ACCEPT FROM ONE WE TRUST

THE THIRTEENTH DAY OF SEPTEMBER IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN. I recently received an email from a lady named Darlene, whom I did not know, stating that my friend Wayne had urged her to tell me about a special situation and to request that I mention it in gracEmail. Harry Robert Fox, 94, a long-time missionary to Japan, now in a care facility, had written what he … [Read more...]

A MESSAGE SIGNED WITH BLOOD

THE TWENTIETH DAY OF FEBRUARY IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN Last Sunday, the jihadist group calling itself ISIS (The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) martyred 21 young Egyptian Christians working in Libya, one of Egypt's four next-door neighbor states. Ramez Atallah, a leader in gospel outreach worldwide, is general director of the Bible Society of Egypt. Within days of … [Read more...]

LIFE’S SUMMATION

Those born since about 1960 will likely think it strange, but I frequently find myself browsing through the obituaries these days while reading the morning newspaper. That can take a while in my town, where the Houston Chronicle sometimes devotes three or four pages to this section. There are several reasons for my interest, none of them morbid in the least. I was born in 1944 and find it … [Read more...]

PASSING REMARKS

I normally don't read all of the daily newspaper but the obituaries fascinate me. The word "obituary" is the English-language version of the Latin word obituarius and means simply a report of death (obitus). This final earthly report provides grieving loved ones an opportunity to commemorate the deceased person and to state something they consider significant about his or her life. Obituaries also … [Read more...]

CREMATION

A gracEmail reader in Atlanta asks whether cremation is inconsistent with any biblical or Christian principle. * * * Throughout recorded history, human beings have generally disposed of the physical remains of their dead either by burying them or by burning them. If oxidized by fire, corpses turn to ashes. If decomposed in the ground, they return to dust of the earth. Ancient Abraham … [Read more...]

SUICIDE

A gracEmail reader in Florida writes, "I've heard it said that a genuine Christian would never commit suicide and that it is a sin which God does not forgive. Any thoughts?" * * * Scripture tells us that God is the author of life, that each human life is precious, and that humans are not to kill each other in anger, for vengeance or for other personal reasons. Although I know of no biblical … [Read more...]

ONE OF GOD’S ‘LITTLE ONES’

He was one of God's "little ones," I would think. Self-conscious and timid to a fault, James could hardly bring himself to talk face to face. When he did, it was with utmost deference. But what a worker -- and in some of the most tedious, demanding, and low-paying jobs in the law firm. First as file clerk for litigation, responsible for accurately organizing and filing a daily flood of paper. Then … [Read more...]

DEATH OF A CHILD (2)

Two different gracEmail subscribers wrote this week about the deaths of young soldiers. The first asked: "How do you comfort a mom who lost her young Marine son in Iraq? Her eyes are now hollow and empty. She is just trying to get through the days." The second writer inquired: "My 19-year-old nephew was recently killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq. We need to know why we should pray for the safety … [Read more...]

DEATH OF A CHILD (1)

Two different gracEmail subscribers wrote this week about the deaths of young soldiers. The first asked: "How do you comfort a mom who lost her young Marine son in Iraq? Her eyes are now hollow and empty. She is just trying to get through the days." The second writer inquired: "My 19-year-old nephew was recently killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq. We need to know why we should pray for the safety … [Read more...]

WHEN THE UNTHINKABLE HAPPENS

It could have been anyone, but it happened to be Len's* wife. In her mid-thirties, this attractive mother of three looked forward to completing a master's degree in a few more months, fulfilling a dream of many years. She left her morning classes and drove toward her home in suburban Dallas. Her light was green as she approached the intersection and she had no reason to think there was any … [Read more...]