Thursday, August 25, 2005

There is a spot in Vermont that our family has loved to visit for years. And God has introduced us to some wonderful friends who make it possible for us to stay at the place they own. Even the trip up there is beautiful! First, we drive through the Adirondack Mountains of New York State, then we head into the Champlain Valley of Vermont. As we're leaving the one range of mountains, we're looking at the next range - the scenic Green Mountains of Vermont. The inn we stay at is in the valley between the two. So, when we arrive, we look West at those mountains we have just been through, and East at those mountains we plan to explore tomorrow. It's a great place to be.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

No matter how big you expect the Grand Canyon to be, it's bigger. And when our family has had the privilege to visit there, we've all been impressed with this awesome, divine masterpiece. One big problem there though has been our boys, because they think they're part mountain goat. Of course, mountain goats cannot read the signs that tell you to stay behind the fences. Apparently, our boys can't read them either. They always had this irresistible urge to venture out as far as possible on those rocks that overlook the canyon. Of course, one false step, and it's all over -- actually, you're all over. All our lectures about going too far for safety's sake made a lot more sense the morning after we had stopped at one particular overlook. The morning paper reported that on the same afternoon we had been there, two young men went to that same overlook and one never came back. He ended up dead at the bottom of the canyon. The reason? He got too close to the edge.

Friday, July 1, 2005

It was supposed to be a one-hour fishing trip off the coast of South Carolina. For 17-year-old Josh and his 15-year-old friend Troy, it turned out to be a six-day nightmare at sea. When they set out on their little 14-foot Sunfish, they didn't know about the small craft warnings in that area. Within hours, the fierce winds had pulled them out to sea - to a point 111 miles north - well outside of the Coast Guard's search area. They fought to stay alive by eating raw jellyfish and gargling sea water. They were severely sunburned, exhausted and dehydrated. After 48 hours, the Coast Guard announced they were suspending their search and moving from a rescue operation to a recovery operation. But there was this uncle who refused to concede the boys were dead. He's a police officer, and he thinks rescue. After studying the weather and the currents, he concluded that they might be as far as the area where they actually were found. He made sure that fishing vessels in the area were alerted to be looking for the boys. And as they were praying that God would either take them home or take them to heaven, some fishermen spotted them - and saved them.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Eight wedding showers in a month! Six hundred guests scheduled to be at the wedding where 14 bridesmaids and 14 groomsmen would attend the bride and groom. Four days before the wedding, the bride went missing after she went out for a jog. The American news channels were dominated by the all-out search and investigation into the case of the vanishing bride, and now we know what happened. The bride turned up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, claiming she had been kidnapped; a story which she later changed to tell the real story of what happened. She said that the stress leading up to her wedding had given her cold feet, and she just kept running with those cold feet. In retrospect, I'm sure folks must be saying, "Girl, why didn't you just tell someone what you were feeling?" Instead she ran from her family, her community, her wedding, and even from the truth. Tens of thousands of dollars and countless man-hours were spent looking for her. Now she faced the additional stress of negative national notoriety and even the possibility of legal or financial penalties. Running solved nothing. It never does.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

"Our planes were in the air." That's what the Air Force briefing officer told us as we had the privilege of touring a major American defense command facility. He was talking about a day during the Cold War when, unbeknownst to most Americans, World War III may have almost begun. America's warning systems had indicated clearly that Russian planes were in the air and headed for the United States. In those days when nuclear war was our greatest fear and a real possibility, the orders were given to get our planes in the air. Those planes were headed for the Soviet Union with the capability of starting a nuclear war. Thankfully, the trackers discovered in time what sent out what turned out to be an erroneous message about the Russian planes - one defective computer chip. Now that's a close call.

Monday, May 9, 2005

Sometimes during pro football games the camera focuses on a single player on the sidelines, the guy who just made that great play. And he'll look at the camera and he'll say those two words they almost always say, "Hi Mom!" See, it's just and indication of the debt that a lot of people owe to the love of their mother.

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

They had the mightiest armies ever seen up until that time. And yet the seemingly invincible legions of the Roman Empire eventually fell to ransacking hordes who were once confined to Rome's far borders. What happened? Actually, many things happened that led to their defeat, but one of them was clearly spelled out by one Fourth Century Roman General. He said: "When, because of negligence and laziness, parade ground drills were abandoned, the customary armor began to feel heavy since the soldiers rarely, if ever, wore it. Therefore, they asked the emperor to set aside the breastplates and mail and then the helmets. So our soldiers fought the Goths without any protection for the heart and head, and they were often beaten by archers. Although there were many disasters, which led to the loss of great cities, no one tried to restore the armor to the infantry. They took the armor off, and when the armor came off - so, too, came their integrity."

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

You can get into a pretty good debate among American sports fans over which of their sports is more exciting. You have the brains and brawn of football, or someone will say that soccer's their game, or hockey is a really bruising sport. I think my two sons would vote for basketball as the most exciting sport, and basketball action is really pretty physical. I mean, it's constantly changing, it's intense, it's unpredictable. There's this one point where it slows down a little, though, much to the relief of the players. You know if a player is fouled by someone from the other team he gets to shoot one or two free throws. Now, that's one time when nobody's bothering you. Well, there are not all these guys trying to stop you from getting your shot, and you get to shoot for an extra point or two, but there is someone trying to bother you - especially if you're the visiting team. When you're facing the basket, you are also facing all these local fans who want you to miss. So, they jump up and down, they make noise, they wave their arms, they wave signs, and they have this one sign that says "Brick, brick, brick." So, if you're trying to score some points, you really need to concentrate.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

My friend Bob is a pastor and a jogger. One day about a year ago, he went jogging and he came home and he started to do some work at his desk. He started to write his address, except his wife noticed it wasn't his address. That was his wife's first clue. It turned out that Bob had suffered a mild stroke while he was running. Now jogging really is good for you, but in this case, he had had a stroke and he didn't even realize it. He ended up losing a lot of speech and thought functions, and thankfully he pretty much recovered from that. But some of the sermon preparation he said, that used to take hours, can now take all week. It's amazing that in the middle of all this, Bob felt no pain when he was having a stroke. The doctor said, "You probably experienced a runner's high." It's a mysterious euphoria that takes over and it actually covers up the pain. It's kind of scary. You can run so hard that you can't feel the damage being done.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

My flight was scheduled to leave Newark airport at 3:30, but there was bad weather at my destination, so they said we were postponed until 4:30. Then they said, "We have no idea when we'll be able to leave." Then they said, "We think we'll go at 5:30." We left at 6:00. Of course, that gave us lots of time to memorize the menu in the little restaurant, to check out the restroom several times, buy lots of magazines, and count the designs in the carpet. Well, they had to cancel another flight, so this was a very full plane. As passengers were lumbering aboard with all their luggage, the word came from the cockpit. The pilot said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we are number two for take off. We've been assigned that position, but we only have twenty minutes to load this plane and take off, so would you please be seated as quickly as you can, wherever you can go." They knew we couldn't take off until everybody was seated, and it was chaotic. People were still trying to board the plane while the captain was pushing them verbally, the flight attendants pushing them physically. "Sit anywhere, we have to go. We're going to lose our spot and wait longer." The pilot came on again and said, "This is interesting folks. I know we said, 'Wait, wait, wait,' and then suddenly it's a rush." Well, we had waited for hours, and then suddenly, we had immediate clearance.



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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