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One life at a time

Thank you for reminding us to get involved in people's lives and to build relationships that will last into eternity (&quotNo Little People III," Dec. 14/21). Isn't it exciting to dream of what our country will look like if all Christians put this into practice and each of us reaches one person? - Jenny Forner, Allendale, Mich.

Where are the women?

Your article &quotNo Little People III" was missing an important component of &quotLittle People" and that is &quotLittle Women." Surely our Lord uses women as vessels of his work as well. Where are they this year? - Shelley Sharpe, Novelty, Ohio

God-given responsibilities

&quotDiminished returns" (Nov. 23), about three missing missionaries and their hopeful families, caused me to wonder about certain things that are part of a missionary's life. When Jesus said to &quotcount the cost" (Luke 14:26-33), I think he meant more than what people usually get out of it. When one goes to the mission field and leaves a family without a husband and father, he is neglecting one God-given responsibility to take on another. We need to realize that when you serve your family, friends, and neighbors, you are serving the Lord. - Gene Anderson, Muskegon, Mich.

Self-love to self-denial

Who would dispute George Grant's assertion, Dec. 14/21, that Dickens is &quotarguably the most influential novelist in the English language" and a notable social critic as well? However, the implication that Dickens writes from a Christian perspective finds little support in any writings of Dickens that I'm familiar with. Scrooge redeems himself by a turnabout in attitude and behavior, a change of heart from self-love to social awareness. That is different from Christian self-denial for Christ's sake. - Arthur Davies, Holland, Mich.

High praise

Hooray! Book critic George Grant has given his &quotBest Book of '96" kudos to a Paul Johnson tome! As a PJ fan I am thrilled, and will read it with even more gusto. Who cares if Mr. Grant hews carefully to his narrow Gerstner-DeMar-North-Frame line for much of the rest of his Top 10 list? I've got PJ. - Jim Congdon, Topeka, Kan.

Belli on the offensive

I enjoyed reading Gary Thomas's Dec. 28/Jan. 4, &quotThe message of the dying." However, in the spirit of truth I must make one small correction to the editorial. Melvin Belli was a flamboyant plaintiff's personal-injury lawyer--not a defense attorney. - John H. Shean, Bloomington, Ind.

The sleaze factor

&quotA fish rots from the head first." This old saying was applied more than once by liberal media during the Reagan years with regard to spurious ethics charges. The point was that the president was responsible for the alleged questionable activities of his appointees and political associates. Bimbo eruptions. Whitewater. Travelgate. Filegate. And now, what shall we call the scandal of the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton administration in seeking illegal foreign campaign contributions at the Lippo Group? Indeed, a fish rots from the head first. Let's hear it for the &quotsleaze factor." - James A. Smith, Kansas City, Mo.

Applause encore

Apropos--but late--of the Aug. 31 Soul Food article opposed to applause in church: If there is applause in church should not the performers join the applause--to the glory of God and no other? - Carol Weeber, Oddanchatram, Tamil Nadu, India

Peace through strength

I was dismayed by the negative response to the Nov. 16 Sports Notes brief on Christian professional football players, &quotTestimony of tough tacklers." As a soldier, I don't prepare to just go out and rough people up; I prepare to kill people. Like most soldiers, I abhor conflict and have always viewed the greatest contribution we make as the deterrence offered by our superior strength and training. I see Christ as the ultimate warrior: He was able to command the armies of heaven and yet despite infinite strength, he chose to lay down his life. Christian football players and boxers are showing that men of great strength can compete aggressively and yet love one another. I have a feeling that this means a lot more to the kids in the barrios and ghettos of the United States than the thoughts of some Christian liberal pontificating about utopian societies where there are no despots or threats to personal liberty. - Todd Fredricks, Vincent, Ohio