My Tattoo (The Early Years Part 1)

I was born on June 20th 1983, On a warm summer day, in Southern New Jersey. I was a beautiful kid with blue eyes and platinum hair. I am son of Terry and Linda Slater, who are great and loving parents. I am the youngest of two brothers, who are both awesome and loving. Their names are Daniel (the oldest) and David (the middle). I am so proud of my family, we have all been through alot and we all stood strong through it all.

I was doing what every other 2 year old would be doing. Than I caught chicken pox, I also had an ear infection, and wasn’t eating very well. My mother knew there was something else wrong with me. This was the beginning of a nightmare for my parents, but an awakening for me. This is where I learned that God loves me and I have a purpose.

Dr. Wu who was my Pediatrician noticed that there was something wrong with my stomach. He decided to do a Computerized Axial Tomography scan. Better known as CAT scan, it is basically a series of X-rays combined with a computer which allows the doctors to see if there are any abnormalities in the body. When the results came back they were unclear.

My parents decided to take me into Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to be on the safe side. Dr. Grundy was in charge of my care and he decided to do an Ultrasound. An Ultrasound is a test where high-frequency sound waves are bounced off the tissues using special devices. The echoes are then converted into images, which allow the doctors and patients to see inside the soft tissues and different body cavities without using surgery or any other invasive techniques. When the doctors went over the test results, they found out it was a tumor in my stomach, it was Neuroblastoma. Dr. Grundy said that I had a 10% chance that I would live thirty days with this kind of tumor. The doctors told my parents that they can treat this disease. They can get rid of it but…it will eventually come back. Not the best kind of news to hear but this was the options back than. The plan was to use full body radiation and chemo. This was very rough on me and my parents. Wasn’t doing well, I was very thin and had no hair.

My Dad told me that he remembers this one occasion, where I wasn't feeling well and was throwing up. He said I would not give up. Even though I was throwing up and wasn’t feeling well I would do what I wanted. If I wanted to go into the playroom to play with toys, than that’s what I was going to do. Nothing was going to stop me. My Dad said this always amazed him of the drive I had! He said, a lot of the kids who were dealing with cancer didn’t have that and maybe if they did they would still be around today.

Even after all the chemo and radiation they could still see the tumor. The doctors decided to do surgery. This surgery was going to be complicated and would last 6-7 hours. They used these markings or tattoos to help them find precisely where the tumor was. I actually still have these tattoos today. When the operation took place it went very well. It only lasted an hour. There was no tumor. It actually grew on the adrenal gland not spinal cord so it wasn’t as devastating. My body did go through alot. I was holding fluid in my lungs so they had to put tubes in them to drain them out. That is why I have a scar in each of my armpits, because that is where they put the tubes.

My parents, doctors, and nurses witnessed a miracle. Thank you Lord! The veins in my chest rerouted because they were blocked. If this had not happened I would have died from a heart attack. I remember quite a few years later, I was at a water park. I remember the looks I received from other kids and their parents. It was very discriminating! I remember being very self conscious about this. I mean I had these veins popping out of my chest and it was very noticeable. I was still under the spell of the world, I didn’t know Jesus like I do now. That is why I believe I felt so self conscious about the way I looked. I should have been proud of these marks, these bulging veins popping out of my chest. These were medals, these were badges of honor! This was God’s mark on my body saying lay off this one he belongs to me! He is going to share his story with the world! I am NOT finished with him yet!

A Loving Prayer and The Reason Why

I prayed over this work. I asked God to bless those who read this! I asked the Holy Spirit to help those who haven’t yet found or felt his presence to fill this person with that power. I asked Jesus to open their eyes so that they can also realize the truth. That there is a God! We are his children. We are here for a purpose. Our purpose is to try our best to become like his Son Christ Jesus. We should worship him through love and by being faithful to his commandments. Jesus’ two commandments are God’s Ten Commandments rolled up in to two commmands. “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” [Mark 12:30-31] We must first realize that, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” [Romans 3:23] And through God’s grace we are worthy of eternal life if we Confess that we are sorry for our sins and believe that Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, is our Lord and Savior. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” [Romans 10:9]Without Jesus’ sacrificed life we would have no chance to enter heaven. What did Jesus say when they hung him up on the cross? He said, I love you this much! With his arms stretched far and wide! Amen!

This Hebrew Amen is derived from the root [aman] which means to be firm or solid in the sense of permanency. Thus by implication, it means to be sure, true or faithful.

I am writing this for the people who have to go through some tough times and difficult choices. I am writing this to give those people hope, strength, courage, and the will to keep on fighting. I am writing this for the parents or any loved ones that are there with you fighting along the way. I know that this might not be the life you have hoped or wished for but this is the life you have been given. Life is a precious thing, don’t let it slip away. I know that sometimes it just hurts so much and you just feel like not doing anything. You may get frustrated because it just seems like you are not getting any stronger or any better. Don’t give up! Try to find something that is worth fighting for, if it’s not for yourself, do it for your family and loved ones! Remember, “To the world you may be one person, but to one person you just might be the world!”(Taylor Hansen)

I admit this is one of the main reasons I won’t give up. I saw how much my family and friends loved me and just couldn’t imagine the pain they would go through if I wasn’t around anymore. Stay strong, keep on fighting!

Do a little each day. You have to keep eating and do as much exercise as you can handle but don’t be afraid to push yourself to do one more. Even though you may be tired afterwards you will feel proud of yourself for doing a little extra. Do something you enjoy, from reading your favorite book or being with friends and family.

Have you ever heard that saying that “love conquers all”? This is, what helped me conquer so much. It gave me the strength and courage to overcome so much of the adversaries in my life. The love I received from God, my family, and friends, helped me beat the illnesses that were trying to kill me. John put it best, “God is Love”!

"The Purpose Driven Life" Review

“The Purpose Driven Life”, is a book by Rick Warren, who is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, His church is one of the largest and well known churches in the United States. This book, “The Purpose Driven Life” has sold over 15 million copies worldwide!

Rick Warren has put together a 40 chapter book that in my opinion is very helpful explaining why we are here on earth. Most self-helping books tell the reader to try to find meaning and purpose of your life by looking deep inside yourself. Rick Warren suggests that is the incorrect place to start. He believes you have to start with God, the one who has created everything! The truth is, God created us for himself, and until you comprehend that, life will never make sense.

This book will help you understand the meaning of life and what we are supposed to do with it. It will help explain God’s amazing plan which has been set before you. Once you know the true reason behind life it will make life a lot easier. It will help make life less stressful, help you focus your time and energy, make easier choices, make your life have worth, and the most important goal of all eternal life!

“The Purpose Driven Life”, is the perfect game plan for any Christian living today. Rick Warren will help explain God’s purposes for you, not what the world’s cultures value. In this book there are over 1,200 Bible verses and references, which help explain what God’s definitions of worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and evangelism really are.

This book is a must read if you still don’t know why we are here on earth! Do yourself a favor and read this book, once you know the true meaning of life it will make it so much more enjoyable!

“As a Man Thinketh” Review

“As a Man Thinketh” is a brilliant writing written by a virtually unknown English author named James Allen. There is little known about Mr. James Allen even though this piece of work has revolutionized the idea of self help and success. There is little known about him but that he was born in Leicester which is in Central England, on November 28th, 1864. He is credited to have written more than 15 excellent pieces of literature throughout his short writing career. It is a mystery why this man is still so obscure today! He had inspired millions of people around the world because his, “As a Man Thinketh”, was translated in five different languages.

James Allen came up with the idea that, “You are what you think.” This is the basic idea behind his book, ‘As a Man Thinketh”. Allen describes the mind as being a very powerful tool where thoughts are mental actions. Thinking allows man to create their own surroundings and can affect the outcome by their own means.He goes on to explain throughout his work that if you have positive thoughts, positive things will happen which will lead man towards success. Another upside of being positive is those who have a good attitude towards life will be healthier than those who are not. If you have negative thoughts, negative things will happen. Those that harbor sad and unpleasant thoughts are more acceptable to disease and sickness. When someone is negative all the time, depression seems to take over and can lead towards, “a self made prison hole”.

The path of purpose leads to accomplishment but the path of aimlessness leads to destruction. Sin also leads to the same outcome but it goes a different path. When there is no purpose, you will become the victim of petty and trivial worries which will lead you to failure. The way to be successful is to make your purpose your main thought and to focus on it until you accomplish it. If you can master this, there nothing that cannot be done!

All achievements, whether in the business, intellectual, or spiritual realm, are the result of clearly defined aimed thought. They all follow the same law, and are part of the same method. The only difference is in the way you complete it. Victory because of positive thought can be kept only by remaining alert. Many have tasted success, only to fall back into their failing ways. Those that have accomplished little have to forfeit little, but those that have accomplished more have sacrificed more. Those that have gained much must sacrifice an extraordinary amount!

Dreams are the seeds of reality. When you have a beautiful vision in your mind and heart, you can make it come true with determination and hard work. That is why it is important to dream big and dream often, soon you will become your dream! Your vision is the promise of what you shall become; your model of excellence predicts what you can be. So reach for the stars, one day they will belong to you!

In all human relations there are efforts and results. The force of the effort is the measure of the result. “Gifts, powers, material, intellectual, and spiritual possessions are the fruits of effort. They are completed thoughts, accomplished missions, visions that have come to pass. The visions that you glorify in your mind, the ideal that you enthrone in your heart - this you will build your life by; this you will become”.

Serenity is one of the most important treasures of wisdom. It is the reward for completing the long and enduring road to self control. Those that are firm and unshakeable no longer bicker and are not easy to anger. The collective man, has learned how to control himself so he knows how to relate with others. In turn others learn to respect him and try to learn his calm ways. This is why a steadfast man is always loved and honored. “He is like a shade giving tree in a dry land, or a sheltering rock in a storm.” It doesn’t matter if it rains or shines these people are always calm and poised. Nothing can get them down. “Self-control is strength. Right thought is mastery. Calmness is power!”

I would recommend everyone to read this book. His book “As A Man Thinketh” holds a lot of wisdom and knowledge. Even though it was written back in the 1800s it still holds much truth today. It is sad he never received the credit a real genius deserves. It really is a tragedy because James Allen was a brilliant man!