April 14, 2020

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Magicians are a sneaky bunch. Many of them might better be called illusionists. Oh, l know it looks like they made something disappear or turned into something else. But there's this little secret that's behind a lot of those tricks. It's called misdirection. See, when magicians learn to keep talking - talking fast, mostly. Like me. They call it patter. Purpose: to distract unsuspecting folks like me to look over there while the real trick is being done over here. Just get me looking in a different direction and you can probably fool me.

April 13, 2020

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Ocean City, N.J. - actually "memory City" for our family. Like the large, annual youth conference I used to speak for there. One of the favorite activities of the week was a sandcastle competition where delegations from all over competed to see who could win the coveted prize for best sandcastle. And you should have seen the masterpieces they created! They were massive, creative, detailed - little empires made of sand. Of course, they made them at low tide. It was kind of depressing to go back there a few hours later at high tide. Because no matter how elaborate, how imaginative, how brilliantly designed they were, they were gone. They just couldn't survive the onslaught of high tide.

April 10, 2020

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Twenty-three marks on the wall of his four-by-four prison cell told the story. It had just been three weeks since the soldiers captured him - the number one name on the Most Wanted List - at a local bar and they hauled him into this cell. The charges were robbery, treason, and murder. Day 23 was going to be just another day there, or so he thought until he heard the growing sounds of that angry mob outside the window above him. He managed to grab the bars on the window and pull himself up high enough to hear what the crowd was screaming. It was a combination of shock and fear that swept over him when he heard they were shouting his name! "Give us Ba-rabbas! Give us Ba-rabbas!"

April 6, 2020

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I had the last handful of dirt. Many of our dear Native American friends had led the way. They really loved my Karen. As I threw mine into that six-foot hole, I spoke three words engraved inside our wedding rings, "Til Jesus comes." And then just quietly I said, "See you soon, baby." And I know I will because of Easter. Easter didn't stop the tears. Easter didn't cushion her adoring grandchildren from the shock that they would not see again on this earth the one whose hugs and laugh and love had lit up their lives. Neither would I. Neither would her children who never stopped depending on her prayer and her wisdom. Easter doesn't shield us from the grim reality of the casket, that hole in the ground, the empty blue recliner. Or the gut-wrenching emotional ambushes when the "I'm missing her" feelings that usually whisper, suddenly scream. But the reality of that empty tomb near a skull-shaped hill in Jerusalem is a game-changer in so many ways. For the one by the grave, and the one in the grave on both sides of the dirt.

April 3, 2020

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I've always been fascinated with lighthouses. I actually saw this feature on the evening news about a photographer who decided he loves the seagull perspective on lighthouses. He's got this little customized aircraft, he flies over Maine's many picturesque lighthouses, shooting unusual aerial photos of them. They're beautiful; they're even inspiring. He's seen them and photographed them in all kinds of settings: sunshine, clouds, storms, high tide, and low tide. And here's how he summarized what he's seen: "The lighthouse is always there, but everything else is changing."

March 31, 2020

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The cable news people called it a miracle. So did the man who is alive today because of what happened. He'd gone out for an afternoon on his boat off the coast of California. He didn't expect that sudden high wind that hit his vessel. Threw him catapulting over the rail and into the water. The boat continued moving with its propellers nearly cutting him to pieces. He escaped that danger with relatively minor cuts, but now he was alone and adrift in these cold waters, knowing that hypothermia would soon set in. He was unable to sustain himself in that water, and he prayed for divine help. And at that moment, he saw a balloon floating on the water nearby. He grabbed the balloon, put it under his shirt to keep him buoyant. There's one problem with balloons - they tend to lose air. And slowly, the balloon that was holding him up just did that.

March 27, 2020

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There was this little song from a children's TV show. It goes, "One of these things is not like the other; one of these things doesn't belong." That's how I look in the middle of twenty or thirty professional football players. That's where I've ended up a number of times when I've spoken for NFL chapel services. Every professional football team actually has a chapel meeting before their game. Often, I was invited to join the players for the team meal after the chapel. Of course, their game day meal was this massive buffet, designed to help them power up for this grueling afternoon they have ahead. After one chapel, I had the privilege of visiting for some time with one of the players who had actually played in three Super Bowls and had been named the Most Valuable Player in one of them. I said, "So you have three Super Bowl rings?" He said, "Yep, but it's still not enough. I've got ten fingers. I won't be happy until I've got a Super Bowl ring on all of them!" Wow!

March 24, 2020

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Our boys wore clothes with labels way outside my budget, because of the generosity of a local doctor and his wife. He had first been a major medical blessing to us with the excellent care he provided. Then he and his wife blew us away with these bags full of cool clothes that their boys had outgrown.

There was a special connection that led us to being dinner guests in each other's home. I don't remember the dinner at their house, but I'll never forget the conversation. They knew we were Christians, and we knew they were Jewish. I thanked them that night "for how much your people have meant in our lives." Needless to say, they wanted to know more.

March 20, 2020

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I can't begin to count how many hundreds of thousands of miles I've flown commercially. And I don't think I've ever missed a flight where it was my fault. Well, almost never. Recently, I was on a ministry trip with one of our young Native American leaders - not a very seasoned traveler. We had one more connection to reach our destination. It was a smaller plane - so our gate was at the far end of the airport with flights being called right and left. No call yet for our flight. So I excused myself to go to a nearby counter for some health food - actually, a pastry. There are different kinds of health, don't judge me. There's like emotional health you know. When I got back to our gate, I went to check on our flight. That's when I saw the dreaded words I had not seen before - FLIGHT CLOSED. NO FURTHER BOARDING. My young associate was quite impressed with Mr. Seasoned Traveler. No way we were going to get on that plane!

March 17, 2020

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Most of us don't have a friendly neighborhood blacksmith anymore. Some of us city folks might never see one if they didn't have them at historic sites and some old-time American theme parks. I'm pretty sure the first blacksmith our three-year-old granddaughter ever saw was the one at the park we took her to. When we stopped by the blacksmith's shop, we were the only ones there. Our granddaughter was really interested in his fire and how he pounded those hot, shapeless metal things into useful objects. Later, as we started to leave, Mr. Blacksmith stopped us. Even though he does some pretty tough work, he's obviously a caring man. He caught up with us because he wanted to do something special for our little girl - he handed her a nail that he had just made. She wouldn't let go of that nail for most of the rest of the day. And last I knew, it was still one of her treasures.

            

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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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