December 4, 2019

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Oh, I love this time of year! I love the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting. When I watched it a couple of years ago, you know, it was as always, heartwarming to watch those lights come on in the middle of the city where I spent so much ministry time.

And actually there was some good news coming from that big Christmas tree. Oh, we had the obligatory "bubble gum" songs about Santa and snow and toys. But I was impressed with the fact that Jesus was there, too. That particular year there were some beautiful presentations of "Silent Night" and "Away in a Manger" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." There actually were a few relatively holy moments in the middle of all that New York glitz.

November 15, 2019

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I have an inspiring view out of my office window. I look out at a mountain with this rolling field in between me and the mountain. The field dips down into a hollow, or a "holler" as they call it in the South. In the spring, some of the trees in the hollow start to bloom in living color. The redbud, the dogwood, they just start setting out their blossoms in all their glory. Well, one spring, someone walked into my office, glanced out that window, and said, "Well, look at those beautiful trees down there." They are beautiful, but you know what? They're in a spot where very few people ever see that beauty.

October 30, 2019

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It's hard to find any "good news" in the bad news of being diagnosed with cancer. But Ellen did, and she told me about it after a recent seminar I had in her area. I'm really excited about how God uses the A Life That Matters book and training to help everyday believers help people they know be in heaven with them. Ellen told me she'd read the book about that when it came out, but she didn't really look for or see many opportunities to tell people the good news about Jesus...until she got cancer.

October 23, 2019

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Once upon a time, a father and mother bird decided to build a nest in the vent in our kitchen range exhaust fan. We were on vacation, and the nest got so huge it made the fan unworkable. We learned it was there as we saw spiders hanging down from the hood over the stove. We really didn't want to kill a nest full of babies. By the way, we couldn't see them. No, we could just hear them when they were hungry.

October 17, 2019

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Our grandson wants to major in philosophy in college. A few days ago, we got to sample what kind of philosophy we might expect from his one-of-a-kind brain. It's not exactly Socrates. But it's interesting and within the reach of the common man. He received some gifts for graduation, and here's the philosophical gem he spoke to his mother: "You live. You die. And in the middle, you write thank you cards."

September 27, 2019

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I always thought they were buzzards - but a friend of mine who grew up with them circling overhead told me they are officially turkey vultures. Excuse me. Most of us think of them as nature's garbage collectors, but on a past vacation I developed an appreciation for their grace in flight. Watching them every day I saw them soaring in these graceful circles above me. And, amazingly, they almost never flapped their wings once they were airborne! They ride the warm air currents that rise from the earth as the days temperature gets warmer. They seem to just go where the thermals carry them. And I've got to tell you, it's beautiful.

September 25, 2019

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Boy, when our family was growing up, if you were planning to take our oldest son somewhere, you'd better have all your details or you may not go. See, he was never a great fan of surprises or mystery rides. No, in fact, ever since he was little he wanted a detailed itinerary before he could feel good about any trip.

Man, I would get so many questions, "Well, where are we going, Dad?" "How much money will I need?" "What will we do when we're there?" "What will we do when there's nothing to do?" "Where are we going to eat?" "How long will it take to get back?" Ahhh! He should have been a detective or a reporter with all those questions. I'm not sure he was all that unusual. I mean, most of us like to know a lot about our destination before we leave where we are. Right? But that information is often not available.

September 12, 2019

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I read once that Benjamin Franklin had nominated the turkey to be America's national bird. With all due respect to our wonderful founding father, I'm glad Ben got outvoted on that one, aren't you? I'm glad they picked the American eagle. What a majestic bird! They're even a good example for us humans! They mate for life, they build a family home called a nest to last for life, and they do a good job raising their kids. Veteran eagle watchers have told us that Mom and Pop eagle cover the floor of their nest with feathers and fur and, you know, soft stuff for their little babies. And then one day that little eaglet ventures outside the nest for a little walk on the cliff. And that's when the renovations start. Mr. and Mrs. Eagle start removing the fur and the feathers from the nest. When the eaglet returns from his little stroll, he returns to a nest that doesn't feel as good as it did before. Oooh, ouch! He's resting on sticks and stones now. Suddenly the comfy nest isn't comfortable anymore. Actually, this is the first step in getting that eagle to do what he otherwise might never do. What he was born to do - fly!

September 11, 2019

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I had already been feeling some of the residual sadness of another September 11th in America, and then the headlines screamed out that there had been another 9/11 tragedy. Maybe you remember the deaths of an American ambassador and three of his staff, killed - as they often say about police officers or soldiers – in the line of duty.

It seemed like the man that we lost was the kind of person that we want representing our country. I remember what they said about him. He was proficient in the language, he was out among the people, he was building relationships, taking risks so folks could be free. I mean, that's what you call an ambassador.

August 14, 2019

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Each of our three children learned the Heimlich maneuver in school. You probably know what that is. If someone is choking, you get behind them; you do the magic squeeze to dislodge whatever they're choking on and it keeps them from choking to death.

Now, can you imagine being in a restaurant and you see someone choking on a piece of food? You stand up immediately and you say, "Is there a throat specialist in the house? We need a throat specialist right now!" Well, there is none there, so you say, "Well, I guess we have to take him to the hospital."

            

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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