Eagles

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Eagles are majestic, powerful, grace-filled examples of the Creator God. I have always been fascinated by these birds. I live in the Rocky Mountain region and am occasionally blessed to see eagles soar.

There are scriptures that describe their attributes as protector, safety under her wings, and as an example of renewed youth and energy.

Deuteronomy 32:11
Like an eagle that rouses’ her chicks and hovers over her young, so he spread his wings to take them up and carried them safely on his pinions.

Exodus 19: 1- 6 19 On the first day of the third month after the Israelites left Egypt—on that very day—they came to the Desert of Sinai. 2 After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain.
3 Then Moses went up to God, andp the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you[a] will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

Psalm 103: 5 He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagles.

Interesting facts from all about birds.org the Cornell lab:

Immature Bald Eagles spend the first four years of their lives in nomadic exploration of vast territories and can fly hundreds of miles per day. Some young birds from Florida have wandered north as far as Michigan, and birds from California have reached Alaska.

Had Benjamin Franklin prevailed, the U.S. emblem might have been Wild Turkey. In 1784, Franklin disparaged the national bird’s thieving tendencies and its vulnerability to harassment by small birds. “For my own part,” he wrote, “I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. … Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District.”

Lamentations 4:19 describes the enemies as swift and wise to find the Lord’s people or to cover over God’s people in a negative way.

Habakkuk 1:8 described the enemies of God as eagles that swoop down to devour their prey. Powerful !

Even though Ben Franklin describes the Eagle as a bird of bad moral character since it can be an opportunist when it comes to food, a eagle is powerful. It soars to amazing heights; 10,000 feet, and dives at a speed of 100 miles per hour. They are loyal; they mate for life, are providers for their eaglets, and tenacious. I’m relieved our nations symbol was not a wild Turkey, aren’t you?

According to Kristin Stanton of UniGuide.com, an Eagle symbolizes Loyalty, devotion, freedom, independence, truth, honor,the Divine, and Hope.

The Eagle reminds me that with God I can soar to amazing heights, I can live in the Power of truth and I can live in freedom with my Savior.

Isaiah 40:31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength, they will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

Interchangeable

The triune: The Father God, God’s Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are three in One. He is the Rock, the God of the Mountains: El Shaddai. He is Omnipresent. ( Jeremiah 23:23-24) No one can hide from Him. Amazing!!

The Names of God are an amazing reflection of His characters . Years ago, I was exposed to this list in a Bible study. My mind has been deeply pondering culture, world news and staying firm in faith with God.

He has shown himself in the joys and trials of life, our God is massive and His Names have specific meaning depending on my circumstances.

I felt called to share this wisdom today. May one of these Names of God bring hope to you and maybe draw you deeper into a relationship with Him.

  1. Adonai – My Great Lord, He is the Majestic Lord, our authority. (Psalm 8:1)
  2. Elohim – The All-Powerful One, He is the Creator of the Heavens and earth. He is everywhere. (Psalm 68)
  3. El Roi – The God who sees me, God knows who we are and what we are going through. (Genesis 16:11-14)
  4. El Shaddai – The God of the Mountains, He is all-powerful and the source of all blessings. (Psalm 139:7-12)
  5. Immanuel – God with us, the Great I Am, Jesus came as a baby, He is in our midst. (Isaiah 8:8-10,Matthew 1:23)
  6. Jehovah – “I AM”, He is the God who never changes. He is faithful, even when we are not. (Psalm 102)
  7. Jehovah-Jireh – The Lord will provide. He will meet all our needs, Jesus, His Son was sacrificed for us. (Psalm 23)
  8. Jehovah-Nissi – The Lord is My Banner, God gives victory, Our battle is against the dark, evil, He is Light.(Ephesians 6:10-18)
  9. Jehovah-Shalom – God of Peace, Jesus is our Prince of Peace, He defeats our enemy when we seek Him. (Hebrews 13:20)
  10. Yahweh – ” I AM”, His promises never fail. He is faithful and never changes. (Malachi 3:6, Psalm 46:1)

We must hold onto the hope found in the unchanging God, who may have many interchangeable names but is the Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end.

“No one but you”, a song from Hillsong United, brings the breath of life to me as I hear the words of promise. There is No one like our God. May this song encourage you today!!

