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A Sampler of
Bible Beauty

ISBN: 978-0-98447-232-1

Available from Cynthia Davis, Ingram, Amazon.com and at select bookstores

Bible Women share their stories and recipes for ways to use familiar ingredients in ancient ways. Natural beauty is just a few pages away in this informative and entertaining book.
 

Lydia’s Oatmeal Milk Bath, Bathsheba’s Bath Crystals, and Balkis’ Lavender Potpourri,  are just some of the recipes you’ll find in this fun and interesting book. These beauty and food recipes will inspire you to make things like Naomi’s Friendship Bread for family and friends.

In this unique collection, Cynthia Davis, acclaimed novelist brings life to beauty practices and healthful foods, which very likely were used by the women of the Bible. Women like Samson’s mother and Lamech’s wife tell their stories and share how common food staples can form the basis for a beauty routine and more healthful menus.

Bathsheba’s Bath crystals

2 cups of Epsom Salt

3-6 drops of fragrance oil (lavender or lemon)

1-2 drops of food coloring (optional)

Mix together and store in an air-tight container. Sprinkle a couple spoonfuls in your bath water to soften your skin, or put 2 tablespoons in a sachet and rub on your body while bathing.

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Lester's First Flight

ISBN: 978-0-9844723-1-4

Available from Cynthia Davis and at Lulu.com in print and e-book

 Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

 

A children's story for 3-8 year olds.

Lester is a little bird who is afraid to try flying until his Mom helps him!

An enchanting children's book inspired by an actual bird family.

The mother bird's love and persistence reminded Cynthia Davis of God's love for each of us.

Also available as an e-book download at Lulu.com.

Purchase Lester's First Flight, then download and print games and crafts!

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Mary My Love

ISBN: 978-0-9844723-0-7

Available from Cynthia Davis, or Amazon.com

FINALIST NM BOOK AWARDS, Best Historical Fiction 2010


God was a distant premise until the Holy One stole the woman I loved. It was then I learned about faith and love.

My father was a successful carpenter and trader. His tales of travels to Damascus and Tyre were fascinating to me as a boy. Even though the man remained proud of his descent from King David, I rarely saw him darken the door of the synagogue. He even abandoned his Jewish name, Jacob, for the Greek name Heli. My mother called him Jacob, as did all in Nazareth, but his foreign customers used the Greek name.

“Our son should learn to read Torah,” I overheard my mother Sarah begging when I was five.

“If it makes you happy, he may study with the rabbi,” my father replied. “It matters not to me.”

I was excited to sit at the rabbi’s feet in the early mornings learning to read Torah and memorizing the myriad laws. At first I tried to share the lessons with my father. 

“We are the chosen people,” I told him. “Since Abraham, the True God has promised to be with us. If we are forsaken, it is because we have turned from God to worship idols.”

“Your mother must be proud to have you spout such learning,” he sneered. “What do you really know of this God? Has God ever done anything for you? When you have experienced the silence of God, in the darkness when you cry out for help, then speak to me about being a chosen people.”

“The rabbi says we must turn back to God. Then Messiah will come,” I insisted.

With a cuff on the head, he shouted, “Get to work! You waste my time! Spend your time leaning to do man’s work. Leave praying to your mother and the women.”

His derision made me cringe, but did not stop my desire to learn. Eventually I quit trying to talk to my father about my lessons...

Continue reading Chapter 1

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From a Grain of Mustard Seed

ISBN: 978-0-557-02763-7

Order from Cynthia,  Lulu.com

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”  Mt. 13:31, Lk:13:19

Presenting, a history of the Cathedral Church of St. John from before the earliest gathering of nine Episcopalians at the Exchange Hotel in Old Town through growth and challenges to the present day. The story of faith in any community is best told through the people who experienced the events of life in the context of their faith. Vignettes and recollections of longtime members as well as photos taken over the years are included. Here is the story of the St. John’s as seen in the lives of many of the men and women who were and are instrumental in the events of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and also in the work of the Cathedral.

