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Being Crickety
Category: Member Blogs

Being Crickety

 
 
It's not easy losing some of your mobility- even if it's only temporary. At least Ihope it's temporary! But with every trial there's a life lesson- sometimes more than one. I've learned to laugh about my creakiness, and I want to share a few things that creaky life has taught me.

One lesson about creakiness is similar to child-rearing; what used to take me five minutes now takes me at least fifteen.  Alas, the pendulum has started swinging the other direction. My kids are now helping me to get over obstacles instead of the other way around!

I've also noticed a change in my decision-making skills because of my temporary lack of mobility. 

Stores are no longer chosen by their sales flyers, but by how many benches they have available throughout the store.

Big stores must have motorized carts. At first I was daunted by using them, but now it's a lot of fun- especially when I can cruise around the store announcing 'Watch the tram car please!' (anyone who has been down on the shore boardwalk knows what I'm talking about!)

Little stores must have chairs or wheelchair carts.

Weight loss is no longer about attractiveness or fashions, but about increasing functionality.

Dinners have become more simple, usually involving the crockpot. Stove-top cooking has become a rare beast, unless it's a recipe for 'make in one pan and simmer'. Casseroles are also in the mix, as long as I can cut the veggies and meat sitting down at the kitchen table.

Not only do I check bathroom stalls for toilet paper, but now I'm looking for that helpful little ballerina bar bolted to the wall just in case the toilet sits too low. Like I wasn't already anxious enough by public restrooms. Sheesh.

Swimming isn't for play anymore- it's for exercise.

Exercise DVDs used to be no good because I never used them. Now they're no good because I can't use them.

I can't catch the kids doing something sneaky anymore because the knee pops betray my former ninja stealth. (and the kids love catching me trying to sneak up on them!)

The cats always know I'm home before I even take out the house keys due to cane thumping and knee popping.

When I go for a walk, kids keep running up to me asking if I have bubble wrap. 


No one likes being crickety, but I'm going to make the best of it until it either goes away (read: get rid of it), or I find better ways to deal with it. In the meantime, I'll be snap, crackle, and popping my way around stores and the house, doing what God tells me to do- and if you hear the sound of Rice Krispies, take a look around- I might just be behind you!
H.A.L.T. Tags: angry blog Christian devotional encouragement God hungry Inspiration lonely self-control tired

I love acronyms. Whoever thought of this memory-jogger was a genius.

My husband, Bruce and I were introduced to one of these creative gems at a youth Bible study. But like other pieces of useful information that get crowded out by life, I needed a reminder of this helpful acronym during a situation we faced.

I figured it might come in handy for others too, so I’ll share it with y’all. So, here goes. H.A.L.T.: Halt if you are:

H: HUNGRY
Oh my. When I’m hungry, I fall into the “whatever” mood category: “I don’t care, just get it done.”; “Let’s just get there.”; or “I don’t care what we do, I just need a snack.”

And everyone knows to never go near a grocery store with a growling stomach. The junk food retailer’s stock skyrockets every time on this one!

*A: ANGRY: Stay tuned. I’ll come back to this one.

L: LONELY
I’ve made some pretty bonehead moves when I was lonely (I won’t elaborate).

T: TIRED
I figure I’d better not do anything while I’m tired. I may be convinced I’m coherent, but realize later…hmmmm, not so much. I’ve glanced at sent texts and emails and realized: Yeah, should have waited.

*A: ANGRY
I’ve left the “A” part for last. Being lonely, or tired, or hungry can drive us to make less than stellar decisions. But angry? This one might be the worst decision-driving emotion ever. For it’s with anger that words are said, actions are taken, and destinies determined that may never, except by the grace of God, ever be fixed.

A healthy dose of self-control curbs emotions and can be a handy little tool to douse the spark that could cause a potential wildfire—a wildfire that destroys a lot of ground and a lot of people.

Which brings me to the following “situation we faced,” and thankfully in this case, I listened and obeyed that Giver of self-control …

The wall our back was shoved against left indents in my shoulder blades. And the friend who could have helped us, betrayed us.

