Gifts 2017 #23 Christmas Cards

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Christmas Countdown: Christmas Cards and notes are a gift! Christmas cards can cheer, encourage, lift a lonely soul, update, inform, or simply send a greeting. Praise the Lord for ones that explain the true meaning of Christ, or simply display the wonder of a Heavenly King coming as a manger baby to save a dying world.
I was blessed to receive 13 greetings… 6 by postal mail, 1 at church, 3 by email, 2 by Facebook Inbox, and one delightful international surprise phone call from my Australian daughter Andi! 🙂

Below are some of the cards. Some cannot be displayed or mentioned of sender or what country they serve as missionaries. But because they can see this post, I want to say, “Thank you! Merry Christmas! Praying for you! Me and God love you!”

From LeneinJapan (Wrestling with Faith – Dancing with Jesus, and Song of Virginity)

 

From a long time dear friend at my stepdad’s church friend

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From another dear church friend where our sons were in youth group together.

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From a long time family friend I know through my mom.

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From my Canadian friend of the Quill 😉 Sayer Teller of Oaken Wood

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I will be using this one to say Merry Christmas to each and every one of you! It’s a picture I took years ago of one I had but lost. I do not remember who sent it, but it is so beautiful! Happy Birthday to that little darling in the manger. ❤ I love you, Jesus!

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Gifts 2017 #2 My Son Anthoni, Church, Rest

Christmas Countdown: Anthoni has been my gift from the Lord from the moment God answered my prayers with his arrival. Those little arms, precious hugs, & loving smiles grew into a caring young man, who has had a special thing with the Lord all on his own from the womb. I can’t explain everything, but I sure can appreciate & praise the Lord for allowing me to be a part of it! Thank you, God, for entrusting me with your gift. ❤ Love u both ❤ God 1st… & praise you that Anthoni completely understands THAT truthful statement & LOVES it like that! ❤

The house of the Lord (aka church) is a gift! If we would put as much focus on making God welcome in His house as we do for us in our own, how amazing would the house of the Lord be glorified.

Rest is a GIFT: Praise the Lord for a day of rest, and for a God who promises rest unto his people. A season of rest is such a beautiful gift from God, ESPECIALLY when one is so run down. Revive us again, O Lord, in your perfect rest. Even you rested after creating the world 🙂 We love you! ❤

