Daily Devotion from Pam

 

An Old Fashioned Sleigh Ride by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

Have you ever taken an old fashioned sleigh ride?

The tradition continues.

Even folks living in tropical climates are familiar with the Christmastime mode of transportation. Maybe a Dixie Darlin has never played in the snow or rode in a sleigh but she can daydream.

The ambiance of sleigh rides turns couples thoughts to romance. Sweethearts drift across well packed snow; blocking north winds to keep warm, they snuggle close. I must be getting old; I’d be miserable if riding very long in a sleigh. Brr… I’m too accustomed to our car heater.

I’ll settle for pictures of sleighs and sleigh-bell Christmas tunes.

Elijah the prophet took the ride of a lifetime!

“So he said, You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so. Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven (2 Kings 2:10-11 NKJ).”

Chariot or sleigh ride?

I know one thing; Elijah’s destination is no daydream!

 

The Greatest Gift by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

Have you made out your Christmas list, yet; are you checking it twice?

God distributes gifts to all of His children.

“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father givethe Holy Spirit to those who ask Him (Luke 11:13 HCSB).”

Ask and receive.

“… since God’s gracious gifts and calling are irrevocable (Romans 11:29 HCSB).”

Do you know what your ‘spiritual gift’ is? (See: Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:8-10)

The greatest gift is love.

“Love is patient, love is kind.
Love does not envy,
is not boastful, is not conceited,
does not act improperly,
is not selfish, is not provoked,
and does not keep a record of wrongs.
Love finds no joy in unrighteousness
but rejoices in the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends.
But as for prophecies,
they will come to an end;
as for languages, they will cease;
as for knowledge, it will come to an end.
For we know in part,
and we prophesy in part.
But when the perfect comes,
the partial will come to an end.
When I was a child,
I spoke like a child,
I thought like a child,
I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man,
I put aside childish things.
For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror,
but then face to face.
Now I know in part,
but then I will know fully,
as I am fully known.
 Now these three remain:
faith, hope, and love.
But the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:4-13 HCSB).”

 

A Very Merry Christmas by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

Am I ‘wishing’ you a Merry Christmas?

No, I’m not wishing; I have a hope and faith that God wants to richly bless you.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1 KJV).”

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Take the angel’s message to the shepherds seriously; take it to heart.

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:10-11 KJV).”  

We each have a valid reason to experience great joy. We are loved.

The Father loves us.

“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).”

Jesus loves us.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13 KJV).”

God wants YOU to have a Merry Christmas.

He wants you to rejoice.

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice (Philippians 4:4 KJV).”

 

Great Shepherd by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

Remember this childhood taunt?

‘It takes one to know one!’

Before common shepherds knew Jesus as Great Shepherd, they worshiped him as Saviour.

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them (Luke 2:8-20 KJV).”

 

They Came Bearing Gifts by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

Our Ford family opened presents on Christmas Eve. The gift distribution began after the arrival of Grandma & Grandpa Ford along with Aunt Jessie & Uncle Wallace Ford. They came bearing gifts.

As a child, I wanted toys. Because Aunt Jessie worked in Dey Brothers Department Store, Syracuse, she gave quality gifts of clothing.

Wise men traveled to Bethlehem; they came bearing gifts of great value. The King of the Jews deserved the very best.

“When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh (Matthew 2:9-11 KJV).”

Each gift had great significance.

The gold was given in recognition of Jesus role as king. The frankincense acknowledged divinity; myrrh, his humanity (death and burial). *Based on ‘The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah’ by Alfred Edersheim (1825-1889) Book II, Chapter VIII. 

 

 

Fulfilled Promise by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

“I’ve got a surprise for you, said my husband Norm!”

My curiosity and the suspense are getting the best of me. I wonder what the surprise might be and hope I won’t be disappointed.

I have shared the following story before but it goes so well with said disappointments. My siblings and I knew our parents had a Christmas surprise; our imaginations ran wild.

In reality, it was a second hand bicycle. Dad had painstakingly painted it for us to share with one another. Big disappointment…

Simeon’s surprise was far from a disappointment. It was a fulfilled promise.

“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.

And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him (Luke 2:25-33 KJV).”

 

His Divine Mission by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

Savior and LORD; born in Bethlehem, lying in a manger.

“And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger (Luke 2:12 KJV).”

The babe in the manger was God the Son. Jesus, as Son of the Father and Son of Man lived out his divine mission.

“But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:20-21 KJV).”

The Savior was born.

Have you been saved; experienced the new birth?

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3 KJV).”

Jesus saves.

“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.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:16-17 KJV).”

 

Great With Child by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

The births of children are etched in the memories of their mothers. Our two children were born in 1968 and 1971. I could give a detailed account of the long hours of labor and my time in delivery rooms leading up to their births. It’s said that Gospel writer Luke received the account of Jesus’ birth from Mary.

“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).”

I visualize Mary’s expressions and body language as she spoke to Doctor Luke. She had been ‘great with child.’ Her long months of waiting and preparation came to a close.

Mary delivered the Deliverer.

Prophetic Significance by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

 Judaea in the days of Herod the king, Divine announcements are of prophetic significance.

“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting (Micah 5:2 KJV).”

It was significant; written, and handed down through the generations.

“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem ofbehold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel (Matthew 2:1-6 KJV).”

Yes, Jesus was born in Bethlehem and he will return to reign over all people and nations.

“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever (Revelation 11:15 KJV).”

 

 

Mary Waited by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

Are you one of those people?

You know, one of those people who rattle Christmas presents?

I’d guess that nearly none have determined the contents by shaking gift wrapped packages. Do you think that will deter us? Probably not! There is as inerrant desire to know what is inside.

Waiting is difficult.

Mary waited on the LORD. In submission, she magnified the Lord. She waited to birth the Son of God.

“And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,

And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.

And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.

He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.

He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;

As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever (Luke 1:46-55 KJV).”

The Lord had spoken through the angel, Gabriel. Mary did not hesitate; she answered.

“And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her (Luke 1:38 KJV).”

 

The Five Senses of Christmas by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

The five senses of Christmas…

I have two blind friends; one has been blind since his birth, the other lost her site as an adult (while serving as a foreign missionary). How sad to miss out on seeing the nativity scenes and decorations at Christmas. I do not want to take my vision for granted.

LORD, open my eyes to see the beauty around me.

Are you hearing what I hear?

Yes, I am listening to Christmas music. I take joy in ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Have a Blessed Christmas’ holiday greetings. I will listen attentively to Christmas sermons; Happy Birthday baby Jesus!

The scents of Christmas are present in department stores, restaurants and homes; take a whiff. You are sure to find aromas of pine or apple and cinnamon.

What touch sensations do you associate with Christmas? This brings back childhood memories of fingering faces of baby dolls under Christmas trees. There is the sensation of anticipation as I pull off stiff or satin holiday ribbon and bows.

Last but not least, I focus on the pleasure of Christmas tastes. Fill in the blanks. We each have past and present favorites. Mom’s Christmas chocolate fudge and 7 layer dessert rank at the top of past Christmas treats. A current favorite is a chocolate cobbler recipe from friend Rhona Elliot.

This Christmas, pause; give thanks. Worship the Savior.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (Luke 2:11-14 KJV).”

 

 

There Was Light by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

“Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light (Genesis 1:3 NKJV).”

The Christmas season has officially begun…

My memories go back to early Christmases. Oh, how I enjoyed seeing Christmas lights. I’m not sure who most liked our seasonal family car rides. The Ford kids? It may have been our Dad.

My father worked 2nd shift as a General Electric security guard. Driving back home late at night allowed him the first sightings of Christmas lights. I think he may have made mental notes of what streets and homes to include in the anticipated excursion.

If my memory serves me, we usually went to East Syracuse and Eastwood. I was fascinated by the elaborate Christmas light displays. Admittedly, I still am.

‘Let there be light; and there was light (Genesis 1:3b NKJV).”

Worship the King; walk in the light of Christ Jesus.

“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:5-7 NKJV).”

 

Welcome at Our Thanksgiving Tables by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

Holy Spirit, I’m indebted to You.

Through Your presence and power, I was born again.

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit (John 3:6-8 NKJV).”

You are my teacher.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you (John 14:26 NKJV).”

You empower me to witness for Christ.

“And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31 NKJV).”

Holy Spirit, I need You in my prayers of intercession.

“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26 NKJV).”

Holy Trinity… Father, Son and Holy Spirit, You are welcome at our Thanksgiving tables.

 

Forever Grateful by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353


Praising God the Son (this Thanksgiving)…

Jesus, I thank You for dying in my place.

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:5-8 NKJV).”

Jesus, You had compassion.

“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd (Matthew 9:36 NKJV).”

You are a faithful friend.

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends (John 15:13 NKJV).”

Christ, thank You for peace.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27 NKJV).”

I’ll be forever grateful for Your promise of eternal life.

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live (John 11:25 NKJV).”

This Thanksgiving, I celebrate Jesus’ promised return.

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NKJV).”

Give thanks!

 

A Blessed Thanksgiving by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

“I will praise the name of God with a song,
And will magnify Him with thanksgiving (Psalm 69:30 HCSB).”

Grateful, I give Father God thanksgiving.

“Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations (Psalm 100:1-5 NKJV).”

LORD God, You are so good. In Your mercy, You have showered us with blessings.

 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning (James 1:17 NKJV).”

Have a blessed Thanksgiving…

“… giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:20 NKJV).”

Laugh Out Loud by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

“Sarah said, ‘God has made me laugh, and everyone who hears will laugh with me (Genesis 21:6 HCSB).”

How often do you laugh? I’ve heard of laughter described as internal jogging. Now, that’s an exercise even couch potatoes can do. So, laughter is not only good medicine its beneficial exercise too.

Let the jogging commence!

“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter
and your lips with a shout of joy (Job 8:21 HCSB).”

Try it, laugh out loud…

“This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24 HCSB).”

What makes you laugh; corny jokes, your favorite comedy movies? Maybe it’s your dog or cats antics. My Dad laughed out loud at Johnny Carson and Bonanza’s Hoss Cartwright. I laughed when I heard Dad having such a good time.

Treat yourself to regular doses of humor. Make time for laughter.

“…a time to weep and a time to laugh (Ecclesiastes 3:4a HCSB).”

Laugh, laugh and laugh. People will notice.

“Our mouths were filled with laughter then,
and our tongues with shouts of joy.
Then they said among the nations,
‘The Lord has done great things for them (Psalm 126:2 HCSB).”

 

Are You Comin’? by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

I have vivid memories of grandson Matthew’s early years.

He liked our company and parting confused him. When his parents got him ready to leave he’d ask us, “Comin?”

Jesus is asking us to come along.

He called twelve disciples and invited them to follow Him. It began at a meeting with Simon Peter and brother, Andrew.

“And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men (Mark 1:16-17 NKJV).”

The Lord later told His disciples to get away from the crowds.

“And He said to them, ‘Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.’ For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat (Mark 6:31 NKJV).”

A seeker of truth questioned Jesus about eternal life. The encounter ended with a call from the Lord.

“Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me (Mark 10:21 NKJV).”

Have you accepted His invitation?

Are you comin?’

Adorable by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

As Granny Pam (and Great Granny), I’m drawn to pictures of infants posted by Facebook friends. My typical comments are precious and adorable. I sometimes type the brief Aww.

Aww, babies are precious. They’re simply adorable.

Anticipating celebrations of Jesus’ birth?

The faithful still come. We come to adore Him!

O Come, All Ye Faithful {John Francis Wade/1711-1786}

1 O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem!
Come, and behold Him, born the King of angels!

Refrain:
O come, let us adore Him;
O come, let us adore Him;
O come, let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord!

2 Sing, choirs of angels; sing in exultation;
sing, all ye citizens of heav’n above!
Glory to God, all glory in the highest![Refrain]

3 Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be all glory giv’n!
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing! [Refrain]

Do I adore Him; do you?

Am I giving Christ the adoration and worship He deserves?

LORD, I love You; I worship You.

Adorable!

“Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:25-26 NKJV).”

 

Continuing Education by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

School is in session.

Many children go to pre-school, pre-k or head start. That prepares them socially for kindergarten. Kindergarten readies them for 1st grade. The years pass quickly. They whiz through elementary, middle school and high school.

Some choose vocational school, community or state colleges. They proudly grasp parchment diplomas. Are they finished? Some may be; others have frequent times of continuing education in their futures…

Our Christian education is ongoing. We have the very best teacher and training.

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you (John 14:16-17 KJV).”

We can always trust the Holy Spirit to be truthful. Truth conquers deception. It also sharpens our memories.

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you (John 14:26 KJV).”

 

Stuttered by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) rsz_hpim2353

The words are not hard to remember.

They are not difficult to spell or pronounce; yet, we find them difficult to say. Why do we have a problem saying we were ‘wrong’ and we are ‘sorry?’ Each of these words is made up of only five letters; yet, they carry weight around the globe. With ease, we can point fingers to pass the blame.

Swallowing our pride, admitting we’ve been wrong and saying we are sorry takes determination.

Fonz (from the ‘Happy Days’ sitcom) stuttered as he forced the word wrong from his lips. Foolish pride was keeping him from admitting his weakness and failures. I found it amusing; but in all honesty, it should prick my conscience.

We might believe that confessing our wrongs will cause others to think less of us. Most people fear rejection; we want to be accepted. The Apostle Peter had to face the facts. He had been wrong, so wrong. He had sincerely believed he would never deny or desert Jesus. Was Peter sorry for his three times of denial?

Yes, he was. He looked into the loving eyes of Jesus and saw his own failure. He had denied even knowing his Lord. It broke his heart, along with his pride.

“And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ So Peter went out and wept bitterly (Luke 22:61-62 NKJV).”

LORD, forgive me. I’m sorry for times that I have wronged you or others.

 

Get it in Writing by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

Do you ever deal with spiritual doubt? I do. I know who we have to blame.

Listen to the opening words in the serpent’s conversation with Eve.

“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden (Genesis 3:1 KJV)?” [The full account of the spiritual fall of man is found in the remaining verses of chapter 3.]

To paraphrase …The serpent said to Eve, Did God ‘really say’…

The serpent goes under many aliases; the accuser and father of lies are included.

He does not play fair. He places seeds of doubt in our minds and uses lies to make them grow.

We can know his schemes and we can be victorious.

I will make a diligent effort to study God’s word. I’m strengthened by the countless times I read the authoritative ‘Thus saith the LORD.’

A handshake agreement is nice but a notarized written contract offers protection.  I am sealed by the Holy Spirit. Jesus was tempted by Satan; He did not give in. He knew what his Father said and it was written in scripture.

Excerpts from Matthew Chapter 4:

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Verse 4)

“Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” (Verse 7)

“Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Verse 10)

I have eternal salvation. It is written. (John 3:16)

I have it in writing.

Seeing Jesus by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

How do we explain the recent Texas church shootings? What can we say about such horrific violence? I don’t know the answers but I do believe we need to share our feelings. I have seen a few insightful posts by Christ followers on Facebook. The LORD brought me solace through His word. I need to see Jesus.

“Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’

Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus.

But Jesus answered them, saying, ‘The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

‘Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.  Father, glorify Your name.’

Then a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘I have both glorified it and will glorify it again (John 12:21-28 NKJV).”

We grieve and yet we want God to be glorified.

“Precious in the sight of the Lord
Is the death of His saints (Psalm 116:15 NKJV).”

 

Why Wait Until Christmas? by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

Joy to this world? Is that possible?

‘Joy to the World’ is one of my Christmas Carol favorites. The lyrics reveal the reason for the season. I can have joy in my life and I don’t have to wait until Christmas.

Yes, the LORD has come. He is in our midst.

Jesus wants to share His joy…

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

‘As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.  If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

‘These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full (John 15:7-11 NKJV).”

I can experience true joy.

“But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves (John 17:13 NKJV).”

Jesus gave joy significance. He wants the best for us; that includes having His joy.

“Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10b NKJV).”

 

By Night by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

Familiar old songs frequently remind me of friends and family. Does that happen to you? How about scriptures?

“Behold, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord, which ‘by night’* stand in the house of the Lord.

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord.

The Lord that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion (Psalm 134:1-3 KJV).” *Emphasis mine.

Once upon a time there was a man lost in sin…

He attended a New Year’s Eve watchnight service in church. That night was a turning point in his life. He surrendered to Christ. His life has never been the same!

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV).”

Transformed, he desired more and more of God’s word.

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby (1 Peter 2:2 KJV).”

As he grew in Christ, he grew in his ability to share what he had learned. He led in Bible Study groups. God placed a call on his life. He was compelled to preach the Gospel.

“Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay (Jeremiah 20:9 KJV).”

He is now in retirement years but faithful to serve where God directs. Along with his wife, he is living happily ever after.

 

Facing My Fears by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

Why should I get discouraged? What do I have to fear?

God is my source of encouragement.

“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV).”

He extends His hand to me.

“For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand,
Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you (Isaiah 41:13 NKJV).”

He is a present help. I am protected by His hand.

Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.  And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one (John 10-27-30 NKJV).”

I have no cause to fear.

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you (Isaiah 43:1b-2 NKJV).”

 

The Answer by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

Do you ever feel drawn to a particular person?

Some might say its animal attraction, chemistry.

You look at someone; your pulse quickens and your heart is all aflutter.

Are you looking unto Jesus?

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV).”

What would draw you to Jesus?

“For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him (Isaiah 53:2 NKJV).”

The answer rests in the spiritual realm. God the Father draws you.

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.  It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.  Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life (John 6:44-47 NKJV.”

Only believe.

“And He said, ‘Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father (John 6:65 NKJV).”

 

 

Yes, Indeedy! by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

 Could it be true?

The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, ‘Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ (John 4:28-29 NKJV?”

Yes, indeedy!

“And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, ‘He told me all that I ever did.’ So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. And many more believed because of His own word.

Then they said to the woman, ‘Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world (John 4:39-42 NKJV)”

Jesus saves.

Meet Zacchaeus…

“And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.’ So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, ‘He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.’

Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.’

And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:5-10 NKJV).”

 

Sermon Messages by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

How long do you remember sermon messages? I must admit my ability to recall is not always commendable. Note taking does help me to concentrate during worship services. As an added plus, I can read pastors’ quotes in years still to come.

Reverend Joe Fain was our pastor in Goodwater, Alabama. I cherish the bond of friendship that I have with Brother Joe and his wife Sherry. He gave good pastoral advice to our congregation. On several occasions he recommended the reading of the newspaper along with our Bibles.

I think you’ll agree… The following scripture passage reads like a quote from today’s news headlines. Israel still has many enemies.

“They say, ‘Come, let us wipe them out as a nation
so that Israel’s name will no longer be remembered.’
For they have conspired with one mind;
they form an alliance against You—(Psalm 83:3-5 HCSB).”

Their enemies want the land.

“… who said, ‘Let us seize God’s pastures for ourselves (Psalm 83:12 HCSB).”

The land belongs to the Nation of Israel. It is their ‘eternal possession.’ (Genesis 17:8)

“Then Abram fell facedown and God spoke with him: As for Me, My covenant is with you: you will become the father of many nations. Your name will no longer be Abram, but your name will be Abraham, for I will make you the father of many nations.  I will make you extremely fruitful and will make nations and kings come from you. I will keep My covenant between Me and you, and your future offspring throughout their generations, as an everlasting covenant to be your God and the God of your offspring after you. And to you and your future offspring I will give the land where you are residing—all the land of Canaan—as an eternal possession, and I will be their God (Genesis 17:3-8 HCSB).”

 

 

 

Waiting for the Harvest by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) rsz_hpim2353

Patience… Did that attribute vanish with the dinosaurs?

Most of us have little if any patience; we want instant gratification. Forgetting that the shortest distance from point A-to-B is a straight line; I want to avoid waiting in any line! Consider the farmer; if anyone needs patience it is a man waiting for his harvest.

“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain (James 5:7 NKJV).”

He not only waits; he waits patiently. I’m impressed.

Christ followers wait for His promised return. Are we waiting patiently? Why does He delay?

“But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:8-10 NKJV).”

Numbers still must submit to Jesus as Savior and LORD. He is not concerned about statistics; the Father is concerned about the lost. He is merciful, offering the gift of salvation to each individual person.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16 NKJV).”

He waits patiently for His harvest.

 

Guard My Heart by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

Did you ever grieve your father or mother? If so, you likely regret it.

God, our heavenly Father is Spirit. Yet, He has feelings. I may not understand all that is involved; never the less, I believe it is true. I read two pertinent passages earlier today.

“How often they provoked Him in the wilderness,
And grieved Him in the desert (Psalm 78:40 NKJV).”

Perhaps that brought a New Testament reference to memory.

“Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another. ‘Be angry, and do not sin:’ do not let the sun go down on your wrath,  nor give place to the devil.  Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:25-32 NKJV).”

Now, the other passage that I read in my Bible earlier… The LORD was crushed.

“Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations where they are carried captive, because I was crushed by their adulterous heart which has departed from Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols; they will loathe themselves for the evils which they committed in all their abominations (Ezekiel 6:9 NKJV).”

Father, guard my heart. I do not want to grieve You.

 

Bread and Water by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

Eating brings pleasure; I want (nearly demand) a change of menu. I don’t experiment often with new foods; I just desire variety in foods I enjoy. My husband Norm has been a vegetarian since age twelve (after viewing meat under a microscope in his science class). A tomato and cheese sandwich with potato chips is one of his favorite meals. He’s pleased as punch if lettuce, onions and pickles are added. What do prisoners eat?

I’m not sure what their menus consist of today; there was a time when some existed on bread and water. Meditate on words by the Psalmist.

“Restore us, God;
look on us with favor,
and we will be saved.

Lord God of Hosts,
how long will You be angry
with Your people’s prayers?
You fed them the bread of tears
and gave them a full measure
of tears to drink (Psalm 80:3-5 HCSB).”

Bread, (once considered the staff of life) was given by the LORD to His children. It was no ordinary bread; the main ingredient was tears. What did He give them to wash it down with? Tears; the LORD gave them tears instead of water.

Lest I forget, the LORD disciplines those that He loves.

“And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons:

My son, do not take the Lord’s discipline lightly
or faint when you are reproved by Him,
for the Lord disciplines the one He loves
and punishes every son He receives.

Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline (Hebrews 12:5-7 HCSB)?”

 

Fruit Inspection by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

“Consider the sower who went out to sow. As he was sowing, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on rocky ground, where there wasn’t much soil, and they sprang up quickly since the soil wasn’t deep. But when the sun came up they were scorched, and since they had no root, they withered. Others fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them. Still others fell on good ground and produced a crop: some 100, some 60, and some 30 times what was sown. Anyone who has ears should listen (Matthew 13:3b-9 HCSB).”

The disciples were puzzled; Jesus explained.

“You, then, listen to the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word about the kingdom and doesn’t understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the one sown along the path. And the one sown on rocky ground—this is one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy. Yet he has no root in himself, but is short-lived. When pressure or persecution comes because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now the one sown among the thorns—this is one who hears the word, but the worries of this age and the seduction of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.  But the one sown on the good ground—this is one who hears and understands the word, who does bear fruit and yields: some 100, some 60, some 30 times what was sown (Matthew 13:18-23 HCSB).”

Inspect your fruit.

“But now, since you have been liberated from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification—and the end is eternal life (Romans 6:22 HCSB).”

 

Works of the Master by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) rsz_hpim2353

When was the last time that a painting or music selection spoke to you? At times we are moved emotionally; the works of the masters speak to us. It is as if the artwork or musical piece penetrates our souls. Did you know that melody has a voice? It does…

“Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness,
You who seek the Lord:
Look to the rock from which you were hewn,
And to the hole of the pit from which you were dug.
 Look to Abraham your father,
And to Sarah who bore you;
For I called him alone,
And blessed him and increased him.’

For the Lord will comfort Zion,
He will comfort all her waste places;
He will make her wilderness like Eden,
And her desert like the garden of the Lord;
Joy and gladness will be found in it,
Thanksgiving and the voice of melody. (Emphasis mine)

‘Listen to Me, My people;
And give ear to Me, O My nation:
For law will proceed from Me,
And I will make My justice rest
As a light of the peoples (Isaiah 51:1-4 NKJV).”

I want to walk in Your light LORD; to have a contrite spirit and listening ear. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit that I may hear the voice of melody. In Jesus name. Amen.

 

Weeping Willows by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_hpim2353

The men of the 1960’s British invasion brought about change in rock and roll. Some were members of hard rock bands; other male voices were featured on ballads. Today’s scripture passage brought to mind the melodious sounds of Chad & Jeremy with ‘Willow Weep For Me.’

“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.

We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.

For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.

How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land (Psalm 137:1-4 KJV)?”

The Psalmist lamented the captivity of his people in the land of Babylon. Their songs of praise had ceased.

Chad & Jeremy sang of lost love…

https://genius.com/Chad-and-jeremy-willow-weep-for-me-lyrics

Weeping can bring emotional and spiritual healing.

“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up (James 4:6-10 KJV).”

 

 

We are Sinning by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) rsz_hpim2353

If honest with ourselves, we realize when something we do is wrong. We know we are sinning, that the action or attitude is against God’s will. But what about the things we leave undone?

“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin (James 4:17 NKJV).”

We often consider the sins of omission as being less serious.

Yet, I know I should search my soul. What good am I leaving undone?

Do I love my neighbor as myself? Do I love my enemies? Am I faithfully carrying out the Great Commission?  I fail miserably. To ‘know’ to do these things and not do them is sin.

“… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23 NKJV).”

I confess my sins of omission. I serve a merciful God.

Will He say, ‘Well done?’

“His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord (Matthew 25:21 NKJV).”

 

More, Much More by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com


‘I love you.’

‘I love you more!’

‘No, I love you more!’

God loves us more, much more.

“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).”

He loves you.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8 KJV).”

The LORD loves us that much.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13 KJV).

He loves me.

“As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love (John 15:9 KJV).”

He loves us much more.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved) (Ephesians 2:4-5 KJV).”

We cannot begin to calculate the great scope of his love.

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God (1 John 3:1a KJV).”

God loves us.

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. (1 John 4:7-11 KJV).”

Familiar Hymn by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

Our church had a weekly nursing home ministry; as volunteers, we presented a summary of the Sunday school lesson and led in singing. One of the residents exhibited clear signs of dementia. We were amazed when the little lady became lucid; she joined my husband in the singing of a familiar old hymn.

‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’

Joseph M. Scriven, 1855 (Public Domain)

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.

Do you know our friend?

“I do not call you slaves anymore, because a slave doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from My Father (John 15:15 HCSB).”

 

 

Priorities by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) #2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

Jesus words cut to the quick.

The religious leaders of the day were materialistic and full of pride. Jesus’ message set them straight.

“No household slave can be the slave of two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can’t be slaves to both God and money.’

The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and scoffing at Him. And He told them: ‘You are the ones who justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly admired by people is revolting in God’s sight (Luke 16:13-15 HCSB).”

Though the people admired the Pharisees; Jesus rebuked them. He often spoke to His followers about money and possessions.

“Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21 HCSB).

In contrast to the Pharisees, a poor widow’s priorities were admirable.“Sitting across from the temple treasury, He watched how the crowd dropped money into the treasury. Many rich people were putting in large sums. And a poor widow came and dropped in two tiny coins worth very little. Summoning His disciples, He said to them, ‘I assure you: This poor widow has put in more than all those giving to the temple treasury. For they all gave out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she possessed—all she had to live on (Mark 12:41-44 HCSB).”

 

 

A Right to Complain? by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

The majority rules!

While the majority may rule, it may not always be right.

“And they journeyed from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came to the Wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they departed from the land of Egypt. Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. And the children of Israel said to them, ‘Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger (Exodus 16:1-3 NKJV).”

Moses and Aaron were leading the Israelites through the wilderness to God’s Promised Land. Having their vision of a bright future clouded by circumstances, the people complained.

Complaining is one of my besetting sins.

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2 KJV).”

LORD, forgive me.

“Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world (Philippians 2:14-15 KJV).”

 

Act of Violence by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

Once again our nation mourns the shedding of innocent blood. I’m in shock over the mass killings in Las Vegas. The area is home to members of my family; I thank God for His watch care over them.

My heart breaks for the families who lost loved ones; they are in my thoughts and prayers. I pray for the physical healing of the injured, asking the LORD to also remove all emotional scars. I ask Him to give strength and comfort to their families and friends.

I have no explanation for this despicable act of violence.

I hate that it happened. God is fully aware of the situation; He hates murder.

“These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren (Proverbs 6:16-19 NKJV).”

 

Work Habits by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) #2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

I mowed our front lawn early this morning; the push mower chore is not normally in my routine. My husband Norm handles it. He’s been extra busy so I took it upon myself to be a pinch hitter. There was a time when I mowed a big lawn every week. We were then living in Goodwater, AL.

Norm planted large vegetable gardens on the property, two in the back yard and two in a side yard. It was my responsibility to cut the rest of the lawn with our push mower and it was no easy task. There were pine trees to mow around and a steep hill to master. I started working shortly after daybreak.

I knew it was best to work before it got hot outside. I didn’t know I was being watched…

Our house was located directly across from a local industrial plant; a man in management there observed my work habits. I learned later that he used me as an example; I assume he was trying to increase productivity in his employees.

People are quick to notice our life choices.

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled on by men.

‘You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:13-16 HCSB).”

 

We Will Stand by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

Will Americans heed the call?

Will we humble ourselves and change our ways?

“The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, ‘Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who enter in at these gates to worship the Lord!’ Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.  Do not trust in these lying words, saying, ‘The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these.’

‘For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, or walk after other gods to your hurt, then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever (Jeremiah 7:1-7 NKJV).”

LORD, heal our land.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
The people He has chosen as His own inheritance (Psalm 33:12 NKJV).”

We will stand.

http://www.usflag.org/the.national.anthem.html

 

Jesus Freaks by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com


Ever have somebody call you a holy Joe?

Maybe you’ve heard this taunt. ‘Bible thumper!’

Some think all evangelicals are Jesus freaks.

Are we really wacko?

“For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you.  For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:13-17 NKJV).”

The message is not new; the backlash isn’t either. Yet, we are commanded to go and tell.

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen (Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV).”

 

Seeing Orange by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) #2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

I’m seeing fall colors and I like it!

I don’t have the advantage of living in the Adirondacks; yet, I did vacation there with friend Carol one summer. Via the Facebook site, I’m seeing and sharing pictures of the changing of leaves. Many are at their peak. Only our Creator God could give us such vibrant shades of orange, red and yellow.

Seeing groups of autumn leaves from a distance, I’m reminded of patchwork quilts and comforters. ‘Orange’ you glad He offers a change of seasons?

During the 1960’s-70’s orange was a popular color in decorating and design. In 1967, on one of my first dates with husband-to-be I wore orange slacks. After we got married we lived temporarily in a furnished house before moving into an unfurnished apartment. We purchased needed furniture, both agreeing on an orange vinyl living room sofa.

In 1970, we followed the trend; we bought a brand new car, a sporty orange Ford Maverick.

Orange brings back a childhood memory. My favorite beverage was orange ‘Hi-C;’ I could not get enough of the drink. Mom scolded me. She said if I didn’t stop drinking so much ‘Hi-C’ that I’d turn into an orange. Well, while taking a nap I had a nightmare. You guessed it; I turned into an orange!

I have outgrown my fear of ‘Hi-C.’

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV).”

 

Weary by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

I’m all tuckered out.

Fortunately, I’m not behind a steering wheel. Medical experts advise the public to read warning labels on all medications before operating motor vehicles or other machinery. Fatigue alone can also impair a person’s judgment.

Most of us have worked overtime, whether for pay or doing chores around the house. There are times when we simply must stay at the job until it is completed. Necessity and sheer willpower keep us focused long past the effects of caffeine wear off.

Nehemiah and his faithful crew were in the midst of a crucial construction project. The Israelites were rebuilding a protective wall around the city of Jerusalem. They did not allow weariness, delays or ‘the opposition’ stop them.

“So we labored in the work, and half of the men held the spears from daybreak until the stars appeared. At the same time I also said to the people, ‘Let each man and his servant stay at night in Jerusalem, that they may be our guard by night and a working party by day.’ So neither I, my brethren, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me took off our clothes, except that everyone took them off for washing (Nehemiah 4:21-23 NKJV).”

Though opposed (and likely weary), the workers were compelled to continue in the strength of the LORD.

 

Why the Delay? by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) #2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

‘LORD, why the delay?’

I have a sweet friend, named Alma.

A widow; she is in her mid 90’s. With failing health, Alma has wondered why she has to wait so long to go to her eternal home. I know Alma is ready to ‘meet her Maker.’ Ready and willing, she wonders why he delays. She’s anxious to look into the face of Jesus, her Savior.  In heaven, Alma will be reunited with her beloved husband, Gene.

“For we know that if our temporary, earthly dwelling is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal dwelling in the heavens, not made with hands. Indeed, we groan in this body, desiring to put on our dwelling from heaven, since, when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. Indeed, we groan while we are in this tent, burdened as we are, because we do not want to be unclothed but clothed, so that mortality may be swallowed up by life. And the One who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the Spirit as a down payment.

So, we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight, and we are confident and satisfied to be out of the body and at home with the Lord. Therefore, whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to be pleasing to Him (2 Corinthians 5:1-9 HCSB).”

Alma continues to walk by faith; the final steps will come at the LORD’s pre-appointed time…

 

Escape by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

Planning a dream vacation at a 5 Star Resort?

My husband and I lived in a Florida Panhandle RV park for over 10 years. Vacationers called it a Resort; we simply called it home.

People once went camping to get away from it all. Today, most campers take it with them. RV’s have all the benefits of home. If not, vacationers expect everything to be turn-key ready upon arrival at their destination. Admittedly, we are part of a fast paced society. An escape to a resort might be just what the doctor ordered.

Resort experiences are enjoyable. I’d rather escape to the refuge of my Redeemer.

“In You, O Lord, I put my trust;
Let me never be put to shame.
Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape;
Incline Your ear to me, and save me.
Be my strong refuge,
To which I may resort continually;
You have given the commandment to save me,
For You are my rock and my fortress (Psalm 71:1-3 NKJV).” 

When troubled or tired, I can turn to God.

No, He is not my ‘last resort;’ He’s my refuge!

“God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah (Psalm 46:1-3 NKJV).”

 

Baby Bounce by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) #2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

“For thus says the Lord:

‘Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,
And the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream.
Then you shall feed;
On her sides shall you be carried,
And be dandled on her knees.
As one whom his mother comforts,
So I will comfort you;
And you shall be comforted in Jerusalem (Isaiah 66:12-13 NKJV).”

Infants love to be bounced on the lap or knee of a loving caregiver. My favorite… I cross my legs at the knees, place the child atop my right foot. Holding them upright by their hands, I begin bouncing my leg. 

Children love the rides!

My Grandpa Ford sang a catchy tune as he bounced me.

“To market, to market to buy a fat pig;
Home again, home again, jiggety-jig.
To market, to market, to buy a fat hog;
Home again, home again, jiggety-jog.”

(‘To Market-to Market’/Originally in compact form in the ‘Songs for the Nursery’ collection/1805)

I’ve frequently found myself saying ‘Home again, home again jiggety-jig’ after running errands and returning home. Little did Grandpa know what a lasting impact he had on little Pammy Sue.

Feed and Follow by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) #2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

The Master questioned Simon Peter; then He called him to special service.

“When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?’

‘Yes, Lord,’ he said to Him, ‘You know that I love You.’

‘Feed My lambs,’ He told him.

A second time He asked him, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me?’

‘Yes, Lord,’ he said to Him, ‘You know that I love You.’

‘Shepherd My sheep,’ He told him.

He asked him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me?’

Peter was grieved that He asked him the third time, ‘Do you love Me?’ He said, ‘Lord, You know everything! You know that I love You.’

‘Feed My sheep,’ Jesus said. ‘I assure you: When you were young, you would tie your belt and walk wherever you wanted. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will tie you and carry you where you don’t want to go.’ He said this to signify by what kind of death he would glorify God.After saying this, He told him, ‘Follow Me (John 21:15-19 HCSB).”

