Monday, November 12, 2018

Jewel # 339 (Nov. 10, 2018)

“And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I
make up MY JEWELS.”
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear Grandchildren

The Lacewing Fly

“The glory of the Lord shall endure forever: 
the Lord shall rejoice in His works.”
(Psalm 104:31)

Only about one-half inch long, the lacewing is a pretty little fly with transparent wings in pale shades of green.  It is a real friend to farmers.

When laying eggs, the female first deposits a spot of “glue” on a branch or stem of a bush.  Then, before this spot of glue hardens, she flips her tail upward, producing a long, thread-like stalk.  The stalk quickly becomes tough and hard, and she repeats this process time after time.  Then she places an egg on the top of each stalk, spacing them far enough apart so they will not eat each other when they hatch, because they are vicious, hungry little larvae. 

In about a week, the larva appears.  Cutting its way out of the egg, it slides down the smooth stalk, using its tail as a brake.   The mother fly has arranged her nest of eggs close to where aphids are feeding on a plant.  These aphids become food for the larva for about two weeks; then it is ready for a change.  Attaching itself to the underside of a leaf, it spins a thread of white silk, wrapping itself in a cocoon where it will undergo a 12-day change.  

While in the cocoon, the larva develops specially designed cutting jaws.   Using these, it slices around  the top of its cocoon, leaving a small section as a hinge and an anchor post.  Pushing the lid open, it crawls out and spins another thread on which it dangles from the anchor.  Soon its veins fill with blood, the wings dry, and it has become a full grown lacewing fly.  Now it returns to what it does best—eating aphids for the rest of its life.  As it eats away, it becomes a friend to farmers by helping protect their crops from these harmful pests.

It is interesting to see how the mother lacewing makes such careful preparations for her young: first by making the eggs look like part of a plant, and then by placing them where they will immediately find food when they come out of the eggs.  This is another example of how God has given instincts to His creatures so they may fill their part in His total plan of creation.

God’s ways with you and me are far more important than with these insects.  He has given us a conscience to remind us that we are sinners and need a Saviour.  In addition, He has given us hearts and minds capable of receiving this loving Saviour, and it is through Him and His death on the cross that we can enter heaven.  He tells us, “the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Have you accepted this wonderful gift?

Love you all - Grandpa  

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Jewel # 338 (October 26, 2018)

“And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I
make up MY JEWELS.”
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren

Mice and More Mice

“God giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.”
(Acts 17:25)

Have you ever found a nest of five or six baby mice?  They are so tiny and cute!  Maybe you wondered what to do with them, knowing that if allowed to live they would become very troublesome.  If you disposed of them, the mother mouse, who scampered away when you discovered her nest, would miss them for only a little while, because soon there would be more babies to take their place.

Mice give birth around five to ten times a year and average six to eight babies born each time!  The babies grow so fast that when the  females are about two months old, they begin raising families of their own,  So the mouse population can increase very quickly.  If all these mice survived, within a year’s time there would be thousands of mice, starting with the original pair.  Thankfully, this never happens because most of them do not live long.

There are many kinds of mice, but most of us have seen only the little gray house mice, and they can be a real nuisance.  But they are interesting little fellows, with their black shiny eyes, long whiskers, long, narrow snouts, round ears and long tails.  They may live as long as a year in a hidden corner of an attic or basement.  But we realize how much damage they can cause, our main concern is to get rid of them.

Still, they are God’s creatures, and He has provided them with the ability to survive in spite of many enemies.  We know that when the world and its inhabitants were formed by the Creator, all were at peace with one another.  But the sin of Adam and Eve spoiled that perfection and brought hostility and bloodshed among various creatures.  Ever since, mice have been the prey of cats, dogs, snakes, owls, hawks, coyotes and many others.  They have survived through the centuries only because God has given them much skill and enabled them to bear many offspring.

Not all mice are destructive.  Some wild ones are important to the maintenance of wild areas.  Although seldom seen, because they are nocturnal, there is scarcely a square foot of the deserts and sagebrush areas of North America that they do not visit every night.

Although mice may not be visible to us, because they are mostly creatures of the night, they are never hidden from the One who created them.  He keeps them under His watchful eye at all times.  He says, “Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him?” (Jeremiah 23:24).  Isn’t it nice to know He is watching over these little mice as well as over each one of us?

