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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Threefold Cord (04/12/12)

TITLE: Dr. Rachel
By Delores McCarter


We have a therapist in the family that we keep quite busy. My cousin, Dr. Rachel Matthews is a licensed clinical psychologist, specializing in individual, marriage and family counseling.

We always called her Cousin Rachel, but when she received her license, we started calling her Dr. Rachel. That stuck to her like day-old oatmeal and now she actually prefers to be called Dr. Rachel instead of Dr. Matthews. Since she has a lot of young clients, it seems to work well.

I have grown up listening to Dr. Rachel practice her speeches. She has delivered many speeches over the years, and lately, she has been invited to serve as the keynote speaker on several occasions. Her practice has grown tremendously, and by the positive feedback she receives, it is evident that she is helping a lot of people. I am very proud of her.

One of the speeches that stuck with me the most was the one that she gave a few years ago about the three cords. I could easily say that her speech touched me so much because it explained the importance of helping people, especially when she referred to Ecclesiastes 4:12 “a threefold cord is not easily broken,” a passage I’ve read several times without realizing what it meant.

However, to be quite honest, I was interested in her choice of visual aids to emphasize her point. Dr. Rachel clearly explained the advantage of a threefold cord with a demonstration that we would not likely forget. She brought two bodybuilders on stage to stand at opposite ends of a rope and pull against it. After a few seconds, the rope popped. Then, she handed them a braided cord, which consisted of three cords braided together, making it much stronger. Again, the bodybuilders pulled their ends of the rope but the rope did not break. After a few minutes of loud grunting, the tug of war ended in a tie. I remember that demonstration like it was yesterday.

According to Dr. Rachel, the pulling of the cord represented the struggles and challenges that we face each day. Everyone has something in life that they are struggling with and it is hard to face those issues alone, without any support.

As the cord represented strength, there is also strength in a unified effort working toward a common goal. Although there are constant attacks against the family, there is power for those who stand strong, unified, and in support of one another.

As Dr. Rachel explained, the threefold cord symbolizes three things: 1) the individual, standing strong, yet vulnerable at times, 2) the family, a strong component with the potential to nourish and protect those within the family structure, and 3) great mentors, to provide the individual with encouragement and wisdom.

Looking at to today’s youth, there is a big need for more empowerment in the community to provide our youth with encouragement, positive association and mentorship. Dr. Rachel diligently works with the youth ministry to bring together the youth across the Charleston area to experience a positive environment.

Children from all over the area have been learning about the importance of taking care of themselves, being responsible for themselves and others, and providing effective leadership. The grades of those participating have soared and the parents have applauded Dr. Rachel’s ministry.

It does indeed take a village to raise a child and when the parents are on board, it makes things so much easier for everyone.

Our young people struggle with so many things today, that it can be overwhelming, however, God gives them guidance in his Holy Word. As a three-fold cord is not easily broken, our youth are not easily broken when we give them a strong family unit and mentorship to allow them to discover how great they can truly become.

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This article has been read 251 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/19/12
This is a lovely story. Dr Rachel is qyite wise. You had a strong beginning. You introduced the MC and inspired me to keep reading.

I noticed a couple of tiny errors. When you set a descriptive phrase like my cousin, Dr. Rachel, make sure you put commas before and after the phrase. A good way to test it is take out the part Dr Rachel if the sentence still makes sense then you know you need 2 commas.

There have been many articles this week about the Ecclesiastes verse. It's interesting to see how different people use it in their life.

You did a great job writing on topic. Your message was clear and to the point without coming off as preachy. You did an excellent job in showing how the scripture fits into the modern world.
C D Swanson 04/20/12
Well written piece, I truly enjoyed the read. Thank you for this. God Bless~
Amanda Brogan04/20/12
Right on topic! I liked Dr. Rachel's illustration.

Noticed a minor error in this sentence: "Looking at to today’s youth..."

You are quite blessed to have a godly marriage counselor in your family. I'm sure I'd be chatting with her constantly on what makes a strong, healthy family if she where my cousin. :)
Leola Ogle 04/20/12
Very well written and I also like Dr. Rachel's illustration of the the threefold cord. Good job with the topic. God bless!
Genia Gilbert04/21/12
This was interesting and well told. Dr. Rachel is a great character, and the ropes are great illustrations of the topic.
Edmond Ng 04/26/12
Good teaching on the threefold cord symbolization. Thank you for sharing this.