Wednesday, February 4, 2004

There are not too many TV shows that you remember for 30 years. 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 with a few others who were black - a unit commanded by a black sergeant. Now, we're talking a time when America was being convulsed with civil rights conflicts. But the documentary told the amazing story of how a company that started out with huge racial walls between them became molded into a group of guys who would die for each other - after all, they were "same mud, same blood." There was something about being in war together that brought people close together who might otherwise have never have had anything in common.

Monday, February 2, 2004

It's no fun to be sick on Thanksgiving Day, and my honey was. Much of the family was together for Thanksgiving, but she was the one person who just felt too sick to join the festivities. She had more than a 101-degree fever, swollen glands, a burning sore throat, and a full nose and ears. Nothing fatal, just real "feeling crummy" stuff. And she didn't want to give any of us a Thanksgiving gift that we would not be very thankful for. Now, our daughter and son-in-law and two grandsons weren't able to be with the rest of the family, so we connected by phone that day, and each of them passed the phone around so we could talk to them all. And I, of course, asked each one if they would pray for their grandma. And each person said they would. Except for our little two-year-old treasure. When I asked him if he would pray for Grandma that day, I suddenly heard something like this on his end of the line: "Jesus, pray Grandma, sick, better, Amen." He just jumped right in and started doing it!

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

For many years, J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy, Lord of The Rings, has fascinated thoughtful readers. Like C.S. Lewis (who was helped to Christ by Tolkien actually), Tolkien communicated spiritual truths through allegorical myths in a world called "Middle Earth." His works have now captured the imagination of people who had never heard of his books through three epic motion pictures based on them. At the heart of Lord of The Rings and its epic battles is the ring. It's a gold ring that is the key to enormous power - but a power that inevitably addicts the possessor to its power. That power ultimately corrupts and destroys the one who holds it so tenaciously. It is, in fact, called by one main character, not the ring, but "The Precious."

Thursday, January 15, 2004

It all started with an SOS from a counselor who was talking with a young woman after a meeting where I had spoken. Her frustrated counselor just said, "Boy, this one's really hard." Sure enough, Kelly seemed really shut down. I said, "Kelly, do you want to have a relationship with Jesus?" When she said yes, I asked her why. She responded, "Because part of me is missing, and I know it's Him. But if you only knew how many times I have tried to accept Christ, and nothing happens." Well, I was stuck - until the Lord gave me one question for Kelly - and it changed everything. It might change everything for you.

Wednesday, January 7, 2004

We tend to know the TV shows that were big when our children were growing up. So, I happen to know something about a program called "The A-Team." Our guys had a must-not-miss date each week with Hannibal Smith and B. A. Baracus, and the rest of this team of fugitive Vietnam vets who took on the causes of people victimized by the bad guys. The basic plot of each show was fairly predictable - bad guys pick on person, person hires A-Team, bad guys are about to win, A-Team comes up with a brilliant, and usually unlikely, plan, A-Team wins. These elaborate plans were hatched by the leader of the team - Col. Hannibal Smith. And he never seemed to tell anybody, including his team, why he was doing what he was doing, or asking them to do. But at the end, when the strategy finally unfolded victoriously, Hannibal would always smile and say those trademark words, "I love it when a plan comes together."

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

So 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. Now, my sons have really profited from collecting that cardboard strategically. They tried to anticipate rookies who would be stars and 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. Our oldest son did so well that his cards actually helped pay his way through college. He didn't have any of those cards that sell for thousands. They're most valuable for one reason. There just aren't many of them. You have something like that.

Friday, December 19, 2003

It's time to wash the bathrobes again - for the boys to wear in the Christmas pageant. Like thousands of boys at Christmastime, I, too, was drafted into being one of those shepherds. I'm not sure my bathrobe got washed any other time of the year actually. Not to be petty, but I always thought the guys playing the wise men had a better deal. They got to wear some fancy clothes, and they had something to give to Baby Jesus when they came - I think we used to call it gold, frankenstein, and myyrh. But not us shepherds. Oh, no! Since the Bible doesn't describe any specific gift the shepherds brought, we came empty handed. I thought we looked a little cheap. But I've learned something since then.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Actor Mel Gibson's movie, "The Passion," has broken new ground for Hollywood - and triggered a firestorm of controversy. "The Passion" tells the story of the day of Jesus' death with an attempt at Biblical accuracy that is seemingly unprecedented in movie-making history. The dialog is even spoken in the languages spoken at that time. And the portrayal of the crucifixion of Christ is said to be intensely realistic, following as closely as possible the Bible's description of what happened that day on a place called Skull Hill. The controversy revolves around the portrayal of the role of the Jewish leaders on that day in conspiring to have Jesus crucified by the Romans and their statement inviting His blood to be "upon us and our children." So, for centuries, Jews have been wrongly persecuted as "Christ-killers," allegedly guilty of "deicide." What a tragic mistake! The truth of why Jesus died so brutally on that cross is far more shocking.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

The day is about to end. I invite my wife to go for a romantic walk with me as we look toward the West at the beautiful colors of the - well, you'll probably say sunset, right? And so would I. But we would be scientifically incorrect. Since when does the sun set? The sun doesn't go anywhere; it's the earth that's moving! So, "Honey, let's go for a romantic walk and watch the beautiful ... earth set?" No, I don't think so! Well, actually, the American Scientific Association discovered in a survey that 21% of the Americans they asked thought the sun orbited around the earth, and 7% didn't know! That's almost one out of three Americans who's confused about what is revolving around what!

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Well, I'm not much of photographer, but I'm married to one. So, a few years ago I was able to open doors to minister to our local football team by being on the sidelines and shooting slides of them in action. Now, my wife gave me this crash course in photography, and one thing I had to learn fast was how to focus my lens. See, I was shooting from all different angles, all different distances. If I said, "Well, I'll just focus my lens on this first photo, and then I'll leave it like that," I would have had a pile of blurry pictures and not many friends on the football team. See, the picture kept changing, and I had to constantly refocus for each new situation.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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