The art of coveting

Sola Fide

Rev. E.B. Holschuh


            An article about a thief caught my eye in a recent issue of The Week magazine. It struck me as a great topic for a Lent devotional, an opportunity to look at God’s Law, how sin pollutes even the kindest of hearts, and God’s solution to our 10-fold problem: We just can’t obey God’s Law, instructions meant for everyone on Earth long before there were Christians.


In the second book of the Bible, Moses brings the Ten Commandments down from Mt. Sinai (Exodus 32:5-16). The first three tell us how we should live in relation to God; the remaining seven tell us how we should live in relation to our fellow human beings. Lutherans look at it in the form of the Cross: our vertical relationship with God, then our horizontal relationship with others, distilled down to what’s known as Christ’s Law.  “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)


From the beginning, we’re to have only one God, we’re not to disgrace His name, and we’re to go to church.  Next come the seven don’ts—don’t neglect/abuse your parents, murder, cheat on your spouse, steal, say mean or false things about others, nor covet…wait…what? Covet? Yes, covet. If sin were a baseball bat, coveting would be the sweet spot.


According to The Week, Frenchman Stephane Breitwieser “has robbed more than $1.4 billion worth of art from nearly 200 museums and steals like he’s performing a magic trick, without violence or a frantic getaway. When he sees a piece he likes, says Breitwieser, 47, ‘I get smitten. Looking at something beautiful, I can’t help but weep.’ He never sells anything he steals, but simply brings the work home to adore. ‘The pleasure of having,’ he says, ‘is stron­ger than the fear of stealing.’”


Coveting is a stealthy sin that manifests itself in the behaviors of the self-righteous, the self-absorbed, the self-loving and self-gratifying.  Let’s face it; coveting is the dark art of not just desiring but getting what we want (what doesn’t belong to us, in most cases). It means obsessing over something, believing we can’t be happy without it, or trying to figure out how to get it. Coveting is dissatisfaction with all God’s given us—believing that we know what we need and what will make us happy better than God does.


We covet to fill a need or void, to have something we think we deserve, even if it’s something (money, property, spouse, job, status, etc.) that belongs to someone else. Coveting replaces our God with one or more little gods and is the catalyst for crime, whether art theft or something more violent, like murder or rape. Coveting breaks up families and infects our relationship with God and others.


This Lenten season, I am trying to focus more on all that God has given me, in spite of my daily transgressions rather than on what I don’t have. I am trying to focus more on the Cross, where Jesus endured the wrath of God for my sin, in place of me. I am trying to remember daily that, in Christ Jesus, I have everything I need.


Stephane Breitwieser “is perhaps the most prolific art thief in history.” God, on the other hand, is the most prolific artist in history. When we dabble in the art of coveting, we, too, are art thieves, the likes of which Breitwieser pales in comparison!


Pastor E.B. Holschuh serves at Zion Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Alamo. He is a retired Navy senior chief and former English and Russian teacher. 

Paradise Quilters hosted a veteran’s quilt presentation

In honor of the veterans of Paradise Park in McAllen, Texas, the Paradise Quilters hosted a veteran’s quilt presentation on January 26, 2019.    Fifteen quilts were presented to veterans in the park during a program that included a dedication thank you poem by Barb and Greg Foster, singing of God Bless America by Ginger Engels accompanied by Dwight Brackman.  Veterans of all ages were honored this year and the program will continue until all veterans in the park have received an appropriate thank you and a quilt in their honor.


Veterans honored this year included:

Jerry Baldwin, Navy

Edward Boehmer, Jr., Air Force

Mark Campbell, Ohio National Guard

Sharlene Campbell, Air Force

William Ernst, Army

Steve Frankowski, Navy

Dennis Frisch, Air Force

David German, Navy

David Harston, Army

Marnae Krueger, Army

Warren Lee,  Army

Al Mahowald, Navy

Dickie Parkridge, Navy

Paul Vassallo, Army

Carole Zarling, Army


Tropical Trails RV Resort Hosts Open House March 1st


Tropical Trails RV Resort, South Texas’ newest RV Resort, is hosting an open house on Friday, March 1st, from 10:00 – 2:00 p.m., as part of Welcome Home RGV’s Communities on Parade.  Stop by to see the new amenity building and visit with the General Manager and Owner about all that the resort has to offer!  “I have worked in the Rio Grande Valley for years and wanted to build a high-end resort where visitors can actively enjoy the area,” said Hill Dishman, Owner.


