Saturday, December 10, 2016

25 Days God Given Gifts ~ Day 10

Unwrapping the gift of:
LOVE



Neither height nor depth, 
nor anything else in all creation,
 will be able to separate us from the love of God 
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 Romans 8:39



Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, love divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love shall be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and to all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.
~ Christina Georgina Rossetti  ~ 
1885




This was originally published as a Christmas poem without a title in the book Time Flies: A Reading Diary in 1885.  It was later published in 1893 with the title, Christmastide.   Christina was an English Poet who wrote a variety of romantic, devotional, and children's poems.  This particular poem was set to music by a variety of composers.

A simple poem, with a huge message.  
Love Came Down at Christmas
God IS Love 
He is the Perfect Definition of Love


Here is a link to a video of a beautiful rendition of this Christmas Carol.  I could listen to it over and over and never tire of it.  Very moving!
Love Came Down at Christmas




Thank you for following this series. The response has been phenomenal. I never dreamed Little Birdie Blessings would grow as it has.

You can find the series to date on the blog here:

Friday, December 9, 2016

25 Days God Given Gifts ~ Day 9

Day 9 ~ Unwrapping the gift of: 
PEACE



Peace I leave with you; 
my peace I give you.
 I do not give to you as the world gives.
 Do not let your hearts be troubled 
and do not be afraid. 
John 14:27

December of 1861 was not a time of peace on earth in the United States. A Civil War was being fought between the North and the South, killing and wounding thousands and thousands of men. It was during this time, a man named Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, a Portland Maine native, buried his wife.

Henry’s wife Fanny had been accidentally burned to death while heating sealing wax. Wax that was used to seal the envelope containing her children’s cut off baby curls. Henry had also suffered severe burns while trying to save her as her clothes burst into flames. Two years later, one of Mr. Wadsworth’s sons who had gone off to fight in that Civil War was badly wounded.  During this low point in Henry’s life he wrote the poem, 

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. 



I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along th’unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth, I said,
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.



This timeless poem/song written by Mr. Longfellow over 150 years ago is applicable still today and reminds us there is PEACE, even in times of despair. God is not dead nor doth he sleep.

You can find this Advent series, to date, here:

Have a blessed day. 


Thursday, December 8, 2016

25 Days God Given Gifts - Day 8

Day 8 ~ Unwrapping the gift of :

SALVATION


If you declare with your mouth, 
“Jesus is Lord,” 
and believe in your heart
 that God raised him from the dead, 
you will be saved.
Romans 10:9




I had the opportunity one time to tell a young man I know, the good news of Jesus. As we sat at my kitchen table, I explained why Jesus had to die on the cross. As he listened, I scanned my table for some visual aids. Two pencils became the cross and my friend and I were the salt & pepper shakers, my sugar bowl was at the head of the cross, representing God. 

I explained it again with my visuals, the only way to God is through Jesus. He took the punishment for our sins. By believing Jesus did this, the cross becomes our bridge to God. 

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 
Romans 10:9

I watched as he had the light bulb expression on his face and exclaimed "I totally get it now, it was you and me that put him there!"  

YES indeed, I put Him there....my sin was there.  My Lord had heaped on him all the sin of mankind, past, present and future.  HE did this for me, and HE did this for you. 

During this Christmas season, let's reflect on the real reason we celebrate Christmas. This year, 2016, Christmas falls on a Sunday. My husband and I will be in church. I can't imagine celebrating it any other way. JESUS is the reason for the season.

The story doesn't end on Christmas, and it doesn't end on the cross. We can celebrate the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus and the hope that gives us the promise ~ Because He lives, we can live also. 

Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary!

Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty at Calvary.
William Newell ~ 1895



I invite you to visit my most popular blog post since I have been blogging. Co-authored by my husband Bill.  ETERNAL DESTINATION

If you are following this series on the blog, you can find them to date here:
25 Days of God Given Gifts

Thank you dear ones. Have a blessed day.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

25 Days God Given Gifts ~ Day 7



Unwrapping the gift of:
PRAYER


Do not be anxious about anything,
 but in every situation, 
by prayer and petition, 
with thanksgiving,
 present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:6


George Muller: (1805 – 1898), a Christian evangelist and Director of the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England, cared for over 10,000 orphans in his life. He was well known for providing an education to the children under his care.   He also established 117 schools which offered Christian education to over 120,000 children, many of them being orphans. He did this without asking for any money. God provided the needs. 

George was one of the greatest prayer warriors, history has known. His complete and total dependence on God was not for just for his own personal provisions, but for thousands of children he housed and educated over the years. 

God ALWAYS answers our prayers, it may not be as we want Him to, but remember he is ALL knowing, He knows what is best for us.

