Salad Dressing? Why Bother?

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I have shared in this space, more than once, that I have (temporarily) lost my ability to taste. It was a NOT unexpected (Don’t you LOVE the double negative, all my English teacher friends? No? Huh!) side effect of the chemo. It was also a possibility with the radiation, due to the fact that it was concentrated on my neck. So, I guess, when you put both of those factors together, it would be more surprised if it DIDN’T happen! I have also been clear to say that you shouldn’t feel TOO sorry for me- in the grand scheme of things, it’s really not that bad. But it HAS created some interesting dynamics. 

One dynamic is that I cook a lot. And if YOU cook a lot, you know how important taste can be. I mean, there are things that you can cook and never taste, because you’ve cooked them so many times. There’s really no “trial and error” involved in those dishes. You just make them. But there are other dishes that require a bit more finesse. You put a bit of this and a dash of that…and then you taste it to see what it still needs. For example, I made my now-famous Cheesy Ham and Potato Soup recently. It is my younger son’s favorite soup. And when I was nearly done…I called him in to taste it and tell me what was missing…because I couldn’t tell! (Turned out? Not enough pepper!) 

The other dynamic falls more into the realm of habit. We have all eaten SO much food over the course of our lifetimes that there are things we simply do out of habits. Those things never hit me BEFORE I lost the ability to taste, but I see them NOW! For example, I had a salad recently. (It was from McDonald’s, where it dawned on me that, when you can’t taste anything anyway, why not eat a salad instead of a greasy cheeseburger!) I got the Southwest Salad with grilled chicken. (I’m staying away from sugar and carbs because they tend to “feed” cancer.) I insisted on getting the Southwest dressing they offer with it, because it’s the best dressing for that salad. But it dawned on me- not only does is NOT matter which dressing you use when you can’t taste it…why use dressing AT ALL if you can’t taste it?! 

The last thing I’ve noticed falls firmly into that same “habit” category. I had some fresh mushrooms in the fridge the other night. I needed to do something with them before they went bad, but wanted to try something other than the typical “sauté in the skillet with some onions and butter”. So, I found a recipe that sounded great. Slice the mushrooms, mix up olive oil, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, thyme, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Toss the mushrooms in that mixture and then onto a cookie sheet and into a 375-degree oven for about 20 minutes, tossing occasionally. Then it was on the plate and into my mouth. And the first words out of that mouth once the mushrooms went into were, “Oh, wow!” My wife got excited. “You can TASTE it?” I stopped, thought and replied, “Actually…no.” Habit. Habit. Habit. 

The truth about losing your ability to taste is that a lot of people basically stop eating because nothing tastes good. But it dawned on us early on that eating, and each well…eating healthy…was really important to this whole process. So, we have been very intentional to maintain a good, and healthy diet. We simply refuse to let the lack of taste be an issue. And so far…so good! We continue to claim, openly and unabashedly, that God is good, all the time! #TeamHarris #WarriorOn! 

We greatly appreciate your prayers, love and support. Check back regularly or simply subscribe to receive an email every time there is a new post. Thanks for stopping by- I pray you have a blessed day. Please make sure and come back again tomorrow, and stick with Jesus!

A Good Appointment!

Thumbs_up_guy.jpg~c200     Yesterday’s blog focused on the trip to the Radiation Oncologist. It was, as a reminder, a follow-up, to see how I am doing and where we “go” next. I shared that I had some concerns that he was going to suggest we re-start the radiation treatments in conjunction with the chemo treatments I am currently in the midst of. I also shared that I was not looking forward to that conversation and wasn’t sure what my answer would be if that WAS the plan! 

The doctor came in- he’s a VERY nice young man with a young family. He had told us that his parents were coming from overseas to visit- primarily to see their grandson! So, he was pleased when we started the conversation by asking how his parents’ visit went! (It went well, by the way!) We then talked about the obvious things- how I was doing, how I was feeling, etc. Eventually, we got around to what was, for me, the 400-pound gorilla in the room…more radiation or NOT? 

In the end, this rather innocuous follow-up visit revealed three things we didn’t know going in. And my wife and I believe that knowledge is power, so it is always good to find out things about your health that you didn’t know!   

