March Readers Forum

Puzzle Is Puzzling

I just read the Hidden Wisdom acrostic for the first time. That is, I tried to read the instructions and the clues but the font size was so small I gave up. This seems to be a rather unorthodox use of the crossword puzzle that is a puzzle to me. Why not simply use a standard crossword puzzle that people know how to do? If you insist on using this Bible Acrostic, please make the font larger and the instructions clearer.


Don Davidson

Editor’s response: We appreciate your comment, and we’ve enlarged the instructions type as much as possible within the “box”—which was already expanded from two columns to three. We hope you can read the directions now. As for printing a standard crossword puzzle instead, you can find them in nearly every secular newspaper and in books of puzzles at magazine stands or shelves—but nowhere else on earth will you find Hidden Wisdom puzzles, which have been created for Pulpit Helps for many years by Mark Oshman, whose fulltime job is an evangelistic ministry to Jews in California.

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Curious About Church Steeples

I read the letter in the Readers Forum (December issue) from Mr. William Ferguson regarding church steeples, crosses, Catholics, Southern Baptist Convention and Baptists, and was surely enlightened but would like other input from the ones he mentioned. Also, how about a picture of a steeple with a round ball?

Will be watching for a reply and again must tell you how very much I appreciate Pulpit Helps. I read it from cover to cover and clip, clip, clip.

Ann Faith Davis

Buckeye, AZ

 Editor’s response: Sorry. We don’t have such a picture. In fact, we’ve never seen a steeple like this. If any of our readers has a good picture of a steeple with a round ball, we’d be glad to consider publishing it.

Response to “Why Was Jesus Born in a Barn”

My husband still receives Pulpit Helps as a retired pastor. We just received the December, 2002, issue, which is very interesting.

I would like to respond, from my point of view. Having read the story of Jesus’ birth so many times, in many versions of the Bible, I have also read about what the lodging situation would have been like at that particular time in history. Because of so many people coming to this one place at the same time, the inns were not only crowded, but overcrowded. People were almost wall-to-wall in every room that was available.

Joseph and Mary came, looking for a place to stay, with Mary’s child due at any time. In all my reading and studying, I have come to the conclusion, as a woman, that God was merciful to Mary and Joseph! I have given birth to six children, in the comfort of modern hospitals, with competent doctors and nurses attending. To me, the quietness of the barn, with the warmth of the animals, even though it might have been somewhat drafty, dirty and smelly, would have been much more comforting than a room stacked full of total strangers, who could have been nasty or obnoxious. The barn my father had was unlike those of today, so I know about barns.

Lest we forget, angels, shepherds, and kings were all able to come and worship. How gracious of God, how glorious, to have provided a secluded place for our Savior’s birth!!

Juanita G. O’Tool

Coon Rapids, IA

P.S. My husband, Duane H. O’Tool, is a retired United Methodist pastor, who is not happy with the direction of our church now! Neither am I!

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