May 06, 2022

Here I am, where are you?

When I first began to memorize bird songs, I remember being taught that the Red-eyed Vireo says, "Here I am, where are you?" It has stuck ever since! (Actually, it seems like the Red-eyed Vireo began to sing even more when I put those words with the song.) Those words, "Here I am, where are you?" made a big impression on me. I began thinking of how God calls us when we stray of the path of life. He simply says,
"Here I am, where are you?" As I began to reflect on this, I was reminded of the old hymn Softly and Tenderly. The lyrics go like this:
Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
At the heart's portal He's waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.

Come home, come home,
Ye who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home. ~Will. L. Thompson

If you feel that you are wandering away from God, ask Him for forgiveness. His arms of love are open wide!
So this is you challenge: Every time you hear a Red-eyed Vireo, rededicate your life to God and tell Him that you are coming home!

Posted on May 06, 2022 08:32 PM by prestonthomas prestonthomas | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Keep On Singing

Around noon time, in the heat of the day, I heard a Red-eyed Vireo singing his sweet melody without stopping. While other birds were hushed for their afternoon siesta, the Red-eyed Vireo kept on singing. It seemed as if he were not about to grow weary from singing! In fact, it actually kept him going throughout the day. It taught me a very important lesson; singing keeps us going throughout the day. But not just singing any song; singing praises to our Redeemer just like the Red-eyed Vireo. When you feel down, when Satan tries to discourage you, and when it seems like everybody else is sleeping, keep on singing! Think about when Paul and Silas were thrown in jail. Can you guess what they did? They sang! Their singing made a big impact on the other prisoners who were just focused on their pain. (see Acts 16) Don't focus on your pain; don't focus on the heat of the day; but focus on praising Jesus through song!

Posted on May 06, 2022 07:33 PM by prestonthomas prestonthomas | 1 observation | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 17, 2022

Sweater also than Honey

“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; The statues of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes… More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, then much fine gold; Sweeter also then honey from the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:7,8,10)

A few days ago, I dumped some old, crystallized honey out in our driveway. I was assuming that it would attract quite a crowd of honeybees. And boy was I right! The next day I found 20+ bees piled all over the honey! They were there all day long! I actually covered some of the honey with gravel from our driveway because I didn’t want our dog eating it. But the gravel didn’t deter them. They pushed the gravel aside and dug right in to get a sweet sip of that honey! I was standing 2 feet away from them and they still didn’t budge. They were so glued to their honey that I don’t even think they looked up at me.

In the Bible, the psalmist David likened the law of the Lord unto the sweetness of honey. These bees were naturally drawn to the honey because of its sweetness. So we are drawn to the word of God because of what it means in our lives. It is sweeter to us than is honey. Look at the bees for example. They let nothing hinder them from getting to the honey. It didn’t matter if a pile of rocks was on top of it. It didn’t matter if I, an enemy, was standing right next to them. (Of course I wasn’t an enemy.) All day they constantly drank from this source. You may read God’s word and feel like it’s kind of boring. You may not realize what is so special about his law. But when you give your life to Christ, the word of God has a new meaning. It is your strength, your comfort, your guide, and your light. I’m not telling you to read God‘s word 24/7. But I am telling you to constantly rely on its promises day by day. Memorize the Bible verse by verse. And throughout the day you can repeat to yourselves the wonderful words of God. Remember spend time in God‘s word which is sweeter also than honey from the honeycomb.

Posted on April 17, 2022 09:54 PM by prestonthomas prestonthomas | 1 observation | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 12, 2022

Wind: God’s distributor

Right now the loblolly pine trees are producing pollen cones. The pollen cones are releasing pollen everywhere into the air! We took a video of shaking a pine tree branch in slow motion. It was amazing to watch clouds of pollen come out from it! But where does the pollen go? How does it know where to go? The pollen doesn’t just go to one specific spot, it goes everywhere! But if it is fortunate, some of the pollen may land on a seed cone and fertilize it. This would create a pinecone, which would in turn create pine seeds, which would in turn create more pine trees. (this is a picture of a pine tree branch with pollen cones.)

Do you remember the parable of the sower that Jesus taught in Matthew chapter 13? Both of these nature experiences have a similar story. In the parable of the sower, the sower cast his seed everywhere. Some seed landed by the wayside, others on the rocky path, some among the thorns, and a few fortunate seeds fell upon the good soil. In the same way some pine pollen landed on our cars, others in the creek, others in the yard, but some landed right on a pine seed cone so that it can be fertilized. In our pine pollen situation, what carries the pollen through the air? The wind of course! In the Bible Jesus likens the wind unto the Holy Spirit. He said, “‘ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.’” (John 3:8 NKJV) Every pine tree that is born exist because of wind-carried pollen. And every person who is born into the family of God is born because of the wind-like power of the Holy Spirit.

