It Grew Back!

best-balding-clippers

So, you know that I have been a “shave-headed” pastor for quite some time. Frankly, as early as high school, the dreaded “widow’s peak” was showing up. As a high school actor, I tended to play the older roles. As a college actor, I played a pretty wide variety of roles, but they included some older guys and one or two really old guys. I could grow my hair out, comb in back to accentuate that ever-increasing widow’s peak and pull off a relatively convincing Educational Theater old guy!  

Later, after we were married, I was standing in front of the nearly full-length mirror that was on the inside of our bedroom closet door one morning, tying my tie. The other closet door (The doors were hinged and not sliders and BOTH doors had mirrors on the inside) happened to be in exactly the right spot that allowed me a clear view of the back of my head- a place guys don’t see very often! Honey? I said. “Yes?” I have a pretty big…bald spot!” “Yes.” “Why didn’t you tell me?” Pause. “Would it have helped?!” Good point! 

That started a growing acceptance of male-pattern baldness. I began to get my hair cut shorter and shorter because I REFUSED to do the ill-fated “comb-over”! Eventually, in about 2004, I went to full-out shaved head and haven’t looked back since! 

On the other hand, I have had facial hair, of some sort, my whole adult life. That is, until chemo and radiation! The radiation, target as it was to my neck, made all the beard hair that grew there (and drove me crazy!) fall out. And I do mean ALL. The chemo made the rest of my facial hair, including my eyebrows, slowly fall out. I kept slowly trimming away more and more of the facial hair until I finally shaved the last of it off. There I was- no hair on my head or face and no eyebrows. (I even lost a lot of body fair…and I had a LOT to lose!) 

The upside to losing the eyebrows was that, for my entire life (no exaggeration), my eyebrows were so light that they were hard to even see. So, losing them wasn’t much of a big deal. The lack of facial hair was WAY more noticeable. But I have now gone 3½ months without chemo- hard to believe but it’s true. My last “dose” was on October 17. And apparently my body has been trying to heal and return to some sense of normalcy with the absence of the regular infusion of poison into it. About a month ago, hair started to grow back- my beard, mustache and eyebrows all started to “peek out through the snow”! The growth was slow- nearly glacial. But it WAS happening.  

And then, almost overnight, it started REALLY coming back. The beard came back fast, full and in some parts of my face darker while we were in Orlando. (Maybe all that good Florida sun!) I went from not having to shave and having a BIT of a 5 o’clock shadow to needing to trim down the “Duck Dynasty” look in about 10 days! Not gonna lie- I am glad to have facial hair again, even if it’s only temporary…until we have to start the inevitable chemo again.  

But the big surprise has been the eyebrows! They not only have come back in full and strong- they have come back in NOTICEABLY darker. NOTICEABLY. They are literally darker than they have EVER been…in my entire life. I suddenly have eyebrows that some women pay big bucks to get. I mean, I’m starting to lean just a BIT toward the whole “Groucho Marx paint them on with a black grease pencil”! 

In the midst of the uncertainty of the cancer diagnosis and treatment- it DOES hang over you, like a fog, no matter WHAT you do- it has made me chuckle a bit and marvel a lot about the regrowth of hair! I’m not naïve enough to think it will all fall out again here before too long. But I’m enjoying it while it’s here! 

We continue to focus on the glass being half-full. We continue to embrace each day with grateful thanksgiving. #TheGlovedAvenger #TeamHarris #WarriorOn! #Huzzah! 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! 

10,000 Hours

10000-hours-chris-cheney

In his 2008 book Outliers, writer Malcolm Gladwell posited the concept that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill. That has since been a kind of standard that many hold to. (Although, a more recent study out of Princeton University says that is simply not true…or at least more complicated than that!) I have read the basic concept behind both Gladwell’s approach and Princeton’s rebuttal. I get both sides of the equation…and think that the reality lies somewhere between them! 

But I DO understand, and agree with, the basic principle behind Gladwell’s argument- practice makes perfect. The truth behind that has been on my mind recently. It got there (My mind, that is) because of a phone conversation I had. A gentleman called me from out of the blue. He had attended a funeral I recently officiated. He had some very nice, very complimentary things to say. And in the context of our conversation, he said something that really stood out, “This was clearly not your first rodeo!”  

