Saturday, March 28, 2020

In the News ... "Tell me something good ..."

KWES Photo
• Midlanders come together to pray for nurses, doctors and staff at MMH

Staff Report
KOSA-TV


MIDLAND, TEXAS - Midlanders came together Thursday night (in their vehicles) to show their support for the nurses, doctors and staff working at Midland Memorial Hospital ...

read/watch the rest of this KOSA report 


In the News ... "Churches announce service changes, home-worship options"


• Here is a look at the communications received by the Standard-Times to date

By Matthew McDaniel, Reporter
San Angelo Standard Times


SAN ANGELO, TEXAS - From live streaming of services to limiting funeral attendance to 10 mourners, San Angelo area churches rushed this week to formulate their ministry outreach programs as COVID-19 numbers continue to climb daily around the world ...

Read the rest of this SAST report

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

TO BEDE GRIFFITHS: On Lewis’s favorite novel by Charles Dickens; on the desire to die; on longing; on joy; on having; and on wanting.

5 November 1954

The best Dickens always seems to me to be the one I have read last! But in a cool hour I put Bleak House top for its sheer prodigality of invention.

About death, I go through different moods, but the times when I can desire it are never, I think, those when this world seems harshest. On the contrary, it is just when there seems to be most of Heaven already here that I come nearest to longing for the patria. It is the bright frontispiece [which] whets one to read the story itself. All joy (as distinct from mere pleasure, still more amusement) emphasises our pilgrim status: always reminds, beckons, awakes desire. Our best havings are wantings.

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis
Compiled in Yours, Jack

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: March 28, 2020

STEPPING OUT IN FAITH -
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
— Robert Frost

Two direction signs pointing in different directionsI hadn’t read this poem in years and so, when a friend recently included it in an email, it brought back memories. ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Friday, March 27, 2020

In the News ... "Payton: WTFB can use residents’ help"

MRT Photo by Jacy Lewis
"It’s time for us to sacrifice for one another aggressively as we get past this”

By Stewart Doreen, Editer/Photographer
Midland Reporter-Telegram

MIDLAND/ODESSA, TEXAS - Midland Mayor Patrick Payton said Wednesday that the West Texas Food Bank can use the community’s support.

Payton said during an afternoon press conference that the oil price downturn and coronavirus pandemic have placed an economic hardship on the region, and there is a great demand on the food the WTFB provides ...

 • Read the rest of this MRT report ...

From @FWMission ... Friday Story: “Cornerstone of Our Progress”

Founded in 2001, Free Wheelchair Mission is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to providing wheelchairs for the impoverished disabled in developing nations. Headquartered in Irvine, California, FWM works around the world in partnership with a vast network of humanitarian, faith-based and government organizations, sending wheelchairs to hundreds of thousands of disabled people, providing not only the gift of mobility, but of dignity, independence, and hope.



FWM Photo
Friday Story: “Cornerstone of Our Progress”

I’m filled with gratitude for all who have been faithfully supporting Free Wheelchair Mission, often doing so quietly for years with little fanfare.

One group that deserves special recognition is the Circle of Mobility ...

Read/watch the rest of this story ...

Here's a Chance for YOU to Get Involved!

“Get Rolling!” with Grace Presbyterian and Free Wheelchair Mission ...

In the News ... "Midland senior centers check on their members"

MRT Photo by Tim Fischer
• They have 1,000 members between the two centers

By Caitlyn Randle, Reporter
Midland Reporter-Telegram

MIDLAND, TEXAS - Midland’s senior centers have been calling their members to ask if they need assistance and provide information on available resources. “We are calling each one of our senior center members, making sure they’re doing OK and asking what their needs are and how we can assist,” Tracy Renton, development director for Senior Life Midland, said Wednesday. “We’re here to protect them.”...

 • Read the rest of this MRT report ...

In the News ... "Local artist, 85, inspired to paint 'Jesus watching over San Angelo' amid COVID-19"

SAST Photo
""I wanted to show Jesus, our Shepherd, is here for us all"

By John Tufts, Reporter
San Angelo Standard Times


SAN ANGELO, TEXAS - An 85-year-old local artist felt inspired to create a painting depicting Jesus of Nazareth watching over San Angelo amid the coronavirus outbreak.

"Call it a prayer," said artist Barbara Jones ...

