Born Again Macie

Romans Chapter 1 verse 31 describes a group of people whom, I believe, inhabit the world today, for they are:

“Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.”

Surely persons who advocate aborting children fall into this category: no understanding, breaking of bonds and covenants, lacking natural affection, can’t be pleased, and the final–without mercy. Take a look at this baby girl and hear her story.

Little Macie McCartney was welcomed into the world not once — but twice.

Four months into Keri McCartney’s pregnancy, doctors reportedly noticed a tumor growing on the baby’s tailbone.

Doctors discovered that the tumor was stealing blood from the fetus and weakening her heart. So, at 25 weeks, surgeons at Texas Children’s Fetal Center cut into McCartney’s abdomen in an effort to remove the life-threatening mass, according to a CBS News report.

“Prenatal surgery is still done in very few select areas in the United States,” Dr. Manny Alvarez,’s managing health editor, said Monday. “And there are a limited number of medical conditions where prenatal surgery is indicated and this is one of them.”

Fox News

At a period of gestation when she could have been legally aborted, caring parents called on doctors to do something for their baby. Wonderful, talented physicians operated on this tiny girl, then tucked her back inside her mommy so that little Macie could get on with her growing.

Abortion is a terrible thing, and flies in the face of the Almighty God who alone creates life. Today I read this report from Planned Parenthood itself:

Why are children aborted? The Alan Guttmacher Institute (the research arm of Planned Parenthood) states:

1 percent are victims of incest or rape

1 percent had fetal abnormalities

4 percent had a doctor who said their health would worsen if they continued the pregnancy

50 percent said they didn’t want to be a single parent or they had problems in current relationships

66 percent stated they could not afford a child

75 percent said the child would interfere with their lives

But here we have little Macie who four weeks ago was born normal and healthy, due to God’s grace and mercy, loving conscientious parents, and caring, skilled physicians.

More pictures of Macie here.

It’s a time to rejoice.
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End of the Journey

Ending of the Journey, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

She was never a close friend of mine, but through Jerry’s ministerial relationship with her son Leon Frost, who pastors The First Pentecostal Church of Bakersfield, I met her some years ago, and often spoke briefly with her when I visited that church. I do not even know her first name, but when I heard of her death a couple of weeks ago, I was saddened.

The sadness has little to do with her; rather it circles ’round her family and her friends, for I know they are grieved at her passing, and when again, I visit that beautiful church in Bakersfield, I, too, will miss my little visit with that beautiful, white-haired woman of God. Her lovely face invariably radiated with love and care, and, although she was quite elderly, when I was there, she seemed to make it a point to come where I sat and to speak with me. She made me feel she went out of her way to visit with me, but I strongly suspect she had the knack of making everyone think she was special, and that this godly woman had gone out of her way to speak to her.

Death is much like the end of a journey, and although we don’t go into its reaches with suitcase and other travel gear, we do take one thing with us–an important record–the tale of our life. When we make the trek to the other side and have ended our journey, we unpack, and there in the presence of God–our record is handed, and is told.

My little friend from Bakersfield, Ca. has negotiated the final trip and now stands in the presence of God. Her journey is done, her suitcase is empty. Surely it is a glorious day.


My other blog is here.


“So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.” Isaiah 59:19

Robert Salisburg first knew of his problem as he lounged around Emigrant Lake a couple of Saturdays ago. A lady called on his cell phone about the horse he was giving away.

“What horse? I’m not giving away any horse,” he told the woman.

Rushing home, Robert Salisburg found that his home had been invaded, and that by the truck load people were carting off his property.

From the Seattle Times

JACKSONVILLE, Ore. — A pair of hoax ads on Craigslist cost an Oregon man much of what he owned.

The ads popped up Saturday afternoon, saying the owner of a Jacksonville home was forced to leave the area suddenly and his belongings, including a horse, were free for the taking, said Jackson County sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Colin Fagan.

“Hey, those are my things,” he told one man who had his truck loaded with Salisburg’s property.

“I informed them I was the owner, but they refused to give the stuff back,” Salisbury said. “They showed me the Craigslist printout and told me they had the right to do what they did.”