First of all, that expression immediately caught my attention because it’s one I use OFTEN! But it also made me think of Gladwell’s 10,000-hour concept. How much DOES practice and repetition impact the quality of the final product? I would argue- quite a bit! 

For example, the funeral we were talking about. I recently shared in a blog that I have performed somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 funerals. Figure that the funeral and burial ceremonies, combined, take about an hour. Add to that about an hour of conversation with the family ahead of time. Then add another hour of combined conversation with funeral directors, musicians, singers, Scripture readers and tech folk. Then add another two hours of writing and related “prep” for the funeral itself. That brings you to a total of about 5 hours spent on any given funeral- give or take. Multiple that by 250 funerals and that means I have spent roughly 1,250 hours of my career on funerals- a FAR cry from 10,000 hours, but still…a LOT of time!  

Then there are worship services. It’s harder to figure out, but conservative math would say I have spent about 4,000 hours actually LEADING worship in my career. Again, a far cry from 10,000 hours but nothing to sneeze at.  

Ok- what about ministry in general? Well, 21 years in the ministry- 3 years “half-time” and 18 years “full-time”. That works out to somewhere around 58,000 hours. That number blows 10,000 right out of the water.  

I could also try to break down the other two things that would make the most sense here- playing the drums and acting/speaking in front of people. I started performing in front of people in First Grade and I started playing the drums when I was 10 years old. So, both of those areas would have large number attached to them.  

What’s the point? The point is that- Princeton is right. If you don’t have the inherent aptitude or giftedness for something, practice will only take you so far. But Gladwell is also right- if you DO have some natural giftedness in something, practice is going to pay huge dividends and is essential to long-term success. That means two things have to happen for you to succeed at something: 1. you have to identify where your gifts and graces lie and 2. you have to be the answer to the question “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” Practice, practice, practice! 

What are you gifted in? What are you passionate about? Identify it/them. (And don’t give me that horse hockey that you are good at NOTHING! I’m NOT buying what you’re selling!) And then, commit to getting better at it! Practice. Read all you can about it. Find people who are good at it and get them to help you/mentor you. Put in the work. “Overnight successes” are almost NEVER actually overnight. They are folks who kept their shoulder to the plow and just kept pushing forward, day after day. If there is a mistake to be made in the ministry, I have made it. Sometimes multiple times. But every time, the mistake made me a little stronger. A little “better”. Keep pushing. Stick with it. You can do it! 

We continue to focus on the glass being half-full. We continue to embrace each day with grateful thanksgiving. #TheGlovedAvenger #TeamHarris #WarriorOn! #Huzzah! 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! 

To Get What You’ve Never Had, You Have to be Willing to Do What You’ve Never Done

