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Past Dynamite News

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.

Christianity/Religion Courage Life Medical/Technical

A Moment of Thanks

Reluctantly I pulled the word from that dark place where it lives, for certainly I must examine its aspect and its whole being, knowing it was unwise–indeed impossible–to ignore what the doctor had spoken to me: “Mrs. Buxton, you may have cancer.”

I recall those moments in that cold ultrasound examining room (where I shivered so much until they gave me a warm blanket), and remembered when Dr. Mikhail spoke that sentence I did not feel overly anxious, nor did I have a sense of fear. I was calm as he pointed to the screen that showed multicolored wavy lines, and when he indicated the places of concern. In two weeks I would check into the Ontario Outpatient Surgical Center for a biopsy. “I don’t believe for sure it is cancer, but it could be,” he had finally said.

I told my husband and my four children that more testing was required, and although they probably sensed it was serious, I didn’t use the word cancer. I did ask one of my sons to be with Jerry while I was in surgery, knowing it would be a blow if the surgeon came out with a devastating report.

The Sunday before the procedure we attended church at Brother Claborn’s in San Bernardino. His sermon astonished me, and reminded me again how personal God is, and how He truly and absolutely keeps track of us, His children. He is divine, and this life we live is supernatural, unexplainable, definitely of another world. No doubt others in the congregation were ministered to that Sunday morning, but had I been the only one in the building, not one word would have been wasted, not one word would have been extraneous: instead the words flew as shot arrows to minister to those vulnerable places in my being, my heart, my soul, my emotions. During the altar service I whispered to Brother Claborn that I would have a procedure the next day for which I needed prayer. He laid hands on me and prayed.

The routine: Nothing by mouth after midnight, charming hospital gown, cute little paper hat, IV started, sweet nurses, visit by the surgeon, visit by the anesthesiologist, questions, answers . . . waiting. Finally they let Jerry and Andrew come where I was, and once I said to the nurse, “My husband and son will be praying for me before I go to surgery. Would you like to join us?” She smiled, and as we prayed she also did. “This opportunity has made my day,” she said to me. “Thank you.”

“Here’s your cocktail.” The friendly nurse grinned as she fed another medication into my system, and quickly I became woozy and hardly remember the gurney ride to the OR.

The procedure lasted about 20 minutes. The surgeon’s eyes were full of hope and his words were positive as he spoke to my husband and to Andrew. “I don’t believe there is cancer at all. We’ll know for sure when we receive the biopsy reports.

A few days ago I sat in one of those little rooms and watched the door open as Dr. Mikhail came in. He carried a sheaf of papers in his hand, later telling me they were my copies. “All benign, Mrs. Buxton. We biopsied three places. All benign.” He smiled. I smiled. We shook hands.

Today, I give thanks.



Christianity/Religion Courage Goodness of man Grief Medical/Technical

Bethany’s Hope

For more than six years, Janiver Brown of Napa, Ca. fought valiantly, but unsuccessfully, against the cancer that had invaded her body. A few days ago, this extraordinary woman slipped from her earthly form, as her rare and splendid spirit settled surely into the hands of God.

Bethany is one of her daughters, a brilliant young woman who last year graduated Summa Cum Laude from Sacramento State University. At one of the places where she writes, I came across this elegant piece, and after communicating with her was given permission to post it here on my blog. I offer this as a tribute to both Janiver Brown and her daughter Bethany who wrote these moving words.


