Monday, January 14, 2019

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Now, CNN doesn’t often do a news stories about high school football player, but there was something very special about this South Carolina player they described this way: “Sometimes the biggest heart on the field can fit into the smallest player.” Well, the name of the player--Kos, a Siberian orphan, adopted by an American family, and as they told the story, he has no legs. He lost them the day he and his friend decided to hop aboard a freight train. For some reason, his friend pushed him and he landed under the wheels of that train. 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

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We've got a close friend who moved from Arizona to the Midwest. She loves the green. There's not much of that in the semi-arid area that she's from. And she loves all the things that bloom in that new part of the country, but that's not to say she doesn't miss what she grew up with. She really misses the beauty of the Southwest. Some might travel through the long, largely barren stretches of her part of the country and not see much beauty, but it's there. Yeah, it's a different beauty from the lush, green parts of America, but there is a stark, wild, wide-open majesty in the desert. It's got a beauty all its own.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

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Goodbye, Chicago! Hello, New Jersey! It was time for our first major move as a young family. Our ministry was pretty consuming, even back then, so we looked for the most inexpensive moving help we could find. We found a private moving company owned by a friend. Tom showed up with one other guy and they did a great job navigating our earthly possessions down this narrow apartment staircase. Some days later, we met them on the other end. The problem was that we were facing an even more challenging staircase to get to our new second-floor apartment. Probably the greatest challenge of all was our refrigerator. It was a heavy old bear...I mean, even to try to move it across the floor let alone up those stairs. But Tom said, "I'll take care of it." He proceeded to strap that refrigerator on his muscular back and carry it up that narrow staircase all by himself. All I could do was lamely yell, "Go, Tom, go!"

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

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Maybe it's a guy thing. Maybe it's just a Ron thing. But I hate to waste time or waste effort. You know? Here's what that it looks like when I've just returned from the grocery store to restock our empty refrigerator and shelves. I basically look like a mule – yeah, with bags all over my body, carried on almost every appendage. I don't want to make any more trips to the car than absolutely necessary, oh no, no! So I'm willing to try whatever calisthenics, to tolerate whatever overload will enable me to get everything in the house in one trip. This approach has been known to have its problems. Sometimes I drop a bag or two or one of them rips open; thus, making more work. And I've got this shoulder. Yeah, wrecked it pretty well. You think it might be traceable to carrying too much too many times?

Thursday, December 20, 2018

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This is crazy. Suddenly I'm all excited about a plant. I can't remember ever taking care of a plant in my life. That was always my wife's department. But this Christmas I actually ordered a special plant, and it's getting my special care because of what it represents to me about Christmas. And about the "long winter" that began the day the love of my life was suddenly gone.

Friday, December 14, 2018

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I don't mind visiting people in the hospital. I just don't like to stay in hospitals myself. My medical value system sort of works like this: minor surgery is any operation on somebody else, and major surgery is any operation on me. I've actually learned there's something worse than being a hospital patient myself. It's having one of our grandchildren in the hospital, especially when the treatment means pain. I can take it when I'm the one hurting. It's just hard to take it when it's one of them. When our grandson was only ten months old he had to go to the emergency room in another town, and it wasn't a happy time for the little guy. They had to try multiple times to get a needle into a vein for a blood test. It was excruciating! He was increasingly traumatized by one injection after another and that big old oxygen mask they kept holding over his nose.

Friday, November 16, 2018

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Chimney Mountain! I had to get to the top! Why? Because it was there! Of course, I had to drag my young family into this obsession with me. One vacation day, I made that "Daddy's Great Adventure for the Day." Well, it wasn't a steep hike; it was a trail through the woods that gradually took you to the top of the mountain. As we walked along, my wife and the kids kept noticing little things...like chipmunks and squirrels and flowers and interesting rocks. Of course, whenever we noticed one of those little things, we had to stop; which was not my favorite thing to do. I had a goal, folks, and chipmunks and interesting rocks didn't help me get to it. Nope! At one point, they stopped us just to listen to the wind blowing through the tall pine trees. Isn't that wonderful? But not if you want to see the top of Chimney Mountain before sunset. Finally, my frustration made it to my mouth, "Honey, the reason for this hike is to get to the top. Don't you understand?" To which she said something like this: "Oh, I thought we came to enjoy the hike." Great! I was interested in the result; she was interested in the process!

Friday, November 2, 2018

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Our family was staying in, well, as the camp song says, "a little cabin in the woods." As soon as we got unpacked, our seven or eight-year-old son went for an exploratory bike ride up the trail. When he returned he got going a little fast, and then he hit this patch of gravel right near the cabin. The bike spun out from under him and he hit that ground pretty hard. When he got up, there was a lot of blood around his mouth. He had broken a tooth and it punctured his lip. So, we raced him to a hospital emergency room where they fixed him up with a few stitches. Now, he took the second bike ride that day. That was the tough part; especially after what had happened on the first bike ride. But his Mother and I encouraged him to get right back on his bike. We knew if he didn't, it might take him a long time to get the confidence back to ever ride again. Well, sure enough, the boy bounced back. In spite of his fall, he decided to ride again and he kept riding for many years after that. 

Thursday, October 25, 2018

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If they ever ask me to be a participant in those Nielsen ratings of who's watching what TV show, they'll probably find me watching the Weather Channel more than a lot of viewers. Oh, not necessarily because I'm intrigued with low-pressure systems, or barometric readings, or cumulonimbus clouds, (See, I do watch.) but because I want to see my future in the places I might be traveling to. But sometimes, they don't have the weather on. I remember a while back they had a primetime documentary show called "Storm Stories." Now while the story of a storm that happened twenty years ago isn't going to help me plan for tomorrow, the stories were pretty dramatic. They often featured amazing accounts of the people who survived major weather disasters-and the people who didn't. It was especially interesting to see what steps would help you to be a storm survivor rather than a storm victim.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

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I used to think flying would be glamorous. See, when I was a kid, we'd take my Dad to the airport for an occasional business trip, and I used to think, "Man, that's exciting! I wonder if I'll ever do that?" Well, I've gotten to do plenty of that! Sometimes it's a two-hour flight say to Chicago, or a five-hour flight to the West Coast, and sometimes it's a marathon like eighteen hours to Africa or Asia. Now I'm leaving something important and I'm going to something important at the other end. But for most people, the travel time in between is just dead time. Not for this kid. I ask for a window seat where I don't have to do any getting up or passing things. I make my little office nest there and I get tons of work done! For me, that time in between my two important places isn't just headphones, movies, plastic lunches, or reading about life jackets. In fact, there's no phone calls, no interruptions. It's some of my best time to write, create and prepare. Hey, the time in between is important, too!

            

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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