Denny and Charles’s Museum by Emma Foster

G. Blue Heron on Gator’s back at Gatorland, by Lee

Denny and Charles’s Museum

Emma Foster

Denny the blue heron was the smallest out of all the blue herons that lived in the Florida reserve, but no one ever made fun of him for it because his best friend was the largest alligator in the reserve, Charles. Denny and Charles spent most of their time crossing the various swamps, with Charles slinking through the mud and weeds and Denny sitting on his back.

Usually, whenever Denny and Charles set out together, they would follow the trails marked in the reserve, so that they were always near the banks. The people who visited the reserve enjoyed seeing them wander down the swamp trails, especially since Denny sat on Charles’s back while Charles swam through the weeds.

One day, while Denny and Charles were traveling through the water, Denny spotted something unusual in the water. It was bright red, and it shone brightly when the sun reflected on it. Denny stuck his beak inside it to pick it up. He lifted the can and placed it onto Charles’s back. Denny wasn’t quite sure what it was, and Charles couldn’t see it because it was on his back. Denny decided to keep it.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) by Raymond Barlow

Farther along down the reserve trail, Denny spotted another interesting object. He wasn’t sure what this was either, but it was bright yellow and small. Denny added it to his growing collection.

Eventually, Denny had several small objects piled on Charles’s back. He placed everything he had found on the bank so Charles could have a look at it. They both thought about what to do with what Denny found. After thinking for a long time, Denny proposed an idea. He thought it would be a great idea to set all of the objects they found in an area where all the other animals in the swamp could see them.

Denny promptly flew off to find a large open area for them to place their things. Charles slowly nudged the objects into his mouth and followed Denny to where he was calling. Charles dumped the objects onto the grass, glad to be of help.

Every day, Denny and Charles added more to their collection. They found two old water bottles, a small pipe, and several pieces of different materials that were several different colors like pink, red, blue, and yellow. Denny kept the can placed in a special spot for everyone to see, since he had found it first.

The birds, insects, and other animals enjoyed seeing all the things Denny and Charles had put out. Some of them thought it was odd that they collected that stuff, since it seemed to serve no purpose.

Gator and Litter @indiatvnews

As summer drew near, it began raining more and more. Most of the animals had a comfortable place to spend every night. Charles was happy to sit in the swamp in the rain, and Denny sat in the trees, keeping a close eye on his collection. However, as he was watching it one evening he saw a little gray mouse pass him nearby. It was so small it could dodge the raindrops, but it still looked very wet and cold. It hid under the leaves in the bushes, but it couldn’t seem to find a warm, dry place for the night. Denny suddenly thought of the things he had found, but he couldn’t think of anything that would make a good house. Then he thought of the can.

Denny called Charles over. He told him about giving the can to the mouse, though he was reluctant to give it away. Charles thought it was a great idea, and he immediately crashed through the bushes to put the can in his mouth. Denny flew after the mouse, told her his name, and explained what they wanted to give her. At that moment, Charles waddled through the bushes and dropped the can beside the mouse. The mouse, Charlotte, was very grateful for what they had done. She rolled the can under the leaves, turned it to the side, and carefully squeezed through the opening to sit down inside.

Mouse in Can (BBC)

Denny and Charles continued growing their collection. The other animals in the reserve enjoyed seeing what they added to the museum, and they sometimes even brought some of their own things that they had found. Charlotte the mouse stayed in her little can house, beside Denny and Charles’s museum, and told them every day how happy she was in her new home.


“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24 KJV)

Lee’s Addition:

What an interesting story. Birds riding on gator’s backs isn’t as far-fetched as it might seem.

Thanks, Emma, for another delightful adventure. You continue to find heart-felt stories for us to enjoy. We will be looking forward your next one.

“Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.” (Philippians 4:14 NASB)

See more of Emma’s Stories

 

Walter the Directionally Challenged Goose, Part 2

Walter the Directionally Challenged Goose, Part 2

by Emma Foster

Walter with injured foot, in Part 1

Walter the goose didn’t have to worry about flying south for the winter now that he lived at the veterinary clinic. Whenever winter returned, Walter was safe and warm inside the clinic, and during the summer he could walk outside and explore. However, Walter made sure to stay close to the clinic so he wouldn’t get lost. He was still directionally challenged.

One summer day Walter was walking around by the garage at the veterinary clinic. A truck drove up and parked in front of the garage. Walter had to quickly waddle out of the way to avoid getting run over, but when he was a good distance away he noticed a trailer attached to the back end of the truck. Inside the trailer was a small horse.

Horse in Trailer ©WikiC

The horse looked out the window when Walter approached the trailer. Walter had seen many different kinds of animals during his short time at the vet, but he had never seen a horse before. When Walter craned his neck to see inside, he could tell that the horse was nervous. Every now and then, Walter needed to come into the rooms to calm the other animals down, since they were nervous about being at the vet. Walter asked the horse his name to help him not feel so nervous. The horse said that his name was Angus. He also mentioned that he didn’t know why he was there, but this was his first time at the vet without his mother.

Walter sat by the trailer while the vets came out and Angus was brought out of the trailer. Angus became so nervous that he bolted, jumping a fence and running into the fields. Walter flapped after him, determined that his new friend would overcome his fear.

A Goose and her horse ©Flickr Lisa Donahoo

A Goose and her horse ©Flickr Lisa Donahoo

Walter flew over a small field and a patch of trees. By then, the vets and Angus’s owner were far behind. Walter searched for a long time, turning in different directions before resting on a tree stump to see where he was. To his surprise, when he looked ahead, he noticed the veterinary clinic! He had gone in circles, since he was so directionally challenged.

Deciding to go back the other way, Walter flew in the opposite direction, took a right, then landed in another field that he had never been in before. Walter sat in the brush and thought, but he did not give up. Suddenly he realized that the tall grass around him was moving a little. Walter crouched down, but Angus pulled his head over the grass and looked down at him. Angus had seen him land in the field. Walter explained that he had been looking for Angus, but he had gotten lost. Angus decided that, if Walter could fly around looking for him and not give up or become afraid, he didn’t have to be afraid about being at the vet for a checkup. He knew Walter would be right there with him.

Mini Horse and Friend

Walter flapped up onto Angus’s back, and Angus trotted back to the clinic, where Angus’s owner and the vets had been waiting for them. They were all extremely glad that they had both returned. Walter stood by Angus the entire time he received his checkup. Angus was very healthy. He did have to receive a few shots, but Walter assured him they weren’t that bad. When Angus’s checkup was over, Angus had to say goodbye to Walter. Walter hoped that he would see Angus again soon, but only for a checkup.


Lee’s Addition:

“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NASB)

We met Walter in Walter the Directionally Challenged Goose.  Walter seems to have found his permanent home and a mission to be a encourager. I love Emma’s stories, but it becomes challenging to illustrate these adventures. So forgive the different types of geese and horses.

What I did find is a very interesting story about a real horse and goose. This is not to take away from Emma’s Story, but to show that it could be more true than she thought.

“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24 NKJV)

See All of Emma’s Stories

Clyde and Benny by Emma Foster

Clyde and Benny by Emma Foster

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) by Kent Nickell

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) by Kent Nickell

Clyde was an old crow who lived in a tall pine tree in the darkest part of the woods. Because preferred to spend time away from all the other birds and forest animals, he didn’t have any friends. Many of the other birds avoided him because they were afraid of him.

But one day Clyde returned with a large worm in his mouth to his nest to find something in his nest. That something was a little white egg. Clyde had no idea where the egg had come from or how it had gotten there, but he knew he did not want the egg in his nest. While he was thinking about what to do with it, the egg started shaking. A few moments later, a tiny robin chick popped out, peeping loudly.

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) Hatching ©WikiC

Now Clyde really didn’t know what to do. He wanted to be left alone, but the tiny robin flopped out of the egg and stared at him, thinking that Clyde was his mother. Clyde thought for a long time, thinking that he should find another nest somewhere else, but the chick looked too helpless for him to leave. Instead, he reluctantly gave the chick the worm he found and went to look for its mother.

Clyde searched all through the forest, but he couldn’t find any other family of robins. Many of the birds were surprised at seeing Clyde, and most of them hid in the trees to keep away from him. Clyde returned to his nest, back to the chick, and he decided that he would have to keep him. Eventually Clyde decided to call him Benny.

Even though Clyde gave Benny his name, he still did not want Benny around. Clyde begrudgingly found extra worms for Benny and himself. However, once Benny was old enough to fly out of the nest, Clyde showed him how to find the worms for himself so he wouldn’t bother him so much.

Crow Getting Worm ©PxHere

Crow Getting Worm ©PxHere

Unfortunately, teaching Benny how to fly took what felt like hours to Clyde. Benny was a very clumsy little robin. The first time, Benny fluttered out of the nest, dropped, and flopped onto the branch below them. Clyde had to set Benny on his back, take him back up to the nest, then start all over again. Finally, Benny was able to fly a few feet to the next branch, which was a great relief to Clyde.

