Thursday, January 10, 2002

If you happen to watch the Discovery Channel on cable TV, you can end up seeing some real "reality TV" - including some pretty unusual fare. How about this one, "The Search for the Giant Squid"? No, that is not an adventure flick - it was a documentary about one scientist's quest to film what no one has ever filmed - the giant squid. For the whole hour, the viewer follows this man's almost lifelong pursuit. You watch as the likely target area is identified -- as an expensive expedition follows clues that seem to be leading to the elusive prey - the giant squid. But at the end, you find out you got sucked into an expedition that ultimately failed to find what it was looking for.

Wednesday, January 9, 2002

Years ago a major art gallery sponsored a competition for painters. They were offering prizes for the best painting on the subject of "Peace." As attenders browsed through the entries, most had decided that a one certain painting was almost sure to win. It portrayed this lush green pasture under a vivid blue sky, with the cows grazing lazily and a little boy walking through the grass with his fishing pole over his shoulder. It really made you feel peaceful. But it came in second. The painting that won was a real surprise. The scene was the ocean in a violent storm. The sky was ominous, the lightning was cutting across the sky, and the waves were crashing into the rock walls of the cliffs by the shore. No peace. But you had to look twice to understand what was going on. There, about halfway up the cliff, was a birds' nest, tucked into a tiny hollow in the rock. A mother bird was sitting on that nest - with her little babies, tucked underneath her, sleeping soundly. That was peace!

Tuesday, January 8, 2002

He's a baseball legend. Cal Ripken Jr. played all 21 years of his Major League career with hometown Baltimore Orioles. He holds several defensive records and he is only one of seven players who got 400 home runs and 3,000 hits. But as sportswriters reflected on his career as he retired at the end of the 2001 season, what many considered his most significant achievement was that, for 16 straight years, he played in every single game, setting the all-time record of 2,632 consecutive games played. When the ill will from the 1994 players' strike was still in the air, he tied and passed Lou Gehrig's long-standing record for consecutive games played. The fans cheered loud and long. As one magazine said, "This wasn't Joe DiMaggio hitting in 56 straight games or Hank Aaron's clubbing 755 homers. This was a record that required a talent all mere mortals could display - faithfully showing up for work every day."

Thursday, December 27, 2001

For three months, Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer had been prisoners of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, accused along with other aid workers of trying to convert Afghans to Christianity. In October of 2001 their prison cells was shaken by the thunder of U. S. bombs falling on the city of Kabul. Weeks later, after a cold, sleepless night in a steel shipping container, the girls and their colleagues found themselves in a new prison south of Kabul, with rockets crashing down on the contested town they were in. Suddenly, men were banging on their prison doors. They believed that their Taliban captors were returning, and now their fate was clearly uncertain as the situation around them dissolved into chaos. Then, to their surprise, an anti-Taliban soldier came in with reams of ammunition around his neck. He was just shouting two wonderful words - "You're free! You're free!"

Tuesday, December 18, 2001

It's got to be the Christmas season--I can tell by the UPS trucks going up and down our street. This time of year, those drives are working real long hours and I mean, they are earning every dollar. They must collapse into bed at night. Course, the UPS driver's job could be worse. What if they had to shop for what's in that package, and buy it, and package it? Well, fortunately, it's not up to the UPS person to create the package--he or she only has to deliver it! Just like you and me.

Friday, December 14, 2001

Well, it was a sight many of us never expected to see in our lifetime. Here were the members of Congress, Republican and Democrat, standing together, singing "God Bless America." What a moment! Of course, it took the horrific terrorist attacks of September 11, to bring them together like that. We saw similar scenes of the leaders of both parties emerging from White House meetings with the President, speaking almost as one voice; the combined Senate and House responding in total unity to the President's address to Congress. An unprecedented bipartisanship left most of us totally amazed. Suddenly, it seemed as if our leaders had discovered an identity that transcended Republican or Democrat. Suddenly, we were all just Americans.

Tuesday, December 11, 2001

I was out of the country, and my wife was visiting her father, along with our daughter and son-in-law. She convinced her dad to hike with them back into the woods to the spring where they used to go to get water when she was a little girl. Eventually, they came upon a scene that was printed on her memory like a photograph - that spring gushing from the rocks, just beneath a cave above it. They spent a few minutes exploring and then headed back. That night our son-in-law showed the video he had shot of their little expedition. As the picture panned past the darkened cave, he stopped the video and rewound it to get a closer look. And there, gleaming in the darkness, were the two eyes of a big cat - as in panther or cougar. They had not seen that cat - they had been exploring right beneath that cat -- and they had never known the danger they were in.

Monday, December 3, 2001

"Office of Homeland Security" - the fact that America needs one pretty much tells the story of the kind of world we're in now. There are gloves in many company mail rooms, troops and added security checks in our airports, tours are curtailed at many public utilities, our bags are searched at sporting events, and business is booming at security companies.

Monday, November 19, 2001

Skunks are kind of cute - but you just don't want to get near them. Humans seem to understand that pretty well. Apparently, some dogs just don't get it. Like the one a pastor friend of mine recently told me about. The dog belongs to a man in his congregation - and somehow his canine companion got into a tangle with one of those striped kitties. Needless to say, the dog reeked! His owner did his best to bathe him thoroughly. But the smell was still so strong that, before it was over, and literally the poor man got so sick in the night that he literally had to go to the hospital!

Tuesday, November 6, 2001

When our son was playing high school football, he looked like the tattooed man at the circus, with bruises all over his body. He always dreamed of playing football. And he had his dream, but he paid a price. As soon as practices started in August, the coaches had those players running 'til they almost dropped, and hitting, and tackling, and straining, and sweating. Some guys quit because it was just too much. Finally, the season began - and his team started winning - a lot. I remember one incredibly rowdy victory celebration on the bus home after they had managed this 20-0 shutout. He had weighed the pain of playing against the pleasure. What he concluded may help you weigh yours.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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