Through the years of ministry, God has miraculously provided so many things through His people that we'd have never been able to buy. So much of the furniture and equipment in our office is like a God-story.
If you know teenagers or even pre-teens, you'll hear that word "like" a lot! It's not new. Even when one of my sons was going through those interesting teenage years, he had a case of "like-itis", we'll call it. Typical sentence, "Well, there was like this movie I wanted to like watch, and so I like looked for what time it was supposed to be like – you know." Well, you know what though? There might be some power in that word like.
Sherry's family, who she loves very much, they live in Minnesota, and that's where Sherry lived. She had a home church and a place to work until she decided to move to Arizona. Why, you ask? Why would a young woman to-tally relocate her life to a place where she doesn't have a job and doesn't know many people? One reason: my youngest son. She was about to be his serious girlfriend. And Arizona would just happen to be where our son lived. He worked with Native American young people there. And it should come as no surprise that she wanted to be where the man she loves was. She rearrang-ed her whole life to be with him, and now she's our daughter-in-law!
Driving in Mexico? Oh, that's an adventure. Actually, riding with someone who's driving is an adventure!
Some years ago when we had an office in Latin America, I was with our director of Latin American outreach. He was very skillfully and amazingly navigating the challenges of the traffic in his city. Don's little boy, John, was in the back seat and at one point our back seat helper reminded Daddy that he was supposed to be getting in the next lane for an upcoming tunnel! It took a little doing, but Don managed to get over there somehow, at which point little John in the back seat had a word for his father. This little voice said from the back seat, "Good job, Daddy!" See, John says that pretty often. He likes what his father does, and he tells him.
It was sort of good news/bad news for our youngest son. But it was mostly good news. He had sensed the strong leading from the Lord to go into full-time outreach to Native Americans. That meant he would be driving those exciting, rugged reservation roads. But there was no way that was going to be possible without a four wheel drive vehicle.
I went out shooting, yes, as in a gun, with a friend of mine a while back, and I got a high caliber scare! The report of one volley of gunfire was so loud it literally made me deaf for a little while. I mean it was just temporary, just a few minutes, but I'll tell you it was all the deafness I ever want to experience. It is not a pleasant prospect to imagine hearing no children's laughter, no tender words, no music, no birds singing, and I had a new understanding of the tragedy of deafness. There's one kind, though, that isn't a tragedy. It's a triumph.
If you're from Texas, you know that Alamo is more than just a rental car agency. The Alamo, you know, is that old Spanish Mission in the heart of downtown San Antonio where an estimated 200 brave freedom fighters took their stand against the army of Mexico in the battle for Texas independence. Now, I've been there and I've seen the Alamo. And on my last visit, I was moved again by the sacrifice that those people made. They gave their lives for the cause of freedom. But only after inflicting heavy losses on the enemy army and inspiring what turned out to be the ultimate victory with the Texas battle cry, "Remember the Alamo!"
Our dog, Missy, had to share our attention with another pet. Yeah, it was a canary that we named in honor of one of our Native American friends. We named the canary Cherokee. Now, this little yellow cheerleader was great for when you were in a bad mood because he never was! As soon as you uncovered his cage in the morning, he began warbling his repertoire of happy tunes. It might be a sunny day, and you had happy singing from him all day long. It might be a miserable day. Guess what? Happy singing all day long! It didn't matter how the people around our canary felt; happy, stressed, noisy, quiet, or down. It just didn't matter. No matter what, he was always singing!
My schedule? Oh, forget it. It's ridiculous! So much so I often can't get to stores before they close. And banks just don't seem to have schedules that are made for guys like me. Here I am after banker's hours with nothing in my wallet but pictures of my family. But, listen, a great thing happened! The ATM was invented, the ATM card just for people like us. What a concept! Any time of the day or night I can go in with an empty wallet and use that card to instantly access my account and walk out with something in my wallet. Good deal.
Velcro Man! That's what my wife and I nicknamed one of our good friends. And Jack, if you happen to be listening, I'm sorry you have to hear about this through the radio. Jack is Velcro Man! Everywhere we look in his house, his vehicle, his studio, we find a problem solved by Velcro; that special fabric tape that has hundreds of little hooks on one side and loops on the other side. Man, when you can connect them, they stick together!