King of the Hill

Bighorn sheep are some amazing creatures! They navigate the edges of the hills like few other animals, especially animals of their size. These hillside ledges, which would leave us trembling, are places of safety and security.

Some recent time spent with the sheep refreshed my respect of their command of the cliffs and how they use them for a refuge. This time also brought some reflection about where we turn for a place of safety and security.

Psalm 46.1-3 lays out for us that safe and secure place that even the sheep have never experienced.

When life begins crumbling and trouble comes we too seek a strong mountain! Psalm 46.1-3 points us to faith in our God.

Psalm 46.1-3,

1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.

Two wonderful figures of speech point us to our strong place. “Refuge” is where we find protection when trouble comes. “Strength” is God’s enablement, which we have by faith in him, when things are crumbling!

In those times of trouble we all face, “help” is God providing for us his security, his peace, his faithfulness! What a blessing!

The Psalm, “therefore,” continues that even though it seems the whole world is crashing down “we will not fear”!

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
3 Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.

Whatever is rising up against us is met with divine protection and divine provision! It’s our portion for, by faith, we are cared for by the eternal “King of the Hill”!

What a wonderful truth that God protects those whose faith rests in him! If you’re not sure you have a relationship with this eternal God, you can do so by placing your faith in his great provision for us, the Lord Jesus. John 3.16 makes this so clear . . .

John 3.16,

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

When our faith is in Jesus, we know that there is safety and security for our lives, regardless of our world’s turmoil.

The King of the Hill

The Hunter

Watching these “hunters” is a lesson for your patience! There’s typically lots of time “looking” for these beautiful birds and a few moments of madness trying to get some images as they sweep past.

On this particular day it was freezing rain so the wait seemed even longer, which is in itself another lesson. You need to be equipped.

Seems much of life is very similar, i.e., lots of steadfastness needed amidst a few moments of madness. And, you need some good equipment for the things you’re doing.

Having just celebrated 55 years of marriage, I can affirm both that steadfastness and being equipped are keys to life. For “steadfastness” and being “equipped” I commend what Scripture says both in 1Cor 15:58,

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

and in 2Thess 3:5,

May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.

Both of these truths of the Lord will bring you to where you want to be in life, as well as supply all you need in those few moments of madness!

Prints available at www.dasyas.com

Birds, Burgers, and Bosque del Apache

Maybe I should have put “burgers” first! No, it’s birds, sandhill cranes in particular, which draw me again and again to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico.

Each year large numbers of cranes migrate through this flyway and you can always find interesting opportunities for photography or just enjoying the birds.

Now, about the “burgers,” there’s a café in San Antonio NM called the Buckhorn which is famous for their “Green Chili Cheeseburger”! It’s worth a stop!

There’s more to Bosque than just cranes. You’ll find opportunity to watch or photograph Roadrunners, Gabel’s Quail, Snow Geese, Bald Eagles, various Hawks, songbirds, deer, and more.

Also, each of these images are available for purchase on the website, check them out!

P.S. – Sorry I’ve been slow on updating things as our move coupled with some pressing health needs of a friend have taken extra effort and time.

The Word & Wing: October 14, 2019

“And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Matthew 6.28–34

Some Clearer Vision!

Some Clearer Vision . . . or . . .Your View Depends On The Glasses You’re Looking Through

Recently I went through one of those procedures that often comes with aging eyes, cataract surgery. I’ve worn glasses for a number of years and each eye exam, with the glasses correction, came out pretty good, often 20/20. What’s to complain about?

Well, some years and a particularly active cataract on my left eye (the right eye only had a “little” activity!) finally called for the surgery. In an amazing 10 minute surgery, I went from what I thought was “some dullness” to brilliant clarity! Amazing! (They gave me a video of it all if you want to borrow it!)

Suddenly, the eye with surgery was amazing, I did say that again, and other eye I thought was pretty acute was left in the dust! Glasses didn’t cut it anymore, it was a mess (the short version of the story).

My “view” is off! Punk! Yet, it brought to my attention a potent truth — “your view depends on the glasses or eyes you’re looking through”! My glasses / eyes were distorting things!

This insight really transfers to how we see life, the things of the past, the things of the present, and the things ahead of us. I think this need for some clear vision is touched upon by the Word of God in many places for our Lord knows we can easily have a “view” that’s off, even distorted, from what he is doing.

Are there some “past acts” that are coloring your view of life? Are there some “present realities” that are coloring your view of life? Are there some “things ahead” that are coloring your view of life? If you’re like me, there are things in all these areas of my life! Some “clearer vision” would be great!

Recently I was preparing some thoughts about the Lord’s Supper, or Communion, or the Eucharist, or the Lord’s Table, or the Breaking of Bread . . . several names but all drawing us, I’d suggest, toward seeing life through some clear glasses.

Three things happen as we come to this time of Communion.

First Thing, this is a time to look to a past act, we are reminded of the Amazing Grace of God who gave Jesus as the all-sufficient sacrifice for all sin for all time. We remember the Cross of Jesus.

but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, “THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART, AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,” He then says, “AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.” Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. Heb 10:12–18

We remember Jesus died for All sin, yours and mine! The Apostle Paul writes,

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; . . . ” 1 Co 11:23–24

The First Thing we remember which clears our vision, removes the distortion of what’s really important in life, is Jesus died for sinners, and we say, “Thank you for grace”!

Second Thing, this is a time of present reality, not simply a history lesson. That past act is present here today as we remember Jesus’ death on the Cross opens for us who believe his New Life and eternal fellowship with God! We live today through faith in Jesus, as the Apostle John writes, Jn 1:12–13,

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

We remember that when our faith is in Jesus our present reality is living God’s New Life as his child, even when the “view” may seem clouded or dulled or even darkened!

As we heard from the Apostle Paul, we read again, 1 Co 11:23–24,

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

The Second Thing we remember is that because Jesus died for our sin we live today in fellowship with God, as his beloved children!

There is a Third Thing, this is a time of looking ahead from our foundation of forgiveness through faith in Jesus —

We, by grace, through faith in Jesus, not only remember Jesus’ death for all our sin in the past, we also remember we live today as God’s own children, — and the Third Thing is we live in a New Covenant, looking for, living for, longing for the Imminent return of Jesus, the Lord of lords, and King of kings!

The Apostle Paul writes, 1 Co 11:25–26,

In the same way { i.e., after giving thanks } He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

We are reminded that we’re forgiven through faith in Jesus and every day is living and looking for the glorious coming of Jesus and his New Life in its fullness, where the Apostle John says,

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.” Re 21:1–7

The Third Thing we remember is that Jesus is coming again and he has more for us than we’ve ever imagined, again, even when the current “view” is clouded! We “proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes”!

Three Things:

  1. Jesus died for all our sin! Thank you, Jesus!
  2. Jesus gives us New Life in fellowship with God, with Jesus as our Lord, Advocate, and High Priest! Thank you, Jesus!
  3. Jesus is coming again and our hope is eternal and glorious! Thank you, Jesus!
It’s amazing how much clearer we can now see!