On July 26, 2016, Paul wrote a post announcing that he was going to write letters on his blog to anyone who requested one.  Mine was suuuuuper far down on the list, but I waited patiently.  For over a year.


His post is here so you can go read through it via that lit link, but I’m also going to copy and paste parts of it here so my reply makes sense and so I can laugh a lot.

Dear Paul,

First of all, let me say, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA thank you ever so much for your amazing letter I will cherish it forever!

Now, onto your first questions:

  • Do you like calamari? Do they have it in Florida? Or should I say Flo-Rida like all the cool kids? No need to answer that. The answer is “NO”.

I have had calamari once in my life, and it was at Carrabba’s.  As my nickname has been Squid since I was, like, 8, I felt cannibalistic kinda bad about eating it… However, I did like it.  Battered and fried… mmhmm.  However, seafood (except for gilled fish like tarpon, tilapia, cod, etc.) isn’t kosher, and my family tries to stick to the kosher laws (my step-dad being a Messianic Jewish rabbi and all), so I haven’t had it since.  *sigh*

That’s not how you pronounce Florida?!? #livingalie The answer to that is always YES! 😀  I’ve always wanted to say Flor-idi-a myself, but rappers seem to gain more prominence when it comes to pronunciations…

As to your confession… Surprisingly, you’re not the first person to genuinely think that my name could be Squid.  I knew a guy who heard my mom call me ‘Sydney’ at our synagogue and was totally flabbergasted that Squid wasn’t my actual name.  I guess it didn’t help that I introduced myself to him as Squid when I first met him… XD

Don’t even get me started on camper names!!  One of my cabins this summer had very little even remotely-normal names, which added more difficulty to learning all of them. XD


The X-Men are a group of Marvel superheroes created in 1963.  They are all mutants, meaning they were born with their powers and not, um, mutated (?) by radiation or anything.  Don’t ask.  I’ve always been a fan of them and have watched most of the movies and read a lot of the old b/w comics.  However, totally fine that you don’t know of them; I know next-to-nothing about sports. 😛

I want to see a Y-Men movie!  Parodies are amazing, and that one is very creatively clever.  Even a political documentary about Yemen could work.

  • You like summer camps, eh? So do I. They make me feel smart. Kids know absolutely nothing, yet they know everything. Know what I mean? / They don’t know facts or historical information, but they can tell when you sneak an extra lunch for yourself, or when you talk to other counselors more than others.

OK, I totally forgot that I mentioned summer camp in my letter request.  I had just gotten back from my first week of camp ever in my life, as a camper at a Teen Week.  This year, however, I have just finally readjusted to life after working at a camp as a JC.  Veeerrry different perspective.

So, yo, I totally know what you mean!  This being my first year at this camp meant that a lot of the campers knew a lot more than I did about everything because they were returning for their 3rd, 4th, or 8th year, but they still couldn’t grasp that you need shoes to leave your cabin, your Bible to go to chapel, or that you should listen to the person giving the announcement so you don’t have to ask your counselor later. *sigh*  They are also extremely perceptive.

  • What is your favourite part of camp? Mine was the bus ride to the pool.

YOU GOT A BUS RIDE TO THE POOL???  OK, we didn’t actually have a pool, we had a lake, but we had to walk there!  I mean, it was just across the street, but still… Whoever had the cleanest cabin in the morning would get a golf cart ride there or back that day, but that was it.  I’m quite jealous. 🙂

Back to the really hard question.  I loved:

  1. Playing frisbee during canteen/oasis time with the campers and counselors.
  2. Leading worship with the rest of the team.
  3. The giant volleyball games.
  4. Having a camper come up to me and say, “I’m so glad God put me in your cabin.”
  5. Last but not least, I love the family I gained.

  • I never went to camp as a kid. I had video games that needed attention. / I credit video games for giving me my cat-like reflexes, which are sometimes panda-like reflexes, but who’s keep tracking? [????] / Also, video games helped prepare me for the technological world we live in today.

Truth!!  Video games do increase hand-eye coordination and teach you menu navigation skills like nobody’s business. 😀

*stops laughing for a quick second to gasp out words* Your fandom mix-up is completely and overwhelmingly hilarious!!  LotR, Harry Potter (which I know next-to-nothing about except for the fact that calling someone a muggle is an insult?), and Star Wars from one Yoda question.  *claps*

Shopping cart.  Buggy is what a horse used to pull back in the days of horse slavery.  Now we pull them.  Go figure.  You extra “u” people………

Heard of Yoda, you probably have.  Talks like this, he does.  Makes fun of it, people do.  Makes Yoda sad, it does.

