Tuesday, March 28, 2017

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Professional tennis star-a nun. What? Sounds like two different stories doesn't it? In this case, it's the same life story. Andrea Jaeger first picked up a tennis racket at the age of eight. By 14, she was a tennis pro. Soon she was challenging tennis greats like Chris Evert and Tracy Austin; she was ranked number two in the world. Then came a serious shoulder injury that required seven surgeries and she was forced to retire. She took her prize money, she moved to Colorado, and started a charitable foundation that helps sick, abused, and at-risk children. So she became an Episcopal nun, and she was actually burying her life in a ministry to needy children. According to USA Today, after her injury she was told, "Your life's over. You've failed. You'll never amount to anything." Oh, were they wrong. The article on her new life concluded this way: "Her name will never be etched on Grand Slam hardware, but she can live with that. 'It's like I have kids' names in my heart,' and she says, 'That is life's trophy.'"

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  • rescue
  • family
  • outreach
  • friends
  • coworkers

Monday, March 27, 2017

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My plane had left the gate at O'Hare Airport in Chicago and I thought we were on our way. Wrong. First, they routed us across the backside of the airport-I think that might have been in Wisconsin actually. Then, after a slow, meandering tour of that huge airport, we finally ended up in a long line of aircraft waiting to take off. Well, after a while, I get a little impatient. That's OK. What's important is that the pilot was not getting impatient. We don't want him to go until the tower says it's OK. You see, he knows you don't take off until you've gotten clearance from the tower-no matter how long you have to wait.

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  • faith
  • struggle
  • patience
  • God's Timing
  • God's Plan

Friday, March 24, 2017

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Sometimes during pro-football games, the camera focuses on a single player on the sidelines, the guy who just made that great play. And he'll look at the camera and he'll say those two words they almost always say, "Hi Mom!" See, it's just an indication of the debt that a lot of people owe to the love of their mother.

Six-year-old Stephen will owe a debt to his Mom that he can never repay. He was horseback riding with her and with his older brother and sister and they were near this ranching town in western Canada. A cougar ran right in front of Stephen, spooked his horse, and Stephen was thrown to the ground. Well, the cougar immediately pounced on that little boy. And his mother, Cindy, leaped from her horse, grabbed a stick and started hitting that cougar knowing that that cougar would turn his fury on her. Stephen's brother and sister dragged him to safety and then they rode for help as fast as they could. Stephen lived. His mother, Cindy, didn't. She took all the fury of the cougar so the son she loved wouldn't have to.

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  • sacrifice
  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • Sin
  • safety

Thursday, March 23, 2017

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It was pretty funny. Our kids had reached the age where they were old enough to tell us how we did parenting them. In fact, we had gotten into one of those uproarious "remember when" conversations. The subject was various times that we had disciplined them. We explained to them how we had tried to discipline them by the principle of natural consequences-experiencing the most natural negative outcomes in the area where you disobeyed. So if you did something bad with your mouth, you didn't get to use your mouth for a while-or you got it washed out with soap. If you did something bad with your hands, you didn't get to use your hands for a while. At which point our eldest son said, "But I never did anything wrong with my bottom!" Which may be more information than you want, but that kind of launched a discussion of great spankings we have known-including the ones we are now told didn't hurt. Well, this went on for over an hour. It was a laughing and loving and learning time for all of us, and it was a reminder of what is probably a parent's biggest challenge.

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  • parenting
  • family
  • love
  • discipline

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

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It was the biggest snowstorm of the year. Not the kind you dig out from very quickly. The news reported that one of America's major cities had been virtually shut down by this massive carpet of white stuff. And the evening news showed one hazard of such a storm that was really out of the ordinary; a hazard that shouldn't have happened. The man in the news had started the challenging job of shoveling the sidewalk in front of his house, which happened to be on a main street. At the same time, of course, the city snowplows were doing what they should do. They were busily moving the snow that was clogging those main streets, and that's when it happened. Somehow it was captured on video for all of us news watchers to see. The snowplow roared past the man on the sidewalk, showered him with this heavy shower of snow spraying out either side, and literally buried Mr. Shoveler in a sudden avalanche from the street and from the sky. The snowplow plowed onward, and the operator never even knew what he had done. Thankfully, the man on the sidewalk was able to dig out unharmed, but he was stunned. After all, snowplows are for unburying streets, not burying people. Right?

