September 1, 2020

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My friend Andy used to pastor in West Virginia. The little town they lived in was situated in this long, narrow valley - actually a pretty dark valley, according to Andy. The sun didn't rise high enough to shine on that town until like mid-morning, so it was actually dark for quite a while each day. My friend said that the town itself was kind of a (well, in his words) a dingy, dirty place. It's the kind of a place where you often battle feeling down emotionally. But Andy used to love to go up on the mountain, he said, because it overlooked the valley, and from up there, he said the view was beautiful. Even the town looked really nice from up there!

August 28, 2020

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It was one of those rock-and-roll airplane flights. And we're not talking music here. No, those are exciting, especially if you're a flight attendant. Especially if you're in the aisle trying to serve passengers something; which they don't much of any more. And that's where we were when our flight hit a stretch of serious turbulence. The captain made sure all of us passengers had our seat belts securely fastened, and he wanted to make sure that we all knew where the "motion discomfort" bag was (I'm only kidding). It looked like dinner was about to be called off as the flight attendants rock-and-rolled in the aisle. Then the captain came on with a hopeful announcement, "I'm trying to go to a higher altitude, folks, and see if we can find some smoother air up there." (I thought that was a great idea.) Well, it worked! In a couple of minutes we were cruising along so smoothly and we were eating our dinner instead of wearing our dinner! That was good.

August 14, 2020

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I was doing a little reading about the unusual man that was President when my mom was a little girl, Calvin Coolidge. Now he was a classic Vermonter, but not a classic politician. He was a man of very few words, great common sense, and very strong character. Even after his presidency he remained very popular with the American people. Now, Calvin Coolidge was remarkably cool under pressure, even that day when a letter was handed to him in Los Angeles that warned him of a plot to assassinate him. Coolidge blandly handed the note to his guard with just five simple words, "Guess this belongs to you."

July 27, 2020

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We were visiting some of my wife's cousins, and we got to talking about the incredible fishing results that Cousin Marty gets. It doesn't seem to matter when he fishes or where he fishes, he brings back a stringer of big ones. He wouldn't understand at all about a fisherman I heard about recently. It was one of those days when it wasn't just the bugs who were biting; the big fish really were. And this particular angler kept reeling in fish that were at least a foot long, and then he kept throwing them back. A fisherman in a nearby boat kept watching this with a mixture of amazement and disgust. Finally, he couldn't resist. He called over to the fisherman after he had just thrown back another fish that was over a foot long. He said, "Hey! Why are you throwing back all the big ones?" The answer was more disturbing than his not keeping them. He replied, "Hey! I've only got an eight-inch pan!" What?

July 23, 2020

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Every once in a while we had the treat of seeing a guinea hen in our backyard. Now, I wouldn't even had known what that was except for my farmgirl wife. But she was talking to a neighbor about guinea fowl, and he told her some interesting discoveries he had made about them. Apparently, they have this amazing ability to literally fly straight up when they have to. So, when a coyote is chasing say a chicken, he's got a pretty good chance of having a chicken dinner because his prey takes off at an angle. But guinea fowl can just suddenly take off and go straight up thus seriously disappointing Mr. Coyote. Well, our neighbor said, "They're talented, but they're stupid!" That's because of a phenomenon he observed when some guinea hens were running in his wife's flower garden. They literally got lost in the flower patch and they just kept running back and forth, back and forth, actually trampling the flower garden. They just kept running. They were baffled! They didn't know how to get out. Uh, guys look up! You can fly right out of here!

July 3, 2020

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At a party with some of our ministry staff and volunteers, we had a lot of fun with a common party game. Okay, each person brings something they really want to get rid of, beautifully wrapped. Everyone draws a number. When your number comes up, you have the choice of opening one of the unopened gifts and making it yours or taking that unopened package and trading for what someone else has already opened, and then you leave them with whatever is in that still-wrapped package. Somehow, there always ends up being a few items that everybody wants. And depending on how aggressive your people are - and we've had some pretty aggressive ones - they remember who's got the hot item and they go after it with a vengeance. Those few items just keep moving around in trade after trade.

June 30, 2020

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Skiing to the North Pole - now that's an adventure. Apparently, a documentary producer thought so, too. That's why I got to learn about that adventure a little was watching it on TV. Needless to say, Skier Man had many unpredictable and perilous moments as he encountered weather challenges, terrain challenges and, of course, some really big animals. Like the polar bear he suddenly came upon with her babies. Mama Bear wasn't too happy to see this strange creature coming in her direction and her little ones. No, Skier Man had to think fast, and he did. He raised his ski poles over his head; held them up over his head like some gigantic metal antlers. Even though the polar bear was much bigger and more powerful than he was, she backed off. Skier Man had succeeded in creating the illusion that he was bigger than the bear!

June 16, 2020

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For most of us it's rare to see an eagle, and so an event when you do see one of those majestic birds soaring overhead it goes something like this: "Look! An eagle!" If you're driving when you hear that, your passengers might be in serious danger. Of course, an eagle isn't born knowing how to fly. Just like us learning to walk, they need to learn to fly and it's actually I imagine a pretty traumatic experience. Mama Eagle takes you high for a ride on her back and then she dumps you. Suddenly, you are hurtling through the sky with the ground below racing toward you. All the while, Papa Eagle is circling overhead, just watching. In a panic, the little eagle remembers watching Mom and Dad use these feathery things at their sides, so he clumsily extends his wings and starts flapping them frantically. That's a good start, but it's not enough to save him from this rapidly approaching disaster below. At that moment, Papa Eagle suddenly swoops downward at eye-blurring speed, flying straight for his falling child. And in a perfectly timed rescue, the father swoops in under his baby, catches him on his back, and takes him back to the sky.

June 3, 2020

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I've never been able to get this little four-year-old girl out of my mind. I never met her, but I'll tell you what, I saw her story and it really affected me.

May 25, 2020

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It was one of those milestone wedding anniversaries for my wife and me. I got congratulations cards. She got sympathy cards. But we had a wonderful couple of days in a romantic location, even doing some romantic things. Like a horse-drawn carriage ride through some beautiful countryside. Along the way, our driver pointed out a forest of tamarack trees which the Indians reportedly called "twice-burning wood." Our driver explained that tamarack trees need a fire in order to reproduce. Their bark is petroleum-based rather than glucose-based like most trees, so it takes a fire to burn off the bark to expose the seeds that produce new life. Interesting!

            

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

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