Friday, August 28, 2009

Jewel # 39 (Aug 28, 2009)

"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,

Cookie the Brave Cat

Cookie was just a little cat, but she was a mother and very proud of her kittens.  Certainly she was not about to let any harm come to them.

One day a friend of ours came to visit us, and by his side was his big German shepherd dog.  Immediately the dog spied the cat and took off after her.
"Wow, you'd better rescue your cat!  That dog will tear it to pieces!" our friend exclaimed.

I started to run toward the cat, but there was no need.  Cookie was standing still with her back arched, her hair bristling and her eyes flaming with anger.  In a moment the dog was in front of her, and Cookie's quick front claws were raking his nose and reaching for his eyes.  That big dog tucked his tail between his legs and streaked across the yard yowling.  Then he ran out the gate.  His owner couldn't believe what he saw.

Cookie followed the big dog a little way and then turned back to her kittens.  She took quite a few backward looks to make certain that dog hadn't changed his mind about coming back.  The kittens didn't even know they were in danger, but Cookie did, and she protected them.

If you've trusted the Lord Jesus as your Saviour, then God in heaven is your Father, the One who made the heavens and the earth.  He is greater and stronger than anyone or anything, and He promises never to leave or forsake any of His children,

"I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13:5)

Are you wondering how you can become one of His children and be sure He will be protecting you?  You only need to pray to the Lord Jesus wherever you are.  Tell Him you are a sinner and want Him to forgive your sins and receive you into His family. 

"As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
(John 1:12-13).

He tells us to:

". . . fear not; for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine."
(Isaiah 43:1)

Are you one of His children and are you being protected by Him?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Jewel # 38 (Aug 18, 2009)

"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 Mischievous Raccoon

"God Himself . . . formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited."
(Isaiah 45:18)

In the fading evening light, a family of raccoons comes cautiously out of the woods.  Their masked faces make them look like little burglars, which they often are.  Tonight they head for a tree loaded with ripe plums.  The kits (baby raccoons) remain on the ground while the parents climb up and begin shaking  branches, causing a shower of plums to fall.  Then the whole family enjoys the dinner. 

This fruit dinner is a real treat.  Raccoons eat mostly frogs, crayfish, turtle eggs and clams taken out of shallow waters.  Birds' eggs are also a favorite, especially chicken eggs.  Sweet corn is another special treat.  Raccoons stripping ears from the stalks have ruined many cornfields.

Although raccoons weigh only about twenty-five pounds, dogs are often surprised at a raccoon's fighting ability.  It will not hesitate to attack a dog two or three times its own size.  When being chased by a dog, it is clever at escaping.  It will wade in water, run along fence tops, climb trees, back-track and leap down a hillside, all to break the scent trail the dog is following.  Occasionally a raccoon may let a dog chase it into a lake.  Then it will grab the dog by its neck and force its head under water until the dog drowns.

In spite of its sometimes nasty nature, a raccoon is a pretty animal.  It has a a fox-like face with a black mask around jet-black eyes, erect ears, a black, button nose with whiskers, and a bushy, ringed tail.  It is also very smart and soon discovers how to open latches on chicken coops, pry off garbage can lids, unscrew bottle caps, and even open refrigerators if given the chance.

This animal is another of the wonders of God's creation.  He has given it many life-sustaining instincts and also an intelligence that allows it to learn things necessary for its survival.  It is found both in the woods of the United States and Canada and in the deserts of Mexico and South America.  Its life reminds us of the verse in the Bible:

"The Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works. . . . The eyes of all wait upon Thee; and Thou givest them their [food]  in due season.  Thou openest Thine hand, and satisfies the desire of every living thing."
(Pslam 145:9, 15-16)   

We think of these provisions of the Creator in connection with every creature, but it is also good to remember this prayer that should be in the heart of every boy and girl:

"Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. . . . O satisfy us early with Thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days"
(Psalm 90:12,14)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Jewel # 37 (Aug 4, 2009)

"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,

"Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind . . . [every] beast of the earth after his kind."  (Genesis 1:24)

The stealthy Bobcat

Bobcats live in southern Canada, in many places in the United States, and as far south as lower Mexico.  They are just as much at home in deserts and sagebrush as they are in forests or on rocky hillsides.  Shy and stealthy, it is their sharp hearing that warns them to hide quickly from danger.  Being well camouflaged, they are difficult to spot.  Hikers have been startled to see one standing nearby, watching them, then suddenly disappearing.

The Bobcat is a pretty animal, looking much like a large domestic cat.  However, its  black, stubby tail and buff-coloured fur, patterned with black markings and a solid black streak down its back, immediately identify it.  A full-grown, thirty pound male stands about twenty inches high and is almost three feet long.  The bobcat is the most abundant wild-cat in the U.S.

The Bobcat is a wonderful hunter.  It stalks its victim by creeping a few inches at a time, with its body pressed to the ground.  It patiently waits until it is close enough to make a lightning dash and then pounces on its victim.  Rabbits are a favorite food, and farmers appreciate the bobcat's help in keeping their numbers down, as well as rats, mice and gophers.  Unwary birds are frequently caught, and even turtles and fish are scooped out of shallow water.  Although its piercing howls at night have frightened campers, the bobcat does not attack humans.

These outdoor cats are careful to keep themselves clean by licking their fur frequently.  In winter their fur is thick and heavy, but they shed this heavy coat in summer.  This reminds us of the Creator's kindness to all animals in caring for their needs in all seasons.  And this care of animals also reminds us of His sure promise to people who love Him:

"I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.  So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper" (Hebrews 13:5-6).

The mother bobcat prepares for her expected kittens (three or four in a litter) by searching for a hidden den or a cave and lining the floor with soft materials.  She does all the work alone, including gathering food and training.  When the kittens are born, they are blind for nine or ten days.  At three months she teaches them to find their own food, and at nine months they leave to begin independent lives.

How interesting it is to see how the Lord God cares for all the wild creatures He has placed on the earth.  But of more importance is knowing that in His love to every man, woman, boy and girl, He not only watches over us even more carefully, but He invites us to take our cares to Him as well.

"Casting all your care upon Him: for He careth for you." (1 Peter 5:7)