Lee’s Four Word Thursday – 3/9/17

***

Barn Swallow by Dan Taken in a cabin in Smokies

A NEST FOR HERSELF

***



“Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.” (Psalms 84:3 KJV)

Barn Swallow by Dan Taken in a cabin in Smokies

*

More Daily Devotionals

*

Sunday Inspiration – Swallows and Martins

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) baby by Neal Addy Gallery

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) baby by Neal Addy Gallery

Even the sparrow has found a home, And the swallow a nest for herself, Where she may lay her young— Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God. (Psalms 84:3 NKJV)

This week’s 88 avian flyers are from the Hirundinidae Family of Swallows and Martins. The species in this group are River Martins, Saw-wings, Swallows, and Martins of various genus, Many here in America are familiar with the Barn Swallow.

Also, the Swallows are Birds of the Bible, being mentioned in at least four verses; Psalms 84:3, Proverbs 26:2, Isaiah 38:14, and Jeremiah 8:7,

Swallows are in the Hirundinidae – Swallows Family which includes Martins. “Within the Hirundiniae, the name ‘martin’ tends to be used for the squarer-tailed species, and the name “swallow” for the more fork-tailed species; however, there is no scientific distinction between these two groups. The family contains around 88 species in 19 genera.” The subfamilies are: Saw-wings (including Square-tailed, Mountain, White-headed, Black and Fanti), Swallows (many including Barn, Bank, Cave Mangrove, Golden, etc), Martins (Purple, Cuban, Sinaloa, Brown-chested, etc.), Sand Martins (including Brown-throated, Congo, Pale, Banded).

The swallows are found on all continents except Antarctica, with the largest diversity of species in Africa. They are found on many islands, as there are quite a few that migrate long distances. God has designed them with short bills, but with a wide mouth that has a strong jaw. This is useful in their hunt for insects which they catch on the wing. With their streamlined body and wings that are pointed, they are very maneuverable at great speeds. Their forked long tail, that has 12 feathers, helps them steer. They can range from 3.9-9.4 inches and weight between 0.4-2.1 ounces.

This family of birds, to me, are one of the hardest to photograph. They zip about often, but land very seldom to catch their picture. Thankfully the Lord gave these birds a tastebud for insects that have a tastebud for us.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, So a curse without cause shall not alight. (Proverbs 26:2 NKJV)

“If I Don’t Have Love” ~ by Jessie Padgett – Special at Faith Baptist

*

More Sunday Inspirations

Birds of the Bible – Swallows

Hirundinidae Family of Swallows and Martins

Swallow – (Wikipedia)

Sharing The Gospel

*

Birds of the Bible – The Hidden Covenant – Part 3


WHY GOD PREFERS TO MAKE A COVENANT WITH BIRDS?

“Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.” Jeremiah 8:7

Wood Stork by Dan at Lake Morton Jan 2011

Wood Stork by Dan at Lake Morton

The stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times

Well, here is another reason why God prefers to make a covenant with the birds. The stork knows her appointed time. Every bird keeps up to the appointed time from dawn to dusk. Their breeding and migration are also set to an appointed time. Birds neither breed nor migrate as and when they wish. Even their nests are built on an appointed time at the appointed direction using the appointed material.

Storks build their nests where others would never dream of spending their nights. Its choice of nesting site that ranges from a high tension electric wire to a high-rise building. They prefer high places so that it would be easier for them to locate a stupendous meal for their ravenous chicks that eat almost 60% of their body weight. Why should they risk their lives and build their nests in such dangerous places? The storks know their appointed places as well as they know their appointed breeding time.

Some of the oldest stork nests in Europe are more than seven feet wide and ten feet deep has been in use for hundreds of years and still are being used by storks as breeding homes when they begin to arrive in April from their African wintering grounds. How well they organize themselves before migration is quite amazing. Male storks arrive a few days earlier, mend their nests and then would wait for his mate to arrive.

