2017 Finale Video

Saturday, July 30, 2011


One of my favorite things to do in life is playing games. Work, money and relationships can be stressful, but games are an escape from all of that. I like board games, outdoor games, video games and sporting games. Games can be played with anyone at any age, with or without skill, and no matter if you win or lose, you still benefit from the ultimate goal of having fun.

Right now there is one game that tops the list for my enjoyment. It started with Yatzee and playing Gin Rummy with my grandma, but with the added pleasure of stacking chips before your opponents, Texas Hold Em' Poker has become my choice game for life. With the ability to learn and make choices based on your cards and your opponents behaviors the game is not just a game of chance anymore, although a little luck kicks in sometimes.

As I sit at a table with friends that I have played with for years now I find that the fun of playing hands and betting chips has become competitive. We wouldn't have it any other way though, when there is a prize to be won, it's all or nothing. There is pressure to play but win or lose we all are friends again in the end and look forward to the next poker night.

There is something to be said about games and life that are both similar and different. While life finds many ways to stress and discourage the heart, games on the other hand bring out relief and joy from those places in the heart that are so crowded by life. Sometimes life hurts relationships we share with people close to us, and games help bring them closer together in ways never imagined. Other times games can be competitive, working against another team but families come together in times of trouble.

What if in life, like in a game of poker, you were taken advantage of and you lost a bunch of chips? What would you naturally do then? Would you walk away from the table and leave all that you have worked for ? Would you take the hit and focus on being more competitive? Would you go All-In willing to risk it all for your own good? What if in life, you did everything that you were Not suppose to do in a game? What if you just gave all you had to the person who just took half of all you had your heart on?

Have you ever heard that Life is not a game? Then if thats true you may want to take this to heart......

Jesus said, "But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.  But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.....

Life is truly not a game and people are not our competitors. God made us all the same and we all have one goal and purpose working together to glorify our creator. The part of life that Is like a game though is the end prize.

.....then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6)

Now that's the game of life I want to play

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Why me? Why is this happening to my son? Is there a reason for this? Does not God have plans for his future many years from now?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Today is a big day in our journey with Lincoln. We decided to have a port surgically placed under his skin that will last for the few years to come. Because this is surgery there are risks and recovery, just another thing added onto our plate of things that seem to be overflowing right now.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I Think I Can

My thought wander to many places as I reflect on the summer this far. From where has this month gone to where is the future leading me. I have felt both overwhelmed and

For Now

We are sitting outside right now on the deck in the shade because it is warm outside. Lincoln has had some pain from

Thursday, July 21, 2011


A long time ago, long before texting, long before Facebook, long before blogging and e-mail there was an envelop with a stamp and address on it that contained a folded piece of paper, with writing on it from a pen or pencil.

It was something that people used to send messages to each other, long distances away, and it could take days to send and receive these "letters" between friends.

At summer camp one year (a long, long, LOOONG time ago) I met someone and became friends and we would soon become what used to be called a "pen pal." We would write things to each other about what was happening in our lives and would begin to build a relationship that would last even to this day. No matter how we felt we would write and share and even though we never saw each other, we felt connected. We were very faithful to write and we could count the days from the time the letter was sent until it would arrive.

Now in this day of age we can send messages and receive them instantly, but there is a problem that I observe. When I sent a letter that would tell of the last 8 days since I sent one, I had a lot of time to think of the words I would use. I would want to use the best sentences as to describe vividly what my friend would read. I wanted to make a lasting impact and hoped my friend would also think deeply of words to share.

Now that we have the luxury of instantly responding, I feel there is something missing. There are feelings that are raw and uncensored and filled with emotion that may not be the same a few days later, but when I had time to write I would write what I thought was true and pure because I had only one chance every week. There is one letter that I read almost daily from a friend from a long time ago because I know this friend was wise and would not waste a single word in sharing with me.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1 NIV)

This letter of Love was written with you in mind. It was sent to you on paper written with pen and stamped and sealed for security. There is no mistake that the author has made because he had eternity to write it and present it from the beginning of time until the end. You can read these words and trust them with your life, and you can remember them and recall the hope they give because the Author of life has written directly to your heart greatest needs. So next time you go to check your email or friends Facebook status remember this:

For, "All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever."
And this is the word that was preached to you. (1 1:24-25 NIV)

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 NIV)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Somedays there is just one word that comes to mind. Today that word is hard and heavy. Although it was a day of accomplishment with the unforeseen challenges that I would face, that one word taunted me. The weight, the hurt and the empathy I have for my son try to CRUSH me inside.

I have looked at him many times in his life and told myself that he will be my boy for life. He may be the only one I ever call Son and he will be with me as we grow old. Now my hopes are thinning as I realize that he has a life threatening disease. I can tell myself that my God is in control of our lives but my feelings are real and strong and I cannot deny them.

