• No Greater Love

    By DANNY MINTON On April 26, 1986, at 1:23:40 am MSD (Moscow Time), Aleksandr Akimov pressed a button to re-lower the fuel rods of the RBMK reactor at the Chornobyl

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  • An Incorrect Premise

    By JIM NICHOLS There are some teachings in the Bible, often straight from Jesus himself, that I do not like. The problem is that I am expecting God to make

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  • FBC Interviewing Pastor Candidates

    It’s been a year since Phil Christopher preached his last sermon as senior pastor of First Baptist Church. His final sermon came on Sept. 26, 2021. Christopher had been pastor

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  • Falls Festivals Coming Up

    Fun and food will be served up in ample portions in the coming weeks as several churches in the Catholic Diocese of San Angelo host fall festivals. The ones either

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  • Meet Russell Miller

    By LORETTA FULTON Russell Miller didn’t attend McMurry University, but he got to campus as fast as he could. Miller is the new assistant university chaplain and assistant director of

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  • An Inside Look at St. Luke Orthodox Church

    Abilene is filled with houses of worship but most Abilenians are familiar with the inside of only a handful. A periodic feature in Spirit of Abilene will give you an

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  • Baptist Women: ‘Where Do We Go From Here?’

    By LORETTA FULTON The last time the Texas Baptist Women in Ministry held an annual conference, the year was 2020, just before COVID-19 forced such gatherings to go online. And,

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  • Representatives

    By DANNY MINTON Our plane landed at DFW airport around 8:30 p.m. one evening this past June. Our flight to Abilene was to board around 10:30 p.m., with our arrival

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  • ‘The Worst of All Women’

    Editor’s Note: Sept. 15-Oct. 15 is celebrated each year as Hispanic Heritage Month. Carlo Sosa-Ortiz, a pastoral assistant at First Central Presbyterian Church, wrote the following article on a 17th century

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  • ACU and McMurry Show Enrollment Increases; HSU Down

    By LORETTA FULTON McMurry and Abilene Christian universities both saw enrollment increases for fall 2022, while Hardin-Simmons University recorded its third consecutive enrollment drop.  ACU, affiliated with the Churches of

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No Greater Love

By DANNY MINTON On April 26, 1986, at 1:23:40 am MSD (Moscow Time), Aleksandr Akimov pressed a button to re-lower the fuel rods of the RBMK reactor at the Chornobyl (Note: Ukraine prefers this spelling over the Russian, Chernobyl) nuclear plant in Ukraine SSR in the Soviet Union. The rods should have lowered seven meters but hung up at 2-2.5

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Meet Russell Miller

By LORETTA FULTON Russell Miller didn’t attend McMurry University, but he got to campus as fast as he could. Miller is the new assistant university chaplain and assistant director of religious and spiritual life at McMurry. Marty CashBurless is university chaplain. Miller counts at least 16 family members who attended McMurry, including his own children, who graduated in 2009 and

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An Inside Look at St. Luke Orthodox Church

Abilene is filled with houses of worship but most Abilenians are familiar with the inside of only a handful. A periodic feature in Spirit of Abilene will give you an “Insider’s View” of some of those places you may have driven by many times but never entered. By LORETTA FULTONNAME: St. Luke Antiochian Orthodox Christian ChurchLOCATION: 501 Sunset DriveWEBSITE: https://www.stlukeorthodox.net/LEAD

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Baptist Women: ‘Where Do We Go From Here?’

By LORETTA FULTON The last time the Texas Baptist Women in Ministry held an annual conference, the year was 2020, just before COVID-19 forced such gatherings to go online. And, the setting was in a very Baptist place–George W. Truett Theological Seminary on the campus of Baylor University.  This time, things were different. The organization was meeting live again for

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Representatives

By DANNY MINTON Our plane landed at DFW airport around 8:30 p.m. one evening this past June. Our flight to Abilene was to board around 10:30 p.m., with our arrival in Abilene scheduled for approximately 11:30 p.m. We were returning from a trip to Cabo San Lucas, where I had officiated for my great-niece’s wedding, backdropped by the waves of

