Birds of the Bible – Better Than The Birds III

White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) 3©USFWS

While listening to Wisdom For The Heart on BBN (Bible Broadcasting Network), I heard this message by Pastor Stephen Davey and wanted to share it. His message was “Better than the Birds” and of course it caught my attention. There are four parts, but I am only sharing the introduction and part three here.

Better than the Birds

Luke 12:6-31

Birds of the Bible – Better Than The Birds was the introduction to the “Better Than The Birds” message by Pastor Stephen Harvey.

We were told that “1. Worry denies the gracious care of God.”

We were told, “2. Secondly, worry depreciates the higher value of mankind” In  Better Than The Birds II,

Now for Part III

3. Thirdly, worry distorts our perspective in life
In other words, worry makes you start living only for the here and now!

Go back to verse 22. And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat, nor for your body, as to what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.”

In other words, life is really about more what we’re going to eat and what we’re going to wear?

Jesus delivers encouragement to those in his day who could honestly be worried about the lack of water and food. In His culture, workers were paid daily, they bought their food daily – which is why they were taught to pray for daily bread – which we don’t worry so much about because our loaves of bread will last a couple of weeks.
In Jesus’ day, nobody was praying for bread next week – that was simply too far ahead.

Add to that the fact that their government offered no security; there wasn’t insurance, workman’s comp or benefit packages.

But there were taxes to be paid. New Testament scholars estimate that as much as 40% of their income went to taxes.

All that to say, this challenge by Jesus was staggering to them – and a great challenge to their faith in God’s provision.

In our generation, this isn’t so much an encouragement as much as it is an indictment.

While the average person has food in the fridge, clothes in the closet and a car in the driveway, what you eat and what you drink and what you dress in and what you drive have become national obsessions.

We are effectively worried that our clothes aren’t costly enough; our cars aren’t new enough; our food isn’t gourmet enough; our bank accounts aren’t big enough.

Jesus says, to that generation and this one – your life is about much more than that . . . don’t live for stuff that runs out or wears out – or goes out of style.

He promises here, not that He’ll meet our greeds, but our needs.

Slaty Flowerpiercer (Diglossa plumbea) ©©ornitholoco

Slaty Flowerpiercer (Diglossa plumbea) ©©ornitholoco

Oh, and by the way, if you want to talk about really splendid clothing – verse 27 – Consider the lilies, how they grow, they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory, clothed himself like one of these. (now here’s the pearl of wisdom) 28. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith!

Jesus probably had his audience look around on that hillside – perhaps He gestured at the irises, the Turk’s cap lilies, the gladioli and scarlet poppies along with a smattering of wild flowers that bloomed for a day or two on the hillsides of Palestine.viii

He clothed them brilliantly and they don’t eve last that long!

The word for furnace here is a reference to the ordinary clay oven of this day – used primarily to bake bread. When the cook wanted to raise the temperature of the oven quickly, they would have handfuls of these same field flowers and dried grasses bundled nearby and they would grab a handful and throw it into the oven.

Something destined for the oven was still designed by God with brilliant colors and creative genius.

And all these wildflowers didn’t necessarily make it to the oven.

Martin Luther the converted monk and church reformer in the 16th century said that there were lessons of God’s glory in such beautiful flowers destined for such short life spans – he wrote “it seems that the flowers stand there and make us blush and become our teachers. Thank you flowers, you who are to be devoured by the cows!”ix

In other words, birds and flowers and nature around us teaches us the glory of God’s creative ability and His care and delight to have designed animals and flowers that live only briefly.

Twenty Hummingbirds at Feeder

Twenty Hummingbirds at Feeder

My wife has added birds to our backyard – strategically hanging feeders so that our back yard sounds like a constant aviary.
Yellow finches, hummingbirds, the elusive blue bird, the brilliant cardinal, sparrows, finches by the dozens, chic-a-dees, wrens, mourning doves, the unwanted mockingbird who thinks he owns the backyard and our deck and our house too.

Marsha and I often talk about the marvel of God’s hidden designs – noticed by so few. God created so much variety – to take the time to design splashes of white underneath large black eyes; to stripe transparent wings with burgundy and brown – to design symmetrical patterns of blue and gray.

Why? To declare His glory and to bring such sights for us to enjoy and marvel over His creation . . . and another reason – to remind us not to worry.

National Aviary – Outside feeder

For if God so cares about the details and designs of little birds and wild flowers – how much more does He care about us – His chief design, made in His image to talk with Him and walk with Him and worship Him and fellowship with and one day reign with Him.

In fact, notice verse 32. Do not worry – don’t be anxious or afraid – little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.

In other words, we haven’t seen anything yet.

Don’t worry! Why?

Worry denies the gracious care of God

Worry depreciates the higher value of mankind

Worry distorts your perspective in life to the present –the here and now

One more:

(Copied with permission from Wisdom for the Heart and Pastor Stephen Davey.)

i John MacArthur, Matthew 1-7 (Moody Publishers, 1985), p. 419
ii Ibid
iii William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke (Westminster, 1975), p. p. 160
iv Bruce B. Barton, Life Application Bible: Luke (Tyndale, 1997), p. 314
v Barclay, p. 161
vi MacArthur, p. 119


Lee’s Addition:

See:

Birds of the Bible – Better Than The Birds II

Northern Raven (Corvus corax) by Nikhil Devasar

Northern Raven (Corvus corax) by Nikhil Devasar

Better than the Birds

Luke 12:6-31

Birds of the Bible – Better Than The Birds was the introduction to the “Better Than The Birds” message by Pastor Stephen Harvey. We were told that “1. Worry denies the gracious care of God.”

