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As a child growing up in a small town in Oklahoma, I will never forget the Thanksgiving when my father walked in with complete strangers to join us in a meager Thanksgiving meal.  He announced their incoming as if they were part of the family and after the surprised look on my mother’s face, she quietly started setting the table for the extra guests and trying to figure out if she needed to put one more potato in the pot. We knew nothing about the family other than they needed a place to eat.

Why do you invest? For many people, here’s the answer: “I invest because I want to enjoy a comfortable retirement.” And that’s certainly a great reason, because all of us should regularly put money away for when we’re retired. But you can also benefit by investing in your family and your community.

Recently, it was on the November ballot pertaining to the relatively newly approved Texas Gold Buillion Depository. Buillion can include gold bars or even gold coins. Few people realize it but Texas pays about $1 million a year to store its gold in New York. Personally, I have advocated for years that Texas and other States should have gold storehouses. Gold is a standard of value that has always had some measure of 'worth' or 'value'. Never in mankind's history has the value of gold went down to Zero....Never !!!

Yes, I am one of “those” people.  About thirty minutes after Labor Day has officially ended, I feel a strange compulsion to binge on my mother’s iced sugar cookies shaped like snowmen while listening to Nat King Cole croon about chestnuts.  I usually resist breaking out my collection of “international” Santa figurines–including Las Vegas Santa indulging his gambling addiction on the slots–until after Halloween.  But once I’ve polished off my kids’ trick-or-treat candy, I go into full-out Christmas-prep beast mode.

WE hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving, too. Get your Merry Christmases ready – 25 days and counting.

When Rip Van Winkle awoke after 20 years, his neighbors gasped at his return and then chuckled at how worn out Rip must have been by a simple game of nine-pin bowls and whatever beverage those other fellows were serving.

As I wrap up my sermon series at the church on the Ten Commandments, I ask which one is the hardest for me to keep? By the way, none of us obey any commandment perfectly. We all break them, all of them, in one way or another.

It might not be on your calendar, but Aug. 14 is Social Security Day. Since it was enacted on Aug. 14, 1935, Social Security has provided some financial support for millions of Americans during their retirement years. While Social Security benefits, by themselves, probably aren’t enough to enable you to retire comfortably, they can be a key part of your overall retirement income strategy – if you use them wisely.

As a child growing up in a small town in Oklahoma, I will never forget the Thanksgiving when my father walked in with complete strangers to join us in a meager Thanksgiving meal.  He announced their incoming as if they were part of the family and after the surprised look on my mother’s face, she quietly started setting the table for the extra guests and trying to figure out if she needed to put one more potato in the pot. We knew nothing about the family other than they needed a place to eat.

"Much has been given us, and much will rightfully be expected from us. We have duties to others and duties to ourselves; and we can shirk neither. We have become a great nation, forced by the fact of its greatness into relations with the other nations of the earth, and we must behave as beseems a people with such responsibilities." - Theodore Roosevelt (in his inaugural address from March 4, 1905)

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”

Awe, the innocence of a child and the look of wonderment across their face can be priceless and so it was for this grandmother when her 5-year-old granddaughter, Emory, asked if she would be writing any more books. Her reply to the child was, “Yes, I do plan on writing more. In fact, I have just written one and the title is the ‘Farting Four-Toed Troll.’”

War has come to my yard!  But this battle doesn’t involve modern conventional weapons with individual rounds of ammunition that cost almost as much as my eldest and most expensive daughter’s wardrobe.  Instead, this is a battle against one of the most annoying forces of nature known to man–the scourge of autumn leaves. 

“Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.”

“Trains are wonderful... To travel by train is to see nature and human beings, towns and churches and rivers, in fact, to see life.”

In 1935, the city commission – in those days a three-man (all male until Janice Hancock was elected more than six decades later) panel – agreed the city needed a motor grader. As is custom, they solicited bids and received three: $3003.50, $3006.50 and $3006.50. Ultimately, they bought the grader for $3006.50 and we’re left to wonder why that one bidder failed to get the memo.

Nothing to see here, folks. No collusion here, move along.

“I cannot be an optimist, but I am a prisoner of hope.” These words spoken by Dr. Cornel West of Harvard Divinity School obviously assume a conceptual difference between optimism and hope. What is the difference? Are Christians called to be optimists or people of hope? Can we be both, or should we choose one over the other?

He stepped up to the podium on stage in the fellowship hall of First Baptist Church in Kilgore with a slide presentation well-prepared to capture the attention of a large crowd of listeners.  The 1961 KHS graduate began to talk about a subject dear to his heart and one he had approached before only this time his presentation began with Bible verses and the importance of God’s presence at NASA.

“People want to be told what to do so badly that they’ll listen to anyone.”

“United wishes and good will cannot overcome brute facts. The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”

Now that America is deep into the bowels of football season, I’m experiencing my yearly gastrointestinal angst about my Texas A&M Aggies. I call them “my” Texas A&M Aggies because I spent an untold amount of my parents’ cash in College Station on textbooks, apartment rent, and Double Dave’s pizza rolls in my pursuit of a Bachelor of Arts in English (yes, English) from Texas A&M University.

“If I could turn back time / If I could find a way / I’d take back those words that hurt you / And you’d stay.”

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

Earlier in this millenium, Mayor Ronnie Spradlin and our dear pal Jean Laird decided Kilgore’s municipal finery should include a coat of daffodils. Together they ordered a huge quantity of daffodil bulbs and set about turning Kilgore yellow.

They came, those that could. One more time they came to sit under the giant oak that adorned the home of Dorothy Mitchell. It was a spot they had gathered before on numerous occasions to visit with friends and family, to hold reunions and more importantly to hand down history to the next gen…

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

“Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire.”

In connection with a televised town-hall on LGBTQ+ issues earlier this month, Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke said that he was in favor of revoking the tax-exempt status of churches that oppose same-sex “marriage”. Aside from the arguments for and against churches’ in general having such tax-exempt status, the federal government’s denying particular churches’ tax-exempt status because of what they teach or do certainly seems to be contrary to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution’s prohibition of “establishing” one religion or permitting another’s free exercise.

It seems to be just an ordinary thing to Christopher “Wyatt” Baker who, with the help of his grandmother, has just published the first of what may be many cookbooks. He takes his interest in cooking in stride, though, and now that the first book has just come off the press, he is ready to mo…

Fall has always been my favorite time of year, not due to the splendor of the colorful foliage, the crisp breezes heralding a new season, or the savory scents of autumn that inspire us to get our pumpkin-spice freak on. Instead, what I love most about the fall is that it kicks off a series of beloved holidays in quick succession, giving me an excuse to ingest my own body weight in pie. These indulgent celebrations begin with glorious Halloween, an event illuminated by jack-o-lanterns and awash in corn syrup.

“Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.”

“You cannot be protected from the things that frighten you and hurt you, but if you identify with the part of your being that is responsible for transformation, then you are always the equal, or more than the equal of the things that frighten you.”

THEY ARE KNOWN in Texas and surrounding states for home-made ice cream. Only their home- made is actually cranked from the use of a John Deere engine and their bucket is of a 10-gallon size compared to the old-fashioned 1-gallon ice cream freezers still found in the heat of the summer on the…

“The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”

“They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it’s not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.”

Garage sales are a little ridiculous if you think about it.  As a society we spend untold millions trying to protect the sanctity of our homes from intrusion, and then we hold garage sales, where the entire point is to lure nosy strangers onto our property to rummage through our personal belongings.  I spend most of my time at garage sales fighting off my three daughters from hauling merchandise back into the house.  And let’s face it.  The stuff we put up for sale at these events is one “Thanks for coming” away from the city dump.  I mean, who really wants to purchase a Target sack full of used My Little Pony underwear?  (Oh, never mind, I actually got a dollar for those.)

“Everybody’s got to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another beer.”