Car Shopping With My Two Fathers

Dad and me1970-ford-mustang-1

I was just out of high school and needed a better car.  Since my dad was the expert on mechanical things and negotiating, he agreed to go car shopping with me.  We visited a few car lots before I found the car of my wildest dreams, a blue 1970 Mach 1 Mustang, only three years old back then.

Of course it was priced several thousand dollars more than our predetermined spending limit.  So, we moved on and looked at several cheaper cars.  Unfortunately, nothing looked interesting to me after my heart had been stolen by the Mustang!

Though I hadn’t noticed this trait in my dad before, I realized that he empathized with my disappointment.  He suggested we go back and offer them our two thousand dollars in cash for the Mach 1.  I was excited; and embarrassed at the same time.  My dad wanted to try to help me get the car of my dreams!  But, I couldn’t imagine how ridiculous we were going to appear to the salesman.

However, my desires won over my pride and I allowed my dad to make our humble offer.  The salesman was both insulted and amused.  There was no way he could even consider such an offer for that a car.  My dad thanked him for his time and told me to head back to the car so we could continue our shopping.

I was not surprised, but I was heartbroken.  As we were preparing to drive off the salesman hurried over to our car.  He had decided he should at least take our offer to the sales manager.  What followed was a lengthy test of my dad’s resolve versus the negotiating skills of our salesman.

Eventually my dad told me to go back to the car.  I assumed we would drive off and continue shopping.  Instead, dad suggested we pray about what to do.  So right there in dad’s car, we prayed; out loud, asking God for wisdom.

I have to admit I was a bit embarrassed to pray while the salesman watched us.  After all, I didn’t know if God even cared about the process of buying cars, especially for a kid like me.  But my dad didn’t care about what people thought, he was only concerned about doing the right thing in God’s eyes.

When we finished praying, dad suggested we make our original offer one more time.  If the Lord wanted me to have this car, they would accept our offer.  If they didn’t, the Lord would have a better car for me somewhere else.  I was skeptical, but we had prayed and dad was confident.

Shortly thereafter, I drove that very same Mustang out of the car lot with our salesman shaking his head in amazement.  I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God had done a miracle, just for me!

That miracle was just the first of many that I can still remember to this day!  Miracles that have convinced me that God cares about me, and the ordinary issues that concern me.  Since then I have learned much more about my gracious Heavenly Father.  He cares about you!

Crazy Good!

Alexander was born into a Puritan home in Scotland the end of May in 1701. Since his extracurricular activities were significantly limited by his strict father he often entertained himself by tracing words through the Bible.
Alexander left Scotland and moved to London. He became a recognized scholar and was said to be fluent in Greek and Latin. Accordingly, he found work as a tutor, printer, proofreader and bookseller. He also took upon himself the title, “Alexander the Corrector,” making it his life’s duty to protect his country from all vices; from misspelling and poor grammar, to all matters of morality. He often carried a sponge with him and whenever he encountered any inappropriate writing he would symbolically wipe it clean with his sponge!
While Alexander fell in love on a number of occasions, the objects of his affection inevitably rejected him, and so he never married. Consequently, his significant accomplishments were punctuated with romantic embarrassments that rivaled insanity and so led to most of his numerous stays in lunatic asylums. He would eventually come back to his senses and be released; until he would commit his next social blunder.
During his early days in London, Alexander began the laborious work of putting together a Bible reference book. After working long hours on his job, he would come home to read his Bible, recording on thousands of sheets of paper his tedious findings. He recorded every one of the 777,746 words in the King James Bible and noted every place each one occurred! All this by himself, and with no modern technology! The fruit of his painstaking work was the most comprehensive and useful work of its kind ever published! The first edition was presented to Queen Caroline in 1737, and Cruden’s Concordance eventually became a best seller and has remained in print ever since!
Charles Spurgeon was said to have written in the flyleaf of his copy of Cruden’s Concordance, “For ten years this has been at my left hand when the Word of God has been at my right.” After Cruden’s death, Spurgeon was quoted as saying, “This half-crazy Cruden did better service to the church than half the D.D’s and L.L.D.’s of his time.”
Towards the end of Cruden’s life he devoted himself to studying the Bible, helping the poor and downcast, and handing out gospel tracts. Though he was known to be very benevolent and pious, his contemporaries had little respect for him. He was found dead in 1770, on his knees, his head lying on the open Bible in front of him.
Though dead for hundreds of years, his work still lives on! And it continues to give life to all who avail themselves to it! Evidently it took a crazy man to undertake the monumental task of compiling a complete concordance of the Bible in his spare time and in his humble home!
Cruden’s life teaches us to not discard an unusual person’s value too quickly! One generation’s trash can become many generation’s treasure!


    A number of years ago a fictional story from an unknown source circulated on the internet. This is the way I remember it.

    A deadly virus broke out in a distant part of the world. The virus was easily transmitted and led to terrible sickness and death within
days. As soon as the authorities verified the seriousness of the virus, they embarked on finding a cure. Meanwhile, the death toll mounted into the millions within a matter of months.

    While extreme measures were taken, the virus continued to spread to other parts of the world. Widespread sickness and death quickly followed. Soon it became all too obvious that the entire human race faced extinction in the not too distant future. Not surprisingly, governments and health authorities pulled out all the stops as they frantically
raced to find a cure.

    Finally, the experts found the virus had a weakness. Evidently a very rare blood type held the antibody necessary to manufacture an effective antidote for the deadly virus. A worldwide search began for anyone who might have this rare blood type.

