Lee’s Five Word Friday – 3/31/17

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Gentoo Penguin - Paradise Bay

AND SHALL SING UNTO THEE

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All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.” (Psalms 66:4 KJV)

Gentoo Penguin – Paradise Bay

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More Daily Devotionals

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Lee’s Seven Word Sunday – 10/30/16

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Sandwich Tern Singing (calling) By Mike Bader

THEY SHOUT FOR JOY, THEY ALSO SING

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“The pastures are clothed with flocks; The valleys also are covered with grain; They shout for joy, they also sing.” (Psalms 65:13)

Sandwich Tern Singing (calling) By Mike Bader

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More Daily Devotionals

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A Restful Song

He sends the springs into the valleys; They flow among the hills. They give drink to every beast of the field; The wild donkeys quench their thirst. By them the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches. He waters the hills from His upper chambers; The earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works. (Psalms 104:10-13 NKJV)

Thought you just might enjoy a little song and restfulness from Our Creator.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV)

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Wordless Birds

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Songs In The Night From The Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) By Dan'sPix

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) By Dan

who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?’ (Job 35:11 ESV)

Orni-Theology

Orni-Theology

Recently.a friend was telling me about a bird that has been singing every night. He said that it begins around 3 AM and continues for hours. He was frustrated by the bird’s behavior. After discussing it, we came to the conclusion that it is a Northern Mockingbird. They have one with a nest in their yard.

We used to have one that had a nest in the bush outside our bedroom window when we lived in south Florida. Whenever the babies were born, our Mockingbird started its “songs in the night.” The songs are pleasant, but in the middle of the night, the urge to throw a pillow out the window sounds tempting.

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) Juvenile ©WikiC

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) Juvenile ©WikiC

Northern Mockingbirds are members of the Mimidae – Mockingbirds, Thrashers Family. They are the only Mockingbird in North America and are the state bird in Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas, and formerly the state bird of South Carolina. They are omnivore, meaning it eats fruits and insects.

The Northern Mockingbird is a medium-sized mimid that has long legs and tail. Both males and females look alike. Its upper parts are colored gray, while its underparts have a white or whitish-gray color. It has parallel wing bars on the half of the wings connected near the white patch giving it a distinctive appearance in flight. The iris is usually a light green-yellow or a yellow, but there have been instances of an orange color. The bill is black with a brownish black appearance at the base. The juvenile appearance is marked by its streaks on its back, distinguished spots and streaks on its chest, and a gray or grayish-green iris. Northern Mockingbirds measure from 8.1 to 11.0 in (20.5 to 28 cm) including a tail almost as long as its body.

Although many species of bird imitate the vocalizations of other birds, the Northern Mockingbird is the best known in North America for doing so. It imitates not only birds, but also other animals and mechanical sounds such as car alarms. As convincing as these imitations may be to humans, they often fail to fool other birds. (Wikipedia with editing)

Northern Mockingbird Viera Wetlands

Northern Mockingbird Viera Wetlands by Lee

What is interesting about the Bible verse above is that the verse has been used many times before, but I have not used the previous verse. Here are the two verses together.

But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker, Who gives songs in the night, Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth, And makes us wiser than the birds of heaven?’ (Job 35:10-11 NKJV)

God our Maker and the Lord our Savior gives us songs in the night when all is well. Apparently, the Mockingbird is happy or joyful as he sings his songs in the night. We can learn from the songster of the night.

Looking at other verses, what can cause us to not have songs in the night?

The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me— A prayer to the God of my life. (Psalms 42:8 NKJV)

Are we praying and staying in communication with the Lord? When sin creeps in, the songs stop ringing out.

You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of the LORD, to the Rock of Israel. (Isaiah 30:29 ESV)

When we have Communion, our pastor always asks us to make sure our fellowship with the Lord and others is clear. When all is straightened out, then we can have our “feast” (communion) with a clear forgiven spirit.

