Tuesday, August 1, 2017

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Spring was planting time on the little farm my wife, Karen, grew up on. And in her early years, that was no small job. Her Granddad actually would hitch up Betsy and Jack-who I thought might have been her cousins but actually Betsy and Jack are mules-and they would start plowing that hard, Ozark ground. Karen would follow behind in her bare feet as Granddad and his team turned up that dirt, broke up those big dirt clods, and smoothed out that broken soil. Then came the seeding…and then the waiting. At that point, it was pretty much up to God-the weather, the warmth, the moisture, and the sunlight. Then, when the corn finally matured, Granddad swung into action again with the big work of harvesting what God had grown. It was really a neat balance of what a man could do and what only God could do.

  • rescue
  • faith
  • prayer
  • outreach

Monday, July 31, 2017

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For a long time, I have been fascinated with the story of the Titanic. The sinking of that seemingly "unsinkable" ship after a collision with an iceberg is filled with so much human drama that has inspired endless movies, books, and documentaries. Finding the Titanic at the bottom of the Atlantic fueled even greater interest and greater information than ever before. Some of the drama of those discoveries has been within our reach as the Titanic artifacts exhibit went across the country in some of America's leading museums. You could see many personal items recovered from the Titanic's debris field along with displays that recreated the feeling of being a passenger on that doomed ship. And now there's at least one permanent Titanic museum in the country. When I went into this one on the early tour, I was given a boarding pass with the name of a real person who'd been aboard that awful night. At the end of the exhibit, there's this big wall with the names of everyone aboard – first class, second class, third class, crew. Every person is either on the list that says "saved" or "lost." I looked hard for my name, and I discovered that I was one of the few crewmen who was "saved."

  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • saved
  • lost
  • eternal life

Friday, July 28, 2017

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Back in the day, millions of Americans visited the emergency room once a week - well, on television. That was a blockbuster TV hit called "ER" and it very convincingly took its viewers into the tension and crisis environment of a hospital emergency room. They kind of made you feel like you were there. Of course, they're not the only medical personnel involved in a crisis care situation. I was reminded of that the other day on the interstate as this ambulance passed us. Of course, the back has those big red letters: "AMBULANCE." But this particular ambulance had sort of a subtitle - the one that raised my eyebrows and made me smile. The whole sign on the back said, "ambulance - the real emergency room." OK!

  • rescue
  • family
  • outreach
  • friends
  • coworkers

Thursday, July 27, 2017

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When our oldest child was born, they didn't even let fathers go into the labor room. That was nice. Then when our second one was born, fathers must have gotten a little smarter. They let us go into the labor room, but not the delivery room. And by the time our third one was born, hey, fathers had really gotten smart! I was actively involved with the doctor in the delivery. But, of course, I couldn't just walk right into the delivery room. No! First, I had to do what the doctor and nurse had to do – scrub up! Oh yeah, they made sure I washed thoroughly with disinfectant. Then they covered every part of me but my hands and my eyes and my nose – and they put a mask over my mouth, a thoroughly ugly cap on my head and this goofy smock over my clothes. My only consolation was the doctor looked as geeky as I did. They gave me paper booties (That was cool! I still wear those.) to wear over my shoes, but I understood. They can't allow any dirt to infect that environment. You've to be clean to get in.

  • Salvation
  • Jesus
  • forgiveness
  • heaven
  • cleanliness

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

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About every five years or so, I run into my scrapbook while I'm going through this closet. Oh, yeah, there's the geeky-looking, eighth-grader there, holding his county spelling bee trophy. Yea! And there's the chubby little Ronnie in his Indian outfit on a vacation in Minnesota. Yeah. And, the picture of our championship Bible Quiz Team. Now it's also a lot of fun when we pull out the old photos of our family. Decades of Christmas eves, scenes from scores and scores of vacation adventures, sons in football uniforms, a daughter all dressed up for her first recital. Ah, the memories. Now it isn't that we haven't had some not-so-great things happen. There was the automobile accident, the painful injuries, the bouts with various sicknesses. You know what? Somehow they just didn't make it into the memory book.

  • future
  • distractions
  • my past
  • history

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

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It was at a point where we were crossing this long bridge across the Arkansas River. The bridge was long because the river was wide. My wife made an interesting comment about the river. She said, "Now, we've seen how it got that way." Wide, she meant. Actually, we've seen the Arkansas at its headwaters where it's a very unimpressive little stream. And as we've driven across the western United States, we've seen many creeks and streams that feed into the Arkansas, taking her from being a dinky little stream into a wide and mighty river.

  • family
  • friends
  • coworkers
  • encouragement
  • encourager

Monday, July 24, 2017

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I first noticed it one day when I was mowing the lawn-a little dent in the ground. Over a few weeks, that little dent became a growing sinkhole. The ground was literally collapsing. I asked a neighbor, who was an amateur "sinkholeologist" what caused this phenomenon. He told me it was the drought of rainfall that we'd been having. He said an underground spring had probably dried up. And that dried up the ground, and the roots above it-and my yard went boom.

  • prayer
  • daily devotions
  • quiet time

Friday, July 21, 2017

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Jessica's all grown up now. She almost didn't make it past eighteen months. You might even remember when, as a curious toddler, little Jessica fell down a deep shaft in her aunt's backyard in Midland, Texas. The shaft was far too narrow for any rescuer to go down, and she was wedged in a position that virtually immobilized her. If you remember that incident, it's because we all watched the drama unfold on television for three nerve-wracking days. By the time it was over, Jessica was like America's little girl! When the rescuers realized there was no easy way, no conventional way to save little Jessica, they devised a whole new way of getting it done: by digging a wider shaft parallel to the one she was trapped in, and then a tunnel connecting those two shafts. That's pretty ingenious! Finally, a rescuer was lowered into that second shaft. Minutes later, we smiled and we cheered as the rescuer emerged from that shaft with an armful of Jessica, holding onto him for dear life.

  • rescue
  • friendship
  • outreach
  • coworkers

Thursday, July 20, 2017

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Two words, but a valuable reminder about how important Mom is and why she is. Recently, I had occasion to stay at my son and daughter-in-law's house while I recovered from a painful injury. They set me up with a wonderful little "apartment" in their basement – recliner, remotes (of course), kitchenette. And like all the babies in our family, a night monitor. Now, I needed some help in the middle of the night, but I hadn't touched the pager. Suddenly, I hear my daughter-in-law's feet coming down the stairs. In my 3:00 AM haze, I said, "But how did you know?" She smiled and gave those two little words: "Mom ears".

  • loss
  • parenting
  • moms
  • hurt
  • family

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

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I felt kind of bad for our friend Peter. My wife, Karen, wanted him to raid the garbage for her. See, I've been there many times myself, believe me. But this time, they were driving around, Karen turned to Peter and his wife for help. They were driving past a gas station where Karen saw it-a big, green, silk plant, upside down in the dumpster. Too big for Karen to fetch, and too good, she thought, to leave there. So, my garbage picking honey turned to poor Peter, in his suit and tie, and asked him if he would make his way over to that dumpster. Well, he did, looking both directions, desperately hoping he could be invisible for a couple minutes. Sure enough, he pulled the thing out of the trash and put it in the back of our station wagon. This is a very secure man. And about that trashed plant...well, very soon it began to greet us day after day as we entered the reception area at our office. It's a classy-looking, silk Ficus plant, or that's what my wife told me. Karen saw something in it, even though it had been thrown away; something I can tell you I would have missed.

  • loss
  • pain
  • hurt
  • struggle

            

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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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