April 7, 2020

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They're usually some of the most exciting moments in sports - that touchdown, that field goal that wins the game with no time left on the clock. That game-winning basket; the buzzer-beater as the final buzzer sounds. The game-winning home run with two out in the bottom of the ninth. Whatever the sport, there's nothing like a sudden victory when victory seems out of reach, and the fans go ballistic.

April 6, 2020

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I had the last handful of dirt. Many of our dear Native American friends had led the way. They really loved my Karen. As I threw mine into that six-foot hole, I spoke three words engraved inside our wedding rings, "Til Jesus comes." And then just quietly I said, "See you soon, baby." And I know I will because of Easter. Easter didn't stop the tears. Easter didn't cushion her adoring grandchildren from the shock that they would not see again on this earth the one whose hugs and laugh and love had lit up their lives. Neither would I. Neither would her children who never stopped depending on her prayer and her wisdom. Easter doesn't shield us from the grim reality of the casket, that hole in the ground, the empty blue recliner. Or the gut-wrenching emotional ambushes when the "I'm missing her" feelings that usually whisper, suddenly scream. But the reality of that empty tomb near a skull-shaped hill in Jerusalem is a game-changer in so many ways. For the one by the grave, and the one in the grave on both sides of the dirt.

April 3, 2020

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I've always been fascinated with lighthouses. I actually saw this feature on the evening news about a photographer who decided he loves the seagull perspective on lighthouses. He's got this little customized aircraft, he flies over Maine's many picturesque lighthouses, shooting unusual aerial photos of them. They're beautiful; they're even inspiring. He's seen them and photographed them in all kinds of settings: sunshine, clouds, storms, high tide, and low tide. And here's how he summarized what he's seen: "The lighthouse is always there, but everything else is changing."

April 2, 2020

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We saw it a few years ago. Boy, in one weekend, it was like a string of corporate meltdowns. And when that happens, Wall Street gets a very bad case of the jitters. I mean, when you suddenly discover that a major company that we thought was doing well was actually in big trouble, it doesn't exactly inspire investor confidence. In some cases, some have some shall we say unusually "creative accounting." And it can, for a while, conceal how bad things are. Of course, the fundamentals of financial viability, they don't ever change. Your outgo and your income, your losses and your gains have to at least balance. That's why you look at your checkbook. And it's management's job to, of course, be sure that they do balance.

April 1, 2020

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It's no secret that we live in a pretty dangerous world. And one of the reasons for that is there's an awful lot of people with an awful lot of missiles. I remember when there was this one superpower other than us that had the power to do a lot of destructive things with missiles. And today there's a proliferation and many countries have nuclear capability. It seems like more are on the way. And out of that came the idea of a new kind of missile, an anti-missile missile. And the idea there is that we can launch a defensive missile to pre-empt and destroy an incoming enemy missile. Well, if we've got to live in that kind of a world, that sounds like a good idea to me.

March 31, 2020

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The cable news people called it a miracle. So did the man who is alive today because of what happened. He'd gone out for an afternoon on his boat off the coast of California. He didn't expect that sudden high wind that hit his vessel. Threw him catapulting over the rail and into the water. The boat continued moving with its propellers nearly cutting him to pieces. He escaped that danger with relatively minor cuts, but now he was alone and adrift in these cold waters, knowing that hypothermia would soon set in. He was unable to sustain himself in that water, and he prayed for divine help. And at that moment, he saw a balloon floating on the water nearby. He grabbed the balloon, put it under his shirt to keep him buoyant. There's one problem with balloons - they tend to lose air. And slowly, the balloon that was holding him up just did that.

March 30, 2020

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When there's a string of corporate meltdowns, Wall Street gets a very bad case of the jitters. It happened a few years ago, didn't it? The sudden discovery that a major company we thought was doing well is actually in big trouble doesn't exactly inspire investor confidence. In some cases, some unusually "creative accounting" conceal how bad things really are for some time. Of course, the fundamentals of financial viability never really change. Your outgo and your income, your losses and your gains have to at least balance, and it's management's job to, of course, be sure that they do.

March 27, 2020

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There was this little song from a children's TV show. It goes, "One of these things is not like the other; one of these things doesn't belong." That's how I look in the middle of twenty or thirty professional football players. That's where I've ended up a number of times when I've spoken for NFL chapel services. Every professional football team actually has a chapel meeting before their game. Often, I was invited to join the players for the team meal after the chapel. Of course, their game day meal was this massive buffet, designed to help them power up for this grueling afternoon they have ahead. After one chapel, I had the privilege of visiting for some time with one of the players who had actually played in three Super Bowls and had been named the Most Valuable Player in one of them. I said, "So you have three Super Bowl rings?" He said, "Yep, but it's still not enough. I've got ten fingers. I won't be happy until I've got a Super Bowl ring on all of them!" Wow!

March 26, 2020

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When my ministry teammate, Donna, showed me how it started, I wasn't very impressed. It began with a Mason jar lid and a little cloth circle she made with it. Great. A little cloth circle. O.K. Donna then sort of gathered that round piece of cloth into a puckered little circle called a "quilted yo-yo." Finally, she had that piece finished and looking like what she wanted. Great. A little piece of cloth that's now a little quilted yo-yo. But she kept making those pieces, and then she began putting them together in a pattern I didn't see. When she was finished, she had this large American flag creation, made from all those little pieces into something really impressive.

March 25, 2020

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If you're a parent, or even a grandparent, when your kid gets a great teacher, they become a hero to them and to you. But every once in a while, a teacher does something so unforgettable that we nominate them for the Heroes Hall of Fame. Robert Bailey - he was in the news a while back - is one of those. He's a 27-year-old British teacher, serving in a school in Japan. A school that suddenly was right in the path of a monster tsunami that swamped northern Japan. The students there had eight minutes to find a safe place after the tsunami sirens went off. He described the moment that earthquake hit this way: "We first heard a weird cracking noise, and then came the violent shaking."

            

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