Holiday traditions vary among Baptists around the world

Posted: 12/22/06

Holiday traditions vary among
Baptists around the world

By John Hall

Texas Baptist Communications

Waves crash along a sandy shore, flip-flops rest on a towel, and the smell of barbecuing shrimp drifts through the air. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. At least, that’s the way it looks in Australia—or South Africa, for that matter.

How Baptists celebrate Christmas varies from country to country and culture to culture around the world, but Christ remains the focus of the holiday festivities.

Israeli Baptists join other Christians in a ministry called Nazareth Village, which recreates a first-century town. The site draws local residents and tourists, providing an opportunity for many people to hear the gospel.

Cybercolumn by Berry D. Simpson: Merry Christmas

Posted: 12/22/06

Merry Christmas

By Berry D. Simpson

Saturday morning, Dec. 16, Cyndi and I woke up about 8 a.m., a true weekend indulgence. Cyndi left to take Lady the Running Labrador around the block before leaving for her class, and I squeezed in a run. It wasn’t my best run, I must admit. I spent an hour and a half in a four-minute-walk-11-minute-run rotation, all designed to rebuild my left knee. But really, it was a great run, because it was good for my heart and soul. My knee feels much better than it did a year ago, I can run better, I’m not eating pain-reliever every morning for breakfast, and I don’t wake up in the middle of the night with aches and pains. I’m thinking if I can drop another 20 pounds after Jan. 2 and keep my mileage constant, I will regain my old form from, well, at least four years ago, such at it was. What I’m trying to say is this:

Berry D. Simpson

I can smell hope in the air—hope of another marathon or two, maybe even an ultra on dirt—and hope is a mighty thing. Christmas is near, and the air smells like hope.


Baptists urge Wal-Mart to practice Golden Rule

Posted: 12/22/06

Baptists urge Wal-Mart to practice Golden Rule

By Hannah Elliott

Associated Baptist Press

DALLAS (ABP)—Wal-Mart, the self-styled low-price leader, can’t seem to get a break these days. While the giant retailer has recently come under attack from pro-gay groups for backpedaling on diversity initiatives, a group of Baptist pastors and leaders has spoken against Wal-Mart for exploiting workers in order to increase profits.

Robert Parham, executive director of the Baptist Center for Ethics, recently lead the charge against Wal-Mart on national TV. He appeared Dec. 15 on CNBC’s On The Money to discuss a letter and television ad in which Joe Phelps, pastor of Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., demanded the retailer adhere to the Golden Rule—Jesus’ command to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”


A Truly Awesome Christmas

Posted: 12/21/06

A Truly Awesome Christmas

By Travis McClinton

Ah, the joys of the season are upon us. Christmas Trees, cookies and cake, peppermint sticks, the crisp breeze of a December wind, and the wonder in the eyes of children as the excitement of the glorious day comes closer. The feelings swell your heart, and overflow with happiness.

Being a father of two, this time of year always makes me giddy like a child myself. But the other day made me realize how wonderful this time of year truly is.

One Friday, I went to pick my children up from school and overheard my son talking to a friend of his. Living in the age of technology, they were, of course, talking about one of the new video games on the market. The words, “wow,” “amazing” and “awesome” came up in the conversation. I normally let things like this go, but I decided to ask Andrew what he meant by “awesome.” He told me it was something cool and incredible. I sat quietly and nodded. Then he asked why.


Baylor’s oldest new graduate receives long-awaited degree

Posted: 12/21/06

Baylor’s oldest new graduate
receives long-awaited degree

By Cynthia Jackson

Baylor University

SHREVEPORT, La.—The list of graduates at Baylor University’s December commencement included M.L. “Hub” Northen, who enrolled at the school 81 years earlier and left Baylor in 1929 one credit short of a degree.

Northen, who is 100 years old, was unable to attend the ceremony due to health concerns. But Terry Maness, dean of Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business, told the assembly Northen is the oldest person ever to obtain a degree from Baylor.

Glenn Hilburn, retired chairman of the Baylor University religion department, presented M.L. "Hub" Northen with his official Baylor degree during a worship service at Trinity Heights Baptist Church in Shreveport, La.
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