Now for part II:

2. Secondly, worry depreciates the higher value of mankind

He’s not finished with the birds yet – notice verse 7 again – the last part – Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

Matthews account says, “Are you not worth much more than they?

In case we didn’t pick up on the lesson – in case we’re a little slow – God’s care of the lesser creation ensures His care of His highest creation.

Evidently Jesus thinks we just might be a little slow on the uptake here – or maybe find it hard to believe – so He circles back around to this subject again and adds another pearl to the string – look over at verse 24. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, they have no store room nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds!

Maybe Jesus repeated this lesson simply because He knew that billions of people one day would struggle with believing they were less valuable than animals.

Was God peering into the 21st century or what?

You sit through the average Animal Planet program or read the latest evolutionary textbook taught to middle schoolers and you’ll get the message loud and clear that human beings have messed up the circle of life; humans have interrupted the food chain; humans are in the way and if we’d only get out of the way, the animals who evidently have the right to be on the planet – because they evolved first – would get what they deserve; if we’d just go back to living in caves, the animals would be able to enjoy their lives so much better.

That message is coming across loud and clear! Whenever you remove the glory of God’s created order, Genesis 1 and 2, where mankind was made in the image of God and given the right to rule earth – to train and subjugate and benefit from the animal kingdom – you end up with a culture where animals ultimately matter more.

You now exist to serve them; you now live to make their lives more comfortable.

Now I’m not defending animal abuse, by the way. We’re to be good stewards of earth and the animal kingdom.

But go visit India today, and watch, as I did, sacred cows which have been given superior rights within their culture – watch them meander across busy roadways and down streets cluttered with starving children – and begging mothers with babies on their hips; where a child starving to death is less important than a cow having something to eat.

How do we know that human beings are more valuable than animals? How do we know that?

Apart from God, we don’t.

Apart from the words of Jesus Christ, the creator of all things (Colossians 1), we might be confused – look again at verse 24 – you are more valuable than the birds.

Is that radical news or what?

Raven; Grand Canyon National Park, by William Wise

Raven; Grand Canyon National Park, by William Wise

And this really got the attention of Jesus’ Jewish audience, by the way, because Jesus used ravens as an example here – ravens were considered unclean according to Mosaic Law (Leviticus 11:13-15).vii

The ravens were unclean birds.

I’m sorry for how that makes you Baltimore Ravens fans feel – I’m sorry you had to find that out – you’ve been cheering all along for unclean animals . . . you already knew that.

Here’s why this was so stunning an analogy for Christ to make: It’s one thing to be insignificant like a sparrow and be cared for by God – it’s another thing to be unclean and despised and be cared for by God.

And you know why I’m so glad Jesus added this illustration?

Because the enemy of our heart and spirit and joy will more than likely come and whisper in our ear – sparrows might be cheap, but at least they’re clean animals – no wonder God cares about them; but you’re more like an unclean bird . . . despised and unclean according to God’s holy law . . . you don’t deserve God’s attention.

You have very reason to worry about your life.

But notice – verse 24. God has managed to care for them too – He effectively feeds them too – and get this – “How much more valuable you are than the animal kingdom!”

Worry denies the gracious care of God

Worry depreciates the higher value of mankind.

Brown-necked Raven of Israel

Brown-necked Raven, Israel ©WikiC

(Copied with permission from Wisdom for the Heart and Pastor Stephen Davey.)

vii MacArthur, p. 140


See:

Birds of the Bible – Better Than The Birds

House Sparrow by Ray

In 2013, the Birds of the Bible – Worry and Sparrows articles were posted for part I and II. It’s 2020 now, and I’d like to repost these, plus add III and IV, which were never posted. They were overlooked by me. If your memory is like mine, you need a refresher. This time I will add the last 2 articles.


While listening to Wisdom For The Heart on BBN (Bible Broadcasting Network), I heard this message by Pastor Stephen Davey and wanted to share it. His message was “Better than the Birds” and of course it caught my attention. There are four parts, this is the introduction and part one.

Better than the Birds

Luke 12:6-31

I have read that a dense fog – so extensive that it covers seven city blocks a hundred feet deep is actually composed of no more than one glass of water; water, of course that’s divided into more than 60 billion droplets of water.i

Just a couple gallons of water can cripple an entire city.

In many ways, this perfectly illustrates the substance of worry. Just a little bit of it can spread and deepen and ultimately cripple the mind and the heart of even believers.

One author put it this way when he wrote, “Worry is a thin stream of fear that trickles through the mind, which, if encouraged, will cut a channel so wide that all other thoughts will be drained out.”ii

I find it extremely gracious of our Lord that whenever He addressed the subject of worry, and He did on several occasions, He went much further than simply saying, “You know better than that . . . worrying isn’t good for you . . . it’ll mess up your mind . . . isn’t right . . . stop worrying right now!”

Instead, Jesus graciously causes us to think through this vaporous substance of worry; He gives us several reasons to stop worrying and He even condescends in His patience to give us illustrations – effectively – giving us principles to teach us why we really don’t ever need to worry.

