The small, black kitten strayed into our yard while I was tossing a “nerf” baseball to Brady (6) and Broc (4) who were doing their best to hit a homer with their “nerf” bats. Brandt (2), who is terrified of cats, was standing right next to me; one fist tightly held on to my trousers and the other was clutching his “nerf” bat. Every time the kitten turned toward us Brandt would tug on my trousers and mutter, almost whisper, “woof, woof”. Then he would hide his head between my knees.

The dance around my legs – while I was trying to toss the “nerf” ball – went on for several minutes. Soon I was laughing so much I couldn’t continue. I picked up Brandt, hugged him, and he said, “Bad kitty!” This grandpa will cherish that memory (and laugh) for a long time.

It’s ironic that Brandt would be afraid of a kitten weighing less than two pounds which was probably quite intimidated by the two-legged boy weighing almost 20 pounds! If the kitten had come toward Brandt one swipe of the bat he was holding would’ve sent a convincing message.

Allow me to make two observations out of the many possibilities:

One – We are often fearful of people and things which, in perspective can do little eternal harm. Usually these are situations where God has made tools available to us, some of which we hold in our hands, like Brandt’s “nerf” bat, but instead we choose to hide. God offers us the opportunity to be equipped for living, but we want to live on our terms and end up being frightened of the silliest things.

Two – We often look at God’s moral order and declare it “invalid” and “out-of-touch.” We smile at a child whose is afraid of a small kitten but ignore the dangers of eternal consequence when we fail to practice self-control in the areas of morality, money, etc. Instead we flaunt our selfishness and pride claiming the “right” to decide what is right and wrong for ourselves.

There are so many things in this life which are frightening. We are often intimidated and panic-stricken by fear; a dread which can paralyze us. At those times we want God to be right there so we can hang on to his trousers, hide between his knees and, finally, pick us to assure us that everything will be OK.

In the middle of trepidation we need assurance – the palpable presence of God. We want Him to pick us up so we can whisper, “Bad world.” We want to be able to laugh in the face of fear.

God is there. He will never leave or forsake us. His love has no end and His grace has no boundaries. When we cry out to Him we will be heard. He does not sleep; is not distracted; we have no reason to fear.

David writes about the reality of God in Psalm 28:6-8

Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy.

The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.

My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

The LORD is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.

God knows your need. He knows about that situation or individual who seems to wander around like the black kitten. No matter what our situation, David reminds us that the antidote to our fear is the Lord’s strength. He is our shield and fortress. God understands our fears. May we be afraid of all the right things.

The Latest Test Results

We had a great time in Colorado and arrived home on Monday evening so we could spend one night in our own bed. Tuesday, Oct 28, we drove to Iowa City to stay the night since we needed to be at the hospital by 6:30 am on Wednesday. This was the appointment for the once-every-eight-weeks check-up, evaluation, and consultation as well as Chemo Infusion #9.

All the results of the lab work were encouraging.  Although Lois’ hemoglobin is on the low side of normal, the Dr wasn’t concerned. The CT Scan showed the tumors in the liver looked the same as they did the first week of September – when she had the last Scan. The tumors have not grown but have not shrunk. The biggest one in the liver looks black which they say is a good sign. The spot on the lung has not changed.

Based on all this, the Oncology team decided to change the “chemo cocktail” for the next four infusions. The Oxaliplatin is being subtracted and “put back in the arsenal” so they can use it again if the tumors begin growing. This is the drug which has caused Lois to be extremely sensitive to cold – especially touching cold items and eating/drinking cold food. It has also been the source of the slight neuropathy she has experienced in her hands and feet. We are especially thankful that Lois can be off this during the cold months!

We will continue to travel to the University Hospital every two weeks for infusions of Avastin and Leucovorine. Since Lois is no longer on the Oxaliplatin they were able to double the dose of Leucovorine. Lois will also continue the “fanny pack pump” infusion of Fluorouracil, which is also called 5FU, which is started at the hospital after the other infusions are done and then runs for 46 hours at which time a home-health nurse comes to our house to disconnect. (We joking say that Lois is “deported” every two weeks!)

Both of us are confident that God is working miracles. Every day is a miracle! The results of this Scan and the accompany lab work continue to increase our hope for the future. We were hoping the tumors would shrink but know that God is in control.

Many thanks for praying for Lois and me and our whole family.  We continue to be overwhelmed by your friendship.

Update on Chemo #8

On Wednesday, October 15, Lois received the eighth infusion of Chemo drugs. We received another miracle in the continuous flow of answered prayer as there were no unusual reactions.