    While sickness and death continued to ravage the planet, a young boy was discovered who had the rare blood type needed to stop the pandemic. After rushing him to a hospital for further tests it was determined that the boy’s blood would enable an effective antidote for the virus to be quickly manufactured. As the encouraging news leaked out, the world finally had a reason for hope!

    Meanwhile, the parents of the boy were told the ominous news. In order to get enough antibodies for the quantity of vaccines that would be needed, all of their son’s blood would be required. If the son didn’t immediately give up all his blood, the world would perish before enough vaccine could be produced and disseminated.

    Incredibly, the parents broke down and gave the doctors permission to take their son’s lifeblood, all of it. After exchanging heart wrenching goodbyes with their innocent child, the parents watched their only son’s life slip away while his precious blood was taken from him. While the rest of the world rejoiced, these parents sobbed uncontrollably.

    True to the promise of the experts, the vaccine stopped the spread of the deadly virus and mankind was spared extinction. As the world began to work through the rebuilding process, many suggested a worldwide holiday to remember the sacrifice that had been made for their salvation.

    Once established, the first few observances of this holiday were quite meaningful. But as the years and generations marched on, the holiday soon became like so many other holidays. Some extra time off work, and an occasion to enjoy more family outings. Few people took the time to stop and remember that if the son hadn’t died, they wouldn’t have lived.

    As it turns out, not all of this story was fiction.

Elephant Essentials


The following four principles, like their namesake, are huge! And to the surprise of many, elephants are far more common in your area than you may imagine! So this warning is for you, and it prods me to share a primary guideline.

First, do not ignore the elephant in the room—especially if it is in one of your rooms!

Beware! Elephants can show up anywhere! For instance, they are often found in family rooms. Case in point, someone in your family has a big problem, but everyone goes on acting as if the issue doesn’t exist. Since the elephant takes up so much space, everyone tries to work around it without disturbing it. And addressing the elephant directly may be painful, so you continue to allow it to cramp your space and limit your possibilities.

Of course elephants can be found in many other rooms as well: workplaces, churches, and boardrooms, to name a few. Elephants come in many varieties, but they have one distinguishing mark: they are very large and they essentially squeeze out any hope of growth and progress!

Second, eat elephants one bite at a time—no matter how big they are or how many bites it will take!

Since elephants are large by their very nature, many folks assume they cannot be eaten. However, if a journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step, then it must follow that eating an entire elephant begins with one bite. Just get started as soon as possible since you will be having one menu item for a long time!

Since elephants are rarely eaten, many people assume they won’t like the taste of elephant. Let me suggest they probably taste a lot like chicken, since it seems every unfamiliar meat known to man tastes like chicken. And since most everyone likes chicken, most everyone will probably like elephant! Just give it a try, chances are good you will like it!

Third, eat your elephant with as many other people as possible—invite all your friends and foes alike.

The more elephant eaters you have, the quicker the elephant is eaten! Do the math! Help others discover the advantages that will emerge once the elephant is eaten. Help them see that the sooner the elephant is gone, the sooner more productive projects can be undertaken.

Fourth, don’t ever let another elephant through the door—even a cute baby one.

Sadly, I’m fairly sure that even baby elephants will grow faster than you can eat them! Accordingly, you are far better off in the long run to slam the door in an approaching elephant’s face! Set up some elephant barriers as well. Ensure you never forget how tasking and time-consuming it is to acknowledge and eat an unwanted elephant!

The Secret to Getting There!

One of the greatest joys I had when I was an instructor at Moody Aviation was having my students come to our home for an evening of food and fellowship. Without exception, we found each of them had a fascinating story to tell and many unique qualities to respect! Nevertheless, getting them to find our house in the country was a continual challenge! Therefore, I made a map showing them how to get to our home and distributed it to my students as needed.

    However, since the way to our house involved lots of narrow, winding roads, and my map was crude at best, some students would get lost along the way. In the end, I found the most effective way to get them to our place was to meet them at the airport and say, “Follow me!” While giving them a map was much easier for me, allowing them to follow me was much easier for them. Sometimes my students would get lost following my map, yet not one of them ever got lost following me!

    I wonder if God doesn’t give us too many detailed instructions for our lives because He knows how easy it is for us to get lost following a map. Yes, we have God’s Word to give us general directions, but so many personal details aren’t given in there. And while He certainly could make a way to give us a more detailed map for our lives, He has taken the more helpful approach by simply saying, “Follow Me!”

    Moment by moment, decision by decision, day by day, season by season, we are expected to follow His heavenly GPS signals. “Go straight, turn left, turn right. Speed up, slow down. Avoid that pothole, watch out for that drop-off, beware of that other car!” And we certainly don’t want to hear that dreaded GPS announcement, “Recalculating” that indicated we missed a turn! So we listen carefully to our Mapmaker and Master, and we obey Him without question or delay. It’s the best plan, it’s God’s plan.

    When we make our own plans, or when we follow someone else’s map, we are destined to get lost. Even so, some people encourage us to follow our hearts. Yet the Bible says our heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, and who can know it? Others tell us to follow the crowd since the majority must have it right. But Jesus said the gate is wide and the road is broad, and the majority will follow the path of least resistance, even though it leads to their eventual destruction.

    We must walk by faith in Jesus! When we do, we will not only make it to our final destination, we will please God every step of the way! Jesus said He is the Way, the only Way: through the maze of this life, and to the bliss of eternal life. We don’t need a detailed map for our life. Our Mapmaker simply says, “Follow Me!”