And several of His key principles are the form of questions.

Let me invite you to Luke chapter 12 where Jesus asks some profound questions.

He’s teaching His disciples – this chapter in Luke corresponds to His sermon in Matthew’s Gospel.

Now if you’ve ever read His sermon, you’ll notice that He goes from one subject to the next – almost randomly touching on a series of different topics.

Jesus is actually employing a Jewish teaching style called Charaz – which means, stringing pearls.iii

In other words, Jesus will string pearls of wisdom on a number of subjects, like someone might string together a rare necklace of pearls.

And one of the pearls He adds to his string of pearls is this subject of worry.

Let me give you four principles in this regard as we work through His comments on overcoming worry.

The first principle to understand is that:

Anyone for a Sparrow Snack?

Anyone for a Sparrow Snack?

   1. Worry denies the gracious care of God

And He proves His point by asking two questions – notice His first question at verse 6. Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God.

Now if you compared this account with Matthews account, we’re told that 2 sparrows were sold for 1 penny.

The Greek term for this coin refers to a small brass coin worth about 1/10th of a day’s wage for a working laborer.

Which is a long way of saying, sparrows were the cheapest meat sold in the marketplace.iv

They were the food of the poorest of the poor. You barely got a mouthful of meat from a little sparrow.

Sparrows in snow ©©Bing

Sparrows in snow ©©Bing

In fact, Matthew’s Gospel tells us that you can buy 2 sparrows for a penny and Luke here tells us that you can get 5 sparrows for 2 penny’s; how’s that add up?

Well, we know from history that during the days of Christ, sparrows were so abundant and so cheaply sold to the poor that if you bought 4, you got one thrown in for nothing.

And that’s what Luke alludes to here – are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God.

Now watch this – Luke is effectively saying, even the free sparrow is not forgotten by God. Even the sparrow that got thrown in for nothing matters to God.

You want to know why you never need to worry? Because to God you are never lost in the crowd.v

Not only does God not lose track of even one sparrow – he doesn’t even lose track of one single hair from your head.

Notice further in verse 7. Indeed the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

I’ve read that the average person’s head holds more than 100,000 hairs. Some of us are down to a few hundred.vi

A few dozen . . .

Now some commentators don’t think Jesus is being serious here – that He’s just exaggerating to make a point.

I mean, come on . . . He counts the number of the hairs on our heads? That number changes daily. Surely God doesn’t bother with that kind of detail. Gary Hallquist – 60,000; Dr. Burggraff – 12 . . . hundred.

No, I think that’s exactly His point. The glory of God revealed here is that He actually does know!

Jesus is effectively asking us, “Look, do you really think you can slip out of your Heavenly Father’s care – that you can somehow slip out from underneath the radar of His divine omniscience? Do you think He’s forgotten about you or that your problems are too numerous to keep up with?

I mean if He can keep track of 100,000 hairs on somebody’s head of hair, do you think He’ll get frustrated with you coming to Him over and over again to give Him your worries?

Do you think He’s going to say, “Look, there’s only so much room on my ledger and you’ve already been here a dozen times today . . . I just can’t keep track.”

Listen, if God is actually such a gracious, omniscient God – that He doesn’t overlook a single sparrow – even the one that gets thrown in for free – He will never overlook you either.

Worry denies the gracious care of God

Savannah Sparrow singing by Ray

Savannah Sparrow singing by Ray

(Copied with permission from Wisdom for the Heart and Pastor Stephen Davey.)

i John MacArthur, Matthew 1-7 (Moody Publishers, 1985), p. 419
ii Ibid
iii William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke (Westminster, 1975), p. p. 160
iv Bruce B. Barton, Life Application Bible: Luke (Tyndale, 1997), p. 314
v Barclay, p. 161
vi MacArthur, p. 119


Lee’s Addition:

Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:6-7 KJV)

What a great encouragement not to worry. Thanks, Pastor Davey for a great message.

See:

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Tilly’s Pumpkin House – by Emma Foster

Tilly’s Pumpkin House

by Emma Foster

Tilly the raven normally lived in a tree, but as winter came closer, the weather felt colder, and Tilly knew she needed to find a warmer place to live.

Her tree was near a small pumpkin farm, and several pumpkins had been left behind, going unused for Halloween. Tilly observed the different kinds of pumpkins that were still in the field. Many of them looked old, with green and yellow splotches on them. One of the pumpkins, however, looked perfect.

The pumpkin was large and perfectly round. When Tilly pecked at it with her beak, she noticed that it was soft enough for her to make a little door in it. She pecked her way into the pumpkin and surveyed the inside.

For a while, Tilly pulled out the seeds and guts from the inside of the pumpkin, until she had enough room to sit comfortably. Tilly felt protected from the wind and cold. Eventually, she fell asleep.

Gathering Pumpkins ©casienserio.blogspot.com

The next morning, Tilly woke up to her pumpkin house shaking. Someone had picked up her house and was taking it somewhere. Tilly peeked her head out of the door of her house. She noticed groups of people taking the old pumpkins and placing them to a pickup truck.

Pickup Truck With Pumpkins

Someone placed Tilly’s house in a pile beside other pumpkins. A second later, she rolled around and around and around as her house fell down a hill.

