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...]


THE THIRTIETH DAY OF AUGUST IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN. Today's gracEmail is by Sara Faye, whom I thank for allowing me to share it with you. Waxing philosophical today as I fly home to Houston from Tennessee and an emotional weekend of goodbyes. Celebrating the remarkable life of my precious cousin Kathy, whose many friends gathered to reflect on her life of faith … [Read more...]


"Physical with limits. Mortal by creation." Thus, we bear the Image. Mark of our Creator indelibly imprinted. Autograph of Maker certifying product. Personal inspection gained his high approval. He pronounced it "very good." His signature now spoiled and smeared, the image yet remains; reminder of our origin and of his rightful rule. He formed the human first from dirt; from stuff of earth at … [Read more...]


Like most of us in Houston, he came from somewhere else. In his case, home was New York. Now retired, he worked part-time as a sacker at our neighborhood Randall's supermarket, an age-indifferent job which places high school students side by side with white-haired retirees. Dependent largely on tips, they share an abundance of energy, enthusiasm and usually good cheer. "Mr. Bill," everyone … [Read more...]


In two months I turn 63 and almost all the 23,000 days of my life so far have been graced with energy, enthusiasm and good health. Until this point I have been spared the major maladies of cancer, stroke and heart attack, for which I give God thanks. Despite these marvelous blessings I am increasingly experiencing the mortality of this present body, a model neither intended nor equipped to … [Read more...]


This Monday (May 13, 2002) marked a milestone in my life and its passing also removed a millstone of sorts from around my neck. That day was exactly two months before my 58th birthday, which weighed on my mind because 30 years ago my father died exactly two months before he would have turned 58 years old. Call it silly, superstitious or satanic, I have long wondered, with some measure of anxiety, … [Read more...]


If Scripture teaches us anything about ourselves, it surely is that we are mortal creatures totally dependent on God every moment of our lives, which on earth are always temporary and at best all too brief. God made us from elements of earth, to which we eventually return. He animates our clay bodies with his gift of life-breath and makes us whole living beings ("souls" in Hebrew). Every moment's … [Read more...]


I say "reflections of a turtle" because these are a few thoughts that impressed me deeply while I was lying flat on my back for large periods of time during the past two weeks following back surgery. (And, unless something really motivates me, this is the last you will have to hear about that entire experience.) The first morning after surgery I gained a profound appreciation for the simplicity … [Read more...]


It is true that 48 hours earlier I had been deeply anesthetized during surgery. More anesthesia than usual, as it happened, because scar tissue from an earlier epidural prolonged the procedure, and also to offset a sudden increase in blood pressure during surgery. Then there were the post-op pills -- an anti-inflammatory, a muscle relaxant and a narcotic pain reliever. Whatever the reason, sleep … [Read more...]


With the Psalmist I pray, "I will extol Thee, O LORD, for Thou hast lifted me up. O LORD my God, I cried to thee for help, and Thou didst heal me" (Psalm 30:1-2). After nine months of leg pain which increased in frequency and severity whenever I stood or walked, and after a progression of unsuccessful treatments including chiropractic, medication, physical therapy and a steroid injection in the … [Read more...]