Enter Into His Gates With Thanksgiving

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving

James J. S. Johnson

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.  Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing.  Know ye that the Lord He is God; it is He Who hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.  Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.  For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations.  (Psalm 100)

Sometimes what you expect to find, is not what you find.  This is true of Grenada’s official bird, if you assume it matches Grenada’s official coat of arms.  This is also true if you imagine that the Thanksgiving holiday, as it is celebrated in Grenada, is like the Thanksgiving holiday as it is celebrated in America.

Fair Use credit: http://tolweb.org/tree/ToLimages/217681451_7e4971beab_o.250a.jpg

Grenada’s official coat of arms includes an Armadillo and a Grenada Dove (Leptotila wells  —  a/k/a Well’s dove or pea dove), positioned above the motto “Ever conscious of God, we aspire, build, and advance as one people.”   The Grenada Dove is endemic to Grenada – i.e., only on the island of Grenada is the Grenada Dove found in the wild, and even there it is critically “endangered” (i.e., close to extinction).   The dove’s coloring, as depicted on the Grenada coat of arms, however, does not closely match the actual coloring of the real bird.

(Grenada coat of arms – public domain)

(Grenada coat of arms – public domain)

The dove’s coloring, as depicted on the Grenada coat of arms, however, does not closely match the actual coloring of the real bird.  The actual Grenada Dove has little blue to it (depending on the lighting used to view it)  –  rather, brown and buff dominate its overall coloring.  One wonders why, therefore, the heraldic depiction shows indigo-blue and azure, with yellow highlighting.  Consider the more realistic depictions before, as shown by photographic and postage images.

Fair use credit:  grenada national archiveshttps://grenadanationalarchives.wordpress.com/tag/leptotila-wellis/ (from the website of the National Archives of Grenada)

(Grenada postage stamp issued in February of AD1974 – public domain)

Consider also these special World Wildlife Fund-logo Grenada postage stamps,  showing Grenada Doves.

Grenada stamps 1

Grenada stamps 2

(Grenda postage stamps issued in January AD1995 – public domain)

The lesson here, apparently, is that heraldic coat-of-arms depictions of birds can (sometimes) be quite unrealistic – or else the artist might be depicting the wrong bird!

But Grenada’s coat of arms is not the only surprise in its national symbols.

Consider now the holiday we call “Thanksgiving”.

In the United States of America, for a contrasting example, the holiday of “Thanksgiving” (celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November) commemorates the gratitude of Plymouth Pilgrims, as pioneer survivors, who thanked God at harvest time in AD1621, for His providence — see “Strangers and Pilgrims (and the American Turkey)”, posted at https://leesbird.com/2014/11/25/strangers-and-pilgrims/ .  The Pilgrims’ survival and early successes, due to God’s providence, are also celebrated in the Netherlands, in Leiden, to commemorate how the Pilgrims lived in Holland during AD1609-AD1620.  A special Thanksgiving worship service is conducted, there, on the morning of America’s Thanksgiving, in Pieterskerk [“Peter’s church”], a Gothic church that was originally Roman Catholic (from its architectural beginning in AD1390), yet became Protestant during the Dutch Reformation, and became the burial site for John Robinson, pastor of the Pilgrims prior to their migratory journey to America.

Canadians observe a similar holiday, called l’Action de grâce in French, on the second Monday in October.

Norfolk Island, an external territory of Australia, celebrates Thanksgiving on the last Wednesday of November, so that Norfolk Island’s celebration of Thanksgiving occcurs either the day before, or six days after, the day when Americans celebrate Thanksgiving.

Saint Lucia, an island nation on the eastern edge of the Caribbean Sea, celebrates Thanksgiving on the first Monday in October.

Christians in Germany have a similar harvest-thanksgiving holiday, Erntedankfest, in early October, at about the same time that its Bavarians are celebrating Oktoberfest.

Thanksgiving is supposed to be focused on thanking God —  even the name of the holiday suggests as much.  However, although gratitude to God  –-  for harvest blessings  —  was the original reason for most harvest festival-oriented “thanksgiving” holidays, many Thanksgiving traditions have forgotten the historic importance of thanking God for His caring providences, by focusing more on distractive parades (e.g., Macy’s, IKEA’s, McDonald’s), football games, and feasting  —  with such festive celebrations discounted in slang as “Turkey Day”. (British Laird Bill Cooper was quite disappointed to learn of this trivialized secularization of what was originally a holy day/holiday.)

But how is Thanksgiving celebrated in Grenada, and why ?

First, consider where Grenada is located – Grenada is an island nation situated slightly east of South America, north of Venezuela.  Politically speaking, the nation of Grenada actually includes the main island (called “Grenada”) plus a few smaller islands, some but not all of “the Grenadines”, which are situated north of the Martinique Channel – with several of the other Grenadine islands (located south of the Martinique Channel) jurisdictionally belonging to the Caribbean nation called “St. Vincent and the Grenadines”.

grenada map

In AD1498 the main island of Grenada was visited by Christopher Columbus, who named it “Concepcion”.

Grenada was later visited by Britons, then French; it was eventually settled by French colonists. Later, as part of the Treaty of Paris (in AD1763), Grenada became a British colony.  Grenada shed its colonial status, however, in AD1974, as it then became officially independent of the United Kingdom, although it remained an affiliate of the British Commonwealth.

So far so good, it seemed, until AD1983, when a Communist military takeover occurred on the island, led by General Hudson Austin (who was politically backed by Cuba, and aided by Cuban soldiers), actually seized control from a prior Communist takeover (i.e., one Communist regime killed off the leadership of a prior Communist dictatorship).  American students were put in jeopardy so President Ronald Reagan authorized a military rescue operation, which included defeating the “New Jewel Movement” (i.e., the second Communist dictatorship).

Thus, beginning on October 25th of AD1983, the “New Jewel Movement” Communists, who had seized the country, were soon opposed by a coalition of rescue forces, comprised of the United States and several Caribbean allies (from six Caribbean nations, including Jamaica and Barbados), in a complicated military effort called “Operation Urgent Fury” – which included U.S. Army Rangers, U.S. Marines, Delta Force, 82nd Airborne paratroopers, and U.S. Navy SEALs.  Because the rescue operation was so successful – and peace was restored to Grenada (with the Cuban soldiers being expelled) a holiday of gratitude was established – October 25th became Thanksgiving Day for Grenada.

Operation Urgent Fury photograph

Operation Urgent Fury photograph (public domain, AD1983) M102 howitzers (320th Field Artillery Regiment) firing on Grenada island.

Bottom line:   we all  –  whether Americans or Grenadians or anyone else for whom Christ died  —  have a lot to be thankful for, on whatever day that we celebrate Thanksgiving (and on every other day of the year!).

In accord with Psalm 100 we should, daily, “enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name”.

Sunday Inspiration – Singing Birds

Savannah Sparrow singing by Ray

Savannah Sparrow singing by Ray

By them the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches. (Psalms 104:12 NKJV)

The Lord created the birds with the ability to sing such beautiful songs. They have various reasons for singing and shouldn’t we also be willing to sing in our different activities?

The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him. (Psalms 28:7 NKJV)

“O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.” (Psalms 108:1 KJV)

Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) singing ©nebirdsplus

Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) singing ©nebirdsplus

And some more great “singing” verses:

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; (Ephesians 5:19 KJV)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16 KJV)

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“Singing” – by Dr. Richard Gregory (permission given by Mrs. Gregory)

Dr. Gregory, who was a member of our church, is now in the presence of the Lord. He is seeing His Saviour “Face to face.”

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Sunday Inspiration

Birds of the Bible

Birds of the Bible – Singing Birds

Birds in Hymns

Sharing The Gospel

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Happy Thanksgiving Day – 2013

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Lee at LPZoo

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Lee at LPZoo

We trust you are enjoying your Thanksgiving Day and are remembering all your blessings this year. We have had many blessings since last Thanksgiving.

We have had challenges also, but it depends on how you look at them. You could consider them as terrible or you could see them as blessings. Our attitude and our focus can make all the difference in the world.

