What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Happy SONday!

 I hope you are having a wonderful SONday today! We are so blessed to be able to worship God freely in our country, and I pray that NEVER changes!  

In case you aren't able to attend church where you live, here is a link to our Sunday worship service. Our pastor records his message each week ahead of time, and our choir also records our special music for the day so that those who aren't able to attend in person can worship with us.

If you'd like to sing along with our song, or at least be able to understand all the words to this very beautiful song, here are the lyrics to "And He's Ever Interceding"

"Someone to go the extra mile, just like a mother caring for her child;
A friend who sticks thro’ think and thin, 
no matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been.
Just like one great big family; a stronger, older brother He will be;
So quick and ready to defend, the younger, weaker to the end.

And He’s ever interceding to the Father for His children
Yes, He’s ever interceding to the Father for His own.
Thro’ Him you can reach the Father, so bring Him all your heavy burdens;
Yes, for you He’s interceding, so come boldly to the throne.

Just like sheep we’d gone astray, struggling ‘neath a debt we could not pay;
Not ever hoping to renew the love and fellowship that we once knew.
But He began to intercede, crying, “Father, please forgive, I plead;”
And as the nails pierced in His hands, God once again reached out to man!

And He’s ever interceding to the Father for His children
Yes, He’s ever interceding to the Father for His own.
Thro’ Him you can reach the Father, so bring Him all your heavy burdens;
Yes, for you He’s interceding, so come boldly to the throne.
So come boldly to the throne. So come boldly to the throne."

Such a powerful message of comfort and hope and love...to know that Jesus is always interceding on our behalf to God the Father...and He's always there, ready to carry our heavy burdens, "so come boldly to the throne!"

I am sure you will also enjoy the sermon from the book of James 1:17-27.  One particular part of this message that I got was from verses 22-25, about being a "doer of the word and not hearers only".  Sometimes we HEAR the Word of God and we think we have done well to hear it...but if we don't put it to use in our hearts and lives, then we are deceiving ourselves into thinking we are okay because we went to church and heard a nice sermon.  We are supposed to be applying what we have heard to our own personal lives and being changed by God's Word day by day...we should be acting upon what we have heard and reaching out to others with the love of Christ in whatever way possible.  

I think this past year with the restrictions we have been living under, we have kind of given ourselves an excuse to not become involved too much in other people's lives. It is very convenient to hide behind a mask and use "social distancing" as a way to keep from reaching out to those who may be lonely, hurting, or in need of some human companionship.  But there are ways to still encourage one another even without the physical connection, (even though we still need that connection more than we realize).  Phone calls, cards, visiting with appropriate safety procedures in place...whatever the need may be.   We have not been given a pass to ignore the plights of those who may need our help in whatever way we are capable of doing.  I am preaching to myself here.  Writing our blogs can be a way of reaching out to others with words of hope, love and even some much needed laughter.  Let us focus on ways to encourage and uplift one another as much as possible...we all need it!

I know there may be some who don't fully appreciate or understand my recent "obsession" with a cute little dolly named Lily Grace.  But I hope if you have concerns for my sanity or if I may be lapsing into senility...please at least come over and visit with us first before passing judgment too quickly.  Lily Grace was a gift who has become a gift to many others with her winsome, happy, joyful ways. She has been such a blessing to me in the enacting of looking at life through the eyes of a small child again...and I hope and pray she will be just that for you as well.  I don't know how long I will be able to keep up with her as she certainly has more energy that I do...but for however long God will continue to provide the enthusiasm and imagination to make her little adventures come to life in a way that is uplifting to others, I will do my best to share them with you!  
Here's Lily Grace all dressed up for Sunday School today. 

Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 18:2-4:

2. "Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3. and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 4. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

Here is a link to her latest adventure entitled "God Made Everything Beautiful".  I hope you will take the time to come along and enjoy this little adventure with me. 
Hope you have a wonderful day!! Come see us again soon, okay?