Love you all - Grandpa       

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Jewel # 337 (October 19, 2018)

Steelhead Trout

"And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I
make up MY JEWELS.”
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren

A Sportsman’s Fish

“Jesus  . . . saw . . .  Peter, and Andrew . . . casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
And He saith unto them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
(Matthew 4:18-19)

Standing on the banks of a cool stream with a strong current or fishing from drift boats, sports fishermen hope to catch a few steelhead trout to take home for eating.  But many of the fishermen get a thrill out of just catching these fighters and immediately releasing them back into the water.

Steelhead trout, a relative of the salmon, weigh from 3 to 20 pounds and are found mostly in oceanside streams from California to Alaska.  Steelheads are actually rainbow trout but are called steelheads because they change to a steely-blue colour during their migrations from freshwater to saltwater.

Steelhead trout, a relative of the salmon, weigh from 3 to 20 pounds and are found mostly in ocean side streams from California to Alaska. Steel heads are actually rainbow trout but are called steelheads because they change to a steely-blue colour during their migrations from freshwater to saltwater.

Travel to the ocean is usually in the spring, and their return, after three years in salt water, is in the fall.  In these migrations, some will travel 200 miles or more in a river, but no one knows how far they travel in the ocean.  As they work their way upstream, mates are selected and together they return to the same spawning area where they hatched.  No one can understand how they pick the right stream after being gone so long, but it is a God given instinct that works without fail.

However, since many rivers and streams now have dams that steelhead trout cannot get past, hatcheries are used to hatch great quantities of eggs taken from migrating females.  The fingerlings are placed in suitable mountain streams in the spring soon after hatching. 

Mature steel heads have smaller scales and shorter heads than salmon.  They are beautiful fish, dark blue-gray along the back from the top of the mouth to and including the large upright tail.  There is a light pink band just below the blue-gray on the body and on the lower fin.  Between the lower fin and the pink band on the body is another olive-colured band.  The entire underside is plain white. This colouring pattern is almost identical to some salmon.

Others are silvery with tints of gray and pink. Some adults also have tan backs spotted with small brown circles atop the pink middle stripe.  They all will give a fisherman a long, hard fight when hooked.

In the opening Bible verse, what do you think the Lord Jesus meant when He told those two fishermen that He would make them fishers of men?  He was promising to use them to bring the gospel to many people to save them for heaven, by telling them of God’s love in sending Him to be the Saviour of sinners.  And Peter and Andrew did that faithfully.

Are you a “fisher of men”?  You are if you have told others about our blessed Saviour and His love for them.

Love you all - Grandpa      

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Jewel # 336 (October 10, 2018)

“And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I
make up MY JEWELS.”
(Malachi 3:17) 

To my dear grandchildren

Mice and More Mice  

“Be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I create” (Isaiah 65:18).

There are many kinds of wild mice which can be found in the mountains, in fields and woodlands, in swamps, near streams and in deserts.  The short-tailed field mouse, also called a vole, is one of these.  It is only about five inches long, including its stubby tail.  It lives underground in damp meadows.  It can be a real nuisance when it eats the seeds of newly planted wheat and later devours the mature wheat heads.  The mouse also gets into barns and storage bins.  Some farmers keep several cats around to catch these pests.

The white-footed or deer mouse is six to eight inches long and has large ears, bright eyes and gray fur, but white belly fur and feet.  This mouse is not so destructive since most of its food is seeds of wild plants, nuts and berries.  But it can cause problems in orchards by eating tender tree bark and roots.  It makes its nest outdoors, storing food for winter and carefully cleaning every bit of it before storing it away.

The grasshopper mouse is about the same size as the house mouse but looks fatter.  This one is unusual in that it is a meat eater rather than a plant eater.  It is helpful to people by feeding mainly on grasshoppers and other insects, including scorpions.  It also eats worms and almost any little animal it can overpower, even other grasshopper mice.

The outdoor pocket mouse, though tiny, has a long tail with a brush on the end, enabling it to jump three or four feet into the air.  After filling its cheek pouches with food, it scampers off to its nest, packing the food away and rushing back for more.  It wisely covers the openings to its runways while absent.  Although wild, if caught and held gently, this little fellow acts like a pet and likes being stroked with a finger.

Two other interesting mice are the Japanese waltzing mouse that hops around in circles for no apparent reason, and the singing mouse, which chirps a wide range of notes, but not in a melodious way.

All of these mice are closely related, but the Creator has made each a distinct variety.  How do you think they learned all these interesting ways?  They did not need to learn them because they are God-given instincts, passed on from generation to generation. The Bible tells us that God feds all His creatures: “The eyes of all wait upon Thee; and Thou givest them their food in due season” (Psalm 145:15).  He also provides the food for you and for me by wisely sending the necessary sunshine and rain for plants to thrive—the source of everything we eat.  

