The Fabry Family

Connect with Me

Connect with Chris on Facebook Follow Chris on Twitter Watch Chris on YouTube

Featured Books

Featured Books
Coming in January!

<b></b>
Latest Release!

Personal Stuff

My Photo
Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
View my complete profile

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.

Search This Blog

Visitor Count

Visitor Count:
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Fear. Gut-wrenching pain. Excitement. Freedom.

These are some of the feelings my friend is probably going through today on this first day of unemployment. We worked together for many years and then I was let go. Now, 13 years later, he faces the same fate.

Since I have walked this road before, though the circumstances were certainly different, I thought I would write a few thoughts that might be helpful to him and others who are going through some upheaval in life.

On this, the first Saturday of life without a job, it’s easy to despair. You have been untethered from something that gave you security and worth for a lot of years. But your worth doesn’t come from the place that employed you, it’s much deeper than that, and you have to mine for that as if for gold.

You were placed on this planet for a purpose. There are things God had for you to accomplish that you couldn’t have if you hadn’t been employed by your former employer. But the converse is also true. There are things God has for you to accomplish you couldn’t accomplish there. That’s why you’re here, in this barren place.

You will be hit in the face each day with the feeling that you have been cut off. Put out to pasture. Rejected. You have to fight this and overcome it with the truth.

You have been given freedom.

If you’ve ever seen The Shawshank Redemption, you know how hard it is for those who have been institutionalized to go back into the regular world. I know you won’t write, “Brooks was here,” on the walls of your house, but you’ll be tempted to think, “What would it be like to be back at the old routine?”

This is why you must begin a new routine. Go for a walk early in the morning. Keep a journal. Read the Bible. Do something at the start of your day that you didn’t have time for when you had to hop in the car. You have two hours a day that you don’t have to commute. That’s freedom. That’s wonderful!

Don’t forget the coffee. I know this is something you enjoy and I don’t have to mention, really. But now you can drink it with your wife at the shop around the corner, instead of alone in the car listening to NPR or whatever you listened to while driving. And forget the White Hen Pantry. Nothing against them, but branch out to a different brand. Do something java wild.

I think your wife is going to help you see this if you don’t already, and that is, she didn’t love you because you were employed. We don’t think you’re valuable because of what you can do. (Pardon me while I don the sweater and deck shoes.) You are special. There’s no one in the world like you. And while you have a great contribution to make as you move ahead, God didn’t just make you to do stuff or accomplish things. There’s much more to it than that.

Resist the urge to think you have to “settle” for something. Some job. Some new way of life. You’re not “settling” for something, you’re searching. And each day I pray you will find something you didn’t know was out there. Some factoid. Some new snapshot of grace.

When freedom comes, it has responsibility attached to it, as well as a healthy dose of fear. It’s as old as the children of Israel wandering in the desert, thinking how great it was back in Egypt. Look at American history and you’ll find those who were resistant to leave the cozy confines of British rule and taxes.

Freedom isn’t easy. It forces you to think harder about life and the future and where you’re headed. But for some reason, God has chosen not to let someone else tell you what to do with your life.

Good. There is life here, and health, and excitement. You’re going to find something here you didn’t want to look for. Abundant life. But abundant life is messy and hard and uncertain. Unpredictable. And there are questions that will pop into your head you never wanted to ask again.

Good. Great! You’re alive. You feel something inside.

You don’t need me to tell you this, of course. You’re a lot smarter than I will ever be. But truth is truth.

This new path of life will lead you to places of the heart you may never have been. (I know you’ve been without a job before, but not at this stage of life.) Places where you thought you trusted God. Places where you thought you knew the answers. And you probably do, at least on paper, but as you enter these dark woods and you’re tempted to give in to the fear, you’ll see the truth more fully because it’s not something you just know in your head.

