Author: hearmorefromgod

A Kingfisher for the King

While walking around the lake, I am always amazed that God can show me something new; something completely different from what I’ve ever seen or noticed before. His imagination and creativity are endless, and I believe He delights in showing them to us. It is we, who so often don’t take the time to seek Him out. He is always there and ready to share.

river-kingfishers-184261_640There are many birds that live around our little lake. Some come and go with the seasons, some stay all year, and I have pretty much catalogued them. So seeing a Belted Kingfisher was not particularly unusual. It’s a large dark blue bird 12-14 inches tall, with a huge head, white collar, and thick, prominent beak. Many times I have seen them sitting or flying near the water.

Evidently, I had never seen them fishing before. To my surprise, I saw this foot-long bird hovering 20 feet or so above the water, behaving as though it were a tiny hummingbird. It looked very strange as it beat its large wings back and forth so furiously to stay suspended above the water. Then in a flash, it streaked toward the surface and disappeared underneath. Reappearing, it flew to a tree and in moments, took up its position 20 feet above the water again; wings beating furiously to stay in place.

Watching hummingbirds, I’ve marveled at how very fast their tiny wings vibrate to produce the hum and hover state for their tiny bodies.

Their wings are a blur as their bodies seem to move effortlessly; gliding to the nectar feeders and then streaking off with a whir. In contrast, the Kingfisher looks awkward, as though it is straining incredibly to maintain its position in midair before it shoots downward to possess its prey.

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After several tries, the bird surfaced with a large fish and carried it off to enjoy the bounty of its meal.

How amazing that God provides for our needs in such wonderful and creative ways. Each of His creatures fills a niche in this interdependent world. Yet we must each take possession of His provision. The kingfisher must fish. And it is not easy. It takes an incredible expenditure of energy. God makes provision for us to have what we need. But we fuss when it’s not easy for us to recognize it and get it.

Am I willing to beat my wings furiously and exhaust myself completely for God’s best for me? And give Him glory for His perfect provision?

Are we willing to be Kingfishers for the King?

Shafts of Sun(Son) light

Those radiant streams of mercy

that shine down from above

are full of ‘solar’ power:

they’re God’s most perfect love.

 

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They’re seen as dawn is breaking

with the rising of the sun

but remain invisible to most

once the day’s begun . . .

 

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Unless a cloud is passing by

that hides the sun from view

then the rays that penetrate are seen

as they come shining through.

 

 

That’s how it is in daily life

when we forget the ‘Son’.

We count on Him to light our way.

The thanks we give Him: none.

 

We take for granted all the times

He’s sheltered us from harm

and don’t give Him a second thought

until there is a storm –

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And then, as clouds are building

we search for something bright;

we need those rays of comfort,

those shafts of guiding light.

 

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And God is always faithful,

yes, God is always true.

His radiant streams of mercy

are always there for you.

The Deeper You Go…

Amy-lakelthough water was flowing through the aqueduct this week, the water level seemed lower than usual. As I walked around the lake, my attention was drawn not to the mountains or sky or birds, but to the water itself. At the edge, the water was very clear. I noticed many tiny fish, only a couple of inches long, clustering in the shallow areas. They darted back and forth, but never left the shallow rim.

fish-646162_640A few feet out from the edge, I could easily see larger, longer fish. They were orange, and a good eight to twelve inches. They didn’t move around as much and seemed to keep their distance from the smaller fish. These I had seen before. Their color and size usually made them easy to spot. They are what I think of as the average fish in the lake.

 

Then I caught a glimpse of something else. Something was moving, gliding slowly through the water: something deeper, where the water was cloudy. First I thought it was just a shadow or piece of wood. But intrigued by something new and unique, I took the time to stop and get a closer look.

Something was definitely moving in that darker, deeper water. The movement was slow and graceful. When it was joined by a second shadow, I realized that these too, were fish! Their shape gradually became discernable in the murky water. They were huge! They must have been three or four feet long. And so graceful. I had never seen these here before. Living in the deeper water, they had grown enormous.

This can be true of Christians as well. New Christians often have lots of energy and enthusiasm. They revel in telling others of their newfound life, happy to be in the Living Water.

