Just Out Of Reach

Parkinson’s disease is referred to as a movement disorder. The term movement disorder to me means that the human body is unable to move normally. Due to damage of certain cells in the brain, the brain – body connection is broken. The brain continues to send signals to the body to move, but the path these signals must travel is compromised. This affects my life in a number of ways.

I am no longer able to sleep with my wife in our bed. Because of pain, I have found the only place I can get a good night sleep and not wake up in the morning in extreme pain is to sleep in a recliner. I first started to discover the various aspects of having a movement disorder from that chair.

When every movement you make is uncomfortable in some way, you find yourself making less and less movements. My recliner has become a kind of refuge. I have placed it in the middle of the room and I have tried to place all the things around me that I need to have close… IPad, phone, pills, water, remotes for my different devices, my pillows and blankets, paper towels and so on. Because there are so many things I need around me, and just so much space, I try to place everything carefully. But still, I continually find that something I need is just out of my reach. It’s frustrating. This morning I reached for a pillow that had fallen on the floor. I tried to reach over from my chair and get it, but it was just an inch too far away. No matter how much I stretched, I couldn’t reach it. I had to get up out of the chair, get it and then sit back down again. But, I had my pillow, my blanket and my iPad on my lap. So, it was necessary to lift these things off my lap, find a close place to set them so I could easily reach them when I returned. Painfully and slowly I pushed the lever to lift myself into a sitting position in my recliner. Painfully and slowly I tried to stand up, making it on my third attempt. I retrieved the pillow and reversed the painful process to return to my original position in my chair. I was now exhausted, hoping I hadn’t forgotten something.

I’m not lazy. When every movement you make meets with resistance and pain, you make the least movements possible.

It’s like I’m in prison.

Every prison inmate has a movement disorder. Most of the world is out of their reach. They are not able to go where they want to go and do what they want to do. Their movement disorder they brought on themselves by their actions. They are usually placed in prison because of something they did. I don’t believe my imprisonment is the result of something I have done. I am in prison none the less. The reason I am not able to do what I want to do and go where I want to go is not because of any crime that I have committed. I guess I’m locked up in this cell of Parkinson’s disease because of the crime that was committed by my first parents a long time ago in a garden.

Most prisoners in jail are confined away from the world that was once theirs. They are locked away out of sight. But my prison is right in the middle of my world. That means I can see all the things that are mine, but are now just out of reach…. picking up my grandson, running, walking normally, doing the work I want to do, having a sex life with my wife, riding a motorcycle, sleeping in my bed. These and innumerable other things that were just a reach away are now just out of reach. But, I’m not blaming anyone, except the creep that snuck into that garden and offered my first parents a lie.

Despite the fact that I will most likely remain in this prison, it is my intention to continue to live a life based on a decision I made when I was six years old. That decision was to accept a free gift from God.

Based on that decision, one day I will wake up and discover that not only can I reach that pillow, but I can move without pain. I will also realize that the bars of my prison are gone and I am free.


It’s hard to look through the eyes of someone else. Even if that someone is the love of your life that has known you and you have known for over 30 years. It’s even harder the think through their brain. You may think you know what they are thinking, but you never know.  Because you love them so much and have lived so much life together, you always wonder.

Two people find each other. They fall in love and they get married. On the wedding day, they make promises to each other. They say to each other that these promises will last as long as they live. After the promises are exchanged, they walk down the aisle and usually go to a large room that has been decorated just for them. They are no longer individuals only. They are also something that is singular in nature.  Life begins.

With this basic foundation, their lives are lived. They have some idea how they would like life to go. They make their plan. They soon discover unexpected events change their course. They are forced to go a different way. Sometimes as they travel down the road they choose to go a different way. Because promises were made and distance has been traveled, everyone’s hope is that whatever comes along to cause a change in direction, they will make those changes together. There are changes you choose. There are changes that just happen. There are changes you can anticipate and plan for. There are changes you know are coming but choose to ignore until they happen.

For Marcia and me, Parkinson’s disease is a change that just happened. I don’t know how we could have anticipated it. I don’t know of anything we did to cause it to happen. Because we know we live in a fallen world where people grow old and get sick, we knew there was a good chance that if we lived long enough, something would get one of us. It just happened to be me.

When you are just starting your married life together, your thoughts and actions are filled with jobs, houses, cars, kids, vacations, paying bills, buying musical instruments, going to church and millions of the little moments that come together to make a life. It’s you and your mate, taking on each of those moments as they occur. A partnership. A team. And then you blink. You open your eyes to find that all of your kids are married. You have a grandson and another grandson on the way. Your career is over. You and Marcia are living in a senior citizen community. Just the two of you and a dog. And you have Parkinson’s. Now this is a big change in direction! The world has changed its axis. What use to be up is now down. Almost everything you called your life is now different. The number of things you have been able to do whenever you wanted to do them is getting smaller by the minute. Is that old, shaky man looking back at you in the mirror each morning really you?

