Remembering Joshua: Life is Hebel

May 21, 2013

Hebel That is an important word for the writer of Ecclesiastes. It is a word that comes to mind on May 21 every year since 2001.  That was the day Joshua died. It was also the day John Robert died in 2008. Indeed, it is a day on which many people have died. Hebel You may […]


A Different Kind of Easter Morning

April 2, 2013

This Easter, before assembling with other believers, I did something that I had never done before. I visited Joshua’s grave. For me visiting graves has rarely been comforting. In fact, it was the opposite. The graveyard seemed too permanent. It contained too many granite stones which testified to both the pervasiveness and intransigence of death. I […]


Can We Justify God?

February 17, 2013

Joshua, my son, you would have been 28 today.  I miss you, and yearn to hold you again.  One day….yes, one day.  Till then, rest peacefully.  Joshua died  at the age of sixteen. I offer this chapter out of my ebook on The Shack and spiritual recovery in his honor. ******** Oh, the depths of the […]


“I Will Change Your Name”

December 28, 2008

When you feel forsaken or rejected,  when you feel like a failure or a piece of dirt, when you feel inadequate or deficient, when you feel unloved or unchosen, hear the word of the Lord through Isaiah the prophet Isaiah 62:2b,4,5b …you will be called by a new name        that the mouth of the LORD […]


John Robert Dobbs (1990-2008)

May 23, 2008

Since I was disconnected from the electronic world, I was unaware of the loss that the John Dobbs family has just suffered.  John Robert Dobbs died on the same day as Joshua Mark Hicks….my son in 2001, John’s son in 2008. Here are my feelings…about God…my prayer to God. Frankly, God, I am sick and […]


My Memorial Days

May 23, 2008

After memoralizing a couple of days in my life (May 21–the date of Joshua’s death and May 22–Sheila and I would have been married thirty-one years), I feel better. It was a cathartic–a kind of cleansing–though I recognize it is a long process (and has been a long one already).  I now realize that I […]


One Day at a Time…

May 20, 2008

Grief should be the instructor of the wise.  Sorrow is the knowledge.  Lord Byron Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart, Who looks outside, dreams, who looks inside, awakes.    Carl Jung I call to God; God will help me. At dusk, dawn, and noon I sigh deep sighs–he hears, he rescues.    Psalm 55:16-17 […]


Mike, Joshua and My Grief

May 2, 2008

On November 14, 2007, my good friend and colleague at Lipscomb University Mike Matheny died after his three year struggle with a brain tumor. Mike–the same age as me, 50–is a dear friend to me. We talked often about our great loves–the Psalms and baseball.  He is a Yankee fan, I am a Cubs fan. But we are […]


May 21, 2001

May 22, 2006

Joshua, I miss you. You died five years ago today. There are times when I look around for you and expect you to be there. There are times when I remember your laugh, your smile and your hyperactive joy. They bring a smile to my face. You created laughter in our family even when we […]


Dare We Doubt Together?

February 24, 2006

Nine years ago Jennifer delivered Leah stillborn. The next Sunday her congregation sang, “God is so good.” The words caught in Jennifer’s throat, and she could not sing. Instead she found a place to weep alone. “I’m dead inside,” Becky says. Her church, shepherds, family and friends had begged God for sixteen-year-old Joshua. But Jeff’s […]