“Asking Myself” Lovely A’s 50 Questions

  1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
    However old I really am. 😉 If I were able to be how old I feel, I would be 21! It’s the closest age to being a child without having to give up my legal rights. But I have no right to my life. It belongs to Christ. I freely gave it to Him because He gave His for me. ❤ I am the age He has given.
  2. Which is worse, failing or never trying?
    Depends if God is saying “Do” or “Be still and know that I am God”
  3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
    Paul addressed that very thing in Romans 7. It’s because we are in the flesh until the day we die, therefore evil is present despite the good.
  4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
    That depends on God’s will for my life… if God says, “Speak of these things” or “Keep Guard over the door of thy mouth”
  5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
    That ALL would know and love the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost!
  6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
    God’s will… Lord willing, that would be writing.
  7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
    I am doing what I believe in… trusting God with my life.
  8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
    There are things I would like to change, but I trust I am who I am in Christ by leading the life that God designed and allowed specifically for me.
  9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
    0% God has always had control and always will!
  10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
    They should be the same, but if I am doing God’s will, both are covered.
  11. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire. They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. The criticism is distasteful and unjustified. What do you do?
    Say a quick prayer under my breath as I calmly  but firmly point out to the three “friends” their behavior and/or comments, asking how they would feel facing such ridicule and humiliation from a friend. Offering support to the friend being unjustly attacked.
  12. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
    God loves you! He created you. He loves you, and He always will! ❤
  13. Would you break the law to save a loved one?
    If we are talking about rushing to save someone in a deadly situation, of course I would not worry about traffic laws or such; but if we are talking about doing just anything to save a loved one from something they should not be doing, and helping would be enabling or justifying a wrong behavior… then no! God is the only one who knows what’s best in each situation. Trust and Obey.
  14. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?
    Yes. In my writing. Not by my doing, but by His.
  15. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
    I go to God about every single thing in my life, regardless of how trivial it may seem. If God says, “No” when the world says, “Are you crazy? Everyone does.” So be it! If God says, “Yes, absolutely!” when the world says, “Are you crazy? No one does.” I don’t care! If it bores, annoys, or offends that is their problem. It is not my desire to do those things, but I ought to obey God rather than man!
  16. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?
    Well the things that make me happy are God, so anyone who does not care for God will not be happy with Him. Everyone finds happiness in different things.
  17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?
    Fly! A passport, money, opportunity, fear, anxiety, God’s blessing.
  18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
    It’s always possible. I trust God to let me know, or have me just let go.
  19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
    Australia! God has placed so many friends in my life that are from Australia, and He uses Lovely A  and a few others to keep that hope alive!
  20. Do you push the elevator button more than once? Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?
    Of course. Slightly. It doesn’t “push” the elevator but it does encourage the sensor that is waiting on a set time before the door closes to detect a need to close. I learned this from some electrical engineering buddies.
  21. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?
    A joyful simpleton so that I could experience God’s abundant joy! ❤
  22. Why are you, you?
    Because God made me, Me! 🙂
  23. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
    I wish I could say yes, but that would be dishonest to my friends… especially to my best friend Jesus!
  24. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
    They are equally unfortunate. They are both sad situations.
  25. What are you most grateful for?
    Jesus dying for me on the cross to reconcile me to my Father ❤
  26. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?
    This is a painful one to answer, as most days I feel like I am struggling with both. They are both cruel. They both rob you of friendship, love, family, support, and anything else. If God allows my choice, I would do neither. It would mean never remembering Him and His great love. 😦
  27. Is it possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
    Yes. To know Christ is to know the way, the truth, and the life. He doesn’t mind us challenging Him or the truth. But it is not necessary.
  28. Has your greatest fear ever come true?
    No. And according to God’s Holy word, He promises it never will because I gave my life… my soul… to Him. 
  29. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now?
    I do remember extremely upsetting things from 5 years ago. Of course they matter now. They remind me of what Christ has brought me through.
  30. What is your happiest childhood memory? What makes it so special?
    swimming. I loved to swim! I loved the feel of the water… the feeling of being wet. I loved feeling my body float… pain free! ❤ I miss it!
  31. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
    This is another hard one because I don’t have passion for anything other than loving Christ. If it weren’t for that I would struggle to feel life. When improvements in my health gave me the hope that I could run again, swim again, live again. But that was tragically replaced with a cruel reality. Now I find what life I can in being able to walk and live. Dreaming of flying makes me smile. Walking (or flying) with Jesus makes it all worth while.
  32. If not now, then when?
    I really don’t care about this kind of question. It just exhausts me to even think about. Christ… everything for me is about Christ. Including living!
  33. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?
    Writing and flying are what comes to mind. I’m doing one, and following God for when He will allow the other.
  34. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?
    Yes. It’s a good feeling. It happens all the time with Christ! 😉 ❤
  35. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?
    Because they have to defend against those who hate.
  36. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?
    Yes! Absolutely! By reading God’s word, praying, and trusting God.
  37. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?
    It would depend on if I liked the job I was doing, or if it was what God called me to do. He could either be supplying money to change jobs, or support the one I have.
  38. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?
    I would rather have what God wants to give me, where He wants to give it.
  39. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?
    Sometimes
  40. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?
    When God called me to leave my church, even though I loved them so much.
  41. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?
    As many unsaved souls that God knew I could reach for Him!
  42. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?
    No
  43. What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
    Being alive is just physically being here, pretty much like a 100% brain dead bedridden patient. Truly living is living life abundantly… with joy… doing!
  44. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?
    When God has made it clear it is His will.
  45. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
    Because we have learned the cost it takes to endure a mistake… the energy.  We fear we may not survive the next one.
  46. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
    live… sing… fly… live… abundantly!
  47. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?
    As I was typing this. I noticed I am becoming… have been exhausted, and wonder if I will make it through this before falling asleep.
  48. What do you love? Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?
    I love Christ! Yes! Not only does my username say so, but I try to tell everyone in any way I can. If all else fails, I have at least declared my love for Him!
  49. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? What about the day before that? Or the day before that?
    Lord willing. Only He knows. Only He can! Allow!
  50. Decisions are being made right now. The question is: Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?
    I am absolutely letting Christ make them for me! It doesn’t mean I lay down and do nothing. Quite the contrary. I am actively seeking to do what He expects of me each day! I have decided to follow Christ, and that makes me accountable! Faith without works is dead! A testimony testifies for or against the one who openly proclaims.
    Lord, the way this was formatted did not allow for me to write this as a letter to You, but You understand the format of my heart. I pray these answers glorify You. They are as true as I understand them to be. I pray they do whatever You have intended for Lovely A’s “Ask Yourself“, as she asked me to answer these. I hand them over to You! In the Lovely name of Christ Jesus, Amen! ❤

