Our Town Times (Timpson, Tex.), Vol. 35, No. 10, Ed. 1 Thursday, March 5, 2015 Page: 5 of 16
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Topic: We Know Better
I have a student who is obsessed with apples. Yes,
I said apples. Evidently, he absolutely loves them. He
talks about them at least once a week. He has the word
“Apple” written on his books. He sneaks and writes
“Apple” on my marker board. Maybe he does it for
attention; maybe he’s just odd. Or maybe, he just likes
apples. If he wants one, he has a few choices. He can
buy one from a grocery store or a farmer’s market. He
can grab one from the fruit bowl in a grandmother’s
house. Or, if he is extremely patient, he can plant an apple
seed and then wait for a tree to grow and for the fruit to
appear and mature. Those are some of his only choices.
However, if he were to choose the way of the tree, he has
to follow a few basic rules; one of them is that he has to
plant an apple seed. He can’t plant an avocado seed or
a peach seed and expect an apple tree. He can’t plant a
black-eyed pea or a kernel of corn and expect an apple
tree. He can’t plant a car key or a pencil and expect an
apple tree. No matter how much he may want apples
to come from other sources, it doesn’t work that way.
Apple trees come from apple seeds.
For some reason, there are those who are quite upset
by this truth. There are basic rules of existence. We may
hate them. We may be offended by them. We may find
reasons why they cannot possibly be true. If they are
indeed true, though, no amount of anger, denial, frustra-
tion, or avoidance will make them less true. Apple trees
come from apple seeds. Even if they are grafted, they
initially came from seeds.
But as you have probably figured out by now, this
column is not about apples or trees. It’s not even about
accepting the truths of life. It’s about something a little
different. Sure, we can pick apples right off the tree,
just as the tree grows, but we do have the option of
grafting trees to get the best possible custom harvest.
We can change the tree. We have also learned to make
other changes in life. We have learned to splice genes
and to use stem cells to save lives. We have used the
laws of aerodynamics to design and build aircraft that
can travel at astonishing speeds. We have learned to
communicate via text and Skype and social media. But
we still eat chicken soup when we’re sick, we still take
aspirin for headaches, we still have surgeries when they
are needed, we still walk some places and drive our cars
other places, and we still talk with each other verbally,
face-to-face when we need to communicate. However,
in some other areas of life, there is currently a big push
emphasizing that in order to embrace the new, there must
be a demeaning of, a mockery of, and a disposal of the
old, the tried and true, the traditional.
For some, it’s not enough to be “open-minded.” That
new, enlightened way of thinking demands an erasing of
the way things have always been done. It’s not enough to
promote new ideas or methods; the established positions
and systems must be criticized, satirized, and excised.
Everything from the previous generation must be shown
to be antiquated and silly. Now, I’m writing from the
point of view of someone who has always been open to
new ideas and new styles and new approaches. I believe
to be relevant, one must keep things fresh and alive. But
I also value tradition.
Please allow me to make myself clear. I am not an
advocate of following tradition just because it's the way
things have always been done. If it can be proven or
shown that doing something in a new way would be better
and much more effective, I believe that new way should
be considered and used. However, when that course of
action is based on mere opinion, and the promoters of
that opinion feel that all previous practices and measures
should be thrown out just because they have been used
in the past, we are basking in pure foolishness. And
the dictionary definition of foolishness is “deficiency in
When we refuse to do something a certain way just
because it's the way our fathers and grandfathers did it,
we are committing an act of simple rebellion. In our
minds, our ideas are better, we are “enlightened,” and
we know better. But what can we expect? Daily, we
are told by media and modern culture that anything that
resembles the way people lived even several decades ago
is prejudicial, backward, and ignorant. We can't embrace
traditions of the past. We are constantly reminded that
“they were practiced by people who were bigoted in a
variety of ways against a variety of people.”
Our schools are forever searching for new and in-
novative ways to reach kids. We’re told by experts,
pundits, consultants, and street people that students are
foreign entities, that nothing, absolutely nothing that has
ever worked in the past can possibly work with them.
We are steered away from established “best practices”
and told that there are new “best practices” that weren’t
around ten years ago, that are innovative for our time,
that will be out-of-date ten years from now, and that are
so cutting edge right now that they make yesterday look
ancient and tomorrow look commonplace. Again, I know
that students truly are different than they have been in
the past. I have been teaching a very long time. I have
seen the rapid changes. I know there are things we need
to try that we’ve never tried before. But, I also know
that students are people, and that people are . . . people.
There are tried-and-true practices that help all people
learn—namely good, old-fashioned student-centered
teaching. But in our professional circles, there are those
who publically decry that there are a core of elite who
know better, that we have to forget what HAS worked
in the past and focus on what THEY say is best today.
They “know best.”
In every walk of life, society is tearing down any and
In God’s Word
By: Mike Mills- Spring Hill Baptist Church
This week we complete our study of the Seven
Dispensations of the Bible. Beginning today with
Dispensation #4 - Promise - (Genesis 12:1) this age
extends from the call of Abram to the giving of the law
(10 Commandments) to Moses at Mount Sinai (Exodus
19:3). We can look at the specific provisions given by
God to Abraham and his sons in the following scriptures;
(Abraham (Genesis 15:15), (Isaac (Genesis 26: 1-5), and
Jacob (Genesis 28: 10-16). God’s promise to Abraham
and his seed did not end at Sinai but; as a specific test
of Israel’s stewardship of divine truth, it was suspended
but not annulled by the law.
Dispensation #5 - Law - (Exodus 19:3-5)
This law is the Mosaic Covenant and contains three
parts. (1) The 10 Commandments. (Exodus 20:1-17)
(2) The judgments, governing social life. (Exodus 21:1
- 24:11) (3) The ordinances governing religious life.
(Exodus 24; 12-31:18) This law was to be a discipline
of restriction and correction, but the history of Israel
has been one long record of violation of the law given
Dispensation #6 - The Church - (Acts 2:1) the church
age began after Christ had finished His work here on
earth and had ascended to the Father, with the Day of
Pentecost as Jesus prophesied in (Acts 1:5). As with all
dispensations there is a test and the test of this age is
the gospel of Christ and how His people, both Jew and
Gentile, fulfill His command to teach the gospel to the
ends of the earth. This age will end with: (1) The Rapture
of the church. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) (2) The Great
Tribulation. (Revelation Ch. 7) (3) The Second Coming
of Christ. (Rev. 19:11-17)
“ADAM’S OFF OX”
Many of you have no doubt heard a person say that
he didn’t know someone else from Adam’s off ox, but
you may not have stopped to consider the peculiar apt-
ness of this folk expression. I recall my grandparents
and parents would use the phrase quite often but I never
thought to delve into what the words truly meant. What
is an “off ox”, and who was Adam? What did this have
to do with not knowing somebody?
Some discussion about this expression followed its
use by President Clinton in a news conference in June,
1993. It puzzled many American commentators then,
because it’s a phrase that is known only in some parts
of the United States, mostly the southern states. Since
the media is made up of mostly city people they were
totally unfamiliar with the phrase.
The phrase dates back to the time when teams of oxen
were used to pull wagons. It was used in it’s basic form
On February 24, 1836, as Mexican General Santa
Anna's troops began their siege of the Alamo, Colonel
William Barret Travis penned his famous "Victory or
Death" letter addressed to 'The People of Texas & All
Americans in the World'. This letter is considered a
Texas treasure and one of the most stirring battleground
letters in our nation's history, as Travis vowed to never
surrender or retreat. It is currently displayed at the Texas
State Library and Archives Commission as a part of
their latest exhibit 'Texans' Struggle for Freedom and
Here are five things that happened this week at your
1. Passing of the 'Double Nichols'
Senate Bill 5 and Senate Joint Resolution 5 were
Dispensation #7 - The Kingdom Age - (Revelation
20:4) this is the last of the ordered ages which condition
human life on the earth. It is the kingdom covenanted to
David (2 Samuel 7:8-17). The lord Jesus will rule over
the earth as King of kings and Lord of lords for 1000
years, associating Himself with His Saints as they live
in His Temple in peace and bliss. (Rev. 3:21) The time
of oppression and misrule ends when Christ establishes
His kingdom. (Isaiah 11:3-4) The time of creation’s
bondage ends in deliverance at the manifestation of the
son’s of God. (Isaiah 11:6-10) At the conclusion of the
1000-year reign, Satan is released for a little while to
instigate a final rebellion, which is quickly put down by
The LORD. Christ then casts Satan into the lake of fire
to be eternally tormented, and defeats the last enemy,
death, and then delivers up the kingdom to the Father.
(1 Corinthians 15:24-26)
At that time, the earth and heavens pass away and are
replaced with a new heaven and new earth and the new
Holy City, Jerusalem where God and His children will
live together in harmony for eternity, forever and ever,
glory to the Lord. What a wonderful future we have once
we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. I pray you have
accepted Him and if not, I pray you do today, time grows
shorter and we do not know the time when He will come
for us. Be ready...
You are always welcome to join us at Spring
Hill Baptist Church. For more information please call
Satan’s greatest weapon is man’s ignorance of God’s
to mean that a person is entirely unknown to the speaker.
This form was recorded from Britain in a report of a court
case at the London Sessions as far back as 1784: “Some
man stopped me, I do not know him from Adam’s off ox.”
It is certainly older in the spoken language.
Speakers in various parts of the United States have at
times commented that they don’t know somebody from
Adam’s housecoat, Adam’s brother, Adam’s foot, and
Adam’s pet monkey. Adam’s off ox is easily the most
puzzling of these variations to us today because the days
of oxen teams are now long past.
Using a team of oxen, the “near ox” was the one on
the left side of the wagon. The driver always walked on
the left side of the team with the near-side ox at his right
shoulder. He would then get to know the personality and
idiosyncrasies of this near ox very well. However, the
“off ox” was hidden behind the far side one on the right,
passed out of the Senate Transportation Committee this
week. This bill authorizes the first $2.5 billion in vehicle
sales tax revenue to be put into the state's general fund.
The next $2.5 billion collected would go to the State
Highway Fund, to be used for the states highway infra-
structure. Any revenue collected beyond $5 billion a year
would be split evenly between the general fund and the
State Highway Fund.
This proposal would ensure Texas has a predictable
funding source for transportation, while still allowing
general revenue to grow with our economy. If approved
by the Legislature, this proposal would go to the voters
in November 2016.
Proposed Tax Cuts
My five cents
A monthly column from Sen. Robert Nichols
by Sen. Robert Nichols, Senate District 3
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Pate, Chad. Our Town Times (Timpson, Tex.), Vol. 35, No. 10, Ed. 1 Thursday, March 5, 2015, newspaper, March 5, 2015; Timpson, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth899247/m1/5/: accessed August 4, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Timpson Public Library.