Your Relationships

Wednesday, February 20, 2002

When you've got young grandchildren, you keep learning about these "heroes" they have from children's videos and television programs. In America, you get acquainted with characters like Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber from "Veggie Tales," and "Blue's Clues," and "Bob the Builder." Now, he was the cause of some major excitement last Christmas. An aunt and uncle gave our three-year-old grandson Bob the Builder coveralls - see, Bob wears this yellow hardhat and blue coveralls, with yellow tools hanging from a tool belt. Well, these coveralls even have the belt, with a yellow plastic hammer, a plastic screwdriver, a plastic wrench - you get the idea. When our grandson emerged from the bedroom as Bob the Builder, man, he just lit up with excitement.

Monday, February 4, 2002

We were in our seats, waiting for the curtain to open in this great, family-oriented stage show. I knew it must be show time - the lights went down, and unobtrusively the live band quietly filed into the orchestra pit. Most people were focused on the stage, but I was fascinated by something I saw going on with that band. One woman in the band had the arm of a fellow band member in her arm. She was obviously leading him to his position at the keyboard. I realized with some amazement that the keyboardist was blind. He put on his big headphones and, as the curtain opened, he started playing with all his heart. It was awesome.

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.

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.

            

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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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