Thursday, March 31, 2005

Lots and lots of marble steps - that's one thing I remember from our family trip to Washington D.C. when the kids were little. In fact, our youngest was about two years old the first time we went there. In fact, he told me at that time that he was very interested in seeing the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of the government firsthand. Oh, but those steps! Have you ever been to the U.S. Capitol building or the Lincoln Memorial? You may remember feeling new feelings in your legs by the time you reached the top. Imagine our little guy. He looked up at those stairs and he knew there was no way with those short little legs. So was he stuck at the bottom with no hope of reaching the top of the steps? Hey, wait a minute. That's not true. He had me! And I had one of those child carriers on my back which he got in. And he made it where he never could have gone himself, because someone bigger carried him.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

You can have some say in what seat you get on an airplane. In fact, I usually reserve the kind of seat I want in advance. But you don't have any say in who your neighbors will be. Like the children who were in the seat behind me on one flight. My first clue that it was going to be an interesting flight was their squealing and crying before we ever took off. Mom just didn't seem to have her young daughter and her younger son under control, but she was trying. As we took off, I heard her tell her daughter loudly, "Don't squeeze your brother's head!" That sounded like a reasonable request to me. Then she gave a reason, "You know he's got a fever and he keeps throwing up!" Oh, great! For some strange reason, I instinctively ducked. The way I figured it, a straight trajectory would carry anything that came from that boy's mouth right to my head. I looked at the passenger next to me and we both just kind of shrugged and bent our heads down. Well, nothing terribly gross happened, but all during the flight, I kept thinking about those flu germs flying all around me and I hoped I'd taken enough Vitamin C that morning!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

While our Ministry Headquarters was being built, we had a problem. We were soon moving out of the space we had rented in another area, and we had no space to move into and the ministry couldn't stop in between! That's when my wife began to take a second look at the one structure on the land that we were about to build on - an old pole barn. At first glance, it looked like a good storm could knock it over. Someone jokingly suggested that it was still standing only because the termites were holding hands! But my wife has this incredible ability to see potential in something that everyone else would tend to give up on. She persuaded me to consult with a contractor friend, who affirmed that, surprisingly, this was a building with a good foundation and solid rafters. So we went to work. Within weeks that old barn became a wonderful temporary office building, roofed with donated shingles and covered with donated siding. Today, it still houses some of our Team and it serves some vital purposes in our ministry. And when visitors come, they can't figure out why we keep calling it "the barn." We know what it was before my wife saw what it could be!

Friday, February 4, 2005

He's been a phenomenon on the American scene for over 50 years - Dr. Billy Graham. Again and again, decade and decade, more than any other individual, he has appeared on the list of America's most respected men. In the twilight of his long ministry, his crusades have taken on a great sense of poignant significance. His crusade in Los Angeles near the end of 2004, attracted tens of thousands to the Rose Bowl, and many thousands to begin a personal relationship with the Savior Billy Graham has proclaimed all these years. His message each night was translated instantaneously into 26 languages, including sign language. Interpreters fed their translation to groups of people sitting in their language groups, hearing the translation via headsets tuned to appropriate low-wave frequencies on their little radios. Billy Graham's Crusades have been translated since 1980, but never into so many languages as in Los Angeles. The translating coordinator explained that it was important that each person hear the message in his own "heart language."

Monday, December 27, 2004

This is really tough for a New York Yankees fan, but I heard something really good from a player on that other team - the 2004 World Champion (oh boy that hurts!) Boston Red Sox. Their dramatic eight game string of victories carried them from three games down to the Yankees all the way to a four game sweep of the World Series. Curt Schilling, a veteran star pitcher for the Red Sox, had pitched one of those first playoff losses to the Yankees. Then he came back dramatically to pitch a stellar game to help the Red Sox pull off a dramatic turnaround. They interviewed Curt Schilling immediately after that decisive victory. The interviewer wanted to talk about the injury Curt had overcome, but that wasn't what Curt wanted to talk about. His first response went like this: "I just want to say that I really felt God's touch out there tonight. Seven years ago, I became a Christian. But that first game, it was me doing it and you saw the results. Tonight, I gave it all to God, and He really touched me. Tonight you saw what He could do."

Thursday, December 23, 2004

It may well be the favorite song of the Christmas season - a lullaby written to the Christ Child many years ago in a little mountain village in Austria. A village pastor was desperate for some music for his Christmas Eve service since the church organ wasn't working, thanks to a mouse eating through parts of the organ! His composition didn't stay in that village. It spread from the Alps around the world, and you can't have a Christmas season without hearing it - probably multiple times. The signature song of celebrating Christmas - "Silent Night." Every verse ends with those beautiful calming words, "Sleep in heavenly peace." Nice words. Not always the way it is.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

It's been used by many a parent to intimidate their children into being good for at least one month of the year. It's that list - you know, the one immortalized in the song, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." You know the line: "He's making a list, checking it twice. Gonna find out who's naughty and nice." I never wanted to be on that naughty list. (Warning: Cover your child's ears at this point.) Then I found out there's no such list.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The Christmas season isn't complete for my friend Brian if he doesn't sing in that wonderful combined choir presentation of one of the most glorious musical compositions of all time - Handel's "Messiah" - with its unforgettable "Hallelujah Chorus." For many, it's a special part of their Christmas season. When George Friedrich Handel wrote that "Hallelujah Chorus," it was hardly a hallelujah time in his life. He was broke, indigent, and almost despondent. Then an acquaintance contacted him about writing an oratorio for a benefit concert to raise money to help some people get out of debtors' prison. In those days, if you couldn't pay your debts, you got thrown into prison. Maybe you're especially glad they don't still do that today! Well, in less than a month, Handel composed that masterpiece that would end up inspiring millions for centuries to come. Its first performance was life changing for him and for many people. Because of that night of "Hallelujah Chorus" for the "Messiah," 142 prisoners went free!

Monday, December 20, 2004

Over the years, our family has had the chance to see Christmas from many different perspectives - Christmas in Manhattan, Christmas in Chicago's Loop, a mountain Christmas, a colonial Christmas, a white Christmas, a warm Christmas, and a one horse open sleigh Christmas. But it's a man named Nate Saint who, better than anyone else I know, may have captured Christmas from heaven's perspective. He was one of five American missionaries, called by God to go to the jungles of Ecuador to introduce the Gospel to one of the "lostest" people on earth, the primitive Auca (Waorani) Indians. Once they found the Aucas in the dense jungles, it was Nate who, as a seasoned pilot, landed them on a narrow beach by the Curaray River. I've stood on that beach where Nate Saint, Jim Elliott, and the others died at the hands of the Aucas. But today the men who murdered them are leaders of the Auca Church, and many, including me, were inspired by their example to serve Christ. On the eve of his last Christmas on earth, Nate Saint wrote his perspective on Christmas, and I can't get it out of my mind. I hope you won't either.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

In some ways I'm glad the three little Hutchcrafts aren't little anymore. When they were, the day before Christmas always meant assembling some "easy-to-assemble" toys. Yeah! And the day after? That usually meant fixing what was not easy-to-assemble in the first place. It seems the day after Christmas there was always something that was broken. Maybe there's some fixing that needs to happen in your life before Christmas.

            

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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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