On assignment

We have a special agent among us.

I have come to believe Josh is on assignment.

And God is not finished with him yet.

As a family, we found ourselves sitting on the front porch of heaven nine days ago. We still are, but God decided to pass out some lemonade and invite us to sit a spell. Who knows, at the rate we’re going, there might even be a second serving. Either way, the conversations, the laughter and the gentle sway of the porch swing bring a warmth to our hearts that can’t be beat.

Josh was at Hospice House for 6 days. He was in a critical place where staff encouraged us to make needed phone calls and be prepared for a rapid decline—not once, but twice, both in the middle of the night.

But God had another plan. Josh stabilized on 5 litters of oxygen and a pump hooked to his belly that administers high dose pain medication into him 24 hours a day. His lungs cleared. His temp returned to normal.

The lemonade is tasting sweet and cool.

When all is said and done, there’s a simple take home from all this.

We are all special agents.

By the world’s standards, much of Josh’s life did not amount to much. With a stroke at 5, an Asperger’s diagnosis at 10, and a growing level of encephalopathy (liver toxins damaging his brain) since 2009, loving Josh is a full time job some days. Josh can be a terror, but he also has one of the tenderest hearts I know. This kid knows how to love with a tenderness beyond compare. He does it well. Really, really well.

God qualifies the unqualified.

He likes to do big things through small people because he gets the credit—the spotlight directs people to the mercy, grace and power of God.

A question before us is worth asking. What’s your assignment this week?

Big? Little?

It matters.

It counts.

And it is directed and fueled by God.

Prayer Focus

  • Josh is grieving. It likely won’t be long and hard. He’s not wired that way. This kid does not mope, gripe or complain. But still, there is great loss. His body does not have the stamina to do even simple things for any length of time. Our joy will have to be creative and unconventional. Where there is loss, there is great opportunity to learn the depth and breadth of the Comforter and Counselor. Pray for this. John 14:25-27

  • Pray for our other four kids. It has been a time of emotional whiplash. Just a few days ago we were preparing to say goodbye to Josh. Now he’s home, our lives forever altered, trying to figure out what this new normal might be like—and how long it might last.


Hi There

This is a ministry dedicated to work and rest and the time we spend doing both. Field-tested material (Promise Land: Rest Redefined~Rest Rediscovered) was to be released this Labor Day to all who subscribe. It is still in the works, not far from being done, but now no longer a priority. God recently hit the pause button, however, when our 19 year old son, Joshua, was diagnosed with Hepatopulmonary Syndrome. It’s a rare complication of liver disease that destroys the lungs. A liver transplant is the only treatment. Josh is not a candidate because he was born with Sickle Cell Anemia. We were told in May, Josh had 24 months to live. Through a series of complications and a fire where we live, Josh began a rapid descent on August 2. It hit high gear on August 20 when Josh was placed into Hospice Care. The ministry, the material, the timing is in God’s hands. It always has been. If you sign up for the blog, I’d love to send it your way when it’s done. Here’s how it begins.


Promise Land

Rest is not a reward.

You can’t earn it.

You don’t deserve it.

It’s a given. Part of a plan. Free of charge and full of grace, poured out from the heart of God.

Rest comes to us signed, sealed, delivered. But it is rejected. Neglected. Again and again.

Are you numbered in those ranks?

We all are—if we’re honest.

We are made for more, yet settle for less.

This website launched in March 2013. If rest is a topic that grabs your heart, we’d like to encourage you to subscribe to this weekly blog. The information to do so is located on the right hand side of this page. Along the way, we’ve encouraged folks to read the first 12-weeks of posts found in the archives. (But no rush. Go slow.) Start with Week 1 (from March). Each post is numbered and lays an important foundational insight into the life-giving rhythm Run hard. Rest well.

Rest well!


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10 thoughts on “On assignment”

  1. I know exactly what you mean, Brenda! Jon was on death’s door three months ago and God has provided miracle after miracle. More time together! While he has brain damage, congestive heart failure and kidney failure, he is holding his own. God’s not down with him either! He is at his third and final place before coming home. He is Parkview Rehab with a tentative coming home day of Sept. 11, just in time for Jonathan’s wedding!
    I’m thankful to hear Josh is home! God is so good! Praying and thinking of Josh and all of you daily.
    Beth Zinnel

  2. Woo hoo! Josh faced the darkside and would not bow! He faced Darth Vader and would not be moved. His Father relented and gave Josh life. The Light has won a victory over darkness. AGAIN! Praise God! Thank you, Jesus. Tell Josh he gives me hope.

  3. On this wonderful Sonday, sittin on the porch swing, having a glass or two of lemonade with all of you. I invited Mom and Dad, who have been so ill to this porch; I knew you, especially Josh, wouldn’t mind:). Love and hugs, Linda

  4. I am praying for all of you daily, Brenda, and many missionaries here in Peru as well as other places in Latin America are lifting you up to our Lord. I pray that The Prince of Peace continues to overflow your cup with the hope and comfort that only come from His nail-pierced hands. You are loved. You are held. You are safe. And so is Josh. A huge hug sent from south of the equator. Rachel

  5. Brenda,
    All of our prayers go out to you and your family! God has great plans for Josh and his journey is not yet complete. The long road not yet fully traveled, Josh has so much to teach our children about strength and courage, the love of God and family. Cherish each day and new memory. Love, Hugs, and lots of prayers!


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