Our daughter and son-in-law inherited our big red van. Let me describe it to you. There were two seats in the front, there's a bench seat in the back, and in-between nothing but open floor - carpeted open floor. It was always challenging to talk in there. In fact, it was almost impossible when the windows were open.
Christmas is always kind of a love fest with our family. And they're all so good at paying attention to what people want and need, and getting the great gifts. You know? So I expect good things, and I hope what I'm giving fits the description as well this Christmas. And you know what? Sometimes, occasionally I will find a little gift that I forgot to give. No, I don't save it for next Christmas. It might be "Happy New Year" or something like that.
Pierre lived in a pretty small world most of the time. But that's okay, he was our parrot. We had him in this cage in the kitchen so he would be around people a lot. By day his cage was uncovered. By night it was covered, just like the bird people said to do. Since I was usually the first one up in the morning, I was the one who lifted the blanket that covered him at night.
Sometimes we tell people, "You really need to get out more." For my wife, that was especially true some years ago. Our ministry had been growing so fast she almost felt like a prisoner at the office. She hadn't been able to get out, shop, even in our own town.
Why are refrigerator doors important? You probably say, "To keep the cold inside," or "to keep that little light inside from burning out." OK, that's true. But you might be forgetting one of the most valuable functions of a refrigerator door. Yep, it's a great place to display the artwork of your children or your grandchildren! Uh-huh! Oh, ours covered for years. Throughout our house and our offices, you could find pictures drawn by our grandchildren, crafts made by them. You may not think they're masterpieces. You may not think they're great works of art, but they're precious to us.
There almost was no first Thanksgiving. There were almost no Pilgrims. Those Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock got hit very hard their first winter. Many of them died, and many more could have died from starvation if it hadn't been for one man - an Indian brave called Squanto. As a young man, he'd been kidnapped and carried off to England to be a servant. While Squanto was there, he learned English and he learned about Christ. Because of the kindness of some of the people he met, he eventually made it back across the Atlantic to his people; except his people weren't there anymore.
Life has a lot of disrupting sounds, huh? And you can learn to tune a lot of them out: sirens screaming, telephones ringing, TVs blaring, trains rumbling. But there's one sound almost impossible to ignore - a baby's crying. If there's a baby in your house and he starts crying, what should you do? Just yell, "Nuisance!" and shut the door? Turn up the music? Yell back? Not unless you're a hopeless rookie at handling babies. No, you know the crying isn't the problem. It's what's causing the crying. Pointing at the baby and saying, "Stop that!" probably isn't going to make a lot of difference. See, the crying isn't going to stop until their little tummy is filled ... or until he gets the relief that only a good burp can give ... or until you get the baby out of that mess. Yep, the crying is a nuisance, but the need behind the crying - that's the real issue.
My wife and I were in Colorado, and she said, "I want to go to a ghost town." I did too, because I was pretty sure there wouldn't be any antique stores there. So we drove many miles down this rutted road into this deserted little village called Winfield. Now it wasn't like this 100 years ago. No, then the gold and silver fever was in the air, and Winfield was alive with the boom that was going on in that area. There were fortune hunters, fortune spenders, and fortune losers.
Norway is 35 times smaller than Russia, but they went head to head with Russia for the most medals won way back in the 1994 Winter Olympics. One of Norway's speed skaters won the gold medal in Lillehammer. A Norwegian skier stole America's spot at mogul skiing. And one after another, Norway dominated cross-country events. Little Norway was a big winner in those Olympics.
A Bible is pretty versatile. It can be a file. Did you ever notice how much people stick in their Bible? I look at mine sometimes, and I find a number of things in there I don't want to lose. Unfortunately it does hurt the binding a little bit. Sometimes the Bible can be a record book. You see these Bibles where people put important dates, their family tree, weddings, deaths, and the autographs of people whose ministry they want to remember.