Wednesday, October 10, 2001

You've probably seen the G. I. Joe action dolls. I never bought one of those for my boys - but I did buy a special version of G. I. Joe lately - as an object lesson for our "On Eagles' Wings" team of young Native Americans. This particular, limited edition doll portrays a group of unsung heroes from World War II called the Navajo Code Talkers. They were soldiers who worked in wartime communications in some of the fiercest battles of the Pacific campaign. They used their Navajo language to communicate in a code that baffled the Japanese. Some surviving Code Talkers were recently honored by the President in Washington. The Code Talker G. I. Joe actually says a few Navajo phrases when you pull his string. I wanted to use that doll as an example of how some young Native Americans helped determine the outcome of the battle - and how God wants to use young Native Americans to do that today in the battle for their people. Now my Navajo G. I. Joe has stayed unopened in his box for nearly a year since I bought him - they're pretty rare. Because he's almost a collector's item, I didn't really want to take Joe out of his box. But you can't get him to do what he does if you leave him in the box.

Friday, October 5, 2001

Every year with our "On Eagles' Wings" team of young Native Americans is an adventure, no matter what reservation or villages we're going to. But our two summers in Alaska were especially challenging. Our usual mode of operation is to travel by bus to each reservation, and we carry under the bus everything we need for our outreach events, literature distribution, and the care of our team. Not when we went to Alaska. Some of the Native villages there are 400 miles from the nearest road! So, goodbye, bus! Goodbye, carrying everything we need with us! Hello, airplanes! Hello, boats! Hello, shipping everything ahead for each village! Hello, whole new way of doing things!

Wednesday, October 3, 2001

President Ronald Reagan found it out the hard way. He was preparing to do his regular Saturday morning radio address (which by the way, is live radio) - and he offhandedly made some joking comment about bombing the Russians. Unfortunately, that comment went out over the airwaves. Oops! See, he didn't know the microphones were on. Take it from me. I spend a lot of time in a radio studio. That's something very important when you're doing live radio - knowing when the microphone is on - or you can actually end up saying something that you really didn't mean for other people to hear.

Tuesday, October 2, 2001

Our kids' first pet was one of those furry little fellows called a gerbil. Frankly, I think gerbils need to get a life. Did you ever watch a gerbil? They do the same thing almost all the time. I'd walk over to our gerbil's cage and there he was - on the wheel. Running on the wheel. Go back two hours later, there he is - on the wheel. Running on the wheel. Going nowhere. If you could talk to Gerbie, you might just say to him, "Do you know you're not going anywhere on that wheel? You're just burning up a lot of energy. Don't you think you should maybe change something?" So he does. He runs faster on the wheel, going nowhere! Dumb gerbil.

Monday, September 24, 2001

Our neighbor Dan is a walking miracle. Last year he was in a terrible automobile accident that many would say should have killed him. He was evacuated from the crash site by a helicopter, actually with multiple injuries, including his back being broken in two places. But God wasn't finished with Dan yet. He miraculously spared his life - and miraculously delivered Dan from the paralysis that his injuries should have given him. And through it all, Dan surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. What a testimony Dan has! Now, I've never had a serious injury in my life - I've never been in a hospital facing possible death or paralysis. Now look at what God healed Dan from! So my story is nowhere near as dramatic as Dan's. But that's OK. I'm excited about how God put Dan back together - but I'm glad I didn't have to be put back together!

Friday, September 21, 2001

It was the countdown week to the birth of our first grandson. And, as you might expect, there were some of those mother/daughter conversations about the experience of actually birthing this child you've carried for nine months. Unfortunately, I didn't think there was a lot I could contribute here, so I graciously left this to my wife. And while our daughter was still at home with some of those first contractions, I overheard my wife giving her some insight - the words of the veteran who's been there and knows what's ahead. She said, "You're going to reach a point where you'll feel like you just can't take it anymore. Hang on, honey. That's when the baby comes."

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

When you hear a helicopter going over, you probably look up. I know I do. But it's probably not a major emotional experience for you. It is for Megan's dad. She told me she and her dad were outside recently when a chopper flew over. In her words, "My Dad suddenly hit the deck." In other words, he just instinctively fell to the ground. Now, you know you could look at that reaction and say, "Is he a little strange, or what?" No, he isn't strange. He's a Vietnam veteran. Obviously, Megan was really surprised by her father's unusual behavior - so she said, "What's wrong, Dad?" He said, "It's just part of post-Vietnam trauma. When I hear a chopper, it just triggers something inside. I'm suddenly in combat again." Now Megan understands.

Tuesday, September 18, 2001

Our daughter is all grown up, and married, and even a mom. But the other day she told me about the Bible verse she learned as a little girl and never forgot - "If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31). Then she told me why she never forgot it. One day when she was pretty young I had brought her to my office. And at lunchtime, we walked downtown to get something to eat. And, as she remembers very vividly, we passed this storefront that must have been a fortune teller's place. There was a picture of a big human palm in the window, signifying that the occupant did palm reading. Our daughter tells me that I explained to her what that all meant - and that night she got to thinking about it. And really she was too scared to go to sleep. At which point she says I knelt next to her bed and I gave her a word for today from the Word of God - "If God be for us, who can be against us?" She went to sleep repeating those words - she never forgot them - and she hung onto them many times in the years to come.

Monday, September 17, 2001

It's been a long time since my wife and I had a baby around. And now that our daughter and son-in-law have given us a wonderful grandson named Jordan, we're into the baby thing again. And I want to assure you there is nothing wrong with this boy's appetite! Ooooo! I could tell that during his first couple of days on earth. He'd start crying to announce that it was time to eat. And he would not stop crying until he had his fill. And then that second day, he had just eaten, but right away he was again announcing that he had a need. Oh, we were able to distract him briefly by playing or singing or changing positions - but only briefly. Pretty soon he was at it again - until he got fed some more. Now even though our grandson is, of course, very special, I don't think this appetite thing is very unique. Babies will get their milk!

Friday, September 14, 2001

My wife recently received a lovely, family heirloom, diamond ring. And she took it to the jeweler the other day so he could look at it with that magic eye that jewelers have. As he looked at it under magnification, he let out a curious "hmmm." He told her that the diamond had a fracture in the middle of it, invisible to the naked eye, which caused her to ask how there could be a fracture in the middle. Why didn't it go all the way across the diamond? Mr. Jeweler gave a very interesting explanation. He basically said that while some diamonds are developing, some underground disturbance - maybe a quake or a tremor - causes the diamond to crack. But apparently some diamonds continue to develop anyway. Like the one we have. It was fractured, but it didn't stop growing!

            

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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