Month: October 2011
I love this time of year as the weather begins to cool, the leaves on the trees begin to take on the colors of fall and, with the coming of fall, comes DEER SEASON. I don’t have the time to hunt and fish as I did when I was a kid but I still enjoy going out into nature and matching my wits against the creatures of the wild.
One of the things that I enjoy about hunting is the lessons that can be learned from nature and especially from the animals that God has created. I got a powerful lesson on the importance of fellowship while deer hunting this last Monday morning.
Monday was the first day that I had found the time to go hunting. I was late getting to the woods and it was already getting light, so instead of sitting in my stand, I decided to just walk the creek bottom. It was foggy and the leaves and grass were damp so it was fairly easy to walk quietly through the woods. One of the advantages of walking while deer hunting is that you tend to see more deer, especially if the deer are not moving. Stalking deer takes a little skill and a lot of luck. The hope is that you see the deer before the deer sees you, but this is much more difficult when walking than it is when sitting in a stand.
After getting to the woods, I had not walked more than 150 yards when a saw a buck about 200 yards away. The deer was looking straight at me and I thought I had already been discovered but I stood still for several minutes and he began to move around, picking up acorns and no longer paying me any attention. The deer was moving down the creek in my general direction and I was already making plans to spend the next couple of hours cutting up deer meat. The deer moved behind a small thicket and, as he did, I raised my gun to be prepared for the shot. Just as I expected, he continued to move down the creek toward me and was now about 120 yards away.
I wanted to wait until he was less than 100 yard away to ensure a clean shot. While waiting for the buck to come into range I saw him quickly raise his head, look back over his shoulder and then he bolted, running back in the direction he had come from. I wondered what had spooked him. I knew he had not detected me—I had the wind in my favor, I hadn’t made any noise and he never again looked in my direction. It was then that I realized there was another buck that I had not seen and that buck was watching me when I raised my gun. That buck sensed the danger, threw up his white tail and ran and the buck that I had been watching took warning and ran as well.
While it is relatively easy to stalk a single deer, it is almost impossible to stalk two or more—there are just too many eyes watching. I’m confident that if the buck I had been watching had been alone, he would now reside in my freezer. But he was not alone. He was with one who shared his desire to avoid danger and it saved his life.
What an object lesson for Christians on the importance of fellowship. In I Peter 5:8 we are told, Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Satan is seeking to destroy us and he has many traps in which to ensnare his victims. One of our greatest defenses against this enemy is our fellowship with those who share our faith and our desire to avoid the temptations of Satan. In Galatians 6:1-2 we are told; Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
Just like that deer that was not aware that he was in a hunter’s cross-hairs, we, too, can be lured into sin unaware that it will cost us our soul. And just like that deer whose life was saved by another deer that was watching and gave warning, we, too, need to be watching and give warning to one another when we detect one of Satan’s deadly schemes. We are all vulnerable to temptation and we need each other in our struggle against Satan. We have a responsibility to be there for one another, to encourage one another, to watch out for one another.
Considering my hunting experiences over the years, almost all of the deer that I have killed were alone. Rarely have I been able to get a shot at a deer when there was more than one. Considering my Christian life over the years, the times that I have been the most vulnerable to temptation was when I was alone and the times that I have been the strongest against temptation was when I was with my brethren. This is why fellowship is so important. God intended for his people to be together, to encourage and to help one another in the struggle against sin. Acts 2:42 tells us that fellowship is one of the things to which the early disciples were devoted. Let’s make every effort to devote ourselves to the fellowship of believers so that we might help one another avoid being tempted and devoured by Satan. –Wendell Ingram
We really enjoy the hummingbirds in the summer. We mix 4 parts water to 1 part sugar and they really go after it. Sometimes we have 20 swarming around and we had to get a couple more feeders last year. The bottom picture shows our last little hummingbird. They are usually all gone at this time of year.
The others left about 2 weeks ago. Hey, it’s almost November. Some experts say to quit putting feed out so they will leave. We don’t have the heart to do that. Others say they have an internal clock given by our and their Creator. I tend to agree with the latter.
He can probably make it home in 3 days, maybe sooner as fast as they fly. Their wings go so fast they can hover in the air like a helicopter. There are different plants and flowers all the way south for them to get their nectar and I bet they know it better than we do.
I venture to guess this little guy knows what he is doing. I really hope he starts back home soon though. I guess he thought he’d chill out on the way home…and he probably will but I bet he makes it.
Another thought…on a spiritual level: Many become Christians while they are young and have the opportunity to live their whole lives for God…many do not learn of Christ and His church until they are advanced in age…(stragglers) but they are just as saved and the reward is the same as the early ones…(Matthew 20:1-16) and if they remain faithful, they will make it to heaven, just like this little straggler will make it back to his homeland from whence he came. -Written in October, 2007
Wendell and Kathy and Family: Angela…Tiffany and husband, Beau… Shanelle, wife of Daniel…and Daniel
We used to have a large gas heater that had been in a fire and didn’t look too good, but it really gave out the heat, so we had kept it. We put it in the utility room. The warmth from that old stove eventually warmed the whole house…but it really felt good to stand right in front of it when the rest of the house was so cold.
This is similar to the way Christianity is. Have you seen it in action lately? Christianity is in homes and if the love of it does not radiate from our own homes and to our own family members, then it is not love and it is not Christianity!
