Saturday, April 28, 2012

Getting Hammered, Literally!

Yesterday I had my second bone biopsy, since the first one didn't really produce any concrete answers. This time I had it done at UW in Madison. So after dropping the girls off at school Jen and I headed up for the procedure.

UW has a great facility and the people are wonderful. We arrived a little early and they got us signed in and ready to go in no time. Then a nurse brought us back to a prep room where I got into on of those wonderful gowns and hospital pants, she took my vitals, and drew blood to see how well my blood clots. Then the doctor came in and explained what we were going to do, similar to the last time with a few minor changes. This time they were taking the biopsy from the sacrum and they assumed that the bone would be hard, so I should be prepared to hear the sound of a mallet pounding on the needle to get the bone out.

Hearing a mallet pounding on a needle to get bone out of me, really!

So Jen and I waited until it was time to head in, then I got wheeled around the corner while she went to do work in the cafeteria. We went to the CT room and got all settled then they explained the procedure again.

Then came the happy drugs.

Now these drugs were similar to what I had last time, they relax the body and you you get tired, but never I was never knocked out entirely. They did an initial mark, ran me through the CT to make sure it was the right place, then went to work.

What I remember is the poke of the needle then some pressure as they got to the right spot on the bone.

Then the doctor said, "Now you will hear some hammering sounds."

I am very glad I was medicated at that point.

So the hammering began. I felt pressure in the area and with each pound of the mallet I was moved a little bit. Every once in a while they would stop, take a picture, then start again.

At one point I asked about the pictures, and they pointed to a monitor above my head that showed the pictures, so every time they stopped I would look at the pics and see what they were doing. It was pretty cool.

I have also requested a copy of the CT pictures and will post them once I get copies. On them you can see the area where they took the bone very clearly.

The procedure took an hour and fifteen minutes. They were very pleased with the sample that they got and are hopeful it will provide some answers. While we were in the CT room I also requested to take a picture of the needle and mallet that were used. The doctor said she would bring in clean ones to my recovery room afterwards so I could take the pictures. Below is the needle set that was used, she could not find the mallet.

When  she brought it in Jen asked if this was a common request, the doctor said no, it was a first.

Gotta love be unique.

Our friend, Dave Glesne, was in town so he stopped by during recovery as well. I was a bit loopy at the time, but it was great to have someone else come in and offer a prayer for us.

After two hours, and an omelet lunch, I was freed. My side was a bit sore, but overall very little pain.  We came home, and as the drugs wore off I got quite a headache, but that wore off in a few hours.

They said that it will be Tuesday or Wednesday before I get results, so it is more waiting, but hopefully we will get some solid answers this time.

So hopefully that is the end of the bone biopsies, and now we move forward with the next steps.

Have a blessed Saturday.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Eye Distortion Continues

So today I had an appointment with my eye doctor in Madison. It was my two month check up to see if the distortion in left eye had gotten any better and what our next step will be. I went through many of the same tests as last time, without the ultrasound of the eye or the florscene test. I also met with a retina specialist, something I did not do last time, as well as my regular doctor.

First of all, the distortion in my eye has not changed at all, it is neither better nor worse. This is both good news and bad news.

Bad news - my eye distortion is not caused by central serous retinopathy. That would have been the easiest, and best case scenario and it would have taken care of itself eventually.

Bad news - The bump in the back of my eye that is causing this is probably metastasized cancer. With my history and the discolorization and shape of the bump, both the doctor and retina specialist think this is the case. I asked if I didn't have a history of cancer what they would think this is they said a Nevus, which is basically a mole in the back of the eye, but those are normally brown and this is yellow. So they are thinking cancer.

Good news - the spot has not changed in size at all in the last two months. This is good news because if it is cancer it is very slow growing.

Good news - If this is cancer then the new meds I may start taking soon should work on this spot as well. So after a while my sight should improve.

They also said that doing a biopsy of the eye is not the direction they want to go right now. If they do a biopsy then there is a very good chance that I will lose the sight in that eye. So a biopsy is a last option.

There is an option to get a shot in the eye to help get rid of the distortion, but I would have to get shots every two months to maintain the lack of distortion. Since the distortion right now isn't that bad and mainly just an annoyance, we are passing on that option for now as well.

So for now, all I can do is wait, again. I have another appointment in July to see if there is any change. Yup, more wait and see. What a pain.