Splash! Tilly landed in the river. Fortunately, her house floated to the top, and the door she had made pointed up to the sky. Tilly carefully climbed out and flew back to land, sad that her house was floating away.

Northern Raven (Corvus corax) by Ray

Northern Raven (Corvus corax) by Ray

Snow started to fall to the ground. Tilly needed to come up with another plan. She decided to leave the pumpkin field and find somewhere else to live. Flying through the air as the snow fell, Tilly searched and found another pumpkin field. She searched for the next perfect pumpkin she could use. One of the pumpkins was soft and round just like the other one, and by the time she settled down inside, night had fallen and Tilly fell asleep instantly.

The next morning, Tilly woke up to something knocking against her new house. A deer she didn’t recognize was sniffing at her pumpkin and then took a giant chunk out of the top. Tilly looked up at the deer and the deer stared back at her. She flew out of her house, forced to watch the deer eat the rest of her pumpkin.

Deer Looking at Tilly ©CC

Deer Looking at Tilly ©CC

The snow made everything colder until Tilly could barely fly. She flew into some woods, hoping to find a tree in which to get warm. Eventually, she found a tree with a small hole in it. Tilly flew inside only to discover a small owl in the hole in the tree.

The owl introduced herself as Milly the long-eared owl. Tilly offered to leave since this was Milly’s home, but Milly explained that she was only stopping there for a minute. She said that she had found a nest in a tree a few miles away that had belonged to a raven. She also explained that long-eared owls liked to live in nests that belonged to ravens.

“Milly” – Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) ©Flickr Slgurossom

Tilly grew excited, believing that the nest Milly was talking about was hers, which meant she had to explain the pumpkin houses she had had, and how she had ended up there. Milly offered to let Tilly keep the tree to stay warm. Tilly also said that it was perfectly all right if Milly kept her nest.

All throughout the winter, Tilly stayed in the tree where she had met Milly, while Milly lived in Tilly’s nest next to the pumpkin field. When spring came around, Tilly and Milly remained friends, and Tilly even showed Milly how to make her own pumpkin house, though she didn’t recommend living there.

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Linda Marcille carved the Raven in pumpkin.


“Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.” (Luke 10:38 KJV)

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6 KJV)

What a great story from Emma. It is enjoyable to watch her talent developing. Also, it is good to see Tilly and Milly being so hospitable. This is only fiction, but how did the animals interact with each other before the fall and the curse affected all of nature? Maybe this story is just a glimpse of how they got along so well.

Emma’s Stories

Good News

Longing For Robins by Dorothy Belle Malcolm

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) by Ian

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) by Ian

It has been 10 years since I’ve seen a robin in my yard. When they came then, it was an amazing sight which I have cherished. Once there was a Baltimore Oriole, however, that was many years ago. In the meantime, there are a variety that come to my feeder and the neighborhood for which I am happy about and keep food out for them.

Puzzle by a window ©Pxhere

I sit at a table which always has a puzzle on it, and if I don’t make sudden moves, I enjoy watching them. Of course the Sandhill Cranes walk around the neighborhood, The Cooper’s Hawks and Crows don’t come to my yard, but I see them in the trees as I walk.

The regular visitors are Blue Jays, Red-winged Blackbirds, Red-headed Woodpecker, Turtle Doves, Titmice, and Sparrows.

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)by Raymond Barlow

American Robin)by Raymond Barlow

In my heart I’m longing for the joy of seeing just one Robin. Maybe it will happen this spring.

2/22/19 Dorothy Malcolm


“But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.” (John 11:22 KJV)

Lee’s Addition:

It has been awhile since Dottie (Dorothy) has written an article for us. I asked her if she would like to write another one. Here is her latest birdwatching desire. The verse is one I have used while birdwatching. I have asked the Lord to please have the bird in that bush come out where I can see it better. Maybe even take a photo. Not surprising, some have appeared to my delight. I think the Lord cares about our desires, especially when observing His Creation. Dottie, we are praying that the Lord will let some Robins land in your yard when they start migrating back north this spring. Stay Tuned!

If you have missed some of Dottie (Dorothy’s) stories, they are listed below. She is also Emma Foster’s grandmother. Humm! Wonder if that is where Emma started her interest in her birdwatching tales? Emma’s Stories

Dorothy (Dottie) Belle Malcolm’s:

Reginald’s Happy New Year by Emma Foster

Deer and Turkeys in Snow

Reginald’s Happy New Year by Emma Foster

Turkeys in Snow ©Bryant Olsen Flickr

Turkeys in Snow ©Bryant Olsen Flickr

Reginald, Oliver, and the turkeys had sufficiently prepared for the winter, and now that they were safe in the fort they were able to celebrate Christmas in comfort. When Christmas was over, the turkeys spent their time building snow-turkeys and having snowball fights, knowing that they were safe from the hunters. Reginald watched over Oliver so that he didn’t get into any trouble, while he also made sure that the preparations for the New Year’s party were properly handled. On the day before New Year’s Day, however, everyone discovered that Oliver was missing.

Reginald and the turkeys searched for Oliver, and they eventually discovered him close by near a frozen river, where he was searching for berries. The turkeys stepped onto the river and realized that the ice was thick, and they all decided to skate across the ice. While they were skating, Reginald watched, making sure there wasn’t anyone nearby who could see them.

Baby Raccoon ©Flickr Chief Trent

Suddenly, a small creature emerged from the bushes, looking for food. It was a tiny baby racoon, who appeared to be lost. She was cold, tired, and hungry, and the turkeys decided to take her back to the fort so she could get warm and eat some food.

The baby raccoon said that her name was Ruby, and that she had lost her way yesterday and couldn’t find her mom. Reginald and the turkeys immediately set out to search for Ruby’s mom. Ruby pointed out the direction she had come from and where she had last seen her mom, and Reginald, Oliver, and a few other turkeys began marching that way.

Momma and Baby Raccoon ©Flickr Debbie

After about an hour, they heard a raccoon calling Ruby’s name. Ruby ran toward the voice excitedly, reuniting with her mother in the bushes. Ruby’s mother thanked the turkeys, and in turn the turkeys invited her and Ruby to their New Year’s party. Every year the turkeys celebrated the New Year by staying up all night and waiting for the first sunrise in the forest.

Reginald, Oliver, and the others returned to the fort. The sun was already beginning to set, and Reginald began to oversee the preparations for the New Year’s party. Reginald and the other turkeys made party hats by sticking leaves onto their army helmets, and Oliver made special hats for Ruby and her mom out of leaves all by himself.

Alaska Wild Berries ©WikiC

Throughout the night, the turkeys celebrated by skating on the ice and eating the berries that they had stored for the winter. Oliver placed some berries on a small piece of bark that served as a tray and waited on the turkeys in order to be kept out of trouble.

Later that night, the turkeys and the raccoons sat down and gazed at the stars just as the sun was beginning to peek out. When the sun rose on New Year’s Day, the turkeys and the raccoons celebrated, happy to know that they were safe from the hunters and that a new year had begun.


Lee’s Addition:

I am glad the turkeys befriended the young raccoon and helped find its mother. Not sure if the turkeys had this much trouble walking on the snow and ice as these turkeys:

It was nice of the turkeys to let the raccoons join in their New Year’s Eve Celebration.

We all trust you have a very Happy New Year in 2019.

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10 KJV)

See more of Emma’s Stories:

Emma’s Stories

 

Reginald the Turkey Commander: The Corn Field

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Daves BirdingPix

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Daves BirdingPix

Reginald the Turkey Commander: The Corn Field [Part 4]

by Emma Foster

Here are the Thanksgiving, Reginald, the Turkey Commander Tales

Reginald, Turkey Commander [2014]

Reginald, The Turkey Commander – Part 2 [2016]

Reginald, The Turkey Commander: The Great Snowstorm [2017]

And Now – Reginald, the Turkey Commander: The Corn Field [Part 4]

The turkeys were looking forward to another Thanksgiving at their fort as they made their way through the forest. Reginald had them march to the fort early that year just in case there were any hunters getting ready to hunt. The fort that the turkeys had built helped protect them from the hunters every Thanksgiving and Christmas. Reginald led the way through the forest until he came to the farmer’s old house they had visited a year before. This time, however, a large corn field was in their way.

Corn Maze © Pixabay

The turkeys inadvertently wandered into the field and became confused. Everything began to look the same. Reginald eventually made all of the turkeys stop, and he declared that they all needed to turn around and walk back to where they had come from in order to get out of the field. The turkeys turned around and followed Reginald as he led them out of the corn field. Suddenly, Reginald realized that Oliver was missing.

Shaking his head, Reginald led the turkeys back to the forest. As soon as he returned the turkeys to the forest, he set out to find Oliver.

Reginald searched the field, making sure that no one would hear him. He hoped that there were no hunters nearby in case anyone heard Oliver. Reginald spotted Oliver, who was wandering through the field, loudly gobbling and stomping through the stalks of corn in order to find the other turkeys.

Reginald dragged Oliver back toward the forest. Halfway there, a large scarecrow toppled over as Reginald and Oliver made their way through the corn field. Oliver bolted away, gobbling loudly as Reginald ran after him.

Scarecrow beginning to fall over ©foodista-com

Oliver continued running as fast as he could, terrified because he thought that the scarecrow was going to eat him. Eventually, Oliver tripped and landed head-first in a tumbled-over wheelbarrow. Shaking his head, Reginald resignedly picked up the wheelbarrow by the handles and carried Oliver back to where the other turkeys were hiding.

Wild Turkeys ©WikiC

Dumping Oliver in front of the other turkeys, Reginald proceeded to lead them through the forest. When they were close, one of the turkeys pointed out that they had less food than they expected. Some of the turkeys began to believe that there might not be enough for the winter.

Oliver had an idea. He remembered all of the corn he had seen in the field, and he told Reginald that they could take the corn to the fort with them.

Corn for the Winter ©rode diaz. unsplash.com

After taking the rest of the turkeys to the fort, Reginald and Oliver returned to the corn field, though Oliver was a little afraid that the scarecrow might jump out of the field and attack. They took a wheelbarrow full of corn and brought it back to the fort. The turkeys now had plenty of food to last them through the winter and Thanksgiving, which was now approaching. The farmer eventually harvested all of the corn in the field, but not before Reginald returned the wheelbarrow. The turkeys were safe in the fort, and once again the hunters would not have turkey for their Thanksgiving dinner.

***

Lee’s Addition:

Oliver should have remembered these verses:

“Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.” (Proverbs 3:25-26 KJV)
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NASB)

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Emma, you continue to entertain us with your Turkey Commander, Reginald. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving this year without another of these tales. Thanks for taking the time out from your studies to provide us with some wholesome adventures.