Before you eat your meals do you stop to thank Him for your food? 

Love you all - Grandpa    

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Jewel # 335 (October 2, 2018)

“And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I
make up MY JEWELS.”
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear Grandchildren

About Salamanders

"God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind. . . . And God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:24-25).

Salamanders are closely related to lizards.  To maintain the moisture in their skins, most are found near ponds, streams or marshy places.  However, some in the tropics live high in treetops where they get moisture from cup-shaped leaves that hold water from frequent rains.

In size, they range from one inch to five feet long, and in colours, from orange-red to very dark brown or black or with mottled skins of mixed colours.  All salamanders’ legs are short, but their tails are usually almost as long as the rest of their bodies.

The Creator has given all salamanders large eyes with good vision, as well as long tongues that can flash out so quickly that, even if watching closely, you likely would miss the action.  It is not necessary for them to chase the millipedes, flies and other insects that they eat.  Salamanders wait perfectly still on a rock or other bare surface until a victim comes by, and then they capture it with a flick of their tongues.

While some species give birth to their young, most salamanders hatch from eggs.  The eggs have been laid at the side of a stream or pond, and after hatching, the young live on insects that come near them.  When grown, they Iive in nearby brush or grass or go into burrows or under a pile of moist leaves.

Some salamanders have very flat bodies, allowing them to squeeze between tight leaves of moisture-retaining plants.  These have been provided by the Creator with webbed front and back feet, enabling them to cling to the smooth, wet foliage. Their tails can wrap around tree branches, which also helps them when looking for food.

An unusual feature God has given salamanders is their ability to grow new tails, legs and other body parts when they are torn off.  Also, like a chameleon, they can change the colour of their skins to match the rocks or soil around them.

These interesting creatures are seldom seen because they hunt mostly at night.  They destroy great quantities of insects and pests that would otherwise be eating farm crops, fruits and other products.  This may be one reason for their present place in God’s creation.

Did you ever stop to think that God has a definite reason and place for you in His creation too?  The Bible tells us this: “Every person has his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that” 
(1 Corinthians 7:7).  “As every man has received the gift, even so use the same gift one to another, as good managers” (1 Peter 4:10).  The Lord Jesus will show you how to use your gift to please Him if you will ask Him. 

Love you all - Grandpa  

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Jewel # 334 (September 25, 2018)

The Round-tailed Ground Squirrel

“And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up MY JEWELS.”
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren

The Round-Tailed Ground Squirrel

“The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth” (2 Chronicles 16:9).

There are over 80 varieties of squirrels throughout the world, and most live in trees.  But today we will look at one that lives on the ground—the round-tailed ground squirrel.

These are quiet little animals that live in the hot, dry deserts where few other animals can survive. Unlike their bushy-tailed cousins, they are plain-looking with long round tails.  Their light brown fur is soft and smooth and kept clean by frequent licking.

As the Lord God has done for all His creatures, the ground squirrels are well-matched for their surroundings.  Their legs are long with feet that have sharp, tough claws.  Special hairy soles on their feet help them move over loose sand.  Equipped like this, their front feet can rapidly dig tunnels a foot deep, with their back feet kicking out the sand that accumulates.

When a hawk, coyote, fox or snake appears, our little friend scurries into the nearest available hole, even if it belongs to another animal.  As it scurries, it lets out sharp squeals, and the whole colony takes shelter.

The young, sometimes a dozen, are born in March or April.  Growing rapidly, they soon leave the underground nest to live on their own in the desert.

At the start of winter, this fat, plump squirrel hibernates in its underground home, curling into a ball with its tail curled over its body.  If you could see one, you might think it was dead.  But this winter sleep of several months, without needing food or water, is the Creator’s way of protecting it when it would otherwise die from the cold and lack of food.  They awaken in the spring and soon pop up from their burrows.  Now thin and hungry, their main interest is finding food, and they soon fatten up on new plant growth.  In fact, they often eat so much that they can barely get back into their burrows.

The Bible tells us we can learn from the animals (See Job 12:7).  The lesson we can learn from this squirrel is to get away quickly from danger and into a hiding place.  King David said, “Thou Lord art my hiding place” (Psalm 32:7).  Yes, He is a secure place of safety from the attacks of Satan, who wants to lead us into danger and trouble by tempting us with things that are not pleasing to God.  The wise instruction of the Bible is this: “Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.  Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away” (Proverbs 4:14-15).

