Citywide Ladies Bible Study

On Thursday morning, I finished my studying and made 10 copies of the material I would hand out. In the early afternoon, I whipped up a batch of excellent cookies, arranged them nicely on a plate, and covered them with stretchy Saran wrap. I think it was around 5:40 that I gathered my Bible, teaching notes, and sunglasses. I pecked Jerry good-bye.

After I slipped 10 slim bottles of water into our small red cooler and loaded it into the car, I drove around to the office here at DJs, clinked 10 dimes into the money jug, unlocked the little ice house, and poured a 7 pound bag of glittering ice over the water bottles. There. Now, I was set. At our ladies bible study we would nibble on freshly baked cookies, and swig icy water.

At the library, I unloaded my things at the curb, setting the plate of cookies atop the small cooler. A couple of teen-age boys sat about, and I playfully spoke to them, “Don’t you eat my cookies now.” They just looked at me, not displaying much of a sense of humor. Anyway, I parked the car, walked to my snack trove, found it to be undisturbed and carried it inside the building.

“What group?” asked the friendly security guard when I walked to his desk and asked to be admitted to my room.

“Christ Alive.”

“Oh, sure.” He unlocked both doors to the lovely conference room that seats 15 people. I arranged the snacks, my Bible and notes, then because I was early for the 6:30 Citywide Ladies Bible Study, I prowled around the library a bit.

At 6:10 I settled into my chair at the head of the long, wide table and waited for my eager students. I waited longer, looked at my watch, and waited more. No one came.

Well, I thought, I’ll stay a little longer in case they’re all caught in traffic. I helped myself to an icy water and a crisp cookie. Wiped my mouth daintily with a fine napkin. I waited.

At 7:10, I gathered my Bible, teaching notes, handouts, cookie plate and red ice chest. I perched sunglasses on my nose and walked to the car.

If I ever harbored any arrogant thoughts about the excellence of my teaching or visions of women wildly fighting for a chair at the City Wide Ladies Bible Study, it was soundly smacked on Thursday evening in Lake Havasu City, Az. I drove home, unloaded my things, sat myself down on the couch and waited for Jerry to finish showering.

“Care for a water?” I asked, when, looking puzzled, he walked into the living room.

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My devotional blog is here.

15 thoughts on “Citywide Ladies Bible Study

  1. Joel and Aisha, and boys

    Amazing. I’m challenged, by what you have shared, and the comments that I have read. I do not feel alone.
    Whether or not you were able to teach the bible study on that peticular day, know that the experience derived from that day has fed me… and the many others that have read here. Obviously God uses you, even when you think not. Isn’t He astonishing, He mulitplies little to much, and His ways are always above ours.

    Did you eat all the cookies by yourself?:) Lots of love to you.

    No! I did not eat all the cookies by myself…shared them around. πŸ™‚

    I learned a long time ago, Aisha, that because I am serious about serving God and working for Him I really do not belong to myself. I don’t. I belong to Him, and however He wants to use me is His business and His alone.

    That is not to say I can blame my failures on Him if I have not done my part. Not at all. He expects us to be prepared and to do our best. After that, it’s His.

    A rather great place to be, actually.

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  2. Pingback: Of Meekness « God Things

  3. pat keyes

    Sis Buxton,
    When I first read this blog about the bible study, I wanted to cry. I felt really sad, to think you had prepared and no one showed up. BUT!!! then a feeling of peace came over me and I thought boy something good is about to happen in Lake Havasu. It also lets us know how our husbands feel when they prepare their sermons and some of the saints are missing. We are praying for you folks. Love ya sis keyes

    Oh, Pat, thank you for being so sweet and caring about me. It’s a small thing, a disappointment to be sure, but one empty classroom will certainly not deter me from doing my bit in telling Lake Havasu about our wonderful Jesus.

    Love you and your fine husband very much.

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  4. Rebecca

    Bless you my dear sweet Mother,
    You and Dad so amaze me. Just remember the room was not empty. Empty of people maybe, but not empty. It is full of promise. The echos of your testimony ring loud and sure. Never know who could have been watching. Keep the faith. Love you so.

    Hey, Bek. It you had been visiting me last Thursday, there would have been at least one eager student, because I would have made you go with me and help carry the cookies. πŸ™‚

    You’re the amazing one, and I love you dearly.

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  5. dean

    Bless you Sis.Buxton. Your love for God and the lost tear me up. Peace

    Dean, since childhood I’ve been told stories about Heaven, that God is there, and that after I die, if I have lived right, there will come a time when I can live there…forever.

    I believe that.

    But since I believe that Bible-based concept, though I am not at all comfortable with its thought, I must also accept the idea of hell.

    It’s not pretty.

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  6. Esther

    Sis. Buxton, your story did not end the way I thought it was going to. I could just see you going ahead teaching, to an empty room, then the people in the library coming in. Now, wouldn’t that have been something. That seems like something that would have happened to you. Love you…………

    My dear Esther. You have incredible faith–far exceeding mine. πŸ™‚ To tell the truth it didn’t even occur to me to speak to the empty room. But then there is Ezekiel who talked to dead bones, once, didn’t he.

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  7. “And he gave some… and some, pastors and teachers” Eph. 4:11 KJV

    Blogging… tool…ministry.

    God is dealing with me about things too. Thank you for writing your heart.

    In due time, no doubt, the increase will come, it’s Bible!!!

    God bless you and strengthen you both.

    Love,
    Sis Catherine

    Catherine, thank you for your positive remarks and for your prayers. It is so good that we bind together for success in our works. For the Church of Jesus Christ is one. We labor in different parts of the field, but the world is the field.

    I wish you every blessing and success.

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  8. Debbie Saiz

    Sis. Buxton,
    Thank you for being so open. I have been there where you are. My Dad told me a long time ago and I know that you know this. . . .When the tide is out and you are standing there alone, if you stand there long enough, the tide will come rolling back in. I do believe that God is going to connect you with at least one key lady to help build your Bible Study. I am going to bring this to our Ladies Prayer Group, we are going to bind together with you in prayer. Know that each week in Torrance. . . .your Ladies Bible Study in Lake Havasu is being covered in some extra prayer.
    I so admire you and Bro. Buxton in all that you are doing!
    I love you!

    Oh, my goodness, Debbie, thank you for taking me on in your prayer group in Torrance. Thank you very much.

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  9. This brought back difficult emotions from a Bible study I was asked to teach a few months ago. I was so excited about it even though there seemed to be so many bumps getting it all set up, and difficulty “advertising,” I was ready for whoever would show up! I studied. I prayed. I prepared. I brought snacks. My story veers from yours here… no need for much detail other than I didn’t teach the Bible study exactly the way the person who asked me to wanted it to be taught. There was some resistance. I certainly learned that silent resistance hurt worse than verbal communication though. I was very discouraged, but figured God was trying to teach me something so I tried earnestly to listen. I spent the next couple months showing up to the study. Usually one person showed who seemed to really enjoy it. However I also knew that I wasn’t doing it like the person asked me wanted me to. I felt torn and my ego certainly suffered as I watched praise fly to another lady teaching another Bible study and just scratched my head… I prayed. I felt like I heard from God. And I taught what I thought should be taught. It was a humbling experience. I still haven’t quite figured out what I was supposed to learn from it yet, other than being humbled. Let’s just say I’m glad that series is over for now.

    Thanks for sharing, Rochelle. To be humbled is a good thing, I suppose…except that at the moment it doesn’t feel so good, and, I’m more inclined to enjoy a discussion of humbling in the abstract or to think how precious such experiences are for another person!

    Listen to this: One full side of the conference room to which I was assigned was a glass window, giving to the main library. Everyone who walked by could see me sitting alone at that impressive table, with my professional looking notes and my black Bible. πŸ™‚

    I confess to have felt a little embarrassed.

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  10. We are dealing with an odd and varied creature called, β€œHumans.” This odd species can and will do some very different things. Yet, Jesus loves each and everyone.

    I, personally, have had very slim results with Bible study taught in a different location. So, for many years now I do the best I can to make an appointment and teach in their homes.

    Because Jesus loves each of these strange creatures, which He created, the main thing many times, is not the result we see. But the result that He sees.

    Keep up the good work;

    Mervi

    Bible studies in the home are proven winners. Jerry and I taught a new one on Wednesday night. There were four women present.

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  11. God said if you’ll take one step, He’ll take two. Your offering will not go unrewarded. He has something great in store for you and your church. He’s a God that counts our efforts, not our accomplishments.

    Karen, one of the greatest things about working for God is knowing He is in charge, and that what we are doing is right. Accomplishments are great, and I for one, prefer working and seeing success, and I continue to plan for that. But ultimately, whether or not that happens, rests with God…well, as long as we do our best and work in His plan.

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  12. Oh, Sis. Buxton. I don’t think I can accurately describe the many emotions I’m having right now. There are tears in my eyes…

    1. Passion to do the work of the Lord:
    My heart was with you as you described your preparations to teach ladies about the bible, for that is one of MY desires and dreams.
    2. Excitement:
    This is what our purpose is on earth! To share the good news to everyone we can.
    3. Sad:
    When no one came and you had to leave without doing what you desired so much to do.
    4. Hope:
    Tracie is correct! The reaping will come. God will not leave a good deed unrewarded.

    I’ve been in your shoes, in different scenarios and situations, many times in my life; and I know those reading this have too.
    Oh, how proud God is of you. πŸ˜€

    Thank you for this post. It may not seem much to some people, but to me it was HUGE! I will be bold and say, God spoke to me through this post.
    I am motivated once again.
    Love you.

    TENA, listen to me. You are an exceptional vessel with a deep touch of God on your life. I’m encouraging you to step out and do those things that God impresses you to do.

    Is it scary? Maybe.

    Is it easy? Not usually.

    Will you fail? Yes.

    Will you succeed? Probably

    Is it true that some people are more deeply touched by God than are others? It appears so to me.

    Are you, Tena, one of those people? Yes

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  13. Although an event like this “feels empty,” you never know: perhaps you quietly touched one of the boys to whom you spoke. We may never know the actual results of faithfulness.

    I am glad that faithfulness counts for so much. I’m a seed-sower here in Lake Havasu, seeing some harvest, but knowing that those who follow us will reap the greatest gathering. It’s an exciting concept.

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  14. And if all goes like it does in Conroe, you will have your best service Sunday or a packed out room next week @ your Bible Study. God really does bring the increase when we just continue to give as you did for Him! I’ll be waiting to hear the victory that comes from your Bible Study effort.

    Traci, your remarks remind me of a time when Jerry was a young pastor in Garden Grove. We had three children, and a part of nearly every Saturday was spent on “knocking doors,” and checking on our bus route youngsters.

    Some weeks, we saw people in church on Sunday that was a direct result of our efforts; sometimes we saw no positive results. However, almost without exception, after we had expended an exceptionally large amount of work, there would be visitors in our service whom no one had invited. We discussed this often, and knew it was God working. Thank you for the reminder.

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