Read the rest of this SAST report

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

On Heaven

The symbols under which Heaven is presented to us are (a) a dinner party, (b) a wedding, (c) a city, and (d) a concert. It would be grotesque to suppose that the guests or citizens or members of the choir didn’t know one another. And how can love of one another be commanded in this life if it is to be cut short at death?

Think of yourself just as a seed patiently waiting in the earth: waiting to come up a flower in the Gardener’s good time, up into the real world, the real waking. I suppose that our whole present life, looked back on from there, will seem only a drowsy half- waking. We are here in the land of dreams. But cock-crow is coming.

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis
Compiled in Words to Live By

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.

Photo by Ken Rummer
Today in the Mission Yearbook: March 27, 2020

MEMORY BOX - A box to put memories in. That’s my current project in the wood shop ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

In the News ... "Anonymous Midlander will match all donations to Helping Hands"

MRT Photo by Steve Kuhlmann
“It was looking extremely bleak ..."

By Caitlin Randle,, Reporter
Midland Reporter-Telegram

MIDLAND, TEXAS - An anonymous Midlander has offered to match all donations to Helping Hands of Midland up to $100,000 to assist the agency in serving those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Mary Hardin, executive director of the nonprofit, said they had “virtually no money coming in” after they were forced to temporarily close their thrift store because of the pandemic. She said the store supplied most of the funds for operating expenses, financial assistance for those they serve and their food pantry ...

 • Read the rest of this MRT report ...

In the News ... "Spreading the word, not the virus: Lubbock area churches find ways to worship despite distancing"

LAJ Photo by Adam Young
• Being active and connecting with the community even in times of social distancing

By Adam Young, Reporter
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

LUBBOCK, TEXAS - Sunday morning didn’t look the same at churches around Lubbock.

Pews were largely empty as Lubbockites, like millions around the country, practiced social distancing to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

But that doesn’t mean many in the community didn’t practice their faith over the weekend ...

 • Read the rest of this LAJ report ..

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

There have been times when I think we do not desire heaven; but more often I find myself wondering whether, in our heart of hearts, we have ever desired anything else. You may have noticed that the books you really love are bound together by a secret thread. You know very well what is the common quality that makes you love them, though you cannot put it into words: but most of your friends do not see it at all, and often wonder why, liking this, you should also like that. Again, you have stood before some landscape, which seems to embody what you have been looking for all your life; and then turned to the friend at your side who appears to be seeing what you saw—but at the first words a gulf yawns between you, and you realise that this landscape means something totally different to him, that he is pursuing an alien vision and cares nothing for the ineffable suggestion by which you are transported. Even in your hobbies, has there not always been some secret attraction which the others are curiously ignorant of—something, not to be identified with, but always on the verge of breaking through, the smell of cut wood in the workshop or the clap-clap of water against the boat’s side?

From The Problem of Pain
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.

Clark Tibbs/Unsplash
Today in the Mission Yearbook: March 26, 2020

SMALL CHURCHES - It seems that in today’s culture, the “bigger is better” philosophy is all around us. Supercenters, 75-inch flat-screen televisions and mega-sized smartphones have become the norm. The church is not immune to this growing trend (pun intended), as many communities are seeing the growth of the megachurch — churches with hundreds in worship, often across multiple campuses and varying service times. It is as if the larger the church membership becomes, the healthier the church is perceived to be, leaving smaller congregations often feeling inadequate. While megachurches may appear to be the new norm, statistics paint a different picture ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

In the News ... "Blessing Box bringing hope to Monahans community"

KWES Photo
"As long as I'm able, I'm going to fill it up. And as long as people are able, I hope that they come and fill it up also."

By Rachel Ripp, Reporter
KWES-TV

MONAHANS, TEXAS - Ashley Arroyo is giving her hometown the one thing we all need right now: hope.

She and her family built what’s called a Blessing Box ...

 • Read/watch the rest of this KWES report ...

In the News ... “Connection Christian Church takes its service to the parking lot"

KWES Photo
• Pastor Dawn Weaks said even without being physically together, being able to look to your left and right and see your neighbor is comforting.

By Tate Owen, Reporter
KWES-TV

ODESSA, TEXAS - Churches all over the nation are changing the way they delivered their messages to their congregations while practicing social distancing.

Many churches took their services online, but one Odessa church took their service to the parking lot. On Sunday, cars parked and the worshiping began ...

