Monday, December 31, 2007

Today is New Year’s Eve. And that calls for celebrating; in many cases—excessive celebrating! But New Year’s Eve celebrating is not the celebrating I’m thinking about. My mind is on the celebrating that is done following a touchdown in football. If you watch much football, you know that a team is penalized for what is called excessive celebrating. The penalty is severe—usually 15 yards.

Now in my mind this is just silly. Check this out: A player has just made a touchdown, which is a big thing. It may be the first touchdown the guy has ever made. It may be a touchdown that wins the game. It may be a come from behind touchdown in the last few seconds of the game. It is a reason to celebrate. And there is absolutely no reason to be penalized for that. Sure, if the guy gets carried away and interferes with the game, does something destructive, harmful or vulgar, then he should be penalized. But not for just being happy that he made a big play.

Also, the guys in the striped shirts are not consistent. They don’t penalize the players on the defending team who celebrate when they stop a big play. Yesterday I saw two players who broke up a pass play, dance in the end zone and then jump in the air and bump butts.
No penalty! What’s up with that? Now, I think they should have been happy and I think they should have celebrated. But let’s get real. If an offensive player is going to be penalized for celebrating, then penalize the celebrating defensive player also.

What is excessive celebrating? The referees know. You know. I know. And I haven’t seen anything excessive lately. Let’s face it, the team scored against is embarrassed--dance or no dance.


Sunday, December 30, 2007

James Emery White, President of Gordon-Conwell theological seminary, said, “Never before have the habits of the mind mattered more.” Billy Graham said, “I’ve preached too much, and studied too little.”

With the onslaught of popular culture—television, the Internet and movies—we are faced with a great challenge to continue to develop our minds rather than simply being entertained. God wants us to think and act from a thoroughly biblical perspective. We need to adopt a Christian worldview that shapes our thinking about the everyday world, in every situation.

Bertrand Russell said, “Most Christians would rather die than think; in fact they do.” We must change this. In a few minutes I will be sitting at the feet of a Bible expositor. He will open the Bible and present a clear, concise, truthful message that everyone can understand. It will not be “fluff”. It will be a deep, serious study of God’s Word. AndIt will make us think. And hopefully it will cause us to act!


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Words are important. I have known this for years. As a preacher, I talked all of the time. But I am coming to realize that although I talked a lot, I must have used a lot of the same words over and over. I hate to admit it but much of what I said could be referred to as religious jargon. I don’t like that. But I think it may be true.

I received a game for Christmas called, The Last Word. The person who gave it to me said, “I thought you might like this because you always want to have the last word.” Well as it turns out—I’m not too good at the game. With four people playing—I came in last. I lost!

I need more words!

Reading Sports Illustrated, I came across this quote from tennis star, Serena Williams: “I’m definitely in better shape than I get credit for, [It’s] just because I have large bosoms and I have a big ass…I think if I were not to eat for two years, I still wouldn’t be a size 2. We’re living in the Mary Kate Olsen world. I’m just not built that way. I’m bootylicious.” Bootylicious—now there’s a new word for me.

The origins of the term are rather unclear. Beyonce says it means, “Beautiful, bountiful and bounce-able.” Ok. I accept that. It doesn’t describe me ,but I think maybe it does describe Serena Williams--at least the bountiful and bounce-able part.

O happy day. I’ve got a new word. I don’t know how often I will be able to use it. But I’ve got it just the same.


Friday, December 28, 2007

I watch too much television. I must. I find myself sitting around listening to people butcher the King’s English, who should know better. Let’s face it, English is screwy. Bright, educated, savvy people, who report the news, make speeches and interview the Queen can’t get it right. Some of their flubs have become so common that they’re starting to sound right to our ears.

Grammar has never been one of my strong points. I can mess it up with the best of them. I preached for fifty years and never did get it right. But still I hate to hear these “professional” media people and speech makers tripping over words worst than George W. Bush does.

Life might be easier if we spoke just any old way—but we don’t. The point is that no one is exempt from having his words second-guessed.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

In our family room there is one solid wall of books. There is a large comfortable chair in front of the bookshelf, directly across from the fireplace. Next to the chair is a small table and on top of the table is a stack of new books. I received these new books for Christmas.
I believe in reading!

Reading is the foundation for intellectual development. The national campaign in the United States that touted reading as “fundamental” was one of the truest campaigns ever launched through the media. Reading prepares us to think. James Emery White laments the loss of a book never read: “The loss of pages never turned, covers never opened, words never seen. A single book can deepen your understanding, expand your vision, sensitize your spirit, deepen your soul, ignite your imagination, stir your passions and widen your wisdom. There truly can be mourning for a book never read—mourning for the loss of what our lives could have held and could have accomplished.”

How do you become a reader? You must choose to read. You can become a reader, but first you must choose to.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

“There has to be a morning after…” The leftovers are stored in the refrigerator, empty boxes and cast off wrappings have been taken away, shops and businesses are open again, and workers are back on the job. And here I sit in front of the computer in a stupor.

Baby its cold outside—cold for Phoenix that is. The sun is shining and it’s inviting me outside. But I think I’ll just sit here awhile. There are about a half a dozen things I could be doing. But I don’t know which one to do first. And ever since I have been retired my philosophy has been, “when it doubt, don’t do anything.”

I hope you had a great Christmas. But I am sorry that you are now totally bored. I know that you are or you wouldn’t be reading this.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to all blog readers and writers. It is a bright, sunny, but cool Christmas morning here in Scottsdale. For as long as I can remember the Ditmore custom has been to open presents on Christmas Eve. This year that has changed! Last night we opened the presents that were under our tree. Sometime this morning we will open the presents that are under Carol and Allen’s tree (our daughter and son). Charlotte cooked dinner for us at Thanksgiving and Carol is cooking today. This is a great day for us and we pray that it is for you too.

We may take a break from Christmas this afternoon to watch a little of the Suns and Lakers basketball game but generally speaking—today is all things Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!


Monday, December 24, 2007

Do you realize you are a miracle? Someone like you will never happen again!

The good life starts the moment you stop wanting a better one.

Maybe if we remember the manner of Jesus’ birth it will keep us from coveting wealth and luxury he never enjoyed.

Maybe if we remember there was no room for him in the inn it will help us never to let our lives become so crowded that there is no room for him in our hearts.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with us all?


Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Sunday morning worship service is over but I am still stimulated emotionally from the experience. The preacher’s message was transforming. And there was a young lady that sang in such a way that made chills run down my spine. Wow! She was good.

I’m getting ready to watch the football game but I hesitate to do anything that will take away from the worship experience, and believe me, the Cardinals can do that.


Every Sunday is special to me but there is something extra special about the Sunday before Christmas. I like the crowd at church. Many of them are there for the first time and many of them are there for their annual visit. Some of them come twice a year. They will be back at Easter. But regardless of how often they come, I am glad to see them there.

Our new preacher is splendid in every way but he is especially good at opening up the Word of God and making it clear. He’s good!

Today is sweater day at church. It doesn’t have anything to do with worship, of course, but most people cooperate and it’s a fun thing to do. Don’t ask me why. It just is!

So here we are—the Sunday before Christmas. I like it but I wish it didn’t come around so fast.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Saving the natives—native plants, that is. People steal them. Rip them right off the desert. Two people with a truck can uproot a saguaro in 20 minutes and sell it for $55 to $75 a foot. These criminals enrich themselves at the expense of our natural environment.

There ought to be a law against it and there is. However there are only two cactus cops in the entire state. Just two! At one time there were more and they caught 90 to 100 cactus thieves per year. But now, the state just doesn’t have to money to hire more cops.
This cactus cop thing is no joke. We need to take care of the plants that make Arizona special.



Friday, December 21, 2007

Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio is known as the toughest sheriff in the country. He dresses the male inmates in his jail in pink underwear, feeds them green baloney, houses them in tents in the desert and restricts the magazines they get to see and the T.V. they watch.

Joe is one tough character and not many people tell him what to do.

But when called up for jury duty, he reported. He was ready to serve.

“Any of you work for the sheriff’s office?” the potential jurors were asked.

Joe raised his hand and said, “I am the sheriff.”

He was dismissed.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the lord rejoices to see the work begin” (Zechariah 4:10 NLT).

God does uncommon works through common deeds.

Just do something and see what happens.

Often we stand around saying, “My life is a mess. I’ll never get myself under control; I’m just too big of a mess.” Just do something. Get started.

God does uncommon works through common deeds.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mary and Joseph were not trying to get a room at the Bethlehem Holiday Inn. In fact, we don’t have a shred of evidence that there was a wayfarer’s inn in that little village in Jesus’ day. What we have in Luke 2:1-7 is a story about a guest room. It’s about a family making do when more relatives show up than they have room for. The guest room was in the front of the house, the animal shelter in the back, and Joseph and Mary had come too late to get the guest room. When the baby was born, Mary wrapped him in cloth and laid him in a corn crib.

The important question for us is: Do we have room for Him in our homes? If your guest room is occupied and you have to put Him in the very back, He will surely take over and become the center of attention in due time.

