Friday, April 27, 2018

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Now it's pretty rare to see an eagle in our area, so 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 mean, I hate to think about their repulsive diet. But as you know, these vultures like to chow down on dead animals. Wherever you see vultures, you can pretty well assume there's a carcass somewhere nearby.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

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My wife and I had an unforgettable time on the little island of Haiti some years ago. You know, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and a heartbreaking place for anyone with a little compassion in their heart. While we were there, missionaries told us about one recent tragedy that was indicative of so many in the lives of these beautiful people. There had been an epidemic of conjunctivitis, or "pinkeye" as it's often called. Women were frustrated by having their eyes crusted over or just running like they do with conjunctivitis, so they tried what they thought might cure it-bleach. They rubbed bleach in their eyes. You know the outcome.

Monday, April 23, 2018

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There was a movie years ago called "The Horse Whisperer." I thought it was about a man with laryngitis, but it's actually about this man who has an amazing ability to gentle horses-horses that it seems no one else can tame. In fact, the main character was modeled after a real man whose skill in gentling and training wild mustangs is almost legendary. In the past, people have used some pretty brutal methods to force a horse into submission. But the real horse whisperer doesn't "break horses." He uses body language and, yes, some quiet talking as his tools to gentle a horse that otherwise would be uncontrollable.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

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It was pretty scary for a four-year-old little girl. My wife's grandfather had somehow managed to drop his favorite pen down a cistern in his yard. Yeah, Karen always remembered it as being about 25 feet deep, and she remembered that because she was the one who had to retrieve Granddad's valuable pen. Her Daddy made this makeshift harness for her to sit in, then tied a rope around her waist, and began to lower her down into that hole. Her mind was focused partly on the lost pen, and partly on what snakes might be down there in that damp hole in the ground. As she dangled in space in this scary place, she was counting on one thing: her big, strong Father was holding the rope.

Friday, April 13, 2018

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I was in a convenience store one night when an alert clerk made an important discovery. Someone had just handed her a bill, and she did what she was trained to do: she held it up to the light. She got this furrow in her brow and she reached for a special pen. When she marked the bill, the mark was black. When she marked another bill of the same denomination, it turned out yellow. The clerk turned to her coworker with the black-marked bill in her hand and said one word - I'll bet you guessed it - "counterfeit." Apparently, the man who gave it to her didn't realize it was counterfeit. But, looking at the bills side by side, there was no way I could tell one was counterfeit. But the light revealed that something was missing from that counterfeit that actually was printed into the real ones, and the pen confirmed it. I want to tell you, though, if you don't know how to detect the difference, the counterfeit and the real thing look the same...except one is worth absolutely nothing.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

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It's a ghost town now. But in the 1880s, she was one of the boomtowns of California-all because of some silver in the ground. When the price of silver soared, so did their fortunes and so did the population of this little town that we visited not too long ago. But when the price of silver crashed, well, of course, so did the town. Back in some of her better days, a fire hit the town and it burned a lot of it to the ground. The only original buildings still standing there today had one thing in common. In a town that was mostly wood structures, these were the ones that were made of adobe. They've reconstructed some of those wood buildings, but hey, they weren't there long ago because, of course, they couldn't survive the fire. 

Friday, April 6, 2018

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We hear millions of words in our life...especially if you spend much time around me or our family. We forget most of the words we hear, don't we, except for some that are just too important to forget. Like our baby's first words, or the last words of someone we love, or the words that end up changing our life. Our five-year-old grandson called me one day and he said, "Granddad, I stayed up extra late tonight till I could talk to you and tell you what I memorized." It took me a while to recover from what he said, and I'll never forget it.

Monday, April 2, 2018

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It was home improvement time at our house, and I have a chronic sense of 'uncoordinitis', so we obviously needed some help. And our friend Tim, he was the man for the job for two reasons. First, he's good at designing and building and problem-solving. Of course, there are a lot of people who are craftsmen like that. The second reason is what really made Tim the man for the job. Sometimes we were gone when he was going to be at our house working. And since he was working in every part of the house, he needed keys to everything, and there was no place in our home he couldn't go. That meant we needed not only someone who could do the job, but right, you got it. We needed someone we could totally trust. And we had someone like that.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

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I think it was our older son's first official date with a girl; actually, just a couple of hours at the mall really. The next day he ran into some of the guys from school who just wanted to know one thing about his Friday night. "So how much did you get off her?" They weren't talking about money. They were talking about conquest. Our son actually came home pretty disgusted, frankly. He said, "Man, those guys; they're messed up!" 

Monday, March 26, 2018

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People who know me know that I'm a very focused person when I'm working on something. Except when it comes to the most distracting people I know-my grandchildren. I remember when my granddaughter was pretty little. She was just one-plus-year-old, there was just no way to resist her when she came my way. She'd pull herself up by my pant leg, she'd stretch her arms my direction, and then she'd make these cute little noises and irresistible faces-virtually begging me to pick her up. I'm not the only one who's gotten nothing done when she was around. No, she was that way with other family members; reaching out to be held. And I'll tell you this: our arms were always open.

            

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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