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‘The Worst of All Women’

Editor’s Note: Sept. 15-Oct. 15 is celebrated each year as Hispanic Heritage Month. Carlo Sosa-Ortiz, a pastoral assistant at First Central Presbyterian Church, wrote the following article on a 17th century Mexican nun named Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz in honor the month. By CARLO SOSA-ORTIZ A young girl is invited to the home of a prominent Mexican family. At

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ACU and McMurry Show Enrollment Increases; HSU Down

By LORETTA FULTON McMurry and Abilene Christian universities both saw enrollment increases for fall 2022, while Hardin-Simmons University recorded its third consecutive enrollment drop.  ACU, affiliated with the Churches of Christ, hit a record high for the fifth consecutive year. Total enrollment for fall 2022 is 5,731 students. The university saw increases in all key areas: undergraduate enrollment, graduate enrollment

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What Do You Want?

By NANCY PATRICK I have recently mentioned that my church, First Baptist Abilene, has an interim pastor while the church seeks a new senior pastor to fill the position vacated by Dr. Phil Christopher last fall. Our interim, Dr. Matt Cook, works for an organization called The Center for Healthy Churches. Among many aspects of church needs, the Center helps

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Counting Our Days

By JIM NICHOLS The devotional scripture for the morning was from Psalm 91. It read, “The days of our life are seventy years, or perhaps eighty, if we are strong; even then their span is only toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. Who considers the power of your anger? Your wrath is as great as

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ACU Hosting Texas Baptist Women Annual Conference

“Broken, Renewed, Reshaped: Where Do We Go From Here?” will be the theme of the Texas Baptist Women in Ministry annual conference set for Sept. 16 at Abilene Christian University.The conference is hosted by ACU’s Baptist Studies Center, led by Myles Werntz, associate professor of theology at ACU. Sessions will be in the Biblical Studies Building. Click here to register

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Meals On Wheels Celebrates ‘Going Beyond’

Going Beyond J.R. Martinez will be guest speaker for the Going Beyond celebration hosted by Meals on Wheels Plus Sept. 22. The dinner and celebration begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Abilene Convention Center. Click here to purchase individual tickets for $150. For table sponsorship, contact Betty Bradly, executive director of Meals on Wheels Plus, at 672-5050 or bbradley@mealsonwheelsplus.com J.R.

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New Iris Garden a Highlight of McMurry Centennial Celebrations

Donations are be accepted to help sustain the new Centennial Iris Garden at McMurry University. To donate, contact Josh Poorman, executive director of development, at poorman.josh@mcm.edu or 325.793.4763. By LORETTA FULTON A longstanding tradition at McMurry University that ended in 2007 is being resurrected for the university’s centennial celebration. McMurry opened in September 1923, but centennial events already have begun on campus.

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Unforgotten Memories

By DANNY MINTON On July 17, 1944, at approximately 10 p.m., an event happened in California that would cause controversy for the next half-century. It was 10:18 p.m. when witnesses heard a metallic sound and falling timber. Seconds later, a blast occurred at Port Chicago, covering 3,000 feet in diameter and 12,000 feet high with force measured at the University

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Richard Beck Guest Speaker for Christian Service Center Luncheon

Popular ACU professor and speaker Richard Beck will headline a luncheon Sept. 16 to benefit Christian Service Center. The luncheon will be held 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Abilene Country Club. Deadline to purchase tickets or reserve a table is Tuesday, Sept. 13. Click here to register and purchase a ticket. Individual tickets are $50.  Theme for the luncheon is

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Forever Homes Needed

By NANCY PATRICK I sometimes feel overwhelmed with the needs all around me. I truly want to help those in need, but I sometimes have ambiguous feelings about the people themselves and the needs they have.  Rescue the Animals frequently sponsors a clearing the shelters campaign in which the centers try desperately to find forever homes for animals in their

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Colleges Open With Praise and Ritual

By LORETTA FULTON “You Are Here for a Reason.” That was the title of a message from McMurry University Chaplain Marty CashBurless during the opening chapel service, but it could easily have been the theme for similar ceremonies at Hardin-Simmons and Abilene Christian universities, as well. All three of Abilene’s universities opened the fall semester on Monday, Aug. 29. ACU

