Wednesday, March 1, 2006

When our friends heard that our family had been invited to Alaska for a week of ministry, they were all excited for us. They said, "Oh, it's beautiful, you're going to love it! When are you going?" "February." "Oh." See, I get invited to places like Florida and Arizona in the summer; Alaska in the dead of winter. We had a wonderful week, but the time came for my wife and kids to fly home because they had to get back to school, and I stayed for several more days of ministry. We were out on the Kenai Peninsula, in an area that felt fairly remote. We arrived at this small airport one night to rendezvous with our pilot. Now, Dick was a missionary pilot, trained by Moody Bible Institute's top-flight pilot's school and he was experienced in flying into many remote areas of Alaska. But that night his cargo was the people I love most. My first cause for a little worry was his request to help him push the plane out of the hangar and onto the runway. It was icy, and I had never pushed my plane into position before. I didn't like that runway. It was covered with thick, deeply-rutted ice from one end to the other. And at the end of that fairly short runway was a big stand of tall trees you could run into. Oh yeah, and it was heavily overcast - no moon, no stars. Well, I helped my wife and three children crowd into Dick's little Cessna, I waved good-bye as they started bouncing and maneuvering down that icy runway. I really didn't like the conditions, but I was okay because I really trusted the pilot.

Friday, February 3, 2006

I couldn't just sit down and start using your personal computer. Of course, you couldn't just sit down and start using mine either. If you work in an office, changes are they make sure they can have access to the company computer that you use. Your computer, my computer, your company's computer are all protected from any funny business by something called a password. I can't get into my computer without typing in my password. Would you like to know what it is? It's... a secret.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Gal - that's the name of our missionary friends' dog. She and they have lived on a Native American reservation. Most reservation dogs (they actually call them rez dogs) are pretty aggressive. They'll meet you whether you want to meet them or not. But Gal is different. As soon as she sees anyone approaching, she heads for cover. If you try to befriend her, she just cowers in a corner and trembles. It's pitiful! We asked our friends why Gal was so withdrawn. It's actually a pretty sad story. She'd been abused as a puppy by her former owner, and anytime anyone got close, she was afraid they would hurt her like those other people had.

Friday, January 6, 2006

If you consider yourself a religious person, boy, have I got good news for you! Recent research indicates that those who consider themselves religious tend to have lower blood pressure than the rest of the population, and they are less likely to be obese, or to have cancer, or to be hospitalized, and they have a 29% greater chance to live longer! And religious people tend to have lower rates of depression, less suicide, greater sexual satisfaction in their marriage, and overall a greater sense of well-being. What do you know, Jesus was right when He said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness" and "Blessed are the pure in heart" ( Matthew 5:6, 8). Yep, lots of good news if you're a religious person, and some very disturbing bad news.

Friday, December 23, 2005

It was Christmastime and two-year-old Timmy was sitting on his aunt's lap. He was ready to get down. His Aunt Gayle gave her usual requirement for letting him go, "You can't get down until you say the magic words." In case you've forgotten, the magic words are "pretty please with sugar and honey on the top." Except for this time. Timmy turned to his aunt and simply replied: "Unto you is born this day a Savior which is Christ the Lord."

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

It's the king of all the classic TV Christmas specials: "A Charlie Brown Christmas." We know the familiar scenes of Charlie Brown sadly looking for the meaning of Christmas, Snoopy's Christmas decorations on his doghouse, Lucy's Christmas pageant, Charlie's pitiful little Christmas tree, and Linus' appearance on center stage to answer Charlie's question about what it all means. Linus quotes straight from Luke's account of Jesus' birth. Those are all things we know about that special. What I just learned recently is contained in an interview with one of the co-creators of that show. When Charlie Brown creator Charles Schulz first suggested including the mention of Jesus in the special, he met with some serious objections, from the network especially. They almost tubed the project because they feared they wouldn't be able to sell advertising on a show that talked about Jesus. Charles Schulz stood his ground and he simply said, "If we don't do it, who will? We're going to do it." The rest is history.

Friday, December 16, 2005

On TV news shows, we've begun to see again the faces of men and women in their combat fatigues, sending Christmas greetings home from wherever they're deployed in the world this season. It's one of the hard things about Christmas. And it's been true every Christmas for a long time. Soldiers who won't be able to be home this Christmas - men and women for whom "I'll Be Home for Christmas" is just a song.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

They are the busiest people I know at Christmastime - the men and women in those brown trucks that fly through our streets this time of year. The UPS people - along with countless Post Office carriers - are carrying so many packages to so many places in such a short time! They must sleep well (but not much) this time of year. As important as their service is, we don't make a big deal of the deliverer when he comes to the door. "Oh, delivery person, you are the greatest! What a guy! You are awesome, dude!" Or "dudette," as the case may be. No, we know he didn't make the gift. She didn't buy the gift. They only delivered the gift!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Last Christmas I saw something I will not soon forget. I was visiting a theme park that has a wonderful Christmas festival, including a service in their old log chapel. We sang some of the old carols and then there was a short time when we had our eyes closed in prayer. As I opened my eyes, I noticed that someone had slipped in to the old wooden bench across from me. It was Santa Claus, red suit, real white hair, real white beard and all - except for his Santa hat which he had removed to pray. There was Santa Claus, eyes closed and head bowed on his folded hands, praying. I've seen a lot of Santas. I've never seen one praying before. As I visited with him afterwards, he told me how he tried to remind each boy and girl who sat on his lap of the Savior who came on Christmas to die for us. Amazing!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I got a "boo-boo." It happened when we were in the middle of major outreaches on Indian reservations with our On Eagles' Wings team of young Native Americans. It was just a scrape on my wrist. I don't even know how it happened. It seemed like no big deal at the time. And it might have been no big deal if I had thought to clean it at the time, but I barely knew that it happened. I woke up two days later to see red all around the wound and red lines starting up my arm. I offered myself a brief medical opinion - "uh-oh." Our team nurse seemed pretty concerned about it as she carefully cleansed it and treated it. She recommended some antibiotic to keep it from getting into my veins. Several days of twice-a-day treatment and some antibiotic did the trick. I hate to think what would have happened if I'd let it go any longer.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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