Monday, June 30, 2008

Everyday as I come back home from picking up the mail I turn a corner and head west. And everyday I am reminded of one of my favorite Far Side cartoons. I laugh every time I see it.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

If you are a Christian, read and find assurance in these words from Peter: "You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don't see him, yet your trust him--with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you'll get what you're looking forward to: total salvation."

That's good--very good!


Saturday, June 28, 2008

He was homely, shy and almost afraid to try, but he had a dream. Edward Fudge suggested we look at this man's video. I am glad we did. I was encouraged and inspired by this man with a dream and I think you will be too. Watch it here


Friday, June 27, 2008

“What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.” I Peter 1:3-5 The Message

WHAT A GOD WE HAVE! Let these words sink in. I love these words: “everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future.” Good words!


Thursday, June 26, 2008

My wife has returned to the “scene of the crime.” Well, “scene of the accident” would be the correct way to say it.

It has been almost a year (July 4) when Charlotte slipped getting into our pool and twisted her knee. I stuck my head out the door and expressed concern and went right back to watching a baseball game. She really messed up that knee. Who knew???

Here it is a year later and her knee is finally feeling better—not good mind you, just better.

I would be in the pool with her but following cataract surgery the Dr. said, “Not yet.” So I wait.

A Dr. on television this morning was talking about the bad affects of getting too little vitamin D. He was saying we need more sun. Well, if there was ever a place for getting sun—it’s right here, right now! I gotta get out there man!


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Robin Gibb has said he and brother Barry may return to the stage as The Bee Gees, five years after their brother and bandmate Maurice died. Robin is currently preparing to release a new solo album and is also campaigning to honor members of World War II’s RAF Bomber Command. The singer is chairman of the Heritage Foundation and is calling for a permanent memorial in London for British airmen.

Why do I care if they sing again, and as The Bee Gees? Memories! Yeah, that’s it—memories.

It’s kinda’ like missing the old hymns at church. I would just like to hear them once in awhile.

I’m not going to campaign for the Bee Gees or for hymn singing either but if they do come back, I will smile and I like to smile!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I love to wander around at the local nursery—not the nursery where children reside but the one where plants live.

But I have a big problem when I go there. I want to buy one or more of every plant and tree. It’s the beautiful flowers that really tug at my heart.

Common sense says, “Look dummy, you can only take a few—very few, of these plants home with you.

Ok! Ok! You have been following me around all my life telling me this same thing about everything I want—ice cream, books…………………!


Monday, June 23, 2008

When the heat climbs to 115 around here it’s time to start headin’ west.

Well maybe not this year!

It’s well over 100 degrees over on the West coast now and the whole state seems to be on fire—literally.

Pray for rain? Nah! It won’t do any good. The monsoons will come when they get good and ready and they will only make things worse. The thunder will scare the dogs, cats, little children and old ladies and the lightening will set things on fire. The humidity will make it seem twice as hot and we will not be able to say to our complaining visitors, “It’s a dry heat.”

What I will do is stay in the house and pray for the air-conditioner to keep working.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

"Enjoy life, it's ungrateful not to."
Ronald Reagan


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Need green onions and/or radishes? Go to Sprouts!

Why would anybody buy onions and radishes at Fry’s for 69 or 79 cents a bunch when they can buy both of them three for a dollar at Sprouts?

I go to Fry’s for milk, bread, meat, canned goods, etc. and sometimes I even check my blood pressure there. But when I want green onions and radishes I go to Sprouts.

My friend Connie who lives out in the desert close to Tucson wouldn’t dream of going to Fry’s or Sprouts for onions, radishes or any other produce. She grows her own.

I admire her and would love to do it that way too, but I am just too close to the off ramp


Friday, June 20, 2008

Can you believe it? A pool right outside my door, the weather is 112 and I can’t get in the water.

After cataract surgery they say, “Don’t swim for awhile. You don’t want to get water in your eye—especially chlorine water.”

“Ok, just keep your head above water or your eyes closed. What’s so hard about that, stupid?”

It’s not really all that hard. I just don’t want to do it. If I can’t get in—I mean in a big way, then I don’t want to do it at all. To start with I’m clumsy and I would get my head under water and my eyes would be wide open. That’s just the way I am.

So I will stay away from the water for a few more days unless it gets up to 115—and if it does, I’m going in—eye or no eye!

But I love this “seeing thing” (my vision is better than it has ever been) so I’m just lookin’ not leapin’.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

In old age your body no longer serves you so well.
Muscles slacken, grip weakens, joints stiffen.
The shades are pulled down on the world.
You can’t come and go at will. Things grind to a halt.
The hum of the household fades away.
You are wakened now by bird-song.
Hikes to the mountains are a thing of the past.
Even a stroll down the road has its terrors.
Your hair turns apple-blossom white,
Adorning a fragile and impotent matchstick body.
Yes, you’re well on your way to eternal rest.
While your friends make plans for your funeral.
Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over.
Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends.
The body is put back in the same ground it came from.
The Spirit returns to God, who first breathed it.
Ecclesiastes 12: 1-7 The Message

They told me it would be this way. I just laughed.

