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Friday, March 15, 2019

Snow Goose (Photo by Robyn Waugh)
Snow Goose
Robyn Waugh,
a friend from Kleen-Rite, took this stunning photo at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area here in Lancaster County. Each spring over 100,000 snow geese stop by Middle Creek on their journey north. (Notice all the geese in the background.)

"A Consideration Of Ornithological Anxiety"
(Do Birds Worry?)

Message summary:  Have you ever wondered if birds worry?

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 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? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? (Matthew 6:25-27).

The Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in northern Lancaster County is a top tourist attraction during this season. There are some 100,000 snow geese that stop over in the area each Spring on their migration trip north. They converge on the mountain lake at dusk and in a roaring blast take off at dawn. It's really quite a remarkable sight. Tourists come in from all over the world just for this spectacle.

One observer describes it like this, "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."

We've been to Middle Creek on numerous occasions and each time obey a commandment of Jesus when we join hundreds of other spectators who observe these birds. Jesus commanded us to "Look at the birds of the air". In the context He was giving a teaching about worry.

Have you ever wondered if birds worry? Researchers from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology conducted a study from 2009 to 2011 to see whether chickadees spend more time worrying about lack of food or whether they might be eaten by a predator. They determined it was food. The skeptic in me however wonders how they determine whether a bird worries or not! (We've wondered this about our pets as well.)

Worry is a condition that is present when trust is lacking and we become overwhelmed with a sense of our present and future needs. We really suspect the animal kingdom essentially lives with no cognizance of the future thus no worry.  But it's our awareness of the future that causes us to worry, which really expresses a lack of trust in our heavenly Father. Jesus, in the same context of our daily text, said "O you of little faith" (Matthew 6:30).

What meticulous care God exercises to provide for the birds. But consider how much greater value we are to God than these birds. Jesus told us so! The One who has so marvelously provided for the birds of the air is certainly more interested in those made in His own image. Hope rises up within the believer as he contemplates the words of the hymn, "His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me!"

God's love for us is abundantly demonstrated in the way He cares and provides for His creation. My prayer is that you will experience the wonderful peace of God today as you rest in the divine care of our loving Father. Worry can be such a detriment in our walk of faith and will rob us of the supernatural peace that is God's blessing for His children. It will strengthen our Christian witness as others see us trusting in God instead of fearing the unknown. Perhaps today you will want to personalize this truth by properly proclaiming, "I will not be afraid, for I am worth more than many sparrows." And we sure are!

Said the Robin to the Sparrow:
“I should really like to know
Why these anxious human beings
Rush about and worry so.”

Said the Sparrow to the Robin:
“Friend, I think that it must be
That they have no Heavenly Father
Such as cares for you and me.”

(Elizabeth Cheney, Streams in the Desert).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I want to look to the words of Jesus when He warns us of the perils that come with worrying. It is common knowledge that worry will damage our health and can even lead to an early death. It will consume our thoughts and taint our outlook in everything we endeavor to do. It will hinder our productivity and affect the way we relate to others. Help us to remember that worrying does not contribute to the solution but only creates other troubles.  The answer to our problems is to place our hope and trust in You by seeking first Your kingdom and Your righteousness. In the process of seeking You above all else You bring perspective, direction, trust and supernatural peace into the most troubling circumstances. Only You can make a roadway in the wilderness and only You can open a door that has been closed. Nothing is impossible with You, Father.

Foggy morning (photo by Doris High)
Our friend, Doris High, took this photo on a foggy morning drive through the Middle Creek Wildlife Area in northern Lancaster County.

Photo of Snow Geese at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area
I took this photo several years ago at Middle Creek Wildlife Management area.

Bald eagle photo Doug Maxwell
Our neighbor Doug took this photo of a local Bald Eagle that nests along the Susquehanna River about 5 miles from our home (as the eagle flies straight).

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

I just read this sobering report while preparing this message and am reminded of just how different life is for so many who follow Jesus on this planet. "11 Christians Killed Every Day for Their Decision to Follow Jesus"

"His Eye Is On The Sparrow"  Video  Selah

What do birds worry about? (Article) Researchers from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology conducted research from 2009 to 2011. The purpose of their study was to see whether chickadees spend more time worrying about lack of food or whether they might be eaten by a predator.

Snow Geese at Middle Creek (Article)

Finally today:

Today we will be serving lunch to the children at a one room Amish schoolhouse, always a rewarding experience!

This Saturday evening we look forward to attending the inspirational show "Jesus" at the Sight and Sound along with a backstage tour courtesy of Jordan, a young man that Brooksyne taught in Sunday School some 15 years ago!

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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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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