Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good. His love endures forever (Psalm 136:1–NIV).

Just a couple months prior to Dad Denny’s passing, I asked him a question concerning the goodness of God–wondering how to rectify all the ugly, seemingly bad and broken in the world.

 If God is good and only does what’s good, as Psalm 119:68 states, then why this (referring to his bladder cancer diagnosis)?

He thought some time before answering. Finally, he replied.

One never knows if or when he may face calamity or sickness in life, nor is one ever prepared for the diagnosis. It’s at that moment, and every day that follows, that one’s faith in God and in His promises becomes even more real. It’s then that you hang on to every word, promise, and prophecy ever spoken over you in a way you never imagined possible. You also discover that your family and friends–those who support you best–are more important than ever before. Your earthly eyes see in such a different light, and you desire to live your life with new perspective–believing the battle is the Lord’s and thus, He will fight for you–holding up your arms when you grow weary. Best of all, His love endures forever! (First posted in a blog entitled “God Shines Best Through Brokenness”–8/28/19.)

At the time Dad spoke these words, he was banking on a miracle–believing with faith that God would heal him. He’d been given good reason, after all, and we all hoped healing would come on this side of the veil. We wore the “shark” bracelets to proclaim what we believed was a promise and were open to sharing the story with anyone who’d hear.

I sent this picture to Dad Denny while on a glacier in Alaska–to let him know we were continuing to pray for him. 

I know Denny shared his story with doctors and nurses, neighbors and strangers. It was his desire that God be glorified in and through him–broken though he was. He held to the hope that, when God healed him physically, everyone who’d heard the testimony would come to faith in Christ. We all had that hope.

But then Dad died. And so, what then?

What now?

Reading Dad’s words again today, I hear in them the hope he had back in August 2019 when he first spoke them to me, and it was God’s mercy and grace that we didn’t know then what we know now, on that day I asked him that question–

 If God is good and only does what’s good, then why this?

Truth is, it would take physical death to bring new life for Dad. He wouldn’t be healed on this side of Heaven, go on to live many more healthy years with a testimony of healing from bladder cancer. But his closing words are ones to rest upon, when he proclaimed, even in pain–

Best of all, His love endures forever!

Yes, that final remark is an exclamation point on Dad’s 73 year / 4 month / 6 day-old story. Again…

His love endures forever!

Oh, Dad Denny–thank you for this good and true reminder! I visited with Faith the other day, and Daisy jumped up and laid across my lap. I know she misses you. After all, you were her ringmaster, so it’s no wonder she feels a bit lost. But just as you did, I, too, see a bit of the Greatest Showman in her eyes–so full of love–and they remind me of the bigger plan, that which includes both the joys and sorrows of this life.

Perhaps God gave us dogs to be, at least in part, a reflection of His character. Oh, I know they’re not created in His image the way humans are, but I can’t seem to find a greater reason for His thinking them up so long ago, other than out of love for us. It’s almost as though I could hear God whispering–

I am good and only do what’s good. Trust me.

And then, as I held Daisy on my lap, she licked me as if to say again–

His love endures forever!

So, here’s the part of Daisy the Circus Dog that you told me on Thanksgiving Day you loved the most–the part you hoped would one day be published. You lived this message, Dad. May these words be a reminder that God, too, suffered when He sent His only Son.

Thus, we believe He indeed is good and does only good–even in suffering, even when we can’t fully understand or see His bigger plan. Mostly, I know it was your hope that these words would serve as a reminder to all of us that, indeed–

His love endures forever!

P.S. We love you and miss you a lot!


The Biblical Lesson of Daisy the Circus Dog

…And this is her story—but that isn’t all,

It’s also the ringmaster’s tale;

Because just as Daisy aims to please

Like her, he, too, will fail.


For he knows this well, that man Daisy loves,

Though he always does his best

To please the Master—his Savior, his Friend—

But perfection isn’t a test…


That he or anyone can ever pass—

He knows this all too well;

It’s in the loving family of God 

That our stories we can tell.


To bring Him glory—our Father, our King—

The Ringmaster of Life’s Show;

With our lives we praise Him, our sins He will cleanse

With the beautiful blood that flowed…


From Jesus’ hands, His feet, His side,

In the bravest, most daring of feats;

What He did on the cross makes life an adventure

And secures for us a seat…


At the Greatest of Shows beyond the one

We could ever know on earth;

Just takes “steppin’ up”—the ticket is free,

And with it comes rebirth.


Born into new life, we make it our aim

To live for the glory of God;

Though we’ll make mistakes, we try—try again…

Being guided by the Good Shepherd’s rod…


And His staff—yes, He has one—He holds that out too,

As He reaches to gather us in;

We’re like clowns at the circus—acting silly and strange,

Fumbling and bumbling in sin.


It’s His grace that sustains us, His mercy too—

And His faithfulness never ends;

Though we’re each far from perfect, He loves us the same

And to each He calls us friends.


So let’s learn from Daisy, the Circus Dog,

And the man she loves beyond measure;

Neither is perfect; each makes mistakes

But both bring the other one pleasure.


Still nothing compares to the joy we bring God

When we simply sit at His feet;

To learn from Him and long for that day

When we will finally meet.


To see the Master face to face—

What joy that moment will bring;

He’ll give us new names—what a lovely sound—

And our hearts will surely sing!


Like Daisy, we’ll love it—we’ll twirl and dance

And jump and leap about;

So happy will our hearts be there,

At home we’ll feel, no doubt.

No matter what we dreamed on earth,

No matter the trick or race,

Such things will no longer be our concern

When we see our Savior’s face.


All that will matter on that day 

Will be to stand in His glory; 

Then we’ll hear, “Well done, my child!”—

An exclamation point on our story!


This isn’t ‘The End’—it’s only the start

Of another chance to aim,

Our goals and dreams and hopes to fulfill

All glory and all fame…


To the Greatest Showman ever to be—

The Creator of it all;

Of planets and stars and apple trees too,

And you and me and dogs!


Yes, a pup named Daisy, the Circus Dog,

And the man who loves her well;

The bond they share is beautiful,

And this—their story to tell…


Is lived by them and shared by them

In the way they spend each day;

For us, this truth’s a beautiful gift,

And they offer us a way…


To see the beauty of a Savior 

In the simplicity of a dog,

And the man who loves her—though his family more;

He points us each to God. 


Yes—you, Papaw, pointed us each to God.

(The Beginning !)

Dear Jesus, thank you for Dad Denny’s life and for speaking dogs into being all those years ago. Perhaps You had a pup as a boy in Nazareth. I’d like to think so anyway. Though they’re certainly not created in the image of God, it’s amazing to me that their love so often reflects Your character. Maybe that’s why Allie once said, “Maybe God thought, ‘Let’s just spell My name backwards, and we’ll have the most loving of creatures–D-O-G’. That makes sense, Momma.” And it does. Thank you, Kind and Loving Friend!