FEBRUARY 7th, 2002


I have tried to weep but cannot

I have grasped at grief but it escaped

I have struggled with joy and it has the victory

I have held the hand of God and He has held my life!


    A Man Dearly Loved

    Thursday Morning

    Two Weeks Later


Early in the morning of February 7, 2002 God took to be with Him Mac Snobelen, my father in law. Mac had an attitude toward life that can best be summarized by the quote below:


The Only True Values


I have concluded that the accumulation of wealth, even if I could achieve it, is an insufficient reason for living. When I reach the end of my days, a moment or two from now, I must look backward on something more meaningful than the pursuit of houses and land and machines and stocks and bonds. Nor is fame of any lasting benefit. I will consider my earthly existence to have been wasted unless I can recall a loving family, a consistent investment in the lives of people, and an earnest attempt to serve the God who made me. Nothing else makes much sense.


After learning that Mac had died I spent hours crying and praying, asking God the endless "Why?" I was convinced that something terrible had happened to our family. But as the days passed the certainty came upon me that something terrible had not happened. This death, which our adversary intended as destruction, was but the final step to ultimate victory, its power had been removed. A very real Jesus died a very real death to carry a very real punishment so that each of us, Mac included, would not have to. For us to carry this load would have lead to our eternal damnation; because Jesus carried this load for us we have forgiveness from all our sins and have obtained the promise of an eternal salvation. I became convinced as time went by that for me to mourn Mac's passing would a denial of my faith, an affront to God, and would show a lack of trust in what Jesus had accomplished on the cross. (Those in my family who read this please understand that this is what I believe God requires of me in response to Mac's death. It may be as great a denial for you not to mourn his death as it would be for me not to celebrate His victory.) 


Today, when I see his empty chair I will not grieve. I miss him, and will miss him for a very long time, but I am able by the grace of God to rejoice. Mac is now safe, nothing remains that can harm him, he is home with the God he loved and whom he faithfully served. The hole he leaves behind is immense, but the assurance we have of his salvation through the great work of Christ is a joy that calms even this sadness. The poems on this page are a reflection of that assurance. It is in times such as these that our faith in God shows itself not as the crutch that many suppose it to be but as the strength that heals our broken spirit.