Wednesday, December 27, 2017

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The snowstorm hit Chicago on a Saturday, and many of the people stranded at Chicago's O'Hare Airport didn't get out of there until Tuesday. That scene was not unique for O'Hare, of course. I've sat in a plane on the runway for three hours just because brief thunderstorms went through. Maybe you've got some travel war stories like that. The fact is, O'Hare Airport is a hub for so many connecting flights to so many places. And because it's in the Midwest, it's near one of the Great Lakes and it can get hit with all kinds of weather, which sometimes shuts down one of the busiest airports in the world. Someone said, "When O'Hare sneezes, the whole airline system gets pneumonia." It's true that when bad weather makes the hub close down, nothing can get to where it needs to be.

  • faith
  • stress
  • struggle
  • pressure

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

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When a police officer shows up for his shift, he has no idea where he's going to end up that day. That's not really up to him. His car is connected to headquarters by way of radio – and on the other end sits that person who will tell him where he's going next – the dispatcher. An officer can be cruising along peacefully one minute and the next minute racing full speed to the scene of a crime. They go wherever the dispatcher sends them. It's that voice from headquarters who sends an officer to where he or she needs to be next.

  • rescue
  • outreach
  • God's Plan

Monday, December 25, 2017

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When I was growing up, Christmas was a double-header for me, because my birthday is just a few days before Christmas. Just in case you care, it's on the date that the Wright Brothers flew the first airplane successfully. So, with all the time I've spent on airplanes in my life, you gotta wonder if that's some kind of destiny thing. That's also the date of the Battle of the Bulge. Wait, no. Destiny again? But I've never had a complaint about when my birthday is. Nope! As a kid, I tried to turn that into an advantage by asking for a gift that would be too much for just Christmas but not for Christmas and your birthday. And besides cleaning up in the gift department, it's just neat to have a birthday at a time when all the world seems to be celebrating. I mean, I know they're not celebrating my birthday obviously, but it's just the best time of year!

  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • Christmas
  • family of God

Friday, December 22, 2017

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It's been used by many a parent to intimidate their children into being good for at least one month of the year. It's that list, you know, the one immortalized in the song, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." You know the line: "He's making a list, checking it twice. Gonna find out who's naughty and nice." I never wanted to be on that naughty list. (Warning: Cover your child's ears at this point.) Then I found out there's no such list.

  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • eternity
  • Christmas

Thursday, December 21, 2017

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If you made a list of places you might like to be for Christmas, I'm guessing the hospital emergency room wouldn't be on your list. No, mine either. But I was. Yeah, it happened the Christmas that our sons got a new football. It was this extraordinary 60-degree Christmas day. Of course, we had to go out and play with that new ball. I went deep for a pass, and I caught it on the end of my finger! The next thing I knew, I was spending a painful Christmas in the emergency room getting a broken finger repaired. Nice way to spend Christmas, huh?

  • pain
  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • suffering
  • Christmas
  • broken

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

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The Christmas tree has always been a big deal at our house. The boys go on our annual pilgrimage to pick it out. Then we have the annual decorating ceremony, and we're pretty good at it if I do say so myself. The lights, the beautiful decorations you accumulated over the years, the bright star on the top. Our Christmas tree is the center of our family life all during the Christmas season, and then comes January. Yeah, I hate to mention it now, but the decorations come off and the tree comes down. After which, I unceremoniously carry it to the curb for the garbage man to dispose of. The ugly secret is painfully obvious that day. Even though that tree has been glowing with decorations, it was dead all along!

  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • Christmas

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

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It was the biggest night of the year in a little town called Cornwall. It was the night of the annual Christmas pageant. Since there are no nearby malls or cities to compete with, the pageant is pretty much packed out every year. It's an especially big deal for the children in town. They get to try out for the roles in the Christmas story, and everybody wants a part.

  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • faith
  • Christmas

Monday, December 18, 2017

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Our family opens our gifts on Christmas Eve, and I've got to tell you, it's usually one amazing outpouring of love. There's not a member of our family who just runs out to some mall and says, "Oh, I've gotta get something for her or for him." No, there seems to be this almost scientific process where with each person they're buying for they say, "Now what do I know about this person? What do they really need? What do they really like?" I think we've even got a couple of sons who evaluate their gift-giving success on the basis of how touched the recipient is. Yeah, they don't mind a few tears actually; it's that touching. And there are always some neat, touching moments at our Christmas Eve.

  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • Christmas
  • greatest gift

Friday, December 15, 2017

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Like most families, Christmastime for us has always been a season of secrets, mysteries and anticipation. And sometimes even a little frustration. Like the year my wife and I decided to build a dollhouse for our daughter and then another year we built a general store for our son. We closed off the basement and we set up our workshop. The sign on the basement door said, "Closed - Christmas Workshop." But, of course, the kids could hear all the construction sounds downstairs, it's driving them nuts! They begged us to tell them what we were working on. But that, of course, would have ruined everything. Even though it left them wondering, we were building something really nice for them. They just couldn't see it until it was done.

  • faith
  • stress
  • patience
  • God's Plan

Thursday, December 14, 2017

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I've checked into many a hotel over the years, but I've never before experienced what I did just a little while back. See, when I arrived, I went to the desk – yes, they had my reservation – and they gave me my room number and my key - so far, we're good - and I went to my room. Then I put the key in the door, opened the door and stopped in my tracks. First hint of trouble was the clothes I saw hanging up on the rack near the door. Then I noticed the TV was on, and there were feet propped on a footrest – feet that were probably attached to someone who was watching that TV. Well, I quickly and quietly closed the door, turned to my associate and said, "What do you know! Someone's in my room!"

  • Jesus
  • stress
  • idol
  • sprituality
  • distraction
  • Christian

            

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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