I am a Christian.

Am I feeding His word to the flock?

Will I faithfully follow Him?

“Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me (Luke 9:23 HCSB).”

 

 

I’m Starving by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) #2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

‘I’m starving!’

Ever say that, when time for your next meal?

In times of famine, people do literally starve. Jacob had great concern for his family; they were in dire straits.

It was a matter of life and death!

“When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, ‘Why do you keep looking at each other? Listen,’ he went on, ‘I have heard there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us so that we will live and not die.’ So 10 of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt (Genesis 42:1-3 HCSB).”

Jacob’s sons obeyed; they traveled to Egypt, acquired provisions and returned to Canaan. After a time, the supply ran out…

“Now the famine in the land was severe. When they had used up the grain they had brought back from Egypt, their father said to them, ‘Go back and buy us some food (Genesis 43:1-2 HCSB).”

Again, they did as instructed. (Divine drama continued through Genesis chapter 47.) Jacob’s sons no longer needed to bring food from Egypt to Canaan. Their brother Joseph moved Jacob and the entire family to Egypt.

(Joseph said), “You are also commanded, ‘Do this: Take wagons from the land of Egypt for your young children and your wives and bring your father here.  Do not be concerned about your belongings, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours (Genesis 45:19-20 HCSB).”

 

On the Run by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) #2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

Busy, busy, busy!

I (like most people I know) have a busy schedule.

Life has often been compared to a running race…

“Life’s a marathon, not a sprint.” {Quote: Phillip C. McGraw}

The farther I get in the marathon the more often I succumb to fatigue.

Elijah was on the run; he was running for his life!

Fearing the threats of Jezebel, he ran away into the wilderness. Weary and depressed, he slept under a broom tree. (1 Kings 19:1-5) The LORD saw his need and sent an angel of mercy.

“Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree.

Suddenly, an angel touched him. The angel told him, ‘Get up and eat.’ Then he looked, and there at his head was a loaf of bread baked over hot stones, and a jug of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again. Then the angel of the Lord returned for a second time and touched him. He said, ‘Get up and eat, or the journey will be too much for you.’ So he got up, ate, and drank. Then on the strength from that food, he walked 40 days and 40 nights to Horeb, the mountain of God (1 kings 19:5-8 HCSB).”

After nourishment and rest, Elijah ‘walked’ to the mountain of God.

 

Unplanned Parenthood by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

I believe I’m a product of ‘unplanned parenthood.’ My older sister Laureen was only 17 months old at the time of my birth; I doubt Mom and Dad had planned to have us so close together. To complicate matters further, my sister suffered with chronic bronchitis and needed her rest. I was a premature baby demanding attention. Planned or unplanned, I was the latest addition to the Ford family.

King David did not plan to have an affair. Bathsheba, another man’s wife did not plan her pregnancy.

“It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold. So David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, ‘Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?’ Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her, for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house. And the woman conceived; so she sent and told David, and said, ‘I am with child (2 Samuel 11:1-5 NKJV).” 

 

The Church by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

When traveling, do you admire church buildings?

Do you hit the Facebook like icon for church pictures?

If I was asked, I’d say yes.

I especially like the wooden framed old country churches.

Frequently I’ve been guilty of voicing a false statement. ‘That’s a beautiful church!’

My husband corrects me saying it’s a church building; it’s not the church. He’s right.

The church is the body of born again believers. Local churches meet in buildings; some are small and simple, others are massive and breathtaking. Each building is holy because the Holy Spirit indwells the members, the church. 

Jesus established the church.

“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence (Colossians 1:18 NKJV).”

Though I am impressed by church building structures, I will glory in God.

“God, You are more awesome than Your holy places.
The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people.

Blessed be God (Psalm 68:35 NKJV).”

 

Coming Together by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11 NASB).”

Remember ‘The A-Team?’

Repeatedly, Hannibal Smith used one particular phrase … 

“I love it when a plan comes together!”

The team of military misfits attracted adventure and trouble. For all practical purposes, it seemed there was no way out of their mishaps. Yet, their leader Hannibal conceived successful plans.  

We don’t find solutions to our problems in 60 minute segments.

At times, our carefully conceived plans do not seem to be coming together.

Don’t lose heart; have faith. There is One who also ‘loves it when a plan comes together.’

God’s plan involves a personal relationship with Him. It began before the creation of the world.

The sins of Adam and Eve did not derail God’s plan.

He sent his Son Jesus.

The plan seemed to be doomed to failure. Religious leaders rejected Him as Messiah, had Him arrested, beaten and crucified. Their actions did not mean God’s salvation plan ended in failure. Jesus defeated death and the grave; crucifixion led to resurrection.

I love it when a plan comes together!

The LORD’s plan is still unfolding. He has a unique plan for you and me; day by day it is all coming together.

 

A Sense of Urgency by Pam Ford Davis #2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

Do you have a sense of urgency?

No, I’m not promoting bladder control products but that serves as a good introduction.

Do you hear rumbling from your stomach when you’ve missed a meal?

It is hard to ignore a sense of urgency. Do I ignore the Holy Spirit’s promptings?  He compels us to share the gospel with a lost and dying world.

The Apostle Paul felt things deeply. His heart was broken because he knew the urgent need of his own people. Like them, he had once rejected Jesus as Messiah. Christ transformed the life of Saul at Damascus Road. Following his conversion, he served as evangelist, church planter and missionary.

“I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen (Romans 9:1-5 NKJV).”

 

Needed Reminder by Pam Ford Davis #2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

Forgetfulness is natural with aging; yet, health care givers watch for signs of short term memory loss. That may be far more serious because the patient could have dementia or Alzheimer disease. The LORD wants me to have a sharp memory. How well do I remember Him: His sacrificial death and faithfulness?

“Yes, in the way of Your judgments,
O Lord, we have waited for You;
The desire of our soul is for Your name
And for the remembrance of You (Isaiah 26:8 NKJV).”

Jesus established the New Covenant; the observance of the Lord’s Supper Ordinance is a reminder of His sacrificial death for you and me.

“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’

For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes (1 Corinthians 11:23-26 NKJV).”

 

Weather the Storms by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

‘Why is this happening to me?’

‘Is God punishing me for something I’ve done?’

If you’ve ever felt that way… you’re in good company.

Bad things happen to good and bad alike.

“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. And its collapse was great (Matthew 7:24-27 HCSB).”

Rain fell. The rivers rose. Winds blew and pounded against houses.

Some homeowners had built upon a rock foundation. Others chose to build upon shifting sand. There was a stark contrast in construction plans and in their ability to weather the storms.

Have you recently come through a crisis? It has been said (and rightly so) that we have just come through a crisis, (storm) are presently experiencing one or trials loom on the horizon. Bad things happen. The wise will build their lives upon the Rock, Christ Jesus. Though tried and tested, they will not collapse.   

 

Finger Pointing by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

As a rule, we view finger pointing in a negative light. We sense haughtiness in the life of the person pointing. In John’s Gospel, we read about the finger pointing of accusers. Jesus used His finger to point out the sins of those condemning.

“Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?’ This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, ‘He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.’ And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, ‘Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?’

She said, ‘No one, Lord.’

And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more (John 8:3-11 NKJV).”

  

Dearly Departed by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

Memories of the dearly departed often surface with melancholy. Some might lapse into loneliness or have a sudden urge to cry. Instead, I experienced joy this morning; let me explain.

I saw (with the ability of recall) smiles upon the faces of my Mom, Dad and sister Donna. How can I describe that? Such beauty is beyond adjectives. If a picture is worth 1,000 words those smiles were worth a million. Their smiles made me feel happy.

Parents of newborns find delight in the first smiles of their babies. As they grow, parents and grandparents capture countless smiles of photogenic progenies in snapshots and portraits. Time passes… Families cherish memories of graduation days, weddings and anniversaries. Smiles marked the days.

Imagine a smile on the face of our heavenly Father.

“The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee (Numbers 6:25 NKJV).”

Witness His Shekinah glory and presence…

 

Got Children? by Pam Ford (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

If you are a parent of adult children you’ll know where I’m coming from. In addition, you are truly blessed if you have the distinction of grand parenting.

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward (Psalm 127:3 NKJV).”

The rewards are great. Children add much to our lives. There’s one drawback; they grow up. It’s only natural and right; we expect them to mature. Does it have to happen so fast?

Our daughter is nearing the half century mark and our son does not lag far behind. How can that be? Making us proud, our grandsons have grown into fine young men. Great granddaughters are growing at accelerated speed. Oh yes, children grow up.

Jesus, the Bethlehem babe grew…

“And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him (Luke 2:40 NKJV).”

Jesus was compelled to do the work of His heavenly Father. At age twelve, He accompanied His parents on a trip to Jerusalem; there they parted company.  After searching for days, Mary and Joseph discovered Him inside the temple.

“And He said to them, ‘Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?’ But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.

Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men (Luke 2:49-52 NKJV).”

 

Rejoice by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

 

Strategy by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) #2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

When attempting to figure out a problem, I should see it as a faith building opportunity.

Is my heart in touch with the problem solver?

Jonathan was forming military strategy. He didn’t figure it out a problem; he ‘faithed’ it out.

“Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, ‘Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few.’

So his armorbearer said to him, ‘Do all that is in your heart. Go then; here I am with you, according to your heart.’

Then Jonathan said, ‘Very well, let us cross over to these men, and we will show ourselves to them. If they say thus to us, ‘Wait until we come to you,’ then we will stand still in our place and not go up to them. But if they say thus, ‘Come up to us,’ then we will go up. For the Lord has delivered them into our hand, and this will be a sign to us (1 Samuel 14:6-10 NKJV).”

The LORD rewarded Jonathan’s faith.

“Then the men of the garrison called to Jonathan and his armorbearer, and said, ‘Come up to us, and we will show you something.’

Jonathan said to his armorbearer, ‘Come up after me, for the Lord has delivered them into the hand of Israel (1 Samuel 14:12 NKJV).”

 

That Path by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

Every Broadway show relies on stand-ins. Stars in leading roles are backed up by hopeful actors and actresses; they are ready to step in on a minutes’ notice. In the world of advertising, my Dad Frank could have easily been a stand-in for Mister Donut. Where do police officers fit into a donuts scenario?

Lawmen have a reputation for frequenting donut shops. I can think of far worse places to take needed breaks from their stressful jobs. Those who knew Dad best can visualize him driving close behind the police on his way to a Mister Donut. To be honest, he’d probably be honking his horn!

When I was a girl we lived in a rural neighborhood, far from any of the donut chain enterprises. Dad purchased his donuts in boxes of a dozen from my Uncle Alex & Aunt Dorothy Ford’s small grocery store. The donuts came in a variety of plain, sugar, cinnamon and my favorite- chocolate. Working as security guard, for General Electric; he carried a lunch box with sandwiches, donuts, a thermos of hot coffee and a paperback western book.

Retirement years gave my Dad opportunities to visit us; his adult children and our families. My oldest sister Donna lived in Pennsylvania near a Mister Donuts. As I recall, he walked that path many times.

“You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11 NKJV).”

 

The Sacrifice by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

Bible passages sometimes trigger memories of influential people in our lives. Having experienced such moments this morning, I write in the memory of Martha Wennerberg.

Martha and I worked together in the Women’s Missionary Union of First Baptist Church of Defuniak Springs. She once served as Secretary of national WMU; I will be sharing a link to a death announcement (2008) at the close of this article. First, I share the Bible verses that spurred this message.

“As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take and eat it; this is My body.’ Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He gave it to them and said, ‘Drink from it, all of you.  For this is My blood that establishes the covenant; it is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins. But I tell you, from this moment I will not drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it in a new way in My Father’s kingdom with you.’ After singing psalms, they went out to the Mount of Olives (Matthew 26:26-30 HCSB).”

I recall Martha once sharing information about new language Bible translations; groups painstakingly translated the Old and New Testaments into languages of unreached people groups. She said translators (possibly Wycliffe) had to overcome a major obstacle when translating the above scripture passage.  It implied that Jesus commanded cannibalism. He did not.

As Baptists, we partake of Communion-the Lord’s Supper, (cup & the bread) in remembrance of Him. He died on the cross, offering His body, His blood as a sacrifice for our sin. He is risen!

https://baptistcourier.com/2008/03/martha-leathers-wennerberg/

 

Inside and Out by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

I worked in Christian childcare ministries for several years; children most often ranged from infants-two years old. It was both a rewarding and demanding job. As a teacher, I had several in my care. Many were still drinking from bottles; others had advanced to Sippy cups.

Parents often sent their boys and girls with filled bottles or cups. Though rare, there were a few times when I discovered sour milk in a baby’s bottle.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also (Matthew 23:25-26 NKJV).”

Ever hear the term ‘Sunday go ta’ meetin’ clothes?’ My mind carries me to the home of a fictional farmer who wears bib-overalls 6 days a week. On Sunday, for church, he wears the suit he’ll be buried in. He is clean and presentable.

That is good and proper. He wants to make a good impression on the preacher and those in the pews. What about the man ‘inside’ the suit? Is he clean inside and out?

“Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me (Psalm 51:10 NKJV).”

 

Spectacular Sky Show by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

Anticipating the solar eclipse? Across America, multitudes will be looking upward in hopes of seeing the spectacular sky show. On a less dramatic note, when was the last time you caught the sight of a falling star? In a flash of light… now you see it, now you don’t! On clear nights, (when my husband drove 18 wheelers) we were able to see several falling stars. They were awe inspiring.

Man’s fascination with stars begins early with childhood songs and stories. Lovers wish on them and song writers weave rhymes into star filled lyrics. One of my all time favorites is “Catch a Falling Star (and put it in your pocket)” by the ever popular Perry Como.

In the Book of Isaiah, we read of a decidedly different fall from heaven.

“How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer,son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit (Isaiah 14:12-15 NKJV).”

 

 

Conflict by Pam Ford Davis by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

Conflict; I’m against it.

“Love must be without hypocrisy. Detest evil; cling to what is good.  Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord.  Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. Be in agreement with one another. Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Try to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:9-18 HCSB).”

Did Paul have opposition; did he have enemies? Yes. At times, he was falsely accused, beaten, and arrested. In the end, they took his life. He penned the passage above.

Does it sound like a man demanding his rights? Seeking revenge? No. He allowed the Lord’s love to reign in his heart. It brings healing.

“Love is patient, love is kind.
Love does not envy,
is not boastful, is not conceited,
does not act improperly,
is not selfish, is not provoked,
and does not keep a record of wrongs.
Love finds no joy in unrighteousness
but rejoices in the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a HCSB).”

 

Watering Holes by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

My husband and I are big gulpers; we drink plenty of ice water and cold beverages. When leaving home, we take Styrofoam glasses of ice water with us. Before long, we seek out the best watering holes.

To be honest, we don’t usually get water; instead, we buy 32 oz. iced teas and soft drinks. Did you know that 7-11 offers ‘Big Gulp’ beverages? I’m thankful for watering holes.

“Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.  For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills (Deuteronomy 8:6-7 NKJV).”

God leads us to the best sources of water.

“The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake (Psalm 23:1-3 NKJV).”

Feeling thirsty? Seeking refreshment? We can have a closer walk with the LORD. Jesus offers living water.

“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7:37-39 NKJV).”

 

God’s Mercies and Comfort (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ (2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NKJV).”

This is one of my many favorite Bible passages. We are all in need God’s mercies and comfort. That’s obvious but do we sense the benefits of comfort we have received from others? If sensitive to the Holy Spirit, we will follow His leading and tenderly comfort the hurting around us. These truths were brought to light yesterday in Sunday morning Bible study.

First, I need to tell you about the warm fellowship in this group of men and women. Sounds of laughter can be heard out in the hallway. The ages of those who attend span from college age to a splattering of senior adults. We can count on provoking questions, interaction and scripture affirmation. Yesterday, we experienced God.

Christ followers shared personal experiences of loss and heartbreak. Others shared times of trouble in lives of family, friends or acquaintances. There was a somber yet serene tone in their voices. They had received God’s peace in midst of storms. A few were moved to tears. In times of trouble, suffering abounds. Be encouraged; consolation abounds through Christ. (Verse 5)

“And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation (2 Corinthians 1:7 NKJV).”

 

Saber Rattling by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) #2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

Do you hear the sound of saber rattling?

We live in perilous times.

“The total number of chief officers of the mighty men of valor was two thousand six hundred. And under their authority was an army of three hundred and seven thousand five hundred, that made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy. Then Uzziah prepared for them, for the entire army, shields, spears, helmets, body armor, bows, and slings to cast stones. And he made devices in Jerusalem, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers and the corners, to shoot arrows and large stones. So his fame spread far and wide, for he was marvelously helped till he became strong (2 Chronicles 26:12-21 NKJV).”

A nation’s military strength is a deterrent to warfare by enemies. Yet, our greatest strength is found in the Lord.

“This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel:
‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’
Says the Lord of hosts (Zechariah 4:6b NKJV).”

King Uzziah had the sin of pride in his heart.

“But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the Lord his God by entering the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense (2 Chronicles 26:16 NKJV).”

Only priests were permitted to burn the incense on the altar. The LORD struck King Uzziah with leprosy. (2 Chronicles 26:19-23)

 

Hearing Voices by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

How would you react to the following statement?

‘I hear voices.’

Is that normal?

My husband and I had a friend who shared his personal experience. He spoke of hearing an audible voice when alone on the road, driving his truck. The voice told him repeatedly to pull over. At first he ignored the voice; then he obeyed. It saved his life. A vehicle was driving the wrong direction on the expressway. The driver would have hit him head on.

“So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water; and putting it on her shoulder, he gave it and the boy to Hagar, and sent her away. Then she departed and wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba. And the water in the skin was used up, and she placed the boy under one of the shrubs.  Then she went and sat down across from him at a distance of about a bowshot; for she said to herself, ‘Let me not see the death of the boy.’ So she sat opposite him, and lifted her voice and wept.

And God heard the voice of the lad. Then the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said to her, ‘What ails you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation.’

Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink. So God was with the lad; and he grew and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer (Genesis 21:14-20 NKJV).”

 

A Man Named Jed by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com


A man named Jed…

Bet you had a sing-along flashback to the Beverly Hillbillies TV theme. Jed Clampett struck oil and struck it rich. His good fortune was ours. Television viewers were recipients of his hillbilly humor. I’d describe Jed as comfortable in his own skin (whiskers and all).

He had no desire to keep up with the Jones’ or the Drysdales’ either. Jed just found himself a comfortable spot to whittle (in front of their Beverly Hillbillies mansion). Let me tell you about a ‘baby’ named Jed.

“David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went to her and lay with her; and she bore a son, and she called his name Solomon. And the Lord loved [the child];

He sent [a message] by the hand of Nathan the prophet, and [Nathan] called the boy’s [special] name Jedidiah [beloved of the Lord], because the Lord [loved the child] (2 Samuel 24-25 AMPC).”

Jed (Jedidiah) was a special baby. Why?  Enveloped in the love of the Lord, and of his parents, he was blessed with a bright future. Better known as Solomon, he still holds the distinction of wisest man that ever lived.

“Behold, I have done as you asked. I have given you a wise, discerning mind, so that no one before you was your equal, nor shall any arise after you equal to you (1 Kings 3:12 AMPC).”

 

Wanderlust by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

Have you had a dog or cat that wandered away from home? It happens. Sometimes pets are gone for so long that their owners give up hopes of ever seeing them again. To their surprise, the cat or dog shows up at the door in need of food and tender loving care.

Maybe you’ve even known of people with the wanderlust.

Many of my husband Norm’s distant kin have told stories about one of his Grand Pa’ Davis brothers. It seems his family would view him wistfully looking down the long road. Soon after, he was nowhere to be seen! He was a wanderer.

“Then He said: ‘A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.  But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. (Luke 15:11-14 NKJV).”

The son wandered willfully. Yet, he came back home and his father rejoiced.

“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry (Luke 15:22-23 NKJV).”

 

We Cry Out by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com


Most recognize the importance of a person’s last words spoken before death.

A child’s ‘first’ words are also significant. Though the mom is usually the primary caregiver, the first word most babies say is dada. The mother excitedly writes the first words in a baby book and the father busts his buttons. The Heavenly Father heard His Son Jesus…

“And He said, ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will (Mark 14:36 NKJV).”

[* Abba=Aramaic/Hebrew for Father/King James Dictionary]

We are God’s adopted children. He is our Father, our daddy.

“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father (Romans 8:15 NKJV).”

King David cried out. God heard his pleas and praise!

“Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
The God of my salvation,
And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth shall show forth Your praise (Psalm 51:14-15 NKJV).”

LORD, hear our cries. We worship You Abba. In Jesus name. Amen.

 

Not a Mind Reader by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

I’m not a mind reader. I’m not capable of knowing what a person is thinking or what they feel deep inside.

The LORD knows.

“The fool has said in his heart,
‘There is no God.’
They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity;
There is none who does good.

God looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
Every one of them has turned aside;
They have together become corrupt;
There is none who does good,
No, not one (Psalm 53:1-3 NKJV).”

Many might not be bold enough to say there is no God; yet, inwardly they voice unbelief.

They do not ‘know’ God.

To know Him, we must first trust Him.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV).”

The Lord Jesus directs our paths best because He is the way…

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6 NKJV).”

Through Jesus, we come to know and experience the fullness of God.

“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross (Colossians 1:19-20 NKJV).”

Peace…

 

Slow Motion by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com


Movie and television directors frequently rely on slow or fast motion scenes. The Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman used slow motion in all of their programs. I find that interesting. Slow motion symbolized power; their supernatural strength was demonstrated through very slow movement.

I tend to react to criticism and cutting words way too fast. That reveals a lack of control in my life.

The Holy Spirit produces self-control.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25 NKJV).”

I need to control my tongue; to think about my responses, to take it ‘slow’ and easy.

“So then,my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls (James 1:19-21 NKJV).”

 

The Speaker by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

I talk to myself; I also talk to inanimate objects.

Coo-coo? If so, I’m in good company.

Think about it. Have you ever talked to your car? Maybe it wouldn’t start and you gave it a good talking to. What about a time when you were afraid you were running out of gas?

‘Please don’t run out; surely there’s a gas station up the road!’

Not you? Well then, how about your computer? I’d guess if you’ve experienced a computer crash that you tried to talk it into working again. Enough of talking to ourselves. Has your ‘heart’ been talking for you?

What does it reveal about you?

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned (Matthew 12:33-37 NKJV).”

 

Chittenango Falls by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

How do I decide on a theme for a devotion message?

Sometimes an experience brings to my mind a relevant scripture passage. Most often, a Bible verse or passage triggers thoughts for a particular devotion. After writing devotions about family and friends I often get encouraging comments. My memories seem to rekindle memories of others. We are more alike than we might think. Today, I write about one of my favorite sites back home in Central New York State.

I wish you could see Chittenango Falls for yourself. The sight and sound of its rushing waters is truly magnificent. The Creator is to be praised!

“A voice came from the throne, saying:

Praise our God,
all His slaves, who fear Him,
both small and great!

Then I heard something like the voice of a vast multitude, like the sound of cascading waters, and like the rumbling of loud thunder, saying:

Hallelujah, because our Lord God, the Almighty,
has begun to reign!
Let us be glad, rejoice, and give Him glory,
because the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and His wife has prepared herself.
She was given fine linen to wear, bright and pure.

For the fine linen represents the righteous acts of the saints.

Then he said to me, ‘Write: Those invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb are fortunate!’ He also said to me, ‘These words of God are true (Revelation 19:5-9 HCSB).”

 

Old Age Spots by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) #2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com


It’s undeniably true; I have old age spots. I’m marked for life.

Mr. Sun has shined down on me. As I usually ride in the passenger side of our vehicles, my right hand and arm is marked most. I look upon my old age spots with disdain; yet, they serve as thoughts to pursue.

Where are my old age spots? Where are yours?

Do friends spot me as a frequent patient in the doctor’s office? Maybe your name has been recorded in admitting of your hometown hospital. An assisted living facility or convalescent home is now the old age spot for many in our age group.

If age ‘is’ a state of mind where is that State on a map? Where is that old age spot, a needed rest area?

Attend church regularly!

“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,  not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25 NKJV).”

Sadly, many forgo the worship and fellowship of the local church. They don’t know what they are missing. Homebound church members are heartbroken; these men and women can no longer attend their churches. Their disabilities hinder them.

What hinders us?

Church is one old age spot that I look upon with delight.

 

Good Ole’ Boy by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

You likely know him…

He’s a good ole’ boy. He earns an honest living, provides for his family, contributes to society and loves his country. The good ole’ boy would never intentionally wrong anyone. We all wish there were more like him.  He has stored a list of don’ts to memory and faithfully avoids those activities. We applaud him but how much ‘good’ is he doing?

Jesus, God the Son is goodness personified.

“The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all— that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him (Acts 10:36-38 NKJV).”

As He walked the earth, Jesus always pleased the Father. Going, He shared the message of repentance and worked miracles. He was doing good.

God the Father was with Him and gave witness of His approval.

“While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him (Matthew 17:5 NKJV).”

Good ole’ boys (and gals) can please the heavenly Father too.

“His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord (Matthew 25:21 NKJV).”

 

 

Misbehavior by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

A word can trigger old memories.

Have you been ‘naughty?’

I remember my Mom using the word naughty. Do parents still define misbehavior as being naughty?

The heavenly Father warns us against naughtiness…

“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls (James 1:21 KJV).”

At Christmastime, many parents tell their children Santa Claus is watching them that he knows if they are naughty or nice. Our Father is watching the young and old alike; he does know when we’ve been naughty.

“For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad (Luke 8:17 KJV).”

God sees all. He knows all.

“Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do (Hebrews 4:13 KJV).”

I don’t want to be naughty; I don’t want to misbehave.

I want to avoid sin.

There is a safeguard.

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee (Psalm 119:11 KJV).”

 

 

A Clean Sweep by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

Floor care continues to change with the times.

The brooms and mops of yesteryear are quickly being replaced. Oh, the old traditional brooms and mops are still available but not advertized. I still use the old fashioned kind; maybe I’m in a rut. When shopping, I look for bargain brooms. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places.

Grab a broom; sweep out the cob webs.

Look up towards your ceiling; focus on the corners. You might find a few cop webs clinging there.

Now, look within. We frequently neglect to do a clean sweep in our minds. Whisk away sinful thoughts.

Isaiah relays God’s sweeping message.

“It is I who sweep away your transgressions
for My own sake
and remember your sins no more (Isaiah 43:25 HCSB).”

The LORD sweeps out all the corners.

“I have swept away your transgressions like a cloud,
and your sins like a mist.
Return to Me,
for I have redeemed you (Isaiah 44:22 HCSB).”

God makes a clean sweep; let’s not track dirt back inside!

 

What Might Have Been by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

But for God’s grace…

My thoughts trail off. I’d hate to think of what might have been.

But for God’s grace…

“For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:3-7 NKJV).”

By His mercy, I’m saved. By His grace, I’ve been justified.

By His grace, I’ve become an heir.

I could never work my way to heaven. But by God’s grace, I have received eternal life.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV).”

I have received His indescribable gift.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23 NKJV).”

 

 

Toy Soldiers by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

Big boy toys fill garages, workshops and back yards. Men once played with little boy toys. Mommy, Daddy and grandparents bought their boys cars, trucks, balls, six shooters and toy soldiers.

Imagine my surprise when given an Army green toy soldier at a recent woman’s meeting.

Perplexed, I palmed it and looked into the eyes of the church greeter.

When inside the sanctuary, I found a seat on a pew next to friends. Together, we enjoyed music solos and congregational singing. Guest speakers inspired us with stories about their missions’ involvement both at home and in foreign countries. I kept my toy soldier within reach…

Before closing with prayer, the moderator drew our attention to the toy soldiers. They were to be used as visual reminders to pray for our men and women serving in the military.

WOW! That is such a great idea.

We can pray for God’s merciful protection. 

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.’

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you (Psalm 91:1-7 NKJV).”

 

 

Troubled by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

Do you ever feel troubled?

We need not be ashamed. Trouble comes to all.

God created us as emotional beings. We experience both joy and sorrow.

Jesus was troubled because He had great compassion.

“Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, ‘She is going to the tomb to weep there.’

Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, ‘Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.’

Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled (John 11:31-33 NKJV).”

Jesus was troubled because He was being betrayed.

“When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me (John 13:21 NKJV).”

Jesus felt sorrow.

“Then He said to them, ‘My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.’

He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will (Mark 4:34-36 NKJV).”

Knowing that tribulation (trouble) would befall us, Jesus offered hope.

“In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world (John 16:33b NKJV).”

 

Life and Legacy of ‘Tuck’ Roberts (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

He poured out his life in service to his Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Words penned by Paul serve as a fitting tribute to the life and legacy of Reverend ‘Tuck’ Roberts…

“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing (2 Timothy 4:6-8 NKJV).”

The preceding scripture passage has been used in countless funeral services. Yet, the words so aptly describe godly men and women that surrendered their lives to Christ and answered the call to full time ministry. They truly fought evil in their midst; keeping their eyes on Jesus, they finished the marathon race and kept the faith.

With His everlasting love, God prepares crowns of righteousness…

‘Will There Be Any Stars’

Eliza E. Hewitt (1897/Public Domain)

I am thinking today of that beautiful land
I shall reach when the sun goeth down;

When through wonderful grace by my Savior I stand,

    1. Will there be any stars in my crown?
      • Refrain:
        Will there be any stars, any stars in my crown,
        When at evening the sun goeth down?
        When I wake with the blest in the mansions of rest,
        Will there be any stars in my crown?
    1. In the strength of the Lord let me labor and pray,
      Let me watch as a winner of souls;
      That bright stars may be mine in the glorious day,
      When His praise like the sea-billow rolls.
    1. Oh, what joy it will be when His face I behold,
      Living gems at His feet to lay down;
      It would sweeten my bliss in the city of gold,
      Should there be any stars in my crown.

 

 

 

Strange Sounds by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

We had been out of town all day; tired, we were and on the last leg of the drive back home. Sensing a problem, my husband Norm turned down the car radio. Either we were getting a flat tire or the strange sounds we were hearing came from the rural road. As much as I hated to go along with his first choice, I was in agreement.

Boom!

That settled it; we had a flat tire. Norm got out of the driver’s seat and went to the trunk for the spare tire. A Good Samaritan slowed while passing, asking if he could help. I was impressed. Soon after, a farmer pulled up behind us in his pickup truck. He explained that he was there to run interference.

Now that I think of it, his bright red truck would draw the attention of oncoming traffic.

Overhearing his friendly conversation with Norm, he certainly got ‘my’ attention. He stayed at the scene until the spare tire was on our car. Grateful for favorable circumstances, we wheeled our way home. It was daylight; it wasn’t raining and we were not in city traffic when Norm had to change the tire.

We take the turning of wheels for granted.

“And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.

And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians,

And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians (Exodus 14:23-25 KJV).”

 

Jesus’ Return, Certain and Near (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

Rejoice! The time of Jesus’ return is drawing near.

“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. ‘But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only (Matthew 24:32-36 NKJV).”

He is coming…

“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near (Luke 21:28 NKJV).”

Be prepared.

“Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect (Matthew 24:44 NKJV).”

Jesus, the Son of Man, is returning for His bride.

“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).”

 

 

Seeing Stars by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

Are you seeing stars?

Often people taking a severe blow to the head describe the incident as seeing stars. That is something we would all like to avoid.

Yet, on this July 4th, we’ll gladly see stars, stripes and celebrate!

America is a grand place to live and I am proud to call it home; yet, I know my real dwelling place awaits me.

“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you (John 14:2 HCSB).” 

Christ Jesus is preparing an eternal home place for you and me.

The One who hung the stars in place wants us to be with Him and is personally setting everything in place and awaits our arrival.

Multitudes will salute the stars and stripes.

In heaven, I will bow before my Savior.

 

 

Nourishment by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

I am not overly sensitive about my age. Admittedly, I age myself with the following statement.

‘He is sitting up and taking nourishment.’

Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I heard that said. How about you?

I’m guessing that most of us have endured a bout of flu, stomach virus or the common crud. It put us flat on our backs. The thought of sitting up and taking nourishment was the last thing on our minds. I’ve had times when simply the smell of food turned my stomach.

So… if a person is sitting up and taking nourishment, I’d consider that a positive sign.

How often do we consider our spiritual health?

Are we sitting up and taking nourishment?

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.  For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.  If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed (1 Timothy 4:1-6 NKJV).”

 

 

Super Heroes by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

Are you familiar with Hebrew’s heroes of faith?

We find a lengthy list in the 11th chapter of Hebrews. The writer reintroduces us to Old Testament men and women of faith and fortitude. Take time to read the chapter. Let the lives of the faithful inspire and motivate you to deeper commitment. I’m taking my own challenge to heart.

What about today’s heroes?

1960’S TV hero ‘Batman,’ Adam West, passed away recently. He will be remembered. Crowds have flocked to movie theaters to view the release of ‘Wonder Woman.’ Though Batman and Wonder Woman are fictional characters, both have a very real following.

What about fully committed Christ followers?

They are the real super heroes. They rely on the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit as they resist hordes of evil forces.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand (Ephesians 6:10-13 KJV).”

Who are your heroes?

Mine are pastors, evangelists and missionaries. They bravely stand their ground at the front lines…

 

The Great Compelling by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

The Great Commission…

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen (Matthew 28:18-20 KJV).”

What is my reaction, my response?

Am I compelled to obey by a sense of compassion and urgency?

Has the Great Commission of Jesus become the great compelling need?

“And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled (Luke 14:23 KJV).”

Christ followers are commissioned, called to go, to share the gospel.

I can’t help but notice the opening and close of the Great Commission.

It opens with “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth (Matthew 28:18 KJV).”

The passage closes with “lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ Amen (Matthew 28:20 KJV).”

Jesus is the authority behind the commission. He provides His presence and power to carry it out.

 

 

Old Wounds by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

I had a great time in 7th grade.

It was a time of puppy love (along with a school girl crush on my homeroom teacher). I made friends easily. Nancy, Kathy and I were a threesome in and out of class. I enjoyed school. 

Then, the school year was over. Would we all pass and be in an 8th grade homeroom together?

I’ll never forget the gist of our teacher’s answer (or as I interpreted it).

We would be staying together (unless we had done something wrong).

School resumed in the fall.

I readied myself for 8th grade with anticipation, new clothes and school supplies.

On opening day, I learned that I was not assigned a homeroom with friends. As days past, my feelings of isolation increased. I was unable to cope. One day in social studies class, tears began to flow.

Asking why I was crying, the attentive and compassionate teacher called me to her desk. I explained that I had not been promoted with my 7th grade homeroom class. Continuing, I shared the rest. I thought that I must have done something wrong. She said that was not the case. Class assignments were not made that way.

I felt some relief but it was minimal and temporary. The damage had already been done. I missed my friends and failed to make new ones. Never before having much difficulty with schoolwork, I then struggled. New math terrified me. Would you believe that we were given instructions involving hieroglyphics?

I repeated the 8th grade after transferring to another school. The dark cloud did have a silver lining. I made lasting friendships with classmates in the new school. The LORD heals wounds.

“He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3 HCSB).”

The LORD also renews relationships.

I have reconnected with one of my two best friends from 7th grade. I can hardly contain my excitement! I’ll be seeing Nancy next month during a trip back home.

 

Saved  by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man 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. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.  For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life (Romans 5:6-10 NKJV).”

Hallelujah! Saved by His death, saved by His life…

‘Saved, Saved’ by Jack P. Scholfield/Public Domain 1911 (b: 1882/d: 1972)

  1. I’ve found a Friend, who is all to me,
    His love is ever true;
    I love to tell how He lifted me
    And what His grace can do for you.
  • Refrain:
    Saved by His pow’r divine,
    Saved to new life sublime!
    Life now is sweet and my joy is complete,
    For I’m saved, saved, saved!
  • He saves me from every sin and harm,
    Secures my soul each day;
    I’m leaning strong on His mighty arm;
    I know He’ll guide me all the way.
  • When poor and needy and all alone,
    In love He said to me,
    “Come unto Me and I’ll lead you home,
    To live with Me eternally.”

