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Olan became my friend after his retirement. We hit it off, and I really liked him. It was before I entered seminary. When he came into my business, he was friendly and loving. He always had a hug for my wife and would have a lot to talk about — family, friends, and current and past events.

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It’s that time of year again. Yards are decorated with ghouls and goblins. People gladly pay their hard-earned money to have the bejesus scared out of them at haunted houses. All the major cable networks are running their horror movie marathons.

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I had a childhood friend who when asked, “How are you?” had a standard answer. It was always, “Same ol’, same ol’.” In fact, when I saw him decades later, his response was still, “Same ol’, same ol’.”

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It is said that faith is measured by our feet, not by our feelings. It’s measured by what we do, not by what we say we’re going to do.

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The year was 1988 — my freshman year in high school. “Die Hard” was the big summer blockbuster. Roseanne Barr was becoming a household name. George H.W. Bush was elected president.

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A few months after the Rev. Lalahery Andriamihaja, known as Pastor La, arrived in Texas to serve as senior pastor of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Victoria, he called together a meeting of his Texan congregants to learn what makes Texans tick.

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The blustery winds calmed, the gray clouds parted and blue sky shone down on Victoria’s DeLeon Plaza. The change in weather came just in time for Victoria’s Catholic population to end the day with prayer, worship and song.

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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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During this COVID-19 pandemic, we are discovering the wisdom that we are all connected. We see that we catch disease as individuals who are part of families, and families who are part of churches, cities, states and nations. Our whole globe can be changed because of our interconnectedness.

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A preacher’s early days can be tough. One Sunday, a man visited me after service and asked about my dreams. I naively and honestly shared my heart passions with this stranger. Then he gave his unsolicited but honest thoughts: “That’s a pretty big dream for a guy who just preached the sermon …

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Do you know the difference between compassion and Biblical compassion? Random House defines compassion as “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.” By this definition, compassion is a combinat…

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The internet has been in tears for the last couple of weeks. In honor of the 25th anniversary of the children’s TV show “Blue’s Clues,” the original star, Steve Burns, recorded a brief video directed to the kids who watched him all those years ago.

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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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“It figures.” “What else can go wrong?” “Why does this keep happening to me?”

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When we study the sermon that Jesus delivered on the mount, we are immediately impressed with his teaching on the characteristics and personality traits of those who will enter his kingdom.

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Editor’s note: The following article was taken from a message by Geoffrey Graff, Faith Family Church’s student pastor.

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When I agreed to write for the Saturday Sermon column a few months ago, one of the parameters was that the message would be relevant to the wider community and not just Methodists. I knew right away that I didn’t want to use the column to “promote” First United Methodist Church or in any way…

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Sometimes in life, it can feel like God is not present. The death of a child, the ending of a marriage, and those things that just “don’t make sense” from our perspective can lead us to doubt, confusion, and worst of all, despair. How do we find purpose in these situations? Or make sense of …

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During the days, months and years following Sept. 11, 2001, the lives of many Muslims living throughout America were negatively impacted by the attacks perpetrated by a relatively small Muslim group whose beliefs do not align with those of the mainstream group. However, members of the Victor…

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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. This column is in loving memory of Jo Lange, Wheat’s sister, who passed away Sept. 6, 2021.

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I have fond memories of family vacations through the years. There’s one we still love to laugh about. We planned a day at the arcade for our four little ones. We gave them tokens and 90 minutes to play — they were excited.

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A few years ago, I wrote a short, little book called “364 Days of Thanksgiving.” If I’m honest, it was more of a journal than a book. The point of the book was to encourage the reader to write down one thing each day for which they were thankful to God. The only catch was that they could nev…

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I remember watching the Jesus movie with my kids when they were little. It didn’t quite capture their heart like it did mine in the late 70’s. I remember watching them laugh and wondering why. And they convinced me that they intended no disrespect. They simply couldn’t relate to a Jesus who …

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An older friend of mine commented, “Time seems to go so much faster.” In fact, there’s still 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week. In the conversation it became clear that he has become very aware that as he has gotten older, his life here on earth is becoming shorter. It has become a time of…

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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. This column was written in 2003

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