Merry Christmas

Here we are at the end of 2017. How has 2017 been for you? You know how there are certain years that are just marked because of events that happened – whether happy or sad? 

1963 was my mom’s favorite year because I was born. (This could be fake news, not fact checked!)

1987 was the year I married the bright and beautiful Margaret (Maggy, as she likes to be called these days) and became a father figure to the eclectic and engaging Niki (Nicole or Heather, as she likes to be called these days). 

1989 was the year my son John Robert was born. 

2005 was the year that Hurricane Katrina flooded our coastal community and ignited a two+ year recovery mission that still hovers in my mind. 

2008 was the year I’d like to just carve out of my life and remove. It was the year we said goodbye to John Robert and my stepdad Harold. It was the year my mom had breast cancer (but she is a survivor!). 

2017 is the year that my dad began an intense spiral into the devastation of Alzheimer’s Disease. The emotional and physical toll this took on me is still being hammered out in my own mind. 

Then there’s 2018. Who knows? Only God.

Of course, those are not all the highlights and low places of my life. For every year that we can name something great, there were things that weren’t so great. For every year when it looked like a disaster, God was present to see us through and we can see blessings now we couldn’t see at the time.

Over the years OUT HERE HOPE REMAINS has taken different shapes as the internet and online experiences have changed. Facebook took over the entire internet. The things we used to blog about we now post in five seconds, take a picture, and before an hour passes we have friends (both known and unknown!) liking them. But nowadays personal blogs are mostly passe´, and that’s ok. 

I’m grateful for everyone who takes a few minutes to scan anything I’ve written. Hopefully, it’s a blessing to you and in the coming year I will be able to share some more thoughts that remind us that out here, hope remains.

Oh, and I promised a free download! For the past five years, I have participated in a summer blog tour. Those blog posts are written by an assortment of excellent thinkers. I can hardly believe they let me in the group! All five sets of those posts are available in ebooks in .pdf format for download at my friend Peter Horne’s blog HERE. This past summer’s theme was Faith Unshackled. With a .pdf you can read it on your computer, phone, or send it to your Kindle address and read it on any device with a free Kindle app. Hope you enjoy those! I do!

I appreciate you and hope you’ll have a great Christmas. Pray for those who are facing the first Christmas without a loved one, suffer from the pangs of depression and loneliness, or who have no one with them on special days. And whatever 2018 brings, I pray it will be one of those years marked by a joy that you can remember for the rest of your days.

Out Here Hope Remains, JD


  1. Hey John — I am so thankful Hope Remains. We have had a good year this year, but this was not the case always and I am certain in this broken world that we will have more years of trials as life goes on. May you and your be blessed.
    P.S. I’d love a kindle edition of the book. 🙂

  2. John, I am “old school” because you know I am older than you. Although, here in N. L.R., Danny is rapidly catching up with me! Really do enjoy your posts. Yes, I save them in a file too. This post is no different. I experience the same as you have experienced. I feel the same about God as you do. Yes, good and bad years, BUT He is ALWAYS THERE FOR US! That is the blessing we enjoy by being “in Him”. Building our “house” on the Rock is truly the antidote for tests and trials in this life. Merry Christmas to you and the family my friend………Paul

  3. What a great idea! A giveaway and a free download:)

    I have enjoyed being a part of summer blog tour every year! And l prefer hardback over kindle. Happy Christmas ??

  4. I’m glad to have gotten to know you both these pasted years,
    this has been a very good year, for us.
    I’m sorry to hear about your dad. we went thought that with
    our mom. our prayer go out too you all.
    As for the book, I like hardback
    take care

  5. I would love to have a Kindle edition.

    I’ve always loved Out Here Hope Remains… you’ve blessed me in so many ways, brother.

  6. John, I appreciate all you do and allowing us to journey with your writing.
    I am a hard book person one day I may adjust but just can’t do it yet.

  7. Merry Christmas John! Looking forward to reading more from you in 2018.

    As for the giveaway, I prefer hardback.

  8. I hope you had a marvelous Christmas, John. Saying goodbye to a son is among the hardest experiences; my son Caleb Michael died unexpectedly in 2015. I would prefer a hard back copy of the book, if still available. Have a great 2018 and thank you for your generosity.

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