'For This We Give Thanks'
Chet Marshall
Chet R. Marshall
Master of Ceremonies Bill Ellis reviews program details with Melissa Pratt.

'Look for the good in every adversity,' Chet Marshall tells community group

November 15, 2011

"There is always something good in every adversity," Chet Marshall said today.

In an upbeat message of inspiration from his own personal experience, Putnam's own business consultant, writer and motivational speaker told area business leaders how to make "good" out of "bad."

It was the 17th annual Thanksgiving luncheon at Sleepy Hollow sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, the County Commission, and area civic clubs.

"Look at things from another perspective," Marshall once told a young man in the throes of devastating depression. "If I didn't have cancer, you and I would not be meeting right now.

"This is what I've prayed for, that I would have opportunities such as this through this adversity.

"And what a blessing this is to be able to meet with you, to try to help you, to encourage you, to give you some guidance, some direction, to be someone who will listen to you, to be someone who might be able to help you along the way. 'In all things, give thanks.' (1 Thess 5:18)

"I've quoted that scripture verse to many people," Marshall continued, "in times of death of a loved one, death of a friend, in times of trouble and challenge. In all things, we want to look for the good.. . .

"When I went to MD Anderson Cancer Center for the first time, I felt like a little speck on the wall. There are eleven floors of cancer, five different pods with every pod dealing with a different type of cancer. I saw babies, children, teenagers, moms and dads, and grandparents. You see, cancer has no respect of person, age, culture. I saw them come in from all over the world.

"'I had no shoes, and I complained -- until I saw the man who had no feet.' You see, I had no shoes.

"I saw a lot of people who didn't have any feet -- literally."

Marshall was afflicted with multiple myeloma, a blood disorder cancer where bone marrow fails to produce sufficient blood cells.

He said to his wife Vicki, "I just pray that God will give me the opportunity to be a blessing to others through this adversity."

And the opportunities came. "I can't begin to tell you the phone calls, the number of waiting room experiences that I had, the people that I ran into.

"Not only have I had the opportunity to be a blessing to others," he said, "but there are many blessings I have received. . . . the cards, the encouragement, the prayers, the phone calls.

"Our close-knit family grew closer. The church community came together and lifted us up."

Quoting John Maxwell, Marshall said, "Success is when you add value to yourself; significance is when you add value to others.

"If you strive to be significant by adding value to others, you will have all the success you could ever want.

"Look for the good in whatever adversity you may face," said Marshall. "Be thankful in all things. Add value to others. Be obedient to God."

Master of Ceremonies for the annual event was syndicated columnist Dr. William C. "Bill" Ellis who listed the many books Marshall had written and co-authored. "One of the best things I like about Chet," said Ellis, "is his writing. That means I can read his thoughts and don't have to listen to him," quipped Ellis to a surprised burst of laughter. "To his wife, Vickie," said Ellis, "keep pouring it on!

"I am grateful for Putnam County and for the people who live here," said Ellis. "I pray for all those who would like to live here -- and will live here, as soon as they can."

Special entertainment was provided through music by Rev. Melissa Pratt and a duet by Hurricane High seniors Cara Escue and Allie Sargent -- whom Ellis dubbed the "Landau Murphy twins.".

Dr. Rod Taylor gave the benediction. "His grandpa could pray better than most preachers could preach," said Ellis. "Rod, you keep trying to be like your grandpa!"

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