Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Discovery Channel has announced its TV special in March on “The Lost Tomb of Jesus.” The bottom line is they think the tomb of Jesus, his family and Mary Magdalene has been found. A recent article by Edward Fudge states: “These six names were all popular at the time these folks lived and died.” He also says that of 900 period tombs uncovered around Jerusalem, 71 have included someone named “Jesus” and at least one housed a “Jesus son of Joseph.” He further states that one of every five females in first-century Palestine was named “Mary”.

There is much to prove that Jesus our Lord’s body was not left in a grave.

When Sunday, April 8 rolls around I will not be hiding any eggs or buying any new spring clothes but I will remember the resurrection of our Lord that day and every day!


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

“How ya’ doin’?” (Interpretation: “How are you doing?”)

The answer is almost always: “Fine, I’m just fine.”

The truth: “Not so good. My back aches, my stomach doesn’t feel right and I’m just generally a mess.”

Like yesterday—I felt like crapola so I stayed in bed all day.

Today I feel a little better and I will be out and about. People will ask, “How Ya’ Doin’?”

I will lie. I will say, “Fine, I’m just fine.”


Sunday, February 25, 2007

First things first! Today is Sunday and church comes first.

We missed the opening day of the Great Fair at Fountain Hills. We have always gone on Friday—never on Sunday. Since we do not believe it is sinful to shop on Sunday we will spend the afternoon at the craft fair. When I was a kid all stores, gas stations and restaurants closed on Sunday. Sunday was for going to church and resting. Those days are gone forever.

Oh, by the way, tonight we will probably watch some of the Oscars presentation. Not that we really care who wins and I certainly don’t care what the stars will be wearing or who made it. When I was a kid many church going people thought that it was wrong to go to the movies and they would never have dreamed of going on Sunday.

Well, I’ve got to get moving. It’s time to head for church. Thank goodness there are still people who believe in getting together to worship GOD.


Saturday, February 24, 2007

In 1 Cor. 7:17a the Apostle Paul gives some fantastic advice. I agree with it 100%. Many, many, many people are miserable, or not as happy as they could be, because they do not heed these wise words of Paul.

“And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. God, not your marital status, defines your life.”


Friday, February 23, 2007

If you like baseball, the valley of the sun is the place to be this time of year. This is a baseball lover’s paradise. Great stadiums are scattered all over the area where you can go to watch spring games. Once we went to a game at the San Francisco Giants’ stadium in Scottsdale just because I was hoping to see Barry Bonds knock a home run. He didn’t disappoint!

Word is out that the L.A. Dodgers are coming to the valley for spring training. That will just be another added attraction.

You would think that the “gossip,” debates and arguments would be all about which team is best. But that’s not it. The major debate is over hot dogs! Yes, that’s it—which stadium has the best hot dogs. What’s the answer? You may be surprised that, as a lover of hot dogs, I don’t know the answer. I haven’t tried any of them—much less, all of them.
They are too expensive and besides they couldn’t compare with the ones I make at home.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

It rarely rains in the valley and so we didn’t mind at all when it rained on us all the way up to Sedona. It continued to rain throughout the day so we, with umbrella in hand, scurried from one little shop to the next. Mid-afternoon it rained so hard we sought refuge in a lovely restaurant sitting on the side of a hill. We perched ourselves on high chairs looking out through a huge window. The rain splattered across the window as we looked down on a beautiful little shopping area. Only a few brave souls were milling around. Along with hot cups of coffee we wickedly indulged in sinful desserts.

In the evening, as we left our resort to go to dinner it began to snow and snow it did! The windshield wipers worked hard to keep the snow off. We sat by the fireplace in a delightful little restaurant that we had been to before, and enjoyed a great meal. It was a warm, cozy experience watching the snow come down under the street lights. By the time we left the restaurant the car was lightly covered all over with snow.

The Amara Resort and Spa sits right on Oak Creek. The next morning we walked out into the sun and looked up across the creek at the beautiful red mountains covered with snow. After breakfast we toured Sedona. At noon we had a great lunch topped off with world famous peach cobbler as viewed on Regis.

