That’s Life

Her eyes literally twinkle
Her smile flashes with such white brilliance you might think you have been hit by a meteor shower.
Her petite frame is bigger than life itself and on top of her head is a mane of golden brown hair that is thicker than molasses and bounces with ease.

It’s been a couple of years since I have laid eyes on this bright cheery personality of a friend of mine.
I saw a post from her on Facebook the other day and there she was…
Eyes twinkling!
Smile showering a brilliant flash of “white!”
And her head was covered with what looked like peach fuzz.
She was bald.

Two words…
Breast cancer!


I picked up the phone right away.
We talked for close to an hour.
She described in detail…
The diagnosis…
The shock…
The denial…
The tears…
The decisions that had to be made right away…
The surgery…(Twenty-eight days after diagnosis)
Double mastectomy…
The recovery…
The waiting…

There was one thing she said that stood out above the rest…
We were talking about all of the ups and downs of the past three and half months, the highs and the lows, the anxiety and the peace, the fear and the comfort, the denial and the acceptance and then she said this, “But, David, really, all in all, that’s life.”

Two words…
“That’s life…”

How true…
One of my favorite songs these days is by Danny Gokey called, “This is what it means.”

Listen to these powerful words…

Sometimes the joy can give you wings to fly
Sometimes the pain will cut you so just like a knife
There’s fear, there’s faith, there’s loss, there’s grace
I’ve seen it from both sides
This is what it means to be alive, alive
This is what it means to be alive

This is what it means to be alive…
That’s life.

Just this week I have talked with:
A mom who is celebrating her son getting married
An aunt whose seventeen year old nephew is being buried today
A gifted worship leader who does not have a church home
A family celebrating their son’s ninth birthday
A daughter who loves having her dad visit from out of town
A pastor who hasn’t served a church in three years and is dying to do so once again
A business owner whose business is booming

Dear friends…That’s life!

Were we expecting something different?
I love what Jesus says about the “life” He offers to us…
“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10. 10 ESV)

Yes, that’s life.
There’s fear, there’s faith, there’s loss, there’s grace…
With Jesus there’s two words…
“Abundant life…”

Laugh often and Fear not!




Do these numbers mean anything to you?
Maybe they are a serial number…
Maybe they are your credit card number that just got hacked!
Maybe they represent one of the most historic moments in American history.

Take a moment and think about it…

Let me separate them out a little bit and add a little context…

On April 4, 1968 at 6:04 pm in front of room 306 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee a 30-06 bullet from a Remington Rifle model 760 struck and killed Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Dreamer was assassinated.
The Dream lives on…


If you were to go to the library at the California Elementary School in Orange, California and check out the book, “Civil Rights Movement” you would see the name David Dendy written six times in a row on the check out card. I literally read the book six times.

Martin Luther King, Jr., his life, his calling, his ministry, his courage, his fortitude, his sermons and his legacy captured my heart from a very young age.

His “I Have a Dream” speech is perhaps the greatest speech in American history.
His sermon on the night of April 3, 1968 was definitively the most prophetic.

“And then I got into Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop.

And I don’t mind.

Like anybody, I would like to live a long life.
Longevity has its place.

But, I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain.
And I’ve looked over.
And I’ve seen the Promised Land.
I may not get there with you.
But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land!

And so I’m happy tonight.
I’m not worried about anything.
I’m not fearing any man!
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!

Twenty-two hours later the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Dreamer entered the Promised Land.

I wonder if the complete opposite is true for many of us.
For Dr. King the dreamer was shot but the dream lives on.
I don’t know about you, but I have never been shot.
However, I have had plenty of dreams assassinated!

I am wondering today if you might allow yourself to rekindle some of those dreams that were shot down and shot dead long ago. They may have died at the laughter or sneer from a respected family member. Your dream might have taken a 30-06 bullet right through the heart from your boss, a friend or even worse maybe yourself.

You’re a dreamer! I’m a dreamer!
The dreamers live on!
Let’s make sure the dreams do too…

“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.” (Joel 2. 28 ESV)

Laugh often and Fear not!

