work. 
   To change the world, you must first change your world. 
   This is what Psalms 46 is speaking to us.  
   It is saying that the first goal is to be still and know God. 
   Then Jesus can be exalted in the nations, and after that He can be exalted in the Earth. 

Thu
05
Sep

"Reel Reviews: ‘Ready or Not’ is a surprisingly funny black comedy with a twist" by: Jessica Shepard

   I’m not going to lie to you, when I first saw the concepts and trailers for “Ready or Not,” I was skeptical and scoffed at it. 
   Well, after finally seeing it, I’ve changed my mind and can’t wait for it to come out on DVD – it’s definitely on my Christmas list! 
   Ready or Not is a black comedy horror/survival thriller hybrid sort of film directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett from a screenplay by Guy Busick and R. Christopher Murphy.  
   It’s rated R for violence, bloody images, language throughout, and some drug use and has no post-credit scenes. 
   The film stars Samara Weaving as a newlywed who becomes hunted by her spouse’s family as part of their wedding night ritual.  
   Other cast members include Mark O’Brien with Adam Brody, Henry Czerny, Elyse Levesque, Nicky Guadagni, Kristian Bruun, Melanie Scrofano and Andie MacDowell. 

Thu
29
Aug

"I’m still trying to get more information from meetings" by: Mike Reddell

   Reporting on local government has always created a certain amount of tension for me.  
   First and foremost for me is my hearing. 
   I’ve written about this before and there’s no real need to go there, except things haven’t changed and it’s still difficult to hear.  
   Boards or meeting when people huddle in a circle is my favorite, especially if there’s little effort to make sure everyone can hear.  
   A problem that I don’t see going away and getting worse if the lack of information to work with.  
   Any of the agencies can look at a sheaf of papers or on iPads and read the detailed information they need to decide on an issue.  
   Most of the time that’s not immediately available to the press. I say immediately because I can ask for copies or in some cases filed a Freedom of Information request for a document or documents.  

Thu
29
Aug

"Greeting fall earlier this year than previous years" by: Jessica Shepard

   With Labor Day next week, we’re already in gear for autumn.  
   And it wasn’t my idea to start early this year!  
   No, mom has gotten our collection of glass pumpkins down from the top cabinets, washed them off and is currently trying to decide how to arrange them.  
   We’ve amassed quite the collection over the past decade since we moved into this house.  
   Originally, it was just standard fall hues, reds, oranges, gold and a little bit of green.  
   But, since more colors have become available, we’ve added purple, blue and more ceramics instead of regular blown glass.  
   The hardest part is making it all flow in some sort of cohesive display.  
   Mom and I were discussing adding more colors or shapes to the collection over the weekend.  
   Unfortunately, we couldn’t decide and my color choices aren’t the same as hers – obviously.  

Thu
29
Aug

"Presidential tweets are the bain of this market" by: John Sample

   I returned from Nova Scotia and was welcomed by the usual August heat.   
   At least there was rain here in the Hill Country to keep everything from looking like winter with the grass turned brown from the heat and lack of rain.   
   If that wasn’t enough, you have the President doing his all to send the equities market into bear territory with comments on the Fed chair and China.   
   Somebody has to get that phone out of his hands so he can’t tweet. I actually think that his policies are not the end of the world, at least economically.   
   However, he cannot leave well enough alone, much less let his subordinates do the necessary negotiations behind the scenes.   

Thu
29
Aug

Leaving your job? What happens to your 401(k)?

   It’s quite possible you will change jobs at some point.  
   When you do, what will happen to your 401(k)?
You could simply cash it out, but if you’re younger than 59½, you’ll owe taxes, and probably a 10% penalty, too.  
   And just as important, you’ll be depleting money that should go to your retirement.
You might be able to keep your 401(k) with your old employer or move the money to your new employer’s plan.  
   In either case, you won’t face an immediate tax hit, so your decision may depend on what sort of investment options are in your old and new plans.
Finally, you could move your 401(k) funds into an IRA.  
   Your money can continue to grow tax-deferred, and you’ll have a wide array of investment choices.
You’ll want to review all your choices and consult with your tax professional before making any decisions.   
   Do whatever you can to preserve, and hopefully grow, your 401(k) assets.  

Thu
29
Aug

"It’s a gift or calling for school staff to get through the first days of school" by: Betsy Monico

   With school and fall sports in full swing, our time at home is minimal.   
   This is the first time in 15 years that I began the year full-time. I forgot how the first few weeks were.   
   It is absolutely hilarious when you try to get a slew of elementary kids on the same page.   
   Loading buses proves to be the real test.   
   We have a new system, thank the Lord. We tag backpacks and added a symbol.   
   If you ask a four or five year old what bus they ride, they respond with a shoulder shrug.   
   If you then ask who their teacher is, you get some form of I don’t know.   
   Inquiring nicely what your name is causes the most confusion. By 3:00 – they know nothing!   
   I have upped my game here with chores. I count on my robot vacuum as well.   
   Thursday when I walked to her docking station, I panicked. She was missing!   

Thu
29
Aug

"The Lord sees not only where you are in life, but where you can be" by: Caleb Gibson

   A young man kid named Billy who was in 8th grade.   
   He was incredibly intelligent. He was in a math class whom the teacher was a coach as well.   
   The teacher was a little rough. Billy come up to the front and solve this problem.   
   As he walked up to the chalk board, he solved it in his mind on his way up. So he writes the math equation, turns around and sits back in his seat.   
   The teacher said, “Billy, that is wrong,” but Billy knew it was correct so he said, “No that’s right.”   
   The teacher said, “Yes it’s right but you have to show your work.” He talked back to the teacher and said, “It doesn’t matter because I got it right.”   
   Now, he should not have talked back to the teacher.
   It made the teacher so mad that he told little Billy, “Hornsby you’ll never amount to anything.”   
   After that day, he checked out. He continued to go to school, but he was checked out.   

Thu
29
Aug

"Reel Reviews: ‘Angel Has Fallen’ highlights greed as underlying evil" by: Jessica Shepard

   Angel Has Fallen is an action thriller film and the third installment in the Fallen film series, following Olympus Has Fallen (2013) and London Has Fallen (2016).   
   Even though it’s the third part of a series of films, this one can stand on its own and doesn’t hint too much at the previous films.  
   That way, it appeals to a broader audience base and certainly has some wiggle room.  
   Angel Has Fallen leads the box office at No.1 in its debut weekend with over $21.3 million in domestic theaters and is rated R for violence and language throughout.  
   Directed by Ric Roman Waugh, the film stars Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman, with Jada Pinkett Smith, Lance Reddick, Tim Blake Nelson, Piper Perabo, Nick Nolte and Danny Huston in supporting roles.  

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