Wednesday, October 31, 2007

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Okay, here's a quick sports quiz. How many men on a football team? Eleven? Yes, well, if it's the visiting team. If it's the home team with the support of their fans on their field, there are twelve players on the team. You won't find the twelfth man anywhere on the field, of course. He's all those noisy fans cheering for the home team and trying to demoralize the opponents. In sports, those fans are literally known as the twelfth man. They are one big reason why teams play to have the best season record, so they can play at home during the playoffs. The twelfth man is a big part of that home field advantage. Those supporters never go on the field, but their influence is felt by every man there.

Friday, October 26, 2007

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It used to be a lot simpler. These days, it can really be embarrassing - helping your kids with their homework, that is. First of all, most of us have forgotten more than we remember from school - you know, if you don't use it, you lose it. Second of all, they're studying things we probably have no clue about! And they're learning things a lot sooner than we did. So here comes Junior, looking for answers. You can't just tell him you don't know - you're a parent! You're supposed to know everything, right? So you find some diversion - a sudden coughing seizure, a call you forgot to make, the business trip you forgot to leave for. I found - especially in some areas of learning like science or the humanities - you don't need to know all the answers. You do need to own a set of encyclopedias. No, you may not have the answers, but you have the source of the answers!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

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Our four-year-old grandson loves the Sunday night program the church has for boys his age. He's learned lots of Bible verses there, he's made friends, and he's participated enthusiastically in the special activities they offer. Recently, they announced that next week the kids should come dressed as what they wanted to be when they grew up. Our daughter asked our grandson what he wanted to be. He said, "I want to be a grandfather." She shouldn't have told me. We now have a melted grandfather all over our carpet. I expect his other grandfather probably felt the same way. They borrowed some of my clothes and they went to work making a grandson into a grandfather. He said, "I even smell like Grandpa!" But it did feel good that a grandfather is what he wants to be.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

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We were crossing a long bridge across the Arkansas River. Now, the bridge was long because the river was wide. My wife made an interesting comment about the river. She said, "Now, we've seen how it got that way." Wide, she meant. Actually, we've seen the Arkansas at its headwaters where it's a very unimpressive little stream. And as we've driven across the western United States, we've seen many creeks and streams that feed into the Arkansas, taking her from being a dinky little stream into a wide and mighty river.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

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When that terrorist bomb ripped apart the Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City on that infamous April 19, Mark was on the scene within ten minutes. Today that scene of horrendous carnage and violence is a tranquil Memorial Site in downtown Oklahoma City. One night when I was speaking in that city, Mark (who is a police officer) took me there for a personal tour that was very moving. Gesturing toward the quiet memorial area that stands where the building once stood, he showed me where the nursery had been, from which he had carried the youngest victims of the bombing. And he pointed to the area where he had assisted in the dramatic rescue of a woman who thought she was going to die but who was brought out alive by some valiant rescuers. Mark remembers making a quick call to his wife that day, telling her and his daughters that he loved them, but not expecting to ever see them again. As he and the men around him looked at the sagging wreckage over their heads, Mark just said to his supervisor, "I think we're going to die here." They must have all thought that. But they refused to leave because lives were at stake.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Ozark Mountains of Arkansas and Missouri are known for their rocks. I mean they make for some hard farming, some beautiful views, and some challenging road building. There's this one stretch of highway from Branson, Missouri, to Springfield, Missouri, that they widened. As you slowed down through those construction zones, there were some pretty impressive changes that were taking place. Some places were nothing but solid-rock mountain, but somehow they managed to blast away at those mountains and literally make a road where a mountain used to be!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

When astronaut Neil Armstrong first stepped onto the surface of the moon for his "one small step for man," he really didn't look like himself. He was totally wrapped up in that modern-day armor that we call a space suit. Well, there's a reason. The moon is an environment hostile to humans. An unequipped, unprotected astronaut would have died in an instant of lunar exposure. Why? No oxygen. That big pack on his back - that was the margin of survival.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Isn't it amazing how different your second child can be from your first child? Just when you think you've got this parent thing figured out, God sends you a totally different kid. For example, food has always been sort of a necessary evil for our son's oldest, our granddaughter. She can take it or leave it. Since infancy, she hasn't cared much about whether or not she had food. Not her brother! Oh no! This kid is an eating machine. He's only about a year old, but he's been Food King much of his little life. When he was still supposed to be only having milk, he was following every bite any of us put into our mouth as if to say, "So when do I get some of that stuff?" How did he graduate to crawling? One thing that helped was putting some food across the room. He took off on all fours like a firecracker had gone off behind him. The other day, his mom was mixing up his next meal, and he was watching and complaining. As she continued to get it ready, he continued to escalate his expressions of impatience and displeasure. By the time his food was ready, we were dealing with a very loud, very insistent protest.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Okay, I don't mind winter. It's a good thing since God seems to have assigned me to the North most of my life. I also don't mind snow. It's beautiful! It's even driveable if you know how to handle it. But ice - now I can't think of anything nice to say about ice. And, after the winter of '98, neither could the folks in New England and Canada. They got walloped with a mega ice-storm that left two inches of ice on everything. In Montreal, for example, power lines and poles and trees just collapsed under the weight of the ice, and thousands of people were without power for days; which means many were without heat in the middle of a Montreal winter. In one neighborhood, one man got pretty resourceful after shivering for five days. He marched across the street with a lot of orange extension cord and asked his neighbor if he could plug into their outdoor outlet. The people on one side of the street were without power and very cold. The people on the other side of the street had power and were very cozy.

That power from across the street was enough to start that man's furnace. And within a few hours, from one end of the block to the other, you could see long orange extension cords crisscrossing the street from the cold side to the warm side. Those who had no power were supplied by those who did and then everybody was warm!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

You are probably a believer in heliocentricity, right? Now that is not a new denomination. It just means that the sun is the center of our solar system and all the planets, including this little tennis ball we live on, are revolving around the sun. We do sound a little confused about this sometimes, like when we say, "Isn't that a beautiful sunset?" Actually, the sun isn't going anywhere; we're the ones who are moving. But who wants to go for a romantic walk to watch a beautiful earthset? Well, apparently, not everyone's got this orbit thing straight. The American Scientific Association did a survey a few years ago and they found that 21 percent of Americans surveyed thought the sun orbited around the earth, and seven percent said they didn't know.



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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