Prayer & Praise

There is no enemy too strong for Him to overcome, no weapon too weak for God to use and no battle too big for Him to win.


On October 6, 2016, Rod went in for a routine endoscopy to see if there were any remaining gallstones still lingering from his gall bladder which was removed in 2010. Occasionally, he has abdominal pains and because the family deductible has been met this year due to Derek's Viral Meningitis (Haiti Mission Trip) and two carpel tunnel surgeries for Janna, it seemed a good time to do a check-up. While looking for stones, the doctor stumbled upon a strange looking 1 1/2 inch lesion which was biopsied.

On October 12, while on a speaking trip in California, Rod got the phone call that he had a NEUROENDOCRINE CANCER TUMOR (known as a "NET") near the adrenal gland. We encourage you to not look this up on the internet, or you'll get very concerned. Subsequent scans, MRI's and biopsy's showed additional Stage 4 NET tumors in the liver and other organs. While the diagnosis is alarming, the long-term prognosis is very optomistic. After an amazing series of events, Rod had cancer surgery on December 29. The doctors removed 8 tumors and he was declared "cancer free."

Rod felt the strong presence and peace of the Lord. He shared these truths recently:

It has been said, "Every test in our life makes us bitter or better; every problem comes to break us or make us. The choice is ours whether we become a victim or a victor." Just as David faced Goliath in 1 Samuel 17...we too face giants. In the midst of whatever challenge you may be facing, remember this truth: "The giant in front of you is never bigger than the God inside of you."

Here are some of the truths I claimed from Day #1:
1) There is no enemy too strong: I will not be driven by fear, but instead I will draw upon my faith in God Almighty. No giant is too strong. I am on the winning team and I claim Philippians 1:21 which says, "To live is Christ and to die is gain." I am in a "win/win" situation. What the enemy means for good, God will use it to bring glory to His name. I will not let cancer defeat me.
2) No weapon is too weak: God specializes in taking weak instruments to unfold His will. While I may feel inadequate to the task, lacking in strength, I'm reminded of 2 Corinthians 12:9, "My power is made perfect in weakness." God wants to turn tests into a testimony.
3) No battle is too big: This battle is not mine. This battle belongs to the Lord. I'm giving God this battle and will make certain He receives the glory. The odds are not in my favor. What the internet tells me about my cancer is grim but I'm drawing confidence and strength from God.

God's Word gave me hope including Ephesians 1:19-20; Nehemiah 8:10; Habakkuk 3:17-18 and many others. Why? Because there is no enemy too strong for Him to overcome, no weapon too weak for God to use and no battle too big for Him to win. There is no earthly power that can stand against God's power and presence. We are deeply grateful you are a part of our prayer support network. If you want to receive a more comprehensive recap of Rod's Cancer Journey, let him know and he will be glad to provide. To God be the Glory!!

Our latest CTC quarterly newsletter was mailed in April 2021. This newsletter shares about Damion Cooper (Collektive Company) joining our staff in July 2021.


Praise for board members and volunteers who have eagerly jumped in with CTC. Our most recent board meeting was held in February 2021. Wilm Hanna is the chairman of the CTC board. Other board members include: Mike DeBacker, Bruce Rehmer, Dan Meers, Wade Jacobsma. Ron Schnick, Bobby Bell. Brenton Bell and Scott Ridings. A narrative description of each board member is on our website under "What We Do." Our Board Committees would welcome your input. If you are interested in serving on one of our committees, please contact us.


We established a number of lofty goals for 2021 for our ministry. Please pray that we can be faithful to the calling that God has set out for us.


Pray for upcoming speaking opportunities


Pray for upcoming speaking opportunities...see "Schedule." If you know of opportunities to speak, please contact us immediately. For the past 20 years, God has given us many opportunities all over the country. In total, Rod Handley shared between 200-250 annual presentations from 2000-2020. Other CTC Staff members shared an additional 300 times during this same time period. Please see our "2021 Calendar" for an update of where we've been and where we plan to be in the upcoming months.

During the past several years, I (Rod) have written over 30 books. Please pray for my writing schedule and my editor, Laura Maxwell. Additional books will be released in 2021 including "Team Studies on Character" and "The Miracle Man."


We continue to be excited about "TGIW" a men's ministry opportunity in the Lee's Summit area which began in September 2001 founded by Dr. Dan Erickson and Rod Handley. Currently, Rod Handley (President and Founder, Character That Counts) and Greg Griffin co-lead a community men's Bible study which will is open for all men to attend. Each week we are looking at a character quality based on a biblical perspective. If you live in the Greater Kansas City area, we invite you to join us at 10 different locations around the city including our anchor group at the Stanley Event Space (in Lee's Summit) every Wednesday morning from 6:30-7:45 am. Call 816-525-6339 for details. We've also got over 70 communities around America who've come to us requesting that we assist them in establishing a TGIW group in their area. Greg Griffin began serving these groups in January 2003. Our co-founder Dan Erickson graduated to heaven on March 13, 2017 after a 7-month battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease).


