- So, after 2 1/2 years, I finally had my "sub-clavian" port removed. This port was inserted in to my chest and a long tube was put in to my sub-clavian vein. When I went for chemotherapy treatments, the nurses would insert an IV needle in to the port and would then inject the four different medications in to my body. Wow, even as I look at that picture right now, it's so strange to think that thing was in my body for over 2 1/2 years, countless samples of blood were drawn from it, and 8 long months of chemotherapy meds were injected in to it. Well, it's out now and it's so strange feeling my chest because there is no lump in it any more. Yeah, this is a good day!
- What a week last week! First Ferrah Faucett. Then, Michael Jackson. Now Billy Mays. I can't remember many weeks like this where we've lost so many famous entertainers. I obviously knew Ferrah and had seen Billy on TV many times, but the death that stunned me the most was Michael Jackson's. Stunned is really the only word I can think to describe how I felt and I think the reason for that is because, as I was growing up, and was really getting to a point where I was starting to remember things, Michael Jackson was just HUGE! So, his death was like losing a part of my teenage years. I also was just so saddened by how this amazing talent just seemingly couldn't find peace or fulfillment in his life. I hope that somehow, someway He knew Jesus.
- Yesterday I was able to go to our South Bend campus for church. It was really good to be there. I haven't had many opportunities to visit, but want to try to do it more often if only to let them know we are behind them and praying for them. This campus meets in Movies 14 in Mishawaka and they typically watch our services on dvd. Yesterday, they watched the final sermon in the "No Perfect People Allowed" series. This sermon began with an absolutlely amazing video which you can watch below if you'd like. What an amazing inspiration!
- Lots of time with teenagers this week. I meet with my teen small group this afternoon. Wednesday we have axis. Thursday, our axis student leaders will be helping with Community Hope at church. Friday is Fast Food Friday at Taco Time. And, Sunday, we're having our kids over to watch the fireworks. I'm really trying to use summer as a time to invest in kids. If I have a bowl full of "investment" I want it to be empty when I'm gone. I have just been so challenged to invest more and more in to our kids at axis. Man, I love those guys and girls and have noticed my role changing a bit ... there was a time (not any more, that's for sure) when I was sorta cool to hang out with just because I was a a college kid. High schoolers just thought it was cool to hang out with me. Now, I've noticed my role becoming more of a father type figure ... maybe not so cool to hang out with any more, but having a big influence in their lives! I pray for that often.
- I'm currently reading Training Camp by Jon Gordon. Wow! What a book! I've hi-lited, underlined, and written in the marges all over the place in this book. A couple of lines so far that have jumped out at me:
"To settle for anything less than your best is a waste of the gifts and calling you have been given."
"To deny being your best is to deny the gift you were meant to give others."
"I think a lot of people spend their life being average or good at something but they don't strive to become great."
"If you're not getting better, then it means you are getting worse."
- What am I trying to be great at? I'm trying to be a GREAT husband, a GREAT dad, and a GREAT pastor. The problem I often have is being trying to figure out how to be great at those three things without sacrificing being great at any of those things ... if that makes sense.