But enough about me. How about Marcia! Her world has changed axis also. And I have an idea it’s tougher for her. Yes, l feel it in my skin but she has to watch it happen. It must be like watching your love getting hit by a bus in slow motion. The feeling of helplessness to do anything to prevent it. And at the same time, mourning the loss of a life you were looking forward to. I’m sure she is anticipating the huge challenges she can only imagine, but already seeing a glimpse. Promises…spoken and meant when we were so young and looking forward to life. We never knew that these promises were for today. We would actually have to act on them. My choice would be to release her from those promises, but I need her. I would rather she have the freedom to pursue a life filled with fun and fulfillment. The promise does not allow for that. A side of me wants to go back to that day she made the promise to me and eliminate it from our vows. But another side of me is selfish and glad she is with me on this journey we did not choose.

Parkinson’s is like playing chess with an opponent that keeps changing the rules with each movement of the pieces. And you can’t learn by watching others around you playing chess because their rules are completely different and also changing. Marcia and I don’t know how I will act as the result of Parkinson’s. I can’t warn her that something weird is going to happen because I don’t know that it is. Plus, Marcia has always said she never knows what I will do. She has a hard time figuring out what’s Parkinson’s and what’s just me being me. I tend to do things she doesn’t understand and I have a difficult time trying to explain myself. One day my memory is ok and the next I can’t remember if I took my pills 5 minutes ago. One day I’m an amusing, entertaining person that’s fun to be around. The next, sensitive, cranky, chip on my shoulder looking for a fight.

Unfortunately, as I grew older, Marcia also grew older. I’m an older person with Parkinson’s along with the physical challenges of being older. Marcia is a very attractive older person with less strength and stamina than someone younger, which is normal. But she not only has to deal with the normal challenges of an older person’s life, now add the increased load of making up for my inability to physically work around the house. She also is increasingly having to help me do the simple tasks of life. Taking care of myself. And that will only get worse.

Here we are, two people that love each other deeply. My love for her wishing I had never put her in this situation, wanting somehow to relieve her of this burden. Her love for me, willing to make a promise all those years ago and now choosing to keep it.


I honor you and I thank you with all my heart for the life of joy you have given to me, for your willingness to walk the rest of this journey with me, though you may have to carry me much of the way.




The first time I really heard the words Parkinson’s Disease, they were being used by my doctor to describe something that was happening inside me, inside my skin. He spoke the words in response to my description of some unusual challenges I had been facing. I guess I would call them symptoms. Things like my left arm didn’t swing when I walked. I had lost my sense of smell. I felt a slight tremor in my left hand. He spoke the words to me in a sentence, “It sounds like you may have Parkinson’s disease.” It’s one of those moments that comes along once in a while that changes the entire direction of our lives, though I didn’t realize it at the time.

Normally life happens predictably. I grew up trying to make choices I hoped would result in a good and happy life. I went to school. I tried to do well. I tried to figure out what I wanted to do to make a living. I searched for someone I could love. Because of my parents, my church and my relationship with God and by just paying attention, I discovered early that good made more sense than bad. Bad may have pleasure, but the result of being bad would eventually be bad. Doing good just seemed like the intelligent way to live. It’s not that I always made the right choice and never did bad things. It almost always proved that doing bad things resulted in more bad things happening. Doing what I believed to be the right thing resulted in my life being better, both for me and the people my life touched. It just didn’t make sense to me to do bad things.

I did discover that making good choices didn’t mean that bad things wouldn’t still happen to me. Like most people, I wanted to be happy and successful. Happiness is different for everyone. I found out that what makes me happy can be different than what makes someone else happy.  What success looks like is different for everyone. As I live my life I make moment to moment decisions that will determine my own happiness and success.

But then come the moments that will try to destroy the happy and successful life I have been living and pursuing. Usually these moments arrive with words, words spoken by me or spoken to me by others. Words spoken by me like, “Yes, I will do that,” to something I know is wrong. “No, I won’t do that”, to something I know is right. These moments change not only the course of my life, but also change me forever.

Words that are spoken by others, both good and bad, can also change my life and me forever. Like the words, “I don’t love you and I don’t want to be married to you anymore.” Those words were so powerful that from the moment they hit the air, their impact changed the course of my life immeasurably. Those words and the actions and choices that led up to them being uttered caused the life I had planned on to cease to exist, leaving me barely able to stand, staring at a blank canvas.

When I regained my balance, someone else spoke a word to me that again altered the course of my life in ways I could never have imagined. Only this time the word was good. The word was spoken in response to a question I had just asked. The question was, “Will you marry me?” She answered my question with one word, “Yes.” The moment that one word hit the air, its impact changed the course of my life immeasurably.

I had heard the words “Parkinson’s disease” before. I had heard that some celebrities said they have it. I remembered watching a movie titled “Awakenings” that was about people with Parkinson’s. Until those words were spoken to me about me, they were only words. I basically knew what they meant, but they were only words like so many other words. Words that existed to describe something that really didn’t affect my life. Now these two words that I had barely thought about were elevated to the status of being two of the primary words used to define me. And as time goes by, how they affect me grows stronger.