My hands shook as I pounded out a text message on my cell phone in response to one of her stunts. My thumb hovered over the send button when a still small voice cut through the flame, “Don’t do anything in anger.” I knew this to be true, but I so wanted to fire off that text!

However, I paused. I glanced over at Bruce who, not 15 minutes before, snapped, “That woman’s gonna push me too far!”

I read him my text, a little part of me hoping for validation and the confirmation to hit that little green button.  He looked around at me and to my surprise said calmly, “Don’t do anything in anger.”

Like cold water on a hot flame, I realized God was confirming His word to me. My phone fairly flew across the counter as I shoved it away. I knew one twitch out of me would have sent that text flyin’.

I cooled down, grateful I didn’t send this text. The day before, as I was ranting and flinging manure across my horse’s stall into the bin, the Lord gave me a serious command: “Hold your peace, vengeance is mine.” And then started chatting with me about forgiveness. It would not have been wise to ignite any fires with my message.
(“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil (Ephesians 4:26-27).

God knows what He’s doing when He tells us to H.A.L.T. before making a decision. Take a breath, scarf an energy bar, take a nap. Whatever it takes that’s moral and decent with no side effects, we need to do it. Nothing is worse than having to undo an unwise move. I’d rather not spend the energy to apologize, lament over an excessive grocery bill, or explain why I sounded like a dork. I’d like to act right the first time and avoid cleaning up a mess.

So, the next time we face a challenge or a decision while we’re hungry, angry, lonely, or tired … and we will … join me in implementing H.A.L.T.. Our lives will be much more peaceful and productive for it.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).

How God Grows Us
Category: Member Blogs

How God Grows Us

 
 
Ever feel that if just one more thing went wrong, you'd go stark raving bonkers?

Me neither...not

I'd been feeling overwhelmed lately and asked my buddies on Facebook for some encouragement. I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I got a private message from a Christian friend, asking what it was I needed encouragement for, so she could pray for me. It's friends like these I wish lived closer to home.

I told her my troubles and how I felt. She told me feelings are fleeting and temporary things, and God is using these troubles to grow me as a Christian. Before I could stop myself, I blurted,
'Egad woman- I know He's trying to grow me, but does He have to add so much manure?!?'

And she laughed

Her laugh made me feel a little better. And after talking and praying with her. the bad feelings did fleet...er...flee. The black cloud wasn't entirely removed, but at least I could see the silver lining. 

When I'm in one of those 'one-straw-before-the-back-broken-camel' moments, I used to hide myself away from people and sulk, wallowing in misery until I pulled myself out of the muck of my emotional tar-pit. Now I force myself to talk with others and ask for help, as hard as that is. I try not to complain to the world (though that sometimes happens), but instead find a friend on the phone or online that is willing to hear my troubles. 
Though the issues and that overwhelming feeling don't always go away completely, talking them out with a friend makes me feel like I can handle things once more. Their prayers and willingness to listen infuse me with God's strength to move forward. What a blessing that is!

God piles on the manure on occasion, but He also provides a means to gain strength through Him- He wants us to talk to fellow Christians to gain perspective, gain composure, and maybe even laugh a little in the process. He never meant us to go it alone in our own strength. As my friend encouraged me, I'd like to encourage you if you're in the same proverbial manure pile.

Don't hide yourself from others. Find a Christian friend and talk to them. 
Look for friends that don't just agree with you, but are also willing to be honest when they don't and tell you in a gentle way.
Know that in all things, God has a plan and this is a temporary feeling. It willpass.
Pray and talk to God and ask for strength, endurance, and to send Encouragers. 

And when the trial is over and you've done a little growing, be an Encourager to someone else. You never know what kind of hidden blessings He has in store for you!
Reflections
Category: Member Blogs
Tags: Reflections aging bucket list friends and family

When I turned Forty I read the poem “When I’m an Old Woman” and it struck a chord within me. I wanted to be that woman – wear a red hat, a purple dress, and shoes that don’t match. Spit on the road, run my walking stick along the chain linked fence and generally be a Senior Delinquent (within the law, of course)!

