• Exercising Authority Pastor Steve Ellison   Oh, the questions God asks!  He really is the Master ...
Exercising Authority
Jul 20, 2017 | 38 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Exercising Authority

Pastor Steve Ellison


Oh, the questions God asks!  He really is the Master Teacher.  Nowhere else can one find such amazing insights into human behavior.  Proverbs 29:20 says, “Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”  NASU   It is easy to see the obvious truth in this question and response.   Who has not observed others around him speaking without thinking?  Who has not done it himself?  Who has not felt the painful consequences of such rash speaking?   Obviously one who does that is certainly a fool, at least for the moment.  James 1:19-21 gives good advice on the subject, “everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” NASU   Speaking in haste results not in righteousness but rather in anger, bitterness, and hurt.  I must plead guilty and I am certain that you must also.


While the interpretation above is correct and lines up with clear Biblical teaching, I think there is something else in view here in this passage.  Proverbs is a compilation of short, pithy, statements designed to teach morals.   In many cases, any given verse seems unrelated to the one coming before or afterward.  However, in this case, it seems that Proverbs 29:20 is related to the verses around it.  It seems to me that all of chapter 29 is aimed at warning those in positions of authority about common mistakes made in exercising judgment and administering justice.  All throughout chapter 29, verses speak to those in authority. At least twelve verses, 1, 4, 7, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 21, 24, and 26 give instructions to various authorities. The verses in between those listed, amplify the ideas, explain the problems, and warn of the consequences of poorly exercising authority.   Each of them is interesting in its own right but for now we will confine our examination to God’s question in verse 20, while remembering that verse 20 does indeed come in the context of this whole chapter.


The verses immediately surrounding verse 20 tell of the delight and comfort which results from correcting your son.  They also point out that the masses of people need help from authority in seeing the overall big picture of life.  Otherwise they wind up trying to benefit themselves no matter who gets hurt in the process.  These verses also point out the necessity of including a sure promise of punishment along with the commands because the one commanded will likely ignore the command if there are no sure consequences.   This passage warns against excessive pampering of servants because at some point they will decide they are really sons.  I take that to mean spoiled sons.  Also, warnings are given against hot-tempered anger and self-pride which will surely result in strife and being brought low.


Verse 20 is a clear warning about being hasty in our dealings with those whom we supervise. It is impossible to avoid the pitfalls listed in the verses surrounding verse 20, unless we act and speak slowly and only after giving ample time for study of the problem, prayer, and self examination.  Do not miss the self-examination part of the process.  Exercising authority over others requires constant self-examination.  


The whole chapter of Proverbs 29 is a wonderful passage of Scripture which should greatly benefit those in authority, giving them much instruction regarding dealing with those they have been charged with overseeing.   Almost everyone exercises authority over someone in some way or another.  Applying Proverbs 29 to your life will be well worth the effort.  You do want more hope than a fool don’t you?

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Ready to Prepare for Fall Vegetable Gardening
Jul 20, 2017 | 192 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Right now my spring planted garden is winding down.  The heat of summer is here and the soil is drying up.  

And this is the perfect time to prepare for your fall garden.

We all know that vegetable gardening can be rewarding, relaxing and good exercise.  But I think all too many folks overlooked the fact that there are indeed two times to have a vegetable garden each year: spring and fall.  

Yes, the fall vegetable garden is just as much a possibility as a spring one, just different.  It will be different in a number of ways.

Establishing a fall garden is different as you have to work in the heat up-front.  This will be to your advantage as warm soils help germinate vegetable plants much sooner than cooler spring soil temperatures.  

Watering is also approached with a different mind-set.  Water will be crucial to establishing the summer growing vegetables.  Germinated seeds in July and August will need uniform moisture and plenty of it.  Mulching, a practice not often done for spring gardens will really help here.  Just a light layer of mulch will greatly aid in keeping moisture in the soil next to the developing roots.

Pest control for fall gardens will be less.  Insect problems that are commonly experienced in the spring will be reduced.  Disease issues that arise from cool, moist environments will also be diminished.  

The biggest proponents of fall vegetable gardens will always brag on the harvest.  Harvested produce at this time of year in milder weather are reported to taste better.   The time spent harvesting, choosing which tomato or what size cucumber to pick, is obviously more comfortably done.  