On Friday I go in for another bone biopsy, this one of the sacrum. After I get the results then we will decide what the next steps are. If it comes back positive for cancer cells, then I will start taking my new med and radiation therapy, if not, then who knows what the next step is. I am sure it will involve more tests of some kind. I think they like sticking me with needles of all sizes.

Days like this are depressing. I was hoping for something definitive, maybe even something positive like something not life-threatening. But instead I got a "probably cancer but not positive" diagnosis.

And then this afternoon we had to tell the girls about Dakota. So, not a real happy day here.

At least I got a Java Chip Frappachino to wash the day down. I've gotta find the little joys somewhere.

Now it is time to give Scarlett a bath, another little joy for the day.

Good Bye Dakota

Yesterday I said goodbye to Dakota, my dog of 15 years.

I got Dakota the last few weeks I was in seminary. She was a bright dog, easy to train, who loved to hunt and chase after pheasants when we lived in eastern Montana. She was with me through three moves, getting married, having kids (which she loved as you can see in the picture), my cancer battle, and so much more.

And she loved people. I would warn anyone entering the backyard, we have a dog and she may lick you to death.

Over the past year she started going downhill. She lost her hearing, was losing her sight, her memory was drifting and she had a hard time walking and climbing steps. She also stopped eating regularly, and lost 30 pounds in the last 6 months.

We knew it was time, but that never makes it any easier.

So yesterday Jen and I took her on her final journey. We both sat with her, I had my hand on her neck, and told her that she was loved.

It was a hard afternoon.

Then, on the way home, Jen had the other van and she surprised me by picking up a red bud tree that we are going to plant where her kennel is.

We will be telling the girls after school today, they were with a friend yesterday so we decided to wait.

So yesterday was a day to say goodbye. I will miss Dakota, my dog, my friend.

Have you said goodbye to pets?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I live across the street from a cemetery

It's not something new, we have lived in our house for over 8 years now, but the thought crossed my mind just a few days ago.

I live across the street from a cemetery.

It's a nice cemetery, very well maintained and quiet. It is the one where we do the majority of our funerals as well. It is a good place to go for a quiet walk or bike ride when the weather is nice.

It is peaceful there.

And that is something that I have been searching out lately. Places and times that are peaceful.

With everything else that has been going on in my life, I long for the peaceful. I long to let the mind stop wandering and wondering. I long to just be in the moment, celebrate the activities I have with family and friends, to embrace the peace.

And as you know, that is not always easy. It is hard to turn off the brain and it seems like there is always something that needs to get done, a errand to run, a house to clean, a ... and the list can go on and on. So we end up not making the time for those peaceful moments that we need, and that we will treasure in the future.

That is what I thought about as I looked across the street at the cemetery earlier this week. We rush through life way too much and often take advantage of the time we have the people who are in our lives. In peering across the street I was reminded to slow down, celebrate what I do have, and double check my priorities.

As a dear friend has told me over and over again, "Faith, Family, and Friends - that is what matters."

So my question for you today is - what are your peaceful moments in life?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Book Signing

Today at noon I am doing a book signing at Katie's Cup  at 502 7th St in Rockford, IL. I would love for you to stop by, get a cup of coffee or tea and chat for a while.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

For the past week, this is what I have been doing.

Waiting, waiting, and waiting some more.

I originally thought that one week ago I would be starting radiation therapy, but now, one week later, I am still waiting.

Last night my radiation oncologist called me and asked with the doctors at UW had been in touch yet, and they hadn't. So he is trying to get in touch with them again. This will be the third attempt. I know that they are busy, I know that there are a lot of people out there like me, but I am at the stage that I want to do something. Anything.

But instead I am waiting, and that means that I have a lot of time to sit and think about things, for good or for bad. Today my thoughts wandered towards the image of scars.

As I was shaving this morning I caught a glimpse of my scar from two years ago. Now the scar is in such a place that I don't see it every day, but what I raise my arm the right way, there it is. Seeing the scar made me think about the variety of scars the we have in our lives, some seen and some unseen.

These scars occurred either because of something we did, or because of something that was done to us. Sometimes the scars visible for the whole world to see, sometimes they are hidden in such a way that only we know about them. But no matter where they are, or where they came from, these scars do affect us.

The question is: do we let these scars define us.

I have some scars that influence my life in pretty major ways. Scars I got when I did something that taught me a lesson, enhanced my understanding of something, or came back to bite me.

