September 11, 2020

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He's a noted surgeon who wants to make a difference in the world. So once a year, he dedicates a month to going to Central America to do volunteer medical work. Well, I heard on the news he was in an emergency medical clinic one year performing urgent surgery on a young boy in a really remote location. The boy started losing blood faster than expected, and he clearly needed blood. The problem was he had a rare blood type that only 2% of the population carries. And this village clinic certainly didn't have anything that rare. In that critical moment, the doctor suddenly put down his scalpel and went to another room - where he gave blood. He, too, had that rare blood. The boy got the blood he needed, the surgeon returned to finish the operation, and that boy came through just fine.

September 7, 2020

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Jim was spending his first night as a college student. As he began to fall asleep in his dorm room, he was suddenly awakened by a frightening sound. A train whistle blew, and the train was coming right through his room. Well, at least that's how it sounded to this particular college student. It turned out that the railroad tracks were right next to his dorm. That's probably why they put freshmen there, right? Well, Jim found it pretty challenging to slip into la-la land for the night when it sounded like a train was roaring through his room. I said, "But I'll bet you eventually got used to it, didn't you?" He said, "Well, after a while, I didn't even notice the train anymore!"

September 4, 2020

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I'll never forget the day that our daughter volunteered to clean the house. Oh, it was a mess! No, no, it wasn't our house. It was the house her boyfriend and some other guys were getting ready to move into. Now the word "mess" might be an understatement. Four college guys had lived there before and they were guys who did a lot of partying and very little cleaning. So there were layers of dirt, there was trash everywhere, and there were holes in the walls. Officials from Washington were actually considering having it declared an official disaster area. Well, I saw our daughter at the end of the long day she had put in trying to clean this pigpen for the man she loved and ultimately married. She was beat, she was all sweaty, but she was satisfied. I said, "What kept you going all those hours, Honey?" She said, "Dad, it was really depressing to look at. But I guess I kept seeing what it could be."

September 3, 2020

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A friend of mine was commenting on what was then some recent news stories, and there was something very shocking and very violent and seemingly unexplainable that had happened within a family. It was an ugly story really. He concluded with a comment that was based on an old country song he knew, "No one knows what goes on behind closed doors." Actually, that's not true.

August 27, 2020

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The party had been going just fine until a doctor who was there got very offended by something another guest said. He was in a rage! He stormed out and slammed the door behind him. Someone said, "At last he's gone." The host corrected him. "No, he's not gone. That's a closet."

August 25, 2020

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It was one very hot day, and my granddaughter and I were watching some horses. One-by-one they made their way to the little pond to take in some more water. Now, this big old grey horse decided drinking wasn't enough. He didn't just get a little of the pond in him, he got into the pond and lay down in the water. He splashed around a little, stayed there for a while and finally pulled his big old body out of the water. Relating what she saw to her world, my granddaughter said, "He's taking a bath!" If that was his intention, I had bad news for that horse. He got out of that murky water with his light gray coat covered with dirt! So much for getting clean!

August 21, 2020

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I'm kind of a strange tourist. When I was in Halifax, Nova Scotia, I asked to be taken to a graveyard that overlooks the ocean. There, I walked through rows of these grave markers that have no name but the same date - April 15, 1912. That's the night the Titanic sank, and those are some of its unidentified victims. Not too long ago, the Titanic showed up again on the evening news. Lillian Asplund, the last American survivor of the sinking of the Titanic, died at age 99. It's believed that there might have been just two survivors left at that point, both in England. Those names and the name of every passenger are listed on a big wall at the end of an exhibit I attended called the Titanic Artifacts Exhibit. I got to experience that exhibit as it toured America's great museums years ago. The list indicated whether the person was a first, second, or third class passenger, or a crewman. But no matter what their class, every one of those 2,200 people appeared on one of two lists.

August 17, 2020

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Gary was a summer lifeguard on a beach in Southern California, which is kind of a nice job. During his training, he heard some information that seemed so bizarre to him he just didn't believe it. The trainers told him that most people they tried to rescue would resent and even resist their assistance. Clearly, that just didn't make sense. Anyone who was in trouble - like life-or-death trouble - would surely welcome help, right? No. Then we got to Gary's first rescue. The man who was in trouble cursed at the man who was trying to save him. He kicked, he clawed, and he did everything in his power to fight off his rescuer.

August 13, 2020

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He first showed up in the 1930s. And I do not remember that firsthand! Then they made movies about him in the 21st Century. One of America's most enduring superheroes. Here's a clue from the '50s TV show about him, "Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...Superman!" The Superman story begins with the meltdown of the planet Krypton and the decision by one of its leaders to save his son by launching him in this small rocket he has built. Destination: Earth. In one of the movies about the guy in the red cape and the blue suit with the big letter "S," his father sees that the people of earth need some help, and he says these words: "I'm sending them my only son."

August 11, 2020

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She's one of those ladies with an infectious laugh and a lot of mischief in her eyes. Recently, she painted a word picture of an incident from her childhood that left us all really laughing. She was three, her brother was four; the youngest of eleven children. One day the two youngsters were watching ice skaters on TV, and that inspired her brother to suggest that they try to ice skate in the kitchen by spreading butter across the entire kitchen floor. What a great idea! And that's what they did - laughing all the way. They were having a ball, sliding across that floor like future Olympians, until Mom walked in. They "skated" over to the corner farthest from the door as their mother headed toward them with fire in her eyes. Can you picture this? "Ain't Momma happy, ain't nobody happy!" Right? She didn't have her skates on. She fell to the floor. The kids laughed, and Mom couldn't get to them to punish them! Wrong. She went out and got a bucket of hot water and started cleaning the butter off the kitchen floor. She began at the kitchen door and steadily worked her way to the corner where two children cowered; their entire short lives were flashing before them. There was no escape.

            

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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