"Character Counts For Quiet Time and Small Groups" (Volume 1, 2 & 3) is available for a variety of purposes. Each book contains 16 different character qualities. It is designed for small group interaction for adults, students or students along with their parents and/or coaches. If you are interested in ordering the book, please e-mail me for details. With all three volumes we have a special cover design, called "Character Counts For Athletes." When ordering, please specify which cover you want.


NEW BOOKS by Rod Handley!!


NEW BOOKS by Rod Handley!! Our latest book(s), NO REGRETS. NO RETREATS. NO RESERVES. became available in August 2018; STRONG became available in April 2018; ONE in April 2017; RISE in May 2016; UNDEFEATED in May 2015; ALL IN in May 2014; RELENTLESS in April 2013; CALLED TO COACH, Vol. 2 and CALLED TO COMPETE, Vol. 2 in August 2013. A revised Edition of CHARACTER THAT COUNTS: WHO'S COUNTING YOURS? became available in July 2012; CALLED TO COMPETE in July 2012; IN THE ZONE in May 2012; CALLED TO COACH in March 2012; GAMECHANGER in May 2011; LIVE: Life in View of Eternity in April 2010. Team Studies on Character, Vol. 7 in June 2010.

CTC hosted 730 people to watch "The Passion of the Christ" movie on opening day, February 25, 2004; almost 500 people to watch "End of the Spear" movie on January 19-20, 2006 and over 500 people for "GOD'S NOT DEAD" on March 22, 2014. Over 200 people were involved in a special showing of "THE YOUNG MESSIAH" in March 2016 at Eastglen Theatre. We also did a special showing of "HILLSONG: LET HOPE RISE" on July 25, 2017 at The Stanley Event Space. Most recently, we had a private screening of "I CAN ONLY IMAGINE" on March 15, 2018.


12th Valor & Virtue Conference


Josh McDowell & Christopher West keynoted our 12th Valor & Virtue Conference on Saturday, February 3, 2018. We had an incredible line-up of breakout speakers as well including: Phil Hopper; Cory & Amy Stout; Darrell Brazell; Phillip Cosby; Dan Spencer; Sam Meier; Kiersten Adkins; and many others (plus a Millennial Purity Panel).

Praise for the changed lives that have resulted from the CTC ministry opportunities. We've received some encouraging notes from many people who have been impacted by our ministry.


Men of Valor Conferences


CTC has been a part of several Men of Valor Conferences held in Kansas City.

Our latest one (the 11th edition) was held on April 1, 2017 with Jennie Bishop (Purity Works) and Rev. Sean Kilcawley as our keynote speakers.

On November 14-15, 2014 our keynote speakers were: Bill Corum, Bob Leihleitner and Dr. Peter Kaponis.

In 2013, our keynote speakers were: Christopher West; Dr. Mark & Debbie Laaser; Leah Darrow; and concert artist For King & Country.

The 2012 MOV event included Jason Evert, Molly Sanborn and Doug Weiss.

The 2011 MOV keynote speakers were Pam Stenzel, Jon Kitna, Eric Boles, Sean McKay, Travis Brown, Meg Wilson and Matt Fradd. Over 3,000 were in attendance over the 2-day period.

Men of Valor 6 keynote speakers in January 2010 were Dr. Scott Hahn; Dr. Mark Laaser; Kimberly Hahn and Dannah Gresh.

Men of Valor 5 in Janury 2009 with Christopher West and Bob Reccord as keynote speakers and Mike Sweeney shared his testimony...over 1,400 attended.

In January 2008, keynote speakers included: Dr. Richard Land and Curtis Martin.

In 2007, our event featured Christopher West and Ted Roberts.

In 2006, keynote speakers--Dr. Bernard Franklin, Dr. Mark Laaser, Troy Heinkle and Dr. Jerry Kirk; and in our first year, keynote presenters were Rev. Carey Casey, Dr. Dan Erickson, Mike Sweeney, Father Brian Scheiber and Dr. Jerry Kirk.

Valor & Virtue Conference #12 will be held on February 3, 2018 at Abundant Life Church in Lee's Summit, MO with keynote speakers Josh McDowell and Christopher West.

We brought in Kevin DeVries (lead exploration guide with the "Finding Noah" documentary in September 2016 and he addressed 13 different audiences impacting over 6,000 people in total. A powerful week of ministry.


