The Final 'FAX of Life'

For the Week of December 21, 2015
by Rubel Shelly

The project called “The FAX of Life” began October 16, 1995, with 32 names and a fax program on a computer provided by Doc and Maggie Merryman. (Yes, Virginia, it really did start as a fax!) It grew and grew and grew. It evolved and evolved and evolved. The fax became an e-mail delivery system handled by Bonnie Cribbs, and the recipients grew into a few thousand.

Twenty years is a few over 1,000 essays on a wide variety of topics. The focus was always Christ – his person, his will, his kingdom. Maybe a few of them helped you. And thanks for tolerating the ones that weren’t of any direct application or interest to you. Thanks even more for sharing an occasional piece with someone in your church, circle of friends, or family.

“FAX of Life” articles were repurposed in church bulletins, as Facebook posts, and for op-ed pieces in newspapers. Readers gave feedback. Some wanted to affirm or compliment, and others had different points of view to share. A large and unstructured network of readers formed.

Twenty years is enough. So, with gratitude to God and to you, this is the final piece that will go out as “The FAX of Life.”

Thank you, God, for the idea – wherever it originated. I’ve never had an original thought, and I honestly don’t recall when and with whom the idea surfaced. But it was a God-idea that grew like a mustard seed to become much larger than anyone on the sending end ever envisioned.

Thank you, readers, for receiving it – quite literally around the world. You became partners in this ministry by reading, sharing, and using in your own ministries of the gospel various ideas that came to you via “The FAX of Life.”

Thanks especially to the Merrymans and to Bonnie. “Doc” has gone to be with his Savior, and Maggie continues to love and serve in a variety of ways. And Bonnie – without whom this project would have been abandoned so long, long ago – has been the quiet and unsung hero! He volunteered to move it from fax to email to Internet posting, has single-handedly managed the electronic mailing list, and has continued pumping it out week after week in a very busy life.

My closing prayer for you is borrowed from Paul: “And now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself” (Acts 20:32 NLT).