Monday, August 18, 2003

There's a lot of talk these days about Biblical prophecies being fulfilled and about the signs that precede Christ's return. But when you're little, all this talk about how things are going to end can have an interesting effect. One friend of ours told me recently about how his little boy told him, "Daddy, I sure hope Jesus comes real soon." His Dad asked him why, and the little boy responded, "Well, I'm really looking forward to sitting on Jesus' lap, and I'll be seven pretty soon. And if Jesus doesn't come soon, I might be too old to sit on His lap!" Dad was glad to be able to give his son the good news - "Son, you are never too old for Jesus' lap."

Friday, August 15, 2003

It was during those days of tribulation when our son was learning to drive. He made an interesting observation about our family chariot. He said, "Hey, Dad, this car really runs smooth." That was interesting, because that car had 150,000 miles on it! It definitely showed it on the outside. It had celebrated about ten birthdays and you could tell. But a lot of parts had been replaced along the way. The reason that car ran so well was that it had so many new parts on the inside!

Thursday, August 14, 2003

One football team owner calls it "the single most impressive symbol of being a champion in all of sports." Well, he's talking about the National Football League's Super Bowl ring. The rings on the most recent Super Bowl champions are worth $5,000 each! Can you imagine losing something that valuable and irreplaceable? Former Raiders champion Gene Upshaw can. Oh, yeah, to keep his Super Bowl ring safe at home, he put it inside a bank that looked like a Pepsi can. Problem: he forgot to tell his housekeepers. They mistook the bank for an empty pop can and tossed it out, ring and all.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

My wife says that she knows that we're in serious danger when I start rubbing my right leg (when I'm driving, that is). You see, we are both marathon drivers - and the problem is, I really like to drive. And I hate to ride. So we have found ourselves in situations where I was starting to drive past my, shall we say, prime alertness. First sign of sleepiness - rubbing my leg. I'm sure it's an involuntary reflex. She asks if I'd like her to drive. Of course not. Second sign - I start doing calisthenics to stay alert. She asks if I'd like her to drive. No way. Next sign of impending disaster - I turn on the most obnoxious radio station I can find. Again, she suggests that she drive. I answer, "I'm fine!" Then I roll down the window, even though the wind chill is 30 below. Now, a little more insistent, she says, "Honey, please let me drive." Finally - just before we become a National Safety Council statistic - I pull over to the side of the road and relinquish the wheel. And I'm out cold before she can pull out on the highway again.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

It was the largest oil spill in American history - and it was, in a sense, largely the fault of one man. The tanker Exxon Valdez, remember, ran aground on a reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound. The resulting oil spill did incalculable damage to the local fishing industry, to the environment in that very majestic piece of America, and to a lot of wildlife. The Commander of the Coast Guard said the passage there is ten miles across. He said, "So wide, your children could pilot a tanker through there!" So how did it happen? Well, an unlicensed third-mate was on the bridge that day, piloting the vessel. He was where the captain should have been. The captain was down below! That disaster happened because the man who should have been on the bridge wasn't!

Monday, August 11, 2003

Our Christian Guidance Director reminded me the other day of how I felt about junior high school lunches. He was talking about it in our Team devotions. Few of us remember those 7th or 8th grade cafeteria lunches with great fondness. Friday wasn't bad -- that was french fry day. But most of the other days -- who knows what some of that stuff was! We'd complain about the food, we'd trash the food sometimes, and sometimes we even had a food fight with it! There were many days I wasn't too excited about what was on my plate. There still are.

Friday, August 8, 2003

I've got to tell you, it was a nostalgic time when we drove away the last time from our home of 24 years. We left behind a lot of memories in the walls - and a couple in the tree in the far corner of the backyard. See, when the kids were little, my wife and I decided we wanted to build the kids a tree house there. So we made a plan, got some lumber, and started our little project. We laid down a couple of boards between two branches - it was the beginning of a floor for the tree house. Then we took a break. And we never went back. Oh yeah, we intended to finish that house - but right up until the day we moved out, those boards were all that ever happened.

Thursday, August 7, 2003

There are few words that strike more fear into hearts in Middle America than the word "tornado" - and rightly so. Twisters can hit so suddenly and do such awful damage. That was proven again when some deadly tornadoes tore through Oklahoma in 1999 - one of them was so strong that it was almost classified an F-6 - which would have created a whole new category of tornado. In light of the power of those storms, the story I saw on the evening news was amazing. After hearing one of those tornado warnings for the tornadoes in Oklahoma, a mother and her adult daughter went into a room in their house for safety. It's called a safe room or a strong room, and it's built with concrete that's reinforced with metal. And it's built to withstand even a hit by a tornado. Well, sure enough, the tornado hit that house and there was virtually nothing left - except for one room. The safe room. And when it was all clear, the mother and daughter walked out unscathed in a neighborhood where virtually everything else had been blown away.

Wednesday, August 6, 2003

There's this one experiment I remember from my grade school science class -- no, not dissecting a brontosaurus. Our science teacher had this little hand-crank generator wired to a light bulb. And we'd turn that little crank, and it managed to generate just enough juice to light the light bulb. That baby generator was fine for the limited demands of Mr. Light Bulb, but I would hate to try and run my whole house on it! Bye-bye stove, bye-bye microwave, refrigerator, computer, lighting, and heat. No way that puny power supply could handle all the demands!

Tuesday, August 5, 2003

Our family has had the wonderful opportunity of visiting some of the most beautiful places in America, and taking in some incredible views in America. From the top of towering mountains, from the edge of the Grand Canyon, and in my wife's estimation, often too close to the edge. There's good news and bad news about getting real close to the edge. The bad news: it is dangerous at the edge -- you can fall off. But the good news is -- the view from the edge is spectacular!

            

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