Of great importance is your planning.  Most vegetables traditionally grown in the spring/summer have a hard deadline.  They must beat the frost.  Now the average first frost for this area is mid- November.  The key word is average.  Sometimes it may be near Christmas, and other times it will be prior to Halloween.  

So, when choosing what to plant, keep in mind how long it takes each vegetable to reach harvest stage.  Southern peas (purple hulls, zipper creams, etc.) normally take about 60 days.  Counting backwards from a mid-October harvest puts the planting at mid-August.  Pumpkins need about 90 days and radish is just over a month.

The bottom line is that here in east Texas our spring and fall gardening seasons are short, sandwiched between frosts and blistering hot summer conditions that cause many crops to stop production. Variety selection and proper planting time are critical to success.


Shaniqua Davis is the County Extension Agent for agriculture and natural resources for Upshur County. Her email address is   

The members of Texas A&M AgriLife will provide equal opportunities in programs and activities, education, and employment to all persons regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity and will strive to achieve full and equal employment opportunity throughout Texas A&M AgriLife.


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Aaron "Poppy" Brown featured in latest edition of FNF magazine
Jul 20, 2017 | 211 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
 Poppy Brown, the senior quarterback of the Gilmer Buckeyes, passed for 5,013 yards last season as a junior, only the third player ever to do that in Texas high school football history.

FNF names him as the quarterback of its ALL-4A TEAM for 2017 and features him in The Blitz PLAYER PROFILE.

FNF Texas 2017 Now Available
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Avoiding Auto Repair Despair
Jul 20, 2017 | 208 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print


The cost of owning a car does not end after the purchase. Whether you need to schedule an oil change or have repairs to deal with, it’s important to use a mechanic or auto shop who is worthy of your trust. In 2016, BBB received over 8,500 complaints on auto repair shops. Customer service issues was the largest complaint received with 2,785 complainants and 1,884 complaints had repair issues. BBB urges consumers to do their homework before choosing a mechanic for vehicle repairs and maintenance.  

“Vehicle repair requires in depth knowledge and skill, and unfortunately, there are some shops who will try to make a quick buck off of someone’s lack of expertise,” said Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB serving Central East Texas. “That’s why it’s important to do research before choosing a company to work with.”

BBB offers the following tips to help you find the right shop and ensure a smooth experience:

  • Do your research. Ask friends and family for mechanics they trust. Check for a mechanic’s Business Profile to read customer reviews and any complaints. Look for certifications like an Automotive Service Excellence seal indicating the technicians have met basic standards of knowledge and competence in specific technical areas.

  • Have a professional diagnose the problem. Describe the problems you are experiencing, with as much detail as possible, but have the auto body shop do a diagnostic to determine what should be done.

  • Maintain your car properly. Read your vehicle's manual for suggested routine maintenance to keep it humming along and reduce the need for repairs. Pay close attention to any changes in how your car performs, any lit dashboard signals and unusual smoke or odors.

  • Get everything in writing. Be sure to get a detailed estimate including repairs, labor, parts and expected time to complete the repairs before signing to have the work done. If the shop guarantees its work make sure to get it in writing including what it will cover, how long parts are covered, if the guarantee is adjusted for time and mileage, and whether the guarantee will transfer to a new owner if you sell the car and any exclusions.

  • Understand your warranty. If you are getting work done while the car is still under warranty, check to see if there are guidelines you must follow and if you must take the car to a specific location. If in doubt, ask questions at the dealership where you bought your car.

  • Pay attention when you pick up your car. When you pick up your car, get a complete and detailed written summary describing everything the mechanic did. Ask the service manager to go over it with you and explain all the work completed including major parts that might have been replaced. Be sure that your bill itemizes the repairs so if a problem occurs later, you can show what was done.

  • Follow up with problems. If you continue to have problems with your car after the work is complete, take it back to the shop that performed the original repair. If issues continue, it will be easier to identify who is responsible for the repair.

For more tips on how to be a savvy consumer, go to To report fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices, call the BBB Hotline: 903-581-8373 or report it via BBB ScamTracker.

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