When I was growing up, it was just a picture on a T-shirt. Then one day I finally got to see Niagara Falls for real. Wow! It's one of this continent's great wonders. Many miles before you get to those roaring falls you start to see all these power lines. It's Niagara's generated electricity of course, and then as you get near the falls, you see this big, ground-level cloud rising up. It's this massive mist that's billowing up from the river below Niagara. It's impressive!
Three days before our vacation, my wife and I had no idea where we were going to be able to go! We'd been too busy to think about it and too broke to pay for it. And then some friends supplied a beautiful spot in the Rocky Mountains. You know, God is really a great vacation planner.
Sometimes you find something spiritually thought provoking in the strangest places. Like in a rerun of an old episode of that hit sitcom, "Everybody Loves Raymond." Ray was trying to have that most dreaded conversation of all for many parents. You know, the one about where babies come from. Well, Ray is sitting on his daughter's bed, doing his best to get into the subject of s-e-x. At the foot of the bed he has four books open to the pages that he hopes will help. And then his daughter throws him a curve ball. She says, "Daddy, I don't care about how we got here." Ray looks surprised and very relieved. "I want to know why God put us here." Dad's expression is priceless. It's a combination of bewilderment and "let me out of here." She continues to press the question. Now, he's obviously wishing they could talk about the birds and the bees! He's stunned! He's stumped! Finally he fumbles his way into the only answer he can think of: "Well, honey, sometimes it gets... Well, really crowded in heaven, so God sends some down here." Well, his daughter's expression is a combination of bewilderment and "let me out of here."
There's nothing quite as boring as listening to information you've heard before, presented the same way you've heard it presented before. Since I used to fly quite a bit, I heard the flight attendant's announcements many, many times. To be honest, I got to the point where I didn't pay a lot of attention, because, you know, it was predictable...usually.
It was a time I had the opportunity to be in London. I got to see some things that we don't see much of in America: the palace, the double-decker buses; buildings that represent up to 1,000 years of history. And there's one thing that was very new there for an American, and It could be dangerous. Yeah, the direction of traffic.
We'll put up with a lot from our politicians, but not everything. See, we really don't like it when someone in power abuses that power for personal gain, to cover up wrongdoing, to exploit other people.
I've always been fascinated by eagles. I didn't get to see many of them around New York City. I mean, except for the ones that came from Philadelphia to play the Giants occasionally. But it's always been an exciting event for me to see an eagle. There's something very inspiring about them. When one of my Navajo friends and I were together, I asked him about eagles. And he sees a lot of them where he's from. And he told me about some amazing observations that he's made about them.
Yeah, I have a lot in common with a guy from the first century B.C. Actually he was a Roman officer, leading his men on a mission that took them into uncharted territory. Back then, mapmakers drew dragons beyond the line of what was known and explored.
It had been a rough year for the flu. Yeah, it was nasty, and it was dangerous. Early in the season, my doctor told me he was already concerned about how high the death toll was in our state. And then a friend texted me and said, "It's time for me to descend into the nightly coughing abyss." She had the flu. We've had some family members spend some time in that abyss - so we knew what they were talking about.
Driving in major urban areas of America can be a challenge - especially if you haven't done much of it. But my ministry team member was doing a good job of navigating the Chicago area, driving me to a number of locations where I was speaking. In one case, he was following our local host who was leading us to a place where we had never been. Honestly, we had no clue where we were going without him. I got to telling my driver one of my many stories, and he even seemed to be enjoying it. We were in the left lane, and suddenly a car came up behind us in the right lane, flashing his lights. Then he pulled up next to us, waving his arm out the window. It was our host. Apparently, we hadn't been following him for quite a while. So he led us in a daring - maybe scary is the word - U-turn to try to get us where we were supposed to be.