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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Twenty-Five Years Ago Today: A Look Back at the 23rd Olympic Games

photo credit:


Welcome to the Wonder.

The Wonder of the World."

photo credit: Ken Hively/Los Angeles Times
Twenty-five years ago today the eyes of the world were on Los Angeles and the Opening Ceremonies at the Memorial Coliseum when our city played host to the 23rd Olympic Games.

Last summer, during the Olympics in Beijing, I posted some reflections, as well as the unlikely story how Los Angeles came to host the 1984 Olympics, and in many ways saved the modern Olympic movement.

photo credit: Joe Payne

As I've shared before, it was a wonderful time to be in Los Angeles. Simply an amazing two weeks. Unfortunately, the photos I took - and others gave me - are long gone (stolen, actually). I appreciate the few images I was able to surface on

photo credit: forums.tvland.comReflecting on the past, even what is technically the recent past, I'm reminded of the Paul's words in in the New Testament: "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us." (Romans 15:4) The context of this passage refers to the Scriptures, but the principle extends to history in general.

Think back to that High School or College class: "what is the purpose of history?"

photo credit:
I believe the primary purpose is to give context for the present and insight into the future.
So, I ask the question: what can Los Angeles learn from our experience twenty-five years ago?

As a side note, my family and I spent six weeks in Chicago this summer (more thoughts on this in a future post). The U.S. Olympic Committee has selected Chicago as U.S. candidate city for the 2016 Olympics. They're now competing against finalists Tokyo, Madrid, and Rio de Janario as to which city will actually host the Games in 2016. Chicago is a great city - here's hoping that they are selected by the International Olympic Committee. Of course, I'm sure the people in Japan, Spain, and Brazil feel equally as strongly about their respective cities. Competition even before the Games begin ...


Saturday, July 4, 2009

On A Clear Day (A View from the Huntley Hotel)

One of my favorite views is from the glass elevator at the Huntely Hotel in Santa Monica: great views of Santa Monica, the bay, and the mountains. I can see why Santa Monica has become an international destination.

If you want to enjoy the same view, you can do so either from the elevator, or from the restaurant on the top floor of the hotel. Parking is available in the neighborhood, or a couple blocks away at the Santa Monica Third Street Promenade.

Here's a bit more info on the Huntley:

For me, the view from the Huntley is a reminder how fortunate I am living in this area. It's also a reminder of the responsibility that comes with that.

As one of the pastors at my church said many years ago, "we shouldn't feel guilty about what we have - we should feel responsible."

(I think it's easier just to feel guilty. Responsibility implies actually doing something.)

Jesus said on multiple occasions "to whom much is given, much is expected."

I've - and those of us living here on the westside of L.A. - been given much ... and it's challenging thinking what that means in terms of how I invest my time, my abilities, and my resources.

Here's to enjoying living in Los Angeles, views and all - and the responsability that come with it.