Sunday Inspiration – A New Day

Trust you will enjoy a different Sunday Inspiration. A friend sent this and I wanted to share it, plus, I have been dealing with my back problem and am awaiting surgery. Thanks for understanding not using birds for a change.

“This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalms 118:23-24 KJV)

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isaiah 40:8 KJV)

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More Sunday Inspirations

The Amazing Butterfly

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Why Kangaroo Rats Don’t Get Dehydrated in the Desert

An interesting article by Dr. Jim, JJSJ. I am reposting it here. The Lord’s amazing Providential Design is beyond our human comprehension of His Love and Care for all critters.

rockdoveblog

Behold, the hindermost of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert. (Jeremiah 50:12b)

DESERT SCRUBLAND near EL PASO, TX photo credit: Pinterest

Kangaroo rats thrive in America’s hot, dry deserts — why don’t they suffer from being dehydrated?  How do they get enough water to survive, since they don’t need to drink water like almost all other mammals?   In short, God has designed and constructed kangaroo rats so that they get their water from their food, especially drought-resistant seeds that abound in the desert.  As they digest such xeric foods, the rats produce (within themselves) all the water that they need, metabolically (i.e., from the normal digestion process), and they retain most of that water by releasing very little of it in their urine (as noted below).

In sum, kangaroo rats are made to get their water form their food and to conserve it…

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Animal Heros Video To Watch – Emotional

Here Is A Video For You To Watch – Emotional

Be prepared to shed a tear. [I did.]

“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:31 KJV)

These animals show such kindness to other animals. May they remind us to show kindness to those around us; to critters and especially our human acquaintances.

“And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” (2 Peter 1:7 KJV)

“For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalms 117:2 KJV)

“Nature of God” Video by Andie’s Isle

Nature of God Intro Page for Video by Andie's Isle

“Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (Exodus 15:11 KJV)

Please Click the Link to View A Very Great Video – http://www.andiesisle.com/thenatureofgod.html

This was sent to me by our Mission’s Pastor Peter Brock.

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Wordless Toucan

Celebrating the Life-Saving Heroism of Alaskan Dog Mushers (and their Sled Dogs) – Repost

What an interesting article that James J. S. Johnson wrote on his blog. I thought you might enjoy it. The video of an actual dog slide ride is really challenging.

rockdoveblog

 Celebrating the Life-Saving Heroism of Alaskan Dog Mushers (and their Sled Dogs)

James J. S. Johnson, JD, ThD, CNHG

sleddogs-alaska-iditarod

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.  Galatians 6:10

Imagine a celebration of Siberian husky sled dogs, harnessed together as a racing team, guided by their human driver (called a “musher”), zooming across frigid snow trails in rural Alaska:  this is what happens in a commemorative festival/event called the IDITAROD TRAIL RACE.  (See the YouTube video footage below.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jI3bliK7R94

The Iditarod is an outdoors reenactment-like celebration of dogsled mushing, to remember the heroic relay race – through day and night, blizzard winds, snow, and ice – to save human lives, during a life-or-death crisis in January-February AD1925, when a highly contagious diphtheria plague struck like a serial killer, menacing the almost-unreachable population of Nome, Alaska.

The crisis…

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WHY BIRDWATCHING IS WORTHWHILE — 3 Lessons from a Box Turtle: Independence, Patience, and Frugality

 WHY BIRDWATCHING IS WORTHWHILE

3 Lessons from a Box Turtle: Independence, Patience, and Frugality

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

boxturtle-cloudy-day-animalhub

Peter seeing him [i.e., the apostle John] saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man [i.e., John] do? Jesus saith unto him [i.e., Peter], If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?   Follow thou Me.   (John 21:21-22)

Peter was quick to check on what others would or should be doing, but the Lord reminded Peter that personal accountability is more important. Yes, our lives are interdependent – however, practicing independence (especially as it applies to individual accountability) is an important life skill.  And that is also true of how box turtles live their humble lives, providing an object lesson to birdwatchers. Plus, turtles provide 2 more lessons for birdwatchers, as we shall see.

Turtle traits and birdwatching? Life lessons?

Recently I was reading an ecology perspective (a few excerpts of which are quoted hereinbelow) about the life of a Box Turtle  –  and it reminded me of 3 reasons why I enjoy birdwatching. [By the way, for a short video on Eastern Box Turtles, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-blYc9GkyFs  .]

