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Grandkids Week Day 7

Important Announcement

TENT REVIVAL today between 2:00 and 3:00 o’clock.

Public is invited.

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Because of some traveling challenges, it happened that instead of Andrew and Shawnna returning here last night as had been originally planned, they will come in tonight after Andrew preaches in Desert Hot Springs. So here we are, Rebecca and I and six grand youngins’ for one more day.

Jerry left about 10:00 yesterday for Lake Havasu, for of course we had church there today. We really had no way to get to church here in Crestline for Rebecca’s car is much too small for all of us.

Yesterday, our neighbor Mary had a garage sale, and during one of the breaks of fine weather, I let the older ones go over and “shop.” Nathaniel came back with this tent that Mary had given him.
“Mom, may we set up the tent in the garage?” Nathaniel asked this morning.
“No.”
“Why?” I whispered in Rebecca’s ear when no one was watching…and then
I overruled her. “It won’t hurt a thing for them to do that.”
“Yes, Nathaniel, you may set up the tent in the garage”
…then someone said, “We can have a tent revival.” For we had planned to have some kind of little service seeing it was Sunday morning and we couldn’t get anywhere else.
We didn’t get started until after 3:00 and it was sort of a progressive church service, as we gathered for the first segment in our basement where there is an old small Hammond organ.

Song Service in the Basement

In honor of Memorial Day we sang God Bless America, followed by Send it On Down, then Jesus Loves Me. At the conclusion of the song service, we moved into the tent, where Aunt Becky, who was the MC, welcomed everybody.
Chloe taught a very good lesson on Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.
I was very surprised when we were arranging the service that Brady volunteered to preach. When he was called, he walked right up and told a story about George somebody. We couldn’t help ourselves–we were all rolling in laughter–that is until he sweetly ended his message with the words, “and then they nailed Jesus all over and on His head.”
Gentry gave the first testimony, and several of us added our own.
Aunt Becky and Ella worship enthusiastically.
Nathaniel brought a challenging sermon on The End, encouraging all of us to be prepared for the end of our lives when we will have to meet God.
…and Aunt Becky had all join hands in benediction.
9:00 Sunday evening
The tent has been disassembled, dinner has been eaten and Ella Claire, Cole and Brady are asleep. We’ve made a cleaning sweep through the house, the suitcases are almost packed, we’re trying to make all the socks match, and the final load of laundry is chugging at this moment. Andrew and Shawnna should be here by midnight.
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“Want to stay up until your folks get here?” I asked a few minutes ago.
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“Yes, please, Granny.”
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So here we are, still tearing around, lots of life yet. Me? I’m on my way to a long hot bath. Well, maybe, just maybe, I’ll stay up long enough to say Hi! to Andrew and Shawnna…that is if they don’t wait too long to get here. 🙂

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America Bible Christianity/Religion Culture God Life Religion

The Allure of Suicide

 Edit: Thursday, March 20, 2008   Chantal has been found dead.

I have definite opinions on many things, often to the extent that it puzzles me why others don’t see things the same as I. The ramification of some issues seems so definite, so easily understood, and so quickly judged. There are many areas, though, when I can see both sides of a situation, and to take a stance one way or the other is difficult or downright impossible. Such a challenging set of affairs is the story of Chantal Seibre who is suffering from a painful, very disfiguring disease, and who wants to commit suicide.

A FRENCH court has rejected a request from a 52-year-old severely disfigured former schoolteacher for the right to die, in a case that has stirred much emotion in France.

The high court in Dijon, eastern France, decided to side with the prosecution which argued current legislation does not allow Chantal Sebire’s doctor to prescribe lethal drugs.

More here.

Chantal suffers excruciating pain, and is so terribly disfigured that children run in fear from her. She no longer wants to live this way, and pleads that one would have mercy on an animal who suffers as she does, and would put the animal out of its misery. Her picture is available on this link that includes the remainder of the article. (I couldn’t bear to bring the picture over. Be warned. It is graphic and possibly disturbing.)

What is your opinion? Should someone like this be allowed to commit suicide? How about assisting her? What about the Bible that speaks against killing? What about her extreme pain? How about the sanctity of life?

I’ll comment more later when I return from my Bible study.

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My devotional blog is here.

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Bible Children God Life Religion Social The World

Demon Possessed Children

An astonishing story is being reported in which hundreds of African school children appeared to have been demon possessed. While I have had the pleasure of traveling a modest amount in various places in the world, I have never been to Africa, but it is one of the places I want to visit before the end of my life. I am especially interested in joining a safari and exploring the big game areas. But, while I’m an inquisitive and intrepid traveler, I have a significant amount of reluctance to becoming embroiled in a situation that involves demon possession.

I have read a fair amount concerning the continent of Africa and have friends who have both lived and visited there, and I believe it is accurate to conclude there are parts of Africa where there does seems to be a heavy demonic influence.

Kampala – More than 100 students in a western Ugandan school become possessed by demonic spirits, Uganda’s state-run newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The New Vision said that authorities at Sir Tito Winyi Primary School in the western district Hoima described the “hysterical” students as suffering from a demonic attack.

“The situation is bad. About 100 pupils are totally mad. They are chasing everybody including teachers and fellow pupils, throwing stones, banging doors and windows,” the paper quoted headmaster Vincent Kitende as saying.

Kitende said that a similar incident took place at the school late last year, affecting more than 200 students that time, according to the paper.

The complete article is here.

What is to be thought of this? What of witch doctors?How is it there is such a stronghold in Africa? Do they really have the power to cast spells on children and on schools? It is frightening to think this is so, but there are so many such reports that one can only conclude the stories to be true.

Certainly the Bible substantiates the thought of demon possession. However, I am definitely of the mind that a Christian is not subject to the powers of witch doctors…for the power of Jesus Christ exceeds that of all others.

Any thoughts? Have you had any experiences or observations of demon possession or oppression?

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My devotional blog is here.

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Off to Phoenix

In their Ridgeline truck, on Saturday, our friends Harold and Pam Kern traveled with us from Visalia to Lake Havasu. When we arrived at the hotel we had reserved for them, The Islander, we found there to be a discrepancy in the reservation–the clerk there showing our friends to arrive on Sunday instead of Saturday. They tried to be accommodating, but the hotel was full, and finally the men put the luggage back in the truck, and the Kerns drove to another hotel where the management at The Islander had arranged a room for them.

We were exhausted when we arrived at our motorhome, but after a good night’s sleep, we tramped off to our little church for our Sunday morning 9:00 o’clock service. Harold Kern preached an absolute masterpiece, a riveting presentation of the Word of God. Using the unique story of the prophet Hosea and his wife, Gomer, he preached on “Walking with God.”

By 2:00 in the afternoon we four were on the road again, in our Jeep heading to Phoenix where in the evening service, Harold Kern preached again. This Monday morning, I’m sitting in the Phoenix Crown Plaza Hotel. Guess what! Free internet service. Cheers!

I have a little more to tell you about the Ladies Conference when I can grab enough time…hold on!

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The Times of Your Life–Part 2

DSC_0093, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

Nita Hodges is the Ladies Ministries President of what is now the Southern California district, and without a doubt she is among the premiere of Apostolic speakers. The highlight of the services yesterday occurred in the morning session when she spoke. Perhaps the word is overused, but there is not a better one to describe those sacred hours than powerful.

The topic had been announced as: The Bible–God’s Word to His people, and her presentation was anointed and impeccable. The conclusion of the service involved women gathering in groups with their loved ones as they presented Bibles to them. Mothers gathered with daughters and grandmothers with granddaughters. It was a dynamic moving service.

Beautiful Sarah fell on the neck of her grandmother, Maxine Wilson, as together they spoke of their love for each other, of the work of God, and of His Word.

Not only was it older women making presentations to their granddaughters, but young women were giving precious copies of the Bible to their daughters.

 

I was positioned so that I watched Tiffany Groggan as she presented a Bible to her young daughter. I cried too as I watched them cry, and pray and read together.

 

 

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My devotional blog is here.

 

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Belief–Principle 2

“Remember that what you believe will depend very much on what you are.” Noah Porter

Principle 2

We must study, listen, search, then carefully hone our core beliefs. Our beliefs will dictate our actions.

It was the middle of a church service and Debbie was playing the organ when the young woman entered the auditorium. Immediately Debbie was attracted to her. There was just something about her…her demeanor…her expression. The service continued, then God spoke to Debbie. You need to go tell that young woman you love her.

Whoa there! “Now, God,” Debbie rationalized, “that would be silly.” Probably not even God, anyway she thought. Probably just me.

You need to go tell that woman you love her. Again, Debbie felt impressed of God, and again she argued. “It would totally disrupt this service if I stopped playing the organ, walked off the platform, and went to that woman and told her I loved her. Anyway, she probably would think that was a bit weird. Never before saw her in my life.”

For the next several minutes, Debbie argued with herself and with God. Her husband was in the middle of giving the altar call, when suddenly before she even knew what she was doing, she had stopped playing the organ and was walking down the aisle, heading to the young lady. At the same time, the young lady left her pew and started for the exit.

“See,” Debbie said to herself. “This probably wasn’t God or she wouldn’t be leaving now.”

Nevertheless she continued and followed the girl to the parking lot. “Hi, my name’s Debbie…” and she went on with a few introductory words…then stammered around a bit and added, “God wanted me to come tell you that I love you.”

Unsmiling, the young woman spoke, “How can you love me? You don’t even know me.”

“Because we’re sisters in Christ. We both belong to Jesus. And besides me loving you, Jesus loves you.” The young lady didn’t seem very receptive, so Debbie concluded the conversation with, “If you ever need anything, I’m here for you. Glad you came to our service today.”

I won’t go into all the details that followed, but a while after this incident Debbie received a phone call from another pastor thanking her for being sensitive to God and for talking with the young woman. The young woman became a part of Debbie’s church and they became close friends.

On the Sunday in question, the young woman, having suffered severe abuse in her childhood, and desperately lonely, had concluded that nobody in the world loved her and that after the morning’s service she would kill herself. She had suffered unspeakable sexual abuse from her mother. Her mother had multilated her face–had broken her jaw and her teeth. Once when she was 17 years old, she came home from school to find a note saying, “We have moved. We don’t know where you will go, but you must be out of this house in two days.” It was to this person that Debbie’s attention was attracted that crucial Sunday morning. It was her belief principle that urged Debbie from her comfortable spot on the organ bench, down the aisle, into the parking lot, and to the ultimate saving of a human life…and an eternal soul.

Beliefs that we have developed by careful research and scrupulous refining will dictate our actions, for what we truly believe is what we are. I’m not referring to the speaking of a memorized creed or some esoteric flimflam. I’m discussing a person’s core and prevailing philosophy. An honest commitment to these thoughts may call for actions that challenge us, and that make us uncomfortable.

My core principles are founded on the Word of God. I have listened to godly men as they expounded those sacred truths, I have read and studied for myself, I have considered and observed, compared and dissected. I camp on Paul’s words to the Philippian Church:

“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is god which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” 2:12-13

I cherish the day that I was pointed toward scripture to carve out my beliefs, my principles, my life philosophy. I do not cast about searching for truth, flailing helplessly at the air, nor reaching helter-skelter for some bit of hope or design. The Bible and its precepts are not strange to me, nor is living for God, nor is following the pattern of the early Church. There come moments when full commitment may cause uncomfortable moments as had Debbie on that Sunday morning, but the undergirding strength of such belief and assurance is priceless…and it extends beyond this world.

Neither do I arrogantly ascribe to myself any such monikers as knowing everything, of “having arrived,” of being the fount of truth. No, with much fear and trembling, I continue to work out my own salvation. For I understand that my beliefs will invariably determine my actions.

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My devotional blog is here.

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Glory To God in the Highest

I wish all of you a wonderful, blessed Christmas–a day in which we pause to rejoice with our family and friends, and to tell again of the glorious, redeeming love of Jesus Christ.

Luke 2

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

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They Named the New Arrival Futalognkosaurus Dukei

Hmm, when did we get the dinosaurs?

The skeleton of what is believed to be a new dinosaur species — a 105-foot (32-meter) plant-eater that is among the largest dinosaurs ever found — has been uncovered in Argentina, scientists said Monday.

Fossil

I was considering Noah and that ark he built and the animals that marched in two by two and by sevens, wasn’t it, and I was thinking of this recently discovered 105 feet long critter and how old he is and when the ark was built, and the tally instrument in my head began to spit out stars and sparks and question marks, a veritable Independence Day performance. Nope, I haven’t calculated exactly what God did and when He did it, but I suppose no one assigned me that job anyway, and I just believe He did, and that’s why we’re here, and that’s why there are dinosaur bones in Argentina and sundry other places around the globe. God made them. Smacked those babies right where He wanted them.

Ever hear of the Gap Theory?

The gap theory postulates that an indefinite span of time exists between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. This time span is usually considered to be quite large (millions of years) and is also reputed to encompass the so-called “geologic ages.” Proponents of the gap theory also postulate that a cataclysmic judgment was pronounced upon the earth during this period as the result of the fall of Lucifer (Satan) and that the ensuing verses of Genesis chapter 1 describe a re-creation or reforming of the earth from a chaotic state and not an initial creative effort on the part of God.

Some scholars maintain that the Gap Theory undermines the Bible.

However, this undermines the gospel as it allows for death, bloodshed, disease, and suffering before Adam’s sin. Because most “ruin-reconstruction” theorists have accepted the millions of years dating for the fossil record, they have thus allowed the fallible theories of scientists to determine the meaning of Scripture.

So for whatever its worth, these are my thoughts on the subject of dinosaurs.

1. I think I will continue to leave it to the highly honored, spectacle-bedecked Bible scholars to see that the time frame for the lives of all these critters jive with both the Bible and with authentic Science.

