In the Valley of Death
I appreciated Floyd Greenleaf’s article “Through the Valley of Death” (Jan. 15, 2015). In our old diseased world, nearly everyone has cancer in their family. My sister died of leukemia in our sister’s house four months ago. She’ll be healed in the morning when Jesus Christ wakes her up!
The January 15 cover article “Through the Valley of Death” came just two days after my husband passed away from cancer. Hospice supported us physically and emotionally, and my husband was able to go to sleep peacefully at home, the way he wanted it. Thank you so much to Floyd Greenleaf for sharing his story about the loss of their daughter. Only one who has gone through this can truly understand what another is going through.
It seems to us that God timed this story to arrive when our family needed it most.
Thank you for Floyd Greenleaf’s poignant story of parental loss. The author is dubious about “closure” after the loss of one’s child; I am dubious too. Our son died decades ago, and I still do not claim closure. I do claim comfort. The Lord was with me in the dark and has brought me at last into a brighter place. Should the need for comfort arise even now, He’s still there.
Three Letters in One
The January 8, 2015, Adventist Review came today. The change (“Change. Is. Good,” p. 5) has already begun. When I picked it up, I immediately felt that the paper was different. The feel was more like newsprint (rough) and less like National Geographic (glossy). Maybe it’s better paper, as the blurb says; I don’t know. But it’s different, for sure.
In her Give & Take item (p. 13) Fern Boismier writes from Houston, Texas: “We lived in Michigan, and our son, Jim, lived in California. We decided to meet at his place in Houston . . .” I did a double take on that one. Whose place was in Houston? “We drove . . . He flew in . . .” Both came from afar. I remain confused.
I enjoyed Michael Pearson’s article “Running on Empty” (pp. 21, 22). I’ve driven over some of those same roads myself, visiting Zimbabwe when I taught at Helderberg College and my brother taught at Solusi College.
What caught my eye was the picture accompanying the article. Photoshopped, I would guess. The speedometer indicates 98 mph (or 158 kph) while the tachometer indicates about 1450 rpm. In no car on the planet do those two numbers go together! (Oh, and the lights on the dash indicate that the seat belt is not fastened and a car door is open!)
We decided that lengthening the Give & Take story to explain that the son lived in California but also had a residence in Houston (more centrally located for family to visit) would detract from the point—unfortunately, this omission has caused readers to stumble.
In addition, that photo did require a lot of Photoshop work. The image had to be flipped while the instrument panel had to still read correctly. The speed on the speedometer was changed and the scene out the window and the side-view mirror were changed to be accurate to the region where the story took place. We did, however, overlook the tachometer and the indicator lights.
We’ve also been advised (smile) to publish the following disclaimer: “The Adventist Review in no way endorses driving 98 mph without a seat belt and/or with a door open.”
Hard to Understand
When Bill Knott began his editorial “Rehearsing a Divorce” (Jan. 8, 2015), I expected him to perhaps launch into Elijah’s episode on Mount Carmel, after Elijah personally chopped to pieces 450 prophets of Baal, or one of the many battles of the Israelites where they slew thousands, including women and children. Or the story of Achan, where they stood around slinging rocks and killed him and his little children, even the cattle. Or maybe David’s last words to his son to be sure to kill one of his enemies because he had not gotten it done.
I agree heartily that we should not be watching violence. As an old mother, I have spent my life trying to protect and save the lives of my family and anyone else who comes in my path. But a person certainly cannot read the Old Testament without encountering so much violence, described pretty clearly. I know God was the judge and ordered it, but it is hard for me to understand all the violence described there.
The Secret of Our Faith
I’m writing in reference to Andy Nash’s article “The Secret of Our Faith” (Dec. 25, 2014). I agree with Nash that if our future depended on lifestyle, then Buddhism has much going for it. But I disagree with his conclusion that the important difference between Christianity and other religions is worship. Buddhists, Hindus, and others certainly worship. Witness the multitude of stupas, temples, etc., throughout Southeast Asia and else-
No! The difference is that they have no Savior. Christianity is unique in this respect. We have a Savior who is more than worthy of our praise and thanksgiving, our worship.
Park Ridge, Queensland, Australia
On Death, Dying, and Life Experiences
I was impressed by Dick Rentfro’s article “God Hears Our Cries” (Dec. 18, 2014). Having recently spent 60 days in the hospital and ending up with a filter, stent, and pacemaker, I quickly realized I’m living on borrowed time. I used to preach for decades that, barring an untimely death, I would live to see the Lord come. I still enjoy looking up at Orion frequently and realize more than ever that a thousand years are as a day in the sight of our Lord (see 2 Peter 3:8). And even though I’m in my mid-80s I especially appreciated William G. Johnsson’s “fessing up” on health issues, although I have never knowingly eaten meat or drunk tea, coffee, or caffeinated beverages.
I was saddened to hear of the death of Herbert E. Douglass, former associate editor of Adventist Review (see www.adventistreview.org/church-news/herbert-e.-douglass,-leading-theologian-and-author,-dead-at-87), who was baptized by my father, Orville Wright (named after the aviator who piloted the first controlled aircraft in the history of humankind at Kitty Hawk). I fondly remember spending our last Sabbath on the West Coast with the Douglasses before departing for five years of mission service to Taiwan in the late 1950s.
I appreciated Jimmy Phillips’ article “Between Suicide and Salvation” (Dec. 11, 2014), especially when I [think of visits to] my younger brother’s grave at old Eastwood Cemetery in Lancaster, Massachusetts.
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading almost every article in the Review for decades. Please keep up the good work!
Sun City, Arizona
Adventist Couple, Wed 65 Years, Dies Holding Hands
Thank you for sharing Andrew McChesney’s article “Adventist Couple, Wed 65 Years, Dies Holding Hands” (Nov. 27, 2014). May our loving heavenly Father be praised for this wonderful couple’s love and devotion to Him and to each other. What an outstanding testimony to the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit!
God desires our families to be that way: where Christ is the center and His love will bind the family. I admire Italvino and Diva Possa.
We Need Both
I appreciated Bernadine Delafield’s “Branded! Are We Marked for Life?” (Nov. 20, 2014). It reminded me of an illustration my husband, a seminary professor, has often used: The physical body is made up of two essential but different parts, the flesh and the bones. If it were made up of the flesh only, it would stand for nothing and would crumple in a moment. If it were made up only of the bones, it might stand rigidly, but you wouldn’t want to meet it on a dark night. Thus, both are needed. And both are needed also in the spiritual body, the church. It needs people who firmly hold to truths of old, yet it also needs people with the flexibility to stretch and grow.
Madeline S. Johnston
Berrien Center, Michigan