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).”

Standard
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).”

Standard
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.

Standard
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.

Standard
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.”

Standard
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

Standard
Uncategorized

NO VACANCY

NO VACANCY!

Without reservations, motorists dread a no vacancy sign.

Travelers need rest before driving on to their destinations.

A lit and flashing NO VACANCY sign leaves them weary and discouraged.

Rest assured; heaven has plenty of rooms available.

 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also (John 14:1-3 NKJV).”

Standard
Uncategorized

Christmas Candy Cravings

Christmas candies are part of holiday festivities; unfortunately, candy adds inches to our waistlines.

It’s hard to resist the many wonderful varieties; we’re tempted to sample them all.

Mom made delicious chocolate and peanut butter fudge and the delectable seven layer bars. She always placed hard sugar candies in special dishes and used an heirloom Depression glass dish for ribbon candy.

M & M’s and Hershey Kisses in colors of the season are popular choices for all ages. You’ll want to keep candy canes on hand for all visiting children.

Don’t forget divinity, thin mints and peanut brittle; they make great gifts.

We satisfy our sugar cravings in a number of ways.

We have a deeper desire that God alone can satisfy.

“How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth (Psalm 119:103 NKJV).”

His word is sweet; it satisfies our longings and adds wisdom to the soul.

Standard
Uncategorized

Simeon Saw Salvation

 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth (John 1:14 KJV).”

It wasn’t hearsay.

Simeon saw salvation.

“And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.

And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,

Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:

For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,

Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;

A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel (Luke 2:25-32 KJV).”

JESUS is the light.

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life (John 8:12 KJV).

Standard
Uncategorized

Sleigh Bells

Is that sleigh bells I hear?

Jingle those bells!

Though I grew up in Syracuse, NY and traveled on snowy streets; it was always by car.

 I have never ridden in a winter sleigh or heard the sound of its sleigh bells ringing.

The closest I’ve come was watching Barbara Stanwyck & Dennis Morgan in a romantic scene from Christmas in Connecticut.

A much more important scene had Mary & Joseph in the leading roles.

Mary did not ride in a sleigh; instead she likely traveled by donkey.

“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.


And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:1-7 KJV).”

Standard