Tuesday, January 21, 2020


Hi there! Welcome to Merv's Little Brain... the online digital burial ground of my insights, joys, fears, and ultimate hope. Why 'little' brain, you ask? Well... simply because I've nothing new or original to say (except on an occasional sleepy Friday nite.)

But alas, a few kindhearted friends thot that the mental exercise in running a blog would help me keep my small brain from growing even smaller (and, more importantly, keep me out of Costco's return line.)

The family keeps on getting bigger!
 Among my qualifications to run this blog are:
  1. a perpetual state of tiredness... (being up every 2-3 hours around the clock), and
  2. a true mastery of the lost art of 'copy and paste'.
    (I'm told the combination can result is wisdom so high that it only makes sense to a chosen few!)

Also, as the owner of said 'Small Brain' Blog, don't expect me to reply to you comments or questions if you chose to leave evidence that you actually were here.... especially if you possess one of those really BIG brains... please "pick on a brain your own size!" (author unknown)

HOWEVER, if you are an owner of a small brain like mine, read on! I might just save you some research time...

Best Regards,

Merv Best


My Little Brain Pledge:
  1. I purpose to be passionate in the pursuit of holiness, and to look for and remove any weeds of sin which I've allowed either overtly or covertly to invade my heart.
  2. I purpose to lead a disciplined life; to rise early and to study God's Word with all the determination I can muster, expecting God to provide both wisdom and faith to constantly lead my wife and family to the cross. 
  3. I purpose to kick "Parks" in the butt every time he shows up... he has overstayed his welcome and I must not let him take over my life. He selfishly looks to weaken both my spiritual and physical walk... but with Christ's help he will NEVER do so! Every time I struggle out of bed and reach for medicine, in my heart I will always purpose to reach for the grace which only Christ can (and does) provide.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Level and Plumb!

 “Mervin, it is good that you have a word from God confirming your decision to move to Portland... But... quite a few years ago when your mother and I picked up and left for Vancouver (which is 2,300 miles west of Manitoba)... I moved and God came with me!”
  The Late and Great Grandpa, Eric Best.  1920-2006

Dear Caden,        
Great Grandpa's Surveyors Transit
Can you say level and plumb

The tool I’m giving you today is a solid brass Surveyor Transit and it belonged to your Great Grandpa, Eric Best, before he gave it to me. I’m told its significant history began almost 150 years ago when it was used by the men of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) to survey the newly discovered train route through the Canadian Rockies. This link was critical for British Columbia (BC) as it had recently become the newest province... and a very rich addition to Canada’s commonwealth of natural resources and budding commercial opportunities!

As the story goes, just after the Second World War, my dad had purchased the transit from someone who had previously bought the very one from the very person who owned it during those early CP years... and now, for a few hundred dollars and a renewed optimism, your Great Grandfather Eric learned how to master the use of the transit and used it throughout his construction career.

At least, that the info that my father (your Great Grandfather) relayed to me a few years before he went to be with Jesus... 

I remember being impressed watching just how my dad knew how to make it perform... He’d give one knob a turn to the right and another a twist to the left, until he found something called level and plumb...  

My brother Gary was with our dad during his final days of passage... Dad was not a large man, but pound for pound, had a wirey tensil strength beyond anyone I knew.  But now, before Gary's eyes, lay a mere shell of the man we had known growing up...

My dear dad and mum (Canadian for mom)
Dad could barely see now, had difficulty talking, breathing was laborious, and he was in much visible pain.... so, my brother asked the obvious question... "How you doing, Dad?"

Dad, now savoring the sweetness of the world he was about to re-enter, turned back this last time to answer... like being awoken from the greatest dream of your life to be reminded to take your 2am sleeping pill... (and yet, responding without any hint of annoyance.)

Dad simply raised his head, gave a thumbs up, and scratched out... "It's going GREAT!  This is the BEST day of my life!!!"
Later that night, he died...

When Eric Best (who had been given no middle name) finally took his last breath in January 2006, he joyfully exchanged this present monochrome life for the technicolor one he had so briefly experienced.

