I knew Ed Dobson, or “Dean Dobson,” in former days, when I was a student at Liberty. We all loved him–loved his Irish accent, the way he would preach, “If thou faint [pronounced ‘feint’] in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.”

Odd that my mind should supply that memory now, because surely his days are filled with adversity.

Thanks to fellow Liberty alum Kay Day (that’s her real name) for pointing me toward this video.

Someone at the Glen Eyrie Writer’s Workshop proposed a provocative idea–take one of those life expectancy tests that you find online, and then fill a bowl with the number of marbles that corresponds to the number of weeks you have left to live. Then remove a marble each week, so you can see how many weeks you have remaining.

Of course, no one knows how accurate those life expectancy tests are, but the principle is sound: we have a finite number of days in our account, and God is withdrawing a marble each week, whether we’re aware of it or not. How, then, are we spending our days–thinking about trivial things or pointing people to Jesus?

Lots to think about.



  1. Kay Day

    I would say Ed Dobson has been pointing people to Jesus most of his life.
    But when he became aware of how few marbles may be left (puts a whole new meaning to “losing your marbles”) he really upped it a notch.

    I have 4,392 marbles, according to the test. But maybe I should consider upping it a notch too, just in case there are fewer marbles in my jar than I expect.

  2. k-stin

    Wow–pretty cool! I was just thinking yesterday about how I want to make more of an impact for Jesus, and I don’t want life to pass me by. This really spoke to me today!

  3. Angela

    I took the life expectancy test at this link:http://www.livingto100.com/

    and found that I should live to 94 years, which gives me 2040 marbles left in my fishbowl. Wow.

    Wonder where I can find that many marbles?


  4. John Hosier

    Ed Dobson will always be Dean Dobson to me. He was always my favorite preacher and I loved hearing him preach in the Old Sanctuary on Thomas Road. His speach was always so lyrical and pleasant and his messages were always right on the money.

    I had no idea he has ALS.

    His is definitely a book I will pick up as soon as it is available.

    Thanks for sharing the video, Angie.


  5. Kay Day

    I got 97 on the live to 100 test. That’s 7 years more than the other test.
    I’m not sure I want to get that old, honestly.

  6. Anonymous

    Thanks Angie, and Kay Day, for the links. Talk about redeeming the time. He’s a man I’d like to know.

    My life expectancy test said 97 years –which sounds a lot longer than 1820 marbles. So–surf’s up! Let’s catch a wave.

    Mary Kay

  7. Sherry

    Dear Dean Dobson…wow, what memories. How many hundreds of sermons have we heard. I was unaware of the manifest trials he now encounters, but am so grateful to have seen this little video. My prayers are with him and Lorna and the family and I anxiously await October for the release of his book. Thanks Angie for posting this for us.



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