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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Bible Studies, Devotionals

‘If’ You Get My Drift

I recall an incident when our Son, Lee, was two or three years old. We were shopping with his Grandmother and she pointed out a toy Volkswagen, asking him, “Can you say Volkswagen?”

In a matter of fact way, he answered that his mouth wasn’t big enough.

Words do not have to be long or difficult to pronounce to be powerful, “if” you get my drift.

The tempter tried to manipulate Jesus with ifology.’

“Then the tempter approached Him and said, ‘If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread (Matthew 4:3 HCSB).”

When that failed he tried to convince Jesus to jump from a temple high place.

If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:

He will give His angels orders concerning you,
and they will support you with their hands
so that you will not strike
your foot against a stone (Matthew 4:6b HCSB).”

You must admit it; the devil is persistent.

Showing Jesus a worldly kingdom, he tempted Him again.

And he said to Him, ‘I will give You all these things if You will fall down and worship me (Matthew 4:9 HCSB).”

The master of deception fell in defeat when he challenged the Master.

 Jesus reigns triumphant! He is the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6)

“Then Jesus told him, ‘Go away, Satan! For it is written:

Worship the Lord your God,
and serve only Him.

Then the Devil left Him, and immediately angels came and began to serve Him (Matthew 4:10-11 HCSB).”

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Uncategorized

Be His Valentine

Be His Valentine by Pam Ford Davis {Free to Share}

Be His Valentine

Introduction:

My Valentine’s Day memories take me back to school days.

In elementary school our teachers decorated big cardboard boxes with red paper and construction paper hearts.

Each year, our teacher had us each bring a named valentine for all classmates and place them in the boxes.

When Valentine’s Day rolled around, we had parties with delicious refreshments.

Someone at the party was assigned the task of handing out each valentine which had been sealed in an envelope.

With anticipation, I opened one-by-one. My name was on front.

Would some boy ask me to be his Valentine?

My early teens brought a big surprise.

I had a secret admirer.

A boy put a Valentine’s heart shaped box of chocolates in my school locker.

I’m all grown up now.

Norm, my husband of 54 years has given me candy and beautiful greeting cards.

He has escorted me to countless church sweetheart banquets.

One year, he gave me the treasure of God’s word, an ‘Amplified Bible.’

I.) Background on Valentine’s Day

Have you ever given much thought to how February 14th became a holiday?

A)There was a martyred 3rd Century Roman Priest or Bishop who served in ministry to persecuted churches. This priest was buried in a cemetery on February 14th. The Feast of Saint Valentine has been observed since the year 496. 

Confusion steps in. There were two men known by the name Saint Valentine.

[Above information: Wiki]  

More background on the red letter (and hearts) day…

B) It has roots as a pagan fertility day.

Love became the present day theme back in 5th Century England and France. 

They believed that the bird mating season began on February 14th

[Above information: Good Housekeeping}

II.) Now and Forever Love is the Theme

                 Love is the Theme by Albert C. Fisher (1896-1946)/ Public Domain

 1 Of the themes that men have known,
One supremely stands alone;
Through the ages it has shown,
‘Tis His wonderful, wonderful love.

Chorus:
Love is the theme, love is supreme;
Sweeter it grows, glory bestows;
Bright as the sun ever it glows!
Love is the theme, eternal theme!

2 Let the bells of heaven ring,
Let the saints their tribute bring,
Let the world true praises sing
For His wonderful, wonderful love.

[Chorus]

3 Since the Lord my soul unbound,
I am telling all around,
Pardon, peace and joy are found
In His wonderful, wonderful love.

[Chorus]

4 As of old when blind and lame
To the blessed Master came,
Sinners, call ye on His name,
Trust His wonderful, wonderful love.

[Chorus]

God wrote the theme.

God is LOVE.

“We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him (1 John 4:16 NASB).”

God loves us so much…

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him. The one who believes in Him is not judged; the one who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God (John 3:16-18 NASB).”  

His Love is beyond description; it defies logic.

“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous person; though perhaps for the good person someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6-8 NASB).”

He chose you; He picked you out as His Valentine!

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,  just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love  He predestined us to adoption as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, with which He favored us in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:3-6 NASB).”  

God’s theme of Love is unconditional.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB).”

III). Reciprocal Love  

In return; we give our love, our hearts to God.

“But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him: ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment (Matthew 22:34-38 NASB).”

Be His Valentine.

Just a reminder. God wants you to have other Valentines, too.

“The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Upon these two commandments hang the whole Law and the Prophets (Matthew 22:39-40 NASB).” 

Closing Prayer

Invitation

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Devotionals

Heart Murmur

I’m announcing my candidacy; it is official, I am accepting the nomination for President of the UGA (United Gripers of America).

I have years of experience and am qualified to voice complaints on behalf of my constituency.

My voice carries well and the DNA clearly reveals a heritage of gripers who carried their cutting remarks to the top.

Moses led his nation from slavery to the outskirts of the Promised Land; along the way, he dealt with the daily discontent of his accusers. They maligned him and griped about their living conditions.

 “Then they said to Moses, is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt (Exodus 14:11NASB)?”

Pharaoh’s slave drivers had dealt them a cruel blow; Moses had led them out to freedom and yet they murmured against him. The gripes had taken deep root and the Great Physician could make an accurate diagnosis of a progressive heart murmur.

God had His leader in place and spoke through him to the Israelites.

Moses told the gripers to fear not; the Lord would deliver them. (Exodus 14:13)

There was one stipulation.

“The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent (Exodus 14:14 NASB).

I don’t think the UGA will miss me…

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