Monday, April 3, 2006

Scotty was only four years old, and he was lost in Brooklyn. A police officer spotted this little guy standing on a street corner in this huge city, crying. Of course, he tried to help the boy by asking him his address, and Scotty didn't know. The officer asked him his phone number, and he answered through his tears, "I can't remember." The officer was running out of options. He was just about to take the little guy down to the station when he thought of one last question: "Little boy, is there anything near your house that I might recognize?" That was the moment that little guy discovered the one thing that really helped him finally get home.

Monday, February 27, 2006

This may come as quite a surprise to you, but there were a lot of rumors in college that I was behind many of the practical jokes and pranks that happened while I was there. That's hard to imagine, isn't it? It wouldn't come as a total surprise to some of those folks that I finally ended up in the penitentiary; Alcatraz, in fact. Fortunately, my sentence was only about four hours. Actually, we had taken some young people out to that famous prison in the middle of San Francisco Bay to do a special radio program. Of course, it's been some years since any prisoners were held there on what they called The Rock, but it is still quite a place to see. While we were there, we experienced the awful claustrophobia of being locked in one of those little cells and the isolation of being in solitary confinement. For the closing segment of the program, we walked out of one of the prison gates and down to the rocks outside that overlook the bay. One of the young people with us was walking out with me, and he made quite an observation. "Just think," he said, "there was only a wall between them and all this beauty."

Thursday, February 23, 2006

You've probably never heard of the "Pig War" between the United States and Great Britain because it's a war that almost happened. That war almost started in 1859 on the disputed San Juan Island between Canada and the State of Washington. In the midst of that tension between England and the U. S., an American settler named Lyman Cutler shot a pig who was rooting through his potato patch. Unfortunately, that pig belonged to Englishman Charles Griffin. That incident was like a match to a powder keg in this already inflamed situation. For 12 years, there was serious hostility and tension between the U.S. and British authorities - over a pig. Finally, General Winfield Scott brokered a peace deal. So, fortunately, the only fatality in this conflict was a pig.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

King George and his army must have been having a good laugh. George Washington and his Continental Army had been whipped in battle after battle in their campaign to become independent from Britain. British troops had driven the Americans out of New York City, across the Hudson River, across New Jersey, and finally into Pennsylvania. Then came the winter of 1777, at a place outside of Philadelphia called Valley Forge. Washington's troops faced not only a physical winter there, but an emotional winter. Discouragement and defeat may have been their worst enemies. But General Washington wasn't about to let those enemies win. He fought back by immediately deploying his soldiers to fortifying their camp. Then the drills began. A veteran European military officer began to drill those soldiers every day, teaching them a single set of maneuvers rather than the multiple approaches that had created confusion in those past battles. That winter, they were learning one way of doing things while Washington worked on getting more recruits and building his army into a real fighting force. Many historians believe that the outcome of America's battle for independence was decided at Valley Forge more than in any battle - an army that came out of Valley Forge to stun the British with major victories. One army went into the winter at Valley Forge - divided, discouraged, demoralized. Another army emerged from that winter. They were unified, they were fortified, they were confident because of what they had done with their winter.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

We were just beginning the process of building our Ministry Headquarters. At that point, all that was on the 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 would 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, of course.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Some years ago, there was this movie called "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure." Someday my kids are going to make a movie about some of the great ideas I've had on our summer vacations. They'll call it "Dad's Excruciating Adventures." Like the day I woke everyone up at 3:00 A.M. to get the view from the top of the mountain. We were vacationing in Maine. And I had read that if you were at the top of Cadillac Mountain at daybreak, you would be one of the first Americans to see the sunrise that day. And how could we miss that thrill? Right?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

If you're looking for a great real estate deal, don't go looking in the metropolitan New York area. Housing in the metro New York area is just really expensive. When people from another part of the country start looking at home prices there, they usually get a paralyzing case of sticker shock. When our friend Rachel and her husband moved to the New York area to serve the Lord, they went through that cost-of-living trauma. Rachel was talking one day to my wife about this and it led her to tell about a minor, but particularly irritating, frustration she had with their house. It was about that pipe in the corner of the dining room! Rachel said, "I have wallpapered the room. I have tried everything to get that dumb pipe to blend in, but nothing works! It's ugly!" Then she paused for a moment and she said, "You know, I told God I'd live in a grass hut in Africa if He called me to, and I meant it! Why can't I live in a house with an ugly pipe in New Jersey?" Then Rachel answered her own question. "I know why." The diagnosis that followed might provide an x-ray of what's going on in you!

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

My friend John has a sick little boy on his hands. His son was only about three and he was having some serious respiratory problems. The little guy often woke up in the middle of the night gurgling and finding it hard to breathe. That's scary at any age and even scarier at three. During that siege, John stepped up to serious "daddying." Unbeknownst to little David, he set up a camp just outside the boy's door. Whenever David would cry out, John was there in a moment to help. Night after night, those frightened cries came out of the dark. And night after night, a father was there by the side of his frightened son. Well, little David was no dummy. He finally figured out how his Dad was getting there so quickly. He was right outside the door. So David just got out of bed, went out in the hall, and snuggled up next to his father. That was the end of the fearful cries in the night. He had found the best place to be when you're scared.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

I was scheduled to speak at a winter retreat in Pennsylvania and I had to drive from New Jersey, and that day winter decided that it was time to do some serious wintering like heavy snow. And it just kept on coming. I knew this could be an exciting drive. Well, actually, it turned out to be much easier than I expected. I got out into this mess on Interstate 80 and I had really low visibility, I had blinding snow, and the road filling up quickly. Of course I was muttering, "Why couldn't they cancel this retreat? Then I thought of a better idea than complaining, like praying maybe? And wouldn't you know, that's when I saw the snowplow in front of me. Well, I got my little car right in behind Mr. Snowplow and I traveled on a clear road most of the way to the retreat! I just drove where the snowplow had already been! That way you're a lot less likely to end up in a ditch!

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Some friends of ours are involved in a ministry whose offices are out in the country. The setting is beautiful and far enough out that it even has some interesting four-legged neighbors. Like the mountain lion several workers and neighbors have spotted. There's not supposed to be a mountain lion in their area, but someone forgot to tell the mountain lion. I understand this has caused the folks who work there - especially if they're around after dark - to be just a little more vigilant when they're coming or going from their car. Personally, I think it's better for the person to see the lion before the lion sees the person.

            

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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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