Three Squares

Dearest Rachel – I think I may have quoted it at one Thanksgiving meal or another, but I’d been told of a mealtime grace I understood to be attributed to Oliver Cromwell, but which turns out to be from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “Many have food but no appetite, while others have appetite but noContinue reading “Three Squares”

It Happens Every February

Dearest Rachel – You might or might not remember it, but Bill Engvall used to do a routine about how we humans (news folk and weather forecasters in particular) have the shortest memories, particularly when it comes to recurring events, like the change in seasons. In Texas, where he came from, it was guaranteed that,Continue reading “It Happens Every February”

So… How Did We Get Here?

Dearest Rachel – I feel like you might want to know about how things went yesterday afternoon, considering I’d mentioned it the other day, particularly regarding how I had to adjust my schedule in order to attend. And yet… there’s not all that much to tell you about it. I’d been asked by email aContinue reading “So… How Did We Get Here?”

from Rachel: I Write to You

In the table below list the reasons John is writing to each group: Dear Children– “their sins have been forgiven – “they have known the Father” Fathers– “they have known Him Who is from the beginning” Young men – “they have overcome the evil one– “they are strong– “the Word of God lives in them”Continue reading “from Rachel: I Write to You”

Not Nearly So Nimble

Dearest Rachel – One of the things that might be considered an advantage of being suddenly single is that I can make snap decisions, without consultation. No “I think I’d like to do this or that, but what do you think, honey?” I can just go and do whatever it is, and not worry aboutContinue reading “Not Nearly So Nimble”

Gym Opinions

Dearest Rachel – Unlike you, with your collection so vast that I now have three separate quilts commemorating you and your opinions, friendships and travels, I never put a whole lot of thought into my T-shirts. I had very few things I was suitably passionate about to wear them on my chest, and I despisedContinue reading “Gym Opinions”

The Malevolence of God

Dearest Rachel – It would be understandable for you to think that my biggest issue with God would be the fact that He took you from me. After all, your absence has left a hole in my life (and Daniel’s, and really, everyone you ever touched, to a certain extent) that has yet to beContinue reading “The Malevolence of God”


Dearest Rachel – I’m sure you’re wondering about the title; all those apocalyptic movies and television shows (World War Z, the Walking Dead) all came out years ago, during your lifetime. These can’t still be popular to the point where I’d comment on them, are they? Especially since it was you who were into thoseContinue reading “Zombies”

Out Of Nowhere

Dearest Rachel – The thing about writing to you as opposed to a face-to-face conversation is that – apart from the unfortunate fact that I’m the only one doing the ‘talking’ here, of course – is that there’s a sort of unspoken requirement for everything to mesh into a coherent whole. An actual conversation canContinue reading “Out Of Nowhere”

Reluctant Checkup

Dearest Rachel – Today’s main event was not my idea. You remember full well that I was never much for annual physicals. Unless there was something noticeably wrong with me (and to be sure, there is, as the moment – more on that later, assuming it’s resolved), all that a visit to the doctor wouldContinue reading “Reluctant Checkup”

Inception Levels

Dearest Rachel – I need to start off by saying how much I appreciate it whenever you decide to visit me in my dreams, no matter how uncanny the situation might be, and how it makes me question things. That being said, I’m not gonna lie; this was Inception levels of weird, despite its plausiblyContinue reading “Inception Levels”

from Rachel: An Old, New Command

Without thinking too hard, what part of 1 John 2:7-8 stuck out to you the most and why? “I suppose the contradiction he sets up: it’s not new, it’s old, but it’s new, too. It leaves me puzzling, ‘Say what?!?’” What is the “new” command Jesus gave his disciples in John 13:34? “‘Love one another.Continue reading “from Rachel: An Old, New Command”

No Thought ~ Action!

Dearest Rachel – I’m going to start off this letter describing the events of last night, with an admission that may seem completely unrelated to those events; I have never read any of the works of Yukio Mishima. I know that your parents had a copy of The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with theContinue reading “No Thought ~ Action!”

Lost in Transit

Dearest Rachel – Since I’m well aware that I’m both quite impatient and forgetful, I try to use those flaws of mine in tandem to offset each other. For any long-term plan or project – especially one with a set date (like travel plans) or requiring others’ contributions – I do my part, set theContinue reading “Lost in Transit”

Just Enough That It Hurts

Dearest Rachel – They say that a single hour of working out every week can make a big difference in one’s life, health-wise. That may or may not be true – I do see the results after each visit, even if they are only temporary in effect – but they also suggest that the processContinue reading “Just Enough That It Hurts”

Sacred Secrets?

Dearest Rachel – Far be it from me to tell the all-knowing God His own business; He obviously know why He chooses to do as He does, and that His choices are correct. But since He hasn’t let me in on the ‘why’ in most cases, I can’t help but wonder from time to timeContinue reading “Sacred Secrets?”

If A Tree Falls…

Dearest Rachel – It was a little after five in the morning when it happened. I was in the middle of a dream about a young husband (not me, obviously) trying to raise a ridiculous amount of money – some $800 million or so – for his wife’s medical expenses, and succeeding to the tuneContinue reading “If A Tree Falls…”

Three Bags Full

Dearest Rachel – So, as you know, this morning is garbage day, and we had a lot to roll out last night. Between Ellen dropping off her recyclables last week and nearly a month’s worth of trash bags that Kris had put together and set in the garage (where I promptly and consistently forgot aboutContinue reading “Three Bags Full”

Soup Over Art

Dearest Rachel – I never got to take you to see it, but I discovered it before your time; in Lily Tomlin’s one-woman comedic opus The Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe, Tomlin’s main persona (and framing device), a bag lady named Trudy, tells us about these aliens who have contacted her. On theContinue reading “Soup Over Art”

An Antidote for Anger

Dearest Rachel – It can be funny sometimes when the pastoral team (many of whom are younger than I, and thus should have considerably less difficulty in appearing ‘hip’ or ‘trendy’) admit to the same sins they’re talking about, in an effort to be relatable. Not that they aren’t guilty of such sins, or thatContinue reading “An Antidote for Anger”

from Rachel: We Know That We Know

Read 1 John 2:3-6, and let’s lay these concepts out as plainly as possible. Verse 3: as a characteristic of knowing God, we will naturally obey his “commands”. Verse 5: God’s love is truly made complete (or perfected) in the person who obeys His “word”. It’s difficult to know here if “God’s love” means HisContinue reading “from Rachel: We Know That We Know”

A Week of Weight Loss Whiplash

Dearest Rachel – Not that I’m anywhere close to my goal, but I figure I might as well fill you in on how things are going with regard to my attempts to get myself in shape. I feel a little apologetic about never making a point of doing this when you were around, but it’sContinue reading “A Week of Weight Loss Whiplash”

Scraping By Without Patience

Dearest Rachel – Life is something of a whipsaw between having seemingly all the time in the world and suddenly running out, and having to transition from dawdling to running full pelt in the blink of an eye. What happened to you was an extreme example, of course, but it’s a situation we all dealContinue reading “Scraping By Without Patience”

Dreams of Older Women

Dearest Rachel – While I may know better than to do the stock cliché of “middle-aged man creeps on girls young enough to be his daughter as part of his midlife crisis,” I have to confess that I’ve never been much for women my age. Scrolling through the dating website is looking at a catalogueContinue reading “Dreams of Older Women”

Empty-Headed Morning

Dearest Rachel – After all but nodding off in front of the family room television last night at around ten, I did the sensible thing, and headed off to bed. So it shouldn’t come as any great surprise when I find myself awake at six, long before my routine kicks in and I prepare toContinue reading “Empty-Headed Morning”

And [We] Still Go On

They buried My body, and they thought I’d goneBut I am the Dance, and I still go on. “Lord of the Dance,” by Sydney Carter (1963) Dearest Rachel – So, apropos of absolutely nothing, this is what I woke up to this morning. No dreams (that I can remember), no philosophical musings. Just this song,Continue reading “And [We] Still Go On”

Random Acts in Washington

Dearest Rachel – As you know, some mornings I have some pretty wild and elaborate dreams, and others I don’t. Since yesterday was one of those ‘no dream’ nights, it seems only fair that I found myself in a surprisingly involved one this morning. Indeed, this one was elaborate enough that it felt like aContinue reading “Random Acts in Washington”

Wants vs Needs

Dearest Rachel – This morning found me awake before five, for reasons unknown. While I could stand to shed a layer of bedding, and perhaps use the facilities, nothing seemed so urgent as to demand my consciousness at such a ridiculous hour. Still, once awake (however reluctantly), I felt that I needed to take careContinue reading “Wants vs Needs”

from Rachel: An Advocate

Read 1 John 2:1-2. In what endearing way does John address the reader? My “dear children”. What specific reason does he give for writing at the top of verse 1? “So his readers will not sin.” [John] takes “not sinning” out of the realm of legalism and mindlessly trying to keep the rules for theContinue reading “from Rachel: An Advocate”

Where Did I Expect to Be?

Dearest Rachel – I don’t have to keep track of the days; I just keep writing to you, and the computer does it for me. Just a few days ago, it sent me a notification, congratulating me on another anniversary on this site. Given what spurred me to start this, I’m not sure that IContinue reading “Where Did I Expect to Be?”

I Still Need to Get Out More

Dearest Rachel – I hear the occasional comment about how unusual our weather is this winter, but I can’t say that I’ve seen any real evidence of it. For instance, I’ve heard that last month has the least amount of sunlight for January since we’ve been keeping track of that; I have no idea howContinue reading “I Still Need to Get Out More”

Irritating Dreams

Dearest Rachel – You know, honey, not all bad dreams are nightmares. You don’t spend all your unconscious moments being chased by a monster or a psychopath (which I guess is the same thing in humanoid form), or otherwise in the midst of mortal terror from one danger or another. Nor do you necessarily findContinue reading “Irritating Dreams”

Bad Apples

Dearest Rachel – In the game of Cards Against Humanity that we used to enjoy playing together in large groups, there is a black card that reads “________: Awesome in theory, kind of a mess in practice,” to which the players submit their best white cards with one outlandish concept or another. The point, ofContinue reading “Bad Apples”