Seven Swans, Seven Gifts.

Welcome to another of this year’s Doug’s 12 Days of Christmas, at the intersection of the song, the children’s game, tradition, culture, and Christ-mas. If you’ve missed a few, check your in-box from yesterday, or ping Today: “Seven…”

Lucky Seven! Touchdown! 007. The pass line. Mickey Mantle. Ronaldo. Boomer. Elway. Kyle Boller…What comes to mind for you for the number 7? For the children who played the original “12 Days of Christmas” Game with their families or at a house church, the importance wasn’t on the swans-a-swimmin’ (although they are gorgeous and graceful), but on the “Seven.” In this case, the “seven” represented the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. While many people falsely believe that the Spirit’s work, or being “spiritual,” is some kind of mystical or fantastical or esoteric or ethereal kind of thing, our Lord was specific, in Romans 12:6-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:8-11, about the seven gifts that come to us from Him:

  • Prophecy. Helping others’ understand God’s plans, whether past or future.
  • Serving. Helping others out in whatever situation they may be in.
  • Teaching. Helping people understand the great truths of the Bible.
  • Encouraging. Sharing God’s truths to build the spirits and soul of another.
  • Giving. We’re all called to give; some have a special ability to do more, more often.
  • Leadership. Humbly mobilizing others for the good of others, sharing credit and joy.
  • Compassion. Showing special mercy, taking action to empathize and help. 

When the Apostle Paul described these, he gave a very warm and lasting affirmation, one that’s important for us to hear this Christmas. “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us,” he wrote, “Let us use them.”

Isn’t that great! Each of us have unique, special, identifiable giftings so that we can lead, love, serve, fix, drive, inspire, educate, protect, help…gosh, there are so, so many good verbs that describe what we can do for those we love, those we know, and those we encounter. This Christmas, let’s be stewards of the gifts and talents we have, focusing less on what we don’t have, or that head trash in there that suggests we don’t measure up to someone else, or even some idea of who we should be. Let’s continue to become the better version of ourselves, by laying hold of the talents graciously given to us “by Grace” and “let us use them.”

Have a great weekend. And, as some of have asked, info for giving to our Foundation and ministries is in the right-column. Whether it’s part of the year-end giving we all do, or if your special gift is generosity, our Foundation could use the boost. – Doug

12th Day…
…Good morning aviators, 12 points of the Creed.
11th Day…
…Baker’s miracle, 11 faithful disciples/learners.
10th Day…
…Ten Commandments, actually just two.
9th Day…
…Laker Girls, 9 fruits of the Spirit.
8th Day…
…The Sermon on the Mount, 8 Beatitudes.
…for Tom McD, others Christmas.
7th Day…
…7 Gifts from the Lord, given by Grace to use.
6th Day…
5th Day…
4th Day…
3rd Day…
2nd Day…
1st Day…


Brian Wells, Speaker
VP, CEO Forum
Co-Founder, Crossroads Church

Wednesday, Jan. 11, Rookwood Pub
6-7:15 p.m.

Noblesville, IN:
Dec. 13

Chattanooga, TN
Kirkland, WA
Burbank, C:
Santa Clarita, CA

Divorce & Beyond:
Big Seminar, Jan 21
Cincy Vineyard

Montana Flyfishing:
June 25-30, 2023
July TBD

Individual Coaching:

*Whole Life
*Crisis Response
*Young Guns, too!

Year-End Giving:

Credit card here
Insignia Foundation
P.O. Box 309
Loveland, Ohio 45140


Bob Lynch, Treasurer