Walt Russell

The Long Good-bye of Dementia

By Walt Russell Jul. 5, 2011 5:05 p.m. Biblical Exposition, Church Life, Culture, Ethics, Ministry and Leadership, New Testament, Philosophy, Spiritual Formation, Theology

My 83-year-old mother has dementia.  To help me work through the pain of this living death, I recently gave her a gift she was not able to receive: a letter commemorating her 10th anniversary in the nursing home. 

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“Avoid Every Appearance of Evil!” Toppling a Faulty Moral Pillar

By Walt Russell May. 13, 2011 9:32 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Culture, New Testament

1 Thessalonians 5:22:

“Abstain from all appearances of evil” (KJV)

“Abstain from every form of evil” (ESV)

I confess that whenever I encounter this verse, I picture old, withered saints shaking their bony fingers in younger believers’ faces and exhorting them about some questionable behavior. In this recurring scenario, the godly, mature Christians find it necessary to exhort the younger saints, not because they have done something that is evil, but simply because they behaved in a manner that could have the appearance of being evil. 

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How I Learned to Love God's Word: Some Graveside Reflections

By Walt Russell Apr. 13, 2011 8:38 p.m. Biblical Exposition, Spiritual Formation

 It was that nightmarish moment that all parents dread deep within their souls. I am staring into the open grave of one of our children. The setting is the cemetery of our family’s hometown in Bolivar, Missouri, where we have just completed the graveside service of our son Christopher. It is an unspeakably painful moment in my life. If I could muster any more tears, I would be uncontrollably weeping as I watch four men struggle to lower a steel vault lid to cover the grave vault holding Christopher’s little white casket. I will see his little smiling face no more. I won’t run my fingers through his beautiful blond hair again. We’ll never snuggle together or touch one another. This is the end. And as I stand there looking into what feels like the abyss, I realize that this could be the most despairing, skeptical, and faithless moment of my life. I feel like I could curse God for emotionally gutting me for the rest of my days. It is as if I am standing beside the deep, dark, bottomless pit of hell.

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