Monday, September 29, 2003

It's one of those hidden natural treasures that not a lot of people know about. They call it Buttermilk Falls. People had told us what a picturesque spot it would be. They didn't tell us about the road you have to drive to see this picturesque spot. We turned off the paved road where our directions said to, and suddenly we found ourselves on a dirt road that was one crater after another. There was no way to miss these gigantic potholes. In fact, one guy in a Volkswagen in front of us just totally disappeared. So, I had to drive about two miles an hour with the kids reminding me that they weren't having much fun. It was really tempting to turn back, but we persevered. And I'm glad we did. We finally reached this magnificent waterfall, cascading down the rock walls of a cliff. There was even a trail where we climbed to the top and got this great view from the top of the waterfall. We loved it! And in spite of the miserable road to it, we went back several times. And it was worth it!

Thursday, September 18, 2003

My wife and I had gone to a friend's house by the New Jersey Shore to start writing a book. For breaks, I wanted to go for walks on the beach, but my wife said she was feeling so fatigued she couldn't find the energy. As we returned home, that fatigue got worse. Then came the severe stomach upset and finally the fever that climbed to 105 degrees. We had no idea that one of mankind's most virulent diseases was taking over her body. It turned out she had hepatitis. We knew she had some terrible symptoms. We didn't know what was causing them, what ultimately almost cost my wife her life.

Tuesday, September 9, 2003

Sometimes it feels like we're all members of the "New Disease of the Year" Club. Years ago, we all learned about a fearful medical acronym called AIDS. In recent years, Americans have gotten acquainted with maladies such as Lyme disease, or, then West Nile virus. For 2003, the "New Disease of the Year" award went to a medical acronym known as SARS - a highly contagious and potentially dangerous respiratory condition. The fear and the spread of SARS hit places like China and other Asian nations particularly hard, actually curtailing a great deal of travel, tourism, and business. But one country seemed to get a handle on SARS better than the others - Vietnam. Now, although it's one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia, Vietnam was praised by the World Health Organization as the first country to control SARS. The reason for that victory seems relatively uncomplicated, but also uncommon - Vietnamese health officials acknowledged the threat quickly and went to work immediately to contain it. No denial, no cover-up, no hesitation - but prompt action to stop it while it was still small.

Friday, August 22, 2003

Years ago, some friends of mine lived near this industrial area where the mills filled the air with a very distinctive "aroma" -- no, "smell." I mean, it was this sulfur-like odor -- sort of like the smell of rotten eggs. When you first went to that neighborhood, you'd sniff and say, "What's that?" And my friends would say, "What's what?" See, they had lived around that stench for so long that it didn't even register on them anymore!

Monday, June 30, 2003

It was a beautiful morning for a walk. I was on an Indian reservation in Arizona where you don't see much water, so my eyes were drawn immediately to this sparkling little pond down a short little pathway just off the road. The explorer in me, of course, couldn't just walk by, so I started down that little path to enjoy that sun-sparkling water up close. Then, as I approached it, I saw the sign. The only word I really remember was "sewage." Yes, I was about to enthusiastically explore a facility with a sewage pond. You'd be surprised how fast I can retreat when I need to.


Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Our son and daughter-in-law live and work on an Indian reservation. And as they've tried to do the work of Christ in pretty challenging conditions, they've lived in humble places, a long drive from the nearest town of any size. Recently, God did something really exciting for them - He provided a little home for them in a place where really those are nearly impossible to come by. Because they moved - and because they're involved in a lot of youth ministry in that house - they quickly needed a place to put their rapidly multiplying trash. Our son called for a dumpster, but that takes a little while on the reservation. In the meantime, they just had to pile it outside - where the reservation dogs usually tore it up and scattered it all around. Well, we recently got a call from a very happy son. He explained his joy with four simple words - "We got a dumpster!"

Tuesday, January 7, 2003

While I was watching the History Channel recently, I was reminded of something I'd heard about one of World War II's most dramatic confrontations. British General Montgomery went face-to-face with Hitler's best, General Rommel. They called him "The Desert Fox." He was a brilliant strategist in his campaigns to take and then to keep North Africa for the Fuehrer. Well, Montgomery finally defeated the Desert Fox at the Battle of El Alamein. But history also tells us one reason why he did. See, General Montgomery had a picture hanging in his command tent where he could see it every day. No, it wasn't Winston Churchill. It wasn't the King of England. It was a picture of General Rommel. Montgomery didn't ever want to forget who he was fighting.

Monday, December 9, 2002

It was a scene that was re-enacted a number of times when our daughter was a little girl. Okay, here's Daddy, in his chair in the living room, immersed in his newspaper. In comes my little girl, asking for a little attention from Dad. Dad says, "Oh, in a while, honey." The request is repeated, and the same response. Then, after a few minutes, a little girl comes crashing through the newspaper onto her father's lap. Before I could say anything, she would wrap her arms around my neck and just say, "Daddy, it's cuddle time!" Melted Daddy, all over the floor.

Friday, December 6, 2002

My childhood church has shown their love for our family in some very special ways, including sending a work crew to help make some repairs on our house - totally unsolicited. Joe was one of those "angels" that God sent. The first challenge for Joe came long before he got to our house. In fact, it was on the drive out from Chicago. He was sleeping behind the driver's seat in the truck while someone else was driving, and suddenly he was hit with one of his recurring asthma attacks. Now, usually, he's able to get through that real quickly, but this one got a little scary for a while because he had trouble using his inhaler which he carries all the time. Here's what Joe told me. He said, "When you panic, you can't breathe, and I panicked. And you have to breathe to use the inhaler! The only way I can get what will stabilize me is to relax!"

Wednesday, December 4, 2002

There were seasons in the life of our family when I thought we were running our own personal emergency room. Like the time our youngest son dislocated his ankle in football. The doctor put this air cast on his ankle for about two weeks, and then I guess they, uh, located it. At about that same time, our oldest son had surgery for a knee injury he got in sports, so they recommended that he wear a knee brace whenever he played a game where he had to pivot very much. An ankle cast, a knee brace - it's a good idea to support the weak spot so you can prevent further injury.



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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