Thoroughly anticipated
This did not strike from the darkness.
It was not a shock.
And yet—
It was.
It’s like watching a slow motion punch coming at your face.
You can see it coming;
You know it’s coming;
And yet when it connects it doesn’t hurt any less for that knowledge.
And hurt it does.
She’s with God.
My head knows that,
Yet my heart grieves.
We were prepared,
And yet we weren’t,
For who can prepare for something like this?
It is impossible:
It strikes at our core,
The part of us that denies reality,
That says, “it will never happen,”
While our surface thoughts pretend that we knew it would happen all along.
And as it strikes that core,
A little part of us is torn away.
The part that became intertwined,
Dependent upon
That person’s life.
And that little part can never be replaced.
Scar tissue will cover it,
Scar tissue will mask its removal,
Scar tissue will hide the hole,
Even as scar tissue boldly declares the absence of the original.
It staggers you.
It affects your entire body;
Not just your emotional well-being,
Your spiritual, your physical, your mental well-being.
It makes you want to curl up in a corner
And cry and cry and cry
Until no more tears will come,
Until the tears wash away the pain and the sorrow,
Until the tears wash away the grief and the anguish,
Until the tears wash away the gaping hole.
But they can never wash it all away.
If the pain, the sorrow, the grief, the anguish ever totally disappeared
Then the memory would be gone.
And that is the last thing that holds them to us.
The pain, the sorrow, the grief, the anguish will fade,
But God forbid they vanish.
They will ebb,
But God forbid they disappear.
Life becomes meaningless.
Reality becomes a joke.
For how can one go on when one is only partly there?
How can one laugh when the source of laughter has departed?
How can one continue a regular existence when existence has lost its life?
Only God knows.
And yet—
We do.
We continue.
We are.
We exist.
Carrying on, trying to fill the hole, looking to God for mercy and strength,
Trying not to feel,
Never daring to hope to heal,
As the world spins around us
A mockery of what it was.
Bland and colorless,
Threatening to leave us behind
If we cannot keep up.
The world never understands.
We can only trust and follow
When trusting and following are hardest;
Accepting His will
When we don’t understand;
Believing His word
When it isn’t what we want to hear;
And try to rest in His assurance
When rest is the hardest.
We are following in the dark
Searching for the light
And committing ourselves to His everlasting care.
And always praying that we too,
Like those who have gone before us,
Shall see Him in His glory
And His power,
Surrounded by those who have lived faithfully and righteously—
And those who have left us to see Him—
This is our hope
And this hope is enough

Christianity/Religion Courage Death Family God Goodness of man Pentecostal Religion

Janiver Brown and Heaven

I can’t recall when in such a brief period so many people who are significant to me have gone to meet Jesus. This morning the final call came to my beautiful, longtime friend, Jan Brown. With certain peace, she left this world, and now occupies a timeless, invisible place. She rests in eternity with Jesus.

Jan was a preacher’s wife; her husband, Clayton, is the pastor of a United Pentecostal church in Napa, CA. It is impossible to imagine a sweeter, more godly person than was Jan. Truly I feel exceedingly blessed to have been in her circle of acquaintances. She was an exceptional person. And now she is gone, leaving a wonderful family; two sons, two daughters, and her dear husband.

Her husband briefly writes of the conclusion of her earthly life in this way:

“Janiver laid down her cares and took the hand of Jesus this morning at 3:00am. She passed very peacefully with no struggle. I can only image the glories she is experiencing now and for eternity. I know it will be a challenge for us to redefine “normal” now. The larger someone is in your life, the bigger the hole they leave when they are gone. But God will see us through. Love to each of you! Clayton”

A song rings in my ears tonight as I consider Heaven, its glory, its mystery.  Many who are dear to me are gathered there tonight.

“What a day that will be when my Jesus I will see

When I look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace.

When He takes me by the hand, leads me through the Promised Land.

What a day, glorious day that will be.”

For sure I don’t know how it all works, but I just wonder…is Jesus showing Janiver around tonight? Has she talked with Sister Freeman and Brother Hyde who just arrived there last week? Has she dipped a toe in the River of Life or  bent down to rub her hand across a golden street? Has she met up with the Patriarchs, the Apostles, or David…who was a man after God’s own heart? Has she paused to gaze in awe at the splendor of Heaven? Can she peer down and see a million galaxies…or the precisely ordered spin of our planet–the one we call earth?

We don’t know. But of this I am sure; Jan is safe with Jesus, freed at last from the terrors of this earth, from her cancer riddled body, from fear, from pain, from dread and uncertainty.

