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It was a Sunday morning. The side drapes were open so that, as I sat on the edge of the bed, the view through the curtains was one of peace and calm. Would it be a hot day? What would I wear to church? I was still a bit dreamy.

First one thrush arrived, settling itself on our front lawn facing the windows. Then another bird, another and another until there were six or seven thrushes looking towards me. They positioned themselves as if in a choir. Everything was quiet.

Over on the far side of our lawn were two blackbirds, watching, still, also spectators.

Then it began. As if on cue, the thrushes gave the most exciting and wonderful presentation you could ever hear. I sat entranced. Some of the birds were obviously young. They were fidgety whereas the older birds remained quite still and controlled, concentrating on their song.

I could see the vibrations in their throats as they warbled and observe the paler colours of their feathers. This was something very special. Was it a presentation just for me? Why? A strange feeling came over me.

As quickly as the performance had begun, it ended. One bird flew off, then one after another they left. There had not been time to get my husband from the kitchen. I wished he, too, had enjoyed the treat.

I recalled Genesis 1:20: 'And let the skies be filled with birds of every kind. So God created great sea creatures and every kind of fish, and every kind of bird. And God looked at them with pleasure, and blessed them all.'

I am thankful to God for the birds and for the way they can speak to my heart. I see the song of the thrushes as a great exaltation of our Almighty Creator and Lord. They help me to praise God daily, come what may.

Have You Moved?

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of, but let us encourage one another... Hebrews 10:25

When I was a little girl, I couldn't wait to go to my grandmother's house for the summer. Grandmother treated me like a princess! She served breakfast in bed to me, she let me help her make lunch, we read together, and she told me about Jesus. In the cool of the afternoons, as the pine boards of the front porch creaked under the weight of our rockers, we would sit and talk about how much we love Him.

Years later I watched my husband throw bread to the birds and squirrels in our back yard. This had become a morning ritual, usually occurring about 8:00. Within a few days of its inception, as I sipped my first cup of coffee and watched the sun rising majestically behind our house, I noticed that my husband's "wild life" (as he calls it) began to gather at about 7:45. There seemed to be an anxiousness and excitement amongst them as pairs of ducks waddled in, birds danced about in the air, and squirrels scurried from tree to tree.

"Honey, your wild life is here!" I called out to him. "Apparently they now know the time and the place for being fed!" "Keep your cat away!" he replied. He hates my cat. Last week during the Children's Sermon portion of our worship service, I watched as two precious little girls grabbed hands and ran toward the altar. They looked at each other and giggled in a way that told me they were so excited to be there! I thought, "These little girls are a lot like my husband's wild life. They know where they will be spiritually fed and are anxious to get there." What happens to that initial excitement within us? Why do we sometimes loose the feeling that bubbles up inside and cries out, "I'm going to God's house! I will be spiritually fed, get to talk about Jesus and His love for me, meet with the other members of the congregation, and the Holy Spirit will keep that "old cat" away!" Think back to how it was in the beginning. It's like the young couple who began their courtship sitting side by side in a pick-up truck. They marry and the years go by. One day, from the passenger's seat, she says to her husband, "Why don't we sit close to each other anymore?" To which he replies, "Honey, I ain't the one who moved."

Have you moved?

Eva Marie Everson

A Modern Day Psalm

“For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is recieved with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.” —1 Timothy 4:4-5

First, I want to write some words that come to mind that have to do with life itself:

Relationships, friendships, exploration, learning, growing, teaching, discipling, fun, memories, romance, giving, living, watching, listening, working, praying, deepening, laughing, sharing, reading, fellowship, coffee & tea, building, fixing, sitting, thinking, resting, dialogue, loving, leading, serving, guiding, games, new things, new places, new people, new ideas, old friends, old memories, relatives.

I love life itself. I think there is so much out there that is good. In fact, nothing in and of itself is evil. I want to live to learn about God and His Goodness in and through all the things that He has created, and the sciences that govern the things that we humans have created. God created everything for me, the mountains, the stars, wildlife, plants, rivers, rain forests, volcanoes. . . . He gave me books, Fiestaware, good movies, and a beautiful room. He gave me old lamps, and furniture, and a piece of property with a lake on it, and wonderful grandparents, and the perfect wife. . . . He gave me a community of “lovers of God” to help me to “love God.” He gave me bright sunny mornings, and good coffee to help me to wake up to enjoy them. He gave me a mind that wants to learn and be smart and wise. He gave me a body that works and the energy to do the things I love to do. He wants me to enjoy all these things here. He wants me to explore new places, new ideas, new projects, explore my limits, and stretch them out. He wants me to fish. He wants me to look at the birds, because when I see the beauty of the cardinal, or the character of the nuthatch, or the communal living of the waxwing, I see God's beauty and character. I see Him in the silly carp that we love to catch. I see His love in the beautiful bluegill. I hear Him in the call of the owls, and the coyote. He loves me, and I love Him.

But, I have a hard time seeing Him outside these things, so sometimes I forget from where they come. Sometimes I don't want to enjoy these things. I become unthankful, and bored, and stuck in a rut. I begin looking to be entertained, so maybe I turn to more sinful things. But He is always faithful to steer me back. He gave me friends and relationships with people who care enough to tell me the truth. And so, I realize that although these things are for me, they are meant to be shared with others. I can actually see my brothers and sisters around me, and I see God in them, and I want to share all the good things of life with them. So . . .

We go fishing together, we watch football together, we cook dinner together, we work and laugh, and pray together. Together we enjoy the wildlife we see. Together we appreciate the technology that enables us to call home, e-mail, or surf the net. Together we discuss the deeper aspects of the movie. Together we work out problems in our relationships, in our marriages, in our community. Together we build a house, or fix the car. Together we form a band and make music. Together we learn, together we grow. I could go on and on. Because I LOVE LIFE. I love all the things that God has done and made. I always have loved life and nature, but only recently have I learned that TV, movies, books, antiques, computers, music, airplanes, spaceships, guns, football, fishing poles, canoes, cars, get-away weekends, Monopoly, Hearts, coin collections, Franciscanware, shopping at thrift stores, a cold glass of water, emptying the trash, giving a kid some treats, hugging somebody, on and on and on, all these things are from God Himself!! Not just the Bible, not just Nature. And He wants us to share it all together and be excited and thankful.

Personally, I think it is an insult to the Lord when we fail to see Him in everything and everywhere. He gave us these things to give us some sort of idea of His Character and Personality, and so we fail to know Him more when we ignore all the things in front of our face. We can easily become cynical. We can easily become hateful, or antagonistic, or unthankful for the "small things". But it is even easier once we get moving in the right direction to start to love everything. We only have to open our eyes.

Thank You Lord, for everything! Open our eyes more and more to see Your glory in the world around us, and to thank You for all the small ways You bless us each and every day!

—Eric Clayton

Horned Owl & Selflesness

The Great Horned Owl does much in the way of sacrifice for its owlets. Having the little tikes in winter may be helpful in some ways(they can see food better on the snow), it also may be very taxing. There is much energy used in finding food and keeping the chicks full. The adult only uses enough food to keep it going, sometimes only eating the parts that are not digestible to the Chicks. Depriving itself food before and after the eggs hatch is normal for the Horned Owl.

Sacrifice is not very popular among some Christians today but the bible and nature teach us how essential it is! Not only does it take our mind off our problems when we sacrifice for others it may bring up another generation of helping others! with the key motivation being love for one another.

Phl 2:3[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Phl 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.-Marty

Look up Owls
Owls of North America

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