  1. The nurse, as she was “doing her thing” prior to the doctor coming in, asked, “How long have you had the hiatal hernia?” My response? “The WHAT?” “Your floating hiatal hernia.” “Well, I can’t answer that question because, right up until this moment…I didn’t know I HAD one!” Apparently, the endoscopy I had revealed a “floating hiatal hernia”. But obviously, since it ALSO revealed a second type of cancer…the hernia was bumped to the back page! We talked about that on the way home and both agreed, in the current grand scheme of things, being concerned about a hiatal hernia is like worrying about that little scratch on your right front fender while the prods and pistons are blowing out of the engine! No big whoop! 
  1. We knew that the chemo/radiation combo had shrunk the cancer, across the board- more in the area directly around the thyroid and less as you move farther out. But we already knew that even the spots in the lungs had shrunk some. What we found out was that one of the lymph nodes in the neck- the ones MOST affected- shrunk from a size measured by multiple centimeters to a size measure by millimeters. In case the Metric System isn’t your gig…that’s a SUBSTANTIAL difference, an exponential change. And it better explains why I feel so good…all things considered. 
  1. The third thing we found out, however, was the BEST thing we found out. The Radiation Oncologist agreed that more radiation was NOT indicated right now. He, along with the oncologist who is overseeing my chemo treatments, both feel that the chemo is the most important thing right now. So- NO radiation, at least for a while. In fact, the doctor said that, unless my situation changes and issues start to come up, he doesn’t even need to see me for 4 months. Good stuff! I wanted to jump up and hug him…but I didn’t! 

So, to recap- no radiation for at least 4 months, unless the cancer starts roaring back and causing eating/breathing issues. The next chemo treatment is scheduled for next Tuesday, the day AFTER Total Eclipse Day! Sometime after that, I don’t know how long yet (Maybe 3 weeks), there will be CT scans to see how this first round of “full” chemo did and how I’m doing. At that time, decisions will be made about how we move forward. (I will NOT be surprised if “more chemo” is the plan…but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.) 

So, we now have 5 days to bask in the glow of NO appointments AND no radiation on the horizon at the moment. My wife and I agreed that, even though it doesn’t negate the reality of my diagnosis, it sure is nice to have a little “breather”! We continue to claim, openly and unabashedly, that God is good, all the time! #TeamHarris #WarriorOn! 

We greatly appreciate your prayers, love and support. Check back regularly or simply subscribe to receive an email every time there is a new post. Thanks for stopping by- I pray you have a blessed day. Please make sure and come back again tomorrow, and stick with Jesus!

Making Decisions

decisions_   After several days of NO doctors, NO tests, NO hospitals, NO treatments- we have an appointment today. It is with the Radiation Oncologist- the doctor who oversaw my radiation treatments. To refresh- I had my last radiation treatment on July 10. That would be a little over 5 weeks ago. The aftermath of the radiation- a mild form, mind you- was pretty substantial. My throat was so bad from the treatment that I had several days where I didn’t even want to swallow water. The throat was constricted and sore. My voice was greatly affected and I lost it completely for a few days. I am still seeing the effects of the radiation burns on my neck. (Although they MUCH better!) While the treatments themselves are a piece of cake, the after effects of radiation treatments are not easy. 

So, today I go back to the Radiation Oncologist to see how things are going. I would say, based on what I am experiencing, “well” is the answer to that question. Things are going well. The treatments obviously had the desired effect and shrunk the cancer. Even though the side effects were no fun, once I got beyond them, I am clearly better than I was before they did them. And so, since they were deemed “palliative care”, intended to improve the quality of life and NOT cure, they were a success. 

But here’s the interesting thing about all of this- I know that it is possible today’s visit will include a recommendation to have more radiation treatments. Since A. Clinical Trials are off the table and B. the first, “light” round had its desired effect, they may well want me to start a second, more aggressive round, like I have with the chemo. And intellectually, I understand that.  

But these kinds of decisions aren’t simply based on intellect. Emotion and experience play a role in the decision-making, as well. What you know to be true and how you feel about it enter into the equation. And so, I have been wrestling with what my answer will be if the Radiation Oncologist pulls up his little wheeled stool (You know- the one that is in EVERY doctor’s exam room in the nation!) and says he wants to re-start radiation. 

On the one hand, the side effects of the treatment the first time (again, a “light” dose) were pretty substantial. They not only made it hard to do my job, they made LIFE hard for a bit. On the other hand…they did their job pretty well.  

