Wednesday, February 6, 2019

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There's a stretch of the Outer Banks of North Carolina that's known as the "Graveyard of the Atlantic" because hundreds of ships have been lost there over the centuries. So it was there that something called the United States Life-Saving Service was born. They established these white frame buildings called life-saving stations like seven miles apart along the very treacherous parts of the coast. The Life-Saving Service was actually a spawning ground for heroes. In one case, for example, this ship was in distress with four men staying alive by just hanging onto this mast for dear life. Six of the seven men from the closest station went out into a storm that could very well consume them - after they left a verbal will with the man who was left running the station. Twenty-two hours without food or sleep. Well, they finally brought back those four stranded men, and then they collapsed on the beach in exhaustion. It was incredible heroism. I mean, that was the norm for the men of the life-saving stations.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

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Once upon a time, there was a heifer named Muffet. She lived on a little dairy farm in the Ozarks. So did my wife - who wasn't my wife then. She was the farmer's young daughter then, and she told me that Muffet had a harder life than some of the other heifers, but it was her own fault. See, Muffet was a stubborn heifer. Would she stay inside the fence that was there for her protection? Oh no! She found ways to crawl through that fence. Which meant Muffet got a yoke attached to her head - basically a sturdy Y-shaped branch that made it impossible for her to get her head outside that fence. It was for her own protection. Now, it was a nuisance, but it was made necessary by Muffet's stubbornness. Other times, they would try to get Muffet to move, and without serious coercion, she would just plant her feet. Then there was the time she refused to stand still to be milked, and she started to charge toward the door. My wife's Mom - whose job it was to keep the cows inside that little shed - quickly slammed the shovel across the door to keep her in. Well, Muffet ran into the shovel and lost part of the cap on one of her horns. This is a difficult little girl here. They tell me from that day on, though, she went right in and stood there quietly for milking.

Monday, February 4, 2019

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My wife and I had gone to a friend's house by the New Jersey Shore to start writing a book. For breaks, I wanted to go for walks on the beach, but Karen said she was feeling so fatigued she couldn't find the energy. As we returned home, that fatigue got worse. Then came the severe stomach upset and finally the fever that climbed to 105 degrees. We had no idea that one of mankind's most virulent diseases was taking over in Karen's body. It turned out she had hepatitis. We knew she had some terrible symptoms. We sure didn't know what was causing them, and what ultimately almost cost Karen her life.

Friday, February 1, 2019

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Well, my wife said she knew we were in serious danger when I started rubbing my right leg – while driving, that is. See, I'm a marathon driver and I really like to drive. So Karen and I found ourselves in situations where I was starting to drive past my prime alertness. First sign of sleepiness – rubbing my leg. It must have been some kind of involuntary reflex. So she'd ask if I'd like her to drive. Of course not. Second sign – I'd start doing calisthenics to stay alert. And she would ask if I'd like her to drive. Silly girl; no way. Next sign of impending disaster – I would turn on the most obnoxious radio station I could find. Again, she would suggest that she drive and I'd answer, "I'm fine!" Then I roll down the window – even with the wind chill being, let's say, 30 below. Then, a little more insistent, Karen would say, "Honey, please let me drive." Finally – just before we became a National Safety Council statistic – I'd pull over to the side of the road and relinquish the wheel. You know what? I was out cold before Karen could even pull out on the highway again.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

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He was just a teenager and his village had just collapsed all around him. He was one of countless thousands who were affected by a massive earthquake that hit Turkey. In an interview with National Geographic Magazine, this young man offered an amazingly insightful perspective on what he had just witnessed. He said, "I accept this as a geologic event, but it can be taken as a warning. In seconds, billionaires can become penniless. So you must have values you cannot lose." Wow!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

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Oh, those firstborn children. Somewhere inside their brain is this tattoo: "I can do it myself." Wait. I'm a firstborn. So is our daughter. And when she decided at the age of five that she was going to bake a cake, she, of course, didn't need any help. Her "I'm going to bake a cake" moment was a good news/bad news announcement for me. Good news: my little girl is growing up. Bad news: I have to eat it. We heard a lot of banging of pans in the kitchen and ultimately the smells of something baking. Maybe this was going to work after all. Minutes later, my little girl came into the living room, almost tripping over her lower lip. She was sad. She explained: "Daddy, it came out flat." Then she brought in her first cake. Or maybe I should say pancake. It was that flat. That's when Sr. Baking Advisor, Mom, entered the picture to see what our daughter could learn from the cake that fell flat. She'd put in the milk, the eggs, the flour. But she just forgot one ingredient-the baking powder-the anti-flat ingredient in a cake.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

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We were waiting at a stoplight just across the street from some railroad tracks. The gates by the track were up and no lights were flashing. There was no train coming. But just beyond the railroad crossing was one of those little rail inspection vehicles, fitted with these wheels that allow them to ride on the tracks. On the side it said "Union Pacific." But believe me, this was no train. Suddenly, we heard this obnoxious and continuous honking on a horn that sounded like a train horn. The little vehicle wanted to proceed through the railroad crossing, and he was nowhere big enough to trigger the gates or the lights so the traffic would stop. So the operator just kept leaning on the horn as he passed through the intersection, hoping we would all stop for him as we would for a train. We did stop, but we weren't fooled. This was no train. This was a train wannabe! 

Monday, January 28, 2019

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It was early February and we had just gotten several inches of snow – the wet, heavy kind. As you probably know, February is about the time that cabin fever starts to set in for those of us who have something called winter, and we're really ready for the cold to be over. Well, sometimes it isn't at that point; it could last for a few more weeks. But I saw something so amazing that day of the February snow that I went for my camera to take pictures of it. On the south side of our shed, I saw something just barely peeking out from the snow. It was the shoots of our yellow daffodils! I brushed off the snow and captured it on film – the promise of a coming spring in the middle of a very wintry day!

Friday, January 25, 2019

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Tupperware can be a good thing. Those sealed plastic containers can preserve leftover food so you can enjoy it later. Tupperware can be a bad thing, if you forget about it. Sound like the voice of experience? I know from some distasteful personal experience what can happen when you do forget it - intermediate life forms, morphing into something unrecognizable. The problem comes when that Tupperware with leftovers in it slowly gets pushed farther and farther back in the fridge, until it's tucked out of sight behind the pickle jar and a gallon of milk. Ultimately, the lost little Tupperware will make its presence known. Yeah, as you open the fridge and utter those inevitable words: "What's that smell?" The smell isn't going away until some domestic Green Beret storms the depths of that fridge and bravely opens that Tupperware and carries away the rotting contents inside, or beats them to death with a stick if necessary.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

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When our older son was little, he would sometimes wander into the living room, crawl into my lap, and snuggle up so close I wasn't sure how he could breathe. One night he looked up at me with those big blue eyes of his and he told me something I've never forgotten. He said, "Daddy, when I'm in your arms, I feel so safe."

            

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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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