It sounds like we did a lot of eating—and we did. But we also did a lot of driving, walking (lots of walking) shopping (lots of shopping) and looking at the surrounding beauty. Words cannot describe the beauty it has to be experienced. But yes, the eating did play a prominent place in our “little vacation”—as it always does.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Charlotte and I have been out of town for two days. We had a wonderful time and we loved being away. We arrived back in Phoenix about an hour ago. It is wonderful to be home. This blog note is just to say, “I’m tired right now and have a lot of things to catch up on, so there will be no blog again today—but look out tomorrow!”


Monday, February 19, 2007

“Cut yourself some slack” is what Richard Carlson suggests in his book, Don’t Sweat The Small stuff. Man, do I ever need that today! I’m running behind and I never run behind, I can’t seem to get anything right and I was on the verge of giving myself a tongue lashing.

A few minutes ago I opened Carson’s book and the words; cut yourself some slack, jumped out at me. Ok, I’m going to do it. I have cut myself some slack and now I feel better. I’m still running late but it doesn’t matter.

Cut yourself some slack. You will feel better!


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Churches and businesses that have websites are smart. It’s a good thing to do. However, those who do not keep their sites current and up to date are stupid. Some, in fact many, are months behind. This is not a good business practice and it is not a good example. People will not go to a site day after day, week after week if nothing changes.

What’s the answer? Well somebody in the organization just needs to see that this task is taken care of.



Saturday, February 17, 2007

The psalmist said it (Psalm 107:1) long before I did—“…God is good.”

Joni Eareckson Tada has suffered a lot but through it all she still proclaims that God is good.


All things fit together into a pattern for our good and God’s glory.
Hardships force us to make decisions about God.
Suffering gives us character.
Suffering makes us more sensitive to people who are hurting.

Sometimes the pain seems to outweigh even the best of benefits.
Through the experiences of life we are reminded that God is good and has good reasons for what he does.

When we are suffering, we plead for our Father’s assurance that everything will be okay.
God gives us something better than a list of answers; he gives us himself.

God allows us to suffer so that nothing will come between him and us.
You can endure almost anything if you know God is right next to you.

(Taken from a message given by Joni Eareckson Tada)


Friday, February 16, 2007

CAREFREE! I like the way it sounds—carefree. That’s the way I want to live—carefree.
However, I am not, never have been and never will be carefree. That’s just not me. I want to be but I’m not—carefree that is.

But today I’m going there—Carefree, Arizona that is.

Yes sir, in a few minutes we are heading out to Carefree and Cave Creek—two little towns out in the desert. Today they have a Farmer’s Market and Craft Fair in Carefree and we will mill around there for awhile. Then we will mosey over to Cave Creek for broasted chicken at the Horny Toad restuarant.

Around 12:30 or 1:00 I will be sufficiently full of chicken that I will waddle to the car, drive home, drop into the recliner, lean back and take a nap. You know what, that’s about as close to carefree as I will get all day—life style that is!


Thursday, February 15, 2007






Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The old songs goes, “The first time ever I saw your face…”. She was eleven years old the first time I saw her. Today, after forty-eight years of marriage she gave me a Valentine with one of my favorite pictures of her. The picture was taken when she was thirteen. She was beautiful then—but more so, today.

A long time friend, a single woman visiting in our home said, “But you two have each other.” I had just been telling her how much we loved Phoenix but that we had loved everyplace we had ever lived and that I thought we would be happy living just about anyplace. That’s when she said, “But you two have each other.”

When she first said that, I thought she had missed the point. Today—Valentine’s Day, I understand. I wouldn’t be happy in Phoenix or any other place without CHARLOTTE.

A lot of Valentine Days have gone by since I first met her, but hey, I’m not dwelling on those gone by except for the precious memories they bring. I’m looking forward to the next one and the next and the next… but if they get any better I may not be able to handle it.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Every seventeen minutes in the United States someone takes their life.

In a few minutes Charlotte and I will get in our car and drive for fifteen minutes down the freeway to our “old” church where I will speak at the memorial service for a dear young friend. Kevin was just twenty-nine when he took his life.

Kevin was manic-depressive. This is a genetic disorder. It caused Kevin to “march to the sound of a different drummer.”

Kevin was a father, a marine and a police officer. I met him when he was 12 years old. He was baptized when he was 11. Kevin loved to hear me preach, which is rare for a young person. He listened so hard I could almost feel it. It warms the heart of an old preacher to know that somebody thinks you have something worth listening to.

