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Monday, October 22, 2001

You know, sometimes people just overwhelm me with their love and their kindness. Some dear people from the church I grew up in learned about some needs we've had in our home for a long time. And well, with the schedule I have, there really hasn't been much time to make some of the desperately needed improvements or repairs--not to mention the fact that I am constructionally challenged, shall we say. And with our limited budget, we haven't been able to pay anyone else to do it either. Well, in this amazing expression of God's love, a work crew from my childhood church came to our house for three intensive days of house transformation. And now we can see all over the house the wonderful results of their labors.

But while they were in the middle of that work, life got very interesting around our house. We couldn't park in the driveway. Walking through the house was like walking through a minefield of cans and tools and workers. Our clothes were out of closets and laying all over tables. Furniture that had to be moved out of the worker's way made it very exciting just to walk through the house. It was a total mess! And even though I didn't enjoy the mess, I could handle the mess--for one simple reason: they were making our house a mess in order to make it better than it's ever been before.

Friday, August 24, 2001

Our new grandson looks so tiny and fragile - and my grandfather's heart just hates to hear him cry, especially when he's really hurting, and the crying is long and intense. Like the other day when his parents took him to the doctor for some preventive inoculations. Now they've decided that's a step they wanted to take to protect their son from things like polio and measles and other harmful diseases. Of course, those loving reasons are a little hard to explain to a three-month-old. "You see little guy, there are all these nasty germs, and this shot will help immunize you." Forget it! It just hurts, and he doesn't understand why.

It was just one of those shocker stories on the evening news. An American airplane had been shot down by a Peruvian jet fighter. But it wasn't a drug plane like some the Peruvian Air Force has shot down in recent years - it was a missionary plane carrying a young missionary family. The gunfire killed the mother, Ronnie Bowers, instantly, along with their baby girl seated on her lap. The plane went down and, miraculously, the pilot, along with Jim Bowers and his son, managed to survive. Their escape from the crash and the river was amazing - but no more amazing than what happened at Ronnie Bowers' memorial service a few days later. Jim Bowers stood before a packed church and summarized in two words what he was feeling in the midst of this horrible loss and ordeal. In his words - "inexplicable peace."

My friend Don is a wonderful family doctor. But some of the greatest moments of his life have been spent, not in a doctor's office, but on the river - preferably a river with some very challenging white water. He's a veteran kayaker and river rafter - with some fascinating tips for us folks who don't have his experience. He told me that, as a teenager, during his first days on the river, he was amazed to see canoes and kayaks just "hanging out" in the middle of these raging rapids. Then he learned the secret of this amazing feat - there are quiet eddies behind some of the big rocks in the rapids. And those canoeists and kayakers had found a place to rest in very turbulent waters - behind a big rock.

First it was the D-Day Invasion. Then, it was Pearl Harbor. Hollywood's latest attempts to make blockbuster movies based on decisive historical events that are almost unknown to a younger generation. Now, thanks to the movie "Pearl Harbor" and countless books and TV specials about it, millions of people have either remembered or learned about the deadly events of December 7, 1941. The Japanese invasion of America's Pacific base at Pearl Harbor left thousands dead and wounded and the American fleet severely crippled. It was a surprise, an attack no one knew was coming. And that's why it was so damaging.

The other day in the airport, I saw a mother and her daughter hustling to make a plane. But the little girl's face was covered with a mask that was basically a screen - she could see through it, but it was protecting her face. In just a glance, I could see that her face had been badly burned. She had long sleeves and long pants on, but my guess is that she probably had burns on other parts of her body, too. I really felt for her - and for her mother. She appeared to be a burn victim, doing all she could to heal and recover.

Our bedroom is on the southwest corner of the house - and that's the direction stormy weather comes from more often than not. So, believe me, we can tell when the weather's changing - especially when the season's changing. Often, in the night, our weather alert system goes off - then the severe thunderstorms come roaring in - the lightning keeps illuminating our backyard - and the wind and rain come slamming into the wall between our bed and the yard. You can sure tell when the season's changing!

Our daughter gave us one of the greatest gifts of our lives when she and her husband gave us our grandson. We all got the blessing, but she had to do the work. And now she’s getting ready to do it again! Yep, grandchild number two! Now I know it’s not the process of having the baby that made her go through this again. Her first pregnancy wasn’t a whole lot of fun, and labor, well it really wasn’t fun at all. But in spite of that painful process, she’s doing it again – because of the beautiful result it produces.

I have tried to explain American football to people from another country, and it isn't easy. Imagine a man trying to explain football to his friend who's never seen it played. This friend says, "I'd really like to play football. Tell me about it." "Okay. There's this leather ball, and there's this 100-yard field with white marks. And basically, all you have to do is run from one end to the other with the ball." A month later the foreign friend comes limping up with his arm in a cast, his body covered with bruises and bandages. And then comes the obvious question, "What happened?" And this poor would-be football player says, "You told me about the ball. You told me about the field, but there's one thing you forgot to tell me. You didn't tell me about these eleven human gorillas who would be trying to stop me!"

Florida has many beautiful things about it - great beaches, great theme parks, great weather. But to be perfectly honest, it is not one of the most exciting states to drive across. We're talking about terminal flatness here. There's nothing wrong with the South Florida landscape that a nice mountain, or even a hill, wouldn't help. Well, in West Palm Beach there is one. A hill, that is. It actually rises to the breathtaking height of 55 feet above sea level. My assistant Gayle has a sister in that area who loves to go hiking on and around this beautiful hill. It's wonderfully landscaped, there's some water there, some biking, hiking, jogging trails, recreational areas. Now anyone who knows the topography of South Florida would wisely ask, "Where did this hill come from?" Garbage. Yup. This lovely spot used to be an ugly, old landfill. But someone had the brilliant idea of making something useful, something even beautiful of what had just been a lot of garbage.

            

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

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