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“United We Stand, Divided We Fall”

This phrase came to mind today as I was reading a book by Andy Andrews, The Traveler’s Gift. In the book “The Traveler” has an encounter from the past with Abraham Lincoln (if you want to know more, get the book, it’s great!) and it was at the time when Lincoln was preparing to give his, now famous, “Gettysburg Address”. The speech is quoted in the story and as I read it, it brought tears to my eyes.

You see, the speech was written and delivered in the midst of the Civil War, when our nation was divided, North and South, Democrat and Republican, families divided and brothers fighting against brothers! There was so much hate among men.

I thought about how our nation is not so very different now! Yet, inspite of that, I found encouragement in President Lincoln’s message. The war ended after many lives were lost but the country slowly but surely, began to heal and people began to care about one another again and together we built back our nation, not perfect but we were blessed by God in the work.

It gives me hope for our nation now. I know there are still problems in our nation, big problems, but I still believe it is the greatest nation in the world and I believe, God being our help, we can bring and end to the hate and division again; to forgive and rise up to be the nation we were created to be.

I hope you will be encouraged, as I was, as you read the Gettysburg Address with a fresh look. It is posted below:

And may God bless America!!!

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“Missing Aunt Faith”

I recently attended a service for my Aunt Faith, a celebration of her life. As the pastor opened up the service, he introduced himself and then offered an opportunity to anyone who would like to share a special thought or memory about my aunt. No one moved or spoke.

As I sat there waiting I felt my heart race a little and thought of so many things I wanted to say, should say, about all she had meant to me and all she had done to help me and so many others. All I could think about is how I get emotional and cry whenever I share my heart and make a fool of myself. I decided I would share anyway, but as I raised my hand, the pastor had started his message and didn’t see it. It was too late! I missed an opportunity and was already regretting it. 

I have been thinking a lot about my Aunt Faith ever since that day. I remembered how I tried to tell her how she had impacted my life over the years, but I just didn’t seem to be able to find the right words. And later as her memory seemed to fail her I wondered if she remembered.

Did she remember:?

How when we were just teens, she danced with my sister and I in her living room and taught us how to do the cha cha?

How she and Uncle Bob made sure my sibling and I got to church and youth group each week?

How she taught me, as a new wife, how to make a menu for the week and shop for groceries and do a budget?

When I went into labor for my first baby and my husband was at work and my mom couldn’t get there, she had me stay at her house until my husband came home so I wouldn’t be alone?

The many times we had tea together and just talked about life, our struggles and victories, and a lot about God and HIs goodness through them all.

When she invited me to her Bible Study on Genesis and she presented the study in a way that opened up my heart and mind, for the first time, to how exciting the old testament really was?

I watched her live by example the faith she had in God, how she loved and cared for her family and ours. How she taught me to pray and read God’s Word regularly and prayed with me. How she loved her church family and her Lord, most of all.

She loved me unconditionally and oh how I loved her. I wanted her to know how much. I want all who may read this to know how much!

I praise God and am so thankful to Christ Jesus that I will have another chance to tell her how much she meant to me. And her mind will be clear and my words will be just right. And we might even dance the cha cha and celebrate our reunion together. But for sure we will be praising and worshiping our Lord God together!!

I am missing my Aunt Faith!

Is there someone you want to tell how much you love and appreciate them? Or is there someone who needsand would appreciate your help and encouragement?

Don’t wait!

Don’t miss the chance!

Posted in Uncategorized

Complete Forgiveness

A Message for Believers and Unbelievers Alike

There Is Complete Forgiveness; a message for believers and unbelievers alike.

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature(or in the flesh) a slave to the law of sin.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 7:24 – 8:2 NIV)

Because we live in these bodies of flesh, we all too often fail in being the best we can be and as a result may be guilty of the sin of doing wrong against God or to another person, whether inadvertently or purposely. This may be due to a any number of feelings such as anger, jealousy, resentment or pride. Or it could just be a lack of consideration for another person’s feelings or thinking about how what we say and how we say it may affect others before we speak.

Even if others forgive us for the wrong, we committed against them they cannot take away our feelings of guilt and shame that often remain because we can’t forgive ourselves. Only a gracious and loving God can do that for us.

God has made a way for the help and healing for all through the sacrifice of His Son! So that we no longer have to be defined by our past but instead defined by our relationship with Christ.

