Tuesday, October 25, 2016

My 3 Second Humility Lesson

There was a season of my life when I was an avid amateur photographer. A local festival was holding a photography contest. My family and friends had convinced me that I had “an eye” for photography, and my photographs were “all that”.  I carefully selected what I’d enter and delivered my photos for the contest. I waited through the week with anticipation, sure that I would be a winner. The day and time finally came when the winners would be announced. I arrived just in time to hear my name being called. I think my head physically swelled, but I can’t confirm it.

By the time I got to the tent, other awards/names were being called. When the opportunity presented itself, I proudly approached the announcer,. . “Excuse me; I think you called my name as I was arriving. Am I a winner?” She told me to look through the awards on a nearby table. My eyes scanned for a certificate with my name. There it was, what I’d anticipated.  My name on such lovely parchment paper with these words across the top: Certificate of Participation.  

PROUD: Having inordinate self-esteem; possessing a high or unreasonable conceit of one's own excellence, either of body or mind. A man may be proud of his person, of his talents, of his accomplishments or of his achievements.

HUMBLE: Lowly; modest; meek; submissive; opposed to proud, haughty, arrogant or assuming.

Do you know how long it took me to go from proud to humble? …. about 3 seconds.

I laugh about this story and hope you get a chuckle out of it as well. I did learn a valuable lesson that day. I wanted to win a ribbon so I could boast in my accomplishments and talent. God had other plans to use my photography and it didn’t involve fame or fortune.

He later inspired me to make a dvd photo show from many of my favorites.  I don’t know how a copy ended up in the hands of our local funeral home, but I believe God orchestrated it. This particular funeral home plays the dvd photo show on a regular basis as folks in mourning gather to say goodbye to their loved ones and friends. The familiar and simple photos of God’s creation bring comfort to many.

My identity is not known as the photos play and that’s exactly the way I want it. You see, it’s not about me. I don’t want recognition as I give God the glory on this one. I’m thankful He humbled me and used my photography as a vessel of comfort to reach those who needed it. It’s worth more to me than 100 blue ribbons.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10 NIV

Have a blessed day my friends.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

He Changes the Seasons

New England is defined by its colorful fall foliage.  I live in Maine and the magnificence of the fall season is shown when the leaves of the trees turn shades of reds, yellows, gold, and even purple, before they fall to the ground. My grandson suggests it should be called "falliage" and I tend to agree with him.

Obviously, it’s God’s creation that changes the colors of the leaves and bares the trees before the winter season, but not surprisingly, there is a scientific explanation.  I like to visualize it as the hand of God creating another masterpiece for us all to enjoy. 

I vaguely remember from high school science class that it had something to do with the chlorophyll in the leaves.  I decided to look into the subject and here’s what I found out:

Chlorophyll is a green pigment in the leaves that absorbs red and blue light from the sun. The shortening days and cooler nights that fall brings, interfere with the process and cause the chlorophyll to break down.  When this happens, the green colors of the leaves fade, causing some to turn yellow, others red, purple or maroon.

And He changes the times and the seasons;He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise
And knowledge to those who have understanding.
Daniel 2:21 NKJV

As this verse tells us, God is in control of the times and seasons.  There’s a reason for everything He does, even if it’s just for our pleasure. We’re also told that he is sovereign, which means he is in total control.

No matter what may happen in this world, He is in ultimate control. As you witness every day, the creation functions as God intended, with the exception of people and that is because we have a free will. God wants us to use our free will to accept and follow his plan for our lives.  We serve an awesome and wonderful God worthy of our wholehearted devotion and trust.

If you want to know more about that you can visit either of these links.
Do You Know Jesus? - Proverbs 31 Ministries
Eternal Destination - #1 post on this blog for most viewed

Have a blessed day my friends.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Prayers of a Humble Man

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

Just who was this George Muller that spoke the wise words at the top of this post? One of the greatest prayer warriors, history has known. His complete and total dependence on God not for just his own personal provisions, but for thousands of children he housed and educated over the years.

