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MOMENTS WITH THE MINISTER: Holy week

This Sunday marks the start of what Christians have traditionally called “Holy Week.” This is a time that our focus is on the central teaching of Christianity, that God sent His Son into this world to save people from their sin. This week is when the key events that accomplished our salvation took place. Over one quarter of the Gospel accounts – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – describe the events of this week leading up to and including His crucifixion and resurrection.

LARRY PHILLIPS: Bills under consideration, from education to liability insurance

March 13 marked the 60th day of legislative session, which was also the last day to file new legislation. In total, there were 6,324 pieces of legislation filed. There were 4,121 bills and 132 constitutional amendments filed in the House, and 2,005 bills and 66 constitutional amendments filed in the Senate. Today, I will discuss a few of the bills that have been filed.

MOMENTS WITH THE MINISTER: Tracing the rainbow through the rain

To say that the last few weeks have been unique for me would be an understatement. They have been a whirlwind of emotions. My wife found out she was pregnant at least 2 months ago. About 4 weeks ago we realized something was wrong, we called the doctor, and went in expecting to hear the news that she had lost the child around the 10th week. But to our surprise, the doctor said, “Yes, you lost one, but there is another who is doing fine for the moment.” We had to go into the hospital for less than 24 hours because they wanted to keep a close eye on her blood loss because it was so significant. We now sit at about 13 weeks along, and it seems that the baby is doing well, morning sickness has returned, and the normal pregnancy issues in the first trimester are a part of her everyday life.

REMINISCENT: The fine art of picking out pecans

My neighbor and good friend recently spent the morning picking up pecans. She drove to a nearby farm where she spent the next few hours underneath the towering pecan trees gathering up fallen nuts. This was not hard work, but repetitious. It often results in stained hands and strained backs and is rapidly becoming a lost and dying art.

LARRY PHILLIPS: How a bill becomes a law, in Texas

The legislative process is now fully underway: bills are being heard in committee, and this month bills will begin to be debated by the full House. As of this writing, approximately 5,500 bills have been filed by both the House and Senate. This week, the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety, which I chair, heard House Bill 11, a border security bill. On Thursday, I presented a bill to the Transportation Committee relating to the Red River Boundary Commission, and members from our local community traveled to Austin to testify on this bill.

MOMENTS WITH THE MINISTER: ‘Ears to hear’

I’ve done a lot of funerals in my 20-plus years of ministry, far more than I thought I would ever do. Every service touches me in a unique way and with each funeral I seem to come away with a life-lesson I needed to hear. Recently I was taught a valuable lesson as I eulogized a certain man. His name was Dillon.

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The Wedding Expo
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REMINISCENT: My least glamorous job

I’ve held a lot of different jobs, but the most challenging ones came during the the mid ’80s when I was working on the construction project to build the dam and road for Lake Ray Roberts, State Hwy. 455. I had been laid off from Armco Steel, and there were lots of folks looking for work in those days. I went out to the construction site to apply with a couple of friends and I got hired to pick roots. I ran my tail off chasing after these great behemoths as they dumped their loads of dirt, pulling out tree roots as well as I could as each load was dumped and hoping nobody ran over me. Another gal and I had this most unglamorous task. While I thought I’d be one of the first off the job, I lasted until just about the bitter end.

LARRY PHILLIPS: The House committee process

The legislative process is now fully underway. Bills are being heard in committee, and, in a few weeks, will begin to be debated by the full House. As of this writing, approximately 3,600 bills have been filed by both the House and Senate. This week, I will talk about the House committee process through which each bill must pass before it can be debated by the full House.

LARRY PHILLIPS: Texas House represents state’s diversity

The start of the legislative session is a very busy time for returning and new legislative members. While each member is here to do the same job of representing the needs of his or her constituency, each legislator’s background is unique. Through other members, legislators learn about issues facing Texans across the state that may be specific to their areas.