I'm An Empty Page...
I'm an open book
Write Your story on my heart
Come on and make Your mark
Author of my hope
Maker of the stars
Let me be Your work of art
Won't You write Your story on my heart
Song: Write Your Story by Francesca Battistelli
Thank you so much, in advance, for taking the time to read this blog. I know this one is long, but the SPIRIT seemed to be leading me. GOD was wanting to write HIS story on my heart, and I’m blessed to be able to share what I learned this week with you. I write these blogs so that I can “force” myself to study GOD’s WORD. A way that helps me to learn more for my personal walk with CHRIST. The GOD I love is an amazing GOD, and I hope you learn to enjoy learning about HIM as much as I do…
And now… on with the story!
On March 28, I was privileged to view the Greater Prairie Chicken lek at Dunn Ranch. It is always such an awesome experience. The way they behave as they try to establish dominance and attract a mate is beautiful. Each year I get to go I feel so blessed.
On reviewing the images the next day, I was struck in a way that I had to write a blog post about it. There is a lot that I need to learn from the Greater Prairie Chickens. Lessons that GOD wants to teach me. Lessons that HE wants me to share with you. Now, they didn’t really have Prairie Chickens in Israel, but they did talk about chickens quite often. Here is one of my favorites:
Three things are stately in their stride, even four are stately in their walk:
a lion, which is mightiest among beasts and doesn’t retreat before anything,
a strutting rooster, a goat, and a king at the head of his army.
Here are the three lessons I learned from watching the Greater Prairie Chickens this last year.
1. Do My Best
The Prairie Chicken males are on the lek to show the females the very best they can. They fluff their feathers out. They fill their air sacks with air. They sing. Second best isn’t good enough on the lek. As a former coach use to tell me, “second place is the first loser.” If you’re not the best rooster on the lek, you don’t get the hen.
GOD wants me to do my best for HIM. HE deserves it. After the sacrifice that HE gave to redeem me, I need to do my best (out of thankfulness). In the Old Testament, the sacrifices were suppose to be the first (or the best) of the flock. Just look at the story of Cain and Abel.
In the course of time Cain presented some of the land’s produce as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also presented an offering—some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions. The Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but He did not have regard for Cain and his offering. Cain was furious, and he looked despondent.
Cain gave SOME of his field, Abel gave the FIRSTBORN. GOD wants my best. Even in the New Testament, I’m told to give my best, to be approved by GOD.
2 Timothy 2:15
Be diligent to present yourself approved to GOD, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth.
Here are some images of the males on the lek, trying to be their best.
2. Constantly Be On The Lookout
One of the dangers of the lek, is that it is out in the wide open. It’s on the top of a hill with the grass all matted down. Not a great place for safety. The Greater Prairie Chickens are always on the lookout. They will be in the middle of a display, stop and be still. They will look around and make sure that the area is still safe.
This year it actually wasn’t safe. At about nine AM, after two in a half hours of watching, a Northern Harrier flew over looking for a snack, and all the Chickens headed out. The viewing was over, but not the lesson learning.
As a Christian, I need to be on the lookout. GOD knows what is best for me, and if I keep my eyes on doing the best for HIM, I can believe I’m safe. However, SIN is always just around the corner, or just behind the next door. The story of Cain and Abel continues a couple verses later, after Abel has been murdered.
“If you do what is right, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, SIN is crouching at the door. It’s desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”
In the New Testament, we learn that the DEVIL is out there as well, like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. The DEVIL is real, and we need to be on the lookout for him.
1 Peter 5:8
Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the DEVIL is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.
We are even warned to be on the look-out for those within our brotherhood. There are those out there that care only for themselves, not the flock.
Now I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause dissensions and obstacles contrary to the doctrine you have learned. Avoid them, for such people do not serve our LORD CHRIST but their own appetites. They deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting with smooth talk and flattering words.
The following images are all of times when everything on the lek stopped, and they were all on the lookout for predators.
3. Defend My Turf
The moment all of us watching waits for is when a fight breaks out. The two will display, then run towards each other. They will have a stare down, and if that isn’t enough to decide the winner… they will attack. One will try to bite. The other will jump and try to land on the first. The action normally only lasts a short while, but it is intense. These are soldiers, fighting to defend their turf.
We have a calling to defend those around us as well. GOD’s word is full of stories of soldiers facing insurmountable odds, relying on HIM, and coming out victorious. I need to make sure I heed this calling. Here are a couple Old Testament passages about defending others.
Speak up for those who have no voice, for the justice of all who are dispossessed.
Speak up, judge righteously, and DEFEND the cause of the oppressed and needy.
Learn to do what is good. Seek justice. Correct the oppressor. DEFEND the rights of the fatherless. Plead the widow’s cause.
Sometimes I worry that I’m not prepared as those great heroes in the BIBLE. But what I really need to do is remember that they won their victories because of GOD. They relied on HIM. They found their strength in HIM. The GOD they served is the same that I serve, and HE has even prepared for me a soldiers uniform. HE has given me everything I need to fight for HIM and for others.
Finally, be strengthened by the LORD and by HIS vast strength. Put on the full armor of GOD so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of GOD, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.
Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the SPIRIT, which is GOD’s word.
Pray at all times in the SPIRIT with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.
Here are some of the fight images that I was blessed to capture this year.
Thank you again for reading this blog. I hope you learned a little. I hope you enjoyed the images. I hope it made you think. I know I did.