 • Read/watch the rest of this KWES report ...

In the News ... "Job’s fortitude examined"

Painting by Gustav Doré
• Biblical patriarch should inspire faith, ministers say

By Bob Campbell, Reporter
Odessa American


ODESSA, TEXAS - The travails of Job as described in the book named for him were so severe that many of today’s Christians would lose their faith if they were tested so harshly, ministers say ...

Read the rest of this OA report ...

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

There comes of course a degree of evil against which a protest will have to be made, however little chance it has of success. There are cheery agreements in cynicism or brutality which one must contract out of unambiguously. If it can’t be done without seeming priggish, then priggish we must seem.

From Reflections on the Psalms

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: March 25, 2020

NAP MINISTRY - I received a text from a friend instructing me to “bring a yoga mat, blanket, pillow or whatever you’d like for resting comfortably on the floor.” I was going to be joining her at a nap ministry event ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Partners Blog: “Simple things you can do to help the world when it feels hopeless”

Steve and Oddny Gumaer started Partners Relief and Development in response to the needs of refugees and displaced people from Burma, and now in the Middle East, as well. Their mission is to demonstrate, through holistic action, God’s love to children and communities made vulnerable by war in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and other conflict zones.

PR&D Photo
“Simple things you can do to help the world when it feels hopeless”

As we noted on our recent blog post, the world is in an uncertain place. As conflicts progress, displaced families become increasingly vulnerable to illness outbreaks.

Reading the news can make you feel helpless. Perhaps you feel disconnected from the suffering of people in faraway places.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

If you care about children affected by conflict and oppression and want to do something to help, here are some steps you can take today ...

Read the rest of this post ...




Partners Relief and Development is a registered charity in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States. "We’re a small, grassroots nonprofit passionate about making a big impact in communities affected by conflict and oppression, demonstrating God’s love to children and giving them the opportunity to live free, full lives." For more information aboput Partners, visit their website at partners.ngo/

In the News ... "Christian singer Mitch McVicker walking faithfully in late Rich Mullins' footsteps"

"I am setting out to be guided by the Love of God."

By Greg Jaklewicz, Reporter
Abilene Reporter-News

ABILENE, TEXAS - A beloved name, still, in Christian music is Rich Mullins.

Mullins died in 1997, when the Jeep in which he was riding overturned. Severely injured in the crash was Mitchell McVicker, who both performed and collaborated with Mullins. Above all, they were Christian brothers.

Their last project together was "The Jesus Record," released the next year. In 1999, the Gospel Music Association honored their song "My Deliverer" as song of the year.

More than 20 years later, McVickers still is recording and touring extensively ...

read the rest of this ARN report ...


EDITOR'S NOTE: McVicker's March 24th concert at Wylie Christian Church in Abilene has been postponed

In the News ... "Surgeon forms Facebook group to sew masks"

OA Photo by Elia Hartman
• Started group on March 18, and it now has more than 350 members

By Ruth Campbell, Reporter
Odessa American


ODESSA, TEXAS - Facing depletion in its stock of surgical masks, a general surgeon with Medical Center Hospital has formed a Facebook group to help increase the supply.

Dr. Faye Armstrong-Papp, who also is chair of the hospital’s department of surgery, said the immediate goal of the group, Masks for Medics Odessa, TX, is to sew 2,000 masks ...

Read the rest of this OA report ...

In the News ... "Stonegate Mothers of Preschoolers organize teddy bear hunt"

• Week of March 22-28, in Midland and Odessa

By Kirsten Geddes, Multimedia Journalist
KWES-TV

MIDLAND/ODESSA, TEXAS - Stonegate Mothers of Preschoolers is organizing a teddy bear hunt so children have something to look for on their walks and rides ...

 • Read the rest of this KWES report ...

In the News ... "Meals on Wheels maintains service commitment"

OA Photo by Ben Powell
• Annual Mudbug fundraiser cancelled

By Sam Waller, Reporter
Odessa American


ODESSA, TEXAS - Meals on Wheels of Odessa is one of many organizations being put in a difficult position by the coronavirus pandemic — maintaining the service it provides despite restrictions put in place to combat the outbreak.

Even with social distancing and bans on large gatherings becoming a fact of life, Meals on Wheels of Odessa executive director Margaret Burton said the program will continue, and has even seen an increase in business in recent days. ...

