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.

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!"

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!"



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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