Specifically, birding is a worthy investment for economic reasons – and because it encourages recreational independence, and patient resilience. More on those three reasons below.  (Of course, there are other worthy reasons for birdwatching  –  perhaps I will address them some other time.)

easternboxturtle-markswanson

BOX TURTLE LIVING: DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY.

Imagine driving down a country road, where a turtle is slowly crossing – you try to avoid squashing the poor reptile, by swerving to miss it. Being a slow pedestrian, in traffic contexts, is a distinct disadvantage.  However, the turtle’s slowness is more of an advantage, most of the time, because its independent lifestyle is never in a rush to “keep up with the Joneses”.

Instead of allowing the image of a lethargic, indifferent creature to mislead you [as you consider the lifestyle of a rural turtle], envision these pedestrians as animals enviably insulated form [most of ] the vagaries of their setting. In fact, land tortoises seem more divorced form environmental stresses than any other Appalachian vertebrate.

The turtle’s habitat provides our first hint of its independence.  Box turtles live in a variety of terrestrial situations—though permanent water does not seem to be a requirement.  High densities of these reptiles commonly occur in woodlots with large trees, canopy gaps, and a diversified ground cover.  The turtles bask in openings in the canopy and munch on a variety of short plants.  The close ground cover of woody shrubs and leaf litter provide shelter.  To feed and bask, box turtles also frequently enter open areas adjacent to the woods.  . . . .

[Quoting  George Constanz, “Box Turtle’s Independence”, in HOLLOWS, PEEPERS, & HIGHLANDERS:  AN APPALCAHIAN MOUNTAIN ECOLOGY, 2nd ed. (W. Va. Univ. Press, 2004), page 127, emphasis added.]

EasternBoxTurtle.MattReinbold-Wikipedia.jpg

Another one of the box turtle’s built-in advantages is its patient resilience – it can survive a “tough neighborhood”, climatologically speaking.   (Patience, of course, is a benefit for any birder.)

One environmental condition [that] turtles do respond to is a cold snap in autumn. Box turtles enter hibernation with the first killing frost.  A wet fall [i.e., a rainy autumn] without a sudden freeze provides good conditions for entering hibernation.  Dry weather, which makes digging difficult, and a sudden freeze may trap some individuals above ground.  Surprisingly, box turtles do not hibernate below the frost line, but remain dormant at depths of up to five inches below the leaf litter.  . . . .

Members of the genus Terrapene, which includes the eastern box turtle, hibernate in shallow terrestrial burrows that feature a vertical extension to the surface.  In cold spells, turtles turn their heads farthest from the opening.  In Ohio, the average turtle spends 142 days in a burrow under three inches of leaf litter with its plastron [i.e., the ventral (“belly”) surface of the turtle’s shell] recessed two inches into the soil.  In such shallow retreats, box turtles are exposed to freezing temperatures, yet they usually survive.  Able to supercool to only -1.1 C [i.e., just below freezing] this strategy cannot be its entire secret [of winter weather survival]. . . .

In an astounding adaptation [i.e., an amazing design-feature that fits the turtle for filling that habitat], the box turtle is able to survive the freezing of 58 percent of its body water for seventy-three hours, making the box turtle the largest animal known to exhibit freeze-tolerance. . . . .

[Quoting  George Constanz, HOLLOWS, PEEPERS, & HIGHLANDERS:  AN APPALCAHIAN MOUNTAIN ECOLOGY, 2nd ed. (W. Va. Univ. Press, 2004), pages 128-129.]  In other words, turtles wait during “tough times” – and their patience is routinely rewarded.  (Likewise, birdwatchers who are patient and still are more likely to enjoy seeing the birds, especially if binoculars are handy – as opposed to scaring the birds off (by movements that startle them) due to spectator impatience.

easternboxturtle-shenandoahnp-va-wikipedia

A third advantageous trait of the box turtle is its metabolic frugality – turtles are slow to spend their energy, so that means they don’t need to eat a lot to replenish spent energy!

A box turtle’s daily behavior seems to be divorced form the caprice of its immediate environment. The condition of a turtle at any particular time appears more an integration of its past experiences than a reflection of its present stresses [due to three of the turtle’s  anatomical/physiological design-features].  . . . .

