Wednesday, January 30, 2002

It was a "dream car" for our teenage son - a blue, '66 Ford Mustang. He saved for it...he sold off valuable baseball cards for it - but eventually, he owned it. And it really was a pretty 'hot' car. I actually got to drive it once. Our son needed it driven from Chicago to New Jersey and somehow my wife and I were the lucky winners. And I have to admit, it was a lot of fun to drive. People would pull up next to us on the Interstate just to stare. Some would honk and wave. Folks would come over to check it out and talk to us about it at gas stops. I felt like a celebrity. Actually, the car was the celebrity. But as much as I enjoyed that Mustang, there was one thing I really didn't like about it. I had forgotten what manual steering felt like. And that hot little car was a "bear" to turn! I mean, I felt like a corkscrew by the time I finished wrapping myself around the steering column to make a turn.

Friday, January 25, 2002

We were all nestled into our tent for the night as the campground fell silent after a busy day. We had zipped each of the kids into their sleeping bag. I had zipped up the tent and tied it securely. My wife and I were all settled into our sleeping bags for a good night's sleep. And then came those words - "I gotta go potty." Great. The bathroom was down the trail and over the hill. So - unzip my sleeping bag, unzip boy's sleeping bag, put on shoes, unzip the tent, untie the flaps - oh, and be sure you've got your lantern, Dad. Father and son make their way through the real dark darkness of the campground. They can't see the bathroom - but, thanks to the light of their lantern, they make it to their goal.

Monday, January 7, 2002

When the President of the United States declared a war on terrorism, the lives of millions of American military personnel suddenly changed dramatically. Some of the first to be affected were the crews of our major combat ships, like aircraft carriers. In a matter of days, thousands were shipping out. Reporters were trying to guess what their destinations were. But, of course, not even the crews knew. Except for a few commanders, their orders were unknown.

Tuesday, January 1, 2002

When America decided to go after the Taliban in its war on terrorism, there were a lot of warnings about what a difficult battleground Afghanistan can be - and what a tough enemy the Taliban would be. That is why so many of us were so surprised when the Taliban fighters seemed to retreat so quickly from city after city in Northern Afghanistan as the Northern Alliance advanced. But Taliban defectors said that the relentless American bombing had really affected their morale. The U. S. military strategy going into the Afghan conflict was not a new one - begin with an air war - heavy bombing to "soften up" your enemy before the ground forces make a move. As we learned in the Gulf War, it can lead to a surprisingly quick victory.

Wednesday, December 26, 2001

My wife and I were traveling with our daughter and son-in-law and our two dynamite little grandsons. We were in adjoining motel rooms for a couple of days - and that's what occasioned our son-in-law's amusing comparison of our rooms. You see, our rooms were basically identical - when we each moved in. We moved our stuff into our room - they moved in themselves, their children, their children's world, and some "office on the road" stuff. Well, on our second day, our son-in-law plopped down in a chair in our room and he made this bemused observation - "You know, your room is three times bigger than our room!" Not true. See, our room was the same size. It was just one-third as crowded!

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

It happened during the Gulf War, and we've seen it in the war in Afghanistan. It's those amazing high-tech weapons that hit their target with pinpoint accuracy. There are, as they say, occasional "targeting errors," but, for the most part, those weapons go right to their intended target - weapons like Cruise missiles and what they call "smart bombs." I still remember a correspondent in Baghdad, during the Gulf War, who described this Tomahawk missile roaring in over the city, pause, and then turn left and then straight down into a military facility. Its tracking system apparently determined that it was slightly off course, corrected it, and went to the target. Amazing.

Monday, December 10, 2001

The crews assigned to the recovery effort after the September 11, attack on the Pentagon had an awful job to do. Working in 120-degree heat, they were making their way through the wreckage left behind when terrorists flew Flight 757 into the Pentagon. They didn't find any survivors. They did find a mass of concrete and metal debris; the metal too hot to touch. But USA Today reported that they did find a sign of hope as they looked into that black chasm inside. On a second floor, right next to where the jet sheared off a section of the building, was an undisturbed stool. On it was a thick, open book - a Bible. It wasn't burned. Neither was anything around it or on the two floors above it. The leader of the recovery team was quoted as saying, "I'm not as religious as some, but that would have me thinking. I just can't explain it."

Thursday, November 29, 2001

Maybe you've seen those old world maps that were created when a lot of the world was still unexplored. When they reached the edge of what had been explored, they drew a line and they showed dragons and monsters beyond it--which didn't exactly encourage exploration. The story is told of a first century Roman commander who had to lead his troops beyond the line on the map and into "dragon" territory. He sent a courier back to Rome with a straightforward message - "We have just marched off the map! Please send new orders!"

Tuesday, November 20, 2001

It was a fogged-in morning at the country house we were using for our vacation. The valley below us, the mountains beyond us were nowhere to be seen. In fact, you couldn't see much beyond the front porch. But by about 10:00 A. M., the sun was obviously doing its thing. I could sit there and literally watch the mist being sucked upward and up and away by the heat of the sun. I called my wife's attention to the vanishing moisture, and she made an interesting observation. She said, "That's what happens to you when you dehydrate" - which I did a few months ago. But actually watching the moisture being sucked away - and thinking of that happening to me - well, it will make a fellow be sure he's got a bottle of water with him most of the time.

Friday, October 26, 2001

It was one of those real short nights. I had just spoken for a large youth event, and the night went late for the best of reasons: God brought hundreds of young people to faith in Christ that night. The counseling of all those kids took a blessedly long time. Now Jason, who was one of the organizers, took me to my hotel that night and told me he would be picking me up in a few hours for my very early morning flight. I said, "I'm sorry you have to get me so early when you've been up so late." He said, "Oh, don't worry. I'll just roll out of bed, throw on a baseball cap, and come on over." Well, bless his heart, that's just what he did. When we got to the airport, I asked him if we could pray together before I went on my plane. He respectfully took off his baseball cap, and we had a neat time of prayer. When I opened my eyes at the end, he still had his cap off. And a very creative hair style--I mean, it was all over the place! He even laughed about it. The cap covered what he didn't want anyone to see--except when he was praying.

            

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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