During the first few hours of their 30th college reunion, Mary Schmich and her friends talked mostly about how old their classmates looked. But as the event progressed, their focus began to change. Later, in her Chicago Tribune column, Mary wrote: “Once you get used to the fact that time has robbed every single one of you of something—or added it in the wrong places . . . you stop thinking about looks [and] start talking about life.”
In 2002, I was in Jakarta, Indonesia, to teach a 2-night Bible conference. The first night, I went early to the host church, and the pastor asked if he could show me around the building. It was impressive in its beauty.
A little girl was being punished for bad behavior, and her parents were making her eat dinner by herself in the corner of the room. They paid no attention to her until they heard her pray part of Psalm 23: “I thank You, Lord, for preparing a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”
During a walk through the picturesque Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, our attention was diverted from the huge, majestic, sandstone rocks toward two people wearing homemade robot suits. The park was thronged with summer tourists who immediately began taking pictures of the robots while their children gathered round to touch and talk to them. Folks who had come to admire the silent beauty of God’s creation were now watching people in cardboard costumes sprayed with silver paint.
In his book Love Is Now, Peter Gilquist mentioned that he and several other friends were invited to speak to a group of UCLA students. After the meeting, a young man expressed a desire to discuss the matter of salvation. So Gilquist arranged to meet with him the next morning.
In Craig Nelson’s book The First Heroes, we read about the Doolittle Raiders who launched the first major counterattack on the Pacific front during World War II. Not all of the “raiders” returned from their bombing mission. Jacob DeShazer was among those who were captured and held in POW camps under difficult and painful circumstances.
Given a choice, I’d probably not voluntarily visit my doctor for a physical exam. I’m inclined to assume that everything is okay and not bother my doctor about it. But since my wife is a nurse, I don’t have a choice. I go in for regular exams.
Three young men who say they are atheists decided to “sample” and report on several churches in their city. One of these men said, “There is something other than teaching that is appealing to people. We didn’t see a lot of doctrine. . . . The appeal was mostly the community. The content in most churches isn’t nearly as important as the packaging.” The three atheists offered this explanation for why thousands of people in their area attend church each Sunday: The attraction stems more from a person’s Christian identity than from what the religion teaches.
A new Christian sent an e-mail to a Web site that answers questions about faith. She said, “I struggle with the claim of other Christians that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven and to God. What will happen to those who believe otherwise?”
Unlike David in 2 Samuel 16, we like to take revenge, silence our critics, insist on fairness, and set everything right. But David told those who wanted to defend him: “Let [Shimei] alone, and let him curse; for so the Lord has ordered him” (v.11).