Wednesday, January 24, 2007

It was the fastest-moving, hardest-hitting, most widespread computer virus there'd ever been up to that time, and it was called of all things, the love bug. It came cleverly wrapped in an email that was designed to look like a love letter. So, of course, people wanted to open it. When the email was opened, the virus was activated, and it spread rapidly. In fact, it even sent copies of itself to everyone in the email address book on that computer. So, it jammed computers and damaged files in Asia, Europe, North and South America and companies and organizations from one end of the earth to the other. They had to shut down their email. The list included the Pentagon, Congress, and the British Parliament. Oh, it advertised love, but in the long run, it just delivered destruction.

Monday, January 8, 2007

One day our ministry got a call from a lady who identified herself as being with a bank that we don't even do business with. She said, "The wire transfer has not come through yet" and she wanted us to call her back with more information. Interestingly enough, no such lady works at the bank she mentioned. The folks at the bank told us that things like this can actually be part of a very clever scam that crooks use to get your money. They lead you to believe that a donation is coming through; they just need your bank routing number. But that information might be all they need to access your bank account and get what's in your bank account transferred to their bank account. So you have to be a little careful out there. There are plenty of folks out there who are claiming to give you something, so they can take something!

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Have you ever noticed how they go about selling weight loss products on TV? It's not a doctor who's their main salesperson usually. No, they get someone who was heavy and who has traded in their tent for designer jeans now. Listen, I know that feeling. I had to lose a lot of weight at one point in my life. You know, advertisers know that the best salesman for a product is someone who's been there - who's lived it. Because as I lost about 50 pounds some years ago, people actually listen to me when I talk about losing weight. Being fat wasn't fun, but it seems to give a person credentials with people who struggle with it now. Who wants to listen to a person who's been thin their whole life, whose metabolism is their friend, whose never struggled with what you're struggling with? It's interesting how yesterday's misery can become today's credentials.

Monday, December 4, 2006

They often give you one when you check into some sprawling motel complex, or a big theme park, or a large convention facility. It's a map of the place. And for the directionally challenged like me, there's one important thing I look for on that map. It's that "x" and those three very helpful words, "You are here." See, you're not helping me very much by just giving me a drawing of where everything is. In order for me to use that to get where I want to go, I need that one fundamental piece of information - locating exactly where I am right now!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

"To boldly go where no man has gone before." Recognize that famous line? Little trivia test here. Then somewhere along the way, you've been exposed to that cultural phenomenon known as Star Trek. And you know at least a little about the "voyages of the Starship Enterprise." They had this invention on the Enterprise, you remember, it's called a transporter - as in "Scotty, beam me up!" Well, the transporter sort of rearranges your molecules and beams you to another location almost immediately. But sometimes the crew would get beamed down to some unknown planet, only to be greeted by this horrific space creature. That's when it's time for "Scotty, beam me up!"

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Titanic could not miss that iceberg. These days, you can't miss the Titanic. Ever since they found the unsinkable ship where it sank two and a half miles beneath the sea, there's been a rekindled fascination with the Titanic. As they have studied the wreckage with the latest underwater technology, they have discovered some surprising new information about what happened to the grandest ocean liner in history. It was the equivalent of four city blocks in length! Now most people have probably pictured the Titanic plowing into this huge iceberg and opening up a gaping hole in the bottom. But now we know that the Titanic basically just sideswiped that iceberg; in fact, many passengers didn't even know anything had happened. And it wasn't some gaping hole that sank the unsinkable ship. It was what one newspaper called, "small wounds that doomed the Titanic." There were six relatively small punctures in the hull - "pin pricks" according to a TV special on the subject. Here's a ship that was 95,000 square feet in size, and it was sunk by little leaks that, all put together, would have been about twelve square feet - about the size of a door!

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Charles Dickens said it about the French Revolution, "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times." Well, during final exams in college, it's just the worst of times. Actually, it was mostly our own fault. We waited until one or two nights before the exam to try and cram in all that information that we should have been studying all along. Now, my room was always Grand Central Station during our final days. Yes, you can take final days two ways. I usually took pretty good notes in class, so everyone jammed into my room to try and learn what there was to learn. Hey, the big test was coming, man! We had to learn what was in all those lessons!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

When our grandson was 18 months old, I called him a member of the Lewis and Clark Junior Cadets. In other words, he loved to explore! He moved faster than you can blink. He was into everything and, of course, he had one basic maneuver - grab! Now, that's a little guy's way of exploring something new. The problem is some things are fragile; a concept, of course, beyond the comprehension of a toddler. But Mom did a great job of protecting what was breakable while not discouraging that explorer spirit. She taught him one word - "gentle." So when she saw the junior explorer closing in on something fragile, she simply said that important word, "Gentle. Gentle." And suddenly he slowed down and he touched his target carefully and softly - "gentle."

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

As many of us were growing up, Mom was really there for a lot more of our disobediences than Dad was. She was at home when we did our thing while he was conveniently at work. Actually, that seemed to be in our favor in many cases - Mom tended to be a little easier to deal with than Dad on these discipline things. Moms often mingle punishment with sympathy; Dads often mingle punishment with pain. And there was always that brief relief when Mom would say, "I'm not going to do anything to you." Yea! Judgment is cancelled! Then came that fatal next sentence, "I'll wait 'til your father gets home." So judgment wasn't cancelled. It was just postponed.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

In our ongoing attempts to establish more regular exercise in our lives, my wife and I moved into this walking kick at one time, and we're trying to get back into it now. My wife actually took the research approach, including reading books on walking, which I wasn't sure was necessary since I've been walking since I was about a year old. One of those books was by a man who literally walked across America. I was hoping that was not one of my wife's goals for our exercise program. Well, I was intrigued by an observation made by this super-walker. When someone asked him what the greatest obstacle was in his long hike across the country, he gave a pretty surprising answer. He said, "The little pebbles I got in my shoes."

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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