• Holy Family Gets First New Priest in 25 Years

    By LORETTA FULTON Following in the footsteps of a man who served in one place “since the days of Noah’s Ark” won’t be easy. Bishop Michael Sis of the Catholic

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  • Packs vs Herds

    By DANNY MINTON My son Scottie and I watched the Ice Age movie one evening when one scene stuck out to me. The three main characters of the film are

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  • Talking Carefully About Family

    By JIM NICHOLS Down the hall from my office right now is a colleague and young mother who, along with her husband, just completed the adoption of their third pre-school

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  • Survey: Highly Religious Americans More Skeptical About Extraterrestrial Life

    Pew Research Center Religious and secular thinkers alike have long discussed what the implications for religion would be if humans discovered intelligent life on other planets. In the United States, highly religious

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  • One More Day

    By DANNY MINTON I was born on a Sunday approximately 645,792 hours ago as I write this article. That amounts to 26,908 days, or 3,844 weeks, or 884 months. If

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  • Body Parts in the Bible

    By JIM NICHOLS For a biologist, one of the most rewarding aspects of the Bible is to find an illustration that fits our discipline of science. Clearly, the Bible is

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  • Do You Really Know Me?

    By NANCY PATRICK During the last several decades of my life, I have come to question just how well I really know the people in my life. When you consider

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  • Courage to Stand Up

    By DANNY MINTON Frank “Foo” Fujita graduated from Abilene High School in the late 1930s. He planned to be a cartoonist when World War II broke out, sending his life

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  • Global Samaritan Celebrates 22 Years Being Good Samaritans

    Global Samaritan Resources is in need of volunteers. If you can help out, here’s the contact information you need: Global Samaritan Resources2074 North 1st StAbilene, Texas325.676.9991www.globalsamaritan.org Global Samaritan began in

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  • Spilled Blood

    By JIM NICHOLS The local church I attend shares weekly Eucharist. The pattern, as in many churches, is to pass a communion plate containing bread and another container with individual

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Service Set for Episcopal Bishop Sam Hulsey

A memorial service for the Rt. Rev. Sam B. Hulsey, former bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwest Texas, which includes Abilene, is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday August 6, 2021, at Trinity Episcopal Church in Fort Worth. The church is located at 3401 Bellaire Drive South, Fort Worth. Hulsey, 88, died on August 6, 2020, exactly one year before the scheduled memorial

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One More Day

By DANNY MINTON I was born on a Sunday approximately 645,792 hours ago as I write this article. That amounts to 26,908 days, or 3,844 weeks, or 884 months. If I live to my dad’s age when he passed, I have approximately 178,296 hours or 7,429 days. Of those hours, I will spend in the neighborhood of 10 hours a

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Body Parts in the Bible

By JIM NICHOLS For a biologist, one of the most rewarding aspects of the Bible is to find an illustration that fits our discipline of science. Clearly, the Bible is not a science book, but many of the images used have an obvious parallel. Written centuries ago, they are not sophisticated science, but are common language metaphors that make perfect

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Do You Really Know Me?

By NANCY PATRICK During the last several decades of my life, I have come to question just how well I really know the people in my life. When you consider your relationships with others, you must recognize that each relationship between you and someone else remains unique. For example, I knew my parents only in their parental roles in my

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Morris Heads ACU’s Center for Building Community

Wendy Kilmer, wendy.kilmer@acu.eduDirector of Communications and Media Relations Dr. Jason Morris has been named executive director of Abilene Christian University’s Center for Building Community and director of the Lynay program. Morris is dean of the Honors College and director of the Office of Major Scholarships at ACU and will continue to serve in those roles. The Center for Building Community

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Courage to Stand Up

By DANNY MINTON Frank “Foo” Fujita graduated from Abilene High School in the late 1930s. He planned to be a cartoonist when World War II broke out, sending his life in a different direction. At seventeen years old, weighing 105 pounds, Frank “Foo” Fujita decided to join the service. He walked into the recruitment office underage and underweight. To enter,

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Global Samaritan Celebrates 22 Years Being Good Samaritans

