I've done my whole adult life with my Karen, the only woman I've ever needed.

Suddenly, I have to figure out how to do the rest of my life without her.

Sunday night, we sat in the bleachers at our local football stadium and watched our grandson graduate from high school. As valedictorian. Giving a faith-filled valedictory speech.

Monday afternoon, she was gone. Wrapped in a huddle of sobs with our three adult children, I choked out, "It hurts so bad." It really does.

    She must have been scared to death. She wasn’t a public speaker. But that day she’d agreed to speak to 70,000 people in a football stadium in the Northwest. It was the last day of Billy Graham’s Crusade in her city and he had asked her to read a letter she’d received from her son. It was the end of the first Gulf War, and the troops were coming home; except for a relatively few American soldiers who weren’t coming home. Her son was one of them. He died in a helicopter crash on the last day of the war.

      I watched on the news as a city became a ghost town. Nearly 100,000 people fled Fort McMurray, Alberta, running a gauntlet of flames all around them.

      Firefighters called the wildfire that engulfed the city "a beast." Residents turned refugees called it "apocalyptic" and "hell on earth."

        Unbelievable. It's time for another graduation season! And, wow, has the world changed since I was the one "commencing."

        But the commencement ceremony itself? Not so much. Same sweat-a-lot robes. Same funny, flat hats with that annoying tassel. And the same lofty "we will change the world...follow your dream" speeches. Inspired by the view from the top of Mount High School.

          By Brad Hutchcraft

          Comedians know about needing a good delivery. UPS and FedEx have a business that rises or falls with how they nail the delivery. And if it wasn't clear before, the Army now knows firsthand how tricky it can be to land the delivery.

            Kobe Bryant decided to set off some fireworks for his final game in the NBA.

            Sixty points! Carrying his team to an unlikely - and dramatic - victory. Way to wrap up 20 seasons, with five championship rings!

            Kobe Bryant finished well - and went out in a blaze of glory.

            But so is my friend Kenny. Not on a basketball court. But in his hospice room.

              Every two seconds. That's how often someone in the U.S. has their identity stolen.

              Like our friend who had her purse stolen in a restaurant. The next day massive charges were mounting up on her credit card - in Argentina! These days she could lose her credit card without ever leaving the house. Online.

              But there's a more devastating identity theft than the financial kind. It's when you feel like your worth as a person has been ripped from you.

              I had just finished speaking at a conference when a lady came up and began to pour out the trauma of her life. Her conclusion:

              "They've totally stolen my identity!"

              Her best friend has turned against her. Her husband is divorcing her. Her children have totally rejected her. Wife. Mother. Friend. What's left?

                By Brad Hutchcraft

                I've been at this for a lot of years. People have all sorts of opinions on the matter. Some love it, some rail against it. Some view it as a regulation, some a privilege. For me, it's always been a part of my life - church.

                Almost everyone has a reaction to that word. Church. Joy, frustration, love, hurt, peace, defensiveness. So many emotions are tied to that one word. I'm not writing a lot of words here to defend church or everything various people in various churches have done over the years. And this isn't me writing to tell you why you should go to church.

                  If I wanted a picture that screams "Easter!" this year, I'd go to Death Valley. Which suddenly looks like "Life Valley."

                  Because of the "superbloom"! Millions of super-sized, glorious flowers have exploded in one of the driest places on earth. It's the lowest point in the U.S. with an average of two inches of rain a year.

                  But this year it's a sea of purple and pink blossoms. And the blazing yellow of what they call "desert gold."

                    Nancy Reagan called it "the long goodbye." Her beloved husband's slow slide into the black hole of Alzheimer's Disease.

                    Now America is saying goodbye to her. And remembering her as a great First Lady. And a wife forever in love with her "Ronnie."

                                  

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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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