Your Relationships

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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Man, I almost forgot how much wood there is in a cord. I remembered real fast the last time we got a cord of wood delivered to our house - and dumped in our driveway. I got to stack it all by myself. But as I did, I thought about all those great fires we would have in our living room fireplace all winter long, and of how much our sons would enjoy those fires when they were home for Christmas. They have loved a roaring fire in our fireplace since they were little. And that's okay. But imagine if I had come home one day when they were in high school and I smelled smoke coming from one of their rooms upstairs. I am alarmed. I call upstairs, "Do you smell smoke?" "Yeah, Dad. I built a fire." "But, there's no fireplace in your room!" And he answers, "I know, but I just love fires." I am very alarmed. We have a big problem here. When you have a fire in the fireplace, it will make you warm. But when you have that same fire outside the fireplace...well, you get burned. Well,

Tuesday, October 30, 2001

During our most recent mission to South Africa, our hosts were kind enough to take me to an incredible game park where I could see African animals in the wild. And I did! Rhino, giraffe, ostrich, baboon--not the kind of animals you usually see wandering around the New York area. But the highlight was coming around this curve and meeting a great bull elephant in the road. He put on a real show for us for several minutes.

Recently, I picked up my local newspaper and saw a news article with that game park as the dateline. The article was about the young male elephants there--the ones the rangers call these teenagers. Apparently, in the last few months, these teenage male elephants have been on a reign of terror in the park, doing things that elephants don't usually do. They have attacked other animals like rhinos. They have attacked tourists, inflicting death or serious injury. And finally the park officials have figured out what's gone wrong with these young males. When they were newborn, they were taken from another game park and brought to this one. But their fathers--the bull elephants--were not brought with them. So these teenage elephants grew up without a model of how a grownup male should act--and they're out of control.

Thursday, October 25, 2001

When I was in Junior High School, we usually bought one copy of the local newspaper each day. Until the day after I won the County Spelling Bee! Aren't you impressed? (Autographs will come later.) Well, that day we got about 20 copies of the local newspaper. What was the difference? My name was in it this time.

Tuesday, September 18, 2001

Our daughter is all grown up, and married, and even a mom. But the other day she told me about the Bible verse she learned as a little girl and never forgot - "If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31). Then she told me why she never forgot it. One day when she was pretty young I had brought her to my office. And at lunchtime, we walked downtown to get something to eat. And, as she remembers very vividly, we passed this storefront that must have been a fortune teller's place. There was a picture of a big human palm in the window, signifying that the occupant did palm reading. Our daughter tells me that I explained to her what that all meant - and that night she got to thinking about it. And really she was too scared to go to sleep. At which point she says I knelt next to her bed and I gave her a word for today from the Word of God - "If God be for us, who can be against us?" She went to sleep repeating those words - she never forgot them - and she hung onto them many times in the years to come.

Monday, September 17, 2001

It's been a long time since my wife and I had a baby around. And now that our daughter and son-in-law have given us a wonderful grandson named Jordan, we're into the baby thing again. And I want to assure you there is nothing wrong with this boy's appetite! Ooooo! I could tell that during his first couple of days on earth. He'd start crying to announce that it was time to eat. And he would not stop crying until he had his fill. And then that second day, he had just eaten, but right away he was again announcing that he had a need. Oh, we were able to distract him briefly by playing or singing or changing positions - but only briefly. Pretty soon he was at it again - until he got fed some more. Now even though our grandson is, of course, very special, I don't think this appetite thing is very unique. Babies will get their milk!

Monday, August 13, 2001

When our boys were young, I usually knew where to find them on a Saturday morning--watching cartoons on TV. Back then, they were a little more innocent than some of what's offered today. One morning, they called for me to come in to see what was coming on television. And I thought, "Oh great, Smurfs." But when I saw what it was, I dropped what I was doing, sat down and watched it. It was the original episode of my favorite boyhood TV show, "Superman." There he was again in his blue tights and red cape--faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. But as it concluded, I felt this tinge of sadness. I remembered what eventually happened to Superman...actually to the actor who played him. His sudden death was ruled a suicide. They said he had been type cast, and it was hard for Superman to get any other roles. He couldn't be Superman for the rest of his life. No man can.

Friday, August 10, 2001

During a recent summer with our "On Eagles' Wings" Native American outreach team, we had some 5,000 miles to cover in about five weeks. In order to make it to all the reservations to which we had accepted invitations, we really needed a comfortable bus. And God wonderfully provided that through some brothers in Christ. Now our bus driver, Josh, really knew his way across the West, and my wife really didn't. It was often her job to drive another vehicle that we needed. That meant traveling many unfamiliar miles - but she found a way to simplify the process. She just kept her eyes on that bus. If Josh turned, she turned. If Josh stopped, she stopped. She made sure she could even recognize the lights of his bus in case they got separated. She said this trip that could have been so difficult and confusing was actually pretty relaxed and simple. She didn't try to figure out the route for herself. She had a great trip because one thing governed all her choices - following the man who knew the way.

My wife and I have the privilege of living in the farmstead that once belonged to her grandparents. But it's not just their home we get to enjoy. Every spring, some beautiful purple iris flowers bloom all over our front yard. I was touched when my wife told me she can remember when her Grandma planted those flowers - probably 50 years ago. Grandma's been in heaven for over 20 years - but what she planted is still beautifying our world.

There's a high fence around my friend Mel's garden. And he's got the most incredible fruit and vegetable garden I've ever seen. When Me; or his wife are at the grocery store, they can pretty much sail right past the produce department - they own a produce department. Their garden produces bumper crops of fresh tomatoes, corn, berries - you name it. I always enjoy taking a walk with Mel through what really feels like "God's little acre." But you don't just stroll from the yard right into the soil of the garden. You see, you have to open a gate and then go in. Every inch of that garden is surrounded by this sturdy fence. Now why does Mel have that big old fence around his garden? I suppose someone might say, "Oh, he just doesn't want anyone in there enjoying it." No. He has a fence there, not to limit your enjoyment of the garden, but to protect your enjoyment of the garden. It's not about keeping people from the beauty. It's about protecting the beauty from the things that could destroy it.

            

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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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