I choose to thank the Lord for all things. Sometimes things don’t go the way we expect, but that does not mean that the Lord does not love us.

that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:45 NKJV)

Blue-naped Mousebird (Urocolius macrourus) at Cincinnati Zoo) by Lee

Blue-naped Mousebird (Urocolius macrourus) at Cincinnati Zoo) by Lee

Since last Thanksgiving Day, I have had two eye surgeries, squamous cell cancer taken off my neck, and a recent round of bronchitis. Praise the Lord, they all came out fine. At the time you are going through them, you do not know what the outcomes will be and you just keep your eyes focused on the Lord. Of course, you are praying and thanking the Lord for whatever He choses as your outcome.

Wood Duck - Lake Morton by Lee

Wood Duck – Lake Morton by Lee

During this last year, we were fortunate to see numerous birds, both in the wild, at parks and in zoos. Our birdwatching adventures were always enjoyable as we were able to watch the Lord’s creations in person. Photos are great, but seeing them as they move and are doing their thing is always best.

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Revelation 4:11 KJV)

Bali Myna (Leucopsar rothschildi Palm Beach Zoo by Lee

Bali Myna (Leucopsar rothschildi Palm Beach Zoo by Lee

We had visits to the Cincinnati Zoo, Palm Beach Zoo, Gatorland, and numerous visit to the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa. Those visits, plus all the parks, lakes and just watching birds in our yard, made for plenty to be thankful for.

Blue-crowned Motmot at Lowry Park Zoo by Lee 2013

Blue-crowned Motmot at Lowry Park Zoo by Lee

When you add in all the blessings of friends and family, our church, and on and on; there is much to be thankful to the Lord.

American Flamingo Beak at Gatorland by Lee

American Flamingo Beak at Gatorland by Lee

I trust you spend some time today, being thankful for all your blessings. Especially, thanking the Lord, who created everything and loves us enough to send His Son to die for us.

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)

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Birdwatching Trips

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Birds in Hymns – Honor and Glory, Thanksgiving and Praise,

Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus) by Margaret Sloan

Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus) by Margaret Sloan

For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God. (Nehemiah 12:46 KJV)

Words from the La­tin Gradual, 12th Cen­tu­ry (Ju­bi­le­mus om­nes una); trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by Ed­ward A. Day­man in the Hymn­a­ry, 1872.

Music: Na­maan, M. Cos­ta (Mi­chael Cos­ta [1808-1884]?), ar­ranged by Will­iam H. Call­cott

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Honor and Glory, Thanksgiving and Praise

Honor and glory, thanksgiving and praise,
Maker of all things, to Thee we upraise;
God the Almighty, the Father, the Lord;
God by the angels obeyed and adored.

Thou art the Father of Heaven and earth;
Worlds uncreated to Thee owe their birth;
All the creation, Thy voice when it heard,
Started to life and to light at Thy Word.

Onward the sun and the moon and their march
Span with the rainbow the firmament’s arch;
Stars yet unknown, and whose light is to come,
Find in creation their place and a home.

Earth with the mountain, the river, the plain,
Sky with the dew-drop, the wind, and the rain,
Beast of the forest, wild bird of the air,
All are Thy creatures, and all are Thy care.

Ocean the restless, and waters that swell,
Lightnings that flash over flood, over fell,
Own Thee the Master Almighty, and call
Thee the Creator, the Father, of all.

Yea, Thou art Father of all, and Thy love
Pity for man that is fallen doth move;
Guide us in life, and protect to the last;
And, at Thine Advent, Lord, pardon the past.

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New Testament Thanksgiving – 2013

Yellow-fronted Woodpecker (Melanerpes flavifrons) by Dario Sanches

Yellow-fronted Woodpecker (Melanerpes flavifrons) by Dario Sanches

New Testament

And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. (Matthew 15:36 KJV)

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) by Phil Kwong

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) by Phil Kwong

And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. (John 6:11 KJV)

Great Blue Heron with Catfish at Circle B by Lee - cropped

Great Blue Heron with Catfish at Circle B by Lee – cropped

He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. (Romans 14:6 KJV)

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) by W Kwong

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) by W Kwong

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57 KJV)

Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis) by Dario Sanches

Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis) by Dario Sanches

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. (2 Corinthians 9:15 KJV)

Rufous Motmot (Baryphthengus martii) ©WikiC

Rufous Motmot (Baryphthengus martii) ©WikiC

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (Ephesians 5:20 KJV)

Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia) by Clement Francis

Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia) by Clement Francis

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. (Colossians 3:17 KJV)

Crested Coua (Coua cristata) by Lee LPZ

Crested Coua (Coua cristata) by Lee LPZ

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV)

Japanese White-eye (Zosterops japonicus) by Margaret Sloan

Japanese White-eye (Zosterops japonicus) by Margaret Sloan

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. (Hebrews 13:15 KJV)

Crested Berrypecker (Paramythia montium) ©WikiC

Crested Berrypecker (Paramythia montium) ©WikiC

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Old Testament Thanksgiving – 2013

Major Mitchell's Cockatoo (Lophochroa leadbeateri) at Cincinnati Zoo 9-5-13

Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo (Lophochroa leadbeateri) at Cincinnati Zoo by Lee

Old Testament Thanks

Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name. (2 Samuel 22:50 KJV)

Common Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica) by Ian

Common Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica) by Ian

Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. (1 Chronicles 16:8-9 KJV)

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) by Ray

Song Sparrow by Ray

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. (1 Chronicles 16:34 KJV)

Garnet Pitta (Erythropitta granatina) by Timothy©©

Garnet Pitta (Erythropitta granatina) by Timothy©©

Therefore I will give thanks to You among the nations, O LORD, And I will sing praises to Your name. (Psalms 18:49 NASB)

Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus) by Africaddict

Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus) by Africaddict

So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations. (Psalms 79:13 KJV)

Little Grassbird (Megalurus gramineus) by Ian

Little Grassbird (Megalurus gramineus) by Ian

O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. (Psalms 105:1 KJV)

Black-and-yellow Broadbill (Eurylaimus ochromalus) ©Flickr fveronesi1

Black-and-yellow Broadbill (Eurylaimus ochromalus) ©Flickr fveronesi1

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psalms 136:1-2 KJV)

Variegated Fairywren (Malurus lamberti) by Ian

Variegated Fairywren (Malurus lamberti) by Ian

O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psalms 136:3-5 KJV)

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Thanks

Lee - Taken by Dan 6/27/13

Lee – Taken by Dan 6/27/13

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; (Philippians 4:6 NKJV)

I want to thank all of you who have been praying for me while I went through my eye surgery on Monday. As you can see, my left ey is just barely pinkish. The follow up visit on Tuesday was great. The eye Doctor said all was looking good and they test me at 20/20 for distant vision. Last week I couldn’t even see the Big E at the top of the chart.

My close vision is not so well and will have to be corrected with reading glasses. (They put in a “distant vision” lens) I have actually been going around with no glasses on for the first time in years. I also was noticing the leaves on the trees again, not just green trees.

As I said in a reply to the first article, I knew lots of people were praying for me. With four attempts to put in the IV and four nurses trying, I stayed calm. That is not my normal behavior when that happens. At the time, I could feel your prayers and I am very thankful for every one of them. The Lord was very close to me and helped the nurses and the doctor to do their jobs well.

We have been having VBS at our church this week and we have been helping with the photos. Dan caught me while I was sitting down on the job. My photos have actually turned out decent this week.

VBS 2013

One of the classes – VBS 2013 by Lee

The colors are so crisp and bright, I can hardly wait to get out on a birdwatching adventure soon.

Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful. (Psalms 147:1 NKJV)

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV)

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Day 2 - The Treasure Chest by Lee

The Treasure Chest by Lee

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Prayer Request – Eye Surgery Tomorrow

Bali Myna (Leucopsar rothschildi) by Lee

Bali Myna (Leucopsar rothschildi) by Lee

Thanks to all of you who kept me in your prayers 6 months ago when I had the “Pucker” on my retina removed. At that time, they said that for some reason cataract development would accelerate. Well, it did. Tomorrow morning, I will be having cataract surgery on my left eye. The retina has been healing for 6 months and the okay was given to have this surgery.

I am ready for it. I have seen “bi-winged” birds and extra stop lights, extra headlights on cars and other double “ghost images” because of the blurred vision. I have been struggling to see my monitor to produce my blogs. The size of the fonts has been increased to assist my ability to read the screen. Even with that, it has been challenging at times. Two blogs are scheduled; one for tomorrow and one for Tuesday. Hopefully, that will give time for this new surgery to heal.

I have also not visited as many of your blogs recently like I would have enjoyed because of this situation. Expect visits again, soon, Lord willing.

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow, June 24th, if you think of it. I am not expecting any problems, but any surgery has risk. The Lord already knows the outcome and I am trusting Him to be right there with me through this.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; (Philippians 4:6 NKJV)

I will sing to the LORD, Because He has dealt bountifully with me. (Psalms 13:6 NKJV)

Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together. (Psalms 34:3 NKJV)

And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” (Matthew 21:22 NKJV)

(Black and White) Sumatran Laughingthrush (Garrulax bicolor) by Lee

Sumatran Laughingthrush (Garrulax bicolor) “Joe Cool” by Lee

The hearing ear and the seeing eye, The LORD has made them both. (Proverbs 20:12 NKJV)

He who planted the ear, shall He not hear? He who formed the eye, shall He not see? (Psalms 94:9 NKJV)

“For His eyes are on the ways of man, And He sees all his steps. (Job 34:21 NKJV)

“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. (Job 42:5 NKJV)

Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law. (Psalms 119:18 NKJV)

Crested Coua (Coua cristata) by Lee LPZ

Crested Coua (Coua cristata) by Lee LPZ

Birdwatching at Circle B Reserve – June 8

Limpkin (Aramus guarauna) Preening at Circle B

Limpkin (Aramus guarauna) Preening at Circle B

We took about an hour and a half to check out Circle B Bar Reserve again today. It was partly cloudy and around 81 degrees when we arrived. We managed to see or hear 31 species. Not bad. We had all that rain from Tropical Storm Andrea and thought maybe it would help bring in some birds. It was still pretty dry out there, but the weeds and growth sure had enjoyed all that rain we had.

Since most of our winter birds have left, we were happy with what we saw. Some of the delights and surprises were catching a video of a Carolina Wren singing right in front of us as we got out of the car. Was surprised to see 25 White Pelicans this time of the year. They went by in 3 squadrons.

By them the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches. (Psalms 104:12 NKJV)

Also, finally got a photo of the Tufted Titmouse that I have heard out there but never was able to get a glimpse of. Heading back to the car, a Swallow-tailed Kite flew over. All in all it was great. Now? It has been raining for the last 5 or 6 hours. Good thing we were there early.

Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus) at Circle B

Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus) at Circle B

Species Count
Wood Stork 4
Anhinga 1
American White Pelican 25
Great Blue Heron 2
Great Egret 3
Snowy Egret 1
Tricolored Heron 2
Cattle Egret 10
White Ibis 2
Glossy Ibis 4
Black Vulture 20
Turkey Vulture 5
Osprey 1
Swallow-tailed Kite 1
Bald Eagle 1
Red-shouldered Hawk 2
Common Gallinule 5
Limpkin 2
Sandhill Crane 2
Mourning Dove 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
Downy Woodpecker 2
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Pileated Woodpecker 2
Blue Jay 3
Fish Crow 2
Tufted Titmouse 2
Carolina Wren 1
Northern Cardinal 4
Red-winged Blackbird 15
Boat-tailed Grackle 20

Update on the eye situation – I got the “All is well” for the 6-months checkup on my retina surgery and now I am scheduled June 19th to see the Eye Doctor who will do the cataract surgery. I am praying that it will be done by the end of the month. It was quite blurry out birding today.

I was using my camera as my eyes. I could tell there was something on a tree, but had no clear idea of what it was until viewed through the viewfinder and with my camera zoomed in. Hey! You do what you have to do to be able to enjoy birdwatching. And I did. The Lord let me see all of these neat birds today.

