God Uses USC Walk-On to Reach Teammates


The story begins with Ben seeing an announcement about walk-on tryouts for the football team taking place later in the week. Ben Malcolmson, a reporter for the school newspaper who covered the team and he thought there might be a story he could share with the readers if he tried-out for the team. In his wildest dreams, Ben never thought he might make the team having not played football since the 5th grade, much less one of the top ranked Division 1A teams in the nation, the USC Trojans.

“You can catch the ball, you fast, you on the team. Almost immediately after making the team I realized God had His hand on this and He had something great planned.”

Yet despite his hopes and all Ben’s plans to leverage his faith with his teammates, nothing he tried to seemed to working in his eyes.

Did Ben feel frustrated? Of course he did!

Was Ben dejected? Absolutely!

Yet God was at work.!

God had a plan in play with Ben’s teammates.

And little would Ben know how big a role he would play in God’s plan!

Please take a few minutes to watch this video so you can hear the rest of the story.

Here we find lessons all of us can leverage as we navigate life in the midst of the frustration which occurs when our plans don’t fall in alignment with God’s plan for our role where He placed us.

Trust In Jesus – Worship Wednesday

Worship Wednesday is a regular feature on Leveraging Life where I share with you a song and a video. This may be something familiar to you or something entirely new. When possible I will provide the story behind the song so you learn more about the message and what the inspiration was behind the creation of the song. I hope you enjoy this selection and don’t forget you can view all the previous Worship Wednesday selections by clicking here.

Trust In Jesus

Third Day

I need to set the stage for this post by describing the place I find myself tonight. A few hours ago I attended a memorial service at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta for the families of patients who passed away while being treated there. The Chaplain’s staff did a nice job creating a memorial service which honored those who had died and expressed hope for those who had experienced a loss.

As I was driving home I reflected on the service and the degrees of emotions that were present in St. Joseph’s chapel. What was clearly evident was a sense of loss. For some there was peace in that loss and for others the peace had yet to overcome the loss. As I wrestled with those thoughts my mind drifted to how my life could, would, and should impact those I loved. While immersed in this train of thoughts a song came on the radio which spoke to how a loved one who is living in the Spirit afford peace to loved ones who are left behind.

When God Winks On Love

when-god-winks-on-loveWhat you see here is what greeted Shari on the afternoon I proposed. Most people would say three weeks is just too short of period of time to plan a wedding.

We crammed a lot of life and so many experiences into those 21 incredible days leading up to our wedding day. Our decision to be married, despite the circumstances surrounding my cancer‘s return, was met with so many affirmations which lead us to move forward with our decision to be married in the Spring rather than later in the Fall.

Shari and I were were so grateful for the affirmation we received from family and friends who saw in us what we believed God was doing in our lives and in our courtship. We were also blessed by the God Winks which became apparent during this period and helped us to choose to become husband and wife on March 19, 2011.

The Greatest Day of My Life!

Regardless of the size wedding, planning and coordination are key when planning an event of this magnitude in one’s life . The planning should take in all the aspects which create memories which span a lifetime for you and your wife along with the special guests who attend.

Time usually is the best friend for the bride and groom in the planning as they have months to prepare for the big day. Unfortunately Shari and I didn’t have the luxury of time as circumstances dictated there were only 21 days for us to plan and celebrate our wedding day. Despite all the obstacles and the coordinating of all the logistics, somehow, everything all fell into place for us to be married.


Our God Wink Story

Shari and I met in 2008 while we attended different locations (campuses) of North Point Church. We met, but for this part of our story it started and ended with this meeting.  Despite meeting then, both of us would go on our separate ways for the next two years but the meeting in 2008 would be an important footnote in our story which would come together two years later.

Random, Fate, or another God Wink

Fast-forward to the spring of 2010 where we both find ourselves in the North Point Church Singles environment called Fusion. Despite the odds Shari and I find ourselves placed same host home as opposed to the other five during this cycle. We believe the odds for us to be placed in the same host home twice in two years was astronomical and we believe this fate of our placement to be a big defining God Wink in our lives!

This time something clicked, and in our re-connection something was different; and we were different! As we came to know each other through the North Point singles ministry we also connected on another level as learned we had both battled cancer. It was through this connection we grew closer as news of my cancer spreading impacted both of our lives.

Where are the God Winks?

when God winks book 

I think most of us were taught to view life through a lens where [ cause = effect ] or in other words, your efforts usually lead to your rewards. 

Think back to school…how hard you studied was reflected in the grade you received.

Fast forward to when you’re out of school, work hard, contribute to the overall company mission, give a 110%…you make a decent living, buy a nice house, and add something to your 401k each month.

Sure the journey can be easier when blessed with gifts and talents, but even blessings bear the weight of stewardship which requires making sound choices in our use of those talents and gifts. 

If not careful our education and the culture we become a part of leads us to believe we are self-made, which if unchecked, feeds our pride and inflates our egos in such a way we begin to believe we had no Spiritual help along the way. At some point in life there comes a time when we are forced to acknowledge those circumstances and the timing that was out of our control. Some say timing is a by-product of trust, and others believe fate is the result of faith.  Life at its simpliest level comes down to a choice about what we believe and Who we believe in. 

A God Wink is …an event or experience, often identified as coincidence, so astonishing that it could only have come from God…answered prayer.

