Tuesday, October 9, 2018

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It really wasn't fair. But some friends of mine in youth ministry used to carry out these dreaded Saturday morning raids on teenagers from the local high school. By the way, those raids got those kids to an event that they eventually ended up enjoying, but they didn't enjoy how it started. A few leaders would show up early on Saturday morning at the house of one of their student leaders. When a parent came to the door, they would tell them what church group they were from and asked the parents' permission to "kidnap" their son or daughter to a "come as you are" breakfast they were having with student leaders. Most of the parents actually went along with it with a bit of amusement. The invaders went to the door of that teenager's room and gave them one minute to throw something on before they came in for them. Sixty seconds later, people of the same sex went in to that room and snapped a picture of the Saturday morning self. This was back in the days with those Polaroid cameras before digital. Those pictures were of course posted at the breakfast to the horror of those kids, especially the girls. No makeup, bad hair, real skin, they didn't seem to be too excited about everyone seeing what they really were like.

Monday, October 8, 2018

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When our kids were growing up, it was hard to find a ride at the amusement park you could get us all to ride. We have roller coaster lovers and roller coaster no-way-ers - that's me. But there was one we all liked to do – bumper cars. You know, those little electric cars inside that fenced-in area. That's old school, man! They turned them on, and everyone starts out together, then you start speeding around that circle. Some end up spinning out, going backwards, going forward, intentionally or accidentally running into other cars – especially those you love. Each one of us would each get into our little hot rod. We'd basically start out heading the same direction, but in no time we were heading in five different directions and occasionally bumping into each other. Does that sound like any family you know?

Friday, October 5, 2018

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There's this unforgettable drive above the Hudson River; in fact, the highway just kind of hangs out on Storm King Mountain. (I love that name.) It's a few miles north of New York City and as you look down on the Hudson River you get this incredible view. Now every time I've been able to catch a glance down there at this view of the Hudson, I've been fascinated with this castle. It sits right in the middle of the river on an island. It's kind of like a Robin Hood type of castle. Well, some years ago my wife and I got to take a cruise along the Hudson River and I could take an extended look at that castle. We went right past it, and our tour guide said, "That's Bannerman Castle." Mr. Bannerman, apparently, was an arms dealer for many, many years, and over many decades there are a lot of very interesting stories about people coming and going for weapons all through the wars and all kinds of things. Then in the 1960's there was a large explosion there on the island. What about the castle? Well, I was surprised to learn the truth about that castle.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

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Hey, if you're looking for a great real estate deal, don't go looking in the metropolitan New York area. Yeah, housing in the metro New York area is just really expensive. When people from another part of the country start looking at home prices there, they usually get a paralyzing case of sticker shock. When our friend Rachel and her husband moved to the New York area to serve the Lord, they went through that cost-of-living trauma. Rachel was talking one day to my wife about this and it led her to tell about a minor, but particularly irritating, frustration she had with their house. It was about that pipe in the corner of the dining room. Rachel said, "I have wallpapered the room. I have tried everything to get that dumb pipe to blend in, but nothing works! It's ugly!" Then she paused for a moment and she said, "You know, I told God I'd live in a grass hut in Africa if He called me to, and I meant it! Why can't I live in a house with an ugly pipe in New Jersey?" Then Rachel answered her own question. "I know why." The diagnosis that followed might provide an x-ray of what's going on in you.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

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Dr. Harry Ironside used to tell a story about a man who lived in a small country town in England. One day, he went to London where he would need to stay for several days. He was glad to be there on a Sunday because that gave him opportunity to hear some of the great preachers of his day. He wrote home to his wife, and he said: "Last Sunday morning I went to hear Dr. Jones, and in the evening I went to the Metropolitan Tabernacle to hear Charles Spurgeon. I was so greatly impressed by both of them. Dr. Jones is certainly a great preacher, but Mr. Spurgeon has a great Savior."

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

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I used to think flying would be glamorous. See, when I was a kid, we'd take my Dad to the airport for an occasional business trip, and I used to think, "Man, that's exciting! I wonder if I'll ever do that?" Well, I've gotten to do plenty of that! Sometimes it's a two-hour flight say to Chicago, or a five-hour flight to the West Coast, and sometimes it's a marathon like eighteen hours to Africa or Asia. Now I'm leaving something important and I'm going to something important at the other end. But for most people, the travel time in between is just dead time. Not for this kid. I ask for a window seat where I don't have to do any getting up or passing things. I make my little office nest there and I get tons of work done! For me, that time in between my two important places isn't just headphones, movies, plastic lunches, or reading about life jackets. In fact, there's no phone calls, no interruptions. It's some of my best time to write, create and prepare. Hey, the time in between is important, too!

Monday, October 1, 2018

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Our three-year-old grandson was turning out to be quite an engineer. He was loving to figure out how things work and to build things that do. When he was at Grandma and Grandad's house, he would play with our Lincoln Logs. One day he had built a couple of cabins in the middle of our living room and we noticed he'd stopped and he was just lying on his tummy with his head cradled in his hands, studying the pictures on the Lincoln Logs container. When his mom asked him what he was doing just staring at that container, he said, "There are some pieces missing here." And he began to point out exactly what pieces were pictured on the can but missing in front of him. 

Friday, September 28, 2018

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I'm a city boy. Where I grew up, kids were about the only things that grew. We didn't even have grass in the backyard of the apartment building where I lived-just dirt. So over the years I've had a lot to learn from the farm girl I married, as well as my many friends who are farmers. I was traveling in the heartland with one of our leaders, and he had spent many years in farming, and he taught me a pretty memorable lesson as we were driving down a country road just past a cornfield. He was explaining how a farmer harvests his corn and how the end row may get knocked down when he turns the corner from one row to another. That leaves some corn stalks knocked down, lying horizontal and broken. And they're often in the shade of a stalk that's still standing near it. But don't count that stalk out. No, not just yet! The pollen from the overshadowing corn stalk filters down onto that broken corn. And amazingly, that plant that has everything going against it starts developing another crop and eventually you'll be able to pick corn off that old boy! (How about a city boy telling you that!)

Thursday, September 27, 2018

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If you want to get into Manhattan from New Jersey, you have several choices. You can take a long bridge, one of two long tunnels, a ferry trip, or a long un-recommended swim. The Hudson River is really pretty wide when it reaches Manhattan, but it's not very powerful. If you could see the Hudson River near its headwaters in upstate New York, man, it's roaring along with a really strong current. Upstate its banks are confined and the force is greater. By the time it reaches Manhattan, it's not so powerful. The Hudson's so spread out that its power seems kind of weak by comparison. I know people like that.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

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As a longtime New York Giants football fan, it's hard for me to tell a story where a Dallas Cowboys player is the hero, but this one I couldn't resist. Charles Lowery tells the story of a visit by then Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman to visit this young patient's ward in a children's cancer hospital. T. J. was one of those patients, a young boy who was dying of cancer. After visiting with him, Troy promised that he would score a touchdown in that boy's honor. As he was leaving, T. J.'s Mom took the quarterback aside and told him that the boy didn't have long to live. Well, the promise stood. The following week was the Cowboys' first preseason exhibition game, and they didn't even play Troy that week. But T. J., of course, was glued to that whole game hopefully. 

            

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

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