See:

Birdwatching Trips – Circle B

Wordless Birds

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Birds in Christmas Hymns – Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee (Re-post)

American Yellow Warbler (Dendroica aestiva) singing by J Fenton

American Yellow Warbler (Dendroica aestiva) singing by J Fenton

My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. (Psalms 71:23 KJV)

Birds in Christmas Hymns

Birds in Christmas Hymns

Words by Hen­ry J. van Dyke, 1907. Van Dyke wrote this hymn while stay­ing at the home of Har­ry A. Gar­field at Wil­liams Col­lege, Mass­a­chu­setts. It was first pub­lished in the Pres­by­ter­i­an Hymn­al in 1911. It al­so ap­peared in the Po­ems of Hen­ry van Dyke, 1911. Van Dyke wrote:

“These vers­es are sim­ple ex­press­ions of com­mon Christ­ian feel­ings and de­sires in this pre­sent time—hymns of to­day that may be sung to­ge­ther by peo­ple who know the thought of the age, and are not afraid that any truth of sci­ence will de­stroy re­li­gion, or any re­vo­lu­tion on earth over­throw the king­dom of hea­ven. There­fore this is a hymn of trust and joy and hope.”

Music: Hymn to Joy, from the 9th Sym­pho­ny of Lud­wig van Beet­ho­ven; adapt­ed by Ed­ward Hodg­es, 1824

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee, earth and heaven reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee, center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blessed,
Wellspring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our brother, all who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the happy chorus, which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us, brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us sunward in the triumph song of life.

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Savannah Sparrow singing by Ray

Savannah Sparrow singing by Ray

More Birds in Hymns

See ~ Christmas Gospel Presentation

Most information from The Cyber Hymnal – Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

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Why do we study science? – Re-post

Black-and-red Broadbill (Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos) by Ian

Here is another great article from Creation Science 4 Kids.

“There are many reasons we study how the world works and all the things in it, but is there anything extra for a Christian?  When you watch a nature show or read about animals, space and other things, did you know that there will probably be something big missing?”

Rest of the article is great.

“… so when we see how awesome, jaw-dropping, mind-boggling, weird beyond anything we could dream up the universe is, what shall we do?  Stop and praise the One who thought of all these things, designed how to get them to work and SPOKE them into being.”

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. Revelation 4:11

See the rest of the article HERE.

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Birds of the Bible – God Blessed Them

Osprey Family by Phillip Simmons

And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”
(Genesis 1:22 NKJV)

And God H430 blessed H1288 them, saying, H559 Be fruitful, H6509 and multiply, H7235 and fill H4390 (H853) the waters H4325 in the seas, H3220 and let fowl H5775 multiply H7235 in the earth. H776 (Genesis 1:22 KJV+)

I have written before on this verse, but really never looked into this aspect of it. I knew He had told them to multiply and be fruitful, but I missed the “blessing” part. The Lord didn’t just create the birds and then leave them on their own. He cared about them and “blessed” them. Below is the definition of Strong’s Hebrew word and then Thayer’s Greek word for Blessing or Blessed.

Strong – H1288

בּרך
bârak
baw-rak’
A primitive root; to kneel; by implication to bless God (as an act of adoration), and (vice-versa) man (as a benefit); also (by euphemism) to curse (God or the king, as treason): – X abundantly, X altogether, X at all, blaspheme, bless, congratulate, curse, X greatly, X indeed, kneel (down), praise, salute, X still, thank.

Thayer – G2127

εὐλογέω
eulogeō
Thayer Definition:
1) to praise, celebrate with praises
2) to invoke blessings
3) to consecrate a thing with solemn prayers
3a) to ask God’s blessing on a thing
3b) pray God to bless it to one’s use
3c) pronounce a consecratory blessing on
4) of God
4a) to cause to prosper, to make happy, to bestow blessings on
4b) favoured of God, blessed
Part of Speech: verb

Let’s see what some of the commentaries have to say about the birds being blessed by God:

(Chuck Smith) – “But we get the more complex life forms that sort of are a little independent. They’re not rooted, they’re not grounded, they are mobile, and the various cycles that God has created, the whole process is just so marvelous indeed. The water, teeming with life, and then the air, and the many, many kinds of birds and the variety of birds that God has created. And those instinctive abilities in the birds!