George Muller 

George Muller: (1805 – 1898), a Christian evangelist and Director of the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England, cared for 10,024 orphans in his life. He was well known for providing an education to the children under his care, to the point where he was accused of raising the poor above their natural station in life. He also established 117 schools which offered Christian education to over 120,000 children, many of them being orphans.

Then you will call on me 
and come and pray to me, 
and I will listen to you. 
You will seek me and find me 
when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:12-13 NIV

Have a blessed day my friends.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Comfort in Trial

This verse is one I've clung to over the years. I've come across it several times this week, so thought I'd share it here. A promise from God, that our trials are not wasted. We in turn can use them to help others, even though it may not seem like it in the midst of suffering.

Keep persevering dear ones, keep looking up.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Great is Thy Faithfulness - Hymn

"Great is thy Faithfulness" was written by Thomas Chisholm in 1923. It was most likely based on Lamentations 3:22-23. The music was written by William Runyan the same year.

Runyan prayed: "This particular poem held such an appeal that I prayed most earnestly that my tune might carry its message in a worthy way, and the subsequent history of its use indicates that God answered prayer." 

The Lord used two ordinary men to compose a song that continues to encourage to this day, and remains in the top 10 most popular hymns, 90+ years later.

I hope you have a blessed Sunday my friends.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

A Glad Birthday - 52 Things I've Learned

Fifty-two years ago I was born. Two years ago on my big birthday, I shared 50 things I'd learned over the years. Keeping with this new tradition, here’s the list with 52 items. I’m certainly not perfect, but as I age, the things on this list are somewhat easier to accomplish or try to accomplish. In no particular order, here they are:

1. Less is more, keep it simple
2. Teach children Bible verses at a young age
3. Sometimes it's better to listen than to speak
4. Apologize when appropriate, Forgiveness is mandatory
5. Don't speak when angry
6. The gas gauge in my car is there for a reason
7. Things don't matter, people do
8. Appreciate every day
9. Have peace, and rest in the promise that God is in control
10. Look for the blessings each day has to offer
11. Be a good mother-in-law
12. Respect my husband
13. Giving is better than receiving
14. Don't panic
15. Help if I see a need and am able to fulfill it
16. Teach children to be respectful
17. Be kind
18. Read my Bible every day
19. Pray before I make decisions
20. Children are people too, be respectful of their feelings
21. Send real mail more often
22. Don't be judgmental
23. Take children to Sunday School & Church as young as possible
24. Compliment others
25. Don't think of myself as better than others
26. Don't use social media as a place to get out frustration
27. Send thank you notes
28. Think before I speak
29. Put the needs of my family ahead of my own
30. Candid photos are sometimes better than posed
31. Family doesn't have to be blood relation
32. Be silly with kids, they love it
33. If I have nothing nice to say, be silent
34. If it's not my news, don't tell it, text it, tweet it, or type it
35. Laughter is good
36. Be content with what I have, don't be jealous of others
37. Be sensitive to the needs & feelings of others
38. Don't leave wet laundry in machine more than a day
39. Give hugs
40. Patience is a virtue
41. Don't worry about tomorrow, God is already there
42. Be Thankful
43. Don't be surprised with answered prayer
44. Trust God's will for my life, wholeheartedly
45. Accept a compliment or gift with gratitude
46. Reading a book to a child is more important than dishes
47. Go outside, breathe in God's creation
48. Don't sweat the small stuff, it will steal my joy
49. Prioritize family over obligations
50. Accept help when needed or offered
51. No prayer is too small, or too big for God to handle. 
52. Be who God created me to be. There’s nobody me-er than me. 

Thank you for subscribing via email and/or visiting my blog. I appreciate each and every one of you.  I'll leave you with this verse which means so much to me.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.  Psalm 143:8

Monday, August 29, 2016

Hymn - I Know Who Holds Tomorrow

It's so comforting to know the God who literally holds the world in His hands, holds my tomorrows as well. I've heard it said - don't worry about tomorrow, God is already there.

"I Know Who Holds Tomorrow"
 by Ira Stanphill

I don't know about tomorrow,
I just live from day to day.
I don't borrow from it's sunshine,
For it's skies may turn to gray.
I don't worry o'er the future,
For I know what Jesus said,
And today I'll walk beside Him,
For He knows what is ahead.

