Thursday, November 30, 2006

If you have not visited the Reagan library in California—you have to go! It is wonderful. Now, of course you need to have liked Ronald Reagan or be extremely interested in history or you will not enjoy it as much as I did. The library is wonderful and Air Force One (Which is inside the building) is fantastic.

It was good to be away and enjoy a visit with long time friends but it is also good to be back home. I am scheduled to preach at Lincoln Heights Christian Church Sunday and I also will be teaching a combined adult Bible class for next five weeks. If you live in the Phoenix area I would love to see you there.

As we move more into the Christmas season I hope that you are as excited as I am. I love the season and almost everything about it. I get up every morning with the excitement of a child thinking about the coming of Santa Claus. I like and enjoy the secular side of Christmas but I am tuned more to the spiritual and the Savior who came to Bethlehem. It was 39 degrees in Phoenix this morning and it will not get over 58 degrees all day. IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS!


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Seventy-two! I can remember when I was amazed that anybody ever reached the ancient age of seventy-two. Now I’m there. It’s been a long road—rocky sometime, but mostly smooth. It’s been a good trip and I’m glad to be here—right where I am. I hope there’s another long road ahead, but if not—it will be OK.

The Apostle Paul said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7, 8)

I want to finish well. And by the grace of God I will. You can too. Fight the good fight, finish the course and keep the faith.

The end is better than the beginning.


Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving Day is over. Are you still thankful?

Writer, Max Lucado said he prays and thanks God sometimes two or three times in an hour. I do that! I believe that is the attitude of “being always in the spirit of prayer.” I mean by this, that I pray often. I don’t see the need to bow my head over a huge meal and then go on and on thanking God for everything he has blessed me with all year.

I try to keep caught up. I don’t thank God for every bite of food I pop into my mouth. I just try to always be grateful. I want to have an attitude of gratitude. And then as far as praying goes, I keep an ongoing conversation with a heavenly Father that loves me.

Thanksgiving Day is one of my favorite days. It has now passed for another year. BEING GRATEFUL HAS NOT PASSED. IT GOES ON ALL YEAR.




Thursday, November 23, 2006


Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly implore His protection, aid and favors…
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these states to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the Beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country, and for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

Note the emphasis on God, the giver of all good gifts! Notice he assumes that God exists and that we are to obey Him and be grateful for His benefits. Today, many are wondering if there is a God and they don’t want anybody talking about obeying Him. Be grateful that we have a President that believes in God and tries to obey Him.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. I’m thinking about words from the song, “The Way We Were.” Do you remember these words? “Memories…light the corners of my mind…”

My sister-in-law’s aunt lived in the country and was used to cooking for her large family and also a special crew of workers who came at harvest time. At Thanksgiving we would drive down the highway many miles and then turn off onto the country roads and continue for more miles until we arrived at the country home. Turkey, dressing, ham, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, salads, always five or six pies and more. It wasn’t just the food—it was the fellowship—being together, sharing. That was a long time ago (50 plus years) but the memories linger.

After I got married my family, my brother’s family, Charlotte’s parents, and sometimes other relatives, got together at Thanksgiving and Christmas. What joyous occasions. Brothers, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, cousins, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, friends. My brother has passed away. My sister-in-law is in poor health. Charlotte’s parents and several other family members have died. Memories—how they linger. But we are thankful that our children both live here and this year Carol is fixing the Thanksgiving dinner.

Memories—how they linger.

When Charlotte and I moved to Phoenix our children came from California to be with us that first Thanksgiving, but we still felt lonely. We had worked with a church in California for twenty years and this was our first Thanksgiving in our new home of just a few months. Two couples left their families in California and came to Phoenix to be with us. Our hearts were filled with thanksgiving. The memories of those days will go with us forever.

What memories do you have of Thanksgiving Days past?

“Memories…light the corners of my mind.”


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

It doesn’t make any difference why I go to the store I always find myself rolling my cart around in the bakery section. I stop and look at the pies. Now, I don’t intend to buy a pie, it’s not good for my diabetes. I just want to see if they have any pineapple pies. They don’t! Pineapple pie is not one of the most popular pies so I understand why they don’t have any. But I check just to see. They don’t!