 

Aspirations by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

Thinking of continuing your education or making a career change?

Maybe you have secret aspirations.

We rub elbows with all kinds of people daily. Some aspire to greatness; wishing to wield power.

True greatness comes through humility.

“But Jesus called them to Himself and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.  And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—  just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:25-28 NKJV).”

There are those who have aspirations of achieving notoriety on a global scale.

When writing to the Thessalonian church, Apostle Paul spoke of aspirations. He encouraged his brethren to aspire to living a quiet life.

“But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing (1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 NKJV).”

 

Glorious by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain (Exodus 20:7 NKJV).”

Keep His name sacred.

“His name shall endure forever;
His name shall continue as long as the sun.
And men shall be blessed in Him;
All nations shall call Him blessed.

Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,
Who only does wondrous things!
And blessed be His glorious name forever!
And let the whole earth be filled with His glory.
Amen and Amen (Psalm 72:17-19 NKJV).”

Keep His name holy.

“Praise the Lord!

Praise the name of the Lord;
Praise Him, O you servants of the Lord!
You who stand in the house of the Lord,
In the courts of the house of our God,
Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
Sing praises to His name, for it is pleasant (Psalm 135:1-3 NKJV).”

Reverence His name always.

In this manner, therefore, pray:

“Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name (Matthew 6:9 NKJV).”

 

Captive Audience by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)#2 6-16-17_Easy-Resize.com

We seek the apt attention of others, especially when we have something important to communicate. To be realistic, that seldom happens. We live in a noisy world, including background sounds of television and music; some of the message is muffled.

Distractions cause other problems. Maybe a coworker comes in, the telephone or doorbell rings interrupting the conversation. Often the listener is oblivious to the speaker or the importance of the message conveyed.

Any pastor or public speaker is well aware of that problem. Our minds wander.

Concentrate as I set the scene of this Bible story. Paul and Silas are in a prison…

“But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them (Acts 16:25 NKJV).”

Their fellow prisoners (those in captivity) listened.

Instead of moaning and groaning, Paul and Silas took an unusual stand. They chose singing, praise and worship. Complaining would have likely been ignored by other prisoners. Yet, they listened to their prayers and singing.

My response to trouble, the reaction is my personal choice. If I choose wisely, I may discover that I have a captive audience.

 

 

A Pampered Generation by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_118199192_1870938443162135_7986998563865420410_n

We are a pampered generation. As a Baby boomer, I’ve seen many changes. I remember when…

Mom didn’t have an automatic clothes washer or dryer. Once, when getting ready to go out on a date, I wanted to wear a favorite pair of jeans. After Mom washed the jeans I took them (up the road), to my best friend Carol’s house. Her mom had the luxury of owning a clothes dryer.

For many years my mother used a wringer washing machine and kept a scrub board handy. During the springtime and summer, she hung the laundry outside on a clothes line to dry. In foul weather, and all winter long, she hung our clothes on lines in the cellar.

Speaking of lines…

We had a telephone party line up into the early 1960’s and we had only one phone until I was in my teens. How did we live with only one phone, one television and three TV channels? I also survived without air conditioning. We had screen windows and screen doors.

I miss our Mycenae, New York kitchen screen door. That may seem silly but I do. I can’t even explain why. I’m nostalgic even as I write. Maybe what I really miss is the family and friends who came through that door.

“May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from another (Genesis 31:49b NKJV).”

 

Second Time Around by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_118199192_1870938443162135_7986998563865420410_n

Song writer Sammy Cahn put the words to music. Love is better ‘The Second Time Around.’

Many choose to remarry after a broken relationship or widowed. Seeking companionship, they tie the knot lawfully for a second time.

We were once ‘bound’ by the law. In regards to law and grace, Apostle Paul said this about the second time around.

“Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?  For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband.  So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God (Romans 7:1-4 NKJV).”

Jesus death, burial and resurrection freed us from bondage to the law. Christ is the Lamb of God and He has taken the church as His bride.

“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.’ And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints (Revelation 19:7-8 NKJV).”

Trying Times by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_118199192_1870938443162135_7986998563865420410_n

When a dog is ‘man’s best friend’ he is loyal and obedient to the master. If the call to ‘stay’ is given, the dog remains still. He stays at rest.

“You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You (Isaiah 26:3 NKJV).”

Attention! Our Master is speaking.

“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth (Psalm 46:10 NKJV).”

God speaks.

It is not a command by a tyrant.

The message reflects the character of the compassionate heavenly Father.

He knows our tendency to worry, how easily that we tense up in trying times.

As all knowing Father He says, “Be still.”

We receive confidence and comfort in knowing that the great I Am is God; that He is in control of our situations.

He will be exalted!

“Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
Let Your glory be above all the earth (Psalms 57:11 NKJV).”

Cry for Help by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_118199192_1870938443162135_7986998563865420410_n

In America, Memorial Day kicked off the summer season. Young and old will walk along shorelines; stretch out on beach towels, picnic and wade or swim in the water.

Swimming is fun and relaxing for most; yet, it leads to death for the unfortunate. Trained lifeguards offer protection. Justin, one of our grandsons, is a highly skilled Northwest Florida Gulf Coast lifeguard. Our family is proud of his achievements.

Lifeguards stay alert as they look for any signs of danger in the waters ahead of them. If help is needed, they immediately spring into action.

“He sent from above, He took me;
He drew me out of many waters (Psalm 18:16 NKJV).”

Peter tried to walk on water; in peril, he cried out for Jesus help.

“Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out for fear.

But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.’

And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’

So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.  But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me (Matthew 14:22-30 NKJV)!”

The Lord heard Peter’s cry for help.

“And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased (Matthew 14:31-32 NKJV).”

Distant Shores by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_118199192_1870938443162135_7986998563865420410_n

Our Veterans deserve better; we fail to recognize them for their sacrificial service and to offer words of appreciation and encouragement.

Those who served in battle went more than the extra mile; they left the homeland to fight for freedom on ‘far’ distant shores. Many of our finest fought and died there and we are indebted to each of these men and women. 

They awoke one morning, oblivious to the reality of it being their last. As we gather with family and friends for Memorial Day celebrations; we have an opportunity to reflect on the supreme sacrifice made by these brave American patriots. 

David grieved the deaths of King Saul and his son, Jonathan.

“From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan did not turn back, and the sword of Saul did not return empty. Saul and Jonathan were beloved and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided; they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions (2 Samuel 1:22-23 NKJV).”

Strengthened through unity…

“How the mighty have fallen in the midst of battle (2 Samuel 1:25a NKJV).”

Lost and Found by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_118199192_1870938443162135_7986998563865420410_n

Most know the frustration of losing things. People lose house and car keys, eye glasses, check books and their cell phones. Did I mention temper and patience?

I’m trying to be patient. I really am. We have two sets of keys to my car. Let me rephrase that; we ‘had’ two sets of keys. Each set had a place. Yes, there is a place for everything and we have order when they are put back in their place. I cannot find my keys; the result is chaos.

Oops! I just had a ‘Get Smart’ flashback. He fought archenemy KAOS.

I fight the temptation to panic. I’ve only lost a set of keys; it’s not the end of the world. In most cases, things turn up when I stop looking for them. That motivates me to give up. In contrast, a woman in one of Jesus’ parables did not quit looking for money that she had lost…

“Or what woman who has 10 silver coins,if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she finds it, she calls her women friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found the silver coin I lost!’  I tell you, in the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents (Luke 15:8-10 HCSB).”

Where did we leave those keys?

Early Bird by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_118199192_1870938443162135_7986998563865420410_n

The early bird gets…

In this instance, Absalom (son of King David), garnered the hearts of the people.

“After this it happened that Absalom provided himself with chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him.  Now Absalom would rise early and stand beside the way to the gate. So it was, whenever anyone who had a lawsuit came to the king for a decision, that Absalom would call to him and say, ‘What city are you from?’ And he would say, ‘Your servant is from such and such a tribe of Israel.’ Then Absalom would say to him, ‘Look, your case is good and right; but there is no deputy of the king to hear you.’ Moreover Absalom would say, ‘Oh, that I were made judge in the land, and everyone who has any suit or cause would come to me; then I would give him justice.’ And so it was, whenever anyone came near to bow down to him, that he would put out his hand and take him and kiss him.In this manner Absalom acted toward all Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel (2 Samuel 1-6 NKJV).”

Absalom was early to rise and cunning. He swayed the hearts of God’s people.

Jesus rose from the grave early one morning. By His death and resurrection, He saves all who believe.

“For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:11-13 NKJV).”

Donna Walked by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_118199192_1870938443162135_7986998563865420410_n

Donna walked.

My thoughts turn to Donna; my oldest sister. Today was her birthday.

Most people get a driver’s license in their teen years. Donna failed to learn. If she had passed a New York State road test, driving privileges may have later been suspended. At the age of 27, Donna suffered a stroke which left her legally blind in one eye. If Donna did not have a ride, she walked.

Donna walked to work, church, and doctor’s offices. When needing groceries or the Sunday newspaper, she walked.

Living in separate states, I did not see Donna often. Yet, when visiting; I walked too.

They were pleasant walks. We talked, laughed and reminisced.

Walking is a common theme in the Bible.

“And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden (Genesis 13:17 KJV).”

In his presence, we find love and peace …

“And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour (Ephesians 5:2 KJV).”

Like Donna, Enoch walked.

“And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:

And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:

And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him (Genesis 5:22-24 KJV).”

Say Ah by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_118199192_1870938443162135_7986998563865420410_n

‘Say ah.’

I have vivid memories of childhood trips to our Chittenango, New York doctor’s office. He had a large waiting room; when ailing, waiting was miserable. I listened for the busy nurse to call my name.

‘Pamela.’

Mom took me by the hand; while the plump nurse in white starched uniform led us to into the doctor’s private office. After he questioned mom on my symptoms, he began his routine examination. He checked my eyes, ears and listened to my chest with a cold stethoscope.

I saw the large wooden tongue depressor coming my way.

‘Open wide.’

‘Say ah.’

Sometimes ah says it best.

“I prayed to the Lord, saying: ‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You (Jeremiah 32:16-17 NKJV).”

With Him all things are possible.

Ah!

Triple C by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_118199192_1870938443162135_7986998563865420410_n

King David… confronted. Nathan carried God’s message.

“Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon (2 Samuel 12:9 NKJV).”

King David… confessed.

“So David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord (2 Samuel 12:13a NKJV).”

King David… cleansed.

“And Nathan said to David, ‘The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die (2 Samuel 12:13b NKJV).”

Before being confronted, David bore the weight of his sin. (Psalm 51)

God lifted that heavy burden.

“When I kept silent, my bones grew old
Through my groaning all the day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah

I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I have not hidden.
I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah (Psalm 32:3-5 NKJV).”

God’s forgiveness frees us of guilt.

His Spirit restores our joy. (Psalm 51:12)

“Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You (Psalm 51:13 NKJV).”

Wedding Anniversary by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) rsz_118199192_1870938443162135_7986998563865420410_n

My girlfriend Carol and I have much in common.

We’re blessed with godly husbands. This year, we both celebrate our golden wedding anniversaries. 50 years is a long time in today’s easy come-easy go approach to marriage. Yet, Adam & Eve were still newlyweds after 50 years.

“The man gave names to all the livestock, to the birds of the sky, and to every wild animal; but for the manno helper was found as his complement. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to come over the man, and he slept. God took one of his ribs and closed the flesh at that place. Then the Lord God made the rib He had taken from the man into a woman and brought her to the man. And the man said:

This one, at last, is bone of my bone
and flesh of my flesh;
this one will be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken from man.

This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh (Genesis 2:20-24 HCSB).”

Adam & Eve were together for a long, long time…

“These are the family records of the descendants of Adam. On the day that God created man,He made him in the likeness of God; He created them male and female. When they were created, He blessed them and called them man.

Adam was 130 years old when he fathered a son in his likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. Adam lived 800 years after the birth of Seth, and he fathered other sons and daughters. So Adam’s life lasted 930 years; then he died (Genesis 5:1-5 HCSB).”

Did Eve ‘rib’ Adam?

He may have been the very first man to forget his wedding anniversary!

If Only by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_118199192_1870938443162135_7986998563865420410_n

Two little words pack a powerful punch, ‘if only.’

Maybe you know their cousins, ‘what if.’

I can blame others with if only.

If only I had received more encouragement.

I frequently blame myself with if only.

If only I was more bold in sharing the gospel.

Yes, if only packs a powerful punch.

With a woman of faith, if only dealt sickness a death blow!

“Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, ‘If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.’

Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched My clothes?’

But His disciples said to Him, ‘You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’

And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction (Mark 5:25-34 NKJV).”

If only more had such faith…

Graced by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Sharersz_image_11

The gospel message is both simple and beyond words. A child can believe.

With compassion, a theologian is able to simplify scriptures and build faith in those under their teaching.

I’ve been ‘graced;’ have you?

God knows exactly what teaching and encouragement I need most. I am signing up for His course on grace. Break away for a minute. Find a dictionary and read the definitions for grace and favor. I’m doing the same. I seek the Lord’s grace, His favor on a daily basis. I have always needed Him and His grace; I am coming to realize how much.

His saving work comes by grace. He has graced me.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV).”

He knows I am weak and fearful. He has graced me.

“Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. ‘And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12:8-9 NKJV).”

Christ dispenses grace as needed. He has graced me.

“But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift (Ephesians 4:7 NKJV).”

School is in session. I don’t want to be tardy! 

My Protector by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Tripping over a banana peel makes great slapstick comedy. In reality, we are in danger of serious injury if we trip, stumble and fall.

I’m eternally grateful to God; He is my protector along the pathway.

“Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present [you] unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exultation [with unspeakable, ecstatic delight]—

To the one only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory (splendor), majesty, might and dominion, and power and authority, before all time and now and forever (unto all the ages of eternity). Amen (so be it) (Jude:24-25 Amplified Classic Bible).”

In the event of spiritual stumbling (sinning against God), friends are also helpful.

“Brethren, if any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual [who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit] should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness, keeping an attentive eye on yourself, lest you should be tempted also.

Bear (endure, carry) one another’s burdens and troublesome moral faults, and in this way fulfill and observe perfectly the law of Christ (the Messiah) and complete what is lacking [in your obedience to it] (Galatians 6:1-2 Amplified Classic Bible).”

I’ll be on my guard; I don’t want to fall.

 

Our Family Tree by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

I come from short stock. Mom was 4 feet & 11 inches. At an even 5 feet, I measure a wee-bit taller.

I wonder if Zacchaeus climbed up and down our family tree…

“And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.

And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.

And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.

And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.

And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.

And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.

And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.

And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.

And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:1-10 KJV).”

Heap of Love by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Mother’s Day stirs memories and rekindles love.

How do I measure the love Mom gave to each of her children?

Maybe I can’t calculate its circumference but she wrapped it around a song.

Mom often sang a catchy chorus that still rings in my memory. The song, ‘A Bushel and a Peck’ comes from the 1950 Broadway musical, ‘Guys and Dolls.’ In the song, love is measured by bushels and pecks. That’s a heap of love!

God calls for integrity in lives and weight measurements at the market place.

“Dishonest scales are detestable to the Lord,
but an accurate weight is His delight (Proverbs 11:1 HCSB).”

If a bountiful harvest is sold by bushel or peck, God is peering over the merchant’s shoulder. He doesn’t want the needy buyer to be short-changed. We’re a needy people, in need of a heap of love. Open your heart; the LORD waits to fill it with His unconditional love.

The Weaning by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Our mama cat has taught me a valuable lesson on parenting. She is encouraging her litter to eat solid food. At first, she nursed them very often. They needed the nourishment her ample milk supply provided.

The five were growing, content and thriving. As their eyes opened and they began to explore, she began to feed them less often. Now, she is introducing meat into their diet.

Soon, we will find new homes for the kittens.

The mother cat is teaching them the importance of solid food. She is a good mouser and provider. Mama is weaning them away from their milk diet.

Apostle Paul labored for the LORD. He fed new believers the milk of the word.

“Brothers, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, because you were not yet ready for it. In fact, you are still not ready (1 Corinthians 3:1-2 HCSB).”

We read a rebuke in the Book of Hebrews.

“Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food (Hebrews 5:12 HCSB).”

God the Father has prepared daily sustenance.

“… until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head—Christ (Ephesians 4:13-15 HCSB).”

The Motive by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

What’s your motive; what’s mine?

Why do we do the things we do?

All Christians are called to serve Him and others.

“For God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the loveyou showed for His name when you served the saints—and you continue to serve them. Now we want each of you to demonstrate the same diligence for the final realization of your hope, so that you won’t become lazy but will be imitators of those who inherit the promises through faith and perseverance (Hebrews 6:10-12 HCSB).”

Is love my motivation?

“And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.

In this, love is perfected with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, for we are as He is in this world. There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:16-19 HCSB).”

We serve… because He served.

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many (Mark 10:45 HCSB).”

Hearing Test by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Step out and step up in faith.

“For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:

‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!’

But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed our report?’ So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:13-17 NKJV).”

The Apostle Paul seems to be drilling us with questions. He asks, ‘How?’

Follow the progression of his questioning. Can you sense a rise in the pitch of his voice, an increased press for your answer?

How can a lost person believe if they have not ‘heard’ the good news of salvation?

His conclusion: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17 NKJV).”

As a devotional writer to the deaf, the need for hearing takes on a new meaning to me. The deaf readers are unable to hear with their ears; instead, they listen through reading scriptures, devotions and gospel tracts. They listen through seeing; by reading lips or watching sign language.

Hearing the word leads to saving faith.

An Idea by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Ford Motor Company had a good idea for an advertising campaign. They touted it as a ‘better idea.’

The phrase was a stroke of genius, a marketing tool to draw potential buyers into dealer’s showrooms. You might remember the light bulb in their advertizing, imagery of an idea with the flick of the switch.

My thought, an idea on this subject brings to mind a remark used in a communication breakdown.

“Do you have any idea what I am talking about?”

Picture a frantic mother trying to explain the dangers of speeding or reckless driving to a teenage son. All the while, he proudly holds a brand new drivers license in his hands. His blank expression reveals that he is clueless to her warnings. He just wants the keys to the car.

He has no idea what his mom is trying to convey.

In many cases, pictures speak a universal language. A light bulb represents a brilliant idea.

‘Now I get it! I’ve seen the light!’

Our only true source of revelation is God. He sheds light upon His word.

“Lord, You are my lamp;
the Lord illuminates my darkness (2 Samuel 22:29 HCSB).”

Seeking fresh insight or an idea on how to solve a problem? Ask the LORD. He always has a better idea!

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

It’s a Ford family trait. Before leaving home, I check and re-check the burners on our stove. I’m diligent; does that mean I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? Maybe so.

Concerning hand washing, religious leaders had a major OCD issue.

“Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches.

Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, ‘Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?’

He answered and said to them, ‘Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:

‘This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.’

He said to them, ‘All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition (Mark 7:1-9 NKJV).”

Too Wonderful by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) rsz_image_11

Morning, noon or night, God never lets us out of His sight.

“Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope in His mercy (Psalm 33:18 NKJV).”

I rest in the knowledge of His continual presence.

“O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. 
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
 If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall fall on me,’
Even the night shall be light about me;
 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You (Psalm 139:1-12 NKJV).”

Willingly Ignorant by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

While many refuse to believe, God still beckons.

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:3-9 KJV).”

He urges all to come to him; to surrender and willingly repent.

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19 KJV).”

Why avoid his presence?

“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Psalm 16:11 KJV).”

The Pits by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Having a pity party?

I’ve had more than my share. The guest lists consisted of me, myself and I.

Nobody dared crash my parties.

Feeling like your life is the pits?

It can be a very deep, dark and scary place. Joseph could attest to the fact.

“So Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan.

Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him.  Then they said to one another, ‘Look, this dreamer is coming! Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, ‘Some wild beast has devoured him.’ We shall see what will become of his dreams!’

But Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands, and said, ‘Let us not kill him.’ And Reuben said to them, ‘Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him’ —that he might deliver him out of their hands, and bring him back to his father (Genesis 37:17b-22 NKJV).”

The brothers did spare Joseph’s life; yet, they sold him into slavery.

The time that Joseph spent in the pit prepared him for a dungeon. Though innocent of all charges railed against him his master had him thrown into prison. It was no party but he later donned happy rags.

“Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; and he shaved, changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh (Genesis 41:14 NKJV).”

Joseph’s new address… the palace, as 2nd in command over the nation of Egypt.

If You’re Happy by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

If you’re happy…

You know that you are blessed.

So will others.

I am happy to say that I have three very happy men in my life.

Ashley is the legal name of all three.

My husband, Ashley Norman Davis Jr, goes by the name of Norm.

Our son, Ashley Norman Davis III, is known by the nickname Lee.

You see the trend; Lee’s son, our grandson is Ashley Norman Davis IV.

Can you guess what we call him?

Why, Ashley of course!

I’ll let you in on a little secret…

Their happiness might be derived by the family name.

“When Leah’s slave Zilpah bore Jacob a second son, Leah said, ‘I am happy that the women call me happy,’ so she named him Asher (Genesis 30:12-13 HCSB).”

Okay, so their name of Ashley is not precisely the same as Asher; it is close. What I’m certain of is this; they are among the happiest people I’ve ever known. Their smiles are contagious. Do they ever get down in the dumps? I’d guess they do but they don’t dwell on the negatives.

They have learned to be content with their lot in life.

“I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need (Philippians 4:12 HCSB).”

Why Wait? by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Tributes to the deceased are sincere. As a listener, they have touched my heart.

Why wait to express our feelings? Why wait until people die? 

I write this article in honor of friend, Ellen Fairchild. This godly woman uses her seamstress talents in ongoing Honduras mission projects. Louisiana Bayou Macon Baptist Association mission teams deliver the work of Ellen’s hands to the little girls of Honduras.

“In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. She was always doing good works and acts of charity. In those days she became sick and died. After washing her, they placed her in a room upstairs. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples heard that Peter was there and sent two men to him who begged him, ‘Don’t delay in coming with us.’ So Peter got up and went with them. When he arrived, they led him to the room upstairs. And all the widows approached him, weeping and showing him the robes and clothes that Dorcas had made while she was with them. Then Peter sent them all out of the room. He knelt down, prayed, and turning toward the body said, ‘Tabitha, get up!’ She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up.  He gave her his hand and helped her stand up. Then he called the saints and widows and presented her alive. This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord (Acts 9:36-42 HCSB).”

A Truthful Answer by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Are you an avid listener of talk radio? Maybe you just scan the stations. If either is true of you, the name Dave Ramsey is likely familiar. The financial advisor’s program is carried by many radio stations throughout our nation.

Callers ask Dave a standard question… “How are you?” He always gives a truthful answer. “Better than I deserve.”

That’s a truth to consider.

“He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him (Psalm 103:10-11 NKJV).”

God treats me far better than I deserve.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23 NKJV).”

His salvation is a gift. I don’t deserve His redemption; I did not earn it.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV).”

What ‘do’ we have to boast about? Apostle Paul knew…

“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world (Galatians 6:14 NKJV).”

 

Current Events by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Many current events make big news. We presume everyone has heard the latest stories; yet, our reasoning is not necessarily valid.

Visualize this scene as travelers’ converse on a road near Jerusalem…

“And He said to them, ‘What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?’

Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, ‘Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days (Luke 24:13-18 NKJV)?”

Surely this stranger had heard reports about Jesus’ betrayal, His arrest and crucifixion. There had even been talk (now, 3 days after His burial) of Him being seen alive.

Such news does not go unnoticed.

“And He said to them, ‘What things?’

So they said to Him, ‘The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see (Luke 24:19-24 NKJV).”

Jesus opened their eyes of understanding. (Verses 30-31)

They had conversed with the living Lord!

Standing Ovation by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

With admiration, a crowd of worshipers give their choir a standing ovation. It is the congregation’s way of showing their appreciation for the outstanding performance of the Easter cantata, ‘Amazing Love, How Can it be?’

Stephen presented a sermon of hard facts to his hearers. His delivery cut to the quick.

“You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it (Acts 7:51-53 NKJV).”

The religious leaders were not keepers of God’s word; they were losers of salvation. They did not approve of Stephen or his message.

“When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth (Acts 7:54 NKJV).”

Stephen looked above for his affirmation…

“But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, ‘Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:55-56 NKJV)!”

Jesus, who ‘sits’ at the ride side of His Father, (Romans 8:34) stood to His feet!

Stephen had faced the opposition; with forgiveness and abiding faith, he faced death.

“And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not charge them with this sin.’ And when he had said this, he fell asleep* (Acts 7:59-60 NKJV).” 

[*died/definition mine]

Impersonators by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

The talent of celebrity impressionists/impersonators fascinates me. Do you remember Frank Gorshin? He not only found fame as the Riddler on TV’s Batman but through his many amazing celebrity impressions as well. His imitations of Kirk Douglas were amazing. I readily recall Dick Van Dyke’s impressions of Charlie Chaplin.

Who do you admire enough to model your life after?

“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.  And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma (Ephesians 5:1-2 NKJV).”

God the Son was sinless; we have all sinned (Romans 3:23). We cannot reach His sinless perfection; yet, he is our perfect role model. I want to grow more like Him day by day…

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:28-29 NKJV).”

Think of that… God’s purpose involves transformation. Through His purpose, I am in the process of being conformed to the image, the very likeness of His Son Jesus.

A Place by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

‘Somewhere, (There’s a Place for Us)’ is a tragic song from West Side Story…

We seek a place.

Shortly after my wedding engagement, at the age of 18, I trusted Jesus as my personal Savior. Norm, my husband-to-be had led me to the LORD. In church, a godly woman counseled me about my decision. Noticing my engagement ring, she asked the name of my fiancé. Learning his name, she went on to talk about the exchanging of vows and how I’d be saying; I take thee Norm (Ashley Norman) during the ceremony.

Likewise, she suggested I pray saying, “I take thee Jesus.”

It involved commitment.

In Jesus’ day, there was an important Jewish custom during the formal engagement. The groom went to his father’s house and prepared a home for his bride.

Jesus is preparing a place for His bride, the church.

“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).”

Yes, there’s a place for us.

On the Job by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

I wonder if people still whistle while they work. How many find fulfillment through a day on the job?

Employers set specific hours and expect those in their employ to be there on time. Some employees can only hope of working banker’s hours. I admire the men and women who adjust to swing shift schedules.

Others, with sleepy eyes and laden feet, walk through the door to work a graveyard shift. Men and women are inclined to function best with a steady routine of working, eating and sleeping.

Working 9-5 is drudgery for the adventurous entrepreneur. Yet, to the unemployed seeking full time hours, a steady job is a dream come true.

A job can be mundane or fulfilling; it may be time for an attitude alignment.

Job endured through a time of great suffering. Downcast, he compared life to forced labor.

“Isn’t mankind consigned to forced labor on earth?
Are not his days like those of a hired hand?
Like a slave he longs for shade;
like a hired man he waits for his pay.
So I have been made to inherit months of futility,
and troubled nights have been assigned to me (Job 7:1-3 HCSB).”

Bible readers know the rest of Job’s story. It has a happy ending.

“After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his prosperity and doubled his previous possessions (Job 42:10 HCSB).

What? by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

What if? What next?

The future is unknown.

The present is overwhelming.

What now?

Saul persecuted the early church. Jesus intervened.

What would Christ ask of him?

“Who are You, Lord?” he said.

“I am Jesus, the One you are persecuting,’ He replied. ‘But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do (Acts 9:5-6 HCSB).”

It was not what he’d expect.

Jesus prepared Ananias for a visit to Saul…

“But the Lord said to him, ‘Go! For this man is My chosen instrument to take My name to Gentiles, kings, and the Israelites. I will show him how much he must suffer for My name (Acts 9:15-16 HCSB)!”

A personal and precise mission…

“Then He said to me, ‘Go, because I will send you far away to the Gentiles (Acts 22:21 HCSB).”

Did he sometimes wonder what if, what next, or what now? Maybe. Yet, he submitted; Lord, what would you have me to do?

It was not an easy call.

“… many more imprisonments,
far worse beatings, near death many times.
Five times I received 39 lashes from Jews.
Three times I was beaten with rods by the Romans.
Once I was stoned by my enemies.
Three times I was shipwrecked.
I have spent a night and a day
in the open sea.
On frequent journeys, I faced
dangers from rivers,
dangers from robbers,
dangers from my own people,
dangers from the Gentiles,
dangers in the city,
dangers in the open country,
dangers on the sea,
and dangers among false brothers;
labor and hardship,
many sleepless nights, hunger and thirst,
often without food, cold, and lacking clothing.

Not to mention other things, there is the daily pressure on me: my care for all the churches (2 Corinthians 11:23b-28 HCSB).”

Doubts Dispelled by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

“Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’

And they remembered His words. Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles. And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them. But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened (Luke 24:1-12 NKJV).”

Jesus dispelled His disciple’s doubts.

“Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things (Luke 24:46b-48 NKJV).

Finality by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

The doctor looks his patient in the eye. Somber, he says, ‘It’s time to set your house in order.’

“When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!

Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost (John 19:26-30 KJV).”

Finished, what was finished? His excruciating pain? Confrontations with hypocritical religious leaders? Yes, they were finished but he spoke of his finished work for the Father. Jesus was the spotless sacrificial Lamb of God. Sinless, he shed his blood for you… for me. He secured our salvation.

“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission (Hebrews 9:22 KJV).”

He shed his blood to defeat death and the devil.

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil (Hebrews 2:14 KJV).”

Without a doubt, it is finished!

Darkness Fell by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

I vividly recall Easter shopping at Waldman’s Department store. As a child, I made my way to the shoe department in the back of the store with my family. For me, the usual selection was a pair of shiny black patent leather shoes.

Actually, black attire would be better suited for the ‘darkness’ of Good Friday.

“And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, This Is The King Of The Jews.

And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.

But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?

And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.

And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.

And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.

And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man (Luke 23:38-47 KJV).”

Darkness fell over creation as the Son of God died to save fallen humanity.

Blindfolded by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Many games for children have been passed down by parents and grandparents over several generations. Two popular games, Blind Man’s Bluff and Pin the Tail on the Donkey involve blindfolds. At a party, someone places a blindfold on a child and turns them around repeatedly causing dizziness. The crowd laughs as the blindfolded child becomes disoriented and confused.

To scoffers, the mockery and torture of Jesus was little more than a game to pass time. With disgust and contempt they beat and blindfolded the divine Son of God. Christ did not become confused; He knew that His captors were blinded by sin.

“The men who were holding Jesus started mocking and beating Him. After blindfolding Him, they kept asking, ‘Prophesy! Who hit You?’ And they were saying many other blasphemous things against Him.

When daylight came, the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the scribes, convened and brought Him before their Sanhedrin. They said, ‘If You are the Messiah, tell us.’

But He said to them, ‘If I do tell you, you will not believe. And if I ask you, you will not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the Power of God.’

They all asked, ‘Are You, then, the Son of God?’

And He said to them, ‘You say that I am.’

‘Why do we need any more testimony,’ they said, ‘since we’ve heard it ourselves from His mouth (Luke 22:63-71 HCSB)?”

Yes, they heard with their ears but they did not believe in the only begotten Son of God.

Co-Conspirators by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

In the case of Jesus’ arrest, there were co-conspirators.

“Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them. And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. So he sought how he might conveniently betray Him (Mark 14:10-11 NKJV).”

In futility, Judas tried to rid himself of the pangs of guilt and circumstantial evidence.

“When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put Him to death. And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor.

Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’ (Matthew 27:1-4a NKJV).”

Religious leaders thought the Corpus delicti evidence had been buried forever. Wrong, He’s alive!

“Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they said among themselves, ‘Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?’ But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.

But he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him (Mark 16:1-6 NKJV).”

The Eulogy by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

What might clergy say about you at your funeral?

My husband and I attended two funerals in recent weeks. I believe the eulogies brought hope and comfort to the survivors. In addition, the pastor’s personal reflections of the faith and character of the deceased served as an inspiration to all who attended these services.

Joseph’s heart and faith shone brightly to those who observed his life.

“The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand (Genesis 39:2-3 NKJV).”

His eulogy was a work in progress.

“But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper (Genesis 39:21-23 KJV).”

From steward, to overseeing prisoners; it shaped Joseph for greater service and honor. He told Pharaoh to prepare Egypt for a great famine. God had already ‘prepared him’ for that task.

“And Pharaoh said to his servants, ‘Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God (Genesis 41:38 NKJV)?”

Eulogy… The LORD was with Joseph; he prospered.

Faith to Fruition by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Faith … It is both process and progress.

For Paul (Saul), it began on a Damascus road.

“Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord. He went to the high priest and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he traveled and was nearing Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’

‘Who are You, Lord?’ he said.

I am Jesus, the One you are persecuting,’ He replied. ‘But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do (Acts 9:1-6 HCSB).”

Grace was involved in the process of faith.

“Therefore, so that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to torment me so I would not exalt myself. Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from me. But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me (2 Corinthians 12:7b-9 HCSB).”

Paul was Christ’s willing servant from newborn faith to fruition.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7 HCSB).”

A Must by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

No multiple choice for Christ.

It was a must …

For a third time, He told his disciples what must be accomplished to fulfill prophecy.

“Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, ‘Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. They will scourge Him and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.’

But they understood none of these things; this saying was hidden from them, and they did not know the things which were spoken (Luke 18:31-34 NKJV).”

Arrest, beatings, crucifixion were a must for their Master; yet; He would rise again. Jesus submitted to the will of His Father.

“Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. When He came to the place, He said to them, ‘Pray that you may not enter into temptation.’

And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, ‘Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.’ Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground (Luke 22:39-44 NKJV.)”

Upon His Shoulders by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Have you carried a toddler in your arms, or up on your shoulders, for long periods of time? It is difficult to bear the burden of their weight. The LORD is well equipped to carry people of all ages; He has strong arms, broad shoulders and His lovingkindness endures forever.

“So He told them this parable, saying, ‘What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?  When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’  I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance (Luke 15:3-7 NASB).”

Consider how He rests the weight of the nations upon His shoulders.

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6 NASB).”

He extends His mercy and grace… oh, His boundless love.

“Praise the Lord!

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting (Psalm 106:1 NASB).”

Something in Common by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

What do the following syndication TV shows have in common?

Gilligan’s Island

The Brady Bunch

The Beverly Hillbillies

Now that you have tested your TV trivia knowledge…and decided on numerable possibilities, tune up your vocal chords.

Most of us can sing-along with the programs theme songs!

“Your statutes are the theme of my song
during my earthly life.
Yahweh, I remember Your name in the night,
and I obey Your instruction.
This is my practice:
I obey Your precepts (Psalms 119:54-56 HCSB).”

Keep on singing. The Bible contains the lyrics of life.

“You reveal the path of life to me;
in Your presence is abundant joy;
in Your right hand are eternal pleasures (Psalms 16:11 HCSB).”

I’m forgiven; listen, He’s singing our song…

Talking With My Mouth Full by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Proper table etiquette lessons started early…

‘Pam, don’t rest your elbow on the table.’

Not a suggestion, instead a command…

‘Don’t talk with your mouth full!’

I must admit talking with one’s mouth full of food is pretty gross.

It’s hard to look eye-to-eye with a speaker as my attention focuses on food protruding from the recesses of their mouth. As a side note, my comprehension of what is being said by the poor mannered speaker is limited.

When speaking to, of or for the LORD, talking with my mouth full is advantageous.

“Let Your mercies come also to me, O Lord—
Your salvation according to Your word.
So shall I have an answer for him who reproaches me,
For I trust in Your word.
And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
For I have hoped in Your ordinances (Psalm 119:41-43 NKJV).”

Truth and testimony … LORD, fill my heart and mouth.

“I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings,
And will not be ashamed (Psalm 119:46 NKJV).”

Wonderful Surprises by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

I’m a big girl now but still a little girl inside.