Another thing that really touched the depts of my soul was the song "I hope you Dance." I hadn't danced yet! Growing up, dancing was a sin (if you can believe that!) and how I wished I had been born into a family that allowed danceing! Now I dance - Dance for Parkinson's sometimes in a chair, sometimes on my feet. I feel like a ballerina until I look in that big miror that spreads across the room and see the awkward ungraceful  movement of my body,  but I dance!

Well, I am fast approaching that well-seasoned time of life. Things that were so important to me that I felt I must do, just aren’t that important to me anymore.These days there is much talk about the “Bucket List.” A list of things you want to do before you die. My bucket list is dwindling. I think about heaven a lot and how much time has passed. I value spending time wiht family and friends.

 

 

 

 

I made it!
I may hate it.
I may question it.
I may be confused by it.
I may get lost with it.
I may want to be over it.
I may hate it, but I made it.

I may struggle.
I may fight.
I may run.
I may hide.
I may struggle, but I made it.

I may stand.
I may sit.
I may crawl.
I may stand, but I made it.

I may cry.
I may get angry.
I may cry, but I made it.

I may be still.
I may be still, but I made it.

I may hate it, but by God. I made it!
My altar
Category: Member Blogs
I want to express myself in a way that I can get the point across without sounding harsh or careless. I have a new found respect for myself at this point. I have ran through this valley and passed all the main attractions. I missed the signs and wonders that were brought to my attention. I had no idea they were there until I missed the opportunity to go back and see them. I wandered this desert alone. I found myself in the valley of desperation. I thought it was torture, but it was sort of healing in a way. I thought it was sad and lonely, but it wasn't that at all. I found it to be freeing and encouraging to my soul. I found it to be exactly what I needed. I may have hated it at times, but that's life, right? I have come through this valley and I look back and feel such a strong sense of freedom in what I have found to be tried and true. My faith was made stronger. My soul found the rest it needed. My body is no longer restless. My mind is where I need it be! My hope is renewed. This valley wasn't the death of me, but the strength of me. It made me understand that letting go is part of the process. I wasn't going to stop it because it got hard. I wasn't going to give up because I couldn't take the pain. I knew it would be lonely. I knew that I would hate the process, but I made it! The valley was lonely and cold. I had darkness following my every step. I had fear looming over my head. I had doubt tripping me every move I made. I had unforeseen amounts of anxiety washing over me. It wasn't afraid and I think well, I know it bothered the enemy. I wasn't going to give in to his demands. I knew that if kept dwelling with it. It would eventually consume me. I had to push past my own fears in order to break free. I was in the way. I stopped myself from moving forward. I blocked my own blessings because I was afraid of the what ifs. I knew I had to keep going. I didn't like it. I, in fact hated it. I hated every moment of it. I felt alone. I felt sick. I felt worried that I wasn't good enough or strong enough to fight it. Man, was I so wrong! I found out what I was made of in the process and let me tell you this, the struggle was and still is real. God didn't abandon me. God didn't leave me nor did He forsake me in my time of need. God was there and He was watching over me. He was there every step of the way. He was the blanket that kept me warm in the coldest parts of the valley. He was the light I needed at night. He provided me with an incredible view of the sky. The stars danced with joy all across the night sky. I knew I was in for a real treat as they twinkled in the sky above me. I enjoyed the wind that cooled me off. I enjoyed the fountain of water at the base of the mountain. I found a new sense of purpose. I had more joy. I had more peace than ever before and I had faith that was stronger than ever. I am no longer in the valley. I have made it out. I am now at the base of this mighty mountain. I look up as I see the rocks as I brace myself for the trip upward. I know that I have the tools to keep me from getting hurt. I have firmly planted my gear into the mountain side as I say a prayer before I make the trek up this mountain. I will trust the Lord. I know this will be harder. I know this will hurt. I know that I may free fall to my death, but God provides a way. God will protect me every step of the way. I will have a longer process. I will have it harder and for that I am okay with because I trust this process. I want to grow. I want to be better, faster, and stronger than ever. I know this mountain will shape my future. I know this mountain will show me what I am made of unlike the desert, and the valley. I have to face my fears of heights. I am not going to fail. I know that with You on my side I will make it to the top of this mountain. When I am at the top I will make my altar . I will make it a place of remembrance. I will make it a place of beauty. I will make it a place of peace and understanding. I will make it a place of strength. I will make it a place of freedom for I know the Lord my God will be pleased with me. I will call this place chuphshah.
Three Tweets and a Hoot!
Category: Member Blogs

Three Tweets and a Hoot

 
My husband and I are morning people. We're up right before the sun rises, and we're in bed by the time the sun sets. So we figured when we had kids, they would follow in our early morning footsteps.

