July 5, 2021

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Some years ago, my wife and I were at this couples' party at church, and they played a game that is sort of like that old TV show, "Let's Make a Deal." Everybody brought some "white elephant" gifts - they didn't bring white elephants but that's something you really wanted to get rid of. Of course, all these castaway gifts were nicely wrapped so no one knew what was inside. Then one person (maybe you've done this) has to go to the gift pile, pick one, and they open it. From that point on, each person has a choice when they go to the middle: take one of those unopened treasures, or give one of those unopened gifts in exchange for something that's already been opened that looks good to you - something that you know you want. Now, at this particular party, there was one particular object - this hand-carved lamp stand - that everybody wanted. It was one of the few things of value really. And it didn't matter what lengths a person went to in order to conceal that lamp stand, the next trader inevitably would remember where it was and they'd go for it. Actually, the dealing got pretty animated, in fact, I'd say almost dangerous at times. Everybody was up for grabs, except for one person - the woman who had opened the first gift. See, she remembered the rules of the game - that since the first person didn't get to make a trade, they get to make the last trade of the game. Through all the turmoil, she knew who was going home with that lamp stand all along!

June 30, 2021

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Every wedding has its special challenges. Our friend Candace's was no exception, like getting the people in the wedding to the wedding. The groom's family, including the best man, had to come from Sweden. And it just so happened that the week of the wedding was part of the longest stretch of winter cold and a deadly covering of ice in 100 years. Literally, our whole region was glazed over with three layers of freeze, and it made even taking a step treacherous, let alone driving a vehicle. And there wasn't a trace of thawing. Well, it was a battle. I mean, storms closed the major airports around us. But after many hours of travel and waiting, the groom's family finally got a flight to an airport about four hours away from us. Then came a long and treacherous drive for the groom, to and from the airport. Oh, and the fun was only beginning when they arrived in town, because then just walking to or from your car was risking life and limb. But Friday night, right on schedule, with the entire starting cast, according to plan, the wedding happened.

June 18, 2021

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I saw this precious sight at the airport. There were a hundred bleary-eyed travelers waiting for luggage at the carousel. Maybe you've been one of those. That wasn't the precious sight I saw; nothing precious about that. But I heard this little exclamation behind me. It was a little boy barely old enough to be walking, and he was standing next to his Daddy. Now, his Dad had apparently just returned from a business trip, and next to him on the floor was his big old briefcase. Well, the little guy, using all his strength, fully extending his body is trying to push his Dad's big briefcase. The briefcase was just about bigger than the little boy was. There was no way he could pick it up, but he was trying; pushing and pulling with everything he had. It was something I'm sure his father could handle easily, but the little guy? He was just too weak to push it.

June 4, 2021

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With the population of our family increasing with the arrival of each new grandchild, our ability to accommodate everybody was shrinking. So we added a couple of rooms that really have served us well in some memorable family get-togethers. But we had to correct one thing. As we looked at the staircase that a lot of little legs (like mine) would be climbing, we didn't like the sharp edges we saw on one of the boards that was along and at the top of the staircase. We had to take care of those before someone got hurt on them.

May 13, 2021

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One of the great names for Jesus in the Bible is the "Lion of the Tribe of Judah." When noted author, C. S. Lewis, created a character to be his Christ-figure in his "Chronicles of Narnia" fantasies, he introduced us to Aslan, the lion-king of Narnia. In Lewis' enchanting books, Narnia is a land where the animals speak, where the forces of evil are strong, and where Aslan, though only seen on rare occasions, is the dominant figure. Lucy is one of the children whose transported to Narnia. In one of the later books in the Chronicles, Lucy is finally reunited with the lion-king, Aslan. I'll let C. S. Lewis take it from here: "'Welcome child,' he said. Lucy said, 'Aslan, you're bigger.' And he answered, 'That is because you are older, little one.' 'Oh, not because you are?' Lucy said. 'Oh, I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.'"

April 26, 2021

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After Whitney Houston's sudden death some years ago, the world was fixated on replaying her iconic and now more poignant performances of her signature songs. And what stuck in my mind was a video they showed of one of her first performances and the video of one of her last.

March 29, 2021

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So we watched the Weather Channel on TV, and we changed our plans. A big storm was coming, faster than originally anticipated, so we took off almost immediately to avoid getting seriously delayed or, you know, driving on dangerous roads. It was just one of those countless times when the weather changed our plans. Like the numerous times that storms have delayed or cancelled airplane flights I was on. And, because I travel a lot, I'm a faithful viewer of the Weather Channel. It's really something to watch the weather form and move across the country, and even across the world, and to watch how often it surprises all of us, including the weatherman sometimes. Of course, these aren't random developments we're watching unfold on that map. No, not for those of us who belong to the Lord of the weather.

March 24, 2021

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Well, mail service has changed a lot during my lifetime. Certainly the cost of sending a letter has gone up, and up, and up, and up. I don't know, it's probably quadrupled or quintupled or even maybe more in my lifetime. In case any of my grandkids are listening, I don't mean beginning with the Pony Express. No. But, you know, there are new services that are added. I remember when they added overnight delivery they didn't used to have. But I'll tell you what. One thing hasn't changed. Listen, the postal service, they have a big job and they struggle sometimes. But you know what? Those mail carriers still do their best to keep their commitment not to be stopped by sleet, or snow, or dark of night. Remember that's the motto? That the old saying, "Nothing keeps us from our appointed rounds." Actually, you know, they've been pretty faithful getting stuff to me. And other than holidays, pretty much the mail usually makes it no matter what the conditions were. I'm impressed with that kind of commitment, not just from mail delivery.

February 25, 2021

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You pay a lot more attention to a story on the news when it might involve someone you love. It was that way the night we saw a story about a major rockslide that closed a stretch of Interstate 70 in Colorado. Our son and daughter-in-law and little granddaughter were driving that very day through that part of Colorado. The rockslide had shattered the pavement, and it embedded boulders as deep as six feet into the highway and created craters in the road. Some of the boulders were said to be as big as a van. Obviously, it was going to take some time to get that stretch of the highway open again, which meant a 200-mile-plus detour around the closure. That was okay with our family. In fact, my son said they saw some spectacular scenery they wouldn't have seen any other way. Not long before the rockslide, a semi had jack-knifed just west of that area and the interstate was closed because of it. I've been in those miles-long traffic jams (maybe you have too), and you can really get frustrated, aggravated, and just ugly. But because of that frustrating delay, there was no traffic on the road when that avalanche of rocks came crashing down. You've got to figure that might have just saved lives.

February 19, 2021

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My friends who've been there wouldn't exactly say it was "fun." The wilderness, I mean. Several of them have been on this rigorous two-week outing with a company that promises an unforgettable wilderness adventure. Notice, they didn't say wilderness "fun." These guys were pushed to their limits; they were running and climbing and surviving off the land, making it all alone out there for a while. But I don't know one of them who regrets going there. In fact, they proudly wear these shirts that proclaim on the front, "I've been to the wilderness." And on the back, "I can handle anything."

            

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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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