Columns/Opinions

Supporting Small Business

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Many of our traditions, customs and celebrations have been observed differently this year and more socially distant than we’d like due to the coronavirus pandemic. This holiday season is unfortunately no exception. However, although we must be more creative in how we go about our activities, there are certainly ways to adapt, including how we shop and find the perfect gifts for our loved ones. And over the weekend on Small Business Saturday, we were reminded of how important it is to shop small and shop local during this season.

Faith Under Fire

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In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he was upset that they had so quickly given in to the culture around them and had turned their backs on their faith in Jesus Christ as their means of justification before God. After chiding them, Paul added some encouragement so that they would turn back and consider the choice they were making. In this time of cultural, social, and even medical pressures to turn our backs on our faith, we would do well to consider Paul’s encouragement to stand strong. If you are a follower of Jesus, consider Paul’s words:

What Christmas is All About

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With covid-19 affecting so many, it is important we look to the birth of our Savior. Here is one of my favorites from previous years. I just don’t get it! Why does Christmas have to be so commercialized? I realize that the Bible doesn’t tell us that His birthday is December 25 th , but the blessed event is certainly in the Bible. We don’t really know His birthday for sure, but it is appropriate to honor the birth of Jesus. Why can’t we just honor Him? You may remember the Peanuts cartoon special where Charlie Brown asks the question, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” Yes, I share this Linus rendition of Christmas most every December. “Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about!” his friend Linus informed him. If I could, I would insert a video clip right here into this newspaper. But the text of what he said will have to do:“Lights, please.” As Linus goes on stage and shares Luke 2:8-14, “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And Linus picks up his blanket and says, “That’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.” And after having quoted scripture in such a profound way, he puts his thumb back in his mouth. I still think that is one of the best cartoons ever animated and presented on the screen. Why does the real story of the birth of Jesus have to be taken out of the stories written today? Why can’t we still tell of how Jesus was born in the schools and at the public square? I plead with anyone reading this, when we think of Christmas, let us look to the writings found in Matthew and Luke of the birth of the Christ child. Let us share this on Christmas morning and any other time the family gathers near. Let’s not stop there. Go to Isaiah and other places in the Old Testament. God was preparing the way for His Son to save the souls of mankind. Let us remember those old hymns and new ones, too! Let’s go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born. But let us not stop there. No, not by a long shot! Don’t let your grinch hold you back! Let’s also go tell others about His life, let us tell of the three years of his public ministry, and the the trials, death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Let us stop worrying so much about whether we are getting a gift from our Aunt Sally and how much money she spent on it, and focus instead, on the greatest gift ever given. No one will ever outdo His gift. John 3:16-17, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him."

Was Thanksgiving “Gobbled” Up By Football, Food, and Fun?

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Doesn’t it seem that Thanksgiving was “gobbled” up by football, food, and fun, instead of remembering the beginnings of our nation and the battles won by the grace of God? There is no better passage of Scripture for Thanksgiving Day than Psalm 100: 4; “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” When we express thanks to God, our focus is on Him, not on ourselves.

Boy wonder

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Kids can do the darndest things? Take the six-year-old in Ahmedabad, India who just officially became the world’s youngest computer programmer, says the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC]. The folks at Guinness, who keep track of world record holders, recently verified that Arham Om Talsania took the Microsoft certification exam for the Python programming language and passed the test. Talsania says that his father, who is a software engineer, taught him the basics of programming. The boy explained that he’s been using computers since he was two years old.

Walters Police Department Fundraiser

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The Walters Police Department has partnered with the Legend Driven Honda Car Dealership, located at 5010 NW Cache Road, in Lawton, to provide you with the opportunity to win a free vehicle, in which you yourself get to pick off of the lot.

Ask Rusty - No Simple Answer to Question on When to Claim Benefits

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Dear Rusty: I'm almost 59 and hope to retire from working soon. Should I take Social Security as soon as possible, or wait for the maximum amount? Signed: Planning Ahead Dear Planning Ahead: I’m afraid there’s no simple answer to your question, except “it depends.” It depends on your health; it depends on your need for the money when you retire; and it depends on your life expectancy.