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Small Blessings

 Good Morning!  I hope you are having a wonderful Saturday morning!  We are having a beautiful day here so far...41 degrees and the sun is coming up and it should be a beautiful day to go out and enjoy some of God's special Small Blessings  .  I hope you will come over and visit us at The Adventures of Lily Grace, as she has some wonderful things to share with us about "Small Blessings".  

Have a wonderful day!!

Friday, January 29, 2021

Friday Foto Friends

 Good Afternoon Friday Foto Friends! Sorry to be so late in posting, but if you've been following the saga of Lily Grace this past week, you will understand why!  This little girl has totally consumed my blogging time, and so it was only right that this week's Friday Foto Friends would also be over at Lily's place...so I hope you won't mind  goingHERE to The Adventures of Lily Grace for this week's Friday Foto Friends entitled, "Let Heaven and Nature Sing".  

For those of you who have actually signed up as a friend/follower of Lily Grace, I thank you so much. We are having so much fun, and I hope you are enjoying her adventures as much as I am.  I will be back here to my regular Closed Doors and Open Windows again soon, but for now Lily Grace is just too full of adventure for me to ignore!

Hope you have a blessed and wonderful weekend! Sometimes you just gotta stop and smell the roses...or in this case, the wild plum blossoms!!  Life's too short to miss out on all the fun adventures waiting out there for us to enjoy!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Wednesday Treasures ~ Stand Still and Consider

Click  here for  "Stand Still and Consider"  the wondrous works of God with Lily Grace as we have more fun adventures today!  I know you may be looking for my "Wednesday Treasures", but for right now this is my "Wednesday Treasure".  I will be posting here again, but I can't quite keep up with two blog posts every day, so I hope you come along and enjoy "The Adventures of Lily Grace" with me!  It is amazing how much we can learn by looking through the eyes of a child again...we just might learn something that we never knew before!!

I hope you are all having a blessed week. I am trying to keep up with everyone, but I tell you, this going on an adventure every day can be pretty tiring for an "old lady" like me! LOL.  

Thank you again for visiting us over at Lily's place.  I do hope you will enjoy it along with me!

Love to all,

Pam and Lily Grace.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Tuesday 4: Rejoice!!


Hello and welcome to Tuesday 4 dedicated to the memory of Toni Taddeo, the founder.

Lets rejoice today!

1. What makes you rejoice the most?
  Oh, this is a loaded question!  First of all, Jesus makes me rejoice the most! Knowing Jesus as my personal Savior is the very best thing that ever happened to me. He changed my life and gave me hope and so much JOY. Now every day is a new day, and I can REJOICE because I know that I am beloved, forgiven, and going to heaven someday to live with Jesus forever!   That is what makes me rejoice the most.  "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow"

This is a picture of me (from last year), which shows me feeling pretty joyful!

2. What song makes you feel joyful or happy?  
Oh there are SO many. I could hand you a few old hymnbooks and we could go through and sing almost every one of them, and that would answer that question. Then there is Handel's Messiah, and the Hallelujah Chorus! and "How Great Thou Art", and one that we used to sing in Sunday School when we were little, "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart! Down in my heart! Down in my heart! I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart! Down in my heart to stay!"   Oh, there are SO many songs! Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so, little ones to Him belong. They are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so!"

3. Do sounds of nature give you a joyous feeling? Most definitely!! I love to hear the birds singing in the treetops...they are singing out their songs of praise and joy every day! They just sing their heart out, because they know that God is taking care of them.  I love to hear the geese honking in the morning, I love to hear the sounds of a gentle brook babbling over rocks, I love to the hear the pound of the ocean surf against the shore...and the powerful roar of a waterfall as it rushes over the cliff and plunges to the river below.  I love to hear the wind in the treetops, singing and sighing as they sway to and fro.  I especially love the sounds of rain on a tin roof and could sit out on our porch and listen to it all day long.

