Monday, October 22, 2018

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Connie was in the campus outreach club I ran near her high school. In some ways, she was a typical teenager. In other ways, her life was very different from her peers. Every morning about 5:00 A.M.-while her peers were still sound asleep-Connie was at the local ice skating rink, practicing. And when her friends were all enjoying their summer off, well, she was in Colorado in a rigorous training program for ice skaters. A few years later, my wife and I were in Holland teaching a European youth workers conference. As I was in our bungalow, preparing for the next meeting, I had the TV on in the background, with a telecast of the Winter Olympics going. I wasn't paying much attention because the commentary was in Dutch, and my Dutch isn't what it used to be. But suddenly I heard a name I recognized-Connie's name. I looked up in time to see her on the screen, proudly representing her country in the quest for Olympic glory. You know what? I knew how she got there.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

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He invited Jesus Christ into his house, and things were never the same again. That's the picture actually portrayed in a classic old Christian booklet called "My Heart, Christ's Home." As the story unfolds, the man whose life is symbolized by a house, begins to let Jesus move beyond the front parlor and into the various rooms. In each room, Jesus changes things. Like some of what's in the library that doesn't belong in a house where Jesus lives. Some of what's done in the recreation area. Ultimately, he even lets Jesus clean out the garbage in this closet that's been sealed shut with several locks. But the picture I remember most is the one that portrays the man having personal time with Jesus in his study every morning...until one day when he's running late. So, he races out the door thinking he'd be there as usual the next morning. Well, that didn't happen. For some time, he just ran out the door in the morning without ever stopping in his study. Until one morning when he hurried in there to find something, and there to his shock and his surprise, was Jesus, sitting in a high-backed chair. Awkwardly, the man asked, "Jesus, what are you doing here?" Jesus' reply goes straight to the heart. "I've been here every morning – waiting for you."

Friday, August 31, 2018

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As each of our kids has fallen in love, I have had what sounded like maybe strange advice for them. I've said, "Make sure you make a good 200-year choice." Now, needless to say, that's been greeted with an expression that says, "You doin' okay, Dad?" It turns out none of our kids expects to ever celebrate their 200th wedding anniversary. But that's not what I'm talking about anyway. I'm talking about the impact the choice of a mate will have for a long, long time – along with a lot of other family choices.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

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Over the years we've lived near the ocean, and we were blessed to have a friend who was a veteran sailor. He'd been sailing the East Coast since he was a boy. And he was generous enough to allow us to go sailing with him sometimes and to watch a master at work. I tried to apply for "first mate," but he always said, "Don't call us, we'll call you." Which he never did. But I was a grateful and curious passenger. He told me some great stories of sailing adventures. He showed us how to do some of what he did, and he related times that he had seen one sailboat after another fall over as they were unprepared for a shift in the wind across the bay there. You don't have to be a seasoned seaman to understand a fundamental law of a successful voyage: It's the set of the sail, not the force of the gale, that determines the way you go.

Friday, August 24, 2018

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Lots and lots of marble steps – that's one thing I remember from our family trip to Washington D.C. when the kids were little. In fact, our youngest was about two years old the first time we went there. In fact, he told me that at that time he was very interested in seeing the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of the government firsthand. Yeah, he said that to me. Oh, but those steps! Have you ever been to the U. S. Capitol building or the Lincoln Memorial? Maybe you remember feeling new feelings in your legs by the time you reached the top. Imagine our little guy. He looked up at those stairs and he knew there was no way with those short little legs. So he was stuck at the bottom with no hope of reaching the top of the steps. No, wait a minute. That's not true. He had me! And I had one of those child carriers on my back which he got in. And he made it where he never could have gone himself, because someone bigger carried him.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

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Our sons both played lineman positions on their high school football team – which means they had to take their share of jokes about being big and dumb. Linemen's numbers are usually like seventy-something, and they were number 75 and 76. You know what the word was? Yeah, that the linemen wore their I. Q. on their jerseys. (Yeah, my apologies. Some linemen listening; listen, this is a joke. I didn't say this. I don't believe this. No, no, no.) It's probably a good thing most of us were never told what our Intelligence Quotient is and it's really a good thing it wasn't advertised on our jersey! But after all is said and done, there's a measurement of your capabilities that's far more important anyway.

Friday, August 3, 2018

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Okay, I'm sort of a news junkie, and I really like to watch a national news cast sometime before the day is over. But there are some words I cringe at when I hear them in the news, like "hostage". I mean, soon as you hear that word "hostage" you know that there is a potential life or death standoff going on between some angry desperate assailant and the officers. The law enforcement people are trying to save the hostages that he's holding. You know, recently I talked with a police officer friend of mine, and I asked him how they handle those dangerous rescues. He said, "First you want to use something like tear gas, or fatigue, or a marksman. Then what you've got to do is to immobilize the hostage taker." 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

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If you eat out occasionally, you know that servers can range from helpful to rude to attentive to invisible. I guess customers can, too. But some of the women on our staff were really impressed with the way this waiter went out of his way to take care of them. They went to a Mexican restaurant, and every time their salsa was about half gone, he would notice and he'd quickly bring more; same with the chips. When they asked for a special dressing for the chips, he made sure they had plenty all night long. Later, when they tried to put their leftovers in the plastic container, he said, "Oh, please, no. I'll do it. That's my job." Wow! You probably want to know where this restaurant is, right?He insisted on putting the containers in a bag for them. They were really impressed with his service. Then he brought the check with his name stamped on it, and they were blown away. It just said, "Thank you. Jesus." Well, "Thank you, Jesús." 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

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Yes, it was during those days of tribulation when our son was learning to drive. He made an interesting observation about our family chariot. He said, "Hey, Dad, this car really runs smooth." That was interesting, because that car had 150,000 miles on it! It definitely showed it on the outside. I mean, look, it had celebrated about ten birthdays and you could tell. But a lot of parts had been replaced along the way. The reason that car ran so well? Well, it just had so many new parts on the inside!

Monday, April 30, 2018

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I have had the wonderful privilege of being in all of the United States actually. One of the last I had the opportunity to visit was one of the most beautiful - Alaska. When I went there the first time, I was impressed with the motto they had on their license plates. It seemed pretty appropriate. "Alaska - The Last Frontier." I can see why they say that. There are hundreds and thousands of miles of unpopulated expanse, abundant wildlife like bears and moose and eagles, great untamed areas, even some untamed people. There's a wildness that does seem to make it the last frontier.

            

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

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