Your Relationships

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I was speaking at a church in New York, and a couple who originally came from India greeted me very warmly. They seemed to be very much in love with the Lord and obviously in love with each other. When I asked them how long they'd been married, they said, "28 years." They didn't look old enough to have been married 28 years. Then came the second and by far the biggest surprise. They said, "It was an arranged marriage." Jokingly, I said, "Well, it will probably never last." But after thinking about what they had said for a moment, I told them, "Maybe that's what we're all supposed to have - an arranged marriage."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

CNN doesn't usually do news stories about high school football players, but there's something very special about the South Carolina player they described this way: "Sometimes the biggest heart on the field can fit into the smallest player." His name is Kos. He's a Siberian orphan, adopted by an American family, and he has no legs. He lost them the day he and his friend decided to hop aboard a freight train. For some reason, his friend pushed Kos and he landed under the wheels of that train. Now he's playing nose tackle on one of his high school's football teams. As hard as that may be to imagine, Kos had several solo tackles this past season; he recovered two fumbles; he was such a threat that other teams had to assign two players to defend against him. He just swings right into the fray and knocks them down with his strong arms and his head.

His heart on the field and his infectious personality have affected more than one school. The football coach at Clemson University brought Kos in to demonstrate his skill to that college team. The coach said, "If my players would max out on what they can give like this young man has, we'd win a lot of games." By the way, Kos' goal is to get a good job and make enough money to build a big house with several bedrooms, so he can provide a home for as many disabled Russian orphans as possible.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Our son's first word was the name he called me, "Da!" I know it's supposed to be "da da," but it was good enough for me. He'd greet me at the door each night with a loud and impassioned "Da!" Our grandson's first word was "mama," which he liked so much that he just let it keep rolling, "ma-ma-ma-ma-ma." Sort of the opposite of "da!" The first words that children learn can reflect what's going on around them. If they see Mama all the time, you can expect them to say her name early on. Sometimes, those first words aren't very happy words. Our friends have been dedicated missionaries in a war-torn part of the Middle East for years. Not long after their daughter was born, their area became a place where frequent bombardments and violence erupted all around them. Some of her first words told the story: "bomb" ... "gun."

Thursday, February 8, 2007

It was a spiritual "Kodak moment." That's what the closing night of our Warrior Leadership Summit was last summer. It was our privilege to bring together Native young people, representing 65 Indian nations across North America. When you realize that only an estimated five percent of Native people know Christ after 500 years of mission work to reach them, this conference is almost historic. The mission each year is to help Native young people choose Christ, follow Christ and be a warrior for Christ in some very difficult places. That Kodak moment came when 20 young people, representing some 20 nations, each stood to declare their commitment to go back to reach their people for Christ. Then they bowed at the foot of the old rugged cross at the front.

Then, as hundreds of Native young people began to sing "Our God is an Awesome God," those 20 young warriors lifted the cross above their heads. Then they reverently carried it through the audience and out the door to a world whose only hope is that cross. It was a powerful moment. A few minutes after the meeting ended, a leader came to me and said, "There's something beautiful going on out in front of the auditorium. Those young warriors don't want to leave the cross."

Thursday, February 1, 2007

When you have three children, only one can be the first, of course. And that one becomes the one that all the others measure by when it comes to what privileges and what treatment they should receive. In our case, our daughter is the oldest, followed by her two brothers. Now the kids could be getting along perfectly, and then suddenly the boys would learn about something their big sister got. Then I would hear the march of determined feet to my desk, followed by two boys asking in unison, "How come she...?" Followed by whatever goody she had gotten that they had not. Actually, knowing that kind of question was coming helped me make better decisions.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Few things in life are so depressing as a boy's long-uncleaned room. Sometimes you might not even want to ask them to clean it. It might be better just to torch it or hose it out like a monkey cage. I remember one time my wife and I wanted to say, "I love you" to our boys in a special way. So while they were gone one Saturday, we literally attacked their room. We thought it would be a little easier to keep it clean if we would, this one time, make it clean. When we were done, it was a great place to be again, and when the boys walked into their room, they became believers in miracles. And we did make two things really clear to them. First, "We love you guys." Secondly, "Don't expect us to make this a habit."

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I heard a true story from the life of veteran missionary, Helen Roseveare, and it touched me deeply, and it reminded me of why I face some huge needs with perfect peace. I though it might be the encouragement you need today. Helen was a medical missionary to Zaire, and she tells about the night she had tried to save a mother in the labor ward. In spite of all their efforts, the mother died, leaving the missionaries with a crying two-year-old daughter and a tiny, premature baby. They had no incubator. They had no electricity to run an incubator, and they had no special feeding facilities. And even though they lived on the equator, the nights were often chilly. They wrapped the baby in cotton wool, they put him in box, and they stoked up a fire. They really needed a hot water bottle for the tiny newborn, but they discovered that the last one they had was burst and there was nowhere to get one. So they put the baby as near the fire as they could safely and they hoped it would be enough. It was a touch-and-go fight for that little life. And then came the little girl's prayer.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

I don't mind visiting people in the hospital. I just don't stay in hospitals myself. Visitor - yes. Patient - no. My medical value system sort of works like this: minor surgery is any operation on you, and major surgery is any operation on me. I've actually learned that there's something worse than being a hospital patient myself. It's having one of our grandchildren in the hospital, especially when the treatment means pain. I can take it when I'm the one hurting. It's just hard to take it when it's one of them. A few weeks ago, our ten-month-old grandson had to go to the emergency room in another town, and it wasn't a happy time for the little guy. They had to try multiple times to get a needle into a vein for a blood test. It was excruciating! He was increasingly traumatized by one injection after another and by that big old oxygen mask they kept holding over his nose.

As soon as I got there, I decided there was just one thing I could do that might help. It's a little song I've sung to him since the first times I held him. It's always seemed to calm him down, even when he was unusually upset. So I leaned down so my cheek was touching his cheek and I began to gently sing our little song in his ear. With medical folks continuing their necessary but pretty scary work, he stopped his panic crying and he settled down a lot. I must have stayed there for thirty or forty minutes. I think that song must have nearly driven a couple of nurses cuckoo. But my grandson - well, a little song made a big difference.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

I only had 24 hours in Athens, Greece. Well, what am I going to do? Well, I knew what I wanted to see - the Acropolis, and there it is. It's on this hill that dominates the city, and it's there that the ancient Greeks built this incredible temple to their goddess Athena. Even after 20 centuries, I have to tell you, it's still an impressive, imposing structure and it still dominates the city. The Acropolis was the most sacred, most protected, most honored place in all of Athens. In fact, it was a serious crime to violate that temple, as it was in many ancient cultures. Hey, everybody knew the temple got first class treatment because the gods live there.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I have to admit that my wife and I were a little naïve sometimes in the months right after we were married. It was obvious the day this fast-talking vacuum cleaner salesman showed up at our apartment door. He showed us this high-powered machine that did everything but the laundry. He lured us with impressive demonstrations, he offered us an easy payment plan, and a deal (of course) that we had to act on immediately. Well, Mr. Newlywed, here, eagerly signed on the line. "All right! Hey, I am the proud owner of a high-tech vacuum cleaner! About five times more vacuum cleaner than we could possibly need!" By the next day, I wanted out, but I couldn't back out then. In my enthusiasm, I had simply left out the most important ingredient in the decision.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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