I was so pleased to see an issue almost completely devoted to serving society’s marginalized (August 2016). Human trafficking alone is a cancer that affects millions of people around the world and causes physical, emotional, and spiritual damage that is impossible to calculate.
I’m so proud of the efforts our church has put forward to address this issue around the world. Thank you for including contact information about organizations that work to save the poor individuals caught in this web.
San Diego, California
Thank you for the article “What I Can Do” (August 2016). I often see people at intersections with their cardboard signs, the same people, week after week. They must get enough to get by, but I’ve often wondered if giving them money is the best way to help.
I appreciate the practical suggestions offered in this piece. They may take a little more time and effort, but I imagine the long-term effects will be worth it.
Thank you for “The Power of Culture and/or the Culture of Power,” by Thomas Lemon (July 2016). I am reminded of former General Conference president William Spicer’s remark: “There are no posts of honor, only of service.”
Reading the July 2016 article “Smartphone Church Manners”: I was reminded about a recent Sabbath when our pastor was speaking and one of our brothers’ phone rang. He likes to sit in the front row because of hearing problems, and proceeded to answer the call! The pastor’s sermon was about comedy in Scripture, and so he paused for a moment, smiling at the incident, and said to the brother, “Tell them hello for me.” It brought down the house, for the brother never heard the pastor’s remark. Some may handle this differently, but our pastor is a real champion!
But what if on Sabbath (or any other day) the phone would bring about onscreen that Jesus was in such and such a place, and take the viewer to a live report so you’d be able to watch Him interacting with others. Would we have enough of a quick reaction and hit the off button?
I was once told by George Vandeman when he spoke at an Oregon camp meeting that just seeing the image would enthrall you so much that you may want to stay with the report. He continued to say emphatically, “Turn it off, don’t watch; it will be that deceptive.” So best turn them off, at least on the Sabbath.
Nathan Brown’s article, “A Fair-trade Faith” (August 2016), was an eye-opener. Like most consumers, I like to search for bargains. That often means buying products that are manufactured in developing countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Somalia. And while it’s good that trade provides people in those countries with employment, that employment is often well below standards we consider humane. When shopping, we should consider more than the price tag.
J. W. Watts
South Bend, Indiana
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