Month: April 2018

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO B.O.B.S

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Barbara Hart, member of First Christian Church, gets ready to cut the cake during a celebration Sunday of the 22nd birthday of Breakfast on Beech Street. Hart is a member of the B.O.B.S. board.

By LORETTA FULTON

B.O.B.S celebrated a 22nd birthday Sunday much like anybody named “Bob” would do, with cake, cookies, punch, and wishes for “many more.”

Actually, it was the people who make B.O.B.S happen that did the celebrating. The Breakfast on Beech Street ministry opened May 16, 1996, and numerous milestones have been met since then. In 2017, B.O.B.S served 19,000 free breakfasts to anybody who walked through the door of the dining hall, located at First Christian Church. An additional 34,000 sandwiches were packed, along with fruit and a cookie, for guest to take out.

“That’s seven miles if they are all lined up at once,” said Terry Stremmel, board chair as of January 2018.

B.O.B.S was the brainchild of the late Jack Henderson, who saw a similar minister while visiting his brother in Edmond, Oklahoma. Henderson was a member of First Christian Church and suggested a breakfast ministry being there.

Currently, 140 volunteers meet in rotating shifts Monday-Friday. Volunteers, who represent six churches, arrive about 5 a.m. to ensure the breakfast if ready and lunches packed when guests begin arriving at 6:30. Participating churches are First Christian, First Central Presbyterian, First United Methodist, Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest, Highland Church of Christ, and Holy Family Catholic Church, which serves on fifth Tuesdays.

“Why do you do this?” a man asked Cynthia Hale one morning.

“When you do this to the least of these, you do to the Lord,” she replied.

Hale serves on Thursday as a member of the First Central Presbyterian team. The crew serves biscuits and gravy every Thursday. The breakfast changes every day, but teams serve the same meal each week. All team members are volunteers. One couple receives a stipend for doing the shopping for all the food.

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Stremmel, the board chair and member of Highland Church of Christ, began as a volunteer in December 2003. He answered the call to a request for volunteers to fill in while college students were gone for Christmas break.

“I just stuck with it,” he said.

Stremmel has been on the board since 2007. In January, he replaced board chair Allen Daugherty, who started volunteering in 1999 and served as chair for 10 years. Jane Hurley, member of First Christian Church, was an original member of B.O.B.S, starting in 1996 and also served several years as board chair.

Keith Carroll, a member of Highland, volunteered at B.O.B.S when he was a student at Abilene Christian University. He moved away after graduation then returned to Abilene. One of the first things he did after he got back in town was to sign up again as a volunteer at B.O.B.S. It is rewarding to see people, some with children, come in for a hot breakfast and lunch bag.

“They count on us to do that,” he said.

 

SCOUT PROJECT ENHANCES GROUNDS

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Jacob Clute stands beneath the pergola he, his father, and friends built for Christian Service Center as a Eagle Scout project. Photo by Loretta Fulton

 

 

By LORETTA FULTON

Whether Jacob Clute set out to be a role model by joining the Boy Scouts and doing the good deeds they are noted for, that’s exactly what he turned out to be.

At least, that’s what Mayor Anthony Williams said when introducing him at a dedication ceremony April 23 at Christian Service Center. And if the mayor says it’s so, it must be. Actually, everyone who attended the ceremony and people who will use the pergola that was dedicated would agree.

Clute, with the help of his father and church and Scout friends, built the 21 by 12-foot pergola on a concrete base, assembled a metal picnic table and benches, and installed  landscaping around it. The project was for Clute, a member of Boy Scout Troop 201, to gain is Eagle Scout status.

“We stand in the presence today of an example of what our youth can do,” Williams said during the dedication ceremony. “This is something we can be proud of.”

And he meant the entire city can be proud. The sturdy cedar pergola, stained red, looks like it will withstand all types of weather. It will be used by employees and volunteers at Christian Service Center for lunches, reunions, and other small gatherings.

In a prayer during the dedication, Jim Clark, executive director of Christian Service Center, thanked Jacob and all who worked on the project.

“Lord, we now dedicate this pergola to you,” Clark said.

Clute, an Abilene High School junior, and others broke ground over spring break for the project. They worked on it steadily for a week and then off and on for another three weeks. The result is a beautiful addition to the grounds of Christian Service Center. Clute thanked Clark for the opportunity to build the pergola as his Eagle Scout project.

“I hope it is a blessing to everyone who uses,” Clute said.

 

MRS. MUNN’S BABY

By MIKE PATRICK 

William Paul Young writes in his book “Lies We Believe About God” that when his mother read his first book, “The Shack,” she put it down in anger when she read that he portrayed God the Father, Papa, as a black woman. She told her daughter that Paul was a heretic. He then goes on to share how that issue was resolved.

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Mike Patrick

On May 30, 1946, at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, a Mrs. Munn came to the hospital, bleeding. The wife of Rev. Munn, priest at the Anglican church in Victoria, had already lost five babies during second and third trimesters and now her sixth pregnancy was in jeopardy. When the doctor rushed in and examined her, he stated she needed an emergency C-section. He called for the head nurse to assist and, according to their practice, they invited a student nurse to assist, learn, and do the cleanup.