Well, one did. The other one? Not so much.

In the beginning he had to get up with us- at least when he started sleeping through the night. But once he became a teenager, things started to change. Especially now that he's graduating high school. 

Tweet, tweet, tweet...hoot.
 


There was an old cartoon of an owl family who had three eggs ready to hatch. They were classical birds in this case, and when the owlets hatched, two sang in perfect classical tones- but the third? He was all jazz. Oh yes, people, we classical birds are now living in the jazz era. Our son can't seem to rise before ten o'clock on the weekends, and that's when we wake him. Once we let him sleep in and he wasn't down the stairs before two o'clock in the afternoon. Yikes!

For you other night owls out there, two o'clock is when the morning birds' energy starts to wane. By the time he's in high energy mode, we're ready for a nap. This makes for some interesting family adventures.

Not to mention a challenge every school day. For twelve years. Ugh.

My daughter is the exact opposite- she's up before my husband and I are, and usually has her chores done before we're out of bed. This is a child born to love the early life of a rancher or farmer, and her love of horses is sending her right in that direction. She lives to be up at the crack of dark, and if she does work at a ranch, she'll fit right in. By the time we get up for a family trip (usually around six a.m.), she has breakfast made so we can all eat and move, move, move.

That's if we can get Hooty out of bed. 
Even the smell of freshly made breakfast won't stir him out of slumber at six in the morning! We wind up waking him up at least three times before dragging him out of bed (sometimes literally!) to get dressed so we can go. Nine times out of ten he's sleeping in the car on the way to our destination, while the three of us are chattering away with excitement.

Lunchtime is about when the energy levels equal out, and we can all get along for about an hour or so. My son will start to interact with us, and we morning birds still have the energy to belt out road trip songs as we go on our merry way. By the afternoon we're dragging while he wants to explore. By night time he's excited and full of energy and the rest of us are travelling zombies. 

Our not-so-little owl will be flying off to college this fall, and I can't help but wonder if he'll survive the morning classes. I also wonder how the family dynamic will change when there's three morning birds left in the nest. I suspect a lot less drama and earlier starting times in the future!

It's not easy for morning birds to raise an owl (and I suspect the opposite is also true of owlish parents raising a morning bird), but I think we did a pretty good job.

After all, if he can survive us, he can survive anything!
God is Able Tags: Faith Christian Living & Spiritual Growth.
The scripture admonish us to delight ourselves in the Lord and He would fulfil the petition of your heart. Also trust in Him. He will bring it to pass. Psalm 37:4&5

Dear friends God expect his people to obey and trust Him ansolutely , because the chains of obedience is the antidote to access God's blessing.

It is´imprative therefore to anchor our faith on the Rock of Ages. He is the same Yesterday, Today and forever. Heb 13:8 Keep fit in the Lord . Shalom - Emmanuel
4 Ways to Strengthen Your Faith and Family Every Day Tags: Faith family Christian life Christian family

No matter where you are on your walk with God, there may come a time in your life when you feel you need to refocus and strengthen your faith. Life comes with many ups and downs and it’s our faith that keeps us moving forward through the good and the bad. You don’t have to wait until your faith is tested during a trying time to renew your faith. In fact, actively working on strengthening your faith will help you have better relationships with your family and loved ones, inspire your family and loved ones to improve their relationship with God, and can help make the trying times feel less so.

The best part is that we are already equipped with everything we need to make our faith stronger – God is on our side! Here are four inspirational and practical ways for you to strengthen your faith and help others find and strengthen theirs.

