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Good news

It's so good to hear some good news for a change ("Profiles in effective compassion," Sept. 2/9). I know a ­ little of what it feels like to be lost when, instead, God intends for us to have a goal, hope, and a viable purpose. So thank you for the heart-warming articles about those helping and making a difference. Thank God that Christians are such givers.
-Eileen Booth; Glendale, Ariz.

Where's the help?

The statement that Rachel's House does not accept sex offenders ("Home improvement," Sept. 2/9) leaped off the page at me. In trying to find a Christian residential treatment center for a young sex offender recently, I looked all over the United States and found only one. Unfortunately, that young man is worse off today than when he went in. Where is the Christian response to this seemingly rampant problem?
-Jim Craig; Richland Center, Wis.

With a sigh

I read about the Manoomin project ("Wild rice and wild kids," Sept 2/9) with a sigh. This account of effective compassion for a program with a Native American spiritual thrust was odd coming from a Christian publication. We have been battling Native American curses and spirit dances for quite a while now and the battle is fierce and deadly. Food is not spirit, tobacco is not a blessing, and prophecy in the name of shamanism is not prophecy.
-Norm Peterson; Trade Lake, Wis.

A good year

Many times I have felt judged because some of my kids are in public school, and WORLD has consistently criticized public schools. But I really appreciated the quote from the principal of the Briarwood Christian School in Alabama, that "Christian education is a mandate for all believers, but the particular vehicle by which it's delivered isn't always so clear" ("Monday morning Rx," Sept. 2/9). God commands us to teach His ways to our children, and it can be done even when they are in a public school. And thanks for challenging us all to pray for one another. It's going to be a good year.
-Angela Toner; Columbia, Md.

For some, homeschool has become the new form of Pharisaism, part of their identity as a Christian. My husband and I enjoy homeschool because we value the time we have with our children and recognize they will be grown in a flash. But if biblical arguments can be made for private, public, and homeschool, shouldn't school choice be the result of conscientious and diligent prayer?
-Annemarie Welnick; San Diego, Calif.

As a public-school guidance counselor, I know that most Christian children in public schools are unable or unwilling to show the light that is within, and do not wish to leave the impression that we should be glib about exposing our young children to the unprofitable habits and information extant in public schools. But how do children educated in Christian schools and at home reach other children with the gospel? Children operating in a purely Christian world have a gaping hole in their educations.
-Wendy Farley; Montague, Mass.

Seu-sown thoughts

Andrée Seu mentioned that her son went to prison and that she considers the event positive ("The sower sows the seed," Sept. 2/9). Prison can be an immensely positive thing, ripe with potential, the rain that will wake the planted seeds. At 24 years of age, my incarceration was the most devastating thing imaginable. Now, five years later I am in a federal prison and it is the best thing that ever happened to me besides salvation. It is a direct response to the prayers of my parents.
-Raymond J. Ufford; Big Spring, Texas

I'm sitting on my porch swing, reading and savoring the warmth of the last day of August. After 23 years of motherhood, there have been times when the thought of a free moment like this made the prospect of an empty nest appealing. No sooner do I figure out that motherhood is my life, and I love it, than I realize that my babies are growing up. I wish I had figured it out sooner but am very thankful for Andrée Seu's encouraging words.
-Shelley Kardos; Newport, Wash.

Thank you to Seu for another poignant column. I invested myself in a neighbor, praying, hoping, praying, loving, and spending lots of time ­ listening and caring. Recently I've started to distrust everything she ever told me as facts started surfacing. The whole situation has left me muddled. Wasn't I called to her so that she could be saved out of all of this? I finally admitted that I was angry with God and a bit confused. Then I remembered the Bible I had given her and the passages I had underlined. I read Seu's column and my faith was strengthened in the God who hears our prayers and intends so much more than instant gratification.
-Mary Flickner; Mansfield, Texas

The good old days

When I was a kid I once asked my mom, "When do you think Jesus will come back?" Her answer was, "When the world gets too sinful." No one even thought to consider a belligerent Iranian government willing to nuke Tel Aviv (The Buzz, Sept. 2/9).
-Ken Evans; Pottsville, Ark.

WORLD detailed plans by Iran's president to create a "crisis" on Aug. 22 to celebrate the night flight of Muhammad to the "farthest mosque." The mistake may have been we expected something nuclear. In the same issue, you also related the fact that eight suspected ­ terrorists appeared before the British courts on Aug. 22 for their involvement in a plot to use liquid explosives to blow up three or four passenger airplanes over the Atlantic.
-Gardner C. Koch; Rock Hill, S.C.

Superior parenting

Regarding "Overprivileged kids" (Sept. 2/9): About 10 years ago I noticed that even some Christian parents were under the impression that their children were immune to failure, mostly due to superior parenting. Failures were blamed on friends, coaches, teachers, and schools. Parents shifted focus from training in discipline and discernment to contriving successes. When children do fail, parents and teachers seem to overreact. As David was "a man after God's own heart" and repented, it seems that recognizing one's own ability to sin is directly related to real character growth.
-Cathy Cameron; Chappell Hill, Texas

Out of mind

"Nap time" (Aug. 26) addressed our nation's attitude toward terrorism. Joel Belz's observations seem to fit the old adage: "Out of sight, out of mind." We are failing to deal with a situation that sooner or later will come into view.
-Paul E. Taylor; Vineland, N.J.

Rod of anger

Your article on spanking ended noting that parents who "use the rod unbiblically, in anger, may create problems . . . if biblical discipline is banned" ("Rod rules," Aug. 5). Yet Numbers relates that the Lord's anger "burned" against Israel and so He struck them with a plague. An angry parent or a reluctant parent should ensure that each offense results in an appropriate punishment, and neither multiply it by two nor divide it by two.
-Jeremiah Judson; Friendswood, Texas

New candles

Thank you for the article on "How Christianity is changing China" (June 24). Believers there have for a century suffered persecution and martyrdom; has God been preparing them for some special role? Marvin Olasky mentioned 100 million as the number of Chinese Christians; the center of gravity of global Christianity has already changed. The global South is attracting the attention of many Christian observers as leaders there attempt to establish biblical counterparts to theologically bankrupt Western institutions, such as Anglicanism. But these changes will be dwarfed when Chinese Christians emerge from their confines. Depending on the speed of political change in China, that may happen in this generation. They are already looking to join hands with their brethren in the developing world rather than the West. As the candles of the Western churches sputter out, God has been raising up their replacement.
-Chris Morris; Jenkintown, Pa.


Judy Guenseth of Galesburg, Ill., wrote the lead letter in the Sept. 16 Mailbag; Claudia L. Porpiglia of Apopka, Fla., wrote the third letter.