Our Bridegroom, Jesus Christ had left us more than 2000 years back; not to mend an old depleted castle in heaven but to build a new mansion with streets of Gold, from where we would reign with Him for years to follow. He is not going to wait for the arrival of His bride like the male stork that awaits its mate but would descend like a thief to take His bride with Him. No clocks, no calendars yet, the birds prepare for their rigorous seasonal excursion weeks in advance and return to the same nest every year.

We are not going for a yearly excursion to heaven. This is going to be a once in a lifetime journey, that would take us to rest with Him forever and ever. How well are we preparing for this eternal journey? How do the birds do this every year? They should know their appointed time isn’t it? Do we know our appointed time? If only we had known our appointed time, God would’ve made a covenant with us isn’t it? We need to pray like David for God to reveal to us our appointed time…

“LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.” Psalm 39:4

Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis) by Nikhil

Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis) by Nikhil

 The turtle……. observe the time of their coming..

 “Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.” Jeremiah 8:7

When do the turtles come?

Where do they come?

Why do they observe the time of their coming?

Earth’s magnetic fields and astronomical cues are a couple of the many different hypothesis found to influence turtle’s migration. Though the usage of astronomical cue hypothesis among turtles doesn’t have concrete evidence, the earth’s magnetic field hypothesis should stand good since scientific evidence proves that turtles do have magnetic interceptors. They may not see the sun, moon and the stars while they are in the ocean but still, the reason that they are able to time their migration to perfection. Wikipedia explains the magnetic field hypothesis like this.

In regards to the magnetic field hypothesis, there are three main concepts that should be considered. The concepts include electromagnetic induction, magnetic field chemical reactions, and magnetite. In regards to electromagnetic induction, it is assumed that the sea turtles have electroreceptor. Although evidence has been found in other species such as rays and sharks, no evidence has shown that there are electroreceptors in sea turtles making this hypothesis invalid. A second concept from the experimentation by Irwin involves chemical reactions which are commonly found in a variety of species of newts and birds. The strength of the magnetic field affects the chemical reactions within the bodies of the newts and birds. The final concept includes the magnetic crystals that form during the magnetic pulses from the earth’s magnetic fields. These magnetic crystals formed by magnetite give the turtles directional information and guides in migration. The magnetite affects the cells of the nervous system of the sea turtle by producing a signal that references the forces of the magnetic field and the direction and magnitude that is applied. If this magnetite is used in the migration, when the earth’s magnetic poles reverse at the dipole moment, they signal that the sea turtle nervous system receives will change the migration direction. Regardless of the hypothesis, hatchling turtles have the ability to determine the direction and inclination angle of which they are swimming with aide from magnetic fields” (Wikipedia)

Science says that if the earth’s magnetic field is stronger, the electromagnetic storms would be too severe and if the earth’s magnetic field is weaker, the ozone shield and life on land would be inadequately protected from stellar and solar radiation. In other words, God controls the magnetic field of the earth so well that it has turned earth to be the fittest planet for lives to survive. While God controls the magnetic field, the turtles rely on this magnetic field to ignite its migration. Don’t we see how turtles observe the time of their coming?

Turtles migrate, so they need to know the time of their coming.  You may wonder what does this have to do with us, humans. Do we observe time when we go to church? Or do we go as when we please. We rush to school, college or office on time. At times we are not bothered to even skip our breakfast in order to reach on time. We don’t seem to understand that God would be eagerly waiting for us in church even before the service starts. Jesus is not only preparing a mansion for us in heaven, He even waits for the last soul to come into His flock. Don’t we have a God who waits eagerly for His lost son?

