Tuesday, July 25, 2017

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It was at a point where we were crossing this long bridge across the Arkansas River. The bridge was long because the river was wide. My wife made an interesting comment about the river. She said, "Now, we've seen how it got that way." Wide, she meant. Actually, we've seen the Arkansas at its headwaters where it's a very unimpressive little stream. And as we've driven across the western United States, we've seen many creeks and streams that feed into the Arkansas, taking her from being a dinky little stream into a wide and mighty river.

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  • family
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  • coworkers
  • encouragement
  • encourager

Thursday, July 6, 2017

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When you grow up in the city like I did, your neighborhood usually has a neighborhood bully. Ours did. His name? Boomer! For the little kids on our block, Boomer was like the original terrorist. He'd beat us up for nothing, he'd take our stuff and generally intimidate us. One day I got tired of it! Yep! See, he took my White Sox cap. I was just a little guy. I was no match for him. But I walked boldly down our street to where no kid dared to go - to the corner apartment building where Boomer lived. I can picture it to this day. I went to the back porch, I knocked on the door, and I asked for my hat back. You say, "What a brave little boy you were." There is one detail I left out - my father went with me. And that made all the difference. See, Boomer was bigger than I was. But my father was bigger than Boomer was!

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  • faith
  • God's will
  • courage

Monday, June 19, 2017

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Karen and I had some of the most exciting summers of our life spending a lot of time on Indian res¬ervations and making some wonderful friends in Native America. Some have even honored us with Indian names. My friend, Joe, gave me the Lakota name for "traveler". That figures. I re¬member the night Karen got into a snowball fight with some junior high girls that she'd met on the Lakota reservation. I think they were surprised that a mature woman would take them on in a snow battle in which she was outnumbered 4 to 1. Actually, Karen started it to break the ice. Of course, I would never intend to pun. Later, she called it the Little Bighorn II. But those girls were so im¬pressed, they gave Karen a name, which they still called her years later - Snowball. Then there was the night Karen picked up a mop handle to try to bring down the bat that was flying all over the dining hall where our mission team girls were trying to sleep. At breakfast the next morning one Native team leader gave Karen another Indian name - Kills With One Swing. Our experiences mirror what has long happened among Native Americans on a much more serious level, having experiences with a person and then celebrating it by giving them a name.

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  • Jesus
  • prayer
  • God
  • daily devotions

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

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I met this intriguing guy. He's a recently retired Marine who had the great privilege of working security for George W. Bush when he was President of the United States. He's even worked as President Bush's spotter when he was in the weight room working out! On a couple of occasions, my friend had the opportunity to tell the President something that was very much on his heart. He said, "Mr. President, the folks from my church wanted me to tell you that we're praying for you all the time." At that point, the President turned to my friend, looked him straight in the eye, and said, "Then, would you please give them a message for me? Tell them the President is deeply grateful. There's nothing greater they could do for me."

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  • prayer
  • support
  • Moses
  • Spiritual warfare

Monday, May 22, 2017

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Spock, Scotty, a doctor called "Bones", the Starship Enterprise, the transporter, the Klingons: they're all part of a universe millions of people know as Star Trek. And if the oft-repeated TV shows weren't enough, the Star Trek crew became the stars of several major movies. And then came the new crew, set even farther ahead in our future. It was called "Star Trek - The Next Generation." They were still boldly going where no one had gone on the Starship Enterprise. But "Star Trek version I" and "Star Trek version II" had something more than a ship in common. They both had a strong captain in command. First, Captain Kirk, who always seemed to have things under control. But then along came the "Next Generation" skipper, Captain Picard. He had a lot less hair than Capt. Kirk, but he seemed to be even more in charge. There was never a question as to who was in charge of the ship, the crew, or the situation. And when Capt. Picard would give an order, he would follow it with three "no argument" words that were always the bottom line, "Make it so." "Yes, Sir!"

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  • faith
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Thursday, May 4, 2017

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Maybe you’re like me; you're one of those people who lives in a climate where there are four seasons, where the fall and spring are spectacularly beautiful and where winter is really winter, and summer is really summer. There’s probably one change of seasons that is probably anticipated by you more than any other-the end of winter! I’ve always lived with four seasons, and I like them all. I just think one of them lasts a month or two too long. That’s why I was so excited during a February ministry trip to South Carolina. I was living up north at the time, and so we had this serious winter. Now February is still winter a little while longer, but in South Carolina, the trees were starting to bloom! Not only were the flowers out on the trees, the shorts were even out on the humans! I don’t remember seeing dogwood blooming in February! That was early even for the mid-South, but there had been a string of days in the 70’s with temperatures that were still mild at night. So those little flowers said to themselves, "Hey, it’s warm, guys! I guess it’s time to bloom! You think they might have said that?

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  • family
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  • your relationships
  • coworkers
  • encouragement
  • attitude

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

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When I'm speaking for some event, my needs are pretty simple. Just get me a bottle of fresh water, and I'll be able to keep going like the Energizer Bunny. You know, I realized once that I was heading into a speaking session without my trusty bottle of water. Someone directed me to a hospitality room the host had set up for those on the program. I actually bypassed all the goodies and I reached for the first bottle of water I saw. As I sat on the front row of the auditorium, awaiting my time to go up on the platform, I mindlessly twisted open the cap on the bottle so I could get a swig. Well, much to my surprise and chagrin, the contents immediately began erupting out of the bottle! I hadn't read the label. I didn't know what was inside until I opened it. It was sparkling water, and it was sparkling all over me!

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  • friendship
  • family
  • your relationships
  • coworkers
  • attitude

Monday, April 10, 2017

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It was another crazy day in my life of crazy days. I was speaking in downtown Philadelphia early in the morning and then out in the suburbs later in the morning. The Billy Graham team members had organized all this and they arranged for the committee chairman to lead us from one meeting to another. The only way we could make both meetings was to race out of Meeting 1 and take the fastest possible route to Meeting 2. Well, we got behind the chairman and began what turned out to be a modern version of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. This guy really knew how to get around that city! There was only one hope of getting to our goal, believe me. We just had to stay really close to the guy who was leading us.

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  • prayer
  • God's will
  • daily devotions
  • God's Plan

Thursday, January 26, 2017

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We were all nestled into our tent for the night as the campground fell silent after a busy day. We had zipped each of the kids into their sleeping bag. I had zipped up the tent and tied it securely. My wife and I were all settled into our sleeping bags for a good night's sleep. And then came the words, "I gotta' go potty." Great! Great! The bathroom was down the trail and over the hill. So, unzip my sleeping bag, unzip boy's sleeping bag, put on shoes, unzip the tent, untie the flaps – oh, and be sure you've got your lantern. Father and son make their way through the real darkness of the campground. They can't see the bathroom, but thanks to the light of their lantern, they make it to their goal in time.

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  • faith
  • prayer
  • daily devotions
  • gods

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

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The funeral plans for Matt were in the works. The Park Service had announced that Matt was one of five people who had been killed in a plane crash on a mountainside in Montana. The funeral never happened. Suddenly, Matt's bereaved parents heard the stunning news: although he had been badly injured, their son, along with one other Forest Service worker, had just been rescued alive, miles from the crash site. Rescue workers at the scene of the crash had concluded that the charred wreckage and the scattered human remains indicated that the crash had been "un-survivable". But amazingly, Matt and his fellow worker hiked for 29 hours, often in subfreezing temperatures, until they reached a highway where a motorist picked them up. One news magazine called it, "A Miracle in the Snows of Montana" (Newsweek, October 4, 2004). I guess!

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  • faith
  • family
  • prayer
  • friends

            

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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