Strutting Like A Peacock?

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3 NKJV)

I just published Proud As A Peacock? on the Birds of the Bible for Kids blog and thought I’d share it here also.

In a recent post, Rabbit Chasing Sandhill Crane, I mentioned that Dan and I have been re-reading “Things I Have Learned” by Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. Today, I’d like to tell another short excerpt about the singing of a Mockingbird and the strutting of a Peacock.

The lesson has to do with having a “big head.” The Lord has given every Christian certain abilities or “talents.” How we use them and how we may feel about those gifts. Some believe that those talents were their own and lean toward becoming an “egomaniac”

“The Bible recognized that. God tells you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think. You are not so tremendously important.” School might grieve for a few days if you died, but.. “…I have seen many a man die whom nobody knew how to get along without, and yet somehow or other things went right on. The world kept moving.”

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) By Dan'sPix

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) By Dan

“Young people, I meet many people along life’s way who are failures because they overemphasize their own importance. That is the temptation of talented people. The fact that you have talents does not mean you are brilliant. Some people with much talent have little reasoning ability. Some people have special gifts for which they deserve no credit whatever. The just have gifts.”

Patagonian Mockingbird (Mimus patagonicus) ©WikiC

“What credit does a mockingbird deserve for singing? He is just made that way. When a mockingbird sings, he is not strutting his stuff.”

“A peacock struts. He has tail feathers, but he didn’t make them. God Almighty bent over heaven and stuck all those feathers in his tail. I know some people who can sing and play and act. That is about all they can do; yet they get to thinking they are wonderful.”

Peacock at Magnolia Plantation by Dan

“What have you on this earth you didn’t get from somebody else? What are you stuck up about? Do you know the cure for the big head is? It is to sit down and realize two things: first, anything you have, you got from God; and you are custodian of that gift –a trustee. Then think of somebody else in the world who has something you don’t have.”

Quotes from, Things I Have Learned, Chapel Talks by Bob Jones Sr  , 1992

Things I Have Learned

 

Rabbit Chasing Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Cranes in side yard – The Guard Sandhill watching

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” (2 Timothy 4:7 KJV)

Dan and I have been re-reading “Things I Have Learned” by Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. One of his messages was about “Rabbit Chasers.” It has to do with a “Possum” dog getting sidetracked by a Rabbit. [More about that later.]

The day after reading that part, I was looking out our kitchen window and spotted the four Sandhill Cranes in our side yard. They come by frequently. It is a mom, dad, and two juveniles.

About that time a rabbit appeared close to the house next door. [He was in our front yard on Easter Morning when we back out on the way to church. Yeah! The Easter Bunny!, I told Dan.] The rabbit was minding his own business when the “guard” Sandhill took out after him. Now, I call that Sandhill a “rabbit chaser.”

Sandhill Crane with Wings Spread – Threatening ©Maria Michell Pixabay

This is not the first time we have watched a Sandhill take-off after an animal. Years, ago, we were watching several Sandhill Cranes walking through the travel-trailer park where we were staying. A small kitten, thought he would “take on” one of these tall birds. The Sandhill opened up his wings, making him look “really big” and took two steps toward the small cat. Haven’t seen a cat run that fast in a long time. :)

Back to the book and the “Rabbit Chasers.” To shorten the message, it was about what a good “Possum” dog does, compared to a “Rabbit Chaser.” A good dog will go over hill and dale, through water, etc. and never gets off of the trail until he either trees his opossum, or he loses it. On the other hand, a dog that starts on the scent of his prey, comes across the trail of a rabbit, and changes course to follow the rabbit, is a “Rabbit Chaser.”

This Dog Adopted His Opossum. Back to the drawing board.

Dr. Bob takes that story and tells the students in chapel, to finish what they started. [“Finish The Job” was another of his saying.] The student starts college and then they meet a girl or boy, they start wavering about finishing. There are other things to get us off-track also. [Sound familiar] He mentions other things, but basically, he was challenging the students to stay on course and finish what they started. A very good lesson for all of us. I had hoped to find an online version to share a link to, but it doesn’t seem to be available. The book is still available. Things I Have Learned at the school.

“The Son of God came all the way from heaven to this earth. I am speaking reverently. He got on the trail of His Father’s will. Everything tried to stop Him, but He stayed on the trail.” … “One day He hung on the cross in agony and blood. After awhile He cried, ‘It is finished.’ He stayed on the trail. He never got off. He said, ‘I came to do My Father’s will, and now it is done.’ He died for us. And my Bible says, ‘He shall see the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied.’ ..”You will never be happy off the trail.” [From Things I Have Learned, p106.]

There is much more I would love to share about that message, but, I’ll leave you to read the book if you would like.

“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:24 KJV)

Here are some of his many sayings that Dr Bob Jones Sr. shared with students [of which we both were at one time].

  • “It is a sin to do less than your best.”
  • “The door to the room of success swings on the hinges of opposition.”
  • “It is no disgrace to fail; it is a disgrace to do less than your best to keep from failing.”
  • “God will not do for you what He has given you strength to do for yourself.”
  • “Don’t sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate.”

Wholesome Words – Chapel Sayings

Wholesome Words

Sharing The Gospel

 

Eagle Away From Home

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) Brevard Zoo by Lee

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) Brevard Zoo by Lee

While having devotions this morning, we read this from Comments on Here and Hereafter, by Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. (After our regular devotional we read from different books.)

“A story is told of an eagle that had its wing clipped. He was put in the barnyard with the fowls. The eagle used to walk out in the light and turn one eye to the mountain and the other eye to the sun, and he said in his eagle language, ‘This is not my home. I don’t belong here. God made me for the jagged peaks of the mountain top.’ The eagle tried to lift himself with the clipped wing, but he could not fly. Day after day while the wing was growing back to normal he looked at the mountain and he looked at the sun and said in his own eagle language, ‘I am going home some day.’ One day the eagle’s wing was strong. He tried his wings and found he could lift himself. He said, ‘Good-by, I am going home. God didn’t make me for this place. He made me for a mountain top.’ God didn’t make man for the dread sordidness of the commonplace and the monotony of every-day life. The soul of man has wings. But sin has made these wings helpless. Christ can restore us and make strong these wings of the soul so man can fly high enough to have fellowship with the infinite God.”

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. (John 3:16-17 KJV)

See also:

Wordless Birds

Birds of the Bible – Eagles III

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Comments – God’s Records

Tree rings from Wikipedia

Tree rings from Wikipedia

“If God can write with the finger of nature the record of the years in trees which He planted, if He can record in the trees the story of the years when there was a drought and make a record of the years when He sent rain on the just and the unjust, it seems reasonable to suppose that He can and will keep a record of the deeds of man whom He created in His own image. Trees may live for millenniums, but eventually they all die and decay. Man will live forever. He does not stay on this earth for long, but he lives somewhere forever and ever.

Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis) Reinier Munguia

Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis) Reinier Munguia

There is a God. He never forgets to keep His records. A bird does not die without His knowledge. ‘He marks the sparrow’s fall.’ The very hairs of our heads are numbered. He hears the cry of every baby. His ears catch the sigh that comes from every broken heart. His recording machine makes an eternal record of every thought. God sees. He knows. Woe be unto the sinner who falls into the hands of an angry God! It is wonderful to be saved. God, infinite as He is, cannot see our sins through the blood of His Son. He sees every Christian as if the Christian never sinned. He has taken us up in His Son. He sees us in Christ. We have all sinned, but if we are save He remembers our sins against us no more forever. As these line have been written there has been a whispered prayer in my heart for all who may read this article.. May you so trust Christ and so write your life record that you will be able to meet God unafraid. Remember, if you are a sinner, Christ bore your sin in His body on a tree. Trust Him. If you are a Christian, Christ is your advocate. He is the attorney who pleads your case. Thank God for such a wonderful lawyer!”

The above article is taken from Comments on Here and Hereafter (1942) by Dr. Bob Jones, Sr., p 34, 35

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31 KJV)

The Gospel Message