Fall has come

There is something about the fall season. The change of weather from super hot, sticky days, as a fan does not provide relief from the dripping perspiration, heat comes even into the night.

The need for cool, brisk evenings comes to its zenith when the calendar lands on October. Ah, the winds begin to blow more urgently.

It is fall. The days may start off warm, however as the sun begins to drop into its place of rest, the evening temperatures cool bringing comfortable sleep.

The windows are now open for breezy times, the trees rustle as the sound of leaves begin their change of color. Summertime green leaves transform into burgundy, red, orange, yellow and an amazing dark purple. As you crest a hill driving down a country road from the top of the mountain to the valley, the multiple colors can be seen from a distance. It is a breathtaking color palette of leaves from an artists’ brush, the Creator God.

I love fall. Nature cycles from energized green trees, productions of flowers, vegetables and even sunflowers and grain harvests. Farmers combine multiple crops such as wheat, barley, crushing corn stalks for livestock silage and a final crop sugar beets. As temperatures drop, they prepare the land for next years crops.

Apples have been a bumper crop in our area. The sweet, satisfying apples release a juicy taste quenching your thirst and reminding you to add caramel. Yummy! It is fall!

When the winds pick up, blowing in gusts, I see a tumble weed blow across the fields, it picking up another torn dry portion and expand ever larger as it hops along.

Yes, the seasons ( or times) they are a changing, like Bob Dylan sang. It is a time of introspection. A time of considering change in our own life, or maybe holding onto the amazing good things. I am learning not to take anything for granted.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 
1    There is a time for everything,
 and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2     a time to be born and a time to die,
 a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3     a time to kill and a time to heal,
 a time to tear down and a time to build,
4     a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5     a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain   from embracing,
6     a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7     a time to tear and a time to mend,
 a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8     a time to love and a time to hate,
 a time for war and a time for peace.

As the leaves shrivel further they begin to drop from the trees. Piles form and swirl as the gusty winds begin again, it is a restless example of things never staying still for long. Time brings change.

Life is as constant and moving as the leaves. The four seasons remind me to be grateful for transitions: winter, spring, summer and fall. Each season has a purpose just like life.

Leaves remind me as they fall to the ground, drop the old ways. Shriveling leaves, can represent limiting life because choices have caused me to step away from the source of life. There is still time to be made new and alive again.

There is another season to navigate. Get ready because winter can be a time of rest.

Daniel 2: 20 - 25   
Daniel said: 
20 “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.
21 He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others.
     He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.
22 He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness,
    and light dwells with him

Fall into the arms of the Creator God. He is wise.

Salmon Endurance

Do you ever feel like a salmon swimming against the river current? You are in the living water, it provides a vehicle to allow your movement to a different place. Yet the boulders and tree branches that are scattered in the river provide the potential for detours, fits and stops.

You are using all your energy to stay in motion. Your body burns the calories, especially if your favorite stress reliever chocolate. Yum!! Yet the sugar in chocolate is still not enough to keep you moving.

If you remember your Biology class, once your simple sugars ( carbohydrates) are drained, your blood sugar drops and your body seeks another source of energy, such as fats and proteins. If you are endowed with an extra muffin top in your midsection, it may be a good thing to feel that fat waste away. If you are not endowed with extra insulating fat, your muscles can loose the protein energy and as a result, you tire and muscle can waste away. No Bueno!!!

Its the building blocks of proteins such as meats, nuts and such that provide the best energy source. You see, those food products can be used and last longer than carbs.

We need energy to endure in life. We must seek approval of God over man to endure. We must swim with endurance the river journey of faith.

Galatians 1:10 NLT
Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.

❤️

The time we spend getting to know Jesus and filling up on His Word is like the protein stores. There are more energy bursts to grab from as you work through your day.

If you add additional stress, trials, illness, or trauma, you are drained like a salmon swimming upstream. One obstacle after another works against you.

You must dig deep into the words from scripture that can pop into your mind. This will only happen if you have been mediating on God’s wisdom. It can come to the surface of your mind energizing you and providing a place to turn to God over the river currents.

Philippians 1:6 NLT. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Road less traveled

Jeep travels by Mary Mesikapp
Psalm 25: 4 - 10   

4 Show me the right path, 
O Lord; point out the road for me to follow.  

5 Lead me by your truth and teach me,
    for you are the God who saves me.
    All day long I put my hope in you.
6 Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,
    which you have shown from long ages past.
7 Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
    Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
    for you are merciful, O Lord.

8 The Lord is good and does what is right;
    he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
9 He leads the humble in doing right,
    teaching them his way.
10 The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
    all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.

Occasionally, our family travels into the mountains on 4 x 4 Jeep trails. This time in nature reminds me to consider the road less travelled. My husband drives as I navigate with suggestions over the huge boulders, rolling rocks, and tree stumps. Water passages can be tricky especially when you never know how deep they may be. Our youngest hangs on for dear life as the jeep lurches, slides, and is temporarily at an odd angle to the mountain. Our brains are scrambled somewhat by the bumps on the trails yet our brain clears with joy when we reach our destination.

Traveling on Jeep 4 x4 trails takes trust, wisdom and a drive for adventure, much like life’s journey. Trust in the driver and the jeeps solid maintenance is necessity. On jeep trails and in life, there can be opportunities to avoid obstacles.

I can be an avoider, how about you? Yet the more time spent in the Bible teaches me to believe the obstacles may be used by God to deepen my faith.

The Lord is good. He does want to show us the path to follow. We have to let Him provide us with wisdom, which means we must drop our need to control and our pride.

We must be open to redirection, like navigating boulders. We have to take time to read His Word, it is an action step for our benefit.

We must discern who our tribe will be. Who is the leader? Who is the follower? We have to seek accountability from the right people who want us to be examples of integrity and character. There will always be people bent on our destruction. We must choose wisely who we believe.

The Lord is faithful and He is love. He is the Ultimate Best Friend and Wisdom Giver. Let Him be your navigator. He is the Compass directing you to the best things.

Thirsty

Let the Living water of God fill the empty places and bring refreshment. Are you parched in the weary state of the world or in your private life?

Let the Lord quench your thirst. I love this song by Shane and Shane. Living Water flow through Jesus and fill your life.

https://youtu.be/DlnAREAjTfU

Psalm 107:9 NLT
[9] For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

God bless you today.

Sisterhood (Brothers too.)

Lessons from the Clucky Ladies are many. This photo taken by my youngest is such a beautiful picture of the Sisterhood ( Brotherhood :)) of Christ. Let me paint a clearer image for you nonchicken people stacked chickens in a laying box is not the norm :).

Chickens need their separate space in the chicken coop to lay eggs. Generally speaking, each chicken needs time to release their egg in the laying boxes. There are 5 separate spots for our ladies. As they prepare to lay their eggs, they have a pensive face, quiet and determined. As they are laying, they usually sing a song. Or at least that is what it sounds like. I would guess it is a feeling of accomplishment.

One of the chickens is brooding for the past few weeks, this potential mom to be sits on her egg and her sisters eggs all day hopeful for a chick to be her reward. She is steadfast in this behavior and day by day we are needing to provide extra tender loving care by providing water, and snacks to keep her alive. We have no rooster, therefore, this want for a baby chick will never be filled.

The brooding chicken clucks in a loud noise as we remove eggs gently from underneath. She has been loved by our daughter and myself, held as a little chick and thus is not mean. She runs off to eat after we remove her egg.

We have watched her red comb, the object on her head and below her chin, shrivel. I have learned that the comb is very vascular, meaning it carries blood supply to the body, it provides cooling for body temperature. A healthy comb is vibrant red and thick in size, as you can see in the photo of the other chickens.

This beautiful snapshot our “Cluckly Ladies” reflects our need to surround friends and family with support. It can be just a word of encouragement, a phone call just because you feel prompted ( maybe by God), or dropping a text or funny meme. It can be lifting up a prayer right away. There is nothing better than hearing someone pray for your needs. Its love in action. You will be amazed when you step out of the box and bless another.

Matthew 23:37 tells us the Lord wants to gather his children as a hen protects her chicks. What love is this, He is protector and wants us to love others. We have to be open to spreading love to others. It can be scary but so amazing.

