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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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Friday, December 24, 2010
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about being grateful for where I am rather than where I’m not. And I’ve realized that leaving things behind means freedom. Facing the truth about yourself and whatever situation you’re in can be difficult, but it doesn’t mean you have to obscure the truth. Being real is not hiding or forgetting. Wholeness means you can equally embrace the past, present, and the future and the truth about all of them.

For example, I was writing a scene today where a man goes into a Subway restaurant for a drink of soda. The face of my son, Colin, flashed in my mind and I had a pang of regret and nostalgia. He used to love getting a little cup of Sprite with a sandwich. Now that he has Type 1 Diabetes, those days are over. Yes, he could have diet sodas, but the health risks outweigh the upside, we think.

What he eats or drinks isn’t the point. The point is his life has been forever altered. He’ll never go a day the rest of his life without thinking about the fact that his pancreas doesn’t work. That’s sad. That’s a loss.

However, thinking about his life now and the way his health has turned around makes me grateful. He gets lots of exercise and enjoys really good food now, not the junk you get in a fast food restaurant. Today we’ll play some basketball and get our heart rates going. Somehow, to say that I’m grateful for this, feels like I’m snatching something from the loss. I’m not giving pain its full due if I see the bright side. But both are true. Colin’s life is altered and he has experienced a great loss. But it’s also true that he’s on a good path.

Perhaps the reason I’m thinking about this is that plaintive baby’s cry in the manger. The cry of a newborn from the pain of birth. Hunger. Was there something more to the cry? They say a mother knows her baby’s cry. Andrea has always known if our kids are hungry or angry by their cries. Did Mary sense something different about the wails of her firstborn son? Perhaps this was part of what she pondered in her heart.

This little baby had stepped from heaven’s shores and the glory of that peace-filled land. In fact, the creator of everything had flown from a land that knew no sin to a landscape where sin had touched everything. The one who had fashioned the stars now lay helpless under starlight. The one who had spoken a word and scattered the angelic host, was now proclaimed as the Savior by those he had created. The earth he had formed held him in that dusty, Middle Eastern village.

Jesus had given up much in order to become man. There was more than divine desire that compelled him on the road he was to travel. It was deep desire from the heart of God to love, to give, for it was in the suffering, the struggle, the laughter and tears and nails and wood and blood that he would do his greatest work. Spit and dirt opened eyes. A touch of his garment led to healing. If he had never made the trip, there would not be redemption or salvation or as much glory due to his name. His mission was rescue. His life was ransom, fully paid.

That story spills over us. Dust and sand and dirt and rocks and trouble everywhere. The past and all the idyllic visions we had about what will be, might be, could be. Today I am listening to my own heart cry for something more. Something that says the past is real and full of loss, and that the future is filled with questions and hardship, but also something good. Indescribable. Whole.

In the suckling child of Bethlehem, in the stillness of that starry night, you and I sit in wonder at the mercy and grace of a God who did not grasp, but who let go of his Father’s hand and grasped the finger of a young mother. He knew there would be such agony and pain. And he did it anyway. He came to us not in spite of our sin and “lostness,” but because of it.

That’s what makes me cry this Christmas. They are tears we share with that baby. That man. With God himself—God with us.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
I ran an errand yesterday with my daughter, Shannon. She knew it was our anniversary today. “So, when did you know you were in love with Mom? What was the progression?”

Good question. I hadn’t thought about it for a long time. I explained how we met—I was an animal trainer with the circus—no, wait, I was in Special Ops with a clandestine military group… I used to do that, make up stories of how we met, telling the kids I was everything from a coal miner to a professional cheerleader.

I was a leader for our InterVarsity Christian Fellowship group at Marshall University. In the fall of 1981, Andrea Kessel came to West Virginia to take a job in radio and volunteered to help out at the local university. I still remember what she wore to that first meeting, the blue bell bottoms, the razor thin sandals, the striped shirt with the little tie thing at the top.

I remember that she laughed at my jokes and came up to me afterward and talked about radio and tennis and life. We had a lot in common. By December of 1981, I had asked her to my radio station’s Christmas party. That was our first date. One year later, to the day, we were married. In a private ceremony at the White House.

