It’s another beautiful week in the Rio Grande Valley . . .

Saw lots of familiar faces at the Good Day McAllen Luncheon that was recently held at the McAllen Country Club. Sat with Ryan Peterson, Dusty Davenport, Gerry Bower, Mike McClarty, and Dr. Fred Farias. Also seen were Rick Guerra, Joe Brown, Tammi Risica, Marilyn Fox, Kristi Collier, Nancy Cantu and Cullum Wallace, as well as Roy Cantu, Laura Morales, Rob Liendo, and Jim Bob Sides from Explore McAllen.

Attended the December installment of Leadership McAllen focusing on education. Heard from several leaders in education, including Dr. James Ponce of McAllen ISD, Dr. Shirley Reed of South Texas College, Dr. Robert Nelsen of UT Pan American, Tina Atkins of Gear Up, Tom DeRosa of Idea Public Schools, and Alicia Reyna of Teach for America. In addition, we heard much about higher education and career development from Kim McCay of the South Texas College Dual Enrollment Program, Karen Nitsch of the MISD Advanced Academics department, as well as Marisa Sarabondo of the International Baccalaureate Program. It’s clear that there are awesome academic options and wonderful leadership in place for the educational advancement of the Rio Grande Valley!

Also enjoyed seeing Leadership McAllen classmates Andre Acuna, Nancy Reeder, Kathryn Chacra, Lucy Garza, and Jonathan Rodriguez, among several others. We enjoyed a great dinner together while listening to beautiful Christmas music by Kim Snyder.

Enjoyed great company and wonderful food at Gretchen Kreidler’s beautiful home recently. In addition to the wonderful conversation, highlights of the evening were a delicious Chocolate Taco dessert made by the hostess, a tour of Gretchen’s new fabulous walk-in closet, and a fun-filled ornament exchange. Seen were Melissa Baldree, Amanda Fleming, Jennifer Loftin, Janey Murray, Flo Henderson, Stephanie Moore, Jill Pebley, and Linda Blackwell.

Birthday wishes for this week go belatedly to Natalie Huling, Eric Curran and Jimmy Henderson. Celebrating today is Janice Dudley, while Rachel Alaniz Davies, David Valadez, and Eva-Jean Dalton will be blowing out birthday candles tomorrow. Christmas babies David Rodriguez and Odessa Flores Hinojosa will celebrate on the 25th. Happy Birthday, everyone!!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! I’m sure that every one of you has different traditions and methods of celebrating this season — I want to share with you a little excerpt that is the foundation of mine:

One Solitary Life

by Dr. James Allen Franklin

Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself…

While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While He was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth — His coat. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress.

I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.

I wish you love & blessings in the coming week and I hope to “see you” soon!


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