Sunday, July 31, 2016

Brown Eyed Susans

Revelation 4:11
"Worthy are You, our Lord and our God,
to receive glory and honor and power;
for You created all things, 
and because of Your will they existed,
and were created."

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Black Locust Stump

This Black locust was cut down for redesign of the park. Notice the sprouting of the stump. The top photo was taken July 11th 2013 and the bottom photo was taken July 31st 2013. The fast growth of these sprouts is because of the root system of the tree. The tree was cut down but the root system is still intact. This facilitates fast growth.

Looking at the stump it was not the first time this tree was cut down. There are at least 4 stems growing together which probably came from a former stump that had died back or had been cut down.

Isaiah 6:13 "Yet there will be a tenth portion in it, And it will again be subject to burning, Like a terebinth or an oak Whose stump remains when it is felled. The holy seed is its stump."

When a work for Christ is destroyed or stopped, hope is not lost. Do not despair. There are seeds that will spring up to a new work from the old work. And it will flourish even better than before.

Father I thank you that even when there is loss, hope is not destroyed and You can establish a new work in us.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Multi Stem Black Locust

Here is a multi stem Black locust that has branches spread out that is not normal for this type of tree. But if each stem is a tree then that explains why it is different.

New seed pod growth.

Here is a close up of the stems of the tree that have grown together.

There are different types of Christians just as there are different types of trees. We should not try to force people into molds they were not made for. Some things are the same for all trees as some things are common to all Christians. Our purpose as Christians may be different.

Psalm 108:1 "My heart is steadfast, O God;
I will sing, I will sing praises, even with my soul."

Father, just as this tree is made different, so I will worship you in the way I was made. Thank you for your fantastic and majestic creation. It speaks of you.

Photos taken August 2012. Tomorrow I will show what happens to this tree.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Black Locust

Here is a Black locust tree in the open. There are branches down the bowl but they don't extend out from the tree very far. Again this is a tree that follows the type that I was talking about yesterday of not having large branches.

We measured this tree for height, bowl circumference and canopy spread.
Height 100.4'
Circumference 102"  (32.5" diameter)
Canopy was 42' x 39'
Total points for this tree are 203.5

This is the largest Black locust tree I have measured.

This photo shows a branch that has broken off the tree and the bowl is exposed. Disease and bug infestation will enter in here to kill the tree.

A tree can't protect itself well when a branch like this is torn off. Christians can go to God and ask for forgiveness and receive healing when there is brokenness. 

Psalm 107:17-21
"Fools, because of their rebellious way,
And because of their iniquities, were afflicted.
18 Their soul abhorred all kinds of food,
And they drew near to the gates of death.
19 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble;
He saved them out of their distresses.
20 He sent His word and healed them,
And delivered them from their destructions.
21 Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness,
And for His wonders to the sons of men!"

Father, I thank you and worship you. You have made a way for me to receive forgiveness and healing. I receive it in Jesus name. So be it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Black Locust Canopy

Waling in the woods the other day I came across some Black locust trees. I thought this was typical of the lack of branches these trees have. I have seen many Black locust trees and they seem not to grow much of a branch system.

If the tree is not going to grow branches they have to be dominate and not have other trees overtoping them or they would lose out on the needed sunlight. In looking for discussion of this tree and the lack of branches I did not find any information. That is my experience in Mid Missouri, most of the trees don't have many branches.

It is the branches and ability to collect light that allows a tree to thrive. This stand of Black locusts is thriving together.

The stand of Black locusts reminds me of the need of believers to work together. When one tree is limited it does better when there are other trees around to support it.

Of course this is not always the case which I will show in near future posts.

Hebrews 10:24 "and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,"

Father, you give strength to the weary and power to those who lack strength. I thank you for your grace and ability to serve You.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Pelicans in Flight

American White Pelicans in Flight is a majestic scene. Pictures like this don't come every day. I was fortunate to get this shot. I had the equipment ready and the camera settings pre-set. But still I had to get it. I thank the Lord for the opportunity.

The Christian life can be the same way. You can go aimlessly through life or you can live prepared. When we live aimlessly we get blindsided, but when we are prepared we are ready for the fight.

1 Timothy 6:12 "Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses."

Luke 12:35 ""Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit."

Father, I thank you for the opportunity to minister your reconciliation and grace to others. Guide me to readiness. In Jesus name it's happening.

Camera settings:
Canon EOS Rebel T3
400 mm lens
1/800 sec   f/7.1   ISO 100
April 7th 2016 11:53 AM

Monday, July 25, 2016

Daisy Fleabane

1 Chronicles 16:7-19

7 Then on that day David first assigned Asaph and his relatives to give thanks to the Lord.

8 Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples.

9 Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Speak of all His wonders.

10 Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad.

11 Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face continually.

12 Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done,
His marvels and the judgments from His mouth,

13 O seed of Israel His servant,
Sons of Jacob, His chosen ones!

14 He is the Lord our God;
His judgments are in all the earth.

15 Remember His covenant forever,
The word which He commanded to a thousand generations,

16 The covenant which He made with Abraham,
And His oath to Isaac.

17 He also confirmed it to Jacob for a statute,
To Israel as an everlasting covenant,

18 Saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan,
As the portion of your inheritance.”

19 When they were only a few in number,
Very few, and strangers in it,

Here is a photo I got in 2015

Sunday, July 24, 2016

American Sycamore Winter\Summer

This winter photo is in November 2014 and the one below is in July 2016. They are both looking northerly but not at the exact same spot. Probably within 50 feet of each other.

The blue sky accents the white bark in the winter scene. Yesterday it was a little hazy which I was thankful for. This kept the heat off us to an extent. Trees and brush leafed out causes a more busy look in the woods, blocking the sight distance.

It is easy to criticize others that are working for the Lord by those who are not doing anything. Putting forth effort, causes you to become aware of many obstacles that need to be dealt with. Be assured the work you are doing will be rewarded.

1 Corinthians 15:58 "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."

Father, thank you for the grace you give us as we work for you.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Northern Cardinal

Female Northern Cardinal

The best IDs for this bird is the beak and the crest. 2 of my photos don't show this crest, but they are laid down. As you continue viewing the bird you will notice them. 

The black face stands out against the red. The bird does not migrate and is really beautiful against the white snow. The long tail gives the bird more distinction I think.

These birds are common in backyard feeders because they are drawn to residential areas. In captivity they have lived up to 15 years.

Few female birds will sing. But the Northern Cardinal sings and will sing even while sitting on her nest.

Birds singing remind me to worship God. Many find worship a burden especially when people wrongly accuse God of doing things against them or their families. God is for us, not against 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."

Father I thank you for your protection and warning that you give me in life. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Hawthorne Tree

The Hawthorne tree is the one in front leaning to the right.

 Most people don't know of them but there are about 100 species of Hawthorn. Many types of Hawthorn are just shrubs or small trees. I like the flowers this Hawthorn has. Above is the flower bud forming.

Just as God prepared the Hawthorn tree to flower and grow, He also has prepared a work for us to do.

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."

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Black-Headed Grosbeak or Hybrid

Sitting in my back yard I was having devotions when I saw this bird on the top dead branch of a tree about 100+ yards away. Looking up this bird in my bird book it resembles a Black-Headed Grosbeak. It probably is a juvenile bird because the dark head feathers are not complete. The range starts in Eastern Kansas And goes West. So this bird is exploring after getting its wings. The young are able to fly at 15 days.

The bird sometimes hybrids with Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. This birds range goes all the way to the Atlantic. The Great Plains was a barrier for western birds to cross over to the East. With the advent of farming and trees ranges expanding along creeks.ponds and man made lakes, some birds are making the journey across the plains.

Psalm 103:22
 "Bless the Lord, all you works of His,
In all places of His dominion;
Bless the Lord, O my soul!"

God is good and His works show His glory. Bless His holy name.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Shumard Oak

Shumard Oak The acorn is not fully grown in this photo. Taken about July 10th.

Shumard oak is in the red oak group. The Northern red oak is a more valuable tree because of the straight long bole the tree produces. The Shumard oak branches much lower and so does not produce a timber quality tree as the Northern does. Each tree has its value.

The Shumard oaks I've seen don't grow tall stems. They branch early. In better conditions they will grow tall stems for lumber.

Our walk with the Lord grows better in the right conditions. Set aside time in the morning to read the Bible and pray over your day and your loved ones.

Psalm 119:116 "Sustain me according to Your word,that I may live;
And do not let me be ashamed of my hope."

Father, I come to You to be revived in Your word. Thank you.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Mallard Hen

Found this Mallard hen resting on a log back in April. She looks as if she has puffed out her feathers for warmth. When we hunted ducks by Mound City Missouri we would take them to the pickers and they would remove the feathers for us. These feathers would be used in down sleeping bags and coats. I owned a coat once and they were too hot for the winters of Missouri. I am sure this hen was comfy.

There is a comfort in Christ. Let us come to Him for comfort by reading His word and resting in His promises.

Matthew 11:28 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."

Father I thank you for the comfort you give in all times of life.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Open Grass Land

We came across some grass land that I look forward to hiking through later in the year. There is so much to see and experience that I wait with anticipation for what I will learn as I hike through this area.

Psalm 72:18,19
 "Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,
Who alone works wonders.
19 And blessed be His glorious name forever;
And may the whole earth be filled with His glory.
Amen, and Amen."

Father, the whole earth is full of your glory. I enjoy all the wonders you have made. Yes Lord let your glory fill the earth.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Prairie Coreopsis

1 Peter 1:24:25 " For, All flesh is like grass,
And all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
And the flower falls off,
25 But the word of the Lord endures forever.”
And this is the word which was preached to you."

The beauty of flowers lasts a short time. These flowers have lasted about a month. Yet time will bring an end to the flowers just as time will bring an end to our life. Life even if blessed with many years will come to an end. Let us be about what will last for Jesus.

Lord help me to live for you and do your work.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Tufted Titmouse

These birds have a long term pair bond. They also are extending their range north because of backyard feeding.

You see this bird often flocking with other birds. The reason that it would be easier to feed this way or to overwhelm a single birds defence of an area. They also could flock because they are better able to be aware of an attack by a hawk.

Christian life is much better in a group. We encourage each other and support each other even when we aren't perfect.

Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble."

Father, thank you for your help and the people you have put in my life to encourage me.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Grass Gone to Seed

Why has this grass gone to seed so early. Early July

This is a type of life being over for this crop of grass and new life will come next year. 

We want to bring people into maturity in Christ. But we don't want our life to end early. At least most people don't. We would like to live a full life in Christ. What would bring our life to an early end spiritually? When we give up hope. In Christ there is hope when all looks hopeless. There is hope in the promise when there is no hope in the possible.

Abraham hoped for a son when he was 100 and his wife was 90.
Romans 4:17,18 "(as it is written, “A father of many nations have I made you”) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist. 18 In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”

Father, I hope in You and what You have promised me. Thank you for your goodness, mercy and patience.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Downy Woodpecker

Mr Downy came by for a visit this morning during devotions. The rat a tat tat on this branch was his way of saying hello..

This woodpecker is a frequent visitor to our area. His ancestors decided to bore a hole in our shed years ago. I chased them off by throwing sticks at him. But even with this, I am happy to see any bird that comes by. The oldest recorded male was 11 years old.

Feeding woodpeckers don't make that much noise. They don't have a song so they use the rat a tat tat as their song. 

I give thanks to the Lord for what He has done for me. I enjoy what He is doing now and I trust in Him for the future.

Psalm 150:1 "Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty expanse."

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

From Shadow to Light

As I was having devotions in the back yard, I noticed sunshine on the other side of some trees. My yard was shaded by trees, but the yard to the north was getting a lot of sun. When an area is in shade it is using up the sunlight and many trees will not grow if shaded. The ground getting the sun will be able to grow more because there is an abundance of light.

Our walk with God is based on our ability to receive from God. This is called light or understanding. The way to get this understanding is to read the Bible and go to church and read books and listen to teaching or preaching that is broadcast. Don't stay in darkness, but get to the light so you can grow.

Psalm 36:9 "For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light."

Father, lead me to your light of understanding. Thank you, in Jesus name it is happening.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Butterfly Milkweed

The purpose of flowers is to attract pollinators.  They are fun to find and take pictures of as I hike.

In my devotions today I was reading and meditating on church leadership. Some leaders seem to try to be flowers to attract people to come to their meetings. They preach flowery sermons to tickle peoples ears. 2 Timothy 4:3 In this process they neglect to tell the people the hard truths of life.