Thankful 2017.3 Fellowship

Lord, today as I am thankful for many things, I want to thank you and praise you for fellowship. Especially among the brethren. You allowed a sweet fellowship with a long time church family. A church family that was my son’s first church family for the first 12 years of his life. You used this church to draw my son’s heart closer to God every day. How blessed I was to see my 3 year old doing songs and skits, dressed in the most adorable costumes all for the love of Christ! You used this love to bring my family to come see him in his plays, which got my entire family back into church, and traditions that included a vast number of family friends.
Today you allowed a sweet fellowship in the Thanksgiving Dinner. Even during services there is this lingering time of genuine fellowship that is not hurried, resented, or looked down on. It is so refreshing. I was blessed to sit right in front of Robin, who had little Desmond right beside her. Desmond is Pastor Andrew and Rebecca’s new arrival as of November 4th. He slept the whole time. What a joy it was in service, the message, the music that ministered to me, and the sweet fellowship.
You allowed that fellowship to continue through a John Deere tricycle, countless hugs from long time friends and beloved strangers who are new friends, and food that I heard a voice say, “That was so good. It has to be illegal!” 😉 These souls have also been long time friends of my stepdad’s as Bobby has been a member there for over 50 years. It is such a blessing to see how they care for him, love him so, and genuinely miss him when he’s not there for even one day. And the cards that his Pastor sends him… the words that are so personal and genuine! Love is in this fellowship every time I come.
And on a day when pain became such an unwelcome enemy right in the middle of this fellowship, you had me sit right beside someone who has been where I have been physically, but is so further along in the experience of what the doctor’s tell me are next steps or even the worst. She was able to give me such encouragement and hope. My shame for having physical problems was comforted by souls that you personally sent to fellowship with me when I had been under the impression that you had encouraged me to fellowship with them. How valuable your word and your promises are.

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:23-25 KJV

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” – 1 John 1:7 KJV

 

One Lovely Blog Award 10.24.17

“His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether LOVELY. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.” – Song of Solomon 5:16 KJV

How absolutely LOVELY You are, Dear Lord, My Jesus, LOVELY of LOVELIES! You have given me so many LOVELY BLESSINGS! Starting with my LOVELY Australian sister Anita of Discovering Your Happiness! LOVELY Anita. LOVELY A. Miss LOVELY! She is always so thoughtful of others, taking such care and time to research and share. And she always makes sure to tell everyone,

“Wherever you are in the world, have a LOVELY day! ❤ “rgnkh1lNow You have had her touch my heart by nominating me with the One LOVELY Blog Award, as well as allowing me to read her LOVELY answers in her acceptance post. As soon as I see the word, how could I not think of Miss LOVELY A and LOVELY Australia! How could I not think of the LOVLIEST of all that is LOVELY… YOU!
I know LOVELY A would not be the least bit offended! She loves you too! She too knows that You make the LOVELY in her possible, and the LOVE in Gail Loves God. So this post will be a bit long while I Love on You! You have opened the treasure box of my heart, and Your Love is pouring all over the place. May it flow wherever You want it, and touch whom You will touch. Thank You for being Love! And for sharing it with me through Lovely Anita!