I am a living example of His mercy, grace, forgiveness and healing because you see; Jesus Christ took all my sin and the sins of all mankind along with the guilt and shame on himself when he was nailed to the cross of Calvary, nailing it to the cross, paying the price for all my transgression (wrong doing) and for all of mankind. To receive His forgiveness and healing we need only come with a repentant heart surrendered and laid before Him, sins and all, and we can receive His forgiveness and His sacrifice which covers our sin, guilt and shame. 

When I think of my past now, I am no longer defined by my past, no longer carrying guilt and shame. Instead, when I think of my past I am overwhelmed by the forgiveness, mercy and grace I have been given and receive daily. I rejoice in who I am in Christ, as Paul puts it, a new creation. My regrets have become stepping stones of learning and growing in my faith.

 With Paul I say: Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  (Philippians 3:12 – NIV)

 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a](OR that person is a new creation) The old has gone, the new is here!  (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)

(emphasis mine)

Are you in need of God’s forgiveness?

Do you have a problem with forgiveness for yourself?

Is guilt or shame for something from your past that God has forgiven keeping you from growing in your faith?

Take heart God has promised:

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” I John 1:9  

Posted in assignment, communication, Discipleship, enjoyment, Family

About This Blog Site

Welcome to Jean’s Bird House!

As a retired nurse, part-time church secretary, wife, mom and grandmother, I’ve been provided with countless situations and circumstances where I have learned a lot of life’s lessons. My blogs are pieces and parts of it all. Some silly, some thought provoking, but hopefully all encouraging, helpful, and even some fun.

As I develop our conversations on this site it is my hope that you will see, as I have, how our lives can be filled with experiences that are teachable moments and valuable, to say the least.

The Bird House, like most, is a home that has been and still is, at times, full of activities, situations and circumstances (good and bad). In each one there have been lessons to learn and memories made. It is a place where children and grandchildren come and go and come back again. A place where friends and strangers have been welcomed. Where some come for a season and then are gone, and some remained becoming close friends, even family. But none have come by coincidence but by the divine providence of God. Each one providing opportunities for learning, blessings and being blessed, although we did not always recognized them at the time.

This house has seen laughter and tears; struggles and times of contentment; victories and defeats. We have worked through many of life’s challenges together and shared in many of life’s blessings.

I can tell you, this has not always been my attitude and because of that I have probably missed some real opportunities to bless others and be blessed. But, as I yield to my heavenly Father’s promptings (sometimes more slowly than others) and I serve, in obedience, those He brings to the Bird House, biologically or selectively, I find there will always be blessings in spite of and even in the midst of the most difficult circumstances. And I am grateful for each and every one!

So I am hoping you will come along and learn with me, laugh with me, cry with me, and even commiserate with me at times.

Come and join in those blessings!

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

Posted in communication, Uncategorized, Weary encouragement hope

You Never Have Nothing To Write

 

3/24/18communications 1

“You Never Have Nothing To Write”

 

I once read a quote, though I can’t remember where, that said, “You never have nothing to write.” As a beginning writer that made sense to me because after all there is always something you can write about. There are flowers, animals, jobs, weather, opinions (oh how there are opinions), politics, family, love, sorrow, successes, failures and so much more.

So here I am today sitting at my keyboard and my mind is blank. I have nothing to write!

I love to write and it brings me joy. I say that I believe writing is what I am called to do and I have had folks tell me I should write, but, I haven’t written since July. Maybe I have the dreaded “writer’s block”? Maybe I am not called to write?

Or could it be that I have always had trouble seeing myself as a writer. I love to read and there are so many great Christian authors out there already. What could I possibly offer that they haven’t. When I am sitting writing I often think of other things I feel I should be doing and scold myself for wasting time. How can I be called to write and have nothing to write?

Yet when I write it is always a worthwhile effort. Even if it benefits no one else but me, the writer.  There is value in writing; in sharing  thoughts and experiences both for the writer and for those who can relate to and learn from the stories shared. My goal in writing is to encourage others who may have had the same struggles that I have and to share how God has brought me through each one. And there are plenty of those to share.

Well, as I am pondering here on my laptop I have reached almost 400 words (love that word count). I will wind this exercise up by sharing my insight into all of this. It turns out that it is true, “You never have nothing to write” so just start writing. That’s what I did today.

So, I will write to practice the skill, I will write to share experiences, I will write to encourage others, and write for the sheer joy of writing. I will write because there is always something to write about!

 

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Words by Sue Cameron

0e5582366_1477946107_words-have-power

Is there anything more powerful?

To heal, to hurt,

to destroy?

Words in my mind-accusing me,

dragging me down

into guilt and helplessness.