I am at a point in my life that my Parkinson’s body and brain are steering me down a path that has been travelled by many people before me, but it’s all new to me. And like most of life, the ability of others that have traveled this path to be a guide to me is limited. Parkinson’s attacks each person in many different ways. The people in my life, my family and friends can encourage me as I walk this path. Without God and Marcia, it would be impossible to go down this road. God is the foundation on which I have tried to build my life and He provides the strength to face everything. Marcia is the love of my life. From the moment she said yes, my life has risen far above my expectations, despite the challenges of living in this fallen world.

On the day Marcia and I were married, we said words to each other. Living in a “modern world”, we decided not to use the traditional vows but instead wrote our own words to say to each other. The words were spoken as a promise. Words that were spoken out loud and witnessed by our family and friends. Usually, these words are referred to as vows. We were making a vow to act and live a certain way for and with each other. The words were based on our love. Words that up until that moment were only words now had weight and substance and power. Words that would change our lives forever. Words that would result in the creation of new life. I know when Marcia and I said these words to each other, they changed from words into truth. They came to life.

Unfortunately, we have forgotten the words. We have lost them. When we moved into our first apartment, Marcia embroidered two wall hangings. One with my words to her, one with her words to me. But over the years, they too have been lost. What happens when you lose words that changed your life and words that you have built so much upon. I spoke my words to Marcia in love and because of love. Also with the desire to make a happy life with her. I remember what my intention was when I spoke the words to her. I promised to love her forever, with an exclusive love only for her. Rejecting all others. I think I said something about leading and protecting her. Also, something about putting her needs before mine. Even though we don’t remember the words, the spirit of the words endure.

A man I have known and respected for over 30 years has a saying, “Words mean things”. He usually says it when referring to a question about a contract. I think it’s even more true when you are talking about wedding vows. What Marcia and I said to each other were not the words of a contract between two people, we made a covenant with each other. Most traditional marriage vows have words like, “In sickness and in health, till death do us part.” I can’t remember if we said that to each other. It has always been my intention that Marcia is going to be stuck with me until one of us dies, even though I don’t remember saying words that meant that. When you are young and healthy, you can say words like “till death” and absolutely mean them and not really think about the fact that in the blink of an eye you could be at the edge of that cliff staring into the void. I don’t think I’m standing at the edge yet, but the fog has rolled in. It’s beginning to get dark and I can sense the void. Parkinson’s disease up to this point has been something in my life that I have been able to cope with, but as it continues to slowly steal things from me, it is getting harder to see. I have been able up until now to find things to replace what the creep is stealing. I am having trouble walking and getting out of the house, but I have a Segway that I can use to get out on my own and go almost anywhere. Speaking and listening is becoming harder, but there are things like texting that I can still do. I can no longer work. The strange thing is that as I move slower, the days seem to go faster so it’s easier to fill up days so I’m not finding myself getting bored. Driving is becoming a challenge, but I can still drive short distances, and we have a golf cart and my Segway. (I wouldn’t be able to write this if it weren’t for technology, (iPad, slide typing…). I’m still able to think fairly well. One of the reasons I’m writing this is because I want to think about some things while my head is still clear. I’m not so much concerned about what’s ahead for me as much as I’m concerned about what’s ahead for Marcia.

The last song the singer Glenn Campbell recorded before he was pulled into the oblivion of Alzheimer’s is titled, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You.” At the time they recorded the song, I don’t think he knew what the words he was singing were saying. Someone had to stand beside him and point the words out as he sang. The writers of the lyrics said they wrote the song knowing what he and others suffering with Alzheimer’s and those they loved faced. It’s harder on the ones that love the sick person because the sick person is unaware that they don’t remember anyone. The loved ones do remember but are not remembered. Parkinson’s disease can have dementia as a symptom. How extreme or how mild it may affect me is a mystery.

Now I come back to the words Marcia and I spoke to each other. I do remember offering her all that I am and all that I have. I also remember putting her needs before my needs. The bible says we are to esteem others better than ourselves. Jesus also said, “There is no greater love than to lay down your life for a friend. As Parkinson’s takes my life from me, I am keenly aware that it is also taking away Marcia’s life from her. I love her so much that I would like to free her from having to give up a life of living the adventure that is available to her. It is going to be hard for me to watch her having to sacrifice her life for me. There is so much more she can do over the next 25 years than caring for me.  Because of my love for her, I would like to be able to find a way to free her from this future. I don’t think I have the option of removing myself from this world. I think the Christians believe that is a one way express ticket to hell. I’m not quite so sure. I don’t believe that someone that throws themselves on to a live grenade to save others from death or injury is condemned for doing that. Isn’t not wanting Marcia to be trapped into a full-time caregiver’s life at the cost of sacrificing a fulfilling, exciting life full of experiences and friendship and ministry considering her needs over my own? I can’t get over the idea of her losing her ability and freedom to live out the potential of her gifts and skills due to the fact that she is encumbered by something she didn’t sign up for. I would need to be very selfish to let her do that. Is there another way to free her? Paying people to care for you is something people do. A man I knew for 30 years developed Parkinson’s like symptoms when he was 75 years old. Early on, he voiced concerns about his wife having to deal with this, but his wife died of cancer when he was 80 and was still pretty self-sufficient. After his wife died, his Parkinson’s progressed rapidly. At 82 he could no longer walk and was confined to a wheelchair and his bed. He had to move out of his house and lived in an assisted living facility with a 24 hour nurse to care for him until he died at the age of 85. Fortunately for him, he was quite wealthy and had options. Marcia and I don’t have the option of being able to afford to pay someone to look after me. Unless God decides to take me home or they come up with a cure, I can’t seem to think of a way for Marcia and me to get out of the way of this bus that is hurtling at us in slow motion.

