Monday, August 31, 2015

Jewel # 223 (Aug. 31, 2015)


“They shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts,
in that day when I make 
(Malachi 3:17)

My dear grandchildren,

The Sociable Weaverbirds

“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)

The weaverbirds of Africa, Asia, India and Java are part of an interesting species and are noted for their intricate nests.  Using their beaks and feet, they braid their nests from grass, bark strips, plant stems and other plant materials.  Each group has its own design; some look like a community umbrella and some build suspended nests with side openings or with long tubular-shaped entrances.

One variety, the sociable weavers, builds an umbrella-shaped community roof, sometimes as large as an African hut.  The underside of this umbrella roof is divided into many, many compartments, sometimes as many as one hundred with a pair of weaverbirds occupying each compartment.  Another specie, the village weavers, also forms colonies, but these suspend a great number of nests from a single tree without building a roof.  From a distance, their nests look like great pieces of fruit hanging from the branches.  Some weaverbird nests are over 100 years old.

Weaverbirds are small, living in most parts of the world.  Our English sparrows and house sparrows are part of the weaverbird family but don’t construct the unusual woven nests as those on other continents.  All are equipped with short, strong bills and eat seeds and grain.  They all chatter continually.  The males are usually brightly coloured during mating season but dull in colour the rest of the year, and the females and young birds are plainly coloured—the Creator’s way of concealing them from enemies.

When seeking a mate, the male weaverbird often makes several nests, and when a companion is found, he lets her chose one of them. Usually after she has chosen one, he tears down the others, but sometimes he’ll find more mates to fill the unused ones.

Something amazing about weavers and many other birds too is that if the eggs are hatched artificially and the young birds are raised away from their parents, they will build nests identical to those of their parents!  Where do you think they learned how to build them?  When God created each different kind of bird, He gave them the instincts for even building their nests, and those instincts are passed along in every egg that hatches.  This is one more example of the wonders of God’s creation, the One “in whose hand is the soul [life] of every living thing” (Job 12:10)

In the same book of the Bible, we are instructed: “Hear My words, O ye wise men; and give ear unto Me”(Job 34:2).  We should certainly do this, “For His eye are upon the ways of man, and He sees all His goings” (Job 34:21).   We also are given the wonderful promise:  “He that hears My Word, and believes on Him that sent Me, has everlasting life” (John5:24).

Are you one who has both heard and believed?

Love you all,

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Jewel # 222 (Aug. 18, 2015)


“They shall be Mine, saith the Lord of Hosts,
in that day when I make 
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren,

The Cuddly Koala

“All Thy works shall praise Thee, O Lord . . . Thou openest Thine hand,
and satisfies the desire of every living thing.”
(Psalm 145:10,16)

The koala, also called the Australian bear, is probably the world’s most loved wild animal.  This is easy to understand, since it looks like a live teddy bear.  It is also gentle and loveable and is sometimes raised as a household pet.

The koala is not a bear; it is actually a marsupial, since the mother has a pouch for carrying her young.  This mammal weights about ten pounds, is about two feet long and a foot high at the shoulder, and has almost no tail.  Part of the reason people love this little animal is because of its inquisitive expression.  Its little mouth always seems to be smiling as its round eyes look you over while wrinkling it shiny, black nose.  Its thick, soft, woolly, gray fur covers even its small head and large tufted ears, and its soft arms will hug anyone holding it.

A baby koala weighs just a few ounces at birth and spends six months in its mother’s pouch.  After that, it rides on her back for about a year, holding on with hand-like paws.  During this time, the mother introduces the cub to a diet of eucalyptus leaves.  It is interesting to see how the Creator has given them wisdom to know to eat from only about a dozen kinds of eucalyptus rather than the 600 varieties that are not suitable as food.  While riding on its mother’s back, the cub learns which of these are safe, but the ability to tell the plants apart is actually giver by the Creator who made both the trees and koalas.

A koala is rather lazy.  Once it finds a good eucalyptus tree, it is content to stay in the tree until all the tender leaves and buds are eaten.  It sleeps during the day in the top of the tree, often hanging with its back downward, like a sloth.  Life in these tall trees, again shows the special provisions of God for His creatures.  Sharp claws and rough padded feet are just right for climbing and holding onto branches while it feeds.

In the hot, dry climate of Australia, what does the koala do for water?  The Creator has given this animal a special stomach that not only enables it to get nourishment from the bitter eucalyptus leaves, but also to get all the water it needs from those leaves.

The koala does not know of God’s care over it, but we can know of His care over us.  The Bible tells us, 
“The Lord searcheth all hearts. . . . If thou seek Him He will be found of thee” (1 Chronicles 28:9).  
If you have accepted Him as your Saviour, then you can also say, 
"Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits”(Psalm 68:19).

Love you all,