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Friday, March 19, 2010

Baby sparrow
Brooksyne holding baby sparrow in our front yard 

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"Much More Valuable!"

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" (Matthew 6:26). 

We've had several days of warm weather as we await spring's official arrival this Saturday at 1:32 PM (Mount Joy time). I was doing some cleanup work outside when I heard the distant sound of geese flying overhead. I looked up and saw thousands flying north way up high in the sky – so high they looked like small black dots.  I called out for Brooksyne to come outside and together we witnessed a steady stream. When one large cluster left our visibility another would arrive – you could hear distant honking.  I must say they didn't look as organized as their stereotype flying arrangement but they were sticking together.  That's a commendable attribute!

Snow Geese at Middle Creek Wildlife Management AreaThere is an amazing wonder of God's creation at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in northern Lancaster County, about 45 minutes from our home. Each year some 150,000 snow geese stop by the area during their migration north and they all converge on the mountain lake at dusk. It's a remarkable sight that we've visited several times.  One writer describes it, "From far away it could be a patch of water lilies gone wild, gobs of bobbing, floating whiteness atop a glistening 400-acre lake. Then you get closer and see the tiny specks of black on the edge of what are surely wings, being untucked by what is most definitely a pinkish bill. Then you hear the raspy, discordant honking, louder than an army of 18-wheelers, commanding your eyes to an upward blizzard of birds eclipsing the sky."
Brooksyne is working with a musical ensemble in our church preparing special music for Palm Sunday and Easter.  The Triumphal Entry of Christ, His sacrificial death and His glorious resurrection will be the recurring theme of choral music sung at this time of year in churches all around the world. The melodic arrangements of the resurrection songs will be jubilant, even explosive as we celebrate Christ triumphing over death.

Have you ever thought about the bird choir that sings about spring? No director, musical instruments, sheet music or amplification needed. The songbirds are now filling the trees and power lines.   Their merry songs are filling the air. How about the male/female choir of musical honking as migrating flocks fly overhead! The male's call is a low a-honk, the female's a higher a-hink. A pair may alternate their honks so closely that it sounds like a single bird: a-hink-a-honk-a-hink-a-honk. Other sounds include aggressive barks and hisses. Young make wavering whistles.   Imagine these noises to be a little like the blended human voices in a congregational gathering – young, old, male, female singing praises to God.
And for good measure, since the woodpecker is Stephen's favorite bird for noise making, we'll add it for the rhythmic drummer.

As much as we value God's creatures consider that we are of much greater value to God than these birds.  Jesus said so!  "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" (Matthew 6:26).  The One who has so marvelously provided for the birds of the air is certainly more interested in those made after His own image. We are indeed "more valuable!" As Civilla Martin wrote, "His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me!"

God's care for us is amply demonstrated in His care of creation.  Yet we are so prone to worry and fret. Some of us are dealing with difficult trials and the darts of doubt, dismay, and discouragement are being hurled our way.
David C. McCasland wrote "The way to forget our worries is to concentrate on the goodness and loving care of God, not on the problems that plague us. Then we can say with the Psalmist, "In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul" (Psalm 94:19).

Regardless of where we live today we can go outside and get a lesson from nature. Let us take time to look at the birds of the air; observe their habits!  Today I encourage you to experience the wonderful peace of God as you rest in His ever-steadfast care.  Be confident of His loving and abundant provision for every need you have.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer:  Father, just as You care for the birds of the air and provide for their nourishment You also provide for our bare essentials in addition to our many wants.  We pray for those in the midst of worry and fear; for those living in uncertainty regarding Your faithful provisions.  May they look to You whose resources never deplete and whose love never ceases.  Your care is evident in nature and especially in those created in Your image.  In faith we will trust You to provide for our every need.  In Jesus name we pray.   Amen.

The more you think about God's goodness,
the less you'll think about your worries.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link (usually a Youtube video) to open and play.
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"His Eye Is On The Sparrow"  Video  

"Does Jesus Care?"  Video

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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