Wednesday, September 30, 2009

DIABETES CHECKUP: "Would you like to get your flu shot today?"
I talked to my Dr. for a few minutes.
I left with a flu shot.

THOSE GREEN BANDS: The lady at McDonalds asked, "What's up with those green bands." I turned around and saw that the man standing behind me was wearing a green band around his arm too. I said, "I had blood drawn this morning." The man standing behind me said, "Me too." Go figure!

BOOKS: Here a book, there a book, everywhere a book. I've got books all over the place. Everyplace I go around our house I see books. There was a time when I could only read one book at a time. Not anymore. Now I usually have two or three going at the same time. I surprise myself that I am able to pick up a book and start right into reading without being confused by having just put another book down.

LIBERALS: The reasoning of liberals is going to drive me to despair. If I fail to post anything for several days check with the insane asylum. I will be there.

WANT TO HEAR A JOKE?: The weather person says a cold front is moving into the Phoenix area.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

BOOK REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY: MORNING SUNSHINE--How To Radiate Confidence And Feel It Too by Robin Meade

If you are having a problem with your self-image or you just want to feel more confident, you may want to read Robin Meade's new book, Morning Sunshine!--How To Radiate Confidence And Feel It Too.

"Robin Meade's millions of fans know her as the composed, upbeat host of HLN's Morning Express with Robin Meade. But before she was a household name, she, like countless other Americans, struggled with anxiety attacks and an erosion of self-confidence."

"In Morning Sunshine! Robin divulges, with trademark candor, how she fought through fears that nearly derailed her career. She reveals what made her question her abilities and her very purpose. She shares how she reawakened her passion for life and grew into the beloved TV news personality she is today."

"Robin offers inspiring 'What I've Learned' nuggets in each chapter and helpful 'Confidence Booster' tips throughout the book. Her personal journey comes to life in a way that makes you feel as if you're chatting with a friend over coffee."

"Her refreshing sense of humor--and her belief that you can emerge a bolder, more confident version of yourself--make Morning Sunshine! a perfect companion on your road to self-esteem and fulfillment."

I found two things I didn't like about this book: (1) At times--too many times, she uses coarse and offensive words. I realize these are acceptable and "good" words by today's standards but I still don't respect a person who chooses to use them on a regular basis. (2) She was blessed by the philosophy of healing she received from Dr. Amelia Case. Dr. Case studied under John Demartini one of the experts you may know from the DVD or book, The Secret. I'm glad Robin was helped by this philosophy and some of it is good but I do not accept much of what is taught. I realize these two things may not be major and will be considered "picky" by many but I want my review to be an honest one.

You will find this book interesting and enjoyable to read and hopefully you will feel and radiate confidence after reading it.


The generous folks at Hachette Book Group are allowing me to host this book giveaway for five (5) copies!

  • Winners are restricted to the US and Canada. No PO Box mailing address please.
  • You do not have to be a blogger to win. You can win more than once on my blog.
  • I MUST have a way of contacting you, so be sure to leave your email address in your comment.
  • Some choose to omit the @ sign and the . dot by writing it in "code" like this: you (at) your email (dot)com.
  • I'll close the comments October 12 and pick the five winners. I will contact the winners via email to get their mailing information. The winners will have three days to respond. If I do not hear from them within three days, I will select another winner(s).


Saturday, September 26, 2009

(Let me begin by apologizing for the length of this post. Many of you know I do not like long posts and will not read one if I think the person posting was too lazy to do the hard work to shorten it.Phillip Done, author of the book, Close Encounters of the Third-Grade Kind tells many funny stories that almost made me laugh until I cried. One story he told had me crying but not with laughter. I have made this as short as possible without losing the heart of the story)

One year Mr. Done had a child in his class named Michael. He called him Angel because in the Bible there is an angel named Michael. As he got to know Michael he thought he was an angel because of his kindness to others. Michael was a special little boy.

Michael loved to sing. The songs from Grease were his favorites. He wanted his teacher Mr. Done to learn them.

Michael had to quit going to school when he got leukemia. Michael loved to sing. So once when Mr. Done visited him in the hospital they sang every song he had ever taught Michael. They belted out "Do Re Mi" and "Food Glorious Food". They sang "Getting to Know You" and "This Land Is Your Land." And for a few moments, the cancer and chemotherapy and needles were gone. The music had made them forget.

The Wizard of Oz is Mr. Done's favorite movie and he wanted Michael to see it so he bought him a DVD of it. And he said to Michael, "I want you to learn the songs, Angel. And the next time I see you we will sing them together." He beamed. "Okay."

As the weeks went by Mr. Done didn't get to visit as frequently as he would have liked. One night around ten o'clock his telephone rang. It was Michael calling from the hospital. He surprised the teacher by telling him that he had already learned all the songs from The Wizard of Oz. He asked Mr. Done which song was his favorite. He told him it was "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" and he started singing because he knew Michael would like it. Michael sang along with him. The teacher's voice wanted to break but he wouldn't let it.

When they finished singing he told Mr. Done he had to go and he said, "Bye." "Okay, Angel. Talk with you soon." That was the last time he ever heard his voice.

The memorial service was held at Michael's church. The pews were filled with teachers, classmates, and families from school. Michael wanted Mr. Done to speak. He didn't think he could do it but he decided he should--and he did.

After he spoke the pianist began playing and the choir filled the sanctuary with,"Somewhere Over The Rainbow." Mr. Done said, "I felt like crying and laughing at the same time. I cannot believe this. I thought. That little guy chose this song for me. I know he did. He picked this song to comfort me! I turned back around and looked up toward the ceiling. I knew Michael was up there singing. I sang with him."

Much later, toward the end of the school year, Michael's mom stopped by Mr. Done's classroom and handed him a bag. "Michael wanted you to have this." Before he died, Michael bequeathed most of his things. Out of the bag the teacher pulled a well-worn video of Grease. On the cover was a note in Michael's handwriting: Dear Mr. Done, Learn these songs! Next time I see you we will sing them together. Love Angel

Mr. Done said, "I stared at the note for a moment and shook my head. Then I looked up at Michael's mom with a big grin. "Well, I guess I know what I'll be singing when I get to heaven."


(The following post is from a wonderful book, Close Encounters of the Third-grade Kind by Phillip Done. It is abbreviated because of space.)

Recently, someone asked me if kids today are different than the kids I taught when I first started. My answer is no. Kids are the same today as they always were. yes, they have Xboxes and PlayStati0ns and Game Boys and iPods and cell phones and computers now. But it's the gadgets that have changed, not the children. Kids are kids are kids.

Kids still get excited when you bring in a fossil or a magnet. They still get the giggles, and will giggle more when you tell them to stop giggling.

If a mom sends in milk with birthday cupcakes, one child will show you his milk mustache. Another will lap the milk up just like a kitty cat.

When throwing something away, they will always shoot a basket. When playing kickball, they will climb on the backstop while they're waiting for their turn. Someone's shoe will go flying when he kicks the ball.

As soon as they spot their teacher coming to pick them up in line, they will shout, "Here he comes!" When they see him walking across the blacktop during lunch recess, they will wave at him and shout his name like they haven't seen him in five years.

If you excuse them for lunch one second late, they will let you know. When they deliver something to the library, they will come back panting because they ran the whole way.

If you light a candle in science class, they will ask if they can blow it out. When you pass around a conch shell, they will always listen for the sea.

After they sing "I've Been Workin' on the Railroad," someone will always ask, "Who's Dinah?"

They can't talk to you without fiddling with something on your desk. Most can't talk to you without turning back and forth like the inside of a washing machine or standing on one leg like a flamingo.

Would I trade this life of giggles and stories and songs and runny noses and glitter and chairs that are too small to sit in? Not in a million years. Life with kids is such a rich one. And though there are days when I'd rather not deal with spilled paint and the missing books and sick betta fish, I'm sure that someday when I'm retired I will look back on all this and itch to clean out a backpack, pump up a ball, and hear a good knock-knock joke.

(There is so much more to this. Scroll down to my review of the book and leave a comment for a chance to win a copy.)


Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Close Encounters of The Third-Grade Kind is the most delightful book I have read in many months. No! Let me change that. It is the most delightful book I have read in many years. The emphasis is on the word delightful. It was a joy to read from beginning to end. You don't have to be or have been a teacher to enjoy this book. You just have to have been a child who went to school.

I have read books written by comedians that were not nearly as funny as this delightful book. I smiled even when I wasn't laughing out loud. In many places I laughed so hard I almost cried. In a few places I did cry. If you take this book with you on a long flight your trip will seem short. If you pick it up and try to read just a few pages, you will find it can't be done. When you finally are able to put it down, you will wonder out loud, "Where did the time go?"

