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I was captivated by the sounds around me on a recent early morning walk in the woods. The frost-covered rye grass crunched beneath my feet. The wind swished through the loblolly pines. The crows cawed to each other in a language only they understood. Paying attention to all of these sounds reminded me that we […] Read More

Many Scripture passages condemn pride. Proverbs is filled with warnings about pride. For example, Proverbs 16:5 says, “The Lord detests all the proud of heart” and Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Wisdom, says Proverbs 8:13, hates “pride and arrogance.” In 1 Corinthians 13:4, the Apostle Paul tells […] Read More

One of the wonderful features of young children is their emotional honesty. They don’t hide their feeling or wants. They have no subtlety. When they want something, they simply demand it. They holler. They cry. They snatch things from each other. And they aren’t ashamed of any of this. They offer no apologies for selfishness, […] Read More

When I was a boy, our pastor preached about the evils of movies. We were told not to go because the Lord could return and rapture the church. And what would we say, he asked, if the Lord came back to find us not in the church pews but in the seats of the local […] Read More

Thank God (literally) our Roman Catholic and Orthodox sisters and brothers aren’t biblical literalists. Otherwise, they certainly would be in big trouble with Jesus and his teachings about what we call ourselves. Not surprisingly, this comes up as Jesus spars with the scribes and Pharisees – an ongoing bout that continues right up to the […] Read More

Given the sex scandals that seem to plague American political life – to say nothing about the preoccupation with sex in American popular culture – who would be surprised if most Americans would think the Apostle Paul was referring to sex when he crusaded against becoming a slave to unrighteousness? In Romans 6, he wrote, […] Read More

A sermon delivered by Howard Batson, Pastor of First Baptist Church, Amarillo, Tx., on June 20, 2010.   Genesis 11:1-9   There wasn’t any argument about it before 1998.  No controversy whatsoever.  Everyone knew that Chicago’s Sears Tower was the undisputed, tallest building in the world.  But that’s before the twin Petronas towers in Malaysia.  […] Read More

Now the whole earth had but one language and few words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and settled there. … Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens…” (Genesis 11:1,4) The tallest building […] Read More

Sermon delivered by Howard Baston, pastor of First Baptist Church in Amarillo, T.X., on June 14 2009. Luke 18: 9-17. It was the 1980s, and Mike and Marilyn Standefer were directors in the College Department. Sue and Carter Kelly were teachers in there. The lesson was on our very text today – Luke 18:9-17. Mike did the opening assembly and […] Read More

One Saturday night that seems like centuries ago, a phone call came from a woman who said she was secretary to Col. Harlan Sanders. I thought it was a joke by one of my colleagues. She went on to say the colonel was in town and wondered if he could worship with us Sunday morning. […] Read More