Friday, September 1, 2017

God Is Good


Walking daily with the living God of the Bible is not always an easy task. I feel your stare of doubt, but hear me out. There are times when he will lead you to places you would prefer not to go. Sometimes there will be a shimmering wall of fear and doubt that you must walk through. When you close your eyes and walk forward by faith and not by sight you will find that the path He chose was necessary for your growth in Him. Sometimes you may just fall down on your knees and humble yourself before the living God and cry out for strength before you are able to take that first step into the realm of the unknown. Whatever it takes you must do it. Christian, God is faithful and loves you more than you know. He has a perfect plan for you, trust him, and follow Him where he leads.

 Seeker, if you have stumbled on to this page and are reading out of curiosity, the emptiness you feel inside is a God shaped hole that can only be filled with Jesus Christ. The hole was created by sin. The bible tells us that we have all sinned and fallen short of Gods glory, and that the wages of sin is eternal death. That is the bad news, the good news is that God loves you and has made a way for you to escape eternal death. The way is Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of the living God of the bible. Simply by believing that Jesus died for your sins, and placing your trust in Him you will be saved. That is the beginning of a new life. There is a link on the upper right hand corner of this page called Gods Simple Plan that will answer questions and present the plan of salvation. Send me a note if you make a decision for Christ.

God is good, live for Him.



Cliff

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

West Coast Christian Writers Conference



Hello All,

God is good! I had an epic time at the West Coast Christian Writers Conference in February. I met Christian writers from all over the globe. The Key note speakers were inspiring, and the classes gave me the boost of encouragement I needed to continue writing.  If you have not been to a Writers conference I recommend this conference. It was in fact my first writer’s conference, and I was not disappointed. The cost was affordable (I took advantage of the early bird special) and the atmosphere was Christ centered.

There were two key-note speakers, Michele Cushatt and Tosca Lee. Both are authors and public speakers. Michele’s testimony and life experience touched and inspired me to move past the disappointments of life, and cling to the promises that God has given us. He will be with us no matter what we go through. He is our strength, and He is our hope. Her web site is www.michelecushatt.com. I encourage you to visit her site. Michele spoke at the closing segment. She used Moses to illustrate how God sets people apart for specific things to do and prepares them for those jobs

At the end of her presentation she had us take our shoes off and visualize that we are standing on Holy Ground. The world desperately needs to know there is a mighty God who loves them and we must get the message out. Each of our feet and the legs that support us represent Gods Presence and Gods Purpose. She focused on the burning bush and how it was full of fire but not consumed, when we walk in Gods purpose and presence we will not be consumed.

Tosca Lee is a New York Times best seller. She has co-authored several books with Ted Dekker. Her web site is toscalee.com. She writes very interesting books with titles like, Demon, Iscariot, and the Progeny. As of yet I have not read her books. I plan on starting with her first book entitled Havah, the story of Eve. I read the teaser on Amazon, her writing is what you would expect from a NYT best seller. I am not sure this is her first book, but I believe it to be one of her earlier works. One take-away for me is the things in our life that set us apart from others and may even be considered as weird are actually our Super-Powers.  We should embrace the differences in our life and capitalize on them. She gives three cautions that come with our super powers:

1.       You shall not covet someone else’s super powers

2.       Own your super power, make it special and yours

3.       With great power comes great responsibility, use your power carefully.

Another thought that resonated with me is that God has poured a certain amount of talent into all of us. It is our responsibility to make that investment in us grow. Do not be like the man in scripture with one talent who hid it. Use your gifts for God’s Glory.

These presentations are a smattering of what was dished out over the course of two days. I attended 6 classes plus the four group gatherings where Michele and Tosca shared. If you are a Christian Writer or if you would like to know more about being a Christian writer there is a group dedicated to helping you be the best you can be. It is called Inspire Christian Writers. It is only fifty dollars a year. The web site is Inspirewriters.com. Check it out, who knows there may be a writer in side of you waiting to get out.

One last note, the ages of those attending were from teenagers to those in there nineties. You are never too old to start writing. The majority of the people I met were writing memoirs. One man I met was a survivor of the Killing Fields of Cambodia. He gave me the first chapter and offered to show me pictures from the Killing fields. More on that later. Thanks for coming by, Never stop learning and never stop seeking His perfect will in your life.

