Sunday, December 16, 2018

Advent Series ~ Day 17 ~ PROVIDER




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? 
Matthew 6:26

Have you ever felt God's provision in your life? A time when something happened and you knew without a doubt it was from Him? Here's an account of such a time I experienced many years ago.

It was my birthday, and the day God provided for me in a mighty way. My daughter was 4 years old at the time, and I was struggling as a single parent. I remember specifically wanting to make shredded wheat bread. My senses took over and I could almost taste and smell it. Reaching for my go-to cookbook, I found the recipe. I was ready! There was just one problem. I didn't have all the ingredients or the funds to buy them.

In despair, I sat down at the table and started crying. Not because I didn't have the ingredients for shredded wheat bread. I was crying because I felt very alone and I was tired of life being incredibly hard.

A knock at my door snapped me out of my pity party. It was my neighbor, who knew it was my birthday and had a gift for me. She asked if I liked shredded wheat bread, as she handed me a loaf of warm bread she had just baked for my birthday. True story!

I believe God allowed the events of that morning to unfold this way, so I’d know without a shadow of a doubt who the source of the provision was from. God was speaking to me, and used my neighbor to accomplish His task. I realized at that moment I was not alone, not abandoned, and not in despair. He was right there with me. My daughter and I were going to be okay.


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I will be posting this until Christmas here on my blog. You can follow this series your favorite way. 
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Saturday, December 15, 2018

Advent Series ~ Day 16 ~ REFUGE

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1


25 Days of God Given Gifts


Websters 1828 Dictionary defines REFUGE: 
That which shelters or protects from danger, distress or calamity; a strong hold which protects by its strength, or a sanctuary which secures safety by its sacredness; any place inaccessible to an enemy.


Missionary Amy Carmichael tells of a beautiful illustration of God's love and care through a little bird. Taken from the pages of Secure in the Everlasting Arms as told by author Elisabeth Elliot.

The sun bird, one of the tiniest of birds, a native of India, builds a pendant nest, hanging by four frail threads, generally from a spray of valaris. It is a delicate work of art, with its roof and tiny porch, which a splash of water or a child’s touch might destroy. She tells how she saw a little sun bird building such a nest just before the monsoon season, and felt that for once bird wisdom had failed – for how could such a delicate structure, in such an exposed situation, weather the winds and torrential rains?

The monsoon broke and from her window she watched the nest swaying with the branches in the wind. Then she perceived that the nest had been so placed that the leaves immediately above it formed little gutters which carried the water away from the nest. There sat the sun bird, with it’s tiny head resting on her little porch, and whenever a drop of water fell on her long, curved beak, she sucked it in as if it were nectar. The storms raged furiously, but the sun bird sat, quiet and unafraid, hatching her tiny eggs.



I find this story about the sun bird fascinating. You've probably figured out I have a little bird thing going on here at Little Birdie Blessings.

God's provisions for the birds never ceases to amaze me. If He cares so much for them, how much more will He provide for us?


Some wise words below by Elisabeth Elliot.

Where does your security lie? Is God your refuge,
your hiding place, your stronghold, your shepherd,
your counselor, your friend, your redeemer,
your savior, your guide?
If He is, you don’t need to search
any further for security.

~ Elisabeth Elliot ~


PREVIOUS ADVENT DEVOTION LINKS HERE



Two FREE printables that go with this series. You can find download links here:



These images are free for personal use, ministry use, or for gifting. Not to be sold. If you share the images on your blog, a link back would be appreciated. Please do not copy my entire posts to your blog. Thank you. 

I will be posting this until Christmas here on my blog. You can follow this series your favorite way. 
Links are below:

Friday, December 14, 2018

Advent Series ~ Day 15 ~ JOY

You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence. 
Psalm 16:11a


Joy to the World is such a robust hymn of praise, written in 1719 by Isaac Watts. The more voices singing, the better it sounds. The first hymn of our Christmas church service is always "Joy to the World".

Mr. Watts didn’t intend for Joy to the World to be a Christmas carol. He in fact wrote this song based on Psalm 98. The lyrics were later adapted to what is believed to be music from Handel’s Messiah. This hymn is one of the most sung Christmas carols today.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.


This time of year it's easy to lose focus of what's important in all the demands and expectations we sometimes find ourselves in. Remember this easy acronym for JOY, a children's song titled "Jesus and Others and You" written by B. Metzger, 1951. 

J - Jesus
O- Others
Y - You

Jesus and others and you
What a wonderful way to spell joy
Jesus and others and you
in the life of each girl and each boy
"J" is for Jesus for He has first place,
"O" is for others you meet face to face,
"Y" is for you, in whatever you do,
Put your self third and spell JOY.



PREVIOUS ADVENT DEVOTION LINKS HERE



Two FREE printables that go with this series. You can find download links here:



These images are free for personal use, ministry use, or for gifting. Not to be sold. If you share the images on your blog, a link back would be appreciated. Please do not copy my entire posts to your blog. Thank you. 

