Friday, July 28, 2017

Jewel # 292 (July 26, 2017)

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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

Some Unusual Frogs

“The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein."
(Psalm 111:2)

There are thousands of kinds of frogs.  The tiniest one, a tree-dweller, is less than half an inch long.  The largest frog in the world is the giant frog of Queensland, Australia, which is almost 12 inches long.  It is so huge that it can swallow a rat!  The largest frog in North America is the bull frog, which is more than 6 inches long.  It can stay underwater a long time by absorbing oxygen from the water through its skin.

Tree frogs have suction cups on their toes which are moistened with a sticky substance.  One kind of tree frog in the tropics is so well camouflaged that it is almost impossible to distinguish it from the leaves.  It lives in the tops of tall trees and never comes to the ground.  These frogs are clever builders!  They cement leaves together to collect pools of rainwater in which they lay their eggs.

The four-inch, green Bornean flying frog has skin between its toes that stretches out, enabling it to make long, parachute-like leaps.

Most frogs dig with their front feet, but the European spadefoot digs with specially designed back feet.  If in danger, it will quickly disappear backwards into a hole it has dug.

The female pouched tree frog has pouches on her back.  She lays about a dozen eggs at a time.  The male picks up these eggs with his hind feet and places them in these pouches, where they remain until they hatch as tadpoles.

In another species, the male takes on the responsibility of hatching the eggs.  As the eggs are laid by the female, he swallows them.  The eggs pass into a special pouch in his throat.  They incubate there until they hatch and swim out of the father’s mouth.

The male midwife frog takes care of eggs in another way.  He takes the eggs from the female, wraps them around his hind legs, then scoops a hole in the mud where he waits while they incubate.  After a few weeks, he jumps into the water with the eggs still wrapped around his legs.  The force of the water breaks open the eggs, and the tadpoles swim out.

The Lord was pleased to create such an interesting variety of frogs, and we know He takes care of them day by day.  But for men, women, boys and girls who know Him as their Saviour, His care is even greater.  It was shown in the great love that led Him to die on Calvary to save them from their sins.  He tells them, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye” (Psalm 32:8).

Have you put your trust in Him? and do you now ask Him
to be your guide through life?

Love you all -Grandpa    

Friday, July 21, 2017

Jewel # 291 (July 18, 2017)

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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

Robins are Popular

“Ask now . . . the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee about God’s creation.”
(Job 12:7)

To nearly everyone in North America the robin is a favourite bird.  It has become well - known for its cheery songs, one of which seems to say “cheer up, cheer up.”  And most of us have watched a robin, with its grayish-black head, back and tail, and its brick-red breast, hopping across a lawn.  It will stop frequently, cock its head sideways as if listening, and then quickly tug a nice fat worm out of the ground and swallow it.  

During summer months robins are found from Alaska and the Canadian Rockies, all the way across lower Canada and the United states, and down to the Gulf of Mexico.  In winter many migrate to the southern United States, and then in early spring they return to the exact spots they temporarily left behind—often to the very same nests.  The same male and female are usually paired together from year to year.

Building a nest requires lots of mud.  The female does most of the work, but her mate helps gather some of the material.  She starts by mixing mud and grass.  As the sides get higher and before the mud hardens, she squats down and squirms around to make a bowl-shaped bottom.  Then, after building the sides higher and before it fully hardens, she lines it with soft grasses, leaves and a few feathers.  Sometimes it takes two weeks to build a nest.  Then she lays from three to six pretty blue eggs.  

The eggs take about two weeks to hatch.  The chicks, naked and blind at birth, open their eyes in five days and feathers begin to show.  In only a few weeks, they are ready to fly.  Robins may have two or three broods during the spring and summer.  

Although most people admire these lively birds, they are at time a problem to fruit and berry growers.  Robins love to eat cherries and berries, along with their worm and insect diet.  But over all they are a great benefit to farmers and to all of us in eating a tremendous amount of harmful insects every day.  

These pretty birds were first called robins in colonial days.  People from England found their colours similar to the British robin.  Both are part of the thrush family.  

In looking at all kinds of birds, we are reminded that they are an important part of God’s creation.  We cannot help but marvel at the wide variety He placed on the earth, from the cold Arctic and Antarctic areas to the heat of the equator.  The Bible tells us He had real pleasure in creating them.

It is important to remember that the Bible also tells us, “Thou, even Thou, art Lord alone; Thou has made . . . the earth, and all things that are therein . . . and Thou preservest them all” (Nehemiah 9:6).  All creation belongs to Him.


Love you all - Grandpa      

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Jewel # 290 (June 29, 2017)


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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 Plump Wombat

“Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, who humbleth
Himself to behold the things . . . in the earth!” 
(Psalm 113:5-6)

The wombat, sometimes called the Australian badger, is another of the interesting animals found in Australia.  It is a marsupial, which means the mother carries her baby in a pouch until the baby is able to fend for itself.  With most marsupials, this pouch is on the front of the mother’s body, like the kangaroo’s, but the wombat’s pouch is on her back.  It would seem the Creator did this so that in digging her burrows she does not throw dirt into the pouch or on the little one inside.

Wombats are chubby and waddle when they walk, resembling bear cubs in many ways.  Adults are 2 to 3 feet long and may weigh 80 pounds.  Their long coarse fur is most often brown, but some have fur that is gray, yellowish or black.  They have broad heads with snouts like pigs, very small tails and strong legs and claws used for digging their burrows.   They also have sharp teeth for gathering roots, leaves and bark for food, which is done at night.  They curl up and sleep in their burrows during the day.  These animals can be affectionate pets.

Babies are as tiny as mice at birth and immediately crawl into the mother’s pouch, where they nurse and develop for about six months.  When the mother walks about, her baby may be seen poking its head out, watching where they are going.

One species, which lives in the southern forests and grasslands of Australia and nearby islands, has the name hairy-nosed and likes living together in large colonies.  Their hair is silky, and with their long ears and furry muzzles the are rather cute.

A more common wombat has the name naked-nose.  This one is larger and has much coarser hair, short ears and a leathery nose free of fur.   These prefer living in smaller groups.

All wombats, like badgers are powerful and tough for their size.  They live in burrows, many of which interlock with several openings.  They will frequently move from one burrow to another, perhaps doing this to keep their enemies from knowing exactly here they nest.

Wombats are a good example of an interesting animal which God created and still cares for.  The pouches of marsupials are an excellent illustration of how all animals have been created for their individual way of live.  This way of life has continued “after their kind” ever since ‘God said “Let the earth bring forth the . . . beast of the earth after his kind” (Genesis 1:24).  This includes the fact that a dirt-digging  marsupial like the wombats was always to have its pouch on its back, in contrast to the others having theirs on the front.  The wise Creator has made them this way.

Love you all - Grandpa