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{}   *Love on Paper* 


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Love on Paper

by Rubel Shelly

There is something of a movement starting to pick up momentum across the United States. I'm skeptical! "Movements" come and go. They tend to be faddish. They are often shallow. But this one shows real promise.

Churches across the country are offering workshops to teach people how to write love letters. Lutherans, Seventh-day Adventists, Catholics, and Baptists have participated. From California to Florida, Texas to Alaska, people enroll.

An initiator of this movement is a 57-year-old man who found his late father's banged-up tackle box while cleaning out his garage. It dawned on him that the tangled, rusty fishing lures in that box were all he had left from his dad's hands. And he was suddenly angry at his father for not leaving him something more personal and substantive from his heart. Then he wondered if he was doing any better by his own children. If he dropped dead, what would he leave them?

Greg Vaughn resolved that day to leave his children letters documenting joys he had shared with them. His hopes for their future. His pride in their achievements. His faith in them as persons. From that event and Vaughn's experience of sharing it with some friends, "Letters From Dad" was born.

Writing a real letter - as opposed to text messaging or just signing a birthday card - is hard. It requires focus and concentration. It calls for a degree of creative energy to communicate clearly. And it almost always pulls up feelings as well as mere facts and memories. That's why it is so hard for men to write one.

Females would benefit from putting things on paper too. But we males seem to have a tougher time with feelings. We struggle to put emotional content into conversations with people who mean the most to us. So an occasional "Love ya!" in passing or "Love, Bob" at the bottom of a greeting card is all some wives, children, or parents ever get from their husbands, dads, and sons.

So here's an idea for you: Whatever else you give your mate or offspring or parents this Christmas, write them a love letter to go with it. There's still time to write them. Sleep on them. Revise them and make them better. Just put some of your heart on paper to them. Tell her how important she is to you. Let him know you are proud of him. Thank her for what she does to make your life better.

Forget literary flourish. Put some love on paper. Offer it shamelessly. Continue the practice next year - on an anniversary, birthday, or special event. Write one out of the blue. The people you love both need and deserve to know it.

Rubel Shelly

Write Rubel and let him know what you thought of his story!

(c) 2005 Rubel Shelly. Used by permission.

Visit: to read more of Rubel's writing.

Rubel Shelly has preached for the Woodmont Hills Church of Christ in Nashville since 1978. During that time, he has also taught at David Lipscomb University and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He is the author of more than 20 books, including several which have been translated into languages such as Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, Italian, French, and Russian. He is married to the former Myra Shappley, and they are the parents of three children: Mrs. David (Michelle) Arms, Tim, and Tom.


Thought For The Day:

"Guilt is concerned with the past. Worry is concerned about the future. Contentment enjoys the present."

Verse for the Day:

"Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be content in whatever state I am."--Philippians 4:11

Kid's Thought For The Day:

"There is no good reason why clothes have to match."

Parent's Thought For The Day

"The phrase 'Working Mother' is redundant." --Jane Sellman

Coach's Thought For The Day

"Others may have more ability than you. They may be stronger, taller, quicker, or have a higher vertical, but not one should be your superior in respect to team spirit, loyalty, enthusiasm, determination, or character." -- John Wooden

Writer's Thought For The Day:

"What lasts in the reader's mind is not the phrase but the effect the phrase created: laughter, tears, pain, joy. If the phrase is not affecting the reader, what's it doing there? Make it do its job or cut it without mercy or remorse." --Isaac Asimov

Deep Thought For The Day:

"I had to go on two diets at the same time because one diet wasn't giving me enough food."


Video Imagery --Michael's Video Production Business

Dear Michael,

I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the beautiful video you made for me! It was so special to see both of my parents in tears as they watched their children grow up in pictures before their eyes! I loved the way you made Estania's part set aside from the rest--that was the part that really got them! The music was beautiful. My mom kept blubbering, "What song is that?" I don't know how you did such a beautiful job with the video in such a short time. I really appreciate your doing it so quickly. You have a wonderful gift, and I thank God that you are using it to create such sentimental memories. I hope that I can find my niche like that in an area that I love. Your video gave us one of our most lasting Christmas memories! I hope yours was filled with moments to be treasured forever!
Silverhill, AL

Let me make you a video from your photos!
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