I like happy surprises, the kind where someone says, ‘I’ve got a surprise for you; close your eyes.’

Waiting for the surprise to materialize, I close my eyes and cover them with cupped hands. My pulse quickens. Moments later I get the green light.

‘Okay, open your eyes!’

I remove my hands, open my eyes, and discover my wonderful surprise.

The Father reveals the best surprises.

“Open my eyes, that I may see
Wondrous things from Your law (Psalm 119:18 NKJV).”

Sadly, I often fail to see His wonders and will because my eyes are spiritually closed. Why do I slight myself? The Father delights in revealing Himself.

“But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul (Deuteronomy 4:29 NKJV).”

LORD, please open my eyes of understanding. I seek your will and wisdom. In Jesus name. Amen.

Stop, Look, Listen by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

‘Stop, Look, Listen!’ at all railroad crossings.

That is good advice.

God offered more than advice. He gave deliverance. Were the Hebrews grateful? No, they complained.

I complain. What about me?

Stop sinning.

“And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.

And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.

And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.

Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.

And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived (Numbers 21:4-9 KJV).”

The brass serpent was a symbol; it foreshadowed the promised Messiah. Today, we look back to both his crucifixion and resurrection.

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2a KJV).”

Am I listening? Can I hear his still small voice?

“And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him (Luke 9:35 KJV).”

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God is Not Against You – He Came on an All Out Rescue Mission to Save You

…in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them… 2 Cor 5:19

Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Acts 13:38

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The Beginning by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

It began with creation.

It was not happenstance; God had a divine plan.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth (Genesis 1:1 KJV).”

Jesus, the living Word was instrumental from the beginning.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not (John 1:1-5 KJV).”

Christ Jesus is the Alpha & Omega, ‘the beginning’ and the end. (Revelation 22:13)

“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell (Colossians 1:15-19 KJV).”

The factual account and faith are as one. I believe.

“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear (Hebrews 11:3 KJV).”

A Stirring of Hearts by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

There is a stirring of hearts in our nation; multitudes are praying for revival in America.

We are seeking revival in our churches. It’s sad but true; great numbers of churches have declined in attendance. We grieve over church congregations that are cold and dying.

Christians believe that God hears and answers prayer; yet, we do not see sustained revival.

LORD, revive ‘me.’

“Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me (Psalm 51:10 NASB).”

I need an awakening; touch me.

“Revive me according to Your lovingkindness,
So that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth (Psalm 119:88 NASB).”

Churches are closing their doors. Realtors post For Sale signs.

I am discouraged.

“Will You not Yourself revive us again,
That Your people may rejoice in You (Psalm 85:6 NASB)?”

I cannot work up revival. Through fervent prayer and repentance, I trust Him to send it down from heaven.

“…  and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14 NASB).” 

The Right Choice by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Foul!

Fowl?

Yes, baseball season is approaching but I’m not calling a foul ball.

I focus on fowl, the chicken variety. Chicken is one of my favorite foods. Sunday chicken dinners were treats (when growing up in a family of five children). There were rarely opportunities for seconds from the chicken platter. Today, I’m the only one in my family that eats chicken; there are advantages in being wed to a vegetarian.

There are many ways to cook chicken; boiled, barbecued, fried, baked, grilled and it makes its way to rotisseries. I like them all. The problem comes when spices are added. I do not like the taste of spicy foods; neither does my digestion. When cooking, there is a knack to choosing seasonings and knowing how much to use.

Salt is essential when sharing my Christian faith.

“Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one (Colossians 4:5-6 NKJV).”

There is no cause for losing my temper or using foul language.

“But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so (James 3:8-10 NKJV).”

I choose grace with a dash of salt.

Sharecroppers by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Plant a little seed.

Work long and grueling hours.

You’ll get a share.

Such was the life of struggling sharecroppers.

“Then Joseph said to the people, ‘Indeed I have bought you and your land this day for Pharaoh. Look, here is seed for you, and you shall sow the land. And it shall come to pass in the harvest that you shall give one-fifth to Pharaoh. Four-fifths shall be your own, as seed for the field and for your food, for those of your households and as food for your little ones.’

So they said, ‘You have saved our lives; let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s servants (Genesis 47:23-25 NKJV).”

The decision of the Egyptian farmers was easy; there were only two options. They could starve or share. It was a no brainer.

How well do we understand the concept of sharing what we have labored for?

The Macedonians give us a stupendous example of sharing.

“Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia:  that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality.  For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God (2 Corinthians 8:1-5 NKJV).”

Gold Pieces by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

I recently saw a strange sign in a storefront window.

It read, ‘We do not accept cash.’ Needless to say, it caught my attention; I’m familiar with stores refusing personal checks but this restriction was new to me. Barter, anyone?

During the gold rush days, gold was likely a common form of exchange. I’ve seen old prospectors in Westerns; they paid for goods and services with gold dust, nuggets and gold pieces.

‘We don’t accept gold.’  I don’t think so!

“Instruction from Your lips is better for me
than thousands of gold and silver pieces (Psalm 119:72 HCSB).”

Oh, that we would seek His instruction; such wealth cannot be calculated.

“The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever;
the ordinances of the Lord are reliable
and altogether righteous.
They are more desirable than gold—
than an abundance of pure gold;
and sweeter than honey,
which comes from the honeycomb.
In addition, Your servant is warned by them;
there is great reward in keeping them (Psalm 19:9-11 HCSB).” 

Oh, that we would pray for His wisdom…

“Get wisdom—
how much better it is than gold (Proverbs 16:16a HCSB).”

Over the River by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Over the River and through the land…

No, I’m not reminiscing about a trip to Grandma’s house.

As a child, I didn’t need to cross over a river on my way to visit Grandma & Grandpa Ford. I just crossed Holtz’s yard. Nor was there a river to cross when visiting Grandma & Grandpa Ferris; instead, I had a road side view of the famed Erie Canal.

Over the River and through the land…

This was a journey from the other side of the River, a faith walk to the Promised Land.

“And Joshua said to all the people, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Your fathers, including Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, dwelt on the other side of the Riverin old times; and they served other gods. Then I took your father Abraham from the other side of the River, led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his descendants and gave him Isaac (Joshua 24:2-3 NKJV).”

God guided Abraham away from one side of the River and away from false gods.

“Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord (Joshua 24:14 NKJV)!”

Proud Papa by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

My Mom had agreed to stay as long as needed with our neighbor’s two daughters. Their mother, her best friend, was at a hospital in child labor. When hearing the kitchen phone ringing, Mom answered the call.

The father breathlessly shared exciting news.

‘It’s a boy!’

After learning that both mother and son were fine, Mom relaxed and waited for the return of the proud papa.

Moments later the phone rang again.

‘Hello’

‘It’s a boy!’

‘Clint, you already called and told me.’

‘No, it’s another boy; it’s twins!’

“Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived. But the children struggled together within her; and she said, ‘If all is well, why am I like this?’ So she went to inquire of the Lord.

And the Lord said to her:

‘Two nations are in your womb,
Two peoples shall be separated from your body;
One people shall be stronger than the other,
And the older shall serve the younger.’

So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb. And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau. Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau’s heel; so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them (Genesis 25:21-26 NKJV).”

He is Patient by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6 KJV).”

I lack self-confidence. Admittedly, I am envious of those who seem confident in facing any challenges.

Confidence in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is safely placed. The LORD will complete the work he started in you and me; not only will he finish but he’ll finish right on time. We are being shaped into the likeness of the Savior.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:28-29 KJV).”

He is patient; he is growing me in Christ. I place myself in his competent hands.

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV).

No Easy Task by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

You’ve heard of senior moments, right? It’s a ready excuse for forgetfulness among the aging. Typical memory loss includes the inability to remember names and where I place things like keys and paperwork. Forgetfulness is frustrating.

Yet, forgetfulness is as a 2 sided coin. Some things should be remembered no more. Apostle Paul’s past serves as a perfect example…

“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12-14 NKJV).”

There are 2 things I realize about Apostle Paul’s past. First, he had top credentials, educated under the Pharisee Gamaliel, one of the most respected Rabbis. Paul was zealous in the keeping of Mosaic Law. Second, he was guilty of persecuting the early church. He went so far as being an accomplice at the stoning death of Stephen. Paul had much to forget.

He had to cast aside pride for any success he had attained. More importantly, he had to forget his cruelty to Christians. That was no easy task.

God’s grace sustained him. Paul left the past behind and forged forward in service.

.

Nail it Down by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Nail it down.

Know what you believe and why you believe it.

How would you define eternal life?

“Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He shouldgive eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent (John 17:1-3 NKJV).”

Martha believed Jesus’ promises.

“Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’

Martha said to Him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?’

She said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world (John 11:23-27 NKJV).”

Eternal life is found in a personal relationship with Jesus. Nail it down.

“And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life (1 John 5:11-12 NKJV).”

Going to the Source by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

I’m a country girl. In the summertime, I had easy access to fresh fruit in rural Mycenae, New York.

I picked Bartlett pears or McIntosh apples from our backyard and relished the treat of plumbs from my best friend Carol’s yard. I had my fill of wild blackcap berries by the crick. On occasion, I sampled fresh raspberries or strawberries from a neighbors patch.

Though the luscious fruit was in several different locations, I knew where it was and availed myself to nutritious snacks.

Where do I find the source of spiritual fruit?

The fruit of the Spirit comes from the Holy Spirit; He dwells within all Christ followers.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25 HCSB).” 

He leads; will I follow?

The Holy Spirit wants me to bear fruit.

I must abide in the vine.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me (John 15:5 HCSB).”

Leave the Light On by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Are you afraid of the dark?

My husband and I have a habit of leaving a light on during the night. Neither of us likes sleeping in total darkness; there is logic in seeing where we’re going when we get up to go to the bathroom. We just feel safer in the light.

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105 KJV).”

Maybe you’ve seen tennis shoes that light up with each step… Some of the infants and toddlers in Christian childcare wore them in my class. My first reaction was fascination; I must admit the newness quickly diminished.

Though old in chronological time, God’s message is new each time that he sheds his bright light upon my path. It reminds me of the use of vehicle headlight’s low and high beams. There are times when I need (and activate) high beams to increase my visibility of what is ahead.

I need to know where I’m going; in addition, I want more light to alert me to any dangers that may lie ahead.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he (Proverbs 29:18 KJV).”

God’s word not only lights my feet and path; it reveals the true 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).”

California Veggies by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Do you frequent roadside summertime produce stands? Those of us who live in milder climates have an advantage; we have much longer availability. Maybe you grow your own fresh vegetables in a back yard garden or are involved in a community garden. Over the years, my husband (a vegetarian) has planted both small and large gardens.

I have both sentiment and satisfaction in my California veggie experiences.

First, the sentiment…  We lived in Devore Canyon (and my Dad lived nearby briefly). Together, we worked a plot of land in a San Bernardino community garden. We had a bumper crop of sweet corn and several varieties of squash. To put it mildly, Dad enjoyed the sweet corn. He rehashed corn stories so often that he irritated Mom!

My other California story focuses on cauliflower. A friend asked if we would be interested in getting free cauliflower. Free is good. Cauliflower is tasty. It seems a farmer had gathered all he needed from his field. Before plowing the rest under, he made an offer for local ‘you pick’ gatherers. We took him up on his offer and we were ‘satisfied.’

“When you reap the harvest of your land, you are not to reap to the very edge of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You must not strip your vineyard bare or gather its fallen grapes. Leave them for the poor and the foreign resident; I am Yahweh your God (Leviticus 19:9-10 HCSB).”

Transition by Transformation by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

My husband and I have moved countless times. In our early years of marriage, we averaged a move every six months. It gave us the opportunity to see new places and make many new friends.

One necessity in packing for a move is discarding old useless items. After settling in our next home, we’d need new furnishings. ‘Out with the old, in with the new.’ I recall a humorous incident from a time when my parents moved from New York State to Texas.

When packing, they used large plastic bags for some light items like towels. We all had a good laugh; Mom discovered that someone had included a bag of their trash when loading their rental truck. Life is not a joke. Moving from lost to saved is serious.

Praise God! He makes the transition a priority.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV).”

I anticipate my final change. He’ll give me a brand new body.

“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality (1 Corinthians 15:51-53 NKJV).”

Extremes by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Mark Twain wrote the classic ‘The Prince and the Pauper.’

If you were a Bobby soxer, you likely recall Tony Bennett’s 1953 ‘Rags to Riches’ recording. It went gold.

Why would anyone wish to remain a pauper dressed in rags?

“But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;

We all fade as a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind,
Have taken us away (Isaiah 64:6 NKJV).”

God continues to transforms lives. With Him, nothing is impossible; only believe.

Will stories of transformed lives compel us to seek the LORD? He offers such change.

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
My soul shall be joyful in my God;
For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels (Isaiah 61:10 NKJV).”

Would a bride be dressed in rags? Ludicrous!

“And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, ‘Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!  Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.’ And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints (Revelation 19:8 NKJV).”

Calamity Job by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Cause and effect…

Frequently, bad things do happen to good people.

“But as for me, I would seek God,
And I would place my cause before God;
Who does great and unsearchable things,
Wonders without number (Job 5:8-9 NASB).”

The friends of Job did not know the true cause of Job’s calamity; yet, this advice is wise.

They did not discern the truth. His trials were not a result of God’s chastising.

Calamity could have crushed Job. Hear his first reaction…

“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped.  He said,

‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked I shall return there.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.’

Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God (Job 1:20-22 NASB).”

As sovereign, God granted Satan permission to test Job. As just, the LORD vindicated him.

“… and My servant Job will pray for you. For I will accept him so that I may not do with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.’ Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the Lord told them; and the Lord accepted Job.

The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold (Job 42:8b-10 NASB).”

 

Sunday, Go to Meetin’ by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11


“That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving,
And tell of all Your wondrous works.
Lord, I have loved the habitation of Your house,
And the place where Your glory dwells (Psalm 26:7-8 NKJV).”

I pause. I consider the deep emotion of the Psalmist. In common vernacular, David was like a kid in a candy store. Where should he start? Should he raise his voice in thanksgiving, share a testimony? He did not dread going to the LORD’s house; he delighted in it! The glory of God dwelled there.

I rarely attended church in my formative years. At age 18, I became a Christ follower; it was then that I became a regular ‘church goer.’ One of my first recollections of that time was the warmth of worshipers.

Husbands or beaus leaned back against church pews with an arm around their favorite girl. Children formed a line at the altar to face the congregation and sing of the Savior. As God’s family, they loved the LORD and their brothers and sisters in Christ.

If it was a Sunday, the faithful looked forward to goin’ to meetin.’

“My foot stands in an even place;
In the congregations I will bless the Lord (Psalm 26:12 NKJV).”

The LORD blessed them with eternal life, an abundant life; in turn, they blessed Him through lives of consistent worship and praise.

…not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:25 NKJV).”

Secret Admirer by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Now how did ‘that’ get there?

Surprise gifts make Valentine’s Day extra special. To this day, I’m still not sure how a secret admirer carried out his scheme. In junior high, I was in between classes. I made a hurried routine stop at my combination locker.

After twirling the tumblers, I opened the door to my hallway locker. Readying myself to exchange class books, I stopped. My eyes had spied a beautiful red heart shaped box of Valentine’s candy. Now how did that get ‘there?’

First, I must apologize. At age 67, some of the details are a bit cloudy. I do recall that the boy’s sister was in my homeroom. She likely told me that it was from him. I was flattered that he went to so much trouble to express his affection. And yet, how did he get the combination to my locker?

Hmm…maybe his sister had peeked over my shoulder as I used my combination.

God combines good deeds with anonymity.

“Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing (Matthew 6:2-3 NKJV).”

Smother Them With Kisses by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

I just had a light bulb revelation. A thought shed light on a much-used expression, ‘Smother them with kisses.’ Okay, to smother is to leave one breathless. Hey, that was a hit song. [Jerry Lee Lewis, 1958]

Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching. I’m a hopeless romantic; will I smother my sweetie with kisses and shower him with love? Nah, the customary “Happy Valentine’s Day” will suffice.

Inwardly, all blossom when receiving outward expressions of love. The simple touch on a persons’ cheek or firm squeeze of their hand lifts spirits. We cannot start sharing those actions too early; as recipients, we never outgrow the desire for hugs and kisses.

Once upon a time, there was a woman with a scandalous reputation

“A woman in the town who was a sinner found out that Jesus was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house. She brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil and stood behind Him at His feet, weeping, and began to wash His feet with her tears. She wiped His feet with the hair of her head, kissing them and anointing them with the fragrant oil (Luke 7:37-38 HCSB).”

Was Christ offended? No, He was befriended and deeply loved. Praising her, the merciful Lord seized the opportunity to teach valuable lessons on love and forgiveness. (Luke 7:39-50)

I close with a recollection: S.W.A.K. ‘Sealed with a kiss!’

The Badlands by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

My husband and I watch old westerns.That’s an understatement; we watch ‘lots’ of old westerns. Some of my devotional readers are well aware; I have woven western themes in many of my messages. Today, I want to focus on the Badlands…

When running from the law, outlaws frequently traveled through the Badlands.

Posies, lawmen and bounty hunters pursued them. I’d guess that many bad men breathed their last in the Badlands.

We have all broken God’s law.

“For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:22b-23 NKJV).”

I can only imagine… What if the Apostle Paul had lived in the days of the Wild West?

 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God,but under law toward Christ, that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you (1 Corinthians 9:21-23 NKJV).” 

Paul would have shared the gospel of grace with lawbreakers. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Paul would have led them out of Badlands and pointed them in the direction of heaven.

Faith to Finale by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Death and deceased; we cringe at the two words. Yet, death is as natural as birth. As a baby boomer, I am frequently grieving the loss of old friends. As a Christ follower, I celebrate the lives of those who were in the family of God. He takes their deaths seriously.

“Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, ‘Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’

‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them (Revelation 14:13 NKJV).”

For many, life begins in a hospital delivery room. The eternal life of believers was birthed in heaven’s throne room of God. The LORD is present from start to finish.

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV).”

Amen.

Reality by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Are you a fan of ‘The Big Valley?’

My husband and I are regular viewers. Today, we hear a great deal about reality TV. Though it’s not easy to discuss, it is reality. Numbers of children, then and now, are labeled ‘illegitimate.’ Heath Barkley (Lee Majors) was not Victoria Barkley’s son by birth. In time, Heath was accepted by the Barkley’s.

I introduce Jephthah. The Bible is always relevant.

“Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor, but he was the son of a harlot; and Gilead begot Jephthah. Gilead’s wife bore sons; and when his wife’s sons grew up, they drove Jephthah out, and said to him, ‘You shall have no inheritance in our father’s house, for you are the son of another woman.’ Then Jephthah fled from his brothers and dwelt in the land of Tob; and worthless men banded together with Jephthah and went out raiding with him.

It came to pass after a time that the people of Ammon made war against Israel. And so it was, when the people of Ammon made war against Israel, that the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob. Then they said to Jephthah, ‘Come and be our commander, that we may fight against the people of Ammon.’

So Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, ‘Did you not hate me, and expel me from my father’s house? Why have you come to me now when you are in distress (Judges 11:1-7 NKJV).”

The reality, God empowered Jephthah… “Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah (Judges 11:29a NKJV).”

In His Arms by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

The little girl loves her daddy.

“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father (Romans 8:15 NKJV).”

She snuggled in his strong arms.

“And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father (Galatians 4:6 NKJV)!”

My husband and I stood in our church pew. Along with others in the congregation, we raised our voices in praise and thanksgiving to the LORD. I observed a father and his young daughter a couple of rows ahead of us. He stood, holding the child in his arms.

Clinging to his body, she rested her head on his shoulder. Playfully at times, she swung her feet. The scene was serene; the daughter rested securely in protective arms. Contented, she lavished love upon her father.

Father God, I run into the shelter of your arms.

“The eternal God is your refuge,
And underneath are the everlasting arms (Deuteronomy 33:27 NKJV).”

The child didn’t have a care in the world; her daddy was taking care of her.

The Father cares for me; He cares for you too.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV).”

My Shepherd by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Jesus… he is my shepherd.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (Psalm 23:1 KJV).

Jesus… he is the good shepherd.

“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep (John 10:11 KJV).”

Jesus… he is the great shepherd.

“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen (Hebrews 13:20-21 KJV).”

Jesus… he is the chief shepherd.

“And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away (1 Peter 5:4 KJV).”

Jesus… he is the compassionate shepherd.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever (Psalm 23:1-6 KJV).”

Storm Chasers by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

‘Storm chasers’ get an adrenal rush when they spot a funnel cloud or hail begins to fall.

God controls the weather.

“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt—on man, on beast, and on every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.’ And Moses stretched out his rod toward heaven; and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire darted to the ground. And the Lord rained hail on the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, so very heavy that there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. And the hail struck throughout the whole land of Egypt, all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail struck every herb of the field and broke every tree of the field. Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, there was no hail (Exodus 9:22-26 NKJV).”

The LORD stopped the hail storm; yet, Pharaoh refused to let the Hebrews go.

“So Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh and spread out his hands to the Lord; then the thunder and the hail ceased, and the rain was not poured on the earth. And when Pharaoh saw that the rain, the hail, and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet more; and he hardened his heart, he and his servants. So the heart of Pharaoh was hard; neither would he let the children of Israel go, as the Lord had spoken by Moses (Exodus 9:33-35 NKJV).”

It’s the Law by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

It’s the law.

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

For every man shall bear his own burden (Galatians 6:2-5 KJV).”

Yes, I live under grace; I’m no longer bound by legalism. Yet, I have a desire to fulfill the law of Christ; I want to bear the burdens of the weary. Multitudes are weighed down by their problems. The proverbial straw might not break their back but it could break their spirit. Christ wants his followers to lift one another through encouragement and prayer. We have the responsibility and opportunity to lighten each other’s loads.

Does this conflict with each bearing his own burdens?

I don’t believe it does. According to teaching that I’ve heard, burdens in the first instance were excessive. The latter was a normal load to carry. As an example, a homemaker is a stay at home mom of 3 young children. She is tired at the day but able to rest and go through her daily routines. In contrast, a woman who is a single parent might work all day in a dead end job and come home to her 3 youngsters. They need supper, baths and tenderness. She is in desperate need of a burden bearer.

It’s the law. It is love.

Playing by the Rules by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11


Many families enjoy playing board games. Children often make up their own rules.  In reality, we should play by the rules. There are also rules in athletic games. The girls coach at my high school expected us to know rules well; well enough to pass her written exams. I did not fare well.

Apostle Paul used athletics as a teaching tool.

“And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules (2 Timothy 2:5 NKJV).”

Sin is breaking the rules.

God gave us the Bible as a rule book. His rules, commands are fair. He tests us daily, not so much for our knowledge of the rules but for our faithfulness in following them. The key is in personally knowing His Son.

“Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;  that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death (Philippians 3:8-10 NKJV).”

Through faith, we receive the grand prize gift, eternal life.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23 NKJV).”

Daily Recommended Servings by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Are you getting your recommended daily servings of bread?

“All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers.

And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.

And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live (Deuteronomy 8:1-3 KJV).”

Bread sustains life…

“Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst (John 6:32-35 KJV).”

Ask and receive.

“Give us day by day our daily bread (Luke 11:3 KJV).”

A Godsend by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

It’s a Godsend!

No, it is not Kismet or coincidence; it’s a Godsend.

God blesses His children. He sends good things our way.

Spiteful brothers sold Joseph into slavery. Yet, in reality, it was his heavenly Father who sent him away to Egypt.

“Joseph could no longer keep his composure in front of all his attendants, so he called out, ‘Send everyone away from me!’ No one was with him when he revealed his identity to his brothers. But he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and also Pharaoh’s household heard it. Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am Joseph! Is my father still living?’ But they could not answer him because they were terrified in his presence.

Then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Please, come near me,’ and they came near. ‘I am Joseph, your brother,’ he said, ‘the one you sold into Egypt. And now don’t be worried or angry with yourselves for selling me here, because God sent me ahead of you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there will be five more years without plowing or harvesting. God sent me ahead of you to establish you as a remnant within the land and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. Therefore it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household, and ruler over all the land of Egypt (Genesis 45:1-8 NKJV).”

A Way Out by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

The stories are riveting. Adventures wander away from well marked paths when camping or hiking. Frequently, these individuals find themselves hopelessly lost. Learning that they are missing, trained forest rangers and concerned citizens make strategies and form teams. Search and rescue commences. Why are so few concerned about those who are spiritually lost?

Jesus’ mission, seeking them out. Saving them was his motive.

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10 KJV).”

I believe we fail to empathize with the lost. It must be terrifying to get lost in the mountains, wooded areas or in an arid desert. The lost seek shelter, food, water and a way out. People who are spiritually lost have left the narrow way; they search for security. Desperate, they try to fill the emptiness that God alone can fill. The lost can be found.

They can return to the Father.

“And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry (Luke 15:20-24 KJV).”

Mom Was a Whiz by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11


My Mom was a whiz at word games, a regular winner at bridal and baby showers. Naturally, she liked crossword puzzles. If given the letter z, I wonder what words she would have formed.

As a baby boomer, the first thing that comes to memory is ‘Z for Zorro!’

Maybe, instead of relying on memory I should renew my mind through Scriptures.

Z for zealous…

How zealous am I; how diligent, faithful and fervent?

“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality (Romans 12:9-13 NKJV).”

Am I ready, willing and zealous?

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works (Titus 2:11-14 NKJV).

An Heiress by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

I’m an heiress.

Do you visualize a mansion, limousine, furs and jewels?

No; and I don’t have servants or live extravagantly.

I do have an inheritance…

“So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified (Acts 20:32 NKJV).”

God adopted me into His family; I am a child of God.

“… and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together (Romans 8:17 NKJV).”

Yes, I am an heiress.

“And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:29 NKJV).”

The LORD has an inheritance prepared for me.

“In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11 NKJV).”

By Him, in Him.

“… giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light (Colossians 1:12 NKJV).”

Praise His name!

“… that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:7 NKJV).”

Amazing grace…

“… to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you (1 Peter 1:4 NKJV).”

 

You Will See by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Look closely.

Look in His direction.

“The Lord upholds all who fall,
And raises up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look expectantly to You,
And You give them their food in due season.
You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing (Psalm 145:14-16 NKJV).”

Sometimes I look in a person’s direction; yet, I don’t really see them.

Jesus spoke of poor spiritual eyesight.

“Having eyes, do you not see (Mark 8:18a NKJV)?”

When looking at the Son of God, I need to look very closely; I will see the Father.

“Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’ (John 14:9 NKJV)?”

Do you see Jesus for who He really is?

Look closely…

“He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’

Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:15-16 NKJV).”

Look again.

“… looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV).”

Never at a Loss for Words by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Are you an extrovert or introvert… outgoing or shy?

Some can converse with everyone they meet. Many are more reserved and talking with strangers makes them uncomfortable.

I’m in the latter group. Opposites attract; my husband can always find someone to talk to and something to talk about!

I should never be at a loss for words.

Oh, give thanks to the Lord!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!
Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord (Psalm 105:1-3 NKJV).”

Note two power points.

The Psalmist said to make the LORD’s deeds known, to talk of His works.

What should I say?

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy (Psalm 107:1-2 NKJV).”

He has redeemed me, snatched me from Satan’s hand. That’s something to talk about. The Apostle Paul never tired of telling his testimony…

“While thus occupied, as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’  So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting (Acts 26:12-15 NKJV).”

He saw the light.

Got My Pride by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

I’m guessing most of us have felt like this when put down…

‘I’ve got my pride!’

Is that a healthy attitude?

“Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18 NKJV).”

The book of Proverbs provides insight. Pride can develop in individuals and in nations as well. Patriotism is admirable; yet, pride is sinful.

“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
Lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him,
And He turn away His wrath from him (Proverbs 24:17-18 NKJV).”

Pride is perilous; humility honors our Creator God.

“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith (Romans 12:3 NKJV).”

Woe is me, I’ve got my pride. How can I overcome it?

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV).”

He cares; He forgives.

Gist of the Just by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

How time flies!

Is it Tuesday already?

I ask you, where did the weekend go?

To be honest, I wonder where the last 50 years have gone.

Time flies when you’re having fun; it whizzes by.

Try to get a youngster out of the swimming pool.

‘But Mom, I just got in!’

Announce that it’s time to leave Disney Land.

‘We just got here!’

You acquiesce; it’s the last day of your vacation trip. And yet, it does not seem possible. It seems like you just arrived at your destination.

I believe you get the gist of the just…

Time flew for Jacob. No, he wasn’t having fun herding sheep. He was in love.

“Now Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, ‘I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.’

And Laban said, ‘It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.’ So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her (Genesis 29:18-20 NKJV).”

What’s time when you serve out of love?

“Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you (1 Samuel 12:24 NKJV).”

It’s Grand by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Grand parenting is wonderful; well, it’s grand!

“Grandchildren are the crown of the elderly,
and the pride of sons is their fathers (Proverbs 17:6 HCSB).”

I wear the crown proudly and I admit to being in the elderly age bracket.

Grand parenting is one of the best perks; one of the blessings of family life. God rewards both men and women.

“How happy is everyone who fears the Lord,
who walks in His ways!
You will surely eat
what your hands have worked for.
You will be happy,
and it will go well for you.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house,
your sons, like young olive trees
around your table.
in this very way
the man who fears the Lord
will be blessed.

May the Lord bless you from Zion,
so that you will see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life
and will see your children’s children (Psalm 128:1-7a HCSB).”

He continues to bless; I am living to see my grand children’s children!

Not Crossing My Fingers by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

It’s Friday. It’s the 13th and I’m not crossing my fingers.

You won’t catch me knocking on wood either.

I don’t believe in bad luck; for that matter, I don’t believe in good luck either. The Lord watches over me.

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31 NKJV).”

What will I say?

I’ll say that this will be a great day!

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.

They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV).”

Does the last line sound familiar?

Most church goers will remember the classic hymn, ‘Great is Thy Faithfulness.’

Yes, God is faithful. He has promised His protection.

Will I hide a rabbit’s foot in my pocket or hang a horseshoe above the front door?

No, because I have hidden God’s word in my heart.

“The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore (Psalm 121:7-8 NKJV).”

Forever and more…

My Home Place by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

What’s it like to go home?

The older I get, the more I want to go home.

Jesus is preparing my home place.

“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 14:1-6 NKJV).”

Yes, I’ll be right at home with Jesus. That is togetherness.

My original home was in Mycenae, NY. For 18 years, I lived there with my Ford family. After marrying, I moved out of state. Visits were rare; when Dad greeted us at the kitchen door, I knew I was home.

“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:9-10 NKJV).”

Jesus is the only door to my eternal home.

A Curse by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

‘Work!’

Before Bob Denver starred in ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ he had the role of Maynard J. Crebs. 

As best friend to Dobie in ‘The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis,’ Maynard, (a beatnik character), had a strong aversion to work. Is work a curse?

Though to many it is drudgery, it began as divine…

“Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat (Genesis 2:15-16 NKJV).”

The curses came after Adam and Eve had sinned.

“Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:

‘Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.
In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return (Genesis 3:17-19 NKJV).”

Mrs. Howard Knew How by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Many ponder their purpose.

Mrs. Eloise Howard knew how to live life to the fullest…

Ms E began the New Year with a move. She went to her heavenly home. I attended the celebration of life service at her church. At age 97, she passed on a legacy of faith and service.

Mrs. Howard trusted Jesus as her Savior as a young girl. She had discovered how to receive forgiveness for her sin. That was only a beginning…

Eloise would later marry. In a world of castoff relationships, she and Keener had an enduring love. They raised a family and raised Louisiana Delta crops. Work and worship went side-by-side. God gifted her in teaching.

Mrs. Howard taught children’s Sunday school classes for sixty years. First and foremost, she focused on faith in Jesus, proclaiming him the Son of God. She also knew how to encourage others…

Pastors enthusiastically praised her for lifting their spirits by lifting them up to the LORD in prayer. She was a faithful prayer warrior.

Ms. Eloise knew how to keep a sharp mind. She was an avid reader and was instrumental in establishing the local public library.

I close on a personal note. Mrs. Howard knew how to find humor in her circumstances. Diagnosed as legally blind, she told me and my husband that when dressing for church she had dressed in colors that clashed.

Thanks to Ms E, I now know how to leave a legacy.

“Then I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write: The dead who die in the Lord from now on are blessed.

‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘let them rest from their labors, for their works follow them (Revelation 14:13 HCSB).”

TLC by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Have you ever tried to mask the bitter taste of medicine with a fruit juice?

The pleasant taste of something sweet does make the medicine easier to swallow. Mary Poppins shared a logical conclusion; it’s true, sugar will make the medicine go down. It also rings true when we have unpleasant news to share. Maybe you’ve said this…

‘First, let me give you the good news.’

When I was working with infants and toddlers, behavior problems were normal. I received wise advice from my employer at a Christian childcare center. He suggested that when talking to their parents, I first share something positive about the child. Sadly, I did not always remember to break the ice with praise for the child.

The soft approach is an act of kindness.

I can tenderly sugar coat my words. A good dose of TLC (tender loving care) builds strong relationships.

“A gentle answer turns away anger,
but a harsh word stirs up wrath.

The tongue of the wise makes knowledge attractive,
but the mouth of fools blurts out foolishness (Proverbs 15:1-2 HCSB).”

What kind of example am I leaving?

“She opens her mouth with wisdom
and loving instruction is on her tongue (Proverbs 31:26 HCSB).”

This is my desire.

Change of Seasons by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Most look forward to the change of seasons.

Summer, fall, winter or spring; I can expect changes in nature.

They are promised by our Creator.

He remains faithful.

“While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease (Genesis 8:22 NKJV).”

Some climates change a great deal with the change of seasons. In others, the changes may be less dramatic. I’ve lived from coast-to-coast in America. There was a vast difference in Central New York State and the Coachella Valley of California.

Yet, I experienced noticeable changes in weather conditions in both areas.

There was a change in the seasons.

I felt the heat of the sun in the summertime and a nip in the air when fall arrived. I’ve shivered in the dampness of winter rains or frigid temperatures accompanied by snow, sleet or ice. Do I like all the changes in seasons? God knows.

He knows I am prone to complain. In the summer, I complain about it being too hot and the need for rain. In the fall, I express my disappointment if it seems to pass too quickly. Being cold natured, I murmur about wintertime. Come spring, I complain if it rains too much. I’m hard to please.

I can talk about the weather; I might even try to predict it.

“When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times (Matthew 16:2b-3 NKJV).”

I can’t fight change.

The Acrostic by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Acrostics are great teaching tools. While reading my Bible; the idea for one nearly leaped off the page. Surely, I’ve noticed it before and it just slipped my mind.

Ask
Seek
Knock

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?  If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him (Matthew 7:7-11 NKJV).”

I need to ask the Lord and I need to be specific.

“So Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’
The blind man said to Him, ‘Rabboni, that I may receive my sight (Mark 10:51 NKJV).”

I need to seek His will.

“… saying, ‘Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done (Luke 22:42 NKJV).”

I need to persevere in prayer, to continue knocking.

“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2 NKJV).”

I should never be ashamed to ask for His help. 

In Solitary by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

When incarcerated, solitary confinement is severe punishment.

Yet, at times we benefit greatly by being in solitary; it is time well spent.

“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him. When they found Him, they said to Him, ‘Everyone is looking for You (Mark 1:35-37 NKJV).”

Neither time nor space confined Christ. He purposely distanced Himself away from His disciples and crowds. In solitude, He prayed; He communed with His Father. He set an example for you, for me…

King David opened and closed his day with devotion.

“O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name (Psalm 63:1-4 NKJV).”

Prayer and meditation strengthened him.

“When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice (Psalm 63:6-7 NKJV).”

The Savior beckons; He draws me to solitary places.

Are You Happy? by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Happy New Year!

Are you Happy?

