from Rachel: Speaking Truth to Your Issues

What kinds of issues are crowding your thought closet? “friends’ problems, procrastinated chores/house projects, concern for parents, and silly virtual deadlines” Let’s get to know this woman in Mark 5. What was her primary issue (Mark 5:25)? “a bleeding disorder” Which of her descriptions best expresses the result of your issue? “I suppose strained herContinue reading “from Rachel: Speaking Truth to Your Issues”

from Rachel: It’s a Woman’s Prerogative to Change Her Mind

Look at the word mind, and write words that describe the mind of Christ. M (Psalm 8:1; 103:8; Matthew 11:29) – “Majestic, Merciful, Meek/Mild” I (Luke 23:4; Titus 2:7) – “Innocent, Integrity” N (Philippians 4:8; Revelation 19:16; Psalm 34:18) – “Noble, Name (?), Near (?)” D (2 Timothy 1:7; 2:15) – “Disciplined, Discerning” How doesContinue reading “from Rachel: It’s a Woman’s Prerogative to Change Her Mind”

What Can I Do?

Dearest Rachel – So, last night we wrapped up Colossians in our Bible study. Joel had everybody go over what each of us thought was the most individually significant part of the last four lessons. For my part, what struck me was the last section of the third chapter, where Paul talks about various responsibilitiesContinue reading “What Can I Do?”

Hug Ambassador

Dearest Rachel – You would be proud of him, honey; he really is your boy at times like these. When we were at Bible study on Wednesday night, Pastor Joel was using his recent vacation to illustrate a point or two – not sure specifically as to when and what it was, probably that lastContinue reading “Hug Ambassador”

490 Grains of Dust

Dearest Rachel – For all of Pastor Scott’s assertions that he’s never met any alleged skeptic who, when confronted with the challenge to ‘name one’ of the supposed many contradictions in the Bible, hasn’t backed down, there are a number of issues one can deal with when going through scripture. One of these is puttingContinue reading “490 Grains of Dust”

from Rachel: My Thought Closet

Write down the “I am” statements you say when you’re beating yourself up. I am “so lazy.” I am “such a procrastinator.” I am “so silly/foolish/stupid/idiotic/weird.” What words best describe how you feel when you beat yourself up? “defeated, incapable, incompetent” How in control are you over your thoughts? “infrequently” Are you satisfied with yourContinue reading “from Rachel: My Thought Closet”

from Rachel: God All-Knowing and All-Powerful / Letter to Kerstin

How often have you wondered if God knows what’s going on in your life? Your heart? Does He see what happens in your family? Can He have any idea about the struggles you face? Tell me your thoughts. “Wow! Those questions are a foreign concept to me. Each sounds completely ludicrous to my ears.” GodContinue reading “from Rachel: God All-Knowing and All-Powerful / Letter to Kerstin”

from Rachel: God Almighty

Take a minute to remember some of the characteristics you know about God. I’ll get you started. Finish the sentence, God is… faithful, loving, “(omni-)kind, (omni-)caring, (omni-)merciful, (omni-)gracious, (omni-)glorious, (etc.) magnificent, awesome, indescribable, uncontainable, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, providing, protecting, generous, righteous, perfect, alpha and omega, holy, friend… “but also jealous, just, wrathful, vengeful.” Read [the]Continue reading “from Rachel: God Almighty”

Amid the Ruins of the Pyramid

Dearest Rachel – Today’s sermon was about being friends with Jesus, using John the Baptist as an example. Interestingly, the main passage centered on the point when John was beginning to doubt as to whether Jesus was Who He said He was, even going so far as to send his own disciples to ask Him,Continue reading “Amid the Ruins of the Pyramid”

Little Dollops of Catch-Up

Dearest Rachel – I’ve been amazed some days about how often I’m able to come up with a topic – or two, or three! – to talk to you about. It’s gotten to the point where, if I can’t come up with anything to relate, I get a little concerned. This is one of thoseContinue reading “Little Dollops of Catch-Up”

A Path Worth Following

Dearest Rachel – Consider this something of a post script to my last letter, because it had a number of questions that were left unanswered. Unfortunately, I don’t really think I last night’s event did much to address what ‘respect’ truly is, and why I would want it. Still, the pastoral team did mention thingsContinue reading “A Path Worth Following”

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Dearest Rachel – I suppose this evening, I’m going to ‘find out what it means to me.’ Which I could really stand to do, as I do not understand the concept. I should be giving you a little context, here. Tonight is the annual men’s night at church, when they bring in a speaker toContinue reading “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”

Getting A Jump On Notes

Dearest Rachel – There are times when I think I may have been part of a rollout test… but only in retrospect, of course. When I was in second grade (and an almost obnoxiously precocious kid), I would see my Dad heading off to serve as a leader in the church’s Awana club, and insistContinue reading “Getting A Jump On Notes”

from Rachel: Defeating Temptation

Question to consider: Who could I ask to be a spiritual partner to help me defeat a persistent temptation by praying for me? “May 19 “If I really want to be sure to be held accountable and be prayed for, I tell Susie and ask her for prayer. Unfortunately, since I don’t like to feelContinue reading “from Rachel: Defeating Temptation”

from Rachel: Transformed by Truth

Question to consider: What has God already told me to do in His Word that I haven’t started doing yet? “May 16 (late Sunday night) “(Sure enough, ACen kept me busy all through Saturday and Sunday) “What God has been trying to drive home to me in BSF, just as in chapter 24, is theContinue reading “from Rachel: Transformed by Truth”

