January 14, 2019

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Tom thought he had the perfect hiding place. In fact, he told me about it the other day. Actually, Tom isn't his real name, but the incident really happened about 20 years ago when he was a teenager. He was raised in a Christian family; he was a nice Christian boy - except for some of his reading material. Yeah, and this was before the Internet, and he got into buying "Playboy" and some other similar magazines. And he hid them where he was sure no one would ever find them - in his old, unused ice box where no one ever went. Well, one day, Tom went to get his dirty magazines and they were gone. But that wasn't the worst part. There was a Bible where the magazines had been! He knew it had to be his Dad. There was never a word spoken about it, but there were no more magazines after that. Great switch, huh?

January 13, 2019

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Metal mouth! Yeah, that's what they called my daughter in Junior High. Of course, there were plenty of kids you could call that. Those pre-teen and early teen years? Those are braces years a lot of times. All our kids got to take their turn at braces, and we were thankful, frankly, that we had a friend who was an orthodontist. The work was important, but the bills? They were challenging! Our friend allowed us to pay in installments, but even that was hard sometimes. We still had this large unpaid balance the day our latest bill arrived. We opened it and we couldn't believe the three beautiful words that were stamped across the bill - PAID IN FULL!

January 10, 2019

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Aunt Betty's wedding ring had been in the family for three generations, and it was passed down to my wife. There's probably no piece of jewelry that she treasured more than this one. But she couldn't wear it because Aunt Betty's ring size was a lot larger than my wife's little fingers. So Karen identified a jeweler whose craftsmanship she trusted and she entrusted this heirloom to him to be downsized. To be honest, she was a little nervous leaving it with anyone, but she did commit it to this jeweler. When he called that the ring was ready, she could hardly wait to see what he had done with it. Well, the diamonds were intact, the ring looked the same, but it fit her perfectly. He didn't make it into a necklace or a pendant. He didn't change the setting of the stones. Of course not. He took what was entrusted to him and just made it better.

January 9, 2019

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On some of my trips I can travel pretty light, but there have been some where I felt like a mule carrying the things I had to take. One trip I had to pack for three different seasons; professional settings, youth settings. Well, you get the idea. I was going to be gone for quite a while, of course, I had to basically take my office with me too. I had a lot of baggage! When I arrived, someone from the area met me at the gate and they said those magic words, "Let me help you with your bags." I did.

January 8, 2020

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One of the cities that symbolizes the charm of the Old South for me is Charleston, South Carolina. When you go down to the harbor and hire a carriage ride to go to the old part of the city, you feel like you're suddenly back in like "Gone With the Wind" or something. These antebellum homes and mansions are classic. I thought it was great that this historic part of the city had been so well preserved over the years, until the carriage driver told me what really happened. These old buildings had actually deteriorated terribly over the years and the area had become pretty shabby until some people took an interest in financing a renewal.

January 7, 2020

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The Lewis and Clark Expedition! They were that bold group of explorers that Thomas Jefferson sent to explore the largely uncharted Louisiana Purchase. The expedition was under the leadership of Captains Lewis and Clark, and it faced blazing heat and bone-chilling cold. They had some close calls with vicious animals, they were attacked by insects, they had the prospect of massacre by many Indian tribes whose land they were crossing, there were perilous passages, and even the death of one of their own. After a year and a half of paying a really high price, Captain William Clark stood one day in the bow of his boat, pointed west up the Columbia River, and shouted, "Ocean in view!" Later he wrote in his journal: "Ocean in view! O joy! Great joy in camp! For we are in view of the ocean, this great Pacific Ocean which we had been so long anxious to see!"

January 6, 2020

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It was one of those primitive science experiments that a lot of boys try. OK, it's a sunny winter day. You lay out a board on the ground - this is what I did anyway. Now you can leave it there all day with the sun beating down on it. It won't even get warm. Oh, but now the exciting part of the experiment. Yep! You take a piece of glass and you focus the sun's rays on one spot on that board. Same sun, same board - very different result. Eventually, that board starts to get hot - and you've got smoke - maybe even a fire going there. Amazing, huh?

January 3, 2020

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My son and I were waiting in front of a restaurant and we saw this dad desperately trying to keep his impatient two-year-old occupied. Good luck! What's that word we sometimes use to describe the "two-year-olds"? "Terrible twos"? Yeah, well, there's something in a little child that wants freedom, and will go for it at the first opportunity. This kid was no exception. As soon as his dad let go for a moment, he started chugging down the sidewalk. Dad started after him, of course, pretending he was having a hard time catching the little guy. Well, you knew he wasn't. My son just watched in amusement and he said to me, "It's so funny watching a kid trying to get away from his father. You know he's going to lose."

January 2, 2020

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Now when you go food shopping it isn't as simple as it used to be. But that's a good thing, because you have to take time to read the labels. You don't just grab and run. Now, you think about it, we can find out now what's really in that cereal or those cookies or whatever. We're starting to realize more that what we eat has a lot to do with how healthy we are. And maybe how long we live. There's a lot of damaging ingredients hidden in some of that food, like for example, fat grams! Before we buy something, we've got to know about the fat grams in it and a whole lot of other things. I mean, who needs that stuff keeping your blood from your heart? Now, we smart shoppers, who want to live a little longer, realize the damage that those ingredients can do; some of that stuff that's hiding in the food, so we don't just buy the good-looking food because it looks good. Uh! Uh! First, we check for what's in that product that could do damage!

January 1, 2020

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I've never been in a storm at sea and that's fine! I've heard the stories. You remember the ship, some years ago, that was making this transatlantic voyage from Liverpool to New York. One night, at a time when most of the passengers were asleep, the ship was hit by this "mega" Atlantic storm. The wind and the waves were so violent at one point they actually tipped the ship almost on its side, and down below, the passengers were thrown out of their beds. They're freaking out! I mean, this is a rude awakening! Now in this one cabin, a little girl was thrown out of her bed like everybody else and her mother was already awake from the intensity of the storm. But there was one thing different about this particular passenger. See, her daddy was the captain! While she was all bleary eyed, she asked her mom the only thing she really wanted to know about the situation, "Is daddy on deck?" Her mom said, "Well yes he is, honey." The little girl's response was right to the point, "Then I'm going back to bed."

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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