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Anna Street Church of Christ
Vol. 57, No. 14
Sunday, April 3, 2022

This program will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 8th, at Washington Avenue Christian Church, 3800 S. Washington St. There will be no admission fee but a love offering will be taken. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Be sure to arrive early to get a good seat.
  • We were thrilled to learn that Henry Sena got good results from his heart cath. Our prayers were answered.
  • Glenna Atchley will have surgery for breast cancer on May 2nd. We pray for successful surgery and for comfort for Glenna.   
  • It was good to have Marilyn Gipson in church with us last Sunday. We pray for continuing good health.
  • Wardell Reust's sister Loveda, is in a sling. Doctors are hoping that the broken humerus will realign by gravity, She sees the surgeon on April 7th, Wardell's sister, Ann, had surgery on her right shoulder. She has a torn rotator cuff and two tears in her bicep. We pray for  complete recovery for these ladies.
The Wednesday night cookout was a huge success! Fellowship was most enjoyable and the food was great. Many thanks to those who made it work so well!                      
Lyndon Latham will be organizing Wednesday evening teaching time. We look forward to the fellowship with you.                    



In the final parable of Jesus' Olivet discourse (Matthew 24-25), Nathan taught us what Kingdom Caring is.
Sunday's lesson is here.
The Wages of Sin
     Our actions always have consequences.
     At least, that’s what my mama taught me almost as soon as I could walk. Step across the borders of our yard, she warned, and you won’t get to play outside the rest of the week. Spout dirty words, and you’ll get your mouth washed out with soap. Eat everything on your plate, or forget about dessert. Do what I tell you to, and your privileges and freedom will amaze you. What you do, Mom told us, will determine what I do to you.
     If you were like me (and I’m sure you were, at least in this way), this basic principle of life didn’t change when you stepped outside your home. When you went to school or got a job, like the law of gravity, this law of life followed you around. Everything you did—good or bad—triggered a response.
     If you stepped on a banana peel, you expected to fall down. If you ate rotten catfish, you puked. If you ran a red light in front of a cop, you got a ticket. If you disrupted class in school, you got to visit the principal. If you smoked in the school restroom, you probably wound up in detention. If you ran the fastest, you got a medal. Your behavior always determined the results.
     Any time we try to short-circuit this universal principle, the world we live in gets scrambled and crazy. The 2021 Olympics were a good example. Women’s weightlifting competition became meaningless when we let a guy compete as a girl. Medal celebrations, once a proud moment for all involved, lost all glory when America’s winners used them to say they were ashamed to be Americans. What price will the Olympics pay for tolerating such behavior?  I don’t know (although thousands of longtime viewers turned off their TVs), but I do know that we always do pay for our behavior.
     The Bible is quite clear about this. “You cannot fool God, so don’t make a fool of yourself!” the apostle Paul warns us in Galatians 6. “You will harvest what you plant. If you follow your selfish desires, you will harvest destruction, but if you follow the Spirit, you will harvest eternal life.” Or, even more bluntly, the Good Book reminds us that the wages of sin will always be death.  
Gene Shelburne
In the Beginning Was the Word

I must confess: modern poetry baffles me.

This should not be surprising. I am an English major but of an old, fossilized, and vanishing variety. I prefer a degree plan heavy on Shakespeare and very, very light indeed on Gender & Sexuality Studies.

And here, friends, is the most damning confession of all: I really prefer poetry that rhymes.

No surprise, I am not much of a fan of “modern” art, either. I like colors, but I’m not terribly impressed with water balloon art. I’m fond of some of the work of the “impressionists,” usually their more realistic work. But, in general, if you want to paint an unrecognizable duck—you know, the way the duck makes you feel—paint me an actual “ducky” first that looks like a water foul that might actually quack, and we’ll hang them together.

So I’m not very modern. Or post-modern. And, nope, I don’t care much for modernist architecture either. Or contemporary. Cold, sterile, and ugly most of it is. A fossil I am.

But maybe I’m somewhat consistent. Or boring and predictable. Consistently fossilized.

So this fits the picture: most modern poetry baffles me.

I admit to the occasional exception, but, in general, I like poetry that rhymes. Honestly, I have a hard time figuring out how poetry that does not rhyme is much closer to poetry than it is to prose. Some of it seems to me to be called poetry simply because the lines are stacked, short, and/or indented. Most of it generally strikes me as a rather strange hybrid that looks weird, is filled with angst, rarely ever smiles, and always takes itself incredibly seriously.

In the animal kingdom, it would be a mule, I think, though mules are much less pretentious. In no way do I mean to disparage mules. Indeed, I have more reasons than most folks to hold the lowly mule in high esteem and consider him, yea, verily, a regal beast.

But a mule, you see, is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. (If you hail from a large city where provincialism often abounds, you may need to get a rural person to explain this to you. While you’re at it, you might ask the rural person to explain where the chicken in your grocery aisle comes from.)

Now, to extend my metaphor, let’s say that, in the creation of a mule, Daddy the Donkey is prose and Mother the Horse is poetry. I’ve read beautiful prose that is almost poetry, and I’ve read soul-lifting poetry, some of which tends a tad toward prose.

But much of the presently popular stuff seems to me to be a much more serious attempt at amalgamation. And yet . . .

The offspring of a

    male donkey and a

    female horse is


    donkey nor


And that, friends, says the questionable poet who wrote it, is not poetry, however stacked or indented it may be. It is something weirdly neither. I would say that, like a mule, it is almost always sterile. And not even close to being as useful as a trusty mule.

I’m likely just being mulish about such.

But, in general, words matter. How we use them matters. The words we revere matter.

It matters deeply that when the Apostle John begins his Gospel proclaiming “the Grand Miracle” (as C. S. Lewis calls the Incarnation), he writes, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Indent those words as poetry if you wish. I readily admit that they don’t need to rhyme (in English or biblical Greek) to give me goose bumps. They point to meaning and mystery that the most magnificent word pictures of the most wonder-filled poetry or most sublime prose could never adequately paint.

But those words move me and fill me with a deep need to bow, to worship, and, when my breath returns, to praise.


You’re invited to visit my website, and I hope you’ll take a look there at my new “Focus on Faith” Podcast. At the website, just click on “Podcast.” Blessings!

Copyright 2022 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice


Curtis Shelburne
Copyright © 2022 Anna Street Church of Christ, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
2310 Anna Street 
Amarillo, TX    79106


Bible Studies @ 9:45 a.m.
Worship @ 10:30 a.m.
Youth Group @ 6:00 p.m.

Song Practice         6:45 – 7:25 
Break                     7:25 – 7:35
Teaching Time       7:35 – 8:15 

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