Come Home…

I was driving my children to school this morning, taking the same route that I always do.
I missed one turn.
I almost missed the next one…
I was physically in the car with my wife Julie, my daughter Faith and my son Joshua, but my mind was a thousand miles away wondering about something that was completely taking up my available brain capacity and ultimately had nothing to do with the present company.

Sitting at the traffic light that I wasn’t supposed to be sitting at my memory remembered a line that I must have heard a hundred times just hours before in the premiere of the movie, “American Sniper.”

“Come home…”


“American Sniper” is a well directed, well acted, well done movie.

A theme that runs throughout the movie is the idea of “being present” while “being home.” Chris Kyle, the main character “comes home” on four different occasions after being deployed to Iraq.

But he doesn’t…
Physically, he is at home…
Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, professionally he is half a world away…

Upon returning to the battlefield his brother in arms open their arms and exclaim, “Welcome home!”
Indeed he is…

Where are you today?
Not physically…
But, where is
Your mind?
Your being?
Your thoughts?
Your dreams?
Your spirit?
Your soul?

My all time favorite story in the Bible is the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
It’s a story of two sons.
One son, the younger son takes his share of his father’s inheritance and goes off and squanders it on fast women, fast cars while living in the fast lane.
The other son, the elder brother stays close at home, dutifully doing his daily duties.

The younger son comes to himself in such a way so as to realize the errors of his bankrupt ways and remembers the love and grace of his father.
He is in a distant land but his mind, his thoughts and his passion can be found in one place – home.
“Come home” is the voice he hears and he returns to a father who jumps off the front porch and runs and embraces and kisses him and throws him a festive party.

Everyone attends…
Except the elder brother.
He’s mad at the younger brother and even madder at his father for throwing a party to the rebel when he, all along was at “home” doing all the right things and “Why didn’t you ever throw me a party?” becomes his complaint to his father.

The father says, “Son, you are always with me (home), and all that is mine is yours.” (Luke 15. 31 ESV).

Does the stark difference between the two brothers knock you off your feet?

One is physically away when he realizes where the home of the father’s love is while the other is physically at home but far, far, far away from understanding and realizing the father’s love.

I have just one question…

Where are you today?

Whether you are near or far, perhaps you will hear the Father’s tender voice say two of the most precious words we can hear today…

“Come home…”

Laugh often and Fear not!

A Holy Kiss

His lips are luscious…
His lips are tender…
His lips are sweet to the touch…
His lips are pure and innocent…
And when they press against mine there is a connection that cannot, will not ever be broken.
A dad kissing his son…on the lips
The son kissing his father…on the lips
A Holy Kiss


Everyday I kiss my nine year old son, Joshua.
Everyday Joshua kisses his fifty one year old dad, me.
It is a holy time.
It is a holy kiss.
It doesn’t last long.
It’s not intended to.
It’s a connection point…
A father telling his son, “I love you.”
A son telling his father, “I love you too.”

Joshua and I kiss each other willingly.
Out of coercion? No…
Out of complete trust? Yes…
Joshua knows that I love him.
I look out for him.
I want the best for him.
Joshua knows that I will not betray him.
It is out of great love that I kiss my son Joshua…
It is out of the only love Joshua knows that he kisses me…

I can’t help but wonder…
How much longer will it last?
Until the innocence is gone…
Until the peer pressure grabs him…
Until the awareness that other kids don’t kiss their dads on the lips…
Until the day arrives where he turns his face and all I get is his loving cheeks, if that…

For “today” our greeting is A Holy Kiss!

How about you?
Four times the Apostle Paul encourages us to “greet one another with a holy kiss.”

How will you greet people today?
Most of us who read this post will indeed have been betrayed, sucker punched, abused, discounted, demeaned and disparaged at some point in our life.
As a consequence we greet each other with cynicism, doubt, caution, distrust, tolerance, and a sense of “holding back” and/or “holding out.”

Jesus gets it…
Twice Jesus is kissed in the recording of his life and mission.
The first time a woman kissed his feet to honor him, to show her love for him. A beautiful breath taking display of love and affection. Truly A Holy Kiss!
The second and last time Jesus was kissed was by a man named Judas who had come to “out” Jesus to his captors. A damning breath taking display of betrayal and treason. Not a holy kiss.

