Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Elijah was out in the desert when he heard God’s voice: “What doest thou here, Elijah?”

Good question. It might be a good thing if we stopped now and then and asked: “What am I doing here?” What’s the point of so much of our hurry,worry,effort and anxiety? It might enable us to see a little better what things are important and what things ultimately do not matter.

What’s the point?


Monday, July 30, 2007

The Emperor’s Club is one of my favorite movies. This is a movie that needs to be seen by everybody. It is a must for teens.

Enough said!


Sunday, July 29, 2007

In a few minutes I will be heading on over to Miller and Shea where a bunch of us get together every Sunday. It’s a meeting of words—lots of words. Most of them come from the guy we call “the preacher” For about thirty to thirty-five minutes he opens his mouth and out come words.

I know a lot about words. I preached for almost fifty years. In talking to other preachers I have found that the most depressing aspect of pastoral work is preaching. Blame it on the words. An old preacher once said, “The possibilities for being misunderstood are infinite.”

Many times after preaching I would be met at the door by someone who would say, “That really was a great sermon about…” And I would think, “That’s not what my sermon was about you idiot! My sermon was about this.”

WORDS—so easily misunderstood. I have often thought, “I should never have gone out in public with that word.”

There will be thousands that come for our meeting today. I pray that each of us will give the preacher a fair hearing. Words are hard to work with.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

It is doubtful that the command to “Pray without ceasing” was written to those of us who visit hospitals. There is a time and place for the longer prayer, but the sick room is not included. Pray briefly and to the point.

The story is told of a minister calling on one of the members of his church who was seriously ill in a hospital. Before leaving he said, “Shall we have a word of prayer?” He prayed for all people, all situations, and all missionaries in various parts of the world. When the “amen” was said, he turned to the weeping relative beside him and said, “I hope your brother will soon be better.” To his surprise she replied, “Oh, he died while you were in China.”


Friday, July 27, 2007

Charles Schultz understood us all too well. This is one of my favorites.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

I’ve been in a hurry all my life. Why? I haven’t got the foggiest idea.

A wise old cowboy once said, “to hurry big for little reasons is the best way I know never to live at all.”

We need to be reminded that every day presents a never-again opportunity to experience life—life not to be hurried through, but to be savored and enjoyed.



Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Saying, “I seen him when he done it” is not good grammar but it’s no worse than watching what people do and then talking about it.

Gossip is the unnecessary passage of information (usually unverified) to others. Listen to Psalm 15:1-3 “Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue. Who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman.”

I have always been given two criteria for judging news: (l) is it true and (2) is it helpful? It goes without saying that truth is extremely important. But to me, the most important thing to think about before repeating something is to ask “Is it helpful?” If it’s not helpful, why in the world would you want to repeat it?


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Be careful who you give your Social Security number to—even KEZ. “Clifton Ditmore, come on down!"KEZ sent me an e-mail saying I had won $50.00 from Johnny Rockets. “Oh boy, Johnny Rockets. How many chili fries can I buy with $50.00.” They said just bring photo identification and if I couldn’t come just send somebody with a note and my photo identification. Ok! Ok! Sounds good.

The young receptionist looked at my identification, handed me three pages and told me to fill in the information every time I saw an X. I saw two places asking for my social security number. “I don’t want to give you my social security number along with my name, address, etc. because I have had my identity stolen and I am trying to avoid having it happen again. “Well, we have to have it to report to IRS for this.” “But it’s only $50.00 you don’t have to report that to IRS.” “Yes, but you may win more before the year is out.” “Look, I have never won anything in my life and I don’t think I have suddenly become so lucky that I will win $550.00 in the next five months.” “Well, I’m sorry you feel that way but we can’t give you the money without your social security number.”

I had Johnny Rockets and chili fries on my mind so we stopped there for lunch on the way home. It cost me $15.00 and I didn’t have an extra $35.00 in my pocket. But as far as I know, I am still the only one with my identity. I want my identity. I like me. But I don’t like KEZ anymore!


Monday, July 23, 2007

"Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all nor be afraid!”

