Monday, April 11, 2016

My Young Life Has Been Physically Ruined — Now What?

This article was posted on the Desiring God website today, April 11, 2016.

Here is an excerpt:

Shaun from Seattle writes in: “Pastor John, over the past year my brother fought a cancerous tumor in his optical nerve. He is only 20 years old. By the grace of God the cancer is gone, but he is now blind. When I talk to him he tells me that he knows that he doesn’t get to have a life anymore. What words of encouragement might you have for my dear brother, or for any young man or woman who feels like a physical disability has taken their life away?”

I think of when Jesus said, “Tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” in Matthew 6:34. And then Jeremiah said in Lamentations 3:22–23: “[God’s mercies] are new every morning.” I think they meant that there is a new, special mercy from God for every new, special trouble that each day brings. Shaun’s brother’s first 20 years was full of grace. It was. I don’t even have to know him to know that. But now this is a new sorrow, a new trouble, a new affliction. And God’s promises are that there will be new mercies, special mercies, specific, tailor-made mercies that were never there before that are perfectly suited for the burden of blindness.

To read the article in its entirety, go to:

Harps Unhung

One of the things that kept me busy the first year after mom's passing was completing a writing project that she had begun back in 1992. In a nutshell, the project was an attempt to re-write all 150 of the Psalms, using 150 unique styles of poetry. She was exactly 50% through at the time of her death. I completed the remaining 75 poems and the full collection was published in June of 2014 through Westbow Press. The book is entitled, "Harps Unhung: Praising God in the Midst of Captivity."

The book is available via numerous bookstore websites online, but Amazon is probably the easiest and cheapest place to get it.

Here is an excerpt. The first poem was written by mom; the second poem was written by me.


My Shepherd is the Lord, I have no needs
As I lie down in peace where’ere He leads,
By streams serene
Or pastures lush and green,
He lifts, restores my soul, on Him I lean.

And though I walk through valleys dark with death,
As horrors haunt my soul and steal my breath,
I will not fear
For You are ever near,
The comfort of Your rod and staff are dear.

You set a place for me among my foes,
Anoint my head with oil, my cup o’erflows,
You follow me
With love beyond degree,
And in Your house I’ll dwell eternally.

PSALM 144 

Sergeant Major of the Heavens, stronghold and shield,
strengthen my feeble hands that weapons of war, I may wield!
O Lord, what is man but a fleeting, shallow breath,
passing like shadows from transitory lives to their death?

Bear down upon the mountains ‘til they tremble – slip:
cause your presence to spill over the top of heaven’s lip.
Send forth lightening – golden arrows ‘cross the sky,
stretched on bows of thunder shot from cloudy thrones on high.

Free my neck from the grip of aqueous fingers;
scrape fables from unctuous tongues where wicked slander lingers.
Upon the charango, I strum an unknown chord;
songs for our holy Champion who saves us from the sword.

May our sons rise like cedars praising deity;
daughters, caryatids, raising a palace canopy.
May our silos overflow – livestock fill the stalls;
blessed are all of God’s people on whom all these blessings fall!

Back in the Saddle Again

I believe my last blog post was back in 2009. My beloved mother, Eileen, was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer in June of 2008. Her cancer journey lasted five years and she went home to be with the Lord in March of 2013.

The years since her death have been busy, difficult, complicated...but also very good.

The Lord has been very good.

But my season of grief and healing, relocating back to MN, and entering a new career field have kept me from writing. I am happy to report that I am back and ready to blog once again!

If anyone is interested in reading some journal entries that my mom wrote in the closing years of her life, please check out her Caring Bridge site here: