Saturday, October 21, 2017

Your Name is Special



My three year old grandson was visiting this week. He looked at me with a slight grin and twinkle in his eye and said "Hi Abby. . . . . .your name is Abby right?" I told him my name was Abby, however he should call me Nana. He knew that, as we'd had this conversation a number of times. He just liked to say it and see if I might have changed my mind.

In the Victorian era, autograph books, like the one pictured above were common as people passed them around for friends to sign and write notes so they would be remembered. You can read more about the history of them here: Autograph Books 

When we think of the names of people near and dear to us, their name identifies them. We associate their name with their character. Their name becomes them. Jesus knows YOUR name my friends. For those who put their trust in Him, your name is engraved on the palms of His hand. Now, that's some serious good news! 

"See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me."
Isaiah 49:16 NIV

The graphic in this post is from my personal collection and is free for you to use for personal use. Have a blessed day.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Kitchen Table Memories


My friend Michele came by last week so I could help her build a facebook page for her blog Living Our Days.  Michele says of her new facebook page and this photo -

"Here's where it all began - at a kitchen table,
like so many wonderful things."


She's speaking of my kitchen table shown above. As I reflected on this photo, I was in awe of all it represented by itself. A print of a famous painting (The Angelus) given to me by my mother. It depicts a peasant couple praying, which serves as a reminder to be thankful for what I have. A pair of pilgrims given to me by my friend Vee as we both have ancestors who came to this country on the Mayflower. My "fruit of the Spirit" bowl given to me by my friend Judy ~ and of course the obvious work in progress over cups of coffee that grew cold before we finished them.

It's so much more than just a table with hand-me-down yellow country chairs, popping against the dark purple fall tablecloth (a thrift store treasure). It's a place where memories are made.

Being a pastor's wife and living in the church parsonage, my kitchen table gets a lot of use. If my table could talk, it would remind me of all the family meals we've eaten there; the times of crafting with grandchildren and friends; the blog posts written; the people we've prayed with; conversations over the endless cups of coffee or tea; friendships formed; bibles studies; weddings planned; babies announced; laughter and tears.

As Michele and I got down to business on our laptops, we shared our knowledge with one another, we laughed a lot (well..I laughed a lot - she's really funny), and we prayed. I learned she likes black coffee (she's a minimalist, I am not). We had a good time, and accomplished much. We made a memory.

Michele recently reviewed the book "The Life Giving Table" by Sally Clarkson, and talked about her own "life giving" table where she and her husband raised and schooled, four boys. 

You can find Michele on Facebook here: Living Our Days
This blog, Little Birdie Blessings is on Facebook here: Little Birdie Blessings

Thanks for visiting, reading, subscribing and commenting on my blog. You're the reason I keep writing. Have a blessed day.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Poem ~ Reading Through the Bible



Reading Through the Bible

I supposed I knew my Bible,
Reading piece-meal, hit or miss;
Now a bit of "John" or "Matthew,"
Now a snatch of "Genesis."
Certain chapters of "Isaiah,"
Certain "Psalms,"—the twenty-third,
Twelfth of "Romans," first of "Proverbs."
Yes, I thought I knew the Word.
But I found a thorough reading
Was a different thing to do,
And the way was unfamiliar
When I read the Bible through.
Ye who treat the Crown of Writings
As you treat no other book—
Just a paragraph disjointed,
Just a crude, impatient look—
Try a worthier procedure,
Try a broad and steady view;
You will kneel in very rapture
When you read the Bible THROUGH.
     ~ Amos R. Well ~ 

I hope you enjoyed the poem. Here's a link to a previous post I wrote about studying God's word. Study the WORD

Have a blessed day my friends.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Song in the Night




Joni Eareckson Tada credits her father with instilling hymns in her from the time she was a young child. For those who haven't heard of Joni, as a teenager, she became a paraplegic in a diving accident. The Lord has used her in a mighty way over the years. I'll put a link to her ministry at the end of this post.

She tells how God gave us a built in instrument to make music - our voice. We can sing, hum, and whistle. For someone like Joni, this certainly comes in handy, and she has a beautiful voice to sing. For those who think they can't "carry a tune", if you're singing praises to God, He hears you in perfect pitch.

Many of us I'm sure have nights we don't sleep well, but we're able to get up, re-position, get a drink, etc. Joni is totally dependent on someone else to do the simplest tasks for her.  She tells about one of those nights in the book "Songs in the Night" by Henry Gariepy (Inspiring Stories behind 100 Hymns Born in Trial and Suffering).

"In one of those mad, midnight moments during my long convalescence, I came up with a song. Since I couldn't jump out of bed and get a pad of paper and pen, I carefully pondered and memorized each phrase as it came. When the whole poem was complete in my head, I didn't feel so depressed about the will of God". Here is the song God gave to Joni:

I have a piece of china,
A pretty porcelain vase,
It holds such lovely flowers,
Captures everybody's gaze.
But fragile things do slip and fall
As everybody knows,
And when that vase came crashing down,
Those tears began to flow.

My life was just like china,
A lovely thing to me.
Full of porcelain promises
Of all that I might be.
But fragile things do slip and fall
As everybody knows,
And when my life came crashing down,
Those tears began to flow.

Now Jesus is no porcelain prince,
His promises won't break.
His holy Word holds fast and sure,
His love no one can shake.
So if your life is shattered
By sorrow, pain or sin,
His healing love will reach right down
And make you whole again.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I had never heard this song before reading it in this book. I hope it encourages you today as I'm sure that's why Joni chose to share it with others, and why God inspired her with these words.

Here is a link to her ministry: www.joniandfriends.org/

Joni is my hero and has been for many years. I've often thought on the hard days, to keep persevering. If Joni can do it, I surely can.

I made the graphic at the top of this post featuring Psalm 94:19, using digital elements from The Graphics Fairy. It is free to you for personal use. Thanks for visiting my blog today. It you'd like to subscribe via email, click on the link to sign up.
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Monday, September 18, 2017

Poem ~ The Little Birds of God




Her name was Annie Johnson Flint (1866 - 1932), the author of the poem below. 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.

Annie was known as the “poet of helpfulness”, and often gave her poetry as gifts to friends.  As her poems became more widely known, many were set to music.   I have previously written about Annie, and you can find that here:  Annie Johnson Flint



THE LITTLE BIRDS OF GOD
by Annie Johnson Flint

I HEAR them at my window in the late, gray winter dawn,
The little birds of God, the farthing sparrows of His care;
They ask of me, as I of Him, His gift of daily bread.
With soft, impatient twitterings they voice their morning prayer.

The heavenly Father feedeth them, the little birds of God,
Though ’tis my hand that scattereth the food within their reach;
I do but share His bounty when I give the crumbs to them.
doubting heart and anxious heart, what lessons they can teach!

They sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns,
Content if but each day shall bring the day’s supply of food;
No question whence it comes, nor if the morrow bringeth more
Small optimists in feathers, who are sure that all is good!

God seeth when they fly or fall. Am I less worth than they?
I would not fail them in their need. Is He less true than I?
I would not mock their faith in me, nor hurt them, nor betray;
I answer to their trusting call, He to His children’s cry.

When sunset tints the fading light and dusk is falling fast,
The while I draw the curtains close and stir the hearth-fire bright,
I hear their cheerful chirping, the little birds of God,
And wonder to what shelter they are fleeing for the night.

But they, as I, shall rest secure beneath the wings of Love,
Though storm and darkness sweep the sea and cover all the land.
My life and theirs, so small and frail, God’s care of both the same;
My soul a nesting bird within the hollow of His hand.



Monday, August 28, 2017

God used my Pinterest Fail




It was a Thursday, and the Men’s Bible Study would be meeting at our church. The last time they met, I had made sugar cookies from a pinterest find “the best chewy sugar cookies recipe”. They came out perfectly, beautifully shaped, delicious, just as in the pinterest picture. My husband reported the men loved them. I have to say, I felt a twinge of pride as baking isn’t something I get real excited about. 


The recipe had worked so well the last time, I thought – let’s just keep a good thing going. On this particular Thursday my two grandsons were here as I made the cookies. They were excited about testing them when they came out of the oven. I turned on the oven light so we could peek at the progress. To our horror, they had flattened and spread on the cookie sheet into basically one giant cookie that was of course wafer thin.



As the cookies cooled I contemplated what I should do. The boys sampled one of the “cookies” and declared them delicious. There was no time to make another batch. It was sink or swim. After texting my daughter and a couple friends for some quick advice, as well as my grandson’s input, I decided to cut them into squares and rectangles and send them with my husband. 

He reported back the men went crazy over them, they LOVED them. One of them even asked if he could take a few home. The plate came back with one lone cookie on it. I think no one wanted to take the last one. The next day, I received a text from one of the wives asking for the recipe. Ha! 



I later determined the cookies were flat due to my omission of 1 cup of flour (recipe called for 2 ¼ and I had added 1 ¼ ). I viewed the cookies as a failure because of their appearance. They looked like losers, least likely to be successful, an embarrassment, throwaways, failures, not even registering a vote in a popularity contest.
The LORD does not look at the things people look at.
People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
 1 Samuel 16:7b




As I reflected on the flat cookies and their success despite how they looked, I was reminded that God can use any of us, regardless of our shapes, sizes, or view of our own abilities.  People look at our outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. It’s often the broken people of this world, the nobodies, the ones who were NOT voted “most likely to succeed” in high school that God chooses to use. Ask God how He can use you! Ask with a heart willing to serve and wait for the opportunities to unfold.  