This is your time to explore and rejoice and lament and trust and do all the things of living you may not have done while everything was neat and tidy and ordered. And here’s the really weird thing, if you stop fighting against that feeling, the gut-busting, whirling, churning feeling you get when you wake up and realize you don’t have anywhere you have to go, when you embrace that freedom and the possibilities, even for five minutes, you’ll be on your way.

I can’t wait to see what God will grow in your heart through this time of tilling and fertilizing. The best crops grow in the burned out places of life. Or where the manure is spread the thickest. I know it’s not where you want to be. But trust me, for some reason, it’s the place you need to be.

Why? I have no earthly idea. In my own version of the world, this never would have happened. But here’s the bottom line. God is sovereign and this wasn’t an afterthought. Perhaps you’ve just been thrown into a pit by your brothers. What they meant for evil, God meant for good.

And no matter what happens from here on out, you win. The end of this exploration can only be good since he’s in charge. (I’m sounding more Reformed every day. Go figure.)

Take a deep breath. Let it out slowly. Get the coffee. Hug your wife. Take a walk. Clear your throat. Trust Him. And repeat as often as is necessary.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
He paid $25 for it in January, this leather holder for his Kindle. My son, the voracious reader. It broke because the holder was plastic and he kept taking it out and then putting it back. To his defense, the thing wasn't designed well and I figured the plastic thing would snap a long time ago.

“You shouldn’t have taken it out so much,” I scolded.

“I know,” he said, his eyes downcast.

“We can tape it,” I said. "That'll hold it."

He looked at me like I had five heads. “Put tape on my Kindle?”

“I’ll see if I can return it.”

I went to the store where he bought it, a big box store. They get returns every day. There was a young girl working there, younger than most of my daughters. I had witnessed a scene at the counter the week before with people returning something. The process didn’t go well. There was yelling and accusations and hands thrown in the air. I decided I would not act that way.

“My son bought this here a while ago and I don’t have the receipt.”

“How long ago?” she said.

“Like, January.” I was trying to speak her language, with the “like” at the front of the sentence. She looked 12. Seriously. I was returning a broken Kindle holder to a 12 year old.

“Well, our return policy is usually 90 days, but if you can find the same thing over there we could switch it out by using your driver’s license.”

“Okay, I’ll go look for it.”

“The only problem is, we clearanced those holders. You have to find the exact same one.”

The most knowledgeable 12 year old I have ever met.

I went to the Kindle holder department and found them. She was right. They now made them without the plastic thing at the top and with a sleeve you slide your reader into because, I deduced, a lot of people broke that plastic thing at the top. It was flimsy.

I returned with the sleeve kind and showed it to her. She opened it, compared the two, and said, “Yeah, this is different.”

Then she looked up at me, looked me in the eye with something akin to the little Who girl who got out of bed and asked the Grinch for a drink of water. I think it was Cindy Lou.

“I’m sorry. I can’t switch these out.” She frowned, as if I had a disease she couldn't cure.

I could have stomped and fumed and fussed, and if I had, and offered to pay the difference, I probably could have gotten my way. The customer is always right and all that. But there was something pure and innocent and righteous about those eyes and her honest attempt to help me. And it's not fair that a store should replace something after 90 days that broke because it was used too much.

“I understand. I thought I’d give it a try. Thank you for helping me.”

She smiled and looked as if I’d just offered her tickets to see (insert whatever pop star Cindy Lou likes). Taylor Swift? Coldplay?

I went home, got out the Super Glue, and went to work. I had saved the plastic thing just in case. I glued it, then popped my Kindle out of its cover, which is exactly like the one my son bought but is in better shape, and clicked his device into my holder.

“There, good as new,” I said, handing it to him.

“I won’t take it out so much, Dad,” he said.

After the glue dried, I took my e-reader, gingerly pushed it into my son's holder, expecting it to crack...expecting the glue to give, but instead I head "SNAP." 

Good as new.

Friday, June 15, 2012
As heard on Chris Fabry Live! on Friday, 6/15--here is a good list of films for dads and families. Viewer discretion advised. Thanks to Bob Waliszewski of pluggedinonline.com for many on the list, as well as listeners!

Ben Hur
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
UP

Father-ish movies:

Courageous (fatherhood is a calling)
The Rookie (Morris as good dad, tensions with own father)
Finding Nemo (overprotectiveness, passionate pursuit of a prodigal)
Searching for Bobby Fischer (support vs. competitive pressure)
Fiddler on the Roof (traditional dad and three dating daughters)
Mr. Holland’s Opus (musical dad trying to connect with deaf son)
October Sky (not a model dad, but father-son issues are core)
Fiddler on the Roof
The Lion King
To Kill a Mockingbird
Life is Beautiful
Field of Dreams
Hoosiers
Father Goose
The Sound of Music
Superman 1978
Swiss Family Robinson
Father of the Bride
Faith Like Potatoes

Summer Movies for the Family (check age-appropriate ratings):

Akeelah and the Bee
Because of Wynn-Dixie
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Charlotte’s Web
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
Dolphin Tale
How to Train Your Dragon
March of the Penguins
The Mighty Macs
Miss Potter
Nancy Drew
Nim’s Island
One Night with the King
Prince of Egypt
Sarah’s Choice
Secretariat
Soul Surfer
That Thing You Do
To Save a Life
The Ultimate Gift
War Horse
What If…
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Steve Saint was on the radio program two weeks ago. On Tuesday, 6/12, he was in an accident that left him paralyzed. For the Christianity Today article click here.

I’ve been praying for him and wondering what God is doing in his life. Hasn’t he suffered enough? He lost his father, he lost a daughter, he’s gone through health challenges, and now this?

Then I looked at Romans 5 today and envied Steve Saint. Not envying what he is going through, no one begs for this kind of suffering. But envying what God is still doing. That God counts Steve worthy to go through yet another trial.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.

Steve can’t stand, though I’m praying he will soon. But he is standing in the grace that God has poured out through his Son. He was justified and given peace with God. This puts Steve in a place of perfect contentment because of what God has done and is still doing.

And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 

Really? Rejoice? When you’re paralyzed? When you don’t know if you will be able to regain movement in your arms and legs? Yes, because the rejoicing doesn’t come in circumstances, it's revealed by the hope given by God.

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

The hope God gives comes to life when we embrace the suffering we go through. The suffering can turn us away from God, but it can also turn us toward him. And this difficulty can be used to produce perseverance and a deep character that trusts even when it can’t see. And that character leads us to real hope. That hope is available to everyone, no matter our difficulty or struggle. That hope is available for Steve Saint, and I’m praying—no, I know he embraces it today, even with arms that can’t move.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
I can't help but think of my grandfather on Sunday mornings like this. He died when I was a boy, but I still remember him staying with us at our home, in one of the back bedrooms. He had pared his life down to only a few possessions, clothes, his tobacco pipe, and a black and white TV.

He watched Walter Cronkite on that TV and while my brothers watched "The Invaders" and other spooky shows, I would go into his room and watch Red Skelton.

My grandfather had a farm with chickens and apple trees and pigs and rows of sweet corn and other vegetables. What I remember most about that house is two rooms: the kitchen and the sun room at the front. The sun room had a checker board and other games and I spent time there playing with things and taking in the aged smells of old trunks. I imagined they were filled with letters from famous dead people or maybe gold. There were pictures of my grandmother, long gone, and other relatives who were distant memories.

In the kitchen was his iron skillet. It seemed to fill the room. He would cook on a gas stove and get the skillet scalding hot, then cook eggs and onions. Though I can't remember much interaction with him, I imagine him telling me to sit down and eat. He had a heavy German accent. My brother was skinny and had to jump around in the shower to get wet. My grandfather would say, "Eat! Eat! You vill dry up and blow avay!"

He cooked a lot of eggs in that skillet. And this morning, when I put the butter in the pan and smelled the onions, I thought of him again.
Friday, June 8, 2012
As heard on the program 6/8/2012, here is a list of books recommended by guests, callers, emailers, and some on Facebook. Also, at the bottom, is a list of classic non-fiction books provided by Dr. Rosalie DeRosset of the faculty at Moody Bible Institute. Happy Reading!!!


Mark Buchanan, Your God is Too Safe, Your Church is Too Safe
Thomas Watson, All Things Work Together for Good
Martin Lloyd Jones, The Sermon on the Mount
Richard Sibbs, The Bruised Reed
Surprised by Oxford, Carolyn Weber
Prayers for Today, Kurt Bjorklund
Mark, The Gospel of Passion, Michael Card
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer, Amazing Grace
Dynamics of Spiritual Life, Richard Lovelace
All Is Grace, Brennan Manning
Beautiful Outlaw, John Eldredge
Kendra Smiley, Do Your Kids A Favor, Love Your Spouse, The Journey of a Strong-Willed Child (Live FREE coming this summer!)
Dwelling with Philippians: A Conversation with Scripture through Image and Word
by Elizabeth Steele Halstead, Paul Detterman, Joyce Borger and John D. Witvliet

Philip Yancey, Finding God in Unexpected Places
Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts
Foolproofing Your Life – Jan Silvious
Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young
Radical and Radical Together by David Platt
I Never Thought I'd See the Day by David Jeremiah
The Meaning of Marriage - Tim and Kathy Keller

Mercy Rising, Amber Robinson
The Truth About the Lordship of Christ by John MacArthur
Mere Churchianity by Michael Spencer
Forgotten God by Francis Chan
Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman
I Really Want to Change...So Help Me God by James MacDonald
Life without Limits by Nick Vujicic
The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions by Arthur G. Bennett
Ravi Zacharias, Deliver Us from Evil
Alistair Begg, Pathway to Freedom
Tramp for the Lord, Corrie ten Boom
Resolution for Women - Priscilla Shirer
Indivisible - James Robison and J.W. Richards
Driven by Eternity - John Bevere
The 5th Diamond - Irene Weisberg Zisblatt and Gail Ann Webb
Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick
Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy
The Emancipation of Robert Sadler by Robert Sadler with Marie Chapian

OTHER BOOKS FROM FACEBOOK AND NOT MENTIONED ON AIR
Bold Spirit: Helga Estby by Linda L. Hunt
House Calls and Hitching Posts by Dorcas Hoover
The Pink Pagoda by Dr. James Garrow
Jack Burbridge, From Crime to Christ
Unplugging from Religion: Connection with God by Greg Albrecht
Being God's Friend by Oswald Chambers
Desperate Dependency by J. Kirk and Melanie D. Lewis
Jen Hatmaker, "7"
Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler Rose
Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper.
Slave - John MacArthur
The Lord Our Righteousness by Obadiah Grew
The Everlasting Righteousness by Horatius Bonar
Like a Mighty Wind by Mel Tari
66 Love Letters, Larry Crabb
A Path Through Suffering, Elisabeth Elliot
Choosing Gratitude, Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Heaven Proclaims His Glory: A Spectacular View of Creation Through the Lens of the NASA Hubble
Bringing Up Girls, James Dobson
Called To Controversy, Ruth Rosen
Secondhand Jesus, Glen Packiam
Paul: A Man of Grace and Grit, Charles Swindoll

