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Love and marriage are the greatest adventures in life, and they point they way to our relationship with the Almighty.

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Your Dying Spouse 518 - My Position Is Privilege {FMF}

It can be so hard to convince people of this...but terminal illness is a privilege.

Not a fell honour, nor a severe mercy, but really, a bright, burnished gift of gold and rubies, sparkling in the sun.

OK, Andrew's had way too much fun with the medicinal marijuana, yeah...

Sorry. I don't use the stuff. Nor opioids.

The thing is, you see a lot further when you sit on a giant's shoulders...and because my legs gave way long since, I'm riding on God's shoulders.

I can see vistas of which I never dreamt. Views into a reality that I never thought dying could contain.

Like the preciousness of experience.

Pain hurts, and as I write this, it hurts like, pardon me, a son-of-a-bitch. Under the arms, in the chest, in the belly, and in the groin (lymph nodes)...and oh, yeah, in the neck, and a fever of 103...again, for I've had the bloody fever for a couple of weeks...Barbara rightly says that no one would want this.

So true.

In the chiaroscuro of life, though, against the flaming darkness of pain, there is the joy.

Yesterday, a black labrador puppy turned up on our doorstep at one o'clock in the morning (as Barbara was ensuring that I did not throw up upon the sofa). And his presence brought light; all of the other dogs fell in love with him, and as I wept in pain, he crawled into my arms and said, "Hug me, and I will make it all better!"

Which worked, by the way. His worried parents did come for him, but he will be back for doggie play-dates.

And in the endless Sisyphean task of building an aeroplane from raw materials - steel and wood and cotton fabric...I was able to lay out a part, one that I will have to husband the strength to be able to cut and form.

And the goal-posts are so far away to actually finish and fly the thing. (I mean, I'd need a miraculous healing to fly it, yeah?)

But doing something meant something.

In years past, I would have scoffed at my feeble effort. But now, any step is a step.

And every step means Hope.

I've been privileged to see the real truth of these...

Faith...knowing that what I am enduring means something and can be poured out, if I'll let God do the pouring. It's not about me. It's about you, you who are reading this. It may sound kinda presumptuous, but I'm living for you. I'm writing to tell you that faith is never futile.

Hope...hope really isn't the belief that one will somehow win through...I mean, there are winners and losers. And while it is hope in the Eternal, that's not what I'm talking about. The Hope that God has given to my vision is that while I may lose, while I may not achieve my goals, the words I leave will inspire others...you...to keep going. Even if you fail, you don't fail in a vacuum, and the hope you carry is the seed for another's best efforts.

Love...the only things I ever did that were worthwhile, I did for love. Not romantic love, and not the altruistic love that sends food to Mogadishu (though that's important!). It's the love that binds us all together in God's Heart, the love that says, I'll protect you, and if need be, I'll die so that you can see another sunrise. It's the love that says, you...dear reader, dear stranger...dear lost and scared Labrador puppy...you're worth everything I have.

Because you are God's, and everything I have belongs to God.

Music from The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (yes, really), with Remember Me.

Everybody gets their hearts broken;
get off your knees and try again.


Please pardon my slow response to comments. I do my best, and your comments are really precious to me. Barb is answering many of them now. I'm running on fumes, if you don't mind a macho metaphor.

I'm grateful for the energy to have written this. I'm so glad Barbara's stepped in for many of my posts. I'm really not doing well at all.

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.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

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, September 19, 2018

Your Dying Spouse 517 - And It Gets Weird

It's just not going too well, with fevers spiking every evening, and it's getting harder to eat.

And the pain, in chest and pancreas, running on intolerable. I weep, from the severity. And from fear, of how bad it can still get.

Last night the fever went over 103, and I was puking, and then...

...and then, a lost and hungry young dog turned up on the doorstep.

I think this is God's way of saying, "It's not about how you feel. It's about what you do."

The rather large pup is safe and happy right now. Hopefully he's just lost, and we can find his owners, but if not, well. (A PS - his owners came for him, happy to find him safe!)

"You're safe, buddy."

Taking care of the least of these, and if you want to know why I go on, well, now you do.

Music from Steve Winwood, with Back In The High Life. Because, fever or not, pukin' or not, I am.



Please pardon my slow response to comments. I do my best, and your comments are really precious to me. Barb is answering many of them now. I'm running on fumes, if you don't mind a macho metaphor.

