Thursday, May 31, 2007

Paula Deen is one of my favorite cooks. I get excited about everything I see her prepare on television and every recipe I read in her books. She is my kind of cook!

But Paula Deen is no lady! The name of her restaurant is Lady and Sons. Maybe she could call it Mama and Sons or Woman and Sons—but forget the lady part.

I have just finished reading her memoir, Paula Deen, It Ain’t All About Cookin’, and you can say that again, “It ain’t all about cookin’”. Paula is a great cook and probably a great woman in many ways—but she is not a lady. She is a foul-mouthed, crude, bawdy woman! She isn’t just like most women in that she lets something crude slip out of her mouth occasionally—bawdiness is a way of life with her.

How important is this? Not very! I write about what’s on my mind and some days I do it so I can get it off of my mind. And this is one of those days. My favorite cook still knows a lot about cooking but she doesn’t know diddly about how to name a restaurant.


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

There is a plaque in the courtyard at Cowell College, overlooking Monterey Bay that reads: “The Pursuit of Truth in the Company of Friends.” Wow! That’s good. That’s what a college should be. However, my interest is to apply this to the Lord’s church. Isn’t that what the church is all about—pursuing truth in the company of friends?

That’s it! To me, this is one of the most exciting thoughts I can think of—being with friends pursuing truth.

Over the years I have done this on Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night and almost every day of the week. The church is not a clique. It is a group of friends bound together in a pursuit. I feel sorry for everybody that does not know this experience.

I say again, there is nothing like it—“The Pursuit of Truth in the Company of Friends.”


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The first day of summer is not until June 21—according to the calendar. But according to me—summer starts today. For me, it’s always the day after Memorial Day. School is out, it’s 100 degrees or hotter (in Phoenix) I have been in the pool at least once, I have turned from basketball to baseball, I run the air conditioner day and night and I wear shorts every day.

Yeah, it’s summer alright and I love it. Is the livin’easy? I don’t know. At my age, just living is enough. I’ll enjoy the summer and look forward to the fall. So, don’t be asking me how hot it is. I don’t care. It is what it is.

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay. My, oh my, what a wonderful day!


Monday, May 28, 2007

“America, America, God shed his grace on thee…” Amen!

God has truly blessed our nation.

I know we are not perfect but I love America and I am grateful for all of the blessings that come with living in this great nation.

Today, I’m saying a special prayer for all of those who have fought and who are fighting to keep us free.


Sunday, May 27, 2007

Theologian and scholar Dallas Willard said, “The ability to see and the practice of seeing God and God’s world comes through a process of seeking and growing in intimacy with him.” That’s good. That’s very good!

God is actually here—and we need to believe it!


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have given themselves in sacrifice for our country. Will we remember?????

Our neighbors across the street usually sleep in on Saturday—but not today. They were up bright and early. They were headed for the lake.

We are not going to get out on the highway this weekend. We will fly the flag, throw steaks on the grill, throw ourselves in the pool and relax.

But will we remember?


Friday, May 25, 2007

“Make yourself familiar with the angels, and behold them frequently in spirit; for without being seen, they are present with you.” St. Francis de Sales


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Every day I read Mike Cope’s blog. Mike is the minister for Highland Church of Christ in Abilene, Texas. The following is from yesterday’s blog.
The most recent Christian Chronicle has an ad by a church that is looking for a preacher. “Evanglistic Pulpit Preacher Needed.”
Part of the ad says: “We are looking for a man who wants to be right not radical, a man of wisdom and understanding who truly believes the song ‘Just As I Am’ and permits the gospel to change people’s lives according to “THE faith once delivered to the Saints.” Change agents, misguided, or unlearned men who desire to forget the old hermeneutic pattern of, who is speaking, to whom is he speaking, and when is he speaking, or Command, Example, and Necessary Inference need not apply. We are seeking a man to continue these God inspired biblical traditions taught by men of faith like those listed above [G. C. Brewer, C. E. McGaughey, Rex Turner, Sr., John Henry Clay].”
Just this reflection: My guess is that if they find someone who really believes the song “Just As I Am,” he won’t get the job.
- - - -


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sitting at a table in the clubhouse after a game, Bob said to a fellow club member, "I'm not about to play golf with Jim anymore. He cheats."
"Why do you say that?"
"Well, he found his lost ball two feet from the green."
"That's possible."
"Not when I had it in my pocket!"
(From Preaching Now)


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

We live in the most affluent culture the world has ever seen.