If I could, I would proclaim to the whole world my love for my wife. If a way cannot be found to free her from this burden, it will take more than an eternity for me to express my love and gratitude for her sacrifice of her life for mine.

The bible could say, ” There is no greater love than for a wife to lay down her life for her husband.”




This morning while I was in the shower, I started to think about being naked. The state of being naked is one area that, more than most areas of our lives, is a reality that shows the creativity of God and the wickedness of the devil.

Nakedness has more facets than a gemstone. Its effect touches so many areas of the human experience.

All of us are born naked. We come into this world unadorned and uncovered and, of course, unaware that we are. When God made the first man, the man started the same way, naked and unaware. Adam and Eve ran around the garden unconcerned that they were naked. As Adam and God walked and talked in the cool of the day, Adam was naked. I’m not sure if God wore anything, but we know Adam didn’t think twice about being clothing free.

Then the devil interfered. He convinced Adam and Eve that God was holding back something good from them. God had told them not to do something, but the devil said it was ok to disobey God.

That evening when God went to meet Adam for their walk, Adam was nowhere to be found. God found him hiding in the bushes. When God asked him why he was hiding, he told God it was because he was naked.

I’m not sure why Adam and Eve’s disobedience resulted in the awareness that they were naked. It just tells us they started wearing clothes. I don’t think Adam and Eve minded seeing each other naked. I guess they just didn’t want God or the animals to see them naked.

Since Adam and Eve, being naked has had a profound effect on human history, good and bad.

Again, we are all born naked. As soon as we enter the world, somebody puts something on us. Not so much to cover up the cute little parts of a naked baby, but to keep us warm. From then on, we spend most of our time with some kind of covering. To protect us from the elements and to cover parts of us that most of us don’t want other people to see. Depending on our age in life, there are exceptions.

When we are a baby, like Adam and Eve before the fall, we are unaware of our nakedness. Our moms and dads and caregivers do have an awareness of nakedness, but out of relationship and necessity, our nakedness is natural. As we get older and become self-aware, our awareness of our own nakedness is apparent. Most of us don’t want others to see us naked.

Now for this next part, there are two basic elements. Nakedness the way God intended and nakedness perverted by mankind and the devil. Being a man, of course this will be from a male’s perspective.

One day, usually during the early teen years, boys make the discovery that they are drawn to a desire to see a naked girl. This desire is both mental and physical. And it is strong. And it is part of God’s plan. Unfortunately, most boys are unprepared for this tsunami of thoughts and feelings. Being unprepared and lacking the wisdom of knowledge that every boy should have been given, they get swept away in this wave of desire. They only know that their body and brain are screaming, ” Naked is good!” They are unaware that God has provided boundaries of protection where they can be safe. They are also unaware that the devil knows every man’s weakness and has invested unimaginable resources and personnel to make sure men are destroyed by something God created for good.

So rather than a boy growing up to be a man that is able to find the right woman for him, both protected and intact so they can enjoy a healthy and blessed state of nakedness together, the boy gets swept up in the unnatural pursuit of nakedness that can destroy his life and future.

As we start to walk down the path of life towards our sunset, it’s as though we go back in time to childhood. Our awareness of nakedness becomes less and less as the days pass by. If we live long enough, we again reach a point where our awareness of our own nakedness ceases to exist. Someone puts something on us for protection and warmth. The difference from a baby is that someone puts something on us to cover the wrinkly parts of our bodies no-one wants to see. Nakedness, ours or anyone else’s no longer matters.

Microscopic Adversaries

I have always known that this body and this mind were fragile. As with most people, my body gets sick. Some microscopic result of the fall of man invades my system from time to time and I get sick. Thankfully, God provided an additional provision for this. I guess I would call it an after the fall gift. Before the fall, Adam and Eve did not have an immune system. They didn’t need one. They were perfect and there were no germs. After the fall, their bodies needed something to fight off these invaders of the fall, so they were provided with body defenses to battle these new enemies. It’s been war ever since. These germs and bacteria attacking and adapting. Our defenses fighting back and adapting. Throughout history, our microscopic foes have tried many times to wipe us out. So far, our immune systems and the intelligence God has given to man to invent defenses have kept us from obliteration. I’m frankly surprised we are still here. If Satan had his way, we wouldn’t be.

