Your Relationships

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.

For a lot of people in California, the year 2001 began in the dark! The headlines kept telling us that millions of Californians were having to endure what was called “rolling blackouts”. Apparently, when the energy industry was deregulated, it was supposed to lead to utilities buying power at lower prices – instead, prices skyrocketed. And deregulation also forbade them to raise prices to the consumer. Whatever the cause, the result was clear. For certain designated hours, the power company had to turn off the power to different areas at different times. So when the blackout rolled into your area, you suddenly had no electricity – and if you had something to do during that time that required that power – tough!

I had a special visitor the other day – Steven, who is the son of one of our Team members. Cerebral palsy left Steven with some severe mental and physical limitations – in fact, more than any parents could manage at home. So Steven is in a special care facility – and he’s a special young man from whom his parents say they have learned so much about God’s love. Because he’s not home much – and because I’m away a lot – his Mom brought him in the other day so I could meet him. I was just on my way to the radio studio to meet a pressing deadline when Steven came in. I got to tell him how much his Mom means to us, how much she talks about him and loves him, and how much I liked what he was wearing. Even though we were just visiting for a few moments, Steven suddenly started pulling at his coat. His Mom said, “You want to take off your coat and stay a while, don’t you, Steven?” She said he doesn’t do that much. That really got to me.

When you live in the Northeastern U. S. like we do, you usually pack your shorts and t-shirts about November and file them under "See you in April." But it was January - a big winter month where we live - and people were suddenly all over the place in their shorts and their summer clothes. It was 74 degrees! We figured either our calendar or our thermometer were wacky - but they both were right. It was a great experience - June days in January. Unfortunately, the weather fooled the bushes and flowers in our yard. They felt the warm temperature and said, "Ooo, this feels good. Must be Spring. Time to wake up!" So, sure enough, the buds started appearing all over our yard. But I wanted to yell at them, "Not yet, guys! This isn't going to last! It's too soon! This isn't going to work!" Unfortunately, I don't speak "Plant" fluently. And when the inevitable freezing temperatures returned, those poor early-bloomers were in for an awful shock.

I think I was a kid the last time I saw a three-legged race - it was at a Sunday School picnic. I resurrected the three-legged race a while back to illustrate a point to a group of teenagers. In case you've missed the thrill of a three-legged race, here's how it works. The racers run in teams of two. You tie the left leg of one to the right leg of the other, and they run the course as best they can like that. Run might be a slight exaggeration. They skip, they shuffle, they stagger, they limp - but run? Not really. It's really hard to run when you're tied to someone else who's slowing you down!

One of our ministry team is a pretty enthusiastic auto-racing fan. If you're into that sport, then you know that Jeff Gordon is one of the best in the business. One of the people that helped him get to that position is the man who has been head of his pit crew. You've seen those high-speed cars swing into their service pit and only seconds later roar back into the race. My racing fan friend told me recently about a TV special on Jeff Gordon. On it, they interviewed the head of his pit crew - who, by the way, has a degree in organizational behavior. He revealed just how amazing the work of the pit crew is in a sport where seconds really matter. The pit crew chief said they will change up to 20 tires in one race - just think of what those speeds must do to a tire! And they change a complete set of four tires in 13 seconds - that's faster than I can finish off a bite of my dinner! The driver is the name everyone knows - but the driver knows he's nothing without his pit crew!

            

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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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