October 30, 2020

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"Made you look!" That's a classic line from when we were kids. As we're driving through some of this continent's steep mountain ranges, we've seen a sign that's guaranteed to make me look. You usually see it on a long drive down a steep mountain. The sign says, "Runaway truck ramp ahead." Of course I immediately look in my rear view mirror for some reason. If some big old semi with failed brakes is barreling down the mountain, about to run me over, I would like to be the first to know! I'm not sure what I'd do about it, but at least I'd like a moment for my whole life to flash before me. Those ramps are long emergency ramps, usually covered with something like sand that will help a truck grind to a halt. Now, if you've ever smelled the hot rubber of overworked brakes on a mountain, and you probably have (I have), you know that providing a way to stop runaway trucks is really a good idea. And they must be needed. I hate to say this, but I often see fresh truck tracks in that sand!

October 26, 2020

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When you live and work on a remote Indian reservation, as our sons did for a number of years, you get good at shopping without going anywhere. Because anywhere is so far away! Our sons got to be very skilled Internet shoppers. They found gifts there I didn't even know existed. They found bargains I was jealous of. Sometimes, I would watch over their shoulder, and I've gotten kind of good at it these days. But I'd see them bid on an item that was being auctioned on the Internet. They're pretty good at knowing what it's going to take to own what was being auctioned. For all the little tricks of the trade, there seemed to be one decisive bottom line. Everyone knows that it belongs to the one who bids the most. Right?

October 22, 2020

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Most of us had some classes in high school where we sat there and grumbled, "When am I ever going to use this stuff?" Right? In some cases, we really have ended up using what Miss Pringle taught us. In other cases, we were right about never using it. There's one class I've benefited from almost every day of my life, including even today. Yeah, I had a typing class. Oh yeah, it was "old school." I started out with what they called a Selectric typewriter. Younger listeners are asking, "Selectric? What's that?" It's a typewriter. Never mind. I'll take you for a tour of the museum. But, you know, today it's a computer keyboard. And when I have a lot of writing to do, which I usually do, it's a good thing I learned to type those many years ago. And, you know what? My wife told me that I was one of the fastest typists that she knew. With the amount of work I have to get done in a day, do I have a choice?

October 20, 2020

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It's an amazing true story from the history of the Cree Indians of western Canada. Through many courageous exploits, a young man named Maskepetoon became known as the bravest warrior in the tribe. One day a man came to Maskepetoon's camp talking about peace - something his tribe had never known because of that relentless bloodshed between his Cree tribe and their longtime enemies, the Blackfoot. But this man with a black book called the Bible introduced this warrior to the Creator of all. The missionary told him of how the Creator God's Son defeated the Evil Manitou, the Enemy of all. He climbed to the top of a hill and gave His life on a cross as a peace offering. That meant peace could be restored between the Creator of all and the people He had made.

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!"

            

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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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