Special Delivery…

After fathering three children and authoring a dozen books, I now feel qualified to say something insightful. I believe that the closest a man will ever come to giving birth is writing a book. During the past nine months this baby has been ever before me. I have not always been rational. I sometimes snack late at night. Ice cream and pickles are a favorite. When I mix them I experience morning sickness. As with any project this monumental, it would not have been accomplished without the nourishment, coaching, and support of people like the pizza delivery guy.

I would also like to thank my wife Ramona, who kept saying, “Honey, breathe deeply. You know, like you told me in the delivery room just before you passed out.” I am also deeply grateful to Jeffrey, Rachael, and Stephen, three wonderful teenagers who love me enough to turn down their music when I write (music that sounds like someone is trying to vacuum a cat).

Thanks to the warriors on my prayer list. And to my parents who talked more about me on their knees than anywhere else. Hats off to my family of friends at Prairie Bible Institute, particularly Dan and Lynn, Tim and Ruth, Vance and Sherri, and Ahab and Jezebel—two Labrador retrievers I walk past each day. They help me get to work on time.

Mary Chambers’ cartoons are priceless. Thanks for your friendship, Mary.

If you’ve ever seen a turtle on a fence post, you know that he had to have help getting there, so I’d like to thank the fine folks at Multnomah for the lift. They nurtured this baby from day one, taking regular ultrasounds and commenting often, “Hey, I think that’s a chapter there. I can see it moving.” Don Jacobson believed the world needed this message and thought a humorist could deliver it. Thanks Don. Cliff Boersma provided invaluable counsel, as well as a nice advance. Jennifer Gott talked softly and carried a big eraser. And Kristina Coulter, a very wise designer, agreed not to put a cartoon of me (or is that me?) on the cover. Thanks, each of you, for putting me on this post.

Most of all, I thank God for entrusting me with the gift of joy. I would be building birdhouses in a home for the bewildered were it not for this gift. To think that I now make a living doing something I got in trouble for throughout elementary school (helping people laugh) is downright astounding. Thank you Lord for taking a hardened hypocrite, turning me upside-down, and somehow using me. May everything I write show my thankful heart.

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