Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Jewel # 160 (Dec 31, 2013)


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To all my dear grandchildren,

Grandpa and Johnny Rescue a Deer

Johnny lived half a mile from his grandparents' house.  On Saturday mornings, he sometimes would go over to their house to eat breakfast and maybe help a little with the chores.  They lived in the country, and often deer would roam through their yards.  

One Saturday morning in the spring, Johnny was sitting at the breakfast table eating a big stack of pancakes with Grandpa.  Looking out the window, he saw a deer nervously pacing back and forth in the front yard.

"Look, Grandpa, something must be wrong with that deer.  She keeps walking over the same spot," Johnny said.

Grandpa watched the deer.  Then he wiped his mouth with his napkin and said, "Johnny, let's get our coats on and go out and take a look."

In a few minutes they were out the door and walking towards the deer.  Usually deer are very nervous around people and quickly run off when they come near.  This deer ran only a few feet and then quickly turned around, almost like she was being tugged by a rope.  However, Johnny and Grandpa didn't see any wire or rope or anything the deer could be tangled up in.

A few days before, the utility company had dug a short, deep trench to check the wiring in the front yard.  The hole they dug was a couple of feet wide, a few feet long, and maybe four or five feet deep.  Grandpa got suspicious that something in the trench was troubling the deer.  He walked over to the hole and looked down.  Yes, he was right.  He understood that it was the mama deer's troubled heart-strings that held her to the spot so she didn't run away.

"Johnny, come look at this," Grandpa said.

Johnny peered over the edge of the hole and said, "Wow, it's a baby deer.  Grandpa!  Look at all those pretty white spots on its back.  But it doesn't walk very good.  Do you think it's hurt?"

"No," Grandpa said.  "The fawn is just scared.  it looks to be only a few weeks old."

"Can we help it, Grandpa?  Can we?" asked Johnny eagerly.

Grandpa scratched his chin and thought for a second.  "I think so.  This is what we'll do.  I will grab you by by the ankles and lower you head first into the hole.  You grab the little fawn and when you get a good hold on it, I will pull you both out of the hole and we'll return the little thing to its mama."

"It sounds like a good plan, Grandpa . . . I'll do it."

Have you ever considered that sin is like a hole that traps us once we fall into it?  The sides of the hole are so steep that we need help to get out of it.  The only one who can help sinners is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of sinners.  He came to earth and went to the cross where He gave His life for us.  After His death, He was buried in a tomb and then God raised Him from the grave.  He is now alive in heaven.  He did all this because He loves us and wanted to make a way for you and me to be saved from our sins.      

Johnny really cared about that baby deer and was anxious to save it.  He lay down next to the hole, and his grandpa grabbed him by the ankles and slowly lowered him down into the hole.  The fawn tried to get away from Johnny, but in the hole he didn't have room to escape.  Grandpa never let go of Johnny's ankles, and Johnny grabbed the deer by the scruff of the neck.

"See if you can wrap your arms around its belly, Johnny," Grandpa advised.

In a second Johnny had his arms wrapped around the deer.  Its fur felt soft to him, and he could feel its little heart thumping.  Once the bay deer was in Johnny's arms, it hardly struggled at all.  Grandpa pulled them both up and out of the hole, and Johnny set the baby deer down on the ground.  Almost immediately the little fawn saw its mama and ran to her side.  The mama deer and her baby ran off into the woods.

"Good job, Johnny!"  Grandpa said. Both Johnny and his  grandpa were happy they could help the little fawn and that it was back with its mama.

When boys, girls and grown-ups believe that the Lord Jesus died on the cross for their sins, He lifts them out of the hole of sin and forgives all their sins and says, "Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more" (Hebrews 8:12).  I am so glad that the Lord Jesus lifts sinners out of the deep hole of sin and forgives them.  He did it for me, and He can and wants to do it for you too.  Won't you believe that what He did on the cross was for you?  Then someday soon He will bring you to His happy home in heaven.  

"He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay,
 and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings." 
(Psalm 40:2)

Love you all,
Grandpa

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Jewel # 159 (Dec 21, 2013)

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To my dear grandchildren

The Tough Grizzly

"David said . . . there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of my father's flock:
and I went out . . . and . . .  slew both the lion and the bear."
(1 Samuel 17:34-36)

What a good shepherd David was to risk his life for a lamb!  This reminds us of the Lord Jesus who said, "I am the good Shepherd: the good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep" (John 10:11).  David was not killed, but the Lord Jesus willingly gave His life for His sheep.

An 800-pound, 8-foot grizzly bear is a vicious animal.  It is found in the western United States and Canada and up into Alaska.  Its large body and head, 6 inch claws on strong legs, and sharp teeth all makes it a fearsome animal.  However, it does not start life that way.  Born while its mother is hibernating, it weighs less than a pound and is hairless and blind.  Two or three months later it will be the size of a raccoon.  By summer's end, it will be about as big as a collie dog. 

Did you know that a grizzly's heart only beats eight times a minute during hibernation?

Grizzly cubs are full of fun.  They wrestle with each other, slide on the snow and climb slender trees until they bend or break with their weight.  But it is not only cubs that like to play: Adult grizzlies will also slide down snow slopes, then climb back up and slide down again.  They will tumble and roll down grassy hillsides the same way.