They never told me it would come so soon and with such force.

When I heard things like: “Joints will stiffen, you can’t come and go at will. Things come to a halt and your hair will turn apple-blossom white”-- I just laughed. “Sure, sure, I know it will happen someday.

Well someday is here and guess who is surprised at how fast it got here!


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I love ice cream—spring, summer, fall and even winter.

I especially love Lappert’s handmade ice cream, founded in Hawaii. When we were there a few weeks ago, I ate all I could get. The company is now based in the San Francisco Bay area and a new store has opened in Phoenix that sells it.

My favorites are the Hawaiian flavors, including coconuts, macadamia nuts and Kona coffee.

It’s going to be 112 degrees in Phoenix today. That kind of heat calls for ice cream—even for a diabetic. It may kill me but at least I will die with a smile on my face.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Levenger sends me catalogs and e-mails advertising what they sell.

I don’t buy much, but I would if I had the money.

Their motto is: LEVENGER, Tools For Serious Readers.

It could just as easily read: LEVENGER, Tools For Clif and Carol Ditmore.


Monday, June 16, 2008

I’ve never had any secrets about how I feel about President George Bush. He has kept us safe from a terror attack in our nation for seven years and for that I give him a lot of credit. Those who would sit around and plan attacks on America have been kept busy fighting in other places. There are a few things that our President has done and left undone that bother me—but hey, who doesn’t bother me just a little? I’m easily bothered!

I like what Ann Coulter said in a recent column—no I love it! She said, “There’s not a liberal in this country that’s worthy of kissing Bush’s behind.”



Sunday, June 15, 2008

First and foremost today is the Lord’s Day. It’s Sunday. That comes first. And then next, this is the day we celebrate as Father’s Day. Father’s Day is a good day. I like it. I’m a father. Don’t ask me why, but I always just wanted a son and a daughter and that’s what I have. I had (they have all passed away) four brothers and two sisters and that was great. But I just asked God for a son and a daughter and that’s what I have. They are great people—not perfect, but very, very good. They have never caused us one day of regret. So today—Father’s Day, I am thrilled to be a father!

This is one of my favorite pictures of our children when they were young.

This is a picture of our family in Hawaii where they took us for our 50th wedding anniversary.

TIM RUSSERT 1950 - 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I will miss Tim Russert. Every Sunday morning, after eating breakfast and before getting ready for church, I watched Tim Russert on Meet The Press. Tim was one of my favorite people to watch on television. He said his father taught him to work hard, laugh often and be loyal. He followed his father’s instructions and became a great success and was liked by all. He lived his life with passion!


Friday, June 13, 2008

I didn’t blog yesterday because we were too busy setting up a wireless system for our computers. Our new computer will be downstairs so my wife will not have to climb the stairs to get to this one. Her computer is a Mac and it is the first one we have had. She is really excited.

I’m just excited about computers period. Isn’t it absolutely amazing the things computers can do? My first experience with computers was years ago when I was preaching in California. The thing was so big we took a classroom and turned it into a computer room. The computer was about the size of a small kitchen cabinet.

Look at them today! Wow! I am constantly amazed at how fast they go out of style and new ones come on the market doing all kinds of new things. Is there no end to it?

I was very slow in coming around to using a computer. I loved my typewriter. The office staff was way ahead of me. They made fun of me behind my back and in even in front of me until I finally surrendered and agreed to let them show me how to turn the computer on.

Look out! I have never looked back. (Well maybe I looked back a few times when I had a bad computer day).


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Time is a nonrenewable resource—when it is gone, it is gone!

For years I have maintained an organizer in which I keep track of things. Every day I turn a page and all the things written there become history.

Yesterday afternoon, walking back home from the mailbox which is around the corner from our house, I asked myself, “Where did the time go?” The hot sun was beating down on my face just like it did last summer. The cool days of October through April had come and gone.

“Life is one of those games in which you can only move forward.”


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Southern Living magazine is without a doubt my favorite.

Yes, I do like Christianity Today, Sports Illustrated and Preaching. But Southern Living is tops!

The June cover advertised the following articles: “Shrimp From The Bayou,” “Hydrangeas & Other Blue Flowers You Can Grow,” “Creating The Deck of Your Dreams,” “Easy Living Outside,” “Quick & Simply Delicious,” Grilled Peach Salad,” “Crumb-Crust Pies,” “Veggies & Pasta,” “Tomatoes & cucumbers.”

Reading “Fresh From The Farm” made me want to rush down to our local farmer’s market. I can’t wait until Saturday morning.


Monday, June 09, 2008

Today while getting my hair cut I started thinking—which is always a dangerous thing for me.

I thought: Who decided what the length of men’s hair should be (or women’s)? Who decided that most men should shave? Who told us that we should not put our elbows on the table?

