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!

Friday, November 14, 2003

Recently I met a man from St. Joseph, Missouri, and I surprised him with my trivia knowledge when I said, "Pony Express country, right?" He confirmed my recollection that his town was the beginning of the famous Pony Express. Those guys rode their way right into the history books. They're practically legends of the Old West - riding endless hours through hostile territory, risking their lives to deliver the mail to the West Coast. You probably know that part. What you may not know is how many guys we're talking about here in this legendary operation - just 80 riders, and only one mail delivery was ever lost. How long did the Pony Express run? Only 18 months! It only took a few people a short time to make a great impact!

Monday, November 10, 2003

In every sport, and in every season, there is always that one event that everyone calls "The Big Game." And it is not unusual for real champions to rise to the challenge and put in a powerful performance - so much so that they absolutely cream the other team! But there's also a strange phenomenon that often follows the Big Game - it's called the Big Letdown. It's amazing how a team that has just buried another great team can go into their next game all flat and sloppy. It is not uncommon for the winner of the Big Game to go into that next game - often against a much lesser opponent, and they look terrible - they lose miserably. They literally go right from powerful to pitiful.

Tuesday, November 4, 2003

I don't expect to be inspired when I eat at McDonald's, but recently I got a little inspiration with my burger and fries. There was this striking poster on the wall. It showed two mountain climbers near the peak of this Alpine mountain, straining to reach the top. But it was the inscription that impressed me most. "Conquest without risk is a triumph without glory."

I had the TV on while I was getting ready to go somewhere, and I caught a snatch of a TV talk show. The host was interviewing a former FBI agent - a man who had successfully infiltrated the Mafia and had been responsible for some major indictments. Now, in his underground life, he was, as you might expect, surrounded by cocaine. The talk show host asked the FBI man, "Did you ever have to use cocaine to maintain your cover?" Good question - after all, his life depended on his fitting in. But he answered that question with a firm "No." The host said, "Then how did you avoid having to use cocaine?" I liked his answer. It might even help you where you're feeling the pressure to fit in.

Monday, October 27, 2003

I used to just be concerned about me or someone I love picking up a virus. Now I have to be concerned about my computer picking up a virus! And more and more of them are infecting various computer systems. Now, if one of those viruses contaminates your computer, it can cause you to lose valuable data. It can even cause your computer to crash. But, thankfully, I have this special software feature that's called a virus scan. When I turn on my computer, basically the virus scan checks to see if any of those destructive little bugs have gotten in, and it warns me if they have. And that's a good thing. You want to get it before it infects everything.

            

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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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