I don’t think Kevin would want this memorial service but if he has to have it, I think he would want me speaking. I don’t know if he will be listening this morning, but if he is, he will be listening intently.

I loved Kevin Morrison.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Today I’m on subject 43 as I spend 100 days reading through the book, Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff. Author Richard Carlson redefines the word anthropology as “being interested, without judgment, in the way other people choose to live and behave.”

He says that when someone acts in a way that seems strange to us that rather than reacting in our usual ways, such as, “I can’t believe they would do that,” instead we should say something to ourselves like “I see, that must be the way she sees things in her world. Very interesting.”

I have struggled with this all my life. I’m praying that I will be able to get a handle on it before I turn 100 years old. If I don’t, I’m just going to have to keep on sweating the small stuff. And worse than that I’m going to be judged by the way I judge others.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

No doubt about it, I’m moving slower this morning!

This is not a typical sun kissed day in the desert.

It’s cloudy and a little on the dreary side.

Soooo, I’m movin’ slow, thinkin’ slow and I can see right now, this is not just going to be a slow movin’ morning—this is going to be a slow movin’ day.

You know what, I think we all need a day like this occasionally.

I’m headin’ off to church now to meet with the other slow movers. But I hope the preacher isn’t like the rest of us. I want him to “cut to the chase”.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Theologian Martin E. Marty wrote a book of reflections about the terminal illness and loss of his beloved wife. He said one of the resources human beings need is what he calls “a wintry spirituality” for times when the warmth and joy is taken away from us and a sunny disposition is not enough to bring them back. We need a way of holding on to God when it feels as if God has let go of us.

The Bible tells us about a man named Job who suffered greatly. But through it all, Job finds out who God is, that God knows about our suffering and God cares. Sitting on an ash heap; scraping boils off his skin with shards of broken and discarded pots; feeling broken, sick, mocked, confused, and hopeless—Job discovered what people in pain sometimes learn better than anyone else. He was not alone after all.


Friday, February 09, 2007

Yesterday was a beautiful day in Scottsdale. We drove over to Kierland Commons and walked around to get out of the house, get some exercise and just to enjoy the day.

We went into the Coldwater Creek store and it was filled with women. I hadn’t been in there since Christmas when the store was jammed. But I think there were more people there today than at Christmas. The store was packed out! I was the only man walking around in the store but there were a few old men sitting around waiting. They looked tired and bored. One old man had his head down and his eyes closed. I think he was praying. “Dear Lord, don’t let her spend all of our money so that I have to come out of retirement and go back to work.”

No it wasn’t me! I was praying while on my feet. I learned a long time ago that it’s best not to sit down. My plan is to just keep moving toward the door leading out of the store.

It was a nice day over at Kierland Commons yesterday. We didn’t spend a dime!


Thursday, February 08, 2007

President Bush made the “mistake” of paying Barack Obama a compliment. He said Obama was articulate. Now, where I come from, that’s a good thing—hence, a compliment and something to be desired.

NOT IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY IT’S NOT! “No sir, don’t be calling me articulate, you racist.” Now, Barack Obama is not upset by this—just his black friends.

Well, they don’t have to worry about me calling them articulate or anything else—out loud. Let them guess what I’m thinking. I have a long list of words running around in my mind—some good, some not so good. You say, “Clif you might as well go ahead and say the words, they will be upset anyway.” You’re right, but this way is more fun for me.

If President Bush is smart he will follow my lead. The next time he is asked about a black person he will just smile that wry little grin of his and say, "Next question, please."


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I write with a heavy heart today. My friend, Kevin Morrison took his life yesterday. I have known Kevin since he was in the sixth grade. I watched him go through High School, become a marine, get married, have children and become a police officer. I will always remember what a polite young man and adult he was. He always treated me with the greatest respect. He was a friend, and I loved him and I will miss him. The pain caused by death is the price we pay for loving someone.

For quite some time Kevin has been struggling with mental/emotional problems. He was taking medication but something happened yesterday that caused him to bring an end to the pain of living. Sickness intrudes like a burglar in our home, touching every part of life.

“Kevin, you came into our lives and caused us to love you and then left us too soon.”


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A buck fifty—that’s all. Just one dollar and fifty cents. $1.50.

Costco sells their large hot dog and drink for the unbelievable sum of $1.50.

