August 30, 2019

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Usually the system works pretty well, except for this one time. My wife and I were at a famous farmhouse restaurant in Amish country - one of those places where they serve you mouth-watering farm cooking. Man, family-style they serve it. We were seated at a table with about ten other guests when the food started to arrive. Actually, most of us had held off eating very much that day so we'd be hungry, and we were. Usually, people take a serving of each dish then they pass it down; that's family style. Right? Not this time. No, there was this one couple at the end of the table who somehow managed to shortstop every platter as it arrived: the fried chicken, the roast beef, the fresh mashed potatoes, the homemade noodles and bread. They would plop this big serving on their plate and then just set the platter down in front of them. They were stuffing; we were starving!

August 26, 2019

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Birds usually build their nests in trees. We had some that tried a creative alternative at our house. While we were on vacation, this mother and father bird built a nest in the exhaust fan for our kitchen range. Problem: the nest was so huge it made the exhaust fan unworkable. Problem two: when we returned from vacation, spiders were hanging down from the hood of the range. Mmm, yum yum. We knew babies had also hatched out up there in that nest. We couldn't see them, but we could sure hear the little noises when they were hungry. We didn't want to kill a whole nest full of babies, so we waited until Mom and Dad Bird had taken the babies out. I got a long stick and I proceeded to take out the nest. But as the nest came out, we discovered a little surprise - actually a big surprise - the fattest baby bird we had ever seen, seated in that nest. My wife went in to get gloves and a box. In the meantime, he got away. How long would this Big Bird have stayed in the nest if we hadn't shaken up his world?

August 21, 2019

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I know I really need to exercise. My blood and my pulse - they don't really get going very fast as I sit many days doing my work. You know, like what I'm doing right now sitting at a microphone. I think back on my favorite form of exercise of my childhood. I used to chug around on my bicycle when I was a little kid. And when I was little, it was for fun or just basic getting around.

August 12, 2019

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When my wife and I stuck our head out the door of our motel room one morning, we were greeted by a torrential rainstorm. Because we were driving a larger-than-usual vehicle, we had to park a distance from our room, and that meant we were in for a wet run to our vehicle. I was collecting our overnight bag, so my wife was the one who struck out into the monsoon first. For the most part, she was able to run under the cover of that motel overhang. So I took off, sprinting along the route that she had just taken. What I missed was her yelling "No!" to me as I approached a place to cross the parking lot. I missed her warning and promptly, you know, ran full speed into a huge puddle that had accumulated at the edge of the sidewalk: soaked socks, soaked shoes, squishing all day. Maybe you've been there. Oh, and my wife's feet? They were dry. Mine were soaked. The difference? She looked ahead to see where she was stepping. I didn't.

July 19, 2019

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It was one of those steamy 3-H summer days - you know...hazy, hot, and humid. I was just finishing doing about, oh, eight miles on my bike, feeling like Mr. Fatness - I mean, Fitness. Then I passed Tim - and he was doing all 10 1/2 miles around the lake - running, not riding. Well, I later learned he did that every day. Now that year Tim was in the sports headlines at home a lot. He was, as always, one of the county's champion track stars. But that sweaty day at the lake, there were no coaches, no reporters, no spectators watching. I said, "Hey, no time off for vacation, Tim?" He reminded me that running is a 12-month sport. See, champions aren't made the day of the race with the crowd applauding - they're made on a thousand invisible mornings.

July 18, 2019

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Commercial flying can be a real adventure. Like the day I booked a last-minute flight to the Northwest to support some Native American friends of ours who had just lost their young son. I was supposed to fly into Spokane, Washington, but fog shut it down and we were diverted to another airport for the night. So, the airline put us up in a hotel overnight and promised us they would do their best to get us to Spokane the next morning. I knew if I didn't get to the reservation that next day, I would have missed what I was going for. I really needed the real scoop on whether or not our plane was going to get into Spokane.

July 17, 2019

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Sometimes you'll hear someone called a "Renaissance man." That means he's a man of many interests, and gifts and pursuits, and skilled in many areas. Now, if there is such a thing as a "Renaissance boy," well, I used to like to think our grandson was one. Interested in a lot of things - and he was pretty good at a lot of them. To round out the other areas of his life, he got involved in a soccer league for kids his age. Which would make his mother a "soccer mom," I guess. Which means everybody wants her vote. Right, in elections? Well, our grandson didn't have the benefit of having an older sibling to learn from as some of the other members of his little team did. The soccer learning curve for him was a little steep, but he was doing well. But something really special happened in one of the last games of the season. The team's two little stars came late - players who the others tend to lean on. But they weren't there to lean on. Well, now it was clearly up to kids who were usually in the shadow of those stars, including our favorite soccer player who really stepped up. Suddenly, he was more focused, more aggressive than we'd seen him all season. And right away he scored two goals for his team. Oh, and of course, they won that night.

July 15, 2019

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Okay, here is one of my un-favorite sentences: "I guess we have to go to the emergency room!" Well, I mean, I'm glad the emergency room is there, but I hate to go there. I remember one time our son had a mild stomach disorder and we knew it had to be checked out. Well, we went late at night when it really gets really busy. I guess it was rush hour for sure that day when we were there. We'd already waited for a while and finally they noticed us. They began to give some attention to our son, and then suddenly all the doctors and nurses vanished. I'll tell you why. There was a word that had been sounded across that emergency room - "STAT" - and everybody came running to an accident victim. It was a severe situation. It was life-or-death. Stat means it's time to drop everything.

July 4, 2019

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They keep it under glass that seals out any air getting to it. And when it's not on display, it's kept underground in a vault - actually a bomb proof vault. It's the most important document in the history of the United States. Yep, the Declaration of Independence.

The men who signed it on that hot July 4th in Philadelphia knew it was very important, but I wonder if they could have possibly conceived what a sacred piece of paper it would become to the nation that it birthed. Here were subjects of the English king, daring to declare their independence from their king. It changed their lives forever. It changed the world forever. And once a year, every Fourth of July, America stops to remember that Independence Day.

June 27, 2019

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My friend Ted was a high school football player - actually he was the starting center. But the game he remembers most is the one he didn't play in. All season, the second string center, Billy, hadn't played much. Well, actually he hadn't played very well. Until the day that Billy came to the coach and said, "Coach, I know you haven't felt I was good enough to start all season, but I want to ask you to start me this one game. Please. It means a lot, and I'm just asking for a chance." The coach agreed and Billy amazed not only his coach, but his teammates and his hometown fans. He played incredible game. No one had ever seen anything close to this kind of performance or ability from him. Needless to say, immediately after the game, the coach said, "Billy, what in the world happened? I didn't know you had it in you!" Billy's explanation was something the coach and my friend would never forget. He said, "My dad died last night, Coach. And he was blind, but not now. Tonight was the first time my father could see me play!"

            

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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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