Monday, November 5, 2007

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Our three-year-old granddaughter has big eyes, a big smile, and a backpack to match. She's loaded her little red backpack with every book that she can jam in there. And being a firstborn, she must, of course, carry it all by herself - which she was trying to do the other day when it became clear to Daddy that she was really straining with that load. He saw again how determined she can be. (Determined actually is a grandparent's word. Parents call it stubborn.) He suggested she remove a few books and lighten the load, and that idea was a total non-starter. Then she tried taking another step. That's when she started to take off her backpack, and she said with a sigh, "Here, Daddy. I can't carry it anymore." Her Daddy gladly took it and asked, "How's that, honey?" Her answer melted her father's heart, "All better, Daddy. All better."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

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One of the cities that symbolizes for me the charm of the Old South is Charleston, South Carolina. When you go down to the harbor and hire a carriage ride to go to the old part of the city, you feel like you're suddenly back in "Gone With the Wind" or something. Those antebellum houses and mansions are classic. I thought it was great that this historic part of the city had been so well preserved over the years, until the carriage driver told me what really happened. These old buildings had actually deteriorated terribly over the years and the area had become pretty shabby until some people took an interest in financing a renewal.

According to our driver, they only had a limited amount of money, so they decided to invest it in one building. Now the owner used those funds to convert this dilapidated old building into a historic masterpiece. You say, "Well, that's only one building. What about the neighborhood?" Well, the fellow next door was so inspired by what had happened to the neighboring property, he decided to find somebody to restore his building. Then the next neighbor did the same thing, and then the next neighbor, until finally the entire neighborhood was finally transformed.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

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The phone rang in my study. I thought my wife was asleep in the other end of the house. Even though I was really preoccupied with what I was writing, I answered the phone so it wouldn't disturb her. A guy named Mike said hello and he started explaining his special offer related to satellite TV. I wasn't interested, and I tried to tell him that. He just kept talking. I was just starting to tell him no a little more forcefully when I heard a little giggle on the phone. My wife was awake and she had picked up the extension. That's when I woke up! I was talking to a recording. Feeling stupid now! Click.

Monday, September 17, 2007

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For a while, it seemed like it was just a head cold. But suddenly my wife's chest started to hurt, and a serious almost uncontrollable cough developed, and minor activity even made it hard to breathe. I had suggested she see a doctor earlier in the week, but she's about as good at taking those suggestions as I am. But eventually she got so miserable, she called for an appointment. "You've got pneumonia, girl!" That's what the doctor said after the chest x-ray. Sure enough, there was this dark stuff, camping out in her lung, causing all this trouble.

Friday, September 14, 2007

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Amid all the amusement and theme parks clustered in Orlando, Florida, there's one that is pretty distinctive. It's a Holy Land theme park that attempts to bring some of the scenes and the stories of the Bible to life. Our daughter and son-in-law were there not long ago with our two grandsons. And the kids, who are pretty up on their Bible stories, really enjoyed walking through those stories and meeting some of the characters (actually, people portraying some of those characters). The one that impressed our then two-year-old grandson the most was Jesus. A man portraying Jesus stood in the middle of the small crowd and He spoke some of the very stories He told in the Bible. But then came the moment our little guy will not soon forget. Jesus came over and picked Him up, just like Jesus did with the children when He was here. The next day Mom and our little guy were talking about his upcoming third birthday party, and suddenly out of the blue, he said, "I want Jesus at my birthday party."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

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Recently, I spoke for a large youth conference at one of the East Coast's most popular vacation spots: Ocean City, Maryland. The boardwalk, the hotels, the restaurants, the amusements seem to stretch for miles. My friend told me he's been coming to Ocean City since the 1970s, when most of what I was seeing wasn't there. Not that many folks used to come to Ocean City. I asked my friend what changed that. "Oh, the bridge," he said. The building of what is called the Bay Bridge opened up this beautiful spot to many people who had never experienced it before.

Monday, September 10, 2007

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"Court TV." Sure enough, there's a popular cable channel in America that just shows court trials all day! For some reason, America's got this strange fascination with criminal trials. It's almost like another sport we watch. We're even learning some of those fancy legal words that only lawyers and judges used to know. So how's your "writ of habeas corpus" doing today? Is an angry parent now the "plaintiff" and the disobeying child the "defendant?" The trials that really intrigue us are those celebrity trials, where someone rich or famous or notorious is on trial. And from these trials have come even the phenomenon of celebrity lawyers - attorneys who make big bucks and a big reputation trying to get some big names off the hook. Believe me, those folks make sure that they get the best defense attorney money can buy!

Friday, September 7, 2007

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Norma Jean was born on a cold, snowy day after a battle just to get into this world. She's a little white calf whose mother wouldn't have anything to do with her, and she lay out in the snow and the cold for many hours, actually, before her owner realized her predicament. That newborn was in pretty bad shape, with her hind legs just not even supporting her when she tried to stand. Her attempts to get up were, well, they were pitiful. Kenny's a teenager, and he doesn't live on the farm where the calf was born. But when he saw her, he offered to take her and try to pull her through. The farmer was pretty pessimistic about the calf making it, but Kenny arranged for her to stay in a stall in a friend's barn. Every morning, he drove to that barn before school, and he faithfully fed Norma Jean a big bottle of milk substitute, and slowly nursed her back to health. Today, that calf who had been on her last legs is now bouncing all over the place on four good legs!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

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"Embedded reporters." It was a concept most of us had never heard of until Operation Iraqi Freedom. But the U.S. Military decided to allow reporters to actually travel with and report from active combat units, fighting for the liberation of Iraq. The result was these amazing live transmissions from sandstorms, rapid troop movements, actual combat in progress, and even the takeover of some of Saddam Hussein's palaces. It was the ultimate in reality TV. Of course, it had one disadvantage; one that briefers and Pentagon officials kept reminding people of. The embedded reporter could only report on the small slice of the big picture that he was able to see from his unit's vantage point. A seasoned military observer expressed it this way on television: "The closer you are to the battle, the less you can see the whole war."

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

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They're usually some of the most exciting moments in sports; the touchdown or field goal that wins the game with no time left on the clock. That game-winning basket as the final buzzer sounds. The game-winning home run with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning. Whatever the sport, there is nothing like a sudden victory when victory seems out of reach. It makes the fans go ballistic.



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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