August 23, 2022

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The book is called Good to Great. It's a thought-provoking book on management written by Jim Collins and a research team that he headed. They identified eleven of the most effective companies in the United States, and then they pursued this question: "What specifically makes these companies so different?" This research actually challenged many of the author's preconceptions. There were actually lots of surprises. Interestingly, the first thing Collins and his team point to as common to every one of these consistently successful companies is this, and it is a surprise - the modesty of the various CEOs who led them. They suggest that the starting point of a great company is a humble leader - highly focused, sometimes driven people - but known for being gracious, self-effacing, understated. I guess in a word, humble.

August 5, 2022

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There's this age where a toddler just starts exploding with words they're learning and hour-by-hour discoveries they're making. Those "discoveries" quickly teach new parents a survival skill. It's called "baby proofing" - as in removing anything that little person could get their hands on that might do them harm or vice versa. The way you discover what needs to be removed is usually by the toddler getting their hands on it. Suddenly, parents are playing defense against this strong, and suddenly very independent, toddler offense. I've watched this time-honored human drama being acted out in our son and daughter-in-law's home when our then one-year-old granddaughter started exploring each new day. When she wanted something she couldn't reach, she made sure that they knew that. Our son explained our little angel's frame of mind this way: "All she ever wants is just beyond her reach."

August 3, 2022

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Brian's a Youth Pastor, and Earl? His most unlikely volunteer. See, Earl wasn't the right age to help out with teenagers. A pretty simple guy, not very well educated. He had one of those faces that looked like it had been lived in for a long time. And he didn't think he had any abilities that would help. In fact, that's what he told Brian. He said, "You know, Brian, I can't do anything. But I really have a heart for the kids." So Brian said, "Well, do you make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?" Earl said, "Well, sure! I can do that!" Well, that began a series of events that changed a life; well, really two lives forever.

July 15, 2022

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One of my more anxious moments related to air travel, and it actually had nothing to do with an airplane. It had to do with my two sons, who at the time were pretty young. We were going through the security checkpoint on the way to our gate, and all of a sudden they started joking about the one word you don't mention at airport security.

June 22, 2022

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It had been a pretty rough week. Missy lost her mother the day before and Andy's wife filed for divorce that day. And a friend had texted recently, heartbroken over his sister-in-law's cancer verdict. And then we had some reservation friends of ours that were grieving over one young suicide after another.

June 13, 2022

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There's a lot of sheep-talk in the Bible, which puts "city boy" here at a distinct disadvantage. I grew up in Chicago, we didn't have them there. No, if the Bible used like cockroaches as an example, I'd be all set. But I've had to learn about sheep from friends who have been around them a lot. One of our ministry team worked with ranchers a lot with their sheep. And he told me about how the shepherd gets his sheep to go where he wants them to go! There's a way that works and a way that doesn't work. My co-worker said that he has seen people get behind sheep and try to push them along. Notice I said, try! It doesn't work, no matter how much noise he makes or how he waves his arms. When they are pushed by a shepherd, sheep just scatter. But when he gets out in front of them; when he leads them the way he wants them to go, the sheep follow after him. Not a bad idea.

May 31, 2022

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I think it all started when the bananas started going bad. That's when our daughter decided to bake them up into four loaves of banana bread. Then she asked their church for some folks who might need a little lift right now. With that cheer-up list in hand and our then four-year-old and two-year-old grandchildren assisting, she proceeded to drop off some banana bread blessing at four homes. She took the boys with her into each house, and they actually are the ones who gave the resident the gift. First house, the man's wife had just died. He was so thrilled over their gift that he gave each boy a dollar which he refused to take back. Second house, a man with a very sick wife. He insisted on thanking the boys by giving them candy. Third house, a lady living alone, very serious, until the boys gave their gift. Big smile! And the fourth house, another lonely woman and a big hug for each boy. As our daughter debriefed her little banana ambassadors, our four-year-old recounted the unexpected gifts they had received in the process of giving, including a big smile and a big hug. Then the little guy summed up his feelings about the day: "Mommy, today was such an adventure."

May 25, 2022

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It is no fun to be sick on Thanksgiving Day. My honey was. Much of the family was together for Thanksgiving, but she was the one person who just felt too sick to join the festivities. I mean after all, she had 101-plus degree fever, swollen glands, a burning sore throat, a full nose and ears. Nothing fatal, just really feeling crummy. And she didn't want to give any of us a Thanksgiving gift that we would not be thankful for.

May 19, 2022

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Well, you probably know the feeling too, you go in the other room to get something, and you can't remember why you went there. Until you go and sit down in the other room again, and then you remember. How many times do we do that? I guess that's the harmless kind of forgetfulness. But too many of us have had loved ones who, as the years went on, remembered less and less; sometimes even the people who loved them. When people's memory goes, they can become very easily disoriented; they can make some very bad decisions and even place themselves in great danger.

May 18, 2022

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If you look on the backside of an American nickel, you'll see a picture of it. It's that domed mansion of President Thomas Jefferson, known as Monticello. It's a living monument, really, to the genius of one of America's great minds - the author of America's Declaration of Independence.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
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