“Happy are the people who know the joyful shout;
Yahweh, they walk in the light of Your presence.
They rejoice in Your name all day long,
and they are exalted by Your righteousness.
 For You are their magnificent strength;
by Your favor our horn is exalted.
Surely our shield belongs to the Lord,
our king to the Holy One of Israel (Psalm 89:15-18 HCSB).”

I can be happy.

He is with me; He sheds His light upon my path.

JESUS… There is no other name like His.

“There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people, and we must be saved by it (Acts 4:12 HCSB).”

I’m robed with His righteousness.

“I greatly rejoice in the Lord,
I exult in my God;
for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation
and wrapped me in a robe of righteousness,
as a groom wears a turban
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels (Isaiah 61:10 HCSB).”

He strengthens me.

“I am able to do all things through Himwho strengthens me (Philippians 4:13 HCSB).”

His favor, His grace is sufficient.

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for poweris perfected in weakness. Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me (2 Corinthians 12:9 HCSB).”

Faith is my shield.

“In every situation take the shield of faith,
and with it you will be able to extinguish
all the flaming arrows of the evil one (Ephesians 6:16 HCSB).”

Happy New Year!

Not Paradise by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Nostalgia television networks frequently air ‘Young at Heart’ during the Christmas season. Viewers may identify with Doris Day’s character or with other members of her close-knit family. The script had scenes with celebration; yet, it also had times of deep sadness and depression.

I recall seeing the traditional tree, mistletoe, the snow and comforting flames in the fireplace on the TV screen. Script writers tucked truth inside a fictional story; we do not all find happiness at Christmas.

Scenario: Doris as Lori and Frank Sinatra as Barney were wed; they struggled to make ends meet on his meager income as songwriter. As a result, he felt like a failure. She learned that she was expecting their first child and decided to give him the wonderful news as her Christmas gift.

Before she had the opportunity, he gave sway to his chronic depression and attempted to take his own life.

God had created life in her womb; in the world, another had decided to end his. The movie is a tear jerker; fortunately, the writers, director and producer gave us a happy-ending. Her husband recovered from his self inflicted auto accident injuries. His career soared; a son was born.

God’s Son Jesus was born. The Son did not come to paradise; mankind had made a mess of things. We needed a Savior.

“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21 KJV).”

Jesus saves; he restores hope.

Batteries Not Included (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

What’s a Christmas without batteries?

Hmm, that’s a good question. We need to insert batteries before gizmos will function. Pity the parents who forget to buy batteries before children and teens open their gifts. What about poor Dad? He’d be unable to hear the whir of battery operated tools.

I include free advice.

Stock up on batteries before Christmas.

Charge your smart phone so you’ll be ready to take pictures. This year’s Christmas will be next year’s memories. Important reminder, as Christians, we depend on a far greater power than disposable batteries.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8 HCSB).”

His power comes through repeated fillings.

“… be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18b HCSB).”

Batteries power our gizmos.

The Holy Spirit empowers Emmanuel followers!

Christmas Recollections by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

As I celebrate Christmas, I recall happy memories of earlier Christmases. Recently, I asked my two sisters and our brother to share some of their recollections.

If you are blessed with living siblings or parents, you might do the same.

My sisters and I did have a few of the same recollections; we all remember receiving dolls for Christmas. New sweaters and pajamas were also mentioned. Our brother’s most memorable situation involved our oldest sister (now deceased). Impersonating Santa, she used a deep voice and he heard her from his bedroom. I know he misses her; we all do.

It is natural to miss loved ones. We cherish the happy times we shared together.

Memories of days gone by draw me closer to my family today.

God is drawing me back to the Christmas gospel.

JESUS saves.

I give God the glory.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart (Luke 2:14-19 KJV).”

 

The Christmas Question by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

I hear the same question every year.

I’m guessing that you hear it too.

‘Are you ready for Christmas?’

My usual response is a smile and ‘no’ or ‘ready as I’ll ever be.’

God’s Spirit probes; His question deserves serious reflection and an honest reply.

Am I ready?

Have I prepared my heart for worship?

Furthermore, am I ready for His imminent return? Are you?

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect (Matthew 24:36-44 NKJV).”

White Christmas Nostalgia by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

With my husband at my side, I snuggled under my electric blanket and viewed a Christmas classic.

Bing Crosby’s ‘White Christmas’ was the perfect choice; the familiar sights and sounds of Christmas were fresh as a new fallen snow. Memories catapulted me to a Central New York State Christmas.

I was raised outside of Syracuse, in the rural neighborhood of Mycenae. There, I had the excitement of many white Christmases. I will be the first to admit that snow accumulations are not always welcome sites to New Yorkers.

Early morning risers must shovel or plow snow covered roads, sidewalks and their driveways.

Highways and Interstates become danger zones; frequently, travelers are involved in vehicle accidents. It would be easy to become stranded in sub-zero temperatures in the midst of towering snowdrifts.

The reality… Dazzling white snow becomes brown slush. Multitudes of Yankees fantasize moves as snowbirds to Florida.

We can eradicate the slush of sin. God transforms hearts.

“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow (Psalm 51:7 KJV).”

The LORD gives freely; receive and rejoice in a white Christmas.

Anna, Did You Know by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Anna, did you know?

Did you know?

Your day began like countless others; yet, as you entered the temple, you would receive a glimpse of God’s glory.

“And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;

And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day (Luke 2:36-37 KJV).”

Anna, did you have any inkling of God’s favor upon you?

You glorified him through humble fastings, prayers and faithfulness. He knew all about you and he was about to reward you.

Anna, did you have a clue that the Christ child was coming your way?

Did the Holy Spirit quicken your pulse and hasten your steps?

Simeon had recognized the fulfillment of prophecy. He looked into the face of JESUS, his Savior. (Luke 2:25-35) Likewise, you beheld the King of Kings!

“And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem (Luke 2:38 KJV).”

Anna, you knew. You knew your LORD intimately.

You experienced his power, providence and his presence.  

A Change of Plans by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

Have you ever made travel plans and experienced unexpected delays?

Maybe you changed your plans at the last minute.

Count your blessings; it was not likely happenstance.

God desires to guide your steps.

“And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

‘And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:

And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son (Matthew 2:12-15 KJV).”

 

He Came by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

I’m not a speed reader; yet, I do often skim as I read. I may hit the high points but miss treasures to be mined within. Recognizing this passage from Isaiah as a familiar Christmas passage, I might be tempted to hasten to the conclusion.

That would be a shame…

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this (Isaiah 9:6-7 KJV).”

At Christmas, we celebrate the fulfillment of this promise, birth of this child. JESUS is the promised Son of God.

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14 KJV).”

He came unto us, to you…to me.

“Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us (Matthew 1:22-23 KJV).”

 

Bethlehem, O Holy Town by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) rsz_image_11


It was first known as Ephrath.

“And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour (Genesis 35:16 KJV).”

Ruth, faithful daughter in law of Naomi, gleaned the fields nearby. (Ruth 1:19-2:3)

It was King David’s home. (1 Samuel 16:4-13)

After a time, it was Bethlehemjudah.

“Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehemjudah, whose name was Jesse; and he had eight sons: and the man went among men for an old man in the days of Saul (1 Samuel 17:12 KJV).”

Micah saw the holy town’s prophetic significance.

“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting (Micah 5:2 KJV).”

Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem, city of David.

“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:) (Luke 2:4 KJV).”

Wise men followed a star to Bethlehem.

“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him (Matthew 2:1-2 KJV).”

Bethlehem, O little town…

One Favored, One Guided by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

The same Mary that God favored, Joseph could have publicly disgraced. 

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus (Matthew 1:18-25 KJV).” 

Mary found favor with the Father; Joseph found guidance through a divine dream. Both were submissive to God’s plan.

The Sacrificial Lamb by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

The shepherds of Bethlehem were not braving the elements to commune with nature; they were caring for sheep.

In Biblical times, sheep were very important. After shearing, women made clothing from wool for their households; the meat from sheep provided sustenance for families. Of utmost significance, some were slaughtered as sacrificial lambs.

Think back to Passover and the Passover lamb…

“Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, ‘Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you (Exodus 12:21-23 NKJV).”

Many animals were sacrificed; only one Lamb removed the sins of the world. JESUS, The babe in a manger became the sacrificial Lamb of God.

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29 NKJV).”

 

Sleigh Bells by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11

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).”

 

Gift Wrapped by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)rsz_image_11 

‘Free gift wrapping.’

Many Christmas shoppers forego the wrapping of presents. Frantic, they decide to leave the wrapping to department store staff.

I once applied for a job in gift wrapping for JC Penney, Shopping Town in DeWitt, New York.

As it turned out, I was hired as a clerk in the Ready to wear department, on the same floor as the gift wrapping service. I must admit, the manager made a wise decision. I’m terrible at gift wrapping.  In contrast, I had no difficulty wrapping my babies in their cuddly receiving blankets.

Through the inspired writing of Luke, I learn of Jesus’ mother’s tender care. Mary wrapped God’s gift to the world! (John 3:16)

“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).”

Start Star Gazing by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Star gazing?

Start praising!

A star fulfilled prophecy.

“I see Him, but not now;
I behold Him, but not near;
A Star shall come out of Jacob;
A Scepter shall rise out of Israel (Numbers 24:17a NKJV).”

Behold, remember the Bethlehem star…

“When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.  When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy (Matthew 2:9-10 NKJV).”

One day, people of all nations will bow before the Bright and Morning Star.

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star (Revelation 22:16 NKJV).”

 

Top Priority by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Making out your Christmas list?

Checking it twice? Ought oh, obsessive-compulsive and checking it again?

After checking my opening statement I need to make a correction. Make that plural, Christmas lists.

Many will be making out gift lists, grocery lists for holiday meals, lists of Christmas parties, programs and much more.

It is a matter of priorities. What do I tend to first? Throughout the year, I get a feeling of accomplishment when I can delete an item from any lists. Priorities are not only beneficial at Christmastime. They are eternally essential.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof (Matthew 6:33-34 KJV).”

Seeking the King of the Jews, Magi traveled to Jerusalem. It was top priority …

“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

Saying, ‘Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him (Matthew 2:1-2 KJV).”

Father Christmas by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Are you a believer?

Do you know the true Father Christmas?

Children of all ages are believers in the traditional Father Christmas. Most know him best as Santa Claus; others call him Saint Nicholas. Maybe you also have fond memories of Mr. Christmas…

The late Andy Williams was well suited for the role. For years, Andy shared his family and the traditions of Christmas on network television. Americans welcomed him into our homes as Mr. Christmas. 

I wonder how many fail to welcome the heavenly Father into our hearts and homes…

It is not too late. Trust, Father Christmas; He is the Father of lights.

“Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning. By His own choice, He gave us a new birth by the message of truth so that we would be the firstfruits of His creatures (James 1:17-18 HCSB).”

Welcome and worship the Father of lights. Christmas lights can serve as yearly reminders. Let His light shine through you. Say Merry Christmas; share good tidings. The Father sent His Son to seek and save the lost; Jesus is the light of the world.

 

Christmas Miracles by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us (Matthew 1:23 NKJV).”

Through the Father’s anointing, this familiar passage has become fresh to me. The reality of the virgin birth and God the Son being with us are Christmas miracles.

The Creator Christ is with us…

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made (John 1:1-3 NKJV).”

Yes, through Him and for Him…

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence (Colossians 1:15-18 NKJV).”

The firstborn, Immanuel, God is with us.

He has made the way for us to be with Him!

“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).”

 

Worshipful While Waiting by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Waiting…

Am I patient or impatient?

Is my mind focused or wandering?

I confess; when encountering delays, I want to take control.

The Jews looked for their Messiah; they waited for the fulfillment to the prophesied birth of the Christ child. Were they worshipful while waiting?

I cannot say but it was worth the wait.

“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’ Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ (Galatians 4:4-7 NKJV).”

You know, He is coming again. He is. I am waiting for His promised return.

The Father is in control. He will send Him in the fullness of time, in His time.

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father (Mark 13:32 NKJV).”

I expect Him to return soon.

“Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect (Matthew 24:44 NKJV).”

 

With Thanksgiving by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Faith, family and Thanksgiving…

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving (Colossians 2:6-7 NKJV).”

In recent days, many have shared Thanksgiving messages on social media. The posts have usually revealed gratefulness for family and friends.

As Christ followers, we are very thankful for them too; yet, we are most grateful for the gift of salvation.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV).” 

What if we fail to give thanks to the LORD?

Jesus delivered (saved) several men from the dreaded disease of leprosy…

“Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’

So when He saw them, He said to them, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.

So Jesus answered and said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?’ And He said to him, ‘Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well (Luke 17:11-19 NKJV).”

 

 

 Religious Freedom by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

As I give thanks, I add religious freedom to my Thanksgiving list.

We still have this cherished freedom in the United States of America.

Such doors of evangelistic outreach are not open everywhere. 

Apostle Paul witnessed faithfully; while under arrest, he conducted much of his ministry.

“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds (Colossians 4:2-3 KJV).”

Presently, Christians are persecuted in many nations; the numbers are appalling. Laymen, pastors and missionaries die as martyrs for their faith. I ask for the LORD’s strength to live or die for mine.

“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:20-21 KJV).” 

Paul’s faith inspires me. He had set his house in order.

His priorities were clearly defined. He carried the torch of religious freedom.

“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).”

 

Mercy Made the Difference by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Thanksgiving Day is only days away…

“Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord? who can shew forth all his praise (Psalm 106:1-2 KJV).”

As God’s adopted child, I sometimes feel the innocence of a little girl. His Son has cleansed me of sin. I did not earn it. I certainly did not deserve it. Mercy made the difference; mercy & grace bridged the divide between me and the Father.

Praise the LORD!

I am eternally thankful.

He is so good to us.

If not for mercy, I’d be dead in sin and bound for hell.

The Lord’s mighty acts are irrefutable!

Among many feats, the Father delivered the Hebrews from Egyptian bondage, led them for 40 years through the wilderness and planted them in the Promised Land. God the Son and Holy Ghost continued to carry out signs and wonders.

“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will (Hebrews 2:4 KJV)?”

His mercy is multifaceted; his grace is beyond measure.

 

A Predetermined Effort by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Feeling troubled?

In a time of turmoil?

Trepidation about tomorrow?

“Rejoice always!
Pray constantly.
Give thanks in everything,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 HCSB).”

The message from Apostle Paul goes against my nature. To be frank, it seems ridiculous. How can I rejoice when troubled? When blindsided by turmoil, I’m prone to panic instead of pray. Overwhelmed, I complain.

Is giving thanks merely for Thanksgiving Day dinner?

How can I possibly give thanks in everything I experience?

It takes a predetermined effort.

I can thank God for His presence, strength and purposes.

“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers (Romans 8:28-29 HCSB).”

In good or bad, He purposely conforms me into the image of His Son.

His will is perfect.

Will I submit to His will?

“Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2 HCSB).”

 

If in Doubt by Pam Ford (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

“But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Colossians 3:14-17 NKJV).”

‘Be thankful.’

Am I listening?

Apostle Paul told believers to let peace rule in their hearts; in addition, he said to be thankful.

Can peace rule in my life if I fail to be thankful?

I think not.

I’m encouraged by his segue to the emphasis on God’s word and music. I find countless reasons for gratitude when I abide in His word. Praise and thanksgiving are interwoven in the Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.

If in doubt as to when I should be thankful, Paul clears up any confusion.

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Colossians 3:17 NKJV).” 

 

 

So Little to Ask by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

It should not begin and end with dropping money in church offering plates…

“Offer to God thanksgiving,
And pay your vows to the Most High (Psalm 50:14 NKJV).”

Will I consistently offer up thanksgiving and praise to God?

If not, why not?

He has given me so much.

Thank you, Father.

Three little words… so little to ask of His children.

I taught my children and grandchildren to say thank you.

Do I practice what I preach?

After extending common courtesy to people, do I fail to thank my heavenly Father?

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning (James 1:17 NKJV).” 

Thank you, Father. I am thankful.

 

Stepped Up to Serve by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Today is a legal holiday.

In America, we set aside this day to honor our veterans.

As admirable as that is, I believe it is insufficient.

They deserve daily recognition.

Such dedicated men and women have made countless sacrifices in order to protect our homeland. Setting aside selfish ambitions, our veterans stepped up to serve.

Tragically, many veterans gave their lives in battle on foreign fields. Some were buried in those countries in unmarked graves. At home, Old Glory marks the place of countless graves in cemeteries across our land.

Service is at the heart of Christianity…

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; foryou serve the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:23-24 NKJV).”

Those who served, in any of the branches of the military, now serve as examples to you and me.

Jesus is the ultimate example.

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45 NKJV).”  

Eye of a Veteran by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

What is that I see in the eye of a veteran?

Is it a glimmer of hope for America?

The stooped Vet refuses to settle for days gone by. He or she believes that patriotism’s fires are not snuffed out. Uncle Sam may need his flame rekindled but he still lives.

Love for family, freedom and abiding faith in God lives deep within the hearts of our veterans.

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV).”

Look closer. What is that in the corner of veteran’s eye?

Is it a tear?

Have loneliness and despair taken hold?

Sadly, many of those who have served are neglected and ignored.

If given the opportunity, visit a Veteran’s home. Smile. Shake hands.

Look a veteran in the eye.

Say, ‘Happy Veteran’s Day. Thank you for serving your country!’

 

Counting the Days by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

“He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3a NKJV).”

While most of us anticipate the coming holidays, many others count the days with foreboding.

There will be empty chairs at their Thanksgiving dinners as well as places unfilled around Christmas trees. Grieving, worshipers will find vacant seating beside them at Candlelight Christmas Eve services.

The Christ of Christmas is well acquainted with sorrow.

“Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, ‘Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.’

Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. And He said, ‘Where have you laid him?’

They said to Him, ‘Lord, come and see.’

Jesus wept (John 11:32-35 NKJV).” 

Soon after, the LORD raised Lazarus (Mary’s brother) from the dead. 

In another instance, there was no happy ending…

King Herod had John the Baptist, Jesus cousin, beheaded.

“So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, ‘Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter.’

And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he commanded it to be given to her. So he sent and had John beheaded in prison. And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. Then his disciples came and took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus.

When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself (Matthew 14:8-13a NKJV).”

He understands…

 

 

Not a Tall Tale by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

One of the shortest in my classrooms, the photographers placed me in the front row for group pictures.

Right now, I’m short on time; I decided to write a short article.

Trust me; it’s not a tall tale.

“Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.  Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him,and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.’ So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, ‘He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.’

Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.’

And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:1-10 NKJV).”

It takes a big man to admit that he has been wrong…

A Force to be Reckoned With by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

There was no generation gap. Dad liked to watch the westerns; so did I. 

I was a buckaroo before bucking any authority of the older generation. This cowgirl was a faithful fan of Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy and Gene Autry.

Saunter down to the stables and corral with me. Watch out for prowlers…

Rustlers have been causing a mess of trouble for horse owners. They are eating up the profits of the small ranches. The law has failed to find the culprits. At their wits end, ranchers and hands have bonded together as vigilantes. With their future at stake, they are vigilant in their efforts to seek and stop the enemy.

How vigilant am I? There is an enemy, a force to be reckoned with. 

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen (1 Peter 5:8-11 NKJV).”

 

It Made Me a Believer by Pam ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

I believe in mudding.

No, I do not refer to monster truck or ATV outings to mud holes.

I certainly don’t mean mud wrestling.

I recall childhood experiences when my Mom used mud for medicinal purposes. When a sibling or I got stung by a bee or wasp, Mom made a paste mixture from dirt and water. She applied mud to the affected area. There may not be a great deal of scientific evidence to its healing properties; I only know it made me a believer. 

“As He was passing by, He saw a man blind from birth.His disciples questioned Him: ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’

‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ Jesus answered. ‘This came about so that God’s works might be displayed in him.  We must do the works of Him who sent Me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.’

‘After He said these things He spit on the ground, made some mud from the saliva, and spread the mud on his eyes. ‘Go,’ He told him, ‘wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which means ‘Sent’). So he left, washed, and came back seeing.

His neighbors and those who formerly had seen him as a beggar said, ‘Isn’t this the man who sat begging?’ Some said, ‘He’s the one.’ ‘No,’ others were saying, ‘but he looks like him.’

He kept saying, ‘I’m the one!’

Therefore they asked him, ‘Then how were your eyes opened?’

He answered, ‘The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So when I went and washed I received my sight (John 9:1-11 HCSB).”

 

Wake Up Reminder by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Wake up!

Sorry for the rude awakening. Sometimes you and I need a jolt to wake us up from the humdrums.

[Reader places palm of hand over mouth to politely conceal a yawn.]

Wake up!

Apostle Peter gave the church a wakeup call.

“I consider it right, as long as I am in this bodily tent,to wake you up with a reminder, knowing that I will soon lay aside my tent, as our Lord Jesus Christ has also shown me. And I will also make every effort that you may be able to recall these things at any time after my departure (2 Peter 1:13-15 HCSB).”

I don’t know about you but in my routine I need regular reminders.

My computer space is littered with my daily agenda reminders.

Wall, desk and Smartphone calendars serve as reminders of places to go and appointments to keep. Bible reminders that we read and heed are far more important. Peter was persistent. He sensed the urgency and the brevity of time he had to share the gospel.

“Therefore, dear friends, since you know this in advance, be on your guard, so that you are not led away by the error of lawless people and fall from your own stability.  But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen (2 Peter 3:17-18 HCSB).”

 

Justice by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Very soon, America will elect a new president.

Registered voters have weighed the pros & cons of each candidate.

Our future hangs in the balance.

He or she will lead us for the next 4 years.

Who or what will guide them?

Do they view God as the final authority?

Will our Commander and Chief submit to Jehovah’s marching orders or rebel against His directives?

“The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord;
He turns it wherever He wishes.
Every man’s way is right in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs the hearts.
To do righteousness and justice
Is desired by the Lord more than sacrifice (Proverbs 21:1-3 NASB).”

Will justice prevail?

“He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8 NASB).” 

Oh, that our president would echo the words of Solomon…

“Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted. So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours (1 Kings 3:7-9 NASB)?”

Good Listener by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Be honest; are you a good listener?

Sometimes I’m only half listening; tuning the speaker out, I formulate my reply.

As a lad, Samuel learned the necessity of listening.

“The boy Samuel served the Lord in Eli’s presence. In those days the word of the Lord was rare and prophetic visions were not widespread.

One day Eli, whose eyesight was failing, was lying in his room. Before the lamp of God had gone out, Samuel was lying down in the tabernacle of the Lord, where the ark of God was located.

Then the Lord called Samuel, and he answered, ‘Here I am.’  He ran to Eli and said, ‘Here I am; you called me.’

‘I didn’t call,’ Eli replied. ‘Go back and lie down.’ So he went and lay down.

Once again the Lord called, ‘Samuel!’

Samuel got up, went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am; you called me.’

‘I didn’t call, my son,’ he replied. ‘Go back and lie down.’

Now Samuel had not yet experienced the Lord, because the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. Once again, for the third time, the Lord called Samuel. He got up, went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am; you called me.’

Then Eli understood that the Lord was calling the boy. He told Samuel, ‘Go and lie down. If He calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

The Lord came, stood there, and called as before, ‘Samuel, Samuel!’

Samuel responded, ‘Speak, for Your servant is listening.’

 

Fearful by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Are you timid, fearful?

Some are said to fear their own shadow.

I must not allow fear to diminish my faith.

I stoke the flames of faith and trust.

My Father is in both the sunshine and shadow.

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
 I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.’

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday (Psalms 91:1-6 NKJV).”

I experience His protection; the LORD longs to give me a contented long life.

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation (Psalms 91:14-16 NKJV).”

 

Sin is Serious by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Just how serious do I consider my sin to be?

In regards to that question, I must consider iniquities ramifications.

If…

“I cried to Him with my mouth,

And He was extolled with my tongue.
If I regard iniquity in my heart,
The Lord will not hear.
But certainly God has heard me;
He has attended to the voice of my prayer.

Blessed be God,
Who has not turned away my prayer,
Nor His mercy from me (Psalm 66:17-20 NKJV)!”

How foolish it is to try to hide any sin from Omniscient God.

“For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light (Luke 8:17 NKJV).”

LORD, there is only one thing that I desire to hide in my heart.

“Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You (Psalm 119:11 NKJV).”

 

Long, Hard Look by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Are you a bird watcher?

Bird enthusiasts wish for more than a sneak peek. When catching a mere glimpse of a bird on the wing, they wish it had not flown away so soon. Given ample time, they could have gazed at the bird.

Jesus wants me to look, to take a long hard look at birds. I don’t need to record their color, markings, or to know their habitats or migration habits. The Lord wants me to look for all the ways that he meets their every need.

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature (Matthew 6:25-27 NKJV)?”

Jesus did not sugar coat his words. When a sermon convicts a church member, they frequently accuse their pastor of stepping on their toes. Jesus is not stepping on mine; he is applying gentle pressure to my mind. Why? Worrying reveals a lack of faith.

Christ Jesus, forgive me for wavering in faith. I have felt both conviction and comfort through your bird creatures. In your name, I pray. Amen.

Grace Transformation by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Guilt disfigures; Grace transforms and transfigures.

Judas body hung lifeless under the weight of betrayal and guilt.

“Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself (Matthew 27:4-5 KJV).”

In contrast, though Simon Peter had denied knowing Jesus; he wept and repented. Later, transformed by grace, he became an empowered witness. 

“But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Acts 2:14-21 KJV).” 

 

 

Self-Preservation by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Self-preservation is a natural instinct. Unless mentally unstable, we have the will to survive. Life is precious and we want to live.

Though trouble is a frequent uninvited visitor, we like this world that we call home.

We cherish relationships with family and friends.

Finding fulfillment, in the workplace or in ministry, we see God’s purpose in our lives.

Seeing God in nature, we view each sunrise & sunset as a part of his creation. We receive them as gifts from above.

Life is to be lived to the fullest!

King Saul had threatened to kill David; while in hiding, David’s life had been in jeopardy.  He experienced fear and the drive for self-preservation.

Yet, he experienced a life force greater than his own…

“O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.

My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips (Psalm 63:1-5 NKJV).”

 Living Stones by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Stones have frequently been used in the building of low walls along the sides of residential streets. They are not only functional but pleasing to the eye as well.

Let me share a personal story…

My Dad had an eccentric friend named Oliver.

He often turned to my Dad in search of a handout. Oliver had a real knack for showing up at our house just in time for Mom’s Sunday dinners.

I admit that his unkempt appearance was a turn off but Dad did not turn away his friend.

Instead of belittling him, Dad boasted of Oliver’s ability to build stone walls and drove us past some of his work. I wonder if those walls are still standing in the Syracuse area today.

We are living stones, serving the Rock and standing upon the promises of God.

“Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,

‘Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame (1 Peter 2:4-6 NKJV).”

 

No Holds Barred by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Siblings often squabble; at times it leads to pushing and shoving. If left unchecked the incidents can escalate into wrestling matches, with no holds barred.

Frustration has mom on the ropes but she holds her ground; serving as referee, she sends them to opposite corners to cool off. In many instances, a mother of several children might secretly wish she could call in relief as one involved in tag-team wrestling.

As children of God, we wrestle with evil forces; experiencing weakness, we might be tempted to throw in the towel.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12 NKJV).” 

In times of discouragement, we can depend on God to step into the ring.

God’s Spirit abides within and yet at the same time is always walking by our side. He never leaves us in the clutches.  The boldness of believers of the early church was not due to any natural strength.

They depended upon the power of the Holy Spirit to sustain them. The next time you feel down for the count, call out for re-enforcement. The Holy Spirit will win the match!

 

Mandatory Evacuation by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Life in the Sunshine State is not always paradise. Even there, residents have to face the reality of nature. In this case, that means the strong possibility of hurricanes. Their power and destruction is deeply embedded in personal memories.

Our family evacuated before the impending arrival of Hurricane Opal. We took warnings very seriously. A hurricane can level structures and devastate entire communities. We took no chances; we made our evacuation plans.

When leaving, we had to make rapid decisions. What would we take? What should we leave behind?  We are often unaware of the grip possessions have on us. At the approach of a hurricane, priorities become clearer.

The Florida Department of Transportation & Walton County Emergency Management worked hand-in-hand. Evacuation routes were clearly marked. Locals and tourists needed to only follow instructions and evacuate to a safer location. 

In the spiritual realm, a force more powerful than a hurricane is lurking…

Evil forces and temptations are growing and gaining strength as they approach our homes, communities, states and nations. Do we see the coming destruction?  God freely gave us His evacuation route! He made a way of escape.

 “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (1Corinthians 10:13 NKJV).”

A reminder, hurricanes are named alphabetically.

Our way of escape is J E S U S, the Alpha and the Omega, A-Z!

 

Whodunit by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Perry Mason whodunit courtroom scenes still appeal to the masses. Mason and prosecuting attorney Hamilton Berger were on opposite sides of court cases; yet, at the end justice prevailed. I have to give actor, William Talman credit for his part in the role of Berger. His facial expressions surpassed dialog when Perry proved his defendants innocent.

The devil thought that he had won when Jesus was found guilty of blasphemy and died on the cross. Imagine his expression when Jesus rose from the grave!

“Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door,and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

But the angel answered and said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.  He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.

So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word (Matthew 28:1-8 NKJV).”

 

Innocent Blood by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Cain murdered his brother Abel. Creation cried.

“Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, ‘Where is Abel your brother?’ He said, ‘I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?’And He said, ‘What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground (Genesis 4:8-10 NKJV).”

Abortion is murder.

Worldwide, the numbers of murdered babies are horrific.

God is holding us accountable for the shedding of innocent blood.

“And shed innocent blood,
The blood of their sons and daughters,
Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan;
And the land was polluted with blood.
Thus they were defiled by their own works,
And played the harlot by their own deeds.
Therefore the wrath of the LORD was kindled against His people,
So that He abhorred His own inheritance.
And He gave them into the hand of the Gentiles,
And those who hated them ruled over them.
Their enemies also oppressed them,
And they were brought into subjection under their hand.
Many times He delivered them;
But they rebelled in their counsel,
And were brought low for their iniquity (Psalm 106:38-43 NKJV).”

How low will we go?

 Well Established by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

New business owners proudly display signs.

‘Established in 1955.’

Recently, I noticed a nearly vacant used car lot located at a busy intersection. I spotted a sign that signified coming demolition. Are there plans to four-lane the road? Noting another sign, dating its being established in the 1950’s, my husband and I reflected on its closing.

Our nation was established upon Judeo-Christian principles. We must prayerfully consider our choices for the next president of the United States of America. Is he or she qualified to lead us in a return to righteousness?  Are we on the brink of demise?

“These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied:

 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.

As the heavens for height and the earth for depth,
So the heart of kings is unsearchable.

Take away the dross from silver,
And it will go to the silversmith for jewelry.
Take away the wicked from before the king,
And his throne will be established in righteousness (Proverbs 25:1-5 NKJV).”

I pause to ponder the last line of the scripture passage. Though our presidents do not have thrones of nobility, they do make crucial decisions from the oval office. I pray that each will be established in righteousness and truth.

 

Milestones by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

This weekend, my husband and I plan to attend his high school’s 50th class reunion. In addition, we are already discussing options for our 50th wedding anniversary celebration. The golden anniversary is in December of next year and I want it to be extra special.

How is this possible? 50 may very well be nifty but I’m baffled as to how we can be old enough for these festivities.

My husband Norm is from the Oak Grove, Louisiana class of 1966. That does date him. We exchanged wedding vows at Central Baptist Church, Syracuse, New York in 1967. Hmm, I guess 50th is accurate.

I cannot imagine how we reached these milestones so soon.

Yesterday, we discussed how I once considered the age of 30 as old. Interesting, how one’s perspective changes. Decades ago, my oldest sister Donna made an observation. In her 40’s, she said she was middle aged. Our Mom disagreed until Donna explained that many die around age 80.

Will I live to be 100?

Maybe, maybe not.

“You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes (James 4:14 HCSB).”

Angel’s Proclamation by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

God has repeatedly used angels to proclaim his messages.

They have influenced and impacted lives of recipients.

Angels brought the messages of Jesus birth, resurrection and imminent return.

He is born. “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger (Luke 2:9-12 KJV).”

He lives. “And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?  He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again (Luke 24:4-7 KJV).”

Jesus is coming again. “And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven (Acts 1:10-11 KJV).”

 

 Barriers by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

When caring for infants and toddlers, many parents, grandparents and childcare workers use baby gates. The easily assembled barriers keep adventurous children behind the gates and away from stairways, kitchen stoves and other hazards.

Recently, our daughter was busy cleaning a bathroom. She used a baby gate to prevent our 2 year old great granddaughter Zoey’s entry. Not to be deterred, Zoey repeatedly complained, “It’s stuck!”

Spiritually, God has set some barriers around us for our protection. Yet, other barriers are detrimental to our worship, witness and ministry. Those, He has banished.

“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:26-29 NKJV).”

We are one.

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me (John 17:20-23 NKJV).”

Calling My Father by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

I think back to times when I called my father and to those occasions when he placed the calls.

At the age of 18, after getting married, I moved out of state. I frequently called home to speak to my parents. Mom normally answered the phone but often put Dad on the phone to speak to me before we ended our calls. The calls I made on Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas and Easter were emotional.

The calls I remember from Dad were from long before…

When I was a girl, Dad worked second shift as a security guard at General Electric. Like clockwork, he called home late every afternoon or in the evening. There were 5 Ford girls and the long awaited son, youngest in our family. Apparently my sisters and I sounded much alike on the phone. When I answered, he often called me by the wrong name.

The Father knows my voice; He calls me by name.

I am confident that He will always hear me when I call out to Him in prayer.

“Hear my cry, O God;
Attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

For You have been a shelter for me,
A strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah (Psalms 61:1-4 NKJV).”

 

Clowning Around by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

It’s no laughing matter.

Clown stories are making national news. These clowns are not part of a three-ring-circus or available for children’s birthday parties.

Instead, evil lurks behind painted faces; clowns intentionally target and terrify children. Some have tried to lure children into wooded areas. Parents are panicking; schools, local and state officials are in a quandary.

The clowning is not an isolated incident; it has crossed state lines.

Clown threats to a school in a small south Alabama town made recent headlines.

How did this trend begin?

These are not harmless pranks.

I believe that the devil is behind this phenomenon.

He wants us to cower in fear.

In all of his schemes, we must resist him!

“Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him and be firm in the faith (1 Peter 5:8-9a).”   

 

Trigger Happy by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with promise: ‘that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.’ And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:1-4 NKJV).”

Oh, how we miss the dearly departed.

Stimuli trigger my memories. DAD IN UNIFORM

Here are a few of my best triggers: old songs, re-runs of television programs, classic movies, foods, snapshots and the ever popular birthdays and holidays.

Tomorrow will be my Dad’s birthday. It would have been his 104th.

I’m trigger happy.

I remember him telling me that he liked ‘Winchester Cathedral’ when hearing it play on our car radio. Elvis bridged the generation gap with hit song, ‘Good Luck Charm.’ I always think of Dad and Mom when I hear ‘Sentimental Journey.’ It was their song…

He comes to mind when I watch Bonanza episodes or John Wayne westerns. Classic World War II movies bring back memories of his countless war stories.

I’d guess that anyone in my Ford family can tell you stories about Dad and his love for pancakes and donuts. I cherish mental snapshots.

The snapshots in my family photo albums serve as reminders of how handsome he was.

It’s time to pull the trigger.

Thought Processing by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

My mind went blank.

I frequently experience memory lapses. A good example is my inability to recall names.

In contrast, my mind is usually filled with thoughts.

In our gadgets generation there are on-off, start-stop switches and buttons. I sometimes wish my mind worked that way.

I want to stop all negative thoughts of fear, worry, anger or resentment. The Apostle Paul gave Christians valuable instruction on thought processing.

We are in a spiritual war.

The sooner we realize that, the wiser we will be. We can, we must, win the victory when the enemy invades our minds.

The deceiver, Satan, is the father of lies.

“For though we live in the body, we do not wage war in an unspiritual way, since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 HCSB).”

Christ reigns.

