If you’re familiar with my story as told in FINDING HOME, you know my dad did a lot of things wrong. Dad had an ongoing struggle with alcohol, gambling and horse betting. His poor choices damaged my parents’ marriage to the point where he and Mom divorced when I was five. After the divorce, he didn’t provide any child support so Mom had to work three jobs just to keep the lights on and food on the table.
Mary is fourteen. She attends a local public school here in Colorado Springs. Like the other students in her P.E. class, Mary hit the locker room after a grueling 40 minute workout. She had just minutes for a quick shower and change of clothes before heading to her next class. With just a towel wrapped around her, she gathered her shampoo and soap. Without warning, a 15-year-old boy walked into the girl’s locker room, disrobed in front of Mary, and headed for the girl’s showers.
The last time I went to a NASCAR race, I was something like 14 years old. That’s back when NASCAR legend Richard “The King” Petty was burning up the tracks. Ten days ago, I was invited by Motor Racing Outreach (MRO) to witness the Sprint Showdown and the Sprint All-Star Race XXIV at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.. I had no idea I’d get to watch the 100 laps of heart-stopping action from the best seat in the house–on the infield!
I have some very sad news to report.
Ten days ago, Maria Sue Chapman, the youngest child of Mary Beth and Steven Curtis Chapman, was blowing out five candles on her birthday cake. Last night, Maria died in a tragic auto accident in Franklin, Tennessee. What makes this loss especially difficult is the fact that she was accidentally killed by an older brother driving one of the family vehicles in the Chapman’s driveway.
At the time, the entire family was home celebrating the recent engagement of their oldest daughter Emily as well as the high school graduation of son Caleb.
One week ago today, the world woke up to the news that China had been rocked by a 7.9 magnitude earthquake. Yesterday, the China Seismological Bureau revised the magnitude to 8.0. Whatever the number, the reality defies comprehension. The shockwaves from the epicenter in the Sichuan Province were felt several thousand miles away in Hong Kong. Some perspective: that’s like an earthquake in Los Angeles, California being felt in Atlanta, Georgia. This earthquake was so powerful, tremors could be felt in Vietnam, Thailand, Mongolia, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and Russia.
Yesterday, California’s Supreme Court ignored the will of the people by handing down a landmark decision overturning the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. The 4-3 decision reverses Proposition 22, which defined marriage as being exclusively between one man and one woman. Keep in mind Prop 22 had been passed in 2000 by an overwhelming margin of Californian voters (61 to 39%).
That wasn’t good enough for these justices.
Dr. Dobson reflected, “In 1863, Abraham Lincoln said in the Gettysburg Address that ours is a government ‘of the people, by the people and for the people.’ Well, not in the state of California, where four imperious and unelected justices have just overridden the will of the voters.”
While New Jersey and Vermont have granted same-sex couples many of the same rights and benefits of traditional marriage, California now joins Massachusetts as the second state to redefine the definition of marriage.
During the National Day of Prayer (NDP), I sat on the edge of my seat as NDP Honorary Chairman Dr. Ravi Zacharias told the following story. In 1971, when Ravi was a twenty-something young man, he traveled to the war-torn country of Vietnam for a series of revival meetings. Upon arrival, Ravi met Pham Hien, a 17-year-old youth, who gladly served as Ravi’s translator during his stay.
Not long after Ravi left the country, Pham was imprisoned by the Viet Cong because Pham had worked with Americans like Ravi.
My dad was passionate about baseball.
As a young boy, I remember listening to my dad telling stories about the year he played for the Detroit Tigers. As I mention in my book FINDING HOME, there are two reasons why it’s a bit difficult to prove whether or not Dad actually wore the Tiger’s uniform for a season.
First, he’s dead. This, of course, complicates asking him any follow-up questions on the subject.
The second issue has to do with my last name.
I never met the man. I didn’t even know him. But his last act has touched my life in a profound way. Here’s what happened four days ago.
With visions of Happy Meals dancing in her head, four-year-old Kaniyah and her dad, Joseph Richardson, left a Chicago apartment for dinner last Monday night. Walking several short blocks to the nearby McDonald’s was one of the simple pleasures she shared with her father, a 39-year-old musician and choir director.
Has this happened to you?
It’s date night and you decide to see a movie. You’re standing in the ticket line tempted to see the movie everyone is talking about. You notice the larger-than-life posters swinging from the ceiling in the lobby heralding its release. Sure look interesting. But you remain uncertain. Far too often you’ve been disappointed by a friend’s recommendation. There’s been too much violence . . . more profanity than a gangsta rap record .