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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, April 29, 2009
I was writing/editing some scripts for the Love Worth Finding program that features Dr. Adrian Rogers. Though he died in 2005, the program is on more stations now than when he was alive. In 2008, there were more than 1,200 people who indicated they came to faith through the ministry of that program. It's unbelievable, and yet points out the power of God's Word.

I came across this truth in the midst of a message on praying in the spirit. Dr. Rogers was making the point that God wants us to lean on him and his power rather than trust in ourselves. The true power we have is not in our own strength, but in the strength God gives--and prayer is ground zero in our relationship with God.

Here's what Pastor Rogers said:

“Have you ever heard the groaning of a mother about to give birth to a child? The agony. The pain. The groanings. But there is something about that groaning that is unique…because it is pain, but linked with that pain is an intense desire to bring forth. It is pain that is transfigured by hope and expectation. That’s the deepest form of prayer. Pain transfigured by hope and expectation as the Holy Spirit of God in us prays the prayer of agony. Thank God for the Holy Spirit who helps us to pray.”

Maybe you can't even pray today because of some heavy weight. It may be the most powerful thing you can do is to groan to God. May He help bring forth your hope and expectation today.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Our trip to Colorado was successful, though difficult. It was hard to leave such good friends after a brief visit. The Rings hosted us and provided meals and lodging, plus canine affection from their beloved Alfie. Kaitlyn got to visit her fifth grade class, Reagan went a whole day at his old Middle School, and we were able to see Ryan’s play, Flowers for Algernon. The entire cast did a wonderful job—it was a moving presentation of that story. We drove overnight last Wednesday/Thursday and then returned Sunday after a day-long drive. Lots of miles recorded—plus I was able to get my timing belt changed back there with a mechanic I trust.

On a negative note, we finally received word from the health insurer that we were denied coverage again. This was not unexpected, but still difficult news. We have another shot at an appeal. We’re not giving up on this as I’m sure this is what the insurance provider hopes.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
It was a whirlwind decision, but a few of the kids and I have made the trip to Colorado to see Ryan's senior play, Flowers For Algernon. Andrea had hoped to come and I was going to stay with the boys in Tucson--we were going to go to the fair, chew tobacco, and spit. Instead, Andrea stayed with the boys. She sent me a picture today of them riding on the back of an elephant at the Pima County Fair. I hear they also rode the rollercoaster.

It's weird driving through the night, but there's something energizing about it. Kind of like the writing regimen. You simply head out on a direction and mile after mile you build toward the conclusion of the trip.

We saw a beautiful sunset in New Mexico, great cloud formations, and then the stars became visible as we drove through the night. It was so early when we got here that we just drove around listening to the end of the John Grisham book we had brought. Then we surprised my oldest daughter who works at a local diner and showed up at her workplace.

I'll be with some friends at Focus on the Family Friday, so that will be fun. By Friday night I'm hoping I'll be ready to bring flowers for Algernon. We'll drive south on Sunday and rejoin our crew. A whirlwind trip, but worth the effort.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Some good friends know about our struggles and have come alongside to help in numerous ways. Last week I got an e-mail about Reagan. Our friend knew he has this little camera and likes to make movies with it, but Reagan’s real camera and editing software is back in the house in Colorado.

When Reagan began having vestibular problems, vertigo and dizziness, his eyes would shift—go to one corner and then reset like a computer screen. His brain was not functioning correctly and it was difficult for him to get to sleep at night. The doctors we saw never asked about our mold exposure. One suggested Reagan needed counseling and another said we simply need to show “tough love” and make him go to school. I have a hard time thinking about those doctors and what might have happened had we followed their advice.

Reagan was athletic, outgoing, full of life. But after the mold outbreak he would stay in his bed, debilitated. His head would spin so much he couldn’t read or even walk. We gave him strong medicine to keep him from vomiting all night. Andrea held him and sang to him until he gave up and went to sleep. What he endured in those months is unimaginable. Those who have had vertigo before know what it's like. His was constant, 24/7. Something the doctors said was not possible.

As time went on, he was able to sit up. He could concentrate enough to use a flip video, a small, rudimentary camera that you can edit easily. When he got that, he sparked again. Some of the original video of him unable to walk is still on that camera and we hope one day to get it back. When we left the house, we left it behind.

Reagan has made a lot of progress in the past few months. We finally broke down and bought a cheap camera a couple of months ago and for his birthday he wanted a tripod. Then enter this friend with the video editing software. I don’t think he knew what he was giving to my son when he did that.

I found Reagan at the computer editing some music.

"How's that video software working?" I said.

"I didn't download it."

"Why not?"

"Because then he'd be charged for it."

"That's the point," I said. "He bought it for you. You're supposed to download it."

A big smile. "Oh."

Since then it has been almost impossible to detach his fingers from Andrea's laptop. Last night I watched his first big production. It was titled “Giant Trouble: The Remake” and starred Kaitlyn as the giant who destroys things by stepping on them. Most of it is shot from the floor looking up at the giant, Kaitlyn.

Colin plays a troubled scientist who is searching for a serum to shrink her. While she is smashing cities (paper cutouts), Colin is working on chemicals in the bathroom. He puts water, soap, contact solution, and toothpaste into a glass cup and stirs it with a toothbrush. (We had a talk about whose toothbrush he used.)


**SPOILER**


In the end, the giant shrinks and she and Colin go off, arm in arm, smiling.

There was music, end credits, the whole thing. It’s wonderful to see his creativity flourish and to see the excitement of his siblings as he says, “Want to make a movie?”

It feels like we're turning a corner.

With the help of some friends, of course.

CLick below to see the trailer for Giant Trouble: The Remake.

video
Friday, April 17, 2009
Hi Dad.
I saw you going to your car today. I think you had something important to do.
And you waved at me. But I had this ball and I really wanted to play. But you said you couldn’t right then.

Remember last week? You stopped. You actually stopped what you were doing and you threw the ball with me. It must have been…I don’t know, maybe ten minutes.
That was the best.
But today, you said you had something else to do.
You siad, maybe later.

But then it got late and it was too dark.
You said you wanted to but we couldn’t. Maybe tomorrow.
And when I asked you to read to me, you were talking on your cell phone.
So I just watched TV.
I guess you have a lot of important stuff to do, a lot more important than me.

My dad is really busy, which means he’s really important, I think. He talks on the phone a lot, even when he comes home from work, and he has this briefcase full of papers and stuff, and his Blackberry has so many numbers in it it’s like a phone book. He goes on these trips and sometimes brings me presents. One time he brought back this bear, it was so big and was almost as big as I was. But I don’t really want a bear.

Before he got this job, he used to take walks with me down by the lake and we’d skip rocks on top of the water. And then we’d go over to the little corner store and buy some Grape Nehi or get an ice cream cone. That was back when he didn’t even have a job.

But everybody’s worried about money now and I guess I can’t blame my dad for working hard. Still, I think I’d give up the flat screen TV…and even the ice cream…if we could just go back to the lake again.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Andrea and I made an impassioned plea to our medical insurance company this morning. We had been preparing for this hearing for weeks. It was another level of appeals, another chance to give our side of what has happened since 2007.

I gave a brief overview of the history of our case, what had happened in the house, and the different problems the children and adults encountered. Andrea followed up with the convincing evidence that blood tests prescribed by our primary care physician showed elevated levels of toxins in the blood. Our doctor didn’t understand the test results and didn’t know what to do with them, but the doctor in Arizona whom we are now seeing did. That primary care physician gave us a referral this current doctor in Arizona, but it was denied by the insurance company.

Andrea and I conferred before the hearing. We wouldn’t become emotional. We would simply present the facts. However, when she talked about the medical hell we’ve been through, her cradling Reagan in her arms until the wee hours of the night – after giving him the strongest drugs prescribed, she lost it. I don't blame her. It was an awful chapter of our lives.

The panel listening to our case listened attentively on the phone. They asked only one question about whether the doctor we were seeing was an actual medical doctor. Andrea had the details and gave them quickly. When I asked for a layman’s explanation of why we were being denied, the answer was that the treatment we needed was in the service area. However, we gave them a list of 30+ doctors we had seen over the past two years who had no idea what to do, or worse, performed invasive surgeries that weren’t helpful. It actually made the problem worse.

When it was over, Andrea and I just looked at each other.

“It brought everything back up,” Andrea said. “I thought it would be cathartic to tell them our story. It wasn’t.”

“Yeah,” I said. "But there is a bigger entity in this world than an insurance company."

I hope they’ll change their minds about our case, but I’m not holding my breath. I've been told they want us to simply give up. We're not. We've been through too much to give up now.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I'd like to ask readers of this blog to pray for us tomorrow morning. At 10 am Mountain Time we'll be in a hearing with our insurance provider, appealing their decision not to cover our treatment for mold exposure. This company, we've heard, is notorious for not covering this type of problem so we need wisdom in explaining the situation in this next level of appeal.

To be honest, I don't think we have a chance--I think they've already made up their minds to say no to us, but that won't keep us from knocking on the door again and appealing further if we have to. We should know within 7 days what their verdict is.