I am wondering what would happen today if the people we greeted were greeted with “A Holy Kiss…”

Not a literal kiss on the lips, although that would be permissible (if consensual!!)…
But rather what would happen if we greeted people with…

It might just be like giving the whole world one gigantic “Holy Kiss!”
The world needs one right about now, don’t you think?
Come to think of it…
Maybe you need one too…

Laugh often and Fear not!


The Refrigerator Light

We had a new refrigerator installed last month to replace the loud, inefficient, rusty, 4,000 year old refrigerator that was taking up a lot of space. The dust bunnies that were found roaming around the old refrigerator were kin to Brer Rabbit!

One would think that my problems were resolved and that I would be thrilled with my up to date, “Green”, efficient, brand new refrigerator that offers both “Crushed” and “Cubed” ice cubes.

Oh no! My problems have just begun.
Here’s the deal…
When I open the brand new stainless steel covered door it’s dark inside the refrigerator.
I don’t know about you but for the last 52 years of my life, every time I have opened the refrigerator door the light is on inside right away. For all I know the light inside the “frig” never goes off. It is automatic! Open the door… Boom! Light!! Just the way God planned for it to be!

Not so with the new “frig.”
Oh, don’t get me wrong. The light “eventually” comes on. It’s just delayed.
The light slowly glows to full strength.
It can’t take more than one or two seconds for full, 100% light to fill the refrigerated space.
It’s just not immediate…
This is a real problem!!!!

When you need some perspective on the “supposed”, rinky dink problems you are dealing with just remember me and my delayed refrigerator light!!


There’s a great story about Jesus healing a man who is blind.
Just to put things in context, up to this point in the ministry of Jesus every miracle he performs has an immediate cure.

You’re lame, paralyzed and can’t walk?
Jesus simply says, “Get up and go.”
Guess what? You get up and go!

You’re blind? Can’t see a darn thing?
Jesus lays his hands on your eyes and the next time you blink, your brain goes into overdrive trying to process the infinite numbers of colors that it has never had to process before.

Except for this one occasion…
The blind man approaches…
Jesus stoops down, scoops up some dirt, spits on the dirt, places the dirt on the man’s eyes and say, “Open your eyes!
The man opens his eyes.
Voila!!! Sight restored!!! Praise the Lord!!

Not so fast…
The man opens his eyes.
Jesus questions (how absurd), “Can you see?”
The man responds hesitantly, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.”
Blurred vision at best…
Jesus says, “Hold on a minute… Let’s give this another try”

Jesus stoops, scoops and spits…
The man opens his eyes to a whole new 20/20 world!
Voila! Sight restored! Praise the Lord!!!

It’s January 10th!
We are 10 days into the new year and some of us who have been making resolutions and goals and have been praying for days, perhaps even weeks or months for the “light of life” to appear still sit in the dark.

We want resolutions and problems solved today!
We want the job today!
We want to make sense of our situation and our dysfunction in the here and now.

There we stand with the refrigerator door of life wide open and all we see is darkness.
We are used to immediate results. We open the door and the light is on!

In God’s economy it may only be one or two seconds before the full light comes on, but that’s God’s economy, not ours… His one or two seconds could be two or three months or maybe even two or three years in our world.

Here’s what I am going to do…
I am going to do that which my mother and my grandmother told me never to do…
I am going to stand there with the refrigerator door wide open…
And wait and wait and wait until the light of my life is fully illuminated by God’s Refrigerator Light!

By the way, there’s plenty of room if you would like to stand next to me…
I would love the company…

And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” 24 And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” 25 Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. (Mark 8. 23-25 ESV)

Laugh often and Fear not!




I went to the Allergist on Monday.
Allergists are my favorite doctors along with ENT’s (Ear, Nose and Throat) and Pulmonologists (Lungs).
In 2011, while living in Klamath Falls, Oregon I trained and ran a full marathon – 26. 2 miles in 4 hours 22 minutes and 13 seconds. While training for the marathon I always noticed that my training partner’s heart rate and breathing was much lower and easier to come by than mine.
For the last 30 years of my life I have been an active tennis player winning a few tournaments along the way as a singles player and doubles player.

