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.

Friday, August 30, 2002

I couldn't help but overhear the conversation across the aisle on this recent airplane flight. The man was dropping profanity about, oh, every third word or so; he even mentioned God quite a few times. He stopped only to work on his meal. Apparently, he needed some cream for his coffee, so he demanded the flight attendant get some with his usual colorful language. While he was waiting, he finally let his fellow passenger do a little talking. He asked him, "Well, what do you do for a living?" And his neighbor said, "Oh, I'm a minister," at which point the flight attendant returned with the cream. My profane neighbor across the aisle looked up at the attendant with the most angelic expression and said, "Oh, God bless you." Suddenly, the real guy disappeared, and this religious guy showed up!

Thursday, August 29, 2002

Recently my sister-in-law introduced me to a tasty new addition to my usual breakfast menu - these great English crumpets. Low fat, great taste. Now I'm hooked. In fact, I decided I had to go get myself more of them. I learned from her that there's only one local store that carries them so I made my way to this super-supermarket - one I was unfamiliar with. I went to where I figured something in the English muffin/bagel category would be: the bread section, right? No crumpets. I tried the bakery section. Failure again. I looked in every aisle that I could logically expect to find something from the breakfast bread family. Zippo! I finally tried something really radical. I asked someone who worked there. He said, "They're in dairy." Dairy? Well, I guess these things are supposed to be refrigerated. And dairy is where I found them! But it had been a long search.

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Years ago, when we vacationed in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, we used to enjoy doing more biking than we usually had time for. It was a fun challenge to ride those ten miles around the lake - well, sort of fun. There were those long downhill stretches. Oh, what a feeling, sailing effortlessly down those hills, the wind blowing in our faces! And then came the uphill climb. Yep. And man, that was grueling, sometimes it was downright painful. And guess which lasts longer - the downhill rush or the uphill grind?

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

"And now, in the center ring, high above the big top..." Or something like that. When we took our kids to the circus, that was how the ringmaster would introduce those stars of the big show, those death-defying artists on the high trapeze. They're amazing! I mean, they leap with perfect poise and grace from one trapeze to another until they end up safe on that platform across the arena. Now, I can imagine someone with lots of practice eventually getting used to hanging onto a trapeze. And maybe even then feeling relatively secure as soon as they reach that next bar. But it's that time between trapezes that would bother me - that does bother me.

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."

Friday, August 23, 2002

The news accounts from Florida said the man was in his 70s and that he went for a walk the night before. Now, the reason his walk made the news was because he was sleeping during this walk - and because of where he ended up. Apparently, he got up out of bed, grabbed his cane, went outside, and started walking - all without ever waking up ... until he walked right into a lake - a lake filled with alligators. And those alligators went right to him. Thankfully, he was somehow able to beat them off with his cane and crawl to safety. But talk about a rude awakening! Can you imagine waking up in the water, looking into alligator jaws?

Thursday, August 22, 2002

Because we've spent so much time on Indian reservations the last few years, the story of one little Native American boy is especially meaningful to me. He lived with his Mom in a little hut on a reservation in the Southwest. His dad had died, and that meant the boy had to take responsibility for their sheep at a pretty young age. One day, this missionary passed through their village and explained to the little boy how Jesus Christ died for him and wanted to be his Shepherd. And that day this little shepherd invited Jesus into his heart.

As the missionary was about to leave, he asked the boy if he could teach him a Bible verse. The boy said, "I don't think I can remember it." But the missionary gave him just five simple words from the Bible to remember. "The Lord is my Shepherd." But the missionary taught him a little trick for remembering it. He said, "Use the fingers of your right hand to help you remember 'The - Lord - is - my - Shepherd.' And when you get to the fourth word, wrap your left hand around the fourth finger of your right hand. 'The Lord is MY Shepherd.'" Well, the boy remembered it - really remembered it - as the missionary would learn when he returned one year later.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

When we moved to New York City, one of the first landmarks I wanted to see was the Statue of Liberty. A guide actually told me an amazing fact about that lady in the harbor. From that first day in the late 1800s when her light was first lit up, right up to that moment he saw her, the lamp of liberty has never gone out. Even when everybody else's lights went out - like, say in the daytime, for example - Lady Liberty has always had her light shining. During World War II, all of New York City was under a blackout for security reasons, but they kept this little 60-watt light bulb glowing in liberty's torch. And the night all the lights went out in New York because of a power blackout, the light still stayed on because it's powered by electricity from across the river in New Jersey! As wave after wave of immigrants sailed into New York Harbor, they'd strain for a first look at that Statue, the symbol of the freedom that they had risked so much to find. And whenever they arrived, they saw the light of liberty. It was always, always on.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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