Saturday, November 02, 2013

Leaning Tree - Reaction Wood: A Lesson in Christian Growth

  Matthew 17:17 “And Jesus answered and said, “'You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.”'

Become what Jesus wants us to be. There is frustration in this verse by Jesus. The disciples could not cure a sick man. Instead of being frustrated I want Jesus to be pleased with me. And to say well done good and faithful servant.

What is a person who is warped (unbelieving, perverted)? He is different than what he was supposed to be. If you buy a piece of lumber and it is warped, it was cut straight, but the fibers pulled it out of plumb. What causes the board to warp? It grew crooked to begin with. And what causes the board to grow crooked?

A tree might start to grow straight on a hill but through time the ground on the hill may slide a little down the hill. But the tree that was growing straight is now compromised by the ground which slid. The bole of the tree is now leaning because the ground moved.

The tree reacts to a leaning bole by putting more growth on the downhill side than the uphill side to cause the stem to grow straight towards the light. This reaction is called reaction wood, which will warp after the lumber has come out of the mill.

Christians endeavor to follow Christ. But if our foundations have shifted, the resulting growth is warped and is not what our master would like. The solution is to reset our foundations. A tree has no ability to change the foundation it grows from. We do, but many have a vested interest in the past. We don't like to admit that our past efforts are not according to the will of God.

A  tree may not have a clear path to light, so it grows at an angle to reach the light. Christians should go where they can get to the light. If they have to bend and to get to the light there will be a problem with their lives down the road. Always seek for the light and don't let hindrances keep you from receiving the light. Do we put things in our life, hindering our ability to receive from God? Do we think on problems and let these fester, causing us to block out the light of God? Reject the doubt and accept the word of God.

If we are going to produce good fruit, we first need to check our foundation to ensure our growth is straight.  Matt 7:24-27 let us base our life on the rock and that rock is the Word Jesus has given us.

Many of us want to do away with doubt but are not willing to put away the things that block the light of God from shining in our hearts. Decide to pay the price to live for God. You won't be sorry.

Matt 6:24
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. NASV

The word of God is true. Numbers 23:19; Romans 3:4 Yet we reject it and explain it away by tradition.

Isaiah 29:13
Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,
Matthew 15:3
And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?
Mark 7:8
Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.”

Let us not follow the traditions of man but follow the teachings of Jesus.

Many don't look into the Scripture for themselves but follow the traditions set by others in the past. I'm not saying reject what others have set up. But I am saying read the Scriptures for yourself and decide to follow them. Find Christian leaders who have set their heart to follow God and align yourself with them.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

May Apple

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Early spring brings out the May apples. Here is a May apple patch in the woods. My wife and dog were caught in the photo as well.

Osprey Camera Live Feed

The egg hatched May 3rd and May 6th 2013

Friday, May 03, 2013

Magnolia Tree flowers

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Beautiful Magnolia flowers.

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American White Pelican

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I encountered these birds as they were migrating up from the Gulf coast and further south through Missouri up into the northern states and in Canada.

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They stand about 4' tall with a wing span of 9'. They scoop up fish as they swim in the water. They do not plunge into the water for food. They at times will form a line and herd fish to shore where the fish are easy to scoop up.

Foraging areas are marshes, rivers and at lake edges.

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I saw this bright white through the trees as I walked up to the Missouri river. As I got closer I realized they were birds. American White Pelican.

I was shooting through some brush so as not to  be seen by them. Yet after a short time they were on to me and started to get nervous. Most of them took off till only a few were left on the dike.

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Psalm 102:6
I resemble a pelican of the wilderness;
I have become like an owl of the waste places.

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This encounter reminds me I am just passing through. This world and city are not mine. My home is in heaven. The Pelican lives by the water. In Psalm 102:6 refers to being in the wilderness. There is no place for the Pelican to live naturally  in the desert. Christians are like Pelicans in the desert. We don't thrive in this world. We are of the Kingdom of God. Yet we can make a big influence here by the power of the Holy Spirit.

It is not with our ability but God's which allows us to be effective here.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Early Morning Mist

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Mist off the pond early in the morning speaks to me of the value of an early devotion time with God. It is early in the morning when there are few distractions where we can be with God and learn/hear from Him.

Psalm 63:1 "O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water."

Habakkuk 2:1 "I will stand on my guard post
And station myself on the rampart;
And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me,
And how I may reply when I am reproved.

The mist represents the Holy Spirit coming to us. This mist happens in the early morning. Cherish these times with God. It is not that we can't meet Him at any time. It is that we are involved in things that will distract us from Him.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Missouri River Seasons

13 Feb 08

31 March 08

April 11th 2008

June 25th 2008

3-Sep-08 Thick fog that morning.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Turkey Vulture

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Turkey vulture is a Cathertine  vulture. They have bare heads and necks. They are natures sanitary service. Cleaning up dead animals called carrion.

These birds glide back and forth across searching for carrion to eat. They stay separate from each other as they look for carrion. Having found some carrion, other vultures will flock to the site. I have seen them fly in circles as a group at the beginning and end of a day.

They have a very keen sense of smell and sight to locate their food. They also are cautious and won't be tricked by bait. They are able to find covered bodies on the forest floor.

