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It was with amusement I read Barb Coddington’s recent letter, including its rather unusual proposal (i.e., reading news of myself performing “good works”). She’s got my ear; is she offering a reward?

In one sense, she is right. Charity and good works are the distinguishing marks of Christians and others claiming to love God. At the risk of tooting my own horn but without going into detail, I have tried to help people, both spiritually and materially, for years, including overseas missions work. Enough about that.

I believe God desires me to share my Christian faith, and if necessary defend it against challenges from increasingly hostile secularists and unbelievers. Sadly, there will always be cynics and condescending skeptics. Compared to people of faith, including true Christians, what real good have any of them done for mankind? There’s really no comparison.



If I heard God’s call to perform public acts of charity, such as helping the poor or homeless, I would want to do so with the right motive ” not for the approval of men, including write-ups in the local paper. If I should engage in such ministry in this area in the future, which I’m not at all opposed to, Ms. Coddington won’t be reading about it, and her driving curiosity will go unfulfilled ” alas!

“Therefore, when doing charitable deeds, do not call attention to yourself, as the hypocrites do, that they may have glory from men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do charitable deeds, do not let your left hand know what your right hand does … that they may be done secretly, and your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you openly.” (Jesus, in Matthew 6:2-4)



Yes, Ms. Coddington, actions do speak louder than words ” except when those words are the eternal words of life and truth, which save us from our sin and sure destruction. If you care about your soul and where you will spend eternity, take careful heed to them. If not, just keep living the way you are now.

John Herbst

Battlement Mesa

“Now also we would not have you ignorant, brethren, about those who fall asleep, that you may not grieve as the rest do who have no hope…”

” I Thessalonians 4:13

For those who believe there is no hope in prayer, let me share with you Hilda’s story. A short time ago, a former student of mine, with whom I had become reacquainted when her daughter joined us on an educational student tour of Greece and Italy one summer, let us know that a mutual friend had unexpectedly slipped into a coma. Her husband Gary had found her unconscious ” no heart attack, no stroke, no apparent reason ” and she was rushed to St. Mary’s. I immediately circulated the request through our church e-mail prayer chain, but word soon came that an EEG revealed no brain activity, and we were urged to pray for a miracle.

Her husband informed us that their children and Hilda’s sisters had gathered, and that after 10 days in the coma, her living will was going to take the painful decision out of their hands.

Then at our church prayer meeting on Wednesday, a family friend recounted this story from earlier in the day by Hilda’s pastor:

He was in Hilda’s hospital room, reading aloud to her from Psalm 118:14-18, which says in part: “The Lord is my strength and song … I shall not die, but live … The Lord has disciplined me severely, but He has not given me over to death.” The pastor looked up, and Hilda was looking back at him.

A couple of days later, on the birthday that she shares with George Washington, Gary sent word that Hilda was nonverbally responding to questions, acknowledging flowers and birthday cards, and breathing on her own.

To paraphrase an old country-Christmas classic: “You may say there’s no such thing as prayer power, but as for me and Gary (and multitudes of others), we believe!”

Jack Jabbour

New Castle


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