American Golden Plover (Pluvialis dominica) at National Aviary by Lee

American Golden Plover (Pluvialis dominica) at National Aviary by Lee

I’m always fascinated by that little bird in Hawaii that goes up into the Aleutian chain in order to mate. During the summer, they take off from Hawaii and they fly all the way up into Alaska where they mate. They build their nests, they lay the eggs, they hatch their young. And then with the coming of winter, they don’t want to spend winter in Alaska — and who can blame them. And you have to almost envy them, spending their winters in Hawaii. They take off over the thousands of miles without suitcases, without spare gas tanks, without compasses or navigational equipment. And they come and fly right into Hawaii, sometimes they get into severe storms, one-hundred, two-hundred mile an hour winds that blow them off course, but somehow they find their way right in. You say, “oh, they remember the way they flew out.”

How do they reckon? Some think they have some kind of device that tunes on the magnetic field of the earth. I don’t know. But, really, they’re not following the same path, so that argument’s sort of shot down, because, really, the parents decide to leave for Hawaii before the kids are able to fly that far. So, the parents fly off to Hawaii, leaving their kids in Alaska! But, it doesn’t seem to matter, cause a couple of weeks later, their kids take off and they fly right to Hawaii. Never been there before, yet somehow, God has built into this little bird that kind of instinct; and that’s a bird brain. And it’s not a very big kind of a computer. Talk about microsystems!

Oh, the wisdom of God, the wisdom of God. How thrilling to be able to see the design in nature, all testifying of the wisdom of the God that I serve. I’m so glad that I serve Him. I’m so glad that I know Him. Such a glorious God, so wise; all of these created life forms. Now, He created also the mammals, the great whales. He created the animals, the domesticated-type animals, all after their own kind.

And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.”

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) in nest by Ray

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) in nest by Ray

(John Gill) – “Genesis 1:22

And God blessed them,…. With a power to procreate their kind, and continue their species, as it is interpreted in the next clause, saying, be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas: and these creatures do multiply exceedingly, and vast quantities there are of them in the mighty waters, though the consumption of some sorts of them is very great. Our English word “fish” is derived from the Hebrew word פוש, “fush”, which signifies to multiply and increase:

and let fowl multiply in the earth; as they did, and continue to do to this day.”

(Matthew Henry) – “2. The blessing of them, in order to their continuance. Life is a wasting thing. Its strength is not the strength of stones. It is a candle that will burn out, if it be not first blown out; and therefore the wise Creator not only made the individuals, but provided for the propagation of the several kinds; God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful and multiply, Gen_1:22. God will bless his own works, and not forsake them; and what he does shall be for a perpetuity, Ecc_3:14. The power of God’s providence preserves all things, as at first his creating power produced them. Fruitfulness is the effect of God’s blessing and must be ascribed to it; the multiplying of the fish and fowl, from year to year, is still the fruit of this blessing. Well, let us give to God the glory of the continuance of these creatures to this day for the benefit of man. See Job_12:7, Job_12:9. It is a pity that fishing and fowling, recreations innocent in themselves, should ever be abused to divert any from God and their duty, while they are capable of being improved to lead us to the contemplation of the wisdom, power, and goodness, of him that made all these things, and to engage us to stand in awe of him, as the fish and fowl do of us.”

(Haydock Commentary) – “Genesis 1:22

Blessed them, or enabled them to produce others. — Multiply: the immense numbers and variety of fishes and fowls is truly astonishing.”

(K & D) – “As animated beings, the water animals and fowls are endowed, through the divine blessing, with the power to be fruitful and multiply. The word of blessing was the actual communication of the capacity to propagate and increase in numbers.”

(John Wesley) – “Observe, 2, The blessing of them in order to their continuance. Life is a wasting thing, its strength is not the strength of stones; therefore the wise Creator not only made the individuals, but provided for the propagating of the several species, Gen_1:22. God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply – Fruitfullness is the effect of God’s blessing, and must be ascribed to it; the multiplying of the fish and fowl from year to year, is still the fruit of this blessing here.”

Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) ©©Flickr

Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) ©©Flickr

Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (Psalms 107:31 KJV)

The Lord not only blessed the birds, but provided them with the instinct and DNA to be able to reproduce and adapt to the changing conditions. Those that have not been able or suffered disasters be they natural or man-made have become extinct. The “kinds” have produced great varieties (over 10,400 species) that we enjoy as we study and view the different families. While He blessed the birds, in turn, we are blessed because we are able to enjoy the vast variety of these avian creations. Praise the Lord!

Birds of the Bible

Birds of the World

Bird of the Week

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