On Sale: My Point of View

Every writer must overcome a kind of shyness, putting out of mind the fear that we are being arrogant by thrusting ourselves upon you the reader, and egotistical by assuming our words are worth your time. Why should you care about what I have to say? What right have I to impose myself on you? … That is all a writer can do, especially a writer of faith; (offer) a unique perspective of creation, a point of view visible only from the point where I am.—Philip Yancey

Do you know someone in a life and death struggle with cancer? Would you like more insight into what they’re going through? Then Stumbling Toward Heaven:My Cancer Journey belongs on your summer reading list.

Do you have more questions than answers when it comes to your faith? Are you looking for more than platitudes and pat answers? Check out my spiritual musings in We Will Be Landing Shortly: Now What? 

Autographed copies now on sale for $9 (plus $2 postage). Email emtcom@comcast.net, or get the eBooks on Amazon:

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We Will Be Landing Shortly

Flight 1549

We Will Be Landing Shortly

Remember, all of us will be landing shortly. My new book is about my spiritual musings in light of our pending physical death. It’s available on Amazon or you can get a signed copy from me for only $10 (plus $2 postage). Just email me at emtcom@comcast.net.

What I use as a metaphor was a reality to Ric Elias when Flight 1549 crash-landed in the Hudson River. He shared the harrowing event in his TED Talk “3 Things I Learned while My Plane Crashed”:

Imagine a big explosion as you climb through 3,000 ft. Imagine a plane full of smoke. Imagine an engine going clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack. … The pilot lines up the plane with the Hudson River. That’s usually not the route. He turns off the engines. Now imagine being in a plane with no sound. And then he says three words—the most unemotional three words I’ve ever heard. He says, “Brace for impact.”

Now I want to share with you three things I learned about myself that day. I learned that it all changes in an instant. We have this bucket list, we have these things we want to do in life, and I thought about all the people I wanted to reach out to that I didn’t, all the fences I wanted to mend, all the experiences I wanted to have and I never did. …

The second thing I learned that day … I regretted the time I wasted on things that did not matter with people that matter. And I thought about my relationship with my wife, with my friends, with people. And after, as I reflected on that, I decided to eliminate negative energy from my life. … I no longer try to be right; I choose to be happy.

The third thing I learned … I didn’t want to go; I love my life. And that sadness really framed in one thought, which is, I only wish for one thing. I only wish I could see my kids grow up. … Above all, above all, the only goal I have in life is to be a good dad.

What lessons would you have taken away from Flight 1549? What lessons do you take away from this reminder that life is short and death is certain?

Me? I’m leaning forward in my seat, eager for what’s next. I’m keeping my eyes and mind and heart open. I still have character to develop, dreams to pursue, mysteries to ponder, relationships to nurture, adventures to share, sorrows to endure, wine to bottle, dances to learn and books to write.

This book—We Will Be Landing Shortly—is done. I’ll leave it in the seat pocket for curious and unsuspecting travelers.

Vaya con Dios.

What The Doctors Say

These men helped save my life. Dr. Dax Kurbegov was my oncologist and Dr. Mark Brunvand was the hematologist who did my bone marrow transplant. Here’s what they have to say about the book recounting my ordeal, Stumbling Toward Heaven:

My life’s work involves shepherding heroic men and women through their cancer journeys. Every once in a while I find myself transformed by those I work with. Mike Hamel has been such a figure. Diagnosed with cancer in the prime of life, he has had to wrestle with his own faith while his body labored under the duress of chemotherapy. Mike offers us remarkable insights into the human condition and the capacity of the human spirit to triumph in the face of incredible adversity. —Dr. Dax Kurbegov

Mike Hamel nobly dealt with lymphoma that rapidly recurred and required a stem cell transplant to attain a remission. As he was recovering he was in a serious auto accident. He has persevered through difficulties that would destroy the faith of most people and is now even more thoughtful and gracious. We can all learn from his incredible struggles and triumphs. —Dr. Mark Brunvand

Order your copy of Stumbling Toward Heaven on Amazon or get a signed copy from me for only $10 (plus $2 postage). Just email me at emtcom@comcast.net.

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My Cancer Journey

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I’ve revised and updated my book Stumbling Toward Heaven: My Cancer Journey. After its publication in 2011 I got cancer for the third time and had many new adventures in the process of staying alive. I wasn’t spared from death, however, as Susan passed away on Thanksgiving of 2011.

I’ve taken out the chapters dealing with my spiritual questions and focused the book entirely on the physical challenges. It’s a helpful resource for those dealing with cancer or other life-threatening diseases. My spiritual musings are the subject of my new book We Will Be Landing Shortly: Now What? due out later this month.

You can order the book on Amazon or from me if you want an autographed copy. Just email me at emtcom@comcast.net.

Five years of painful insights for only $12.99. That’s about 0000001% of what the ordeal cost. Such a deal!

Diamond Orchid

Cindy and I had been dancing with each other since October. We started dating in early 2014 and the more things we did together, the more we seemed to fit. I soon realized I wanted to marry this extraordinary woman.

I enjoy getting flowers for Cindy and began telling her I was looking for a rare one. Then on March 19 we went on a hike in the Garden of the Gods. I carried a large box with the mystery flower inside.

When we reached a scenic point, I presented her with the “diamond orchid:” a purple orchid with a diamond ring on one stem. The ring was my mother’s and I asked Cindy if she would wear the gem if I put it in a wedding band for her.

Diamond Orchid

Diamond Orchid

Due to the high altitude and long walk she said yes!

Fortunately for me she has confirmed her commitment every day since then in so many ways. We are looking forward to leaning into the future hand-in-hand.

“My most brilliant achievement was my ability
to persuade my wife to marry me.”
—Winston Churchill



Here’s the backstory on my upcoming marriage.

 Cindy Garwood lived in Illinois all her life. Last year she retired from a teaching and coaching career that spanned more than three decades and moved to Colorado Springs.

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 We met in October at the Peak Dance Academy. We saw each other two or three times a week and enjoyed dancing together. In February we started dating and quickly realized we were soul mates.

 We’ve found that we like doing things together, from shopping and concerts to traveling and playing with the grandkids. We look forward to sharing life 24/7 and “leaning forward” into whatever comes. 

Our wedding will take place in Hawaii on June 5. On June 14 we will celebrate with family and friends at the dance studio where we met.

What could be better than that!

 Our motto: MORE TO COME!