I'm grateful for the energy to have written this. I'm so glad Barbara's stepped in for many of my posts. I'm really not doing well at all.

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.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

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, September 13, 2018

Your Dying Spouse 516 - In Cancer I Found Health {FMF}

Boy, that title sounds stupid, yeah?

How do you find health in pancreatic cancer and non-Hodgkins lymphoma?

The dude is delusional.

Well, maybe, but I would not have mise this for the world.

This process has been the best teacher for which I might have asked; I have learned, ere the end, that Christianity is not a part of life.

It's life.

Long ago, I thought that if I was terminally ill, I would be in despair. All those things I wanted to do, that now will be left undone! Al that I thought I had, taken from me!

All the meaning I had assigned to life, shattered.

But it's not that way at all, and it's not me that;s making the difference.

As I fall there are strong Arms holding me up, and a Voice that is as loud as thunder, and as gentle as a spring breeze, saying You can keep going.

And thus cometh the strength, to walk down to the shop and do a bit...a tiny bit...of welding, and feeling the satisfaction of molten metal as a gift to my beloved Lord.

Of ever-shortening blog posts, that...I hope!..carry the message, you're not alone, God really does care, and Christ will hold you up.

Of prayers for my dear wife, and the privilege of listening to her as she talks about work, and of letting God speak through me, to help her find her way through the thickets of the temporal.

And to encourage her to find friends that will support her when I'm gone, and to find a good, Godly man to love, so she won't be alone with memories.

I can let her go on, without jealousy.

Of the care for my dogs, who have made themselves more independent, working in cooperation to create a harmonious dog-party of life, and who are showing that I can trust them to love one another, and not fight.

I would not have missed this for the world.

Music is from For King And Country, with Shoulders.


Please pardon my slow response to comments. I do my best, and your comments are really precious to me. Barb is answering many of them now. I'm running on fumes, if you don't mind a macho metaphor.

I'm grateful for the energy to have written this. I'm so glad Barbara's stepped in for many of my posts. I'm really not doing well at all.

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.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

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, September 12, 2018

Your Dying Spouse 515 - Everything's Alright

This will have to be short. Screaming in the  night, and the day was worse. Way worse.

It's so hard for so many people close to me to understand.

I don't mind this. Dying isn't a tragedy.

Everything's alright.

The pain serves a higher purpose; life is Christ, and death is gain, and the process is the opportunity to witness to Christ's love and grace

What love and mercy?

The love that holds me up to find bright sparkles of joy in each day, the antics of the dogs, and the lights of sunrise and sunset, and the stars overhead.

And the grace of being able to rest, when it's too horrible to go on, in an Endurance that doesn't come from me.

Won't you be OK with this, too?

The world will turn without me tonight.


Please pardon my slow response to comments. I do my best, and your comments are really precious to me. Barb is answering many of them now. I'm running on fumes, if you don't mind a macho metaphor.

I'm grateful for the energy to have written this. I'm so glad Barbara's stepped in for many of my posts. I'm really not doing well at all.

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.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

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, September 10, 2018

Your Dying Spouse 514 - Are Bucket Lists Un-Christian?

It seems that everyone has a bucket list these days, a list of things they want to do before they die.

Having goals is good, yeah, but I'm wondering if this goes a bit too far.

The implicit message in the bucket list is 'do this while you can, because you won't have the chance again', and that either ignores the possibility of an afterlife, or at best makes it kind of bleak, a place of sitting around playing harps, and longing for the good ol' days back on Earth.

It makes heaven a place of lack, and that seems to me to be rather ungrateful-in-advance.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to visit the Grand Canyon or go parasailing or see the Louvre; worthy goals all. But to want to store up experiences...it just seems like hedging one's bets.

"Of course I'm a Christian, and I believe I'll be spending eternity with God, but I'd like to take along these memories..."

In case I get bored with God...right?

What do you think?

Here's John Denver, with Looking For Space.


Please pardon my slow response to comments. I do my best, and your comments are really precious to me. Barb is answering many of them now. I'm running on fumes, if you don't mind a macho metaphor.

I'm grateful for the energy to have written this. I'm so glad Barbara's stepped in for many of my posts. I'm really not doing well at all.

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.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

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.