March 31, 2022

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"Shun piking"! Yeah, our kids learned that at a very early age. That expression actually goes back to Colonial days when people would leave or "shun" the pike, the main road, and take side roads. Today, it's just a good word for describing getting intentionally lost - just exploring some of those side roads you've never been on to see things you've never seen. Apparently, this shun piking thing has been inherited by the next generation. Yeah, there was the day that our daughter took our then three-year-old grandson on one of those crazy adventures on some unexplored back roads. And he saw lots of things he never saw before. When she asked him if he was ready to go home, he told her he wanted to keep going. His reason? "I liked exploring."

March 4, 2022

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When the famous violinist Paganini played a concert in one of the great halls of Europe, it was equivalent to the draw of like a modern rock concert. Well, the story is told of one such night in Paris. As Paganini appeared on the stage, there's this excited buzz in the audience, and there was expectant applause. But as the maestro began to play, a string broke on his exquisite violin. Well, any concern passed pretty quickly as he picked up the tune on his remaining three strings. Unbelievably, another string snapped, followed moments later by a third string. Now the buzz in the audience was more anxious, I mean, like disgruntled; it wasn't expectant anymore. But the old maestro just raised his hand - called for silence. And as the audience became quiet again, he made a simple announcement, "Ladies and gentlemen Paganini and one string." What followed was easily the most amazing musical performance the crowd had ever seen, or would ever see, as the maestro played a rich and flawless melody on one string.

February 24, 2022

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He's got a black belt in three different martial arts. That's the highest level of achievement in a martial art. Of course, I told him I have a black belt, too. I wear it with my dark suit. He didn't seem to be impressed by that, but I decided I definitely wanted him on my side. He told me that his training gives him the ability to fight back and defend himself from any position he's in. Well, except one - face down on the ground. He said that is the one position in which he is totally powerless.

February 22, 2022

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They took good care of the little girl in the orphanage. But apparently there was never quite enough food, and the children were hungry most of the time. It's a country where there are a lot of orphans to take care of and not a lot of money to take care of them with. We heard recently about the couple who adopted this little four-year-old girl. That's who I was just talking about. We heard their story of how, in their first weeks of having that girl as a part of their family, she has, in their words, "been eating everything in sight." Eating, in fact, until she makes herself sick. It's pretty heartbreaking to think of how fearful she must be of never having enough to eat. Well, mom and dad had an idea. They make sure that she has a slice of bread she can hold onto whenever she wants to. And, you know what? That's helped a lot.

February 10, 2022

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I had taken a carload of team members from our reservation outreach team to see a scenic canyon a couple of hours from where we were staying. Someone forgot to tell me that the station wagon they loaned me had a broken gas gauge. It said three-quarters of a tank. That wasn't true! It was getting dark, and I decided to take a shortcut across the reservation to get back to our place. It was a pretty deserted dirt road that traversed a very remote part of the reservation, and about halfway back we ran out of gas, 40 miles from the nearest gas station. Those who understand some of what the Bible says about spiritual warfare will understand that ceremonies that summon the spirit world can bring an invasion of spiritual darkness. And apparently, we were stranded in an area that was known for a lot of that kind of supernatural activity. When we got back, a tribal man who grew up on this reservation and knew the area well, said with a look of really deep concern, "If I had known where you were, I would have come after you immediately."

January 31, 2022

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I spoke at a conference where the director decided to take me backstage by means of a route worthy of the Secret Service. The meeting was at a hotel conference room, and the director guided me through a back hallway, into a kitchen area, through a series of twists and turns that are usually navigated only by their waiters I think. I don't usually expect to find great wisdom at times like this. This time I did. It was a sign on the wall, obviously designed to minimize employee injuries. Five little words that struck me as great advice for my everyday life: "Bend knees for heavy lifting."

January 25, 2022

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I could tell that our first grandson was going to be a busy little guy when he was just a little guy. He wasn't even in school yet, and he was already immersed in a project of some kind. And when I mean he got immersed, he got immersed. One day he was involved first in a detailed coloring project where he was intently working to have it just right, you know. And then there was a large puzzle he was focused on completing. And what he hadn't taken time for recently, well, was what a lot of little boys don't take time for...a bathroom stop. Too busy you know. Knowing this boy understood video functions very well, his Dad just said, "Time for a bathroom break. Don't you think it's time to hit 'pause'?" Without looking up from his current project, our grandson said in all sincerity, "I don't have a 'pause.'"

January 17, 2022

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If you say the word "garden," I immediately think of my friend Mel. Man, he has one of the best-kept, most productive gardens I've ever seen. I've eaten some of the fruits and vegetables of his labor. Growing up as I did in an apartment in Chicago, I've got a lot to learn about gardens, believe me. I'm horticulturally challenged shall we say. Well, Mel taught me a lot. I mean, one section of his garden is dedicated to his grapes. And when those vines start growing, He does something that looks very strange to a city-slicker like me. He goes after those vines with pruning shears. He starts cutting away branches - a lot of branches. Of course, it's called pruning.

January 7, 2022

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I had to make a 6:30 A.M. flight. My dear wife was the lucky one who got to drive me to the airport. As I staggered to the car about 5:00 in the morning, I said, "Where's the sun?" Obviously, the sun was on a later flight that morning. But what made the drive really challenging was not the absence of sun, it was the presence of fog. I'm talking thick fog all the way to the airport. Our visibility was really limited. The traffic reporter on our news station said that it would be difficult even driving roads you knew like the back of your hand. And believe me, the road to the airport is one we knew all too well. As we traveled toward the turnpike exit that leads to the airport, the fog got really thick and disorienting. We were in the right lane with almost no sense of exactly where we were, when suddenly we saw the sign - "Turnpike." That was our turn, but we were practically right on it when we realized where we were. So, my wife turned just in time, and I even made my plane. As we got on that ramp, she said, "It's a good thing I didn't trust my instincts. It just didn't feel like we were at the point we were." She only had a second to decide whether to trust her instincts or the sign. I'm glad she trusted the sign.

January 3, 2022

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Some of the ugliest scenes from the 20th Century, of course, come from the Nazi Holocaust during World War II. And some pretty inspiring scenes, actually, come from it as well. One of the most famous accounts of those awful years was written by a Jewish psychiatrist named Victor Frankl - a survivor of the concentration camps. Frankl told of how the Jews there had almost every freedom stripped from them: they were imprisoned, they were awakened any hour of the day or night, they were treated like slave labor, humiliated, always facing the specter of death. But he lived to tell us about the one freedom they learned no one could take away from them - the freedom he saw in many of those who survived the horror. And it's the one freedom that could make you a survivor.

            

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

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)

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