Practice Prayer and Patience

When was the last time you spoke with God? If you’re not regularly speaking with Him, renew your prayer practice! When speaking about physical strength, experts recommend that you create and nurture a regular exercise routine, and the same can be said for your faith. Build spiritual strength by creating and nurturing a regular faith routine, including church and daily prayer on your own and with your family. Remember, prayers aren’t always immediately answered so practice patience in your faith and remember that He has a plan for you.

Practice Positivity

When the going gets tough, it can be incredibly difficult to not let doubt creep into your mind – doubt about your faith and your purpose. By practicing positivity, you can feel more secure knowing that you are already equipped to overcome difficulties, it’s a matter of knowing that God has a plan and is by your side every step of the way. Find small ways to practice positivity in your daily life– read verses that give you comfort, follow blogs and publications like RUBY with stories that inspire your faith, and lift your family and friends up with encouraging, positive, and faithful acts of kindness.

Spend Time With Your Loved Ones

Stay close to friends and family who you trust and share your values. Encourage regular conversations with your family about your faith and find teaching moments in everyday activities for your children. Remember, it’s important to talk to your children, but it’s especially important to listen to them. Children are full of curiosity and questions, so you will have no shortage of questions and discussions about God with them. Turn to other family-friendly resources, like Pure Flix, that provide value-driven and wholesome content to help instill your faith and values into your children. Plan a movie night with your family or your church and stream from their wide selection of Christian movies to spend time together and spark meaningful conversations inspired by stories with a great message.

Get Involved In Your Community

Renew your faith by taking action through community service. Giving back and helping others is a great manifestation of God’s grace. Choose to get more involved in your church or find another faith-driven organization in your area to help your family and church community get more involved with those who may need God’s ministry the most. Recently, Pure Flix partnered with Convoy of Hope, a faith-based, humanitarian-relief organization, to provide $100,000 worth of food, medicine, and general supplies to families in need. Involvement with amazing organizations like Convoy of Hope allows you to spend time with your family and teach your children valuable lessons about giving and sharing God’s word.

Convoy of Hope

These are just a few ways to focus on your faith today. Practicing your faith and focusing on it every day is what keeps it strong when you need it most. What are some other ways you choose to build your spiritual strength and relationship with God and your family every day?

“Spread Your Wings” by Pat Jeanne Davis Tags: Spread Your Wings Pat Jeanne Davis Spread Wings

I sat on our front steps that afternoon and watched with some anxiety while my husband showed our son how to ride his bike. We were so happy with our five year old’s success. Later I watched him as he whizzed down the street, both arms in the air. “Look, Mom, I’m flying!” he shouted. It was suddenly for him to spread his wings.

“Be careful,” I told him. “Look out for pedestrians, and keep your helmet fastened.”

Just yesterday, it seems, he was twelve months old and learning to walk. By the time he reached seven, Johnny was skating down the rough pavement in front of our home.

By eleven he began playing hockey. It seemed at each turn in the road I would instruct him, “Be careful, Johnny. Keep your helmet fastened and your eyes on the other players.”

Then at twelve, came skateboarding. By this time he wore braces on his teeth, and he had become more muscular and taller than his friends. As I observed him doing some basic moves on his board, again I warned, “Keep your helmet on! And remember, no jumping off high walls!”

Time marches on. At sixteen, Johnny stands six-feet, two-inches and continues to master new skills. He has a part-time job and may decide to go away to college when he graduates from high school.

Yet he really surprised me the other day when he announced, “Mom, I’m saving my money to take flight lessons this summer.” Why should that have surprised me? Since he turned ten, I’ve looked at pictures of aircraft plastered on every wall in his bedroom. Nevertheless, other sons fly—not mine!

My husband John tries to reassure me. “Flying is safer than driving a car,” he said. So now Johnny’s a junior driver. I thought he should wait a little longer to start learning this new skill. But his dad says, “Johnny’s ready. He needs to spread his wings.”

This morning, leaving the driveway with him in the driver’s seat, I’m confident he’ll be a careful driver—he had an excellent instructor in his father.