(Adapted from information on Ben Witherington’s blog)


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Jan Karon, the bestselling author of the Mitford Series has done it again. Her first book in a new series, Home to Holly Springs is entertaining. It is a fun way to spend some time lost in “another world.” The setting is Mississippi and the language is southern—real southern! Tim Kavanagh left his Mississippi hometown, determined not to return. After thirty-eight years he receives a message that causes him to go back. The cryptic, unsigned note simply says, Come home.

I think it would take more than that to get me back to Oklahoma—but who knows. He just went for a brief visit but that visit led him to a truth that would change his life—forever.

Grab a copy of Home to Holly Springs, curl up by the fire and wile away a winter day. You don’t have a copy and can’t afford to buy one? Borrow one from the library. That’s where I got mine. While you are there you may find something else you like. They have a lot of books, containing a lot of words. Rudyard Kipling said, “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”


Monday, December 17, 2007

I laughed out loud last week when Mike Cope, who preaches for the Highland Church of Christ in Abilene, Texas, said on his blog, that he is getting ready to release a list of preachers he knows that have been taking steroids.

Baseball players taking steroids are considered cheaters. What about men who take Viagra? What about women who increase the size of their breasts through implants, the gardener who grows bigger tomatoes by fertilizing his plants with Miracle Grow or the employee who’s feet never touch the floor because he is jazzed on Starbucks?

Wow! Come to think about it, there are a lot of ways to “cheat.” I think we need to spend a little time defining cheating. There is an old saying, “Cheaters never win.” I’m not so sure. I think we need to spend a little time defining winning.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Saturday we went to an afternoon musical. It was designed to strengthen the faith of the Christians and as an outreach to the community. It was a wonderful afternoon. It could not have been better. Following the music there were activity booths, games, snow,and food in the fellowship hall. All designed as an outreach to the community. The taco soup was delicious. We went home with a smile on our face and hope in our hearts.

This morning the service we attended was packed out. There will be eight services before the day is over. Thousands will hear the gospel clearly and passionately presented. The preacher’s message was that Christ came to save us from our sins. Isn’t that wonderful?
The world is in a mess. Your life may be a mess. But if you can pillow your head at night and then get up the morning, kowing that you are saved from your sins—everything is going to be alright. But it’s not enough just to believe that Jesus came. You must know that he came to save you from your sins and respond to him in faith.

That’s what we celebrate at Christmas—the coming of Christ, coming to save us from our sins.



Saturday, December 15, 2007

The following thoughts will either make you laugh or cry. I recommend laughing. You will feel better.

An invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.

I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day, but I couldn’t find any.


Friday, December 14, 2007

A dear friend mentioned in her annual Christmas letter that she loves my blog. That puts a smile on my face. I’m sure there are others that feel it is just so much Deja Moo.

Deja Moo: The feeling that you’ve heard this bull before.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was filled with sorrow at the tragic death of his wife in a fire in 1861. The Civil War broke out that same year, and it seemed this was an additional punishment. Two years later, Longfellow was again saddened to hear his own son had been seriously wounded as a lieutenant in the Army of the Potomac.Sitting down to his desk one Christmas day, he heard the church bells ringing and ringing. It was in this setting he wrote:

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep,
God is not dead, nor doth he sleep.
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.

In this Christmas season, whether you are in sorrow or in joy you can know God is not dead, nor does He sleep. He knows your every need and longs to comfort you. Seek Him this year instead of the outward trappings of the season. He will give your life real meaning and your heart real peace.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Why do we bow and scrape to get the approval of idiots? We do it all the time. No matter what you do or say, there is always some idiot that doesn’t like it. Politicians especially, bend over backwards trying to get the idiot’s vote. Why? Politicians are constantly changing their opinion on some important issue because some idiot disagreed with them.

We need to make up our mind what is right and then do it! I can tell you right now, that regardless of what you do—there will always to an idiot standing around to tell you what you did wrong.

You make a decision; you are marching full speed ahead and some idiot jumps out of the bushes—march on! This doesn’t mean that you will always be right and it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t listen to the opinion of others. But listen to idiots—NEVER!



Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Once you decide what you want you must ask for it. You have to let others know. You may know what you want but others around you do not necessarily know. The main person to ask for what you want is you. You are the one that must put forth the effort.

But whatever you do, don’t ask for what you don’t want. Don’t ask for what someone else wants. Our parents, brothers and sisters, friends, teachers, books, and all of society tell us what we want and what we should do with our lives.

We must, must, must, ask for what we want. Time runs out eventually. Don’t waste time asking for what you don’t want. You know what you want. Go for it!


Monday, December 10, 2007

Every Christmas when I see little children sitting on Santa’s lap and telling him what they want him to bring them, I think of my niece. In my minds eye I can still see her sitting on Santa’s knee. When he asked her what she wanted for Christmas, she hesitated for just a minute and then said, “ Just some beans.” She loved to eat even when she was just a little girl. But she didn't want beans for Christmas. What she really wanted was toys. But she didn't ask for what she wanted.

Life is kind of like my niece. We either do not ask for what we really want or we do not ask at all. Logic tells you the hard and simple truth that if you do not ask for what you want you will not get it. It is only in fairy tales, novels and movies that wishes come true simply for wishing. In real life, successful people, the people who get what they want out of life, ask for those things over and over.

You ask by doing. You ask in a way that gives you a high likelihood of getting what you want out of life. Look back over your life and see if this isn’t true. How many things—things that you wanted, did you receive without asking? Not many!

Ask for what you want!


Sunday, December 09, 2007

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! It’s colder here in Scottsdale today and cloudy and sprinkling rain. There is a large Christmas tree just outside the church door and over fifty lighted trees inside. The preacher ended a series of messages on grace this morning and will preach two or three “Christmas” messages before he begins a new series from the Book of Esther and then a series from 1st Peter.

The church I grew up in and spent most of my ministry preaching for was afraid to even use the word Christmas for fear of being misunderstood. We didn’t want to add anything or subtract anything from the Word of God. Well, we didn’t do any adding or subtracting as far as Christmas was concerned but we sure did mess around with a lot of other stuff. I can’t even begin to tell you all the adding and subtracting that goes on in the Churches of Christ.

Well, so much for that. I’m determined to not let anything subtract from my joy in the Lord. I don’t know when He was born but by faith I “know” He was! Praise His Name!

Joy to the world the Lord has come!


Saturday, December 08, 2007

She wanted me to come help her make funeral arrangements. She has cancer and could die just any day. It was raining yesterday when Charlotte and I drove over to see her. It was wet and cold out and my old bones were aching. I felt like I was the one about to go.
She greeted us with great enthusiasm and led us into her home and seated us on her couch where we were surrounded by stacks of books and magazines, many of them containing articles and poems she had written. All around the room were beautiful paintings—the work of her hands. She talked without taking a breath. We were planning for her death, which could come just any time, but she acted like a young girl getting ready to start out on the beginning of her life.

It was still raining when we left, but for some reason my body wasn’t aching anymore and I didn’t feel so old. I felt young again. It was being with her. She did it. She told us about walking with God and knowing that He would never leave her. I suddenly felt closer to Him myself. I found His grace flowing through her to me. I went home refreshed in the spirit.

An old lady taught me how to feel young again. Thanks Ruth. I am going to try to stay young in spirit, the rest of my life.


Friday, December 07, 2007

Ask yourself, “What have I contributed to this problem?” Many people assume that any problem they are having must be someone else’s fault. Once you are willing to accept responsibility for the problems in your life, you will see obvious solutions that take very minor adjustments to change.

It’s really not all that helpful to contemplate the faults of others. Rarely can you do anything about other people and the way they do things. It’s best to make changes in your own responses.

I’m not suggesting that everything is your fault or that you should spend too much time thinking about your faults. It is important, however, that you’re honest about your contribution to your problems. Look in the mirror with humility and honesty and ask yourself, “What have I contributed to this problem?”

Have a good day!


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Physically he was not impressive. He would come into the classroom with an armful of books, pile them on the speaker’s stand and then he would be “off and running.” He brought the Old Testament to life. Wilbur Smith was my Old Testament teacher at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California. I also studied the Old Testament at Abilene Christian in Abilene, Texas. I had an afternoon class and this is the only class I ever struggled to stay awake in. What made the difference? Why was one class so exciting and the other so boring?

AWE! Wilbur Smith taught with passion and I sat on the edge of my chair. Awe is an old word that describes a profound spiritual experience.

Abraham J. Heschel was an extraordinary thinker who taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He died in 1972. He once said, “The loss of awe is the great block to insight. …The greatest insights happen in moments of awe.”

Ken Gire wrote, “Moments of awe are moments when we are the most vulnerable to grace. Without those moments, we are vulnerable to everything else.”


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Sitting on a bench in front of Crate and Barrel waiting for them to open, I thought of how blessed I felt to be in Scottsdale. The sun was shining, but it wasn’t too warm—in fact, it was just right. The sky was clear and the mountains looked beautiful in the distance. My mind switched over to Washington, D.C. where our daughter is attending a seminar for the state of Arizona. Two nights ago she called and said it was very, very cold. The weatherman is calling for snow there today.

Yea I know, I complained a lot during the long, hot days of summer—but not now. Wow! I love it. You say, “It’s supposed to be cold at Christmas. Let it snow, let snow, let is snow.”

That’s what you say. That’s not what I say. I say, “Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine—the sun that is. That’s what I’m talkin’ about!”


