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Whispers and Shouts

 C.S. Lewis once wrote: " God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world." (C.S. Lewis,  The Problem of Pain , first published 1940)   Many of us know what Lewis means. I do. Cancer has been and continues to be something that shouts to my deaf soul that life is precious and fleeting, that I am not in control and that I need to know right to the centre of my defective bone marrow that God meets me in my broken places with a fierce love that will not let me go. It seems to me that God has done a lot of shouting lately. Many people I know will walk this day, shouldering the weight of grief for someone they've loved and lost. Many others will endure the pain and disappointment in the way their life has turned out. Daily news is filled with more shouts. Senseless wars. Dying migrants. Houseless people. Crushing addictions....The shouting can even be heard as our planet itself groans through drou
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Nothing But #Thankful

Nothing but #thankful hearts here. Many of you joined us in prayer that my health would get us to a gathering with our kids and grandkids planned for the third week of July. If a picture is indeed worth 1000 words, then below are 12,000 words of thanks for five days of beautiful chaos! (NOTE: None of these pictures show all 19 of us at once. We did have some professional family photos taken, but they have not arrived yet)

Be Still....I've Got This!

One of our devotional readings this week was from Psalm 46. I think you know at least part of that one: “ Be still and know that I am God;” vs 10.   Author, pastor and speaker Skye Jethani* extended my understanding of that verse which I have heard (and sung!) countless times. He seemed to know me when he wrote, "‘Be still’ is often interpreted as a call to simply not panic and trust God.” But he points out that there are other layers in the Hebrew phrase. “The command can also be understood to mean ‘be weak’ or ‘surrender.’The psalmist is inviting us to stop trying to control what is beyond our power and accept that we are too weak to overcome the chaos that is unfolding.... Be still so that you may know I am God." This reminded Kathy and me of our very first visit to the Cross Cancer Institute at the end of May 2018. We were frightened and nervous.  Our first stop was the Admissions Desk.  There on the window was this computer printed sign: It hasn’t been easy for Kathy a


A few weeks ago, I wrote wishing that time could slow down a bit. I still want that. I want to recognize each day for the gift it is. Some blood results and a doctor visit last week has me thinking that I just might get some “extra” days to practice getting better at that. Here is the good news update. Protein markers for the cancer are as low as they have been since October '22. This treatment is working! Not only is it working, but further clinical trials on the triplet of drugs I receive each week, reveal that the average time the treatment remains effective (known as “Progression-Free Survival) is longer than initially expected. Months longer. Perhaps, for me, long enough to bridge to the approval and funding of the next wave of new drugs known as bi-specifics. We will pray, with thanksgiving, for that. We will try to treasure each day. Thank you for your prayers.

Slow Down

I think i t’s a universal first-world experience: the desire at different stages in our lives for time to just slow down. Nichole Nordeman sings a song called Slow Down 1 in which she recognizes and laments how quickly her child is growing up and she deeply wishes that that part of life would pass by with less pace. We know the feeling. As I enter the last week of Cycle 7 2 of my current chemo, Kathy and I reflected on how quickly time has gone since we started this, the third treatment protocol, on Dec 8, 2022. Almost six months! Three of those months included the cutting edge immunotherapy drug Isatuximab. Slow down! We know that each successive treatment protocol will likely be effective for a shorter period of time than previous protocols have been. We know eventually there will be, as a doctor stated it, “no more bullets in the gun.” We know this disease is terminal. Slow down! It's all too fast!  May 16 marked five years since we began our myeloma journey. We are #thankful

We Had Hoped

There is a short phrase in the Easter story that caught my attention this year: “...but we had hoped…” These words from Luke 24 were spoken on the road to Emmaus and they are filled with lament from those walking that road.  Sadness that things had not turned out the way they thought they might.  We had hoped. Words that appear in the very same chapter as the impossibly joyful words, “ He is risen !” And while I believe and rejoice in the Jesus resurrection, it's those words of lament on the Emmaus road that often surround us these days. We had hoped.   With all of you, we had hoped that there would be less suffering and war in the world and that refugees could find their way home; that our cities would be less violent and their vulnerable populations could flourish; that environmental injustice would end; that the Church would reclaim it’s witness to the unending love of our risen Saviour … We had hoped. Jura Creek near Canmore, 2023 In the life that Kathy and I walk, we had hoped

Update: How Are You Doing Today?

 A few summers ago, we had a surprise encounter with an out of province couple that we had rubbed shoulders with regularly in the 2010s. Of course we defaulted to the standard icebreaker question, "How are you doing?" Rather than give us the rote icebreaker response, she paused and said,  "That's a complex question. I have learned to ask people, 'How are you doing today? ', and today I am doing alright."  As we learned the back story, that response made sense. She and her husband had tragically lost a young-adult son and they were on their way to the place of his death to mark that somber anniversary. "How are you doing?" in that context is a very complex question. I'm know all of you can relate. Life is complex. Keeping the faith is hard. Aside from its use as an icebreaker, "how are you doing?" has anwers as nuanced as life itself. There are so many layers. For Kathy and I, life is lived in the context of God's relentless l