Things progressed pretty quickly. Back when I was a professional fisherman, I learned when I had a catch and when I should throw the fish back. Andrea was a keeper. We were drawn together like the ocean tide is drawn to the shore, like refrigerator magnets are drawn to…refrigerators, like flies to warm potato salad.

“But when did you know you were in love?” Shannon said.

“My concept of love is different than you see in Hollywood movies or in most of the culture. Love is a feeling that comes and goes. It’s warm and fuzzy and makes you feel tingly inside. It’s like champagne—as long as you feel the fizz, you’re in love. But when the feeling goes away, you’re out of love and you leave because what you’re in the relationship for is the feeling. To many, love is like a bank account. When you withdraw all the money, the account is empty and you move on to another relationship in order to get the same feeling.”

Shannon has heard this before, in various ways. She’s a veteran of the “commitment” speech. But I kept going. And I will hereby keep going and flesh out this postulate.

To me, love is not wrapped in a feeling I get, but is an action on my part. It’s a commitment made based on a desire I have for good to the other person. I love her, not because she makes me feel befuddled on the inside. I love her because I’ve chosen to love her, in spite of all of her foibles, problems, and negatives. And not respecting her beauty, desirability, sex appeal, and winsome personality. My love is not an exhaustible bank account that runs out when she makes me unhappy. My love is an action based on my commitment for her good.

And here’s the really great part of this type of love. I am still befuddled by her. I am still tingling. It was 28 years ago today that she walked down the aisle in a beautiful, white dress, and said, “I do” to me. Best day of my life. Scary day. We began a journey neither of us understood. We couldn’t imagine what was ahead. But we’re going through it together. Committed to each other through the good, the bad, and the moldy.

“Did that answer your question?” I said to Shannon.

“Not really,” she said, smiling, as if she had heard all of that before. As if she were proud in some way to have parents who are still together. As if she already knew the answer to the question.

She knows that love is not a tingle. She has seen us fight like cats and dogs and pout and cry and say mean things to each other. She knows we’re not together simply because of our fortitude. Yes, we are committed to each other. Marriage is work and we’ve done some heavy lifting over the years. Of course, my stint as a professional body builder helped. But the dirty little secret of love is that even if you’re committed, even if you try your hardest to stay “in” it, you’re going to fall out of it at some point and wind up in the same place the people who are in it for the tingles wind up. Even the most committed marriage in the world will fall apart.

The real reason we’ve stuck together for 28 years is because of something unseen, something other-worldly, and something that doesn’t have anything to do with us. What drew us to each other was not ourselves, our interests, or our backgrounds. What keeps us together is not ourselves. God is the third cord. He gets the credit for anything good that comes out of our marriage. A marriage that lasts is a gift. It’s up to us to treasure it and open it every day.

So I’m grateful today, 28 years later, to the one who said “I do.” And I’m grateful, eternally, for the One who brought us together in his timing, for his purposes.

That kind of gives me a tingle.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
If you heard Chris Fabry Live today, you know about Chris Castaldo and the hospital. Good news! Fabriana was born shortly after we hung up the phone! Here's the news from Chris’ blog:

Our dear little girl, Aliza Mattea, was born today. Aliza means “joyful” in Hebrew and Mattea is Italian for “gift of God.” After nearly twenty-four hours in the delivery room, it was joyful indeed when she finally arrived.

The hour preceding Aliza’s birth was memorable. It started last week when Tricia McMillan, producer of the Chris Fabry Live program, asked me to join Chris on his radio program. Tricia gave me several dates to choose from. After selecting one, I told Angela, “This is when you’re going to give birth.” Sure enough!

As Angela neared the end of her labor, I stood in the room across the hall on the telephone. Every few minutes I received a text message from friends who were listening to the radio interview. What a privilege and delight. Chris Fabry led listeners from all over the country to pray for Angela and the baby, and just 14 minutes after completing the interview, as I stood beside Angela’s bed, a newborn baby’s cry was heard.

Congratulations, Castaldo family!