William Barclay says there are four things that the years should bring.
They should bring a sense of proportion. We learn that some things are important and some are unimportant.
They should bring an increasing serenity.
They should bring also a larger tolerance
And lastly, surely the years will bring an increasing conviction of the triumphant adequacy of the grace of God

The advice is not never grow old, because that cannot be done, but grow old with wisdom and with God.

Guest Blogger

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Guest Blogger: Charlotte

Clif came into the family room as I was viewing one of my latest DVD creations. (He mentioned I was into making DVDs in one of his recent blogs.) I mentioned to him how amazing it was that some of the pictures I was watching were small 3 x 3 inch black and white snapshots taken back in 1953 at Rocky Mountain National Park when I was just 16 years old. It never would have even entered my mind that 54 years later I would be looking at those pictures on a big screen TV with beautiful music. Back then my family had never even owned a TV and the only ones out there were very small black and white models. Amazing! He said I should write a blog about it so I decided I would, and here it is. I've included one of those pictures.


When Job was suffering three friends came to him and “they sat with him on the ground. Seven days and nights they sat there without saying a word. They could see how rotten he felt, how deeply he was suffering.”

Wow! They sat with him seven days without saying a word.

That’s what we need when we are suffering—not words—presences, human presences.

We need somebody just to be there. Somebody that cares.


Friday, July 20, 2007

Just to let you know how stupid I am (not that you don’t already know) I have always thought that monsoon weather meant RAIN. It doesn’t. Not by a long shot. In my part of town, it means DUST—and lots of it. Here’s what we get and in this order: Wind, dust, and a little water mixed in. That equals mud!

Oh, there have been years when we got rain—and lots of it. It came down in torrents. It fell out of the sky hard and heavy like rocks. The howling winds threw it into your face and it stung like bees. It filled up underpasses and low areas and cars were swept away. We can remember those days of rain, but the last few years they have just become faint little memories.


Say the word monsoon and I immediately think of those duds we have sent to congress. They roar like thunder. And then comes the hot air—blowing, blowing—nothing but dust. So once again you walk away disappointed. Promises, promises, but no delivery.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Reading through the Book of Job I read the words of Eliphaz to Job: “You yourself have done this plenty of times, spoken words that clarify, encouraged those who were about to quit. Your words have put stumbling people on their feet.” Those are the words of a friend.

This morning I was floating on the pool and I got to thinking about all the people who have spoken words to me that clarified the situation and encouraged me. They put me on my feet when I was stumbling. There have been so many of them that I can’t count or name them. There have been men and women—but especially women.



Wednesday, July 18, 2007

We headed for the cool and we reached our destination. It was cool—really cool. And I have pictures to prove it. I have pictures of me sitting by a cozy fire. The fireplace was in the lobby of the resort where we stayed and it was open into the lobby and out onto the patio. I chose to sit inside by the bar and watch a young lady as she sang. I didn’t drink anything from the bar. I was already as happy as I could be. However, now that I’m back at home and it is hotter than (As Ronald Reagan would say) _ _ _ _, I feel kinda like having a drink (even though I don’t know from experience how that would feel).

I thought that if we slipped out of town and got away from the 114 degree heat that we would come back home and feel better after a little reprieve.



Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Thank you for your concern about my recent polyp removals. The lab reports no malignancy and I wasn’t really expecting any, I had the ones on the sides of my nose removed for cosmetic reasons and because I am vain. The one on my _ _ _ _ was just a bother.

When the report came back from the lab I noticed that my Dr. had identified the three things removed as (1) Miniature Squamous Papilloma (2) Miniature Fibroepithelial Polyp (3) Fibroepithelial Polyp. He gave the location for the ones on my nose as: Right nasolabial fold and left nasolabial fold. I was amused to see this for the one on my _ _ _ _, Site not specified.

Can it be that my Dr. is timid? No way!


Monday, July 16, 2007

When I was young and silly I didn’t eat much for breakfast—if anything. I didn’t really want anything. I was always ready for a big lunch because I hadn’t eaten much. Those days are gone. Now, I really, really enjoy a big breakfast. Not that I get it, mind you, but I do enjoy it when I can.

