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Wow, they had my attention. When the reporter started talking about a young woman being attacked by a lion. In a game park. In South Africa.

I've been to a game park in South Africa. Where lions roam freely. And the lions were an issue.

My South African friend, Ted, was driving me through this massive game reserve during a break at the conference where I was speaking. It was winter there. The grass was tall. He said, "You'll see the big animals - but not the cats. But they'll be there - in the grass."

    Memorial Day's different when you're a veteran or a loved one of someone who died for America's freedom.

    Every day is Memorial Day. Because freedom's price has a name, a face, an empty chair at the table.

    This Memorial Day I've heard some veterans, some families asking a haunting question. It's embodied in a recent statement from one combat veteran, former Navy Seal, and current TV commentator. He said:

      "My Summer Vacation."

      As children, that was the predictable composition assignment we'd get each fall when we got back to school. I filled paragraphs with great memories. Then as parents, my wife and I had sort of a "mission statement" for our vacations - "Making memories!"

      Of course, not all summer memories are something people would like to write about. Because there are memories we wish we could forget.

        Missy lost her mother yesterday. Andy's wife filed for divorce today. A friend texted recently, heartbroken over his sister-in-law's cancer verdict. Reservation friends are grieving one young suicide after another.

        Always, we seem to know someone who's walking their own personal "trail of tears." Some weeks, we could be sending a sympathy card virtually every day.

           

          Stranded on the highest mountain on earth. Buried beneath the rubble of a shattered hotel.

          After an earthquake rocked the mountain kingdom of Nepal, thousands lost their lives. Many more found their world, their homes, their lives wiped away.



            Not many parents can sleep very soundly until they know their children are in for the night. Our big, teenage guys would stop by our room no matter how late it was and let us know they were home. Some of the most beautiful words in the English language to us were: "Mom, Dad, I'm home." Maybe you know a child who is way overdue.

              Used with permission.

              Easter night, millions of Americans tuned into Jesus. Like they did two years ago with "The Bible" miniseries on cable TV.

              This time "A.D. - The Bible Continues" is on a major network. I was one of those millions watching on Easter. Plunged into the world-changing events of that first Good Friday and Easter.

              I couldn't help but connect it to a touching Facebook post I saw on Good Friday. About a bookstore visit a dear Native American friend had with her young grandson - who she calls "Handsome."

                 You can tell Easter's coming.

                All those Jesus shows are popping up on TV. One channel has "Finding Jesus." Another, "Killing Jesus." Soon, all the classic Jesus movies. And the makers of the much-watched series, "The Bible," come this Easter season with "A.D.," the sequel.

                The night "The Bible" showed the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus, social media lit up with shocked viewers saying, "I had no idea what Jesus went through!"

                   

                  Baby Lilly 300There's no way newscasters can tell her story without using the word "miracle." That's easy to understand.

                  Baby Lily had been trapped in a partly submerged car in Utah's Spanish Fork River. She's 18 months old. She was upside down in her car seat for 14 hours, with the cold water of the river running through the car.

                                  

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