But again I lean over to instruct, “Johnny, have you fastened your seat belt? Watch out for those other drivers!”

As I look back over the past sixteen years since we brought Johnny into our home, I’m reminded of a time when my Heavenly Father nudged me to step out in faith and then to waited on Him.

After years of infertility, my husband and I made the choice to pursue adoption as a means of gaining a family.

There were many disappointments over several years, but at last we were successful. I was forty-six when we adopted Johnny as a newborn.

I knew next to nothing about being a mother, but I was willing and determined. I learned from daily experience with our little one. Johnny taught me how to feel like a parent for the first time. Now our family was complete—or so we thought.

I came to realize that God had His own timetable for my life when fifteen months after Johnny’s adoption, I learned that I was pregnant at age forty-eight. How will I cope with two babies at my age and will he be healthy? I couldn’t help but wonder after the initial unbelief and astonishment subsided.

My physician informed me that I was at high risk of giving birth to a child with a chromosome abnormality. But I knew we were meant to have this baby, too. I began to feel joy and wonder at the prospect. I declined to have an amniocentesis that might reveal any abnormalities.

I had an uneventful pregnancy and Joshua was born just twenty-two months after Johnny came to us. There has never been another time when I felt closer to God as my Father and sensed His presence as during our son Johnny’s first year and during my pregnancy with Joshua.

Today with God’s continual help, I’m meeting the challenges and triumphs of mothering. I find support and direction through reading God’s Word, Christian publications and programs and through my husband. Becoming a mom in my later years is a rewarding experience, and my faith in God has deepened as a result.

Little by little, I’m learning to “let go”—to entrust Johnny and Joshua to God’s care. As I look forward to Johnny’s graduation and the challenges he’ll face, I recall Isaiah 40:31, “But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

When it comes time for Johnny to take those flight lessons—to literally spread his wings—I’ll be ready. Watching as a proud mother, I can imagine myself saying, “Be careful. Fasten into your seat. Wear your harness.” “Spread your wings!”

 

Pat Jeanne Davis writes from her home in Philadelphia, Pa. She enjoys gardening, genealogy research and travel. Her work appeared in Guideposts, The Lookout, Bible Advocate, Faith & Family, GRIT Magazine, Splickety Magazine, Sasee Magazine, RUBY Magazine, Woman Alive and Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She writes historical inspirational novels and represented by Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Visit her at www.patjeannedavis.com

“History of Christian Hymns” by Lucy Adams Tags: History of Christian Hymns Lucy Adams Adams Christian Hymns

Hymn Stories

“Let there be Peace on Earth”

by Jill Jackson

A history of Christian hymns

Our troubled world longs for peace. We are bombarded with reports of violence in towns and homes. Our hearts are broken and we ask, “What can I do about it?” Here is just one story in the history of Christian hymns.

Often there are wonderful meetings of peace-loving people who join their hearts and prayers to understand this deep need. I praise God for them.

But what of the people who can’t attend these gatherings? All of us need encouragement and hope for peace in our troubled world.  At times, the best that can happen is that each individual seeks peace in his or her troubled heart. This is what happened to an amazing woman of faith some years ago.

Songwriter Jill Jackson wrote her answer to that question in the song, “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” As she wrote the phrase, “Let peace begin with me,” that was her personal solution, regardless of the world situation. Those words are the theme for the entire song.

Jackson wrote her thoughts in poetic form in 1955. She had just come through severe depression and had tried to take her own life. Through months of recovery, she found a new purpose for living.  It came while listening to a sermon on radio. The preacher’s text was based on John 14:27 in which Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you.”

Jackson’s heart responded to the invitation to accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. In her weakened condition, she said, “If I live, I will put my life completely in God’s hands. If I live, it will not be as the self-absorbed and tormented woman I have become. I will try to be a window glass through which the light can shine.”

God’s light shone in power as she wrote the words about her own desire for inner peace which she prayed would spread into the world.

The lilting melody was composed by her husband, Sy Miller, who worked for Jan-Lee Music in California.

In the 1960s, it was chosen as the theme song for UNICEF. Its popularity carried it throughout the world. All ages and nationalities joined in deeper bonds of unity each time it was performed.