I have so much and so many to lean on but now that I see two ends to his life, one old and one young, my life feels twisted and battered. Each day when I see his face and in the middle of the night when I serve his needs I know that these are the moments I own, but the feelings reappear. I do not fear when he is so close and I don't cave in when I go to work, but when I see him suffering in the security of his own room, my heart begins to fragment.

I always imagined a moment in my life when everything was stripped away and nothing mattered anymore. Now I live with the reality that it could be. My faith may be shaken in that moment and I may feel like I am just another organism on this evolutionary food chain but regardless of my feelings, these words will remain a timeless truth:

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18 NIV)

The Lord is close, so close to those who believe.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Yesterday morning was a great morning. It was Sunday so I didn't have to work, it was not too cold so I went outside with my coffee to enjoy the sun, and it was another day with

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 1

We are going to be in for a long haul this next week and for several months to come.
It feels like a dream we are in and it was just as surreal to hear

Day 2

Lincoln had a good day today with a long nap and a transfusion before more chemo. We are still learning about what will happen this week and we feel more equip to battle this disease every day. We appreciate everyone's thoughts, prayers and

My Son Has Cancer

Thank you again to all who are thinking of little Lincoln at this time and praying for miracles which happen every day. The hardest part is

Friday, July 15, 2011

Don't Make Plans

It was two weeks ago today that we were packed and ready to go to the beach for the 4th of July weekend and a double fireworks show in Ilwaco, WA. My wife had been preparing all week by
packing clothes and making sure there was nothing left to do before our very short vacation. Our plans were in place but our destination was uncertain as we waited to hear from the doctors office that afternoon. When we heard that we were going to the ER at Oregon Health and Science University we knew the plans we had were not our plans anymore. Our plans were out of the question and we knew there was nothing we could do to rearrange them. We went from celebrating the 4th of July...to leukemia. How do you say I'll figure out a different way?

When dreams turn into nightmares remember these words after watching this music video:

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you."

When you discover that God loves you, you discover that he is going to care for you as if you were a two year old child with cancer. He is not going to leave you alone to "figure it out." He does have a plan for your life and it's a good one. Read it again and take it to heart: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you."

When you enter into the will of God, nothing can stand against you, not disease, not poverty, not loneliness, not rejection. Gods grace IS Amazing and He has more than enough to go around.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


The last two days have been long and exhausting for our family. With going back to my full time job on Tuesday and an extra visit to the clinic to get Lincoln's blood transfusion plus the talk of getting a Port surgically placed in his chest, is a lot to take in. I feel like there are gaps in my life where I have missed important things, like in that Adam Sandler movie "Click". To recap, he is a very busy man trying to support his family by working hard for a promotion and he is tired of the struggle so he finds a magical remote control to click the buttons of a better life for himself. It starts off good but then backfires and the controller sends him through fast forward and makes him miss most of his life.
On June 30th my wife Jenny and I went on a date for our 10th anniversary. We wanted to take a two hour break from the regular day in and day out and enjoy each other. The very next day we would find out how much we would need each other for the rest of our lives and the rest of our sons new life with cancer. It happened so fast and is still happening I can't keep up with what I have worked for so far and what I will now need to fight for to keep my son alive.

I am only human and I only have the capacity that I have gained thus far in my 34 years and I don't have room for cancer. But even after 10 years of marriage, two promotions to management, two beautiful children and the countless other blessings I have received, I will count it all as lost for the sake of my son and my family.

This journey will not slow down and there will be little time for rest but like a pair of aces at the poker table, I'm all in!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Sun is Shining

This morning I was awakened by the sound of a small cry from across the room on the oversized chair. I had been sleeping on the couch since sometime in the middle of the night when Lincoln wanted to get out of his bed to be with me.  It was dark and I was tired so we went to the living room but he would not stay on the couch. He likes the big chair and he slept through the night once again on it.

Now the sun is up and as I crack the front door to sit outside and write, I can't help but soak in the early morning rays of warmth. Today the sun shines through the clouds of life and reminds me that through rain or storm it will always be shining. Lincoln has many days ahead on the road to recovery and some will be intense. Meds twice a day, extra on the weekend, clinic twice a week to draw blood and check counts and lumbar punctures once a month for a boost of treatment to protect his brain. He doesn't realize that his sister didn't have to go through this at his age but he is going through with it. The overcast we seem to have so much in Oregon doesn't compare to the treatments he has ahead but the sun is still shining and we wait patiently for those days. We may not have a great summer and this one will be short with the late spring weather but the sun will rise and another day with my son is all I need.

