Tag: birds

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.

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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.

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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

Be a Pink Flamingo for Christ

There were two Pink Flamingos on my lawn today! Can you imagine?

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Standing so very still, it was hard to believe they were real. What an attention getter these brightly colored birds are! Soon, all the neighbors noticed and commented on their presence. Their long legs and necks, their large bent beaks and the unusual color of their feathers makes them a most noticeable bird. Okay, they were plastic – left as a joke!

I have seen these birds before, but only at the zoo. Usually the beauty of their gorgeous orange/pink color adds to their stateliness as they pose, standing still in the water.

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But once at the zoo, I saw several gawky looking birds. Their long gangly legs looked uneven as they waded in the pool. Their shaggy feathers appeared a dirty white and gave the impression of being uncared for. Surprisingly, these too, were flamingos.

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The color in their feathers comes from their diet. The Pink Flamingos have a diet rich in a kind of shrimp that is filled with a pink that dyes the feathers of the bird that eats them. So, these other flamingos were simply dining on something else.

What a pity, that they miss out on the beauty they were created for! They too, could be transformed by consuming the right nutrients.

Can you imagine being so filled with something that you take on the very appearance in color of it? As Christians, we are given the opportunity to dine on the very Word of God. Doing so will transform our lives.

As we consume His Word and absorb the personality of Jesus Christ, we will begin to look like what we are taking in. We can become “Pink Flamingos” for Christ! We can stand out in a crowd, be noticed, point the way for others.

flamingo-1792211_640Maybe that is what scares us. Maybe we don’t want to be noticed. Maybe we want to be ‘lukewarm’ so as not to call attention to ourselves or offend anyone. We can be so stubborn and refuse God’s Word and eat what we want. Then we become like those dingy, drab, dirty-looking birds: recognized as Christians, but with a note of pity: that we have missed the beauty God created us for.

God’s Word tells us in Revelation 3:16 that lukewarm Christians will be spit out of God’s mouth – He wants nothing to do with them.

Feed yourself on God’s Word! Let the power of his plan be revealed in your life as you become transformed into a “Pink Flamingo” for Christ.

“O taste and see that the LORD is good.” Psalm 34:8

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Are you gonna Squat or Soar?

Picture a cold winter day. There is a white, icy bed of snow on the ground, ice, creeping slowly across the lake. Your eye moves from the white of the ground, to the gray of the freezing water, to the haze of the sky, hemming in the horizon with a veil of frosty air. The sun is only a bright spot in the gray blanket of low, snow clouds tucked in around the lake. Not much is moving as you gaze out across the expanse of grayness.

There are groups of ducks and geese, tightly tucked and asleep on the ice.     Another group of nondescript white birds is clumped together near the water. But there is none of the clucking and chatter that usually accompanies their presence. Not a sound is heard. The frigid air threatens to stop any communication cold, as it freezes every breath taken.

Then, above the lake, a bird appears: silently soaring, in seemingly slow motion. Its graceful wings, stretched to its farthest reach, give it a look of majesty as it hangs upon the air. It is joined by another. They turn twice, together, and are joined by a third. The mid-air ballet continues for several moments before they separate and go in three different directions. As one flies towards you, you can see the graceful curve of its pure white, broad wings, and the delicate black tips that reach out to capture the air that lifts it higher.

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You recognize this bird. It’s the same kind that you noticed before, squatting, clumped together with others like it in a huddle on the ground. This same little nondescript bird that blended in so plainly with the frozen background displays a Godly majesty when flying. But of course! Flying is exactly what God created it for!

Soaring, is what God created you for. What is keeping you squatting in the snow? It’s so easy to stay on the ground with our friends, huddled against the circumstances of our lives, fearing the cold, the wind. But the air is warmer higher up. And the wind lifts you. And God has prepared you to enjoy using the gift of soaring He has given you! And His glory and majesty that you reflect, will inspire others and honor Him.

But, the choice is yours. Are you gonna squat? Or soar?

Which bird are you?

avian-1280582_1280The other day, walking around the lake, I sat down to rest and watch. I was there early, and this morning, there must have been eighty graceful, delicate swallows swooping over the water. They zigged and zagged, climbed, then swooped down to touch the water for a drink. Leaving behind a ripple, they darted away and looped around again. It was hypnotizing to watch.

I picked out a single bird to study its pattern and see if I could predict when it would take its next drink. I could not. Sometimes, they would dive four or five times, only to suddenly veer away from the water before coming again to refresh themselves.

In the midst of this jumble of helter-skelter avionics, I noticed two large, graceful swans gliding slowly through the water. They looked regal and peaceful as they seemed to move effortlessly on top of the water.

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The scene reminded me of Christians in their daily lives. Like the swallows, so many dart around in their busyness, stopping only for a brief moment to refresh themselves in the Holy Spirit. A few others appear majestic and calm like the swans. They seem to be more in touch with the Holy Spirit. And I thought how we should be more like Swans than Swallows.

But then, I saw the bird I want to imitate. An awkward looking bird, it rode very low in the water. Only a bit of its back was showing with a dark, gangly neck and a small head pushing through the surface. It seemed to be moving purposefully, but then disappeared totally under the water. I was surprised when it reappeared, a full thirty seconds later, and quite a great distance away! This bird had totally submersed itself in the water and traveled through it to reach a destination!

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This is how I want to be in Christ! – Not dipping in here and there for a sip; not floating on top with my feet dangling; but totally and completely submerged for long periods of time which accomplish much. And in between submersion excursions, so covered by the Holy Spirit that I am more water than bird, more Spirit than self.