Friday, August 5, 2005

There were only two words in the headline in USA Today, but most of us understand how urgent those two words can be: "Blood needed!" They were talking about an alarming shortage of blood available in blood banks due to severe winter weather, a holiday season, and a bad flu season. One spokesman for the Association of Blood Banks said, "If you've had a bad car accident or a couple of gunshot wounds, you're in a world of trouble." I guess so. There is no fact more basic to human life - without the blood you need, you die.

Monday, August 1, 2005

Marty McFly met a strange scientist with a machine that promised interesting results - the ability to go back in time. And he did. He went, as the title of the movie about it says, "Back to the Future." He had a most amazing experience getting to know his mother and his father when they were teenagers - an experience some of us might find very interesting. His dad, George McFly, was a milquetoast, bossed-around kind of guy, afraid to stand up to anybody. Marty has always known him to be that kind of a man, until he is transported back to the night that will determine the course of the rest of his Dad's life - and his Mom's. One decision - whether or not George McFly will stand up to the bully who is attacking his girlfriend - who is to become Marty's mother - is the turning point of George's life. And Marty is there to help his Dad make the right and courageous choice. It totally changes the course of George McFly's life. He steps up, defends his girl, and neutralizes the bully who wanted her. So instead of the life Marty has known with a pretty unsuccessful, wimpy dad, he returns to his life with a strong and successful dad because of that choice. A very different life because of one decision that changed the future.

Monday, June 27, 2005

I was watching on TV the observance of the tenth anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, and my mind raced back to this unforgettable personal visit I had to the site of, well, what was a very deadly tragedy. In a pre-September 11th America, that terrorist bombing of a Federal Office Building left most Americans in stunned disbelief; at least it did me. My guide for my visit to the memorial made it really special and very moving, actually. Because he's a state trooper who was one of the rescuers that day. His recollections of the joy of rescues and the heartbreak of lost lives are something I'll never forget. Of course, all the traces of that bombed-out building are gone now. The site is now a beautiful lawn with a stone chair for each of the victims. What was the street that day is now a reflection pond. Nothing remains there from the day the world stopped at 9:02 A.M. - nothing, that is, except the tree. On an embankment across from what was the building site stands a big old tree, still partially blackened by the bomb blast. We stood there, my rescuer friend and I, and we prayed beneath those branches that somehow had endured the blast. They call it The Survivor Tree.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

It was a 2004 American League Championship Series, and one big reason the Boston Red Sox triumphed over my New York Yankees was a veteran pitcher named Curt Schilling. He was selected to pitch the opening game in the New York series, and although he had torn an ankle tendon in his previous start, he thought he could gut it out. He was wrong. Losing that game actually started the Red Sox into a 3-0 deficit in the best of seven series. The Red Sox started to come back, and amazingly, Curt Schilling had a chance to try again. Later he would tell the press that the first game showed what he could do. This second outing showed what God can do. Although Curt had been named "Good Guy of the Year" actually by Sporting News, he had never talked publicly about the commitment to Jesus Christ he made several years before.

This time, while praying with his pastor before the game, he expressed his willingness to speak up about his Lord if he was given the opportunity. His incredible four-hit victory gave him that chance. He clearly glorified God in his post game interview. Later, when he pitched a winning game in Game 2 of the World Series, Curt Schilling told reporters: "If you haven't checked it out, read Philippians 4:13 - that's 'I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.' I can't do anything these days without having that reverberate in my head." Those public declarations of his dependency on Christ may well have been his greatest victories. Later he said, "I've learned that you should never hide your faith. I had wasted seven years. People didn't know."