A few weeks before his death in January of 2006, I asked my father what advice he had for me and the world...

And, in the sometimes squeaky, low German accent he was often known for during his latter years, he gave this sage advice...

     1) ALWAYS FORGIVE... never hold a grudge, no matter what the circumstances,
     2) ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH... be honest in everything, no matter if it benefits you or not! 

The simple and sound advice of a man few people knew well... but to those who knew him well, as I was privileged to, it's the best level and plumb advice I could give you.

“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, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives."”
‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:1-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Caden, you and I are following some great men of faith... and, my dad... your Great Grandpa Best... is one I’ve come to respect and honor most! 

Finish strong Caden, finish strong!


Grandpa Best...   (aka Grandpa MERV)

PS It all goes by so fast!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

When SIN Looks More Enjoyable Than GOD...

"I can't get no satisfaction, I can't get no satisfaction,
Cause I try and I try and I try and I try, I can't get no..."

 The Rolling Stones in 1965
I remember the 1960's with fondness...

I was the third born of four children.  My father was a home builder, and as such, built us a modest home in Surrey, BC.  My entire childhood memory has this split-level contemporary home as the backdrop for the first two decades of my life.

Although money must have been tight, I don't remember a sense of lacking anything that we needed.  There was always enough food to eat, and clothes to wear. From year to year, a variety of above ground pools cooled us during the hot days of summer sun, and in the winter, our living room hosted a large fireplace that would make my chilled, wet body toasty warm in seconds.

Some of my warmest memories are from Christmas... sitting under ours brightly lit tree, glowing with a rainbow of colors, and pouring over the Sears Wish Book which was faithfully delivered to our front door each year.  "If only I could get that Air Hockey set or this GI Joe action figure," I would tell myself.

I would sit there for hours, pouring over every glossy photo of every page... "Ahhh, If only I had this toy or that game... well, it would be the best Christmas ever!" I would whisper.  Little did I know, I was sowing seeds for future discontent.

1960's were turbulent years...

It was a decade when our country's moral foundation was being tested. The nation's youth were being raised on a diet of radio and TV promises: Everything from brushing with Colgate will make you every girl's dream date, to serving a cup of Mountain-Grown Foldger's will keep your man home, happy, and content.

Many of America's first immigrants came here so they could worship the true God of the bible.  (Our nation's founding documents are filled with the evidences which substantiates my claim!) 

However, by the 1960's, America was many generations away from this founding truth, and over the decades, had lost their love and pursuit of their Creator.  They had replaced their desire to pursue and love God with a passionate pursuit of the createdSome went after fancy clothes, fast cars, and other must have stuff... while others took the pathway of sex drugs and rock and roll.  Both found themselves in bondage to the thing they had hoped would satisfy... the truth is, IT NEVER DOES!

The multimillionaire, John D. Rockefeller, was once asked the question, “How much money is enough?” He answered quite transparently, “Just a little bit more.” In other words, “I will never have enough.”
"[In the Bible], Paul calls this covetousness, a disordered love or desire, loving more than God what ought to be loved less than God and only for the sake of God. But covetousness is the condition that this disordered heart is into, an act of loving too much what ought to be loved less. And that is why the wrath of God is coming. That is what idolatry looks like today. And it is everywhere in our culture.

So Paul puts it like this in Romans 1:25. They exchange the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature. Anything that is created rather than the creator. But there is no wrath for the children of God. And why is that? Because Paul said in 1 Thessalonians one: You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for his Son from heaven whom he raised form the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. So when we turn to Christ from idols we escape the wrath of God because he is for us. God is for us in Christ on the cross." John Piper [more]
"So many people have this Book [the Bible] all wrong. They think it’s just a list of rules. A bunch of dos or don’ts. They think it’s religion. That has never been God. Understand, this has always been about a relationship. It’s always been about love. This is the most romantic love story you will ever read in your life. It’s about a Creator who is so filled with love that He points to you and says I want you.  
From the very start it’s been about a love relationship with God. God’s greatest command is “love me.” It’s not “do this, do that.” With all of your heart, with all of your soul, with all of your mind. Everything that’s in you. All the passion within you would you just direct it towards me and lets just be in love. And don’t turn it into anything else."  Francis Chan

In the video below, Francis Chan delivers one of the clearest messages on what this Christian stuff is all about.. and why I believe what I believe!  It's not a short clip... it's 45 minutes long.  I would encourage you to plan a time when you can watch or listen to it in its entirety.  But please take the time to view it!

