Hidden in Plain Sight

My testimony, told through an American Bittern, of finding a Creator and Savior that was there all along…

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:4

The American Bittern, a master of camouflage; Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia. March 13, 2019. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

My daughter and I were only ten minutes into a four-day canoe trip through the Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp and already we had missed something. As a tourist-laden pontoon boat passed by, the naturalist on board pointed out an American Bittern camouflaged in the marsh grasses. We had paddled right past it, hidden in plain sight!

But we can’t be blamed. A prominent ornithology website says, “You’ll need sharp eyes to catch sight of an American Bittern. This streaky, brown and buff heron can materialize among the reeds, and disappear as quickly, especially when striking a concealment pose with neck stretched and bill pointed skyward.” With his bill pointed upward, our bittern blended in perfectly with the tall brown grasses that lined the water’s edge. Again, perfectly hidden in plain sight.

American Bittern; Okefenokee Swamp Georgia. March 13, 2019. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

I began to remember that same “hidden-in-plain-sight” feeling just after surrendering my life to Jesus Christ while in college. As Christ continued to reveal Himself to me in those first days of salvation, I was mesmerized by the fact that the truth of the gospel had been there all along, right in front of my nose, but I never saw it. And over the years, as my love of the outdoors and my study of wildlife continued, the evidence of God’s hand as Creator became more and more obvious: overwhelming evidence of design, the complexity of biology, genetic programming within animals, the beauty found in nature… all things that point to a Designer. And they were all right there all along, hidden in plain sight.

But why don’t we see them? Two reasons: In part, we are blinded by an outside force. The Bible states that, “the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4). And we are also blinded by our own internal biases against the Bible that cause us not to see the evidence of God in creation. When speaking of the past creation and future destruction of this world, Peter wrote, “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water.” (2 Peter 3:5).

Even though my daughter and I paddled right by that Bittern and didn’t recognize his presence, he was still there. He was just hidden in plain sight and merely needed to be pointed out to us. For twenty years, I paddled right through life not noticing Christ. But when someone pointed Him out on December 1, 1993, I realized He was there all along, hidden in plain sight and the overwhelming evidence became more and more obvious.


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.

From The Deepest Wilderness, To The Most Crowded Cities

From the deepest wilderness, to the most crowded cities

The great thing about enjoying birds is that you can experience that joy just about anywhere you go! Even if we’re shut indoors at a meeting or conference, we can simply pick the seat next to the window and find our avian friends.

In his chapter in the book Good Birders Still Don’t Wear White, author and birder Noah Strycker wrote, “The beauty of birds is that they are everywhere, from the deepest wilderness to the most crowded inner cities.”

I usually find the Hermit Thrush in one of the more deeply wooded areas of my regular birding routes. Walton County, GA. November 2018 by William Wise.

And the great thing about being a Christian is that we can engage with our Creator anywhere we are! Whether we are admiring His handiwork on a nature hike, lifting up His name in organized worship, or slipping into a closet during a stressful day at work to call upon His name, our God is ever-present.

In the book of Psalms, David wrote, “If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.” Psalm 139:8-10

Mourning Dove on roof top, Athens, Georgia USA

Just like the birds, “from the deepest wilderness, to the most crowded cities”, our God is there!

William Wise Photo Nature Notes is a wildlife, birding and nature photography blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s 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


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. I am also a guest author at Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures and The Creation Club. — “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.

Avian and Attributes – Torrent

Torrent Duck (Merganetta armata) by Robert Scanlon

Torrent Duck (Merganetta armata) by Robert Scanlon

Who has prepared a channel for the torrents of rain, or a path for the thunderbolt, To cause it to rain on the uninhabited land [and] on the desert where no man lives, To satisfy the waste and desolate ground and to cause the tender grass to spring forth?” (Job 38:25-27 AMP)

Torrent Flyrobin (Monachella muelleriana) ©WikiC

Torrent

TOR’RENT, n. [L. torrens. This is the participle of torreo, to parch; Eng. tear.]
1. A violent rushing stream of water or other fluid; a stream suddenly raised and running rapidly, as down a precipice; as a torrent of lava.
2. A violent or rapid stream; a strong current; as a torrent of vices and follies; a torrent of corruption.
Erasmus, that great injur’d name,
Stemm’d the wild torrent of a barb’rous age.
TOR’RENT, a. Rolling or rushing in a rapid stream; as waves of torrent fire.

Torrent Tyrannulet (Serpophaga cinerea) ©WikiC

Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? “Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. “But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.” (Luke 6:46-49 NASB)

And one more Torrent bird:

Torrent-lark (Grallina bruijnii) ©Drawing WikiC

Due to a very busy time right now, this is short, but our Creator of these Torrent birds Always has time for us. The Lord is the one who created the “channel for the torrents”, and He is the same Creator and Lord who offers us salvation. He wants us to build on the Foundation that He provides. Lord’s Blessings.

Wordless Birds

 

Tickle Me Tuesday – Hummingbirds

Allen's Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin) ©WikiC

Allen’s Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin) ©WikiC

The first video is of the various places that Hummingbirds place their nest:

“Where the birds make their nests:…” (Psalms 104:17a KJV)

Here is another video that shows a mother tending to two youngsters. More enjoyable than funny. Just thought I would share it also.

Hummingbirds are favorites of mine. Unfortunately, I have not been able to get to visit our yard here, let alone make a nest.

“And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20 KJV)

See other Tickle Me Tuesdays

Tickle Me Tuesday Revived – Laughing Kookaburras

2015’s Tickle Me Tuesday’s

Sharing The Gospel

Clark’s Nuthatch’s Memory – Creation Moments

Job 38:41

“Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat.”

 The 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.

Clark's Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana) by Ian

Clark’s Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana) by Ian

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.

Ref: Science News, 2/14: 2004, pp. 103-105, Susan Milius, “Where’d I Put That?” Photo: Clark’s nutcracker PD

Copyright © 2019 Creation Moments, Inc. PO Box 839, Foley, MN 56329 800-422-4253  www.creationmoments.com


What an interesting memory. How is your memory doing? Is it as good as these Nutcrackers?

See More From:

Interesting Things

Feathers – From Creation Moments

Genesis 1:20

“And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.”

The Encyclopaedia Britannica describes feathers as “the component structure of the outer covering and flight surfaces of all modern birds”, and goes on to say: “Unique to birds, feathers apparently evolved from the scales of birds’ reptilian ancestors”.

Yet, Wikipedia does not believe feathers are unique to birds because they state in many articles that most, if not all, dinosaurs also had feathers, stating dogmatically: “Several non-avian dinosaurs had feathers on their limbs that would not have functioned for flight”. Even the Britannica article goes on to show a picture of a feathered dinosaur.

Perhaps it is easier for evolutionists to believe that dinosaurs evolved into birds if dinosaurs also had feathers. But this merely moves, rather than solves, the problem that evolutionists have in trying to establish how feathers evolved in the first place. Britannica and Wikipedia both suggest that feathers evolved from reptilian scales; yet, Wikipedia reminds us that feathers “are considered the most complex integumentary structures found in vertebrates”.

The barbs on feathers have to fit exactly into the barbules – which would be a remarkable coincidence for a chance random process. Moreover, scales, being simple structures, would have to divide over generations, in many various ways, to produce feathers. The minimum estimate is for eight evolutionary steps, none of which have been found in real life. The point must be understood – it is not that feathers are too complicated to evolve, but rather that the complexity of alleged intermediate forms is impossible to replicate without design.

Prayer: Thank You for the marvelous design we see in structures such as feathers. It is as if they bear Your signature, Lord, and point towards Your creativity of design. Amen.

Ref: Encyclopaedia Britannica, accessed 6/30/2018. Image: Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA 3.0.

Creation Moments ©2019 Used with permission


Lee’s Addition:

Feathers from Britannica

Feathers really are a work of art from The Creator!

Malayan Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron malacense) Feathers ©WikiC

Malayan Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron malacense) Feathers ©WikiC

Peacock Feather

Peacock Feather

Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) Feathers - Brevard Zoo

Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) Feathers – Brevard Zoo by Lee

“Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich?” (Job 39:13 KJV)

“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” (Psalms 91:4 KJV)