Saturday, January 30, 2010

"Rather, the Lord's delight is in those who honor him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love." NLT

You want to please God? Then honor him!

As the Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 5:10 "Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it." Msg

The Bible says, "Noah was a pleasure to the Lord." Genesis 6:8 LB

Noah pleased God because he trusted Him completely. He believed that God knew what was best for him. He had faith in God.

The Bible says, "Without faith it is impossible to please God." Hebrews 11:6 NIV

Notice that powerful word "impossible." It means you absolutely cannot please God without faith. It can't be done!

He knows what is best for you. Trust Him. Please Him. He will smile--and so will you.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Kurt Warner is first and foremost a Christian.

He called a news conference today and announced his retirement from football.

He walked in carrying his Bible as he always does.

The first thing he said was how grateful he was to God for all the ways God had blessed him.

We need leaders like Kurt in all walks of life.

He will no longer be playing football but he will always be a wonderful example of what a man should be.

He will always be God's man!

Thank you Kurt for all that you mean to football, to Arizona, and most of all to the cause of Christ.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

(The following post relates to a trip to New England we made back in October, 2009.)

Driving on the freeway in the Boston/Cambridge area is not a problem. Driving on the streets is something else.

We were on our way to the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library.

We needed to stop in Cambridge and pick up our daughter who was attending a week long class at Harvard.

As soon as we left the freeway and got close to Harvard we were lost.

In frustration and desperation I pulled off the street we were on and ended up beside a huge dormitory.

A young student came out of the building and we asked him for directions. I told him I had traveled in London, Paris and India and had never been so lost. He smiled, looked at our little map and said, "The building you are looking for is just right there. We were practically sitting on the parking lot where we needed to be.

A miracle? You tell me.

It was time for lunch and we couldn't see anyplace to eat in walking distance and I wasn't about to drive back out onto the streets and get lost.

Two workers were near by and we asked them if there was anyplace we could walk to. They smiled and pointed to the building right in front of us (Spangler Hall) and said there was a cafeteria there and the food was great.

Miracle? You tell me.

After lunch our daughter came and with her driving we headed for the library.

Did we find it? What do you think?


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Life's made up of little things
no greater sacrifice or duty,
but smiles and many a cheerful word
fill up our lives with beauty.

The heartaches, as they come and go,
are but blessings in disguises,
for time will turn the pages o'er
and show us great surprises.
                                   Mary R. Hartman


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My appointment was at 8:00 this morning. That's the exact time and date that I wanted to see my doctor.

I paid $5.00 for the appointment. I went in to see the doctor at exactly 8:00.

I wish everybody in the United States had health coverage.  They don't and I'm sorry.

To bring about universal health coverage we do not need to destroy what we have. We just need to improve it where it needs to be improved. First things first.

Improve the present system and then slowly begin to cover more people.

The same thing holds true for immigration. Stop illegal immigration! And then slowly work out a common sense way to handle those who are here illegally.



Monday, January 25, 2010

There is something very relaxing about reading when you're not thinking about reviewing.

The first month of the new year is almost gone and I still haven't reviewed a book.

Last year I reviewed three or four books every month.

I have taken a vacation from reviewing for awhile. But I have requested two books and will read and review them soon.

Now I have read or am reading:

THE YEAR OF LIVING BIBLICALLY --One Man's Humble Quest to Follow  the Bible as Literally as Possible By A.J. Jacobs

DERAILED --Five Lessons Learned From Catastrophic Failures of Leadership By Tim Irwin, PH.D.


CITIZENS OF LONDON--The Americans Who Stood With Britain In Its Darkest, Finest Hour
By Lynne Olson

You be the reviewer for awhile. If you have read any of these books, let me know what you think about them.

I would really like to know what you think. Really.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Today I want to share with you some thoughts from Max Lucado's splendid book, A Gentle Thunder. Max is writing about one of his favorite verses of Scripture that he has written in the front of his bible.

"Because he delights in me, he saved me" (Ps. 18:19).

