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*Special thanks to Shila and Pragna for their encouragement and inspiration*

Miracles Shock

Our limited three dimensional humanness often robs us of seeing all that’s actually transpiring in our lives and the lives of others. Therefore, the “brutality obvious” can take center stage in our hearts, entrenching itself as our determining factor to what is real, regardless of how cold that reality is.

It is a painfully sad dimension we get bullied into as the “facts of the matter” beat us up on a daily basis, demanding our unconditional surrender to their supremacy. Left “intimidated” to challenge the status quo for fear of disappointment, we lay down our hopes, wave our white flags, and give in, accepting that our “what is” always “will be”!

That’s why God’s miraculous interventions tend to be shocking. We seldom see them coming!

Duality Of Purpose

God does nothing for the singular sake of itself. Although, He’s so loving in His application that it can intimately feel that way but there’s always that heavenly rippling affect that’s operating in the background dispensing a chain reaction of blessing that is truly innumerable in its count!

And so it is with God’s rippling ramifications to His interventions in our lives. Each and every “miracle”, without exception, has birthed within them a divine underlying “moral” within their purposed manifestation. An accompanying lesson of sorts for receivers, observes, and hearers to ingest. In laymen’s terms: The “miracle” is the sizzle while the “moral” is the steak. Miracles are meant for both!

When the “M” word is used, we too often default to the physical. While being understandable, we must be sure to avoid such exclusivity in our perceptions. I’ve always believed: It’s far easier for God to heal a broken body than a broken heart. The latter, being very complicated!

The Importance Of Sharing

There are certain things in life that must be shared. Events of an intervening heavenly nature that are simply far too amazing to hoard in one’s heart as if being a secret. I mentioned earlier the “rippling affect” that miracles are meant to have as their exposer inspires others to believe in the unbelievable. To reach a little higher and a little wider and a little deeper, than they ever have before.

I fear the gift of miracles, that are kept hidden away in the closets of our hearts, short circuits their divinely intended purpose. Perhaps that’s why I’m so flagrantly transparent in my writings regarding my own life, past and present. You see, I’m a miracle of grace from birth and I know it! I have no lofty misconceptions about myself. I have no business still being here apart from the grace of God. I have been given everything a person could possibly need, while deserving nothing. I’m a full blown child of grace with no grey areas to claim as my own. I’m all black and white, with the white belonging to God. But thanks be to Him, who somehow manages to love me in spite of me but far too rarely because of me.

In that truth I glean much security of heart and take great comfort in its knowing. It’s God’s love the provided my now to be shared miracle. More appropriately stated: The miracle of my entire family! The event that was seen as “impossible”, arrived the Saturday before New Year’s. What a combination, Christmas/New Year’s gift from above!

Meet My Big Brother

I have an older brother I love with all my heart. I always have. There’s something magical that the younger feels toward the older when it comes to male siblings. As a child I experienced all of that in spades. He was my hero. The one I looked up to. The one I bragged about constantly to my friends and classmates, likely to their painful annoyance. Well folks, it wasn’t my fault that I had the most amazing brother in the world! “Jealousy” I thought! Therefore I continued my “brother centered” bantering.

John was ten years my senior and as cool as they come! He sang in a quartet which to me was HUGE! I clearly remember being taken to Danforth Tech High School to hear him and his mates perform. To be honest, the only one I noticed was John! What mates? It was blatantly obvious to me that my brother was the “STAR” who caused these melodic tones to perfectly permeate the atmosphere. Who else?

His group, “The Talk Abouts” appeared on “American Bandstand”, a gigantically popular TV show for teens hosted for decades by the late “Dick Clark”. I watched without blinking, as my big brother suddenly appeared on the screen of our black and white Crosley TV. I didn’t blink for fear I’d miss something to brag about the next day.

Then there was the big bag of potato chips he’d bring home for just he and I to munch on in his basement bedroom. Billy wants to go skating on a Saturday morning. No problem as big brother would take me down to the outdoor rink to do a few laps, “pretending” he didn’t have anything better to do with his time. John was a lineman for his high school football team. I never saw him play in that it would be during school hours these games would be played, but I was positive he was amazing at football because my big brother was always amazing! I truly worshiped John. He could do no wrong in my mind. He was bigger than life itself.

Then Life Got Bigger Than Him

What could be more celebratory than at twenty six years of age discovering your wife is going to have a baby? Oh the visions of sugar plums dancing in the heads of the soon to be recipients of a brand new bundle of life are beyond one’s imagination to adequately describe within their euphoric bounty of joy. Yup, that’s the way the script is supposed to read, isn’t it.

But a serious problem is revealed when the mother surprisingly starts to lose weight. She has a previously unknown heart condition that is putting her and the baby at risk. Emergency surgery is performed to remove the child in the hope of saving it. The father slips down to the gift shop thinking all will be well, to purchase some flowers for his recovering wife.

But the dream of grandeur viciously turns into a hellish nightmare when the doctor in charge approaches the man with the flowers in his hand with the news that neither his wife nor child made it! “Sorry they’re gone” is all that’s offered. Oh there’s a full medical explanation, but the man stopped hearing anything after “sorry”.

