You Just Can’t Have It All

Charles Spurgeon said it. Billy Graham said it. And even though it’s not really all that funny anymore, most of us have probably said it as well. It goes something like this: “Don’t bother looking for the perfect church since, the moment you join it, it won’t be perfect anymore.” Zing! There’s truth behind the quote, of course. It would be impractical and, frankly, ridiculous to expect that a bunch of sinful people could join together to create a sinless …

A December Family Update (and Non-Travel Report)

I turned 45 yesterday. My birthday was supposed to arrive when I was somewhere high over the Atlantic, perhaps just off the coast of Namibia, at the front end of a monster 16-hour homeward flight. I should have long since fallen asleep, and not known exactly where I was when the clock struck midnight, nor even what time zone it might have been. I suppose it’s possible that I would have turned 45 a few times while flying briskly from …

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Family Update: An Engagement, a Scholarship, and a Beautiful Bench

Canada’s Thanksgiving weekend has just come and gone and we ourselves have just come and gone—we are on our way home from a brief trip to Louisville, Kentucky, where we spent some time as a family. We very much enjoyed our few days with Abby, with Ryn (Nick’s fiancée), and with Nate, (Abby’s fiancé). Yes, my Abby is engaged! Nate asked her to marry him at just about the time they reached their one-year dating anniversary. He had spent some …

The Gospel and the Pain of Fatherlessness

Sometimes one person’s story can stand in for that of millions. Sometimes one person can explain a situation that affects not only themselves but also countless others. Those of us who were blessed to grow up with fathers who were present, active, and engaged may struggle to understand the particular sorrows and challenges that come to those whose fathers were detached, uninvolved, or perhaps entirely absent. Blair Linne’s Finding My Father: How the Gospel Heals the Pain of Fatherlessness tells …

A Mid-August Family Update

We have somehow already come to the middle of August, and over the past couple of weeks have been experiencing the full heat and humidity of a Canadian summer. Temperatures are often hovering around the low-30s Celsius (+-90 Fahrenheit) with humidity making it feel more like 40 (105). But it won’t be long now before the heat breaks, the days grow shorter, and we head into the fall season. Last month we were able to get away from the city …

A Canada Day Family Update

Summer is now well underway in Canada. The hot weather began early this year and only now is the calendar catching up. If Canada has an unofficial beginning to summer it is the Victoria Day weekend (which falls around May 24) and if it has a more official beginning it is Canada Day (which is tomorrow, July 1). Schools have just let out, families are hitting the road, beaches are full, campgrounds and cottage country are swarming, and so on. …

A Family Update and a Cause of Death

It took nearly six months, but the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office finally determined the cause of Nick’s death and sent us an autopsy report. It was a very long wait for a crucial piece of information. And while it was very difficult to receive the report, we were glad to finally know. We couldn’t bring ourselves to read it, so took a quick photo of each page and sent it to a doctor friend. He read the report thoroughly and …

A Family Update, Six Months Later

It’s hard for me to believe it, but today is exactly six months since Nick went to heaven. In some ways it feels like more than that, but in so many more it feels like less. Six months ago we were a family of five and looking forward to soon being a family of six through a fast-approaching wedding. Today we are a family of four, though with an unofficial “extra” we love very much and gladly consider a daughter, …

An April Family Update

We have just come off a restful four-day weekend. Good Friday and Easter are both national holidays here in Canada, and we enjoyed the days of downtime and the special worship services. With that behind us, we are in a stretch that leads to the Victoria Day weekend which comes at the end of May and marks the unofficial beginning to summer. For now, though, spring is well underway. Flowers are blooming, trees are budding, the sun is a little …

A Mid-Winter Family Update

It is hard to believe it has been 10 weeks since Nick went to heaven—10 weeks since I last FaceTimed him, since I last texted him, since I last shared a belly laugh with him. He is still the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning and he’s still on my mind as I fall asleep at night. The pain is different now than it was in the first few weeks, but while it may …