In any history it is difficult to determine all the little nuances that might affect a given situation. People’s recollections vary for the same event and invariably someone feels that they have been left out. In this book, I have tried to maintain a clarity of the overall life and times that impacted the Cathedral’s birth and growth. No history can be told in a vacuum and therefore, I have included items of local, national, and even global interest that affected the people of Albuquerque and especially those who were members of St. John’s.

Through interviews with people who have clear memories of events and services during these years, I have attempted to fill in the gaps left by the dry records found in vestry and other meeting minutes. It is in the lives of the parishioners that we find the real heart of St. John’s. While I have made every attempt to follow long lost threads of information and cull the parish records for interesting tidbits, I am sure that there are pieces left untold for future generations to discover.

The theme of this history is taken from the Parable of the Mustard Seed. From tiny beginnings, St. John’s has grown to be the Cathedral church of the Diocese of the Rio Grande, having withstood debt, growth, loss, and other challenges over the years. Now and into the future, this church will stand firmly planted by the Living Water and offer shelter to all who come beneath its branches.

Read Chapter 1

I-book format available now!

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Naomi's Joy

ISBN:978-1-58288-257-4

Also available from Cynthia Davis or
Amazon.com

Three women sat together. Prayers of dedication drifted from the next room. They were very different in appearance and manner. The youngest was dressed in a simple gown. The straight, neatly braided dusky hair framed a small heart shaped face. Her gray eyes attracted and held attention. They seemed to be deep clouded pools of mystery as she watched the archway between the two rooms. When a baby’s cry sounded, the young woman flinched and caught her lower lip between her teeth.

Seeing the reaction the taller of her companions bent close. Nearly white hair could just be glimpsed beneath the widow’s veil Rahab had worn for five years. A few strands of red hair lingered beneath the veil. Despite her age there was a lingering grace and peace about the woman that spoke of a great inner beauty and faith.

“It is the price we women pay to abide by the Law of Abraham. We feel the pain when our sons cry. He will soon forget,” the old woman sighed in sympathy.

“It seems cruel,” for a moment it looked as if Ruth would cry.

“My dearest daughter,” a comforting hand covered the twisting fingers. The third occupant of the room spoke. “Better the pain now than when they are older. My own sons were not circumcised until the entire congregation of Israel camped at Gilgal. They were in agony for weeks afterward.”

A grimace crossed the deeply lined face. The tragedies of life left their mark in each crevasse. On her lips a serene smile was visible although faded brown eyes sparkled with tears of memory. Naomi too wore a widow’s veil over her grey hair. The old woman had buried her children and her husband in a distant land.

“Behold the newest of the Sons of Israel. Obed son of Boaz bar Salma is an inheritor of the promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!” From the main room came the triumphant proclamation over the cries of the infant.

Proudly a tall man entered the room. He tenderly held his child. Ruth reached out to take her baby then drew back her arms when she saw Naomi stretch out eager hands...

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It is I, Joseph

by Cynthia Davis

ISBN 1-58943-004-2

Currently Out of Print

Word that the Lord Governor was coming sent the household into a whirlwind of activity. When it was rumored that the King would be accompanying him, the men agonized in fear and sought out their father. Without waiting to wash the dust of the road and sheepfold from their garments, they hurried to his tent. Squatting in the midst of the fertile Delta lands, the Hebrew tents seemed strangely out of place so near the pyramids, the white washed towns, and shipping lanes of the Lower Nile.

“Father, what can be the reason for this visit?”

“My sons, have no fear; your brother is coming to visit me. I have here his words.” The old man held up a papyrus scroll. “At my request, he comes to tell me all that God has done in his life.”

“But is the Great One, King of Egypt, coming also?”

“Yes, he too desires to hear the story.”