I learned this important bit of information from my friend, Jon Mouer when he was Youth Minister at Lincoln Heights Christian Church. He took me to lunch at Costco for what was a regular experience for him. He said he occasionally had the large slice of pizza which is delicious, but it cost a little more.

I have sampled hot dogs from here, there and everywhere and the ones at Costco are not the best by any means—but they are good, real good.

I know Costco is not the Ritz, but come on, you have been seen in less prestigious places. Who knows, maybe you will leave singing, “Puttin’ on the Costco.”


Monday, February 05, 2007

A lot of people won’t show up for work this morning. The problem? Super Bowl hangover. Alcohol will not be the only problem. Some will be hung over from too much—you name it! The body and mind can only handle so much “runnin' and gunnin'.”

Yesterday was a rather calm day around our house. We went to Bible Class and then the morning assembly. After lunch we made ice cream. For dinner, I cooked outside on the grill. And of course, we watched the game and the commercials. Our son and daughter came over in the afternoon and stayed until bed time. We were glad the Colts won and so we waddled off to bed smiling.

In the excess department I would have to note: too much food and maybe a few too many commercials. And that left me feeling a little queasy—but that’s about it.

So, I’m up and at them, and ready to take on another week. It will be a year before the Super Bowl rolls around and next year it will be in Phoenix. We don’t have a beautiful body of water like the ocean for our guests to look at but they won’t have to sit for hours in water falling from the sky.


Sunday, February 04, 2007

First and foremost, today is the Lord’s Day! Who cares? I care. Millions of Christians around the world care and both coaches playing in the Super Bowl care! A little group of two hundred people at an Assembly of God Church in Florida care. The storm that hit their state completely destroyed their church building, but this morning they sat up chairs and worshipped God amid the rubble.

We usually say, “May the best man win.” Well today, a best man will win and a best man will lose. Lovie and Tony both know this. They are Christians and they are friends. One will win—one will lose. But they will still be Christians and they will still be friends.

I will be cheering for the Colts but if the Bears come out on top—I will still have enjoyed the game.


Saturday, February 03, 2007

Consumer Reports’ picked McDonald’s as the place to get a great tasting cup of coffee. You couldn’t prove it by me. I have had only a few—very few, cups of coffee from McDonalds, just one from Starbucks, and none from Dunkin’ Donuts. I drink my coffee at home—two cups in the morning, two at night. Needless to say, I’m no java junkie!

But oh, the smell of coffee! I’m hooked on the smell! I love the smell when a fresh can of coffee is opened, when a fresh batch of beans are ground—but I especially love the smell of coffee brewing in the pot. Wow!

The best cup of coffee I ever had? It was years ago on the Monterey Peninsula. It was a cool morning. A light fog was rolling in off the ocean. A few hardy souls were walking on the beach. Sea gulls soared around and around at the waters edge. Charlotte and I sat inside a restaurant that was quiet at mid-morning. There was nobody at the tables—nobody at the bar. The entire side of the restaurant was enclosed in glass. I just sat there looking at her, looking at the ocean and drinking that great cup of Joe. It was the best I ever had.


Friday, February 02, 2007

What a crock! “You’re only as old as you feel” is a stupid statement. Let me tell you something, feeling 29 when you are 72 is better than feeling 72 when you are 72—but not much! If you were born in 1934 you are now 72 and feeling like you are 29 will not change the facts.

I can hear somebody saying, “Yes, growing old can be a problem, but it’s sure better than the alternative.” How do you know? I have spent a life time telling folks how great heaven is am I now suppose to start telling them that they should avoid it at all cost?”

“Age is just a number” you say? Well, it may be just a number but the bigger it gets the more my butt drags and my body hurts.

In spite of all this, I do enjoy life. I really do! And there are a lot of things I like about being old. But still, anyway you look at it getting old sucks.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Over the years, I have eaten my share of pizza. I love pizza! But I don’t remember having ever eaten Little Caesars Pizza, which probably means I haven’t. I may or may not like their pizza but I know I love their “heart.”

The founder of Little Caesars Pizza recently gave a franchise to a wounded Iraq veteran who lost both of his legs. That soldier is now operating his franchise in Kentucky and they are also making it possible for other veterans to come into the business.

So, next time I see a Little Caesars Pizza place I’m pulling in.

Orchids to a company with “heart.”