Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals

The Last Round

photo credit: Tom Simpson <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/11279883@N00/35913805001″>Button from Muhammad Ali’s Feb. 20, 1976 fight against Jean-Pierre Coopman in Puerto Rico</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Whatever Laila wants, Laila gets; or so it seemed.

She was unstoppable in the boxing ring.

Fighting was in her blood.

Laila Ali is a beautiful daughter of Cassius Clay, Jr.

I’m a child of the King.

Don’t look for me in a boxing ring; yet, I do try to keep in shape.

“Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;  but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:25-27 NASB).” 

This may be the final round. God gives the victory!

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Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals

It’s a Gift!

photo credit: suzyhazelwood <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/139228535@N05/24363296257″>DSC04796-02</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

It’s a gift!

I like to receive presents. Who doesn’t?

Excited, I’ve unwrapped gifts from family and friends.  

I recall the Christmas of 1967.

It was the last I’d spend living at home with my parents. I married a few days later on December 30th.  Strange as it may seem, I opened 2 timely gifts. My parents gave me a fashionable wrist watch; fiancé Norm gave me a dress watch with silver band. They were both special gifts.

The Father has given me His gift of peace.

“You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character] (Isaiah 26:3 a AMP).”

Jesus has given me the gift of peace.

“Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.] (John 14:27 AMP).”

The Holy Spirit has given me the gift of peace.

“But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace… (Galatians 5:22a AMP).”

It’s a gift. Won’t you receive it?

Christian Growth, Devotionals, Hymns

Jesus Saves!

photo credit: wuestenigel <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/30478819@N08/41809020075″>View of beach through orange lifesaver</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Jesus saves.  

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

Saved, saved! Jack P. Scholfield, 1911 [Public Domain]

  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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.”                                                                                         “… and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will 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 the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one (John 10:28-30 NASB).”

 

Bible Studies, Devotionals, Resurrection

Plot and Main Character

 

photo credit: hoyasmeg <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/62126383@N00/520147887″>Roadside Tomb_0656</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

The plot was conspiracy.  

The MC (main character) was Christ.

“When Jesus had finished all these words, He said to His disciples, ‘You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be handed over for crucifixion.”

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, named Caiaphas; and they plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth and kill Him.  But they were saying, ‘Not during the festival, otherwise a riot might occur among the people (Matthew 26:1-5 NASB).”   

Many people witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion.

Mary first witnessed the resurrected LORD!

“But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb;  and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying.  And they said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.’ When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, ‘Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means, Teacher).  Jesus said to her, Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’ Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord,’ and that He had said these things to her (John 20:11-18 NASB).”

 

 

 

 

Devotionals

Purple Patti

*Old 2009 Challenge writing contest [creative non-fiction article] (with a few edits)

In the memory of my dear friend, Pat Liesche McNamee (2/24/1935 – 7/20/18)

Purple Patti lives in the land of Sedgwick and welcomes you today. Enter the door to enchantment and fulfillment. Fear not, change leads to freedom. Leave your cares behind and be prepared for many pleasant surprises.

Patti moved to the mysterious Sedgwick kingdom seven years ago. She tip-toed inside looking back over her shoulder at the security she left behind. She knew there would be no turning back. She’d make this her new home and make emotional adjustments. The rulers of the land welcomed her. Would others be nice or would she be an outsider left to cower in a corner?

Residents came from various villages and backgrounds. Each shared their unique stories that led them to Sedgwick kingdom. Some would embrace her warmly. Others like her were afraid and would keep her at arm’s length. What would be her place?

Would she have a role to play or simply pass time marking days off a calendar?

Patti first reacted to this big change with depression and resentment. She did not belong in this foreign land. Why didn’t she hear from those outside of the kingdom walls? They could call or visit. She felt like the doors and windows held invisible bars keeping her in and others out.

Slowly, she began to put down roots to make Sedgwick her new home. Looking for the positive side in change, she found a new outlook. The leaders did seem to really look out for her best interest. She not only received three square meals a day but also medical care and a large variety of forms of entertainment and recreation.

Maybe this would not be so bad after all…

Purple Patti is now a regular greeter at ‘Sedgwick Heights’ assisted living facility. Her bright smile, cheerful laughter, and warm embraces help newcomers feel welcome. She knows from personal experience how difficult those first months can be.

