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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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Monday, November 16, 2009
This is a flashback to when our lives were "normal." I'm going to deliver it on Thanksgiving Day on Chris Fabry Live. You get the sneak preview. Enjoy.

A few days a week I drive our elementary aged children to school. It gives them about a half hour more of sleep and it gives me a morning break from whatever I’m working on. I remember my first day driving them. I was unprepared for what I was about to experience.

The school at that hour is packed with buses, children swinging lunch boxes, parents waving and hugging, and a long line of cars trying to get in and turn around in the parking lot to drop children and then get out of Dodge. There are orange cones to help you navigate in a circular manner. Signs say, please pull all the way forward. The general tenor of those standing to wave traffic on is, “Let’s keep moving, people.”

Incredibly, what I saw was moms pulling up, stopping, saying goodbye, giving final words of affirmation, handing out lunches, almost every one of the five love languages. In some cases, moms stopped, got out—a clear violation of protocol—and herded the kids to the sidewalk and then got back in. I could understand the physical touch and the words of affirmation, but to tell you the truth this was not a place for quality time.

One trip with my wife was enough to show how differently we approach such things. She lovingly made sure each was buckled BEFORE we drove from the house. She talked with them about their day, what they were looking forward to, acknowledging each teacher and the special events of the past or coming up. When we reached the 20 mph flashing yellow in the school zone, she made sure they all had their mittens and hats on, their coats zipped. Then, in line, she told them what they’d do after school. It took a couple of minutes after she stopped to get going again because she had to kiss them and wave and smile and wipe a tear from her eye.

This is not the way dear old Dad drops the kids off. We approach this in vastly different ways. Here’s how I look at it. I am on a sacred mission behind enemy lines to perform a drop and escape. I am not there to stroke egos, I am not there for their self esteem, my sole mission is to safely get them into that place of education and RETREAT. Pull back outside enemy lines. Period. As soon as everyone gets in the car, I have it in reverse, telling each of the soldiers to buckle up, buckle up, buckle, buckle, buckle.

I go the back way which is a little shorter and cuts about 22.3 seconds off the trip. I flip on the radio so the children can get up to date on the latest news, so that if a teacher brings up something like the economy or what Ben Bernanke said this morning or the war or whatever the hot topic is, they’ll be ready. I don’t have time for chit chat. This is war.

As we pass the flashing yellow light, I bark, “Unbuckle, unbuckle, unbuckle.” It usually takes about 18 seconds for them to get the belt undone and pick up their water bottle that falls from the backpack, and then we’re in line.

“All right, everybody have everything?” I say, as if it mattered at this point. There’s no way I would turn around, even if one of the kids had forgotten their pants.

Making the turn into the parking lot, I see those moms trying to nurture and love in the middle of this childhood warfare. There are a few guys in line who glance my way and give the secret dad signal.

“All right, 30 seconds, side doors ready?”

“Side doors ready,” Kaitlyn says.

“Okay, have a good day, don’t poke anybody in the eye, or kick, or bite or scratch. Unless you absolutely have to.”

“We won’t, Dad.”

“Bye Dad,” Colin says, leaning forward and giving me a kiss on the cheek. I allow this physical touch as long as it’s before we actually stop.

We’re halfway along the sidewalk, about 20 yards from the front, but I can tell by the moms ahead that this is our moment. This is our small opportunity to make things for the people coming in line a little easier and the opportune moment to disembark.

“Hit the beach, hit the beach, hit the beach,” I yell.

The door flies open, the troops pour out of the landing craft, the last one out closes the door and waves. They’re up the sidewalk and almost into the school and I am still in line.

This is not the way my wife does it. But it works for me. At least it did until Sunday when I pulled up to our place of worship to let my wife and children out. There was a car right behind me and Brandon was dawdling in the back seat. I looked sternly at him as he casually unbuckled and said, “This is church, Dad. We don’t have to hit the beach.”

To which my wife said, “What’s hit the beach?”
Friday, November 13, 2009
Here’s an update on the Fabrys—sort of what I read on the air on Friday's Chris Fabry Live.

Yesterday, Kevin Leman was here for the program, and in the breaks he was asking about the children that he passed when he walked through our rental house here at the Cactus Compound and Detox Center. “So, what’s the prognosis?”