If you don't see the video above, click the link below

The Fraud picked us clean, swindled us
    of what our ancestors bequeathed us,
Gypped us out of our inheritance—
    God-blessed flocks and God-given children.
We made our bed and now lie in it,
    all tangled up in the dirty sheets of dishonor.
All because we sinned against our God,
    we and our fathers and mothers.
From the time we took our first steps, said our first words,
    we’ve been rebels, disobeying the voice of our God.”

from Jeremiah 3 The Message

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Would Love to Catch this Cold!

A new gene therapy for Parkinson's disease has achieved
promising results in its first human tests, involving 15 patients.
A new gene therapy for Parkinson's disease has been developed in England, and has achieved promising results in its first human test.  I'd jump at the chance of doing this! Check it out HERE.

The treatment, called ProSavin, uses a modified virus to deliver three genes into the brain which go to work teaching other cells to produce what's missing... COOL EH?

My Parkinson's is caused by a loss of nerve cells in the part of my brain called the substantia nigra.  Symptoms only become severe when 80 per cent of the nerve cells in my substantia nigra have been lost. (so, if you find any laying around... pick em up, they're probably mine!)

I just now sent an email, requesting to participate in their next trial... probably a long shot... we'll see.

This is what the LORD says-- your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.  ~ ISAIAH 48:17

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Message of HOPE...

I will miss you, Scott
I've just learned that my neighbor Scott committed suicide this morning... less than 12 hours ago...

Less than 24 hours ago, I was prompted to post the following video after watching it with my family earlier yesterday evening...

However, as you are reading this post now... I obviously never got around to it...

I wish I had pushed past the pain in my body and shared the video... Scott was a Facebook friend, so if I had posted last night, and if Scott happened to check his Facebook this morning before pulling the trigger, it's message of hope could have dramatically changed the events of today... not only for Scott, but for his family and friends who loved him.

But, I won't ever know if that 12 hours would have made a difference... at least, in this life...

Lord, if that prompting was you... please forgive my selfishness... and, next time, please grant me the strength to listen more carefully and then act upon it!

If you don't see the video below, click here.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Best Day of My Life...

My dear dad and mum (Canadian for mom)
I guess you'd have to say that my father died twice... his first death experience in 2004, and then his final crossing during the first few hours of 2006.

The first time, although lasting only minutes, ruined him for this world... and, for the next couple of years he was never the same again... 

I'd always been cynical of "after life" experiences... I placed them alongside stories of little green men, crop circles, and flying saucers... I remain cautious to this day... especially stories involving little green men.  ;-)

I imagine for many in attendance at Abbotsford Sevenoaks Church that day, it was just another typical service... but not for dad.  While sitting in his pew, his tired heart went on strike... and, for a brief few minutes, he left this world and "saw" indescribable colors and experienced a peace he had never known... and then, God chose to send dad back to finish his allotted time...

From that day forward, he couldn't wait to return to his forever home... he often talked about it... always with great emotion... "Oh, Mervin, the colors! Heaven has colors that I've never seen before... and, Mervin, the peace! This world has no peace! Heaven has peace... such amazing peace!" The tears would stream down his face each time he would try to express in earthly words what he experienced in the realms of heaven...

Fast forward two years... my brother Gary was with our dad during his final days of passage... Dad was not a large man, but pound for pound, had a wirey tensil strength beyond anyone I knew.  But now, before Gary's eyes, lay a mere shell of the man we had known growing up...

