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Solid Ground

THE BIBLE

Throughout Scripture, as in life, there are peaks and valleys. And there are also long stretches of highway without much scenery at all.

Just driving from the Gulf Coast of Texas and through the hot desert of West Texas and into the cool mountains of New Mexico is a good example of all of this.

The book of 2 Samuel contains both mountaintop visas, and dark canyons of sorrow for David -- the shepherd boy from Bethlehem who became the greatest king of Israel.

From 1 Samuel, which is about Saul and Samuel, the second book is focused on David, who realized when he became king that it was God who was the true king of Israel.

King David made sure that the Israelites were fully aware that it was God who was leading the nation.

After defeating the Philistines, David brought the ark of God to Jerusalem so it could have a permanent home for the presence of God on earth.

As the Old Testament prophets foretold, a “Son of David” (Matt. 21:9) would eventually rule both Israel and the world (7:16).

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Sports Corner

YESTERDAY’S GONE -- You know, you have heard the famous song by Fleetwood Mac, “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow. Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone.”

Well, I should rephrase that, if you are over 30 years old you have probably heard that song. Got me revved up in the mid-1990’s. Six pack of beer at Albertson’s grocery store in Austin, but my sister had to buy it because I wasn’t quite 21 yet. It was her favorite song, so I had to at least pretend that I liked it. Good beat, at least. I’ve heard worse.

Where was I going with this, anyway? Oh, now I remember. UT’s Coach Tom Herman wanted to see his team put last week’s disappointing loss to LSU behind them, so they might have played that song. Just a hunch, I have no idea what they played. Could have been more like the Blues, as far as I know.

Boy, did the Longhorns ever put that loss behind them. How about a 48-13 whipping of the Rice Owls to dry those tears? No tissues needed when Saturday night was over. More like a “pick me up” and let’s get going again!

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VIEWPOINT

PIGEON FIRE -- I’ve heard that a grass fire on Sunday, Sept. 8 at 4 pm might have started in a very different way on CR 208 near Serbin.

Apparently two pigeons fighting with each other got electrocuted where some power lines meet and got shorted out.

Some of woods were also set on fire, with cedar and oak trees burning all the way to the top, so they won’t likely come back out.

STARVING HORSES -- The sheriff’s office got a call at 11 am Tuesday to do a welfare check on three horses that the caller said weren’t being fed, located by a mobile home on FM 3404.

With all the grass drying out due to lack of rain, anyone with horses or cattle need to be feeding their animals, since the dry grass doesn’t provide much nourishment.

There are always livestock owners out there who either don’t have the money or don’t want to spend it to buy feed. And they may not even have a trailer to haul them to the auction barn -- especially some horse owners.

IS THAT RAIN ??? -- I sure hope the TV meteorologists are going to be right on the chances for good rains this week -- especially Central Texas counties east of Austin.

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VIEWPOINT

CLOSE CALL -- The new Union Pacific shorter cross-arms were being installed at the Hwy. 290 crossing in downtown Giddings last Friday, and traffic was being narrowed to one lane in each direction while the work was going on.

That was backing up traffic in both directions for a block or so around 3 p.m. when a Giddings area resident witnessed a close call at the tracks.

He said he was in the inside lane and waiting to be able to move over into the outside lane when he heard a screeching sound of air brakes and rubber.

A westbound 18-wheeler had to break hard when the driver didn’t realize traffic had practically stopped as vehicles were merging into one lane.

The local driver said he looked back just in time to see the big rig sliding up toward the 3 or 4 vehicles in front of him. And he held his breath, thinking there was going to be a pile-up.

He said the 4 or 5 railroad workers who were out on the highway installing the new safety arms threw down anything they had in their hands and took out running to get out of the way.

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Sports Corner

JUST LIKE I SAID -- The #1 Clemson Tigers totally dominated and embarrassed the overrated #12 Texas A&M Aggies to the tune of 24-10, but the final score appeared much closer than it really was.

But like I told you, the two coaches -- Clemson’s Dabo Swinney and A&M’s Jimbo Fisher -- are good friends and worked hard to keep it as close as possible. Obvious by the 14-point win with an 18-point line. I told you not to get tricked on taking the Tigers to cover the spread. Jimbo and Dabo are tight. That means close pals, if you will.

Lo and Behold, with just 6 seconds left in the game, the Aggies lobbed a pass into the end zone to come within the betting spread. It closed the gap to two touchdowns. Not a big surprise there. Not to me, anyway. It’s called a back-door cover. Kind of like the 8-ball in the corner pocket, when there are still a bunch of other balls left on the table.

