Ever Learning

“I didn’t go to the Bible study because I was ‘dogsitting.'” Actually she said she was “taking care of the babies,” but both she and Jerry knew she was referring to her caring of two small dogs. Admittedly, adorable dogs…pampered dogs.

I wasn’t there when she said it, but Jerry told me about it later. I just stared as he relayed the message, and a kind of sadness settled over me. For the one who said that to him is really a sweet and loving person, who in many ways has begun to reach out for God, and who has made great strides in ridding her life of negative and harmful habits. I feel sympathy for her…sympathy because just yet it appears this very sweet lady may need a wee adjustment in the setting of her priorities.

But how can I judge? For often I am guilty of the same thing. Oh, it is not revealed in such flagrant demonstration as the missing of a Bible study because I don’t want to leave an animal alone. Rather it is highlighted by my limited amount of Bible reading, my pitiful measure of energy given to witnessing to other people and my small effort at intense personal prayer. God help me to improve my own life, to delve more deeply into the ways of God, to perfect my own spirit. Have patience with me God, please extend anew your grace and mercy. For without them, I am destined for damnation.

I love the words of David in Psalm 27:4-5…and this is truly my prayer.

“One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion; in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.”

I do desire my Lord. I do want to seek after Him. I do want to dwell in His house and behold His beauty.


My other blog is here.

No Room for Error

Trail Edge, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

I didn’t talk to him about it myself, but Jerry told me that yesterday Michael successfully flew his Cross-Country, which means he is very close to having his pilot’s license.

“I got scared once though, Dad, for I looked around and determined that I was off course. I could see the river and I probably could have found my way, but I decided not to do that.”

He turned around, flew back to the Lake Havasu airport and landed. There, he replotted, and found that indeed he had been off 15 degrees.

There is just no room for error when flying through the skies. Jerry and I recently returned from a vacation trip to Colorado where we did a bit of four-wheeling, and there also is no room for error. I took this picture from the window of our Jeep and as you can see by looking at the tiny trees far down the ravine, we were perched on the edge…and there was no room for error. Look carefully and you will see our tiny trail down there. Had Jerry miscalculated just a few inches, we would have crashed into the deep valley.

As important as is safety in 4-wheeling and in plane flying, so much more are God’s Word and His directions important. We can’t afford to take them lightly, but just as the pilot carefully plots, and the Jeep driver cautiously maneuvers the treacherous trails, so we must delve into God’s Word and with all prayerfulness and studiousness examine its instructions and chart our way.

There is no room for error.

My other blog is here.

God Wants You Anyway

I’ve read this before, but when I came across this writing today, it reverberated in my little soul, and I wanted to share with you. Perhaps you’re feeling inadequate today, or perhaps you have sensed that you are not the successful person you had envisioned you would become. Maybe you’re coming to grips with the fact that you may never attain your goals, nor reach the stars for which you stretched. Take heart! God uses such as you and me–even with our limitations and inadequacies. Hey, and we’re in good company! Love it.

– Moses stuttered.
— David’s armor didn’t fit.
— John Mark was rejected by Paul.
—- Hosea’s wife was a prostitute.
—– Amos’ only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning.
—— Jacob was a liar.
——- David had an affair.
——– Solomon was too rich.
——— Abraham was too old.
———- David was too young.
———– Timothy had ulcers.
———— Peter was afraid of death.
————- Lazarus was dead.
————– John was self-righteous.
————— Jesus was too poor.
————– Naomi was a widow.
————- Paul was a murderer. So was Moses.
———— Jonah ran from God.
———– Miriam was a gossip.
———- Gideon and Thomas both doubted.
——— Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.
——– Elijah was burned out.
——- John the Baptist was a loudmouth.
—— Martha was a worry-wart.
—– Mary was lazy.
—- Samson had long hair.
— Noah got drunk.
— Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse?
– So did Peter, Paul – well, lots of folks did.

— But God doesn’t require a job interview.
— He doesn’t hire and fire like most bosses,
— Because He’s more our Dad than our Boss.
— He doesn’t look at financial gain or loss.
— He’s not prejudiced or partial,
— Not judging, grudging, sassy, or brassy,
— Not deaf to our cry,
— Not blind to our need

(Author unknown)


My other blog is here.

Scrutiny of the Holy


“They don’t study the counterfeit–they study the genuine.”

I’m told that in banks and other places where they deal with significant amounts of money, and where they must be able to discern legal from counterfeit bills, they make little study–if any–of counterfeit money. Instead they scrutinize the genuine, and from such acute attention and analysis of the bank notes, the dinero, or the shekel, become expert in detecting that which is false–the counterfeit.

Such is true in our Christian lives as we persue Godliness. We must gaze at that which is holy, righteous, and beautiful. We refuse to camp on the ugly in ourselves, the imperfect part, the limp, the scar, the tattered, the torn, the weak, the disappointing. Never will we fix our gaze there. Instead, we latch onto the instructions of Paul as he addressed the church at Philippi, including its bishops and deacons.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” 4:8

Happy and profitable scrutinizing, my friend.


