Desert Oasis – The Church

“He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water.” ​​Psalm 107:35

Gambel's Quail, Sweetwater Wetlands, Tucson Arizona

Gambel’s Quail; Sweetwater Wetlands Park; Tucson, Arizona USA. June 10, 2018. ©

In the midst of dry, heat-baked Tucson, Arizona there is a lush, green, water-filled oasis. This birding and wildlife hotspot is called Sweetwater Wetlands. Over 300 species of birds have been listed in this riparian paradise. Having visited three times, I was amazed at the number of birds and other critters that can be spotted in under an hour. It is a place of refuge and provision, even as the Arizona heat soars above 100 degrees.

Sweetwater Wetlands is a man-made wetland created from reclaimed waste water that is pumped into a series of pools and streams. Willows and Cottonwoods provide shade and perches; a thick green, organic covering lies over the water’s surface; gravel paths circumnavigate the cattail, bulrush and willow lined ponds. Based upon the number of bird species, and the number of birders that visit the park, it is a welcoming habitat for all.

American Coot Sweetwater Wetlands Park, Tucson Arizona

American Coot; Sweetwater Wetlands birding; Tucson, Arizona USA. © June 10, 2018.

Even we humans need a welcoming refuge! History has always had its ups and downs; from times of prosperity to periods of drought and devastation. The United States alone, in its relatively brief history of existence, has fought in over 120 wars! And on the personal level, our lives can be filled with the vacillations of economic hardships, medical issues, and relationship dramas. It is for this reason that Jesus spoke the words, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

But just like the man-made desert oasis provided by Sweetwater Wetlands, there is a God-made oasis in the parched desert of this world: that oasis is the church! Through all the riot and uproar of the centuries, the church has always stood as a beacon and refuge for ailing humanity. Like the reclaimed wastewater of Sweetwater, the church is filled with men and women whose once wasted lives have been redeemed, repurposed, and renewed by the blood of the Lamb!

Neotropic Cormorant; Sweetwater Wetlands Park; Tucson, Arizona, USA. June 14, 2018. ©

As the nations rage and people plot in vain (Psalms 2), the church cannot be silent. We must stand together, as the church as has always stood, and welcome the weary into the refuge of the Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Only Jesus can quench the thirst of hurting man in this world, and in the world to come.

Isaiah 35:5-7 “Blind eyes will be opened, deaf ears unstopped, Lame men and women will leap like deer, the voiceless break into song. Springs of water will burst out in the wilderness, streams flow in the desert. Hot sands will become a cool oasis, thirsty ground a splashing fountain. Even lowly jackals will have water to drink, and barren grasslands flourish richly.”

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.

Lee’s Seven Word Sunday – 5/8/16


Under His Wings - (Dove - photographer unknown)



“In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.
(Proverbs 14:26 KJV))

Under His Wings – by Ric Seet


More Daily Devotionals


Lee’s Three-Word Wednesday – 1/27/16


Baby Chick Peeping Out From Under His Mom's Wing - CC


Under His Wings


He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. (Psalms 91:4 NKJV)

Baby Chick Peeping Out From Under His Mom’s Wing – ©©


Sandra’s New Kooky Challenge


Birds In Hymns – My Refuge

Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala) w youngby Nikhil Devasar

Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala) w youngby Nikhil Devasar

… In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? (Psalms 11:1 KJV)

Words: Al­ice B. Wood, 1901.

Music: Ack­worth, M. B. Will­is

My Refuge

To the rock flies the cony, the stork to her nest,
When tempests are gathering and black is the west;
So swift, by life’s trials o’erwhelmed and oppressed,
I fly to my refuge, Jehovah, my rest!

The nest, whither speedeth the storm beaten bird,
Aloft, on the fir top by tempests is stirred;
But the nest of my refuge no storm wind can smite;
’Tis the breast of Jehovah; I’m safe from afright.

The rock where the cony securely may hide
Is set in the mountain’s cold, pitiless side;
But the rock of my safety, the home of my quest,
’Tis the heart of my Savior: How warm and how blest!

Then blow, thou wild tempest, I fear not thy might,
Tho’ blackly thou lowerest, my prospect is bright;
Jehovah, my Savior, I fly to Thy breast;
Dear rock of my refuge! Dear sheltering nest!


Storks Shadowing Baby in Lakeland by Dan

Storks Shadowing Baby in Lakeland by Dan

In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. (Psalms 62:7 KJV)

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)

Alice Boise Wood (?-1919) was the daughter of Pro­fess­or James R. Boise, Wood was the first wo­man to grad­u­ate from Chi­ca­go Un­i­ver­si­ty. She went on to teach Greek there, and was known as a po­et.


More Birds in Hymns

See ~ Wordless Birds


Birds Versus Hurricanes

Brown Pelican with broken wing from a hurricane CC

Brown Pelican with broken wing from a hurricane ©©

Here is a link to a very interesting blog from eNature about hurricanes and birds. With Hurricane Irene coming along the coast many will be wondering about the welfare of the birds.

What Happens To Birds When Hurricanes Hit? | Blog | eNature.

While searching for other articles about birds in the storm or hurricane, I found this YouTube produced by Pastor Mark L Johnson of Liberty Hill Baptist Church. It has a great message.

Also, remember:

…Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. (Psalms 57:1 ESV)
Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?
(Luke 12:24 KJV)

Birds in Hymns – His Eye Is On The Sparrow

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

For the whole hymn – Click Here

Other articles about this include:

How Birds Stay Safe During Hurricanes by

The Secret Relationship Between Birds and Hurricanes by NPR

Where do birds go in a hurricane?

Hurricane Birds