“You don’t leave racism at the door (of a church), you leave it at the altar.” Rev. Johnny King NO LIMITS CONFERENCE Sacramento, CA.
I’ve had this beautiful piece of glass for many years; so many years that I don’t have a memory of buying it. Many of you will recognize it as being a specimen of slag glass.
Production of slag glass originated in late-19th-century England, where glass manufacturers are thought to have added slag from iron-smelting works to molten glass in order to create a range of effects—from tortoiseshell to marbling. Among other uses, slag glass was a popular material for lampshades. This purple and white is one of the more common colors and swirled design.
Slag. Depending on where you’re from, it may be an insult, a term meaning trash. Slag is typically an iron calcium silicate type material, which is liquid in the furnaces and is poured or siphoned off the top of the molten metal. When it cools it forms a solid glassy looking substance and when added to molten glass creates such beautiful pieces as this one of mine.
When I came to Jesus, I was little more than bits and pieces of humanity–as are we all. My mom and dad told me about giving my life to Him and it seemed right to me, and I knew I wanted to do that. So this scrawny straggle-haired child knelt at an altar in a store-front church and surrendered up, and Jesus took me. He accepted my pitiful offering, scooped up the slag of my life, and added His spirit to what I had handed him. I was transformed. That’s why I can look at my life–now exceeding eighty years–and say, “Thank you sweet Jesus. Thank you for vision, for abundance, for a beautiful life.”
Today, February 25, 2019 in congressional chambers of the United States of America, a majority of senators voted down the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act which would have required that “any health care practitioner present” at the time of a birth exercise the same degree of professional skill, care and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.”
In essence, as I understand this, our country has now officially embraced infanticide. I’m stunned at what is happening to our country.
Frequently through my life-time, with my family and friends, I’ve discussed the grandeur and exceptionalism of America and how blessed we are to live here. Inevitably such conversation leads to the humble conclusion that the reason for this distinction is: 1. Our country was founded on Judeo/Christian values, and 2. Because we honor Israel. (We pray for that country as the Bible instructs us to do.)
Now, I tremble to consider that our country is slaughtering babies by the multiplied tens of thousands. How, tell me how, can God’s hand continue to be on us?
God help us. God cause us to turn. Forgive our iniquities. Cause our country once again to walk in the way He orders.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Psalm 37:23 _______
At night I walk
with care. Each step
Then . . .
beneath my back is black.
My eyes fixed on stars, of cold and diamond flame.
Ice. Black ice.
I was doing some work on my blog sites today and came across this post from November 4, 2007. Some of you may recall that during this time Jerry and I went to Lake Havasu City, AZ. to plant a church, and from the very beginning God honored us with powerful services and dynamic growth. I consider that out of all the decades of our ministry, the three and a half years we were there were some of the most blessed of all our ministry. Much of our work was done with alcohol and drug challenged people.
I weep at this moment as I think of those dear people and their little children. Hard? It was the hardest church work we ever did. Rewarding? Yes, absolutely the most rewarding of all.
CHRIST ALIVE CHURCH Lake Havasu City, Arizona November 4, 2007
“We had rented 40 extra chairs, and on Saturday, Michael met with Jerry and me to set up for the Sunday morning service. When we started putting the chairs out, though, it looked like so many, that Michael’s faith and mine faltered a bit, and we decided to leave about a dozen of them stacked in the hall.
But we had invited lots of people. I had mailed letters to every person who has ever visited our church, we had made and distributed flyers, we had an article in the local paper, Jerry had made dozens of phone calls and personal contacts and Michael had invited everyone of the “Goatheads,” a yuppy, motorcycle group based here in Lake Havasu. Earlier in the week, one of them had called Mike to ask, “Is it okay if we ride our bikes to church?”
“Of course. Not a problem at all,” he had told them.
Jerry and I arrived at the church around 8:30 and there were already a few people there. But it was around 8:45 that we heard the roar of the bikes and soon the parking lot was inundated with motor cycles, so that finally there was hardly room to park.