Last week, while staying at the Coronado Bay Resort, I had a big breakfast every morning. The buffet offered a little bit of everything. I didn’t try it all but I ate a lot of what I did try—eggs, hash browns with onions, bacon, sausage, orange juice, more orange juice, coffee, more coffee, fruit, and various pastries. Charlotte had pancakes, fruit, yogurt, orange juice and coffee. She may have had other things when I wasn’t looking. I was too busy taking care of my own plate to always be looking at hers.

Back at home I have had cold cereal and hot cereal. I hate cereal!


Sunday, July 15, 2007

My friend, Connie Pratt sent an E-Mail saying she was passing through town and ran into a great party mutual friends were having. Connie has moved away from Phoenix after about seventeen years and lives in the Tuscan area. While living here she was quite a “party girl.” She had a lot of parties at her lovely home and she attended a lot of parties.

I was preaching every Sunday, back then, and if the parties were on Saturday evening I would always leave around 9:30. Connie always complained that I was leaving too early. But in my mind I just had to do it.

Now that I am retired and can stay out all night (let’s make that half the night) we don’t get invited to many parties. What a bummer! Just when we are able to “kick up our heels” and have a good time—the ingredients are gone. The invitations to parties, the energy for play, the dreams of adventure, the desire to travel and on and on it goes. I’ve got the time now—but that’s about all.

I’m going to church in a few minutes. Come to think of it—that’s kinda like a party.

One day this week I’m going to head out to Cave Creek. I hear they make one of the best ice cream sandwiches in the country out there. Wow! I’m excited.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Years ago, I drove our car onto the ferry and rode across the bay to Coronado Island. It was fun but it was slow and time consuming. Today there is a beautiful, blue bridge twisting high into the sky that takes you from San Diego to Coronado.

Driving over the bridge a few days ago on the way to a happy, exciting day of adventure we saw a sign that read: SUICIDE COUNSELING.

Evidently not everybody on that beautiful bridge over the bay is smiling. If you look closely there may be a tear or two. Yes, there is a lot of sadness in this beautiful country. There are a lot of problems. Let’s dedicate ourselves to being part of the solution and not part of the problem. It’s easy enough to say, “Have a good day.” Let’s do what we can to make it happen!


Friday, July 13, 2007

California is “cool” in more ways than one but the weather is especially cool. In my opinion you can’t find better weather, year round, than in San Diego.

The Coronado Bay Resort is a great place to stay. It’s a little too expensive and a little “fancy” for an old “Okie” like me, but it was good for me to “rub shoulders” with the upper crust for a few days. The staff at the resort is at your beck and call—your wish is their command. I was afraid to slow down when walking by one of them, afraid that they would drop to their knees and start shining my shoes.

Ah, the good life!

Laying by the pool feeling the gentle breeze, relaxing in the spa, stuffing myself over a mountain of food at the breakfast buffet, strolling leisurely through the shops at Seaport Village, watching the waves wash upon the beach or just having Charlotte by my side instead of glued to her computer for hours, was a great delight.

We went to the cool. We came back to the heat. It was good to go, it was better to come back. It may be trite, but it’s true—“There’s no place like home.”

Monday, July 09, 2007

I love this quote: “Allof us are facing a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Former Suns’ CEO Jerry Colangelo, one of the most successful and respected figures in professional sports, stated that his first priority in life is his personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

“Christ comes first, my family comes second and my business comes third.”


Saturday, July 07, 2007

It is not just America—it’s the world. Liberalism is destroying us!

Liberal parents, children, schools (especially colleges and universities), politicians, judges (especially judges) churches and on and on it goes. It’s sickening!



Friday, July 06, 2007

This morning I’ve got Tombstone on my mind—the town, not pizza. I watched the movie again last night for the umpteenth time. It reminded me of something that happened to Charlotte and me once upon a time in Tombstone.

