Tuesday, September 18, 2018

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There's a family of superheroes with super capabilities that normal humans don't have. And they're the subject of a couple of animated movies. Yep! They're called "The Incredibles." And because of the powers they have, they are incredible. Or they could be. But the movie shows them living a very un-super life; just going through the motions of everyday life, living in the same kind of mediocrity everyone else is. They're the "Incredibles," but when the movie starts they're sure not living like it.

Monday, September 17, 2018

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Our daughter was always a curious little thing, and she asked endless questions, especially when it was time to go to sleep at night. And she liked to look into things that she found, even trying them at times. Most of those little explorations were harmless. Not the day, though, that she got into a drawer in the bathroom and pulled out some stuff she saw Daddy using to get ready in the morning. Deodorant-no problem. Toothbrush, toothpaste-that's okay. My razor-oh, problem. She'd seen her father run that razor up and down his cheeks, so she decided to do what she saw Daddy do. Bad idea! Scratches and cuts on her face. Oh, I'm glad to tell you, no permanent damage, but not something she did twice. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

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There are some decent, often values-oriented things on television for children. But, as you know very well, there's a lot of garbage, too. And in between those two extremes, there are shows that are mostly good but have some words scattered in them that little ears shouldn't be hearing – or big ears, for that matter. And then there was this service, you know, called the TV Guardian – which automatically replaces a naughty word with a nice word, thus removing what could be bad for your child. Occasionally, the replacements are actually a little amusing. Like the word "sex" for example. The new word is "hugs." Which gets a little interesting when someone asks, "So what will be the hugs of your baby?" But I do think the idea of a TV Guardian is a pretty good idea.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

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When he was young, our grandson had a rainbow of interests, including drawing. In fact, he came away from a local art show with several awards for art for kids his age. Now that didn't come from his grandfather, I can tell you that. I think the lines are down somewhere between my brain and my hand. Something happened there; there's a malfunction! They make it from my brain to my mouth, but I can't… Well, I can't even draw a recognizable stick figure. Now, our grandson apparently had been watching how cartoonists and some caricaturists draw people. Because he really liked to draw some folks the same way they do-very little bodies and very big heads! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

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Jack Phillips was a senior radioman on the maiden voyage of the ill-fated Titanic. On that fatal night when two-thirds of her passengers and crew would die, Phillips actually received a message from a ship called the Masaba. That ship was reporting on a major ice field ahead and the message gave the coordinates where the Titanic could expect to encounter those icebergs. It was the place where just two hours later, the Titanic would, in fact, hit one of those icebergs; the one that would sink what was supposed to be the unsinkable ship. The message with the warning of what was ahead-would you believe it-didn't get delivered. Jack Phillips was really busy at the time - a lot of radio traffic - and he stuck the message on a spindle to be delivered sometime later, and it never was. That one decision would cost the lives of 1,500 people and the life of the radioman himself.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

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Beslan-it's a Russian town that joined the ranks of places known for the terror that happened there. Some have called that three-day terrorist takeover of a school in Beslan, and the violent deaths of hundreds of school children and adults there, Russia's equivalent to America's September 11. In the midst of Beslan's horror, there emerged a photo that embodied hope in the middle of death. It showed a girl's bloodied hand clutching a golden cross. Viktoria was hospitalized with shrapnel in her brain, but she was still a survivor. The fourteen-year-old said that she prayed every day while she was being held captive, always clinging to her cross even after being wounded in the violent ending of that awful siege that killed more than 330 hostages. Even as she lost consciousness, she never let go of the cross. In Viktoria's own words, "I felt that if I had that cross in my hand, then everything would be fine." 

Monday, September 10, 2018

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Some friends are involved in a ministry whose offices are out in the country. The setting is beautiful and far enough out that it even has some interesting four-legged neighbors. Like the mountain lion that several workers and neighbors say they've spotted. There's not supposed to be a mountain lion in their area, but someone forgot to tell the mountain lion. (He didn't get the memo.) I understand this has caused the folks who work there – especially if they're there after dark – just a little more vigilance when they're coming or going from their car. Personally, I think it's better for the person to see the lion before the lion sees the person. Right?

Friday, September 7, 2018

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Each generation has its unforgettable events and photographs that sort of sear those events into our memories. So often, those images are tragedies: the falling towers, of course, of September 11, the bombed out Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City. Before either of those, came the images of the sudden explosion of the Challenger shuttle over Cape Canaveral-those horrible trails of smoke against the sky, reminding us of the deaths of all those heroic astronauts aboard. After an extensive investigation, that cataclysmic explosion was traced to a simple O-ring that malfunctioned in cold weather and started a chain of events that doomed the shuttle and its crew. Then came the more recent explosion of the shuttle Columbia; this time apparently traceable to a loose piece of foam that came off during liftoff and ended up causing the loss of everyone aboard. 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

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Oh, it was a happy day for our then one-year-old granddaughter! It was a milestone day. I mean, ever since she started riding in the car with her parents, she had been in the back seat in her infant seat, facing backward – just like the safety folks recommend you should do. Her Mom and Dad travel a lot of miles, and so even as a little girl, she saw a lot of country as it was going by. But not then! No, not anymore! Not after she got twenty pounds. Yeah, she weighed twenty pounds, the magic threshold. When you get to twenty pounds, you reach that great milestone. Mom and Dad turn your seat around and you get to see where you're going instead of where you've been. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

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Our daughter-in-law grew up in the desert. So, the first time she saw the ocean, and the seashells that are all over the beach at low tide, she said, "Can you keep them?" She did! I mean, the good news is, "Yes, you can." And we've loved collecting seashells when we've had opportunity to spend time along the coast. Some of those shells make it to the shore totally intact. Others, well you know, are broken, sometimes by the surf, sometimes by seagulls who've peck them open to get at their yummy tenants. Occasionally, I've found a particularly striking treasure, though, like the conch shell that I picked up a few years ago. It was badly broken. But inside there was some amazing beauty-beautiful swirls in white and blue and pearl, and it made an incredible design to behold. Outside, that shell was just like rough and plain-just another shell-but not on the inside. I never would have seen its unforgettable beauty if it hadn't been broken.

            

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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