May 14, 2020

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They call them the chain gang. They wear stripes, but they're not prison inmates. They're football officials, and they carry this chain that measures whether or not a team has made a first down. Now not everyone is a football fan, so let me explain this. A team has four tries to move the ball ten yards. If they succeed, they get a "first down" and they get four more plays. If they fail, they have to turn the ball over to the other team at that point on the field. Many times it's impossible to tell with the naked eye if the ball has made it those ten yards, because it's very close. So they call out the chain gang. They come trotting out, they extend the chain to its full length, and then they set it down. If it extends beyond the ball, the team falls short. If it falls short, the team has succeeded. And as many who have played or watched football know, winning or losing a game can, like in moments like these, literally be a matter of inches no matter how far you've brought the ball.

May 12, 2020

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Okay, you book your airline flights in advance to get the best possible fare. The only problem is occasionally something will change and I can't use that ticket. They'll let me use it later, but sometimes I wish I could give it to one of our staff or a family member to use toward a trip they're taking. No can do. No, see, that ticket has my name on it. The person using it has to prove with photo I. D. that they are me because that's the rules. Only I can go on my ticket.

May 7, 2020

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When teenage boys come in the door from school, they have one thing on their mind, "What's for dinner?" Of course, they've been building up to this moment since shortly after lunch that day. Certain answers will, of course, make them happier than others. For one, I dreaded hearing my mother say, "We're having a casserole." I'm not sure why, but casseroles just didn't do it for me. But for our boys, and for many boys and girls of all ages, all over the world, there is an answer that no one wants to hear when they ask, "What's for dinner?" Answer: "Leftovers."

May 4, 2020

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Our daughter was just a toddler, and she'd often talk with me while I was brushing my teeth in the morning, or shaving, or combing my hair. But one morning, unbeknownst to my wife, our daughter got in the bathroom, stood on something, and got the blade razor that I shaved with. When her mother walked in, our daughter was stroking that razor across her face, minus any shaving cream and leaving some pretty serious scratches and scrapes behind.

April 30, 2020

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A few summers ago, I went on a river trip with some young people. It was a river that had not been nearly so friendly just three months before. The spring rains had been record breakers and the resulting floods had even redirected parts of the river. Our guide took us down a whole new channel of the river that hadn't even been there three months earlier, and he pointed out this palatial home that was built near the river by a multi-millionaire. The flood had suddenly made his home very vulnerable. It was saved only by a hastily-constructed brick wall. A lot of the landscaping around that home couldn't be saved, like the bridges for example. See, since this had just been a little stream before the flood, the homeowner built some charming wooden bridges across it at several points. Now the bridges weren't really destroyed, they were just, like, relocated. As we moved downstream, we saw this charming wooden bridge sitting in the middle of an island of mud in the middle of the river. Later we saw another bridge, pretty intact, just sitting on the riverbank. Oh, they were nice bridges all right, they just didn't go anywhere.

April 27, 2020

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When your airplane flight is over, it's not really over. See, there's that closing chapter of a trip that you get to spend at baggage claim. At my home airport they have these big carousels where suitcases are dumped out and where they circle until their owners claim them. Now, my bags seem to have a knack for waiting until almost all the other bags are out, for some reason. So I just keep watching those suitcases of all shapes and sizes and conditions appear, and waiting for one I like - no, no, no. I mean, one I recognize. But there always seem to be some phantom bags there. Have you noticed that? They just keep circling and circling and circling. And since the luggage carousel is all I really have to look at, the show gets pretty boring! Yep, there goes that baggage again!

April 24, 2020

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I saw this news story about a highly successful New York surgeon who volunteers a month every year to donate his services in needy countries. This particular summer, he'd had set up a tent clinic in the jungles of Costa Rica. In the middle of operating on a five-year-old boy, it became apparent this boy desperately needed blood. Problem: only 2% of the human race has that boy's blood type. Suddenly the doctor excused himself, only to return a few minutes later with the needed blood. It turns out that doctor is one of the 2% with that type! There, in the middle of that jungle, that boy's life could only be saved by one man's blood. Just like me.

April 22, 2020

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You learn a lot about eagles when you spend time with Native Americans. Like how their babies learn to fly. When Mama builds their nest, she lays a foundation of rocks and sticks - then covers it with leaves and feathers and foliage. And the baby eaglets love hanging out there.

April 20, 2020

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A cold is no big deal, unless it decides to expand its coverage from your nose to your ears. And even then it's no big deal unless you're coming down from 30,000 feet up in a commercial airliner. This is not a medical news bulletin - it's my personal testimony. I could feel a little something in my ears before I took off, but I didn't have any idea how the altitude ups and downs of my flight were going to totally block my ears and cause me some nasty pain on the way down. The poor lady next to me was telling me some of her heartaches and I kept yawning just to keep my head from exploding. And as my ears got more and more clogged, it was like somebody had turned down the volume knob on what she was saying. She must have thought I was a really great listener. Well, it was a painful afternoon, but the changing pressure in that plane let me know that I had a problem and it drove me to do what I usually try to avoid, go to the doctor. I'm glad I did - he really helped me.

April 17, 2020

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At the time, the Thresher was the fastest and quietest nuclear submarine there was. Until that awful day in 1963 when it suddenly disappeared in the Atlantic. All 129 crew members were lost. When they finally located the doomed sub, they found it broken into six pieces. The cause of the deadliest submarine disaster in history, actually, has been hard to nail down. But ultimately it seems the Thresher collapsed because they were at a depth, for whatever reason, where the pressure on the outside became greater than the pressure on the inside.



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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