“Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
As I sit in my backyard, enjoying some springtime sunshine while writing this script, my eyes are drawn to a pair of shapes, silhouetted against a bright sky, circling over the Cowlitz River. They look dark from where I am sitting, but I know that if they landed, they would not be so dark, and they would have white heads. They are eagles. A pair of them have been around this area since we moved here about three years ago.
I love the way that eagles seem to fly as if they are not flying. They catch the air currents, and their large outstretched wings enjoy a lift force which is not from their own muscles, but from those air currents. To maintain that height for so long by their own muscle power would be too tiring for such large, flying birds.
The way that these eagles soar is used in the Bible as a beautiful illustration of God’s grace. In Isaiah 40:31 we read:
“They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
One can imagine that getting into the air, and flying high would cause the eagle to lose energy. But then it can rest and renew its strength. The Lord reminds us, through the things that He has created, that we should wait upon Him and rely on His strength.
Prayer: Help us, Father God, to wait for You, and to renew our strength through the grace that You give us. Amen.
Most mornings while we are eating and watching out our back door, we not only see the various birds, but, being in Florida, there are always Anoles around. Many call the green anoles Chameleons, but our brown one are just Anoles. I have been trying to get a good photo of them showing their dewlap, which is a fold of skin. But this video does a better job.
While reading our devotional of Zechariah 8 this morning, the Gecko was mentioned. The anoles and geckos both have this characteristic.
“Geckos have some of the stickiest feet in nature. They can hang their entire body weight off one toe, and climb up nearly any wall, no matter how slick or polished.
Biologists and engineers looking to duplicate the gecko’s abilities in synthetic glues have recently uncovered its secret. It uses million of tiny foot hair ends to adhere to surfaces through weak molecular attractive forces. Each foot hair ends in about a thousand even tinier pads at its tip. These pads are arranged in precise geometric sizes and shapes and determine the level of stickiness. The total adhesive power of an average gecko would support 280 pounds!”
“As sticky as geckos’ feet are, Gods faithfulness is even “stickier.” He never lets us go, and His promises endure forever…..” (From Today in the Word, 2003)
Anole with dewlap showing just outside door – Lee
What does God have in common with an object in the car mirror? Both are closer than they appear.
Spring forward with the Lord so you won’t fall back into sin.
We are each a masterpiece, a piece of the master.
Truths To Consider:
“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
(Proverbs 18:24 KJV)
“Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.” (Psalms 119:90 KJV)
All flesh is not the same flesh; but there is one kind of flesh of men [ανθρωπων], another flesh of beasts [κτηνων], another of fishes [ιχθυων], and another of birds [τηνων]. (1st Corinthians 15:39)
Q: Are today’s birds genealogical ‘cousins’ to reptiles, due to shared (evolutionary) ancestry?
A:No. (Not even close!) However, today’s birds and reptiles do share the same Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who created them (and their ancestors) to share the same earth, with us.
According to the evolutionary sequence of [imagined] events, birds are supposed to have evolved from reptiles.3
If that had occurred in the past, which it did not, it would mean that today’s birds—such as robins and roadrunners—would be distant ‘cousins’ of reptiles—such as cobras and crocodiles.
The Darwinian tale portrays today’s birds as winged dinosaurs who supposedly survived a global ‘extinction event’ that supposedly occurred about 66,000,000 years ago.1,2
Is there any eyewitness report supporting this magical scenario, or even evidence of any such timeframe? No and no.4,5
Although there are myriads of errors in this sensational speculation, only a few of which are mentioned here.