Friday, May 27, 2005

Jennifer and Kourtney were three-year-old twins, and they were excited about pre-school! In fact they were so excited, they got up in the middle of the night in their Omaha, Nebraska home and they walked out of the house to make the six-block walk to school. All this while their parents were sound asleep. You say, "Isn't that cute?" No. Snow was everywhere that night, and the temperature was nine degrees below zero, and the girls were reported missing at 4:05 A.M. after family members awoke to find a light on and the front door open. Two police officers started driving the route to school, hoping to find the girls before it was too late. At one point, their squad car was actually stopped by the ice on a steep hill. They were stopped right in front of an alley, which they decided to investigate. And there they found first little footprints, then three tan boots, no bigger than the palm of the officer's hand, and finally they found barefoot Kourtney, wearing an open coat kneeling beside her sister Jennifer, who was face down in the snow, wearing socks but no coat. Even though Jennifer was near death when they found her, both girls miraculously survived. If someone had not come looking for them, they would have died.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

We have a hummingbird feeder and those busy little guys are fascinating to have as back porch visitors. You've probably seen them. Their wings go so fast you can hardly even see their wings. They're God's original helicopters! They hover, they fly backwards and sideways. I love to watch them, and do they love sugar! My wife mixes up this red liquid that's basically sugar water and they flock to it. Then they'll fly off in this burst of acrobatic energy only to return a few minutes later for a refill. Now, I've been told that if they go very long without some sugar, whether it's the natural kind they get from flowers or from our backyard potion, they become sort of catatonic or maybe "birdatonic." If hummingbirds could talk human talk you'd probably hear them sing as they come back for their 47th consecutive drink, "Must have sugar, must have sugar!"

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

It was Moving Day! If you've ever moved from one house to another, across the street or across the country, you know how much fun it can be. And if you think it's fun, you've obviously never done it. Our daughter and son-in-law and their two boys had moved a lot of their belongings to a temporary house while major repairs were being done on their house. A few weeks after they hauled a lot of their life into their temporary home, they got to move it out again and back into their real home. We all pitched in, and there were a lot of trips back and forth with armloads of boxes and bags, and loading everything into several family vehicles. Our three-year-old grandson was watching all the work going on, and as he heard some of us discussing what was still left to do, he quickly volunteered his personal perspective. We hadn't yet asked him to do anything, but he still turned to walk away with these words on his lips: "I'm not available right now."

Monday, April 4, 2005

I don't think I've ever "teared up" during a President's State of the Union Address to Congress - until one unforgettable moment during President George W. Bush's State of the Union early in 2005. For me, it had absolutely nothing to do with politics. It was an intensely human moment that almost transcended politics. At one point in his speech, he paid tribute to the Iraqi people for their courage in going to the polls in the face of incredible danger. Then, the President introduced a guest that was sitting in the gallery next to the First Lady - a woman who has been an Iraqi freedom activist for 11 years - since Saddam Hussein had her father executed. She stood with her index finger in the air, still tinted with that identifying purple dye of one who had voted. She was very moved by the standing ovation from everyone in the chamber.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

In every war, battles take the names of previously little-known places and propel those places into the history books. In the war in Iraq, Fallujah will be such a place. As a center for insurgent activity and hostage executions, it became a major combat focus for the U. S. military, and like all such places, a spawning ground for heroes. Sgt. Rafael Peralta was one of those heroes. Before Fallujah, he had already built a reputation for putting his Marines' interests ahead of his own. USA Today reported that, as a platoon scout, he actually was not assigned to the assault team that entered an insurgent safe house near Fallujah. His assignment allowed him to avoid that danger, but he asked the squad leader if he could join their assault team. Sgt. Peralta was, in fact, one of the first Marines to enter that house. Rifle fire wounded him in the face, and he fell to the floor. Then an insurgent rolled a fragmentation grenade into the area where Peralta and the others were seeking cover. Then they made a break for the door - which turned out to be locked. They pounded frantically. That was when Sgt. Peralta grabbed the grenade that would, in a moment, threaten the lives of his comrades. He cradled it into his body and took the full force of the explosion. The squad leader later said, "He saved half my fire team."

Friday, January 28, 2005

The military has roll call - you know, reading out the names to see if everybody's there. When our family has a get-together - like Mom, Dad, Grandma, Granddad, and grandchildren - we don't have roll call. But we do have one three-year-old grandson who takes roll in his own little way. While we're all busy in the usual chatter and bustle of everyone catching up, our grandson is obviously evaluating who's there and who isn't. You can tell. Before very long, he pipes up, "Where's Grandma?" or "Where's Daddy?" or whoever happens to be MIA at the moment. And he wants answers about where they are and why they aren't there. He wants every person in the family to be there!



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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