Friday, October 13, 2006

New York City is a bit of a shock to any first-time visitor. It's especially jarring for someone who has spent her whole life on an Indian Reservation. Now Linda was from the Navajo Reservation in Arizona and she was part of our ministry's Native American Youth Outreach Team. We call it "On Eagles' Wings." She was able to see New York from a distance at first. There's the Empire State Building, there's the skyline, and she said she wanted to see it all up close. Ha! That may have changed now that she has seen it up close. See, she went in with us when I spoke in the city one night and the traffic and the crowds - they were all over the place and they made her feel like maybe she was on a battlefield without a helmet. She also found certain aspects of the city exciting and, you know, she might want to go back. But as our team was driving along the Hudson River, we were headed for the George Washington Bridge, and Linda must have been reflecting on her life on the reservation for a minute because she looked up into the Big Apple sky and she just said two words, "No stars."

Monday, October 2, 2006

Sister is a dog. I did not say my sister was a dog, actually she's my sister-in-law, and she's an angel! But my friend Curtis has a dog named Sister, which leads to some fairly amusing sentences. When I first met Curtis and Sister, she lived in this big fenced-in area outside the house. But Curtis got a nice doghouse for Sister and went to work making it a nice winter home for her. He installed two inches of insulation, he put in a new floor, he even put a water bed heater under the floor and then some zip-loc bags with water for the heater to heat. Sister basically has a warm home with her own waterbed. But for the first couple of weeks after her home was completed, she wouldn't go in it! Curtis was away for the weekend and he asked a friend to check on Sister. Well, one of those days was a day a powerful nor-eastern hit our area, and I mean, we're talking drenching rain. And when Curtis' friend visited Sister, there was that dog running around outside the doghouse in the wind and the pouring rain, still refusing to go in the home that had been provided for her!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Once upon a time there was a machinist who lived with his wife, his four-year-old son, and his new baby boy in a cheap apartment on the south side of Chicago. He spent a chunk of his meager earnings on alcohol and cigarettes and gambling, and then the bottom dropped out of his life. His baby boy died suddenly at the age of only six months. He was crushed by inconsolable grief, and this machinist (John was his name) took his one surviving boy to church. Now, John didn't go in. He didn't go to church. But he did wait out in front in his car, smoking his cigarette and reading his Sunday paper. Until the day one of the men of the church looked outside and noticed that man in the car. He didn't wait for John to come in. He went outside to John's car, introduced himself, asked a few questions, and then invited him in. Well, when John said he wasn't dressed for it, the man told him it didn't matter how he was dressed. That little boy gave his heart to Jesus in that church. And only a few months later, his Dad started coming to the men's Bible class. John tearfully walked the aisle on Christmas Eve; accepting Christ's forgiveness for his sins. He would grow in Christ and ultimately he'd become a deacon, and then the chairman of the deacons, and then an active Christian lay leader. The little boy was me. The machinist in the car in front of the church was my dad.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I was with some missionaries in Guadalajara, Mexico. David was there leading a team that was reaching young Latin Americans through a historic youth radio broadcast. Now David is a big guy and I had my picture taken with him; he was wearing a tie - I was wearing a sport shirt. It looked like "bring your son to work day." Guess who looks like the son? Because of the crime rate in David's area, he and his family needed a guard dog, and they had one - a big one that's a match even for his master, David. The dog is appropriately named General and he's pretty much in charge at the house. When David came home from a night of ministry, General was right there at the gate, waiting to play. Playing with this aggressive German Shepherd could cost you a finger or two if you're not careful. But, somehow, David had done a good job of mastering the dog. In fact, I heard him tell General, "Get your bowl, and I'll feed you!" General just wanted his master to give him food, but David wanted him to go for it. So, this German Shepherd bolted up the walk to his big, empty plastic bowl, grabbed it in his iron jaws, and trotted up to his master with it. Sure enough, if he got his bowl, his master would fill it.

Monday, September 11, 2006

It seemed harmless enough when I entered. I was just a kid at an amusement park in Chicago, and the ride was just a big cylinder that made you feel like you were walking into a washing machine. They called it The Rotor. I stood against the edge and I waited for it to do its thing. Then it started to do what something called The Rotor might be expected to do - rotate. As it began to spin faster and faster, the floor started to disappear in front of my feet. I was plastered against the side of the cylinder, looking down into this yawning black hole. I hated it. I wanted off. Too bad!

Friday, September 8, 2006

When my wife and I are driving somewhere, we don't lose any time when she drives. In fact, we've set some records, so it's all right if she drives. Once when we were on a trip and I was preparing for the meetings we were going to, she was driving down this four-lane, divided highway, and I was looking down. All of a sudden, I looked up and I saw orange plastic cones on the middle line that divides the two lanes on our side. Now, I wasn't clear which lane we were supposed to be driving in, because I hadn't been looking up. And as I looked, every vehicle but one was moving into the left lane, to the left of the cones. I said everyone but one - that was us. My wife continued in the right lane, and I said, "Honey, what are you doing? It looks like this lane is closing." She said, "Just watch." Well, we passed a line of cars on our left, with a big truck at the head of it. See, that truck had moved into the left lane, and all the other cars said, "Oh, that must be the lane to be in." and all the other cars followed it. The problem was that the truck that they were following was taking equipment to a big tar truck parked in the left lane, so we waved as we zipped by all those cars as they were headed for an unpleasant surprise.

Monday, September 4, 2006

I've stood at many a wedding altar as the minister before lots of brides and grooms, but this one was different. The beautiful bride, glowing in her elegant white dress, was our only daughter. Man, what a thrill it was to perform her wedding, and to watch her commit herself unconditionally to a wonderful young man. She is a great son picker. And, of course, I watched him commit himself to her. I had the privilege of watching that relationship grow over three and a half years to the point from her first discovery of him on a missions trip, and then her deepening love for him. Then all of the experiences they had together that build trust, the joy of their engagement, and the months of preparation for the wedding day. There were a lot of important stages that led up to that glorious moment, but something decisive happened that day at the altar. Everything else was important, but it was just preparation. And it all came down to a magic moment on a life-changing day for my daughter. Maybe there's a moment like that for you.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Our son-in-law was visiting his grandfather in Florida, with a nice Florida view outside his bedroom window - grapefruit trees. Now, it wasn't all a happy view. Many of the grapefruit were actually rotting on the ground. His grandfather wasn't up to harvesting them anymore. So those grapefruit got all ready to be picked and no one came, and they dropped to the ground and died.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

So why did the Colonists win the American Revolution? Well, it shouldn't be a surprise if you saw how the Red Coats fought. They fought battles in the old fashion European way - line up in straight rows, the front row shoots, then the next row rotates in while the others reload. Now, the Colonists on the other hand, didn't believe in lines. They just came in from everywhere. Saw those red uniforms all lined up in a rigid row and said, "Oh, nice targets!" Now, the Colonists looked like they were disorganized, but their new way of fighting won a battle.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

The daughter of our friends was kind enough in her last semester of college to buy a dog. You know what that means? She's out of college now and the dog has moved in with our friends. They inherited Starbuck. It's not coffee - that's a black Labrador retriever, and our friends are learning some very interesting things about this dog. In fact, this dog is stuck like glue to them. My friend told me just the other day that everywhere he goes Starbuck goes, whether you want him to or not. And they'll go in the living room, Starbuck goes there. They'll go into the kitchen, Starbuck goes there. Starbuck doesn't much care where he goes, he just follows his master around, and my friend said sometimes you finally want to say to him, "Hey, listen leave me alone. Don't you have something to do?" He told me, then you look at those big ole eyes looking up at you and it's irresistible. When we got a dog I had the same experience. See, we understand the dog's value system now. The dog doesn't care where he is, he just wants to be where his master is.



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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