The driver sped away after rebuking Salisbury. Salisbury spotted other cars filled with his belongings. At home he was greeted by close to 30 people rummaging through his barn and front porch.

Ever feel as though someone has put out a notice to the devil and his imps that you were fair game; that your possessions, your spirit, your thoughts and your emotions were for the taking? Ever feel invaded? Probably all of us have been in that position. We whirl about, grasping, guarding and protecting, but as we shield one part of our lives, in a far corner, we sense vulnerability and a new reckoning with loss and confusion.

The great prophet Isaiah spoke to the situation, reminding us that when we are so bombarded, not all is lost, for

“when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.”

Love it! No matter what confusion, stealing, lies, loss, mistakes, and misunderstandings are expertly flung our way by Satan–no matter, not to worry–the Spirit of the LORD sweeps through, snatches back our possessions, clears our thinking, soothes our nerves, and rights every wrong.


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The Enigma of Joseph

Why did Joseph of Arimathaea, who only secretly followed Jesus, now boldly claim his body?

“And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.

Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.

There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.” John 19:38, 40-42

Yesterday, as I read again the staggering story of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus I was struck with what seems a mystery concerning Joseph of Arimathaea. Who was this man? What was he thinking? What caused his action that black day? While I can’t recall hearing of it, I’m sure the subject has been discussed many times and perhaps someone has answers to the question I have about Joseph.

The striking element is that this man who asked for possession of the mutilated body was not one of the twelve apostles. Indeed, according to John’s writing here, Joseph hadn’t even declared himself a follower of Jesus at all, but rather, he was a secret disciple… “for fear of the Jews.” He was a high counselor and a voting member of the Sanhedrin who wanted Jesus put to death.

Something must have happened to Joseph, so that his previous reluctance to reveal himself as a believer had been replaced by such courage that, with all boldness, he approached Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. That seems unusual–think about it–for now Jesus was dead, and it must have appeared He was defeated. To the man, his disciples had deserted Him, while the women stood by weeping. It was dark. It was dismal. The sun hid its face, and an earthquake shook the earth.

During the preceding few hours something must have happened to Joseph. Something helped him put aside his fear, and in its place was raw courage. Gripped by a dauntless spirit, Joseph pled, “Let me have that body, Pilate.”

Why? What happened? How did this man who previously had followed secretly now have the courage to perform this act? Did he believe the Jews would no longer persecute His followers seeing Jesus was now dead? Did his observing the death of Jesus ignite a hitherto unrecognized resolute spirit? Did great passion arise when Joseph observed Jesus’ disciples forsaking him? Did heavy remorse overtake him as he remembered his prior cowardice?

I would love to hear your thoughts and insight.


My other blog is here.

The Paradox of “Good” Friday

I’ve thought often about today in history, and of our reference to the Friday before Easter as being Good Friday, and of how in a very significant way, it was anything but good. Not all parts of the world speak as we do. According to Wikipedia this Friday is described in various ways.

No matter which word we choose, the word proves to be a paradox.

Good Friday, you say? How could such a day have been good?

“And he (Judas) came to Jesus…and kissed him.”

“Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands.”

“Then began he (Peter) to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew…And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.”

Great Friday, you say? How could such a day have been great?

“And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

“And they all forsook him and fled.”

Holy Friday, you say? How could such a day have been holy?

“And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face…”

“Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him…”

“And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head…”

More to truth do these countries speak:

Day of Christ’s Suffering

“And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha where they crucified him…”

Sad Friday

“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, Mary…”

Long Friday

“And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews…came therefore and took the body of Jesus.”

And yet, I fully understand Good and Holy and Great. For on that memorable Friday, salvation for all mankind was wrought.

“And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.

“Jesus said, ‘It is finished.'”


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    A Candle Jar and Servants

    Mosaic Candle Container, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.
    “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…” Mark 10:45
    “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.” Romans 12:10

    The recent comments of Aisha and Kevin have prompted me to write about being a servant, about this beautiful glass jar– a mosiac creation designed to hold a candle– and about Tiffany Grogan. Tiffany Grogan is the epitome of a servant. Let me tell you about her.

