Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Becky was my first serious crush. "Serious" meant I thought she was beautiful. At least, that's what my 13-year-old eyes told me, and that's why I was so surprised when she said she'd been in a violent automobile accident not long before that. I just moved into town, and I didn't know anything about the accident. She said it had done very serious damage to her face and there were all kinds of scars. Well, I didn't see any trace of it. I know that 13-year-old love is blind, but obviously, something had happened to those scars. Actually, a plastic surgeon had taken care of those scars, and he must have been good. He had very skillfully taken scars and recreated something beautiful.

Friday, July 23, 2004

As a musical composition, Frederick Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus," stands in a category by itself. Few pieces of music have the power to stir our hearts like that majestic chorus that even brought the King of England to his feet the first time he heard it. But before Frederick Handel wrote the "Hallelujah Chorus" and "The Messiah" oratorio of which it's a part, he wasn't having much of a hallelujah time. He was basically broke, depressed, and against a wall. Then someone asked him to write an oratorio to be performed at this benefit concert on behalf of people who were in debtors prison - locked up because they were too poor to pay their bills. There were 700 people who contributed to be at that premiere performance of "The Messiah" and the "Hallelujah Chorus" - and 128 prisoners went free as a result!

Friday, June 25, 2004

We met Gal on an Indian reservation. She wasn't easy to get to know, actually. Gal was a cute black and white dog owned by a missionary couple that our On Eagles' Wings Team was working with on a remote reservation. Most dogs run up to you when you come to the door, even if you're a stranger, and they're usually all over you. Not Gal. She ran the other way and cowered in the corner, no matter how gentle, how friendly you were to her. She just didn't want to come out of her corner for anybody. "Strange dog," I thought. Until her owners explained that Gal had been terribly abused by her first owners. When she saw people, she saw pain.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

When you have young grandchildren, you're back in the toy business again. And sure enough, we've got a closet full of toys that, contrary to some vicious rumors, are not mine. They are there for those grandchildren, who quickly relocate those toys from the closet to our living room every time they visit. One of them (the toys - not the grandchildren) is a furry blue puppet with bulging eyes - it's good old Cookie Monster of Sesame Street fame. And he's got this string in his back. When you pull it, he starts chewing and moving his arms and uttering his trademark phrase: "Cookie. Me want cookie!" Pull the string again and he'll say the same thing again. No matter how many times you pull that string, he will do the "cookie" thing every time.

Tuesday, June 8, 2004

Now, I'm not a deer hunter. I think I was brainwashed by "Bambi" a long time ago, but I tell you, something incredible happens in a lot of parts of the country when deer season opens. Some places they close school for a few days because of the deer, and in many places, it's just understood that workers aren't going to show up for work. They're going to be somewhere in the woods on Operation Buck. Unfortunately, sometimes the hunt can end in tragedy - for the hunter, I mean, not the deer.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Now, I grew up in Illinois, so, well, I'm impressed by the mountains in the eastern United States. I mean the highest are around, you know, like 3,000 feet. That's pretty good for Illinois, but my friends from the Rockies think the eastern mountains are like, well, glorified hills. In Colorado, they brag about the mountains they call the 14ers - those that are over 14,000 feet. That's impressive, but when I was in Ecuador, I was awed by the volcanoes that ring the capital city of Quito, and they rule much of the countryside - like Anasana for example - 18,000 feet. It dwarfed the tallest peaks I had ever seen. And then my host really amazed me. He said, "You know, Ron, some experts believe that Anasana used to be even higher." They think it was as much as 28,000 feet high. Well, so much for Colorado's 14ers. I said, "What happened?" Well, the volcano blew its top one day, and though the eruption lasted only a short time, the damage has lasted ever since.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Part of our ministry team works on a remote Indian reservation in the Southwest. In fact, our sons launched this ground-breaking outreach to Native young people a decade ago and named it "The Path." In the past couple of years, that ministry has become a part of ours. Together, we've had the opportunity of launching, by the miracle working of God, a low-power FM radio station on this reservation. A reservation that's hard to reach - spiritually, as well as geographically. Now the light of Christ is going out 24 hours a day across the reservation in an original format that is really making a difference. Part of the adventure was just getting the station on the air - including setting up the tower. That required some special climbing abilities. And one of the Native young men who God sent to help with the station just happens to have that experience - illegally, in the years before he was following Christ. He used to love to climb towers that the law actually forbids people to climb. Now, all of a sudden, those abilities - practiced in a way that did not honor God - were suddenly being used by God to glorify Him. Don't you just love it!

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

It may have been the most memorable - maybe even the most defining moment in the history of our generation - the September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Most of us were marked indelibly by just watching it on television. My friend Nathan lived it. It was his first visit to New York, and his business took him high up in one of the Twin Towers. After the attacks, while there was still great confusion as to whether to evacuate or to stay in the building, Nathan disregarded the announcement to "return to your offices." That decision saved his life. He made his way down the long stairwell until he neared the bottom. There rescuers guided him and many others with him to a safe exit, not long before the tower collapsed in those few horrific seconds. I'll never forget when Nathan told me about the firefighters he saw as he neared the main floor: he said, "I looked in their eyes and thought, 'They must be as frightened as I am.' Except I was going down, and they were going up." Is it any wonder we call them heroes?

Tuesday, February 3, 2004

It's sad, but we - like a lot of people - have had to institute a lot of safety precautions to protect our computers. Things like not opening any e-mail attachments or putting foreign diskettes in each other's computers. There's this dreaded word for anyone who owns a computer - virus. Now, this is not "take two aspirin and call me in the morning" stuff. No, we're talking technical viruses that can get into your systems and wreak havoc with your data and your equipment. That's why the first display I see when I turn my computer on says "Virus Scan." There are plenty of horror stories of what happened when one of these little alien invaders got into a computer system. We're talking total meltdown in some cases. It really does pay to go to extra effort to keep those invaders out!

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

During our Mission Alaska trip to young Native Alaskans, I spent a lot of time in a little missionary aircraft. It's the only way to get to villages that are 400 miles from the nearest road! One day when the weather wasn't much fun, our pilot asked me to keep an eye on the wing on my side. He said, "Let me know if you see any icing." Of course, I hear "icing" and I think of a birthday cake. A pilot hears icing, and he thinks danger in the air. Amazingly, a little ice on the wings adds just enough weight to endanger the plane. It interrupts the airflow that keeps the plane airborne, and it starts losing altitude. So that day over Alaska, I really kept my eyes open for ice!

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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