The cooler weather is causing some challenges with the extreme sensitivity to cold that comes with one of the drugs but Lois is coping. In fact, she is doing so well that we are leaving after church tomorrow, Oct 19, and will have supper with her brother and his wife in Omaha. We will then travel on to Colorado and spend Tuesday evening and Wednesday with my Aunt Harriet in Montrose before driving to Colorado Springs where I will attend the CareGivers Forum and Lois will spend the days with her sister, Beth. We’ll arrive back home on Monday night, October 27.

On Wednesday, October 29 we begin the day of tests, evaluations and consultations at 7 a.m. in Iowa City. We are trusting the Lord to give the doctors continued wisdom in planning further treatments.

Thanks for praying!


I was fifteen years old when I had my first ride on a motorcycle. I didn’t sleep for two days and nights afterward but it wasn’t from excitement. Remorse, fear and conviction kept me awake. Dad had explicitly forbidden me (and my younger brother) from ever riding a motorcycle and I had disobeyed.

My Dad grew up in an orphanage but when he was in high school he had a friend, Ed, who came from a “real family.” That family included Dad in many of their activities and he often spent weekends with them. On Ed’s 16th birthday his parents took him to a local dealer and he chose his new motorcycle.  Dad would describe this event with great personal excitement. No one at the orphanage had ever received such an extravagant gift and he was probably more thrilled than Ed!

Dad rode in the car with Ed’s parents and followed as he rode his new motorcycle home. Just a few blocks from the dealer, Ed failed to see an unmarked, two inch diameter, 10 ft galvanized pipe sticking out of a truck. The pipe went right through Ed’s head – killing him instantly. Ed’s parents, along with my Dad, witnessed every gory detail.

Out of that horrifying experience came the rule in our house: Don’t even think about riding a motorcycle. We could all argue that the rule was unreasonable; the fear irrational; that some good therapy would’ve helped Dad understand the motorcycle was not at fault. One might even present a good case for the rarity of red warning flags coming loose from objects extending out of trucks.  I could even make the argument that I rode the motorcycle in a farm field, wearing a helmet, with no other vehicles or obstacles in sight. But those are just excuses: I had disobeyed – sinned.

I was literally sick due to lack of sleep and the emotional turmoil. Dad was no dummy – he asked what was going on. I confessed and expected the punishment to be swift and severe.  Instead, the discipline handed out that day has lasted a lifetime and has been unusually cruel – and it’s also been one of the greatest gifts my Dad ever gave me.

In spite of his absurd fear of motorcycles, Dad was gifted with great spiritual wisdom. He looked me in the eye, shook is finger in my face and with a stern voice said, “Don’t ever forget the conviction, remorse and fear you’ve experienced the past three days. The motorcycle rule is insignificant compared to God’s commands. I pray that every time you’re faced with a decision of whether or not to obey God you’ll remember how you felt after that motorcycle ride.”

No other punishment was handed out. Within the family setting, nothing was ever said about the incident. To this day, every time I see a motorcycle, I’m reminded of how costly it is to disobey.

Have I lived perfectly since then? No. Not even close. (Just ask my wife and children.) But there have been – and continue to be – many times when I recall the sense of foreboding after I rode that motorcycle. It was an unforgettable lesson about remorse over sin; about confession and repentance and the receiving of forgiveness.

Is it possible that we have become immune to the sense of fear and remorse for disobeying God’s commands? Has conviction hung over us for so long that we have learned to live with it? Do we experience remorse and conviction when we act in defiance to God?

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. 1 John 1:5-10


Lois and I feel as if we are living in a miracle. That was confirmed again on Wednesday, Oct 1, when Lois had Chemo infusion #7 and, as in the past, she experienced no serious reactions! That is a miracle!

At one point, as the infusion was taking place on Wednesday afternoon, there were four nurses standing at the door mostly incredulous that Lois is holding up so well. All the medical professionals are smiling when they see us and comment often about Lois’ positive attitude, increasing strength, and capacity for dealing with the slight neuropathy she does experience in her hands and feet.

We repeatedly give God credit for the miracle we are living.  What a privilege to represent Him to people who become so jaded with suffering and death.

We also rejoice in the miracle of new life. Natalie Jean was born September 25th to our daughter Kari and Jeremy Hamilton. She joins her big sister, Sarah who just turned two a few weeks ago. Natalie weighed 6 lbs 8 oz and was 20 inches long. On September 30 she was already back to her birth weight! Kari was able to deliver naturally even though they induced labor. Everyone came home on Saturday, Sept 27.