Uncategorized

Christmas is Coming!

Homesickness is a common malady; beware, it mercilessly strikes around this time of year.

Though I call our current residence home, (like many) I consider the neighborhood where I grew up as my home.

In my case, I have no family left in the small CNY State neighborhood.

Yet, each Christmas I visualize our Mycenae living room and the Ford family tinsel decked tree.

Homesickness is apt to pop-up at any time of year; even grown men are susceptible.

My Dad briefly resided in Southern California, at Devore.

His furnished apartment was in walking distance from me; my husband and our two young children.

At first, my father put up a good front; (not wanting to admit how homesick he was).

Soon, the facade fell.

Dad made sudden plans to go back home.

I know he was happy to return to family and the familiar surroundings he was accustomed to.

“Like a bird that wanders from its nest is a man who wanders from his place (Proverbs 27:8 NKJV).”

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Devotionals

The Devil on a Leash

My husband and I aren’t dog owners but the majority of my family and friends are.

Many have more than one fur baby to keep them company. Dogs like to run free but leash laws are strictly enforced in many towns and cities.

You might not realize it but God keeps the devil on a leash.

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.’The Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.’ Then Satan answered the Lord, ‘Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a fence around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But reach out with Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will certainly curse You to Your face.’Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not reach out and put your hand on him.’ So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord (Job 1:6-12 NASB).”

God holds the leash; He limits the devil’s power.

Restrictions are strictly enforced.

“So the Lord said to Satan, ‘Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life (Job 2:6 NASB).”

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Bible Studies

Aliens

They were not invaders from Mars or Pluto.

They were not little green men who used ray guns.

Enemies didn’t view them through 3-D glasses.

Yet, the people of Egypt thought they were dealing with an alien population explosion.

“Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, ‘Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are more and mightier than we (Exodus 1:8-9 NASB).”

The Egyptians made their lives intolerable.

“But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out, so that they were in dread of the sons of Israel (Exodus 1:12 NASB).”

 God witnessed the cruelty of the Egyptians. Then, and now, He hears the cries of aliens.

“He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing. So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt (Deuteronomy 10:18-19 NASB).”

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Uncategorized

The Ransom

Most have heard of the 1932 Charles Lindbergh case.  Lindbergh paid a large ransom and yet his child was murdered.

Our attention is drawn to kidnapping situations.

What if someone we loved was kidnapped and held hostage?

What would we do?

Would we pay a ransom?

Kidnapping dramas are acted out on stage; television and in movies.

Act One:

The family usually receives a ransom note or a phone call with no specific leads to follow. They hear only the terrible news; the kidnappers are holding their spouse or child captive. The kidnapper tells them not to notify the police. If they do, the one taken will be killed.

Next, there are sleepless nights and frantic pacing.

The family waits; they wait for the next note or call.

Act Two:

The 2nd message has detailed step-by-step instructions. Come alone and bring a designated amount of cash (usually in small unmarked bills) to a secluded area. Family members begin to pull large sums of money together. At this point, the police and FBI often become involved. The law tries to rescue the kidnapped and comfort the family.

Act Three:

Results vary. Many times the FBI and police out maneuver the kidnappers. They free the one who has been held hostage. If not, there is heartache and sorrow for the survivors.

Do you realize that as a Christian you were once held captive to sin? The lost have been abducted by Satan’s lies.

JESUS frees us; the ransom has been paid!

“…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28b HCSB).”

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Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals

Liberty

‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’ (Declaration of Independence, United States of America)

Life…

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16 KJV).”

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent (John 17:3 KJV).”

“Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.

Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.

Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world (John 11:21-27 KJV).”


Liberty…

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:1 KJV).”

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:31-32 KJV).”


Pursuit of Happiness…

Trust Him.

“For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

And having food and raiment let us be therewith content (1Timothy 6:6b-8 KJV).”



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Uncategorized

In the Midst!

Do you worship in a small congregation?

Be encouraged: the Lord is in the midst!

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them (Matthew 18:20 KJV).”

Is a mega church your place to gather with other Christ followers?

Though mega churches make headlines, they are not new.

“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls (Acts 2:41 KJV).”

Your house of worship might be mini, mid or mega sized.

It matters not; worship and serve in his name.

“Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God (Psalm 100:2-3a KJV).”

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Salvation, Uncategorized

Memorial Day-A Day of Remembrance

[This is an old message but I think we need yearly reminders.]