In particular, this pseudoscience scenario requires swallowing at least three invalid and drastic premises:
(1) the assumption that reptiles are not fundamentally different from birds;3 and
(2) the assumption that a secret agent (oxymoronically named “Natural Selection”, as if “its” naturalistic outcomes were intended) can accidently invent—and then successfully secure(i.e., genetically “lock down”)—such traumatic transitional transmogrifications;5 and
(3) the assumption that any such transitions’ biochemical and genetic details, in defiance of entropy’s universal destructiveness, repeatedly escaped thermodynamic reality.5
For starters, just imagine the first-listed problem, i.e., the complicated anatomical and physiological differences between birds and reptiles:
birds have hollow bones; reptiles, except for marrow cavities, have solid bones;
birds use air sacs for non-stop unidirectional (one-way) airflow through their lungs; most reptiles have two-way breathing systems;
birds are endothermic (warm-blooded), actively controlling their body “thermostats”; reptiles are mostly ectothermic (cold-blooded);
birds have muscle-controlled feathers; reptiles have dry skins or scales;
birds have four-chambered hearts; reptiles usually have three-chambered hearts;
most birds have major muscles anchored to their front, attached to a keeled sternum (breastbone), facilitating perching; reptiles’ main muscles anchor to their vertebral column (backbone), attached in arrangements conducive for standing, walking, and running.2
Don’t expect reptiles to accidentally change their genes to produce birds as descendants. As Fiona Smith says:
In other words, you don’t just put feathers on a reptile and then it can fly. There are a multitude of [essential] attributes, all working together, that make a bird fly.2
There is much more proof—to borrow Dr. Frank Sherwin’s observations—that birds have always (and only) been birds, and that reptiles have always (and only) been reptiles.
God created each bird, and each reptile, to be whatever He chose that creature to be–and it’s our privilege to see God’s magnificent creation and to learn about His magnificent majesty in the process (Revelation 4:11)!
1 For centuries evolutionists have proposed the notion that birds somehow evolved from reptiles, imagining “feathered dinosaurs” or dinosaur-like flying reptiles (like pterodactyls) as speculative ‘transitional’ animals. See, accord, R. Will Burnett, Harvey L. Fisher, & Herbert S. Zim, Zoology: An Introduction to the Animal Kingdom (New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1958), pages 5-7, 13-17, 72-75; Herbert S. Zim & Ira N. Gabrielson, Birds: A Guide to the Most Familiar American Birds (New York, NY: Golden Press, 1964), pages 12-13.
2 “Birds are incredible flying (and occasionally non-flying) machines. The Creator has designed these creatures with specialized flight apparatus, an amazing respiratory system, not to mention unbelievable migration and navigation abilities.” Sherwin, Frank J., “A ‘One-Hundred-Million-Year-Old Bird’ Is Still a Bird”, Creation Science Update (posted June 20, 2006). See also James J. S. Johnson, “Wandering Albatross: Wide Wings on the Winds”, Creation Science Update (July 2, 2020), citing Job 39:26-27 as illustrating God’s bioengineering that enables heavy birds to efficiently use wind current for launching their heavier-than-air bodies into the sky.
3 Smith, Fiona. 2015. Evidence for Creation: A Tour through Some East-Australian Zoos (Fremantle, Western Australia: Vivid Publishing), pages 164-165 (quotation), 251. The late Fiona Smith (now in Heaven with her Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ), an Australian professional geoscientist and science educator, graduated ICR’s School of Biblical Apologetics, during 2015 with a Master of Christian Education degree (joint major in Biblical Education & Apologetics).
4 Regarding the need for reliable eyewitnesses, to learn the real truth about unique events of the no-longer-observable past, see James J. S. Johnson, “There’s Nothing Like an Eyewitness”, Acts & Facts, 45(12):20 (December 2016).
