For the sake of full disclosure, I'm one of those bitter Americans who clings to a gun and religion. What can I say -- I was brought up in the South. So when I started packing for my embed with Senator Obama, I packed a copy of the Good Book.
Friends, you never know when the Bible might come in handy -- and sure enough -- it did. The senator was delivering a speech in St. Louis -- what turned out to be a crowd of 100,000. The senator uttered a few lines that were not in his prepared text -- including several from the Old Testament. "This is the day the Lord has made," he declared. Back on the Obama plane, several reporters wondered where the text had come from. That's when I whipped out my Bible (the Charles Stanley Study Bible -- New King James version) and flipped over to Psalm 118. Within minutes, we had the full verse for attribution.
It's not the first time Senator Obama has used Scripture in his speeches -- but he obviously has commited some passages to memory because they are usually not in his prepared remarks.
I start every day with prayer and Bible study. When I'm in New York, I have my quiet time on the Q Train. I normally get into 1211 Sixth Avenue around 4:30 a.m. so it's pretty quiet on the subway. But on the campaign trail, my quiet time is usually on O-Force One. I pull out my Bible for about 30 minutes and reflect on God's word. It helps keep me focused. A good friend of mine from NPR reads poetry.
My seatmate is a reporter for the Tom Joyner Morning Show. He, too, is a church-goer. "That's a pretty good book you've got there," he said the first day we met. I told him that was the rumor!
We work 18 hour days, seven days a week. It's fascinating, exhilerating and exhausting work. All of us on board the jet are honored to be covering this presidential race. It's a grueling pace. And I really do cherish my 30 minute quiet time -- along with the prayer support I have from back home.