Your Relationships

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

My wife and I passed a sign for a town with what I found to be an amusing name - "Girdletree." Now, if you live there, I'm sorry - but I did get a chuckle out of that name. And then my wife let me know that "girdletree" really described a process I had never heard of. She said, "When I was a kid, my Dad used to girdle trees on our farm." Now without further explanation, that's going to get some ridiculous images going in your overactive imagination. Now, what she described to me was a process her Dad, and other farmers, used to soften a tree so it would be easier to bring down the next year. He took his ax, and he cut a ring in the bark that "girdled" the entire trunk at that point. The idea was to cut off the tree's sap delivery system. And it worked. The next year, that tree was softer and pretty easy to bring down. So, I'm not laughing anymore.

Monday, May 20, 2002

Let's say you have a friend who's a classical music fan - and he really likes the music of this composer named Beethoven. Now, you don't know much about this Beethoven guy, but you accept your friend's invitation to go to a concert where Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is going to be presented. The performers are the local junior high band. Now your friend has told you repeatedly that Beethoven was a genius and his music spectacular. But, after hearing the squeaking and squawking of 13-year-olds giving that symphony a go, you walk out saying, "Man, forget this Beethoven guy and his music!"

Monday, April 29, 2002

Now, I'm a passenger on airplanes, not a pilot. And that's a good thing. But I have a lot of friends who are pilots - and they've taught me a lot about my attitude. They tell me that "attitude" is actually a pilots' word. As they've explained it to me, the attitude of your plane has to do with its relationship to the horizon. Other things are variable - terrain, weather, even the pilot's perceptions. But the horizon is the one thing that doesn't move. So you want the nose of your plane properly aligned with that horizon. When it isn't, problems can develop - like friction, for example.

Monday, April 15, 2002

I'm not really excited about telling you this frankly - but, then again, maybe you were as psycho about trying to get out of school as I was sometimes. There were just days when, well for one reason or another, I just didn't want to go. Which meant, of course, that I had to be sick. Which I wasn't - at least physically. And at our house, being "sick" meant having a fever. Which I didn't. But I thought I could change that. I sat on a radiator. There - I said it. Now, in case you weren't alive during the Ice Age, radiators were these iron structures that sat on the floor and radiated steam heat into the room. And, of course, they became very hot in the process. And, yes, I sat on one. Did I get a fever? No. Did I get blisters where I sit? Yes. Did I need my head examined? You decide.

Wednesday, January 2, 2002

Several of our team members were driving together to ministry events in a nearby state. We were in two cars, but we stayed in touch by means of walkie-talkies. At a couple of points, one of the men in the car behind me pointed out a hawk he spotted soaring gracefully above us. We saw several of them, actually. Now, when you see a hawk or eagle, it is always an event for a city boy like me. But as my friend - who was not driving at the time - pointed out one of those hawks, the man who was driving said, "Well, I just saw a dead coyote on the shoulder." As our walkie-talkie conversations went on during the trip, that wasn't the last hawk the one man saw - or the last road kill that his driver saw.

Friday, December 28, 2001

My wife was just a girl when her grandparents down the road started building a little farmstead to live in. Because she had expressed a desire to be a missionary someday, Granddad thought she needed to know how to do things for herself - including laying block for a building. So, she got to help lay the block for her grandparents' house. Now in the amazing, surprising ways of God, we are now living in that house - many years after it was built. We kinda kid my wife that the crooked blocks are the ones she did!

Wednesday, December 5, 2001

Bruce Wilkinson describes this poignant scene from the epic novel and movie, "Grapes of Wrath." Steinbeck's story is about families that are forever changed by the Depression-era events in the Dust Bowl of mid-America, where these huge dust storms were wiping out the lifetime work of many farmers. In one scene, an Oklahoma farm family has gathered in front of their house to watch the approach of this massive dust storm. The working men in the family are looking toward the horizon, no doubt wondering what this storm is going to do to their world. The children are hanging onto their parents' knees - their eyes are on the horizon, too. But not the women. The women are watching only their men's faces. What they need to know is there.

Friday, November 30, 2001

It was always a highlight when our friend Dave invited out family to go sailing with him on his sailboat. And he really knew his stuff - he'd been sailing on Long Island Sound since he was a boy. I remember one spectacular day when we were out with him, and in spite of the beauty around us, he thought we should head for the harbor. Somehow, he had sensed rough weather coming. Sure enough, we reached the harbor just as the skies opened up. I was glad we were in the harbor. Dave told me he had actually stayed on his boat during the last hurricane that hit. He got blown around a lot, but he and his boat were OK - because they were inside the harbor, inside the hurricane gate.

Friday, November 16, 2001

Our daughter was doing something she does several times a day - picking up our infant grandson. She bent over OK - but suddenly she couldn't straighten up. A sudden pain shot through her back, almost paralyzing her really. She managed to set the baby down and to lie down on the bed. The pain was almost unbearable, and she couldn't move. Daddy was at the office - and the only one there to call for help was our three-year-old grandson. He picked up the phone, dialed Daddy's office, got the receptionist and gave her a simple but direct message - "Mommy got boo-boo on her back - tell Daddy to come home now!" When he was put through to Daddy he gave it to him direct - "Daddy, Mommy got boo-boo on her back - come home now!" In a matter of minutes, it was Daddy to the rescue. In a matter of days, Mommy was back to normal.

Monday, November 5, 2001

When our son entered high school, he carried with him the study habits that had served him well in junior high school. They didn't serve him well in high school. He learned a whole lot about studying his freshman year. Now his grades weren't awful - they were just, you know, below his potential. So the last part of the year, we resorted to, uh, martial law. We enforced three hours of study nightly and we allowed no calls - no going out until his homework was done. Now, turn the page to his second year in high school. I'd go into my study at night and I'd find him with these books and notebooks all spread out across my desk. Sometimes I'd tell him there was a phone call for him. And he'd answer, "Tell them I'll call them back later, Dad. I'm not getting on the phone this year until my homework is done." Interesting. I didn't have to discipline my son. He was disciplining himself.



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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