Friday, November 9, 2018

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When we were involved in building a new headquarters for our ministry, I have to confess that was new ground for me. I've been involved in building people my whole life, but not buildings. It became very clear that there is a specific order in which you have to do things. Obviously, you don't just start by having the carpenters show up and start putting up the building. No, there has to be a foundation laid first. But whoa, wait-you can't lay the foundation or start building until you have the detailed plans for the building. Yes, it takes contractors, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, pavers, and heating and air conditioning people. But first, the architect! Without his design, it's going to just be mass confusion at the construction site. But thankfully, God gave us a gifted architect who could lay out a detailed plan. And you know what? Things worked really well because everyone was going by the plan.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

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I felt like the Big Bad Wolf in that story of Little Red Riding Hood; the part where he's masquerading as grandma. Little Red says, "What big eyes you have!" That was me the day I left the ophthalmologists' office. He had put dilating solution in my eyes for an eye checkup. Well, the checkup was over, but somebody forgot to tell my eyes. They stayed dilated for the next couple of hours. And everyone said, "What big eyes you have!" It wasn't much fun. Even though it was basically a cloudy day, I was squinting and I was trying to cover my eyes. With my pupils so big and so wide open, the light was blazing right into my eyes. I wasn't missing anything and it was blinding!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

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O.K., let's put away all the junk food snacks for a minute and reach for a healthy snack today. Yes, it's time for some fresh fruit. It could be an apple, an orange, a pear, but the next time you eat one, would you look for the example on the inside? There is one. Oh, I wouldn't recommend you eat that entire apple; you'll probably want to stop when you get to the core. But notice what's there in the middle of that apple. Yep, seeds that can make another apple!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

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It was some years ago when we heard unsettling words on the evening news, "airline pilots strike." Man, I hate words like that! The threat of my particular airline and its pilots going on strike? Well, it threw everyone affected by it into a tailspin. (I guess that's a bad example.) Panicky travelers were scrambling to double book their reservations on another airline just in case. Resort areas serviced by this airline began to add up the zillions this might cost them. The White House started adding up the devastating financial cost on the economy-so much so that the President actually stepped in to at least delay the strike. The simple fact is, planes aren't going anywhere without pilots. If they don't show up for their job, it just gets real crazy real fast. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

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Our son was supposed to be flying into our local airport, but well, shall we say the unpredictabilities of airplane travel today forced him to land in another city. Which meant renting a car to drive the four hours home and then returning the rental car to the airport where I have never returned a rental car. He drove the rental car as I led the way in our family car. (You following all this? I'm not sure I am.) Well, we managed to find the ramp that pointed to "rental car returns." I looked at the companies listed on the signs only to discover that the one our son had rented from wasn't listed! We pulled over, rolled down our windows, and said, "What now?" Suddenly he said, "Whoa! Let's follow him!" At just that moment, the van from our rental company went by! So, we took off behind him. It's a good thing we did. The roads and ramps took us on this merry chase all around the airport and beyond the airport. We could have never figured out how to get there! We literally had to follow someone who has been there!

Friday, November 2, 2018

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Our family was staying in, well, as the camp song says, "a little cabin in the woods." As soon as we got unpacked, our seven or eight-year-old son went for an exploratory bike ride up the trail. When he returned he got going a little fast, and then he hit this patch of gravel right near the cabin. The bike spun out from under him and he hit that ground pretty hard. When he got up, there was a lot of blood around his mouth. He had broken a tooth and it punctured his lip. So, we raced him to a hospital emergency room where they fixed him up with a few stitches. Now, he took the second bike ride that day. That was the tough part; especially after what had happened on the first bike ride. But his Mother and I encouraged him to get right back on his bike. We knew if he didn't, it might take him a long time to get the confidence back to ever ride again. Well, sure enough, the boy bounced back. In spite of his fall, he decided to ride again and he kept riding for many years after that. 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

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A lot of great sights to see in New Orleans. But it's hard to think of New Orleans for very long without remembering Hurricane Katrina and the devastating wind and waves that so wracked that city. Now, afterwards of course, there was a lot of finger-pointing as to who was to blame for those tragedies. And the subsequent revelations showed that there seemed to be plenty of blame to go around at all levels. But one fact became clear: the single greatest cause of death in New Orleans' darkest days didn't come so much from the storm but from the levees that couldn't hold back the waters of the storm. The walls around New Orleans just weren't strong enough to withstand like a high-magnitude storm.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

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We had three children, two boys and a girl. Our boys had the privilege of growing up with a sister. Did they always get along with their sister? Silly question! Of course not. But if it ever looked as if anyone was going to hurt their sister, oh, stand back folks! I mean, they even insisted on the right to approve the guys she dated; they wanted veto power. Almost no one was good enough for their sister. They didn't want her to be with anyone who wasn't going to be good for her. I guess if you're a brother with a sister, you know what I'm talking about-this strong instinct to protect your sister or eventually any woman you care about, from anything that could hurt her.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

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When our friends heard that our family had been invited to Alaska for a week of ministry, they were all excited for us. They said, "Oh, it's beautiful, you're going to love it! When are you going?" "February." "Oh." See, I get invited to places like Florida and Arizona in the summer, and Alaska in the dead of winter. We had a wonderful week, but the time came for my wife and kids to fly home because they had to get back to school, and I stayed for several more days of ministry. We were out on the Kenai Peninsula, in an area that felt fairly remote. We arrived at this small airport one night to rendezvous with our pilot. Dick was a missionary pilot, trained by Moody Bible Institute's top-flight pilot's school and he was experienced in flying into many remote areas of Alaska. But that night his cargo was the people I love most. My first cause for a little worry was his request to help him push the plane out of the hangar and onto the runway. That was new! Yeah, and it was icy. I had never pushed my plane into position before. I didn't like that runway. It was covered with thick, deeply-rutted ice from one end to the other. And at the end of this fairly short runway was a big stand of trees you could run into. Oh yeah, and it was heavily overcast-no moon, no stars. Well, I helped my wife and three children crowd into Dick's little Cessna, I waved good-bye as they started bouncing and maneuvering down that icy runway. I really didn't like the conditions, but I was okay because I really trusted the pilot.

Monday, October 29, 2018

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It happened decades ago, but it's one of those events I'll never really forget. It happened in Chicago where I grew up. It was the most devastating tragedy most of us would remember from that time. It was December 1, 1958, and a fire broke out at the foot of a stairway in the Our Lady of the Angels School. That fire raged out of control very quickly; it cut off all normal escape routes. Ninety grade school children died in that fire. But there's one I remember vividly from a news account that I read at the time and I still have not forgotten it. This little boy was in a second story window-they actually had a photo of him. The boy's father was down below, yelling to him to jump into his arms. That boy could see the fire racing toward him from behind, but he refused to jump. Then, one awful moment, the boy disappeared from the window. He was one of those victims.

            

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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