Joel Belz's idea ("Freedom from fear," July 18) makes sense. Why do we older Christians try every medical treatment available when we know the end can be delayed a relatively short time? Facing death realistically is a perfect opportunity to act upon and speak of our faith.
-Char Pulliam; Stevensville, Mont.
My father-in-law died four weeks ago. In 2006 he underwent a spiritual renewal after nearly dying from a heart attack. He realized that his new lease on life was a gift to be spent sharing his testimony. He handed out hundreds of business cards with two verses, his name, and the words "Let me tell you what the Lord has done for me." He longed for heaven, but he endured painful medical treatments that prolonged his life so he could share Christ faithfully. So, how much is a life worth?
-Eileen Arentz; Ventnor, N.J.
A hearty "amen" to Belz's column. As a 50-year-old male, having seen peers succumb in the last few years, what am I or any other believer holding onto here? Belz captures perfectly how the financial management of healthcare enforces an ethos of productivity that many find unsettling.
-Greg Lawrence; San Antonio, Texas
I was disturbed by "Freedom from fear." Each person, no matter his circumstances, is precious in His sight and should be treated as such.
-Sylvia Glenn; Fulton, Mo.
I know more than one person who chose to go home to the Lord before exhausting his family emotionally and financially when there was no hope for a cure. There is, of course, a difference between that and assisted suicide. Allowing our earthly temples to go back to the dust in God's good time allows us to die with dignity.
-Anne T. Phillips; Ashland, Ohio
Belz was right on target. Believers are caught up with the desire to live "forever" on this earth instead of seeing ourselves as passing guests and aliens in a foreign land.
-Roy Anderson; Prairie du Sac, Wis.
Why should the decision maker for your health be anyone but you? If someone has prepared financially and wants to spend his last dollar to live an extra day, that option should be open. Only when we are spending others' money do we have a responsibility to them. While I agree that these are important issues to discuss, I fear a slippery slope in which the young and healthy start to guilt the elderly into dying so they can have more things.
-Mark Plaster; Annapolis, Md.
Good old work
As a former industrial arts teacher, I was nodding as I read "Manual underdrive" (July 18). I would cringe every September when the guidance director announced the colleges our students were attending. I always asked, "What about those who have jobs in the trades?" Can you imagine the look I got?
-Jack Woods; Ronks, Pa.
I've used my college degrees to build a remodeling business over the last 20 years, and that involves communication and perspective as much as 2x4s and drywall. Although some homeowners have basic skills, many folk have no clue as to the simplest practical tasks. I recently found myself wondering with some distress where my daughters will find husbands who can actually do something. I don't want to be fixing their cars when I'm 80 years old.
-Alan Miller; Seattle, Wash.
As a third-year law student, I often wonder how anyone could trade working in fields or a shop for confined work in a cubicle.
-Paul Goppelt; Gonzales, La.
I have an M.S. in mathematics and I own and operate a repair shop. The increasing complexity of consumer machines, cars especially, is a very important point. Customers spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to fix something like gradually dimming interior lights (that are draining the battery because of malfunctioning sensors), when they could have been designed to be simpler, a little less "cool."
-Hendrik Mills; Post Falls, Idaho
Light to darkness
Mindy Belz wonders how the press and our administration can cope with the Muslim teaching that lying is acceptable if the cause is just and you get the desired result ("Lie to me," July 18). Some in the press and the Democratic Party should know exactly how to handle such tactics because they practice the same behavior all the time. They are finally getting some of their own medicine.
-David Wright; Burlington, N.C.
At last the spotlight has been put on the "law" of taqiyya. Hopefully this will send those who are unaware of Islam's evil teachings in search of facts.
-Anne White; Gainesville, Ga.
Honor our heroes
I really enjoy WORLD, but I was disappointed that the item about Ed McMahon's passing (Human Race, July 18) did not mention his heroic war record. He flew in two wars as a Marine pilot and retired as a full colonel. We need to honor our heroes.
