Thursday, July 27, 2017

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When our oldest child was born, they didn't even let fathers go into the labor room. That was nice. Then when our second one was born, fathers must have gotten a little smarter. They let us go into the labor room, but not the delivery room. And by the time our third one was born, hey, fathers had really gotten smart! I was actively involved with the doctor in the delivery. But, of course, I couldn't just walk right into the delivery room. No! First, I had to do what the doctor and nurse had to do – scrub up! Oh yeah, they made sure I washed thoroughly with disinfectant. Then they covered every part of me but my hands and my eyes and my nose – and they put a mask over my mouth, a thoroughly ugly cap on my head and this goofy smock over my clothes. My only consolation was the doctor looked as geeky as I did. They gave me paper booties (That was cool! I still wear those.) to wear over my shoes, but I understood. They can't allow any dirt to infect that environment. You've to be clean to get in.

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  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • heaven
  • cleanliness

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

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It all started with an SOS from a counselor who was talking with a young woman after a meeting where I had spoken. Her frustrated counselor just said, "Boy, this one's really hard." And, sure enough, Kelly really did seem shut down. I said, "Kelly, do you want to have a relationship with Jesus?" When she said yes, I asked her why. She responded, "Because part of me is missing, and I know it's Him. But if you only knew how many times I have tried to accept Christ, and nothing happens." Well, I was stuck – until the Lord gave me one question for Kelly, and it changed everything. It might change everything for you.

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  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • Sin
  • mistakes

Thursday, July 13, 2017

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There were a lot of dramatic images from the military action known as Operation Iraqi Freedom – but I think few were more dramatic than the middle-of-the-night rescue of a prisoner of war, Jessica Lynch. If you were around at the time, you probably remember it. As Coalition forces advanced quickly from the Kuwaiti border to the capital of Baghdad, Pfc. Lynch's unit of Army maintenance troops made a wrong turn, ended up in the middle of an enemy ambush, and no one knew Jessie Lynch's fate. She was listed as missing in action. But acting on the tip of Iraqi sympathizers, a Special Operations Force fought their way into the hospital where she was imprisoned, found her, and quickly carried her to a waiting helicopter. And then, they had to fight their way out, too. But Private Lynch was safe – saved by rescuers who risked it all to bring her out.

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  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • the cross
  • trapped

Monday, July 10, 2017

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Allison and her daughter and two friends were out for a trail ride in a remote area. They were to rendezvous later, actually, in the afternoon with other family members at their overnight campsite. When it came time to head back, they were somewhere on the side of a mountain, picking their way through very rocky ground. No matter which way they went, they couldn't find the main trail that would take them back down the mountain. They could see where they needed to be, but the terrain was too rugged to get down any other way. The hours wore on, dark began to fall, and Allison's two friends finally made an attempt to get to a cabin they could see. Well after dark, Allison and her daughter finally saw flashlights moving up the mountain. Her friends returned with the man from that cabin. He helped them pick their way to a point where they could actually get right back on the trail. Much to their surprise, while they had been lost, they had been very close to the trail all along!

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  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • eternity
  • heaven
  • christians

Friday, July 7, 2017

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When you're little, your parents seem immortal. They're not. Sooner or later, most of us get the kind of call that I got, and maybe you've gotten – a parent is gone. In my case, the hospital called to say my Mom had been admitted due to a medical emergency, but her body gave out and she was gone. No matter what the circumstances, the death of someone you love is always a shock, even if you knew maybe it was coming. When you're the only living child and your other parent is already gone, there's this numbing list of arrangements that you suddenly have to make. Thankfully, that wasn't the case with my Mom. Mercifully, funeral arrangements had been made and paid for years in advance.

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  • Death
  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • heaven

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

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Years ago I heard a friend tell about a scene from his childhood that he never forgot. My friend was around on that black day in 1929 that marked the beginning of the Great Depression. One of the great traumas of America's financial collapse, of course, was that many banks just went under almost overnight. Well, my friend literally remembered seeing a neighbor at the locked gates of his bank, and he was literally pounding his fists bloody on those gates, screaming at the top of his lungs, "Give me my money! Give me my money!" There was no money to give.

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  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • Christianity
  • religion

Friday, June 30, 2017

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Hey, you could use a good fish story today, right? Once upon a time there were these beautiful fish who lived five miles under the ocean. How do I know? They were the subject of a PBS television special. So this is a for real fish story. Now, because these fish are really striking – I mean they are incredibly colorful – some folks thought they might look good in someone's tropical fish aquarium. So they tried to bring these fish to the surface. They didn't make it. They blew up when they got near the surface! They were designed to live under that pressure at the bottom. Well, no happy ending, except they're going to leave the rest of them where they belong – five miles under the ocean because that's where they were created to be!

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  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • meaning

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

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

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

            

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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