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Recent Posts and Messenger Articles

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Another Backstory: Love Child

by Webmaster

Maybe I was naive and protected, but it was not until I had been in the ministry for a few years that I first heard the term “love child.” A member of an extended family was trying to explain to me why one of the cousins was treated differently from the others, appearing to be […]

Singing In the Darkness

by Webmaster

Coming from the East Coast to Southern California as a student in 1958, one of the most shocking things was to hear mockingbirds singing at night. In my home town, birds had the decency to go to sleep at night, as other civilized creatures do. Now, sixty years later, I’m still not used to the […]

We Deeply Mourn That This Evil Came Out From Us

by Webmaster

“Remember that you are secure in Christ. Turn away from your sin. Not because it is required for your salvation—for nobody but Christ can merit heaven based on his own works—but rather, out of gratitude for the gift of salvation that your God has given you. Always remember that it is God who is keeping […]

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 […]