The Sisters (Brothers) in your life, biological or otherwise need to hear from you. It may just be what the Great Physician ordered.

God sees you!

El Roi is the Hebrew name for “the God who sees me.” It is found in the story of Hagar (Genesis 16). There are days when we feel unseen, passed by, invisible. It can be as a result of our timid nature, a struggle of confidence, circumstances done to us or as a result of our own choices.

Hagar was in the unfortunate position of servant to Abraham. Abraham and his wife Sarai wanted a child and were blessed by God to have a son. They were impatient in their old age and decided to have Hagar surrogate their son. Then Sarai was sad because she was not the mom. So Hagar and her son were not treated the best. Hagar took her son Ischmael into the desert to run away. There in the desert she called out to God and God came. What an encounter, the well (place) was named, ” God sees me”.

God sees you. He knew you from the moment of conception. He knew what you would look like, He orchestrated steps, He will be the still soft whisper in your ears, He will be the Shepherd to us, His sheep.

Psalm 119:18 NLT Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.

God sees you. He knows everything about you, your mistakes, your laughter, your times of despair, your times of triumph. He wants to be in relationship with you.

Psalm 139:23 NLT Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

God sees you. He awaits your voice. He waits for you to reach out to him, He wants you to choose. He wants to spend time sharing wisdom as He did with Hagar. He knows the voice of each of His sheep.

We have one goat, when I hear her loud voice, I know it is her speaking. There are other goats in our neighborhood. These fainting goats have a higher pitched sound. I can tell the difference. If our goat, Loute (her name is German for Loud), makes her voice known, I answer her concerns by checking in on her needs. Usually, her concerns are an alert to let me know her best friend, Opie the horse has escaped his corral.

God sees you!! Call out to Him. Tell Him your concerns. Listen for the Shepherd. He will give wisdom.

Pray this scripture below, Ephesians 1:4-11 placing your name inside it, such as “ Even before He made the world, God loved me ( )He chose me ( )in Christ… God decided to adopt me…etc.” Complete the scripture aloud. He wants to hear your voice.

Ephesians 1:4-11 NLT Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. [5] God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. [6] So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. [7] He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. [8] He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. [9] God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ-which is to fulfill his own good plan. [10] And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ-everything in heaven and on earth. [11] Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.

God sees you! He is good. Reach out to Him! It is worth the risk.

Driftwood and Criticism

Criticism is not fun even if it is constructive. I consider criticism a statement of failure and condemnation, being judged unfairly and not measuring up to someone’s standard. It kept me angry. Synonyms for criticism vary from censure to review, assessment to appraisal. There can be negative or positive results.

Can there be rewards for constructive criticism? Should I be open to grow and be transformed into a better version of myself while I am feeling chipped away? Is there any truth to the criticism? Is this a healthy relationship?

I pondered, should I allow myself to be whittled like a dry tree branch? I have always been fascinated by people who can take a piece of driftwood or an old part of a tree and create something one of a kind, beautiful. They are able to see the beauty underneath the surface. Think about it, our God sees us the same way!!!

Photo by Kathryn Archibald on Pexels.com

On the outside the scrap driftwood appears to be dry and useless as it holds no life. It has been broken away from the main tree trunk. There are no longer pathways of sap to provide sustenance and energy. Maybe it has been floating in a river or ocean quite a while becoming further withered.

Do you ever feel like driftwood? Floating along, perhaps feeling alone, lost, distracted? The Master Craftsman could be waiting for you to float onto the shore and be ready for new things. If we ponder, the tools needed for this transformation we may use: Stillness with God, the Bible and humbly allow the cutting away of sin, forgiving ourselves, repenting and asking God for a new beginning. We must choose to let him carve away the dry.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

A wood carvers tools of the trade may be straight chisel, wood carving gouge or whittling knives each serving a specific purpose. A knife cuts away at the unnecessary layers of dead wood. It digs away layers slowly from the outside in. Could that be a chronic sin such as telling little white lies so we don’t hurt someone’s feelings instead of being truthful?

Proverbs 27 :5  An open rebuke is better than hidden love!

The gouge may allow the craftsman to gather the dry parts quicker, yet with care and patience the carver is hopeful not to gather too quickly. The gouge may be the deep consequence of returning to angry outbursts instead of listening intentionally.