Conferences/Seminars Life Medical/Technical

Robots in Your Bloodstream

I know too many people who have cancer; I’ve observed their struggles. In the middle of the night I have thought of them and their battles and I have prayed for them. I’ve watched some of them “beat” the illness; I’ve watched others die. So when I see a development such as this which has some promise of effective cancer treatment, it always excites me.

blood-robotweb.gifThis treatment is quite different from others, involving a miniature robot who can literally crawl through the human body, diagnosing and treating as it chugs along.

The next big step in cancer treatment might be small enough to balance on a grain of salt.

Researchers at the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa have developed a miniature crawling robot, called ViRob, that can crawl through your lungs, find a tumor, and zap it with drugs. The bot, which is one millimeter long and four millimeters from end to end, can snake its way through the body, slipping into blood vessels and navigating through the respiratory and digestive systems, Innerspace style.

Other mini-robots have been designed to take a voyage into the body. But thanks to tiny arms that help it grip vessel walls , ViRob is the first microbot that can tunnel between different body cavities. It’s controlled by an electromagnetic field outside of the robot that creates a vibration that propels ViRob forward.

In lab tests, the robot has traveled up to nine millimeters per second and can commute through body fluids ranging from blood to bile, making it a versatile tool that can race through a vein and burrow into an organ. Its designers even hope to accessorize it with equipment such as a wee camera and a mini pair of tongs, to get that close-up view of those alveoli at work.  The researchers are officially introducing the device at the upcoming ILSI-Biomed Conference in Tel Aviv.

Source: Discover Magazine

America Children Courage Culture Death Family Goodness of man Life love Marriage/anniversaries Medical/Technical Political insight

An Inauguration Love Story

At home in Crestline, I was buzzing about the kitchen, hearing in the background conservative talk show host, Mike Gallagher, when my attention was grabbed by his saying something about having a Democratic wife and a Democratic son. Whoa! What’s this? I thought. For though I am not terribly familiar with Mr. Gallagher, over a number of years, I have heard him occasionally and know him to have conservative leanings; I’m quite sure he is not a Democrat.

I knew too that some time during the past few months his wife, Denise, had died of cancer.

On the radio this morning, Mike continued with his friendly, upbeat manner, describing how his son Matthew–following in the steps of his mother–adored President-elect Obama, and how that Santa Claus had provided hotel arrangements and money for transportation to Washington D. C. for Matthew and some of his friends. Soon Mike had Matthew on the air, where they spoke in light-hearted manners of the trip and the excitement of the scene in Washington on this the day before the inauguration of our 44th president.

Before I finish this post, please read the following which I took from Mike Gallagher’s website.

Mike’s proudest achievement is his family. On the morning of June 29, 2008, the love of his life, his wife Denise, died at home after a valiant and dignified year-long battle with endometrial cancer. She passed away the day before her 52nd birthday. Mike was holding her when she died, their four boys — Bryan, Trevor, Matthew, and Micah — all present as well, which is just how Denise wanted it. Two of the Gallagher sons live in South Carolina, and the other two live near Mike, which is a great comfort to him. As he promised to Denise, Mike is sleeping each night with beloved beagle Buster and puggle Rory, who constantly shadowed her every move but now seem quite content to take care of him.

On the radio this morning, I heard a love story. I listened in as Mike Gallagher told his son. “I sprinkled your mother’s ashes over Washington D.C a few hours ago, Matthew.” He paused, then added. “I think she would have liked that.”

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The Backside of Euphoria

“She’s very scared and I think she’s holding on for her father.”

Those are the words of the mother of Jayci Yaeger. Jayci is ten years old, and she is dying with cancer.

“I want my dad to hold me,” Jayci says.

But no, it won’t happen, for her father, Jason, is in prison, serving time for a federal drug conviction. Appeals for a 30 day release have been denied.

A video of Jayci is here.

