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Articles written by Joan Clayton


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  • Opinion: Rabbits, a monkey and the Good Shepherd

    Joan Clayton|Updated Apr 21, 2020

    Editor's note: Joan Clayton's column appeared weekly in the Portales News-Tribune from 1993 to 2014. This one was published Jan. 11, 2007. I believe animals are gifts from God and where would we be without them? I am always amazed when I read Genesis 2:19. God formed all the animals and brought them to Adam for a name and whatever he named them that was the name. Living near the edge of Portales has brought many exciting animal adventures through the years. When we first...

  • 2014 year in review — Dec. 25

    Joan Clayton

    A brief look at some of the top stories in Roosevelt County in 2014. Portales man pleads guilty in murder-for-hire case Summary: Portales handyman Cody Guss of Portales was arrested in March and pleaded guilty in August for arranging to have his wife killed. He was 36 at the time of his arrest. According to police, Guss agreed to pay an undercover officer $5,000 to kill his wife. The couple had been married 13 years. Notable: Guss said in recorded phone calls that he exhausted all of his options in dealing with his wife and...

  • Favorite story is about five monkeys

    Joan Clayton

    Joan Clayton retired from newspaper column writing last month. She is 85 and decided it was time to seek new adventure. link David Stevens She’s had plenty adventure already, especially when she taught elementary school for 31 years. “... My children in my classroom taught me a lot about life and relationships instead of me teaching them,” she reports. My favorite Clayton story involved five monkeys. Actually, it was one monkey, her husband Emmitt and their three boys. They...

  • Don't bother me when I'm reading

    Joan Clayton

    It is with great honor that I welcome you to the second, and likely final, 2014 newsletter of the Kevin Wilson Book Club. It has not quite caught fire like the Oprah Book Club. In the week since I named my first six (technically, seven) selections, I have not seen new versions rushed out with “Kevin Wilson Book Club” stickers affixed on the front cover. Maybe this extended winter weather has kept the stickered versions at their various publishing houses. If you wish to che...

  • Thank you for bringing us a little heaven

    Joan Clayton

    Almost 21 years ago, Joan Clayton marched into the Portales News-Tribune offices and pitched an idea for an inspirational column. She’d write it weekly, she said, for free. “I don’t write for money,” friends have heard her say many times since then. “I write for Jesus.” Then-Publisher Lone Beasley did not know Clayton at the time, “but I took it on faith that she could do it,” he said. She could do it, alright. Two decades later, she’s written eight books, more than 175 articles for multiple anthologies, 10 essays for the “Ch...

  • Leaving you with these last remaining thoughts

    Joan Clayton

    Change can sometimes be hard. We get used to the way things are and we want to keep the old and the familiar. link Joan Clayton But God uses change in our lives to help us grow and mature and to be able to adapt and to learn life lessons that he reveals to us through change. Our attitude toward change makes all the difference. If we embrace change and recognize that God will be with us through those changes, we can be full of joy and happiness even though we may not want or...

  • The 'ground' attracts us, regardless of age

    Joan Clayton

    Many references are made to the word “ground” in the Bible. “The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” Genesis 2:7, NIV). “And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground — trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:9, NIV). “Now the LORD had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the f...

  • Life a run to the finish, like football

    Joan Clayton

    My understanding of football is not the greatest and when I ask dumb questions I am really showing ignorance of the game. However in our family I try to become more knowledgeable. My family is patient, explaining each play until about halftime and then its one grunt means “No” and two grunts mean, “Yes.” This much I do know. The object of the game is to lay hold of the ball and run toward the finish line. I find that similar to the game of life. Sometimes we have setbacks. Sometimes we “lose the ball.” Sometimes we are tack...

  • Mature years can be fun

    Joan Clayton

    Old age can be something that we look forward to rather than something we dread. Many times we hear jokes about becoming older. However, entering the mature years can become quite fun! Believe it or not, older age does have its advantages. You still have a choice as to how you view the world. Now is the time to make new friends, to laugh, to love and pursue new opportunities. There are ways you can enjoy your older years. Maintain your self-esteem. You are still the person you have always been. See yourself as a person God...

  • 'United we stand. Divided we fall!'

    Joan Clayton

    Every generation has heard about the “good old days,” but I remember a time when our lives were governed by the 10 Commandments, good judgment and common sense were taught the difference between right and wrong and to take responsibilities for our own actions. Until we come to grips with the reality of our situation, freedom as we know it, will slip away. In this modern day world of bio-chemical and nuclear threats, there is no security apart from God. Without God’s word...

  • God has plan for all of us — Joan Clayton

    Joan Clayton

    I firmly believe God has a purpose for every person born on this earth. To be given a chance at life is the highest form of love. To me this earthly journey is a training ground…a time to learn to forgive, to laugh, to love, to bless and to encourage people. All of us have been given “x” amount of time. The only thing we get to keep is what we have given away. link Joan Clayton God has a plan for each one of us. Let us seek forgiveness and overlook offenses. Trust in His p...

  • Christmas, God brings joy like no others — Joan Clayton

    Joan Clayton

    What is it about this time of year that makes it different from any other? Why are our spirits lift to the sounds of “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World?” Why do friends and family seem just a little closer and our hearts turn toward home. Could it just be that the Christ Child brings light and hope to a darkened world? link Joan Clayton Could it just be that “Christmas softens even the hardest heart? Why is that? It is because Jesus is the only hope. It may come as a shoc...

  • Grandson sends love for holiday — Joan Clayton

    Joan Clayton

    Editor’s note: This week’s column is written by Jody Clayton and presented as a gift to his grandmother and columnist Joan Clayton. I am anxious as I travel to one of my most beloved locations in the entire world. I know that no matter what the time of my arrival may be, I will be greeted by the greatest hosts of all time as soon as I step out of the vehicle. With lipstick smeared across my cheek and the arms of my heroes around my neck, I am triumphantly escorted inside. Finally, Christmas at Mawmaw and Emmitt's is her...

