Saturday, September 28, 2013

Support Can Be Beautiful

I have been blessed with several radio and TV interviews recently to talk about my cancer survival and book. One day I dropped by a local TV station in Birmingham to leave a book for one of the hosts on the station.  As I stopped by the station, I couldn't help but notice the massive TV tower outside of the building.  I later discovered that this tower is 978 feet high, quite an impressive structure.  To keep it from toppling over it is secured by multiple cables, some extending for several hundred yards.  One of the cables even stretches across the main road in that area (where other TV stations are located).  You could say that the massive structure is kept in place by ample support.

Isn't that similar to our journey in life?  Most of us (including myself) would like to accomplish great things.  However, we cannot get there alone.  There is an old saying that you "have to pick yourself up by your own bootstraps."  Obviously this is impossible.  You can't raise yourself off of the need help.

So, as I travel onward, I'm forever indebted to the many support structures in my life as I try to soar higher and higher.  The family members, the co-workers, and especially my church family have been the cables to try to keep me from falling as I venture upward.  I guess you could say these people keep me grounded, to prevent me from toppling over.

Hence, it is imperative to obtain a great support system.  Once a support team is assembled, who knows how high a person can soar? 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Come Before Winter

I noticed something had changed in the atmosphere as I was leaving my house for work the other day.  Maybe it was just my imagination, but the sun appeared to be at a slightly different angle on my driveway.  Of course, I know the sun doesn't move but the days are getting a little shorter.  The leaves are starting to fall.  Autumn is quickly approaching, officially arriving in just a few days.  Long range weather forecasts are showing a gradual cooling of temperatures.  It's just a regular change in seasons, one may argue, so what's the big deal? As a matter of fact, some people even relish the time when there will be a "nip in the air".  However, for me, there is a sense of sadness. 
Think of everything that changes when fall and then later winter arrives.  For example, the days of short pants, short sleeve shirts and exercising in light clothing are put on hold.  Venturing outside may require a light jacket, then maybe later a heavy overcoat to deal with northerly winds and falling temperatures.  Thermostats will be adjusted in the home.  Electric blankets (one of my favorite comforts) will be summoned into use.  Of course, there is the limited sunlight with the shortened days, forcing commuters to drive home from work in utter darkness.  It is rather depressing. 

Reminds me of the cynical prediction about the weather by Bill Murray in the movie, "Groundhog Day" about winter.  He said, "I've got a prediction for you.  It's gonna be cold, it's gonna be gray, and it's gonna last you the rest of your life."   Not very encouraging.

Paul, in II Timothy chapter 4 (maybe his final writings before his death) told Timothy to "make every effort to come before winter" (verse 21).  Maybe Paul was wanting his cloak he had left at Troas (verse 13) to provide needed warmth as the weather was soon to change.  Perhaps Paul longed to see his beloved disciple before he died or just needed encouragement in his present situation.  Whatever the case, he urged Timothy to come before winter.

The Bible says, "In the day of prosperity be happy" (Ecclesiastes 7:14).  Great advice.  When life is going well, when the sun is shining, when health is good, when all of the bills are paid, when you are surrounded by friends, be content.  Unfortunately, as we all know too well, winter is coming,  a time when we'll long to see an old friend or have the warmth of a garment to protect us from the elements.

You can read about the winter I endured in my book, "A Place I Didn't Want To Go: My Victory Over Cancer".  Gratefully God brought me through this time and the snow is now melting.  My book  can be accessed at: