Monday, August 27, 2007

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I hate it when a five-year-old makes me feel dumb; especially when it's my grandson. I mean, he doesn't mean to make me feel dumb. He doesn't know he's making me feel dumb. But he is really smart, and he knows a lot about a lot! Like the solar system, for example. He's got the planets down cold along with all kinds of facts about the universe. Things I either have forgotten or maybe never knew. Another thing our grandson is really mastering is numbers. Man, can he count! He's working on thousands, millions, billions, and his favorite quantity, a google! When it comes to our universe, he's never going to be able to count that high!

Friday, August 24, 2007

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There's a bridge in a park not too far from here; they take carriage rides there. It's just a bridge to most folks, but not to our son and daughter-in-law. That will always be a very special spot to them. It's where he asked her to marry him. It's interesting how a plain old piece of geography becomes forever special when something special in your life happens there: the place you were born, or where you had your first date or your first kiss, or where you were married, or where some significant "first" in your life took place. When a certain place is where something important started, it will always be a special place.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

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Throughout recent military history, the Army Rangers have been there in some of the most dramatic, most heroic combat events, like scaling the cliffs at Normandy Beach on D-Day, climbing right into the face of enemy fire. It's no surprise that the Rangers played a part, along with other Special Forces, in the rescue of the Iraqi prisoner of war, Jessica Lynch, during Operation Iraqi Freedom. When you're fighting in the heat of battle, it's important to know that your comrades are going to look out for you, no matter what. The POW rescue was one example of a commitment that is expressed in the Army Ranger Creed; a commitment that's echoed in other branches of the military, as well. Here's what the creed says: "I shall never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy."

Thursday, June 28, 2007

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Since it's pretty rare to see an eagle in our area, I've had to settle for another bird that at least soars like an eagle. They're the turkey vultures that I see circling overhead so often. I actually love to watch their gracious flight. I hate to think about their repulsive diet, though. As you know, those vultures like to chow down on dead animals. Wherever you see vultures, you can pretty well assume there's a carcass somewhere nearby.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

OK, so there are more bills to pay than you've got money to pay them. You have to make some choices. There's one I bet you'll really try to pay. You'll probably pay the telephone bill. The phone company has a very effective way of getting your attention. You let your bill go past the payment deadline and pretty soon you'll get this little notice. It goes something like this: "If you don't settle your bill right away, your service will be cut off." It's amazing how a service cutoff can help you set your priorities!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

When our friends got married some years ago, they decided they wanted to live and farm in a largely undeveloped area of the Ozark Mountains. They had some interesting neighbors - one in particular. He looked and talked and smelled like a true man of the mountains who had little use for "civilization." After they declined his invitation to dinner a lot of times, they finally consented. It was a memorable night. They stood on the porch of his cabin as he pointed to the hens running around the yard and said, "Tell me which chicken you want for dinner." They did and then they got to participate in executing the lucky winner. The conditions in which dinner was prepared would have given chest pains to any health inspector.

As they sat down at the table, they noticed a dark covering on one dish that they were about to eat. It turned out to be flies! After dinner, the two men sat in the living room and visited. My friend commented on the big holes all along the bottom of the cabin walls. His host explained that those holes were from the mice. "They must be mighty big mice and there must be a lot of them," my friend commented. The host smiled. "Oh, the holes are from me killing ‘em. I just sit here with my old .22 and shoot ‘em when they poke their head out!"

Friday, March 30, 2007

It was one of those disasters that riveted the attention of the nation. Nine Pennsylvania coal miners had been excavating when they inadvertently broke through a flooded shaft. An estimated 50 to 60 million gallons of water rushed in, trapping the men in this underground chamber. When the water rose over their heads, they had to swim to higher ground - still 240 feet underground. For two and a half days, rescuers didn't know if the miners were dead or alive. Once they made contact through a phone line they lowered into the flooded shaft, they established a line that would deliver compressed air and they began pumping out water. Seventy-seven hours after the ordeal began, rescuers brought the miners, one at a time, up to the surface in a cramped yellow rescue cage. As the last man was pulled to the surface, the Governor of the state simply said, "All nine. All nine."

Friday, March 23, 2007

I've had lots of friends in law enforcement. I've even had the opportunity to ride in the front seat with a police officer. But the experience I had recently had a totally different feel to it. I was speaking at a large youth festival, and I had to get across this festival's grounds quickly to my next speaking venue. Two police officers working security said, "Hey, hop in our squad car, we'll take you over there." Well, I jumped into the back seat of the police car and I quickly realized that I had never experienced a little of what it feels like to be on the custody end of things like that. There was this wall between me and the officers in the front seat. When we arrived at our destination and I tried to open my door - in vain - no way. My officer friend had a good laugh at this, and he said, "Ron, there's no way you can get yourself out of there. You see, somebody has to let you out." I've decided I am not excited about being in the prisoner seat any more.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Roger was assistant manager of a buffet restaurant. He's on our ministry team, and the other day he was telling me about a special memory from that job early in his working career. It seems there was a male customer who had been really abusive to the waitress. So Roger, being the ranking officer in the restaurant at the time, had the joy of trying to confront this gentleman - well, this man anyway. Unfortunately, this abusive customer was young, strong, all muscular and bulked up. And Roger's like me; he's not exactly Goliath. But he walked into the lion's jaws and he bravely asked that man to leave. Initially, the customer was ready for a fight. Then suddenly, unexplainably, he raised the white flag and he just left, leaving Roger a little baffled as to why this man had suddenly given up. That's when my friend turned around and saw one of the chefs who had been - unbeknownst to Roger - standing behind him all that time. The chef was a Goliath! Roger said, "Suddenly I understood that it was the big guy behind me that made the difference!"

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Tupperware can be a good thing. Those sealed plastic containers can preserve leftover food so you can enjoy it later. Tupperware can be a bad thing, if you forget about it. I know from distasteful personal experience what can happen when you do - intermediate life forms, morphing into something unrecognizable. The problem comes when that Tupperware with leftovers in it slowly gets pushed farther and farther back in the fridge, until it's tucked out of sight behind the pickle jar and the gallon of milk. Ultimately, though, the lost little Tupperware will make its presence known. As you open the fridge and utter those inevitable words: "What's that smell?" The smell isn't going away until some domestic Green Beret storms the depths of that fridge and bravely opens that Tupperware and carries away the rotting contents inside, or beats them to death with a stick, if necessary.

            

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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