Psalm 91 “Shadow of the Almighty” – Pastor Totman

Under His Wings - (Dove - photographer unknown)

Under His Wings – by Ric Seet

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” (Psalms 91:1-2 KJV)

We had a fantastic message yesterday from our Pastor, Dave Totman. It was based on Psalm 91, “Shadow of the Almighty.”

Needless to say, there were many references to our Creator’s Avian Wonders. Just thought you would enjoy watching this.

Praise the Lord for His watch care and protection of us!

Gathering Her Chicks Under Her Wings

“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;” (Psalms 91:4-5 KJV)

Here is a Killdeer protecting her eggs from a farm tractor. Almost hard to watch. [But it turns out okay!]

Good News

Reviewing Avian and Attributes

American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana) by Jim Fenton

American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana) by Jim Fenton

August 14, 2017 the Avian and Attributes series was started. The first of the series was Avian and Attributes – Almighty.

I stated that, “A good friend of mine, Rhonda Sawtelle, (Create a Positive Day), has been posting every day on her Facebook a different attribute of our Lord God. She has been going through them alphabetically. What if each day, we had a different attribute and a bird that starts with that same letter. My challenge is to try to at least get through the alphabet at least once. Maybe several rounds. Stay tuned!” [By the way, she still has her blog.] I did manage to come up with at least an attribute and a bird for each letter of the alphabet, though I pushed it a few times, like with “X”.

If you would like to review them, or see them for the first time, see below. You can also find this list in the left menu as Avian and Attributes.

Avian and Attributes Articles:

A:

Admirable – Admirable Hummingbird

Almighty – American Avocet

Always There (Omnipresent) – American Bittern

Ancient (of Days) – Ancient Murrelet

Apostle’s Teacher – Apostlebird

B:

Beautiful – Beautiful Firetail

Bishop – Bishop Oo

Blood – Blood Partridge

Bountiful/Bountifully – Bounty Shag

Bush (Hosted God) – Bush Blackcap

Busy – Buzzing Flowerpiercer

C:

Captain – Celestial Monarch

Cheer – Cheer Pheasant

Clay (Potter) – Clay-colored Sparrow and Thrush

Cloud – Cloud Cisticola , Cloud-forest Pygmy Owl and C-F Screech Owl

Cook – Cook Reed Warbler, Cook’s Swift and Petrel

Creator – Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo

Creator – Creator of the Garden

Crowned I – First Four “Crowned” Birds – 1

Crowned II – Last Four “Crowned” Birds – 2

D:

David’s – David’s Fulvetta

Deliverer – Dove

Diadem – Diademed Tanager

Diademed – Diademed Amazon, Sandpiper-Plover, and Tapaculo

Diamond – Diamond Dove and Diamond Firetail 

E:

Ear(ed) – Eared Birds

Elegant – 13 Elegant Birds

Emerald – Emerald Birds

Ensign – Emperor Bird-of-Paradise

Everlasting – Bald Eagle

F:

Faithful – Peregrine Falcon

Fearful – Fearful Owl

Fire – Fire Birds

Flame – Flame Birds

Fortress – Flame Robin

Friend/Friendly – Friendly Bush Warbler and Friendly Fantail

G:

Garden [Creator of The Garden] – Garden Emerald and Garden Warbler

Glistening – Glistening-green Tanager

Glittering – Glittering Birds

Glowing – Glowing Puffleg

Gracious – Graceful Honeyeater

Glorious – Ruffed Grouse

H:

Helper – Hamerkop

Hill – Hill Birds

Holy – Lewin’s Honeyeater

Horn(ed) – Horn Birds

House – House Birds

I:

Immutable – Marshall’s Iora

Imperial – Imperial Birds

Invisible – Invisible Rail

J:

Judge – Joyful Greenbul

Justifier – Rufous-tailed Jacamar

K:

Kind – Kaempfer’s Woodpecker

King – Grey Kingbird

L:

Light – Light-mantled Albatross

Lord – Lord Derby and Lord Howe Birds

Love – Fischer’s Lovebird

M:

Majestic – Magnificent Frigatebird

Mercy – Chestnut-breasted Malkoha

Magnificent – Magnificent Birds

Mocking – Mocking Cliff Chat

Morning – Morningbird

Mount – Mount Birds

Mountain – Mountain Birds

Mute – Mute Swan

Myrtle – Myrtle Warbler

N:

Naked – Naked-faced Barbet and Spiderhunter

Name Above All Names – Common Nightingale

Nazarene – Nazca Booby

Night – Night Parrot

Noble – Noble Snipe

O:

