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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 12, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas 8 fl HeraldZeitung O Friday January Church Life To talk with Managing Editor Poug Loveday about Church Life call 6259144 ext 21 Church Life More gaming options wont save parimutuel industry By KEN CAMP Special to the HeraldZeitung A look at the recent history of parimutucl gambling in Texas reveals a trail of broken promises and failed predictions In 1983 the Texas Horse Racing Association Inc claimed If racing is legalized the Texas horse industry could add as much as billion a year and new jobs to the state econo They said legalization would bring the state million in taxes Two years later the association funded a study by Peak Marwick Mitchell Co that claimed an overall million benefit to the Texas economy In 1987 the state projected that parimutuel would produce million in taxes within 5 years The total tax revenue to date has been closer to million That shortfall in revenue for the state is due in part to the bait and switch the parimutuel promoters pulled on Texas voters Originally Analysis the states share of the parimutuel handle amount bet was to be five percent Instead the state only draws one percent Of course the gambling industry and its friends in the Texas Legislature never intended to keep that original pledge Ike Harris for mer state senator and sponsor of the Racing Act admitted as much He acknowledged after the fact that it was a copout that was no more than an act of political expediency Then theres the simple truth that once they were out of the starting gate in Texas the hors es stumbled The Bandera track closed last summer Retama Park an million track near San Antonio ended its quarter horse sea son early due to million in debts and loss es of about a month And the mil lion Sam Houston Race first Class 1 horse to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Before its 1994 opening Sam Houston pro jected a average daily attendance and a million average daily handle It was nev er even close Attendance was less than and the handle was under Consider the Lone Star Jockey Clubs Class 1 license for a Grand Prairie track Local voters were promised a worldclass facility The license was granted on the basis that backers would build a grandstand Now the proposed facility has cut back the size to square feet Originally the facility was supposed to have parking spaces Now its spaces And of course there was the claim by the Texas Horse Racing Association that real estate values near racetracks increase Thats not what Willow Park homeowners near Trinity Mead ows are saying these days The story of greyhound racing in Texas is similar Valley Greyhound Park in Harlingen closed on Sept 30 after racking up a reported million in losses When the million facil ity opened nearly six years ago the projected annual attendance was and projected annual handle was million In its first full year of operation the track drew about and had a handle of less than million That was its best year By 1994 attendance had dropped to less than and the handle plummeted to below million The states other two dog tracks are yelping like whipped puppies After drawing more than in 1991 attendance at Corpus Christi Greyhound Park dropped off sharply to fewer than half that number in 1994 And the track nev er came near the projected handle of 120 mil lion During its best year the handle was less than million In 1994 it was below million Meanwhile at the Gulf Greyhound Park in La of the nations most suc cessful dog in 1994 was down more than 28 percent and the handle was down 26 percent The parimutuel industry is dying But instead of granting a decent burial promoters keep ask ing for more tracks at county fairs expanded simulcasting of both horse and d6g races ATMs at racetracks and other new improved ways to let Texans lose their hardearnel money At least some in the industry are honest about their of They acknowledge that parimutuel wagering is a game of check ers in a Super Nintendo They want to offer other gaming options at tracks They dont just want smelfy old horses and dogs They want the bright tights bells and whistles of slot machines and gaming tables They want casinos Naturally they promise growth and tax benefits They say thi legalized casinos would raise million intaxes and create about jobs Sound famliar Ken Camp is a writer with the tyews and Information Service Baptist General Conven tion of Texas He serves on the boardofdirec tors for Texans Against Gambling a statewide organization devoted to stopping the expan sion of legalized gambling in Christ Presbyterian Church plans dedication It began as a small Bible study meeting in the Laurel Plaza Apart ments There was just a handful of folks in those days Yet they all shared a heartfelt desire to study the Bible Christ Presbyterian Church mem bers may reflect back on those humble beginnings for a moment but only for a moment Their eyes are fixed straight ahead as they anticipate the great things do in and through their church in the future Pastor Dick Jones describes the early days of the church as a genuine work of God Gods providential care and loving provision are the only reasons Christ Presbyterian Church exists From the outset the church has done just the opposite of what the church growth experts advise Though they rarely put it this way most growth experts recommend