Friday, January 24, 2014

Jewel # 163 (Jan 24, 2014)


To my dear grandchildren.

Multi-Coloured Kingfishers

"Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field,
and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam."
(Genesis 2:19)

There are about 100 species of kingfishers, ranging in size from 6 to 18 inches and divided into two families - the water and the forest.  Many of the forest family never go near water and live on insects, small rodents, snakes and lizards. 

The water kingfishers, which are more common, make their homes in hollow trees or dig burrows in a bank where the young hatch and develop before going outside to learn to fish on their own.  The Creator has given these birds unusual colouring.  Many are quite pretty with high crests on their heads.  For instance, the common, which is the smallest, has colours that change according to the angle of light.  At times it appears sky blue, but as it turns on its perch it becomes a beautiful emerald green, with a variety of colours on its head and throat.

By contrast, the largest is the African giant that is not as brightly coloured as the smaller ones - a speckled gray above and light brown beneath.  The small malachite from Ethiopia has a speckled-gray head topped with a crest of a dozen feathers.  White patches on its head and on its neck blend with a rust-coloured beak and legs.  A soft-orange breast and underparts and pretty purple feathers on its back, wings and tail complete this beauty.

In North America the most commonly seen is the belted, about twelve inches long.  You may have seen one on a branch near a stream, patiently waiting until . . . suddenly it dives headfirst into the water and returns with a fish in its beak.  Incidentally, kingfishers do not spear fish with their beaks as we might think; they grasp them with open beaks.  Kingfishers also eat snails, frogs and crabs. 

Perhaps millions of these birds live in various parts of the world, and people never see most of them.  But there is One who always watches over them.  He has told about His care over lowly sparrows (also true of kingfishers).  In Luke 12:6 He said, "Not one of them is forgotten before God."  Then He adds, "Ye are of more value than many sparrows" (vs 7).  The Lord wrote these words to tell of His love and care over each person in the world and to give His invitation, "Whosoever shall confess Me before men, him shall the Son of Man [Himself] also confess before the angels of God" (vs 8).

To "confess the Lord before men" means to confess Him as your Lord and Saviour before others.  When this is done with a true heart, not only will He tell the angels you are His, but your name will also be written in the Book of Life and will never be removed.  Have the angels been told your name?  Is it written in God's Book of Life?  

Love you all,

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