Wednesday, December 13, 2017

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One of the amusing sides of Christmas is people shopping in departments they never otherwise shop in - generally clueless. Let me give you an example that I can relate to-men shopping in the ladies clothing department. Oh, we're a mess. Now, if you need a good laugh; you're feeling a little down, you ought to go to the ladies garment department somewhere; especially the more personal the item is, the funnier it is to watch men shopping. They're slightly embarrassed, generally incompetent at what they're doing, and it's very important if you're going to go shopping for a woman during the Christmas season that you get the woman's size: your wife, your mother, your sister, your girlfriend, or whatever. And you trust that the tags are right, of course, on the size. You know that a small had better be a small, because you don't know anything. A large had better be a large. Now, you want to know how to sow some confusion and have some fun? (Don't anybody do this, please.) Imagine if someone snuck into that store late one night and just changed the tags around. Well, people would make a lot of wrong choices, all because the sizes were wrong. Now, that doesn't happen to clothes, but it does happen to people, and it takes the Christmas Story to straighten out small and large.

  • rescue
  • friendship
  • outreach
  • mission field

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

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Our sons worked for many years on an Indian reservation in the Southwest. And they would be one of the few places on that dark reservation where so few people have been reached for Christ who had any Christmas decorations up. But I was always impressed with that one village church where they had a lot of lights outlining all their church buildings, and there was a cross covered with lights on top of the church's steeple. It was pretty impressive. One Christmas I had a chance to visit there and I got to see the lights of the church and that cross. And, man, the cross really stands out against the darkness. And I met Rose. She's a Native woman who attends that church. Those lights are an important part of her story actually. She said, "I have struggled with alcohol for many years. And one night, during the Christmas season, I hit bottom. I was in the pit. I wandered outside and there it was – the cross all lit up in front of me. I came to where the cross was (she said), and with the help of the pastor's wife, I finally found hope that night."

  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • hope
  • darkness
  • light

Monday, December 11, 2017

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If there was one symbol of the Cold War years and a world divided between Communist and free, it had to be the Berlin Wall, of course. Some of the most dramatic images of the last half of the 20th Century involve that wall - the wall the Communists built to divide East Berlin from democratic West Berlin. There are pictures of the barbed wire along the top of the wall, the armed guards, the people who risked everything to try to escape from behind that wall, and the people who died trying. I think I was like most of the people on this planet to be honest. I mean we pretty much kind of thought that Berlin Wall would always be there. We couldn't imagine how it would ever be taken down. But go to Berlin today. The wall is gone, and it came down almost overnight. The wall we thought would always be there - gone.

  • faith
  • prayer
  • God's will

Friday, December 8, 2017

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A friend of ours is an avid hunter. In fact, so much that he's been known to skip church occasionally during duck hunting season. He's well known in the church, so the pastor notices when he's not there. With a twinkle in his eye, our friend explained recently how he's prepared to handle pastoral questions like, "Where were you on Sunday?" He said he's actually named his duck blinds where he hides to hunt those birds. One he has named "The Word." The other is named "Prayer." So when the pastor asks where he was on Sunday, he simply answers, "I was in 'The Word,'" or, "I was in 'Prayer.'" That's messed up!

  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • Christianity

Thursday, December 7, 2017

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My childhood church has shown their love for our family in some very special ways, including sending a work crew to actually help make some repairs on our house some years ago - totally unsolicited. Joe was one of those "angels" that God sent. The first challenge for Joe came long before he even got to our house. In fact, it was on the drive out from Chicago. He was sleeping behind the driver's seat in the truck while someone else was driving, and suddenly he was hit with one of his recurring asthma attacks. Now, usually, he's able to get through that real quickly, but this one got a little scary for a while because he had trouble using his inhaler which he carries all the time. Here's what Joe told me. He said, "When you panic, you can't breathe, and I panicked. And you have to breathe to use the inhaler! The only way I can get what will stabilize me is to relax!"

  • pain
  • hurt
  • stress
  • struggle
  • patience

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

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One Christmas season I saw what might have been the most impressive Christmas decorations I've ever seen. Oh, they weren't in midtown Manhattan or one of the many special displays I've seen over the years. They were in a little village on an Indian reservation in the Southwest. This particular tribe is one of the most spiritually unreached in this country. They're pretty isolated and they are a long way from anything else. When I drove through this reservation on a night one Christmas season, I was struck by the absence of hardly any Christmas lights or decorations. It was just dark! Until I reached this one particular village. Against the backdrop of near total darkness, the church there was ablaze with Christmas lights outlining the church buildings, the windows and the doors.

  • family
  • love
  • friends
  • coworkers
  • encouragement

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

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As the Hutchcraft kids were growing up, we had an interesting system of government in our house. I had one big vote, and theoretically, my one could count more than the other. Well, theoretically that is. In reality, that didn't happen too often. One technique our children mastered in our family decision process was very skillful lobbying. For example, the kids (let's say) got wind of the fact that Mom was planning to have casserole for dinner. But they wanted pizza. So they would send our youngest as the sacrificial lamb to ask me about pizza instead. Overruled! Right. Pretty soon, I had two sons in my study asking, with their big sister, of course, managing this campaign behind the scenes down the hall. Again, "Nope! No pizza. Casserole it is." But then they would all three come together, telling me how much all of them wanted pizza. After consulting with Mom, I'll bet you know. We got pizza.

  • church
  • prayer
  • christians

Monday, December 4, 2017

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Our friend had a medical procedure to repair what the doctor called "a hole in her heart." Then he told her that everyone is born with a hole in their heart. That got my attention. Really? I called a longtime friend of mine who is a highly experienced and respected heart surgeon. He told me that before we are born, there's a hole that is this passageway for blood to enter our pre-natal heart. In most people, and I'm glad I'm most people, the hole heals up within a few days after birth. But for a few, it doesn't go away, and it really needs to be repaired.

  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • love
  • whole

Friday, December 1, 2017

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Oh, I will long remember some of those thrill-packed times of my life when I was teaching our oldest son to drive. Actually, there was a strange by-product of his learning to drive-my driving improved! Over the years you can get a little careless about some of the right ways to drive, especially when you're living in the metropolitan New York area where stunt driving is a survival skill! But knowing that my son was learning to drive, I suddenly became conscious of this pair of eyes watching me from the back seat-an impressionable teenage boy watching how his Dad holds the wheel, keeps the speed limit, changes lanes, stops at stop signs and approaches cars from the rear. Those eyes had an effect. I honestly ended up driving, well, like I should have been driving all along

  • rescue
  • prayer
  • outreach
  • daily devotions
  • witness

Thursday, November 30, 2017

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A friend of mine attended a semi-pro football game between his team, which was an Arkansas team, and the overwhelming favorites, the team from Tennessee. Actually, the Tennessee team was already playoff-bound, and much to everyone's surprise, the halftime score was Arkansas 55, Tennessee 21. At the end of the third quarter it was still Arkansas 55, Tennessee 21. An upset in the making. Not so fast. Final score – Tennessee 56, Arkansas 55 – a victory won with a touchdown in the last seconds of the game. Another one of those surprising outcomes.

  • faith
  • temptation
  • God's Plan

            

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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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