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."

Spoiler alert. I am not writing about politics.

I can't remember an election where emotions have run this high. And the flood of passion has swamped the pundits. That sometimes carried people where they never should go.

Everywhere I've gone today, the flags are at half-staff. A Supreme Court Justice has died. And that's a big deal.

Nine judges. Who never stand for election. They're on the Court until they die, retire or are impeached.

They hold so many lives in their hands as the final word on the most important, most contentious legal issues of the day. What they decide will long outlive them and the President who appointed them.

Valentine's Day. The season when all of us think about the love we found...or the love we lost...or the love we're looking for.

And, man, are people looking. There are over 5,000 dating websites! Including match.com, OKCupid and Plenty of Fish. Along with SeniorPeopleMeet and Farmers Only. And DateACowboy.com.

This Sunday, Broncos and Panthers will be fighting it out.

And some 100 million Americans will be watching it happen at Super Bowl 50. Something like one out of three Americans.

They'll watch high-rolling, 30-second commercials that cost about 4.5 million dollars each. And gobble an estimated 1.3 billion chicken wings! On the second-largest eating day of the year.

Governors' desks are vacant. Senators' offices are empty. They might as well have just put a sign on the door - "Gone to Iowa."

Not now. They're gone to New Hampshire. Then to South Carolina. In the wild and crazy 2016 Presidential election year.

            

GET IN TOUCH

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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