Your Relationships

May 3, 2022

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Normally, Hainan Island is thought of as a tourist attraction. But the 24 American military personnel who were held there by the Chinese in early 2001? They probably didn't feel much like tourists. As the Americans reported it, their reconnaissance plane had been disabled by a Chinese jet that had flown too close and crashed into them. The jet pilot was lost and the American crew almost was, except for some extraordinary flying that managed to land their damaged plane on that Chinese island. There were days of tense negotiations, with the Chinese insisting on an apology and the Americans insisting on the release of their crew. The stalemate was finally broken by two words that the President of the United States included in a statement to the Chinese; words that expressed our sorrow over the loss of the Chinese pilot, not over the incident. The words? Yeah, you might have guessed, "I'm sorry." That's all it took. The next day our crew was on their way home.

April 18, 2022

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I never had a sister when I was growing up, but my sons did. Our daughter is the oldest, and her two brothers each came at about two year intervals after that. As I watched their relationship over the years, it was interesting to see what I had missed: a lot of kidding around, some exciting disagreements, some hugs, some advice, some conflict, but a lot of loyalty. One thing was always really clear, say between our daughter and her older brother. No one had better do his sister wrong. He was always her personal "look-out-forer." Is that a word? And until our son-in-law came along, no guy had ever been good enough to get her brother's "thumbs up." Two years younger, he was always her protector. You know if you're a sister, it's nice to have a brother like that.

September 9, 2021

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It seems as if every summer there are raging fires in the American West that destroy hundreds of thousands of acres of timberland, and sometimes homes, businesses, and sadly, even lives. When a major fire broke out near an Indian reservation that our Native team had ministered on only a few months ago, I paid pretty special attention. Sadly, that fire spread to parts of the reservation, consuming the very timber that's a major part of their already impoverished economy; along with homes and property outside the reservation. I knew it was going to take a long time to recover. You know what the cause of that very costly fire was that made the whole thing even sadder? It was started by a government firefighter who was hoping there would be a small fire that would give him some work.

September 7, 2021

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My dad was a great man, and I still miss him, even though he's been gone for a lot of years. I'll often think about his laugh, his favorite sayings, his great personality, his fun sense of humor, and his unconditional love and support for me. Because he's buried in a place where I don't often get to go, it's been quite a while since I've been able to visit his grave. But I did not too long ago. And I was impressed with the simplicity of what, besides the dates of his birth and death, is engraved on his gravestone. It just says, "John Hutchcraft, husband and father."

August 31, 2021

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Little Cindy had been a bad girl. She'd been sent from the dinner table to her room. After a little while, Mom and Dad thought the point had been made. They knew that children, of course, need to be assured of our love when we've disciplined them. So, Daddy went upstairs, opened the door to Cindy's room. Found her in bed, under her covers, snuggling with her arm wrapped tightly around her favorite dolly. Her father sat on the bed and he just gently said, "Cindy, I love you." Then he held out his arms to hug her. For a moment, the little girl just looked straight ahead and she hugged her dolly closer. But that couldn't last. Very soon, Cindy dropped her dolly and grabbed her Daddy in a big hug. Because a dolly is no substitute for a daddy!

July 28, 2021

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You might say parenting is not a precise science. You don't just mix certain ingredients and get a certain reaction. In fact, it's largely (I hate to say it) experimental. But after a while you learn more creative ways to do what is right. You can yell, you can overpower, you can threaten them until they're bigger than you are. Or you can work through the method I came to call 'The Squeeze'. It's a method that steers a child to the right choice. It's also known as "The Lousy Choice" approach.

July 27, 2021

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I used to work with someone on our team who was a fanatical fisherman! He actually told me about a boy who was starting very young down that same road, or stream as the case may be. At that point, James was only three years old, but his dad had already taught him to fish! The first time they went fishing together Dad gave him a cricket to use as bait. Well, beginner's luck - James caught himself a little sunfish with that cricket. And then, just for fun, Dad decided to let his boy try some serious bait - what fishermen call stink bait. It's got something like pieces of liver in it. Wouldn't you know it! Little James reeled in a seven pound catfish! When Dad tried to get him to go back to the cricket bait - no way, Dad! He had discovered what kind of bait attracts the big ones!

June 28, 2021

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Okay, let's face it, I'm mechanically challenged. Now we've got that over with. I mean, I can take care of the basics on a car, but if it's beyond "A, B, C," I need outside help, I'm sorry. Sometimes your car starts talking to you, making those strange sounds, and doing strange things. I've noticed those things don't go away by themselves. Over time, those noises get louder; those strange things that it does come more often. Sometimes, it's just natural - just like us. You know, cars get old, parts start wearing out. But sometimes that noise and trouble can be avoided.

June 22, 2021

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You always have to hold your breath when your little children are with other adults, because you never know what they might reveal about life at home. It pays to live with nothing to hide. Right? A friend was babysitting his three-year-old grandson not long ago, and this little guy kept the conversation active with a stream of consciousness, a series of comments on a lot of subjects. Suddenly the three-year-old brought up things he wanted to do when he was an adult. One of them was potentially a little revealing. He said, "I'm going to have an office in my house, and I'm going to tell my children not to bother me." Oooo! His daddy has an office in the house. I wonder if this little guy learned that script at home?

May 31, 2021

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One of our ministry team had just gotten married, and most of our team was there. We had a lot of fun together, and in spite of the fact that I'm really very serious all the time. But, anticipating the bride would do the customary thing of, you know, throwing the bouquet at the reception, I had a special warning for Pam, one of the single young women on our staff. I told her that I had designated two big guys to tie her to her chair when it was time for the bouquet tossing. In case you've missed this little custom, the story is that whoever catches the bride's bouquet will be the next one married. Well, the big guys never materialized and Pam made sure she was front and center for the big moment. The other girls never stood a chance. She played defense with flying elbows; she lunged to make the big catch. It's the first time I've ever known of first-aid being administered at a bouquet toss. All right, I'm exaggerating just a little... but just a little. Pam was not to be denied having the next wedding! By the way, who thought up this custom anyway?

            

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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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