As for the actual interaction, he’s probably not used to people not knowing who he is.  People are usually all like:

Fangirl: *fangirl squeal* Master Yoda, can I have your autograph??

Yoda: *whacks them with his stick* Fangirls, stop it now.

He probably actually appreciates the fact that you didn’t know who he was, but he was too surprised to show it.  Hence, grumpy.

I’ve been blogging for about 4 years now, so I’ve been following your blog for about 3 (if not more) years.  I’ve enjoyed every minute of it!

A consequence of my sister following you is that she reads your posts before I do sometimes and then tells me all of the funny parts (consisting of going back and rereading most of the post out loud).  She has done so on many occasions, so we have a little bit of a rivalry now. 🙂

Despite your celeb status in our house, I think my parents still are confused when I simply quote “Paul” instead of “Paul, that funny Canadian blogger I’ve been following forever and who I told you about like 3 years ago.” XD

Fairly Local – Twenty-Øne Pilots

The irony is that you’re a whole continent country away from the people who talk about you, so you’re almost the opposite of a local celebrity… an internationally local celeb?

Thank you for making my day with your letter!


P.S. The title of this post comes from a super serious and boring song from a little-known TV show.  The mail song from Blue’s Clues.  I know, you’ve probably never heard of it.  We sang it at camp every. single. day. at lunch.  We would hold the “I” for a long time to prolong the suspense and then sing the rest as loud as we could… The counselors always got really into it and the kids looked at us because like we were weird.  That’s the point of camp, right?

How to Live in Peace With Others, as Told to Philemon

Philemon is one of those books in the Bible that we know is in there, know is only a chapter long, and we might even know that it has to do something with a runaway slave.  But I think I just found my new favorite book of the Bible!

I’ve read it before, but it’s always been, “OK, Paul is writing to his friend about that guy’s slave who ran away and then got saved so now Paul wants him to return to his master and wants his master to be gracious.” 

That’s just the bare bones of it, though!  The letter paints a beautiful picture about how to we are to deal with our brothers and sisters in Christ.  

Before you read this post, though, pull up YouVersion or pick up your physical Bible and read through the book.  See what jumps out at you or what the Holy Spirit convicts you on.  Write down what your first impressions are, and then get back to this post.  Or, don’t, if you get too swept up in your own study.  I am more than OK with that!

Now that you’ve read it, keep it open so you can follow along.  Please read the verse(s) I mention, and then my comments.

V. 3 – A great thing about Paul’s letters is that he starts out with a blessing.  A huge part of Jewish culture is blessings, and Paul exemplifies this.  
V. 6 – This verse struck me because of the if/then statement he implies.  “If you share your faith on a regular basis, then you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” You will be telling people about what you have received and you will have to answer their questions, which leads you into a deeper understanding of what you truly believe.  That’s a great way to strengthen your faith and hopefully even somebody else’s!

V. 7 – Our service and ministry to people have an effect even beyond the people we’re directly affecting.  Paul was encouraged because Philemon was refreshing the hearts of the saints around him.  People need godly encouragement, and chain reactions occur when they get it, and you get encouraged by how encouraged they are and you can all praise the Lord together! 😀

V. 8-9 – Phew.  This verse hit me right in the pride.  Although Paul was pretty much the most widely-listened-to man at that time, the one all the churches he had planted looked up to, he didn’t bash Philemon over the head with it, but instead appealed to his brother “on the basis of love.”  He absolutely could have given Phil a what-for, without sinning (in Christ, remember?), but he knew it wouldn’t be very effective.  So he swallowed his pride and used humility to get his message across.  I really need to work on this one.

V. 14 – Alright, this one is awesome.  If more Christians had this attitude, we would have much smoother relationships.  Paul didn’t want to force Phil to do anything, either by force or passive-aggressively.  There are so many people, even Christians, who think it’s OK to be passive-aggressively manipulative, but what would Paul say? 

V. 15-16 – A cool look on why/how God uses bad situations to accomplish greater goods.

V. 21 – “knowing that you will do even more than I ask.” Do our friends, coworkers, family, have this confidence in us that we will go the extra mile, even when it means forgiving, laying down our pride, and putting people’s past behind them?  

V. 25 – This might very well be my favorite verse in the entire book!  I need a LOT of grace in my spirit because I’m not someone who forgives easily or brushes things off.  I need God’s grace in my spirit so that I live as someone who has been given the greatest gift ever… Because I have. 🙂

I’ll use it to sign off this post as well.

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your Spirit.” – Philemon 25 (NIV)


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