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Monday, September 24, 2018

Your Dying Spouse 519 - Play Your Heart Out

In the West, we're all about winning. The successful life, the blessing of prosperity, the miraculous healing.

But life doesn't always work that way.

It didn't work that way for Paul, as he says in 2 Timothy 4-7:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

He didn't say he won.

He finished. He was there at the end, still doing his best.

There's another example of this in Stephen Ambrose's book, D-Day:

On the edge of town, Fitzgerald saw a sight “that has never left my memory. It was a picture story of the death of one 82nd Airborne trooper. He had occupied a German foxhole and made it his personal Alamo. In a half circle around the hole lay the bodies of nine German soldiers. The body closest to the hole was only three feet away, a potato masher [grenade] in its fist. The other distorted forms lay where they had fallen, testimony to the ferocity of the fight. His ammunition bandoliers were still on his shoulders, empty of M-1 clips. Cartridge cases littered the ground. His rifle stock was broken in two. He had fought alone and, like many others that night, he had died alone. “I looked at his dog tags. The name read Martin V. Hersh. I wrote the name down in a small prayer book I carried, hoping someday I would meet someone who knew him. I never did.”

Pancreatic cancer is a hopeless fight; add to that non-Hodgkins lymphoma and you've got a double whammy of epic proportions.

But hope does not lie in victory.

Hope lies in taking the next step.

Hope is showing up, just one more time.

We rise from the ashes, and we grab glory.

It's not how you play the game.

It's that you play the game.

Rather than music, here's a clip from We Are Marshall, the wonderful film about a college that had the courage to bring its football team back from the literal dead, after a November 14, 1970 plane crash that killed virtually the whole team and coaching staff (along with family and boosters).

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.


  1. I've been asking the Lord about Hope lately. My life, right now, DEPENDS on Hope. Depends on the Truth of Hope. Depends on the straight talk of it... And once again I am here thanking him for you, and the words I need to hear - straight talking from his heart to me. Ready to "show up one more time"... take the next step. again... Dust off the ashes... and just play these cards as I see them... and even when I don't. Thank you. Sleep well, friend.

    1. Jane, I am so overwhelmingly grateful that my words have helped you today. That means the world to me. You're in my prayers.

  2. (((((Andrew)))))
    I'm so glad you are here today!
    Hugs from Annie in Texas

    1. (((((((((((((((Annie!!!!)))))))))))))))

      We are so grateful that you are sharing the journey. We truly appreciate you.

  3. Andrew, this is a good sample of how you inspire us all.

    1. Jan, thank you for this, from the bottom of my heart.

  4. It's time to live again
    Move out of the shadows
    Away from cloistered walls
    Fly again, you say
    To a land of dreams
    Life will open its door
    See the possibility
    The endless probability
    Love on wings of a dove
    Into the sunlight it gives rise
    Elegant grace, and beauty
    A zephyr in radiant sky

    One of my poems for such a day as this, written after a heartache that changed my life yet another time and forced me to come out of the shadows to live again. Hope is one of my favorite subjects. If it weren't for hope I couldn't have faced many a tomorrow. I'm so thankful. Keep on rising with every sunrise. Still praying for you, my friend.

    1. Norma, my dear friend...this is such a lovely poem, an that it grew from a place of heartache is awesome. Thank you so much for sharing it, and for your prayers.

  5. You know what, you're right. Paul doesn't say that he won. Maybe the winning is found in the finishing, though. Maybe completing the race is actually better than coming in first. Something I'll be pondering.

    1. Marie, I think that's exactly it; being there is the win, and the journey is itself the destination.

  6. Good morning, Andrew! Thank you for this post...ironically(?) my notebook is opened to the next Five Minute Friday free write I need to complete for the 31 Days writing that begins in just a few short days. That word, my friend: HOPE!!! I have jotted down these words that hit home: "But hope does not lie in victory. Hope lies in taking the next step. Hope is showing up, just one more time."

    LOVE THOSE WORDS! Love ALL of you blessed words you share with us.

    And, yes, the scripture from Paul...He did fight the good fight; and he did finish. Love the thoughts you have left with us today.

    HUGS and PRAYERS for you and Barb and your furr-babies. The Lord has blessed you and He continues to do so.

    1. Thank you for helping me to finish that Day 7 post for the 31 day series! I have mentioned you and shared this link with whomever may read it! {{{HUGS}}}

    2. Barbara, thank you so much...it just makes me day that I was able to help! :)

  7. And somehow, God gives grace and energy to do that next right thing, to take that next right step. And you've shown us how to do it, Andrew.

    1. Linda, thank you...it's God's Grace, surrounding me through each moment, that gives me what strength I have.