The song says, "It's the most wonderful time of the year." It really is - for telling people about Jesus. God has divinely positioned you in the lives of some folks who don't belong to Jesus so they can have a chance to belong to Him. You are their chance, and Christmastime is your best time to tell them about the "Savior who is born to you" (Luke 2:8).

    You're almost afraid to have a hero these days. Because over and over, heroes keep falling off their pedestals. Another one did this week.

    Tiger Woods is the most highly paid professional athlete on earth. And he's been one of the most admired and sought after. Then the script of Tiger's terrible Thanksgiving, a script too crazy for any of us to write. In the middle of the night, he gets into a relatively minor accident right in front of his own house. That accident damaged a tree, a Cadillac Escalade - and, ultimately, a reputation. Because the doors blew off Tiger Woods' closet, and hidden relationships were suddenly out in the open.

      I'm watching TV news and seeing all those parents desperately searching for a hamster. An electronic hamster, to be specific. Otherwise known by the unlikely name, Zhu-Zhu Pets. Apparently, it's this Christmas' MVP - Most Valuable Plaything.

        I remember my first skiing lesson. Like just about everyone else on the bunny slope that day, I fell a few times. The only part of me that got a little beat up from that fall was the part God designed for that purpose. But today the entertainment world is mourning the sudden and shocking death of Natasha Richardson-from a head injury sustained in a fall on the beginner's slope.

          When I heard a commercial airliner was down in the Hudson River, I feared the worst. I flipped on cable news, expecting the worst. It was the kind of story that almost always includes a tragic death toll. I was stunned to learn that every passenger got out alive and largely unscathed. The difference? The man at the controls.

            US Air Flight 1549 didn’t last long. About three minutes. Who could have guessed that minutes after takeoff, the passengers would be in the middle of the Hudson River on a downed jetliner? I’ve been on airplanes in distress. I’ve been through emergency landings. So this one hits pretty close.

              If you live down river from a manmade lake or reservoir, the words you don’t want to hear are “the dam broke.” That happened in central Missouri when the Taum Sauk Reservoir Dam broke and suddenly the people who lived down river were inundated with a billion gallons of water.

              Engineers were shocked to find that a whole big piece of that reservoir was made out of dirt and rocks…little stones. The problem was that the dam that was supposed to hold back the flood was made of material that couldn’t withstand the pressure of the flood. Of course the test of what anything is made of is what happens when massive pressure hits.

                Have you ever been in an earthquake? Our country is going through what could be called about a 7.2 on the Richter Scale. In the words of Jerry Lee Lewis, “There’s a whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on.” We’re almost sick of the news—home values are tanking, unemployment figures are rising, bankruptcies are common, savings accounts and retirement accounts are disappearing. We are reminded of the danger when we hear words like Iran, nuclear, Russia, Bin Laden.

                  When you've got a rambunctious child, you've got to figure out a way to channel that rambunctiousness into something constructive. I know about rambunctious, believe me. The Johnsons do, too. And they turned spunk (much shorter word) into gold.

                    I spend a few vigorous minutes on my treadmill, and I feel like I'm ready to star in a Bowflex commercial. Then I watched athletes running the marathon at the Olympics. I need a few more minutes on the treadmill.


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