I don’t share this because I am seeking advice on what to do. A. They haven’t even said anything yet so I could be “whistling in the graveyard” and B. My wife and I will make the decision we feel is the best for us if we are presented with a choice to make. I share it to help you understand what an individual decision this is…for anybody and everybody who goes through it. I joke about being a “special snowflake”. But the truth is- we ALL are. And things like this impact each of us differently.  

Maybe you ARE somebody who is having to make these kinds of decisions. If so, my advice is to ask all the questions you need to ask. Think through everything you need to consider. Seek advice from anybody you trust and want in the process. And then…YOU make the decision that is best for you. Don’t make it for anybody else. I don’t mean don’t consider them or care about them. But this is YOUR health, YOUR decision, YOUR life. 

Maybe you are someone who has to watch someone else go through this. And maybe they have made a treatment-related decision that you don’t agree with. Maybe they’re decision seems like giving up to you. OR maybe it seems too extreme the OTHER direction, given what you know. Please remember- you DON’T know how they feel. It’s NOT your life, and therefore- it’s simply not your decision to make.  

In the end, I’m a fighter. I was raised to be tough. To square my jaw and face things head-on. I have a high pain tolerance and a stubborn streak a mile wide. I don’t like to lose and like giving up even less. So, I will continue to fight this…crud as long as I possibly can. I don’t know how to live any other way. We continue to claim, openly and unabashedly, that God is good, all the time! #TeamHarris #WarriorOn! 

We greatly appreciate your prayers, love and support. Check back regularly or simply subscribe to receive an email every time there is a new post. Thanks for stopping by- I pray you have a blessed day. Please make sure and come back again tomorrow, and stick with Jesus! 

The Squirm Factor

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Not long ago, I wrote in this spot that there are some insights that my cancer diagnosis has provided that I didn’t see coming. I shared one of them that day and said I would, over the days and weeks ahead, share others. Here’s one of those insights. 

When I first started in the ministry, my sermons tended less toward “challenging homily” and more toward “scholarly lecture”. They were (I think/hope!) interesting enough. I referenced a lot of interesting historical information. I referred to the Greek and/or Hebrew often. But there was often no real “call to action” at the end. 

As time went on, and I began to find “my style” (Every preacher needs to do that, somewhere along the way), I began to lean more toward “funny and creative”. Those words ARE more my style. But the sermons still really didn’t force the listener to do anything. They were, at the end of the day, more entertaining and informative than they were transformative.  

In more recent years, I finally (I tend to be a “slow on the uptake”!) began to find my stride. I could write a sermon that was “in my wheelhouse” but also called for a response from the listener. (In my mind, that’s the ultimate goal of a sermon- be true to the preacher, educate, inform AND call for action.)  

The one piece that was still falling short, if I’m honest in assessing my own work, was being willing to go even farther in challenging the listener. I would challenge…but stop short of pushing TOO hard. I call that “the squirm factor”. There’s a fine line between challenging them and offending them! And most pastors struggle with how close to that line they can get! 

I have found, over the past 2+ months, that I am MUCH more comfortable than ever before to not only get close to that line but to step RIGHT on it, smear it with my foot and then start sliding past it! (I guess there is some freedom in a “incurable Stage 4” diagnosis!) I have not only been much more willing to be “in your face” with my sermons, but I have even openly acknowledged that fact- telling the listener that A. they were likely to squirm and B. if they did…they probably needed to! 

If you’re reading this and you are a parishioner- the receiver of sermons- I have two suggestions for you. 1. be willing to hear a sermon that doesn’t just make you feel good about yourself but sincerely challenges you to step out and DO something…without getting mad or offended about it. 2. Gently but firmly encourage your pastor to push that envelope. The truth is that we ALL need that push to step further out in faith. 

If you’re reading this and you are a preacher, I have one suggestion for you. Honestly assess your preaching. If you’re NOT challenging the listener to the point that they squirm…why not? You’re smart. You’re experienced. You’re tactful. You can push the envelope without making them get the tar and feathers out. And if we are truly going to live up to our mission of connecting people to Jesus Christ, we have to, as United Methodist founder John Wesley said, “Preach with your bags packed!” We continue to claim, openly and unabashedly, that God is good, all the time! #TeamHarris #WarriorOn! 