By the end of summer, the grizzlies are fat and lazy, but not too lazy to prepare dens in rocky hillsides or under roots of big trees.  There they make beds of soft tree branches and some will line their dens with grass. All grizzlies in a given area enter their dens on the same day, and all dens face north.  These are God-given instincts.  He knows just when they should go into hibernation.  He also knows that before winter is actually over, there will be short warm spells, causing the snow on southern slopes to melt a little.  A bear waking and hearing this trickle of water would leave its den before food is available.  The short warm spells do not affect the cold northern slopes, and the bears remain undisturbed.  How wisely the Creator takes care of even grizzlies!

Waking after five months' sleep, thin and hungry, they immediately search for food.  This first meal might be a large animal that died during the winter its body preserved by the cold, or small rodents, fish, ants and berries.  Cow parsnips are a favorite, and hikers are warned to stay away from mountain slopes where these grow, because grizzlies do not like intruders!

The Lord Jesus, as Creator, never neglects any of His creatures.  But his special care over people includes this promise to those who love Him: "I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish" (John 10:28).

Love you all
Grandpa

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Jewel # 158 (Dec 11, 2013)

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To my dear grandchildren,

The Strange Chameleon
(Note the pictures below)

"God that made the world and all things therein . . .
is Lord of heaven and earth."
(Acts 17:24)

There are more than 100 varieties of these lizards in the warm ocean water areas of the world.  They range in size from 3 inches to nearly two feet long.  All of them look fierce but are actually harmless, except to the insects and small creatures that become their food.

Some chameleons have long, stilt-like legs, raising their bodies quite high; most have short legs with strong claws, helping them to climb trees and rocks.  Their tails are as long as the rest of their bodies.  Their tongues can, in a split second, stretch out even farther than the length of their bodes to snatch an insect.  Their eyes are most unusual - each moves independently of the other, so that they may look ahead with one and behind with the other at the same time.  They can also see what's going on at both sides without turning their heads.

But the most amazing feature about chameleons is the beautiful blending of a wide variety of colours.  The Creator has given them the ability to change these colours in a few moments (in as little as 20 seconds) to match their surroundings, if they need to hide from an enemy. 

One of the most striking in colour is the female panther of Madagascar.  To attract a mate, she takes on a lovely blend of bright red with areas of deep yellow, green and white.  The base of her throat is decorated with white-tipped red spearheads, which are actually quite soft and harmless.

Another, the Yemenis of Saudi Arabia, will often change himself to an amazing combination of light and dark green, with areas of light yellow and deep orange.  To us this looks frightening, but to another yemenis it is very attractive.

One that looks really vicious is named Parson's and lives in the jungles of an island in the Indian Ocean.  It is commonly a mixture of pale green and bright blue on its lower parts, with the upper section tan, spotted with green, brown and white.  From the top of its back, coal-black stripes reach all the way around its body.  Its jaws, when closed, look very much like a corncob with two row of big kernels of yellow corn.

Another, named Jackson's, living in the highlands of Africa, is most unusual looking.  One strange feature is that each jaw has a pink carrot-shaped horn - one a little above the other - sticking straight out, with sharp points looking like vicious weapons, but which are only used to pick up food.

The above Bible verse assures us chameleons are one more interesting display of God's creation over which He shows loving care.   And His invitation to each of us is to "Cast all your care upon Him; for He careth for  you" (1 Peter 5:7).  Have you accepted that wonderful invitation?

Love you all,
Grandpa

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Jewel # 157 (Dec 7, 2013)

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To my dear grandchildren,
Solitary Wasps

"O Lord, how manifold are Thy works!  In wisdom hast Thou made them all:
the earth is full of Thy riches."
(Psalm 104:24)

You may have seen a wasps' nest made of paper, hanging in a protected place on the outside of your house.  These wasps are called social wasps, because they live in colonies and cooperate with one another.

There are other wasps that make nests for their young in an entirely different way.  They do not live in colonies and are called solitary wasps.  One is the black wasp caterpillar hunter.  The female makes a nest for her eggs and provides for her young by digging a hole several inches deep in well-packed sand.  At the bottom of this hole she deposits her eggs.  Then she hunts for a caterpillar that she paralyses with her stinger and drops it into the hole beside the eggs.  The caterpillar is still alive but cannot move, and when the eggs hatch, the caterpillar becomes a fresh food supply for them.

It is common for various species to build similar nests, some of them dropping insects, spiders or caterpillars beside the eggs as a food supply when the larvae hatch. Wasps do not need to be taught these things nor to experiment until it is done right, for these instincts are the Creator's design for them, passed on from generation to generation.

Another variety is known as the bembix wasp.  Several of them make holes side by side in the ground to form colonies, digging with front feet specially designed by the Creator.  After placing her eggs at the bottom of her nest, each female wasp drops paralyzed flies down the hole.  Something interesting about bembix wasps is that after the eggs have hatched into larvae and eaten the food left for them, they completely cover themselves with a hard coating of fine sand held close to their bodies with sticky saliva.  After being wrapped up that way through the winter months, they come out of this hard cocoon and crawl up into the outdoors as adult wasps.

Sand and wood wasps follow habits similar to those of the bembix, but they sometimes drill their holes in fence posts rather than in the ground.  These wasps use paralyzed spiders, and a few other insects for their food. 

Another species feeds on nothing but paralyzed bees, which are right there when the larvae come out of their long sleep and find this food beside them.

As we think of how wonderfully the ways of the Lord God, the Creator of all things, are displayed, we can easily understand the psalmist who declared, after expressing verse 24 quoted above, "I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. . . .  I will be glad in the Lord" (Psalm 104:33-34).  Are you among those who happily join in that kind of singing?    

Love you all,
Grandpa