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Mike Huckabee Plays Guitar in a United Pentecostal Church

Last Sunday, Presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee, visited a United Pentecostal church, The Apostolic Church, where he worshiped, addressed the congregation and played guitar in the band. Rev. Steve Warman is the pastor of this large, beautiful church in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Sarah Holland writes this account:

Pastor Warman had already announced his coming to the congregation in our morning service, so there was no warning when Governor Huckabee slid in with the band, and began to play the bass for praise and worship. After praise and worship, Governor Huckabee greeted the congregation. He spoke about abortion and marriage, and the importance of realizing the value of life. He spoke about how even if oneโ€™s intention is pure, but their definition of what is right is not right, then intention doesnโ€™t matter. He was well spoken, but what impressed me was that he not only showed up early, but stayed late. Too often when politicians stop in for a visit, they leave before service ends. Governor Huckabee stayed through church, and then took time to visit with our congregation.

As I stated here, where we discussed at length Hillary Clinton’s speaking at Saddleback, I am not accustomed to having political candidates in our pulpits, although I know it is common in other areas of the country. Yet, to be honest, I must say if Mike Huckabee’s agent had called when Jerry pastored New Life Center in Rialto, saying he wanted to worship with us on a Sunday night, I would be hard-pressed to think, “No.” Once he was there in our sanctuary, it seems incomprehensible to refrain from asking him to address the audience.



My devotional blog is here.

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“It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times.”

Jerry Comforts Tina, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

Jerry began his sermon with the words of Charles Dickens opening line of his book, A Tale of Two Cities. And indeed on Sunday morning, at Christ Alive, it was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

For on Saturday, Ernie Hudson had died. (follow the link and scroll to November 4th for more about Ernie). Despite their raw grief, Ernie’s wife Tina and her daughter had come to Christ Alive for the Sunday morning service. Already scheduled was the dedication of our great-grandson, Brody Wake. And so, honor was paid to Ernie, and condolences to his family and many friends. And to Lindsi and Ryan were given charges to be faithful parents of Brody and his big brother, Evin.

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. For in that one service, the full cycle of life was seen; the fresh promise of life and the sure inevitability of death.

Brody had just slobbered all over Jerry.
Ryan is Mike and Melina’s son.
There was standing room only, so we must buy more chairs this week.
And so today, I offer this tribute to two fine families: first to Tina and to the memory of Ernie. Second to Ryan and Lindsie Wake.
My devotional blog is here.
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Tucson Conqueror’s Conference Report

Last night the auditorium was packed, and extra chairs were set to accommodate the 1200 people who attended the final service of the Conqueror’s Conference in Tucson. It was a dynamite conference, with powerful preaching, outstanding music, and beautiful people.

Jerry and I survived, thank you very much. The last function of the conference was a “banquet” last night after church, so it was around midnight when we got to bed. We were up at 6:00 this morning, ate breakfast in the dining room at 6:30, and at 7:20 (10 minutes ahead of our self-imposed schedule) our luggage and the girl’s luggage stowed away, we pulled from the parking lot of the Radisson onto Speedway and headed toward the freeway. I believe both girls were asleep before we left the city limits….and they slept most of the way home.

By 2:30 we had taken the girls to Brittany’s house in Kingman, made it to our place in Lake Havasu and had unloaded all our gear. About 4:00 I fell into unconsciousness on the couch, and Jerry was in like state in his recliner. ๐Ÿ™‚

I love this picture of Brittany and Shelby that I snapped as they were descending in the glass elevator. They are sweet, tender girls whose histories have yet to be charted, and whose life journal is yet unscribed. I want them to be happy, to have stable marriages and beautiful, healthy children. I wish them joy and peace and prosperity. I am bent on the day they will know true love, and the moment they will experience the long glance of an adoring husband. Most of all I want them to continue their approach to God, and their dedication to His plan for their lives. He has such anticipation for each of them. You know that, don’t you?


My devotional blog is here.ย 


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Hanging with Teens

I haven’t determined whether we are extra smart, or extra lacking in smarts–Jerry and me–for here in the frisky days of the year 2008, we are ensconced in the towers of the Radisson in Tucson. Asleep in their beds (presumably, and hopefully!) in the adjoining room to ours are a couple of teen-aged girls that we brought yesterday from Lake Havasu to a youth conference here at Paul Conner’s church. (a seven hour trip!) Tell me–what are we doing? We’re not exactly of the age to be zipping around with young people, hanging out at youth conferences, and discussing late night “lock-ins.”

What we’re doing is making a stab at linking a couple of sweet girls to a vibrant crowd of enthusiastic young people who have decided to follow Jesus. We ‘re intent on enticing them to the Good Life by giving them a long look at the joy and beauty that emanates from several hundred young people who have dedicated their lives to righteous and godly principles.

We could do with a little extra prayer the next couple of days–Jerry and I. ๐Ÿ™‚


My devotional blog is here.

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Sage Sings in Church

Those who read here often know how fond I am of my family, and I suppose if I’m not careful I speak too much of us and of our accomplishments. Lots of preachers in our family, lots of church activities, but I’m ready to show you now one of our failures: We’re abysmal at creating videos. Although I’m not a YouTube or any other video- viewing- expert, I’m judging this one as surely one of the worst ever produced.

Why then am I posting it on my striving-always-for-excellence site is the obvious question. Because the video was taken at Hilltop Tabernacle in Chula Vista and is of my great-granddaughter, Sage Buxton. She is four years old and the video records her first time to sing a solo in church.

I couldn’t understand a word she was saying until I saw that the name of the song is Wasn’t That a Mighty Day When Jesus Christ was Born. After that piece of understanding I can now pick out a few words. It’s a terrible video. It’s a gorgeous video. When you see it, you will agree with me that Sage has a beautiful voice, and a precise sense of timing. You will agree that Sage is beautiful. You will agree that her smile is captivating. You will agree that I made the right decision to post this video on my blog. You will agree that our family needs to stick with writing, preaching, teaching, cooking supper and doing laundry–not producing movies. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m sorry, but it seems the only way to see this video is to follow this link. I told you we don’t know what we’re doing…or maybe we do…not at all sure.

Sage Buxton singing on YouTube


My devotional blog is here.

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The Saga of Unwanted Food Gifts

A few weeks ago, Melody decorated the box and placed it in the recreation hall here at DJs. Since then she has emptied it several times and now we have a large accumulation of staple food items.This afternoon Jerry is picking up enough bread and pastry for 25 families. People have placed envelopes of money in our box in the office, and Michael has collected several hundred dollars to buy turkeys. Melina has decorated the individual boxes and this evening we will all meet at the church to assemble them.

This is our first Thanksgiving at Christ Alive church here in Lake Havasu and we are preparing food baskets to give to needy families here in the area. We’re all set, well organized, everything at the ready–except for one glaring problem: We don’t know how to distribute our gifts.

When we first began planning this project, we had thought to take the baskets to neighborhoods around the church, randomly knock on doors and present the food. As we considered it further, we reckoned that some might be offended by this action. Our strategy then changed, and we contacted a social service agency, where we had a personal contact.

She was ecstatic about our program. She would not be allowed to give us a list of people, but we could go with her to deliver the baskets. That was fine with us. Then she called to say, “No, we could not go with her, but we could insert a church card and the special greeting we had planned.”

“That’s fine, also,” we agreed.

Then she called again. “I’m so sorry, but my superior has said that we can’t actually take any food, but we can deliver a letter or flyer that invites the families to pick up the baskets at the church.”

“That will work,” we said, and she came by the RV and picked up the material we had prepared. She called yesterday with the news that every one of her contacts and those of her colleague who was helping out were already connected with a food bank and could not be involved with our distribution. I’m not clear as to whether this is a regulation, or the people just don’t want to appear greedy.

Anyway–bottomline, as is said–we have this beautiful food ready to distribute, and we don’t know what to do with it. Any suggestions? If we don’t think of anything else, we will revert to plan one, and kindly and cautiously offer food to any neighbors we think may be in need. We do have a community service announcement in the newspaper that came out today saying that we will be at the church from 8:30 to 11:00 on Saturday to give away food. Maybe some will show from that.

