Howdy Partners! I’m writing this week’s postcard from Abilene, Texas. It’s about 150 miles west of Fort Worth, where the American West is said to begin, but people say that it really begins at Abilene. It is a little flatter here and if I were to go further west, the landscape would be more like the dusty, tumbrel-blowing-through-the street picture we have from cowboy films. There has been a lot of driving today as I visited Baylor University – probably the most significant Baptist University in the world – at Waco, before travelling across country via St Olaf’s Kirke. This historic church serves a tiny community called Norse, that was founded – unsurprisingly – by Norwegian settlers, who presumably came to Texas as they had been told it would be warmer there. They had been told right. It was 36 degrees today – that’s 97 in old money. This is a nation of small and large church communities. St Olaf’s won’t have many congregants, but First Baptist Church Arlington, which I visited this week, has three identical morning services at which they welcomed a total of 2,400 worshippers last Sunday. Other churches would be glad to have a couple of dozen. This week I led worship at Agape Baptist Church on Sunday and Wednesday and I shall be back at Handley on Sunday and then on to First Baptist Smithfield, another small church on Wednesday. Two non-church-related highlights this week have been attending a baseball game and visiting Billy Bob’s Texas, the self-proclaimed ‘largest honky-tonk in the world’. The Texas Rangers were in the middle of a bad run when I saw them. They had just purchased possibly the best pitcher in the league, but he made no difference and they were beaten by the worst team in the league. I was surprised that the crowd didn’t turn on them – they wouldn’t have put up with it at Brentford, that’s for sure. Billy Bob’s is the venue for all things Western in Fort Worth. It’s a little like Lloyd’s Bar at Water End Barn in St Albans, although you know you’re in Texas, because there is a reminder at the door that handguns are not to be brought onto the premises. I had been looking forward to the band playing Country Music classics and seeing the Western guys and gals dancing. The reality was that on a Wednesday night, there were a few half-hearted line dancers moving hardly quicker than Tai Chi exponents in a Chinese park. But you know what they say about travel: Better to travel expectantly than to arrive. Love Simon