Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Apparently, they were talking about America's reservoirs in terrorist centers in Afghanistan. As al-Qaeda documents were uncovered by American troops there, it became clear that folks who want to attack American interests have been at least considering some of our major water systems. So, security has really been beefed up at those kinds of facilities. And that's a good thing.

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

I'm glad they didn't tell me until it was over. It was my first time landing at LaGuardia Airport in New York City - an airport whose runways jut right out into Jamaica Bay. When I arrived, my friends told me that I had just landed on the garbage of New York City. Now, that is a very exciting thought. It turns out that much of the airport was actually built on landfill - yes, it was made from Big Apple garbage. That's not bad for piles of trash.

Monday, April 15, 2002

I'm not really excited about telling you this frankly - but, then again, maybe you were as psycho about trying to get out of school as I was sometimes. There were just days when, well for one reason or another, I just didn't want to go. Which meant, of course, that I had to be sick. Which I wasn't - at least physically. And at our house, being "sick" meant having a fever. Which I didn't. But I thought I could change that. I sat on a radiator. There - I said it. Now, in case you weren't alive during the Ice Age, radiators were these iron structures that sat on the floor and radiated steam heat into the room. And, of course, they became very hot in the process. And, yes, I sat on one. Did I get a fever? No. Did I get blisters where I sit? Yes. Did I need my head examined? You decide.

Monday, April 8, 2002

The 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City were full of memorable spectacle and, of course, exciting performances. And, as most Olympics, they were tinged with a little controversy. This time the controversy revolved around some of the judging. For several days the headlines focused on the judging of the pairs figure skating competition. Now, most observers thought the Canadian skaters' flawless performance had won them the gold medal. But, much to almost everyone's surprise, the gold went to the Russian skaters. There was some evidence of deal-making between judges and that might have influenced the results. Commentators discussed how similar judging improprieties had actually shown up in other world class skating competitions over the years. Although the Olympic Committee later decided to award duplicate gold medals to both the Canadians and the Russians, that judging controversy - as well as some others - raised a lot of questions about Olympic judging and Olympic results.

Thursday, March 21, 2002

Bessie, one of the cows on the small farm where my wife grew up, was ready to give birth to a calf. But somehow she managed to get out of the wire fence and wander off into the woods to have her calf where she wanted to. Which meant my wife's dad - and his two girls - had to go out into the dark woods that night to try to find them. Dad decided they could cover more ground by dividing up. They were to fire three shots if they found Bessie. Unfortunately, they only had one lantern - and my wife didn't have it. What she remembers is how scary it was to be walking alone in those dark hills, not knowing if there was a panther, a bobcat, or a poisonous snake within striking distance in the dark. Finally, Dad fired those three victorious shots in the air - he had found Bessie and baby. But only after a walk in the dark that one young girl would never forget.

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Our friends recently got a new horse - number five of the little herd they have in their barn and pasture. This one is the biggest of the lot - half Morgan, half Belgian, for those to whom that means anything. As soon as she was let out of her corral for the first time, it was interesting to watch the social interaction in the Pasture Club. The smallest horse - a strong-minded Arabian horse came up real close to the new girl on the block, pushing to see who would be in charge. The answer: a swift kick in the hindquarters. The next couple of hours was an equine soap opera as each horse asserted their claim to their turf and maneuvered for dominance - and to be sure who was the herd boss in this new arrangement.

Monday, March 18, 2002

He had been a stock boy in a grocery store ... and then one of those rare football players who isn't drafted but just shows up one day and gets a job. Kurt Warner went on, of course, to become the quarterback of the St. Louis Rams, leading them to the Super Bowl two out of three years ... and, of course, becoming the NFL's Most Valuable Player. Now, that would be enough for most people. But not for Kurt Warner. He's got a bigger goal - at least according to what he told Sports Illustrated he would like as what he called his "football epitaph" - "Used his football platform to work for Jesus."

Friday, March 15, 2002

It seems as if almost no one could foresee the impending collapse of energy giant, Enron. People continued to invest in Enron right up to the announcement of their financial crisis. Many of their employees have been seriously hurt by the possible loss of their retirement funds they had invested in the company. Many outside investors have lost everything they invested. One news report indicated that virtually all investment analysts were recommending investing in Enron almost to the end. The scope of the financial disaster may be unfolding for years. Who could have guessed that this seemingly rock-solid investment could turn out to be worth nothing in the end?

Eric Liddell is one of my heroes. His amazing Olympic triumph in the 400-meter event in the 1924 Olympics was dramatized in the Academy Award winning movie, "Chariots of Fire". The movie also portrayed his strong commitment to Jesus Christ and his uncompromising stand against running on Sunday, which he believed to be a violation of keeping that day holy. He was a man of conviction, of incredible inner strength, and of really muscular faith. Well, years later, he would die for his Lord as a missionary to China. I've just finished his biography which, of course, tells much more about his whole life than the movie did.

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

They had just gotten the call to go to Afghanistan. Warriors from America's 101st Airborne were, with relatively short notice, on a plane transporting them to the unpredictable and still dangerous military environment in post-Taliban Afghanistan. The news report on their assignment was describing their long flight to their mission - and the moment in their flight when the atmosphere suddenly got more intense. It was late in their journey when their ammunition was handed out to them. One man described the sobering reality of holding his ammunition in his hand. Here's what he said, "Once you pull that trigger, there's no way to get that round back."

            

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