GOOD QUALITY CHRISTIAN NON-FICTION LIST FROM Dr. Rosalie DeRosset
Augustine.  The Confessions
Anselm.  Cur Deus Homo  (Why the God Man)
Athanasius.  De Incarnacione (The Incarnation: note forward by C.S. Lewis
Barnes, Craig.  Yearning (wonderful book on longing)
Baxter, Sidlow J.  Awake My Heart
Blamires, Harry.  The Christian Mind
Bonhoeffer, Dietrich.  The Cost of Discipleship; Life Together
Bunyan, John.  Grace Abounding (spiritual biography)
Carmichael, Amy.  Edges of His Ways; Rose from Brier; etc. (India)
Calvin, John.  The Institutes (Ford Lewis Battles edition)
Campbell, Will.  Brother to a Dragonfly
Chambers, Oswald.  My Utmost for His Highest
Charnock, Steven.  The Existence and Attributes of Man
Chesterton, G.K.  Orthodoxy; The Everlasting Man
Colson, Chuck.  Loving God; How Now Shall We Live
Curtis, Brent and John Eldredge.  The Sacred Romance (a must read on longing)
Dark, David.  Everyday Apocalypse:The Sacred Revealed in Radiohead, the Simpsons, and other Pop Culture Icons
Dawn, Marva.  Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down (anything she has written)
Demarest, Bruce.  Satisfy Your Soul
Dobson, James.  Love Must Be Tough
Downs, Tim. Finding Common Ground  (on art and preaching in evangelism)
Dunlop, Cheryl.  Follow Me As I Follow Christ. wonderful guide to teaching  children in the church)
Eliot, Elizabeth.  These Strange Ashes; Passion and Purity; A Slow and Certain Light
Ellul, Jacques.  Propaganda; Money; etc.
Fee,Gordon and Douglas Stuart.  How To Read The Bible For All Its Worth.
Forsythe, P.T.  The Soul of Prayer

Foxes Book of Martyrs

Frankl, Victor.  Man’s Search for Meaning
Gire, Ken.  Windows to the Soul (very inspiring about the personal effects of literature in life)
Guiness, Oz.  Doubt; The Dust of Death
Gundry, Stanley.  Love Them In  (the theology of Dwight Lyman Moody)
Guroian, Vigen. Tending the Heart of Virtue (a wonderful treatment of capturing a child’s imagination)
Holmes, Arthur.  All Truth is God’s Truth*
Hovestal, Tom. Extreme Righteousness: Seeing Ourselves in the Pharisees
Hunt, Gladys.  Honey from a Child’s Heart
James, Carolyn Custis.  When Life and Beliefs Collide
Koessler, John.  Stranger in the House of God  (very poignant well-written contemporary memoir)
Larsen, Scott and Philip Yancey.  Indelible Ink (well-known people give their favorite books)
Laurence, Brother.  The Practice of the Presence of God
Lewis, C.S.  The Problem of Pain; The Four Loves; Mere Christianity; A Grief Observed
Lloyd-Jones, Martyn.  Of Preaching and Preachers; Spiritual DepressionSermon on the Mount; etc.
McCullough Donald.  The Trivialization of God
Muggeridge, Malcolm.  Christ and the Media; Jesus Rediscovered; Trumpeter for God; Something Beautiful for God (on Mother Theresa)
Nouwen, Henri.  Genesse Diary; etc.
O’Connor, Flannery.  The Habit of Being (her collected letters); Mystery and Manners   (lectures on writing and Christianity)
Packer, J.I.  Fundamentalislm and the Word of God; Knowing God
Pike, KennethWith The Heart and Mind
Plantinga, Cornelius.  Not the Way It’s Supposed To Be
Roseveare, Helen.  Living Sacrifice
Ryken, Leland.  Windows to the World*; Triumphs of the Imagination*; Realms of Gold*
Ryle, J.C.  Holiness
Sayers, Dorothy.  The Mind of the Maker; Are Women Human?
Sire, James.  How to Read Slowly*
Stott, John R.  Your Mind Matters; etc.
Schaeffer, Francis.  The Christian Manifesto; etc.
Sibbs, Richard.  Works of Richard Sibbs
Tozer, A.W.  The Pursuit of God; The Knowledge of the Holy
Veith, Gene Edward Jr.  Reading Between the Lines*; State of the Arts*
Weil, Simone.  Waiting on God
Wiersbe, Warren, ed.  Treasury of the World’s Greatest SermonsPreaching With Imagination
Woolman, John.  Journal
Zylstra, Henry.  Testament of Vision

* = books on how to interpret what you're reading
Sunday, June 3, 2012
I let her out at Target. Just to run in and find something.

“I’ll be right here,” I said.

I’ve been saying that for thirty years. “I’ll be right here.”

Except in the past week or so that hasn’t been as comforting. I’m writing another story and living with someone who’s writing a story is like living with a person who has one foot in reality and another in Narnia.

I pulled to the side of the building where I thought there would be shade and parked. I turned on the book I’m listening to, something to cleanse the mental palate.

Wait a minute. If she comes out and I’m not in front, she won’t be able to find me. And it’s 110 in the parking lot.

Relax. She’ll call me. She has a cell…

The phone was next to me. She’d left it in the car.

A few years into our marriage I acquired this ability to finish her sentences, read her mind, figure out exactly what she’d be doing at any point of the day. Now I can’t even figure out what I’m doing half the time. And reading her mind? It was an illusion at best.

I pulled to the front of the store but didn’t have a good line of sight. I pulled into another row of parked cars, then a third. I backed up so I could see the front door better.

I used to be able to anticipate when she’d be done with a task, shopping, going into the school, whatever it was. I would have the kids in the car, sleeping, and I’d pull up just as she walked out the door and she would get in like I was the prince and she was the princess and our timing was perfect.

I looked at the store. People coming and going. Nobody was waiting in the car for them.

I took a breath. It just felt right. I could see her going through the checkout line, signing her name, getting 5% back and feeling good about it. Walking past the Starbucks to the automatic doors.

I put the car in reverse.

And I swear I’m not making this up, on a stack of whatever you want me to swear on, I swear she was coming through the crosswalk with that white bag and the red circles.

She got in.

“Told you I’d be here,” I said.
Friday, June 1, 2012
Here is a list of some of the books that were mentioned on the air on June 1 during Chris Fabry Live!

Our guests were:

  Julie Cantrell, author of Into The Free

  Tina Ann Forkner, author of Rose House and Ruby Among Us

  Gina Holmes, author of Crossing Oceans, Dry as Rain


From Facebook: The Mark of the Lion Series by Francine Rivers, anything by Robin Jones Gunn

Dannah Gresh mentioned Donna VanLiere's The Good Dream on her blog

Tina mentioned: The Outsiders, S. E. Hinton

Julie mentioned: books by Barbara Kingsolver

Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle In Time

Temptation, Travis Thrasher (Solitary Series)
    also, the 7 Hour Series, Teardrop

Blue Moon Bay, Lisa Wingate

Almost Heaven, Not In The Heart, Chris Fabry

Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus, Joyce Magnum

Stardust, Carla Stewart

Embrace Me, Lisa Samson

Chasing Mona Lisa, Tricia Goyer

A Sweet Haven Summer, Courtney Walsh -- Suggested by Deborah Raney, author of After All: A Hanover Falls Novel

Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls

Peace Like a River, Leif Enger

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith

Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers

Bonnie Calhoun, Cooking the Books

Historical fiction by Tamera Alexander and Kim Vogel Sawyer

Illusion, Frank Peretti

Loving, Karen Kingsbury

Sheep Tales, Ken Davis

Bathsheba, Jill Eileen Smith

The Robe, Lloyd C. Douglas

Till We Have Faces, C. S. Lewis

Chasing Sunsets, Eva Marie Everson
(suggested by author Pam Meyers)

Pam also suggested going online to find a database of books by genre, author, or title. The site is: http://www.fictionfinder.com/

Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther by Ginger Garrett

Madman by Tracy Groot

The Last Disciple series by Sigmund Brouwer and Hank Hanegraaff

One Tuesday Morning series by Karen Kingsbury

Charles Martin, The Dead Don't Dance, Thunder and Rain

Lee Strobel, The Ambition

Dinner with a Perfect Stranger, David Gregory