Words from outside-attacking me,

tearing at the fragile image of who I am and hope to be.

I struggle under their heavy weight

and fear I’ll suffocate.

Not all words are true, but they feel true.

Some are lies wrought in the basement of hell,

sent to defeat those who march in the army of God.

My leader warned me of such warfare,

so subtle and hard to detect.

A sudden attack strips my defenses.

Wounded, bleeding,

I am left to die.

Now my fate depends on

to whom I choose to listen.

To the liar,

or to  my leader.

His Word consoles and strengthens me,

binding my pain and wrapping me in acceptance.

He does not condemn me in my weakness,

or require me to run on broken legs.

He asks only that I listen to him

and believe what he says.

His truth banishes falsehoods

and sets me free.

Living on the battlefield isn’t kind and gentle;

it is demanding and stretching.

I must often pause and ask myself,

To whose voice do I listen?

And in whose voice do I speak?

Posted in assignment, Children, communication, enjoyment, Family

A View From The Bird House

life-experiences-quotes

I am taking a cue from Jeff Goins on this post. His challenge is to write something from a life experience and this got me thinking of all the different life experiences this Grama has had, and there have been many.

I am very much aware that people can have the same basic experience but have a very different view of what that experience holds for them, therefore reactions may differ.  As I share my experiences, I will be sharing my own “View From The Bird House”.

You see, my last name is Bird and has been since 1965 when I married the love of my life and so I have quite a collection of experiences, both good and bad, that I could write about. Some of them weren’t necessarily appreciated as much when I was younger but with age I’ve begun to see God’s wisdom and sometimes humor in bringing them and/or allowing them. Yes, for most wisdom, does come with age!

Some life experiences were amazing and some frightening; some brought dreams to reality and some turned dreams to nightmares. But I have come to realize that every experience had its time and place in my life, each one brought with it life lessons and greater wisdom. Each one had a part in making me who I am today and none of them slipped in without my heavenly Father knowing it was coming. Many of them caught me by surprise but not my Father.

Each experience brought wisdom. Wisdom for raising children, understanding relationships and what my part in those relationship were, especially my relationship with my husband. Most importantly it brought me, and still is bringing me, to a closer relationship with my God!

But enough of the deep-thinking stuff. I would rather share my favorite experiences, the ones that make me smile and even laugh out loud. Retelling those stories at family gatherings is one of our favorite things to do and when we do we laugh like it was just yesterday even though some of the stories are over fifty years old. Still, they bring on those deep-down-belly-laughing fits that bring tears to your eyes.

Love them!

Even though those experiences make us laugh hysterically now, at the time, we  seldom saw the humor in them. Yet over the years we,ve begun to see the humor in them, which by the way is another advantage to ageing.

One of the experiences that stands out in my mind the is an experience with our first-born grandson who was four at the time. His mother had recently given birth to their second child and they were all visiting at our home. Our daughter had gone to do something in another room and I was tending the kids.

Holding baby Sarah, I began a conversation that I would soon regret and never forget. I asked my grandson how he liked his little sister and reminded him this is the little baby that was in mommy’s tummy. His response blew me away and it was my first lesson as a grama about being careful what you ask a toddler.

He got very serious and looked me in the eye. With his eyes growing bigger he said; “I know and I used to be in my mommy’s tummy too!” Not knowing enough to quit while I was ahead I continued this “cute” conversation and it went like this:

Me — I know, what do you think it was like in there?

Grandson – Getting more serious and raising both arms in the air and making a big circle he said; “Grama, there was sperm everywhere and I was afraid, but they said”, as he changed his voice to a gentler tone, “Don’t worry little boy we won’t hurt you. We are going to help you get out of your egg. But then I got stuck in my mommy’s gina and they had to cut me out of her tummy, but my sister didn’t get stuck so she came out of mommy’s gina.”

I was speechless! And that doesn’t happen often.

I immediately called for my daughter and shared this revelation that her son had shared with me. Her explanation was that she and her husband had been watching a program called Nova a few days before and it was showing microscopic films of sperm traveling to the ova, or egg, and how they penetrated the egg to release the embryo. Added to that; our grandson had been asking how his sister got out of mommy’s tummy and our daughter, believing you should use correct anatomical terms, explained in simple terms her birth. When he asked if he got here the same way my daughter explained that he had gotten stuck so they had to make a cut in her tummy to get him out.

That grandson was 32 this year and that story is still being told much to his chagrin. But he is a good sport because he understands. You see he has a little boy of his own now and already has some stories of his own to tell.

