September 28, 2022

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I think we all have awful memories of the painful scenes at Ground Zero in the rubble of the World Trade Center after September 11. I was kind of close to that because of our years in the New York area and even the people we knew in that building. And the firemen, policemen, emergency personnel, combing through the wreckage for their fallen brothers and sisters. You can remember. They would pause for a moment of silent tribute as the remains of one of them would be carried out. But at a time when there was talk of reducing the number of workers at the site, I saw a scene that was painful in a different way. Tempers flaring in the raw emotions of that moment, and some of those firefighters and police who had been fighting together to save or find people in the rescue and recovery effort were suddenly fighting with one another at Ground Zero.

August 15, 2022

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Our friend's horse was in a jam. She had accidentally stepped into a small feeder that's usually used to hold a mineral block. It was so bitter cold that the bottom cracked when the mare stepped on it and her hoof went all the way through. Of course, that created something like a plastic bracelet around her hoof and she couldn't get it off. Visiting relatives saw the mare just standing there like a statue; traumatized and paralyzed by this thing that wouldn't come off her foot. So, they went out there to help. One of them calmed the horse while the other worked on setting her free. This is interesting because usually this horse would balk at letting strangers get near her. Not this time. She stood perfectly still, somehow realizing that these people had come to help her out of her jam. And they did.

August 11, 2022

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Many Civil War scholars would consider the Battle of Gettysburg as the turning point - or certainly one of the turning points - of that bloody war. And Civil War buffs have discussed for decades what factors actually decided the outcome of the battle that may have decided the outcome of the war. One key factor happened before the real battle actually began those three days in July of 1863. Soldiers from both North and South were on the move as General Lee's troops launched an invasion of Union territory. Union General Buford unintentionally encountered some of the advance Confederate forces. Well, he sized up the terrain around Gettysburg, and he decided that the ground called Cemetery Ridge would be the decisive high ground when the forces of Blue and Gray finally came to blows. And he determined to keep the advanced southern troops from having that ground, and he succeeded. In so doing, he secured for the North, ground that would indeed help decide the outcome of the Battle of Gettysburg.

July 29, 2022

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I knew this guy who, several times a week, would suddenly make this announcement, "Attitude check!" That never meant much to me until I began to have some friends who are private pilots. Up to that point, the only pilot I knew was, you know, Pontius. But that word "attitude" can be a life-or-death word for a pilot. One of my friends described a plane's attitude to me as its position relative to the ground, and to the horizon - or, as he says, your angle of attack. After decades of flying, including landing on aircraft carriers, he summarized the importance of a plane's attitude this way, "Right attitude, you keep flying. Wrong attitude, you stop flying."

July 25, 2022

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A new staff couple had just arrived with their U-Haul truck, moving to our area from the Southwest. And a bunch of us were there to meet them and help them move into their apartment. Our then-four-year-old grandson insisted on joining the moving crew. I was inside the truck, handing out items as helpers came to get some more, and no one made more trips than the youngest mover there. Now, I didn't give him the couch to carry, or the dresser or the TV set. You know, I gave him small boxes, small appliances, light objects to carry. There's only so much a four-year-old can handle. Or even someone who's a lot more than four years old - like me, for example.

July 19, 2022

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Some people can skip a meal and barely notice. I am not some people. For example, it's been four or five hours since breakfast, my body very convincingly says to me, "Feed me now!" When I don't eat regularly, I feel it. I take action. The doctor says there's nothing wrong with me, but my metabolism just seems to demand some regular maintenance. It's not like I'm alone in this. I mean, most of us know when it's time to eat again, right? And we usually stop what we're involved in to do something about it. Hunger isn't exactly passive. You know, it goes after something to satisfy it!

July 12, 2022

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She was just such a sweet little old lady - the housemother who inspected our dorm rooms every week at college. I didn't want her to get hurt. You know? I mean, I was afraid she would, if she opened my closet door. Yeah, you know, you're busy in college with all kinds of important things - who's got time to clean your room? Right? Some days, it was almost impossible to tell that I had furniture in there. Everything was covered with what looked like the fallout from some bomb blast, but not on inspection day. Nope, I managed to get all that junk somehow stuffed into my closet. Sometimes it took three guys to close the door, but eventually what I needed to hide was safely inside that closet. Safe, that is, unless you opened the door.

June 23, 2022

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I hate to make extra trips back and forth from the car. So I have a tendency to load up with a little more than I should probably carry. (Is this a guy thing? I don't know.) At the grocery store, I would rather not be hassled with taking a cart out into the parking lot. So, if at all possible, I'll just load up all those grocery bags in my arms and start walking. It's then that I especially appreciate a particular convenience that stores have - those doors that open automatically, without you even having to touch them. I mean, you do have to do something...you have to walk toward those doors. Yeah, see, that's when they open.

June 6, 2022

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Few times in human history has so much rested on the shoulders of one man. That man was General Dwight Eisenhower, commander of the Allied forces in World War II. The responsibility: planning and leading the massive secret attack against Hitler's hold on Europe; the attack that would come to be known as the D-Day Invasion. It can be said that the fate of the world rested on the outcome of that invasion, launched on five beaches on the northern coast of France. And the ultimate decisions about that invasion rested with Dwight Eisenhower. He had said that they only had a plan for victory, and that's what they expected. But after he gave the final "go" order and committing so many lives to that battle, he must have had some secret doubts about the outcome. In the back of a military vehicle, General Eisenhower drafted a letter that was only revealed years later. In it, he said something like this: "The invasion has failed, and I take full responsibility for that failure. No blame goes to President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, or any other commanders. I am fully responsible." Well, thank God that letter was never needed. The invasion, of course, succeeded. But that letter revealed the heart of a truly great leader.

June 3, 2022

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Okay, let's use our imagination. I'm going to buy a new car, and I'm going to pay for it with cash in full. That's the imagining part. So I pay Mr. Dealer lots of thousands of dollars for the new car, and he tells me it will be there in two weeks. Those two weeks crawl by like a turtle, but finally the day comes when I can show up for my hot new wheels. So I shake hands with the dealer, and he says, "Hey, I'll be right back!" A few minutes later he comes out, carrying a big box. He sees my bewildered expression. He says, "Here it is. Go ahead. Open the box." I do, and inside I find two new hubcaps, a new carburetor, and a new steering wheel. This dealer and I have a problem!

            

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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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