By his Grace, For His Glory

Cliff

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Happy February




 

Happy February,


     I hope this post finds you well and excited about the New Year.  This month I go to my first writer’s conference. I am looking forward to rubbing shoulders with real writers, maybe some of the good stuff will rub off on me. In the November post I mentioned that I was working on a project I started over ten years ago. I began writing the story while flying to Texas for a company school. The idea came to me as I was flying over the Arizona desert. I thought what if I were stranded in the desert, how would I survive. The obvious title was Survival. But, as with most of the stories I have written since, it turned in to something different than my original plan. I believe there are a few chapter of it posted on this blog. It is the first story that I started and completed a beginning middle and end. It is not finished and polished because it requires a complete rewrite.


       I kept going back to it because there are some very good scenes and I became fond of my main character, Felix Carver. But, I decided to put this one in the drawer for a while longer. The number one reason is, and I am a little bit embarrassed by it, (confession is good for the soul, so they say) I hate editing! I am terrible at it and it makes my head hurt. So for that reason I have decided to move on to my third book, (the second book is in the percolating stage, I am stuck). I started this one a few years ago. It has less problems and will be easier to spruce up. I have had some good comments about it from my critique group so I have decided to take this one all the way to publishing. My goal is to have it completed by October. The title is Cherokee Clay. It is about a young man who was born to a Cherokee Mother and English father, and takes place in the mid 1800’s shortly after the forced removal of the Cherokee nation.

     The research has been fun and very eye opening. The most amazing part of the history of the Cherokee is there overall endurance and perseverance in reaching their corporate dreams. They were one of the Five Civilized Tribes.

     The Five Civilized Tribes is the term applied to five American Indian (Native American) nations: the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole. These tribes were considered civilized because they adapted to the influx of whites by adopting many of our ways, such as building schools, developing city government, and many Cherokee wore the clothes of the white man. This was in no way a sign of weakness but demonstrates the built in adaptability of the Cherokee. They were grossly taken advantage of by our government in a way that staggers the imagination. They were forcibly removed from their land and relocated in a foreign place where they were not wanted. The trip from Georgia to Oklahoma is called the Trail of Tears. Over 3000 died from starvation and the elements. If you have never read anything about the force removal of the Five Civilized Tribes, it is well worth the effort to do a little research.

     The theme of Cherokee Clay is forgiveness, and moving past hurt to reach attainable goals. The genre is Christian Adventure. I have had a blast writing this one. I might even take a trip to see first-hand where the Trail of Tears started in the name of research. Stay tuned to this channel, I plan on pasting a few chapters of the book on this blog. Next month I will give a brief report on the writers conference. Until then God Bless and Live for Him!



Cliff












Saturday, December 24, 2016

Have a Happy Bible year


Merry Christmas to all, Thank you for coming by this blog. I try to post something as often as I can. I know, it’s a pretty vague schedule. I am working on a more consistent approach for the coming year. This year past I finally met the challenge of reading the bible through in its entirety. The bible is the living word of God, written in a fifteen hundred year span by more than forty authors from many different economic categories.  Kings, military leaders, peasants, philosophers, fisherman, tax collectors, poets, musicians, statesman, scholars and Shepherds were all involved in writing down the single most important book in all of the world.

Some of the most notable authors include David, a king, poet, musician, Shepherd and warrior. There was Amos a herdsman, Joshua, a military general, Nehemiah a cupbearer to a pagan king, Daniel a prime minister, Solomon a king and philosopher. In the new testament there was Luke a physician and historian, Peter a fisherman, Matthew a tax collector, Paul a rabbi, and Mark who was Peter’s secretary. The Bible was written on three continents, Asia, Africa, and Europe. And it was written in three Languages, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Written in fourteen different literary styles, the Bible address hundreds of controversial subjects, and most importantly it is the revelation of the Living God made known to man through Jesus Christ.

 The number of Bibles sold is in the billions. More Bibles have been produced than any other book in history. In one year The United Bible Society reports that it distributed more than 20. 8 million complete bibles and another 20.1 million testaments. So far the Bible has been translated into more than 2500 languages. The Bible has withstood attacks by enemies set on its destruction.  The Roman emperor Diocletian ordered that the Bible must be destroyed and all Christians must stop worshipping their God, Churches were destroyed and Bibles were burned, yet Christianity prospered and grew, so much so, that less than a hundred years later another Roman emperor ordered fifty copies of the Bible to be prepared at the governments expense.

The Bible is the word of God, it shall last forever. I pray that you take the challenge this year and read the Bible through. I used the Life Principles Daily Bible by Charles Stanley.  It gives you Old Testament, Psalms, Proverbs, and New Testament every day.  It generally took me about twenty minutes a day, and the most convenient time for me is in the morning.  I think that I missed about three days, which I made up for each following day. I took the Bible where ever we went so that I would not have huge chunks of reading to make up. My Bible has been to the far reaches of Alaska and the bottom of Arizona. The picture above is where I meet God every morning, and my cat Mia. She waits for me to make coffee and sit down, then she crawls on my lap and together we explore what God has to reveal.

The facts above concerning the Bible were taken from Evidence for Christianity by Josh McDowell. I am going to add its reading to my Bible reading this year. God bless and have a wonderful Bible filled year.

Cliff

Monday, November 21, 2016

Rejoice



Hello friends and family,

It has been a while since my last article, or whatever you want to call this stuff, so I felt the need to get busy and put down some public thoughts. I have been writing quite often, but nothing publishable, yet.  I am working on a novel I started almost ten years ago. My goal is to have it finished by March of next year and start sending out book proposals.
          I started reading the bible through this year and have been very successful so far, just two months away from completing the task. Once done I will start over and add other aspects of bible study. Last month while in Arizona my path through the bible led to the wonderful book of first Thessalonians. I found a couple of verses that I have added to memory. My mnemonic for remembering these verses is RPG. Rejoice, Pray, Give thanks. 1 Thessalonians chapter five, verses 16-18 says: Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  What power and joy these verses bring.
My twisted little brain fumbled around with the acronym RPG and the first thing that came to mind was Rocket Propelled Grenade, a handheld weapon that is very destructive. My RPG is a weapon to be used against the enemy of joy, peace and contentment. It has been effective in my life when disappointment has raised its childish head. Or, when anger sneaks up and wraps its scaly arms around me. It is effective against anything that attempts to steal joy.
The rejoicing part has been somewhat of a conundrum in the aspect of what constitutes rejoicing. Does it look like snoopy when he does his happy dance? Or is it more benign, like a monk who gets a new blanket? And, what am I to rejoice about?  Yesterday in Church I got an answer. We are going through the book of Romans and have landed on Romans chapter five. To sum up a forty five minute sermon our pastor listed six things that we have reason to rejoice for. First, because of Jesus we have peace with God (vs1). Second, Because of Jesus we have access to God (vs2). Third, Because of Jesus we have Hope (vs2). Fourth, Because of Jesus the problems we face have a purpose (vs 3). Fifth, Because of Jesus we can experience Gods love (vs6). Sixth, Because of Jesus we have eternal security (vs 17-18).
I think the answer to what rejoicing would look like is most certainly Snoopy’s happy dance. I encourage you to memorize 1thessalonians 5:16-18 and apply it to your life. I believe you will find the joy you have been looking for. God bless and see you next time


Cliff

Saturday, June 18, 2016

A telephone life (Continued)


 
I have been mulling over how we become who we are, what makes us act, say, and think like we do. Social phycologist have many theories about how our environment effects early maturity. Socio-economic status, and the way we are treated by significant people in our lives is said to have a great impact on who we become. I do not refute the fact that where we are born and who we are born to has bearing on the outcome of our personality. Though I believe ultimately all of these things are in the hands of an omnipotent, gracious, and loving God who is involved in every step of our development from birth to death. I realize that this belief sets up a lot of unanswerable questions about why bad things happen to good people, I do have an answer to these questions that is biblically based, but that is not the intent of this article

 When I look back on my life I can see how I was directed to where I am now by the choices I made. Starting with seemingly small choices like obey parent, or not obey parents, go to church, or not go to church. These small choices opened up opportunities to make bigger choices like, go to college or not go to college, become a farmer, do not become a farmer. In my case I was given the opportunity to work for the local telephone company. It was a blessing that I am forever thankful for. There were people in my life at that time that were extremely instrumental in my being offered the job. I thank them with all of my heart and know that without them I would not have been given the career choices that I received. Many of them have passed away, and the one person that is most instrumental will probably never read this, but if they do, they know who they are, and again I say thank you.

