Thursday, June 30, 2016

Western Kingbird

Western Kingbird is a Flycatcher. It can be seen perches on trees and utility lines. The black tail with white edges and a yellow breast are distinguishing marks.

When intimidated by predators the bird will display crimson feathers under its crown, that are normally hidden from view, as it chases the predator away.

The birds range has been expanding as forests are cleared and utility lines are set up.

I have found them nesting in trees along Berkeley park near downtown Kansas City.

What do we display when we are under spiritual attack?  Do we display faith in God and His promise of protection and provision or do we display fear and hopelessness?

Psalm 56:3,4 "When I am afraid,
I will put my trust in You.
4 In God, whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust;
I shall not be afraid.
What can mere man do to me?"

Father, I look to you for my help. You are my strength and security. Thank you for protecting me under the shadow of your wings.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Purple Finch

Here you can see the size difference between the Indigo bunting and the Purple finches.

These birds look like a Great grosebeak. Put I IDed them as Purple Finches. 

Here you can see the size difference between a Harry woodpecker and a Purple Finch.

Bird watching can be hard at times, this is why I come to a nature center that puts out a bird feeder allowing me to see some birds I don't see at home. The busy activity at the feeder can be fun to watch. Finding birds in the forest at times I have to wait for a bird to return after I spooked them all away by walking into the woods. At the feeder they are used to people and if you keep a proper distance will not mind you being there.

Don't short change yourself by always going to a book or other media to be fed from the word of God. It is easier at times but it is canned messages. Go to the Bible for yourself to hear from the Lord. The Lord has some specific things to say to you and you can only hear them if you listen quietly.

Psalm 119:48  "My eyes anticipate the night watches, That I may meditate on Your word."

Father, let me seek you at all times of the day. I want to hear You. In Jesus name. Thank you.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Light Empowers

There are 2 trees growing together by the fence. One is a Chinese elm and the other is an American sycamore. To the right of these 2 trees there is a Eastern cottonwood tree and to the right of the cottonwood tree there is a tree of heaven.

Just common every day trees to some. But to me, I see these trees worshipping God. They are reaching for the light that powers their growth.

Isaiah 55:12 "For you will go out with joy And be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, And all the trees of the field will clap their hands."

Father keep my eyes on you and keep me seeing you in all around me. Let me worship you in all I do, for You empower me with the light of Your understanding. In Jesus name you are doing it.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Summer Trail

Summer changes everything. In the winter the trail is open and you can see into the woods. In the summer plants grow into the trail and much is obscured by the leaves of all the plants. It is by traffic that the trail is kept open. Without any traffic, even the foot path will start to be covered with plants and a trail will cease to exist.

It is the same with our relationship with Christ. If we stop our daily  devotions and quit going to church and serving the Lord our path with Jesus will start to be overgrown. It then becomes harder to walk with the Lord and we have to blaze a new trail.

Jeremiah 6:16 "Thus says the LORD, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.'

Father, remind me when I leave Your path.  For Your ways are better and lead to life. In Jesus name, thanks.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Birds foot trefoil

I found these flowers along a sidewalk in late June last year.  They are quite small the above photo was accomplished with an extension tube on my camera.

Psalm 91:14-16 “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.
15 “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
16 “With a long life I will satisfy him
And let him see My salvation.”

Father, You do not care if someone is great or small. You will bless whoever calls on you. Thank you for Your blessing. Thank you for Your answers.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Canon Rebel T3 F20 1/125 sec ISO 200 10 mm lens

The sun angle was just right with the water to get this reflection on the water with these clouds.

We can position our life to be a reflection of God's light.

2 Corinthians 4:6 "For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."

Father, I yield my life to reflect your life, so others may see the hope you have given them. Thank you, for your guidance, grace and light of understanding. In Jesus name you are doing it.

Monday, June 20, 2016

American Coot

These birds are more like a Sandhill crane than a duck. On land they walk like chickens and don't waddle like ducks.

When I have seen them fly they don't get far off the water. It looks like they are running on top of the water as they fly to the other side of the pond. They are predominate in most rural area ponds that I have been to. In West central Missouri they are a little north of their year around range. Though I think some of them stay at a wildlife refuge I frequent, all winter.

Most people don't like to eat them. I read one article where a guy cooks them for his dog.

Psalm 77:11-15 "I shall remember the deeds of the Lord;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
12 I will meditate on all Your work
And muse on Your deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is holy;
What god is great like our God?
14 You are the God who works wonders;
You have made known Your strength among the peoples.
15 You have by Your power redeemed Your people,
The sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah."

Father, You make all things good for their place. Thank you for the beauty I see.

Sunday, June 19, 2016


This plant does not have much use for agriculture. There is no real value  that we can use this for. I like the pink flowers. 

Some people produce good fruit and others bad fruit. This thistle looks nice, but you would not like to eat it, or for that matter to walk through it. The thorns will go right through your pants.

Let us do quality work for Jesus. Start small and build on that.

Matthew 7:16
"You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Willows Along Lake Shore

In May we were came to this lake and remained there to enjoy the solitude and peacefulness of the area. 

Willows as a genus grow by the abundance of water. Water is the basis of all life. We thrive when there is abundance of God's word. With abundance there is no need. God promises to supply our needs. Willows speak to me of God supplying me with all I need.

Father, I thank you for all you show me and give me and supply my every need.

Leviticus 23:40 "And you shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days."

Friday, June 17, 2016

Ohio Spiderwart

Got a nice close up of an Ohio Spiderwart flower.  Just a little flower growing on grass type weeds. Weeds are only weeds because our perception of the plant. A weed ceases to be a weed when we learn the plants value.

It is the same with the Spirit. Many don't understand the value of reading the Bible or the benefits of living for God. Many just obey enough they think to go to heaven. But their heart is never really for God. They keep Christian rules with drudgery.

We are created to live with God. When we live like this our life becomes fulfilling and satisfying.

Ephesians 2:10 "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

Father, let me see your purpose for me today in what my seem mundane. Let my heart share your glory to others. In Jesus name it's happening.

Thursday, June 16, 2016


We were driving around looking for a good place to take some sunset photos.The place I had thought of was good for spring but in the summer the sun had moved further north. I ended up shooting  over some hills as you can see in these photos. The color was so good that some of my shots came out well.

I give glory to God for the beauty I see each day. This day was special for the beauty was grand. We can see God's work and know that He has greater things in store for us.

Psalm 113:3 " From the rising of the sun to its setting The name of the Lord is to be praised."

Father, I praise you for all the beauty I get to see daily. Thank you for all you do for me. In Jesus name I receive your blessings of nature.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Northern Mocking Bird

I had moved up to the edge of the Missouri river to watch some Cliff swallows and this Mocking bird was prancing around and spreading its wings as the above photo shows. I enjoy watching and listening to this bird.

It is not known why Mocking birds spread their wings like this. It could be to startle bugs to make them easier to catch. Other birds make a racket when you get near their nest. There were no trees near this area because it was at the water's edge of the Missouri river.

They may spread their wings because they can. A stance of pride. Mocking birds may learn up to 200 birds songs which they will repeat throughout the day.

I find it useful to take liberty at times with analogies. These analogies can remind us of reality. The Mocking bird is acting like he is under the influence of alcohol. I have never heard anyone say that booze made their marriage better over the course of their life. I have heard many say that booze destroyed their marriage. I worked downtown for a number of years inspecting street cuts. Being on the street I ran into a lot of homeless people. Not all were there because of alcohol but many were.

Proverbs 20:1 "Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise."

Why turn to booze when we can turn to Christ and have the Holy Spirit to help us? People don't understand how God can give us a better life, but He does promise us an abundant life.

John 10:10 ""The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Cone Flowers

There are 9 species of cone flowers, I'm not sure what this one is. They have been used to heal saddle sores on horses and also used for snake bites. Because of their medical use they are dug up illegally. They grow well in the sun and also in dry rocky glaces. I got this bottom photo in  a rocky glade. 

Psalm 34:17,18 "The righteous cry, and the Lord hears
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit."

Father, guide me by Your Spirit to places of peace and rest. Let me see Your handiwork day by day. In Jesus name thanks.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Lilly Activity

Saturday I posted photos of a yellow Lilly in our backyard. God has created much  beauty.

But all is not as it looks. When I looked closer at the flower there were bugs there. Much activity was happening that was not apparent at a glance. The top photo shows an ant. Ants herd aphids and harvest them for food. The next photo was a bug maybe there to eat the leaves of the plant. And the bottom 2 photos was photos of a daddy long leg spider. He was there to catch other bugs.

Just as this flower had more going on than was apparent to the casual eye, so life has much going on that we miss if we aren't spiritually aware. 

1 Peter 5:8 "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."

Father I look to you to guide me through this day to walk in victory. In Jesus name I thank you.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

House Sparrow Egg

Found this House Sparrow bird egg on the driveway.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Yellow LIlly

I was sitting outside and my wife commented to me, "Look at this yellow Lilly. Flowers draw your attention and that is their purpose. They are attracting bees to pollinate them.

