Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Some people really have the gift of sleeping. Yep. One of our young friends, Michael, recently stayed with us for several months. He definitely has the gift of sleeping - but not the gift of waking up. It became my job to wake him up every morning to get to work. Did somebody say "Mission Impossible"? It seemed like no matter what I tried, I couldn't get him to wake up - and if I could to get him to wake up, I couldn't get him to stay awake. No alarm clock we tried could do the job, no calling his name, no calling him very loudly, no shaking him violently. Somehow he always managed to stay asleep or go back to sleep ... until the pan. Yeah, see, one morning I marched upstairs, into his room, and right over his head, banging a metal pan with a metal spoon with everything I had. I had neighbors a block away waking up! And Michael woke up, and got up - and stayed up!

Monday, September 15, 2003

Some of our best family memories are from some of our camping vacations. See, we got real close - I mean, literally - sleeping together in our little tent. We enjoyed beautiful scenery, great outdoor-cooked meals, a peaceful environment, living by the sun. Of course, there were a few downsides - like those very dark nights in very dark campgrounds.

I can remember our boys' ambivalence to walk to the bathroom on nights like those. They had the need to use the facilities and that was undeniable, but the dark path and the dark woods ... well, they were scary, especially knowing there were bears in those woods. But one thing would unparalyze them - when they reached up in the dark and found my hand. Once they were holding their father's hand, they could keep walking into the darkness.

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, September 5, 2003

I call her my "little darlin'" -- she's actually her Daddy's little girl. She's the newest member of our family, our six-month-old little granddaughter. Now, being a father, it's a special joy for me to watch my son being a father for the first time -- and to see the bonds that are already clearly developing between Daddy and daughter. She has one precious little habit that I noticed after being around them for a few days. At every opportunity, she loves to grab the leather necklace that my son has around his neck. It's the one with a little wooden cross on it. In fact, if that cross is at the side or back of our son's head, our little angel will grope until she's found it ... not just the necklace, but the cross. And she hangs onto it like she's never going to let go.

Tuesday, September 2, 2003

It's one of those historical images that you just don't forget -- the toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein in the heart of Baghdad. That moment, more than any other, represented the liberation of the Iraqi people from the long oppression of a brutal dictator. Now, the mission had been called Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the Iraqis were finally free. Good news! Maybe. The days immediately after those powerful moments of liberation showed what can be the ugly side of freedom, as well -- with people looting, pillaging and rioting. They were free -- but some were out of control.

Monday, September 1, 2003

In recent years, there's been a stretch of Oklahoma, including Oklahoma City, that has seemed like "Tornado Alley." On the Weather Channel, many Spring and Summer days show that part of the country colored in the bright red that indicates severe weather. The most powerful tornado America ever had roared through the Oklahoma City area just a few years ago. As I drove through that area on a spring day between storm systems, I couldn't help but be impressed with what I saw as I drove by a church. Right in front of the church you could see an open door sticking up out of the ground. The church actually has a storm cellar right out on the street -- and the door was wide open!

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!

Thursday, August 21, 2003

I have to confess, I didn't exactly go running into the Computer Age. It was more like I was carried into it. Several years ago I was returning from my first trip to an Indian reservation, and I had a heart full that I wanted to write into a report. So, as usual in those days, I pulled out my trusty pen and paper and hand wrote my report. It took the whole trip from Arizona to New Jersey. Well, after one of my friends read my report, he called my wife and said, "I don't want Ron wasting any more time writing things like this by hand. He has to get a computer!" She agreed but she indicated that we didn't have the funds to get a computer. Well, my doctor friend said, "That doesn't matter. I intend to buy a computer for him!" I was stunned. And, shortly thereafter, the owner of a wonderful personal computer - which has greatly impacted my life!

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Over the years, one of my favorite TV shows was "Mission: Impossible." If you were a fan like me, you can hear that driving "Mission: Impossible" theme in your head right now, huh? Well, Hollywood liked the idea enough they made a movie out of it - and then a sequel! The Mission Impossible Team was always given this assignment that seemed like a "no way" assignment - but they pulled it off every time. Every time. There is, however, one mission that is truly impossible.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

It used to be that if you had a message to get through to someone, you left that message on their voice mail to get their attention. Then fax machines came along and a fax was a more dynamic way to communicate your message and have it noticed. Then along came e-mail and introduced an even more dynamic way to get through. Now it's not uncommon for e-mailers to check their computer several times a day - eagerly wanting to know, "Has someone tried to reach me? What did they have to say?" And many e-mailers hope to hear that little voice from their computer that raises their expectations. It says, "You've got mail."

            

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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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