In our homes, Christian love warms the heart, is patient, seeks the good of the other family members…is concerned about the emotions and feelings of the others and then radiates out to the outside world. It will cause our children to want it in their lives and homes when they grow up.
How do congregations grow cold and cease to be effective in doing the Lord’s work? You will see it in the families. Maybe one or two families will not affect the church to a great degree, but if the families are not treating each other the way God wants them to, it will eventually affect the church as a whole. How is your family doing?
©Edna L Ingram, Christian Bible Teacher Magazine August 1994.
Having endured the “empty nest syndrome” for a number of months, I find myself recalling precious little memories of our children when they were small. I would like to share one of those rather comical memories and an object lesson that can be learned.
One Wednesday evening we were leaving for bible class and everyone was in the car except Tiffany, our middle child, who was about 5 years old at the time.
I went back into the house to get her and found her sitting on her bedroom floor crying. I asked her what was wrong and she told me that she had tripped and fallen over a clothes hanger that was laying in the floor. She said that it was the third time she had tripped over the same hanger. Biting my lip to keep from laughing, I asked if she had considered picking up the hanger and putting it in the closet. She had not considered that option, but agreed that would probably be the thing to do. she got up, put the hanger in the closet…problem solved.
It seems like an elementary thing to pick up a hanger laying in the floor to keep from stumbling, but how many times do Christians allow things to remain in their hearts that cause them to stumble, things like anger, malice and hard feelings. Time and time again it causes them to stumble. Time and time again it causes them or someone they love to suffer. Why not get it out of the way? How many Christians allow things like gossip, slander and filthy language to remain a part of their lives, causing them to sin with their lips, and time and time again causing them to stumble.
As Christians we are commanded to get rid of these things. In Colossians 3:8, we are told: “…but now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips.”
May we be encouraged to look and see if we have left some things in our life that might cause us or someone we love to stumble and fall. If we do find something, we need to get rid of it.
We have this plant that was given to us by a relative who got it from another relative that she had received from a relative now deceased, who had received it from another relative then deceased, who had said the start came from her great -great grandmother. I know these people and I don’t doubt the story at all. The story though, would be easy to make up and spread on throughout the generations.
This reminds me of the one church we can read about in the new Testament and can read about it being prophesied all through the Old Testament. In the New Testament Jesus said He would build it…and He called it “My” church (singular). (Matthew 16:17-18) Down through the generations though, groups have sprung up and almost every religious organization claims to be that church…but think about it. Can 33,000 different groups who all teach something different be that one church that Jesus built? Since the Bible teaches there is only one, we need to study diligently.
We don’t have to wonder. God in His wisdom knew that divisions would come. He warned about them in 1 Timothy, chapter 4 and he describes some of the falling away. Some of these later human-made churches were trying to get back to the original pattern, but they stopped short of their goal.
God made it clear in his Word that there is only one Way and if we study, we can find it. From how to get into the church that Jesus built, how to worship in Spirit and in Truth and when to meet together…and how to stay faithful unto death…Revelation 2;10, so that we can be in heaven eternally.
I wish that we could say that in this true church we are talking about, that there were never any divisions…but down through the years divisions have come. The true church is still in existence though and can still be found. The Bible says that divisions would come from those among us also, and it is still happening today. But that is no excuse for us to not search out the true church that Jesus built and become a member of it and live faithfully. That is the only way the Bible gives. Luke 1:32-33
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Wendell & Cara Lynn, ages 12 and 10.
Did you ever receive a gift from someone and the manner in which they gave it made you feel unhappy every time you looked at it? I once received a gift in that manner and I placed it up on a shelf, really intending to use it, but every day when I looked at it…I felt so sad. I could not forget the remark that was made as I was unwrapping it. It took the joy of using the gift away. It makes a person wonder if they gave you the gift just so they could get in a little ‘dig’. Probably not. The thoughts just come into our minds and we spurt them out without thinking. I finally just gave it away to someone who could enjoy it.
We were given a gift by our son and daughter on our 25th wedding anniversary. It was a silver platter with engraving on it. It was so beautiful and someone (not our children, or my DH) made a remark that was unnecesary and it would have been so much better left unsaid. I can’t part with that gift of course, but when I look at it, then too, comes the memory of that thoughtless remark. I can overlook it in this case though, because of the great love our children have for us in giving the gift.
I was thinking today of the gift of God’s Son, Jesus, and the ability that gift has to take all our sins away, if we will obey Him. (Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.) (KJV) There are a lot of sad thoughts and memories attached to it. He laid His life down willingly though, and there was so much love in that sacrifice that it is easy to forget the bad and just meditate on his great love for us.
I hope I have not ruined a gift for someone…especially this one…by remarks I have made. I hope I have learned to think before I speak and I just hope and pray that I will remember to think first.
I have a quote written in the back of a photo album: “Take care also, most diligently, to avoid those things in yourself which commonly displease you in others.” -Thomas A. Kempis
Isn’t this what the Bible is talking about in Romans 1:1? Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
Our son’s advice in the ‘Senior Scope’ to underclassmen when he graduated from highschool was: “Observe and learn from other people’s mistakes, so you won’t have to make all of them yourself.” Pretty good advice for me today! -Edna L. Ingram