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First Presbyterian Church was organized on Oct. 2, 1841, a time when Victoria had fewer than 1,500 residents and the Republic of Texas had a population of about 70,000, according to a booklet published by the church on its 175th anniversary in 2016.

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We are in a mess today, we are in the middle of a pandemic. Actually, we are facing dual pandemics: a medical pandemic and a cultural pandemic. Yet, deeper still and at the root of both of these, is a spiritual pandemic.

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I’ve heard it said, “There are no great testimonies without great tests.” And 40-plus years of devoted Christian living has proven to me — that is definitely true.

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Christopher Columbus, Henry the Navigator, Vasco de Gama, Ferdinand Magellan, Ponce de Leon – they all have one thing in common. They were explorers during the Age of Discovery. They sailed uncharted waters. They faced the open sea not knowing what laid ahead.

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After a long week of work and worry, the weekend always feels good. From the time I was little, I loved Saturdays. You get to sleep in. You get to watch cartoons. You get to rest.

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Larry Walters, better known as “Lawn Chair Larry,” had a dream of flying. And as a kid, he got the wild idea of using helium weather balloons to fly his first mission.

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He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. (Luke17:6)

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Editor’s note: On Dec. 28, 2018, Elaine crossed over to that Eternal Shore and her family, friends and readers are missing her. The Advocate is reprinting Elaine’s articles.

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Purpose is a powerful motivator. Get it right and life is full and fruitful. Get it wrong and life is frustrating and unfulfilling. That’s why we must look in the right places or more correctly to the right person for our purpose in life.

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We have all experienced a never-ending night. You sit in the emergency room at 2 a.m., waiting as the seconds tick by. You lie in your bed, staring into the darkness, worrying about your kids, your marriage, your job. You drive down a dark road, with a broken heart and tears in your eyes.

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As you’ve read through the gospels, have you noticed how often Jesus ends his difficult teachings by saying, “Let those with ears hear?” What is up with that? I mean, we’ve all got ears so what does he mean?

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“Stop touching your face,” my wife scolds me. I know I’m not supposed to. I know it increases the chances I could get sick. I know it is socially taboo, but I can’t help it.

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The public is invited to join in a drive-by parade honoring Pastor Vernon J. Garza for 20 years of dedicated service to Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church at 6 p.m. Sunday.

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What an interesting few months this has been for us as Americans. Who knew that we would experience a pandemic pause that would alter our physical, social and economic lives. Nor did we think we’d see the chaotic and uncertain climate that we’re watching in our cities throughout America and …

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We’ve all probably prayed prayers that looking back, we’re glad God didn’t answer. I know I have. As a young believer, I prayed a certain girl I liked, would like me. Well, it didn’t happen. And I can tell you now, I’m thankful because God knew more about what I needed than I did.

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Statues are quickly disappearing from America’s landscape – sometimes removed by government officials, other times by unruly mobs. But statues are not the only forms of art falling in response to the most recent racial tensions in our country. Historic paintings featuring racist or racially …

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The Bible plainly states that “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5.16b). In other words, God hears and answers the prayers of His children (Matthew 7.7-11). Even when the people who are asking are weak, weary and without hope, God still hears them. And not …

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The Rev. Michael Rother, pastor of St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church in El Campo, has tested positive for coronavirus and is in self-quarantine until he has made a full recovery, according to a news release from the Diocese of Victoria.

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I remember our first Christmas in Victoria 30 years ago. My wife’s parents had bought us a stereo cabinet as a gift, and I was in a hurry to put it together.

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“That on the first day of January, A.D. 1863, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”

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Editor’s note: On Dec. 28, 2018, Elaine crossed over to that Eternal Shore and her family, friends and readers are missing her. The Advocate is reprinting Elaine’s articles.

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Christians around the world recently celebrated the festival of Pentecost in observance of the birth of Christ’s Church. In the Book of Acts, we hear of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. It is that Holy Spirit that we receive in our Baptism. It is the gift of faith that we receive i…

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I’ve often shared how I was from a good, moral Catholic family who was in church every single Sunday. I can’t remember missing a week as a kid, even if we were on vacation.

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My family loves to binge-watch old episodes of the TV show “Psych.” The family-friendly comedy is the story of two lifelong friends, Shawn and Gus, who decide to open a fake psychic detective agency. In one episode, Gus is being tempted to cheat on his girlfriend by a sultry older woman. Aft…

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Being that it is nearly Father’s Day, I would like to touch briefly on how dads should talk to our heavenly Father: Paul reminds us in 1 Cor 11:1 Niv, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” If I was to title these following words as a sermon, I would call it “Talking to the …

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Northside Baptist School is hosting “Eagle Camp,” a summer program for ages 3-11. The camp is from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. now through Aug. 7 at 4001 N. Laurent St.

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Editor’s note: On Dec. 28, 2018, Elaine crossed over to that Eternal Shore and her family, friends and readers are missing her. The Advocate is reprinting Elaine’s articles.

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Jarrod graduated from A&M, and since the land was available, he decided to farm his first year. He did everything right, but we had one of the worst droughts in the middle of several dry years. His crop just didn’t grow. It was a total crop failure. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work.

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Editor’s note: On Dec. 28, 2018, Elaine crossed over to that Eternal Shore and her family, friends and readers are missing her. The Advocate is reprinting Elaine’s articles.

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These are trying and stressful times. We have the pandemic along with the pandemonium and its violence across the nation. I’ve heard, “Pastor, I don’t think I can handle one more thing.” Like a forest fire, hurricane, flooding or earthquake? And we have a national election coming up that’s l…

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In his dialogues with the ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates, a guy name Phaedrus supposedly said, “Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.”

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I was the youngest of five siblings, and they tell me I was a bit spoiled. They said my mission seemed to be, “My name is Jimmy, I’ll take all you gimme!” I’m sure what they said was true. After all, parents of youngest children often have more money to spend and less passion left to discipl…

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On March 16, I met with a group of leaders from our church. The topic of the day: our church’s response to COVID-19. We talked. We prayed. We planned. Then, we moved everything we do from in-person to online. As one who has dedicated my life to drawing people to Jesus and then connecting the…

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I am overflowing with excitement. As I write these words, we are making our final preparations to celebrate our first public worship services as a church in more than two months.

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Jeremiah 29:11 is often quoted, especially for graduates or anyone embarking on a new journey: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” It’s a beautiful verse, but it gains more meaning when w…

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