"In this collection of charming and touching tales, you'll join twenty third-graders, class pets, and Mr. Done, as he confiscates yardsticks that have magically turned into swords, scoops goop out of pumpkins, holds on to newly pulled baby teeth, follows mud tracks to students' desks, and forgets to wear green on St. Patrick's Day."

"Sure to touch the heart. Done's priceless lessons in life and learning remind us of playing Heads Up 7-Up during rainy-day recess, decorating shoeboxes for valentine mailboxes, and those special teachers in our lives who made a difference."

I agree with author, Harry K. Wong who said, "This is a must read book."

I am pleased to be able to giveaway five copies of this splendid book. I wish it could be fifty.


The generous folks at Hachette Book Group are allowing me to host this book giveaway for five (5) copies!

  • Winners are restricted to the US and Canada. No PO Box mailing address please.
  • You do not have to be a blogger to win. You can win more than once on my blog.
  • I MUST have a way of contacting you, so be sure to leave your email address in your comment.
  • Some choose to omit the @ sign and the . dot by writing it in "code" like this: you (at) your email (dot)com.
  • I'll close the comments October 8 and pick the five winners. I will contact the winners via email to get their mailing information. The winners will have three days to respond. If I do not hear from them within three days, I will select another winner(s).


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

(Yesterday I posted a review for IF GOD IS GOOD--Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil by Randy Alcorn. Since human suffering and the goodness of God is of such interest I want to keep attention on that book by posting something from it again today.)

In 1988, an Armenian earthquake killed forty-five thousand. In the chaos, one man made his way to his son's school, only to find nothing but rubble. Other parents stumbled around dazed and weeping, calling out their children's names. But this father ran to the back corner of the building where his son's classroom once was, and began digging.

To everyone else, it seemed hopeless. How could his son have survived? But this father had promised he would always be there for his boy, so he heaved rocks and dug, calling for his son by name: "Armand!"

Well-meaning parents and bystanders tried to pull him out of the rubble. "It's too late!" "they're dead!" "There's nothing you can do!" The fire chief tried to pull him away saying, "Fires and explosions are happening everywhere. You're in danger. Go home!" Finally, the police came and said, "You're in shock. You're endangering others. Go home. We'll handle it!"

But the man continued to dig, hour after hour---eight hours, then twelve, twenty-four, thirty-six hours. Finally, in the thirty-eighth hour of digging---a day and a half after everyone told him to give up hope---he called his son's name again, pulled back a big rock, and heard his son's voice.

"Armand!" the father screamed.

From under the rocks came the words, "Dad? I told them! I told the other kids that if you were still alive, you'd save me!"

The father helped his son and thirteen other children climb out of the rubble. When the building had collapsed, the children survived in a tentlike pocket. The father lovingly carried his son home to his mother. When the townspeople praised Armand's father for saving the children, he simply explained, "I promised my son, 'No matter what, I'll be there for you!"


Monday, September 21, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: IF GOD IS GOOD--Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil by Randy Alcorn

Why would an all-good and all-powerful God create a world full of evil and suffering?
That is the question I was asked more than any other during my forty-seven years as a senior minister for four different churches. That question hounded me not only at my home church but everywhere I went. Not satisfied with the answer given by their own minister, members from other churches would ask me, "How can there be a God if suffering and evil exist?"

So I have read and studied for many years looking for an answer. First and foremost I spend time in the Bible. But I have also bought and read many books by respected theologians and scholars who have spent years studying this difficult subject. In If God Is Good, Randy Alcorn delves deep into this profound subject, and through compelling stories, provocative questions and answers, and keen biblical undertanding, he brings assurance and hope to all.

"Atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and even former believers like Bart Ehrman answer the question simply: The existence of suffering and evil proves there is no God. But in this captivating new book, best-selling author Randy Alcorn challenges the logic of disbelief and brings a fresh, realistic, and thoroughly biblical perspective to the issues these important questions raise."

"Alcorn offers insights from his conversations with men and women whose lives have been torn apart by suffering, and yet whose faith in God burns brighter than ever. He reveals the big picture of who God is and what God is doing in the world--now and forever. And he equips you to share your faith more clearly and genuinely in this world of pain and fear."