I'm glad we have some kind of insurance. Last night Andrea was driving to see one of our doctors and Colin cut his hand with a pair of scissors. Blood everywhere. A trip to the ER. Stitches in his little hand. When Andrea returned, she looked like she'd been working at the butcher shop. He slept next to me, moaning from the throbbing pain. Just another part of the story, I guess.
Monday, April 13, 2009
It's painful to watch your children hurt because of the hurt they've experienced. Yesterday was Easter (Resurrection Day), and like all other children in the country they thought they were going to get to eat candy. Andrea bought some organic lollipops for the day, but some of the kids' friends from Colorado sent cards with candy taped to them. Kit Kat bars and Kisses and Hersheys. Refined sugar. The stuff we've gotten rid of. As far as I know there are no Gluten free Skittles. A real shame.

So we're sitting at the table last night, the tears streaming down as they held this candy, as they smelled the chocolate wafting over them through the wrappers, and the realization hit that we really weren't going to let them eat it. Not even one piece. We've just come too far to have an immune system setback.

No soda. No candy bars. No jelly beans. Just fruit and nuts and berries and stuff that tastes good but doesn't match a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

It was painful because as a father I don't want to give my kids a snake when they ask for bread. I want to give them good things and make them happy. But right now, with all of the detox we've been through, a box of Mike and Ikes is like cocaine. Some of you won't believe that and you may think we're being heartless. That's okay. Sometimes I think that too.

It's Reagan's golden birthday today. He was born on April 13. We teased him by saying that we were going to throw him a big party and invite all his friends from Arizona. He doesn't have any his age. His wish for the day? Rent a few movies, go out to dinner with me, have a donut for breakfast, and drink root beer.

He has given up so much. Friends, his camera, Frodo--the little dog who saved his life, the food he loved (Nerds ropes were his favorite), root beer, and his hearing in one ear. Today, as puberty rears its ugly head, he will have IBC. Even if it sets him back. But no Snickers and only one bag of Skittles. You have to draw a line somewhere.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
On Friday's radio program I said something shocking and it wasn't just for dramatic effect. Christianity is utterly unfair. It is totally unfair for one person to be FORCED to pay the penalty for every wrong thing you and I have done.

In the grand scheme of the universe, and in the Council of the Holy, it was determined that there would be no bail out for you and me. There would be no mortgaging the future on the backs of those who would come after. No, there would be payment for humanity’s wrongdoing. For the whispered lies, for the broken promises, the stolen land. For the violence done by men against women. For the stealing of innocence from a child. For the sins of the fathers and sons and mothers and daughters. Words spoken in anger. Curses hurled. Every evil thought and deed from the moment breath first entered the lungs of the first man, until today, every random act of unkindness. Every thoughtless injustice from one to another. Slavery. Incest. Genocide. Suicide. Everything you can think of right now that could be done, these acts would need to be paid for.

That concept was fair. An eye for an eye. You spill blood and your blood shall be spilled. You murder and your life shall be taken. The underlying rule is that each person is responsible for the evil act committed, the sins planned and unplanned.

Because this Council was Holy, any act of goodness and kindness was not able to expunge the evil deed. It would be like trying to find a clean spot on a filthy rag you’ve used to change your oil. In the presence of holiness, you would not even dare present something so offensive. So each would pay for his or her own deeds. This was the law. This was fair.

Except, in the Council there was acknowledgement that in a fallen state, you and I could never, ever, achieve perfection. From the start, from the very first man and woman, we were broken. We were NOT whole. Cracked and bruised and every thought tainted with that oily rag of sin.
God could not simply look the other way at our sin. It had to be dealt with.

And that is when the most unfair, unjust, inequitable, and discriminatory plan was unleashed on the world, and I would contend, it was the most terrible, unreasonable decision ever made. For it was decided that one man should bear the brunt of punishment for every sin. And furthermore, that the very wrath of the Holy One would be poured out in all of its white-hot horror. The terrible, righteous anger of God would be hurled at one person who would bear that burden while hanging on a tree, separated from the very person who loved him most.

Who would this man be? A criminal? Perhaps the star that had fallen and turned his back on the Holy One? No, and here is the most unjust aspect of this plan, and why Christianity is not fair. The one who would bear the brunt of the wrath of God for you and every human willing to accept the truth that they are hopeless without this payment—that person would need to be Whole. True. Right. Just. Without sin. The only person in the history of the world who did not need to make amends, to make atonement, to find forgiveness, this would be the person God would choose to make Sin. God would crush this sinless one. God would mete out his punishment on One who had done no wrong.

Other religions have a system of fairness. Requirements that say you can get in if you do certain things or are born to certain people, have a special bloodline. If you will martyr yourself in some holy act, then there awaits a special spot in heaven. Or, perhaps you have to work yourself up from a bug to a bird to a higher life form, and if you continually work yourself up and out of all of that sin, then you can reach a point of heavenly acceptance. THAT is fair. In that belief system, that religious rubric, you have men striving after some goal and if it is reached, then you can enter into that spiritual state of acceptance. In that system, everything begins with you and me and we do, we strive, we work, we pull ourselves up and we reach and grasp at the divine. And we hope we will make it but we can’t be sure because we are not divine and we know it.

