Wednesday, August 2, 2017

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How did we know it was a stupid question? Our family was in Alaska some years ago and we asked some of the folks there what seemed like a reasonable question, "Where can we go to see a moose?" The only moose we'd ever see in New Jersey were those guys like at the lodge hall. But most folks just laughed at our question. Turns out seeing a moose is really no big deal in Alaska. In fact, some people we talked to had hit one recently! So, they're everywhere. Sure. While I was busy speaking, my wife and kids drove all over the countryside looking for some moose. Nada. Maybe people hit them all! They even went to the Moose Sanctuary and they saw no moose there; frustrated, tired of looking, and pretty sure those moose were only in pictures in the tourist brochures. One morning we walked out of the house where we were staying, piled in the car, started driving down the driveway. Suddenly, one of the kids shouted, "Moose!" And sure enough, there were three members of the antler gang right there at the bottom of our driveway! What we'd been looking for all that time was right in front of us!

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Right In Front of You All the Time."

You know this is a time when spirituality is important to more and more people, there's a word you hear a lot and folks use it to describe themselves spiritually – I'm a "seeker" or I'm "searching." I'm searching spiritually, and that's a good thing to be doing. We're created with this eternity dimension by a God who is eternal, and we'll only find life's real meaning by shopping in the store called "spiritual answers". That's right.

Today, as never before, there's a spiritual cafeteria to choose from man. Our search for the truth can carry us to many different religions or a blend of several religions; into New Age spirituality, into ourselves to find the power within us. But like our family hunting for moose, we're looking, but often not finding what we're looking for. Much searching - still no lasting peace, no getting our life under control, no security about eternity.

It was a number of years ago now, but it was stunning if I still remember it, where 39 members of the "Heaven's Gate" cult committed suicide. It was really unsettling because these were bright people, competent people; sincere spiritual seekers hoping to graduate from earth to, yeah, a waiting spaceship. That was their unusual belief. But listen, this is what I wanted to share with you - what one national news magazine observed about them and about us. It said, "Subtract the spaceship and the mass suicide, and you have a yearning and a search familiar to millions of Americans."  That's true.

That magazine pointed out what they called universal needs that many people are trying to meet: "the craving to belong, the wish to connect to something larger than oneself, the secret hope of finding an all-caring parent who offers protection and comfort." I'll tell you what, those needs were built into us by our Creator. 

Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Colossians 1:16. "All things were created by Him and for Him." That simple statement from God could be the beginning of the end of your spiritual search. He says you were created by Jesus; you were created for Jesus. The Savior who's been pretty much in front of you all the time, but maybe you've passed him by because you get Jesus confused with all the religious baggage attached to His name because you thought it was some new spirituality you needed.

But only Jesus died to remedy our central spiritual problem: we're away from God because of our sin. And only the One who paid for that sin with His life can put you and God together. Without that, all spiritual searching must, sooner or later, turn up empty. It all comes together the moment you bring yourself to the cross where God's Son was dying and you say those two transforming words, "For me. What You did there's for me, Jesus. And You, Jesus, You are my only hope."

He's been here all the time, but you've missed Him. Why don't you make today the day you find Him? To belong to Him? Tell Him, "Jesus, I'm Yours"? Get some back up. Get some information to lead you for sure into a confident relationship with Christ. Go to our website, will you? It's ANewStory.com. 

Searching is good. Finding is better. Your long search will end in the loving arms of the One who's been patiently waiting for you all this time. Jesus – He is the end of your search.

  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • lonely
  • searching
  • seeking
  • belong

Monday, July 31, 2017

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For a long time, I have been fascinated with the story of the Titanic. The sinking of that seemingly "unsinkable" ship after a collision with an iceberg is filled with so much human drama that has inspired endless movies, books, and documentaries. Finding the Titanic at the bottom of the Atlantic fueled even greater interest and greater information than ever before. Some of the drama of those discoveries has been within our reach as the Titanic artifacts exhibit went across the country in some of America's leading museums. You could see many personal items recovered from the Titanic's debris field along with displays that recreated the feeling of being a passenger on that doomed ship. And now there's at least one permanent Titanic museum in the country. When I went into this one on the early tour, I was given a boarding pass with the name of a real person who'd been aboard that awful night. At the end of the exhibit, there's this big wall with the names of everyone aboard – first class, second class, third class, crew. Every person is either on the list that says "saved" or "lost." I looked hard for my name, and I discovered that I was one of the few crewmen who was "saved."

  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • saved
  • lost
  • eternal life

Thursday, July 27, 2017

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When our oldest child was born, they didn't even let fathers go into the labor room. That was nice. Then when our second one was born, fathers must have gotten a little smarter. They let us go into the labor room, but not the delivery room. And by the time our third one was born, hey, fathers had really gotten smart! I was actively involved with the doctor in the delivery. But, of course, I couldn't just walk right into the delivery room. No! First, I had to do what the doctor and nurse had to do – scrub up! Oh yeah, they made sure I washed thoroughly with disinfectant. Then they covered every part of me but my hands and my eyes and my nose – and they put a mask over my mouth, a thoroughly ugly cap on my head and this goofy smock over my clothes. My only consolation was the doctor looked as geeky as I did. They gave me paper booties (That was cool! I still wear those.) to wear over my shoes, but I understood. They can't allow any dirt to infect that environment. You've to be clean to get in.