This is a big book--five hundred and twelve pages. Even though it is about a difficult subject--one of the most difficult of all, it is easy to read. I recommend it in the first place for the Christian who wants a better understanding for him or herself. And then I recommend it be passed on to someone who is struggling with this problem and even questioning the existence of a good God. However, it is a big book and there are some questioners who do not want to be given anything to read. At this point I want to recommend another book which is much smaller but is extremely well written and powerful. I found it to be one of the best books I have read on suffering. It is Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow by Nancy Guthrie.

Now back to Alcorn's book. One hundred percent of the royalties from this book will be given to promote good, oppose evil, and relieve suffering around the world. That's worth investing in. Let me commend all of those who seek answers to the questions surrounding human suffering. Seeking answers to these questions can turn you toward Jesus in a fresh way--and that is good.

The Random House website offers all the different options where you can purchase the book online


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Part of being fallen is thinking we know more than we really do. Of all there is to know in the entire universe, how much do you know? Let's say you're the smartest human being who's ever lived and that you know 1 percent (of course nobody knows nearly that much). Now, is it possible that in the 99 percent of all there is that you don't know, there exists or will exist enough goodness and happiness in the universe to outweigh all the evil and suffering?

Is it possible that in the 99 percent you don't know, a good God exists who has legitimate reasons for not making his purposes clearer and for not forcing people to recognize his existence? Is it possible that some rational explanation exists--if you were smart enough to understand it--for why this good God permits evil and suffering?

Is it possible that God's redemptive goodness will in the end utterly overshadow evil?

Joe Gibbs, the NFL Hall of Fame coach and NASCAR team owner, tells lots of great stories. One is about flying into Washington, D.C., when he worked as head coach of the Redskins. His cab driver had immigrated recently, and Joe had to explain to him how to get to the stadium. The driver suddenly recognized his passenger and, with a thick accent, asked if he was the coach. Joe nodded, feeling flattered and prepared to hear some affirmation. The cabbie gestured excitedly and exclaimed to Joe, "You should throw deep!"

Here was a cab driver who didn't even know how to get to the football stadium and probably knew next to nothing about American football, yet believed himself qualified to to tell a Hall of Fame coach and winner of three Super Bowls how to run his team!

Even the most uninformed fans act as if they know more than the head coach.

And even the most clueless creatures act as if we know more than God.

(From Randy Alcorn's book, If God Is Good which I will be reviewing soon.)


Friday, September 18, 2009

When I was in my teens and would give a "talk" at church the elderly ladies would gather around me and tell me that our preacher had better start worrying about his job. I couldn't preach for beans but they told me I was wonderful. I pray God will forgive them for their lies.

I grew up working in grocery stores. I learned many things. Things that helped me as a minister. But I didn't have anyone to teach me the various trades like electrical work, plumbing, mechanical work and other things a man needs or likes to know. I learned all these things from working with men from church.

I thought about this yesterday when I was installing some new light fixtures on the front of the garage.

This morning Charlotte and I will be going to see an old friend from church that we both learned much from. He taught me how to do all kinds of work around the house and in the yard. When we arrived at our new church in Phoenix, he and his wife picked us up every day and took us around to visit the elderly members. He said, "If you want to get to know them, you had better do it now."

We are going to see him today because he is elderly, confined to his home and not doing well. We remember well all the things he taught us and we feel like he is a part of our family--our church family.

I hope you have a family like this. Family means a lot.


Thursday, September 17, 2009


As a student at Abilene Christian College I had little money for books beyond the required text books. I preached for a small country church and needed all the help I could get. As long as I was on campus I had access to all the books I needed, wanted and more. Graduating and leaving the college I knew I was going to be needing a few books. I had just enough money for one set of commentaries. I bought the Pulpit Commentary. Over the next several years I bought additional sets. It was much later I learned that the best way to buy commentaries is to know the authors and then to buy not sets, but individual commentaries. That is what I did for the rest of my ministry of forty-seven years.

Hebrews by Edward William Fudge is one of those commentaries I want to tell you about. I own other commentaries on this valuable book of the Bible but this is one of the best and most practical for the average student. Do I hear you saying, "Commentaries are for preachers and Bible class teachers; they are too scholarly for me; I want something devotional and about every day Christian living?" Then, I want to say to you: "This is what you are looking for. This book is scholarly but practical. It provides encouragement for believers today."

Simon Kistemaker, Professor of New Testament Emeritus, Reformed theological Seminary voiced this same opinion. He said, "Written by a scholar for lay people, this volume presents an interpretation that is clear and transparent. I heartily recommend this commentary as true to Scripture and balanced in explanation of Hebrews." Sarah Summer, Professor of Theology and Ministry, Graduate School of Theology, Azusa Pacific University wrote, "If you've never studied Hebrews because you think it's too hard, you will be delighted by this book." And author, Brian McLaren said, "Edward Fudge's love for Scripture shows on every page of this readable commentary, as does his skill in the art of interpretation."

