Monday, October 31, 2016

Great Horned Owl

The most common owl in North America. They are fierce predators, which are able to take large birds such as Osprey and other owls. Of course they eat smaller animals also.

If you see a mass of agitated crows, they may be bothering a Great Horned owl. They may stay after the owl for hours. This owl is the greatest threat to the crow.

Owls have special feathers that allow them to fly quietly and sneak up on their prey. The primary feathers are divided like a comb. This configuration breaks up the turbulence of the wind passing over the wings, causing less noise. Owls wings also are wide and short allowing them to fly through a forest easier.

Because of the nocturnal life of owls they are associated with evil in the past. Owls and witches go together at Halloween.

Ephesians 5:11 "Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;"

With a true knowledge of nature we understand the role owls play in nature. Yet because of superstitions and ignorance people are afraid at times. We should not fear problems when we have Christ with us. Instead we can rejoice in the victory we have had and will have in Christ as we serve Him.

Father, I thank you for Your guidance in my life and the victory that is coming by Your power and direction.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Cedar Waxwing

The red spot on the wing is interesting. I don't see it often. This red spot is made up of a waxy substance in the mature birds. Females prefer birds with this marking. 2nd year birds usually don't have these markings. Older birds do have them. Therefore the waxwing name. They like to eat Cedar berries. 

The Cowbird will lay its eggs in the Cedar Waxwing nests. But they reject the eggs by either abandoning the nest or ejecting them. Sometimes they damage the eggs. 

Cedar Waxwings will eat old fruit that has been fermented which makes them drunk or kills the bird if they eat too many.

This alcohol is a type of the problems people face. I have never heard of a marriage that claims alcohol saved their marriage. I have seen a lot of marriages that are ruined by alcohol. I worked downtown for a number of years inspecting streets. During that time I ran into a lot of homeless people. Many of them had a real problem with alcohol. I have never heard of anyone getting their life back together because of alcohol.

Many families are hard up because of money being spent on alcohol instead of using it wisely. Alcohol is a problem and the best way to deal with it is to quit. Some can't without help. Jesus offers us the best help. Turn to Jesus with your life and He will bring you to peace. Not only peace, but a purpose in life. With Jesus we can live as we were made to live. Not with religious rules, but with the vibrancy of service that comes with the love Jesus gives us.

Luke 11:13 "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your [a]heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"

Psalm 121:2 "My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth."

Father, I look to you for Your help. I thank You for all You do for me.

Saturday, October 29, 2016


Walked over this boardwalk. It goes for a mile or more. The land is not flooded currently but during rains the nearby river will overflow and flood this forest, leaving standing water.

Not much oxygen is in these low land soils. Some plants get their oxygen from from the stems that are spongy, which are able to absorb carbon dioxide from the air.

We are able to easily view this environment because of the boardwalk built for us. God has made a way for us to be with Him. He sent Jesus and died for us, paying for our sin. Now we can come to Him as we accept His free gift.

Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Father, I don't want to ignore Your gift today. I decide to walk with You today. In Jesus name You will do it.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Mississippi River

The Mississippi river has one of the main watersheds in the world. The Ohio, the Missouri and the Arkansas rivers flow into the Mississippi.

Here is a view of the Mississippi river from Hannibal Missouri.

In the north by St. Anthony Falls the flow rate is about 6 cubic feet a second. At the first lock and dam the flow rate is about 12,00 cubic feet a second. And by New Orleans the flow rate is 600,000 cubic feet a second.

I think of God's love when I see this type of river. The flow of God's love  and support for us is beyond what we can imagine.

Ephesians 3:20 "Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,"

Father, I worship You, I praise You, I thank You for life, light and your purpose.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Young Red Headed Woodpecker

These birds gain insects from trees. But they also acquire food in flight. They will eat seeds and store the nuts for the future.

The young birds are the new generation that continue to live, breed, nest and give life and to our world. Their nature is passed on from parent to baby. Human nature and learning is passed on from the parents to their children. As Christians we teach our kids about God and how to follow Him.

Psalm 78:8
"And not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not prepare its heart And whose spirit was not faithful to God."

Let us not be unfaithful to God. Let us prepare our heart to receive God's word, believe it and follow it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Sunlight on Pawpaw leaves

The large leaves of this Pawpaw sapling are receiving a bunch of sunlight. I find it interesting to see the different shades of green by the amount of sunlight the leaves receive.

I was looking for these leaves to have already turned yellow. Instead I get a green leaf photo. Many of the leaves have already fallen so more light is getting in.

This tree will never grow like an oak or maple. It is not made for that. It is happy, so to speak, to grow under the forest canopy of the giants.

