Monday, March 1, 2004

Thanksgiving dinner in Baghdad! That's not many folks' dream way to spend Turkey Day. But for some American soldiers, Thanksgiving 2003 may be one of the more memorable holidays of their lives. That was the day the President of the United States joined them for Thanksgiving Dinner - actually helped serve them Thanksgiving Dinner. In the aftermath of the Iraq War, Baghdad was still not a very secure place, so the President's visit came as a total surprise, a total secret from the press. Many American soldiers were feeling the weight of an extended tour of duty and, for many, the sudden appearance of their President was a real morale boost. As GIs have learned in previous wartime visits from other Presidents, there's something re-energizing about a personal visit from your Commander-in-Chief.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Okay, I admit that I'm often in a hurry to get where I'm going. More than once, we've been traveling in the crew configuration my wife and I have used for years - me pilot at the wheel, her navigator with map. I'm clipping along at a healthy rate of speed, believing that the purpose of the exercise is to be there, not to spend a lot of time getting there! Right? And even though my beautiful navigator may have announced that a turn may be coming up soon, I maintain my "must get there" speed. Then, suddenly, I hear those words, "This is our turn!" Zoom! We blow right past it - sometimes without an opportunity to turn around for several miles. So much for me trying to make good time. Too often, I've ended up on the wrong road - just because I was going too fast to turn.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

One day our little grandson was running around the living room, enjoying his own miniature "Toys R Us" store. He had his Veggie Tales toys out, his ball, his stuffed animals, his little ball you put the different geometric shapes in. He even had his grandfather! That's enough to keep ... well, let's see. He was 14 months old then, it should have kept him occupied, right? Yes, until he saw a certain person moving back and forth past the window on the front porch.

It was his father! As soon as the little guy saw his Dad outside, he turned his back on all those toys, (including this toy), and he dropped the one in his hand, and he ran to the window squealing and shouting, "Dah-y!" No toy got a reaction like that! Seeing his Dad was better than anything else he had!

Friday, February 13, 2004

Once you've gotten used to a new convenience you find yourself asking, "How did we ever do without these?" Sadly, my cell phone is one of those new things that seems indispensable now. Especially when you have lots of irons in the fire and you're on the road a lot. Often, by the end of the day my cell phone and I have something in common - our battery is dead and we need recharging. I get into a bed - my phone gets plugged into an outlet. Not long ago, I went through my night-night drill in my motel room, including plugging in my cell phone. It wasn't happy the next morning when I went to turn my cell phone back on. Oh, I had plugged it in - on one end. See, I had connected my phone cord into the phone, but I had forgotten to plug it into the wall. So, my dead phone was still very dead.

Friday, January 16, 2004

There's an Indian reservation in the Southwest where it can be pretty expensive to become a follower of Jesus Christ. Historically, this tribe has forced Christians to actually move outside the village. That actually happened to Amy's great-grandmother. She had been a tribal priestess. But when she gave her heart to Christ, she and her family were suddenly outcasts. But there's this little stone house outside the village where she and her husband ended up living - where Amy's grandmother actually grew up. The house looks, well, and I don't mean this in a bad way, but I want you to be able to picture it. It looks sort of like the stone houses you might see on "The Flintstones." But it wasn't easy to build. Great-grandpa would go to work each day and he'd pick up a big rock on his way home. And one-by-one, rock-by-rock, he carried those rocks back to the site where he was building a home for his family. And it's still there, three generations later - built one building block at a time.

Tuesday, January 6, 2004

There is no way we could have taken our "On Eagles' Wings" team of young Native Americans across Alaska without the help of our wonderful missionary partner Grant. He made the arrangements for us in village after village and helped fly us across the area, and took on much of the follow-up. Now, Grant is a pilot. You almost have to be when the villages you serve are often hundreds of miles from the nearest road. You can imagine how hard it hit us when we heard that another pilot had crashed and totaled the plane that Grant's ministry depends on. Miraculously, no one was seriously injured, but Grant was without a plane and without any funds to replace it.

Well, we joined Grant and his really dedicated family in fervent prayer for God's provision. And God really provided! The plane Grant lost was a four-seater - not big enough to even transport his whole family in one trip. The plane God replaced it with? A better aircraft, a bigger aircraft - a six-place plane that now enables him to take his whole family - or, in our case, many young Native missionaries - in one load.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

If I ever want to know anything about gardening, I ask the man in my world who is the master gardener - my friend, Mel. He doesn't ever need to shop in the produce department - he has his own produce department in his backyard in this fabulous garden of his. Not long ago he was telling me about these incredible raspberries he saw growing in the woods near his home. But why have to go hunting for them in the woods, huh, when you can just transplant those raspberries and grow them in your own garden, right?

Well, Mel was sorry he did that. In the woods, where God planted them, the berries had been big and many. In Mel's garden, where he planted them, those same bushes produced berries that were small and few.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Roger was the father of a friend of mine, and he was a very successful businessman. That's probably why a neighbor approached Roger one day and asked him if he wanted to be involved in a new hamburger chain he was starting. It was a little outfit called McDonald's. Roger was offered the fourth franchise in this brand new venture and a founding share. Roger thought about it and then said, "No, thanks." Ouch! Later, another neighbor came to Roger and told him about this new business he was launching called Service Master. Would Roger like to get in the ground floor with an investment? Roger thought about it and then he said, "No, thanks." Double ouch! As McDonald's and Service Master grew to be some of the most successful companies in the world, I wonder what must have gone through Roger's mind. He had been on the brink of so much wealth, but he missed it because of one decision.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Every once in a while, my wife and I get to choose what we do with an evening. That's kind of rare because of our ministry responsibilities and being involved with the needs of a lot of people. But the other night was one of those nights to choose - we could be with some friends, someone suggested going to a movie. We decided just to stay home and talk. There are really three problems with a movie theater: the junk on the floor (I think it's called cinemuk), the junk that's often on the screen, and the fact that we can't talk with each other. Now a lot of couples are together more than we are - watching TV, going to social events, following the kids' schedules. And those things are all okay, but if that's all the time a couple has together, they may be missing what really keeps a relationship alive, including the ultimate relationship.

Friday, September 19, 2003

If you eat out occasionally, you know that the servers can range from helpful to rude to attentive to invisible. I guess customers can, too. But some of the women on our staff were really impressed the other night with the way their waiter went out of his way to take care of them. It was a Mexican restaurant, and every time their salsa was about half gone, he would notice and he'd quickly bring more; same with the chips. And when they asked for a special dressing for the chips, he made sure they had plenty all night. And later, when they tried to put their leftovers in the plastic container, he said, "Please, no. I'll do it. That's my job." He insisted on putting the containers in a bag for them! They were really impressed with his service. And then he brought the check with his name stamped on it - and they were blown away. It just said, "Thank you. Jesus."



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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