Okay, let's get the controversial part out of the way first. I'm a New York Yankees baseball fan. All right, "Boo!" Okay, good, got that out of the way. Now, I remember a very heated time when the Toronto Blue Jays came to town to play the Yankees. Some years ago actually.
When you travel a lot, you eat in restaurants a lot. And so I've seen my share of waiters and waitresses - some who do a good job, some whose service leaves something to be desired, and a few who are outstanding at what they do. You try to say a special thank you with a special tip for that kind of server, right? One example of stellar service: those servers who check regularly to see if you need more water, without being asked for it; who automatically check to see if you want ketchup or steak sauce or more bread or more anything. It just feels good when someone cares enough to anticipate what you might need.
For many years I lived in New Jersey where we were blessed with a heavy dose of Italy. There were so many Italians in our area, it should come as no surprise that we had so many Italian restaurants. And what's their favorite dressing on a dinner salad? Of course, Italian dressing. Actually, I didn't know what Italian dressing was for much of my life. I always heard it called by the ingredients that make it up - vinegar and oil. And frankly, I'm sure glad they put them together. Can you imagine a salad with just vinegar dressing? You'd bite into your salad and your salad would bite you back! But then I couldn't get very excited about a salad that just had oil dressing on it either. That slimy covering...that's not going to be very appetizing. Vinegar without oil, oil without vinegar - not very appealing. But put them together, hey, you've got a pretty tasty combination there!
If you don't like to wash your hands, don't ever become a doctor or a nurse. You have to wash your hands a lot! Scrubbing up is a routine procedure for people in the medical profession. I don't think any of us wants to be opened up by some doc who hasn't washed his hands all day! Right? Actually, a loved one of ours had a major heart surgery a few years ago, which she made it through. What she didn't make it through was the staph infection that she picked up in the hospital. It's avoiding that kind of thing that's at the heart of a hospital's insistence that healers and caregivers get really clean before they touch you. If they carry infection, they can do a lot of damage.
It was one of those great night-night conversations that a father can have when he's with his son or daughter at bedtime. Our son-in-law tried to prepare our four-year-old grandson for sleeping by saying, "You know you don't have to worry at night because Jesus is with you." Our grandson, ever the thinker, said, "How do I know that Jesus can see me?" Dad told him, "Well, Jesus is up in heaven, watching everything we do. And He also lives inside each of us and He can see everything." Oh, ponder time! And then, "So that means I'm Jesus' house!" (We knew that he had asked Jesus into his heart.) Dad affirmed him, "Actually, that's exactly how the Bible describes it!" Then came our grandson's application questions, "Is Mommy Jesus' house?" "Yes." And you're Jesus' house?" "Yes." "And my little brother is Jesus' house?" (Well, his little brother then was too young to give his heart to Jesus yet.) Daddy said, "Well, not yet." Good. Sounds like Daddy passed the theology test.
It takes a real romantic klutz to ruin himself with four girls at one time. (It was me.) Oh, I did a pretty good job of that when I was in high school. See, it was Christmastime, and I decided I wanted to write kind of a romantic masterpiece on the back of the Christmas card to a girl named Wendy. The problem was that I actually was interested in three other girls too.
Some of the worst stories of human brutality in history, of course, came out of Hitler's concentration camps in World War II. But out of those camps also came some incredible examples of human triumph and heroism. Victor Frankl, a Jewish psychiatrist who survived the Holocaust in the infamous Auschwitz death camp, told some of those stories in his book. He testified that some of those in Auschwitz were surviving better after a year than some of them did after only a few days. He said that those who didn't sink were those who drew their outlook from what he described as a second dimension experience.
When you visit Amish country in Pennsylvania, you pass these buffet restaurants that advertise fare with "seven sweets and seven sours." I'm glad it's not all one or the other. I mean, the mix is good, as it... In fact it's one of my favorite salad dressings - sweet and sour dressing - another specialty in Amish country. Once again, I like that dressing because it's both. I don't want to think about a salad with just vinegar all over my lettuce and tomatoes. Right? But then, a salad with just lots of sugar spread all over it? That doesn't do much for me either. But sweet and sour together, now that's an appealing combination!
Every once in a while another turf fight breaks out in places like New York City, and it's not between rival youth gangs. Let's say, the police department and the fire department. There's kind of a competitiveness there. They'll clash over whose job is whose.
I watched the new high school football coach at our local high school back then work an amazing transformation. Before he took over, playing our team meant an almost automatic win for the other team. After the new coach came and made his mark, our team almost always went to the state championship. Our sons can tell you one reason why - they played for him. He used to run some very grueling practices, but he told them he was building a "fourth quarter team" - a team that had the endurance to finish strong when their opponents were fading. And you could count on our team dominating the final quarter of the game. They knew how decisive it would be, and they were prepared to give it all. In fact, at the end of the third quarter, the players would pump each other up with this familiar war cry, "Fourth quarter! It's ours!"