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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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Where We Are Now

After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014
I wept at the grocery store. I walked inside and was transported to the street where my grandmother lived more than 45 years ago.

It was the smell, of course, that did it. The electric doors opened and I was assaulted with the candy aisle directly ahead stocked full for Halloween. I stopped, took a deep breath, and closed my eyes and I swear I could see it. I could see her.

Mrs. Quintroll (sorry if I'm not spelling that correctly) was an ancient woman when I was a child in the 1960s. White hair. A will of a wisp. Her teeth were always so white, but I had no concept of dentures back then. She wore sweaters in the summer heat. I'm sure she had to dance around in the shower to get wet.

The store was her house, just the front room, and she sold bread and milk and other sundries. But it was what was behind the glass cases in front that drew me.

My mother would park in front of my grandmother's house and I'd ask to go to the "ten-cent store." She'd smile and hand me a dime and off I'd go, like a Lewis and Clark bar. This was before the days of worrying abut child-abductions, or, perhaps my mother was hoping someone might relieve her of her duties.

The store had a screen door that squeaked and I remember wooden floors and a cool, basement-like feel. I do not remember anything about the rest of the room, I can only tell you what was behind the glass cases in front. At just the right viewing height for a round, chunky kid like me was a treasure trove of candy.

Pixie sticks. Caramel chews--I think they were called pinwheels. Tootsie Rolls. Jawbreakers. Smarties. Mary Janes. Kits taffy in the little squares. Tootsie Roll Pops. And the holy grail, Wax Lips. Oh wait, and the wax bottles of juice or soda or whatever they were. Licorice, too, but I would never waste a good dime on licorice.

I can't recall every type of candy, but I remember the smell of the room. It was the odor of every childhood dream. Mrs. Quintroll would stand behind the counter, a bony hand outstretched, and I'd hand her my dime. She'd squint at me over her cat-shaped glasses and ask, "What would you like?"

One piece at a time, I would select my choices. A Tootsie Roll Pop--grape, please. And a red one. Two pinwheels. Two Smarties.

My mind whirred with the speed at which I was choosing. I was closing in quickly on the ten-cent mark and I had to leave room for the Wax Lips. There was a fair amount of anxiety involved with this procedure because I didn't want to choose unwisely. And the overpowering smell of the candy almost lifted me off the wooden floor.

You have four more cents left," she said, pulling out the little paper bag where she placed my candy. She called it a "poke." On the radio I would hear a song, someone singing about "poke salad" and a girl whose mother was working on a chain gang. I can't even talk about her granny.

I chose four more pieces, including the Wax Lips, and she handed me the paper sack. I thanked her and went skipping down the lane to my grandmother's place.

I don't remember when they closed the store. I don't remember Mrs. Quintroll dying. I was oblivious to much of life going on around me. But that smell brought a wave of emotion and memory I had buried.

I went back to that little town not long ago and took some pictures of the street, my grandmother's house (pictured below), my uncle's wood-shop, the graveled lane that is now paved. It's all so much smaller than it seemed growing up.

And the smell of the candy is somehow sweeter.


Friday, August 29, 2014
So much to say.

In 2008, we took a hit. A big one.

I never wanted to own a house again.

We moved to Arizona to get better--we thought we'd be here for three months. It's been five years.

We've been talking, dreaming about owning a house. I've wanted to give Andrea a place where she can plant and blossom. But renting has been our lot in life.

Until mid-July when our rental became bank-owned.

So we were forced to either rent or buy.

We looked and looked.

There was a house on an acre, a little further out than we wanted, but no homeowner's association. It was all electric. When I first saw it, I swear this is what I thought, "That's our house."

We looked at it, but it didn't feel big enough to house all of us AND my office. So we kept looking.

It wasn't until after the ultimatum about the rental that we gave it another try.

And here we are. In the house I thought was our home. After five years.

We're stuffed in here like Who's down in Whoville, but it's our house.

Yesterday the phone company was supposed to install all the fancy connections for my radio show. We have diligently pursued this for a month, calling, making sure things were on schedule. When they didn't show up, I called. They admitted it was their fault, they messed up. I spiraled down, disgruntled, and then heard David Jeremiah talk about thanksgiving and being grateful. So one thing didn't go well.

Some might be tempted to say that Satan has thrown a wrench in things. I choose to look at it that God has allowed us this little hiccup in order to test us. Do we really believe he's in control? If so, he can use even a mistake by the phone company.

We're trying another creative approach to the program for next week. Maybe it will work. Maybe it won't. But we'll be diligently trying. Good things come to those who keep trying.

Monday, July 28, 2014
Keith Green. Photo by Eseymour at en.wikipedia [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], from Wikimedia Commons

Thirty-two years ago I was in Germany on a missions trip with Greater Europe Mission. I was living with a Canadian family, the Boldts, struggling to understand German and to find my place in the world.


In that world of Airmail, before the Internet, before email, cell phones and instant information, the news somehow reached me that Keith Green had died in a plane crash in Texas. I believe it was on the radio, perhaps an English language news broadcast, but I remember the disbelief I felt. This couldn’t be. It couldn’t be the same Keith Green I knew. I sang his songs at our church, sort of under the radar. I remember letting my pastor hear "The Lord is My Shepherd" and him being okay with it until the guitar part.

I was one of those people who sent a check to Last Days Ministries for $6, I think, and received a copy of So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt in the mail. I read every one of the Last Days Newsletters. I learned how to play "I Want To Be More Like Jesus" in B-flat, for crying out loud, that was how committed I was.