Father, I thank you that Jesus has won the victory through His sinless life, sacrificial death and triumphant resurrection. Help me to focus my mind on things above. In Jesus name. Amen.

 

Daffodils for Tammy by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

daffodils-1369434_640

God speaks tenderly. I am learning to listen.

He speaks through scriptures, by His Holy Spirit and in our circumstances.

In times of suffering and sorrow, I find solace in cherished memories and hope for the future.

My niece Tammy was relentless in her battle with pancreatic cancer. Recently, sleep eluded me. I thought of Tammy telling me how much she enjoyed sightings of daffodils each spring. Wanting to write a devotion to honor her, I thought I’d include the flowers in the message. In researching, I learned that many cancer support groups use the daffodil in fund raising.

The daffodils will bloom next spring.

Yet, the time will be brief.

“All flesh is grass,
And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever (Isaiah 40:6b-8 NKJV).”

Daffodils for Tammy…

Hope for eternal life, it rests in my Redeemer.

“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).”

 

The Bereaved Mourn by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Put yourself in their place…

It’s not hard to do.

Mary and Martha had lost a loved one. (John 11:1-24)

They were heartbroken.

Jesus, He is Lord of all. 

Martha believed.

“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 11:25-7 KJV).”

The bereaved mourn.

The believing bereaved weep and worship the living Lord.

A Call to Worship by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Traditional hymns, spiritual songs and praise worship…

Though preferences in style frequently cause divisions in today’s congregations, each exalts the LORD God.

Back in the 1970’s, my husband Norm and I sang in a traditional choir in the Louisiana Delta town of Lake Providence. As members of the First Baptist Church choir, we took part in calls to worship, church anthems, congregational hymns, invitations, benediction selections and cantatas.

One of the calls to worship was based on the last verse of today’s scripture passage.

“What profit is the image, that its maker should carve it,
The molded image, a teacher of lies,
That the maker of its mold should trust in it,
To make mute idols?
Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Awake!’
To silent stone, ‘Arise! It shall teach!’
Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver,
Yet in it there is no breath at all.

But the Lord is in His holy temple.
Let all the earth keep silence before Him (Habakkuk 2:18-20 NKJV).”

*The Lord is in His Holy Temple/Public Domain/Adam Geibel [1855-1933]

“The Lord is in his holy temple,
the Lord is in his holy temple;
let all the earth keep silence,
let all the earth keep silence before him,
keep silence, keep silence before him.”

Disciplined and Diligent by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Are you a runner?

I have never participated in any races but greatly respect those who do. Runners are disciplined and diligent in their pursuit. They have a strong desire to win.

Recently, I thought of how difficult it must be to run a long distance. I succumbed to defeat without ever stepping up to the starting line.

Apostle Paul compared a foot race to the faith journey…

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NKJV).”

As stated earlier, I had no self-confidence in my ability as a runner. It was then that I received a ‘God surprise.’ Seeing the word race, I visualized the addition of the letter g at the beginning. Through God’s grace, I am given His strength; with Him, all things are possible!

“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NKJV).”

It’s a Fact by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Oh, so important to learn…

Not a cliché, it’s a fact.

It’s all about Him.

Everything, from start-to-finish, it’s all about Him.

He is the main character. He plays all supporting roles.

It’s all about Him, the Creator and LORD.

History is indeed His-story.

“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

For who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has become His counselor?’
Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to him?’

For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen (Romans 11:33-36 NKJV).” 

Apostle Paul was unwavering in his faith. Meditate on the closing statement of this passage.

“For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen (Romans 11:36 NKJV).”

Glory to God!

“You are worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory and honor and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they existand were created (Revelation 4:11 NKJV).”

Am I allowing the LORD to live through me?

Do my words and actions reveal that abundant life is all about Him?

 

 

 

Intense Feelings by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

I believe I have shared this experience in the past but if fits so well with today’s scripture passage.

I worked in three Childcare ministry settings. I preferred to work with infants but was placed with preschoolers occasionally. 2-3 year olds quickly bond with caregivers and teachers. It was humorous to hear two boys in my classroom bantering.

“My Miss Pam.”

“No, my Miss Pam!”

We can have intense feelings about our personal relationship with God.

My God!

“O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me (Psalm 63:1-8 NKJV).”

 

 

Dagwood Sandwich by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV).”

Do you remember Blondie & Dagwood Bumstead?

If you are old enough to recall their movies, TV programs and cartoon strips you are sure to remember Dagwood sandwiches. Maybe they were the inspiration for some of the fast food restaurants offerings of today. They were for the man with a hearty appetite.

Now, ponder the first section of Apostle Paul’s message from above. He sandwiched in important instructions between rejoice always and in everything give thanks.

“Pray without ceasing.”

When I keep the communication lines to the LORD open, praying should be as natural as speaking to my husband.

And speaking of my husband, Norm…

Each night, before bed we have a devotion time. I read a Bible passage and short daily devotion message. He leads in prayer just before we go to sleep.

Last night we followed our regular family altar routine. About 20 minutes later, he spoke up and asked, ‘Did we do the prayer?’ I answered to the affirmative; a short time later, I had almost drifted off to sleep when I was startled by him praying. He was half asleep. Bless his heart, he was praying without ceasing!

As I Submit by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

King David aptly described the Shepherd led life.

He was nurtured, refreshed and invigorated.

The Shepherd steered him away from evil and onto the right paths.

The LORD vanquished David’s fears. He found safety in the Shepherds protective care.

Having received the abundant life, he felt truly blessed.  ____________________________________________________

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever (Psalm 23:1-6 KJV).”

He leads.

I will trust Him.

His goodness and mercy are following me.

As I submit to the Shepherd, I behold the Lamb of God! 

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29 KJV).”

 

Right on Schedule by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Thinking of going to the movies? Give me a love story; end it with happily after.

If there is music and a touch of mystery in the mix, I’m forever a fan of the flick.

The Father is the author of the best seller of all time.

I can sing the Psalms. The Holy Spirit is my companion as I mediate on the mystery of salvation. I’m forever indebted to Jesus for His death on the cross.

I await the final act; Jesus will be center stage!

“For the grace of God has appeared with salvation for all people,  instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, while we wait for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:11-13 HCSB).”

‘While we wait’…

Don’t you hate to wait? 

How many smiling faces have you seen lately in hospital waiting rooms?

Take a different approach…

Consider the atmosphere in airport seating sections. For those waiting for an incoming flight, many celebrations are about to begin.

The plane is right on schedule. People sit on the edge of their seats; they are ecstatic as they anticipate the impending return of that special someone. 

Jesus will return soon. Clear the runway.

 

Oh, How Great by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

The outcry was great; the sin very grave… 

“And the Lord said, ‘Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave,  I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know (Genesis 18:20-21 NKJV).”

I try to imagine the grieving heart of the Father. He knows all, was fully aware of the people’s depravity; yet, said that He would investigate.

God is holy. The abominations were great; His judgment was swift.

Abraham witnessed the destruction…

“And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord. Then he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain; and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land which went up like the smoke of a furnace (Genesis 19:27-28 NKJV).”

God is still on His throne. He hears the outcry of the remnant in a rebellious nation. Humanity’s sin is indeed grave and it leads to death.

“For the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23a NKJV).”

The Father is merciful.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23 NKJV).”

Oh, how great is the gift of God’s grace! 

“Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,  so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 20-21 NKJV).”

 

 

I Settled for White by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

When looking at cars, a little over a year ago, my first choice was red. I settled for white. Maybe I should have held out longer. It is nearly impossible to keep clean. I have issues, serious issues. While living out in the country has advantages, it also has drawbacks.

I enumerate. The road maintenance crews frequently fill potholes with gravel and pour black tar on top. Needless to say, it gets all over my car. I’m grateful for cleaning products but it still takes extra time and elbow grease to remove gobs and streaks of tar.

If you are considering white for your next car, beware of bugs! Like tar, the dead insects are unsightly and difficult to remove. The next vandals are winged creatures. On bombing raids, birds target my car. They have a great aim.

I’m not quite finished complaining…

We are blessed to have several pecan trees on the property. Yet, they too cause difficulties. Leaves and sap fall on top of the white vehicle. Really gross! 

A carport or garage is on my wish list, though that would not solve the tar trouble.

What about my life? How does the LORD keep me clean?

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool (Isaiah 1:18 KJV).”

I have a part in his process.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9 KJV).”

In Her Absence by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Mom died in 1999. How did the years pass so quickly? I vividly recall my last moments with her. I have replayed them in my mind countless times. It was right before leaving for the airport and my return flight back home…

It had been a very stressful three weeks. During my stay, I helped care for both parents before and after Mom had surgery to remove a tumor from one of her lungs. My brother Gary’s arrival from CA would nearly coincide with my departure.

Mom got up from the couch. We stood face-to-face and exchanged what would be our last embrace. Her smile gave no hint of her suffering…

Memories often surface during routine daily events and frequently in our dreams. The realization that Mom was gone occurred in one of those riveting dreams. She was not in a distant state, her cozy apartment or in a hospital. Mom was gone.

I woke up whimpering. I found it strange to have a dream about her death after so many years. Sharing the emotional experience with a friend, I sensed the probable cause.

Mom’s birthday was approaching.

Betty Ferris Ford, born 8-30-1922. If still living, I’d be placing a call to wish her a happy birthday. I miss her voice, her smile and her hugs. She is no longer with her family. Now, she is with the Lord.

“We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8 NKJV).”

R and R by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Is R & R in your sites?

Most of us could use a respite.

I do not refer to rest and relaxation.

I’m wondering if you and I are ready and receptive

Are we ready to receive a word from the LORD?

Are we receptive to His messages?

Cornelius was a God fearer but he had not become a Christ follower yet. He and his friends were ready and receptive.

“Cornelius replied, ‘Four days ago at this hour, at three in the afternoon,I was praying in my house. Just then a man in a dazzling robe stood before me and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your acts of charity have been remembered in God’s sight. Therefore send someone to Joppa and invite Simon here, who is also named Peter. He is lodging in Simon the tanner’s house by the sea.’ Therefore I immediately sent for you, and you did the right thing in coming. So we are all present before God, to hear everything you have been commanded by the Lord (Acts 10:30-33 HCSB).”

Cornelius serves as a good example. I have the privilege to hear God’s word; I am compelled to be ready and receptive.

Popular Song by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

I find it nearly impossible to get some songs out of my head.

If you were a music lover in the 1950’s, you likely watched ‘Your Hit Parade’ weekly on television.

Radio has had many weekly hit record countdowns.

Only July 4th 1970, ‘American Top 40’ debuted with Casey Kasem. I not only listened and sang along. I played the 33rpm programs on radio station turntables. When working at WOHO, Toledo in the late 1970’s announcers played both commercials and music in cart machines. As a result, I had to run the programs on turntables from their production room.

It seems that a song about King David had become very popular. It was running through the mind of an enemy of Israel.

“Then the commanders of the Philistines said, ‘What are these Hebrews doing here?’ And Achish said to the commanders of the Philistines, ‘Is this not David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, who has been with me these days, or rather these years, and I have found no fault in him from the day he deserted to me to this day?’ But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with him, and the commanders of the Philistines said to him, ‘Make the man go back, that he may return to his place where you have assigned him, and do not let him go down to battle with us, or in the battle he may become an adversary to us. For with what could this man make himself acceptable to his lord? Would it not be with the heads of these men? Is this not David, of whom they sing in the dances, saying,

‘Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands’ (1 Samuel 29:3-5 NASB)?”

An Apt Illustration by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

We are privy to many of the Christ’s prayers to His Father.

“At that time Jesus answered and said, ‘I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.  Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him (Matthew 11:25-27 NKJV).”

We are as mere babes. There is no comparison between our knowledge and Christ’s wisdom. Yet, in His grace, He has granted us a sacred trust. Jesus has revealed God’s plan of salvation, the gospel, to His followers. He has commissioned us, empowering us to carry His message.

We can intimately know the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13 NKJV).”

In a public devotion, a friend used an apt illustration…Surely you have misplaced a wallet, purse or your set of keys. Maybe you have even lost your treasured wedding ring. In desperation, you searched until you found your valued possession.

God is still revealing Himself to persistent seekers.

His Branches by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

When speaking as the Great Shepherd, Jesus calls His sheep by name.

As the true vine, He counsels His branches. The Father is a fruit inspector.

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vineyard keeper. Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit He removes, and He prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me (John 15:1-4 HCSB).”

I speak as one branch to another…

If we were to be cut off from the vine, we’d wither up and die.

 “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned.  If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you.  My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples (John 15:5-8 HCSB).”

A faithful disciple is eager to learn and follows their teacher. Jesus knows our hearts. Is there a steadfast desire to glorify the Father?

In God Alone by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

“Rest in God alone, my soul,
for my hope comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I will not be shaken.
My salvation and glory depend on God;
my strong rock, my refuge, is in God.
Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your hearts before Him.
God is our refuge (Psalm 62:5-8 HCSB).”

The Psalmist had a way with words. He knew the way to find perfect rest.

In times of trouble, he placed his trust in God alone.

I don’t want to skim over the surface of this relevant scripture passage.

Our world is being shaken.

Terrorism has invaded our lands.

Opinions on right and wrong behaviors are in flux.

We need a resting place.

In God alone…

He gives us hope.

We can trust him. He is the rock of refuge and salvation.

In God alone!

Hear and head the Psalmist’s plea.

“Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your hearts before Him.
God is our refuge (Psalm 62:8 HCSB).”

 

Present by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Do you remember role call in school?

I remember it well. My teachers stood at the front of classrooms with the role in hand. She or he called each members name and expected a prompt response.

One by one, we raised our hands high and answered.

‘Pamela Ford.’

‘Present.’

Often, there was silence when a name was called.

The teacher would then mark absent in her book.

‘Jesus.’

He is never absent.

The Lord is present. He abides with me.

Immanuel… 

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us (Matthew 1:23 NKJV).” 

Ponder that promise.

God the Son left the realms of glory to be with you and me. 

 The Search by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

The search is over.

Some women are searching for the perfect mate. When they find ‘Mr. Right,’ they herald the news.

Scores of people are searching for a good job. After months of dead end leads, they make the right connections.

Apartment dwellers have been cramped up in a cracker box apartment. The realtor calls with great news. The offer they made on their dream home has been accepted. Their search is over.

Are you searching for fulfillment, freedom from the burden of sin?

Maybe you have been searching for purpose.

A woman walked to a village well in search of drinking water. Meeting Jesus, she searched for information on worship.

“The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ). ‘When He comes, He will tell us all things.’

Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He (John 4:25-26 NKJV).” 

Her search for fulfillment ended; abundant life began.

The Grands by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

We once used 8 millimeter home movies, slide shows and family photo albums. Then multitudes progressed to VCR tapes and DVD. They will soon be obsolete. Parents and grandparents have gone high tech.

Methods change but the delight we receive in parenting and grand-parenting is timeless.

The LORD blessed the family patriarchs of Israel.

“The Lord bless you out of Zion,
And may you see the good of Jerusalem
All the days of your life.
Yes, may you see your children’s children.

Peace be upon Israel (Psalm 128:5-6 NKJV).”

The LORD has blessed me.

I have lived to see grandsons. Yes, I witnessed their formative and young adult years. They are my children’s children.

I am a granny.

A new generation began two years ago. Via the worldwide web, I saw newborn pictures of Zoey, our grandson’s baby girl.

I am a great grandmother.

Isn’t it grand?

The Expectation by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Been there, done that… twice.

I was an expectant mother.

How can I put the feelings of pregnancy into words? I can’t.

Yes, there was morning sickness in the early stages of pregnancies.

And yes, there was a loss of energy.

I experienced heart burn, leg cramps and swelling of my ankles and feet.

Yet, the expectancy of my babies being born was too wonderful for words.

Each time, the expectancy increased as my due date drew near. I was going to have our baby!

I am an expectant daughter.

As God’s child, I eagerly expect Jesus’ return.

“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near (Luke 21:25-28 NKJV).

Overlook by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

For about 10 years, my husband Norm sat behind the steering wheel of 18 Wheelers.

When riding as a passenger, I helped him with directions from his dispatchers. As a perk, I enjoyed America’s landscapes from coast-to-coast. The Creator has truly blessed us. How often have you taken breaks to stretch your legs and take in the sites at ‘scenic overlooks?’

We were not afforded many opportunities to stop along the way. Big rigs need big parking spaces.

Though many outlooks are spectacular, and we should make use of opportunities for rest and site-seeing; there is a far greater overlook.

I can be kind and overlook the failings of others.

“A person’s insight gives him patience,
and his virtue is to overlook an offense (Proverbs 19:11 HCSB).”

How many times should I overlook their offenses?

“Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how many times could my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?’ ‘I tell you, not as many as seven,’ Jesus said to him, ‘but 70 times seven (Matthew 18:21-22 HCSB).”

 

My Funny Bone by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Ouch, I hit my funny bone!

I’ve got a bone to pick with the originator of that terminology. There was nothing funny about that pain. I wonder why we find human suffering humorous. Who could forget ‘The Three Stooges?’ Curly, Larry, Moe, Shemp, & 2 Joe’s were celebrities. (Isn’t that six Stooges?) They have tickled funny bones of movie goers for decades. The LORD made our bones and He used them to make a powerful point.

Nothing is impossible with God.

“The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’

So I answered, ‘O Lord God, You know.’

Again He said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: ‘Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord (Ezekiel 37:1-6 NKJV).”

Praise the Lord! by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Do you consider yourself a city slicker?

Maybe, like me, you are a country bumpkin.

That’s neither here nor there…

You see… we are not home, yet!

“For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.  Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name (Hebrews 13:14-15 NKJV).”

It is coming, a city… a heavenly city.

I offer a sacrifice of praise. The LORD is Creator.

“Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!

Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all you stars of light!
Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,
And you waters above the heavens!

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For He commanded and they were created.
He also established them forever and ever;
He made a decree which shall not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
You great sea creatures and all the depths;
Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
Mountains and all hills;
Fruitful trees and all cedars;

Beasts and all cattle;
Creeping things and flying fowl;
Kings of the earth and all peoples;
Princes and all judges of the earth;

Both young men and maidens;
Old men and children.

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above the earth and heaven.
And He has exalted the horn of His people,
The praise of all His saints—
Of the children of Israel,
A people near to Him.

Praise the Lord (Psalm 148:1-14 NKJV)!”

Lifelong Pursuit by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Are you a trivia fan? How about music trivia?

Grab a pen and paper or use your keyboard.

How many songs can you come up with that use ‘Love’ in the title?

True love is not a game of ‘Trivial Pursuit;’ it is instead a goal, our lifelong pursuit.

“Now this is His command: that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another as He commanded us. The one who keeps His commands remains in Him, and He in him. And the way we know that He remains in us is from the Spirit He has given us (1 John 3:23-24 HCSB).”

Love is more than emotion; it is Jesus’ command.

Love is a four-letter word. Use it often. Show it. Prove it.

“By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:35 HCSB).”

Love is the Lord’s Litmus test for authentic Christianity.

Are we making a passing grade?

We Stray by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

God the Son walked among men. He came on a seek and save mission.

“For thus says the Lord God: ‘Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day (Ezekiel 34:11-12 NKJV).”

See the drama unfold. He actively searches for His lost sheep. He seeks them out.

It is not a ‘seek and destroy’ mission; it is to seek and deliver us from the bondage of sin.

He knows where to find His lost sheep.

“All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6 NKJV).”

We stray; yet, He seeks and saves.

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:9-10 NKJV).”

Tucked In for the Night by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Do you remember being tucked in bed for the night?

Was your mother or father’s face the last thing you saw before drifting off to sleep?

I recall soft feather pillows and flannel sheets during cold winter nights in Mycenae, New York.

As trains passed through the town of Kirkville, I heard distant sounds of their whistles and box cars rushing over the tracks.

When turning over in my bed, I became accustomed to the noise of squeaky springs under my mattress. Peering through the crack in the door left ajar, I viewed the comforting light at the top of the stairway.

Maybe you cherish memories of tucking in your children or grandchildren…

Each night, the LORD waits to tuck you & me in.

What’s that?

‘Sweet dreams!’ 

Such comforting words are contained in His word… 

“When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet (Proverbs 3:24 NKJV).”

 

Time of Toil by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Banker’s hours are envied by many forced to work the graveyard shift. People working a swing shift might find it difficult to adapt.

Our inner clock runs smoothly when in a steady routine of working, eating and sleeping.

9-5 is drudgery for the independent adventure seeker. Yet, if unemployed and seeking full time hours to provide for your family, 9-5 hours are a dream come true. Schedules are not available in one size fits all.

In his suffering, Job considered man’s time of toil.

“Is there not a time of hard service for man on earth?
Are not his days also like the days of a hired man?
Like a servant who earnestly desires the shade,
And like a hired man who eagerly looks for his wages,
So I have been allotted months of futility,
And wearisome nights have been appointed to me (Job 7:1-3 NKJV).”

Like Job, I can allow my problems to cloud my vision.

I want to see God in every work.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10 NKJV).” 

Am I walking at a steady pace?

LORD, I do at times grow weary. Open my eyes to see You in any work.

Never Knew You by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness (Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV)!”

Hear the Messiah’s tragic declaration.

“I never knew you; depart from Me (Matthew 7:23a NKJV).”

Imagine your parent or spouse disowning you and casting you away. It would break your heart. As awful as that would be, it does not come close to the rejection of the Redeemer.

Is His rejection justified?

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. ‘He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16-18 NKJV).”

Condemned & cast away…

Not everyone goes to heaven.

His warning compels each of us to carefully consider our personal relationships with him.

Are Ya’ Happy? by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Are ya’ happy?

Just how happy are ya’?

Would ya’ say yer’ glad?

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you (Matthew 5:10-12 KJV).”

Neither you nor I need to delve into our psyche. Christians are not troubled with a persecution complex. Jesus said that his followers would be persecuted.

“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me (John 15:18-21 KJV).”

 

The Drawbacks by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Doers are in high demand.

We need them in the workforce, in our communities and our churches.

Are you doing God’s will?

He rewards each doer that endures!

“So don’t throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you need endurance, so that after you have done God’s will, you may receive what was promised.

For yet in a very little while,
the Coming One will come and not delay.
But My righteous one will live by faith;
and if he draws back,
I have no pleasure in him.

But we are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and obtain life (Hebrews 10:35-39 HCSB).”

Visualize a drawback…

He or she is walking in faith with their eyes on Lord Jesus. Suddenly they hesitate; in disobedience, they look back. 

“But Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God (Luke 9:62 HCSB).”

 

And So It Was by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

God’s word speaks directly to each of us.

The problem arises when we fail to listen.

When hearing some sermons, I have felt that some were meant just for me. At other times, I’ve had a strong impression that particular messages were for someone I knew.

If a scripture passage contains prophecy, we trust God to hit his target.

The Psalmist was directed by the Holy Spirit. As I read this passage, I thought of Apostle Paul’s conversion and calling…

“Let Your mercies come also to me, O Lord—
Your salvation according to Your word.
So shall I have an answer for him who reproaches me,
For I trust in Your word.
And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
For I have hoped in Your ordinances.
So shall I keep Your law continually,
Forever and ever.
And I will walk at liberty,
For I seek Your precepts.
‘I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings,’
And will not be ashamed. [*emphasis mine]

And I will delight myself in Your commandments,
Which I love.
My hands also I will lift up to Your commandments,
Which I love,
And I will meditate on Your statutes (Psalm 119:41-48 NKJV).”

And so it was…

“But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel (Acts 9:15 NKJV).”

Invisible by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Remember the ‘Invisible Man?’

How about invisible ink?

Now you see them…

Now you don’t!

It’s hard to grasp what I can’t see. Yet, that is where faith enters the picture.

“Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 HCSB).”

The visible…

Now I see it…

Now I don’t!

The unseen…

Now, I don’t see with the human eye…

Then, I will see Him in all of His glory, forever & forever!

Reliance by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

I find the model names of automobiles interesting.

You’ve likely noticed that many are named after animals.

Horse-power is the theme for Ford’s Mustang, Maverick and the Pinto. There are likely more; remembering the models might make a fun trivia parlor game. I’m remembering a decidedly different car brand.

The Plymouth Valiant was introduced by Chrysler Corporation in 1960.

I wonder…

Were owners somehow heroic? Did they emulate Prince Valiant?

When opposed by evil enemies, Jeremiah relied on the LORD.

“But the Lord is with me like a violent warrior.
Therefore, my persecutors will stumble and not prevail.
Since they have not succeeded, they will be utterly shamed,
an everlasting humiliation that will never be forgotten.
Lord of Hosts, testing the righteous
and seeing the heart and mind,
let me see Your vengeance on them,
for I have presented my case to You.
Sing to the Lord!
Praise the Lord,
for He rescues the life of the needy
from the hand of evil people (Jeremiah 20:11-13 HCSB).”

Out in the Boonies by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Ever lived out in the boonies? Residing in the boondocks does have its drawbacks. You may be miles away from the closest neighbor. Necessity is the mother of invention; you learn to improvise. I like country living but I’m grateful that neighbors are within walking distance. In His travels, Jesus frequently drew large crowds far outside the cities.

Jesus received news of John the Baptist beheading by King Herod…

“When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food (Matthew 14:13-15 NKJV).”

Jesus did not send them away to fend for themselves; the Incarnate intervened.

“But Jesus said to them, ‘They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.’ And they said to Him, ‘We have here only five loaves and two fish.’ He said, ‘Bring them here to Me.’ Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children (Matthew 14:16-21 NKJV).”

 

Almost Home by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

It has been nearly 49 years since I married and moved out of New York State. At times, it was difficult living so far away from my parents; especially after the births of our two children and during the holidays.

My husband understood; he arranged for frequent visits at Christmastime. We packed our bags and pointed our car towards Syracuse, New York.

My excitement heightened once we reached the New York State Thruway. It was senseless to try to contain that excitement. Counting down the miles to Syracuse, I read road signs with names of familiar towns and their exit numbers. I was almost home.

I now anticipate my heavenly home. The signs of the times mark the road. Jesus explained the significance… 

“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near (Luke 21:25-28 NKJV).”

Christ will escort His Father’s children home!

Eavesdropping by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share}12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

When writing, some topics come up frequently. Does that mean I have a one-track mind?

Well, the ‘mind’ is a good starting point. I very often have thoughts that quickly turn verbal. In case you don’t make the connection, that means I talk to myself. Yup, sure do.

Do you?

If undisturbed, I share words of frustration. My lack of patience is embarrassing.

What I lack in patience, I possess in enthusiasm. I talk to myself; I do not whisper!

Recently, I discovered truth in a  a beautiful scripture passage…

The Psalmist was not talking to himself; he was speaking to his soul.

“My soul, wait silently for God alone,
For my expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be moved.

In God is my salvation and my glory;
The rock of my strength,
And my refuge, is in God.

Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah (Psalm 62:5-8 NKJV).”

The message to his soul is stupendous.

Soul, this is what you need to do… “My soul, wait silently for God alone (Verse 5a).”

I’m eavesdropping. That is great advice.

Grave Danger by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

‘There’s a bomb in your building. You’d better get out.’

My husband was all alone inside a radio station. He frequently got phone calls by night owls requesting their favorite records. Many other callers were lonely and just needed someone to talk to. If he was busy, the answering machine recorded messages. Imagine his fright to hear a man calmly say there was a bomb inside the station.

It did get his attention. Yet, he thought it was just a prank.

‘I’m not kidding. There is a bomb in your building.’

That was a follow up call.

It has been over forty-five years since those eerie phone calls. There was no bomb; my husband did not leave the building. Bravery or discernment?

God is all knowing. He is able to thwart real attacks against his children.

“So when Paul’s sister’s son heard of their ambush, he went and entered the barracks and told Paul (Acts 23:16 NKJV)

Paul was in grave danger. His nephew carried the message to a high ranking military official.

“And he said, “The Jews have agreed to ask that you bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire more fully about him. But do not yield to them, for more than forty of them lie in wait for him, men who have bound themselves by an oath that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him; and now they are ready, waiting for the promise from you (Acts 23:20-21 NKJV).”

The murder of Paul was averted.

Words of Wisdom by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

King Solomon had great wisdom; yet, he did some foolish things. Turning away from God’s commands, he took many foreign women as his wives. Instead of being a positive influence on them, he allowed the women to draw him away from serving Jehovah God. He began to worship their pagan gods.

“And God spoke all these words, saying:

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

You shall have no other gods before Me.

You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;  you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,  but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments (Exodus 20:1-6 NKJV).”

Those who keep the LORD’s commandments are wise and blessed.

King Solomon shared true words of wisdom in the conclusion of Ecclesiastes.

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.

For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 NKJV).”

 

Birth Order by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Psychologists might try to match personality traits to the birth order within families. I am a middle child and once heard a psychologist say that middle children attempt to solve people’s problems. (Notice, I said ‘attempt’ to solve.)

I’m dead-center; in our family of 5 children. The oldest, a sister, was 7 years older than me. The youngest, my only brother, is 7 years younger. In Jesus’ extended family, John the Baptist was first in birth order…

The angel Gabriel told Mary that she was to birth the Son of the Highest. (Luke 1:31) He also informed her of an advanced pregnancy in her family.

“Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren (Luke 1:36 NKJV).”

Elizabeth gave birth to John. As a man, he preached a message of repentance; preparing the way for Jesus’ public ministry.

“And the Word became 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 bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me (John 1:14-15 NKJV).”

John did not have their birth order confused. He bore witness to Jesus, the Word.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men (John 1:1-4 NKJV).”

How Long? by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

How long?

Violence is spiraling out of man’s control.

“O Lord, how long shall I cry,
And You will not hear?
Even cry out to You, ‘Violence!’
And You will not save.
Why do You show me iniquity,
And cause me to see trouble?
For plundering and violence are before me;
There is strife, and contention arises.
Therefore the law is powerless,
And justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
Therefore perverse judgment proceeds (Habakkuk 1:2-4 NKJV).”

American citizens grieve as they gather to pray for fallen law officers.

How long before we see the LORD’s intervention?

Habakkuk questioned God; yet, he also prayed for a work of mercy…

“O Lord, I have heard Your speech and was afraid;
O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years!
In the midst of the years make it known;
In wrath remember mercy (Habakkuk 3:2 NKJV).”

Your Pastor by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Is your pastor trustworthy? Express your appreciation.

“My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.

The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.

For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts (Malachi 2:5-7 KJV).”

The LORD’s messengers bear a great responsibility.

They speak God’s word to congregations made up of both believers and the lost. Like the Apostle Paul, messengers also bear a deep burden.

“Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches (2 Corinthians 11:28 KJV).”

Pastors grow weary; they get discouraged. We can speak words of appreciation and encouragement.

What are we waiting for?

Awakened, Amazed by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

‘Sleeping Beauty’ was awakened by the kiss of her handsome ‘Prince Charming.’ [*Disney] That’s heaps better than waking to the sound of an alarm clock or handy alarm you set on your cell phone. Imagine her surprise and delight after prolonged unconsciousness.

Using my wildest imagination, I cannot fathom the feelings of a certain girl and her family. We meet her in the Gospel of Mark.

“While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?’

As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, ‘Do not be afraid; only believe.’ And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James. Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly. When He came in, He said to them, ‘Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.’

And they ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying. Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, ‘Talitha, cumi,’ which is translated, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise.’ Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement.  But He commanded them strictly that no one should know it, and said that something should be given her to eat (Mark 5:35-43 NKJV).”

Authority by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

‘You can’t get blood out of a stone.’ Would you believe… soup?

There have been a variety of children’s books that used the stone soup folk tale, the earliest dated 1904.

When watching TV with my children many years ago, I enjoyed a later version [a Caldecott Honor book] shared by Captain Kangaroo. *literary & television info: Wikipedia 

Satan suggested stone bread…

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’

But He answered and said, ‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:1-4 NKJV).”

Jesus defeated the devil; he used Scripture as a weapon against the tempter.

Christ Jesus is the final authority on bread.

“And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst (John 6:35 NKJV).”

Risk Takers by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Grandma Ford was a home nurse. I wish I had more knowledge of her nursing experiences; I have heard that her duties included those of a midwife. In her era, most babies were delivered at home. In recent years, there has been a renewal of interest in birthing at home. Certified midwives provide compassionate care before, during and following delivery.  

Long ago and far away…

“Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of one was Shiphrah and the name of the other Puah; and he said, ‘When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.’ But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, ‘Why have you done this thing, and saved the male children alive?’

And the midwives said to Pharaoh, ‘Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them.’

Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them.

So Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, ‘Every son who is born you shall cast into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive (Exodus 1:15-22 NKJV).”

We are indebted to the risk taking midwives. Their compassion spared the lives of Moses and countless other Hebrew males.

 

Guide, Not Chide by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Did you score high on school comprehension tests? The ability to read and understand what we had read was crucial in our educations. God wants us to understand the Bible.

I did not understand His word until I gave my life to His Son, Jesus. The Holy Spirit guided me. He also used instruction from my husband, pastors and teachers.

“Then the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go near and overtake this chariot.’

So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’

And he said, ‘How can I, unless someone guides me?’ And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. The place in the Scripture which he read was this:

‘He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;
And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
In His humiliation His justice was taken away,
And who will declare His generation?
For His life is taken from the earth.’

So the eunuch answered Philip and said, ‘I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?’ Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him (Acts 8:29-35 NKJV).”

The last verse is a treasure.

“Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him (Acts 8:35 NKJV).”

The Smudge by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

An artist finished his masterpiece portrait. As he rested from his work, he was saddened by the cunning of the enemy. The assailant had smudged the image.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23 KJV).”

But, it was just a ‘smudge’…

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all (James 2:10 KJV).” 

He had a plan…

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23 KJV).”

The creator of the masterpiece sent his Son.

“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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:16-17 KJV).

The Son shed his light on the portrait; he removed the smudge!

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:7 KJV).”

I perceive only a smidgen of all the Creator has prepared for his people. 

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him (1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV).”

 

Offensive Odors by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

I’m hard of hearing but my sense of smell is keen. I hate the following odors: gasoline, diesel, insect sprays and perspiration. Sweat stinks.

When in close proximity to someone with a bad case of B.O. (body odor) I tend to quickly distance myself. 

In contrast, I am drawing nearer to my Savior.

“When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground (Luke 22:40-44 NKJV).”

‘Draw Me Nearer’ (I Am Thine O Lord) Fanny Crosby/Published-1875/Public Domain)

I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,
And it told Thy love to me;
But I long to rise in the arms of faith
And be closer drawn to Thee.

Refrain

Draw me nearer, nearer blessèd Lord,
To the cross where Thou hast died.
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessèd Lord,
To Thy precious, bleeding side.

Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
By the power of grace divine;
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
And my will be lost in Thine.

Refrain

O the pure delight of a single hour
That before Thy throne I spend,
When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God
I commune as friend with friend!

Refrain

There are depths of love that I cannot know
Till I cross the narrow sea;
There are heights of joy that I may not reach
Till I rest in peace with Thee.

Refrain

At a Slower Pace by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

It seems I’m always rushing. I rush even when sitting still.

Mentally, I rush through things I want to accomplish.

There’s a lot to be said for living life at a slower pace.

Life does not have to be a rat race; I can stop ‘running’ my life. I can slow down to a walk.

When we walk with the Lord, he leads; we follow.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand (John 10:27-28 KJV).

I try to visualize Jesus running as his disciples run behind and try to catch up with him. That does not compute.

“LORD, I want to walk in faith. You lead; I will listen for your voice.”

Wonders in the Womb by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

During my lifetime, there have been many changes for expectant mothers.

My mother had ether-anesthesia during delivery. She was unconscious when the doctor brought me into the world. I had natural childbirth with minimal pain killers; I wanted to be alert during the delivery of my babies.

Neither Mom nor I knew the sex of our children until our doctors told us. She heard, ‘It’s a girl’ four times before the birth of my younger brother.

The sonograms of today afford parents the opportunity to see their sons and daughters while still in the womb. Contemplate the miracles of birth, the wonders in the womb…

Meet John the Baptist.

“For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb (Luke 1:15 NKJV).”

