Brenda Cannon Henley

We began our study of the fruits of the Spirit as found in the Book of Galatians, Chapter 5, and covered love, joy, peace and started on long-suffering. Long-suffering has many meanings to many different people. Merriam Webster dictionary defines long-suffering as “patiently enduring lasting offense or hardship.” Another resource book defines it as “having or showing patience in spite of troubles, especially those caused by other people (his long-suffering wife).”

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We have looked at love, joy, peace, and now we come to long-suffering. It always amazes me that when I am writing in any sort of order or with a defined outline of subjects I want to cover, the Lord sees to it that I have plenty of material. He did not fail this time.

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“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22 and 23).

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I am a planner, somewhat of an organizer, appreciate things done on time and in an efficient manner, and like to know where I am headed in my daily chores, in my work, in travel, having fun, and in life in general. As this year comes to a close and we are set to begin a new one, I have been giving thought to where I am in life and what I want accomplish in the coming months. I still have goals, plans and dreams at 74 years of age, and believe that as long as I am alive, I should be reaching for them with every ounce of my being.

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One thing that I have learned and learned well in these seven decades of living is that change always comes and most often when we least expect it, affecting our loved ones or us. We best learn early on to roll with the punches and take life as it comes.

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OK, OK, I know that many of you no longer actually pick up a book, open the covers, and turn the pages. I am familiar with Kindle, iPads, various other readers on the market, and my computer, but for me, although I have several devices, I still prefer the bound book. It doesn’t have to be a hardback or library edition. A good paperback will suffice, and a loaned or gifted copy is great, too. In fact, I have been thinking of ways to get our readers to share books they’ve already read with others.

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Charlie Goodnight

In recent weeks, I have written about a very famous Texan, Larry McMurtry of Archer City. I was privileged to visit the small Texas town, meet many of its residents, shop in its old stores in the downtown area, and eat several times in the local Dairy Queen, made ultra famous in The Last Picture Show.

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Woodrow F. Call  (Tommy Lee Jones) and Augustus McCrae (Robert Duvall)

It has been said and written that once you leave home, you can really never go back. Larry McMurtry, renowned Texas writer, proved that not only can you go home again, but also that you can take much of the world with you. Readers and followers of his books and screenplays feel as comfortable talking about “Lonesome Dove,” a fictitious Texas town, as some folks do Fort Worth or Dallas. The characters are real and have taken up residence in the hearts and minds of the faithful. Everyone has a favorite.

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If you read this column on a regular basis, you may think this article is a contradiction compared to the one I wrote recently urging our readers not to quit. That writing had to do with not giving up, not letting go, trying one more time, and hanging in there. This week, I am urging us to quit some things. Life is a complex mixture of hanging in there and being wise enough to know when to let go of things that hold us back, and in some cases, people who hinder our progress and happiness.

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“Don’t wait to do the things in life that you have always wanted to do. Life is short. Live every day.”

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