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, (Acts 16:25 ESV)

Even when circumstances are not what we would like are we still “praying and singing hymns to God”?

Why we should sing night or day:

speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, (Ephesians 5:19 NKJV)

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. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:16-17 NKJV)

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Also:

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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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Birds of the Bible – Bitterns in Zephaniah

Cinnamon Bittern by Phil Kwong in Hong Kong

Cinnamon Bittern by Phil Kwong in Hong Kong

And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds: for he shall uncover the cedar work. (Zephaniah 2:14 KJV)

This verse in Zephaniah is a bit confusing because some of the characteristics mentioned are not in line with a bittern’s normal behavior. So, let’s look into this verse a little deeper.

Pulling up my e-Sword program, I am heading to the “Compare” mode. Wow! This is going to be interesting. What a variation of birds and animals listed for that verse.

  • ACV, ASV, BBE, RV, Disciple’s, WEB – pelican and the porcupine
  • ABP, Brenton – chameleons; and hedgehogs
  • AKJV, KJV, IAV, JUB, UKJV, Webster – cormorant and the bittern
  • AMP, NAS77, NASB, YLT – pelican and the hedgehog
  • Bishops, Geneva – pellicanes and owles
  • CEV – all kinds of desert owls
  • CJB –  jackdaws and owls
  • Darby, ECB, HRB, LITV, JPS, MKJV, NKJV  – pelican and the bittern
  • DRB – bittern and the urchin
  • ERV – Owls and crows
  • ESV – owl and the hedgehog
  • GNB, MSG, NET – Owls
  • GW – pelicans and herons
  • HCSB, ISV, NIV, NRSV – desert owl and the screech owl
  • KJ2000 – vulture and the hedgehog
  • TRC – pelicans and storks

See what my mean?

Here are the Strong’s Definitions for those two word in order of occurance.

H6893
קאת
qâ’ath
kaw-ath’
From H6958; probably the pelican (from vomiting): – cormorant.

H7090
קפּד קפּוד
qippôd qippôd
kip-pode’, kip-pode’
From H7088; a species of bird, perhaps the bittern (from its contracted form): – bittern.

At least 14 versions use the “bittern” as one of the two birds. Now to look further in the verse, it mentions that they are lodged in the upper parts with their voice singing in the windows. That is where I am curious about it being a bittern. Have you heard a bittern “sing”? Here a few of their “songs” from xeno-canto.

Eurasian Bittern (Botaurus stellaris) ©WikiC

Eurasian Bittern (Botaurus stellaris) ©WikiC

Eurasian Bittern (Botaurus stellaris)

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) by Dans Pix

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) by Dans Pix

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)

Pinnated Bittern (Botaurus pinnatus) by Daves BirdingPix ©WikiC

Pinnated Bittern (Botaurus pinnatus) by Daves BirdingPix ©WikiC

Pinnated Bittern (Botaurus pinnatus)

Stripe-backed Bittern (Ixobrychus involucris) ©Drawing WikiC

Stripe-backed Bittern (Ixobrychus involucris) ©Drawing WikiC

Stripe-backed Bittern (Ixobrychus involucris)

Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis)  by Bob-Nan

Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis) by Bob-Nan

Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis)

Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis)

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I am not as concerned as to which birds were there as much as if you read the context, you realize that the birds and critters are there because the places are deserted. Like a “ghost town” you see in the movies, with creatures occupying the windows and rafters. Why? Because of the Lord’s judgement on the people. Verses 10-13 explain this:

This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the LORD of hosts. The LORD will be terrible unto them: for he will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen. Ye Ethiopians also, ye shall be slain by my sword. And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness. (Zephaniah 2:10-13 KJV)

Maybe we should heed the warnings and examples given throughout Scripture. We have a loving God and Lord who created everything and cares about it, but He is also a God of Judgment. John 3:16 tells 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.” But if you continue reading, you see that there is also judgment.

(17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
(18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
(19) And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
(20) For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
(21) But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
John 3:17-21 KJV

I trust you know the Lord as your personal Savior.

