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!"

Wednesday, December 26, 2001

My wife and I were traveling with our daughter and son-in-law and our two dynamite little grandsons. We were in adjoining motel rooms for a couple of days - and that's what occasioned our son-in-law's amusing comparison of our rooms. You see, our rooms were basically identical - when we each moved in. We moved our stuff into our room - they moved in themselves, their children, their children's world, and some "office on the road" stuff. Well, on our second day, our son-in-law plopped down in a chair in our room and he made this bemused observation - "You know, your room is three times bigger than our room!" Not true. See, our room was the same size. It was just one-third as crowded!

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.

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

It happened during the Gulf War, and we've seen it in the war in Afghanistan. It's those amazing high-tech weapons that hit their target with pinpoint accuracy. There are, as they say, occasional "targeting errors," but, for the most part, those weapons go right to their intended target - weapons like Cruise missiles and what they call "smart bombs." I still remember a correspondent in Baghdad, during the Gulf War, who described this Tomahawk missile roaring in over the city, pause, and then turn left and then straight down into a military facility. Its tracking system apparently determined that it was slightly off course, corrected it, and went to the target. Amazing.

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 10, 2001

The crews assigned to the recovery effort after the September 11, attack on the Pentagon had an awful job to do. Working in 120-degree heat, they were making their way through the wreckage left behind when terrorists flew Flight 757 into the Pentagon. They didn't find any survivors. They did find a mass of concrete and metal debris; the metal too hot to touch. But USA Today reported that they did find a sign of hope as they looked into that black chasm inside. On a second floor, right next to where the jet sheared off a section of the building, was an undisturbed stool. On it was a thick, open book - a Bible. It wasn't burned. Neither was anything around it or on the two floors above it. The leader of the recovery team was quoted as saying, "I'm not as religious as some, but that would have me thinking. I just can't explain it."

Wednesday, December 5, 2001

Bruce Wilkinson describes this poignant scene from the epic novel and movie, "Grapes of Wrath." Steinbeck's story is about families that are forever changed by the Depression-era events in the Dust Bowl of mid-America, where these huge dust storms were wiping out the lifetime work of many farmers. In one scene, an Oklahoma farm family has gathered in front of their house to watch the approach of this massive dust storm. The working men in the family are looking toward the horizon, no doubt wondering what this storm is going to do to their world. The children are hanging onto their parents' knees - their eyes are on the horizon, too. But not the women. The women are watching only their men's faces. What they need to know is there.

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.

Friday, November 30, 2001

It was always a highlight when our friend Dave invited out family to go sailing with him on his sailboat. And he really knew his stuff - he'd been sailing on Long Island Sound since he was a boy. I remember one spectacular day when we were out with him, and in spite of the beauty around us, he thought we should head for the harbor. Somehow, he had sensed rough weather coming. Sure enough, we reached the harbor just as the skies opened up. I was glad we were in the harbor. Dave told me he had actually stayed on his boat during the last hurricane that hit. He got blown around a lot, but he and his boat were OK - because they were inside the harbor, inside the hurricane gate.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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