Your Relationships

Monday, January 16, 2006

It was one of those winter nights that chills you to the bone - cold temperatures, a brisk north wind, a freezing rain, some snow. Our friends were inside their house, and their horses were inside their barn. Well, actually, three out of four of their horses were inside the barn. Cassie, their Shetland, was standing outside for some strange reason. So as our friends looked out their window, they saw this pitiful scene: one lone horse under a barn light, standing there with the freezing rain and snow pounding down on her, forming ice on her mane. Now, her horse friends were all smart enough to be in their nice warm stalls, but, oh no, not Cassie.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

When our kids were growing up, it was hard to find a ride at the amusement park you could get us all to ride. We have roller coaster lovers and roller coaster no-way-ers, for example. But there was one we all liked to do - the bumper cars. You know, those little electric cars inside that fenced-in area. They turn them on, and everyone starts out together, then you start speeding around that circle. Some end up spinning out, going backwards, going forward, intentionally or accidentally running into other cars - especially those you love. Each one of us would each get into our little hot rod. We'd basically start out heading the same direction, but in no time we were heading in five different directions and occasionally bumping into each other. Sound like any family you know?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Our children got together and gave us a special gift for a recent milestone wedding anniversary - a couple of nights in the beautiful place where we honeymooned years ago. Part of their gift was a picturesque, horse-drawn carriage ride through some of the area's beautiful scenery. At one point, our carriage was headed up a relatively steep hill and another carriage was starting down that hill, full of people. It had to be a real workout for the horses. Our driver pointed out something that I found intriguing. He said, "Notice that the driver is holding the brake on as they come down the hill. That's to keep the horses from bearing a load that's too heavy for them to bear. With the driver holding the brake, they still feel like they're on level ground."

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

I had the cutest little guy join me on my hike. I was out in the country exploring the trail that wound along the creek. First I just saw this little flash of black and white fur toddling along through the grass, not far from me. He was heading in the same direction I was. I told you he was cute; he was all black except for a nice white stripe all the way down his back, a big bushy tail, a cute little almost kitten-like face. I had been joined by a skunk! Two problems: one little spray and nobody would get near me for the next week. Secondly, it was daytime and skunks are nocturnal animals. If they're out in the daytime it can mean they have rabies! So, what did I do? Go pet him because he was so cute? No! Try to scare him off? I'm not suicidal! I did the only thing a guy with any brains would do, I walked quickly in the other direction and I didn't have to bury my clothes!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

There are some decent, even values-oriented things on television for children these days. But, as you know very well, there's a lot of garbage, too. And in between those two extremes, there are shows that are mostly good but have some words scattered in them that little ears shouldn't be hearing - or big ears, for that matter. Along comes a service called TV Guardian - which automatically replaces a naughty word with a nice word, thus removing what could be bad for your child. Occasionally, the replacements are actually a little amusing. Like the word "sex" for example. The new word is "hugs." Which gets a little interesting when someone asks, "So what will be the hugs of your baby?" But I do think TV Guardian is a pretty good idea.

Thursday, September 1, 2005

I was teaching at a training school for people entering youth ministry when I learned about a call home that must have been heartbreaking for the dad who made it. The school was three weeks long, and dad had already been gone for over two weeks. He was seriously missing his wife and two-year-old son, and they were missing him. After waiting patiently in the long line that formed every day after classes at the lobby pay phone, he finally got to talk to his wife. When he asked how his son was doing, she said, "Not too well, honey. Yesterday he came up to me and said, 'Mommy, is Daddy dead?'" Ouch!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

As each of our kids has fallen in love, I have had what sounded like a strange piece of advice for them. I've said, "Make sure you make a good 200-year choice." Needless to say, that's been greeted with an expression that says, "You doin' okay, Dad?" It turns out none of our kids expects to ever celebrate their 200th wedding anniversary. But that's not what I'm talking about anyway. I'm talking about the impact the choice of a mate will have for a long, long time - along with a lot of other family choices.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Over the years we've lived near the ocean, and we were blessed to have a friend who was a veteran sailor. He'd been sailing the East Coast since he was a boy. And he was generous enough to allow us to go sailing with him sometimes and to watch a master at work. I tried to apply for "first mate," but he always said, "Don't call us, we'll call you." Which he never did. But I was a grateful, and I was a curious passenger. He told me some great stories of sailing adventures. He showed us how to do some of what he did, and he related times that he had seen one sailboat after another fall over as they were unprepared for a shift in the wind. You don't have to be a seasoned seaman to understand a fundamental law of a successful voyage: It's the set of the sail, not the force of the gale, that determines the way you go.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Senior year in college - somehow our son had maneuvered himself into a coveted on-campus house for his senior lodging. About a dozen guys set up their own little universe there (not necessarily an orderly universe, of course). He told me that one day he and several other guys were talking about a student leader who was a friend of theirs. We'll call him Marty. And in the "talk, then think" atmosphere of college guys in a room, our son was reviewing some of the dumb things (that was his opinion) Marty had done in his leadership choices. As he was finishing this little barbecue, someone drifted into the room from the kitchen - the room right next door. It was, of course, Marty with his cup of coffee in his hand. He'd been right next door making himself some coffee - no doubt listening to this critical review of his leadership. He didn't say anything. He didn't have to. Our son felt about an inch tall when he realized who he had been hurting.

Friday, August 12, 2005

There's a beautiful spot on the coast of Maine called Bar Harbor, because there's a bar in the harbor. It's a sandbar that's totally exposed at low tide and totally submerged at high tide. The bar goes from the mainland to a little island called, yup, Bar Island. The island's okay, but you wouldn't want to spend a lot of time there. Although some people do - a lot more time than they planned to spend. When our family walked across the bar at low tide, we made sure to check that tide chart to see when the tide would be coming back. As we were walking back from the island, the bar was already a little narrower than it had been - the tide was coming in. Then there were those intelligent tourists who waited a little too long to start back, and there was no way back! Now no one has to be stranded on that island. There is a way off, if you take it!

            

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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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