THOUGHTS FROM THE BATTLEFIELD

I hit pothole #69 almost a month ago and am headed full speed toward #70. I’m now traveling daily to Baltimore, in good company, to get zapped by radiation. The plan is to make cancer say “no mas” and shrivel on the vine.

My fractured finger and mangled hand are healing, as are my battered ribs. I come home to two aging felines who act like a kitty Santa Claus is “in the house.” They sleep close to me with one often wrapped around my head on the pillow. The purring is consistent, and comforting.

My schedule at Hopkins daily brings me in contact with the same fellow cancer fighters. We come from different locations, but we gather together to battle a common foe. There are husbands and wives, parents and children, and several loners like myself. I think we find some comfort in each others presence and commitment. When we are wearing our gowns, we all share a certain humility anyway.

Once this week I was corrected when I said there was no one who needed me. My friend, Bob, said “What? Don’t you think all those who respond to your FB posts with prayers and encouragement need you?” I don’t know about that, but I’m certainly grateful for them (YOU).

In the end, the success or failure of my conflict lies in the hands of the One who created me. Nothing I face can remove from my thoughts the promise below. It’s a promise that was also made to each of you. There is no ban in place or vetting required to accept grace as a gift. Friends, we are so lucky.

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.–John 14:2

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THE LONESOME END

Back in the time when “old” Howard was actually “young” Howard, the Army football team had a player they called “the lonesome end.”  He never came to the huddle and would get his signals by watching the quarterback’s footwork.  Personally, it’s been over 50 years since I invited Jesus into my huddle, but often during that time I’ve asked him to play “the lonesome end.”  That has always been a mistake because what worked for Army doesn’t work for me.

Once we invite Christ into our lives we MUST give him control.  The dynamics he brings to the huddle are unlike any other.  When I was a boy playing sandlot football, I was often one of the last chosen.  When I let Christ be my quarterback, he always looks me square in the heart and says, “You are valuable to this team; go deep” (football language).  If you took time to read this, please note, YOU are also amazingly valuable.  God has life plays designed for each of us.   Go deep, my friend and be blessed!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.–Jeremiah 29-11