See:

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Birds of the Bible – The Hidden Covenant – Part 2

WHEN DOES GOD MAKE A COVENANT?

 

Hosea 2:14 says, “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her” Did He not allure us and bring us from the wilderness of sin? He has been so kind to us that He still comforts us with His words, songs and above all with His presence and peace that passeth all understanding. What does this verse got to with the covenant? Hosea 2:16 has the answer to it. “And I will give her vineyards from there, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.”

So? Does it not mean that we need to sing as in the days of our youth and as we sang when we came out of Egypt? Do we sing and worship the way we used to when we first met Jesus? Who would forget the day of salvation! The day when our hearts overflowed with the joy and peace that had never been experienced ever before! Do we have the same joy over the years?

Life has not been too kind for most of us. Battered and bruised we still are trying to come to terms with living a life that is pleasing unto God. During times of trouble, murmuring and self-pity takes our priority above singing and worshipping God. Look at the fowls of the air. Rain or shine they still keep singing like preset robots. No matter what kind of weather it is, the birds never stop their concert. Is God expecting this bird-kind of worship from us? Some of us may not know this bird-kinda worship. Here is how the birds sing.

Sombre Hummingbird (Aphantochroa cirrochloris) By Dario Sanches

Sombre Hummingbird (Aphantochroa cirrochloris) By Dario Sanches

 “Early Singer”

Dawn Chorus is part of every bird’s daily routine. They never venture out in search of food before they finish their dawn chorus. Do we dawn chorus everyday or just the morn-chorus every Sunday? Do we know why birds dawn chorus?

Since they use most of their energy in singing and flying, birds have to eat once in every ten minutes like the hummingbirds, to once in couple of hours like raptors, depending upon the species,. How much energy do we use in singing for God is another question which we may have to ponder a little late!  Coming back to where we left, birds do not eat from dusk to dawn, which can be called as an everyday hibernation period. If birds don’t eat well the previous evening, the chances of staying alive to deliver the dawn chorus the next morn is very minimal. So they need to eat well to stay fit to render their dawn chorus so as to advertise that they are still alive.We boast that we worship Jesus – The Life, the way and the truth. But, do we advertise every dawn that we are still alive? God says, “I love those who love me; And those who seek me early shall find me” Proverbs 8:17.

“Those who seek me early shall find me”, which means those who don’t seek early shall not find isn’t it? How early do we seek Him? The Israelites had to collect the dew wrapped manna before sunrise, else manna would melt and they may have to starve for the day. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God……  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1 & 14. The word of God is our daily manna. In other words, Jesus is our manna. Well, how many of us collect our daily manna before sunrise? Most of us are starving in spirit, is it because we seek God when the sun is over our heads? Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:” Isaiah 55:6

God expects a dawn chorus from us and not a morn chorus. Each new morn would be a great blessing, when we kneel before God before our feet touches the ground. And it would be even more blessing when we open our mouth wide to praise and worship our eternal Father before we actually utter the first word for the day. Light is better seen in the dark. Remember, that Jesus is the Light. He expects us to seek Him early and not yearly. May be God will make a covenant with us if we too start singing not just the Sunday morn chorus but the dawn chorus like birds,.

“Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.” Psalm 108:2

Spectacled Spiderhunter (Arachnothera flavigaster) by Peter Ericsson

Spectacled Spiderhunter (Arachnothera flavigaster) by Peter Ericsson

 “High voltage Singer”

Coming back to the question, “How much energy do we use in singing for God?” posted in the previous paragraph; it isn’t fair, yet, there is no other choice but to compare our singing with the singing of the birds. The song of a 5-gram Black-bellied Sunbird or that of a 45-gram Spectacled Spiderhunter can be heard as far as 300 to 400 meters. If they are as big as the Homo sapiens, their songs can be heard as far as 3 to 4 kilometers. If at all we sing, how loud do we sing for God? Paul and Silas sang and the earth shook inside the jail. But, these days, the singing inside a church doesn’t seem to even reach the roof of the church.