We live in one of the most dissatisfied cultures on record.

As long as we think more is better, we’ll never be satisfied.

We need to develop a new appreciation for the blessings we already enjoy.

We can spend our lifetime wanting more, always chasing happiness—or we can simply decide to consciously want less.

More is not always better.


Monday, May 21, 2007

James Robison wrote that “Forty percent of all women experience depression. Fifteen percent of depression sufferers will commit suicide. Fifty-four percent of all people believe that depression is a personal weakness. According to Psychiatric Services, the fastest growing market for antidepressants is pre-school age children. Apparently, depression is no respecter of persons.”

Have you ever felt brokenhearted or crushed in spirit? The difference for the Christian is the Lord’s presence. In God we have hope.

“Why am I discouraged? Why so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again…” (Psalm 42:5)

“The righteous cry and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” (Psalm 34:17-19)


Sunday, May 20, 2007

We got a new range for the kitchen yesterday. As always, appliances have to be adjusted.

The young man thought he had it. He gathered up his stuff and was ready to leave.

My wife said, “This stove is not level. It needs to be adjusted” He said, “Ok, let me run to the truck and get the level.” He was back in a flash and in a few seconds he thought his job was done. “No, it’s a little high in the front.” “No, you’re going the wrong way; it needs to be lowered in the front. Or maybe the back needs to be raised…”

At that point I decided to leave the area. I thought to myself, “You might as well let him do it. If not, you will be down there on your knees adjusting that thing after he is gone and he’s much younger than you are.”

As I left I thought to myself, “I wonder if he is married.”


Saturday, May 19, 2007

The next few months will fly by and we will be electing a new President of the United States. I meet this with mixed emotions. I look at the long list of candidates and there is something missing—it’s character. I want a President like Ronald Reagan. Reagan had courage, kindness, persistence and honesty.

Speech writer, Peggy Noonan contends that the one thing a man must bring into the White House with him if he is to succeed, is a character that people come to recognize as high, sturdy, and reliable.

Am I saying absolutely that none of the candidates have this? No. I don’t really know them this well. But I can say that based on what I have seen of them the last few years, they don’t seem to have this kind of character.

Lack of character is not something that can be pushed aside by saying, “We are all flawed human beings.” I’m not talking about perfection here—just simple, consistent, character.

Pray that God will give us a man of character that will lead us out of the mess we are in and on to being the great country we have been in the past. A country that we all will be willing to die for!


Friday, May 18, 2007

A new law is being discussed that would allow police to cite a person for smoking in a car with children in it. Hey, there are a lot of things you shouldn’t being doing in a car—with or without children. It seems to me that we can’t pass a law to cover everything that a little common sense would take care of.

The panic over smoking is making me tired. I don’t smoke. Never have. Never will. It’s a bad thing to do. But my goodness is it as bad as drinking alcohol? You may say that a child will not be harmed by just seeing you drinking. He/she will be if you drink too much. The smoke from an occasional cigarette isn’t going to do a lot of damage either. That’s just it—we don’t smoke one cigarette or drink one beer.

My plea is for all of us—especially parents, to do all things in moderation with good judgment and common sense. We need to apply common sense to everything from eating Big Macs to talking on the phone while driving—with or without a child in the car.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

I came out of the doctor’s office, turned my prescription into the pharmacists and sat down to wait. As I was looking out the front door of the medical building I saw a man approaching with a cell phone in one hand and a soft drink cup and a napkin in the other hand. He walked over to a trash can, tossed the cell phone in and walked on. He walked a few feet and then turned and rushed back to the trash can and reached in for the cell phone. He then threw the empty cup and paper napkin into the bin and walked into the building.



Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I don't know where under is, as in "under the weather."But I know it is below--not above, down--not up, and bad--not good! Wherever it is, that's where I have been for the last three days.

No blog! Couldn't climb the stairs to the computer. And even if I could have, I suspect I would have had a difficult time typing while sitting on the toilet.

Enough of this. I live to write again! Please check back tomorrow.