Her desire is to encourage others and lead them to see the benefits provided. She continues to serve on the Residents Council giving input on upcoming activities, menu planning and more.
Purple Patti lives with passion.

She tenderly shares her passion for her Lord Jesus. Memories of being born again bring thanksgiving and faith. When she hears residents complain about their lot in life she reminds them of their many blessings. She trusts God with her problems and they can, too. The passion for people follows her passion for God.

It is easy to see why she calls so many people her friends. She shows genuine interest in their stories. There is always something going on in her new home. They take walks together, go for day shopping trips, and dine at the finest restaurants. Each summer they enjoy luncheon lake boat cruises and more. Friendships are built upon trust and Patti is tried and true. Purple Patti will be remembered by residents and staff as the little lady with a ‘passion for life.’

She doesn’t believe in getting old and giving up. She is too busy living each day with the excitement of a child on Christmas Eve. Mystery is tucked behind each sunrise and she can’t wait to follow the clues. Surprises include visitors from all age groups.

Children think she is one of them because her 4’ 8” frame is not much taller than theirs. Visitors bring dogs, which quickly snuggle up in her lap and relax under her tender touch.

How did Patti get her nickname?

Our little lady is passionate about purple.

Her room, wardrobe and jewelry box display a variety of shades of purple. Deep purples, delicate orchid and lavender are seen everywhere. Her birthday falls in February and amethyst is a regular reminder of her purple passion. It is easy to shop for Patti; if it is purple, it will be perfect. Everyone can learn valuable life lessons from Patti.

Look around you and see who needs an extra touch of tender loving care. Hugs are free and we have a never ending supply. The more you give away, the more you will receive. Live today like Patti, with passion and purpose.

Tomorrow will be a better day!

 

Bible Studies

Solomon, The 2nd Time Around

 

 

photo credit: king David Israel <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/37017545@N03/3573882493″>JERUSALEM.</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Twice blessed…

Solomon had his first major encounter with God.

“In that night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, ‘Ask what I shall give you.’

Solomon said to God, ‘You have dealt with my father David with great lovingkindness, and have made me king in his place.  Now, O Lord God, Your promise to my father David is fulfilled, for You have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people, for who can rule this great people of Yours?’ God said to Solomon, ‘Because you had this in mind, and did not ask for riches, wealth or honor, or the life of those who hate you, nor have you even asked for long life, but you have asked for yourself wisdom and knowledge that you may rule My people over whom I have made you king, God said to Solomon, “Because you had this in mind, and did not ask for riches, wealth or honor, or the life of those who hate you, nor have you even asked for long life, but you have asked for yourself wisdom and knowledge that you may rule My people over whom I have made you king,  wisdom and knowledge have been granted to you. And I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings who were before you has possessed nor those who will come after you (2 Chronicles 1:1-12 NASB).”

The 2nd time around…

“Now it came about when Solomon had finished building the house of the Lord, and the king’s house, and all that Solomon desired to do, that the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, as He had appeared to him at Gibeon. The Lord said to him, ‘I have heard your prayer and your supplication, which you have made before Me; I have consecrated this house which you have built by putting My name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. As for you, if you will walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you and will keep My statutes and My ordinances, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, just as I promised to your father David, saying, You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’

‘But if you or your sons indeed turn away from following Me, and do not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them, and the house which I have consecrated for My name, I will cast out of My sight. So Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. And this house will become a heap of ruins; everyone who passes by will be astonished and hiss and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ And they will say, ‘Because they forsook the Lord their God, who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and adopted other gods and worshiped them and served them, therefore the Lord has brought all this adversity on them (1 Kings 9:1-9 NASB).”

 

 

 

Devotionals

PRAY FOR YOUR PASTOR

photo credit: graceofapplevalley <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/126927320@N05/37703989535″>Ecumenical Thanksgiven Worship-007-20171122</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

 

Is your pastor a man of integrity?

Are you praying for him?

Since giving my life to Christ (in 1967), I’ve had the privilege of being a member of Bible believing Southern Baptist churches. I am grateful for each of our pastors. Many have passed on into eternity.

I appreciate the dedication of Brother Eddie Fuller; our bi-vocational pastor at Epps Baptist Church, Epps, Louisiana.

“I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness
In the great assembly;
Indeed, I do not restrain my lips,
O Lord, You Yourself know.
I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth
From the great assembly (Psalm 40:9-10 NKJV).”