Tuesday, December 12, 2017

25 Days God Given Gifts ~ Day 12 ~ HOPE

May the God of hope fill you with all joy
 and peace as you trust in him. Romans 15:13a





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.




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If you'd like to see all the posts in this series so far, you can follow this link:
25 Days of God Given Gifts

This link will take you to a free pdf that goes along with this series.
25 Days God Given Gifts & Scripture 

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Monday, December 11, 2017

25 Days God Given Gifts - Day 11 - REST

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. When my grandson was a baby, he lacked the words to express himself and at naptime or bedtime, would lay in his crib 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

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If you'd like to see all the posts in this series so far, you can follow this link:
25 Days of God Given Gifts

This link will take you to a free pdf that goes along with this series.
25 Days God Given Gifts & Scripture 

These images I post 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. 

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Sunday, December 10, 2017

25 Days of God Given Gifts - Day 10 - 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


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. If the lyrics have spoken to you, please follow the link below to the video. 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.  O 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 

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If you'd like to see all the posts in this series so far, you can follow this link:
25 Days of God Given Gifts
This link will take you to a free pdf that goes along with this series.
25 Days God Given Gifts & Scripture 

These images I post 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. 

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Thank you.



Saturday, December 9, 2017

25 Days of God Given Gifts - Day 9 - 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.





If you'd like to see all the posts in this series so far, you can follow this link:

25 Days of God Given Gifts
This link will take you to a free pdf that goes along with this series.
25 Days God Given Gifts & Scripture 

These images I post 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. 

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Friday, December 8, 2017

25 Days of God Given Gifts - Day 8 - SALVATION

25 Days of God Given Gifts
December 8th
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 we 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.  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


If you'd like to see all the posts in this series so far, you can follow this link:
25 Days of God Given Gifts
This link will take you to a free pdf that goes along with this series. 25 Days God Given Gifts & Scripture 

These images I post 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. 

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Thank you.



Thursday, December 7, 2017

25 Days God Given Gifts - Day 7 - 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



This link will take you to a free pdf that goes along with this series. 25 Days God Given Gifts & Scripture 

These images I post 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. 

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Thank you for following this series.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

25 Days God Given Gifts - Day 6 - WISDOM


25 Days of God Given Gifts
Day 6 ~  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.

I’ll close today with the words of Evangelist D.L. Moody and his perspective on reading the Bible.  You can hear the enthusiasm for God’s word in Moody’s writing:


The Bible is one book that you can never finish with. It is like a bottomless well; you can always find fresh truth gushing forth from its pages.  The flowers of God's garden bloom not only double, but sevenfold; they are continually pouring forth fresh fragrance.  I thank God there is a height in the Book that I have never been able to reach, a depth that I have never been able to fathom.

Evangelist D.L. Moody,   (1837-1899)




This link will take you to a free pdf that goes along with this series. 25 Days God Given Gifts & Scripture 

These images I post 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. 

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Thank you for following this series.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Advent Series ~ Day 5 ~ 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, the hymn Amazing Grace is probably the most popular hymn in the English language.  John Newton was a slave trader before coming to know Jesus.  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 for following this series. I trust this series will be an encouragement to you. 



This link will take you to a free pdf that goes along with this series. 25 Days God Given Gifts & Scripture 

These images I post 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. 

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Monday, December 4, 2017

Advent Series ~ Day 4 ~ STRENGTH


25 Days of God Given Gifts
December 4rd - STRENGTH
I can do all this through him 
who gives me strength. 
Philippians 4:13


STRENGTH - Power 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 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 lost both parents before the age of six, was adopted, and later in her teens afflicted with painful, crippling arthritis.  Her fingers became closed and rigid; it was even difficult to turn her head.  She took to writing poetry.  In one account I read, she used her knuckles to type out the words on a typewriter.  Another account tells how she painfully penned the words with her crippled hands.
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.  

The last thirty years of her life were spent bedridden and in pain, but Annie didn't let that stop her from continuing to do the Lord’s work that He had laid on her heart.  

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 ~

Here is a free pdf that goes along with this series. Link below. 

These images I post 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. 

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Sunday, December 3, 2017

Advent Series ~ Day 3 ~ DELIVERANCE


25 Days of God Given Gifts
December 3rd - 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 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.

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. 

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. If you'd like to receive an email each time I post, you can sign up here: 

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Thank you, I hope this series will be a blessing to you.