Dad could barely see now, had difficulty talking, breathing was laborious, and he was in much visible pain.... so my brother asked the obvious question... "How you doing, Dad?"

Dad, now savoring the sweetness of the world he was about to re-enter, turned back this last time to answer... like being awoken from the greatest dream of your life to be reminded to take your 2am sleeping pill... (and yet, responding without any hint of annoyance.)

Dad simply raised his head, gave a thumbs up, and scratched out... "It's going GREAT!  This is the BEST day of my life!!!"  Later that night, he died...

When Eric Best (who had been given no middle name) finally took his last breath in January 2006, he joyfully exchanged this present monochrome life for the technicolor one he had so briefly experienced.

Wouldn't you love to see those colors and experience that amazing peace... SO WOULD I!  But, for whatever hidden reason, God hasn't seen fit to knock me out for a few minutes just to say "Hey Mervin, let's take a quick tour of your future home!" 

BUT, in a unique way He has... God has allowed me the privilege to suffer a debilitating disease... Parkinson's. 

God has used Parkinson's Disease to dim the world's fun light, allowing me to slow way down... to reflect much more, to speak a ton less, and to notice the many people who are suffering... hurting people... and, most importantly, to see anything in my life, both good and bad, which tends to keep me from first desiring, and then pursuing, a deeper relationship with God... through his son, Jesus.  

Back in my February 2012 post, Satisfied with Nibbling, I used the following quote from John Piper...
“If you don't feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.”
~ John Piper  Hunger for God
Even the good stuff (let alone the bad) tends to crowd out time for the best stuff in life... 

So, until the day I take my last breath, I purpose to place my hope on what will last forever... and to tell as many who will slow down to listen... why today is... The Best Day of My Life!!!
"We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.
That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we’ll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming.

But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions. Sooner or later we’ll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what’s coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad. 

That keeps us vigilant, you can be sure. It’s no light thing to know that we’ll all one day stand in that place of Judgment. That’s why we work urgently with everyone we meet to get them ready to face God. God alone knows how well we do this, but I hope you realize how much and deeply we care. We’re not saying this to make ourselves look good to you. We just thought it would make you feel good, proud even, that we’re on your side and not just nice to your face as so many people are. If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted overly serious, I did it for you. Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do.

Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.

Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. 

God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.

How? you ask. 

In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God."  ~ 2 Corinthians 5 (the Message)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Thank You!!!

For the first time in over a year,
I was able to "walk" for three miles
on our country road with my bride Dorrie!
(I think I can finally catch her now!)

To the two couples who responded
so generously to my "need"...
thank you so much!  May your
generosity be repaid 100 fold!

BTW, if you cannot see the video below, Click Here.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

From Frozen to Flying...

My Segway partner... for life!
My wonderful bride woke up one morning last week with the idea of getting me on a Segway... So, yesterday, we rented a two hour tour... "a two hour tour. The weather started getting rough..." (from the TV show Gilligan's Island if you're under 50 and you have no idea what I'm talking about.) I digress...

All I can say is... Wow, what a feeling of freedom...

It felt as if I was gliding on air... a real-life version of when I have dreams of running! And, they are only $6,500 a piece (such a steal, lol!)

No train tracks in this real-life dream! (see my last post if you don't know what I mean.)

Thanks babe!
(Say, you look cute in that helmet!)

BTW, if you cannot see the videos of our adventure below, please click here.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Helplessly Hopeful...

"Only one life, ’twill soon be past..."
When I was a boy, I used to have a reoccurring dream that I was stuck to train tracks by some unknown force... My legs were lead, and struggle as I may to free myself, I couldn't move... It was a helpless feeling.

Today, my battle is more than just a dream... when I am in Parkinson's strongest grip, my childhood dream becomes a reality, and my legs REALLY ARE LEAD... and, I'm REALLY FROZEN IN PLACE... my emotional steam can build so quickly... and, depending on the pressure of the moment, well, I'll freak out...