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From Jay Moore: ‘Hardin and Simmons…Nah, Too Hard to Say’

View Post Jay Moore’s newest book, “Abilene Daily: Snapshots of Home,” contains one or morevignettes from Abilene’s history for each day of the year. Periodically, stories with some connection–however loose–to Abilene’s religious life will be featured in Spirit of Abilene. The book can be purchased at Texas Star Trading Co., 174 Cypress St. www.texasstartrading.com or call 325-672-9696. Books are $27.50. Following is

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Angels in the Clouds

By DANNY MINTON Our minds become filled with memories as the years pass. All the thoughts, actions, words, and feelings we have ever experienced are locked away somewhere in our memories. Some have buried themselves deep, only to surface when something sparks them. Others have faded so long ago that we aren’t even sure of all the details. I’ve found

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Two Electronic Messages

By JIM NICHOLS One of them is just a wordless diagram and the other a short set of words and numbers, but both convey valuable information. The diagram is someone’s rendition of a side view of an automobile engine. One must look carefully at the dashboard to see what it is. This is the “check engine light” in the car;

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Worship Services Will Welcome Students at ACU, HSU, and McM

By LORETTA FULTON New faces and new surroundings will greet students as they gather for their first worship services at Abilene’s three universities the week of Aug. 29. Classes begin Monday at Abilene Christian, Hardin-Simmons, and McMurry universities. All three are church-affiliated and have regularly scheduled chapel services.  At ACU, which is affiliated with the Churches of Christ, students will

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Anne Frank and Donald Trump

By JIM NICHOLS In an academic ethics class, one of the important initial topics is the identification of “duties we owe other people.” That is, if we are going to function together, there are certain behaviors that we should be able to expect from one another. This is a list of common-sense items such as promise keeping, justice (fairness), and

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A Splendid Mystery

By NANCY PATRICK As I pondered the subject for my next article, I was also reading a Louise Penny novel entitled The Beautiful Mystery. Penny has a popular detective series starring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his second-in-command, Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir. They work for the Sûreté du Québec station in La Mauricie, Canada, the Provincial Police Station of Quebec. This

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St. Vincent’s Ballet Folklorico Presents’Viva Mexico’ Aug. 20

VIVA MEXICOWhat: St. Vincent Pallotti Catholic Church’s Ballet Folklorico presents “Viva Mexico” under the direction of Alvaro MunozWhen: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20Where: Paramount Theater,Tickets: Adults $20, Children under 10 years, $10; For ticket information contact St. Vincent Church (Monica Mayes) 325-672-1794 or Alvaro Munoz 214-214-1898About: “Viva Mexico” features traditional Mexican dances from the enchanted land of Los Concheros, Michoacan,

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Love is Not Proud

By DANNY MINTON In the article All the President’s Wit, Gerald Gardner relates a story of a visit by Ronald Reagan to Mexico City. On one occasion, President Reagan stood before a large crowd and gave a speech after which, in conclusion, he sat down to rather unenthusiastic applause. The next speaker approached the podium and began receiving enthusiastic applause

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New Faulkner Center Offers Marriage, Family resources

Contact: Wendy Kilmer, wendy.kilmer@acu.eduDirector of Communications and Media Relations The Paul and Gladys Faulkner Center for Marriage and Family will provide speakers, events and other resources for the Abilene Christian University community as well as the local Abilene area and beyond. The center will be partially funded by the newly established Paul and Gladys Faulkner Center Endowment. Both the endowment

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Stranger Danger

By JIM NICHOLS Geiger-Muller counters have been in use for decades. As the least expensive device to determine the presence of ionizing radiation, they have served useful purposes in both peace and war. Ionizing radiation is a type of energy that is potentially damaging to human tissue; it is, frankly, dangerous. There is no human sense that detects this type

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Blessed

By DANNY MINTON I walked through our atrium a week ago and noticed a large damp spot on the concrete and water along the house’s edge. Later that day, the area had disappeared, so the incident faded from my mind. The next morning, I discovered another wet section and decided to call a plumber, who informed me $400 later, that

