Wednesday, April 27, 2016

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Ashley Smith was just getting her life back together. As a 26-year old single mom, she had had a pretty rough journey. A Christian upbringing but a youthful rebellion – brushes with the law, some drug issues, jobs found and lost – and finally marriage and a little girl. Four years earlier, her husband had died in her arms from stab wounds in a violent attack. On that night in March of 2005, she was just getting settled in the apartment she had moved into two days earlier. When she returned from her 2:00 A. M. run to the store, accused killer, Brian Nichols, forced his way into her apartment at gunpoint.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

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If you think all American history is boring, you need to check out the greatest American adven¬ture ever – the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Just as America bought the Louisiana Purchase and suddenly owned much of the West, President Jefferson asked Meriwether Lewis to put together an expedition to explore this unknown territory. Imagine 30 men, going where no non-Native Americans had ever gone, see¬ing what no non-Native American had ever seen – like the Rocky Mountains, animals like antelope and prairie dogs, tribes that had never been contacted.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

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It may have been the most memorable – maybe even the most defining moment in the history of our generation – the September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Most of us were marked indelibly by just watching it on television. My friend Mark lived it. It was his first visit to New York, and his business took him high up in one of the Twin Towers. After the attacks, while there was still great confusion as to whether to evacuate or to stay in the building, Mark disregarded the announcement to "return to your offices." That decision saved his life.

He made his way down that long stairwell until he neared the bottom. The rescuers were there. They guided him and a lot of others with him to a safe exit, not long before that tower collapsed in those few unforgettable horrific seconds. I'll never forget when Mark told me about the firefighters he saw as he neared the main floor. He said, "Ron, I looked in their eyes and I thought, 'They've got to be as frightened as I am.' Except I was going down, and they were going up." Is it any wonder we call them heroes?

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Fear That Costs Too Much."

When rescuers go into a deadly situation in order to save lives, are they afraid? Yeah they are. Does their fear decide what they will do? No it doesn't. When the Bible talks about rescue, it's not just referring to saving a person so they can live maybe thirty or forty more years here on earth. When God talks rescue, He's talking about saving a person so they can live forever. Some of the spiritually dying people that Jesus came to save actually work where you work, live where you live, go to school where you go to school, participate in things you participate in. And He's placed a rescuer in their lives so they can have a chance at Jesus, have a chance at heaven. You probably looked at that rescuer in the mirror this morning.

And what is it that keeps most of us who know Christ from actually talking with the people we know about the Jesus they don't know? Isn't it pretty much fear? We're afraid of what they might think, how it might affect our relationship, what we might lose, how we might mess it up. All too often, our fear decides it. We remain silent, and they remain unwarned.

In Exodus 3, beginning with verse 8, our word for today from the Word of God, the Lord is telling Moses that He is no longer going to tolerate the slavery and misery of His people. He says, "I have come down to rescue them." I can just hear Moses saying, "Oh great! Great! That's great!" Then the Lord says, "So now, go. I am sending you." I can just hear Moses saying, "Oh no!" He wants the people He cares about to be rescued, but he's afraid to be the one to try it. Just like us, when God says, "I'm sending you to rescue the people around you." God's answer? "I will be with you…Go, and I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." And Moses becomes God's rescuer.

A correspondent who observed the heroism of the GI's who stormed those beaches of Normandy on D-Day knew they were afraid of those mined beaches and those German guns. But still they went in – like the rescuers at the Twin Towers. The correspondent made this incredible observation. He said, "Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the disregard of it."

That's what will finally give the people you know their chance to belong to Jesus – God's courage in you that will not be the absence of fear. Mine has never gone away. It will be your disregard of your fear. It will no longer be the fear that decides what you do. For two reasons: one, you are simply going to be God's glove, with His hand in your life helping you do what you thought you could never do. And two, because there is a greater fear than what might happen if you do try to rescue a spiritually dying person you know. It's the fear of what might happen to them if you don't. Nothing could be worse than that.

The heroism of saving a life isn't reserved for those who aren't afraid – but for those who disregard their fear – because a life is at stake! And you can't just let them die.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

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Okay, word association test! Fruit salad. What did you think of? Well, it depends on whether or not you've been in the military. You see, if you haven't been in the military, you probably thought of some little pieces of apple, or melon in a bowl together. But if you've been in the military, maybe you think of something less edible than that kind of fruit salad. I heard from a Desert Storm veteran. I said, "What do you think of when I say "fruit salad"? He said, "Oh, ribbons and medals."

Friday, March 18, 2016

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It had been a long ministry weekend in Chicago, and as I settled into my seat on the airplane. I was looking forward to being back home in New Jersey. The going home part of the trip is always the best part. I was quite surprised, needless to say, when the pilot addressed the passengers and said, "Some of you folks may have noticed we've been going north for a while." Now, you don't have to be a geography whiz to know New Jersey is not north of Chicago. We should have been flying east all the time! Great, we've got a rookie navigator.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

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There are not too many TV shows you remember decades later. But I still remember a TV documentary that was filmed during the Vietnam War. It was called "Same Mud, Same Blood." The correspondent traveled with this infantry company that was made up mostly of white soldiers from the Deep South and a few others who were African American. But the unit was commanded by an African American sergeant.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

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How much would you pay for a piece of cardboard; $100, $500, $2,000? Actually, people do it all the time, if that cardboard is a valuable baseball card. My sons, over the years, they really profited from collecting that cardboard strategically. They tried to anticipate rookies who would be stars and they bought their cards before there was much demand. Later, when lots of people wanted those cards and there weren't many to be found, our guys cleaned up. Now, they didn't have any of those cards that sold for thousands, because they're most valuable for one reason. There just aren't many of them. You have something like that.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

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Jenny was a counselor with a student group we had taken to a youth organization conference at the New Jersey Shore. She was walking along the Boardwalk enjoying all the attractions, when suddenly she heard what she thought was a scream. It seemed to be coming from the ocean. But it was night and it was, of course, too dark to see out there. So Jenny ran down the steps, across the beach, and to the water's edge.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

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It used to be that two armies would line up, then they would plunge into combat, and the best army would win. It was simpler then. Today it isn't necessarily the fellas with the best army who win; it's the ones with the best air force. It happened in World War II, it happened in certain Vietnam engagements, and it happened dramatically in the Persian Gulf War. I mean, the air force went in, they immobilized Iraq's capacity to respond, and then they kind of softened up the opposing forces, and there was an air war before anybody moved on the ground. And then once the troops started to move, the planes provided that vital air cover for their operations. Saddam Hussein had a big army, but he lost because his air cover just didn't function.

Monday, February 15, 2016

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Our sons really enjoyed being uncles for the first time. Their sister was kind enough to give them two boys to call them uncle. The youngest grandson at the time was four years old and he really enjoyed how his uncles played with him. They kept finding quarters in his nose or his ear. (The old magic trick.) Now, before I receive emails about this, rest assured that he had been carefully taught not to put anything in his nose or ear. The grandson that is, not my sons. But he loved it when his uncles pretended they found money there.

            

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

(870) 741-3300
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