I also have some scars that affect my relationships with others, sometimes because I got burned other times because something amazing came out of the situation.

But the hard part is not letting those scars define me as a whole. Sure, they will affect how I work with and deal with others, but the scars do not make up who I am.

I am more than my scars.

I am more than incidents that happened to me.

I am more that actions or reactions of my own.

I am more than all of this.

A friend recently asked for a passage of scripture to help calm her nerves before an interview. Immediately my mind went to Psalm 46 where the psalmist says, Be still and know that I am God.

In those times when I question my scars and how they were caused, I am reminded to be still and know that I am God's.

I am God's child.

I am God's beloved.

I am one who has been claimed, called, and promised by the one who created all.

And remembering this moves me past all of the scars and the pains. It grounds me in who I really am and what really defines me.

A child of God who is loved, cared for, and needed. Even if there are times that I don't feel like it.

So what are some of your scars, and how can you keep from letting those scars define you?

PS - I just got a call while writing this from the doctor in Madison. It turns out that I had a biopsy scheduled, just no body let me know about it :) So on Friday, April 27th I will be having some more happy drugs and they will be scraping out more bone.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Both this Sunday and next Sunday we hear Jesus call out to us with the words "Peace be with you." There are many times in my life, and I am sure in yours as well, that we need this in-breaking of peace. Below is a sermon I delivered two years ago, it was my first time back in the pulpit after my surgery. As I read through this sermon earlier this week I was reminded of many of the similarities between my journey now and my journey then.

I pray God's peace will enter into your hearts.

Peace - John 14: 23-29

The past two months have been an experience, to say the least. It has been a time filled with ups and downs. There have been the emotional extremes of tears to laughter in matter of moments. It has been a time when I walked in some dark valleys and trekked to the highest peaks, a time when I have experienced and seen the face of Christ in amazing ways. It is through this journey that my eyes have been opened to the multitude of ways that I have seen God active in my live and in the lives of others. It has been experience I will never forget

One of the most amazing experiences happened on the day of surgery. Pr. Jennifer and I had arrived at the hospital a little before 5:30 in the morning. It had been a short night, but luckily we had driven up after confirmation the night before.

We didn’t have to wait long before they lined all of us patients up and took us back into these little cubicles. They had me put on one of those wonderful little gowns with the natural air conditioning slit up the back. Then they came and took vitals, drew blood, all of that fun stuff.

After we got settled in, Pastor Pedro from the synod office popped his head in, he sat and talked, shared scripture, and a prayed.

It was getting closer now.

At this point, I still felt rather relaxed, considering everything that was about to happen. Pedro left, and another friend who had driven out from Minnesota popped his head in. He was only there a couple of minutes, and then came the surgical team. Doctors, nurses, and anesthesiologists, just piles of people coming in and getting me ready to go. Then it was time, so I gave Pr. Jennifer a kiss, and off I went.

As I was being wheeled down that very white hallway, the nerves started to set in. I started thinking all of those “what ifs.” You know those. Those questions that pop in your head and bring the deepest, darkest fears to the surface.

Then, as they opened the doors to the operating room and were about to wheel me in, it came to me.


Peace Erik, I am here.

Peace, I am with you.

Peace, I am leading you into this place.

That peace, that sensation that overtook me at that moment was exactly what I needed, for I knew I was in good hands, and I don’t mean only those of that very talented surgeon and her team. But rather I was in the good hands of the God who led me into that operating room and gave me the peace I needed at that time.


Have you ever had a moment like that, a time when you were feeling a little anxious, nervous, or upset? Then, in the midst of that anxiety, this calming peace overcame you, and you felt that presence, that sense of comfort, fill your entire being?

On that early morning that gift of peace sustained me at a time when I needed it the most. It was the gift of knowing that I was not alone but rather God was right there, leading the way into the operating room, carrying me.

Today, in the gospel, we hear Jesus give us the assurance of that peace in our lives. This is taking place near the end of his ministry. It is the last night he has with his disciples, and so he has gathered them around, and he teaches them one last time.

During this teaching he tries to let them know that he will be leaving them soon, but even though he is going, he is not leaving them alone. No, Jesus, their friend, their rabbi, their Lord, he is not going to abandon them. He is sending an advocate, the Holy Spirit, to be with them until his return. But he doesn’t stop there

Jesus goes on and says – Peace I leave with you, My Peace I give to you.