against articulating clearly and con cisely what the church believes They say doctrine and theology are anathe ma to church commented Pastor Jones We and consistently taken a stand on things like the inerrancy of Scripture the sovereignty of God and the prolife movement Folks that have found a home with us appreciate our willing ness to take informed principled stands on these continued Jones The church began their building Christ Presbyterian Church located plans about two years ago by engaging an architect to design a master plan for the land they had purchased The building which will be dedicated this Sunday evening at 6 represents Phase 1 of the master plan The con gregation is already looking forward to Phase II which will double the size of their building The five acres on which at 1620 E Common St their new building sits should allow more than enough space for future expansion When asked what their plans are to achieve the growth nec essary for Phase II and Phase III Jones smiles and says We intend to con tinue teaching and preaching Christs gospel and equipping our folks to live out their faith in a dark and hurting world Just what weve done since the beginning Christ Presbyterian Church extends an invitation for its friends and neigh bors to attend their special dedication service this Sunday at 6 and the reception that follows The new church facility is located E Common St Boice conference attracts wide audience Dr Boice and Pastor Jones Dr James Montgomery Boice pastor of the historic Tenth Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia presented his Christian Mind Renewal Conference this past weekend The event was hosted by Christ Presbyterian Church of New Braunfels The theme of the nationally renowned seminar may be encapsulated by Romans in the New Testament In that passage the Apostle Paul encourages Christians not to be conformed to this but rather to be trans formed by the renewing of your We were very pleased at the participation we had for this exciting commented Christ Presbyterian Church pastor Dick Jones It was an extraordinary opportunity to leam and to be challenged to develop a Christian world and life Jones said It was a boon to our community to have a man of his stature and caliber visit New According to Pastor Jones many participating in the conference traveled from San Antonio Dallas Kerrville and Austin Dr Boice is the author of more than 40 books serves on the board of directors for the popular Bible Study Fellow ship organization and is the featured teacher on the nation ally syndicated radio show The Bible Study Hour His program is aired locally each Sunday morning at 8 on KGNB 1420 AM g i o n e f s Mormon Church Names New Presiding Bishop SALT LAKE CITY AP H David Burton has been named to succeed Merrill J Bateman as pre siding bishop of the Mormon Church the First Pres idency announced Burton 57 previously was the first counselor to Bateman the new president of Brigham Young University Richard C Edgley 59 who was the presiding bishops second counselor will replace Burton as first counselor Keith B McMullin 54 managing director of the churchs Welfare Services Department was named second counselor Under the direction of the First Presidency of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints the Presiding Bish opric oversees physical facilities welfare services materials management and other temporal affairs of the church Burton was secretary to the presiding bishop for 14 years and served under both Bateman and his predecessor Bishop Robert D Hales who now is a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles Burton also was an assistant church budget officer A former executive with Kennecott Copper Corp and the Utah Tax Commission Burton earned a degree in economics from the University of Utah and a masters of business administration degree from the University of Michigan Catholic Churches Posting No Guns Signs SAN ANTONIO AP If Catholic parishioners dont know it already the Archdiocese of San Anto nio is sending a notsosubtle message that guns are not allowed on church property Even though the states new concealed handgun law prohibits guns in churches and certain other establishments the archdiocese is posting signs in English and Spanish stating Blessed are the peacemakers Please no guns permitted on these premises Property of the Arch diocese of San Archbishop Patrick Flores recently unveiled the redandwhite signs and used the opportunity to announce the archdiocese has launched an antivio lence outreach effort through its churches The no guns signs are intended to emphasize the antiviolence message and to keep firearms out of sanctuaries and off other archdiocese property church officials said These signs or these posters will proclaim our belief that our security rests in God and not in Flores said We believe that the good that guns may seem to do is only temporary but the harm they do is per Concealed handgun permits are being issued start ing this month to qualified Texans who have com pleted the required training course The archdiocese has opposed the concealed hand gun law since it was passed by the Texas Legislature last spring said the Rev Michael DeGerolami director of the San Antonio Archdioceses office of social concerns Were trying to take a position that is based on our teachings on our moral teachings that violence is not the DeGerolami said The whole thing is bigger than simply the gun control Lutherans