Categories
America California Christianity/Religion Church Death Friends Goodness of man Grief Pentecostal Photography Shirley Buxton Photography

Lillian White

I met her when I was 18 years old. Now those two numbers are reversed, and with a bow to frank honesty I acknowledge myself to be 81. (Eighty-one? How can this be so? We will speak to that strange subject another day.) The husband to Lillian was Sam. My Jerry and I called the couple Brother and Sister White. We were all in church work; Brother White was the pastor of a church in Bellflower, CA. and Jerry was an evangelist. We wives toddled beside our men, making our unique contributions to life, and to the Work of God.

We became the dearest of friends. Together we worshipped, traveled, played, laughed (and cried), did business, pastored churches, planned conferences, cooked, ate great meals, celebrated weddings and birthdays and retirements over a period of more than sixty years. By then we had began using close names, and it was Sam and Lil and Jerry and Shirley.

Now, at 98 years old, she is gone, as is Sam (and is my Jerry.) Her sweet funeral was last Friday. (The following pictures compliments of Debbie Akers.)

She truly was a remarkable beautiful woman of God, and I believe it well within the mark to rank her with notable women of the Bible, and to revere her as such.

I nominate her to stand beside the chief women of Thessalonica who were among the first to receive the gospel at the preaching of Paul and Silas. As she labored in ministry with her beloved Sam, she is in line with Priscilla who labored in ministry with her husband Aquilla. I’ve seen her as strong as Deborah, and once when we wanted to begin Ladies Conferences and could be heard rumbles of disagreement in high places, she marched step in step with Esther and said, “If I perish I perish.” She was as capable as Abigail, as full of faith as the Syrophenician woman, as humble as Elizabeth, and as Mary, she was chosen of God. As was Dorcas, she was known for her good works. Perhaps John the beloved says it best when he dedicated one of his books to The Elect Lady.

Now she is gone, resting in the presence of God.

It was five years ago when Sam and Lil were visiting in our home in Crestline that I lined them up near the hearth of our fireplace to take their picture. How beautiful they are. Wrinkled. Used up.

(I would so love for you who knew the White’s well, to take the time to add your tribute in the comment section here.)

Categories
Christianity/Religion Christmas Courage Culture God Goodness of man Life overcoming adversity Photography

The High Road of Humility–Part Two

Sister Garrett had asked my husband to speak with the young men if he felt it was the right thing, and so came the time after we had eaten when they all gathered in the living room, and Jerry spoke a few words to them. They were so quiet, so attentive, and so obviously moved by his words.

I don’t say too much about it except with our family and close friends, but my husband’s childhood was quite rocky, and that he so effectively pushed through significant challenges is a source of pride to me, and I believe to our children. He was reared in the state of Louisiana, the youngest of twelve children, and more than a few times he has said to me, “We were so poor.” They had no running water, no telephone, no indoor bath, and no car. When he was four years old, his mother died. When he was thirteen his father died.

The Buxtons are great people and his siblings did their best to help him through those challenging years. He lived with some of them from time to time, but he was not really happy. “I never felt I belonged anywhere. Always felt I was in the way.” For a couple of years while he was in high school he lived with a family who had a dairy farm. He rose at 3:30, milked cows, then delivered raw milk to people in the neighborhood before his first session. “I was so sleepy, I often fell asleep in class.”

I believe it was when he was a high school Junior that he went to live with his brother, Bill, who was already a school teacher, and who helped Jerry enroll in a college after he graduated from high school. He worked his way through those four years and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree. A young man having a college degree today is not considered especially significant, but in those years, it was an unusual accomplishment.

He had received the Holy Ghost when he was 13 years old, and during his Junior year in college, God called him into the ministry.

“The rest,” they say, “is history.” He has taught school, founded a school, pastored three churches, married a pretty good wife (feel free to snicker here), and sired four children who all are living good lives, and who are filled with the Holy Ghost. So to those young men Saturday afternoon, he gave the good word, “You Can Make It!” No matter your challenge, no matter your situation, “you can make it.” Some of the young men have solid godly families, some have sketchy relationships with their fathers, and some have no fathers at all in their homes.

So ended the afternoon of a memorable, blessed day. Look carefully at the last picture, and you will see that not everything was of a spiritual, holy nature. . .which is quite as should be!

 

Categories
America Conferences/Seminars Friends Life My Family Pentecostal Photography Religion Travel

Western District Camp Meeting 2009

After the end of the short cruise we drove to Lake Havasu, attended our Sunday service, and by 4:00 in the afternoon we had pulled our rig onto the highway and were headed to Santa Maria, CA. for the Western District camp meeting. I cannot remember a better one. It was outstanding in every way.

DSC_0008

The preaching was phenomenal, coming from Rev. Brian Kinsey the evening preacher and Rev. James Hughes the daytime preacher, and including four preachers from the district, in addition to Rev. Mullings who preached on Monday night. I missed hearing the Wednesday morning local preacher, but I can vouch for the others as being superior. Rev. Ed Allard was the Tuesday morning preacher and in a sincere, positive manner, he challenged us as Apostolics to take a careful and honest look at ourselves. “Has our gold turned to bronze?” He clearly asked for direction from our elected leaders. It was a powerful, courageous message, that resonnated soundly with the congregation.

