Monday, September 18, 2017

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Over the years, our family has had some great times at the New Jersey Shore. And I love to see the Atlantic Ocean with all of its many moods: relatively calm, tide out, tide in, building surf, towering breakers, even angry in a storm. When the waves really start getting high, most swimmers make a wise choice; they get out of the water and they call it a day. But there's another breed out there. They're called surfers. Some on surfboards, some body-surfing, and they don't run out when the monster waves start coming. No, they run in! And they ride those monsters!

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  • pain
  • faith
  • hurt
  • suffering
  • trials

Friday, September 1, 2017

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When you get a couple of veteran airplane travelers together, before long you're going to hear some "war stories." In fact, you're about to hear one now. It was one of those days at the airport. I was scheduled on this morning flight from the West Coast back to the New York area with a connection in a Midwest city. When I arrived at the airport, I learned my flight was being delayed for about four hours. Well, that's not that uncommon. but it was killing all my options for getting home for a while. Another flight on the same airline had been canceled, so now there is this long line of us not-so-happy campers at the airline's ticket desk. We're there for an hour and a half in line. The longer we had to wait, the more options were slipping away. Well, I found I had to quietly pray and remind Jesus and me that Jesus is Lord. The men behind me were becoming increasingly vocal about their unhappiness, so being the crazy man I am, I decided to try a little humor and lightheartedness. Pretty soon, we were laughing at our situation instead of overheating about it.

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  • pain
  • hurt
  • stress
  • struggle
  • love

Monday, August 14, 2017

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"They had to use the paddles on him." Now that sounds like something we might say about an exasperated parent's response to an out-of-control child. But the paddles we're talking about here were the ones they used on our neighbor when he was rushed to the hospital with a heart attack. His wife said they saved his life by using the "paddles" on him. Actually, what they used was a device called a defibrillator. (You see why most people call them the paddles.) The defibrillator has two paddles that, after they are placed on the patient's chest, generate this strong electric jolt to restart the heart. More and more ambulances are carrying them, more and more emergency medical technicians are being trained to use them, and they are in more and more public places. When the heart stops, something has to be done to get it going again - even if it takes a big jolt.

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  • pain
  • hurt
  • struggle
  • pride

Thursday, July 20, 2017

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Two words, but a valuable reminder about how important Mom is and why she is. Recently, I had occasion to stay at my son and daughter-in-law's house while I recovered from a painful injury. They set me up with a wonderful little "apartment" in their basement – recliner, remotes (of course), kitchenette. And like all the babies in our family, a night monitor. Now, I needed some help in the middle of the night, but I hadn't touched the pager. Suddenly, I hear my daughter-in-law's feet coming down the stairs. In my 3:00 AM haze, I said, "But how did you know?" She smiled and gave those two little words: "Mom ears".

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  • loss
  • parenting
  • moms
  • hurt
  • family

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

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I felt kind of bad for our friend Peter. My wife, Karen, wanted him to raid the garbage for her. See, I've been there many times myself, believe me. But this time, they were driving around, Karen turned to Peter and his wife for help. They were driving past a gas station where Karen saw it-a big, green, silk plant, upside down in the dumpster. Too big for Karen to fetch, and too good, she thought, to leave there. So, my garbage picking honey turned to poor Peter, in his suit and tie, and asked him if he would make his way over to that dumpster. Well, he did, looking both directions, desperately hoping he could be invisible for a couple minutes. Sure enough, he pulled the thing out of the trash and put it in the back of our station wagon. This is a very secure man. And about that trashed plant...well, very soon it began to greet us day after day as we entered the reception area at our office. It's a classy-looking, silk Ficus plant, or that's what my wife told me. Karen saw something in it, even though it had been thrown away; something I can tell you I would have missed.

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  • loss
  • pain
  • hurt
  • struggle

Monday, July 17, 2017

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I was with several members of our Team in the relentless evangelism schedule of what we called our "Make A Difference" Weekends. We were getting pretty tired and our minds were totally focused on our outreaches. In fact, so tired and so focused, that I forgot about a radio station that was calling me for a live interview that afternoon. Now, I had just awakened from a brief nap and the phone rang. Thinking it was one of our Team members, I jokingly answered, "Good morning"-at 4:00 in the afternoon. Somehow, I was able to rebound immediately and go enthusiastically into that interview and I don't think the folks on the other end knew I was even surprised by their call.

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  • stress
  • tired
  • spiritual weakness
  • spiritual strength
  • stressed

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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Now, here was a bothersome headline a while back from USA Today, "Old Faithful Gets Fickle." What? They were referring to that famous geyser in Yellowstone National Park. As long as any of us tourists could remember, that 140 foot tower of steam erupted faithfully about every 66 minutes. But, something was not right all of a sudden this report said. There was a day that the eruption predicted for 12:11 p.m. didn't occur until 12:18 p.m. One predicted for 2:46 p.m. jumped the gun at 2:38 p.m. So "Tommy tourist" who was counting on "Old Faithful" faithfulness might go for a hot dog and say "Hey! I've still got ten minutes," and miss the whole thing. The problem - underground shifts caused by minor earthquakes, and vandalism by visitors who threw everything from chicken bones to underwear into the geysers hole! One Yellowstone geologist actually said this "There's a good chance that five years from now, or five days, or five hundred years, "Old Faithful" is going to be totally unpredictable, or it's not going to erupt anymore altogether." Wow! So, "Old Faithful" becomes "Old Unpredictable."

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  • loss
  • pain
  • hurt
  • stress
  • struggle
  • betrayal

Thursday, June 8, 2017

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It was an ugly day. The worst part was that it was a weekend when Karen and I had finally been able to get away for a weekend in the Adirondack Mountains. But the weather didn't seem to care. Our Saturday was drippy and damp and chilly. I finally said, "Let's go home, Karen. We can get this weather for free there!" So I started hauling out suitcases and grumbling most of the way. When I looked around to see where Karen was, I saw her leaning over this wishing well-and she wasn't moving. Old Happy Husband ambled over there to get her to the car. When I got to the well, I saw she had her long camera lens trained on something just inside the well. Quite a good photographer, this girl. And I learned that she usually knew what she was doing when it looked like she didn't. She said, "Look at this." It was a large, perfectly engineered spider web, and little rain droplets sprinkled all over it. Wouldn't you know, she went back, enlarged that photo and took first prize in an art contest for a picture called "Jeweled Web". Amazing! While I was looking at the ugly all around us, she found something beautiful to train her lens on!

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  • loss
  • pain
  • hurt
  • stress
  • struggle

Monday, May 29, 2017

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There aren't many visits to a graveyard that might be described as "amazing". But I had one some years ago that was nothing less than amazing. When our "On Eagles' Wings" outreach team of young Native Americans was on the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho, we met this young basketball player named Quanah. He made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that weekend, and he asked if he could go with our team to other reservations for the following two weeks. We don't usually add team members along the way, but because of the urging of some strong believers there and our own sense of Holy Spirits' unusual leading, we invited Quanah to join us.

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  • loss
  • Death
  • hurt

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

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I think we all do it at times. We walk past a store window, and we look at more than the merchandise. We look at our own reflection, or we glance in every convenient mirror. "How am I doing?" "How am I looking?" It's just natural - checking yourself out, want to impress, want to look good. It's natural to talk up our wins, our good stuff. And then I read these show-stopping words in the Bible. They challenge our whole image-driven "How do I look" way of living. Actually I think I understand these words now in a way I could not have only months ago.

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  • loss
  • pain
  • hurt
  • Your Mission
  • outreach
  • suffering

            

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

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