Tag Archives | Death

You Can’t Spell Christmas Without Hope

I woke up this morning to the crushing news of the death of a classmate and friend. My heart breaks for his family and those who were close to him. Thirty-five is simply too young to die. And when it hits so close to home, it’s all the more real. In the midst of the pain, you can’t help but ask why. But as I wrestle with my emotions, I’m reminded that reason is a liar. That making sense of it […]

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Learning to Give Thanks Through the Pain

Earlier this week, a friend of mine named Bill reminded me that the holidays are not always joyful. Bill lost his wife to cancer a few years ago, and as much as he doesn’t intend for it to happen, the holidays remind him of what he’s lost. In those moments, it’s hard to give thanks. Bill’s encouragement struck a chord with me because, honestly, I’m guilty of overlooking other’s pain. Even worse, I try to combat it with positivity. But sometimes, positivity […]

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When Dead Things Come to Life: A Story of Learning to Live by Faith

We have a camellia bush in our front yard that refuses to take root. Every season, it fails to bloom. At one point, we even hired a landscape company to replant it to see if that would restore it to life. Its sad, withered leaves only confirmed the reality that it was dying. Six years ago, our marriage was like that camellia bush—hanging on for dear life, refusing to bear fruit. When the doctors confirmed that we wouldn’t be able […]

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As I watched a friend bury their father…

Today, I watched a dear family friend bury their father. As I stood at the graveside, listening to the minister’s words of consolation, I paused for a moment to take in my surroundings. The wind rustled the trees that were as weathered as the tombstones that littered the landscape. Thick clouds methodically danced across the sky hinting of a much-needed rain. I swayed ever so slightly, keeping in rhythm with the melody of the clouds and the breeze. In that moment, although I […]

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To the Churches in America

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all.” Galatians 1:3-6 Those are strong words written 2,000 years ago by the Apostle Paul to the church he established in Galatia. However, I feel like they have a very applicable tone as we navigate the waters of the church in America today. In many ways, American Christians have turned or […]

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The Pain of Missing Those You Love at Christmas

When Liz and I were pregnant with our first son, my grandmother gave me something very special. She handed me a small, felt-covered box and said, “Your grandfather wanted you to have this.” I slowly opened the taupe encasement to reveal a small diamond set in a slightly embellished gold band. It was the same ring I had seen on my grandfather’s weathered hand many times before he died—it was his ring. This year marks fourteen years since Paw-Paw Ham passed […]

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My Wife Lost Her Father When She Was Fourteen

We shouldn’t have to watch cancer debilitate our loved ones as we pray to God for healing, only to feel like those prayers have fallen on deaf ears. In a perfect world, little girls walk down the aisle with their father by their side; men shake hands with their soon-to-be father-in-law as he hands over his daughter’s hand in marriage; and eventually, grandfathers enjoy precious time with their grandchildren. But our world isn’t perfect. It’s broken. Visiting Her Father My wife and I were in […]

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