“What shall we do? We have but poor hospitality for such as the Lord Governor much less the King of all the land!” The brothers looked wildly at one another, the same thought racing through their minds. “And, our father will hear of our treachery.”

“Silence!” the patriarch angrily commanded, as he struggled to his feet. “The hospitality of the tent of Israel is known from Haran to the Great Sea!”

 “All is ready and my heart rejoices that at last the time has come to hear of your brother’s adventures.”

With murmurs of “Yes, father,” the eleven men drifted away to form small groups.

“What will our father say when he learns what we did thirty years ago?”

“Surely now our brother will ask the King for vengeance on our lives.”

“If not the King, then our father will curse us.”

“Hasn’t our brother said many times that God used the evil you planned for good?” The youngest spoke up but his brothers ignored the words as they tried to predict what would happen when the King and their Father, Jacob, heard of their actions. Haunted by guilt, the brothers talked long into the night...

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My Abigail

by Cynthia Davis

ISBN 978-1-58288-269-7

Also available from
Cynthia Davis or
Amazon.com

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come into his presence with singing. Know that the LORD is God. We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. The LORD is good,” I sang as my brother and I skipped along the road.

We were taking lunch to Abel and my uncle Bezer in the fields.

“How do you think of all the words?” Joel asked. “I could not ever think of something to sing about.”

“They just come to me,” I tried to explain. “The Holy One gives me the words. Music is like a conversation with the One God.”

“Are you ‘fraid?” the boy was a little awed.

“Why would I be afraid?” puzzled I looked at my brother. “The Living God is as near as the trees around us.”

“I think Abigail makes beautiful music,” faithfully my friend Elizabeth spoke up. “It is a gift. Can you make me a song?”

“The words do not come from me,” I tried to explain. “When I feel close to God, then sometimes music comes into my mind.”

I wished I could grant her request because I felt sorry for my best friend. Her mother died when she was born. My parents encouraged me to spend time in the fields with Joel and my best friend. They tried to give her the affection and freedom she did not get from her father.

“I do not know how to convince that child she is loved,” once I heard Mother confide to my Father. “Hosea with his laws will not let Elizabeth have any fun. I think it is only when she visits here that the little girl gets to play at all.”

The man was stern. From him Abel learned to condemn my music. Every day he sat with the sons of Hosea to be instructed in writing and the laws of Moses. In exchange my friend Elizabeth learned womanly skills from my mother.

Abel frowned at me when we reached the flock. “Girls should be learning women’s tasks.”

“Father says it is good for me to play in the fields,” I informed the young man haughtily. “Besides, here is your lunch.”

 

Continue reading Chapter 1

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Beloved Leah

by Cynthia Davis

ISBN 1-58288-220-7

Also available from Cynthia Davis or Amazon.com

“Rachel, Rachel,” the dying woman muttered through lips that barely moved.

The two serving women glanced at each other across the pallet of blankets and pillows piled on the tent floor. One bent to moisten a cloth in the bowl of water. She pressed a few drops between the parted lips.

“Mistress,” the other maid smoothed a few straggling strands of gray, wiry hair off the wrinkled forehead. The skin beneath her fingers felt like a piece of papyrus left too long in the desert sun. A single tear slid down her cheek as she thought of the many times the now frail hands had served the suffering and frightened in the family.

Outside the tent, the women could hear the deep voices of men gathered around their father. His voice came heavily through the tent flap.

“God of my fathers, again you take away from me one I love.”

A moan distracted Bilhah and Zilpah... Jacob could be heard pleading with his God.

“You came to me on the way to Haran, my God, and promised me prosperity. You took away Rachel at Ephrath. Joseph, the son of your promise, you stole from me at Dothan. Now, Leah, mother of my sons lies dying. What good are riches without the ones I love? God of my Fathers, I will be left desolate when I bury Leah in the cave with Abraham and Sarah and my parents.”

“My father,” young Benjamin’s voice was heard, “you will not be alone.”

“My son, someday you will bury the one you love above all else, and your life too will be empty.” Despair was in the deep voice...

“My husband,” her voice was gentle. She tried to lift her one hand to touch the man’s face.

“I never understood,” she murmured...  

Read Chapter 1

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Miriam's Healing with Study Guide

ISBN 978-0-557-00943-5

Also available from Cynthia Davis, Amazon.com or Lulu.com and on Kindle

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

“My mother, see what bounty the land has provided.” The eager words awakened the old woman dozing on a mound of pillows and blankets in the warm desert sun.

“Look, dear mother,” a woman’s gentle voice added a plea, “Caleb has brought grapes and olives.” 

The young woman reached out to smooth a strand of hair off the wrinkled brow. Once a deep rich brown, the thin strands were now almost white. The woman’s frame was still slender despite the many years that bowed the erect body. She was a tall woman, although it was not so obvious as she lay on the pallet. The gnarled hands had once been smooth and many in the encampment knew the gentle touch of healing they had brought. Years of travail had not dimmed her interest in life and the brown eyes were bright when they opened to study the handsome couple crouching beside her. A smile appeared on the creased face.

“My boy, it is good to see you,” the words were raspy with age, but full of love.

The young man presented a platter full of grapes and olives with a flourish. His dusty tunic and robe were evidence that he came straight to this tent from the road.

“Truly the land is as rich as the first time we entered it,” Caleb proclaimed enthusiastically.

...

“The children of Israel have learned to trust the One Living God,” the old woman sighed happily.

 “The years in the wilderness have formed a community. Those who sought the false security of the old ways have died out.” ...

Read Chapter 1

Miriam's Healing Available on Kindle!!

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Rahab's Redemption

by Cynthia Davis

ISBN 1-58288-215-0

Currently out of print 

WINNER NM BOOK AWARDS, Best Other Fiction 2007

My father owned the best known inn between the Tigris and Damascus. Hamash was one of the fortunate of the city. We had enough wealth to live in a comfortable house across the courtyard from the sheds and pens where the animals were housed. Most of the inhabitants of Jericho and the surrounding towns bedded their animals in their homes. The very poor slept in a hovel with the beasts. Some residents were able to provide a second floor of family sleeping quarters. Our dozen servants, mostly slaves from the northern hills or southern desert slept in the lofts above the animals. I never thought about the men and women who waited on my every need. It was the way my life was. I pitied my friends who did not have someone to comb and braid their hair in the morning.

    My three brothers were half-grown by the time I was born. Perez at thirteen was oldest. Jonadab, a year younger, was a constant shadow for his brother. Hamul, the youngest was ten. There were other children who did not live past the dangerous and tragic infant years. Mother never spoke of the five babies who died so young. My birth when she was twenty-eight was a constant source of joy.

   My father loved me. I never really doubted that. With his love came the expectation of great accomplishments. I dreamed of marriage to the son of the the gal, the chief of Jericho.

   Hamash of Jericho had even higher aspirations. “My little princess, you will make me proud.” Nearly every day the man crooned his dreams to me. “With your amazing red hair and gentle ways, you are certain to attract the eye of an important man when the time is ripe. Who knows, perhaps the priests will set you aside for service to Astarte.”

   What my father said was partly true. I did have hair that flamed in the sunlight. The gentle ways and soft words of an obedient woman were harder to learn. I had a way of speaking my mind that my mother and the women of the household deplored. Both Mother and Father were very indulgent of me.

   My childhood was filled with much greater freedom than most girls of Jericho. Hamash encouraged me to ask questions frowned on by my nurse. I was always intrigued by the multiplicity of the gods worshipped by our guests. It seemed strange that each nation had different gods.

   How can there be so many gods?” My question at five brought a smile to my mother’s face although her answer was less than satisfactory.

   “Someday you will understand,” was all she would say...  

Continue reading Chapter 1

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