Shell Alive!

March 10th, 2024 by Carl Buffington

Shall We Shell?

My wife Barb is an avid sheller and gifted shell finder. I'm her assistant. Of course, Sanibel is notorious for its shells, but then, we are not in the shell hot zone of Sanibel. 

We stay at a place called ''Tween Waters. It's between Sanibel and Captiva Islands. 

That's' not to say the shelling there isn't good. It is...just not as good.

 Not to grumble, but we have oodles of glass containers, even a rather large one shaped like a fish, all around our home filled with seashells. We even have framed shells on our walls, along with prints of shells framed on the walls.

We are beach people.  

Today, the last day of our five-day vacation together, we walked and talked about how shells remind us of just how great our Creator is.

Love Jesus

March 29th, 2023 by Carl Buffington

I love these words from Raymond Brown, a prominent New Testament scholar.  “How did the following of Jesus which involved love for him survive after he died? 

The answer, I suggest, is that it survived only because love for Jesus was looked on as an ongoing element, even among those who never knew him during his ministry.”  (From The Churches the Apostles Left Behind, by Raymond E. Brown p. 97)

Sometimes the love for Jesus is extravagant.  Here are a couple of images of extravagant love from John’s gospel.  

One is Mary, the sister to Lazarus and Martha, anointing Jesus at dinner. And the other is Peter being asked over and over again if he really loves Jesus. I think something beautiful was going on inside the heart of both Mary and Peter.

Are You  Set for Life?

March 28th, 2023 by Carl Buffington

In 1962 Decca Recording Company rejected the Beatles.  They said, ‘We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”

In 1977 Ken Olson, Chairman of Digital Equipment Co., said, ‘There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”

Sometimes we miss what lies ahead. 

What If The Church Were the 5H Club?

March 23rd, 2023 by Barb Buffington

Most of you have probably heard of 4H clubs.

Carl and I went to a horseshow this past weekend to watch our granddaughter.  It was put on by 4H, and the environment and ambiance of the day made me stop and think.

We witnessed genuine attitudes of kindness and caring, lots of encouragement, and a camaraderie that isn’t always evident in competition.

Our daughter shared that there is a true community spirit and a welcoming attitude.  Everyone in the club wants the best for each other – they have each other’s backs.

Kind of makes you think…hmmm…isn’t this what Christian community should look like when others view it from the outside or walk into a church? 

Indeed, all those traits and with Christ in the center – WOW!  So, what if the Church was the 5H club?

How to  Love Well This Lent

March 13th, 2023 by Carl Buffington

At the end of my days, I would like my epitaph to read something like, 

“Here lies Carl, he loved well.”

Perhaps even before the end of my days. It is said that Annie Dillard said, “The way we live our lives is the way we live our days.“ 

So I have decided that I would even like to hear at the end of Lent’s days, “Carl Loved Well this Lent.”  

 Yes, at the end of Lent and Life, I’d like to have loved well.

How do you love others well?

I like to add to Annie’s saying, that the way we live our days is the way we live our moments.  So nowadays, I try and keep an eye out for “holy moments.”  

I saw one while visiting family in North Carolina a few months ago. 

Be Loved

March 7th, 2023 by Carl Buffington

“Will you help me find my mommy?”  It was a small shaky voice, from a 5ish-year-old named Tommy, that I heard that gorgeous spring morning. 

I had settled into what had seemed to be a deserted pool area at the hotel, found a lounge chair and table, and posited a pile of books.  It was Lent and I was on a quest, wanting to see again and anew the enormity of God’s love manifest on the Friday we call Good. 

My Sin and Reggie Quinn

February 25th, 2023 by Barb Buffington

It’s Lent - a season where our thoughts and attention turn to repentance, confession, sin, and the cross as we journey to Good Friday and then on to Easter.

A few weeks ago, our small group spoke briefly of sin and children, which sparked some reflection in me and I hope these stories might provoke some thoughts in you as well.

Are we born sinners? Ahhh…some ask, how can an innocent baby be born a sinner? Here are a few stories from my past, that will let you know I have been a sinner all my life, even before I knew cognitively what sin was! I may not have known it at the time, but oh my goodness….

Reflecting on Salt and Light in Lent

February 21st, 2023 by Carl Buffington

Time and time again I failed horribly at giving up chocolate for Lent.  It was worse than any New Year’s resolution I might have made.  So, long ago, I decided to take up, not give up, things for Lent.  What to take up?

Do Be Do Be Do: During Lent

February 20th, 2023 by Carl Buffington

I am excited to hear stories about the revival at Asbury College in KY.  Our daughter-in-law went to be part of it a few days ago.  In the mid-90s, I traveled to revivals in Brownsville, FL, and another in Toronto.  People, like me I suppose, want to be where God is moving mightily, where lives are being touched, changed, and healed.  Maybe we want to see him up close?  Want to be with God.

What Can We Learn from Children?

May 12th, 2022 by Sara Buffington

Have you ever sat in a restaurant booth?  It’s like being in a little pod. You are so close to the people in the booths beside you, but they feel a mile away. You feel enclosed; you have privacy.

Not so if there is a young child in the booth next to you. Kids don’t respect the privacy of the booth. They stand or kneel on the booth seat and peer over the top to see what their neighbors are doing.

They outright stare. 

You are eating your shrimp tacos and chatting with the people in your party, and the neighboring child is watching every move you make. They don’t smile when you smile. They don’t wave when you wave. 

They watch you.

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