The tornado sirens went off near our daughter's house a few nights ago. She knew what to do. She and our son-in-law quickly herded their three children into the basement until the danger passed.

Unfortunately, Nikki Carpenter lived outside of town where she couldn't hear the tornado sirens. She and her three young sons had no time to prepare, and there was no basement in the trailer where they lived. For me, Nikki's story seems especially moving on this Mother's Day weekend.

When Jesus said from His cross, "It is finished," He used a word that literally
means "paid in full." It's the transaction that changes your eternity.

I've handled my share of bills in my life. But the one from the orthodontist was the best bill I ever got.

When our kids hit junior high, they became metal-mouths; the price you pay to have straight teeth for the rest of your life. And there is a price to pay. For the kids, retainers when you sleep, some hassle from your friends; for mom and dad, bills. Ours were smaller than some because our orthodontist was a friend and Christian brother. But it was still a chunk of change.

There were thousands willing to wave their palms to praise Him...one who carried His cross.

Millions of kids came home from church yesterday with palms in their hands. It was Palm Sunday, of course. Not many came home - or will come home - with crosses in their hands.

I woke up this Palm Sunday thinking of all those people in Jerusalem, having a big Jesus party, palms and all. The question is, where were they five days later?

All our words - including the gossip, the angry stuff, the putdowns, the dirty stuff - will be there to meet us on the day of judgment.

The auditor just left - and our administrative team is high-fivin'. Partly because we again had the kind of clean audit our ministry's been blessed with year after year, and partly just because it's over! They worked hard to be ready for all the things the auditor wanted to check out.

In the business world - and sometimes even in the Christian world - audits aren't always happy. Auditors can find things that get you in trouble with your boss, with the government - even with the law. Audits uncover hidden secrets.

Hearing about the secret sins of yet another public figure who’s violated his marriage vows for sex with someone else has become common. You can pick your sin. You can't pick your consequences.

Like a lot of people, I’m tired of hearing about the secret sins of yet another public figure who’s violated his marriage vows for sex with someone else. The husband of an Oscar-winning actress, a former Presidential candidate, an iconic sports figure, a “family values” governor – sadly, the list is long.

I saw my friend Mike at a conference recently. Mike's a dear Christian brother who's had a long and successful career on Wall Street. But these past months have felt like a Category 5 hurricane in his life and his business.

When I asked Mike how all the turbulence and uncertainty were affecting him, he responded with an answer I've been chewing on ever since. "It's exposed my idols."

Our Canadian neighbors to the north had a bad day - Team Canada lost to Team USA in their national sport of hockey. Then Canada had a good day. Their ice dancing team edged out the American and Russian teams to win the gold medal.

The Canadian couple who won were absolutely glowing up there on the podium as they proudly raised their gold medals and joined the crowd in an impassioned singing of "O Canada!" They mirrored the explosive joy of many other athletes who have won that coveted gold medal.

With the Winter Olympics on center stage this week, there's a persistent memory that keeps flashing back in my brain. I'm not sure which looms larger to me - the Olympic memory or the lesson I learned from it.

It was February, and I was speaking at a conference in Holland. The Winter Olympics were going on in Europe that year, but they just weren't on my radar. Until the afternoon I had the TV on in my room while I was getting dressed for the next meeting. The commentary was all in Dutch - which was all Greek to me. Until the announcer spoke a name I knew.

They came from 80-plus nations, hoping for Olympic glory. The athletes of the Winter Olympics descended on Vancouver with lots of hype and lots of hope. Yes, there were clouds in the Vancouver sky, but that didn't dim their flame.

But then came the big cloud that has hung over the Olympics since before the opening ceremonies. The sudden and violent death of one of their fellow Olympians. If you've watched the Olympics much, you've seen repeated replays of the fatal, high-speed accident that ended the life of a young Georgian luge racer in a moment. Even the high-flying celebration and pageantry of the opening ceremonies came to a jarring halt when the stadium went quiet for a moment of silence in his honor. You could see the deep emotion on the faces of some of the world's best athletes as the glory was, in that moment, overtaken by grief.

It sure seems like the "Odd Couple" to me - bloodthirsty vampires and romance. But several of the blockbuster books and movies of this past year manage to put them together.

The vampires aren't the old Bela Lugosi movie type - some crazy old guy in fangs and a tux. They're hunky young guys who just happen to have some unique dietary needs. And in the story, there's a young girl who falls madly in love with vampire boy, to the point of being willing to exchange her soul for a love that will last forever.

            

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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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