And you thought he saved you because of your decency. You thought he saved you because of your good works or good attitude or good looks. Sorry. If that  were the case, your salvation would be lost when your voice went south or your works got weak. There are many reasons God saves you: to bring glory to himself, to appease his justice, to demonstrate his sovereignty. But one of the sweetest reasons God saved you is because he is fond of you. He likes having you around. He thinks you are the best thing to come down the pike in quite awhile. "As a man rejoices over his new wife, so your God will rejoice over you" (Isa. 62:5).

If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If he had a wallet, your photo would be in it. he sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, he'll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and he chose your heart. And the Christmas gift he sent you in Bethlehem? Face it, friend. He's crazy about you.

(From pages 121 & 122 of Max Lucado's A GENTLE THUNDER --Hearing God Through The Storm)


Thursday, January 21, 2010

This is one time I look forward to being in hot water.

No hot shower so far today.

It's raining "cats and dogs" here today (an old expression I grew up with in Oklahoma) so I went through the garage to pick up the morning paper from the driveway.

"Oops what's that all over the floor?" " WATER!" "Is the garage roof leaking?" "No, but the hot water tank is."

Well a few hours later and a few hundred dollars gone from our bank account and we have hot water again.

Oh the joy of being in hot water.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We went to Massachusetts in October and we loved it there.

However, we have never cared for the politics or politicians coming out of there.


He won a huge victory there yesterday for the conservative cause in America.

Today many reasons are being given for his victory. I agree with most of them.

But I believe many are overlooking one important element---PRAYER!

I don't know if Scott Brown prayed or not--but I did!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I have friends on both sides of the universal health care issue.

So, where do I stand?

My views are the right ones--of course. LOL

Seriously I want health care for everybody someday and in someway--but not today and not in this way.

Not today because I do not know what is in this plan. I resent the idea that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid can understand this plan, but I can't. Do I think I am as smart as they are? YES!

Not this plan because of all the "back room" bribing that has gone on. I want a health plan and a health plan only. I do not want every state in the union receiving things that have nothing to do with health care.

The bottom line is I want an overhaul of health care and I want our people in congress to go to work and get it done.



Monday, January 18, 2010

My very comfortable reading chair which I have had for years sits in front of a window.

Taking a brief break from reading I look out to the East and see a window covered with rain drops. Beyond the window I see a wet, reddish orange tile roof and above it a plane in the distance and a bright blue balloon that is soaring high possibly having just slipped from some child's hand.

While on my break I do a few relaxing exercises I learned in my Tai Chi class, check out my blog and Facebook and write this post.

My habit is to sit in that chair with a book rest I bought from Levengers on my lap. Sometimes I read for thirty minutes. Sometimes I read for an hour or much longer.

Today my mind skips away from what I'm reading to thoughts of the devastation in Haiti. I remember the contribution we gave toward aid to that country yesterday at church. I take time out from reading to pray.

Now I turn back to find my book marker and resume reading. As I do I can feel the sun coming in on my shoulders. I turn to see the rain has stopped. Another plane is moving across the sky and the blue balloon is nowhere in sight.

I pray again! How blessed we are to be alive, well and happy. I am so grateful. God is good! I ask him again to bless and watch over those who are working so hard to help those who are hurting.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

There is great truth in the following words from Richard Foster. Please read them slowly, meditate on them and let them sink in:

The discovery of God lies in the daily and the ordinary, not in the spectacular and the heroic. If we cannot find God in the routines of home and shop, then we will not find him at all.


Friday, January 15, 2010

I am told that Tai Chi will help you manage your stress level, decrease your anxiety and help you become more physically active.

Tai Chi is the ancient Chinese art of relaxation and healing. It has been recognized by medical experts as a practical,effective way to alleviate: chronic pain, reduce stress, lubricate joints, and fortify your immune system.

I have just returned home from my first one hour session. I am enrolled in a ten week course sponsored by Cigna Medical Group. I wanted Charlotte to attend but she is not a member of Cigna and the course costs $200.00. After I met the young, handsome, physically fit, male, instructor, I'm kinda glad she's not going to be there.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

As a full-time minister, the question I got more than any other was, "Where is God in the midst of suffering and evil?"

I spent forty-seven years trying to answer that question from the pulpit and in private counseling.