I have a hard time seeing what God is doing in my life because I’m so caught up in doing life, and as a result I miss a lot of what should be evident. But having people in my life who know me and know God in their own personal way are quick to share with me what I fail to see. Another huge factor was when my Pastor at Buckhead Church shared his thoughts on what he called “connecting the dots”, something when done with the help of those friends illustrates the picture God is painting in my life. The first thing you must do is pause, my One Word for 2011,  at specific points of time each year to review where you’ve been and where you’re going. Basically for me it comes down to a simple question, am I in sync with God in the 5 F’s of my life, Faith-Family-Friends-Finances-Fitness? Sometimes the picture is crystal clear and I can see exactly where I’m going, and at other times only part of the picture is clear and that’s where your friends come in as God uses them to highlight some of the dots.

For example, this snapshot in time Family, Friends, and Finances are as clear as any other time in my life, but test results are painting a cloudy, obscure picture in the Fitness category…which causes me to pause and remember I’m not alone and my Heavenly Father wants me to Trust Him period and to place my Faith in Him and take comfort in the promise He is with me and Shari.

Cancer Milestone

I have had March 3, 2015 circled on my calendar for almost four years. The date represents a cancer milestone for me, and an anniversary of a conversation which was filled with wisdom.


Photo credit: Victor Correia©

4 Months, 4 Years, or 40 Years


1. A stone functioning as a milespost.

2. A significant event or stage in the life, progress, development, or the like of a person, nation, etc.

Actually the significance of March 3, 2015 points back to a pivotal conversation which occurred four years earlier on March 3, 2011. On that day my fiancé and I were meeting with the Pastor who would marry us. Mike Teston asked us to share our stories and why we wanted to be married now rather than in the fall which was our original plan.

I shared how merkel cancer had returned for a third time with a stage-four diagnosis. Shari told Pastor Mike how she wanted to be with me through the radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery regardless of the outcome. In the two hours we were together, questions were asked and answers given, tears were shed, and prayers were prayed.  As we were saying goodbye Mike said,

What Breaks Your Heart?

The year began with the pastor of my church asking a simple question, what breaks your heart?


iStockphoto credit © Jeffrey Smith

An easy question to dismiss by some who already had more pressing questions awaiting answers. A difficult question for those who had an answer, but who knew if they acted upon their answer they would find themselves outside of their comfort zone.

What Breaks Your Heart?

What breaks your heart was certainly not a of question I wanted to be asked right now. I thought to myself,

of all times for Andy to ask this question, why did it have to be now? 

In my eyes the timing of this question could not have come at a worse time for me. I was in the midst of starting a new company while working through the course work and mentor training to obtain my PCC accreditation. Yet in all my busyness, Andy’s question traveled from my mind to my heart and there was an answer which had to be addressed. 

Why Me cancer, Why Me?


Photo Credit: donnareidland.com/

Recently a friend of mine shared with me an article written by former White House Press Secretary, Tony Snow, prior to his untimely death from cancer. In his article Tony shared his thoughts concerning his diagnosis with a potential fatal disease and the obvious question…why me cancer, why me?

Sadly our “why me” questions most likely will not not be answered to our satisfaction until we find ourselves in Heaven. Theses unanswered questions usually lead us to a fork in the road where we either blame God or learn to trust God in the midst of our why me” circumstances.

I know in my three bouts with cancer I initially wallowed in the “why me” for quite some time, but eventually I was able to look past the diagnosis and place everything in God’s hands learning to trust God period in all things…even cancer.

Your journey, my journey may be unique, yet we share one thing in common…how do we answer the question:

What do you do when this is nothing you can do?

Well there is one thing we can do…we can journey together in community, supporting, caring, and praying for each other.

Leave a comment with your contact information at the bottom of the post to join the Leveraging Life community so we can journey together. This will offer all of us the opportunity to support one another and encourage each other to trust God period when we find ourselves in situations where questions are unanswered and anxiety is high.


Cancer’s Unexpected Blessings

By: Tony Snow (1955 – 2008)

Blessings arrive in unexpected packages, in my case – cancer.”

Those of us with potentially fatal diseases – and there are millions in America today – find ourselves in the odd position of coping with our mortality while trying to fathom God’s will. Although it would be the height of presumption to declare with confidence ‘What It All Means,’ scripture provides powerful hints and consolations.

The first is that we shouldn’t spend too much time trying to answer the ‘why’ questions: Why me?

Cincinnati Bengals Show Class


Most NFL prospects who are cut prior to making the 53 man roster consider this point in their life to be the lowest point in their athletic career. Yet Cincinnati Bengal Devon Still, is unlike any NFL prospect, as he was cut but now can focus his attention on his daughter, Leah, who has been battling Stage 4 pediatric cancer since June.

I completely understand where the Bengals were coming from when they cut me because I could not give football 100 percent right now, Still, 25, told ABC News.

Being True to Yourself and Geniune With Those Who Read Your Blog

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For the better part of this past year I have had an ongoing inner struggle with regard to my Leveraging Life blog. For me it was the equivalent of being in a sailboat on the lake with a broken rudder; the wind is there to propel the boat but you’re going to have one difficult time controlling the direction using only your sails.

Reflections On My First Year Of Marriage


Today marks our 1st wedding anniversary. 366 days amazing days! 366 not 365 because of the Leap Year, and as I reflect on those days two words come to mind.


Challenges for sure…there is no way to battle cancer and for it not to impact one’s family. Challenges also came our way as we blended two households into one and I assumed my role as husband and stepfather.


Joy is our families embracing us as a couple and coming to see both families as one. Joy is God breathing life into my dream of being a parent, one that I had long ago given up on. Joy of not have to go through life on your own and having a partner to lean on when faced with challenges. Joy is having another set of eyes to view life through, to see what is not obvious from your point of view.

What’s amazing is I never set out to find Joy, yet, Joy found me!

So what is the formula to finding joy in the midst of life challenges?

So what’s my secret?