from Rachel: The Library in Your Mind

Pour yourself a cup of coffee (ha!) and turn to Psalm 103. What did the psalmist say to his soul in verse 2? “Bless the Lord“Forget none of His benefits” What do you think makes the difference between the memories becoming friends or foes? “Which ones we dwell on, what effect they have on us,Continue reading “from Rachel: The Library in Your Mind”

from Rachel: Surrender

If God is stronger than everything, and He is, then why do so many believers still live in tragic weakness? “Some are more comfortable there, others don’t have because they don’t ask, and still others try but struggle with the ‘trust fall’ of surrendering their power and control for His.” Beside each of these… steps,Continue reading “from Rachel: Surrender”

from Rachel (and family): Why?

“The ‘therefore’ in verse 10 is ‘dia touto,’ which is not the Greek word that refers back to the previous point; it is more like, ‘so, here’s what I’m saying… “Verses 11-13 were probably either the lyrics to an early Church hymn, or a creed the assembly would recite together. “Do I deny following JesusContinue reading “from Rachel (and family): Why?”

from Rachel: Using What God Gave You

Question to consider: How can I make the best use of what God has given me? “5/21 “What am I good at? (I see arguments and weaknesses in every area I think of – am I truly good, or even fair, at anything?). Shortfalls aside, here goes: Organization (when boundaries are clear – e.g., ABCs)Continue reading “from Rachel: Using What God Gave You”

Laying Out a Fleece

Dearest Rachel – Considering all the concerns I’ve voiced about Ruby, you’ll probably find it weird but we still haven’t made arrangements to at least meet face-to-face and determine once and for all whether we’re right for each other. That’s the trouble with that kind of distance; even though we’re still in the same county,Continue reading “Laying Out a Fleece”

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”

from Rachel: How We Grow

Question to consider: What is one area where I need to stop thinking my way and start thinking God’s way? “May 14 (or 15, because it’s 1:00 a.m.) “ I can’t think of a specific area right now.” “(Later) I suppose the area (which I really hate to admit and don’t want to surrender) wouldContinue reading “from Rachel: How We Grow”

The Imperative of ‘Be Still’

Dearest Rachel – For all the suggestions I made in my last letter about how to keep oneself sane and on an even keel throughout a situation such as mine, I mentioned reading and keeping up with the news, but I neglected to mention reading the most important thing of all. Maybe it’s so muchContinue reading “The Imperative of ‘Be Still’”

from Rachel: Cultivating Community

“May 11 “I think as a group and as a church we are doing pretty well at having ‘real community.’ For my part, I need to work harder on being honest – I only like to dig so deep into myself, sharing everything is too much to ask. I also need to be humble inContinue reading “from Rachel: Cultivating Community”

from Rachel: What Matters Most

“I feel the need to disagree with the author to a certain extent. I agree that relationships are very important and should be a top priority. I agree that in every situation the best way to treat everyone is with love. However I am a very social creature already and do lots of things thatContinue reading “from Rachel: What Matters Most”

Good Men and Rules

Good men don’t need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many. The Doctor (Matt Smith), Doctor Who S06E07, “A Good Man Goes to War” Dearest Rachel – In the days when your beloved Doctor was “all teeth and curls,” as a previous incarnation snidely put it, he wouldContinue reading “Good Men and Rules”

But Father, By Your Grace

Dearest Rachel – I almost feel the need to apologize for upstaging you today; this being Sunday, I would be posting (and I have posted) some of your notes from the Purpose-Driven Life journal you were working on in 2004. But this is likely to overshadow it, I’m afraid. Of course, why shouldn’t it? MarathonContinue reading “But Father, By Your Grace”

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”

Catching Up And Running Ahead

Dearest Rachel – For all the Bible studies you went through several times a year… I know you were rarely one to keep up with the every day assignments. I remember you sprawled out on the bed or the couch in the family room, catching up on the daily questions the evening prior to theContinue reading “Catching Up And Running Ahead”

from Rachel: What Makes God Smile?

“The smile of God is the goal of my life. “I need to trust God more whenever I have a chance to indulge in a fun leisure activity but I know it’s really not the best time for it and I ought to wait for a better time (Usually either because there are chores IContinue reading “from Rachel: What Makes God Smile?”

The Point of the Tree

Dearest Rachel – I have a lot of questions for God. And this is despite the fact that I know that I have no more right to ask them that Job did. Actually, probably considerably less right, given that even God himself referred to him as ‘righteous,’ which most likely could not be applied toContinue reading “The Point of the Tree”

from Rachel: Planned For God’s Pleasure

“4/24 “I could and should start doing house work as if I were doing it for Jesus. Especially the jobs I don’t like and generally procrastinate; washing dishes, hanging up clothes, and sorting and cleaning up messy piles.” Dearest Rachel – Interesting to see this entry now, just as I’d been learning about ‘secondary losses’Continue reading “from Rachel: Planned For God’s Pleasure”

Worshiping Golden Calves

Dearest Rachel – There’s a bit of Sunday school jokelore, wherein a young boy is asked about his favorite story from the Bible. “I like the part where Moses breaks all the Ten Commandments!” is the enthusiastic response. Well, he’s not exactly wrong. File this under r/technicallythetruth. Yes, honey, this is the sermon this weekend,Continue reading “Worshiping Golden Calves”

The Lord Never Spoke to Me (part three – Chris)

Dearest Rachel – The most amazing thing about my relationship with you was the fact that you had never really been interested in boys prior to me writing to you after graduating from college. Granted, this is getting slightly ahead of myself, but this is a situation that I know is unique and remarkable. Oh,Continue reading “The Lord Never Spoke to Me (part three – Chris)”

The Lord Never Spoke to Me (part two – Major)

Dearest Rachel – So yesterday, I mentioned how I rarely ever consulted with God about my plans for the future – or at least, I don’t really recall having engaged in in deep, prayerful discussions with Him on the subject. I know I never heard His voice on any major decision or turning point inContinue reading “The Lord Never Spoke to Me (part two – Major)”

The Lord Never Spoke to Me (part one – Introduction)

Dearest Rachel – Looking back over a number of these entries, it’s somewhat embarrassing to see how often everything is peppered with first-person pronouns. “I,” “me,” “my,” and the like are spread all over the place, when this is supposed to be about you. And yet, just about everything I know about you comes fromContinue reading “The Lord Never Spoke to Me (part one – Introduction)”