Although I have studied Hebrews for years, I have always come away with unanswered questions. Or at least questions I could not answer in a satisfactory way. After reading Fudge's commentary I now have answers I understand and believe in and can state clearly. This does not mean that I will stop studying, feeling I have arrived. It means I have confidence in what I have found on the pages of this book as I compare it with the Bible. I feel good and I am encouraged. I want to share what I have learned with others so they can be encouraged too. Therefore, I recommend this book without reservation.

I want to close my review by agreeing with Tom Seals, College of Bible and Ministry, Lipscomb University, "Fudge has written a concise, informative and thorough commentary. In 'problem' areas of the biblical text, he offers solutions, yet does not try to force his judgments upon the readers, challenging them all the while to think 'outside the box.' I commend this book to all serious students of the word of God."

Edward William Fudge is a Bible teacher, preacher and attorney in Houston, Texas. His internet publication, gracEmail, regularly encourages thousands of believers around the world. You may sign us to receive this free email as well as many other free and helpful biblical materials from his website. You may also purchase this excellent commentary and other books he has written.
The website is:


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

As a student, being enrolled in all the classes I needed and could possibly "carry" was called a full load.

When I retired I never expected to be carrying a full load.

For some a full load is a burden. For others it is a pleasure.

I'm retired. I'm carrying a full load and I'm extremely happy.

Sitting at my computer I know I have many blogging friends I need to contact. I smile.

Looking around I see nine new, exciting books I need to read and review on my blog.

Among that stack of books I see a must read travel guide on New England. We are going there next month.

Seeing the New England book reminds me that in a few weeks we will be heading up the road to beautiful Sedona for a reunion with some of our old friends from high school days.

As soon as I post this I am heading out into the back yard to prune bougainvillea, put chemicals in the pool and spruce up the patio.

I'm running late this morning because I took out time to watch a movie on television. It was a romantic, family, love story and comedy. It made me feel good.

Later today I will be scheduling some time with an long time friend who is ill. I talked to him yesterday and he said, "I would like for you to come see me."

My schedule is full. I am busy--and oh so happy!


Monday, September 14, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: YOU WERE BORN FOR THIS--7 Keys to a Life of Predictable Miracles by Bruce Wilkinson with David Kopp

"In the engaging style that made his book The Prayer of Jabez popular with millions around the world, Bruce Wilkinson is asking more life-changing questions:

* Why are experiences of the miraculous so rare for most people?
* What if God wanted you to experience them on a regular basis?
* And what if ordinary people like you and me are invited to partner with God to deliver them to others?"

"In You Were Born for This, you will discover that all God needs for a miracle mission is a willing servant. No special credentials required."

Bruce says, "I wrote this book to help you see that the land of personal, everyday miracles is your rightful home turf. Instead of focusing on the nature-defying acts that God could do, this book invites you to encounter the miracles that God does do on a regular basis, and to embrace your exciting part in making them happen."

He goes on to say, "The truth is, you were born to live a supernatural life doing God's work by God's power. You were born to walk out your door each morning believing that God will use you to deliver a necessary miracle to someone in need."

For centuries, God spoke through prophecies, dreams and visions. But for years I believed and taught that after the Bible was complete that God spoke only through the Scriptures. But I have studied the subject intensely and have become convinced that God communicates with us in more than one way. But He never contradicts His Word--never! It is extremely important to recognize and obey His "voice" as He directs and leads us to do His will.

I recommend You Were Born For This as an excellent, biblical and practical book. This book will help Christians of all ages in their daily walk with God.

You will find a video of Bruce introducing his book here

You may purchase You Were Born For This at


The seasons they are a changin'.

The Snow Birds will soon be returning to Arizona.

It's time for weekend football and hot dogs, hamburgers, steak, ribs and chicken on the grill.

And some mornings there will be eggs, hash browns, bacon and sausage cooked on the grill and eaten on the patio.

Yes, we have hot summers in Arizona.

But oh how sweet the weather is starting in late September.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

(This post is from Randy Alcorn's excellent new book, If God Is Good--Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil. I will be reviewing the book in a few days.)

