Monday, April 30, 2012

The hamburgers I grew up eating in Oklahoma were probably not as good as I thought they were.

But they were awfully good. In my minds eye I can still see them and I can almost taste them.

They were good! But probably not as good as I thought.

As a student at Abilene Christian I discovered that the hamburgers in Texas were also good. However, because I was working and paying my own college tuition, I rarely enjoyed a Texas burger. I took most of my meals in the "Bean" as we lovingly (I guess it was lovingly) called our cafeteria.

After graduation I headed West to save those crazy Californians from the horrors of hell. It took longer than I thought and I ended up staying thirty-two years. (I left before finishing the job. It goes on.)

I ate a lot of hamburgers in thirty-two years. I ate hamburgers from Southern California and Disneyland to San Francisco and Alcatraz.

It was in California in 1957 that I ate my first McDonald's type burger. You know the kind that has mayo and ketchup and some "magic" sauce instead of mustard. No lettuce,tomato or onion.

But I learned to like those "silly" little burgers and I have eaten them all over the place including London, England. The McDonald's I ate at in London was small--very small. And that is the reason for this post.


This summer, McDonald's will open its biggest restaurant ever for six weeks during the 2012 London Olympic games.
And by big, we mean big. The place is 3,000 square-meters large (that's about 32,292 square feet) and about half the length of a football field. It'll be staffed by 2,000 people, who are estimated to serve more than 50,000 Big Macs and 180,000 servings of French fries. There'll be seating for 1,500 at a time.

Some day I will return to Oklahoma to see if I can find that "old time" feeling and flavor or find out if it's just all in my head.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It was during the Christmas season one year that we first heard Scott MacIntyre sing. We have learned to love the balmy winter evenings that surround Christmas in Arizona. We were out on this particular Friday evening in December helping our church kick off the season. The church family and friends had gathered at that part of the church campus known as Town Center. There was tons of snow for the children to play in, strolling minstrels, fun booths, food booths and more.

My wife and I had stood in line to get our bowls of taco soup and then we found a place to sit. It just happened to be close to the stage. We didn't know there was going to be entertainment. A young man named Scott MacIntyre and his sister, Katelyn were introduced. Scott played the piano and he and Katelyn sang. They were great! My wife and I were amazed at how well they sang and that was before we heard that they were both blind. Wow!

Since that evening we have heard the MacIntyre singers―Scott, his mother, brother and sister sing a few times at church and we have heard Scott by himself. They are always good.

We were extremely excited when we heard that Scott would be a contestant on American Idol. We had not been regular views of American Idol but that season we were. It has been a joy to watch Scott grow, mature and develop the gifts God has blessed him with.

When we heard that his book, By Faith, Not By Sight was being released we smiled with eager anticipation. I wanted to get one of the first copies―and did. We have not been disappointed.

By Faith, Not By Sight is the inspirational story of a blind prodigy, a life-threatening illness, and an unexpected gift. The book is by Scott and Jennifer Schuchmann.

The book will hold your attention from beginning to end. It tells how Scott has lived much of his life high on a mountain and deep in the valley at the same time. Each time his dreams came true he found his nightmares not far behind. Some call it Murphy's Law. Others call it bad luck. Scott has learned to call it a blessing, even when circumstances have threatened to take everything away.

Blind from birth, Scott has had to work harder and longer to achieve his goals. And he has achieved great goals: Graduate. Marshall scholar. Recording artist. American Idol. Scott learned to lean on his faith, his close-knit family, and the life-giving aid of friends.

I encourage you to get this book and follow Scott's roller-coaster ride to see how God used the mountains and valleys to give him perspective, hope, and ultimately triumph. I agree with Michael W. Smith, Grammy-Award winning singer/songwriter, "What we've seen on camera just scratches the surface. Scott's moving story will inspire everyone who reads it."

(I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers. No other compensation was received and I gave no guarantee for a favorable review.)


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Scene: The injection room at the medical facility.

Cast: Nurse and you.

Action: The Nurse. She's coming up behind you with an injection needle in her hand.
             You. You're praying that she is having a good day.

My doctor ordered three injections for me to be given once a month.

The first one was given by a short little robust woman that talked like she might be from the South.
She was kind beyond words. I didn't even know when she gave me the injection. I had to ask her if she was through. She said, "I have the touch." She does!

The second injection was given to me by a very attractive, dignified looking, older woman. When she rubbed my back side with alcohol she said, "A little cold." And then her next words were, "Big poke!" I didn't have to ask if she had given me the injection. She had!

The third time I had a nurse who had only been at this facility for three weeks. She asked me every question she could think of---and then some. She pinched up a little fat on my backside as if to isolate it from the rest of my body. Did she inject it? She did!

I don't have to tell you which one of these nurses I prefer.

I'm just old and curious. Why is it that I have never had a nurse who looked like some of the young,beautiful nurses I see in the movies? The kind of woman you would gladly say to, "I don't like injections but some how you make it seem like fun."

Dreaming? Yes, I'm sure I am. I'll just keep praying that whoever it is, that she is having a good day and that the men in her life are treating her like a queen. 


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It's what we all are looking for. The answer! Or so we think.

Ray Stedman was an excellent preacher and writer. He drew large crowds to hear him where he faithfully preached for many years in Palo Alto, California.

Standing in the church foyer of "his" church building one day I saw a large wooden rack on the wall filled with copies of his sermons. This was in the day before sermons were taped and sold for a nominal fee or given away free.

So I started having my sermons, which were already being recorded, transcribed and printed for distribution. 

At first they, like the old saying goes, "went like hot cakes." By Monday or Tuesday the secretary had them in the rack in the foyer and by the weekend they were all gone.

After awhile I noticed that more and more copies were being left over and after a backlog of about a month's sermons, I would remove them from the rack and toss them. Now, this was difficult for me to do. After all, these were my "babies." People needed to "hear" these messages.

But since they weren't taking them I asked my secretary to stop printing them for awhile.

At an elders' meeting I said, "Helen works awfully hard transcribing, printing and getting those messages ready for distribution. Since the members and visitors aren't taking them like they once did I have asked her to stop printing them. I wonder if I should have her start again or just forget it?"

Nobody said anything for awhile and then one elder asked, "How many people have come to you asking for them since you stopped printing them every week?" I thought for just a minute and replied, "Well nobody has asked me."

"Well then, there's your answer."

I almost wished I hadn't asked the question.

It wasn't the answer I wanted to hear but it's what I needed to hear.

It told me a lot about myself and about people in general. I think it's something we all need to find out about ourselves and about others.

I'll let you try to figure out what I found out---if you care to do so.

You may have a question of your own you want answered---or maybe not!


Saturday, April 07, 2012

In his book A Godward Life, John Piper reminds us that ideas have consequences. He illustrates this truth by pointing to how the word "therefore" is used in the Scriptures (1,039 times in the NASB). For example, "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). "Therefore, do not be anxious for tomorrow" (Matthew 10:31). "Therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you" (Matthew 7:12). "Therefore let us not judge one another anymore" (Romans 14:13). "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body" (Romans 6:12). "Therefore glorify God in your body" (1 Corinthians 6:20). "Therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord's (Romans 14:8).

He then states, "One of the most important ideas in the universe is found in 1 Corinthians 15:51-58---the resurrection and a precious "therefore" that flows from it":

51 Behold, I tell you a mystery ; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet ; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. 55 "O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY ? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING ?" 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law ; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.