In the middle of the night, I often listen to the book of Romans. Chapter 7:18b, defines my struggle...
"For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing."
As frustrating as this battle for doing the right thing is, I commit to never giving up... and, as I fail again and again... to ask for God's forgiveness, for he is my hope...
"Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it... What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans7:20-25)

C.T. Studd
CT. Studd (1860-1931)
Charles Thomas Studd was an English missionary who faithfully served His Savior in China, India, and Africa.
His motto was: "If Jesus Christ is God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him."

​“Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart,
And from my mind would not depart,
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,
And stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice,
Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave,
And to God’s holy will to cleave;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill,
living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore,
When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way,
Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep,
In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife,
Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn,
And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone,
Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, “twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Now let me say,”Thy will be done”;
And when at last I’ll hear the call,
I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.”
https://www.google.com/search?q=When+did+CT+Studd+write+only+one+life?&rlz=1C1CHBH_enUS792US795&sxsrf=AOaemvJsHwzpIOQdOSJyR20a7J-ch_Kswg:1630173085738&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=RykpUWlGfd174M%252CBsrwXAnLtwdJWM%252C_&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kREc-3_1NPptED2pCdu_cps5x742w&sa=X&sqi=2&ved=2ahUKEwjagMr9o9TyAhWQq5UCHZUpBucQ9QF6BAgPEAE#imgrc=RykpUWlGfd174M C.T. Studd

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

When I am afraid...

My Grandson, Jack... Receiving sage advice!
When I was just a wee little lad of 5, I would ride down the neighborhood hill on my brother's 10 speed by stepping UNDER the cross bar... I remember feeling pretty cool, fearlessly speeding down the gravel hill with arms and legs over, under, and through an adult-sized bike frame... foolishly without brakes!

Fast forward 50 years... I've slowed down dramatically... and my ability to do anything "fast" or "fearless" has all but vanished.  I find myself retreating from conversations because it's just so difficult to talk these days... and when I do try to say anything, I'm either not understood or misunderstood... I often feel locked up inside, wanting to escape this prison called Parkinson's Disease...

I long to give a word of encouragement (or correction) to those closest to me, but the words get all jumbled up inside. My physical body along with it's physical senses and abilities (which I've relied on for 55 years) cannot be trusted to deliver...

And yet, as I decline, a greater expectation and hope emerges before me... God's promises are true, and there is nowhere that my failing body, nor my weakening mind, can take me that's outside of His presence and His kindness... (Psalm 139:7-8)

Frustrating, painful, confusing... and yet, somehow mysteriously peaceful... 
My sweet mom taught me the following song when I was very young...

When I am afraid, 
I will trust in You, 
I will trust in You,
I will trust in You.
When I am afraid, 
I will trust in You,
In God's Word I trust.

I find it thot-provoking that something I learned at 5 is still true at 55!  My worst fears may lie ahead, but not without a greater, richer, and ever more joyful life in Christ!

The watches of the night (Kristyn Getty)
I look towards the wintering trees
To hush my fretful soul
As they rise to face the icy sky
And hold fast beneath the snow
Their rings grow wide, their roots go deep
That they might hold their height
And stand like valiant soldiers
Through the watches of the night

No human shoulder ever bears
The weight of all the world
But hearts can sink beneath the ache
Of trouble's sudden surge
Yet far beyond full knowing
There's a strong unsleeping light
That reaches round to hold me
Through the watches of the night

I have cried upon the steps that seem
Too steep for me to climb
And I've prayed against a burden
I did not want to be mine
But here I am and this is where
You're calling me to fight
And You I will remember
Through the watches of the night
You I will remember
Through the watches of the night

Sunday, October 14, 2012

This Journey

I've been trying to do a post for eight months now... and no matter how hard I try, I'm never satisfied that it communicates what I want... either I'm way too pessimistic and gloomy... or, I'm giving off an air that I'm on top of the world!

Actually, both can be true... or neither...  meaning, that in the course of a normal day... its so hard to be normal!

OK, let's start with the gloom first...

I crash (meaning I'm "off") every three hours... my body and brain freezes for up to 2 hours.  My speech can be affected anytime... stress brings it on at the most inopportune times... like when I answer the phone.  Most often, I speak only the first few words clearly... but from then on, it's anyone's guess!  So if you call, and I answer, and the next thing you know Dorrie is talking to you... well, I freaked out and handed the phone to her! 

I find multitasking very difficult... I'm talking simple tasks... I can be so easy distracted, and at times disorientated... Daily, I find myself mumbling,"I remember being better at this..." So frustrating...

But then, somewhere, deep down inside my being... from the core of who I am in Christ... there comes this sense of just how richly blessed I am... no matter how difficult or enduring the trial...

"What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future.
The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole. I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine.
When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation." ~ 1 Peter 1:3-9 ~ The Message

Music by Keith Getty; Words by Margaret Becker

Copyright © 2002 Thankyou Music 

Jesus draw me ever nearer
As I labor through the storm.
You have called me to this passage,
and I'll follow, though I'm worn.

May this journey bring a blessing,

May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart's testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.

Jesus guide me through the tempest;
Keep my spirit staid and sure.
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more.

Let the treasures of the trial

Form within me as I go -
And at the end of this long passage,
Let me leave them at Your throne.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Satisfied with Nibbling?

2011 Christmas Day feast with all the trimmings!
“If you don't feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.”  ~ John Piper  Hunger for God

Of all the questions I ask myself... "WHY doesn't God show up and heal me?" is probably the biggest... especially, when my cherished roles as husband, father, provider, counselor, friend...  are all compromised by this elephant sitting on my chest... this burden of Parkinson's Disease.  Its weight can be so oppressive in the middle of the night, when I'm awakened by my need for more medicine (or less electricity)... fumbling with this small controller that I can't see (which, BTW, was designed by a mad scientist)... aargghhh!

But then it hits me...

That still and quiet sense that God is allowing me enough external pain to be dissatisfied with the side dishes of success, health, family, relationships, etc...  but to actually sit down and enjoy this feast's main course... knowing Him more! He has spread before me this small trial, which seems at times to be so huge... yet, it continues to re-focus my longing to know God more...
"Everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I've dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn't want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God's righteousness. I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering..."  ~ Philippians 3:9-10 (The Message)
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long,“Where is your God?”
These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. ~ from Psalm 42 (NIV)

“Oh Father, I want us to be swallowed up in this Psalm. Not that it’s a happy place to be. But to learn how to be in an unhappy place... that is what we need. And this Psalmist does it... so well. He is miserable... so well. I want You to teach Your people how to be struck down... well. How to be in turmoil... well. How to be downcast... well. How to have waves break over them... well. And the Psalms, and this one in particular, is so well suited to help us."  ~ John Piper (from his opening prayer on a message from Psalm 42) 

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Woke up this morning with hope... and that's been rare for me lately.  

"Please get my focus off of me, help me find that daily joy..."
Over the past few months, despair and trust have been fighting for me... despair, that it's all a struggle from here "till the end", and trust... that inner sense that has carried me this far... that this very path I'm on is directed from a God who loves me and is not simply allowing it, but directing it for my good!

Disappointment in the lack of positive results with my DBS brain operation, my back spasms and subsequent pain meds withdrawal, have worn me down physically and even more emotionally, and have resulted in the stripping of my hope...

When you can't walk without struggle, can't speak clearly, and get all emotional at the first indication of stress... well, this cocktail mixes together quite effectively to erode one's social life and confidence!

Back to this morning...

I simply slipped to my knees beside my bed, and quietly raised my head and said to God, "With whatever strength you give me, help me to use it only for you!  Please get my focus off of me.  Help me find that daily joy that come from hearing you.  Amen."

I have so much to be hopeful for...