I have to think quickly because I don’t want to burden people with too much information. I had to think through the best way to describe it. “A year ago, those kids you passed, who all loved to read, couldn’t. Reagan’s head was spinning with vertigo. Kaitlyn, who was reading books almost as heavy as she was, had an eye problem where she got headaches looking at the pages. Colin and Brandon couldn’t focus.” That was a microcosm of the mess.

Now they’re all reading in long stretches during the day and before bed at night.

We have a teacher who, this week, began coming to our home to teach them three hours each day. Because of the chemical sensitivity they can’t go to school. They can, they just come home with headaches and stomach aches and... those of you who know about chemical sensitivity know what I’m talking about and those who don’t are saying, that can’t be true. But that’s okay.

So the kids are doing better. We’re not out of the woods by a long shot, but we’re progressing.

More good news. I think. I stepped on the bathroom scale today. I have told you before that I gave up my soda a year ago in October. I loved Dr. Pepper, Diet Dr. Pepper, and Coke. I haven’t had a soft drink in more than a year. At my top weight, or what I think was my top weight, I got the nerve to go downstairs in our old house and weigh myself. And as I watched the numbers whiz by, spinning like the Tilt-A-Whirl at the carnival, I thought, “I need to do something about this.”

But I didn’t. I stayed at that basic weight for a while.

Then the mold thing happened and we moved out. There was so much stress in our lives that I lost some weight. And I cut out the soft drinks and that helped. I’m just drinking water now and I feel a lot better. And the new diet Andrea has us all on has really done its job. I stepped on the scales today and I am 45 pounds lighter than about a year ago. And that is my weight loss plan. If you want to lose 45 pounds, get mold, lose your house, your pets, move to the desert, and eat gluten-free food. It’s really easy.

Maybe the weight loss is not good. I guess we’ll know that down the road, too.

Now if I were to take a picture of me today and post it on the blog, you would say, “Wow, you lost 45 pounds?! You must have been a real porker a year ago.” The truth is, I hide it well. And I hearken back to my mother telling me when I was young, “Chris, you’re not fat, you’re just big-boned.” Right. The fact that I ate Little Debbie cakes for breakfast had NOTHING to do with it.

That’s the update from the desert. I hope your weekend goes well.

cf
Friday, November 6, 2009
I didn't work side-by-side with Dr. Dobson a long time, but only a couple of months was enough to help me understand his heart and passion. People behind the scenes, engineers and producers, always referred to him, respectfully, by his initials "JCD" or simply "Doctor."

After our Chris Fabry Live! program Tuesday, I wrote him an encouraging e-mail. The path he and Shirley are traveling now is a parallel track to what many people are facing. Our family moved to the desert and though it was unexpected, we see it as God moving in our lives. I think he is handling this next move with grace, being willing to adapt and change as God requires.

He wrote me back yesterday and I wanted to let you in on just a portion of what he said. I think it will encourage you whatever situation you find yourself in today.

He mentioned this was a difficult week for Shirley and him. They feel God is moving them in a new direction and toward a new endeavor, but the grief of leaving a ministry and friends and colleagues after 32 years is difficult.

You can believe that those who worked with him closely feel the same way. There will be a hole in those studios that can't be filled. Not that they won't move on and work diligently. Not that they won't help listeners and perhaps even see the work expanded, helping more people in the future. It just won't be the same.

Dr. Dobson wrote the following:

What I am saying is that we are of two minds about this event in our lives, one characterized by sadness and the other by settled peace. Jesus expressed that contradiction when He said, "In this world, ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world." How could those circumstances coexist in the minds of His disciples? I don’t know, but they did, and for us, they do. It is as if the Lord is saying, "Your hearts are about to be torn out of you, but it’s fine because I have a better plan for you and will go with you."

How can you have peace in the midst of turmoil? How can you not grow bitter and angry in a circumstance you don't understand, no matter how well the situation is handled? How do you put things in perspective when, as JCD's book has said, "God doesn't make sense?"

If you really believe there is a God who loves you and who is for your good, if you really believe he cared enough for you to die for you to give you new life, is it all that hard to believe that in a difficult circumstance he is there working things for your good as well? The truth is, he is every bit as present in the hard times. He is moving in Dr. Dobson's life. He is giving him an opportunity to grow even closer to Him than if this hadn't happened.

I'm praying for God to move in my life and yours as well. I'm praying we can see those stumbling blocks as potential stepping stones to know God more deeply and depend on him more fully. If we can do that well, God will receive the glory. Which is what all this is about anyway.