Monday, September 12, 2005

My wife and I had been on the road for quite a while, and company was coming as soon as we got home. Frankly, with the whirlwind that preceded our departure, there was some unfinished work that we left behind at home. Well, thankfully, a friend came over while we were gone and pitched in. One job my wife had asked her to tackle was to get some stubborn food and melted wax spots out of our nice red tablecloth. Well, one of the first things we noticed when we walked in the door after our trip was that tablecloth spread on our dining room table, looking as good as new - with a handwritten note on it. It simply said: "I'm clean. I've been washed, and all my dirty spots came out." Pretty amazing, huh? A note from a tablecloth. Only at our house.

Friday, September 9, 2005

Years ago I heard a friend tell about a scene from his childhood that he never forgot. My friend was around on that black day in 1929 that marked the beginning of the Great Depression. One of the great traumas of America's financial collapse was that many banks went under almost overnight. My friend remembered seeing a neighbor at the locked gates of his bank - and he was literally pounding his fists bloody on those gates, screaming at the top of his lungs, "Give me my money! Give me my money!" There was no money to give.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Man, did our one-year-old granddaughter look happy! It was a milestone day. You know, ever since she started riding in a car with her parents, she has been in the back seat in her infant seat, facing backward - just like the safety folks recommend you should do. Well, her Mom and Dad travel a lot of miles, and she's seen a lot of country after it's gone by. Oh, but not anymore! She crossed that magic threshold - she weighs twenty pounds. By the way, I'm not surprised. I have seen this girl eat. She's definitely her father's daughter. But when you get to twenty pounds, you reach that great milestone - Mom and Dad turn your seat around and you get to see where you're going instead of where you've been.

Friday, September 2, 2005

Allison, her daughter, and two friends were out for a trail ride in a remote area recently. They were to rendezvous later, actually, in the afternoon with other family members at their overnight campsite. When it came time to head back, they were somewhere on the side of a mountain, picking their way through very rocky ground. No matter which way they went, they could not find the main trail that would take them back down the mountain. They could see where they needed to be, but the terrain was too rugged to get down any other way. Hours wore on, dark began to fall, and Allison's two friends finally made an attempt to get to a cabin they could see but not ride to down below. Well after dark, Allison and her daughter finally saw flashlights moving up the mountain. Her friends returned with the man from that cabin - a man who knew this area like the back of his hand. He helped them pick their way to a point where they could actually get right back on the trail. And much to their surprise, while they had been lost, they had been very close to the trail all along!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Fettuccini Alfredo! It's that great Italian dish that has buttered noodles served in a rich, creamy cheese sauce. Unfortunately, one news magazine in an article on nutrition and our health called it a "heart attack on a plate." That may be a bit of an overstatement, but the fact is that a lot of foods do contribute to the slow shutdown of the valves that happen to carry the blood and oxygen into your heart. I love what one commercial calls it -- blood sludge. Medical people refer to the hardening of the arteries -- the process in which foods that are high in cholesterol and fat start building up hard deposits in your arteries. If this hardening in your heart is allowed to continue long enough, it is not a laughing matter. It really can threaten your life.

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Recently, I spoke at a church and I followed it up with a question and answer time. The questions ranged from things about our ministry, to questions about reaching lost people, to my family. It was a little of everything. One man in the back asked a question that was even a little amusing. He said, "Where do you get all this energy?" I have been accused of being the Energizer Bunny, but the ironic thing is that I had come into that church totally depleted by a heavy weekend of outreach. I was wishing I could just go to my room and sleep, to tell you the truth. In fact, I even told the pastor that the meeting isn't going to be very long because I was too exhausted. It went for two hours! Physically, I think I must just have deep reservoirs of adrenaline. Adrenaline is our friend at times when we just don't have what it takes physically to meet the demands of the moment. Adrenaline is that amazing substance that you don't have when you don't need it, but that surges into your system at just the moment you do need it. And you are able to do things that if I had asked you earlier you would say you could never do.

Friday, July 29, 2005

It may have been the scariest moment of my life. I was only ten years old, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I was with my friends in Lake Michigan. We started out just wading, but they kept getting deeper - until the lake bottom dropped off sharply. My buddies started swimming. I didn't know how, and I was too embarrassed to tell them. And I started taking on water fast. I went under once, I went under twice, and I was desperately thrashing around. As for my buddies, they thought I was just clowning around. Can you imagine me clowning around? Well, I was drinking the lake. I can see that water burying me there like it was yesterday, and honestly, I was almost a goner. And then he came - the man from the shore who saw my predicament and he jumped in to do something about it. He had come to rescue me. I grabbed him with both hands. I hung onto him as if he were my only hope. He was.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Lori Piestewa was the first woman killed in the Iraq war. She was a Native American and a single mom with two children. She died in an Iraqi ambush, and her good friend Jessica Lynch was wounded, captured and rescued. You may remember that. She was determined to help fulfill Lori Piestewa's dream - to have a house for her parents and her children. Jessica Lynch contacted the TV program, "Extreme Makeover," to see if they could make it happen. Their popular program shows them doing amazing makeovers of people's homes in a very short time, re-creating them into houses that are far beyond anything the owner's ever dreamed. And they did it again for a war hero's family, moving them from their deteriorating trailer home into a wonderful new home. Given those good TV ratings that show has, apparently a lot of people love to watch these amazing transformations.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Pete came to me with a very unusual request when we were freshmen in college together. He asked me who I thought were the five best girls to date in our class. Just call me Dr. Love. I gave him my top five list; four of whom I had been out with in my mad "date them all" freshman rush. There was one I hadn't dated - a beautiful, perky brunette. Well, after I gave Pete that list, I began to ask myself an obvious question. Why hadn't I dated that brunette? So I did, and I did again, and again, and I still am. By the time we graduated, we were engaged to be married. Pete was a New Englander. He was a man of few words, and he wrote only six words next to his picture in our senior yearbook, "You believe in your product. Pete." Yes, I did. That beautiful girl and I got married one week later.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Remember those classic Alka-Seltzer commercials - the two tablets dropping into a glass of water to the tune of "plop, plop, fizz, fizz"? Usually they showed someone eating something disagreeable just before bedtime. Right? And someone who could only be rescued from terminal indigestion with a "plop, plop, fizz, fizz." Several years ago I met someone who knew the agony of late night stomach revolt. Terry works in the theater on Broadway in New York. He told me many show people just can't eat before they go on, so they're starved by the time the show is over and they get cleaned up. It's around midnight then. And Terry said they would go out together for a big dinner and shortly thereafter head home for their night's sleep and their night's wrestling match with what they had just eaten. Eating's nice - if it's followed by digestion!

            

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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