Get up crazy early. Stand in a long line. Spend hours in bone-chilling cold. Try to avoid being trampled by a stampeding crowd.

Doesn't sound like my idea of a fun way to spend the day after Thanksgiving. Or any day, for that matter. But the weekend news is filled with the stories of countless Americans doing just that. As they hit the stores to scoop up the "door-busting" bargains offered in the wee hours of "Black Friday" (or is it Black and Blue Friday?).

Black Friday veterans have told me that it's not just a crunch - it's also a rush. It's all about recognizing short-lived opportunities and aggressively going after them before they're gone.

So is telling people the Good News about Jesus - that He can erase your sins, love you without strings and guarantee you heaven. It's all about recognizing the opportunities we all have to bring up Jesus. And realizing that those windows of opportunity won't last long. Oh yeah - and going after those opportunities aggressively.

I watched it as a kid. My kids watched it. Now my grandkids are watching it. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has been around a very long time! And those Rockettes. The announcer said they've been around for over 50 years! Amazing they can still get their legs off the ground at their age.

As the balloons floated by on Thanksgiving, I kept seeing this one word on the store behind them - "Believe." I guess that's inspiring. Vaguely. Actually, "Believe" is a pretty popular message these days. Think positive thoughts. Have faith. In something.

This Thanksgiving, lots of air travelers are having to make the choice: scanner or patdown?

As I'm sitting here listening to all the opinions about Thanksgiving travelers' privacy, something in the Bible popped into my mind.

Okay. So they don't deliver mail on Thanksgiving. But it still might be a good day for someone you love to get mail. Possibly hand-delivered by you.

In our world, rare is valuable. Antiques. Baseball cards. All kinds of collectibles. The less there is of something, the more valuable it is.

Our eight-year-old granddaughter says she loves Thanksgiving. Since her daddy is our son and her mommy is Native American, she has a unique perspective on Turkey Day. She tells us she's a Thanksgiving fan because "I'm a Pilgrim and an Indian!" I guess that means she can eat from both sides of the table?

I've always been interested in following politics. But even I am sick of politics right now! We've O.D.'ed on it these past few months! Suddenly, all those pundits on cable news sound like that indistinct blather when adults speak on a Charlie Brown special.

The news said there were 33 Chilean miners in that mine a half mile underground. Some of the miners said there were 34. God was there.

Even seasoned reporters knew it. It was virtually impossible to report on the amazing condition of the miners and the saving of every life without using the word "miracle."

We had a few days off. The phone rang in our little cabin in the woods. A family member called and said, "You need to turn on the news. A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center." I had the news on for much of the next three days - trying to absorb a scene that I had no mental file folder for. I felt sickened. Vulnerable. And profoundly sad - beyond words.

Radio stations were calling, asking if I would do an interview the next day to talk about what had happened. How could I help thousands of listeners process this unprecedented trauma when I was still trying to sort out my own thoughts and feelings? Then I just bowed my head and prayed: "God, would You please help me see what's happening today through Your eyes? What are You seeing here?"

With children heading back to school, I'm in flashback mode. To when it was our cherubs leaving for school each morning.

It was always exciting getting to the point where they could leave. The war cries of "Who took my socks?" and "I can't believe the dog ate my homework!" (Strange since we didn't have a dog.) Getting up a little earlier each morning, thus having to set new records for dressing your body and brushing your dragon mouth. Pity the person who happened to be standing between them and the back door at launch time.

I'm not sure who's got more back-to-school butterflies - the kid who's going or the parent who's sending him. When it was our kids, it's like everybody took a crazy pill that morning. Tons of stuff to remember, tons of questions. Thankfully, my wife's a super organizer - she's was the glue on those mornings of new beginnings.



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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