I guess what I’m asking, is who makes the rules that govern society? I’m not talking about right and wrong according to God? I’m asking about right and wrong according to man.

All my life I have heard, “Well, you just shouldn’t do this is that or you should do this or that.” Why, according to who-- or should it be according to whom? See what I mean?

I've never been especially fond of people who live without any kind of rules but those who live with fewer rules than I do sure seem a lot happier!


Sunday, June 08, 2008

When I was younger, mercy didn’t mean a lot to me. To be very truthful, I never thought about it much. Yes, I did preach about it occasionally but the full impact of it didn’t occur to me as it applied to my life. I more often thought of it applying to others.Now that I am older I think a lot more about it. I look back over the years and see all the times and things I have fouled up in my life and I am in desperate need of God’s mercy.

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. Psalm 23:6a (KJV)


Saturday, June 07, 2008

It’s been a couple of weeks since I was on the beach at Waikiki but I’m still living in the memory of it. I love the ocean. I love the beach and almost everything that goes with it.
Yes, I live in the desert and it is totally unlike being on the beach. Maybe that’s why I appreciate the beach so much when I go there. Last year when it heated up here in the desert we spent a few days in the San Diego area at a resort on Coronado Island. It was great too. But being on the beach at Waikiki was absolutely wonderful!

My wife and I had been to Waikiki twenty-one years ago. But we didn’t enjoy it as much as we did this time. The first time we had limited funds and our motel was a block or so away from the beach. This time our children were paying the bills and we stayed right on the beach at what I consider the best hotel there. We just walked out right onto the beach.
We had two balconies for our room and we could look at the excitement going on down below in the city or out on the ocean and the beach. One day I counted over 50 surfers in just one area. They were exciting to watch.

Our daughter saw “Dog” the bounty hunter one day. I wanted to see him but I guess I was too busy counting the surfers.


Friday, June 06, 2008

I don’t have respect for the one who said it, but what he said is true. Nietzsche said: “He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.”


Thursday, June 05, 2008

There are more than 12 million copies of Viktor E. Frankl’s book, Man’s Search For Meaning in print worldwide. I bought my first copy in 1959. I rarely, if ever, lose a book—but I lost that one. I bought my second copy a few days ago.

The first part of the book tells about Frankl’s days in the Nazi death camps. The account of what went on in those camps is so horrible that it is almost impossible to read without getting sick.

I learned many lessons from Frankl’s book. The best thing I learned was that regardless of how horrible life becomes, you can control your attitude. He said, “everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

There is a chest of drawers in our bedroom that we have had since the early days of our marriage. We have changed the furniture in other rooms of our house many times. But for some reason we have kept the bedroom furniture over the years.

Almost everything we have is considered “ours”. This one piece of furniture is mine. This is where I keep my socks, shorts (underwear) and other stuff. I am sorting through all this stuff because in a few days we will be getting rid of my piece of furniture to make room for her new computer, computer work desk, etc. You guessed it—I get to keep this old computer. My stuff will be transferred to her dresser.

In the process of doing all of this we have discovered that we both have a lot of stuff we never wear. Out it goes! I have kept underwear that hasn’t fit me for a year or two, socks without mates, and some I have never liked.

I will be happy to get rid of this stuff and to pass the good things on to somebody that needs and wants it. But I sure do hate to see that chest of drawers go. We have kinda grown close over the years. At least I feel that way.


Monday, June 02, 2008

After all of the excitement of Sunday and all that day brings to the life of a minister—Monday has always been kind of a let down to me. Today was no different—until, until my wife and I went to the Fashion Square Mall. We had a wonderful lunch of soup and salad at the Grand Lux Cafe and then headed off to do more shopping. My wife hobbled off (bad knee) toward Nordstroms and I limped (arthritis) to Borders.

At Borders I didn’t go directly to my destination but stopped first at the bargains just inside the door. I had gone there to peruse Newt Gingrich’s book, Pearl Harbor. While looking at the “buy l, get l half price” books my eyes fell on the title, Man’s Search For Meaning. I had been looking for my copy of this old book for weeks, and couldn’t find it. And now here was a copy right in front of me. I wanted to buy it but I knew I didn’t need two new books and even if I did—I didn’t see another one I wanted.

I started to walk away and then, I turned and down at the end of the table there it was—PEARL HARBOR!

Did I buy the two books? Need you ask?


Sunday, June 01, 2008

During the early days of my ministry (almost fifty years) we sang the invitation song, “Just As I Am” at the end of almost every service—Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday night. It was the favorite invitation song to be sung during evangelistic meetings. At the beginning of my ministry I preached in meetings that lasted from Sunday through Sunday and then later they were cut to Sunday through Friday and then finally, Sunday through Wednesday. Churches are not as evangelistic today and most have stopped extending an invitation at the end of sermons. So we do not hear songs like “Just As I Am” much any more.

This is not only my favorite song of invitation—it is one of my favorite songs period. I like the words, the emotion it stirs in my heart, and the memories it causes me to have and especially that it makes me feel close to God. This is a good song!