Wednesday, October 6, 2004

You can get into a pretty good debate among American sports fans over which of their sports is more exciting. You have the brains and brawn of football, or someone will say that soccer's their game, or hockey is a really bruising sport. I think my two sons would vote for basketball as the most exciting sport, and basketball action is really pretty physical. I mean, it's constantly changing, it's intense, it's unpredictable. There's this one point where it slows down a little, though, much to the relief of the players. You know if a player is fouled by someone from the other team he gets to shoot one or two free throws. Now, that's one time when nobody's bothering you. Well, there are not all these guys trying to stop you from getting your shot, and you get to shoot for an extra point or two, but there is someone trying to bother you - especially if you're the visiting team. When you're facing the basket, you are also facing all these local fans who want you to miss. So, they jump up and down, they make noise, they wave their arms, they wave signs, and they have this one sign that says "Brick, brick, brick." So, if you're trying to score some points, you really need to concentrate.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

My friend Bob is a pastor and a jogger. One day about a year ago, he went jogging and he came home and he started to do some work at his desk. He started to write his address, except his wife noticed it wasn't his address. That was his wife's first clue. It turned out that Bob had suffered a mild stroke while he was running. Now jogging really is good for you, but in this case, he had had a stroke and he didn't even realize it. He ended up losing a lot of speech and thought functions, and thankfully he pretty much recovered from that. But some of the sermon preparation he said, that used to take hours, can now take all week. It's amazing that in the middle of all this, Bob felt no pain when he was having a stroke. The doctor said, "You probably experienced a runner's high." It's a mysterious euphoria that takes over and it actually covers up the pain. It's kind of scary. You can run so hard that you can't feel the damage being done.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

My flight was scheduled to leave Newark airport at 3:30, but there was bad weather at my destination, so they said we were postponed until 4:30. Then they said, "We have no idea when we'll be able to leave." Then they said, "We think we'll go at 5:30." We left at 6:00. Of course, that gave us lots of time to memorize the menu in the little restaurant, to check out the restroom several times, buy lots of magazines, and count the designs in the carpet. Well, they had to cancel another flight, so this was a very full plane. As passengers were lumbering aboard with all their luggage, the word came from the cockpit. The pilot said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we are number two for take off. We've been assigned that position, but we only have twenty minutes to load this plane and take off, so would you please be seated as quickly as you can, wherever you can go." They knew we couldn't take off until everybody was seated, and it was chaotic. People were still trying to board the plane while the captain was pushing them verbally, the flight attendants pushing them physically. "Sit anywhere, we have to go. We're going to lose our spot and wait longer." The pilot came on again and said, "This is interesting folks. I know we said, 'Wait, wait, wait,' and then suddenly it's a rush." Well, we had waited for hours, and then suddenly, we had immediate clearance.

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

I was talking with a young man who's a student in a missionary aviation course the other day. So far, he's mostly had classroom training, although he did have a little experience when he visited the Flight Training facility. On the second day they said, "Okay, go for it!" And he was flying! Now he was carrying his notepad with him on the day I saw him, and I noticed this sentence that he had written at the top of his notes. It was obviously something he thought he would be tested on, either in the classroom or maybe in the cockpit someday. It could be life or death information some day. Here's what it said. "Attitude - The relationship of the nose to the horizon." Now he told me, that simple discipline is what keeps an aircraft stable - and maybe you, too.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Many of the world's greatest dramas are not on a stage, not on a screen. They are played out in that quadrennial spectacle we call "The Olympics." Maybe you remember the year that there was this image that many of us will never forget. Britain's representative in the 400-meter race was Derek Redmond, and he began to falter. He went down in the backstretch with a torn right hamstring, and as the medical attendants were approaching, Derek Redmond fought his way to his feet and then he started out again in anguish - he was hopping. He was desperately trying to finish the race. He knew he wouldn't win. He was just trying to finish.

Monday, August 23, 2004

My friend, Lance, has played a lot of parts on stage. He's got a lot of acting ability, and naturally he was interested when he heard that his church was going to do an outreach drama. They rented a public auditorium and they developed this powerful original presentation of the Life of Christ. And then Lance was stunned by the casting choice they made. They wanted to cast him as Jesus. Well, Lance had been in enough productions to know that you have to try to get into the person you're playing. You have to stay in that character all day long, if possible. And Lance said he really tried. And then he told me, "I discovered I couldn't play Jesus." Well, neither can you.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

The idea of teamwork in marriage isn't really that tough. For example, my wife prepares a meal and I clear the table and rinse the dishes. Now, I'm known as the mad cleaning man around our house. I might clean your plate while you're still in mid-bite, you know? I like to get my job done. Now, I've had some people say to me over the years, "Oh, leave the dishes. Don't worry about them now. Come on into the living room with us. The dishes will wait." I have never known the dishes to rinse themselves or put themselves away. In fact, it is a wise discipline to rinse a dirty dish immediately.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Becky was my first serious crush. "Serious" meant I thought she was beautiful. At least, that's what my 13-year-old eyes told me, and that's why I was so surprised when she said she'd been in a violent automobile accident not long before that. I just moved into town, and I didn't know anything about the accident. She said it had done very serious damage to her face and there were all kinds of scars. Well, I didn't see any trace of it. I know that 13-year-old love is blind, but obviously, something had happened to those scars. Actually, a plastic surgeon had taken care of those scars, and he must have been good. He had very skillfully taken scars and recreated something beautiful.

Friday, July 23, 2004

As a musical composition, Frederick Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus," stands in a category by itself. Few pieces of music have the power to stir our hearts like that majestic chorus that even brought the King of England to his feet the first time he heard it. But before Frederick Handel wrote the "Hallelujah Chorus" and "The Messiah" oratorio of which it's a part, he wasn't having much of a hallelujah time. He was basically broke, depressed, and against a wall. Then someone asked him to write an oratorio to be performed at this benefit concert on behalf of people who were in debtors prison - locked up because they were too poor to pay their bills. There were 700 people who contributed to be at that premiere performance of "The Messiah" and the "Hallelujah Chorus" - and 128 prisoners went free as a result!

Thursday, June 24, 2004

When you have young grandchildren, you're back in the toy business again. And sure enough, we've got a closet full of toys that, contrary to some vicious rumors, are not mine. They are there for those grandchildren, who quickly relocate those toys from the closet to our living room every time they visit. One of them (the toys - not the grandchildren) is a furry blue puppet with bulging eyes - it's good old Cookie Monster of Sesame Street fame. And he's got this string in his back. When you pull it, he starts chewing and moving his arms and uttering his trademark phrase: "Cookie. Me want cookie!" Pull the string again and he'll say the same thing again. No matter how many times you pull that string, he will do the "cookie" thing every time.



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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