Wednesday, January 18, 2016

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We knew our grandson was about to learn to walk. He was showing all the signs. He'd been crawling. He'd been pulling himself up to a couch or a table. And he would just laugh when one of us took him by the arms and, you know, let him walk step by step in front of us. And then one day he tried it by himself. And you know how he learned to walk? Same way I did, the same way you did. Step-boom! And when he fell, he had a couple of choices. He could have just laid there and said to himself, "That's it! I tried to walk. I'm not cut out for this. I failed." Can you imagine? So, let's say he is 18 years old still lying there in the middle of the living room! His mother is vacuuming around him. His friends are rolling into his room with him. That's not what he did. He did what every other baby has always done. He got up. And he went step, step-boom! Then step, step, step-boom! And he learned to walk pretty well because he got up when he fell down!

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  • forgiveness
  • Sin
  • struggle
  • failure

Tuesday, January 17, 2016

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I guess you could call it creative architecture. Or you could just call it a big stone in the middle of a high brick wall. I saw this phenomenon when I visited the new station of one of our radio partners. The front wall of the station has this big old 230-pound stone about halfway up the wall in the middle of the bricks. There's no way that could be mistake or an accident. It is, in fact, a message.

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  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • stress
  • life
  • cornerstone
  • foundation

Monday, January 16, 2016

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John Parker had it made. After two attempts to escape being a slave to a Southern slave owner, he had finally gotten his freedom. He chose to live in Ripley, Ohio, right on the freedom side of the Ohio River. He got a house and he got a good job as a factory worker. In fact, ultimately, he owned a foundry and he invented many processes that were used widely in that industry. He was safe, secure and successful. But night after night, John Parker risked it all. Under cover of darkness, he rowed across the river to the Kentucky side-slave territory. If he was caught, he could lose his freedom. He could lose his life. But in spite of the risks, John Parker went looking for runaway slaves. And he found them and rowed them across the river to the freedom side. It's actually believed that John Parker was responsible for at least 900 slaves going free.

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  • rescue
  • forgiveness
  • Sin
  • fear
  • outreach

Friday, January 13, 2016

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When we secured land to build our Ministry Headquarters, we barely noticed the barn that was standing on that land, until God blessed us with some truckloads of donated materials which needed a place to be stored. Suddenly, we were taking a second look at this old pole barn filled with hay. The center was the only part that had walls – walls with rotting wood. The east and west sides of the barn had no walls, just some rotting old poles holding up a makeshift roof. We asked a contractor friend if there was any hope for the barn – especially since some folks had said just to bulldoze it. The contractor said the rafters and the foundation were actually good enough that something might be able to be done.

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  • Death
  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • love
  • mercy

Thursday, January 12, 2016

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It was England's darkest hour. Each night the air raid sirens would wail their haunting warning that German bombers were again approaching London with their showers of death. And each night, Londoners would race to the city's bomb shelters, many of them underground in London's subway stations. When people surveyed the damage the next morning, of course the landscape had changed, with once familiar buildings now turned to rubble – and sometimes neighbors lost to the bombs.

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  • rescue
  • Your Hard Times
  • the light
  • push back the darkness

Wednesday, January 11, 2016

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It may be a common term in the military, but I don't think I ever heard it before until I saw an interview some years ago with some American soldiers who were working to establish an air base at Kandahar in Afghanistan. They were busy finding and clearing land mines, repairing and expanding the runway – and, at the same time, carefully defending their perimeter. The soldiers pointed out that there were still Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters hiding out – and waiting for an opportunity, of course, to do some serious damage. That's when one soldier referred to what he called "high value targets". He said the enemy still had the capability to take out some "high value target" like an incoming aircraft, for example.

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  • faith
  • prayer
  • integrity
  • armor of God

Tuesday, January 10, 2016

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The funeral plans for Matt were in the works. The Park Service had announced that Matt was one of five people who had been killed in a plane crash on a mountainside in Montana. The funeral never happened. Suddenly, Matt's bereaved parents heard the stunning news: although he had been badly injured, their son, along with one other Forest Service worker, had just been rescued alive, miles from the crash site. Rescue workers at the scene of the crash had concluded that the charred wreckage and the scattered human remains indicated that the crash had been "un-survivable". But amazingly, Matt and his fellow worker hiked for 29 hours, often in subfreezing temperatures, until they reached a highway where a motorist picked them up. One news magazine called it, "A Miracle in the Snows of Montana" (Newsweek, October 4, 2004). I guess!

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  • faith
  • family
  • prayer
  • friends

Monday, January 9, 2016

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Our daughter is all grown up now, but she'll never forget that very scary moment when she was four years old. My wife was shopping in a supermarket with our son riding in the grocery cart and our daughter walking with her – well, actually running ahead of her. Karen had warned her to stay in the same aisle she was in, but we're talking a firstborn here – so she had to run ahead to other aisles to explore, of course. Until suddenly she noticed how high those shelves were and how long those aisles were, and the fact that she didn't see anything familiar. And suddenly she felt that awful feeling that she still describes today as "scary" – she was lost. Not too long ago, she told me how it felt. As a grown woman, she said, "Suddenly my security wasn't there." Thankfully, her mother came looking for her. Our daughter got lost, but someone who loved her found her.

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  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • meaning
  • searching
  • seeking
  • something missing

Friday, January 6, 2016

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We had someone on our ministry team who was really an enthusiastic auto-racing fan. If you're into that sport, you know a name like Jeff Gordon is one of the best in the business. One of the people that helped him get to that position is the man who has been head of his pit crew. You've probably seen those high-speed cars swing into their service pit and only seconds later they roar back into the race.

My racing fan friend told me about a TV special a while back on Jeff Gordon. On it, they interviewed the head of his pit crew – who, by the way, has a degree in organizational behavior. Isn't that interesting? He revealed just how amazing the work of the pit crew is in a sport where seconds really matter. The pit crew chief said they will change up to 20 tires in one race. Just think of what those speeds have to do to a tire! And they change a complete set of four tires (You ready now?) in thirteen seconds. That's faster than I can finish off a bite of my dinner! The driver, of course, is the name everyone knows. But the driver knows he's nothing without his pit crew!

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  • encouragement
  • support
  • ecourager

Thursday, January 5, 2016

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The precision of America's weapons during recent military engagements has been pretty amazing. But even in these days of high-tech efficiency, there are still casualties and fatalities from what's called "friendly fire". In the war on terrorism, one of our most accurate bombs went astray and killed some of our own military. Several days after that tragedy, four of the men injured by that bomb – men who lost some of their comrades – were interviewed. I was struck especially by the comments of their commanding officer. Basically, here's what he said. "I will have my time to cry and grieve for what we've lost, but not now. I have men to lead and I have a war to win. My feelings will have to wait."

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  • control
  • feelings
  • leadership

            

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

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