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

In his book, The Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer wrote: “I believe that much of our religious unbelief is due to a wrong conception of and a wrong feeling for the Scriptures of Truth. A silent God suddenly began to speak in a book and when the book was finished lapsed back into silence again forever. Now we read the book as the record of what God said when He was for a brief time in a speaking mood. With notions like that in our heads how can we believe? The facts are that God is not silent, has never been silent. It is the nature of God to speak. The second Person of the Holy Trinity is called the Word.”

Please read Tozer’s words through at least two times. Read them slowly and meditate on them. God is not silent!


Monday, December 03, 2007

As we drove into the parking lot at On the Border Mexican restaurant we looked up and saw a beautiful rainbow arching over the Desert Ridge shopping area. People in front of the restaurant were oohing and auhing. Two people had cameras and took pictures. Charlotte expressed her regret at not having her camera and one man said, “My picture will be on e-bay.”

I’m not much of a picture taker but I am a picture looker and I stood looking at that beautiful picture for several minutes. What I really wanted was a pot of gold. All I got was a pot of beans


Sunday, December 02, 2007

Nothing Bundt Cake is a delightful little shop on Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale that sells nothing but cake—bundt cakes. My birthday cake from there was white chocolate raspberry. It was, and is, delicious. I say is—meaning still, because we froze part of the cake. My birthday came two days after Thanksgiving Day and I was stuffed to the brim. Yesterday we took a small portion from the freezer and Wow—it was birthday celebration all over again.

This little shop has all kinds of bundt cakes: Chocolate, Chocolate Chip; White, White Chocolate; White Chocolate Raspberry; Lemon; Carrot; Pecan Praline and more.

Every time I think of bundt cake I think of the movie, My Big, Fat Greek Wedding. I can’t describe the bundt cake scene—you would just have to see it. So, if you haven’t seen it, I recommend that you do. I like the movie and I like bundt cake. As you might expect, I like cake more!


Saturday, December 01, 2007

Rain has returned to the valley after a long absence. This “storm” has brought us more rain than we have had in eight months. Yes, I know we live in the desert but we still need water. Thank you Lord!

Chili Dogs, 2 for $2.22! Marching through the Paradise Valley Mall the sign just leaped out at me. I love Dairy Queen Chili dogs. Charlotte wasn’t with me so I could have had two and nobody, nobody that matters that is, would have ever known. But I didn’t. I marched on. But that sign just wouldn’t leave my mind. I went back to DQ yesterday. Charlotte didn’t accompany me, she stopped off at Dillards. But she gave me her blessings. At my age, what can a couple of dogs do that hasn’t already been done? They were delicious!

Salmon was on the menu for dinner last night. I guess Charlotte was trying to offset the Chili dogs. My blood sugar readings are much better after salmon than after Chili dogs.

Last night the rain was falling outside, the fireplace was warming it up inside, the Suns were on television, the tree was lit up inside and the lights were twinkling outside, Carol was picking up Allen at Sky Harbor as he returned from a trip to Delaware—I counted my blessings and said a prayer.

Isn’t this a great time of the year?


Friday, November 30, 2007

In 1 Thessalonians 5 we are told, “Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.”

“Pray all the time.” Well, that’s what I do and have been doing for years. But my prayer habits or customs have changed. I no longer pray at every meal. Some times I do, sometimes I don’t. Many times it is just not appropriate. I never did pray for every bite of food I popped into my mouth—a candy bar here, a donut there. But I was and am always thankful! I try to live in the spirit of prayer—I pray all the time.

I pray every morning and every night. Well, not every night. Some nights I have just been so tired and sleepy that I fell asleep without praying. But more than in the morning and evening—I pray throughout the day. I have grown tired of the legalistic, “now lets hold hands, bow our heads and pray” kind of praying. I don’t want to talk to my father “by the clock” I want to talk to Him all of the time and about everything—so I do.

As I have gotten older I have changed a lot of habits. I like my new way better and I pray that He does!


Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Peanuts cartoon showed Peppermint Patty talking to Charlie Brown. She said, "Guess what, Chuck? The first day of school, and I got sent to the principal's office. It was your fault, Chuck."He said, "My fault? How could it be my fault? Why do you say everything is my fault?" She said, "You're my friend, aren't you, Chuck? You should have been a better influence on me."


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Every year around this time I say, “Not this year. I’m not going to put lights up on the front of the house. It’s just too much trouble.” A few days later I drag out all the lights, extension cords, timer, etc. and start putting them up.

If you have been wondering where Elvis is—he lives across the street from us. Elvis puts up a lot of lights. His house really looks great, year after year. He put his lights up early this year. There are seven houses on our cul-de-sac and Elvis is the only one that is decorated. So, you see if I don’t decorate our sac will look sad. The house just to the East of us is for sale and has been empty going on two years. A man and his wife, both doctors, built a new home costing a few million dollars. They told our little cul-de-sac, “Good-bye.” The family to the West of us may or may not put up a few lights just before Christmas. The family at the corner is Jewish and they don’t decorate. And then there is Elvis. The next family is Jewish and they don’t decorate and then the man who lives on the corner is a bachelor and he doesn’t decorate.

So it’s left up to me and Elvis. I gotta cut this short and get out there and get going!


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

In his autobiographical book, The Sacred Journey, Frederick Buechner writes: “If God speaks to us at all in this world, if God speaks anywhere, it is into our personal lives that he speaks. Someone we love dies, say. Some unforeseen act of kindness or cruelty touches the heart or makes the blood run cold. We fail a friend, or a friend fails us, and we are appalled at the capacity we all of us have for estranging the very people in our lives we need the most…”

I was especially drawn to his words: “We fail a friend, or a friend fails us, and we are appalled at the capacity we all of us have for estranging the very people in our lives we need the most…”

The words remind me of an old song, “You always hurt the one you love, the one you shouldn’t hurt at all. You always take the sweetest rose and crush it until the petals fall. You always break the kindest heart with a hasty word you can’t recall.”

My question is WHY? Why do we do this?


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Be careful what you practice. Some people practice being frustrated—so they become frustrated. If you insist on always being right, or acting like life is an emergency, then your life will be a reflection of what you practice. You will be frustrated!

However, if you choose to be compassionate, patient, kind and humble—you will bring forth peace. Remember that you become what you practice.

Is what you say you want to be, consistent with what your life really stands for? Ask yourself some questions and be honest with your answers.

We all may need to begin choosing and practicing some different things.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Today I look back at what God has been doing in my life and I see His hand everywhere I look. I have lived for seventy-three years but I have not always been aware of the providence of God—His leading and guiding in my life. Too much of the time I have thought that I was in charge or just being led by blind chance. NOT SO! I agree with Abraham Heschel who said, “Our life is not our own property but a possession of God. And it is this divine ownership that makes life a sacred thing.”

Jesus comes to us in a thousand ways and for a thousand reasons, all of them for our Good. “Behold,” He says, “I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).

I grew up in a religious environment that saw God in only one place—the Bible. I now know that is wrong headed thinking. I am committed to living a more reflective life so I can be more spiritually sensitive to the everyday moments of life. Looking back over my life I see God everywhere. I am what I am and where I am because of Him.

I thank God every day for His leading. I pray for strength to follow!


Friday, November 23, 2007

Charlotte is downstairs decorating our Christmas tree. Allen and I put the tree up yesterday because I wanted and needed his help and he is going out of town on a business trip next week. Charlotte is the decorator and has been for years. There was a time when it was a family affair. We went out in the cold, wet weather to look at every Christmas tree lot and every tree. One year, we went out in the country and cut down our own tree.
We always helped decorate but Carol, Allen and I became discouraged when year after year, Charlotte ended up moving the decorations we placed on the tree. Our thinking became, “Since you are going to move everything we put on the tree, it would be easier on all of us, if you just did it all to begin with.” That was years ago!

Charlotte is a “professional” tree decorator. She really is. Our tree is beautiful now that she does it all by herself. It didn’t look so great back when we all had a hand in it. There was only so much she could do to correct our “mistakes.” She has always felt bad about it and for years she pleaded for us to come back into the game. But we really didn’t want to work hard enough to do it right so we were pleased to find an excuse to sit back and watch.

First and foremost we think of Christ at Christmas but it also is a fun time. We love Christmas! So this year we have kinda’ “jumped the gun” and got off to an early start. But I guess that is alright, we are from Oklahoma and “SOONERS” at heart!


Thursday, November 22, 2007

WOW! TODAY IS THANKSGIVING DAY 2007! It doesn’t seem possible. Time just seems to fly by. And Saturday will be my 73rd birthday. Seventy-three years of seeing Thanksgiving Days come and go—a lot of memories.

There were years and years of family gatherings. They were wonderful! They have now tapered down to usually just our immediate family. But that’s good too. We have a mountain of memories. Today we will do some personal family things. My son will help me put up our Christmas tree. Charlotte usually helps me but this year she is nursing a bad knee.

When I think of my blessings I think of the churches I ministered with in California and Arizona. Pastoring a church has to be one of the highest of all callings. In this position, one has the privilege of touching life at its tenderest points. After all these years I say to the churches, “Thanks for the memories!”