Coach Dalton Vann joins CTC Staff


Coach Dalton Vann joined the CTC Staff on a part-time basis in January 2016. Dalton moved to Jackson, TN to become the Director of Discipleship at Trinity Christian School. He will still continue to speak on behalf of CTC from this new location.

CTC Board Member and long time accountability partner (Dan Meers) had his book, "Wolves Can't Fly" published in November 2014. Great book sharing on "Faith, Famiily and Fur" as life as KC Wolf, mascot of the Kansas City Chiefs. You can order the book through our website at a discounted price.


We hosted Jeff Kemp (former NFL QB and Vice-President with Family Life Ministries) on September 24-25, 2014 in Kansas City. For a complete summary of what Jeff did, see the following link:


In 2013, our ministry helped launch a nationwide movie "UNLIMITED" in theatres beginning October 11, 2013 starring Fred Thompson and Robert Amaya. The world premiere event with cast & crew in attendance was held in Kansas City on October 10, 2013 at the Cinemark Plaza.


We are trying to identify monthly, quarterly or annual donors to keep the ministry running effectively in the months and years ahead. Pray for key upcoming meetings with possible donors. Pray for people to join the CTC Partners program (see "PARTNERS" button on web site). We are specifically seeking more monthly givers. Please pray we would meet our on-going operating needs through regular monthly, quarterly or annual donors.


Our random generator of "Character Qualities" is now up and running on our web site. Every time you visit our site, you'll get insights into being a person of character. Currently 48 character qualities are noted. Also, have you noticed that we've got over 100 character quality definitions on our web site? Check it out!! One person has loaded the word and definitions into his palm pilot. Each day, he focuses on a different word to help him in his pursuit of being a man of character.


In 2011, our ministry is involved in multiple nationwide movie releases, "THE GRACE CARD" (Feb 25, 2011); "7 DAYS IN UTOPIA" (Sept 2, 2011); "COURAGEOUS" (Sept 30, 2011); GOD's NOT DEAD & GOD's NOT DEAD 2; "THE YOUNG MESSIAH"; and "I CAN ONLY IMAGINE" (March 16, 2018). Also, on January 31, 2011, CTC hosted a Comedy Night with Michael Joiner (star of THE GRACE CARD movie).


CTC partnered with CTC Staff Associate Major Steve Sheridan on a new ministry called, "Mission Wealthy Warriors" effective 11/11/11. Check out the CTC website for more information.


CTC teamed up with METRO VOICE on a special 10-Year Anniversary Edition


In September 2011, we teamed up with METRO VOICE on a special 10-Year Anniversary Edition which shared the "past, present and future" of our ministry, along with several feature stories.

10-Year Anniversary of CTC


CTC celebrated their 10-Year Anniversary with a variety of events throughout 2011. This culminated on September 27, 2011 with Jon Sheptock speaking at Lee's Summit Community Church. In addition, CTC had a variety of other events throughout the year, including a Michael Joiner Comedy Night, SOUL SURFER Theatre in the Park Event and a weekend featuring NFL stars Jon Kitna & Eric Boles.

Almost 2,000 people attended our THEATRE IN THE PARK event on August 5, 2011. We showed the movie, "SOUL SURFER."


Other Books Released


Several other books have been released over the past few years including: Team Studies on Character, Volumes 1-7!! Also, check out: Character Counts for Quiet Time & Small Groups, Volume 1,2 & 3; and Character Counts for Athletes, Volume 1, 2 & 3 and One Way 2 Play (Athletes Edition). These books are part of our series of books on character qualities. You can order these now through our ministry on our website.

LIVE Webinar for Christian Leadership Alliance


Rod did a LIVE Webinar for Christian Leadership Alliance on Thursday, November 18, 2010. His topic: "Accountability: The Missing Link."

Bill Stutz is on the CTC Team


CTC is pleased to have Bill Stutz on our team effective January 1, 2010. Bill is a Certified Life Coach, working through a ministry called, "Dedicated Life Coaching." Contact Bill for a FREE 15-minute phone interview to determine if Bill can help you out. You can get ahold of Bill at 816-803-9726.

CTC has trained and certified 45 people (43 men and 2 women) as Associate Staff members in four different training sessions--August 2003; December 2003; December 2004 and April 2007. These people range from business executives to pastors. They are men and women scattered all across America who have a passion to communicate Biblical truth to audiences of all ages. They have made five specific commitments as part of their agreement to be part of our staff. Full details of this opportunity was shared in our recent newsletters. Biographical information and photos of all 40+ Associate Staff members are posted on our website.


