I was privileged to touch just the edges of Billy Graham's life. He touched mine all the way to its core.

There are many who knew him intimately. What he taught me often came just by watching his life. And sometimes through connections at Billy Graham events where I had the opportunity to speak over the years.

But the Jesus-power and Jesus-presence reflected in Billy Graham's life radiated far and wide. I probably learned more about a Christ-honoring life from him than any other single person I've known. Sometimes you have to see it to be it. In Billy Graham, I got to see it.

    So all eyes are on Korea. And for once, it's not about missiles and nukes.

    It's all about some of the world's greatest athletes, converging on Korea for the Winter Olympics. If you happen to be an Olympic junkie, there's great news - you can watch 176 hours of the games on TV! And Olympic stars like Lindsey Vonn. Shaun White. Nathan Chen.

    For me, the Winter Olympics bring back memories of a teenage gal my wife and I worked with in our youth ministry years ago. She was especially memorable because of her relentless dedication to figure skating.

      My shoulder "exploded." My rotator cuff decided to pay me back for the hundreds of times I've run through airports around the world with luggage on my shoulders.

      The surgeon said it was "totally ripped." At first, I thought he said I was totally ripped, and I was thrilled. But then I remember what I see in the mirror each morning. Back to brutal reality.

        The conversation – like a lot of conversations this past week – had turned to the unprecedented weather news. I was at physical therapy as part of my recovery from shoulder surgery.

        Someone brought up Hurricane Irma – one of the strongest hurricanes in recorded history. With another Category 4 storm following her across the Atlantic. Just days after Hurricane Harvey, another historic storm, which dumped the largest rainfall from a single event ever in this country. Not to mention the biggest earthquake in Mexico’s history – that story had just hit the news.

          Just seeing the pictures from Hurricane Harvey is totally overwhelming. I can't imagine living it.

          "If you're not going to evacuate, write your Social Security number on your arm." If that doesn't say deadly, what does?

          "When the water's filling your house, don't go to the attic unless you've got an ax. Go straight to the roof and wait for help to come."

            Seasoned reporters were groping for words. And almost giddy about what they were seeing.

            The former commander of the International Space Station - moved beyond his scientific detachment - testified to a sense of "ancient wonder."

            The eyes of a nation were turned skyward this week. In their special eclipse glasses. As God did - as He has done for millennia - His disappearing act with the sun again. A total solar eclipse eclipsed even the usual newsnami from Washington.

              As I sit at my desk, I'm looking at a framed, century-old newspaper on the wall. It's there because I never want to forget the story it tells. And the choice it represents.

              In short, it's the tale of three ships.

                Ten more minutes and my wife would have never been born. The story that changed everything is hope for any of us who love someone who's making some very bad choices.

                My wife's grandfather, Bill Hadley, had given up on life. Trashing a profitable career for the alcohol and cocaine he couldn't resist...labeled with a prison record and penniless - he was hopeless and suicidal.

                  Jim cracked me up with the story he told in his recent family newsletter.

                  He and his honey were enjoying some personal time at the Atlantic Ocean. Which is really big. Jim decided to take a picture of himself and the ocean. Which is really big.

                  Later, he made a disturbing discovery - which he reported this way. "I think I missed the ocean!"

                    They're in all the paintings of the First Thanksgiving. And all the season's grade school plays.

                    Native Americans. The First Americans.

                    We invited them to dinner that historic day.

                    Then we forgot them.

                                  

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