There he was in the homes of some ten million Americans every night. Yeah, it was the TV news anchorman for a major network. The voice that millions trust, or did trust. The most experienced, most watched anchorman in the country, at that time, facing the worst possible question, "Can we believe him?"
There's no way newscasters could tell her story without somehow using the word "miracle." And that was easy to understand. See, Baby Lily had been trapped in a partly submerged car in Utah's Spanish Fork River. She was 18 months old. She was upside down in her car seat for 14 hours, with the cold water of the river running through that car.
I used to have another radio program, in addition to this one, just to keep from getting bored. It was called "Alive!" and it was designed to reach young people and it had a pretty high energy format. A lot of that came from having a live studio audience of young people. I loved it! Teenagers like to hear other teenagers, so we involved our audience in doing dramas and discussing the week's issue.
Our oldest son worked as a missionary among young people in a Native American tribe in the Southwest. In his first few days there he ended up helping a Native American man weed his corn field. The tribe lives in a place where it's really tough to grow anything. I mean, corn is the most important crop, but it doesn't come easily because they're in a place where I think they only get about 10-12 inches of rain a year.
When Ebola first popped up in the United States I was watching that news story about the Dallas nurse who was the first person to ever contract Ebola in America. I was hit by a lesson that I found pretty personal to me.
If you're walking along the street and you see some couples' initials written in the sidewalk cement (isn't that romantic!), you know it wasn't put there today. It's doubtful they spent hours chiseling it into the cement. You know those impressions had to be made when that sidewalk had just been laid. I mean, right before it turned hard. You know that famous theater in Hollywood where they have the footprints of many stars in the sidewalk. They didn't use a jackhammer or chisel. No, they did it in fresh cement; soft enough to write in. If they waited, well it would be pretty tough to leave their mark.
Most Americans weren't around on that D-Day of course. And even though we weren't, we should be very glad they succeeded when they hit those Normandy beaches. They stopped one of the most powerful threats to freedom in history. Of course it was Nazi Germany.
There's just something about the Titanic, that ship that sank, but it seems like our fascination with it is unsinkable. But in the many moving stories of that horrible haunting night, there's one that just blows me away. One passenger - John Harper: A man whose life and choices during those three fateful hours still give me goosebumps.
They're some of the best of the best in America's military. They're known as the Navy Seals. And when there's a mission that's almost impossible, they send the Seals behind enemy lines, or maybe it's a highly sensitive covert mission, against enormous odds. They're trained in just about any military skill you can think of. In fact, their training was the subject of a cover story in a national magazine a while back; especially that brutal final week that decides who will and will not be a Navy Seal.
It was the moment this young man had waited for and had prepared for over many months. It was his premiere appearance as a concert pianist. The audience had heard a lot about his amazing talent, so they packed out this prestigious concert hall to hear him. They weren't disappointed. In fact, his masterful playing brought them to their feet for a thunderous standing ovation at the end of the concert. Backstage, the young man's manager said, "They want an encore, man! Get out there!" The pianist looked strangely dejected, and he said, "No, I'm not going to go back out there." And the manager said, "But they love you, man! Look at them! They're all on their feet!" "Not all. Look in the balcony." The manager peeked around the curtain and he saw one white-haired old man in the balcony who wasn't standing or applauding. "Hey, come on! One old guy? So what?" The pianist looked down at the floor and he said, "That's not one old man. That's my teacher."