Most obviously, a box turtle’s shell takes the edge off environmental extremes by buffering its body from environmental stresses such as heat and drought. During severe drought, the tortoises do not concentrate around creeks—they merely seek moist sites within their home ranges, make a form [i.e., a depressions in surface vegetation, descending into only about one inch of topsoil] under a pile of leaves, and rest peacefully.  Second, their forms and hinged plastrons protect and conceal them from what few predators they do have, such as raccoons.  And third, box turtles have a low metabolism. Coupling that with omnivorous food habits, they enjoy a high supply—low demand economy and do not need to hustle.  They eat insects, earthworms, strawberries, [other] fruits, mushrooms, and many other foods, yet they burn these calories slowly.  In these ways, box turtles enjoy a tremendous hedge against environmental stresses.

[Quoting  George Constanz, HOLLOWS, PEEPERS, & HIGHLANDERS:  AN APPALCAHIAN MOUNTAIN ECOLOGY, 2nd ed. (W. Va. Univ. Press, 2004), page 131, emphasis added.]

In other words, the box turtle is frugal about metabolically “spending” its food energy – if it doesn’t spend a lot it doesn’t need a lot to live on. As the old saying goes, which surely applies to animal metabolism:  “if your output exceeds your input, your upkeep is your downfall”.

So how does this apply to birdwatching?

First, just as turtles are relatively independent, birdwatching is a pastime for those who are independent – there is no need for popular approval for birdwatching. Birdwatching can be done as a group, yet it also can be done individually.  Is birding “popular”?  Forget about “peer pressure” or “fashionableness” – birdwatching is worthwhile whether it is “in season” or “out of season”.  Independent-minded people are often birdwatchers, because birding is a wonderful avocation regardless of whether others do or do not appreciate it.

Second, just as turtles are patient and calm, birdwatching requires patience for best viewing results.

Third, just as turtles are economical in their metabolic “spending” habits, birdwatching is a pastime that is perfect for people of modest means, as well as for people of surplus means who are frugal with their resources. Many “hobbies” are expensive – but not birdwatching!

Although it is certainly possible to spend a lot of money (as a birdwatching), such as by taking a birding vacation to Costa Rica, a lot of birdwatching opportunities can be enjoyed with just a bird-book, binoculars, notepad, and pen.  Having an inexpensive “hobby” provides a very real economic freedomso one need not worry about the cost of birdwatching!  Furthermore, many educational resources, about birds, are available (free of charge) on the Internet, including the God-honoring blogsite LEESBIRD.COM !

So, enjoy your birdwatching opportunities – it’s good for practicing independence (instead of trying to “keep up with the Joneses”), it develops your patience, and it’s economically responsible!

><> JJSJ

PHOTO CREDITS:

Box Turtle on cloudy day: Animal Hub

Eastern Box Turtle near grass: Mark Swanson

Eastern Box Turtle close-up: Matt Reinbold

Eastern Box Turtle in leaves: Wikipedia

5 Eastern Box Turtles video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-blYc9GkyFs

A Curious Cheetah – from an email

A friend sent me this in an email and it is just to good to not pass on.

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A curious Cheetah got up close and personal with a Jeep on safari at the Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya when the animal jumped into the back seat of a jeep. The wild cat, with its razor sharp claws and teeth, sure is one kitty you’d rather not have curling up on your lap. But, nevertheless, the bold animal hopped into the back seat of a jeep as it drove through the African plains – much to the shock of an Irishman inside.

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

After entering the vehicle, it slowly sauntered over to Mickey McCaldin until it was barely a foot away from his face. Family friend David Horsey captured the tense standoff between the pair as it looked like the cheetah was going to make himself comfortable on Mickey’s lap. David, 62 from Mombasa, Kenya, said: ‘I’ve been living in Kenya all my life and I’ve never seen anything like this. ‘The cheetah just wasn’t scared of getting up close and personal. At first Mickey was really relaxed but I think he was quite concerned it might try and sit in his lap.

‘Unlike a domestic cat, you certainly don’t want that.’

