"Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest” Proverbs 6:6-8.
Uzziel Maldonado shares his thoughts on ants.

About Ants

King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, invites us to "consider the ant" and learn from it.

An ant is an insect. Its body has a rigid exoskeleton with an antenna, a head, a thorax, an abdomen, and six legs.  The head has powerful mandibles for lifting and biting.  The abdomen has a stinger and a poison gland. One of the unique features of ants is that they have two stomachs, a community stomach called a crop, and their personal stomach for their individual well-being, which brings me to another unique characteristic of ants, namely, that ant colonies are super organisms.  Unlike individually minded beings, ants think and act as one!
The ant "provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.” So how do ants gather, store, and preserve their food so they can provide when the weather is bad and when food is scarce? There are different species of ants and they each gather, store, and preserve their food in their own and unique way, but in this newsletter, I will only highlight the replete, an important member of the honeypot ants colony. 

About Honeypot Ants

The range of the honeypot ant extends from Oregon and Idaho to as far south as central Mexico.  As far west as California and as far east as Texas.  Their colonies consist of a queen, small and large workers, and the unique repletes.  Each ant has an important role.  However, only the worker ants go out and forage for food, but they do so in interesting ways.  Some workers tend and farm aphids on plants and drink the honeydew.  Other workers eat from a fallen fruit or insect.  Still others collect fresh water. They communicate their find with each other with their antennae and the use of pheromones.  The workers that stay closest to the colony usually have the largest mandibles, ever ready to provide the ultimate sacrifice for the good of the colony.  But staying close to the colony has other drawbacks.  It means it becomes difficult to feed and secure their own individual needs!  
In effect, the smallest workers that are scouting and constantly looking for food, are usually the best fed.  They proudly carry their prized finds back home to share with the rest of their family.  They do this by filling their stomach first and then filling their crop, the community stomach next.  When they encounter their hungry relatives, they share the good news of where to find food if the other workers are themselves famished.  Eventually, all are fed.  That serves for their daily needs. But what about their long-term security or emergency? Here's where the replete come in.

The Heroic Replete

The replete is a worker who was set apart from birth by the queen and her maids to act as a living vessel for the good of the community.  While their exoskeleton is still flexible, the maids feed the larvae large portions of food, filling their stomach and stretching their crop.  For the rest of their lives, the repletes will live “low and slow,”  a safe and quiet life, limiting their movement to reduce energy and waste, and ever ready to share what they have stored for their beloved colony.  Some repletes store nectar, others store water, still others a mix of food and water.  Repletes need the queen and the workers to provide abundant workers, protection and food and the colony needs the repletes when circumstances become critical.

Lessons from the Ant

Ants in general are a great object lesson from nature that can teach us many things including how to complete the Great Commission as found in Matthew 28:18-20.  The honeypot ant shows us how all members are important in a colony, even the unseen, cautious, and quiet replete.  So which member of the honeypot ants did you find most interesting?  Who are you in God’s great super organism, the church?  What other lessons did you get from the repletes?  Please share your thoughts with us.  Please share this story if you would like!
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What is Estate Planning?
By Chris Hogan

Sharks. Spiders. Snakes. Estate planning. Some topics strike fear in the hearts of people just by mentioning them. Estate planning, on the other hand, is nothing to fear.


Important Documents to Have...

Is It time To Update Your Will?

  • Have you moved to Texas and need to create new documents?
  • Do you need to name a legal guardian for your minor children on your Will?
  • Are your children grown and financially independent and you would like to change the distribution of your estate?
  • Do you need to add or remove beneficiaries on your Will?
  • Would you like to include a gift to the Lord's Work in your Will?
If you answered 'yes' to any of the above questions, then it may be time to review and update your Will.

Contact the Texas Conference Trust Department to update your documents at 817-790-2255 ext. 2105 or reply to this email.
Free Download: "A Christian Guide to Estate Planning"
by the Texas Conference Trust Department.
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