One of the best books I read and reviewed last year was Randy Alcorn's If God Is Good--Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil.

Right now the whole world has turned attention to the devastation in Haiti.

"What if suffering is God's invitation to trust him? And to hope for a better world."

I recommend you read Randy's excellent book now. Don't wait for another disaster.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My wife, daughter and every friend I have in the world is on Facebook.

I have been slow about joining up.

Why? I don't really have a reason. It seems I am always the last one to do almost anything.

I may fall in love with it someday. But for now I just kinda like it a little.

So much of it seems silly to me. I know, I know, I put silly "stuff" on there too. It's because that's about all I can think of.

"Stay connected." "Keep in touch." "Be part of community." "CARE."

I know---I really do. I care!

Do you love Facebook? Tell me why. I really want to know.

(If you leave a comment telling me you love Facebook and yet you are one of those who never post anything, I think I'll scream.)


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

 Set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. Colossians 3;2

 God is extremely interested in what you see through your "spiritual eyes." If you have a vision for victory in your life, you can rise to a new level. But as long as your gaze is on the ground instead of on your possibilities, you risk moving in the wrong direction and missing out on the great things God wants to do in and through you.

It is a spiritual as well as a psychological fact: we move toward what we see in our minds. Your life will follow your expectations. What you expect is what you will get. If you raise your level of expectancy, you will enlarge your vision. This could be the day you see your miracle.

(From Joel Osteen's Your Best Life Begins Each Morning)


Monday, January 11, 2010

Both teams had marched up and down the field all afternoon.

They were tired, sweaty and bloody.


With just a few seconds left on the clock the Cardinals great field goal kicker came in to kick a field goal he has made many, many times. Everybody knew he would make it and the Cardinals would win.


The phone rang. Friends were calling from California to check on me. They were afraid I would have a heart attack.

I too was afraid. I turned blue and was having a hard time breathing.

But then a few minutes later in overtime--the Cardinals pulled it out. THEY WON!


(For my friend Smiling Sally, and dozens of her friends across the country, this is what they call BLUE MONDAY in celebration of all things blue. But not for me Sally, not today!)


Saturday, January 09, 2010

I'm convinced that God still answers prayer today.

The Bible says that God answers prayer and that is enough for me. Several scientific studies have verified the benefit of prayer. But I also believe God answers prayer today because of personal experience.

Bishop William Temple said, "When I pray, coincidences happen. When I don't pray, coincidences don't happen."

Max Lucado wrote:

You  can talk to God because God listens. Your voice matters in heaven. He takes you very seriously. When you enter his presence, the attendants turn to you to hear your voice. No need to fear that you will be ignored. Even if you stammer or stumble, even if what you have to say impresses no one, it impresses God--and he listens. ...Your prayers move God to change the world. You may not understand the mystery of prayer. You don't need to. But this much is clear: Actions in heaven begin when someone prays on earth. What an amazing thought! When you speak, Jesus hears. And when Jesus hears, the world is changed. All because someone prayed.

(My wife, Charlotte, requested prayers last week because of some health issues. Many of you prayed and we are deeply and sincerely grateful. Our blogging friends are a company of concerned individuals and we feel honored to know you. Soren Kierkegaard said, "God answers every prayer, for either he gives us what we pray for, or something far better.")


Friday, January 08, 2010

Some of my friends want me to put a smile on my face and look up.

That's good advice and I do that a lot.

But in some situations you run into things because you are not looking where you are going and that silly grin can become annoying.

In His heart and mind Jesus was always looking up but he wasn't always smiling. On one occasion He "...made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables." He was passionate about this and let them know who's side he was on.

The Apostle Paul said of Jew and Gentile alike, "All have turned away, they have together become worthless;...Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit....There is no fear of God before their eyes."

I  know I am not Jesus or not even the Apostle Paul. But I do feel passionate about some things and I believe God wants me to let people know who's side I am on. I do trust in God and I do know that He has me in His hand and His plan. I think God wants to work through me and you to change things for the better. If we don't like the way things are going we should be doing what we can to change things. Instead of just going along we need to be preaching the Word and trying to evangelize the world for Him.

