Commentary

Wed
07
Jan

Hope in 2015 ...

Many people view hope as something they do. For example they may say “I hope to win the lottery,” or “We hope to win the big game.” Hope for a Christian is something we have. Scripture teaches us that hope is an anchor keeping us from losing our minds. The writer of Hebrews teaches that “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…” Hebrew 6:19. When the writer refers to soul he is talking about your mind, will, and emotions.

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Wed
07
Jan

New mix of lawmakers, officials heading for Austin

By Ed Sterling

When the 84th Texas Legislature convenes on Jan. 13 and oaths of office are administered, the political party split will be 21 Republicans to 10 Democrats in the 31-member Senate, and 98 Republicans to 52 Democrats in the 150- member House. The composition and leadership of committees, the flow of legislation through those committees and control of floor debate will be according to the wishes of new Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick of Houston and House Speaker Joe Straus of San Antonio. Straus is subject to reelection by his peers. He is expected to retain the rostrum and gavel for a fourth consecutive term, even if challenged by a subgroup within the Republican party.

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Sat
03
Jan

Mother Hubbard Flies Again…

The calendar—unwrapped to allow rays of sunlight to warm the prospects of a brand new year— has replaced last year’s model. Alas, it included potential column “tidbits” that never saw the lightof day
 
 
Wed
31
Dec

Texas notches big year for job creation

2014 has been a banner year for job creation in Texas, according to government assessments. Drawing on figures calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas Workforce Commission on Dec. 19 reported employers added 34,800 seasonally adjusted total non-farm jobs in November, for a total of 441,200 jobs added since last year. “This broke the state’s previous record set in October, as the state’s annual job growth expanded to a new high for a fourth month in a row,” according to an agency news release, which also said, “even more Texans were employed in November as the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent from 5.1 percent in October, and down from 6.1 percent a year ago.”

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Sat
27
Dec

A Special Rocking Chair …

At any given moment, folks are clearing attics and basements and marking garage sale items. They cling to the idiom that one man’s (or woman’s) trash is another one’s treasure. Such has been the case for decades. Sure enough, buyers show up, sometimes paying dimes on dollars for items that may need new paint, renovation or repairs to be made usable—or attractive for resale. Prices often are negotiated, and friendly “haggling” is not uncommon. (Both sellers and buyers believe they’re making “real killings.”)

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Wed
24
Dec

Love your neighbor as yourself . . .

By Loren Zell, Pastor, Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Littlefield
 
When the teachings of the Bible are considered, its difficult to understand why anyone would reject the good and gracious will of God. Looking at our world today, it’s obvious mankind needs God’s help. Nations cannot live in peace with one another. People are constantly fighting each other and their government for control and power.

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Wed
24
Dec

State contract with tech firm prompts calls for probe

State Sen. John Whitmire, DHouston, on Dec. 18 requested that the special prosecution unit of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office “begin a formal and thorough investigation” into transactions between the State of Texas and 21CT, a software intelligence firm with offices here and in Vienna, Virginia. Information about the transactions came to light via an ongoing investigation and stories published by the Austin American-Statesman.

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Sat
20
Dec

A Coach Who Cares …

At Christmas time, pleasant memories—like low-hanging fruit—are ripe to be savored. Look around, though, and we see folks toiling daily on life’s sharpest edges so one day others can build memories worthy of recall from vineyards that now seem so barren. This is such an account. Don’t expect a happy ending; currently, a “faith-claiming continuance” may be the best to the hoped for. A man—sentenced to 40 years for first-degree murder—has done 12, just turned 30 and eligible for parole in 2022. The State of Texas sustains him physically. Some two hours away in Alvarado, TX, is his high school football coach who— with family and friends—strives to sustain him spiritually, hopeful to keep Anansi Flaherty’s hopes alive….

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Wed
17
Dec

Merry Christmas, Jesus of Nazareth!

By Marco A. Colina, Pastor, Temple of Adoration, Littlefield
 
Christmas is an incomparable celebration, whether you believe in it or not, you are forcefully involved in it. If you go to the department stores any other day besides Saturday or Sunday and they are crowded, not to mention the traffic, and if you go to the airports, it’s unbelievable of how much air traffic there is.

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Wed
17
Dec

Panel sets $7 billion minimum for Rainy Day Fund

joint committee empaneled to adopt a sufficient balance for the state’s “rainy day fund” approved $7 billion as the floor for it. Properly titled the Economic Stabilization Fund, the oil and gas tax-fueled pool of money was created by constitutional amendment in 1988 when oil was selling as low as $10 a barrel, causing state coffers to run thin. Calculated at $6.7 billion last August, the fund previously had no required minimum. The maximum the fund may hold is capped at 10 percent of the state’s general revenue during the previous two-year budget cycle.

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