-Ed Kaup; Lindale, Texas
Thank you to Amy Henry for her heart-touching insight and transparency in "Eleventh-hour faith" (July 18). I suspect that I too will spend the rest of my life learning to lean on and be satisfied with the Giver, rather than just His gifts.
-Joel Holt; Somerset, Ohio
Stay tuned-or not
The review of The Philanthropist ("Doing good," July 18) was fine; the show is not. It portrays a wealthy do-gooder bribing his way through the Hollywoodized developing world. He concludes his adventure by having sex with the village doctor. Perhaps in an upcoming episode he will return with condoms, HIV serum, and maybe some more Band-Aids.
-Dan DeGroat; Mineola, Texas
Megan Basham is mistaken about My Sister's Keeper ("A spare life," July 18). It had a solid story, solid acting, and a realistic ending. True, the movie presented no conclusion to the issues, but I believe that was the point. It presented all sides of the issue, then let the audience chew on them. My wife, my son, and I saw it twice and were discussing this movie for a couple of weeks afterward.
-Richard Edwards; Mount Vernon, Texas
I wanted to take gracious issue with Arsenio Orteza's aside that Michael "Jackson's revolution began with his 1982 album Thriller" ("The king is dead," July 18). The Jackson 5 were brought up in the throes of the '60s and churned out the hits until the revolution Michael helped start climaxed with Off the Wall in 1979 and then Thriller in 1982.
-Joe Little; New York, N.Y.
I greatly appreciated "Be shrill" (July 4). I am a regular Rush Limbaugh listener and he is, as Andrée Seu described him, "one who speaks as a free man." He is not afraid to tell the truth even at the expense of being hated by the news media, Democrats, and fellow Republicans while remaining staunchly pro-life.
-Adena McCaghren; Paso Robles, Calif.
I deeply appreciate WORLD. I read it from cover to cover, and the editorials really make me think. What a welcome change from Newsweek, US News & World Report, and Time, which I gave up years before I began receiving your magazine.
-Joanna Kemper; Compton, Ill.
WORLD magazine has informed, exhorted, instructed, entertained, and motivated us for over 20 years. Our three oldest children have established separate households and either subscribe to or have received gift subscriptions to WORLD. We hope this habit will continue with our four remaining children, and we pass our copy on to a young couple from our church as our pastor did for us 22 years ago.
-Paul & Ruth Robb; Gobles, Mich.
My wife and I think WORLD is an important part of our healthy "diet." We often "fight" over who gets to look first at the latest issue when it arrives in the mailbox. So enriched are we by WORLD that every year, as a very much appreciated Christmas gift, we give to our son and sons-in-law an annual subscription.
-Bruce Fiol; Charlotte, N.C.
WORLD has been a treasured treat for my wife and me since its first issue. Through the years, my children, brothers, parents, and numerous friends have become faithful readers as well.
-Anderson Funke; Abbeville, S.C.
We regularly read WORLD and exclaim: "Why didn't we see or read about that somewhere else?" After a moment's sad reflection, we remember why: Mainstream journalism increasingly supports Newspeak. Thank you and happy 1,000th issue.
-John & Janet Horst; Woodbine, Md.
As someone who has been involved in biblical and theological research and teaching for over 30 years, I look to WORLD to keep me up-to-date on Christianity and culture, and to provide me with articles and editorials on events and people that tend to be overlooked by other media.
-Charles W. Martin; Sylvania, Ga.
Your series revealing the plans of Zondervan and the International Bible Society for a "gender-neutral" Bible translation was very helpful in alerting millions of Christians to the wolves within the gates. And through your gift subscription program, God used your good journalism from a biblical perspective to lead my sister and her son to Christ.
-Lewis Toms; Charlotte, N.C.
As we try to guide our four children through a world that looks very different from the world in which we grew up, we have been very grateful for WORLD. We rely on it as one source to help our kids understand popular opinion, classroom philosophies, and mainstream media that bombard them with a worldview apart from a sovereign God.
-Dana & Kim Young; Thompson, N.D.
A large Apple Store on New York's 5th Avenue is between 58th and 59th Streets ("Fantasy Islands," Aug. 1, 2009, p. 65).