Monday, February 18, 2019

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A local businessman was in to share with our Ministry Team, and he made a fascinating observation about his family. He's got three children; two are all grown up and in their late 20s. His youngest is just a nine year old girl. He assured us that she wasn't a "mistake." In fact, she was their choice. And he pointed out something the authorities made very clear at the time the adoption went through. There would come a time when he had a major falling out with one of his natural-born children-a time when he would conceivably, as a father, disown that child; even put him out of the will. But not with this girl he was adopting. He was legally committed to never disown her, to never put her out of his will, and to always take care of her. They said, in essence, "When you adopt a child, she's your child forever."

Friday, February 15, 2019

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There's something you may not realize about my past. I spent some time in Alcatraz - about half a day. By the time I got inside that infamous prison in San Francisco Bay, there was nobody home. It was a museum! And it's a fascinating place to tour. I actually took a group of teenagers to Alcatraz one day to record a radio program there. We spent some time in the area that was used for solitary confinement...they even locked up the teenagers in the main cell block. Frankly, though, I'll tell you, it is a dismal, depressing environment, even when it's just a museum. As our tour ended, we were led through a gate and into a scenic area just outside the wall. It was a gorgeous day, and we had a fantastic view of the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the San Francisco skyline. One of the teenagers looked back and mumbled three words, "Only a wall." When I asked what he meant, he said, "Just think, only a wall separated them from all of this!"

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

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Every class has its clown, and Johnny was one of them. He was one of the first teenagers I met when we moved to New Jersey years ago, and he was always so much fun to be around. There was always a joke. He was always a clown - always the life of the party. That's why his call late one night came as such a shock to me. I was still a little blurry from being awakened by the phone, and I heard him say, "This is Johnny. I called to say goodbye. You're the only one I thought it was worth saying goodbye to." I didn't like the sound of that goodbye, so I asked him to tell me where he was, and he had actually broken into my office to call me. I asked him to wait there until I could get there. We talked most of the night. No clown, no jokes, no life of the party that night. The life of the party was about to check out of the party for good. Johnny poured out the pain that he was feeling from a messed up family and some disappointing relationships. He'd been on his way to kill himself. Thank God, by dawn, he had decided to live. And I knew there was a darkness now that had been hiding all along behind a mask that said, "Hey, no problems."

Friday, February 8, 2019

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A few years ago they resurrected an old TV format and it came back big time! It was the old quiz "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" The program that first captured the attention of millions of viewers was about winning a million dollars! So, some Joe or Joan Ordinaryperson was asked a series of multiple-choice questions that got increasingly harder and, of course, were worth increasingly more. Now, if you needed help on a couple, you could call some person you've designated as your "lifeline." You could even listen to the opinions of the studio audience. But eventually, the spotlight was all on you, man. You're the contestant, and the host was pressing the question. When you finally gave your answer, the host asked this tension-building, unnerving question, "Is that your final answer?"

Monday, February 4, 2019

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My wife and I had gone to a friend's house by the New Jersey Shore to start writing a book. For breaks, I wanted to go for walks on the beach, but Karen said she was feeling so fatigued she couldn't find the energy. As we returned home, that fatigue got worse. Then came the severe stomach upset and finally the fever that climbed to 105 degrees. We had no idea that one of mankind's most virulent diseases was taking over in Karen's body. It turned out she had hepatitis. We knew she had some terrible symptoms. We sure didn't know what was causing them, and what ultimately almost cost Karen her life.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

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He was just a teenager and his village had just collapsed all around him. He was one of countless thousands who were affected by a massive earthquake that hit Turkey. In an interview with National Geographic Magazine, this young man offered an amazingly insightful perspective on what he had just witnessed. He said, "I accept this as a geologic event, but it can be taken as a warning. In seconds, billionaires can become penniless. So you must have values you cannot lose." Wow!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

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We were waiting at a stoplight just across the street from some railroad tracks. The gates by the track were up and no lights were flashing. There was no train coming. But just beyond the railroad crossing was one of those little rail inspection vehicles, fitted with these wheels that allow them to ride on the tracks. On the side it said "Union Pacific." But believe me, this was no train. Suddenly, we heard this obnoxious and continuous honking on a horn that sounded like a train horn. The little vehicle wanted to proceed through the railroad crossing, and he was nowhere big enough to trigger the gates or the lights so the traffic would stop. So the operator just kept leaning on the horn as he passed through the intersection, hoping we would all stop for him as we would for a train. We did stop, but we weren't fooled. This was no train. This was a train wannabe! 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

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When our older son was little, he would sometimes wander into the living room, crawl into my lap, and snuggle up so close I wasn't sure how he could breathe. One night he looked up at me with those big blue eyes of his and he told me something I've never forgotten. He said, "Daddy, when I'm in your arms, I feel so safe."

Monday, January 21, 2019

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I was in Cincinnati, working on the message I was going to give that night, and I had a wonderful view of the Ohio River out my hotel window. But it wasn't until I talked with an African-American brother that night that I realized the significance of that river in the history of his people's long fight for freedom. In the days of slavery, many slaves managed to run away from their slave masters, thus beginning their desperate flight for freedom. If they were captured, well, their fate could be severe punishment or even worse. If they could make it to northern Kentucky, across the river from Cincinnati, they were on the edge of their goal. And, once they were in what was the North, they would be helped to safety, maybe in Canada, or by those who ran safe houses on what became known as the Underground Railroad. Once I heard the history, I saw something very different as I looked out my window at the Ohio River from Cincinnati. I was thinking of slaves looking across from the border in Kentucky, realizing that if they could just get across that river, they'd finally be free.

Friday, January 18, 2019

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You know, the opening of a new store in town usually creates a buzz. Like maybe one of those major discount stores, or that do-it-yourself place like Home Depot or something. Well, that stirred things up when it opened in our community some years ago. I’m not doing a commercial; it’s just an observation. Some observers say that Home Depot's comprehensive inventory and competitive prices have actually helped interest a whole new wave of people in doing their own home improvements. (If I only had the ability to use those things they sell!) But any, it's sort of meant to be a one-stop shopping place for everything you need to build your home. 

            

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

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)

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