My other blog is here.

Abandoned! Cost Too High

Deserted Harness Racing Stadium Phoenix, AZ., originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

During the past few years, as we entered the city of Phoenix on Interstate 10, I have been captivated by this building, and wondered about its history. It is of striking architecture, and it appears abandoned. Last Wednesday as we neared the city limits, I had my camera at the ready, Jerry pulled to the shoulder, and through my open window I clicked off a couple of shots. I’ve questioned my friends who live in the area, and have done additional research about this fascinating structure at exit 124 near the city limits of Phoenix. Embedded within the accounts of this beautiful edifice are indelible and practical lessons–both spiritual and economic.

“Phoenix Trotting Park was built in 1964 and opened in 1965. It was originally supposed to be built for $3 million, but after Italian architects and contractors were brought in it wound up closer to $10 million, essentially bankrupting its builder, James Dunnigan, who had operated Buffalo Raceway. It was built of reinforced concrete, and could have withstood a direct hit by a hydrogen bomb. Delvin Miller, harness racing’s Mr. Everything, implored Dunnigan to forego building a track, and instead workout a deal with Turf Paradise to install lights for a million or so and race harness nights at that thoroughbred track. That advice, feasible at the time, could have resulted in harness racing today in Phoenix. Instead, Phoenix Trotting Park went belly up and was bought by Sportservice, to make sure no reincarnation took place and its greyhound operation in Phoenix was protected. It is still standing, and some future travelers from space probably will regard it in the same way Stonehenge in Britain is regarded today……a monument built in the desert by sun worshipers. Sad story from start to finish.” -Stan Bergstein

Really great pictures and more writings are here and here.

In ancient days, Jesus spoke to the almost exact scenario in the 14th chapter of Luke. Verses 28-30 “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,

Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.”

Although there are certainly economic lessons here, Jesus was actually teaching about the cost of discipleship, for He preceded the verses I listed with these: verses 25-27

” And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”

Now I know that none of you who are reading here would be of those who fail to calculate the cost of serving Jesus. For we understand the greatest dichotomy of the universe is that although salvation is free, having been purchased by the shed blood of Jesus, those who are disciples of His must give all, must pay a great price to follow Him. But sadly, there are those, who without full consideration and understanding of God’s ways, decide to serve Him. Sure, I will accept Christ, cool, sounds promising, lots of benefits, politically correct, fun. But when pledges are called in, sacrifices are demanded, and discomfort nudges at the heel, such people hedge and back away. Oh, no, I can’t do that, I didn’t know I couldn’t continue in my previous ways, partake of my old sins. I can’t give up that, can’t be denied of this or that or of another. I have commitments, engagements, jobs to do.

But that one who has truly counted the costs sees the price as trivial and infinitesimal. For in exchange we walk side by side with our Master, He calls us Friend, and whispers direction into our ears. We have sat down, honestly considered the cost, and are fully willing and able to pay.


My other blog is here.



A Found and Recognized Book

I was interested to read yesterday of the novelist, who as an experiment, submitted to 18 publishers “assorted chapters from (Jane) Austen novels in which he changed just the titles and the names of the chapters.” Seventeen of the publishers flatly rejected the book–only one seemed to recognize the famous work.

LONDON (Reuters) – Even Jane Austen would have trouble finding a publisher today, a struggling author revealed Thursday.

David Lassman sent off to 18 publishers assorted chapters from Austen novels in which he changed just the titles and the names of the characters.

He called himself Alison Laydee after Austen’s early pseudonym “A Lady.”

Seventeen publishers rejected or ignored his bid for literary glory. Only one spotted the ruse and told him not to mimic “Pride and Prejudice” so closely.

As soon as I read this, I thought of the millions of Bibles that lie around our houses–on our coffee tables, stuffed away in our book shelves, and for the most part, whose sterling writings are unappreciated and undiscerned. A few recognize this great Book for what it is; most of the world, sadly, does not.

The old testament story of King Josiah who assumed the throne at the age of eight years is an inspirational prompting to spur us anew into consideration of God’s word. Josiah followed the reign of two evil kings. Because of his youth, Josiah was tutored by the high priest, Hilkiah, until his maturity. At this time, the Word of God had vanished, indeed had been lost. The nation was vile and fully given to idolatry.

In the 18th year of his reign, Josiah sent messengers, including the scribe, Shaphan, to Hilkiah, concerning an accounting of money. While they were with there, Hilkiah told them, “I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD.” And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.

And Shaphan…showed the king, saying, “Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book.” And Shaphan read it before the king.

And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes…

And the king commanded…”Go ye, enquire of the LORD for me, and for the people…concerning the words of this book that is found; for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book…”

Courageous young Josiah began cleaning up the nation–because the Book of the Lord had been found. He make a covenant to walk after the LORD, removed from the temple all vessels that were made for Baal, burned them and carried their ashes to Bethel. He put down the idolatrous priests, brought out the evil grove and burned it at the brook Kidron and stamped it to powder, broke down the houses of the sodomites, threw out the false priests, did away with child sacrifices, burned the chariots of the evil kings, tore down and broke up false altars…and on and on.