God tells us that trials in which evil and suffering come upon us "have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed" (1 Peter 1:7).

Alice Gray writes of sitting at a restaurant, talking with a friend about painful challenges in their lives. They frequently mentioned the Lord.

Alice noticed a young woman at the next table with a radiant, joyful face. The young woman smiled and said she'd overheard their conversation. Speaking softly she encouraged Alice and Marlene that God understood and cared about their heartaches, and nothing could separate them from God's love.

Alice continued talking with Marlene but realized something was different. The young woman's words had refreshed them. When the smiling woman got up to leave. Alice saw she wore bulky shoes, carried a walking stick, and moved with a severe limp.

The waitress told Alice this woman had been in a near-fatal automobile accident the year before. She's been in and out of the hospital and rehabilitation. Her husband divorced her, their home had been sold, and she'd just moved into her own apartment. She used public transportation because she couldn't drive. She'd been unable to find a job.

Alice sat stunned. She said..."Meeting her that day, we never would have suspected that storms were raging in her life. Even as she stepped outside into the cold winter wind, she seemed to carry God's warm shelter of hope with her."


Friday, September 11, 2009

I had just finished a breakfast of hash browns and sausage. I was sitting in front of the television set with a cup of hot coffee in my hand when she came out the front door of her house.

She put down a small step stool. It was too small. She went back in and came out with a taller stool with no steps. It looked dangerous. She stepped onto the step stool and then up onto the tall stool. She hung an American flag!
Her son came out the front door, kissed her on the cheek and walked off toward the High School two blocks away.


From the television I could hear the voice of Megyn Kelly talking about what happened on this date (9/11) eight years ago.

I'm proud to be an American. I'm thankful to be an American.

Today, I'm going to try not to think about all the liberals and Hollywood types that tell us what a mean, rotten, country this is.



Wednesday, September 09, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: SACRED WAITING--Waiting on God in a World That Waits for Nothing by David Timms

Author, David Timms is right when he says we live in a world that waits for nothing. "So we grumble when the computer takes two minutes to boot up. We eat a lot of fast food. We live attached to our cell phones or BlackBerrys so we can quickly pick up every call, text message, or email--even when on vacation."

Scripture constantly speaks of waiting: "Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength" (Isaiah 40:31). "I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard me cry." (Psalm 40:1).

"The good news is that waiting on God is much more than watching the clock. Waiting plays a vital role in our spiritual formation as we draw closer to the Lord and respond to His leading." Pastor and Bible professor David Timms challenges believers to rediscover this lost spiritual discipline and reveals the hidden treasures of waiting on God--the peace and joy of being with Him.

"The heroes of the faith all waited on God. And just like Abraham, Moses and David, you'll find that your best moments arise from God's timing, not your own. Every covenant God made came at the end of a season of waiting. God's rewards wait for you when you learn to practice Sacred Waiting.

Timms writes about what Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus learned from waiting and what we can learn from them. In addition, he writes about: The Advent, Lenten, Easter, Pentecost and Kingdom Wait. Although I spent years studying in Bible Colleges and Seminaries, I learned things from this book I had never known before. David Timms teaches New Testament and Theology and chairs the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. Australian by birth, David has been a church planter, pastor, and trainer of pastors for twenty-five years. He writes in an easy, free flowing manner that is easy to understand.

I recommend this splendid book as one of the best I have read on the subject of waiting on God.


I want to follow the Christian way, not the Communist way.

"And all the believers met together constantly and shared everything they had. They sold their possessions and shared the proceeds with those in need." Acts 2:44-45

I want to share with those I determine to be in need. I want to decide who, when and how much.
And that is what I do. Our church gives to needy members, people in our community and worldwide. We trust our church elders with these decisions. And in addition to this, my wife and I give to other charitable organizations and to needy friends and relatives.

We do not want or need the government telling us to "spread the wealth around" to those they deem worthy.

I don't need the government making laws forcing me to treat people right. The Bible tells me how to treat others and I follow the teaching of the Scriptures because I want to.


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: FEARLESS--Imagine Your Life Without Fear by Max Lucado

Fearless by Max Lucado is another "Wow" read. When are we going to say, "Well, Max missed it this time." Or when are we going to stop saying, "He's done it again. Another winner." I don't know. How about never!

Publishers Weekly wrote, "Skillful as a surgeon, Lucado discerns and identifies the cancer of fear that touches every human being, and with like precision speaks healing words that cut right to the heart."