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Looking Backward

By JIM NICHOLS Apparently, the man’s car got stuck in reverse gear. When he arrived at the small local auto repair shop in Arkansas, he had backed his car several miles into town and to this shop. Since this was a place I used (the only shop in town brave enough to work on VWs in the early 1970s), I

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Celebrating My Life

By NANCY PATRICK I had a weird thought the other day about the many issues people face these days: human rights, unjust wars, dirty politics, dangerous politics, climate change, uncontrolled viruses, racial injustice, family violence, mass shootings, and on it goes. What a depressingly overwhelming list of concerns! The list brings to my mind the Serenity Prayer that my interim

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Meet Benji Van Fleet

By LORETTA FULTON The new pastor of St. Paul United Methodist Church won’t have to spend much time learning his way around Abilene. Benji Van Fleet assumed the role of senior pastor at the historic downtown church on July 1. The Van Fleet family–Benji, his wife Anna and their 7-year-old son Abe–moved to Abilene from First UMC in Stanton, near

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Meet Adam Droll

By LORETTA FULTON A familiar face returned to Holy Family Catholic Church in July when Adam Droll became parochial administrator. He previously served the parish as parochial vicar. Droll was born and raised in San Angelo, graduating from Central High School in 2007. He was assigned to the Newman Center at Angelo State University the past three years before coming

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From Jay Moore: ‘Sabbath Sin at the Cinema’

Jay Moore’s newest book, “Abilene Daily: Snapshots of Home,” contains one or morevignettes from Abilene’s history for each day of the year. Periodically, stories with some connection–however loose–to Abilene’s religious life will be featured in Spirit of Abilene. The book can be purchased at Texas Star Trading Co., 174 Cypress St. www.texasstartrading.com or call 325-672-9696. Books are $27.50. Following is an excerpt

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Mokusatsu

By DANNY MINTON In July of 1945, President Truman met with Churchill (later Clement Attlee) and Stalin in Potsdam, a suburb of Berlin, Germany. The discussion concerned peace settlements at the end of the war in Europe. Demarcation of boundaries, occupation of Austria, and concerns about Japan were among the talks taking place. On July 26 the conference sent a

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Registration Open for ACU Summit

Contact: Wendy Kilmer, wendy.kilmer@acu.eduDirector of Communications and Media Relations Registration is now open for the fall event of ACU’s 116th year of Summit, Oct. 13-14, part of the new twice-a-year format designed to better serve church leaders. Each fall, a two-day gathering will coincide with ACU’s Homecoming weekend, and each spring, a two-day event will lead into Sing Song weekend.

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Dead or Alive?

By JIM NICHOLS As we have seen in the Roe versus Wade arguments, sometimes personal and moral decisions wander into legal areas and the water becomes muddy quickly. Precedents are set and then arguments begin concerning whether precedents are binding or not. The making or rejection of laws, to simplify matters, seems to add complications rather than clarifications. A recent

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McMurry Entering Centennial Year on Happy Note

McMurry University will kick off its centennial year with something major to brag about. The university announced that it had received the greatest amount of financial commitments in school history. More than $15.4 million was commited in fiscal 2022, breaking the 2007 record by more than $200,000. McMurry also announced a large incoming class, the largest single school project in

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HSU Honors Distinguished Alumni

Frances Renfroe, a 1960 Hardin-Simmons University graduate and former HSU math professor, is the 2022 recipient of the John J. Keeter Alumni Service Award. The Keeter Award and Distinguished Alumni recipients recently were announced by HSU. Renfroe taught in public schools in Rochelle and San Angelo for 32 years before returning to HSU in 1992 as a math professor. She

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Holy Bible Up Close

 THE IDLE AMERICANCommentary by Dr. Don Newbury Umpteen years ago, I entitled a speech–cleverly I thought at the time—”From Adam’s Rib to Women’s Lib.” I provided more details than audiences wanted to know, explaining that with such an expansive title, maybe I wouldn’t wander too far off track. It was admittedly a weak joke, probably not warranting so much as

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