My best friend and board member of the Jesus Alliance has cancer that has spread to various places in his body. Monday he began undergoing chemo treatments for it that are brutal in nature and very similar to the treatments that my wife just completed.
We used to have a Sunday brunch after church at Honey Lake and one of our former chefs made a fabulous black bean soup that my buddy loved. In fact he gorged on it and after he had finished eating several bowls, the table looked like a hog had been sitting in his place with black bean soup remnants scattered in a three foot circle around his plate.
So I decided to track my former chef down and see if he would make my friend some black bean soup to cheer him up a little while he fights his battle. I found him living in North Carolina and made arrangements for him to make some soup and ship it UPS Priority Next Day mail to my buddy’s summer home in Montana. I asked chef to make a huge batch, because I had a feeling that my buddy would devour it as soon as he got it.
So my former chef cooked an entire gallon of black bean soup and shipped it off and he received it yesterday. So later that day I sent a text to him and asked how he liked it. He responded: “One down and one to go”. Good Lord, he ate a half of a gallon of black bean soup in one day!
I would hate to have that many beans in my system and would not want to be around anyone who did. His wife is probably not one of my biggest fans right about now.
I’ve been praying for my friend night and day and ask you to do the same. He was diagnosed with stage four cancer and was told by a Johns Hopkins doc that he wouldn’t live 3 years and to go home and make peace with God. Here he is 14 years later literally bursting at the seams after binging on black bean soup.
I was thinking about all of the various treatments that he has endured and wondered if I would succumb to them, perhaps just preferring to let nature take its course and die in peace. I shared this with a friend the other day and she told me that yes the treatments were bad, but just think of all of the good times he’s had in-between treatments over the past 14 years.
I reflected on sitting in turkey blinds, the quail buggy, catching monster Bass in our ponds and hearing him gripe about the cold after a morning deer hunt. I thought about vacationing together on Hawaii and eating a delicious meal at Mama’s Fish House in Maui. And best of all I remember him preaching on two separate occasions in Honey Lake Church and recounting his interesting life of playing football for FSU, getting elected to the State Legislature and serving as Speaker of the House and later becoming President of His alma mater FSU and how he owed all of his success to Jesus Christ.
He loves the Lord and his many friends, enjoys his hunting and fishing, working on his farm (especially controlled burning), watching the sun come up at first dawn, and breaking wind after eating a gallon of delicious black bean soup. I suppose that is worth all of the pain he’s endured all these years traveling from Mayo Clinic to M.D. Anderson to Duke University braving surgeries, radiation, and chemo treatments.
I mentioned that I was praying that he would make it at least another ten years.
He responded: “Ten years? I was hoping for twenty!” And then he laughed like a hyena.
Do you enjoy life to its fullest? Christ gave my friend a new attitude that is courageous and filled with peace, joy, and love. He’ll do the same for all of us in spite of our situations. Jesus said that we become new creatures when we decide to follow Him. Try it you will like it . . .
Have a great weekend and go to Honey Lake Church, (or somewhere) this Sunday.
. . . to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
July 31, 2015 – Click here to listen