Wednesday, February 20, 2019

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I used to tell our kids, "You don't have to go to a party. Carry the party inside you wherever you go!" Our five-year-old grandson never heard that, but I think he got the idea. He could find a way to enjoy himself in just about any situation, with friends or alone, with his toys, or better yet as far as he was concerned, with just like the everyday stuff he found. I remember he and I were in my study, a few rooms away from the living room where his three-year-old brother and his Mommy were. Little brother decided to check out what big brother and I were doing, and big brother had an idea. His brother could be a messenger. So our five-year-old started writing little messages to his mother, which he then rolled up and dispatched his little brother to deliver. Mommy got the idea, and so she would write back an answer to every message. The shuttle went back and forth three times, I think. Big brother then wrote another message, but this time the messenger didn't show up. He had clocked out. So the message never got delivered.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

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My wife and I always enjoyed the helicopter of the animal kingdom. Yep, the hummingbird. On our vacation we hung out a hummingbird feeder and we filled it with this sweet red liquid that they love and we sat down on the porch and just sort of swung back and forth, and settled back to watch those cute little guys come to drink. Turns out they're not as cute as we thought. No sooner would one land on the feeder and begin to drink, another hummingbird would swoop down and knock him off. Then another bird would swoop down and knock that bird off. Eventually, we had as many as five hummingbirds at a time hovering and darting around that feeder fighting with each other, dive-bombing each other. When one managed to finally win a spot on the feeder, he couldn't even enjoy what was there; he was so busy looking around for his next attacker. As the provider of all these goodies, I was frustrated. I was irritated. These dumb birds were so busy fighting over it, they couldn't enjoy it.

Monday, February 18, 2019

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A local businessman was in to share with our Ministry Team, and he made a fascinating observation about his family. He's got three children; two are all grown up and in their late 20s. His youngest is just a nine year old girl. He assured us that she wasn't a "mistake." In fact, she was their choice. And he pointed out something the authorities made very clear at the time the adoption went through. There would come a time when he had a major falling out with one of his natural-born children-a time when he would conceivably, as a father, disown that child; even put him out of the will. But not with this girl he was adopting. He was legally committed to never disown her, to never put her out of his will, and to always take care of her. They said, in essence, "When you adopt a child, she's your child forever."

Friday, February 15, 2019

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There's something you may not realize about my past. I spent some time in Alcatraz - about half a day. By the time I got inside that infamous prison in San Francisco Bay, there was nobody home. It was a museum! And it's a fascinating place to tour. I actually took a group of teenagers to Alcatraz one day to record a radio program there. We spent some time in the area that was used for solitary confinement...they even locked up the teenagers in the main cell block. Frankly, though, I'll tell you, it is a dismal, depressing environment, even when it's just a museum. As our tour ended, we were led through a gate and into a scenic area just outside the wall. It was a gorgeous day, and we had a fantastic view of the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the San Francisco skyline. One of the teenagers looked back and mumbled three words, "Only a wall." When I asked what he meant, he said, "Just think, only a wall separated them from all of this!"

Thursday, February 14, 2019

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It was Valentine's Day and it turned out to be a milestone day in my relationship with the girl I considered to be the best catch in our class. I knew she had been seriously dating someone else for quite a while, and I had to plan my moves very shrewdly or I'd scare her off. So, we had what we both called this "brother/sister" relationship. Oh, sure I wanted it to be more, but at least I could spend some time with her this way without scaring her off. Well, one day I'd had enough of this platonic relationship stuff. She was actually bringing a Valentine's cake up to some radio staff at our college and I happened to be there. We got into a pretty intense discussion there, standing by the water fountain. And finally I blurted out what I'd been feeling for a long time, "I'm sick and tired of just being your 'brother.' I want it to be much more!" There it was, man, all or nothing. And what happened? I married the girl! (OK, this is the part where the audience cheers.)

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

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"Good morning, Mr. Phelps." If you were a fan of the old school classic TV series, "Mission: Impossible," you would know those words always began a riveting adventure. Jim Phelps was the head of all the Mission Impossible Force before all the big movies, you know. He would listen to this tape, outlining this assignment that seemed, well, impossible. Key word-seemed. And even in more modern times when it's not a tape anymore, and when it's Tom Cruise who's doing Mission: Impossible, it's still sort of the same idea. You begin building a team of specialists, you concoct this elaborate, perfectly-timed plan to do what couldn't be done, and every time they got it done.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

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Every class has its clown, and Johnny was one of them. He was one of the first teenagers I met when we moved to New Jersey years ago, and he was always so much fun to be around. There was always a joke. He was always a clown - always the life of the party. That's why his call late one night came as such a shock to me. I was still a little blurry from being awakened by the phone, and I heard him say, "This is Johnny. I called to say goodbye. You're the only one I thought it was worth saying goodbye to." I didn't like the sound of that goodbye, so I asked him to tell me where he was, and he had actually broken into my office to call me. I asked him to wait there until I could get there. We talked most of the night. No clown, no jokes, no life of the party that night. The life of the party was about to check out of the party for good. Johnny poured out the pain that he was feeling from a messed up family and some disappointing relationships. He'd been on his way to kill himself. Thank God, by dawn, he had decided to live. And I knew there was a darkness now that had been hiding all along behind a mask that said, "Hey, no problems."

Monday, February 11, 2019

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One day our little grandson was running around the living room, enjoying his own miniature toy store. He had his Veggie Tales toys out, his ball, his stuffed animals, and that little plastic ball you put the different geometric shapes in. He even had his grandfather! Well, okay, he was 14-month old then; it should have kept him occupied. Right? Yes, until he saw a certain person moving back and forth past the window on the front porch.

It was his father! As soon as this little guy saw his Dad outside, forget all the toys, man, including this toy right here. He dropped the one in his hand, and he ran to the window squealing and shouting, "Dah-y! Dah-y!" No toy got a reaction like that! No, seeing his Dad was better than anything else he had!

Friday, February 8, 2019

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A few years ago they resurrected an old TV format and it came back big time! It was the old quiz "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" The program that first captured the attention of millions of viewers was about winning a million dollars! So, some Joe or Joan Ordinaryperson was asked a series of multiple-choice questions that got increasingly harder and, of course, were worth increasingly more. Now, if you needed help on a couple, you could call some person you've designated as your "lifeline." You could even listen to the opinions of the studio audience. But eventually, the spotlight was all on you, man. You're the contestant, and the host was pressing the question. When you finally gave your answer, the host asked this tension-building, unnerving question, "Is that your final answer?"

Thursday, February 7, 2019

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It's one of those hidden natural treasures that not a lot of people know about. They call it Buttermilk Falls. People had told us what a picturesque spot it would be. They just didn't tell us about the road you have to drive to see this picturesque spot. So, we turned off the paved road where our directions said to and suddenly we found ourselves on a dirt road that was one crater after another. There was no way to miss these massive potholes. In fact, one guy in a Volkswagen in front of us just totally disappeared. (Well no, not really.) I mean, I had to drive about two miles an hour with the kids reminding me that they were not having much fun. Well, neither was I. It was really tempting to turn back, but we persevered. And I'm glad we did. We finally reached this magnificent waterfall, cascading down the rock walls of a cliff. There was even a trail where we climbed to the top and got this great view from the top of the waterfall. We loved it! And in spite of the miserable road to it, we went back several times. And it was worth it!

            

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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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