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Grandkids Week Day 1

Welcom Sign, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

I’m not sure about the misspelling, for when Chloe showed me the sign and asked where I thought would be a good place for it, she mentioned it had a misspelled word. But it’s a beautiful sign anyway, and she taped it onto the sliding glass door off the living room.

For several years now, Jerry and I have hosted an annual “Grandkids Week,” where we have all our young grandchildren up for a week…well, usually it’s for about five days…and we don’t typically take babies in the mix. One summer when they came, we took them in our motor home to a campground on Lytle Creek where we picked blackberries, I made a cobbler, they swam in the creek…that sort of thing. Usually, though, we stay in our home in Crestline, and go on little jaunts from here. Last year, because of conflicting schedules–some of them are on year-round schools–and because of our being a little tied up in Lake Havasu, we didn’t have an official “Grandkids Week.” Rest assured, from Chloe, Gentry and Nathaniel throughout the year, I’ve heard about the unspeakable deprivation. So I had resolved that somehow we would have such a celebration this summer.

Well, when the opportunity arose for us to watch Andrew’s children this week because of the conference in St. Louis, I checked with Rebecca about Nathaniel joining and…voila!…this is officially THE WEEK here at the Buxton’s.

Jerry and I arrived here on Sunday evening around 7:00, carried in all our things, and by 9:00 we were sitting in the glider on our front deck sucking in the cool mountain air. Somewhere about 9:30, the van pulled into the driveway, the doors jerked open, and up the steps bounded Chloe and Gentry, yelping, arms spread wide for hugs…and a few minutes later here were Brady and Cole, then the tired mom and dad, and barely awake Ella Claire.

We snacked and talked and finally had the beds sorted out, and the youngin’s all tucked in somewhere. I’m not sure what time Jerry said, “I’m going to bed,” but I know it was 1:00 when I snuggled in beside him. (You have to know this was a special occasion, for I am not given to late hours.) Both Jerry and I were up before 6:00…and so went the splendid, perfect day.

Jerry was outside most of the day with his brood.
The weather is perfect…warm, and calling for popsicles. Cole chose red.
The older kids thought it was really funny that we were having turkey and dressing, a meal they associate with the winter holidays at Granny and Pappy’s.
Ella Claire eagerly helped unload the dishwasher after the big meal.

...and Goliath was this tall

I think it was around 7:00 when Andrew and Shawnna pulled away, heading for San Diego, and for St. Louis this morning.

Brady and Cole took a bath together, then shivered in the evening air, so I wrapped them in fuzzy robes and sat them down beside their Pappy. They sat mesmerized as he told them again of Jesse and his sons, and David and Goliath who was “as tall as this door.”

Brady is five and Cole is seven now, and as I looked at those little boys last night, I thought of their future, and of their challenges–of their lives that are ahead of them, of their vulnerability, their need to know of Jesus and His great love for them…and how much I love them.
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America Children Christianity/Religion Culture Family God Lawsuits Lawyers Life Marriage/anniversaries Outrageous Religion Social Uncategorized

A Day of Shame in California

Yesterday was a shameful day in California. For on that day, the California Supreme Court ruled that a law defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman is unconstitutional.

This is outrageous. Christianity and every other major religion speaks for marriage in this way. Furthermore, overwhelmingly passed in 2000 by the constituents of California was Proposition 22, a statue protecting traditional marriage, defining marriage as being between one man and one woman.

In handing yesterday’s decision, these four liberal judges blatantly disregarded the will of the people. Justices Marvin Baxter, Ming Chin and Carol Corrigan dissented.


Justice Ming Chin Justice Marvin Baxter Justice Carol Corrigan

Justice Baxter writes:

The court majority “does not have the right to erase, then recast, the age-old definition of marriage, as virtually all societies have understood it, in order to satisfy its own contemporary notions of equality and justice.

I’m certainly far from the only person feeling outrage about this development.

The president of the Campaign for Children and Families, reacted with dismay, insisting “marriage is naturally for a man and a woman.”

