I owe Native Americans so much. We all do.

They helped the Pilgrims stay alive.

They helped create our Constitution with their model of representative government. They helped in every war our country's fought - in larger numbers per capita than any other ethnic group in America.

And they helped me.

The First Americans. The forgotten Americans. Native Americans.

A truck driving away from a warehouse wouldn't usually be the lead story on national news.

This week it was! That truck was loaded with hope! It carried the first shipment of an anti-COVID vaccine. And that might be the biggest news of all this relentlessly painful year!

It was really cold outside. It wasn't supposed to be cold inside. But when I woke up that morning, my nose felt like a puppy nose. Cold.

No wonder! It was 45 degrees in the house! Turned out the problem wasn't the thermometer that just reflected the temperature. It was the thermostat. That sets the temperature.

If there was ever a time when our world, our country needed for the followers of Jesus to be thermostats, it's now. It's way too hot. So much anger and yelling and disrespect.

By Brad Hutchcraft

Life is definitely different nowadays. Including planning family vacations. After being very careful and sticking close to home the past several weeks (due to some at-risk health factors), it was time to get away for a few family days. After exploring some options where we could still be careful but could also stretch our legs, we took the camping plunge!

So my son goes in the Post Office to pick up mail from his box. He comes out laughing. I ask what's so funny. "I just came out of a United States Post Office wearing a mask! Can you imagine that four months ago?"

When the shocking news of Kobe Bryant's sudden death broke, it really hit like losing someone you knew.

I see it in the Native American young people who are so much a part of my life and my work. Like Amy. She's an overcomer - depression, abuse, trauma. For her, basketball has offered relief from reservation despair. She says, "Kobe inspired me."

A lot of our Native "sons and daughters" proudly wear their Kobe jersey. Because he "inspired" them. As one young Native leader and friend said, "It looks like we're all in a state of mourning."

I got to visit my very intelligent grandson on the campus of his new college last week. Wall-to-wall with students like him. I got to use the three big words I know.

He's a freshman there. No, he's a '23. Every student I met was a number. From 20 to 23. It's like part of their name. "Emily Smith, '21."

I like labels. In a grocery store. It's good to know what you're about to put in your body.

I also don't like labels. On people. Because - unlike the grocery labels - they don't tell you what's inside.

In our very confusing, very complicated, very combative world, we find it easier just to put people in convenient categories. Often based on flawed stereotypes. "If I know your 'tribe,' I know you." Not necessarily. I've been wrong too many times about a person because of some category. Then I got to know some members of that "tribe." And found out they were so much more.

A lot of guys introduce their wives as "my better half." My Karen was more than that. I've told many people, "She made my half so much better." She really did. In so many ways.

My girl has been in heaven for over three years now. I really miss her. Her laugh is irreplaceable. Her unpredictability made for lots of crazy moments. Her curious mind made her always interesting to be with. Her walk with God made her wise and magnetic. Her hugs and prayers and insights helped me navigate many storms.

Every morning I have a date with my bathroom scale. Some days it makes me smile. Other days, I'm sad. So I need comfort food. Like donuts.

But years ago, our son had an unusually uplifting scale. He was working in youth ministry on a reservation and living in a trailer. He urged Karen and me to weigh on his scale in the morning. Karen was thrilled - she'd lost 15 pounds in a day! And so had I! Of course, we got wildly different results every time we weighed.

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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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