They came pouring in, and quickly I told Brandon, “Set up the rest of the chairs.” When we had registered and counted, we found that 85 people were at Christ Alive today! Recall that we have only been here 8 months. We were ecstatic.
Brother Pence of Prescott, AZ. has a most remarkable testimony of a healing from cancer. The doctors had given him two weeks to live. He had 22 tumors in his lungs from a cancer that had metastasized from his kidneys.
He had lost 60 pounds, had made all his funeral arrangements even to picking out his casket…Here, he is showing the packet from the mortuary where he had made the arrangements. But God had different plans and has completely healed him! All the tumors have gone, his racking cough is cured, and recently, his doctors declared him completely cancer free. His testimony is incredible.
Ernie, who is pictured here is suffering from pancreatic cancer, and the doctors have not given him a good prognosis. He came to Christ Alive today believing God for a miracle in his own life.
I was touched by the generous response of the audience, and their involvement with worship that to many of them was unfamiliar. They were extremely receptive to the Word of God as it was preached, and to an invitation to join in our Pentecostal worship. All over the room, both men and women were openly crying.
At the conclusion of the very appropriate sermon, Brother Pence invited everyone to the front who needed special prayer. Ernie was the first to leave his seat and head to the pulpit. Here you see him being prayed over.
Please pray for our work here. These people are precious–some of them know God in a measure–others have a very limited knowledge of Him. Jerry and I are desperate to be able to point them to Jesus, the only Saviour.
So, here we are many years later, retired now, someone else the pastor in Lake Havasu City. Both Jerry and I count it the greatest of joys that God called us to do a work for Him among those very dear people.
His nurse preceded the doctor into the room where we waited. “When he comes in, feel free to ask him anything you would like.” She was quite matter-of-fact, but very friendly.
We immediately liked Dr. Victor when he came in, and before he would leave the small room after we had talked, Jerry would ask if we could pray together. The doctor readily agreed.
It was my receiving this piece of paper in the mail that had led to our meeting.
After the introductions and shaking of hands, Dr. Victor sat on a rolling stool and faced a computer screen. He then rifled through a few documents, reported the results of some blood work and some other things.
“The biopsy, Dr. Victor. What does the biopsy show?” I asked.
In the quiet caring way of Dr. Victor, he said, “Mrs. Buxton, you do have a form of cancer.” And before the visit was concluded, I learned there was a cancerous tumor in my right breast, that there were numerous pre-cancerous lesions there also, and that the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes. He recommended an immediate mastectomy.
A few days ago, I received this piece of paper–a darling, sweet, cherished piece of paper. I give thanks. Most of all I thank God, for although I give credit to my doctors, to medications, to surgery . . .God is in charge. He is supreme, the One who has given me life. I’m forever grateful.
(During those times I set up another blog which chronicled my cancer treatment. You might be interested in reading over there. You would need to scroll down to get to the beginning posts. Shirley Buxton’s Cancer Detour
Snow and ice, they grip and hold
the cold. Long days and nights
but close about
spring giggles. She knows
snow and ice will pack and run.
Curiosity niggles. Has another person in the world, at any time, teamed George Washington with an eggplant? Is there–has there ever been–any other writer whose mind makes the leap from our beloved first president to a well-aged eggplant?
Any of my dear readers who has the time, the temperament, and the inclination to do such research, would be held in high esteem by the writer of this piece, and the comment section on this page would welcome such information. Actually comments of any breed concerning this post are welcome, and just might prove entertaining.
I read a bit about President Washington this morning in honor of his birthday, which I believe is the 22nd. At the Washington Library site at Mount Vernon I came across this account of his reminding his men of his sacrifice, and of his aging.
“Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for, I have grown not only gray, but almost blind in the service of my country.”
While trying to calm anxious Continental Army officers frustrated with Congress near the end of the American War of Independence, Washington reveled (revealed) to the assembled officers, for the first time, that he had begun wearing glasses. His gesture was a chance to remind them of just how long he had served, without pay, during the war.
Statement before delivering response to the first Newburgh Address | Saturday, March 15, 1783
It is said these men had never seen him use glasses before, and that somehow his appearing vulnerable and in a needy state helped quell the severe unrest among these officers.
