Tag Archives: God’s stuff

Fun With Cats

What would be an example of an inexhaustible resource? Cat videos, I think.

My favorite in this collection is the cat who can’t get the parakeet off the rim of his food dish–and not once resorts to violence. We see so many instances of animals being patient and gentle with each other–especially when one, the cat, could so easily devour the other, the bird.

I wonder if the Lord is trying to tell us something.

‘The Audacious Jumping Spider’ (2015)

After the personal news I just got, I’m not up for taking on the daily chronicle of my country’s demise. So a bit of God’s stuff, instead: the audacious jumping spider.


I don’t know why they call these critters “audacious.” The ones in our garden are very quick to hide when they see you coming.

Don’t Let This Critter Bite You

There’s always something to learn that will surprise you.

Hi, Mr. Nature here–and I was surprised yesterday when I learned that the solenodon–which looks like a kind of rat or possum, but isn’t–is poisonous. A bite from this baby could actually kill you. At the very least, it would make you very sick. This little furry mammal has a neurotoxic venom, as do many poisonous snakes but very few mammals indeed.

What they use the venom for, I dunno. They eat earthworms, insects, carrion, and the occasional frog. Larger mammals eat solenodons. Along with the poisonous bite, I read, goes a rather short fuse–although the one in this video seems amiable enough.

Solenodons are very rare, they live on the islands of Cuba and Hispaniola, and have more than once been thought to be extinct, only to turn up right after their extinction has been published somewhere. They don’t like to be seen and are quite good at avoiding it. Mammals imported from Europe, Asia, and Africa have pretty much wiped out most of the mammal fauna native to the Caribbean.

The Haitian solenodon has a ball-and-socket joint in its snout to make its nose more flexible. That’s helpful in sniffing out yummy worms and grubs. Solenodons don’t see well, but their acute sense of smell compensates for that. And they can run on tiptoe very fast.

You might say these animals are living fossils, left over from their salad days during the Age of Dinosaurs.

There’s no limit to God’s artistry, and we have yet to see it all.

The Very Strange ‘Shovel-Tusked’ Elephant

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Mr. Nature here, with an animal that I expect to turn up in Obann any day now: Platybelodon, aka the “Shovel-Tusked Elephant.”

We don’t have elephants like this anymore. Look at that elongated lower jaw. Scientists think it was used for stripping bark and branches from trees. They used to think it was used for scooping up water plants in swamps. Fossils of this critter were discovered in the Gobi Desert in the 1920s, by Roy Chapman Andrews’ expeditions for the American Museum of Natural History. I read all about it in All About Strange Beasts of the Past. It seems the desert used to be wetlands. In the absence of SUVs, air conditioners, and toilet paper, it’s hard to account for such radical climate change.

Platybelodon was smaller than a modern elephant, but still a pretty hefty beast. It looks like God was improvising on His elephant theme–like a jazz musician cutting loose with his saxophone. We only know these elephant variations from fossils, and from paintings made on the walls of caves by ancient human beings.

But I like to believe that someday we will know them better.

Frolicky Lambs

The more of these videos I watch, the more amazed I am by the capacity for joy which God built into so many of His creatures. He didn’t have to do that. If any of us had had the job, we never would have thought of doing it.

Watch these lambs. They love their lives! And for all we know, clams and sponges do, too. They just don’t show it in any way that we can recognize. The suburbanite in me wonders, wistfully, what it would be like to spend a day with these lambs. Yo, Heidi, wait for me!

God’s stuff. It always works.

‘There Is No God like Our God’ (2015)

What a dazzling light was switched on in my mind, when I realized that God is a person–like I am, like you are. He made us in His image: that’s why we are persons, too.

And what’s the most important thing to any person?

Love! What else could it be?


The Monster Hog

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They’re not as innocent as they look! These little figurines represent Dinohyus (aka Daeodon), a huge, monstrous, pig-like mammal of prehistoric times. They came in a set of prehistoric mammals as prizes in boxes of Nabisco Wheat and Rice Honeys, way back when. They fascinated me then, and they still do now. God created a lot of way cool animals we don’t see anymore: He didn’t stop with dinosaurs. These giant hogs don’t lose much by comparison with dinosaurs.

Why are they extinct? Has God preserved them somewhere else in His creation? We just don’t know. Maybe someday we will, and this part of God’s plan will astound us.

Now let me see if I can find another image–they’re all best-guess reconstructions, based on a pretty fair number of fossil skeletons–that will impress you more than these little toys can do.

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Definitely not an animal to mess around with!

God Is Not an Absentee Landlord

See the source image

As distressed as I am by this development, I feel obliged to comment.

We elected Donald Trump to protect us from the corrupt predators of the Swamp in Washington, D.C. But yesterday they hogtied him and got him to sign their trillion-dollar spending bill. In it the bad guys got everything they want while we got nothing–no border wall, no relief from the Swamp’s incontinent and wicked spending. They also gave themselves another hefty pay raise; and having done all that, rushed out of town for their vacations.

Now what?

I went outside. The sky’s still blue, the birds still sing, and God’s still here. By “here”I mean everywhere. He is not an absentee landlord, sunning himself on a beach in Antigua while his property just goes to pot.

Pray harder, sing louder.

O Lord our God, exercise your sovereignty, your glory: turn the Swamp’s rejoicing into tears and lamentations: intervene for our good, and save our country. Look past our sins and frustrate your enemies for your great Name’s sake, and for the sake of our rightful King, Jesus Christ, and in His name, Amen.

The $3 Hawk

I’ve had trouble trying to reblog today–but at least I caught this one, from Julia… who understands about God’s stuff.    –LD

The Beloved Stories

2 minute read.

As kids, my brother, sister and I were rewarded for spotting “rare” wildlife around our mundane suburb. My dad had a whole system for it: $1 for seeing a duck, $2 for turtles, and my personal favorite, the $3 hawk.

I made bank every time they flew over the forest preserve across from my house. On my way back from school, I’d count them up and report to my father: “12 bucks,” and he’d fork over a ten and a $2 bill (he always has them in his pocket – he’s that guy).

The beautiful thing about going to college in Tennessee is there are a ton of hawks. The heartbreaking thing about going to college in Tennessee is I’m in college and my dad no longer pays me for seeing hawks.

Bummer – because I’ve seen a lot lately. It always goes like this:


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‘God’s Stuff: Water Striders’ (2015)

There’s still snow on the ground, here in New Jersey, but any day now, we’ll be able to see these little guys skating on the water. In a few tiny micro-climates, they’re already at work.

Water striders don’t sink because they’re subtly balanced on the water’s surface tension. How cool is that?


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