The secret lies in the noise that we make for God. All those who shouted for the Lord found immense favour from the Him.  The noise of Joshua and his men tore down the walls of Jericho. We should know the size of the walls of this mighty for, to comprehend the real power of praise. The Archeologists who excavated the burnt city, explain the walls of Jericho like this,

The fortifications of Jericho were massive.

These walls were structured on a three-tiered plan. The walls started with an earthen rampart, or embankment, which ran from ground level, upwards on an incline to a stone retaining wall. The stone retaining wall stood 12 to 15 feet in height (4-5m).

On top of the stone wall, stood another wall made of mud-bricks, 6 feet (2m) thick, and 20 to 26 feet (6-8m) high. Together, these two walls combined to form a fortification 32 to 41 feet high.

To put this into perspective, envision a 4 story tall building. Such was the height of the walls of Jericho.

On the other side of the double wall, the embankment continued to climb upwards. At the summit of the embankment, another mud-brick wall stood.

At their base, the walls of Jericho stood 46 feet (14m) above ground level outside the retaining wall. To the Israelites below, Jericho seemed impenetrable.

The illusion created by the two walls on the bottom, and the large wall at the crest of the embankment, seemed to stand nearly 10 stories in height from ground level! From this height, the Israelites must have seemed like ants, and surely were deemed no threat whatsoever.”

None of us would have faced an enemy as big as this fort of Jericho in all our life. In other words, our trials and tribulations would look much smaller compared to the walls of Jericho. If a mighty fort can buckle under the power of praise, will not our shouts of praise melt away our miseries and misfortunes? Sadly we don’t seem to use it to good effect: but birds do it with what little energy they have and that maybe the reason God chose to make covenant with them,

Maybe God will make a covenant with us if we too start singing loud like these little avian singers.

Shout to the Lord, all the earth. Psalm 100:1

Oriental Magpie-Robin (Copsychus saularis) by Nikhil Devasar

Oriental Magpie-Robin (Copsychus saularis) by Nikhil Devasar

 “LP (Long Play) Singer”

There are birds that sing for long durations. Birds like grasshopper warbler’s solo may last for over two minutes, nightjars may “chur” nonstop for eight minutes, a skylark may belt an unbroken heartfelt song for 18 minutes and an Oriental Magpie Robins would practice singing for more than half an hour to woo a potential female. To establish territories and to court females there is a bird called Dickcissels that would spend about 70 percent of the day singing while establishing territories and courting females. How long do we sing and worship every day to woo God’s presence. For God loves to dwell among our praises and the Bible says it too.

But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Psalm22:3

From dawn to dusk to summer to winter, every little movement of the planets and the billions of stars, the blooming of the flowers and the fruiting of the trees, every tiny creation under the sky are set in perfect motion each following different rhythmic patterns ensuing perfect harmony. There can be no better musician that God Himself. He orchestrates the whole universe like only He alone can. And that is the reason God assigned Moses to do something which he has never done before.

Before bidding goodbye for the last time to the people whom he led from Egypt through the wilderness, Moses was entrusted the job of teaching a song to the Israelites that God had personally composed.

Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel.

For when I shall have brought them into the land which I swore unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant.

And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I swore.

Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel.  Deuteronomy 31:19-22

Moses did teach God’s real big song immediately to his people and that can be found in Deuteronomy 32. How would our church respond if our pastor taught us that same big song? Faces frown when worship session extends beyond the stipulated time by a few minutes and if still continues for another few more minutes, worship turn to murmur. That is ‘cause most people find themselves so restless when it comes to spending that extra few minutes in the presence of God. We measure our praise and worship but we want immeasurable blessings from God.