The only way we can do this is by knowing the Lord Jesus as our Saviour and looking to Him for help.

Is He your hiding place?            

Love you all - Grandpa 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Jewel # 333 (September 16, 2018)

“And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I
make up  MY JEWELS.”
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren

Beneficial Blackbirds

“I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are Mine.”
(Psalm 50:11)

Millions of blackbirds are found in parts of Europe, as well as the 15 different kinds found throughout Canada and the United States.  The most numerous and perhaps the prettiest are the red-winged black birds.  They get their name from the male blackbirds, which have shoulder feathers tipped with bright red and yellow.  The rest of their bodies are mostly black.

The eastern red-winged blackbirds live from the Rocky Mountains east to the Atlantic Ocean. The San Diego, Rio Grande and Nevada redwings live west of the Rockies.  

Redwings nest in large groups in swamps, in marshes and in cattails or tall grass.  Nests are usually made of mud, plant fibres and grass, with small twigs woven in.  They are lined with soft material such as moss, soft leaves and feathers.

Farmers like blackbirds, not only because of their pleasant calls, but mainly because they eat weed seeds and many harmful insects.  Some insects they eat are too big to swallow whole, so the bird will hook it on a sharp thorn and dispose of it in smaller bites.

Large flocks often gather in open fields, spreading out to find seeds and insects.  As they all move forward those in the back soon discover that nothing is left for them, and they take off, flying over those in front, landing just ahead of them and finding plenty to eat.  When the others in the back find nothing left, they will fly ahead and begin feeding in a new part of the field.  This goes on until the field has been cleaned.  Then the flock will fly to another feeding area.

In some parts of North America, some redwings migrate in the fall to warm winter climates, while others remain behind.  Those remaining are okay as long as the winter is mild, but, sad to say, many do not survive when severe cold sets in.  It is mostly the females that migrate; the tougher males merely wait for their return in the spring—if they survive until then.

Birds of every kind form an important part of God’s creation, and the Bible often refers to His care over them.  But His love and care for us is far greater.  King David said, “How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! (Psalm 139:17).  In another place he said, “Show me Thy ways, O Lord; teach me Thy paths.  Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me: for Thou art the God of my salvation” (Psalm 25:4-5).  He will show His love and kindness to all who pray to Him in that way.

Have you ever asked the Lord to teach you and lead you?

Love you all -  Grandpa

Monday, September 10, 2018

Jewel # 332 (September 8, 2018)

Morpho Butterfly                             Water strider
Dead-Leaf Butterfly             Horned Grasshopper

“And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I
make up MY JEWELS.”
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren

The World of Insects (Part 2)

“God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.”
(1 Corinthians 1:27)

Many books have been written about the unusual features of the world's 600,000 varieties of insects. The beetle that eats cork, glue, mustard plasters and certain medicines is called the drugstore beetle.  Some unusual beetles have unusual names.

There are other unusual insects besides beetles.  One of the most beautiful insects is the morpho butterfly, which is covered with a million tiny, coloured scales on each wing.  Another unusual insect is the water strider that skims over water—its middle legs work like oars, the hind legs act like rudders, and the front legs are free to catch its prey.  It has been given air-filled “shoes” made of hair that allow it to float.

Another resident of ponds is the brown water bug.  The one grasps other water insects in a hug of death while its sharp beak draws out the victim’s blood.  When the female is ready to lay her eggs, she grips her mate tightly and glues the eggs onto his back.  Then she leaves him to incubate them in the sun for many days, until the young hatch.

God has made some insects experts at camouflage.  The ambush bug is so well hidden by its green and yellow colours that it cannot be seen until it moves.  The dead-leaf butterfly is easily seen when flying, but it looks like a dead leaf when resting.  The long-horned grasshopper has wings that look like leaves that have been partly eaten away.  There is one variety of the walking stick which has a green-brown body with red, thorn-like growths that make it look like part of a bramble bush.

Certainly insects are among “the weak things of the world” that confound “the mighty.”  How good to know that "God made . . . everything that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:25).  Each one was given every perfect detail at the moment He created it.

He made a much greater joy when He brought mankind into the world, for He had his heart of love set on each of us even before the world was made!  How sad that many have not responded to that love nor realized that their sins made it necessary for the Saviour to die on Calvary.  There He bore the sins of all who will admit their guilt and put their trust in Him.  How wonderful of God to provide such a way of salvation!