If God answers your prayer right away, be thankful; if it’s denied, be patient; if we are to wait, then wait with expectation as the scripture says. (Psalm 5:3)




Be assured, if you walk with Him 
and look to Him, 
and expect help from Him, 
He will never fail you.
~George Muller~

I found this prayer acronym among the notes of my husband’s dear grandmother:

P – Praise
R – Remembering
A – Asking
Y – Yielding
E – Expecting 
R – Receiving



I'd like to show you a couple of ways my friends are using the graphics in this series.

My friend Vee has them hanging as ornaments on her Christmas tree. I really like this idea.  You can visit her here: A Haven For Vee



A Haven for Vee

My friend Allison has the gifts displayed on a piece of string using clothespins. Notice the JOY banner in the window. How lovely is this:



Thank you dear ones for following this Advent series.
A new post every day until Christmas. Have a blessed rest of the week.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

25 Days God Given Gifts ~ Day 6

25 Days of God Given Gifts

Day 6 - unwrapping the gift of 

   WISDOM


If any of you lacks wisdom,
you should ask God,
who gives generously to all without finding fault,
 and it will be given to you. James 1:5



James 1:5 tells us if we don’t have wisdom, and ask God in faith, He’ll give it to us generously.  Knowing God through His word, the Bible, is biblical wisdom.

God will reveal truth and understanding to us through his word, if we seek it. 
We speak to God through prayer, God answers us through His word. The Bible is God’s letters to us.  

When my grandson was a preschooler, I remember pushing him around a store in a shopping cart. He sang without reservation:

The B-I-B-L-E,
Yes, that’s the book for me,
I stand alone on the Word of God,
The B-I-B-L-E.

I actually can remember his mother (my daughter) doing the same thing at that age. He sang that song over and over using different intonations each time he sang it. I never grew tired of hearing his little voice sing.

It's never too early to start reading the Bible to children, and it's never too late to start reading one as an adult. If you don't know where to start, read in the New Testament - Matthew, Mark Luke and John, known as the four Gospels.

Thanks for following this series. I wanted to show you a bulletin board idea using the 25 Days of God Given Gifts. This was designed and made by one of the moms in the Christian School where I volunteer.


Advent Bulletin Board - 25 Days of God Given Gifts


It was made using square paper plates, covered in wrapping paper. The side that didn't show the wrapping was numbered 1-25. Each day's gift was printed 8x8 (photo paper gives the best clarity) and adhered to the other side of the plate. Each day a student flips the square to reveal the gift.  The 25th, Christmas Day is revealed to the right of the bulletin board.

Thanks for following this series. I hope you're enjoying it.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

25 Days God Given Gifts - Day 5

25 Days of God Given Gifts ~ Day 5
Day 5 - Unwrapping the gift of: 

GRACE


For it is by grace you have been saved,
 through faith—
and this is not from yourselves,
 it is the gift of God. 
Ephesians 2:8



Have you ever wondered just what is so amazing about GRACE?  The hymn Amazing Grace is very popular.  Sometimes popular becomes common if we’re used to hearing it all the time.  The title of this hymn is just two simple common words. 


Websters 1828 dictionary states the definition of these words as follows:

AMAZING
Confounding with fear, surprise or wonder.
Very wonderful; exciting astonishment, or perplexity.

GRACE
Appropriately, the free unmerited love and favor of God, the spring and source of all the benefits men receive from him


If you put the two definitions together you have:
Very wonderful, free unmerited love and favor of God. The source of all the benefits men receive from him.


John Newton, the composer of the "Amazing Grace" hymn said:



Though I am not what I ought to be,
nor what I wish to be, nor yet what I hope to be,
I can truly say I am not what I once was . . . . By the grace of God I am what I am!



Composed in the 1779, this hymn is probably the most popular hymn in the English language.  John Newton was a slave trader before coming to Christ.  We are all sinners who have a choice to be saved by God’s GRACE, as Mr. Newton writes about below.





Thanks for visiting and/or following this advent series. A new graphic, word, and scripture verse will be posted each day. You are all prayed for and appreciated. 

25 Days God Given Gifts ~ Day 4

25 Days of God Given Gifts - Day 4

December 4 - Unwrapping the gift of:

STRENGTH



 I can do all this through him 
who gives me strength. 
Philippians 4:13

STRENGTHPower of resisting attacks; fastness; as the strength of a castle or fort.