Cheetah Joins Safari by David Horsey

Cheetah Joins Safari by David Horsey

At first, the cheetah simply looked at Irish tourist Mickey McCaldin curiously, but then it moved closer as if to curl up on his lap

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

At one point, the large cat was so close to Mickey that it was only about a foot away from his face Family friend David Horsey captured the tense standoff between the pair, including the moment that the animal leapt into the safari jeep making himself comfortable: The cheeky cheetah and his family casually lounged atop the group’s Land Cruiser jeep

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

David captured the pictures on June 12, as the group tracked a well-known family of cheetahs, whose mother is called Malaika. Having followed them for a couple of days previously, they observed that the family hadn’t had a kill for several days. David said: ‘The family had been looking for a gazelle for a few days with no luck. ‘As we’d been around for a couple of days, I think they were used to the jeep so the mom jumped on top to get a better view. ‘I think the other cheetah tried to follow her up but went a different way. ‘Once it had got bored of Mickey it turned away and looked out of the vehicle for a few minutes. ‘It just jumped out afterwards.’

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

Photographer David, 62 from Mombasa, Kenya, said: ‘I’ve been living in Kenya all my life and I’ve never seen anything like this’

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

Cheetah Joins Safari ©David Horsey

Surprise of their lives! The safari group was comprised of a guide, as well as Mickey, his wife, sister, photographer David and David’s wife. Mickey was out on vacation with his wife and sister, who are friends of David and his wife Vicky. David said: ‘Vicky and I have lived in Kenya all our lives but we never feel the urge to leave. ‘People always ask us where we’re going on vacation and it’s always around the game reserves. ‘You never know what you’re going to come across – just like this.’

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Maybe these Cheetahs are practicing for when this verse will be fulfilled in the future.

And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD. (Isaiah 65:24-25 KJV)

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Birds With A Memory To Envy – Re-post

Clark's Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana) ©USFWS

Clark’s Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana) ©USFWS PD

BIRDS WITH A MEMORY TO ENVY from Creation Moments

“Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.” (Job 38:41)

Interesting Things from Smiley CentralThe shy bird called Clark’s nutcracker collects food during the growing season and stores it for the cold winter months. In one year, a bird will store between 22,000 and 33,000 seeds in as many as 2,500 locations, which can be more than ten miles apart. But does the little bird remember where he put all those seeds?

Biologists tracked the activity of Clark’s nutcrackers in the San Francisco Peaks in northern Arizona. A small army of researchers tracked the birds’ seed gathering and storing activities. One of the first things they discovered was that the birds quickly figured out that they were being observed. Some refused to store food when researchers were watching them. Others faked storing seeds when they were watched. Back in the lab, researchers studied the storing activity of Eurasian nutcrackers. After the birds stored seeds in a large sand floor, the birds were removed. Then the seeds they stored were dug up. When the birds were allowed to return, they quickly discovered that their seeds had been stolen, so they refused to store any more seeds. In the end, researchers concluded that the nutcrackers recover as many as two-thirds of their stored seeds within 13 months.

The remarkable memory of these little birds is their gift from God that enables them to be fed all year around.

Prayer:
Father, I thank You because You are gracious and generous, not just to the birds, but also to me. Amen.
Notes:
Science News, 2/14: 2004, pp. 103-105, Susan Milius, “Where’d I Put That?”


Clark's Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana) by Ian

Lee’s Addition:

“Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” (1 Timothy 6:19 KJV)

Even though this was posted before, 6 years ago, it was still very interesting and worth reviewing. Interesting Things – Birds With a Memory to Envy. That is why Creation Moments. “Repetition aides learning,” or so they say. Here are some more articles along this same chain of thought.

The Space sharing seed storing Redpoll…

Birds of the Bible – Woodpecker & Friend’s Storehouse

Nuggets Plus – Ants, Gravity, and Mulberry – by A J Mithra

Oilbird – Mission With A Vision

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Bee

More Interesting Things

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Fossil Inventory: Surprises For Some – Re-post

FOSSIL INVENTORY: SURPRISES FOR SOME by Creation Moments

“And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.” (Genesis 1:24)

Interesting Things from Smiley CentralEveryone will remember those school textbook diagrams showing the ever-upward progression of living organisms, including man. We recall the horse series, found in textbooks and the museum displays showing the evolution of the horse – the first stage as a small mammal and, after several transitions, the modern horse. The claim that fossils in the rock layers show a progression from simple life in the lowest layers to the most complex life at the top accompanies these diagrams.

Horse series diagram promoting evolution from I.C.R.

Horse series diagram promoting evolution from I.C.R.

Recently, the journal Science, reported that paleobiologists who study these fossils reevaluated all the fossil-bearing rocks that have been found in the last 180 years. What was their reaction to the meaning of the fossil record after their new inventory? “We may have been misled for twenty years,” said one scientist. Another commented, “For the first time, a large group of people is saying paleobiology has been making a mistake.” Why are they reacting this way? They have had to conclude, on the basis of the fossil evidence, that there never was an ever-upward progression of complexity of life forms as they had expected. The species that are represented in the fossil record show no evidence of the classic evolutionary development traditionally found in school textbooks.

