Monday, January 22, 2018

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One of the most amazing Christian warriors in my lifetime was a man who came to be known as Brother Andrew, or 'God's Smuggler'. He risked everything to get God's Word into spiritually closed countries where that was virtually impossible. Many have considered him a spiritual hero. No one could doubt that he was, at the very least, a bold risk-taker for Christ.

In his biography, he tells about an incident in his early life as a follower of Christ that showed him the kind of God he was serving. After some pretty wild years without the Lord, he came to Christ and almost immediately felt the call to begin training for ministry. He went to this small Bible school in Scotland, and before the students were allowed to graduate, they were given a very unusual assignment. They were asked to go out for a month to do evangelistic outreaches in Scottish villages, and they were given some money to live on - one British pound, to be exact. For those of us who are Americans, it would be like being given a dollar to live on for a month. The students were to go with that one bill and eat, and sleep, and rent halls, and buy refreshments, and hold outreaches, and return that one bill at the end of the month. Brother Andrew's team went out and they did just that. Except he returned with enough money for the school to send out two missionaries!

  • rescue
  • faith
  • God's will
  • outreach

Friday, January 19, 2018

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Our friend, Vicki, is one very happy woman. For many years now, she has carried a heavy load of nagging credit card debt. If you've ever been in debt for a while, you know how it always weighs you down like this heavy backpack on your back. Well, Vicki recently came into some money through an inheritance, and you know what she did with it! She had a party-a check writing party! All the debts are paid, and you can tell she feels like she just got out of prison!

  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • Sin
  • freedom
  • free
  • new start

Thursday, January 18, 2018

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When I look out my window I can see everything clearly. But if I need to read these notes right in front of me, I have to put my glasses on. When I'm driving down the road later today, I won't need my glasses. I've got no problem seeing the road ahead, the cars around me, that road kill I want to avoid. But if I need to pull over and look at my map, forget it – I'd better have my glasses or I'll never find that small town I'm looking for. I am, as they say, farsighted.

  • friendship
  • fault
  • family
  • forgiveness
  • Sin
  • your relationships
  • coworkers
  • judging

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

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Some years ago, we took a delegation of teenagers to a youth conference at the Jersey Shore, and one of our volunteers was one of the counselors. One evening she left the meeting early to check on one of the kids from our group. She started walking down the Boardwalk. Suddenly she hears this cry for help from the water down below. She realized that a girl was out there in that dark ocean about to drown. So she yelled for others to come, she pulled off her shoes and she jumped into the water. She knew this was a life-or-death situation, and she said, "I just had to do something." Pretty soon a couple of men jumped in to help her and together they were able to rescue that young woman. And you know what? Our friend realized the real reason she had been out on the Boardwalk that night. Much to her surprise, she had literally been placed there to save a life!

  • rescue
  • friendship
  • purpose
  • outreach
  • coworkers

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

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There's one kind of mail from the bank that nobody wants to get - you know, that notice that you've overdrawn your checking account! Yeah, especially when they sock you with a penalty for it! It can happen because you've been traveling or unusually busy, or you know, kind of cutting things pretty close financially, or just because you inadvertently wrote some checks before your recent deposit has cleared. You can't try to buy or pay before the money is there to cover it, or you'll just end up paying for that.

  • stress
  • struggle
  • mercy
  • burdens

Monday, January 15, 2018

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It was the house Grandma and Granddad built with a little help from their granddaughter, who happened to turn out to be my wife. That was over forty years ago. Grandma and Granddad are gone, and the house was in the hands of renters for a number of years. And the landlord, my wife's dad, lived hours away, and his age and his health prevented him from keeping up with what was happening. And man, I'll tell you, the house and the land around it, not good stuff was happening. When he deeded that house to the rest of the family, they weren't real pleased with what had happened over the years. The house was rundown; the carpet was infested with bugs; various encroachments had slowly whittled away about three acres of the property, and fences had been moved. That's a long list. And nobody in the family had to do anything to accumulate this mess. All we had to do was do nothing.

  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • purpose
  • eternal life
  • neglect

Friday, January 12, 2018

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It's one of those photos you never forget – like, you know, the picture of those American soldiers raising the flag on Iwo Jima. You've probably seen the photo of those three weary, dusty firefighters raising the American flag in the ruins of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. USA Today says "it may have been the blackest day's blackest hour" when that picture was taken. It was becoming apparent that there would be few survivors, and another tower – 7 World Trade Center – was about to fall. An evacuation order was issued to all firefighters searching in the rubble. But one firefighter saw something on a docked boat – a debris-covered American flag on a broken pole. With the help of two other firefighters, he found a large metal flagpole jutting at a 45-degree angle from a ledge about twenty feet above the ground. They climbed up and they rigged the flag to the pole, totally unaware that a photographer was watching and capturing it for all the world to see. A woman who taught nearby, summarized what that moment meant: "People were grasping for hope," she said, "and suddenly there it was."

  • faith
  • stress
  • struggle
  • darkness

Thursday, January 11, 2018

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When the President of the United States declared a war on terrorism, the lives of millions of American military personnel suddenly changed dramatically, and the war still rages on. Some of the first to be affected were the crews of our major combat ships, like aircraft carriers. In a matter of days, thousands were shipping out; maybe you remember those days. Reporters were trying to guess what their destinations were. But, of course, not even the crews knew. Except for a few commanders, their orders were unknown.

  • rescue
  • faith
  • God's will
  • outreach

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

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Three feet of snow! That was a weather record I didn't really want to participate in. But, sure enough, we woke up that cold New Jersey morning to three feet of snow that had literally buried the metropolitan New York area. Even New York, the city that never sleeps, had been effectively shut down by the storm. Our little guy really wanted to go out in the snow that blanketed our backyard. So we bundled him up and we watched as he ventured out into that white stuff. And he promptly disappeared! I went out after him and, as short as I am, I just about disappeared myself. It took quite a while for that snow to become manageable and for life to get back to normal. And it wasn't the last snow dump of the winter. But for those of us who have lived through some pretty long and tough winters, there is one word that sustains us through it all. You know the word: spring.

  • rescue
  • stress
  • Your Mission
  • struggle
  • outreach

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

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I know this is going to come as a shock to you, but there were a lot of rumors in college that I was behind some practical jokes and pranks that happened while I was there. That's hard to imagine, huh? I mean, it probably wouldn't come as a total surprise to some of those folks if finally I ended up in the penitentiary. Fortunately, my sentence was only about four hours, because I did end up at Alcatraz. Yep! Now, we had taken some young people out to that famous prison in the middle of San Francisco Bay to do a special radio program. Of course, it's been some years since any prisoners were held there on what they called The Rock, but it is still quite a place to see. While we were there, we experienced this awful claustrophobia of being locked in one of those little cells; the isolation of being in solitary confinement. For the closing segment of the program, we walked out of one of the prison gates and down to the rocks outside that overlook the bay. One of the young people with us was walking out with me, and he made quite an observation, because it was really a tremendously commanding view. He said, "Just think, there was only a wall between them and all this beauty."

  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • alone
  • lonliness

            

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

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
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