March 8 After living in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina for seven years, my husband brought me to Houston kicking and screaming. As a small-town girl, I felt overwhelmed at the vastness of this city. Five years later I am truly thankful to be here. It’s not a utopia, but it is a place where opportunity to share the gospel abounds.
—Carla D. Newton, Katy, Texas
My dad loved Houston. He moved there right after the war, married my mom, and settled in a close-knit neighborhood on the outskirts. He helped install the first air conditioning systems in many of the downtown buildings. Once I complained that the cranes atop the skyscrapers marred the Houston skyline. His gentle rebuke has stayed with me for 40 years: “Those cranes, my dear, mean bread and butter for lots of families.”
—Cheryl Sones Irish, North Augusta, S.C.
Learning about the lives of seven people who live in Houston was an effective way to show its diversity. But I think it is already America’s great global city.
—Elliot Spicer, Newtown, Pa.
March 8 Stephen Mansfield was much too kind in his assessment of President Obama. He does not strike me as a “man in progress.” The president lacks integrity and continues to act disingenuously toward the nation he vowed to lead and protect. We need to be understanding and pray for him, but until he is repentant in word and deed we should view him with our eyes wide open.
—Helen Rumeau, Sheridan, Ind.
Mansfield is trying to convince us that Obama’s faith is a Christian faith, but it does not seem to be Christ-centered.
—Robert Severson, Millersville, Pa.
March 8 Seeing Elisabeth Elliot Gren’s name on the cover felt like receiving news about a much-loved family member. Her no-nonsense child-rearing advice and her testimony of submission to the Word of God came to me daily on the radio like a phone call from Mom. I still hear her voice when I read 2 Corinthians 4.
—Michele Morin, Warren, Maine
I wept to see Elliot Gren’s aged face. It had never occurred to me that she might grow old. But I was delighted to see the light and love of God still shining in her eyes.
—Rebecca Berghoff, Yakima, Wash.
This issue arrived the day after the Academy Awards, and the contrast between Elisabeth Elliot Gren and the Hollywood set was stark. Lacking a glitzy gown, plastic surgery, and fear of aging, she looks genuinely joyful and prepared to meet her Maker.
—Cecilia Merz, Boise, Idaho
In my frequent struggle with aging, the pictures of Elliot Gren remind me that this is what we are supposed to look like after a life graciously lived in His service.
—Laura Lynn, Bunnell, Fla.
March 8 Sophia Lee assured us that House of Cards is riveting and fascinating, and your reviews are usually reliable, so imagine my surprise when I pulled up a few episodes. Was she so “bleary-eyed” that she failed to notice the barrage of f-bombs, the use of Christ’s name as an expletive, or the graphic sexuality? I am appalled.
—Angel Parrish, Ocala, Fla.
Netflix calls House of Cards an “original” series, but it is original only by the dubious standards of the TV industry. Also on Netflix is a 1990-95 British series of the same name that is not only the primary source of current series plots and characters but also for specific dialogue as well.
—David Lutkemeier, Vero Beach, Fla.
March 8 I’m so grateful that you addressed the differences between the Benson case and the Munoz case here in Texas. Pro-life advocates here protested outside the courtroom and posted nasty comments about Mr. Munoz on social media. That lacked grace.
—Tim Laitinen, Arlington, Texas
March 8 Like Joel Belz, I too have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I’ve been tempted to indulge in pity parties as the disease hindered treasured activities such as hiking and writing by hand. I’ve resented wasted time, and complained and cried out, “Why?” But it has also been a faith-builder. I’m learning to let go of my ego-inflating schedule and equip others to do what I’d been doing. It is like God is telling me to use this condition to glorify His name.
—Douglas Weeks, Syracuse, N.Y.
March 8 I went through the same situation with Pennsylvania State University. After a 20-year career, an administrator reprimanded me for saying, “Merry Christmas,” and for having two small Scriptures on my private office wall and a closed Bible on my desk. This reprimand led to my “layoff” in 2002. The university can make up “Statements on Intolerance,” but its officials simply don’t like Christian speech. Thank you for exposing this hypocrisy and censorship.
—Gregory Burns, Ridgway, Pa.
Feb. 22 Wages are important, but other factors are whether workers know the company is concerned about their safety, welfare, opportunities, and advancement. Minimum wage laws just get in the way of employers balancing productivity, compensation, and the need to keep workers.
—Terry Schmoe, Halfway, Ore.
I had never looked at minimum wage as “the least a boss can pay while maintaining some level of self-respect.” If we want the federal government to stay out of the market as much as possible, we, the consumer, have to demand that companies act justly.
—Katherine Powers, Campbell, Australia
Feb. 22 Regarding the inability of the Obamacare system to process appeals, I loved the phrase, “The computer system won’t yet allow federal workers. …” Who’s in charge anyway: the men or the computers? Have we built monsters that we can’t control? Obviously it would be better to scrap the whole thing.
—Dick Muller, Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Feb. 22 Of course the “areas with few traditional Christians” look better in a tally of marriages and divorces. Large percentages of people in those areas don’t get married; they cohabit. Such skewed data cannot legitimately malign traditional Christians or marriage itself.
—Nancy J. Rice, Culpeper, Va.
Feb. 22 I so much appreciated reading about Shelley Clay and the Papillon Enterprise in Haiti. The best way to help people out of poverty is to give them a hand up, to train them, but allow them the dignity of doing it themselves. We need more of this kind of thinking.
—Kathleen Barrett, Gaston, Ind.
Jan. 25 The fall of Mindy Belz’s giant tree really is an example of what we all go through: It might end abruptly, but it all ends.
—Parker Benson, Winder, Ga.
Dec. 14 Thank you for making me aware of novelist Michael O’Brien. He is indeed wonderful. His books bring me closer to the Lord and make me think.
—Shirley Kolb, Monticello, Ill.
Submitted by Teri Brown
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