Read the rest of this OA report ...

In the News ... "Four-dollars worth of medicine makes big difference for Nepalese girl"

Photo Contributed by Terry Mikeska Foundation
"We do it because it is who we are, and the right thing to do."

By Rebekah Ocker, Special Contributor
San Angelo Standard Times


SAN ANGELO, TEXAS - It is rare that we ever get to see the positive results that come from our moments of kindness and generosity ...

Read the rest of this SAST report

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

On Goodness

There is but one good; that is God. Everything else is good when it looks to Him and bad when it turns from Him. And the higher and mightier it is in the natural order, the more demoniac it will be if it rebels. It’s not out of bad mice or bad fleas you make demons, but out of bad archangels. The false religion of lust is baser than the false religion of mother-love or patriotism or art: but lust is less likely to be made into a religion.

From The Great Divorce
Compiled in Words to Live By

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.

Photo by Tammy Warren
Today in the Mission Yearbook: March 24, 2020

MULTICULTURAL MINISTRY - When I think of multicultural churches, I do not necessarily think of my own — I picture congregations that reflect many different races and ethnicities. Like most Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) churches, Union Presbyterian Church of Saint Peter is a predominantly white congregation. What does multicultural ministry mean for my rural Midwestern church community? ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Monday, March 23, 2020

From @chinaaid : "Church member questioned by officials"

The ChinaAid Association is a non-profit Christian organization - based in Midland, Texas - with a mission to uncover and reveal the truth about religious persecution in China, focusing especially on the unofficial church. They do this, they explain in their website, by exposing the abuses, encouraging the abused and equipping the saints to advance the kingdom of God throughout China.

ChinaAid Photo
Church member questioned by officials
Distributed by ChinaAid, February 2020 ...

CHENGDU, SICHUAN, CHINA – A member of Early Rain Covenant Church was visited in his home by five members from the State Security Bureau and local police and questioned for nearly half an hour.

The officials were there to remind him of three things ...

More on this story from ChinaAid ...


From @austinseminary ... "The Reed" for March 2020


Austin Seminary expands its MAYM program to include on-site instruction in Nashville

Austin Seminary, in partnership with The Center for Youth Ministry Training (CYMT), is expanding its Master of Arts in Youth Ministry (MAYM) program to include on-site instruction in Nashville. The program, once approved by accrediting bodies and the State of Tennessee, will be the nation’s largest graduate program in youth ministry for mainline Christian denominations ...

Read the full story here ...

Our students rely upon your support!

There are many ways to partner with Austin Seminary in the formation of men and women for Christian ministry. Gifts that support our day-to-day operations are as welcomed as those that sustain our mission into the future.

• Click here to give.

Austin Seminary's new Doctor of Ministry focus: Leadership for Witness & Leadership for Wonder



Our Doctor of Ministry program invites you to reimagine your ministry in light of contemporary realities. This new model of engagement allows you to explore your ministerial vocation within the context of Leadership for Witness: Engaging Public Life or Leadership for Wonder: Re-Enchanting Christian Life ...

Learn more here ...

What's new at AustinSeminary.edu?

Ever wonder what students at Austin Seminary do when they're not reading the Bible and writing papers? Student groups range from Science and Theology Exploration to the Holy Spirit Squad (cheerleaders for the Austin Seminary football team!).

Check out our Student Groups page here!,



Get the latest news from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in their digital monthly eNewsletter. Features on events, students, faculty, and alumni can be sent directly to your inbox.





In the News ... "All hands on deck at Catholic Charities"

OA Photo by Tony Venegas
• Encouraging people to help out however they can with food, money and otherwise

By Tony Venegas, Reporter
Odessa American


ODESSA, TEXAS - It’s been a busy and hectic last few days for Sara Aguilar. The executive director of Catholic Charities Odessa says that it’s been all hands on deck the last few days at the nonprofit, located at 2500 N. Andrews Highway. ...

Read the rest of this OA report ...

In the News ... "El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank setting up ‘Mega-Pantry’ pick up sites throughout city"

EPFH Photo
• To meet the evolving needs due to the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus

Staff Report
El Paso Herald-Post


EL PASO, TEXAS - Officials with El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank (EPFH) announced new distribution sites around the city, as the organization is experiencing a unique demand for emergency food boxes from individuals and families in need of assistance ...