Maybe God wants us to sing for longer durations like our flying friends so as to make a covenant with us…

I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”Psalm 34:1

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) by Dan

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) by Dan

  “All Season Singer”

 “Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory” Isaiah 6:2-3

Since creation the Cherubs and Seraphs had been singing Holy, Holy, Holy, non-stop 24×7. I wonder how they don’t get bored singing the same song for thousands of years.  Most birds sing the same family song generation after generation after generation. The Northern Mocking birds sing all through the day and many a time can be heard even during the night. These slender birds never seem to get bored with singing. They also continue to add new sounds to their repertoires all through their lives. Don’t be surprised if someone says that a male Northern Mocking bird would learn more than 200 songs in its lifetime. That is their lifestyle, singing new songs all through the day and even during nights. A single male would sing longer than a male that has a family.

We prefer to worship only when life is on a rollercoaster. Do we sing and praise God at all times, during dark times in particular? May be that is the reason why God had not made a covenant with us yet is it? The Catholic Bible says that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego worshipped right inside the fiery furnace that was set to heat seven times more than normal. And our God who loves to dwell among praises descended down and took the three young men for a stroll right in the middle of the furnace. Wear on the garment of Praise and worship, for it is fire-proof you know! Think of Paul and Silas, who were battered and bruised for no fault and was thrown into the prison. Undeterred, they preferred to sing and praise God at the darkest hour. That’s when God shook the foundation of the prison, broke their bondage and also of the other inmates of the prison. Wear the garment of Praise and Worship and you will find that no chain can bind you or jail you…Hundreds of years passed between these two significant incidents. Sandwiched between those two incidents is another great worshipper is King David, who knew the secret of Praise and Worship and that is the reason he says, I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1

Maybe God is waiting to hear us sing at all times to make a covenant with us..

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

Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) By Dan'sPix

Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) By Dan’sPix

  “New Song Singer”

Some birds sing just one song all through their lives. But there are birds that have vast repertoires of over thousands songs too… Brown thrasher can sing 2,000 songs while an Red-eyed Vireo had been recorded to have sung 20.000 songs in a day. Northern mocking birds often learn new songs. Sometimes it may end up learning about 200 new songs every year, during adulthood the male needs to improvise its singing capabilities by practicing for hours together to impress upon its probable mate. The male that sings the most complex songs are in demand among the eligible females. Most female prefer to mate with the male which sings the most complex songs since, she thinks that the male that sings the most complex songs is best suited to raise and look after the family.

Male Black-throated blue warblers that had bred and reproduced successfully would sing to its offspring to influence their vocal development. If young birds fail to learn songs from their fathers, they would starve to death. Bird vocalization is absolutely necessary for the young birds to grow into a successful adult.

How many parents take time to teach new songs to their children? How many parents feel that children should go to Sunday school regularly?  Raising a child is not about feeding clothing and sheltering alone . It is about teaching them survival traits which would help them rise into a successful parent in future.  Those survival traits include worship, prayer, tithing, knowledge in the word of God and so on. Do we teach them to sing for God? If we as parents fail to teach them the power of worship and how it can change any bad situation, who else would? We don’t have to be musically trained to teach them new songs. The least could be family prayer both at dawn and dusk. Wherein we have the habit of singing hymns and choruses that would help parents expose their children to new songs. If a father smokes in front of his children, he is sure to see one of them smoke in the near future. And if a mother gossips in front of her child, she would surely end up seeing her child gossip too.  Do we want to define machismo and femininity by smoking and gossiping? What we are is what our children are going to be. The ones who learn to worship God singing new songs even in times of trouble are the ones who are capable of overcoming any situation, bad or worse.

God doesn’t expect us to sing the same song over and over again; we have a better choice to sing new songs every day. Our God says, “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19. David knew the secret of touching God’s heart. Maybe that is the reason he made it a point to sing new songs for God. We may not sing thousands of song, do but do we have the habit of singing a few new songs for God? Is that the reason why God chose to make a covenant with birds instead?

