Tuesday, August 23, 2005

If you're from Texas, you know that Alamo is more than just a rental car or pie with ice cream on it. The Alamo is that old Spanish mission in the heart of downtown San Antonio where 189 brave freedom fighters took their stand against the army of Mexico in the battle for Texas independence. I visited the Alamo recently, and once again I was moved by the sacrifice of those men who gave their lives for the cause of freedom, but only after inflicting some pretty heavy losses on the enemy army and inspiring the ultimate victory with the Texas battle cry, "Remember the Alamo!" Colonel William Travis was in command of the garrison as his valiant band stood against those overwhelming odds. I was especially moved as I read the letter that Colonel Travis wrote addressed to "the people of Texas and all Americans." In fact, I was so moved that I read part of it to the 5,000 young people I spoke to that night. He said, "The enemy has demanded a surrender. Otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword if the fort is taken. I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, and our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat." That's more than history. It's a battle cry for you and me.

Monday, August 22, 2005

"Family secrets" - that was the bold headline in Newsweek. The story was inspired by what happened in the life of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who as she was being considered for that position, learned a secret her family had kept for decades. She thought her grandparents had been Czechoslovakian Catholics who died peaceful deaths. They were in fact Jews who'd been murdered in a Nazi concentration camp. But Newsweek was using that incident to point out how many families have secrets in their closets, from hidden adoptions to hushed-up romances, sometimes with painful consequences. Like Deborah Blanchard for example, she was a student at a music conservatory when she married an African-American man. She's white and she had two sons before that marriage ended in divorce.

When Deborah moved back to her parents' white neighborhood, her sons were not accepted there, so she decided they'd be better off living with an African American family. She put them up for adoption and tried to resume her life. But she was tormented by that decision. In fact, she lost her trained lyric-soprano voice. She said, "I was never able to sing after that." When she remarried, she kept her past a secret for ten years. When she finally confessed it to her husband, he responded compassionately, and they went on a search for her sons and there's a happy ending. In Newsweek's words, "The family was reunited, the secrets were told, and almost miraculously, her singing voice came back."

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Most people go to the mall to shop, which usually leaves them in worse shape financially. But a few people go to the mall to get in shape physically. Every once in a while you'll see them walking at a steady clip, getting their mile or their miles for the day. One of those mall walkers made the national news recently. He was power walking -- which means, don't get in his way, he's coming fast. He must have looked away for a moment, because he walked full speed into a metal pole in the middle of the mall. Now why would a collision with a pole be news? This man has not had any sight in his left eye for years. Suddenly, after running into that pole, he noticed light in that eye. That collision was one of the best things that ever happened to this man in his life. It helped him see!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Here's two unlikely words to be matched up - channel surfing. Of course, they have been matched up. Channel surfing refers, of course, to the practice of skipping from one channel to another to see what's on each one. Men have mastered that! Oh, we've got the most powerful thumbs in the world. When there were only a few channels, we didn't surf much, but look what cable has done. You've got dozens of channels to check out - hundreds sometimes. As you surf, you may get a glimpse of a sports channel, a food channel, a travel channel, then a movie channel, a country music channel, a nature channel, and of course, a home shopping channel. Increasingly, a lot of what you'll come upon is either raunchy or dumb or boring. Or, maybe you can't stand, let's say, country music. Or you fall asleep watching someone cook. Or you don't care about sports. Whatever, it's okay. You can't decide what's on each channel, but it's totally up to you what channel you watch!

Friday, December 24, 2004

With two teenage boys who love football, one Christmas gift is sure to be a hit - a new leather football. And when it's a rare 60-degree Christmas morning, you're not just going to sit around the Christmas tree and admire that ball - you're going to go right outside and do what you're supposed to do with a football. So the three men of the house were quickly out of the house and in the middle of the street, passing that football back and forth. I was back for a long one - the pass was right to me. And I caught it - right on the end of my little finger, like the Christmas klutz. The emergency room is not where you want to spend a chunk of your Christmas, but that's where I was - with a special souvenir of that Christmas - a broken finger.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Man! Going food shopping just isn't as simple as it used to be. We used to buy whatever looked interesting, or affordable, or yummy. Now we have to allow extra time for a shopping trip. We have to read all those labels. Actually, it's a good thing that they're telling us what's in that cereal or those cookies. We're realizing how much of what we eat has to do with how healthy we are, and maybe how long we live. A lot of damaging ingredients are hidden in some of that food, like fat grams! Before we buy something, we have to know how many fat grams are in it. Who needs that stuff keeping your blood from getting to your heart? Right? Yes, we smart shoppers who want to live a little longer realize the damage that the fat can do that's hiding in that food. So we don't buy that good-looking food because it looks good. Oh, no! First, we check for what's in that product that could do damage to us!

Friday, October 22, 2004

My friend Tom has a taste for some of the beautiful things in life like great food for example. In face, he's a wonderful chef. I think I'm still wearing some of his culinary creations on my body. Tom also really appreciates nature, including plants. Actually, I've been fascinated to hear him tell of some of the incredible creations of God that live in that world of plants and flowers that I don't know much about. The last time we saw him, he told us about a flower called the Night Blooming Cyrus, which he said he's only seen bloom once. That's because they don't do much when folks are awake. In fact, they only bloom for two hours a day, and that's from midnight till 2:00 A.M. But for those who stay up late or set their alarm, there's the splendor of a richly colored flower that measures about six inches in bloom. It's beautiful late at night.

Tuesday, October 5, 2004

I was on a mission in England and Ireland, and I actually had a day to spend in the historic English city of York. What a place! It's surrounded by a medieval wall actually and it's dominated by a cathedral that might be second only to Westminster Abbey in London. There was an unusual scene out in front, because there was an artist on his knees, painstakingly working on a chalk drawing on the sidewalk in front of the cathedral. When I was closer and I looked at it, it was the Mona Lisa. It was immediately recognizable. He must have been working on it all day, and it was beautifully done. As I went inside a restaurant, I saw that the artist had left. Within minutes, a little boy came up, and he intentionally ran over the artwork, stomped back and forth and made footprints all over it. Other kids followed him. They did the same thing. They had just trampled all over the work of an artist who had worked very hard on it. It hurts to see someone doing that.

Friday, August 13, 2004

I was on an airplane flight from Chicago to Newark, and I was busy working, until suddenly, the pilot put on the brakes. We weren't really near Newark yet, so I tried to figure out what was going on. It looked as if the plane was beginning to circle, and our wing was dipped down a little bit. Pretty soon, I said, "You know what? I believe I've seen that house before. I think I've seen that field before. I've seen those trees before." I got to see them again, and again, and another time. We were in that time warp that is dreaded by every frequent flier: the holding pattern. We weren't standing still (which was a good thing), we were using up time, we were using up fuel, we were in constant motion. We weren't going anywhere. We weren't making any progress.

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

If for some reason you ever have to guess what the weather's going to be tomorrow in Seattle, Washington, guess rain. Of course, it's not unusual for it to rain in Seattle. It's a beautiful city with mountains and oceans and snow for skiing and more rainy days than most American cities.

I was on an airplane, and I was discussing this with a resident there, and he said, "You know, there's a lot of things people don't realize about Seattle, and a lot of them don't move here because of it." But, he said, "We've got all these natural resources to enjoy," and he listed some of the things I just mentioned. And he said, "You know, we don't have so much annual rainfall. A lot of days, there's just like a light mist, and it's not all bad." Then he said why. "Maybe that's why it's so green in Seattle." And you know, that's true. You can see it when you fly in there. There's green most of the year, while a lot of us Northerners are looking at a lot of brown and gray stuff!



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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