Our growth at times is limited by the amount of light we receive. And other times our growth is limited by our ability to use what we receive. We grow in God as we position ourselves to receive from Him and rid our life of things that waste our time to hear and grow.

Ephesians 5:15-17 "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."

Father, I give you my day to use for You. I listen for Your direction. So it will be in Jesus name.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Birds Devour Fruit

These birds are enjoying the bountiful fruit from a vine growing in my Eastern Red bud tree. The bottom bird is a Starling, the one in the middle could be a Cedar Waxwing and the top one is a Robin.

Matthew 6:25,26,33 
"For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 

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?

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

Can we trust God with our needs?  The Bible says we can, but there is a condition. Seek God first! How do we seek Him first? With our time, our money, and our priorities. Live for the purpose of pleasing God. We put Him first with all our heart, soul and strength. Deuteronomy 6:5

Monday, October 24, 2016

Blue Jay

I have been trying to get a photo of a Blue Jay for a long time. They seem to realize that and hide behind a leaf or branch so I don't have a clear shot. Yesterday I got this one.

Most of their diet is insects and nuts. They imitate the calls of hawks and the Red shouldered Hawk often. They are noisy and their presence is known from their noisy call. They don't have a regular migration. A bird may migrate one year and not the next.

Psalm 128:1,2
"How blessed is everyone who fears the Lord,
Who walks in His ways.
2 When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands,
You will be happy and it will be well with you."

In their boisterous way Blue jays seem to be happy with their lot in life. Let us be happy as we walk with God. He will bless us as we minister as we are led. God will provide for our life to serve others. We can trust God to meet our needs as we meet the needs of others.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Red Tailed Hawk

I watched this hawk for 45 minutes, hoping for it to move to another position. He didn't move except to take another bite from his catch. He kept watch in all 4 directions constantly.

This reminds me of the verse in Psalm 130:6 "My soul waits for the Lord
More than the watchmen for the morning;
Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning."

Let us be awake to the world around us. There are many opportunities to share the Lord and to pray for the needy. Keep watch, the Lord will bring opportunities our way.

Father, I look to you for your guidance and direction in life. Let me see Your guidance. In Jesus name it will happen.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Eastern Blue Bird

Psalm 127:1
"Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain."

Eastern Blue Birds numbers were dwindling. Efforts were made to help them by building houses. My brother and I made a few and took them to the woods for the Blue birds to use. When we went back a year later they were unused. So this verse came to mind. It is important to have the Lord involved in what you are doing.

Now it was good for my autistic brother to build things, so it was not a loss for us to make these houses. Yet in life, we need to work for what will profit. With the Lords leading we gain blessings as the Lord helps us.

Lord I want to serve you in ways that will profit others and Your Kingdom. Thank you for Your guidance.  

Friday, October 21, 2016

Virginia Creeper

Psalm 128:1
"How blessed is everyone who fears the Lord,
Who walk in His ways."

Vine turning red in the fall presents a nice view. It is the work of others at times that allows people to enjoy beauty.

Some have to work hard so that others can enjoy the benefits. Those in faith that bring people into the church bless others that just go to enjoy the show.

Let us not be passive in our walk with the Lord but diligent to see the kingdom brought to people.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

White-breasted Nuthatch

Psalm 126:4
"Restore our captivity, O Lord,
As the streams in the South."

Courting male carries foot to female, performs bowing and singing ritual with head feathers raised, tail spread. (Birders Handbook Ehrlich, Dobkin, Wheye)

The White-breasted Nuthatch eats from the tree by standing upside down on the bole of the tree and going down the tree to find bugs to eat.

There is much that is stolen from us in life. We can regain what God has promised as we learn to walk with Him in His fullness. The ways of God are often upside down from the ways of man. Don't asume you know what God wants. Listen to His word and learn from Him.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Mums (Chrysanthemums )

Mums do well in the Fall.
When they are subject to freezing move them inside by a window.
        My wife leaves them out all winter and they keep blooming year after year. We live in the north part of zone 5b.
Keep the soil a little moist but don't over water.
Cut off the flowers after they wilt.
Fertilize in the Spring after new growth starts.
If you pinch the new stems about 5” long, this will encourage the flower to grow like a bush.

Psalm 123:1,2 
"To You I lift up my eyes,
O You who are enthroned in the heave\ns!
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master,
As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
So our eyes look to the Lord our God,
Until He is gracious to us."

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Carolina Wren

This little guy landed on my flower boxes at my driveway. I had about 3 seconds to get 2 photos and this one came out good. Each male sings from 21 -47 song types. They will sing one of these songs repeatedly before switching to another one. The neighbouring males will sing along with the same song. The male and female pair will sing a duet together.

It is good to go through the day worshipping God. And when we can worship with others it is even better. 

Psalm 122:1 "I was glad when they said to me, 
Let us go the the house of the Lord."

Father God I worship you for all Your goodness and all the gifts of nature I get to see.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Bur Oak Acorn

 Bur Oak gets it name from the fringe on the end of the acorn cap. The fringe becomes hard when it dries out.

It can be the same with us. When we are full of the Holy Spirit and the love of God we are much easier to get along with. When we neglect our time with God we become self focused, brittle and caustic. When our purpose is to help others we are able to express God's love.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing."

1 John 3:14 "We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death."

Love can flow from God through us to others when we decide to give up our rights so we can help others.

Lord, I desire to be filled with you, so I give up my rights and follow You. Thank you for Your grace. So be it in Jesus name.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Start of Fall Colors

The vine on the left is Virginia creeper. The bottom right photo is a Sweet gum leaf and the top photo is an elm leaf. Below the yellow leaves may be Hophornbeam. 

I enjoy each season though winter drags on longer than I would like. We need to be ready for change because it comes whether we like it or not. Those who are able to adapt to change are the ones who do well. When we can't change and try to live in the past, we suffer in life and don't succeed.

People get confused and think that some things should change when they are not supposed to change.

When we are led by the Holy Spirit we are able to adapt to life. John 3:8 speaks of the Holy Spirit. "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

I hear the Spirit in my inner ear. It takes time to learn to hear in the spirit. When we have God in us we are able to hear when we soften and quiet  our hearts to listen. Hiking in nature helps me listen to the direction of the Holy Spirit.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

American Kestrel

God blesses us with many things in life. Sight to see His creation is a blessing to me. What I see with my eyes and what I can pull in with my camera is a blessing. God is so magnificent and wonderful. His creation shows me much to admire.

Psalm 108:4,5 "For Your lovingkindness is great above the heavens,
And Your truth reaches to the skies.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens,
And Your glory above all the earth."

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

False Purpose


These 2 trees I considered centennials that guarded the creek. For a few years I thought of them like this  as I walked by. The 2 trees above, are the 2 large trees in the photo below on either side of the creek line. They are dead trees and I did not realise this for a couple of years because I did not look closely at the trees.

This is like my life  when I pursued things that were not alive. Like things that deceive I thought these trees were alive because I did not look closely at them. But when I got next to them and looked up I realised these trees were dead. 

Do I pursue things that are not alive? Do I live for things that are just an illusion? Do I pursue things, that when I achieve them, they are empty?

Life presents many illusions. The ways of man fall into these traps often. Jesus offers the way of truth. John 14:6 "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."

Following Jesus is the way of life. Turn from illusions to the Lord of lords and the King of kings. Decide to submit your life to Jesus the Lord and King. You will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Kayak the Missouri

These adventuresome people were kayaking down the Missouri. The river runs about 3 miles an hour and the channel is about 20 feet deep. Submerged logs and sandbars need to keep your attention. I rarely see a pleasure boat on the Mighty MO. Almost all the land is private with few public access points.

It would be a different world out there. civilization does not intersect the river at many points. It would be a peaceful way to spend time.

Are we willing to go against the norm to spend time with God?
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."
Psalm 5:3 "In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice;
In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch."
Luke 6:12 "It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God."

Lord, I seek You and look for Your answer.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Mourning Dove on Pine Tree

Got a photo of this bird today as I walked abound the block. Looking closely I see there is another bird behind the first one. They are just hanging out at the Pine tree. Now that Fall is here the birds may enjoy the warmth of the morning sun.

Psalm 106:1
"Praise the Lord!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting."

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Osage Orange Sprouts

This Osage Orange tree in the foreground has stems growing up from the roots. This tree has thorns which makes it hard to approach. 

Some people are hard to approach. By their nature it is not easy to talk to them or befriend them. Yet, all people have value and deserve friends. We should not write off those who are not easy to be friends with. Instead, we should show kindness even when we don't receive anything in return.

Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Father, give me Your love for others.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly

Found this Red-Spotted Purple butterfly on the trail the other day. It's always a surprise when I see the colorful butterflies on the trail. As I hake I get used to the common sites I see. But I'm always looking for something unusual.

The adult butterflies fly from may to October. The caterpillars lower their water content from around 80% to 50% to keep from freezing in the winter.

Never give up looking for God to do things in your life. Though life might look like winter and becomes hard, God wants to bring you into His will to ministry as He has made you.

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

Father let me see and understand the instrument you have made me to be for Your Kingdom.