Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jewel # 42 (Sept. 23, 2009)

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

The Blind Groundhog

To my dear grandchildren, 

One of the signs that winter is over and spring has come to our cold part of the country is that we begin to see groundhogs.  These animals, sometimes called woodchucks, sleep through the winter and come out of their burrows in the springtime.  Groundhogs are really pests, because they burrow large holes in lawns, gardens and farmers' fields and love to eat crops and nearly anything planted in the vegetable garden.  Normally we want to get rid of them, but a lady in our area had an unusual story.

This lady was walking along when she saw a very strange sight.  A groundhog was stumbling around with a soup can stuck tightly on its head.  The soup can was covering its eyes and ears, so that it was truly blinded and probably couldn't hear very well either.

The groundhog staggered along, heading towards the busy road ahead where it would soon have been killed.  The lady called for someone to help her catch the groundhog, but to her surprise the poor, frightened creature stopped near her feet and lay down.  It allowed her to hold him while she tried to remove the soup can.  He did not even try to get away.  When she got the soup can off his head, he looked up at her, scared, dazed and exhausted, then seemed to get his bearings and scurried off.

This little animal had his eyes blinded, but he accepted help and was set free.  The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:4 that, "the god of this world [the devil] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not," so that they do not receive the good news that "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15).  That morning the lady was not looking for an animal to save, but Jesus came on purpose "to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).  That's you and me.

It would be very good for each one of us to do as that groundhog did - to fall at Jesus' feet and to put ourselves into His hands, because Jesus is able "to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him" (Hebrews 7:25).  He is able to open blind eyes and blind minds.

"Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:21)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Jewel # 41 (Sept. 12, 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 Dragonfly

"All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made."  (John 1:3)

The dragonfly is a common sight near water or swampy areas in summer.  It has four strong but delicate-looking wings.  Since the day of creation, it has been able to dart through the air swifter than most birds, with its wings vibrating 1500 times per minute.  It can outperform the newest helicopters in hovering, flying forward or backward, up or down, or rapidly changing directions.  Unlike most insects, the dragonfly's large head can easily turn to help it spot insects, which it eats in flight.  Each of its large compound eyes has approximately 30,000 lenses, giving it excellent vision.  It can see ahead, behind, above and below, all at the same time!

The dragonfly begins its life as a nymph in the bottom of a stream or pond.  It creeps along the bottom and eats nearly anything that moves, including mosquito wrigglers, tiny minnows and tadpoles.  It moves very slowly, but can spurt water through its body in a jet-propulsion manner, giving it extra speed in an emergency.  Most nymphs remain underwater one or two years, but some remain up to five years.

When ready for its adult change, it creeps out of the water at the shoreline and becomes an air-breather for the first time.  Resting in the warm sun, its skin splits open and a new creature comes out - no longer an ugly nymph but a fully developed dragonfly.  Its wings soon unfold, but a few hours are necessary for then to dry and harden before it can fly.  It is defenseless during those hours and is a tempting meal for birds and small animals.

Finally it takes to the air with no lessons or trial flights.  Traveling at rapid speeds, its legs form a scoop-like net in which it catches its victims and transfers them to its strong jaws.  A dragonfly's appetite is huge, eating the equivalent of its own weight in thirty minutes when food is available.  It prefers mosquitoes and so is a beneficial insect.

From the smallest microbe to the great whales, the Creator, the Lord God of heaven and earth, is always aware of the needs of each one.  "Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world" (Acts 15:18).

Those who teach that life "just happened" and that it took millions of years for living things to reach their present form deny that God made everything to reproduce "after his kind."  The Bible warns, "Put not your trust in . . . man, in whom there is no help.  His breath goeth forth, he returneth to [the] earth; in that very day his thoughts perish."  Then it says, "Happy is he . . . whose hope is in the Lord his God: which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is" (Psalm 146:3-6). 

Do you know this happiness through faith in Him?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Jewel # 40 (Sept 3, 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,

It was winter and a small river running into the Chesapeake Bay was once again hosting many white swans, Canada geese and ducks.  

Infrequently snow and freezing sleet would move into the area causing the small river inlet to harden into ice overnight.

One morning, after a freezing ice storm had blanketed the area, a couple, living in a house on the shore of the river were enjoying breakfast as they viewed the pretty winter scene through ice frosted windows.
With a sudden exclamation of surprise, the lady snatched a pair of binoculars and peered intently at the far edge of the frozen river.  She saw a large Canada goose, sitting very still, its wings folded tight to its sides, and its feet frozen to the ice.

Just then the couple saw a line of swans flying overhead in perfect formation.  They flew across the river heading in the opposite direction of the bird frozen to the ice.  Quite unexpectedly the leader of the swans brought the string of white birds into a white circle which floated down to the river which floated down to the ice encircling the Canada goose.  

The couple were sure it would be pecked to death by the swans for they knew that Canada geese and white swans are not friendly and don't mix with each other.
Instead of pecking the trapped goose however, the swans' strong powerful bills began to peck the ice!  After a long time the goose was rimmed by just a narrow margin of thin ice.  

The swans rose into the air and hovering, circled as the goose struggled to free itself. 
Finally it broke free.  As it stood on the small island of ice no longer a prisoner, the goose tried to fly.  But the bird could not overcome the weight of the ice which had caked its body and wings.  Four swans left their flock overhead and dropped back down, landing by the goose.  Again their powerful beaks went to work slowly chipping and scrapping ice off the helpless bird's wings and body.  When the goose was finally able to stretch its wings back and forth to their fullest spread, the four swans flew back to rejoin their flock and resume their journey.

Behind them, rising with incredible speed and seemingly unbounded joy, the liberated Canada goose caught up with them.  Following at the end of the line of swans, it flew away with then in perfect formation.

"Bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2).