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America Bible Christianity/Religion Death Devotionals Goodness of man Honor Integrity Schools Social The World

Loren Hedger is Dead

A text message on my phone yesterday gave me this information.

Chances are you have never heard of Loren Hedger, although he lived a long and rich life. I met him in September of 1955 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where I had enrolled as a student at Apostolic College. I was young. Tender young, for to be exact, I had graduated from high school in May, and had just turned 17 in July.

He was a minister of the gospel, and was one of my instructors. Now, these more than 50 years later, I vividly recall his appearance, his concepts, and most importantly his godly ways. Through the years, Jerry and I have had some contact with him, and in Tulsa, some time ago before his beloved wife, Gladys, succumbed to cancer, we visited again with him–spent several hours talking, reminiscing, and sharing a delightful meal.

Loren Hedger was a handsome man, tall and dark-haired with a readily available smile. His demeanor was soft and tender, but one should not have been fooled by that, for, inwardly he was strong, principled and incorruptible.

Loren came out of such a church denomination as did Martin Luther, and immediately he set to studying the Bible–closely, intently, with a grasping mind and with fervor. During the early days following his conversion, as he was yet holding a secular job, he was so hungry for God and for an understanding of Him that he spent many long nights with God’s Word. Vividly, do I recall his telling of becoming so sleepy, and yet so passionate about his study, that, to help keep him wakeful and stimulated, he would prepare a pan of icy-cold water and place his bare feet there.

This godly passion was apparent in any dealings with this superior man. I would not be surprised to learn that such intense love for God’s Word was transferred to scores of young people who were privileged to “sit at the feet” of Loren Hedger.

I’m using this space today, not only to honor Loren Hedger, but to acknowledge those people who have contributed both to my secular education and to my understanding of The Spirit. I especially want to honor those who, with passion, have told me of life, of God and His principles. I’d like to hear from you also. Is there a teacher or two who has profoundly affected your life? Would you like to name them and give them honor?

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My devotional blog is here.

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America Bible Christianity/Religion Death Devotionals James Job Photography The World

Of Time and Men

DSC_0033, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

Because of recent circumstances in my life, again I have been reminded of the unpredictability and fleeting nature of our days. Encompassed in those few and simple words is a larger, yes, massive truth; the understanding that at the moment this life ends, our fate is sealed. For with certainty, there will come the final Judgment Day at which time we will stand before God–all of us, everyone, no exception–and there we will give account of our lives here on earth.

I’ve linked here an active World Clock, which by the second ticks off significant developments across our sphere; births, deaths, oil production and the like. To watch these moment -by-moment changes is captivating.

To watch these moment-by-moment changes, though, startles my mind, and turns me again to the understanding of the responsibilities I have, not only for my own soul–which, understand is eternal–but for those with whom I come into contact.

Every word spoken then, may be crucial. Each encounter with a stranger, a friend, or a colleague may be of eternal significance. The selection of songs for worship time, the text chosen for a Bible study, the strength of a hand on a shoulder, a greeting card mailed, the response to a phone call–all these may be of final consequence.

“For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.” 1 Chr. 29:15

“My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope. ” Job 7:6

“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” James 4:14

The link for the World Clock is here.

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America Bible Children Christianity/Religion Church Family Photography Social

A Hole in My Heart–Part II

Glenn, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

By telephone, Jerry spoke with Glenn before our service yesterday, Glenn wanted to confirm the time of the morning service.

“Yes, it’s at 9:00,” Jerry told him.

“I want to be there. I want to take my kids to our church.”

“It’s the best thing you can do right now,” Jerry agreed. “Come, even if you are late.”

About half way through the service Glenn and his family came into our small meeting room. What had been quite a moving service, even to this point, now developed into one of the most touching scenes I have ever witnessed in a church.

Jerry ministered in a loving, thoughtful way, and at the conclusion of the message, he invited the entire Scott family to the front. The rest of the congregation encircled this grieving family, and we all wept and prayed and sang sweet songs of the love of Jesus, that I hope were of comfort to them.

This family is precious. Scott and Tanya have Shelby, the one daughter I previously mentioned, and two grown children, who have flown in from Oregon. Both the son and the daughter have small children, and as we met all of them after the service, Glenn reminded me that these little ones are Tanya’s grandchildren. “She loved them so.” He looked me square in the eyes as he spoke these words, his blue, delicate eyes flooding with tears.

At noon today, Jerry will meet with Glenn at the funeral home. There will be arranged final services for Tanya.

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My devotional blog is here.

 

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America Bible Christianity/Religion Family Social The World

Deadliest Shooting in America’s History

AP photo

Virginia Tech police and administrators struggled to explain late Monday why the campus was not locked down after a deadly shooting earlier in the day, and why students were in classrooms two hours later when a lone gunman entered a campus building and slaughtered 30 people, before turning a gun on himself.

The man responsible for murdering 32 people — the worst mass-murder shooting in American history — who carried no ID, remained unidentified late Monday, police said.

Read more here.

My heart wilts from grief as I consider the dreadful news today from Virginia. Since early this morning, as I worked at other chores, I have followed the story, and my uppermost thought has been for the families of the victims. As of this hour, the names of the victims have not been released, and as I understand it, even the relatives may not yet know of the death and/or injuries of their loved ones.

Immediately on hearing the story this morning, precious words of scripture sprang to mind. I print them here for your reflection and for your comfort. For we sorrow all–across America, across the world.

Psalm 27

1The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

2When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

3Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

4One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.

5For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

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Bible Christianity/Religion Family Food My Family My Home Photography Uncategorized

The Road to a Church in Lake Havasu Part II

Bible Study Ladies, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

On April 3rd, the Tuesday before Easter, I held my first ladies Bible study in the recreation room of DJ’s RV park. I was delighted that seven women showed up, and we had a wonderful session. I’m teaching on Forgiveness, and this crucial subject touches everyone, of course.

I had met Layne, the second lady from the right, the day before when she and her husband pulled into the space beside ours. We had a spiritual connection that I am not able to describe for you. We cried and prayed together, and on their leaving exchanged cards so that we could stay in touch. It isn’t my imagination that God is doing a spectacular work here. When Layne and Norris left on Wednesday, she looked intently at me and said, “This has been an incredible 24 hours for us here in this RV park.”

At our first Easter service on Sunday we had a grand total of 29 people! Four of them were children, leaving of course 25 adults. We were ecstatic. Four of us are missing from this picture, but I wanted you to gaze on these beautiful people that God is working on here in this city.

After church we grilled hot dogs and hamburgers for everybody–well, Michael did. On Friday, Jerry had bought a chef hat, had our church logo stitched on, and surprised Michael with it as he prepared to cook.

 

Recall that Michael is our son who for over 25 years was out of the church, but now is totally immersed in the work of God. I am forever thankful!

Last night was our 9th or 10th Tuesday night Bible study, and we had 10 adults there! Several are wonderful young men who are hungry for more of the Word of God. God’s presence is so real in our services–palpable and distinct.

So, it’s onward and upward for the Buxtons here in Lake Havasu, where God has been incredibly good, and has shown Himself strong and powerful. Thank you for your kind words of support…and for your prayers. Don’t stop praying for us.

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America Bible Children Family Home Photography Social The World

Children of the World

DSC_0077, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton. (This beautiful child is Bryn Allard.)

If you ever hear I’ve been thrown in jail, you might suspect the crime’s root to spring from the pitiful situation of a child. On more than one occasion, in a grocery store or along a mall corridor, I’ve had to restrain myself when I saw children being mistreated. The mother, a snatching harridan, yells and jerks her pale-faced baby. The child cowers; his rapid eyes jerk to announce his terror. Helpless before the tornado of adult anger, the child is limp—or stiff—nowhere to turn, no one to speak for him.

And with pity, I see the frustration of the mom, frazzled, no doubt overwhelmed by life, having too many responsibilities and too few resources. Probably missing are positive role models, supportive people who might hand her a needed respite and who would provide critical rest from the excruciating challenge of parenting. I long to tap her on the shoulder with an offer of help.

On consecutive days, I have heard radio reports of two separate incidents where toddlers were given marijuana and shown how to smoke the stuff. I was incensed when I heard these stories, and was reminded anew of the vulnerability of precious small children.

Scripture speaks to this issue in Genesis 33:13-15. “And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die.

“Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as…the children be able to endure…”

I’m pleading today for the children of the world. I’m begging mothers and fathers to lead softly, to be tender with your precious, delicate children. Please ask for help if you feel out of control, or if you feel overwhelmed or you seem to be lacking in the ability to parent your babies. Please. Someone will help you. Your job is the most important in the world. It is an exhausting and labor-intensive job; one that at times is extremely frustrating. You are not alone in this world. There are caring people who will support and assist you.

