Events encourage student athletes

KERRVILLE — The church here has been praying for the work of and service of their brother, Tivy High defensive line football coach and English teacher, Ty Taylor. When school began, Taylor started serving as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes sponsor.

Earlier this year, the Hill Country Community Journal reported a back-to-school community event in which Kerrville church of Christ Youth and Family Minister, Ricky Pruitt, led the prayer service. Over 200 students and their parents attended the “Blessing Service” on behalf of Tivy and Hal Peterson Middle School athletes.

According to the Journal, Taylor commented during the prayer service on surrender: “I’m a football coach and I take that role very seriously. If I don’t pay attention, I get so involved in coaching that I surrender my identity as a husband, a father, a brother and so on. If I surrender all things to Christ and be the best person I can be, the rest will work itself out.”

Recently, Taylor’s FCA sponsored a Fields of Faith youth/community rally on Oct. 11 at Antler Stadium. Pledged to challenge students to read the Bible and follow Jesus, the outreach encourages them to “Get in the Game and Get in the Book.”


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Torres takes Missouri pulpit

CORPUS CHRISTI — “The road ahead seems scary and exciting. At the same time, we never know what God has in store for us, but we trust that He wants the best for us at all times.” With these words, Christian, Brittany, Liam, Leelah, and Callie Torres took leave of the Weber Road congregation here. After a Farewell Fellowship, the former youth minister and his family departed recently, bound for the church in Hannibal, Mo., and Christian’s new mission , this time, in the pulpit as minister.

Said Minister Mark Hammitt, “I have appreciated many things about Christian as a fellow minister: bouncing ideas off of him, planning events, talking about how to better encourage the church, considering the youth program, visiting hospitals, discussing the evangelistic program, talking about things that happen on a daily basis, and much more. I’m confident that he will do a great job preaching the Word of God every week.”

The elders announced recently that while they seek a new youth program coordinator, member Stephen Charlebois and his wife, Erin, will serve the young people. The church lists 53 families who make homes for the 83 children and teens.

In leaving, Torres said, “We would like you to know that we love you all with a love that is hard to express and pray you will always remember that.”

In his last bulletin article, Torres writes:

So, what are a few things we have learned here at Weber Road in five and a half years?

  • We learned the meaning of working hard in God’s kingdom.
  • We learned that you do not have to be related by blood to call someone family.
  • We learned that kids teach us the best lessons on how to be strong Christians.
  • We learned the lasting impact the church can have on many Christians around the area.
  • We learned to love in a deeper way and the importance of relationships that help each other to get to heaven.

The farewell closed with the blessing from Numbers 6:24-26: “Until we meet again, may these words provide comfort and encouragement: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.”

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Students work out at Jonah running rally

CORPUS CHRISTI – According to Minister Mark Hammitt, “Weber Road’s Annual Youth Rally turned out to be a blast for those able to attend!” The 45 young people and 20 adults met at Bandina Christian Youth Camp for a spiritual workout with “Jonah, the Running Man!” during the weekend of Oct. 21-22.

Stated Hammitt, “Retreats are a great way to encourage stronger faith in our young people and also build friendships that will hopefully last for a lifetime!”

The lessons focused on different kinds of spiritual sprints and marathons. Matt Gibson of the Riverside congregation here spoke on “Running Away from God-Disobedience.” Patrick Hammack (Odem church of Christ) explained what it took to be “Running to God—Prayer.”

Justin Guess of the Mathis church of Christ gave students the vision of “Running with God—Preaching.” Raoul Ferris from Riverside in Kerrville provided guidance on “Running Ahead of God—Complaining.”

On Sunday morning, student leaders Ryan Stark and Luke Gibson brought the lessons and Payton Hammitt and Koda Honig led the singing.

Hammitt thanked those who helped: “We appreciate Daniel Honig and Van Aguilar for organizing the games such as kickball, versions of tag and relay games. They also coordinated the bonfire. Keisha Joshlin chaperoned and helped with first aid duties.

“Thanks also to Mike and Susan Klotz, David and Stacey Stark, Randi Jackson, Denise Hammitt, Brenda Villarreal and Darleen Baldwin for organizing the registration, food, kitchen and other duties that were needed. We thank Stephen Charlebois for taking the reigns of the event this year and doing an outstanding job!”

“We also thank all of the other congregations that sent young people to the retreat and we hope that next year the rally will be just as successful.”

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Developing a Thankful Heart by Greg Cummings

In Home Depot this week I found myself surrounded by mounds of merchandise in the main aisles wrapped in black plastic. Stack and stacks of unidentifiable Black Friday Sale products waited to be unveiled the day after Thanksgiving.

In days gone by, we could take some time to linger with Thanksgiving thoughts before jumping into the Christmas rush. Today, Black Friday urges us to move into rabid consumer mode by midnight on Thanksgiving or risk missing the deal of the year on our most desired purchase.

We were discussing Thanksgiving Day memories in our Community Group last Sunday. No one mentioned fond memories of amazing Black Friday sales.

Larry and Paula Harms were visiting with our group and pointed out that Australia, where they lived for four years, does not have a Thanksgiving Holiday tradition. I hope the time will never come when our Thanksgiving Day will be better known as “Black Friday Eve.”

I urge everyone to pick up a notepad for Thanksgiving as Jimmy mentioned in his sermon last Sunday. Make it your goal to write down 5-10 specific things you are thankful for every day until you have listed 1000 things.

Focusing on what we have helps us pay less attention to what we don’t have. Persistently noting ways we are blessed over a period of time can prompt us to become more aware of more gifts as we encounter them.

I started my list a while ago. Maybe seeing another person’s ideas will help you in forming yours. Here are a few of the many things for which I found myself being grateful: reliable cars, Debbie’s constant loving acts, my smart phone’s s-pen and calendar, a church family I enjoy and overhearing Rene Bailey celebrating alone in her office over how well the Children’s Ministry had gone one recent Sunday.

Some wise person said we have things backwards. Instead of dedicating one day a year to giving thanks, we should have one day a year for complaining – and limit our grumbles to that one day!

Well, that will never happen but we can do something biblical. The Bible urges, “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (I Thess. 5:16-17).

Note the words “always,” “continually” and “in all circumstances.” Thanksgiving blesses best when practiced regularly. Strive for the thanksgiving spirit all year long. [Editor’s note: Now retired, Greg Cummings assists with the work of the Kerrville church of Christ. This article comes from his archive.]

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McQuien’s Musings by Paul McQuien – Looking Back: Hurricane Harvey – and Irma and Maria . . .

In early September I watched a documentary on PBS called “Killer Landslides,” which focused on the devastating landslides in Oso, Washington, in Afghanistan, and in Nepal, which collectively resulted in hundreds of human fatalities. Continue reading

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Children are a blessing?

by Marsha Dowell

The Fountain of Youth. Oh, to be a child again, not worried about bills, health. Being taken care of by our parents. Our path laid out by them, guided by them, supported by them, protected by them. Continue reading

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by | October 3, 2017 · 3:38 pm

Singing to resound in the Texas hills

DRIFTWOOD – As fall finally brings cooler temperatures to South Texas, the sounds will change too when the music of the “Hymns in the Hill Country” resonates from a camp pavilion. The fourth annual hymnfest takes place on Saturday, Nov. 4, beginning at 2 pm. at Camp Ben McCulloch here. Continue reading

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Wiggins, Starks and Curry to lead men’s retreat

SAN ANTONIO – Joe Wiggins (Northeast), Fredrick Starks (Ft. Sam Houston) and Bryon Curry (San Pedro) will keynote the Annual Men’s Retreat set for Oct. 19-21. The San Antonio ministers will bring the lessons at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Corpus Christi.

For more information, contact the San Pedro church office at 210-822-3305.

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EEM and South Texas to plant seeds

SOUTH TEXAS — In many countries across the sea, the soil is rich. Says Eastern European Mission, “The opportunity is now. Send the Good News to the hopeless and lost.” The Pleasanton church, as are others in South Texas, is poised to join that outreach beginning on Oct. 8, Million Dollar Sunday. Continue reading

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Pleasanton goes with gospel

PLEASANTON – With Christ’s commission to “Go” in mind, the church members here have been training for and preparing a Gospel Sharing Campaign. On Oct. 22-28, the leaders and members who have trained with Gospel Sharing Ministries (GSM) will reach out to the community here. Continue reading

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Review by Paul McQuien of Book: Trained Up, by Melissa Urtiaga

Local author Melissa Urtiaga has recently published a clever and charming children’s book titled “Trained Up: A Book about Trusting in God” (2017, Franklin Scribes Publishers). Appealing illustrations by Katie Paul, an Abilene Christian University alumna, accompany the text. Continue reading


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Awaiting the breath of life

by Dick Porter

SAN ANTONIO — I want you to meet DeAnna Gill-Pratt. Continue reading

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Coastal Bend churches unite after Harvey

by Mark Hammitt

CORPUS CHRISTI — Hurricane Harvey left a definite trail of destruction throughout Southeast Texas when it came through at the end of August. It was amazing to witness the power of wind and rain, and it was only a small glimpse into what the people in Noah’s day must have faced when the world was wiped clean by a world-wide flood. Continue reading

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A Giving Birthday Party

by Reagan Campbell

SAN ANTONIO – I don’t have a job. I’m not looking for one because I’m only 10. I feel rich when I get money for my chores from my parents. Continue reading

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