On this Memorial Day, let us remember fallen soldiers around the world. We unite to honor the memory of those who were killed in battle. It is more than duty; it’s longing.

It is especially painful to survivors when remains are unidentifiable; there is no closure. This led to resting places in numerous nations for those listed as unknown soldiers. The United States remembers their unknown fallen at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.

Apostle Paul walked the streets of Athens and felt sadness as he observed the worship of idols. It compelled him to share his knowledge of Jesus resurrection in synagogues and the market place.

The crowds thought the message was strange but they enjoyed discussions about new ideas. (Acts 17: 15-21) Paul seized the moment as an opportunity for evangelism.

“And Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, ‘Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ What therefore you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. (Acts 17:22-23 NASB).”

He introduced them to the Creator, the giver of life, calling people to repentance. God does not record a list of unknowns.

“O LORD, Thou has searched me and known me (Psalm 139:1 NASB).”

He knows all about us; He knows me.

“Thou does scrutinize my path and my lying down, and art intimately acquainted with all my ways (Psalm 139:3 NASB).”

There is great comfort in the realization that none is unknown by the One who formed them. Nations may not be able to identify soldiers; yet, God calls them all by name.

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Bible Studies, Family, Uncategorized

Biblical Genealogy

‘The Name Game’ was a tongue-twister novelty song recorded back in 1964.   

Families might invent their own versions of the name game.

The winner would find the number of times that a name has been used in their family and with extended relatives.

I don’t have a final count but I know the name Ashley tops the most used in the Davis family. It was first common as a male’s name. Remember ‘Gone With the Wind?’

My father-in-law was named A.N. (for Ashley Norman). My husband Norm’s official name is Ashley Norman Jr. Though our son goes by the name of Lee, his legal name is Ashley Norman III.

His son?

You guessed it Ashley Norman IV but that’s not all.

There are several female Ashley’s among our relatives.

Recently, I noticed something interesting when reading Biblical genealogy.

King David had a sister named Abigail.

“and Jesse fathered Eliab his firstborn, then Abinadab, the second, Shimea, the third,  Nethanel, the fourth, Raddai, the fifth,  Ozem, the sixth, and David, the seventh. Their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail (1 Chronicles 2:13-16a NASB).”

There’s more; David had a wife named Abigail!

“Then David sent a proposal to Abigail, to take her as his wife. When the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they spoke to her, saying, ‘David has sent us to you to take you to him as his wife.’And she got up and bowed with her face to the ground, and said, ‘Behold, your slave is a servant to wash the feet of my lord’s servants.’Then Abigail got up quickly, and rode on a donkey, with her five female attendants who accompanied her; and she followed the messengers of David and became his wife (1 Samuel 25:39-42 NASB).”

I have always admired David’s wife Abigail.

If I had given birth to a second daughter, I would have named her Abigail Jean.

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Palm Sunday, Uncategorized

Hosanna!

 

Matthew 21:1-11

New American Standard Bible

When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus then sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with it. Untie them and bring them to Me. And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them on immediately.’ Now this took place so that what was spoken through the prophet would be fulfilled:

‘Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold your King is coming to you,
Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them,  and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their cloaks on them; and He sat on the cloaks. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them on the road.  Now the crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting,

‘Hosanna to the Son of David;
Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord;
Hosanna in the highest!’

When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, ‘Who is this?‘ And the crowds were saying, ‘This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

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Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Crucifixion, Devotionals, Redemption, Resurrection, Salvation

Three Days; I Believe!

Three days…

“Jesus answered, ‘Destroy this sanctuary, and I will raise it up in three days.’

Therefore the Jews said, ‘This sanctuary took 46 years to build, and will You raise it up in three days?’

But He was speaking about the sanctuary of His body. So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this. And they believed the Scripture and the statement Jesus had made (John 2:19-22 HCSB).”

I believe.

“As they were eating, He took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to them, and said, ‘Take it; this is My body.’

Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He gave it to them, and so they all drank from it. He said to them, ‘This is My blood that establishes the covenant; it is shed for many. I assure you: I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it in a new way in the kingdom of God (Mark 14:22-25 HCSB).”

His body, His kingdom…

“Your kingdom come.

Your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10 HCSB).”

Three days…

“For as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights (Matthew 12:40 HCSB).”

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