Yesterday, Henry’s was selling everything at 30% off and going out of business. I rolled my cart through the bakery section just to check the pies. There were only seven pies on the table. THEY WERE ALL PINEAPPLE.

I don’t know what you think, but I saw this as a sign. Every pie on the table was pineapple. Diabetes my foot. Damn the torpedoes—full speed ahead.

Last night I had hot pineapple pie topped with ice cream. This morning I’m thinking, “I should have bought two pies.”

Yep, good things come to those who wait!


Monday, November 20, 2006

I got my first car before I had my driver’s license. It had to sit in the front yard until I turned sixteen. It was a 40 Ford coupe. It was in great condition and didn’t need many repairs. But like all cars, it did have to have brake adjustments, etc. as it grew older. I have lost track of how many different cars I have owned over the years. They all needed repairs from time to time. In my teens I always took my cars to a small garage where I knew the owner. He always knew what to do, repaired it quickly and didn’t charge me “an arm and a leg.” His shop was small and he was the only person working there.

How times have changed. Today I drive a Volkswagon Passat and when I have a repair I can’t make, I go to a nearby Volkswagon dealership for service. Man, it’s like driving up to the Ritz. A valet comes out to greet you and ushers you into the showroom, which is beautiful, and on into one of several small offices. Your first thought is, “I don’t want to buy a new car, I just want to have this old one repaired.” A little sensor light isn’t working and it seems like a minor matter. You discover that this professional can sit there in his office and by just glancing out the window at your car, tell that you need a $1,000.00 worth of work done. Amazing!

Well, today was different. I needed a headlight bulb for my Volkswagon. It cost less than $20.00 and the Valet put it in, which was quite a task, and there was no charge. They greeted me with a smile, acted like they were happy to see me, and we all were smiling when I left.

Hey, has the Christmas spirit kicked in already this year?


Sunday, November 19, 2006

“The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving—kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3

I like the words of Tim Hansel:

Some of us in our loneliness try to become more attractive so that we will be more lovable. We think that will somehow heal us, make us whole, make us real. The truth is that we need a love that lasts for a long, long time from someone who is not playing with us, but really loves us. He heals us bit by bit. When our striving fails, he is a God who comes to find us—even when we can’t find ourselves. All too often we think we have to change, be good, to grow in order to change and grow and be all the things that God wants us to be.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

When Bishop Phillips Brooks, author of “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” was recovering from illness and not seeing any visitors, Robert G. Ingersoll, the anti-Christian propagandist, called to see him. He was admitted by the bishop at once. “I appreciate this very much,” said Ingersoll, “especially when you aren’t permitting your close friends in to see you.”

“Oh,” replied the bishop, “I’m confident of seeing my friends in the next world, but this may be my last chance of seeing you.”


Friday, November 17, 2006

It’s that time of the year again—at least at my house. It’s time to conquer the paper pile-up. Some of you will have no idea of what I am talking about. You stay on top of every piece of paper coming in. You sort, organize, file and store every piece of paper in your home and office. I do some of that every day or at the end of the year I would be lost someplace in my home office. But regardless of how hard I try—paper still piles up. You see, I have a hard time determining value. I think, “Don’t toss or shred that. You are going to need that information as soon as it’s gone.” At the end of the year I have a pile of this “valuable stuff.”

Every year at this time—sometime in late November or early December, I come to my senses regarding this stuff. Out it goes! It’s not a fast procedure; in fact, it sometimes takes hours—even days to complete. I read, re-read and read again. I think, “Oh, this is good. I forgot all about having it. This is very valuable.” But at this time of the year I come to my senses and out it goes.

It’s hard parting with some of this stuff but by Christmas I will have closure and move on.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Christmas is a miracle. I’m not talking about the secular Christmas—the one with Christ left out. I’m not talking about Santa Claus, although I will have to admit that jolly old fellow pulls off some fantastic stuff. You know, like being here, there and everywhere at the same time. Like flying through the sky in a sled with reindeer. Pretty fantastic stuff!

But still, Santa’s stuff doesn’t compare with the miracle of God coming to earth as a baby.

And yet, many don’t see anything miraculous about what God did at Christmas. They don’t believe Christ ever did any miracles and they want him out of Christmas altogether.

C.S. Lewis said: “Do not attempt to water Christianity down. There must be no pretense that you can have it with the supernatural left out.”

