One of the most frequent visitors at our house is a fellow called "bill." Yeah, every month lots of bills come to our home. You probably have bills that you see coming to your house frequently too. But there's one bill I'll never forget. One of our children had needed the attention of a medical specialist, and it cost a lot and the bills were coming.
Usually Presidential debates will command quite a viewing audience. Well, unless there's a baseball series going on, especially World Series. And that happened one year. It came on the last day of the regular baseball season; the first Presidential debate that year. And there were still decisive games being played. One of which gave my Yankees (no booing - I can hear it anyway) - they get the division championship. But in the midst of some of these cliffhanger baseball dramas being played out, there was another baseball story that really captured people's attention about one guy having his one time at-bat.
There's a little boy or girl inside of you. Yeah, and you don't want to lose that little person no matter how many birthdays you have. Oh, the little boy in me, well, he's brought out by - well, let's say maybe three life experiences. The first snowfall - that's one.
There was a time in my life when I had once a month responsibilities in Chicago. I was living in New Jersey. Well, that gave me an opportunity to see what weather was going to be in New Jersey when I got back. Of course, the weather in our country usually moves from West to East. So, usually, in New Jersey we got Chicago's yesterday; well, that was our today.
When you're a kid, you're wet cement. Impressions, well, they get written on you so easily and so deeply. And then they harden into beliefs or un-beliefs, and that kid becomes an adult. You know, the late Steve Jobs was no exception.
It seems like every spring, every summer we hear about those raging wildfires! It's like on the news every day sometimes. When I hear about it, my ears perk up. I mean, we've had friends who lost their home in one of those wildfires. We know Native American friends who are sometimes on the front lines fighting those fires. I hate it when we hear about a firefighter who has been lost.
Now, when there were some major fires raging in Washington State a few years ago, my mind flashed back to another Washington fire that they called the Thirty-Mile Fire. It was one of those that just exploded suddenly. It forced the firefighters to stop fighting the fire and start fighting for their lives. Most of them deployed those survival tents that can save lives in a sudden emergency like this.
His name is Shadrach. No, not a Bible character in a fiery furnace. He's a dog; a black poodle, to be specific. A while back, we were provided some great live entertainment in an otherwise intense day of ministry. My wife and I were staying with friends in St. Louis rather than the conference hotel there, and Shadrach belongs to our friends. I was ready to run out the door one day, our friend said, "Wait! You need to take two minutes for my dog tricks." Then she started to show off what she had taught Shadrach. She started with the basics, "Sit" and the poodle did. "Stay"..."roll over"..."lie down." Shadrach responded immediately. Then "go look out the window." The poodle darted over to the window. "Jump" and Shadrach leaped about three feet in the air. Then she pulled out a hoop and just said, "Hoop." Sure enough, black poodle flying through hoop. I was amazed!
Years ago there was a Newsweek cover story that really caught my attention. It was about twins and my wife and I had several friends at that time that had twins. Occasionally we had expressed horror at the thought of having had any two of our kids at the same time! Fortunately, God knows who can handle these incredible assignments, and who can't, so he wisely sent our three children two years apart.
There were two stories in that day's news that stuck out to me. The first troubling story said that Twinkies could be going bankrupt. Yeah, how could that be? I mean, you talk about too big to fail! But, alas, the company that was making Twinkies was talking about filing for Chapter 11. Maybe if I ate enough of them in the next couple of weeks, I could make a difference.
"So are you planning to go on a cruise sometime soon?" It was the guy checking me out at the drugstore, and he was pointing to the newspaper I was buying and sort of asked that with a wry smile. Because on the front page was this haunting picture of that capsized Italian cruise ship that went aground a few years ago now.