Tuesday, January 29, 2019

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We were waiting at a stoplight just across the street from some railroad tracks. The gates by the track were up and no lights were flashing. There was no train coming. But just beyond the railroad crossing was one of those little rail inspection vehicles, fitted with these wheels that allow them to ride on the tracks. On the side it said "Union Pacific." But believe me, this was no train. Suddenly, we heard this obnoxious and continuous honking on a horn that sounded like a train horn. The little vehicle wanted to proceed through the railroad crossing, and he was nowhere big enough to trigger the gates or the lights so the traffic would stop. So the operator just kept leaning on the horn as he passed through the intersection, hoping we would all stop for him as we would for a train. We did stop, but we weren't fooled. This was no train. This was a train wannabe! 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

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When our older son was little, he would sometimes wander into the living room, crawl into my lap, and snuggle up so close I wasn't sure how he could breathe. One night he looked up at me with those big blue eyes of his and he told me something I've never forgotten. He said, "Daddy, when I'm in your arms, I feel so safe."

Monday, January 21, 2019

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I was in Cincinnati, working on the message I was going to give that night, and I had a wonderful view of the Ohio River out my hotel window. But it wasn't until I talked with an African-American brother that night that I realized the significance of that river in the history of his people's long fight for freedom. In the days of slavery, many slaves managed to run away from their slave masters, thus beginning their desperate flight for freedom. If they were captured, well, their fate could be severe punishment or even worse. If they could make it to northern Kentucky, across the river from Cincinnati, they were on the edge of their goal. And, once they were in what was the North, they would be helped to safety, maybe in Canada, or by those who ran safe houses on what became known as the Underground Railroad. Once I heard the history, I saw something very different as I looked out my window at the Ohio River from Cincinnati. I was thinking of slaves looking across from the border in Kentucky, realizing that if they could just get across that river, they'd finally be free.

Friday, January 18, 2019

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You know, the opening of a new store in town usually creates a buzz. Like maybe one of those major discount stores, or that do-it-yourself place like Home Depot or something. Well, that stirred things up when it opened in our community some years ago. I’m not doing a commercial; it’s just an observation. Some observers say that Home Depot's comprehensive inventory and competitive prices have actually helped interest a whole new wave of people in doing their own home improvements. (If I only had the ability to use those things they sell!) But any, it's sort of meant to be a one-stop shopping place for everything you need to build your home. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

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My father-in-law gave my wife and her sister Grandma and Granddad's old farm house in the mountains, and so we had to do some restoring on that little special spot. And since we were able to be there only occasionally, my wife decided to plant accordingly. She said, "I'm planting perennials." Now I'm kind of horticulturally challenged, so my wife had to explain a little further. I'm beginning to understand better now that you can actually plant annuals or perennials. Annuals will bloom for a little while - let's say, like geraniums (How am I doing?) and then they'll be gone. Unless you replant geraniums the next year, which is extra work and hard to do when you're not there. Nope. We need perennials. So my wife planted things like crepe myrtle, and she planted azaleas, she planted honeysuckle. (Hey, I'm getting good at this.) Now as you might guess from their name, those perennials are not going to die on you. Perennials will always be there for you! We all need perennials!

Friday, January 11, 2019

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It was 3:00 A.M. in the multi-family house in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and a fire started as fifteen residents slept. A Deputy Fire Chief was first on the scene. He arrived alone in his car and discovered a building ablaze with its residents unaware of that deadly danger. The chief realized he didn't have time to put on his usual protective gear. Minutes were precious at a time like this, so he rushed into that burning building and began pounding on doors, and screaming for people to get up and get out. One older man was unable to get out by himself, so this valiant rescuer carried him down the stairs, out to the street and then went in for more. All fifteen people got out alive. The man who saved their lives did not. 

Monday, January 7, 2019

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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 was 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 that chest x-ray. Sure enough, there was this dark stuff, camping out in her lung, causing all this trouble. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

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Every once in a while as you're cruising down the highway, you'll see one of those trucks—the ones that are carrying a truckload of smashed cars. We're talking, you know like, steel pancakes. Sometimes you'll drive by the scrap yard where these junkers end up, and there you'll see row after row with stacks of these flattened old vehicles. "Junk," you say. Today it is, but there was a day when that hunk of steel was someone's dream come true. It was the new wheels they'd hoped for and saved for; a prize they wouldn't let anyone touch…now flattened. 

Friday, December 28, 2018

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When our daughter and son-in-law became parents the first time, they also became an aunt and uncle. Their niece was a little younger than their first son, but you can imagine that both sets of parents enjoyed swapping stories about their first child. For example, he would set out a toy or a puzzle on the floor. He'd select one of us adults as his designated playmate. It sounds like this - now, he called me "Dada" because he couldn't say "Granddad" - he would go, "Dada pay." That's "play" for those requiring translation. And he patted the floor exactly where he wanted me to sit and "pay." Apparently, their niece was issuing similar invitations to the adults in her world, like her Daddy, for example. He was moving around the living room doing whatever, and she would look up at him with big eyes and asks a simple question, "Papa down?" She really wanted her father to come to her level. And he did.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

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One Christmas, a friend gave us one of the most unique ornaments I'd ever seen. As soon as you see it, you think how beautifully and exquisitely this glass decoration is painted. But what's amazing is that none of that artwork is on the outside of the ornament. It's been painted entirely on the inside! For centuries, I guess the Chinese have perfected this "inside painting." Through a small opening in that ornament, the artist repeatedly inserts a miniature brush to paint the artwork. Of course, the process is painstaking and time consuming. It takes two days just to paint one ornament, but the result is a beautiful, one-of-a-kind miniature masterpiece.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
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