…..But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.” Luke 15:20

Out of the ten servant maids, only five were ready for the appointed time to meet the Bride, while the rest had gone out to but oil. If they had observed the timing of Jesus, they would’ve filled their lamps long ago with oil and wouldn’t have waited for the last-minute isn’t it? God says that He knows our going out and coming in. Can we say the same? How well do we observe God’s time? The turtle’s body is in tune with the earth’s magnetic field. How well is our body, the temple of the true Living God tuned to do His will? Is this the reason why God preferred to choose the wildlife to make covenant I wonder…

For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:3

Common Crane (Grus grus) by Nikhil Devasar

Common Crane (Grus grus) by Nikhil Devasar

The crane…… observe the time of their coming

“Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.” Jeremiah 8:7

The migration of cranes are another good example of how these feathered friends time their migration based on the angle of sunlight , length of the day and the hormonal changes that happen before migration. The hormonal changes allow them to gain weight by way of fat reserves that they gain due to change of diet. Whooping crabs feed on lots of blue crabs to gain weight before migration. These maybe the real reasons for cranes to migrate.

We will soon have to depart on a permanent migration to heaven; but not before we have a mid-air meet with the King of kings Lord Jesus Christ. How many of us truly believe or surely have the assurance that we will meet our creator before we embark on our journey to heaven? We all want to go to heaven but we don’t want to die. Many out there are bent on somehow going to heaven. They worship, they pray, they tithe, they willing and fervently do almost all that the Bible asks us to do. But, they are scared to die. Isn’t it strange? Should we not prepare for the date and the time of our departure?

 “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” James 4:14

But, the actual take off of cranes happens on days that are very sunny. This sunny weather warms some areas more than the others like the walkway is hotter than the lawn and the land is hotter than lakes and streams. This difference in temperature causes air to rise from the warmer areas and causes an air thermal. These airs thermal not only causes the cranes to stay aloft for longer durations but also helps them fly hundreds of miles in a single day using very little or no energy at all. They will also wait for the right day and will not depart until the day has the right length before their marathon journey. The cranes know its appointed time, if only we know our appointed time God would have surely made a covenant with us instead of wildlife species isn’t it?

The church is eagerly (?)waiting to depart to meet the King. No one knows the time that God has slated for this major space schedule. But still, though we don’t know the moment of actual occurrence, why most of us have set up benchmarks and some are even trying to raising their spiritual bench mark to measure up to the yardsticks spread by the rulebook of God? We take the following verse as a supporting document to lay emphasis on our fickle faith. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Mathew 24:44.

But then, there is another verse which says, Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7. If a crane could know their coming, do we not have the privilege to seek dispensation from God? He did not give His precious life on the cross for the cranes isn’t it? Since He bore the cross for us, He is sure to reveal our going out from this world, in other words His coming in to this world to transfigure us in order to make us worthy citizens of heaven.  Before Jesus left for His heavenly sojourn,”….. He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15. Do we spread the gospel as was told by His? Did we the person who sits next to us at office? Or have we spread His good news to our classmate in school or college? Well, it is still uncertain if we have reached the person who lives next door to spread the gospel. How dare do we expect God to reveal His coming in when we do not find the courage to even talk about Jesus in public? Go back to the first sentence of this paragraph. God clearly says, Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7.. Does it not mean that God expects us to serve Him and in return He shall reveal His secrets I wonder…

Barn Swallow by Dan

Barn Swallow by Dan

The swallows observe the time of their coming

“Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.” Jeremiah 8:7

European swallows spend the winter in Africa south of the Sahara, in Arabia and in the Indian sub-continent. While the British swallows spend their winter in South Africa: travelling through western France, across the Pyrenees, down eastern Spain into Morocco, and across the Sahara. Some birds follow the west coast of Africa avoiding the Sahara, and other European swallows travel further east and down the Nile Valley.  Outside of the breeding season some species may form large flocks, and may also roost communally. This is thought to provide protection from predators such as sparrow-hawks and hobbies. These roosts can be enormous; one winter roosting site of Barn Swallows in Nigeria attracted 1.5 million individuals, says Wikipedia.

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” Mathew 18:20

God did not give the Bible for swallows but still how did they know that communal roosting would give them protection from predators. The church had proliferated endlessly from the first congregation of hundred twenty members at the upper room to millions under thousands of denomination and doctrines around the world. In spite of this phenomenal growth, the church is being targeted and thrashed in so many countries. If only the church had unity, the whole world would have known about the power of a united church. The power of unity is thus shown in the following verse. And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.” Leviticus 26:8. Do we ever have a chance of witnessing those days in our life time?