Support; that which supports; that which supplies strength; security. (Websters, 1828 Dictionary)
God is our refuge and strength. Psalm 46:1

Her name was Annie Johnson Flint (1866 - 1932), the author of this poem.  She knew of burdens, the need for courage, she knew of just asking the Lord for the strength for the day.  Her Poetry and Hymns were written from her own experiences and adversities.  You can read more about her here on this blog: Annie Johnson Flint

Thy Strength and My Day


Give my Thy strength for my day, Lord,
That wheresoe'er I go,
There shall no danger daunt me
And I shall fear no foe;
So shall no task o'ercome me,
So shall no trial fret,
So shall I walk unwearied
The path where my feet are set;
So shall I find no burden
Greater than I can bear,
So shall I have a courage
Equal to all my care:
So shall no grief o'erwhelm me,
So shall no wave o'erflow;
Give me Thy strength for my day, Lord,
Cover my weakness so.
~ Annie Johnson Flint ~ 



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The graphics in this series are free to you for personal use or sharing.

Ways to follow Little Birdie Blessings and this Advent Series





Have a blessed December 4th. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

25 Days God Given Gifts ~ Day 3


Unwrapping another one our God Given Gifts, Day 3.
December 3 - DELIVERANCE

You are my hiding place; 
you will protect me from trouble 
and surround me with 
songs of deliverance. 
Psalm 32:7

Webster's 1828 dictionary defines today's gift as:
DELIVERANCE
Rescue from danger or any evil.



DELIVER - 1. To free; to release, as from restraint; to set at liberty; as, to deliver one from captivity.   2. To rescue, or save.

There was a time this year when my cell phone, along with thousands of other cell phones in my home state unexpectedly gave a piercing alarm sound. A message on my phone read there was an "amber alert". A little girl was missing and details of her disappearance were in the text message.

As a Nana to 10 children, you can bet children are near and dear to my heart. I prayed this little girl would be found, many many people were praying. A wonderful thing happened, someone delivered her to the police station in the town where she had gone missing. She was safe, free, released, delivered, and reunited with her family.

Sometimes, when things are out of our control, or even if they're not, we pray and put our trust in God, His will for the situation, and His time. He delivers us in a way that is best for us, even though we may not see it at the time.

Thank you dear ones for following this Advent Series. There are links below that will take you to the various places you can find this series.

Friday, December 2, 2016

25 Days of God Given Gifts ~ Day 2


For the Lord comforts his people
    and will have compassion 
on his afflicted ones.
Isaiah 49:13b



Websters 1828 Dictionary defines today's gift as:
COMFORT: Relief from distress of mind; the ease and quiet which is experienced when pain, trouble, agitation or affliction ceases. It implies also some degree of positive animation of the spirits; or some pleasurable sensations derived from hope, and agreeable prospects; consolation.

Corrie Ten Boom is one woman who would certainly know a trial and the comfort God can provide while in the midst of one. Corrie, her father and other family members helped many Jewish people escape the Holocaust during WWII. Corrie and her sister were sent to a concentration camp, where he sister died and she was later released due to a clerical error.

When God allows extraordinary trials for his people,
He prepares extraordinary comforts for them.  
Corrie Ten Boom 

 

Here is a link a pdf file you can download and use to follow this series. Free to you for personal use or sharing. 
25 Days God Given Gifts & Scripture 

I will be posting this until Christmas here on my blog. If you'd like to receive an email each time I post, you can sign up here:
Little Birdie Blessings by email

You can also follow through my facebook page here:
Little Birdie Blessings - Facebook


25 Days God Given Gifts - INSTAGRAM

25 Days God Given Gifts - PINTEREST

I think the only place I don't have this series posted yet is twitter, perhaps I'll update my dormant twitter account with this series. You can find me here if you tweet: https://twitter.com/birdieblessings

Phew, I'm worn out! I think I have social media covered though.

Thank you dear ones. I appreciate each of you. 



Thursday, December 1, 2016

25 Days God Given Gifts - Day 1



I've been excited for December 1st to arrive as I'm kicking off a December advent series - 25 Days of God Given Gifts. I shared this with my blogging friends last year and I'm back. I'll post a graphic each day through December 25th, along with the "gift" and a scripture to read.

December 1st - Abundant Life





I have come that they may have life,
and have it to the full.
John 10:10b


ABUND'ANT, adjective     Plentiful; in great quantity; fully sufficient; as an abundant supply. In scripture, abounding; having in great quantity; overflowing with.

The Lord God is abundant in goodness and truth. Exodus 34:6.

If you'd like to read more in depth regarding ABUNDANT LIFE from a biblical perspective, you can find it here at this link: What did Jesus mean when he promised an Abundant Life? 

I've made a pdf file of the series that you can download to read through the advent season. It is a list Days 1-25 with the gift and Scripture reference. Here is a link to the file. This is free to you for personal use or sharing.
25 Days God Given Gifts & Scripture

I will be posting this until Christmas here on my blog. If you'd like to receive an email each time I post, you can sign up here:
Little Birdie Blessings by email

You can also follow through my facebook page here:
Little Birdie Blessings - Facebook

 

Thank you, I hope you will be blessed by this series.