People who have been Christians for a longer time may be easily recognizable, by their attitudes and actions but may have less spiritual zest and energy. Their presence is apparent in the world, but may be seen as somewhat average: not bothering anyone, but not really blessing them much either. Unfortunately, they are sometimes perceived as apathetic and possibly hypocritical.

ripples-640872_640Then, we notice mature Christians: the big fish. They have grown by the experiences of going deep into God’s Word and God’s will – so graceful and at peace that they attract attention just by being what they are! Their passing through the water causes deep waves and new currents though they call no attention to themselves. They don’t have to be ‘showy’ because they have a quiet confidence and trust in their faith. Their living testimony speaks loudly of what God can do.

Of course, this doesn’t hold true for all believers. But I have known some mature Christians who are just like these big fish.

And I believe in fish, as in Christian life; the deeper you go – the bigger you grow!

Where is your focus?

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I walked around the lake today and watched a pelican take off. It flew more gracefully than I imagined it could.

 

 

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As it moved farther away, it became a delicate, graceful figure in the sky, deftly riding the thermal currents higher and higher, circling one way, then another. I found myself transfixed on this majestic, mesmerizing motion.

 

Without realizing it, I had covered one-third the distance around the lake. When I took my eyes off the pelican to look around it was hard to find it again.

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It grew smaller and smaller, but searching, I did find it and continued to walk and watch. I began to wonder how long I could look away, and still locate the ever-shrinking image in the sky. After several glances away I lost it completely.

It made me think about where my focus is in life.

I need to fix my eyes on Jesus and not look away. To look away from the pelican’s flight was to miss the grandeur and gracefulness of it and risk not finding it again. To look away from Jesus, is to miss His guidance, presence, protection, comfort, and have to spend time getting Him in sight again.

Even focused on the bird, I made good time walking. With my eyes lifted up I was led by peripheral vision without even realizing it. After I had lost sight of the pelican I made a second trip around the lake, I noticed the area I had crossed had quite a dirty sidewalk. Between the dog and duck and goose droppings, there was a real mess! Yet, I had crossed this “minefield” the first time without getting any of it on my shoes!

Looking up at the bird, I was spared the ugly sight of what was around me, and the misfortune of getting involved in it, yet had completed my goal of walking around the lake.

Keeping your focus on God gives you the same benefits. You are aware of your surroundings, but your focus is not on the ugliness. You don’t get so tied up in the “messes”.

You will reach your godly goals. God will lead you through the ‘minefields’ of life.

And you get, as the focus for your life, the beauty and grandeur of lifting your eyes Heavenward!

Use the wings God gave you

Sometimes a walk is just a walk. But most of the time, I have found, it is an invitation for God to speak to me.

Recently I was walking with a decision weighing heavy on my mind: Should I choose the offer that was easiest? Or the one that was attainable, but would take me out of my comfort zone?

Nearby a Great Heron began to flap its wings and take off.

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Being so close, I was amazed at the great measure of the bird’s wingspan. Usually I see them wading in the water – tall and stately, wings tucked back. With their wings fully outstretched, the width extended double the bird’s height. It reached far beyond seemingly realistic proportions.

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With an unexpected majestic grace and ease, the heron climbed, circled, and flew out of sight.

 

 

Lowering my gaze at last, I saw several little finches hip-hopping, with short little flights from the trees to the ground. Their range of flight was limited by the size of their wings. Their small wings could lift and carry their body weight for comparably short distances.

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Watching them, I realized what a great gift the heron possesses! For a moment, I pictured the heron’s body with the finches’ behavior. What if it didn’t use its God-given abilities to go where those abilities would take it? What a pity it would be if the heron didn’t use this gift to fly great distances, but limited itself to only hopping about its familiar lake home.

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There are many Christians who remain bound, refusing or unable to spread the gifted wings God has given them to fly. They make hip-hopping little moves that take them nowhere, because they are comfortable where they are. But God has given us great wings to carry us great distances.

My decision was made. I had to leave my comfort zone and fly!

What are your God-given wings? You have a talent or ability or experiences that, if shared, would reach out to others and take you to new places and new ministries.

 

Don’t be content to hip-hop when you can soar.

Recognize your wings. Spread them. And fly!