Tag Archives: God’s stuff

Big Flying Beetles

Every summer around here, we get these big, clumsy beetles… that fly. They don’t look like they could, but they can–and how! You should see the acrobatics when a sparrow tries to catch one on the wing. But the thing that intrigues Mr. Nature is the strange attraction these beetles feel for the white aluminum siding on this building, and their compulsion to blunder into it. Now, if the beetle were the most sophisticated aircraft built by man, it still couldn’t afford to go banging repeatedly into a sheer cliff. But the beetle can. Bomp, bomp, bomp–and he never falls down.

God’s stuff–way cooler than our own.


Simple Pleasures

Image result for images of a chess game

God has given us simple pleasures to keep us sane. I don’t have space to list all the simple pleasures I enjoy, because in this respect, God has made me rich. And without spending a lot of money on it, either. But here are just a few of my favorites, which help me to avoid going off the deep end.

A sweet, sunny day, 70 or 75 degrees, my lawn chair, a nice cigar, and the book I happen to be writing at the time.

In bed with my wife, Peep the cat purring, and us with our bedtime books: Agatha Christie, Freddy the Pig, Narnia, and other favorites.

A nice game of chess by one of the old masters–Morphy, Marshall, Anderssen.

A Christmas tree.

Coasting downhill, no-handed, on my bike: makes me feel 12 years old again.

Combing Robbie, who can barely contain herself for pure pleasure.

A satisfying supper: Patty excels at creating these.

Jigsaw puzzles.

A snowy day.

And a tiger swallowtail butterfly visits our little garden…

I could go on with this all day and into the night. Thank you, Father in Heaven, for all of these and more–and for teaching me to appreciate them.


A Ticklish Meerkat

Patty found this video today, and I thought you might enjoy it: a meerkat getting tickled and loving it.

More of God’s stuff, the stuff of life.

I find it comforting. I’ve just been chatting with two friends who have recently lost loved ones and are grieving. We know the feeling; all of us, we know. And God knows, too. His Son was murdered on the cross, on our behalf. So God knows what grief feels like.

That’s why He included so much joy in His creation. He knows we need it.


‘Godzilla Lizard’? Ah, C’mon!

Hi, Mr. Nature here, pleading with whoever’s out there to find this blog 131 more views before midnight–a tall order, but what does it hurt to ask?

Meanwhile, I found this nice video of a marine iguana peacefully feeding on seaweed underwater. I have to take issue with its billing as a “Godzilla lizard as big as a man.” Half of that length is just the tail, and a 6-foot-long marine iguana would be a real whopper. Not impossible, but quite unlikely. Nor does he look like Godzilla, King of the Monsters.

Marine iguanas live only on the Galapagos Islands and are not affiliated with the U.S. military. Social animals, they live in groups along the shore, basking on the sunny rocks. Males fight ritually, doing very little harm to one another,  but sometimes have to break up fights between females, who have no time for ritual and take the issue of ownership of nesting space very seriously.

But it’s more of God’s stuff that’s been working without a hitch, just fine, for I don’t know how many centuries.

I’m lucky if my stuff works two days in a row.


Mr. Nature: Do Starfish Think?

Hi, Mr. Nature here! As you can see from this video, starfish can do things, albeit slowly. And that’s pretty remarkable, because a starfish doesn’t have a brain.

It’s a fact: no brain. It has a complicated nervous system; it can move, reproduce, respond to changes in the water, and hunt its prey; but it has no brain. (Note me laying off the wisecracks!)

So the question I have is this: can a starfish learn? And of course, to learn anything, you have to have some kind of memory. So we want to know if a starfish can remember anything.

I have been looking for answers to this question for years without ever having found one. You would think some marine biologist would be curious enough to do an experiment. If it were discovered that starfish can learn, and that without a brain, it would open up fascinating vistas of investigation.

If God did create the starfish with an ability to learn without a brain–wow!


Sanity Break: Bad Jokes Contest

What do you get when you put a bunch of pastors into a bad jokes contest? Well, you get a lot of bad jokes.

Sometimes visiting Aunt Joan at the nursing home gets me down. Somehow these horrible jokes have helped me get back up. Imagining old Rev. Ver Straat even trying to tell one of these jokes has helped restore my spirit.

God gave us laughter for a reason; and that’s the reason.


Kentucky’s Rare Yellow Cardinals

Image result for images of yellow cardinal

Hi, Mr. Nature here–dyin’ from the heat. Last week we had our winter coats on. Today it’s 95 degrees. Well, that’s New Jersey for you.

One thing we don’t have in New Jersey is yellow cardinals–the birds, I mean, not wishy-washy churchmen. For that you have to go to Kentucky.

But even in Kentucky, the yellow cardinal is quite rare. So much so, they urge you to take pictures if you see one. The Northern Cardinal most of us know is bright red (the males) or sort-of red with a green-brown overlay (females). Cardinals mate for keeps, and where you see the male, the female won’t be far behind–and vice-versa. The yellow form, ornithologists say, is a rare genetic mutation.

God has gifted these birds with spectacularly beautiful color, and we delight in them. Even in its fallen state, the world He has created offers beauty.

Whatever will it be like, when He regenerates His whole creation?


God’s Stuff: Ants Gathering Food

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.  Proverbs 6:6-7

Watch these ants. Someone has spilled some grain on a stone step, and the ants have turned out in force to collect it, to bring it back to their nest and store it for future use. By the time they’re done, there won’t be a single kernel left on the stone.

Hi, Mr. Nature here, with more of God’s stuff that works a lot better than anything we humans can invent. Who trains the ants to store food against lean times to come? Who organizes them? How, without a government, without a spoken language, do they work so efficiently together?

This is God’s providence, here applied to tiny creatures which we don’t even notice unless they happen to annoy us. But He has taken thought for all His creatures, even ants.

We have resources at our command that ants can’t even imagine; and yet, if it were left up to college students who say that “Food just is!”, and doesn’t have to be carefully tended and diligently worked for… well, we’d all starve.

The ants know better, don’t they?


The Gorgeous Goldfinch

This afternoon, as I forged ahead on my book, I was blessed with the sight of two goldfinches, a mated pair. The male is the bright yellow one, and the female has a kind of greenish tint.

Hi, Mr. Nature here, with more of God’s stuff that really works and is a delight to His people.

Although the goldfinch is our state bird here in New Jersey, we don’t see them that often. But the male goldfinch is a real eye-catcher, and usually where you see one, you see both. They’re never very far from one another.

A good lesson for married people, that!


Our Plant Still Lives

Image result for images of monarda plant

All it had to contend with was getting squashed flat by an oaf of a delivery man setting a 30-pound carton on it, and then day after day of cold, dreary, rainy weather. In fact, our town’s Memorial Day parade had to be canceled today on account of nasty weather. Global Warming, right…

But after battling to regain a mostly upright position, Patty’s poor monarda plant began to put out new growth–and today, of all things, it has produced a flower. It wasn’t supposed to bloom until next year, but it’s blooming now.

A little thing, but to us a cause for thanksgiving. Our Lord likes to do small things! Because, yes, He’s big enough for that.


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