Prophet of Christian Unity

Today, May 25, 2014, marks the 25th anniversary of the passing of W. Carl Ketcherside of St. Louis, Missouri at the age of 81. I knew him for a few years in person as an adult, but I "met" him through his writings a quarter-century before that, as a young man about 14, growing up in Limestone County in North Alabama. My father, Bennie Lee Fudge, regularly received a wide variety of religious … [Read more...]

WHAT ABOUT HALLOWEEN?

"Last year some people in my church hosted a Halloween party," writes a gracEmail reader. "When I got there I was very uncomfortable with the decorations, which included pictures of witches, ghosts and demons. I stayed about 30 minutes then made an excuse and left. People tell me this is harmless fun. Am I making too much of this?" * * * The truth is that very devout Christians hold a variety of … [Read more...]

GRACE–THANKS–FULL CIRCLE

  This week we USAmericans celebrate Thanksgiving Day, arguably our favorite national holiday. This traditional harvest festival traces its roots to 1621 when the English settlers in Massachusetts Colony celebrated an abundant harvest with a four-day banquet and invited the Wampanoag Native People to join them as their guests. For the next 320 years, motivated by custom, spiritual instinct … [Read more...]

THANKSGIVING 2009

This Thursday, November 26, 2009, is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. This year, I particularly give thanks to God for salvation now and forever, and also, here on earth . . . For a 65th birthday this past Summer, for good health in so very many aspects and for God's continued enablement despite a few challenges otherwise; For Sara Faye, devoted wife of 42 years and mother of … [Read more...]

IN REMEMBRANCE

On this Monday, May 25, 2009, Americans will celebrate Memorial Day (originally Decoration Day), by remembering all who have given their lives in the military service of our country. Estimates of war-deaths vary, but one source reports 1,321,000 American fatalities from 1775-2009, nearly half that number during the Civil War alone. Many more persons have been grievously injured, and millions of … [Read more...]

GOD’S FLAG STILL THERE

This Monday, May 31, 2010 is Memorial Day here in the United States of America. Regardless of our antipathy to any particular conflict or even to war in general, on this national day of remembrance we honor the sacrifices of the fallen, the injured, and the families of them all. On Monday, patriotic music will fill the air. Some songs will highlight our country's natural beauty, others the virtues … [Read more...]

TAX-TIME, GOD & CAESAR

"In view of governmental waste and funding of some projects which I consider immoral," someone asks, "can a Christian properly protest by refusing to pay income taxes on April 15?" (which is annual income tax day in the USA.) * * * Most thoughtful tax-payers probably share your frustration from time to time, but the biblical command is too clear to avoid. "Render to all what is due them," writes … [Read more...]

IS AMERICA GOD’S NATION? Independence Day

A gracEmail subscriber asks whether the United States is God's nation in any special sense, and whether Americans as such can claim God's Old Testament promises to Israel as his covenant people. * * * Americans are not God's people in any special sense, although the United States inherited a semi-Christian culture from its European founders and it includes many Christians today. The much-quoted … [Read more...]

JULY 4, 2009

This unusually lengthy gracEmail is political rather than spiritual (although it contains some spiritual allusions). This Saturday is Independence Day here in the USA, marking the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Because of the Declaration's significance, and because of its elevated formal language, I thought it might be interesting to restate it in simple modern … [Read more...]