Topics You’re Not to Talk About

Dearest Rachel – There are days when you hear me complaining about a lack of topics to talk to you about. Maybe nothing particularly notable happened (or is expected to happen) that day to fill you in on, or I’ve just crammed my head with a few hours of mindless entertainment while the boys hangContinue reading “Topics You’re Not to Talk About”

As Normal as the Sky

Dearest Rachel – For all that is said between us as we walk through Harms Wood, the conversations that I have with Lars are generally like whatever happens proverbially in Vegas; everything is meant to stay there, not to be repeated. But when the topic turns to the relationship you and I had – andContinue reading “As Normal as the Sky”

Talking Myself Down

Dearest Rachel – So. After two months since the last time, I’m on my way back to the local mega church for their monthly singles get together. This time, I’ll actually be able to meet Lisa, the woman who got me set up, both in terms of registering and doing a bit of volunteer workContinue reading “Talking Myself Down”

from Rachel: Speaking Hope to Your Soul

What’s the most significant thing you “recognized” about your self-talk so far? “I hadn’t realized how often I call myself names.” What lie or lies have been the toughest to “refuse?” “Klutz” Which lies have you “relabeled” with truth? Lie: “Klutz” – Truth: “Beloved child of God”Lie: “all three faulty assumptions on page 45” –Continue reading “from Rachel: Speaking Hope to Your Soul”

Calm Amid the Chaos

Dearest Rachel – Since thus far, we really haven’t had the time for shopping, it would seem that merchants have decided to come to us. I mentioned about Junior plugging tattoos yesterday; today, we had a guy aboard the bus, shilling personalized necklaces and rings. I’m not gonna lie, I was briefly tempted to getContinue reading “Calm Amid the Chaos”

By the Waters of Jordan and Galilee

Dearest Rachel – For the third time in my life, I’m here at Yardenit – the banks of the Jordan. Junior asks me if I’m going in, and I respond in the negative.  I’ve already been, after all – there’s no need to be baptized twice.  Indeed, you’ll recall that neither of us had beenContinue reading “By the Waters of Jordan and Galilee”

from Rachel: Fortifying Your Thought Closet

What did Jesus tell his disciples (Matthew 26:41)? Why? “Watch and pray – to avoid falling into temptation” Seriously, do you recognize your temptation trouble spots? “Yes” What are they? “Too much gaming, especially after midnight, but in the daytime and evening as well; too much TV – more that I want to watch thanContinue reading “from Rachel: Fortifying Your Thought Closet”

Itching Ears

Because the time will come when people will not ·listen to [put up with; endure] the ·true [sound; healthy] teaching but will ·find many more [gather around themselves; accumulate] teachers who ·please them [meet their needs/desires] by saying the things ·they want to hear [their ears itch for]. 2 Timothy 4:3, Expanded Bible Dearest RachelContinue reading “Itching Ears”

from Rachel: Made for a Mission

Question to consider: What fears have kept me from fulfilling the mission God made me to accomplish? What keeps me from telling others the Good News? “5/25 “My fears when I consider discussing my faith start with a panicky nervousness that makes my throat feel tight like I may not be able to speak atContinue reading “from Rachel: Made for a Mission”

The Bitter Taste of Flavor-Aid

Dearest Rachel – I mentioned that the story of my conversion is ridiculously unremarkable; in comparison, it seems like almost everyone I know at church has a turnaround moment in their life that is leagues more dramatic than mine. Even you, while brought up in the church so as to have a faith-based anchor inContinue reading “The Bitter Taste of Flavor-Aid”

Aniki no Yuutsu

Dearest Rachel – So, yesterday morning, as part of the Sunday service, our worship pastor, Jansen, was ordained. It’s something of a requirement for pastoral staff and elders (as you well know, since I went through the same theological training in those last few years before your accident, although I wasn’t required to write aContinue reading “Aniki no Yuutsu”

The Shoe Finally Drops

Dearest Rachel – I teased about this the other day, because it was happening almost at the same time I was writing about dealing with another scammer on the dating app. But this one was longer in coming around. In fact, I was wondering if it would even actually happen. But I think I knewContinue reading “The Shoe Finally Drops”

The Pointlessness of it All

Dearest Rachel – It hasn’t been the easiest night for sleeping, and I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe it’s because I allowed myself to fall asleep in the chair yet again – I’ve really got to stop doing that – but considering how short a period of time it was that I slept there, itContinue reading “The Pointlessness of it All”

The Need for More Patience

Dearest Rachel – I really didn’t want to write this letter to you. This feels like airing my dirty laundry – and yes, it’s more “my” than “our,” because it’s gotten considerably worse since you left, and the fact that I don’t know how to deal with it has probably only exacerbated things. But today,Continue reading “The Need for More Patience”

from Rachel: Soul Memoirs

(Note: Honey, this post is taken verbatim from a file found on one of your computers the other day. The file itself dates from October 2011, as you were intent on putting together an explanation of your faith journey in order to reach out to your parents, whose spiritual position you were beginning to haveContinue reading “from Rachel: Soul Memoirs”

Bill, Melinda, and What Constitutes ‘Enough’

Dearest Rachel – Normally, I wouldn’t comment on current events in these letters. What happens in the wider world was of little concern to us even when we both were here; how much less so, now that the world itself is no longer a concern of yours. But I had to pause when I sawContinue reading “Bill, Melinda, and What Constitutes ‘Enough’”

If There Be Aloneness

Dearest Rachel – If there be alonenessLet it befor the pleasure of one’s own company for the striving to understand oneself for the joy of relaxation but most of allLet it beby choice. Mya Anderson (PHS Class of 1988) Roundtable 1986 I have carried this little slice of wisdom, penned by a classmate your ageContinue reading “If There Be Aloneness”

from Rachel: The Importance of Loving Parents

Would you describe yourself as having been filled with the knowledge of God’s love for you? Why or why not? “Yes, I’m sure largely this is easier for me than for some because I grew up with parents who were so grateful to have me and so proud of me and so open about howContinue reading “from Rachel: The Importance of Loving Parents”

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”