Earth Engineer

Web maker

An engineering genius.

Its web making family more than 40,000 species of engineer designers.

Astonishing silk makers,

five times stronger than the same diameter of steel.DSC_0120_500sig

Every web distinctive,

Every orb with different radii and lengths of silk.

Insect consumer extraordinaire.

The weight of insects consumed annually by the world’s spiders exceeds the weight of humans on earth!

All perfectly trained in the Eternal University of the Creator.DSC_0094_489sig

More Than All

Socrates is considered a wise man. Perhaps he is best known for his gifted ability to question everything and everyone. Today we know it as the Socratic method.  The Socratic method of teaching is to ask question after question until students or readers arrive at their own understanding.

The method of Socrates can lead us to truth. Here are the questions:

  1. How much is abundantly more than all?
  2. If all is done what more can be done?
  3. Is there a limit to more than all?
  4. Do you know any human who can actually do abundantly more than all?
  5. Is “more than all” even possible?

Nature provides us with a specific example which can enable us to understand the truth, the answers to these questions. The natural world exists to point us to truth.DSC_0007_462_483sig(Beaded water on Indian-Grass)

Our example is the grasshopper. Specifically, Melanoplus bivittatus, or the Two Striped Grasshopper. The two-striped grasshopper is one species of more than 20,000 species world-wide. The two striped is the grasshopper with, as expected, two yellow stripes which run from their head to mid-wing forming a triangle. The ultimate habitat for the two-striped grasshopper is prairie. The two-striped is a herbivore, a plant eater. It eats flowers and grass. Flowers like Stiff Goldenrod and Monarda, and grasses like Indian grass and Big Bluestem find their way into the stomach of the two-striped. This grasshopper lives in a beautiful world. DSC_0020_464sig(Stiff Goldenrod)

DSC_0023_465sig(Soldier Beetle on  Gray headed coneflower)

DSC_0068_478sig(Ripening Indian Grass Seed)

In a prairie, there is always a harmonious balance. The eaters seldom overcome the plants. Plants dominate. But grasshoppers and their kind can and have overpowered everything. The over-abundance of grasshoppers and locusts is common in world history. Consider two. The first occurred in the United States. It is recorded in history as the grasshopper plague of 1874. In July of that year millions of Rocky Mountain locusts flew into the prairies of the Dakotas and all the way to Texas. By 1874 much of what had been prairie had been repurposed to become farmland growing wheat. This plague of locusts destroyed everything-even wooden tool handles!

The second plague occurred much earlier in human history. The setting was ancient Egypt. It is recorded in the Bible in the book of Exodus chapter 10. In this chapter, it is recorded that the locusts covered the entire country of Egypt and “darkened” the land, and after they were done eating, “not a single leaf was left on the trees and plants.”

Now, return with me to the first question: How much is abundantly more than all?

Few of us have ever seen a plague of locusts like that described in these two accounts. We realize that it must have been a natural disaster of the greatest magnitude, yet since we have never seen such a swarm of locusts, we cannot fully understand. But these plagues bring within sight of the truth. While these plagues contained millions of grasshoppers-neither were more than all. We can see the truth standing on the history of these locust accounts. No human could create the vast swarms contained in these plagues. No human could even make 1 grasshopper.DSC_0044_471sig(The Two-striped Grasshopper

God is our More Than All. He is able to do abundantly more than all. There is no limit to God. It is God who does “abundantly more than all.” This brings us to one of the greatest truths the human mind can consider. Since God is able to do abundantly more than all, like creating swarms of locusts and grasshoppers. Can God be abundantly more than all for you? What are your needs? What benefit would there be for you and I to trust ONE who is able to do abundantly more than all?  Does it help to know that this ONE who is able to do abundantly more than all so loves the world? The not so lowly grasshopper is just one evidence of the infinite powers of More Than All.

 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

 

Perfect Peace

The English language is filled with abundant and descriptive terms. For me synonyms are a delight to explore. Look with me at the word peace.  Its synonyms are calm, quiet, stillness, tranquility, silence, harmony and serenity. Peace also means goodwill. It is a word few humans would deny they wish for in their life.

Five months ago, my mind was on peace. It has been on my mind many times since, but especially again today.

When we face trials, we think about peace. There may be suffering or difficulty in a trial, but peace is not associated with life struggles. Yet peace can be in every trial, every heart ache, every struggle. If an entrepreneur could develop a device, something electronic with a screen would sell, or perhaps a mixture of special herbs for an aroma of peace. Whatever the invention, it’s creator would become wealthy beyond imagination.DSC_0078_244sig

Yet, peace is already available. It is free. Peace can be found outside, in natural settings. There is peace by a flowing stream, a quiet lake, beneath a stately tree, or on a vast expanse of grass. There is peace in the midst of a city with the sound of traffic in each ear.

