My first daughter, Jamie Jo, was seven years old when she first thumb-tacked a picture of a Cambodian orphan child in the middle of her bedroom bulletin board in our cliff side Ozark Mountain home.
Those trusting brown eyes of that baby burned an image in my daughter’s heart that branded her with compassion for every “broken winged” animal and person she would ever encounter….
Three weary travelers on the brink of exhaustion and starvation trudged across the desert in search of an oasis. They stood in amazement as two riders appeared over the distant horizon. As the strangers were encountered they told the travelers that in one day’s journey they would cross a dry riverbed with many curious stones. They told the famished men, “Fill your backpacks with stones when you…
Trying to write today’s brief introduction has been laborious and futile. I’ve greatly enjoyed writing countless chapters in many books through the years, but this one just won’t compute. I’ve attempted to place my pen to the pad over and over again, but to no avail. Describing God’s holiness is difficult. Actually, it’s far beyond difficult, It’s impossible. I thought about the bacteria and contaminate free, pure…
NASA’s premier intergalactic telescope is strategically positioned aboard the WMAP satellite orbiting the earth and transmitting never-before-seen images of the majestic cosmos to Mission Control in Houston. There, the team of stellar scientists ponder and computer enhance the findings and interpret their significance to the mysteries of our origin. In April, 2006, a retroactive computerization from one such telescopic discovery was released on the media airways that…
What is the mathematical likelihood that our universe, capable of originating life, could have been randomly brought into being by a “Big Bang” accidental explosion? One chance in a billion (109)? One chance in a trillion (1012)? One chance in a bilion trillion (1021)? According to Dr. Roger Penrose, Emeritus professor of mathematics at Oxford University, the odds are far greater against such an occurrence.
Recruiting (from 330 university campuses) our summer staff, of 2,700 college athletes, who love God and love kids, is a great annual adventure that takes a team of forty plus directors (of our twelve Christian sports camps) across tens of thousands of miles of U.S. highways each winter. Our counselors are truly champions and the cream of the crop, our kids deserve nothing less.
Playing “nose tackle” in college suited my “appetite for action” to near perfection. Lining up against the Buckeyes of Ohio State, the Tigers of Auburn, the Arkansas Razorbacks, the Texas Tech Red Raiders and other formidable foes was thrilling to say the least. But standing over the football as the eleven best in college football approached the line of scrimmage like a band of ruthless gladiators dressed…
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23)
Following Christ is a radical, sold out, all-encompassing commitment dwarfed only by His trip to planet earth to reconcile you and me to God.
How can I follow someone I have never touched?
The Ultimate Sacrifice
For the last 50 years of Fran Gajowniczek’s life, August 14th was a shrine, a day of remembering and a pilgrimage to a place where one life was given for another. For Maximillian Kolbe, August 14th will forever be ordained as a day of ultimate liberation and freedom from a place called “the death bunker” to the throne of grace and the outstretched arms of…
Of all the magnificent mysteries of God’s intelligent design of our cosmos, and the creatures that inhabit our highly favored earthly home, is the metamorphosis and incomprehensible migratory flight of the tiny Monarch butterfly from its summer home near Saskatchewan, Canada, to its winter residence in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of southern Mexico. This annual 3,000 mile, four generational air voyage defies the laws of reason and…
Like a 10 karat diamond, hidden just beneath the surface of a sandy beach on a remote South African seashore, a keenly insightful story and picture window into God’s heart resides in 1 Samuel. Familiar to most Old Testament readers is the intense friendship between David and Jonathan. The historical friendship, like those rare, truly great friendships today, began with a commitment of loyalty and trust. Theirs…
It was a brisk, but beautiful, Christmas day in Hereford, Texas, when a teenage friend, named Jason Paetzold, watched his dad step into the small single engine airplane his uncle had just received as a Christmas gift. A short routine flight, and “I’ll be back in 30 minutes, Son,” were his dad’s final words as he latched the door and waived “adios.” Jason’s big blue eyes were…
“Who’s Your Timothy?”
When I first met Troy, he was twenty-four years old and preparing his mind for his third suicidal attempt and the courage to jump off the tall water tower from which he had climbed and from which he had retreated twice before. I had the humble privilege of leading Troy to Christ and subsequently encouraging him in the faith over the following several years.