Friends, God has given us a job. In the same way that the pollen cones release their pollen, so we are to release the seeds of truth. The job of the Holy Spirit, who is like the wind, is to take those seeds to the people who need the most. It is our job to spread God‘s love wherever we are. It is up to the Holy Spirit to determine who will be won to Christ by our efforts. Some seeds will go right to peoples hearts, and others will be blown off to the wayside. Only the Holy Spirit, who is the wind, will guide those seeds of truth that we spread to where they need to go. And remember God gives a blessing to those who so beside all waters. (see Isaiah 32:20)

Posted on April 12, 2022 11:01 PM by prestonthomas prestonthomas | 1 observation | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 13, 2022

Budding beginnings

"Spring is here! Spring is here!" is the excited cry of every nature lover. It truly is an exhilarating time for any given nature enthusiast! Flowers are blooming, grass is growing, and birds are beginning to sing! But what happens before spring comes? It is the dead of winter. Nothing is alive. But at the first sight of a budding flower, a pluse of joy is sent through the body. Spring is on its way!

Sometimes we feel like spring will never come. But will it? Are the promises of God really sure. "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." (Isaiah 55:10,11 NKJV) Gods promises have not failed. Spring has come every year at its appointed time. No matter how dead winter may seem, plants soon begin to shoot up and birds begin to sing. So don't lose hope. Even though the present may seem dark and dreary, God has a bright hope and a future for you! (see Jeremiah 29:11) If you choose Jesus, then you choose happiness. Although you may be going through some tough time, His presence right beside you will cheer you on. (see Isaiah 41:10)
"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:1-3) This world feels like the dead of winter. But heaven is like a beautiful spring garden where you can pick a never fading flower! Jesus wants you to live in heaven with Him forever! The second you ask Jesus to for give you of your sins is the second that He writes you down in the guest book of heaven!

Posted on March 13, 2022 05:13 PM by prestonthomas prestonthomas | 19 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 18, 2022

Migrating to Zion

The Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge is well known for its high population of Sandhill Cranes. Each year, during migration they stop at this wildlife sanctuary which is located in Birchwood, Tennessee. Although some cranes overwinter here, most are just passing through. They are actually on their way to places in the south, like Florida.
Bird migration is similar to the journey of life. Earth is not our home. We're just passing through. We are on a journey to heaven — a better land! But we will have to make sacrifices. Our old land (earth) will have to be left behind. What is your "sanctuary" that will have to be left behind? Is is TV, your iPhone, wine, sports, nature, or even your self? Whatever is keeping you from what God wants you to be will have to be left behind. Remember the sacrifices we make are very, very little compared to the joy that God has in store for you. If the Sandhill Cranes ever want to reach the warm climate of Florida, they will have to give up all the good things back at the wildlife sanctuary back in Tennessee.
Sandhill Cranes are programmed to know that when the days get shorter and when food gets scarce it is time to migrate. So when we see signs happening around us we know that Jesus is coming soon. Tumult and confession is all around us. (see Matthew 24) The coming of Jesus is sooner than we think! Jesus is even at the door! It is time that we find a better land to go to. God didn't promise that it would all be easy. There will be storms that we will have to navigate. But by faith we must press on! Like the cranes, we must fly in 'V' formation -- 'V' for Victory! God has promised that He will be there right beside us and give us the victory. In the same way that God guides the cranes to their southern haven, so He will guide us to our heavenly home. If you don't know what direction to go in the you must turn to God. You must turn to the Bible. It is truth and it will guide you south! Trust in the Lord! He who guided the descendants of Abraham to the promised land will surely lead you to true satisfaction in Christ! (read Numbers 13:30)
I have a question for you, "Have you ever seen a lone migrating Sandhill Crane?" No! Your motivation to go to heaven will most definitely cause others to follow. It will cause a huge "V" to come behind you! Heaven is a land where their is peace, joy, happiness, and an aboundance of God's creation! And in heaven all animals will be tame. (see Isaiah 11) Most importantly we will be in the presence of Jesus, the One who guided us on our migration to Zion!

Posted on February 18, 2022 01:59 AM by prestonthomas prestonthomas | 1 observation | 4 comments | Leave a comment

February 06, 2022

On eagle's wings.

This eagle that I was viewing was flying over the Tennessee River at Blyth Ferry, which is near the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge. Eagles are majestic! Watching them soar above the clouds makes you wish that you were an eagle. To be carefree like an eagle, riding upon the waves of wind, just seems unimaginable! But in a way, it is possible. "but they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31) Trust in God. He will supply all of your needs. (please read Matthew 14:13-21) If you chose to let God work out your problems, then you will not be burdened. He will take on your burden, so that your can soar like an eagle! Your will be carefree, having nothing to weigh you down.

Posted on February 06, 2022 03:54 PM by prestonthomas prestonthomas | 1 observation | 1 comment | Leave a comment

January 31, 2022

Photosynthesis life

The Crane- fly orchid pictures are taken through a microscope. The pics are viewing the underside of a leaf. Numerous stomata are visible on the underside of the leaf. Stomata intake air and regulate transpiration (the removal of excess water from the leaves).By taking in air and sunlight, the leaves can provide important food and energy for the plant. Like plants, we too need air and sunshine. They are crucial for our survival. Spending time outside walking, running, and doing some other type of exercise is very good for our bodies. We take in air and sunshine. I encourage you to spend time outside this week to improve your health. But these lessons about stomata and taking air can be applied to other aspects of our life as well. If you want to live a happy, healthy life, then you need to be careful about what you take in to your brains. If you choose to spend time out in nature and studying the Bible, then you will have peace and be guilt free. But if you let TV and other amusements fill your life, then you will be unhappy.🥺 Take in what is good for your life and get rid of what is bad. Always remember this promise, “The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” (Isaiah 58:11)

Posted on January 31, 2022 11:22 PM by prestonthomas prestonthomas | 1 observation | 1 comment | Leave a comment

January 29, 2022

Ever Green!🌲

Ever green trees are great! They’re tall, majestic, and outstanding in the winter because they are the only thing that is green. God has called us to be ever green trees too. The world is like deciduous trees in the winter. It is dreary and dead. It has no life. But God came to give us life more abundantly! (See John 10:10) If we live in accordance to the word of God than we shall have life. Something green in the middle of a forest that is gray is attractive. That is why God has called is to be like well springs of water in the desert. When people come to us, we can point them to Jesus who is the way. Ever green trees are always green, not just for a time. So we should reflect Christ character all the time. But we must remember that we cannot be green on our own. It is God who gives us the sunshine and the rain that keeps us living! People around us will see how we are blessed and desire for themselves the goodness that God has given us. Psalm 1 says that we will be like a tree planted by the water who yields its fruit ( representing good works and character) in season. If you ask God, He will make you like an evergreen tree. If you any questions or comments about God, nature, or the Bible fill free to write me!

Posted on January 29, 2022 02:21 AM by prestonthomas prestonthomas | 5 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

January 24, 2022

Humblebees 🐝

There is something attractive, real attractive to the Brown– belted Bumblebee, 🐝 and that is something sticky, sweet, and something irresistible. NECTAR! “The clovers are calling and I must go” is the number one saying of the bumblebee! One look at the clover and they’re dive bombing it! We know that when bees receive nectar they get some thing else too — pollen! And when they travel to the next flower they carry the pollen with them as well. As they dive onto the next flower the the pollen immediately sticks onto the stigma! Sometime later, seeds are formed because the pollen was transferred from one flower to another. But there is a valuable lesson that we can learn from this. God has called us to be like bumblebees. He has a work for each one of us. First of all he wants us to get to know him. His word is like nectar. It is sweeter than honey from the honeycomb. It bring life to our souls. It makes us happy to know that we have a friend who forgives us. But when we come to get the nectar there’s something else we get — and that is the pollen. Pollen is like the seeds of truth which are found in the Bible. And wherever we go we carry the gospel with us. The bee dispersed the pollen as he traveled from flower to flower. Wherever we are we can always spread God’s love. It may even produce seeds. (Fruit) In the same way the flowers can produce good things like fruits or seeds so our characters produce good things. We can produce the Fruits of the Spirit! The fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (See Galatians 5:22,23) We should use every opportunity for good. “ In the morning sow you seed and in the evening do not withhold your hand; For you do not know which will prosper, either this or that, Or whether both alike will be good” (Ecclesiastes 11:6) We do not know who might be impacted by the seeds of truth that we have to share. That is why we share the love of God with all whom we come into contact with. Christ’s character can be shown in us by our words and unselfish actions. We can be humble like the bumblebees, faithfully doing the work that God has given us.

Posted on January 24, 2022 11:06 PM by prestonthomas prestonthomas | 1 observation | 3 comments | Leave a comment