My plane touched down halfway around the world. As we taxied to the airport, I rubbed the sleep from my eyes. I was exhausted after what had been a grueling twelve-hour flight. Which was understandable considering this was Day 19 on a 21-day international trip. Frankly, I wasn’t looking forward to making my way through customs. I knew from previous experience that some agents in foreign countries attempt to con incoming passengers out of their cash.
If this has happened once, it’s happened dozens of times. Whether I’ve been introduced to a new couple or I’m visiting with old friends, eventually I like to bring the conversation around to their children. I’ll ask, “So, how are your kids doing these days?”
With broad smiles and glowing faces, they’re eager to report the good things going on with several of their kids. So-and-so is “doing great in school” . . . “made honors English” .
I wish I had met John and Amelia Rocchio.
The Guinness Book of Records honored the couple as holding the world record for staying married the longest – 83 years. If given the chance to visit with them, I would have asked what they did to fuel the flames of romance for eight decades. Did they go on regular dates? Did they take trips to exotic places? Or, did they incorporate simple pleasures like candle light dinners at home, or hold hands on regular walks through their Rhode Island neighborhood?
If Robert Ripley, creator of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!, was still alive, he’d probably have his doubts about the story I’m about to share with you. And, yes, I’ve checked this out on several hoax-buster websites. In a moment, you’ll understand why I felt the need to verify the story’s truthfulness.
According to police reports, on December 30, 2006, a pickup truck was speeding eastward on State Route 59 just outside of Hurricane, Utah.
Here’s a piece of trivia you may not know.
In March of 1977, Dr. Dobson aired his first radio broadcast called, “Let’s Get Acquainted.” Unlike the daily 30-minute format we syndicate today, Dr. Dobson’s original broadcast was a snappy, 15 minute weekly family advice show. Today, thirty-one years later, the Focus on the Family broadcast is heard in 155 countries with an estimated global audience of 220 million listeners.
What’s more, we broadcast in 26 different languages: Albanian, Arabic, Afrikaans, Armenian, Cantonese, Croatian, English, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Mongolian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Tamil, Telugu, and Zulu.
Two years ago I was speaking in Glendale, Arizona. For Pastor Steve Hubler, one of the guests, that night would forever change his life . . . and the life of his church.
You see, Steve carried with him a burden that taxed his spirit for ten years. Steve has graciously agreed for me to share portions of this letter I just received with you:
I’m one of them, one of the thousands who cannot participate in one of life’s most basic endeavors, the conception of another life.
When I wrote my first book, Finding Home, I collaborated with Bob DeMoss. Bob and I have a friendship that goes back some twenty years. Last week, Bob’s world was turned upside-down with a family medical emergency. Yesterday he sent me an email with the details. He’s agreed with my request to share the story with you.
The phone rang unusually early for a Monday morning. My sister Becky called from Philly to inform me that my brother Steve (age 49) woke up feeling numbness throughout his right arm and leg.
Here’s one from the travel file.
During the last twenty years I’ve had the opportunity to visit more than seventy countries. One day I’ll tell you about the night I was trapped in a hotel in Moscow on the evening of the Soviet coup to displace Mikhail Gorbachev, then General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Complete with tanks and soldiers filling Red Square, it’s one of those horrifying experiences movies are made of.
As you probably know, last week a young man wearing black, carrying four guns, opened fire on students at Northern Illinois University. Six are dead. Many more are wounded. Once again, Americans struggle to understand what prompted Stephen Kazmierczak, 27, to snap. Scrambling for answers, the media, as they typically do, turned to the “experts” for their insight. One authority claimed Stephen was “unbalanced” and had stopped taking his medicine . . . another pundit pointed his finger at the role of violent video games in many of these school shootings .
Let’s talk about divorce for a moment.
My parents were divorced when I was five years old, so I speak as one who has first hand experience in both the pain and the host of insecurities that are often a byproduct of a failed marriage. My first observation has to do with the cavalier attitude toward divorce popularized by the law firms who specialize in dissolving marriages.
For instance, I came across a full color advertisement hanging on the wall in a men’s restroom with this slug line: “Don’t Let Your Starter Wife Take Your Dream House.”