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Messenger Articles by Webmaster

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Notre Dame Cathedral: Talk About a Backstory!

by Webmaster

People’s eyes were glued to their TVs, mesmerized by the images of flames pouring through the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. TV commentators were mostly speechless. One came out with an involuntary “Oh God!” when the 300-foot high spire fell to the ground. One of the most beautiful buildings in the world was […]

The Backstory of the Cross

by Webmaster

I thought about the cross on which Jesus died. It has become the major symbol of the Christian faith, embraced by two billion people in many lands and a wide array of denominations, topping off church steeples, worn on necklaces, clutched by dying martyrs. I wondered about its backstory. Maybe because of my interest in […]

Jean Bouchebel’s Backstory

by Webmaster

Over the past two decades, there’s one thing you could always count on when you came to Altadena Baptist Church — Jean Bouchebel would greet you with a warm handshake and a big smile. If he knew you well enough, the handshake might be replaced by kisses on both cheeks, and he’d likely exclaim, “Habibi!” […]

Our Planet’s Backstory

by Webmaster

O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed His grace on thee, And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea! Massachusetts born and bred Wellesley College professor Katherine Lee Bates visited Colorado in 1913. She had traveled the […]

Debra’s Backstory

by Webmaster

Two different people told me about the personal testimony Debra Blake shared at the recent ABC Women’s Prayer Brunch. I thought this would be a good contribution to our current series emphasizing how a person’s backstory can help us appreciate who they are, so I called and interviewed her. Debra has experienced a meteoric rise […]

The Rabbi Gamaliel’s Gift to the Church

by Webmaster

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks […]

Another backstory: Making the Skeleton Dance

by Webmaster

“If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.” ― George Bernard Shaw, from his novel Immaturity Rev. Clinton L. Goodwin was one of Altadena Baptist Church’s senior members when I came to be Pastor in 1972. He had been one of the church’s founders in 1934, and […]

Your Backstory

by Webmaster

Sometimes personal backstories shed a lot of light on important events in human history. Take, for instance the familiar narrative of Zechariah and Elizabeth in Luke’s Gospel about the birth of Jesus. It may help if you take the time to read it right now. Elizabeth is described as a relative of Mary (the mother […]

Making a Difference

by Webmaster

Well, ABC finally made the front page of a local online newspaper, Pasadena Now. It’s not exactly what we had in mind, but it’s all good. After the protestors’ interruption, the speaker, District Attorney Jackie Lacey, went on to bring an inspiring message on the topic of “Can we make a difference?” Her answer was […]

When the Curtain Falls on the Minstrel Show of Hate

by Webmaster

I was proud to see one of ABC’s fine young people, Miles Kealing, standing before the church and community leaders at the January 20 Martin Luther King Celebration, sponsored by the Ministerial Alliance, at Metropolitan Baptist Church. Miles will be graduating high school this spring and has been accepted to enter the freshman class at […]