“If the institution of marriage is redefined and therefore destroyed in the law, the wellbeing of children is threatened, both emotionally, socially, even physically,” Thomasson added.

A coalition of religious and social conservative groups have vowed to attempt to add a vote calling for a ban on same-sex marriage when California goes to the polls in November’s election.

Perhaps our shame can be mitigated, and this unrighteous and unfair ruling will be reversed.

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My devotional blog is here.

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Animals Culture God Humor Life Photography Science & Technology Social The World Uncategorized video Weather/Nature

Three of Animals

Wonder how He did it? How did God “invent” the spectacular animals that inhabit the planet we call earth? Was there a blueprint laid out in the heavenlies, or was all in the “mind” of God–from tiniest of insect to the impressive girth of the Orca whale to the fuzzy down of a yellow duckling? Huh? How came such glory?

Probably we never will know such answer, but I revel in the love God had for us humans when he created the remarkable animal kingdom. What joy these beings give to us. I bring you three exception specimens today. Take a look–and a listen.

Chilli the giant bullock

From the Daily Mail

His name is Chilli and he’s described as a gentle giant.

Which is just as well for his handler, Tara Nirula, pictured by his side.

His owners have contacted the Guinness Book of Records who are currently assessing his credentials and comparing them to other big bovines.

The black and white Friesian bullock weighs well over a ton and at the same height as a small elephant, casts a shadow over his cattle companions who are about 5ft.

More information about this spectacular animal is here.

Dawn Chorus Courtesy of BBC

For some of us the prospect of waking up at 4am to catch the dawn chorus is little more than a dream. If you are one of these folk, now you won’t even have to leave the comfort of your bed because you can download our specially recorded dawn chorus.

On International Dawn Chorus Day, last Sunday, Team WOtM set out for a wood in Gloucestershire to experience the cacophony of bird song that is the Dawn Chorus. This is the time of year when the UK Dawn Chorus is at its best, because the migrant birds, warblers, flycatchers and of course, the nightingale have arrived to add their songs to the chorus.

I just clicked on the link below that says download the audio here. The bird sounds are lilting, comforting and peaceful. Beautiful.

You just must watch this monkey here. He works in a bar…(heaven, help us all. 🙂 )

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America Christianity/Religion Culture Devotionals God Goodness of man Honor Integrity Life love Patriotism Political insight Religion Social Uncategorized video

Beautiful, Wise, Prayerful America

Yes!

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The state Senate has approved a bill that would allow prayers before public meetings.

The legislation says public bodies can adopt policies to let members take turns giving an invocation, elect a chaplain or create a pool of speakers from faith groups to offer the prayer.

The bill also calls for the state attorney general to defend public bodies if they face constitutional challenges.

The town of Great Falls lost a lawsuit filed in 2001 claiming it violated the separation between church and state when it used the name Jesus Christ in prayers. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the town’s appeal in 2005.

The public prayer bill now heads to the House.

From Fox News

Never forget it. There is a deep-rooted core in America that longs for God to be visible and acknowledged in every sector of our society. Never forget it! There is a wide, steely swath of America’s people that understands this country was wisely founded on Judeo/Christian values, and that we will persevere and strive for their continued steady foundational inclusion. Never forget it! Despite those who attempt twisting words into contrary meaning, America’s framers built us a place for religious freedom–not a place from religion. Never forget it! The phrase separation of church and state is not in the constitution.

The supreme court handed down a wise decision when they refused to hear the appeal of Great Falls who claimed that using the name of Jesus Christ in public meetings violated the separation between church and state. Never forget that Jesus Christ was God, and that when He spent 33 years walking this earth, He made such an impact as has never been duplicated, nor ever will be. He changed the world, spoke mysteries and understandings, and prophesied, and taught sterling life-lessons, and healed the sick and raised the dead, and brought hope…and effected redemption.

Rather a wise move, that in the name of such Deity, we speak. Kudos to South Carolina…Kudos to America…and God bless us everyone.

