February 18, 2021

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Okay, imagine I'm holding a $20 bill in my hand. I don't get to do that too often (at least it doesn't stay there), so this would be a really special moment for me. If you were sitting here with me and I offered that $20 to you, would you take it? I think you would. Now you're going to have to use your imagination to picture this, but let's say I'm now crumpling that nice $20 bill and I'm crushing it into a little wad. Can you picture that? You still want it? If you were right here, would you still take it? It's all wadded up. OK, now pretend I'm beating on this wadded up bill, and I am actually stomping on it with my foot. (I could get some exercise this way.) If I still offered to you this $20, would you still take it? It's been beat up, it's been crushed, it's been stomped on! Well, of course you would.

February 16, 2021

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My friend Jim was young, but already a veteran rock climber. He was going to college only a few miles from one of America's most majestic mountain peaks...and one of the most challenging and dangerous to climb. He was excited to climb another towering mountain with a longtime veteran of those slopes. The mountain is actually part of the highest peak, but it's known as Disappointment Peak. It got its name from climbers who used that approach to get to the top of that ultimate mountain top. It's a tough climb, but you're inspired by the sense you're getting closer and closer to your majestic goal. And then, after a long, hard climb, you suddenly come to this chasm; a chasm that is uncrossable and thousands of feet deep. You thought you were on your way to the goal you were shooting for. Sorry, it's Disappointment Peak.

February 12, 2021

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Our son had just finished his first day of high school and he thought he had found the "happy hunting ground." For girls, that is. He regaled his sister, then a junior in high school, with stories about all the incredible girls he'd seen that day. The more he talked, the more disgusted she became. Finally, she just blurted out, "You are so superficial!" To which he immediately replied, "Well, of course. I'm a freshman! We're into superficial!"

February 8, 2021

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Stonewall Jackson was one of the South's greatest generals in the Civil War, and he died on the battlefield - shot by mistake by his own men. He's possibly the most famous victim of one of war's greatest tragedies. They call it friendly fire. It's bad enough that a fellow soldier is killed by enemy fire, but the heartbreak is compounded when someone is shot by their own.

February 4, 2021

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It wasn't part of the day that I had planned, but it was an invitation I couldn't refuse. A friend asked me on the spur of the moment if I'd go to lunch with him. He was paying. "Yep, can do!" What I didn't know was that my friend was taking me to a private club where he was a member. We're talking like upscale dining here. I was wearing a dress shirt and slacks which made me among the best-dressed at McDonald's. But apparently it left me sadly underdressed for this private club. The host gently informed me that a suit coat or sport jacket was required for entrance. As I was about to give my friend my takeout order, the host reached into a closet and produced a sport coat. He said, "Just wear this." I did. It was a great place. It was a great lunch. And did I mention he paid? Oh, yeah, right.

February 2, 2021

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I'm glad I was raised in a part of the country that's a real "four seasons" place, because I love all four seasons! Where I grew up, one of them seemed a little longer than the others. It was called winter. But I think fall is my favorite season of all. I love the blooming beauty of the spring, but my favorite is the blazing colors of those fall leaves. It's not that the leaves have no color the rest of the year, but I've never known people to drive far away to see the beautiful green leaves. They will travel to see the leaves of fall. The ironic thing is that they are about to die at that point. But they are something to see!

January 29, 2021

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I don't believe in ghosts - for the most part. There's one kind of ghosts that are all too real. They talked about those "ghosts" in the movie, "Amazing Grace." That movie told the story of the 18th Century British political leader, William Wilberforce. He's really more than any other man, responsible for the abolishing of slavery in the British Empire. And that was at a time when African slaves played a critical role in the British economy and slave-owning interests controlled a lot of members of Parliament. The battle took 20 years, but ultimately thousands of slaves went free. Wilberforce's spiritual mentor was actually the man who wrote America's most beloved hymn, "Amazing Grace." In his early years, John Newton had been a slave trader, capturing and carrying thousands of Africans to slavery in Britain and the islands. Conditions were so brutal that many didn't even survive the voyage. Then John Newton discovered how Jesus Christ could forgive and change a man. In the movie, John Newton is going blind but he's still pastoring his church in London. And he believed in "ghosts" you might say. As he dictates what he calls "My Confession" to a scribe, he says, "I have lived for years with the company of 20,000 ghosts - those I made into slaves. Their blood is on my hands."

January 26, 2021

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There's this picture that hangs on the wall in our living room. It has meant a lot to me in recent years. Just like an identical picture did was I was four years old. That's when my baby brother died suddenly. My grieving dad, who was not a churchgoer, decided he should take his surviving son to church somewhere.

January 25, 2021

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Our kids gave it to my wife and me as a gift, and we had a great night together with dinner and a show. The show is in the same place as the dinner; there's this large, indoor arena with long tables that encircle the show floor down below. During and after dinner, we watched an impressive show of trick horse riding, dramatic spectacle, and rodeo style events. There's one part of the show I'm not going to forget. A rider actually stands atop two horses, one foot on each horse. They begin to gallop around the arena with the lights down, except for the torches in the middle and a giant ring of fire. Amazingly, the rider and his two horses leaped through that ring of fire together! I'll tell you, the emcee called it "a demonstration of three-way trust." Yeah, I guess!

January 22, 2021

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We were on a reservation basketball court. Our On Eagles' Wings team of young Native Americans were there to share the hope they had found with their generation. Teresa would be the main speaker that night. The one carrying the heavy backpack around all night. She set it down when she spoke. And started pulling out . . . rocks. She said, "You know, a lot of us spend our life carrying around an invisible load like this. A backpack full of rocks from our past - rocks we don't have to be carrying any more."

            

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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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