When I was younger, despite getting sick, I did have a feeling of invincibility. That ended for me at the age of 50. That’s the year I believe I started to feel the presence of Parkinson’s disease. Any feeling of invincibility ended. My body and my mind were telling me something was wrong. More wrong than anything I had previously felt. Not knowing what was wrong was the worst part. It played havoc with my brain, body and my mind. I not only suffered from the onslaught of my physical body and brain being attacked by this unknown assailant, but my mind was fighting depression. Only after the adversary had been identified did a strange peace and resolve descend upon me. I was not imagining the things that were happening to me and the depression is a symptom of Parkinson’s.

So, roughly fifteen years ago, for some reason unknown to me, my brain started to cut back its production of dopamine. That’s the chemical the brain produces to aid and regulate movement. As the production decreases, my body moves slower. And not only my body and muscles, but some of my internal systems also. Digestion is one example. The little flap that insures what’s supposed to go to the stomach goes to the stomach, and what’s supposed to go to the lungs goes to the lungs, is another. It gets slow and I tend to choke.

They say that by the time a person starts to notice any Parkinson’s symptoms, about 80% of their dopamine producing brain cells are dead.

My journey with Parkinson’s disease started with symptoms from an unknown cause when I was 50, diagnosed when I was 54. But the journey hasn’t been too bad so far. Yes, I have had to stop working, I now drive very rarely. I’m slow, I’m tired all the time and get exhausted easily. Each day I become less dependent on what I have always been able to do and more dependent on my wife Marcia to stand in for me in life. But that’s ok. I could spend my time mourning the loss of me and feeling guilty for having to add all these things to Marcia’s plate. The bottom line though is that I didn’t ask for this. It just turned out to be my journey. And my sweet wife is just that, my sweet wife. She chose to walk this life with me. I would do the same for her.

My immune system can’t fight this. There are a lot of smart people working on a cure for Parkinson’s. If that proves to be too elusive, they are also working on finding a way to prevent it and tools to help people like me live our lives to the fullest.

As I continue to travel down this road that God did not want me to travel down, but was created by rebellion against God, I can see the white shores of my destination. It is more beautiful than words can describe. If I look real hard, I think I can see a crowd standing on the shore, waving me on.

And I do know that as my feet touch that sand and I go to greet all those I love, I will be running!

More Like Jesus

I have a personality trait that has driven my wife crazy ever since we first met. Sometimes I tend to be a tad secretive. I either keep information from her or I give her only partial information. I will also say things for effect. I don’t think I do this maliciously, though I would have a hard time convincing her of that.

Sometimes I will not inform her about a purchase I have made. I think I do that because I don’t want to make my case for the reason for the purchase. I know I will get some resistance from her. A lot of the time I will return that item and she never knows the transaction occurred. If I do decide to keep it, I would rather make my case after the fact.

Other times I will leave out or not mention information regarding events in our lives. They may or may not affect her directly or indirectly.

I really don’t know why I do this. It may be an attempt to control some part of our lives. It could be something I know she will react to adversely. I always try to avoid being in the path of that!

I do know I would never withhold anything that she needs to know…. Something that would endanger or hurt us. I do try to avoid this trait but it does still happen from time to time.

I will also say things just to get a rise out of her. Sometimes I enjoy her reaction, sometimes it backfires.

We were talking this morning about Jesus and I had a thought. Jesus also had this trait. Not the purchasing part, but the giving limited information part and saying things for effect. I told Marcia that I was just trying to be more like Jesus!

As I think about the life of Jesus, there does seem to be times when he would leave people guessing, and also say something for effect.

It’s like the parables. Many times, as I read them I think, why doesn’t He just say what He means. His disciples always seemed to be wondering about what he was saying and doing.

He told a woman with a sick child that He was not there for her and basically called her a dog. I don’t really think that’s what He thought. He was looking for a reaction. She reacted rightly.

Then there is the time He told Peter he was the rock that the church would be built upon. A verse or two later He called Peter Satan and to get out of His way. I don’t think Jesus thought Peter was Satan. He said it for affect.  When Jesus gathered his men for their last meal before He was to be killed, he told them they must eat His body and drink His blood. They wondered what in the world did that mean?

After He had risen, the disciples were left wondering what had happened. They and others had seen Jesus, but He would just pop in and out. Peter decides,  “I’m going fishing.” After fishing all night, they caught nothing. As the sun was coming up, a man on the shore yells to them, ” How’s the fishing?” They answered, ” No good.” The man on the shore told them to cast their net on the right side of the boat this time. They pulled the net in full of fish. They realized it was Jesus. They cooked breakfast and ate together. Jesus took Peter aside to talk. During the conversation Jesus told Peter how he would die. Peter noticed John and asked Jesus, “How will he die?” Jesus responded, ” If I want him to live until I return, what business is that to you?” That started the rumor that John would never die.

