The President Writes Back!


Since this is the President George H.W. Bush week, I thought I’d re-post this.

He and Barbara have done some things for the Children’s Cancer Research Foundation. Since the proceeds from Bizarre Bible Stories 2! go to the CCRF, I sent them a book.

But he wrote back, and that I think, is really cool.

I’d vote for him now!



xmas web header


It’s Official!

ccrLogoFrom the CCRF Website…

Best-Selling Author Donates Proceeds of New Book to CCRF

Best-selling author, Dan Cooley, donates all profits from new book Bizarre Bible Stories 2 to help children with cancer.

“Dear God, why did you give me cancer?” asked Kristina, daughter of a long-time friend of Pastor and author Dan Cooley.

Dan recalls, “In the summer of 2013, Kristina wrote me a note with that question. I tried to give an answer in Bizarre Bible Stories 2!, but fell short. One day I’ll see her again, and she can show me her mansion and introduce me to Jesus who will answer the question with depth.”  Kristina went to heaven June 21, 2014.  The new book is dedicated to her.



Buy a Book, Help a Family Battling Cancer

Christina (2)Dear God, why did you give me cancer?

Chad was in my youth group back in the 80s. In the summer of 2013 his daughter Kristina wrote me a note with that question. I tried to give an answer in Bizarre 2!, but fell short. One day I’ll see her again, and she can show me her mansion and introduce me to Jesus who will answer the question with depth. She went to heaven June 21, 2014.

Meanwhile, I’d like to live with some of the grace she showed throughout her life.

When Kristina was diagnosed, Helping Hands, a division of The Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation, walked with the family through some incredibly difficult times. It seems logical then, that all of the profits of Bizarre Bible Stories 2! should go directly to Helping Hands. It really is fun to give this way, you don’t notice the money you never had. I know they will use the funds better than I would, and this way I’m not tempted when the Jeep catalogs come in.

So, Buy a Book, Help a Family Battling Cancer.

After my publisher, Heritage Builders, got in touch with Greg Anderson, the founder and CEO of Cancer Recovery Foundation International, he sent me this kind, very gracious letter. Makes me realize it’s one of my best decisions ever. Here is part of the letter…

Dear Pastor Cooley,

Growing up Lutheran in rural Iowa, I was taught the definition of grace was God’s unmerited goodness.  If ever there was a perfect example of grace, your donation of royalties to Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation is it.  Thank you.  We gratefully accept. 

Even with good health insurance, the downward financial spiral of families dealing with childhood cancer is ubiquitous.  It’s the combination of increased medical expenses like co-pays, travel, lodging and more, while at the same time the family’s income typically declines as parents must take time off work to be with their sick child.  Last year, Helping Hands received applications for financial assistance totaling $294,079.00.  We were able to fund only $120,603.00.  May I suggest your gift be designated and restricted to Helping Hands where it will fund past due rents and utilities of families who have a child battling cancer. 

Finally, know how grateful I am for your gift. 

With sincere appreciation,

Greg Anderson, Founder & CEO

Cancer Recovery Foundation International


Tel:  936.231.8460, x-110  Fax:  936.231.8462

What Weird and the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation Have in Common

ccrLogoAs you may know,  Bizarre 2! is dedicated to Kristina, the daughter of a close friend who died of cancer just as the book was going to print. The Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation was a place of refuge and help to the family throughout the process. So, I thought if the book was dedicated to Kristina, why not give the profits to the the CCRF?

So, I contacted Heritage Press, the publishers, and they are now working through the process of giving all the profits to the CCRF. I just hope they are OK with me stealing their logo off of their webpage for the blog. Anyhow they are a terrific organization and I hope this little bit helps.

Meanwhile I’ve been getting some new reviews. Kristine wrote, “I’ve been reading it [Bizarre Bible Stories 2!] every morning to my little ladies. We are loving it. The words they use to describe it are, “awesome, funny and weird.”

So, the CCRF isn’t weird. Bizarre 2! is. I’ll take it as a compliment.


