Your Relationships

Wednesday, September 4, 2002

Our son-in-law loves to ski, even though he doesn't get to do it all that often. And like everything else he does athletically, he really goes for it when he skis. But his last time on the slopes was different from all the other times in his life. See, for the first time, he has a son! And his little baby boy was on his mind when he was on the slopes. When we asked about his ski adventure, I got the distinct feeling that he didn't take the risks he's taken before. Actually, here's the way he put it. Moving his arms in skiing form as he said, "I just kept saying, 'I'm a Daddy. I'm a Daddy. I'm a Daddy.'"

Tuesday, September 3, 2002

It's amazing how creative parents can become when it's time to explain the facts of life to a child, especially in the vocabulary they choose. A parent says to their child, "This is your chin. This is your neck. That's your stomach. That's your - oogieboogiewagaboogie!" I've really heard some pretty funny names for human anatomy - words invented by red-faced parents, but not recognized by any doctor on earth. Of course, they're better than a lot of the words our children come home from school asking about. But when it comes to sex, it's important to use the right words - especially one.

Monday, August 26, 2002

It's one of life's passages - taking your first child to college. You drive off, leaving your firstborn there, knowing your life and theirs will never be quite the same. When we left our daughter at the Christian college she had chosen, her two younger brothers were sure they knew how their mother would react. In fact, without announcing it, they just kept watching her all the way home, waiting for my wife to cry. She never did, and they were baffled. They finally asked, "Why didn't you cry, Mom?" Well, see, the college had given us parents two days of very reassuring orientation, and we had been very impressed with how they had thought through their students' needs. So why didn't Mom cry? Well, she told them, "I don't cry about leaving my child when I know they're in good hands."

Monday, August 19, 2002

There's something about the Olympics that's just larger than life, and there are those images of past Olympic performances that we'll never forget. One of those happened in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Derek Redmond was representing Great Britain in the 400-meter event. Unfortunately, he went down on the backstretch with a torn right hamstring. And the medical attendants started to approach him, but he managed to fight his way to his feet. Maybe you remember seeing this. He set out hopping around the track, desperately trying to finish the race. When he reached the stretch, a large man in a T-shirt came out of the stands, and literally threw aside a security guard, and ran to the injured runner, and hugged him. It was Jim Redmond, Derek's father. Derek was weeping and in excruciating pain, and his Dad said, "'Derek, you don't have to do this." To which Derek said, "Yes, I do." And Jim Redmond said, "OK then, we're going to finish this together!" And they did. They had to fight off security men ... the son's head was sometimes buried on his father's shoulder ... but they stayed in Derek's lane all the way to the end - as the crowd stood and cheered and even wept.

Wednesday, July 31, 2002

My regular routine doesn't allow me as much exercise as I'd like. So when we get a few days away, I enjoy picking up the pace a little with some biking or hiking that I don't usually get to do. Of course, I can usually feel that I haven't been doing it enough. The next morning I'm hurting in places I didn't even know I had places. I remember one time we were away at the shore, and I did this sunrise jog on the beach. I felt so healthy - and so beat. I was pounding back on the sand, all tired and sweaty and out of breath, thinking about walking the rest of the way. Suddenly, I saw my wife in the distance. And suddenly my motivation was back! I picked up my pace like an Olympian. Now I had almost reached her when I saw what she had written in huge letters in the sand, "I love you, Ron." Oh! What a happy ending to a long, hard run!

Monday, July 22, 2002

One of the most amazing Christian warriors in my lifetime is a man who has come to be known as Brother Andrew, or "God's Smuggler." He's risked everything to get God's Word into spiritually closed countries where that was virtually impossible. Many consider him a real spiritual hero. No one can doubt that he is, at the very least, a bold risk-taker for Christ.

In his biography, he tells about an incident in his early life as a follower of Christ that showed him the kind of God he was serving. After some pretty wild years without the Lord, he came to Christ and almost immediately felt the call to begin training for the ministry. He went to this small Bible school in Scotland, and before the students were allowed to graduate, they were given a very unusual assignment. They were asked to go out for a month to do evangelistic outreaches in Scottish villages, and they were given some money to live on - one British pound, to be exact. For those of us who are Americans, it would be like being given a dollar to live on for a month. The students were to go with that one bill and eat, and sleep, and rent halls, and buy refreshments, and hold outreaches, and return that one bill at the end of the month. Brother Andrew's team went out and did just that. Except he returned with enough money for the school to send out two missionaries!

Friday, June 28, 2002

As the kids were growing up, my wife and I would sometimes sneak into the kitchen to - well, the kids said it was to "smooch." We were known to occasionally grab a quick hug and kiss in what we thought was a private spot. One time when I started "smooching" with my wife, I forgot that our baby son was sitting there in his high chair. Suddenly, in the midst of this romantic moment, I hear this laughing, and clapping, and banging on his high chair tray. It was like he was saying, "Go for it, Mommy and Daddy!" And over the years, we would be hugging sometimes when we suddenly felt a little person wiggling in between us - sometimes two little persons, or even three. And invariably, we'd see big blue eyes looking up at us, and one of our kids saying, "Mommy, Daddy - can I be in the middle of your love?"

Monday, June 24, 2002

I've got a friend who has a lot more beautiful jewelry than her income can afford. She's just really good at getting terrific deals in pawn shops. She only goes to the reputable ones and over the years, she's managed to keep trading up. My friend has an unbelievable instinct for a good deal and she's got the savvy to land that deal. The other day I saw her with this beautiful full-carat diamond ring on. The store price was $2,000 - which there was no way she had. But she had her little bag of trading treasures with her. She traded items that didn't really matter much to her - and she ended up getting that ring for $200.

Friday, June 21, 2002

I had an opportunity to spend a little time recently with a young man who just finished his hitch in the United States Marine Corps. He must have been a good one - he was trusted with some very sensitive, very strategic assignments. He reminded me of that tremendous two-word motto of the Marine Corps - "Semper fidelis." That's Latin, of course, for "always faithful." But then he told me that there is another unofficial motto that Marines have - one that helps them respond effectively to their assignments. "Semper Gumby." You're probably saying what I said when I heard it - "Uh, what did he say?" Well, you and I both heard it right. And, yes, he was referring to that animated clay figure, Gumby, that can bend any direction. So what is "Semper Gumby"? Always flexible!

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.

            

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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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