I will be posting this until Christmas here on my blog. You can follow this series your favorite way. 
Links are below:


Thursday, December 13, 2018

Advent Series ~ Day 14 ~ FAITH

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, 
the pioneer and perfecter of faith. 
Hebrews 12:2a
25 Days of God Given Gifts

Hebrews chapter 11 is known as the FAITH chapter in the Bible. It gives us examples of those whose faith was founded in God's promises. 

Hebrews 11:1 tells us Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (NIV)

When I think of FAITH, especially during the Christmas season, my thoughts go to Jesus' mother Mary. Luke chapter 1 tells of this account. The angel delivered a message to Mary. He told her she was highly favored, would conceive, have a son, and she was to name him Jesus.



Mary faced the ultimate act of FAITH. Can you imagine being approached by an angel, and then given a message that is beyond comprehension. Oh the thoughts that must have swirled through her mind. Young Mary merely asked:

How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 
Luke 1:34

She faced not only public ridicule and shame, but death by stoning. 

Mary's FAITH was SO strong, and she trusted her Lord SO completely her response to this news was this:

And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:38

In other words, Mary said, let it be to me as you have said. She accepted what God had given her. Why? Because she loved her Lord so completely, she believed He knew what was best for her. 1 Corinthians 13:2 tells us faith without love is worthless. Christian faith is motivated by love and trust, just as Mary exemplified. 

I encourage you to read and study Luke chapter 1 through this Christmas season. There is so much more to this story, found within the pages of God's Word. 






PREVIOUS ADVENT DEVOTION LINKS HERE



Two FREE printables that go with this series. You can find download links here:



These images are free for personal use, ministry use, or for gifting. Not to be sold. If you share the images on your blog, a link back would be appreciated. Please do not copy my entire posts to your blog. Thank you. 

I will be posting this until Christmas here on my blog. You can follow this series your favorite way. 
Links are below: 


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Advent Series ~ Day 13 ~ THE BIBLE

25 Days of God Given Gifts
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, 
and a light unto my path.
Psalm 119:105


Living on the coast of Maine, I’m surrounded by lighthouses. They draw a lot of tourists to the state and are a popular subject for photographers. The lighthouse has a significant purpose, which is to steer mariners in the thick fog or darkness of night, away from cliffs, ledges, shorelines and other dangerous areas. The lighthouse will sound a signal and shine a beacon of light on and off to lead ships to safety.

God’s word the Bible is our lighthouse – a lamp for our feet….a light for our path, a beacon of light to help us find our way.



There’s a song that says it well, titled The Lighthouse, by 
~ Ronnie Hinson, 1970 . 

There's a Lighthouse on the hillside,
That over looks life's sea
When I'm tossed it sends out a light
That I might see
And the light that shines in darkness now
Will safely lead us o'er
If it wasn't for the Lighthouse
My ship would be no more.

Chorus:
And I thank God for the Lighthouse
I owe my life to Him
For Jesus is the Lighthouse
And from the rocks of sin
He has shown a light around me
That I could clearly see
If it wasn’t for the Lighthouse
Where would this ship be?

Everybody that lives about us
Says tear that Lighthouse down
The big ships don't sail this way anymore
There's no use of it standing round
Then my mind goes back to that stormy night
When just in time I saw the light
Yes, the light from that old Lighthouse
That stands up there on the hill. 




Dear ones - We speak to God through prayer, God speaks to us through His word. We have to read it to know what He has for us. I guarantee my life would be shipwrecked by now if it weren't for the Word of God to navigate me through the storms, and encourage me to keep persevering around the ledges.
 


PREVIOUS ADVENT DEVOTION LINKS HERE



Two FREE printables that go with this series. You can find download links here:



These images are free for personal use, ministry use, or for gifting. Not to be sold. If you share the images on your blog, a link back would be appreciated. Please do not copy my entire posts to your blog. Thank you. 

I will be posting this until Christmas here on my blog. You can follow this series your favorite way. 
Links are below: 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Advent Series ~ Day 12 ~ HOPE

25 Days of God Given Gifts
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13


HOPE is defined as: To look forward to with confidence or expectation. It’s also one of the most common inspirational words we see. 

It’s lettered on rocks, featured in wall art, and I've even seen a face cream called Hope. Beyond the commonness, it’s a word people cling to in chronic pain; cancer; desperate financial circumstances, relationship problems, and the countless other tragedies that come into our lives. I heard in the news, a victimized woman held captive said – “I never let hope disappear”.

For those who trust in Jesus, our ultimate hope is not in this present life, but in the world unseen, our final destination of Heaven. If we choose to place our hope in the God of Hope, He will give us the strength to get through it, no matter our situation.

The church bells ring on Christmas to announce God’s gift to humanity and the HOPE He brought to us in the form of the baby in the Bethlehem manger.   


May you and your family be blessed by that Gift throughout this Christmas season and in the coming year.


PREVIOUS ADVENT DEVOTION LINKS HERE



Two FREE printables that go with this series. You can find download links here:



These images are free for personal use, ministry use, or for gifting. Not to be sold. If you share the images on your blog, a link back would be appreciated. Please do not copy my entire posts to your blog. Thank you. 

I will be posting this until Christmas here on my blog. You can follow this series your favorite way. 
Links are below: 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Advent Series ~ Day 11 ~ REST

25 Days of God Given Gifts

Come to me, all you who are weary 
and burdened, and I will give you rest. 
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, 
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls. 
Matthew 11:28-29



The definition of REST is: to refresh oneself, as by sleeping, lying down, or relaxing. To relieve weariness by cessation of exertion or labor, and to be at ease; have tranquility or peace.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? We all need rest, and when we’re very tired, we look forward to it. Even my little grandson enjoys his rest. When he was a baby and lacked the words to express himself; he'd lay in his crib at nap-time or bedtime and wave bye-bye.

This scripture talks about rest for our souls; relief from the trials, stress, tribulations, burdens, and sin that can weigh us down. Remember Christian, in the book Pilgrim’s Progress? He was weighed down by a heavy load and longed for relief as he journeyed to the Celestial City. He found his rest when he reached the foot of the cross. The straps that bound the load to him broke and he was free from the oppressive weight.

We don’t have to bear the weight of our burdensome load. Jesus promises us in this scripture passage to come to Him and he will give us rest. Are you tired? Are you weary? Are you burdened? Leave it at the foot of the cross and find rest for your soul.



My husband’s grandmother wrote the poem below. I never had an opportunity to meet her, but know she would have been pleased to have me share it with you.

Rest in the Lord, O tired heart
And wait patiently for him
He’ll lift your cares and light your path
When everything looks dim.

He knows your need for daily strength
The problems that you face
He’ll give you courage and supply
His boundless love and grace

Rest in the Lord, O tired heart
There is no better way
To find refreshment, joy and peace
O rest in him today.
by Violet Elwell



PREVIOUS ADVENT DEVOTION LINKS HERE



Two FREE printables that go with this series. You can find download links here:



These images are free for personal use, ministry use, or for gifting. Not to be sold. If you share the images on your blog, a link back would be appreciated. Please do not copy my entire posts to your blog. Thank you. 

I will be posting this until Christmas here on my blog. You can follow this series your favorite way. 
Links are below: 

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Advent Series ~ Day 10 ~ LOVE

25 Days of God Given Gifts

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, 
shall be able to separate us from the love of God, 
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:39

The hymn titled O the Deep Deep Love of Jesus, was written in 1875 by Samuel Trevor Francis. As a teenager contemplating suicide one night on a bridge, he experienced a spiritual awakening and went on to author many poems and hymns. He compares Jesus’ love to the mighty ocean.

I live in Maine in a small fishing community. I know the beauty of the ocean, its vastness, might and power. Over the years, many people right in our own community have lost their lives to the powerful ocean. In our area, it is the strongest force of nature.


God IS love
He defines love
His nature is love
His attributes are love

God loves us SO much that he sent his son Jesus to die on the cross and pay the penalty for our sin. His love is personal, never changing, no beginning or end; he knows and loves you individually.

There may be some reading this that do not have someone to love and share their days with, or you may have someone who loves you but doesn’t express it in the way that you’d like them to. Remember Jesus loves you with an EVERLASTING and UNCONDITIONAL love. A love that it vast, unmeasured, boundless, free and as mighty as the ocean.

There is wisdom in the words of this hymn. The lyrics are below as well as a link to a music video of this song. I think this rendition portrays it in such a powerful way. As you listen to it, picture the love of Jesus wrapping you with warmth and care.

Oh The Deep Deep Love of Jesus

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o'er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o'er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
'Tis an ocean vast of blessing, 'tis a haven sweet of rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, 'tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!

Samuel Trevor Francis ~ 1875


PREVIOUS ADVENT DEVOTION LINKS HERE



Two FREE printables that go with this series. You can find download links here:



These images are free for personal use, ministry use, or for gifting. Not to be sold. If you share the images on your blog, a link back would be appreciated. Please do not copy my entire posts to your blog. Thank you. 

I will be posting this until Christmas here on my blog. You can follow this series your favorite way. 
Links are below: 

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Advent Series ~ Day 9 ~ PEACE

25 Days of God Given Gifts
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: 
not as the world giveth, give I unto you. 
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it 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.




PREVIOUS ADVENT DEVOTION LINKS HERE




Two FREE printables that go with this series. You can find download links here:



These images are free for personal use, ministry use, or for gifting. Not to be sold. If you share the images on your blog, a link back would be appreciated. Please do not copy my entire posts to your blog. Thank you. 

I will be posting this until Christmas here on my blog. You can follow this series your favorite way. 
Links are below: