Friday, August 27, 2004

Our friends were kind enough to loan my wife and me their second home where we could get away for a couple of days. When you're in somebody else's home, you have to be on your good behavior, like make sure you don't break anything, leave it as you found it. I was having a little difficulty getting the front door unjammed, uh, unlocked I guess, and my wife said, "What are you doing?" And I jokingly said, "Well, I couldn't get it unlocked, so I'm just forcing it open." She said, "No, no, no, no, don't do that." Now there's a reason we had that little dialogue. She panicked right away because, well, she knows my history.

If I was trying to force it open, I would probably break it. Oh, I did get out okay, but she knows I have this tendency to try to make things work if they don't want to work. I sometimes get impatient with things that don't work quickly. In fact, I've been known to force a door handle and break it. There have been a couple of occasions where I have forced a tool, and I broke it. You will probably never lend me anything. I've tried to force a lock, and I broke it. I've tried to force other things, and they broke too.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

I've watched three kids run on this track called high school senior. Oh, and we know about the disease. It's a creepy disease called "Senioritis." I've seen it for years in other teenagers and then finally, we watched it in our own home. It begins with the sense of "Okay, I'm a Senior now, high school is my past. I do not care about high school anymore, even though I have another year." At best, a senior just slacks off until graduation, or at worst, he or she becomes irresponsible and maybe even destructive. Senioritis does not bring out the best in anybody, at any age.

Friday, August 6, 2004

"I want to give you a boat." That's what Carl announced to me. Actually it was to the ministry that I was involved with at that time. And I was grateful, but I wasn't quite sure what to do with a boat! Now Carl had this little fishing boat, and it was run down and he couldn't use it because he had had a heart attack, and now he gave it to us to sell. We were really in a tight time financially, so I accepted the boat gratefully. I asked a boating friend of mine how much it was worth, and he said, "Oh, I think about $1,000," and that's exactly what Carl said he could have sold it for. Well, we needed the money, so I recruited this work crew of 20 people and we went down to the Jersey Shore and we scraped off the barnacles off the bottom. We got new bottom paint on it. We scrubbed, we disinfected, we put up new curtains. We serviced the engine, we did a total makeover on that boat. Let me tell you what God did. We sold it for $4,200. Man, did the value of that vessel change when it changed hands.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

I love to drive through Custer State Park in South Dakota because if you're lucky you get to see a lot of buffalo. Now, seeing them is one thing - riding them is another. We were recently in South Dakota. One important part of our ministry, of course, is reaching what one researcher called the most devastated young people in America, and we were there for an outreach among Native American young people. Reservation young people are in just great need of the Lord. We were with our Lakota Sioux Christian brother and we saw some buffalo, and we joked a little bit about hunting them, and so on. Then he said, "You know, I know someone who rides buffalo in parades and on holidays." I said, "Wait a minute. Did you say rides a buffalo?" I can't imagine boarding one of these wonderful wild animals. Well, somebody asked this buffalo rider, "What's it take?" He said, "Patience." Then he said, "If you neglect him one or two days, he won't be tamed anymore."

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

It was England's darkest hour. Each night the air raid sirens would wail their haunting warning that German bombers were again approaching London with their showers of death. And each night, Londoners would race to the city's bomb shelters, many of them underground in London's subway stations. When people surveyed the damage the next morning, the landscape had changed, with familiar buildings turned to rubble - and sometimes neighbors lost to the bombs. In that long dark night of the soul, Prime Minister Winston Churchill was the inspiration that kept the spirit of the British alive. Each day, he was there picking his way through the rubble, directing emergency responses, and giving encouragement wherever he could. But where was Winston Churchill when the German bombs were raining down on the city over his head, trying to bomb England into submission? In his bunker in front of a table that was covered with a map of Europe, and with his nation under brutal German bombardment, Churchill was planning the invasion of Germany!

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Life wasn't easy on the little farm where my wife grew up. The land was hard to farm, the money was hard to come by, and the water was sometimes even harder to come by. In fact, on several occasions, Dad tried to dig a well. Again and again, they dug but they ended up with only dry wells. Thankfully, though, there was this spring not too far away. My wife remembers her grandfather hitching up Jack and Betsy - that was actually two mules, not two cousins - and going down to this amazing spring that just gushed horizontally out of the rocks. And with each trip, they'd bring back two large barrels of water.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The battles were horrendous. The casualties were many. But the outcome changed everything. That's a very quick summary of the final episode of J. R. R. Tolkien's classic trilogy, "Lord of the Rings." That trilogy jumped off of dusty bookshelves and into the popular culture with their portrayal in three of the most successful movies of all time. Tolkien weaves a tale of a world called Middle Earth where these soulless, subhuman beings are attempting to stamp out the "Age of Humans." Finally, in the concluding "Return of the King," Middle Earth's rightful king, Aragorn, leads the humans in one last, all-out attempt to turn back the forces of evil. After many costly battles, there's a glorious coronation day for the triumphant king. As the crown is placed on the head of the rightful ruler before this jubilant crowd of his subjects, they know the dark days are over. And the one who crowned him makes this hope-filled announcement - "Now begin the days of the King!"

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

We have this one immortal photo of our youngest son. We love to look at it! He hates for us to resurrect it. It was taken when he was three years old. He was in the yard and we had set up a tent back there. And apparently, well, he wanted to help. So, as we watched out the kitchen window, he started moving poles and trying to drive stakes deeper. Then he got inside the tent and explored a little bit, and then he decided one of those tent poles needed to be better positioned. Of course, he wasn't old enough, he wasn't experienced enough to mess with what holds up a tent. So, he picked up a pole - you're probably already ahead of me here, aren't you? - and in one very sad moment, the tent came crashing down. Now about the photo: here is this very sad little boy, holding a tent pole in one hand, holding his head with the other hand and his face showing this pitiful mixture of fear and bewilderment. Poor guy! He had worked hard on this, and it just collapsed around him. I know the feeling.

Monday, May 31, 2004

I never voted to have a dog in our house. I think they sneaked her in when I was on a trip or something, but we got one. Her name was Missy, a Shih-Tzu, and the last time she went to this dog care place, they actually registered her as "Missy Hutchcraft." Now, that is my last name. There is no family resemblance here, and I'm not sure I want to give her my last name. But I do confess that I think Missy taught me something that I might never have understood without her. I hope she's not listening. I would hate to admit this in front of her. Well, see, it was never hard to find Missy when our son was home. He was her master, so when he is at college, you never knew where you would find her in the house, but when he's home, oh, it was easy. When you have found our son, you had found Missy. He's in the living room - she's in the living room. He's in the basement - Missy's in the basement. Our son's in his room, Missy is in his room. Missy doesn't care where she is as long as she's with her master.

Monday, May 24, 2004

My son had dreamed about an old Mustang for years. I mean, the kind with four wheels, not four legs. He saw a great price advertised; he sold some of his baseball card collection, and he became the proud owner of a 1968 Mustang. Yeah, right, the kind that runs on gasoline, not oats. Right? I just wanted to make that we're clear on the Mustang thing. Now he invited me to take a drive, and I slid in. I turned the key. It whirred to life, and several nearby birds went for counseling as I started up the driveway. I mean, this thing had a roar to it! Now, when I reached the top of the driveway, I found out what I didn't like about that "cool"' car - turning it. See, I'm spoiled. I've got power steering. This car had power steering, except it was my power. When you want to turn that Mustang, it's like a total body operation. You sort of wrap yourself around it several times. You sort of call it corkscrew turning. Now, I never asked to drive the Mustang much after that. It was entirely too hard to turn!

            

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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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