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!"

Friday, April 8, 2005

It was right after Christmas in 2004. Damian Barrett was on a beach in Thailand when suddenly he saw the tide go out so quickly that the bay was drained dry. Moments later, the ocean came roaring back with the monster tsunami that claimed so many lives across South Asia. A massive wave swept Damian into the shopping area and then into a store which was rapidly filling with water. Ultimately, he was carried to the ceiling by that rising water, and he was sure he was going to die there until the water actually pushed him through a gap in the roof. But any relief he felt didn't last long. Now he was being sucked out to sea where he would certainly stand no chance. And then the tide slammed him into the trunk of a large tree - a massive tree that could withstand even the force of the tsunami tide. As vehicles, appliances and all kinds of debris swept past him, he hung onto that tree with everything he had.

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!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

We were trying to teach some young leaders the importance of teamwork and how each of us has a piece that the other needs. Here was my bright idea: Tear up a page of a magazine into pieces, dump it into the middle of each small group, and see who could put their picture together first! It didn't work too well. I had forgotten one little thing. I forgot to give them a copy of the complete picture so they could see what it should look like when it was all together! I've tried to work on one of those big puzzles myself and I had the same frustration because I didn't know where the puzzle box top was. It was very hard to put the pieces together when the complete picture wasn't there.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

It's amazing how quickly you can get 300 college men to change their plans on a moment's notice. It happened several times when I was in school. Okay, it's late at night. We're all up in our rooms studying, or sleeping, or goofing off (that was the other guys), and we're certainly not planning to go out. Yet, within a matter of minutes all 300 men are out of their rooms - out of the dorm. It is amazing what one fire bell can do, isn't it? There was no fire, just an occasional fire drill. But the call summoned us from whatever we were buried in, brought us out of our rooms and out into the night.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

You hear a truck pull up in front of your house. You look out - it's a UPS truck. Most folks are interested to find out what is coming with this special attention and then they want to know who sent it. What most folks don't do is go to the door and gush all over the delivery person, "Oh! I'm so glad you came. Please come in for some lunch, sit down, tell me all about yourself." I'll bet you've never done that. In fact, it isn't the messenger that's the big deal; it's what's being delivered and who it's from.

Monday, November 1, 2004

Anne had ridden her mountain bike through a California wilderness park many times before. But the ride this day would change her life. She was attacked by a mountain lion that hours earlier had killed another biker. As the cat held her in his jaws by the back of her neck, all she could do was pray. Humanly speaking, her friend Debi was her only hope. Debi jumped off her bike, grabbed onto Anne's leg, screaming for help and kicking at the mountain lion. She fought so hard for her friend she actually pulled Anne and the cat into the nearby brush. Thankfully, Debi's screams brought the help of some men who had been biking with them. Debi continued to hang on as the men pelted that lion with rocks. Suddenly the animal released his victim, and Anne's life was saved. Debi gave everything she had to keep the promise she made to her friend in the middle of that struggle: "I'll never let go of you!"



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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