church and technology Yesterday, I had a very brief, but interesting, interchange with someone at church that reminds me A. how far things have come in the 21 years we’ve been in the ministry and B. How awesome technology can be! We livestream the sermon every week on Facebook- been doing it for about 14 months now. We livestream the 8AM sermon- the first of the day. That is a practical choice- it fits with our “schedule” for the morning AND, if there were any technical issues, we have two more shots at it before the morning is over!
The brief interchange I mentioned earlier is a direct outgrowth of the livestreaming. The wife of our Worship Director came up to me after the 8AM service and said, “My cousin in Arizona watch your sermon on Facebook this morning. She watches it every week!” I assured her that was a really cool thing. She agreed! We both walked away happy!
Think about that for a moment- at basically 9AM, she tells me that a relative who lives about 1,500 miles away watched a sermon I JUST finished preaching about 10 minutes prior to that conversation. The cousin had watched it AND been in contact to SAY that she watched it- from that far away in that short of a time!
There was a time in the pretty recent past when that would have been impossible for the VAST majority of churches. Only those with HUGE budgets and TV contracts would have even had a hope of doing something like that. And even then, it probably still wouldn’t have happened THAT fast! But here we are, having a “parishioner” who is 1,500 MILES away worship with us IN REAL TIME and letting us know that they are doing it.
So, the uptick is that we can not only continue to strive to reach more and more people in our immediate geographical area through inviting them IN and/or reaching OUT to them- we can reach out to…virtually…anybody. We are no longer limited by what we can do through “brick and mortar”. We are limited only by our imagination. Things like livestreaming on Facebook don’t cost us a cent. (Unless you count the tripod I bought, which seems like a stretch!) Along with livestreaming worship, we have livestreamed funerals for people who couldn’t be there in person. And we just started an online Bible Study through a Facebook page that is a “trial balloon” that is A. intended to be the next step in our fairly new Young Adult/Young Family Ministries and B. the first step in a greater presence of online Bible Study opportunities. Again, the costs are minimal and the possibilities are endless!
If your church is already taking advantage of the opportunities that technology offers to your ministries, keep up the good work. If your church ISN’T doing it yet…why not? The two biggest arguments most churches have fall into 1 of 2 categories- 1. cost or 2. “I don’t like technology”. #1 is a non-sequitur- the cost is so negligible that the argument holds no water. As to #2- if you will excuse my bluntness for a moment- who cares if you like technology or not? Seriously. You are NOT your target audience- you’re already “in”. So, what you or I may like and $1 will buy any size drink at McDonalds. The American Christian Church is dying because too many people in too many churches have the “I would rather see the church die than change” mentality. And sadly, many of those folks are in luck!
Step out in faith. Try something new. Be willing to stretch and grow. Be willing to think outside the box. Build the ministries of your church around the notion that, to get what you’ve never had, you have to be willing to do what you’ve never done.
We continue to focus on the glass being half-full. We continue to embrace each day with grateful thanksgiving. #TheGlovedAvenger #TeamHarris #WarriorOn! #Huzzah! 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 Fresh Start: Mary Magdalene

Fresh Start Mary Magdalene

My name is rather common. Mark is a very common first name and Harris is an equally common last name. But just HOW common, you ask? Well…! I was born in the local hospital of my home town. With about 24 hours of my birth, there was not one but TWO other babies born in the SAME hospital with the SAME first and last name as me! One had the same MIDDLE name as me as well, while the other had my dad’s first name as his middle name! Three. In TWO days. In the SAME hospital! Although I had heard stories, I knew something was up in 6th Grade when I was playing in a basketball game. My coach called out my name before the game. I ran over to see what he wanted…and found another Mark Harris standing there, wondering why the opposing coach had called HIM over! During the “bad days” of growing up, I swore that I had been switched at birth and that, one day, my “real parents” would come for me! 

 

A new day, a new year, a new opportunity to start fresh. But “resolutions” don’t last and “plans” can be hollow. Over 4 weeks, we are preparing for a TRULY “new day” as we walk through A Fresh Start. We have been looking at 4 Bible characters- 2 Old Testament and 2 New Testament- who got a chance to start over again. They got a new lease on life- thanks to the transformative power of God, Who offers that same power to us! The first week, we looked at an Old Testament guy named Gideon who had to overcome fear and uncertainty to do what God was calling Him to do. Week 2, we looked at an Old Testament woman named Esther who found favor with the king and used that as an opportunity to not only gain a fresh start for herself…but for her people as well! Today, we jump to the New Testament and look at a woman who is often misunderstood but clearly as major player in the story of Jesus- Mary Magdalene. 

 

Luke 8:1-3 After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means. 

 

So, today, we look at Mary- St. Mary Magdalene- literally “Mary the Magdalene”…sometimes simply called “the Magdalene”. What do we know about her/ Well, she was a Jewish woman who traveled with Jesus as one of His followers. Both the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of Mark say seven demons were driven out of her. Within the four Gospels, she’s named at least 12 times- more than most of the disciples. But she is most prominently featured in the crucifixion and resurrection narrative. Among the followers of Jesus, she is the ONLY one specified by name as a witness to the crucifixion, the burial AND the resurrection. All four Gospels say she was a witness to the empty tomb and that she was, either alone or as part of a group of women, the first to testify to the resurrection. Over and over, Mary Magdalene’s name is placed first in lists of specifically named women. Being named first AND being named by all 4 Gospels historically indicates her importance among the followers of Jesus. And yet, the name Mary Magdalene doesn’t appear in any other book of the New Testament. 

