Tuesday, April 25, 2017

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If it's about the Revolutionary War, I'll probably try to go there. My poor family has been dragged to more historical houses, battlefields, and Colonial restorations. Fortunately, we lived in the town where George Washington actually had his headquarters at one point during the War. So when they had a special militia re-enactment, we went to see it. But it was more than just muskets and bayonets. They had Colonial craftsmen there, too. Including the old blacksmith. He was there in the barn, next to his blazing fire. When I walked in, he was working on these big iron nails - which my wife thought would look nice as hooks and hangers on our mantle at home. They're still there. It was intriguing to watch the blacksmith do his work. Actually, he took a shapeless piece of iron, he heated it in that fire until it was red hot - and it was soft enough to shape - and then he hammered it into something that hunk of metal had never been before - something useful. I know. They're on our mantle, remember?

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  • pain
  • hurt
  • stress
  • struggle
  • purification

Monday, April 24, 2017

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We met Dan and Rita and their dog when we took our Native American team to a reservation in South Dakota. They live in this dusty little village, doing their best to make a difference for the people there. They've got this little dog named Gal. Now most dogs are pretty aggressive in meeting strangers-they come right up to you, even on you. But not Gal. No, she retreats when she sees people. She cowers actually; she trembles. Dan and Rita explained why. Their dog had been severely abused by several previous owners before they got her. So she has a hard time trusting even people who want to treat her right, but she's missing a lot of loving that way.

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  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • the cross
  • real love

Friday, April 21, 2017

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One football team owner called it "the single most impressive symbol of being a champion in all of sports." Yep, he was talking about the National Football League's Super Bowl ring. The rings on Super Bowl champions are worth many thousands of dollars each one! Can you imagine losing something that valuable, that irreplaceable? Former Oakland Raiders champion, Gene Upshaw, can remember that. Yeah, he can imagine it. To keep his Super Bowl ring safe at home, he put it inside a bank that looked like a Pepsi can. Problem: he forgot to tell his housekeepers. You know where this is going? Yep, they mistook the bank for an empty pop can and tossed it out, ring and all.

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  • value
  • worth
  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • abandoned

Thursday, April 20, 2017

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I have some friends who live near this industrial area - it's a steel mill type of industrial. You could take me there blindfolded and I'd know where I am, because the mills produce a distinctive aroma - OK, smell? Stink? Yeah. All day long you can smell this sulfur-like, rotten eggs type of odor. When you go there for the first time, you sniff and you go, "What's that?" Funniest thing - the people who live there answer, "What's what?" They've lived around that stench so long it doesn't even register anymore. It's gross, but they've gotten used to gross.

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  • Sin
  • distractions
  • temptation
  • godliness
  • media

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

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When a little child gets home later than they're supposed to, you know there's going to be something on the other end. There's going to be a worried and not very happy parent waiting for them. I heard recently about a little girl who got home unusually late from school only to find a daddy who was, of course, not happy at all. He asked the little girl why she was late. She said, "Because my friend broke her dolly." Her dad said, "Oh, okay, so you stayed with her to fix it?" He didn't expect her gentle little reply, "No, Daddy. I stayed with her to help her cry."

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  • friendship
  • family
  • outreach
  • empathy
  • coworkers

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

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There are few words that strike more fear into hearts in Middle America than the word "tornado". I grew up there, I know. I mean, twisters can hit so suddenly and they do horrific damage. That was proven again when some deadly tornadoes tore through Oklahoma back in 1999. In fact, one of those was so strong it was almost classified as an F6, which would have created a whole new category of tornado. In light of the power of those storms, the story I saw on the evening news was pretty amazing. After hearing one of those tornado warnings for the tornadoes in Oklahoma that day, a mother and her adult daughter went into a room in their house for safety. It's called a safe room or a strong room, and it's built with concrete that's reinforced with metal. And it's built to withstand even a hit by a tornado. Well, sure enough, the tornado hit that house and there was basically nothing left except for one room - the safe room. And when it was all clear, the mother and daughter walked out unscathed in a neighborhood where virtually everything else had been blown away.

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  • pain
  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • stress
  • forgiveness
  • real love

Monday, April 17, 2017

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I guess TV talk shows run out of material sometimes. You can tell when they're desperate. But one day I guess I turned on some talk show that demonstrates my point. They had four women on the show who were, let's say, average looking - which is what most everybody is. But they sent them backstage for a while to give them what's called a makeover. I guess that woman puts herself into someone else's hands - someone who can skillfully change her eye makeup, her coloring, her lipstick, her hairstyle, and her wardrobe. And voila - out comes this no-longer plain-looking lady. The difference can be amazing! Funniest thing, though, I've never heard of them giving a man a makeover. I guess they do; I've never heard of it. Although, I'll tell you what, a lot of us could really use one.

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  • marriage
  • wife
  • love
  • husband

Friday, April 14, 2017

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My friend, Alan, was working with a carpenter friend of his on a building project. Out of the blue, Alan sprang this rather unusual question on the carpenter, "Do you know what the most powerful nails in the world are?" The craftsman paused on his ladder for a moment and then he said, "I don't know. US Steel?" Alan said, "No. The strongest nails in the world are the three nails that held Jesus Christ on His cross." Well, then Alan just walked into the other room. A few minutes later, the carpenter called for Alan. He said, "Man, you've got to help me. Every time I drive a nail now, it's like I'm nailing Jesus to the cross." My friend said, "Well, in a way, we did."

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  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • church
  • forgiveness
  • Sin

Thursday, April 13, 2017

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I've had to pay my sister-in-law handsomely so I could tell you this story about when she was a little girl. She and her older sister - who you know I married - grew up on a little farm in the Ozarks. One day the family was blessed with the arrival of some new kittens. And my three-year-old sister-in-law loved them so much. So much that she wanted to make sure they had something to drink. So she put them in their full rain barrel. Yeah, I'm sorry to say, the kittens couldn't swim and the kittens drowned. I'm sorry. Her parents asked her why she did such a cruel thing. Turns out, she didn't know it was cruel. She said, "They were thirsty." Well, some cousin insisted that they have a funeral for the kittens, so he lined them up in a shoebox coffin and they gave the kittens a Christian burial. Unfortunately, that was not the end for my dear sister-in-law. She kept wanting to dig them up. And when she was told she couldn't, she just cried and said, "Wanna see kitties." No, you don't!

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  • hurt
  • forgiveness
  • grudge

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

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Full disclosure here. I'm not the guy you want to call when you need a guy to do a job with a hammer. Okay. But look, I do know the fundamentals. A hammer can be used to build something, right? Or to tear it down. Either way, what a hammer hits is not going to stay the same. Life's hammers are like that: Losing your job, your health, the one you love most, as I did recently. Tragedy. Divorce. Betrayal by that person you trusted. Family heartbreak. Those are hammers! And maybe one of those has hit you recently. Or it maybe hit a long time ago but its effects are still there today. And whatever the hammer hits can't possibly stay the same. The only question is whether the blows will build you or tear you down. But the hammer doesn't decide that. We do.

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  • loss
  • faith
  • hurt
  • struggle

            

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

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