Tuesday, September 4, 2018

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I was teaching at a training school for people entering youth ministry when I learned about a call home that must have been heartbreaking for the dad who made it. The school was three weeks long, and dad had already been gone for over two weeks. He was seriously missing his wife and a two-year-old son, and they were missing him. Well, he waited patiently in this long line that formed every day after classes in the lobby to get to the pay phone. (Let's hear it for cell phones today!) He finally got to talk to his wife. When he asked how his son was doing, she said, "Not too well, honey. Yesterday he came up to me and said, ‘Mommy, is Daddy dead?'" Ouch!

Monday, September 3, 2018

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Larry Walters was just tired of sitting in his backyard, watching the same old folks in the same old neighborhood do the same old thing. He was ready for a change. So he decided to do something different - really different! He went out and bought 45 six-foot helium balloons and attached them to his lawn chair, which was tethered to a car to keep it from taking off. Then, he donned a parachute. (Yeah, you know where this is going?) He packed a bottle of soda pop, a CB radio, and a BB gun to shoot out the balloons so he could come down. (This is the real deal.) So, he thought he'd get this great view of his neighborhood. Oh, he got a little more than that. When his friends cut his lawn chair loose, he shot a thousand feet into the air in a minute. Before long, Larry and his flying lawn chair were 16,000 feet over the Los Angeles area. That's like three miles up, man! A pilot radioed the tower and said, "We've spotted a man in a lawn chair at 16,000 feet." I can't even guess what the tower must have said back to that pilot. Well, meanwhile, Larry is yelling into his CB radio, "Mayday! Mayday!" (Yeah, I guess!) He eventually managed to shoot out enough balloons to come down, where he landed in some wires and caused a power outage in Long Beach, California. He got down OK, he even got some TV appearances, and an FAA fine. Not bad for an ordinary guy in a lawn chair, huh? 

Friday, August 31, 2018

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As each of our kids has fallen in love, I have had what sounded like maybe strange advice for them. I've said, "Make sure you make a good 200-year choice." Now, needless to say, that's been greeted with an expression that says, "You doin' okay, Dad?" It turns out none of our kids expects to ever celebrate their 200th wedding anniversary. But that's not what I'm talking about anyway. I'm talking about the impact the choice of a mate will have for a long, long time – along with a lot of other family choices.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

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You never know what your kid's memories are going to be. You know? Our son was like 20 years old, he was in college, and they asked him to write about a childhood memory. You know that's when they are in these family classes and you get to pay for them analyzing you and their family relationships. Great! Well he picked the day that he and I played wiffle ball together for the first time. He couldn't have been more than 4 or 5 years old. You know wiffle ball, it's that little plastic ball. It's got enough holes in it to keep it from going far, and he had this little plastic yellow bat, and I was pitching to him from a few feet away in the backyard. The first time he ever tried to hit a ball, and strike 1 - he chopped it instead of hitting right and he missed it. I threw it again real gently - strike 2. So I stopped and I went over and I reviewed with him, you know, keep your eye on the ball - don't chop - swing evenly. And then I said one more thing that I hadn't said the first two times. I said, "I really believe you can do it." The next time, BAM! He hit that thing way over Daddy's head. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

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Over the years we've lived near the ocean, and we were blessed to have a friend who was a veteran sailor. He'd been sailing the East Coast since he was a boy. And he was generous enough to allow us to go sailing with him sometimes and to watch a master at work. I tried to apply for "first mate," but he always said, "Don't call us, we'll call you." Which he never did. But I was a grateful and curious passenger. He told me some great stories of sailing adventures. He showed us how to do some of what he did, and he related times that he had seen one sailboat after another fall over as they were unprepared for a shift in the wind across the bay there. You don't have to be a seasoned seaman to understand a fundamental law of a successful voyage: It's the set of the sail, not the force of the gale, that determines the way you go.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

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Well, we're not going to forget for a long time, even as the years pass, the images of the World Trade Center attacks and those heroic rescue efforts that followed them. One moment still sticks with me. It hit me. It was this interview with a big guy who was helping the rescuers. He was sitting on a curb at Ground Zero, talking with a reporter from a cable news network. He told how he had been delivering food to the rescuers, and then he was making his way back through the rubble when he decided to reach into that rubble just on the chance someone might be there. Unbelievably he suddenly felt this warm hand grabbing his arm. Immediately, he went and got helpers who pulled a firefighter out of there alive! And then that's when he lost it in that interview, and he choked out these words, "He touched me first."

Monday, August 27, 2018

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Power-that's what mattered most to Napoleon. He wanted power, and he got it. Under his leadership, the armies of France won some stunning victories. They extended control well beyond their borders, but that wasn't enough for Napoleon. It is said that one day he gathered all the top officers together around this large table. Laid across that table was a map of Europe with a big red spot on it. That spot was England. He pounded his fist on the table, and he raged: "If it weren't for that red spot, I could have it all!" 

Friday, August 24, 2018

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Lots and lots of marble steps – that's one thing I remember from our family trip to Washington D.C. when the kids were little. In fact, our youngest was about two years old the first time we went there. In fact, he told me that at that time he was very interested in seeing the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of the government firsthand. Yeah, he said that to me. Oh, but those steps! Have you ever been to the U. S. Capitol building or the Lincoln Memorial? Maybe you remember feeling new feelings in your legs by the time you reached the top. Imagine our little guy. He looked up at those stairs and he knew there was no way with those short little legs. So he was stuck at the bottom with no hope of reaching the top of the steps. No, wait a minute. That's not true. He had me! And I had one of those child carriers on my back which he got in. And he made it where he never could have gone himself, because someone bigger carried him.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

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"Y'all come see us!" You hear that pretty often in the South. It's called southern hospitality; sort of an open invitation to stop by, as they say, and "visit." That's why I was surprised at the welcome mat they had at a cabin we recently stayed in. I was speaking at a conference in the south, and my wife and I were wonderfully given a picturesque log cabin to stay in. But then there was the welcome mat. Well, it was sort of a welcome mat-maybe more of an unwelcome mat. You walk up to the door, you look down at the mat, and you're greeted with these wonderful words, "Oh no! Not you again!" 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

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Some dear friends of ours lost their 19-year-old son. Because of the way it happened, his death was a sudden, gut-wrenching tragedy. With Jesus as their anchor, even through this, they made this incredible faith statement, his mom and dad. They said, "God wants life to come from his death.” One way that's happened is through their decision to donate his organs to help save and improve some other lives. Not long after their son's death, the word came back that someone in a neighboring state had received their son's heart. That's been a source of comfort and encouragement to them. As they say, "Our son's heart is giving life to someone else.”

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)

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