Tropical Trails RV Resort will open in June 2019.  The 240 large RV sites and 23 park model cottages at the resort will become your home away from home, with the most modern conveniences, well-manicured landscaping, and concierge service waiting to serve you!


Tropical Trails RV Resort offers 30/50 amp, full hookups, spacious concrete pads, back-ins and pull throughs, and high speed fiber optic internet.  Amenities include a secured, gated entrance, an amenity center, a resort-style swimming pool, an exercise room, pickle ball and shuffleboard, golf cart rental, bike racks, outdoor pavilions, dog parks, bathhouses and shuttle service.


Situated on 165 acres just east of Brownsville at the intersection of FM 511 and Dr. Hugh Emerson Drive, the resort is conveniently located just minutes from all of Brownsville and only 20 minutes from South Padre Island.  For more information, please see our website at


As a business owner, those are the three magic words you love to hear.  Luckily, I have heard them more often than not this season.  We move at a very fast pace at Welcome Home RGV, and I’m blessed with an amazing team of people who all work together for the good of the cause.  We have a lot going on with a very short window of time to get it all done, and it takes teamwork to pull it all off.  It’s hard to believe we now have 15 people on our team.  How in the world we did it with three is beyond me.


While I may or may not be the best manager around, I know I’m not the worst.   I admit, I’m stubborn.  I like things done a certain way.  And I have the habit of adding things to the already-busy schedule.  I’m not the best office  communicator, but we have a lot going on, and, once again, we’re moving very fast.  You blink, and you’re behind, so keeping  everyone up to date can be a challenge.


As much as I am a people person, I also value time alone.  I’ve learned that it’s OK to press the pause button every now and then, although I admit I rarely use it.  I also have to remind myself that while my hobbies and extra-curricular activities are work, work, and more work, sometimes a pause can bring clarity.


But I’m also persistent.  I’ve always got my eyes and ears open, looking for new opportunities.  I see and recognize good talent.  I’m a connector.  And the best thing I’ve connected is a wonderful team of folks who show up.  Each and every day, they show up and amaze me with their time and talents and how they spend both of them, effortlessly.  It makes everything we do look so easy to the outsider.  The work we do isn’t rocket science, but it is definitely difficult to replicate.  Why?  Because my people show up and get the job done without complaint.  Rather, they do it with a smile.


As we continue to move forward at lightning speed, I remind myself  that it’s OK to pass off to my team some of the things I’ve done myself in the past  so I, too, can put my time and talents to their best use.  I trust my team to make good decisions.  I value their perspective.  At times we agree to disagree, and that’s just fine.  But most importantly, I will always have their backs.  Why?  Because I trust that whatever decision they make at the time is the right one.


So to hear those three words…WE GOT THIS…means the world to me, whether I have an opportunity to go to a conference, go on a cruise or when I just need to stay home with a cold.  When I hear them, I know in my heart that they truly do have everything under control.  My team’s got this!


We’re just connecting the dots,



Kristi Collier is a McAllen native who loves to share her passion for the area with others.  Her company, Welcome Home RGV caters to the Winter & Converted Texan market through their events, activities, special interest publications and more.  For more information, call the Welcome Home RGV office at 956-687-5115, visit or visit on facebook at and

Part two of HCA Vice President Cheryl LaBerge’s mid-January email interview with Cadence Tenor Ross Lynde

Welcome Home Winter Texan Exclusive

Cheryl:  Where are you performing between now and February 9?

Ross:  We’ll be performing here at home in the month of January, focusing mostly on local outreach (school) shows and workshops but will have our first show in Texas on February 7th in Terrell.


Cheryl:  Any observations about other artists you admire or who have influenced you?

