Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Connie was in the campus outreach club I ran near her high school. In some ways, she was a typical teenager. In other ways, her life was very different from her peers. Every morning about 5:00 A.M. - while her peers were still sound asleep - Connie was at the local ice skating rink, practicing. And when her friends were all enjoying their summer off, well, she was in Colorado in a rigorous training program for ice skaters. A few years later, we were in Holland, teaching a European youth workers conference. As I was in our bungalow, preparing for the next meeting, I had the TV on in the background, with a telecast of the Winter Olympics going. I wasn't paying much attention because the commentary was in Dutch, and my Dutch is slightly limited. But suddenly I heard a name I recognized - Connie's name. I looked up in time to see her on the screen, proudly representing her country in the quest for Olympic glory. Well, I knew how she got there.

Monday, January 30, 2006

When you see how cute our three-year-old granddaughter is, it's hard to believe she's actually related to me. But she really is our little princess. I started calling my daughter "Princess" when she was just a baby, and I've never stopped. But I can't help calling our granddaughter that, as well, and she loves princesses. In fact, she's got a princess skirt and top and tiara that she likes to wear around the house sometimes. She looks like Cinderella at the ball. When she answers the phone, I'll say, "Hi, Princess." And sometimes she'll say, "I'm not a princess!" Then, I have been told, she actually runs the phone like a scanner over the jeans and the shirt that she's wearing. I'm supposed to be able to see what she's showing me with the phone. When I ask her why she's not a princess, she lets me know a clear-cut reason, "I'm not wearing my princess clothes."

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

When I was in college, there were certain times of the year when there was a huge crowd of guys jammed into my little room. One was when my mother or my girlfriend had sent homemade cookies. Somehow, everyone knows when those arrive, and then your popularity suddenly skyrockets, of course. But the busiest time in my room was before mid-terms and final exams. One simple reason: I had the notes. I always scoped it out this way. You have to be in class anyway, and you have to learn all this eventually. Right? Why not make the most of the class time, get good notes, learn all you can while the teacher's presenting it. That system worked pretty well for me. It's not that I was particularly smart. Maybe I was just smart enough to realize that it pays to listen and record it when someone's teaching you something!

Thursday, January 5, 2006

If you want to get into Manhattan from New Jersey, you have several choices. You can take a long bridge, one of two long tunnels, a ferry trip, or a long un-recommended swim. The Hudson River is really pretty wide when it reaches Manhattan, but it's not very powerful. If you could see the Hudson near its headwaters in upstate New York, you'd see it roaring along with a very strong current. Upstate its banks are confined and the force is greater. But by the time it reaches Manhattan, the Hudson is so spread out that its power seems almost gone. I know people like that.

Monday, December 26, 2005

My wife and I got a late start when we were driving to North Carolina, and with a twelve-hour drive from New Jersey to cover, we thought we'd better make a motel reservation somewhere in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. We rolled in pretty late, and we saw this disgruntled looking man leaving the lobby and heading for his car, and it was not the look of a man who had just received good news. When I got up to the check-in desk, there was no one there - just a sign that said, "Back in a few minutes." I don't really know how long that is in Virginia time. While I was waiting, several more weary travelers rolled in and started forming a line behind me. The clerk finally reappeared, only to be greeted by a line of interstate zombies in urgent need of a room. I had a guaranteed reservation so I was OK. But when she asked and found out that no one else did, she uttered those dreaded words, "I'm sorry. No vacancy."

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

They're a family of superheroes with super capablities that normal humans don't have. And they're the subject of an animated movie hit. They're called "The Incredibles." And because of the powers they have, they are incredible. Or they could be. But the movie shows them living a very un-super life; just going through the motions of everyday life, living in the same kind of mediocrity everyone else is. They're the "Incredibles," but they're sure not living like it.

Thursday, October 6, 2005

There's nothing I appreciate more than a good night's sleep, maybe because sleep is something I don't get a lot of. Frankly, if the bed is decent, I don't care too much about the surroundings. A night's sleep is a night's sleep and the whole time I'm asleep I don't know where I am anyway, right? So much for my philosophy of sleep. Apparently, some nights' sleep are a big deal to some people, especially if it means sleeping in the historic Lincoln bedroom in the White House. There's been a lot of, shall we say, discussion about major contributions to Presidential campaigns and those who have given a lot, being given the privilege to spend the night at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue; or as one senator called it, Motel 1600. I guess if any place to sleep is special, being in the White House, just down the hall and the President and the First Lady, that would be it. People come away from that experience, even rich and powerful people who have seen and done it all, really impressed by being in that historic, powerful place for just a night. I've never stayed at the White House, but wait until you hear where I just came from!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Sometimes you see hitchhikers by the side of the road. What are they usually holding? A sign, usually crudely lettered, and it doesn't have the name of the car they want to ride in on it. It has the name of a place on it; the place they want to go. On Indian reservations, hitchhiking is a way of life. I asked one of our Native American friends recently about her hitchhiking experiences. She told me she asked only one question before she got in a car. She didn't care about the make of the car, the driver's IQ, or where the driver was from. She only had one question, "Where are you headed?"

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Jerry and I were best friends in high school, and then we didn't see each other for several years. But we were able to get together again when we found out that he and his wife had moved to an apartment in New York City. He was training to become a 747 pilot for a major airline. My wife and I went in to have dinner at their apartment, and we realized that Jerry and Gail were making the big bucks. They had an exclusive apartment, expensive furniture and a brand new Cadillac. Jerry took us down to the high-security garage to show the Caddy to us with a lot of pride. A couple months later, they drove out to our little apartment in a New Jersey suburb. We didn't live in a fancy neighborhood, but you know, it wasn't a bad neighborhood. Jerry had to park his Cadillac where we parked our un-Cadillac - on the street. We prepared a nice dinner, but Jerry couldn't enjoy it. He couldn't enjoy the conversation we tried to have after dinner. The whole time he was really nervous. Every five minutes or so he would leave the conversation, go over to the window, and check on his Cadillac! I assured him it would be OK, but no, no. He spent the whole night worrying about losing his expensive car. At first, I though Jerry owned a Cadillac. It turned out that a Cadillac owned Jerry!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

People in the real estate business will tell you that three things really matter when it comes to the value of any property: location, location, and location. Apparently, the President's White House team believes that, too. After Bill Clinton's re-election, "Newsweek" described the efforts of various officials to get the best office spaces at the White House. It happens with every administration. The article was named, interestingly enough, "The Geography of Power." What makes an office at the White House a good office? Well, if you had a choice about your office, you'd probably want the one with windows and plenty of space. But that's not what matters most in the White House office scramble. It's how close are you to the Oval Office! You must be near the President! The way they put it is this: "proximity is power." Yes, it is.



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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