Archives: May 2011

Bad Choice

An elderly TV star was asked by talk-show host Larry King about heaven. King prefaced his question by referring to Billy Graham, who had told King he “knew what would be ahead. It would be paradise. He was going to heaven.”

King then asked his guest, “What do you believe?” He replied,

Let Honor Meet Honor

I’ve always been impressed by the solemn, magnificent simplicity of the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. The carefully choreographed event is a moving tribute to soldiers whose names—and sacrifice—are “known but to God.”

Keeping The Wonder

On a recent trip, my wife was seated near a mother with a young boy on his first flight. As the plane took off, he exclaimed, “Mom, look how high we are! And everything’s getting smaller!” A few minutes later he shouted, “Are those clouds down there? What are they doing under us?” As time passed, other passengers read, dozed, and lowered their window shades to watch the in-flight video. This boy, however, remained glued to the window, absorbed in the wonder of all he was seeing.

Are You Listening?

He was frustrated. He was angry. He was tired of being blamed for everything that went wrong. Year after year, he had gotten them through one disaster after another. He was continually interceding on their behalf to keep them out of trouble. But all he got for his efforts was more grief.

The Pilot’s Rutter

During the era of great sea exploration in the 15th and 16th centuries, sailing ships traversed vast, hazardous oceans and navigated dangerous coastlines. Pilots used various navigation techniques—including a book called a “rutter” (not the “rudder,” the ship’s steering device). This was a log of events kept by earlier voyagers who chronicled their encounters with previously unknown and difficult waters. By reading the sailing details in a rutter, captains could avoid hazards and make it through difficult waters.

Trust And Sadness

In early 1994, when our family found out that the US soccer team would be playing in Michigan in the World Cup, we knew we had to go.

What a great time we had as we went to the Pontiac Silverdome to see the US take on Switzerland! It was one of the most remarkable events of our lives.

The Real Prize

I’ve been amazed at the impact that my wife, Martie, has had on the lives of our kids. Very few roles demand the kind of unconditional, self-sacrificing perseverance and commitment as that of motherhood. I know for certain that my character and faith have been shaped and molded by my mom, Corabelle.

Principles of Leadership Development

Adapted from lectures delivered at Willow Creek’s Leadership Summit by 5 of today’s most influential leaders, this course offers principles of effective multicultural leadership. In this course, you will learn how to become a transformational leader, identify the enemies of a growing church, develop problem-solving strategies, resolve to complete your God-given mission, and effectively lead multicultural communities.

Instructors: Floyd Flake, James Meeks, A.R. Bernard, Sr., Kenneth Ulmer, Efrem Smith.

Simplify

In a radio interview, a basketball superstar was asked about his knack for making the game-winning shot in crucial situations. The reporter asked how he was able to be so calm in such pressure-packed moments. His answer was that he tried to simplify the situation. “You only have to make one shot,” the player replied.

Our Dependency

While enjoying the arrival of a new great-niece, I was reminded of how much work it is to take care of a newborn baby. They are needy little creations who want feeding, changing, holding, feeding, changing, holding, feeding, changing, holding. Totally unable to care for themselves, they depend on those older and wiser people surrounding them.

Sign Language

A friend of mine pastors a church in a small mountain community not far from Boise, Idaho. The community is nestled in a wooded valley through which a pleasant little stream meanders. Behind the church and alongside the stream is a grove of willows, a length of grass, and a sandy beach. It’s an idyllic spot that has long been a place where members of the community gather to picnic.

Fresh Fruit

I love the old photographs that are often printed on the obituary page of our local newspaper. A grinning young man in a military uniform and words such as: 92 years old, fought for his country in WWII. Or the young woman with sparkling eyes: 89 years young, grew up on a farm in Kansas during the Depression. The unspoken message is: “I wasn’t always old, you know.”

Humbly Receive

While reading the first chapter of James, I was struck by the phrase “humbly accept the Word planted in you, which can save you” (v.21 NIV). A decision with which I’d been struggling came to mind, and I thought: I don’t need to read another book, attend another seminar, or ask another friend about this. I need to obey what the Bible tells me to do.

Broken Relationships

I watched from my balcony as a 20-story apartment building was demolished. The demolition took barely a week to complete. In its place a new building is being constructed. It’s been months now, and despite construction activities going on nights and weekends, it is still incomplete. How much easier it is to tear down than to build up!

We Shall Be Changed

Being afflicted with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, Thomas DeBaggio chronicled his gradual memory loss in the book Losing My Mind. This book records the disturbing process by which—little by little—tasks, places, and

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