News From Terre Haute, Indiana


May 5, 2012

THE JOY LADY: A few last words that should be taken to heart

TERRE HAUTE — My husband and I rarely argue. The more we live together, the more we agree with each other, and we have found that arguing just isn’t worth the effort. However, occasionally, I will irritate him or he will annoy me, and we launch ourselves into the middle of a tensely worded marital adjustment session. What keeps us flinging words at each other is, regardless of who is right, we both end up wanting the same thing: the last word.

Oh, don’t we love the last word? Ann Landers must have loved the last word. At a Washington, D.C., reception, she was approached by an overbearing senator. Without a formal introduction, the senator said, “So, you’re Ann Landers, are you? Say something funny.” So, she did. “So, you’re a senator, are you? Tell me a lie!” What a great last word!

President Calvin Coolidge was known to be a man of few words. One dinner guest, well aware of the president’s inclination to silence, told him, “Mr. President, I have made a bet that I can get more than two words out of you.” Coolidge’s even more clever reply was, “You lose.” One of the best last words ever!

In 1st Samuel 15, King Saul heard that the Lord was going to destroy a nation that had harmed the Israelites. God’s instructions to Saul were clear: Destroy everything — leave nothing. However, Saul and his army saved the best and fattest sheep and cattle and spared the life of the wicked King Agag.

This did not make the Lord happy! He grieved that he had made Saul king because Saul had not carried out his instructions. To make matters worse, Saul set out to make a monument in his own honor and tried to lie to Samuel about it. Samuel then asked Saul, “Why did you not obey the Lord? Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” I wonder what would have become of Saul if he had heeded those last words of Samuel, “To obey is better than sacrifice.”  But Saul did not listen to the last words of Samuel, and Saul’s reign and his life ended in disgrace.

Speaking of last words, Jesus’ last words to us are recorded in Acts 1:8. “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” I wonder what will become of us if we do not heed those words, “You will be my witnesses.” In order to understand what being a witness is, we need to remember some other words of Jesus found in John 13:34-35: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are more disciples, if you love one another.”

Wow! Those are last words we should take to heart.

Verna Davis, speaker and writer, can be reached at


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Kim Kardashian Hits Up Valentino Show in Paris World's Tallest Water Slide: See It for Yourself Four Kids, Two Adults Shot Dead Near Houston Connecticut Boy Dies Inside Parked Car Argentina to Face Germany in World Cup Final Police: Prostitute Accused in Overdose Death Israeli Offensive Escalates in Gaza Attack Fans Dying to Be Near Jazz Greats Service Held for 200 Whose Bodies Went Unclaimed APNewsBreak: Different Attackers in Benghazi? Raw: Obama Shoots Pool in Denver Robots Gearing Up for Their Own 'World Cup' "Hotwives" Spoofs Reality TV Raw: Rocket Explodes Over Israeli Wedding Raw: 10-year Sentence for Ex-New Orleans Mayor Dodgers Found Partly Responsible in Fan Beating Obama Talks Economy, Slams Republicans Froome Crashes Out on Bumpy 5th Tour Stage Weaver Reprises Ripley Role for 'Alien' Game Dozens Gain Citizenship As Debate Continues
NDN Video
2014 Emmy Nominees: 8 Snub Shockers Watch Kelly Ripa Get Soaked! 'Game of Thrones' Leads 66th Emmy Awards Nominations 'Referee' Hands Out Yellow Cards for Social Faux Pas in NYC 7 Infamous Sports Blowouts Argentina tops Holland in World Cup semifinals Emma Watson Is Va-Va-Voom in Valentino News flush: Japanese toilet exhibition making a splash Emmy Nominations: What to Watch For Photographic 'Proof' That LeBron Is Leaving Miami - @TheBuzzeronFOX Elephant Pool Party at The Oregon Zoo Must-See! Berry and Fallon Form Human Hamster Wheel Pilot buys pizzas for travelers delayed by storm Klose nets record, Germany rout Brazil 7-1 'Purrmanently Sad Cat' Looks Adorably Sad All the Time Pharrell 'humbled' by success of mega-hit 'Happy' Day After: Brazil Reeling in WC Loss Jennifer Lawrence Facepalms Emma Watson Athletes Bare All for ESPN Magazine's Body Issue Raw: Brazil Fans Leaving Stadium Before Half

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010