Omnipotent – Great Horned Owl

Omnipresence – Orange-bellied Leafbird

P:

Palm – Palm Birds

Paradise – Paradise Birds

Peace – Peaceful Dove

Pearl – Pearl Kite

Pilot – Pilotbird

Providence – Parrot-billed Sparrow

Purple -Purple Birds

Q:

Quickens – Resplendent Quetzal

Quiets Our Fears – Queen Carola’s Parotia

R:

Rainbow –  Rainbow Birds

Redeemer – Brazilian Ruby

Reed – Reed Cormorant and Parrotbill

Reunion – Reunion Birds

Ring – Ring Ouzel

River – River Birds

Rock – Rock Dove

Royal – Royal Birds

Ruby/Rubies – “Ruby-” Birds

S:

Sacred – Sacred Kingfisher

Sad – Sad Flycatcher

Sand – Sand Birds

Sapphire – Sapphire Birds

Scale – Scale- Birds

Scarlet – Scarlet Birds

Scarlet – Scarlet-plus Birds

Screaming – Cowbird and Piha

Seaside – Seaside Sparrow

Shade – Shade Bush Warbler

Sharp – Part I

Sharp – Part II

Shepherd – Mute Swan

Song – Song Sparrow

Star – Star Birds

Step – Steppe Eagle

Stephen – Stephen’s Lorikeet

Stitch – Stitchbird

Stone – Stone Partridge

Stripes – Striped-backed Birds

Strong – Strong-billed Birds

Sun – Sun Birds

Superb – Superb Birds

Sword – Sword-billed Hummingbird

T:

Tears – Teardrop White Eye

Three (in One) – Three-banded Courser

Torrent – Torrent Birds

Truth – White-winged Triller

U:

Undefiled – Umbrellabird

Unreproveable – Unspotted Saw-whet Owl

V:

Variableness (No) – Variable Sunbird

Vine – Vireos

W:

Way – White-eyes

Willing – Willet

X:

X-Excellence – Xingu Scale-backed Antbird

X-Exalted – Xenops

Y:

Yahweh – Yellowthroat

Yoke – Yellow-crowned Bishop

Z:

Zeal – Zenaida Dove

Zoologist – Zone-Tailed Hawk

Paintbrush Birds – Painted Bunting

Painted Bunting Subspecies (Passerina ciris ciris) ©WikiC

Every since my first encounter with a Painted Bunting, they have been one of top favorites. [notice I have lots of favorites :)] When we lived in south Florida, I turned to look out my window and saw one of the Avian Wonders on my feeder hanging under the awning. Wow!!! I am sure my eyes were about ready to pop out!! What a beauty! This definitely qualifies for a Paintbrush Bird. In fact, it looks like the Creator had several bushes with a dab of color on each and painted these gorgeous birds.

Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) ©Flickr Ralph Arvesen

The male painted bunting is often described as the most beautiful bird in North America and as such has been nicknamed nonpareil, or “without equal”. Its colors, dark blue head, green back, red rump, and underparts, make it extremely easy to identify, but it can still be difficult to spot since it often skulks in foliage even when it is singing. The plumage of female and juvenile painted buntings is green and yellow-green, serving as camouflage. Once seen, the adult female is still distinctive, since it is a brighter, truer green than other similar songbirds.

Painted Bunting – Female ©WikiC Dan_Pancamo

The juveniles have two inserted molts in their first autumn, each yielding plumage like an adult female. 

The painted bunting occupies typical habitat for a member of its family. It is found in thickets, woodland edges with riparian thickets, shrubbery and brushy areas. In the east, the species breeds in maritime hammocks and scrub communities. Today, it is often found along roadsides and in suburban areas, and in gardens with dense, shrubby vegetation. The wintering habitat is typically the shrubby edges along the border of tropical forests or densely vegetated savanna. The breeding range is divided into two geographically separate areas. These include southern Arizona, southern New Mexico, southern and eastern Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, northern Florida, coastal Georgia, the southern coast and inland waterways such as the Santee River of South Carolina and northern Mexico. They winter in South Florida, Cuba, the Bahamas, along both coasts of Mexico and through much of Central America. Occasionally, they may be vagrants further north, including to New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. The bird is also found every few years as far north as New Brunswick, Canada. (Wikipedia, with editing)

Great Verses:

“Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors.” (Genesis 37:3 NKJV)

“The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” (Genesis 9:16 NKJV) [Maybe the Lord gave us a “small reminder” of His rainbow for bright sunny days when our Painted Bunting is flitting about.]

