Your Relationships

Monday, September 15, 2003

Some of our best family memories are from some of our camping vacations. See, we got real close - I mean, literally - sleeping together in our little tent. We enjoyed beautiful scenery, great outdoor-cooked meals, a peaceful environment, living by the sun. Of course, there were a few downsides - like those very dark nights in very dark campgrounds.

I can remember our boys' ambivalence to walk to the bathroom on nights like those. They had the need to use the facilities and that was undeniable, but the dark path and the dark woods ... well, they were scary, especially knowing there were bears in those woods. But one thing would unparalyze them - when they reached up in the dark and found my hand. Once they were holding their father's hand, they could keep walking into the darkness.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Over the years, one of my favorite TV shows was "Mission: Impossible." If you were a fan like me, you can hear that driving "Mission: Impossible" theme in your head right now, huh? Well, Hollywood liked the idea enough they made a movie out of it - and then a sequel! The Mission Impossible Team was always given this assignment that seemed like a "no way" assignment - but they pulled it off every time. Every time. There is, however, one mission that is truly impossible.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

It used to be that if you had a message to get through to someone, you left that message on their voice mail to get their attention. Then fax machines came along and a fax was a more dynamic way to communicate your message and have it noticed. Then along came e-mail and introduced an even more dynamic way to get through. Now it's not uncommon for e-mailers to check their computer several times a day - eagerly wanting to know, "Has someone tried to reach me? What did they have to say?" And many e-mailers hope to hear that little voice from their computer that raises their expectations. It says, "You've got mail."

Monday, August 18, 2003

There's a lot of talk these days about Biblical prophecies being fulfilled and about the signs that precede Christ's return. But when you're little, all this talk about how things are going to end can have an interesting effect. One friend of ours told me recently about how his little boy told him, "Daddy, I sure hope Jesus comes real soon." His Dad asked him why, and the little boy responded, "Well, I'm really looking forward to sitting on Jesus' lap, and I'll be seven pretty soon. And if Jesus doesn't come soon, I might be too old to sit on His lap!" Dad was glad to be able to give his son the good news - "Son, you are never too old for Jesus' lap."

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

It was the largest oil spill in American history - and it was, in a sense, largely the fault of one man. The tanker Exxon Valdez, remember, ran aground on a reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound. The resulting oil spill did incalculable damage to the local fishing industry, to the environment in that very majestic piece of America, and to a lot of wildlife. The Commander of the Coast Guard said the passage there is ten miles across. He said, "So wide, your children could pilot a tanker through there!" So how did it happen? Well, an unlicensed third-mate was on the bridge that day, piloting the vessel. He was where the captain should have been. The captain was down below! That disaster happened because the man who should have been on the bridge wasn't!

Thursday, August 7, 2003

There are few words that strike more fear into hearts in Middle America than the word "tornado" - and rightly so. Twisters can hit so suddenly and do such awful damage. That was proven again when some deadly tornadoes tore through Oklahoma in 1999 - one of them was so strong that it was almost classified an F-6 - which would have created a whole new category of tornado. In light of the power of those storms, the story I saw on the evening news was amazing. After hearing one of those tornado warnings for the tornadoes in Oklahoma, a mother and her adult daughter went into a room in their house for safety. It's called a safe room or a strong room, and it's built with concrete that's reinforced with metal. And it's built to withstand even a hit by a tornado. Well, sure enough, the tornado hit that house and there was virtually nothing left - except for one room. The safe room. And when it was all clear, the mother and daughter walked out unscathed in a neighborhood where virtually everything else had been blown away.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Frankly, most of us didn't know much about the space shuttle Columbia's amazing crew until the ship and the crew were lost in that awful re-entry tragedy. But then we began to learn what truly outstanding men and women these people were. Starting with their commander, Rick Husband. Hearing from his family and friends, it quickly became clear that he was a magnetic follower of Jesus Christ. He quoted from memory verses from Joshua 1 to prepare his crew the night before the launch. He prayed with his crew just before they met the press and boarded the shuttle. He molded his diverse crew into a bonded team. What touched me most was what Rick Husband did for his kids before he left. He made 17 videos for his daughter and 17 videos for his young son, each one a "devotional with Daddy" for each day he was scheduled to be gone - it was Daddy with the Word of God and Daddy praying with them. Can you imagine what a treasure that will be to them?

Friday, March 21, 2003

Trivia time. What GE-sponsored TV show did Ronald Reagan host before he became President? You're probably way too young to know the answer, right? OK. Wait a minute, wait a minute ... that older fellow in the back. What did you say? Yes, a program called "Death Valley Days." That's right! It was all about that hot and hostile stretch of California known as Death Valley - and the stories of what people faced in that place that all too often lived up to its name.

Well,

Friday, January 17, 2003

Every fall, the TV networks start hyping their new shows. And usually, they have a couple that feature a well-known star. You can be sure that those headline shows and those headline stars won't be on at 2:00 in the afternoon or 1:00 in the morning. No way. They will air sometime in the heart of the evening, like 8:00 or 9:00 - prime time! You know you've made it when you've got a show on prime time, you know. Even though a lot of what's on in those hours doesn't seem very prime to a lot of us, to the networks this is their best. Stick the reruns and the less popular shows in the off-hours when not as many people are watching, right? But prime time, hey, that's reserved for the best.

Friday, January 10, 2003

Pam was a young woman who was active in a Campus Life Club I ran some years ago, and she was very lonely. She used to call different ones of us leaders two or three times a week. Pam felt like she was unattractive. She had never had a date, and she had problems at home. And she usually called to talk about her problems and how depressed she was. Until that week she called me and I said to her, "Pam, don't call me again until you've carried out an assignment I'd like to give you." Well, I encouraged her to go to the local senior citizens' facility and volunteer for one night. She was hesitant, but she did it.

Well, that night she read to those folks and she walked with them and listened to their stories. When she was leaving, some of them asked, "When will you be back?" Well, she hadn't planned to come back. But their encouragements caused her to tell them, "Uh, next week." She did go back the following week - and virtually every week after that through the rest of high school. Last I knew, she'd become a doctor. Once she started to live for some people who needed her, Pam didn't call much anymore. She didn't need to. She was too busy making a difference.

            

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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