The resurrection of Jesus after His torture and crucifixion is the single most important historical factor in all of Christianity. Jesus is the only religious figure in the history of mankind to make the claim of deity and subsequently rise from the dead. The resurrection alone puts Jesus light years ahead of all other religious figures in history and in a category all His own.
Lamb Over Me
For decades and decades, he prayed for a son. He dreamed of the day his wife would conceive. To hear the word “Daddy” from the mouth of a toddler that bore his name was his hope and daily request before God. His vanishing desire became an aging disappointment. His wife had long since passed the age of fertility. His family tree had resolutely ended….
The winter of 1494 was memorable for its bitter cold. The city of Florence, Italy, was blanketed in snow, and Michelangelo Buonarroti’s heart was as heavy as the gray clouds that dipped low and blocked out the sun.
The Grand Duke of Florence, Lorenzo de’ Medici, had been the young artist’s benefactor. It was this great supporter of the arts who had given Michelangelo the numerous…
I’m guilty as charged. I overdid it big time! I was one big easy pushover with my kids…especially my two girls! If that wasn’t bad enough, I’m worse with my grandkids. I do find comfort in two things! Thanks to my down-to-earth wife, they didn’t turn out spoiled (far from it)! Funny thing about a lot of grandads I know.
The more I look around, I…
M&Ms (Memorize & Meditate)
If you divided all the stars in the known cosmos and distributed them equally to every human on earth, we’d each have about 6 trillion stars to account for. Our God is Big!
If the Cray Supercomputer was going all out, full steam ahead on one project, it would take years to accomplish what the human eye accomplishes in seconds….
If there were a Heisman Trophy for high school football in Pennsylvania, it would go to Jim Shaughhessy. At least in football savvy Oil Trough, Pennsylvania where “Jim Shaughhessy Day” was celebrated annually for years. If a player can succeed by being mean, tough, angry and motivated by hatred, Jim was. Beaten severely by his dad on a regular occasion made Jim shoe-leather tough. “My dad would…
You don’t expect to see a lovebird standing 6’3” tall with rippling muscles on every bone of his body and weighing 215 pounds donate vital body parts to his wife, but this love story isn’t ordinary in any sense of the word.
My big brother, Bob, was always my hero in my growing up years. His athletic prowess is only surpassed by his love for the…
No Bad Days
Difficult days? Plenty – that’s inevitable. Challenging days? Countless – that‘s a factor. Laborious days? Limitless – that’s a condition. Bad days? Banished – that’s a choice.
On March 15th, 1999, every parent’s worst fear came true for Mat and Cindy Lipscomb. After spending a fun “girl’s weekend” shopping in Chicago at the American Girl Doll Factory with her three young daughters, Rainey (11),…
Cairo, Egypt, a place where, even in recent years, Christians have been scoffed, mocked and even martyred, isn’t perhaps the place you’d picture some of the sweetest, most intimate multinational worship ever offered up to the God of Isaac, Jacob and His Son Jesus Christ! But to my pleasure and surprise, it was one of the closest glimpses of heaven my eyes and ears have ever seen….
My dad was a man’s man. He taught hand-to-hand combat in WWII. He could work Superman into the ground. But the tenderness with which he honored my mom was his greatest sermon. At age 75, he kayaked the Grand Canyon for 261 miles and wrestled some of the most unforgiving white water on earth. But I never heard him say one negative word to my mom’s…
As a tough and savvy undercover agent for the state of Texas, my brother Bill risked his life daily in undercover narcotics trafficking and organized crime. Of all the drugs he purchased and all the dope dealers he brought to justice, he said that cocaine was the most dangerous of all drugs and greatest to be feared.
“Heroine? Meth? LSD?” I asked him after watching a…
At 6’4” tall and built like a gazelle, Greg Thomas has a golf swing that would make a cover shot for Golf Digest. PGA qualified and great with private lessons and course management, Greg is definitely a man with a bright future in golf. When I began playing Greg’s “Top 100” golf club, his spiritually bankrupt life was pretty obvious. For two years, I prayed that I…