Friday, 21 March 2008

The Highest Ransom Ever Paid

A few years ago there was a true story about a man in New York City who was kidnapped. His kidnappers called his wife and asked for $100,000 ransom. She talked them down to $30,000.

The story had a happy ending: the man returned home unharmed, the money was recovered, and the kidnappers were caught and sent to jail. But don't you wonder what happened when the man got home and found that his wife got him back for a discount?

Calvin Trillin was the writer of this story. He imagined what the negotiations must have been like: "$100,000 for that old guy? You have got to be crazy. Just look at him! Look at that gut! You want $100,000 for that? You've got to be kidding. Give me a break here. $30,000 is my top offer."
I can sympathize with the kidnapped man because I wonder how much the people in my life think that I'm worth. But I am flattered beyond description to realize that I was worth enough to God that He was willing to pay the ultimate price for my ransom, my redemption.

As Peter put it:"You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot." (I Peter 1:18-19)

Ultimately, the value of something (or someone) is determined by how much someone is willing to pay for it. A piece of art that may be worth millions of dollars to someone else may be worth less than a hundred dollars to me. The worth of something is determined by how much we're willing to pay for it.

What that means is that we are of tremendous value to God. He didn't quibble about the price, but was willing to pay the full ransom amount -- the highest ransom ever paid!

Have a great day!

Alan Smith

Monday, 17 March 2008

Pick Up Your Cross

Pick up your cross and follow Me
Don't saunter to your grave
There is lot's we have to do
Your company I crave
For if you want to be like Me
You have to die to self
Leave the comfort of this world
And climb down off your shelf.

For time is running out, My friend
And darkness rules this land
You are My voice upon this earth
Please give Me a hand
To reach the lonely, poor and sad
And snatch them from a fate
That leads them to the jaws of hell
Let's hope we're not too late.

by Mike Bullock

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Secretary's Soapbox

This is a conversation between Eddy and me…………………....the other day he had just eaten some cheese and crackers and he said

"Nana, can I have free more crackers?"

"How many crackers?"

"Free please"

"HOW many?"


"Can you say THREE?"

"Yep, FREE!"

"If you can say three properly I'll go and get them."



"I'll have FOUR crackers please!"

There has been much interest in our Wurlitzer organ of late.

It started back in November when I had an email from a chap called Cled Griffin who asked whether the organ was playable and if so could he come to view it in Feb of this year.

He explained that he ran a Keyboard Experience holiday at Lyme Bay Holiday Village in Seaton twice a year and would like to see if it would be possible to use it for a concert sometime.

Then in January, I had a similar email from Michael Cull, who has retired from his profession as a performance organist. He had heard from the internet that out Wurlitzer was now unplayable and wanted to know if this was true. As he only lives in Taunton I invited him to come to a coffee morning and have a go on the 'unplayable Wurlitzer'.

On February 9th Ernest was at the church to welcome approx 50 of the Keyboard Experience holiday. I think there were at least four professional musicians and one technician who had a play on the organ. Sylvia was there to give them a cuppa and I think they all enjoyed the afternoon.

Cled has put a lovely write up on his web page, which I have added below.

Mike also came along that afternoon and took a video of Jean Martyn playing.

He came to another coffee morning the week after and videoed himself going through some of his repertoire.

The video and more can be seen on his website (Click "Out and About").

Visit to Britain's Oldest Wurlitzer

During the February Lyme Bay Keyboard Experience Weekend an informal visit was made to the nearby village of Beer to see and hear the oldest Wurlitzer pipe organ in the UK installed at the Beer Congregational Church.

The organ was played by Elizabeth Harrison, Chris Powell, Matthew Bason, Ian Griffin and Jean Martyn who said she was particularly pleased to play the instrument that was previously installed at the Picture House at Walsall - the town where she went to school.

The players, and guests who went along with them, were made very welcome by the Church officials who provided tea and biscuits in the
adjoining vestry.

Ian Griffin said on his website….
I felt very privileged to play the oldest Wurlitzer pipe organ in the UK during the weekend of the February Lyme Bay Keyboard Experience at Seaton, Devon.
The organ is located at the Congregational Church in the village of Beer, only two miles from Seaton The organ felt nice to play and sounded good - I am now looking forward to a return visit.