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Q. Father, I donít like your newsletters that encourage us, or when they seem to be more fluff than substance. Give it to us straight, include the details, and leave the encouraging words to someone else. I want direction, not encouragement!

A. Sorry to disappoint you, but my experience informs me that encouragement is also very important and necessary. Scrupulous people seldom, if ever, exhaust the questions and the details of life, but they do often feel discouraged and isolated. When I share a topic that’s encouraging, I do so in order to offer support and hope.

Q. When I was a graduate student, I submitted research that was incomplete. It fulfilled the professor’s requirements, but there was so much more that could and should have been included. Did I sin by leaving the paper incomplete?

A. No, not be any means. Even if you would have included everything possible in your paper, it still would have been incomplete the minute you finished it. That’s the nature of research. It’s constantly changing and is never fully complete. There’s always another fact, a different point of view, another footnote that could be included. You fulfilled your professor’s requirements, and that’s more than enough.

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