Expel Two SF Congregations for Gay Ordinations SAN FRANCISCO AP Two small Lutheran congregations that defied their mother church by ordaining active gay and lesbian ministers have been expelled from the denomination The St Francis Lutheran Church and First Unit ed Lutheran Church were packed recently for their last services as members of the Evangelical Luther an Church in America The Lutherans allow ordination of gay ministers only if they take a vow to abstain from having rela tions with members of the same sex The three ministers at issue Revs Ruth Frost Phyllis Zillhart and Jeff Johnson are all graduates of official Lutheran seminaries but refused to take the vow In 1990 the mother church suspended the two congregations and said they were officially expelled if they did not rescind the ordinations by Dec 31 1995 The churches refused SOUL MAINTENANCE KEEPS SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION STRONG Years ago we bought an old house that was the classic fixerupper But the real problem was that with a baby on the way the tiny house was instant ly too small That meant that along with the remodeling was the necessity for adding on Ever the economists we found a used lumber yard and began buying old lumber hauling it home and renail ing it into place It was the longest and hard estiprojecMhat I have ever tackled Not only was it difficult to cull the wood from the lumber yard but Dennis Gallaher each board had to be retooled into a usable piece of wood I vowed to nev er do it that way again Years later we built our own home with the help of many friends who oversaw my amateur carpentry They would tell me when I needed to hire a job done or could do it myself and theyd lend a hand in the evenings and on weekends But the best part was that it was all new wood No nails to pull or paint to strip And even though it was a tough and stressful six months we accomplished more in those months than in the year I spent picking through the ruins of old houses and recon structing our first home What I learned was this Even though it might look easy remodeling is the hardest type of construction there is And used lumber is the toughest building material to use When a house becomes dilapidated through neglect it is almost easier to tear it down and start over than to try to fix what is wrong The time and mon ey saved on building from scratch many times outweighs the rosecol ored idea of restoring a longneglected house Take it from me Ive been there Now let me apply this scenario for you Recently Ive been working with some folks who have had a lifechang ing experience with the Lord Yes they have been saved born again and will carry their decision to follow Christ into eternity And even though there are the ups and downs of being a new Christian the joys of discovery are far beyond the difficulties of learning to walk It is what I would call new con Tragically though along with the joys of new construction have been the inevitable remodels that are constant in church life Now dont miss understand I am not talking about minor repair work or spiritual upkeep or even the occasional adding that takes place in all of our lives all we all need to expand our spiritual I homes and do the constant nance that makes for a comfortable abode What Im talking about is the restora tion of destroyed lives Lives that have placed great effort in constructing a nice facade while the inside of the building has been sorely neglected Lives run down by the secret sins so often hidden behind the closed doors of 5 our souls I Sooner or later the roof crashes in or the floor buckles under the weight of rotted debris The need for restoration becomes obvious It is just a that the neglect has gone on so long j Let me speak very plainly aboutj what causes the foundations to under so many today When I say secret I am referring to those3 things that we think we are getting by with but instead eat away at the founi dation of our lives like hungry termites j Things like pornography adultery I alcohol drugs and immorality are ceri tainly the most common supposedly hidden sins But below the obvious are what drives them into the soul with the force of a sledgehammer Things like pride anger lust and selfishness are the dry rot of many a Christians life Many try to ignore the signs of swarming sin that infest their spiritual home The restoration is costly and difficult The tearing down and cleanj ing out is painful And no this kindj of dilapidation cannot be glossed over with plaster and shiny new paint TooJ often it takes a wrecking ball of pain even begin the work Having to retool J the abused building blocks of faith is much more difficult than you can imag ine So dont let it happen to you OrJ your spiritual neighbor for that matJ ter Dont think for a moment that the termites of sin will go away on their j own Dont just keep emptying the j buckets that catch the rain from the sinsoaked roof j Get to work now and repair before you have to restore Because soul maintenance now will keep your spiritual house from being condemned later j Dennis Gallaher is pas tor of Free dom Fellowship Church in New Braun The HeraldZeitung invites all churches in Comal County to share their news with the community All church leaders are also welcome to submit columns or opinion pieces for this Send submissions to HeraldZeitung Church Life 707 Landa St New 781301 Or fax items to 6251224
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