Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Little brown surf-bather of the mountains!
Spirit of foam, lover of cataracts, shaking your wings in falling waters!
Have you no fear of the roar and rush when Nevada plunges--
Nevada, the shapely dancer, feeling her way with slim white fingers?
How dare you dash at Yosemite the mighty--
Tall, white-limbed Yosemite, leaping down, down over the cliff?
Is it not enough to lean on the blue air of mountains?
Is it not enough to rest with your mate at timberline, in bushes that hug the rocks?
Must you fly through mad waters where the heaped-up granite breaks them?
Must you batter your wings in the torrent?
Must you plunge for life and death through the foam?
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis
"Imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised." Hebrews 6:12
I was on my way to Mexico! My parents and I were driving to visit friends in San Antonio, Texas, with a planned side excursion to Nuevo Laredo. We were only five miles outside my Nebraska hometown when we saw something none of us had ever seen before. A Red-tailed Hawk flew up out of a fence row and over the highway directly in front of us, a large bull snake grasped firmly in its talons. The hawk seemed to be struggling to gain altitude and to control the still-wriggling reptile. However, the bird kept pumping its strong wings, and in a few seconds it disappeared over a grove of trees behind a nearby farmstead. The three of us were speechless, basking in the majesty of what we had just witnessed. Finally, the significance of what we had been privileged to see occurred to me. So I told my parents that the Mexican flag depicted an eagle, perched on a cactus, eating a rattlesnake. Never mind that we had seen a hawk, not an eagle; that it was carrying a bull snake, not eating a rattlesnake; and that it was flying, not sitting on a cactus... it seemed like a message to me!
I have seen thousands of Red-tailed hawks waiting patiently on perches or soaring in the sky over open fields. However, the first day of that car trip with my parents many decades ago was the only time I have ever seen one carrying a snake. I often wonder how long that hawk had sat waiting for that snake. It is easy to lose sight of the fact that these hawks are patient for a very good reason. Patience pays off! The writer of Hebrews exhorted us in this way: "We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised" (Hebrews 6:12). If we want to inherit the promises of God, we must receive the gift of the Fruit of Patience growing in our lives. Hawks know the benefits of patience; good things happen to hawks that wait patiently. Learn a lesson from the Red-tailed Hawk. Let patience grow in you.
Father, I give you permission to do whatever is necessary for the Fruit of Patience to grow in my life. Amen.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
“There the birds make their nests… in the pine trees.” Psalm 104:17
After spending a day viewing the awesome splendor of the Grand Canyon, the cool shade in a grove of Ponderosa Pines was a welcome relief from the oppressive heat on the South Rim Trail. There were some very interesting birds among those pine trees: Pygmy Nuthatch, Western Bluebird, and Band-tailed Pigeon. The best bird, however, was a new bird for me, the Ash-throated Flycatcher. I watched a pair of these birds take turns carrying insects into a hole in the trunk of a Ponderosa Pine, obviously feeding a group of young flycatchers. I would have stayed longer to observe these beautiful birds, but four young bull elks appeared out of nowhere, and sauntered right past that tree, forcing me to retreat to a nearby road. Ash-throated Flycatchers are birds of the arid southwest, and prefer dry, open stands of pines or junipers where they survive on insects gleaned from the scattered trees.
Today’s Bible passage tells of birds that make their nests in pine trees. In other verses of Psalm 104, are images of wild donkeys, wild goats, roaring lions, strange sea creatures and other animals. The psalmist wrote of the kindness of God in providing food for all the varied life He created: “These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things” (Psalm 104:27-28). God’s world is indeed an awesome wonder. In fact, according to Psalm 104:31, God Himself rejoices in His creation: “May the Lord rejoice in His works.” I had frankly never thought of God rejoicing in His own works, but the Bible clearly indicates that He does. The first chapter of Genesis tells us that God called His creation, “good,” seven times, concluding with the statement, “God saw all that He had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Let us join with God and rejoice in the wonderful works He created and gave to us to enjoy with Him.
Father, I rejoice with you for all the marvelous works your hands have made. May I be ever grateful that you provide for all your creatures, including me. Amen.