November 21, 2019

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As most children learn, there's an art to getting what you want from a parent. And most kids should get honorary degrees in psychology for how skilled they become at doing it. Our children sure did. One approach from the playbook of the three little Hutchcrafts could be called the "United Front Maneuver." One time they pulled out this tactic was when they wanted to get pizza for dinner or to go to a certain clown's hamburger joint. Often our oldest would first dispatch the youngest to approach me with a dining proposal. You know, always use the youngest as the sacrificial lamb. Right! Well, if that didn't work, send in number two child. If two out of three couldn't turn my heart to their cause, then the oldest would join in. And I have to confess, there were some times when I was able to say no to one of my children, or even two, but something happened to my heart when they all came together.

November 20, 2019

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Motivation - that's the art of getting a person to do something. We're all in the motivating business. You may be motivating people to go somewhere, or to do a job, to correct a weakness in their life, to change their ways, to finish what they start, to do what you want them to do. Motivation comes in a lot of forms. You can inspire people to do it. You can threaten them if they don't do it. You can love them into doing it; put an arm around them and say, "Come on, Buddy." You can help them do it. You could pitch in and show them how and be willing to do your part.

October 31, 2019

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Columnist Bob Greene told a story that touched my heart. It's about a newspaperman in a small Midwestern town and the call he got from a school teacher. She wanted to tell him about something that had happened to a child on the playground. He was braced for bad news. Well, it wasn't. During a lunch break, most of the 8th graders were gathered in groups, talking and playing. This one boy - a student who actually suffered from severe physical disabilities and was new to the school - was off by himself as usual. He was, like, painfully shy.

October 14, 2019

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When our Native American outreach team went to Alaska, our only means of getting to remote Eskimo villages was by missionary aircraft. Man, those pilots - they were the best! I mean, many days we had to fly through low cloud ceilings and low visibility. On a day like that, our pilots were checking every hour on the weather at our end and at our destination. There was finally a break where we could fly, but it all looked pretty dismal when we took off. The pilot of the plane that I was in was instrument-rated, which actually enabled him to go to a higher altitude. The pilot of the plane accompanying us wasn't able to take the high road. No, my pilot kept in radio contact with the other pilot. Believe me, our planeload and the other planeload were seeing two totally different views. From where the other plane was flying - lower - it was dark, it was dismal, and it was really overcast. But we were above all that. We were enjoying this beautiful, sunny day with all those clouds beneath us.

October 10, 2019

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I used to really take heart when I saw my son poring over the newspaper, until I looked over his shoulder. He didn't care much about the news, but he was devouring the baseball statistics. Later, I'd see him poring over a magazine with almost no pictures in it, just names and numbers. It was the latest monthly magazine with the value on every baseball card imaginable. Our son got excited when certain players pitched a great game or got some of the runs batted in, or you know, they were tracking for an MVP award even if they played for a team he'd never root for. Now, what's going on here? Well if you've ever been, or if you've ever known a serious baseball card collector, you know that he had invested a lot of money in certain player cards and when they did well, he did well in the value of those cards. Like many investors, his interests followed his investments.

September 18, 2019

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I had a funny conversation with the owner of a local restaurant one day. The restaurant was close to our office, so I was there pretty frequently. I usually ran in and grabbed the quickest thing I could and ran out. Well, I was at the cash register and there were two or three others waiting to pay when Tony, the owner, said, "What do you do anyway?" Well, I wanted an opportunity there, and I thought this might be the first chance I had to really let him know that I know Christ.

September 17, 2019

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It was a great day for me when I went bowling and found out that they had invented automatic score keeping. I never could figure it out, especially on the more complicated stuff, when you just had to add it up on these cards. We never went bowling often, but when we did, we used to fumble around trying to figure out how to score the game. There are some folks who'll say, "Let's just have fun in this (whatever the sport is). Forget about the score!" We are not among those folks. No, in fact, no matter what the sport, most athletes would not be interested if no points were kept for goals, or runs, or touchdowns, or whatever. But I have to wonder if the people who just enjoy the game without keeping score have a little less stress in their lives.

September 4, 2019

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Winter came early to the mountains where we were spending our summer vacation. Of course, that's to be expected if we're on vacation; in the summer, it's probably going to get to be winter. But one night the temperature actually dropped into the 30s and no one was prepared for that. We're in this little cabin, and all of us... suddenly we're snuggling under this warm, Hudson Bay blanket. Therefore, we actually didn't have any awareness of how cold it was outside, because, well, we were warm.

Well, I ventured out of bed first that morning, and I very quickly discovered that we were in a very cold situation. So I wrapped up in everything I could find and I knew what I had to do. I had to get to the only source of heat in that cabin, which was the wood stove, and I had to get a fire going as fast as possible - pioneer Ron. Right! You know if you're warm where you are, it's pretty easy to forget how cold it is all around you.

August 30, 2019

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Usually the system works pretty well, except for this one time. My wife and I were at a famous farmhouse restaurant in Amish country - one of those places where they serve you mouth-watering farm cooking. Man, family-style they serve it. We were seated at a table with about ten other guests when the food started to arrive. Actually, most of us had held off eating very much that day so we'd be hungry, and we were. Usually, people take a serving of each dish then they pass it down; that's family style. Right? Not this time. No, there was this one couple at the end of the table who somehow managed to shortstop every platter as it arrived: the fried chicken, the roast beef, the fresh mashed potatoes, the homemade noodles and bread. They would plop this big serving on their plate and then just set the platter down in front of them. They were stuffing; we were starving!

August 26, 2019

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Birds usually build their nests in trees. We had some that tried a creative alternative at our house. While we were on vacation, this mother and father bird built a nest in the exhaust fan for our kitchen range. Problem: the nest was so huge it made the exhaust fan unworkable. Problem two: when we returned from vacation, spiders were hanging down from the hood of the range. Mmm, yum yum. We knew babies had also hatched out up there in that nest. We couldn't see them, but we could sure hear the little noises when they were hungry. We didn't want to kill a whole nest full of babies, so we waited until Mom and Dad Bird had taken the babies out. I got a long stick and I proceeded to take out the nest. But as the nest came out, we discovered a little surprise - actually a big surprise - the fattest baby bird we had ever seen, seated in that nest. My wife went in to get gloves and a box. In the meantime, he got away. How long would this Big Bird have stayed in the nest if we hadn't shaken up his world?

            

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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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