Our politicians seem to be doing the same thing. They get elected by promising goodies but fail to make the hard decisions of leadership.

Father, I want to follow You and walk in truth and not deception. Thank you for Your guidance.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Reading my devotions in the backyard this morning, about 5 squirrels were playing a game of tag.

They hoard food and store their catch in many places. Each squirrel is said to hide several thousand catches of food each year. If they are being watched they will act like they are burying the food when in fact they have it in their mouths.  They will share their nests while breeding and during cold spells to stay warm.

I had trouble keeping them away from our bird seed, until I bought a feeder that closes with weight.

They seemed to enjoy the early morning running and jumping from branch to branch. They also use our house roof as a bridge to get from one tree to another.

I truly enjoy watching God's creation in action.

Psalm 108:3 “I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples, and I will sing praises to You among the nations.”

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Purple Prairie Clover

Purple Prairie Clover (Dalea purpurea )growing in the grass.

Psalm 65:12 New Living Translation
"The grasslands of the wilderness become a lush pasture, and the hillsides blossom with joy."

Father, let me see what you have made with joy.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Water on Mulberry Leaf

The surface tension of water permits the water to bead on this leaf and not drain off. Water is attracted to other water molecules more than to the molecules in the air. Small bugs are able to walk across the water because of the surface tension  The reason why hot water is better for cleaning is because the surface tension is less than cold water.

Plant life could not exist without surface tension of water. Water can be drawn out of the ground by the plant because of the surface tension of water.

Revelation 5:13 ".... To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever."

Father your creation is marvellous. I never get tired in seeing what you have made.

Friday, July 08, 2016

American White Pelicans

I got this shot in April. The young are dark. These birds at times will work together to herd fish to a shallow area for easy feeding. To raise their young, they need 150 pounds of food before their young are on their own. They don't carry their food in their bill pouch. They use their pouch to scoop up food but eat it before they fly off.

Pelicans could be a sign of devastation in the Bible. Many people are devastated without Christ. Let us not abandon people but instead be a voice of reconciliation to bring people to Christ.

Isaiah 34:11 "But pelican and hedgehog will possess it, And owl and raven will dwell in it; And He will stretch over it the line of desolation And the plumb line of emptiness."

Father, you are almighty and true. Your word brings life to others where little hope exists. Let me be a light to the lost.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Common Every Day Wildflower

I couldn't find this flower on the wildflower keys. We found this flower on bluffs near the Missouri river.

This reminds me of the Scripture that speaks of the type of people following Jesus. Not many wise not many noble.

1 Corinthians 1:26 "For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;"

Father, let me not think highly of myself. Let me not be discouraged in what I am doing. You have called me and I look to You to do Your work with me.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016


Dragon flies mate in the air. Eggs are then laid on a plant in the water, or just dropped in the water.

The eggs hatch and the nymph will live up to 4 years in the water. When they are ready and the weather is right, the nymph will crawl out onto a plant stem and shed its skin to become an adult dragon fly. Adult dragonflies only live about 2 months.

Looking at the nymph most would not know what it would become.

Psalm 66:1,2 "Shout joyfully to God, all the earth;
Sing the glory of His name;
Make His praise glorious."

Tuesday, July 05, 2016


I found this growing in a nature area we hiked in recently. When I came home I saw it growing in my yard. It is amazing what you overlook when it is familiar. 

In life we overlook things that could be meaningful to us but we miss it. God has much to teach us from the Bible, but we may think it is not relevant for today's fast life with all the technology. But with all our new gadgets we have not made God obsolete. 

Ecclesiastics 1:9 "That which has been is that which will be,
And that which has been done is that which will be done.
So there is nothing new under the sun."

Father, let me not overlook You. Let me see you in all Your glory in nature, but also let me hear Your direction for my life day by day. Thank you. In Jesus name.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Eastern Bluebird

May 0053

Their range extends from Texas and Kansas north into Canada and east to the Atlantic.

They live near trees but like to have open ground. My brother and I have made Bluebird houses and have put them up in the woods.

Isaiah 55:12 "For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."

Father, thank you for the abundance of creation.