To mark my first season of observing Lent, I sacrificed breakfasts – a small but daily reminder to set this time apart to focus on Jesus. I share this not to congratulate myself (Monday morning I was so hungry, I ate a buttery English muffin anyway), but to join others of the faith in the weeks leading up to Easter. One hungry morning, I ignored my growling stomach to sit on the couch with my two youngest boys and read the Sharon Creech novel, Love That Dog.
I grew up watching Billy Graham’s evangelistic rallies on TV. And I’m a huge fan of the outreach, Samaritan’s Purse, launched by his son, Franklin Graham, to bring lifesaving medicine, provisions, and shelter to the world’s poorest people. So I was excited to hear that Franklin was coming to Augusta to lead Christians in praying for our country.
I once read, that while most non-profit, charitable-type organizations begin with an honest effort to help others, a turning-point frequently comes at which they shift from their original purpose towards self-sustenance. That is, they exist to keep themselves in existence.
As part of a clever advertising campaign entitled “The Christmas Gift Experiment,” someone set a shiny red package the size of a shed in the middle of England’s Grand Central Station in Birmingham. “Free gifts,” the sign above says. Equipped with an old-fashioned telephone – presumably connected to an unseen monitor – the handset rings as seasonal commuters stream by.