Charlotte and I were thoroughly enjoying roaming the streets. When lunch time came we strolled up and down the streets looking for a place to eat. Tombstone has a lot of eating places to choose from and we were having a difficult time deciding on one. We came to the end of the main street and were crossing over to go down the other side. I decided to just take a look in the last place at the end of the street and shouted, “Eureka, I’ve found it.” There before my eyes was laid out a mountain of food on several tables. It was a feast to make an old man’s heart beat fast. It was a banquet to beat all banquets! I told Charlotte to come on in that this was, indeed the place for lunch.

We looked around for a receptionist or someone to seat us, but of course, there was no one. Tombstone is not a place for city slickers it’s for cowboys. You’re on your own. You do the best you can. But of course, we knew we needed to pay so we asked who we should pay and how much.

“Oh darling, you don’t need to pay. Just get a plate and make yourself at home. We are so glad you came.”

“We don’t need to pay? You’re glad we came. We don’t understand!” “Oh no, you can't pay, we wouldn’t think of it. We are having a wake for our friend _______ ________. We politely declined; thanked them for their kindness and left. They were still imploring us to stay as we meekly walked out.


Don’t look now, but there’s a bunch of cowboys and girls down in Tombstone that beg to disagree.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

John Allen Hudson had the best vocabulary of any man I have ever known. He had been a well known preacher for many years but was retired by the time I met him. He was a member of the church where I did my first full-time preaching. On the rare occasions when he would fill the pulpit he used words I had never heard. One Sunday he used a word I did know—pussyfooting. That word got him into trouble with an elderly, dignified lady who thought the word was beneath him. The word didn’t bother me. I was happy to hear a word I understood.

I don’t want to be considered undignified but pussyfooting is a word I want to apply to our President. I do so because I want to be understood and I think most common people know the meaning of this unsophisticated word.

President Bush needs to stop pussyfooting around about everything. He needs to go before the people of the United States everyday and in many places, and tell them the truth. He needs to say, “We are going to fight this war until we win whether you like it or not, we are closing the borders tomorrow to illegal immigration, we are not going to be politically correct on everything—just correct. We are going to apply common sense to everything we do. We are no longer going to allow Christians to be pushed around and we are going to check out everybody that may be a terrorist, especially Muslems. We are no longer going to spend money on stupid things regardless of who may want it. We are going to call an ace and ace and a spade a spade. There will be no more pussyfooting around.”

Wednesday, July 04, 2007



Tuesday, July 03, 2007

At 8:30 this morning when I went into the doctor’s office I had two small growths (thingies) on my nose—one on each side. They were small—very small, but one of them looked liked a pimple—ugly little thing.

When I came out of the office at 9:30 I had two skin colored band aids on my nose—one on each side. When I look in the mirror I still see myself but I look a little stranger than usual. My doctor says I will now go through stages. First comes the band aids and then the ugliness of the burns on each side of my nose where he cauterized the “wounds.”

I had another “thingie” removed at the same time. It was on a different part of my body. I lay on my back for the nose job and on my stomach for the __ __ __ __ job.

Today I’m writing about what’s on my mind and what’s no longer on my nose and __ __ __ __.


Monday, July 02, 2007

1 Samuel 2:30 “Those who honor me I will honor…”

Sitting at In-N-Out Burger I wondered why they were so successful. The burgers are good—but not that good.

As people crowded into the building, my wife answered the question, “They honor God and he honors them. Have you ever noticed the palm trees in front of every In-N-Out are crossed as a symbol of the cross? If you look on the bottom of a beverage cup you will find John 3:16.

Sitting at Chick-Fil-A watching people crowd into the building, I knew why the company was successful. The sandwich is good—but not that good. They honor God and he honors them. All Chick-Fil-A’s are closed on Sunday.

Honor him and he will honor you. He promises and his promises never fail. They may be slow in coming sometimes. But he always comes through.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

“I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.” Psalm 143:5

Augustine said, “Lack of faith is not remembering what God has done for you in the past”

Sometimes when we are overcome with grief, pain or sadness, it’s difficult to remember how much God has done.