Thanksgiving – Reginald, the Turkey Commander Tales

Reginald, Turkey Commander [2014]

Reginald, The Turkey Commander – Part 2 [2016]

Reginald, The Turkey Commander: The Great Snowstorm [2017]

Emma’s Other Stories

A Family of Ducks by Emma Foster

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) By Dan'sPix

Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) By Dan’sPix

A Family of Ducks by Emma Foster

Once there was a small family of mallard ducks that lived on a large lake in the country. The mother duck had just had three ducklings, and as Autumn was nearing, the ducklings were learning how to swim.

The lake the family lived on was surrounded by a college campus. There were several buildings near the lake, but it was still quiet and peaceful, and the family was never bothered by anyone. Many of the students at the college had seen the ducks before, and they were happy to see that the mother and father duck now had ducklings.

Momma Mallard and 2 Babies at Lake Morton

The mother duck spent most of her days teaching her ducklings how to search for food in the shallow water. The ducklings loved being in the water because of how hot it was outside and how cool the water was, even though it was almost October. Eventually, however, the wind began to pick up and grow colder.

The ducks started to hear rumors of a storm that was coming. Several flocks of birds had flown in from farther north to avoid the storm. As the winds became worse, the family of ducks decided to stay under the bridge on the lake for a while with the other ducks and birds. Small waves began to form on the lake, which scared the ducklings. Most of the birds decided to hide in the trees, leaving the family of ducks alone under the bridge.

“I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.” (Psalms 55:8 KJV)

Mallard in Storm ©Flickr Steve Baker

Rain began pouring down into the lake. After a few minutes, the ducklings got used to the sound of the rain. Even though the storm wasn’t as bad as the ducks thought it would be, the weather was getting colder. Soon they would have to fly south for the winter because it was getting colder, but right now they couldn’t leave the lake.

The father duck peeked out from under the bridge and noticed that several students were rushing into a nearby building. The father duck waited for the rain to lighten before he, the mother duck, and the ducklings hurried up the bridge onto the sidewalk. The mother duck and the ducklings followed the father duck toward the front entrance to the building.

Duck at Door ©Flickr Ann Fisher

At one point a group of college students rushed to the door to get out of the rain. The family of ducks quickly followed behind them and stood in the building to dry off and get warm. Eventually the ducklings settled down to take a nap while the stormed died down. Several students watched the family of ducks and took some pictures until one of them opened the door to let them out when the storm passed. When they made it back outside, they all returned to the lake and settled back down on the grass. Eventually the ducklings grew to the point where they were able to fly south for the winter, and the entire family was safe and happy.

Mallards by Lee at Lake Morton


Another interesting bird tale from Emma. This story makes me wonder if there was a storm up where she is now attending college. Maybe she opened the door to let the family in. Makes me Wonder!! Nice story, Emma.

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The Painting by Emma Foster

House Finch Nest ©J-TWO-O

The Painting

by Emma Foster

Once there was a small finch named Michael who lived on a farm in the Kansas countryside. The farm was small with only a few acres of land, but on the land was a large red barn in which Michael lived. The barn was very comfortable because it was cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Michael had built his nest in the rafters, and every morning when he woke up he would fly out of the barn to look for worms to eat.

One day while Michael was looking for food, a woman walked down the dirt road to the farm. She carried a large easel, a canvas, a stool, and some paint. When she reached the top of the hill near the tree where Michael was sitting she sat down on the small tool and began setting her other materials down.

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) by Raymond Barlow

Michael perched on a branch and watched the woman begin painting on her canvas. She painted for what felt like hours, mixing the paints together to make different colors. The woman started with the bright green trees in the background then painted the coarse grass. Just as she was about to start painting the barn, the sky grew dark.

Michael watched until thunder rumbled in the distance. He quickly retreated to the barn as it started to rain. The woman quickly packed her things and carried off her painting so it wouldn’t become wet.

Red Barn Painting ©Pinterest

Fortunately, the rain stopped the next morning. Michael was relieved when the woman came back to continue her painting. He watched her paint again the entire afternoon until he could see that the barn was finished. The barn in the painting looked exactly like the barn in real life, and as the woman finished the painting she signed it in the bottom corner. As the woman was packing her belongings again the wind began to pick up.

Michael flew into the barn and waited with the rest of the farm animals as the wind blew harder. The wind refused to stop. It shook the barn walls furiously. All of the animals grew very afraid, and they realized that the barn was about to come down. Fortunately, the door swung open, and all of the animals galloped to a nearby field away from the tornado that was quickly approaching. Michael followed them, hiding in a hole in a tree to keep away from the wind.

Barn Destroyed by Tornado in Madison County

When the tornado finally passed and the sky cleared, Michael came out of the tree to see that the barn was completely destroyed by the tornado. Michael saw the barn tumbled down in a large pile of wood. Many of the animals slowly returned to the barn because it was still their home, but Michael decided that he should find a new home somewhere safe.

Michael flew away until he came to a small town. Finding the nearest tree, he promptly began building a small nest.

