religion

Brenda Cannon Henley, Senio  Correspondent to The Examiner

I have a dear friend (well, actually, more than one) who sometimes loses his objectivity and becomes downright mean to those around him. More often than not, he will be mean, excessively so, to one person for a week or two, and then completely switch his allegiance and turn on someone new within his circle. And believe me, after watching this trait demonstrated on several occasions, I can find no fault with the one that is chosen for that particular week. He or she will not have done anything demonstrating ill will, unkindness, or evil toward this person.

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I sat on the deck here in Kemah and looked out over the Dickinson Bayou, a scenic part of Galveston Bay. The water was peaceful and smooth, the sky was blue, and the fish were jumping. Truly my kind of day. My attention was drawn to the next-door neighbor’s boat slip. The family had a beautiful boat, perfect for riding over the water or fishing with the family. A truck I didn’t recognize was in the yard, and a man I had never seen before was walking down the long pier.

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My mother, Flo Ella Cannon Davis, and Brendan Michael Jones, her great grandson

Mother’s Day has never been a favorite holiday of mine. There are many reasons, but the main one is that I felt I could never please my biological mother with any gift. She always found a way to make me (and others) know that she did not like it or that I did not do my best. That was just my mother.

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I have often, over the years, written about the power of words — both those that hurt and wound and those that help and heal. The Book of James teaches about the tongue and how powerful it is when used in anger or insult. I read Chapter 3 three times this week because I wanted to understand it as best I could.

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Consider this column a Public Service Announcement. I have been in the newspaper world for many years now and have written my fair share of articles about fraud, theft, criminal activity, and those who live to take from those who work hard to pay their just and honest debts. In the past few years, I have interviewed bankers, loan officers, members of law enforcement, and individuals affected by crime, and have learned a lot.

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I have heard all of my days that in life, we will meet two main types of people — the givers and the takers. It is a fairly simple truth. Think about it and I would be willing to bet my best Texas boots that you can form a list of names in your mind, with some in each category. Now, we are not going to ask you to do that or to share those names with others. That would put us on the ugly side of life, and we don’t want that.

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I was mulling over this thought while cleaning up the kitchen after breakfast the other morning when someone knocked loudly on the back door: “We are here to work on the pier and did not want the noise of the machines to frighten you.” I had forgotten that a crew of big, strong men was to arrive that morning to rebuild and strengthen the 256-foot pier that goes out into Dickinson Bayou on Galveston Bay where my friend lives.

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I read much of the time, and before Hurricane Ike destroyed a great deal of the Bolivar Peninsula, I had quite a personal collection of good books. Some might not seem like significant works to others, but to me, they were old and dear friends. I might not be able to tell you the exact page number of a certain quote or story, but I could come very close to opening many of my books and pointing to the left top or the bottom right of the page where the writing nested. I had used many of these books for quote sources or good illustrations in all of these years of writing.

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I wrote recently about some of the budgeting lessons I learned from my precious Mama Cole while I lived in her home from the time of my birth until my biological mother remarried and moved me to the Atlanta area of Georgia. Mama Cole did not believe in owing anyone and was adamant that if we could not pay cash for it, we could not have it.

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An old thought from my childhood crossed my mind last night, and I have given it considerable mulling over time since it did. I have now reached the age when I can think about something for as long as I want, often without interruption or change of course, since my children are grown and gone from home, and I am not working full time. I like this newfound ability very much.

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