The following words from the dust jacket give an overview of our problem with fear: "Each sunrise seems to bring fresh reasons for fear. They're talking layoffs at work, slowdowns in the economy, fare-ups in the Middle East, turnovers at headquarters, downturns in the housing market, and upswings in global warming. The plague of our day, terrorism, begins with the word terror. Fear, it seems, has taken a hundred year lease on the building next door and set up shop. Oversized and rude, fear herds us into a prison and slams the doors. Wouldn't it be great to walk out?"

One of my closest friends, an elder in the church, doesn't like Max's books as much as I do. I can remember the first book he wrote and how powerfully it touched my life. Maybe that's one of the reasons I race to read everything he writes. My friend is more into serious theology and serious questions that have gone unanswered through the ages. Max speaks to common people about everyday problems. If that's you. You will like this book.

The dust jacket encourages: "Imagine your life, wholly untouched by angst. What if faith, not fear, was your default reaction to threats? If you could hover a fear magnet over your heart and extract every last shaving of dread, insecurity, or doubt, what would remain? Envision the day when you can trust more and fear less."

"Can You Imagine Your Life Without Fear?"


Monday, September 07, 2009

It Happens! My old faithful computer died.

I conducted a "graveside" service for "it" today and replaced "it" with a new one.

Yes, I know there should have been a period of mourning before rushing right into a new relationship with another computer.

But I know my friends will understand and those who are not my friends don't care.

I wanted you to know why I have not commented on your excellent posts and the comments you have made on my blog.

I am back in the game. Look for my review tomorrow of Max Lucado's new book, Fearless.

IF GOD IS GOOD...why all this evil and suffering?

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Seeking answers to this question should turn us toward Jesus in a fresh way.

In looking for answers, I've beheld a God who says, "I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering" (Exodus 3:7). I've found great comfort in hearing God speak of a time when he could bear his people's misery no longer (see Judges 10:16). I revel in God's emphatic promise that he will make a New EARTH where he will come down to live with us, and on which "he will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain" (Revelation 21:4). Above all, in this process, I've seen Jesus.

The first physician to die of the AIDS virus in the United Kingdom was a young Christian. He contracted the disease while conducting medical research in Zimbabwe. In the last days of his life he struggled to express himself to his wife. Near the end, he couldn't talk, and had only enough strength to write the letter J. She ran through her mental dictionary, saying various words beginning with J. None was right. Finally she said, "Jesus?"

He nodded. Yes, Jesus.

Jesus filled his thoughts. That's all he wanted to say. That's all his wife needed to hear.
(This is from If God Is Good--Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil a new book by Randy Alcorn which I will be writing a review for September 21)


Almost every morning as I sit in front of my computer, I turn and look out my window to the East.

I see my neighbor's red, tiled roof, the blue sky filled with puffy, white clouds and the sun shining down on the top of green citrus trees in my yard.

This morning I'm looking at my neighbor's wet, red, tiled roof, a gray, ominous sky and big rain drops are quietly pelting my upstairs window.

"Not refreshing" you say.

You evidently don't live in the desert of Arizona!


Friday, September 04, 2009

JULIE & JULIA by Julie Powell --NO REVIEW!
Yes, I did request a copy of this book for review and my contact at the publishing company went out of her way to get me a copy. But no, I am not going to be reviewing it. Why? There is just too much filthy language in it. I'm not even going to read it. I saw the movie and liked it. There was some objectionable things in the movie but not enough to make me scream and go blind. But this book is another story. You may be saying, "Well Clif, isn't this kinda like a review?" Yes, kinda like a review. But not exactly. You don't really want me to tell you what I think about this book! Selah.

Is Sonic America's Drive-In? I don't know. I just know what the sign says. But I do like the place. I really like their hamburgers and extra-long, chili, cheese, conys. And as the weather cools, I like to sit out in the car and have the car hop skate up with our order. Ah, memories of days gone by. I hope you have a Sonic in your city. Every city of any size should have one. Why? Like mother used to say, "Because I said so."

The chicken fried steak covers the plate. Their deep dish pies are on sale for 99 cents. But if you plan to order a pie, don't have the chicken friend steak. You can't eat that much--or your shouldn't.

IF GOD IS GOOD by Randy Alcorn
I have been waiting eagerly for this book on suffering and evil. It's big (512 pages) like his excellent book, Heaven. I didn't agree with everything he wrote in Heaven and I don't agree with everything in this book either. But he is a great writer and both books are excellent. I will be reviewing this new book in a few days.

