December 17, 2019

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You may have noticed firstborn children are usually known for their independence, which can sometimes get them in trouble. When our daughter was four years old, we were on a family shopping trip to the local grocery store. Her little brother was riding in the cart and our daughter was walking ahead of Mom and me and the cart. At a moment when we were looking at the corn flakes or something, she wandered off and into another aisle. To this day she still remembers the panic of realizing she did not know where she was or where we were. She told me, "The aisle looked so long, the shelves looked so high, and I didn't recognize anybody." Suddenly, our little girl realized she was lost.

December 16, 2019

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If anybody ever tells you that travel is glamorous, would you have them talk to me, or anybody who flies a lot? A while back I had one of those glamorous days, chasing through airports to make connections because of delayed flights. And since you don't see many meals on airplanes these days, you have to grab what you can. In this particular airport, I had a few extra minutes for a meal, but not knowing if there would be any other options between where I was and my gate, so I grabbed the first thing in sight, which happened to be the gourmet treat known as a hot dog. It wasn't even that great of a hot dog honestly. But what was especially aggravating was what I saw after I wolfed down that hot dog. Within two minutes, I walked by two or three places where I could have had a real meal! But no, I couldn't wait.

December 13, 2019

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Every time you sing that Christmas carol, "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," you sing those words, "Peace on earth and mercy mild." But if you ever watch the news or read a newspaper, you might well be asking, "Whatever happened to peace on earth?" That's a good question. Some have said that the terrorism danger for Americans has remained high long after September 11, 2001. One national correspondent expressed on television what a lot of people are feeling. He said, "I have never in my lifetime seen such a high degree of threat to our personal security." And financial developments, political developments? They haven't helped much. Then you throw in the dangers that you might be facing personally, it could be medical, or financial, your personal life. Where's that peace that Christmas is supposed to be about?

December 12, 2019

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I was scheduled to speak at a winter retreat in Pennsylvania and I had to drive from New Jersey, and that day winter decided that it was time to do some serious wintering like heavy snow. And it just kept coming! I knew this would be an exciting drive. Well, actually, it turned out to be much easier than I expected. I got out into this mess on Interstate 80 and I had really low visibility, I had blinding snow, and the road was filling up quickly. Of course I was muttering, "Why couldn't they cancel this retreat?" Then I thought of a better idea than complaining. How about trying praying? What an idea! And wouldn't you know, that's when I saw the snowplow in front of me. Well, I got my little car right in behind Mr. Snowplow and I traveled on a clear road most of the way to the retreat! I just drove where the snowplow had already been! That way you're a lot less likely to end up in the ditch!

December 11, 2019

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When Queen Elizabeth was growing up - then Princess Elizabeth - she always knew she would one day be the queen. It wasn't that way with Queen Victoria. When she was young, she actually was shielded from the fact that she would be the next ruling monarch of England. They didn't want her to grow up spoiled. But finally her teacher did let her discover for herself that she would one day be Queen of England - the most powerful monarch in the world at that time. Victoria's response was simple: "Well, then I will be good!" She understood she needed to live her life based on her royal position.

December 10, 2019

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A family on vacation. Nobody feels especially like doing the usual chores, like picking up the mess. Besides, there's that "room fairy" who comes while you're out and magically makes it all better, right? Unfortunately, "room fairies" only work when you're away from home. They don't do your house for you. Have you noticed that? My friend, Mike Silva, was staying with his family at a hotel in Nigeria, he told me, and they heard a knock at the door. Mike opened it and found a smiling Nigerian gentleman standing there ready to clean the room. That was no small order. Actually, they were pretty embarrassed because of all the travel bags and curling irons and crumpled clothing sprawled all across their unmade beds. And the bathroom floor was carpeted with beautiful wet towels. Mike apologized profusely. The young man, though, just put him at ease. He said, "No problem, sir. For this reason I have come, to put your things in order."

December 9, 2019

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It was one of those disasters that years ago riveted the attention of the nation. Nine Pennsylvania coal miners had been excavating when they apparently broke through a flooded shaft. An estimated 50 to 60 million gallons of water rushed in, trapping the men in this underground chamber. When the water rose over their heads, they had to swim to higher ground - still 240 feet underground. For two and a half days, rescuers didn't know if the miners were dead or alive. Once they made contact through a phone line they lowered into the flooded shaft, they established a line that would deliver compressed air and they began pumping out water. Seventy-seven hours after the ordeal began, rescuers brought the miners, one at a time, up to the surface in this cramped yellow rescue cage. As the last man was pulled to the surface, the Governor of the state simply said, "All nine. All nine."

December 6, 2019

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OK, it's time for a simple experiment - which is the only kind I'm capable of. Don't try this if you're driving please. But if you're where you can do this safely, pick up some object that's close by: your pen, your comb, a cup - whatever. Hold it about a foot from your eyes. Now, move that object slowly toward your eyes - you're not driving, right? OK. But keep staring right straight at the object. Now bring it all the way up to your face. If you keep staring at the object, I'll bet something strange has happened to your eyes. You are suddenly cross-eyed and everything looks weird!

December 5, 2019

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Amy Biehl was 26 years old, and she really wanted to make a difference. Her graduate studies took her to South Africa in the turbulent days when the repressive system of apartheid was coming down and that nation's first all-race elections were approaching. She actually helped develop voter registration programs to help black South Africans participate in a system that up until then had always shut them out. She was driving three black coworkers back to the township where they lived. Suddenly a group of youths pelted her car with stones and forced it to stop. Dozens of young men surrounded the car and they started chanting, "One settler - one bullet! One settler - one bullet!" They pulled Amy from the car, hit her with a brick, beat her, and stabbed her in the heart. During that attack her black friends were yelling that she was a friend to black South Africans, all to no avail. Amy died from her wounds.

December 4, 2019

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Oh, I love this time of year! I love the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting. When I watched it a couple of years ago, you know, it was as always, heartwarming to watch those lights come on in the middle of the city where I spent so much ministry time.

And actually there was some good news coming from that big Christmas tree. Oh, we had the obligatory "bubble gum" songs about Santa and snow and toys. But I was impressed with the fact that Jesus was there, too. That particular year there were some beautiful presentations of "Silent Night" and "Away in a Manger" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." There actually were a few relatively holy moments in the middle of all that New York glitz.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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