Thursday, June 27, 2002

It was 1908 - in the early days of Major League baseball in America. The Chicago Cubs and the New York Giants were battling it out for the National League championship and the opportunity to play in the World Series. New York first baseman Fred Merkle was in position to be a game-winning hero actually. He was on base when a teammate got a hit that would enable Merkle to score. And he thought he had as he crossed home plate. But the Cubs touched second base and claimed that Merkle had missed that base as he was running to score. The umpire ruled that the almost-hero was out at second because he hadn't touched the base. That mistake ultimately cost his team the championship.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

There are few things more scary than the dormitory room of a college man. Let's just say that the average college guy does not put a high priority on order or cleanliness in his personal world. Some wife is listening and saying, "It's not just college guys, buddy!" Well, fine. I'm talking about college guys. One year in college, our son was in a suite where four guys shared two rooms and one bathroom. When I commented on the growing need for the bathroom floor to get washed, he told me about their neighbors' room. Those four men had somehow managed to go through the entire school year without once cleaning their bathroom floor. Of course, it got so gross that they didn't want to walk on it anymore. There were strange new organisms growing there. Oh, did they clean it then? Oh no, no - they put boards down on the floor to cover the mess!

Monday, June 24, 2002

I've got a friend who has a lot more beautiful jewelry than her income can afford. She's just really good at getting terrific deals in pawn shops. She only goes to the reputable ones and over the years, she's managed to keep trading up. My friend has an unbelievable instinct for a good deal and she's got the savvy to land that deal. The other day I saw her with this beautiful full-carat diamond ring on. The store price was $2,000 - which there was no way she had. But she had her little bag of trading treasures with her. She traded items that didn't really matter much to her - and she ended up getting that ring for $200.

Friday, June 21, 2002

I had an opportunity to spend a little time recently with a young man who just finished his hitch in the United States Marine Corps. He must have been a good one - he was trusted with some very sensitive, very strategic assignments. He reminded me of that tremendous two-word motto of the Marine Corps - "Semper fidelis." That's Latin, of course, for "always faithful." But then he told me that there is another unofficial motto that Marines have - one that helps them respond effectively to their assignments. "Semper Gumby." You're probably saying what I said when I heard it - "Uh, what did he say?" Well, you and I both heard it right. And, yes, he was referring to that animated clay figure, Gumby, that can bend any direction. So what is "Semper Gumby"? Always flexible!

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Every generation has its favorite children’s TV programs - my source on the newest programs, of course, is my three-year-old grandson. The other day he told me about an animated character named Swiper who appears on this one show. Swiper is a fox who keeps - you guessed it - swiping things from the little girl who’s the star of the show. But, thankfully, the other characters are not defenseless against this little thief. Oh no, they have learned to shout three little words when the larcenous fox shows up - “Swiper, no swiping!” If they yell it three times, Swiper has to give back what he stole. Right!

Thursday, June 13, 2002

I’ve done some time at that infamous prison called Alcatraz. I was there about, let’s see, four, five, six hours. Yeah, I was there with a group of young people, originating our youth broadcast from that island that’s in the middle of San Francisco Bay. After we spent about six hours in the confinement of that penitentiary, man, we went outside! There was the skyline of San Francisco, the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, the sparkling waters of the Bay. One of the teenage guys with us made an interesting observation as he looked back at the prison. He said, "Just a wall. It was just a wall keeping them from all this good stuff."

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Our three-year-old grandson was talking with his grandmother on the phone. And all was well. Then he handed the phone over to his Mom and took off across the room to play. Suddenly, Grandma heard him crying in the background. He had tripped over something and actually he had fallen pretty hard. Nothing serious, but he was hurting. Well, he walked back over to Mom and he cried through his tears – “I want to rewind and talk to Grandma!”

Thursday, May 30, 2002

When England's Queen Mother died, the British people poured out their affection and respect by lining up for hours to honor her. Her crown was displayed, including the massive, 105-carat diamond - what is known as the Kohinoor Diamond. Actually, Kohinoor means "mountain of light." The story, as I was told it, is that years ago that diamond was given to Queen Victoria by an Indian maharajah when he was a boy. Later, as a grown man, he visited the queen and requested that the diamond be brought from the Tower of London to Buckingham Palace. Kneeling before the queen, he gave it back to her saying, "Your Majesty, I gave you this jewel when I was a child, too young to know what I was doing. I want to give it to you again in the fullness of my strength, with all of my heart and gratitude, now and forever, fully realizing all that I do."

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

I don't do hospitals. Well, I mean I visit people in hospitals - but I don't stay there myself. I've been blessed not to have to stay during my whole adult life actually. Until a few months ago. For a guy who has very few sick days, this one bout of the flu really knocked me out. My blood pressure dropped, I dropped - and I ended up in the emergency room, being treated for dehydration. I thought they'd give me some rehydration fluids and I'd be on my way. Instead, they decided to admit me because I could only hold intravenous fluids due to the flu. I was not a happy boy. Under my breath I was muttering, "Mur-mur-mur-mur-mur." Until my sister-in-law stopped by and reminded me of something I had told her once. (Don't you just hate it when people nail you with your own words?) She simply said, "Ron, remember who you are, and remember why you're here." Oh, yeah.

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

We're speeding down the Interstate when suddenly we come upon this RV, pulling a small car behind him. It looked like the little car was actually pushing this big recreational vehicle, but, of course, I knew that couldn't be. The car's license plate was clearly visible - it said, "Me also." That didn't make any sense until I managed to get a glimpse of the license plate on the RV that was pulling that car. It said, "I'm happy." Cute.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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