Character That Counts was one of eight first place recipients of the Thurman Mitchell Excel Award in November 2003 and one of the third place recipients in November 2006. The presentation of this award comes through the Servant Community Christian Foundation.


CTC received the 2006 Emerging Leader Award at the NCMM Men's Conference in Denver, CO on April 21, 2006. CTC also is one of the Passion Award winners for the Servant Christian Community Foundation which was presented on November 6, 2006.

CTC 5-Year Anniv. Weekend
CTC 5-Year Anniv. Weekend

5-Year Anniversary of CTC


CTC celebrated our 5-Year Anniversary with a Celebration Weekend on July 22-24, 2005 in Kansas City. Special guests included: Steven Curtis Chapman; Mike Sweeney, Jeremy Affeldt and D.J. Carrasco (KC Royals); Joe Calhoon (Priority Advantage); Ken Karcher (former NFL player and Liberty University Head Football Coach); Land & Hildebrand; Rick Nielsen; Carey Casey; Robert Rogers; Greg Crowe; and the Lee's Summit Community Church Worship Team.

The CTC Promo Video is available for viewing on the web (4:10 and 12:00 minute versions). This will give you an opportunity to see and hear about the impact of the CTC ministry. Enjoy!!


CTC has hosted annual "Appreciation and Celebration Desserts" on November 21, 2002; November 11, 2003 and November 16, 2004. Volunteers of the Year have been: George Gilliam (2002); Don Lusareta (2003) and Mike Bryant, Dave Musgrave, Jenny Mutch (2004). Testimonies were shared by Tim Doyle, Rick Boxx and Robert Rogers in 2004; Marcellus Casey, Dawn Riffe and Kyle Porter in 2003; and George Gilliam, Paul Riffe and Dan Stalp in 2002. Past entertainment has included: Land & Hildebrand, Janna Handley, Gene Turner, Kayla Griffin and Kevin Harlan. Our 3rd Annual CTC Celebration & Appreciation Dessert held on November 16, 2004 featured the testimony of Robert Rogers (see Robert is a powerful communicator. His complete story was aired on Focus on the Family, the Billy Graham Association and other ministries. Robert also shared with our ministry on January 9, 2005 at Lee's Summit Community Church. We give praise to God for His many blessings associated with these events.


CTC contributed a number of articles for Christian Management Association to publish in their magazine. They were based on the book, "The Character of Jesus." This was a great opportunity to proclaim the true character message to organizations who should be the best models of character to a waiting and watching world. The series ran from April 2002 through December 2004.


CTC has provided a series of articles to help men and women dealing with pornography issues. In a partnership with Focus on the Family, they aired programming on their show on May 2004 to discuss this issue and posted links on their website back to CTC. View the articles entitled, "Overcoming Pornography" on the CTC website. Click here to access the articles. Pray for those who will be reading the articles.


CTC submitted several funding requests to a number of different foundations, corporations and individuals. Please pray these would be positively received.


Greg Griffin joins the CTC Team


CTC is pleased to have Greg Griffin as part of the CTC team. Greg joined our staff on January 1, 2003. Greg is spearheading the work of TGIW ("Teaching Guys Infinite Wisdom") in cities and communities around America. It will also allow the CTC message to be shared at more locations across the country. You can contact Greg at:

Our CTC vehicle needs were met through a matching funds program. A beautiful van was purchased with these funds on December 30, 2002. Many thanks to Dave Cross Motors, the donors involved and those I consulted during the whole process. It is very exciting to know that our vehicle needs have been met in a very tangible way for the next 4-5 years. PTL!! UPDATE: Through several generous gifts we were able to get a "new" used vehicle in January 2007 through Executive Automotive (Kyle Porter). PTL!!


Rod's interview on Sports Spectrum radio


You can hear Rod's interview on Sports Spectrum radio from May 11, 2002 on-line and view our CTC promo video. Just check out the "Video/Audio" link below.

I had an opportunity to help write a Bible study guide in conjunction with Josh Heupel's book, "The Road to Glory." As part of this project, I had the chance to share in front of 2,500 men at an event held at Falls Creek, OK. I told the story about how Josh's book came about and also for the need for people to be connected to small group accountability. CTC was asked to come back to Falls Creek in April 2002 and it was a spectacular time being with several thousand men once again.


In January 2002, CTC received a brand new computer (server) from three very generous men who are partners in a national computer company (KSB, Inc.). This computer will help meet our ministry needs for years down the road. Thanks men for making a very generous donation to our ministry!!


We received a huge praise in February 2001 when we got word that our monthly health insurance premium was be provided for our family. This will save the ministry over $700 each month. PTL!!