Monday, January 7, 2008

Craig R. Moon (1945-2008)

April 1945 marked two momentous events. Franklin Delano Roosevelt died of a cerebral hemorrhage and my brother Craig was born. He weighed 2 lbs, 9 oz at birth and spent his first three months in an incubator at Ellis Memorial Hospital in Waterloo, Iowa. His survival was truly miraculous. He was the only child of Phyllis (Hoopes) Moon and Dr. Cecil L. Moon, Sr..

Upon graduating from high school he joined the US Navy and served aboard the USS Mansfield during the Vietnam War. Honorably discharged as a first class petty officer after four years, he used his acquired skills in engineering and refrigeration as a basis for a lifetime career with various segments of the appliance industry. Most recently he was a national account manager for Bosch-Siemens.

His avocational interests were mostly athletic including off-road biking, cycling, handball, and skiing, his first love. As current president of IBEX, a leading Chicago ski club, he led the group to many mountain top (and downhill) experiences. An accomplished double black diamond skier he skied nearly every major and minor slope in North America and some in Europe.

He succumbed peacefully to cancer this morning at 1:30 am. He is survived by his wife Lynne, his brother, a nephew Martin Moon, a niece Jennifer Koch, 17 grand nieces and nephews, and three great grand nieces and nephews. Preceding him in death were his parents, his first wife Karla, and his nephew Cecil Moon, III. He is also survived by countless friends and business associates he made so readily over the years.

To those who have prayed earnestly for his recovery we ask for your further prayers that God will direct him over the shoals to his new encounter with the afterlife. A special thank you is directed to those who prayed for a painless peaceful departure.

Craig Richard Moon, rest in peace.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Monday Morning Rant 19

I have enjoyed the benefits of total immersion. I am not referring to that blessed moment when I took on the name of Jesus Christ by the good offices of our elders. I have been at my brother’s bedside in Illinois and met many of his friends who were previously unknown to me. The immersion consisted of exposure to levels of faith with a wider intensity and interpretation than I ever dreamed imaginable.

As a regular attendee at my local congregation I have become used to worshiping with those who are roughly on the same page in doctrine and appreciation of the works of the Master. I had come to believe that most folks felt pretty much the same as I did on the general nature of faith. This is in no way critical of the concern and caring demonstrated towards my brother and his perilous condition by his friends. Many have come a long way to lift his spirits and show support.

I noticed that when I mentioned belief that the many prayers offered on his behalf would soon reveal the will of God for his disposition I noticed a wide variety of reactions. Some just looked at me—open mouthed with incredulity—as though waiting for the punch line. Others kindly shook their heads, gave me that 1000 yard stare and looked for an escape route. One actually accused me of being a preacher. Thanks, but I claim no such office. No one could clearly grasp that I was sincere in my gratitude for those good and faithful friends who had joined me and my family’s requests for supplications to God. The absolute necessity of involving God in his care and keeping seemed somehow distant from their experience.

My brother, with a high level corporate job, has a collection of very sophisticated friends. His room is frequently peopled with witty, responsible individuals, bright and articulate, and delightful conversationalists. They fully understand his condition. They also seem unaware that God, in His majesty, has the power to make the essential changes to restore his body to full health if He so pleases. The concept that healing is for the here and now is alien to them. The fact that I choose to pray for His will in the matter is also alien. My testimony of personal healing is treated as a delusional fantasy.

As a consequence, my prayer calendar is pretty full. Obviously my brother is the most frequent subject of my pleas. I have now added many of those new found acquaintances to the list. I guess when you “know everything” it’s possible to ignore the most important thing.
I notice that the holidays, now gone by, have essentially shuttered the discussion boards. It has been a blessed relief. A good, open discussion of issues facing the body of Saints is healthy but all too often it has disintegrated into factionalism and strife. Maybe we can make a clean start for the New Year.
Probably the most abused word in the language currently is Nazi. Following closely is “cult.” So called journalists bandy it about with little knowledge of what it means and assume the full range of its pejorative implications. If you don’t understand a particular faith and refuse to do any research, it provides a convenient descriptive. Cults are most often easily identified by the presence of a charismatic leader.

We find two highly ranked candidates for president professing a deep commitment to their church which drives the press nuts. The balance of most of the primary competitors is content just to drag Bibles to mandatory Sunday services for show. It’s possible that the upside is a renewed emphasis on religion as important to character and honesty, both allegedly requirements for a successful candidate. Well, duh! Is it possible that faith forms behavior?

I suspect the voter’s interest in the matter stems from the proliferation of TV evangelists who bring a superficial message of salvation accompanied by endless appeals for cash. You have heard the pitch, “love God, get rich, and send money.” I find it very difficult to associate a man wearing a perfectly fitted $1000 suit, sporting a $100 haircut and a complete retinue of back-up singers with viable solutions to answer the questions of wavering faith and life’s spiritual challenges. Their diction is clear but the message is cloudy. You might accuse me of being jealous. I’m not.

Going back to the candidates, I sympathize with their plight. If they advertise their faith, they are damned. If they don’t, they are held suspect. If their religion is not part of the World Council of Churches, they are considered a cult. If they oppose abortion (if you think I should have said “choice” you are reading the wrong blog) and endorse the death penalty they are accused of duplicity. In the end, it seems, the real villain is the reporter.
One last thought, in this endless faith fest, one candidate has been conspicuously ignored. Could it possibly be because he had a Muslim upbringing?

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon