Tag: birds

Where do your tracks lead?

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Walking around the lake in winter is very different.  Things that are easily noticeable in most seasons may be covered in snow.  The plant life that is visible looks barren.  There are fewer types of wildlife, and those that remain behave differently.

Circling the lake today, I was amazed at how many tracks were clear in the freshly fallen snow.  Mine were the only human footprints, but there were many solitary and group trails that led in one direction: toward the water.

The path the ducks and geese took to get to the water was made plain in the snow.   I had never wondered about the specific route these birds take to the water, but with tracks in the snow, it was easy to follow their exact steps.

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I wondered if the snow was a hardship for the birds.  Were their feet cold as they stepped through the wet, frigid moisture?  Did they hurry to get to their destination?

 

 

Did the slips I could see on the steep slope into the water upset them?  Did they squawk when they slipped?

Many people would agree that regarding weather, cold and snow are a hardship.  In our lives though, there are many kinds of trials to be endured.

Oddly enough, like those ducks leaving footprints in the snow, we leave the most visible trails when our paths take us through hardship.  Others can see our actions and our path more clearly when they trail through hard times.

It presents a challenge to be more careful of our steps.  As a Christian, my real help comes from God.  But is that the first place I go in difficult times? Or do my footprints show confusion, heading in many different directions?

Like the ducks, in fair weather, we can do many things that don’t leave a trace.  But in difficult times, our every step leaves a clear trail for all to see.

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What do your steps show?  Where does your trail lead?  If others follow it, will it lead them to God?

Whatever your hardship, God is your very present help.  Turn your steps heavenward.  And lead on!

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The Geese are back! Silly or Smart?

Here in Colorado we get a huge influx of Canadian Geese this time of year.  They have migrated south for the winter from Canada.  And will be here till spring when they make their return flight.

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“Silly goose” is an expression, as in “Don’t be one.”  But they do some things that are quite smart for a bird  and for people too.  We can learn valuable lessons by observing them.  Here are two:

canadian-geese-1164819_6401  Travel in a group.

Not only is there safety in numbers, but the principle of flying in a V shape in the wake of the bird ahead has been proven to save a lot of energy. This allows the group to go much farther than the individuals could travel on their own.

When we pray together, encourage one another, mentor each other and work together, we can accomplish so much more than we can being loners. The Christian lifestyle is hard enough in our world today. With all the pressures and temptations, we need one another to stay on track and accountable.

geese-245636_6402  Take turns leading.

Because the lead goose literally pulls more weight than the others by being the first to break the air resistance, it tires out more quickly. So as they travel, the lead position is rotated.

The lead goose drops back to the end of the V and another in the line takes the lead. Because of the energy conserving benefit to the other geese in the V, this allows the group to go farther, faster than they could go alone.

We tend to go till we drop, burn the candle at both ends, wearing ourselves out. Especially in positions of leadership, share the responsibilities. Sure there are some things we need to do ourselves, but knowing when to simply say “no” or delegate is great wisdom.

To maintain this balance in your life, learn that there are seasons for the flow of activity. Balance refueling with expending energy to stay effective. And training up others to take our place should be part of our plan. Even if we continue in a ministry, sharing the load teaches and enriches others.

goose-1391251_640Try these in your life and ministry.

God has placed wisdom all around us in all shapes and sizes. We can learn from everything He created. Learn from the behavior of the goose.

Then you decide – silly?  or smart?

 

 

 

Be a Silly Goose for Christ Part 2

Continuing to learn from the Goose:

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3 Communicate with those around you.

Geese are not quiet birds. They seem to always have something to say to each other. Whenever a group is already on the water and another group comes in to land, all kinds of honking commences. Similarly, when a group is preparing to take off, there is much ado.

We should share with other believers what we have learned: how to get along better in life, where there are traps and how to avoid them, praise and thanks for God’s bountiful provisions. I don’t know what the geese are telling each other, but it could be: “Hey there’s great grain over here!” Or “Watch out for the foxes at the end of the lake!” Wouldn’t you like to receive helpful direction and encouragement?

 

4 Circle before you land.

wild-geese-1148985_640Geese will always fly around an area before they actually touch down. I have seen them circle the lake 3 times before the first one touches down on the water or in a field. It’s as if they’re scoping out the location for danger and suitability.

Too often, we jump right in without checking things out and counting the cost. We need to use the brain God gave us and seek His wisdom as we make decisions, accept commitments, and move forward. Pull back to get the big picture and know what you’re getting into before you jump in with both feet.

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5 Travel light.

Before a bird takes off, it offloads all excess baggage. Every ounce counts when you have to physically carry it, especially long distances. So before it takes off, it poops! If you live in a flyway, this is a common sight and the result makes for very messy walking or picnicking.

We need to remember to take only what we need on our journey. How often do we travel with so much past hurt, anger, disappointment and upset that we can barely move forward? We need to expel envy, malice, bitterness, and hate because these things weigh us down and keep us from flying high. Drop off and leave behind discouragement, resentment, unforgiveness, whatever entangles you. Get the help you need to be rid of those poisons that will steal your joy and sap your strength. Read books, get counseling and pray to be able to forgive and let go of past hurts and failures.

We may like to think of ourselves as more majestic creations, maybe like the swans or eagles of the bird world. But God has placed wisdom all around us in all shapes and sizes. We can learn from everything He created. Learn from the behavior I’ve seen in these geese.

Dare to be a Silly Goose for Christ!

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Be a Silly Goose for Christ – Part 1

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We live in a flyway in Colorado, a path used in bird migration. Maybe there’s one where you are too. It becomes a major sky trafficking concern at least twice a year: when the birds are migrating south for the winter and north for the summer. If you’re near any body of water, you get a chance to observe a lot of birds and a wide variety of species.

pond-2393987_640One bird found here in abundance during these times, is the goose. Goose interaction with people usually leaves something to be desired. But observing the geese relating to each other and watching their behavior together can teach some valuable lessons to Christians.

1 Travel in a group.

Not only is there safety in numbers, but the principle of flying in a V shape in the wake of the bird ahead has been proven to save a lot of energy. This allows the group to go much farther than the individuals could travel on their own.

canadian-geese-1164819_640When we pray together, encourage one another, mentor each other and work together, we can accomplish so much more than we can being loners. The Christian lifestyle is hard enough in our world today. With all the pressures and temptations, we need one another to stay on track and accountable.

2 Take turns leading.

Because the lead goose literally pulls more weight than the others by being the first to break the air resistance, it tires out more quickly. So as they travel, the lead position is rotated. The lead goose drops back to the end of the V and another in the line takes the lead. Because of the energy conserving benefit to the other geese in the V, this allows the group to go farther, faster than they could go alone.

geese-245636_640

We tend to go till we drop, burn the candle at both ends, wearing ourselves out. Especially in positions of leadership, share the responsibilities. Sure there are some things we need to do ourselves, but knowing when to simply say ‘no’ or delegate is great wisdom.

To maintain this balance in your life, learn that there are seasons for the flow of activity. Balance refueling with expending energy to stay effective. And training up others to take our place should be part of our plan. Even if we continue in a ministry, sharing the load teaches and enriches others.

 

goose-1391251_640Try these in your life and ministry. God has placed wisdom all around us in all shapes and sizes. We can learn from everything He created. Learn from the behavior I’ve seen in these geese.

Dare to be a Silly Goose for Christ!

Snowflakes

snow-1848346_640Snowflakes: drift down aimlessly from the bright, white sky.

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Birds: titter and hop from branch to branch to feeder to ground where seeds have spilled down onto the white, mounding snow.

 

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Trees: which must have taken decades to grow up from tiny seeds drinking in moisture and pushing through the ground cover of leaves and nettles and dirt, hold arms extended, reaching out to catch a line of snowflakes that imperceptibly pile on top of their outstretched branches.

Crisp cold air: visible only when man or beast passes by, exhaling huffs of clouded condensation, chills everything, adding a clarity to the reality of this poetic scene.

glistening snow

Light: distinctly noticeable as the sun breaks through the overcoat of clouds, adds a shimmering and warmth in its momentary passing presence.

Overall: peace, a sense that this is exactly as it should be. For this time, for this place, God’s complete intention is fulfilled.

And I stand here in awe of this blessing; grateful and humbled to be a witness to the completeness of this scene before me in this moment.

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Amazed at the direction and diligence of the Master’s hand that created and placed all these elements together for this moment of perfection. The Master: who grew trees from tiny seedlings over years, decades;

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birds from eggs in nests for generations to be here right now; who creates snowflakes and controls the weather; who prepared this moment for me so that I would bear witness.

 

Philippians 1:6 confirms to us that “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it” and I can only have confidence in a God who can orchestrate moments like these, to orchestrate the events, relationships and circumstances of my life; through me, because of me, even in spite of me to do exactly as he promised.

What a mighty God we serve!wintry-2993370_640