We greatly appreciate your prayers, love and support. Check back regularly or simply subscribe to receive an email every time there is a new post. Thanks for stopping by- I pray you have a blessed day. Please make sure and come back again tomorrow, and stick with Jesus!

Master of None

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I had an interesting conversation yesterday that I wanted to share. As I have shared, we had several family members in over the past week+ and it has been great. Over the course of that time, we got to see all of my siblings, all of their spouses plus a nephew, his wife and their 2 kids. Good stuff! 

Most of them were able to join us for Sunday worship, one week or the other. And yesterday, one of my family members started talking about a revelation they had, based on watching me lead a worship service. I will preface what was said with the information/reminder that, prior to entering the ministry, I had a very…diverse resume’. (I actually used the word “horrible” to describe my resume’ as we talked, but that’s a different story!) Seriously, I had a WIDE variety of jobs prior to the ministry. And I was pretty darn good at all of them…but was never really happy with any of them.  

With that as a background, what was said by the family member was, “I never realized that all the odd and diverse things you did as jobs leading up to the ministry have come together to make you who you are. You use all those skills in the ministry. I never really saw that before today.” We laughed about it, talked it and then moved on to other topics of conversation.  

But it DOES remind me of how God has worked in my life- how God works in OUR lives. In the middle of all of those unsatisfying jobs, I had NO idea that A. He was actually preparing me for something else and B. it would EVER be THIS! But I look at the acting (I talk for a living and produce weekly Announcement Videos where I play a variety of characters), the music (I play the drums and produce an original music video EVERY week), the business management (I am the CEO of a small business with a paid staff of 12 and an annual budget of about $300,000), the retail photography management (I work with the public EVERY day) and all the other things I did prior to the ministry and I can so clearly see God at work.
I can clearly see it NOW…but had NO clue in the middle of it all. It was uneven at best and painful at worst. It challenged my self-esteem. It challenged my relationships. It challenged my marriage. At yet, God hung in there with my (as did my awesome wife!) and helped me find the silver lining in the dark cloud- the blessing in the curse.  

But here’s the key- did God somehow MAKE me go through those things just so I could be where I am today? No- at least according to my theology. I don’t have gear for a God Who would intentionally cause me pain so that I can learn a lesson later on. But I DO have a gear for a God Who would look at my earlier job situation- most of which I cause all by my little self with absolutely no one else’s help- and find a way to make it work for good. 

As I have shared before, that same mentality helps inform my current health situation. Looking back, I am absolutely convinced that God used my earlier “health scare” to help prepare me for now- just such a time as this. The brain tumor I had in 2013 was a bad thing. It was so rare that I was only the 19th recorded case in medical history with that type of tumor in that location acting that way. I struggled to even FIND a doctor who would touch my case. I was, for them, what Star Trek calls the Kobiashi Maru- the no-win scenario. I struggled for almost a year with experiential treatments- some of which make me feel like crud on a cracker. I lost much of my hearing. I lost a decent amount of muscle control on the right side of my face. (Most people don’t realize just how much- I have learned to “fake it” by using other muscles to try and compensate!) But finally, the tumor came out, I recovered and basically got on with life. So, when this Stage 4, no-cure cancer diagnosis came up, my family and I were able to approach it differently because we had this previous experience to help guide us.  

If you find yourself in a difficult time of life, take heart. I DON’T mean “Buck up, shut up and get over it!” Instead- take heart. Be confident that God knows your troubles. He see where you are and He doesn’t want you to hurt or struggle. Sometimes in life, however, it’s unavoidable…for a myriad of reasons. But He KNOWS. And He cares. And He is already working on how that might be used for good. It might be directly for your good. It might be for the good of your family. Or, frankly, it might be the good of someone else altogether- maybe even someone you will never meet. But there WILL be something positive that comes from the struggle. And if you believe what the Gospels tell us, this life is fleeting and transitory…but helps prepare us for a glorious eternity with the One Who made us! So even in the midst of struggle, I have a promise of something far greater than I could ever imagine. We continue to claim, openly and unabashedly, that God is good, all the time! #TeamHarris #WarriorOn! 

We greatly appreciate your prayers, love and support. Check back regularly or simply subscribe to receive an email every time there is a new post. Thanks for stopping by- I pray you have a blessed day. Please make sure and come back again tomorrow, and stick with Jesus!

