Friday, July 23, 2004


Hiking today along a forest trail. It started to rain. The pitter patter of the rain on the leaf canopy was soothing. A sense of protection if you walk in the woods in the rain with out getting wet. I came into an opening and noticed that the rain was not hard. It was just drizzling.

The day was not hot. But there was some humidity. I was headed for blackberries. I thought maybe they would be getting ripe. Not many were ripe. I didn't have a bag with me. I was only able to walk there for a short time. So I planned to eat as I walked. That was the way it worked out. There were not many ripe berries. But I enjoyed eating as I went.

On the way back the rain picked up a little bit. I didn't mind it though. Summer rains feel good. On a light rain I noticed that rain drops beeded up on the grass but not on tree leaves. I wonder if that was because the grass was more or less flat and the tree leaves were slanted down. Or was it because tree leaves were bigger allowing the rain drops to group together and break the water surface tension? It was neat to see the water droplets on the grass.

I try to walk fast to increase my distance in the time alloted. But with the rain it is harder. The rain made it a little slippery. I slipped once on a motorcycle rut. I kept my balance and didn't fall. I am thankful to God I can walk in the woods. He is so good to me.

Before I headed back I sat sown and watched the woods. I wonder how much rain it takes before it gets through the forest to the ground? Does the rain caught by the leaves just evaporate.

How fast does a raindrop fall. What impact does it do to the soil if it falls unheeded? With a forest the rain is caught by the leaves and then falls to the ground. How much protection do plants offer the soil?

I know that in no till farming the soil is preserved from erosion. It is cheaper for the farmer and is better for the ground. Less impact on the soil.

Soil is like our heart. Plants are like the preparation we have to cope with the events of life. The more we are prepared the better we can cope. But are we ever really prepared for the storms of life? I know I gain much solace from my Lord Jesus. I go to Him when my heart is troubled. In reading His word and prayer there is peace. Life brings many troubles. God gives peace and rest. As plants wait for rain and sun so I wait for God.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

What I Mean by: Christian Naturalist

Being a naturalist means there is never a lack of things to do.
You don’t have to wait for the show to come on TV. You don’t have to wait for it to warm up or for the season to come for your sport. No matter what time of year or the time of day there is always a wealth of things to see and observe.

You don’t have to work to spend money on being a naturalist because nature is free. Reading books and travel costs but nature itself is free.  God’s gift to me is His magnificent expanse. Everywhere I go is a new adventure.  Winter snows bring the fun of tracking.

February an off month for many is a great time of year for Missouri where I live. There are no bugs to deal with. No cobwebs to brush away or wipe off your sweaty face. The woods are open because the leaves are not out yet. So it is easy walking. The deep freeze is mainly over so the bitter cold is gone. Parks are empty no one is there.

There is so much to learn. I could spend the rest of my life watching, learning, hiking, reading and studying and I don’t feel I would scratch the surface.

It is the same with studying the Bible. The more you study the more there is to study. Jesus wrote the Bible and He created our world.
I want to get to know Jesus and when I study the Bible or nature I understand my creator better. Learning from the 2 things He has created nature and the Bible. Both are great avenues of learning.

When I am between planed things to do. I look outside and am reminded of what God is doing and will do. I am encouraged to expect Him to act on my behalf.

"Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!" Romans 11:33

Thursday, July 15, 2004


One day I decided to walk from my house to an area I haven’t been to in a long time. As I got there I decided to go to a part of the woods that I had never been to before. It was below a house on top of river losses that was deposited after the ice age.

I got to the woods and walked for a ways and then sat down. It is always peaceful in the woods by myself. As I sat there and looked I wondered how long these trees had been there. It was as if they had been waiting for me to come and visit for a long time. I felt at home.

They had been there all along. I just had not paid attention to them. I was busy going other places. Forests aren’t in a hurry. They grow a little bit at a time. Each year a new layer of wood is laid on the tree. And the year after that another. Though forests are still and quiet they are working.

My relationship with God and my interaction with forests are similar. As a forest is there for us to enjoy, so God is there for us to enjoy. Until I hiked over to those woods I didn’t enjoy them. But they were there anyway. As it seems they were waiting. So God is waiting for me to come to Him. He does not intrude upon me. But when I come to Him, He gives me peace. It is good just to sit and experience His presence.

God is working even when I neglect Him. He is always ready for me.

The things I could learn about forests are endless. So it is with God. What I can learn from Him will know no end.

God is waiting. Take time for Him. You won’t regret it!

Sunday, July 11, 2004

King Rail

We had a men’s breakfast at church at 8 this morning (10 July 2004). I thought I would go to a lake before the breakfast and watch. As I walked to the lake a Red winged Blackbird greeted me. When I got there a bird flew up into a dead branch that was about 3
feet above the water.

I keyed it first as a Least Bittern
It had a black head scruffy (ruffled) head feathers in the breeze.
white and brn eye stripe.
brn on the back of the neck.

Then looking a little more I decided that it was a King Rail. Clapper Rails hybrid with King Rails so it might be a hybrid, between those two. It did not have a buff colored wing
of a Least Bittern.

The King Rail sat on the branch for a while, changing positions from time to time. Later it dropped back into the grass and I never saw it again.

The activity of the lake was busy. Birds were flying back and forth. On an island out in front of me I could see a 10” tree had been fallen by beaver within the past year. The wood where they had chewed was still light so it was recent. Early morning mist came off the water as the sun rose. I allowed a cottonwood sapling about 10’ tall to shade the sun.

Blackberries usually ripen before the 4th of July. This year they are slow. It has been the best summer that I can remember. 1993 was a good year for temperature. That was the year that of a lot of flooding. In between the rains it warmed up. This year it has not warmed up with humidity until today. This afternoon you could really feel humidity. The blackberries will probably ripen now.

I hope to return with a bag to pick blackberries.

Job 12:7-9 “But now ask the beasts,and let them teach you; and the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you. Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you; and let the fish of the sea declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this.”

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Why Nature?

Why Nature?

The diversity
The search for light
different adaptations
different forms, colors
No straight lines
The uniqueness of life each type of
plant adapted to its own purpose.
The seasons marking the march of
The hidden importance of ecology.
Trees building against the law of
The complexity of God’s charater
shown in how He make nature.
Life feeds on death & death gives
Our life will produce for others.
The surprise of wildlife
The miracle of birth, germination
randomness of topography vs.
cookie cutter cities
Blue sky and green leaves.
The different shades of green.
The absence of people
Those you do see are a different
Babies quit crying when you take
them outside.
A sense of freedom.
The miracle of photosynthesis.
The complexity of photosynthesis.
The unique properties of water.
From rocks to dirt to plants and
back to dirt.
The cycles of life.
The teeming insect world
The fragleness of our planet earth.
Evolution is a farce
Nature points to God.
Light in darkness.
The struggle for life
The laws of nature
Birds in flight
The strength of a plant to break
rock or concrete
Ground water
The narrow range of temp we live
Resources renewable and
Energy sources

The list of reasons why nature is a
good guide to the attributes of
God is endless. O the goodness of
God. His ways are complex. But He
may be found by those who search
for Him.

Light is the first things God
created. And a verse in John is my
life verse. John 1:4,5 In Him was
life and the life was the light of
men, the light shines in the
darkness and the darkness did not
overcome it.

Col 1:13 It says that we were
delivered from the dominion of
darkness and translated into the
kingdom of His beloved Son. So we
are able to see where we are going
as the need arises.

God will show us the way. For as
the dawn of a new day grows
lighter as time passes so the
leading of the Lord will become
clearer as we walk in faith.

The plants reaching for the light
because that is what they were
made to do. And we seek God
because that is the source of our
life. What is the source of life? Is
it food. Is it dirt? Is it seeds. The
engine of physical life is the sun.
All the energy comes from the sun
and the source for spiritual life is
Christ. Without the sun life
ceases and without Christ our
spiritual life will cease.

There is a difference between
spiritual and physical. We have
eyes that see the physical. But how
do we see the spiritual. The life of
the Spirit is lived in faith. there is
an ebbing and flowing and a time
lapse before we know that there is
something wrong. But when we do
sense that something is amiss our
actions should be actions of prayer
and faith.

Nature points to life. Life points
to a need for God. Our need for
God points to a search for
answers. Our search for answers
will lead us to Jesus. Jesus will
give us peace even when we don’t
have the answers. When we find
Jesus we find God and peace.

When I was sitting on the fallen
ash tree I had a sense of peace. A
peace that came from not being
forced to produce all the time. But
there is a time when I need to

What types of plants are there
trees. Dominate primary climax
I need to break down the
different types of trees. Have a
story on each one of these types.
Then you have species. of trees and
have a story on ea. Show the
succession of the forest.
Where did the tree grow the soil
efficient in photosynthesis
How does it use water
There is a lot of things that I can
incorporate in.

Jer ___ hunting for things and I
was thinking about the bald eagle
and how predators and we search
for souls the same way.

Bald Eagle we were there and were
searching and for that reason we
saw it. Put yourself in a position to
hear from God.