February 11, 2021

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Sure, I guess you could become way too dependent on cell phones. But when you travel a lot like I do, there are times when your cell phone is your only link and you really need to communicate. Unfortunately, many of those moments find me in the middle of one of those black holes where you're nowhere near a cell tower. Like trying to find a cell site in great stretches of the Western United States, or try it in the middle of a remote Indian reservation, for example. That's why I get such a chuckle out of a cell phone commercial they had for a while. Remember that guy in the woods talking on his cell phone and saying, "Can you hear me now?" Then he's in a swamp or something and he says, "Can you hear me now?" Finally, he's on top of some mountain, "Can you hear me now?" I wish I had a dollar for every time I've asked that question.

February 10, 2021

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Up to that point no living Marine has ever received the Congressional Medal of Honor from the war in Afghanistan...until Dakota Meyer, 23 years old. He has been awarded the nation's highest military honor for saving 36 lives during a vicious, six-hour firefight in the mountains of Afghanistan.

February 9, 2021

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My brief visit to Israel some years ago is one of the richest memories of my life. One of those memories took place in this dark, damp, cobblestone basement of a church on the Via Dolorosa. That area was part of the governor's headquarters in Jesus' day. It's called the Praetoriam or the "pavement" in the Bible. As I stood there, I realized I was standing on the very stones where my Savior was humiliated in front of a howling mob and by these brutal Roman soldiers. Our guide showed us some markings that were scratched in the stones by Roman soldiers at that time. The guide explained that those markings made a crude playing board for this cruel game the soldiers played. They called it "The Game of the King." They may have played it with Jesus. It's still being played today.

February 8, 2021

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Stonewall Jackson was one of the South's greatest generals in the Civil War, and he died on the battlefield - shot by mistake by his own men. He's possibly the most famous victim of one of war's greatest tragedies. They call it friendly fire. It's bad enough that a fellow soldier is killed by enemy fire, but the heartbreak is compounded when someone is shot by their own.

February 5, 2021

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I had just finished speaking. I was talking with two men, and the subject was manhood and what it really means. In the course of our solving many of the world's problems, I learned that one of the men had a black belt or its equivalent in three different forms of martial arts. I hired him as my bodyguard. Well, almost. The man has the ability to take control of most any hostile situation - except for one. He told me there is only one position in which a person is totally powerless, no matter how strong or how skilled they are: lying face down on the ground. You're absolutely powerless there.

February 4, 2021

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It wasn't part of the day that I had planned, but it was an invitation I couldn't refuse. A friend asked me on the spur of the moment if I'd go to lunch with him. He was paying. "Yep, can do!" What I didn't know was that my friend was taking me to a private club where he was a member. We're talking like upscale dining here. I was wearing a dress shirt and slacks which made me among the best-dressed at McDonald's. But apparently it left me sadly underdressed for this private club. The host gently informed me that a suit coat or sport jacket was required for entrance. As I was about to give my friend my takeout order, the host reached into a closet and produced a sport coat. He said, "Just wear this." I did. It was a great place. It was a great lunch. And did I mention he paid? Oh, yeah, right.

February 3, 2021

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Spring is a time for cardinals. Like we have cardinals dining every morning at our backyard birdhouse. Oh, and there's the baseball Cardinals. They gather in Florida for spring training, and the fans start counting down to Opening Day...we hope.

February 2, 2021

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I'm glad I was raised in a part of the country that's a real "four seasons" place, because I love all four seasons! Where I grew up, one of them seemed a little longer than the others. It was called winter. But I think fall is my favorite season of all. I love the blooming beauty of the spring, but my favorite is the blazing colors of those fall leaves. It's not that the leaves have no color the rest of the year, but I've never known people to drive far away to see the beautiful green leaves. They will travel to see the leaves of fall. The ironic thing is that they are about to die at that point. But they are something to see!

February 1, 2021

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Every little boy gets his share of "boo-boos." Right? That's what little boys' knees and elbows are made for! I could never convince my mother that all I needed for my wound was a kiss. No, she always went to the medicine cabinet, pulled out this little bottle of liquid. I dreaded it! It was iodine. And did that stuff ever sting! But my Mom knew what she was doing. Yes, it stings, but it also disinfects!

January 29, 2021

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I don't believe in ghosts - for the most part. There's one kind of ghosts that are all too real. They talked about those "ghosts" in the movie, "Amazing Grace." That movie told the story of the 18th Century British political leader, William Wilberforce. He's really more than any other man, responsible for the abolishing of slavery in the British Empire. And that was at a time when African slaves played a critical role in the British economy and slave-owning interests controlled a lot of members of Parliament. The battle took 20 years, but ultimately thousands of slaves went free. Wilberforce's spiritual mentor was actually the man who wrote America's most beloved hymn, "Amazing Grace." In his early years, John Newton had been a slave trader, capturing and carrying thousands of Africans to slavery in Britain and the islands. Conditions were so brutal that many didn't even survive the voyage. Then John Newton discovered how Jesus Christ could forgive and change a man. In the movie, John Newton is going blind but he's still pastoring his church in London. And he believed in "ghosts" you might say. As he dictates what he calls "My Confession" to a scribe, he says, "I have lived for years with the company of 20,000 ghosts - those I made into slaves. Their blood is on my hands."

            

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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