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

Friday, December 30, 2016

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It's usually the most watched event of the Winter Olympics every four years: the women's figure skating competition. Let's go back in the time machine to the 2006 Games in Turin, Italy. A lot of America's hopes for a gold medal were riding on Sasha Cohen; especially after she managed a thin, first-place edge after the initial short program. Then came that decisive long skating program. Suddenly, all hopes of any medal seemed to disappear with a major fall that she had early in her program. The TV commentators actually said, "Well, now it's going to be a fight just be on the podium." With a major deficit in her score from her fall, Sasha Cohen could have easily lost heart, but she didn't. She fought back with a strong and impressive showing in the rest of her performance. When the rest of the world's best had all skated, the young woman who had fallen-who seemed to have forfeited any hope of being a champion-stood on that podium with a coveted silver medal.

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  • faith
  • forgiveness
  • stumble

Monday, December 26, 2016

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If you've flown commercially, you know you have to go through a security checkpoint before you can get to your gate. And for those security personnel who man those metal detectors and X-ray machines, there is a four-letter word they won't tolerate. Of course it's the word "bomb." I mean, you can see signs warning you not to even joke about explosives or bombs or anything. And I'm glad! The slightest hint of the possibility of a bomb has been known to literally shut down an airport for hours-I've been there when that happened. That's fine with me if they want to check that out. Nobody in an airport wants to hear the word "bomb" because of what that word represents. That's something that could destroy everything.

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  • Jesus
  • The Name

Thursday, December 15, 2016

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Our granddaughter was almost three when her parents took her to the place that blew her little mind-Disneyland. She loved Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh and Cinderella, and this was where they live, right? For many months afterward, she continued to talk about the experiences she had there. But it was her first reaction that was the most priceless of all. They got off the tram and walked onto the main street of Disneyland with a castle in front of them and Disney characters greeting them. Her reaction wasn't verbal, so it's a little hard to convey it. But imagine a dark-haired, dark-eyed, round-faced little girl stopped in her tracks with her eyes like saucers, her hands suddenly covering her mouth, and one audible reaction – gasp!

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  • faith
  • prayer
  • worship

Friday, December 9, 2016

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When America decided to go after the Taliban in its war on terrorism, there were a lot of warnings about what a difficult battleground Afghanistan can be – and what a tough enemy the Taliban would be. That's why so many of us were surprised when the Taliban fighters seemed to retreat so quickly from city after city in Northern Afghanistan as the Northern Alliance advanced back in the days of that first Gulf War. But Taliban defectors said that the relentless American bombing had really affected their morale. The U. S. military strategy going into the Afghan conflict was not a new one – begin with an air war – heavy bombing to "soften up" your enemy before the ground forces make a move. As we learned in that Gulf War, and in many other battles, that can lead to a surprisingly quick victory.

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  • faith
  • prayer
  • God's will

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

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My wife was just a girl when her grandparents down the road started building a little farmstead to live in. Because she had expressed a desire to be a missionary someday, Granddad thought she needed to know how to do things for herself – including laying block for a building. So, she got to help lay the block for her grandparents' house. Well, in the amazing, surprising ways of God, we ended up getting to live in that house many years after it was built. I used to kid her that the crooked blocks are the ones she did!

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  • integrity
  • choices
  • your future

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

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If you've been to Disneyland or Disney World with children, they made sure you got on this cute little ride called "Small World". It's this little boat that takes you on a trip down this winding little canal where these precious little dolls sing to you. They're dressed like children from all over the world, and they're singing this little song to you, which I will not sing. This is not a musical program. But you will remember maybe, it goes, "It's a small world after all." And it's cute – for a while. The problem is they keep singing it to you, around every bend, from every side. By the end of that ride, you are sick of a small, small world!

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  • faith
  • prayer
  • meant for more

Monday, November 14, 2016

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I met this 87-year-old man one day who had been given a whole new lease on life. His heart arteries were so clogged that his health was deteriorating rapidly. But then the heart surgeon went to work on him and gave him a quadruple heart bypass. In a sense, the doctor created four new arteries and plugged them into this man's heart so his heart could once again get the blood it needs when it needs it. I mean it's totally amazing the difference a skilled heart surgeon can make.

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  • faith
  • prayer

Thursday, November 3, 2016

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Excuse me, but I don't expect to be inspired when I eat at McDonald's. Fed, but not inspired. But recently there was a little inspiration with my burger and fries. There was this striking poster on the wall. It showed two mountain climbers near the peak of this Alpine mountain, straining to reach the top. But it was the inscription that impressed me most. "Conquest without risk is a triumph without glory." That's pretty good.

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  • faith
  • God's will

            

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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