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To the Higher Ground singles at BBC:

Hey all! I hope you are enjoying Matthew's book as much as I am. Kelley, I saw your first blog. I was hoping you would get some of your questions out there. After this next set of chapters we have read it seems clear that neither reason nor emotions should rule. They work together. So far, I think Matthew's use of Scripture is excelent. As I read my Bible now I am beginning to see more emotion than ever. I am currently reading Hosea. We have an emotional God! He is not ruled by emotions, but it sure seems that many of his responses to the people/nation he loves comes from strong holy emotions. I think our problem is that our emotions can come from selfishness and other unholy characteristics we carry.

This is an interesting book to process while in Russia. I have felt so many emotions. I have seen beautiful things here, and I have also seen terrible things. With every experience I feel emotions. The last thing I would want to go thru these experiences with no emotions...or even "checked" emotions. I have laughed and I have cried. The strongest emotions I have felt have to do with justice. I believe that God feels many of the things I am feeling only on a greater level and with greater holiness. Imagine the emotions of God we will see at the judgments!

This is a very thought provoking book. I will read on.

Writing from Rybotsky, Russia,
Drew Arliskas


I'm on chapter 7 in this book. I was asked to review this book but didn't realize how powerful this book was gonna be for me. All my life I've been told feelings were bad. I sat at my dad's funeral and watched my mom stifle her tears. In fact, she laughed. And although I don't laugh at inappropriate times, I have come to realize that I don't want to feel things. Today I woke up and I cried. I was thinking about a certain person who has been tending to my son these last several months that we will no longer be seeing and I was sad. Why? I'm not sure. I think it may have to do with the fact that saying goodbye has never been easy for me. I've never had to say goodbye completely. I just stuff my feelings and pretend it doesn't hurt when it is quite painful. And little things like this tend to bring all that up to the surface.

I really appreciate Matthew's views about feelings. I am all the more thankful that scripture is used to back up what he says. I have lost 3 very important people to me in my life - 3 traumas if you will and I'm really tired of people telling me that I need to control my feelings or that my feelings are somehow wrong. Last year I remember writing a blog post about this. I said something to the effect of "if God made me have all these feelings, why are they so bad?" and this book has helped me realize that they are not bad.

I also appreciate how Matthew talks about putting our feelings in a box and how being explosive or using drugs, alcohol, etc to soothe our pain is also putting our feelings in a box. I have a sister and she is the more explosive type. I stuff my feelings so I think I have it more together, but then there are times when I am so confused I just lash out too. I deal with a great deal of anger from my past, but also from people telling me to control my feelings.

The best advice I ever got was from a counselor who told me to "sit with my grief". I think we all need to sit with our feelings and make an appointment with them. Otherwise we will never be healthy. I'm learning so much from this book. I hope to learn more as I read the rest of it.

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