Saturday, January 21, 2017

Hymn Story ~ At Calvary


The Hymn "At Calvary" was written by William Newell in 1895. At the time he was Assistant Superintendent at Moody Bible Institute. He wrote the lyrics on the back of an envelope between classes.

Newell passed the lyrics off to Daniel Towner, music director at Moody. Towner went in a music room and worked out the music. Within an hour, the two friends were singing and playing this robust hymn of praise.

It is one of my favorite hymns to play on the piano and have our church family sing.


I hope you've enjoyed learning about how this great and timeless hymn was written. How two gifted friends, listened to what God had laid on their heart. Little did they know at the time, their hymn would still be sung over 100 years later. God knew . . as He sees each of our paths laid out in front of us. Listen for what He might be asking you to do.

Have a blessed day dear ones. 



Friday, January 13, 2017

Free Inspirational Word Graphic - TRUST




This old postcard of winter birdies inspired me to add the inspirational word TRUST. This image and the word Trust fit perfectly with Matthew 6:26:

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?


I can't claim to imagine what goes on in a bird's mind, but I know their creator does. I would think by instinct, they don't worry, but trust in the provisions of our heavenly Father. This verse tells me I don't have to be anxious.


Said the Robin to the Sparrow:
"I should really like to know
Why these anxious human beings
Rush about and worry so."

Said the Sparrow to the Robin:
"Friend, I think that it must be,
That they have no Heavenly Father,
Such as cares for you and me."
~ Elizabeth Cheney ~ 


Thank you friends for following this blog. You are prayed for and appreciated by me. Please feel free to print out this graphic and use in your personal artwork, you may also use it on your blogs or webpages. A link back is always appreciated. 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

A New Year 2017


Another year is dawning,
dear Father, let it be
In working or in waiting,
another year with Thee.
Another year of progress,
 another year of praise,
Another year of proving
Thy presence all the days.
~ Frances Havergal, 1874 ~





Happy new year my friends ~ 2017. Has it really been 17 years since Y2K? Some of you may remember that... When fear was instilled in us, our electronics were going to implode, food shortages, and other potential scary things that never materialized.

No matter what we think or hear might happen, whatever causes us to be fearful, let's make 2017 the year we put our complete trust in the one true God. The God who holds the world in his hands and the one who holds our tomorrows. He loves and cares for YOU personally.

Many things about tomorrow. 
I don't seem to understand. 
But I know who holds tomorrow. 
And I know who holds my hand.
Ira Stanphill, 1989



 





Thursday, December 29, 2016

Inspiring Words for a New Year


Hello dear friends - thanks for sticking with me on the Advent journey - 25 Days of God Given Gifts. If you missed it, you can find the devotions and graphics here: Link to Little Birdie Blessings Advent Series.

The response was overwhelming and I'm humbled by your comments, emails, facebook comments, likes and shares. I asked the Lord to sustain me through Christmas so I could keep up with the task I felt He laid on my heart. Not to mention . . as a Pastor's wife, Christmas is a big deal and I wanted to be present in our Church. On December 26th, actually about 1:00 a.m. I became ill with a cold, terrible sore throat and all that goes with that. So .. I would say the Lord answered my prayers and sustained me. I don't know why I'm surprised He took me so literally. I am on the mend, thankfully. 



I asked my facebook friends if they had a word/verse for the year to focus on. I told them Pray and Simplify were words I had used in the past. Here are some of the words they responded with:

Abide
Art making
Calm
Caregiver
Comfort
Compassion
Discipline
Faith
Grace
Gratitude
Growth
Health
Hope
Joy
Just Be
Learn
Listen
Love
Love one another
Obedience
Organize
Peace & Trust
Persevere
Quiet time
Receive
Rejoice
Smell the roses
Stand Firm
Trust



Isn't that GREAT?  I love seeing all these words together. They represent people who are striving to:
better themselves, to keep their head above water, to remember they are loved, to be kinder, more patient, keep persevering, to be grateful. They represent YOU and they represent ME!




