Seven years ago, I thought my anchor gave way. My life’s-boat was set a drift in a storm called “the death of a child” when my oldest daughter, Makenzie, was killed in traffic accident. Yet what I found was my anchor was more secure than ever. The pain, the grief, the emptiness and the heartbreak were … Continue reading Seven Years Afloat: Makenzie Home-going Anniversary – Todd Stocker.com
The police vehicles blew past us and into the neighborhood that we were driving. Pulled to the curb, we were behind another car and another was parked in the exit lane of a parking lot. Our three cars formed an ‘L’ shape. This was yesterday. Immediately, I noticed a body lying at the crux of … Continue reading When Attempted Suicide Meets Hope – Todd Stocker.com
Big decision last week. Multiples of them to be precise. Decisions that change things. Decision that transform. Some would say we are progressing. Other would say we are imploding. I wouldn’t know. I’ve take a break from the hype and the chatter. It has become, for me, mind numbing, provocative and crippling. I’ve chosen a … Continue reading Why I’m Choosing Ignorance – Especially Now – Todd Stocker.com
The thought creeps onto the screen that plays in your mind. It takes over the movie of your life and consumes you in its twisted reflection of your past. It is called “Regret.” All of us own them. Some more than others. Regrets are those events, conversations, or lack of actions that seek to demolish our confidence … Continue reading How To Live Through Regret – Todd Stocker.com
"What do you do when you feel 'spent'?" I’m taking a break, warm weather and all. It’s much needed and way overdue. Normally, I’m pretty good about balancing work expectations and refresh time (read about that here), but the past few weeks, the balanced tipped — understandable as this is the season of reflection and celebration as the world celebrated much needed HOPE, found in the resurrection of Jesus. In my line of work, that means created great environments for people to come and exercise that celebration.
I’m up earlier than normal again. The last few weeks have stolen hours of sleep from me, most likely because of today. Five times now, I’ve endured the turning of this calendar page without my oldest daughter Makenzie. Five times now, this day has kept me from work, from happiness and from others. Five times … Continue reading Makenzie: Five Times Now, Today.
Today is my ‘oldest’ daughters birthday. There won’t be presents. There won’t be cake. You won’t find our family all together dining at her favorite restaurant or sharing stories of past celebrations around the table. Makenzie has graduated from all of that. Her final birthday celebration was five years ago today, a month before she died. … Continue reading Makenzie: Five Years Old
A friend of mine has jumped on the weight loss journey. I hadn't seen this person for a few weeks but knew that she was significantly lighter than before. When I did see her, she looked great. I could tell, even as a guy, that she had lost a decade of pounds. My natural inclination … Continue reading How NOT to accomplish your goals
The Christmas tree. Tall and green and decorated as a fixture in our home during the Christmas season. Each year, I sit on our couch next to our tree and admire the decorations that are so carefully placed on its branches. I admire the creativity of the handmade ones. You know the ones. The ones … Continue reading Ornaments
I was at a cabin, working on my next book project when outside, I heard what sounded to me like thunder. I thought that was strange since it wasn’t in the forecast. I continued working but soon, I heard it again. The sound thundered loudly to a point that it shook the windows of the … Continue reading Feeling Small – Lessons from the Lake
Yesterday, our church hosted a group called Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge. Their core purpose is to help people break the grips of addiction through the basic understanding that they are a child of God and that He has a purpose for their lives. 50 strong, they filled the front of our congregation, spoke testimonies … Continue reading Redeemed
In 1896, Henry Ford attended a company event where Thomas Edison (the great inventor) was the guest of honor. His friend introduced him to Edison as "the man trying to make a car that runs on gasoline." Edison asked young Henry Ford a host of questions and when the talk was over, Edison banged his … Continue reading You Need Encouragement
The boom cannoned over the finish line of this year’s Boston Marathon. Many thought it was a celebration cannon. Others thought it to be a car backfiring. Then a second explosion. Someone had set out to kill. And they succeeded. In the hours following, the suspects Dzhorkar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were identified. Chechnyan Brothers … Continue reading The Big Faith of the Boston Killers
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” – Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) Truthfully, this translation is not the best for this verse (see part 1). Even though millions have it as a life verse, … Continue reading Makenzie’s Misunderstood Bible Verse – Jeremiah 29:11 – Part 2
A handful of days ago, Kellie and I were privileged to share Makenzie’s story at the Woodbury Area Prayer Breakfast. Among the 700 people were Bill and Zoe Hyland whose high school aged son, Braedon, was killed in a car accident in October of last year. It was a painful yet beautiful conversation as they, … Continue reading First-Withouts – Birthday Without Makenzie