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Looking Forward. Glancing Back.

“Never look back,” they say. “You’re not going that way.” Maybe so, but I think there’s value peeking at the rear view. Last weekend, I drove past the first house I bought in Michigan. Actually, I did more than that. I parked in the driveway and stayed for a few minutes. 22 years ago, my wife and I brought our twin daughters home from the hospital to that house. We carefully set their car seats down on the hardwood floor and began our lives as a family. Today, I live 600 miles away in Tennessee, and those babies are beautiful young women. I didn’t think I’d feel too much driving by the old house. I fully expected to get angry …

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The Power of “Yes.”

“We’ve got a thousand friends on Facebook and no one to help us move our couch.” ~ Dr. John Delony A pastor was starting a new church in Tennessee. The day he arrived in the Nashville area, he asked for a meeting with the police chief. He wanted to know what the biggest problem in the community is. Without hesitation, the cop told the pastor that loneliness is the number one cause of the majority of domestic problems his officers face every day. We were not designed to be alone. When people are lonely, they’re not well. And by the way, you can be married, have a large family and a circle of friends, and still feel totally alone. We’ve …

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My Flu

You are worth being well. ~ Dr. John Delony I have battled anxiety and depression most of my life. I call it my flu because it doesn’t stay. Like a virus, it has power. I respect it. And I realize that when it comes, it wants to destroy me. Today, at fifty-five years old, I’m comfortable with my flu, and it’s never been buried so deep. I haven’t been this healthy or happy since I was a child. Writing down the reasons for this helped me realize how intentional I have to be in order to be well. Garbage in, garbage out – I identified destructive behaviors and I stopped doing them. Think of the alcoholic who avoids bars. I’m …

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Ordinary Angels

Ain’t it kind of funny that at the dark end of the road Someone lights the way with just a single ray of hope ~ Alabama Mary entered my hospital room quietly and with purpose. She held a mop in one hand and a fresh, unopened trash bag in the other. She moved swiftly. Her job was clear. I was just relieved she wasn’t another nurse about to take more of my blood. “How you doin’ baby?” she asked through a smile. “I’m okay. How are you?” I answered. “I am blessed, and we’re all praying for you,” she said. “I can’t wait to see you up and around later today.” And after a quick “see ya later, baby,” she …

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Purpose Behind The Pain

As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart. ~ Proverbs 27:19 It turns out having heart surgery is different from any other surgery. It’s more mental. It’s not a hernia repair or an appendix. I didn’t fracture a wrist or have my tonsils removed; this is the heart. It’s why, on the night before the surgery, I finished up handwritten letters to my parents, my wife, and my daughters – letters I hoped would never be read. Goodbyes, thank-yous, suggestions on how to move forward, and above all else, gratitude and appreciation for a life that can only be described as truly happy. In the days leading up to the surgery, my mind flooded with the happiest …