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Dear Shannon,
The Apostle Paul and I share an urge to communicate with those
we love through what we write. Paul's words were inspired and canonized;
I pray that God will guide my heart and hands as I write to you so that
I may "...guard what was committed to [my] trust, avoiding the profane
and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called
knowledge - by professing it, some have strayed concerning the faith" (1
Timothy 6:20-21) and "...shun profane and idle babblings, for they will
increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer.
Hymenaues and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the
truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow
the faith of some" (2 Timothy 2:16-18). As a sister in Christ, please
edify, encourage, and help me guard against being a Hymenaues/Philetus.
After our visit to Texas 21 - 31 December, I went into my office
and discovered my computer had "crashed." Woe to the man who depends on
a computer to survive. I could not write until today, but God knows you
have been in my thoughts and prayers and those of many even though you
haven't heard from us. Gran and Deanie want to write you, ok? We love
and admire you tremendously; you are so extraordinary and easy to love,
but we would reach out to you even if you were a Buddhist or a pagan,
Shannon. God, not Satan, created us as social creatures with emotion and
intellect rather than making us like objects and animals without human
love or the ability to care. His plan is right and works as long as we
put Him as our highest priority in life; peace, joy, and blessings
(including suffering for Him) follow.
Good news: Jason and Ryan are sincere "doers" who continually
worship and serve others (teach Sunday school, etc.) through the
fellowship of the church. They attend church Sunday morning and evening,
Wednesday evening, and Thursday morning --  and they live humbly and
obediently. Praise God!
My time is also spent in worship, service, and Bible study. I've had
courses in pneumatology, ecclesiology, OT (Samuel  - Malachai), NT
(Matthew - Acts), Genesis, Revelation, missions, and hermeneutics (in
which I learned that the Bible must be interpreted literally unless the
passage is immoral, impossible, or inconsistent with the rest of the
Bible.),but I have so much more to study, learn, and understand. I
wonder what you are thinking; I think you and I would be a good "Amish"
or missionary team for Jesus; we could grow in righteousness through
fellowship with one another and those in need.
Your August letter indicated you are studying the Bible and
filled with joy and peace. Praise God. Please be like Martin Luther and
listen to God speak through the Bible; the opinions and interpretations
of other men can be either helpful or harmful to you. I hope that you
are not cold or hungry or otherwise physically, emotionally,
intellectually, or socially suffering unnecessarily in a way that
diminishes your relationship to God and man. "If you then, being evil,
know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your
Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him" (Matthew
7:11). Please come see us. We love and respect you and want you to
follow Christ; we do not intend to persecute you or plant seeds of evil
in your heart or harm you in any way.     
    Love always from Mom.

Dr. Karan Townsend                                             
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