We are told to be like Jesus. He did seem to say and do things for effect. I’m really not saying what I do because of this trait in me is an effort on my part to be like Jesus. What I am saying is that my desire is to be like Jesus, in love, compassion, mercy and all the positive traits that He wants to see in my life.

Different Universes

Living life in this material world, it is easy to think that all that is real can be experienced through our 5 senses. We think we know what we know by what we see, hear, smell, feel and taste. But there is so much more that is going on beyond the reach of our senses.

We have a body that senses things. We also have a mind that interprets what the body experiences. Another word that describes the mind is soul.

( soul   sōl/


noun: soul; plural noun: souls


The spiritual or immaterial part of a human being, regarded as immortal.

a person’s moral or emotional nature or sense of identity.

“in the depths of her soul, she knew he would betray her.”

The soul is said to consist of our mind, will and emotions.)


We also are a spirit. This spirit is our true selves. When I think, dream, plan, show kindness, act unkind, pray, love, hate…… These are all acts of my spirit.

These three things put together make up who we are. It’s like the body is the vehicle we use to act and function in this world. The soul is the power that drives the body and steers it into action based on the information the 5 senses provide. Our spirit is the truest part of us that makes the body and soul do what they do in the context of what we are and know to be true. The soul and spirit are the only two parts of us that are immortal. The body wears out and when it does, we discard it like an old suit.

If we are awake, we are aware of other universe’s besides our own. These universes are inhabited by beings that are different than us. They have been around a lot longer than us. In these universes reside angels and demons. They have the ability to move between our universe and theirs. They have the ability to act and influence us and our universe. And they are at war. The war is for our spirits. Most of us are not aware that this war is taking place, even though it has been going on since the garden of Eden.

The war is between good and evil and the prize is us. The war was started by our choosing evil over good, Satan over God. Fortunately, God loves us so much that despite the fact that we betrayed Him, He is willing to fight to get us back.

The wonderful truth is, He has already won that war. Unfortunately, mankind and Satan don’t seem to realize it. Satan and his army continue to try to convince us that the war is still raging. He is still doing everything he can to convince us that he still has power. Any power he has is temporary and actually an illusion. He and his minions continue to fight to convince us to choose his universe over God. But just like our universe, Satan’s universe will end. It is already happening.

But the skirmishes continue.


One of my favorite books was written by Frank Peretti. Its title is, “This Present Darkness.” Early in the book there’s an incident where a small-town Pastor is in his small church praying for his people and his town. It’s night. Outside, something is trying to break into the church to get to him. But this something is being closely watched. This is a fictional glimpse into the war that is still being fought over us.

Here is the passage from the book;




The night scene of the quiet street was a collage of stark blue moonlight and bottomless shadows. But one shadow did not stir with the wind as did the tree shadows, and neither did it stand still as did the building shadows. It crawled, quivered, moved along the street toward the church, while any light it crossed seemed to sink into its blackness, as if it were a breach torn in space. But this shadow had a shape, an animated, creature-like shape, and as it neared the church sounds could be heard: the scratching of claws along the ground, the faint rustling of breeze-blown, membranous wings wafting just above the creature’s shoulders.

It had arms and it had legs, but it seemed to move without them, crossing the street and mounting the front steps of the church. Its leering, bulbous eyes reflected the stark blue light of the full moon with their own jaundiced glow. The gnarled head protruded from hunched shoulders, and wisps of rancid red breath seethed in labored hisses through rows of jagged fangs.

It either laughed or it coughed—the wheezes puffing out from deep within its throat could have been either. From its crawling posture, it reared up on its legs and looked about the quiet neighborhood, the black, leathery jowls pulling back into a hideous death-mask grin. It moved toward the front door. The black hand passed through the door like a spear through liquid; the body hobbled forward and penetrated the door, but only halfway.

Suddenly, as if colliding with a speeding wall, the creature was knocked backward and into a raging tumble down the steps, the glowing red breath tracing a corkscrew trail through the air.

With an eerie cry of rage and indignation, it gathered itself up off the sidewalk and stared at the strange door that would not let it pass through. Then the membranes on its back began to billow, enfolding great bodies of air, and it flew with a roar headlong at the door, through the door, into the foyer—and into a cloud of white hot light.

The creature screamed and covered its eyes, then felt itself being grabbed by a huge, powerful vise of a hand. In an instant, it was hurling through space like a rag doll, outside again, forcefully ousted.

The wings hummed in a blur as it banked sharply in a flying turn and headed for the door again, red vapors chugging in dashes and streaks from its nostrils, its talons bared and poised for attack, a ghostly siren of a scream rising in its throat. Like an arrow through a target, like a bullet through a board, it streaked through the door— And instantly felt its insides tearing loose.

There was an explosion of suffocating vapor, one final scream, and the flailing of withering arms and legs. Then there was nothing at all except the ebbing stench of sulfur and the two strangers, suddenly inside the church.

The big blond man replaced a shining sword as the white light that surrounded him faded away.