2. I think dinosaurs existed at one time because I’ve seen pictures of their bones.

3. I think God created them.

4. I think God created them some where.

5. I think God created them some time.

6. I think Futalognkosaurus Dukei is one monstrous dude.

7. I think I would be scared speechless, should one day as I stood on a lonely plain, newly discovered Dukei would charge toward me, whether on a gallop, a lope, a stroll, a hop, or on the fly.

During the year and a half since I began blogging, I have learned there are brilliant readers who occasionally click on my pages. Are you by any chance spectacle-bedecked? Spectacles or not, do you have a theory–or what might pass for a theory, since we’re in a tolerate mood today– concerning these monstrous vertebrate beings?

You are a child of the Universe, no less than the moon and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the Universe is unfolding as it should. Max Ehrmann

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My devotional blog is here.

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Bible Christianity/Religion Culture Death My Family Social The World

Death Masks, Caskets and Cremation

Statue of Patrician With Death MasksThe first time I ever saw a “death mask” was at a junior youth camp in southern California where, after the youngsters were in bed, some of the the faculty were having a bit of fun. A person would stretch out on a table, and some kind of preparation was applied to the “candidate’s” face, which material was then allowed to dry and to harden. I believe holes were poked in the nose and mouth area, so that the youth camp worker would continue breathing–a desirable trait, seeing this was a “death mask” demonstration in fun only.
I began thinking of such a subject earlier today, when I read an extremely captivating and informative article about 10 exotic burial places. My interest was piqued to such degree that this actually became the basis for my devotional today.
Credit for Clipart and more material about Roman burials here.
My study about this subject today prompts me to ask how you feel about burial methods? Would you consider being cremated? Why? Why not? Do you know of any scripture that would preclude such a burial? Does it bother you to consider being buried under the earth? Is a mausoleum more to your liking?…or does it matter at all? What about casket style and expense? My feeling is that I really don’t personally care, for I don’t believe I will know a thing about it. It’s okay with me that my family’s thoughts should be the determining factor for my funeral.
I really don’t care about seeing casket stores in strip malls, though. Although I acknowledge there to be nothing wrong with the idea, and I’ve heard you can get caskets cheaper there than at funeral homes, it’s just a bit disconcerting to see them. Get Your Bargain Casket Here!
This is an interesting chart–a little outdated, but you can check the state where you live and see the percentage of people who choose to be cremated. In my personal experience it seems to me that more people are choosing cremation than ever before. Has the fact that funeral expenses have been so exorbitantly priced caused this trend?

Map of US Cremation Rates

Don’t worry. I’m feeling quite healthy…just found all this interesting today!

Edit: There may be some “spooky” spirits lurking here. Something–or someone– has changed my font style, and I absolutely cannot get the paragraphs right. When I view the post on my screen it looks perfect. (Halloween may be early!) Another thing. I’ve posted tags twice and they always are stripped out. I’ll try again now. Hope it’s not contagious…else all WordPress will shudder.

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My devotional blog is here.

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Camp Meeting in Santa Maria Part II

We have devised–Rebecca and I–a plan so that we can all be dressed on time, without bumping into each other too much in the motor home. The plan for yesterday was that I would have the bathroom just before dinner, we would serve dinner between 4 and 4:30, then the bathroom would be Nathaniel’s, then Rebecca’s, and finally Jerry’s. Worked out well, although we changed about a bit. Anyway, a little after 6:30, Jerry and I walked over to the tent for the first service. Nathaniel joined us a little later. “Where’s your mom?”

“She couldn’t find the motor home key, but she found it, and she’ll be here later,” he whispered back to me.

It was a great service, with phenomenal music, wonderful worship and a dynamic sermon. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or make you feel left out if you’re persuaded otherwise, but I’m so glad I am a Pentecostal. It’s marvelous to have been taught the joys of freely, and with passion worshipping my God. It comes natural to me, for with such I have been surrounded all my life. It’s not at all awkward or strange feeling–rather deeply satisfying. Recall that on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Ghost was poured out, and when the plan of salvation for this dispensation was proclaimed, the demonstration of those on whom the Holy Ghost had settled, was of such a nature that the onlookers thought them drunk! Read about it in the second chapter of Acts. On second thought, I’m going to print it out for you. 🙂

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

3And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

5And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

6Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

7And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

8And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

9Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,

10Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,

11Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

12And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

13Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

14But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

15For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

16But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

17And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

18And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

It’s a few minutes after ten now, and I don’t want to miss too much, so its off to the big tent for me. Stay tuned. I’ll keep you posted about the 2007 camp meeting in Santa Maria.

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My devotional blog is here.