Devotions

Leadership 101: “I want to thank you . . .”

  On Leadership   As I begin my 68th year on Planet Earth, I can sum up what I’ve learned about leadership in one sentence: “I want to thank you ahead of time for doing this, and I know you won’t disappoint me.” I’ve been a youth leader, parent, coach, teacher, principal, camp manager, missionary, and now a grandfather. That …

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A Good Epitaph to Have: Leroy Columbo

This is a story from my first book, Stories from the Creekbank. It concerns a famous person from Galveston, Texas. The plaque mentioned is at sidewalk level atop the sea wall. A Good Epitaph to Have     Have you ever thought about what epitaph you’d like to have? Recently as I walked Galveston’s seawall, I read a plaque: In …

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First Snake of the Year

First Snake of the Year   Tuesday, April 16, 2024 It’s mid-April, and the snakes are crawling out of their winter homes.  The warmer nights are the impetus for them to stick their heads above ground. I’ve spent the winter months not worrying about where I walk or put my hands. But that is changing. I’m waiting to see my …

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Resolve

    Resolve This week I’m thinking about the word “Resolve “ and its double first cousins, Grit, Determination and Perseverance. “Resolve: to act with determination, boldness, steadfastness, and faith.” Resolve: it’s a good word to have in our toolbox.

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The 100 Foot Line: Thoughts on Forest Fires

  The 100-Foot Line     There’s a fine stand of young slash pine at Dead Man’s curve on the Longville Road. I’ve watched the growth of this forest since it was clear cut, then replanted in straight rows. The following year, the pines began to poke their heads above the grass. They’ve emerged above the surrounding bushes and scrub …

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Joseph on Forgiveness: Part 4

Joseph on Forgiveness Part 4   Folks ask, “When did Joseph forgive his brothers?”   The rational answer is that this forgiveness occurred years later when the brothers show up in Egypt. However, the forgiveness was even now taking place after arriving in Egypt. . Here’s why: a person full of unforgiveness and bitterness will never be described as “The …

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John Wooden’s Socks

John Wooden’s Socks   “It isn’t what you do, but how you do it.”   -John Wooden   I was a college senior the year I met John Wooden in 1979. I was preparing to embark on my journey as a high school basketball coach. I traveled to Monroe, Louisiana to hear John Wooden speak at a coaching clinic. Wooden, who’d …

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Choose Your Rut Carefully

Choosing Your Rut     Choose your rut carefully: you’ll be in it for the next thirty miles. -Sign on Alaskan wilderness road It’s true. I learned in African bush driving that the rut you chose is very difficult to get out of. During the rainy season, dirt roads became paths of deep mud. Whatever rut I chose to follow …

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Salty Language

Do you have “Salty Language?” (a 3-minute story) Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:6 ESV Salt has many uses: it seasons, preserves, melts ice, heals, and serves other purposes in our lives. Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount, compares his followers to …

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If you like people, people will like you.

Tall Pine

A Few Thoughts on Charisma   “Charisma is the ability to do the hard work of fitting in with those around you.” –Seth Godin   Charisma is a word that is often misunderstood. I recently ran across Seth Godin’s excellent definition of what it is. It is a person’s ability to fit in comfortably with those around him or her. …

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A visit to see King Mockingbird

King Mockingbird   Author’s note: this story is from my first book, Stories from the Creekbank. It concerns a mockingbird and a place I love called Dry Creek Baptist Camp.   This week is Girls Camp at Dry Creek. The photo below shows four of my granddaughters, my two sisters, my daughter-in-law, a great-niece, and their friends at camp. I …

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December 29: Sharp Hooks

December 29  Sharp Hooks   Reas Weeks was a Dry Creek legend who lived and died before my time. He was a bachelor who lived in a remote area along Bundick Creek. He never owned a vehicle or held a regular job. He supported himself by fishing, hunting, and farming. He was known as the best creek fisherman in our …

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How to Fight a Bear

How to Fight a Bear I’ve got hiking fever. It’s strikes me several times a year and I find my heart, if not my feet, on a trail in Arkansas or the Appalachian Mountains. In both of these hiking locales, encountering black bears does occur. I want to share a few good bear stories along with information from a “Bear …

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Travel Light and De-Clutter: A Backpacker’s Toothbrush

A Good Time to “De-clutter”   As many of you know from my stories I love to hike in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas and along the Appalachian Trail (or the “A.T.” as it is called.) One thing backpacking quickly teaches you is the priority of traveling light. When you are carrying a 30-40 pound pack on your back for …

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