Category: courage

Good news (and some not-so-good): My oncologist has cancer Part 12

For those of us who know and care about Dr. Marc Hirsh, we can exhale once more. His 9-month check up last week at Hershey Medical was good news again! Blood work and a CT scan confirmed that the very rare neuroendocrine tumor of thymine origin has not changed. The 5X3 cm mass still is …

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All Shall Be Well

Like most of us, Kevin Cross’s life has been full of unexpected twists and turns–many of them wonderful, at least one terrifying. And as soon as I heard his “full-circle” story, I knew I wanted to share it. His life dream started very young. “When I was little, I used to play at being a priest,” …

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The Day I Shook the Hand of “The Greatest”

Would you believe I shook hands with and received a mini-apology from boxing legend Muhammad Ali, a.k.a “The Greatest”? In 1970, when I was a college freshman, my best friend Jackie and I went to hear Ali speak at the Mansfield branch campus of THE Ohio State University. We were excited, so we arrived early …

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Incurable Cancer and God’s Goodness

If you ask my dear friend Pat Magness what’s getting her through a nearly three-year journey with incurable cancer–and remission from it–she will tell you: God’s goodness and Lee’s encouragement. Both God and husband Lee were in Pat’s life long before the sobering diagnosis, but her love for each has grown much deeper. Pat and …

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Finding Serenity

“The Serenity Prayer” was always a favorite of my father–who would have turned 99 this month–and I love it, too. A framed needlepoint of that prayer hangs in my office and was made for me in  the ’70s by a dear friend in our first pastorate in western New York State. Connie sadly passed away in …

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“God was using my hurt to heal others!”

When I met Bre Valenzuela last summer in San Diego at the Bob Goff retreat for cancer survivors, one thing was clear: she exuded joy…in spite of her circumstances. In the fall of 2022, life had been good for Bre. She was less than a month from celebrating her 29th birthday and the birth of …

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For Days When You Can’t See the Sun

On a recent, dark, foggy morning, my husband and I were riding in the car with our youngest grandchild. As we drove past the nearby Limerick nuclear power plant and its steamy twin towers, 6-year-old Mathis made this observation: “Those cloud-maker buildings are really working hard today…I can’t even see the sun!” I had to …

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Nothing Can Steal This Clown’s Joy

My friend Bunnie is a redheaded, retired heavy equipment operator with a delightful New England accent who loves to laugh. On weekends she “clowns” around at the local Dairy Queen whipping up balloons and smiles for children. On weekdays she takes off her clown make-up and cooks hot meals, which she joyfully delivers to the …

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Why We Don’t Lose Heart

A few years ago when my grandson Ben was only 3, we chatted while browsing my wedding album from 1973. ME: Do you know who that is? BEN: Grandma. ME: That’s right. Grandma when I was young. BEN: Why you turn out not young anymore? ME: That’s the same thing I’ve been wondering.   “Where …

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The Goodness of God and the “Badness” of Life

The other morning as I listened to CeCe Winans belt out the song “The Goodness of God,” I suddenly had flashbacks of “bad” things I’ve experienced in my nearly seven decades of living. A Mother’s Day miscarriage. A life-threatening cancer diagnosis. Untimely deaths of dear friends. Painful turmoil in churches. Addiction crises ending in suicides. …

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