Wednesday, March 6, 2019

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For many years, it was an inspiring book. Then it became a hit Broadway musical. Then it's been made into a movie several times. The story is Victor Hugo's classic, Lés Misérables. One of the many dramas in the book portrays the efforts of this group of valiant young men and women to fight to free their fellow Frenchmen from a tyrannical government. They make their stand against a massive French army at a makeshift wall they have constructed. They call it the "barricade of freedom." They fight bravely, but their cause is threatened by a major problem that develops. They begin to run out of ammunition. Well, this one little boy realizes that their fight for freedom can only continue if they can find more ammunition. So, he risks his own life to crawl across the battle zone, picking up bullets from wounded and dying French soldiers. Because you can't win the battle when you're running out of bullets.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

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Some years ago, during a trip to Alaska to reach young Native Alaskans, I spent a lot of time in those little missionary aircraft. It's the only way to get to villages that are like 400 miles from the nearest road! One day when the weather wasn't much fun, our pilot asked me to keep an eye on the wing on my side. He said, "Let me know if you see any icing." Of course, I hear icing, I think of a birthday cake, right? But a pilot hears icing, and he thinks danger in the air. Amazingly, a little ice on the wings can add just enough weight to endanger the whole plane. It interrupts the airflow somehow that keeps the plane airborne, and the plane will start losing altitude. So that day over Alaska, I really kept my eyes open for ice!

Monday, March 4, 2019

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So what was the greatest song of the Twentieth Century? That was the question they asked on a major survey that was taken early in the twenty-first century. And the winner: Judy Garland's signature song from The Wizard of Oz believe it or not "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Let me sing that for you...no, I won't - blessed are the merciful. The tragedy is that Judy Garland herself could never seem to get there. She was an international star at the age of 17 and she remains one of the towering entertainers of the last century. But tragically, her search for health and happiness led her down a road of drug addiction, disappointing relationships, psychiatric hospitals, and a physical collapse. She died of a drug overdose in a London hotel. It's just painfully ironic, huh? The voice that tried to take us "over the rainbow" could never make it there herself.

Friday, March 1, 2019

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I used to laugh at my roommate in college when he'd get a love letter from his girlfriend. He was kind of weird all day. He'd go off and he'd read that thing, you know, four or five times. And I'd go, "Hey, Buddy, there's nothing new in there. It says the same thing every time." Well, there was no laughing when I was separated from the woman I loved and ended up marrying. No, Karen and I were separated for the summers, and boy, I'll tell you what. I would write a letter to her just about every day, and she'd write a letter to me just about every day. I've got a whole suitcase full of those letters it's still nice to go back and read. Because I'll tell you, what made my day was going to that mailbox and getting some mail and knowing there would probably be mail there from somebody who loved me very much.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

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It's never fun when the plane you're flying on hits turbulence, especially if the fellow next to you has like a weak stomach. It's really not fun when an entire airline hits turbulence. Several have over the years, including one of America's largest and one that had been kind of my airline of preference. It was a bit of a shocker to read that their indebtedness had reached such a critical point they were actually considering the protection of bankruptcy to try to recover. Bankruptcy is a word we're hearing way too often. You know? Then I saw the headline that confirmed the seriousness of their situation. Here's what it said: "Airline Seeks Rescue in Bankruptcy."

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

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My friend Bobby served as a Marine in Vietnam, and he told me something about his experience there that really got my attention. He said his assignment was doing electrical work on airplanes-which is not necessarily a front lines assignment. But there was a war going on all around them. So, when there was enemy activity, every soldier was trained to grab their weapon, take their position, and be prepared to fight. Their bottom line assignment was summed up in four words, "every Marine - a rifle."

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

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No matter how big you expect the Grand Canyon to be, it's bigger. And when our family has had the privilege to visit there, we've all been impressed with this awesome, divine masterpiece. One big problem there though has been our boys, because they think they're part mountain goat. Of course, mountain goats cannot read the signs that tell you to stay behind the fences. Apparently, our boys couldn't read them either. They always had this irresistible urge to venture out as far as possible on those rocks that overlook the canyon. Of course, one false step, and it's over – actually, you're all over. All our lectures about going too far for safety's sake made a lot more sense the morning after we had stopped at one particular overlook. The morning paper reported that on the same afternoon we had been there, two young men went to that same overlook and one never came back. He ended up dead at the bottom of the canyon. The reason? Yeah, you know. He got too close to the edge.

Monday, February 25, 2019

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If you were a firstborn, or even a second born child, you might not understand this. But if you came after that in your family, you'll be able to empathize with our third and final born child. His frustration probably came to a head every Christmas when I'd pull out the old family movies...most of which he was not in. He's later observed that the number of photographs taken of a child seems to go down exponentially after the firstborn. It's like for every ten pictures of the first child, maybe there's five of the second, and if you're lucky, maybe one picture of the third. I can remember that he would sometimes leave the room for a little while during family movies. I mean, he had been patiently watching his older sister and brother's infant activities. When I'd ask him where he was going, he would reply matter-of-factly, "Call me when there's something I'm in."

Friday, February 22, 2019

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We're not horse racing fans, but I happened to stumble onto a horse race on TV when I was looking for the evening news. It was a few years ago. It was The Preakness; the second race in that three-race series they call the Triple Crown. Those races are, in essence, horse racing's World Series. The first race in 2005 had been won by a horse whose odds of winning were 50 to 1, beating the odds-on favorite, Afleet Alex. Then came that second race, The Preakness. As the race passed the halfway point, Afleet Alex made his move. He quickly caught up with another horse who had been in the lead – who, for some reason, swerved unexpectedly right into his path, and both horses started to collide and stumble. Well, Afleet Alex's jockey ended up hanging onto his horse's neck, fully expecting to go down in a potentially deadly fall where they could all be trampled. But amazingly, Afleet Alex somehow managed to regain his balance, surge into the lead, and win the race in a dramatic finish. The headline the next day said it all: "From stumble to stunning finish."

Thursday, February 21, 2019

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It's hard to imagine a movie that got rave reviews when there were about 45 minutes during which there was just one man on the screen, and he didn't even talk that whole time! Yeah, Tom Hanks pulled it off a few years ago in his blockbuster movie, "Cast Away." It's the story of the lone survivor of a Federal Express plane crash who ends up totally alone on an island. Well alone, except for his one friend-a volleyball he names Wilson. Tom Hanks' character is on that island, marooned and alone, for four years. He's the castaway.

            

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

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