I’m not sure how I came to keep this eggplant in my kitchen, but it may have gone something like this: I probably bought him at a 99 cent store, with the faint thought of concocting a tasty eggplant parmesan cheese dish, which I have never made, but which Jerry is very fond of. I think I’ve had the fella for months–maybe since Christmas–not sure. Anyway, the faint consideration of the eggplant parmesan cheese dish flickered out along the way somewhere, and I began to notice what a lovely specimen lived here in one of my kitchen baskets. He began to wrinkle in the finest way, and I began showing him to visitors.
I’m fairly in touch with aging, seeing that Jerry will be 87 next month, and that last July I had the startling experience of attending an 80th birthday party, which, unbelievably, turned out to be my own! Not just that, but as was true with President Washington, both Jerry and I have for some time sported spectacles. I’m one-up on him, though, in the hearing category, as I now sport an aid in each ear. But he has those canes he maneuvers around with, so I guess we’re even.
He’s wrinkled, is my eggplant, and as you can see, he is scarred. He’s beautiful, too, and although he did not live out the purpose for which he was created, he is ending his life by doing what he can. He brings me pleasure. His formation, his color, his intricately designed stem are works of art.
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.George Bernard Shaw
With sincere apologies to the late President George Washington.
Jerry has macular degeneration now. He almost never drives. He can hardly use his phone because of his limited sight. We’ve had snow on the ground for weeks, and today alone we have received almost six inches of rain. Sort of snow bound here in Crestline.
Yesterday, he said, “Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and I didn’t get you anything.”
I brushed the remarks aside. “Jerry, that doesn’t matter. You know that.”
This morning our furnace quit belching out heat. Jerry traipsed down to the basement. Came back. “The flame is lighting, but the fan doesn’t come on, so then the flame goes off .”
Jerry called Ken, our across-the-street neighbor, who is the best neighbor anyone could possibly want. Ken’s a little younger than we are . . .but still an old man, I suppose. A couple of weeks ago he had cancers removed from his nose and ears, and for a few days when we would see him, the end of his nose would be white . . .with bandages. Both men poked around in the basement.
The called furnace man came. His poking around in the basement led to his saying, “Your furnace is 40 years old, has this and that problem. You need a new one.” We ordered a new one. Wrote a check for half the charge. Will pay the other half when he installs it.
Later I stood by Jerry as he sat on a stool tending the fire in our fireplace. “I’m sorry I didn’t get you anything for Valentine’s Day.”
“Doesn’t matter, now does it?” I placed my hand on his shoulder. “Red hearts, chocolates, cards . . . It really doesn’t matter, Jerry.”
We’ve made babies together. We’ve bought furnaces and paid water bills. Once upon a time we were young, and now we’re old. A time or two, we stared down death. We swatted the tush of our sons, and of our daughter, and now, they with ease, place an arm about the shoulder of a fellow and say, “Let me tell you about Jesus.” We’ve wrecked cars and bought hamburgers and pumped gas and eaten in joints. We’ve settled into the skinny seats of planes, then tramped the ground in countries not our own. We’ve cried in our living room and in our churches. We’ve hooted in laughter. We’ve cooked biscuits and gravy, and grilled spareribs on our back deck. We’ve buried friends. We sleep with Winston, and drive ourselves crazy trying to make him mind us. We’ve looked wide-eyed at our kids as they took us in hand to tell us about Alexa and Siri. We’ve ridden horses in the Sawtooth mountains, and I fell off, and we’ve waterskied, and preached, and taught, and sang. And loved.
A box of chocolates? A rose. A card. Some glitter. . Sorry I didn’t get you anything, Shirley. Are you kidding me?
A chunk of stone struck by an artist may appear damaged and degraded. With swift chisel he wields insult, marring the line, forcing a shadow, laying a plane. From side to side he moves, his knowing eye eternally judging. Finally the piece is finished, glowing in lustrous beauty. The artist stands aside, the masses pass before it and weep. Wrenched from the quarry heap has emerged a masterpiece; a statement, a message, a sermon.from A Thousand Pieces by S. J. Buxton