Just imagine for a moment what happens to a brain when that information is instantly trust into its processor. From the sublime to the hideous in a heartbeat is a dramatic fall! Not one that life offers a soft landing place for.

“Free-fallers” crash hard and brains scramble to survive as the one “falling” stands, as if frozen in time, waiting to be told it’s just a bad dream while continually reminded it isn’t!

That was my brother’s lot in life at twenty six years of age. It was then that everything changed. Slowly at first, but the fall-out picked up steam with a cascade of unfortunate events that would follow, causing communicating to be tenuous at best. The frequency followed suit. I was sixteen when it all began. Looking back, I don’t think I truly recognized the gradual dis-connect as some would have. “John was busy” was my youthful conclusion of comfort.

The Song Is Wrong!

Silence isn’t golden! “Lapsed time” causes the descriptive “impossible” to creep into the dialogs of even the most staunch believers. To be transparently honest, waiting can be demoralizing as we simmer our hopes on the backburners of our lives.

As I got older, I guess life with its new additions of marriage and children blurred my reality of a family divided. I probably, in my busyness, discounted everything, rationalizing for convenience sake that “all families have issues”. That was a tidy, un-intrusive, self-serving, conclusion for me to wear.

Well, time passed and the silence became a mystery that lived in a place far away and wasn’t to be brought up, as if fearing to awake its quiet dormancy would be tantamount to poking a bear in its hibernation.

As of last Saturday, it had been thirty long years since I spoke to my brother or heard anything about him. Folks, that’s a very long time. Truth be known: Apart from our parents funerals, he being fifty and I being forty at the time, the quiet was regrettably longer than the thirty years mentioned. The silence which gradually started when the “unfortunate circumstances” arrived, became seen as necessary over time, thus maintained. To talk was too difficult with its plethora of complications, so for the sake of peace we all stopped.

I seemed to always find room to understand the complexities of the circumstances. So without liking them, my love for John continued, in silent respect. I comforted myself with this thought: “If I was him, having gone through what he had, would I have responded better?” My answer? No!


The morning of Saturday December 30th 2017 arrived as had all other mornings previously. Uneventful at their eye opening inception but still having lots of “time allotted potential” to become otherwise.

Accompanied by my companion Mister Maxwell House, I settled in, still half asleep, to check my emails. Now to be clear for my non-Canadian readers: Maxwell House is a coffee not a person!

My trusty laptop revealed an email from my sister Cathy informing me that “John” would like a phone call from her to have a heart to heart chat. My “big brother” is eighty years old now and was in a nearby hospital recovering from a fall he had recently taken.

The totally unexpected, out of nowhere, request from John, combined with my concern for his medical condition left me pondering what all this information meant. I am the owner of a vivid imagination so it took little time to run the gamut of possibilities. Some were fearful and others amazing! I decided to go with “amazing” until proven otherwise.

My eyes froze on the screen, reading then re-reading then re-re-reading! This is impossible I thought. It would take me a few more minutes to transition to a far more appropriate WOW! “Call John and call me right back to let me know how he is”, was my very inadequate two cents worth of advice. I added a thing or two more but the surprise left me babbling a touch. I’m not sure at all if I said anything intelligent. Shock does that to me!

After Sis talked to John she called me right away as promised to inform me, she had an amazing conversation with Him. You could have peeled me off the ceiling. I was that jubilant with a little surreal thrown in for good measure. Have you ever gotten so excited that you felt the need to put on your coat and shoes but you actually have nowhere to go. It was kind of like that! So I paced my living room floor for a sufficient amount of time to remotely calm down in order to be coherent. When it’s You talking to You, incoherency can be dangerous!

Then my phone rang! Yup, it was my big brother! To describe the conversation wouldn’t do it justice but let it suffice to say: I cried a lot! All good tears and hopefully quiet enough that John didn’t hear them! You see, I didn’t think I’d ever hear from my big brother again nor did Cathy hold any such hope. We all have a Mother in heaven who we think must have had a hand in our miracle! It kind of felt like something Mom would do!

We are all going to get together for lunch when John gets settled. I wonder if my “big brother” will bring the ‘big bag” of potato chips? If I remember correctly it is his job. Perhaps a song or two can be sung. Cathy has a beautiful voice so a trio might be nice. If Elaine dares to jump in the water, a quartet could ensue! But what I want most is an opportunity to hug my brother so that will be first on my agenda!

If the accurate descriptive of a miracle is something you have no hope of seeing happen but it does, then “Saturday” would most certainly qualify. Oh how true it is that when God touches a story the “least likely happens”! A MIRACLE! On Saturday God breathed life into a dead story.

It’s Never Too Late

The “Moral In The Miracle”? It’s never too late to say you’re sorry. It’s never too late to say I forgive you. It’s never too late to be restored. It’s never too late to be healed! For those who have brave and willing hearts, it’s simply never too late! May this true story inspire you to pick up the phone if needed.

Willing hearts are where miracles are born. It’s never a question of God be willing. He’s always willing. The question is: Are we?