I have no way of knowing what other surprises God has over the horizon. I do not know what lies ahead, but for today I pause and praise Him and thank Him for the memories.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I have loved going to the grocery store since I was kid. I started working in a grocery store when I was in the ninth grade. I worked through High School and four years of college. Today we have super markets and I love them. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we have a lot to be thankful for. Grocery stores should be on all of our lists of things to be thankful for. They are beautiful and full of great stuff.

I went to the grocery store today. Charlotte and I both went yesterday and bought “tons” of stuff, but of course, we forgot some things. I went back today. One thing I wanted was a half gallon of 2% milk. I looked and I looked. I thought I must be going blind. Nobody runs out of half gallons of milk. I asked the manager. He said, “Let me check.” He checked and said, “No.” That’s it—not, “No, I’m sorry,” not “No, try back later,” just plain “No.” Later strolling back past the milk I saw a sign that said, “Albertson’s Gallon size milk, $1.99.” I said, “Ok, I’ll take that!”

I went up and down every aisle looking for dried beans. Since Charlotte was making corn bread today for tomorrow’s dressing, we decided to have beans. I asked a cute young thing working in the flower department where the dried beans were. She didn’t know and before I could stop her she raced all the way to the front of the store and across to the last checkout stand and inquired. She came rushing back and headed for the produce department. I followed behind saying, “No, no, dried beans are not in produce. Listen to me; I worked in a store for years. They are not in produce.” She didn’t listen. The man in produce said, “They are on the backside of the pasta aisle.” I wanted to go there alone. The cute little thing wouldn’t let me. She insisted on showing the way but she didn’t know the way. I finally got the beans.

On the way out I saw a sign that said, “Dreyer’s Half-gallon Ice Cream , 2 for $5.00.” I love ice cream! I love Dreyer’s Ice Cream! Wouldn’t you know it—no vanilla! At least I couldn’t see it. Rows and rows of ice cream but no vanilla. Finally, when I turned the corner and started to leave I saw it all by itself away from the other ice cream.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and one of the things I am thankful for is the great super markets. They are beautiful and full of great stuff—if you can find it!


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I was deeply moved and strongly impressed by a story told by Dr. Emile Cailliet. The story is too long to print in its entirety so I will quote and paraphrase as follows.

“In the Lord’s providence, the upward trail I was now following led me through a genuine Christian community as if to illustrate afresh the Master’ assertion, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” The circumstances that led me to these good people were of a rather unusual nature.”

Dr. Cailliet had been invited to spend a week in a mountain cabin when their little boy became ill and there was no doctor within reach. The only doctor was in a distant village that could only be reached by goats’ trails across a mountain. So he put the boy on his shoulders and started on the demanding journey. A small surgical intervention was called for so he had to leave his son over night. As he walked the street aimlessly looking for a place to eat and sleep, a man asked him if he could be of any help. Having heard his story the man opened his home to him. He introduced him to his wife and children. The children stopped their games and stood up to greet him with an inbred reverence. He was immediately taken upstairs to “his” room which was neat and clean. A short time later a gentle knock was heard on the door, and supper was announced.

Down stairs he found a long table with a patriarchal figure standing at the center. It was the grandfather. He had long hair and a white beard. A well-worn family Bible was open in front of him. Next to him on one side stood the man who had invited him in; on the other side, his wife. To her left, the little ones were seated according to age; to her husband’s right, their grown-up boy. There was an empty place at the center, next to the patriarch, a place for the guest. The bearded grandfather then began to read the Bible as D. Cailliet has never heard it read since. There followed a prayer; or rather, the patriarch spoke to God, to Him who was near. Then there was a silence from the depths of which emerged the singing of a psalm. The old man invited their guest to sit down; he in his turn sat down, and the others followed. The free and cheerful conversation that followed soon gave evidence of the genuine happiness enjoyed by this family.

After a wonderful night of sleep, Dr. Cailliet found the same scene re-enacted at the breakfast table. This time, the patriarch rose at the end to pray for the sick boy and to give thanks for their visitor. He left and made his way to the doctor’s house. He accepted only a nominal fee, because, he said, Dr. Cailliet was a stranger in need.

“With the lad happily back on my shoulders, I started on my return journey across the mountain; yet I was no longer the same man, for the experience just evoked was to leave and indelible mark upon me.”

And it has left an indelible mark on me too. We move too fast, miss too much and fail to enjoy genuine happiness.


Monday, November 19, 2007

It has been coming on now for over a month. That which was burned to a crisp by the summer sun and before that frozen to death in the winds and frost—has returned to life.
The bougainvillea is beautiful. There is a large pink one, a small pink one and a large red one in the back as well as a fairly large pink one out in front of the house. The green bushes and cactuses seem greener than I have seen them in a long time. The fichus trees are green; the fruit trees have blossoms on them and my neighbor’s grapefruits hanging over the fence just above our pool looks beautiful. They almost look good enough to eat, but I don’t really care for grapefruit. The flowers in pots around the pool and patio provide an array of color.

The weather person is predicting cooler weather for Thanksgiving Day and following. We have lived in the desert for over eighteen years and it rarely freezes. Last year it did.
I’m hoping its cool enough to have a fire in the fireplace on Thanksgiving Day. It’s already cool enough to have a fire to knock off the morning chill. But I do not want it to eventually freeze and kill our trees and flowers.

The Suns are in first place in their division, the Cardinals won again yesterday and still have a chance to make the playoffs, and Arizona State is ranked sixth in the nation and is playing Southern Cal on Thanksgiving Day. LIFE HAS RETURNED TO THE VALLEY!


Sunday, November 18, 2007

“Those who have abandoned themselves to God always lead mysterious lives and receive from him exceptional and miraculous gifts by means of the most ordinary, natural and chance experiences in which there appears to be nothing unusual. The simplest sermon, the most banal conversations, the least erudite books become a source of knowledge and wisdom to these souls by virtue of God’s purpose. This is why they carefully pick up the crumbs which clever minds tread under foot, for to them everything is precious and a source of enrichment.” Jean-Pierre De Caussade
The Sacrament of the Present Moment


Saturday, November 17, 2007

“Do what you should do, and you will know what to do. God clarifies in the midst of obedience, not beforehand.” Erwin McManus


Friday, November 16, 2007

People all around are looking at us to see what we do—how we live. The world is looking at the United States, observing, evaluating us. Are we a good example? I could write pages about this, but I won’t. Peggy Noonan wrote on this subject today and she does a much better job than I will ever do. Check it out at: http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/pnoonan/


Thursday, November 15, 2007

A newspaper ran a contest asking kids for their profound thoughts (akin to the old “Deep Thoughts” segment on Saturday Night Live). Here are some submissions:

“I believe you should live each day as if it is your last, which is why I don't have any clean laundry because, come on, who wants to wash clothes on the last day of their life?” (Age 15)”
"Give me the strength to change the things I can, the grace to accept the things I cannot, and a great big bag of money.” (Age 13)
“Democracy is a beautiful thing, except for that part about letting just any old yokel vote.” (Age 10)”For centuries, people thought the moon was made of green cheese. Then the astronauts found that the moon is really a big hard rock. That's what happens to cheese when you leave it out.” (Age 6)”As you make your way through this hectic world of ours, set aside a few minutes each day. At the end of the year, you'll have a couple of days saved up.” (Age 7)”If we could just get everyone to close their eyes and visualize world peace for an hour, imagine how serene and quiet it would be until the looting started.” (Age 15)(From Docs Daily Chuckle)


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

For all of us who are married, were married, wish you were married, or wish you weren’t married, this is something to smile about the next time you see a bottle of wine.

Sally was driving home from one of her business trips in Northern Arizona when she saw an elderly Navajo woman walking on the side of the road.

As the trip was a long and quiet one, she stopped the car and asked the Navajo woman if she would like a ride. With a silent nod of thanks, the woman got into the car.

Resuming the journey, Sally tried in vain to make a bit of small talk with the Navajo woman. The old woman just sat silently, looking intently at everything she saw, studying every little detail, until she noticed a brown bag on the seat next to Sally.

“What’s in the bag?” asked the old woman. Sally looked down at the brown bag and said, “It’s a bottle of wine I got it for my husband.” The Navajo woman was silent for another moment or two. Then speaking with quiet wisdom of an elder, she said: “Good trade…”


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Who is this god who determines what is and is not politically correct? Why does he have the authority to say what is a correct word or a wrong word?

In my book (the Bible) the God who created all things, the Lord of heaven and earth is the only one who has authority over right and wrong. It is true we have entrusted certain individuals/groups in our society with determining when we as citizens get things wrong.
But most of the time they find a way to screw this up by trying to be politically correct.

Lowes has decided to call Christmas trees, family trees because the word Christmas offends some people. The only greeting some stores give is, Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas might offend somebody. The morning news reported that a Governor of one of our states that desperately needs rain has called a prayer meeting for everybody who wants to come. You guessed it. Protesters are saying it shouldn’t be done because it might offend somebody.

We should never intentionally offend anybody. But if doing what is right does offend then it’s just TOUGH!


