It Never Ends…

I found myself standing under threatening skies, bundled up from head to toe cheering on Faith and Joshua as they ran around an increasingly muddy oval grassy track at Capstone Park. They were participating in the annual “Boosterthon – Fun Run”, a fundraiser for their elementary school. As modern popular music blared, “Sweet Caroline” – the head cheerleader for this event danced, sang and shouted out words of encouragement to the runners as they ran lap after lap for about thirty minutes.

I was not alone as many other proud parents bobbed up and down to the bass beat in an effort to stay warm. Keeping my eye on Faith and Joshua was difficult as the sea of fourth graders and third graders created a tsunami effect of an ongoing wave of white T-shirts creating quite the blur.

A mom was standing next to me as her daughter ran over to her. The mom’s smile gleamed with pride as her daughter approached. My eyes, along with other parents followed this fourth grade student as she made her way to about a foot away from her mother. The daughter stretched out her right hand as her mom delightfully reached out as well readying herself for what seemed to be an imminent embrace.

The little girl stopped abruptly and with outstretched hand said, “Here Mom!” and unexpectedly handed her a crumpled paper cup, a piece of trash. Her mom graciously took the cup and stuttered, “Thank you…”

I burst out laughing at the mom’s shocked face.
The corners of her mouth softened and she too started laughing.
Our eyes caught and her next comment has stuck with me all day…

“It never ends…”


Life on this earth as we know it will one day end.
Cancer will cease to threaten our very lives.
Friendships will come to a close.
Violence and abuse will have a final day.
Family members will die off.
Addictions will curtail.
Prison sentences will conclude.
Depression will stop.
Dreams will be doused.
Freedoms will be bound.
Jobs and vocations will no longer be.
The breathing will become breathless.
The beginning will have an end.
Time itself will run out.
Rivers and lakes will dry up.
Dysfunctions will halt.
Everything we know will end.

Take a moment, take a breath before you read this next paragraph…

When we talk about…
God’s unconditional love,
God’s amazing grace,
God’s sea of mercy,
God’s furious love for you,
God’s boisterous and bellowing laughter,
God’s heavenly kingdom,
God’s eternal salvation,
God’s unparalleled acceptance,
God’s terrific tenderness,
God’s constant comfort,
God’s future and God’s hope,
God’s offering a second and third chance, over and over,
God’s perfect timing,
God’s crafty creativity,
God’s omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence,
God’s strong and gentle arms that wrap around our souls,
God’s radiant reign,

When we talk about these things…
Guess what?

“It never ends…”

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!



Trail Running

There is something very exhilarating about running on a trail.
The course is not paved.
The trail has dips and
gulleys and
bumps and
blips and
fissures and
snake tracks and
deer tracks and
bear tracks and… you get the idea

An important lesson from trail running is this… if you want to get down the trail in the most efficient manner…Watch every step!

However, the most important lesson from trail running is this… Listen now…

If you want to enjoy the trail on which you are traversing, you must, you have to, you are required to stop and look around.

It is impossible to enjoy the scenery, the aroma, the views and the majesty of the trail while you are running and watching and inspecting every step with your eyes cast down.


Only nine more days until Christmas
That’s at most 216 more hours on the trail until we hit the tape at the finish line of this season we call Advent.
If you are like most people you are watching every step on the trail…
Mailing Christmas cards…
Getting the shopping done early…
Opening the windows on the Advent Calendar with each passing day…
Attending the Christmas Parties…
Counting down the days until you get a day or two off…
Getting ready to travel…
Getting ready to receive travelers…
Singing Christmas Carols in the car…
Going to church…

These are all important steps on the Advent Trail.
But…(And that is one big BUT!)

If we don’t stop… and I mean STOP
I’m not talking about “slowing down.”
I’m talking about “STOPPING.”

If we don’t stop…
We will miss the greatest present of all…
The “presence” of that which we are enjoying on the Advent Trail of life, the very “presence” of God who can point out to us the very things which will touch our hearts in ways unimaginable that makes the journey, the trail all worthwhile as we sojourn to see the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Prince of Peace, the Beloved Son of God…Jesus.

“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46. 10)

Laugh often and Fear not!