That’s so true, and yet many of my friends who praise Christ the most, don’t have room in their lives for the supernatural. They believe he is a miracle and that he performed miracles but they don’t see any miracles today.

How sad! And especially right here at Christmas time.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

America should never, never have gone to war if we did not have the will to win.

It seems that we do not have the will to win!

No one believes that America lacks the power to defeat this insurgency if it wants to.

We sent our soldiers to war to hold the enemy at bay (away from America). They are dieing every day performing this job. We did not send them to kill the enemy, win the war and come home. The only way to win the war is by force—a lot of people have to die.

We should admit that if we are not going to use a lot of force, we should give up, shut up and come home.

Will the enemy then, come here and kill us? YES!


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Wise old Ben Franklin said: “ If you argue and rankle and contradict, you may achieve a victory some times; but it will be an empty victory because you will never get your opponent’s good will.”

A Boston paper printed this:
“Here lies the body of William Jay,
Who died maintaining his right of way—
He was right, dead right, as he sped along,
But he’s just as dead as if he were wrong.”


Monday, November 13, 2006

The elders at the Lincoln Heights Christian Church, where I was Senior Minister for fifteen years, have asked me to teach a combined adult Bible class during the month of December. I am grateful to them and excited about this opportunity to teach. I would be thrilled to see you in the class.







We will be digging into the Scriptures and centering our thoughts on how Christ gives meaning and direction to our lives.


Sunday, November 12, 2006




Saturday, November 11, 2006

Regular and enthusiastic sex is good for you, finds a 10 –year study conducted by the Irish and published by the Brits in the British Medical Journal. Sex offers a host of benefits including increasing life span, boosting the immune system, and aiding pain relief, urinary control and weight loss.

Wow! I’m for all those benefits.

Other studies have claimed additional benefits of intercourse several times a week for women as well as men: IMPROVED SENSE OF SMELL. (Well, that one will never be high on my list). BETTER FITNESS. Intercourse burns about 200 calories, which is the equivalent of running 15 minutes on a treadmill. (Great news. I hate running on anything). DEPRESSION RELIEF. (Fantastic. I’m amazed that there are as many depressed men as there are). PAIN RELIEF. (Hey, here is another one high on my list. No wonder I hurt so much). IMMUNE SYSTEM BOOST. (Another good one). BLADDER CONTROL. (Not a problem yet, but why not head it off at the pass). LESSENS CANCER RISK. (Wow! Wonderful. Maybe someday this will even cure cancer)

One doctor, in typical British understatement, summed everything up when he said, “The relationship found between frequency of sexual intercourse and mortality is of considerable public interest.”

Who knew? Just think how much better shape I could have been in all my life and all the diets I could have avoided.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Later in the month Charlotte and I are going to meet old friends in California and we plan to visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. I have visited some of the great museums in the world, in London, Cairo, and Los Angeles. In addition to these I have visited other museums in other parts of the world that weren’t so great. As a general rule, I don’t like museums. But I do like the friends we will be going with and I liked Ronald Reagan—a lot.

The library has informed more than one million visitors since opening in 1991. Perched on a mountaintop with sweeping views of mountains, valleys, and the Pacific Ocean, this l00-acre site, 45 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, offers memorable experiences for people of all ages—even me.

I heard Ronald Reagan speak once at a formal dinner meeting sponsored by Pepperdine University. I toured the state capitol and his office when he was the governor of California. I paid close attention to him while he was President of the United States. I liked Ronald Reagan a lot!

A highlight for me will be seeing “Christmas Around the World.” There will be trees beautifully decorated to represent cultures and traditions from countries, most of which President Reagan visited while in office, along with toy soldiers, trains, garland and Christmas music. In addition to 30 trees from different countries there will be a 17 foot tall tree and a White house tree on display. Also there will be a Menorah exhibit consisting of the Menorahs given to President Reagan while in the White House.

Needless to say, I’m excited about touring the library and being with friends. I hope you too will make a trip to the library some day. Take some old friends with you. It will make the whole experience much better.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

My wife and I never get colds. But a few days ago I guess she decided it was time. She has had a terrible cold this week and I have really felt sorry for her. Oh, she’s tough. She doesn’t complain a lot but she looks like “something the dogs drug up.” I wanted to help her but there wasn’t much I could do except a few domestic chores, etc. I just sat across from her and stared.

