Thursday, November 29, 2001

Maybe you've seen those old world maps that were created when a lot of the world was still unexplored. When they reached the edge of what had been explored, they drew a line and they showed dragons and monsters beyond it--which didn't exactly encourage exploration. The story is told of a first century Roman commander who had to lead his troops beyond the line on the map and into "dragon" territory. He sent a courier back to Rome with a straightforward message - "We have just marched off the map! Please send new orders!"

Friday, November 23, 2001

It was Bible story time for our three-year-old grandson. When Daddy asked about David, our little Bible scholar said, "David obey God." But when Daddy asked about Jonah, our grandson said, "Jonah not obey. Go in whale." Then, for the grand prize, "What happens if you don't obey?" The little guy paused for a moment and then he answered, "Go in whale."

A friend of mine recently attended a semi-pro football game between his team, the Arkansas team, and the overwhelming favorites, the Tennessee team. Actually, the Tennessee team was already playoff-bound. But much to everyone's surprise, the halftime score was Arkansas 55, Tennessee 21. At the end of the third quarter it was still Arkansas 55, Tennessee 21. An upset in the making. Not so fast. Final score - Tennessee 56, Arkansas 55 - a victory won with a touchdown in the last seconds of the game. Another one of those surprising outcomes.

Tuesday, November 20, 2001

It was a fogged-in morning at the country house we were using for our vacation. The valley below us, the mountains beyond us were nowhere to be seen. In fact, you couldn't see much beyond the front porch. But by about 10:00 A. M., the sun was obviously doing its thing. I could sit there and literally watch the mist being sucked upward and up and away by the heat of the sun. I called my wife's attention to the vanishing moisture, and she made an interesting observation. She said, "That's what happens to you when you dehydrate" - which I did a few months ago. But actually watching the moisture being sucked away - and thinking of that happening to me - well, it will make a fellow be sure he's got a bottle of water with him most of the time.

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!

Friday, November 16, 2001

Our daughter was doing something she does several times a day - picking up our infant grandson. She bent over OK - but suddenly she couldn't straighten up. A sudden pain shot through her back, almost paralyzing her really. She managed to set the baby down and to lie down on the bed. The pain was almost unbearable, and she couldn't move. Daddy was at the office - and the only one there to call for help was our three-year-old grandson. He picked up the phone, dialed Daddy's office, got the receptionist and gave her a simple but direct message - "Mommy got boo-boo on her back - tell Daddy to come home now!" When he was put through to Daddy he gave it to him direct - "Daddy, Mommy got boo-boo on her back - come home now!" In a matter of minutes, it was Daddy to the rescue. In a matter of days, Mommy was back to normal.

Thursday, November 15, 2001

After watching the World Trade Center as part of my skyline for many years, it hit pretty hard that awful September 11th to see those towers come crashing down - and thousands of lives with them. The day after the first attack on the Trade Center in 1993, I was greeted by a TV crew as I got off a flight from Newark. They asked me as a New Yorker how I felt after that bombing. "Vulnerable" - that was my answer. Well, since the events of September 11, and the days since then, I think a lot of us are feeling that way. We watched everyday people like us, doing things we do - passengers on a jetliner, folks at their jobs -suddenly wiped out en masse. We're uncertain about what a new kind of war might mean, what's going to happen economically. And some of us are trying to help our children understand what we're not sure we understand. We feel vulnerable. It's as if some of our own sense of personal security and safety came crashing down with those majestic towers.

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Laura Ingalls Wilder - she'd written some books that enjoyed some success - but her name became almost a household word only after her death. After "Little House on the Prairie", based on her books, became the #1 TV series in America. Even though the series has been off the air for years, you can still find it just about any given day in almost any American city. And Laura's books about her family's life on the frontier have sold far more after her death than when she was alive. And as you read those books, you find that Laura really was a gifted storyteller. In touring the home where she wrote them, we learned one of the reasons why she was such a good story teller. As the TV series portrayed, her older sister went blind as a teenager. And Pa Ingalls told Laura she now had a mission - to be her sister's eyes, to put into words what was going on around them. That gift would later help her tell the stories that would touch the lives of millions.

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

She was only 21 years old - but she was well on her way to becoming a superstar. Aaliyah was enjoying huge success with her music, and she was beginning to emerge as an actress with a great future, as well. But that all ended in one awful moment in the Bahamas when the plane carrying her and her crew crashed shortly after takeoff. What made the crash even more tragic was the fact that apparently it was avoidable - at least on the preliminary findings of investigators. The plane had been loaded with something like twice its maximum baggage capacity. And investigators believe that it was all that weight that made that plane go down.

Part of the incredible impact of the attacks on the World Trade Center was that everyday people suddenly became national heroes. Fire trucks would roll through New York City with weary firefighters on board - and New Yorkers would erupt in spontaneous cheers. Ground Zero, the devastated area at and around the site of the collapsed towers, became known as Ground Hero. Professional athletes, who are our nation's heroes in less turbulent times, kept saying, "We're not the heroes - they're the heroes." Americans will not soon forget those firefighters, the police, the medical personnel, and the countless volunteers who gave everything they had to try to rescue those who were caught in those collapsing towers. The word "hero" may never be the same.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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