Everything Looks Different in the Morning – But What About the Afternoon?

Dearest Rachel – One of the things they talked about at Grief Share last night was the difference between actively pursuing suicide, and the simple desire to no longer live. The latter is an attitude of “if you were to take me, too, God, I wouldn’t mind,” and is a fairly normal reaction to theContinue reading “Everything Looks Different in the Morning – But What About the Afternoon?”

And So It Begins

Dearest Rachel – So here we are. I never thought I’d be doing this again; maybe that’s part of the point. Maybe this partly some form of karmic punishment for not having taking you on enough dates back when I had a chance. It’s true that when you’re married – especially for a lengthy periodContinue reading “And So It Begins”

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?”

Unsettled

Dearest Rachel – It’s a challenging thing to try to navigate the ocean that is the dating pool. I chatted with a woman who seemed frustrated that the men she was meeting didn’t seem to know what they wanted out of a woman. Since I didn’t see her as a potential match (and therefore wasContinue reading “Unsettled”

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”

The Day You Said ‘Yes’

Dearest Rachel – It’s hard to remember sometimes, but there was a time when the idea of ‘us’ wasn’t a foregone conclusion. On the other hand, as of this day, thirty years ago, it was, for all intents and purposes. It was but a question of when. After all, you had spent time with usContinue reading “The Day You Said ‘Yes’”

Wondering if the Chains Will Hold

Dearest Rachel – When I was a little kid, I really wasn’t much for roller coasters. The idea of being spun around and inverted at those dizzying speeds, suspended at heights that, were I to fall from, would undoubtedly kill me (and that was merely the drop itself; never mind the metal mechanisms and trackContinue reading “Wondering if the Chains Will Hold”

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”

from Rachel: Seeing Life from God’s View

“April 28 and 30” “If I were to try and give a metaphor to life, I think I would go with it being a journey. To me, this isn’t entirely worldly and unbiblical, there is A Pilgrims Progress, and, more importantly, Jesus talks of the narrow road to heaven as opposed to the wide roadContinue reading “from Rachel: Seeing Life from God’s View”

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”

Other People’s Problems

Dearest Rachel – As much as she insists that she is not – and has no desire to be – “Megumi,” Erin does have a curious knack for proving my point that ‘it is not right for a man to be alone.’ If I wander around, lost in my own thoughts, before too long, thoseContinue reading “Other People’s Problems”

Self-Indulgence and Survivor’s Guilt

Dearest Rachel – Among the many reasons why I wish you were still here, you could remind me of some of the things we did together back in the day. I have mostly vague recollections, and the occasional sharp image or phrase, but that’s about it. Sometimes, the only way I can remember when somethingContinue reading “Self-Indulgence and Survivor’s Guilt”

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?”

What To Do About VidCon?

Dearest Rachel – So, the news has come down the pike… they’re actually holding VidCon this year. It’s going to be in October this year, rather than June or July, but it’s still happening. I wonder how that’s going to fly with its core audience, which seems to be kids who otherwise ought to beContinue reading “What To Do About VidCon?”

Secular Answers

Dearest Rachel – You might remember the many times that we would talk together about various issues of the day, and what’s up with the younger generation. Part of that had to do with one of my ideas for a YouTube channel – I was hoping to illustrate to a younger audience than ourselves (which,Continue reading “Secular Answers”

If You’re Looking for Devils

Dearest Rachel – When I was a freshman in high school, I think it was our youth group that went to another church where there was a presentation about the evils of rock music. I heard it all there: the ‘fact’ that the Eagles’ Hotel California album featured Anton LeVay head of the church ofContinue reading “If You’re Looking for Devils”

Trying to Take My Own Advice

Dearest Rachel – I’m sure by now that you’ve noticed a lot of my letters to you seem a little bit disjointed and disorganized. They do tend to bounce around from thought to thought within the alleged confines of the topic I’ve decided to cover in the letter (and even then sometimes it’s hard toContinue reading “Trying to Take My Own Advice”

The Drama Llama

Dearest Rachel – Among the piles of clothing that filled the sunroom once upon a time, there were some Christmas presents that you never got the chance to enjoy. There was the odd item that didn’t arrive in time, since you had ordered them for yourself (it was a standing agreement that if you foundContinue reading “The Drama Llama”

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”

Problems With My Parenting

Dearest Rachel – So the folks have developed this routine of inviting us over almost every Thursday night. It’s really not unlike back in the days when you would be visiting your parents for a week, or those times you would go on women’s retreats, or any other point in which you were away fromContinue reading “Problems With My Parenting”

Dreams of Future Passed

Dearest Rachel – To say that the events of the past few years have upended my plans would be rather a gross understatement. Hey, look, kids, check it out – it’s the latest installment of the adventures of Marvel’s newest superhero, Captain Obvious! Or would he be a DC type of character? I don’t know…Continue reading “Dreams of Future Passed”

Belt Tightening

Dearest Rachel – It’s not something I really feel like checking very often. Mostly because, like most people, I’m not sure I’d like what I find out. But I know where I was barely 6 months ago, and I know things have improved since then. So the question is, by how much? So, for theContinue reading “Belt Tightening”

Fear Of Failing Memory

Dearest Rachel – People sometimes tell me I have an impressive memory. And I suppose, for the things I learned in childhood, that’s not far from the mark. I would memorize Bible verses and the like for Awana, and many of them have stayed with me just like some of them actually advertise: “Train upContinue reading “Fear Of Failing Memory”

Twenty-Eight

Dearest Rachel – Twenty-eight years ago today, I came home from work to find you standing in the bathtub, leaking. I think you had expected your water to break with a single large gush, and that wasn’t happening. But regardless, we had to get you over the hospital right away. You insisted on walking –Continue reading “Twenty-Eight”

The Comfort of His Chair

Dearest Rachel – It seems I owe my sister an apology. In fact, I think we both do. The thing is, we were in over our heads in so many different areas of our life. And only now am I trying to work my way through rebuilding some of those areas that so desperately needContinue reading “The Comfort of His Chair”