There is LIFE within the womb, alive and leaping for joy!

“And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord (Luke 1:41-45 NKJV).”

Open Your Curtains by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 
We close our curtains when it gets dark; we open them the next morning.

I made that astute observation while growing up.

Mom liked to make frequent interior decorating changes in our Mycenae, New York home. She always bought colorful café curtains for our kitchen. Strange, that such a routine habit of opening our curtains caught my attention; though she closed them nightly, I don’t have a clear picture of that in my mind. I recall the opening.

The opening was mechanical. In earlier articles, I’ve mentioned the other parts of her early morning routine. She plugged in the electric coffee pot and turned on our Admiral table-top radio to 1260 WNDR, Syracuse NY. Thus began the Ford family day.

In the beginning, God created the earth. He stretches out the heavens…

“Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
He brings the princes to nothing;
He makes the judges of the earth useless (Isaiah 40:21-23 NKJ).”

Praise the Creator as you open your curtains!
Unabashed Patriotism by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Independence Day…. 4th of July…. July 4th….

Is it just another red-letter day on our calendars? One of the key advantages of being in the autumn of my life is the reminiscing on happy days gone by. Through God’s grace, I allow Him to erase any harmful memories. As I celebrate today, I would be remiss if I did not dedicate this patriotic piece to my father, Franklin F. Ford.

Dad loved our nation, the military and Independence Days of ‘unabashed patriotism.’ How do I know? Extra money was seldom in ample supply. Yet, he sensed the importance of teaching his children the excitement of backyard sparkler waving after sunset. I still remember the trips to my Uncle Alex’s neighborhood grocery store to buy our fireworks. The long white boxes held handfuls of sparklers.

Reaching inside, we pulled out the first sparklers of the night and waited as Dad or Mom lit them for each of us individually. Then the fun began. Quickly, we twirled the sparklers at arm’s length and created our own colorful fireworks shows. Occasionally, Dad took us to see fireworks on a larger scale at ‘Suburban Park,’ Manlius. There, we gave verbal approval to the breathtaking sights in the sky above.

King David, in recollection of shepherding flocks under star filled skies, worshiped the Creator.

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him (Psalms 8:3-4a NKJ)?”

Sorrowful Sisters by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

I remember the first time that someone I knew died. He was the father of my best friend.

Sorrow is a healthy emotion.

Therefore, in a key scripture passage, the sorrow of two sisters was to be expected…

Mary and Martha grieved over the death of their brother, Lazarus. They had hoped that Jesus would come and heal him; their hopes were dashed. (John 11:1-16) Although Martha did not get angry with the Lord, she told him that he could have prevented Lazarus death.

“Then Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if You had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.  Yet even now I know that whatever You ask from God, God will give You (John 11:21-22 HCS).”

Her sister Mary expressed the same feelings.

“When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell at His feet and told Him, ‘Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died (John 11:32 HCS)!”

Both Martha and Mary believed that Jesus could have healed Lazarus. They’d discover that He had the power to restore life! 

“So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank You that You heard Me. I know that You always hear Me, but because of the crowd standing here I said this, so they may believe You sent Me.’ After He said this, He shouted with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out bound hand and foot with linen strips and with his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Loose him and let him go (John 11:41-44 HCS).”

Poor Gilligan by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Poor Gilligan; he can’t get anything right.

Ironic, isn’t it? They named an island after him.

What thoughts lead to nights of insomnia in his swinging hammock?

I’m incompetent. I’m inadequate. I’m a castaway…

The Skipper is his mentor. I’m hoping he sees through Gilligan’s carefree façade.

Did a Bible make it ashore?

Apostle Paul had survived a shipwreck. He would understand the plight of poor Gilligan.

“I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.  I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need.  I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:11-13 HCS).”

Yes Gilligan, God can help you.

“It is not that we are competent in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our competence is from God (2 Corinthians 3:5 HCS).”

Hey, little buddy! Don’t give up; your friends need you…

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

‘Meanwhile, back at the ranch’…

The plots in old western movies and TV programs were not difficult to follow. Though scenes and characters changed; the themes rarely did. In many stories, hard working people struggled to survive on farms and ranches. Outlaws spent a good deal of their time carousing and brawling in saloons.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch… farmers rose before dawn and worked from can-to-can’t. 

“Idle hands make one poor, but diligent hands bring riches. The son who gathers during summer is prudent; the son who sleeps during harvest is disgraceful (Proverbs 10:4-5 HCS).”

Meanwhile, back at the ranch… farmers depended on the good LORD.

“You visit the earth and water it abundantly,
enriching it greatly.
God’s stream is filled with water,
for You prepare the earth in this way,
providing people with grain.
You soften it with showers and bless its growth,
soaking its furrows and leveling its ridges.
You crown the year with Your goodness;
Your ways overflow with plenty.
The wilderness pastures overflow,
and the hills are robed with joy.
The pastures are clothed with flocks
and the valleys covered with grain.
They shout in triumph; indeed, they sing (Psalm 65:9-13 HCS).”

Meanwhile, back at the ranch… People praised the LORD and slept with peace of mind.

“When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
you will lie down, and your sleep will be pleasant (Proverbs 3:24 HCS).”

Second Childhood by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

I’m in my second childhood. Maybe, I don’t skip rope or play with dolls but I am a child. I’m God’s child. My heavenly Father gave me a second chance at life. I took it.

“Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus saith unto him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit (John 3:3-8 KJV).”

Nicodemus spoke the language of logic. He tried to rationalize spiritual truth through logical thought. God’s ways are not discerned by natural means. By faith, I have believed in him. I am his child.

“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father (Romans 8:15 KJV).”

Three Cheers for Caleb by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Do you have any Zest?

No, I don’t refer to bath soap. Are you enthusiastic; do you have a zest for life?

I’m the old gray mare, well aware that I’m not what I used to be. Yet, I’m not ready to be put out to pasture.

Three cheers for Caleb; he inspires me!

“Then the children of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal. And Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him: ‘You know the word which the Lord said to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh Barnea.  I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart. Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the Lord my God. So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.’ And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said (Joshua 14:6-12 NKJ).”

Maybe God has a mountain for me …

Directly to the Source by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

At times, my faith is little and weak. Yet, I remember the time when I had no saving faith. I went directly to the source, Christ Jesus.

He was, is and always will be the source of faith.

“Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us,  keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne (Hebrews 12:1-2 HCS).”

Daily, I’m in need of His supply.

“For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one (Romans 12:3 HCS).” 

I rest my faith in the faithful One… 

John: To the seven churches in Asia. Grace and peace to you from the One who is, who was, and who is coming; from the seven spirits before His throne; and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and has set us free from our sins by His blood, and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—the glory and dominion are His forever and ever. Amen (Revelation 1:4-6 HCS).”

Two Tiny Words by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

When reading the Bible, I frequently come across two tiny words; I pay big attention.

The first is ‘but.’

But what?

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:4-10 NKJ).”

I’m on high alert when reading the word ‘if.’

Notice how the devil uses the word in his attempts to tempt Jesus.

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.  Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’ But He answered and said, ‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ Jesus said to him, ‘It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him (Matthew 4:1-11 NKJ).”

Since Jesus ‘is’ the Son of God He defeated the tempter.

 

Root System by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

‘Let’s get to the root of the problem.’ Interesting phrase…

I surmise there is also a root to the solution!

“And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse,
Who shall stand as a banner to the people;
For the Gentiles shall seek Him,
And His resting place shall be glorious (Isaiah 11:10 NKJ).”

Other scriptures come to mind.

“And the remnant who have escaped of the house of Judah
Shall again take root downward,
And bear fruit upward.
For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant,
And those who escape from Mount Zion.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this (Isaiah 37:31-32 NKJ).”

From the New Testament…

“And again, Isaiah says:
‘There shall be a root of Jesse;
And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles,
In Him the Gentiles shall hope (Romans 15:12 NKJ).”

I am rooted and grounded in the Redeemer.

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,  rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving (Colossians 2:6-7 NKJ).”

 

Forgiven by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

Forgiven…

Oh what a burden He has lifted off my shoulders.

I think back to my life changing decision; I gave my life to Jesus on October 22, 1967. Confessing my sins, I trusted Him as my personal Savior. As LORD over death and the grave, He forgave me of all my sins.

“When He saw their faith, He said to him, ‘Man, your sins are forgiven you.’ And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, ‘Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, ‘Why are you reasoning in your hearts?  Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins’—He said to the man who was paralyzed, ‘I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house (Luke 5:20-24 NKJ).”

Forgiven of much…

“Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.’ Then He said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven (Luke 7:47-48 NKJ).”

 

Times of Refreshing by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Seeking times of refreshing, renewal and revival?

Will we return to the LORD?

Let it be!

“Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, ‘If you return to the Lord with all your heart, remove the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you and direct your hearts to the Lord and serve Him alone; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.’  So the sons of Israel removed the Baals and the Ashtaroth and served the Lord alone. Then Samuel said, ‘Gather all Israel to Mizpah and I will pray to the Lord for you.’ They gathered to Mizpah, and drew water and poured it out before the Lord, and fasted on that day and said there, ‘We have sinned against the Lord.’ And Samuel judged the sons of Israel at Mizpah. Now when the Philistines heard that the sons of Israel had gathered to Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the sons of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines. Then the sons of Israel said to Samuel, ‘Do not cease to cry to the Lord our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines (1 Samuel 7:5-8 NAS).”

Under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, Apostle Peter made an urgent plea.

“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time (Acts 3:19 NAS).”

 

Pity Me by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

It happens. We have the dreaded bad hair days.

What to do?

I now wear wigs; but even wigs can be contrary. When seeking a quick cover up, I grab a bandanna. There are large selections of attractive caps & hats available in discount and department stores.

I have a hunch designers have had their own bad hair days.                                                  

It was my worst ever hair day; a day of woe is me…

I frequently had home permanents. Mom began the process with Tonettes’ when I was just a toddler. I had no reason to doubt her continued success.

After the completion of the perm, I set my hair on rollers for the night. The next morning I began my usual routine before leaving for high school. I ate my breakfast, dressed and began to style my hair. Horrified, I could hardly get a brush or comb through the wired tangles!

Mom surmised that she had inadvertently switched the perm & neutralizer solutions. My hair was fried.      

How could I face my friends?

I stood before the bathroom mirror crying and trying to do something, anything with my hair.

My Dad became involved.

He walked up behind me and began brushing my hair. He really understood. My hair still looked terrible but my father cared. Isn’t that what every daughter needs most?

“As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him (Psalm 103:13 NKJ).”

Bad hair was not the end of the world. I adapted. Mom cut my hair and I had a cute style for the summer.         

Down on the Farm by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

My husband and I are both ‘Green Acres’ fans. It was corny yet creative, showing us the vast differences between life in a big city and down on a farm. We not only find the reruns entertaining; we identify with them.

In our careers, we have lived in both cities and rural areas. Though we never listed a New York City penthouse as our address, we did live in Chicago. Our current home is 3 miles from the closest main road and far from any busy city.

No, we can’t hear Oliver Wendell Douglas’ corn grow but we can watch progress in the gourd patch!

Speaking of hearing corn grow…

I don’t think that’s possible; yet, there is tranquility here in the country. Walking across the road to my mailbox, I often notice how quiet it is. I like that; it was never quiet in Chicago. I remember how difficult it was to have quiet times with God while living in the absence of silence.

Maybe we cannot tune out noise and distractions but we can worship the LORD.

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah (Psalm 46:10-11 KJV).”

 

Appetizer by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

I have seldom indulged in four course dinners. I’m more of a buffet baby boomer, preferring to fill my plate and return later for desert.

I’m not sure I really need appetizers because I have a hearty appetite. In past experiences, I sometimes ate a large tossed salad, soda crackers and a bowl of soup. Instead of stimulating my appetite; it satisfied it. The entre no longer interested me.

God gives me glimpses of His glory. The experiences are not the main course; instead, each is a temporal blessing to wet my appetite for eternity.

“Now therefore, our God,
We thank You
And praise Your glorious name.
But who am I, and who are my people,
That we should be able to offer so willingly as this?
For all things come from You,
And of Your own we have given You.
For we are aliens and pilgrims before You,
As were all our fathers;
Our days on earth are as a shadow,
And without hope (1 Chronicles 29:13-15 NKJ).”

During his lifetime, Abraham was blessed by God. In faith, he waited for a far better home.

“By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:9-10 NKJ).

Marked for the Master by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Illiteracy is tragic. Some individuals are unable to even write their name; instead they make their mark.

The redeemed are marked for the Master.

“Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth (Revelation 14:1-3 NKJ).”

The redeemed bear the seal of ownership and authenticity.

“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee (2 Corinthians 1:20-22 NKJ).”

Glory to the Lamb of God!

His body is marked with the scars of sacrificial death.

“And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, ‘Peace to you!’ Then He said to Thomas, ‘Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.’ And Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God (John 20:26-28 NKJ)!”

A Fact of Faith by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Loves involves sharing.

At marriage, two become one. That’s not modern math. It is a fact of faith.

“And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh (Genesis 2:22-24 KJV).”

What’s his is hers and vice versa.

Legally, there is a term to match. I refer to community property. I protest; my husband Norm has carried this way too far.

His cold is my cold. I suffer with shared symptoms of the common cold. Grr!

Friends, Andy & Laurie, work together in a local husband-wife law firm. I’ll ask Andy if I can file an appeal foregoing distribution of shared property. 

Overruled?

 “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband (Ephesians 5:31-33 KJV).”

I decline a change of venue. Through submission to the Savior, I receive a change of heart.

Heart of a Pastor by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

I wonder…

What feelings lay hidden within the hearts of committed pastors?   

As undershepherds of Jesus’ flock, they bear a heavy burden.

The words of Apostle Paul revealed his concern.

“For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words (Colossians 2:1-4 NKJ).”

A pastor prays fervently for the flock.

They encourage their people through Scriptures and promote unity.

Above all, they lift the name of Jesus.

Paul’s last sentence serves as a timely warning. False teaching is deadly.

A discerning pastor knows the cunning and deception of false teachers.   

 

If So Inclined by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

Have any inclination of dread about the nation’s future economy?

Prone to ponder perilous times?

If you are so inclined…

“Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters;
And you who have no money come, buy and eat.
Come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without cost.
‘Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And delight yourself in abundance.
Incline your ear and come to Me.
Listen, that you may live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
According to the faithful mercies shown to David (Isaiah 55:1-3 NAS).”

What a different outcome awaits the faithful. They reap from God’s bounty.

Listening to the LORD, they incline their ears and covenant with Him.

 

Pillars in the Pews by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

 “And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do (Galatians 2:9-10 KJV).”

Many of our old Southern plantation homes feature stately white pillars on the edifice. They are impressive. Far more impressive are tributes to men and women who were pillars in their churches.

I dedicate this devotion to Mrs. Lillian Lee, as a memorial to her selfless service to Lanes Ferry Church.

My husband Norm, his mother and I attended her funeral this afternoon in Norm’s childhood church. The personal stories shared by her family and pastor were passionate. I recap in two words. Lillian loved. She left a legacy of love.

They spoke of her love for deceased parents and spouse. She was devoted to her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. Her love for all people was rooted in love for her Lord and Savior, Jesus. She acted on the love for Him in her church home.

As a child, Lillian helped her mother clean the church and they did it well. Her pastor humorously remarked that it would pass the white glove test. Willing to serve where ever needed, she taught Sunday school classes and vacation Bible school, sang in the choir and worked in the kitchen too.

Service didn’t stop when Lillian’s declining health necessitated a move to a nursing home facility. As a transplant to the area, I met her there through a church ministry. Lillian had adapted to her new home, becoming a prayer warrior and liaison between the residents and her pastor.  

A pillar was laid to rest today…

Be Praised! by Pam ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

“O God, my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.
Awake, lute and harp!
I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples,
And I will sing praises to You among the nations.
For Your mercy is great above the heavens,
And Your truth reaches to the clouds (Psalm 108:1-4 NKJ).” 

Oh, to have the heart of King David!

His heart was steadfast; his praise was spontaneous.

He used his voice to sing praises and instruments in creating music for his Master.

David did not restrict praise to private encounters with God. No, he praised the LORD publicly with full intent of impact to the nations.

Why?

He had experienced God’s mercy and accepted truth. 

“Praise the Lord!

Praise, O servants of the Lord,
Praise the name of the Lord!
Blessed be the name of the Lord
From this time forth and forevermore!
From the rising of the sun to its going down
The Lord’s name is to be praised (Psalm 113:1-3 NKJ).”

 

Incentive to Work by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Ever have one of those days?

You know, one of those days when you have no energy or ambition. 

It happens; we have times with little motivation or incentive to work.

“He who has a slack hand becomes poor,
But the hand of the diligent makes rich (Proverbs 10:4 NKJ).”

A man leaning against his shovel handle might provide inspiration for a Sunday paper comic strips. Yet humorous, the shovel is of no use until a workman turns the soil.

I receive encouragement through the word.

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart (Galatians 6:9 NKJ).” 

Mothers with young children grow weary.

Minimum wage workers grow discouraged.

Missionaries and ministers experience burnout.

Our work matters.

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:23-24 NKJ).”

Just June? by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Hooray, it’s June!

I jog my memory.

Mycenae, New York, USA.

In early June, we began the countdown to summer vacation.

“Then He spoke to them a parable: ‘Look at the fig tree, and all the trees.  When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near (Luke 21:29-30 NKJ).”

Soon, ‘no more pencils, no more books’…

Neighborhood children roamed freely during daylight hours.

We climbed hills, explored in the apple orchard and rode our bikes to the Big Rock.

Friends followed a well traversed path to the old log cabin.

We played outdoor games of hide n’ seek, red rover and dodge ball. After the clearing of the apple orchard, a vacant lot was transformed into the Mycenae baseball field.

I went on family picnics at Green Lakes State Park, Chittenango Falls and Pratt’s Falls.

We carried our roller skates and skateboards to the first paved driveway in the neighborhood. Today, I appreciate my Uncle Wallace for allowing us to skate there; many places forbid that now.

When given permission (and at times, without) we waded and swam the frigid cold waters of the crick.  On less frequent occasions, we went to Green Lakes, New Woodstock pond, Verona Beach or Gypsy Beach.

There were demonstrations of athletic ability by the frivolous. We rolled down a small grassy hill in my yard, did summersaults and stood on our heads. On one occasion, my cousin Kenny walked on his hands. Amazing!

During early evenings, we gathered fire flies in glass jars. Before bedtime, we gazed at the stars. The fun was not over. I had girlfriends to spend the night with, or they stayed with me.

Just June?

Nothing extraordinary?

Just a page on the calendar?  

Jog your memory…

“The memory of the righteous is blessed (Proverbs 10:7 NKJ).”

 

How’d I Do? by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

How’d I do?

Dare I ask the LORD?

I’m aware and ashamed of my failures.

Why do I moan and groan?

I have been blessed.

Why do I fail to praise my God?

“Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name (Psalm 103:1 NKJ).”

How’d I do, LORD?

Without a word, He gets His message across. 

In times of disappointment, I throw a pity party and sulk.

How’d I do, LORD?

Shame, shame on me!

This is an invitation to my praise party. Please RSVP.

How do you do? 

 

Blessed Reality by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Peace… He alone can give it.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27 NKJ).

Real joy comes from Jesus.

 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full (John 15:11 NKJ).”

My hope rests in Him.

“… looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works (Titus 2:13-14 NKJ).” 

He provides rest for the weary.

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light (Matthew 11:29-30 NKJ).” 

Living forever.

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this (John 11:25-26 NKJ).”

Do you?

His amazing grace makes this a blessed reality!

Day of Remembrance by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

The brave have fallen.

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance…

King David honored Saul. Though his foe, he had once served as God’s anointed King of Israel.

David deeply grieved the loss of his closest friend, Jonathan.

“Saul and Jonathan were beloved and pleasant in their lives,
And in their death they were not divided;
They were swifter than eagles,
They were stronger than lions.

O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,
Who clothed you in scarlet, with luxury;
Who put ornaments of gold on your apparel.

How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle!
Jonathan was slain in your high places.
I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan;
You have been very pleasant to me;
Your love to me was wonderful,
Surpassing the love of women.

How the mighty have fallen,
And the weapons of war perished (2 Samuel 1:23-27 NKJ)!”

 

 

You Decide by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) SEPTEMBER 2014 002 

Folly or Faith? You decide…

Abraham burned his bridges behind him.

Jacob wrestled with an angel.

Noah built an ark.

As weapons against Goliath, David chose a slingshot and stones.

Esther, risking her life, approached the king without invitation. 

Daring to pray, Daniel did what was forbidden.

Simple fisherman cast their nets aside and followed a radical teacher named Jesus.

To the faint of heart, such actions and countless others of the faithful were illogical and considered folly.

Each fore mentioned individual demonstrated devotion and faith. 

Were they afraid?

“Whenever I am afraid,
I will trust in You (Psalm 56:3 NKJ).”

Faith trumped their fears.

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6 NKJ).”

 

The Great Divide by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

Having been deeply hurt and causing emotional pain to others, I have been on both sides of the great divide.

In many instances, the contention is unintentional. We might not even be aware that what we have said or done offended the said parties. Yet, the damage has been done.

A great divide appears and quickly widens.

“An offended brother is harder to reach
than a fortified city,
and quarrels are like the bars of a fortress (Proverbs 18:19 HCS).”  

It is difficult to make amends.

Forgiveness is risky. What if they hurt me again? 

“Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how many times could my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?’ ‘I tell you, not as many as seven,’ Jesus said to him, ‘but 70 times seven (Matthew 18:21-22 HCS).”

How can I regain a person’s trust after I wronged them?  Through patience, kindness and love…

“And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ (Ephesians 4:32 HCS).”

 

Cursive Penmanship by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Cursive penmanship is draped in black; it has been in a steady state of demise.

It is not going silently!

There have been a number of posts on facebook in recent months in regards to the politically charged debate. It seems there is an agenda to remove cursive writing from the curriculum in our schools. Friends (teachers in particular) have strong feelings about this subject. They want cursive writing to remain.

I have fond memories of my 3rd grade class and my young pony-tailed teacher, Miss Dunn. She taught me cursive handwriting.

The Bible writers, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit penned the Holy Scriptures…

Jesus spoke with authority about the Law and lettering within.

“Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For I assure you: Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letteror one stroke of a letter will pass from the law until all things are accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches people to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven Matthew 5:17-20 HCS).”

Looking Skyward by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Was the sky ‘really’ falling?

No, it was only 1979 Skylab space debris.

My family was at the Pennsylvania home of my oldest sister, Donna. We gathered outside in her Edinboro back yard, ready to record the historic event with our 9 millimeter movie camera. Donna was the leading lady in the short clip. Her prop was an attention getter.

Don’t ask me why. She waved a toilet plunger in front of the camera!

Donna’s smile was magnetic. Her sense of humor was endearing.

May is a month of remembering. Donna was born in May and Donna died in May.

I look skyward. I am not looking for space junk. No, I’m looking for my redeemer.

Our full redemption is imminent.

“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near (Luke 21:28 NKJ).”

 

Whistled While They Worked by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

The seven dwarfs whistled while they worked.

With a burden to preserve our nation, prayer warriors do the work of intercession.

In those efforts, we will worship while we work.

The Lord frustrates the counsel of the nations;
He thwarts the plans of the peoples.
The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
the plans of His heart from generation to generation.
Happy is the nation whose God is Yahweh—
the people He has chosen to be His own possession (Psalm 33:10-12 HCS).”

Interestingly, one dwarf was named Happy; indeed, how happy we can be!

Oh, to truly be ‘One Nation Under God’ once more.

Will we repent and allow Him to reign over us?

Let it be. Our nation’s revival could foreshadow His coming reign.

“The dominion will be vast,
and its prosperity will never end.
He will reign on the throne of David
and over his kingdom,
to establish and sustain it
with justice and righteousness from now on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this (Isaiah 9:7 HCS).”

Humble Harry by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Have you met humble Harry?

He has never made a big splash in society. Why, he rarely leaves the confines of the rural county where he was born and raised. He isn’t seeking recognition of his employer or praise of peers.

Content with his lot in life, Harry works to support his family and is a faithful member in his small country church.

How important is faithfulness?

“His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord (Matthew 25:21 NKJ).”

Folks like Harry might have few talents or leadership skills. They simply make themselves available and faithfully serve God and others.

Harry has his priorities straight.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time (1 Peter 5:6 NKJ).”

 

Time Out by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

‘You’re in time out!’

In recent years, parents, teachers and childcare workers have used time out as a form of discipline. It’s really not new. To those old enough to recall, it’s only a variation of standing in a corner while looking at a blank wall.

I’m really not sure how effective it is as a deterrent to improper behavior.

‘I’m in time out.’

It is a deterrent to sin and self-centeredness.

God wants me to take time out for prayer, communion and for His word. When I am disciplined and diligent, I make time out habitual. I’m not staring at a blank wall. Rather, I’m beholding the redeemer.

Take nourishment. “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope (Romans 15:4 NKJ).”

Make prayer a priority. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJ).”

 

Voila` by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

‘You’ve got mail’ is a familiar phrase in our messaging madness. Whereas, I once eyeballed an outside mailbox for personal airmail letters; I can now right-click my email box icon.

Voila` I’ve got mail.

Many erroneously conclude that the Bible of Christianity is irrelevant and outdated.

Wrong! We’ve got mail.

The Bible is God’s love letter to a distant people. 

“The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:
Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you (Jeremiah 31:3 NKJ).”  

As we open our New Testament mail, we discover letters of challenge and encouragement from the Gospel writers. 

Join with me in reading the opening of Paul’s passionate letter, to the church at Ephesus…

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 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 should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:1-6 NKJ).”

Hallelujah, we’ve got mail!

 

Open Heart Test by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

This is an open heart test.

Most of us have taken open book tests; even if we had not crammed for the tests, we had a fighting chance.

In open heart tests, God gives us more than mere chance; He offers salvation.

In humility, multitudes have sought Him and searched their hearts.

Eager to learn about a right relationship with the LORD, Lydia listened attentively to the Apostle Paul.  

“On the Sabbath day we went outside the city gate by the river, where we thought there was a place of prayer. We sat down and spoke to the women gathered there. A woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God, was listening. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was spoken by Paul. After she and her household were baptized, she urged us, ‘If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my house.’ And she persuaded us (Acts 16:13-15 HCS).”

Lydia passed the open heart test royally!

She opened her heart to Jesus and her house to His servants, Paul and Silas. Lydia’s willingness to be obedient through baptism and hospitality serves as an example to all today.

 

Encouragement by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Today’s Christ followers are discouraged.

Exude encouragement.

Trending societal changes conflict with Bible standards and scoffers mock many who stay true to their Christian convictions. Yet, we should not be surprised. The Scripture reveals an increase in evil activity and perilous times in the last days.

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power (2 Timothy 3:1-5a NKJ).”

Jesus understands.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world (John 16:33 NKJ).”  

We can be encouraged.

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23 NKJ).”

 

The Question by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o  

Believe or not believe?

That is the question.

That is the bottom line.

“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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16-18 KJV).”

Condemned or not condemned?

God gives mankind free will. We decide. Believe or not believe?

The Father is patient.

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9 KJV).”

 Edit / Delete

 

Vocabulary by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Second children might not be as fluent in conversation as their older siblings.

That was certainly the case with our toddler son, Lee. Our daughter, April, was 27 months older and he let her do the talking. Yet, if he got the urge he could communicate. He had a favorite word that took us a while to translate.

‘Dunn-up’

Say, what?

While reading a story book to him, the meaning became clear.

Seeing pictures of horses and cowboys he said, “Dunn-up!”

I got it!

‘Giddy Up’

Any cowboy worth his salt would know that.

Often there is another word from a cowboy’s vocabulary tagged on…

‘Go!’

God had a message for a disciple named Philip. Get up and go.

“An angel of the Lord spoke to Philip: ‘Get up and go south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ (This is the desert road.) So he got up and went. There was an Ethiopian man, a eunuch and high official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians,who was in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to worship in Jerusalem (Acts 8:26-27 HCS).”

Philip went willingly. As a result, he had an opportunity to witness to the eunuch. The man surrendered his life to Jesus.

Hate by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

Hate…

Despise…

Detest…

Loathe…

Abhor…

Strong words heighten strong emotions.

We speak of our love for the Lord and His word. Too often, we voice words void of faith. God’s own people have wronged Him.

“The land also shall be left empty by them, and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them; they will accept their guilt, because they despised My judgments and because their soul abhorred My statutes. Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them; for I am the Lord their God. But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am the Lord (Leviticus 26:43-45 NKJ).”

He is LORD.

He is love.

“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love (1 John 4:8 NKJ).”

 

 Sit-Ins by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Do protesters still do sit-ins?

I recall newscast images from the turbulent 1960’s. Large groups of students gathered in public places and sat down, blocking access to others. They chose a non-violent stance as they drew national attention to current affair issues.

Our Savior sits in heaven. He has the Father’s attention.

“Then after speaking to them, the Lord Jesus was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19 HCS).”

He is not protesting; He is interceding.

“What then are we to say about these things?
If God is for us, who is against us?
 He did not even spare His own Son
but offered Him up for us all;
how will He not also with Him grant us everything?
Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect?
God is the One who justifies.
Who is the one who condemns?
Christ Jesus is the One who died,
but even more, has been raised;
He also is at the right hand of God
and intercedes for us (Romans 8:31-34 HCS).”

 

Make a Wish by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Make a wish…

No, I’m not suggesting that you wish on a star. Nor am I inferring it’s time to wish after blowing out flickering birthday cake candles.

Instead, I speak of a great concern for the lost.

“King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you believe.’ Then Agrippa said to Paul, ‘Are you going to persuade me to become a Christian so easily?’ ‘I wish before God,’ replied Paul, ‘that whether easily or with difficulty, not only you but all who listen to me today might become as I am—except for these chains (Acts 26:27-29 HCS).”

The Apostle Paul was persistent and passionate in his witness. He was not twisting the king’s arm but he was trying to persuade him to place his trust in the resurrected Christ. Paul was wishing but his hope rested in God. He had a burden for the lost, both Jew and Gentile.

“Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God concerning themis for their salvation (Romans 10:1 HCS)!”

 

What If by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Andrew fell in step with the Master.

“Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard John and followed Him (John 1:40 HCS).”

Andrew listened intently to John’s proclamation. He believed what he heard.

 “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29 HCS)!”

Andrew was a man of action. 

Reading between the lines, I visualize him scurrying atop dusty pathways and through a crowded marketplace. Compelled by love, he sought out his brother Simon. Time was of the essence.

Was Simon Peter easily persuaded or hard to convince?  John did not reveal those details in the passage…

“He first found his own brother Simon and told him, ‘We have found the Messiah!’ (which means “Anointed One”), and he brought Simon to Jesus. When Jesus saw him, He said, ‘You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Cephas’ (which means “Rock”) (John 1:41-42 HCS).”  

What if…

What if Andrew did not share good news of the arrival of the long awaited Messiah?

What if Simon Peter scoffed Andrews’s claims?

I cast aside the unknown and grasp the later confession of Simon Peter.

“But you, ’He asked them, ‘who do you, say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:15-16 HCS).”

Dream Home by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

If you’ve ever built a new home, you know how exciting that can be.

Although we have been married for nearly 50 years and have lived from coast-to-coast in America, we have only had one house built for us. Excitement built to a fevered pitch as a crew of carpenters built our dream home. Though no colonial mansion, it was spectacular to me. The Creator needs no man-made house to fulfill a dream.

“Heaven is My throne,
and earth My footstool.
What sort of house will you build for Me?
says the Lord,
or what is My resting place?
Did not My hand make all these things (Acts 7:49-50 HCS)?”

Yet, God knows our need to gather for public worship. Jesus, with righteous anger acted against abuses in God’s house, the temple in Jerusalem…

“Jesus went into the temple complex and drove out all those buying and selling in the temple. He overturned the money changers’ tables and the chairs of those selling doves. And He said to them, ‘It is written, My house will be called a house of prayer. But you are making it a den of thieves (Matthew 21:12-13 HCS)!”

Wing His Words
Pam Ford Davis
http://www.faithwriters.com/member-profile.php?id=40416
http://www.pamforddavis.com

Routine or Ritual by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

“We were at church every time the doors were open!”

That’s common for adults that were raised in Christian homes.

Devoted parents did not merely drop off their children for Sunday school or mission groups. Mothers and fathers took their youngsters to age appropriate classes and then attended adult classes. Multitudes of families have been involved in systematic Bible study and worship.

A routine need not be empty ritual.

Consider the customs of Christ Jesus…

“So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read (Luke 4:16 NKJ).”

The Apostle Paul lived and breathed grace. Yet, he too had a worship routine.

“Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures (Acts 17:1-2 NKJ).”

Will we cease to follow reverent routines?

“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25 NKJ).”

 

Most Certainly by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

Most certainly!

“I have certainly seen the oppression of My people in Egypt and have heard their groans, and I have come down to rescue them; come now, and I will send you to Egypt (Acts 7:34 NAS).”

Most certainly, God cared.

He sent Moses to lead the oppressed Hebrew slaves out of Egyptian bondage.

The great I Am saw each Hebrew slave and He saw me when I was a slave to sin.

He sent His SON Jesus to rescue me.

“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13-14 NAS).”

The accuser delights in oppressing believers. God hears each groan. Delivered, we heave a sigh of relief. 

His whole creation groans.

“For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body (Romans 8:22-23 NAS).”

Hold on; He’s coming again!

Traveling Companion by Pam Ford Davis (Old Article/Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

There is safety in numbers; sometimes a person planning to take a trip will hire someone to serve in capacity of traveling companion. That may be advantageous; it would also be far more enjoyable to have someone along on sightseeing jaunts. Consider the surprise of traveling companions when Jesus tags along.

“And while they were conversing and discussing together, Jesus Himself caught up with them and was already accompanying them. But their eyes were held, so that they did not recognize Him (Luke 24:15-16 Amplified Bible).

The men were saddened and confused by the crucifixion of Christ. After He unveiled their sight to recognize Him, He vanished.

“And they said to one another, Were not our hearts greatly moved and burning within us while He was talking with us on the road and as He opened and explained to us [the sense of] the Scriptures (Luke 24:32 Amplified Bible)?”

Jesus, as traveling companion served as masterful guide to show them the narrow path to His kingdom. They couldn’t keep the experience a secret.

“Then they [themselves] related [in full] what had happened on the road, and how He was known and recognized by them in the breaking of bread. Now while they were talking about this, Jesus Himself took His stand among them and said to them, Peace (freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as the result of sin) be to you (Luke 24:35-36 Amplified Bible)!

If by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

What if…

What if Jesus showed up unexpectedly?

“You also be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect (Luke 12:40 HCS).”

What if you were not prepared?

“Therefore be alert, because you don’t know either the day or the hour (Matthew 25:13 HCS).”

 What if you had not placed your trust in God?

“Then He told them a parable: ‘A rich man’s land was very productive.  He thought to himself, ‘What should I do, since I don’t have anywhere to store my crops?’ I will do this,’ he said. ‘I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones and store all my grain and my goods there. Then I’ll say to myself, ‘You have many goods stored up for many years. Take it easy; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is demanded of you. And the things you have prepared—whose will they be?’ That’s how it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God (Luke 12:16-21 HCS).”

What if?

Pleasure Cruise by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

‘Wow; that shook me up!’

Life is not always smooth sailing.

Duh! 

‘Sit down; you’re rocking the boat!’

Please excuse the puns. I hope I get the point across. Life is many things but problem free it’s not.

I’ve never taken a pleasure cruise. Linking the words pleasure and cruise somehow doesn’t seem appropriate; I’d be at risk of raging storms.

“Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!’ But He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?’Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, ‘Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him (Matthew 8:23-27 NKJ)?”

Why do I fret? Though I may not always have smooth sailing; I have a personal relationship with the Master of the seas.

 

TDY by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

On TDY…

Temporary Duty assignments are common for those serving in branches of the USA military. It means time away from home base, family, and friends.

Foreign missionaries serve for varied amounts of time. Some volunteer missionaries set aside vacation time for mission trip opportunities; others may make it their life’s calling and return to homelands only on furlough. They serve not out of duty; but with lifelong devotion.

“In the church that was at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius the Cyrenian, Manaen, a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work I have called them to.’ Then after they had fasted, prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them off. Being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they came down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus (Acts 13:1-4 HCS).” 

Saul (Apostle Paul) and Barnabas were set apart by God, for God’s special mission of evangelism. Today, that work is ongoing and far-reaching around the globe. Many are called to go; in appreciation, they give thanks for the multitudes who offer prayer and financial support.

Seed Planting by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

I have no interest in gardening.

That’s okay; my husband Norm has enough enthusiasm for both of us. He has had bumper crops and crop failures. The first category gave him bragging rights. Out of courtesy, I’ll remain silent about the years with little to show for his investments of money and hard work.

Today, he taught me a life lesson on seed planting. He said that he, and many others, drop 3 seeds in each hole when planting. He went on to explain that the 3 seeds represent death, burial and resurrection. Such a WOW!

“And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour (John 12:23-26 KJV).

 

Poof by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

Poof; the years go up in smoke!

Do your bones and muscles ache and burn with arthritic pain or Fibromyalgia?

Is a heart condition a daily concern?

Does your spouse or in home nurse need to remind you to eat and take medications?

Have you found yourself groaning as you try to get up from your favorite chair?

Are you mere skin and bones?

Is insomnia a frequent nighttime companion?

‘Who? Who?’

“For my days vanish like smoke,
and my bones burn like a furnace.
My heart is afflicted, withered like grass;
I even forget to eat my food.
Because of the sound of my groaning,
my flesh sticks to my bones.
I am like a desert owl,
like an owl among the ruins.
I stay awake;
I am like a solitary bird on a roof (Psalm 102:3-7 HCS).”

As we age, we are afflicted with many ailments.

Give thanks; it’s good for what ails you!

“Give thanks in everything,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18 HCS).”

Call Waiting by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

I used to get frequent callers when I worked as a mid-day Disc Jockey in radio. In the dark ages of AM radio, and long before call-waiting at home, I used to put my callers on hold. They waited (I’m not sure how patiently) at the other end of the line until I could take their calls. Most of us have had people put us on hold for what seemed like forever; our tempers flare as we count the minutes.

God does not lose his temper; yet, He has to wonder why we fail to accept His calls.

Samuel served Eli in the temple; at an early age, the LORD God placed a call upon his life. The lad offered the appropriate response.

“And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. So he arose and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you did call me.’ Then Eli perceived that the Lord had called the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, ‘Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel answered, ‘Speak, for Your servant hears (1 Samuel 3:8-10 NKJ).”

 

Declaration of Glory by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

My fellow Americans will celebrate Independence Day in July.

We honor the founding fathers, recognizing their patriotism and great sacrifices for freedom. They would be horrified to see how far we have drifted from the standards they risked their lives for. We must adhere to the truths found in The Declaration of Independence and Constitution. 

Sadly, we have also failed to keep the commands of God.

I echo the words of scripture. With praise, we offer a declaration  of glory!

“Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods (1 Chronicles 16:24-25 KJV).”

Hear the message of the heavens.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun (Psalm 19:1-4 KJV).” 

I declare no independence from the Lord. Without him, I would be nothing.

 

Up by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

Lifted up…

Shut up…

Went up…

Taken up…

Look up…

“Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.’ This He said, signifying by what death He would die (John 12:31-33 NKJ).”

Satan will be cast into the bottomless pit and shut up.

“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while (Revelation 20:1-3 NKJ).”

Jesus was lifted up through crucifixion.

“And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him:

THIS IS JESUS

THE KING OF THE JEWS.

“Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left (Matthew 27:37-38 NKJ).”

Look up; Jesus is coming again!

“Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven (Acts 1:9-11 NKJ).”
Hard to Grasp by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

“And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God (2 Corinthians 2:1-5 NAS).”

Though it might be hard to grasp, the words come from the Apostle Paul.

Paul, lacking in the ability to convey God’s message?

The writer of much of our New Testament being weak, fearful and trembling? 

Though hard to comprehend, this is what he wrote under the direction of the Holy Spirit.

Do not miss his strength in weakness… “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” 

That crucifixion of Christ, linked with the message of His resurrection, is the good news of salvation.

“that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation (Romans 10:9-10 NAS).”

Secret Passwords by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

The internet has opened up a whole new world to computer users.

We log into web pages and social networking sites with little thought to the work of computer programmers and moderators. Yet, we do frequently wince when asked for our passwords.

‘Oh my, where did I put that?’

I find the ‘Keep me signed in’ choices helpful; don’t you?

When desiring God’s presence, how do I gain access to His throne room?

I need neither secret password nor prearranged set appointment. Wherever and whenever I pray, He welcomes me.

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6 NKJ).”

Christ Jesus is my only way of entry. He not only gives you and me permission to use His name; He has told us to offer up our prayers in His name. Praying, in keeping with the will of the Father we approach Him reverently.

“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it (John 14:13-14 NKJ).” 

To God be the glory!

It’s Unanimous by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

‘It’s unanimous!’

The crowd exchanges high fives, hoots and hollers.

Admittedly, the scenario does not occur every day or in every situation. We settle for majority rules. It’s nearly impossible to get a group of people to agree on any decision of importance. We can’t even agree on the weather.

Those who gathered after the arrest and release of Peter and John were in perfect agreement.

“After they were released, they went to their own people and reported everything the chief priests and the elders had said to them. When they heard this, they all raised their voices to God and said, ‘Master, You are the One who made the heaven, the earth, and the sea, and everything in them.  You said through the Holy Spirit, by the mouth of our father David Your servant:

Why did the Gentiles rage
and the peoples plot futile things?
The kings of the earth took their stand
and the rulers assembled together
against the Lord and against His Messiah.

 ‘For, in fact, in this city both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peopleof Israel, assembled together against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed,  to do whatever Your hand and Your plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, consider their threats, and grant that Your slaves may speak Your message with complete boldness, while You stretch out Your hand for healing, signs, and wonders to be performed through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.’ When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak God’s message with boldness (Acts 4:23-31 HCS).”

It’s unanimous; God was, and is, in complete control!

 

Providence by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

Family names are frequently fascinating. The same holds true for places we visit or call home. In Holmes County, Florida a small number populate a community named ‘Prosperity.’ Apparently, early settlers saw great potential in the area.

Looking closer to my current home, I point out the town of Lake Providence, Louisiana. Aye, we rest in God’s providence…

Joseph discerned God’s omnipotence and guidance despite his personal woes.

“Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life (Genesis 45:5 KJV).”

God provides, he sustains and preserves life.

“And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance (Genesis 45:7 KJV).”

 

Prayer Arrows by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Prayer arrows …

Is your quiver full?

My prayer arrows are essential for coping in times of trouble.

Prayer arrows are by far the best way to manage stress.

Today was one of those days; actually, it was day number 2.

Those of you reading this by email know what I allude to. After an update from my mail server, I was unable to send my daily devotions. Not at the top of any tech savvy list, I had tried almost everything, including on line chat troubleshooting.

Along the way, I shot prayer arrows; I asked the Lord for discernment and wisdom while confessing I did not know what to do. Is there an adage about solving big problems one bite at a time? In essence, that is what solved mine.

I copied the names from my main group email, and then deleted the group from my address book. Next, I created two smaller groups; to my delight (and relief) that worked!

I retrieved a thank you prayer arrow and sent it flying.

“O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever (1 Chronicles 16:34 KJV).”

 

Rewarding or Risky? by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Opportunity or obstacle?

Challenge or crisis?

Spotlight or tight spot?

New responsibilities can be rewarding or risky.

Feelings of inadequacy stifle spiritual growth. 

God equips all that He calls into service.

“Such confidence we have through Christ toward God.  Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (2 Corinthians 3:4-6 NAS).”

But I can’t…

But, you can!

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13 NAS).”

The Great Society by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

A brainchild of President Lyndon B. Johnson, ‘The Great Society’ birthed our ballooning US Welfare System. The elimination of poverty and racial injustice has yet to be accomplished. Yet, if we were united in purpose in a concern for one another’s welfare, it would in reality be a great society.

The Lord God has our welfare in mind.

“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile (Jeremiah 29:11-14 NAS).”

Well being is not a child’s game of Hide N Seek. God’s children seek Him and find Him always faithful.

 

One of Us by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

I have not heard a great deal about America as a melting pot in recent years.

In the past our diversities of heritage, customs and traditions were viewed as strengths. Although blending in a proverbial melting pot, people still gathered with those from same or similar backgrounds.

We are inclined to form our closest relationships with those we easily identify with.

Though separate from mankind in that He never sinned; Jesus is one of us.

“Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted (Hebrews 2:17-18 NKJ).”

Jesus knows where we are coming from. He paid the supreme sacrifice to lead us home.

Sensitivity by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Sensitivity to light and touch is seemingly innate to newborn infants; to the mother’s relief her colicky baby relaxes as she caresses him or her. Cries become coos; when baby is contented and resting the domicile is a place of tranquility.  

I am God’s child and desire increased sensitivity to His touch, voice, and to His will.

“And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’

They said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord.’

Then He touched their eyes, saying, ‘According to your faith let it be to you.’ And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, ‘See that no one knows it.’ But when they had departed, they spread the news about Him in all that country (Matthew 9:28-31 NKJ).”

Jesus was not looking for notoriety.

Receiving their sight, the men disregarded His warning; they spread the news of miraculous healing by the touch of Jesus.

 

In Conclusion by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Many pastors prepare a sermon outline. As a regular note taker, I like outlined messages. Following along, I can usually sense when most pastors are ready to conclude their sermons. I admit the cue of ‘In conclusion’ is a giveaway. Or is it?

Frequently, energized and anointed pastors only pause briefly.  I return to note taking!

Nearing the end to his letter to the church in Ephesus, the Apostle Paul interchanged finally for in conclusion…

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. But that you also may know my affairs and how I am doing, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make all things known to you; whom I have sent to you for this very purpose, that you may know our affairs, and that he may comfort your hearts. Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen (Ephesians 6:10-24 NKJ).”

 

 

An Easter Epiphany by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Epiphany moments are God-sent encounters. In His love for us, He sends sudden realizations person-to-person. Along with the jubilant congregation, I followed the praise & worship leader in the singing of Easter praise choruses and hymns. While reading a line on the overhead screen relating to God’s throne, the Lord spoke to my heart through His ‘still, small voice.’

Like many, I have viewed throne room scenes in movies. Moses and his brother Aaron made repeated trips inside the Egyptian palace of the Pharaoh… Kings are often portrayed as uncaring and cruel to those seeking mercy. Groveling, the petitioners tremble as they fall to their knees before the throne. I saw a far different scene as I sang Easter praises.

I recalled the gospel story of Jesus holding children on His lap. Instantaneously, I visualized Jesus sitting on His throne next to His Father. There, contented children sat in Jesus’ lap as a large group of others played on the floor before Him. Joy flooded my heart; oh, how much He loves us!

“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16 NKJ).”

 

Went Out by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

The act of people watching occurs nearly everywhere.

True, it is done on a larger scale in malls and airports; yet, we unconsciously watch people wherever we go. I have a confession to make. Recently, I watched people as they exited a fast food restaurant; I could not help but notice their overweight condition. Oblivious to dangers of a high fat diet, they went out satisfied.

Turning to a much more serious note…

Those leaving a hospital, after the passing of a loved one went out sorrowful.

Consider the concern of a distraught mother.

“And she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut the door upon him and went out. Then she called to her husband, and said, ‘Please send me one of the young men and one of the donkeys, that I may run to the man of God and come back (2 Kings 4:21-22 NKJ).”

In haste, she sought Prophet Elisha.

“He returned and walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself out on him; then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. And he called Gehazi and said, ‘Call this Shunammite woman.’ So he called her. And when she came in to him, he said, ‘Pick up your son.’ So she went in, fell at his feet, and bowed to the ground; then she picked up her son and went out (2 Kings 4:35-37 NKJ).”

She went out rejoicing.

A Marriage Made in Heaven by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

‘It’s a marriage made in heaven!’

June is a few short months away. Grooms will finalize the ceremonies with a public kiss to their brides and exit down petal strewn isles. Fathers of brides will fight back tears as mothers dab theirs away with crumpled hankies.

‘It’s a marriage made in heaven!’

If not spoken aloud, the thought is at least on the minds of many.

We would like to believe that marriages are prearranged in the heavens. Sadly, many blunder and disregard God when searching for the perfect made. Marriages, thought to be made in heaven self-destruct and end up in divorce courts. 

In contrast, there truly is a marriage made in heaven.

The church is the bride of Christ, the Lamb of God.

“Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.’ And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints (Revelation 19:6b-8 NKJ).

 

Wrestling by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Professional Wrestling… a descriptive word comes to mind, Showbiz. Whether it’s Showbiz or a school competition, winning requires strength and stamina. In addition, a wrestler may need to outwit the opponent. Imagine the physical and emotional stress of Jacob; he wrestled with the Lord.

 “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved (Genesis 32: 24-30 KJV).”  

Jacob’s thigh was injured; yet he was strengthened spiritually through his wrestling encounter with God.  

Beware, believers; Satan wants to cripple and destroy all Christ followers.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand (Ephesians 6:10-13 KJV).”

 

All a Part of God’s Plan by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Friday, feeling forsaken…

“Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me (Matthew 27:45-46 KJV)?”

Friday, a finished work…

“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost (John 19:30 KJV).”

Friday, faith of a centurion…

Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God (Matthew 27:54 KJV).” 

Entombed for a time…

“For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Matthew 12:40 KJV).”

First day of the week…

“He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,  Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again (Luke 24:6-7 KJV).”  

Hallelujah!

He Will Reign by Pam Ford Davis {Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

“Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him.  And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews (Matthew 27:27-29 NKJ)!”

Normally, when I contemplated the significance of this passage I focused on Jesus’ painful crown of thorns. Yet, the reed that He held in His right hand is important too. Though soldiers placed it in His hand with disdain and mockery, the scepter it represented is fitting the King of Kings.

As King, He will reign over all nations. Yes, all will bow before him.

“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11 NKJ).”

 

Unrequited Love by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Sometimes love hurts; unrequited love left scars.

Jesus loved Judas; yet, Judas made a mockery of that love.

“And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, ‘Judas, are you betraying this Son of Man with a kiss (Luke 22: 47-48 NKJ)?

Indeed, he did betray his Lord and the damage could not be undone.

“Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’

And they said, ‘What is that to us? You see to it!’

Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself (Matthew 27:3-5 NKJ).”

Neither unrequited love nor Judas’ kiss of betrayal stopped God’s redemption plan.

“But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:8-10 NKJ).”

 

Cry Before the Cross by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

“Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’ And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed.  Then He said to them, ‘My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.’

He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will. (Mark 14:32-36 NKJ).” 

In the few remaining days before Easter, I meditate on selected Scripture passages from the Gospel writers. Today, I focus on the cry before the cross. Jesus cried out to His Father. The empowering and enabling of His Gethsemane prayer came after submission and surrender of His will.

Yes, Jesus knew the depths of exceeding sorrow. Yet, when the Father did not remove the cup, He willingly drank even the dregs.

 

Don’t Forget by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Don’t forget to set your clocks before you go to bed Saturday night.

I know what you’re thinking.

‘Where has she been? We did that over a week ago!’

I admit my memory is not the best in the world but I do recall the change to daylight savings time. I’m reminding you to set your alarm clocks for Easter sunrise services.

“Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

But the angel answered and said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.’

So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.

And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, ‘Rejoice!’ So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me (Matthew 28:1-10 NKJ).”

Who Is This? by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Who? What? Where? When?

Before revealing the sought answers to every good reporter’s questions, I ask you to search your heart for the relevance to the story… 

“Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage,at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me.  And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.’

 All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:

‘Tell the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your King is coming to you,
Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.’

So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Himon them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:

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

And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, ‘Who is this?’

So the multitudes said, ‘This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee (Matthew 20:1-11 NKJ).”

Who is this?

Jesus, Son of the living God! 

A Good Work by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Don’t consider yourself lucky if you find a three leaf clover. Instead, thank the Creator for placing the rarity within your path.

How much do you know about the man behind the holiday? The CBN Network paid tribute to the life and mission of Saint Patrick.

http://www1.cbn.com/churchandministry/patricius%3A-the-true-story-of-st.-patrick

The wearing of green serves as visible reminders of a man’s vision and influence upon society. You too can make a difference. Your work matters to the Master.

“And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them (Revelation 14:13 KJV).”

 

 City Traffic by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

We are a people on the go and when traffic slows to a crawl we are easily perturbed. Mentally, I usually blame the slow down on construction or a vehicle accident ahead. In one particular traffic jam, neither was correct.

My husband was behind the wheel in the outskirts of Birmingham, Alabama. Calmly, he surveyed our surroundings and saw nothing of significance in the immediate area. Our senses were alerted to the sound of a helicopter flying overhead. We both thought the worst; it was a life flight chopper sent to carry the injured from an accident to a hospital.

Our assumptions were unfounded. Approaching an intersection, we viewed a long black limousine escorted by law officers on motorcycles. A person of notoriety was in the city and traffic was slowed for his or her protection.

That evening our mystery was solved; an anchor on the evening news shared the story of US Vice President, Dick Cheney’s speaking event in Birmingham.

Jesus’ entrance into Israel’s capital city differed greatly. He rode a donkey.

“Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:

‘Fear not, daughter of Zion;
Behold, your King is coming,
Sitting on a donkey’s colt (John 12:14-15 NKJ).” *

{*See Zechariah 9:9}

Survival by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Have you known any survivalists?

Wait, before you scan your memory banks under survival or camouflage, think again.

We have all known people who survived when they could have thrived. To be honest, I’ve been in survival mode on several occasions. I worked in stressful jobs and saw no light at the end of the troublesome tunnel. It was not the survival of the fittest; instead, it was the survival of the fit to be tied.

King David experienced stress super-sized. Yet, in a wilderness he was not merely surviving. He was sustained and satisfied. He did not toss and turn upon his bed; he gave thought to his longings and testified.

“O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:  When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches (Psalm 63:1-6 KJV).”

Prepared and Praying by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

Jesus was in His rightful place; He took the lead.

“Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him: ‘Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again (Mark 10:32-34 NKJ).”

Repeatedly, Jesus foretold His imminent arrest, crucifixion and resurrection. He did not mince His words. Lovingly, He prepared the disciples for what the Father had ordained. There would be suffering on a cross before triumph from a tomb. Confident of His return and reign, I believe Christ followers should prepare for times of suffering and persecution.

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.  And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come (Matthew 24:9-14 NKJ).” 

 Father, I want to serve you faithfully in and through any trials that may come. In Jesus name. Amen.

 

Playing the Field by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Fickle or faithful?

Most of us have known both the fickle and the faithful. Some have flitted from relationship-to-relationship. Unable to find the perfect fit, they continued to play the field. Yet, we have seen examples of faithfulness in those who have kept their vows.

Make Jesus your One and only!

“And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, ‘Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me (Matthew 11:2-6 NKJ).”

Yes, blessed but not only in recognizing His miraculous powers. We are blessed with abundant life.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. ‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep (John 10:10-11 NKJ).”

Turn Away by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Many children have been frightened by stories about monsters hiding in closets or under their beds. If allowed to watch scary movies, they instinctively turn their head away when frightening images pop up on the screen. The LORD is pleased with spiritual leaders who faithfully ‘turn people away’ from sin.

“My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave these to him; it called for reverence, and he revered Me and stood in awe of My name. True instruction was in his mouth, and nothing wrong was found on his lips. He walked with Me in peace and fairness and turned many from sin (Malachi 2:5-6 HCS).”

We need church leaders we can trust. God spoke of shepherds who fulfill their calling and rebuked corrupt leaders.

“For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, because he is the messenger of the LORD of Hosts. ‘You, on the other hand, have turned from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have violated the covenant of Levi,’ says the LORD of Hosts (Malachi 2:7-8 HCS).”

Responsive Readings by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

In unity, congregations voice responsive readings.

As worshipers in candlelight services dispel visible darkness; worshipers, voicing praise dispel spiritual darkness.

“After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, ‘Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.’ Again they said, ‘Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!’ And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, ‘Amen! Alleluia!’ Then a voice came from the throne, saying, ‘Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!’And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, ‘Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.’ And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints (Revelation 19:1-8 NKJ).”

Making Changes by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Women have repeatedly used the excuse for a change of mind; it’s a woman’s prerogative.

That explains why it takes many women so long to choose what to wear. Additional mind changes involve hair color and the mind boggling date night decisions. Asking her which movie she to wants to see and a restaurant choice might push her to the limit.

In reality, we all change our minds. God changes hearts.

And oh how crucial that He makes those changes.

“The heart is more deceitful than anything else,
and incurable—who can understand it (Jeremiah 17:9 HCS)?”

We face critical heart issues.

“For from within, out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, promiscuity, stinginess, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a person (Mark 7:21-23 HCS).”

We are in competent hands.

“And I will give them one heart and put a new spirit within them; I will remove their heart of stone from their bodies and give them a heart of flesh, And I will give them one heart and put a new spirit within them; I will remove their heart of stone from their bodies and give them a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:25-27 HCS).”
The Overflow by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

I’m a hot tea drinker. To many who read this, that is common knowledge.

I have two problems. First, the tea cools too fast for my taste; second, I down the contents of my cup way too soon. I like a full cup setting before me.

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13 HCS).”

God will use the overflow in our lives to His honor and glory.

“You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
as long as I live (Psalm 23:5b-6 HCS).”

Work Day Woes by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

Work can be a grind, especially if the person is not suited to his or her position.

“For what has man for all his labor, and for the striving of his heart with which he has toiled under the sun? For all his days are sorrowful, and his work burdensome; even in the night his heart takes no rest. This also is vanity (Ecclesiastes 2:22-23 NKJ).”

Yet, work can be grand, particularly when individuals have been submissive to God’s plan and purpose.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:8-10 NKJ).”

Finish Your Homework by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

‘Have you finished you homework?’

‘Oh, Dad!’

Many children would much rather play outside with friends or hibernate in their room with the latest computer games. Homework? That, they stall as long as possible.

Dads, moms, children… Have you finished your homework?

‘Huh?’

Our Father wants us to live out our faith at the home front.
Ouch. That hits too close to home.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:1-4 KJV).”

Our families are worth the effort. We never finish our homework.

The Needy by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

Who cares?

God cares, that’s who.

“For He will deliver the needy when he cries,
The poor also, and him who has no helper.
He will spare the poor and needy,
And will save the souls of the needy.
He will redeem their life from oppression and violence;
And precious shall be their blood in His sight (Psalm 72:12-14 NKJ).”

In case you hadn’t noticed, there are lots of needy people. The Lord has made that clear. When not knowing the best way to describe the less fortunate, I refer to them as needy. Some are less needy than others but that does not lessen God’s compassion and care.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to always be politically correct in our fast changing generation. Not wishing to offend anyone, I hope I stay within boundaries.

Do you realize that you are needy?

We all are. We need the Lord Jesus to save our souls.

“… let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any ‘other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:10-12 NKJ).”
The Author by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

I have become acquainted with numerous gifted Christian writers during my 7 years of writing. Consider this, Moses knew the author of the Ten Commandments personally.

Writers of our generation type out their articles, poems and books at computer keyboards; that’s a big improvement over hand written submissions. Yet, it pales in comparison to God’s works.

“And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God (Exodus 31:18 KJV).”

If Moses climbed the mountain empty handed; he descended with God’s Law.

“And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables (Exodus 32:15-16 KJV).”

We cannot climb that mountain to meet the author. We can bow at the foot of the cross.

Sea to Shining Sea by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

‘From sea to shining sea*…’

America’s landscape is varied and vast. I consider myself privileged to have traveled coast-to-coast.

I could not contain my excitement when first seeing pounding waves of the Pacific Ocean. We moved to Florida a decade later; there, I walked the white sands of Destin and frolicked in the Gulf of Mexico surf. Vacationing in Jacksonville, I captured memories of the Atlantic Ocean with snapshots.

‘From sea to shining sea,*’ the creator reigns.

“In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust (Psalm 72:7-9 KJV).”

*America the Beautiful/Katherine Lee Bates (Public Domain)
Giggle and Wiggle by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

‘She smiled!’

‘Honey, it’s me. The baby just laughed!’

A parent delights in the first signs of happiness in their child.

Go ahead, giggle; laugh till it hurts.

With children as his example, Jesus taught valuable lessons about faith.

“I assure you,’ He said, ‘unless you are converted and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3 HCS).”

Rejoicing, we can we experience childlike ‘faith.’

Through humor and laughter, we can rediscover ‘funny.’

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones (Proverbs 17:22 HCS).”

Giggle, kick off your shoes and wiggle your toes.

Say so long to yesterday’s weeping and woes.

“… a time to weep and a time to laugh (Ecclesiastes 3:4a HCS).”

Motley Crew by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

What a motley crew (not to be confused with rockers Motley Crue).

“What then? Are we any better? Not at all! For we have previously charged that both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin, as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away; all alike have become useless. There is no one who does what is good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they deceive with their tongues. Vipers’ venom is under their lips. Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and wretchedness are in their paths, and the path of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that whatever the law says speaks to those who are subject to the law, so that every mouth may be shut and the whole world may become subject to God’s judgment. For no one will be justified in His sight by the works of the law, because the knowledge of sin comes through the law (Romans 3:9-20 HCS).”

I’m not a bit shocked.

“We all went astray like sheep;
we all have turned to our own way;
and the LORD has punished Him
for the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6 HCS).”

There is hope for the motley crew…

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10 HCS).”
Made Me Squirm by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

What makes you squirm?

My adult daughter or son would remember what things made Momma squirm.

Likely they’d say the obvious of snakes, rats and mice. I have a hunch they’d share another with a sly grin.

They frequently came up behind me and placed their hands around my neck. That makes my flesh crawl. The feeling of being choked is… well… it’s beyond description.

Jesus shared a pertinent parable; it contains an analogy about choking out God’s word.

“Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: ‘Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear (Matthew 13:3-9 NKJ)!”

Thorns?

Choked?

“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful (Matthew 13:22 NKJ).”
With Fear and Trembling by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

“I hate the double-minded,
But I love Your law.
You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in Your word.
Depart from me, you evildoers,
For I will keep the commandments of my God!
Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live;
And do not let me be ashamed of my hope.
Hold me up, and I shall be safe,
And I shall observe Your statutes continually.
You reject all those who stray from Your statutes,
For their deceit is falsehood.
You put away all the wicked of the earth like dross;
Therefore I love Your testimonies.
My flesh trembles for fear of You,
And I am afraid of Your judgments (Psalm 119:113-120 NKJ).”

With fear and trembling…

The Psalmist did not fear God because He was tyrannical. Instead, he humbly approached holy God with reverence and awe.

I discern dangers with familiarity. Too much leeway is detrimental to spiritual growth.

Though I may not visibly tremble; inwardly, I enter His presence with reverence due the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Good Shepherds by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

Good shepherds lead and feed their flocks.

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever (Psalm 23:1-6 KJV).”

I’m not home yet. The shepherd became sacrificial lamb. He continues to lead.

“For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes (Revelation 7:17 KJV).”

My tears will be spent, affording me the opportunity to spend eternity in worship and praise of the Lamb.

Without Justice by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Justice … Do we misread the meaning, perceiving it reads fairness for ‘Just-us’?

“Better is a little with righteousness,
Than vast revenues without justice (Proverbs 16:8 NKJ).”

Who are the super powers of today? Does one nation hold an undisputed title? Is it determined by who has amassed the most wealth or weapons?

Is justice for all plausible?

It is in God’s perfect will.

“He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8 NKJ).”

Cash on Delivery by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

I can assume that C.O.D. is seldom used in our credit card generation.

Cash on delivery was once a common and convenient way for ordering products. When needing speedy delivery, the buyer could forego the hassle of mailing the seller a personal check and waiting for that check to clear.

Today, plastic has replaced the majority of cash or check payments.

As a Christian, I have experienced C.O.D.

Christ Our Deliverance.

“For this is My blood that establishes the covenant; it is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26:28 HCS).”

He paid the full price for you and me…

Action Figures by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

I was first introduced to toy action figures over half of a century back.

My younger brother Gary got a G.I. Joe.

In the 1970’s, when Star Wars debuted, our son Lee collected the flick’s action figures.

Two decades later, I perused the Wal-Mart Super Store action figure shelves with grandsons Justin, Matthew, Ashley and Alex.

God smiles down upon His children as we read non-fiction accounts of Biblical action heroes. (Hebrews 11:1-39)

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them (Hebrews 11:13-16 NKJ).”

Secure by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

It’s a regular process…

I turn on my computer, wait for it to come on and then wait a tad longer for my anti-virus protection icon pop-up. Viewing its bright green ‘Secure,’ I enter the cyber world. Today, when seeing ‘Secure’ I saw a connection to the Lord’s promises.

“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand (John 10:28 KJV).”

I am able to rest securely in Christ’s hand. In addition, Jesus said the heavenly Father holds me in his hand.

“My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand John 10:29 KJV).”

I am securely sealed for eternity.

“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory (Ephesians 1:13-14 KJV).”

The Guest List by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o 

Who would you include on your guest list?

“After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ So he left all, rose up, and followed Him. Then Levi gave Him a great feast in his own house. And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them. And their scribes and the Pharisees complained against His disciples, saying, ‘Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance (Luke 5:27-32 NKJ).”

Jewish religious leaders found Levi’s guest list offensive. Voicing their objections to Jesus’ disciples, they tried to shame them.

The Messiah used the legalistic query as a call to repentance. Friends of Levi were social outcasts; legalistic scribes and Pharisees were blinded by their own self-righteous prejudices.

Materialism by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

‘Now you see it, now you don’t.’

‘Easy come, easy go.’

Tyre serves as an impressive reminder.

“For Tyre built herself a tower,
Heaped up silver like the dust,
And gold like the mire of the streets.
Behold, the Lord will cast her out;
He will destroy her power in the sea,
And she will be devoured by fire (Zechariah 9:3-4 NKJ).”

Amassing wealth comes easy for some; yet, it can lead to pride.

Materialism is a man-made master.

RIP by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o  

‘Rest in Peace.’

If it’s the thought that counts, what is the thought behind the phrase?

Have you experienced fitful sleep or witnessed one who has?

‘Tossin’ and Turnin’ ranked at #1 on 1961 music charts, making recording artist Bobby Lewis a happy man. For those seeking a good night’s rest, it’s a bomb. Peaceful rest is a rare commodity. It begins this side of the grave.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30 KJV).”

An eternal rest is prepared for God’s faithful.

“And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them (Revelation 14:13 KJV).”

Protected and Prized by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

One’s perspective on what is important changes over time.

The discerning realizes that good health is to be protected and prized.

“Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the LORD had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper (2 Kings 5:1 NKJ).”

Seemingly, the Syrian commander had it all; the respect of his master, and subservience of soldiers in his command, plus bravery to boot. He had it all, all but a clean bill of health. Read the following passage in your Bible for details on his life changing experience.

Healing in his body led to healing of spirit.

“And he returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, ‘Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel (2 Kings 5:15a NKJ).”
Caught in the Act by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

Who was it? Someone stole the cookies from the cookie jar!

The perpetrator is caught in the act of pilfering; there is no doubt of their identity.

Put yourself in the place of the one who witnesses the wrongdoing. What would you do?

1)Reprimand and ban cookie monster from your kitchen.
2)Respond with a shrug of your shoulders and leave them alone.
3)Remind the bandit that it is wrong to steal & restore communication.

“Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so you also won’t be tempted (Galatians 6:1 HCS).”

Watch out; temptation comes in many forms! Take comfort in promises of power to resist.

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13 HCS).”

Calculations by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

1-2-3…

Have you witnessed the marvel of a preschooler learning how to count?

Counting to ten is a major accomplishment!

I am still in the process of learning. I cannot count high enough to calculate God’s word and ways.

“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You (Psalm 139:17-18 NKJ).”

My comprehension and calculation skills are no match for His matchless grace.

 

Turbulence by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

I’m not what you would call a frequent flyer but I have flown on many occasions. Only once did I experience severe turbulence. I braced myself as the jet flew erratically in the wild blue yonder. Wouldn’t you know it? It had to occur when I was pregnant for our second child.

I was a victim of nausea and unable to suppress it. I had no alternative than to use the conveniently stored airline barf bag. Lifting it from the magazine holder, I puked.

What will I do if God allows turbulent times?

Is he telling me to brace myself?

Satan is stirring up trouble because he knows his demise is near.

“And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.’ And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14:21-22 NKJ).”

Overwhelming Task by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

It is never easy to replace a faithful spiritual leader. Where do they begin?

Imagine following in the steps of Moses.

“Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses (Joshua 1:1-3 KJV).”

It was an overwhelming task. Yet, Joshua found courage in God’s promised presence.

“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest (Joshua 1:9 KJV).”

Meal Planning by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

We think a great deal about time management. I wonder how much of our time is spent thinking about food. Many cooks are efficient menu planners, deciding a week or more in advance what they will prepare.

On the other hand, there are procrastinators like me who delay those decisions as long as possible. Being one who hates to cook, meal planning is not my cup of tea.

My Dad wondered what he’d be eating at his next meal; with anticipation, he waited for each breakfast, lunch, and supper.

In his later years, Dad dozed in his recliner day and night. Upon awakening, he occasionally became confused, not sure what time of the day it was. No matter, all that he wanted to know was what Mom would be fixing for them to eat.

Apparently Jesus’ Disciples were preoccupied with meals.

“In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, eat.’ But He said to them, ‘I have food to eat of which you do not know.’ Therefore the disciples said to one another, ‘Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?’ Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work (John 4:31-34 NKJ).”

Bon Appétit!

A Great Find by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

When on shopping excursions, I’m elated with great finds.

I’m saved and being sanctified with life’s greatest find.

“And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it (Matthew 10:38-39 NKJ).”

For the sake of Christ and His kingdom, I bend my back, knees, and take up the cross. By loosening the grip on my rights, I lose life as I had known it. I am richer for the loss; I find purpose, peace with God and life everlasting.

I perceive the truths of profit and loss.

“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul (Matthew 16:26 NKJ).”

Balderdash by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share) 12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

No God?

Balderdash.

“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good (Psalm 14:1 KJV).”

No God, Creator?

Baloney.

No God, Healer?

Hogwash.

No God, Provider?

Hooey.

No God, Redeemer?

Poppycock.

Enough of the nonsense!

The Lord, he is God.

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might (Deuteronomy 6:4-5 KJV).”

A Penny For Your Thoughts by Pam Ford Davis (Free to Share)12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

A penny for your thoughts.

Recently, during an errands outing, my husband found three pennies in separate parking areas.

He’s not proud; he bends the knee, stoops down, picks up and pockets his find.

God notes each fallen bird.

A penny for your thoughts…

“Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. But even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So don’t be afraid therefore; you are worth more than many sparrows (Matthew 10:29-31 HCS).”

The actual worth of the American dollar continues to plunge in world markets. The price of a man’s soul does not fluctuate. Through Calvary crucifixion, Jesus paid the redemption price.

 

Pesky Moths
by Pam Ford Davis 
01/28/16
Free to Share

I very rarely wear wool garments anymore. Living in the Deep South may contribute to the change in fashion trend.

A native of NY State, I recall quite a bit more wool in our family’s wardrobe. Pesky moths and silverfish took a bite out of items hanging from closet racks. As a protective measure, Mom put some of her treasured wool coats in our hallway cedar closet.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21 NKJ).”

One of my pastors did an application switcheroo in the last sentence of the focal Scripture passage, stating that where your heart is, there your treasure will be also. So true. Is my heart abiding in Christ; do I treasure His presence? I do not want to be a heart failure statistic.

Wing His Words
Pam Ford Davis  

12471528_10204979913689110_9211174592249462285_o

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