Friday, January 20, 2017

Fog in the Woods


Was out early this morning to get some photos of fog.  These are E. Cottonwood trees.

Life at times seems like we are going through a fog and not sure where we are going. But like most things in life, if we stay with it we will find the answer.

1 Corinthians 13:12 Message Bible " We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!"

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Mallard Ducks


I like this photo because of the reflection on the water, the sunlight on the Mallard drake's head and the Mallard hen in the background.

These ducks breed in Northern Canada also in Eurasia. They are one of the most prolific ducks and the domestic ducks come from mallards. They pair long before the spring breeding season. Only the female incubates the eggs and takes care of the ducklings.

Mallards like all ducks shed their feathers they use for flight after breeding. Because they can't fly they hide and their feathers change to be more camouflaged.

There are times in our life when we are more vulnerable. Turn to the Lord and abide under the shadow of His wings.

Psalm 91:1-4 "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”
3 For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark."


Monday, January 16, 2017

Snow Gear


This is what I use in the ice or snow. It keeps me from sliding and falling. They work great. We have a steep drive and it is hard to stay upright when shoveling.

Falling is a common theme of mistakes or sin with the Christian life. Preparation will keep you from falling in this world the same as preparation in our walk with Christ will keep us from falling spiritually.

How do I prepare myself? By setting my heart to fear God. To serve Him instead of serving my self. Romans 8:2,5,6.  I don't look at myself as having arrived or have it together. I look to Jesus and live with my mind on Christ and serving Him.

Joshua 14:10
"Now behold, the LORD has let me live, just as He spoke, these forty-five years, from the time that the LORD spoke this word to Moses, when Israel walked in the wilderness; and now behold, I am eighty-five years old today." Caleb was ready for war at 85 years old.

Psalm 91:7 "A thousand may fall at your side And ten thousand at your right hand, But it shall not approach you."

Starlings


These European starlings stopped by my house for about 15 minutes. We were in the midst of an ice storm. They eat most anything but I guess they were looking for seeds when they stopped by my place.

Psalm 121:7,8 "The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
8 The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever."

Father, thanks for watching over me as I travel.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Queen-Anne's Lace


The flowers are flat topped. This flower is a wild carrot. They grow tall about 3'

They grow in fields, meadows, roadsides and thrive in dry environments. The roots are like carrots and are pale and woody. They can be used in soups.

Queen-Anne's Lace
They grow in groups often and are taller then the grass. The white dominates the greenery around them. This flower definitely stands out when I come across it.

The name implies royalty. Christians have royalty because the Father adopted us to be a brother to Jesus, who is the King of all the kings.

We can should be able to get what we want because we brothers of the King. Yet we can't have what we want because we have a responsibility to live for the Lord. Therefore we need to use our right in Christ for the purpose of our adoption. Our purpose is to build the Kingdom with people that are committed to Jesus.

Father, bring me to the knowledge of Your riches. But not for squandering them on myself, but to use them for Your glory.

Ephesians 1:3 “ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tufted Titmouse


The feathers are mouse colored. Orange along the belly sides and a crest on its head. A short black beak. The Tufted Titmouse is 6" long.

They like sunflower seeds at your feeder and will nest in boxes if you put one up in your yard. They need to have  1 1/2" holes. Some report that they don't use Blue yard houses. This may be because they are only 5' high for the monitors to manage.

Psalm 46:4 "There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, The holy dwelling places of the Most High."

God dwells in heaven and here on earth. The problem is that we are not often aware of Him here. Let your heart be quiet and listen for Him as you watch for birds and observe nature. Read the Bible and let it sink into your soul. Then be quiet and listen. Ideas will come to you from Him.


Thank you Father for your creation which speaks of You. And thank You Father for the Bible that teaches Your ways.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Cotton Tail


How does the Eastern Cottontail survive winter?

By living under ground.

Do cottontails burrow? They don't burrow themselves but utilize what they can find from other animals. They line their burrow with grass, leaves and sticks to insulate it against the cold.

Their food source is much less in the winter and and they eat bark, sticks and buds of small bushes.

They are hunted more in the winter as the need for food by their predators also increases. Hawks, owls and foxes are some of the main predators of rabbits.

Rabbits don't hibernate like opossums, skunks, ground hogs and bats.  Hibernating animals will stay in their den while their heart rate, breathing and body temp drops. They live off the stored fat they accumulated in the summer and fall.

How do we prepare for hard times ahead? Change our priorities of living for the now and parties. Instead, build a foundation of faith in Jesus that can't be shaken. This will serve you in good times and bad. You will have peace in your heart and confidence in your walk day by day.

Romans 4:19-21 “ Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; 20 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.”

White & Pink Flower


I haven't been able to ID this flower but it is a break from the bleak landscape of Missouri in January. It is good to remember how life was in the summer.

There are many things we can be thankful for from our past. When we remember how God has helped us and been with us through the trials of life our faith and courage and hope grows.

Sit back and remember God's goodness. You will be better for it.

Psalm 105:5 "Remember His wonders which He has done, His marvels and the judgments uttered by His mouth,"

Friday, January 06, 2017

White Throated Sparrow


We had snow Wednesday night and this bird came by our feeder the next day.He seemed to be looking at me as I sat waiting for birds to come by for photos. A number of birds are taking advantage of our feeder during this last snow.

Matthew 6:26 "Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?"

God is concerned about the birds. He is also concerned for us. Turn to Him for help and guidance.

Father, I thank you for all You do for me.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Dark-Eyed Junco



Dark-Eyed Junco or more commonly called Snow Bird
They show up at feeders when it snows. I see them without snow also.

There are different color variations of this bird. This bird and the ones that visit my place are the slate

The bird is adaptive and occurs in a variety of habitats.
White outer tail feathers, also the bill and  belly are white also. It is a sparrow shaped bird.

These birds don't eat off the bird feeder. They only eat on the ground. That is what I have observed. It looks to me as if the birds throw some of the feed on the ground for other birds to eat.

This bird generosity is intriguing. Maybe they are just sloppy, but I like to think they have some unselfishness.

Let us not just look out for ourselves. But instead care for others.

Romans 15:1,2 “Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification.”

Father, I yearn to follow the example of others and give to those in need.


























Wednesday, January 04, 2017

American Sycamore Bud


During the growing season the bud is fully encased by the leaf stem.

The circles where the leaf scar is, are bundle scars where  the vein from the leaf attaches to the twig. Young tress and branches have thin bark that peals off with white bark underneath. The bud and the bark make this tree easy to identify in the winter.

The way this tree is made reminds me of a life principle of growth. When we grow we are protecting the future. The bud inside the leaf stalk was being protected. When we grow in spiritual things we are setting the stage for the future.

Let us not neglect our future as we are living in the present. Instead, know that each thing we do is not only useful now but can be a building block for things later in life.

Matthew 2521 "His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master."

Father, I believe You and what You have said in Your word. I live in expectation of Your blessing to enable me to help others better. In Jesus name it will happen.


Monday, January 02, 2017

Water


Water is life!

Ice fields, oceans, rivers and lakes occupy about 324 million cubic miles.
Ground water under the surface of the earth, occupies another 2 million cubic miles of water.
In the atmosphere there are another 3,100 more cubic miles of water.

Water has many unique qualities. It expands when it freezes instead of getting smaller. This expanding water allows life to live in lakes. If the ice sank to the bottom, the lake would more easily be frozen completely. The event of heavy ice would kill off all the fish and other life. When ice is at the top of the lake the water below is maintained.

The energy to freeze or thaw water is massive. Heat is given off as water is freezing. If you put some water outside in 0 degree F. The water temperature will drop till it gets to 32 degrees. Then as the water turns to ice the water will stop dropping in temperature until all the water has frozen. This pause happens as some of the energy in the water is given off. After all the water is frozen, the temperature of the water will continue to drop.

Water is attracted to itself. When it is in a thin straw or tube the capillary force will draw water  up. This action allows plants to bring water out of the ground and provide cooling and water for  growth.

If water was not attracted to itself trees would not be able to bring water up the tree bowl to the leaves that are collecting the sun and creating food in photosynthesis.

The human adult body has about 60% water in it. I know the need for water first hand. As I worked in the hot sun my thirst developed and I would sweat. To not have water brings the possible of heat stroke. We need water.

Just as life on earth can't exist without water. So our life with Christ can't exist without His word.
John 4:14  “but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

Thank you Father, that I can drink freely from the water of life without cost.

Revelation 21:6 “Then He said to me, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.”