After a mere year and a half Continental telephone entered a economically weak period,  and began the process of layoffs. The layoffs would be guided by seniority, with less than a year and half under my belt, my name was at the top of the list. Again I was presented with a choice, wait and see what happens, or do something about it. I chose to act. I found out through casual conversation that it was possible to get a leave of absence with a guaranteed job at the end of three years by joining the military.  After a little research, I joined the army, and was offered more choices that would affect my life in profound ways. More on that later.

Jumping to the end of my three year stint in the army, I returned to Blythe and just as promised a job was waiting for me. The threat of layoffs was over and I started almost where I left off three years earlier.  The lesson I have learned throughout my life is, even seemingly insignificant choices we make can have an extreme impact on the rest of our lives. The goal of this blog is to give myself a place to ramble on and while doing this to present the truth as I perceive it from scripture. A verse that I will end with is found in the book of Proverbs 3:5-6 it says “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not to your own understand. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. That has proven true in my life,

I have not always done everything perfect, I have made mistakes, but by Gods mercy and grace I have put Him first in my life and it has made the difference. I still have a lot of life to live, Lord willing, and will keep His word hid in my heart I am confident that He will see me through this life as I seek to give Him all the Glory.

By His Grace and For His Glory

Cliff

Thursday, June 16, 2016

A telephone life


Hello, I wanted to break the cycle of no posting to my blog, so I decided to write a few pages about the past years as a telephone man. I retired last year in June after more than forty years as a telephone man.  I started with Golden west Telephone shortly after high school in 1973. My first job as summer hire, was spraying weeds around telephone pedestals throughout the Palo Verde Valley. I eventually worked myself out of a job. The powers to be decided to keep me around for the rest of the summer. I guess they figured it would be hard to find anyone else dumb enough to drive around in 115 degree heat with no air conditioner spraying weeds.

The summer ended and so did the need for a summer hire. There was a gap of 6 months where I worked for a farmer doing odds and ends. To my credit six months was all it took to discover I did not want to be a farmer, and it took the phone company the same period of time to discover that they were right, there was no one else around that was dumb enough to take on jobs like weed spraying in the intense heat of the Mojave desert, so they invited me back and I was hired in September of 1973.

During my 6 month sabbatical, the name of the phone company changed from Golden West to Continental Telephone. The truck went from a light brown color to bright white with an orange and Green stripe around the middle of the vehicle. I worked in Blythe California for 17 years doing everything from installing telephones to vacuuming dust on cable racks above sensitive equipment, which by the way can be knocked out of service by dropping a vacuum hose . Who knew?

Above is a sign that was posted everywhere the Cable was buried. It gives you an idea of the color scheme. Our uniforms were dark green pants, and light green shirts with the orange and green patch that said Continental Telephone Systems. In the very beginning there was grumbling among those of us who had to wear the pants. The grumbling soon turned into an organized effort to get the company to change uniforms. There were two main reasons we did not like the pants. The first reason was they were very hot during summer months. It is a fact that during the summer the heat in the Mojave Desert can and does reach far above the 110 degree mark for many days consecutively. The second reason is that by the end of the day the crotch or inseam of the pants hung down to the knees.

Our first effort to get different pants was rather creative and got a chuckle from upper management.  We all went out and bought orange suspenders and bright ugly ties. This picture, taken in 1982, is after we got rid of the suspenders for safety reasons. Here is the group of us wearing our uniforms and ties. The effort united us as a group but did little to change our situation. Most of us gradually just began to wear Levis instead of the pants. Over time the pants were abandoned due to the second name change. Instead of Continental Telephone, we became Contel. Our uniforms changed to gray pants and white shirts with grey pinstripes. They were nice uniforms, no one complained.