Some of you may want to read the sordid details of one of these incidents here.

Police said the video shows the 2-year-old and 5-year-old brothers smoking the drug, which was given to them by their uncle and a friend who lives with the family.

“In 25 years, I have never seen anything remotely close to this,” said Police Chief Bruce Ure of the Watauga Police Department.

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America Bible Christianity/Religion My Family Social The World Travel Weather/Nature

Moon Over Parker

DSC_0131, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

The day had slipped away, and it was into the dark of last Saturday evening as Jerry and I returned to Arizona from our trip to California. Out of the dark, over the top of the looming mountains, my eyes locked onto a chunk of light, then, as we followed the twisting road, the gleaming was gone. In minutes, though, it reappeared and I saw it to be the rising moon.

 

The moon was huge, bulging over the mountains, swifting rising, and as I reached for my camera, Jerry pulled to the roadside and stopped the car. We sat, truly mesmerized at the amazing scene that unfolded in our vision.

“How is it possible there could be some who believe such a sight created itself?” I’m not sure, even yet, if I spoke the words aloud…or if they were mere thoughts in my finite mind.

“The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof. Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about. His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled.

The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.

The heavens declare his righteouness, and all the people see his glory.” Psalm 97:1-6

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Bible Children Christianity/Religion Family Medical/Technical Photography Science & Technology Social The World

Miracle Baby Comes Back From The Dead

As a preface to this beautiful and stunning story, I must remind you that every good thing that ever happens on the face of this earth is a direct result of our magnificent Savior. Whether the gift is presented to a believer or to a non-believer, there is no difference: God is the giver of life and of joy and of faith. He uses people, and often effects miracles through medical science, but sometimes He just reaches down, and with a gentle hand resolves problems for which man has found no remedy. Oh, what a Savior!

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

After trying for 30 minutes to bring two-week-old Woody Lander back to life, doctors decided there was nothing more they could do and called in his parents to say their tearful farewells. A nurse passed Woody to his heartbroken father and gently pulled a tube from his mouth so they could kiss him goodbye.It was then that the miracle happened. The lifeless baby suddenly coughed and moved. Nurses immediately grabbed Woody back, re-attached the tubes and lifesaving equipment and he came back to life in front of his astonished parents.

No one has been able to explain why Woody, who had suffered a massive heart attack, was able to return from the brink. And despite being starved of oxygen for so long, he appears to have suffered no permanent brain damage.

Now 14 months old, Woody is a happy-go-lucky youngster who should be able to lead a normal life. His parents Jon, 34, and Karen Lander, 32, still can’t believe what they went through.

They had been shopping in a supermarket near their home in Leeds in December 2005 when they noticed Woody looked ashen and felt cold.

They rang the NHS Direct emergency line from their car and an ambulance was sent to take them to Leeds General Infirmary. Soon after arrival, he suffered a heart attack and stopped breathing.

Mr Lander and his wife, an administration worker, were taken to a room to see Woody on a bed and a doctor giving him heart massage. They were taken to another room to wait for news.

Mr Lander, a civil servant, recalled: “It was awful, those 30 minutes seemed to last forever. After what seemed like an eternity the doctor came out and said, ‘I think we have done all we can’. They had reached the cut-off point for resuscitation.

“We were taken back to see him and Woody was handed to us to say goodbye. We were just in bits. We didn’t know what to say or do. They started taking his tubes out and that’s when he started twitching.

“They took him straight back off us. They managed to get his heart going again and he came back to life in front of us. It was amazing. We still don’t know how he managed to come round – we just know he’s a little miracle. He’s growing up into a happy and healthy little boy.”

Two weeks before the drama Woody, the couple’s first child, had been born naturally at the hospital, weighing 7lb 11oz.

After the heart attack, doctors discovered he had a blocked aorta which was restricting blood flow to his heart. He underwent a major operation to repair it and was allowed home three weeks later.

Mr Lander added: “The doctors said they had never heard of anyone coming round after 30 minutes of apparent lifelessness, let alone a baby.

“But the people at the hospital were unbelievable. They made the miracle happen. There must have been 100 people around him.”

From the Daily Mail.

Edit March 6th: I have removed the picture that was here of the baby for I received a note from the agency who took the picture that I would have to pay for its use. I suppose I infringed on their copyright, although I believed since I gave a direct link and credit to the Daily Mail, that was acceptable. I think you can still see the picture if you follow the link to Daily Mail.

Sorry about that. sjb

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