“O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth.” Psalm 96:1

Indian Scimitar Babbler (Pomatorhinus horsfieldii) ©WikiC

Indian Scimitar Babbler (Pomatorhinus horsfieldii) ©WikiC

 “Corporate Singer”

Birds neither have a worship leader nor a worship team to lead them in singing. They know God’s plan in their lives. They also know that God had created them to sing and so they sing. No matter what, rain or shine, they never cease to sing. They sing on time, the time that God had set for each one of them. They do not overlap their singing instead they share space even in their singing. Homo Sapiens love to talk, talk and talk 24×7. We talk about our family and finance, sports and corruption, love and sex, marriage and divorce. At the end of the day most of all that we spoke through the day is found to be just rubbish. But birds always talk about global warming, climate change and natural disaster.

Duetting among birds not only help them stay close to each other but also to locate each other in dense foliage. Initially this behavior was thought be a battle of sexes, where duetting behavior reflects the struggle between bonding pair. But recent studies show that duetting is not about singing romantic duets but it is all about aggressive audio warfare, where it bonds a potential pair in defending territorial invasion by other bonding pairs.

Jesus said, For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” Mathew 18:20. When two are three gather in His name do they fill the air with “gossip” or “worship?”

 This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.” Isaiah 43:21

God created man to just worship. But, we do every other thing except worshipping. Worse still, man’s priorities shifted from worshipping the One to be worshipped to worshipping the worship or the worship leader or the choir or the musician. Most churches feel that it’s the talent of the worship leader or the worship team or the selection of songs that is crucial in pulling off a successful worship session. It is time for us to switch on the search lights and check on how we worship God. Do we worship God in truth and in spirit? Don’t we prefer this worship leader than that worship leader? Don’t we feel that this worship team is better than the other worship team? Did we not say that the presence of God is mightier when that guy sings or plays the keyboard? Are we spiritual Christians or emotional Christians? Most believers treat church as a concert hall rather than a place of worship. That must be the reason why they prefer to listen to worship rather than to participate in worship. The reason they give, “I don’t have a good voice” God doesn’t look for a good voice but for a joyful noise.

“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.” Psalm 98:4

Pale-yellow Robin (Tregellasia capito) in nest by Ian

Pale-yellow Robin (Tregellasia capito) in nest by Ian

 “Silent Singer”

Most birds do not sing all through the day. As told earlier, they have a set time for their everyday concert, what researchers call as “Bird clock”. They know when to sing and when to stay silent. Do we know when to stay still and when to worship?  The Bible calls us as the “Royal Priesthood”. Bible explains the robe of the Royal Priest like this.

“Make the robe of the ephod entirely of blue cloth,

with an opening for the head in its center. There shall be a woven edge like a collar around this opening, so that it will not tear.

Make pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet yarn around the hem of the robe, with gold bells between them. 

The gold bells and the pomegranates are to alternate around the hem of the robe.” Exodus 28:31-34

The gold bells and the pomegranates that alternate around the hem of the robe show us how to live the life of a true worshipper. Bells make noise and pomegranates stay quite. In other words the alternate arrangement of gold bells and pomegranates seems to say that we need to know when to make a joyful noise and when to keep quite. Music is also an amalgamation of notes and pause. In other words music is not complete without pause. The birds know it well and help them sync so well with the bird clock.  A royal priest also ought to know when to make noise and when to give a pause.

“And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before the Lord, and when he cometh out, that he die not.” Exodus 28:35

The sound of the bell should keep ringing while the priest is inside the holy place before the Lord. The sounds of the bells would die only if God slays the priest only after having found him to have sinned. This only substantiates the fact that we, the so-called royal priesthood need to make a joyful noise in His presence and if we don’t, it sounds like we are dead. We need to remember that, The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.” Psalm 115:17.