Friday, May 11, 2007

My wife is taking our pictures, old and new, and making DVD’s that can be shown on our large television screen. She carefully selects the music that goes with each set of pictures because of the memories it brings. It is wonderful. We have pictures from when our family was growing up and some taken just a few days ago. We have pictures of relatives, many of whom are deceased. We have pictures of churches we have worked and worshipped with and pictures from places we have visited around the world.

Memories remind us of the good, the bad and the ugly. Not all memories are sweet—but still, they are good. Sunday we ate the Lord’s Supper with fellow believers. We remembered our Lord’s death and it was good.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Potatoes must be my favorite food—or at least one of my favorites. I had to go to the dictionary to see how to spell potato, especially the plural form.

Baked, French fries, hash browns, boiled, potato salad—cook them up just any way and I will eat them. But I especially like them fried.

Potatoes may not be my favorite taste. That changes from time to time. But potatoes are the food that is most satisfying to me. Breakfast may be my favorite meal—if I get hash browns. And if I go too many days without French fries I start feeling ill. You think it’s all in my head? It may be, but I know from years of experience that a few French fries can put a smile on my face and a spring in my step.


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

"Regardless of what happened today, my responsibility was to glorify God. Hopefully I did."—Zach Johnson, winner of the Masters golf tournament.


I wanted to get to it before it got too hot. Early this morning I washed my car. Oh sure, I know about car washes and we have some snazzy ones close by. I like them. They usually do a good job. But I grew up washing my own car and I still do it most of the time. I had a lot of California “crud” on it and I wanted to get it off.

You’re saying, “Clif, retirement looks pretty dull for you.”

Well, not all together. I baked some chocolate chip cookies yesterday. (Clif’s Chips).


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

My mother told me, “If you start a fight I am going to whip you. If somebody starts a fight with you and you don’t whip them, I am going to whip you.” Sounds like a lot of whipping, doesn’t it? Yea, it does and I am not saying this is a good thing to teach a child. I’m just telling you, this is the philosophy I grew up with and I can’t shake it in two areas: The war in Iraq and illegal immigration.

We will never win the war in Iraq or any war until we make up our mind to “whip” somebody. It will never be done the way we are going about it.

We will never win the “war” on illegal immigration until we make up our minds to “whip” those who are illegal.

This is tough stuff I know, but it must be done and if we are not going to do it we need to just shut up and give up.


Monday, May 07, 2007

I love the ocean, but live in the desert. Go figure!

If I could afford to live on the beach—I would. I can’t—so I don’t.

I wouldn’t want to live close to the beach, unless I could see it. I would have to see it. Just being close is not good enough. And I don’t like those little towns that are just close.

So like many retirees I live in the desert. The warmth is good for my old bones. I like it. When I was ready to retire, people would ask, “Where are you going to move to.” My reply: “Move, why in the world would I want to move from one of the retirement capitols of the world, when every other retiree is rushing to get here?”

No waves breaking in on the sand today, but the sun is shining and I’m as happy as a California surfer.


Sunday, May 06, 2007

BOOKS—everywhere I looked there were books. Every year at the Pepperdine University Bible Lectureship, book dealers from all over the country bring their books and put them on display along side the University book stores stacks.

“A good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.” Words and stories change people. I have been changed by the words and stories of Augustine, Pascal, Tolstoy, Frederick Buechner, C.S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and others. “While many things can shape us—pictures, music, and the other arts—it does seem to be words that rap most surely at the door.”



Saturday, May 05, 2007

Pepperdine University sits right on the Pacific coast overlooking the ocean. The campus is beautiful! Charlotte and I have just returned from the annual Bible Lectureship held there. It was a wonderful experience, as always. We listened to great messages from the Word of God, visited with old friends and came home spiritually enriched.

We have a long association with this great school. We have been attending various events on campus for close to fifty years. I visited the old campus in Los Angeles for the first time in 1957. I received my Masters Degree from there a few years later. Both of our children are graduates.

When summer comes on with a vengeance and you want to get out of town—try Malibu. And when you do, take some time and visit Pepperdine. If you can’t afford a motel right on the ocean, drive through the canyon and stay at the Country Inn & Suites in Calabasas.
Calabasas is beautiful and cool also. The Commons is a lovely little shopping area and they have great places to eat.

Get out of town for a few days. You will come home refreshed!