Why Not?: Why Not Deepen Your Faith?

Why Not Deepen Your Faith

     Churches tend to have their own gravitational pull. The common theme in a LOT of churches, when “new folks” walk in the door is- FRESH MEAT! On the surface, they welcome you and tell you they’re glad you’re here. And they ARE- genuinely. It’s the MOTIVES for that gladness that come into question. Often, they’re glad you’re here…because they need more people for the Finance Committee or they have been desperately looking for a Sunday School Superintendent or a Youth Group leader! And if they’re not careful, churches tend to do one of two things to “new people”- 1. scare them off before they even get a chance to see if they belong or not or 2. get them SO involved SO quickly that they burn out, tune out and drop out!

     Our home church struggled with that when we first started there- low those many years ago! We were an energetic, personable young couple with some education and a handful of “marketable skills” and they saw a gold mine of possibilities. Before we knew it, we were, literally, leading the Senior High Youth Group, Co-Superintendendents of the Sunday School program AND leading Children’s Church!

     The problem for ME, personally, was that, while I was very actively involved in the “work” of the church, my faith was about 6” wide…and a ¼” deep! I had NO real spiritual foundation on which to build. I wasn’t attending Bible Study. Frankly, we got the point where we weren’t really even attending worship- we would show up for those “responsibilities” and then…slip out. We came close to unplugging altogether. All because I was so busy doing the “work” of the church that I failed to do…anything…to actually deepen and strengthen my faith.

   So many people, when faced with a challenge or question, will automatically ask, “Why?” But God challenges us to instead ask, “Why NOT?” This sermon series focuses squarely on that question- Why Not? Over 4 weeks, we’re asking 4 “why not” questions. Last week, we started at the most basic human level- why not face your fears?- and we are intentionally growing outward in concentric circles toward a new, more positive, worldview. Today, we move from those most basic human emotions- like fear- and we step into the next circle as we ask the question, “Why not deepen your faith?” It will be a two-step process- this week specifically deepening your faith, leading to next week and the next, logical step- making a greater commitment.

     The setting for today’s primary Scripture is both VERY familiar and rather painful- the cross. Holy Week has happened. Jesus has been arrested, tried and convicted and is being led out to a place called Golgotha- The Skull- to die.

     Luke 23:32-43 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the Jews. One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

     Admittedly a difficult story to hear- Jesus on the cross. This is NOT one of those “feel good” Scriptures…no “warm fuzzies” here…at least, not on the surface. But if you dig a bit deeper into the subtext, there IS a very positive, “feel good” aspect to it.

     Jesus has been tried and convicted in a backroom Kangaroo Court, led down the Via Dolorosa- the Way of Sorrow- to the hill called Golgotha- The Skull. He is nailed to a cross and hung between two others who have met the same fate. There He is, a common criminal among common criminals. Meanwhile, the people are, as a teacher I once had would say, “Actin’ the fool”. Gambling for His robe. Yelling at Him. Taunting Him.

     And then, even the guy hanging next to Him decides to get in the act. Think that through for a moment- this guy is dying a horrible, agonizing death. Nails through his wrists and ankles. Slowly suffocating. But he decides, “it’s not THAT bad” and joins in. “If You’re the Messiah, save Yourself! Or, at least, save US!” Spitting venom to the very end.

     But notice what the OTHER guy does. “Dude, are you NUTS?! We deserve what we get- we earned it. But Him? He’s done nothing. This is wrong.” And then, he turns his head to Jesus and says 8 words- 8 words that change the entire tone of the story…and his trajectory going forward. “Remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” Remember me when You come into Your kingdom. The word “save” doesn’t enter into it. He simply asks to be…remembered. Re-membered. Put back together. Made whole.

     We hear stories of deathbed confessions- criminal “accepting Jesus” right before being put to death- and we tend to get righteously indignant about it. “I tried to be a good person all my life. This guy says one sentence, right there in the wind-up, and he gets a ‘go to Heaven free’ card? I don’t THINK so!”

     This story is NOT a deathbed confession- a last-ditch effort to simply “get in good” with God, exploit the loophole and skate into Heaven. Instead, this is a story about a guy who has a true experience with Jesus and wants more. Although there is no real evidence either way, I am convinced this guy was NOT a believer coming into the story. Not baptized. Not saved. Not sanctified. A guy…and not a very good one, at that.

     And yet, even in the WORST situation in which he could find himself, he has this experience that Methodist founder John Wesley would describe as having his heart strangely warmed. A guy, NAILED to the Ancient Near Eastern version of the guillotine, dying, has his heart strangely warmed? Instead of focusing on the earthly, he asks Jesus to remember him, bless him. If he can have that experience on dying on the cross, then…

     So, why AREN’T we more willing to deepen our faith? Maybe we’re embarrassed- what will people think…and say? Maybe we’re more interested in just going with the flow, following the path of least resistance. Maybe we too greatly feel the pull of the world. Or…maybe we’re afraid of what God will call us to do if we actually respond.

     What are the things that keep YOU from deepening YOUR faith? Did I hit one of them? Or is it yet something else altogether? Here’s the way I look at it- can I prove to you, definitively, scientifically, quantitatively that God exists? Nope. Do I KNOW God exists? Yep…because I have had very real, tangibles experiences of His power and presence. But can I PROVE it? No. 

     But what if you look at it this way? “What if I follow God my whole life and, in the end…I’m wrong?” Well, the worst that happened was that it made me a better person and I found peace and comfort in the midst of a chaotic world. Better person. Peace. Comfort. Don’t see a down side. On the other side of the coin, what if I follow God my whole life…and I was RIGHT? I see NO down side.

     What are the things that you turn to instead of God? What takes your time? Your attention? Your focus? Are they worth it? REALLY? Are they changing the world? Are they changing YOU…for the better? Really? Are they REALLY more satisfying to your soul? Stepping out and deepening your faith not only offers you a place to belong, it offers you Someone to belong TO. And BOY is that a great feeling!

Life Finds a Way

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Yesterday was a fun day. If you remember, my sister and her husband were here to visit LAST weekend- and that was great! This weekend, the fun just continues. My brother and his wife got here from the St. Louis area Wednesday afternoon. We had a great time that day, Then, late Thursday afternoon my other sister and her husband came in from the Gulf Coast of Florida. Again, we all had a great kind. But it wasn’t done yet. Yesterday, late afternoon, our nephew (son of the sister who was already in town), his wife and their two kids came in from Central Florida. And we had a great time. 

The kids are 4 and 2. And, although we have seen pictures of them all along, this was our first time to actually meet them. They are awesome! (It doesn’t hurt that we love kids!) My wife (the brain of this operation!) had a GREAT idea. If you read this space much as all, you know that we live RIGHT next door to the church. So, for dinner last night, we picked up some carry-out pizzas, made a big salad and re-convened at the church. We gathered in the dining room, so that we had enough seating for everybody. And the bonus to that is that, attached to the dining room is a big, wide-open room where the kids could run and play! So, we could sit at the table, eat and talk while the kids ran around like knuckleheads right there next to where we were! 

I am always amazed at the energy that kids have. (I have a standard line that I throw out- “If I had HALF that energy…I’d be dangerous!”) It was such a joy to watch the raw, unbridled life that they exude as they run and play. It was a powerful reminder of what life is all about.  

To quote that great theologian Dr. Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park, “Life will find a way.” My wife and I have been reminded of that truth every day over the past 2+ months. We could easily just be overwhelmed by our circumstances, oblivious to everything else. We all see it, all the time. And it’s understandable. It’s hard to fault people who find themselves in difficult or dire situations and get mired in them. But God continues to show us that there IS life in the midst of the difficulty, there IS blessing in the middle of the curse. And watching our 17-year old son play with his 2- and 4-year old cousins- kids he had NEVER met before yesterday, was an awesome reminder that fact.  

If you find yourself in a situation that threatens to drag you down to the pit, stop and look at the life going on around you. Look at the trees, the flowers, the birds. Look at the night sky. Look at the children. Life is beautiful, precious, a gift. And it’s ALL around you- waiting for you to recognize it, embrace it. Take the leap- grab life. We continue to claim, openly and unabashedly, that God is good, all the time! #TeamHarris #WarriorOn! 

We greatly appreciate your prayers, love and support. Check back regularly or simply subscribe to receive an email every time there is a new post. Thanks for stopping by- I pray you have a blessed day. Please make sure and come back again tomorrow, and stick with Jesus!