News Features

News Features


By Pastor Calvary Callender

Sometimes we feel like we can't make a difference. What can we do? How can we leave a lasting legacy? After all we're not wealthy or powerful? I'm reminded of a story of a businessman visiting a resort community who left his hotel early one morning to take a walk on the beach. Outside he came upon a stunning sight – countless starfish had washed up on the beach during the night in a high tide. They were still moving, still alive, clambering all over each other trying to get back in the ocean. He knew it wouldn't be long until the tropical sun would get hot enough to bake the poor creatures trapped there on the beach. He wished he could do something, but there were thousands of them, as far as his eye could see, and there was no way he could make a dent in saving so many of them. So he went on his way. Walking farther down the beach, he came upon a little boy leaning over, scooping up a starfish, and flinging it like a Frisbee out into the ocean. He repeated the process over and over again, trying to pick up speed, obviously trying to save as many starfish as possible. Once the man realized what this little boy was doing, he felt it was his responsibility to help the boy by informing him of a harsh life lesson. So he went up to the boy and said, "Son, let me tell you. What you're doing here is noble, but you can't save all these starfish. There are thousands of them. The sun's getting really hot. They're all going to die. You might as well just go on your way and play. You really can't make a difference here." The little boy didn't say anything at first; he just stared at the businessman. Then he picked up another starfish, flung it out into the ocean as far as he could, and said, "Well, I just made all the difference for that one."

This boy did not allow the overwhelming magnitude of the situation to keep him from doing what he could do: saving one starfish at a time. Perhaps Helen Keller summed it up best: "I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do."

I wonder if we lived our lives like we only had a short time to live how we might do things differently. If we knew our time on earth was running out, we'd want to do all we could to impact others. We wouldn't want the regret of a life misspent and self-absorbed. We would want to know that we honored the God we love by being the very best stewards of all He has given us. If we truly want to grow in our character and our faith, then we must be willing to change our goal from one of safety to one of sacrifice. If we would live that way if we knew our time on earth was short, shouldn't we live each day that matter how much time we have left?

God has given each of us time, talent, and treasure. I challenge you to use it to leave a lasting legacy.

News Features - Mentor's Corner

The Second Continental Congress met in which city to draft The Declaration of Independence?

a) Boston, cure MA

b) New York, ailment NY

c) Baltimore, MD

d) Philadelphia, PA

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In 1773, which of the following was thrown into Boston Harbor as a protest against taxes?

a) Coffee

b) Tea

c) Tobacco

d) Cotton

more information


News Features - Funnies


The monitors sounded, and Clinton Hunt saw two of his fellow rig hands drop. All donned their emergency breathers.

But only Hunt's worked.

That quickly, the poisonous H2S gas killed one of the men. He was a friend. Hunt still sees his family in Odessa.

"I grew up with this guy, I went to school with him," Hunt said. "It was a bad deal."

The accident was more than 15 years ago on a West Texas rig but, Hunt says, "you revert back to that day every time" you go out there. To him, the memory also serves as a reminder of oilfield danger, even as safety has improved.

It also helped shape the native Odessan's career path, now working as a health and safety official for an East Texas-based company that transports oilfield waste and supplies. This work brought Hunt back from Carthage to the Permian Basin last week for a safety training session.

There are 1,000 ways to die in the oilfield, so the saying goes. And the group of mostly Odessa company men and safety workers went through as many as they could.

But equipment, getting caught between equipment, falls, electrocutions and then explosions, according to Darrel Canada, the leader of the class who runs Canada and Associates Training LLC, is striking the main ones, ranked by death toll.

"There are so many different things and of course, a lot of the guys don't recognize it as a hazard anymore," Canada said. "They've done it so long they've gotten complacent or they're new and inexperienced."

The rate of workers killed in the oil industry bucks a national trend showing a decrease in the rate of fatal workplace accidents.

So far this year, OSHA officials have investigated seven deaths in the Permian Basin. The most recent were the April 30 deaths of 46-year-old Amos Ortega of Artesia N.M and 41-year-old Roberto Magdanelo of El Paso, in an explosion at a Loving County wellhead.

Last year, OSHA officials investigated 16 deaths in the Permian Basin. But those represent an undercount of the true work-related death toll, Canada said. He also consults for attorneys and oil and gas companies and teaches industrial safety at the University of Texas at Arlington.

That is because the No. 1 killer of oilfield workers is vehicle accidents, according to industry experts and a former OSHA official. And OSHA does not investigate traffic accidents or count work-vehicle deaths among a company's fatality rate. The National Institute on Occupational Safety and Health, a federal agency under the CDC, is researching that data to make recommendations and Canada is on a committee advising them.

But in overseeing the safety hazards under its purview, OSHA faces a number of challenges in the oilfield, said R. Dean Wingo, a consultant at UTA who retired in 2012 as OSHA's assistant regional administrator for the five-state region including Texas.



News Features - Energy News


By Pastor Calvary Callender

I heard the story about a high school football player who was the second string linebacker and hardly every played. He only played on the kick-off team and then he would play when his team got way ahead, they would send him in with the scrubs. But it was the last game of his senior year and he stormed into the coaches' office and he had this sense of urgency about him. He said, "Coach, you've got to let me start. You've just got to let me start. You've got to let me start tonight." The coach said, "I can't make any promises." You see this boy didn't play a whole lot, but his dad was like most other dads, he came to every game. He was there no matter what even if his son played little or none he was always there rooting and cheering his son on. He was like most dads in that way, but he was unlike most dads in that he was blind. Even though his son didn't play a lot, he never saw him play, but he was always there to cheer for him. He was always there and his presence was always felt even though he was blind. But this young man begged and begged and begged the coach until finally right before the game the coach said, "Okay, I'll let you play the first series." Well, that young man went in and he was fired up to play. They handed it off to the fullback and bam, he just slammed that fullback behind the line of scrimmage and stopped the play. The very next play the quarterback went back to pass and this young linebacker blitzed and sacked the quarterback. He played the rest of the game. He ended up with over 20 tackles and at the end of the game as he came running off the field the coach grabbed him by the helmet and he said, "Son, what got into you? He said that's one of the greatest games I've ever seen a high school linebacker play. I don't get it. What happened?" He said, "Well, coach, you know my dad who comes to every game and he's blind?" The coach said, "Yeah, I know who your dad is. I know all about that." He said, "Well, my dad died last night and this is the first game he's ever seen me play. That's why I had to play." He said, "I was playing for him. I was playing for him and it made all the difference."

So the question is, who or what are you playing for? Are you playing for toys, for possessions? Are you playing for pleasure? Are you playing for pats on the back? Are you playing so that people can say you're a good guy or girl? Who are you playing for? The only one that really matters is the One who made you, the coach who made you and who put you in the game. Your Heavenly Father. He's the only One that really matters and Him saying well done.

News Features - Mentor's Corner

OuthousesmlVern was so busy he was not involved when Atlantic No. 3, drilled by General Petroleum, blew wild. He gave credit to lOL's Tip Moroney, a physics and science graduate from Washington's Georgetown University with previous blowout experience, and Drilling Superintendent Charlie Visser for their skill and endurance in bringing the well under control on September 9,1948, just a few days after it caught fire. "Those two fellows worked 12-hour shifts all summer and their plans finally paid off," Vern said. Vern always chuckled about the following incident that almost went unnoticed amidst the noise, smoke and general confusion at the site. "One of the roughnecks had to use the crapper," he recalled. "Because of the escaping gas and oil there was strictly no smoking anywhere, so while out of sight, this guy lit up a cigarette and threw the lighted match down the hole. Natural gas had collected down there. The explosion blew the door off the outhouse and the man out the door. The last anyone saw of him, he was humping across the field like a hobbled horse, his pants down around his knees. He didn't even come back for his pay check."

News Features - Funnies

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