Wednesday, July 11, 2007

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Not long ago, we went on a guided tour of this large cave near us. You walk through these winding and really narrow, passageways admiring the wonders that God has created from stalagmites, stalactites, and underground rivers. We entered this one large chamber, and the guide turned on the light and directed our eyes to this high vaulted ceiling. You can probably guess what animals we saw hanging out up there - bats, lots of bats. The guide told us that the early explorers of this cave had found large quantities of what she called bat guano. If you don't know what that is, never mind. It's gross, that's what it is. But they made lots of money selling that stuff. I thought, "What good could bat dung possibly be?" Surprise! They make gunpowder out of it! And even more surprisingly, they said that they can turn that gross stuff into makeup like mascara and lipstick! Makes me think twice about kissing my wife.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

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Since it's pretty rare to see an eagle in our area, I've had to settle for another bird that at least soars like an eagle. They're the turkey vultures that I see circling overhead so often. I actually love to watch their gracious flight. I hate to think about their repulsive diet, though. As you know, those vultures like to chow down on dead animals. Wherever you see vultures, you can pretty well assume there's a carcass somewhere nearby.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Paula's really been taking some risks lately. She's a Native American young woman who is in a training program in our office. Now, Paula is deathly afraid of heights and my wife and I took her out for lunch at a place called the Cliff House Inn. You guessed it - it hangs out on the side of a mountain. When we went out on the porch to admire the view, Paula asked to go out there with us. We had to hold her hand, but she bravely ventured out and spent a few minutes looking out from that very high perch suspended over a deep valley. The next day she went with a girlfriend to a theme park, and she purposely went with her on roller coasters that she was afraid of. You know something? Paula is not quite as afraid of heights as she used to be.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

OK, so there are more bills to pay than you've got money to pay them. You have to make some choices. There's one I bet you'll really try to pay. You'll probably pay the telephone bill. The phone company has a very effective way of getting your attention. You let your bill go past the payment deadline and pretty soon you'll get this little notice. It goes something like this: "If you don't settle your bill right away, your service will be cut off." It's amazing how a service cutoff can help you set your priorities!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

When our friends got married some years ago, they decided they wanted to live and farm in a largely undeveloped area of the Ozark Mountains. They had some interesting neighbors - one in particular. He looked and talked and smelled like a true man of the mountains who had little use for "civilization." After they declined his invitation to dinner a lot of times, they finally consented. It was a memorable night. They stood on the porch of his cabin as he pointed to the hens running around the yard and said, "Tell me which chicken you want for dinner." They did and then they got to participate in executing the lucky winner. The conditions in which dinner was prepared would have given chest pains to any health inspector.

As they sat down at the table, they noticed a dark covering on one dish that they were about to eat. It turned out to be flies! After dinner, the two men sat in the living room and visited. My friend commented on the big holes all along the bottom of the cabin walls. His host explained that those holes were from the mice. "They must be mighty big mice and there must be a lot of them," my friend commented. The host smiled. "Oh, the holes are from me killing ‘em. I just sit here with my old .22 and shoot ‘em when they poke their head out!"

Friday, March 30, 2007

It was one of those disasters that riveted the attention of the nation. Nine Pennsylvania coal miners had been excavating when they inadvertently broke through a flooded shaft. An estimated 50 to 60 million gallons of water rushed in, trapping the men in this underground chamber. When the water rose over their heads, they had to swim to higher ground - still 240 feet underground. For two and a half days, rescuers didn't know if the miners were dead or alive. Once they made contact through a phone line they lowered into the flooded shaft, they established a line that would deliver compressed air and they began pumping out water. Seventy-seven hours after the ordeal began, rescuers brought the miners, one at a time, up to the surface in a cramped yellow rescue cage. As the last man was pulled to the surface, the Governor of the state simply said, "All nine. All nine."

Friday, March 23, 2007

I've had lots of friends in law enforcement. I've even had the opportunity to ride in the front seat with a police officer. But the experience I had recently had a totally different feel to it. I was speaking at a large youth festival, and I had to get across this festival's grounds quickly to my next speaking venue. Two police officers working security said, "Hey, hop in our squad car, we'll take you over there." Well, I jumped into the back seat of the police car and I quickly realized that I had never experienced a little of what it feels like to be on the custody end of things like that. There was this wall between me and the officers in the front seat. When we arrived at our destination and I tried to open my door - in vain - no way. My officer friend had a good laugh at this, and he said, "Ron, there's no way you can get yourself out of there. You see, somebody has to let you out." I've decided I am not excited about being in the prisoner seat any more.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Roger was assistant manager of a buffet restaurant. He's on our ministry team, and the other day he was telling me about a special memory from that job early in his working career. It seems there was a male customer who had been really abusive to the waitress. So Roger, being the ranking officer in the restaurant at the time, had the joy of trying to confront this gentleman - well, this man anyway. Unfortunately, this abusive customer was young, strong, all muscular and bulked up. And Roger's like me; he's not exactly Goliath. But he walked into the lion's jaws and he bravely asked that man to leave. Initially, the customer was ready for a fight. Then suddenly, unexplainably, he raised the white flag and he just left, leaving Roger a little baffled as to why this man had suddenly given up. That's when my friend turned around and saw one of the chefs who had been - unbeknownst to Roger - standing behind him all that time. The chef was a Goliath! Roger said, "Suddenly I understood that it was the big guy behind me that made the difference!"

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

We were zipping along Interstate 80 one afternoon, heading home through Pennsylvania on this beautiful day. I was really enjoying the view as I drove, until that semi pulled out onto the highway in front of us. The truck was belching this heavy black smoke out of its smokestack. Immediately the car in front of us swung into the left lane to pass him. As he was passing, he suddenly turned on his windshield wipers, and we noticed that they immediately began smearing this oily film across his windshield.

He had to pull over as soon as possible because he just couldn't see out anymore. As we passed Smokey the Truck, my wife said, "Don't turn on your wipers!" Our windshield was suddenly getting spattered with lots of little black stuff. It made it a little hard to see, but we managed to get to the next exit where the gas station attendant confirmed that those specks were what we thought - they were oil! He gave us some oil and tar remover, and it came right off. But for us - and especially for the man who had gone ahead of us - that junk on the windshield sure did ruin the view!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Tupperware can be a good thing. Those sealed plastic containers can preserve leftover food so you can enjoy it later. Tupperware can be a bad thing, if you forget about it. I know from distasteful personal experience what can happen when you do - intermediate life forms, morphing into something unrecognizable. The problem comes when that Tupperware with leftovers in it slowly gets pushed farther and farther back in the fridge, until it's tucked out of sight behind the pickle jar and the gallon of milk. Ultimately, though, the lost little Tupperware will make its presence known. As you open the fridge and utter those inevitable words: "What's that smell?" The smell isn't going away until some domestic Green Beret storms the depths of that fridge and bravely opens that Tupperware and carries away the rotting contents inside, or beats them to death with a stick, if necessary.

            

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

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