Monday, November 12, 2007

I like the following words from Dr. Emile Cailliet:

Thus in the case of a pilgrim, life may be likened to a journey up and down, on occasion through foggy weather, now and then encouraged by patches of brightness sometimes dim and small. Again, these may grow larger and brighter, and appear at least often enough to sustain the wayfarer in the faith that above and beyond there is a light streaming in a glory of luminous blue—even as he finds himself groping his way through murky weather. …It has always been my experience that the greater the blessing, the darker and more threatening the immediately intervening cloud. The greater our victories in the spiritual realm, the more painful the trials that are sure to follow, in quick succession.”

Nobody said it would be easy—the life of the pilgrim. But pilgrims we are—and we journey on, encouraged by the glimmers of hope that occasionally break through the clouds. If we do what is right, it will be alright!


Sunday, November 11, 2007

I’m always reading something and thinking, “I wish I had written that.” What I mean is, “’I like this. I really like it.”

Peggy Noonan is one of my favorite authors and my favorite speech writer. She is a writer on the Opinion Page of the Wall Street Journal. She writes great stuff on a regular basis. A few days ago she wrote one of her best. Check it out at: http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/pnoonan/


Saturday, November 10, 2007


Today, on the way to Trader Joes, I drove past the building that once was the home of Krispy Kreme Donuts. The building that once held such an attraction for me now makes me sad.

Paper banners hung on the windows: FLU SHOTS HERE TODAY.

I feel a little moisture in the corners of my eyes.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Standing in line at Fry’s Market waiting to be checked out, I couldn’t help but overhear the checkout lady and the lady customer downgrading men. They started with the customer’s son-in-law who was described as a lazy, no good bum. They proceeded on to agree that all men are lazy and that they pretend to be great workers until you marry them and then—look out!

I smiled. And then I smiled some more. I never once said anything or laughed out loud. I know you find this hard, if not impossible to believe—but it’s true.

The lady customer saw the smile on my face and said, “What do you have to say about this?” Never one to pass up an invitation to pass on my superior knowledge and experience, I said, “Well look who’s made the trip to the grocery store. You don’t see any woman with me, do you? My wife is at home. I’m here. When I get home I will be cooking this food and serving it to her.” (I didn’t tell them she had a bum knee) “Oh wow,” said the customer “You are different. My husband couldn’t make a peanut butter sandwich.”

I left with my head held high and a silly little smirk on my face. Smile fellas. I struck a blow for men. I realize it wasn't a knock out blow--but a blow never the less.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

“Listen Babe, this is not Disneyland.” I made this remark to my sweet wife one sunny day in Jerusalem. She understood immediately what I was talking about. For years we lived “just down the road” from Disneyland and so we went there often. One year when relatives came to visit and to “treat” our teen helpers for Vacation Bible School, we went three or four times. WE ALMOST ALWAYS RAN INTO SOMEBODY WE KNEW.

Los Angeles is a big place, Disneyland is big—and it’s not in the heartland of America. You would think that you could go there many times over many years and never see anybody but strangers. Well, not us—we almost always saw somebody we knew.

So, walking in the Garden of Gethsemane, Charlotte asked, “Do you think we will see anybody we know?” Smart me, I blurted out, “Listen Babe, this is not Disneyland.” We walked a few more feet and came face to face with a man we had known when we were teenagers living in Oklahoma. We hadn’t seen him in years. We lived hundreds of miles apart. We were thousands of miles from home, and wouldn’t you know it—there stood Virgil Trout!

I almost said a word that should never be said in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Holy City of Jerusalem—or anyplace else for that matter. What did Charlotte say? I don’t remember. But she is still smiling and that was 29 years ago!


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

At 5:30 A.M. we walked into Scottsdale Healthcare at Thompson Peak Parkway. This new hospital opened on Monday and Charlotte was entering today (Wednesday) as one of their first patients and the first patient on this particular day.

Over the years I have been in and out of hospitals visiting members of the church and let me tell you, this hospital is at the top of the line. It is excellent in everyway. We toured the facility on Saturday, even going into the operating room. This morning I had breakfast in the cafeteria and that too was top notch.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is not a place you want to have to visit. But if you do need a hospital, and can,--choose this one. Charlotte was there as an out-patient, so we didn’t stay any longer than necessary. But we are making plans to go back as volunteers, one day a week.

I have been ill in a lot of different places—Oklahoma, California, Ethiopia, India, and I am grateful beyond words for good doctors, nurses and health facilities wherever they are. And today, I am especially thankful for Scottsdale Healthcare at Thompson Peak Parkway.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Since I am having a birthday this month, the last few days I have been thinking about growing older.

I like these words from Mike Cope: “I’ve seen many people age well: ripened with kindness, wisdom and patience. They age like good wine.”

Ah, that’s how I would like to ripen. If it’s not happening please tell me. You will be my friend if you do.


Monday, November 05, 2007

Arizona State University has long been noted for being a party school. Nobody would have ever accused the students of praying. Well, hold the phone. Students outside the Danforth Meditation Chapel on the Tempe campus have been conducting a 24-hour-a-day, 21-day prayer marathon.

You may be saying, “If they prayed about the ASU/Oregon football game their prayers are not very effective.” Don’t be too sure. I know a lot of prayers and I feel rather strongly that they prayed for their team to do their best and for them not to get injured.” That pray may very well have been answered.

Bottom line: I see a glimmer of hope on that campus. I’m praying for the prayers. Keep it up. “Prayer changes things.”


Sunday, November 04, 2007

For about fifty-six years I have been “going to church.” I have rarely ever missed--most of those Sundays I was in the pulpit. I started preaching when I was in the twelfth grade. Many think of going to church as going to the church building. I think of it as assembling with other Christians for worship.

I have worshipped with Christians in places like Ethiopia, India, Israel and many places in the United States. It is wonderful to meet with people of “like mind” and raise your voices to and bow before a Holy God. There is nothing like it. Worshipping with other Christians is one of the most important things in my life.

I hope you have a church to worship with today. Getting together with your Christian “family” is a blessing you should not miss.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

I had my annual physical this week. Just tryin’ to stay alive. I don’t know why. It’s just somethin’ we do. But try as hard as we can, we can’t duck death forever. The writer of Hebrews tells us we are going to die!

Here are some grim facts from Job 21:23:
Some people die in the prime of life, with everything going for them—fat and sassy.
Others die bitter and bereft, never getting a taste of happiness. They’re laid out side by side in the cemetery, where the worms can’t tell one from the other. (Job 21:23-26 MSG)

But listen, it’s not all bad. God says, “The day you die is better than the day you are born” (Eccles. 7:1). The apostle Paul said, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:5-55)

Max Lucado says, “With Christ as your friend and heaven as your home, the day of death becomes sweeter than the day of birth.”

I don’t remember my birth but hearing about it I know it couldn’t have been all that great. So I’m glad to hear that death is sweeter. You might as well look forward to it—you can’t duck it forever!


Friday, November 02, 2007

You can learn some good stuff from watching television.

One commercial shows several people in a tram that is stopped high in the sky. They are just dangling there in mid-air. They all look frightened and then one guy says not to worry he has been to a seminar so he starts talking. Another guy looks down, sees a start button, pushes it and they get on their way again. DON’T JUST TALK, DO SOMETHING.

Another commercial takes place in a restaurant. One man at a table starts to choke to death. One guy says he knows what the problem is and what the solution is because he has seen it demonstrated. He and the others are discussing it, the man is choking and a man from another table comes over, grabs the man around the chest and squeezes and the man coughs up the food that was choking him. DON’T JUST TALK ABOUT IT, DO SOMETHING.

On a popular Thursday night program I heard this wise saying, “It's not enough just to know about your crap, you need to do something about it. Change." I say, Amen!


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Jake was dying, and his wife, Becky, was maintaining a candlelight vigil by his side. She held his fragile hand, tears running down her face. Her praying roused him from his slumber. He looked up and his pale lips began to move slightly.
"My darling Becky," he whispered.
"Hush, my love," she said. "Rest. Shhh, don't talk."
He was insistent. "Becky," he said in his tired voice. "I....I have something I must confess to you."
"There's nothing to confess," replied the weeping Becky. "Everything's all right, go to sleep."
"No, no. I must die in peace, Becky. I...I fooled around with your sister, your best friend, and her best friend!"
"I know..." Becky whispered softly, "That's why I poisoned you."


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"We the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines....We hold these truths to be self evident: that a whole lot of people are so confused by the Bill of Rights that they require a Bill of NON-Rights."

ARTICLE I: You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV, or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.

ARTICLE II: You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone -- not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc.; but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.

ARTICLE III: You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful, do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.

ARTICLE IV: You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes.

ARTICLE V: You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing, we're just not interested in public health care.

ARTICLE VI: You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim, or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.

ARTICLE VII: You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat, or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won't have the right to a big screen color TV or a life of leisure.

ARTICLE VIII: You do not have the right to a job. All of us sure want you to have a job, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.

ARTICLE IX: You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to PURSUE happiness, which by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an over abundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.

ARTICLE X: This is an English speaking country. We don't care where you are from, English is our language. Learn it or go back to wherever you came from! (lastly....) NOW..

ARTICLE XI: You do not have the right to change our country's history or heritage. This country was founded on the belief in one true God. And yet, you are given the freedom to believe in any religion, any faith, or no faith at all; with no fear of persecution. The phrase IN GOD WE TRUST is part of our heritage and history, and if you are uncomfortable with it, TOUGH!!!!