Global Samaritan Resources is in need of volunteers. If you can help out, here’s the contact information you need: Global Samaritan Resources2074 North 1st StAbilene, Texas325.676.9991www.globalsamaritan.org Global Samaritan began in 1999 with a very simple mission: Collect surplus goods and share them with people in need. We started in the back of a truck. Today we have shipped goods to

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‘Okey Doke’ Not OK with Younger Generations

By LORETTA FULTON The Barna organization was commissioned to “research how young Christians’ perspectives on missions are different from older believers.’” The Southern Baptist Convention, which commissioned the research project, could have saved some money by asking Travis Craver instead.  “This younger generation, they’re not OK with the ‘Okey Doke,’” said Craver, who is director of chapel and spiritual formation

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Summer’s Not Over Yet With VBS still Going

BY LORETTA FULTON School supplies may be dominating the display areas in stores, but that doesn’t mean summer is entirely over. Vacation Bible School–a summertime standard–is still around. At least four churches have VBS scheduled before July ends. Two churches–First Central Presbyterian and Southern Hills Church of Christ–are staging one-day events, while South Pointe Church and First Christian Church are

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Survey: ‘Evangelical’ Numbers Dropping

In 2020, the percentage of white Americans who call themselves evangelical Christians dipped below the percentage identified as mainline Christians. That’s a big deal, says Doug Mendenhall, who posts his thoughts on his blog, “Jesus in the Food Court.” Mendenhall weighs in on that survey finding from the Pew Research Center. Click here to read Mendenhall’s column

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A Walk Through the Door

By DANNY MINTON You walk through the doors of your congregation on any given Sunday and what do you see? If your congregation mirrors others, you see people. There are short ones, tall ones, old ones, young ones, and those between the groups. A few older men will be wearing suits, and some ladies may even have a hat. Nowadays,

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Seniors to the Rescue!

IDLE AMERICANCommentary by Dr. Don Newbury I spend a good chunk of time each week working with, learning from, and encouraging fellow senior adults. It seems to me that the ones best able to “finish the race” don’t spend a lot of time employing the adverb “too.”  The public at large, however, generally chooses to use the word “too” for maximation of

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ACU’s Summit Moving to fall/Spring Format

Wendy KilmerACU Director of Communications and Media Relations Beginning in October 2021, Abilene Christian University’s traditional gathering for church leaders will take a new shape with two events each year, both focused on specific small-group communities with an emphasis on fellowship and dialogue. The 115th annual ACU Summit will take place Oct. 14-15 with a theme of “Seeking Hope, Finding Joy.”

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A Light in the Fog

By DANNY MINTON The fog had rolled in when James punched out to go home. He entered his car and immediately knew it would be a slow drive with fog so thick he could barely see anything of any distance. James spotted some taillights in front and thought to himself, “This guy seems to be moving pretty well; I’ll follow

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Behave Yourself!

By NANCY PATRICK I vividly remember my mother’s words to me as I neared the door to leave home to visit a friend or go on a date: “Behave yourself!” As a teenager, I didn’t know I would become an English teacher and would study sentences of all types. Do you remember these: declarative, imperative, interrogative, and exclamatory?  If not,

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Pope Francis’ Popularity Rises in U.S.

BY CLAIRE GECEWICZ Pew Research Center Pope Francis’ popularity dropped in the United States a few years ago amid a sex abuse crisis in the U.S. Catholic Church. But Americans’ opinions of the pontiff have since rebounded, and between February 2020 and March 2021 – 13 months that included moves by Francis to expand the role of women in the church as well as a widening

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The Journey

By DANNY MINTON “He knew he would try again, fail perhaps, and try once more. A thousand, thousand times if need be, but he would not give up the quest.” Thus are the words as spoken of Samwise, the Hobbit, as he went on his quest. It was “a glowing obsession to surmount every obstacle, to find Frodo, destroy the

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‘Father Fred’ Gets Standing ‘O’ After Last Sermon at Holy Family

By LORETTA FULTON A standing ovation–make that a rousing standing ovation–isn’t something that’s often experienced in a Roman Catholic Mass. But Sunday, June 27, was special. And admirers of Msgr. Frederick G. Nawarskas, better known as “Father Fred,” made sure he knew it. It was Father Fred’s last Sunday as pastor of Holy Family Catholic Church and the congregation wanted

