Your Relationships

Monday, April 17, 2017

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I guess TV talk shows run out of material sometimes. You can tell when they're desperate. But one day I guess I turned on some talk show that demonstrates my point. They had four women on the show who were, let's say, average looking - which is what most everybody is. But they sent them backstage for a while to give them what's called a makeover. I guess that woman puts herself into someone else's hands - someone who can skillfully change her eye makeup, her coloring, her lipstick, her hairstyle, and her wardrobe. And voila - out comes this no-longer plain-looking lady. The difference can be amazing! Funniest thing, though, I've never heard of them giving a man a makeover. I guess they do; I've never heard of it. Although, I'll tell you what, a lot of us could really use one.

  • marriage
  • wife
  • love
  • husband

Thursday, April 13, 2017

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I've had to pay my sister-in-law handsomely so I could tell you this story about when she was a little girl. She and her older sister - who you know I married - grew up on a little farm in the Ozarks. One day the family was blessed with the arrival of some new kittens. And my three-year-old sister-in-law loved them so much. So much that she wanted to make sure they had something to drink. So she put them in their full rain barrel. Yeah, I'm sorry to say, the kittens couldn't swim and the kittens drowned. I'm sorry. Her parents asked her why she did such a cruel thing. Turns out, she didn't know it was cruel. She said, "They were thirsty." Well, some cousin insisted that they have a funeral for the kittens, so he lined them up in a shoebox coffin and they gave the kittens a Christian burial. Unfortunately, that was not the end for my dear sister-in-law. She kept wanting to dig them up. And when she was told she couldn't, she just cried and said, "Wanna see kitties." No, you don't!

  • hurt
  • forgiveness
  • grudge

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

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One of the men on our Team stopped me and said, "Have you been down to the men's room lately?" That's not usually something we stop and discuss in the hall, but I was anxious to find out why he wanted to know. He said, "Well, I walked in and smelled this beautiful aroma." Well, I had to agree that we wouldn't normally associate a public restroom with a beautiful aroma. He went on to say, "When I got back to my office, it had that same beautiful aroma." And what was the explanation for this spreading fragrance? Clarene, the wonderful volunteer who had been cleaning our offices every week. She'd been doing her scrubbing and spraying. And though we didn't see her in any of those rooms that day, she left that great aroma wherever she had been.

  • family
  • friends
  • coworkers
  • attitude

Thursday, March 23, 2017

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It was pretty funny. Our kids had reached the age where they were old enough to tell us how we did parenting them. In fact, we had gotten into one of those uproarious "remember when" conversations. The subject was various times that we had disciplined them. We explained to them how we had tried to discipline them by the principle of natural consequences-experiencing the most natural negative outcomes in the area where you disobeyed. So if you did something bad with your mouth, you didn't get to use your mouth for a while-or you got it washed out with soap. If you did something bad with your hands, you didn't get to use your hands for a while. At which point our eldest son said, "But I never did anything wrong with my bottom!" Which may be more information than you want, but that kind of launched a discussion of great spankings we have known-including the ones we are now told didn't hurt. Well, this went on for over an hour. It was a laughing and loving and learning time for all of us, and it was a reminder of what is probably a parent's biggest challenge.

  • parenting
  • family
  • love
  • discipline

Thursday, March 16, 2017

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My wife was just a little girl when she first met Bob Henley. He was one of those older men you look up at and look up to at church. She had a visit to her childhood church some years ago, and she asked about Mr. Henley. They said, "He's 92 years old - and that he would be there the next week." My wife made it a point to attend church there the following week and to reconnect with this memory from her past. As they were talking, Mr. Henley said, "You probably don't remember this (and she didn't), but one day after church you came up to me and you grabbed this finger. You were only about this high (about the altitude of a 4-year old). But you grabbed my finger and you said, ‘Mr. Henley, I love you.'" Now why would he remember that little¬ childlike expression into the 9th decade of his life? He said, "You don't know this, but I was raised an orphan. That morning was the first time in my life anyone ever said 'I love you' to me.'" Wow!

  • family
  • love
  • friends
  • coworkers
  • legacy

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

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A few years ago I was touring an American Air Force base where they have housed nuclear missiles and B-52 bombers for many years. Along the way, the briefing officer told me something that made me very happy that the Cold War between us and the Soviet Union was behind us. Because it turns out that the Cold War almost got a whole lot hotter. My host told me about a couple of instances during the 1970's when our planes thought the U. S. was about to be under nuclear attack. In one case, the tracking seemed to prove that, so our pilots scrambled into their bombers, armed with nuclear weapons, and took off to retaliate against the Soviet Union. Obviously, you and I are still here. That never happened, but the planes were actually in the air. The problem was in a little computer chip that had created an error in communications. That's pretty scary. There could have been bombs dropped, based on erroneous information.

  • friendship
  • family
  • The tongue
  • gossip
  • coworkers
  • mouth

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

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You're blessed if you have a great Christian radio station in your area. We do. It's wonderful if you can hear it. A lot of people can. But then I've talked with a friend who lives another direction who says she just can't pick up that station where she is. But then I've met people who live in a part of the area where the station has a strong signal, and they've never heard it either. They've never turned to that frequency, that's why. Important information-eternal information-is being communicated over that station. But a lot of people are missing it; some because the transmitter isn't transmitting their direction. And others because their receiver isn't turned to that frequency!

  • marriage
  • wife
  • husband
  • communication

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

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If you've got a house, you might complain every once in a while about the constant upkeep. I think it seems like as soon as you get one thing cared for, something else needs attention, right; the windows, the roof, the yard, the plumbing, the paint. Well, be glad you're not in charge of the maintenance of the Golden Gate Bridge. Not long ago I was standing by San Francisco Bay, and I was admiring that really impressive beauty of that great bridge, when someone told me what it takes to keep it impressive. Like thirty-five painters! Every day! That's all they do! The trucks roll out early every morning with another load of that distinctive orange paint and for eight hours a day those thirty-five painters are somewhere on that bridge, keeping it in good shape. They say things deteriorate really fast, and it takes constant effort to maintain that beauty.

  • friendship
  • marriage
  • family
  • coworkers
  • arguments
  • misunderstandings

Thursday, January 5, 2017

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The precision of America's weapons during recent military engagements has been pretty amazing. But even in these days of high-tech efficiency, there are still casualties and fatalities from what's called "friendly fire". In the war on terrorism, one of our most accurate bombs went astray and killed some of our own military. Several days after that tragedy, four of the men injured by that bomb – men who lost some of their comrades – were interviewed. I was struck especially by the comments of their commanding officer. Basically, here's what he said. "I will have my time to cry and grieve for what we've lost, but not now. I have men to lead and I have a war to win. My feelings will have to wait."

  • control
  • feelings
  • leadership

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

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You've probably never heard of the "Pig War" between the United States and Great Britain because it's a war that almost happened. That war almost started in 1859 on the disputed San Juan Island between Canada and the State of Washington. In the midst of that tension between England and the U. S., an American settler named Lyman Cutler shot a pig who was rooting through his potato patch. Unfortunately, that pig belonged to an Englishman, Charles Griffin. That incident was just like a match to a powder keg in an already inflamed situation. For twelve years, there was serious hostility and tension between the U. S. and British authorities over a pig. Finally, General Winfield Scott brokered a peace deal. So, fortunately, the only fatality in this conflict was a pig.

  • Sin
  • priorities
  • disagreements
  • arguments

            

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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