Tuesday, January 22, 2019

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We call him Evil Bert. He's not a nice guy at all. I was speaking for our Warrior Leadership Summit conference for young Native Americans when Bert made his appearance. Actually, I had asked a friend to make a puppet for me to use. That puppet had a dark mustache, dark eyes, a dark beard, and a wicked expression. I affectionately called him Evil Bert. Evil Bert carried a plastic bat in his hands as he and I walked through the audience. Suddenly, Bert would lash out and hit someone with his plastic bat. People wisely started ducking when he got close. The really smart young people there figured out the dark secret about Evil Bert. It wasn't really Bert that was hitting them. It was the guy who was using him as a puppet. That would be me.

Friday, January 4, 2019

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You know, there's a stretch of Oklahoma, including Oklahoma City, that has been called "Tornado Alley." On the Weather Channel, a lot of spring and summer days show that part of the country colored in the bright red that indicates severe weather. The most powerful tornado America ever had so far roared through the Oklahoma City area just a few years ago. As I drove through that area on a spring day between storm systems, I couldn't help but be impressed with what I saw as I drove by a church. Right in front of the church you could see an open door sticking up out of the ground. The church actually has a storm cellar right out on the street, and the door was wide open!

Monday, December 10, 2018

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Every child's dream-Disney World! Our three-year-old granddaughter had counted down her visit there for weeks. And she was absolutely giddy as she finally entered the Magic Kingdom. One ride she really wanted to try was the flying elephants. Actually, the flying Dumbos, named after that elephant with the oversize ears that enabled him to be a flying elephant! Dumbo basically just goes around and around; he's a ride for little kids...kids like me. Now when you pull the bar in your Dumbo car, it starts to go up. Not super-high, but high enough to get a nice view of a lot of things in the park. And our granddaughter began making those Dumbo circles with her uncle, and he started to pull the bar up to help the flying elephant fly. It was not to be. Our little princess would have none of this going higher business...nope! Too scary! She made it no secret that Dumbo was to fly at the lowest possible level...and stay there.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

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Look, sometime in your life, somewhere you've probably run into a waiter or waitress with a stinky attitude; maybe even two or three. But a lot of times you can't blame them totally, if you see the way a lot of them get treated in a day's time. They're not America's best treated people unfortunately. Maybe that's why I've made it sort of a personal crusade to brighten their day a little bit by remembering their name, smiling, saying thanks and sometimes even goofing off with the server a little bit. Sometimes, when they come back during the meal they ask, "How is everything?", and I'll say, "Oh, wonderful! You're a great cook!" It's always fun to watch their response. Usually they just stop cold for a minute. Sometimes they'll laugh; sort of embarrassed, you know, and they'll say, "Oh, I don't cook it!" I know that. They're delivering what someone else created!

Monday, October 22, 2018

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Connie was in the campus outreach club I ran near her high school. In some ways, she was a typical teenager. In other ways, her life was very different from her peers. Every morning about 5:00 A.M.-while her peers were still sound asleep-Connie was at the local ice skating rink, practicing. And when her friends were all enjoying their summer off, well, she was in Colorado in a rigorous training program for ice skaters. A few years later, my wife and I were in Holland teaching a European youth workers conference. As I was in our bungalow, preparing for the next meeting, I had the TV on in the background, with a telecast of the Winter Olympics going. I wasn't paying much attention because the commentary was in Dutch, and my Dutch isn't what it used to be. But suddenly I heard a name I recognized-Connie's name. I looked up in time to see her on the screen, proudly representing her country in the quest for Olympic glory. You know what? I knew how she got there.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

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He invited Jesus Christ into his house, and things were never the same again. That's the picture actually portrayed in a classic old Christian booklet called "My Heart, Christ's Home." As the story unfolds, the man whose life is symbolized by a house, begins to let Jesus move beyond the front parlor and into the various rooms. In each room, Jesus changes things. Like some of what's in the library that doesn't belong in a house where Jesus lives. Some of what's done in the recreation area. Ultimately, he even lets Jesus clean out the garbage in this closet that's been sealed shut with several locks. But the picture I remember most is the one that portrays the man having personal time with Jesus in his study every morning...until one day when he's running late. So, he races out the door thinking he'd be there as usual the next morning. Well, that didn't happen. For some time, he just ran out the door in the morning without ever stopping in his study. Until one morning when he hurried in there to find something, and there to his shock and his surprise, was Jesus, sitting in a high-backed chair. Awkwardly, the man asked, "Jesus, what are you doing here?" Jesus' reply goes straight to the heart. "I've been here every morning – waiting for you."

Friday, August 31, 2018

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As each of our kids has fallen in love, I have had what sounded like maybe strange advice for them. I've said, "Make sure you make a good 200-year choice." Now, needless to say, that's been greeted with an expression that says, "You doin' okay, Dad?" It turns out none of our kids expects to ever celebrate their 200th wedding anniversary. But that's not what I'm talking about anyway. I'm talking about the impact the choice of a mate will have for a long, long time – along with a lot of other family choices.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

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Over the years we've lived near the ocean, and we were blessed to have a friend who was a veteran sailor. He'd been sailing the East Coast since he was a boy. And he was generous enough to allow us to go sailing with him sometimes and to watch a master at work. I tried to apply for "first mate," but he always said, "Don't call us, we'll call you." Which he never did. But I was a grateful and curious passenger. He told me some great stories of sailing adventures. He showed us how to do some of what he did, and he related times that he had seen one sailboat after another fall over as they were unprepared for a shift in the wind across the bay there. You don't have to be a seasoned seaman to understand a fundamental law of a successful voyage: It's the set of the sail, not the force of the gale, that determines the way you go.

Friday, August 24, 2018

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Lots and lots of marble steps – that's one thing I remember from our family trip to Washington D.C. when the kids were little. In fact, our youngest was about two years old the first time we went there. In fact, he told me that at that time he was very interested in seeing the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of the government firsthand. Yeah, he said that to me. Oh, but those steps! Have you ever been to the U. S. Capitol building or the Lincoln Memorial? Maybe you remember feeling new feelings in your legs by the time you reached the top. Imagine our little guy. He looked up at those stairs and he knew there was no way with those short little legs. So he was stuck at the bottom with no hope of reaching the top of the steps. No, wait a minute. That's not true. He had me! And I had one of those child carriers on my back which he got in. And he made it where he never could have gone himself, because someone bigger carried him.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

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Our sons both played lineman positions on their high school football team – which means they had to take their share of jokes about being big and dumb. Linemen's numbers are usually like seventy-something, and they were number 75 and 76. You know what the word was? Yeah, that the linemen wore their I. Q. on their jerseys. (Yeah, my apologies. Some linemen listening; listen, this is a joke. I didn't say this. I don't believe this. No, no, no.) It's probably a good thing most of us were never told what our Intelligence Quotient is and it's really a good thing it wasn't advertised on our jersey! But after all is said and done, there's a measurement of your capabilities that's far more important anyway.

            

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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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