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Redeemed Captives

When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand (Luke 21:28) First Sunday of Advent

On the night of February 28th, 1704, approximately 300 French and Indian soldiers took 109 citizens captive in the town of Deerfield Massachusetts. During the raid, a total of 56 men, women and children were killed. Among those taken alive was the prominent Puritan minister Rev. John Williams. After the massacre, the raiding party led the Williams' and other surviving families on a 300 mile march to Canada over harsh winter terrain. We can imagine how they must have wondered, "what will become of us?" But incredibly, throughout the two-year ordeal, Williams remained steadfast, encouraging his fellow captives with prayer and Scripture, considering how they would continue to serve God. We can imagine him quoting the Apostle Paul saying, "We can boast about looking forward to God's glory. These sufferings bring patience, as we know, and patience brings perseverance, and perseverance brings hope, and this hope is not deceptive, because the Love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit." Buoyed by this Spirit of Hope, Williams and about 60 of the others were eventually returned to Deerfield -- and in 1707, Rev. John Williams published a narrative of his odyssey which he titled, "The Redeemed Captive."

We fast forward almost 300 years to the afternoon of March 11, 2005. A man standing trial for a terrible crime escapes from the courthouse. In the process, he murders the judge presiding over his trial, the court reporter, a sheriff's deputy and a Special Agent who was pursuing him. On the run and desperate, the criminal breaks into the apartment of a lonely, widowed, drug-addicted mom, and takes her hostage. We can only [...]

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Stories you can use...

We've got a million of them (well, almost).


“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother” (Ephesians 6:1-2). There was a little girl who had been misbehaving and really giving her mother a difficult time. The mother told her to go sit in the corner until her father came home, at which time they would discuss the whole situation. The little girl went over and stood in the corner. She went that far. But she refused to sit. After another hassle, the mother literally forced the child to sit down. When the father came in, he asked the little girl what she was doing and she said, “Well on the outside I’m sitting down, but inside I’m still standing.”

God, love of, Children

“You shall love the Lord your God.” (Matthew 22:37). A Little essay on God, written by an eight-year-old Southern California lad puts a little light on the subject: “One of God's jobs is making people,” the boy wrote… He makes these to put in place of the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't make grown-ups. Just kids. I think it's because they are smaller and easier to make. That way He doesn't have to take up His valuable time teaching them how to talk and walk. He can just leave that up to moms and dads. I think it works out pretty good. God’s second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, especially in Church and at bedtime. God sees everything, hears everything, and is everywhere, which keeps Him pretty busy. Jesus is God’s son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water and doing miracles and trying to teach people about God who didn't want to learn. They finally got tired of His preaching to them and they made Him die on a cross. But He was good and kind like His Father, and He told His Father that they didn't know any better and to forgive them, and God said “OK!” Jesus’ Father liked everything He had done and all His hard work on earth, and He told Him He didn't have to go out on the road anymore. So He raised Him up to Heaven and told Him He could stay up there. So Jesus did. And now He helps His Father out by listening to prayers. You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to hear you because they've got it worked out so at least one of them is on duty all the time. Hansel, T., “Through The Wilderness of Loneliness,” Cook Publishing (adapted).


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