The truth is, Mary was an incredibly common name in the Ancient Near Eastern world. Historically, three primary “Marys” are identified from the New Testament- 

The Virgin Mary- mother of Christ, Mary of Bethany- the sister of Martha and Lazarus and Mary Magdalene. But there’s also Mary- the mother of James and Mary Salome. Mary Magdalene is almost always distinguished from other Marys by adding the title “the Magdalene”. But what exactly does that mean? Some interpret it to mean “the woman from Magdala”- a town on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. That’s a logical assumption. Others see it as less about where she was from and more as a title. “Magdalene” in Hebrew is “Migdal” and in Aramaic is “Magdala”. In both languages, it means “tower” or “fortress”. 

To further complicate her story, around 591 AD, Pope Gregory I preached what has become a very influential sermon in which he identified Mary Magdalene not only as the anonymous sinner with the perfume who anointed Jesus feet with her hair in Luke’s gospel, but also as Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. In addition, Gregory morphed the seven demons driven from her into the seven deadly sins, and so Mary Magdalene began to be condemned not only for lust but for pride, covetousness and the others as well. Gregory’s interpretation has historically come to be known as the “composite Magdalene”. Then there’s the Dan Brown novel The DaVinci Code, which makes the claim that Mary Magdalene was the ACTUAL “Holy Grail”- that which carried the actual blood of Jesus…as His wife and mother of His child(ren). But none of those claims are found in any of the four Gospels. 

So, again- who IS Mary Magdalene. All we know for sure is that she was an extremely troubled woman who was possessed by not one but seven demons. We know she was “put in her right mind” by Jesus. And we know that she went on to become a VERY prominent figure in His ministry, death and resurrection. And that, for my money, is MORE than enough to know! She was a woman who had been dismissed by society. Call it demon possession. Call it mental illness. Call it whatever you want. But we all know there is a terrible stigma attached to those designations today. It was even worse in the Ancient Near Eastern world. And it was EVEN worse if you were a woman. The deck was stacked against her. Her life had nowhere to go but down. Until, that is, Jesus stepped in. Then…everything changed. She was given a fresh start.  

 

What are the things that have you mired in a societal stigma? What do other people think of you that has you feeling like there is no real hope for joy looking forward? The truth is, many more of us struggle with that we would let on. The world judges us by SO many things. From financial issues to educational shortcomings, from health concerns to learning disabilities, from addictions to spiritual battles, there are LOTS of ways that we are dismissed by society. But then the cross happened. Jesus came along to show us a new way, to offer us a fresh start. He offers to wipe the slate clean, put us “in our right mind” and provide a place at His feet- learning, growing, thriving.  

Whatever your struggles might be, they are not a death sentence. There IS another way. And that way runs directly through the cross of Calvary. Without Christmas, there is no Jesus. But without the cross- and Easter- there is no Christ. The cross is a symbol of hope, renewal and new life. It’s no accident that Mary Magdalene is most prominently featured at the cross and beyond. It is there that she truly received her fresh start. And it is there that we also can receive ours, as well.  

Come to the cross. Come to the tomb. See the nail-pierced hands. See the stone rolled away. See the tomb empty. See Jesus- alive and well. Experience firsthand the fresh start that can be had- available literally to ANYBODY who is willing to reach out and receive it. And then- do it. Reach out. Accept. Don’t doubt but believe. And receive the new beginning that you so desperately want and Jesus offers fully and without reservation. 

Verses 1 and 4!

