Thursday, October 20, 2005

He invited Jesus Christ into his house, and things were never the same again. That's the picture actually portrayed in a classic old Christian booklet called "My Heart, Christ's Home." As the story unfolds, the man whose life is symbolized by a house, begins to let Jesus move beyond the front parlor and into the various rooms. In each room, Jesus changes things. Like some of what's in the library that doesn't belong in a house where Jesus lives. Some of what's done in the recreation area. Ultimately, he even lets Jesus clean out the garbage in this closet that's been sealed shut with several locks. But the picture I remember most is the one that portrays the man having personal time with Jesus in his study every morning - until one day when he's running late. He races out the door thinking he'd be there as usual the next morning. Didn't happen. For some time, he just ran out the door in the morning without ever stopping in his study. Until one morning when he hurried in there to find something, and there to his shock and surprise, was Jesus, sitting in a high-backed chair. Awkwardly, the man asked, "Jesus, what are you doing here?" Jesus' reply goes straight to the heart: "I've been here every morning - waiting for you."

Monday, October 3, 2005

We had been shopping for the place where God wants us to build the radio studio that we desperately needed. And we were looking at a possible location - this big barn of a room with a high ceiling and it was totally bare. Well, I saw a big, bare room, but not Kasey. No, no, no. He's a carpenter and he started talking about this wall here and that partition there; the control room in that corner where the doors would be, and how we could soundproof the floor. It was amazing! He was seeing all kinds of things in that room that I sure couldn't see! But, then, that's the great thing about carpenters!

Monday, September 5, 2005

There were many dramatic images from the military action known as Operation Iraqi Freedom - but few more dramatic than the middle-of-the-night rescue of prisoner of war Jessica Lynch. As Coalition forces advanced quickly from the Kuwaiti border to the capital of Baghdad, Pfc. Lynch's unit of Army maintenance troops made a wrong turn and ended up in the middle of an enemy ambush. No one knew Jessie Lynch's fate - she was listed as missing in action. But acting on the tip of Iraqi sympathizers, a Special Operations Force fought their way into the hospital where she was imprisoned, found her, and quickly carried her to a waiting helicopter. And then, they had to fight their way out, too. But Private Lynch was safe - saved by rescuers who risked it all to bring her out.

Monday, August 8, 2005

I’m not sure if it’s harder for a baby to have major surgery or for adults like us. The baby has no idea of what’s going on – which might make it easier. We know too much, so we get to worry a lot. Little Jamie’s not even a year old, but recently he had to undergo heart surgery; which I associate with old guys like me. Jamie is the nephew of one of our team members, and she’s from Australia. The miles made it pretty tough on her, so we all joined her in praying for this little guy so far away. And thankfully, Jamie came through with flying colors. His heart was fixed. It was a tough operation, but it had to be done. You see, Jamie had a hole in his heart, and you can’t just leave it that way!

Friday, August 5, 2005

There were only two words in the headline in USA Today, but most of us understand how urgent those two words can be: "Blood needed!" They were talking about an alarming shortage of blood available in blood banks due to severe winter weather, a holiday season, and a bad flu season. One spokesman for the Association of Blood Banks said, "If you've had a bad car accident or a couple of gunshot wounds, you're in a world of trouble." I guess so. There is no fact more basic to human life - without the blood you need, you die.

Monday, August 1, 2005

Marty McFly met a strange scientist with a machine that promised interesting results - the ability to go back in time. And he did. He went, as the title of the movie about it says, "Back to the Future." He had a most amazing experience getting to know his mother and his father when they were teenagers - an experience some of us might find very interesting. His dad, George McFly, was a milquetoast, bossed-around kind of guy, afraid to stand up to anybody. Marty has always known him to be that kind of a man, until he is transported back to the night that will determine the course of the rest of his Dad's life - and his Mom's. One decision - whether or not George McFly will stand up to the bully who is attacking his girlfriend - who is to become Marty's mother - is the turning point of George's life. And Marty is there to help his Dad make the right and courageous choice. It totally changes the course of George McFly's life. He steps up, defends his girl, and neutralizes the bully who wanted her. So instead of the life Marty has known with a pretty unsuccessful, wimpy dad, he returns to his life with a strong and successful dad because of that choice. A very different life because of one decision that changed the future.

