Tuesday, October 23, 2018

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"They were our pilots. It was our aircraft. The aircraft should not have been on that runway." That's what an executive of Singapore Airlines told reporters after their Los Angeles-bound jumbo jet crashed on takeoff from Taipei, Taiwan. It snapped into three pieces and it burst into flames. Eighty-one of the 179 passengers aboard died in that crash. It was a crash that never should have happened. The pilot somehow ended up on a runway full of construction equipment. The resulting collision was obviously deadly. The pilot had warnings; preflight briefing papers and two big signs indicating the number of the runway he mistakenly went down, but it didn't matter. He was on the wrong runway.

Monday, October 22, 2018

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Connie was in the campus outreach club I ran near her high school. In some ways, she was a typical teenager. In other ways, her life was very different from her peers. Every morning about 5:00 A.M.-while her peers were still sound asleep-Connie was at the local ice skating rink, practicing. And when her friends were all enjoying their summer off, well, she was in Colorado in a rigorous training program for ice skaters. A few years later, my wife and I were in Holland teaching a European youth workers conference. As I was in our bungalow, preparing for the next meeting, I had the TV on in the background, with a telecast of the Winter Olympics going. I wasn't paying much attention because the commentary was in Dutch, and my Dutch isn't what it used to be. But suddenly I heard a name I recognized-Connie's name. I looked up in time to see her on the screen, proudly representing her country in the quest for Olympic glory. You know what? I knew how she got there.

Friday, October 19, 2018

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So I heard this comedy routine that suggested some humorous ways to finish this sentence: "You're having a bad day when..." Well, I heard on the news about a man who might be a finalist for the "baddest day of the year" award, and there's nothing humorous about what happened to him. There was years ago an Avianca Airlines plane that crashed on Long Island. It was a flight from Colombia to New York. This particular Colombian man was seriously injured in the crash. Well, that's a bad day; I mean that's a really bad day. They rushed him to the hospital where it was determined that they'd have to do abdominal surgery. And when the surgeons opened him up, they found little plastic bags in his stomach full of cocaine. He was a drug courier, and he had ingested those little bags of cocaine to smuggle them into the country. So after he crashed and then was operated on, he was arrested. Now who would have ever thought he would be found out? He was.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

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I've only been to Israel once, and just for a short visit, but I will never forget the thrill of seeing those places where Jesus walked when He was there, and watching all those names and places in the Bible suddenly come alive. It really was one of the highlights of my life, I'll tell you, except for one thing. I went alone, on my way back home from a ministry trip to Africa. As I stood on the Mount of Olives, and as I walked the streets of old Jerusalem, as I experienced the feel of Capernaum and the Sea of Galilee, you know what I kept thinking? "I want my wife to see all of this. I want to experience this with my kids!" Yes, Israel was terrific, but I really wanted to share it with the people I love.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

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Years ago we were just beginning the process of building our Ministry Headquarters. At that point, all that was on this field was the footings for the building and a barn that was on the property. Volunteers were in the process of renovating and weatherproofing that old barn for storage when some friends donated a truckload of office furniture to our ministry. It was going to be a few days before we could bring that furniture into the barn, so we had to leave it next to the barn, which meant it had to be covered to protect it, right?

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

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When I was in college, there were certain times of the year when there was a huge crowd of guys jammed into my little room. One was when my mother or my girlfriend had sent homemade cookies. Somehow, everyone knows when those arrive, and then your popularity suddenly skyrockets for some reason. But the busiest time in my room was before mid-terms and final exams. One simple reason: I had the notes. I always scoped it out this way. You've got to be in class anyway, and you have to learn all this stuff eventually. Right? Why not make the most of class time, get good notes, learn all you can while the teacher's presenting it. That system worked pretty well for me, but it's not that I was particularly smart. Maybe I was just smart enough to realize that it pays to listen and record it when someone's teaching you something!

Monday, October 15, 2018

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Our friend is in the flooring business; actually that's wood flooring. He had been tearing the old floor out in this house he was working on, and before he threw it away, he decided to call us and see if we might have any use for it. (That was nice.) Actually, we were pretty excited about his call because we were in the middle of a project where we'd be needing a floor. He said, "I do want you to know it's actually pretty ugly, but it's a good solid maple wood."
Now we got piles and bucketfuls of that wood and our friend was right. It really was pretty ugly. Those old floor boards had several coats of paint on them, they were really dirty, some were gouged out, kind of beat up. Frankly, it looked like it might only be good for firewood. But our friend pointed out that that wood was an inch thick-and he assured us he could sand off all the damage and still have plenty of wood left. And you know what? Eventually I was holding in my hand a sample of what he could do. It was a piece of that old ugly wood that he has restored-and there was no trace of the damage-it was this smooth, beautifully stained piece of wood. The restoration was amazing and I was, you might say, floored!

Friday, October 12, 2018

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Our Native American outreach team traveled across Alaska one summer to villages that were a long way from the nearest road. So, we spent a lot of time on small missionary airplanes. Missionary pilots, man, they are some of the best pilots in the world - my heroes. They have to be. I mean, every travel morning, they're on the phone, carefully checking the weather conditions. And if the weather wasn't safe, we didn't fly until it was no matter how urgent our schedule. And that's a good thing. Our pilot explained to me a condition that has cost many a pilot his life – it's referred to as get-thereitis. You know, it's cutting corners, rushing into your flight because you're obsessed with getting there. Then he told me a pilot's saying that I had to think about for a minute. He said, "Many a pilot has been buried on a sunny day." Translation: if only he had waited just a little longer.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

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Smoking is bad for humans and for mountains. When a mountain is smoking, it usually means it's about to blow its top, as in volcano erupting. One of the most dramatic American eruptions in our lifetime, of course, was the one on Mount Saint Helen's in Washington State. It devastated and really recreated the landscape for many square miles. It literally blew a major portion of the mountain away. Not that you could exactly call it a surprise. For two or three months in advance, the mountain kept sending out smoke and eventually a big lava dome began to form at the top. Everybody knew it was going to blow, including a colorful old lodge owner with the colorful name, Harry Truman. But when everyone evacuated the area, Harry refused. He stayed right there on Mount Saint Helen's, no matter how many times he was warned about what would happen. When the smoke finally cleared from that volcano's massive eruption, there was no trace that would ever suggest that lodge or that man had ever been there. The tragedy of something like that is really obvious; someone died who didn't have to die.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

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Somehow the driver lost control on a small California bridge. In an instant, the car with a family of four in it catapulted through the railing and into the water. Immediately, that car, of course, began to disappear beneath the water. There was this frantic moment that followed, and the two parents emerged from the car, and they were able to swim to the top. Mom had actually been able to free one of her children and help her get out, but their little boy was trapped in the car at the bottom. Meanwhile, a few passersby had gathered on the bridge above, and one man, who heard the mother's screams for help for her son, dove from that bridge and into the water. A nurse was actually one of those who happened to be on the bridge that day. Realizing that the boy was going to need immediate CPR if he was rescued, she shook off her fear and she also plunged into the water. After a short time, the man surfaced-carrying that boy with him. The nurse immediately began working on him, right there in the water. His life was saved that day by two people who certainly had not planned to rescue anyone that day.

            

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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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