May 22, 2020

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Hans Christian Andersen wrote this little fable, The Emperor's New Clothes. And when he did, he was displaying some keen insight into human nature. The Emperor in the story was a vain man, whose main focus in life was to dress in these elegant clothes and show them off to his people. Two scoundrels exploited that vanity by offering to make for the Emperor an extraordinary garment made from cloth so light and so fine that it looked invisible - invisible, that was, to anyone too stupid or incompetent to appreciate its quality. Which none of his officials wanted to be, for fear of losing their position. So they simply expressed admiration for the garment that didn't really exist. Even the Emperor had to fake his response to the garment lest he appear stupid and incompetent, right? So at that point, the scoundrels convinced the Emperor to appear before his subjects, wearing only his magnificent new clothes. And, of course, the crowd cheered for the clothes that weren't there. Who wants to be stupid, right? Until a little child did what little children do: tell it like it really is. He just went up to the royal carriage and blurted, "The Emperor is naked."

May 21, 2020

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When you drive into Texas, these signs say, "Don't mess with Texas." One reason might be the weather in Texas! And, you know, if you just watch the national weather on any given day from spring into the fall and you're likely to see the color red. That's for severe thunderstorms or possible tornadoes. Our son and daughter-in-law and granddaughter were driving across the Texas panhandle one spring day, and sure enough, they drove into one of those really nasty weather fronts. Amarillo, Texas, was behind them. New Mexico was ahead of them. The sky was featuring that special shade of tornadic green. The rain was torrential and the clouds were growing those little fingers, you know, that sometimes turn into tornadoes. Our son decided it was time to call his brother and see what the Internet was saying about this weather. His question: "Shall I keep going or turn back to Amarillo?" The answer: "Just keep going, man. Twenty more miles and you'll be in bright sunshine!"

May 20, 2020

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If you're a baseball fan, it seems like winter is going to last forever. Then you hear those wonderful words: "Opening Day!" Snowballs turn to fast balls, and you're happy again. You know, over the last years, one of the great stars in baseball has been Albert Pujols, who for many years made records on St. Louis Cardinals. And he has had some great seasons, acknowledged by many to be one of baseball's all-time greats.

May 19, 2020

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Sadly it seems to be in every summer's headlines - fires raging in the West. Millions of acres destroyed by fires that can range for weeks on end; fires that bring a lot of bad news. But, you know, fires like these aren't all bad news. Now, there's no doubt they cause tremendous damage, but over the long haul, they also can produce a lot of new life. Somehow, nature renews itself with fire - a lot of old and dead stuff is burned away, new vegetation begins to grow, and new life actually begins to spring up.

May 18, 2020

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It was an incredible moment when our second grandchild was born. My wife and I actually got to be in the birthing room only minutes after his arrival. There was that fragile, precious little handful of baby boy, and then across the room was that amazing life-support system they call the placenta. I couldn't help but flash back to the birth of our youngest child. His delivery was the first one I was allowed by the hospital to be there for. (That was in the very old days, you know.) And I'll never forget our obstetrician's comment immediately after the baby and the placenta had come. He looked at me and he said, after having had this experience hundreds of times, "This is the greatest miracle known to man."

May 15, 2020

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Throughout the history of warfare, there always have been those weapons or tools that gave an army an edge. When I was a boy, it was the iron chariot or the catapult. Later, it was the crossbow, and then the latest rifle. While it's not exactly a weapon, there is a new military tool that can give military folks an edge. It's called night goggles, and they help soldiers live up to their reputation for "owning the night." Night goggles literally allow the wearer to see an illuminated view of what's going on in the darkness; things that would otherwise be invisible. If you can see through the night, you can see what others can't see and you can operate when others can't move.

May 14, 2020

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They call them the chain gang. They wear stripes, but they're not prison inmates. They're football officials, and they carry this chain that measures whether or not a team has made a first down. Now not everyone is a football fan, so let me explain this. A team has four tries to move the ball ten yards. If they succeed, they get a "first down" and they get four more plays. If they fail, they have to turn the ball over to the other team at that point on the field. Many times it's impossible to tell with the naked eye if the ball has made it those ten yards, because it's very close. So they call out the chain gang. They come trotting out, they extend the chain to its full length, and then they set it down. If it extends beyond the ball, the team falls short. If it falls short, the team has succeeded. And as many who have played or watched football know, winning or losing a game can, like in moments like these, literally be a matter of inches no matter how far you've brought the ball.

May 13, 2020

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Over the years, I've learned a few lessons about how to meet a little child for the first time and how not to. I used to stand there all big and adult and come on real enthusiastic, "Hey, how you doing, Billy?" Well, at that point the child promptly turned his head and disappeared somewhere in his mother's leg.

May 12, 2020

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Okay, you book your airline flights in advance to get the best possible fare. The only problem is occasionally something will change and I can't use that ticket. They'll let me use it later, but sometimes I wish I could give it to one of our staff or a family member to use toward a trip they're taking. No can do. No, see, that ticket has my name on it. The person using it has to prove with photo I. D. that they are me because that's the rules. Only I can go on my ticket.

May 11, 2020

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My wife and I had the chance to visit this Civil War battlefield at Vicksburg, Mississippi. I asked her if she had any firsthand memories of the war that she wanted to share with me, which almost started another battle at Vicksburg. President Lincoln had called Vicksburg the "key" to the Confederacy and he told his generals, "We do not yet have the key in our pocket." Standing on high cliffs overlooking the Mississippi, it was a daunting challenge for the Union Army. For more than a year there were bombardments from the river and the many hills. There were numerous clashes on land. And at the end, it was a siege that actually drove Vicksburg's residents to live in caves. Everywhere we drove, there were markers indicating Union and Confederate regiments that had battled it out for the hills all around the city. Some of the bloodiest fighting took place as Northern forces mounted bold attacks on the Southern strongholds which were atop the highest points. As in so many battles, the fight for the high ground helped determine the outcome of the battle.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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