Once Benny, learned how to fly, however, Benny would not leave Clyde alone. He followed Clyde wherever he went, even after Clyde showed Benny where to actually find food. Whenever Clyde passed other birds or animals, they wondered who the tiny robin was because they had no idea where he came from.

Clyde became so tired of Benny following him around that one day, he took Benny to an unfamiliar part of the forest. Now that he thought Benny could take care of himself, he figured he could lose Benny somewhere in the woods. When they reached a small river, Clyde waited for Benny to start searching for food like he had been told. Once Benny was distracted, Clyde flew off, not looking back until he was far away from the river.

Clyde returned to his nest, but he realized it felt empty and quiet. It was just like before Benny arrived, when all the other birds were afraid of him and he had no one to talk to. Clyde started to feel very lonely, and he realized he shouldn’t have left Benny all by himself. Clyde immediately wanted to fly back to the river.

As Clyde made his way back, he realized he had taken a wrong turn. All of the trees looked unfamiliar. Clyde sat down on a branch and thought for a long time on where to go. He worried abut Benny, since he was lost as well. He cawed for Benny for a long time, but he never received an answer. Finally, Clyde heard a rustling of branches a little way off.

Crow in Nest ©NeedPix

Clyde the Crow in Nest ©NeedPix

When Clyde rounded the corner he saw something flapping from branch to branch, shaking the leaves. Clyde realized that the bird was Benny, and that he couldn’t fly well because he had found the largest worm Clyde had ever seen.

American Robin on Nest ©Alarmy

Benny the American Robin inn Nest ©Alarmy

Clyde returned to Benny, who dropped the worm, surprised that Clyde was so frantic. Benny hadn’t even known that Clyde had gone, but Clyde still apologized. He helped Benny take the worm back to the nest. Every day after that, Clyde and Benny spent all their time together. Even after Benny grew up. Benny placed his nest directly in the tree beside Clyde’s.


“Here’s my concern: that you care for God’s flock with all the diligence of a shepherd. Not because you have to, but because you want to please God. Not calculating what you can get out of it, but acting spontaneously.” (1 Peter 5:2 MSG)

Lee’s Addition:

Emma sent this delightful story to me recently. I trust you will enjoy it as much as I have putting the photos in. She, like many students, college or younger, has been finishing her classes at home.

The verse above has to do with pastors, but the principles apply to this story. Not so sure Clyde was so willing at first, but he came around. Thanks again,Emma, for another tale for us.

See All Of Emma’s Stories Here

 

Reginald the Turkey Commander: The Spring Party

Turkey by the River ©(Photo Kelly Preheim) FWS-GOV

Turkey by the River ©(Photo Kelly Preheim) FWS-GOV

Reginald the Turkey Commander: The Spring Party

by Emma Foster

   It was nearly springtime, and the turkeys were able to leave their fortresses in the woods to search for food without worrying about hunters or too much snow. There hadn’t been a lot of snow that year, which meant that the closest river to the turkeys wasn’t usually covered in ice.

One day, when it was almost March and the air was cool, the turkeys decided that it would be a good idea to head to the closest lake to celebrate another winter soon over. Reginald, the leader of the turkeys, decided that it would be best to build boats out of the bark of the wood from the trees in order to float down the river to the nearest lake.

The turkeys set to work, finding different trees around the forest where they could easily peel off the bark or branches to make boats and rafts for the river. Oliver followed Reginald around as Reginald looked for something he could use. Reginald found some trees where the bark had been torn off from a storm. He gave several pieces to Oliver to take back to the camp, though Oliver had a difficult time carrying all of them at once. He started kicking a few pieces ahead until Reginald picked up the last pieces and helped him back to the camp.

Some of the smaller turkeys floated on the large pieces of bark they had found, while Reginald and a few others tied the thinner pieces together with moss. When all the boats were finished, Reginald and the turkeys cast off down the river. Reginald knew where the closest lake was, and he knew that the river would split off in two different directions at one point. He knew that the turkeys needed to head east.

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Ian

Reginald, Oliver, and the other turkeys started floating down the lake, steering and rowing with branches. The sun was shining through the trees, and the water was cool and shallow. Reginald made sure that Oliver didn’t float to far away or that he was steering too far ahead.

But when they came to the place where the river went in two different directions, Oliver got caught up in the rapids and drifted the other way, toward the west. Reginald changed course and followed, letting the other turkeys go ahead to the lake.