If you agree, share this with a friend. No, you don't have to, and nothing tragic will befall you if you don't. I just think it's about time common sense is allowed to flourish. Sensible people of the United States speak out because if you do not, who will?


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I’m tired of turning the other cheek. Yes, I know what the Bible says. But I want to turn the other cheek the way Jesus did the day the drove the money changers out of the temple. Turning the other cheek doesn’t mean ignoring stupid, sinful acts until they turn into a movement.

There is a movement to get God out of everything!

I’m not trying to force God into everything. I simply want to keep God in the places He has been in for years. I’m calling on everybody I know to stand with me against those who want to remove God from our society.

The ones crying the loudest and working the hardest to get rid of God are going to wake up some day saying, “Where is God? Why doesn’t He help me?” I want to be there to answer their questions.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Once upon a time, 1970, in a busy, Southern California city, West Covina, there lived a young boy named Charlie Brown. Charlie was an active member of the youth group at the South Hills Church of Christ where I preached. When I made the decision to move from West Covina, Charlie and the other young people at the church gave me a little party. They gave me gifts that over the years have been eaten, read and passed on, put away and forgotten or given away. ONE gift I have kept for these many years was the gift from Charlie. It is special because: 1. He made it for me. 2. He wanted to help. He wrote: “For When Your Feeling Low.” It should have read “you’re” instead of “your” but that little mistake endears it even more. 3. It really works! THANKS CHARLIE!


Sunday, October 28, 2007

It’s Sunday again. It never fails to amaze me how fast this day comes around. When I was preaching I knew that just as soon as I had finished a sermon that another one was coming—and soon, or so it seemed. What will the preacher say today? I am always interested in that.

Whatever he says today, I am certain there is one thing which should never be left out. Tennyson wrote, “Never morning wore to evening, but some heart did break.” There is so much that needs to be said and so many people that need different things. But whoever else will be in the service, there will be someone with a broken heart. The Bible is mindful of the broken heart. The Bible never forgets the word comfort.

In the Book of Job, Eliphaz says to Job: “Your words have kept men on their feet.”

Ah, we need that. Life is tough and we need words to keep us on our feet. I hope I hear those words today and I think I will. I hope you do too.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

A little guy is sitting at the bar just staring at his drink for half an hour when this big trouble-making biker steps next to him, grabs his drink and gulps it down in one swig. The poor little guy starts crying."Come on man. I was just giving you a hard time," the biker says. "I can't stand to see a man crying.""This is the worst day of my life," says the little guy between sobs. "I can't do anything right. I overslept and was late to an important meeting, so my boss fired me. When I went to the parking lot, I found my car was stolen and I don't have any insurance. I grabbed a cab home but, after the cab left, I discovered my wallet was still in the cab. At home I found my wife cheating with the gardener and my dog bit me. So I came to this bar trying to work up the courage to put an end to my life, and then you show up and drink the poison!"


Friday, October 26, 2007

Nobody is just an accident. Everybody is a special creation of God. Everybody is so precious in the sight of God that he sent his son to die for us. Nobody should be aborted. A woman has the right to make decisions about how she uses her body. But if she becomes pregnant she does not have the right to kill her child.

Today is our daughter’s birthday. Her roommate from her Pepperdine University days flew in from San Francisco to help us celebrate. CELEBRATE! That’s what you should do about a birth—celebrates it. In our hearts, my wife and I have celebrated all forty-seven years of Carol’s life. And the same thing is true of her younger brother. Life is precious.

Another police officer was killed in our city last night. Several have died in the California fires. Thousands were killed in what is now simply referred to as 9/11. Thousands have been killed in wars, storms, and accidents.

We must never get used to death as if it doesn’t matter. Every life is precious.



Thursday, October 25, 2007

Most of us are not nearly as grateful as we ought to be. Just a little reflection on the quality of life most of us have will “blow your mind.” We have so much to be grateful for.

But some of us have what I would call terminal gratitude. We just keep saying, “Thank you, thank you, over and over again and still feel unworthy of our blessings. We need to be thankful and we need to express our gratitude and then we need to move on. We need to be a blessing to everybody we can as others have blessed us. But we don’t need to feel we “owe” somebody eternal gratitude. They did what they did because they wanted to.

We thank the one who gave us a job by being a good employee. We thank our parents for what they gave us by being good children and by being good parents ourselves. We thank our friends for all they are to us by being good friends in return. Don’t just talk about what a great friend you are to someone. Show that friendship by the way you treat them. It’s not words that make you a good neighbor, but action. And on and on it goes.

We don’t need to drop to our knees and worship at the feet of those who have blessed us but are not God. If you are truly grateful show it by the life you live—not just by the words you say.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I love a lot of people and things but I mention America, Christians and Whites because they are hated by liberal politicians and the liberal media. Yes, it’s true; they are constantly putting down America, Christians and white people.

Sure, there are a lot of things, and I mean a lot of things wrong with America—but not everything. I grew up loving this great country and I still do. I have traveled to many places and I am always glad to get back home to America. Christians also have faults. There are many hypocrites in the church. But the greatest people I know are Christians. The world would be in a bigger mess than it is if it were not for Christians. Yes, I know all about white trash. I know about the sins and crimes of white people. But listen to me, not all white people are trash. Not all white people are out to get you. Not all white people are crooks, liars and thieves. Many, if not most of the great people I know, are white. Let’s not focus on the few among us that are bad. Let’s focus on the good!

I love many who do not live in America. I love many God fearing people who are not Christians. I love many people who are not white. God loves the world—and I want to follow His example.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Halloween is just around the corner and I wish it was around the world from here. I don’t like Halloween at all! Sure, I used to when I was the one getting the candy. I still get some of the candy and now that’s another thing I don’t like about it. We give out a lot of candy, have a lot left over—and I eat it!

I used to staunchly defend Halloween. In fact, years ago when I was working with a church in California I made a grown man cry over my views. He was the school administrator at our church school and he wanted me to back him in not allowing the school to have a Halloween party. I refused! He cried!

Now I’m old, tired, my kids are all grown up; I don’t have any grand-kids and I want the Halloween crowd to just leave me alone—especially the teenagers. Will they? NO! But I feel better just dreaming about it.


Monday, October 22, 2007

We have so much to be thankful for!

Southern California is burning.

It is windy in Scottsdale today and my allergies are acting up. Usually I would be complaining, moaning, groaning and growling. Not today!

I’m counting my blessings and naming them one by one.

Pray for California!


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Today is the Lord’s Day and as always, I’m excited. Lee Strobel will be preaching this morning. A few weeks ago I recommended his books to the readers of this blog. He is the author of the Gold Medallion-winning books The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith as well as The Case for a Creator.

Lee Strobel was educated at Yale Law School, was an award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune and a spiritual skeptic until 1981. He also served as teaching pastor at two of America’s largest churches. During his academic years, he became convinced that God was outmoded. He said, “My road to atheism was paved by science…but, ironically, so was my later journey to God.”

I’ve heard Lee’s story about his journey to God but I will be thrilled to hear it again and the message he will bring from God’s Word. I hope the message you hear today will also be from God’s Word.



Saturday, October 20, 2007

The frost may be on the pumpkin–but not around here. But it is cooler and the weather person says it will be even cooler tomorrow. Even though it’s not THAT cool it still looks and feels like fall–even in the desert. Up in the high country, up around Flagstaff the frost IS on the pumpkin and at the Grand Canyon it is down to freezing.

No frost, but we do have the pumpkins. Do we ever! Every place you look there are blankets of orange. They are on this corner, that corner, every vacant plot and some parking lots.

One section of this mornings newspaper had a picture of three people from our "old" church, Lincoln Heights Christian Church, selling pumpkins in an area we call "the Oasis". This is a large grassy area right on Lincoln Drive, one of the busiest streets in Phoenix. They are raising money for the youth group which will be used to help them build houses in Mexico.

Way to go guys! Sell the orange! Bring in the green! Help the poor!


Friday, October 19, 2007

"How Never To Be Tired Again" is the title of a an old book I have on my shelf. You want to know, "Does it work? Does the book really help you never to be tired again?" Not really. I wish it did. It’s a good book–it just doesn’t work.


I felt pretty good when I got up this morning. About 9:00 I made my way to the computer and started to write my blog. The computer was tired. I tried to encourage it in every way I could. Nothing worked. I finally went down stairs and took some vitamins. It didn’t help my computer one bit. It may help me eventually but it hasn’t yet.

Its after 1:00 in the afternoon now and the computer has finally snapped out of it. I’m still dragging but things are looking up. Some days are just like this–even in Australia, or at least that’s what Alexander says. (See Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst).


Thursday, October 18, 2007

They are back. The snow birds have returned to the Valley of the Sun.

Every year at the same time, the migration begins, 130 to 150,000. They leave their snow shovels, tire chains, gloves and earmuffs and head Southwest where the sun is shining and the birds are singing.

The freeways are fuller and the driving is slower. The lines are longer for the "early bird" special. The matinees are crowded. Some churches in the East valley grow by 200 or more for six months. When the "Boys of Spring" return, every stadium in the valley will be filled with white heads, bald heads and capped heads.

Ah yes, it good to have them back. They bring wisdom, money, funny, sunny, sour, and every philosophy under the sun. What would we do without them?