Right Choices Are Hard

I chose to be a follower of Jesus at the age of 6. I know it may be hard to believe that at 6, someone can make that kind of choice. I think it may be my first memory. Someone asked me the question,” Do you accept God’s sacrifice of His Son for the restoration of the relationship between God and mankind that was lost at the fall of Adam and Eve? Do you repent of all your sins and promise to live the rest of your life for Him and for others? (Wait, I was six! Not much time to sin yet.) I think different words were used. They were along the lines of, ” Do you invite Jesus into your heart?” I remember saying yes, and then repeating a simple prayer and finally hearing someone say, “Now you are saved.” Ever since that moment, I have lived my life seeing the world through the eyes of a follower of Jesus…my joys, my sorrows, my achievements, my failures, my pain, my pleasure, my sin, my undeserved favor. Every minute of my life has been seen through Christian eyes.

During my years as a Jesus follower, I have learned how to live that life from many different sources, a number of churches I have attended, each having a different flavor than the others. The common denominator is they were all “protestant”. The different flavors came from their denominational history, their past and present leadership and how they interpreted what God wanted to say in the bible. I learned from my family, my friends, the books I read and, of course, the Holy Spirit.

Over the years, my mind was developed and molded and changed by all these ingredients. And now, here I am. With a mind filled with teachings and experiences that I use to interpret my daily life. I have tried to make good decisions each day. Some days I have been more successful at it than other days.

I have determined that for the most part, wherever we are in our lives, most of us are there because of the choices we have made all along the way, good choices and bad choices. From “Should I go to college,” to, “Should I forgive the person who has wronged me “. There is a scene in a movie I like. An older man that has lived a life he is not proud of is talking to a large group of teenagers. He tells them, “As I lived my life, I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew. But I never took it. Do you know why? Because it was too hard.”

I have found the right choice is usually the hard choice. Doing something you know is right but has a cost. Walking away from something you really want but you know is wrong. Doing something that will diminish you for the benefit of someone that doesn’t deserve it. I hope I will always be willing to make the right choices, hard or easy. Whenever confronted by a hard choice, I try to think about how this choice will affect me and those around me, now and in the future.

And I remember, God is watching.

Healing in a Fallen World

Now some random thoughts on healing. I think I’ve been sick the normal amount of times over the years I have lived on this earth. That is, normal for someone living in America in the 20th and 21st centuries. I have had many colds, flu, fevers, sore throats, ear aches. I have been in the hospital 4 times… hepatitis, 2 hernias and 1 chest pain, (I think it was heart burn). It doesn’t feel good to be sick. When we are sick, we can’t wait to feel good again. And fortunately, after a while, we do. If we injure something or something happens like a hernia or appendicitis, we go to a doctor and get it fixed. But some things aren’t fixable and won’t go away over time. Cancer, MS, and many other diseases don’t usually go away.

I have Parkinson’s Disease. They call it a progressive degenerative disease. That means it keeps getting worse over time and doesn’t stop getting worse. They say people don’t die from Parkinson’s. They die “with” Parkinson’s. Something else is the cause of their death.

I believe that God has the ability to supernaturally heal the human body. I believe it has happened many times over history. In the Christian circles I have traveled in all my life, the consensus is that God heals.

But my life experience shows me that healing is not that easy to get a hold of.

I have thought about this a great deal throughout my life, especially when I’m sick or someone I love is sick. But with the normal everyday sick, even though you are asking God to heal you, in the back of your mind you know that after a while, the sickness will run its course, and you will be well again.

It’s not the same with something like Parkinson’s Disease. This doesn’t go away. There are things they can do to help make the journey a little easier and hold off the degenerative part for a while, but you can only imagine what’s coming. Michael J. Fox says, ” Having Parkinson’s Disease is like getting hit by a bus, only in slow motion. You see it hitting you, but you can’t get out of the way”.


Healing takes on a different meaning when you have something that won’t, in the natural, go away. But don’t I believe in the supernatural? Don’t I believe God has the ability to heal Parkinson’s? Of course, He does. He can do anything, can’t He? Let’s see. Can God lie? No. Can He violate His word? No. Can He be unjust? No.

When mankind fell in the garden, we let in everything that can hurt us and cause us sorrow and steal what belongs to us. God gave mankind the world and mankind gave it away and gave the adversary the right to be here and cause us pain and death. One of the things mankind allowed to enter the earth was sickness, disease and injury. We also caused a void to be placed between us and God.

But God loved us so much that He gave His Son to take our place and remove the void that separated us. His Son came to earth and brought with Him restoration and freedom from death. God certified Jesus as His Son by healing people Jesus and those with Him laid their hands on.

In the bible, there are random healings in the Old Testament. There are many healings described in the Gospel’s in the New Testament and some random healings in the rest of the New Testament. From the New Testament writers until now, healings have become less understood and experienced. There are many reasons given for the unpredictability of healing, from not having enough faith to receive healing, to the person that is praying for the person in need of healing not having enough faith, or from not praying long enough to not praying hard enough. Some say healing doesn’t happen because the sick person will learn a great lesson through having and enduring the sickness and pain, maybe patience or empathy. It’s also said that the healing has happened, just hasn’t manifested yet.