Now the peace Jesus is talking about here is a little different than we might think of today. It is not a peace like end of a war or battle. It is not a peace like the laying down of arms. But rather peace for Jesus is two things. It is comfort for the troubled heart and courage in the midst of fear.

Comfort and courage

These are two things we desperately need in our lives. Comfort and courage, this is what gets us through the dark valleys of life that we sometimes stumble into.

Comfort and courage, it is the blessing of being able to face head-on whatever struggles we have and knowing we are not doing so alone.

Comfort and courage, it is the gift of peace, of God’s peace and the assurance of God’s presence in our lives.

You see, that is why Jesus is talking to his disciples about peace on this night. He is about to make that walk, that Holy Week walk, all the way to Golgotha. But before he goes, he wants his disciples, he wants us, to make sure we know that he will not ever leave us alone. Christ will always be with us.

No matter where we go, no matter what we do, Christ will be there. He will shower us with his comfort, his courage, and his peace, all so we know that we are his children, and we always will be.

To put an exclamation point on his teaching Jesus then lives out his gift of peace during his last days. For throughout the events of his arrest, trial, and crucifixion, as well as in the resurrection, Jesus embodies the peace he offers here. He lives out this peace as he gives his all so that we might live, and live eternally. Yes, Jesus wants the disciples to know that even though he is leaving them in human form, he is not orphaning them. He wants us to know that the love he has for all his children, for all of us, is so great that he will come and give us the peace, the comfort, the courage we need to make it through whatever the world throws at us.

I have no doubt that this was the peace I was given as I was wheeled into that operating room - the comfort and courage of God as I went into surgery.

I remember being wheeled into that operating room, now more relaxed than I was when I was wheeled down that white hallway. I was told to help move my body from the bed to this cold operating table. I remember laying back on this stainless steel, and I felt the nurse strap my feet to the table.

But that’s it. That’s all I remember.

With the exception of the sensation of comfort, of peace, surrounding me.

Yes it was that peace that gave me the assurance that all would be alright, and it was. Yes, God promises he will walk through life with us, every step of the way. He will grant us the peace that we need to celebrate this gift of life and share it with others so we can go out into the world trusting in the fact that our God is a God filled with love and compassion. A God who blesses us with peace, comfort, and courage, and he does all of this out of the great love that he has for each and every one of us, his children, his beloved. Yes, he does all this for you.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Biopsy results are in, and we know ....


Yup, nothing.

When I talked to the doctor today he said that after meeting with the pathologist they saw a little dead bone, but nothing else. What this means is, well, who knows.

The PET Scann still shows a number of active areas that seem to be cancer, and the docotor has no other explanation for what they might be. But this biopsy doesn't show any cancer.

As he said - as of now I cannot say you have cancer or that you do not have cancer.

So that means, you guessed it, more tests.

Tomorrow I will find out the details, but as of now it looks like I will be going to Madison for another bone biopsy (can someone say happy drugs :). This time they will go for an area that showed a little more activity, but is also a little harder to reach. This will probably happen next week, and then I get to wait, again, for the results.

The odds are that this is still my lung cancer that has gone to the bones, but my docs don't want to treat until they have actually cells that prove this theory. So I have to wait to start treatments as I do more tests.

Waiting = frustration.

Tomorrow I will post more as I learn more. I guess this is just another step on the journey of life.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bone Biopsy and Breaking Needles

So that is what the needle that was shoved into my hip bone looks like. Sorta cool, and honestly it didn't really hurt.

Here is the update from yesterday:

Around 6:00 am I was showered and ready to go. I took my first Lorazepam pill to get ready for my MRI and waited for my ride. With both girls in bed we decided to ask a friend (who I often refer to as my brother from another mother) to take me rather than trying to get the girls read by 6:45am. Steve came at 6:20, and I was feeling some of the effects of the pill. We checked in, I took my second pill, and soon went into the MRI room.

As I have said before, closed spaces are not my thing. I can handle just about anything better than closed spaces, well, except snakes but that is another story. So I had 2mg of Lorazepam to calm me down before going into the tube. Then the tech explained everything to me, had me lie down and put a washcloth over my eyes. We did a trial run and even though I could feel the edges of the tube on my arms, I did okay. Then we did the real thing.

I was in the tube for about 30 minutes. The tightness did not effect me nearly as much as I thought it would, thanks to the meds and the washcloth I am sure. One thing that surprised me was how unbelievably loud those machines are. With earphones smashed up to my head, I couldn't hear any of the music at all when the machine was running.

