September 8, 2020

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A friend had been doing a lot of remodeling in his house, including some in his four-year-old son's room. They were building a little room inside his room that would have its own window and desk, and it would sort of be Troy's own little space. Of course at that point, it was just a frame with no walls. So Dad took Troy in there one day to see the work that he'd been doing. The little guy went into the frame of what would soon be his personal space. He came out with his lower lip out so far he almost tripped over it. Dad couldn't figure out why this nice thing they were doing for him would make him so sad. He quickly found out why. Troy said, "Dad, is this going to be my cage for my timeouts when I'm bad?"

September 7, 2020

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Jim was spending his first night as a college student. As he began to fall asleep in his dorm room, he was suddenly awakened by a frightening sound. A train whistle blew, and the train was coming right through his room. Well, at least that's how it sounded to this particular college student. It turned out that the railroad tracks were right next to his dorm. That's probably why they put freshmen there, right? Well, Jim found it pretty challenging to slip into la-la land for the night when it sounded like a train was roaring through his room. I said, "But I'll bet you eventually got used to it, didn't you?" He said, "Well, after a while, I didn't even notice the train anymore!"

September 4, 2020

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I'll never forget the day that our daughter volunteered to clean the house. Oh, it was a mess! No, no, it wasn't our house. It was the house her boyfriend and some other guys were getting ready to move into. Now the word "mess" might be an understatement. Four college guys had lived there before and they were guys who did a lot of partying and very little cleaning. So there were layers of dirt, there was trash everywhere, and there were holes in the walls. Officials from Washington were actually considering having it declared an official disaster area. Well, I saw our daughter at the end of the long day she had put in trying to clean this pigpen for the man she loved and ultimately married. She was beat, she was all sweaty, but she was satisfied. I said, "What kept you going all those hours, Honey?" She said, "Dad, it was really depressing to look at. But I guess I kept seeing what it could be."

September 3, 2020

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A friend of mine was commenting on what was then some recent news stories, and there was something very shocking and very violent and seemingly unexplainable that had happened within a family. It was an ugly story really. He concluded with a comment that was based on an old country song he knew, "No one knows what goes on behind closed doors." Actually, that's not true.

September 2, 2020

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My children always braced themselves when we were on a vacation and I'd say, "Hey, it's time for one of Dad's adventures!" See, my adventures don't have a great history. I remember one morning I promised them a great adventure. We were going up to Cadillac Mountain in Maine to see the first place, supposedly, where you can see the sun rise on the East Coast. So, I woke them in our campground about 3:00 a.m. We drove up to the top of Cadillac Mountain to watch the clouds rise. Yeah...no sun!

September 1, 2020

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My friend Andy used to pastor in West Virginia. The little town they lived in was situated in this long, narrow valley - actually a pretty dark valley, according to Andy. The sun didn't rise high enough to shine on that town until like mid-morning, so it was actually dark for quite a while each day. My friend said that the town itself was kind of a (well, in his words) a dingy, dirty place. It's the kind of a place where you often battle feeling down emotionally. But Andy used to love to go up on the mountain, he said, because it overlooked the valley, and from up there, he said the view was beautiful. Even the town looked really nice from up there!

August 31, 2020

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It's one of those classic "Peanuts" cartoons. Charlie Brown is sitting there, peacefully watching TV. Lucy comes up and tells him to change channels. Charlie Brown says, "What gives you the right to just order me to change channels?" Lucy holds up her hand with her fingers spread apart and answers, "These five little things: one, two, three, four, five. Alone they're not much" - and then as she pulls her fingers together in a fist - "but together, they are something terrible to behold." Then Lucy asks, "So what channel are you going to watch?" Poor ol' Charlie Brown looks down at his fingers and asks pitifully, "Why can't you guys get organized like that?"

August 28, 2020

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It was one of those rock-and-roll airplane flights. And we're not talking music here. No, those are exciting, especially if you're a flight attendant. Especially if you're in the aisle trying to serve passengers something; which they don't much of any more. And that's where we were when our flight hit a stretch of serious turbulence. The captain made sure all of us passengers had our seat belts securely fastened, and he wanted to make sure that we all knew where the "motion discomfort" bag was (I'm only kidding). It looked like dinner was about to be called off as the flight attendants rock-and-rolled in the aisle. Then the captain came on with a hopeful announcement, "I'm trying to go to a higher altitude, folks, and see if we can find some smoother air up there." (I thought that was a great idea.) Well, it worked! In a couple of minutes we were cruising along so smoothly and we were eating our dinner instead of wearing our dinner! That was good.

August 27, 2020

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The party had been going just fine until a doctor who was there got very offended by something another guest said. He was in a rage! He stormed out and slammed the door behind him. Someone said, "At last he's gone." The host corrected him. "No, he's not gone. That's a closet."

August 26, 2020

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When all our family was at home, I'd walk in the door to our house, and I'd be greeted by a lot of phone messages. And sometimes I didn't get the messages. Frustrating! Depended on who takes the message, how busy they were when they got the message, what there is to write with, what there is to write on, and of course you can also depend on where it gets set down, and also what gets set down on top of it. Well, I'm glad for cell phones; a new day dawned. But, boy, in those days, whew! II used to shudder when someone called me and said, "You know, I tried to reach you a couple of times." And I'd say, "Uh, I didn't get the message." "Well, I left one." And then they'd say, "No problem. It's too late now." Oh great! That usually led to a, shall we say, warm conversation with somebody in my family. I mean, after all, you expect messages to be delivered.

            

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P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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