Sometimes I feel like it's possible to become so heavenly minded we are no earthly good.

Hey, I wish you could see me as I write this. I'm smiling and I have my head up (figuratively speaking) and I'm not making any whips and I'm not driving anybody out.



Thursday, January 07, 2010

See Dick and Jane.

See Dick and Jane rake leaves.

See Spot run.

That was then.

This is now:

Mary and Margaret get married.

Dick and Jane rob a bank.

Doberman attacks child.

What am I trying to say? I don't know. I'm just saying.


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Stephen M.R. Covey writes, "Trust impacts us 24/7, 365 days a year. It undergirds and affects the quality of every relationship, every communication, every work project, every business venture, every effort in which we are engaged. ...While corporate scandals, terrorist threats, office politics, and broken relationships have created low trust on almost every front, I contend that the ability to establish, grow, extend, and restore trust is not only vital to our personal and interpersonal well-being; it is the key leadership competency of the new global economy."

With all the scandals and ethical violations in our society today we don't know what--or who--to trust anymore.

Our President told us many things during his campaign to get elected. Now today it is evident that he lied.

Mahatma Gandhi said, "The moment there is suspicion about a person's motives, everything he does becomes tainted."


I am sick and tired of just sitting around saying, "Well there is nothing I can do about it. The common people's hands are tied." I can openly talk about it and I am going to. I have never done anything like it in my life, but if joining some movement like the Tea Party will help--then I'm joining!


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I dream of the old days when:

Nobody had ever heard the words politically correct.

It was a joy to live close to a school and watch the kids come and go.

You could leave your doors and windows open at night.

Your children could play outside after dark.

You respected crossing guards, teachers, preachers, coaches, doctors, lawyers, policemen--ALL ADULTS!

You thought it was an honor to grow up to be President of the United States.

If we went to war it meant we intended to kill people and win the war and do it as quickly as possible.

When we arrested someone for breaking the law, judgment and punishment came swiftly.

We recognized the United States as a great nation and a Christian nation.

My dream goes on and on. Oh that we could return to simpler living!


Monday, January 04, 2010

Every year before Christmas I mutter, "I don't think I'll put lights on the house this year."

Every year I put up lights.

Every year after Christmas I say, "I don't think I'll take the lights down this year. We'll just turn around a few times and it will be time to put them back up."

Every year I take them down.



Saturday, January 02, 2010

Folk need a lot of loving in the morning;
   The day is all before, with cares beset--
The cares we know, and they that give no warning;
   For love is God's own antidote for fret.

Folk need a heap of loving at the noontime--
   In the battle lull, the moment snatched from strife--
Haflway between the waking and the croon time,
   While bickering and worriment are rife.

Folk hunger so for loving at the nighttime,
   When wearily they take them home to rest--
At slumber song and turning-out-the-light time--
   Of all the times for loving, that's the best.

Folk want a lot of loving every minute--
   The sympathy of others and their smile!
Till life's end, from the moment they begin it,
   folks need a lot of loving all the while.
                                              Strickland Gillilan


Friday, January 01, 2010

Yesterday, the last day of the year, I strolled to the mailbox not expecting much.

The small box was full.

Here's what I found:

POTTERY BARN CATALOG - Whee! We only get one of these every few days.

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION MAILING - A notice that the last mailing contained an error. We both received one. I wonder how much was wasted in correcting this mistake.

A BOOK - No great surprise here except that it was suppose to arrive about a month before Christmas. It is a Christmas book that I was asked to review. Oh well!

BILLY GRAHAM EVANGELISTIC ASSOCIATION MAIL OUT - An appeal for help with their projects.

MACWORLD MAGAZINE - Charlotte subscribes to this.

PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE - A beautiful 52 page magazine advertising Pepperdine's 67th Annual Bible Lectures. We have been attending these lectures for 51 years. We have only missed a few times in all these years.

A LETTER FROM CHARLOTTE'S 91 YEAR OLD AUNT - A wonderful, well written 9 page letter.
The part that touched my heart was when she wrote these words: "I told Tom if I die before he does, please hold my hand on the way to heaven. I can't imagine going without him."


Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent.