Tuesday, August 20, 2002

When we moved to New York City, one of the first landmarks I wanted to see was the Statue of Liberty. A guide actually told me an amazing fact about that lady in the harbor. From that first day in the late 1800s when her light was first lit up, right up to that moment he saw her, the lamp of liberty has never gone out. Even when everybody else's lights went out - like, say in the daytime, for example - Lady Liberty has always had her light shining. During World War II, all of New York City was under a blackout for security reasons, but they kept this little 60-watt light bulb glowing in liberty's torch. And the night all the lights went out in New York because of a power blackout, the light still stayed on because it's powered by electricity from across the river in New Jersey! As wave after wave of immigrants sailed into New York Harbor, they'd strain for a first look at that Statue, the symbol of the freedom that they had risked so much to find. And whenever they arrived, they saw the light of liberty. It was always, always on.

Thursday, August 15, 2002

I was about nine years old when my parents took me to meet Paul Bunyan. Actually it was this giant statue of that legendary lumberjack seated on this huge chair. My dad went to the ticket booth, paid for us, and then I went through the turnstile and into Paul's big yard. And there he was in his red plaid shirt and a little log cabin at his feet that showed how huge he was. And then came the heart attack. Suddenly this big voice boomed out for everybody to hear, "Hello, Ronnie." Man, for one of those rare moments in my life, I was ... I was totally speechless! How could I know that the ticket guy had asked my father my name and then relayed it to a man in that little log cabin - a man with a very big microphone. I was just amazed that someone that big actually knew me!

Tuesday, August 6, 2002

Several years ago, we took a delegation of teenagers to a youth conference at the Jersey Shore. Our friend Jamie was one of the counselors. One evening she left the meeting early to check on one of the kids from our group. She started walking down the Boardwalk when she heard this cry for help from the water down below. She ran down to the beach, and she realized that a girl was out there in that dark ocean about to drown. So Jamie yelled for others to come, and she pulled off her shoes and she jumped into the water. She knew this was a life-or-death situation, and she said, "I just had to do something." Pretty soon a couple of men jumped in to help and together they were able to rescue that young woman. And Jamie realized the real reason she had been out on the Boardwalk that night. Much to her surprise, she had been placed there to save a life!

Thursday, August 1, 2002

Over the years, one of my areas of giftedness has been in the area of sleeping. Well, you know, the Bible says to do whatever you do with all your heart, and I think that certainly applies to sleeping. Right? I'd give our kids a time to be in, but I didn't always remain conscious that long. And they could ring the doorbell because they forgot their key, they could stomp upstairs, they could stomp over our bed, for that matter, and I would barely stir. Oh, but not my wife. Oh, no, no! There's something about the way many mothers are wired. They sleep real light - if at all - until everybody's home safe. It's a mother thing. They just can't rest until all the kids are in.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

When you're a senior in a conservatory of music, your final college exam isn't about essay questions, reading reports, or true-or-false questions. It's about performing. And when our son-in-law was completing his college music major, that meant the pressure of his senior piano recital. Seated at a grand piano that night, all decked out in his tux, he dazzled the audience with his performances of sacred music and classical music and popular music - even original music he had written. Afterwards, there was a long line of people standing in line to congratulate him. Interestingly enough, not one person congratulated the piano!

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

It was Yogi Berra who gave us that unforgettable wisdom of the ages - "It ain't over 'till it's over." I'll tell you one man who believes that: John Glenn. Yes, he had become an American hero in 1962 with his historic, manned, orbital flight around the earth. And, oh yes, he had gone on to become a United States Senator. That should be enough for one lifetime, right? Especially at the ripe old age of 78. But not for John Glenn. Nope! At an age when some people are just coasting to the finish line, John Glenn went back into space! It was just amazing to see him be part of the crew of the Shuttle Discovery, blasting into space with crewmen half his age. What a hero! At a time when a lot of people think all their important missions are behind them, John Glenn was still flying them!

Thursday, July 18, 2002

It was the first time we had taken our children to see Washington, D.C. We had a six-year-old, a four-year-old, and-a not quite two-year old. The stop I remember most is the U.S. Capitol Building - the one with all those steps. Those steps look pretty challenging when you're an adult - I can't imagine what they must have looked like to a two-year-old. There was obviously no way his little legs would get him to the top. But he did get there. Well, thanks to my little legs. I carried him.

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, 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.

Monday, May 27, 2002

Speaking at National Football League pre-game chapels has always been an honor. You should see me in a roomful of those pro football giants - when I stand next to one of them, it looks like "Bring Your Son to Work" day. But over the years, we've gotten to know some of those players - so it's been very special to take their gift of tickets and go watch them play. Having been with them on the morning of game day, it's clear that this is much more than a game to them - you can tell by their seriousness and their intensity. Which is in total contrast to the fans I then get to sit next to at the game. They're cooking out, drinking, then they go in the stadium and cheering - or jeering - the home team.

This one very obnoxious guy kept jumping up and criticizing almost every play our team ran. He was such an expert - and so annoyingly loud about it. Now, I know a little of what's going on for those players - this is their livelihood, their profession, their future, their body that's on the line. For Mr. Fan, hey, this is just a party with no pain. I can't tell you how badly I just wanted to stand up and shout, "Hey, buddy! Why don't you get out of the stands and get in the game!"

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
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