Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day and Night

"By day the LORD commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life" (Psalm 42:8).

Lady Robin is absolutely devoted to incubating her eggs.  She sits on her nest day and night, leaving it only briefly to feed.  She does all the incubating, and her mate often brings food to her. 

God is attentive to all of our needs day and night.  He hears our prayers and provides us with all that we need.  He guards us against every kind of evil and loves us with such devotion that He "did not spare His own Son but delivered Him up for us all" (Romans 8:32).  There is no greater joy than to know and receive God's endless love.

"The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness" (Exodus 34:6).

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

An Inside Look

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known"
(1 Corinthians 13:12).

This is the view from inside the shower!  Not the clearest view, but it's obvious that it is Lady Robin sitting on her nest.  For 12-14 days she will leave the nest for only five to 10 minutes at a time to feed. Several times a day she will turn or rotate the eggs with her beak to even out the body temperatures of the growing baby birds.  She will spend most of her time incubating her eggs until it is time for them to hatch. 

In the Holy Scriptures, God has given us an inside look at His love and mercy.  Ever since the first man and woman rebelled against Him, God began to reveal His plan for our salvation.  At just the right time He fulfilled His plan through His Son--Jesus came to deliver God's promise of forgiveness. He came to give us life after death, and when He comes a second time, He will bring all things to completion.  What comfort, peace and joy this gives us!

"With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ" (Ephesians 1:8-10).

Monday, April 25, 2011

Guard and Protector

A robin usually lays three to four eggs in a clutch.  It appears that Lady Robin decided to stop at three. The robin's whole purpose is to produce more robins, and everything they do instinctively is toward this end:  migrating, nesting, courting, laying, incubating, and caring for their young.

Did you know that in the United States all native migratory birds, including the American Robin, are protected under federal law? Under The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, it is illegal for anyone to possess a protected bird, its nest, its eggs or even its feathers unless they have the required federal and state licenses. It is also illegal to disturb an active nest. Penalties for violating this law include up to $500 and/or up to six months in jail for each offense.

That's a lot of protection!

Our Heavenly Father goes out of His way to protect us from all dangers that would threaten our relationship with Him.  Enjoy reading Psalm 91 and rest assured in the safety of God's protection.

Psalm 91
     Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. 
     He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 
     You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. 
     If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 
     You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Friday, April 22, 2011

Three Eggs

"For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20) 

Three days, three eggs.  Lady Robin is more visible these days as she is very protective of her little clutch.  She comes to the nest frequently to check on her eggs, and when she is not in the nest she is nearby where she can keep an eye on them. 

That's how it is with Christ in our lives.  He promises to always be with us to direct and protect us.  He comes to us through His Word and in His Sacraments, and He invites us into the Holy Trinity. 

"That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me" (John 17:20-21).

Furthermore, our spiritual walk is strengthened when we are united with Christ in fellowship with other Christians.  A Christian marriage, for example, is more than the union of a man and a woman. When Christ is the center of the marital relationship, God unites the couple in a covenant relationship with Him.

"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken" (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Second Egg

 “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first sign,
 they may believe the second" (Exodus 4:8).

Robins are a lot like chickens.  They lay one egg a day, and when there is clutch of three to four eggs, the robin will begin to sit on them to keep them warm so that the baby birds will develop and hatch. Robin eggs will incubate for 12 to 14 days, whereas chicken eggs incubate for 21 days.  Today Lady Robin laid her second egg in the nest next to her first egg.
"The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man
is of heaven" (1 Corinthians 15:47).

While Jesus is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, God's Word also refers to Him as "the second man."  The first man, Adam, was created by God out of the dust of the earth.  Adam was disobedient to God, and so he and his offspring after him are a fallen race, subject to the God's punishment and death.

But God loves us and wants to save us, so He sent His Son, Jesus (the "second man," begotten of His Father), who lived in perfect obedience yet took on Himself the punishment and death that we deserve.  Jesus rose from the grave in victory over death, and His spiritual offspring (those who believe in Him) will also rise up and live with Him forever in His heavenly Kingdom.

"Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many;
and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin,
but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him"
(Hebrews 9:28).

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The First Egg

"But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first"
(Matthew 19:30).

It feels a little bit like an Easter egg hunt.  Today I discovered the first egg in the robin's nest.  That was exciting!  I hadn't seen Lady Robin in a few days since she finished building her nest.  Each day I'd peek out the window, but the nest remained empty.  Today I was very surprised when I saw the little blue egg resting in the nest.

"First" is always exciting.  We all love at times to be the first to do something or to know something.  There seems to be something in our nature (or in the way we were nurtured) that gives us this propensity to want to be first (or best).  

Jesus taught us, however, that “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all” (Mark 9:35).  By this He means that whoever has a humble servant's heart such as He modeled for us is truly among the first and greatest in His Kingdom. Christ, whom we worship and glorify, is the First and the Last, the one and only eternal God.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,
the Beginning and the End" (Revelation 22:13).


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Waiting Game

"Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).

It has been three days since Lady Robin built her nest on our bathroom window sill.  I haven't seen her since then.  Don't ask me why.  From what I've read about robins, she builds her nest and then lays one egg a day until there are three to four eggs in the nest.  Then she begins to incubate them.  So now it's the waiting game. Only time will tell if she decided she didn't like the location of her nest after all, or if she's not ready to lay her eggs.

This reminds me of how impatient we can be waiting to see what God has in store for us.  What is it that you are waiting for?  God has a plan for you.  In His time and in His way, He will reveal it. And it will be good.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'" (Jeremiah 29:11).

Friday, April 15, 2011

Building for the Future

"Unless the Lord build the house, those who build it labor in vain"
(Psalm 127:1).

This week I noticed a robin beginning to build her nest on the sill of our bathroom window.  A few times a day I would reach out the window and brush off strands of dried grass and clumps of mud.  This went on for several days. 

It is for the robin's good that I object to the location.  This window is situated inside our shower/tub surround and close to the adjacent family room window.  While the robin has her eye on this choice property, I know that the "neighborhood" will not provide this family of robins the privacy they need. 

Although her will and mine are in opposition to each other, the robin's instincts are strong, and she is very determined.  She refused to give up.  When I got home late yesterday afternoon, I saw that she had really busied herself and finished building her house.  I did not have the heart to tear it down. 

We'll have to watch and see how this robin story turns out.  We're not so different.  We often oppose God's will in our lives even when He throws obstacles in our way to deter us.  We have to remember that He knows what is best for us.  We can turn to His Word and approach Him in prayer as we seek His good and gracious will.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways... As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts"
(Isaiah 55:8-9).

Monday, April 4, 2011


Castaways at Maple Grove

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal" (Matthew 6:19-20).

Tucked away in the woods at the back of our property are some castaways from days gone by:  an old potato plow and a wheelbarrow.  Now rusted and discarded, they were once brand new and valued by their previous owner.

Throughout our lives we acquire one "treasure" after another.  Some are practical things we genuinely need for our daily living; others are things we want and seem to think we can't live without.  Sooner or later all of it either wears out or loses its appeal.  In any case, we won't take any of it with us when we die.  There is only one treasure that is truly of real lasting value:  the Word of God with its message for eternal life.   "The word of the Lord remains forever" (1 Peter 1:25).

"My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God" (Proverbs 2:1-5).