Monday, June 11, 2018

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In every sport, and in every season, there is always that one event that everyone calls "The Big Game". And it's not unusual for real champions to rise to the challenge and put in a powerful performance – so much so that they absolutely cream the other team! But there is also a strange phenomenon that often follows the Big Game – it's called the Big Letdown. It's amazing how a team that has just buried another great team can go into their next game all flat and sloppy. It's not uncommon for the winner of the Big Game to go into that next game – often against a much lesser opponent - and they look terrible - they lose miserably. They literally go right from powerful to pitiful.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

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I had the TV on while I was getting ready to go somewhere, and I caught a snatch of a TV talk show. The host was interviewing a former FBI agent - a man who had successfully infiltrated the Mafia and had been responsible for some major indictments. Now, in his underground life, he was, as you might expect, surrounded by cocaine. The talk show host asked the FBI man, "Did you ever have to use cocaine to maintain your cover?" Good question. Well, after all, his life depended on his fitting in. But he answered that question with a firm "No". The host said, "How did you avoid having to use cocaine?" I liked his answer. In fact, it might even help you where you're feeling the pressure to fit in.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

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Some longtime friends dropped by for a visit and they told us a moving story of what had happened to their son. Tom had been a missionary pilot in Mexico - one of those spiritual heroes, I think, who take the Gospel and God's help to places where it could otherwise never go, including a mountain village in Mexico where the pilots have been God's instruments to launch a mighty work for Christ. And then came the crash. With three missionary pilots and several passengers aboard, a defect in their plane's almost new engine caused a terrible crash. Tom was one of those who survived that crash that could very well have killed everyone. The villagers who loved them actually traveled hours to reach them and rescue them. Tom's body was really badly shattered, and his recovery was long, grueling. But then he was flown back to the area where he ministered. His parents really choked up, and so did we, when they told us what happened as he got off the plane. There to greet him was a crowd of cheering Mexican friends. And they were holding a banner that simply said "Welcome home, Captain Tom!"

Friday, May 18, 2018

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I think some of our best family memories are from our camping vacations. See, we got real close - I mean, literally - sleeping together in our little tent. We enjoyed beautiful scenery, great outdoor-cooked meals, a peaceful environment, and living by the sun. Of course, there are a few downsides - like those very dark nights in very dark campgrounds.

I can remember our boys' ambivalence to walk to the bathroom on nights like those. They had the need to use the facilities and that was undeniable, but the dark path and the dark woods...well, they were scary, especially knowing there were bears in those woods. But one thing would un-paralyze them - when they reached up in the dark and found my hand. Once they were holding their father's hand, you know what? They could keep walking into the darkness.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

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Roger was the father of a friend of mine, and he was a very successful businessman. That's probably why a neighbor approached Roger one day and asked him if he wanted to be involved in a new hamburger chain he was starting. It was a little outfit called McDonald's. Roger was offered the fourth franchise in this brand new venture and a founding share. Roger thought about it and then said, "No, thanks." Ouch! Later, another neighbor came to Roger and told him about this new business he was launching called Service Master. Would Roger like to get in the ground floor with an investment? Roger thought about it and said, "No, thanks." Double ouch! As McDonald's and Service Master grew to be some of the most successful companies in the world, I wonder what must have gone through Roger's mind. He had been on the brink of so much wealth, but he missed it because of one decision.

Monday, May 14, 2018

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You hear a lot of talk about Biblical prophecies being fulfilled and about the signs that precede Christ's return. But when you're little, all this talk about how things are going to end can have an interesting effect. One friend of ours told me recently about his little boy. He said, "Daddy, I sure hope Jesus comes real soon." His Dad asked him why, and the little boy responded, "Well, I'm really looking forward to sitting on Jesus' lap, and I'll be seven pretty soon. If Jesus doesn't come soon, I might be too old to sit on His lap!" Dad was able to give his son the good news, "Son, you are never too old for Jesus' lap." Oh, I love it!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

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Our family has had the wonderful opportunity of visiting some of the most beautiful places in America, and taking in some incredible views. From the top of towering mountains, from the edge of the Grand Canyon, and in my wife's estimation, often too close to the edge. There's good news and bad news about getting real close to the edge. The bad news is. it is dangerous at the edge – you can fall off. But the good news is, the view from the edge is spectacular!

Friday, April 20, 2018

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One of our team members reminded me the other day of how I felt about junior high school lunches. He was talking about it in our team devotions. Few of us remember those 7th or 8th grade cafeteria lunches with great fondness. Friday wasn't bad – that was French fry day. But most of the other days – who knows what some of that stuff was - mystery meat! We'd complain about the food, we'd trash the food sometimes, and sometimes we even had a food fight with it! Hey, it's junior high; what do you want? There were many days I wasn't too excited about what was on my plate. There still are.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

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Okay, laugh if you will, but when I was in high school, I sang in the chorus. I did! Today, I'm just a backup singer; when I sing, people back up. But back in high school, we had some good times learning our parts, mastering our songs, and performing our concerts. Sometimes, if I was late for our chorus class, I could hear them warming up as I approached the chorus room. And this one warm-up was particularly monotonous: "mi, mi, mi, mi, mi, mi, mi, mi, mi." Don't change stations. I'm done. I'm not going to do any more singing. But...

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

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Their name calls up some of the most breathtaking spectacles in circus history - the Great Wallendas! This world famous circus troupe has amazed circus-goers with their high wire act, well, for about three generations. I was interested to read in Decision Magazine a while ago about Tino Wallenda's commitment to Jesus Christ. Tino described what he's done for a living - walking on a cable that is 5/8" thick, suspended between 30 to 100 feet in the air, at times suspended over dens of lions, or between buildings, or even over a pool of sharks! Not what I want to be when I grow up! Well, Tino said about his grandfather, Karl Wallenda, who started him out on a wire just two feet off the ground. He said he taught Tino how to hold his body rigid and how to place his feet on the wire and how to hold the pole with his elbows close to his body. But this great performer writes that "the most important thing that my grandfather taught me was that I needed to focus my attention on a point at the other end of the wire; a point that was unmoving and would not shift."

            

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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