Fortunately, this peace cannot and will never be invented. This peace was created, perfectly, freely for everyone who needs it. The Creator of this peace is God. This peace is referred to as “the peace of God”. Think of it. Calm, quiet, stillness, tranquility, silence, harmony and serenity-and goodwill. Each blended in perfect quantities which provide a true peace for each human heart. This kind of peace cannot be found in any human enterprise or invention. This peace surpasses human understanding. Nothing on earth is its equal, this peace does not originate on earth, it comes from God alone.

We know the task of a guard. A guard protects, watches, and shields. The peace of God is specifically described as a guard. This is not any guard-this is God! He never succumbs to the failures of human guards. God never slumbers or sleeps. God is everywhere present, wherever you may be on earth. He is at your hand. How close is that?

God knows all things. He knows before your enemy approaches. And, God is all powerful. No enemy you will ever face can overcome Him. This peace, the peace of God is real. Look at the flowers, they do not work, they do make their own clothes, yet their blossoms take our breath away. God provides for them. You are of much more value to Him than them.DSC_0005_330sig

Do you need peace? Tell God. He is near, His peace is available now.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7DSC_0064_241sig

America’s National Symbol

When diving for prey it can reach speeds of 75 to over 95 mph. It weighs between 6 and 14 pounds, and females are larger than males. Its wingspan ranges from 6 to 8 feet! With these great wings, it can use thermals to rise to heights of 10,000 feet above earth.

Mating for life the male and female build the nest which they add to each year. Large nests have measured 8 feet across and weigh thousands of pounds. The Bald Eagle is found on only one continent in the world: North America.

In 1789, 13 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed, the Bald Eagle was chosen as America’s symbolic bird. Chosen for its strength, majestic beauty and longevity, the Bald Eagle continues to be a superb choice as America’s bird icon.

Nearly extinct in the early 1950s, extensive conservation efforts, primary among them the ban of DDT, brought back the eagle population. It was removed from the endangered species list in 2007.

This Bald Eagle lives on the Crow Wing River along the stretch of river north of Nimrod, Minnesota.

God, who gave the eagle amazing strength and majesty, is the One each American can turn to this July 4th and every day after for forgiveness, strength and guidance.  Happy Birthday America!

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SELF Destruct

Happiness, peace of heart and mind, even joy come from SELF destruction. What? In our world of “self-help, self- improvement, self-reliance, and of course selfies? Ok, you wonder, what is the life about? God. It is His world. We are here for His purposes not ours. Our lives are not to promote the kingdom of self. They are to be about the kingdom of God. These things should be less in our lives: self-focus, self-righteousness, self-satisfaction, self-reliance, and self-rule. None of us can conquer these self-monsters. God can. He knows our every struggle. Pastor Paul Tripp (https://www.paultripp.com/) reminds us that on the cross, Jesus broke the power of the kingdom of self. We can SELF destruct a little each day as Jesus gives us victory. Ask Him. He will give you victory over self. SELF destruction in this way is an eternally good thing.

No Secret Place

DSC_0032_207sigDo you have secrets? Thought so. Me too. We think our secrets are confidential, ours alone. They are private for no one else. Secrets are personal. They are things we want concealed. There are good secrets, like a surprise gift. Then there are the ugly ones we do not want to talk about.
 
Some secrets are embarrassing. We hold these private because they might embarrass us. Some secrets are painful. They hurt too much to share.
 
There are the mega secrets. These are embarrassing and painful. We want no exposure on these.
 
We keep secrets about our lies, our thefts, our bitter anger, our lusts and how we resent others. We live with ugly secrets.
We fear what others may think. We fear what others may say. So, we keep secrets.
 
We keep our secrets so well that we get used to the ugliness of some of them. We fool ourselves. We think our secrets aren’t so bad.
There are times when being able to escape to a thundercloud to hide alone seems good. Other times it seems perfect to escape to a wilderness. These places seem like safe ones for secrets. It is not possible to hide secrets in either place.
 
Why do we delude ourselves thinking we can keep secrets?
 
Yes, we may keep others from knowing our biggest embarrassments and greatest hurts. Truth is, we cannot keep secrets. Not one, ever. Every human secret from the beginning of time to now is known. God knows them all. He knows all of yours and all of mine.
 
“Can anyone hide from me in a secret place?
Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?” says the Lord. Jeremiah 23:24.
 
Even if you could hide in a thundercloud or a wilderness-God is there, always. There are no secrets with God.
 
But wait, since no one can hide from God, no one can keep a secret from God, consider the other truth: all-knowing God loves us. Why keep a secret from God? His love is perfect, never-failing. He forgives; all, always, forever. Tell Him your secrets. He waits for you to share your burdens. Give your secrets to God. Run to Him with your secrets. There isn’t one He does not already know about. You can be free of your secret burdens.
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