April 22, 2019

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A ten-year-old boy who never should have waded out into Lake Michigan without knowing how to swim. Me. I can still remember the terror and the helplessness of going under for the second time. I'm alive today because someone on the shore saw me drowning. He jumped in and he saved my life.

Then there were those 33 Chilean miners, trapped for 69 days in a collapsed mine a half mile down. Remember, that rescue capsule was lowered down that newly-created shaft, and the rescuers brought every miner out alive. Or Houston. Hurricane Harvey. Whole neighborhoods, suddenly a lake - and people stranded on their rooftops. Until that rescue chopper came and lifted them to safety.

April 19, 2019

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A listener shared a story with me that's just too powerful not to share with you. A man named George Thomas was a pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning, he got up to speak and he set a rusty, bent-up old bird cage next to the pulpit. You could tell by people's faces that the pastor had some explaining to do. He said, "Well, I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me, swinging this bird cage. On the bottom of the cage were three little birds who were shivering with cold and fear. So I asked the boy, "What you got there?" He said, "Just some old birds." The pastor then asked, "What are you going to do with them?" The boy said, "Well, I'm gonna tease 'em and pull out their feathers to make 'em fight. Then I'm gonna have a real good time." The pastor pointed out that the boy would soon get tired of those birds and he said, "What are you going to do with them then?" "Oh, I've got some cats," the boy said. "They like birds." What happened next is what puts you and me into this picture.

April 16, 2019

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Today he's a respected Christian professional in our community. But legend has it that he had a strong streak of mischief in him when he was a boy, and maybe even now. An older friend from their church told me that when this man was four, his pastor came up to him at a football game and sat down next to him. And the pastor said, "Well, Mark, what have you been doing with yourself lately?" To which Mark replied with a smile, "Would you believe praying?" To which his pastor replied, "No, Mark, I wouldn't believe it." Smart pastor.

April 12, 2019

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My friend Stan was having some new computer systems installed in his office. In the course of their work, the installers asked him what his password was. Well, in order to understand his answer, you need to know that Stan has experienced a dramatic life change because of something that happened to him spiritually a few years ago. He told the computer guys, "My password is 'Jesus.'" Needless to say, they weren't exactly ready for that one. One of them said, "So you can't get in without Jesus?" My friend smiled and said, "Exactly."

April 8, 2019

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When I was a kid, I used to like to put on shows for the other kids in the neighborhood. Hey, wait a minute, am I still doing shows for the kids in the neighborhood? Anyway, I bought a couple of cheap books on magic back then and I had this little kit of magic tricks. Even at my juvenile level, I soon learned that magic wasn't really magic - it was illusions. My beginner magic book talked about how this basic magician skill was called misdirection. The idea is that while you're doing the trick over here you do something that will get everybody looking over there. They said it helped to talk a lot. Well, I knew I'd at least be good at that part.

April 5, 2019

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When I meet people who went to elementary or high school with my wife, they tell me she was shy. I didn't know her then, but I have found that very hard to accept. From the time I met her at a Christian college, she was like vivacious, she was outgoing and she was confident. I've asked her about this seeming contradiction. You know what she told me? Both descriptions are right. In her secondary school years, she lived in the country with parents who gave her a lot of love and courtesy and spiritual wealth, but who didn't have much of what our world calls wealth. So, she lived in a home without the conveniences that many of her friends in town would consider basic. She didn't have money to spend on clothes or makeup, so she felt a little self-conscious in a campus world that was so much about the way you dress and the "stuff" you have. But when she got to a Christian college, suddenly everything changed. Here's how she put it: "For the first time in my life, the playing field was level."

April 2, 2019

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Now, I had never been to a quilt auction before. And I probably never would have been to one except for the fact that I had been invited to speak at an outreach at a Mennonite Relief Sale, where thousands come to bid on items made by Mennonite and Amish craftspeople. All the funds go toward worldwide relief efforts. That's cool! It was amazing to hear the spiraling bids shouted out for some exquisitely designed quilts. While I was there, one went for $2,000. Last year, they told me that one quilt had gone for $4,000. They even had sold two handmade dolls for almost $1,000. I was there long enough to see what gave great value to an auction item. See, those dolls were made by a Ugandan refugee. The quilt that went for $4,000 was made laboriously by a severely handicapped woman, and it was the last one she made before she died. When we were told who made it, and when we were told the effort they went to make it, it was suddenly worth a whole lot more.

March 29, 2019

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Our kids were part of the Sesame Street generation. Maybe you can hear the theme song in the back of your mind; it depends on your age. They grew up watching what was then the most creative, groundbreaking children's program of its time. And Sesame Street always had an interesting cast of Muppet characters to make learning more interesting. I mean, who could forget Bert and Ernie, and Mr. Snuffleupagus, and Big Bird (who I always thought looked like a canary on steroids)? And, of course, the epitome of poor hygiene, Oscar the Grouch. In case you've been culturally deprived, Oscar is this hairy creature with his big eyes and a bad attitude who lives in a garbage can. He even sings a song called, "I Love Trash." Oscar doesn't have to live in a garbage can. He chooses to. No wonder he's got a bad attitude!

March 26, 2019

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Our grandson was three years old and he found something he really liked in the Christian bookstore. He brought it to his Daddy and he told him he really wanted it. Our son-in-law said, "Well, do you have any money?" Sadly, our grandson said, "No." But his disappointment was quickly replaced with determination as he went over to this display area where they have this fake money you can buy. He marched up to the cash register with the prize he wanted and the "money" to pay for it. Dad re-entered the scene at that point and said, "Is that really money?" Finally, our grandson faced the sad reality. He said, "No. It's not really money."

March 22, 2019

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It started out as a family adventure; it ended as a family tragedy. James Reddick took his 12-year-old son and his 11-year-old daughter on a hiking expedition up on Mount Rainier in Washington State. All of a sudden, a freak snowstorm arose and it created instant blizzard conditions and hurricane force winds. There was a blinding "white out" around them; they couldn't go any further. Dad knew they had to create some kind of shelter. All he could do was to cut out a large hole in the ground; he used a cup from their cooking kit actually to do it, and then he put his children in that hole and covered it with a tarp. But the fierce winds just kept blowing the tarp away, and that left the children exposed to that deadly storm. The father tried everything he could to hold down the tarp. Nothing worked. Finally, he made one last desperate attempt to save his children. He actually lay across that hole himself to keep the snow from blowing in. Two days later, a search party noticed the edge of a backpack. They uncovered the hole and they found the two children alive and well. But first they uncovered their father who froze to death, protecting the ones he loved.

            

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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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