clockA pastor friend of mine told me once that the sanctuary of his church had a LARGE clock in it. It was in a prominent spot, right along the side where everyone could see it, and was a memorial gift, given in the name of a former patriarch of the church. For those of you who don’t know, a clock in the sanctuary is a dangerous thing to feature so prominently. The folks in the pews tend to focus on the clock instead of the worship. They begin to time the services and complain if they go even a few minutes long. The focus slowly switches from being all about God to being all about getting to lunch on time. So…he MOVED the clock to the back of the room, where no one could see it without craning their necks. To help them move away from that focus on time, he spent hours writing a sermon about slowing down, about taking time, about focusing on what was important. He labored and labored over that sermon, until he felt it was nearly perfect. Then…he delivered it! He felt that the people in the pews were hanging on every word. He felt that they were very invested in the message. He felt that he had truly reached them with his thoughts of slowing down and taking time to be holy. To put the period on that sentence, he had chosen just that hymn, Take Time To Be Holy, to end the service. He finished preaching, said “amen”, and sat down with a great sense of satisfaction- job well done! It was at that moment his worship leader stood up, stepped to the microphone, and announced, “due to the time, we will sing Take Time To Be Holy…verses 1 and 4″! Sometimes, you JUST…CAN’T…WIN!!
Now, let me confess that I am OFTEN bound to the clock! So, where is YOUR focus? Does the clock dictate what you do? Are you so bound by your calendar that you miss much of…life? There is a HUGE difference between the important and the urgent. SOMETIMES they are the same thing, but usually they are NOT! The urgent will always pull at you, insisting that you give all your attention to it. Meanwhile, the important is sitting on the sideline, being neglected. The urgent might be the phone ringing, the deadline looming, the people demanding your time- any number of things. The important might be your faith, your family, your health- any number of things. The key is to sort out those two lists- know the difference between them. The more stroke you give the urgent, the more it will demand. Likewise, the more you ignore the important, the deeper the hole gets. Today, take time to be holy (ALL the verses)! Weigh the urgent things- if they truly need your attention, give it. But make sure you take time for the important things in your life. Now, if you’ll excuse me, my phone is ringing, someone’s at the door, and I have an appointment in 3 minutes!

We continue to focus on the glass being half-full. We continue to embrace each day with grateful thanksgiving. #TheGlovedAvenger #TeamHarris #WarriorOn! #Huzzah! 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! 

“Where Should We Eat Today?”

restaurants

Today, we draw near to the close of “vacation-themed” blogs. In fact, today might be the last day! (I AM, however, making NO promises! You just NEVER know what is going to pop into my dope cranium!) One thing I haven’t talked much about yet is food- how did we EAT on the trip? To be honest, we went into the trip with very little in the way of a “plan” for food. But we quickly established a pattern that worked really well for us! 

The first day we were there, last Monday, was “let’s figure out what we’re doing” day. My wife suggested that we go out and get some groceries- there was a full kitchen in the unit. So, after sleeping in LATE (Remember, we didn’t set our bags down in the resort until 2AM Eastern time, so sleeping in was a no-brainer!) So, we set out for a grocery store. There was a little neighborhood “Mom and Pop” store nearby. The prices were a bit high, so we just bought a few things to get us started. We went back to the resort and ate a bit of what we brought back with us.  

Later in the day, we went BACK out to a Super Walmart and did a better job of stocking up for the week. We also picked up a rotisserie chicken and some potato salad from their deli for dinner. We went back, ate, unpacked groceries and settled in for the night. 

From there, we had a very predictable pattern to food every day. We would sleep until we got up. (And if you are like us, “sleeping in” is simply nowhere CLOSE to as late as it once was! “Sleeping in” looks less like 11AM these days and a WHOLE lot more like 7:30 or 8AM…if we’re lucky! About 10:30AM-ish, we would have breakfast. That often looked like a couple of poached eggs and some gluten-free toast for me and some yogurt with granola and some gluten-free toast for my wife. Then, whatever for the next few hours. (But NOT much!)  

About 2:30PM-ish, we would head out for a late lunch/early dinner. From a combination of Christmas and Pastor Appreciation month, we had accumulated several restaurant gift cards. So, I would look online and see what was in the vicinity that we had a gift card for. We didn’t do that EVERY day, but we did it MOST days! We would go to that restaurant and either pay nothing for the meal or very little. And then…back to the resort! 

And that was our pattern every day- a very inexpensive breakfast in our unit from groceries we had bought and a very inexpensive lunch/dinner out, compliments of a gift card! The resort was free, thanks to the generous “gifting” of the former parishioners. The meals were VERY cheap, thanks to having the kitchen in our unit AND the generosity of other parishioners.  

Yes, we had to pay for air fare and the rental car. But given the length and nature of the vacation, we were TRULY blessed with the overall low cost of getting away! The truth is that my wife and I are relatively simple folk who don’t ask for much and don’t need much to be satisfied. So, this “time away” was really JUST what the doctor ordered! 

