Monday, November 4, 2002

Since September 11, 2001, Americans have gotten used to what someone has called the "new normal." Part of that is this color-coded terrorism alert system provided by the Government to let authorities and citizens know that the level of risk that they have assessed from recent intelligence has gone up or down. It's not a great shock that before and after the first anniversary of those September 11 attacks, there were increased indicators of possible terrorist activity. So, the Attorney General, John Ashcroft, announced that they were raising the alert status from yellow - level 3 on a 5-point scale - to orange, the second highest state of alert. In explaining how Americans should respond to that elevated risk, the Attorney General gave some simple advice that really stuck with me - "Be alert - and be defiant."

Friday, October 18, 2002

We met Larry when we went to explore some land that my wife's great-grandfather had homesteaded more than a century ago. That land is now part of a much larger farm that Larry owns - a farm that has been suffering from four years of serious drought conditions. The land is dust, the grass is very brittle, and the corn has stopped growing at about two feet high. Like many farmers in the area, Larry has had to sell half his herd of cows because there will be nothing to feed them in the winter. I didn't know where Larry stood spiritually, but I asked him if we could pray with him, right there in his field, and he said, "Yes." After I finished praying, Larry said quietly, "We've been doing a lot of that lately."

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

My wife rang me on my cell phone with an urgent message to get back across town to our daughter and son-in-law's house. "They've got a fire!" she said. As I approached their house, I could see a grass fire burning in the field near their house and rapidly approaching their house. A neighbor's trash fire had suddenly gotten out of hand and had spread rapidly. The firefighters arrived just before I did and thankfully they quickly got it under control. We were really thankful that our kids had been home and had seen the fire or it might have even burned their house. They were told that the fire did not mean there would be a blackened field in front of their house - there would, in fact, be beautiful grass growing there pretty soon, rooted in soil that would actually be enhanced by the fire. And, sure enough, there's a rich field of green today.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

"Leave It to Beaver" was a classic 1950s TV show. No, it was not about wildlife - it was about a suburban family with two kids, older brother Wally and a slightly off-beat son affectionately called "Beaver." Recently, a new "Beaver" series surfaced on cable TV. Someone told me about one new show where "Beaver" gets a new bicycle - and he loses a new bicycle. Big brother Wally asks "the Beave" what happened to his bike. Beaver tells him about this kid who asked if he could use his bike to show him some neat tricks. The problem was that, with every trick, the kid went a little farther with the bicycle. You can probably guess what trick he was going to do - he disappeared with the bicycle. Beaver says, "You know, He stole it a little bit at a time."

Friday, August 23, 2002

The news accounts from Florida said the man was in his 70s and that he went for a walk the night before. Now, the reason his walk made the news was because he was sleeping during this walk - and because of where he ended up. Apparently, he got up out of bed, grabbed his cane, went outside, and started walking - all without ever waking up ... until he walked right into a lake - a lake filled with alligators. And those alligators went right to him. Thankfully, he was somehow able to beat them off with his cane and crawl to safety. But talk about a rude awakening! Can you imagine waking up in the water, looking into alligator jaws?

Friday, August 9, 2002

Our family of five voted - and the vote was four to one. I lost. The issue was whether or not we would get a pet. Since I had grown up an apartment boy, the only pet I ever had was some cockroaches. But I went along with the vote, and we started down Pet Avenue with the purchase of a gerbil. And I really took a liking to him. But there's something a little strange about those furry little guys. If you could interview a gerbil about, like, what he was anticipating for today's activities, he might say, "The same as yesterday and the day before that." If you asked, "Well, what's that?" he would answer, "The wheel." And so Gerbil climbs on his wheel and starts running. Come back later, he's still running on the wheel. I guess they don't realize what's happening: lots and lots of activity - and absolutely no progress.

Thursday, August 8, 2002

Our son had just arrived in the southwestern United States to begin his work with Native Americans. In fact, his supervisor in his non-profit work was a Native American. And our son was eager to show that he was coming with a servant spirit, you know. He had a tremendous opportunity to do just that. His supervisor needed his help in cleaning out a septic system. The job began with just our son's hands having to work in that sewage. But the job got more and more involved - and so did his body. Before he was finished, he was in that septic sewage up to his waist! Needless to say, he never felt more disgusting in his life. And then came the shower - that long, wonderful, heavenly shower! Now, he said he'd never been that dirty, and it had never felt better to be clean!

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Every generation has its favorite children’s TV programs - my source on the newest programs, of course, is my three-year-old grandson. The other day he told me about an animated character named Swiper who appears on this one show. Swiper is a fox who keeps - you guessed it - swiping things from the little girl who’s the star of the show. But, thankfully, the other characters are not defenseless against this little thief. Oh no, they have learned to shout three little words when the larcenous fox shows up - “Swiper, no swiping!” If they yell it three times, Swiper has to give back what he stole. Right!

Monday, February 25, 2002

Israeli intelligence had indicated that the ship was carrying dangerous weapons, and Israel assumed they were to be their ultimate target. Well, a daring mission executed with assault helicopters and naval commandos surprised the ship's crew and led to the ship's seizure in the middle of the Red Sea. What they found was shocking - 50 tons of missiles, rockets, machine guns, along with other weapons and munitions. You can't help but ask, "What if they hadn't intercepted the weapons that might have been used against them?"

A friend of mine recently attended a semi-pro football game between his team, the Arkansas team, and the overwhelming favorites, the Tennessee team. Actually, the Tennessee team was already playoff-bound. But much to everyone's surprise, the halftime score was Arkansas 55, Tennessee 21. At the end of the third quarter it was still Arkansas 55, Tennessee 21. An upset in the making. Not so fast. Final score - Tennessee 56, Arkansas 55 - a victory won with a touchdown in the last seconds of the game. Another one of those surprising outcomes.



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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