Open Letter To My Friend

We all make bad choices. We all make mistakes. You are not the only one.

The choices you are making are affecting your family and friends in a negative way. You may not even know that we are aware of some of the choices you have been making. You may not care.

You have burned bridges with the people who care about you. You have pulled away from your friendships and relationships. Your friends and family now need to guard their hearts around you.

We hope for the best but see the worst. We have watched you from a distance. We have seen your Facebook posts. We have heard the rumors. We know the lies.

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To the friend fighting addiction, there is hope for recovery.

drug abuse “But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” (Romans 6:17-18)

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To the friend having an affair, there is restoration from adultery. 

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“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Mark 10:9)

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To the friend giving in to depression, there is joy over the horizon.

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“…Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5) 

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To the friend who is always angry, there is forgiveness that will heal your wounds.

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“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13) “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)

Forgiveness

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There are many people who care about you, who love you, who pray for you, and who want to see your life restored!

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If you are my friend and you feel like this letter is written about you, please know that the letter was written with a few different people in mind (not just one particular person). It was written as a collaborative effort with one of my friends. There is a particular friend that both of us know and are concerned about. We have been praying fervently for this friend. However, both of us have other friends who are struggling as well and who we also pray fervently for. We wanted to write out our concerns and feelings without adding to the problems our friends are facing. We felt that this would be the best way of doing that since it does not single any one person out. And because we know that everyone has at least one friend or family member that they are concerned about.

[All images found by searching Google Images.]

As 2013 Ends…

Here is our Christmas Letter for this year!

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Dear Family and Friends,

As you all know, we moved to New Mexico in December 2012. We found a home and moved in just in time for Christmas. We closed on our house in January. In February, we became members of Central Baptist Church. It is a much larger church than what we are used too but we connected with the people in our Sunday School class and there are many programs, activities, and ministries that have allowed us to feel at home there. By summer, we all had adjusted to our new home and with autumn came busy schedules. Throughout the year, we have met amazing friends and are grateful that God has given us family away from home so quickly!

Shane has finally completed his training to become a Flight Engineer. It was a long journey but he is now enjoying his career more so than he did before. As a part of a flight crew, he travels more frequently but he has already traveled to some amazing places in the past few months!

Alysa is currently not working outside of the home but has been keeping busy with many activities. She is in the church choir and helps in the church library. She is also a women’s core-group leader with Community Bible Study and she teaches a Crafting Through the Bible class for the homeschooling co-op kids. She is still a Juice Plus+ Distributor as well.

Kendal and Audrey will be turning 7 and 5 in January. Both girls are also involved with many activities. They are in Awana clubs, Kid’s Central, Community Bible Study, and they play soccer on local teams. We started out the year homeschooling but after a lot of prayer and wise counsel, we decided to put Kendal in a public elementary school. So far she is enjoying the classroom setting but we are still in the process of getting her caught up academically. Please keep her in prayer as she adjusts to the new routine. Audrey is now able to have more one on one time with Alysa and Shane which has been a blessing.

Noriko has been a part of our family since August! She is an exchange student from Okinawa, Japan (which is where we were stationed for 4 years). She will be staying with us for the entire school year. She is attending the local high school, participates in dance classes at a local studio, and attends youth group at church. The girls absolutely love their new big sister! Shane and I have enjoyed having her here.

This year, we are planning to spend Christmas in Iowa with Shane’s family and New Year’s in Michigan with some of Alysa’s family. We are also hoping to take a trip to Delaware to see Alysa’s family sometime before the school year ends so that we can take Noriko to places like Washington DC. Please pray that we can work out the timing, finances, and Shane’s leave approval so that we can take these vacations!

As 2013 comes to a close, we have been reflecting on the changes our family has experienced throughout the past year. It has been said that “Change is always in your favor when you are walking with the Lord.“ Overall, we have had a very good year!

May “the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace” this Christmas season and new year! (Numbers 6:24-26)

Love, Shane, Alysa, Kendal, Audrey, & Noriko