The upper room congregations of those hundred and twenty disciples were touched by tongues of heavenly fire, Contemporary Churches gather in so many different places from a small upper room to a gigantic stadium. Yet nothing quite stunning as that had happened as it did on the day of the Pentecost. Though the churches are not on fire for God, church buildings and believers are being set on fire for following Christ. Why? Is it ‘cause of lack of faith in God or lack of oneness of mind among churches?

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.

For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?

And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

For Christ’s sake let us stand united like swallows so that God would make covenant with us…

While leading the Israelites in the wilderness, Moses never moved forward till the Pillar of Cloud moved from the Tabernacle. He moved when the Pillar moved and camped where the Pillar stood. God has not given us the Pillar of Cloud; instead He has sent His own spirit to guide us. The Pillar of Cloud resembles the anointing of God. Do we wait for the Spirit of God to lead us in all that we do? There are times we start doing things without asking for God’s direction and life turns miserable. If only we had listened to the voice God…

“For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.” Luke 12:12  

Emu Lowry Pk Zoo by Lee

Emu Lowry Pk Zoo by Lee

Emu needs lots of water every day and they run behind rain clouds in the hope that they would get water. Do we really run behind the Living Water? Do we still have the thirst that was found during the initial days when we gave our life to the Lord? Most of us would certainly answer in the negative. So, let us start learning from the beasts and the birds in particular, so that God would make a covenant with each one of us. And that’s what Prophet Job prescribes for us in his book…

“But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:

Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.” Job 12:7-8

*

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

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

See:

Birds of the Bible – The Hidden Covenant – Intro

Birds of the Bible – The Hidden Covenant – Part 2

Birds of the Bible

*

Yours in YESHUA,

a j mithra

Please visit us at:

*

I Just Happened ~ by Dottie Malcolm

Outside A Window ©©jmason

I Just Happened ~ by Dorothy Belle Malcolm

How many times have I said either out loud or to myself – “I just happened.” That seems to say it all for me when certain things occur. For instance, this spring I just happened to be looking out the family room window and saw the most beautiful bird. The colors were bright blue, red, and orange. In less than a minute it was gone. I had never seen one like it all the 30 plus years in Florida. Looking it up in a bird book the colors were described as blue-black, cinnamon belly and a reddish-brown chin. Well, yes, better than I described it. It was a Barn Swallow which I have not seen again.

Barn Swallow in Cades Cove by Dan

Barn Swallow in Cades Cove by Dan

Also I had a first time visit from a non-breeding adult Little Blue Heron. Of course it was a result of “I just happened” to be looking out the same window and also had to look it up in a book.

Little Blue Heron at Lake Howard, Winter Haven, FL

Now that I think about it, maybe this particular window is proving to be a real winner for the “just happen” events. Come to think further about it, I recall seeing a pair of Orioles once.

The only thing is none of these birds have ever been seen by me again. Oh well, as long as I have the window, the book and the “I just happened,” perhaps ……

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalms 16:11 NKJV)

Other articles by Dottie:

*

Birds of the Bible – Swallows

Barn Swallow by Dan

Barn Swallow by Dan

Somehow I overlooked the Swallows on the first go-around of the “Birds of the Bible” series. This blog hopes to correct that oversight.