But after 30 minutes, I was out and all went well. I was still enough that none of the pictures had to be re-shot, and I was still feeling pretty good.

So I went back out to the waiting area where Steve was still waiting for me. At this point I am quite sure that the hospital changed the pitch of the floors a bit because I was tilting to one side as I walked, but I guess it might have been the meds. We went upstairs to check in for my biopsy, met another member of my congregation who led us to my room and then the waiting began.

Around 8:30 Jen came up with Sierra (Scarlett was at school). Steve left and they stayed until 9:15 or so. Then I did some reading and waited. The biopsy was supposed to be around 10:30, but they were running late. Finally around 11:00 am they came and got me for the next stage of the tests.

I was wheeled back down to the first floor and I found out they were going to do the biopsy in the CT room. I met with the doctor and went through the procedure with him, then I laid down on the CT machine on my stomach. They hooked some leads up to me as well as some IV's and then did a scan of my hip area. They did this so that they could get an exact site to take the biopsy from. Then they gave me some wonderful meds.

I think they did at least.

At this point, things get a little hazy. I remember parts of the conversations I have with the nurse, but not all of them.

I remember the doctor pushing over and over again on my hip.

I remember trying to crack some jokes (boy am I glad they didn't record what I was saying then!)

I remember the team leaving every once in a while to take another CT and make sure they were in the right place.

And then we were done.

As we were finishing up I asked the nurse how long the whole thing had taken and she said about 45 minutes. And then she told me that my bones were so strong that I had broken their needle.

Gotta love that - having bones so strong that I broke the needle. What actually happened was that the needles have little teeth on the end to grind the bone out and my bones were strong enough to bend those teeth down. So he had to push a little harder to get enough for the biopsy.

Then came one of the most painful parts of the day. As I rolled back onto my bed from the CT machine, the leads had to come off. For two of these it wasn't a problem, but the last one, well, it was on a part of my chest that had a fair amount of hair. In my infinite wisdom, I decided to just yank this one off, and man did that hurt!

Then I was wheeled back up to the second floor to rest and eat and let the drugs wear off.

I also had access to my phone, so I had a little fun in my medicated state doing Facebook posts and texting people. It is probably a good thing that my phone battery wore out when it did.

Around 3:00pm I was ready to go, Jen came and got me and I went home and napped for a couple of hours. After dinner (wonderful BLT's) I went to worship. Unfortunately I had to leave early because Scarlett had not napped and she was a little hard to control during the service.

Overall the tests went quite well, and the after-effects of the meds were not too bad. Now we just play the waiting game.

I am not sure when I will get results. One nurse said I would know by Monday and start radiation by Wednesday, another said I may not know until next Thursday or Friday and radiation would start the following week. All I can do is sit and wait and get ready to for the next step of this journey.

And so today I am getting ready by preparing for our Good Friday services. As I sit here and reflect on the Passion of Jesus, I am reminded that no matter what path our life takes us, we do not travel it alone. In looking back I see the face of Christ in Jen and the girls, Steve and his willingness to help, my staff who brought me three packs of bacon today, the doctors and nurses who are God's healing had in the world, and the list goes on and on. So I am enter this holy time with a heart of hope and hands of grace holding on to me.

May you have a blessed Good Friday.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

With everything that has been going on in my life over the past month, I have seen a number of parallels with the Lent of two years ago. Entering into a battle with cancer, working with doctors and nurses, and holding onto the promises that Christ makes to all of us while preaching his love and new life to others.

So today I am posting a sermon from two years ago. It is the Maundy Thursday sermon that I preached as I was getting ready for surgery. I know that this is a day early, but tomorrow I will be undergoing a couple of tests and I am not sure if I will be able to post or not.

Let me know what you think.

Maundy Thursday Sermon – April 1, 2010

Not long after I became a father, a friend gave me some advice. He said, “Your children will be your greatest joy and your greatest challenge. They will make you smile and cry on the same day. They will fill your heart with joy, and your heart will break when they stumble and fall. But there is one key to being the best dad that you can be - love them. Just love them.

Words that have echoed in my head over and over throughout the years, love them, just love them. For it is in that love, in that wide embrace of grace, that relationships are built, restored, and flourish. It is in that love, that life-giving love, that the face of Christ shines through and we are given a glimpse of the glory of God.