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

She was old, bent, and walking slowly. She walked out in front of me as I left the pharmacy section of the medical building. As I started my car I could see she was walking in the direction of the bus terminal. The bus terminal is several blocks from the medical building.

I would have liked to have offered her a ride. But short of seeing her pass out and fall to the sidewalk, I couldn’t stop and offer her anything. Isn’t that a shame? It is a shame, but it’s the world we live in. I didn’t grow up in a world like this. What happened?

When I was young, adults could approach children, women, elderly people and it was safe to do so. Friendliness and kindness were graciously accepted. No so today. Oh, in a rare situation you may be safe in approaching a stranger, but you have to be careful.

I just "goosed" my BMW and roared on down the street and right pass the bus terminal. I asked myself, "What would Jesus do?". I got the answer before I hit 40, but I didn’t slow down. I also remembered they hung him on a tree. I drove on home trying to figure out if I’m a coward–or just smart!


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

"Oh somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville–mighty Casey has struck out"


That pretty much says it all.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Have you ever noticed what delight we give other people by confessing to absurd weaknesses! For example, I cannot eat hot food, like some Mexican food, without almost gasping for breath. When this happens to me, and I try to keep it from happening, my “friends” delight to see it or hear about it.

Once in India I ate some hot food with my wife and two other ladies. I was struggling to get it down and almost sick. They were gobbling it up and laughing between every bite. I was embarrassed and although they expressed great sympathy for me, I could see their hidden delight.

On the other side of the coin, I must admit that I take a little delight when someone confesses to me their fear of public speaking. Some people are afraid of flying, others have a fear of spiders—and the list of “weaknesses” goes on.

Why do we delight in others fears? I think we like to feel that there is an equitable rationing system for this stuff and that we are all at times like little children huddling together in the dark. Occasionally someone comes along who doesn’t seem to have a speck of weakness. And when they do, we are delighted to see them go!


Sunday, October 14, 2007

I go to church to worship God, not just for preaching. But let’s face it–great preaching doesn’t hurt. We have great preaching every Sunday at Scottsdale Bible Church. Today will be no exception. Dr. Donald Sunukjian, former minister at Scottsdale, will be guest speaker this morning. I’m excited!

I have heard many good things about this man. A few weeks ago, Randy Wray, Minister for the Central Church of Christ in Stockton, California, mentioned in one of his blogs that he learned to preach the way he preaches today from Dr. Sunukjian. I have never heard Randy preach but I hear that he is very good.

Again, I’m eager to get to church this morning. I hope you are too!


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Former President Jimmy Carter has to be one of the dumbest human beings on the face of the earth! The dumbest? No, just one of them. I do not know who is number one, I just know that Jimmy is high up on the list.

He thinks that if he just gets that silly little grin on his face, sits down with dictators and talks in his slow, Southern drawl that he will bring about world peace.

Listen, I’ve changed my mind. He is the dumbest human being in the world!


Friday, October 12, 2007

Secular universities and colleges all over the world are centers of ignorance and evil!

The professors at these schools are at the very top of the list of fools!

The sad thing is they are turning out students who think just like they do.What a mess! You need an education to get a good job but it’s hard, if not impossible, to get it without having your life all screwed up. Makes me want to scream!



Thursday, October 11, 2007

Say it ain’t so Joe–I mean Abbey. Dear Abbey has come out in favor of gay marriage. If two people of the same sex want to live together and the government wants to grant them all the privileges granted those who are married, I have no quarrel with this. I wouldn’t do it, but our government does some strange things. That being said, there is no way in the world two people of the same sex can be considered married. Marriage is between a man and a woman and until God tells us something different–that’s the way it is.

I hate this because of the influence her column has. The Dear Abbey column is written by Jeanne Phillips who took over for her mother five years ago when her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

You could say that three, four or more people living together were married–but that wouldn’t make it so. You could say two dogs, cats, tigers, kangaroos, ducks, motorcycles, cars, trucks, buildings, rats, candy bars, crackers or anything else, were married–but that wouldn’t make it so.



Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Poor James Dobson has finally " lost it." My contention has always been that if you stay around preachers or preaching very long you will "lose it." And "lose it" he has!

He is threatening to start a third political party because he is not happy with any Republican running. The reason this is so stupid is because it will automatically put Hillary into the White House. What a shame–a great man gone bad. I have always admired Dr. Dobson. I have read several of his books, watched his films and supported his causes. NOT THIS TIME! I am opposed to this with every fiber of my being.

Dobson has a right to feel the way he does about the Republicans running. But he should just stay home and not vote. And because of his tremendous influence over others he should just keep his mouth shut unless asked. He should not be out trying to get others to follow him.

I’m so close to the off ramp that Hillary could be the last President of my life. I would be in hell before my heart ever stopped beating.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The sprinkler professional came, looked at my work and declared it “Ok.” Hip, hip, hooray. I saved us $69.00. He didn’t say why it wasn’t working, but after he, the professional, repaired the other two valves, none of them worked. This fact filled me with fear but it also made me smile. Maybe I don’t need the book, “Sprinkler Repairs for Dummies” after all.

Long story short—he finally got the system to work. He said he wired it wrong and he didn't know why because he had wired hundreds of them.

See—even professional sprinkler men are sometimes as dumb as preachers.


Monday, October 08, 2007

October baseball–is this great, or what? The Diamondbacks swept the Cubs and play on. Now, they play the Rockies for a shot at the World Series. Wow!

The Cardinals are actually finding ways to win. Can you believe it?

The Phoenix women’s basketball team actually won a national title. I’m ashamed I wasn’t as excited as I should have been. Way to go girls!

The Suns are bouncing the ball again and getting into shape. They look good on paper, let’s hope that transfers to the hardwood floors.

The sun is shining, the breeze is cool, Thanksgiving Day is coming and Christmas is not far behind. "O Happy Dayaaaaaaaaaaaa"


Sunday, October 07, 2007

No blog yesterday. No time to write. Busy trying to be a handyman.

An operating valve to our sprinklers was leaking. No big problem. I got the necessary repair parts, made the repair–no leaks. BIG PROBLEM. NO WATER COMING OUT THE SPRINKLERS FROM THAT VALVE. No big problem. I would find the cause and fix it.

AT THE END OF THE DAY I DECIDED TO CALL A PROFESSIONAL. He’s coming tomorrow and he will tell me what the little problem was.I should have called a professional to start with, you say? Hey, I’m only 73–I’m still learning!


Friday, October 05, 2007

My beautiful wife of almost fifty years is celebrating another birthday today. She is the youngest looking __ year old I know.

A few days ago she was in the produce department of the local grocery store when a young lady approached her and asked what kind of potatoes she should buy to cook with a roast. Charlotte told her and the young lady said, "Oh, I’m sure that’s right. I remember now, that’s what my mother always bought." I asked, "Are you old enough to be her mother?" Charlotte said, "I’m old enough to be almost anybody’s mother!"

Not true! At least not in my eyes! But even if she is, in this case old is good–very good!


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Even the most self-centered people can learn to give. I want to recommend a simple way to become a giver instead of a getter. I learned this from David Dunn.

Stop as you rush through life; Look for all the friendly, thoughtful, courteous things you can do, and all the little human needs you can fill; Listen to people and learn of their hopes and their problems so that you will be able to contribute in little ways to their success and happiness.

Go for it! Be a giver–not a getter!


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I will be in for the ball game today–not out. I will be in front of the large screen T.V.
I will not be eating peanuts and crackerjacks. I will be eating hamburgers and stew.

The playoffs start today. The Rockies and Phillies play at noon, the Angels and Red Sox this afternoon and the Diamondbacks and Cubs tonight.

First it was hamburgers off the grill–recently cleaned grill. I spent a couple of hours yesterday cleaning that grill until it shined like new. And then today at noon I cooked on it. I love burgers!Tonight it will be Charlotte’s stew. She made it yesterday because it looked like rain all day. Needless to say it didn’t rain. But we had the stew just the same and it was delicious. I love stew! We will have it again tonight.

What, no hot dogs? Not today–maybe tomorrow. I love hot dogs.

Predictions: Rockies, Angels, Diamondbacks!


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Ann Coulter’s books and comments drive some people "up the wall." She can be cutting, arrogant, rude and even crude–things I don’t like. Well then, why do I like her?

I like her because she writes and says all the things I would like to say. Oh, I can say the things she says–and I do, but nobody is listening and nobody cares.

So I just read her books and listen to her on T.V. and sound like a woman when I say, "You go girl!"


Monday, October 01, 2007

The idiot President of Iran (whatever his name is) when challenged about his disbelief in the holocaust said we shouldn’t be so sure because there are no absolutes. And it seems the majority agree with him.
One of the idiot host of the T.V. program The View, said she didn’t know if the world is round or not.
In the view of the majority we can’t be sure of anything–not God, the Bible or anything else. To them there is no right and wrong. Since they do not believe in God–anything goes. Their worldview is all screwed up.
Since I am thinking about this subject today, I pulled a great book off the shelf and perused it again. The book is Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey. It is the best work of cultural analysis from a Christian standpoint available today.
No absolutes? No total truth? Good grief, Charlie Brown!