"And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." 
(Romans 5:5 ~ New Living Bible)

"The joy of the Lord is your strength." (Neh 8:10). Where do saints get their joy? If we did not know some Christians well, we might think from just observing them that they have no burdens at all to bear. But we must lift the veil from our eyes. The fact that the peace, light and joy of God is in the proof that a burden is there as well. The burden that God places on us squeezes the grapes in our lives and produces wine, but most of us only see the wine and not the burden. No power on earth or in hell can conquer the spirit of God living within the living spirit; it creates an inner invincibility. If your life is only producing a whine and not a wine, then ruthlessly kick it out. It is definitely a crime for a Christian to be weak in God's strength."
~ Oswald Chambers

Edith Lillian Young

"Disappointment -- His Appointment"
Change one letter, then I see
That the thwarting of my purpose
Is God's better choice for me.
His appointment must be blessing,
Tho' it may come in disguise,
For the end from the beginning
  Open to His wisdom lies.
"Disappointment -- His Appointment"
Whose?  The Lord, who loves me best,
Understands and knows me fully,
Who my faith and love would test;
For, like loving earthly parent,
He rejoices when He knows
That His child accepts, UNQUESTIONED,
All that from His wisdom flows.
"Disappointment -- His Appointment"
"No good thing will He withhold,"
From denials oft we gather
Treasures of His love untold,
Well He knows each broken purpose
Leads to fuller, deeper trust,
And the end of all His dealings
Proves our God is wise and just.
"Disappointment -- His Appointment"
Lord, I take it, then, as such.
Like the clay in hands of potter,
Yielding wholly to Thy touch.
All my life's plan in Thy moulding,
Not one single choice be mine;
Let me answer, unrepining --
"Father, not my will, but Thine."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fall Apart

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.
Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness."
So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ can work through me. (2 Cor 1:8,9)

"There is no greater mercy that I know of on earth than good health except it is sickness, and that has often been a greater mercy to me than health." CH Spurgeon

Thanks Dawna for reminding me once again that I have all I Need ~ Merv

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Walk to see Gramma

Gramma's been with Jesus for over two years now.

Her grave is just a short walk from our home... in Sunnyside Cemetery.

Thank you God for the ability to walk... and make memories...

"The heavens declare the glory of God...

...the skies proclaim the works of his hands" PSALMS 19:1

Back home...
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Friday, September 30, 2011


Thank you John Piper... I'm a white guy... 54 years old... was at your pastor's conference on racial prejudice about 8 years ago now... during the Q&A on the last day, I stood and spoke about my fine family and great children... "We are raising my sons to fear the Lord; to be faithful men... they will make fine husbands for those of you who who have daughters..."

After a brief pause, I added, "oh, I forgot to add one small detail... my sons are black! I hope this small omission doesn't prejudice you towards them. And if it does... WHY?"

I could feel the temperature in the room rise... I sat down, and started to tear up... the only person who came to comfort me, WAS A YOUNG BLACK MAN!

"What you said was right on, man."

His story was a sad one. He was currently attending a predominantly white church and had been fairly accepted... until, that is, he started showing interest in a white girl in the congregation. "I can sing 'Jesus loves me', go witnessing with the youth group, pay my tithe, and live in harmony with my white brothers," he said, "as long as I stay away from their white daughters...."

On the bus ride to the airport that afternoon, I sat beside a pastor from the south... I simply asked how the conference has affected his view on racial integration in his church... Obviously embarrassed by the question, he quietly stated "we have our church, they have theirs, and it is best that way..."

God forgive us!

My wife and I have since adopted 2 more... african-american sisters! They continue to be two of the greatest joys of my life!

In total (so far), we are blessed to have 5 (adopted) black children, and 2 (biological) white children, making "us whites" the minority in our own family!

ADOPTION: a constant reminder of God's unconditional love for me... His "adopted" son!

Again, thanks John...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Late Night Mystery

Dorrie and I still have hope that we are on the right track, however it can get discouraging along the way...

My doctors are a little stumped (along with us)... however, let's all remember where to place our trust:  IN GOD ALONE!
Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart...
Job 10:8 "Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me?
Psalm 56:8 Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll--are they not in your record?
Psalm 119:73 Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands.

Ecclesiastes 11:5 As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.
Psalm 139: 13-16  For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.