The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
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NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Friday, September 4, 2015

Matthew 6 - The Birds of the Air Teach Us To Trust in God



One reader and I have been discussing the relative absence of birds in my yard in September. We seem to be in transition from the summer birds to the winter ones. One clue is having male cardinals together, because they fight for territory when seeking a mate. In the winter, with snow on the ground. clusters of male cardinals will appear on a feature - quite a colorful sight.

Luther used the birds as teachers, because they start each day without even knowing where their next meal will come from - yet they begin each day with Matins, singing songs of praise.

Many times I have trained birds to the point where they begin a happy burbling sound when I step into the yard. Their happy talk confirms their trust that God will provide.

Yesterday I had a jay call out from his vantage point in a tree, as soon as I went into the back yard. "Feed me!"

Mourning Dove

White-winged Dove

Inca Dove

When my mother lived with us in Phoenix, she loved having birds in the yard. We bought dove blocks, large cubes of seed (dove blocks), scattered sunflower seeds, and grew them. I watched her distribute sunflower seed one morning. After generous donations of seed here and there, Mom dug into the 40 pound sack and tossed an extra large scoop across the soil. We had mourning doves that never left the yard. They waited on the fence for their next meal. They often frightened workmen by their startled and noisy flight from the yard when a stranger came out. They have noisy wings and a group cry, something apparently figured out during billions of years of evolution. The effect was impressive. Some workmen admonished me to warn people in advance.

We had all three doves in our yard in Phoenix, plus some rock doves (pigeons) here and there.

Red Cross-bills.

We even had crossbills inside our house from time to time, wandering in because the doors were left open. Mrs. Ichabod thought I should usher them out as well, and I did by talking to them, urging them to find another place to roost, and showing them the door.



Birds do not depend on us, in spite of urban legends to the contrary. They do not starve when we are on vacation. Most of my birdfood planning is through building up plants that will feed them what they need most, not with sugarwater and snackfood, but with bugs, fruit, grubs, and flower seeds.

Bluejays, native to America and unknown to Luther, do hoard acorns, and they pick the ones most likely to germinate. This has the effect to planting oak forests even more effectively than squirrels do - so some claim. Are the jays forgetful or do they lose their food on purpose, an example enlightened self-interest? I would love to read the code on their software, because that is quite an elaborate program. Alas, I only know HTML, so I doubt I could read it.



God's Creation Shows Good Management

God's management can hardly be disputed, if investigated with diligence. I read through the Good Bug, Bad Bug book by Jessica Walliser, a second or third time. This amused me - advice to avoid bad bugs - avoid garden trash and litter, because pests hide out and multiply there.

Advice to foster the growth of beneficial bugs - leave garden trash and litter, because beneficial bugs hide out and multiply there. Confidential to Jessica - I read the entire book for insect advice.

I knew which advice to take. WWMD - What Would Maynard G. Krebs Do? - "Leave the litter, because God will work out the details."

Whether anyone believes in Creation or not, the management of Creation continues. Weeds reclaim bare land. Creatures move in to do their work without complaining and find their particular role in each place or move on.

Ichneumon Waps are designed to destroy pests,
to multiply where the pests are.


Ichneumons (“ ick-new-mons”) are mysterious and exotic wasps that are parasitic connoisseurs. Each specializes in one specific host (or a very few hosts). Ichneumons are delicately sculptured and patterned with almost infinite variety and subtlety. There are tens of thousands of species, and they are difficult to differentiate; males and females within a species often come in different shapes and sizes, dimensions of appendages, and colors (from yellow and brown to brilliant shiny metallic-blue with contrasting black and white patterns). The female possesses an ovipositor that projects out of her rear end. Depending on the species, the ovipositor can be so short as to be barely visible, or as long or longer than the wasp’s body itself. The ovipositor doubles as a stinger, but primarily it is a tool for injecting eggs into the body of her host.

Heinrich, Bernd (2008-12-24). The Snoring Bird (Kindle Locations 179-184). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition. 

Be honest with yourselves, readers. You did not know about this tiny wasp before you read about it here. Maybe you heard about it once and the facts did not stick in your memory. But the wasps were there all along. I can bend over any group of flowers on a calm day (if they do not spray) and find Ichneumons or flower flies (aka hover flies).

Flower Fly - Hover Fly - Syrphids.