Have you accepted His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as your Saviour?

Love you all - Grandpa

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Jewel # 331 (August 27, 2018)

Fairy Fly
Walking Stick

“And they shall be mine saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up MY JEWELS.”
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear Grandchildren

The World of Insects (Part 1)

“Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; 
which have ears, and hear not: Fear ye not Me? saith the Lord.”
(Jeremiah 5:21-22)

Do you know how to tell if something you see crawling or flying is really an insect?  One quick way is to count its legs.  Insects always have six legs—no more and no less.  Spiders are not true insects because they have eight legs.

The word insecta means “in sections,” and this is also true.  All true insects have three body sections joined together—head, thorax and abdomen.  The legs and wings are supported by the middle thorax section.  Most insects have four wings, but some have only two, and some don’t have any.

When the  Lord God created the world and everything in it, He must have had much pleasure in creating the insects since they represent the largest group of visible forms of life.  There are over 900,000 species of living insects that are known.  Ants are probably the most abundant insect species on earth.  Some insects are so small they can only be seen through a microscope.  The fairy fly, for instance, is only one-hundredth of an inch long but is perfect in all its parts.  At the large end of the scale is the fifteen-inch insect calledwalking stick, found in New Guinea.

In proportion to their size, insects are the strongest creatures on earth.  In experiments, a bumble bee was able to pull more than 300 times its weight, and a beetle carried more that 800 times its weight!  When insects walk, their front and back legs on one side and their middle leg on the other side all move at the same time.  The Creator may have arranged this so they can keep their balance and are always firmly on the surface.

Most insects begin life as eggs, hatching as larvae or nymphs, then change to pupae and finally appear as fully formed adults.  Having no skeleton or bones, they have been given an armour-like skin for protection.  As they grow larger, this splits open and drops off, and a new protective skin soon hardens and replaces it.  This happens several times as the insect grows larger.

Insects breathe, but they have no lungs; they hear, but they have no ears; they smell, but have no noses; they have eyes, but they cannot close them.  Their hearts can pump blood backward or forward.  These strange features about insects remind us of the opening verse of this article.  The Lord scolded those people who refused to use their eyes to see His ways or to use their ears to hear His Word.  No wonder He called them “foolish people, and without understanding" (Jeremiah 5:21).  We hope none of you will be so foolish!  
Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7).  
(To be continued)
Love you all - Grandpa

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Jewel # 330 (August 14, 2018)

“And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I
make up MY JEWELS”
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren

Meat Eating Plant

“The grass withers, the flower fades: but the word of our God shall stand forever.”
(Isaiah 40:8) 

A meat-eating plant is the bladderwort, which grows in swampy areas.  Its stems, rooted in the muddy bottom, produce leaves and flowers that float on the water surface.  This plant attracts underwater bugs, some of which can’t resist taking a nibble of the bladder like swellings on its underwater stems.  But the moment they touch it a “door” flies open, and they are sucked inside.  The door closes behind them, and they turn into food for the bladderwort plant.

A similar water plant, the Venus fly-trap, grows in shallow ocean waters along the coasts of North and South Carolina.  A small white flower grows on the top of the plant, nestled in a tuft of leaves that have short, stiff hairs on their edges.  When a small object touches one of these hairs, the leaf snaps shut, capturing whatever touched it.  If it is a pebble or something indigestible, the leaf promptly releases it, but if it’s an insect, the leaf immediately begins to digest it, and the plant is nourished. 

A plant that does not actually eat insects is the beautifully flowered passion vine of South America.  It attracts insects that find its leaves and sweet nectar appealing, but the insects damage the plant when they get to the flowers.  So the Creator provided guardian ants that love the nectar that drips from the flowers, and they will not allow other insets to climb to it.  However, the ants can’t do anything about birds and insects that fly to the plant, wanting to get at the pollen deep inside each flower.  To safeguard the important pollen, each plant has been given a stiff, collar-like opening that can only be entered by the Creator’s specially designed, long, curved beak of an unusual hummingbird that He has arranged to live close by.

Another vine also in South America, the passifiora, has delicate, fragrant blue flowers and relies on bees to pollinate it.  But other insects find that when they chew its leaves, a poison is given off that makes them very uncomfortable.  Most of them seem to sense this and leave the passifiora alone.

It is interesting to hear of these and other amazing wonders of God’s creation, but we know they will not last forever.  He tells us in the Bible that all will be destroyed in a coming time when God is going to bring the world into judgment.  But there is one thing that will last forever.  Read the beginning verse again to find out what it is.  Do you obey it?