Eighteenyear-old Bernice, a first-year nursing student, witnessed the delivery of a one-pound baby boy. In 1946, most premature babies typically did not survive. Neo-natal intensive care units did not exist, nor had state-of-the-art technology been invented. The doctor placed the infant in a metal tray, handed it to the student, and said, “It’s not viable. Dispose of it.”

Disposal meant any medical waste needed incinerated. Bernice went outside the OR and retrieved a wash cloth, wrapped the baby in it, and put it back in the tray. It was still breathing, so she took it back in the OR and set the tray on top of a piece of equipment that provided the only warm spot in the room. The doctor left after finishing the surgery, the head nurse moved Mrs. Munn to recovery, and the student began the cleanup.

After an hour, she finished the cleanup and went back to retrieve the baby. He was still breathing! She sat there holding him, waiting for him to die. She thought that once he died, she could obey the doctor’s orders and no one would be the wiser. At the same time, the doctor had approached the family to tell them he had not survived and left them to grieve the loss of their sixth child.

Four hours later at 1:30 a.m., still in the OR, Bernice decided to tell the head nurse. They took the baby to the nursery. The head nurse called the doctor who became irate with the student for disobeying his orders. He waited two days, believing the infant would die. Since the baby had not, he told the parents that due to modern medicine, he was still alive but they should not get their hopes up. Even if he survived, he probably would have brain damage.

The Munns were happy and named their son Harold (meaning good news). After two days they learned he was alive; after two weeks Mrs. Munn went home; after two months the hospital discharged Harold. After two years, Bernice and other nurses attended Harold’s birthday party where he ran and played with the other children, albeit a little skinny.

Bernice graduated from nursing school, went to seminary, married, and became a missionary; the following year (1955) she became the mother of a baby boy, William Paul Young.

Twenty years later, back in Canada, working as a nurse, Bernice ran across an obituary of Anglican Bishop Munn. She asked a fellow employee if she knew him and if he had any children. The woman answered that they had one son, Harold, who taught as a missionary in Africa. Another 10 years passed and Bernice read another obituary of the doctor who had delivered Mrs. Munn’s baby. Only then did Bernice break the silence and tell the story of his birth to her family. She also decided to trace down Harold, who had become the priest at the same church in Victoria where his father served in 1946.

A short time later, the two of them met, and Bernice shared the story of Harold’s miraculous birth. In a later conversation, Bernice told Harold that she was having a hard time with a book that her son had written. She asked if he would read it and give her his opinion. Harold soon wrote Bernice that he could imagine how she struggled with Paul’s image of God as a black woman. He went on to say that the Bible portrays God in all kinds of images: masculine (Father, King), feminine (Nursing Mother, Woman who lost a coin), animals (Eagle, Lioness), inanimate objects (Rock, Fortress, Tower, Shield). Images were never intended to define God; rather they serve as a window through which we see aspects of God’s nature,” he wrote.

Bernice liked Harold’s response. The boy she had saved in 1946 became a bridge for her to walk toward her own son. By the way, I heard an audio of Paul explaining why he chose to portray PaPa as a black woman. As a child, he felt abandoned when his missionary parents left him for prolonged periods in care of others in the village. As a young boy he was sexually abused by some of the older boys. The only sense of love he felt during those early years was from the black women of the Dani tribe in West Papua (New Guinea). God is love.

Mike Patrick retired as Chaplain and Ministry Education Coordinator after 27 years at Hendrick Medical Center.

GOOD ADVICE IN JUST THREE WORDS

 (Editor’s Note: Glenn Dromgoole is graciously sharing a series of “Just Three Words” from his book, More Civility, Please. A new segment will be posted each week for 10 weeks. The entire book can be purchased at Texas Star Trading Company.)

Most good advice can be expressed in

Just Three Words

By Glenn Dromgoole

From More Civility, Please

 (Fourth in a series)

See it through.

Show the way.

Take your time.

Check your pulse.

Keep hope alive.

Know your heart.

Open your heart.

Follow your heart.

Just say yes.

Just say no.

Just say maybe.

Just say thanks.

GlennDromgoole

Glenn Dromgoole

IS RIGHT WRONG OR WRONG RIGHT?

By DANNY MINTON

From somewhere in junior high until my junior year in high school I quit “going to church.” Then one day I discovered that a girl I liked went to church where I used to attend. What better reason to start back then being able to see a girl, right? So the next opportunity I could find, I dressed up and headed to Sunday night worship. I slipped into the next to back row and looked around. Well, guess what? She wasn’t there. Now I was in a dilemma. It wouldn’t be right to leave, that would make things worse in case I wanted to come back, so I had no alternative but to listen to the lesson.

I can’t tell you the details of the lesson or even its title. I don’t remember a word, but I do remember that something said hit home to me. I listened carefully and when we stood to sing the invitation song I told myself, “If they sing the third verse of this four-verse song, I’m going forward to rededicate my life.”

Guess what! They went right into the third verse. It had been so long I forgot they usually sing all the verses of an invitation song. However, keeping my promise to myself, I stepped out and from that point on my life was changed. I have no idea what would have happened if they had skipped the verse that night.

A few weeks later I looked over, and there was the girl. Oh, not the one from the first night. One whom I had never met. She was two years younger than me with dark hair and beautiful eyes. Now, we’ve been married over 50 years.

Toward the end of the movie “National Velvet,” Velvet’s mother and father are discussing monetary offers that had come in because Velvet had won a horse competition. Mr. Brown wanted to take them all. Mrs. Brown was skeptical, so they left it up to Velvet. Velvet thought and with tears in her eyes refused because she felt it wouldn’t be right to put the horse through all the fanfare.

Mr. Brown was frustrated until Mrs. Brown posed the thought. The age-old question she asked,  “Is it okay to do the right thing for the wrong reason or the wrong thing for the right reason?”

We are posed with this question every day in all walks of life. I think back and know that I did the right thing by attending church services, but for the wrong reason. On the other hand, sometimes we make decisions to do things that are wrong, but we do them because we feel it’s the right thing to do. The thing about it is that God can take whatever we do and turn it into good as long as we’re doing the right thing or doing it for the right reason.

We’ll all face things that we start off doing for the wrong reason and feel great when it all turns out the way it was meant to be. Then there will be the times that we get in trouble because we do something wrong, but then not feel guilty, because we know the reason we did it happened with good intent and that God will understand. That’s the kind of God we serve.

Proverbs 2:7-9 gives us Solomon’s view of what is right. “He holds victory in store for the upright; he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair – every good path.”(NIV)

 Danny Minton is Pastoral Minister and Elder at Southern Hills Church of Christ

ISRAEL EXHIBIT OPENS MAY 14

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An evening at the Paramount Theater, with a guest speaker, dramatic presentation, and special music, will open the new Miracle of Israel Exhibit at the Discovery Center.

The Paramount event will begin at 7 p.m. May 14. The following day, the new exhibit, with its own building, will open to the public at the Discovery Center, located at South Eighth and Butternut streets.

The exhibit celebrates the 70th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. Special guest speaker will be Randall Price, author and professor of  archaeology at Liberty University. Price has been on Mt. Ararat six times in search of Noah’s Ark. Also speaking will be Dr. Ergun Caner, former Muslim, author of 24 books, and serving as president of the Center of Global Apologetics.

Special music will be presented by Ashley Kershner, worship pastor at Beltway Park Church in Abilene; Michael Schuler, The Piano Man; Jaimalee Cordova, violinist; and Teran Hall, viola. Madeline Lowry will give a dramatic presentation.

The Discovery Center was founded by Carolyn Walden and her late husband, Tommy Walden. Admission to the event at the Paramount Theater is free to the public. An offering will be taken. For more information, go to http://www.evidences.org

 

 

STINKY FEET? A TEST OF FRIENDSHIP

By DANNY MINTON

While I was attending college there was one boy, we’ll call him Joe, who pretty much everyone tried to avoid. He was a nice good looking kid but had difficulty keeping close friends. The problem was his feet. They smelled. Due to this problem, people didn’t like being around him both in class and socially.

Danny Minton

Danny Minton

It was a real concern to him that he did not seem to be able to keep friends for any length of time. He didn’t understand why because he always thought that he and other people hit it off at first. He was kind and friendly to everyone, always making a good first impression.

One day he was walking with one of the only close friends he had and begin to open up and voice his concerns that he felt like an outcast. “Joe,” his friend asked him, “do you mind if I tell you why people shy away from you?” Joe encouraged his classmate to be honest with him. “Well, I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but the reason people avoid you is that your feet stink.”

Joe hung his head and with his eyes filling with tears answered, “I know it. You see, it’s the shoes. This pair of sneakers is all that I have to wear. All my extra money goes to school and food.”

The solution was easy to fix. Joe’s friends chipped in and bought him a new pair of shoes and the problem was solved. Unfortunately, if someone had only gotten with him earlier, it would have been so much better for him and his relationships.

Sometimes we think we are kind by not talking to someone about things that need sharing. We don’t want to embarrass them or hurt their feelings. In most cases, it would be better for someone to be a little embarrassed than quietly suffering or being silently destroyed as an object of gossip.

Wouldn’t you rather have someone tell you that you have mustard on your cheek instead of walking into a crowded room looking that way? Wouldn’t you rather be embarrassed with one person telling you that your shoes don’t match instead of standing in front of the group and being quietly snickered at by the whole crowd? Stop and think what you would want your friend to do in situations like these. Our answer would probably be, “A true friend would have told me.”

True friendship has two aspects. One is watching and caring for those whom we call a friend. It’s letting them know things that are for their good. It’s being there for them. On the other had a true friendship allows our friends to talk to us frankly. It allows us to listen to them knowing that they have our good at heart.

An old Jewish proverb says, “A friend is one who warns you.”

Solomon wrote in Proverbs 27:6, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted.”

Both are saying that true friendship means we are willing to risk our friendship if it is for the good of our friend.

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Better is open rebuke than hidden love.

Proverbs 27:5

 Danny Minton is Pastoral Minister and Elder at Southern Hills Church of Christ