Posts Tagged ‘Abilene’

Back from Tejas!

…but a 10-day trip to the Lone Star State isn’t the only reason why I haven’t been blogging.  Who knows why we go through these blog-lulls.  Boredom?  Lack of motivation?  Thinking no one reads this thing?  My reasons are probably a mixture of these and others, but alas, I am going to make a more concerted effort to publish my thoughts here more often.

So, the purpose of our journey west was basically to see Chrissy’s family in Austin, and specifically to see her two brothers play football and her sister cheerlead. (they are 16-year-old triplets)  It just so happened that our university was having its annual ministry conference called Summit while we were there, so we drove the familiar road north for about 3 hours to Abilene to attend the conference and see many old friends.  I’ll post more of my reflections from Summit in posts to come, but the short of it is that we had a surprisingly great time.  The formal sessions were good, but the real meat of our stay in Abilene was, as expected, in the margins — i.e. those un-planned, spontaneous conversations that don’t show up on any program of events.

Abilene is also where I realized I should probably write a bit more frequently here, as person after person told me they read the blog and that it is an encouragement to them.  So this is a post to prime the pump, so to speak, for (hopefully) many more posts to come.

We were in Abilene from Sunday through Wednesday, and we spent the rest of the week in Austin.  I should mention that while in Texas, we ate.  A lot.  We had a laundry list of places we wanted to go while we were there, mostly of the you-can’t-find-this-in-Boston kind.  Here are a few highlights:

In Austin: Z’Tejas (Southwestern) on 6th Street, Rudy’s Barbeque, Saltgrass Steakhouse

In Abilene: Carino’s Italian Grill, Anne’s Thai Restaurant (the best!), Los Arcos Mexican Restaurant (one of our faves), La Popular Café (hands-down the best breakfast burritos in the world), and last but not least, Monk’s Coffee (my bro works there, and Jerry is running a mighty fine establishment)

Each of America’s unique regions has its specialties, many of which I love, but I will always have a special place in my heart for Southwestern cuisine: the Tex-Mex, the steaks, the bbq, etc.  (An aside: I blame my 6 years in Texas for turning me against ever becoming a vegetarian)

On Sunday, Chrissy flew back to Boston without me.  That’s because I was meeting our friend who’s going to be our neighbor so we could drive their stuff from Texas to Boston.  Yep — I just got back last night from our 3-day, 14-state road trip in a big, yellow Penske truck.  Lemme tell you, this is not a trip I would ever take alone, but one that I’d do many times over with a great friend.  I’ll download some of that experience in coming posts as well.

This is me, blogging again.

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too good not to repost…

Thanks to Agent B for linking to this letter in my old hometown paper, the Abilene Reporter-News. Folks, I wish I could say the sentiments of the writer were only shared by a nutty few, but…

Many still prefer the old Abilene

Dub Jackson, Guest columnist

Without a doubt, for many years Abilene was the example of what a Christian town should be.

As a missionary in Japan for many years, in 1962, as we prepared for the presentation of the Christian message in a major evangelistic campaign, I encouraged the Japanese leadership to send seven of their leaders to the United States of America to look at Abilene, America’s most amazing Christian city. They came in January 1962, and Dr. Elwin Skiles of First Baptist Church was the chairman of Abilene’s welcoming committee.

We wanted them to see a city where businesses closed on Sunday because it was the Lord’s Day and a city without bars and cabarets and one where alcohol was not permitted to be sold. We wanted them to see our city with its three Christian colleges, Christian hospitals and a city where the mayor and its leaders believed in and respected the Biblical teachings taught in churches on every corner. I also wanted them to see and meet the people of Abilene.

They came and they saw and went back to Japan inspired and with a vision and hope for their country. In April of 1963, those Japanese leaders led in the presentation of the Christian message in Japan and more than 25,000 Japanese bowed and prayed to receive Christ as Lord. Abilene had a lot to do with that. Japan still has a long way to go, but they have come a long way since Pearl Harbor.

Sadly, that is not Abilene today.

Even our newspaper on June 3 boldly presented on the front page, without apology, the plans of a fine couple to enter into marriage in a way that is clearly prohibited by the biblical teachings that had so long been the guidepost of our city and nation.

Certainly we are free to live and act as we please, whether it is in line with the Bible or not.

However, for those who still believe that God’s plan as presented in his word is best, our newspaper’s presentation that day was most discouraging.

Many still prefer the “Old Abilene!”

— Dub Jackson and his wife, Doris, are residents of Abilene.

And my favorite reader comment on the letter:

Ah, yes. 1962.

When the premiere Christian university in town still refused to admit black students.

What did the Japanese visitors learn from that?

ouch.