Sunday, September 30, 2007

The young Diamondbacks baseball team is fun to watch.

They have a motto: "Anybody, Anytime." They mean that anybody on the team can be the one to step up and that they can do it anytime. This is not a one man show–it's a team. That’s why they win.

Two nights ago they moved into the playoffs. Yesterday they won the Western Division of the National League. I would like to see them move on in the playoffs—but even if they don’t, they are my team.

Way to go boys!


Saturday, September 29, 2007

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." (Psalm 19:1).

Sitting upstairs in front of my computer I am looking outside at the sky. It is beautiful beyond description. Glorious!

This makes me think of the greatest and goodness of God. It makes me want to obey the first and second commandments to Love him with all my heart, soul and mind and to love my neighbor as I love myself. I don't want to just think about it--I want to do it!


Friday, September 28, 2007

Cooler weather has moved into the Valley of the Sun and I have moved outside. I cooked dinner on the grill last night. The steak was grilled to perfection and the potatoes were delicious. Corn and a green salad rounded out the meal and we finished with a hot cup of coffee.

It’s nice to be able to turn on the light in the pool, sit on the patio and listen to the water from the waterfall dropping into the pool.

Scrabbled eggs and hash browns will soon come from the grill now that cool mornings have returned. It wasn’t all that long ago that it would be 90 or above when we got up in the morning.

Headin’ up to Sedona in a few days. We love that beautiful red rock country.

Pumpkins, Thanksgiving and even Christmas are on the horizon. I love the fall!


Thursday, September 27, 2007

If you ever watched Jerry Seinfeld on television you know about the Soup Nazi.

Let me tell you about the Biscuit Nazi at the local McDonald’s. I like McDonald’s biscuits,with something on them besides butter and jelly. My wife likes them with just butter and jelly. Last week I ordered my favorite with no problem. I also ordered a plain biscuit for my wife. The young man looked confused. I repeated the order. He asked, “What biscuit?” I said, “Don’t you sell plain biscuits anymore?” He finally said, “Yes, but I’m new and I’ve never sold one.” An older employee came over and helped him complete the order. I left with the biscuit.

A few days ago I was back in that same McDonalds ordering the same thing. This time an older lady took my order without any problems. I heard her tell a young employee two times to be sure to put the biscuit in. The young lady put my bag on the counter and I started to leave. The older lady stopped me and said, “We better check.” We checked.

If you want a biscuit—bake it yourself at home!


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Yesterday I read a fascinating lecture by Dr. Joseph Dongell titled, “How Bad Is It Doc?” In his lecture he talks about an interesting book, The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker. Booker examines such stories as, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, King Kong, Oliver Twist, Treasure Island, The Three Little Pigs, and many more. He concludes that nearly every story we tell will fall into one of seven basic plot types; he calls these Overcoming the Monster, Rags to Riches, The Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy, and Rebirth.

The part of his lecture I found most interesting is this: Booker goes on to describe one particular character appearing in most of the 7 plot types: a character he calls “the Monster.” He claims that the one supreme characteristic of every Monster that has ever been portrayed in a story is this: he or she is egocentric. This ego-centrism makes the Monster (in his inner soul) heartless and unable to feel for others, although this may sometimes be disguised beneath a deceptively charming, kind or solicitous exterior. The Monster’s real concern is to look after its own interests, at the expense of everyone else in the world. The Monster sees the world through the tunnel vision of its egocentric desires, meaning that most of the time, the monster is blind to its own perversion and blind to true reality. So fixated is the Monster upon itself, that it has difficulty belonging to anything greater than itself.

I ask along with Dr. Dongell, “How bad are we Doc?”


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Chris Simning was born with a nearly imperceptible case of cerebral palsy, and then stricken with an extremely rare muscle and nerve disease in the eighth grade. For four years he was confined to a wheelchair and unable to care for himself. Later he experienced improvement that allowed him to finish his undergraduate degree from college as well as earn a Master’s degree from Azusa Pacific University in Clinical Psychology. Today his body is still twisted but he is able to walk. His speech is terribly corrupted but he can be understood if you listen carefully.

Chris preached at our church Sunday and I was amazed and uplifted. I drug into church thinking about myself. I went home thinking about God.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

I have found a six-pack I can endorse. Drop by your Christian book store and pick up a shrink-wrapped pack of Lee Strobel’s book, The Case for Christ. You could just buy a single hard cover copy if you want one for yourself. But if you would like to give your friends a copy of the best book that presents the historicity of the New Testament—then give them this one.

If you are into apologetics you may want to pick up one or more of Lee Strobel’s other books, The Case for A Creator, The Case for Faith, etc.

Regardless, do your friends a favor and pick up this six-pack of Strobel.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

It has been so long since I have seen it that I can’t be sure—but it looks like rain.


Ah, but it has already stopped falling whatever it was.

There was a time when I dreaded the days it rained. Now I long for them—pray for them!

If I haven’t told you lately, we need rain in Arizona. Will we get it? Probably not.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Summer is over. School is back in session but I won’t be there. Still I feel the need to give a “Show and Tell” about how I spent my summer. The only out of town trip we made was to a resort on Coronado Island in California. It was a short trip but absolutely wonderful. It was a great reprieve from the endless day and night heat of Arizona.

This has been the longest, hottest, driest summer on record for the Phoenix area. But we made it through. Sunday is the first day of fall. Wheeeeeeeeeeee! We now enter our “heavenly” season. This is the first summer we have not had relatives come for a visit. In fact, we have only had two friends come through. Hopefully more will come now that the weather allows you to be outside without catching on fire.

It was a good summer. I read a lot, so hopefully I know a little more than I did this time last year. The best book I read was The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I intend to read his second book this fall. My wife has made 19 beautiful DVDs which we have enjoyed watching. Some friends enjoy watching them and some don’t, and tell you so. Therefore I will leave out the “Show” part and just tell about my summer.

All in all this summer of my 72nd year has been a good one. I hope that yours was too!


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Christ Church of The Valley is big! They average 12,000 in attendance each Sunday. They are well organized and innovative. One of their new projects is a new congregation in Scottsdale. They meet at the Desert Springs Bible Church just a few blocks from our house. The most innovative thing they do is—they meet on Monday nights. That’s right. Monday, not Sunday.

Well, I’m a Sunday kind of guy so I will not be joining their congregation. However, I do plan to attend a few Mondays to see if I can help them get things off the ground. Hey, I just live down the street, why not? No, I haven’t forgotten about Monday night football but that won’t keep me from attending. But I’m practical minded enough to think that it will keep a lot of other guys away. CCV has always put a lot of emphasis on reaching men. By reaching men they know they can reach the entire family.

If you were gambling, where would you place your bet, on Monday night church or Monday night football? After a hard day of work would you want to drive to the church building, settle in on a pew and take communion OR flop on your couch, pop a cold one and watch football?

Hey, I’m not a gambler and if I were I would probably lose my children’s inheritance but my chips are on RED—Monday night football!


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I like what Michelle Malkin said in her article, "Sally Field Doesn't Speak For Me." Sally said, "If mothers were in charge there would not be any G-- D-- wars." Michelle is a mother and she disagrees. I am not a mother but I know a lot of them and I disagree too. Sometimes you have to speak up and confront bullies and that means war. Everybody has to do it--even mothers!


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A mother looked out a window and saw Johnny playing church with their three kittens. He had them lined up and was preaching to them. The mother turned around to do some work, but soon she heard meowing and scratching on the door.
She went to the window and saw Johnny baptizing the kittens. She opened the window and said, "Johnny, stop that! You'll drown those kittens."
Johnny looked at her and said with much conviction in his voice: "They should have thought of that before they joined my church." (from Mikey’s Funnies)________________


Monday, September 17, 2007

Our friends of forty years came on Friday and left after church on Sunday. They live hundreds of miles from us and will not be home until sometime late this evening. We don't know when we will see them again. Life is short and all four of us are getting close to "the off ramp."

Our friendship with the male member of this pair is nothing short of amazing. He is controlling and irritating to the point of making you want to scream. He is arbitrary, stubborn and does his own thing regardless of who disagrees with him. And yet, in the face of all this--he is one of our dearest friends. We can't imagine life without him. Does he affect others in this way? Yes. And many retreat. This makes me sad for all concerned. Everybody is missing a lot, especially him.

Will he ever change. No way! He would say with Popeye, "I am what I am".

I heard a sermon yesterday that makes me want to stop trying to control everything and everybody and leave it/them up to God. I will do what I can do and ask Him to do what only He can do.

"God help me to live each day with more kindness and grace." Amen!


Friday, September 14, 2007

Someone else writing this blog may have said, “Company is coming today.” I choose to say, “Friends are coming.” They will be company but since we have been friends for almost forty years, I prefer the word friends. And friends they are—friends indeed.

They have been staying in Palm Springs for a week. Their home is several hundred miles north of there. This morning they got up around 6:30 and started driving east toward Phoenix. Now Phoenix is a nice place but it is a four hour drive in the wrong direction from their home. They have absolutely no reason for coming here except to see us for a couple of days.

These friends mean everything to us. We know that our lives over the years would have had paltry meaning had not one day our lives connected with the lives of these people who have turned out to be our most treasured friends.

If you have such friends you know you should be glad!