Sunday, July 31, 2011

Orphan Fawns

For the past few weeks we've had twin fawns at the Homestead. Since Momma is nowhere to be seen they must be orphans. This morning, in the midst of long-awaited rain and poor lighting, I was able to snap some photos.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Update on Squirrels This Week

Most of the squirrels still haven't found the new feeder. How can this be? But then, how can those who profess Christ often live their lives with Bibles throughout the house and seldom feed from those books? What do we substitute for God's Word? Let me count the things, let me count the activities, let me count the seductions.

A friend asked me about a commentary on Romans for one of her friends whose group was just beginning a study in that NT book. The best commentary on Romans is Romans. Get to know the Book as you would your favorite meal, your favorite place, your sweetest piece of music, or your dearest friend - then crack a commentary to see how others view that relationship - but let's not substitute anything for knowing the Book personally. Of course this "knowing" includes knowing as a member of Christ's Body, so there is most certainly cross-pollination - but the Book should be no more primarily mediated than my relationship with Christ should be primarily mediated.

My substitute count is getting up there...what about yours?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Update on Squirrels

The squirrels still are not using the new feeder. It’s 15 feet away from the old feeder and they’re not using it. Oh, one or two or three come to the new feeder, but only occasionally. Most of the squirrels still come to the location of the old feeder even though there is no food and no feeder.

In my Mind on Fire blog I’ve been pondering Jesus as the Bread of Life in John Chapter 6. Many people turned away from Jesus when He gave this teaching, when He presented Himself as our Bread of Life. The people, including many who had been following Him, preferred the old feeder of the natural world, of types and shadows, of religious tradition that focused not on the original meaning of the Law and Prophets, but rather on the Law and Prophets as a self-righteous security blanket. Even after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ they would continue to go to the old feeder even though there was no living food there – in fact, Paul writes that there is condemnation and death at the old feeder.

Thankfully the location of the old squirrel feeder is not lethal, but there is no food. So the squirrels pick through dropped bird seed from the bird feeders, eating leftovers, eating what has been discarded. This is a picture of what the Christian life is for many folks. They receive little firsthand from the Bible for they spend little time in the Bible. What they do receive they receive primarily from others, and so they are unaccustomed to the joy of the Living Scriptures and of the joy of giving what they receive to others. If you meet them they will more likely talk about an author or a teacher or a preacher than they will talk about what they’ve been reading and experiencing in the Bible – which should be our primary feeder (in the context of this thought). Perhaps we’re all tempted to stay on the ground and pick through the leftovers?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fledglings R Us Part III

The Bluebird kiddies are out and about on a hot summer's day.

"I don't think we're supposed to go in there. We're just supposed to drink out of it."

"I'm in and I'm enjoying it, after all, it's call a Bird Bath!"

"You'd better get out or we'll tell on you."

"Oh come on in. Are you a Bluebird or a chicken?"

"See, I can swim from one end to the other!"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fledglings R Us Part II

As I said yesterday, baby Cardinals are characters when they're on the ground - a dangerous place to be with cats around. They haven't figured out that there is food in feeders - including sunflower seeds! Yum, yum!

"See anything worth eating?" the brother says to the sister.

"Where were our parents getting all that food?" the sister replies.

"This doesn't seem right, do I really belong on the ground?"

"Where's the food? Where's the food?"

"I don't get food?"

"Those birds need some serious help."

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fledglings R Us

The baby birds are out and about. It's neat watching them figure things outs. Often they are looking for food where they don't belong - it's especially cute to watch little Cardinals on the ground. Here's a little Thrush looking for the suet that he heard about from his Mom and Dad.

Ok, where's the suet? They told me there is suet around here.

Oh come on, if the suet isn't here where is it?


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Where Did The Food Go?

In a previous post, quite a while ago, I had a photo of a squirrel in our squirrel feeder. During the recent series of thunderstorms the feeder came down. Yesterday I relocated it to another tree for better stabilization, however, I haven't yet taken the old bracket down from the previous tree. Not only have the squirrels so far failed to discern where the new feeder is, though it is only one tree away from the old location, at least one squirrel continues to return to the place of the old feeder - no doubt hoping for a miraculous materialization of food. 

I think we can be like this squirrel (photo below). When a place of nourishment dries up we often will keep coming back and back and back to it, never considering that our heavenly Father may have a different source of sustenance for us on this pilgrimage.

Where's the food?

No squirrels at the new feeder yet.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Venture into Sarcasm - or into Tragedy?

Ok, I admit it, I can be sarcastic. If you know me you know that's true - but hey - I'm better than I used to be, really I am. Now if you think this is an intro into sarcasm you're right, my justification? Well, Paul could be fairly sarcastic at times so if it's good enough for the great Apostle it's good enough for me.

The focus of my sarcasm? What else but the latest CBD (Christian Book Distributors) catalog?

On page 25 we have the NKJV American Patriot's Bible. Included in this "Bible" (?) are Memorable Images from American History. Oh good gracious, you can't be serious can you? Putting a nation, any nation, on a par with the Bible, wrapped in the Bible? This is dangerous ground, very dangerous ground.

Not to be outdone, on page 18 the NIV folks have the...DRUM ROLL...NIV Liberty Bible!!!! There is even a picture of the Statue of Liberty on the box cover. Did I hear the word "idol"? Did anyone say "idol"?