    She is a young minister’s wife, who lives in Tulare, and, during the women’s conference in February she was assigned to be my hostess. She called me more than once before the conference began, wanting to know exactly when we were coming so she would be sure to be at the hotel when I arrived. When Jerry and I pulled unto the hotel portico, here she came, a beam of sunshine. She had already checked us into our room, had my badge ready, and was holding a large hospitality basket. She scurried us up to our room, presented me with gifts, little notes, and her telephone number in case I needed anything.

    Then drawing something from her bag, she said, “Do you like candles?”

    “Yes, I love candles.”

    Pictured above is the image of the candle-holder she then placed on the desk, and over which she now hovered. Tears startled my eyes as I stood there, for she was the picture of a servant, and I knew she was doing all this…for me. She was serving me. She struck the match, worried it around until the flame caught, then stood back and smiled.

    “It’s mulberry…and here are some extra tea lights.”

    Throughout the conference she checked on me, and waited on me.

    “Do you need anything, Sister Buxton?”

    “Do you need water?”

    “Here’s Kleenex. You may need that.”

    “You have my phone number. Please call if you need anything.”

    “Shall I walk you to the reception, tonight? What about breakfast?…”

    Kevin Hopper, Aisha Buxton and Tiffany Grogan all have it right: We are to be servants. We are to serve others, especially we who are leaders, especially we who have been handed over the care of tender souls, especially we to whom younger and less schooled ones may gaze. Tenderly and thoughtfully and humbly will we care for those about us.

    Thank you, Tiffany. Thank you for your serving ways, your love, your tender honor, for candles and Kleenex, for cookies and Certs and bottles of water. Thank you for a fresh lesson, that last February within the halls of the Marriott in Visalia you silently and eloquently taught.


    My other blog is here.

    I Can’t Complain

    “I’ve had bad days and I’ve had hills to climb. I’ve had sad days and then a weary mile. Yet when I look about and think these things all out all of the good things outweigh the bad ones. I can’t complain.

    God is so good to me. He is so good to me. More than this world could be. He’s so good to me. His spirit came to me and gave me victory. God is so good to me, I can’t complain.

    Sometimes the clouds hang low. I’d like to see them go. I ask the question. Why so much pain But He knows what’s best for me, although I cannot see, so I just say thank you, Lord. I can’t complain.”

    I’ve heard this beautiful song for years, but until a couple of days ago had never heard that Don Johnson was the writer of the song. I don’t know him, but he seems to be a precious man, and has a smooth comforting voice. On the video he tells of writing the song in 1975, and that I Can’t Complain was sung at the funeral of Ray Charles.

    Don’t have any complaints, do we? This or that hurtful thing will surely cast itself at us, and there are times we walk about bruised and wounded. But in the wide scope of things–when we consider God, His great love, His everlasting mercy, His bountiful generosity–we have no complaints.

    You will be blessed by this song.


    My other blog is here.

    God Thinks About Me

    “…the Lord thinketh upon me…” Psalms 40:17

    Isn’t that the neatest thought. God thinks about me. He knows me intimately, sees my joy and my sorrow, understands my frustration, enters into my celebration and hovers near when I weep through the night. God thinks about me.

    God thinks about you. He sees you today, reckons with your challenges and your disappointments. He smiles when you snatch a handful of festivity or fling into the world a wide throw of encouragement and hope.

    God thinks on the family in India, who in recent days, saw at the birth, that their baby girl was severely deformed. He thinks on my friend Janiver whose cancer has recurred and who is starting a round of chemotherapy today. He thinks on me. He thinks on you.

    Wondrous thought!


    My other blog is here.

    God-Directed Giving and Over Flowing Blessings–Part II

    “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Luke 6:38

    One more vote for God, for His work, for His people!

    Another remarkable development occurred in the life of the young man whose giving story I wrote of yesterday, in which after he gave a $100.00 offering, he was rewarded seven-fold. In the mail on Monday, he received notice that for the next 12 months, an organization will be sending $500.00 monthly to help support his home missions church.

    Yes! God is good, dependable, loving and kind. His precepts and principles are sure.


    My other blog is here.