Ross:  The artist that comes to mind here is Bobby McFerrin.  A pioneer in a cappella music, he paved the way for so many artists to explore their own voices to discover there are truly no limits to the human voice.  We’ve had the great honor to perform with him a number of times, and the fact of his musical genius and multi-Grammy-Award-winning status never detracted from his warmth and humility.  He is indeed a very generous performer.


Cheryl:  What type of audiences do you most enjoy?

Ross:  There are so many different groups we’ve performed for (theatre crowds, choirs and church-folk, primary and high schools, senior residences, etc.) so it’s hard to say which is ‘the best.’  There’s something about the human voice that so easily engages the listener and makes a clear connection to the heart.  The best shows are ones that (where) that connection is made early on, so we can take the audience on a journey that is one part good music, one part good fun.


Cheryl:  Any feedback from audiences that you could share or quotes we might use for PR?

Ross:  Here are some quotes for you:  “This was a very talented group but also very entertaining; we enjoyed the performance a lot. My daughter is 12 yrs.; she said it was the best show we have ever attended and she has attended a lot of shows!”

“Cadence were super showmen and held audience’s attention through whole performance. Wonderful!!!!!”

“It was the first time we went to see an a cappella group and it was delightful.  Exceptional performers and unbelievably great music and vocals.”

“Drums, bass, guitar, trumpet, saxophone. and almost any other instrument imaginable was there to be heard, but nowhere to be seen.  Their delectable harmonies and diverse vocal abilities created in each song a world unto itself – a fusion of sound and imagination.”

“Against the ever-changing skyline of Canadian music, Cadence shines like a rainbow: in their arrangements – brilliant;  in their harmony – weightless and pure as colour;  and in their horizons – promising.”


Cheryl:  Thank you!  You guys were amazing when we saw you in Nashville.  We are very excited that you’ll be here soon!

Ross:  Us too!


Toronto-based Cadence, one of Canada’s top a-cappella groups, performs at Harlingen Municipal Auditorium Saturday, February 9, at 7:30 p.m., presented by the nonprofit Harlingen Concert Association (HCA).  Tickets for the Cadence concert are available online at or at the Harlingen Municipal Auditorium Box Office, 1204 Fair Park Boulevard, 956-216-5990.  The Box Office is open Monday-Friday and an hour before the show. 

See videos of Cadence on their website at



Grab your boots and get ready bull ridin’ fans, the “HOTTEST 8 SECONDS OF THE YEAR” is back… and it’s bigger and better than ever!!  The National Professional Bull Riders bring some of the nation’s top bull riders to town for a 2-day event on January 26 & 27 in the Payne Auto Group Arena at the RGV Livestock Show Complex, Mercedes, TX.   Top cowboys will compete for an average of $14,000 in money and prizes.  This includes a chance to win one of three $600 Monsoon Silver Champion Trophy Buckles and a sack full of money.  The NPBR is one of the premier bull riding tours in the country and has been entertaining crowds since established in 2000.


The four-footed beasts that cowboys will be trying to score points on will be a hulking, snorting temperamental 2,000-pound bull.  Many are up and coming stars of professional bull riding.


This is your chance to be up close and personal with the bulls and the bull riders.  You will experience the thrills and spills of each one and be able to cheer on your favorite contestant.  Afterwards, join the NPBR Bull Riders for the “After Party” Saturday night at Mustang Lounge!!


Returning this year…South Texas Bull Fight Challenge.  This will be the first stop on the South Texas Bull Fight Challenge Tour.  Five top bull fighters will be competing against each other not only for money in their pockets but also for a chance to perform in the finals held in September.    In a freestyle bull fight, the bull fighter goes one-on-one against a Mexican Fighting bull for 70 seconds.  The bull fighter is judged on his willingness to expose himself to risk and on his aggressiveness.   You will be on the edge of your seat watching these athletes showing off their skills!!


Pro Rodeo Clown and Barrelman, Joey “Hashbrown” Hackett from Hutto, TX will be showing off his comedy routine from inside the “clown barrel” at each performance.  Joey has established himself as one of the hottest barrelman and funny guy personalities in the world of Professional Rodeo.  Working rodeos from Florida all the way to Washington, he brings southern family Cajun humor to relieve any stress or worries your life holds.    You can be promised top notch, family oriented entertainment for both performances.


There will be something for everyone including music, food, vendors, pony rides and a calf scramble for the kids.  Mustang Lounge will be hosting the “Meet the Cowboy’s” after party on Saturday night, January 26, following the bull riding….And come take a picture with the African Watusi Bull, Oliver!!


Local sponsors for this event are 100.5 KTEX,  Mustang Lounge, BootJack Western Stores, Welcome Home RGV, Payne Auto Group, BrushTek Pipeline Maintenance, Med-Care EMS, Executive Inn, City of Mercedes and Mercedes EDC, KRGV-Channel 5 & KRGV-Cable 1240 Somos El Valle.


Pre-sale tickets are available at Boots & Jeans in Weslaco, Bull Rider in Harlingen and all Boot Jack Western Stores.  Adults are $14 pre-sale and $16 at the gate.  Seniors (55+) are $12 presale and $14 at the gate.   Kids (6-12 years) are $7 pre-sale and $8 at the gate and kids 5 & under are free.


Chris Marshall starts the action on Saturday, January 26 at 5:30 pm with a variety of country music and the bull riding and bull fights start at 7:30 pm.   The Sunday, January 27th matinee show will start with a performance by “Ruthi” at 12:00 noon followed by action pack bull riding and bullfights.



South Padre Island Kite Fest: Let’s Tie One On!

What started out as a mere ‘fun fly’ is now one of the biggest kite
festivals in the country.


On Jan. 31st, Feb. 1st and 2nd , 2019 ~ Thursday Night, Friday & Saturday ~ SPI Kite Fest will descend onto the flats of South Padre Island. The festival kicks off Thursday evening with Indoor Kite Performances held at the South Padre Island Convention Centre from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.


The indoor performance lineup boasts an array of internationally known kitefliers. John Barresi holds thirty-one national championship titles and is the 2018 Open Individual Unlimited Ballet champion. John will be joined by Scott Weider & Phil Burks who both were invited to fly in Saudi Arabia in 2017 and James Fletcher the 2014 AKA National Indoor Champion. Other invited performers are Mario Di Lucca from Victoria, British Columbia, Spence Watson, Paul de Bakker, Paul Lamasters and Brett Marchel. All of these amazing indoor fliers dedicate their cheoreographed
routines with one passion in mind . . . “creating peace thru kiting ~


If you have never been to an Indoor Kite Performance, this is the
event you do not want to miss! Tickets for the Indoor Kite Exhibition are $6 per person and can be purchased or reserved in advance at B&S Kites (956-761-1248). Tickets are not available at the door.  The festival continues on Friday & Saturday (Feb. 1st & 2nd ) when the festival moves outdoors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the flats just north of the Convention Centre.


Several kitefliers from all over the United States are scheduled to bring their magnificent ‘show kites’ that will be on display throughout the day. Just imagine it ~ a huge 3D dragon, a 150 ft. octopus, a 90 ft. gecko or a 24 ft. spinning bol ~ whatever you can imagine, you might see it soaring in the air.


No kite fest is complete without the mesmerizing performances of
individual as well as team performances. Three teams are scheduled to perform at this year’s event ~ John Barresi is returning with Team Kitelife consisting of John (Portland, OR), Scott Benz (Jacksonville, FL), Eli Russell (Portland, OR) and Brett Marchel (Harbor Springs, MI). Next up Team Rev-Riders consisting of Scott Weider (Vancouver, WA), Paul LaMasters (Germantown, MD), James Fletcher (Baltimore, MD) and Drayton Callison (Treasure Island, FL) as well as Team End of the Line from Austin. Completing the performance roster will be Spence ‘Watty’ Watson (Bellevue, WA), Paul de Bakker (Oak Harbor, WA), Mario DiLucca (Victoria, BC) as well as several ‘Winter Texans’ who have found they not only have a passion for kite flying but a talent for performing as well. Admission for the outdoor event is free.


So . . . bring a cooler, bring a lawn chair, come for the day or stay
for the weekend. Just make South Padre Island your destination the
first weekend in February. You’ll be delighted you did. You’ll get
amazing photos to share with your friends and may even start a
new tradition. For more information contact B&S Kites at
(956) 761-1248, by email at , our website, or visit SPI Kite Fest 2019 event page on
We’ll see you there !

Tour Rancho Lomitas with Edinburg Scenic Wetlands

Edinburg, Texas – Take a tour of the beautiful Rancho Lomitas and learn about the historical uses and interesting properties of native plants. This winter, the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center (EWBC) will escort a field trip to this native oasis north of Rio Grande City on Thursday, Jan. 17 from 7:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.


Ranch owner and ethnobotanist, Benito Treviño, will lead participants on a tour of the ranch and discuss how knowledge of local plants and their practical uses have helped people survive in the Rio Grande Valley for hundreds of years.


The cost for each Rancho Lomitas tour is $20.00 for EWBC members and $25.00 for non-members. Seating is limited, so please call ahead at least two days before the trip to reserve your space. Deadline to register is Monday. Jan. 14. Participants will depart from the EWBC at 7:30 a.m. and arrive back at 3:00 p.m. Participants can bring a sack lunch to eat while out at the ranch.


The Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center is located at 714 South Raul Longoria Road (in the Edinburg Municipal Park) in Edinburg, Texas. For more information on this and other programs, call (956) 381-9922 or visit

Bentsen Palm Village shares the Christmas spirit with a Mission family

Written by Rocio Villalobos 

Photo by Rick Harrington

For Christmas this year, residents at Bentsen Palm Village RV Resort combined their resources to create an unforgettable day for a family of six.


Resort manager Keith Willquette, along with other personnel, decided that nothing could bring more holiday cheer to the park than the gift of giving.


After finding a family in need through a Mission church, the park publicized the need for donations in early December. Residents did not disappoint.


The exclusively winter Texan park currently has about 200 of its sites full. And according to resident Anne Scott, just about everyone chose to give.


“They were exceedingly generous,” she said.


Dozens of toys, gadgets and clothing articles were collected for the children — two boys ages 15, 10, and two girls ages 7 and 4. Crafters put their skills to use by making quilts and knitting hats.


Al Peterson, a first year resident at the resort, served as the translator for the Spanish-speaking family. He helped set up the time and date for the gifts to be delivered and found out the sizes and gift requests for the children.


“They were just really modest people,” he said. “I think actually they were a little overwhelmed by all the stuff.”


The park staff was also able to purchase grocery gift cards and bikes and helmets for each child with more than $500 donated in addition to the toys.


“We’re all grandparents and we don’t have little kids to buy presents for… because we’re not with our families,” said Scott. “So we decided to do something to provide a special Christmas for another family.”


A few days before Christmas, volunteers loaded up a truck and SUV with the items purchased and donated to deliver it to the family.


“They seemed very appreciative,” said Scott. “The kids were bouncing up and down like little kids do at Christmas.”


Given the response from the Bentsen community, said Scott and Peterson, they believe they can make their giving a tradition to share with families in need around the Rio Grande Valley.


“We’re all so blessed to have this lifestyle and to have enough money to reach out and try to help these people,” said Scott. “On the way back (from dropping off the items) we all said, ‘well, that made our Christmas.’”

KAI brings a bit of Hawaii to Winter Texan Expo

Kainoa Kamaka will be entertaining at 11:00 at Winter Texan Expo on Wednesday Jan. 16th


Kainoa Kamaka (aka KAI) is a professional sponsored KoAloha Ukulele Artist, born and raised from the Big Island of Hawaii and now resides in San Antonio, Texas.  Recognized as an “Ambassador of Aloha” by the Lt. Governor of Hawaii and the L&L Hawaiian Grill franchise, Kainoa’s wide repretoire of music from Hawaii to the mainland, combined with his energy and ability to entertain every audience, makes him a well-sought after entertainer for all events!


The Winter Texan Expo is a fun-filled, two day event held each year in January.  This year’s event will be held on January 15-16, 2019 at the McAllen Convention Center. Admission is free, and so is the parking!  For more information visit