To the Chief Musician. On An Instrument of Gath. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah. How lovely is Your tabernacle, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints For the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, And the swallow a nest for herself, Where she may lay her young– Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; They will still be praising You. Selah (Psalm 84:1-4 NKJV)

Following are some quotes from Gill and Matthew Henry:

“because it freely visits the houses of men without fear” – (Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible)

“III. His (David’s)  grudging the happiness of the little birds that made their nests in the buildings that were adjoining to God’s altars, Psa_84:3. This is an elegant and surprising expression of his affection to God’s altars: The sparrow has found a house and the swallow a nest for herself. These little birds, by the instinct and direction of nature, provide habitations for themselves in houses, as other birds do in the woods, both for their own repose and in which to lay their young; some such David supposes there were in the buildings about the courts of God’s house, and wishes himself with them. He would rather live in a bird’s nest nigh God’s altars than in a palace at a distance

Barn Swallow by Dan

Barn Swallow by Dan

from them. He sometimes wished for the wings of a dove, on which to fly into the wilderness (Psa_55:6); here for the wings of a sparrow, that he might fly undiscovered into God’s courts; and, though to watch as a sparrow alone upon the house-top is the description of a very melancholy state and spirit (Psa_102:7), yet David would be glad to take it for his lot, provided he might be near God’s altars. It is better to be serving God in solitude than serving sin with a multitude. The word for a sparrow signifies any little bird, and (if I may offer a conjecture) perhaps when, in David’s time, music was introduced so much into the sacred service, both vocal and instrumental, to complete the harmony they had singing-birds in cages hung about the courts of the tabernacle (for we find the singing of birds taken notice of to the glory of God, Psa_104:12), and David envies the happiness of these, and would gladly change places with them. Observe, David envies the happiness not of those birds that flew over the altars, and had only a transient view of God’s courts, but of those that had nests for themselves there. David … takes notice that these birds not only have nests for themselves there, but that there they lay their young; for those who have a place in God’s

Two Swallow youngsters by Lee

Two Swallow youngsters by Lee

courts themselves cannot but desire that their children also may have in God’s house, and within his walls, a place and a name, that they may feed their kids beside the shepherds’ tents.” (Matthew Henry Commentary)

I trust that those of us that are Christians enjoy and look forward to the time we spend in church. In times like these, we need:
1. A Saviour, which is Christ the Lord (John 3:16, 2 Peter 3:18)
2. A place to “study to show thyself approved” and be nurtured by the preaching and teaching of the Word of God (Romans 10:14, 2 Timothy 2:15 & 3:16)
3. A place of fellowship (Acts 2:42)

Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, So a curse without cause shall not alight.  (Proverbs 26:2 NKJV)

Like a crane or a swallow, so I chattered; I mourned like a dove; My eyes fail from looking upward. O LORD, I am oppressed; Undertake for me! (Isaiah 38:14 NKJV)  (This verse was mentioned in the “Birds of the Bible – Cranes” blog)

“Even the stork in the heavens Knows her appointed times; And the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow Observe the time of their coming. But My people do not know the judgment of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 NKJV)  (This verse was covered in the “Interesting Things – A Lesson from the Stork” blog.)

Swallows are in the Hirundinidae – Swallows Family which includes Martins. “Within the Hirundiniae, the name ‘martin’ tends to be used for the squarer-tailed species, and the name “swallow” for the more fork-tailed species; however, there is no scientific distinction between these two groups.[1] The family contains around 83 species in 19 genera.” The subfamilies are: Saw-wings (including Square-tailed, Mountain, White-headed, Black and Fanti), Swallows (many including Barn, Bank, Cave Mangrove, Golden, etc), Martins (Purple, Cuban, Sinaloa, Brown-chested, etc.), Sand Martins (including Brown-throated, Congo, Pale, Banded).

The swallows are found on all continents except Antarctica with the largest diversity of species in Africa. They are found on many islands, as there are quite a few that migrate long distances. God has designed them with short bills, but with a wide mouth that has a strong jaw. This is useful in there hunt for insects which they catch on the wing. With their streamlined body and wings that are pointed, they are very maneuverable at great speeds. Their forked long tail, that has 12 feathers, helps them steer. They can range from 3.9-9.4 inches and weight between 0.4-2.1 ounces.

More information about Swallows can be found at:

Swallow Photos
Swallow Videos

Swallow (Wikipedia)
Swallow videos on Internet Bird Collection
Swallows at Britannica Online Encyclopedia

*