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McMurry Alumnus Honored for Massachusetts Ministry

McMurry UniversityNews Release Rev. Zachary Harrison Kerzee, a 2011 graduate of McMurry University, recently was honored with the university’s Outstanding Alumni Award in Religious & Spiritual Life. Kerzee is a minister and woodworker in Sterling, Massachusetts. He studied religion and Greek at McMurry, was highly involved in Religious and Residence Life, and co-founded the McMurry Gay Straight Alliance. After McMurry,

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Cotton Candy Christianity

By DANNY MINTON Remember growing up eating cotton candy? You’d go to the fair and see folks carrying huge billowing clouds of pink just waiting for its carrier to devour it. It looked so good that you just had to buy some for yourself. The problem with cotton candy is that it’s mostly fluff. In fact, a typical serving of

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‘Tis the Season for Retirements

By LORETTA FULTON In August 2020, Stan Allcorn started a trend that is continuing this summer among other local pastors and people serving in ministry roles–retirement. Allcorn came to Pioneer Drive Baptist Church in 1998 and stepped down from his position as senior pastor last August. He and his family were honored at an outdoor retirement party Sunday night, Aug.

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S-0-S: Can Anyone Hear Me?

By NANCY PATRICK Fellow writer Danny Minton wrote a recent article about how people sometimes feel alone and abandoned by God. When this happens to us, we often ask, “God, where are you?” Of course, we learn by going through the crisis that God remains present the entire time. Unfortunately, our human limitations can blind us to the reality of

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Phil Christopher Retiring From FBC in September

Dr. Phil Christopher, senior pastor of First Baptist Church since 1995, announced his retirement Sunday, June 13, during the morning worship service. His retirement is effective Sept. 26 of this year. The following letter was posted after the service. Some things don’t change…. An article about First Baptist Abilene in the 1954 Abilene Reporter News was titled “An evangelistic, progressive, and pioneering

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A Love Story

By DANNY MINTON Of all the stories around the sinking of the Titanic, the co-owner of Macy’s, Isidor and Ida Straus, stands out as one of a couple’s love and commitment. It’s a scene depicted in various ways in every movie and book centered on the tragedy. On April 18, 1912, a story came out of New York, “Mr. and

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The American Church in Decline

By WES CRAWFORD The headline of a March 2021 issue of The Washington Post grabbed the attention of many American Christian leaders by reporting that church membership in the United States dipped below 50 percent for the first time in this nation’s history. To put that statistic into perspective, the number of Americans claiming membership in a church, synagogue, or

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Local LDS Members Help With Hamlin Flooding

Kristy McDonoughChurch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints On Saturday, June 5, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were busy working to help people in Hamlin whose homes were damaged by flooding. Heavy rains caused creeks to overflow and sent muddy water into citizen’s homes, ruining walls, floors, and furnishings. Over 50 church members, many with large

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Evangelical Leaders Call For Environmental Provisions in InFrastructure Bill

Evangelical Environmental NetworkNews release A letter signed by more than 100 evangelical leaders was sent to members of Congress June 7 calling on them to include key climate and environmental provisions in a final infrastructure package. Since President Biden unveiled his road map for infrastructure spending in March, Congress has been stalled on how to translate the principles of the

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Ebola Survivor Faces COVID Challenges Serving in Africa

By ROBIN SAYLORAbilene Christian University The COVID-19 pandemic might feel like déjà vu for ACU graduate Kent Brantly, who contracted the deadly Ebola virus in 2014 while serving as a medical missionary in Liberia. Six years later, Brantly and his family returned to Africa, where Kent works in Zambia at Mukinge Mission Hospital. Read a Q&A conducted in 2020 with Brantly

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Explosion

By JIM NICHOLS New Mexico recently became the tenth state (plus D.C.) to legalize a “right to die” process. Although using different descriptors, these “medically assisted suicide” laws (New Mexico calls theirs the “Life Options Act”) detail safeguards and procedures for legal steps for an individual to end his or her life voluntarily with the aid of the medical community.

