Why Me cancer, why me?

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Photo Credit: donnareidland.com/

Recently a friend of mine shared with me an article written by former White House Press Secretary, Tony Snow, prior to his untimely death from cancer. In his article Tony shared his thoughts concerning his diagnosis with a potential fatal disease and the obvious question…why me cancer, why me?

Sadly our “why me” questions most likely will not not be answered to our satisfaction until we find ourselves in Heaven. Theses unanswered questions usually lead us to a fork in the road where we either blame God or learn to trust God in the midst of our why me” circumstances.

I know in my three bouts with cancer I initially wallowed in the “why me” for quite some time, but eventually I was able to look past the diagnosis and place everything in God’s hands learning to trust God period in all things…even cancer.

Your journey, my journey may be unique, yet we share one thing in common…how do we answer the question:

What do you do when this is nothing you can do?

Well there is one thing we can do…we can journey together in community, supporting, caring, and praying for each other.

Leave a comment with your contact information at the bottom of the post to join the Leveraging Life community so we can journey together. This will offer all of us the opportunity to support one another and encourage each other to trust God period when we find ourselves in situations where questions are unanswered and anxiety is high.

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Cancer’s Unexpected Blessings

By: Tony Snow (1955 – 2008)

Blessings arrive in unexpected packages, in my case – cancer.”

Those of us with potentially fatal diseases – and there are millions in America today – find ourselves in the odd position of coping with our mortality while trying to fathom God’s will. Although it would be the height of presumption to declare with confidence ‘What It All Means,’ scripture provides powerful hints and consolations.

The first is that we shouldn’t spend too much time trying to answer the ‘why’ questions: Why me?

See How God Uses A Walk-On To Reach USC Teammates

Holy-Bible-Leveraging-Life-God-Frustrated

The story begins with Ben seeing an announcement about walk-on tryouts for the football team taking place later in the week. Ben Malcolmson, a reporter for the school newspaper who covered the team and he thought there might be a story he could share with the readers if he tried-out for the team. In his wildest dreams, Ben never thought he might make the team having not played football since the 5th grade, much less one of the top ranked Division 1A teams in the nation, the USC Trojans.

“You can catch the ball, you fast, you on the team. Almost immediately after making the team I realized God had His hand on this and He had something great planned.”

Yet despite his hopes and all Ben’s plans to leverage his faith with his teammates, nothing he tried to seemed to working in his eyes.

Did Ben feel frustrated? Of course he did!

Was Ben dejected? Absolutely!

Yet God was at work.!

God had a plan in play with Ben’s teammates.

And little would Ben know how big a role he would play in God’s plan!

Please take a few minutes to watch this video so you can hear the rest of the story.

Here we find lessons all of us can leverage as we navigate life in the midst of the frustration which occurs when our plans don’t fall in alignment with God’s plan for our role where He placed us.

Cincinnati Bengals: Winners On and Off the Field

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Most NFL prospects who are cut prior to making the 53 man roster consider this point in their life to be the lowest point in their athletic career. Yet Cincinnati Bengal Devon Still, is unlike any NFL prospect, as he was cut but now can focus his attention on his daughter, Leah, who has been battling Stage 4 pediatric cancer since June.

I completely understand where the Bengals were coming from when they cut me because I could not give football 100 percent right now, Still, 25, told ABC News.

Help Fight Cancer Today

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It takes a village to raise a child…is a quote most of us have heard, and something which depicts the role a community can play to influence and impact the trajectory of a child’s life. As a cancer survivor, I am of the belief from personal experience the same thought process can apply if you want to help someone battle cancer.

It takes a community to win the war against cancer and you can help fight cancer today!

Let me introduce you to my friends David and Lynn Walker, fellow Alpharetta residents and members of North Point Community Church who are at war with cancer. David has already gone to war with cancer twice and was recently informed he must battle once again as cancer was found in his brain and liver. Radiation and chemo are underway but aggressive therapies like “high-dose” Vitamin C infusions are not covered by his insurance.  To further compound the situation he lost his job due to the fact his is prohibited from driving for a period of time due to the medication.

The Day After Father’s Day

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iStockphoto credit @ Sarun Laowong

While the Father’s Day cards may still be on the mantle this Monday morning, conference calls have to be taken, meetings have to be attended, and the ends to a means of making a living for our families starts anew the day after Father’s day.

Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad, and that’s why I call you dad, because you are so special to me. You taught me the game and you taught me how to play it right. ~ Wade Boggs

The day after Father’s Day is a day where carpools have to be driven, baseball practices have to be attended, and recitals have to be celebrated. It’s a day where we balance our travel schedule so our flights home gives us enough time to make it to key games and family events.

ESPN shared an illustration of what the 364 day commitment looked like on the grand scale for All-Pro Dad Mark Schlereth and his son, major league baseball pitcher Daniel Schlereth on Father’s Day.

For most of us the lives of our children will not play out on the grand stage, irregardless what we do matters, day in day out!

We as Dads, have the opportunity to influence and impact the lives of our sons and daughters by being present and by being committed to them day in and day out. Our commitment lets them know they are a priority in our lives as compared to our work and our social agenda!

Make the commitment and choose to make a difference because our lives cast a wake behind us and this one commitment can impact generations to come.

~Tom

trusting God period!

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Professing our faith and living out our faith comes down to what “Thy will be done” looks like in our daily life. If we find ourselves interchanging “thy” and “my” based on the situation we just might be trying to build one too many kingdoms.  

~Tom

trusting God period! 

Bible (New King James Version), Matthew 6:10

3:15 Project Goes Global Harvesting Stories

In a few weeks videographer Bob Carter will embark on a one month mission trip to the South West Asia to kickoff the 315 Project’s first Global StoryDrive.

Bob’s hope and plan for this historic trip:

  • Disciple 4 locals to film and direct testimonies of their people on an ongoing basis.
  • Harvest at least 25 stories which will be shared in their churches and villages
  • Build a techonlogy bridge between the Islands and Atlanta to provide technical support and resources as more stories are ready for harvest.
  • Identify and connect resources that already exist on the islands to create a sustainable story harvesting ministry.

Historically speaking what ignites one island impacts the surrounding islands as the news travels. Please take a minute to watch this video to see how excited these islanders are to go public about their faith with the help of the Project 315 StoryDrive Team.

It is our belief God will use Bob to train and disciple local pastors and church leaders who have a desire to harvest stories of how God is alive and at work throughout the islands of South West Asia. You have the opportunity to partner with us at Project 3:15 to make sure these stories come to life and illustrate what God is doing around the globe.

For more information how you can personally make a difference in the Fiji StoryDrive visit the Project 315 CrowdRise site.

Thanks in advance for your support of the 315 Project – Fiji StoryDrive!

~Tom

trusting God period!

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

An Update of the Lacey Holsworth Story

Two weeks ago in the midst of Michigan State’s March Madness Final Four run I shared the story of a beautiful friendship which developed between Michigan State center Adreian Payne and Spartan Super Fan Lacey Holsworth.

Photo Credit: Michigan State Facebook Page via @magggpieee

Photo Credit: Michigan State Facebook Page via @magggpieee

Sadly I report this weekend Princess Lacey, lost her battle with cancer earlier this week. Lacey leaves us with a legacy of life lessons about rising above of our circumstances to treat everyday as a gift and to live life to the fullest. Equally important are the lessons taught by Adreian Payne whose actions illustrate what it looks like when present with the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life and embrace those time where we can be a role model. 

If there was anyone who could teach you to battle adversity with class and dignity it would be Lacey. ~ MSU coach Tom Izzo

“Lacey fought so hard for so long and she now is in a better place where she is surely inspiring the many as she has for the last two plus years. With her new set of wings she no longer needs a ladder to cut the nets down.”

Lacey’s legacy lives on as her family encourages all who have been touched by this story to “Love Like Lacey.”  

~ Tom

trusting God period!

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

A Cinderella Story In The Midst Of The March Madness

The opening rounds have played themselves out and no one can lay claim to winning a billion dollars for a perfect bracket. In the midst of all the competition, the highlights, and the heartbreaks a story bubbles to the surface which illustrates how the game of life, when played well, creates a MVP in the most unlikely of situations.

Adreian and Lacey

Meet Cinderella: Actually the Cinderella of this story Lacey Holsworth, aka @adorableLacey as she is known by her 12,000 Twitter followers. Lacey is a vivacious 8 year old girl who loves Michigan State basketball and is battling neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of childhood cancer that has threatened her life for nearly two years. 

Relationships – What Matters Most

Multi-ethnic group of people holding tablets in front of the fac

As this Lenten season begins today and we prepare for Easter, one of the best things we can do is take time for a period of reflection. One often overlooked area for reflection is the relationships we have in our lives.

  • Who are we invested in?
  • Who is vested in us?
  • Have you let secondary relationships crept into a primary status?
    • If this is the case due to unavoidable season at work, have you set an end date?
  • If it were all to end tomorrow who would you regret not spending enough time with the past few months…years?

A good indication of what matters most to us is our relationships and the time we invest there. A friend of mine, Ken Seeger, shared a few thoughts on relationships with a great reminder from his Mother before she went to be with the Lord.