Working perfectly, we believe, is our plan to give a turkey to every family who attends Christ Alive this Sunday. You’re all invited. Hop on a plane, but let me know, so I’ll be ready to pick you up at Havasu Regional airport. You should get a ticket for a thousand or two. Small sum to pay for such as you to worship with such as I on Thanksgiving Sunday.

Disclaimer edit: The turkey we give you on Sunday morning will be naked, wrapped up modestly in plastic though. Sorry if the picture led you to believe our presentation would be such. ๐Ÿ™‚


My devotional blog is here.

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Record Breaking Sunday!

Christ Alive Congregation, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

Eighty-five was the count! Eight months ago, Jerry and I came to Lake Havasu to start a new church. Two people beside Jerry and me were in the first service. Today, we had 85!

There are more pictures and details of the service under My Church Activities.

Jerry and I with part of the group after the worship service.


My devotional blog is here.



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Santa Maria Camp Meeting 2007 Grand Finale

More than 70 persons received the Holy Ghost during the camp meeting, and much of the credit for this goes to outreach teams who “worked” the streets, the malls and the parks during the hours preceding the evening services. On Friday, Gaylen Cantrell’s drama team was on site at the park just down the street from the fair grounds, so a few minutes after 5:00 I drove over there to observe, and to be support for them. Lively music was playing through the portable sound system, and while the drama teams performed, dozens of other persons were distributing invitations to the evening service. Some approached persons in the park, while others moved up and down the surrounding sidewalks. Young men rushed to cars that slowed to hear the performance, and leaned inside as they handed out the cards. I watched as they gestured toward the fairgrounds in invitation.




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On both Thursday and Friday nights, there were such a dynamic and convicting move of God, that well before the sermon, spontaneously, with no one orchestrating it, throughout the tent, people began receiving the Holy Ghost. One of those persons was my grandson Cole. He’s six years old. There are many people–sincere people, I believe–who maintain that the Holy Ghost, as demonstrated on the Day of Pentecost, is no longer available today, and that speaking in tongues was only for that day and time. If you are reading this and have such beliefs, I wish you could have been in one of those services. I wish you could have seen a child–a child who has not a clue that there is controversy about the Bible and about God–stand in a crowded altar area by his dad, and, feeling the presence of God, raise his slight arms and begin to speak in a heavenly language. Incredible and true. His cousin Joel (in the blue shirt) was actually praying with him when Cole received the Holy Ghost.




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And then it was over, and by the thousands, the chairs were stacked.

But next year is coming. The first week in August. Be here!


My devotional blog is here.. MORE CAMP PICTURES.

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Pentecostal Camp Meeting in Santa Maria–Finale

Well, I told you I’d get back on Friday if I could tear myself away. Sorry, but I was so tied up–bound almost–by joy, excitement, grinning, laughter, eating and drinking with God, my family , and with my friends, that I didn’t even approach my computer, not even to rub my hand over its white smooth cover. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Friday–everything about it–was better than Thursday, which, please recall, had neared perfection. The first thing that made it better was that Steve, my eldest, arrived. Now all of my children were together with Jerry and me in Santa Maria, along with assorted and various grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren tucked in the mix! Talk about wonder and glory and joy! I’ve had it the last few days.


Steve talks with his dad here. Many of you will recognize the other gentleman to be Sam White, who for scores of years pastored a church in Bellflower, Ca.

Camp consisted of lots of this:

Settling Their Decision

…and a birthday party for Thane who turned four.



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…but most important of all, lots of this. I’ve brought over a video from YouTube that you may want to watch, as this shows a typical Pentecostal conference/campmeeting worship service. This is not a video from our camp meeting, as I don’t have one available, but the feeling, the energy, the dynamics were the same. Take a look and a listen. The video was taken at one of our conferences in Stockton, California–sponsored by Christian Life Center, pastored by Nathaniel Haney. Landmark is the name of the conference.

Early in the service on Friday night and other nights, there were a bunch of mine with hands raised (Rebecca) men dancing in the aisle, Andrew, Michael, Joel and Kyle, on the far right (Shawnna’s nephew). Take a look at two little ones who are following in the steps of their parents and grandparents. (Thane–4 years old Ethan–not quite 2)

Rebecca Worshipping

My Boys!




My Grandbabies Worshipping

The preaching was dynamic. Scott Graham, the evening speaker was absolutely powerful