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Valentine’s Day 2021

By NANCY PATRICK This past Valentine’s Day found me held hostage in my home by a rare Texas blizzard and power outage. As I shivered beneath a thick comforter, I reflected on February 14, 1967, when my husband Mike proposed to me. Passionately in the throes of young love, we had attended a Sweetheart Banquet for our church that evening.

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A Dog Named Fred

By MIKE PATRICK One afternoon while I worked in the backyard, my wife, Nancy, went for a neighborhood walk to get in some exercise. About a quarter mile from the house, she heard a dog make a noise with a raspy bark. At first, she couldn’t tell from where the bark came. Then she realized it emanated from a storm

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Greater Love

By DANNY MINTON War. Mention the word in any group, and you will get a lively conversation. Unfortunately, it will probably be the topic of many discussions this week. There will be debate over right and wrong. Arguments on if Christians should fight in wars or not. Everyone wants “world peace.” None of us wants war, but discussions will arise

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VBS–Something Old, Something New

By LORETTA FULTON “Destination Dig: Unearthing the Truth About Jesus,” “Anchored: Deepening Faith in God,” “Rocky Railway: Jesus’ Power Pulls Us Through.” Sound familiar? A year after COVID-19 shut everything down, an old favorite, Vacation Bible School, is returning, with its enticing themes and promises of adventure, fun, worship, and learning. Some churches are going totally old school, hosting VBS

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Survey: Young, Diverse Evangelicals Show Ambivalence Toward Israel

A new survey suggests a younger, more diverse generation of evangelical Christians is undergoing a marked shift regarding their views on politics and Israel. Among the poll’s findings: a seemingly rapid turn away from support for Israel, raising questions about whether the country’s leaders can maintain long-term support within a key religious constituency in the U.S. Read Religion News Service

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Where Was God?

By DANNY MINTON During World War II, more than eleven Million undesirables and people of Jewish descent faced extermination by Nazi Germany. People asked, “Why? Where was God?” On April 20, 1999, two high school seniors walked into Columbine High School in Colorado and murdered twelve innocent students and one teacher. People asked, “Why? Where was God?” On September 11,

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What is Art?

By MARIANNE WOOD Recently I had the privilege of meeting some fellow writers for the first time. In my impromptu remarks at our small gathering, I mangled a concept from the English crime writer and poet Dorothy Sayers. I want to set that straight (assuming you are reading) because the impact of her idea carries tremendous value for artists of

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What’s In A Word?

By NANCY PATRICK The older I get, the more often I hear words that I thought I understood but have somehow taken on new meanings while something else occupied my mind. I know every generation has its identifying lingo that connects the people of similar ages. My adolescence occurred in the ’60s in the midst of the hippie movement. My

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Packs vs Herds

By DANNY MINTON My son Scottie and I watched the Ice Age movie one evening when one scene stuck out to me. The three main characters of the film are three friends, a mammoth (Manny), a sloth (Sid), and a saber-toothed tiger (Diego), an unusual trio, to say the least. In this one scene, Diego is trying to talk another

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Hallie and Space Matters

IDLE AMERICANCommentary by Dr. Don Newbury What are the odds that two remote communities in the far reaches of West Texas would have much in common in what we’ve called the “space race” since Russia launched Sputnik? The USA shifted into overdrive with its Apollo 11 project for Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to make the first footprints on the moon.

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Survey: Highly Religious Americans More Skeptical About Extraterrestrial Life

Pew Research Center Religious and secular thinkers alike have long discussed what the implications for religion would be if humans discovered intelligent life on other planets. In the United States, highly religious adults are much more skeptical about the possibility of extraterrestrial life compared with those who are less religious, according to a recent Pew Rearch Center survey.  This is evidenced by

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Slowest of News Days?

 IDLE AMERICANCommentary by Dr. Don Newbury Historians who tired of seeking origins that mattered much probably risked losing their licenses oh, 1.4 centuries ago. That’s when they scattered like quail in a hailstorm trying to identify the “inventor” of the hamburger. One of the few points of agreement is that they were introduced during the 1880s, depending on how deeply one

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