Monday, April 25, 2016

Jewel # 246 (April 17, 2016)


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“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 Vicious Wolverine
(Part 2)

“Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His face continually.
Remember his marvellous works that He hath done.”
(1 Chronicles 16:11-12)

When hunting, a wolverine is not fast but determined.  If it cannot overtake its prey quickly, it may follow it day after day, until the pursed animal is exhausted and finally caught.  Besides animals and birds, a wolverine eats birds’ eggs, wild fruit and honey.  Ripping beehives open, it is not concerned with the bees because its long, shaggy hair protects it from stings.

While not challenging people openly, the wolverine seems to delight in stealing bait from traps and devouring animals caught in them.  After cleaning out one trap, it usually proceeds along the trap line and tears to shreds other captured animals, making their fur worthless.

The wolverine is usually a night hunter, but if out in daylight, it hides quickly when a human is near.  In the absence of humans, it will break into a cabin, tearing bars off doors, ripping shingles or sheet metal from roofs, pulling screens off and smashing windows—anything to get inside.  Once inside, the damage continues as it eats available food and destroys what it cannot eat.  A mischievous raccoon will occasionally do this too, but the wolverine is worse—smashing lamps, pulling shelves down, tearing clothes apart and ruining other things by spraying its bad-smelling musk.  Hasn’t sin made it an awful creature?

Each year in May or June, two or three young cubs are born in a well-hidden, underground den.  They are blind at birth and weigh less than a pound.  They are carefully protected by the mother who nurses them for several weeks and then teaches them hunting skills.  While growing up, their  playfulness quickly shows their true nature, for they are rough with each other during mock battles.  After a year or more with the mother, they are able to capture game and soon are on their own.

The wolverine is a ruthless destroyer and remind us of the world’s greatest enemy, Satan.  He also is a destroyer, and his object is to capture the hearts of people tempted by him, leading them into a godless and hopeless life.  But strength to resist Satan is given in these Bible verses:  “What shall we then say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us?  He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32).

How good it is, as our beginning verse states, to turn to the Lord Jesus as the One to save us from Satan’s power, cleanse away our sins, and who alone can give strength to resist the attacks of that evil one.  

If you have not yet done this, turn to Him as your Saviour today.  

Love you all,
Grandpa

Monday, April 18, 2016

Jewel # 245 (April 16, 2016)

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“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 Vicious Wolverine
(Part 1)

“Every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the 
fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are Mine.”
(Psalm 50:10-11)

The mean-tempered wolverine lives in the northern woods of Asia, Europe and North America.  It makes its den in a cave, under a fallen tree or under an overhanging rock.  The den is lined with leaves, grass and moss.

The wolverine is related to badgers, skunks and otters and looks something like a small bear.  It is about 30 inches long, weighs from 30 to 50 pounds, and has dark, shaggy hair with white markings.

Its broad, round head is armed with a vicious set of tough, razor-sharp teeth.  It also has been provided with a heavy build and short, powerful legs.  Its four-inch paws have spike-like claws, and in winter, its paws are thickly covered with hair, which act like snowshoes to help it travel over snow.

The wolverine is the scourge of the woods and is considered the most destructive animal.  Unusually strong, it is feared by all animals and even avoided by those larger than itself.  A meat eater, it will devour almost anything alive or dead and finds much of its food by digging foxes, rabbits and marmots out of their burrows.  If these are not available in winter, it looks for deer or elk that are weakened and slowed down by deep snow.  Its strong jaws can crush the leg bones of a deer, making it defenceless and easy to kill.  A wolverine can drag a dead animal that weighs more than double its own weight for several miles.  It is one of the most powerful animals for is size in the world and seems to kill for the love of killing, destroying more animals that it can eat.

The fighter will even challenge a cougar, wolf or bear that is feasting on captured food.  If hungry, the wolverine will go right up to these larger and more powerful animals, growl and snarl at them, displaying its sharp teeth and claws.  Most of these larger animals could defeat the wolverine if a fight resulted, but to avoid a bad time, they will usually leave the food to this fiery challenger.  If a fight does result, the wolverine does not retreat and, as a result, will most likely be killed.

The bad-tempered beast reminds us of the warning given int the Bible: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary [enemy] the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).  It is only by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ and keeping close to His care that we can overcome Satan, the evil one. 

(To be continued)

Love you all,
Grandpa   

Monday, April 04, 2016

Jewel # 244 (April 2, 2016)

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Joshua diving for shells in the Bahamas ————————————————————


"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,

A Lovely Snail — the Conch

“Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight.”
(Hebrews 4:13)

Perhaps the most beautiful of all sea snail shells is one that is not usually thought of as belonging to a snail; it is the queen conch.  You may have one of these prized, heavy shells in your home.  It is spiral shaped and beautifully coloured in creamy pink with rose and tan.  The large end of the shell is worth examining.  It has large, star-shaped spikes spiralling with gradually smaller ones until it ends in a point.   The fan-like lip of the shell is lovely with its pretty colours.  No one but the Lord God, the Creator of all, could design such a beautiful home for such a lowly creature.

Conches live in the world’s shallow seas where they eat plants and grasses that grow in shallow water and algae that grow on rocks.  They lie flat on the ocean floor, withdrawn into their shells except when travelling or eating.  A conch’s meaty body can move in and out of the shell but remains attached to it.  Two, long, antenna-like stalks emerge first, and each of these has an eye on its tip.  Its mouth is underneath these two stalks.  It uses a claw on its body to move about on the sea bottom.  Its shell is made from calcium carbonate which is secreted from a part of the conch’s body.

The queen conch lays many eggs in long strings.  About a week later, the young veligers hatch and are already equipped with miniature shells.  They swim in the ocean for about three weeks before settling to the bottom to develop mature bodies.  Most will grow to be about a foot long and weigh about five pounds.

An interesting feature of the conch’s life is its friendship with the little conch fish that swims right into the conch’s shell in the daylight and then leaves at night.  Another visitor is a small crab that clings to the conch’s lip and remains there, gathering food that floats by.

The Bible tells us, “Thou the Lord hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11).  We can understand His pleasure in these creatures and the beautiful homes He has given them.  But did you know that He has taken pleasure in creating you?  He tells us this in Proverbs 8:31: “My delights were with the sons [and daughters] of men.” 

His pleasure in creating us does not end there.  It is also His desire that we find our delight in Him, the One who is so loving to us that He died to save us from our sins.  

Have you answered this wonderful invitation of God?  

Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him” (Psalm 37:4-5).    

Love you all,
Grandpa