December 16, 2020

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I had never heard of centrifugal force when as a boy I went to an amusement park. In fact, I don't know if I could pronounce it. But I did experience it! They had this ride called The Rotor, and you get inside this round chamber and you stand against the wall. This chamber starts to spin faster and faster. Pretty soon it plastered me against that wall. Before long I had no choice where I was going to stand! There was this powerful, invisible force that was pushing me to the outside of that chamber. Well, guess what? That's the centrifugal force that my science teacher told me about years later - the kind that pushes things to the edge.

December 15, 2020

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We were with our precious then two-year-old granddaughter at a theme park, and we took her to a part of the park that's usually a children's favorite; they called it "Happy Harbor." Water cannons that shoot out into this pond and water squirting up randomly from these holes in the sidewalk. One whole section had these cannons that propel Styrofoam balls all over the place. It was usually raining Styrofoam in there. Well, our granddaughter's three- and six-year-old cousins were already in there having a ball. Actually, having a good time. But our little princess, well, she didn't like those loud noises very much. She'd be frightened even by the loud train whistle in the park all day long.

November 30, 2020

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One vacation morning, my wife and I woke up real early for some reason - so we decided to make the most of that pre-dawn time. We went out to the porch of the mountain cabin we were in and we just sat there to watch the sunrise. It was awesome! We watched the eastern sky slowly brighten over the mountains, and it turned the sky these beautiful shades of pink and yellow. It took a while for the old sun to rise. I mean, we were waiting for almost an hour as the sky gradually got brighter. At last, there was this brighter spot over one particular peak, and then suddenly there it was - the sun crested the mountain. And even though we had to wait a while for the sun to come up, wow! Man, when it did, it totally cleared the mountain and it began ascending the sky in less than two minutes! Literally, as it rose, everything seemed to come to life across the valley. It's incredible to watch how God begins a day!

November 26, 2020

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Well, the world sure looks different on a foggy morning. In our neighborhood the neighbor's houses suddenly aren't there. There's a hill I can usually see out the back door. On a foggy morning - no hill. And on the highway, forget it! I mean, it's suddenly hard to find out where you turn or to plan much beyond the car immediately in front of you.

November 18, 2020

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You know, all those headache remedies promise fast relief, of course, but they all actually take time - even the best of them, whatever one that is. I mean, can you imagine someone with a headache and they take two aspirin, and immediately they say, "Nothing happened! My head still hurts. This stuff is bogus!" So they pop three more. In five minutes this person says, "I've still got a headache!" They pop several more.

October 29, 2020

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We had two weeks in our area that I call "The Ice Age." And a car actually slid into our vehicle in a parking lot. So the right side looked pretty ugly. Interestingly enough, that damage didn't affect the performance of our car at all. Like so many older cars we've had over the years, the outside was banged up but the engine was running fine.

October 19, 2020

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Our friend is incredibly creative - including creating jewelry. You know, she told us about how she made a beautiful gold ring. Actually the ring is designed in wax. When she has the ring design that she wants carved in the wax, she pours plaster-of-Paris around that molded wax ring. Then she puts it in an oven. Well, of course, the intense heat melts the wax away until there's no wax left, just a vacuum, which is shaped like the ring she wants. Then she puts this in a centrifuge, and that spins gold into the vacuum where the wax used to be. Gold rushes in where it used to be just wax. And out comes something very beautiful and a whole lot more valuable.

October 5, 2020

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When I came home from my first trip to Australia, my kids were eager to see what souvenirs I brought back for them. I couldn't fit the kangaroo in my suitcase, but there was one very Australian item I did bring back - a boomerang. Those things are amazing. You know, if you throw it right, that boomerang will go out, make a U-turn, and come right back to you. It's probably a good idea, then, to pay attention after you throw your boomerang. I can just see a klutz like me throwing it, turning my back, and getting boomed with my own boomerang!

October 1, 2020

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A friend of mine who's served on his local school board for many years. And, of course, this year there are unique challenges. But over the years, they've had challenges too. The more demands that have been placed on schools in recent years, the more complicated the work becomes and they've got more things to figure out. One of the days that he was most frustrated that kind of surfaced in a conversation we had. And he said, "You know, our state keeps passing mandates to us for things our school system has to do, but lots of times they give us the mandate without the money. They decide what we have to do, and we get to figure out how to pay for it."

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!

            

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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