 

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

The Rules:
Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog
Add the One Lovely Blog Award to your post
Share 7 things about yourself
Pass this on to as many people as you like
Include this set of rules
Inform your nominees


My 7 Things About Myself are my current favorite songs.

1. As You know I have been struggling at times with my anxiety, sometimes my depression, and quite often the frustration of physical challenges. This song Even If by MercyMe has ministered to me day & night since You introduced me through a friend.

2. The first song ended with a reference to the hymn It Is Well With My Soul. Everyone should hear a hymn every once in a while… sung to the tune the Lord gave it… and with a choir/congregation. At least once… sing the whole song! This motivates my soul! It Is Well With My Soul by Sovereign Grace Music.

3. Ohhh. *Gasp, and silently waiting for a breath to return!* Dear Lord. How do I find words for what You allow this song to do for my soul? If You had not come! Where would I be? ❤ Love Came For Me by Northland Church. Thank You for coming for me! ❤

4. Joy! LOVELY Lord! This song absolutely lifts me, motivates me, and makes it feel impossible to quit smiling and clapping, tapping my feet. Joy, Lord! Unashamed Joy! Oh the joy of a choir/congregation! And this one! I Love the leading voice! You hear and feel the pure joy! Leaning On The Everlasting Arms by The Church of God.

5. How could I not hear the word LOVELY and not think of Here I Am to Worship by Worship? It sings the very words “You’re altogether LOVELY, altogether worthy, altogether wonderful to me.”

6. Oh by the way, Lord. When it comes to Your precious Son Jesus Christ, did I mention that I Love Him? How I worship and adore Him? When I can’t see no way, He makes a way. And did I mention He’s been faithful to every promise He’s ever made me. I Love Him. That’s all I want to say. I praise you for Did I Mention by The Rochesters!

7. Lastly is my all time favorite video. I wish I could fly along with the camera… and You! I like to pretend I can. It’s such a beautiful collection of scenery… Your creative artwork comforts my soul! How Great is Our God by Chris Tomlin.

NOMINEES:
Anabel of Lebana’s Journal
Hiraa of Hiraa Chaudhry
Paula Psicologia of Moonlight Psychology
Lize Bard of Haiku Out of Africa
Hiraeth of Hiraeth638
Tracie of Single and Redeemed
Sage of Letters to Myself
Sayer Teller of Oaken Reed
Brandy Thurlow of Sunflower Holistic Health
Ali of A Certain Sign of Grace
Elan Mudrow of Elan Mudrow Photography
Girly Christian
Dr. Andrea Dinardo of Thriving Under Pressure
Traci Smith of Unshakable Faith, Unquenchable Love
Ali Bolsover of Humble Mumblings

May each one of you LOVELY nominees be blessed in the Lord, as your LOVELY blog obviously is. Please do not feel obligated, nor rushed to participate. I just want others to know how LOVELY you and your blog are. ❤

May each one who reads this post be blessed in “speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Ephesians 5:19-20 KJV 🙂

The Evangelistic Well

Preachers study so hard
to bring us God’s word.
Had he not been faithful,
we would’ve never heard.
Ministers serve so many
ministering to their church.
The faithful serving
helps heal the hurt.
Evangelists travel to tell
Jesus wants no one in hell.
Thank God for the evangelist
who shared from the well.

9-21-11 Written by Gail Brookshire
(by the grace of God)

Finding Treasure In You

Ministry and friends,
I never knew one day they’d be the same.
Friends in ministry,
I never knew I’d know so many by name.
My son and you,
I had a hope you would know each other.
You in my son,
I would have hope for no other.
Serving in joy,
I would not have thought went together.
Joy in serving,
I want that feeling to last forever.
Hope in faith,
I seek to hold onto you.
Faith in hope,
I know you hold onto me too.

9-21-11 Written by Gail Brookshire
(by the grace of God)