Such a dynamic lesson is here for the peoples of the world. In too many places the Book of God has vanished. Oh, many have heard of it, but they have never read it, or even seen a copy. May we do our part to again regard these precious writings, may we heed its instructions, and from our hearts and from our places, tear out those images, thoughts and concepts that conflict with the holy teachings of God’s Word.


My other blog is here.

Guaranteed–God Made The Day

DSC_0247, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

“This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

Have you considered –I mean really thought about it–that God makes all our days. He designs each sunrise, and never is today’s the same as that of yesterday, nor has ever blazed a sunset, a mere replica of its precursor. There are no copies, no counterfeits, no images.

Each spectacular rising and setting is created by God. Through His fingers trickle the rivers and the seas, and at His voice, brown and green and purple mountains leap the horizon. His mighty Arm scoops out the canyons and marks well the Pacific sands. With undiminished strength His blazing finger describes a jag of lightening, and darkens the sky with marks of grey and black and golden.

He opens each bud, swims every duck, sets free the moment, greens the sapling and roars every lion. He creates our days.

Who else could create a day? No one. No one else beside our God, Jehovah, Jesus Christ. Could any dare draw the curtain of a new dawn, or fashion the deep and rare midnight. None, I say.

This is the day–happy or sad–fulfilling or lonely–stormy or placid–rich or poor–successful or buried at the bottom–of anguish or unmitigated joy–This is the day which the Lord hath made. I will rejoice and be glad in it!

The Significance of the Number 7

As the whole world knows, today is the rare date of 7/7/7–July 7, 2007–well, I suppose any date is rare, since there will never be another such one. The lineup of the 7s is the exceptional mark of this Saturday, however.

For as long as I can recall, I have been told that the number 7 is the number of perfection. Since early this morning, I have been wondering about that. How do we know that to be so? Does the Bible tell us that?

I know that:

God rested on the 7th day.

A Jubilee year was 7 times 7

The Bible lists 7 churches of Asia.

Jesus’ geneology lists Him 77th in a direct line. (I read that somewhere and don’t know if it is true or not.)

Israel circled Jericho for 7 days.

The world has 7 continents.

There are 7 days in a week.

But does any of that prove that the number 7 is that of perfection? I want to hear from you Bible scholars out there. Help me.

God’s Delight–A Just Weight


A Just Weight, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.


The scale came to be mine when I handed over $2.50 to the thrift store clerk. I had thought of such an instrument for my Ebay business—a business which admittedly, at this time, is but an indistinct vision in my probably over-active, non-realistic cranium.

I’m convinced of the wisdom of God, our creator, but if per chance there is an place where He slipped up a bit, it surely is in the area of the disproportionate rate of the decline of the body and of the mind. Several years ago my skittering mind refused to move on, and even yet considers itself a teen-ager, while my body–well aware that in just over a year, seventy candles will be on its birthday cake—screeches, and distinctly yelps, “Slow down!”

Anyway, back to the scale that my mind instructed me to buy for my budding business at which my body sneers. It’s a nice little piece, this Pelouze postal scale, although when I checked its accuracy—using a can of diet Coke, I found it to be heavy by two ounces. I reached to the back and fiddled with the zero adjustment knob until I judged my scale to be precise. For I understand the call to balanced weights, and to exact measurements.


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The root of my understanding comes from God. Clearly, the principle is embedded throughout His Word—from early Genesis to the final words of Revelation. Consider these.

Job cries out:

“Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity.” Job 31:6

And in Proverbs:

“A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.”

What a blessed understanding is in these scriptures.. When we step on God’s scales, when He weighs our actions, when He judges our faith and our works, He wants them evenly balanced. God orders just, exact, precise balance in every portion of our lives, whether it concerns earthly things as we deal with our fellowman or if it is of the inner man—our souls, our spirits.

False, uneven, dishonest? God hates such. It is an abomination to Him. Just, orderly, even? God delights in it!


My other blog is here.


Invested in God’s Perfection

Often I observe the things I am doing, and the efforts I am expending in the work of God, and to tell the truth, they look rather feeble, and given merely a cursory glance, one would be prone to say they are likely not worthy to be called God’s work.

Encouragement came to me this afternoon as I sat in my motor home living room and read from Ecclesiastes 3:14 where the wise man says,

“I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.”

Great! I said to myself. Whatever God does shall be forever, long-lasting, eternal; not feeble, not shaky, and certainly not wobbling around…nothing added to it, nothing taken away. My challenge then is to be sure that what I do is God’s work–not a work of my own, not fashioned from my mortal mind, but at the mark of His omniscient ways. My days must be spent following God’s direction, moving my hands only as He places His over mine, directing their every course–stepping in cadence to His baton, a baton of the ages.


My other blog is here.