Mrs Finch

A few days passed after Michael finished building his nest. He woke up one morning to see a small group of people gathering inside a building near him. Michael looked inside the window to see a series of paintings hung up on a wall. One of the paintings was of the barn. He recognized the lady who had painted it standing next to it, and he heard the lady announce that she was going to use some of the money from her exhibit to help rebuild the barn and other buildings that had been torn down during the tornado.

Construction begins

When Michael flew back to the countryside a few days later, he saw the barn being rebuilt by several construction workers. Several weeks went by before the barn was completely rebuilt, but when it was done all of the animals were happy to live in the barn again. Michael happily made a new nest in the rafters of the new barn, which kept him and the animals cool in the summer and warm in the winter.


Do Not Be Anxious

Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? (Luke 12:22-24)

What a delightful story, Emma. I am glad the finch and the critters were safe, and eventually were able to have a new red barn to live in. When things unexpectedly happen, we should not become anxious. The lady came up with a way to replace her barn. Our Lord love to provide for us.

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The Raven and the Old Woman’s Garden – by Emma Foster

Northern Raven (Corvus corax) by Ray

The Raven and the Old Woman’s Garden by Emma Foster

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32 NKJV)

Once there was a small raven that lived in a tree that stood in the middle of a large garden a woman had planted years ago. The woman had grown old now and spent most of the time in her small brick house. She did come out to devoutly water her plants so that her garden would be kept beautiful, but it was very difficult for her to pull out the weeds in the flower beds.

The raven would often watch the old woman from her nest in the tree as she watered her flowers. The raven enjoyed the garden the old woman had planted because so many of the flowers were different colors. During the day the raven would often fly through the flowers, and every day it seemed that there was a new and different flower for her to look at.

PAS-Corv Raven ©Pixabay

But one day the old woman didn’t come out of her house. The raven waited for her to come and water her flowers, but the old woman had become ill and couldn’t get out of her bed. Eventually, the raven saw from her nest a bright red and white vehicle with flashing lights come up the driveway. The raven watched some people in uniforms come into the house and take the old woman out on a bed and drive away.

A few days went by and the old woman did not come home. The raven began to worry because there was no one to water the flowers to keep the old woman’s garden looking beautiful. Several weeds had sprung up in the flower beds as well.

The raven suddenly had the idea to begin pulling out some of the weeds while the old woman was gone. She started in the flower bed closest to her nest and began pulling weeds out from the beds. While she was pulling out some of the weeds, the raven found a few seeds that the old woman hadn’t planted yet. The raven promptly decided to dig up a small place off to the side with her beak in order to plant them.

PAS-Corv Raven ©Pixabay

The raven continued to pull out more weeds for the rest of the day. Fortunately, because it wasn’t terribly hot outside the work was a little easier. Toward the end of the day, rain began to fall. The raven quickly retreated to her nest and watched from the protection of the tree as the rain watered the flowers to keep them from dying.

The rain stopped the next morning but continued occurring every now and then for the next couple of days. One morning the raven woke to see tiny buds had appeared out of the ground where she had planted the seeds. This made the raven very happy, but she became even happier when a car drove up into the driveway. The old woman had come back from the hospital but had to be taken into her house on a bed. The raven stayed in her nest, hoping that the old woman would be able to see the new flowers and her well-kept garden through her bedroom window.

Fortunately, the old woman was able to see her garden very clearly, but she was no longer able to come outside. The raven decided she would keep pulling out the weeds for her. It continued to rain nearly every day, which was good because the flowers had to be watered. But one day another loud flashing vehicle came back up to the house and took the old woman away, and the raven knew that she wasn’t coming back.

PAS-Corv Raven ©Pixabay

Eventually, several people came to the house and moved out all of the old woman’s things leaving the house bare and empty. To honor the old woman the raven kept pulling out weeds, hoping that she could keep the old woman’s garden as long as possible. But eventually it stopped raining and the flowers began to wilt. The raven began to fear that all of the old woman’s flowers would eventually die, until one day the raven woke up in her nest to see a family moving into the old woman’s house. The wife, who moved into the house with her husband and children, decided that she should continue tending the garden, which made the raven very happy. After a few weeks the garden and was healthy and beautiful again, and the flowers the raven had planted grew incredible large and tall.

My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.” (Psalms 121:2 NKJV)


Lee’s Addition:

Another very entertaining and delightful story from Emma. Emma picks the birds in her tales and I supply the photos and scriptures. She may not be aware that the Ravens are very intelligent and can do some might surprising tasks. So, maybe this story is not really so “far-fetched”!

Enjoy her other tales at Emma’s Stories.

Morris The Finch In The Airport by Emma Foster

House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) by Ian

House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) by Ian

Morris The Finch In The Airport

By Emma Foster

Morris was a small house finch who lived in the sunny state of Florida. He had built a tiny nest for himself and lived in a small forest away from busy streets and people. The only road that was close by was a highway leading to a large building that was about half a mile away. Morris could barely see the building from the top of a high tree in which he lived. Every day Morris would watch incredibly large birds fly to and from the building, but he had no idea what they were. The building was in fact an airport, and the large birds were airplanes, but Morris did not know this.

Eventually, the weather became really hot as spring turned into summer. Morris grew tired of the heat and decided to find a new place to stay, at least for the summer. Morris flew out of his nest into the air and began to search for a cooler place to live.

