Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Maybe it's a guy thing. Or maybe it's just a Ron thing. But I hate to waste time or waste effort. Here's what that looks like when I've just returned from the grocery store to restock our empty refrigerator and shelves. I look like a mule basically - 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, OK? 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 bad shoulder that may well be traceable to carrying too much too many times.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

We had stopped for gas next to an Interstate that takes you at 75 MPH across long miles of desert. That's where I saw the sign: "Dead End - 3 Miles Ahead." I thought, "I wonder if anyone ever said, 'I'm not sure that's true of that old dirt road. I think I'll drive that way and check it out for myself.'" We got back on the Interstate, and of course, I had to see where that other road went. Sure enough, that bumpy road ended three miles later in the middle of nothing in the desert - right next to a road that speeds you to a lot of great destinations.

Friday, June 2, 2006

The world looks a little different through three-year-old eyes. Peter is three years old. He's the grandson of one of our good friends. Little Peter was out with his Mom the other day, and they drove past this construction site and they saw one of those giant cranes. Well, Peter's all wide-eyed, and he's watching this mechanized monster moving things around. Finally, in total amazement he found a way to express how big that crane looked to him. "Mommy," he said, "it's bigger than God!"

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ellis Island - that was the first piece of America that millions of immigrants ever touched. It's a little island in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. When you visit the island, there's a long, granite wall with thousands of names of immigrants who passed through there. This was the point of entry for all the immigrants coming through New York. They would book passage and get the cheapest price they could often down below decks. Finally, the boat would reach America, they would step off the boat and enter this long, red brick building on Ellis Island. It's cavernous; it echoes on the inside. But this is where they went through the steps that eventually permitted them to move from the island and on to their real destination, which was New York City and the rest of America. The tour guide says the people carried all their belongings in a basket. That was okay. They knew the island wasn't where they would live, so out of all those thousands who came there, not one ever set up a house there. They weren't going to be there very long.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Don't you sometimes wish you could see the world as little kids see it at least for a little while? It's so refreshing to hear their perspectives on things, expressed simply - expressed very directly. I was blessed recently by an observation made by my three-year-old granddaughter. A friend asked her, "What's your granddad up to these days?" To which she simply replied: "Oh, he's getting taller." I am? I hope she's right. I think I'll go measure.

Monday, April 3, 2006

Scotty was only four years old, and he was lost in Brooklyn. A police officer spotted this little guy standing on a street corner in this huge city, crying. Of course, he tried to help the boy by asking him his address, and Scotty didn't know. The officer asked him his phone number, and he answered through his tears, "I can't remember." The officer was running out of options. He was just about to take the little guy down to the station when he thought of one last question: "Little boy, is there anything near your house that I might recognize?" That was the moment that little guy discovered the one thing that really helped him finally get home.

Monday, February 27, 2006

This may come as quite a surprise to you, but there were a lot of rumors in college that I was behind many of the practical jokes and pranks that happened while I was there. That's hard to imagine, isn't it? It wouldn't come as a total surprise to some of those folks that I finally ended up in the penitentiary; Alcatraz, in fact. Fortunately, my sentence was only about four hours. Actually, we had taken some young people out to that famous prison in the middle of San Francisco Bay to do a special radio program. Of course, it's been some years since any prisoners were held there on what they called The Rock, but it is still quite a place to see. While we were there, we experienced the awful claustrophobia of being locked in one of those little cells and the isolation of being in solitary confinement. For the closing segment of the program, we walked out of one of the prison gates and down to the rocks outside that overlook the bay. One of the young people with us was walking out with me, and he made quite an observation. "Just think," he said, "there was only a wall between them and all this beauty."

Thursday, February 23, 2006

You've probably never heard of the "Pig War" between the United States and Great Britain because it's a war that almost happened. That war almost started in 1859 on the disputed San Juan Island between Canada and the State of Washington. In the midst of that tension between England and the U. S., an American settler named Lyman Cutler shot a pig who was rooting through his potato patch. Unfortunately, that pig belonged to Englishman Charles Griffin. That incident was like a match to a powder keg in this already inflamed situation. For 12 years, there was serious hostility and tension between the U.S. and British authorities - over a pig. Finally, General Winfield Scott brokered a peace deal. So, fortunately, the only fatality in this conflict was a pig.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

King George and his army must have been having a good laugh. George Washington and his Continental Army had been whipped in battle after battle in their campaign to become independent from Britain. British troops had driven the Americans out of New York City, across the Hudson River, across New Jersey, and finally into Pennsylvania. Then came the winter of 1777, at a place outside of Philadelphia called Valley Forge. Washington's troops faced not only a physical winter there, but an emotional winter. Discouragement and defeat may have been their worst enemies. But General Washington wasn't about to let those enemies win. He fought back by immediately deploying his soldiers to fortifying their camp. Then the drills began. A veteran European military officer began to drill those soldiers every day, teaching them a single set of maneuvers rather than the multiple approaches that had created confusion in those past battles. That winter, they were learning one way of doing things while Washington worked on getting more recruits and building his army into a real fighting force. Many historians believe that the outcome of America's battle for independence was decided at Valley Forge more than in any battle - an army that came out of Valley Forge to stun the British with major victories. One army went into the winter at Valley Forge - divided, discouraged, demoralized. Another army emerged from that winter. They were unified, they were fortified, they were confident because of what they had done with their winter.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

We were just beginning the process of building our Ministry Headquarters. At that point, all that was on the field was the footings for the building and a barn that was on the property. Volunteers were in the process of renovating and weatherproofing that old barn for storage when some friends donated a truckload of office furniture to our ministry. It would be a few days before we could bring that furniture into the barn, so we had to leave it next to the barn, which meant it had to be covered to protect it, of course.

            

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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