Sunday, September 27, 2015

Jewel # 225 (Sept. 21, 2015)


“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 Nimble Fisher

“Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; Thou hast made the earth, and all 
things that are therein . . . and Thou preservest them all.”
(Nehemia 9:6)  


The fisher, which is part of the weasel family, lives in the cold, densely wooded areas along the Canadian-United States border.  It is sometimes called a fisher cat, but it is not a feline.  It is about two feet long, including its tail.  Males weigh about 13 pounds and females about 8 pounds.  From November to March, its dark brown or greyish-brown fur is thick and soft and is a special prize for trappers.  They can sell it for use in coats, hats and muffs.

These animals live mostly in trees, climbing with ease and skill and jumping from branch to branch, sometimes as far as 30 or 40 feet between trees.

If attacked, they they are quite capable of defending themselves by arching their backs, baring sharp teeth and uttering threatening growls.  With their sharp teeth and vicious claws, they can usually fend off dogs and even bears.  But confrontations are rare, because the Creator has made them the swiftest animal of the northern woods. 

Surprisingly, they are one animal that will challenge a porcupine, flipping it over and exposing its unprotected underpart for the kill.  They also catch and eat fish, rabbits, beavers, squirrels, raccoons, mice and birds, and they will occasionally eat fruits and mushrooms.  Some of their food they get by outsmarting trappers, stealing bait from their traps.

The fisher does not hibernate; however, when snow is deep, it may sleep in its den for long periods of time.  Hunting in snow is more difficult, because its dark colour makes it easily visible.  Under those conditions, it often will lie on a branch and drop on passing prey.  It is also clever in burrowing through snow to catch mice, kangaroo rats and other rodents that are active below.

Although the mother sometimes makes her den in caves or burrows, she prefers to find a tree hole high above the ground where she gives birth to two or three young in April.  Blind and naked, the mother nurses them for almost two months and then teaches them to hunt. Within a year they are fully gown and go out on their own.

The way of these nimble animals reminds us of the care the Creator shows to all living things.  Truly,“the Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works" (Psalm 145:9).  However, His mercies are shown to us in ways an animal could never know, for it is His mercy and love that provide redemption and everlasting life to all who trust in Him.  This is well stated in Luke 1:49-50:“He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is His name.  And His mercy is on them that fear [respect and trust Him].” 

Do you trust in Him?

Love you all, Grandpa

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Jewel # 224 (Sept. 12, 2015)

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“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 fierce-Looking Lobster

“Behold, God is great, and we know Him not.  . . . He spreads His light upon the earth,
and covers the bottom of the sea.”
(Job 36:26,30)

Lobsters are strange-looking creatures of the sea.  They are easily recognized by their stiff shell, large fantail, spindly legs and large claws.  Dark green or dark blue (they don’t turn red until cooked), they blend in with the ocean floor.  Eyes with thousands of facets are atop two stalks, and two wire-like antennae that detect food or danger extend out in front.  They do not have ears but listen through the sensitive hairs on their legs.

They have five pairs of legs.  The first pair ends in large claws that extend in front of the head.  These are for defense but also are used to crush shells of clams and oysters to get at the meaty parts.  The other four pairs are for walking.  The large fantail has four pairs of swimmerets, providing power for swimming or scooting away backwards when frightened.

Male lobsters are cranky and hostile, and it is not unusual for them to lose a claw or leg, which amazingly grows back eventually.

A lobster never stops growing and reaches thirty-five pounds or more if it lives long enough.  But its armour-like shell doesn’t grow with it.  Every summer the lobster splits its shell and steps out of it.  Its new shell, which has formed under the old one, is soft and gives the lobster no protection.  It hides under a rock or piece of seaweed while its new shell hardens.

The female lays thousands of eggs usually only once every two years.  She carries them safely under her large tail for eleven to twelve months before shaking the babies out of their eggshells.  The baby lobsters rise to the surface and drift in the ocean currents, sometimes traveling great distances before they sink to the ocean bottom three to five weeks later.  As they drift, they are easy prey for other seas creatures and birds.  Those that escape these enemies grow to maturity but then may become victims of oyster traps and wind up on dinner tables.

The result is that not many lobsters live very long.  No doubt this is why the Creator provided the female with the ability to produce so many eggs.  Those that manage to escape all the hazards can live as long as fifteen years.  

Some might think God would not be concerned about lobsters on the ocean floor, but the light of His vision goes even to“the bottom of the sea” (see opening verse).  The Bible tells us, “Neither is there any creature that is not visible in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:13).   This includes you and me.

Have you ever thanked Him for His care over you?  But more important, have you accepted His offer of salvation through faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ?    

Love you all,
Grandpa