Saturday, September 1, 2012

August's Joy Dare

I am taking the Joy Dare and counting to {an extra} 1,000 Gifts in 2012! Will you join me?

#640 - #732... August's grace-gifts... from the Giver of good gifts, the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

3 gifts white:
:: Beautiful white clouds!
:: A field of beautiful white wind turbines and magnificent white sunlight!
:: Refreshing, clean white hotel bed sheets.

3 gifts eaten:
:: Fried oysters.
:: Raw clams.
:: Fish and chips!

a gift at 10am, 1pm, 10pm:
:: 10am: Driving towards Boston!
:: 1pm: Sal's Pizza in Downtown Boston!
:: 10pm: The whole family snuggled in bed in our hotel room watching the Olympics on TV.

3 gifts sitting:
:: Sitting... taking a rest on a bench by Long Wharf after a whole morning of walking at the New England Aquarium.
:: Sitting... waiting for the T (Boston subway) to arrive.
:: Sitting... posing with the statue of Coach "Red" Auerbach in Quincy Market (Boston). He was coach and general manager of the Boston Celtics for over 29 years, during which he amassed 16 NBA Championships and was voted one of the ten best NBA coaches of all time.

a gift outside, inside, upside down:
:: Enjoying the outdoors... driving towards Cape Cod.
:: A self-portrait, looking inside and through the camera lens.
:: A hand-stand on the beach!

3 gifts in water:
:: A boat cruise along the Boston harbour.
:: Remnants of an old dock.
:: Seagulls in Long Wharf.

3 gifts in His word:
:: Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:39)
:: But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
:: Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

3 gifts in summer:
:: Lazy days.
:: Sunshine!
:: Family togetherness. ♥

a gift hole, whole, half:
:: One of my summer reads: The Hole is our Gospel... amazing book, a must-read!
:: One whole apple left in our road trip snack bag.
:: Half a carton of cream... I love cream in my coffee!

3 hard eucharisteo:
:: When organizations try to be helpful but end up being a hindrance. Sigh!
:: Stories of people giving up their lives for God, yet faith is nowhere seen in their ensuing endeavors.
:: Embracing brokenness, in myself and in others.

3 gifts of metal:
:: Our still-trusty vehicles, despite their ages.
:: Our washer and dryer, working hard since we came home from vacation with loads of laundry.
:: My skillet... as I make dinner again after being spoiled by eating out during our vacation.

3 gifts half-hidden:
:: Forsythia bush, half-hidden by overgrown wild vines.
:: Ripening tomatoes, half-hidden within the plants' leaves.
:: A second crop of strawberries, half-hidden under its protective foliage.

3 gifts in green:
:: Green grass of summer.
:: Green "roof" provided by our tree in the backyard.
:: Beautiful, large, green leaves of hosta plants.

a gift in a ring, curve, sphere:
:: My wedding ring... symbol of a whole lot of love!
:: Curve balls in life... learning to trust God's perfect plan.
:: Sphere of influences... learning to use them well.

3 gifts ugly-beautiful:
:: Hard conversations.
:: Finding out tough-to-accept truths.
:: There is a time for everything...

3 gifts of family:
:: Our UrbanPromise Camp Freedom family.
:: Our church family... growing dearer and dearer to us each day.
:: Our own little family... doing justice, loving mercy, walking humbly with God.

3 gifts in the morning:
:: Summer sleep-ins!
:: Coffee!
:: The promise of new mercies! ♥

a gift red, read, written:
:: Red impatiens plant by the front door.
:: Finally finishing Richard Stearn's The Hole in our Gospel... great read!
:: An article to be published in Habitat Toronto's Fall newsletter.

3 gifts in church:
:: Friends who are like family.
:: Great summer teaching series!
:: A place to serve...

3 gifts of serving:
:: This... Eucharisteo: A Celebration of Joy... please pray, friends!
:: Through my writing and blogging.
:: Finding that in blessing others, we are blessed in return.

a gift straight, curve, turn:
:: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV
:: Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting,“Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places. Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The Lord has spoken!” ~ Isaiah 40:3-5, NLT
:: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace. ~ Helen H. Lemmel.

3 gifts in light:
:: Beautiful setting sun, as we drive towards home.
:: Jesus, the light of the world!
:: The banishment of darkness!

3 gifts old:
:: Old hymns, how they speak to the heart.
:: Old comforters, how cozy they are.
:: Old friends, how they know me so well.

3 gifts moving:
:: My girl and her team moving the ball across the basketball court.
:: Our backyard ash tree, still healthy... branches moving with the wind, despite an emerald ash beetle infestation in our area.
:: Moving on and not looking back.

3 gifts fragile:
:: Fragile eggs from the farm.
:: Our minds... when not stayed on Jesus!
:: Certain relationships...

a gift cut, sewn, buttoned:
:: Cut flowers from the summer garden.
:: An old dress... sewn and mended... wearable again.
:: New front-buttoned purple shirt.

3 gifts new:
:: Anticipation of a new ministry year... coming in September.
:: A new school-year for my kids!
:: God's mercies, new every morning!

3 gifts long awaited:
:: Girls' night out... just me and my girl!
:: A local bookstore becoming a ticket outlet for "Eucharisteo: A Celebration of Joy"!
:: Tidying up my office, getting ready for the Fall season...

a gift one, two, three:
:: One delicious lunch...
:: With two little munchkin, my niece and nephew...
:: And three of us, big people --- my girl, my sister and me!

3 gifts very small:
:: Small doses of good news, brightening my day.
:: Small cup of Starbucks latte, a special treat!
:: Small steps towards truly fully trusting God and letting go of my own desires and agendas...

3 miracles:
:: Hearts changed in ways not expected...
:: The changing of seasons... summer into fall.
:: Positive opportunities arising from seemingly failed attempts on my part.

Click on the banners below to learn more about counting to 1,000 Gifts...
Jump in... I promise you will be blessed!

Compassion is a command, an act of worship, a song of thanks to Him.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God!


  1. I am counting with you... just in my journal. On my 2nd 1000. changing my life... perspective... eucharisteo. Give thanks. Live fully. Thinking through all of this... praying for you. God has opened the door for me to work a table at a Compassion Conference in Oct. It is in Atlanta which is a long way for me... but so very excited.

    much love,

    1. Wow, a Compassion conference! We don't have those here in Canada. So excited for you!