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  • rescue
  • family
  • Your Mission
  • distractions
  • coworkers

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

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A beard really changes people-especially men. You can make a man look older, scruffier, wiser, or more suspicious. A beard does amazing things. Some wives and girlfriends can't wait for their guy to grow it. Others can't wait for him to shave it. My friend, Lou, spent much of his time clean-shaven. He also spent many of those same years as an alcoholic. They were terrible years for his wife and for his daughters. One day, Lou became so desperate he surrendered the control of his out-of-control life to Jesus Christ. From that moment on, the Savior beat that bottle that had always beaten Lou, and right about then, he started to grow a beard. He actually has had it for several years, but a couple of years ago he decided to shave it one morning. He walked out to his family, and he said, "Hey, what do you think?" His little girl started to cry. She begged her Daddy to grow his beard back. See, the old face made her think of her old Dad. She was afraid the old Dad was back.

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  • moms
  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • family
  • dads
  • forgiveness

Monday, March 20, 2017

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Waking up early most mornings is not an option for me. If I oversleep, it means missing a plane or a speaking commitment or radio broadcasts or some deadline or some important meeting. In other words, my clock radio had better work...and it does. Even on the days when many other clock radios might not. Because the power went out during the night, let's say. There have been mornings when I have been awakened by my clock radio-looked over at the other one in the room and seen it blinking at me some time when it was the middle of the night. See, that clock was plugged into the wall and sometime during the night the external power supply had failed. Good thing I wasn't depending on that one! But mine always comes through-because it's powered by batteries! You see, what keeps it going is inside!

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  • pain
  • faith
  • stress
  • struggle
  • Joy

Friday, March 17, 2017

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I don't get sick very often, but that one year I did pick up the special flu bug of the year. Which, of course, meant my wife soon followed suit. We believed in sharing everything. Then our friend, Janice, got a similar flu – sick for four or five days. Then her husband got it – sick for four or five days. Then their lucky daughter took her turn – sick for four or five days. Their teenage son was the only one who didn't get it. His mom said he was the one walking around the house with a can of Lysol all the time! You can almost count on it – when one person is infected with a germ, it's probably going to end up infecting the people closest to them.

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  • children
  • anger
  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • family
  • forgiveness
  • wife
  • husband

Thursday, March 16, 2017

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My wife was just a little girl when she first met Bob Henley. He was one of those older men you look up at and look up to at church. She had a visit to her childhood church some years ago, and she asked about Mr. Henley. They said, "He's 92 years old - and that he would be there the next week." My wife made it a point to attend church there the following week and to reconnect with this memory from her past. As they were talking, Mr. Henley said, "You probably don't remember this (and she didn't), but one day after church you came up to me and you grabbed this finger. You were only about this high (about the altitude of a 4-year old). But you grabbed my finger and you said, ‘Mr. Henley, I love you.'" Now why would he remember that little¬ childlike expression into the 9th decade of his life? He said, "You don't know this, but I was raised an orphan. That morning was the first time in my life anyone ever said 'I love you' to me.'" Wow!

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  • family
  • love
  • friends
  • coworkers
  • legacy

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

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First, the forsythia exploded-those little yellow flowers that announce to our area where we were living that spring was finally springing. Then the dogwood explosion detonated. It was really hard to be in a bad mood when those beautiful pink and white blossoms suddenly appeared everywhere. Happens probably where you live too, maybe just at different times. Actually, the word "suddenly" needs a little work. The coming of the forsythia and the dogwood, and all the other stars of the Spring Extravaganza; they've been getting ready to happen for a long time. We couldn't see it, but there's been this invisible process of nourishing and growth, and those nubby little buds start to peek out. And then, one day you start down the street and it's blazing with color that wasn't even there the day before. But sudden? Not really.

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  • pain
  • stress
  • struggle
  • patience
  • God's Plan

            

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

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