5 Regarding the ubiquitous and inescapable destructiveness of biochemical entropy, see James J. S. Johnson, “Infinite Time Won’t Rescue Evolution”, Acts & Facts. 47(6):21 (June 2018). The phrase “natural selectin” is a misleading bait-and-switch term, because the action of “selection” necessarily requires a selector who can think (i.e., utilize information while exercising intelligence), prefer/favor one outcome as more valuable than another (i.e., make value judgments), and make/implement action-oriented decisions (i.e., make volitional choices). Regarding the mystical-animistic role that Darwinian selectionists imagine inanimate “nature” as playing, in order to “favor” or “select” a series of genetic mutations for producing phenotypically survivability-“fit” outcomes, see Randy J. Guliuzza, “Darwin’s Sacred Imposter: The Illusion that Natural Selection Operates on Organisms”, Acts & Facts, 40(9):121-15 (September 2011).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Jim Johnson (“JJSJ”), shown here with a Roger Tory Peterson bird-book (in St. Petersburg, Florida, birdwatching in the backyard of Chaplain Bob & Marcia Webel), was first taught this post’s main facts by Mrs. Thelma Bumgardner, his 2nd grade teacher (a true creation science educator), at Damascus Elementary School in Maryland. During the half-century thereafter Jim has enjoyed learning about birds–and, more importantly, about the Lord Jesus Christ (the Creator or birds and everything else, including us!)–and have acquired some relevant formal education (including college degrees with concentrations on the ecology and zoology of birds)–and a lot of birding adventures (including one that almost cost him his life). Due to the kind patience, WordPress-savvy knowledge/skills and accomplishments, and ever-ready technical expertise of Professor Lee Dusing (who owns, operates, and prolifically posts on Leesbird.com, as she indefatigably role-models what Christian ornithologists should be like), Jim has been able to occasionally post articles, for the past few years, on this Christian birdwatching blog. To God be the glory!
While we were eating breakfast, I was making a list of the birds that were out our back door. You have seen many of the photos, and posts about these Breakfast Blessings. Yet, like Tuesday, we were just eating and watching the antics of our Avian Wonders. There is always a squabble or two going on over something, one standing watch guard, as the rest are eating, seeing a new injury, or a bird that hasn’t stopped or flown by lately. What a delight!
Also, in our reading of Scripture, there is always a passage, or verse that catches your attention. Plus, I have a daily calander this year that has sayings from Church Signs. Humm! What if I tie all three of these into a series for the blog? So, after thinking along that trail, here is the first attempt at writing a new series.
Birdingwatching and Blessings – 6/1/21
We were blessed with having a parade of birds come into view while having our breakfast this morning. A couple of Mourning Doves landed first, and then two Loggerhead Shrikes landed on the feeder hook. First time we have spotted two of them. The Black-Bellied Whistling Duck couple showed up next to check out the ground feeders. They are becoming quite regular visitors. Mornings and in the evening. Three Boat-tailed Grackles landed across the water, and flew over to harrass the Whistling Ducks.
The neighborhood Muscovy ducks waddled and strutted around, while a Green Heron landed by the water. He looked around a minute or two, and then flew off. I walked outside to put some more seed in the feeders, when I heard and saw a Killdeer fly by. Had it not been calling, I would have missed seeing it. As I was walking back in the house, when I turned to close the door, a Tricolored Heron landed by the water. Not bad for a span of about 30 minutes!! [No photos for any of this.]
Here are two to start us off:
Fix another person’s crown without telling the world it was crooked.
Failure and success are on the same road. Success is just further down that road.
Truths To Consider:
God’s Steadfast Love and Compassion
“Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:18-19)
What a great promise!
Stay tuned as this series is developed. Lord’s Blessing on you.
[P.S. It’s dated two days ago because that is when these birds were spotted and the series idea began to grow.]
Over the last few weeks, we have had constant visiting Black-bellied Whistling Ducks in our back yard. After taking many pictures of them and their antics, I realized that they will make another great bird for our Wordless Bird posts.
The Wordless Book Colors are:
Black (or Dark) – Wings and Eyes
Gold – Lore
Red – Beak
White – Wings, Neck and Head
Green – Grass
Sometimes we need visual items to help us remember God’s Truths. He created these beautiful Whistling Ducks, so why not learn from them.
Our hearts areblack or darkwith sin. People like dark of night to do evil deeds many times.
Goldare how the streets of heaven are made.
Christ gave His blood on the cross to pay for our sins.
When we accept the Lord into our hearts, they become clean or white.
We are supposed to grow as a Christian, as the greengrass.
This is a simple version of our Wordless Birds, but the truth is still the same.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
Click Here to Listen Psalm 50:11
“I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.”
Geese are large birds from the family Anatidae. This family – which includes geese, ducks, and swans – is presumed by creation researchers to be a baramin. Therefore, Noah took two anatidae on the Ark rather than two ducks, two geese, etc., and all the species of geese, ducks, and swans have developed since the end of the Flood.
In the Pacific Northwest, flocks of geese flying overhead are huge and noisy. I find them fascinating, particularly as they embark on or return from their migrations.
Canada geese migrate considerable distances. Geese identified by rings have traversed the Atlantic, ending up in Europe, having been ringed in North America.
Generally speaking, when a goose has found a mate, the pair stays together for life. Goslings hatch after about a month, and they are immediately able to walk, swim, and find their own food. It is delightful to see a pair of geese with a line of goslings waddling to the water, and then swimming away.
The ancient Celtic Christians used to use the wild goose as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. In the Bible, the Spirit is described as being “like a dove”, and doves in the Middle East are wild and untamable. However, in the West, doves often appear tame and peaceful. Geese, on the other hand, exhibit the same wildness in properties as the biblical dove. Thus, the use of the Wild Goose as a symbol of the Holy Spirit seems appropriate.
Prayer: We pray, Lord God, that You will guide us by Your Spirit, that in all the things we do, we may please You and glorify Your Name. Amen.
Jesus said, “Look at the birds of the air [Look at and think about them].”
They don’t sow or reap or gather.
Yet God our Father feeds them.
And we are better (closer to God) than they are; we are His children. So, He definitely will care for us.
Also, what good will it do anyway to worry about these things. Will worrying change anything? Will it extend your life?
Let’s look at the birds and all humans, how God provides for them.”……
Stephen has based this post on Matthew 6:25-30. What a great promise for us today. Thanks, Stephen, for another great lesson from the Lord and His Avian Wonders.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”
Our Black-bellied Whistling Ducks have continued to stay with us since showing up March 1st. I originally thought that they flew off that evening to migrate north. Since then, I admit I made a false assumption. The Florida flocks of Whistlers do not basically migrate. What they do in the evening, is take flight to find a place to feed.
Apparently, the Texas Whistling Ducks do some migration, and are showing up in more southern states. About the only migration here in Florida seems to be around the Sarasota area. Why? I haven’t found out yet. So, since the first of March, we have had a constant flock of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks outside our back door and on the retaining pond. Anywhere from 100-300+ daily. It’s like living at a wildlife refuge. I LOVE IT!!!!
My camera is just about worn out taking so many photos and videos. [of course, I’ve thrown many photos away] We have had more laughs watching the “turf wars” between the different groups within the group. According to All About Birds – Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, this is common:
Duck Fight – Here We Come
“Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks have long legs and spend more time than other ducks walking on land or perching in trees. You may see them perched on fences, telephone lines, or in Spanish moss. They are gregarious year-round, forming flocks of up to 1,000 birds. They form lifelong pair bonds and breed in their first year of life. Males spar by chasing or nipping at each other, or with a threat display that involves stretching their neck forward and opening their bill.”
Duck Fight – On The Attack
Here are some of the videos of them and their “Turf Wars.” I tried to stay silent while filming, but it was too interesting. I kept chuckling.
The first video was started to record that injured Whistler when the war broke out. That duck will be written about later.
A few days later, they were still having their “Turf” discussions:
Hope you enjoyed this birdwatching adventure. Apparently, they seem to be sticking around our neighborhood. Who know what will happen next?
“Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?” (James 4:1 NKJV)
“But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet.” (Mark 13:7 NKJV)
Virginia Partridge (under attack by diving hawk) (Public Domain)
“The fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all the creeping things that creep on the earth, and all the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at My presence; the mountains also will be thrown down, the steep pathways will collapse and every wall will fall to the ground.” (Ezekiel 38:20 NASB)
I had never noticed this verse before about birds shaking, along with all the rest of Creation. While in our reading of Ezekiel, we came across this verse the other morning. My “Blog Idea” bell went off, and have been wondering if birds shake much during their life normally. This verse refers to a very serious situation in the future, and refers to the Lord’s presence.
Birds shake their tails and feathers after bathing, displaying, or as aggression. Yet, do they shake out of fear? Let’s see what we can find out:
Fear and tension: Frightened birds exhibit several behaviors that demonstrate their fear. Quick flight and escape is the most common reaction to fear and is the same fight-or-flight response humans use. Other fear indicators include freezing in place, crouching, increased respiration rate, widened eyes, and alarm or distress calls. These are all similar fear indicators to humans freezing in fear, a racing heart, and screams of terror. Parent birds may also show fear for their offspring by using different distraction displays or other tactics in an attempt to lure predators away from vulnerable chicks.
Birds have had to face fear and dread every since they left the ark after the flood.
“And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand.” (Genesis 9:2 NKJV)
“Adam and Eve originally were given dominion over all the animal creation (Genesis 1:26), but sin came in and then, after the Flood, God placed the fear and dread of man “upon all that moveth upon the earth” (Genesis 9:2), and the primeval fellowship between man and his animal friends was broken. [Days of Praise – To The Animals]
Yet, this fear mentioned in Ezekiel will not only be for birds, it is for all of Creation and mankind. This is what I would describe as TERROR! That puts the shakes in all of creation.
38:20 shake at my presence. The entire world and all its creatures will be affected by this convulsion of nature, the greatest since the global deluge of Noah’s day. Yet this will only be a precursor of the still greater global earthquakes described during the coming tribulation period (Revelation 6:12-14; 16:18-20). (From New Defender’s Bible Study Notes)
Thankfully, there is Good News for people to avoid this coming tribulation. Most of these articles clearly show how to assure you will not be on earth when this occurs.
“Birds’ lives are so filled with danger that they’re on alert at all times, just to stay alive. Luckily, they have several tactics to avoid becoming the next meal for a cat or hawk. One, of course, is to fly away, a good choice, but not always possible. Another is to call in a troop of other birds to set up such a clamor that the predator is driven from the neighborhood. But in cases where the threat is too close and too dangerous, birds freeze in hiding while making soft, high-pitched sounds that serve as a warning to other birds.” [Bird Warning Calls Work Across Species]
“Birds give a lot of “false alarms” or brief low-level alarms. With practice you will become sensitive to the higher intensity of real alarm calls, and when these calls are sustained for several minutes, and directed at one spot, you can be fairly certain a predator is there.” [Sibley Guides – Understanding Alarm Calls of Birds]
Here Sibley was using the alarm to help find the bird who was giving the warning.
We have been reading through Ezekiel in our devotions, and came across the often preached passage in Chapter 33. This was written to warn Israel, but it applies to us also. We all know people who need to be warned. As you read through this passage, you will see why I thought of the alarms from our Avian Wonders from the Lord.
Ezekiel 33:1-9 NASB
(1) And the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
(2) “Son of man, speak to the sons of your people and say to them, ‘If I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman,
(3) and he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows on the trumpet and warns the people,
Barking Boobook (Ninox connivens) by Ian
(4) then he who hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head.
(5) ‘He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have delivered his life.
(6) ‘But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.’
(7) “Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me.
(8) “When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand.
(9) “But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life.
I trust we are all doing our part to warn the lost of their need of the Savior, Jesus Christ.