There was something about his voice—it wasn’t just the songs he sang or the lyrics, there was more behind them. Call it passion, fervency—there was just something about Keith Green that made you sit up and listen.

Years later, while working at Moody Radio, I would interview Melody Green and others who knew Keith and worked with him. They described a passionate guy who wasn’t always easy to get along with. He was headstrong and opinionated. And God used him to speak to a generation. Foibles, faults and all that hair, God took his songs and words and reached into hearts.

Today is the 32nd anniversary of Keith’s death and the others on that plane. On the program today we’ll talk with some of his friends and ask a provocative question: If Keith had not died in 1982, what would he be doing today? How would God have changed him, used him? (And if you don't hear it live, you can visit the Chris Fabry Live! website to listen to the podcast or stream.)

This brings a question for you and me—what have we done with the 32 years Keith didn’t have? What will you do with the time you have left?
Friday, June 27, 2014
For my fellow writers, here is a proven, 16-step, easy process for marketing your book on Jeopardy! Increase invisibility with this simple, straightforward approach to creating buzz for your novel.

Step 1 – Have your wife ask you to go to the store for paper towels and a few other things. In the Walmart parking lot, notice an old, beat-up RV and think, “I wonder who’s in that thing.” Keep thinking about that as you wander inside.

Step 2 – Once you get inside, look at the old guy who is greeting you and smile at him, and then glance to your left and notice the “Missing Children” posters on the wall. Notice one composite photo, massaged to show what she would look like at age ten.

Step 3 – Notice a little boy, alone, wandering around in the store and ask the question, “I wonder where his parents are?”

Step 4 – Get home and put the paper towels away and wander to the bedroom where your wife and daughter are talking, sit on the bed and say, “I think I just came up with a really good story.” Stephen King says not to tell that story to anyone, but go ahead. Tell them, “A little boy is riding around with his dad in an old RV. He wanders into a Walmart one day and looks at the missing children pictures and sees himself.” Have your wife and daughter say, “You should write that.”

Step 5 – Change the little boy to a little girl and pattern the whole story after Les Miserables, where Jean Valjean rescues Cosette from the Thernadiers.

Step 6 – Chew on the story for months. Let it percolate. Figure out what happened early in her life to get her in that RV. Figure out the backstory of her father, the man who drives the beat-up RV.

Step 7 – Name the man John Johnson and think that’s really cool.

Step 8 – Go to a writer’s conference with the goal of getting something really good for your story about this little girl. You need a name for her, a nickname, something that would be key to tie her to the land where she was born. Sit in a lecture given by Dave Lambert where he talks about the importance of place in novels and doodle things from your childhood as he talks. Write down the words June Bug, because you remember tying a string to a junebug and trailing it like a kite. Look at the page again. Stare at it. Then, suddenly, realize you have her name. It’s right there in front of you. And write the story.

Step 9 – Have your kids get progressively sicker and sicker and discover the home of your dreams, the place where you think you will live the rest of your life, is killing you. Vacate the house with only the clothes on your back. Lose just about everything but your cars. And keep writing.

Step 10 – Use the pain of all you’re going through to inform the characters on the page. Have the little girl who lives in an RV go through the same feelings you do as you write and edit the book in a pull-along camper your neighbor lends you.

Step 11 – Write the last word and weep.

Step 12 – Send the book off to the publisher. Go through the editing process. Change some things, massage, tweak, and then let it go.

Step 13 – See the book published to some good reviews. See sales that are okay but not fantastic. Wonder about your little girl.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1414319568?ie=UTF8&tag=chrisfabrycom-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1414319568

Step 14 – Five years later open your email and see a friend telling you she just saw your name on Jeopardy!


Step 15 – Wonder how Alex Trebek came across the 5-year-old novel and try not to complain that he mispronounced your name.

Step 16 – Sigh and hope people who haven’t read this joyful creation that came from such pain will find it and enjoy it half as much as you did writing it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Monday, May 19, 2014
He was walking back from the lake with a fishing rod and a lure and two dogs running by his side. An inmate two years younger than me. He was 19 when he was sent to prison, so he’s spent more time inside than out. He was 19 when he committed some crime. Probalby took someone’s life. I didn’t ask.

“Catch anything?” That’s all I really wanted to know.

He shook his head. And from the look on his face, it didn’t seem that important.

Lake Killarney, Angola LA
Time moves slowly inside prison. The clouds roll lazily past. Time is like a mosquito, it’s always there buzzing in your ear but you can’t quite catch it, can’t quite squish it. And the mosquitoes are big in Louisiana.

One dog was named Sissy. It jumped on him and the other dog, wet from the early Sunday morning dew. He tried to corral Sissy, but there’s only so much you can do to a dog that is free to roam.

“What do you do here?” I said, knowing that each inmate has a trade they try to perfect.

“Welding. Right over there by that tractor is where I work every day.”

He told me about himself, where he was from. I asked if he had been at the Returning Hearts celebration. Another shake of the head.

“That dog right there,” he said, pointing at the smaller black dog with a collar, “he came here as a mutt. Just another dog. But he’s one of the best cow-dogs we have. Had no idea what he could do, but he just took to it.”

He was talking about the dog and talking about more, I suppose. He could have been a man out for a stroll on a Sunday morning. He could have been a fisherman just wandering for a good spot.

And as he walked away and the dogs followed, it struck me that you can’t lock up everything.