Give thanks to the lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.
the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever. (Psalm 136

Friday, July 8, 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Deep Breath of Relief

As we close our eyes tonight and thank God for the life that we have, we remember all that has happened over the last 7 days. We went from not knowing if our child was going to live, to spending a quiet evening at home in the comfort of our home. Tonight we can breath easy know God is in control. Every ring of fire that we have passed through this week was one step closer to the safety of our own food and beds. Leaving the fears of the unknown behind, we will take this journey of surviving cancer with all seriousness. We will fight and we will win. The devastation of the diagnosis will turn into the hope for many days to come with our son. I will go to work tomorrow knowing God will sustain my little boys body since it cannot do so on it's own. You may imagine a child weak and suffering because his immune system is in shutdown mode, but God grants him plenty of energy as a boy should have. I look forward to coming home each day to hear him run to the door to tell me he missed me. Jenny's first day with the medications was pleasent. She crushes a pill and mixes it in chocolate syrup and put it into his mouth with a syringe. Twice a day is all. It's not always easy getting him to open his mouth, and brushing his teeth is a challenge too, but he is getting used to the thermometer under his arm. We still notice a few of the minor side effects but they are even mild at best. He is drinking as much as he used to and may be eating more already. One more day this week and then the weekend routine begins. A different medication for A couple of days and lots of time making Legos together. Taking a deep breath and off to bed.

I added this music video that is related to a relationship but says a lot when it comes to life changing events

Home-Sweet Home

Today is our first full day at home. Last night Lincoln played with his sister Emma and played doctor with their toys. He showed her how to use the stethoscope and other instruments he got in his doctors bag of play instruments. It was a happy evening that made everything feel ok again. Unfortunately things have changed and will change.

Today I return to my job which takes me far away to Sweet Home, Oregon. I want to be closer to Home but I only have to spend a few days there. These next few days could be critical as Lincoln's white blood cell drop even lower and his risk for infection increases. As soon as we notice the slightest little change in his health we need to check for a temperature of 100.4. Then we go to the Salem ER to start IV antibiotics. Pray this never happens because it will be scary.

Until we see any real hit to his health we will be watching closely, washing our hands a lot and sanitizing with a sneeze or a cough because bacteria is abundant and wants to find a way to upset things.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cramming for Finals

As we prepare to leave the hospital we carry a load of information. We were not prepared for leukemia but we are preparing for Lincoln's journey, as fast as possible. There is a Manuel of instructions we need to follow closely to care for our boy. No more nurses doctors or hospital room to stay on course, it's time to sail this ship.

Lincoln is still doing great as a little boy should but his blood counts are getting to the lowest point. Killing cancer cells means killing the bodied immune system temporeraly. Now come the tough part. The road ahead is long and rough but we are survivors.

Follow @ http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/lincolndanieljones/journal too!
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Going the Distance

Tonight feels like the night before graduation from high school. For a very long time, in some cases 4 years and in others, 4 days, we prepare to go out into the great unknown.

The excitement of completing the course and the fear of the unknown, while still knowing next to nothing when it comes to the real world, are stirring inside. We just took a crash course and now were off to finish this race called life.

There are many obstacles that dissolved before us from the time Lincoln was diagnosed until now, but there are a few more that have an opportunity to present serious challenges.

We have heard a lot about the steroid Dexamethasone that has some more serious side effects from constipation to extreme mood swings, and that could be for the next 6 months.

We may be leaving tomorrow but we will be back every Monday and Thursday for clinic.

There are still some unknown genetic issues we could discover that could complicate or even lower some risks.

The biggest thing is a very real change in lifestyle that could be 3-5 years until he is completely cured.

Cancer has been exposed to the medical field and is losing it's power, but it can still be sneaky and it still kills 1000s of children each year.

I refuse to believe medicine and doctors are the only chance of survival from life threatening diseases. God, family and friends who support the victim of cancer with prayer, communication and every day living needs are more significant than could be expected.

Thanks is not enough from our family to yours. With so many blessings We want to give it all back and then pay it forward to someone else in need.

A new direction

Thank you for visiting my blog to hear more about Lincoln and his new journey. I promise I will have plenty to share and everyone will have a chance to hear.
Here's what's new: his animea is getting better, his white blood cells (both good and bad)are decreasing, he has had very minor side effects to the treatment but that's not all. We very well may be going home tomorrow!! Can you believe it?

Lincoln has had more prayer and good thoughts sent his way than one could ever imagine. The evidence of God's grace and mercy are abundant. It's actually almost to good to be true, under the circumstances. Thank you all, you made a difference. But we all know there is still a journey to complete.

For the next three years our lives will change dramatically to keep this little one healthy. Keep praying, keep hoping, keep believing. More soon...