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My devotional blog is here

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America Christianity/Religion Culture Friends God Goodness of man Life Money Pentecostal Religion Social The World video

What a Wonderful World

This world in which we live is a wondrous place, spinning perfectly in space, surrounded by untold billions of stars, and created gloriously by God Himself. Though one day disturbed and twisted by evil intrusion, the earth remains a wonderful place, and, on this early morning, as I consider again the wild chance of my being born, I’m thinking how grateful I am that God gave me life, and has allowed me a short journey on this magnificent planet.

It’s a wonderful world. Thousands of reasons speak to its wonder, but I’m choosing four.

ONE

Last week, I heard of a young minister who was highly offended by an action taken against him and against his church. From the details I have heard, his disappointment and hurt were well-founded, yet he recognized his response to these actions had in themselves been ungodly and unchristian. He called together his family and repented. Before his very large church, he repented. To the person who had offended him, he repented.

TWO

A pastor in the northwestern part of the United States annually conducts a conference in his home church. This is a private meeting, not underwritten by any organization, but he invites other ministers and their congregations. Several hundred people attend. One of the goals of the meeting is to promote his church, hoping such an activitiy will entice new people from the city to his church.

At the conclusion of the last such meeting, he gathered the names of all the new people who had visited, and divided them among other pastors who had churches in the area.

THREE

I know someone who in the last few days has sold his business to Microsoft for 115 million dollars.

FOUR

I had a “root-canal” on Wednesday. The dentist prescribed Vicodin for the pain she suspected I might have. I had NO pain…didn’t take so much as an aspirin.

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America Children Christianity/Religion Courage Culture Evil God Grief Life Marriage/anniversaries Outrageous Photography Religion Social The World

To Speak Against Evil

In a column I wrote a few days I raised the question as to whether those who believe in allowing same sex marriages would also condone the marriage of a father and daughter, and, I further asked, “Why? Why not?” Nearly everyone who has responded to that discussion has expressed disgust and revulsion at the thought of a parent/child relationship, although no one has identified himself as approving same sex marriages.

Over recent days, another story concerning sexual and other abuse has developed. A raid of a polygamist ranch in Eldorado, Texas, and the rescuing of several hundred children and women who were there has gripped the hearts of the world, for now it comes to light that when girls in the compound reached puberty they were then “spiritually” married to much older men. Several of these rescued girls are now found to be pregnant.

ELDORADO, Texas — A polygamist compound with hundreds of children was rife with sexual abuse, child welfare officials allege in court documents, with girls spiritually married to much older men as soon as they reached puberty and boys groomed to perpetuate the cycle.

The documents released Tuesday also gave details about the hushed phone calls that triggered the raid, by a 16-year-old girl at the West Texas ranch who said her 50-year-old husband beat and raped her.

More here.

A reader of my previous column to which I have referred made the following comment that I want to share with you here.

Our revulsion to such things is not merely a matter of Christian faith, but nature itself is opposed to it. I suspect that human frailty is being manipulated by a supernatural evil that brings darkness to the truth. Men and women were made for each other. Their very bodies allow a marital unity that fosters both true fidelity and the fruitfulness of children. Homosexuality feigns the marital act with violence and perversion. Fathers and mothers are to regard their children always as their children, safeguarding their innocence and purity, preparing them to be good and wholesome adults. A true father and mother gain a son or daughter with marriage. They must never allow themselves to think of their children in a sexual way. Our culture is over-sexed. Pornography breaks down the family bonds. Sexuality is reduced to pleasure for its own sake. We worship youth and the body. This graphic sexuality is the root of pederasty, pedophilia and incest. Again, I think the devil has a hand in darkening consciences. A parent should be willing to die to preserve his child’s well being. Incest does incalculable harm and distorts the personality. Nature itself is offended and genetic problems often emerge in the children produced.

These staggering stories scream for us to continue to speak to the evil of the world, and to refuse to be intimidated by those who would say it is none of our business. It is our business. We are our brothers keepers. As I considered this issue, I thought of the following poem:

Martin Niemöller
First they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out–because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the Social Democrats
and I did not speak out–because I was not a Social Democrat.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out–because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out–because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me–
and there was no one left to speak out for me

We must speak out for children, for the abused, for the weak, the fearful and frightened. We must speak against evil and against moral decay. We must speak up for God, for His Word, and for righteousness. For if we do not…finally, there will be no one to speak for us.

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My devotional blog is here.

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Christianity/Religion Culture God Life Medical/Technical Outrageous Science & Technology The World

“We Have Created Human Animal Embryos”

Yesterday, when I first read of this, it was still April 1 in my time zone, prompting me to stare hard at the news item on the chance it was a joke. This laboratory work is so far beyond the pale that it is hard to imagine its reality. Yet, it seems to be true. From Times On Line comes the report that in England they have mixed human DNA with animal material and have produced living embryos. Ghastly!

IVF embryo testing

The Newcastle cybrids lived for three days and the largest grew to contain 32 cells

Admixed embryos are widely supported by scientists and patient groups as they provide an opportunity to produce powerful stem-cell models for investigating diseases such as Parkinson’s and diabetes, and for developing new drugs.

Their creation, however, has been opposed by some religious groups, particularly the Roman Catholic Church. Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the head of the Catholic Church in Scotland, described the work last month as “experiments of Frankenstein proportion”.

There is something dreadfully wrong with our world and with its view of human life. Our reasoning is skewed and tilted toward humanism and godlessness, madly driving our society to irrationality. It is startling to consider such tampering with Man–Man who God Himself created…who God created in His own image. That scientists would dare to mix such DNA with that of bovine is frightening and should be halted.

The entire article is here.

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My devotional blog is here.

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America Children Christianity/Religion Culture Death Family God Grief Home Life Medical/Technical Religion

When Prayer Isn’t Enough

We traveled from Lake Havasu to Crestline yesterday, and on the way I heard a discussion of the very sad story in which a young girl reportedly died from a treatable type of diabetes because her parents did not take her to the doctor, but instead relied solely on prayer.

WESTON, Wis. —  The mother of an 11-year-old girl who died of untreated diabetes said Wednesday that she did not know her daughter was terminally ill as she prayed for her to get better.

Madeline Neumann died Sunday from a treatable form of diabetes.

Her mother, Leilani Neumann, told The Associated Press that she never expected her daughter, whom she called Kara, to die. The family believes in the Bible, and it says healing comes from God, but they are not crazy, religious people, she said.

There are varying opinions about this case. Some experts believe the parents were just ignorant and that they truly did not know how sick their daughter was. Others believe they are criminally guilty of child endangerment. I found it enlightening to note that the child had not seen a doctor since she was three years old.

I have mixed feelings about this incident. I believe in prayer. I believe in supernatural healing. But I have lived long enough to observe that not everyone who is prayed for is healed. That’s just a fact. Lay it down to lack of faith, sin or any other theory, but not everyone who is prayed over is healed. So in our lives, in our home, and in everyone I know who is associated with any churches, we pray for supernatural healing, but we also take our sick ones to doctors. There may be an isolated person or two who decides for himself to trust completely in the miraculous healing of God and to forego medical treatment, but I don’t know any. I have never known anyone who refused medical care for their sick child. So, in that regard I side with those who think these parents were negligent in the care of Madeline.

On the other hand, I respect the individual’s right to choose his religion, and I’m not comfortable with the state’s dictating what I do medically. However, I don’t believe in assisted suicide and I do agree with our government’s stance on that issue.

The deciding factor here is that Madeline was a child. If an adult wants to trust in God’s healing without any intervention by doctors, that should be his prerogative. But when a child is involved, I believe outside intervention is in order. A touchy situation, I know.

Today I pray comfort for the Neumann family, who probably meant no harm to their daughter.

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My devotional blog is 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.