  • Christmas always a favorite holiday

    Joan Clayton

    I love to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I think Christmas is all over America giving, loving and caring. It is celebrating the love of Jesus. A thousand years have come and gone, but the birth of the Christ Child is in every believer’s heart. “For unto us a child is born and he will save the people from their sins.” There is something about Christmas that brings cheer and joy. I just love Christmas. Don’t tell, but I put my Christmas tree up when it was Halloween. I love to smell the pine tree. When I look at the angel a...

  • Think of Thanksgiving as 'Thanks Living'

    Joan Clayton

    Every day is a day to be thankful. Being thankful is a way of life. An attitude of gratitude brightens the countenance and cheers the heart. If we were to write down all of our many blessings, we would need reams of paper. One of my many blessings happened when a student brought me a flower the day before Thanksgiving. The card with the flower read: “Teacher, I’m thankful to be in your class.” That card reminded me of my “teachers.” I thought of three of my college professors. I wrote a Thanksgiving letter to each one, expr...

  • It' always too soon to quit

    Joan Clayton

    Never give up in the face of adversity. Have you ever been down for the count? How do you respond? Throw in the towel? Do you think about quitting? Do you say, “What’s the use?” Well, forget it! Falling down doesn’t make a failure … staying down does. Stay in the fight. Dust yourself off and keep on keeping on. It’s always too soon to quit. Growing weary in the fight brings dark clouds of depression and that obscures vision and peace. Troubles come and troubles go. A poor attitude is, “Well, that trial is over … wonder what...

  • God has a plan for all of us

    Joan Clayton

    Do you know God has a plan for you? “’For the plans for you,’ declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV). God never forgets you. Think of Abraham. He had trouble believing he and Sarah would have a child in their advanced age. Yet he stayed faithful to God in obedience and God proved faithful. Consider Joseph. He seemed to go from one problem to another. His brothers put him in a pit and then sold him into slavery. Later, when he refused to sin he...

  • God's goodness unequaled

    Joan Clayton

    America has given us so many blessings we can hardly count them. Aren’t you glad you were born? Can you contain the joy of knowing God planned your birth? He has a special plan for your life. Had I never been born, I would not have I known or appreciate God’s provision of healing. (Psalm 139:14, NIV). “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. I know that full well.” I am overcome with amazement at the creativity of an awesome God. Inside a body are organs, tissue and muscles that wo...

  • Ministers are national treasures, desperately needed

    Joan Clayton

    It’s time to honor you, dear ministers. We realize you are on call around the clock. Bible studies, preparation of sermons, funerals, and hospital visits take priority. That leaves little time for your own activities. You spend many hours or even an entire night in prayer with those going through a crisis. You miss many nights of sleep, holiday dinners and family events to be with someone in need. It’s hard to survive without encouragement and affirmation. Behind you is an unselfish wife who shares your concern, hurts and...

  • He has made everything beautiful

    Joan Clayton

    My Aunt Mary liked the seasons but she loved autumn the best. She loved the color of different leaves. I took her leaves every fall. I will never forget how she always used to put them into her bible as keepsakes. They were precious memories for me, but I didn't know she was going home so soon. Aunt Mary knew "real life" and she loved it. She always told me "Child, real life is found in knowing Jesus, accepting His gift of salvation with faith and obedience." link Joan...

  • Heroes encouraged themselves in the Lord

    Joan Clayton

    PNT religion columnist Do you ever engage in negative self talk? Do you allow anxious situations to dominate? Such actions have a detrimental effect upon your body. It puts an added stress on your system too. If left unchecked something will eventually give way. It takes a real concentrated effort to change a thought pattern. It takes diligence and perseverance but it is so worth it. We can read about David in the Old Testament. Enemies surrounded him on every side. Yet David encouraged himself in the Lord. He reminded...

  • Choose to be happy every day

    Joan Clayton

    Each new day is a present wrapped with God’s love. It is a precious gift for all of us. We can open our gift with graciousness or we can ruin it with murmuring and complaining. The choice is ours. Our attitude makes the difference. God’s gifts to you and me are precious. Love, family and friends are precious gifts that money cannot buy. We have the choice. Life is an exciting adventure. God’s beauty abounds all around. The instant you open your eyes each morning, make a decision to be happy and pass it on. “A merry heart d...

  • Because of Jesus we have love

    Joan Clayton

    Imagine living in a world without love. I heard the story of a little boy who was asked to give some blood to save his sister's life. He said "Yes," with no hesitation. After the transfusion the doctor noticed tears in the little boy's eyes. He asked the boy why he was crying. He replied, "Will it happen right away? How many minutes before I die?" That is love! "Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. Love is not rude, is not...

  • Let’s make the most out of every day we have

    Joan Clayton

    Our time on earth is a journey and we are stepping stones in learning life’s lessons. The path goes forward or backward. There is no middle ground. Trials are opportunities for growth, stretching the believer’s faith, trust and obedience. Dependence upon God is the only way to peace. In this journey we are never alone. “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are mine. When you pass link Joan Clayton through the waters I will be with you; and when...

  • Give your cares to Jesus

    Joan Clayton Religion columnist

    Have you ever given something to the Lord and then turned right around and took it back? You have given your total being to the Lord, but slowly and surely, a gnawing worry keeps a problem creeping into your mind. Sometimes we have to fight a thought to hold our ground. The enemy would like nothing better than to use our minds for a battleground. We are trusting in the Lord or we're not. Either we surrender all to Jesus, or we live our days in torment tossing about in a restless sea. James 1:5, 6, 7, 8 gives specific...

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