Proverbs 15:1  A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.

The chisel removes debris closer to the surface. It’s a skimmer of sorts. Perhaps an example of this in humans may be, the gentle rebuke from a parent, ” Hey, do you want to try that response again? Deep breath and we can talk more.” or ” Forgive me!”


Proverbs 26 :28 A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.

Corrie ten Boom was such a humble example of Christ, she gained more self-control as she was in the trial. Her quotes from her time in a concentration camp are found on the internet and in her book, “The Hiding Place,” a biography from World War 2. She witnessed the oppression of Jewish community including her friends. She, along with her family, chose not to stick with the status quo and many lives were saved by not turning a blind eye to the atrocities on their fellow country man.

The world is better for women such as Corrie and their example of putting to practice the words of scripture. I do not know if I could have forgiven those who committed evil. I would pray that I would choose the wisdom of God were I in her shoes.

One of my favorite quotations from Corrie ten Boom: Our critics are the unpaid guardians of our souls. 

What a timeless quote for daily mediation. I think honest critical comments can help us grow into who the Lord already knows we can become. There is a difference between constructive, loving communication and criticism that is meant to devour another person. Loving communication must start with words of affirmation, truth and love.

James 3: 2   Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.



James3:6 And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.

The enemy wants us to switch gears in our minds and use our tongues to sear in fire those created in the image of God.

We must seek truth in Christ, be bold in speech and allow Him to grow our faith and bless our lives.

Ephesians 4:15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ.     

I need to allow the dry places in my soul to be touched and sharpened by those who can help me grow. However, I am not open to be devoured by another whose intention is destruction. I pray for discernment of the Holy Spirit.

Choose wisely who we trust with wisdom. God first, of course, then friends who want to reflect Him to the world, like Corrie. May be the unpaid guardians of our soul need to be given thanks. Let God, the Master Craftsman, cut away the dry places and bring out the beauty just as driftwood!

Proverbs 27 :17   As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

Would you take a hike?

A hot, summer day in Colorado, my youngest daughter and I were running the usual errands for groceries, animal feed and spending quality time together. I was driving home on the interstate when out of the corner of my eye I saw a man dressed in Bible time costume dragging /carrying a wooden cross. I was traveling the usual 60 MPH, when the traffic slowed to a crawl. If this had not occurred, I would not have seen this man.

It was near 100 degrees with 50 percent humidity. I said to my daughter, “I don’t know who that is, but I am praying he completes the call God may have placed on his day”. I was especially concerned about the possibility of hyperthermia, dehydration and heat stroke.

You see, I used to be an Emergency Trauma Nurse. Once a nurse, always a nurse. Ask my daughter. I couldn’t get off the highway to hand him a bottle of water as there were no close exits.

I have often wondered what kind of person would take a walk carrying a wooden cross like Jesus? I assume a devout follower of Jesus on a pilgrimage or someone trying the spread the Gospel message of Jesus.

I was amazed when a few weeks later, a longtime friend, brother in Christ, who I hadn’t seen in over a year texted me. Chris texted, “I am thinking of you, Mary, and I want you to check out an interview I did at my church”. I responded “Sure, no problem, I will check it out”.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Pexels.com

I had been praying for my brother in Christ, Chris, even more frequently the past 18 months, since his wife Tracey passed away suddenly. This amazing couple served in church, in Bible study, prayer teams, on the worship team, in kids ministry and also on children’s plays with me. They are humble and use the gifts the Lord gave them for serving others. Many people have been blessed.

I am so excited to share his testimony with you. If you have the time, it is an amazing example of hearing the Lord ask you to action, like the Bible story of Jonah and his call to visit Ninevah. In that story, the whale swallowed Jonah and he had a testimony that is still shared today.

We never know whether that still small voice of God exists. In our human perspective, it is illogical. But God can do anything. Are we listening for his calling on our lives? Are there other people created in the Image of God that need to connect with you and see Jesus in your words and actions? It is convicting but amazing.

Would you take a hike? Chris made me ponder that question. I plan to listen with two ears not one, and to slow down for rest. Who knows, maybe I will hear the Lord speak. Onward and upward, one step at a time.