See More Paintbrush Birds:

Other post about the Painted Bunting:

Paintbrush Birds – Wood Ducks

My most favorite duck is the Wood Duck. To me, it seems as if someone took a paintbrush and created such a beautiful Avian Wonder. Of course, that Creator was the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Great Creator. So, the Wood Duck is our first Paintbrush Bird to start off another new Series. Paintbrush Birds

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:1-3 KJV)

This picture that Dan took at Lake Hollingsworth, in Lakeland, Florida, is real. I was right there beside Dan when we took photos. Of course, his turned out the best, and it is not a painting.

Mr and Mrs Wood Duck by Lee

Mr and Mrs Wood Duck by Lee at Lake Hollingsworth

When we watch the birds, I have to just pause in awe at colors and designs of the birds. Everywhere we look, if our eyes are truly open, we can see that these Avian Wonders just didn’t evolve.

“So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” (Genesis 1:21-22 NKJV)

The animals, birds, fish, and even humans are under the curse now, but what might the originally created have looked like? Wow! I WOW! now when I see the beauty that is around us even now. I also see the scars from the fall around also.

Back to this series I’m starting. The desire is to showcase some of these birds that look like they were “hand-painted.” Also, after finding similar post, more information will be given about the bird itself. Trust you enjoy these efforts.

Wood Ducks belong to the Anatidae Family Here is a previous video from the Petersen Birding videos here. It is definitely worth watching. It provides quite a lot of information about this beautifully created Wood Duck.

Here are a few close ups of the Wood Duck. You decide about the “Painter!”

I just realized while viewing Ray’s Wood Duck that I have the five colors I need to make another Wordless Bird. Red, Yellow, Black, White and Green.

Previous Articles about the Wood Duck:

Our Ducky Backyard

“D” is for Ducks, Dabblers and Divers: “D” Birds, Part 1 by JJSJ

While looking for more Wood Duck articles, I found these interesting post along the same ideas as this “new” series, that may not be so “new” :)

 

Birds and Flowers Helping Christians

Robin Eating by Jim Fenton

Robin Eating by Jim Fenton

Stephen Nielsen writes a blog called Prayer A to Z or just Stephen Nielsen. This is an excerpt from his How Birds and Flowers Can Help a Christian article. I am sure you will enjoy reading the whole post:

Birds

Jesus said, “Look at the birds of the air [Look at and think about them].”

  1. They don’t sow or reap or gather.
  2. Yet God our Father feeds them.
  3. And we are better (closer to God) than they are; we are His children. So, He definitely will care for us.
  4. 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.

Matthew 6:25-30

“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?”

Birds Learning About Worms ©BirdsOutsideMyWindow

How Birds and Flowers Can Help a Christian

Prayer A to Z

Stephen Nielsen

Good News

Hair Like Eagles’ Feathers Revisited

Steller’s Sea-eagle at San Diego Zoo 2015 by Lee

Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.” (Daniel 4:33 NASB)

In the Birds of the Bible, we’ve written about this verse before Birds of the Bible – Hair Like Eagles Feathers, but it came up again today. In our devotions this morning, we read chapter 8 of Daniel. Along with the reading from it, we were reading our notes from various Study Bibles.

Crowned Eagle (Stephanoaetus coronatus) ©Wiki

Actually, the original article covers most of this about the king, but we read an interesting fact about his behavior. The fact that Nebuchadnezzar was eating grass like cattle is amazing.

This is from the King James Study Bible for Daniel “4:33. Two important questions arise from this incident: (1) Could it happen to a man? and (2) Could it have happened to Nebuchadnezzar? The answer to both questions is Yes. There is a mental illness known as zoanthropy in which a man thinks and acts like an animal. It is also called boanthropy, more specifically, when a man thinks of himself as an ox. In answer to the second question, this illness is not mentioned in Nebuchadnezzar’s annals, but one would not expect such a humiliating experience to be chronicled. On the other hand, his long reign of 43 years (605–562 b.c.) is more than long enough to include the lengthy sickness.”

Philippine Hawk-Eagle (Nisaetus philippensis) ©Flickr Billy Lopue

I am not sure what his hair looked like, so I have added these interesting eagles with feathers that might give an example of the kings hair.

Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) by Lee at Zoo Miami 2014

Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) by Lee at Zoo Miami 2014

As for what his fingernails might have looked like, here are some bird’s claws:

Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus) Feet by Lee at National Aviary

Cape Eagle-Owl (Bubo capensis) on Right and Spotted Eagle-Owl on Left ©©

Cape Eagle-Owl (Bubo capensis) on Right and Spotted Eagle-Owl on Left ©©

The best part of this Bible story of Nebuchadnezzar, is how this ends. He come to his senses, and looks toward heaven, as we all should:

Daniel 8:34 “But at the end of [ae]that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my [af]reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever;

For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
35 All the inhabitants of the earth are of no account,
But He does according to His will among the army of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And no one can [ag]fend off His hand
Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’

36 At that time my [ah]reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were [ai]restored to me for the honor of my kingdom, and my state counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my [aj]sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt, and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are [ak]true and His ways [al]just; and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.” (Links and scripture from Bible Gateway)

Birds of the Bible – Hair Like Eagles Feathers

Birds of the Bible

Birds of the Bible – Eagles

The Wise Owl

When Birds Shake

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:

How might the birds be acting?

From The Spruce – Bird Emotions

White-bellied Sea Eagle captured a Lesser Whistling Duck ©WikiC

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]

Black Bear

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.

 

What Alarms Are You Sounding?

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) by Ian

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) by Ian

“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]

Black-capped Chickadee

“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.

Unwatchful Dove ©S.Young

(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.

Birds Mobbing Owl and Warning Others To The Danger With Their Calls ©Andrew O’Connor

(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.

[Bolding Mine]

I trust we are all doing our part to warn the lost of their need of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Sharing the Gospel

Noise Pollution

Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out. Colossians 4:6 The Message

Brown Thrasher singing in a tree against a blue sky. March, 2018; Walton County, Georgia. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

Last summer I decided to try my hand at recording bird songs. I downloaded a recommended app and went out into the field. While listening to the wonderful songs of a Brown Thrasher, I just knew I had a great recording. But when I got back inside to listen, I was shocked. Car engines, airplane noise, the air conditioning unit… all of them destroying the talented thrush’s solo. I soon found that the hardest part of getting good bird recordings was finding a quiet place to record them.

Noise pollution! I had never really realized just how much noise there is out there… in nature as well as the world of social interactions! The good and pleasant conversation is drowned out by contempt and complaint.

Ecclesiastes 10:20 Never curse the king, not even in your thoughts, nor the rich man, either; for a little bird may tell them what you’ve said.

Often, there isn’t much you can do to control nose pollution, except to decide that you won’t add to it. You can control your own speech! Am I adding to the noise pollution by complaining, attacking and slandering? Am I civil and encouraging in my speech? How are people left feeling after a conversation with me: uplifted or dragged down into the mud?

How did people feel after an encounter with Jesus?  The disciples on the road to Emmaus related their experience: “They began telling each other how their hearts were warmed as he talked with them and explained the Scriptures during the walk down the road.” Let us strive to produce the same fruit with our words.

Deuteronomy 32:2 NLT “Let my teaching fall on you like rain; let my speech settle like dew. Let my words fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants.”


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Unsung Heroes

“Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth…” Proverbs 27:2

If you’ve walked through an eastern forest or meadow, you’re familiar with the well-known Eastern Phoebe. It flits from perch to perch snatching up moths, flies, and about anything else that zips by. And in self-recognition of its own prowess as a tyrant flycatcher, it shouts out praises to its own name – Fee-beee! Fee-beee! –  while flicking its tail up and down in a proud signal of success.

Eastern Phoebe perched in a garden. Sayornis phoebe is a North American tyrant flycatcher bird. Photographed June 17, 2020 in Walton County, Georgia USA. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

But how about the Phoebe of the Bible? Even the most diligent students may not know her, as she only has one mention within all sixty-six books. In Romans 16:1, the Apostle Paul writes, “I commend unto you Phoebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea…”

Anonymity and obscurity is typical of most unsung heroes of the faith. What is the name of the woman at the well, or the widow that gave the two mites? And what of the missionaries and martyrs throughout the centuries that gave their own lives while not desiring fame or shouting aloud their own name?

Although the Biblical Phoebe wasn’t shouting her own name like the avian Phoebe, she still had great impact. Some believe that Sister Phoebe was entrusted to hand-deliver Paul’s letter to the Romans. This epistle – quite possibly containing the greatest writings on Christian doctrine – had to be safely guarded from loss, theft and moisture on the nearly 800 mile journey from Corinth to Rome. Imagine if she had failed in her task. Would the revelation that salvation is by faith alone, and the resulting Protestant Reformation, have ever taken place? The Biblical Phoebe’s impact on Christianity receives little recognition, as is typical with most Christian servants.

Luke 17:10 “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.”

Yes, her name is recorded in Scripture (which is more than most receive) but even greater is the fact that her name is written in heaven. The unsung Christian heroes of this world – the pastors, missionaries, evangelists, orphanage workers, soup kitchen attendants, nursery workers, and more – all receive this wonderful privilege, even if not recognized in this life. What more could we ask for!

Luke 10:20 “…but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Hide and Seek

Have you ever shouted to God, “COME OUT, COME OUT WHEREVER YOU ARE!”?

Ezekiel 39:29  “Neither will I hide my face any more from them…”

A Brown-headed Nuthatch (Sitta pusilla) appears to play hide-and-seek in a nest cavity. March 31, 2017; Walton County, Georgia. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

Birding can sometimes feel like a game of hide-and-seek. The birds have the “hide” part down pat! They are masters of camouflage and stealth, and seem to know the cleverest places to hide. So the birders must play the “seek” side of the game. We maximize our chances of finding particular bird species by learning where they live – their range and habitat within the range – and going where the birds are!

There are times it seems like God is playing hide-and-seek with us. Our theology says God is omnipresent, but our feelings say He has hidden Himself and is nowhere to be found.  Like Martha and Mary when their brother Lazarus passed away, we blame God for being absent when crisis and need hits — “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” (John 11:21).

But have you thought that maybe God isn’t hiding; and perhaps the problem is with our seeking? Jesus was quite willing to commune with those who desired His company. When two disciples asked, “Where dwellest thou?” Jesus offered the open invitation of come and see (John 1:38). Since the Bible promises us that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6), perhaps our seeking isn’t as diligent as we thought.

God is not hiding. He can be seen in the design, order and complexity of nature around us… especially the birds! And just like searching for a bird in its range and habitat, we maximize our chances by seeking God in the right places. Where does God “hide”? Maybe He is “hidden” in that Bible on your bookshelf? Or perhaps He can be found in that church down the road? One thing is certain: if you are honest and diligent, He will be found!

Deuteronomy 30:11-14 “For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.”


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Wolf

Timber Wolves by Ray

Timber Wolves by Ray

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Wolf

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The wolf is rather larger than our largest dogs, and looks somewhat like them; but he seems more wild, savage and cruel. The wolves go in large companies, making a terrible howling noise; and though they are in general cowardly, yet when they are very hungry they attack large animals, and even men. They almost always go out by night, and the Bible refers to this when it says,

Their horses are more fierce than the evening wolves.

Jacob, just before his death, said of one of his sons,

Benjamin shall raven as a wolf; in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at evening he shall divide the spoil.

Timber Wolf by Ray

Timber Wolf by Ray

There were once a great many wolves in New England and in other parts of the United States, and some are left yet, although many have been killed or driven away. There are still great numbers of them in some countries. In England the month of January used to be called Wolf- monat, or wolf-month; “because,” as an old book says, “people are wont in that moneth to be more in danger to be devoured of wolves than in any season els of the yeare, for that through the extremity of cold and snow those ravenous creatures could not find other beasts sufficient to feed upon.”

A sad story is told of something that happened in Russia a few years since. A woman was one day riding on a sledge with her three children over a lonely road, when suddenly she heard the noise of wolves behind her. She was not very far from home, and tried to urge her horse on, to get out of their reach; but they gained upon her every moment, and were just on the point of rushing on the sledge, when the poor woman, to save the lives of the rest, caught up one of the children and threw it to the wolves. This stopped them but a short time; they devoured it at once and again ran howling after the sledge. The mother threw out a second child, hoping to escape with the other; but in vain. Again the cruel animals were close behind her, and to save her own life, hardly knowing what she did, she threw over her only remaining child. She succeeded in reaching home herself, in safety, but where were her children? She told the terrible story; but while she was endeavoring to excuse herself by telling of her exceeding fright and danger, a man who stood by struck her on the head with an axe and killed her at one blow-saying that a woman who would thus give up her children to save her life, was not fit to live.

The Bible tells us of a time yet to come, when

The wolf shall feed with the lamb.

Perhaps this will be exactly true of the animals in those days, though it now seems so unlikely; but I suppose it means also that wicked and cruel men shall become holy and Christ-like. Then all will be peace on earth, and

none shall hurt or destroy in all” God’s “holy mountain.

___
See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Wolf

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Wolf

(Photos ©WikiC)

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