What mental picture comes to your mind when you hear these words, "They keep going and going and going." Do you see this rabbit with sunglasses? Do you hear the drumbeat from the bass drum he's beating on as he moves across your TV screen? Then the people who created those Energizer battery ads have succeeded! Actually, batteries are a pretty boring thing to advertise. But most of us have watched with amusement as this particular brand of batteries keeps that crazy bunny going and going and going.

"Should I call her, Dad?" That was a common question as our boys were teenagers. Like most boys their age, they were unsure of what kind of response they would get from a certain girl. I can remember at that same stage staring at the phone for 45 minutes and thinking of the most suave way possible to start that conversation. But when I heard her voice, I would just croak out this "hello." Now there were a couple of girls I just picked up the phone and called, no problemo. It was the same with my sons. There were these rare girls who just knew how to make a guy feel - well, safe.

There is nothing quite so exciting as an exciting night at America's busiest airport - O'Hare. My goal was relatively simple - get on my plane and fly home. Easier said then done. The radar had suddenly gone down that night and there was only one runway open. I was frustrated because I could not get out of the airport. But pity those poor people up there who couldn't land. At least I could go outside and walk around. That's tougher when you're up there in the sky. We could see the lights of those planes and they could see the lights of Chicago down below. They were almost there, they could see their destination, but they weren't on the ground. Some circled so long they eventually had to be diverted to another destination that they didn't want to go to. Oh, the frustration of being almost there, but not there.

Dino and Nanette are dear Navajo friends of ours and now they're Mr. and Mrs.! How we wanted to be at that wedding because these are two very special friends, two very special Native American Christian leaders. We couldn't be, but our son, who lives near where the wedding was in New Mexico, called that afternoon and described the wedding to us, as well as any man can describe a wedding. I choked up when I heard about their wedding vows. Dino made his vows to Nanette on bended knee. Nanette made her vows to Dino and then handed him a beautiful Navajo blanket. But this was not just any blanket. It had belonged to her father who died several years ago and it represented a relationship and memories that she treasures. This blanket was Nanette's father's love gift to her. And in this moment of commitment now, she was handing her new husband this most precious treasure from her most precious person. In a sense, she was handing him her heart.

If you've got a house, you may complain every once in a while about the constant upkeep. It seems like as soon as you get one thing cared for, something else needs attention, the windows, the roof, the yard, the plumbing, the paint. Well, be glad you're not in charge of the maintenance of the Golden Gate Bridge. Not long ago I was standing by San Francisco Bay, admiring the impressive beauty of that great bridge, when someone told me what it takes to keep it impressive. Like 35 painters! Every day! That's all they do! The trucks roll out early every morning with another load of that distinctive orange paint and for eight hours a day those 35 painters are somewhere on that bridge, keeping it in good shape. Things deteriorate so fast, it takes constant effort to maintain the beauty.

Our receptionist Carol has nice flowers in her office. Well, they're sort of flowers. It looks like a beautiful bouquet. And the other day when I walked into her office, I sniffed and said, "What's that smell, Carol? Is that flowers?" It was so nice to be greeted with this wonderful, spring-like aroma. She didn't answer me. She just reached into the top drawer in her desk and pulled out this air spray. "I sprayed it on the flowers," she told me. By now you know the truth about Carol's lovely flowers. Tthey look like they're alive, they smell like they're alive, but they're not alive!

I don't know if you've ever driven across the United States, but it's something you want to think twice about, it is a long haul. Now how about riding a bicycle across the United States? That's what my friend Scott did when he was a college student with a group called Wandering Wheels. That's a lot of wandering! Scott said he was excited about the idea until the day the leaders displayed a map of the whole country on the side of their chuck wagon. It looked, in a word, impossible. But they started on this Mission Impossible anyway. Each day, they'd get up and just start riding again. "So he took it a day at a time, then?" No. Scott said when the riding really got tough and his legs were just about to go on strike, he would just aim for that next telephone pole. And pretty soon, he said, that huge map got conquered, one telephone pole at a time!

Kasey pretty much blew high school. He's one of our ministry team and he's a walking miracle. The pain of his childhood set him up to make some lousy choices, like drugs for example. He quit high school and was headed for a wasted life or an early death until he met Jesus at the age of 19. He left all the junk of his past behind him and started a passionate study of God's Word, like memorizing some hundreds of verses! Kasey wanted to get a college training, but he knew that meant taking the G.E.D. test, to get a Graduation Equivalency Diploma. He had pretty much he failed math, he failed English and all the subjects he was about to be tested on. They were timed tests - something like 25-50 minutes. But at the beginning of each test, he bowed his head and prayed for about ten minutes. The teacher administering the test walked up to him and said, "Excuse me, but I think you're going to need all the time. It's challenging to get it done with all the minutes you've got. You've got no time to pray." Kasey's answer? "There's no hope if I don't."

It's pretty funny the lengths some advertisers will go to convince you that you should buy their product, like those Samsonite commercials. Remember, the suitcase in the gorilla cage, taking every form of abuse a gorilla could give it? And then there was the one where they threw it out of a plane and it survived. But the pioneers of this kind of "hammer it to prove it" advertising were the makers of Timex watches. Their motto was hard to forget - "Takes a lickin', keeps on tickin'." I don't remember all the ways they beat up on their watches, but it seems to me they attached one to a ski boat, one to the underside of a truck that was bouncing along a bumpy road. They gave it all kinds of hammering that proved the quality of their product.

The Garden of the Gods in Colorado is one of the most beautiful spots in America. And God has allowed the Navigators ministry to have their headquarters right there. My first time there was for a national committee meeting, where they worked us very hard. But finally someone suggested a hike to the waterfall. They told me this was some of the most spectacular scenery around these parts. Little did I suspect this was also an initiation for us rookies on the committee. Our walk started out on a nice path that ran next to this roaring mountain stream, and it was really roaring from the recent snowmelt in the mountains. Finally, we walked to this dead-end where there was only a rock wall in front of us. I said, "Where's the waterfall?" "Over there," they said, pointing across the stream. I asked the obvious question, "How do you get to it?' They pointed to this narrow pipe that spanned the stream and they said, "You cross the pipeline." I told them, "You cross the pipeline!" They were expecting me to balance myself on this little pipe and walk across? But that was the only way to get to the incredible beauty on the other side!

            

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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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