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Ashley Smith was just getting her life back together. As a 26-year-old single mom, she had had a pretty rough journey. A Christian upbringing but a youthful rebellion - brushes with the law, some drug issues, jobs found and lost - and finally marriage and a little girl. Four years ago, her husband died in her arms from stab wounds in a violent attack. On that night in March of 2005, she was just getting settled in the apartment she had moved into two days earlier. When she returned from her 2:00 A.M. run to the store, accused killer Brian Nichols forced his way into her apartment at gunpoint. Nichols was the object of the largest manhunt in Georgia history after his deadly escape from a downtown courtroom where he left the judge and three others shot to death. Later, he shot another man. Initially, he bound and gagged Ashley. Eventually, he began to trust her enough to give her some freedom. And for seven hours, she began to talk to the killer in her living room. She talked about the battles of her life - about the little daughter she was supposed to pick up the next morning - and about her newly reborn faith. With his permission, she read to him from the book she was reading, The Purpose-Driven Life.

Ultimately, he allowed Ashley to leave - after she seemingly had persuaded him to consider ending the killing and to give up peacefully. After she called law enforcement - as he almost surely knew she would - they swarmed around that apartment only to see him come out and quietly surrender. Later, Ashley Smith recalled some extraordinary things that Brian Nichols had said to her. He told her he thought she was an angel sent from God - that he was lost and that God had led him right to her so she could tell him, from the well of her own hurt, how the people he had hurt were feeling. She told him he was a child of God and that she wanted him to do God's will. Then she said, "I guess he began to want to." For days, the national media talked over and over again about those extraordinary seven hours and the incredible young woman who had helped end a bloodbath. She said it was not her at all. It was the God who was leading her now "purpose-driven life."

Monday, June 27, 2005

I was watching on TV the observance of the tenth anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, and my mind raced back to this unforgettable personal visit I had to the site of, well, what was a very deadly tragedy. In a pre-September 11th America, that terrorist bombing of a Federal Office Building left most Americans in stunned disbelief; at least it did me. My guide for my visit to the memorial made it really special and very moving, actually. Because he's a state trooper who was one of the rescuers that day. His recollections of the joy of rescues and the heartbreak of lost lives are something I'll never forget. Of course, all the traces of that bombed-out building are gone now. The site is now a beautiful lawn with a stone chair for each of the victims. What was the street that day is now a reflection pond. Nothing remains there from the day the world stopped at 9:02 A.M. - nothing, that is, except the tree. On an embankment across from what was the building site stands a big old tree, still partially blackened by the bomb blast. We stood there, my rescuer friend and I, and we prayed beneath those branches that somehow had endured the blast. They call it The Survivor Tree.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

It was a 2004 American League Championship Series, and one big reason the Boston Red Sox triumphed over my New York Yankees was a veteran pitcher named Curt Schilling. He was selected to pitch the opening game in the New York series, and although he had torn an ankle tendon in his previous start, he thought he could gut it out. He was wrong. Losing that game actually started the Red Sox into a 3-0 deficit in the best of seven series. The Red Sox started to come back, and amazingly, Curt Schilling had a chance to try again. Later he would tell the press that the first game showed what he could do. This second outing showed what God can do. Although Curt had been named "Good Guy of the Year" actually by Sporting News, he had never talked publicly about the commitment to Jesus Christ he made several years before.

This time, while praying with his pastor before the game, he expressed his willingness to speak up about his Lord if he was given the opportunity. His incredible four-hit victory gave him that chance. He clearly glorified God in his post game interview. Later, when he pitched a winning game in Game 2 of the World Series, Curt Schilling told reporters: "If you haven't checked it out, read Philippians 4:13 - that's 'I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.' I can't do anything these days without having that reverberate in my head." Those public declarations of his dependency on Christ may well have been his greatest victories. Later he said, "I've learned that you should never hide your faith. I had wasted seven years. People didn't know."

Friday, May 27, 2005

Jennifer and Kourtney were three-year-old twins, and they were excited about pre-school! In fact they were so excited, they got up in the middle of the night in their Omaha, Nebraska home and they walked out of the house to make the six-block walk to school. All this while their parents were sound asleep. You say, "Isn't that cute?" No. Snow was everywhere that night, and the temperature was nine degrees below zero, and the girls were reported missing at 4:05 A.M. after family members awoke to find a light on and the front door open. Two police officers started driving the route to school, hoping to find the girls before it was too late. At one point, their squad car was actually stopped by the ice on a steep hill. They were stopped right in front of an alley, which they decided to investigate. And there they found first little footprints, then three tan boots, no bigger than the palm of the officer's hand, and finally they found barefoot Kourtney, wearing an open coat kneeling beside her sister Jennifer, who was face down in the snow, wearing socks but no coat. Even though Jennifer was near death when they found her, both girls miraculously survived. If someone had not come looking for them, they would have died.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
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