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Do you have a question about how Christianity can be applied in your daily life?  Read some questions and answers from RLC's column in the Pembroke Observer and feel free to ask your own questions!  This Blog will give you a sample of some past columns.



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19
Sick and Tired
May 19, 2016

Dear SAM- A weekly column in the Pembroke Daily Observer newspaper.

Dear Sam, my mother, again and still must have her way, her opinions, her expectations met or else she gets cold and hard and sets a horrible tone. When I got back from my brother's wedding (one my mother highly disapproved of for religious reasons), I just got more and more angry. So I wrote her a letter (included) about how our whole family, including me, is so dysfunctional. We never discuss anything, but boy, can you tell who's unhappy! So I figure someone has to tell the truth about our problems, and it might as well be me. So my question is: should I send this letter even though I know it will make matters worse? I'm tired of putting up with stuff and saying nothing. Can you give me a perspective from a distance? I think I'm too close and too emotional.
Sick and Tired

Dear S and T, being a truth-teller can be dangerous and sometimes even destructive. I think you sensed that and so, good for you, asked for some perspective. So let's just talk about the topic of truth-telling itself, at first without your family's details. Are you embarking on truth-telling as a lifelong process that you will be committing yourself to, or is this just a hit-and-run confrontation to diffuse some tensions? Right away you see the difference between the two. What is your ultimate goal: to learn about and understand your family's interactive history, or to give a quick 1-2 punch to the offending characters? If your hope is to change how you habitually behave in a relationship, it will require some endurance and restraint, some development of wisdom and intuition to know when to do what. You're off to a good start, because you will not be able to do this alone or in the short run, so asking for help with perspective immediately changes the dynamics.
To be more specific about the content of your letter will start to show you how truth-as-process works. First, your letter was too long, intense, blaming and critical. All true facts, but there was no invitation to “discussion”, the very dysfunction you named. What if you (actually) wanted to know what your mom was going through as she sat there all alone, widowed, faced with memories and no one to share them with. What if you described your own tensions about not understanding how you could have helped to bring her comfort? You want her to reveal her real thoughts and feelings, and these will be elicited best when you go first. The trouble with truth is that it is not the same as fact. Truth includes timing, intent, motive, history – a whole lifetime of reality. When we confuse truth with fact, it never really hits the spot. After this time of some reflection, see if you can write that letter again in a more “low-key” tone, expressing real curiosity about your mother and her life's experience. It may take a while for her to believe that you really care about what she is going through, rather than just caring about how things affect you. But go the distance. No matter how she finally responds, you will have become a genuine caring person in the process of this endeavor. You can be sure that God himself will be with and in you to bring healing and salvation to your whole family who he loves and created for blessings.
INSIDE THE ISSUE is authored thru Resurrection Lutheran Church, 250 Quarry Rd, Pembroke. Sunday Worship at 10:30am http://sites.advancedministries.com/ResurrectionLutheranChurch

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