Read the rest of this EPHP report ...

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

Traditional doctrine points to a sin against God, an act of disobedience, not a sin against the neighbour. And certainly, if we are to hold the doctrine of the Fall in any real sense, we must look for the great sin on a deeper and more timeless level than that of social morality.

This sin has been described by Saint Augustine as the result of Pride, of the movement whereby a creature (that is, an essentially dependent being whose principle of existence lies not in itself but in another) tries to set up on its own, to exist for itself. Such a sin requires no complex social conditions, no extended experience, no great intellectual development. From the moment a creature becomes aware of God as God and of itself as self, the terrible alternative of choosing God or self for the centre is opened to it. This sin is committed daily by young children and ignorant peasants as well as by sophisticated persons, by solitaries no less than by those who live in society: it is the fall in every individual life, and in each day of each individual life, the basic sin behind all particular sins: at this very moment you and I are either committing it, or about to commit it, or repenting it.

From The Problem of Pain
Compiled in A year with C.S. Lewis

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.

Contributed Photo
Today in the Mission Yearbook: March 23, 2020

STILLMAN COLLEGE ALUMNUS - As a high school senior, Devon Kelly had no place to call home and little hope that his plight would improve ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

In the News ... "Coronavirus in Mexico: Juárez Catholic diocese closes churches, suspends public Mass"

EPT Photo by Daniel Borunda
•2 more COVID-19 cases in Juárez; 5 total in Chihuahua state

By Daniel Borunda, Reporter
El Paso Times


EL PASO, TEXAS - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Ciudad Juárez closed churches and is suspending public celebration of Mass indefinitely in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus ...

Read/watch the rest of this EPT report ...

In the News ... "Faith in the time of coronavirus: El Paso Catholic Diocese to celebrate Mass online, on TV"

• Masses in English and Spanish will be celebrated at 11 a.m. (MST) Sunday

Staff Report
El Paso Times


EL PASO, TEXAS - The Catholic Diocese of El Paso is innovating in order to continue serving the faithful during the coronavirus crisis ...

Enjoy this EPT photo album ...

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

TO MARY WILLIS SHELBURNE: On disagreeable, nasty people; and on avoiding obsessing about their bullying.

10 March 1954

I am sorry things are not better. I am very puzzled by people like your Committee Secretary, people who are just nasty. I find it easier to understand the great crimes, for the raw material of them exists in us all; the mere disagreeableness which seems to spring from no recognisable passion is mysterious. (Like the total stranger in a train of whom I once asked ‘Do you know when we get to Liverpool’ and who replied ‘I’m not paid to answer your questions: ask the guard’). I have found it more among boys than anyone else. That makes me think it really comes from inner insecurity—a dim sense that one is Nobody, a strong determination to be Somebody, and a belief that this can be achieved by arrogance. Probably you, who can’t hit back, come in for a good deal of resentful arrogance aroused by others on whom she doesn’t vent it, because they can. (A bully in an Elizabethan play, having been sat on by a man he dare not fight, says ‘I’ll go home and beat all my servants’). But I mustn’t encourage you to go on thinking about her: that, after all, is almost the greatest evil nasty people can do us—to become an obsession, to haunt our minds. A brief prayer for them, and then away to other subjects, is the thing, if one can only stick to it. I hope the other job will materialise. . .

I too had mumps after I was grown up. I didn’t mind it as long as I had the temperature: but when one came to convalescence and a convalescent appetite and even thinking of food started the salivation and the pain—ugh! I never realised ‘the disobedience in our members’ so clearly before [Romans 7:23]. Verily ‘He that but looketh on a plate of ham and eggs to lust after it, hath already committed breakfast with it in his heart’ (or in his glands) [Matthew 5:28].

I shall wait anxiously for all your news, always praying not only for a happy issue but that you may be supported in all interim anxieties.

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis
Compiled in Yours, Jack

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.

Photo by Wickliff Kang’ombe Zulu
Today in the Mission Yearbook: March 22, 2020

CHURCH OF CENTRAL AFRICA PRESBYTERIAN - If you were to visit Maula Prison, built on a hill in the capital city of Lilongwe, Malawi, you might notice that it feels outdoorsy and open. There are multiple layers of fences, but in between them is open, undeveloped space. The lack of shrubs and low trees allows clear sight for a long distance ...

CLICK HERE to read more.