Thursday, July 31, 2003

It was September of 1999. A Cambodian pastor had made his way to a remote corner of his country to bring the story of Jesus to an area he had wanted to go to for years. But that area had been under the control of the brutal Khmer Rouge radicals until then. As far as anyone knew, this pastor was the first person to speak of Jesus in that isolated area where most people were Buddhists or spiritists. Surprisingly, as told in the book The God Who Hung on the Cross, when the pastor arrived in one village, the people welcomed him warmly and seemed to hang on every word of his messages. Then this old woman bowed and grabbed his hands and said, "We've been waiting for you for twenty years."

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

My young son had gone to the trouble of making a card and a gift for me for Father's Day. And there are no gifts more special than those that have been made by the person giving them. Unfortunately, my son tried to give his creations to me at a time when I was really busy. So I said, "Can you wait a few minutes? I want to have time to appreciate it." To which he said wistfully, "Oh, you mean like the candleholder?" Some months before, he had given me a handmade candleholder one day and I was, as usual, on the run. And I totally neglected to show any appreciation. I'd forgotten about it. My son hadn't.

Friday, July 18, 2003

Our daughter was five years old when she proudly announced that she was about to bake her first cake. Well, being a firstborn, she, of course, didn't need any help, right? So, Mom cooperated by staying in the living room, listening to these clattering pans and cabinet doors opening and closing. Pretty soon, we could smell baking aromas coming from the kitchen. Hey, maybe this first baking project was going to be successful after all. Well, finally, our daughter entered the living room, carrying her masterpiece - with her lower lip almost dragging the floor. The cake looked more like a pancake - it was just like plain old flat. Upon later analysis, we learned that, yes, she had put in the flour, the milk, the eggs - but she had left out one ingredient - the baking powder. So things didn't turn out the way she hoped they would.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Barber shops are interesting places to do a study of the male half of the human race. It's really "Guy's World." That's what made me take special notice of the dad who came in last week with his two young daughters. They were doing fine, and it was really neat to see how the three of them got along. But you just don't usually see many females in the barber shop. I smiled at that dad and I said, "Your daughters are really well-behaved. It must be interesting for them to be here. It's kind of a 'guy's world,' isn't it?" Yeah," he replied. "Not much talking."

Wednesday, July 9, 2003

Water. Drinking lots of water is good for your health. So I usually have a big mug of water in my office and bottles of water with me when I travel. Well, a while back, my wife and I were driving to some ministry events, and another couple from our team was traveling with us in the back seat. And they got to be the keeper of the water - and the snacks. But let's stick with the healthy stuff. This little drill developed, thanks to the thoughtfulness of my buddy in the back seat. When I finished a bottle of water, I handed the empty bottle back to him so it could be dumped in our garbage bag. But as I handed my empty to him, there he was with a full bottle to place in my other hand.

Thursday, July 3, 2003

The Al-Rashid Hotel has been a Baghdad landmark - with a tile mosaic in the lobby floor that the American soldiers of Operation Iraqi Freedom didn't particularly appreciate. After the 1991 Gulf War, the Iraqi government had sponsored the creation and installation of a mosaic of former President George Bush - set in a place where visitors would walk over the face of the President who had defeated their invasion of Kuwait. Needless to say, that image is not on the hotel floor anymore.

Well,

Thursday, May 15, 2003

I believe it was General Dwight Eisenhower who said, "There is no victory at discount prices." Certainly, the Coalition's "Operation Iraqi Freedom" was not an exception. Courageous warriors have again made the ultimate sacrifice. Even as the first casualty reports came in from Iraq, I was reminded of the unforgettable public appearance of a Gulf War soldier's mother not long after that war ended in 1991.

Appearing before over 50,000 people at a Billy Graham stadium meeting, she had been asked by Dr. Graham to share this remarkable letter from her son - one of the last soldiers to die in the first Gulf War. She explained that her son had asked his best friend to give the letter to his mother "if something happens to me," he said. Now that letter was in his mother's hands. Few would ever forget the words she read that afternoon: "Mom, if you're reading this, I didn't make it. But that's OK. Because now, Mom, for the first time in my life, I'm smarter than you are! Because I have seen heaven. I have seen Jesus!"

Well,

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

A "daisy cutter" sounds like something you'd use to trim up your yard, doesn't it? Well, don't try it - it's one of the most powerful bombs in America's new high-tech arsenal. It was used against the caves of Tora Bora in Afghanistan in the search for Al Qaeda. Iraq felt its force next, along with the new powerhouse they call the Bunker Buster. That bomb can actually penetrate deep underground to bunkers where military leadership may be taking refuge. Places that used to be impenetrable succumb to the power of new weapons that they just can't withstand.

Well,

Thursday, April 24, 2003

It started when the fire of a band's pyrotechnics suddenly started spreading throughout a night club in Rhode Island. In scenes captured on video and not soon forgotten, the fire quickly consumed the building, leaving over 90 people dead. When I heard about it, my mind immediately flashed back to another awful club fire, this one costing 165 lives. It was Memorial Day Weekend at the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Kentucky, and the Cabaret Room was jammed with hundreds of people waiting to hear headliner John Davidson. Unbeknownst to them, an electrical fire had started in a wall and it was beginning to spread through the building. A teenage busboy suddenly appeared on stage in the Cabaret Room, and he interrupted the warm-up comedy act that was performing. He announced there was a "small fire" in the building, and he asked everyone to leave. Some did. Many refused to move. They thought it was part of the act. They weren't about to give up those hard-to-get seats they had for this holiday performance. Whatever the reason, that choice to stay cost many of them their life.

Monday, April 21, 2003

It's still one of the most amazing medical procedures ever developed - actually taking the heart of one person who has just died and shortly thereafter transplanting it into another person whose heart is failing. Today, over 2,000 of these heart transplants are performed every year in the United States. The first one took place in 1967, actually, in South Africa at a time when that country was racially divided by the system called apartheid. And the heart of a black accident victim was transplanted into the body of a sickly, 59-year-old man who happened to be white. And Christian Barnard, the heart surgeon who carried out this breakthrough operation, would go down in the pages of medical history with the giants.

            

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