When I see a flower like this I think of new hope. A renewed chance and vibrant life.

Hosea 14:4,5 "Hosea 14:4-5
I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from them. I will be like the dew to Israel; He will blossom like the lily, And he will take root like the cedars of Lebanon."

Friday, June 10, 2016

Bitternut Hickory with Sapings

Bitternut hickory with sucker saplings. The mowers let these saplings grow here. My guess is the area was not mowed for a while and then as the trees got bigger the mowers went around them.

Psalm 40:1-3 "I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the Lord."

Father you have delivered me and I rejoice. Thank you so much for life and purpose.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Thicket of Paw Paw trees

Here is a thicket of Paw Paws. They are in the foreground looking like a tall bush. Often they will spread from suckers growing from the roots. This is what this stand of trees seems to have done. There is a creek on the other side of this stand of trees.

This thicket of Paw Paws has been there for a while and I enjoy going by there to see them. A Paw Paw by itself would be hardly noticed but the thicket is noticeable.

Psalm 46:5-7
"God has ascended with a shout,
The Lord, with the sound of a trumpet.
6 Sing praises to God, sing praises;
Sing praises to our King, sing praises.
7 For God is the King of all the earth;
Sing praises with a skillful psalm."

Father, I praise you for Your work and life you show us and give us.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Reeds in Water

I wanted to get a photo of a Red winged black bird and I new these reeds were near a home supply store. So I brought my camera to find a bird after I shopped for what I needed.

Why these reeds? Red winged blackbirds feed around aquatic plants by probing with their bill at the base of the plants for insects.

There are places where Christians can find food for their spirits as well. Reading the Bible daily is a good way to feed your spirit. Going to church and fellowship with believers, worship and learning from the sermon are other was to learn.. Books have much knowledge as well. 

It is important to acknowledge that learning is not complete if we don't apply what we have been taught.

Father I want to seek you earnestly each day. Guide me by your Spirit to find the nourishment I need and ways to serve. Thank you Lord for your provision in Jesus name.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

American Basswood

Basswood canopy.

The bark of the tree has straight grain.

The light colored leaves are part of the fruiting body. (from a different tree)

Basswood is used by wood carvers. It has other uses. Coffins, moulding trim wood, use for models because of the soft wood but also it does not show growth rings that would mar the purpose of the model. Indians would use it to make canoes.

I see Basswood as a type of Christian that is pliable in the hands of God to work for His purposes.

2 Timothy 2:21 "Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work."

Monday, June 06, 2016


We went to a rose garden and got lots of photos of roses. It is a beautiful place and I enjoy going there every year. The abundance of beauty reminds me of the abundance God promises us.

John 10:10 " The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

Psalm 13:6 "I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me."

Psalm 116:7 "Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you."

Psalm 119:17 "Deal bountifully with Your servant,
That I may live and keep Your word."

Father, thank you for the abundance you promise us.
I will walk with You, for You provide for me. In Jesus name it's coming.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Shagbark Hickory

Looking up a Shagbark hickory bole I see a stately tree with distinctive bark.  The tree is always recognizable by its bark. The bud nut and leaves also will ID the tree but the first thing a person sees when they see this tree is the bark.;

Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata) Nuts are editable with a sweet flavor. They are not commercial because of the unpredictability of the nut production from year to year. Also it takes a tree more years than normal to produce nuts.

Hickory wood is tough. Andrew Jackson our 7th president was called Hickory because of his toughness. His grave site was surrounded by a number of trees including 6 Shagbark hickory trees.

Just as hickory tress produce tough wood. the toughness of Christians comes from the trials they face. 

James 1:2-4 "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

Father allow me to become strong for you through the trials I face in my life. In Jesus name, thank you Jesus for doing this for me. 

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Blue Eyed Mary (Collinsia verna Nutt.)

Returning from a 3 day seminar we stopped at a nature area to hike. The sky was cloudy and rain was forecast. We decided to hike anyway hoping to beat the rain. During the hike we found this impressive field of Blue Eyed Mary wild flowers. We were over half the way through the hike and it started to rain. Then the rain came down in buckets. It wasn't cold enough to bother us very much. When we got back to the car we changed clothes.

It was worth it to find these flowers and my wife was not bothered with the rain either. We had a good time.

I enjoy nature and the beauty it has. Sometimes you have to be willing to go through the elements to find God's creative handiwork.

It is the same with our walk with Jesus. Searching the Scriptures we will find many jewels that will give us strength when we push through to find them.

Jeremiah 33:3 "Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know."