Monday, July 17, 2017

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I was with several members of our Team in the relentless evangelism schedule of what we called our "Make A Difference" Weekends. We were getting pretty tired and our minds were totally focused on our outreaches. In fact, so tired and so focused, that I forgot about a radio station that was calling me for a live interview that afternoon. Now, I had just awakened from a brief nap and the phone rang. Thinking it was one of our Team members, I jokingly answered, "Good morning"-at 4:00 in the afternoon. Somehow, I was able to rebound immediately and go enthusiastically into that interview and I don't think the folks on the other end knew I was even surprised by their call.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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Now, here was a bothersome headline a while back from USA Today, "Old Faithful Gets Fickle." What? They were referring to that famous geyser in Yellowstone National Park. As long as any of us tourists could remember, that 140 foot tower of steam erupted faithfully about every 66 minutes. But, something was not right all of a sudden this report said. There was a day that the eruption predicted for 12:11 p.m. didn't occur until 12:18 p.m. One predicted for 2:46 p.m. jumped the gun at 2:38 p.m. So "Tommy tourist" who was counting on "Old Faithful" faithfulness might go for a hot dog and say "Hey! I've still got ten minutes," and miss the whole thing. The problem - underground shifts caused by minor earthquakes, and vandalism by visitors who threw everything from chicken bones to underwear into the geysers hole! One Yellowstone geologist actually said this "There's a good chance that five years from now, or five days, or five hundred years, "Old Faithful" is going to be totally unpredictable, or it's not going to erupt anymore altogether." Wow! So, "Old Faithful" becomes "Old Unpredictable."

Thursday, June 8, 2017

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It was an ugly day. The worst part was that it was a weekend when Karen and I had finally been able to get away for a weekend in the Adirondack Mountains. But the weather didn't seem to care. Our Saturday was drippy and damp and chilly. I finally said, "Let's go home, Karen. We can get this weather for free there!" So I started hauling out suitcases and grumbling most of the way. When I looked around to see where Karen was, I saw her leaning over this wishing well-and she wasn't moving. Old Happy Husband ambled over there to get her to the car. When I got to the well, I saw she had her long camera lens trained on something just inside the well. Quite a good photographer, this girl. And I learned that she usually knew what she was doing when it looked like she didn't. She said, "Look at this." It was a large, perfectly engineered spider web, and little rain droplets sprinkled all over it. Wouldn't you know, she went back, enlarged that photo and took first prize in an art contest for a picture called "Jeweled Web". Amazing! While I was looking at the ugly all around us, she found something beautiful to train her lens on!

Monday, May 29, 2017

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There aren't many visits to a graveyard that might be described as "amazing". But I had one some years ago that was nothing less than amazing. When our "On Eagles' Wings" outreach team of young Native Americans was on the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho, we met this young basketball player named Quanah. He made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that weekend, and he asked if he could go with our team to other reservations for the following two weeks. We don't usually add team members along the way, but because of the urging of some strong believers there and our own sense of Holy Spirits' unusual leading, we invited Quanah to join us.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

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I think we all do it at times. We walk past a store window, and we look at more than the merchandise. We look at our own reflection, or we glance in every convenient mirror. "How am I doing?" "How am I looking?" It's just natural - checking yourself out, want to impress, want to look good. It's natural to talk up our wins, our good stuff. And then I read these show-stopping words in the Bible. They challenge our whole image-driven "How do I look" way of living. Actually I think I understand these words now in a way I could not have only months ago.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

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If it's about the Revolutionary War, I'll probably try to go there. My poor family has been dragged to more historical houses, battlefields, and Colonial restorations. Fortunately, we lived in the town where George Washington actually had his headquarters at one point during the War. So when they had a special militia re-enactment, we went to see it. But it was more than just muskets and bayonets. They had Colonial craftsmen there, too. Including the old blacksmith. He was there in the barn, next to his blazing fire. When I walked in, he was working on these big iron nails - which my wife thought would look nice as hooks and hangers on our mantle at home. They're still there. It was intriguing to watch the blacksmith do his work. Actually, he took a shapeless piece of iron, he heated it in that fire until it was red hot - and it was soft enough to shape - and then he hammered it into something that hunk of metal had never been before - something useful. I know. They're on our mantle, remember?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

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Full disclosure here. I'm not the guy you want to call when you need a guy to do a job with a hammer. Okay. But look, I do know the fundamentals. A hammer can be used to build something, right? Or to tear it down. Either way, what a hammer hits is not going to stay the same. Life's hammers are like that: Losing your job, your health, the one you love most, as I did recently. Tragedy. Divorce. Betrayal by that person you trusted. Family heartbreak. Those are hammers! And maybe one of those has hit you recently. Or it maybe hit a long time ago but its effects are still there today. And whatever the hammer hits can't possibly stay the same. The only question is whether the blows will build you or tear you down. But the hammer doesn't decide that. We do.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

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My friend, Tom, has a taste for some of the beautiful things in life like great food for example. In fact he's a wonderful chef. I think I'm still wearing some of his culinary creations on my body. Tom also really appreciates nature including plants. I have been fascinated to hear him tell of some of the incredible creations of God that live in that world of plants and flowers that I don't know much about. The last time we saw him, he told us about a flower called the Night Blooming Cyrus which he said he's only seen bloom once. That's because they don't do much when folks are awake. In fact they only bloom for 2 hours a day, he said, and that's from midnight till' 2 A.M. But for those who stay up late or set their alarm there is the splendor of a richly colored flower that measures about six inches in bloom. It's beautiful late at night.

Monday, March 27, 2017

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My plane had left the gate at O'Hare Airport in Chicago and I thought we were on our way. Wrong. First, they routed us across the backside of the airport-I think that might have been in Wisconsin actually. Then, after a slow, meandering tour of that huge airport, we finally ended up in a long line of aircraft waiting to take off. Well, after a while, I get a little impatient. That's OK. What's important is that the pilot was not getting impatient. We don't want him to go until the tower says it's OK. You see, he knows you don't take off until you've gotten clearance from the tower-no matter how long you have to wait.

Monday, March 20, 2017

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Waking up early most mornings is not an option for me. If I oversleep, it means missing a plane or a speaking commitment or radio broadcasts or some deadline or some important meeting. In other words, my clock radio had better work...and it does. Even on the days when many other clock radios might not. Because the power went out during the night, let's say. There have been mornings when I have been awakened by my clock radio-looked over at the other one in the room and seen it blinking at me some time when it was the middle of the night. See, that clock was plugged into the wall and sometime during the night the external power supply had failed. Good thing I wasn't depending on that one! But mine always comes through-because it's powered by batteries! You see, what keeps it going is inside!

            

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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