He slowly reached the giant building in the hot sun. Looking inside, Morris noticed trees that seemed comfortable in the cool air. He tried to find a place to fly in, but every part of the building seemed to be made of windows. After trying to get inside for a long time Morris caught sight of a shuttle zipping inside the building. He followed the shuttle inside into the refreshingly cool air and instantly flew toward a tall tree that stood in the sunlight.

House Finch male ©Glenn Bartley-Wichita StateU

The tree gave Morris a broad view of a wide space were many people were eating. At first, he thought we would be able to handle the noisy people, but as the sun rose higher into the sky more people began to arrive and the building grew louder. Morris tried to ignore it, knowing when the air became colder he could fly back to his nest.

After a few minutes of trying to pull up some branches and twigs to make a new nest, Morris realized that the “tree” was fake, which made him slightly annoyed. Fortunately, he could still make his new home cozy because it was cool and comfortable sitting in the branches and watching the people.

Morris began to grow hungry and decided that he should find some food, though it didn’t look as if there were any worms around. He swooped down to where several people were eating and picked up a few dry crumbs from off the ground. After eating a few pieces Morris was still hungry so he decided to fly back outside to search for some worms.

It felt nice to be away from the noise, but as Morris flew back the way he came, he accidentally flew into the shuttle that carried passengers back and forth. He couldn’t get out before the doors closed. He flew up and down in a frenzy, searching for a way out. People around him screamed, terrified, until finally he was able to fly back outside.

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) by Raymond Barlow

Instead of searching for worms Morris flew straight back to his nest and stayed there for the rest of the day even though it was still hot. That night Morris’s surroundings became cool and Morris was able to sleep peacefully despite the chaos of the morning.

The next morning Morris stayed in his nest, deciding that, despite the heat, he would rather be home than anywhere else. He remembered how quiet it was even with the big birds flying overhead, and decided that no matter how hot it became, he would never fly back into that building again


Lee’s Addition:

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5 KJV)

Emma has treated us to another interesting story. Not sure if a bird ever went looking for air conditioning, but it sounds logical. But, like us, we are better off being right where the Lord has placed us and with the provisions that have been provided by Him. Thanks again, Emma.

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Reginald and Oliver’s Christmas Tree by Emma Foster

Wild Turkeys ©Pixabay

Reginald and Oliver’s Christmas Tree by Emma Foster

Before the heavy snow fell, Reginald and the turkeys settled into their fortress. Reginald knew now that he had to start looking for a Christmas tree. When the snow lightened, Reginald decided he should find a tree. One morning he left in search of the perfect Christmas tree, accompanied by Oliver.

Reginald and Oliver traveled for some time, dragging themselves through the snow. Oliver insisted on wearing his army helmet because he was afraid they would run into hunters. He followed Reginald through the snow, occasionally having to be pulled out of the snow with Reginald’s help.

After walking a little way, Reginald and Oliver found a wide open space near a circle of trees. In the sunlight, a small tiny pine tree stood in front of most of the other trees, and Reginald thought it would be the perfect tree for Christmas that year. The trunk was just right for Reginald and Oliver to be able to push the tree over since they had nothing to cut it with.

Tiny Tree

Just as they were about to head for the tree, Reginald noticed some hunters lurking in some bushes nearby. Oliver and Reginald hid and attempted to form a plan. Reginald decided that he would go off and distract the hunters so Oliver could knock the tree over and take it back to the fortress.

Reginald left Oliver by the bushes and walked a few yards away. He began gobbling, hoping that the hunters would hear him and try to see where he was. Reginald quickly hid in the bushes near a river where he wouldn’t be seen and waited for the hunters to come look for him. Eventually, he heard footsteps as the hunters moved closer.

Turkey in Snow ©SABaking

Once the hunters had gone Oliver quickly ran to the tree and began pushing on it until it toppled over. Unfortunately, when Oliver pushed the tree down it began rolling forward, dragging Oliver into its branches until it fell into the nearby river and began drifting away. Reginald watched Oliver fall into the river and quickly ran after him, shaking his head and hoping the hunters couldn’t see him. He caught up to Oliver and tried to pull him to shore, but Oliver only dragged him onto the tree, causing Reginald to get soaked.

Oliver and Reginald floated down the river on the tree for a very long time until they ran into a rock, which kept the tree from drifting farther down the river. Oliver began gobbling loudly, but Reginald quickly told him to be quiet. Fortunately, they had floated far away from the hunters toward their fortress.

Reginald and Oliver quickly dragged the tree up onto land and carried it back to the fortress. The turkeys had already begun making ornaments and stringing berries by the time they arrived back at the fortress. After they set up the tree, Reginald and the turkeys hung the ornaments and sang some turkey carols quietly. As for the hunters, they searched all day for Reginald and Oliver, but eventually had to go home because more snow had begun to fall. Again, it was ham for Christmas.

Christmas Ham ©WikiC


Lee’s Addition:

“Who remembered us in our lowly state, For His mercy endures forever; And rescued us from our enemies, For His mercy endures forever; Who gives food to all flesh, For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven! For His mercy endures forever.” (Psalms 136:23-26 NKJV)

Well, Oliver has again given Reginald his challenge. This time, their need for a Christmas tree provides the adventure. We trust you have been enjoying the various adventures through the pen of Ms. Emma Foster. Emma, you have written another enjoyable tale for us. Thank you, and Merry Christmas to you.

More of Emma’s Stories

Wordless Birds

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