Easter Sunrise Gathering

“Praise the Lord from the earth, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted.” Psalms 148

Tow-weeee!” Before the worship team even plucked its first note, an Eastern Towhee had already begun the Easter Sunrise worship service. It was 2017 and our first sunrise service on a wooded patch of land our church bought for a future building site.

An Eastern Towhee on Easter Sunday; Clarke County, Georgia. April, 2017. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

Later that afternoon, I wrote, “We gathered for a peaceful sunrise service in the woods this morning at 6:30 AM. During the short sermon, the birds also gathered and provided a musical background. The morning serenade of birds under the tall Loblolly Pine Trees is a perfect setting to worship Jesus Christ the risen Creator. This was our church’s first outdoor sunrise service… and hopefully not the last.

But this solemn Easter we are unable to gather with our brothers and sisters to celebrate resurrection day. Feelings of deep sorrow surface within many, and anger even boils in some. There may even be those that defy the virus and isolation orders to unwisely gather in large groups for communion.

But as they say, “the show must go on!” So this year, we will continue the traditions: my wife, two daughters and I will “gather online” with church family during our live-streaming church service. And I will also rise before down to hear the gathering of the birds as they sing their morning worship songs to the Risen Savior in my own backyard sunrise service. For was it not He that said…

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands…” Acts 17:24

Happy Easter! Jesus has risen!

-William Wise

P.S. Normally I put my short bio right here. But instead I want to once again thank Lee for giving me the opportunity to be a guest author on her website, http://www.leesbird.com. It has been an honor to be brought on board and given the trust to post content. Let us all take a minute in the comment section below to wish Lee and her husband good health and a Happy Easter, and to thank her for bringing us delightful Christian Bird Blogs for so many years. Thank you Lee!

Home at Last – 6,161 Miles Later

Jax Beach Sunrise while packing to go home

Jax Beach Sunrise while packing to go home

Yesterday, we drove the last 200 miles from Jacksonville, Florida to Winter Haven. Coming through the Orlando – Disney World traffic on Interstate 4, was almost as bad as the traffic in San Diego. Well, not really. They have in places seven and eight lanes going the same direction. (Glad Dan was driving!)

On the Last Photos of Our Vacation post yesterday, which I wrote the day before that, I thought I was through taking photos of our vacation. But when we started loading the car, saw the sunrise, I couldn’t resist taking a few more. (Give a lady a camera with “program mode” and no developing fees, she goes nuts with the “clicker button”.)

Jax Beach Sunrise while packing to go home

Yes, we are now officially home after 6,161 miles of blessings. What a beautiful country we are blessed to live in. I of course bird watched as Dan drove us home. We were pleasantly surprised and concerned to see 4 different families of Sandhill Cranes along the highway. There were three “dad, mom and a youngster”, and one “dad, mom and two youngsters” groups. 13 in all. Sandhills usually have two “colts” and most only have one survive. So the one group of four are fortunate.

It felt good to sleep in my own bed again. Not that any were bad, but there is something about getting back “home.” What will it be like when those of us who know the Lord as our Savior, arrive at our eternal home?

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. … But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. (Hebrews 11:13,14,16 KJV)

That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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 3:15-17 KJV)

Some Golden Daybreak Jesus Will Come

Now the hard work begins – sorting, tossing out, naming photos, cleaning them up and shrinking them for the blog. STAY TUNED!

Thanks again for all the prayers for our safety.!!!!



Sunday Inspiration – Sunrise Gives A Big Surprise

Sunrise at Mayport 5-23-14

Sunrise at Mayport 5-23-14

And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. (2 Samuel 23:4 KJV)

Friday, we were on the balcony of our room on Mayport Naval Station, Jacksonville. We were taking photos of the sunrise before packing up to come home.

As I took photos, I noticed a ship pretty far out heading in. Because it was early dawn, we couldn’t really see what it was and decided it was just a merchant ship coming in.

A ship way out coming in.

A ship way out coming in.

I kept photographing the sun rising and trying to catch some birds outlined. You know, like those real photographers do. Guess I better stick to birdwatching and leave the photography to those who know what they are doing.

Trying to catch a bird.

Trying to catch a bird.

As the ship came in, I started trying to catch it as it came under the rising sun. She gave 5 horn blasts, which Dan said, is a sign of an incoming Naval ship. I could not find her number on the bow. So I kept shooting.

Sunrise and USS New York at Mayport

Sunrise and the ship at Mayport

As were leaving the base to head home, we came by where the ships dock. There was that ship and then it “hit me,” That was the

USS New York!

Wow! Needless say, we stopped and took more photos of her tied up. Never thought I’d get a chance to see the USS New York, but there it was! It is special and this being Memorial Day weekend, it is even more special.

Now that we are home and I am viewing the photos on a monitor and not through the viewfinder, her number “21” is visible. Also,I found out that Mayport Naval Station is now the USS New York’s homeport as of last December.

Sunrise and USS New York at Mayport

Sunrise and USS New York at Mayport

This is not the usual “Sunday Inspiration,” but I want this to be a tribute to those who have served in the military and especially to those who have lost someone who served in the military. My father died as a result of his injuries sustain by “mustard gas.” It was years later, but it caused many problems.

And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:18 KJV)

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4 KJV)

Lord Bless all of you as we remember not only the military, but also those who lost their lives in the “Twin Towers” on 9/11. You can see the two tall stacks representing the towers.

Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. (Deuteronomy 32:7 KJV)

Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (2 Corinthians 1:2-4 KJV)


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“Military Service Medley” – Faith Baptist Orchestra 7-3-11


Gospel Message