The water seemed rougher on the side Oliver and Reginald were on. Oliver looked behind him as Reginald tried to catch up and flapped his wings violently. Because he wasn’t paying attention, his boat hit a rock and started to break apart. When Reginald got close enough, Oliver panicked and jumped onto Reginald’s boat. Reginald did his best to keep Oliver from sinking his boat by paddling to the side of the river. He pulled Oliver out of the boat and made his way back to the other river so they could follow it down to the lake.

After walking for what felt like hours, Reginald figured that they were lost and started following the direction of the sun because he knew that the lake had to be north. Oliver trailed after him the entire time, completely forgetting where they were even going. Reginald just shook his head and kept walking.

Turkeys ©Pixabay

Reginald eventually realized that they had been going around in circles. He decided to go straight ahead, and eventually he and Oliver came through the bushes and found the other half of the river. They followed it down stream for a long time before they came to a tree trunk that had fallen across the river. The turkeys had left the boats there because it was too low for them to row under it. Reginald guessed they had walked the rest of the way, which shouldn’t be that far.

Oliver immediately hopped onto the tree, took a few steps to cross the river, and fell in, flapping his wings in terror. Reginald ran after him, urging Oliver to keep his head above water. Suddenly, Oliver disappeared. Reginald reached the edge and realized Oliver had fallen down a small waterfall and had landed in the lake all the other turkeys had reached. Many of the turkeys sat by the side of the lake, enjoying the sun, and they were not surprised to see Oliver flailing about in the water. Reginald finally decided to just jump in after Oliver, leaving his army helmet by the shore. The rest of the day, Reginald, Oliver and the other turkeys sat by the lake in the sun, happy that winter was slowly fading and that they had another year to spend where it was warm before they needed to go back to the fortresses.


Lee’s Addition:

They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.” (Psalms 36:8 NKJV)

I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment.” (Ezekiel 34:16 NKJV)
“that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, “Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none.” (John 18:9 NKJV)

These verses seem to me to sort of apply. Jesus applies these to us, but the turkey definitely enjoyed the time at the river. Our hero, Reginald, made sure all the turkeys arrived safely. Our Lord wants to make sure that we all arrive safely in Heaven with Him.

Another great story, Emma. Thanks for keeping us up to date on the latest adventures of Reginald and this flock.

See More of Emma’s Tales of Reginald and others at:

Emma’s Stories

Birds of the Bible – Better Than The Birds IV

Little Grassbird (Megalurus gramineus) Adult Feeding Juvenile©WikiC

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 four 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

We were told, “3. Thirdly, worry distorts our perspective in life” In Better Than The Birds III

Now for Part IV

4. Worry diminishes our distinctiveness as believers

Look at verse 29. “And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying [about it]. 30. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek.”

Even as Christians we can get caught up in the world’s idea that we live because of our bodies. And since we think we live because of our bodies, we start living for our bodies.
That’s the way the world lives . . . it’s literally all about your body – your body – what you do with it, what you do for it, what you do to it – what you put on it, what you put in it.
That’s the passion of the world – the body.

Further, one author wrote it this way, “it is characteristic of the secular world to be obsessed with economic questions, to be almost entirely engrossed by consumer concerns, to be preoccupied with finding and getting better and better things.”xi

Jesus says, effectively, all these things are the things the nations of earth are after.

But maybe you’re thinking, well, somebody’s got to worry about my stuff!

So be careful here . . . let’s be balanced. Jesus isn’t advocating that we just stick our heads in the sand and everything will be alright.

Osprey Catching Fish - Viera Wetlands

Osprey Catching Fish – Viera Wetlands by Dan

The truth is, the animal kingdom is busy. Those little birds work hard . . . just watch them sometime. I doubt any of them get 2 weeks of vacation.

The question is, are you actively stewarding or managing what God has given you or are really at heart worrying about what God hasn’t given you or what He might not let you keep?

One author reviewed statistical percentages and summarized that:

 40% of our worries are about the future
 20% of our worries are about the past
 22% of our worries are about our health
 And 8% of our worries are about petty things we can’t do anything about; which means, 90% of what we worry about are things we can’t change.

Which is why one man wrote, “Worry is like a rocking chair – it gives you something to do but it never takes you anywhere.”

But what do we do about stuff we worry about?

I read about one man’s solution. He told his friend, “I have a mountain of debt; I’ve lost my job, my car was repossessed, our house is in foreclosure and I’m not even worried about it!”

“You’re not?” his friend said, “why not?”

“Well, I’ve hired a professional worrier. He does all the worrying for me, and that way I don’t have to think about it.”

“That’s fantastic. How much does your professional worrier charge you for his services?”

“Fifty thousand dollars a year.”

“Fifty thousand dollars a year – where are you going to get that kind of money?”