The big guns at Zondervan, however, not only have the Liberty Bible, they also have the NIV People's Bible; if I didn't know better (at least I think I know better), I'd wonder if the People's Bible isn't Marxist - can't blame one for thinking that now can you? But wait, we're safe, it's not Marxist. What is it? Zondervan tells us, "Discover the Scriptures that others turn to most often with this unique Bible!" Problem is, I don't want a "unique Bible", I want a Bible faithful to the transmitted text for the past few thousand years. Great job Zondervan, let's allow the lowest common denominator to interpret the Bible for us. 

On page A18 we have the NLT Live Bible for Students. Does this mean that all the other Bibles are dead? This one is from Tyndale - oh if the historical Tyndale could only see this! The promo says, Not just a youth version of an adult edition, this Bible really rocks!" Let's see,  help me out here, I didn't realize the Holy Spirit inspired an adult Bible and then a youth Bible. What does it mean that "this Bible really rocks"? When you open it is there a sound chip (like those on greeting cards) that plays Elvis? 

I know, I know, I should wrap this up...but I can't help myself.

On page 55 we have the Joyce Meyer Amplified Edition and we're told, "It's just like having Joyce Meyer sitting right beside you, instructing you in God's Word..." Now to be fair to Mrs. Meyer, there are plenty of high-profile preachers from across the spectrum who now have their own Bibles out (John MacArthur's Bible is on page 22, Charles Stanley's is also on page 22, John Maxwell has one on page 25) - but whatever happened to the Holy Spirit? Wouldn't it be nice if He was sitting right beside us? Nope, no room for Him anymore.

Here's a real travesty, The NRSV C.S. Lewis Bible. Are you serious? I can't imagine that Lewis would approve of this nonsense were he alive - someone must surely need money.

My last comment is reserved for something called EasyWorship 2009 on CD-ROM. (Page 42).The promo says, "Enhance your worship service with a presentation that takes only minutes to create!" This is what the North American church has come to - easy worship, easy living, easy obedience, easy, easy, easy. Do I want to participate in something that came in a box - that didn't cost someone something? That didn't cost prayer and obedience and meditation and listening to the Holy Spirit and digging in the Word? Why don't we just put this as a slogan over the American church - EASY WORSHIP. That probably says it all.

Do we not see the insanity? We worry about the "Beast" and can't see that the antichrist, as John says in his first letter, has been around for a long time - and that he will use money and what is easy to get the professing Church to compromise and sell itself just as ancient Israel sold itself to the surrounding idols.

I think my venture into sarcasm has turned into a venture into tragedy. A tragedy of Christian trash. The prostitution of the Bible. How can any thoughtful person take the Gospel seriously when this is how we treat the Scriptures within the church?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Watermelon and Dogs

Vickie doesn't like watermelon. Seth and Silas don't like watermelon. I'm not sure about Alice or David or Sally; I don't get it, I love good watermelon. At least Lina and Lily like watermelon. Darby liked watermelon, but Darby went to Narnia  in early 2009. Darby was our Shepherd-Lab, she was Mommy's dog. Mitzi didn't care for watermelon (Mitz was a Border Collie mix as near as we could tell - Mitz was Daddy's dog) and I don't know that I ever tried watermelon out on Chris Ann, our Cocker Spaniel; though I will say that Chris Ann seldom encountered food that she wouldn't at least try. She even ate a parsnip once.

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Prayer Request

The following was sent by a brother in Christ yesterday, and I share it that those who read this Blog might pray for Tyler and also for the prayer time tomorrow evening at Messiah Christian.



Good Afternoon Friends and Family,

Stephanie and I have been spending much time in prayer, meditation, reading God’s word and then praying some more.  I have been asking God what he wants me to do in and through this medical situation Tyler is now experiencing.

God gave me some clarity in the mist of the fog I have been walking around in. The vision the Lord gave me is to bring the body of Christ together for a time to worship and prayer and ask that God use us to glorify Him in and through these hard times. We want people to see God’s grace in action, His mercy being new every day, and His healing touch on Tyler. 

I have had the privilege to serve alongside many of you in ministries involving marriages, (Week-End to Remember) (I Still Do Conferences) counseling, as well as with Men’s ministries, Crown Financial Ministries, Compass, Racial reconciliation and many others. All these ministries point to one thing and that is to know God’s truth and that truth will set people free. Free to have a purposeful relationship with Him.

I have always had a passion to see the body of Christ come together to love each other and serve together. I believe this is a time for us to come together in love and serve each other.

Many of you know that my grandson, Tyler, has Aplastic Anemia. He has received treatment for this disease since February, which has included transfusions of platelets, red cells and white cells. Tyler has experienced so many complications along with this disease. He had a fungal infection and now has a viral infection that is attacking his liver, kidneys, gallbladder, and lungs. (They will be doing another CT Scan today because of a spot they found on his neck).

 I am now requesting my friends in ministry to come together for a time of worship and praying for Tyler. I know I did not plan in advance for this time of prayer, but the problems that Tyler is experiencing did not warn us either. I am asking you to consider this request with the utmost seriousness.

Please consider joining us Tuesday (7/05/11) night at 7pm at Messiah Christian Church.
Please consider asking people you know that has faith in God’s healing power to join us.

Blessings to all,
Steve Smalley

Hot at Home

I took the photo below around 5:10 PM yesterday; the thermometer is on our screened-in porch; goodness knows what the temperature was outside in the Sun.

Trumpet Vine

I realize I haven't been posting much on Kaleidoscope lately, it isn't that I don't have much to say, it's probably that I have too much to say and most of it probably lends itself to my Mind on Fire blog. I've also been working on some book manuscripts, but more on those at some future date.

Below are photos of a Trumpet Vine at the entrance to the Zuck Homestead. I took these yesterday.