  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • heaven
  • cleanliness

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

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It all started with an SOS from a counselor who was talking with a young woman after a meeting where I had spoken. Her frustrated counselor just said, "Boy, this one's really hard." And, sure enough, Kelly really did seem shut down. I said, "Kelly, do you want to have a relationship with Jesus?" When she said yes, I asked her why. She responded, "Because part of me is missing, and I know it's Him. But if you only knew how many times I have tried to accept Christ, and nothing happens." Well, I was stuck – until the Lord gave me one question for Kelly, and it changed everything. It might change everything for you.

  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • Sin
  • mistakes

Thursday, July 13, 2017

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There were a lot of dramatic images from the military action known as Operation Iraqi Freedom – but I think few were more dramatic than the middle-of-the-night rescue of a prisoner of war, Jessica Lynch. If you were around at the time, you probably remember it. As Coalition forces advanced quickly from the Kuwaiti border to the capital of Baghdad, Pfc. Lynch's unit of Army maintenance troops made a wrong turn, ended up in the middle of an enemy ambush, and no one knew Jessie Lynch's fate. She was listed as missing in action. But acting on the tip of Iraqi sympathizers, a Special Operations Force fought their way into the hospital where she was imprisoned, found her, and quickly carried her to a waiting helicopter. And then, they had to fight their way out, too. But Private Lynch was safe – saved by rescuers who risked it all to bring her out.

  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • the cross
  • trapped

Monday, July 10, 2017

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Allison and her daughter and two friends were out for a trail ride in a remote area. They were to rendezvous later, actually, in the afternoon with other family members at their overnight campsite. When it came time to head back, they were somewhere on the side of a mountain, picking their way through very rocky ground. No matter which way they went, they couldn't find the main trail that would take them back down the mountain. They could see where they needed to be, but the terrain was too rugged to get down any other way. The hours wore on, dark began to fall, and Allison's two friends finally made an attempt to get to a cabin they could see. Well after dark, Allison and her daughter finally saw flashlights moving up the mountain. Her friends returned with the man from that cabin. He helped them pick their way to a point where they could actually get right back on the trail. Much to their surprise, while they had been lost, they had been very close to the trail all along!

  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • eternity
  • heaven
  • christians

Friday, July 7, 2017

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When you're little, your parents seem immortal. They're not. Sooner or later, most of us get the kind of call that I got, and maybe you've gotten – a parent is gone. In my case, the hospital called to say my Mom had been admitted due to a medical emergency, but her body gave out and she was gone. No matter what the circumstances, the death of someone you love is always a shock, even if you knew maybe it was coming. When you're the only living child and your other parent is already gone, there's this numbing list of arrangements that you suddenly have to make. Thankfully, that wasn't the case with my Mom. Mercifully, funeral arrangements had been made and paid for years in advance.

  • Death
  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • heaven

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

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Years ago I heard a friend tell about a scene from his childhood that he never forgot. My friend was around on that black day in 1929 that marked the beginning of the Great Depression. One of the great traumas of America's financial collapse, of course, was that many banks just went under almost overnight. Well, my friend literally remembered seeing a neighbor at the locked gates of his bank, and he was literally pounding his fists bloody on those gates, screaming at the top of his lungs, "Give me my money! Give me my money!" There was no money to give.

  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • Christianity
  • religion

Friday, June 30, 2017

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Hey, you could use a good fish story today, right? Once upon a time there were these beautiful fish who lived five miles under the ocean. How do I know? They were the subject of a PBS television special. So this is a for real fish story. Now, because these fish are really striking – I mean they are incredibly colorful – some folks thought they might look good in someone's tropical fish aquarium. So they tried to bring these fish to the surface. They didn't make it. They blew up when they got near the surface! They were designed to live under that pressure at the bottom. Well, no happy ending, except they're going to leave the rest of them where they belong – five miles under the ocean because that's where they were created to be!

  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • meaning

Thursday, June 22, 2017

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The Lakota Souix call them the Paha Sapa. We call them the Black Hills. The people who live in Keystone, South Dakota, call them their backyard. If you have ever visited Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills, you probably drove by or through Keystone. But the Keystone you drive through now isn't where Keystone used to be – not since the flood of 1972. It was devastating. Back then, Keystone was in the valley by a lazy little creek which suddenly became a raging flood one day in '72, roaring through that valley, destroying the town, and claiming many lives in the area. Well, it was then that the folks of Keystone decided to make a change. When they rebuilt their business district and many of their homes, it wasn't on the ground they had always been on. No, the flood changed all that. They moved up the mountain to higher ground.

  • loss
  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • hurt
  • stress
  • struggle
  • safety
  • Your Hard Times

            

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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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