Tuesday, November 21, 2017

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I've had days when my back felt about 20 years older than the rest of my body. Ever had that? Sciatica is what I think the doctor called it. I just called it "sorebacka." I'm grateful I haven't had a bout like that for several years, but I can tell you that when I wake up crooked, I feel like just staying in bed or in any comfortable position I can find. But I got some weird advice. Someone said, "Go for a walk when your back is hurting." Now, let me tell you this, walking is the last thing I feel like doing, but I decided to try it. I walked around our lake, and by the time I returned, the pain had basically gone away. I had to force myself to exercise, but it was exercise that actually made me feel better. Now there's a new scientific study that compared two groups of people with "sorebacka" (wait a minute, oh that's sciatica), one that took it easy and one that exercised. The exercisers reported less pain and more mobility. Now, what you don't feel like doing when you're hurting is what will actually help you stop hurting!

  • pain
  • hurt
  • struggle
  • encouragement

Thursday, November 9, 2017

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You know, sometimes people just overwhelm me with their love and their kindness. Some dear people from the church I grew up in learned about some needs we had in our home for a long time. And well, with the schedule I had, there really wasn't much time to make some of the desperately needed improvements or repairs-not to mention the fact that I (How can we put this?) am constructionally challenged. And with our limited budget, we hadn't been able to pay anyone else to do it either. Well, in this amazing expression of God's love, a work crew from my childhood church came to our house for three intensive days of house transformation. And now we could see all over the house the wonderful results of their labors and their love.

  • faith
  • stress
  • struggle
  • confusion

Monday, October 30, 2017

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My wife, Karen, received this lovely family heirloom diamond ring. And she took it to the jeweler so he could look at it with the magic eye that jewelers have. As he looked at it under magnification, he let out a curious "hmmm." He told Karen that the diamond had a fracture in the middle of it, invisible to the naked eye. Which caused Karen to ask how there could be a fracture in the middle. Why didn't it go all the way across the diamond? Mr. Jeweler gave a very interesting explanation. He basically said that while some diamonds are developing, some underground disturbance – maybe a quake or a tremor – causes the diamond to crack. But apparently some diamonds continue to develop anyway. Like the one we had. It was fractured, but it didn't stop growing!

  • pain
  • faith
  • hurt
  • struggle

Friday, October 27, 2017

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Hooper Bay, Alaska. It's a little Eskimo village on the edge of the Bering Sea. And it was a place missionaries had repeatedly wanted our Native American outreach team, "On Eagles' Wings", to go to. They all spoke of the unparalleled desperation there. Well, thank God, we were able to go and see an amazing response to the Gospel – although we almost didn't get there! The weather closed in as our small missionary plane made its landing approach. My wife, Karen, was in that lead plane with several of our Native team leaders. The clouds were very low, the rain was falling, fog was all around. And our seasoned missionary pilot was making literally moment-by-moment judgments as to whether he needed to turn back. Now, hanging out over the Bering Sea, approaching that tiny runway, there was a whole lot of praying going on. But Karen, who knew enough about flying to read the critical instruments at least, said everything appeared to be lined up perfectly. Oh no, not according to their senses, not according to their stomachs, but according to the instruments. And moments later, sure enough, they were safe and sound on that runway! With a total instrument landing!

  • faith
  • struggle
  • unsure

Monday, October 23, 2017

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They often give you one when you check into some sprawling motel complex, or a big theme park, or a large convention facility. It's a map of the place. And for the directionally challenged like me, there's one important thing I look for on that map. It's that "X" and those very helpful words, "You are here". See, you're not helping me very much by just giving me a drawing of where everything is. In order for me to use that to get where I want to go, I need that one fundamental piece of information-where am I right now?

  • hurt
  • stress
  • prayer
  • struggle

Thursday, October 19, 2017

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It was exciting that first time I landed at LaGuardia Airport in New York City. There's the skyline of Manhattan out the window, and water all around us as the plane touched down on the runway. It was only after I had landed that my host in New York told me how they built LaGuardia Airport. He said, "Oh, they built it on the garbage of New York." Landfill in the bay created a base on which an airport could be built. By the way, on which my airplane just landed.

  • pain
  • hurt
  • struggle
  • hope
  • healing

Thursday, October 12, 2017

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Not long ago I got to take one of my favorite East Coast walks. You know, growing up in Illinois, I didn't know much about the ocean. So when we moved to New Jersey, I quickly developed a pretty deep love for the ocean. So it's no surprise that Ocean City is one of my favorite places to go, right? And I love to walk out on the long, rock jetties that reach out into the sea from the beach. I really love it at high tide when the surf's crashing in around those rocks. When you see some of those monster waves surging toward those rocks, it looks like there's going to be a classic confrontation between the irresistible force (the ocean) and the immovable object (the rocks). Well, I'll tell you, the ocean sure overwhelms everything else in its way. But every time those rocks I stand on meet the mighty power of the sea, the winner is always the same. The wave is shattered. The rock remains.

  • pain
  • faith
  • hurt
  • stress
  • struggle

Thursday, October 5, 2017

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If you grew up on a farm, there's probably a dog in your memories. For my farm girl, Karen, that dog was a Collie cattle dog named King. King was great at rounding up her Dad's cattle. All Dad would have to do was to whistle that certain whistle, and King would start circling and circling those cattle until he herded them in. But there was a problem. One day a chicken got out, and King killed that chicken-which gave that valuable dog the taste of blood. They tell me if you can't cure that in a dog, you can't afford to keep that dog. The dog either has to be killed or disciplined so he'll never forget. So Dad took that dead chicken (now, get this) tied its legs around King's neck with some twine. Needless to say, this dog tried everything to shake that dead chicken, but as the day wore on, the bird he killed did not improve with age. No, by the end of the day, King's head and tail were hanging very low. Look, it's a painful way to learn the seriousness of what he had done, but not nearly as painful as the alternative.

  • hurt
  • forgiveness
  • Sin
  • guilt
  • discipline
  • consequences

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

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One little light. That's all it took to render our car totally unusable. The little light in the rear of our vehicle was left on one night after we unloaded some things, and it stayed on for several days while we were gone. When we got back, everything in that car said, "I'm not starting, pal!" because that one little light totally drained our battery. But then came the hero! Yes, up came our friend in his pickup truck with his trusty jumper cables. And those cables delivered the energy that my flat old battery needed to run again!

  • hurt
  • stress
  • family
  • struggle
  • outreach
  • friends
  • coworkers

Monday, September 18, 2017

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Over the years, our family has had some great times at the New Jersey Shore. And I love to see the Atlantic Ocean with all of its many moods: relatively calm, tide out, tide in, building surf, towering breakers, even angry in a storm. When the waves really start getting high, most swimmers make a wise choice; they get out of the water and they call it a day. But there's another breed out there. They're called surfers. Some on surfboards, some body-surfing, and they don't run out when the monster waves start coming. No, they run in! And they ride those monsters!

  • pain
  • faith
  • hurt
  • suffering
  • trials

            

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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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