YOU WERE BORN FOR THIS--7 Keys to a Life of Predictable Miracles by Bruce Wilkinson
This is another splendid book I will be reviewing in a few days. Watch for it.

A MILLION MILES IN A THOUSAND YEARS by Donal Miller Thomas Nelson Publishing had a few free copies of this book. I was fortunate enough to receive one. Miller is the author of Blue Like Jazz that was 40 weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list. I will review the book as soon as I can read it.

HEBREWS--ANCIENT ENCOURAGEMENT FOR BELIEVERS TODAY by Edward Fudge As you might imagine, I have many Bible commentaries. I first started buying them in sets. But as I grew older I learned that many times the best way to buy commentaries is to know the authors and to buy individual commentaries. This commentary on Hebrews by Edward Fudge is a good example of that strategy. This is an excellent, must read commentary if you are interested in the Book of Hebrews and it's message of encouragement. I will review this book as soon as possible.

I think I'm going to take a break and go to a movie this afternoon. A young girl we know has a part in the new movie, All About Steve, starring Sandra Bullock. I hope there's not much bad language in it. Did I tell you I don't like bad language?


Thursday, September 03, 2009

In her splendid book, Let God Talk To You, Becky Tirabassi says, "When you hear Him, you will never be the same."

Recently I reviewed books about how God directs our lives. First and foremost, I believe that direction comes through the inspired Scriptures. And there was a time when I believed that was the only way it comes today. Now, after years of study and experience, I know that He communicates with us in other ways also. I absolutely do not believe in new revelation--but in guidance and loving encouragement.

Becky Tirabassi, in Let God Talk To You, has written one of the best books on the subject of God's guidance that I have read. She says, "I just know that if you really believe God wants to talk to you, that He holds in His heart all the answers to your questions, that He is always as close as your thoughts, that He loves you just the way you are, that He waits for you to wake up in the will not only hear hIm, but find Him to be your greatest source of strength and encouragement. For these reasons and many more, I wrote Let God Talk To You."

The chapter, Have a Daily Design for "God Talks," is worth the price of the book. As I mention the price of the book, the only thing that makes me sad about this book, is that I do not have free copies to give you. I am disappointed that this is not a giveaway. But I do recommend this book and encourage you to purchase a copy and begin reading.

Becky is the president of Becky Tirabassi Change Your Life, Inc., issuing a counter-culteral call to be sold out to prayer, set apart in purity, and sent out with purpose. Her bestselling books include Let Prayer Change Your Life, My Partner Prayer Notebook, and the Change Your Life Daily Bible.


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

My friend, Bobby Deason serves in a ministry called Life Communications. Their motto is: Jesus Focused. Grace Oriented. Love Motivated.

I want to tell you about this ministry he has been involved in for over twenty years. He served in this ministry with his brother up until almost a year ago when his brother died. He now continues this ministry with his sister-in-law.

The part of the ministry I want to share with you is the distribution of books and other Christian literature. These Christian books, booklets and inspirational articles are sent to you FREE OF CHARGE AND POSTAGE PAID.

I am not as trusting as Bobby. I expect people to take almost anything that is free even if they don't plan to use it.

Bobby has a heart for doing good to others. He knows that many people will take the books but never read and study them. But he feels that if even one person is blessed by this effort that he will pillow his head at night with a smile on his face. And then he will get up the next morning and do it all over again.

Some of the books are meant to be studied. For example: The Righteousness of God--An In-Depth Study Of Romans and That You May Have Life--An In-Depth Study Of The Gospel Of John. If you do not want to dig in and study, then do not request these books.

The thing to do is to go to the website, look over the list of free books and request all you will read and make use of. And then one day a box will arrive at your house with the free books.
You decide!

Life Communications at


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

"Yet, O Lord, you are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand." Isaiah 64:8

Perhaps you get worried and fearful when important things don't go your way. Have you ever thought that God may be allowing those events to teach you to trust Him and to see if you will stay peaceful and calm in the midst of the storm? He may be trying to toughen you up, to help you develop some backbond and stability in your life.

Clay works best when it is pliable, malleable, and moldable. But if you are hard, crusty, and set in your ways, God will have to pound away on that old hard clay to get out the lumps. Be willing to deal with any issues that God brings up. Work with Him in the refining process rather than fighting against Him.

(From Your Best Life Begins Each Morning by Joel Osteen)