Of all the languages, silence is the most powerful language on the face of the earthNow that we know when to make noise, we also need to know when to pause too. The life of Jesus itself shows us importance of being still in silence. On more than one occasion Jesus did show us what silence can do. Jesus echoed the language of silence in the most profound mode on the cross of Calvary. If not for His silence, we would still be waiting for redemption. It was His silence that broke the shackles of sin to set us free from the clutches of satan. How silent are we in His presence? Do we take time to listen to Him or just go blah-blah in His presence?

Birds know when to sing their mating songs and when not to. They have a specific season for mating; unlike human beings whose birthday fall on every single day from January through December and that includes February 29th, the leap day too. Romancing for birds is seasonal, purposeful and decisive: whereas for Homo sapiens, it is more of lust than of commitment, a commitment to God’s eternal plans, per se. There is a season for everything. Do we adhere to God’s timing? In His time He makes all things beautiful and not in our time. Birds must be intrinsic to God’s time. That must be the reason for God to make a covenant with these feathered singers isn’t it?

a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,”  Ecclesiastes 3:7

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Birds of the Bible – The Hidden Covenant ~ by AJ Mithra

(Written by A J – layout, photos, and sounds added by Lee)

See:

Birds of the Bible – The Hidden Covenant – Intro

Birds of the Bible – The Hidden Covenant – Part 3

Birds of the Bible

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Yours in YESHUA,

a j mithra

Please visit us at:

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Nuggets Plus ~ Rooster – Stiff neck..?

Rooster from the Philippines ©WikiC

Rooster from the Philippines ©WikiC

Rooster – Stiff neck..?

Nuggets Plus

Nuggets Plus

Roosters need to fully extend its neck..
Or else, they would never
be able to crow..

Did God call those
who were not worshipping
as the stiff-necked I wonder..

Well, if we were crowing roosters,
we would be dawn worshippers for God,
and would be waking up those who are asleep
through our crowing, I mean singing…

By the way are we stiff-necked?

Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. (Acts 7:51)

Regards,
Yours in YESHUA,
a j mithra

Please visit us at:

Crosstree

ajmithra21

See:

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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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Birds in Christmas Hymns – Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

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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The Twelve Days of Christmas

Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa) ©WikiC

Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa) ©WikiC

“The Twelve Days of Christmas” is a cumulative song, meaning that each verse is built on top of the previous verses. There are twelve verses, each describing a gift given by “my true love” on one of the twelve days of Christmas. (I took a few liberties with the photos)

A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth. (Proverbs 17:8 KJV)

In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him. (Ecclesiastes 7:14 KJV)

The Twelve Days of Christmas (12 Days of Christmas) 

Music From The Twelve Days of Christmas Website

12 Days of Christmas – Manheim Steamroller arrangement

On the first day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
A partridge in a pear tree.

Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis) by Nikhil

Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis) by Nikhil

On the second day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Faverolles - French Hen and Cock - ©WikiC

Faverolles - French Hen and Cock - ©WikiC

On the third day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) by Ian

Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) by Ian

On the fourth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Four (Cully) calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Gold-ringed Tanager (Bangsia aureocincta) Endangered Juvenile ©BirdPhotos.com

Gold-ringed Tanager (Bangsia aureocincta) Endangered Juvenile ©BirdPhotos.com

On the fifth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Five golden rings,
Four (Culley) calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens) at nest ©USFWS

Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens) at nest ©USFWS

On the sixth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four (Cully) calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Swans at BokTower

Swans at Bok Tower by Dan

On the seventh day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four (Cully) calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) - One Greater Flamingo-chick in Zoo Basel is fed on crop milk.

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) - chick in Zoo Basel is fed on crop milk.

On the eighth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four (Cully) calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Lady Amherst's Pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae) ©GNU

Lady Amherst's Pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae) ©GNU

On the ninth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four (Cully) calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Lord Derby's Parakeet (Psittacula derbiana) by Wilhelma Zoo Stuttgart ©WikiC

Lord Derby's Parakeet (Psittacula derbiana) by Wilhelma Zoo Stuttgart ©WikiC

On the tenth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four (Cully) calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda) by Ray

Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda) by Ray

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Eleven pipers piping,
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four (Cully) calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Twelve drummers drumming,
Eleven pipers piping,
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four (Cully) calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree!

