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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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Tuesday, October 10, 2017
A writing friend asked a question recently about a project he felt compelled to write. Publishers didn't clamor for his book and he was wondering what to do—actually, he was asking the pivotal question every artist/writer asks. Here's how I answered and I hope it encourages you in some way.

Dear Fellow Writer,

The question you ask, "Does God need somebody else writing books?" is a killer to the heart. But I get where that's coming from. I've heard that question many times in many forms, and the hardest place is when it comes from yourself. The answer is, "No, God doesn't NEED you." But it's the wrong question. The question really is, "Has God given you something unique that comes from your own heart and enlivens your soul to share with the world?" And the answer to that is YES! You wouldn't have spent the time to write the book if that weren't true.

The corollary question is, "What's the purpose of this thing I wrote? Is it supposed to be published and make a big splash?" I don’t know the answer to that any more than the singer at the local church who dreams of a recording contract and a big audience. Stay at your post and do your duty. Sing your heart out where you are. At a small church. At a prison ministry. In your bed in the hospital. At the Ryman.

Read Colossians 3:23-24. Seems he's saying that whatever you've been given to do, do it with all your heart.

So the follow-up question is—since a publisher hasn't snagged this idea, what do I do with it? My gut tells me you need forward movement. Take another step in the process of writing out your heart. That might mean sending it to yet another publisher. It could also mean putting that one away and moving on to a different idea. Who knows—perhaps the next idea will really sing with a publisher and you can tack this onto the caboose of the contract.

You're sitting at a really good place—but it doesn't feel good. You've opened yourself and your ideas up to the world and now it's responding. Or, in the case of the one publisher, they're not responding like you'd like. Okay. This is part of the hard process. You have to train your heart to wait, even when you don't feel like it. And even when you have a contract, you have to be in waiting mode of the heart. Always connected with what God is doing in you. That's the key to this—the stories, the books, the creativity that flows from you is doing something IN you. And for it to really make a dent in someone else, it has to first make a dent in you. You don't have control of how big a dent it makes. God controls that. You have to be faithful with what you've been given—and willing to go to the places of the heart he takes you so that the conforming he's doing in you leaks out in the writing and the speaking and everything that flows from it (or doesn't).

The other question you're asking is, "What is success?"

Most will point to a bestselling writer and say, "That’s success." They look at the numbers. Okay, that's fine. But put this in spiritual terms. Was Stephen a success? What about John the Baptist? Or the others in Hebrews 11 who were sawn in two? I want to be Joseph who spends time in prison and is elevated to "Pharoah" status so I can save my people. But what if that doesn't happen?

Write your heart out. God has given you this desire. Don't second-guess it. Go with it and see what happens in your own soul. And then release that good thing he's given, the ways he's working and changing and conforming you and let go of the expectation. You already have the success in the change that's happening inside you.

I used to listen to the voice, "Who are you to think you could write anything good?" Now I hear more clearly, "Who are you to hide what God has given you under a bushel basket?"

Monday, April 3, 2017
I woke up a few days ago humming a tune, thinking of a hymn I heard the Back to the Bible Quartet sing on a radio program long ago. This is one of those songs you have to sing in 4-part harmony to get the full effect.

More love to Thee, O Christ,
More love to Thee!
Hear Thou the prayer I make
On bended knee;
This is my earnest plea:
More love, O Christ, to Thee,
More love to Thee,
More love to Thee.

Modern songs will many times focus more on "how much I love Jesus." Songs of old did the same—think of "Oh, how I love Jesus." But this hymn is not focusing on the depth of my love and how great it is, it instead is a prayer to God to stoke the fires of love in my heart so that I can truly show love to God.

Once earthly joy I craved,
Sought peace and rest;
Now Thee alone I seek,
Give what is best;
This all my prayer shall be:
More love, O Christ, to Thee,
More love to Thee,
More love to Thee!

Searching for peace and rest is not a bad thing, unless you search for it in a place where it can never be found. God is the only one who can give this and you're looking for love in the wrong place if you wander. The single focus of the hymn writer and the longing of her heart was to truly find God and receive what is "best." Oh that this would be the cry of my heart today.

Then shall my latest breath
Whisper Thy praise;
This be the parting cry
My heart shall raise;
This still its prayer shall be:
More love, O Christ, to Thee,
More love to Thee,
More love to Thee!

There is a sense of the temporal in the last verse. The grass withers and the flower fades, and so will my life, my heart, my voice. But when I have but one whisper left, let my heart raise this prayer that I will be found faithful in loving the One who loved me first.

So how do I show more love to Christ? Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." 1 John 3:18 says, "Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and truth." The hymn writer is calling us not to correct speech or lofty prayers but an earnest, authentic faith that puts love into action.

How can you love God more fully today?
Friday, January 20, 2017
Eight years ago, I made a commitment on Inauguration Day. Today seems like a good time to renew it. See what you think about "My Oath of Office" below—and the addendum by an anonymous responder.

My Oath of Office (2009)

Will you respect the office of the President and the man who is charged by our country and by God to lead us?

Will you pray for this man and daily ask God not only for protection, but also for wisdom to lead our free nation?

Will you commit to repent of pre-judging him on things you've heard, on rumors you've been sent by email?

Will you pray for his wife in her new role? For his daughters who will be in the spotlight like never before?

Will you give him an opportunity to make decisions without vilifying him personally?

And when you disagree with a policy, when you believe he is going the wrong direction, will you speak the truth in love, will you be unlike those who have taken the opportunity to tear President Bush down at seemingly every turn?

To support, means to love. And agreeing with everything a person says when they are wrong is not loving. But to disagree in a way that shows dignity to that other person, while at the same time pointing out the truth, is what support means.

Anonymous said...
Thank you for this reminder! I also added this to one of your paragraphs: And when you disagree with a policy, when you believe he is going the wrong direction, will you speak the truth in love, will you be unlike those who have taken the opportunity to tear President Bush down at seemingly every turn? I will seek to recall and meditate on Matthew 12:36–37 -- "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."