We continue to focus on the glass being half-full. We continue to embrace each day with grateful thanksgiving. #TheGlovedAvenger #TeamHarris #WarriorOn! #Huzzah! 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 Travel is NOT the Easy Part!

Business Trip Struggles

Over the past few days, we’ve been looking at our recent trip to Orlando- thanks to the “gifting” of a week at a time-share resort by former parishioners. Today, we focus on the travel itself. It was…interesting. Our story begins on Sunday, January 14. After a full, “typical”, morning at church, we had lunch with family who were in town for my Father-in-Law’s funeral the day before.  

When we got home, we had about 45 minutes to pack. So, A. get to packing and B. no nap! By about 2PM, we were on the road to the local airport, which is about 45 minutes away. We got there in plenty of time, got the van into long-term parking and headed into the terminal. This is a small airport (And when I say “small”, I mean SMALL!), so getting our bag checked and our boarding passes printed was no big whoop. We breezed through TSA with no problems and headed to our gate. And there, at our gate, was my wife’s sister and her family! They had the flight out right before us! So, we visited with them for few minutes before they boarded their flight. 

When the time came, we boarded our flight. But after everyone was on, they had to de-ice the plane. It was an interesting thing to watch from inside the plane. It also delayed take-off by about 40 minutes. But we finally were “wheels up” and headed to our lay-over in Chicago. But because of the de-icing, we were late landing in Chi-town. And frankly, our lay-over wasn’t all that long to begin with. So, the second we got off the play, we started the mad dash to our next gate, hoping to NOT miss our connecting flight. But the truth is, due to my physical condition, my “mad dash” ain’t what it used to be! But we did our best and, in the end, made it to the correct gate LITERALLY 2 minutes before they started boarding. Once on the plane…they had to de-ice. (Sound familiar?!) So, we were again a good 45 minutes late getting in the air.  

Flying from Chicago to Orlando has you crossing from Central Time to Eastern Time. So, before we ever touched back down, we lost another hour. Once on the ground, we headed to the carousels to retrieve our checked bag. Fortunately, it came pretty quickly and we were about to move on. From there, we had to figure out where to catch a shuttle to the off-site car rental place to pick up our reserved car. We finally got there, where we stood in line for quite a while. Waiting our turn. Finally, however, we had the keys to our Chevy Cruze and were driving to the resort, which was about 25 minutes away.  

We found it with no problem and checked in. We were exhausted and hoped that our unit was close and easy to get to. Fortunately, both things were true. It was basically just around the corner from the Main Lobby, on the first floor and close to where we parked. In the end, we set our bags down in our unit at 2AM Monday morning! A LONG day! 

It took me about 48 hours to recover from the travel day. But by Wednesday morning, I was feeling pretty human again! The rest of the week was relaxing and…great! 

Then came the trip back. It began at 3AM Eastern Time, Sunday the 21st. We were packed and checking out of the resort by 3:45AM. From there, it was back to the car rental place to turn the car back in. That went pretty simply. Then, it was on the shuttle and to the airport. I was somewhat surprised how many people were in line at the American Airlines counter at that time of the morning! But we made it through pretty quickly and headed to TSA. Security was quite a bit tighter coming home that going out, but again we made it through relatively easily and relatively quickly. Then it was get to the gate and wait! 

The plane took off on time. We flew above a rather dense cloud cover the ENTIRE way between Orlando and Chicago. Once we got near O’Hare, the plane started slowing and dropping in altitude. But then, we sped up and gained altitude! Turns out, they were bringing us in too close to the plane in front of us, so they waved us off on the first try. We had to gain altitude, fly out, turn, fly back, lose altitude and try again! It was SO foggy that you literally couldn’t see the ground until we were less than a minute away from wheels on the ground! Again, the delay in landing caused a FAST walk (AS fast as I could manage!) through the terminal to our next gate. Again, we made it about 2 minutes before they started boarding! The rest of the trip was easy, fast and uneventful. We pulled into our driveway about 12:30 Sunday afternoon. I started back to work the next morning and performed a funeral on Tuesday. I am, quite frankly, still recovering from Travel Day #2! 

We continue to focus on the glass being half-full. We continue to embrace each day with grateful thanksgiving. #TheGlovedAvenger #TeamHarris #WarriorOn! #Huzzah! 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!