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 4, 2019

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I don't have much time for TV, and when I do, I don't usually watch gymnastics. But some time ago they were showing a sports feature about gymnastics on a plane flight. As usual, I had too much to do to get the headset that carries the audio, but I did occasionally glance up at the video part. It was a gymnastics meet between the U.S. and Russia. You can probably guess who I was rooting for. Now, I couldn't hear any commentary, but I saw some impressive performances by these young athletes. I also saw an occasional replay. But every time they did a replay, it seems like all they showed was the gymnast's mistakes; anything she was marked down for, and they kept replaying it. They had executed some great moves, but no, we don't go over those - just their mistakes.

April 3, 2019

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It was the strangest picnic in American history I think. It was July 1861, on a hill in Northern Virginia, overlooking a stream called Bull Run. The Southern states had seceded from the Union, they'd attacked a Union fort in April, and now what the North called "the rebel army" was headed for Washington, D.C. Most people in the capitol thought the Union Army was going to mop up these Southern forces in a matter of weeks, and they wanted to see it happen as the Northern troops moved to engage the Confederates at Bull Run. They came from church in their Sunday best, the ladies and gentlemen of Washington arriving at the hill overlooking Bull Run in their carriages. They laid out their tablecloths, commenced their picnic, and started passing the fried chicken. Down below, the men in blue and the men in gray mingled their blood in the waters of Bull Run.

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.

April 1, 2019

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One lousy moose - that's all our family wanted to see. The moose did not get the memo. Or he did get the memo and he took off. We were on our first trip to Alaska years ago, and all five Hutchcrafts were determined, "We're going to meet a moose." After all, like they're grazing in every backyard in Alaska, right? Well, the February we were there it looked like they'd decided to take the winter in the Bahamas. I was busy speaking at some meetings, so my wife and kids were out driving around, you know, looking for a moose. They even went to the animal sanctuary. We were told there was always a moose there. Not always. Several people told us about hitting a moose that suddenly appeared in the middle of the road. Not any on the road we were on. Someone suggested leaving a Hershey bar on our car - something about a chocolate mousse. Anyway, we weren't that desperate. Well, lots of looking, no finding. Next morning, we drove down the driveway of the house someone had loaned to us and guess what? Yep! Three moose, grazing at the end of the driveway. I guess you don't find moose; they find you.

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 28, 2019

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A runaway train: that's how they billed the upcoming story on the evening news, and I stayed tuned. They weren't exaggerating. Somehow a freight train (this actually happened in Ohio a few years ago) started rolling down the tracks with no one on board. It kept rolling for many miles across the Ohio countryside, sometimes at speeds of nearly 60 MPH. It was pretty amazing to see the footage of a railroad intersection, lights blinking, gates down, cars stopped, and here is a train just rolling through without anyone at the controls. Well, using a combination of ingenuity and heroism, they finally managed to get a couple of men aboard who were able to stop it. And that's a very good thing!

March 27, 2019

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My wife and her family were out for a swim in a nearby river. They had invited their pastor to go with them. He was pretty much a pool swimmer - a lake swimmer. He was unfamiliar with the river currents that can make swimming a little more challenging than usual. Pastor wasn't aware of the whirlpool in that water near the bluffs that overlooked the river. He got too close, and suddenly he got sucked into that swirling water. Their pastor was in serious trouble. And since everyone was swimming, they didn't immediately see the danger he was in. He'd already gone down twice when he finally managed to get off one yell for help. My father-in-law responded immediately and he went in for the rescue, and he saved his pastor's life that day.

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 25, 2019

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I was with some missionaries in Guadalajara, Mexico, and David was there leading a team that was reaching young Latin Americans through a historic youth broadcast we had going. Now David is a big guy and I had my picture taken with him; he was wearing a tie - I was wearing a sport shirt. It looked like "bring your son to work day." Guess who looked like the son. Because of the crime rate in David's area, he and his family needed a guard dog, and they had one; a big one that's a match even for his master, David. The dog was appropriately named General and he was pretty much in charge at the house. When David came home from a night of ministry, General was right there at the gate, waiting to play. Playing with this aggressive German Shepherd could cost you a finger or two if you're not careful. But, somehow, David had done a good job of mastering the dog. In fact, I heard him tell General, "Get your bowl, and I'll feed you!" General just wanted his master to give him food, but David wanted him to go for it. So, this German Shepherd bolted up the walk to his big, empty plastic bowl, grabbed it in his iron jaws, and trotted up to his master with it. Sure enough, if he got his bowl, his master would fill it.

            

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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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