“I don’t know . . . that’s his worry!”xii

There’s got to be a better solution than that.

Jesus effectively challenges us with two solutions. They’re not easy . . . but they’re right.

Robin Eating by Jim Fenton

Robin Eating by Jim Fenton

1. Make sure God and His kingdom stays first!

Verse 31, Jesus says, ‘But seek His kingdom and these things will be added to you.
In other words, He’s promised to give you the Kingdom – vs. 32 – now live with the Kingdom of God in mind.
Imagine it this way. Imagine that after this service, I showed you a will that my uncle left – he was a multimillionaire and he just died and showed you where he left all his money to you – all 25 million dollars. He didn’t leave it to me – his nephew – he left it to you – my former friend. You used to go to church here.

Now all you have to do is go to the bank tomorrow morning, sign the papers and deposit that 25 million dollars into your personal bank account.

Now tell me. How would you feel about your car on the way home? Would you pull up at a red light and be embarrassed that it’s so old? What about the interest rate on your home?

Would you worry about that? What about the stock market forecasts on the evening news tonight? Would you be worried about the meeting your boss has asked for tomorrow afternoon . . . would you lose any sleep over any of that?

No . . . why not? Because you are even now a multimillionaire, even though you don’t have one nickel of that money in your account.

But it is effectively already yours.

Jesus says, “You’re going to be given the kingdom – you are a king and queen in the coming spectacular reign of Christ on earth.

Between now and then, how are you going to live? You don’t have the crown or the robe or the throne – but it’s already yours. So keep that in mind live for that . . . pursue that . . . seek first that kingdom . . . keep your future in mind.

Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa) ©WikiC Feeding Young

2. Make sure God and His kingdom stays first!

Matthew’s account adds another phrase to Luke’s account that provides the second solution.

Matthew records in 6:34; So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Can you believe Jesus said that? Don’t worry about tomorrow – it has enough trouble just waiting for you.

Is He being pessimistic?

No . . . He’s also handing out another pearl of wisdom.

Here it is . . . not only should we make sure we put God first; secondly, we should make sure tomorrow stays put!

I’m not sure about the grammar, but you get my point. Make sure tomorrow stays put.

Now, Jesus isn’t saying don’t plan for tomorrow; He’s saying, don’t pull tomorrow’s problems and challenges into today.

God gives grace for today – and He doles out His grace one day at a time; which means Satan will try to crush our spiritual shoulders by trying to make us carry tomorrow’s burdens with only today’s grace.

So, overcoming worry means you develop the art of living one day at a time.xiii

Hudson Taylor often said, “When you are walking with God [today], the responsibilities [of tomorrow] rest with Him.xiv

In the meantime, make sure you put God first;
make sure tomorrow stays put.

European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) by Robert Scanlon

European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) by Robert Scanlon

The truth is, and the convicting challenge in these final questions we’ve explored, is that you are better than the birds – now live like it . . . live up to your value as you trust your sovereign Lord – who cares about every detail of your life now – and He’s even preparing a kingdom with you in mind.

Martin Luther, that reformer centuries ago once described his favorite preacher. He wrote, I have one preacher I love better than any other; it is my little tame robin who preaches to me daily. I put his crumbs upon my window sill, especially at night. He hops onto the sill when he wants his supply, and takes as much as he desires to satisfy his need. From thence he always hops to a little tree close by, and lifts up his voice to God, and sings his carol of praise and gratitude, then tucks his little head under his wings, and goes fast to sleep, leaving tomorrow to look after itself.xv

That’s quite a preacher . . . quite a sermon to begin living up to – let’s live up to it, today.

This manuscript is from a sermon preached on 4/28/2013 by Stephen Davey.
© Copyright 2013 Stephen Davey All rights reserved.

(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
vii MacArthur, p. 140
viii William Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew: Volume 1 (Westminster, 1975), p. 257
ix R. Kent Hughes, Luke: Volume 2 (Crossway, 1998), p. 54
x MacArthur, Matthew, p. 421
xi Grant R. Osborne, Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament: Luke (Zondervan, 2010), p. 252
xii Robert J. Morgan, Stories, Illustrations and Quotes (Thomas Nelson, 2000), p. 804
xiii Barclay, Matthew, p. 258
xiv Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor, Hudson Taylor: Volume 2 (OMF International, 1996), p. 31
xv Morgan, p. 804


Lee’s Addition:

What a great series of messages from Pastor Stephen Davey. Wisdom For The Heart

We heard this originally on our local Bible Broadcasting Network station. It is now on the internet at:

BBN (Bible Broadcasting Network),

See:

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: