Thursday, January 17, 2019

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We were nearly 3,000 miles from home when my wife was hit by this agonizing attack of gallstones. The situation was so acute we had to get her to a hospital where it was quickly determined she was going to need surgery to remove the stones. From what we understood (and this is the old-school way of doing it) it could take six weeks for her to be able to travel back after the operation. Back home a cure would have meant this invasive incision. But God, of course, had this planned all the time. The hospital that friends directed us to just happened to have on its staff one of the premier laser surgeons in the country. Now, they're more common today, but not back then. He zapped those gallstones with a laser beam and they were history. My honey was good in just two days! A while ago, a friend of ours lost his glasses - for good. He had a laser procedure on his eyes - lasik surgery - and almost immediately his vision deficiencies have been corrected. Who needs glasses? Gallstones gone, vision corrected - with the power of a laser - with the power of focused light.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

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Mackinaw Island in Michigan is one of the special places in America. It's a romantic island. It's surrounded by three of the Great Lakes. There are no cars, just bikes, horses and carriages. For my wife and me, it's a very special place. It's where we honeymooned many years ago, and again on a special anniversary when our kids gave it to us as a gift. They gave us some nights on our honeymoon island to celebrate that milestone anniversary. When we were newlyweds, we couldn't afford to stay in a hotel on the island. We could barely afford a cheap motel on the mainland. This time we actually stayed on Mackinaw Island, and we had a great time. Being there actually took us back to the very beginnings of our life together, when there were no children, no grandchildren, and a lot less responsibility. It was good to get back to where it started – one man and one woman in love.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

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When you’re taking a team of Native young people to nine different reservations—a lot of them in pretty remote places—you need a combination command post/prayer room/counseling room/supply room on wheels. So we got this rented RV; it served all those purposes. Now I’m still getting used to this RV thing. Some of them are like entire civilizations on wheels. They’re like living two zip codes everywhere they go. Ours was a lot simpler, but it did the job. One challenge for me was the distance from the RV to the ground. I think that there may have been some mix-up at the factory and some NBA player got part of my legs maybe. I don’t know. All I know is it looked like a long way to the ground for Mr. Vertically Challenged. But the RV had a cool feature. As I stepped out, a step automatically came up under my dangling foot and helped me land safely every time.  

Thursday, December 27, 2018

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My friend, Bill, was talking to me about his son's expectations. He called them microwave expectations. Bill was in his early 50s, and his son Ken had been married for about a year, and his son wanted everything fast-like a microwave. Bill said, "I can't believe it. They want all this stuff immediately! They've been married one year and they want a home, they want furniture, and they want a new car. They want in a year what it took us 20 years to get!" That's not unusual; the child expects more than the father had.

Friday, December 21, 2018

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It's the king of all the classic TV Christmas specials: "A Charlie Brown Christmas" of course. We know those familiar scenes of Charlie Brown sadly looking for the meaning of Christmas, Snoopy's Christmas decorations on his doghouse, Lucy's Christmas pageant, Charlie's pitiful little Christmas tree, and Linus' appearance on center stage to answer Charlie's question about what it all means. Linus quotes straight from Luke's account of Jesus' birth. Those are all things we know about that special. What I just learned recently is contained in an interview with one of the co-creators of that show. When Charlie Brown creator, Charles Schulz, first suggested including the mention of Jesus in the special, he met with some pretty serious objections from the network. They almost tubed the project because they feared they wouldn't be able to sell advertising on a show that talked about Jesus. You know what Charles Schulz did? He stood his ground and he simply said, "If we don't do it, who will? We're going to do it." The rest is history.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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We had been working on our college production for our Junior-Senior Banquet for months. It was an original musical drama, written and directed by my roommate and me, based on the book of Esther. The orchestra had rehearsed night after night, the chorus had rehearsed, the actors, the light crew, the sound crew; we had prepared as much as we could. The night before, we had the dress rehearsal. But all those months of preparation and practice came down to one evening-the night of the big performance, and it was show time!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

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We were having a fabulous time sailing across Long Island Sound on a large sailboat. The sky was blue with little puffy white clouds, there was a warm, steady breeze moving us along and the kids were making memories. As for me, the sun and the water had me feeling like totally relaxed, or collapsed maybe. Suddenly, Dave, our skipper and host, said, "We're heading into the harbor." Everything in me wanted to scream, "Whaaattt? Why? Why would we do that?" But I didn't. It was his boat. It was his right to do what he wanted with it of course. By the way, he had heard a little static in the radio, but that told this veteran sailor that bad weather was on the way. I can't believe it! Sure enough, just as we sailed into the harbor, the skies opened up with a really nasty storm.

Monday, November 26, 2018

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One of the wonderful gifts the Lord has given us in our Ministry Headquarters is a great studio for producing our radio programs. (Oh, that's where I am.) As our building was being built, the builders had to keep the concrete floor of the studio area separate from the floor of the rest of the building. It's called a floating floor, which simply means that the studio floor is totally isolated from the floor under everything else. And why would that be? A radio studio has to have an environment where no outside sound affects what you're recording. So to help create a totally controlled sound environment, you have a floating floor so other sounds won't travel through the floor and infect the studio area. (Aren't you glad you tuned in today to get so smart? Wow!) If you want a pure sound, you have to isolate yourself from all outside vibrations.

Friday, November 23, 2018

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Apparently, the drunk driver liked our side of the road better than his side of the road. With our whole family aboard, our car was suddenly hit head-on. By God's grace, none of us was seriously injured, but our car went to car heaven and wherever totaled cars go. I don't know where that is, but I had a busy ministry schedule during the next few weeks, and our only car was gone. So a friend called actually and offered to lend us his car while he was in Florida for the next six weeks. That was awesome! An hour later, he drove into our driveway with his brand new Cadillac Coupe DeVille. That was good news and bad news. The good news was that for the next six weeks I'd be driving my friend's brand new Cadillac. The bad news was that for the next six weeks I'd be driving my friend's brand new Cadillac! I've never driven so carefully in my life! I stayed well under the speed limit, I got the oil changed about three times a week, and I didn't allow one scrap of food or drink in that vehicle. Hey, this was somebody's treasure I was driving!

Monday, November 12, 2018

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The wind was blowing so hard that day, I was afraid someone was going to end up in Oz; and this isn’t even Kansas, Dorothy. I was in my office during one of those blustery hours, but you could not miss the roar outside. At times the winds were approaching hurricane force. I mean, they were knocking out electric power to many customers, they’re tearing branches off trees, and in one case while we were still living in the northeast, it was causing the deaths of four schoolgirls in New York City. They were actually in their church-school van when a 60mph gust whipped down the street, uprooted a 68-foot high maple tree, which fell on the van, killing those girls instantly. But the next day the mayor suggested that this was a tragedy that did not have to happen. Several months earlier, a nearby sidewalk had been paved without a permit, and that possibly weakening the roots of that tree. So, it may not have been the storm that caused the tragedy; it might have been the weakened roots.

            

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