That seems fair. And if we don’t make it then, at least we tried.

But Christianity is anything but fair. It is unjust. It is not right that one man who was holy should be FORCED to bear this awful burden, and hanging there under the weight of this unbearable cross, this immense burden of the refuse of the world, the sin and degradation, the plotting, the murder, the slander, the malice and greed—everything he was not, everything he had never done, was credited to his life.

God saw my sin there, and your sin, and he turned his back on that man and he sent a nuclear warhead of wrath at his heart, and it was so devastating, so awful, the angels could not even bear to watch. And the other angels who believed they were winning a victory that day looked on with glee at this injustice—God, punishing the wrong man. The holy doing what was unholy.
And it would have been unholy, it would have been the most unholy act in the history of the world, if that man had been forced to bear the weight of the sin of the world.

But he was not forced. He climbed Golgotha, he embraced the nails, and he clothed himself in unrighteousness willingly. He emptied himself of everything but love for you and me, so that we might be forgiven. And the unholy act of this wrath being poured out on an innocent man, became a holy sacrifice by God himself.

If anyone says to you they believe in Christianity because it is a fair religion, tell them it is not true. Christianity is not fair. You and I deserved hell. You and I deserved to be cast into utter darkness. We deserve eternal separation from a holy God. There is no fairness in one so pure and gentle and humble being broken for you and me.

But because of his great love, his choice to not just show us the way to live, but to give his very life for us, to die in our place, that was not fair, it was mercy, it was grace, it was love. Unmerited. Unending. Unbelievable. And yet, to those who believe, they can be called sons. They can be adopted into this holy family.

You and I are guilty. Now we are forgiven.

We were sick, but now we are healed.

He was crushed and bruised and broken so you and I wouldn’t have to be. That is not fair. Don’t ever say that’s fair. It’s the unfair plan of a righteous and holy God to bring you and me into an eternal relationship with Him. And it was that selfless act of compassion and love that God stamped his Amen to as the stone was rolled away. The resurrection was the proof that even death cannot thwart this love of God to the undeserving.

So we celebrate the unfairness of God’s plan. We embrace the cross of Christ, that terrible emblem of suffering and shame. And we glory in the cross, because without it, you and I would have no hope.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
It's been a difficult couple of days at the Cactus Compound and Detox Center. More physical challenges for the children, an impending hearing with the health care provider that has denied us coverage is coming up, some tough memories that flood over us, and bills. I hate bills.

But there are bright spots. A neighbor a few houses away offered us a couch and chair and last Sunday we picked them up and moved them in. Now, you have to understand what a scary proposition this is. The last couch we tried gave us a reaction--one of the kids woke up and couldn't breathe. We had to return it. We've settled for camping chairs and air mattresses because they're the safest things we could think of. My nightstand is a cardboard box. It's not the Ritz, but it works.

We treated the couch and chair like wary cats. Andrea sniffed at the leather. Yeah, it's leather. We were told that we needed leather that hadn't been treated but have you priced a leather couch lately? This one was given to us to use as long as we're here. Now the kids are sitting and reading there, doing puzzles, and just relaxing. It almost feels like a home.

Last night Kristen and I took a walk behind the house. She had her camera and snapped a few shots of the sunset. In one picture I'm waving--it's supposed to be a silhouette. In another Shannon and Kristen flank me. Two beautiful girls in their prime of life, living away from friends, encamped at the compound. The smiles are genuine but there's pain beneath the surface of our lives. Just like you. Just like all of us.

Reminds me of the line in the Jackson Browne song that says, "And at the moment that my camera happened to find you, there was just a trace of sorrow in your eyes."
Sunsets remind me of what we've come through and that we have many miles to go. They also remind me that each day is another to cherish and live fully. A sunset is just a sunset when you view it alone, but when you look at it with someone you love it's a memory. Sounds like something you would find inside a Hallmark card, but it's true.

Friday, April 3, 2009
The Wrights invited us to their house last night for another "movie night." Colin, Brandon, and Kaitlyn took their reports they'd been working on about rattlesnakes and Gila monsters and presented them to an adoring crowd. Then we watched Bolt.

The Wrights have no reason to befriend us. They just heard about our situation and have invited us into their lives. Mr. Wright has had diabetes since he was young, so Colin feels like he has a pal. They cooked popcorn for us, slathered with butter, and put out fresh fruit. Last night it was juicy grapes.

They listened attentively to the reports and asked questions of the presenters. Then we watched the movie, which they seemed to love. As we drove home, Kristen said, "I think watching movies with other people is more fun."

"Yeah, I liked to hear Mr. Wright laugh," Colin said.

I gave Mrs. Wright an advance copy of June Bug. It was really all we had to offer, except to eat their food and sit in their chairs and enjoy the sound of people laughing.