Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun. Ecc 9:9

This past week Linda and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary with laughter and tears. This was the anniversary that almost wasn’t – since early on in my diagnosis neither of us expected me to be here through the summer.

We gathered our three daughters, their husbands, and the newest granddaughter (too young to be separated from her mother) for dinner at the Sheraton’s “City Dock” restaurant in downtown Norfolk. Then we all boarded the American Rover for an evening cruise on the Elizabeth River. It was a spectacular evening, complete with a golden sunset, followed by a full moon that kindly framed itself in the forward rigging of this 135-foot schooner as gentle breezes filled the sails and a strolling balladeer serenaded us with some of our favorite ‘oldies’. What a gift!

Speaking of gifts: A remarkable recovery from disseminated malignant melanoma – a gorgeous and healthy new granddaughter – the chance to celebrate 40 years of shared adventures with the wife of my youth – surrounded by three bright & beautiful daughters and their masterful godly husbands… each a reward of worth beyond my deserving. I’m telling you, this life of faith demands unbearable sacrifice! :-)

I have often taught in our adult Bible study class that the life of faith – the life that dies to self and follows Christ with full abandonment – is actually a form of Christian hedonism. It is not a life of selfishness, not driven by self-interest, but one that is rewarded in ways that selfish ambition could not imagine nor hope to gain. Scripture is full of examples (Ps 19:8-11, Ps 37:4, Prov 22:4, Matt 5:3-12, Matt 6:3-4, Luke 6:35, Phil 3:8, Col 3:23-24).

Christ himself is our model: “…Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb 12:2 The Son of God, who loved us enough to pay the ultimate price, was moved and empowered by the knowledge that, in the end, there would be great reward.

It is ironic that the path to an abundant life requires a conscious choice to die, to surrender my plans, desires and energies to His sovereign purpose. The very things that I hope to gain through my own striving and clever design are ultimately achieved only by putting them to death. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Mat 16:25

I have been blessed beyond belief. This journey, which has taken me to the brink of death and back, has already produced rewards I could not have anticipated, not the least of which is the outpouring of genuine concern and prayers from so many. I am enormously grateful.

But the greatest reward continues to be a deepening relationship with the One whose love and grace transcend this fleeting life – for He reminds me “…I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward” Gen 15:1


PS – I cannot overstate the reward Linda has been to me over the past 40 years, and particularly through this most recent leg of our journey together. As a token of my gratitude for her love and faithfulness, I offered the following toast at our dinner celebration, along with the gift of a diamond “journey” pendant.


  1. your family has touched my heart and for all the blogs I read I am so excited for all of you. I will pray for you daily. Norma Lewis

  2. Dear Dan,
    Words can't begin to tell you how delighted, amazed, thrilled and just plain happy we are for you. We hope your recovery continues and you have many happy and healthy years to spend with your Linda and the rest of your family. We believe that it doesn't matter which path prayers take to get to their final destination and you had many paths for the prayers that were said for you.

    Marge & Steve Schechner
    Renee & Dave Lesser

  3. Your life is such an awesome testimony to God's grace!!! Thank you so much for keeping us updated with this blog. You have been a wonderful inspiration to me.

    Rachel Beasley

  4. Dan,
    I'm so glad your story has turned out this way. Continuing to pray for you and your family. To God be the Glory!

  5. God Bless Dan!

    Love,Life,Family and Faith.

    More than ample blessings for us all.

    Cheers to your whole crew!!

    Peace, Dennis Stewart

  6. Dan,
    We have been praying for you since we heard the devastating news a few weeks ago. It is very encouraging to see the latest update and we hope and pray the trend continues. Know you are always in our prayers, and your faith strengthens all of us.
    Sincerely yours,
    Bob & Jamye Elder

  7. Dr Dan

    I was just emailing to make sure everything is fine with you. No blog since your 40th anniversary. How wonderful you and your family looked. Please update us how you are

    Nat and Jackie Harlow