I have prayed for healing from Parkinson’s. I have been prayed for. As of this writing, I still feel the symptoms. If I skip the medication, it gets worse. I love God and Jesus is my savior. I have sinned and will sin again. I don’t want to, but I probably will. I could pray more for healing and be prayed for by others more. I could have more faith, I guess. I’m a little confused where enough is.

I love God, I trust God. I’m doing the best I can to be a good son. I have always felt His love for me. Most of the time, I feel I please Him. I don’t think He’s mad at me or withholding healing from me. I don’t think he is disappointed that I’m not healed. I think I live in a world He made perfect and my first parents ruined. Even though I’m not subject to death anymore and I will live in perfection with Him forever, for a short time, I will have Parkinson’s. But His love for me never fails.



The Selfishness of Sickness

When you have a progressive, degenerative sickness like Parkinson’s disease or any long-term health condition or injury, there is a tendency to become selfish. We are told by God to consider other people’s needs above our own. Most of my life I have known this command and have tried to live it. Now that I’m sick, I’m finding it more difficult to do. The requirements and demands of the disease are getting in the way.

Growing up a Christian trying to live an unselfish life, I know how hard it can be to deny ourselves and put someone else first. I understand why God asked us to do this. It’s one of those things that makes sense after the fact. The root of selfishness is pride. Selfishness is loving ourselves instead of loving God and others.

When I wasn’t sick, being unselfish was something I could choose to be. It was just a matter of making the right choice. There were no obstacles keeping me from choosing to be unselfish.

Now, Parkinson’s disease is conspiring with my body and brain to look inward rather than outward. Outward to the needs of others is where my gaze should be fixed.

Before my sickness, the moment by moment decisions and needs were mostly under my control. A situation would arise and I was free to decide what to do. A need would present itself, either for me or someone else, and I was free to fulfill or deny the need. What I found out about God was if I kept my attention on the needs of others, my needs would be taken care of. I had very little reason to look inward at my own needs. God always provided. I was free to consider other’s needs and the needs of my wife, my children, family, friend’s,

employers, co-workers and strangers, anyone that crossed my path. Many times, I failed in my attempt to live an unselfish life, but to live unselfishly was my desire.


Today, as I write this I find I am becoming a selfish person. A person that is more and more considering my needs more than the needs of others. I still know that God requires me to consider others more than I consider myself. It’s getting harder. When every part of my body is screaming, ” I’m in pain,” or ” I don’t want to move,” or ” I’m going to move whether you want me to or not,” it’s hard not to fix my gaze inward. When I refer to the selfishness of sickness, I can only speak of Parkinson’s disease/ Arthritis. (I have not spoken with many other sick people about what is being screamed at them, but I would imagine the screams are similar to mine and they are also being drawn inward).


These are a few of the obstacles Parkinson’s has placed in my path to being unselfish.


Making it difficult to find a place to be comfortable and remain comfortable for more than a short time.


Taking away my ability to walk more than a few steps without becoming exhausted.


Taking away my ability to stand unaided for more than a few minutes without having to sit.


Taking away my ability to speak loudly and clearly enough for people to understand what I am trying to say. With that, taking away my desire to speak because of frustration and embarrassment.


Taking away my desire for normal conversation because of fatigue and frustration.


Taking away the pleasure of eating out in public because of the fear of choking.


Taking away the pleasure of just leaving my house because of the fear of falling or just getting into a situation out of my control.


These obstacles and others that just show up regularly are making it hard to not be selfish. They cause me to want to always control my surroundings to meet my needs.


I know that God still wants me to do what He has asked us to do. He wants me to love Him. He wants me to trust Him. He wants me to love those around me. Because I am sick, those around me are fewer than before. My ability and opportunity to touch people’s lives is diminishing. I also know that being sick does not excuse me from being unselfish.


I was talking with my wife last night. I told her that I was concerned about the future and that my life was getting smaller and smaller and could soon disappear. Her response resulted in one of those moments that had the possibility of changing the course of the rest of my life. She told me I was fortunate and in a unique place. She said most Christians desire to know God better but the tyranny of the immediate, the demands of life and of time does not allow them to spend the time with God that they would like. She said I have been set free from that. Even though my body is bound, my mind and spirit are free to pursue God without limitation. Now that’s interesting. As long as my mind and spirit are free, I am free to live an unselfish life. It doesn’t matter if it comes to the point that my body can’t leave the house. I can still live the life God wants me to live. I can commit acts of unselfishness despite any obstacle placed in my path.


As I live out the rest of this blink of an eye that’s my life here on earth, I will probably be a tad selfish regarding what I must do to live a life with Parkinson’s. I may need to use tools to cope with the effects of the disease that will appear to be selfish. But my heart’s desire and my resolve will be to consider you and your needs above my own, whenever and however I can.