“Splitting the Urgent Darkness,” by Bill Knott (Mar. 26, 2015), is the best sermon on the Resurrection I have ever heard or read! The story of Mary anointing Jesus proved once again that it is impossible to exhaust the inspiration of Scripture.
Elwood B. Boyd, via e-mail
Splitting the Urgent Darkness
I was inspired by the colorful, elegant, creative, and imaginative way the story “Splitting the Urgent Darkness” unfolded: like viewing Mary’s version of what it was like grieving; then approaching that glorious dawn as she is drawn to the now-empty tomb. Through the kaleidoscope of verbal picture images, it was as if I were there with her, hearing what she heard from the lips of our resurrected Lord.
Thank God for the Difference
Thank you for printing John S. Nixon’s article “Thank God for the Difference” (Mar. 12, 2015). I’m looking forward to the continuing series. Having spent some years dealing with social issues and observing and experiencing the confusion and pain thereof, I am so glad to see this topic being openly dealt with.
We often speak of the benefits of education, and see the benefits in professional accomplishment in jobs of lifetime importance. However, the character necessities of relationships, especially as spouses, parents, and other family connections, are often neglected.
The basics of truth and emotional integrity are the foundation of both worldly and eternal success (it’s in the Scriptures). Since marriage and family are the first created social order, it’s past time to deal openly and creatively in this area. Careful observation of history clearly shows this to be foundational to successful living now and eternally.
Virginia E. Myers
Tears of Love
I shed tears as I read Cassi Meelhuysen’s “Tears of Healing” (Mar. 26, 2015). Karanja’s struggle with keeping his eyes off himself—his behavior and bad habits—is every human’s struggle. It’s certainly mine! Meelhuysen’s tears of love were able to change Karanja’s heart and focus his eyes on Jesus, the one who loves us unconditionally! Wow!
May this story be repeated again and again as we allow ourselves to shed tears of love for others. May God’s love be seen in our tears. My thanks to the author for sharing from her heart.
Betty L. Villarreal
West Richland, Washington
I’m responding to the “Visitors Wanted” letter from Utah about the absence of Adventists visiting a federal prison (Mar. 12, 2015). I am a part of a team of seven representing two churches in the Central California Conference who have had a ministry in a state prison for more than 20 years.
It is true that on the state prison level prisoners themselves cannot carry on a program. I am a retired pastor who has also been a teacher, youth pastor, and conference youth director. When I retired, I was invited to become involved in prison ministry at a men’s state prison in our area. I’ve now been there about 14 years. The Lord blessed me with my forty-fifth inmate baptism four weeks ago.
We have specially designed postcards in church pews that members can send to encourage those who are sick or infirm, those who have brought them a blessing with their music, etc. We also list our newly baptized inmates in the church bulletin so our members can write to them. Our inmates love to get these caring cards. For some it’s the only mail they have ever received. It makes them feel that they are really part of our church family. Once a year we are able to take members who’ve written cards into the prison so they can meet the inmates.
I encourage retired pastors to get involved in prison ministry. It’s so rewarding!
In My Father’s House
Thanks for the lovely reminiscing and nostalgia (see Buz Menhardt’s “In My Father’s House,” Feb. 26, 2015). Menhardt was one of the “big kids” at the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, church school when my kids were some of the “little kids.” I remember how our principal, Ben Beck, would flood the playground in the winter to make a skating rink. Older students would wear their ice skates (with skate guards on) most of the day so they didn’t lose a minute in getting outside to skate during recess and lunch hour.
Menhardt was always a leader. He was a junior camp counselor when our son was brave enough to go to camp one year. But son Tom didn’t like the camp experience. My husband was camp pastor that week, and Menhardt allowed Tom to come to our cabin during rest periods. Even then Menhardt knew the importance of being in one’s father’s house.
Thanks for the reminder that when my heart is troubled, I must remember that my Father’s house is waiting for me.
Punta Gorda, Florida
Stephen Chavez’s “Body Talk” (Feb. 19, 2015) is one of the most insightful and wise editorials that has appeared in the magazine in years.
Certainly the church is about service, and a committee should not tell the body what it can do. The sentence “Now is not the time to attempt to restrict the activity of the Holy Spirit by insisting that some are not qualified to serve because they don’t meet some human requirement” is a profound statement.
Our leadership should heed this advice. Let the Holy Spirit decide who should minister in our church—men and women. Let’s put our energy into getting ready for the Lord’s soon return, not quibble over whether our ministers wear suits or dresses.
Walter S. Hamerslough
The Final Word
Gerald A. Klingbeil’s editorial “The Final Word” (Jan. 15, 2015) was unique, outstanding, and thought-provoking. “We all yearn for the ‘final word.’ ” This topic is choice and profound! I’m sure you will receive responses regarding various reader descriptions of their “final word.” For me, every word of the Bible is instruction, knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and promise.
In Matthew 4:4 Jesus describes what I seek and wish for as my final word: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (NKJV).* Eternal life with Jesus is my final word, goal, and aim. I also refer to Isaiah 66:1, 2: “This is what the Lord says: . . . These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.” Is there anything better than to be “looked on with favor” by the Lord?
*Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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