We, too are filled with hope as we sing, “Let There Be Peace On Earth.” Our longing for peace is matched by our memory of God’s promise in Psalm 29:11, “The Lord will bless His people with peace.”

Hymn Stories

Jill Jackson and Sy Miller, circa 1956

 

 

Lucy Adams

Lucy Adams In 1984 in Nashville, Tennessee I began to write answers for the question, “Why do people write songs?” Those stories first appeared on a radio program that I created: THE STORY BEHIND THE SONG aired on Christian radio station WWGM.

The program began as I sang six words, “I Love to Tell the Story” and said: “Hi friends, this is Lucy Adams and I tell the story behind the song.” I continued the show for five minutes with a message that answered … who, what, where and why of the hymn – plus a verse or two of the music. These programs continued to play for many years in various towns in Tennessee. Visit my blog to learn more about the stories of our favorite hymns at https://www.52hymns.com/about.htm

Visit the RUBY community for more stories about the history of Christian hymns.

“Pedigree of a Savior” by Thea Williams Tags: Pedigree of a Savior Thea Williams Williams Savior Pedigree

Cross on Bible

My mother was exceedingly proud of her ancestry, which boasted two aristocratic English families whose roots went back to the Mayflower. My father, less than impressed with her credentials, once wryly referred to Mom’s genealogy as her “family twig.”

I received as a Christmas gift a calendar Bible, and as I ingest my daily helpings of God’s Word, I’ve been struck by God’s choice of flawed vessels to bring His Son into the world. For example…

Did you know that Jesus’s distinguished lineage included Jacob, who connived his way through life, lying to his ailing father and alienating his only brother? Also among our Savior’s illustrious ancestors was Perez, the illegitimate offspring of Jacob’s son Judah, whom he conceived with his widowed daughter-in-law when she was posing as a prostitute.

Peyton Place, anyone?

And let’s not forget David, the man after God’s own heart, whose illicit union with Bathsheba resulted in the murder of an innocent man in one of the most shocking cover-ups recorded in God’s Word. These two adulterers later produced Christ’s ancestor Solomon, whose liaisons with foreign women led the wisest king who ever lived into idolatry and compromise that besmirched his throne and ultimately divided his kingdom.

These are the some of the juicier tidbits in Jesus’s history. From a humble beginnings standpoint, Christ descended from Leah, Jacob’s unloved wife, who played second fiddle to her beautiful sister Rachel, and had to be pawned off on unsuspecting Jacob through her father’s trickery. God’s Son could also claim in His list of relatives Rahab, a member of the world’s oldest profession, and her daughter-in-law Ruth, whose widowed status forced her to beg scraps and marital protection from a stranger.

Truth really is stranger than fiction.

I can only conclude that Philippians 2:8 (“And being found in appearance as a man, [Jesus] humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross”) is the understatement of the century – no, the millennium. Better yet, the entire stage of human history.

Christ’s heritage, culminating in His birth to an unmarried teenager who just barely escaped being left at the altar on the strength of a dream given her disgraced fiancé, better qualified Him to land a role in As the World Turns than to head up the divine church.

And yet, this family tree was carefully, painstakingly constructed by none other than God Himself to serve as the vehicle by which He would introduce freedom to handcuffed humanity.

How fitting that the Son of God, who descended from such “colorful” ancestors, chose to grow up in an obscure town which His peers held in contempt. John 1:46 states that the thinking of Jesus’ day was “Can anything good come out of [Jesus’ home town] Nazareth?” Apparently, something good could – and did – come out of this humble, despised city.

Kind of gives you hope for the rest of us, doesn’t it?

 

Thea Williams’s short story, “Phoenix,” appears in 50 Over Fifty: A Celebration of Established and Emerging Women Writers. Her work appears in Focus on the Family Magazine and Al Anon’s The Rap. Subscribe to Thea’s blog at www.reflectionsbythea.blogspot.com  By day, Thea educates and prays for young minds at a local school district. Contact Thea at https://www.facebook.com/thea.williams.16 or https://www.youtube.com/user/theabwilliams.

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