October 3, 2022

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When you have young grandchildren, hey, you're back in the toy business again. And sure enough, man, have we had a closet full of toys that, contrary to some vicious rumors, are not mine. They are there for the grandchildren. And they quickly learn to relocate those toys from the closet to our living room every time they would visit. One of them is this furry blue puppet with bulging eyes - good old Cookie Monster of Sesame Street fame. You know him. And he's got this string in his back. When you pull it, he starts chewing and moving his arms and uttering his trademark phrase: "Cookie. Me want cookie!" Pull the string again and he'll say the same thing again. No matter how many times you pull that string, he's going to do the "cookie" thing every time.

September 12, 2022

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Even though I was really busy speaking at a conference, I was blessed with this beautiful mountain cabin as my accommodation while I was there. The best time, and about the only time I could enjoy it, was early in the morning. This cabin has a large porch. And from it you can see these majestic forest views, this awe-inspiring tapestry of green mountains and deep valleys. As I stepped out onto that porch one morning, the scenery had undergone a significant makeover. The fog was winning, and I watched as these large clouds of fog billowed up. First they filled the valley below and then steadily rose to totally obscure the mountains. It looked almost as if the mountains were being consumed by the fog. So, the morning light from the sun that should have been illuminating the area by that time was nowhere to be seen. Well, briefly. Because you know what happened. The sun continued to rise behind that conquering fog, and in a short time, that fog began to quickly shrink and pretty soon it was gone.

September 6, 2022

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It must have felt like a scene from the book and the movie called "The Perfect Storm." Their vessel was a 61-year-old wooden fishing boat, making the Inside Passage from Sitka, Alaska to Port Angeles, Washington. It was supposed to be a one-week trip. It was late in the season - a time of year when wild storms can develop. They sink ships; they take lives. Sure enough, their boat hit hurricane-force winds that threatened to take them to the bottom. At one point when green water washed over the pilothouse and the boat plunged for what seemed to be the bottom, one passenger heard the captain mutter beneath his breath. But as this 30-year veteran of Alaska's ferocious storms worked that wheel, he turned to his passenger, smiled and said two words, "No problem." No matter how vicious the storm became, no matter how perilous the situation seemed, the captain remained calm, and he helped steady his very frightened passengers...and they made it.

August 25, 2022

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It was one of those winters when the bottom dropped out of the temperature in our area. I mean, folks there just aren't used to visits from North Pole weather. For a while, our favorite song was, "Freeze a Jolly Good Fellow." I was discussing this extended freeze with a friend who has lived in the area most of her life, and she actually helped me have a very positive outlook on the cold weather. She just said, "Well, just think - it's killing a lot of bugs!" Okay! Well, with all the ticks and the other pests we had the previous summer, I guess that was good news. So the next time I walked outside and felt a blast of that chilling cold, I said to myself, "Well, I'm turning blue, but the bugs are dying!"

August 19, 2022

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I seem to vaguely remember this old nursery rhyme from when I was a kid. It went like this: "Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?" If you asked our grandsons that question, they'd probably say, "Real slow!" Maybe that's why Mary was so contrary. There was a spring that the boys worked with their Dad to clear a little area in the yard where they could have a vegetable garden. And they were all excited about planting those seeds in the ground: tomato seeds, green beans, carrots, and lettuce. They went out the next day to look at what they had planted. Nothing. Then the next week, and the week after that. They watered the garden when it didn't rain. They pulled up weeds. For the longest time, they went out to that garden to see what was happening. Guess what was happening? Nothing...or so it looked. Had they tried to dig up the seeds to see if anything was happening, they would have ruined everything. But you know the story. It finally happened: The tomatoes and beans and carrots and lettuce. It just took a little while.

August 9, 2022

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When it comes to growing things, I'm not exactly Seedling Sam the Gardening Man. I grew up in an apartment in the city, OK? But my farm girl wife and some friends who have amazing green thumbs? Oh, they've taught me a lot about how things grow and flourish. I was reminded of one of those lessons when I read an article about growing blueberries in our local newspaper. Not growing blueberries in the newspaper. It was I read about it in the newspaper. And the writer of that article is a recognized expert. He's a blueberryologist I guess. He explained how one of his most important steps in making blueberry bushes fruitful is to chop off branches. Sounds destructive, but actually it's constructive. He prunes away a lot of top branches so the interior branches are exposed to the sunlight. The result? Big blueberries and lots of them!

July 21, 2022

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Our then-18-month-old grandson rapidly became a bulldozer on two legs. He didn't actually walk anywhere; he ran everywhere. And no comments about being like his grandfather here, OK? Of course, he didn't always get around like that. First, he only went where one of us carried him. Then the crawling started. He didn't do that for long. He graduated to walking real fast. And, like every baby who ever learned to walk, he began by taking a step or two and then he fell down. I guess he could have said to himself after a couple of falls, "Oh well, I guess I wasn't cut out to walk. It's just too hard. I keep falling down. I think I'll just lie here from now on." Oh, great! Now he's 18 years old, his mother has to vacuum around him. His friends come over and he says, "Hey, you want to roll into my room with me?" No, it didn't work that way. After he went "step-boom," he got back up and went "step-step-boom." And then "step-step-step-step-boom." Now you can't stop him!

July 20, 2022

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So, when we're discussing roller coasters, and some of us were talking about which ones are the best-which means, the wildest ride, of course. Others of us were talking about avoiding roller coasters. One friend said that she just pleads what she calls "an inner ear condition." Now for me, most roller coasters are a non-issue because I stand next to that sign, you know, that shows how tall you have to be to ride it. So far I've never been tall enough. (No, that's not true. I wish I had that excuse.) Actually, some that I have ridden had these moments when I was pretty sure I had made a very big mistake getting on it in the first place. There are some really high ups and some really scary downs.

July 7, 2022

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Yes, I'm one of those morning people. You know, the kind the Bible is talking about when it says, "If a man loudly blesses his neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse" (Proverbs 27:14). There's so much for the morning people! Actually, I love that verse. I mean, even if you can't stand us morning people, you have to admit there are some advantages to those early hours of the day, getting started on things before there are interruptions, beating the world to the punch, and best of all, the sunrises. Yeah, I love them! I've got a nice view out the east window of my study, and I never tire of watching that sun start to climb above the trees. Sure, once in a while I can't see the sun rising. Maybe I'm feeling sick or well, or I might be feeling excited or "blah," up or down. But take it from a long-time early morning eyewitness, that sun always rises.

July 6, 2022

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Slang words are sometimes difficult to understand. Not so much the words themselves, but their meaning. I mean, there are cool slang words out there. For instance, when I just used the word cool, I wasn't talking about the temperature. If a young person today looked at me and maybe said "Sus!" Now, what is that all about? Well, that means you're suspicious. That's what it means.

            

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

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