A Miracle Observed

On April 4 I found a nest with 3 eggs in a bush by my bathroom window.  As I watched it carefully, I discovered a mother cardinal sitting on it. She would tolerate me bringing out trash as long as I got no closer than 4 feet or so. A male cardinal that I assumed to be the dad was usually nearby whenever I went outside. 

This is only the second time I’ve had the privilege of observing a bird incubating their eggs. She sat on the eggs for two weeks. I put a stool out by the nest so that I could observe easily and get pictures. Easter Sunday was April 16 when all my grandchildren got a peek at the eggs. The day after on April 17, the eggs hatched. Three little birds, eyes closed, greeted me when I returned from caring for my older son’s boys. I watched them carefully each day and took pictures.


One was always buried deep in the nest and did not often raise his head, even if I spoke. We had a couple of colder than normal nights, but the birds seemed to be doing ok.  Then one day after caring for my grandsons, I came home to one dead baby with ants all over it. This saddened me, but I knew from my reading that I needed to get the dead bird out of the nest or the mother might reject the others. So I wrapped him in a Kleenex and buried him near the back gate where I had just planted some flowers.  The remaining two seemed to be doing well. 


One was definitely stronger than the other, though. The stronger bird left the nest on the afternoon of April 27 and that evening I found the last baby dead in the nest. I buried that one as well. 

The Lord blessed me with the opportunity of observing this miracle of nature. I am sad that all the birds did not make it, but at least one did. 

“Let my whole being bless the LORD! LORD my God, how fantastic you are! You are clothed in glory and grandeur!”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭104:1‬ ‭CEB‬‬

“Overhead, the birds in the sky make their home, chirping loudly in the trees.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭104:12‬ ‭CEB‬‬

Praise the Lord!

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Irony

When my older daredevil son began driving, I asked him to call so I would know he was safe. He didn’t – even when he was out past curfew, driving in icy conditions or on a trip. When younger son began driving, I bought us cell phones!

Twenty years later I am providing after school care for my daredevil’s two boys. One day I forgot to text that I had picked up the boys from school.

When Matthew came home from work, he walked in saying, “Why didn’t you answer my text?”

cellphone w maleHis next words were so amusing in light of his teenage years with little to no communication via telephone.

“Mom, we are going to have to connect on Find Friends so I can see where you are!”

Now I can track him 24/7!

The Protestant Rosary: Chapter 9

Prayer Philosophy

I often hear friends ask for details of a situation so they will know how to pray for a specific person. Must we know details to pray for another person? I think not because of specific scriptures in Matthew 6 and Romans 8.

Matthew 6:7-8 “When you pray, don’t pour out a flood of empty words, as the Gentiles do. They think that by saying many words they’ll be heard. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows what you need before you ask. (emphasis added)

These words of Jesus explain that we do not need to use many lofty words to impress others or God. Jesus tells us that God knows the need before we ask. However, He does want us to show our dependence on Him by asking for His divine intervention and guidance.

Often, I do not know the specific need of someone who needs intercessory prayer; I just know they need God’s intervention. God knows their needs better than I could ever know them.

26 In the same way, the Spirit comes to help our weakness. We don’t know what we should pray, but the Spirit himself pleads our case with unexpressed groans. Romans 8:26 NLT

 This method of prayer trusts the Holy Spirit to participate in our prayers. This verse provides great comfort as we pray, knowing that the Holy Spirit will intervene in our prayers.

wooden rosary

Persistence is also a necessary element of prayer as demonstrated in Luke 11:5-8 following Christ’s example of the Lord’s Prayer.

And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs. NLT

Jesus goes on to say in verse 13 that our Heavenly Father will respond to our persistent pleas.

13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” NLT

Our persistence to the Lord in prayer will bring results, though God’s timing is not our timing. The answers to our prayer may not come as we would expect or ask. The Almighty Father often has a better answer for us than we could ever imagine. He has amazed me so many times on His answers and the timing of them!

May you find blessing as you experiment with this new method of prayer. God changes our hearts and minds through prayer. I pray you allow Him this miracle as you begin this new prayer journey.

 

The Protestant Rosary: Chapter 8

Thursdays

 

  1. Mark 1: 9-11 Baptism

One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. 10 As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him[a] like a dove. 11 And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”

 

  1. John 2:1-11 Wedding at Cana

The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.”

“Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”

But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled, he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions.

When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. 10 “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!”

11 This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

 

  1. Mark 4:30-32 The Kingdom of God

30 Jesus said, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it? 31 It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. It is the smallest of all seeds, 32 but it becomes the largest of all garden plants; it grows long branches, and birds can make nests in its shade.”

 

  1. Luke 9:28-31, 35-36 Transfiguration

28 About eight days later Jesus took Peter, John, and James up on a mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white. 30 Suddenly, two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared and began talking with Jesus. 31 They were glorious to see. And they were speaking about his exodus from this world, which was about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem.

35 Then a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, my Chosen One.[a] Listen to him.” 36 When the voice finished, Jesus was there alone. They didn’t tell anyone at that time what they had seen.

 

  1. Luke 22:14-20 Holy Communion

14 When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table.[a]15 Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. 16 For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”

17 Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. 18 For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.”

19 He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

20 After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.

The Protestant Rosary: Chapter 7

Sundays and Wednesdays

 

  1. Luke 24:1-6 NLT Resurrection

1But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus.As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes.

The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee,

 

  1. Acts 1:9-11 NLT Ascension

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

 

  1. Acts 2:1-4 NLT Pentecost

9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

4. John 3:16 NLT Love of God

16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 

  1. Mark 16:15 NLT Great Commission

15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

The Protestant Rosary: Chapter 6

 

Tuesdays and Fridays

 

  1. Matthew 26:36-38 NLT Agony in the Garden

36 Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” 37 He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. 38 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

39 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

 

  1. Mark 15:12-15 NLT Scourging at the Pillar

12 Pilate asked them, “Then what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?”

13 They shouted back, “Crucify him!”

14 “Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?”

But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!”

15 So to pacify the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.

 

  1. Mark 15:16-20 NLT Crowning of Thorns

16 The soldiers took Jesus into the courtyard of the governor’s headquarters (called the Praetorium) and called out the entire regiment. 17 They dressed him in a purple robe, and they wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head.18 Then they saluted him and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” 19 And they struck him on the head with a reed stick, spit on him, and dropped to their knees in mock worship. 20 When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.

     4. Mark 15:20-21 NLT Carrying the Cross

20 When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified. 21 A passerby named Simon, who was from Cyrene,[a] was coming in from the countryside just then, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross.

5. Matthew 27:45-50 NLT Crucifixion

45 At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 46 At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice,  “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

47 Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. 48 One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. 49 But the rest said, “Wait! Let’s see whether Elijah comes to save him.”

50 Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit.

The Protestant Rosary: Chapter 5

Scripture Meditations for Mondays and Saturdays

 

  1. Luke 1:25-33 NLT      Annunciation

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”

29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”

 

  1. Luke 1:39-45 NLT       Visitation

39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

 

  1. Luke 2:6-7 NLT             Nativity

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

 

  1. Luke 2:21 NLT                Presentation after Birth

21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

 

  1. Luke 2:42-47 NLT         Jesus Speaks with the Teachers

42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.