August 31, 2020

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It's one of those classic "Peanuts" cartoons. Charlie Brown is sitting there, peacefully watching TV. Lucy comes up and tells him to change channels. Charlie Brown says, "What gives you the right to just order me to change channels?" Lucy holds up her hand with her fingers spread apart and answers, "These five little things: one, two, three, four, five. Alone they're not much" - and then as she pulls her fingers together in a fist - "but together, they are something terrible to behold." Then Lucy asks, "So what channel are you going to watch?" Poor ol' Charlie Brown looks down at his fingers and asks pitifully, "Why can't you guys get organized like that?"

August 20, 2020

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Of course, I'm too young to remember World War II, right? But there was this restaurant back in New Jersey I could go to. It was a theme restaurant to get a little of the feel. Yeah, it actually was designed to create a feeling of WWII. It even had the tail of a plane sticking out of its roof! The walls were covered with WWII newspapers, posters, and buttons. There was this one poster that always stuck in my mind. There is this desperate GI in the ocean, just about to go under for the last time. And four words that don't mean a lot to us now but meant life-or-death for our troops back then, "Loose lips sink ships." Translation? When American GIs were in port, preparing to board a ship for their next mission, they were constantly reminded to talk to no one about where they were headed. Why? There were enemy spies in every port, trying to find out those destinations. If they did, the information was given to the enemy who used it to target that American ship for sinking. If a soldier talked too much, it could literally cost him his life and the lives of his comrades, because loose lips sink ships.

August 18, 2020

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The youth broadcast I did for many years, we decided to take it out of the studio one day and use an amusement park as our backdrop for the program. The park people suggested a super rollercoaster called Thunder Road as one of the venues. Now, roller coaster and I have never gotten along real well since my dad sort of made me go on one when I was little. And this one - well, it had two lines for you to choose from. One said, "Forward," and the other said, "Backward." You could ride Thunder Road in the conventional way, looking forward with at least a little chance to prepare yourself for what was coming. But the backward bunch - they rode backwards! Which means, of course, they had no idea what was about to happen to their body. What? They call this a choice?

August 12, 2020

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When our family got ready to leave for a trip, I usually had some pretty good help loading the car, because everybody was eager to leave. Now, when we pulled into the driveway at the end of the trip, it was a little different. All of a sudden I noticed I was carrying a lot of things and I didn't have much company. Five members in our family, but invariably when it was time to unload, I ran in the house and found... let's see, there's one on the phone, one in the bathroom, one opening the mail, one in their room, and one carrying the load. That was me. I'd be in the kitchen yelling, "Help!" as I staggered in with things hanging from both shoulders - doing my impersonation of a mule, things in my arms, my hands, my mouth, my teeth. Listen, it is frustrating to have a load to carry and nobody is there to help.

August 4, 2020

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One of the first books I remember hearing my parents read to me, and actually one of the first books my kids remember us reading to them, is that famous little classic, "The Little Engine That Could." You probably remember the story of that load of toys that no train was able to pull up the mountain to get those poor little children their toys on the other side. Well, no train that is, until this unlikely little engine volunteered to give it a try. And against all odds, he made it, puffing out those four inspiring words - listen, if you remember them, say them with me now: "I think I can! I think I can!" (Yeah, you got it!) And he inspired us to believe that we could do anything if we had that same confidence. Unfortunately, I have a scandalous secret to tell you. The little engine lied to us!

July 31, 2020

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One Christmas our youngest grandson was visiting at our son's house, and he was fascinated with the extensive Christmas lights that his uncle had strung around the outside of his house. I should tell you that one of our grandson's first words was "light," and lights were one of the first thing he would point out in any room. He was almost obsessed with them! As night fell and our son's Christmas lights came on, our grandson surprisingly wasn't very happy. We thought he'd be amazed by all those lights, but instead he just kept pointing out this one short stretch of lights that wasn't working and repeating, "Lights off. Lights off." Forget the hundreds of lights that were on!

July 20, 2020

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In a few places in the world, there is a man who literally embodies a nation. For the Middle Eastern kingdom of Jordan, for many years King Hussein was that kind of man. His stature on the international scene could be measured by a lot of influence he had on the Middle East peace talks and even by the unprecedented coming together of friends and enemies at his funeral. But those who loved him most, of course, were his own countrymen. He was gone from Jordan for many of what turned out to be the last months of his life - gone for treatment of a deadly cancer. Just weeks before his final trip for treatment before the cancer claimed his life, King Hussein returned to his beloved country - flying his own airplane. It was a dramatic return for a king who had been gone so long, and the welcome he received was pretty amazing. As a display of affection and loyalty, people slaughtered sheep and goats right on the street as his motorcade passed by. One man even sacrificed a camel that was valued then at $10,000. They literally poured out their love for their returning king.

July 13, 2020

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Our boys were blessed with some great football coaches when they were in high school. They worked their players hard. Let me tell you, they conditioned them well, and they produced champions. One lesson the coaches taught our team certainly went against their natural instincts. I mean, no one is real anxious to get injured. A player's natural tendency is to hold back a little when they're making a hit on another player, or when they're blocking, or when they're tackling so they won't get hurt. You know, you want to be careful so you're not injured. Well, the coaches tell you that's a mistake; that's the best way to get hurt is to play tentatively, play half-heartedly. Here's how they put it, "Either give it all you've got or don't play." Okay.

June 29, 2020

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Somehow, children become very effective psychologists without ever taking a day of Psychology Class. They learn to push Mom and Dad's buttons really well. They learn to play Mom and Dad against each other to guilt trip their parents. (I wonder where they learn that, by the way?) They learn to pout - all kinds of methods of getting their way. Fortunately, most of us parents gradually develop some immunity to being manipulated by our kids. But I've got to tell you, there's one thing my kids would say to me that grabbed my heart and wouldn't let go and almost always worked. It was those times they just said, "But, Dad, you promised!" Man, those were convicting words. If I had promised, I just had to do everything within my power to keep my promise.

June 26, 2020

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I don't think women have any idea of the power they have over a man. Listen, I've seen a 250-pound he-man reduced to quivering jelly by a little 95-pound blonde. Most guys can relate to the trauma of trying to work up the courage just to call a girl for a simple date. I can remember looking at the phone for 45 minutes, rehearsing all these impressive lines and the macho tone I was going to use. But it didn't matter how long I thought about it, when I finally heard that little voice on the other end of the phone say, "Hello," my reply would come back with this pitiful, "Hello-oo-ooh."

            

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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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