Let me tell you this much, Clemson is either the most overrated team in America or they played like it. They took a big lead, then coasted the rest of the way.

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Solid Ground

THE BIBLE

No matter what project or adventure that we undertake, we must rest afterwards to regain our strength.

And that’s the way it is with life in general. There are times when life can be draining physically and mentally because of various difficulties. That’s when we need to be resilient and keep plugging along.

The Psalmist David had his share of times like that, and that’s why he wrote Psalm 121. It’s expressly written for anyone who is weary or stressed.

What the psalm assures us is that the Lord is there to strengthen and protect us in times like that.

“He will not let your foot slip -- for he watches over you will not slumber . . . the Lord will keep you from all harm . . . the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. (Psalm 121: 3-8).

Bishop Alfred Quayle, a leader in the Methodist church many years ago, told about the night he worked into the early morning hours trying to finish a project. At a moment of intense pressure, when he felt so tired and overwhelmed, his eyes fell on Psalm 121 and the promise of the Lord’s 24-hour vigil over him.

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VIEWPOINT

SNAKE BITES -- It’s not often that poisonous snake bites are fatal. Most of the time they can make you feel sick as a dog, and cause swelling and lots of pain until the poison gets out of your system.

But occasionally a bite from a poisonous snake can bring on complications that lead to death.

That’s apparently what happened to Telford Zoch of Northrup who died recently at the age of 95.

Telford was in perfect health until he walked out on his porch at 4 a.m. one morning and got bit on the side of his foot twice by what’s believed to have been a water moccasin.

He reportedly waited until later that morning before calling his friend Willard Albrecht to take him to the ER for treatment.

Willard said Telford joked that the snake bites hurt him more than when he got shot by a Jap during World War II in Okinawa. That shot hit the bullet clip around his waist and exploded, seriously injuring him. He got a Purple Heart and still had shrapnel in his body at the time of his passing.

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Solid Ground

THE BIBLE

At some point in our lives, we will all see death in a very real and very personal way.

It may be when a friend or family member dies, or even when we have an encounter with our own mortality through sickness or some kind of accident.

At some point we will all have reached the point where we will walk “through the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23:4).

But when that day rolls around, we don’t have to be filled with fear. We can repeat the words of the psalmist David: “You are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (verse 4)

This passage from Psalm 23 isn’t just for those who are facing death. It’s also very much about living life to the fullest here and now.

When we follow David’s example, we are always close to the Lord in life and death. He is with us through every circumstance. We can feel His love and presence.

“Surely your goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (vs. 6).

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Sports Corner

COLLEGE GAMES -- It’s finally here, the kickoff to college football! Or the teams we all want to see, at least!

The 12th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies will host the Texas State Bobcats at Kyle Field this Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. Don’t ask me why it is being played on a Thursday night, or why this mismatch is even being played at all. Like they say, I’m just giving you the facts, man.

For those of you, like me, who don’t have tickets or don’t want to be out late on a Thursday night when you have to work Friday, it’s being televised on the SEC Network. Expecting a blowout, oddsmakers have the Aggies favored by 34 points. That’s five touchdowns and four extra points. Guess they don’t expect the kicker to be perfect in his first outing, I don’t know.

I’m thinking more like the Aggies winning by 42 points, outscoring the lowly-Bobcats by six touchdowns and making all of the extra points. Texas State will be saved by the Football Mercy Rule, when A&M starts to play 2nd and 3rd stringers as the score gets lopsided.

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VIEWPOINT

HOOKED -- Anyone who has ever smoked knows how easy it is to get hooked on cigarettes.

But there’s a difference between being hooked and being really hooked.

Monday sheriff’s deputies responded to a call on CR 107 about a male stopping motorists trying to bum a cigarette.

That was at 8:15 in the morning, and there he was out needing a puff in the world’s worst way.

One of the deputies told the dispatcher that he probably knew who the fellow was, so apparently this wasn’t his first time to run out of cigs and unable to wait until he can get to the store to restock.

We deliver newsstand papers to stores every Wednesday morning, and one of our deliveries is to Walch Store at Lincoln.

A lady rushed in that morning and bummed a cigarette off of an older customer sitting at a table.

“God bless you!” she told her benefactor. “I haven’t had a cigarette all day long.”

It was barely 10 a.m., so it sounds like she was so hooked that just having to wait until midmorning to get a drag was like an entire day of agony to her.

The Giddings Times & News

PO Box 947
170 North Knox Avenue
Giddings, Texas 78942
(979) 542-2222

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