Well, tonight, this Maundy Thursday, is all about love. It is about the love that Christ demonstrates for his disciples and us. It is about the love that flourishes in this body known as the church. It is about the love that we are called to share

Love them, just love them.

And it all starts with an ordinary little action. You see, Jesus uses this ordinary action, the washing of feet, to demonstrate an extraordinary love. And he calls his disciples, he invites you and me, to do the same.

Back in Jesus’ time, people commonly washed their own feet. When guests arrived at someone's home with feet covered in dust from the road, a good host would offer them a basin of water. The host would not do the washing, but would provide the water so that the guests could wash their own feet. In some cases the host would have a slave wash the feet of the guests. But it was understood that no free person would stoop down to wash the feet of another free person. Hospitality meant offering water and perhaps the services of a slave. It did not mean doing the washing.

For a free person to wash someone else's feet meant that he or she was taking on the role of a slave. The only reason someone would do this was to show complete and utter devotion to another person. That is what Jesus does here.

He assumes the role of a slave to show the depth of his love for his disciples. Love them, just love them – and he does this by serving them. And his love does not stop here.

No, Jesus continues to live out the love he has for us by inviting us to share in a meal. He gathers with us at a table. He breaks some bread. He lifts a cup and he says to us – this is me.

This is my body, this is my blood. This is what gives me life. And when you eat and drink of this, when you share in this meal, it will give you life, too.

Yes, in this meal we are given the strength that we need to make it through all trials or struggles we may be facing. We are giving the gift of knowing that the God who called us by name, the God who claimed us as his own, is also the one who showers us with grace and forgiveness. Yes, God is the one who wipes away our sins, cleanses us, and empowers us to go out into this world that he has created and live as little Christ’s for other.

Love them, just love them.

Yes, Jesus does this. He loves us by giving his very being to us and reminds us every time we share in this meal, he is present. He is here. Through his body and blood he is recreating, forgiving sins, and creating a new life in each and every one of us. Talk about love!

He then loves us, just loves us, by encouraging and calling us to community building. You see, in telling the disciples to wash one another's feet, in calling us to share in a meal, and in commanding us to love, to love as he has first loved us, as we hear at the end of the gospel reading (John 13:1-17, 31b-35), Jesus is inviting us to be about community building.

For in the serving of each other, in the eating with each other, in the loving of one another, a community is created. A community that we now call the Body of Christ. And it is in this body that the love of God is reflected. Reflected to those gathered here, and reflected to those who are not yet a part of the body. Reflected to all of creation.

Over the past month I have come to see this love, this amazing love, with new eyes. With all of the struggles, with all of the sorrow, with all of the questioning and the crying out, God has spoken to me through this great body of his. This has forever enhanced the way I see this Maundy Thursday. For I have seen the service of Christ shared with me and my family by you. In prayers, cards, and the wonderful hugs. I have gathered at this table with this great body. Shared in the meal that promises to bring hope and healing. Knowing that I gather with others who are struggling as well, that we all gather to receive that body and blood that we so desperately need. And I have experienced the love, the life-giving love of Christ, for I have seen his face, and I have seen it in you.

Love them, just love them.

That is the mantra of Mandy Thursday. A mantra of love, a mantra of compassion, a mantra of new life.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I have been thinking about sight quite a bit recently, mainly because the distortion in my left eye has not been getting any better lately. Things still look smaller and darker, a little squishy as it may be, and the improvement I have been hoping for has not come yet. I go back to see the doc at the end of April, so I am really hoping for improvement before then.

Sight is one of these blessings that we often take for granted. Before I had this eye issue I never really thought about not being able to see my wife and kids, not being able to read, not being able to see a sunset or sunrise. Now I treasure each one of these sights every time I have the opportunity to take one in.

But sight is not only the physical act of seeing something. There is also the sight of looking back in the past at memories or looking forward to the future. I have to admit there are times I get stuck looking at the past. My sight is narrowed to memories, both good and bad, and I get hung up on some of the pains of the past. Because of this I am not able to see the hope of the future with much clarity at all.

So for me to regain my sight, my perspective, I need to let the past be in the past, treasure the moment, and look forward to the hope of the future. This is not always easy to do, but when that move can be made, then the burdens seem to be lifted and life seems a lot brighter.

So as we enter into this Holy Week, what are some of the things from the past that are holding you back, and how can you let them go and move into the hope of the future?