Thursday, December 29, 2016

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As our kids were growing up, Saturday was always chore day at the Hutchcraft house. It was the day we got our leaves raked and bagged, rooms got cleaned – or hosed out like a monkey cage as the case may be. It was the day the garage got dug out, the dirty clothes got clean, broken things got fixed. It wasn't that kids jumped out of bed on Saturday morning said, "What do you have for me to do today, Dad?" No, Saturday mornings often involved some delicate labor negotiations, especially when it came to someone getting a job that meant more time and more dirty work than some of the others. That child might say, "I don't want to do Job A. I want Job B." To which I would reply, "I pay the allowances and the bonuses around here." (See, usually there was extra pay for extra work). So I would tell them, "Don't forget lesson #1 of working – you don't pick your jobs. The person who pays you decides the jobs you'll do."

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

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It's time to wash the bathrobes again – for the boys to wear in the Christmas pageant. Like thousands of boys at Christmastime, I, too, was drafted into being one of those shepherds. I'm not sure my bathrobe got washed any other time of the year actually. To be petty, I always thought the guys playing the wise men had a better deal. They got to wear some fancy clothes, and they had something to give to Baby Jesus when they came – I think we used to call it gold, frankenstein, and myyrh. But not us shepherds. No, no! Since the Bible doesn't describe any specific gift the shepherds brought, we came empty handed. I thought we looked a little cheap. But I've learned something since then.

Monday, December 19, 2016

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That particular Christmas I saw something I would not soon forget. I was visiting a theme park that has a wonderful Christmas festival, including a service in their old log chapel. We sang some of the old carols and then there was a short time when we had our eyes closed in prayer. As I opened my eyes, I noticed that someone had slipped in to the old wooden bench across from me – Santa Claus. Yep, there he was red suit, real white hair, real white beard – except for his Santa hat which he had removed to pray. There was Santa Claus, eyes closed and head bowed on his folded hands praying. Look, I've seen a lot of Santas. I've never seen one praying before. As I visited with him afterwards, he told me how he tried to remind each boy and girl who sat on his lap of the Savior who came on Christmas to die for us. That's one amazing Santa!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

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I know voice mail can be efficient, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. Sometimes they're entertaining. I mean, I have friends who have major productions or comedy monologs that greet people. But, you know, voice mail doesn't respond: records, but doesn't respond. One friend captured how I feel in a what he recorded tongue-in-cheek. You call, then you know, you get the little click and you hear the friend's voice saying, "In a world of cold and uncaring humans, isn't it refreshing to be greeted by a warm and friendly voice mail?" No! You just can't automate a personal response!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

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If you've ever been a Marine, this question is going to be a piece of cake. What's the motto of the United States Marine Corps? Even if you've never been a Marine, you may well know the answer: "Semper Fidelis" – always faithful. Or "Semper Fi," as the Marines like to say. But a former Marine recently told me there's another Marine Corps motto, and it doesn't appear on anything official, but he said it's one Marines learn to live by – "Semper Gumby." Remember Gumby, that rubbery cartoon character who could bend every which-way. Semper Gumby – always flexible!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

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When I'm in a new city, I don't usually make visiting a local cemetery one of my sightseeing priorities. But I did in a ministry trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia. I visited the cemetery where 121 passengers of the doomed Titanic are buried; many with their names still unknown.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

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We're all broken and we're covering it up. It's just too risky to come out from behind that mask, the wall that we've put up to keep people out, because we don't really want to see what's behind it. For sure we don't want anyone else to see it. We keep it until someone else takes their mask off; speaking transparently from their own brokenness. In essence, they give us permission to face our own hurt, to face our own darkness. Remember, Jesus said, "You will know the truth and the truth will scare you to death." No, He didn't say that. He said, "set you free" (John 8:32).

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

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If you're a photographer, you love seagulls. They soar so gracefully, almost like they're posing for the camera. They're beautiful – when they're alone. When they're together – not so beautiful. One gets on a perch, another comes and "boom!" knocks him off. One gets some food, others attack him for it. Actually, scientists put a red band on the leg of one seagull to find out what would happen. He was pecked to death by the other seagulls because he had something they didn't.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

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Our son-in-law was visiting his grandfather in Florida, with a nice Florida view outside his bedroom window-grapefruit trees. It wasn't all a happy view though. Many of the grapefruit were actually rotting on the ground. His grandfather wasn't up to harvesting them anymore. So those grapefruit got all ready to be picked and no one came, and they dropped to the ground and died.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

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Some friends of ours struggled with a wide variety of health issues over several years. And a while back, a trusted friend told them about a juice taken from a rare fruit that seemed to have measurably improved their health, and the health of several people that they love. Well, our friends invested in that juice, and they liked the early results. I can just imagine what would have happened, though, if some telemarketer had called them cold and tried to sell this product to them. "Hey, I have some juice for you." Click. See, I know these people. They never would have bought it from some professional salesman. But, you know, it helped when someone like them, someone they knew and trusted was the one who told them about it. They wanted what she believed in. They wanted what was changing her.

            

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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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