Here’s Seed for Thought

National Aviary - Outside feeder

National Aviary – Outside feeder

Here’s Seed for Thought

By James J. S. Johnson

Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. (Luke 8:11)

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. (1st Peter 1:23)

Luzon Bleeding-heart by Dan


God’s Word is like good seed – it transmits God’s very thoughts into new life.

If we have eyes to see it, the whole process of seed germination (in a sunflower, or in a human life) is a providential God-glorifying miracle, every time new life germinates.

Sunflowers for Bird Brains article by Dr James J S Johnson

Sunflowers  [public domain]

When I see sunflowers growing in farm-fields, or elsewhere, I often recall how God sometimes uses “accidental” plantings, caused by birds who occasionally drop sunflower seeds, thereby planting a new generation of bright yellow sunflowers.

To illustrate, consider this poem, written almost 20 years ago.


( © AD1997 James J. S. Johnson, used by permission )

Seeing hungry backyard birds
I filled a tray with seeds;
Sparrows, juncos dined in “herds”,
and jays arrived to feed;
Even cardinals, flashing red:
they came, they saw, they fed.

Bills gulped! seed-hulls popped!
Some seeds spilled! some seeds dropped!
Overhead, as some bird flew,
sunflower seeds did fall;
From green vines, they later grew,
seedlings, green and small.

Then out popped golden faces
Coloring grassy spaces;
Like baby suns of yellow,
Grinning — saying “hello”!
On green stalks they climb,
aiming to greet the sky;
Seed-packed in their prime,
picked by birds, going by.

Thus reaps my yard what jays did sow,
New seeds, from old, sunflowers grow.

Watch I, and think on what God made
How He designed such “mutual aid”…
In my backyard, I must surmise:
The Lord, Who did this, He is wise!

This poem was written when I lived in Carrollton, Texas, where I grew sunflowers by our backyard’s western fence, with the help of blue jay “planters” – but, of course, God gave the increase (1st Corinthians 3:7). (Those were the days, now like a faded dream gone by, when I taught ornithology and avian conservation at Dallas Christian College.)

Ruby-throated on Sunflower ©©Frank Boston

Ruby-throated on Sunflower ©©Frank Boston

So, when you see bright-colored sunflowers — and the hungry birds who eat them, just remember this:  those same birds, or their parents, may have “accidently” planted the very seeds that germinated into the full-grown sunflowers that the birds now eat from!

Also, remember this also: God shows His wisdom and goodness, everywhere you look, — if you have the eyes to see it.

Furthermore, even more important, of course, is this: that “incorruptible seed” (to use the apostle Peter’s phrase) — that we call the Holy Bible – is the eternal Word of God, and He uses its truth to give us regenerated life in our Lord Jesus Christ (Who is Himself the Messiah, the promised “Seed of Woman”, prophesied of in Genesis3:15)!

><> JJSJ

Sparrows Eating From A Sunflower ©©Sagudino Flickr

Sparrows Eating From A Sunflower ©©Sagudino Flickr

Lee’s Addition:

Thanks again, Dr. Jim. Enjoyed your poem and the application. In fact, there is a stalk or two of corn growing under my feeder because of the birds. Had a Sunflower or two last summer growing under the feeders.

Oh, that we all would feast on His Word!

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) Male and Female ©WikiC

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) Male and Female ©WikiC



James J.S. Johnson


Changed From The Inside Out


The Space sharing seed storing Redpoll…

The Space sharing seed storing Redpoll… ~ by a j mithra

Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus) by Nikhil Devasar

Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus) by Nikhil Devasar

Common Redpolls live year round in open boreal and tundra habitats near the Arctic circle and throughout northern Canada and Alaska. While only the northernmost populations migrate, this species does have periodic irruptions that takes it as far south as northern  Montana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Michigan, New York and the northern New England states.

Common Redpolls have a similar distribution throughout northern Europe and Asia, and they have also been introduced to New Zealand, where they can be commonly found. Breeds in open subarctic coniferous forest and scrub and avoids dense forests. Winters in open woodland and scrub, weedy fields, and suburban and urban areas. They form flocks throughout the year, and they flock even during the nesting season…

Unlike many small birds, Common Redpolls are not aggressive and easily share space with other small bird species…

Do we flock together as one?

The Bible says,

And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken (Eccleciastes 4:12)

These birds seem to know the secret of staying together. They not only flock together but also share space with the other small birds…

Do we share the blessings which God has showered upon us? We cannot resemble Christ unless we share like how He shared His everything on the cross..

And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward. (Mathew 10:42)

Redpolls have throat pouches for temporarily storing seeds. They may fill their pouches with seeds quickly then fly away to swallow the seeds in a more protected, warmer spot.

Do we fill our hearts everyday with the word of God and store them? The kingdom of God is like a seed? How can we sow, if we have not stored enough seeds in our lives? Do you know that the devil also can quote the word of God to deceive us?

Please read Mathew 4:1-11 to know how Jesus was tempted by the devil and how He spoke the word of God to overcome the devil…

When you are pushed into the dark, the word will give you light..

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm119:105)

When you are sick, the word will heal you. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. (Psalm 107:20)

Now get filled with His Word for Jesus is the Word…

Hoary Redpoll (Carduelis hornemanni) by Ian

Hoary Redpoll (Carduelis hornemanni) by Ian

The Hoary Redpoll has very fluffy body feathers that help it stay warm in extremely cold temperatures. It has feathers on areas of its body that are bare in most other birds. If temperatures get too warm, it may pluck out some of its body feathers. These feathers will grow back in a few days.

God has given each one of a unique identity to show how special we are.. But, sometimes we may have to get rid of our identity to be elevated to a higher place…

Joseph was the overseer of the household of Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh… But, when his master’s wife held his garment and asked him to lie with her, Joseph left behind his garment got rid of his identity and ran away… That was the turning point and the launching pad which lifted Joseph to become The Prime Minister of Egypt…

Please read Genesis 39:1to13

Redpolls eat their favorite niger seed or sunflower seeds, seeds of trees such as birch, and of grasses and other plants. On their breeding grounds redpolls also feast on the explosion of buzzing insects that emerge, seemingly without respite in the Arctic summer….

Redpolls feed on small branches, often hanging upside down and uses its feet to hold food items….

A Redpoll finch, or (Common Redpoll – carduelis flammea, bearing a ring with Chinese inscriptions has made a “sensational” trip all the way to Sweden.. The bird, a small finch with a red crown and black chin weighing about 10.5 grams (0.37 ounces), was found on December 29 west of  Stockholm, some 6,670 kilometers (4,144.5 miles) from where it was marked in China… While this is the first time a bird marked in China has been found in Sweden, a Redpoll bearing Chinese markings was found in neighboring Norway in 2003 and three birds of the same species marked in Europe have turned up in China.

“This shows that there is some kind of pattern here and that this bird didn’t just happen to fly astray …

If God can take these 10.5 gramme birds as far as 4,114.5miles, will He not carry you to greater heights? When people look at your life they would wonder what kind of pattern did God use, to lift you? Remember, you are much more precious than these birds….

He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. (Psalm 40:2)

Have a blessed day!

Your’s in YESHUA,
a j mithra

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Redpolls are in the Fringillidae Family of Passeriformes (Song Birds). That family has at present 207 members.