Wednesday, June 28, 2017

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Throughout military history, the Army Rangers have been there in some of the most dramatic, most heroic combat events, like scaling the cliffs at Normandy Beach on D-Day. They were climbing right into the face of enemy fire. It's no surprise that the Rangers played a part, along with other Special Forces, in the rescue of that Iraqi prisoner of war years ago, Jessica Lynch, during Operation Iraqi Freedom. When you're fighting in the heat of battle, it's important to know that your comrades are going to go looking for you, no matter what. That's what happened then. That POW rescue was one example of a commitment that is expressed in the Army Ranger Creed; a commitment that's echoed in other branches of the military as well. Here's what the creed says: "I shall never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy." That's good stuff!

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  • friendship
  • forgiveness
  • christians
  • coworkers
  • encouragement

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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Now, here was a bothersome headline a while back from USA Today, "Old Faithful Gets Fickle." What? They were referring to that famous geyser in Yellowstone National Park. As long as any of us tourists could remember, that 140 foot tower of steam erupted faithfully about every 66 minutes. But, something was not right all of a sudden this report said. There was a day that the eruption predicted for 12:11 p.m. didn't occur until 12:18 p.m. One predicted for 2:46 p.m. jumped the gun at 2:38 p.m. So "Tommy tourist" who was counting on "Old Faithful" faithfulness might go for a hot dog and say "Hey! I've still got ten minutes," and miss the whole thing. The problem - underground shifts caused by minor earthquakes, and vandalism by visitors who threw everything from chicken bones to underwear into the geysers hole! One Yellowstone geologist actually said this "There's a good chance that five years from now, or five days, or five hundred years, "Old Faithful" is going to be totally unpredictable, or it's not going to erupt anymore altogether." Wow! So, "Old Faithful" becomes "Old Unpredictable."

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  • loss
  • pain
  • hurt
  • stress
  • struggle
  • betrayal

Monday, June 26, 2017

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Missy taught me about dogs. Missy was our Shih-tzu dog. Our son was given Missy when she was a puppy and he was in high school. And I was amazed at their relationship. When he came downstairs each morning, Missy came to life. Then, as soon as he left, she'd just kind of hunker down under this cabinet in the kitchen and kind of be bla-bla there all day long...until she heard that car pulling in the driveway late in the afternoon. I couldn't hear it pulling in, but Missy sure could! In an instant, she came alive! She shot out from under that cabinet and stationed herself at the back door with her tail in overdrive. When our son came through that door, Missy freaked out! Her whole day revolved around one big event-her master's return.

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  • rescue
  • Jesus
  • God's will
  • outreach

Friday, June 23, 2017

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When you live in the Northeastern U. S. like we did, you usually pack up your shorts and T-shirts about November and file them under "See you in April." But it was January, and that's a big winter month where we were living and people were suddenly all over the place in their shorts and their summer clothes. It was 74 degrees! We figured either our calendar or our thermometer were wacky, but they both were right. It was a great experience - June in January. Unfortunately, the weather fooled the bushes and flowers in our yard. They felt the warm temperature and said, "Ooo, this feels good. Must be spring. Time to wake up!" Sure enough, the buds started appearing all over our yard. But I wanted to yell at them, "Not yet, guys! This isn't going to last! It's too soon! It's an ambush! This isn't going to work!" Unfortunately, I don't speak "Plant" fluently. And when the inevitable freezing temperatures returned, those poor early-bloomers were in for a terrible shock.

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  • patience
  • God's Timing
  • rushing

Thursday, June 22, 2017

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The Lakota Souix call them the Paha Sapa. We call them the Black Hills. The people who live in Keystone, South Dakota, call them their backyard. If you have ever visited Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills, you probably drove by or through Keystone. But the Keystone you drive through now isn't where Keystone used to be – not since the flood of 1972. It was devastating. Back then, Keystone was in the valley by a lazy little creek which suddenly became a raging flood one day in '72, roaring through that valley, destroying the town, and claiming many lives in the area. Well, it was then that the folks of Keystone decided to make a change. When they rebuilt their business district and many of their homes, it wasn't on the ground they had always been on. No, the flood changed all that. They moved up the mountain to higher ground.

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  • loss
  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • hurt
  • stress
  • struggle
  • safety
  • Your Hard Times

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

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Hundreds of thousands of Kurdish people had fled Saddam Hussein's Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War, and they were spread over miles of mountainside on the Turkish border. Christian agencies were flooding in with food, medical help and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But most of the Christian workers connected with the people there only from trucks and distribution points, where they handed out food and blankets. But the missionaries from one particular mission organization really broke through the barrier that others were encountering when they tried to talk about Jesus. They had a unique way of getting close to the people and winning their respect and their trust. You ready to hear their radical outreach strategy? These missionaries picked up the garbage. See, it was everywhere on those mountainsides, and it was getting pretty gross. Nobody wanted to do the garbage, but those who were willing to were the ones those people listened to.

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  • loss
  • hurt
  • friendship
  • your relationships
  • coworkers
  • encouragement
  • support

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

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"Family Secrets" that was the bold headline on a Newsweek magazine. The story was inspired by what happened in the life of then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who was, as she was being considered for that position, learned a secret her family had kept for decades. She thought her grandparents had been Czechoslovakian Catholics who died peaceful deaths. But they were, in fact, Jews who'd been murdered in a Nazi concentration camp. But Newsweek was using that incident to point out how many families have secrets in their closets, from hidden adoptions to hushed-up romances, sometimes with painful consequences. Like one lady the story told about, a lady named Deborah. She was a student at a music conservatory when she married an African-American man. She's white and she had two sons. Later that marriage ended in divorce.

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  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • Sin
  • freedom
  • secrets

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

Friday, June 16, 2017

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Disney World. The Magic Kingdom. How can a four-year-old girl be a little cranky in that dream destination for kids her age? Our granddaughter had been having a great day there with her mom and her cousins while her daddy was busy in meetings. She'd done all the princess stuff she loved, she'd gotten the autographs of Disney characters that she loved, she'd gone on rides she'd been looking forward to. But for some reason, by early afternoon she was just a little out of sorts. By that time, her dad was available, and he showed up to take her on some rides. And suddenly, it was like the clouds had blown away and the sun came out. She was the bouncy, happy little girl we all know again. In retrospect, I guess it was easy to diagnose why the clouds had rolled in. Even in the middle of all the excitement a child could ever want, she was missing her Daddy!

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  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • family
  • dads
  • father

Thursday, June 15, 2017

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It was the largest oil spill in American history and in a sense, it was largely the fault of one man. The tanker Exxon Valdez, you might remember, ran aground on a reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound. The resulting oil spill did incalculable damage to the local fishing industry, to the environment in that very majestic piece of America, and to a lot of wildlife. The Commander of the Coast Guard said the passage there is ten miles across. He said, "so wide your children could pilot a tanker through there!" So how did this happen? Well, an unlicensed third-mate was on the bridge that day, piloting the vessel. He was where the captain should have been. The captain was down below! That disaster happened largely because the man who should have been on the bridge – wasn't!

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  • family
  • husband
  • spiritual leadership
  • father
  • leadership

            

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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