Yesterday it hit me. I feel like _ _ _ _!

When I’m sick I complain a lot! I mean a lot. I groan and moan and then groan some more. Does it do any good? Oh no, I still feel like _ _ _ _ but I do it anyhow. This will go on for about two more days and then I will be well. At least, that’s the way it has been in the past.

If I don’t make it I will have my tough wife send out an announcement to the one or two people who might care.



Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The liberal Democrats won big last night!

I’m sore all over. I fought bravely but went down hard. I absolutely detest the direction our country is going in—away from God. I’m sad that Christians did not vote for those who would support a Godly President.

But I have never had an ailment that God had no salve to soothe. His Word is a panpharmacon—a salve for every sore.

Psalm 107:20 says, “He sent forth his word and he healed them.”

Hey, this is a new day. I’ve taken heart. I’m excited to see the sun shining so brightly. I have heard his word and healing has begun. He is the Panpharmacon!


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I love America! I have traveled to many countries and there is no place like home. America is not perfect but it is better than any other place I have been.

I love our President. He is not perfect but I believe he does a better job than anybody else could. I would not want a change.

I love the United States Congress. These men and women are not perfect but we selected them. We need to pray for them and tell them when we think they are doing wrong.

If you are a Republican, today is the day to vote. Your vote counts. Go Vote!

If you are a Democrat, tomorrow is the day for you to vote. Get to the polls early.



Monday, November 06, 2006

God is “close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Ps.34:18). One of the ways God heals the brokenhearted is through his church. As his members, we are his hands to touch each other’s pain. He has commanded us to love and minister to one another with compassion, mercy, confrontation, help, and strength.

God doesn’t like it when his people do not help his hurting ones: “You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured.” (Ezek. 34:4).

It is God’s love that heals the brokenhearted through his people and his Spirit. When someone has a broken heart, they need the love of other believers. The Bible says that loving one another is a manifestation of the grace of God (l Peter 4:8).

If we fail to heal the brokenhearted it is not because we do not know we should. We let other things take priority and we just don’t get it done. What a shame!


Sunday, November 05, 2006

When Abraham was 75 years old, he began receiving promises from God that he would become the father of a great nation. What followed the promises were long periods of silence on the subject. Abraham’s wife had tried for 40 years to have a baby. Yet Abraham accepted the promise and waited for its fulfillment. But no child came.

Sarah however, did become pregnant when she was 90 years of age and Abraham was l00. A son was born. God had performed a mighty miracle just as he promised.

“Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waiver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” (Romans 4:19:22)

Abraham believed God even when God didn’t make sense. The facts clearly said, “It is impossible for this thing to happen.” The Lord had made “empty promises” for nearly 25 years, and still there was no sign of action. Nevertheless, Abraham “did not waver through unbelief.” Why? Because he was convinced that God could transcend reason and factual evidence.

What about you?


Saturday, November 04, 2006

SCALES – Don’t even own them unless you plan to use them. I weigh every day. Today I didn’t like what the scales “said.” Tomorrow, I begin a brief diet. I will cut back on my eating until I like what the scales “say.”

BIG BREAKFAST – I said, “Tomorrow I begin a brief diet”—not today. This morning we went out to the Deer Valley Airport restaurant and I ate the breakfast buffet—well I didn’t eat the whole buffet, just most of it. I had biscuits and gravy, bacon, sausage, eggs, potatoes, and fruit. It’s almost 2:00 p.m. and I haven’t eaten since breakfast. I’m still not hungry. Tomorrow I begin a brief diet.

FREEWAY FOUL UP – After that great breakfast I was in a great mood. We were cruising down 101 smiling all the way until we came to the off ramp for those cars headed for Los Angeles. IT WAS CLOSED! No big problem, we will just cross over the freeway onto 10, go to the next off ramp and come back on 10 headed for Los Angeles. When we got headed back west and out of town toward L.A. the freeway was closed and we were sent back onto 101 and heading back toward home. Have you ever heard the old expression, “That’s enough to make a preacher cuss”? Well, I didn’t cuss but I thought about it (which may be just as bad). I thought a lot of nasty stuff. However, it didn’t come out of my mouth and mess up Charlotte’s spirit. We got back off 10l onto a side street and finally ended up at our destination. We weren’t going to Los Angeles, it just seemed like it. We were just going way out west.

