Abraham Lincoln was kind of a hero of my boyhood. No, not because I knew him personally, not because I was alive when he was alive. But I'll tell you what, I did study a lot about him. He died on Good Friday. Yeah, he did. And until recently, I didn't know his final wish. He actually whispered it to his wife just before the fatal shot at Ford's Theatre, and it's pretty moving.
I've got to confess; sometimes the Bible actually makes me laugh out loud. I mean, I was reading the Easter Story, and it happened again. They're about to bury Jesus in a borrowed tomb. Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, issues this command to his soldiers: "Make it as secure as you know how" (Matthew 27:65).
I've been to South Africa multiple times, and so when I heard about the death of Nelson Mandela, it caught my attention. He, of course, was the first black President in South Africa, where the 90% black majority had never had the right to vote. Or many other basic human rights for that matter.
French beaches! You say that and most people might think about like a vacation that would be nice. Well, not when the Western world remembered a major anniversary that happened on French beaches on D-Day. I remember, for example, the 50th anniversary. For several days American media bombarded us, and we couldn't forget it. Something else happened on French beaches - the heroic battle to establish an allied beachhead in France and to push back the darkness of Hitler's madness.
My wife and I were enjoying a wonderful few days of rest on the Gulf Coast of Florida. And one of our favorite things to do is to walk the beach, even though we can't seem to agree on how fast to walk. See, I've always been Mr. Aerobics and she was always Mrs. Aesthetics. Yeah. Loved to walk slowly enough to appreciate the beautiful sea shells that the tide deposited on the beach. Well, she finally slowed me down long enough to enjoy some of the color and the design that God put into those shells. I'm glad she did.
Facebook and other social media have afforded us the wonderful privilege of knowing more about our friends than we ever really wanted to. "I just blew my nose. Thought you all should know." Best of all, we can share our "selfies"; pictures of me, taken by me. Because it's all about me, right? No! Well, at least it's not supposed to be.
I've got this card in my wallet that has bailed me out on several occasions. It has the simple word "Treasurer" on it. No, it has nothing to do with any offices that I hold; it's my bank card. Okay, so I go to the money machine at my bank, the ATM. You can just stick your card in it and you get the money you need, provided there are some resources in your account to cover it. I guess the faster paced our lives get the more we need these quick fixes. I mean, we need instant access to the resources we need.
As an airline passenger, those video images from the Los Angeles airport that day were just plain disturbing: a human stampede, terrified passengers, fleeing from a gunman on the loose in the terminal.
I was on the road again so it had to be a fast food lunch. You know, I keep the nutrition guides from several of those fast food places, even if "fast food nutrition guide" sounds like an oxymoron. I try to think calories before I order because my food too often goes from a moment on the lips to forever on the hips. Interesting thing about the food we eat, the same meal can turn into fat or turn into energy. It depends on what you do after you eat it!
It was November, and we were thinking turkey, not tornadoes. Right before Thanksgiving there were some 68 tornadoes that didn't consult the calendar. From EF-2s to EF-4s, they left a swath of erased homes and devastated communities across the middle of America. Washington, Illinois was clearly one of the epicenters of the violence in the skies. And the pictures from there are all too familiar; splintered neighborhoods, and residents trying to figure out which pile of rubble used to be their home, and what one reporter called "the good stuff." Like Steve Bucher, who had no home address as of the night the tornado hit. He told CNN that his attitude was "in the next minute and a half, we're either gonna be in heaven or we're going to be in the hospital, or we're going to walk out of here." Thankfully, they walked out safe, but minus pretty much everything else they had.