Wednesday, October 4, 2006

As the construction of our ministry's headquarters progressed from stage to stage, I enjoyed walking through the halls and the rooms to see the progress. Of course, you had to look past a lot of mess and clutter, and you had to use your imagination to see what it eventually would look like. But the point at which I really start to realize what God is doing is when I climbed this little ladder to the catwalk that encircles the building above all the rooms below. Before the ceiling goes in, you can just walk along that catwalk and get the big picture of how far things have really progressed and the scope of what God is doing there. There's a view from up there that really provides an exciting perspective - much more inspiring than when you're just standing in one of the rooms down below.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

A runaway train: that's how they billed the upcoming story on the evening news, and believe me, I stayed tuned. And they weren't exaggerating. Somehow a freight train in Ohio started rolling down the tracks with no one on board. And it kept rolling for many miles across the Ohio countryside, sometimes at speeds of nearly 60 MPH. It was pretty amazing to see footage of a railroad intersection, lights blinking, gates down, cars stopped, and here is a train just rolling through without anyone at the controls. Now, using a combination of ingenuity and heroism, they finally managed to get a couple of men aboard who were able to stop it. And that's a very good thing!

Friday, July 14, 2006

I was speaking for an Easter Sunrise Service in the Ozarks, and I saw something that seemed strangely out of place. In front of this church, there's a ten-foot section of a brick wall with a sign in front of it that says, "Berlin Wall." I was thousands of miles from Berlin, but there was a chunk of what used to be the most famous - or most infamous - wall in the world. Many of us remember how the Berlin Wall represented for decades the Cold War division of our world into Communist and free. The Communists built it on the border between East Berlin and free West Berlin. In spite of that wall, many people still risked everything to scale that wall and escape to freedom. A few made it. Many died trying. Then came that amazing day - a day few of us could have ever imagined - when the revolution taking place against Communist rule allowed Berliners to start tearing down that wall. All night long, they went after that wall with everything from sledge hammers to bare hands. And then there were 100,000 Berliners, celebrating in the square, chanting four incredible words over and over again, "The wall is gone! The wall is gone!"

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Maybe it's a guy thing. Or maybe it's just a Ron thing. But I hate to waste time or waste effort. Here's what that looks like when I've just returned from the grocery store to restock our empty refrigerator and shelves. I look like a mule basically - with bags all over my body, carried on almost every appendage. I don't want to make any more trips to the car than absolutely necessary, OK? So I'm willing to try whatever calisthenics, to tolerate whatever overload will enable me to get everything in the house in one trip. This approach has been known to have its problems. Sometimes I drop a bag or two or one of them rips open; thus, making more work. And I've got this bad shoulder that may well be traceable to carrying too much too many times.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

We had stopped for gas next to an Interstate that takes you at 75 MPH across long miles of desert. That's where I saw the sign: "Dead End - 3 Miles Ahead." I thought, "I wonder if anyone ever said, 'I'm not sure that's true of that old dirt road. I think I'll drive that way and check it out for myself.'" We got back on the Interstate, and of course, I had to see where that other road went. Sure enough, that bumpy road ended three miles later in the middle of nothing in the desert - right next to a road that speeds you to a lot of great destinations.

Friday, June 2, 2006

The world looks a little different through three-year-old eyes. Peter is three years old. He's the grandson of one of our good friends. Little Peter was out with his Mom the other day, and they drove past this construction site and they saw one of those giant cranes. Well, Peter's all wide-eyed, and he's watching this mechanized monster moving things around. Finally, in total amazement he found a way to express how big that crane looked to him. "Mommy," he said, "it's bigger than God!"

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ellis Island - that was the first piece of America that millions of immigrants ever touched. It's a little island in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. When you visit the island, there's a long, granite wall with thousands of names of immigrants who passed through there. This was the point of entry for all the immigrants coming through New York. They would book passage and get the cheapest price they could often down below decks. Finally, the boat would reach America, they would step off the boat and enter this long, red brick building on Ellis Island. It's cavernous; it echoes on the inside. But this is where they went through the steps that eventually permitted them to move from the island and on to their real destination, which was New York City and the rest of America. The tour guide says the people carried all their belongings in a basket. That was okay. They knew the island wasn't where they would live, so out of all those thousands who came there, not one ever set up a house there. They weren't going to be there very long.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Don't you sometimes wish you could see the world as little kids see it at least for a little while? It's so refreshing to hear their perspectives on things, expressed simply - expressed very directly. I was blessed recently by an observation made by my three-year-old granddaughter. A friend asked her, "What's your granddad up to these days?" To which she simply replied: "Oh, he's getting taller." I am? I hope she's right. I think I'll go measure.

Monday, April 3, 2006

Scotty was only four years old, and he was lost in Brooklyn. A police officer spotted this little guy standing on a street corner in this huge city, crying. Of course, he tried to help the boy by asking him his address, and Scotty didn't know. The officer asked him his phone number, and he answered through his tears, "I can't remember." The officer was running out of options. He was just about to take the little guy down to the station when he thought of one last question: "Little boy, is there anything near your house that I might recognize?" That was the moment that little guy discovered the one thing that really helped him finally get home.

Monday, February 27, 2006

This may come as quite a surprise to you, but there were a lot of rumors in college that I was behind many of the practical jokes and pranks that happened while I was there. That's hard to imagine, isn't it? It wouldn't come as a total surprise to some of those folks that I finally ended up in the penitentiary; Alcatraz, in fact. Fortunately, my sentence was only about four hours. Actually, we had taken some young people out to that famous prison in the middle of San Francisco Bay to do a special radio program. Of course, it's been some years since any prisoners were held there on what they called The Rock, but it is still quite a place to see. While we were there, we experienced the awful claustrophobia of being locked in one of those little cells and the isolation of being in solitary confinement. For the closing segment of the program, we walked out of one of the prison gates and down to the rocks outside that overlook the bay. One of the young people with us was walking out with me, and he made quite an observation. "Just think," he said, "there was only a wall between them and all this beauty."

            

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