Lesson Learned by This Grama: 1. Don’t underestimate the ability of a toddler to put one and one together and get two. They are much smarter than you think. 2. Don’t ask a toddler questions unless your prepared deal with the answers. They share all freely! 3. Live in the moment and the experiences and look for the lessons they bring.

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A Surprise Blessing At Walmart

500 Word Challenge  1/6/2017

butterfly

A Surprise Blessing From Walmart

Now, when I go to Walmart I seldom think of it as an opportunity for a blessing, some bargains maybe, but not a blessing.

But I recently went to there in search of a day timer for the new year, which I didn’t find. However, a unique journal caught my eye. I do a lot of journaling and often will pick up a journal when I see them on sale so I always have a spare.

It was bright green with a cutout of a butterfly on the front cover. The page behind the cover revealed a beautiful purple butterfly. It was the purple butterfly that actually caught my eye.  My sister, Lois, who went to be with the Lord several years ago, always loved butterflies, any kind of butterfly. We often talked about the significant of the butterfly, not just about how beautiful and unique God created each one, but more about the picture of new life they represented to us as Christians. We saw them as the story of how God had given us new life through His Son, Jesus Christ.

We, like the caterpillar start out crawling along and not getting very far on our own. One day we find ourselves all wrapped up in this world much like the caterpillar when it is caught up in the cocoon. In this dark and dormant state our Creator is at work behind the scene with a plan to make us into something beautiful, both us and the butterfly.

The very cocoon we find ourselves in, the cocoon that makes us helpless to do anything for ourselves opens our eyes to see our total dependence on God.

We struggle to try to free ourselves from this helpless state. We want out of the discomfort, to be free of the struggle, we want out now, but if we come out to early we will miss out on God’s best but if we wait on God’s timing and trust Him in the struggles we will realize God can and wants to use the struggles to develop in us the strength and the faith we need. He can make us into something beautiful for our good and His glory. He wants us to soar and be a blessing to those who see His beauty in us and bring Him glory.

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven. (Ecc. 3:1 NKJ)

My lesson for today, blessings can be found anywhere, even in Walmart!

 

The Butterfly Story (A Bonus Attachment)

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon.

The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were Life’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. Remember God needs no help. There are processes of life, things we all go through. The struggles are a part of our journey and are God can use them to prepare us for His awesome plan for us. He is preparing us to fly.

Unknown

Posted in accountability, assignment, character study, peace, Promises, Weary encouragement hope

Looking For A Leader

Hard questions

Over the last year young and old of every race and every religion have been looking for a leader. This past years election cycle will probably go down in history as the most unusual election cycle in our nation.

The election is over now but as I think about all the different opinions I see that everyone is really looking for the same thing.

We are looking for a leader who is radically different.

A leader who will:

* stand up to the establishment

* Look out for the needs of the masses as well as the individual and provide for those needs.

* Put the needs of others ahead of their own comfort

* Give all people real hope and change for a better future

* Provide a resting place where people can feel safe and secure

* Provide justice and mercy, fairness and forgiveness

We all want a someone with a proven track record in all of the above. Someone whose plans, when followed, never failed.

Sounds impossible but that leader we are looking for has been right in front of us for over 2000 years. The most radical leader of all time, who has never been equaled – not even close. It is Jesus Christ!

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”                                                                                                                                                                 John 1:1

He is not an establishment figure

His message was and still is definitely one of hope and change

He never wavers in the truth and exposes the lies

He knows our every need and has the ability to meet every need and His resources are unlimited

His desire is to reach out to and meet the needs of every person of every race, gender and nation

He is always just and fair

He has a purpose and plan for every life and there are multitudes who have followed Him and give testimony to the details and outcomes of the plans in real-time for years.

His “super pack” was twelve men who spoke truth, His truth. They served and took care of others ahead of their own needs. They defended the weak, widowed and orphans. This super pack stood firm in their faith and in the truth even where there was personal insult and injury, standing up against the establishment for what was right and what was truth.

We have a new president-elect now who will soon take over to lead our country and we should be praying for him as he leads. Things are still somewhat unsettled and probably will continue to be even into the next election. It will always be that way with men!

But no matter what our political views are, with God we can always have that hope and change we long for. Christ is the Leader of leaders, the King of kings. Christ alone can bring us the peace we need in this crazy world we live in if we will follow Him.

He is the only leader I  know with the perfect resume.

Why not follow the Leader!