Category: Columns

Woods, Water, and Wildlife: The Cricket Run

by John Jefferson   Fishing worms cost a dime a can when I was ten. When spending summers at my grandmother’s home on the Guadalupe River between Seguin and New Braunfels, dimes came few and far between. And bait didn’t last long with hungry perch and catfish in the river slough behind her house. I learned to gently swat grasshoppers with my baseball cap to just stun them in the big Johnson grass field near the slough. That way I could capture them easier and plop them into grandmother’s vintage, galvanized Fraybill minnow bucket. It worked well. One day, my little boy’s curiosity made me open the well house door to see what a well looked like; maybe dip up a bucket full and take a drink. To my disappointment, there was no bucket attached to a rope hung from a pulley above, nor a rock wall around the well like I’d seen in a movie. Instead, there was just a tank – like a hot water heater- and some wires and pipe. But then I saw them. All around the tank were hundreds of gray cave crickets. My life changed that day. I shut the well house door and ran to get my minnow bucket. I had struck little boy’s bait-bonanza! I caught every one of them over the next several days. Fish devoured them. I’d shiny down...

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Reflections from Red Oak Ranch

by Jan Fielden   Thursday evening driving around on the ranch we discovered we had visitors. The little deer that use to follow the herds, named Bambi, was back again. She has a limp so it is easy to know when it is her. She was so precious when she was little. Bambi would run with the Middle Herd and we were able to watch what all she did. She would lie down with the herd whenever they decided it was time to “lay up”. She would eat hay along with them and she explored the feeder even though we never saw for sure that she ate anything out of it. After several days, she would move on to either the Yearling Herd or the Back Herd. Suddenly she disappeared for a long while and when she came back she brought a little deer with her! Right up to the back and side of the yard to show her baby off to us. They would stand still and let me walk to the fence in order to get a good picture of them. We have been hoping she had not gotten shot or hit by a car as we have not seen her for a long while again but have often wondered about her. On Thursday evening she showed up again with her first little one who has grown...

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Home Country – Fair Time Again

by Slim Randles It’s fair time again. Time for dreams to come true and for disappointments to temporarily sweep through our lives. But the disappointments can’t really get much of a purchase, because there’s too much fun going on. Last year’s surprise winner of the quilting competition, Windy Wilson, didn’t win this year, but he was ‘honorably mentioned,’ which is pretty good for an old cowboy and camp cook. Windy was having a deep-fried turkey leg later. When the boys from the Mule Barn found him, and commiserated with him on his lack of a blue ribbon, he just told them, “Boys, I got honorably mentioned this here year, and when you jest consider all them needle ladies I go up against, ain’t bad. Ain’t bad a-tall.” Doc has a bottle of his homemade wine in the action this year, but the rest of the members of the world-dilemma think tank think Doc’s vino is going to tank. They’ve sampled it before. Doc even had Dewey bring over a pickup load of fertilizer last spring for his grapevines. But when he’d announced this one morning at coffee, Steve leaned over and whispered in Bert’s ear, “Better off eating the fertilizer and pouring that wine on the rose bushes.” Dud was quieter than usual at the turkey leg get together. He could probably enter the accordion-playing competition, but he wasn’t...

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It Seems to Me – Creating Obstacles

by Pastor Steve Ellison The church at Rome in the first century and your church in 2017 both have a problem.  Both have people who are confused about what is really important.  Both have people who have no idea how much damage they are doing to their church. Both have people who make terrible choices for very self-centered reasons. Both have people who have taken their eyes off Christ and have become unloving toward others. It is clear that Romans 14 is laying down ground rules for dealing with actions that are not biblically wrong.  This passage has no bearing on those things which violate biblical standards.   Romans 14 deals with matters of opinion, personal preference, and tradition. Verse 13 could not be clearer.  We are told that our judging of our fellow church members puts an obstacle or a stumbling block in their way. Several times in Romans 14 we are told that we will be held accountable for our judging.  Verse 14 echoes Genesis 1 which tells us several times that everything God created is good.  Verse 15 tells us that if our actions or our judgment of others actions hurts our brothers, we are not walking in love. More than simply hurting our brother, verse 15 tells us that we can destroy him. Verses 16 and 17 remind us that our freedom, our liberty in Christ,...

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Movie Review: It

by Bob Garver “It” tells the story of a group of kids in small-town Maine who are hunted by a terrifying psychopath. That psychopath is a bully named Henry Bowers (Nicholas Hamilton) and he’s sadistic. He doesn’t roughhouse, he commits felony assaults. As if that weren’t bad enough, there’s an evil clown who feeds on fear called Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard) on the loose. I think Bowers is a better villain, but of course the creepy clown with the sharp teeth and supernatural powers gets all the credit. Unfortunate Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott) is taken by Pennywise in the film’s...

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