Love your all - Grandpa

Monday, August 06, 2018

Jewel # 329 (August 5, 2018)

“And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I
make up "MY JEWELS.”
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren

Lively Spider Monkeys (Part 2)

“God made the beast of the earth after his kind . . . and God saw that it was good.” 
(Genesis 1:25)

In the last message, the red-faced and variegated species of the spider monkey family were reviewed.  Today we will look at the wooly variety, which is, in many ways, the most remarkable member of this family. 

The wooly’s homelands are in the tropical forest regions of Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Venezuela.  Much of those forest areas have been cut down, and many are concerned that these creatures will soon have no place to live.  But efforts are underway to set aside areas for the protection of the wooly spider monkey.

An adult wooly, weighting over 30 pounds, will measure about 5 feet in length, including a long, fur-covered tail.  Except for a dark face, slightly flushed with red, its body fur appears quite light when it is standing facing you, but the fur on its back is much darker.  On some there are areas of deep orange as well, and they all have a cute appearance.

Their antics are amazing, such as dangling out in space from a slender branch, holding on only by a tail and one arm.  But when a mother leads her little one around, she is very careful.  To travel from one tree to another where the space is too great for the baby to swing, she will pull the branch to which it clings farther across, or she may leap to the other tree and work one of its branches across so the little one can safely reach it.

At other times, she will stretch herself over the area, grasping one side with a strong arm and the other side with her tail.  Then baby monkey merely walks across her body to make the crossover. At other times, a mother can be spotted with a little one clinging to her back as she scampers though the trees.

For the most part, woolies are peace-loving and playful, enjoying swinging back and forth under a high branch while hanging on only by their tails.  But they will chase away other species that try to compete in picking fruit from a tree, which including the leaves and flowers, represents most of their food.

Wherever seen, monkeys are interesting animals, and we can understand the Creator’s taking pleasure in creating them.  The Bible, God’s Word, does not teach that mankind evolved from monkeys and apes.  God’s Word, which is our only sure and true source of knowledge of such things, plainly teaches that when God made Adam, he was instantly a complete man.  If in all things we trust and believe what God says, we are always on safe ground.    

Love you all - Grandpa 

Friday, July 27, 2018

Jewel # 328 (July 26, 2018)

“And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I 
make up MY JEWELS.”
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren

Lively Spider Monkey  (Part 1)

"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: 
for thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.”
(Revelation 4:11)

There are many species of monkeys in Central America and the northern parts of South America, and all have long, prehensile (grasping) tails.  The Creator also gave them long legs and arms—all important to their way of life.  They use their tails not only to grasp branches, but the tips of their tails have a remarkable sense of touch, enabling them to capture tasty insects or other creatures out of crevices or holes in trees.  If a spider monkey is mortally wounded, it will curl its tail around a branch as it dies and remain suspended until it is removed or its body decays.

The long tails and sprawling legs of these monkeys make them appear awkward when on the ground, as they walk with the soles of their hands outward and the feet inward.  But in trees they are skilled acrobats and move swiftly and gracefully about, using their long arms, legs and tails, and they can cover 30 feet in one flying leap.

The red-faced variety is only about a foot long from nose to tail; its tail adds another 2 feet.  The name “red-faced” is not entirely accurate, for its head is actually a dark copper colour, showing some red in bright sunlight.  The rest of it is mostly shiny black.

These residents of tropical rain forests in both Central and South America are much loved by most people.  They will swing by their tails or lean against a tree for hours at a time.  But if threatened, they scoot away so swiftly that nothing but a bird could keep up with them.

A hunter told of trying to shoot one of these in the top of a tall tree.  It fell headlong for about 30 feet, at which point its tail wrapped around a limb, bringing it to an immediate stop. It hung there briefly and then took off making its escape before the hunter got in another shot.  Aren’t you glad it got away?  So am I.

Another species living along the Amazon River, is the variegated with quite similar habits to the others.  Its black fur is somewhat longer and its tail more bushy.  Those who have watched it report that it will sit for great lengths of time high in a tree, without moving; then suddenly it becomes active swinging swiftly backwards and forwards in an upside down position, just like the pendulum of a big clock.

Another interesting variety will be considered in the next posting.  Meanwhile, let us remember that these creatures are part of God’s creation in which He took delight, as our opening Bible verse tells us.  Like God, we too may take delight in His creation.
(To be Continued)

Love you all - Grandpa