Cancer Milestone

I have had March 3, 2015 circled on my calendar for almost four years. The date represents a cancer milestone for me and an anniversary of a conversation which provided wisdom in navigating life challenges, trials, and adversity.

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Photo credit: Victor Correia©

4 months, 4 years, or 40 years

Milestone:

1. A stone functioning as a milespost.

2. A significant event or stage in the life, progress, development, or the like of a person, nation, etc.

Actually the significance of March 3, 2015 points back to a pivotal conversation which occurred four years earlier on March 3, 2011. On that day my fiancé and I were meeting with the Pastor who would marry us. Mike Teston asked us to share our stories and why we wanted to be married now as opposed to in the fall which was our original plan. We shared how my merkel cancer had returned for a third time and had spread to the point where a stage-four diagnosis now required radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery. In the two hours we were together, questions were asked and answers given, tears were shed, and prayers were prayed.  As we were saying goodbye Mike said,

Tom, I don’t know if you have 4 months, 4 years, or 40 years but I do know God is faithful and He has a plan for your life, with or without cancer. He knows you, He knows what’s on your mind, and He knows what is in your heart, and it’s up to you to let everyone know your Faith lies in Him…regardless!

The wisdom Mike shared in this statement became the cornerstone of my cancer journey and has been one of the things I shared when God has people in my path I can walk with the face challenges, trials, and adversity in their lives.

Obviously today is a cause for celebration! Yet before I consider doing any celebrating I will first give thanks for the 1,460 days God has blessed me with leading up to my cancer milestone. As I reflect on the last four years, Mike’s wisdom rings true, God did have a plan for my life with cancer and now without. I am so grateful for every opportunity I have had these last four years to share how my Faith rested in God regardless of my circumstances, and why I truly do trust God period!

Happy March 3rd Everyone!

~Tom Martin

trusting God period!

In 2011 I wrote about my initial cancer milestone which offers greater detail into the circumstances surrounding my diagnosis and my state of mind leading up to the conversation I share with you today. For those interested in reading the story behind today’s cancer milestone story use this link.

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Defining Moments

If we take time to examine our hearts we will find moments in our lives which define us. Typically these defining moments are found at the end of a long road of pivotal circumstances, either positive or negative, which result in our lives being forever changed.

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Several years ago author Jeff Goins was promoting the release his book, Wrecked – when a broken world slams into your comfortable life, and he asked people to share stories of when their lives had been “wrecked.” Jeff published the story I submitted on the Wrecked website in 2012 and today I share an excerpt of Damage Goods with you today.

Early on we both knew where we were tracking as a couple. Our relationship was so rich, the conversations were so natural, and our values and beliefs were totally in sync. We were confident the path we were on would lead to marriage some time in the fall of 2011. Our plan was for an extended courtship, not because we were not ready to wed, rather because we wanted to do everything we could to protect and ensure Shari’s teenage sons had time to adjust to a new man being in their lives. 

What Breaks Your Heart?

The year began with the pastor of my church asking a simple question, what breaks your heart?

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iStockphoto credit © Jeffrey Smith

An easy question to dismiss by some who already had more pressing questions awaiting answers. A difficult question for those who had an answer, but who knew if they acted upon their answer they would find themselves outside of their comfort zone.

What Breaks Your Heart?

What breaks your heart was certainly not a of question I wanted to be asked right now. I thought to myself,

of all times for Andy to ask this question, why did it have to be now? 

In my eyes the timing of this question could not have come at a worse time for me. I was in the midst of starting a new company while working through the course work and mentor training to obtain my PCC accreditation. Yet in all my busyness, Andy’s question traveled from my mind to my heart and there was an answer which had to be addressed. 

The Will of God

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Remember…

The will of God will never take you,
Where the grace of God cannot keep you.
Where the arms of God cannot support you,
Where the riches of God cannot supply your needs,
Where the power of God cannot endow you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the spirit of God cannot work through you,
Where the wisdom of God cannot teach you,
Where the army of God cannot protect you,
Where the hands of God cannot mold you.

Christmas Reflections

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iStockphoto © pixhook

 

This is the time of year where our thoughts tend drift and we think of times gone by. For some Christmas reflections stir up the best of memories and for others those Christmas reflections conjure up pain and sorrow. It is especially important this time of year to be aware of those around us who may be burdened while most of us embrace a season of Christmas joy and cheer.

Who in your life do you know who is enduring a “first-Christmas” experience this year?

  • Someone who lost a loved during the year.
  • Someone who is no longer married.
  • Someone who is experiencing a role-reversal and now is caring for a parent.
  • Someone who is looking for a job and is worried how they can navigate Christmas this year.
  • Someone whose child can not be home with them this year.

One Thing for Men Presents – That Day

that-day-bema-seat-leveraging-life

That Day is a play about Daniel Scott Mathewson who has been pursuing the American Dream since graduating from college. His lifelong focus centered on the next deal, the next promotion, the next bonus, and how far and fast he could climb the corporate ladder.

Today Daniel is on the cusp of achieving everything he’s ever dreamed of…right up until the plans he had for his life comes to a screeching halt as he suddenly faces the reality of eternity.

Our endless pursuit of aspirations, goals and dreams come with a price, one which is paid by our family, friends, and co-workers if we are not careful. 

One Thing Men’s Ministries is excited present a performance of That Day at Independence High School theater in Alpharetta, Georgia on Saturday November 8th at 7:00 pm.

Lessons In Servant Leadership

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“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

Life Lessons In Servant Leadership

Few if any of us live a life we navigate alone. Most of us gravitate to a life where we interact with others on a regular basis. This is the place where we experience connection, embrace community, and find encouragement.  These places of connection and community can consist of  family members, co-workers, teammates, classmates, and or neighbors with the common denominator of coming together for a common purpose or a common goal.

For those who find themselves in a leadership role there is an implied responsibility to add value, cast vision, and create momentum to achieve success as it pertains to the organization’s mission. As a servant leader a key priority which should be illustrated in our leadership is a desire to “raise up” those who serve with us. Sadly leaders whose focus is on self-promotion and a personal agenda tend create an “Us vs Them” atmosphere which gravitates to discontent and disconnect throughout the organization.

Do whatever you can do to help others be their best, not for where it takes you, rather for where it takes the organization. ~ Servant leadership as defined by Baltimore Raven’s Head Coach John Harbaugh

What Will Your Legacy Be?

Our life decisions influence the trajectory of our lives right up until the moment we take our last breath. Obviously our passing will have an impact those closest to us, but will the impact and the influence we had on others leave them wanting to celebrate our life when we gone?

I find it ironic how much time is invested by me trying to become “known,” as compared to how little time is spent doing things for which they will be “remembered” after they’re gone.

Most of us have very little recognition of those who were in our family two or three generations prior to us. So if we desire to have a legacy worth remembering our focus should be on the things we are doing now which lends itself to be remembered.

  • Is my life and what I prioritize reflective of how I would like to be remembered?
  • Do my actions and how I investment of my time lay the foundation for the legacy I want to leave?

Leveraging-Life-Legacy-Poster-TomMartinATL

The quote is from Paul Cole, president of the Christian Men’s Network, and when combined with the picture selected illustrates how our motion cascades from us to the environment around us. I created this poster to serve as a visual reminder to evaluate what I have in motion through the lens of the legacy I want to leave. Ironically the timing of this post ties directly into the message our One Thing Men’s Ministry is sharing today at our weekly gathering concerning What Matters Most to Men.

  • What we believe and Who we believe in is indicative in the way we live our lives.
  • Where we invest our time reflects what and who has priority in our lives.
  • When we serve our humility is illustrated which also illuminates to those being served their value to us and to the world.

~Tom

trusting God period!

Did you know there is a way to receive Leveraging Life | Now updates via email? All you have to do is click here to subscribe. (It’s free)

I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog. Most people learn about Leveraging Life because folks like you share my posts with friends. To make sharing even easier there are social media buttons below and with one quick click you can now share this post with you family and friends.

Marines Boldly Worship

Marines-Boldly-Worship-Leveraging-Life

I found this video of Marines on base at Camp Pendleton on Facebook as they were worshiping during a church service. The video speaks for itself and it caused me to pause as I witnessed how boldly the Marines shared their excited and displayed their emotions during their faith service.

Truth be told I don’t believe we should compare how we worship with other individuals or groups. I truly believe how we worship is a personal matter. But I do believe, from time to time, we should ask ourselves if our worship is in alignment with the blessings we have received.