April 16, 2012

1512 Web Letters

20/20 Vision
Regarding “Through a Glass Darkly” (Mar. 22, 2012): What a blessing to be reminded of the loving, tender regard of Father Finley for his Catholic wife and their Catholic children; and to trust that all would be well. I, too, share the concern she had for those who struggle with being “good enough” to trust themselves in God’s hands for salvation.

We are not good enough. But must choose to be as good as we can, growing into better choices while trusting ourselves daily to His care. The failure to trust must be put away; even though the enemy has sought to destroy our confidence ever since Eden.
The battle is the Lord’s, but the choice to trust is ours.

--Richard Burns
Cleveland, Tennessee

Something for the Rest of Us
Regarding “The Teenager in My House” (Mar. 22, 2012): This is a wonderful article! We need more of this type of writing in the Review; articles that discuss day-to-day problems/opportunities with a this-is-where-the-rubber-meets-the-road type of writing. Martin’s article was so fresh, so vibrant, and so pithy. Yet it said exactly what we “ordinary readers” of the Review need to hear!

Martin has an usual way of expressing things that to some might seem controversial. But he does it with grace, persuasion, and wit. I hope to read more of Martin’s unique writing that brings ordinary people’s needs into focus.

While I have nothing against doctrine, there should be a balance that includes more of the type of writing that Martin’s article showcased which appeals to average, not-always-educated-beyond-college individuals. We don’t all hold graduate degrees, but we all have everyday problems such as those addressed by Martin in this article.

I would be happy to see half of each Review dedicated to this type of writing.

--Judy Bolyard
Jonesborough, Tennessee

Everybody’s Body
Wilona Karimabadi’s article “Message in a Back Injury” (Mar. 22, 2012) interested me. I have had back problems for more than 40 years.

I feel moved to clarify some ideas in Karimabadi’s last paragraph: Our temples of the Holy Spirit given us by God are not all equal; each person is responsible for the care of his or her body. Each body has its limitations; some are strong, others are not. Even the apostle Paul had limitations. He called his “a thorn in my flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7).

Still, those who are weaker must accept what God has given them and strive to make it last to be of service to Him. But “reasonable” exercise to some can be “over-exercise” for others. We must learn to do everything in moderation in order to preserve the body. Our prime responsibility is to nourish our spirit and be ready for Christ’s coming.

--Dave Richardson
Northglenn, Colorado

Chestertown Burns Again
Regarding Mark A. Kellner’s news article, “Fire Racks Up $500K in Damage at Chestertown, Maryland, Church” (Mar. 15, 2012): I doubt many people know that there was another fire story in the history of the Chestertown, Maryland, Seventh-day Adventist Church.

My father, Louis Cunningham, pastored in Chestertown when the lovely brick church was built. He loved to tell this other “fire story”:

When Adventists in Chestertown purchased land for a church building in a residential neighborhood, one neighbor was irate. She wanted no Adventist church on her block! But even as she sputtered and seethed construction began. Adventist church members such as my father and Samuel McGinnis volunteered their time to help in the building. A Seventh-day Adventist church began taking shape before the neighbor’s eyes.

One day, from his perch on the church roof, a construction worker noticed a brush fire in the lot adjacent to this woman’s home. As I recall the story, fire was moving toward her house and she was frantic. Scrambling down from the roof, this man and his coworkers grabbed whatever they could to help them fight the blaze. They were able to save the woman’s home.

My father especially liked to tell this story, because more than a fire had been put out that day; prejudice had been “put out” too. The Seventh-day Adventists in Chestertown had a new friend.

--Ann Burke
Yucaipa, California

Meeting a Need
I wholly agree with Mark Kellner about the importance of “spreading the health” as he suggested in his editorial, “Spread the Health? Yes!” (Mar. 8, 2012). The popularity of films like “Knives over Forks,” and the just-released “Hungry for Change,” indicate that there is a very real felt need in our American society for lifestyle principles that really work.

As a CHIP director I have seen how effective God’s health message can be in reaching the hearts of people in our community as they heal physically as well as spiritually. As we each strive to implement these principles for ourselves I know God will use us to reach others for Him.

--Lucia Tiffany
Kingsley, Michigan

Touching Greatness
Lael Caesar’s article about Wintley Phipps, “I Give You My Life” (Feb. 23, 2012), is superbly inspiring and educative. The easy flow of the narrative, the seamless stitching together of sundry events, the exquisite literary style--lucid, moving, gripping, humorous--show the consummate skill of the writer and the redemptive hand of God in Phippss’ life.

I had profound pleasure reading this article. Great piece!

--Gershom G. Byass
Burlington Township, New Jersey