October 16, 2020

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Some of us are a little "old school." We still pay our bills with an envelope and a stamp and mail it in. At least we pay our bills. I know what it is to need a stamp; you've got something that has to be mailed - could be an urgent bill. You've got spoiled by having electricity in your house, and you really don't want to see what it's like without it. Your electric bill is due, the check is written, the envelope is addressed, and you can't find a stamp. But something that happened during a recent election has to be the ultimate postage desperation. An absentee ballot arrived with an unusual stamp on the envelope; a picture of an inverted World War I airplane. The news report said that stamp may very well have been a rare collector's item worth $200,000! Postage rates might continue to go up, but this is like out of control!

October 12, 2020

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They were nearly 300 feet below ground. Nine coal miners, drilling into an abandoned mine shaft. Suddenly, the area they were in began to flood with millions of gallons of water. There was no way out. They managed to find an air pocket where they huddled together in a space that was only three feet high and 12 feet wide. Oxygen was running out; hypothermia could not be far away. Even if they were able to stay alive, there was no way for them to get back to the surface. Meanwhile, overhead, the authorities devised a daring rescue plan; to drill a 36-inch wide hole through the earth and through the bedrock that separated the miners from the surface. It took four days of around-the-clock effort and some frustrating setbacks, but ultimately the breakthrough came. They made it to the trapped men, who all were still alive. One by one, they were lifted up that narrow shaft in a metal cage. It was just one of those miracle moments when they reached the surface to the hugs and cheers of loved ones who feared they'd never come out alive.

October 8, 2020

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"Amnesia Al." That's all the officials in Denver knew to call him. They found him on the street, living as a homeless man, with no clue as to who he was or where he came from. The police figured out that there must be someone out there who would recognize him. So they actually put him on national television with a police detective. Happened to be watching that time, and he explained Amnesia Al's predicament. And he gave this heartfelt plea that still rings in my ears: "I feel totally lost," he said. "If only someone could just tell me who I am and who I belong to." Thankfully, someone did. His fiancée in another state recognized him and she answered the questions.

October 6, 2020

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There have been a lot of airplane crashes over the years. And there's a few that you just don't forget. I'll tell you, one was the crash of United Flight 232 many years ago. Captain Al Haynes and his crew were desperately trying to control a plane that was almost out of control because of an equipment failure. They were diverted from Chicago to Sioux City, Iowa. Man, I still remember this. There was no way they were able to maneuver that plane to the airport. Their best hope of saving at least some lives was to try to bring it down in a nearby cornfield. Captain Haynes became literally a national hero when somehow he managed to do just that. Tragically, there were lives lost in the crash landing and the subsequent fire, but there were many survivors from a crash that could have easily killed all aboard. Captain Haynes said he had a hero that day himself. His crew had checked every procedure book to see what to do in an emergency like they were facing. There was no procedure. So Captain Haynes' hero was the flight controller that talked him through that terrifying crisis. Here's how the captain put it: "There's nothing like a calm, soothing voice talking to you, telling you everything you need to know."

October 2, 2020

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It seemed harmless enough when I entered. I was just a kid at an amusement park in Chicago, and the ride was just this big cylinder that made you feel like you were walking into a washing machine. They called it The Rotor. I stood against the edge and I waited for it to do its thing. Then it started to do what something called The Rotor might be expected to do - it rotated. As it began to spin faster and faster, the floor started to disappear in front of my feet. I was plastered against the side of that cylinder, looking down into this yawning black hole. I hated it. I wanted off. Too bad!

September 29, 2020

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Don't you love it with today's technology we can record a TV program and fast-forward past the commercials to get to the program. With the sorry state of a lot of shows today, it might be smarter to fast forward past the program and maybe watch the commercials. A lot of them are more entertaining than the show they're part of! There's one I saw years ago that was a little strange, but I obviously still remember it. It was advertising a particular pain reliever. They started their fairly annoying advertisement for the product, and then they suddenly interrupted it for this one aggravated person looking in the camera. They had this great line, addressed to the company whose product was being advertised: "I hate your commercials, but I love your product!"

September 25, 2020

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It was during a major energy crisis in the United States. From the White House on down, people were turning off lights, canceling or combining automobile trips, and using energy conservation steps they had never even considered before. A Christian college in the Boston area had a chapel with a yellow-lit cross on the top. In keeping with the need to conserve, they turned off that light. Before long, they got an urgent call from an air traffic controller at Logan Airport. He said, "You need to turn on the lights on your cross...immediately!" Here's what the college learned that night that they hadn't known before. The flight controller said, "That cross is the first landmark for flights coming in from Europe, and we have a flight coming in now on low fuel. I know we're having an energy crisis, but turn on the lights on that cross. If they can't see the lights on the cross, they can't land safely."

September 21, 2020

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Four boys in a house on fire; that's what happened to my friend's nephews. Thankfully, the Fire Department got the call early and they were there in minutes. It was clear there was no way they could go into that blaze to bring the boys out. But all four of them were huddled around a second floor window, which meant they could be saved. So, the firefighters quickly prepared to catch the boys. They yelled to them to jump into the waiting net below. The oldest boy jumped; he was safe. A second boy, then a third brother jumped to their rescue below. Their ten-year-old brother was the last one left at the upstairs window. He hesitated. Again and again the firefighters were begging him to jump. Every time, he refused..every time. Sadly, it cost him his life.

September 17, 2020

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It might happen to a community once in a lifetime, or maybe even just once in a century. But sometimes there are those disasters that define and redefine a town for years to come. The Johnstown, PA, flood would be one of the most famous historic examples. You've probably never heard of the flood that swept into my wife's hometown years ago, but it was a major defining event for that town. She was a teenager when, with just a brief warning from upstream, the local creek burst out of its banks into this massive flash flood. While there was major damage done to the community, thankfully, only a few lives were lost. They actually were some older folks who lived on the south side of town. Rescuers actually came by their creek-side house before that wall of water hit. They offered them a place in the lifeboat. They refused to get in. They said, "Hey, we've lived here a long time, we've seen a lot. We've been fine this far. We'll be fine this time." They weren't. They died in that flood.

September 15, 2020

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When you go to a church potluck dinner, you never know what kind of luck you're going to have in your pot. Friends of ours were at one of those dinners with their granddaughter, and someone there had baked what they called a Jesus cake. That raises the obvious question, "What is a Jesus cake?" They were told that someone had actually baked a very small plastic baby toy into the cake, and they called it Baby Jesus. (Okay, do not try this at home.) I'm just telling you what happened. If anyone found the baby in their piece of cake, they would win a prize. Well, crazy, but our friends' granddaughter became obsessed with finding the baby - to the point of downing five pieces of cake - the ultimate "sugar high." She was desperately trying to find what she thought was baby Jesus, and she did. And when she found the baby, the little girl said, "Finding Baby Jesus changes everything."

            

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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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