My first hint that things were changing was the Storm Troopers suddenly patrolling the parking lot. Then I saw the man with the floor-length wolf tail. Followed by seeing X-Men in the hotel lobby.
It's a stunner. They call it Firefall. For a few nights in February, Horsetail Falls at Yosemite National Park appears to have turned into cascading molten lava!
In reality, it's a phenomenon created as the setting sun reaches just the right angle to shine on that waterfall. And that reflection creates a breathtaking "firefall."
Our grandson's on a mission to Asia today! Literally, retracing much of my first overseas ministry trip many years ago.
When he texted about his landing there, I had a flashback. Of the people at the gate.
As I emerged from customs, here was this sea of people, waving signs with people's names on them. Folks they were looking for. Family members. Limo passengers. Business associates. Best friends.
A ten-year-old boy who never should have waded out in Lake Michigan without knowing how to swim. Me. I can still remember the terror and helplessness of going under for the second time.
I'm alive today because someone on the shore saw me drowning. He jumped in and saved my life.
Then there were those 33 Chilean miners, trapped for 69 days in a collapsed mine a half mile down. Until that rescue capsule was lowered down that newly-created shaft. The rescuers brought every miner out alive.
That's what I want to be. Because an awful lot of people don't really like the kind of Christian they're seeing. And that's a big deal. Because it's keeping them from Jesus.
The woman I loved since I was 19 was that different kind of Christian. You could tell by the mountain of tributes I received after she went to be with Jesus a little over two years ago. Those tributes had a common theme - "she made me feel..." They would finish the sentence with words like "loved...heard...accepted...worth something...believed in...I mattered."
It started out as just another day driving a school bus for Ponderosa Elementary. By that night, Kevin McKay would be hailed as "the bus driver from heaven."
In between, the most deadly wildfire in California's history exploded.
On the morning of November 8, McKay had just dropped off his students when he saw the smoke. Ten minutes later, the evacuation order. Ultimately - and quickly - nearly the entire community would be consumed by flames.
Our boys wore clothes with labels way outside my budget. Because of the generosity of a local doctor and his wife. He had first been a major medical blessing to us with the excellent care he provided. Then he and his wife blew us away with these bags full of cool clothes that their boys had outgrown.
There was a special connection that led to us being dinner guests in each other's home. I don't remember the dinner at their house, but I'll never forget the conversation.
They may never know how many died when the tsunami swept over the city of Palu in Indonesia last week. So many were just swept out to sea.
The videos are absolutely heart-wrenching. Those people were gone before they even knew what hit them.
I can walk faster than Hurricane Florence moved at times. Two miles an hour!I can walk faster than Hurricane Florence moved at times. Two miles an hour!
Some hurricanes roar in for a brief but destructive visit. Not Florence. She crawled through the Carolinas, overwhelming historic rainfall totals. And caused flooding where floods have never gone before. The storm is gone. The floods are still coming. Leaving shattered lives we need to care about long after the cameras have moved on.
Senator John McCain said it pretty well not long before his passing: "The world is in greater turmoil than at any time in my lifetime."
No matter where you live in the world, you're feeling that "the times, they are a'changin'." There's a lot that's broken. And problems so complex that every solution seems to create another problem.