Peoples of the world–mothers, fathers, young people–please hear me today. Your drugs are killing you, they’re destroying us, our society is imploding. For you see, there is an ugly, dirty reality on the backside of your euphoria, a nasty, heart-wrenching place.

Ask Jayci.

EDIT: Thursday March 27 Jayci’s dad has been allowed to see her. Read it here. 


My devotional blog is here.

Culture Death Life Medical/Technical Social The World Uncategorized

Chantal Sebire Found Dead

You may recall that a couple of days ago, I wrote about the tension that has existed in the life of Chantal Sebire. Several of you voiced opinions agreeing that it is not appropriate to assist in a suicide, or indeed to commit suicide, although some of you disagreed. Yesterday, Chantal was found dead.

PARIS — A woman who suffered from a painful facial tumor and had drawn headlines across France with her quest for doctor-assisted suicide was found dead Wednesday, an official said.

Chantal Sebire, a former schoolteacher and mother of three, was found at her home in the eastern French town of Plombieres-les-Dijon, a government official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

The circumstances of her death were not immediately clear. Sebire, 52, was diagnosed nearly eight years ago with esthesioneuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer.

Read more here.


My devotional blog is here.

America Children Culture Medical/Technical My Family Science & Technology The World

Fluoroscopes, Cell Phones and Cancer

Life was simple during my childhood days, and it didn’t take much to excite me. Going shopping in downtown Springfield with the promise of a new pair of shoes was definitely a memorable event, for such ventures didn’t happen with great frequency. I enjoyed having my feet measured with the familiar metal apparatus, and then came the fun of selecting the shoes, and then the best part of all. The salesman would lead my parents and me to the big brown platform sort of thing, and I would be helped to stand in the right place, the salesman seeing that my feet were set just so. And then the culmination of the event. I pressed my eyes onto a viewing element, one set of parents’ eyes were fastened to another, and the third viewer was the venue of the salesman. Our eyes at the ready, he threw the switch and the most amazing thing happened; I could see the bones in my feet. There they were proudly stuck inside my new shoes, and I couldn’t keep them still, wiggled them around and up and down as much as the new stiff shoes would allow. It was amazing. I did not know, nor did my parents that as I stood there, I was being shot with dangerous amounts of x-rays. So were they. So was the salesman.

The shoe fitting fluoroscope was a common fixture in shoe stores during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. A typical unit, like the Adrian machine shown here, consisted of a vertical wooden cabinet with an opening near the bottom into which the feet were placed. When you looked through one of the three viewing ports on the top of the cabinet (e.g., one for the child being fitted, one for the child’s parent, and the third for the shoe salesman or saleswoman), you would see a fluorescent image of the bones of the feet and the outline of the shoes.

According to Williams (1949), the machines generally employed a 50 kv x-ray tube operating at 3 to 8 milliamps. When you put your feet in a shoe fitting fluoroscope, you were effectively standing on top of the x-ray tube. The only “shielding” between your feet and the tube was a one mm thick aluminum filter. Some units allowed the operator to select one of three different intensities: the highest intensity for men, the middle one for women and the lowest for children.

Very interesting material about the use of these machines, the decision to discontinue using them, damage caused through the years and much more is here. Picture courtesy of Paul Zeimer

Yesterday, when I read the following material and thought of the possibility that the ubiquitous cell phone could be damaging to us and to our children, I recalled having my feet x-rayed, with none of the adults and certainly not the children, considering the possibility of any danger. I’m not in the least paranoid, and have a rather calm, non-worrying nature, but I’m thinking it might be good to consider these studies, especially in regard to our children.

Picture from Inventors Spot

Recently, researchers from the Orbero University in Sweden led by Professor Kjell Mild have suggested that young children may be at risk for brain cancer when using cell phones because of their thinner skulls and developing nervous systems. The study also suggests that 10 years is the minimum period needed by cancers to develop, which would warrant more research at this time when a large number of the population has been using cell phones for a long time. More here.

My devotional blog is here.