Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Friday, May 5, 2017

Don't let go of the song

How I enjoy listening to the songs of the birds each day!

(American goldfinch)

This morning I was reading from "Streams in the Desert", one of the devotional books I have been reading yearly for probably 15 years!  It is THAT good!  I use other devotionals too, but this is one that just speaks to my heart.

"Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise Him for the splendor of His holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
'Give thanks to the Lord, 
for His love endures forever.'
As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men...who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.  (2 Chronicles 20:22)
Just think, when the Israelites went to war, God set His worship team ahead of the military men!  What if we would worship and praise Him when we are in a spiritual battle?

(white-crowned sparrow)

"Oh, if we would worry less about our problems and sing and praise more!  There are thousands of things that shackle us that could be turned into instruments of music, if we just knew how to do it."

(red-winged blackbird)

" much more joyful, if [we] would stop indulging in self-centered and inward thinking and instead would daily lift [our] experiences to God, praising Him for them."

(brown thrasher and robin)


"It is easier to sing [our] worries away than to reason them away.  Why not sing in the morning?"
"Think of the birds - they are the first to sing each day, and they have fewer worries than anything else in creation. And don't forget to sing in the evening, which is what the robins do when they have finished their daily work."

 "Once they have flown their last flight of the day and gathered the last bit of food, they find a treetop from which to sing a song of praise."

(Eastern meadowlark - Kansas state bird)

"Oh that we might sing morning and evening, offering up song after song of continual praise throughout our day!"

 (purple martin gathers leaves to line her nest)

"Don't let the song go out of your life
Although it sometimes will flow
In a minor strain; it will blend again
With the major tone you know.

(sparrow tries to keep starling from getting into his nest.  Ironically, the sparrow stole the nest site from the purple martin!)

"Although shadows rise to obscure life's skies,
And hide for a time the sun,
The sooner they'll lift and reveal the rift,
If you let the melody run."

 (Grackle -  "Look how impressive I am!  You like me, you know you do!")

"Don't let the song go out of your life;
Though the voice may have lost it's trill,
Though the quivering note may die in your throat,
Let it sing in your spirit still."

 (house finch)

"Don't let the song go out of your life;
Let it ring in your soul while here;
And when you go hence, it will follow you thence,
And live on in another sphere."

 (ringed turtle-dove)

(Downy woodpecker)

(Great blue heron and Canada geese)

 (red-bellied woodpecker)

(cooper hawk....enemy of small birds. )

 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy...
I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full." 
                                                                 John 10:10

(where are my Baltimore orioles this year?  Still waiting...)

(I may not have identified all the birds in my yard correctly.  Not an expert.  I just happen to love bird-watching and do my best!)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Rain and famine

It seems like it has been raining every day since March.

It hasn't, but we have been dumping out the rain gauge regularly!

Our county has had numerous flood warnings.

 The stream behind our house gets pretty full, but it has never gotten up to our house.  Even in that infamous 100 year flood about 12 years ago, although it did come into our yard!

Yesterday, some girls were jogging and had to stop because the water was running over the bridge.
"Edna" is loving it!

We had sunshine for the afternoon and then it stormed again in the evening.

We cannot complain!
The folk in Missouri have it bad!

 The roads to our son's home via Missouri route are closed.

The sun is out today.  It is a gorgeous day!!

Claire came over today and I showed her a surprise.

I wonder if it is an abandoned egg?
Claire said she would watch over it.

We found a happy toad.

We went for a walk (well, a run for Claire)

She thought she should be able to swing, but there is a little stream under the swing.

The stone table had been under water.  You can see the debris.

What do you see, Claire?

She was just singing and dancing!

And she is quite the helper too!

Today's little Bible lesson was about Elijah. (1 Kings 16-18)  
Elijah faced King Ahab and told him that the Lord would not bring rain or even dew for the next few years except at his word.  God told Elijah to go hide in the Kerith Ravine.  There he would drink from the brook and the ravens would supply him with food. 

Can you imagine that miracle?!  A raven sharing food??  

"In the wild, ravens have pushed rocks on people to keep them from climbing to their nests, stolen fish by pulling a fishermen’s line out of ice holes, and played dead beside a beaver carcass to scare other ravens away from a delicious feast.
If a raven knows another raven is watching it hide its food, it will pretend to put the food in one place while really hiding it in another.  " - 10 fascinating things about ravens )

When the brook dried up, the Lord had him go to Zarephath where he was to ask a widow to give him food.  She only had enough to fix her last meal for her and her son, but she did as he asked.  Miraculously the jar of flour and jug of oil never went dry.   

God provided for Elijah.  He was under God's tender care.  "The God who asked Elijah to trust Him when He piled hardship upon hardship is the same God who asks you to trust Him today....The same God who fed a discouraged prophet is the God who will sustain you when you think you can't go on."  - Betsy Childs Howard, When God Asks Too Much

 When Jill came to pick up Claire, we decided to go to the Bread Basket.  She wanted to go one last time before they move to Wisconsin!

As we were eating, Claire said "You know what very true?  You should never put tape on your lips.  Or glue.  They stick your lips together."    ????    Where did she decide upon this truth?  Ha!!

You know what is truth?  I will be a sad Nana when the kids move away.  But we have evidenced God's fingerprints all over this journey.  We can only say that it is His moving; closing and opening doors along the way.  I stand in AWE of how He has worked.

And He will sustain us when we think we can't stand it.  He will be our Provider in every way.  We may think we are walking through the desert, but we are never deserted.