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Thursday, February 21, 2019

Your Dying Spouse 584 - Why I Am A Christian {FMF}

I wasn't always a Christian, and some people have asked how I came to the faith.

Pretty simple...by logic.

I realized early on that there was 'something' inside me that pushed me to choices I would not otherwise have made, choices that went against stuff like self-preservation.

It became kind of a vital question one day when I was on my knees next to a burning car, helping pull out the driver and waiting for the vehicle to blow up during the process. I didn't know the driver from Adam, and I just happened to be there at the time.

I sure didn't want to be there. But something inside said, "You gotta."

Much later, when I got sick with the thing that's killing me now, I went through the whole pain-and-despair thing, and again, there was this 'person', not me, but definitely Someone, saying "Hold on, and keep doing your best." Again, I sure didn't want to. I wanted to curl up in a foetal poition.

Sounded suspiciously like what I'd heard Christians talking about, so I looked it up.

There was a historical Jesus, verfied by contemporary non-Biblical sources.

He had followers who, after His 'death', caried his message when they knew it would kill them.

Anyone who'd do that was either nuts, or was following something true. There really wasn't a middle ground. And nothing in the New Testament remotely suggests that the Apostles were loony-tunes, out for a spiritual self-immolating ego trip.

The preponerance of evidence was convincing.

Christianity is logically true.

And I guess that begs the question of how I retain faith in the face of terminal cancer.

Again, pretty simple.

I don't have the courage to do this every day, much less the sheer mental and physical strength to cope with something far worse, physically an emotionally, than I have experienced, or imagined.

Breath comes around tumours like rocks, pain stabs lymph nodes in the chest, neck, and groin, and the slightest effort results in a cough that's deep, painful, and turns into dry heaves...and sometimes worse.

It's also exhausting. A minimal daily routine is all I can do, and the prospect of a visit to the lav can be daunting.

There's no meaningful pain relief, no medical care, no nothing. I've fallen through the cracks of the 'care system', but that's another story (and one I'm not interested in telling).

I do a lot to build morale and motivation, but the limits of moto stuff were reached and exceeed long ago.

The strength is given me.

I think St. Paul said somewhere that he could do nothing remotely cool on his own. I get that.

There's one Entity that can do all this, and He goes by the name of God.

I did not come to Christ's door
through a blazing epiphany.
No bright light knocked me to the floor,
nor visions did I see.
I simply came to feel and know
of something inside, not I,
that braced against the blow
when 'I the man' wanted just to die.
The hope that rose had human touch;
He'd walked this road to Calvary.
And He held me in value, such
that He'd bear the pain again, with me.
The road to come holds desperate harms,
but I'm safe-carried in His Mighty Arms.

Music from the U.S Army Field Band, with The Battle Hymn Of The Republic.


Thanks to Carol Ashby, Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart is back on Kindle, and will be available in paperback soon.

Friends are everything. I couldn't have done it.

Marley, the canine waif from Afghanistan, whom WE helped save, has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.


Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.






Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Your Dying Spouse 583 - This Can't Be Right

Days that worst piles on worse, and it's like I'm drowning. It hurts too much, and each cough turns into something far, far worse.

Tunours in the lungs, like rocks, and I can't breathe around them.

Courage seems a luxury.

Tears seem irrelevant.

But I don't need my own courage; God lends me His.

And there's no room for tears, because there is too much grace and laughter here.

I think there must be some mistake;
dear God, this can't be right!
How on earth did cancer take
my my life, my hope, my light?
It must surely be a glitch,
an error 403,
and there must be a reset switch
operated by my plea.
"No," says God, "this is the plan
with which I'veen trusted you,
for life has made you understand
how to see it through."
I hate to hear what I'd suspected
but I'll do what is expected.

Although I am writing this on a Wednesday, every day is Manic Monday.


Thanks to Carol Ashby, Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart is back on Kindle, and will be available in paperback soon.

Friends are everything. I couldn't have done it.

Marley, the canine waif from Afghanistan, whom WE helped save, has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.


Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.