The Question of Elihu

Dearest Rachel – There are certain passages and characters in the Bible whose existence give me pause. I talked with you a few times when I was trying to put together scripts for a possible YouTube channel about the problems I always had with Manassah, who seemed to defy the wisdom of the Proverbs byContinue reading “The Question of Elihu”

from Rachel: Developing Your Friendship with God

“May 5, 2004 “I will try to remember to pray often, ‘Dear Jesus, more than anything else, I want to get to know you intimately.’” “I need to remember that it is very important to grow closer to God, even if my main reason to want to want to is self-preservation – I would ratherContinue reading “from Rachel: Developing Your Friendship with God”

Qualified to Suffer

Dearest Rachel – It seems like a very long time ago since I last felt this way, but there was a time when I thought life was good… too good. We were happy together, both as a couple and as a family. We had plans to enjoy this or that, and whatever problems we wereContinue reading “Qualified to Suffer”

The Thirty-First of the Month

Dearest Rachel – I never really gave much thought to the thirty-first of the month. Yes, certain things occurred on the last day of the month – bills to pay, income transferred, that sort of thing that was more or less routine – but nothing that could be considered upsetting in any way. But theseContinue reading “The Thirty-First of the Month”

Losing Focus

Dearest Rachel – I know how pointless it is to do so, but I can’t help considering the whys and wherefores behind your departure. Now, I know full well that it may just be a case of “things happen,” like Jesus’ reference to the tower of Siloam. And yet, it’s human nature to try andContinue reading “Losing Focus”

from Rachel: What Drives Your Life?

“I am chagrined to admit that my driving force would generally be the pursuit of pleasure. The second would be necessity. The latter kicks in when the former is overcome by: hunger, fear (of scoldings etc.) pride (not wanting to accept the image and all the labels I earn), nagging etc.” “I’m not sure whatContinue reading “from Rachel: What Drives Your Life?”

from Rachel: You Are Not an Accident

“April 21, 2004 “My first thought is that I’m pretty content in my skin. I can’t think of much that I still need to accept. But that sounds prideful, so let’s go deeper. I suppose as far as appearance, I love what God has given me, but I don’t like any changes – I pluckContinue reading “from Rachel: You Are Not an Accident”

from Rachel: It All Starts With God

“April 20, 2004 “Let me begin by saying that this is my second time through this book. However, this time I intend to make every effort to read one chapter a day as intended (not cram on the afternoon of the meeting). How can I remind myself today that life is really about living forContinue reading “from Rachel: It All Starts With God”

Daily Bread

Dearest Rachel – You might remember that one of my favorite Biblical characters is a man who is only mentioned once, wrote a single chapter of Proverbs… and we know pretty much nothing else about him except his name, Agur. That, and the fact that he gave one of the most brutally honest self-evaluations ofContinue reading “Daily Bread”

Moving On Up

Dearest Rachel – Yes, we’re moving on up, to the upstairs of the split-level section of the house. Unlike the Jeffersons’ theme, I think it’s the south side of our house – I was never particularly good at orientation, and determining direction based on a compass: whatever direction I was facing, I always felt likeContinue reading “Moving On Up”

from Rachel: False Accusations

Can you think of a time when you were falsely accused of something? “Yes and no (Something I totally didn’t do, only by Jokun, doing on purpose with hurtful motives, something I did carelessly, lots of times)” What was the outcome? “(hiccup cured) With Sally we would eventually reconcile, the one time with Suzy, itContinue reading “from Rachel: False Accusations”

from Rachel: Sermon Notes

“Some of us live like we have no control over our time and our schedules.” Psalm 90 – “Written by Moses – prince – shepherd – spokesperson/prophet – leader of people” Our time is “limited”, therefore we need to “limit” what we do with our time “‘From everlasting to everlasting, You are God’ (90:26)” “‘TeachContinue reading “from Rachel: Sermon Notes”

from Rachel: A Meditation on Psalm 77

I will remember my song in the night;I will meditate with my heart,And my spirit ponders: I will remember the deeds of the Lord;I will certainly remember Your wonders of old.I will meditate on all Your work,And on Your deeds with thanksgiving. Psalm 77:6,11,12, New American Standard Bible (NASB) (v.6 “I will remember my song in the night”) What song will you rememberContinue reading “from Rachel: A Meditation on Psalm 77”

Left Behind Along the Way

Dearest Rachel – So, last night was the weekly online Bible study with Pastor Joel. And before he begins recording, he always asks a sort of ‘icebreaker’ question. I have to admit, sometimes it strikes me as a little odd, since most of us are regular attendees – both of the study and at churchContinue reading “Left Behind Along the Way”

from Rachel: Spiritual Birthday

“I did so (eleven) years before my biggest sin. I know He forgave my past, present and future sins when I asked Jesus to come into me heart April 22, 1984.” “Thank You God for loving me. Thank You for always making me feel like the apple of Your eye – special and precious. ThankContinue reading “from Rachel: Spiritual Birthday”

from Rachel: Fact/Fate/Faith Labels

My fact label: I am a “brain surgery survivor” My fate label: I am “scarred, vision-impaired, weaker in both body and mind” My faith label: I am “healed, restored, blessed, protected, loved” My fact label bolsters my faith. “I would like to think I loved God and valued and appreciated life sufficiently for my firstContinue reading “from Rachel: Fact/Fate/Faith Labels”

from Rachel: A Different Perspective

How can you add God’ truth to your truth today? “This to do list is too long. But God is able to give me maximum efficiency if I’ll let Him and be willing to let do” (let go?) “of some items.” “I beg to differ” about circumstances being too much for Him. “Perhaps [they are]Continue reading “from Rachel: A Different Perspective”