A Sad, Wonderful, Stolen Blog of Thankfulness

kristinaBookSome Facebook posts should never have been written. Guilty. Some should be engraved in stone – like this one. It was written by Chad Barrett, a friend of around 30 years, whose daughter went home to heaven last year. Here is what he wrote:

I was driving last night, and Caroline (our 9-year-old) was in the passenger seat. I reached over, grabbed her hand, and said, “I love you, Caroline.” She responded, “I love you, too, Daddy.” Then the memory hit me hard…

It was probably 3 or 4 days before Kristina passed. She would call for us during the night when she had to go to the bathroom. We had one of those baby monitors so we could hear her well. She had a portable potty in her room, and we would have to, basically, pick her up and move her onto it. She was in so much pain, and she was so weak. Her little body would shake with weakness–it was difficult for her to sit up straight, so I would hug her and hold her steady while she sat there for a few minutes.

She would try to work up the energy for us to help her up and back into the bed. One time, while Melissa and I were trying to help her up, Kristina whispered into my left ear… “I love you.”

I looked at her and responded with my struggle to remain strong, “I love you, too, Sweetie.” It was a moment I wanted to stare at for a while, but we needed to help her into bed. It is a powerful moment I will never forget.

Last night, as I was remembering, Caroline placed her other hand on mine. And I thanked God for His goodness. I thank God for my daughters… all of them. I thank God for my son who is learning how to express what’s inside. I thank God for my wife who is broken together with me.

It was another moment of surprised memory but followed with surprised peace.

Thank you, Caroline, for the sweet way you comfort my heart. Thank you, God, for this memory. Thank you, God, for my family.

Thanks Chad for your post. He let me dedicate Bizarre 2 to Kristina. I do hope God lets her read a chapter in Heaven.


Furious Enough to Kill

obit_thumbnail.htmlA good friend of mine, Chad Barrett, lost his daughter to cancer last year. He has been expressing his pain, and the grace God keeps pouring out to endure it, on social media. I’ve been learning and praying with each post. However the last one had a new twist that I thought needed to be shared. Here it is.

(continued last time)
There is something I am angry at…
Enough to kill…

Those last few hours of Kristina’s life–I have images that are engraved in my mind. They shred my heart. Even hard to write about.

Her body was shutting down. We had to bathe her, clean the bed, and redress her and the bed. We did all this without moving her off the bed. I don’t know how we did it.

Those images.

Four hours later, I felt with my right hand her last heartbeat. Her final breath.

I had these images in my mind that troubled me greatly. I couldn’t process them, until I talked with my Dad.

And this is what I’m angry at…

Kristina didn’t commit a certain sin that caused her cancer. Neither did I or her Mom. Kristina got cancer because we live in this screwed up System of Evil. This System of Sin–the whole earth is cursed with it. (Romans 8:20)

It brings only death. (1 Corinthians 15:21)

This System of Sin murdered my daughter.

Sin kills. So here’s the clincher…

Why would I want to participate in something that murdered my daughter? This has caused me to hate my sin. I realize it wasn’t my sin that caused her cancer, but I don’t want to take part in something that produced the death of my loved one.

I don’t wanna hang out with what killed Kristina. I don’t wanna entertain it or be entertained by it. Don’t wanna be friends with it.

I’m furious at it, and yet it still lures me.

I HATE it, but at times I’m still tempted.

“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” – Romans 7:24-25

Sin kills.

Jesus is life. Real life. Freedom from this System of Evil. Where peace abounds and grace overwhelms. (1 John 5:12)

I can walk in darkness (I have that potential.), but there’s nothing but misery.

I can walk in the light, and ‪#‎ThriveNotJustSurvive‬. (1 John 1:6-7)

P.S. I still have those images. Painful reminders. I’ll never forget.

Chad Barrett's photo.
Bizarre Bible Stories 2! is dedicated to Kristina. I’ve included it before, but it’s my favorite part of the book, and it’s my blog. So, here again is a copy of that dedication:
To Kristina Rae Barrett
Thank you, Kristina, for writing the question for chapter one a few years ago. You wrote, “Dear God, Why did you give me cancer?”Kristina, I’ve known your dad since he was in my youth group back in ’85. You inherited his spunk, love of life, and incomprehensibly deep faith. Actually, I think you passed us all up, telling your dad at one point, “If this is God’s plan for me, then I accept it.”Hebrews 11-12 teaches us that those who have died in the faith go on cheering for us as we live out our lives of faith. If they can watch us, maybe God also lets them read what we write.

Kristina, I hope you enjoy Chapter 1.

Kristina Rae Barrett, May 30, 2002 – June 21, 2014.

This book is dedicated to you.