DSC_0011The teaching and preaching by Brother Hughes was profound.

One problem existed: For the first time I can remember, none of my children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren were with us at camp…until Thursday evening when in came Chris and Christina and their two youngsters.

DSC_0014Friends ministered to each other.

DSC_0017

Families reveled in the presence of God.DSC_0029

DSC_0005New dedications were offered up to our God.

Family Apostolic Camps–the best meetings I have ever attended. Another one coming up in a couple of weeks in southern California: If at all possible, be there. All over the country–please, make your way to an Apostolic family camp! They’re the greatest!

Categories
America Bible Christianity/Religion Church Culture Evil Firearms God Grief Life Pentecostal Religion Social The World

A Time to Howl

“Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock: for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished; and ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel.”

“The Lord has just ground of controversy with every nation and every person; and he will execute judgment on all the wicked. Who can avoid trembling when God speaks in displeasure? The days are fully come; the time fixed in the Divine counsels, which will make the nations wholly desolate. The tender and delicate shall share the common calamity. Even those who used to live in peace, and did nothing to provoke, shall not escape. Blessed be God, there is a peaceable habitation above, for all the sons of peace. The Lord will preserve his church and all believers in all changes; for nothing can separate them from his love.” From a Matthew Henry commentary on Jeremiah 25:30-38

Rarely, if ever, have I printed an article in its entirety, but the following resonates with me to such degree that I’m printing every word of this lengthy AP article. With a dateline of Saturday, June 21, this riveting abstract is written by Alan Fram and Eileen Putman

WASHINGTON – Is everything spinning out of control?

Midwestern levees are bursting. Polar bears are adrift. Gas prices are skyrocketing. Home values are abysmal. Air fares, college tuition and health care border on unaffordable. Wars without end rage in Iraq, Afghanistan and against terrorism.

Horatio Alger, twist in your grave.

The can-do, bootstrap approach embedded in the American psyche is under assault. Eroding it is a dour powerlessness that is chipping away at the country’s sturdy conviction that destiny can be commanded with sheer courage and perseverance.

The sense of helplessness is even reflected in this year’s presidential election. Each contender offers a sense of order — and hope. Republican John McCain promises an experienced hand in a frightening time. Democrat Barack Obama promises bright and shiny change, and his large crowds believe his exhortation, “Yes, we can.”

Even so, a battered public seems discouraged by the onslaught of dispiriting things. An Associated Press-Ipsos poll says a barrel-scraping 17 percent of people surveyed believe the country is moving in the right direction. That is the lowest reading since the survey began in 2003.

An ABC News-Washington Post survey put that figure at 14 percent, tying the low in more than three decades of taking soundings on the national mood.

“It is pretty scary,” said Charles Truxal, 64, a retired corporate manager in Rochester, Minn. “People are thinking things are going to get better, and they haven’t been. And then you go hide in your basement because tornadoes are coming through. If you think about things, you have very little power to make it change.”

Recent natural disasters around the world dwarf anything afflicting the U.S. Consider that more than 69,000 people died in the China earthquake, and that 78,000 were killed and 56,000 missing from the Myanmar cyclone.

Americans need do no more than check the weather, look in their wallets or turn on the news for their daily reality check on a world gone haywire.

Floods engulf Midwestern river towns. Is it global warming, the gradual degradation of a planet’s weather that man seems powerless to stop or just a freakish late-spring deluge?

It hardly matters to those in the path. Just ask the people of New Orleans who survived Hurricane Katrina. They are living in a city where, 1,000 days after the storm, entire neighborhoods remain abandoned, a national embarrassment that evokes disbelief from visitors.

Food is becoming scarcer and more expensive on a worldwide scale, due to increased consumption in growing countries such as China and India and rising fuel costs. That can-do solution to energy needs — turning corn into fuel — is sapping fields of plenty once devoted to crops that people need to eat. Shortages have sparked riots. In the U.S., rice prices tripled and some stores rationed the staple.

Residents of the nation’s capital and its suburbs repeatedly lose power for extended periods as mere thunderstorms rumble through. In California, leaders warn people to use less water in the unrelenting drought.

Want to get away from it all? The weak U.S. dollar makes travel abroad forbiddingly expensive. To add insult to injury, some airlines now charge to check luggage.

Want to escape on the couch? A writers’ strike halted favorite TV shows for half a season. The newspaper on the table may soon be a relic of the Internet age. Just as video stores are falling by the wayside as people get their movies online or in the mail.

But there’s always sports, right?

The moorings seem to be coming loose here, too.

Baseball stars Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens stand accused of enhancing their heroics with drugs. Basketball referees are suspected of cheating.

Stay tuned for less than pristine tales from the drug-addled Tour de France and who knows what from the Summer Olympics.

It’s not the first time Americans have felt a loss of control.

Alger, the dime-novel author whose heroes overcame adversity to gain riches and fame, played to similar anxieties when the U.S. was becoming an industrial society in the late 1800s.

American University historian Allan J. Lichtman notes that the U.S. has endured comparable periods and worse, including the economic stagflation (stagnant growth combined with inflation) and Iran hostage crisis of 1980; the dawn of the Cold War, the Korean War and the hysterical hunts for domestic Communists in the late 1940s and early 1950s; and the Depression of the 1930s.

“All those periods were followed by much more optimistic periods in which the American people had their confidence restored,” he said. “Of course, that doesn’t mean it will happen again.”

Each period also was followed by a change in the party controlling the White House.

This period has seen intense interest in the presidential primaries, especially the Democrats’ five-month duel between Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Records were shattered by voters showing up at polling places, yearning for a voice in who will next guide the country as it confronts the uncontrollable.

Never mind that their views of their current leaders are near rock bottom, reflecting a frustration with Washington’s inability to solve anything. President Bush barely gets the approval of three in 10 people, and it’s even worse for the Democratic-led Congress.

Why the vulnerability? After all, this is the 21st century, not a more primitive past when little in life was assured. Surely people know how to fix problems now.

Maybe. And maybe this is what the 21st century will be about — a great unraveling of some things long taken for granted.

Having brought about this gripping secular viewpoint of our times, I wish now to apprise you of a prophetic biblical perspective. In the July issue of the Pentecostal Herald, Rev. Irvin Baxter, Jr writes a compelling article in which he cites four major biblical prophecies pointing to the end of this age that are being fulfilled now.

He lays as foundation that there has been one other time like this in history…just before the first coming of Jesus to earth. That generation had at least 100 specific prophecies concerning the first coming. The Old Testament foretold Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, would come from the tribe of Judah, from the lineage of King David. The method of His death was foretold, the exact amount for which the Messiah would be betrayed, and that the betrayal money would be used to purchase a potter’s field.

Rev. Baxter challenges us:

“…most people on earth at the time missed the coming of their long-awaited Messiah…It is our generation’s turn now. We stand just before the promised second coming of Jesus to the earth. This time, we do not have only 100 prophecies of His coming. We have closer to 1,000.

Could we possibly live right through the prophetic fulfillments God has given us for this time and not recognize the signs of His coming and the end of the age?”

He goes on to list four prophecies that he feels are being fulfilled at this moment.

1. Rebirth of the Holy Roman Empire

“Ratification of the Lisbon Treaty will solidify the rebirth of the Holy Roman Empire. It provides for Europe to have its own president and its own foreign minister. For all practical purposes, it creates a United States of Europe. Circumstances look favorable for the Lisbon Treaty’s ratification.

Will the rebirth of the Holy Roman Empire be finalized in 2008? It certainly looks like it! If so, a European president could be elected in 2009.”

2. President Bush predicts Middle East peace in 2008

“The prophecy states that a Middle East peace agreement, which establishes internationally recognized borders between Israel and the Palestinians will mark the beginning of the final seven years to Armageddon.

…Palestinian President Abbas speaks of signing a peace agreement. Are negotiators actually nearing a peace agreement?

3. Implementation of a national ID in 2008?

“Is the Real ID the mark of the beast? No, not now, but I believe it is the mechanism that will ultimately be used to implement the mark of the beast once the Antichrist takes power.”

4. World War III in 2008?

“The most ominous prophecy in the entire Bible has been tucked away in Revelation 9:13-16. It says, “the four angels were loosed…to slay the third part of men.”

Two billion human beings will be wiped off the face of the earth in one single war. The war will start from the Euphrates River and will feature an army of 200 million soldiers.

When America launched its invasion of Iraq in 2003, almost no one noticed (that) from the north in Iraq to the south flowed the prophesied Euphrates Rivers. When pictures of U.S. troops fighting up and down the Euphrates began to surface in the news, a sense of unease came over us who are familiar with the prophecies. Could this be the “Two-billion-to-die Euphrates River War?”

Rev. Baxter concludes his article:

“…2008 could be the most important year of prophetic fulfillment since the year of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Should we totally mobilize to reach the world now? Or should we just wait awhile?”

I’m far from being a scholar of either biblical prophecy or of sociology. I am a Christian and for as long as I can remember the preaching of the second coming of Jesus Christ has pealed in my ears. I’m also an observer and a listener, and I try to be a logical thinker. When I see the utter chaos in our world, and feel the stirring in my spirit, and when I read within a 24 hour period voices from opposite ends of the spectrum that cite impending earth-moving developments, I take notice.

Perhaps you should also.

(I hope I have preserved the integrity of Rev. Baxter’s article, despite heavy cutting. You might want to visit his site for more information. Rev. Baxter also has been a guest on George Norry’s Coast to Coast, where his interviews may be heard.)

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

My devotional blog is here.