Ashley’s Legacy


Ashley turned fourteen in April 2001. She had spent the previous four years of her life battling cancer and all the demons that come with it, including the cruel side effects of the very medicines and treatments that were designed to save her life. Even three years after her final chemotherapy treatment, there were still some very frustrating long-term side effects that she had to deal with every day.

Through it all, she seldom complained. She had developed a courage that would serve any warrior well; a determination that would see the fiercest athlete through the most difficult challenge; and an indomitable spirit that exemplified the motto, “Never give up”.

Because of these qualities, and because of the thousands of people who came to follow Ashley’s story through my Internet and e-mail updates, Ashley became an inspiration to people all over the world. People found the courage to face their own life struggles because of the inspiration they gained from Ashley’s story.

The List

My friend PamPam Nelson, a dear friend and high school classmate, recently posted to her Facebook status a thought-provoking list of “to do” items that will make anyone’s life more meaningful. I was intrigued as to the source of the list, so I Googled a few of the list items and found several websites with a nearly-identical list of 39 items, including the items from Pam’s Facebook list. I have edited the list in a few places for increased clarity or meaning, and have included relevant sources where appropriate. I want to share the list with you on the eve of this new year. Some of the list items will resonate with you more than others. That’s OK. Pick and choose the ones that mean the most to you, and resolve to incorporate them into your daily journey. I pray God’s richest blessings on you and yours for a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

The Prodigal Son (Father’s Perspective)

Return of the Prodigal Son by Murillo

Return of the Prodigal Son by Murillo

[PART 2 OF 4]

Over the course of the next few posts, we will be exploring the Parable of the Prodigal Son from three different perspectives:

  1. The perspective of the father
  2. The perspective of the prodigal son
  3. The perspective of the older brother

Go ahead and read through the parable again by clicking here. Then come back and continue reading.

A Simple Sign

(cc) Alan Turkus - Flickr

(cc) Alan Turkus – Flickr

The following article appeared in the November 2009 print issue of the “Christian Chronicle”, an “international newspaper for Churches of Christ” whose mission is “to inform, inspire and unite”. The article was written by Chris Blair, who ministers to students on the campus of Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, while serving as the Campus Minister for the Huntsville Church of Christ. This article is reprinted with the gracious permission of Chris Blair and the Christian Chronicle.

I think you will be inspired.


Ashley O'Rear (Age 9)

Ashley O'Rear (Age 9)

I had never prayed as hard in my life as I did the morning of March 16, 1997. It was a Sunday morning, about 6:30, and I was driving from Children’s Medical Center in Dallas back to our house about 35 minutes away. Four hours earlier, Susan and I had been told by a doctor at Children’s that our 9-year-old daughter Ashley had a brain tumor.