A year after running the Napa Valley Marathon I found myself living in Dubuque, Iowa.
I wasn’t there too long before I searched out the best Allergist in town.
I went in and met the staff, the nurses and the doctor.
I took some breathing tests and within minutes the doctor came hurriedly into my exam room with a most detailed, medical language induced diagnosis. He said, “Mr. Dendy… your lungs aren’t worth crap!”

He sat down opposite me and looked at me and I looked back at him…
I said, “Well, last year I ran a marathon.” (It’s amazing beyond belief to see how much your body can adapt to perform at a high level with minimum capabilities)
He shook his head, “How?”
We both kind of laughed at the thought…
His face became quite serious and his extremely good looks and million dollar smile were rather distracting as I wondered, “how young is this doctor?”
“Mr. Dendy…your lung capacity is at 47%!”


I went to the Allergist on Monday here in Houston, Texas.
He’s the same Allergist I saw 6 months ago and then 3 months ago.
We had made such great progress.
My lung capacity was at an all time high of 85%.
On Monday I greeted the staff for my 3 month check up after the last test.
The nurse took my blood pressure. I took some breathing tests.
The doctor came in a few minutes later without much haste in his approach or demeanor.
He placed my test results on the counter.
Took off his glasses
Shook his head from side to side
“Mr. Dendy… your lung capacity is back down in the 40’s again…”

I thought maybe I should say out loud what my Iowan doctor had told me…”My lungs aren’t worth crap.”
They’re not…
I don’t know if it is from second hand smoke growing up in a smoker’s home.
I don’t know if it is genetic.
I don’t know much, but I do know this…
My lungs aren’t worth crap!

Here’s the deal… Deal with it!
I am going to function at 47%!
Maybe my lung capacity will increase. Maybe it won’t.
But I will play with the cards I have been dealt.
I am amazed and you will be amazed at how much you can do within a limited capacity.
I will run the race that God has set before me with the lungs that I have been given.
I will push and pull, and run and walk and race and lift and get after it.

I turn 52 years of age in 55 days.
My lungs are at 47%.
What am I to do?
I don’t know about you, but I got up off my ass and went for a run!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us… (Hebrews 12. 1)

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. (1 Corinthians 9. 24)

Laugh often and Fear not!



Get A Life!

I took my 9 year old daughter Faith to see the latest adaptation to the story of Annie today at the movie theater. As usual the movie trailers preceding the main event were numerous. One quote from an upcoming feature presentation grabbed me by the throat and throttled me for longer than I was anticipating or desiring.

The supporting actor looks at the main character and offers this most heart wrenching, thought provoking, mind bending thought…

“You’ve lived but have never had a life…”

A nice thought for us to chew on while the world around us shouts, “Happy New Year!!!”


When I was pastoring in Klamath Falls, Oregon a guest preacher one day told my congregation that any time I mentioned “tennis” in any of my sermons the congregation with one voice should shout, “Get a life!” I am a huge tennis fan and player and found many opportunities to weave tennis illustrations into my sermons. Without fail until the day I moved out of state, one particular member of my church, Jason deVries would take great pleasure in leading the charge by yelling, “Get a Life!” any time I mentioned tennis!

I have seen a lot of people die at some point in their life only to be buried years later.
I know you are living because you are reading this sentence. You have probably lived a long time. But, I am wondering…

Tell me about your life!
What kind of life do you have?
What kind of life are you pursuing?
What will define your life?
What will decide whether you have lived or whether you had a life?
Is your “life” decided and determined by…
Resources or Relationships?
People or possessions?
Money or Mission?
Most of all, is life determined by Self or by a Savior?

One of my favorite quotes is:
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

Jesus once said to his scared disciples, “I am the way, the truth and the life…” (John 14. 6)

I can guarantee one thing in this New Year 2015 – Turn your life over to the Savior and you will have so many moments that take your breath away, it will take all the breath you can muster to measure them.

Get A Life!

Laugh often and Fear not!