THE CRAFT FAIR AT THE WIGWAM RESORT – Man, this is a great craft fair. Great, if you like craft fairs, horrible if you don’t. There were over 300 vendors with a lot of beautiful and interesting “stuff.” The winding pathways, the green grass, the shade and the cleanliness of the place made for a great morning. I had a big breakfast and couldn’t eat a bite but the food booths were offering great food. They had everything from bar-b-qued turkey legs (which I hate) to fry bread (which I love) to huge snow cones (which I love) to homemade fudge. I didn’t eat a thing! I had a serendipity experience at this fair. Some organization was having a book sale. I found and bought seven great books. Made my day.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON FOOTBALL – The game I am interested in is only on the radio today. So I will listen to it and take a nap at the same time. Of course, I will not be listening while I am napping, but since there will not be any pictures to watch I will doze off. I know. I have done it before.



Friday, November 03, 2006

Marshalls is a great place to shop. It is also a great place to get killed.

I have been on the Autobahn in Germany where there are no restrictions on speed. The same holds true in the shopping aisles at Marshalls. I expect those aisles to be renamed, “Blood Alley.”

Mothers race up and down those aisles “driving” at ridicules speeds. The huge, truck like things the kids are riding in were once called, “strollers.” Forget that. There is no more strolling. These dune buggies come in all shapes and sizes.

Old men should never go shopping. It’s just too dangerous. Our reactions are not what they once were. These mothers meet you head on in a narrow aisle and they don’t give an inch. If you are fortunate enough to see them in time you can dive into a rack of clothes and let them whiz by. If not—you're going home banged up.

Let’s face it old men, we need to be at home, in the garage carving something. MOTHERS RULE THE DEPARTMENT STORES!


Thursday, November 02, 2006

The real question is not, “Can you tell a joke?” but “Can you tell a joke right?” That is, can you tell a joke so it is funny?

Senator John Kerry cannot tell a joke!

My sister-in-law could not tell a joke. She rarely ever tried. My brother and I were shocked one day when out of the blue she asked, “Do you know what the Indian said when his dog fell over the cliff?” We smiled at each other and admitted we didn’t know. She quickly blurted out, “Dead dog!” “Dead dog?” what’s funny about that?” Now she was shocked. “Oh, I meant to say, Dog gone!”

I never heard her tell another joke.

John Kerry needs to learn a lesson from my sister-in-law. However, her misfire was funnier than if she had told the joke the right way. John Kerry’s failure at joke telling was a disaster.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My homiletic professor at Abilene Christian encouraged young preachers to be themselves. He knew the tendency to try to act like and sound like older, respected preachers. He told us to just be ourselves and that we would communicate the Word of God forcefully and sincerely. This is good advice not just for preachers but for everyone. We just need to be who we are instead of always trying to be somebody else. Many times we do this in an effort to please other people. Stop it! Be who you are! Be the best you can be, but be real.

In his excellent book, Truman, David McCullough says this about people from Missouri: “…they could be tough, courageous, blunt, touchy, narrow-minded, intolerant, and quarrelsome.” I do not know a lot of people from Missouri but two I do know fit this description perfectly. Radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh and my friend Paul Covey are from Missouri and what McCullough said about people from Missouri describes them both.

Rush is a fantastic communicator and is beloved by millions. At the same time he is probably despised by an equal number. That’s the way it is with people that are tough, courageous, blunt, touchy, narrow-minded, intolerant and quarrelsome. So be it. If Rush tried to be somebody he is not, we would turn him off. The ones who dislike him would not start liking him, even if he changed. My friend Paul is an elder in the church. He is effective only when he is being who he really is. Occasionally, because of critics, he tries to be somebody else. He loses his effectiveness. We all need to be who we are. There is a lot of stuff that goes into making us who we are—like being from Missouri.

I’m not from Missouri but I like who I am and I am going to continue to be me. You don’t like me? Ok. I wish you did but I’m not going to change for you because it wouldn’t do any good. As the old song says, “I gotta be me…”. I’m having fun and I have no desire to change—not even for you.