By Clyde Black

theweekender@live.com

Merry Christmas everyone!  It seems as though this has been a very long year.  This whole county has been under extreme stress.  I say this because in thinking back we have dealt with the Economic Development Corporation issues, hospital issues, Angelina College issues, election issues and certainly affecting everyone is the excessive rainfall we’ve had.

What is so cool is that we will survive it all.  Our ranchers and farmers are a tough group.  They will overcome the shortage of hay and they will overcome the flooded fields.  Rural people are the back bone of America!   Our folks do more with less resources than any segment of our society.  Houston is the oldest county in the state and yet we lead in cattle production and we meet each unfunded mandate our legislature dumps on us.  Our community leaders are good people who strive to make the best decisions for our county and to increase opportunity for our people.  Our first responders unselfishly give of their time and effort, law enforcement officials are proud to serve to protect us and they do so with few resources and little protection.

Our God and Savior are among us and their presence is felt.  Yes, it is Christmas time.  It’s a time for fun and love!  I love the fact that we all also know it is a celebration for Jesus.  It’s his birthday or at least the day we have designated as such.  Mental health professionals say that hopelessness is one of the primary predictors of suicide.  I do not claim to be a religious scholar but I believe that hope is what we all have because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  So this holiday season, the old rude, crude, nasty Marine Weekender wants to say thank you Lord for your Son and the sacrifice that he made for each of us and the Hope that all who believe can call upon to sustain and endure all hardship.  We pray that the Lord God continue to bless Houston County!  Merry Christmas, everyone!