Monday, February 18, 2019

Your Dying Spouse 582 - Read To Live

The following sonnet was written in response to Bob Hostetler's question 'Do you plan your reading?', posted on the Steve Laube Agency blog on December 19, 2018

My reading is today informed
by fell circumstance, despair,
and by the demons that have swarmed
my life; they’re everywhere.
I read to keep my pecker up;
I read to save my soul;
I read so I may daily sup
on the dreams that keep me whole.
My pancreas and lungs are full
of dire malignancy;
but my heart will ride the wild maned-bull
and when the bell rings, I’ll be free.
So in the bloody dawn, my friends, watch this flag unfurl;
pancreatic cancer, on hearing my name, will cry like a little girl.
(And yes, to the British-educated, ‘pecker’ shall always be a colloquialism for ‘courage’.)

Over to Queen, with We Are The Champions.





Thanks to Carol Ashby, Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart is back on Kindle, and will be available in paperback soon.

Friends are everything. I couldn't have done it.

Marley, the canine waif from Afghanistan, whom WE helped save, has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.


Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.






Thursday, February 14, 2019

Your Dying Spouse 581 - Barbara, I Love You! {FMF}

On this Valentine's Day, I could not face my own death in better company.

Pain today has been beyond all rational understanding, but I am nonetheless the luckiest man alive.

What confidence remains in me, I draw from Barbara's strength. (Confident is this week's Five Minute Friday word-prompt.)


In some sweet place ere hell came down
to mutilate and make of life
a scourging and a thorny crown,
I courted me a wife.
We met upon the Internet
and love grew from afar
so that when we finally met
I knew I’d found my Star.
Romance was never in my blood
and ‘fluttery’? Not really,
but for Barb there came a flood
of heart-tide…oh so freely!
Darling, in these days of wracking pain
your love sustains; I’d do it all again.


Music from The Beatles, with Here, There, and Everywhere.



Thanks to Carol Ashby, Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart is back on Kindle, and will be available in paperback soon.

Friends are everything. I couldn't have done it.

Marley, the canine waif from Afghanistan, whom WE helped save, has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.







Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.






Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Your Dying Spouse 580 - When A Caregiver Feels Helpless

There's an interesting compare-and-contrast going on here, right now.

A very dear friend of ours in in hospital, and has been since early December; her ailment has been very hard to track down, much the less treat, but there is hope that she will be going home in a couple of weeks.

Barb has been spending almost all her free time with our friend (and her husband), providing moral support, physical help when the nursing staff's otherwise engaged, and making sure that nothing medically important is missed. (And yes, I have encouraged this; I'm OK on my own through the day, and these folks really need her.)

And while it's exhausting, Barb inicated that it's actually easier than spening time with me, because her friend is not in a lot of pain; some discomfort and frustration, yes, but nothing like that which she has to witness in my company.

There, she's useful; she can provide practical help (like rearranging the room for feasible lavatory acces while the nursing staff is too busy). Here, Barb feels helpless, and there's really no worse experience under these circumstances.

I'm not sure what the moral is here, except maybe that having to watch omeone in constant severe pain really sucks.

But maybe there's something else, that I need to be cognizant of how hard it is for Barb to see me hurting. Not that I should hide the pain, which would be quite impossible, but that I need to understand the effect on her heart, and hold her in both prayer and sympathy.

Here's a sonnet that may be appropriate:

My wife will spend Valentine’s Day
at work and with a friend
in hospital, who sees no way
that her life will ever mend.
She’ll arrive home at ten 
exhausted and in pain, 
eat and sleep and rise and then 
do it all again. 
We are not made for celebration 
nor for mere romance 
our lives are meant for consecration 
by Jesus, Lord Of The Dance. 
For love of us, in Passion grim, 
He asks that we might live for Him.


Music from The Hollies, with He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother.



Thanks to Carol Ashby, Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart is back on Kindle, and will be available in paperback soon.

Friends are everything. I couldn't have done it.

Marley, the canine waif from Afghanistan, whom WE helped save, has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.






Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.