Our kids played with it when they were little. Our grandkids have been playing with it since they were little. I play with it every once in a while. It's that colorful clay in the round can - it's Play-Doh! You can squeeze that Play-Doh into something flat, something round, something long. You can turn it into any shape you want it to be. Which is OK for a toy - it's not OK for people.
When one of our kids would be going through a sick spell, I used to tell them they needed to get lots of sleep. That's because (this is what I'd say) "when you're asleep, the good soldiers come out and fight those bad soldiers that are making you sick." Okay come on, it's not advanced microbiology, but it works for me. Actually, one of the amazing things about these bodies God has given us is how our body kicks into action when it's been invaded by an infection. All those antibodies go to work (good soldiers), and those white blood cells start coming out in force. In fact, one way doctors look for infection is to check your blood for the elevated presence of white blood cells. They're multiplying fast when the "bad soldier" germs try to take you out.
We were between ministry engagements, and we took a short timeout in a picturesque mountain community in the Southeast. It's the oldest town in the area and its buildings make you feel like you've stepped back into the 1890s. It's got rambling Victorian mansions, soaring spires, it's got this classic railroad station. We stopped to ask a local man directions, and somewhere in the middle of his answer he made this observation about his town, "You know, this place is sort of like a movie set. There really isn't much here, but it sure does look pretty."
I know advertisers have to hate it, but the truth is that a lot of times we remember their commercial, but we forget their product. Recently, I saw a commercial like that. The ad really impressed me, but I have no idea what they were advertising. Anyway, it showed some scenes from explorations of space and some appropriate galactic scenery. And then, these words appeared on the screen, "The last frontier isn't space." OK, then what is it? The next words answered that question. "It's the human imagination."
Our friends Roy and Judy have been married for almost 30 years. But there are two words that took a beating early in their marriage and they still get a rise out of Judy to this day believe it or not. The words "trust me." You know there's got to be a story here. Years ago, Roy decided to try his hand sailing one of those little Sunfish type sailboats. He wanted Judy to go with him. Her back was really bothering her, but he assured her that he knew what he was doing. Of course, every guy does! "Trust me," he said. One problem: as they sailed away, the rudder kept coming off. That's all. That's rudder, as in what steers the boat. Well, Judy was extremely unhappy when rudderlessness ultimately led them to capsizing - a boat with a ten-foot mast stuck upside down in six feet of water. Beautiful picture huh? So much for "trust me."
You are probably a believer in heliocentricity, right? Now that is not some new denomination. It just means the sun is the center of our solar system and the planets, including the little tennis ball we live on, are revolving around the sun. We do sound a little confused about this sometimes, like when we say, "Isn't that a beautiful sunset?" Actually, the sun isn't going anywhere, we're the ones who are moving. But who wants to go for a romantic walk to watch a beautiful earthset? It doesn't have the same ring. But apparently, not everyone's got this orbit thing straight even today. The American Scientific Association did a survey a few years ago and they found that 21% (that's one out of every five Americans) that they surveyed thought the sun orbited around the earth, and seven percent said they didn't know.
We were speeding along the interstate in Texas, and suddenly there it was - a huge, illuminated metal cross. It just dominated the landscape, especially on the flatlands of Texas. That cross is actually 19 stories high and it can be seen from 20 miles away. They claim it's the largest cross in the Western Hemisphere. We've been by there before, but this was the first time we ever stopped and looked at it more closely.
Occasionally my wife would flip the TV on to one of those home shopping channels. And there actually were some good deals that showed up there, and sometimes I couldn't get to the remote fast enough. One day she saw this 14-karat gold bracelet and she decided to order it. When it arrived, it looked just as beautiful as it had on television, until our then two-year-old grandson got interested in it. He saw it on a dresser. Fascinated with this bracelet, he picked it up, played with it for a moment, at which point the bracelet totally fell apart. My wife said there was one drawback to ordering from television or catalogs; she just couldn't hold the jewelry in her hand and feel the weight of it. The bracelet turned out to be very attractive on the outside but hollow on the inside.
During a break for our hard working Native American team, we took them to an action park. Many of them were attracted to the maze at the park. We love to capture team memories on video, so one of our guys managed to find a spot looking down on the maze to shoot some video. And, it's really pretty funny because everyone is running down these twisting passageways, hoping to be the first person to find the exit. Unfortunately, most of those passageways of course lead to dead ends. So people are going full tilt, right into a dead end, hoping - even expecting - that this is the path that will get them where they want to go.
Marie was a teenage friend of ours, and Tom was the big guy she really cared about. It was a long-distance romance since she lived in New Jersey and he lived in the Midwest. So, needless to say, his visits were pretty special. And Marie knew he was coming the very next Friday. So on Wednesday she attacked her room trying to get it under control. She was at the point where she had everything in piles covering the floor, and she was in her grubby clothes, all hot and sweaty and grungy, and her hair's all matted down from the sweat. Suddenly, the phone rang. It was Tom telling her how much he was looking forward to seeing her. No sooner had she hung up than there was the man in her life standing at the door of her room. He had called from just downstairs. "Hi, Marie. Surprise!" She was flabbergasted, she was stunned, and of course, she was embarrassed at her condition and the condition of her room. All she could say was, "I didn't expect you to come this soon."