4. How about holidays? Do you really rejoice or just kind of show up? I absolutely enjoy the holidays most of all...the sights, the sounds, the laughter, the food, the family, the fellowship, the songs, the traditions, the unique festivities that go with each every one of them that make them special...The Christmas tree, the Easter Baskets and the empty Cross on Easter morning.  I love to wave our American flag on the 4th of July and all other patriotic holidays.  I relish every moment of our holidays and don't ever want to lose them. They are what makes our country unique and special...our customs and traditions and festivals and parades and decorations...May we never lose that joy and beauty here in our nation as well as in our personal homes and lives.

Thanks for joining in.  Oh, this was something I could write about all day.  And now I wanted to share one more thing that gives me joy...my new little friend Lily Grace! She is helping me to see life through the eyes of a little child again...every day is bright and new and cheerful when seen through her perspective.  I did not ask for her to be sent to me, but apparently God knew that I needed such a special blessing and whispered it into the ears of my dear blogging friend "Aunt Debbi" (as Lily calls her).  I love it when people actually follow through with the thoughts and ideas that seem to be inspired by a totally unfettered spirit of love and generosity with no thought of gaining praise or return.  That is how we should all be...just ready to listen and act when God shows us special things that He wants us to do. This has taught me already some valuable lessons.  And just yesterday Lily Grace was learning all about JOY! You can join in and follow her adventures here: https://adventuresoflilygrace.blogspot.com/2021/01/lily-grace-learns-about-joy.html

Now let us go see how others are rejoicing today!!  Thank  you Annie!

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Come Visit The Adventures of Lily Grace

 Hello friends!! I am doing something a little different these days...I have started a new blog entitled "The Adventures of Lily Grace".   I hope you will come over and visit with us there and help Lily get her special blog going.  I will be back here at Closed Doors, Open Windows still, but right now I am trying to get this started and need to devote more time to it.  I hope you will enjoy this little series of stories. I would love to hear what you think about it.  

I hope you will enjoy The Adventures of Lily Grace! We are having so much fun!!

Friday, January 22, 2021

An "Unmerited Favor"

 NEWS UPDATE:  Please see on the sidebar of my blog that there is link to "The Adventures of Lily Grace".  Lily is going to have her own blog and will be sharing her adventures with us as she writes letters to her "Aunt Debbi and Identical Cousin Tracie".  If you enjoyed this, I think you will enjoy Lily's blog. The first episode is pretty much the same as this post, but it will be changing with new excitement and fun with every post. I hope you will come visit Lily Grace at her own new blog! (which is still under construction, so bear with me...)

The other day I mentioned that a blogging friend was sending me an unexpected gift (HERE), and I promised to share it with you when it arrived.

Here she is! I know you are probably wondering why someone would send me such a sweet doll in the mail!  Well, I wondered the same thing at first when my friend said she had found this doll and was going to send it to me.  You see, this dear friend loves dolls much like I do...and she had shared a picture of her doll just like this on her blog. (I am not going to share her name because I wouldn't want to put her on the spot...but she is a very thoughtful and giving person).  I happened to mention that I loved her doll and thought she was so very cute and sweet and fun.  And the next thing I knew, she had found one for me and was sending it! Oh my! I was so surprised and somewhat amazed.  I certainly never intended for her to go out and buy this doll for me...but she wanted to "bless me" with this doll...she said it gave her joy to do so.  And you know what? It gave me such joy to just think about the fact that this cute little doll was on her way to me that I felt much like an expectant mother waiting for her baby to be born! 

Before my friend put the doll in the mail, she took a series of pictures of her "seeing the sights" around her town so that she would have some adventures to tell us about when she arrived here. My friend prepared her with as much information as she knew to give her about our home and where we live  and what to expect...but of course she would have to wait until she got here to see it all for herself.
Well, when I told my hubby that we were about to have a new little member added to our family, I was afraid he might think I'd slipped a cog or something...but do you know what that sweet man said? "Well we'd better come up with a name for her!" Oh my! He was absolutely right! We couldn't name her the same thing that her identical twin was named...(whom we decided would be an identical twin cousin, much like the Patty Duke show...remember them? Well, if you don't you must be much younger (or older) than I am).   However, we both agreed that we would wait until she arrived to decide on her name...much like we did with our three sons.  We tossed different names around, but didn't make a final decision until we saw them face to face. (Of course, when they were coming along we never knew whether or not they were a boy or a girl until they were born. That's how long ago THAT was!)  And that is what we decided we would do with this new little friend. 

So today was THE day. I had actually been out to breakfast with a dear friend from church, who just happens to be named "Pamela"!! I invited her in to see our house and to visit a little more, when the mail-lady pulled up in front of our house and started honking her horn! I ran outside and saw that she had this package, and I knew then that our new little friend had arrived!
Here I am feverishly trying to extricate the sweet little dolly from her box. They sure do make packaging so difficult these days... 

Finally she was free and able to "breathe" some fresh air!  

Thankfully, my friend Pamela is a "Kindred Spirit" and totally loved the doll as much as I did. I think she would have liked to have taken her home with her...but that wasn't going to happen...

This cute little girl with her flowers in her hair and tie dyed t-shirt and long lace coat, boots and guitar with a karaoke machine and a microphone was going to stay here with us and liven this old place up a bit! LOL.

And so we started right away with trying to come up with a name...and we all agreed we would just wait a while and a name would come to us.  While we were examining all of her little special gifts and things that came with her, I heard my hubby say something from his chair where he was sitting and trying not to act like he was too interested...I heard him say, "I think her name should be "Lily".  
My friend Pamela and I looked at each other and agreed! "Lily" was a lovely name for this "flower child"!   It suited her perfectly. Also, my hubby went on to say that his paternal grandmother's name was "Lillian", and so "Lily" would be short for "Lillian".  I then added the middle name of Grace. Lillian Grace. Grace because she is an "unexpected blessing".  "Unmerited favor" is the biblical definition for "Grace".  And Lily is just that...an "unexpected gift", an undeserved favor...from a very special friend!
And so please meet the newest member of our family:
"Lily"...or "Lillian Grace".

The first thing Lily wanted to see was "the big pond".

She was pretty amazed at how big it was and hopes to see some geese or ducks tomorrow. They weren't out there this afternoon.

Next she watched me write a note to our dear friend who sent her to us, letting her know that she had arrived safely!

Then Lily wanted to meet her new "family" here, and they were all quite excited to meet her as well. They had a little tea party for her and even brought some cake. Lily played some songs on her guitar for them and they all sang together. As you can see, Lily is quite the modern young lady compared to the rest of this group. She will definitely be a fun and lively new addition to the "family".

Later in the evening our "big kids" came over for pizza:

And they were very "happy" to meet Lily.  
We decided that she kind of takes after "Aunt Sherrie" a bit. 

It's nice that our family members are all good sports and like to humor me with my dolls and toys and things...

And so that is the story of "Lily Grace"...
and it is to be continued, you can rest assured of that. I think she will be taking me out for a lot of new adventures! I don't believe she will be content to just sit at home and have tea parties!

So until next time...why not be an unexpected blessing to someone else today...
Let us be givers of "unmerited grace" to others who may be in need of a lift to their spirits.
God is teaching me a lot about this lately.
Thank You, Lord.
(And thank you to my very special friend...you know who you are!)

Friday Foto Friends: Hidden in the Secret Place

Good Friday morning from Still Waters Pond! It's time for some Friday Fotos! Wasn't sure what I would have to show you that I hadn't already posted earlier this week, but then this beautiful Red Shouldered Hawk flew into our pine tree just outside the back porch overlooking the pond, and stayed long enough for me to catch a few pictures before he flew away.

If you think he looks like he is hiding from something, you may be correct.
There were several big crows flying around and pestering him and loudly cawing back and forth to try and drive him away. So he flew into this tree and crouched down under the branches to get a little bit of cover from their onslaughts.

Sadly I felt like I could identify with him, although hawks are predators and he may have been too close to the crow's nest...that I don't know...but they sure did make a racket and let him know that they didn't like him in their territory under any circumstances.

Sometimes we feel like we are being hammered by the enemy and we just need to hide away for a while  until they get tired of yelling at us and go away.

And then, when we feel like the coast is clear...when it seems safe enough to stick our neck back out there and look around...

We take one last quick look, and then take off as fast as we can for the next safe limb, farther away from their jeers and intimidating swoops that were intended to strike fear in our hearts and minds so they could feel more powerful than us.

We look for a safer spot where we can get a better look at our enemies and prepare for our next move, which in the case of this hawk was a flight across the pond to a more protected vantage point further away.

King David had similar experiences with his enemies, and this is what he wrote in thanks and praise to Almighty God for His protection:

Psalm 27:5-6 NKJV

"5. For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.

6.  And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord."

Psalm 28:6-7
6. "Blessed be the LORD
because He has heard the voice of my supplications!
7.  The LORD is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
and with my song I will praise Him."

Perhaps we needed this lesson from the hawk today to give us encouragement and hope. It certainly spoke to my heart, and I hope it will to you as well, in case you ever find yourself feeling like this hawk probably felt.  I know we usually think of the hawk as the enemy, but not in this scenario. He was being bombarded by the loud, noisy, "know it all" crows. They were the bullies, taunting him and being obnoxious and very disturbing.  The hawk really had no other recourse to defend himself except to find a place of refuge for a while until they got tired of pestering him. The hawk took the low road...he hid himself for a little while until they gave up, and then his head "was lifted up above his enemies" and he could move on to safety.  I actually found myself rooting and cheering for the hawk.  I was happy to see him escape those pesky crows and get to higher ground where he was safe. I think I heard him give a victory cry as he flew across the pond and foiled the plans of those who sought to harm him. 

Notice that the scripture verse above says "my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me"... (Psalm 27:6).  To me this means that God literally lifted up King David's head above his enemies.  God gave him the strength and power to overcome the evils that surrounded him on every side.  David knew that without God's help he was helpless. He acknowledges that it is the LORD who is his strength and shield. "My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped."  May we also recognize that it is God who gives us our strength and shield in the time of trouble...and put our trust solely in Him.

"And with my song I will praise Him."

Just some good food for thought for us today as we deal with the enemies of our lives.
Keep looking up toward heaven...God always has a better plan.

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, January 21, 2021

More Unexpected Blessings

 I am writing this on Wednesday evening, but it is intended to be posted for Thursday...we shall see...I may go ahead and post it tonight. Let's see what develops as I write...

This morning I reposted an old post from about 9 years ago entitled Unexpected GiftsIt just seemed appropriate to share it again after so many years, and especially on a day when I think many of us were needing some encouraging thoughts.  I was listing some of the many ways God has surprised us through the years with "unexpected gifts"...blessings from "out of the blue" that were a total surprise to us.  The neat thing about most of them was the timing...in every instance it seemed as though these "gifts" were sent to us one way or the other at a time when we needed it most.  Only God could have orchestrated that because He was truly the only One Who knew what we needed and when. That is what made these events so significant in our minds.

Today (Wednesday, January 20, 2021), was another of those kind of days. This morning as we watched  our President and the First Lady bid farewell and walk up those steps into Air Force One for the last time, it was a rather emotional moment for us, and I expect for many of you as well. If not, well, then, just please just try to appreciate and respect the rest of this story because it was special for me.  

As I stood there watching them depart on Air Force One, it was a bit overwhelming in many respects. And I was at the point where I couldn't bear to watch another minute of the news broadcast as things were shifting from one story to another.  Right at that very moment my husband called my attention to the window to look out into the back yard at this sight:

Yes, Goldfinches all over the thistle seed sock that I had recently hung up in the back yard in hopes they would come.  And they chose this very moment to show up!

What a delightful and joyful time this was to watch! They were flying in and out from the trees faster than we could keep track of them.  

And then, almost as fast as they came, they were gone again...but they accomplished their mission. Not only did they help take our minds off of a very difficult moment, but they also gave us hope.

Here is what I believe God was telling me:

Do Not Worry  (Matthew 6:25-34)

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

After this we decided to turn off the TV (news) for the rest of the day, and we went and took our morning walk:

It was so peaceful there, and I could hear many little birds twittering through the trees...possibly more finches and chickadees and Tufted Titmice.  They were going about their morning routine of finding insects and things to eat and singing happily as they flew about...without a care in the world. Again...God was taking care of them...and I know He cares for me...

I took a picture of this little oak tree showing off it's beautiful red leaves as a last nod to autumn here in Florida. The sunlight was shining through the leaves giving them such a glorious scarlet hue...yes, it is just a scrubby little wild oak tree, but it was decked out in its most beautiful dress and it seemed to want to be noticed, and so here you are...another unexpected "gift"...

We came back home and I stayed busy baking banana nut bread,

(had a couple of overripe bananas calling out to me that it was time to do something with them before it was too late!) 
Oh, and I already had made some blueberry bran muffins for breakfast
 because I had some blueberries that were starting to dehydrate in the refrigerator also calling out to me to do something! 
 And then, while the banana nut bread was baking in the oven, hubby was "calling out to me" and said something about cookies...and so I whipped up a batch of coconut pecan cookies. 

I guess you could say these were "unexpected gifts", because I never expected to do all of that today, but the overripe bananas and blueberries and the need for cookies for the "cookie monster" all came together at the same time to inspire me to go on a baking spree. Doesn't happen all that often anymore, so gotta get them while they last!  Kind of looks like a bakery here!  (It smelled like one too, while they were baking! Yum!)

After lunch and our "afternoon nap" (yes...after all that work I needed one!) we took another walk. As soon as we drove down the little dirt road to our usual spot to park the car, I looked up in the top of a very tall pine tree and saw this beautiful hawk sitting up there watching us.

Because of the brightness of the afternoon sun the lighting is kind of difficult to see his full colors, but I believe he is a Red Shouldered Hawk, which is typical for that area.

Just as I was getting up and out of the car to step a little closer, he flew away...but I considered him another one of those unexpected gifts for today...because I was grumbling on my way over there that I wanted to walk somewhere different for a change because we rarely ever see many birds or other interesting things on this walk...and God just had to show me that I was wrong...He had this surprise waiting for me.

To top it off for this week, in one day I received two different messages from two people that I've never met in person...both bloggers...one that I've really only read a couple of times and made some nice comments, and the other has become a special friend who has very similar interests...anyway, they each are surprising me with something special coming in the mail soon! Totally out of the blue! When these things arrive I will be sure to share them with you...but wow! In one day to receive two such special "unexpected gifts"...well...all I can say is God is so good. He knows how to bless His children and sometimes He goes above and beyond to do so.
All I can say is, Thank You, Lord. I don't deserve such grace and mercy and love.
But Jesus loves to bless His children.

So, if you are feeling a bit discouraged or sad or disappointed...or worried about the future...keep looking up...up...up! Up to Jesus...because He has promised to take care of His children.  He knows what we need even before we do...and often the "unexpected gift" is already on its way before we even realize we are in need of being blessed. It's not always material things...it may just be a lift to your spirits...a touch of healing...a comforting warmth that comes over you when you need to feel loved or remembered...a word of encouragement or an answer to a prayer. 

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." 
Proverbs 25:11

(internet photo)

Have a blessed and beautiful day today...and be sure to keep an eye out for those little "unexpected gifts" that God may be sending your way! I hope you will write them down when they happen and share them with us if you can.  Sometimes they may be too personal to share, but just the acknowledgement that something special blessed you is an encouragement to the rest of us!
Be Blessed!

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Wednesday Treasures: Unexpected "Gifts" Revisited

Note: January 20, 2021.  I originally wrote this post on 7/22/2012.  In searching for something "new" to share with you today for my "Wednesday Treasures", I was led to this post and thought it was a "treasure" for sure.  On this day when many of us are trying to stay focused on positive things and away from the media, perhaps a review of some of God's "miraculous, spontaneous gifts" in your life as well as in mine might a a good exercise for our hearts and minds.  So as you read through my little list of "gifts", which are really treasures, maybe you will be reminded of some special "gifts" that came to your life at just the right time...something out of the blue that you weren't expecting but that God knew you needed and provided it for you right on time.   So read on and hopefully you will be blessed and encouraged today:

Original Post 7/22/2012:

One of my new blogging friends made a comment on my last "Random Journal Day" post, "Saved from the Abyss by God's Miraculous Intervention", that the two items mentioned in the story, the song of the Meadowlark, and the "smiling" rose, were gifts.  Until my friend pointed this out, I had not really thought of them as "gifts", but indeed they were.  They were gifts sent from God at precisely the right moment to rescue me back from the edge of an abyss that was tempting me to take a step closer to the brink of my own destruction.  Not that I would have done anything really crazy, at least looking back now I don't think I would have...but then again, perhaps God saw something different and sent His messengers to call me back just in time.

Thinking of these miraculous, spontaneous events as "gifts" got me to thinking about other things that have happened in my life that were gifts from God to encourage me or rescue me, or even just to delight me at a time that I needed it most. Without becoming too specific, I will list a few...
  • A phone call from a dear friend at a time when only God could have told her I needed her to call.
  • A card or note in the mail from someone, with words of hope and love and perhaps a little tea-bag enclosed to give me a refreshing reminder of a precious friend.
  • An unexpected monetary gift from a loved one, at precisely the exact moment we needed it...and the exact amount that was required to be paid...and that individual did not know anything about that particular need.
  • Miraculous intervention from the action of a friend's phone call...who changed the course of the doctor's plans at a most critical time just prior to our son's brain surgery...that very possibly saved our son's life.
  • Someone repaying a debt to us that we never expected to receive in this lifetime...and again, at exactly the moment we needed it most.
  • Meeting a new friend who seemed to be able to look right into my heart and see how badly I needed a friend at that time.
  • A song heard on the radio while driving myself to work, that blessed me so completely that I almost had to pull off the road and take time to worship and praise God right then and there.
  • An owl appearing in front of me at the precise moment I needed a sign from God that my Daddy had reached heaven's gate...that was definitely a "God-gift"  (click on this link for "The Last Farewell"
  • A beautiful and precious gift of a baby doll, sent from a dear friend whom I have never met personally...made especially for me...just because she wanted to show me God's love at a difficult time in my life...(Click on this link for "Baby Elva's Story" )
Well, you get the idea...I have to stop or I will never be able to post this story because the list just goes on and on. 

Of course the Greatest Gift of all is the Gift of Jesus Christ, My Savior and Lord, Who gave HIMSELF for me, when I most definitely did not deserve His mercy and grace and love.  And He stands ready to present Himself to you as well, if you have not yet accepted His free gift of salvation.  (Ephesians 2:8-10)

I hope that this little exercise has caused you to think about the gifts you have received in your life, and perhaps it might be a good idea to begin your own list. It also makes me want to be more sensitive to ways I can bless others with special "God-Gifts". Once we start thinking this way, we will be amazed at all of the things God will bring to our minds...and we will have to break out into spontaneous praise! His love is so amazing...His mercy so unfailing, His grace is so undeserved...What more can I say? 

Thank You, Dear Lord
for Your blessings on me.
And please help me to be a
blessing to others each day.