With 2017 just around the corner, let's keep persevering, keep encouraging one another, keep looking out for our neighbors, friends, family. When I started this blog in 2010, my purpose was to encourage you by focusing on the blessings God has given you. It has surpassed my wildest expectations. I am thankful, grateful and humbled to be used by God in this way. So, THANK YOU for your support. I have been encouraged through all of you. 




I told my facebook friends I'll be selecting some of their "words" to make graphics. The first one I've made is at the top of this post - REJOICE (Psalm 118:24). Do you have a "word" and/or word and verse for 2017? I'd love to hear it, please comment below, or if you're receiving this via email, you can just reply to the email you received.

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Sunday, December 25, 2016

25 Days of God Given Gifts - Day 25 - JESUS


MERRY CHRISTMAS
Day 25

The Gift of JESUS




And the angel said unto them, Fear not: 
for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, 
which shall be to all people.
 For unto you is born this day in the city of David 
a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 
Luke 2:10-11


ONE SOLITARY LIFE describes the life of Jesus well. It's author unknown, the words filled with biblical wisdom. I am sharing it with you this Christmas day, 2016.  May you be as in awe of the words describing Jesus, as I am. Merry Christmas dear ones. ~ Abby


One Solitary Life 
Nearly two thousand years ago in an obscure village,
A child was born of a peasant woman
He grew up in another village where He worked as a carpenter until the age of  thirty.
Then for three years He became an itinerant preacher.
This man never went to college or seminary
He never wrote a book
He never held a public office
He never had a family nor owned a home
He never put His foot inside a big city
Nor traveled even 200 miles from His birthplace.
And though He never did any of the things that usually accompany greatness,
Throngs of people followed Him.  He had no credentials but Himself.

While He was still young, the tide of public opinion turned against Him.
His followers ran away
He was turned over to His enemies and went through the mockery of a trial.
He was sentenced to death on a cross between two thieves
While He was dying, His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth – the simple coat He had worn.
His body was laid in a borrowed grave provided by a compassionate friend
But three days later this Man arose from the dead
Living proof that He was, as He had claimed, the Savior whom God had sent,
The Incarnate Son of God.

Twenty centuries have come and gone and today the risen Lord Jesus Christ is the central figure of the human race.
On our calendars His birth divides history into two eras.
One day of every week is set aside in remembrance of Him.
Our two most important holidays celebrate His birth and resurrection

On church steeples around the world, His cross has become the symbol of victory over sin and death.
This one Man’s life has furnished the theme for more songs, books, poems and paintings than any other person or event in history.
Thousands of colleges, hospitals, orphanages and other institutions have been founded in honor of the One who gave His life for us.

All the armies that ever marched
All the navies that ever sailed,
All the governments that ever sat,
All the kings that ever reigned
Have not changed the course of history as much as this
ONE SOLITARY LIFE

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Night Before Christmas



My friend Donna, a gifted writer, has graciously given me permission to share her poetry with you, "The Night Before Christmas". Please consider reading with your family as we celebrate the reason for the season - Jesus!

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
by donna h. munro

Twas the night before Christmas, And out on the road
The donkey was carrying a very special load.
To pay taxes, Joseph and Mary were Bethlehem bound,
‘Neath the moon and stars and quiet night sounds.

Mary was wondering where they would stay,
For she was due to have a child – maybe today!
Joseph knocked at each Inn to find a warm room,
He knew that the baby would come very soon.

The innkeepers paused and nodded their heads.
All rooms were filled; there were no extra beds.
Then one innkeeper said, “There’s a barn out that way,
Perhaps you’ll be able to sleep in the hay.

Mary and Joseph were not sure this was the best,
But they needed to stop, they needed some rest.
They did what they could to make a warm, cozy place,
For this important babe to shine his sweet face.

And as they waited and prayed in their plight.
The stars twinkled above in the dark, chilly night.
Pondering all that had brought them this far
To have God’s son born out under the stars.

The animals must have wondered with questioning awe.
To have these folks make their beds in their straw.
They may have made room seeing the need.
And offered their manger empty of feed.

As night carried on into early morn’s dawn,
A miracle birth, God’s son would be born.
They gazed on with love at the baby’s sweet smile,
And knew God had blessed the world with this child.

They wrapped him in swaddling cloths that they had,
And kissed the fair cheeks of their new little lad.
They called him the name that the angel proclaimed,
Jesus - the Savior, God’s son was his name.

Mary cradled him long before laying him down,
In a hay-filled manger while she cooed him sweet sounds.
Animals laid by the child quietly lowing,
Bowing to the tiny king - perhaps without knowing.

Out in the fields the shepherds were keeping,
Their sheep safe from harm while they were sleeping.
When up in the sky there arose such a loud clatter,
They stood up in shock to see what was the matter!

Angels were singing of the new savior’s birth,
How God in His mercy had brought peace to the earth.
A star would lead them to see this small boy.
They left their hillside filled with wonder and joy.

The stars beamed down on a small cattle shed,
Could a king be born on a manger bed?
But the shepherds bowed the moment they saw,
The tiny babe cradled upon the soft straw.

They knew what Mary and Joseph knew, too.
This babe was sent with God’s work to do.
With reverence and honor they worshipped this king.
And knew in their hearts what love he would bring.

We, too, gaze on Jesus – the babe born this night,
And celebrate how He came to make right,
The hurts and the wrongs the world gives us now,
With loving kindness and grace, so we humbly bow.

May this Christmas give you reason to pause,
And consider this great gift of God.
Perhaps with the shepherds and wise men you’ll bring,
The gift of your life to this tiny child king.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
Please keep Christ in Christmas and follow His light.

donna h. munro, 2014

25 Days God Given Gifts ~ Day 24 ETERNAL LIFE

Day 24 ~ Unwrapping the Gift of:
ETERNAL LIFE



For God so loved the world
 that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him
 shall not perish but have eternal life. 

 John 3:16

ETERNAL LIFE ~ Living forever and ever. As my grandson would say "to infinity and beyond". 

Webster's Dictionary defines ETERNAL as:
having infinite duration
characterized by abiding fellowship with God
continued without intermission - perpetual
existing at all times - timeless



Eternal life is available to any who believe in Jesus as their Savior, just as the verse says. It is free for the taking, there is nothing one can do to earn it. 

My dear aunt passed away this week and I know without a doubt she is with her Lord in Heaven. She is also reunited with ones she held very dear in her lifetime. How do I know this? Because she expressed to me that she believed in Jesus and knew when she died, she'd be in heaven with Him.

She was blind later on in years, and on this very day her vision is clearer than she ever thought possible. Blind hymn-writer Fanny Crosby said: When I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior! 

One of Fanny's later hymns as she aged, gives us a glimpse into her thoughts as she came closer to stepping into Eternal Life. This is titled My Savior First of All, here is the first verse and chorus.

When my lifework is ended and I cross the swelling tide,
When the bright and glorious morning I shall see, 
I shall know my Redeemer when I reach the other side,
And His smile will be the first to welcome me.
I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
And redeemed by His side I shall stand! 
I shall know Him, I shall know Him
By the print of the nails in His hand.


Dear ones, don't miss out... tomorrow is not promised for any of us. If you should die tonight or tomorrow, do you know where you'll spend eternity? You don't have to "clean up" to come to Jesus, He asks for you to come as you are. 

There's a poem by Christina Rossetti, which I've heard to music:

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him; give my heart.

You can find a couple different places on my blog if you want to read more, just click on the links below:

ETERNAL DESTINATION

Friday, December 23, 2016

25 Days God Given Gifts - Day 23 - FORGIVENESS

Day 23 ~ Unwrapping the gift of:

FORGIVENESS




Be kind and compassionate to one another, 
forgiving each other,
 just as in Christ God forgave you. 
Ephesians 4:32 


I was in my early 20’s when my mother brought some of these forgiveness verses mentioned here, to my attention. I was struggling with the emotional turmoil of an older woman who hated me.  She hated me due to lies she believed about me. It was at that time I learned a hard lesson about forgiveness, and praying for people that had wronged me.  

This woman didn’t ask me to forgive her and she was never remorseful for the hurtful things she said to me, but I chose to forgive and to pray for her.  In turn, it released me from bitterness taking root.

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32 (NKJV)



When we harbor resentment and hatred in our hearts, we’re hurting ourselves and those that love us.  Healing can’t begin until you reach a point of forgiveness.  In 1999 Craig Scott was in the library of his high school – Columbine, when two shooters massacred his close friends and classmates in front of him. 

He didn’t know until the next day that his sister Rachel Scott had been one of the first students killed in the cafeteria.  He tells how hatred and bitterness took root and consumed him.  A mentor shared some life changing words with him.

Forgiveness is like setting a prisoner free and finding out that prisoner was you.

Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.
Luke 6:28 (KJV)

I’ll close with a very moving video of a dear woman of God, Corrie Ten Boom. As a Holocaust survivor, Corrie endured horrific circumstances while in the concentration camps.  She tells in her own words, a situation where she came face to face with one she did not have the human strength to forgive.  

He extended his hand to her and asked forgiveness.  Listen to what she did when faced with this difficult situation.   If you don’t have time to watch it now, please come back to it.  It’s about 7 minutes long and well worth it.








If you aren't able to view the video above, you can find it here on you tube:
Corrie Ten Boom - How to Forgive

Thank you so much for visiting today.  I hope and pray if bitterness and resentment has taken root in your heart, you’ll consider these scriptures and seek the Lord’s help in forgiving.

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

25 Days God Given Gifts - Day 22 - HELP

Day 22 ~ Unwrapping the Gift of HELP


My help comes from the LORD, 
the Maker of heaven and earth. 
Psalm 121:2


When my grandson was three years old, he had an expression he used frequently . . "I can do it my own self”.   He of course was adorable and it was cute to see him try.  At times though, he reached a point where intervention was needed.


I tend to think of all those years God watched me “doing it my own self”; cute was not the word that came to His mind.  Oh, the countless times, I prayed about a need. I had it all figured out how God could help me out of a situation. He just needed to come through on His part.  Wasn’t I surprised, when He helped me, but not the way I suggested He should.




“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV

Since God is ALL knowing, and can see our future laid out in front of Him.  There is none other to trust without reservations for our ultimate help. We just need to ask, according to His will. 

I am very thankful I have a better realization, my help comes from the Lord. Whatever skills, talents or attributes "I" possess, it's only because I'm enabled by God. 





I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2


Thank you dear ones. Praying you have a great week as we countdown to Christmas.You can find this series in the following places:

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

25 Days God Given Gifts ~ Day 21 ~ GUIDANCE

Day 21 ~ Unwrapping the Gift of:
GUIDANCE



Trust in the LORD with all your heart
 and lean not on your own understanding; 
in all your ways submit to him, 
and he will make your paths straight. 
Proverbs 3:5-6


As I was thinking about this scripture, a life verse for many. I compared the kind of trust Jesus is looking for in us, to that of a child. During the first few years of life, children who receive warm loving care, are able to establish a sense of trust with their parents or caregivers. Without a doubt, they know they will be fed, changed and loved. It may not come in their timing, but they know it will happen.




As they grow into the toddler years and venture out on mini explorations, they have the confidence to turn away from danger, and go back to the caregiver they trust, for reassurance, protection and guidance.

That’s what Jesus wants from us. Never a doubt that He will be THAT caregiver for us and meet our needs. Let's TRUST Him with complete confidence that He will do what is best for our life. He tells us in Isaiah 55:8, His ways are not our ways. Why? Because He’s all knowing. He knows our future. He sees the Master plan. Who better to put our trust in, than someone who knows us better than we know ourselves?




In ALL our ways, everything we do, He wants us to acknowledge him. He’ll keep us on the path we need to go, we just need to TRUST and obey.

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Old hymn written in 1887 ~ Trust and Obey
Thank you for following this series. I pray you all have a pleasant week as we count down to Christmas Day. You are prayed for and appreciated.

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