One Christmas, young Michael Branch was surprised with a gift he never thought to ask for but loved at first sight. Under the tree he found a refurbished mechanical typewriter, rescued by Santa from a repair shop to make the holiday seem fuller on a family's tight budget. That gift led to a job in newspapers, a career in magazines, and a love for writing. He has come to the end of himself more times than he can count in matters of family (as son, sibling, husband, foster parent, and parent), vocation (as business owner, freelancer, and cubicle resident), health (with Lyme disease), and church (as vestryman, elder, and men's ministry host). Like you, he knows hurt. Michael and his wife live in Ft. Worth, Texas, near their four children and a dozen grandchildren.