In short, the fossil record supports the biblical claim that all the kinds of animals appeared about the same time.

Prayer:
I thank You, Lord, for the great diversity and beauty You have created in the living world. Amen.

Notes:
Creation, 9-11: 2001, p. 7, “Fossil re-count limits diversity.” Visual: Horse series diagram promoting evolution. Courtesy of the Institute for Creation Research. (Permission Creation Moments ©2016


Lee’s Addition:
It is good to see that some of the evolution scientist, paleobiologists) are opening their eyes to the true evidence.

More Creation Moments Re-posts

Tsunami and the Animals from Creation Moments

“But now ask the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee;” (Job 12:7)

Almost everyone in the world today knows of the terrible disaster that struck the coasts of South East Asia. The North American news media gave daily body counts, reported human tragedy and inflicted damage … yet, as far as is known, none mentioned the animals.

Elephants in ThailandHowever, Asian reports from the damaged areas comment not only on the ability of trees to withstand the devastating waves but the almost total absence of animal deaths. It appears that the animals, from flamingos to elephants, took off for the hills long before the humans. The Chinese have done extensive investigations on animals and earthquake detection but are at a loss to explain it. Chinese scientists simply conclude that animals have far greater sensitivity than the best of scientific instruments.

Interesting Things from Smiley CentralReuters reported from Thailand that the elephants used in the tourist business at Khao Lak began to “cry” at 9 am, about the time of the quake. Some elephants broke their hefty chains, but they all raced away toward the jungle-clad hills, taking their surprised tourists and guides with them. Some people were even picked up by the elephants using their trunks. They all came to a point on high ground where the waves stopped just short of where they stood. Three thousand, eight hundred people died in that area. God is merciful to those sensitive enough to His warnings.

Prayer:
We thank You, Father, for teaching us by this example of our insensitivity to Your warning signs and Your mercy to the animals. Amen.
Notes:
Reuters. Mark Bendeich, “Jumbos Save Tourists from Tsunami.” January 03, 2005. Photo: Elephants in Thailand. Courtesy of Siebrand. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
©Creation Moments 2016 (used with permission)
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What an absolutely amazing protection the Lord give these animals.
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“Young Blood” by Creation Moments

YOUNG BLOOD by Creation Moments

“His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone.” (Job 41:24)

Interesting Things from Smiley CentralAs dinosaur bones containing blood vessels and blood cells are continually being found, more and more laboratories are assigning dates to these bones in the thousands, not millions, of years. This makes evolutionists just like the patient who goes to his doctor, convinced that he is dead. After failing to convince the patient he is alive, the doctor pricks the man’s finger, causing it to bleed. “See?” the doctor says. You must be alive because dead men don’t bleed.” And the patient replies: “Imagine that! Dead men do bleed after all!”

Blood vessels found in a supposedly 80-million-year-old hadrosaur fossil. Evolutionists know full well that dinosaur bones that are millions of years old should not have blood and blood vessels in them. To defend their position, they usually say the bones were contaminated, throwing off the dating. But North Carolina State University said that their researchers “have confirmed that blood vessel-like structures found in an 80 million-year-old hadrosaur fossil are original to the animal, and not biofilm or other contaminants.”

But like the patient who kept thinking he was dead, the university went on to say that their findings “add to the growing body of evidence that structures like blood vessels and cells can persist over millions of years.”

Photo Blood vessels found in a supposedly 80-million-year-old hadrosaur fossil. Courtesy of North Carolina State University. (Fair Use)

Photo Blood vessels found in a supposedly 80-million-year-old hadrosaur fossil. Courtesy of North Carolina State University. (Fair Use)

Evolutionists just won’t admit that their evolutionary dating of dinosaurs has finally been falsified. After all, that would be like admitting that the Bible is right, and this is something that atheistic evolutionists will never do.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, without You opening the eyes of evolutionists, I know it is impossible for me to get them to believe. Open their eyes to the truths found in Your infallible Word, I pray. Amen.
Notes:
“Researchers Confirm Original Blood Vessels in 80 Million-Year-Old Fossil,” NC State News, 12/1/15.
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More Interesting Things