Ev'ry step is getting brighter,
As the golden stairs I climb;
Ev'ry burden's getting lighter;
Ev'ry cloud is silver lined.
There the sun is always shining,
There no tear will dim the eyes,
At the ending of the rainbow,
Where the mountains touch the sky.

I don't know about tomorrow,
It may bring me poverty;
But the One Who feeds the sparrow,
Is the One Who stands by me.
And the path that be my portion,
May be through the flame or flood,
But His presence goes before me,
And I'm covered with His blood.

Many things about tomorrow,
I don't seem to understand;
But I know Who holds tomorrow,
And I know Who holds my hand.

Hymn image source: I Know Who Holds Tomorrow

Scripture to Read: Matthew 6:25-34

Have a blessed day my friends.

This post is linked to: What Joy is Mine

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Think on These Things

Have you ever had troubling thoughts that consume your mind and you just can't shake them? I certainly have.  Our thoughts can affect the way we feel. Speculating about things that haven’t happened, what someone might be thinking about us, or dwelling on a situation where someone has wronged us.

These all drag us down and cause negative feelings. I am someone who can easily be overcome with anxiety, worrying about what “might” happen. When I feel my mind pulling me in that direction, I try and remember this scripture and focus my thoughts on what is:
true and real, 
right and pure, 
lovely and admirable, 
excellent and praiseworthy.

This is a scripture we need, to clear our minds and focus on the wonderful blessings that God has given us. Training your minds to go in this direction will relieve us of unnecessary stress and give us more peace in everything we do. Why not memorize this verse and "hide it in your heart". It will always be there to draw on when you need the reminder.

Finally, brethren, 
whatsoever things are true, 
whatsoever things are honest, 
whatsoever things are just, 
whatsoever things are pure, 
whatsoever things are lovely, 
whatsoever things are of good report; 
if there be any virtue, 
and if there be any praise, 
think on these things. 
Philippians 4:8

Have a blessed day my friends.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hard-Pressed but not Crushed

This verse above (2 Corinthians 4:8-9), seems to sum up what I certainly cannot put into words. There is no doubt we are living in troubled times. If you have access to any type of news media, you know what I'm talking about.

Even if you're not personally affected by the tragedies we're hearing about in the news, there are many struggles within most of our circles of family and friends.

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—  
2 Corinthians 4:8-9

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

I hope you are encouraged by these verses. God's word, the Bible, is the greatest tangible piece of encouragement you can access. It's His way of communicating with us. We communicate with God through prayer, He communicates to us through His word, the Bible.  Pick it up and start reading - If you don't know where to start, read the book of John, then read it again. 

Keep looking up, HOPE is within our grasp. 

You can find me on facebook here: Little Birdie Blessings Facebook where I post daily.

If you're receiving this via email, you can find my blog here: Little Birdie Blessings Blog

linked to: What Joy is Mine, 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

America the Beautiful

Living on the coast of Maine, I am privileged to be surrounded by, a section of God's magnificent creation. In 1893, a young woman named Katharine Lee Bates traveled West from her New England home and was taken in by a different area of God's creation. Katharine was delighted by the wind-waved gold of the vast wheat-fields.

Part of her journey took her to Pike's Peak in Colorado. The view from the 15,000 foot summit appeared breathtaking and she was inspired to pencil a poem in her journal. This poem was originally titled "Pikes Peak" which first published in the Fourth of July edition of a church periodical "The Congregationalist" in 1895. At that time, the poem was titled "America" for publication.

Katharine, an English professor from Wellesley College remarked after her trip, "Greatness and goodness are not necessarily synonymous. Rome was great, but she was not good, and for that reason the Roman Empire fell. ... Unless we are willing to crown our greatness with goodness, and our bounty with brotherhood, our beloved America may go the same way".

Somewhere along the way, this poem was set to the music of "Materna" written by Samuel A. Ward in 1882. It was titled America the Beautiful, and gained popularity during World War I, inspiring patriotic pride and prayer through the nation.

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain;
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood,
From sea to shining sea.

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self control,
Thy liberty in law.