God Knows All - We Know Part

Perhaps a helpful word of truth while in the process of evaluating people from a more accurate perspective: While we see behavior and react to it, God does as well. But God knowing all, also sees the “why”. He was there when the “why” happened! And it is based on His understanding of the “why” that he dispenses compassion, grace and forgiveness. He looks beyond our faults and sees our needs, while we have a tendency to only see the faults. Could it be possible for us to follow in His example? I think we must! Life is too short and far too valuable to live it un-well!

But for the rarest of instances there’s usually a “why” at the center of all behavior waiting to be acknowledged, transcendent of the behavior. Perhaps in being compassionate enough to see it, we would be better enabled to heal it.

On Saturday John asked me to forgive him. You might think it strange but I struggled to comply with his request. You see, at forty I had suffered a nervous breakdown when the thing I thought would never happen, happened. When the indescribably painful words I thought I’d never hear, I heard. Until being rescued by the grace of God, its ugliness was my daily portion to ingest over and over again, like an emotional audio tape torturously repeating itself in my mind.

From that point on I understood John’s “why”. I lived it and breathed it. Thus it was to my ironic advantage, that my own “past pain” granted me access to love John in the silence. I had nothing to forgive him for!

But on Saturday he insisted so I agreed, but with one condition. That he promise to take a look in the mirror and forgive the person looking back at him. You know, sometimes that can be the hardest part for the one being forgiven.

In previous writings I’ve mentioned that compassion for others is birthed in the “valleys” of our lives. Mountain top experiences are no doubt wonderful with their care-free fragrant breezes gently massaging our senses, but nothing grows on a mountain top. It’s in those valleys where we learn to relate to each other at ground zero. Our own imperfections and insufficiencies find themselves exposed in those deep and dark places of life. But it’s in their exposer that we learn the humility necessary to curtail our demands that others perform “up” to “our” expectations.

I’ve written before regarding God’s qualifiers. Perhaps it’s not so much us forgiving each other but rather God forgiving “our trespasses” ( and here comes the qualifier ) “as we forgive those who have trespassed against us”. It’s extremely hard to argue heaven’s fairness in the matter, don’t you think, but oh how amazing it is that we have choice!

May it be so, that If we err may we err on the side of love. It’s the safer and God granted option at our disposal that we should take full advantage of, by choice!

Forgiveness is a wonderful gift to give to another. When it’s accompanied with understanding it’s doubly so! To my Big Brother John: Both are yours in abundance from us all with love!

Thank You!

This is where I need to pause and give much credit where credit is hugely due. The miracle that transpired on Saturday simply could never have happened without a young lady named Elaine brokering the entire event top to bottom, prompted by John’s sincere request. Elaine is John’s daughter, thus my niece. Then there’s my amazing sister Cathy who had to step outside of her concerns to step into the waters of forgiveness. That takes courage folks! Add to them my sister Helen who lives in California but took the time to celebrate with us from a distance. To top it all off, Rob and Cathy McNamara. Rob is my nephew and Cathy is his wonderful wife. They are the official and greatly appreciated information center regarding all things pertaining to family.

It’s to “all six” that I dedicate this book with my sincere love and appreciation. Their immense generosity of spirit and impressive willingness to take a big leap of faith into the unknown truly inspired its writing. Folks, if not for them, there is no story to write about! Last but not least, my eternal thanks to all who supported our miracle day with their prayers. God certainly heard and responded big time!

My Ministry - Our Ministry

Mark 6 - 38 & 41: “How many loaves do you have He asked?” “Go and see”. When they found out they said, “Five and two fish”. Taking the five loaves and two fish and looking up to heaven He gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to His disciples to DISTRIBUTE to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all”. ( Five thousand plus, were fed that day! )

In the biblical story of the “fishes and loaves”, I so clearly see three dynamics in play to achieve the desired completion of the heavenly orchestrated equation. The young boy GAVE what little he had, our Lord then MULTIPLIED it, and the disciples then DISTRIBUTED it.

It’s interesting to note that Jesus, after the multiplying didn’t say, “Come and get it”. What He did say was, “Everyone find a place to sit on the grass and I’ll bring it to you, through my own”. Folks, He loves to involve us. He loves to make us matter! We are blessed beyond measure to be written into, His stories! Just imagine: Invited by Him to participate in His plans for others!

From the inception of the idea of writing books to be made available to “all freely”, there has never been a moment when I haven’t been aware of its ministry context. I could easily be seen as the “young boy” in the story. Jesus has most certainly multiplied my meager offering to Him.

So may I invite and encourage you to be a distributor of that which He has multiplied, thereby elevating “My Ministry” into “Our Ministry”, thus completing “His Ministry”. There’s something about that idea that sounds “perfect” to my heart!

We all have friends, family, work mates, school mates, etc. I’ve included a simple directional on “how to find” the “fishes and loaves”. Please feel free to share “what you eat” with others. You have no idea where it could lead to! That young boy’s mother could never have dreamed, what that little lunch she had prepared for her son on that fateful morning, would produce!

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