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Below is some of the information about how the song came about and some of the different interpretations of it. I especially like the idea that the 12 days represent different aspects of Christianity. The fact that it was a code is not verifiable, does not diminish its relationship to twelve things.  I took a few liberties with the photos, but was trying to use birds for the days. Pushed a few of them, but trust you enjoy my efforts.

“Meaning

The lyrics of The Twelve Days of Christmas may have no meaning at all. Its meaning, if it has any, has yet to be satisfactorily explained.

According to The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, “Suggestions have been made that the gifts have significance, as representing the food or sport for each month of the year. Importance [certainly has] long been attached to the Twelve Days, when, for instance, the weather on each day was carefully observed to see what it would be in the corresponding month of the coming year. Nevertheless, whatever the ultimate origin of the chant, it seems probable [that] the lines that survive today both in England and France are merely an irreligious travesty.”

A bit of modern folklore claims that the song’s lyrics were written as a “catechism song” to help young Catholics learn their faith, at a time when practising Catholicism was criminalized in England (1558 until 1829). There is no primary evidence supporting this claim, and no evidence that the claim is historical, or “anything but a fanciful modern day speculation.” The theory is of relatively recent origin. It was first suggested by Canadian English teacher and hymnologist Hugh D. McKellar in a short article, “How to Decode the Twelve Days of Christmas,” published in 1979. In a later article published in the music journal The Hymn, he reiterates that the associations are his. The idea was further popularized by a Catholic priest, Fr. Hal Stockert, in an article he wrote in 1982 and posted online in 1995.

Variations in lyrics provide further evidence against the “catechism song” origin. For example, the four Gospels are often described as the “four calling birds,” when in fact the phrase “calling birds” is a modern (probably 20th century) phonetic misunderstanding of “colly birds” (blackbirds).

Regardless of the origin of this idea, a number of Christians give the following meanings to the gifts:

“The Twelve Days of Christmas” as a Catechism Song
Gift Interpretation
A partridge in a pear tree Jesus
Two turtle doves The Old and New Testaments
Three French hens The three kings bearing gifts
Four calling [sic] birds The four Gospels
Five gold rings The Torah or Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament
Six geese a-laying The six days of Creation
Seven swans a-swimming Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit
Eight maids a-milking The eight Beatitudes
Nine ladies dancing Nine fruits of the Holy Spirit
Ten lords a-leaping The Ten Commandments
Eleven pipers piping The eleven faithful Apostles
Twelve drummers drumming The twelve points of the Apostles’ Creed


(From The Twelve Days of Christmas – Wikipedia)

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23 KJV)

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

See Also:
Twelve Days of Christmas – Notes on  the Festival and the Carol for quite a bit of history on the song and other versions.

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Introducing – Nuggets Plus

Nuggets Plus

Nuggets Plus

We are introducing “Nuggets Plus” to our articles by ajmithra. We were chatting the other day, via Yahoo, and decided to use some of aj’s short little Nuggets of Truth that he has already written. He said that they were not all about birds and I reminded him that the Last Word of this blog’s name is “PLUS.” It was named that way so that other articles of interest could be added like creation or other animals, flowers, sunsets, etc.

A J Mithra, ajmithra as he prefers, lives in India and has been a regular contributor for several years. He has about 150 of these already written and will start posting them regularly. They are short, but have a “nugget of God’s Truth” tucked away in each of them. We may have our other writers add to them. Who knows the future, other than our Lord?

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) by S Slayton

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) by S Slayton

American Robin – Singing Slayer..

American Robin
is the first among birds
to sing at dawn
and
the last in the evening
and
they band together
to drive the predator away!
Wanna drive the devil?
Worship at dawn
and at dusk
and together in trouble…
Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, (Exodus 23:25)

For more Nuggets Plus, Click Here

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