Friday, September 21, 2018

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It was centuries ago, when all of North America belonged to its Native people. One nomadic Indian tribe in the Great Plains, according to the story, was blessed with a chief that was beloved and respected by everyone who knew him. He was known as a man who deeply loved his people and he showed it. And he was a man of absolute justice and fairness and he showed that. One day some braves brought a very troubling report to him; there had been several mysterious thefts from people in the tribe. The chief wanted to nip this kind of stealing in the bud so he announced a pretty severe penalty for the thief. He would be tied to a post when the sun was high, his back laid bare, and he would be beaten with a whip twenty times. Then the chief set a trap. He asked two of his trusted braves to leave some animal pelts in front of a teepee one night and to watch all night from another teepee. It was the middle of the night when one of those braves awakened the chief with the news, "We've caught the thief." "Then bring him in," the chief ordered sternly. 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

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Okay, try to picture it. Maybe you don't have to picture it. Maybe you've been there. It's the Friday morning after Thanksgiving, just before doors open at, let's say, Walmart. It's still dark, but a lot of people are lined up, anxiously waiting to enter. It's the day of those fabulous sales that stores like this have to encourage your early Christmas shopping. And for a short time after the doors open, there are some absolutely amazing prices on many popular items. But you have to move quickly and scoop them up. One year recently, I remember the crush of people was so great, at one store a lady was nearly trampled to death when the doors opened. And at another store, another year, a man actually was trampled to death. Once you're in the store, you know what to do. No browsing. No chatting. You're on a mission! Just look for those sales opportunities and grab them while you can!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

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He invited Jesus Christ into his house, and things were never the same again. That's the picture actually portrayed in a classic old Christian booklet called "My Heart, Christ's Home." As the story unfolds, the man whose life is symbolized by a house, begins to let Jesus move beyond the front parlor and into the various rooms. In each room, Jesus changes things. Like some of what's in the library that doesn't belong in a house where Jesus lives. Some of what's done in the recreation area. Ultimately, he even lets Jesus clean out the garbage in this closet that's been sealed shut with several locks. But the picture I remember most is the one that portrays the man having personal time with Jesus in his study every morning...until one day when he's running late. So, he races out the door thinking he'd be there as usual the next morning. Well, that didn't happen. For some time, he just ran out the door in the morning without ever stopping in his study. Until one morning when he hurried in there to find something, and there to his shock and his surprise, was Jesus, sitting in a high-backed chair. Awkwardly, the man asked, "Jesus, what are you doing here?" Jesus' reply goes straight to the heart. "I've been here every morning – waiting for you."

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

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There's a family of superheroes with super capabilities that normal humans don't have. And they're the subject of a couple of animated movies. Yep! They're called "The Incredibles." And because of the powers they have, they are incredible. Or they could be. But the movie shows them living a very un-super life; just going through the motions of everyday life, living in the same kind of mediocrity everyone else is. They're the "Incredibles," but when the movie starts they're sure not living like it.

Monday, September 17, 2018

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Our daughter was always a curious little thing, and she asked endless questions, especially when it was time to go to sleep at night. And she liked to look into things that she found, even trying them at times. Most of those little explorations were harmless. Not the day, though, that she got into a drawer in the bathroom and pulled out some stuff she saw Daddy using to get ready in the morning. Deodorant-no problem. Toothbrush, toothpaste-that's okay. My razor-oh, problem. She'd seen her father run that razor up and down his cheeks, so she decided to do what she saw Daddy do. Bad idea! Scratches and cuts on her face. Oh, I'm glad to tell you, no permanent damage, but not something she did twice. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

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There are some decent, often values-oriented things on television for children. But, as you know very well, there's a lot of garbage, too. And in between those two extremes, there are shows that are mostly good but have some words scattered in them that little ears shouldn't be hearing – or big ears, for that matter. And then there was this service, you know, called the TV Guardian – which automatically replaces a naughty word with a nice word, thus removing what could be bad for your child. Occasionally, the replacements are actually a little amusing. Like the word "sex" for example. The new word is "hugs." Which gets a little interesting when someone asks, "So what will be the hugs of your baby?" But I do think the idea of a TV Guardian is a pretty good idea.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

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When he was young, our grandson had a rainbow of interests, including drawing. In fact, he came away from a local art show with several awards for art for kids his age. Now that didn't come from his grandfather, I can tell you that. I think the lines are down somewhere between my brain and my hand. Something happened there; there's a malfunction! They make it from my brain to my mouth, but I can't… Well, I can't even draw a recognizable stick figure. Now, our grandson apparently had been watching how cartoonists and some caricaturists draw people. Because he really liked to draw some folks the same way they do-very little bodies and very big heads! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

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Jack Phillips was a senior radioman on the maiden voyage of the ill-fated Titanic. On that fatal night when two-thirds of her passengers and crew would die, Phillips actually received a message from a ship called the Masaba. That ship was reporting on a major ice field ahead and the message gave the coordinates where the Titanic could expect to encounter those icebergs. It was the place where just two hours later, the Titanic would, in fact, hit one of those icebergs; the one that would sink what was supposed to be the unsinkable ship. The message with the warning of what was ahead-would you believe it-didn't get delivered. Jack Phillips was really busy at the time - a lot of radio traffic - and he stuck the message on a spindle to be delivered sometime later, and it never was. That one decision would cost the lives of 1,500 people and the life of the radioman himself.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

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Beslan-it's a Russian town that joined the ranks of places known for the terror that happened there. Some have called that three-day terrorist takeover of a school in Beslan, and the violent deaths of hundreds of school children and adults there, Russia's equivalent to America's September 11. In the midst of Beslan's horror, there emerged a photo that embodied hope in the middle of death. It showed a girl's bloodied hand clutching a golden cross. Viktoria was hospitalized with shrapnel in her brain, but she was still a survivor. The fourteen-year-old said that she prayed every day while she was being held captive, always clinging to her cross even after being wounded in the violent ending of that awful siege that killed more than 330 hostages. Even as she lost consciousness, she never let go of the cross. In Viktoria's own words, "I felt that if I had that cross in my hand, then everything would be fine." 

Monday, September 10, 2018

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Some friends are involved in a ministry whose offices are out in the country. The setting is beautiful and far enough out that it even has some interesting four-legged neighbors. Like the mountain lion that several workers and neighbors say they've spotted. There's not supposed to be a mountain lion in their area, but someone forgot to tell the mountain lion. (He didn't get the memo.) I understand this has caused the folks who work there – especially if they're there after dark – just a little more vigilance when they're coming or going from their car. Personally, I think it's better for the person to see the lion before the lion sees the person. Right?

            

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

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
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