Your Relationships

Thursday, March 23, 2017

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It was pretty funny. Our kids had reached the age where they were old enough to tell us how we did parenting them. In fact, we had gotten into one of those uproarious "remember when" conversations. The subject was various times that we had disciplined them. We explained to them how we had tried to discipline them by the principle of natural consequences-experiencing the most natural negative outcomes in the area where you disobeyed. So if you did something bad with your mouth, you didn't get to use your mouth for a while-or you got it washed out with soap. If you did something bad with your hands, you didn't get to use your hands for a while. At which point our eldest son said, "But I never did anything wrong with my bottom!" Which may be more information than you want, but that kind of launched a discussion of great spankings we have known-including the ones we are now told didn't hurt. Well, this went on for over an hour. It was a laughing and loving and learning time for all of us, and it was a reminder of what is probably a parent's biggest challenge.

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  • parenting
  • family
  • love
  • discipline

Thursday, March 16, 2017

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My wife was just a little girl when she first met Bob Henley. He was one of those older men you look up at and look up to at church. She had a visit to her childhood church some years ago, and she asked about Mr. Henley. They said, "He's 92 years old - and that he would be there the next week." My wife made it a point to attend church there the following week and to reconnect with this memory from her past. As they were talking, Mr. Henley said, "You probably don't remember this (and she didn't), but one day after church you came up to me and you grabbed this finger. You were only about this high (about the altitude of a 4-year old). But you grabbed my finger and you said, ‘Mr. Henley, I love you.'" Now why would he remember that little¬ childlike expression into the 9th decade of his life? He said, "You don't know this, but I was raised an orphan. That morning was the first time in my life anyone ever said 'I love you' to me.'" Wow!

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  • family
  • love
  • friends
  • coworkers
  • legacy

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

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A few years ago I was touring an American Air Force base where they have housed nuclear missiles and B-52 bombers for many years. Along the way, the briefing officer told me something that made me very happy that the Cold War between us and the Soviet Union was behind us. Because it turns out that the Cold War almost got a whole lot hotter. My host told me about a couple of instances during the 1970's when our planes thought the U. S. was about to be under nuclear attack. In one case, the tracking seemed to prove that, so our pilots scrambled into their bombers, armed with nuclear weapons, and took off to retaliate against the Soviet Union. Obviously, you and I are still here. That never happened, but the planes were actually in the air. The problem was in a little computer chip that had created an error in communications. That's pretty scary. There could have been bombs dropped, based on erroneous information.

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  • friendship
  • family
  • The tongue
  • gossip
  • coworkers
  • mouth

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

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You're blessed if you have a great Christian radio station in your area. We do. It's wonderful if you can hear it. A lot of people can. But then I've talked with a friend who lives another direction who says she just can't pick up that station where she is. But then I've met people who live in a part of the area where the station has a strong signal, and they've never heard it either. They've never turned to that frequency, that's why. Important information-eternal information-is being communicated over that station. But a lot of people are missing it; some because the transmitter isn't transmitting their direction. And others because their receiver isn't turned to that frequency!

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  • marriage
  • wife
  • husband
  • communication

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

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If you've got a house, you might complain every once in a while about the constant upkeep. I think it seems like as soon as you get one thing cared for, something else needs attention, right; the windows, the roof, the yard, the plumbing, the paint. Well, be glad you're not in charge of the maintenance of the Golden Gate Bridge. Not long ago I was standing by San Francisco Bay, and I was admiring that really impressive beauty of that great bridge, when someone told me what it takes to keep it impressive. Like thirty-five painters! Every day! That's all they do! The trucks roll out early every morning with another load of that distinctive orange paint and for eight hours a day those thirty-five painters are somewhere on that bridge, keeping it in good shape. They say things deteriorate really fast, and it takes constant effort to maintain that beauty.

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  • friendship
  • marriage
  • family
  • coworkers
  • arguments
  • misunderstandings

Thursday, January 5, 2017

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The precision of America's weapons during recent military engagements has been pretty amazing. But even in these days of high-tech efficiency, there are still casualties and fatalities from what's called "friendly fire". In the war on terrorism, one of our most accurate bombs went astray and killed some of our own military. Several days after that tragedy, four of the men injured by that bomb – men who lost some of their comrades – were interviewed. I was struck especially by the comments of their commanding officer. Basically, here's what he said. "I will have my time to cry and grieve for what we've lost, but not now. I have men to lead and I have a war to win. My feelings will have to wait."

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  • control
  • feelings
  • leadership

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

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You've probably never heard of the "Pig War" between the United States and Great Britain because it's a war that almost happened. That war almost started in 1859 on the disputed San Juan Island between Canada and the State of Washington. In the midst of that tension between England and the U. S., an American settler named Lyman Cutler shot a pig who was rooting through his potato patch. Unfortunately, that pig belonged to an Englishman, Charles Griffin. That incident was just like a match to a powder keg in an already inflamed situation. For twelve years, there was serious hostility and tension between the U. S. and British authorities over a pig. Finally, General Winfield Scott brokered a peace deal. So, fortunately, the only fatality in this conflict was a pig.

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  • Sin
  • priorities
  • disagreements
  • arguments

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

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It was a crazy Christmas at our house! Everybody in our family, three generations really excited about giving gifts to the others and getting them. Well, sometimes our festivities aren't quite like "peace on earth." Such was this particular Christmas. The chatter was loud, the laughter was hearty, and the buzz was intense. Or, in the case of a two-year old grandchild, it was just confusing. My wife, who you know, finely-tuned grandma's radar, noticed that our little grandson seemed a little dazed by all this happy Christmas crossfire. So she just quietly slipped to the floor. (We didn't even notice.) She got down where he was and began working patiently with him on assembling a toy he had just opened. That precious scene had been going on for a few minutes I think before any of us even noticed in the chaos. But there was Grandma, quietly creating this island of sanity in a sea of craziness.

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  • friendship
  • stress
  • coworkers
  • encouragement

Thursday, December 1, 2016

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There's this poignant scene from the epic novel and movie, "Grapes of Wrath". You might remember that's John Steinbeck's story about families that were living in the Depression-era in the Dust Bowl of mid-America, and that's a time when lives and families were changed forever. Huge dust storms were wiping out the life's work of a lot of farmers. In this one scene, an Oklahoma farm family has gathered in front of their house to watch the approach of this massive, foreboding dust storm. The working men in the family are looking toward the horizon, no doubt wondering what this storm is going to do to their world. The children are hanging onto their parents' knees, and their eyes are on the horizon, too. But not the women. No, the women are watching only their men's faces. What they need to know is there.

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  • marriage
  • wife
  • husband

Friday, November 25, 2016

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Our grandson was just about six months old, but it was obvious even then that he and his Mother had a very close relationship. In fact, I noticed back then an interesting dimension of their connectedness. There will be a sudden loud noise or a rowdy outburst by someone-like me for example-and you could tell that my grandson didn't know how he should respond. So instinctively he looked at his mother. His mother knew that, and she had learned how important it was for her to look calm and unfazed, no matter what was coming down. See, he studied her reaction for a moment and then he just obviously decided to do what she did, respond the same way; no tears, no fear. "Hey, Mom's OK. I'm OK."

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  • children
  • parenting
  • family

            

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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