The Best Chewy Sugar Cookies Recipe
pinterest link: Click here to pin sugar cookies recipe


This post may be linked to: Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth, Trekking Through,


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Brighten the Corner Where you Are






Brighten the Corner Where You Are
~ Helen Steiner Rice ~ 


We cannot all be famous
Or be listed in “Who’s Who,”
But every person great or small
Has important work to do,

For seldom do we realize
The importance of small deeds
Or to what degree of greatness
Unnoticed kindness leads—

For it’s not the big celebrity
In a world of fame and praise,
But it’s doing unpretentiously
In undistinguished ways

The work that God assigned to us,
Unimportant as it seems,
That makes our task outstanding
And brings reality to dreams—

So do not sit and idly wish
For wider, new dimensions
Where you can put in practice
Your many “good intentions”—

But at the spot God placed you
Begin at once to do
Little things to brighten up
The lives surrounding you,

For if everybody brightened up
The spot on which they’re standing
By being more considerate
And a little less demanding,

This dark old world would very soon
Eclipse the “Evening Star”
If everybody brightened up
The corner where they are!


I thought the expression "bloom where you're planted" went hand in hand with this poem by Helen Steiner Rice. No matter our circumstances, living arrangements, status in society, or financial means - we can be used by God. Ask Him how and He'll open quiet opportunities that will bless you and others in abundance.

I remember a time I was visiting in a nursing home. I saw a woman in a wheelchair with her head hung down, looking at the floor.  She lifted her head and looked around a bit. When our eyes met, I smiled at her. Her countenance changed before me and she lit up with a broad grin as if she were in the midst of a beautiful garden of flowers and birds. I'll never forget that. A small insignificant act on my part seemed to make such a difference in someone's day.

Why not look for opportunities to brighten the corner where you are. Have a blessed day my friends. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sharing a Burden with Prayer



Have you ever had a friend call you with a burden they needed to share? I have had such an occasion a number of times this past week. As I reflected back, I have prayed on the phone with three different women in a short span of time.

The first time I recall praying on the phone with someone, was at their request. A friend called me and asked me to pray with her. I was a little apprehensive, but of course didn't refuse her. It turned out to be a blessing for both of us. I'm so happy she asked me to do that as it opened a door for me to step out of my comfortable place and encourage many since that first phone prayer.

Praying with someone, or praying over the phone takes "I'll pray for you" to the next level.  Of the three women who shared their burdens with me this past week, one called specifically for me to pray. With the other two women, I asked them if I could pray on the phone with them. Yes! was the response.

Bear ye one another's burdens,
and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2


How does one bear another's burden?
  • ask God for wisdom
  • be a good listener
  • keep their confidence
  • pray with them & for them
  • a note of encouragement in the mail
  • text an encouraging scripture
Would you like to be an encourager in your circle of family and friends? Ask God to open opportunities for you, and He will. I guarantee it will be a blessing for both of you.

Have a blessed day my friends.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Singing Birds Poem


All day long the birds are singing
Sweetest songs that seem to rise
From their tiny throats far-reaching,
Even to the distant skies.

Then at night they rest securely,
Nestled close within their nest,
And the Father safely watches
Every little feathered breast.

Likewise we when night approaches,
Lay our weary heads to rest,
For we know that God will watch us
as He does the bird's wee nest.

~ Josephine Currier ~ 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Independence Day ~ 4th of July


Now the Lord is the Spirit, 
and where the Spirit of the Lord is, 
there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17



The 4th of July in America is a time of celebration with parades, fireworks, cookouts; a day off from work; a long weekend. However on July 4, 1776, under the threat of death, fifty-six brave men signed a Declaration of Independence from England. Those who signed, knew their signature would be a sacrifice.

Of those fifty-six men who signed:
  • nine died of wounds during the war; 
  • five were captured and imprisoned; 
  • several lost their wives, children or entire family
  • they were all victims of manhunts  
  • driven from their homes;
  • twelve had their homes burned; 
  • seventeen lost everything they owned. 
Freedom came at a high price for the men who founded our country.

The Declaration of Independence tells us: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. 
Our founding fathers recognized the God of the Bible when they formed our governmental system.

Most of the patriotic hymns acknowledge and give praise to God.



Francis Scott Key wrote our National Anthem "The Star Spangled Banner" during the war of 1812:

Blest with victory and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land,

Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto, In God is our trust.

"My Country, 'Tis of Thee" was written by Samuel Smith, 1831 and sung at a 4th of July celebration in Boston, that same year.

Our fathers’ God, to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our king.



America is known as "the land of the free" however freedom has never been free, it comes with a cost, which is often blood. God set the example when He purchased our freedom from sin at a high cost. God offers each of us salvation as a free gift through the blood of His son Jesus. Our debt has been paid.

The freedom the world offers is temporary ~ spiritual freedom is eternal.

I'll close with some wise words by Abraham Lincoln - “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right”.

And you shall know the truth,
and the truth shall make you free.

John 8:32


 


Have a blessed day my friends.