Black vulture is similar to the Turkey vulture but the Black vulture has flat wings in flight while the Turkey vulture wings are in a V shape. Also the Turkey vulture's wings are 2 toned while the Black vulture's wigs are black with light wing tips.

As we were hiking up to a bluff a Turkey vulture swooped by us at a surprising close proximity. Then seeing us it moved up much higher. It is at this point I captured this photo.

The Turkey vulture migrates in from the south and spends the warmth in mid Missouri. Crows migrate down from the north and spend the winter here. Crows are scavengers as well. I have not noticed if both birds are here at the same time.

Matthew 24:28
"Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather."

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Spring is Comming

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I took this photo of the woods on April 20th 2013. The trees are still waiting for Spring. It was a beautiful day. Blue sky, cool temps in the 50's. Just waiting for the activity of Spring and Summer.

This reminds me of watching for Jesus to bring an answer to my prayers. He is coming and I look for Him today.

Revelation 22:20
"He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen, Come, Lord Jesus."

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Habitat Holes

Notice the holes under the branches to the right.

There is a hole at the base of this tree.

Looking closely you can see holes in these tree boles. Dead trees provide habitat for animals. Leaving some old dead trees is beneficial to the diversity of the forest. There is much activity in a forest. When a tree dies it still provides a place for animals to live.

When I see these trees I think of Christian leaders that have gone on to be with Jesus. Their books still teach and their life gives guidance for us to follow.


“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” I Corinthians 11:1

Monday, February 18, 2013

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Flying Crows

Photobucket I drove up to a spot and stopped not paying attention to my surroundings  Some crows gathered to eat bread cast along the roadside. Quite a few were there, my guess about 50.

When I noticed the crows I got my camera and set the aperture and speed so I would be ready when I rolled down the window. When I opened the window they all instantly took off. I took this photo of them flying away.

We never know when an opportunity will present itself so be ready always. This is true in life ans well as in the Spirit. It says in Luke 12:35 be dressed in readiness and keep your lamps lit.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Dead Sucker


Here is an American Elm tree that is overshadowed by an oak in the background. The sucker that took off from the base died and is about to fall because it has rotted long ago. Many times a branch will die because it is not getting enough light.

When a branch needs to be supplied by the rest of the tree to survive the tree will just let it die. Each branch needs to produce enough for its substance  and give some to the rest of the tree as well.

Christians are asked to produce fruit in John 15. If after a reasonable time the branch does not produce fruit they are cut off and thrown into the fire.

Let us not be dead wood, but fruitful for the kingdom of God.

John 15:2
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

John 15:6
If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Black Locust

I caught this Black locust tree last summer. The multi stem tree interested me. It is my guess that this tree grew from many suckers from a stump which is long gone. Black locust also can grows from root suckers.

The tree casts a wide shadow with its branches.

Isaiah 42:3 "A bruised reed He will ot break and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish..."

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Beaver Activity

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The above Box Elder maple and the 2 Eastern Cottonwood trees have recently been worked on by local beavers.

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These 2 Eastern cottonwood trees will be cut completely down at some time. Notice the bottom photo there is a sapling just to the left of the cottonwood tree that was cut and removed. This tree was probably dragged off to be eaten or used to make a den.

Beaver don't usually make a den in the water of the Missouri river. They put their den on the river bank.

Psalm 39:7 "And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You."

Thursday, January 31, 2013


 photo IMG_2709_zps56c0e7e1.jpg Drought has been in the Midwest for more than a year. Photo January 28th 2013

This is a photo of the river with sandbars appearing in the low river.

We just received 1.4" of rain the last 2 days. Will this rain cause the river to rise at least 2' to cover the sandbar?  photo IMG_2711_zps2c11562d.jpg

Hiking back out here at lunch today I see the river has risen a little but not enough. Photo January 31st 2013

In the Old Testament Omri was an evil king of Israel, he did more evil than all the kings that reigned before him. And his son Ahab reigned afterward. And this son Ahab did more evil even that his father.1 Kings 16:25,30. It is with this dire situation that Elijah shows up and says, "As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word." 1 Kings 17:1

When drought comes I wonder if this is the judgment of God. I don't know if it is or not, but it is good to keep a humble heart before the Lord.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bark Contrast


Chinquapin oak is on the left and Eastern Cottonwood is on the right. This is a contrast between 2 very different types of bark. Cottonwood is rarely seen in these woods on the hillside. They are found along the creek bottoms.

Cottonwood germinates easily and it is not rare to see large patches of ground of pure cottonwood seedlings. It is my guess that the trees are about the same age showing the faster growth of the Eastern cottonwood. At one point this hillside may have been cleared and this cottonwood started on a bare patch of ground.

This unusual occurance of cottonwood brings to mind the occurance of Christ  birth in my heart. I was a child and accepted the Lord because of John 3:16 being explained to me.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His [a]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Woodpecker Holes


If you look closely at these American basswood trees you can see lines of horizontal hole drilled by woodpeckers. They will eat sap in the spring. They eat insects found around and in the bark.

They also engage in drumming to announce their territory or to attract a mate. They don't have a song to anounce their presence. If these trees are hollow they may have been drumming on this tree.


You don't hear a woodpecker unless he is working. We should have this kind of industry.

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 15:58